Corporate and commercial: Liverpool in North West

Brabners LLP

Noted for its focus on mid-market work, the team at Brabners LLP is well-versed in all manner of corporate work including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, group reorganisations, insolvency and employee ownership transitions. On the commercial side, contracts, e-commerce and data protection matters are all key workflows. Corporate lawyer Mark Rathbone co-heads the practice alongside healthcare regulatory specialist Richard Hough, who advises on outsourcing and franchising matters. Nicola Lomas acts for NHS and private dental practices, while Colin Bell regularly deals with IP matters. Other names to note include David Maples, who advises charities and social enterprises on governance and constitutional issues; Victoria Trigwell, well-versed in issues relating to IT services agreements, agency and distribution; and Daniel Hayhurst, who focuses on transactional matters.

Practice head(s):

Richard Hough; Mark Rathbone

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Lomas; Colin Bell; David Maples; Victoria Trigwell; Andrew O’Mahony; Daniel Hayhurst


‘In an age where firms are keen to funnel you through their internal processes, Brabners have found a way to still deliver expert advice but in a highly personal way. The corporate and commercial team cut to the chase and write in plain English.’

‘Daniel Hayhurst is a bright spark who is always on. His knowledge of corporate is immense.’

‘Andrew O’Mahony is very experienced and calm regardless of the amount of pressure on the table.’

Key clients

Human Recognition Systems (HRS)

Peel Ports Group

Yodel Delivery Network


Proact International Limited

Henry Bath & Son Limited

Medtrade Products Ltd

James Hall & Company Ltd (SPAR)

Parasol Ltd

Commonwealth Games Federation

Group Tyre UK Ltd

NWF Group plc

Open Outdoor Media Ltd

Cityheart Ltd

Innox Trading Ltd

GoJoe App Limited

Sinara Consultants Limited

Shaw Trust Ltd

Veka Plc

Chartersync Ltd

Neuven Solutions Limited

Travel Counsellors Limited

Lucid Games Ltd

Commonwealth Games Federation

Suez Advanced Solutions UK Limited

Peel Ports Ltd

Corgi Services Ltd

Biograd Limited

Cobalt Housing

Nanosun Ltd

Oneday Ltd

Vascular Perspectives

Terminal Investment Limited Sarl

Atlas Copco Limited

NW Risk Solutions Ltd

River Capital

Mercia Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of CRP Subsea Holdings Ltd on their sale to Advanced Innergy Solutions.
  • Acted for the Commonwealth Games Federation on a number of matters including their relationship with a sports marketing and entertainment agency.


DLA Piper UK LLP acts for a wide range of domestic and multinational corporate clients, including leading consumer goods companies, agricultural producers, and manufacturers. James Kerrigan focuses on M&A and private equity investments, with demonstrable experience across the manufacturing, technology and media sectors. He leads the practice with commercial expert Sarah Bell, who is well-versed in outsourcing and partnering arrangements. Peter Brook handles outsourcing and collaboration agreements, while Paddy Dwyer advises on franchising and supply models for clients in the public sector.

Practice head(s):

James Kerrigan; Sarah Bell

Other key lawyers:

Peter Brook; Paddy Dwyer


‘I’ve found this practice unique in its approach to clients. Very open and clear, breaking down legalese to layman’s terms, and always making clear what is required when decisions are to be made over risk and interpretation of the contracts. Available and flexible with respect to our needs.’

‘Paddy Dwyer’s calm, highly informed, and open manner has been a huge asset when dealing with contracts that have been contentious and related to sensitive government projects. Very solution-focused and pragmatic about risks, clarifying impact around indemnity, liability and insurance in particular.’

‘Highly adept at drafting, negotiating and resolving disputes. Able to adapt their style and explain in a variety of ways that suits the range of commercial and legal knowledge.’

‘Sarah Bell and Paddy Dwyer are excellent communicators who can tailor their styles and very much have become part of our team.’

‘The DLA Piper Team has strength in depth; able to provide expert/skills on the multitude of topics as/when appropriate. DLA Piper are very mindful of meeting the objective, and ensure that they are providing value for money. Very focused on applying the extensive experience of what works/hasn’t worked elsewhere.’

