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Schofield Sweeney

Work 0113 220 6270
Fax 0113 243 9326

Yorkshire and the Humber: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire
Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 2

Schofield Sweeney

The corporate practice at Schofield Sweeney is spread across its three Yorkshire bases in Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield; it advises individuals and companies on a range of mergers, acquisitions, disposals and joint ventures and also handles equity and debt financing transactions. Chris Schofield heads up the corporate team and is based in Leeds alongside Adrian Ballam and David Strachan, while Martin Sweeney is a key contact in the Bradford office. Also in Leeds, Luisa D’Alessandro leads the group's commercial offering.

Practice head(s):Chris Schofield

Other key lawyers:Adrian Ballam; David Strachan; Martin Sweeney; Luisa D'Alessandro


'The team provides an all encompassing array of experience and, above all, provides a personal service from the partner.'

'Adrian Ballam stands out as an extremely knowledgeable individual who responds to all requests very quickly and always goes the extra mile.'

'David Strachan is very bright, very experienced, commercial and gets things done.'

'Martin Sweeney & Luisa D'Alessandro are both experienced and pragmatic lawyers that are commercially aware and great to deal with.'

Key Clients

Sanderson Group Plc

Leman International

Greenhous Group

H. Dawson Sons and Company (Wool)

DFDS Seaways Plc

Catfoss Renewables

Business Growth Fund

4D Pharma Plc

Solingen Private Equity

C4X Discovery Holdings Plc

EMIS Group Plc

Axminster Carpets

Millers Oils


Airedale Catering Equipment Group

BWSC Power Corporation


Kent Renewable

Shearings Group

Instem Plc

Claritas Solutions

HSL Chairs

IP Group

Optima Energy Systems

LIV Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for C4X Discovery Holdings on its £10m fundraising.
  • Advised Catfoss Renewables on the £23m acquisition and refinancing by Greensill Capital of a waste processing plant.
  • Assisted the shareholders of Royal Armouries (International) on its £11.2m sale to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
  • Acted for new client Business Growth Fund on a £6.4m equity and debt funding.
  • Advised H Dawson on a refinancing involving HSBC, Lloyds, Santander and Leumi.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 3

Schofield Sweeney

Schofield Sweeney's team includes individuals based across Yorkshire in the firm's Bradford and Leeds offices. It is frequently instructed on a range of complex litigation in the region and nationally; recently the group has been particular busy handling shareholder and other corporate disputes. Bradford-based James Staton, who has significant experience in a range of High Court and Commercial Court litigation as well as mediation, heads up the team, which includes Leo Jones-Rowe in Leeds, who has particular experience handling tax disputes.  Alistair Kennedy and Mathew Fidler left the practice and set up new firm Tyr Law.

Practice head(s):James Staton

Other key lawyers:Leo Jones-Rowe


'Schofield Sweeney's litigation team is very engaging, keeps the client informed and is willing to challenge clients' perceptions in a positive way.'

'Richard Stockdale does a very good job.'

'Leo Jones-Rowe is a good lawyer.'

Key Clients

GMI Construction Group Plc

Greenhous Group Limited

A Shade Greener

IHDL Group

DS7 Limited

Work highlights

  • Defended three former company directors in a £39m claim brought by a former shareholder.
  • Acted for a car finance company in a £30m shareholder dispute under the Companies Act 2006.
  • Represented a former director of a large umbrella employment company relating to personal liability notices issued by HMRC following the company’s insolvency and the related commercial claims against their former advisers.
  • Acted for Romac Logistics in defending an application for interim relief and an underlying claim for misuse of confidential information made by Moran Logistics.
  • Acted for an individual in a farming partnership dispute relating to £7m of assets.
Next Generation Partners

Leo Jones-Rowe - Schofield Sweeney

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Finance

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

Schofield Sweeney

Schofield Sweeney focuses its efforts on its insolvency practitioner client base, which it advises on all elements of insolvencies and distressed work; the practice also handles refinancing and restructuring work. Richard Fergusson, David Arundel and Amar Rashid jointly lead the group; Fergusson handles the sale of distressed and stressed business, property insolvencies and disguised remuneration claims.

