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Schofield Sweeney

76 WELLINGTON STREET, LEEDS, LS1 2AY, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0113 220 6270
Fax:
Fax 0113 243 9326
DX:
26409 LEEDS PARK SQUARE
Email:
Web:
www.schofieldsweeney.co.uk

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 (Leeds, Bradford)

Schofield Sweeney is, for one client, ‘in a class of its own in terms of value for money’. Chris Schofield leads the practice and is closely supported by Martin Sweeney, who ‘exudes a quiet competence and confidence which leaves the client feeling like things are in control’. Commercial head Luisa D’Alessandro, director Catherine Rhodes, and associate Laura Salvati ‘provide good, decisive leadership and specialist knowledge’. Other key names include Chris Blantern, Adrian Ballam, David Strachan, Steven Millward, who recently made partner, and Rob Kelly, who joined the team following the firm’s merger with Armitage Sykes Solicitors in 2016. Highlights included advising AIM-listed 4D pharma on its €12m acquisition of Tucana Health.

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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 (Leeds, Bradford)

At Schofield Sweeney, Bradford-based James Staton and Leeds-based Richard Stockdale and Alistair Kennedy are the key partners. The group is best known for handling high-value commercial disputes. Staton is representing Halifax Machine Company in a dispute with Chinese manufacturers regarding the condition of supplied machinery, and Kennedy is leading a team advising Menston Action Group on commercial and administrative law regarding a proposed development by Barratt Homes. Closegate Hotel Group, DFDS Seaways and Webster Machinery are all clients. Solicitor Paul Cantwell joined from Gordons LLP. Chris Charlesworth moved to gunnercooke LLP.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 4

Schofield Sweeney (Bradford, Leeds)

Schofield Sweeney’s three-partner team includes Bradford-based Amar Rashid, who handles banking and shareholder disputes and insolvencies, insolvency specialist David Arundel and corporate restructuring expert Richard Fergusson. Associate Zoe Oates joined in 2016 from HLW Keeble Hawson and has expertise in contentious and personal insolvency matters. The team recently handled a restructuring process for Oughtred & Harrison and assisted C4X Discovery with the acquisition of assets from Molplex which is in administration. Other work included acting for the joint administrators of Conexion Media Group on a range of matters, including handling lender security issues, claims from US creditors, disputes regarding catalogue ownership, and asset realisations.

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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 4

Schofield Sweeney (Leeds)

Schofield Sweeney’s employment practice handles a range of contentious issues, including Employment Tribunal matters, as well as providing HR and employment law support to commercial and education sector clients. Advice to schools and academies has been a growing trend; in 2016, practice head Simon Shepherd successfully defended an independent school in two separate matters before the Employment Tribunal: the first claim involved proceedings for constructive dismissal and allegations of breach of contract; and the second claim involved proceedings for unfair dismissal and disability after the claimant was made redundant following the closure of a club operated commercially by the school. Shepherd is ably assisted by Alex Clements, whose expertise covers public sector employment matters as well as advice to corporates. Her highlights included defending Williams Lea in a claim brought by a former employee involving 22 separate allegations of race discrimination. Other clients include JD Sports Fashion and Horton Housing Association. Bradford-based associate Gemma Sherbourne is also recommended.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Insurance

Professional negligence: claimant
Professional negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 3

Schofield Sweeney (Leeds)

Schofield Sweeney’s three-partner practice, spread across its Bradford, Leeds and Huddersfield offices, handles a wide range of professional negligence claims. Key figures include Richard Stockdale, who has more than 30 years of experience handling claims against solicitors, surveyors and architects, as well as claims concerning the financial services and construction sectors; Alistair Kennedy, who regularly handles claims against financial advisers; and James Staton.

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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 (Leeds, Bradford)

Schofield Sweeney acts on a wide variety of issues for regional and national charitable entities, including assisting with devising new charitable structures, governance issues and funding, fundraising and investment. Andrew Hurst heads the team, which also includes Simon Petchey, who handles real estate matters, with a particular emphasis on property issues related to educational charities. Highlights included advising North Cestrian Grammar School on its conversion to a state-funded independent school and joining the Hamlin Education Trust.

