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DLA Piper UK LLP

VICTORIA SQUARE HOUSE, VICTORIA SQUARE, BIRMINGHAM, B2 4DL, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 02073 490 296
Fax:
Fax 0121 262 5794
DX:
13022 BIRMINGHAM-1
Email:
Web:
www.dlapiper.com

West Midlands: Corporate and commercial

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

DLA Piper UK LLP

DLA Piper UK LLP’s corporate team is ‘very good, and responsive – it provides practical and appropriate advice on day-to-day matters and large corporate transactions.’ Noel Haywood and senior associate Gareth Davies advised Morgan Advanced Materials on the £47m sale of its UK electro-ceramics business to CeramTec, and Helly Hansen and its private equity owner Ontario Teachers Pension Plan on the purchase of Musto from Phoenix Equity Partners. As far as public M&A is concerned, Charles Cook delivers ‘practical advice with a very good depth of knowledge’ – he, working with the firm’s Johannesburg office, advised FirstRand on its £1.1bn purchase of former FTSE 250 bank Aldermore. He and senior associate Robert Newman also handled Clinigen Group’s £150m purchase of Quantum Pharma (a merger of two AIM-listed pharmaceutical companies). John Campion handles complex restructuring matters, alongside other matters, with Tim Lake’s practice also including complex cross border work. Other clients include the management shareholders of CPA Global, which Cook and senior associate Simon Wright advised on the sale of a majority stake from Cinven to Leonard Green & Partners. Jim Lavery is now at Jim Lavery Law Limited.

Leading individuals

Charles Cook - DLA Piper UK LLP

John Campion - DLA Piper UK LLP

Noel Haywood - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper UK LLP

In DLA Piper UK LLP’s Birmingham office, Mark Burgess and senior associate Nick Hinton advised Webjet on the tax elements of its £200m purchase of JacTravelGroup, and advised Morgan Advanced Materials on the sale of its UK electro-ceramics business to CeramTec. Other clients include Oval Real Estate, which it advised on its purchase of The Custard Factory building in Birmingham, and RBS, which it advised on its sale of Premier Place in London. The practice is also active in major corporate restructurings.

Leading individuals

Mark Burgess - DLA Piper UK LLP

Next generation lawyers

Nick Hinton - DLA Piper UK LLP

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West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Birmingham
Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP

DLA Piper UK LLP is ‘an excellent firm that provides a first-rate service' and which is 'very good at managing expectations’. The practice ‘has a reach far beyond Birmingham itself’, handling a number of cases with international element. Neil Bowker, who heads the firm’s national litigation and regulatory practice, is ‘a dynamic litigator who always goes the extra mile for clients’. He continues to represent Accident Exchange in a long-running multi-faceted case against expert witness company Autofocus, which allegedly ran a campaign of perjury concerning the cost of providing courtesy cars for car accident claimants; part of this included successful contempt proceedings brought by Accident Exchange against several former Autofocus employees. Nick Bamford (‘an astute litigator and excellent reader of legal runes’) heads the Birmingham team - he and senior associate Amanda Rowley represented Ngali Holdings, a Rwandan publicly-owned company, in defending several claims brought by a financial adviser concerning fees regarding advice on funding of hydroelectric projects. New partner and ‘intellectual powerhouse’ Philip Kelly is also working with the firm’s Edinburgh office as external advisers to the Magnox inquiry, which concerns a bungled procurement exercise by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority concerning the clean-up of several nuclear power stations including Wylfa in Angelsey and Sizewell A. In addition, he and Bowker successfully defended David Wilson Homes from a claim brought by another property developer. Senior associate Adam Johnson ‘is a superb associate who manages his clients very well’.

Leading individuals

Neil Bowker - DLA Piper UK LLP

Nick Bamford - DLA Piper UK LLP

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West Midlands: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP

DLA Piper UK LLP, which represents both bank and non-bank lenders as well as corporate borrowers, ‘provides a full end-to-end service, allowing clients to focus on the commercial aspects of the deal’. HSBC is a key bank relationship: Brian Woolcock advised it on the refinancing of an existing loan provided to St Modwen Properties, while Stephen Bottley headed a team advising an HSBC-led syndicate on a £65m financing of a secondary buyout of Brintons Carpets. Borrower-side representation includes Bottley advising Clinigen Group on the financing of its acquisition of Quantum Pharma, funded by three of the Big Five banks. Non-bank lender work includes advising Ares Capital Corporation and two other investment funds on a $75m facility provided to SoundCloud. Other highlights concern debt restructuring and invoice financing, an area in which it advises RBS Invoice Finance. Ben Tumelty is a key senior associate.

