Firms To Watch: Commercial contracts

HFW is a key name in the market for global commercial agreements in the shipping, logistics and energy sectors.
Howard Kennedy LLP acts for clients cross the creative industries including the media, entertainment, advertising and fashion industries.

Commercial contracts in London

Addleshaw Goddard

Drawing on its network of offices throughout the UK, Addleshaw Goddard's dedicated commercial contracts team focuses on highly complex contractual mandates, acting for high-profile clients ranging from start-ups to FTSE 100 companies. The group has notable expertise in the retail, financial services, industrial and digital sectors; key clients include HSBC, Asda Stores and Boohoo Group. Michael Lowry heads up the national practice from Leeds and focuses on technology and outsourcing contracts. Other noteworthy individuals include Manchester-based Jonathan Davey, who is a key contact for retail and consumer clients; Fiona Ghosh in London, who acts for financial services and fintech clients; and James Whittaker in Manchester, who leads the national technology and outsourcing practice. Robert Garwood was promoted to the partnership in mid-2020, David Berry re-joined the firm in mid-2021 from Stephenson Harwood, and managing associate Andrew Carter acts for clients in the transport and financial services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Michael Lowry

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Davey; Fiona Ghosh; James Whittaker; Andrew Smith; Paul Bentham; Robert Garwood; David Berry; Andrew Carter; Phil McGough; Nadine Waters


‘Great understanding of how the company operates, very hands on and proactive. Great collaboration between their team which shows in the service they provide. Training sessions have been provided by the team to our internal stakeholders which have been very successful.’

‘Jonathan Davies has a great understanding of how our company operates which has been cascaded down to his team of associates. He is always very helpful, friendly and proactive.’

‘A very service-oriented team- I work with many large firms and this law firm is one with a human touch and with a keen sense of business. They don’t have that “we are great and we know it” air that many large law firms have.’

‘Andrew Carter- super quick mind and able to grasp and oversee very large transactions. Fiona Ghosh- fantastic in managing all her lawyers and delivering a coordinated package.’

‘The team are exceptionally strong – they are clear leaders in the Northwest for their breadth of experience, quality of client base and progressive approach. They have a leading edge interest in the application of AI to legal services provision, which sets them apart, and have exposure to some of the UK’s biggest commercial contract transactions, via their panel appointments.’

‘James Whittaker – extremely experienced, a strong blend of expertise and practicality. A safe pair of hands for the most complex of deals. Phil McGough – a real rising star, he is dedicated to achieving the best outcomes for his clients, and is a leader in the application of AI to legal services in this sector. Nadine Waters – a client favourite, for her breadth of knowledge and her “non nonsense”, plain speaking style in negotiations.’

‘Andrew Carter is absolutely fearless.’

Key clients

Bruntwood Group of companies

Boohoo Group Limited


Department for Transport

Battersea Power Station

Volkswagen AG

FNZ (UK) Limited

Celtic Football Club


Asda Stores Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Volkswagen AG on its global joint venture with Ford Motor Company.
  • Advising Asda Stores on the sale of a majority stake in the supermarket group by Walmart Inc to a consortium of the Issa brothers and TDR Capital.
  • Advising the Department for Transport (DfT) on the latest model of rail contracts.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie focuses its practice on high-value outsourcing, procurement and services contracts, regularly handling substantial, bet-the-business mandates; the team recently advised on the commercial contracts for Hitachi's $11bn acquisition of ABB's power grid business. Group head Duncan Reid-Thomas has a notable focus on the healthcare sector, Sue McLean is a key contact for financial services clients, and Helen Brown and Julia Hemmings jointly lead the firm's consumer advisory practice. Other key sectors for the team include the technology, advertising, telecoms, media, retail and leisure industries; clients include Google, Marriott and Walgreens Boots Alliance. The practice also leverages the firm's global network to handle cross-border mandates and assists with data protection, advertising, sponsorship and cybersecurity issues.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Reid-Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Helen Brown, Julia Hemmings; Sue McLean; Charlotte Harrington; Lucy Hart; Jaspreet Takhar


‘Duncan Reid-Thomas is exceptionally pragmatic, experienced and effectively finds a route through problems. He has provided us with outstanding service and has gone above and beyond. This has been invaluable to us in getting a major transaction over the line.’

‘Practice has a strong technology industry sector focus. Multi-jurisdictional in nature – they seamlessly coordinate advice across a range of countries where needed. Focus on practical, actionable legal advice and their lawyers don’t ‘sit on the fence’. Diversity, equity and inclusion is one of their core values. Willing to work with you on alternative fee arrangements (including fixed fee retainers) and regular fee reporting.’

‘The individuals in the team are very responsive, they take the time to understand your business needs and risk profile and focus on providing actionable legal advice. They also are genuinely nice people so are very easy to work with. Duncan Reid-Thomas is a highly experienced and knowledgeable commercial lawyer. He has become a trusted adviser who always provides thoughtful, pragmatic advice. Jaspreet Takhar is a rising star, she has great attention to detail and that really comes across in her strong drafting skills and exceptional client management.’

‘Julia Hemmings and Helen Brown are stand out partners in the team. For a number of years they have both successfully worked together as a job share, which from a client perspective has been seamless. They are both very responsive and provide a high level of service. They are both pragmatic and approachable.’

‘I worked with Helen Brown. She showed strong strength towards being customer centric, available, resilient, great capability to listen, understand and manage multiple technical themes at the same time, and make the link with the legal communication. I particularly appreciate her ‘own it, drive it’ mindset and her ability to manage multiple functional leaders (R&D, Procurement, Operations), and strong ability to build bridges.’

‘The team are very reactive, commercial and have strong technical knowledge.’

Key clients









Walgreens Boots Alliance

Work highlights

  • Advised Hitachi on a range of key commercial agreements between Hitachi and ABB in connection with Hitachi’s $11bn acquisition of Swiss engineering group ABB’s power grid business, including a mutual supply agreement, R&D services agreement, marketing support agreement and transitional services agreement.
  • Assisted KKR with the general commercial and intellectual property aspects of its purchase of a stake in Coty’s professional beauty and retail haircare divisions.

DLA Piper

Fielding a substantial specialist nationwide commercial contracts team, DLA Piper is a go-to name for complex multijurisdictional commercial mandates. The group has particular expertise in the retail, consumer products, manufacturing, hospitality and leisure sectors, where it advises clients on all aspects of supply chains, alliances, partnering arrangements, service agreements, regulatory matters and licensing issues, among others. Mark Dewar leads the department and regularly handles supply chain contracts for consumer and consumer finance clients, while Sophie Lessar, who joined from Simmons & Simmons in early 2020, acts for retail financial services clients, and Chloe Forster is highly active on global mandates. At associate level, Chris Rennie regularly assists with technology sourcing matters and implementation projects.

Practice head(s):

Mark Dewar

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Lessar; Chloe Forster; Anthony Day; Stephen Wright; Chris Rennie


‘Exceptional quality in service provided, comprehensive understanding of the objectives of our business and extraordinary ability to work with us to help is achieve our goals.’

