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North West

Transport - ranked: tier 1


DLA Piper UK LLP specialises in advising on major transport infrastructure projects, including motorways, railways and airports, among others. The firm's practice has expertise in transport disputes, while also dealing with aircraft, shipping and super-yacht finance; equipment finance and leasing and smart ticketing. UK managing partner Liam Cowell heads the team and focuses on infrastructure and project finance transactions.

Practice head(s):Liam Cowell

Other key lawyers:Paul Giles; David Moss; Alan Cunningham; Lee Brierley; Sophie Stewart; Ben Morton


The DLA Piper team has an excellent cross section of experience and expertise’.

The advice is provided in good time, often around some very tight deadlines’.

Ben Morton and Liam Cowell bring a wealth of PPP road sector market expertise from both client and bidder side’.

Liam Cowell and Ben Morton are always willing to challenge where appropriate, drawing on their expertise if they consider that commercial or legal positions being proposed do not deliver their client's best interests’.

Key Clients

Welsh Government

Transport for Greater Manchester

Mersey Gateway Crossing Board and Halton Borough Council

Network Rail

Liverpool City Council

Highways England

Work highlights

  • Supporting Transport for the North on its multi modal account based smart ticketing programme, initially focused on the North of England but with the potential of a full national roll-out excluding London.
  • Continuing to advise Mersey Gateway Crossing Board on planning matters relating to the Mersey Gateway Bridge.
  • Advising Liverpool City Council on planning matters relating to the dualling of the A565 in Liverpool.
  • Advising Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council on planning matters relating to the M58 motorway.
  • Representing the Welsh Ministers in relation to the circa £500m procurement of the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of Sections 5 and 6 of the A465.

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North West: Corporate and commercial

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


DLA Piper UK LLP 's Liverpool corporate team acts for major UK and international corporates, as well as local clients including football clubs and government bodies, on corporate and commercial  joint ventures, international collaborations, private equity based transactions and public sector outsourcing. The firm is able to leverage its network of regional and international offices as it works on matters including M&A, management buyouts (MBOs) and group restructurings. Sarah Bell and Manchester-based James Kerrigan head the team with support from commercial expert Peter Brook. Senior associate Paddy Dwyer is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Sarah Bell; James Kerrigan

Other key lawyers:Gemma Cowap; Michael Hudson; Peter Brook; Paddy Dwyer


'Peter Brook is very keen to ensure value for the client'.

Key Clients

arvato Group

Clydesdale Financial Services Ltd t/a Barclays Partner Finance


Flywheel IT Services

Heineken UK

Hunter Boots Limited

Liverpool City Council

Liverpool Football Club

Newell Rubbermaid

PetrolValves Srl

QA Limited

Sutton & Son (St Helens) Ltd

UK Government (NHS England, Cabinet Office, Department for Transport, Natural Environment Research Council, Department for Work and Pensions, Crown Commercial Services, Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)



Work highlights

  • Advising Newell Rubbermaid UK on a range of different commercial matters from commercial agreements through to corporate restructuring, consumer protection and advertising.
  • Advising UK Research & Innovation and the Natural Environment Research Council in relation to the spin out of two of their Research Centres into the private sector, as charitable-companies limited by guarantee.
  • Acted for Air Navigation Solutions on a call-off contract for the supply of project services, including works, goods and/or services in respect of the implementation of Air Traffic Management Systems and associated airspace consultancy and development activities under an overarching framework agreement with Gatwick Airport Limited.
Leading individuals

Peter Brook - DLA Piper UK LLP

Sarah Bell - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

Paddy Dwyer - DLA Piper UK LLP

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


DLA Piper UK LLP handles sales and acquisitions, private equity transactions, MBOs and various commercial matters for local, national and international private companies, public companies, private equity houses, entrepreneurs and global corporate organisations from its Manchester office. Key client sectors include industrial, Fintech, retail, and food and beverage. Lee Brierley and James Kerrigan head the team. Other key partners include Jonathan Watkins, Yunus Maka and Andrew Phillips who recently joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. Senior associate David Booth is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Lee Brierley; James Kerrigan

Other key lawyers:Elia Montorio; Stephen Wright; Luke Stubbs; Jonathan Watkins, Yunus Maka; Andrew Phillips; David Booth

Key Clients

ABM Industries Inc



Beech Tree Private Equity

Biffa Group Limited


Talk Talk Group plc

Flowtech Fluidpower plc

Key Retirement Group

Lloyds Development Capital

Molson Coors

NCC Group plc


Nichols plc

The Co-operative Bank

The Hut Group

Transport for the North

Verna Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Visa Europe Services on its £142m acquisition of Fraedom Group from Hogg Robinson Group.
  • Advising Metric Capital Partners and management of YM&U Central Services Limited (formerly James Grant Group Limited) in relation to the tertiary buy-out of the group  by Trilantic Capital Partners.
  • Advising Beech Tree Private Equity on the MBO of BCN Group.
  • Advising on the £60.1m acquisition of the business and assets of Donnelley Language Solutions. The deal was structured as the acquisition of various assets, liabilities and shares in the subsidiary companies of the seller across 14 territories.
  • Advising Willows Veterinary Group on the sale of the business and assets of the group (including the share sale of Beeston Animal Health) to VetPartners Practices.
Leading individuals

Andrew Phillips - DLA Piper UK LLP

James Kerrigan - DLA Piper UK LLP

Jonathan Watkins - DLA Piper UK LLP

Lee Brierley - DLA Piper UK LLP

Yunus Maka - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

David Booth - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1


DLA Piper UK LLP 's Manchester tax team regularly advises private equity funds, portfolio funds and management teams on private-equity related tax work. It also advises local, national and international companies on tax matters ranging from employee equity schemes, real estate finance, VAT planning and outsourcing arrangements. David Thompson heads the team with support from legal director Stephen Jones.

