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Burges Salmon LLP

ONE GLASS WHARF, BRISTOL, BS2 0ZX, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0117 939 2000
Fax:
Fax 0117 902 4400
DX:
7829 BRISTOL
Email:
Web:
www.burges-salmon.com
Bristol, London

South West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Bristol
Corporate and commercial: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP’s corporate department is ‘always professional, timely and ready with solutions’, and is singled out for its historic strength in transport sector related mandates. Bolstered by a network of relationships spanning Europe, US and Asia, the team has seen a rise in international investment work, as well as increased activity in the energy, hotel and leisure and financial services sectors. In an example of the department’s international push and ‘sound knowledge of the hospitality sector’, Rupert Weston advised Singapore-based YTL Hotels on three hotel acquisitions from Westmont Hospitality, which were structured as share purchases and formed a key part of the client’s strategy for growth in the UK. Dominic Davis acted for Bord na Móna on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of White Moss Horticulture, which was the client’s first investment in the UK market. New infrastructure and energy clients include the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Wessex Water. Also recommended are practice head Richard Spink, who is ‘an excellent team manager’, Mark Shepherd, and Chris Godfrey, who heads the firm’s financial services team.

Leading individuals

Chris Godfrey - Burges Salmon LLP

Richard Spink - Burges Salmon LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

According to clients, Burges Salmon LLP has one of the South West’s ‘premier’ tax teams. The group is headed by Nigel Popplewell, who advised Virgin and Virgin Active in connection with a number of issues, including capital allowances and transfer of a going concern (TOGC) aspects of the disposal of a variety of gyms and health centres. Popplewell acted for The Crown Estate on commercial and agricultural property transactions, which included VAT and SDLT advice on surrenders, re-grants and re-gearings. John Barnett makes up the other half of the two-partner team and focuses on matters involving owner-managed businesses, private equity, HMRC disclosure and remuneration and planning; Barnett’s clients include Yeo Valley Group. Specialising in structured transactions and funds work, Ian Carnochan part of a team assisting a corporate director on the merger of funds of a UK investment company into those of an Irish umbrella fund. Senior associate Nicola Manclark is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Nigel Popplewell - Burges Salmon LLP

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Clients of Burges Salmon LLP’s competition department attracts praise for its ‘partner-led service and prompt response times’. The team is highly experienced in UK merger control aspects of acquisition and disposal transactions, with particular emphasis in the transport, sport, retail and water sectors, and is advising Ofwat on a host of issues regarding the regulation agency’s Water 2020 programme. Practice head Laura Claydon is assisting FirstGroup with merger control aspects of its bid for the TransPennine Express franchise. Claydon’s competition team advised on the £117m sale of 298 of the client’s stores to McColls. Alongside the London projects team, state aid-specialists Stephanie Rickard and John Houlden are acting for Greater London Authority and TfL on the procurement and state aid strategy for multiple regeneration projects in London. In addition to the group’s non-contentious work, Claydon, Noel Beale and Brian Wong have experience in competition litigation; recent work includes acting for Co-operative Group and Somerfield Stores in a successful claim against the CMA. Ruth Jefferson left to join Wessex Water, while Becky Ellis joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Leading individuals

Laura Claydon - Burges Salmon LLP

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South West: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

The ‘very strongBurges Salmon LLP has a specialist practice for corporate fraud, the criminal and civil law issues connected to proceeds of crime, money laundering, and bribery. Its workload includes advising on the regulatory environment imposed on companies doing business both in the UK and abroad. Led by ‘extremely able and competent practitionerDavid Hall, the team has significant experience in handling multimillion-pound fraud cases, whistle-blowing matters, Serious Fraud Office (SFO) self-reporting duties, and anti-bribery due diligence. Newly promoted legal director Thomas Webb is also particularly adept in advising on matters of external fraud, employee fraud, and corruption. The team has conducted work in complicated cross-border matters, including high-profile cases involving the jurisdictions of Germany, the USA, and Israel. Highlights included advising longstanding clients the National Crime Agency and Celtic Energy on high-profile cases, such as advising the latter on a variety of issues related to fraud prosecutions brought against its former directors and legal advisers - this involved attending interviews with investigators, helping with the responses made to the SFO, advising Celtic on its civil rights in relation to its former legal advisers and directors, and assisting with the regulatory and local government issues arising from the investigations. The work for the National Crime Agency saw the team handle three applications worth over £220m under Section 283 of the Proceeds of Crime Act. This cross-border matter also involved a freezing injunction for funds held for overseas investors.