‘Both at partner and associate level able to understand what was being asked for, provide succinct and clear advice and to produce output that required very little modification by the business.’

Key clients

AllSaints Retail Limited

AO World plc


Chris Stewart Group

Christian Dior Couture SA


HIG Capital


Kent Pharmaceuticals

Key Retirement Group

Lego Services

Levi’s Strauss & Co.

Merlin Attractions Operations Limited

Mondelez Europe GmbH

Nichols PLC

Pilkington Group

Radius Payment Solutions

Schlumberger Logelco, Inc, a Schlumberger subsidiary

ScottishPower Energy Retail Limited

Selecta TMP AG

Specialized Bicycle Components Inc.


The Co-operative Bank

The Hut Group

The World University Insights Ltd.

Veon Ventures Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Schlumberger on its commercial agreement with the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation to (i) digitise the historical oil and gas data and records and (ii) create an online cloud hosted portal to which companies and interested entities can subscribe in order to access historical and current oil and gas data sets.
  • Advising VEON on its global incentives, marketing and services arrangement with MasterCard for the provision of incentive and activation plans in Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Bangladesh through the negotiation of a Global Framework Agreement and Local Agreements.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP's commercial team handles complex and innovative commercial contracts for clients across a broad spectrum of industries including the automotive, transport, food and drink, consumer, TMT, financial services and life sciences sectors. The group also takes advantage of the firm's wider global offering to assist with cross-border mandates; in a recent highlight, the practice advised AmerisourceBergen on the commercial elements of its $6.5bn acquisition of Walgreens Boots Alliance's Alliance Healthcare wholesale distribution business in Europe. Peter Watts and Richard Welfare jointly lead the team; Watts focuses on contracts involving TMT elements and Welfare has expertise in manufacturing, distribution, marketing and advertising contracts. Counsel Penny Powell is a key contact for complex joint cooperation agreements with particular expertise in the life sciences sector.

Practice head(s):

Peter Watts; Richard Welfare

Other key lawyers:

Penny Powell

Key clients

AmerisourceBergen Corporation


ITV plc

NATS (National Air Traffic Services)

AMD Medicom Inc.

Novartis AG

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV / SA

British Paralympic Association

BMI Group

Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK Ltd



Work highlights

  • Advised AmerisourceBergen Corporation on its US$6.47bn acquisition of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.’s Alliance Healthcare wholesale distribution business in Europe.
  • Advised Valneva on its Covid-19 vaccine partnership with the UK Government.
  • Advised ITV on the formation of BritBox, a joint venture with the BBC.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's commercial contracts practice is led from Manchester by Samantha Livesey, who is notably experienced in the retail, sport, advanced manufacturing and technology sectors. Other key individuals include Clare Francis, who heads up the Birmingham-based team; global head of TMT, Simon Colvin , in London and outsourcing expert Laura Ayre, who is based in Birmingham. The group utilises the firm's global footprint as well as its legal project management function to advise on international mandates, and has notable expertise in the manufacturing, public, energy and technology industries. Gayle Ditchburn, who leads the firm's universities commercial, regulatory and governance team, is also a key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Samantha Livesey

Other key lawyers:

Clare Francis; Laura Ayre; Simon Colvin; Gayle Ditchburn

Key clients

The National Employment Savings Trust Corporation (Nest)

The Ministry of Justice

Tesco plc

Rolls-Royce Plc

NEC Group

Jockey Club Racecourses Limited (“JCR”)

Starship Technologies

University of Lincoln

Kier Limited

Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Advised the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest) on the procurement process for the outsourcing of pension scheme administration services.
  • Advised the NEC Group on the property and commercial contracts with the NHS to enable the set up and use of the NEC site in Birmingham as a Nightingale Hospital.
  • Advised the Innovative Vector Control Consortium, a charity funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, on the creation of a new series of templates to use to sponsor the development of new insecticides and malaria-control products.


RPC's substantial standalone commercial team saw notable expansion in 2021 with the recruitment of Tom Purton from Travers Smith LLP, who adds expertise in joint ventures and collaboration agreements. The wider practice handles the full breadth of commercial work for a varied client roster encompassing businesses in the digital, technology, media, retail and financial services industries; notable examples include Google, YouTube and News UK. Oliver Bray heads up the department and recently advised Facebook on the establishment of its independent oversight board, which handles issues relating to content moderation on Facebook's platforms. Other key names include Paul Joukador, who assists with transformational projects; Mark Crichard, who leads the firm's technology and outsourcing practice; Charles Buckworth, who advises on IT transactions and issues in the payment services sector; and branding expert Ciara Cullen.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Bray

Other key lawyers:

Paul Joukador; Mark Crichard; Charles Buckworth; Jon Bartley; Simon Edwards; Ciara Cullen; Josh Charalambous


‘A superb team of lawyers, experts in the Advertising and Marketing sector. A close-knit unit, with robust legal expertise combined with deep industry knowledge. Always happy to go above and beyond to help with any request.’

‘Oliver Bray goes from strength to strength. We were delighted to hear of his promotion to Senior Partner. Incredibly well deserved. We would be lost without him.’

‘The team have extensive knowledge in how to create complex technology agreement for global organisations.’

‘Great experience in the sector, consistently added value beyond just ‘black letter’ issues. Very responsive when needed, but maintains a human touch.’

‘Ciara Cullen is technically excellent and a fantastic client lawyer. Always there when we need her and gives consistently good advice, both legally and commercially. Josh Charalambous has a wealth of knowledge in the sports and entertainment sector and is one to watch.’

Key clients

Google and YouTube

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus

New Look

News UK (The Times, The Sun)


Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP)

Crabtree & Evelyn

House of Fraser

Charlotte Tilbury


Shepherd Neame


Office Space in Town

BOC Limited

HB Leisure

AB InBev

Work highlights

  • Advised Facebook on setting up the much-anticipated Independent Oversight Board, which hears appeals and issues binding decisions about content moderation on Facebook’s platforms.
  • Advising Link Scheme, a UK payment system which connects all of the UK’s cash machines, on the provision of its outsourced ATM switching and settlement services.
  • Advising Stella McCartney Limited, the fashion designer and retailer, with IT-related issues arising out of its exit from a long-standing joint venture with Kering (an international luxury goods brand).

Travers Smith LLP

Dan Reavill leads the commercial, IP and technology practice at Travers Smith LLP, which focuses on high-profile, business-critical commercial mandates. In a recent highlight, the team advised Laura Ashley on the major restructuring of its portfolio of global master licensing and distribution arrangements. Noteworthy individuals include Richard Brown, who has key expertise in the infrastructure and media sectors; and Ben Chivers, who leads the firm's leisure and hospitality group. The team acts for longstanding top-notch national and international clients, which include companies in the financial services, manufacturing, technology, media and infrastructure sectors, including Channel 4, Monzo and Xoserve. Tom Purton departed to RPC in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Dan Reavill

Other key lawyers:

Richard Brown; Ben Chivers; Michael Cuthbertson


‘Attention to detail, speed and quality of response. In-depth understanding and knowledge of the team. Ability to deliver clear and concise advice.’