Practice head(s):David Thompson

Other key lawyers:Stephen Jones;

Key Clients

Flowtech Fluidpower plc

James Grant Group (now YM&U Group)

Thomas International Limited (Management)

Tangerine Confectionery Limited (Management)

Two Sisters Food Group/ Boparan Holdings

Payzone UK Limited

Crawford Healthcare (acted for owners on sale)

Sandton Capital Partners

Shareholders in Richard Wellock & Sons Limited

Carlyle European Technology Partners III Sarl

Work highlights

  • Advised the management team at Tangerine Confectionary on tax aspects of its acquisition from Blackstone by multiple brand business Valeo of Ireland.
  • Acted for Boparan Holdings Limited and its subsidiary Green Isle Food Group Limited on the sale of the Goodfellas Pizza Business.
  • Advised on the sale by Payzone UK Limited of its bill payments system to the Post Office.
  • Advised the Wellock family on tax aspects relating to the sale of Richard Wellock & Sons Limited to William Jackson Food Group Limited.
  • Advised Carlyle European Technology on tax matters relating to its acquisition of Livingstone Technologies Limited.
Leading individuals

David Thompson - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

Stephen Jones - DLA Piper UK LLP

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North West: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: general
Crime: general - ranked: tier 2


DLA Piper UK LLP is instructed on a range of investigations and is experienced in corporate crime prosecutions involving various issues such as corruption, dishonesty, tax evasion and bribery. The team represents companies and individual clients on investigations and prosecutions by HSE, CPS, the Police, the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC and the Office of Fair Trading. The team also stands out for its cross-border expertise. Regulatory lawyer and criminal litigator John Gollaglee is a key contact.

Other key lawyers:John Gollaglee; Richard Smyth




Leading individuals

John Gollaglee - DLA Piper UK LLP

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North West: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation
Banking litigation - ranked: tier 1


DLA Piper UK LLP represents top-tier financial institutions and multinational banks on the full range of banking litigation issues. In Manchester, areas of expertise include complex commercial recoveries, group litigation and class actions, through to asset finance disputes and fraud. The practice has also recently added contentious financial regulatory expertise and offers innovative pricing structures to meet client demands for commercial flexibility. Stewart Plant and John Gollaglee head the team, while legal director Nicola Higgins and senior associate Krystle Robinson are also recommended.

Practice head(s):Stewart Plant; John Gollaglee

Other key lawyers:Nicola Higgins; Krystle Robinson; Philip Williams; Benjamin Fellows


Responsive, collaborative, and cost effective

Happy to talk and very personable

They have in-depth knowledge of the banking and credit industry and this goes across the whole team

All the lawyers are extremely good - including the trainees

They turn cases round quickly and are great at ensuring that deadlines are met

Benjamin Fellowes is great, very knowledgeable, unflappable and very organized

Key Clients

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (incl. Nat West, Lombard, RBS Invoice Finance)

The Co-operative Bank

Elavon Financial Services

First Data Corporation

WorldPay (UK) Limited

Metro Bank


Lloyds Banking Group (incl. HBOS and C&G)

Global Payments

Close Brothers Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Co-operative Bank in relation to a claim for professional negligence and/or breach of contract against a firm of surveyors.
Leading individuals

Stewart Plant - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

Benjamin Fellows - DLA Piper UK LLP

Krystle Robinson - DLA Piper UK LLP

Nicola Higgins - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Commercial litigation: Liverpool
Commercial litigation: Liverpool - ranked: tier 1


DLA Piper UK LLP represents clients in multi-jurisdictional cases, High Court proceedings and international arbitration. Areas of expertise include technology disputes, outsourcing disputes, professional negligence, corporate and M&A transactional disputes, pensions disputes, data breach issues and contractual disputes. It also advises on data breaches, cybersecurity, regulatory matters and GDPR. The team is now headed by legal director Christina Sharma and Manchester-based Stewart Plant , after former team head Mark Goodwin and legal director Catherine Radcliffe left the firm to form litigation boutique Fortuna Business Litigation.

