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Acuity Law

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
Email:
Web:
www.acuitylegal.co.uk
Cardiff, Swansea

Wales

Corporate and commercial
Corporate and commercial - ranked: tier 1

Acuity Law

Headed on the corporate front by Stephen Berry  and Paul Lowe, and for commercial work by Craig Griffiths,  Acuity Law's 11-partner team has the strength-in-depth to handle a wide range of transactional and ongoing commercial work within targeted industry sectors, including healthcare, education and renewable energy. The opening of a new office in London during 2018 (following the merger with two boutique firms) is testament to the firm's growing ambitions and need to service a client base that often extends way beyond its Welsh base of operations. Other noted partners include Christian Farrow, who excels at handling corporate deals in the renewables sector, and Phillip Pugh, whose focus on early stage work has led to his involvement on behalf of a number of university spin-out companies. Clients also continue to benefit from the firm’s in-house legal support subscription-based service - Acuity Counsel.

Practice head(s):Stephen Berry and Paul Lowe (Corporate) Craig Griffiths (Commercial)

Other key lawyers:Christian Farrow; Rachelle Sellek; Phillip Pugh; Jon Lawley; Rhodri Evans

Testimonials

'Very commercial and pragmatic.'

'An entrepreneurial approach.'

Key Clients

Capita Plc

Eco2 Limited

Portman Healthcare

IQE Plc

LifeCare Residences

Premier Forest Products

Verdion Properties

Zorin Finance

Tri-Wall International

Bluestone Resorts

Your World Recruitment

Lifetime Health and Fitness Training

MyPinPad

Newport Wafer Fab

Aqualisa

ComputerWorld

Dulas

Progressive Technology Solutions

Trinity Brands

The Sure Chill Company

Work highlights

  • The firm acted for ICSG on its acquisition of ProClincial Limited, a life sciences recruitment business with subsidiaries in the US, Germany, Switzerland and Singapore.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Ultrapharm Limited (a Welsh baker which specialises in "free from" goods), in its sale to listed food manufacturer Finsbury Foods.
  • The firm continues to act for Portman Dental Care on the acquisition of numerous dental practices.
  • Advised the Wealthify Group Limited in connection with an investment by Aviva.
  • Acted for the shareholders and the company on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Harris Pye to Joulon EU Acquisitions, a company owned by a Singapore fund controlled by global investment firm, KKR.
Leading individuals

Christian Farrrow - Acuity Law

Paul Lowe - Acuity Law

Stephen Berry - Acuity Law

Next Generation Partners

Phillip Pugh - Acuity Law

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Public sector
Public sector - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Law

Benefiting from the expertise of numerous lawyers with former local government/authority expertise, Acuity Law has an excellent perspective on public sector matters and continues to pick up a significant number top-quality projects from local authorities, both domestically and outside of Wales. Herself a former chartered accountant, Deryn Rees excels at handling innovative funding structures on PFI / PPP schemes, including the implementation of various "hybrid" structures involving both prudential funding and bank finance. Associate Laura Mitchell has an excellent reputation for handing high-value and complex public procurement matters.

Practice head(s):Deryn Rees

Other key lawyers:Craig Griffiths; Laura Mitchell

Key Clients

West Sussex Count Council

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

City of Wolverhampton Council

Silent Valley Waste Services

Careers Wales

Office for National Statistics

Ceredigion County Council

Work highlights

  • Advised West Sussex County Council on the procurement of its highways maintenance contract, one of the largest and highest profile of its kind.
  • Procurement and state aid advice to the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in its role as a key partner within the Swansea Bay city region and its major projects
  • Advising City of Wolverhampton Council on the allocation of grant aid to applicant organisations in relation to various regional, national and EU funds and in its role as Accountable Body for inter-authority and combined authority projects distributing national and EU funding.  
  • The firm provided advice to the client on requests for information received from the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act
  • The firm advised the council as to its contractual rights and obligations under a contract for waste treatment and management services.
Leading individuals

Deryn Rees - Acuity Law

Rising stars

Laura Mitchell - Acuity Law

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Wales: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Law

