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Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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West Midlands: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Birmingham
Corporate and commercial: Birmingham - ranked: tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a broad practice covering  M&A, corporate finance, private equity and general commercial matters. Practice head Richard Wrigley is an expert in transactions and restructurings, with a strong emphasis on the energy sector.  Other important names include: mid-market M&A specialist Adam McGiveron ; the corporate finance-focused Kavita Patel ; and Keith Spedding , who has a strong interest in the tech sector.

Practice head(s):Richard Wrigley

Other key lawyers:Adam McGiveron; Kavita Patel; Keith Spedding

Key Clients

Express & Star Newspapers

National Grid Plc

Whitworth Holdings Ltd


Freshwater UK Plc

Alliance UK Ltd

Octopus Investments

Carver Group



Work highlights

  • Advised Alliance Automotive (the European division of US-listed Genuine Parts Company) on  multiple UK acquisitions.
  • Advised Whitworths on purchase of Hovis’ flour milling operation.
  • Advised Foresight Group investment fund on the merger of two funds to create a single fund with assets of more than £360m.
  • Acted for Carver Group - a long established Midlands based company in the manufacturing sector -on the acquisition of Cool-Therm.

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Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the West Midlands
Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the West Midlands - ranked: tier 3

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's Stratford-upon-Avon practice primarily focuses on mid-market M&A, joint ventures, MBOs and restructurings. The team is led by Andrew Smith, who focuses on corporate and finance transactions for startups, SMEs and public companies.

Practice head(s):Andrew Smith


'Personable yet highly professional standard of legal support.'

'Availability, in-depth knowledge and empathetic manner.'

Key Clients

Whitworth Bros

Three Ways House Hotel

Document Insights The Extracare Charitable Trust

Walsall Housing Group

Orbit Group

Midland Heart


Watbio Holdings

Cheviot Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acted for Whitworth Bros on the purchase of two of Hovis’ flour mills in Selby and Manchester.
  • Advised shareholders of Watbio Holdings on the company's sale to listed counterpart Filta Group.
  • Acting for Galliford Try on its acquisition of special-purchase vehicle Bouygues Development-Thomas Vale Limited, the owner of two Wolverhampton housing development sites, from Bouygues (UK) Limited.
  • Advised Westerly Media, which provides training support on Microsoft Office 365, on its sale to CoreView.

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West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Birmingham
Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

The Birmingham disputes team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP has notable expertise in litigation over commercial contracts, shareholder and partnership agreements, warranty claims, procurement disputes and database misuse claims  Mark Beesley leads the litigation team nationwide, and is an expert in commercial and contractual litigation. Barry Jervis is head of the Birmingham office and is experienced in handling warranty claims, claims for injunctive relief, as well as general contractual issues, while 'efficient and diligent' associate partner James Woolstenhulme specialises in the IT and telecoms sector.

Practice head(s):Mark Beesley; Barry Jervis

Other key lawyers:James Woolstenhulme


'The team is very knowledgeable and professional and provides a very good service in a timely and efficient manner.'

'An outstanding team who are able to cover a wide range of disputes. Both commercial and pragmatic in their approach and with a good track record.'

'Barry Jervis is first rate, with a keen appreciation of legal issues and a solid appreciation of the commercial realities of a dispute.'

'James Woolstenhulme is really good in dealing with running difficult cases.'

Key Clients

Henkel Limited


General Dynamics UK Ltd

FM Conway Limited

First Personnel Services Ltd

Folkes Holdings Limited

Staffordshire University

Selecta Systems Limited

Birmingham City Council

Alliance Surgical Plc

Intercity Technology Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Maloney Metalcraft Limited in a dispute involving manufacturing of gas treatment equipment as part of the infrastructure development in the Jalamid gas field in Saudi Arabia.
  • Acting for Henkel Limited in a £2.5m claim against one of its manufactures for the alleged supply of defective materials.
  • Acted to defend appeal proceedings brought by Halfords Limited against First Personnel Services Limited, following High Court proceedings where the client successfully obtained judgment.
  • Acting for a respondent to appeal proceedings arising from a decision in proprietary estoppel proceedings from June 2017.
  • Pursued and settled proceedings for FM Conway Limited in a claim against AXA for failure to indemnify under an insurance contract.
Next Generation Partners

James Woolstenhulme - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 1

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP runs the gamut of debt recovery work, with notable strengths in credit management, Consumer Credit Act issues, property matters and enforcement. Jayne Gardner is at the helm of the practice, and is particularly active in sectors such as financial services, logistics, manufacturing and energy. Another key name is Alan Hamblett, who is experienced in advising on injunctions, shareholder actions and breach of warranty claims.

