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Acuity Legal Limited

3 ASSEMBLY SQUARE, BRITANNIA QUAY, CARDIFF BAY, CARDIFF, CF10 4PL, WALES
Tel:
Work 029 2048 2288
Fax:
Fax 029 2049 5588
DX:
200750 CARDIFF BAY
Web:
www.acuitylegal.co.uk
Cardiff, Swansea

Wales

Public sector
Public sector - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Legal Limited (Cardiff)

Acuity Legal Limited’s β€˜excellent’ public sector team advises Welsh and English public and private sector clients on a wide spectrum of local government and administrative law, including procurement and state aid advice, and complex and innovative commercial arrangements to facilitate public service delivery. Deryn Rees has an extensive track record advising on complex funding structures to facilitate PFI/PPP schemes and other commercial arrangements. The team was recently strengthened by the arrival in January 2017 of associate Kathryn Carosi; formerly in-house counsel at Swansea City Council, Carosi is one of numerous lawyers in the team with former in-house public sector experience including the β€˜astute and commercial’ Craig Griffiths, who previously acted as a local government lawyer, and associate Laura Mitchell, who was recently on secondment with West Sussex County Council. Recent highlights include advising Wrexham County Borough Council on the disposal of land and delivery of the Β£10.5m Maes y Dderwen housing scheme, which will provide housing for older people as well as associated community facilities. The team has also advised West Sussex County Council on a number of procurement processes, including fleet vehicle maintenance and breakdown contracts and the letting of a framework for the provision and maintenance of highways works and signage.

Leading individuals

Deryn Rees - Acuity Legal Limited

Next generation lawyers

Laura Mitchell - Acuity Legal Limited

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Wales: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Cardiff and South Wales
Corporate and commercial: Cardiff and South Wales - ranked: tier 1

Acuity Legal Limited (Cardiff)

Led by Steve Berry, Acuity Legal Limited’s six-partner team attracts praise for its β€˜prompt and value-for-money service’. Its expertise covers the spectrum of corporate and M&A work, including advising on private equity led transactions, joint venture (JV) structuring and corporate restructurings. Berry acted alongside β€˜talented’ senior associate Phillip Pugh for the majority shareholders of Swansea City FC on a Β£110m share sale to US investors. Christian Farrow continues to handle small-cap M&A for Capita, recently advising it on its acquisition of e-learning business Brightwave Holdings and digital marketing agency Orange Bus. Beverley Jones acted for Brickability Group and its management team on the private equity backed management buyout (MBO) of Brickability UK Holdings. The β€˜gifted’ Paul Lowe regularly handles corporate work for private and public sector clients including the Welsh Government, CISCO and Scansource, and is praised for his β€˜understanding of how best to meet a client’s objectives; he is great at adapting his approach to the context and the opposing party’. Rounding out the team are Rachelle Sellek, who handles a range of corporate and commercial work, and Kerry Beynon, whose arrival in November 2016 from JCP Solicitors enhances the firm’s capability in IP and IT-related commercial matters.

Leading individuals

Christian Farrow - Acuity Legal Limited

Paul Lowe - Acuity Legal Limited

Steve Berry - Acuity Legal Limited

Next generation lawyers

Phillip Pugh - Acuity Legal Limited

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Wales: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 4

Acuity Legal Limited (Cardiff, Swansea)

Acuity Legal Limited’s nascent team was strengthened by the arrival in November 2016 of several litigators from Swansea-based firm Douglas-Jones Mercer, including β€˜tenacious and bullish litigator’ Hugh Hitchcock, who now heads the team alongside David Hudson. Although it is in its infancy, the team is viewed as a destination litigation practice as a consequence of the strong credentials of Hitchcock (who has β€˜an extraordinary ability to pull in work’), Hudson, β€˜thoughtful and perceptive’ associate Aisha Wardell – β€˜who is eminently capable of mixing it with larger firms in big-ticket cases’ – and senior associate Clare Tregoning, who is β€˜up-and-coming in the field of property litigation’. Recent highlights include successfully securing judgment in default on behalf of Phoenix Music International in a breach of contract claim concerning the distribution of musical tracks.