Practice head(s):Stewart Plant; Christina Sharma

Other key lawyers:Hannah Catterall; Emma Charnock; John Gollaglee; Ben Miller

Key Clients

Information Commissioner Office

Lonrho Limited


Liverpool Football Club

United Utilities

Liverpool City Council

International Cotton Association


Westminster City Council

Delta Airlines

Lloyds Banking Group

Work highlights

  • Freezing order and court appointed receiver order obtained to assist Lonrho in enforcing its $13m judgment.
  • Advising the ICO in relation to the investigation into the activities of Cambridge Analytica, GSR and Facebook.
  • Carrying out investigations in to the transfer of academy players to and/or from Premier League clubs.
  • Regularly advises the ICA Tribunals on discreet legal issues and English law principles.
Rising stars

Christina Sharma - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Commercial litigation: Manchester
Commercial litigation: Manchester - ranked: tier 1


DLA Piper UK LLP 's Manchester team sits as part of the firm's international practice, advising large corporates and private equity houses on matters often spanning multiple jurisdictions. The firm also represents clients on contentious data protection matters such as regulatory enforcement and tribunal appeals and enforcement advice under GDPR. Other key client sectors include technology, energy, engineering, retail, transport and infrastructure and the public sector. The 'very commercial' Stewart Plant heads the team, working alongside key partners Jonathan Eatough and Andrew Smith and well-regarded senior associate Leontia McArdle.

Practice head(s):Stewart Plant

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Eatough; Andrew Smith; Leontia McArdle; Nicola Higgins; Philip Williams; Krystle Robinson; Benjamin Fellows; Alison Fagan 


'Very enthusiastic and responsive to client requirements.'

'Jonathan Eatough is commercial and strategic - a very effective team leader and easy to get on with.'

'Stuart Plant is very knowledgeable and experienced; has seen it all before, very commercial.'

'Ben Fellows and Krystle Robinson are very enthusiastic, positive, hardworking and responsive to client requirements.'

Key Clients

Information Commissioner’s Office

Klockner Pentaplast


SMG Europe Holdings

Molson Coors

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Scottish Power Energy Retail Limited

NCC Group plc

Bodycote plc

Solutus Advisors Limited

GHD Group Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for a UK-based commercial property services company in relation to alleged breaches of duty arising from the sale of a large property portfolio.
  • Advising the Information Commissioner’s Office in relation to its investigation into Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.
  • Representing shareholders of a multinational media service group in business critical litigation in the High Court and arbitration proceedings in California.
  • Representing the sellers of a UK manufacturing company in an £4m M&A dispute in relation to warranty claims and alleged breaches of duty.
  • Acting for a private equity firm for claims for fraud, conspiracy, breach of warranty, breach of covenant and misrepresentation, brought against two individuals and an international law firm following investment in a group of companies.
Leading individuals

Andrew Smith - DLA Piper UK LLP

Jonathan Eatough - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

Leontia McArdle - DLA Piper UK LLP

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North West: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1


DLA Piper UK LLP stands out for its debt finance and asset based lending expertise, and it is experienced in alternative and complex debt structures. Real estate finance and large corporate transactions are a mainstay of the practice and it is adept at handling complex cross-border instructions. The team acts for numerous banks, borrowers, funds and sponsors. Department head Matthew Christmas  is 'exceptional' and the 'strong' Joseph Frew leads the asset based lending practice in the North West and co-heads the firm's national ABL team. Rebecca Williams handles asset finance matters, while senior associates Charles Weems, who regularly advises on alternative debt structures and Alastair Carruthers, who is experienced in ABL work, are also noted.

Practice head(s):Matthew Christmas

Other key lawyers:Joseph Frew; Charles Weems; Alastair Carruthers; Sidrah Arif; Rebecca Williams


The team delivers considered advice and a consistent service

It always does an excellent job

Matthew Christmas is outstanding and a real market leader

Charles Weems is a star of the future

Joseph Frew is excellent on ABL mandates


Key Clients


Five Guys

HSBC Bank and HSBC Global Trade and Receivables Finance and HSBC REF

Lloyds Bank



Permira Debt Managers

Pemberton Capital

Royal Bank of Scotland plc and RBS Asset Based Lending and RBS REF

Santander UK

Tosca Debt Capital

Maslow Capital

Bibby Financial Services

Work highlights

  • Advised Five Guys on its private credit unitranche funding, from Goldman Sachs, to fund its continental expansion.
  • Acted for Tosca Debt Capital on its £25m funding to part fund the £42.5m public to private acquisition of Styles & Wood Group.
  • Represented Matalan on its 2018 refinancing.
  • Acted for Chess Telecom on its new syndicated facilities.
  • Advised Ardent Hire Solutions on the refinancing of its multi-bank ABL facilities.
Leading individuals

Joseph Frew - DLA Piper UK LLP

Matthew Christmas - DLA Piper UK LLP

Next Generation Partners

Rebecca Williams - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

Alastair Carruthers - DLA Piper UK LLP

Charles Weems - DLA Piper UK LLP

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


DLA Piper UK LLP handles a full range of restructuring and insolvency work and is commended for its ability to advise on complex, cross-border mandates across a range of sectors. The team, which is led by Robert Russell , is active across a variety of instructions including distressed real estate, formal insolvency, corporate restructuring, portfolio restructuring and acquisitions; and is praised for its contentious restructuring and insolvency capability. Christopher Roberts handles non-contentious work.