Practice head(s):Jayne Gardner

Other key lawyers:Alan Hamblett

Key Clients

Newriver Retail Ltd


Hook Norton


Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales


McIntyre Hudson



Marston Group

Monster Energy


University of Warwick

Edgbaston High School for Girls

Bournemouth University

Work highlights

  • Worked with the University of Warwick to recover student debts from tuition and accommodation fees.
  • Acted for Edgbaston High School for Girls to collect unpaid school fees.
Leading individuals

Alan Hamblett - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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West Midlands: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP offers comprehensive advice on corporate banking and real estate finance matters, handling a range of work in the education, property development and pensions sectors among others. Naomi Tudor jointly heads up the banking and financial services sector group with Vicki Simpson, while  Islamic finance is another strong focus of the practice under the leadership of Mohammed Saqub, who advises clients such as Al Rayan Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Gatehouse Bank.

Practice head(s):Naomi Tudor; Vicki Simpson

Other key lawyers:Helen Readett; Mohammed Saqub; Christopher Gayle


'A highly respected banking and finance practice with a powerful niche in representing Islamic finance lenders, which puts them head and shoulders above any other firm outside of London.'

'Approachable and knowledgeable.'

Always available to discuss cases.'

'Very proactive and supportive - they want to get the deal done'

'Mohammed Saqub is the dominant Islamic finance lawyer outside of London. He has close relationships with leading Gulf and eastern banks - clients rely on him for good practical advice on complex matters.

'Vicki Simpson provides sound advice and guidance on transactional requirements.'

'Associate Meriel O'Loughlin is helpful and proactive and takes a commercial view'

'Eddie Flanagan provides tailored help and guidance on some difficult debt recovery cases - he is always approachable and practical with his advice'

'Stephen Lane is very supportive and proactive - he always wants to help and gets deals done.'

Key Clients

A.I.B Group (UK) Plc

Santander UK Plc

The Charity Bank Limited

Al Rayan Bank Plc

Habib Bank AG Zurich


Leumi ABL

United Trust Bank Plc

Aldermore Bank Plc

Gatehouse Bank Plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Carver Group on a term loan from HSBC to be used in relation to the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Cool-Therm.
  • Advised Al Rayan, United Bank, Gatehouse Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank on close to £500m worth of retail Islamic mortgage during the year.
  • Acted for Aldermore Bank in connection with the funding of a development that included the demolition of an existing dwelling and the erection of seven self-contained flats with associated amenity space, parking, and bike/bin storage.
  • Acted for Code Students in relation to a £30m development facility from HSBC.
  • Acted for Roehampton University in relation to a £3m term loan from the London Energy Efficiency Fund to be used in relation to the development of the university’s media centre.
Leading individuals

Mohammed Saqub - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 3

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

With sector expertise in banking and financial services, education and energy, Shakespeare Martineau LLP advises administrators, liquidators and trustees on non-contentious insolvency, recovery of assets and transactional work, and is regularly involved in advisory matters. Legal director Stuart Taylor left to join Pinsent Masons LLP in May 2018, although his departure was offset by the addition of Sheena Tandy, who joined from Clarke Willmott LLP in September 2018.

Practice head(s):Andrew Taylor

Other key lawyers:Sheena Tandy

Key Clients

Lloyds Banking Group




FRP Advisory




Leonard Curtis

Grant Thornton

Work highlights

  • Working with Mazars to negotiate the sale of Key Forensic Services, ultimately saving 238 jobs and securing the continuation of the business.
  • Advised RSM on the compulsory liquidation and subsequent administration of Hotel Company 42 The Calls.
  • Advising Moore Stephens as liquidators of The NMB Group.
  • Advising Bridgewood Financial Solutions as trustee on a complex £1m personal bankruptcy.
  • Advising the joint trustees in bankruptcy in securing the recovery of assets where there were parallel Confiscation Order proceedings against the bankrupt who had served a lengthy prison sentence for drugs and firearms offences.

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West Midlands: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 3

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Through its offices in Birmingham and Stratford-upon Avon,¬†Shakespeare Martineau LLP¬†has a substantial offering in the West Midlands; this is a core part of a larger, national practice. The firm has a particularly standout reputation in the education sector; recent work in this space has included cross-border collaborations and restructurings. Elsewhere, the firm is increasingly recognised for its experience of other sectors, such as logistics, food and drink, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. It also has a flourishing ‚Äėthird sector‚Äô client base.¬†Michael Hibbs¬†heads up the group, whose expertise in advisory matters is complemented by a strong reputation in employment tribunal litigation.

Practice head(s):Micheal Hibbs

Other key lawyers:David Browne; Tom Long; Helen Hughes; Abigail Halcarz;Emma Oliver;

Key Clients

Assicurazioni Generali Spa

Aberystwyth University


The Open University

Ansell UK


Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for a major university in respect of a large and sensitive constructive unfair dismissal and harassment on the grounds of sex claim.
  • Advised Ansell UK on the defence of a claim that was brought by a previous employee for the unauthorised deduction of wages and a breach of contract.
  • Advised General Dynamics Information Technology on the defence of a complex constructive dismissal claim that was brought by an employee who resigned when faced with a disciplinary investigation.
  • Represented a Russell Group University and 14 named respondents in complex discrimination, whistleblowing and constructive dismissal proceedings that were brought by a former employee.
  • Has provided high-level advice to four universities in relation to issues pertaining to their Vice-Chancellors.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 3

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP regularly represents businesses and individuals in investigations and prosecutions that are brought by the HSE and other regulatory bodies. It has a wide-ranging practice; the scope of the work includes advice to companies on directors’ responsibilities and corporate manslaughter, and representing clients at inquests. Team head Julia Messervy-Whiting divides her time between Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham.