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Wales: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Acuity Legal Limited (Cardiff)

Leveraging its reputation as a β€˜first-class’ commercial property firm, Acuity Legal Limited is particularly active in real estate financing deals on behalf of banks, investment managers and developers. Beverley Jones is active across a range of work including acquisition finance and project financing; however she is best known for her work within the healthcare sector and recently advised LifeCare Residencies on the Β£16m refinancing of a loan facility with Cheyne Capital in connection with LifeCare’s new luxury retirement village in Battersea, London. Damien Cann has been involved in various innovative investments into the housing sector; he recently acted alongside the β€˜well-informed and commercial’ Jonathan Geen on the More Homes Bromley bond funded homelessness project. Steve Morris is also well regarded for real estate finance work on behalf of clients including Principality Building Society, Hodge Bank and Aberdeen Asset Management.

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Wales: Human resources

Employment: Cardiff
Employment: Cardiff - ranked: tier 4

Acuity Legal Limited

Acuity Legal Limited’s four-lawyer team provides β€˜sound legal and commercially driven advice’ across a range of employment matters including those associated with corporate transactions such as TUPE issues. The team provides day-to-day employment and HR support for a growing number of corporate clients that have signed up to the firm’s Acuity Counsel service; Alamo Group, Trinity Brands UK and Progressive Technology Solutions have all utilised the service. β€˜Very knowledgeable and responsive’ team head Claire Knowles was recently promoted to partner and β€˜will always advise on the legal position but do so in a way that is cognisant on how best to approach a situation in practical terms’.

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Wales: Projects, energy and natural resources

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

Acuity Legal Limited (Cardiff)

Acuity Legal Limited fields an β€˜efficient and responsive’ multi-disciplinary commercial projects and public law team that provides β€˜pragmatic and commercial advice’ to public sector clients and private entities engaged in a range of commercial projects, with an emphasis on the waste, education and regeneration sectors. The firm’s recent appointment to the National Procurement Services (NPS) framework for handling projects work in south Wales underscores its reputation in the market and has already manifested itself in numerous public sector engagements. Team head Deryn Rees provides β€˜calm and commercial guidance through difficult and complex issues’, and is able to leverage her previous experience as a chartered accountant to provide innovative funding structures on PFI/PPP schemes. Craig Griffiths β€˜brings a great deal of relevant experience to bear from his time as a lawyer in local government’. Associate Kathryn Carosi, who recently joined the team in January 2017 from Swansea City Council’s in-house legal team, further strengthens the team in this regard. β€˜Responsive and pragmatic’ corporate partner Christian Farrow heads the firm’s specialist energy team and has particular expertise advising on renewable matters; he recently advised Kinetica Energy on its sale of an onshore wind project to Fifty ID. Other clients include Eco2, Dulas, Conergy UK and Cynnal Cymru.

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Wales: Real estate

Commercial property: Cardiff
Commercial property: Cardiff - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Legal Limited

The β€˜very commercial’ four-partner team at Acuity Legal Limited provides a β€˜proactive and well-informed’ service to developers, banks and asset managers on regional matters, as well as those stretching beyond the confines of the local market. In the Welsh market, the firm remains active advising on some of the highest-profile matters including its continued involvement for Rightacres Property on the Cardiff Central Square development. β€˜Solution-focused’ team head Jonathan Geen and the β€˜well-informed and approachable’ Gareth Baker advised Rightacres Property on the Β£36m sale of the One Central Square development to Legal & General Pensions, and Baker is advising the same client on the granting of the leases to various businesses including Hodge Bank and RBS. Praised for his β€˜broad knowledge of commercial property and development’, Baker also continues to advise Associated British Ports on its key development of Dolffin Quay in Cardiff Bay. Outside of Wales, affordable housing expert Damien Cann has handled a significant amount of work for social care provider Mears Group on the regeneration and management of housing across the south and east of England, including acting alongside Geen on a joint venture (JV) with the London Borough of Bromley aimed at tackling the temporary accommodation crisis affecting the London boroughs. Cann has also carved out a niche in relation to housing healthcare work and leads on the development of retirement communities for Lifecare and care provision for C.H.O.I.C.E. Other key figures include Steve Morris, who is noted for his planning expertise and for his track record in real estate finance and development work. Other clients include Hodge Bank, Principality Building Society and West Sussex County Council.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Geen - Acuity Legal Limited