Leading individuals

David Hall - Burges Salmon LLP

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Licensing
Licensing - ranked: tier 2

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP is ‘a well-respected practice with an excellent reputation in licensing’, handling the full range of licensing regimes, from alcohol and entertainment licensing to gambling, caravan site licensing, taxi and marriage licences, houses in multiple occupation licences, street trading, and Security Industry Authority licensing. A particular strength is advising on high-value sales and purchases of businesses with licensed interests, in particular hotel business transactions. The practice acts for clients from a range of sectors, but has a particular focus on the leisure and gambling industry. Clients include The Crown Estate, the Racecourse Association, Adelie Foods Group, and Canadian and Portland Estates. Ian Salter led on several highlight matters, including a full licensing audit for three premises belonging to a group of nationally prominent museums in the UK. The team is experienced in conducting due diligence, having recently done so for a major luxury catering company. It also advised the University of Bristol on the management of its licensed portfolio, in particular on a suite of Club Premises Certificates, and public-facing premises for conferences, events and weddings. Other highlights included assisting Darwin Property Investment with its licensed leisure portfolio, in particular on alcohol and entertainment licensing, gambling and gaming issues, and caravan site licensing. Practice head and senior associate Joanne Attwood is ‘dependable, innovative and bright’ with ‘sound judgement and excellent style’.

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South West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Bristol
Commercial litigation: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP acts for corporates and government entities across a wide variety of sectors, with particular experience in transport, energy and financial services litigation. Kari McCormick has been providing ongoing advice to Financial Services Compensation Scheme in relation to its PPI recoveries project. Other public sector clients include Torbay Borough Council and the National Crime Agency. Chris Jackson led a highly publicised matter for Firstgroup, which reached the Supreme Court in an attempt to clarify the disability rights and equality law concerning access to wheelchair spaces on buses. The team is jointly led by David Hall and Paul Haggett, the latter of whom acted for a household name aircraft manufacturer in a claim against an employee for breach of contract and theft of confidential information and intellectual property. Major private-sector clients include John Lewis/Waitrose, Victoria’s Secret, Starbucks and Virgin.

Leading individuals

David Hall - Burges Salmon LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP handles high-volume recovery matters with its computerised debt collection system, and also acts for public sector clients and financial institutions. The team comprises Paul Haggett, who heads the dispute resolution department, and Amanda Vaughan, a debt recovery manager with over ten years of experience. Haggett and Vaughan’s clients include the Horserace Betting Levy Board, for which they submitted a letter before action and issued a claim for unpaid levy liability.

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South West: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP’s banking department is the ‘right kind of fit’ for small and medium size deals, but is also capable of handling large cross-border finance matters. In one particularly high-value deal, the ‘commercial and clear-thinkingGraham Soar advised Bluefield SIF Investments on a £217m refinancing of its portfolio of solar parks. Richard Leeming heads the practice and acted for National Express Group in relation to £450m of new bank facilities, comprising a £350m bridge facility and a £100m general corporate purpose facility; highly recommended senior associate Ed Hobbs also acted on that matter. On the lender side, the department is on the panels of Lloyds Bank, HSBC, RBS, Bank Leumi UK, Santander UK and NIBC Bank. Nathan Curtis advised RBS as lenders on a £45m financing of NTR’s Scotland-based Quixwood Moor Wind Farm. Rachael Ruane also acts for a range of lender clients. Andrew Eaton joined the firm from Travers Smith LLP, while Richard Clark joined TLT.

Leading individuals

Richard Leeming - Burges Salmon LLP

Next generation lawyers

Rachael Ruane - Burges Salmon LLP

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP’s corporate restructuring and insolvency group is singled out for its ‘professionally sound, helpful and personable’ advice. With sector strengths in renewable energy, distressed real estate, pensions, retail, food and farming, the team has experience of high-value debt restructurings and insolvencies, and is well positioned to handle cross-border instructions through its transatlantic restructuring and insolvency group. Andrew Eaton joined the firm from Travers Smith LLP and now heads the practice group. Eaton acted for a US-headquartered law firm on the insolvency aspects of a US-based private equity firm’s acquisition of a global company from its administrators. Colin Ligman heads the real estate insolvency practice and James Sutherland specialises in contentious real estate restructurings. Standout figures in associate level include Emily Scaife, who is ‘consistently concise and proactive in anticipating and resolving issues’. Additional clients include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, HSBC, the Pensions Protection Fund and PwC. Richard Clark joined TLT in 2016.