Practice head(s):Julia Messervy-Whiting

Other key lawyers:Craig Wallace; David Ollivere


'Julia Messervy-Whiting undertakes an extremely thorough job and is meticulous in her detail'.

'I have been impressed with Julia-Messervy-Whiting's attention to detail, her determination to get the best possible outcome for us, whilst at the same time managing our expectations clearly regarding possible outcomes'.

'Julia Messervy-Whiting's attention to detail is second to none - she leaves no stone unturned. Nothing is too much trouble and she is always available'.

'The team takes the time to listen and to understand the issues raised so that it can give the correct advice'.

Key Clients

Community Union

Nottingham University

Nottingham Trent University

University of Warwick

The NEC Group

Morrison Utility Services

The Church of England

Whitworth Brothers

XPO Transport UK

Work highlights

  • Represented a manufacturing business in the defence of a second HSE prosecution within two years and a HSE investigation on unrelated breaches.
  • Assisted client with pursuing leave to appeal at Court of Appeal in respect of a £730,000 sentence for breach of Workplace Regulations.
  • Represented a lay client at an inquest into multiple deaths arising from a farm fire.
  • Provided advice to an university in relation to risks consequent upon student travel.
  • Represented a client in relation to alleged breaches of Housing Act 2004 Management Regulations.

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Immigration - ranked: tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP acts for businesses across a wide range of sectors, but is particularly noted for its expertise in the education sector. The team has been successful recently in challenging numerous substantial civil penalties notices issued to businesses, as well as decisions to suspend or revoke sponsor licenses. It has extensive knowledge of British nationality law and permanent residency applications for European nationals. Legal director Tijen Ahmet, who is the head of the practice, divides her time between Birmingham and London.

Practice head(s):Tijen Ahmet


'The firm has a knowledgeable and accessible team, which possesses a personal touch. It keeps you informed of progress when an issue is taking a while to resolve'.

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West Midlands: Insurance

Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 5

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's Tony Hannington, who handles injury claims for individuals and insurers, has significant experience of dealing with fatal accidents and brain injuries. Other areas of expertise include industrial disease claims, and cases involving amputations and spinal cord injuries. Adam Parry is experienced in high-value matters, and represents clients who have sustained life-changing injuries as a result of serious accidents.

Rising stars

Adam Parry - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP ’s defendant insurance team acts for a variety of blue-chip insurance companies, intermediaries and self-insured organisations in high-value catastrophic injury claims. It advises on the full spectrum of employer, liability, property and motor liability claims mostly with a pleaded value in excess of £1m. Group head Craig Wallace represents various insurers, companies, public sector organisations and self-insureds. Ravinder Johal is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Craig Wallace

Other key lawyers:Ravinder Johal


'Shakespeare Martineau LLP's strength is with its people'.

'The team is always on the ball and it gets it right every time'.

'Ravinder Johal and Craig Wallace. Both have taken the account we work on together by the scruff of the neck and are providing a very good legal service for the client'.

' Ravinder Johal -his attention to detail is outstanding and the level of service he has provided has exceeded our expectations. He is always available if we need to discuss anything'.

'The team has very much a 'can-do' attitude and provides a swift service'.

'The team is dedicated and provides an excellent service to clients'.

Key Clients

Gallagher Bassett




Amlin Insurance

Zurich Insurance


NEC Group

Keir Group

Morrison Utility Services

Crawford & Co

Community Union

Hawkwell Underwriting

Work highlights

  • Represented the first Part 20 defendant in contribution proceedings relating to a claim for damages by a tenant injured when part of the ceiling of his home fell on his head.
  • Represented the defendant in a head-on road traffic accident involving a high net worth claimant.
  • Represented the defendant in a catastrophic injury claim involving a claimant who had sustained a serious traumatic brain injury in a road traffic accident.
  • Advised on a claim whereby the claimant was a middle rear seat passenger who was involved in a road traffic accident when the defendant swerved in front of the claimant’s car, resulting in a head-on collision.
  • Represented the defendant in a case where the claimant, who was a child passenger, suffered a serious brain injury in a road traffic accident.
Rising stars

Ravinder Johal - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Although the primary focus at Shakespeare Martineau LLP is on the claimant side of the market, it also acts for defendants. It is currently acting for claimants in numerous professional negligence cases, many of which are funded using conditional fee arrangements. These claims range in value from tens of thousands to millions of pounds. It also acts for a variety of defendants, including solicitors and accountants. Mark Beesley and Barry Jervis are the names to note.