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Legal Limited (Cardiff)

The β€˜very responsive’ and β€˜innovative’ four-lawyer team at Acuity Legal Limited provides a β€˜cost-effective service’ to many of the UK’s most prominent developers, contractors and lenders, and is praised for its ability to provide β€˜first-class advice in a very clear and concise way’. Rightacres Property remains a cornerstone client of the firm; β€˜exceptional’ team head James Williams and senior associate Jonathan Culley (who is praised for his β€˜willingness to give opinions and not just advice’) have been advising it on several major local projects, including the development and construction of Wales Broadcasting House and the Interchange Building (a high-profile mixed-use development in the centre of Cardiff). Other clients include Mears, Principality Building Society and Wolverhampton City Council.

Leading individuals

James Williams - Acuity Legal Limited

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Culley - Acuity Legal Limited

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Planning and environment
Planning and environment - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Legal Limited (Cardiff)

Acuity Legal Limited provides a β€˜prompt and commercially aware’ service on planning matters, acting in conjunction with its β€˜top-notch’ commercial property practice, as well as on standalone planning matters from the private and public sectors. The β€˜excellent’ Steve Morris regularly takes the lead on the most significant planning matters handled by the firm; his recent highlights include acting for Rightacres Property on the long-running and transformational Central Square development, and advising Associated British Ports on its development at Dolffin Quay at Cardiff Bay. Also recommended is Gareth Baker, who is also involved in the Dolffin Quay development. Damien Cann has particular expertise in the negotiation of affordable housing contributions. The team, which is appreciated for its β€˜real understanding of the peculiarities of the public sector’, was recently appointed to the NPS’s planning and environment panel for south Wales. Other clients include Greenbank Partnerships, Lifecare Residents, Beckerly Holdings, and South Wales Land Developments.

Leading individuals

Steve Morris - Acuity Legal Limited

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Legal Limited (Cardiff)

At Acuity Legal Limited, Damien Cann and Jonathan Geen are noted for bringing new funding solutions to the sector; recent highlights include acting for Mears Group on its joint venture with the London Borough of Bromley, which will acquire and refurbish 400 homes in the borough, financed by a Β£80m pension fund bond. Other clients include Principality Building Society, Plexus UK and Bridgend County Borough Council.

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Wales: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Legal Limited (Cardiff)

Now headed by the β€˜very knowledgeable and responsive’ Kerry Beynon following her arrival from JCP Solicitors in November 2016, Acuity Legal Limited advises software and communications companies across a range of work including on the drafting and negotiation of software licences and maintenance agreements, software development contracts, outsourcing contracts, data protection and e-commerce. Christian Farrow and associate Natalie Jones have handled IT-related matters for numerous clients including Creditsafe Business Solutions, who they advised on the revision of its website policies and updating its standard contracts relating to the use of online applications. Rachelle Sellek is also recommended. Other clients include IQE plc, Progressive Technology Solutions and MDS Technologies.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

Acuity Legal Limited (Cardiff)

Acuity Legal Limited provides a β€˜very strong level of service’ to clients from the creative industries and IT sector, and was strengthened on the contentious front by the arrival of the β€˜very knowledgeable’ Kerry Beynon from JCP Solicitors in November 2016. A good deal of work handled by the team has come through the firm’s subscription service Acuity Counsel, including advising new client Trinity Brands UK on the protection of its IP and various IP licensing arrangements. Corporate and commercial lawyer Christian Farrow has significant IP expertise, particularly as it relates to transactional work, and has handled numerous IP-related matters for core client Capita arising from its acquisition programme. Rachelle Sellek handles a range of commercial contract work involving IP issues. Other clients include Medaphor, IQE plc and Creditsafe Business Solutions.

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