Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in East Midlands in East Midlands

BHW Solicitors

BHW Solicitors is one of the leading corporate firms in the region, with a number of experienced partners with expertise in M&A transactions, restructurings, secured lending work and employee ownership trust conversions. The group stands out for its expertise in the aerospace, private equity, manufacturing and insurance sectors. Ed Nurse leads the team and advises the firm's international insurer clients on complex restructuring issues, while Stephen McElhone has developed a niche in the mineral resource sector. Alex Clifton is experienced in numerous corporate issues, including management buyouts, demergers and strategic acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Ed Nurse

Other key lawyers:

Stephen McElhone; Alex Clifton; Matt Worsnop


‘We have worked with BHW for a number of years now, based on our experiences of working with their Corporate and Commercial Department, they are a first choice legal firm when it comes to referring legal services to Company owners, and both the buyers and sellers of SME sized Companies in the UK. Their Corporate team are always responsive to communication, they are excellent at simplifying the process for Clients, reducing stress in the transaction, identifying and resolving issues before they become issues and ensuring that everything is in place so deals can meet target completion deadlines.’

‘Matt Worsnop (Corporate & Commercial Partner) is a highly personable, highly professional M&A lawyer. Matt is an excellent communicator who is willing to spend time understanding the client brief before proposing high quality solutions. He is a lawyer of high integrity and ethics and is excellent at building trust with our Clients and progressing deals. We enjoy working with Matt, he is always available and always responsive. He always makes time to explain things calmly and clearly and is the perfect appointment for any Business owner with a Corporate / Commercial legal services requirement.’

‘Ed Nurse has a very calm approach to problems and always contactable. His input in varied legal matters within our group is done with a great personal touch.’

‘Broad range of corporate and commercial experience and expertise. Balanced objective advice. Very responsive when required.’

‘Knowledge of our businesses and group. Attention to detail. Responsiveness. Commercially very astute.’

‘Matt Worsnop has a practical approach to resolving matters. I can always rely on Matt and his team to complete work efficiently and effectively. Matt is very effective at dealing with issues to get deals done. Matt will offer practical solutions to solve any problems arising.’

‘Ed Nurse has been very committed in getting the deal done, he has been a true business partner, always available also outside standard working hours. He has been a great coordinator of his team, overseeing the different topics and making sure everything was on track.’

Key clients

Correlation Investments Limited

Lavendon Group Limited

Gardner Group Limited

Oadby Plastics Limited

BPX Group Limited

NatWest Bank Plc

Nationwide Platforms Limited

Money Thing Capital Limited

Animal Friends Insurance Services Limited

HSBC Bank Plc

KCT Holdings Limited

Cast Alum

Technicut Limited

Quartz Holdings Limited

Home Pro Insurance Limited

Creative Software Solutions (Europe) Limited

Verdon Timber Group Limited

Marks Electrical Limited

Colson Castors Limited

Future 45 Limited

Staircraft Group Limited

Evergreens (UK) Limited

Delta Global Source Holdings Limited

Solutions Diverse Ltd

Sturrock and Robson Limited

Red Sands Insurance Company (Europe) Limited

AutoProtect Group Limited

SIL-MID Limited

Reach Engineering & Diving Services Ltd (REDS)

Beowulf Mining Plc

Meet & Engage Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders on the disposal of ARCC Communications to KN Circet.
  • Advised Dare&Dare Limited on the disposal of Hay Hampers Limited to Moguntia Food Group.
  • Advised the shareholder of Solutions Diverse Limited on the disposal to an MBO team.

HCR Hewitsons

HCR Hewitsons works closely with its offices in other regions to provide comprehensive services to its clients, many of which come from the manufacturing, technology, agricultural and motor industries. David Browne leads the team and advises large local clients on M&A transactions and group reorganisations. The banking group is led by Neil Harpham, who manages the firm's relationship with a number of leading banks. At associate level, Anne-Sophie Reynolds assists with many of the team's largest corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

David Browne

Other key lawyers:

Neil Harpham; Anne-Sophie Reynolds


‘I’ve worked with this firm for many years professionally and have used them personally to help and guide me through an exit strategy that has now concluded. I used them personally having experienced their service professionally and that was the main reason for engaging them on a personal basis. They give the impression of solidity and certainty without being ponderous or stuck in the past.’