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South West: Human resources

Employment: Bristol
Employment: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP advises major employers across the UK on the full range of employment law. The practice is renowned for ‘displaying consummate knowledge and pragmatism’, combining an ‘overall excellent level of service’ with ‘strength in depth’. It has established a multijurisdictional network of independent law firms as part of its international strategy. Led by Chris Seaton and ‘clear, effective communicator’ practice head Roger Bull, the group defended John Lewis Partnership against complex claims of disability discrimination and unfair dismissal brought by a former employee, involving allegations against a large number of senior managers. Other highlights included advising Thomson Reuters on changes to its European Works Council, in particular on the implications of EU law and on the structure and operation of the Council, which is made up of union and other employee representatives from across Europe. The team excels at handling complex cross-border matters, such as advising BAE systems on a major project concerning the management of regulatory and security obligations, which required, under the leadership of Adrian Martin, the coordination of legal advice from 32 countries. It also advised Virgin Active on the employment issues arising from the sale of up to 35 gyms and health clubs, which involved the TUPE transfer of over 3,000 employees. Luke Boweryhas detailed knowledge and experience’. Clients include the Bank of Ireland and Mulberry.

Leading individuals

Roger Bull - Burges Salmon LLP

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP’s team of ‘true specialists’ provides advice of ‘the highest standard’ and delivers a ‘truly excellent service’. It demonstrates particular strength in advising clients from the transport and construction sectors, but also has experience in supporting clients from the chemical, food and farming, advanced engineering, manufacturing and renewables industries. Ann Metherall heads the ‘top class’ practice and has ‘massive experience of the rail industry’. She successfully defended a food manufacturer in a HSE investigation arising from an accident involving a vulnerable adult visitor to the client’s manufacturing site. The team is also advising a train operating company on a complex prosecution brought by the Office of Rail and Road, including advice on the relation between a dutyholder and its contractor concerning health and safety issues. Another highlight was supporting a trade association with the drafting of guidance for key stakeholders on race day risk assessments, which involved knowledge of the regulations and guidance produced by the sport’s governing bodies as well as of relevant health and safety legislation. The practice also advised the managing director of a large company on the scope of the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch and the Maritime Coastal Agency investigatory process in relation to a fatality during a fire on a vessel. Chris Jackson specialises in the full range of safety compliance. Senior associate Matt Kyle’s ‘previous experience in the police is invaluable’.

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Immigration
Immigration - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP specialises in business immigration and immigration of high-net-worth individuals and their dependents where its expertise covers the recruitment and employment of overseas nationals in the UK, the planning of immigration strategies, the immigration implications of corporate transactions and outsourcing arrangements, obtaining and maintaining sponsor’s licences, immigration audits and the prevention of illegal working. The team regularly acts as representative on the sponsor management system, dealing with all associated applications and issues, and advises on the procedures and policies required to ensure compliance with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements. Clients include InsureandGo, Babcock International Group and the Bank of Ireland. Practice head Roger Bull advised Computershare Investor Services with ad hoc immigration issues as well as on substantive and strategic matters, including issues relating to the biometric residence permit, Tier 2 visas, visitor visas and family visas. Suzanna Harvey is supporting EU nationals with their immigration position following the Brexit vote, and also assists non-EU nationals with their UK immigration status, with a special focus on Tier 1 investor visa and points-based dependants visa.

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Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP has ‘excellent industry knowledge’ and provides ‘practical and pragmatic’ ‘first-class advice’ on pensions in the regulatory field. The team’s expertise encompasses the full range of pension matters relating to personal pension schemes, including self-invested personal pension (SIPP) and small self-administered scheme (SSAS) arrangements, but also includes occupational pension schemes. Clients include the trustees of FirstGroup, Oxford University, and several local authorities. ‘Calm and unflappable’ practice head Richard Knight provides ongoing advice to the trustees of the Selex Pension Scheme. Richard Pettit acted for the trustees of Brunel Holdings Pensions Scheme on one of the largest ongoing moral hazard investigations by The Pensions Regulator (TPR). The ‘hugely experiencedTim Illston led in advising the trustees of the Beales Pension Scheme on the company voluntary arrangement and subsequent scheme rescue from an insolvency process. The ‘pragmaticClive Pugh represented a global technology and manufacturing giant in complex funding negotiations with the scheme’s principal employer, and advised the trustees of the Silentnight Pension Scheme on the defence of judicial review proceedings. Alice Honeywill and Susannah Young, who gives ‘excellent practical advice’, were promoted to partner; both also led on high-profile matters. ‘Top lawyerMichael Hayles and Justin Briggs are also recommended. Senior associate Sarah Jeffrey-Gray joined Pi Consulting UK.