‘Travers’ main strengths are the strong client relationship which it builds and invests in, the detailed knowledge of our business, technical excellence, a commercial approach and also continuity of personnel. In the commercial law space, the Travers team compares very favourably to other firms I have worked with. I would consider Travers’ commercial offering to be among the best in the London market.’

‘Primarily I have worked with Richard Brown (partner) and Michael Cuthbertson (senior associate). My experience with both has been excellent. Richard provides hands-on oversight of the matters and is always available to chat through any partner level issues that may arise. Richard has a wealth of experience and brings strong technical legal knowledge and a commercial approach to his advice. Michael has been responsible for the “heavy lifting” on recent matters – Michael is excellent technically and is highly responsive. I have also been impressed with Michael’s commercial understanding – he quickly grasped the key points for our business and tailored his advice accordingly.’

‘Ben Chivers (Partner) has always been on hand to help out with a variety of matters, often at short notice and often in complex/sensitive matters.’

‘I have always found the team at Travers to be very approachable and down to earth. This has really helped develop a strong relationship. In addition to this, the team have a great sense of humility which flows down from the partners, despite being experts in their field and from my perspective, this really sets them apart from other law firms I have worked with.’

‘Ben Chivers is a standout partner. Often I have approached Ben for advice, where other lawyers and firms have failed. He is both reliable and gives consistently good advice. It is rare to find a Partner who will advise to such a high standard, whilst remaining flexible and approachable.’

‘The team is always professional and helpful. They bring a sense of commercial and practical solutions to all legal challenges, ensuring an outcome that works in the best interest of all parties. The attention even from partner level on all aspects of our legal dealings makes a big difference, always makes you feel valued as a client.’

‘Commercial advice from Travers is consistently of a high standard. For in-house lawyers, their practice provides vital flexibility and responsive team members. Where other firms are rigid with cost options and collaborative working, Travers will provide that rare quality of working with lawyers in-house to create an extension of the internal team and are always flexible when it comes to fees. They understand the in-house lawyers’ role and the challenges they face and handle them deftly.’

Key clients

Laura Ashley

The Knot Worldwide

S.A. Brain

Benchmark Holdings



Channel 4

HB Leisure

Moto Hospitality


Gong Cha


Power On Connections

Le Chameau

The BOC Group

OVO Energy

London Resort Company Holdings

Sage North Sea Limited

Office Space in Town

BUUK Infrastructure

THE World Universities Insights

Shepherd Neame

Oikos Storage

Brewin Dolphin

Caffè Nero

AJ Capital

Ambassador Theatre Group

Burger King


Immediate Media

Benson Elliot

Hikma Pharmaceuticals plc


Linde plc

Ancala Partners

Premier Rugby Limited


Konica Minolta

Pepkor Europe


The Gap Partnership

Cheque and Credit Clearing Company

Pension Protection Fund

Association of British Insurers

Bannatyne Fitness

TES Global

The Vegan Wholesale

Oy Aga

Medco Regis

Essentra plc

Target Group



The Hut Group


AXA UK Pension Trustees

Brooks Macdonald

International Literary Properties

Work highlights

  • Advising Laura Ashley on a major restructuring of its extensive portfolio of global master licensing and distribution arrangements.
  • Advised Xoserve on the restructuring of its operations and carve-out of new subsidiary Correla, as well as the subsequent sale of Correla to private equity house NorthEdge.
  • Advised longstanding, AIM-listed client Benchmark Holdings on key commercial agreements relating to its vaccine manufacturing facility at Braintree, which will be used for the mass production of Covid-19 vaccines in the UK.


As part of the firm's wider digital economy practice, Ashurst's commercial team acts on high-value, bet-the-shop commercial mandates including collaborative partnerships, supply agreements and strategic services contracts, among others. The group leverages the firm's sector specialisms to act for a varied client base encompassing clients in the energy, manufacturing, financial services, infrastructure and technology industries. Nick Elverston leads the digital economy group and Christopher Bates heads up the commercial contracts practice, which also fields David Futter, who focuses on the financial services industry, and senior associate Richard Holmes, who leads the team in Glasgow.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Bates; Nick Elverston

Other key lawyers:

David Futter; Richard Holmes


‘On the ball, really good team.’

‘The team is very well organised and super capable. In particular, they are very good at bringing in specialist expertise in related areas (such as real estate, or litigation) to ensure all bases are covered.’

‘Chris Bates -very helpful and approachable, able to cut through jargon, negotiated well for us. Clearly has expertise in the area.’

‘Chris Bates – great guy, very hard working, sensible advice, responsive.’

‘Christopher Bates is very knowledgeable and experienced and brings a great deal of assurance with his advice.’

Key clients

McLaren Racing/VentilatorChallengeUK

British Business Bank plc

The Polish Ministry of Digital Affairs (acting through the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development)

Goldman Sachs

Lafarge Holcim

Babcock International Group

HM Government/UK Treasury

Sopra Steria Limited

Nomura International PLC

Prudential PLC

Shawbrook Bank

Transport for London

Kier Group


BP plc

DXC Technology

General Nuclear System Ltd

NM Rothschild & Sons

Barclays Bank

IHS Markit

Work highlights

  • Advised McLaren Racing on its involvement in the VentilatorChallengeUK – a consortium of significant UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses which developed and mass-produced medical ventilators for use by the NHS as part of the UK Government’s strategic response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Assisted Facebook Inc. 2AFRICA Project with the suite of commercial agreements required to facilitate the world’s largest subsea cable rollout.
  • Advised Uber Group on its strategic partnership with Thames Clippers to launch a commuter boat service on the River Thames in London.

Bird & Bird LLP

Leveraging the firm's wider expertise in the technology and digital space, Bird & Bird LLP is a go-to name for technology transformation projects. It recently advised Nando's on a critical technology transformation project relating to its digital business offering and assisted TK Maxx with contracting technology to support its store openings and associate welfare. Simon Shooter and Ronald Hendrikx jointly lead the practice, which also includes Christian Bartsch, who also leads the firm's financial services sector group; Mark Leach, who heads up the technology transactions and international outsourcing teams; and franchising, distribution and supply chain expert Graeme Payne.

Practice head(s):

Simon Shooter; Ronald Hendrikx

Other key lawyers:

Christian Bartsch; Mark Leach; Graeme Payne; Richard McMorris; Ian Edwards


‘Bird & Bird offer us a virtual secondment arrangement, at low fixed rates, which compares favourably to other City firms. It’s a quick and convenient way to outsource business-as-usual commercial work without having to worry about fee estimates and escalating fees.’

‘They have been a great partner to us, showing an investment in our longer term relationship.’

‘Industry experience and expertise. Commercial attitude.’

‘Christian Bartsch is pragmatic, responsive and commercial.’