‘David Browne has always provided excellent legal advice and has always been able to understand the commercial context.’

‘The team are always so quick to respond and that is what I rely upon. When information is needed it is always needed yesterday! So I am often grateful that the team are so accessible and I don’t have only one person I can contact when needed. They also have a lot of historic knowledge that I simply don’t have, so that can be invaluable at times.’

‘Neil Harpham is always available for us whenever we need him and has always been timeous, diligent and thorough in his approach.’

‘The team are so professional and dedicated and they deliver with such a personable style, friendly approach and a human touch. Anne-Sophie Reynolds has been a pleasure to work with. Her eagerness to help and respond to our demands (even when juggling holiday and lockdown with kids at home) is second to none. We completed a large re-financing in the last year and the speed of response and logical, clear and concise manner in which it was delivered made my life a lot easier, for which I am grateful.’

‘We have worked with the firm for a number of years and in that time they have taken the time to get to know and understand our business, which makes working with them so easy. It saves us so much time not having to repeat ourselves or go over information unnecessarily. They are always very clear about the fees appropriate for each case, and always give the most pragmatic and sensible advice.’

‘We have almost exclusively worked with Anne-Sophie Reynolds. She knows and understands our business and objectives, and just gets us. Not sure we could ever work with anyone else, she just makes working with HCR Hewitsons an easy decision.’

‘The company commercial team provide the quality of advice expected from a London firm. I have been very happy to put my faith in them for the last 11 years. If my regular partner is unavailable, the substitution has always been seamless. Nothing is too much for them.’

Key clients

Anglotech Group Holdings Limited and Anglotech Solutions Limited

Perrys Motor Sales Limited

Medigold Health Consultancy Limited

Hi-Force Limited Group plc

Fencor Packaging Group Limited

Intamac Systems Limited

Homes England

C Walton Limited

The shareholders of C Walton Limited

Biogen (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the shareholders in C Walton Limited on the sale of their shares to Cox Automotive UK Limited.
  • Advising Perrys Motor Sales Limited on the acquisition of a car dealership in Huddersfield.
  • Acted for a major local farming family on the retirement of one of the son’s from the farming business.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP's corporate team has expanded significantly in recent years, and is acts for companies of varying sizes on M&A transactions, demergers and management buyouts. Jahid Ali leads the Leicester corporate team and specialises in VC investments and PE transactions. The Northampton office is home to senior partner Gerald Couldrake, while director Matthew Thompson advises on mid-market M&A transactions. Former head of corporate Daniel Banton departed in May 2021 to take up an in-house role.

Practice head(s):

Jahid Ali

Other key lawyers:

Gerald Couldrake; Matthew Thompson; Miles Barnes


‘Quality service well managed team with excellent communication and value for money.’

‘Matt Thompson – approachable and understands the business needs.’

‘The breadth of experience, knowledge, and network of the team.’

‘Miles Barnes is an excellent deal orientated commercial lawyer. He understands us, our business and what we are trying to achieve. Miles has assisted us with a number of projects and we are very pleased with the advice and service we have received.’

Key clients

The shareholders of RIB Group Limited

Ataraxia 4 Ltd

Heath Crawford & Foster (Holdings) Limited

NQ2 Limited

C.Brewer & Sons Limited

Euro Food Brands Limited

Cadman Capital

Shareholders of Metrol Springs

Shareholders of EBR Analytics

Longwall Venture Partners

Ataraxia Broking Ltd

The Property Investor Partnership Ltd

Motor Insurance Bureau

Strategic Resources Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for the sellers on the sale of a percentage of the share capital of RIB Group Limited and RIB Assured Group Limited.
  • Acting for the sellers in respect of the sale to PIB Group Limited of the entire issued share capital of insurance broker holding company, Bartleet Enterprises Limited.
  • Acting for Euro Food Brands on its strategic acquisition of the business and assets comprising the Food Doctor business from William Jackson Food Group.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