Although Acuity Law's litigation offering is still in its infancy, under the leadership of Hugh Hitchcock  - who himself has a 'superb instinct for a winning point' - it has generated some 'high-quality mandates that would be the envy of many London firms', including its recent work on behalf of an international fund on a minority shareholder dispute arising from a high-profile merger. The 'perceptive, thoughtful and tenacious' recently promoted partner Aisha Wardell  is a 'rising star' in the market, and has excellent credentials across general contractual disputes, shareholder litigation,  professional negligence and contentious insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):Hugh Hitchcock

Other key lawyers:Aisha Wardell

Testimonials

The team is growing in stature and visibility

Key Clients

Michael Cuddy

Grant Thornton

Portman Healthcare

Aqualisa Group

Harris Pye United Kingdom Limited

Wolverhampton City Council

Quantum Advisory

JB Global Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed by non-executive director and shareholder to recover payment of directors loan of circa £200,000 which had been withheld in breach of contract.
  • Instructed by national accounts to pursue antecedent transactions.
  • Instructed on behalf of a fund to pursue a multimillion -pound claim against an investment bank.
  • Instructed on behalf of a national developer in relation to a claim against a contractor.
Next Generation Partners

Aisha Wardell - Acuity Law

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Wales: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Acuity Law

Locally, Acuity Law has developed strong ties with specialist lenders for real estate financing matters, as well as handling financing work for high-profile developers and providing innovative financing solutions to clients within the affordable housing sector. The firm is also increasingly active handling matters in the South East and London (aided by a growing London presence) where it is building up a growing roster of alternative finance providers. Team head Beverley Jones provides 'very sound advice' to funds, corporates and lenders across a wide range of financing transactions.

Practice head(s):Beverley Jones

Other key lawyers:Steve Morris; Jonathan Geen; Damien Cann

Key Clients

Warwick Capital

Principality Building Society

Hodge Bank

Creditsafe Business Systems

Harris Pye Engineering

Group Limited

IQE Plc

Investec

Aberdeen Asset Management

LifeCare Residences Group

Zorin Finance

Work highlights

  • Advised Somerleigh Court  Ltd (part of LifeCare Residences Group) on the refinancing of its retirement residence comprising 68 apartments, resident amenities and a nursing home.
  • Acts for property developer Rightacres in the £400m financing by Legal and General of the Central Square development in Cardiff.
  • Acted for Principality Building Society on a facility made available to Tirion Group to enable the purchase of new homes developed by Ely Bridge Development Company on a 53-acre site to the west of Cardiff Centre, and the leasing of homes to Cadwyn Housing Association.

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Wales: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 3

Acuity Law

With an impressive roster of corporate clients as well as an increasing number of instructions on a standalone basis, Acuity Law offers 'professional and business focused advice' to employers and senior executives across the waterfront of employment matters, ranging from employee relations, workforce planning and TUPE transfers. Team head Claire Knowles is appreciated by clients for her 'sound and appropriate advice' on standalone matters and in the context of risk management for corporates through the provision of very effective training sessions. The team also handles a substantial amount of ongoing employment work under the firm’s Acuity Counsel service.

Practice head(s):Claire Knowles

Testimonials

'The team makes an effort to understand their client's organisations and operations, thus making the advice they provide practical.'

'Claire Knowles is personable, friendly, relaxed and engaged.'

 

Key Clients

Harris Pye Fabrication Limited

Newport Wafer Fab Limited

Graig Shipping Plc

IQE Plc

Rituals UK Limited

Alamo Group Europe Limited

Aqualisa Holdings

Voltcom Limited

Ice Arena (Wales) Limited

Dulas Limited

Next Generation Partners

Claire Knowles - Acuity Law

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Wales: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Law

Appreciated for its 'proactive and commercial approach', Acuity Law continues to be involved in many of the country's highest-profile projects as a result of its deeply entrenched ties with one of Wales' largest commercial property groups. In addition to its high visibility in major domestic development projects, the team is increasingly active in UK-based deals, in part due to the 'excellent' Jonathan Geen's market-leading reputation for handling housing-led regeneration, energy, and infrastructure projects, work which has seen him handling major housing regeneration and community schemes in London and the South East of England.  Gareth Baker excels at development matters and is a key member of the team that also includes Damien Cann, who has niche expertise advising housing and healthcare companies on their property developments.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Geen and Stephen Morris