Key clients


Clean Beauty Co

Costa Limited



Epic Games

Everton FC


IWG plc

LKAB Minerals


Monica Vinader





Sukari Gold Mines


Tomorrow London

Vestcom International and Integrated Retail Limited

Yes To

Work highlights

  • Supporting Micro:bit on a wide range of commercial, corporate and IP areas including advising on the renegotiation and agreement of global manufacturing and distribution agreements.
  • Assisting TK Maxx with numerous key projects as it contracted for technology to support store openings and associate welfare during the Covid crisis. This involved the development of a voluntary application to monitor employee health and wellbeing.
  • Acting for Nando’s on a number of critical tech transformation projects, in particular those relating to Nando’s digital business offerings including a ground breaking deal with Deliveroo to create a white labelled order site from the Nando’s website and app.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's commercial contracts practice handles strategic commercial arrangements, sourcing and outsourcing issues and supplier arrangements for a varied client base, with notable expertise in the technology, financial services, sports, media, retail and hospitality sectors. Key clients include BT, the Royal Mail Group and Tesco; practice head Richard Shaw advised the latter on its installation of an electric vehicle charging network and the related sponsorship arrangement with Volkswagen. Marcus Pearl, who is the global sector leader for the firm's technology group, also contributes to the practice, along with Carol Osborne, who leads the global technology and commercial group. At senior associate level, Kate Jeffery is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Richard Shaw

Other key lawyers:

Marcus Pearl; Carol Osborne; Kate Jeffery


‘The team that we work with is led by Marcus Pearl who brings extensive experience to a host of technology and innovation commercial areas that have been very relevant to our growth. The team works across multiple departments with BCLP from property to employment, fibre, data, transport and commercial and that interaction is seamless. A true one-team approach.’

‘Responsive, on hand, make the effort to really understand our own needs and become integral team members to the senior leadership leading the business. Marcus Pearl leads the team exceptionally well and this shows in the way the values and culture is established in all associates who join our team.’

Key clients

Royal Mail Group

British Telecom Group


Estee Lauder Companies



The Clorox Company


DXC Technology Inc.

National Grid

Work highlights

  • Advised BT on a long-term outsourcing arrangement following the carve out from BT and sale of non-core division, BT Fleet Solutions, for the ongoing management of BT’s own fleet with Aurelius Group, a pan-European investment group.
  • Advised Apto on the launch of the first UK cryptocurrency debit card on behalf of Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange.
  • Advising a variety of Estee Lauder brands on a wide range of commercial matters including drafting distribution agreements, third party fulfilment provider arrangements, strategic advice on vendor agreements, and the development of online concession agreements.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s team of specialist commercial contract practitioners has notable expertise in the sport, retail and TMT sectors, acting for a client base which encompasses start-ups and major corporates; key examples include Nike, Caffe Nero and Wagamama. The group also leverages its global network to assist clients with cross-border mandates; Mark Hill operates from the firm’s Dubai office. Key individuals in the practice include Jason Saiban, who leads the sport, retail and tech group; commercial group head Mark Bailey, and Megan Paul, who specialises in outsourcing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Jason Saiban; Mark Bailey; Megan Paul

Other key lawyers:

Mark Hill; Caroline Young

Key clients

Value Retail



Caffe Nero




Bowers & Wilkins



Work highlights

  • Advising Fika on a range of commercial contract and data protection matters.
  • Advising Fortis on its full suite of contracts, which included IBA processing services agreements and associated aggregate and metal sale agreements, haulage agreements, supply agreements, royalty agreements and consultancy agreements.
  • Reviewing all Farfetch commercial contracts in order to identify the impact of and amendments required as a result of Brexit.


The size and global reach of CMS' commercial practice puts it in a position to advise a variety of household name clients on the full spectrum of commercial mandates at a national and international level, with notable expertise in the life sciences, healthcare, financial services, retail, sports, energy and TMT sectors. Iain Stansfield leads the team, which also includes highly regarded outsourcing expert Ian Stevens, Matthew Bennett, who handles commercial infrastructure and procurement transactions; and technology and sourcing specialist Dominic Dryden. Of counsel Suparna Bhattacharjee is also recommended for technology transactions.

Practice head(s):

Iain Stansfield

Other key lawyers:

Ian Stevens; Matthew Bennett; Dominic Dryden; Paul Silver; Sam De Silva; Sarah Hanson; Suparna Bhattacharjee; Laurence Kalman


‘The team were able to demonstrate they understood a complex commercial structure and were particularly helpful in offering appropriate commercial options at a point of standstill during the negotiations.’

‘I have always found Laurence Kalman to be able to walk an impressive line between protection and pragmatism.’

‘The team has very good legal knowledge, industry knowledge, is structured and flexible.’

‘The team and the firm are professional and skilful. The team seems to work together in a well organised manner and they supplement each other well. The lawyers that I worked with had their focus on finding solutions and had a strong sense of integrity.’

‘Ian Stevens is a highly knowledgeable lawyer and it is clear that he is both experienced and skilful. He is a very good negotiator and is particularly good at finding alternative solutions and middle ground. He negotiates with integrity at all times. Ian is very service minded.’

Key clients



New Balance Inc

LCM Partners

Scottish Event Campus

VIA Outlets


Liberty Global

MS Amlin

Link Data Management Services


Work highlights

  • Advising FNality on its launch of a blockchain ledger version of the major global currencies, supported by numerous players such as NASDAQ, UBS, Barclays, Santander, BNY Mellon, Credit Suisse, and ING.
  • Advising VIA Outlets on a variety of commercial agreements as the company has dealt with issues arising from both Covid-19 and the impact of Brexit.
  • Provided advice to a multinational aerospace company in relation to its response to the UK Government’s VentilatorChallengeUK Project as well as in relation to its own development of a ventilator solution.


Dentons’ dedicated commercial contracts team utilises the firm’s global network to handle a broad range of domestic and international mandates for high-profile clients including KKR, Sainsbury’s and Virgin Group. Scott Singer heads up the UK commercial division and is a key contact for retail and financial services clients, and Andy Lucas leads the TMT department. Other noteworthy individuals include the highly regarded Martin Fanning, Henrietta Baker, who focuses on the energy, manufacturing and transport sectors; and Tristan Jonckheer. Sarah Lima and Nick Harrison were promoted to the partnership in 2021. The group also leverages the firm’s legal manged services offering to streamline project work for clients.

Practice head(s):

Scott Singer; Andy Lucas

Other key lawyers:

Martin Fanning; Henrietta Baker; Tristan Jonckheer; Sarah Lima; Nick Harrison; Catherine Bingham


‘Strong team with diverse knowledge . Both partners and the team have good understanding of the industry sectors, hence the discussion becomes easy for a technical person with little understanding of the legal terms.’

‘Response time is good. Understanding of the subject is good. Team behaviour is very good. Turn around time for the responses is very good. Flexibility in adding resources to deal with urgent matters.’

‘Good knowledge and a willingness to help.’