Leading individuals

Brian Woolcock - DLA Piper UK LLP

Next generation lawyers

Ben Tumelty - DLA Piper UK LLP

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

DLA Piper UK LLP

DLA Piper UK LLP is a source of ‘excellent service and team provides very practical advice and guidance; with the number of quality people in the team there is always someone available to help’. The firm is ‘able to handle all types of work’, with a strong focus in bank creditor and administrator representation. Huw Dolphin is ‘a strong operator, with good knowledge and real understanding of situations’ – he headed a team which advised Lloyds Banking Group as primary bankers to Anton Group, a printing company which collapsed in April 2017 – subsequently, several directors of the company were charged with cheating the public revenue. John Jeffreys, who ‘pays strong attention to detail and protects clients positions’, led a team advising RBS Invoice Finance as creditor and Grant Thornton as administrators of Wellgrain Limited. Other clients include PwC and Amber Real Estate Investments, which Jeffreys advises on legacy issues following its purchase of Bernard Matthews out of administration in 2016. Another name to note is legal director Charlotte Duce , who is ‘very knowledgeable & provides very professional support’, plus senior associates Deborah Brown and Tom Swain, who ‘always makes himself available and provides excellent advice’.

Leading individuals

Huw Dolphin - DLA Piper UK LLP

Next generation lawyers

Charlotte Duce - DLA Piper UK LLP

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West Midlands: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper UK LLP

DLA Piper UK LLP  has a diverse skillset in employment, with a client roster that includes National Grid Plc, Merlin Entertainment and Hilton International Hotels (UK). Sandra Wallace  heads the employment practice nationally and has extensive experience in handling re-organisations, executive disputes and grievance issues.  Emma Phillips   is an expert in advising on high value contentious matters as well as the employment elements of cross-border transactions.  She recently advised Clarks on the employment aspects behind the restructuring of its business.

Leading individuals

Sandra Wallace  - DLA Piper UK LLP

Next generation lawyers

Emma Phillips - DLA Piper UK LLP

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West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham
Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper UK LLP

DLA Piper UK LLP’s Birmingham real estate team handles work covering deals ranging from infrastructure-related land purchases through to large-scale portfolio transactions. Monique Sutherland ‘takes ownership of legal issues and discussions and is quick to respond with well thought out, balanced advice’. She continues to advise Gulf Ventures on the development and leasing of a distribution park, on top of transactions concerning site purchases of infrastructure developments, as well as transactions of existing buildings with sitting tenants. Roger Collier advised Busy Bees Holdings on the sale and a sale and leaseback transaction concerning over 100 properties used for childcare. Fiona Thomson  is also a name of note. Simon Hambly left the firm for an in-house position.

Leading individuals

Monique Sutherland - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP

DLA Piper UK LLP handles heavyweight work including the planning aspects of major residential developments and national infrastructure projects. Trevor Ivory has ‘extensive planning experience and very good judgement’ – he and senior associate Amy Truman successfully represented West Midlands Pension Fund in an appeal against the refusal of permission for a thousand-home urban extension near Redcar. In addition, Ivory was instructed by Hopkins Homes in 2017 Supreme Court case Hopkins Homes v Suffolk Coastal District Council concerning the implementation of the National Planning Policy Framework’s “tilted balance” provision in favour of development in the absence of an up-to-date sustainable development plan. Howard Bassford (who relocated from London to the Birmingham office and is ‘enthusiastic and knowledgeable – great to have on your side’) is advising the Department for Transport on drafting its proposed National Policy Statement for further airport capacity in the South East, and also continues to assists National Grid with the planning aspects of constructing a partially-underwater 200km power line to connect with the planned Moorside nuclear power station. HS2 Limited is a cornerstone client.

Leading individuals

Trevor Ivory - DLA Piper UK LLP

Next generation lawyers

Amy Truman - DLA Piper UK LLP

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West Midlands: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper UK LLP

DLA Piper UK LLP  is known for its ‘outstanding lawyers with a depth of industry knowledge’. Gareth Stokes  heads the practice and recently advised Serco on outsourcing its finance and accounting operations. He also assisted National Grid with negotiating its new SAP based HR system and worked with Allied Irish Banks on restructuring its IT infrastructure agreements with Wipro. Jen Dale  has recently been promoted to legal director, with notable expertise in IT and telecoms-related agreements in the financial services sector.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP

DLA Piper UK LLP  runs the gamut of IP services, with a client roster that includes General Electric, Heineken and McCain. Richard Taylor heads the practice and recently advised The Premier League on copyright infringement issues stemming from streaming services and bars broadcasting its content without a license. Also recommended are contentious IP specialist Satnam Sahota  and Gareth Stokes , who advised Clinigen Group on the IP aspects of its public takeover of Quantum Pharma.

Leading individuals

Richard Taylor - DLA Piper UK LLP

Next generation lawyers

Satnam Sahota - DLA Piper UK LLP

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Further information on DLA Piper LLP (US)

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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.

    - DLA Piper UK LLP

Legal Developments in the UK

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