Practice head(s):Robert Russell

Other key lawyers:Christopher Roberts; Bethan Moore; Rob Lyons


The team is very active and is strong on cross-border matters

Robert Russell is very able and very experienced

Christopher Roberts is excellent

The team has the ability to deal with both small and large matters and is able to adapt the product and service to the circumstances

It has an exceptionally high standard of staff and output

The team has a flexible style that works well with clients of all sizes

Christopher Roberts and Robert Russell are both excellent lawyers; they are technically exceptional and have a strong presence in the local market place

It gets the job done and has a flexible style that is tailored to the job in hand


Key Clients


Calumet International


Endless LLP

Hobs Reprographics


Sandton Capital Partners


Solutus Advisors

Work highlights

  • Represented Hobs Reprographics on its acquisition of seven reprographics companies via a pre-pack administration.
  • Advised Aurelius Investment on its £13.4m acquisition of Ideal Shopping Direct.
  • Acted for Sandton Capital Partners on a financial restructure.
  • Advised Sandton Capital Partners on its £4m acquisition of shares in the Aspin group of Companies via a pre-packaged administration.
  • Advised the administrators of Conviviality Group.
Leading individuals

Robert Russell - DLA Piper UK LLP

Next Generation Partners

Christopher Roberts - DLA Piper UK LLP

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North West: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 1


Led by Alan Chalmers, DLA Piper UK LLP's caseload is heavily dominated by international work spanning multiple jurisdictions. The team routinely advises prominent local, national and international businesses, while also handling complex and high value Employment Tribunal and High Court cases, particularly relating to discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Other areas of expertise include industrial relations and TUPE issues, both in the private and public sectors. The department operates in sectors such as manufacturing, chemicals and food and drink. Legal directors Helen Hall and Emma Mills are key members of the team, while senior associate George Nicholson is recommended.

Practice head(s):Alan Chalmers

Other key lawyers:Helen Hall; Emma Mills; George Nicholson


'We have received first class service from Emma Mills and Sam Whittaker. Emma provides a high level of technical expertise and Sam is excellent at the practical engagement required for dealing with matters pragmatically.'

'Very professional, yet personal in approach.'

'Long-term relationships enable quality conversations due to an understanding of the organisation and the organisational history - stability within the team has enabled this relationship to grow over a number of years.'

'George Nicholson is highly responsive to our matters and provides reliable, thorough advice.'

'George Nicholson is unique because he does not overcomplicate and makes clear and concise summaries of options, without too much legal jargon.'

Key Clients

AB InBev

ABB Limited

Akzo Nobel

ATPI Group

Canon (UK & Europe)

Collaborative Solutions LLC

Compass Minerals Group

Diversey Limited

Elopak UK Limited

International Hotels Group plc (IHG)

Johnson Matthey plc

Kelly Group

Magnox Limited

Northumbrian Water Group

NuGeneration Limited

Reach plc (formerly Trinity Mirror Group plc)

Sealed Air Limited


The Claims Guys

The Co-operative Bank Limited

Verna Group International

Wave Utilities

Runshaw College

Argo Aviation International Ltd


Work highlights

  • Successfully defended the Independent Office for Police Conduct in complex and high value Employment Tribunal litigation concerning race discrimination, harassment, victimisation and whistleblowing claims brought by a high profile former employee.
  • Representing AB InBev in defending multiple claims presented by the same claimant for failure to permit time off to carry out Trade Union and Health and Safety duties, unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal.
  • Advised Calvin Capital throughout its GDPR readiness project.
  • Acting for Argo Aviation International Limited in an application to recover confidential information and secure a springboard injunction against former employees and their new employers.
  • Advising NuGeneration Limited on the employment aspects of the solvent wind-down and liquidation of the company.
Leading individuals

Alan Chalmers - DLA Piper UK LLP

Next Generation Partners

Emma Mills - DLA Piper UK LLP

Helen Hall - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

George Nicholson - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Pensions - ranked: tier 1


DLA Piper UK LLP's pensions team, led by Liverpool managing partner Ben Miller is recognised for its trustee work, acting for the trustees of some the largest UK occupational schemes. The practice has a wide range of capabilities including scheme advisory and documentation work, as well as advising providers of small, self-administered schemes and self-invested personal pensions. Other areas of expertise include scheme mergers, reconstructions, scheme closures and pensions aspects of corporate matters. The team is also experienced in advising on de-risking strategies such as changes in benefit design and buy-in and buy-out of liabilities. Claire Bell, Jeremy Harris and senior associate Kate Beech are key team members.

Practice head(s):Ben Miller

Other key lawyers:Claire Bell; Jeremy Harris; Gary Davies; Kate Beech; Angela Stokes


'Strong technical pensions knowledge delivered in easy to follow language.'

'Excellent team, very professional - always delivers a quality outcome.'

'Claire Bell is an excellent partner with a reassuring and supportive attitude. Always delivers a quality product on time. Friendly and approachable but completely professional.'

'This practice is responsive, direct, pragmatic and efficient and very cost effective which leads to a happy client. They have a very practical and pragmatic 'can do' approach which leads to the client reaching where it wants to be with a minimum of fuss.'