Practice head(s):Mark Beesley; Barry Jervis

Key Clients

Alliance Surgical

Brandscape Group

FM Conway

Scanlans Property Management

BDW Trading

Garner Investments

Diffusion Alloys

Star Micronics GB

Work highlights

  • Advising BDW Trading on a multi-million pound claim for negligent advice in relation to a planning application by architects resulting in the inability to develop a 400 houses site.
  • Advising Garner Investments on a claim in relation to losses caused by inappropriate specialist banking transfers.
  • Advising Ashok Dhir on a claim for losses in relation to incorrect drafting of a lease.
  • Advising a property investor on an action in relation to erroneous valuations leading to undervalue sale of a property portfolio.
  • Advising Diffusion Alloys on an action in relation to a negligent valuation and subsequent losses.

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West Midlands: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

The agriculture team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP spans its offices in Stratford-upon-Avon, Birmingham and Solihull. Knowledgeable about the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters, it has particular expertise in secure tenancies under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986. It is an NFU legal panel firm for Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Peter Snodgrass and Richard Thorpe co-head the team.

Practice head(s):Peter Snodgrass; Richard Thorpe

Key Clients

National Grid Electricity Transmission

National Farmers Union

Work highlights

  • Advising on the purchase of farmland for development, but there was a tenant who claimed security under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 on the land.
  • Advising on the purchase of a farm where there were  issues with an inheritance of part of the farm.
  • Advising on the purchase of a large farm in Warwickshire, which included a large modern farmhouse, cottage, buildings for agriculture .
  • Advised on the administration an estate against a backdrop of a discretionary trust and one of three children being the principal farmer of the farm and resident there, but there being a requirement for equitable and fair distribution of shares in the farm.
  • Representing the defendant in a claim for breach of contract and misrepresentation in relation to the sale of a second hand piece of agricultural machinery.

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP advises grant-making charities and Government-funded charities on a wide range of matters, such as charity registration, administration and governance issues. The department also has particular expertise in advising animal charities especially on legacy disputes. In addition, it has developed a specialism in acting for faith-based charities and education sector clients. Team head Lesley Davis has a diverse client base, which includes multinational companies (often seeking advice on establishing foundations) and families wanting to support those in need.

Practice head(s):Lesley Davis


'Lesley Davis has an outstanding client manner and is quick to understand the heart of the issue. Her advice is clear, concise, complete and commercial'.


Key Clients

Institute of Association Management

Education for Health

The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation

Churches Housing Association of Dudley & District

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust

Coventry Golf Club

Walsall Housing Group

British Pest Control Association

Bishops Grosseteste University

npower Foundation

St Martin’s Trust

Birmingham Diocese

Work highlights

  • Assisting The Institute of Association Management with designing a half-day training programme, which covers a range of key governance topics relevant for association organisations that have a broad range of charitable and non-charitable legal structures.
  • Advised npower Foundation on a short term commercial participator agreement with the Charitable Foundation to cover the launch and initial 3-6 months of operation of the charity.
  • Assisting Midland Heart with its Fully Mutual Housing Association strategy.
  • Acting for a Midlands-based university on the redevelopment of its estate, which is critical to its future plans.
  • Assisting a client with a multi-party project to provide supported living for adults with learning disabilities in the community.

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Family: Birmingham
Family: Birmingham - ranked: tier 1

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a strong track record in complex children matters that frequently involve a cross-border dimension. The excellent team, which is co-led by Zahra Pabani and Mary Kaye, also excels in the full range of financial remedy proceedings, which are mostly high-value and often involve property, business, trust or pension assets. The group is also noted for its advice on pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and also for its expertise in areas such as surrogacy and fertility.

Practice head(s):Zahra Pabani; Mary Kaye

Other key lawyers:Fiona Farrell; Helen Bowns


'The team has a real 'can-do' attitude''.

'The team is always efficient but never loses its friendliness. The team knows how to make clients feel at ease'.

'The lawyers are experts in complex financial remedy claims and well used to dealing with high net worth cases'.

'Mary Kaye provides first-class customer service, high quality advice and has a fierce determination to pursue her clients' interests'.

'Zahra Pabani  does not pull her punches, is very honest and straight talking but fair and reasonable to deal with'.

'Zahra Pabani has a fantastic way of explaining situations and potential outcomes. Her advice is always clear and to the point. You never leave her office uncertain about the next steps'.

'Zahra Pabani provides clear and commercial advice, putting her clients at the very forefront of her thoughts'.

'Zahra Pabani and Fiona Farrell both combine their legal and professional knowledge with a fantastic approach to dealing with clients on a personal basis to ensure all clients receive the most comprehensive and beneficial service'.

'Zahra Pabani is astute, personable, responsive and professional in the advice and support she provides. Her rapport with clients is first-class. She is an exemplary family law solicitor'.

'Helen Bowns is a complete star'.

Leading individuals

Zahra Pabani - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP focuses on wealth and succession planning, and also trust and estate administration. Its team regularly acts as professional trustees, executors and administrators. It also advises elderly clients on capacity issues, Court of Protection matters and personal injury trusts. Clare Laird heads up the group, which counts ultra high net worth individuals (including National Lottery winners) and landed aristocrats as clients.

