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Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

3 TEMPLE QUAY, TEMPLE BACK EAST, BRISTOL, BS1 6DZ, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0345 415 0000
Fax:
Fax 0345 415 6900
DX:
200561 BRISTOL TEMPLE MEADS
Email:
Web:
www.womblebonddickinson.com

South West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Bristol
Corporate and commercial: Bristol - ranked: tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s corporate team often works alongside the firm’s energy and real estate departments and provides ‘high-level service’ in M&A and upstream and midstream oil and gas transactions. The department also has considerable experience in private equity transactions. In 2017, Tom Fitzpatrick assisted Rockpool Investments with its multimillion-pound investment in House of Hackney Group. Similarly, department head Simon Hewes advised Piper PE on a number of UK investments including its £10m investment in Flat Iron Restaurants, which marked the first investment of the client’s sixth fund. In the oil and gas space, the team is instructed by international energy groups in relation to increasingly cross-border mandates. Indeed, Hewes assisted a European global commodity group with the establishment of a joint venture in western Africa for the acquisition and operation of an African oil terminal. Following Bond Dickinson’s 2017 merger with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, the Bristol-based corporate group has benefited from the firm’s expanded cross-border service, which has attracted instructions from US-based corporates, particularly in the energy sector.

Leading individuals

Simon Hewes - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP provides ‘focused and pragmatic’ tax advice to its multinational client-base made up of private equity investors and corporates in the energy and financial services sectors. Managing associate and South West tax head Ronan Lowney has ‘excellent legal and commercial experience’ and is ‘willing to go the extra yard to help his clients achieve their goals’. Lowney assisted Canadian energy group Dream Alternatives Wind with its acquisition of 13 UK wind farm projects. The department has been increasingly involved in US-facing instructions following Bond Dickinson’s 2017 merger with US-based Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice. Indeed, Lowney, who has considerable experience in private equity transactions, advised Rockpool Private Equity on the sale of NCE Group to Park Technologies, a member of a multinational US-based technology group.

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South West: Crime, fraud and licensing

Licensing
Licensing - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson

Bond Dickinson LLP and US firm Womble Carlyle combined to form Womble Bond Dickinson in October 2017. The firm provides alcohol and gambling licenses across England, Wales and Scotland. Areas of expertise include estate management, such as DPS and DPM variations, policy and legislation advice, new license applications and maintaining licenses by review. It also provides due diligence on acquisition and disposal of licensed estates, including liquidations and investigations and prosecution work in relation to underage and unlawful sales. Recent work highlights include advising on the merger between Coral Racing and Ladbroke, forming Ladbroke Coral, and also drafting and lodging all new applications for licences for Ladbroke Coral. The firm continued to provide day-to-day licensing advice to the estate of Accor Hotels including handling DPS variations, review and variation of conditions on licences, applications and renewals of marriage and special treatment licences and due diligence issues arising from sales and acquisitions of property. Other clients include Ambassador Theatre Group, Squires Garden Centres, Cineworld UK, Clifton Hotels, Hilton Hotels, The Original Bowling Company Limited, QVC and Welcome Break. Ewan Macgregor heads the team and is ‘a very experienced lawyer in both gambling and alcohol licensing’.

Leading individuals

Ewen Macgregor - Womble Bond Dickinson

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South West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Bristol
Commercial litigation: Bristol - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP ’s ‘superbly professional’ disputes group is rated by clients for its work in the energy, financial services and insurance, manufacturing, retail and transport sectors. Having moved to Bristol from the firm’s West Country offices, Stephen Dilley heads the practice group and is noted for his ‘commercialism and even-headedness’. Dilley was instructed by ES Pipelines to handle a test case, which would determine liability for the costs of stranded assets following the energy market’s transition from traditional in-home dumb-meters to the use of smart-meters. Additionally, Victoria Brooks is on a team that is acting for the liquidator of a real estate sub contractor in relation to multiple tax evasion schemes entered into by a former director at the insolvent company. The department has also handled cases involving fraud and questions of information rights, procurement challenges and major regulatory litigation.

Leading individuals

Stephen Dilley - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Commercial litigation: The West Country
Commercial litigation: The West Country - ranked: tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s West Country disputes resolution group is instructed by public and private sector clients in high-value disputes. Gareth Kagan is the primary contact in the Plymouth office. Kagan represented a client in mediation proceedings regarding a multi-claim case revolving around alleged breaches of a supply contract; the team continues to advise on ongoing related disputes between the two parties. Associate Luke Holmes is acting for an energy company in a matter concerning the interpretation of a power purchase agreement. Associate Rebecca Hunter's clients include local authorities and a supermarket bank.

