Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in East Anglia in East Anglia

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene undertakes high-value, complex and high-profile transactions and provides commercial advice to PLCs, investors, SMEs and owner-managed businesses in East Anglia and beyond. The corporate practice led by Simon Ratcliffe was recently involved in transactions in the UK, Europe and overseas jurisdictions including the US, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Libya. In 2018, it handled transactions with a total aggregate value in the region of £500m.

Practice head(s):

Simon Ratcliffe

Other key lawyers:

Neil Walmsley; Mark Daly; Andrew Cooper; Mark Williams


“I have always found Greene & Greene to be a very professional and knowledgeable firm in a number of aspects. The partners there are very helpfully and commercially minded. When faced with problems/issues they take a very proactive approach in solving the issues.”

“I have found the firm to be the best in East Anglia, where you get a London service and a local price.”

“Simon Ratcliffe’s knowledge and understanding in M&A is great and our clients like him a lot, especially in healthcare.”

“The culture of pragmatic commercial excellence runs deeply throughout Greene & Greene and all members of the team.”

“Mark Daly and Andrew Cooper are simply excellent in their attention to detail, pace and commercialism.”

“Greene and Greene is always available to provide advice at any time or day. They work extremely hard when we have transactions, sometimes working 15-16 hours a day to get things completed.”

“The firm can help in all areas including employment, property, transaction and corporate and we always have the same solicitors to help us which means that they understand the business really well.”

“Simon Ratcliffe and Andrew Cooper are extremely knowledgeable in their areas and highly competitive in their fees. I would say that they are extremely detailed and commercial.”

Key clients

Nexus Underwriting Management Limited

Berlin Packaging LLC

The Dunamis Group

Treatt Plc

The Vitec Group plc

Wonde Limited

Ablatus Therapeutics Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of The Dunamis Group on the £22m sale of the company to Fulcrum Utility Services Limited (a listed entity).
  • Handled the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Huntington Underwriting Limited, a company based on Labuan.
  • Advised Treatt plc on the £11m sale of Earthoil Plantations Limited to Univar, Inc (global chemical company, listed on the NYSE) and the ongoing commercial relationship between the parties in respect of the business that was sold.
  • Represented Nexus Underwriting Management Limited on the acquisition of the business and assets of Altitude Risk Partners LLP.
  • Advised The Vitec Group plc on its £8.5m acquisition of the leading microphone windshield and suspension systems manufacturer, Rycote, including the related commercial arrangements post completion.

Ashtons Legal

At Ashtons Legal, the corporate practice works as a single unit across all of the firm's regional offices, but key partner Geoff Hazlewood leads the practice from both Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds. He is specialises in banking, M&A deals and transactions in the  care home sector. He draws on the expertise of partners across the office network who handle franchising matters, technology sector transactions and deals for veterinary practices.

Practice head(s):

Geoff Hazlewood

Key clients

Cosworth Group


TaxAssist Group

Signs Express

Comm-Tech Voice and Data / Conrad Global Group

Stow Healthcare Group Ltd (Formerly k/a Stowlangtoft Healthcare Group Ltd)

Medical Management Systems Ltd

Cambridge Building Society

Barenbrug UK Ltd

Recroot Ltd


Work highlights

  • Advised on the acquisition of the business and assets of Attwoods Manor Nursing Home, and the acquisition of adjoining land and overage agreements.
  • Handled the sale of the entire issued share capital of Haughcare Ltd to OHI UK Healthcare Properties Ltd and associated sale of operating business to Healthcare Homes Group Ltd.

Fraser Dawbarns

Fraser Dawbarns is one of the most highly regarded firms in East Cambridgeshire and West Norfolk. Clients appreciate the 'good quality and practical advice' of Tony Cheetham in King's Lynn and the 'very hardworking and committedSilke Trevor in Wisbech. The practice has a wealth of experience in acting for larger local businesses and counts around 20 local doctors surgeries among its clients.

Practice head(s):

Tony Cheetham

Other key lawyers:

Silke Trevor


I have always found them to be very approachable as well as having wide experience and good knowledge in the work undertaken.

They are able to work to a timetable, which enables matters to be completed as requested.

Silke Trevor and Tony Cheetham, partners in the firm are of particular high calibre being very competent, but also commercial in the work they undertake.They have the ability to communicate well with clients as well.

They have an eye for detail as well as being interested in developing commercial solutions, whilst working well with clients.

An excellent team of high quality individuals who put a lot of effort into supporting our business when we need them.

“Tony Cheetham has excellent overall judgement and understanding of our sector issues.”

“Silke Trevor puts great enthusiasm into her work. Helps us immensely with some of our acquisitions.”

Work highlights

  • Acquisition of two new private limited companies in the agribusiness sector.
  • Represented shareholders of estate agency group and its companies in a reconstruction of the group valued in excess of £3m.
  • Advising a client on the purchase of shares in a private limited company together with parallel purchase of a debt and multiparty debt restructuring.
  • Provided advice on restructuring for two companies with similar interests and related ownership.
  • Provided advice on corporate restructuring and share buyback.

Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar

Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar has a client base that extends through Norfolk, Suffolk, North Cambridgeshire and Essex. It also acts for some business with operations across the UK and abroad. Lead partner Paul Garner in Wisbech and consultant Tim  Stevenson in Thetford are the key names in a practice that handles acquisitions, mergers, demergers, compliance, shareholders and partnership agreements, and corporate governance matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Garner

Other key lawyers:

Tim Stevenson; Aimee Hedley


“Tim Stevenson is pragmatic and experienced.”

“The practice has a detailed knowledge and understanding of all commercial matters about which we have consulted them.”

“The practice responds quickly, clearly and efficiently to any questions we ask and makes suggestions for areas we should be looking into, so they are not only responsive but also take the initiative in offering us assistance. We would not hesitate to recommend the practice to other commercial companies.”

“We have dealt with Tim Stevenson for over 25 years and have found his performance to be exemplary. Not only does he possess wide-ranging knowledge and experience of a variety of commercial matters but he brings a personal commitment to finding solutions to commercial problems.”

“Tim Stevenson’s dedication and resolve are above any that we have experienced with our other professional advisors.”

Work highlights

  • Represented a long established farming partnership with regards to the sale and restructure of the partnership.
  • Represented a company with regards to a company reorganisation.
  • Represented a manufacturer with regards to an own share purchase.

Nicholsons Solicitors LLP

Nicholsons Solicitors LLP joins the ranking on the strength of its Lowestoft office, where clients note that 'the firm compares highly to other firms in this area and is very efficient in dealing with queries'. Lead partner Joseph Long, who works in both Lowestoft and Norwich, frequently advises successful local businesses on corporate and commercial matters and in 2018 had a busy caseload of work in the East Coast and Waveney Valley areas for clients including medium-to-large local and regional accountancy firms.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Long


“I have always found the partners and staff at Nicholsons to be efficient and knowledgeable in dealing with any queries raised and have referred me to colleagues within the practice for expertise in specific matters.”

“Joseph Long has always impressed with his knowledge and efficiency.”

“It is the only law firm in town that we pass corporate work to, the alternative being to work with Norwich or Ipswich firms. The firm has top-quality specialists in a number of areas of law, all of whom are knowledgeable and efficient.”

“Joseph Long is our main corporate contact and he is a very effective corporate lawyer with knowledge, experience and common sense that enable transactions to progress efficiently and with the client having been well advised on all of the issues. I do not hesitate to recommend him for private company transactions.”

“Robert Nicholson is also available on a part time basis, bringing his years of experience and analytical mind to complex problems.”