Key Clients

Trustee of the Universities Superannuation Scheme

Trustee of the Royal Insurance Group Pension Scheme

Trustee of the VINCI Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Jacob's Bakery Retirement Benefit Scheme

Trustee of the Trinity Retirement Benefit Scheme

Trustee of the Medical Research Council Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Warburtons Pension and Life Assurance Plan

Trustees of the Navigator Terminals UK Pension and Life Assurance Plan

Trustee of the Svitzer Marine Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Horserace Totalisator Board (1968) Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advising the trustees of the pension plans of a large logistics company in relation to GMP equalisation.
  • Advising the trustee of the scheme of a large insurance company on a large scale rules consolidation exercise involving approximately 50 separate amending deeds and two bulk transfer agreements.
  • Advising the trustees of a scheme of a large bulk liquid storage provider in relation to covenant, risk management and other legal issues arising from a £220m refinancing of the principal employer's business.
  • Advising the UK's largest structural steel company in relation to the group's participation in a new master trust arrangement.
  • Advising the trustees of the pension scheme of the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company in relation to liability management and benefit redesign.
Leading individuals

Ben Miller - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

Kate Beech - DLA Piper UK LLP

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North West: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy - ranked: tier 1


DLA Piper UK LLP stands out for its expertise across new nuclear build and decommissioning, renewable energy and embedded generation mandates and it is instructed by sponsors, developers and funders.  The team has also advised waste contractors and investors on waste projects and is able to handle contentious work in the energy sector. The team is engaged on local, national and international energy mandates. Darren Walsh heads the team and Andrew S. Davies is active in the waste and water sectors. Legal director Ben Morton is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Darren Walsh

Other key lawyers:Andrew S. Davies; Paul Giles; David Moss Ben Morton


Darren Walsh has vast knowledge of the energy sector

Key Clients

Kelda Water Services


Korea Electric Power Corporation


Renewi UK Services (formerly Shanks Waste Management Ltd)

Vital Energi Solutions


Liverpool Combined Authority - Mersey Tidal One


Ansaldo Nuclear



Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority

United Utilities

GE / Alstom Power

BAM Nuttall

BAM Infra

Work highlights

  • Advised Brookfield Asset Management on its acquisition of Westinghouse Electricity Company.
  • The team is advising KEPCO on the development, financing, procurement, construction, testing, commissioning, operation and maintenance of a nuclear power plant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • The team is advising Chinese General Nuclear Global Uranium on a number of contracts for the book transfer of uranium assets and the provision of enrichment services.
  • The team is instructed by Sellafield on various matters relating to the national and international transportation of nuclear materials.
  • Advised Mettis Aerospace on an energy supply contract to install operate and maintain a natural gas powered combined heat and power plant at Mettis' aerospace manufacturing facility.
Leading individuals

Darren Walsh - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

Ben Morton - DLA Piper UK LLP

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


DLA Piper UK LLP 's projects, energy and infrastructure team handles a raft of local, national and international projects. It stands out for its expertise in transport, health, education, energy, nuclear, waste and water sector projects and it is engaged by sponsors, funders and procuring authorities. PPP and PFI projects and disputes are also a key area of expertise. Team head Andrew S. Davies stands out for his waste and water sector expertise, while Liam Cowell regularly handles infrastructure projects. Legal directors Ben Morton and Sidrah Arif, who is experienced in project finance transactions, are also noted, as is senior associate Lorna Pattison.

Practice head(s):Andrew S. Davies

Other key lawyers:Liam Cowell; Darren Walsh; Alison Fagan; Ben Morton; Sidrah Arif; Lorna Pattison


'Alison Fagan provides high-quality and timely advice.'

'Darren Walsh has outstanding energy sector knowledge.'

'Andrew S. Davies' knowledge of the PFI sector, particularly in the waste and water sectors, is pretty much unparalleled.'

'Lorna Pattison has a superb eye for the detail and is always brilliantly prepared and has a pleasant demeanour but can be tenacious when called for.'

'The team has a responsive and pragmatic approach.'

Key Clients

Welsh Government

Balfour Beatty Investments

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Vital Energi

Sellafield Ltd

Transport for Greater Manchester

Kelda Water Services Limited

Mersey Gateway Crossing Board

InfraRed Capital Partners

Semperian PPP Investment Partners

Dalmore Capital


Liverpool Combined Authority - Mersey Tidal One


London Energy

Brookfield Asset Management

Avrenim Facilities Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Kelda Group on its exit from the PPP sector through the disposal of its non-regulated projects portfolio.
  • Advised the Greater Manchester Combined Authority  on the re-procurement of waste management services across Greater Manchester following the termination of its existing waste PFI project.  
  • Advised the Welsh Ministers in relation to the procurement of the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of Sections 5 and 6 of the A465.
  • Advising Sellafield on its procurement for the provision of circa £1bn of 3m3 boxes to facilitate the storage of retrieved nuclear waste.
  • Advised Vital Energi Solutions on the district heat and power network for the Manchester Civic Quarter.  
Leading individuals

Andrew S. Davies - DLA Piper UK LLP

Liam Cowell - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

Ben Morton - DLA Piper UK LLP

Lorna Pattison - DLA Piper UK LLP

Sidrah Arif - DLA Piper UK LLP

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North West: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 1


DLA Piper UK LLP is 'very dedicated and the team is quick to understand issues at hand'. It advises its local government clients across the UK on a range of matters such as corporate and commercial projects, planning, outsourcing; real estate; projects; pensions; and disputes. Peter Brook is experienced in large scale outsourcing transactions, legal director Sophie Stewart handles planning, highways and compulsory purchase matters. Legal director Gemma  Cowap handles commercial matters, while Sarah Bell and Liam Cowell , who is 'always available', jointly head the team.