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

From pre-claim actions through to enforcement, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP provides comprehensive debt recovery advice to its large national and FTSE corporate clients. Gareth Kagan leads the debt recovery group and advises a pensions investor on a wide range of overpayment debt collections. Kagan also acted alongside regulatory lawyer Jon Cooper in connection with a case concerning the recovery of costs under the control of major accident hazards regulations. Stephen Dilley assists clients in the financial services sector with various seven-figure asset recovery matters. B&Q, British Gas, LV= and The Agricultural Mortgage Company are among the department’s major corporate clients.

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South West: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's ‘outstanding’ banking and financial services practice specialising in energy and real estate finance, restructuring and financial services regulation. Julian Kinsey has ‘a first-class reputation in the South West’ and advised a notable regional borrower on a significant equity and debt restructure. On the lender side, Kinsey acted as UK advisor to Union Bancaire Privee in connection with its £90m secured loan to a German real estate fund. In addition to handling a number of cross-border borrowing transactions, Philip Withey advised Lloyds Bank on a £39.2m ABL facility for the secondary management buyout of Taylor Maxwell. Following the firm’s formal tie-up with its long-time US partner-firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, the banking team has been an attractive option for clients with funding issues requiring US legal opinions and transatlantic regulatory expertise. Managing associate Tom Caplen is another key figure in the department. Additional lender clients include RBS, HSBC and Santander.

Leading individuals

Julian Kinsey - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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South West: Human resources

Employment: Bristol
Employment: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson

Womble Bond Dickinson's large employment team specialises in the retail, financial services, insurance, energy and fast moving consumer goods sectors, advising on litigation, TUPE, general insurance issues, strategic advice, dispute and exit-strategies, industrial action, industrial relations and collective bargaining. Key clients include Post Office, B&Q, H Samuel/Ernest Jones, Historic England, Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, and Hydro Plc. The firm is on AIG's employment panel and is one of a number of firms providing advice and support for insured businesses under AIG’s PrivateEdge policy. It also acts for TSB as the sole adviser on employment and employment litigation matters. Partner Tim Woodward joined from Allen & Overy LLP and leads the department with Joanne Boyle. The team has ‘good depth’ and offers ‘innovative and sensible solutions’.

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Employment: The West Country
Employment: The West Country - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson

Womble Bond Dickinson advises on a broad range of employment matters including grievances, employment litigation, TUPE, reorganisations, senior level exits, disciplinary matters and discrimination issues. Tim Woodward, who heads the team from Bristol, advised the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) on senior exits, sickness, the gender pay gap and grievances. It also successfully defended AHDB before the Employment Appeal Tribunal against a termination of service supply arrangements. Other highlights included advising Plymouth Community Homes on general employment matters including litigation, strategic advice and grievances. Litigation expert Emma Doble is ‘sensible and personable’.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson

Womble Bond Dickinson provides operational and enforcement advice in relation to identification of risks, strategic board-level advice, corporate governance, risk management, reputational issues and matters relating to international operations. The practice acted for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on the ongoing investigation and possible prosecutions arising from the explosions at Pembroke Oil Refinery in June 2011. It also acted for Carlsberg in a case arising from fatality and several serious injuries resulting from a leak of ammonia gas at one of its brewery locations. The firm has also been instructed by HSE in relation to its prosecution of Western Power Distribution, advising on expert evidence, disclosure and liaison with the police in relation to an employee fatality. Team head Jon Cooper is ‘one of the leading practitioners in the field’ and is ‘an excellent tactician’. He is supported by Womble Bond Dickinson, who specialises in the waste, construction, energy and manufacturing sectors.

Womble Bond Dickinson provides operational and enforcement advice in relation to identification of risks, strategic board-level advice, corporate governance, risk management, reputational issues and matters relating to international operations. The practice acted for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on the ongoing investigation and possible prosecutions arising from the explosions at Pembroke Oil Refinery in June 2011. It also acted for Carlsberg in a case arising from fatality and several serious injuries resulting from a leak of ammonia gas at one of its brewery locations. The firm has also been instructed by HSE in relation to its prosecution of Western Power Distribution, advising on expert evidence, disclosure and liaison with the police in relation to an employee fatality. Team head Jon Cooper is ‘one of the leading practitioners in the field’ and is ‘an excellent tactician’. He is supported by Womble Bond Dickinson, who specialises in the waste, construction, energy and manufacturing sectors.

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South West: Insurance

Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson

Womble Bond Dickinson  acts for insurers, self-insured entities and corporate clients in the transport, retail and manufacturing sectors. It provides advice in relation to employers' and public liability claims, motor claims, product liability claims and catastrophic injury claims such as brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputations and fatalities. ‘Sensible and personable’ David Brown heads the team and specialises in catastrophic injury and high-value claims and public liability cases such as noise induced hearing loss, asbestos, chronic pain, stress at work and travel claims. Clients include RATP (including London United Busways), AIG, Transdev, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, CNA Hardy and Tokio Marine Kiln.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP focuses on defending accountants, barristers, brokers, construction contractors, engineers, estate agents and IFAs in professional negligence claims. The Bristol-based practice is led by partner James Robins, who is particularly adept at handling high-value complex cases that involve property professionals. Ian Peacock left the firm for Clyde & Co LLP and Gary Oldroyd left for Browne Jacobson LLP. Clients include AIG Europe (UK), Liberty Mutual Insurance and Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund.

