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Corporate and commercial: Cambridge

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Cambridge
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  3. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Cambridge clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Birketts LLPdemonstrates a high level of professionalism’, with clients citing the team’s ‘accurate, in-depth and timely advice’. The three-partner team in Cambridge can draw on expertise from across the firm’s network of four offices nationally to act for a diverse client base of start-up businesses, established family-owned enterprises and public companies covering sectors such as food, technology, energy, agriculture, transport and distribution. In an illustration of its growing workload of high-value international mandates, the firm advised Expedeon on its €35m reverse takeover of Frankfurt-listed German company Sygnis AG. Other 2016 highlights included acting for Lawrence Dawson on the £27m sale of shares in Medisafe Holdings to US-based STERIS; and assisting John Henry Group with a £23m equity investment and the partial exit of its management team, which involved a pre-investment reorganisation and investment by Growth Capital Partners comprising a mixture of equity and an issuance of Guernsey loan notes. The firm also counts Palletforce, Respoke and Kirton Healthcare among its clients. Key figures include corporate finance partner and team leader Adrian Seagers, corporate transaction specialist James Allen and ‘excellent corporate lawyerQuentin Golder, who focuses on deals in the technology sector involving early-stage companies and is ‘helpful, thorough and able to support clients in complex matters involving many different jurisdictions’.

Mills & Reeve LLPconsistently provides timely, concise and effective advice at very reasonable rates, often exceeding clients’ requirements’. The firm is among the strongest regional players and also has a growing national presence. Many of its corporate matters have an international element; in 2016 it handled deals involving more than 75 jurisdictions including China, Canada and Australia. It is regularly called on to assist listed companies, as demonstrated by its advice to technology distributor Midwich on its £165m AIM listing, which included a £75m fundraising round and involved cross-border due diligence due to the company’s interests in France, Germany and Australasia. Other public company highlights included acting for Paypoint on the £14.4m sale of its online payment business to Capita. On the private company side, the team advised StepStone UK on the acquisition of graduate recruitment website Milkround Online Limited from News UK, and assisted Kaplan International Colleges UK with the creation of a new joint venture with the University of York to facilitate the recruitment and teaching of overseas students. The team is jointly led by Tom Pickthorn, who specialises in international matters, and Claire Clarke, who has particular expertise in the education sector and in the formation of investment funds. ‘Pragmatic and robust’ venture capital specialist Zickie Lim is noted for her ‘acute drafting and negotiating skills and commercially-rounded, sensible advice’. Clients also recommend charities expert Neil Burton for his ‘attention to detail, availability and proactive involvement’; capital markets lawyer Stephen Hamilton; and Anthony McGurk, who is ‘outstanding for high-level work’ in the private equity space.

Taylor Vinters is ‘very good in terms of response times, appropriateness of advice and pragmatism’. The firm has a strong focus on innovative and entrepreneurial clients, making it a regional powerhouse in the high-growth company space and a go-to firm for venture capital funds investing in the region. It also acts for a number of London-based and international clients. In an illustration of its VC expertise, the firm handled a major Series A investment for Streetteam Software Limited, which was led by Spring Partners, Frontline Ventures and Saatchinvest. The firm has an outstanding reputation for technology-related M&A and private equity investment. Other highlights included advising new client Bionical on its multimillion-pound acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Emas Pharma Limited and its Australian subsidiary, which involved preparing and negotiating the sale agreement to a tight deadline; and advising the owner-managers on their sale of MacGregor Welding Systems Ltd and its subsidiary, which included complex negotiations with Chinese counsel to advise on issues arising from the company’s joint venture activities in China. Head of corporate Adam Bradley leads a team that includes the ‘superb’ Sian Scanlon, who is ‘extremely hardworking, clear in her advice and has great knowledge of her subject’. Growth-company and angel investment specialist Charles Fletcher is ‘very knowledgeable’ and acts for a number of venture capital funds.