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

Schofield Sweeney (Bradford, Leeds)

Ashley Iredale is head of the department at Schofield Sweeney, which advises regional and national business owners, entrepreneurs, high-net-worth individuals, family trusts and elderly clients. The group is noted for its estate administration work alongside its expertise in wills, lasting powers of attorney and Court of Protection matters. Recent highlights include drafting and advising on an employee ownership trust and a family discretionary trust relating to the exit of shareholders from a family business, and handling an estate administration involving charity beneficiaries. Stamp duty land tax specialist John Feaster, Sarah Hodkinson, who focuses on asset protection and wealth preservation, and Kanika Sohpal, who handles estates with foreign properties, are all recommended.

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

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 3

Schofield Sweeney (Bradford, Leeds)

At Schofield Sweeney, Adam Hastie and Farooq Zar specialise in renewables and anaerobic digestion projects. Highlights included advising Catfoss Renewables on its acquisition of Graphite Enterprises and Graphite Resources, the owner of a sizeable waste recycling site in Gateshead, and assisting Renewable Heat Generation with the development of standard contract documentation for the installation of biomass boilers on a multi-site project, including site assembly and financing issues. The team also assisted Sirius Renewables with the site assembly, option and occupational leases, and grid connection rights for a solar PV project. Earthmill, Peel Energy, JSR Farms and Empirica are also clients.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 2

Schofield Sweeney (Bradford, Leeds)

Andrew Hurst leads the education team at Schofield Sweeney from the Bradford office, which also houses Helen Hirst and Jennifer Clarke. The team specialises in academy conversion and provides ongoing support to its academy clients post-conversion by utilising lawyers on a cross-departmental basis. The team has recently been advising Orchard Academy Trust on the conversion and entering of Barming Primary School into the trust. The team also advises on academy conversions with a PFI element, as demonstrated by its advice to Buile Hill Visual Arts College on the documentation required by the trust it was entering into, the Consilium Academies Trust, regarding a building constructed on the Buile Hill site as part of a PFI. Another recent highlight was advising North Cestrian Grammar School, an independent fee-paying selective school, in connection with its conversion to a state-funded independent school and joining 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 (Bradford, Leeds)

Schofield Sweeney’s advises on landlord and tenant matters, planning promotion agreements, strategic land options and infrastructure agreements, and advises clients across a wide range of sectors, including retail, healthcare, education and renewables. Manjit Virdee recently advised Santander on the £9m transfer and refinancing of a residential and commercial property portfolio, transferred from an LLP to three connected limited companies. Other work includes advising schools and academy trusts on property disposals and variations. Practice head Darren Birkinshaw, Dean Jowett, Simon Petchey, Richard Innes and Adam Hastie are the other names to note. Empirica, the Trafford Centre, Persimmon Homes, ATC Properties and Thomas the Baker are also clients.

Next generation lawyers

Manjit Virdee - Schofield Sweeney

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

Schofield Sweeney (Leeds)

Bradford-based James Staton leads Schofield Sweeney’s practice, and has niche expertise in advising landowners on investigations and prosecutions by regulatory authorities concerning endangered species, water pollution and waste management infringements. Director Sophie Morley has strengths in landlord and tenant disputes including forfeiture, Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 issues, rent reviews and dilapidations; she also advises developers on title issues, development agreements and vacant possession strategies, as well as handling termination strategies and enfranchisement claims for residential landlords. The team recently represented a Yorkshire-based property investor in a lease renewal dispute, and defended Yorkshire-based farming clients against a damages claim related to trespassing.

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 2

Schofield Sweeney (Bradford, Leeds)

At Schofield Sweeney, Andrew Hurst and Simon Petchey are the key names. The duo act for registered social landlords and their funders on a broad range of issues including funding, governance, group structures and mergers, development and regeneration projects, and everyday housing management advice and litigation. Recent highlights include advising a housing group on the completion of two social housing schemes and assisting with ongoing negotiations for future schemes. Other clients include Leeds Federated Housing Association and Horton Housing Association.

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

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 5

Schofield Sweeney (Leeds)

The commercial and IT practice at Schofield Sweeney is headed by Luisa D’Alessandro, who spends time in both the Leeds and Bradford offices. The team predominantly handles non-contentious work and has been providing support to coach tour operator Shearings in connection with a number of IT contracts, including reviewing and negotiating terms with a replacement software supplier. It has also been advising a higher education client on its contractual position with an IT software and services provider. Assistant solicitor Rosa Waters-Brown joined the team in 2016 from Addleshaw Goddard.

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