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South West: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP has a strong track record of acting for lenders and has experience in advising on claims relating to financial services, solicitors, pensions, construction, environmental issues and energy. It also handles claims involving auditing and accountancy, surveyors, tax, actuaries, IT professionals and fund managers while cases regarding cyber-security breaches and regulatory interventions make up an increasing part of the workload. The team undertakes mostly claimant work and acts for private clients, companies, and large financial institutions. The ‘clear-headed, practical and committedAndrew Burnette heads the practice and led in a High Court claim against surveyors Edward Symmons in relation to an over-valuation of properties, which involved a novel point of law on the recovery of losses from a negligent professional. Justin Briggs was lead partner in advising Nomura London Retirement Benefits Plan Trustee and Nomura International in a case involving the negligent drafting of pension scheme rules, advising on a potential pre-action disclosure application and subsequently rectifying the pension scheme rules. In another pension scheme case, the group acted for Volvo Group UK and the trustees of the corresponding pension scheme on recovery of costs of rectification proceedings required after negligent drafting of the pension scheme rules, ending the case through tri-partite mediation. Clients include the Co-operative Bank, Nationwide Building Society, Volvo Group UK, and Cobb Europe.

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South West: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP provides ‘a comparable service to that of leading London private client firms’, which is illustrated by the extremely high-profile clients it advises including the National Trust, John Lewis Partnership, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation as well as several private estates and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The team is led by Tom Hewitt, who advises clients on succession and wealth planning and all aspects of trusts, wills probate and capital tax issues. Sian Edmunds is ‘particularly good at guiding clients through complex and difficult litigation’. The Crown Estate is a key client and a cross-departmental team spearheaded by Edmunds and Richard Owen has recently advised it on issues regarding estate ownership, represented it in disputes arising from the ownership of forestry and acted for it in the High Court trial of The Crown Estate v Wakleys. Agricultural and private client litigation specialist Kevin Kennedy and senior associate Charlotte May are ‘really tough opponents who know how to run a case well and effectively’. Kennedy successfully represented a farmer in a right to occupy the land dispute and is representing trustees of a landed estate in a High Court case against the tenants regarding the possession of the land. Jim Aveline, whose expertise lies in tax, trusts and estate planning, advised a farming family on restructuring the family trusts and company ownership.

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP has ‘very impressive resources’ and is ‘highly competent, capable of dealing with large and complex cases’. The contentious trusts team, jointly led by Kevin Kennedy and Justin Briggs, advises a large number of individual and corporate trustees, trust managers and beneficiaries in contentious trusts matters. Recent instructions include advising on a multimillion-pound proprietary estoppel claim, and representing the trustees of a landed estate in a claim under the Inheritance Act, also handling the subsequent settlement arrangement. Kennedy is ‘extremely efficient and is an excellent tactical thinker’; Briggs and Suzanne Padmore are highly regarded commercial trusts litigators, particularly in pension disputes; Sian Edmunds is a leading food, agriculture and agri-business specialist, and is ‘particularly good at guiding clients through complex and difficult situations’; Maddie Dunn is ‘intelligent and thorough’. All individuals from the team split their time between the Bristol and London offices.