Taylor Wessing LLP attracts praise for its ‘excellent response times, knowledge of clients’ business and understanding of transactions’. The team in Cambridge, which is noted for its combination of ‘a high degree of technical ability with the ability to provide considered solutions to practical issues’, specialises in work for IP-rich companies and works closely with the firm’s European office network. David Mardle leads the firm-wide corporate practice, which is seen as an international leader in the venture capital, technology and life sciences markets, where it provides ‘excellent, straightforward advice’. Mardle and Simon Walker have strong international reputations for venture capital work; ‘their knowledge and experience give clients confidence that they can complete processes in impressive time’. 2016 highlights included advising artificial intelligence systems developer Magic Pony Technology Limited on its acquisition by Twitter; acting for longstanding client Citymapper on its £26.5m Series B investment round; and assisting Kymab Limited with its $100m Series C funding round led by investors ORI Healthcare Fund. The firm also counts Google, Index Ventures, Amadeus Capital Partners and Cambridge Innovation Capital among its clients.

Greenwoods Solicitors LLP’s practice is ‘always quick to respond with commercially-minded advice’ and is noted for its expertise in the technology, food, media and manufacturing sectors. ‘First-class commercial lawyerDuncan Walker, who ‘really cares about his clients and his work’, and senior solicitor Mark Williams are the key figures in Cambridge and were joined in 2016 by Douglas Linnette, who arrived from Australian law firm Kemp Strang, with which the firm has an alliance. Linnette advises UK clients on their business activities in Australia. In a key deal for the team, Walker advised Owlstone Medical its sale of a $7m equity stake to an investor from the Middle East and on the issue of new shares. The firm also acted for Rafik Jallad on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Cambridge Executive Limited to Sierra Wireless. Nitritex and Cambrionix are also clients of the firm.

Hewitsons is a strong regional player with a loyal client base in the local business community around Cambridge. Working closely with the firm’s corporate finance team, the corporate practice acts for owner-managed businesses in a wide range of industries and has extensive experience in capital markets transactions. It is also growing its M&A profile for technology-related SMEs in the region, as well as handling transactions and fundraising for larger UK companies and overseas enterprises. 2016 highlights included advising AIM-listed LiDCO Group on a £3m private placement and share subscription. The firm also counts US corporation SMC, Nuformix, Amino Technologies and Domino Printing Sciences among its clients. Head of corporate James Lawrence and partner Jason Williams are known for their depth of experience and their pragmatic approach to transactions. On the commercial side, Andrew Priest specialises in technology and outsourcing deals, and Bill Thatcher often acts for public-sector organisations, charities and multinational technology companies.

At Penningtons Manches LLPthe overall level of service is excellent, response times are fast and the advice is first rate’. The firm’s ‘always prompt and professional’ corporate team is led from Guildford and includes Helen Drayton, who has ‘a commercial attitude and the ability to offer clear, concise and pragmatic solutions’; James Stephen, who handles both domestic and cross-border matters and is ‘brilliant – he has fantastic knowledge and is superb at advising young companies’; and corporate finance and capital markets specialist Ross McNaughton, who is ‘excellent and highly supportive’. Senior associate Rachel Bradley stands out for her commercial work in the life sciences and publishing sectors. In an illustration of the firm’s life sciences expertise, McNaughton led the team advising biopharmaceuticals company Akarna Therapeutics on its $50m sale to Allergan. Other highlights included acting for Vindis Group on its acquisition of the SEAT dealership in Milton Keynes, and assisting early stage biotech company Oppilan Pharma with a $12m Series A fundraising.

Ashtons Legal is known for providing ‘great service that is prompt, clear and very professional’. The firm has a strong regional presence, including in Cambridge where associate Matthew Downing leads the local corporate and commercial team; he relocated from the firm’s Norwich office, where he was regarded as one of the leading M&A practitioners in Norfolk. His recent highlights include advising a sports clothing company on a private equity and crowdfunding investment round; acting for the buyer on its acquisition of a stake in an outdoor equipment company, which involved an employee buyout; assisting the sellers with the disposal of a property development business; and advising an education-sector client on the sale a business to a large national group. Mark Whittaker left the firm to join gunnercooke LLP in London.