From its office in Leicester, Shakespeare Martineau LLP works for a diverse range of SMEs and owner-managed businesses. The corporate practice is heavily involved in the healthcare and engineering sector and assists with funding work, M&A and reorganisations under the leadership of Roy Botterill. Martin Noble is head of the commercial team, which advises on supply agreements, data protection work and IP mandates, most notably in the retail sector. The group was further strengthened by the January 2021 arrival of Michael Squirrell from Wilkin Chapman LLP, adding to its expertise in advising IP-focused businesses and charities.

Practice head(s):

Roy Botterill; Martin Noble

Other key lawyers:

Michael Squirrell


‘Martin Noble had very good skills. He is clear, concise, and helpful. I found that he could listen to the different arguments and then help to see the path through.’

‘Good understanding of our business & customer base, with easy to understand replies & never over complicate feedback & support requirements.’

‘Fantastic response times from Martin Noble & the team with friendly support to protect the business.’

‘I have worked with Roy Botterill on corporate transactions over the last few years – produces very high quality work and has come up with innovative solutions to difficult technical issues where required. He is also extremely approachable and friendly, while being technically and commercially very knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Co-Fresh Snack Foods

Shield Engineering Group


Langdale Group

Cambridge Weight Plan

Whitworth Bros.

Work highlights

  • Advised Cofresh Snack Foods on its sale to Vibrant Foods, a company that specialises in ethnic foods.
  • Supported Threadneedle Media with a management buyout of Square Mile and HEDGE magazines.
  • Advised the existing shareholders of Amberstone Enterprises on the sale of shares to the management team.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's corporate clients range from owner-manged businesses to large corporate and banks. As part of the firm's national network of offices, the Leicester group is often involved in cross-office transactions of significant size; in 2020, Keith Gilbert worked alongside partners from the Bristol, London and Nottingham offices on Carlsberg's £750m join venture with Marstons. Phil Baigent, who co-leads the team alongside Gilbert, is recommended for his work in the healthcare sector, where he advises care home operators, investors and funders.

Practice head(s):

Phil Baigent; Keith Gilbert


‘Freeths are a very strong regional corporate law practice with consistent quality across the corporate team.’

‘Keith Gilbert – a very friendly and decent guy. Knows his stuff with a good eye for detail. Will always do his best for you.’

‘Practical and pragmatic advice. Really approachable team who care.’

‘Phil Baigent is very calm and collected. Focuses on getting the deal done.’

‘The team is very client focused and also very pragmatic.’

‘Keith Gilbert. An outstanding lawyer who is flexible and a pleasure to work with. He explains difficult concepts clearly and will not ‘take points’ for the sake of it. He will always approach a task with the client’s interests to the fore.’

Key clients

Advance Healthcare UK Limited

Anchor Hanover Group

ASAR Holdings Limited

BMI Healthcare Limited

Cambridge & Counties Bank Limited

Carlsberg Breweries A/S

Carlsberg UK Limited

Clydesdale Bank plc

CML Limited

Countrywide Care Homes

Flogas Britain

Frankham Bros Group Limited

Harrison Castings Limited

Integrated Doorset Solutions Limited

James Convenience Retail Limited

Karsten UK

Kiddycare Limited

Lloyds Bank plc

Maria Mallaband Care Group Limited

MCR Systems Limited

Motor Parts Direct Limited

M P K Garages Limited

Naismiths Limited

OEM – Automatic Limited

Regen Holdings Limited/Whites Recycling Limited

Samworth Brothers

Sandstone Care Group

Santander UK plc

Sofidel UK Limited

Sprintquip Pty Ltd

Svenska Handelsbanken AB

Travis Perkins plc

Westward Energy Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Carlsberg on its £780m deal with Marston’s plc to form a new joint venture beer company in the UK, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company.
  • Advised OEM-Automatic Limited on the acquisition of the issued share capital of Zoedale Ltd from the Guest family.
  • Advising the shareholders of Advance Healthcare UK Ltd in relation to the sale of the entire issued share capital to City and Country Healthcare Group Limited.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited

Nelsons Solicitors Limited's Leicester team is particularly strong in commercial transactions; Harpreet Sandhu, who splits his time across the firm's various East Midlands offices, leads the commercial and technology team which advises on outsourcings, product development, supply agreements and licensing work. On the corporate side, Chris Rees is praised by clients for his 'practical, innovative' approach to his work, which includes advising on private equity and investment transactions, corporate acquisitions and restructurings. Rees also has an extensive banking and finance practice, assisting with secured lending and asset finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Chris Rees; Harpreet Sandhu

Other key lawyers:

Ziaur Rahman


‘Nelsons has a very strong corporate law team. I generally work with Chris Rees (Partner) and Ziaur Rahman (Senior Associate). Chris is practical, innovative in his solutions and an excellent client facing partner who delivers reliably every time. Ziaur is an excellent technical lawyer as well as being friendly and approachable for clients. Together they make a tremendous team in terms of client delivery.’

Key clients

Prime Life Limited

Nucleus Commercial Finance Limited

Nucleus Property Finance Limited

Nucleus Cash Flow Finance Limited

Nucleus Business Cash Advance Limited

Cambridge & Counties Bank Limited

4Syte Trade Finance Limited

4Syte Structured Finance Limited

4Syte Limited

Sills & Betteridge LLP

Sills & Betteridge LLP provides a 'first-class service' to clients across the Lincolnshire area, which range from SMEs to national companies with bases in the region. The group has expertise in a number of sectors, and is particularly strong in the agri-business, energy, haulage and software engineering industries. James Conduit leads the practice and has expertise in corporate transactions in the insurance and education sectors, as well as issues relating to digital media. Andrew Payne, formerly the firm's senior partner, retired from the partnership in May 2020, though continues to practice as a consultant.

Practice head(s):

James Conduit

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Payne; Martin Walsh; Gary Phillips; Euan McLaughlin


‘We have received a first class service from the team at Sills & Betteridge, the thing that stood out most was the excellent communication, and responsiveness to the tasks and timeframe required. The team were able to communicate what is often complex legal prose in a manner that was clear and simple for those not trained in the niceties of legalese.’

‘We have been very pleased with the service provide by James Conduit regarding a recent asset purchase agreement. The communication regarding the work was superb. James understood the nature of the agreement and accurately produced the contract required. The attention to the deal, and communication with the other party’s solicitors facilitated an exchange on schedule and the process ran smoothly.’

‘James Conduit, Partner and our lead contact, is always available to initially discuss any requirements we have and then to either directly act for us or bring the relevant experienced team member to our case. James has taken the time to understand our business and fully understand the way our industry works. I class James as more than a business associate.’

‘The Sills team are always thorough, professional and responsive to the client circumstances. They operate with efficiency and work to deadlines set by the client.’

‘The individuals pay more than lip service to delivering on their promises. They stand out for the consistent quality in delivering the service to clients. They are reliable and innovative and provide solutions to specific client matters than resolve rather than frustrate the resolution of matters.’

‘As one of the pre-eminent firms in Lincolnshire I think the depth and quality of the Team and Individuals at Sills & Betteridge often get missed in the wider East Midlands market. Over the past fifteen months we have worked a lot closer with the firm and a number of its team. The depth of services is often understated, as is the quality of the individuals. The sensitivity as to costs makes Sills a natural partner to work with and one we will look to further grow our relationship with as time progresses.

‘I have worked with Martin Walsh on a number of deals, he consistently delivers within time and budget, whilst ensuring that risk is properly managed regardless of the time involved. Martin puts clients first.’