Leading individuals

Kevin Kennedy - Burges Salmon LLP

Next generation lawyers

Katherine King - Burges Salmon LLP

Sian Edmunds - Burges Salmon LLP

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLPprovides a Rolls-Royce service’ and its team of market leading lawyers is headed by highly regarded financial remedies specialist Sarah Hoskinson (Woodsford). It further enhanced its family capacity with the hire of two ‘first class’ family finance lawyers: consultant Alison Hawes and senior associate Nicky Howarth, both joined from Irwin Mitchell. The new additional practitioners ‘provide practical solutions’, are ‘technically extremely good’ and ‘excellent with clients’. The group is best known for its expertise in complex financial settlements related to relationship breakdowns and divorces, dealing with high-value cases locally, nationally and internationally. It also has particular expertise in asset protection, particularly where international or offshore assets are involved. It delivers ‘the best possible advice at value for money rates’. Recent highlights include acting in a divorce case where there are financial and Children Act proceedings ongoing, assisting a US client on cross-border divorce issues involving multiple jurisdictions to establish where and how the divorce can proceed, and advising on a pre-marital agreement to protect assets acquired from family trusts. Senior associate Mary Gaskins handles cohabitation and marital agreements as well as children arrangements cases. Catherine Hallam retired in April 2017.

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

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLPoperates at the same level as most city law firms’ and, according to one client, is ‘increasingly challenging the London-based firms as leaders in the private client space’. Its legal expertise is ‘beyond expectations and up-to-date with current legislation’, its technical ability is ‘superb’ and its client service is ‘excellent’. The team has extensive experience in advising ultra-high-net-worth individuals on cross-border estate and succession planning, international tax and property structuring. It also advises global financial institutions on the provision of trust and tax planning services. International tax and trusts specialists John Barnett, Suzanna Harvey and Beatrice Puoti are singled out for ‘balancing excellent technical skills with an innate ability to explain complex issues to clients in an efficient and effective way’. ‘Outstanding’ practice head Barnett is ‘one of the best tax lawyers in the country’, focusing on advising entrepreneurial clients, most of whom are not domiciled in the UK or have business or other interests abroad. Harvey is assisting on the restructuring of the trust established by a non-UK resident non-UK domiciled individual in light of the new rules on UK residential property held through offshore companies. Jim Aveline has ‘listens, understands and then provides insight accompanied by practical solutions’. Tom Hewitt’s experience and knowledge in succession and wealth planning is ‘excellent’ and his ‘level of commitment is exceptional’. The team was bolstered with the hire of senior associate Catherine de Maid, who joined from Investec Philanthropy Services. Charles Wyld retired.

Leading individuals

John Barnett - Burges Salmon LLP

Next generation lawyers

Catherine de Maid - Burges Salmon LLP

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South West: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP’s projects, energy and natural resources department handles the gamut of non-contentious and contentious energy work, ranging from renewable to conventional energy. The group has particular strength in the nuclear space; joint practice head Ian Salter is a ‘leading’ name in the nuclear sector, and is working alongside Steven James to advise on the UK’s first new-build nuclear project for 25 years. On the renewable energy front, Nick Churchward acted for Estover Energy in connection with the five-year, £150m development of the Kent Renewable Energy Partnership. Churchward also advised Marks & Spencer on the establishment of M&S Energy Society. Regulatory expert James Phillips acted for an energy investment company in relation to investments into more than a dozen gas-fired reserve power projects in England and Wales. Department co-head Ross Fairley focuses on renewable projects and is acting for Wave Hub on a huge variety of work, from marine and energy regulatory to real estate and construction issues. Also recommended are Nathan Curtis, who specialises in the funding aspects of energy projects, and associate Alec Whiter.

Leading individuals

Ian Salter - Burges Salmon LLP

Ross Fairley - Burges Salmon LLP

Next generation lawyers

Alec Whiter - Burges Salmon LLP

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Project finance and PFI
Project finance and PFI - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP’s project finance team is a ‘market leader in the South West’, and is considered by some to be ‘in the upper echelon of legal advisers in this sector nationally’. The firm is renowned for its transportation-sector expertise and also handles a range of renewable energy, defence and nuclear projects. Mark Paterson advised the Ministry of Defence on the acquisition strategy, development and negotiation of the build, and test and commissioning contracts for the Successor class and Astute class submarines, which form the replacement for the Trident programme. Similarly, Keith Beattie advised Ascent Flight Training Management regarding a contract for a military-backed training system and delivery of new aircraft through a PFI/PPP finance model, in which the client acted as project integrator. A ‘pragmatic problem solver’, Nathan Curtis advises lenders in relation to biomass projects, offshore wind farms and energy storage transactions. Practice head Ian Salter is well known for his nuclear law expertise. Brioney Thomas is providing ongoing advice to Transport for Wales and the Welsh Government on multiple aspects of the Wales and Border Rail Service and Metro.