Boutique firm Dixon Phillips focuses on assisting SME clients across East Anglia, with particular emphasis on those around Cambridge. ‘A sharp mind with a passion for what he does’, Oliver Phillips is ‘brilliant; he gives incredibly useful advice on contracts and legal matters, and is completely trustworthy’. Phillips and assistant solicitor Matthew Dempsey completed 12 sale and purchase transactions, buy-backs, reorganisations and investment deals in 2016 with an aggregate value of £30m. Highlights included advising the majority shareholders of Cambridge Publishing on an MBO, and Classic Products Limited on a complex demerger of its property investment business.

At Howes Percival LLP, corporate partner Nathan Horton is now splitting his time between Norwich and the young Cambridge office, which has been built up principally around the firm’s commercial property offering. Solicitor Venetia Phipps joined from Hewitsons, adding to the office’s corporate credentials. In 2016, the firm acted for a pharmaceuticals company in joint ventures and the acquisition of a retail pharmacy; advised a bitcoin company on setting up its operations; and assisted a manufacturing company with the negotiation of the terms of its supply arrangements with a large international corporate in the rail industry. Adam Kudryl joined Ansons in Lichfield.

The ‘astute’ team at Tees Law is noted for its ‘strong work ethic’. The Cambridge office works closely with the teams in Chelmsford and Bishop’s Stortford to handle share and asset acquisitions and disposals large and small; recent highlights include the high-value acquisition of a haulage company, a major corporate reorganisation that resulted in a multimillion-pound share sale to an AIM-listed financial services group, and a number of corporate finance transactions involving senior lending, mezzanine financing and inter-creditor arrangements. In another key matter, newly promoted associate Sarah Ilic acted for the buyer on the MBO of a large UK-based agricultural equipment manufacturer. Ilic leads the Cambridge team with support from solicitor Katy Carson. Martin Woodruff retired.

Woodfines LLP has built a reputation for both domestic and international deals, acting on cross-border matters for companies based in China, India and other jurisdictions. Team head Stephen Oliver has more than 20 years’ experience and is well known for his work on joint ventures, shareholder agreements and many other corporate issues. He is supported by one paralegal. Among Oliver’s many highlights was his work on a joint venture for a company in the property sector that was seeking investment for a multimillion-pound development project. Oliver also acted for a leading UK agricultural business in arranging an international distribution contract for its innovative technology.


Corporate and commercial: Ipswich

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Ipswich
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  3. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Ipswich clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Birketts LLP’s pre-eminent corporate and commercial team in Ipswich was further strengthened with the recruitment of senior corporate lawyer Alexandra Nelson. She joined from Reed Smith LLP in London and has particular experience in matters relating to export control and sanctions compliance, especially for those companies in the aerospace and defence and shipping industries. Senior partner James Austin leads the team, which includes corporate finance and banking partner Mark Henry; IT contracts and data protection expert Mark Gipson, who frequently advises on matters relating to franchising, agency and distribution agreements; and legal director Andrew Tubb, whose broad corporate finance expertise encompasses acquisitions, disposals, MBOs and reorganisations for sellers, buyers and other investors. The firm acts for regional and national businesses such as Notcutts, Silk Industries, Muntons and Nationwide Metal Recycling. Recent highlights include the sale of a food sector business, which involved complex negotiations relating to ongoing supply agreements; the multimillion-pound purchase of a company in the insurance sector; and the purchase of an import and distribution business from a US multinational.

Gotelee Solicitors has expanded its presence across Suffolk although the core of its corporate and commercial team is based in Ipswich. Practice head Max Harnden regularly acts on rail infrastructure matters and attracts praise for his ‘excellent attention to detail; he is great at summarising very complex issues and at the same time is able to take a strategic view’. Harnden’s team includes Petra Sharp, who has a niche specialism in healthcare-sector matters, and Laura Gray, who regularly advises owner-managed and SME businesses in Suffolk. In 2016, the firm handled the re-sale of numerous franchises, acted on the MBO of a local logistics and transportation company, advised an international publishing company on its sale to an overseas purchaser, and assisted railway infrastructure contractors with a wide range of issues regarding their obligations under a £10m contract with Network Rail.