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South West: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP provides ‘expert agricultural and development advice and a good strategic approach’. Clients include the National Trust, English Heritage, the Society of Merchant Venturers, the National Farmers Union, and RwE. Head of the team Robert Drewett is ‘very experienced in tenancy and multi-owner scenarios’; he has expertise in acting for landowners on development deals and acts in connection with the sale and purchase of all kinds of rural property, the letting of land and other rural property, general asset management, the negotiation of minerals leases, the resolution of Agricultural Holdings Act issues, and on behalf of landowning charities. Simon Kirkup also leads the practice.

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

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has grown, with two junior hires over the last year who focus exclusively on advising the charity sector. Clients include the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Crisis UK, National Energy Action, National Trust, RNLI, and United Synagogue. The firm also advises Historic England on employment matters, including difficult grievance matters involving senior employees and complex TUPE issues arising from the ending of service supply arrangements. Recent work also includes advising the Academy of Medical Sciences on two large international grant-making programmes; an appointment as interim manager for Cardiff Sixth Form College; and acting on the £10.2m incorporation of the Stone Family Foundation from a charitable trust to a charitable company limited by guarantee. The latter was led by Mark Woodward, who heads up the practice along with Robert Drewett.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP provides ‘good expertise in this area', with lawyers who have 'extensive experience and excellent technical ability’. Mark Woodward is experienced in wills, trusts, trustees' powers and duties, tax and general private client work, delivering ‘reflective and thoughtful advice and excellent client skills’ to families, entrepreneurs and landowners. Legal director Christopher Kerr-Smiley focuses on trust restructuring, trust taxation and trustees' powers and duties, on behalf of trustees, landowners, executors, entrepreneurs and non-UK domiciled clients.

Next generation lawyers

Christopher Kerr-Smiley - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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South West: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP provides ‘excellent commercial advice’ to developers and power companies, with particular strength in major national and international development projects in the renewables and oil and gas sectors. In a standout matter, Simon Hughes advised Dudgeon Offshore Wind on the completion of its £1.5bn wind farm development in the North Sea. In a cross-border highlight Simon Hewes advised corporate joint ventures in the conventional energy sector on transactions in Africa and the Middle East. In the regulatory space, department head Chris Towner advised Ofgem on the development of a regime to competitively tender new separable transmission assets valued at over £100m. Towner also advised RES on its sale of the Port of Tyne battery storage project. Moreover, Stephen Dilley has experience in energy-sector disputes. Additional clients include Vattenfall, ES Pipelines and Beaufort Wind.

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South West: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP advises public sector clients on public procurement, regeneration and development projects, PPP projects, outsourcing, information law and regulatory matters. Jonathan Bower heads the team and focuses on infrastructure planning, energy and regeneration projects. Charles Robson deals with development and financing of infrastructure projects. Kevin Gibbs specialises in regeneration and infrastructure schemes. Patrick Wetherall deals with high-value real estate disputes. Katherine Douglas acted for Three Rivers District Council in relation to a mixed-use regeneration project in partnership with Countryside Properties (UK) and Home Group to develop over 500 new homes, this deal was worth around £172m. Another highlight includes the successful defence of West Berkshire District Council in the High Court in relation to a judicial review and procurement challenge brought by Faraday Development. A further highlight includes acting for Tewkesbury Borough Council and Watford Borough Council in relation to the purchase of an industrial site at Challenge House.

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South West: Real estate

Commercial property: Bristol
Commercial property: Bristol - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is ‘highly rated against its peer group’, and has particular strength in regeneration and development mandates, particularly in the renewable energy and rail infrastructure sectors. Simon Hughes, who leads the group’s energy and natural resources property practice, advised Dudgeon Offshore Wind on the leasing arrangements and associated rights for a £1.5bn offshore wind farm development and continues to assist the client with landowner negotiations for the 48km landward side cable. Hughes also acted for a consortium of local authorities in connection with the land acquisition and agreements for the reopening of passenger train services between Bristol and Portishead. Similarly, Katherine Douglas assisted Three Rivers District Council with the CPO strategy, planning process and development leases for the £172m mixed-use South Oxhey Initiative. Andrew Harding advised Bristol City Council on the conditional sale of a high profile site to the University of Bristol. Managing associate Mark Li assisted Network Rail Infrastructure with the grant of the South Western Franchise for passenger trains to First MTR South Western Trains, which involved leasing arrangements at 185 rail stations and eight light maintenance depots. Fiona O’Kane heads the real estate business group.