Practice head(s):Clare Laird

Other key lawyers:Lesley Davis; Anne Tromans; Hannah Tait


'Strength in depth and an approachable, people friendly team providing excellent and understandable advice'.

'It is not just the partners there is a strong back up team of associates, directors and solicitors'.

'The firm is renonwned for its friendly 'hands on' bedside manner with clients and its approachability'.

'The private client team at Shakespeare Martineau is incredibly client centric and has a proactive and collaborative approach with client work'.

'Lesley Davis is exceptional. She gives you confidence in what she does'.

'Lesley Davis is very professional'.

'Anne Tromans-   I appreciated her advice and opinions that were always given in a constructive and friendly manner'.

'Hannah Tait is kind and caring and seemed genuinely interested in making sure I was happy with the outcome and that all the legal paperwork was completed in the agreed timescale'.

'Hannah Tait is professional and customer focussed'.

Key Clients

Trustees of St Martin’s Trust

Diocese of Birmingham

Work highlights

  • The team  runs the day to day administration of the St Martin’s Trust and Lesley Davis acts as clerk to the trustees.
  • Acts for a large landed estate, comprising over 200 acres of farmland.
  • Acted on a large intestate estate, requiring a court approved variation to mitigate tax liability and  advice regarding foreign assets and ongoing trust management and administration.
  • Acted for a wealthy individual with significant US assets to give effect to his wishes in respect of lifetime gifts and future planning in the most tax efficient way.
  • Represented a client following a substantial win on the National Lottery.
Leading individuals

Lesley Davis - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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West Midlands: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy - ranked: tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP covers a wide range of energy matters, including corporate transactions, infrastructure and regeneration projects, insolvency and regulatory work. Advising retail energy suppliers is a particular strength of the team, which also handles an increasing amount of debt recovery work. Andrew Whitehead is highly regarded in the sector.

Practice head(s):Andrew Whitehead

Other key lawyers:Jayne Gardner


'The team is able to provide pragmatic and commercial advice, treading that fine line of protecting your interests as their client while keeping transactions moving forwards.'

'Andrew Whitehead provides clear and often innovative advice on complex transactions with an understanding of the commercial concerns that are often forefront for businesses.'

'Great industry knowledge - very pragmatic.'

Key Clients


Octopus Energy


First Utility

Bristol Energy

Robin Hood Energy

Spark Energy

Our Power

Bryt Energy

Greenstar Energy/Hudson Energy

Work highlights

  • Putting in place the complex contractual arrangements for the ground-breaking Nemo Link subsea infrastructure project between the UK and Belgium
  • Acting for energy supplier Iresa regarding an Ofgem investigation and subsequent insolvency
  • Acting for Coventry-based First Utility, a subsidiary of Shell, in its acquisition of the customers of small supplier Usio following that company’s insolvency
  • Assisted longstanding client National Grid in a major service and contract review for procuring balancing services.
  • Advised Green Star Energy on its acquisition of customers of insolvent supplier National Gas and Power
Leading individuals

Andrew Whitehead - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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West Midlands: Public sector

Education - ranked: tier 1

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Praised for its 'deep knowledge of education law', Shakespeare Martineau LLP has outstanding expertise in advising higher education clients on a range of matters, including employment, data protection, governance, student and university relationships, development and construction. The team is particularly strong in employment litigation and handles unfair and constructive dismissal proceedings, whistleblowing, discrimination, and harassment claims as well as other senior management and student disputes. Practice head Smita Jamdar 'carries much credence and respect' in the sector, and is supported on the employment side by lead employment partner David Browne and employment litigator Tom Long. Director Geraldine Swanton and Joanna Forbes are also recommended for their 'insightful, pragmatic and clear advice'.

Practice head(s):Smita Jamdar

Other key lawyers:Tom Long; David Browne; Geraldine Swanton; Joanna Forbes


'The firm has a very good reputation and expertise in higher education and has a very good approach - it understands our business and priorities'

'Highly responsive. providing intelligent and pragmatic advice on a range of issues. The practice has a breadth of expertise and can draw on experiences across the education sector to provide informed and expert advice'

'The team has a good understanding of our business and the advice they provide is measured and pragmatic, based on our risk appetite providing a good sounding board for further discussion'

'Excellent lawyers, who are knowledgeable about the sector and pragmatic. No 'noise' - they are straightforward and are there when we need them but don't bother us unnecessarily'

'The team's advice is rooted in a deep knowledge of the law of education and otherwise, but its excellence derives from its experience with an impressive list of clients and its engagement with the policy, politics, and understanding of education nationally and internationally'

'The advice is balanced, well articulated and clearly thought through'

'The service we receive from Shakespeare Martineau is always incredibly tailored and personal. Partners have developed strong relationships of trust and confidence with our executive team, meaning that they feel more like colleagues than external lawyers. The advice we receive is always relevant and practical, and we particularly appreciate the extent to which our particular context is considered and accommodated'

'Smita Jamdar is outstanding in her ability to analyse the issues and identify a clear way forward'