At Ashtons Legal, ‘advice is always of a high standard and takes into account the commercial as well as the legal aspects’. The firm has become a respected adviser to start-up and high-growth business in Suffolk. Head of business services Paul Whittingham is noted for his ‘prompt understanding of clients’ needs and efficient management of all matters’. Solicitor Joel Furniss is also recommended for his work on shareholder and commercial agreements. Highlights included advising on the multimillion-pound sale of a company in the healthcare sector; assisting a client in the leisure sector with its sale to a national chain; advising on the sale of a company that supplies parts to the haulage industry; and acting on the sale of a holiday lettings company.

At Prettysthe service is excellent on all counts; response times are good, cost estimates are fair, and the diverse and capable team ensures clients have the right support’. Respected practitioner Ian Waine has 30 years’ experience handling strategic transactions, funding and contractual matters for predominantly local clients as well as clients beyond Suffolk. Waine ‘speaks in layman’s terms and understands his clients’ needs’. Solicitor Daniel Billson is also recommended. In 2016, Waine acted for haulage company WMA Holdings on the multimillion-pound sale of Macintyre Transport to Turners (Soham). The firm’s other clients include Amber Care (East Anglia), Itsu, Marriott Motor Group and Trans European Oil and Gas Limited. Former head of department Jon Bloor joined Ellisons Solicitors in Colchester.

Kerseys Solicitors has a varied and growing workload of business acquisitions and disposals, commercial contracts matters, compliance and franchising work for companies in Suffolk. Partner Kimat Singh leads the department, backed by senior solicitor Amanda Wheatley and consultant Adrian Chaffey, who each have more than 20 years’ experience of corporate and commercial matters. The firm’s highlights included advising a local authority on contracting services; acting for a local business on a £2.5m finance transaction; and assisting with the acquisition of a vehicle repair and servicing business. Matthew Osborn is now a self-employed consultant.


Corporate and commercial: Norwich

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Norwich
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  3. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Norwich clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Birketts LLP is ‘a high-performing and respected law firm’ that provides ‘first-class service; the very professional, solid team is quick to assist and thorough in its advice’. The team is led by Adrian Possener, who is singled out as a ‘very clear thinker’, and includes partner Greg Allan, who is viewed as ‘pragmatic and skilful in dealing with the complexities of any issue’. Also recommended are senior associate Paul Palik, who is ‘very supportive and goes the extra mile for clients’, and solicitor Nikki Reid, who is ‘a real asset to the firm – excellent to work with, efficient and knowledgeable’. Clients also pick out legal directors Ed Savory for his franchising expertise and Erika Clarke for her knowledge of the public and not-for-profit sectors. The firm recruited associate Vicki Mitman, formerly of Leathes Prior and currently affiliate forum chair of the British Franchise Association, augmenting its strength in brand protection and franchising. Highlights included advising Palletforce on its strategic acquisition of QTR Transport Ltd, and assisting international oil engineering group Derrick Services with a disposal involving complex cross-border matters. The firm also acted for Woodforde’s Brewery on its sale, and advised an educational institution on its proposed merger.

At Mills & Reeve LLPthe overall service is of excellent quality and the advice is first rate, practical and easily understandable’. The team is led by Craig Hodgson, who also heads the food and agribusiness department and who represents some of the UK’s leading food and beverage companies, and Greg Gibson, who leads the cross-office commercial, IP and IT department. The ‘always responsive and practicalJames Hunter is a leading transactional lawyer who acts for the owners and acquirers of many private businesses and has extensive experience in the financial services sector. Clients also pick out Natalie Wade, who has in-depth knowledge of the health sector and who regularly acts in large corporate consolidations and acquisitions of dental practices, as well as health and IT procurement counsel Sean Earnshaw, who ‘delivers excellent work and balances commercial and legal concerns’. In a highlight for 2016, the firm advised Boilerjuice on its sale to private equity firm Livingbridge. The team also advised Boparan Restaurants Holdings on numerous matters including its acquisition of Indian Restaurants Limited and the purchase of the entire share capital of Giraffe Concepts from Tesco. BUPA and Lotus Cars are also clients. Nick Fischl retired from the partnership.