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Commercial property: The West Country
Commercial property: The West Country - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a wide-ranging property practice, which covers institutional investment, public sector development, and secured lending and property finance. Department head Craig Moore advised English Cities Fund on the £30m acquisition of a major residential development site in Plymouth. Moore also led a team including associate Lucie Hadwick that assisted Rittal with the lease acquisition for its new UK headquarters in Canary Wharf. The team also provides comprehensive real estate advice to Flybe Group, and has niche specialism in LPA receivership work. Also recommended are managing associate Paul Bramall, who has advised a clothing retailer on various letting transactions for new stores in London, and legal director Samantha Orluta. Additional clients include Plymouth University, Taylor Wimpey, Teignbridge District Council, and high street lenders such as NatWest, Lloyds Bank and HSBC.

Leading individuals

Craig Moore - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP handles a range of non-contentious matters in connection with energy developments and investment and funding transactions, and has acted for insurers and major contractors in ‘substantial construction-related disputes’. Department head David Skelton is advising Plymouth Community Homes on the construction aspects of the North Prospect residential development. Additionally, Skelton is assisting Network Rail Infrastructure with the restructuring of a number of engineering contracts in relation to the Crossrail project. In the contentious space, the team represented Renewable Energy Systems in a series of LCIA arbitrations with a Spanish EPC contractor. Associate Matthew Phipps , who has expeirience in construction and engineering disputes, joined the team from Clarke Willmott LLP in 2018.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

‘Responsive, pragmatic and technically sound’, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP provides a range of contentious and non-contentious environmental advice to clients in the oil and gas, waste, minerals and transport sectors. Managing associate Stephen Panton represented a major client of the team in an Environment Agency prosecution relating to a chemical spill allegedly responsible for the death of a large fish population. In the non-contentious space, the team often handles the environmental aspects of infrastructure development. Indeed, legal director Sarah Holmes advised a consortium of local authorities on the environmental assessments related to the reopening of passenger train services from Bristol to Portishead. Holmes is also noted for her ‘extensive knowledge of waste-related legislation’. Group head Jon Cooper has defended corporates in matters ranging from an oil spill to noise pollution. The Crown Estate, Network Rail Infrastructure and Shell UK are among the team’s key clients.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP handles contentious and non-contentious planning mandates for public and private sector clients involved in major national energy projects and regeneration schemes. Jonathan Bower and Katherine Douglas are assisting West Berkshire District Council with the planning aspects of a number of regeneration projects in Newbury, including a mixed-use development at Parkway and the regeneration of an industrial estate at London Road. In the energy space, Victoria Redman advised Vattenfall on the planning aspects of two new offshore wind farms. Similarly, Bower and Redman are handling the land negotiations and strategic planning issues for two multibillion-pound energy developments. The team has also advised corporates such as River Island on the impact of HS2 on its West London headquarters. Additional contacts include Kevin Gibbs and Richard Guyatt. Managing associate Jennifer Holgate joined the team from Pinsent Masons LLP, while Duncan Tilney left for Stephens Scown LLP.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Bower - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

As ‘one of the strongest regional firms’, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s property litigation  group ‘can compete alongside any City firm and is far above average on a national basis’. The firm’s ‘international clout’ was strengthened by its tie-up with US-based Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, which has resulted in an increase in international instructions, particularly in the energy sector. Patrick Wetherall is advising an international offshore wind farm operator on various issues relating to option agreements with over 40 landowners situated along an electricity cable route. Wetherall is also acting for Three Rivers District Council in a litany of landlord and tenant issues arising from the £150m South Oxhey regeneration project. James Rees is ‘extremely able and experienced’ and acts as client partner for a number of the department’s most significant clients, such as Network Rail Infrastructure, Ladbrokes Coral and National Trust. Sasha Hinton and Stephanie Doyle are managing associates in the department.

Leading individuals

Patrick Wetherall - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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South West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP advises on IT managed services, outsourcing, fintech and general IT services to public and private sector clients. Alastair Mitton heads the team and advises on licensing and large technology implementations focusing on financial services, insurance and communications sectors. He is ‘very easy to work with, conscientious and always keen to assist’. Gareth Jones specialises in high-value projects and recently advised Post Office on a multimillion-pound procurement project in relation to the appointment of a systems integrator prime contractor. Georgie Morgan-Giles is also recommended.

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Further information on Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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London

Offices in London

North

Offices in Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 and Newcastle upon Tyne NE1

Scotland

Offices in Aberdeen and Edinburgh

South East

Offices in Southampton

South West

Offices in Plymouth and Bristol

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

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