Practice head(s):Richard Fergusson; David Arundel; Amar Rashid


'The very reactive team has more of a commercial approach to problem solving than some. It is quick thinking and prepared to give practical and logical advice on potential solutions, showing initiative and good, straight-forward communication. Overall, a first-class firm to deal with'.

'The group is dynamic, responsive and very easy to work with. It goes the extra mile for clients'.

'The practice provides solid technical and practical advice'.

'Richard Fergusson has excellent people skills, is very approachable and articulate in his communication of legal matters and is well respected in the market'.

'Richard Fergusson understands what it means to run a business, meaning he can manage business and client needs as well as look at the wider picture'.

'David Arundel is accessible, practical and commercial and fully understands the clients needs'.

'Legal director Zoe Oates is thorough and dedicated, quickly turns around issues and provides practical solutions to complex situations'.

Key Clients

Armstrong Watson


PKF Geoffrey Martin & Co (London office)

C3 Partnership

FRP Advisory

Olsen Doors and Windows

Work highlights

  • Represented multi-party respondents in an action brought by the liquidator of Absolute Living Developments involving UK freezing order issues, financial disclosure and fraud and misfeasance claims.
  • Acting for FRP Advisory and Armstrong Watson as joint administrators of Leadsharp on the sale of development land.
  • Advising RSM Restructuring as administrator of DDK Estate on realising a property investment portfolio.
  • Assisting the Galbraith Group with the administration and liquidation of three group companies including a business pre-pack sale and a share sale.
  • Advising Live Recoveries as liquidator of Panando in an investigation relating to a VAT fraud case.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Human resources

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 5

Schofield Sweeney

The employment team at Schofield Sweeney advises on a wide range of issues including acting for individuals and organisations in Employment Tribunal cases related to grievances, restructurings or redundancies. The firm has a particularly focus on the education sector, having defended schools and academies, and has experience of trade union negotiations, while also acting for clients in the healthcare sector. The team is headed up by the 'extremely knowledgeable' Simon Shepherd.

Practice head(s):Simon Shepherd


'Great at dealing with multiple issues - a team of specialists who really understand how to work with each other cross-functionally.'

'Schofield Sweeney provide excellent employment law advice and support. I feel we get a very personal service.'

'We can see from the culture enthused by the partners that the team is very passionate about their work - they go beyond the normal 'call of duty'. Unlike their peers, they aren't just interested in billing fees all the time - sometimes having a practical conversation and not charging for it is so refreshing.'

'John Robinson is commercially astute and understands what needs to be done to keep the business moving. Great knowledge on employment law.'

'The personal approach is very helpful. Simon Shepherd and Annie Gray in particular are very good at providing timely advice.'

'Adrian Ballam's ability to explain and provide practical guidance is where he stands out from the others.'

'A very well-informed team which always provide accurate guidance on legislation and practice, and also how to use this advice to optimise your organisational objectives.'

'Simon Shepherd is extremely knowledgeable and always offers excellent and prompt advice. '


Key Clients

Horton Housing Association

The Southfield Grange Trust

Carlton Bolling College

Wakefield and District Housing

Woodhouse Grove School

Greenhous Group

JD Sports Fashion Plc

Sanderson Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Represented client in retail industry, providing robust defence of allegations made by former employee, leading to successful dismissal of all claims against client.
  • Successful representation of school in gross misconduct hearing of a teacher.
  • Successfully represented grammar school following dismissal of staff due to alleged misconduct, resulting in dismissal of claims made by staff as well as recovery of costs.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 3

Schofield Sweeney

At Schofield Sweeney, the firm has established education and academies as its sector of expertise within the charity arena, and is now developing its client base and growing with it. The team handles academy conversions, re-brokerages and reorganisations, and also offers a package to support organisations post conversion. This consists of, for example, advice relating to data protection, freedom of information, exclusions, special educational needs, litigation, commercial and procurement matters. The practice is led by commercial lawyers Chris Schofield (Leeds) and Andrew Hurst (Bradford).