Clients praise the ‘enthusiasm and support’ of the team at Ashtons Legal, which acts for a range of prominent clients such as Stowlangtoft Healthcare Group, Marriott Sinclair and Cosworth Group. It also has a specialist franchising team led by consultant John Chambers that is among the most prominent in the region. Other key figures in the Norwich office include corporate finance specialist James Tarling, who often advises on transactions involving innovative technology companies; Damian Humphrey, who is known for his M&A, lending and securities work; and associate Mark Watson, who stands out for his work on confidentiality agreements and due diligence in M&A transactions. Tarling and Watson advised an integrated engineering solutions provider listed on the Malaysian stock exchange on two due diligence exercises related to acquisitions in the UK. In another highlight Tarling acted for the sole shareholder on the sale of a national healthcare business.

Howes Percival LLP’s ‘first-class’ practice has ‘a number of experts in their fields’, including team head Robert Colman, who leads on tourism and leisure sector deals, and partner Nathan Horton, whose broad practice includes in-depth knowledge of M&A deals, private equity transactions and joint ventures, particularly in the health and education sectors. Associate Katherine Brown is also recommended. Highlights included advising a Swiss-headquartered company on a multimillion-pound investment in a Norfolk-based equipment manufacturer; and acting for a client in the real estate sector on its high-value acquisition of a service and repair company. The firm also counts Richardsons Leisure, Hughes Electrical and Ford Retail among its clients.

Leathes Prior is best known for advising on mid-market M&A transactions across a range of sectors not only in Norfolk, but throughout East Anglia and nationally. Team head Paul Warman and Peter Sheppard each have more than 25 years’ experience in corporate law and, along with Richard Guthrie, form one of the region’s most respected teams. Ed Savory joined Birketts LLP but the team took on two newly qualified solicitors in Richard Turner and Alex Saunders. The practice has a growing workload; in 2016 the team advised on 27 acquisitions and 10 disposals, including a number of acquisitions of veterinary practices for CVS (UK) Limited. The firm also acted for Budgens franchisees on numerous disposals, including the sale by Bens Limited of its Woodbridge store to East of England Co-operative Society. Another highlight saw Warman act for the management team of Subsea Protection Systems on the acquisition of the company’s entire issued share capital.

Steeles Law provides ‘an excellent service’ to large companies based in the Norfolk region as well as those with a nationwide presence, including longstanding client Jeyes Group. Head of department Richard Bailey and partner Nigel Lubbock are ‘true business advisers, not just lawyers, and punch above their weight’. Clients also recommend solicitor James Hopgood, who ‘talks through the options clearly and helps clients make rapid progress’. In a key highlight, the team advised Crown Chicken on its £40m sale to UK-based food producer Cranswick, which included a mixed portfolio of more than 70 properties and significant intellectual property assets. The team also acted for a UK company on its £5m sale to a US buyer, advised a major investor on the funding for a new technology investment company and its many spin-offs, and assisted a national client with bringing a new company into its group structure. Robinsons Motor Group and Animax Limited are among its clients.

Clients of Clapham & Collinge Solicitors value Jade Tinney for her ‘patient persistence and amazing ability to work all hours’. Tinney is part of Hugh Berridge’s team, which acts for a growing range of local business owners. Highlights included advising a shareholder of Babypoint Limited on the sale of the company to a European buyer; acting on the sale of outdoor equipment supplier Cley Spy Limited; and assisting with the sale of a property management business with a large portfolio of properties. Legal executive Jack Shreeve has a broad brief covering property matters alongside business sales and acquisitions.