Other key lawyers:Gareth Baker; Damien Cann; Steve Berry

Testimonials

Proactive when negotiating commercial deals

Acutely aware of the financial implications and act accordingly in a timely manner

Key Clients

Rightacres Property

Hadston Southwark

Mears Group

Community Homes of Intensive Care and Education

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Associated British Ports

Greenbank Partnerships

Principality Building Society

Bluestone Resorts

Middleton Mobility

Work highlights

  • Represented property developer Rightacres on the £100m Transport Interchange in Cardiff's Central Square development.
  • Represented housing and social care provider Mears Group on a joint venture partnership raising £88m for the rolling acquisition of a 400 home temporary accommodation portfolio in Waltham Forest.
  • Performed complex due diligence and analysis on the extensive and historic property portfolio of care home provider Choice Care Group on its fast-moving £152.5m sale to Caledonia Investments.
  • Represented a Welsh University at heart of £300m joint venture mixed-used Swansea waterfront development.
  • Represented resort operator Bluestone on the acquisition and development of  a £105m site in Anglesey.
Leading individuals

Gareth Baker - Acuity Law

Jonathan Geen - Acuity Law

Next Generation Partners

Damien Cann - Acuity Law

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Law

Acuity Law's construction capability forms a key part of the firm's capacity to handle major commercial property projects for leading developers, including Rightacres which continues to be extremely active in many of the most significant developments in Cardiff. 'Very knowledgeable' team head James Williams has been spearheading the firm's construction advice to Rightacres and provides a 'very commercial approach' as a result of his broad-ranging knowledge gleaned nationally and internationally, having spent time in Australia and the Middle East.

Practice head(s):James Williams

Other key lawyers:Mark Summers

Testimonials

The practice is proactive when negotiating commercial deals

Exceptionally well-versed in building construction matters and eager to go that extra mile

James Williams and Mark Summers are efficient and a pleasure to work with, and always strive to find solutions

 

 

 

Key Clients

Rightacres Property

Principality Building Society

WRW Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Rightacres on the new Wales headquarters for HMRC at Cardiff’s £400m Central Square project.
  • Advising Rightacres on the development of a School of Technologies for the Cardiff Metropolitan University at Central Quay, Cardiff.
  • Advised Rightacres on the successful delivery of Two Central Square – a £56m office development in the heart of central Cardiff.
  • Assisted the Principality Building Society with its investment in Ely Mill, a major residential redevelopment in Cardiff.
  • Assisting Rightacres on the Interchange, Cardiff’s high-profile new transportation hub which will link a new bus station to the capital’s existing central rail station.
Leading individuals

James Williams - Acuity Law

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Planning and environment
Planning and environment - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Law

Regularly working in conjunction with the firm's excellent real estate team, and also handling discrete planing matters, Acuity Law has an 'up-and-coming' reputation in the market on behalf of private and public sector entities. Able to tap into his overarching general commercial real estate prowess, as well as benefiting from a significant knowledge of the nuances of planning requirements, Steve Morris provides an 'invaluable service' to a broad range of clients on their highest-profile south Wales-based projects. Although the team is largely focused on non-contentious matters, its growing Swansea-based general commercial litigation offering enables it to provide some capacity on the planning litigation front.

Practice head(s):Steve Morris

Other key lawyers:Gareth Baker; Damien Cann

Key Clients

Rightacres Property

Greenbank Partnerships

Fitzpatrick Construction UK

Associated British Ports

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

South Wales Land Developments

Principality Building Society

PMG Plc

LifeCare Residences

Bluestone Resorts

Work highlights

  • Acted for Rightacres Property on a successful £30m development, involving bespoke planning agreement drafting and advice in connection with the twin tracking of an adjoining site.
  • The firm represented the University of Wales Trinity St David at the heart of a £300m joint venture mixed-use Swansea waterfront development.
  • Advising (as sole legal partner) resort operator Bluestone on the planning history, current planning obligations and requirements for variations in obligations in connection with its potential acquisition of a £105m site in Anglesey, the largest ever property development in that county.  
  • Acted for the Principality Building Society on a phased residential development in monitoring compliance with ongoing planning conditions and reviewing terms of a section 106 agreement.
Leading individuals