‘Very good responsiveness.’

Key clients

Avis Budget Group


HM Government, including Transport for London

John Lewis Partnership


Royal Mail Group

Sainsbury’s (including Argos and Sainsbury’s Bank)

Secure Meters


Virgin Group

Work highlights

  • Advising TfL on mandates including the roll-out of a neutral host mobile solution on platforms, stations and tunnel sections of the TfL estate and a commercial fibre telecoms network
  • Assisting longstanding client the John Lewis Partnership with the allocation of day-to-day work from across different business areas.
  • Advising Royal Mail Group in relation to its new long-term commercial agreement with Post Office Limited.T he Mails Distribution Agreement will allow Royal Mail and the Post Office to adapt and innovate to changing demands and ensures that customers will still have access to Royal Mail and Parcel Force Worldwide products in Post Office shops.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG fields a commercial, IT and outsourcing team, which handles business-critical commercial agreements at a national and global level, including supply chain contracts, strategic alliances, outsourcing issues, technology mandates and procurement arrangements. Recent highlights include advising Ford on the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium agreement to manufacture ventilators for the NHS and handling all commercial elements of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. David Lowe leads the department and is also the firm’s head of international trade. Sarah Riding is a key name for manufacturing, automotive, energy and sports clients, while Robert Breedon focuses on the health and care sectors.

Practice head(s):

David Lowe

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Riding; Robert Breedon; Jocelyn Pauley; James Barr; Rachel Pennell


‘The team have been very good at getting under the skin of our business and requirements.’

‘The practical and commercial advice received from David Lowe (partner) and Rachel Pennell (Senior Associate) has been indispensable for us.’

‘We have been very impressed with the level of bespoke knowledge of the team.’

‘Sarah Riding in particular has an eye for detail, knows her sector incredibly well, but retains a common sense commercial approach and will always look for a solution that does not compromise on either legal principles or commercial practicalities.’

Key clients



Baylis & Harding

Birmingham Commonwealth Games

British Red Cross

Cadent Gas


CCEP (Coca Cola)

Church & Dwight


Essar Oil


Frank Smythson

G42 Healthcare




Jaguar Land Rover

Kobayashi Pharmaceutical

LEVC (London Taxis)

London Legacy Development Corporation (owner of the London Stadium)

Marks & Spencer

Mazda Motors UK Limited

Midcounties Co-Operative

Molson Coors

NFU Mutual

Nomad (Birds Eye)



Premier Foods

Regional & City Airport

Rodan & Fields

SMMT (The UK automotive trade association)

Spirit AeroSystems

St Modwen

Taylor Wimpey

The Office Group

Transport for London

United Biscuits



Work highlights

  • Acted for Ford on the innovative VentilatorChallengeUK consortium agreement to manufacture ventilators for the NHS to help fight Covid-19.
  • Acting as official legal advisers for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, working to deliver a successful Games on time and to budget.
  • Acted for Marks and Spencer on a key strategic deal with City FM, the UK’s largest privately owned facilities management company, to consolidate building and maintenance services provision for more than 650 M&S sites across the UK and Ireland.

Slaughter and May

At Slaughter and May, the commercial contracts advisory group sits within the firm’s global sourcing practice and handles high-risk, complex commercial mandates for a roster of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies and household names including John Lewis, Walmart and Vodafone Group. The team recently advised the Department for Transport on designing and negotiating freight capacity support arrangements. Duncan Blaikie and newly promoted partner Oly Moir jointly lead the commercial contracts group and Rob Sumroy heads up the broader technology and outsourcing practices. Newly promoted partner Laura Houston also contributes to the firm’s commercial work.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Blaikie; Oly Moir; Rob Sumroy

Other key lawyers:

Laura Houston; Richard Todd; David Ives


‘First-class team with unrivalled ability and strength in depth, excellent technical knowledge and creativity. They instil confidence through their reassured and confident approach. Also, engaging and charismatic – overall a pleasure to work with.’

‘Rob Sumroy is outstanding in defence of his clients’ best interests and has built an excellent team of associates who can step in and lead too.’

‘Their attention to detail, duration of support and professionalism was exemplary. We simply could not have delivered the calibre of work for a brand new international certification scheme without the support of the team.’

‘I work with Duncan Blaikie’s team on technology related contracts. What stands out most is the “gold service” responsiveness and the quality of the output. You get the feeling you are their only client and their organisation is devoted to your requirements. Best in class.’

‘From my perspective Duncan Blaikie is stand out. His understanding of the telecoms sector, his familiarity with market norms and his commerciality (without compromise to the legal analysis) are best in class. He is completely unstuffy and therefore a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

John Lewis Partnership

Department for Transport


Walmart Inc

Chaos Fashion

M&G plc

Richemont International SA

Cabinet Office


Utterberry Ltd

Asda Stores Limited

Standard Chartered

Vodafone Group plc

Givaudan SA

Enara Bio Limited


Gatwick Airport


Work highlights

  • Advised Aviva on the outsourcing of business-critical middle and back-office services by its parent company and its individual businesses in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.
  • Assisted the Department for Transport with designing and negotiating freight capacity support arrangements.
  • Advised Vodafone in connection with the implementation of two major, long term, strategic telecoms deals: the implementation of transformational new servicing arrangements with Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited and on its participation in the Shared Rural Network scheme, an initiative between the major UK mobile network operators to extend mobile network coverage to rural areas of the UK.

Bristows LLP

With substantial expertise in the technology and healthcare sectors, Bristows LLP handles a broad range of commercial mandates, with particular experience in the commercial exploitation of IP rights, the competition and tax elements of technology deals, and regulatory mandates. The team’s healthcare knowledge has recently led to a raft of Covid-related work; the group advised the University of Oxford on a research collaboration and licence agreement with AstraZeneca for a vaccine. Matthew Warren leads the practice, which also includes recently promoted partner Claire Smith and Richard Dickinson, who joined from Arnold & Porter in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Warren

Other key lawyers:

Claire Smith; Richard Dickinson; Marek Petecki; Nick Cross


‘Flexible team that is able to respond at short notice. I have tried other firms but Bristows are the most responsive and understand what we do best. They take time to invest in relationships.’

‘Matthew Warren is the lead IP partner and has advised us on most of the challenging IP matters we have done in the last few years. Matthew knows his stuff and is unflashy.’

‘There is a huge wealth of talent in the team, as well as a deep understanding of the sector and current trends. This ability to contextualise the legal advice given is immeasurably beneficial to clients.’

‘Marek Petecki – stand out nice guy and totally on top of his game. Very effective negotiator and organiser of teams of large transactions. Nick Cross – a great associate and rising star potential. Has an incredible memory and undertakes stand out research. Claire Smith – intellectually brilliant and superb marriage of IP and commercial.’