Leading individuals

Mark Paterson - Burges Salmon LLP

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South West: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 3

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP displays ‘consummate knowledge and pragmatism’, delivering ‘clear value for money advice in a timely manner’. Matthew Ramus heads the team, which includes Roger Bull and senior associate Huw Cooke, both of whom are ‘clear and effective communicators’ who give ‘effective, practical and pragmatic employment advice that is solutions-focused’. Bull recently advised a higher education institute on its response to a complex grievance appeal relating to allegations of discrimination. The team also handled a number of student accommodation projects, PPPs, joint ventures and academic restructuring programmes. It has particular experience in advising higher education institutions on their PPP redevelopment projects.

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP’s expertise ranges from handling transport, waste and infrastructure projects as well as redevelopment schemes to advising on the provision of children’s social services and pensions restructuring. Highlights included John Houlden assisting Bristol City Council with the financing and establishment of Bristol Energy; Marcus Harling advising Greater London Authority and Transport for London on a series of connected major regeneration project in east London; Matthew Ramus acting for Sunderland City Council in the children’s services transition project involving externalising the council’s embedded children’s services and outsourcing with a newly formed corporate vehicle, wholly owned and controlled by the council; and construction expert William Gard representing a local authority in major contractual disputes arising out of the operation, maintenance and improvement of roads network. In addition, Gary Soloman and Patrick Robinson continue to advise Isle of Anglesey County Council on the proposed development of a new nuclear power station and grid connection while Tom Dunn is acting for eight councils in Wales on the pooling of their respective LGPS pensions schemes.

Leading individuals

Gary Soloman - Burges Salmon LLP

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South West: Real estate

Commercial property: Bristol
Commercial property: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP

Colin Ligman heads the real estate practice at Burges Salmon LLP, which handles the gamut of commercial property issues across a wide variety of sectors and ‘matches the service and performance of significantly bigger firms’. The ‘proactiveRoss Polkinghorne leads the real estate development group and is acting for Skanska in relation to three office developments in Bristol’s city centre. Other developer clients include Change Real Estate and St Modwen, the latter of which the firm is advising on urban regeneration projects. Real estate finance expert Paul Browne advised HSBC and RBS on a £280m syndicated loan agreement for the acquisition and development of student accommodation in Aberdeen and Portsmouth. Richard Read focuses on portfolio management and acted alongside the corporate team on the property aspects of YTL Hotel’s acquisitions of hotels in Edinburgh and London. The firm also assists on portfolio management issues for Virgin Active and Loungers. In one particularly high-profile matter, Richard Clark advised The Crown Estate on the regearing of the 125-year headlease of Canada House, which overlooks Trafalgar Square and is used as the Canadian embassy in London. Also recommended are Sally Jupp and ‘professional’ senior associate Drew Nesbitt.

Leading individuals

Euan Bremner - Burges Salmon LLP

Richard Read - Burges Salmon LLP

Next generation lawyers

Drew Nesbitt - Burges Salmon LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP fields a construction team that is ‘among the best in the region’, while its ‘strength in depth’ makes it a formidable national player. The group has ‘exceptional industry knowledge’ of large transport and energy infrastructure projects, as well as experience of more general investment and commercial development. The ‘unflappable and tacticalMarcus Harling is advising The Crown Estate on construction issues arising from its development portfolio, which includes St James’s Market, Dukes Court and Morley House. Harling also acts for Transport for Wales on all aspects of the Wales and Borders Rail Franchise and the South West Metro. William Gard heads the construction and engineering department and is acting for a client involved in the £4bn Thames Tideway Tunnel project. Steven James focuses on energy infrastructure and assisted Affinity Water Limited with its mains infrastructure preferred supplier framework agreement. Lloyd James handles construction issues for a number of the firm’s largest clients, including Highways England and Marks & Spencer. The firm also handles construction disputes; the ‘talented and enthusiasticRichard Adams is assisting a client in relation with contentious issues arising from the Greater Manchester Waste Project.