Fosters has made a concerted effort to grow its corporate and commercial practice in line with its litigation capability. Adrian Newborough, who has more than 30 years’ experience and focuses largely on the local SME market, leads the team with Chris Fielding; they were joined by Jamie Arnall, who previously held roles as senior legal counsel at Thomas Cook and head of legal at Norwich City Football Club. The firm advises a number of SME clients, and recently acted on the sale of a driving academy franchise, the purchase of a shareholding in a substantial taxi business, the sale of a café business, and the purchase by a management team of a flooring business from its retiring owner.

Rogers and Norton is ‘an extremely professional and friendly firm’ that is ‘always quick to respond and extremely helpful’. Director Richard Etheridge (who is praised for his ‘common-sense approach’) has specialist expertise in the NHS field and regularly handles transactions for doctors and dental practices. Medical-sector highlights included amendments to several partnership agreements following retirements from medical and dental practices. The firm also advised on the management buyout of two founding shareholders of a trading company, the sale of a 50% stake in a financial services company, and acted for a regional recruitment company on its purchase of a competitor.

Spire Solicitors LLP has a strong client base in Norwich and acts for clients across East Anglia. In 2016 it advised on numerous transactions for management teams, including financings, MBOs and the negotiation of commercial contracts. Roger Margand (‘works tirelessly for his clients and always performs to a very high standard’) has more than 20 years’ experience advising private and not-for-profit organisations on a wide range of commercial and corporate projects. Alistair Ponder, formerly head of the commercial department at Gross & Co, joined in early 2017 and brought additional skills in M&A, supplier and procurement contracts, data protection, joint ventures and distribution agreements. Other highlights included advising international sports betting technology and software company Genius Sports Group on an investment into the company by Three Hills Capital Partners.


Corporate and commercial: Peterborough

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Peterborough
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  3. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Peterborough clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Buckles Solicitors LLP has its head office in Peterborough but has spread beyond the region, most recently with a new office in London and through its association with CastaldiPartners, which has offices in Milan and Paris. As a result, the firm has a strong client base not only in East Anglia, but also nationally and internationally. Nigel Moore’s team was strengthened further with the recruitment of senior associate Nadine Duncan, who joined from DLA Piper to add key skills in commercial, IT, outsourcing and technology matters; and specialist corporate associate Robin Johnston, who joined from Bray & Bray in Leicester. Highlights included acting for Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Ginsana on its €9.6m acquisition of SoHo Flordis; advising York House Foods on its £20m sale to a German buyer; and assisting Schur Flexible Holdings with its purchase of FMS Folis Group.

Greenwoods Solicitors LLP’s clients ‘recommend the firm without hesitation’. The firm has particular expertise in the food, media, technology and manufacturing sectors, and acts for a wide range of companies, from SMEs to PLCs. Team head David Woods and director Alastair Gunn have well-established reputations for M&A, MBO, MBI and share deals. The team also has strength in depth through associate Victoria Robinson and solicitors Ollie Flowers and Monica Beck. The firm’s highlights of 2016 included advising a US-based chemical producer on a multimillion-pound acquisition; acting for protel hotelsoftware on a high-value strategic investment in a UK-based business; and assisting an exporter in the agricultural sector with its exit from a joint venture.

Hegarty LLP’s ‘proactive, efficient and responsive’ corporate and commercial team regularly handles transactions for clients in the SME sector. The team, which is led by partner Andrew Heeler and includes associate Ashley Sutherland, recently advised a client in the office and business supplies sector on a share sale; assisted an education-sector client with the procurement of services and data protection issues; and acted for a US-based sellers on the MBO of a UK company.

Hunt & Coombs LLP is known for ‘exemplary response times, unmatched effort, pertinent advice and excellent understanding of clients’ needs’. Anna Spriggs leads the commercial and property team and is supported by experienced consultant Paul Tate, and associate Edward Taylor, who joined from Teacher Stern LLP. The firm is especially well known for its work in the retail sector, though it is also active for SMEs across a range of industries. The team recently advised a retailer with a national network of outlets on the development of new stores, and assisted with the reorganisation of a garden centre business.


Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in East Anglia

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in East Anglia
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  3. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in East Anglia clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

For some, Ashtons Legalcannot be faulted; the team is always available, highly knowledgeable, down to earth and great to deal with’. The team is headed by Geoff Hazlewood, who is singled out for his ‘depth of knowledge, excellent advice, personable character and willingness to help’. He leads the team from Bury St Edmunds but works in collaboration with a team based across the firm’s extensive network of East Anglia offices, handling company acquisitions and disposals, banking, corporate finance and general commercial advice for clients come from sectors including care homes, IT, recruitment, engineering, manufacturing and professional services. Hazlewood’s highlights included advising Stowlangtoft Healthcare Group on the £1.7m acquisition of the business and assets of Ford Place Care Home in Thetford, acting for the seller in a £1.5m share sale and assisting a large regional client with a multimillion-pound corporate finance matter.

Greene & Greenehandles matters in an effective way, with a view to both the legal and commercial contexts’. The firm’s deep bench in Bury St Edmunds includes Simon Ratcliffe, the ‘practical and commercial’ Neil Walmsley, the ‘professional and approachableMark Daly (who ‘swiftly diagnoses the key elements of any job and ensures a shared understanding with the client before undertaking the work in a diligent and timely manner’), Chris Thomson and Andrew Cooper. Solicitor Megan Radcliffe is also playing a growing role in the commercial team. Owner-managed businesses and SMEs make up a significant proportion of the firm’s clients, although the firm also handles matters for larger regional and national players. Highlights included acting for the family owners of a precision glass component manufacturing business on a £3m reorganisation of assets; advising the shareholders of CEB Pharma on the £1m sale of a business to German company Aristo Pharma; assisting a large Norfolk-base campsite and its shareholders with the sale of property and business assets for £2.75m; and handling the multimillion-pound acquisition of Mstream limited on behalf of Nexus Underwriting Management Limited.

Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar’s practice is ‘highly competent, efficient, diligent and compares well with its peers’. Associate Aimee Hedley leads the team in Thetford, which includes the ‘first-class’ Tim Stevenson. Hedley and Stevenson are ‘of particularly high calibre; they have a good understanding of the client’s business and can act as a sounding board for everyday business decisions’. Stevenson advised a longstanding client on the management buyout of a major East Anglia based automotive retailer, and assisted with the reorganisation of a group of UK companies owned by a US manufacturing conglomerate. Hedley’s highlights included acting for a manufacturing company on a £1.1m share buyback transaction that involved the purchase of shares from an overseas company, and advising a footwear retailer on the preparation of terms and conditions for its online and telephone sales operations. Paul Garner in Wisbech has more than 30 years’ experience in contractual and commercial law.

Nicholsons Solicitors LLP’s fast-growing corporate and commercial practice is ‘highly professional and has excellent knowledge of this area of law’. Clients describe the firm as ‘efficient, easy to communicate with and very knowledgeable’, and single out team head Joseph Long for his ‘knowledge and efficiency in dealing with clients’ affairs’ as well as for his ‘prompt, commercially-proportionate advice’. Legal executive Nadine Jasinski is also recommended. The team also has input from property partner Mark Rymarz, Ben Blower and senior partner Robert Nicholson. In 2016 the firm assisted a client with the sale of a well-known steel fabrication company based in Great Yarmouth; advised on the acquisition of a beer and wine wholesale business in Essex; acted on the sale of a local boatyard; and assisted with the MBO of a local firm of independent financial advisers. Long also provides commercial advice to a Norwich-based energy consultancy.

At Fraser Dawbarns, King’s Lynn based practitioner Daniel Ball has built up a good reputation among local SME clients. Also based in King’s Lynn, Carla Goodyear advised on a share purchase transactions. The firm’s Wisbech office also has prominent practitioners in partner Tony Cheetham and solicitor Silke Trevor. Jenny Rushmer also plays a role in the corporate and commercial team.