Key clients

Ashbury Labelling Limited

Ballet Makers Europe Limited

Battle Hayward and Bower Limited

Beaphar BV

Chandlers (Farm Machinery) Limited

Clydesdale Bank PLC

EPS Logistics Technology Limited

GH Byproducts (Derby) Limited

Hemswell Estates Limited

Lincoln College Group

Lincolnshire Football Association

Micronclean Limited

NerG Ltd/ NERG Holdings Ltd

Omex Agriculture Limited

Sleeping Disorders Centre Group

Synergi Tech (IP) Limited

The Burdens Group

The Genius Group Solutions Limited

Turnbull & Co Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Chandlers Farm Equipment on its acquisition of Lister Wilder’s Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra ‘AGCO’ dealerships.
  • Acted for the sellers of the Principle Healthcare Group on its sale to Euro Vital Pharma (EVP), an investee company of private equity firm Capiton.
  • Advised local heat and power solutions provider NerG Ltd on a £2m combined heat and power project.


Following multiple new arrivals, Chattertons assists owner-managed businesses and SME with various matters. Adam Gilbert arrived from Else Solicitors LLP in October 2020 to take up the position of practice head; he has expertise in corporate transactions including M&A, MBOs, disposals and restructurings. James Dent, who joined from Wilson Browne, handles commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):

Adam Gilbert

Other key lawyers:

James Dent


We rely on Adam for support when agreeing contracts with customers and he is always available for advice and assistance, explains clearly without patronising. He has helped us update all of our terms and we feel secure as a result of this. Adam is always friendly and approachable and we know we can pick up the phone to him anytime.

Key clients

Simpatica Group Limited

Abzorb Group Limited

Commercial Limited

Anemoi Marine Technologies Limited

Wonderland Agency Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising shareholders on the sale of shares in JLF Moving Solutions Limited to Shift Online Limited.

Roythornes Solicitors

Roythornes Solicitors' group is led by Martin Jinks and assists with management buyouts, demergers, corporate succession planning issues, shareholder agreements and data protection matters. Located in Lincolnshire, the group is frequently consulted by clients in the fresh produce industry, as well as those looking for assistance with agricultural issues. Jinks is supported by Mike Matthews and Lizzie Walters; the former specialises in regional M&A transactions, while the latter has developed a niche in corporate restructuring work.

Practice head(s):

Martin Jinks

Other key lawyers:

Lizzie Walters; Mike Matthews


‘The team is diverse and strong whether they are helping with an MBO, trade sale or private equity sale. They have a wide range of services and some significant sector expertise.

‘Response times are very quick and no problem or challenge is too big or small. The people I have dealt at Roythornes go the extra mile to ensure you get a first class service. I had to conclude an MBO this time last year and without the help of Roythornes and in particular Mike Matthews it is unlikely the deal would have got over the line.’

‘With Mike’s calm, considered and professional approach to the transaction, he preserved the right balance in protecting our position for the future whilst ensuring we got the deal of the line.’

‘We have worked with several members of the Roythornes team to help our business with our merger and all the complexities that entails. The team are always very accessible and collaborative in their approach. Particularly guiding us through the complex paperwork and nuances of areas of law completely alien to us. Fees are always a huge consideration as we are an SME and have to be very careful with our budgets. The team were very good at agreeing fixed fees so we had the confidence that we would not have escalating costs to deal with.’

‘Lizzie Walters’ extensive knowledge, patience and clarity has made this process so much easier. It has not been without it’s difficulties, but her calm, measured approach has really helped in making us feel very supported. Lizzie broke down complex law speak for us so that we really understood what we were reading and did it all with very good humour. She was always able to come at a problem with a variety of solutions which all made sense to us and no question was deemed too trivial or silly. All the Directors of our company value her expertise highly.’

‘This team provides an efficient and effective service, understanding the needs of often demanding clients to get a deal done.’

‘The individuals we have worked with including the very impressive Mike Matthews are approachable, pragmatic and knowledgeable. Always content to go the extra mile, they understand the importance of effective client care. Complex corporate transactions become less so in their hands.’