Steve Morris - Acuity Law

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Law

Headed by Clare Tregoning , Acuity Law's nascent property litigation offering has made strong inroads into the local market, where it has been effectively able to leverage the firm's impressive roster of commercial real estate clients, as well as generating a significant amount of standalone mandates for private individuals, SMEs and local authorities. Tregoning's diverse caseload includes issues under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, forfeiture, easements, boundary disputes, and claims for determination of service charge accounts

Practice head(s):Clare Tregoning

Testimonials

Provide a helpful and knowledgeable service

 

Key Clients

Stromag UK

Perthyn

William Savage and Linda Savage

Marisa Hampton

Richard Davies, Jonathan Davies and David Davies

Community Homes of Intensive Care and Education

GPP Big Field LLP and GPP Langstone LLP

Work highlights

  • The team represented Stromag UK Limited in a dispute over the validity of a break notice
  • Represented Perthyn Limited, a care provider, in its claims for encroachment and trespass
  • Representing two private individuals in their claims for boundary determination and injunctive relief of a sizeable residential property in Usk
  • Represented a private individual in a dispute over solar panels
  • Representing three clients in an arbitration against their tenant

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Wales: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Acuity Law

Now headed by Rehman Noormohamed following his arrival from DWF in September 2018, Acuity Law's three-partner team advises public and private sector clients across a range of commercial work, including in relation to software licences and maintenance agreements, software development contracts and outsourcing contracts. Noormohamed has significant experience for suppliers and end users on domestic and cross-border TMT matters, including on data privacy and cyber security-related matters. On the data protection front, clients also benefit from the "DataGuard" system, a subscription-based GDPR compliance and training service.

Practice head(s):Rehman Noormohamed

Other key lawyers:Christian Farrow

Key Clients

Vista Retail Support

Creditsafe Business Solutions

Business Systems UK Limited

MDS Technologies

Crimson Consultants

Progressive Technology Solutions

IQE Plc

Cardiff University and University College Consultants Cardiff

Liberalcoins

Made.com Design

Work highlights

  • Advised MDS Technologies on a number of IT matters including the drafting and negotiation of software licensing agreements and collaboration agreements in relation to the delivery of assured cloud and cyber security services.
  • Advising Progressive Technology Solutions across a range of strategic and day-to-day IT/IP legal matters.
  • Advising HF Trust on its business-critical IT and business transformation programme.
  • Acting for Cardiff University and its commercialisation subsidiary, University College Consultants Cardiff, with advice around the protection and commercialisation of the IP it creates and develops through research and various IT contracts.
  • Advised myPinPad on the licensing of its software in Asia (including China) and Russia through the creation of joint venture vehicles in these jurisdictions.
Leading individuals

Rehman Noormohamed - Acuity Law

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Acuity Law

The arrival of Rehman Noormohamed from DWF in September 2018 has reinvigorated Acuity Law's IP offering following the departure of the firm's previous team head Kerry Beynon , who joined RDP Law in January 2019. Noormohamed has gleaned extensive non-contentious IP expertise for domestic and international TMT clients and has built up niche expertise in relation to cryptocurrency matters. The firm also handles a  significant amount of work under the umbrella of the firm's Acuity Counsel subscription service, enabling clients to receive a cost-effective service across a range of ongoing IP matters including advice on commercialisation and licensing matters.

Practice head(s):Rehman Noormohamed

Key Clients

Made.com Design

Liberalcoins

Rossi Asiaghi

IQE plc

Cardiff University and University College Consultants Cardiff

Progressive Technology Solutions

Trinity Brands UK

Neptune 6

EPA Pro

Cardiff Metropolitan  University

Work highlights

  • Advising Cardiff University and its commercialisation subsidiary, University College Consultants Cardiff, with advice around the protection and commercialisation of the IP it creates and develops through research and various IT contracts
  • Ongoing advice to MedaPhor on its commercial contracts, particularly on the protection of its proprietary advanced ultrasound technology.
  • Advising HF Trust on its business-critical IT and business transformation programme.
  • Providing day-to-day IP and legal support to numerous clients, including Trinity Brands UK and Dullas Limited, through the firm's Acuity Counsel service.
  • Advising Made.com Design Limited on agreements including for the sale of licensed goods as part of a V&A museum exhibition.

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