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson


Guardian News & Media


De Beers

Oxford University

Genomics England


Anglo American

Aston Martin


Work highlights

  • Advised the University of Oxford on a Research Collaboration and Licence Agreement between Oxford University and AstraZeneca for a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Assisted GSK with two separate patent, know-how and materials licence agreements with global gene therapy leader Orchard Therapeutics.
  • Advised 4D Pharma on various commercial matters.

Clifford Chance LLP

André Duminy leads the practice at Clifford Chance LLP, which focuses on complex, strategic commercial matters and sits within the firm’s wider TMT group. The team is particularly experienced in technology mandates and has also been recently involved in various Covid-related issues; the group advised Pfizer on its global collaboration and licensing arrangements for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine and assisted the UK Government with arrangements relating to the licensing of Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine to AstraZeneca. Simon Persoff joined the group in 2020 from DLA Piper and focuses on technology work.

Practice head(s):

André Duminy

Other key lawyers:

Simon Persoff; Stephen Reese


‘The Clifford Chance Corporate and Commercial team is a very experienced team with a clear focus on achieving their client objectives. Very results oriented and with a very practical and commercial approach, which is of the essence in the M&A transactions we are involved in. They are also extremely capable of working under a lot of pressure and with very challenging deadlines, with no impact on the quality of their advice.’

‘We use Clifford Chance consistently due to the quality of their advice and support and rate them higher than many others in the same market. The team take the time to really understand the project, the drivers and add strategic advice while quickly getting to the heart of the matter.’

‘Andre Duminy’s input and advice is excellent and focused to ensure it adds real value.’

Key clients

Cellnex Telecom





State Street

Her Majesty’s Government


Work highlights

  • Advising Pfizer on its global collaboration and licensing arrangements opposite BioNTech for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Advising the UK Government on arrangements concerning the licensing of Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine to AstraZeneca.
  • Advising Telefonica on the sourcing and long-term service arrangements that were put in place between the new joint venture to be created from the merger of O2 and Virgin media in the UK.

Deloitte Legal

Deloitte Legal’s commercial and technology practice is made up of practitioners from the legacy Kemp Little LLP team, which moved across as part of the firm’s acquisition in 2021. The distinct practice handles the full spectrum of commercial mandates, including procurement issues, supply chain work, advertising and sponsorship agreements, outsourcings and distribution channel matters. Paul Hinton leads the team and Paul O’Hare is the lead contact for the sourcing legal advisory practice, while Calum Murray focuses on digital clients.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hinton; Paul O’Hare

Other key lawyers:

Calum Murray; Andrew Joint; Chris Hill


‘Andrew Joint is fantastic, a very commercial and practical mind combined with serious intellect and knowledge of the IT market. There’s nobody better at what he does.’

‘Paul Hinton and Chris Hill are superstars in all things financial regulatory. They’ve seen it all and if you’re in fintech this should be your first call when in need of legal advice from experts in the field.’

‘Kemp Little has recently transitioned into Deloitte Legal. They have a special combination of dynamic client support with excellent, targeted, pragmatic legal expertise.’

‘Andrew Joint is an excellent partner. One of the best technology lawyers in London.’

Key clients

CDS Limited

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP fields a standalone commercial contracts team, which is led nationally by Richard Prowse, who has notable expertise in the industrial and transport sectors. The team includes practitioners from across the firm’s national network of offices. Kelly Holmes in Birmingham has experience in route to market, asset management and business expansion work, while Peter McCormack in Leeds handles long-term, strategic contractual issues. The department also has experience at an international level, and regularly assists multinational clients with structuring and operating businesses in Europe and heavily regulated regions.

Practice head(s):

Richard Prowse

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Holmes; Peter McCormack; Simon Crossley; Matthew Gough; Tom Bridgford; Nick Blane; Eve England; Kuljeet Gill; Alison Brearey


‘Peter McCormack led the team and really invested time in getting to understand us and our business.  I wouldn’t want to use anyone else now. Peter frees up a significant proportion of my time because I know I can trust him to work directly with the business teams and to know when he needs to bring me in for an opinion on something, which brings a valuable degree of assurance for me without taking up too much of my time.’

‘Peter McCormack is fantastic. He really gets what we’re trying to achieve, which means he’s great in a negotiation – he knows the points to stand firm on, he anticipates where the greatest risks lie, and he doesn’t waste time arguing points that don’t have value. He also understands the culture of our organisation, and as a result our business teams all find him really easy to work with. He has a great client service ethic too.’

‘Kuljeet Gill was able to become a key part of our team, driving the project forward and coordinating our approach and responses on hugely complex issues. She was also able to translate complex issues to enable us to make key decisions.’

Key clients

American Express

Crown Commercial Service


University of Manchester


Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) (part of the Department for Transport)

Network Rail

Coventry City Council

Busy Bees

Legal & General


Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

The commercial, procurement and outsourcing team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is jointly lead by Nick Pantlin and Stephen Rayfield . Pantlin focuses on technology mandates and Rayfield has notable experience advising public sector bodies on procurement projects. David Coulling handles technology, outsourcing and telecoms transactions, and Hayley Brady is the go-to name in the team for consumer sector clients. The practice’s client roster spans global blue-chip corporations and technology companies, UK and global banks and financial institutions, and technology start-ups.

Practice head(s):

Nick Pantlin; Stephen Rayfield

Other key lawyers:

David Coulling; Hayley Brady; Chloe Kite


‘Very experienced team with a commercial approach, pleasure to work with and always available. Their advice is pragmatic and insightful.’

‘Nick Pantlin in particular is very responsive and incredibly helpful.’

‘The team is very attentive and responsive.’

‘Nick Pantlin is great and always very thorough. Chloe Kite is also very thorough and responsive.’

Key clients



Ministry of Defence

Transport for London



European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)


Lloyds Banking Group






British American Tobacco


Standard Chartered Bank

bp Pulse

Shaw Communications

Work highlights

  • Defended IBM, a multinational technology and consulting company, in a substantial High Court (TCC) claim brought by Direct Line, the FTSE 100-listed insurer.
  • Assisted European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)– an international scientific and technical organisation established by treaty – with its ambitious European Weather Cloud project.
  • Advised Huozhi, a fintech social enterprise start-up, in relation to the commercial aspects of its secure aid funding solution, which enables the secure tracking of aid from NGOs and government donors (in the form of goods or donations) to beneficiaries in conflict zones in a way that minimises or eliminates risk of interference.

Lewis Silkin LLP

Lewis Silkin LLP’s dedicated commercial team fields practitioners with expertise across the firm’s core focus sectors; including retail, hotel and leisure;branding; media; advertising; technology and sports. Notable clients include Snap, Facebook and M&S. Alongside its focus on complex, strategic mandates, the firm also offers clients its LS Assist tool, which aims to support them with more routine, day-to-day commercial issues. ‘Client-friendly adviserJames Gill and ‘rock star lawyerJo Farmer jointly lead the department.