Leading individuals

Marcus Harling - Burges Salmon LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Clients of Burges Salmon LLP praise the firm’s ‘unparalleled service, which is on par with London firms’. The firm fields ‘market-leading environmental lawyers who provide tenacious support and integrate seamlessly with the rest of the firm’s practice areas. The team, which is led by ‘tough’ environmental disputes practitioner Michael Barlow, has deep regulatory experience; Barlow is representing Great Yarmouth Port Company in relation to a £15m claim brought by a holiday village operator alleging losses as a result of the environmental impact of the construction of an outer harbour at Great Yarmouth. The practice also advised Canal and River Trust on the environmental aspects of its objection to the proposed CPO by the Greater London Authority for the Southall Gasworks site. In an example of the department’s decommissioning work, Ross Fairley assisted a global energy group with the decommissioning and potential development options for the former coal-fired power station at Rugeley. Simon Tilling is ‘among the best advocates in the market’ and is assisting a US-based multinational with regulatory and commercial aspects of a project aimed at turning waste into a fuel pellet product. Ian Salter and James Phillips handle decommissioning and regulatory issues in the nuclear and oil and gas sectors, respectively.

Leading individuals

Ian Salter - Burges Salmon LLP

Ross Fairley - Burges Salmon LLP

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

The planning team at Burges Salmon LLP plays an integral role in the firm’s strong energy and infrastructure offering. In the contentious space, the group regularly handles judicial reviews and statutory challenges, and has developed considerable expertise in CPO promotion. Gary Soloman heads the department and is advising the Isle of Anglesey County Council on the proposed development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa, which has involved handling applications for worker and tourist accommodations and CPOs for highway works. Elizabeth Dunn is acting for YTL Property Holdings in relation to a major commercial, residential and infrastructure development at the Filton airfield site. Julian Boswall handles the planning aspects of large energy projects and acts for clients such as Snowdonia Pumped Hydro, Powersite and BRIMS Tidal Array. On the contentious side, Patrick Robinson is representing Imerys Minerals and a landowner client in arbitration proceedings and a subsequent arbitration appeal regarding the sterilisation of mineral assets by underground pipelines. The partners are assisted by senior associates Laura Fuller and Sarah Sutherland.

Leading individuals

Patrick Robinson - Burges Salmon LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP’s property litigation department acts for corporate clients, as well as local authorities and other public bodies, on a range of contentious matters, including property insolvency and ADR. Richard Bedford heads the department and defended Torbay Borough Council in multimillion-pound claims for damages in relation to alleged breaches of a development agreement regarding the Oldway Mansion in Paignton. Bedford also advised Wedlake Bell LLP as LPA receivers of a shopping centre in relation to a dispute over a keep-open covenant in the anchor tenant lease. In addition to his contentious real estate expertise, James Sutherland handles real estate insolvency matters and represented Bristol Rovers (1883) in a £30m dispute with Sainsbury’s concerning the aborted sale of the Memorial Stadium in Bristol. Sutherland also acted for an investment bank in rent review arbitration involving its head office building in London. Clients also single out senior associates David Benjamin and Chris Preston. Other notable clients include John Lewis, Waterstones Booksellers, The Crown Estate and National Trust.

Leading individuals

Richard Bedford - Burges Salmon LLP

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South West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLPalways responds promptly to client’s requests’. Its ‘extremely impressive’ practice regularly handles large scale outsourcing transactions and technology services contracts. Clients include the John Lewis Partnership, Thomson Reuters, Teradata Corporation and AppDynamics. Andrew Dunlop is ‘always available and able to think creatively’. In 2016 he advised Welsh Water on its procurement of IT infrastructure services and assisted health insurance company The Exeter with the design and implementation of a new software platform provided by TCP LifeSystems. Matthew Ramus, Keith Beattie and Helen Scott-Lawler are the key contacts for outsourcing mandates; Brioney Thomas and Simon Coppen have particular expertise in advising clients in the transport sector; while William Gard and Jeremy Dickerson focus on contentious IT matters. Associate Lucy Pegler has ‘a very approachable manner’, ‘good commercial awareness’ and ‘an ability to handle issues pragmatically while ensuring her client’s interests remain protected’.