'Smita Jamdar is known for being a key player in the higher education sector. She is a very credible lawyer and trusted by our internal clients'

'Smita Jamdar is very approachable, responsive, has strength and depth of experience in the sector and is well known for her expertise. She carries much credence and respect amongst lawyers in the sector as well as my internal colleagues at the university'

'Smita Jamdar gets straight to the point, is always responsive and delivers clear, cogent, pragmatic advice'

'The education team is led by a charismatic partner, Smita Jamdar, who is a significant presence in the higher education scene in the UK both as a policy leader, commentator, and communicator. She is also an outstanding lawyer'

'Smita Jamdar is one of the outstanding education lawyers practising at present. She has enviable networks, influence, and is a powerful figure on social media and in other forms of communication. She is committed, often passionate, and empathetic to the needs of clients'

'Smita Jamdar is personable, responsive and an expert in the field'

'David Browne is the employment field is clear-sighted and client-friendly'

'David Browne has given sage and insightful advice to major educational clients. He brings solutions where others might bring options'

'Tom Long is always responsive, calm, competent and approachable. He provides clear and pragmatic advice and is good with non-legal colleagues'

'Geraldine Swanton has particular expertise in data protection, FOI and student related complaints. She is very responsive and practical in her advice and approach'

'Joanna Forbes is responsive and very experienced'

'Joanna Forbes and Geraldine Swanton have both been very attentive to our needs and have offered insightful, pragmatic and clear advice'

'Geraldine Swanton and Joanna Forbes both produce strong work in good time-frames'

'Director Uddalak Datta is very knowledgeable and experienced in public procurement law as well as commercial contracts. He is easy to work with and provides practical and pragmatic advice'

'Director Catherine Savage, who handles litigation and disputes, is very experienced and efficient, helpful and clear in conveying complex legal advice to non-litigators and non-lawyers'

'Catherine Savage on the litigation side is a great lawyer and extremely knowledgeable about the higher education sector'

'Associate Anieka Sheppard is impressive in terms of her knowledge and practical advice'

Key Clients

King’s College London

The Open University

Writtle University College

The Courtauld Institute of Art

University of Birmingham

Cardiff University

Dudley College

Wiltshire College

Liverpool John Moore University

London South Bank University

Work highlights

  • Advising Staffordshire University on the construction contracts for the demolition of an old campus building to make way for redevelopment.
  • Supporting the University of Warwick in the development and implementation of its Brexit mitigation strategy through a partnership with European universities.
  • Successfully acted for Staffordshire University in respect of a sensitive constructive unfair dismissal and harassment case on the grounds of a sex claim.
  • Provided advice to four universities in relation to issues pertaining to their Vice Chancellors.
  • Representing a university in proceedings filed by a student claiming breach of contract and significant compensation for loss of the opportunity to study post-graduate medicine.
Leading individuals

Smita Jamdar - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Next Generation Partners

Geraldine Swanton - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 3

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's presence in local government is most notably handling transactional, governance and regulatory work. Lesley Davis, Anne Tromans and Solihull-based Clare Laird are the key members of the practice. Director Rachel Gwynne in Stratford upon Avon focuses on social housing work.

Practice head(s):Lesley Davies

Other key lawyers:Anne Tromans; Claire Laird; Rachel Gwynne

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West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham
Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 4

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP , which provides 'consistently reliable advice and service', is mainly active in residential and commercial development, and is also particularly strong in Islamic real estate finance. Andrew Mellor focuses on commercial development, acting for developers, landlords, tenants, investors and public sector organisations, while Debbie Irwin specialises in advising housebuilders. Partner departures during 2018 included former real estate group chair Kevin Nagle, who join Squire Patton Boggs as a consultant.

Practice head(s):Debbie Irwin; Mohammed Saqub

Other key lawyers:Andrew Mellor; James Gooch


'Charles Bayne-Jardine is our lawyer of choice for acquisition work. He uses the breadth of his experience to provide advice that is consistently right, and is a 'one stop shop' for all our legal needs. In contractual disputes he has proved invaluable to us.'

Key Clients

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Al Rayan PLC

Gatehouse Bank PLC

Hillwood Group

Jessup Construction

Opus Land

Orbit Homes (2020) Limited

Trebor Developments LLP

United Trust Bank Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised developer Leicester Lettings on a PRS regeneration scheme in Leicester, involving development funding and land sale.
  • Acting for Trebor Developments on a joint venture framework with a US based investor and developer for the acquisition and funding of industrial and logistic projects.
  • Acting for Jessup Construction on the acquisition and mixed use redevelopment of a former bus depot site in Wolverhampton.
  • Acting for Opus Land on the acquisition and speculative development of an industrial warehouse funded by Aberdeen Standard.
  • Acting for Al Rayan, United Trust Bank, Gatehouse Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank on nearly £500m worth of retail Islamic mortgages.
Leading individuals

Andrew Mellor - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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Commercial property: Elsewhere in the West Midlands
Commercial property: Elsewhere in the West Midlands - ranked: tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP is particularly active in landlord and tenant matters, and specialises in advising corporate occupiers on leasing and transactions relating to headquarters. Other areas of expertise are land acquisitions for developers and portfolio transactions. Long-serving partner Richard Cox left to join Sydney Mitchell LLP as a consultant in October 2018.