Practice head(s):

James Gill; Jo Farmer

Other key lawyers:

Simon Entwistle; Jeremy Summers; Geraint Lloyd-Taylor; Alan Hunt


‘All private practice firms want to shout about how well they understand your business but very few understand the creative world as well as Lewis Silkin. No need to waste time talking them through the intricacies of your industry, they know it and will probably teach you a few things you didn’t know to boot. The adage ‘you get what you pay for’ isn’t always true – it’s ridiculous how competitive their rates are given their exceptional industry knowledge.’

‘Jo Farmer is simply a rock star lawyer when it comes to advising on commercial contracts, particularly ones with an advertising focus – responsive, practical, takes time to understand the business. The first lawyer anyone should call when they have a media buying agreement to tackle. Love working with her. Geraint Lloyd-Taylor – Loves the creative sector, especially advertising, and his passion for it shines through. James Gill – An incredibly trustworthy and safe pair of hands for the most complex of contracts.’

‘Not only excellent lawyers but very business minded. Great team work between the lawyers and they seem to truly enjoy working together.’

‘Alan Hunt – Very passionate and extremely committed in finding the best tailor-made solution for the client. Not only an excellent lawyer, but also a great trusted business partner. Provides excellent legal service in an efficient and timely manner. It is a true pleasure working with Alan.’

Key clients











Work highlights

  • Advised Howdens on drafting and negotiating a diverse range of high-value and business-critical contracts including complex warehousing and logistics arrangements, purchase of raw materials from overseas, advertising, sales promotion and marketing advice, electricity and water purchase arrangements, fleet vehicle leasing arrangements and a wide range of eCommerce solutions.
  • Working with Suzuki since 2016 on its high-profile sponsorship and advertising work.
  • Advised Driift using LS Assist to deliver a responsive and cost-effective service for the production contracts.

Linklaters LLP

As part of the firm’s wider TMT and IP department, Linklaters LLP has notable expertise in outsourcing mandates, regularly acting for technology and financial services clients including Arqiva Group, I Squared Capital and Bank of America. Richard Cumbley heads up the practice, which also fields outsourcing specialists John Crozier, Georgina Kon and Julian Cunningham-Day, and BPO expert Marly Didizian. The group focuses on complex, bet-the-business contracts and regularly leverages the firm’s global teams on multijurisdictional mandates.

Practice head(s):

Richard Cumbley

Other key lawyers:

John Crozier; Georgina Kon; Julian Cunningham-Day; Marly Didizian


‘Excellent level of service: very proactive and creative in their solutions.’

Key clients

Arqiva Group Limited


CK Hutchison

Intu Retail Services Limited

Takeda Pharmaceuticals International AG, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.

I Squared Capital

Bank of America

Work highlights

  • Advised Nestlé on the expansion of its existing warehouse facility in Buxton, UK, through its deal with Systems Logistics to install and operate an automated product handling facility and associated infrastructure.
  • Advised Arqiva Group Limited on the drafting and negotiation of its “Master Site Sharing Agreement” and its “Portfolio Management Agreement”, the complex commercial contracts that sat at the core of its split out of its telecoms division and broadcast division, and the subsequent sale of the towers business to Cellnex Telecom SA for £2bn.
  • Advised Gavi, (the Vaccine Alliance) on the conception, design and implementation of its global COVAX Facility.


TLT counts high-profile retailers, financial institutions and public sector clients on its roster, advising on strategic arrangements including collaboration deals, joint ventures, franchising issues, outsourcings and procurements, and supply and distribution agreements. Perran Jervis leads the practice and also heads up the firm’s retail and consumer goods sector group. Other key individuals include Pauline Cowie, who handles franchise structures; David Gardner, who advises on IT, outsourcing and technology-driven procurement mandates; and Bill Hull, who is head of the commercial services group.

Practice head(s):

Perran Jervis

Other key lawyers:

Pauline Cowie; David Gardner; Bill Hull; Dan Read; Alex Williamson; Jonathan Whall


‘The entire team that we worked with at TLT were exceptional, in that they all brought different things to the table and complemented one another perfectly. They were fantastic at taking complex legal points and boiling them down into layman’s terms to enable us to make a decision on the point. Equally the breadth of expertise in the firm meant that regardless of the issue that was being considered in the contract be it personnel, IP, payment mechanisms etc. they had relevant experts available to provide specific advice and guidance almost immediately.’

‘Bill Hull leads an amazing commercial team that has deep expertise in procurement and commercial law. Their key strength is the ability to know what the clients actually need and their ability to delivery a client focused service. They really take the time to understand your needs and exceed them. They are extremely commercial and offer sage, pragmatic advice. They are also all genuinely nice people to work with!’

‘Bill Hull is extremely pragmatic and commercially focused. He sees the bigger picture and slots seamlessly into project teams. He is so easy to work with and very responsive. He quickly becomes a trusted adviser with everyone who works with him. He has an outstanding knowledge of the law.’

‘Jonathan Whall is also extremely dependable and responsive.’

Key clients

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd

Department of Health and Social Care

Government Legal Department

Superdry plc

WH Smith PLC

Boohoo Group PLC

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Metropolitan Police

Yorkshire Building Society

Elavon Financial Services

Imperial Brands PLC

Greene King Limited

Police ICT

Matthew Clark Bibendum Limited

UK Finance

C&J Clark International Ltd


Work highlights

  • Advised Boohoo on the acquisition of the online business and intellectual property rights relating to Debenhams and its sub-brands in Jan 2021 and Oasis, Warehouse and other brands in June 2020.
  • Advising the Metropolitan Police on its major IT outsourcing programme, Pegasus. This covers the full range of IT services including networks, hosting, end user devices, service desk, printing and application support and maintenance.
  • Advising on many strategically important commercial agreements for Sainsbury’s including the establishment of a framework agreement with Kuehne & Nagel for freight forwarding services, and a long-term arrangement with Wilcomatic for installation and maintenance of car washing and valeting equipment across the entire UK petrol forecourt estate.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Paula Bartlett leads the commercial group at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, which has a national network of offices to draw on and takes a notable sector-based approach to its commercial work. The team is particularly experienced in the manufacturing, retail and public industries. The commercial team is divided into five sub-teams, which focus on pure commercial contract work, competition issues, data and privacy mandates, IP matters and technology transactions. Rachel Scott is a key contact for clients in the transport and infrastructure sectors, Peter Snaith leads the manufacturing and chemicals groups, and legal director Lucy Pringle has expertise in supply chain issues.

Practice head(s):

Paula Bartlett

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Scott; Peter Snaith; Lucy Pringle


‘Very high degree of experience and wide reaching skillset. We usually go to Wombles for complex matters which require a higher level of intellect and commercial guile.’

‘Their expertise and knowledge have never failed us. That coupled with the impeccable customer service – I’d never look anywhere else for legal advice. We trust them entirely.’

‘The team understand and are very knowledgeable about the sectors I have worked in, in particular in the NE of England but with the ability to reach nationally and internationally. This allows them to understand what the client’s requirements really are, often when the client can’t describe them fully themselves! They are pragmatic and generally offer useful and actionable advice when asked rather than merely a ‘balanced’ legal view.’