Corporate tax

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Corporate tax clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Birketts LLP is ‘exceptional – the quality of the personnel is excellent’. The practice provides transactional tax advice on corporate M&A transactions, notably for family and owner-managed businesses, and advises on the tax implications of strategic land development and employee incentive schemes. It has a large client base in the farming industry and is also known for its experience in contentious matters. Senior associate Karl Pocock leads the team and has 14 years’ experience as a specialist in corporate tax matters. The firm’s tax disputes practice draws on the extensive knowledge and experience of tax consultant Carol Bun; she has in-depth understanding of tax and VAT issues within the context of corporate finance, IPOs, private equity transactions, M&A, restructurings, real estate deals and employee remuneration. Senior associate Lisa Hayward, who leads the firm’s newly formed employee incentives practice, is also a key part of the corporate tax practice. Recent work includes advising the shareholders of Medisafe Holdings on the tax implications of the company’s sale to US-based company Steris.

At Mills & Reeve LLP, partner Christopher Townsend specialises in corporate tax matters and employee share schemes. He principally focuses on the tax implications of corporate finance transactions, M&A, corporate restructurings and investment funding. He is also active advising on property deals and investment funds from a tax perspective. Townsend played a key role in the firm’s advice to technology distributor Midwich Group on its £165m IPO on AIM and a related £75m fundraising round. He also acted on the acquisition of graduate recruitment website Milkround Online Limited by client StepStone UK Holding Limited, and assisted FactSet Research Systems with the acquisitions of Cymba Technologies Limited and Vermillion Holdings Limited, both of which were completed to very demanding timescales. Principal associate and corporate lawyer Vanessa Walton advises on complex M&A and real estate investment transactions, many of which involve overseas tax structures. Principal associate Matthew Short plays a vital role in the firm’s tax, benefits and charities team.


EU and competition

Index of tables

  1. EU and competition
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

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A market leader for competition law’, Mills & Reeve LLP attracts praise for its ‘sound business acumen and excellent commercial advice’. Consultant Ruth Smith leads the team and is national head of procurement law. She is experienced in handling matters arising from the health, government, education and technology sectors. Corporate consultant Brian Marshall and IT partner Kevin Caldertake a very pragmatic approach and have a good understanding of the commercial position as well as the legalities’. The team can also call on experts from a range of disciplines to advise on competition law including IP and IT specialist Greg Gibson; national head of projects and construction Raith Pickup; construction consultant Ron Plascow; and principal associate Helen Prandy in the commercial litigation team. The firm’s diverse client base includes government entities such as the Department for Education, public bodies including NHS England, and educational institutions such as the University of Coventry and the University of Central Lancashire. The firm also acts for a host of large corporates and local authorities. Public-sector highlights included advising the Department for Education on the procurement process for the operation of an early years fund, which will provide loans to nurseries to expand the number of places available to children. The team also acted for the Financial Conduct Authority on procurement issues arising from its investment in a system to process market data across the financial services sector.

At Vivienne Robinson Ltd, ‘excellent and practical’ name partner Vivienne Robinson is ‘a worthy competitor to established London practitioners’. Her niche focus on EU and UK competition law gives her ‘a keen understanding of the way competition authorities approach matters; she has a complete command of the topic and gives quick, sensible and commercial advice in a complex area of law’. Dual qualified in English and New York law, her previous experience includes stints at Stephenson Harwood and Dentons. Recent highlights include obtaining merger clearance for gaming technology Novomatic to pursue its acquisition of Talarius. She also acted for bloodstock auctioneer Tattersalls on all competition aspects of its acquisition of a competitor.

Birketts LLP’s Norwich office has a strong focus on commercial matters involving international transactions with a Dutch element. Consultant Andrew Wood, who is part of the firm’s corporate and commercial team, was recently appointed as the new Honorary Consul for the Kingdom of the Netherlands for Norwich. Legal director Erika Clarke has a strong practice in public procurement matters. In Ipswich, associate Philippa Dyer handles competition law and dawn raids. 2016 highlights included acting for a well-known commercial equipment manufacturer on EU regulations governing the energy efficiency of its products in order to ensure compliance with legislation ahead of their launch. The team also acted for a charity that applied for EU funding to deliver new projects.



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