Practice head(s):Chris Schofield; Andrew Hurst


'Welcoming, accessible, approachable, interested and pragmatic all while being professional – a challenging balance to maintain, and one Schofield Sweeney does very well.'

'Great support in achieving deadlines and maintaining momentum when the legal process is at risk of stalling.'

Key Clients

Forget Me Not Hospice, Huddersfield

Brathay Trust, Cumbria

Community Cougars Foundation, Keighley

Thackray Medical Museum

Mind in Bradford

Doncaster Culture & Leisure Trust

Paces Sheffield

Christians Against Poverty

Leeds Mencap

SNOOP, Bradford

Work highlights

  • Assisted St Gemma’s Hospice with negotiating a lottery contract to be put in place with the new provider, as well as updating the joint venture agreement between St Gemma’s and the other hospice in respect of the lottery.
  • Advised Brathay Trust on the sale of land owned by MAT for development purposes.
  • Advised Community Cougars Foundation on a substantial claim against the foundation for a range of different items.
  • Advised Thackrey Museum on high profile construction advice
  • Advising Mind in Bradford in relation to relocation of office and facilities including disposal of lease dilapidation claims – new lease and extensions thereto.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 4

Schofield Sweeney

A 'great' local firm with a solid roster of SME clients, Schofield Sweeney’s private client department is led by the 'extremely knowledgeable and helpful' Ashley Iredale , who boasts 30 years of experience in dealing with both traditional private client work and complex, multimillion-pound estates. The team also offers advice on matters relating to stamp duty land tax and family investments across three Yorkshire bases in Huddersfield, Leeds and Bradford.

Practice head(s):Ashley Iredale

Other key lawyers:John Feaster; Simon Glazebrook


'Knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.'

'A team that truly puts the client at the centre of the relationship.'

'The team provides an excellent service and is proactive in finding the right solution for their clients.'

'Extremely knowledgeable and helpful and always happy to go the extra mile to get the job done.'

'They are a very down to earth team, combining technical expertise with clear communication with client.'

'Simon Glazebrook is the most holistic private client lawyer that I have worked alongside - he delivers robust and complex planning in a very easy to understand manner.'

'Ashley Iredale and Sarah Ali are extremely knowledgeable and helpful and always happy to go the extra mile to get the job done.'

'Ashley Iredale is professional, thoughtful and approachable. He works seamlessly within a broader team of advisers when dealing with complex family arrangements and has the, often overlooked, ability of being able to clearly communicate challenging concepts in simple terms. Ashley and his team provide an excellent service and are proactive in finding the right solution for their clients.'

'Sarah Hodkinson is very approachable, attentive to clients and great to work with.'

Work highlights

  • Advised clients on the restructuring of a corporate entity.
  • Advised client on litigation in their home country relating to financial abuse of a father by a family member.
  • Represented client in relation to estate planning prior to a pending private equity deal.
  • Advised a high net worth married couple on the creation of wills and trusts in a tax efficient manner for their children and grandchildren.
  • Advised a substantial business and land owner on inheritance tax planning, protection of underage beneficiaries and a substantial pension fund following his death amid his divorce.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Projects, energy and natural resources (including PFI)

Energy - ranked: tier 3

Schofield Sweeney

Schofield Sweeney stands out for its renewable energy expertise with a niche specialism in small energy sites. The practice also handles solar, biomass, combined heat and power, anaerobic digestion, energy-from-waste and energy storage projects for developers, landowners and contractors. Team head Adam Hastie focuses on development and regeneration work and Bradford-based Farooq Zar is a property expert.