‘Peter Snaith is excellent in leading a team of highly professional individuals in supporting a company’s needs across the breadth of corporate and commercial requirements.’

‘Peter Snaith – unfussy, approachable and good understanding of the big picture.’

Key clients

Ministry of Justice

Post Office Limited

Sterling Pharma Solutions

TSB Bank



New Look

PD Ports

Venator (Chemicals)

Thorn Lighting (and the wider Zumtobel Group)

Alpek Polyester

The Southern Co-operative Limited

Quilter plc (formerly Old Mutual Wealth)

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society (LV=)

Brittany Ferries

Department for Transport

Government Legal Department

South Tees Development Corporation and South Tees Site Company


Work highlights

  • Providing commercial law support and advice to the Department for Transport in relation to a range of matters relating to EU exit under a framework appointment covering the roads, rail, aviation, and maritime sectors.
  • Advising the South Tees Development Corporation (STDC) and South Tees Site Company (STSC) on the regeneration and redevelopment of the site of the former SSI steelworks on Teesside.
  • Advised Fentimans in relation to a project with Warner Bros for the manufacture and supply of Butterbeer, the popular wizarding beverage from the Harry Potter books and films.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP’s cross-departmental commercial group utilises the firm’s national network to act for a range of clients from across the rail, public, energy and financial services sectors; examples include John Lewis Partnership, UK Government departments and Phillips 66. Team leader Helen Scott-Lawler is notably active in the retail, food and drink and consumer industries, Brioney Thomas leads the transport practice, and Simon Coppen heads up the firm’s franchising work.

Practice head(s):

Helen Scott-Lawler

Other key lawyers:

Brioney Thomas; Simon Coppen; Richard Hugo


‘The commercial contracts team is very easy to work with. They have a very practical focus and advice is always structured in a way that addresses business needs and deliverables.’

‘Client focused and adaptive to needs. Understand sector.’

‘Richard Hugo takes time to understand our aims and where we want to be, focusing on what is practically possible, and making the legal fit with that. We’ve thrown him some challenging issues relating to complex outsourcing and IP arrangements in a regulated sector and he has never failed to deliver. Richard is a true business partner, creative and forward-thinking in approach.’

Key clients

John Lewis Partnership including John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners

Central Government – Ministry of Defence, Department for Transport, Department for Education, Foreign &Commonwealth Office, Home Office, Department for Health & Social Care, BEIS, DEFRA

Phillips 66 (JET petrol stations)

FirstGroup (TOC owner group) and its TOCs (First CapitaConnect, First Greater Western, ScotRail, First/KeolisTranspennine and Hull Trains)

William Grant & Sons

Transport for Wales and the Welsh Government

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Yeo Valley

Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL)

Bristol City Council

Work highlights

  • Advising the John Lewis Partnership on a range of commercial contracts include supporting Waitrose on its appointment of Wincanton to operate a customer fulfilment centre in West London in a first of a kind operation for both parties.
  • Advising BEIS on projects for the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines, including the structuring, drafting and negotiation of contracts with Wockhardt to complete the final stage in the manufacture of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • Advising the Ministry of Defence on its high-value procurement of the Dreadnought class submarines and the Skynet satellite programme.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP focuses its expertise on complex, bespoke commercial agreements with notable experience in logistics and infrastructure projects. The group also has knowledge of the energy, TMT, healthcare, retail and transport sectors. The team also works closely with the firm’s network of global offices to handle cross-border mandates. John Buyers and Lara Burch jointly lead the practice from London and Bristol respectively; Will Robertson is a key name for retail clients and Marcus Vass handles technology and telecoms matters.

Practice head(s):

John Buyers; Lara Burch

Other key lawyers:

Will Robertson; Marcus Vass; Ed Barratt


‘The Team at OC works with us as if they are part of our company. They know our business, customers and the stakeholders involved in the contracting process (i.e. our shareholders and investors).’

‘ Lara Burch is exceptional in leading their team in understanding our business. She has a very good feeling for the status of the legal process and knows when to push, when to back off, when to be firm.’

‘Osborne Clarke always give practical advice and its lawyers understand our business.’

‘Lara Burch and Ed Barratt are incredibly knowledgeable and easy to work with.’

‘Technical expertise is a given, but this team uses that in a highly effective manner to deliver clear advice on the key issues in a way that is easily digested by non-lawyer stakeholders. They deliver on time with the right level of advice flexed to hit the audience.’

‘Lara Burch – excellent relationship builder – never sits on the fence. clear advice and views given. Would put her in front of the most senior stakeholders in the business without any concerns whatsoever.’

Key clients

Electrocomponents plc

Western Power Distribution

Eversholt Rail Group



Gama Healthcare

First Solar

Clarivate Analytics

Thoughtworks Ltd


Red One



Tottenham Hotspur FC



Fortnum & Mason


Work highlights

  • Advised BDO LLP on the integration of voice telephony services (provided by supplier 8*8, Inc.) into its UK wide Microsoft Teams application.
  • Advised Thriva Limited, the UK’s leading platform for serology (blood testing) on contracts with four of its largest counterparties, including HM Government.
  • Acting for longstanding client NewCold, a global cold storage and logistics operator, on its customer contracts across Europe, the US and Australia.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s team assists with a broad range of agreements and outsourcings and has recently leveraged its strength in the life sciences sector to advise on a variety of Covid-related mandates. These include advising Oxford Biomedica on two agreements for the supply of drug substances for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University. Dan Holland and Naomi Leach jointly lead the group; Holland handles procurement structures and manufacturing arrangements, while Leach acts on commercial transactions in the life sciences sector.

Practice head(s):

Dan Holland; Naomi Leach


‘The SH team offers significant experience in the issues associated with manufacturing/supply agreements in the biotech/life-science sector and have provided excellent support during a number of significant negotiations, advising on industry-standard commercial aspects as well as legal drafting points. This is a highly knowledgeable, great team to work with!’

‘Dan Holland has a great team of associates under him who are at my disposal. The associates are at different levels which is great as I can give the more difficult contracts to the more advanced associates and Dan manages this seamlessly. Dan is genuinely on top of our business, knows our clients and is able to pick out key issues in transactions. He also is very approachable and can be contacted easily and gets back to me quickly.’

‘They are very approachable and very familiar with our line of business. They are commercially minded and don’t go down the legal “rabbit hole”. They are also very good at sticking to deadlines and turning over documents without delay.’

Key clients

Oxford Biomedica

Novacyt S.A.

City Sightseeing


Highview Power Enterprises

Work highlights

  • Advised Oxford Biomedica in relation to two agreements for the supply of drug substances for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and marketed by AstraZeneca.
  • Advised Novacyt S.A. and its subsidiary, Primer Design Limited, in relation to the supply of Covid-19 PCR test kits and other diagnostics to the Department of Health and Social Care as part of its procurement to tackle the pandemic.
  • Advised Highview Power Limited in relation to partnering with Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. to expand cryogenic energy storage projects globally.