Practice head(s):Caroline Irvine

Other key lawyers:Louise Drew; Janet James

Key Clients

Galliford Try Partnership Limited

Kellaway Building Supplies Limited

Avonside Insulations Supplies Limited

Avonside Insulations Supplies Limited

Tin Tin Aye

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Galliford Try on the acquisition of land in Warwick for the development of 350 houses.
  • Acted on behalf of Tin Tin Aye in relation to a lease assignment of ground floor retails space and a workshop.
  • Advising Kellaway Buildings Supplies on its lease renewal.
  • Acted for Avonside Insulation Supplies in the negotiation of a new lease.

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Construction - ranked: tier 3

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP assists clients with issues relating to commercial and housing developments, advising engineering companies, universities, contractors, developers and insolvency practitioners on defects, delays, professional negligence and payment claims. Practice head Ruth Phillips handles a wide range of work and is supported on the contentious side by the well-regarded Kate Onions. Legal director Rachael Hobbis left to join Higgs & Sons in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Ruth Phillips

Other key lawyers:Kate Onions

Key Clients


Wiltshire College

Staffordshire University

Max Barney Developments Limited

PSG Global Limited

Boningale Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Capreon on the due diligence of construction documentation for its £164m acquisition of two retail parks in England and Scotland.
  • Advising Wiltshire College on construction contracts for the redevelopment of its campuses.
  • Advising Max Barney Developments on a retail and hotel development in Lambeth.
  • Negotiating the contract terms of PSG Global’s appointment to carry out fit-out works for a major travel company.
  • Advising new client Boningale Homes on highways and construction documentation in place for a large rural housing development in Shropshire.
Next Generation Partners

Kate Onions - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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Planning - ranked: tier 3

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP covers a broad spectrum of work, handling housing developments, judicial reviews, negotiation of planning agreements, due diligence of planning documentation as well as enforcement matters. Key sectors include housebuilding, education, energy and healthcare. Litigator and planning head Simon Stanion often handles contentious development projects, while director Leenamari Aantaa-Collier acts for a range of clients and director Ian Graves brings expertise in environmental law. Director Louise Portman left to take up a new role at Highways England in August 2018.

Practice head(s):Simon Stanion

Other key lawyers:Leenamari Aantaa-Collier; Ian Graves


'Excellent partner-led planning practice'

'This team has grown steadily into one which is now a force to be reckoned with. It works amongst the SMEs and the medium sized entities and provides just what they need: care, focus and well-resourced specialist advice'

'A well known firm, providing excellent planning advice'

'The planning team is dedicated and top notch, commercially aware and at the same time sympathetic but realistic'

'Hands on approach at partner level. Well-resourced and costs sensitive. Partners and assistants display great knowledge and apply it effectively'

'Simon Stanion leads the way with real insight to the opportunities and risks in any proposal'

'Simon Stanion is one of the very best planning solicitors in the country, and a lovely guy to boot. I would trust him with anything'

'Simon Stanion and Leenamari Aantaa-Collier are both outstanding planning lawyers'

'Leenamari Antaa-Collier brings great enthusiasm, knowledge and experience to the work she does. Organised and clear thinking, she provides a first class experience for clients'

Key Clients

University of Warwick

Gallagher Estates Ltd

Barratt Homes West Midlands

Various NHS Trusts nationwide

Daniel Farmilo

Bright Horizons Family Solutions

Marcus Dill


Galliford Try Partnerships East Midlands

Trafford Housing and L&Q

Work highlights

  • Providing strategic planning advice to the University of Warwick relating to approval for nine transformative campus projects over the next five years.
  • Advising Gallagher Estates on a section 106 agreement to provide a sustainable urban extension development at Braintree in Essex.
  • Advising multinational real estate firm Capreon on the due diligence of planning documentation for its £164m acquisition of two retail parks in England and Scotland.
  • Devising a practical resolution to a judicial review decision in order to clear a noise issue preventing Barratt Homes from building a 240-home development in Ledbury.
  • Helping local NHS trusts to maximise their funding from development contributions and income from their own land portfolios through planning agreements.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

The property litigation team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP acts for a combination of commercial developers, corporate occupiers, landowners, investors and universities on a range of real estate disputes. Practice head Martin Edwards assists clients with commercial property management and development disputes, and is increasingly instructed on telecoms leasing matters. James Fownes is another key figure of the practice.