Practice head(s):Liam Cowell; Sarah Bell

Other key lawyers:Sophie Stewart; Peter Brook; Ben Miller; Gemma Cowap; Paddy Dwyer


'The team is very responsive team and shows leadership.'


Key Clients

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council

Cumbria County Council

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority

Halton Borough Council / Mersey Gateway Crossing Board

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Liverpool Vision

The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime

Transport for Greater Manchester



Work highlights

  • Advising on all aspects of Cheshire West and Chester Council ("CWAC")'s major regeneration scheme at Chester Northgate, which included planning, heritage, CPO, highways and open space advice.
  • Advised the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on the re-procurement of waste management services across Greater Manchester following the termination of its existing waste PFI project.
  • Advised Mersey Gateway Crossing Board/Halton Borough Council on outstanding compensation claims.  
  • Advised Transport for Greater Manchester on a variation to its existing agreement for the supply of light rail rolling stock for the Metrolink system.
  • Advised Merseytravel on a ground-breaking digital railway project to provide a digital Train Connectivity and Information System (TCIS) which will enable state of the art train management systems and passenger information, CCTV and public announcement systems on the new trains to communicate with the Merseyrail Electrics control room.
Leading individuals

Sarah Bell - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

Gemma Cowap - DLA Piper UK LLP

Sophie Stewart - DLA Piper UK LLP

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North West: Real estate

Commercial property: Liverpool
Commercial property: Liverpool - ranked: tier 1


DLA Piper UK LLP provides an 'excellent all round service'. The team advises on local, regional and national real estate projects, and is best known for its investment experience where it is regularly instructed by blue-chip clients. Development work is also a strong area for the team which has experience in significant regeneration projects. Philip Rooney has a 'wealth of experience'; Richard Thompson is a key contact for investment work, as is Alison Mills. Legal directors Richard Ascroft and Hannah Cheminais, who handles major development projects, are also key figures. North West real estate department head Mark Beardwood heads the Liverpool-based team.

Practice head(s):Mark Beardwood 

Other key lawyers:Philip Rooney; Richard Thompson;  Alison Mills; Richard Ascroft; Hannah Cheminais


A very engaging team at all levels, which consistently provides good quality advice.

They team is very commercial and pro-active.

Richard Thompson is extremely commercial, trusted and dependable.

Philip Rooney has an amazing memory and if there is a particularly complex issue he is always happy to give a clear and well advised view.

Mark Beardwood and Richard Ascroft have excellent commercial instincts and have proven to be completely unflappable in the face of very difficult circumstances.

Mark Beardwood has outstanding business and commercial knowledge and understands what is important to the client in legal transactions.

Key Clients

Schroder Real Estate Managers

Radisson Hotels

Universities Superannuation Scheme

Picton Capital

MRC Pension Trust

London Borough of Southwark Pension Fund

John Lewis Partnership Pension Fund

CBRE Global Investors

Heineken UK

Liverpool Football Club

Downing Developments

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council

Elan Homes

St James Place UK

USF Nominees

Pace Trustees

Work highlights

  • Represented Liverpool Football Club in its new £50m training campus development.  
  • Advised new client Radisson Hotels on a £30m hotel development in Liverpool.  
  • Represented group companies of Heineken UK on the packaged disposal of 76 pubs.
  • Advised North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner on the acquisition of a building used as a call centre on St Asaph business park for £2.634m.
  • Advised Downing Developments on the acquisition of a development site in Lambeth with a contract conditional upon obtaining a satisfactory planning consent with complex provisions regarding rights of light, procuring vacant possession and overage.  
Leading individuals

Mark Beardwood - DLA Piper UK LLP

Philip Rooney - DLA Piper UK LLP

Next Generation Partners

Richard Thompson - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

Hannah Cheminais - DLA Piper UK LLP

Richard Ascroft - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Commercial property: Manchester
Commercial property: Manchester - ranked: tier 3


DLA Piper UK LLP is experienced in handling development and investment work for public and private sector clients. The team advises on high-profile developments in Manchester and across the UK, and has particular expertise in funding and in structuring specialised assets. Department head Mark Beardwood acts for a number of investment clients; Robert Arnison stands out for his development work expertise; and Tom Kelsall leads on development and development-funding matters and co-heads the North West real estate finance team.