Key clients

Inivos Limited

The Food Heroes Marketing Limited

Clayson Country Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising The Food Heroes Marketing Limited on intellectual property matters and the establishment of a joint venture with external investors.
  • Advising a fresh produce company on a group restructuring.
  • Advising a family farming company on its demerger.

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Wilkin Chapman LLP advises on M&A, financing transactions and corporate reorganisations. Jointly led by Russell Eke and Ian Sherburn, the energy sector is one of the department's key area of activity; in 2020, the group advised on the acquisition of wind farms and arranged funding to facilitate the roll out of compressed natural gas filling stations. Michael Squirrell departed to join Shakespeare Martineau LLP in December 2020.

Practice head(s):

Russell Eke; Ian Sherburn

Other key lawyers:

Limara Rickell


‘The breadth of experience and team working approach. Lateral thinking and quick turnaround.’

‘Russell Eke and Limara Rickell are a fantastic advert for WC. They have a breadth of experience which is invaluable and I am always confident that every angle has been covered and executed in full. Furthermore their light demeanour always makes working together a pleasure.’

Key clients

Unitas Wholesale Limited

CNG Fuels Limited

Total UK Limited

Mizkan Euro Limited

Yara UK Limited

Fastnet Fish limited

D.B. Ramsden & Company Limited

Lincolnshire Co-op Limited

Terravesta Limited

Lincoln City Football Club

Work highlights

  • Advised CNG Station Holdings Limited on an extension of its funding arrangements to £30m.
  • Acted for Willoughby Farms on the acquisition of Whitfield Energy Limited which owns the Anaerobic Digestion Plant located on Willoughby Farm.

Wilson Browne Solicitors

Following its merger in 2019, Wilson Browne Solicitors has developed into a noteworthy name for corporate work in the East Midlands. The group, which has six offices across Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, is led from Corby by Duncan Crowther; his primary areas of practice encompass shareholder agreements, M&A transactions and equity investments. In Northampton, Andrew Kerr works with owner-managed businesses.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Crowther

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Kerr


‘Diverse range of people and backgrounds, with good knowledge and experience on which to pull. Fixed fee work and total clarity on billing. Diverse range of services offered, pretty much every aspect covered off, and they also have the ability to bring in additional expertise when/if required.’

‘The ability to approach senior people within the organisation, such as partner, and get a good and effective service directly from them.’

‘They have been a great help with the sale of our company, the depth of knowledge in the team is great. They are clear, easy to contact and straight forward to work with. Have complete faith and trust in what they do.’

‘Andrew Kerr, always quick to respond. Sound advice and easy to work with.’

‘I have worked with the Wilson Browne team for over 15 years on many corporate and commercial projects. They are responsive and come up with practical solutions to problems. Their legal documents are well drafted, clear and stand up to scrutiny.

They are nearly always available to me and will respond to my calls and queries. Whilst I can offer them practical tax solutions, they give me legal advice, and together we can find workable solutions for clients. I have confidence referring my clients to them as they will get good customer service.

Key clients

National Education Union

Heygates Limited

Global Processing Services Limited

Dodson & Horrell Limited

Festo Limited

Phoenix Fragrances Limited

The Gateway Group of Companies Limited

OCM Wealth Management Limited

Total Computers Networks Limited

Sweetstable Group Limited

C Butt Limited

George J Cox Limited

AES Control Systems Limited

Fentex Limited

Cooney Marine International Limited

Performance Finance Limited

Prestige and Homeseeker Park & Leisure Homes Limited

DC Battery Technology Limited

Pragmatiq Solutions Limited

The Yaboo Company Limited

EB Designs Limited

Global Health Tests Limited

247 Nutritionist Limited

Innocean Worldwide UK Limited

House of Goodness Limited

KCS Group Limited

New Chapter Villages Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising EB Designs Limited on contractual arrangements with internationally recognised high street brands for the provision of retail space design and build services.
  • Advising Festo Limited on various commercial issues.
  • Advising Phoenix Fragrances Limited on corporate restructuring issues and intellectual property protection and registration work.