Practice head(s):Adam Hastie

Other key lawyers:Farooq Zar

Key Clients

Sirius Renewable Energy Limited

Renewable Heat Generation Limited

Templeborough Biomass Plant Limited

Forepower Limited

Aqua consultants Limited / Lanes Farm Energy Limited

BWSC Power Corporation Limited

Gascorp Limited

Earthmill Limited

Catfoss Renewables Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised BWSC Power Corporation on its biomass plant at Snetterton including supply issues and procurement work.
  • Advised Aqua Consultants Limited on its anaerobic digester project in Pontefract including related supply contracts and power purchase contracts.
  • Assisted Templeborough Biomass Power Plant Limited with its £200m biomass energy plant at Templeborough including grid connection framework agreements and lease work.
  • Acted for Catfoss Renewables Limited on its acquisition of a £23m waste processing plant.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Public sector

Education - ranked: tier 2

Schofield Sweeney

Schofield Sweeney acts for schools and academies nationally and utilises its cross-departmental approach to handle employment, property, finance, governance and academy conversion issues. The team also counts headteachers, business managers and governors as clients. Practice leader Andrew Hurst has experience handling conversions and specialised funding and development schemes, and assisting multi-academy trusts and umbrella trusts. Simon Shepherd is the key contact for employment work.

Practice head(s):Andrew Hurst

Other key lawyers:Simon Shepherd


'Schofield Sweeney provides good advice in a timely manner'.

'Simon Shepherd and associate Annie Gray provide commercial advice'.

Key Clients

Heckmondwike Grammar School

Woodhouse Grove School, Leeds

SHARE Multi Academy Trust

Attain Academy Partnership

Ethos Academy Trust

Carlton Bolling College

United Endeavour Multi- Academy trust

Silcoates School

Work highlights

  • Defending Heckmondwike Grammar School in unfair dismissal and race discrimination claims following the dismissal of a member of the support staff.
  • Assisting the employer with allegations of gross misconduct made against a headteacher.
  • Representing Woodhouse Grove School in unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claims brought by a teacher, who was dismissed for gross misconduct on the grounds of dishonesty.
  • Acting for Share Multi Academy Trust on the academy conversion of Royds Hall Community School and the transfer of Thornhill Community Academy into the trust.
  • Assisting Attain Academy Partnership with its conversion from a single academy trust to a multi academy trust.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Real estate

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 3

Schofield Sweeney

Schofield Sweeney's commercial property team is one of the largest in the region and has particular specialisms in residential development, property finance and renewable energy. Darren Birkinshaw heads up the practice, which has grown significantly with the addition of regional developers as clients. Manjit Virdee leads the firm's property finance offering, acting for a number of major banks, while the practice also covers the healthcare, retail and education sectors. Dean Jowett left after five years at the firm to establish Tyr Law.

Practice head(s):Darren Birkinshaw

Other key lawyers:Manjit Virdee


'Transparent fees and very user friendly. The firm understands onerous bank reporting requirements.'

'Quick to respond and manage workflow very well.'

'Easy to deal with and friendly people who are comfortable speaking to both us and our clients. They respond quickly and take action as requested. They are often cheaper than their peers, without any change in quality.'

'Readily available and quick to return calls, particularly at partner level. Manjit Virdee is a great example, always managing client expectations.'

'Well known across the whole professional market in all disciplines.'

Key Clients

The Trafford Centre

Santander UK

Persimmon Homes

Pinnacle View Homes

Geenhaus Group

Strata Homes

Shearings Group

Sheffield United Hotel

YPP Lettings & Management Co


Horton Housing Association

Chartford Housing

Wharfedale Grange

Averroes Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Shawbrook Bank Limited and Scarborough Group on a £7m funding line to support Scarborough Group's property developments in the Greater Manchester area.
  • Advised S&M Real Estate and SM Real Estate and Barclays Bank on a multimillion-pound refinance and capital raise in respect of the Grade II listed Britannia buildings in Huddersfield.
  • Acted for Persimmon Homes on the £50m purchases of former Castleford and Normanton hospital site for 150 new dwellings.
  • Advised Malik Halls on £3m refinancing on a Bradford student accommodation block and three ground floor retail units.
Next Generation Partners

Manjit Virdee - Schofield Sweeney

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Construction - ranked: tier 3

Schofield Sweeney

Schofield Sweeney is noted for its experience in contentious construction and engineering disputes and professional indemnity claims, which it handles for a client roster spanning architects, contractors, developers, housebuilders and public sector clients. Practice leader Gary Ashton excels in construction adjudications while his colleague Richard Stockdale is an accredited mediator.