Practice head(s):Martin Edwards

Other key lawyers:James Fownes

Key Clients

Workspace Plc

Vision Express (UK) Limited

National Grid plc

Regency Villas Title Limited

Ernst & Young LLP

Blue Arrow plc

University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

Marco Island Developments Limited

Urban Student Life Limited

Walsall Housing Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for the owners and occupiers of Regency Villas before the Supreme Court, securing their right to continue using sporting and recreation rights on their neighbour’s land free of charge.
  • Acting for Walsall Housing Group in its claim against BT concerning preservation of key fibre-optic cable installation to Walsall Town Centre.
  • Advising Vision Express (UK) on lease renewals and landlord and tenant disputes across the national portfolio of retail outlets comprising several hundred stores.
  • Advising National Grid in connection with management of its property portfolio across the country as a panel firm member.
  • Dealing with property management disputes across the university's estate.
Next Generation Partners

James Fownes - Shakespeare Martineau LLP

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 3

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP covers a broad range of social housing work, including site acquisitions, development, sales and leasing. Rachel Gwynne, who was promoted to head of social housing in May 2018, handles corporate governance work, while real estate practice head Louise Drew specialises in land disposal and asset management for registered providers. Paul Huggins focuses on social housing development, while Emma Gamble regularly advises on sales.

Practice head(s):Rachel Gwynne; Louise Drew

Other key lawyers:Paul Huggins; Emma Gamble


'Shakespeare Martineau provides a service that is responsive and has a personal approach'

'Solution focused approach with the outcome in mind. The individuals are always friendly, informative and response appropriately and quickly'

'The team has a very can-do attitude. They provide practical solutions and suggestions'

'Attention to detail and a willingness to help resolve difficult and awkward issues'

'The housing team is professional, approachable, quick and efficient in their response'

'Stewart Freeman and Michael Lang deliver a service that is responsive and highly professional'

'Stewart Freeman assisted with a shared ownership problem fantastically, addressed question quickly and understood the pressure the association was under to complete on the sale'

Key Clients

Midland Heart


The ExtraCare Charitable Trust

Paragon Asra Housing


Stafford & Rural Homes

Walsall Housing Group

Orbit Group

Nottingham Community Housing Association

Trent & Dove

Work highlights

  • Advised Stafford & Rural Homes on its acquisition of a site for the construction of 80 extra care apartments.
  • Advising Midland Heart on its Fully Mutual Housing Association Strategy.
  • Advising Walsall Housing Group on auction sales.
  • Advising Cottsway on a major development project with a private developer.
  • Advising Orbit Homes on the site set up for the sale of a 189 unit mixed-tenure development.

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West Midlands: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

The 'very responsive' team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP advises on all aspects of IT and data-related law. Key clients include universities - which the firm advise on breach of contract disputes, as well as manufacturing companies. Duncan James  and Edward Wright are both 'commercial and pragmatic' in their dealings with government-related matters. Andrew Hartshorn leads the team and has strong experience of IT-related matters.

Practice head(s):Andrew Hartshorn


'Very responsive and robust - the team shows a genuine interest in the business and has a commercial outlook on advice.'

'Duncan James and Edward Wright are both very commercial and pragmatic.'

Key Clients


Blue Chip

Cambridge Weight Plan



Crossword Cyber Security


Energy and Utility Skills


Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

Intercity Technology

Market Harborough Building Society

NCO Europe

Network Telecom


Secure Retail

Summit Media

University of Nottingham

University of Warwick

Work highlights

  • Advised the University of Nottingham on the negotiation of the contract for the implementation of their student management system.
  • Advised the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on its GDPR compliance programme.
  • Advising HSO on a number of matters.
  • Representing Staffordshire University in a product liability and breach of contract claim in respect of the supply of defective IT equipment.
  • Provided advice to Somers Forge Limited in relation to potential proceedings for injective relief to require the supplier to deliver up access codes and passwords.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP has broad experience in contentious IP litigation and acts for a number of high-profile clients across a range of sectors including manufacturing, telecoms and retail. Nicholas Briggs, who leads the team, focuses on contentious patent litigation and has particular expertise in exploiting and enforcing patents. Mauro Paiano has significant experience in complex cross-border matters and advises on domain name disputes. Key clients include notable companies in the engineering and retail sectors.

Practice head(s):Nicholas Briggs

Other key lawyers:Mauro Paiano

Key Clients

Novomatic AG

Mzuri Limited

Whitworth Bros Limited

Marflow Engineering Limited

Branded Garden Products Limited and BVG Limited

RoadtoHealth Group

Poundland Limited

Fit Kitchen Limited

Kagool Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Marflow in a patent infringement claim in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, through which Marflow is seeking to enforce its patent against a competitor.
  • Representing Mzuri Limited in a complex patent infringement claim involving intervention in an existing opposition at the EPO.
  • Representing Austrian gaming technology company Novomatic AG in respect of the protection of a number of its brands in the UK.
  • Representing BVG Group in defending an interim injunction and related proceedings for trademark infringement and passing off, plus subsequent counterclaim.
  • Advising Poundland in connection with a complaint brought against it based on an alleged infringement of community unregistered design right in connection with baby rattles.

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Further information on Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Shakespeare Martineau LLP in other jurisdictions.

East Midlands

Offices in Leicester and Nottingham


Offices in London

South East

Offices in Milton Keynes

West Midlands

Offices in Solihull, Stratford upon Avon, and Birmingham

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