Practice head(s):Mark Beardwood

Other key lawyers:Robert Arnison; Tom Kelsall; Paul Burney

Key Clients

Transport for Greater Manchester

HS2/Secretary of State for Transport

Barings Real Estate Advisors

Greater Manchester Pension Fund

Capital & Centric

Balfour Beatty Investments

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

CBRE Global Investors

Houghton Regis Development Consortium

FI: Real Estate

Solutus Advisors

Beaufort Capital

Maslow Capital

The Soller Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the vendors on the £100m sale of the Microsoft Campus, Reading, a trophy investment asset acquired by a consortium of South Korean institutional investors.
  • Advised Capital & Centric on its redevelopment of the iconic Littlewoods Buildings, Liverpool including the agreement for lease entered into with Twickenham Studios.
  • Advised Houghton Regis Development Consortium on the development of an urban extension at Houghton Regis North, extending to 630 acres, to create more than 5,150 houses, a commercial / logistics space in excess of 2.25m sq ft, three new schools and around 190 acres of open space.
  • Advised on the strategic disposals of various former Toys R Us capital value properties from within the Duke portfolio.
  • Advised MRC Pension Trust on the purchase of a portfolio of industrial estates from CBRE Global Investors.
Leading individuals

Mark Beardwood - DLA Piper UK LLP

Next Generation Partners

Tom Kelsall - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Construction - ranked: tier 2


DLA Piper UK LLP is 'strong on contentious construction work' and is active across domestic and cross-border disputes. The energy, water, transport and social infrastructure sectors are key areas of focus. In Manchester, the 'brilliant' Paul Giles heads the contentious construction team which includes the 'very experienced' David Moss and Alison Fagan, who is 'exceptional' on PPP and PFI projects and disputes, as well as senior associates Anthony Willis and Robin Jack. On the non-contentious side, the team in Liverpool, which includes senior associate Jennifer Price-Thomas, acts on high-value, development work for developers, corporate occupiers and institutional funds. Elspeth Christie has joined Brabners LLP.

Practice head(s):Paul Giles

Other key lawyers:David Moss; Alison Fagan; Anthony Willis; Robin Jack; Jennifer Price-Thomas

Key Clients

United Utilities Water



Bachy Soletanche

BAM Construct UK

BAM Nuttall

Severfield (UK)

Integrated Bradford LEP

General Electric/Alstom Power

Yorkshire Water

Downing Group


Semperian PPP Investment Partners

InfraRed Capital Partners


Merlin Entertainments

Transport for Greater Manchester

Manchester City Council/Manchester Life

Cheshire West & Chester Council

Wood Group (incorporating AMEC Foster Wheeler)

Renewi UK Services (formerly Shanks Waste Management)

Balfour Beatty Investments

Dalmore Capital

Royal Mail Group

Kelda Water Services/Alauna Renewable Energy

Griffen UK Logistics Fund

Quintain Estates

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council


BAM Infra BV

BAM International

Work highlights

  • Acted for The Boston Consulting Group UK in relation to its pre-letting of the fifth to eighth floors at 80 Charlotte Street.
  • Acted for Consort Healthcare (Fife) in advancing a claim in the Scottish Court of Session arising as a result of the defective installation and maintenance at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy.
  • The team provides continuing advice and support to Cheshire West & Chester Council on Chester Northgate, a new shopping and leisure development in the heart of Chester.
  • Advising Radisson on the development of a new Radisson RED Hotel at North Western Halls,  an iconic listed building in Liverpool.
  • Advising Global Student Accommodation on the construction documentation for all of its UK student accommodation schemes.
Leading individuals

Alison Fagan - DLA Piper UK LLP

David Moss - DLA Piper UK LLP

Paul Giles - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

Robin Jack - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Planning and environment
Planning and environment - ranked: tier 3


DLA Piper UK LLP's planning department is a 'close knit team which is always responsive'. It handles the full range of planning work and is regularly engaged on high-profile infrastructure and energy projects, acting for public and private sector clients. Recently promoted legal director Sophie Stewart specialises in development planning and compulsory purchase and is increasingly involved in the planning aspects of major regeneration and infrastructure projects. Leeds-based Andrew Batterton heads the Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool-based planning teams.

Practice head(s):Andrew Batterton (Leeds)

Other key lawyers:Sophie Stewart


Sophie Stewart is an exceptional lawyer who has deep knowledge of the planning system with experience including infrastructure projects, CPO matters, appeals, the s106 regime and High Court actions.

Sophie Stewart is friendly, approachable, and is empathetic to the commercial needs of her clients.

Key Clients

Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council

Liverpool City Council

Highways England


Mersey Gateway Crossings Board Limited and Halton Council

Sefton Borough Council

Cadent Gas/National Grid Electricity Transmission

Elan Homes

Downing Developments

East West Railway Company


Work highlights

  • Advised Liverpool and Sefton Councils to successfully secure the consents needed to deliver a major highways improvement scheme, including access to land and compensation advice.    
  • Advised Sefton Council to secure a s6 delegation from Highways England to deliver a critical motorway junction scheme, which also involved the consenting, rights of way and land acquisition to deliver the scheme.
  • Providing ongoing advice to Mersey Gateway Crossing Board and Halton Borough Council on compensation claims and Lands Tribunal references, and challenges to the bridge tolling regime.
  • Advising HS2 on the delivery of Phase 1 of the HS2 project.
  • Advising on all aspects of Cheshire West and Chester Council's major regeneration scheme at Chester Northgate, including planning, heritage, CPO, highways and open space advice.
Rising stars

Sophie Stewart - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2


DLA Piper UK LLP stands out for its expertise in advising property investor clients, and is regularly instructed by pensions funds and institutional investors. Telecoms and complex dilapidations cases are a key area of expertise and the team also handles management work for clients with large property portfolios. Department head Martin Griffiths handles a range of complex landlord and tenant disputes, telecoms matters, rights to light issues, release of restrictive covenant cases and major development projects. Legal director Rachael Jones is also a key figure.