Practice head(s):Gary Ashton

Other key lawyers:Richard Stockdale


'With thorough knowledge of all aspects of construction, Schofield Sweeney is articulate and has a proactive approach. The depth of knowledge and experience within the practice is not widely available at other firms'.

'The construction team at Schofield Sweeney demonstrates great knowledge of both the relevant law and, importantly, the local market. Clients would have no hesitation in saying that the team compares extremely favourably to much larger firms'.

'Gary Ashton stands out for his ability to quickly formulate a strategy to solve complex problems. His thoroughness is outstanding'.

'Gary Ashton is always on hand, works tirelessly to meet short deadlines and handles matters personally'.

'Gary is a breath of fresh air, understanding the construction industry and being proactive in ways that are not often thought of. He also is very attentive and has a great wealth of knowledge'.

Key Clients

KNG Building Services Limited

Radcliffe Construction

Enock Foundations Limited

AJN Electrical Limited

Maple Sunscreening Limited

Cawdell Brickwork Limited

Amber Precast Limited

Ebor Concretes Limited

Ashfield Building Group

Group Management Electrical Services Limited

Stirling Capitol

Network Demolition Services LLP

Pitts Wilson Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending Enock Foundations Limited in a dispute against a contractor relating to remedial costs and damages to electricity cables following a failure to carry out site investigations.
  • Represented KNG Building Services Limited in a claim against Bio Global Industries Ltd arising out of the supply and installation of a biomass boiler.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

Schofield Sweeney

At Schofield Sweeney, associate Laura Salvati heads up the Leeds property litigation team and has notable strength in estate management issues relating to lease renewals, break clauses, rent recovery and dilapidations; she also regularly acts for developer clients. James Staton leads the group in the firm's Bradford office.

Practice head(s):Laura Salvati; James Staton


'Schofield Sweeney is a well-known medium-sized firm which has a solid practice in real estate and commercial landlord and tenant work'.

'Laura Salvati is an absolute perfectionist in all she does. She is on top of all the legal points that arise in a matter and produces first-rate instructions; a real team player who is a joy to work with'.

Key Clients

Games Workshop Limited

Shearings Group Limited

Trafford Centre Limited

Dilbag Cloth House Limited

Kingston Unity Friendly Society

Up and Running (UK) Limited

Thomas of York Limited

Greenhous Limited

Closegate Hotel Group

Persimmon Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing a national retailer in a dilapidations claim.
  • Acting for a property investment company in multiple lease renewals.
  • Advising a pension trustee company on the interpretation of a payment clause in an overage deed.
  • Acting for an industrial occupier in a dilapidations claim.
  • Assisting a house developer with the purchases pursuant to option agreements.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 4

Schofield Sweeney

The commercial team at Schofield Sweeney handles a range of IT sector mandates for service providers and their customers, including software licensing work, procurements and GDPR compliance advice. Practice head Luisa D’Alessandro assists clients with IT-related projects and strategic advice. Recently promoted partner Karen Crutchley is also instructed by companies acquiring IT services.

Practice head(s):Luisa D'Alessandro

Other key lawyers:Karen Crutchley


'Schofield Sweeney's IT team offers quick response times, in-depth knowledge of the industry and good value for cost.'

'Luisa D’Alessandro has very good availability, response times and flexibility and is simply nice to work with.'

Key Clients

Shearings Group Limited

Instem LSS Limited

High Seat Limited

Optima Energy Systems Limited

Connection Seating Limited

Brickhunter UK

Claritas Solutions Limited

Sanderson Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Shearings Group on a major software procurement project including the review, amendment and negotiation of a framework agreement with Comtec (Europe) for the provision of IT services.
  • Assisted Instem LSS with updates to all key commercial sales agreements.
  • Advised Claritas Solutions on its policies and procedures regarding GDPR compliance.
  • Advised Optima Energy Systems on a range of commercial agreements and software licenses, and GDPR compliance.
  • Assisted Connection Seating with GDPR issues relating to its website operations.

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