Leading individuals

Andrew Dunlop - Burges Salmon LLP

Next generation lawyers

Lucy Pegler - Burges Salmon LLP

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP advises Starbucks Corporation on its entire UK trade mark portfolio, including assisting with new UK trade mark applications, renewals and opposition proceedings, handling trade mark infringement, passing off and copyright issues arising in the UK involving unauthorised use of the company logo, and representing it on the seizure of counterfeit goods by HMRC and Trading Standards offices. Virgin Enterprises is another key client, and the team assists it with passing off and company name issues as well as domain name disputes and licensing arrangements. Helen Scott-Lawler advises the John Lewis Partnership on its IP licenses mandates with suppliers, trade mark infringement claims and branding matters. She also led a multidisciplinary team that advised the RAC on its acquisition of telematics provider Nebula. Jeremy Dickerson has ‘a sound commercial approach to litigation’. Scott-Lawler and Dickerson jointly lead the team, which also includes senior associates Georgina Shaw and Emily Roberts, who both specialise in contentious IP, and Chris Morris, who is a chartered trade mark attorney with particular expertise in opposition and contentious proceedings.

Leading individuals

Jeremy Dickerson - Burges Salmon LLP

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP continues to make progress in the IP protection and enforcement space, advising clients from television, music, publishing and social media, including Sundog Pictures, Endemol Shine Group, AEG Live (UK) and Thomson Reuters. The ‘very proactive and experienced’ team also handles corporate transactions and assists with commercial arrangements, as well as employment and real estate issues. It recently represented Discovery Communications on the defence of two separate commercial disputes arising from the termination of a co-production agreement for a series of documentaries, and assisted a group of independent racecourses with their media right mandate with Arena Racing for the launch of a new TV channel. Jeremy Dickerson is ‘a very calm and expert lawyer’, and has ‘a sound commercial approach to IP litigation’. Helen Scott-Lawler has particular experience in advising clients on the exploitation of broadcasting rights, and senior associate Jennifer Gibson focuses on IP disputes and reputation management.

Leading individuals

Jeremy Dickerson - Burges Salmon LLP

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

Burges Salmon LLP acts for national and international sporting federations, and assists international teams and athletes with anti-doping matters; its client roster includes The Racecourse Association, Virgin Sport and Unicorn Products. The team has particular expertise in advising football, motorsports and horsing clients on regulatory matters, including constitutional and governance issues, anti-doping, financial regulation and financial fair play, as well as acting for football clubs on stadium safety, stewarding and policing matters. It has a solid track record of success in cases before disciplinary panels, the High Court, Court of Appeal and Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). In 2016, Laura Claydon acted for Jockey Club Racecourses in High Court proceedings defending a dispute with bookmakers in respect of betting areas at Cheltenham Racecourse; employment specialist Roger Bull advised a football club with the avoidance of a threatened litigation following the dismissal of the club’s manager; and Helen Scott-Lawler advised a group of independent racecourses on their media rights mandate with Arena Racing for the launch of a new TV channel. Well-regarded practice head Jeremy Dickerson is advising a global sports kit manufacturer on a number of player contract issues as well as sports helmet safety issues.

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South West: Transport

Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP (Bristol)

As ‘one of the best firms in this specialised area’, Burges Salmon LLP demonstrates expertise in rolling stock procurement, franchise bidding and mobilisation, as well as rail-related regulatory questions. It further advises on Office of Rail and Road (ORR) prosecutions; real estate; arbitrations and industry dispute resolution processes; track, station and depot access agreements; public law issues; and commercial matters. Recent highlights include complex cross-border matters such as advising FirstGroup and First TransPennine Express on the procurement and mobilisation of rolling stock for the TransPennine Express Franchise; as part of this matter, ‘very experienced’, ‘committed and pragmatic’ head of rail Brioney Thomas negotiated new leases for two existing fleets and advised on the procurement of two new intercity fleets. Another highlight was assisting Rail for London with the acquisition of Willesden C Sidings from DB Schenker, which involved preparing and consulting on the suite of leasing and access documents to lease the depot to a concessionaire. Clients include Abellio Transport Holdings including its train operating companies Merseyrail, Greater Anglia and ScotRail; Eurostar International; and the Association of Train Operating Companies. Chris Jackson heads the transport section and works alongside Simon Coppen, who has ‘vast experience’ in rail franchising. ‘Extremely bright’ newly promoted partner Ian Tucker is recommended, alongside ‘excellent negotiatorsPhilip Beer and senior associate Michael Bray. Senior associate Edward Barratt ‘possesses an excellent understanding’ of rail franchise.

Leading individuals

Brioney Thomas - Burges Salmon LLP

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Further information on Burges Salmon LLP

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

London

Offices in London

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Offices in Bristol

Legal Developments by:
Burges Salmon LLP

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

    - Burges Salmon LLP

Legal Developments in the UK

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