Practice head(s):Martin Griffiths; Mark Beardwood (real estate team head)

Other key lawyers:Rachael Jones


Martin Griffiths and Rachael Jones are very knowledgeable and give very balanced advice

The team is very commercial

Martin Griffiths provides consistently good and balanced advice

Rachael Jones is extremely good, knowledgeable and efficient

Key Clients

Barclays Bank

Liverpool Football Club


Universities Superannuation Scheme

USF Nominees Limited (Unilever's Pension Fund)



Akzo Nobel (Dulux)

FI Real Estate Management

Work highlights

  • Representing client in relation to obtaining relief from forfeiture of an ex-BHS retail unit.
  • Acted for a landlord client on a high-value dilapidations claim.
  • Acted for a city council on a CPO disturbance claim relating to a new road.
  • Acted for a  landlord client on a number of company voluntary arrangements in the retail sector.  
  • Acting for FI Real Estate Management on the removal of restrictive covenants preventing redevelopment.
Leading individuals

Martin Griffiths - DLA Piper UK LLP

Rising stars

Rachael Jones - DLA Piper UK LLP

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North West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1


DLA Piper UK LLP's team, which takes a 'business-first approach' works with both national and international clients on a wide range of matters relating to cloud computing, IT and business process outsourcing and insourcing, systems integration, service transitions and procurement. Other areas of expertise include data protection, privacy compliance, digital strategies, data audits and GDPR. Key client sectors include financial services, manufacturing and industrial. Edinburgh-based John McKinlay and Liverpool-based Sarah Bell, who specialises in IT-related procurements, co-head the team, while Lee Brierley leads the Manchester technology and sourcing team. Stephen Wright is also regarded as a stand-out partner for his commercial approach.

Practice head(s):John McKinlay; Sarah Bell

Other key lawyers:Peter Brook; Lee Brierley; Paddy Dwyer; Luke Stubbs; David Booth; Stephen Wright


'A really effective and very strong TMT team.'

'Good knowledge of IT matters and a clear understanding of commercial issues from the perspective of the client. The team takes a business issues first approach rather than a legal issues first approach.'

'Steve Wright stands out. He has good personal understanding of IT matters. He really makes an effort to understand the business problem being addressed. He can challenge the commercial thinking as well as the legal thinking.'

'Sarah Bell is a strong negotiator and master of the detail of a contract.'

Key Clients

Beaconsfield Footwear Ltd / Hotter

Biffa Group Limited

Cabinet Office

Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


Globe Union

HCL Technologies

Key Retirement Group Limited


Mitrefinch Limited

Mobysoft Limited

NCC Group


Saudi Telecom Company

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

The Hut Group (THG)

Transport for the North

Verna Group International

Work highlights

  • Advised Biffa Group Limited on a major contract reset in relation to its procurement of a new ERP system.
  • Advised DEFRA on the procurement of managed desktop services as part of its overhaul of IT provision across the department.
  • Advised Merseytravel on a groundbreaking digital railway project to provide a new system which will enable state of the art train management systems.
  • Advised Transport for the North on its establishment of a multi-modal account-based smart ticketing scheme.
  • Advised Key Retirement Group on the strategic rationalisation and outsourcing of material components of its IT infrastructure.
Leading individuals

Lee Brierley - DLA Piper UK LLP

Stephen Wright - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2


DLA Piper UK LLP represents big-name clients on IP litigation across industries including retail, finance, manufacturing and pharma. Areas of expertise include patents, trade marks, designs, disputes and transactions. Co-head of team Lee Brierley focuses on non-contentious IP, with particular experience in relation to brand acquisitions and licensing, technology partnering arrangements and licensing and manufacturing agreements. Liverpool-based Peter Brook, who also co-heads the team, specialises in technology IP matters. The team recently advised the London Stock Exchange Group on a successful claim for trade mark infringement.

Practice head(s):Lee Brierley; Peter Brook

Other key lawyers:Jim McDonnell 


'Jim McDonnell is engaging, keen to learn about the business, down to earth, good with internal clients and he is clearly very knowledgeable’.

Key Clients





Premier League

Newell Brands


GE Healthcare

AO World plc

The Wheatsheaf Group

Work highlights

  • Advising The National Biodiversity Network Trust on management and enforcement of IP rights,
  • Advised the London Stock Exchange Group on a successful claim for infringement of core trade marks.
  • Providing brand portfolio management and IP enforcement advice for AO World.

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.‚Ä©
    - DLA Piper UK LLP

Legal Developments in the UK

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