‘The DLA Piper team are highly skilled, but work collaboratively with a personal touch. Peter Brook and Sarah Bell stand out as partners who have a wealth of experience that they are able to apply, and are able to support and communicate complex legal issues to the team.’

Key clients

Arvato Group


Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Liverpool Football Club

Suttons Group

UK Government



The Contact Company

Elite Telecom plc

The Advanta Group Limited

Sonova UK Limited

Suttons Group Limited

Elan Homes Limited

Keoghs LLP

John Laing Investments Limited

Elite Telecom plc

Work highlights

  • Advised on many complex and key commercial contracts for the UK government.
  • Advised Sonova on the acquisition of the entire issue share capital of FM Hearing Systems UK.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP is a key port of call for a broad roster of clients, from large private companies to start-ups, partnerships and private individuals. On the corporate side, the practice routinely handles mid-market private equity and cross-border work for local and international companies. Practice head Matt Noon focuses on M&A work covering share and asset acquisitions and disposals. Craig Scott specialises in private equity, acting for both funds and management teams, while Jonathan Brown is involved in the acquisition of airports, airlines, and distribution companies. Further names to note include Mike Jones and Sue Russell , who are both are well-versed in M&A transactions.

Practice head(s):

Matt Noon

Other key lawyers:

Craig Scott; Jonathan Brown; Mike Jones; Sue Russell


‘Significant senior attention and commercial approach.’

‘Craig Scott has a very commercial approach, cutting through to key issues for us as a client.’

Key clients

Fishawack Health Group

Tactus Holdings Limited

Challenge-TRG Group

Richard Baker Harrison Limited

Bromborough Paint & Building Supplies Limited

Downing Students

Broadway Partners Limited

DPRS Liverpool Limited

Barber Of Sheffield

Mercia Asset Management and Management Team

SF Parks Limited

Nkt Group A/S

Redde Northgate Plc

Jade Solutions Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Olympic swimming trio Becky Adlington, Steve Parry and Adrian Turner on the sale of 60 per cent of their business, Total Swimming Group, to JD Sports, in a deal worth up to £15m.
  • Advised Edward Billington and Son Limited (EBS) on its acquisition of 50 per cent of the shares in agricultural supplier Carrs Billington Agriculture from joint owner Carr’s Group plc.
  • Advised CRH plc on the English law aspects of the divestment by it of its Building Envelope business division to KPS Capital Partners, LP in a deal worth $3.8 billion.


The commercial team at DWF is noted for its retail sector acumen, acting for a robust portfolio of blue-chip clients, both domestic and international in scale. On the corporate front, the practice is particularly experienced in M&A, management buy-outs and shareholder matters. Corporate expert Liz Clark co-heads the team with Ben Cooke, who focuses on commercial issues within the consumer industry. Rachael Burke is well-versed in e-commerce and logistics, while Christine Williams frequently works on matters in the energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Ben Cooke; Liz Clark; Rachael Burke; Christine Williams


‘The corporate team have provided me with an excellent level of service over the years. They are transparent, approachable and manage my expectations well.’

‘One to one contact. Always display a can-do attitude.’

Key clients

ACC Liverpool

AS Watson

Aurelius Private Equity

Burton Biscuits



Fieldway IPC


Inflexion Private Equity Partners

JD Sports

KP Snacks

Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre

Liverpool John Moores University

Lloyds Development Capital

Marks & Spencer


Ocado Retail

Pact Coffee

PhD Industrial Holdings

Sciris Group

SGS Holdings UK

Sime Derby Oils Limited

Superbike Factory Group

Thriva Limited

Velcourt Group

Workdry International

Wynnstay Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for LDC on its investment in Talos360, a provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions.
  • Advised Wynnstay Group Plc on its share acquisition of the Humphrey Feeds & Pullets.
  • Supported Homebase on a range of commercial contracts including concessions, logistics and IT.


O'Connors is known for its work in advising legal businesses, insurance companies and investment funds on a range of commercial, corporate and regulatory matters. David Malone assists corporate clients, particularly start-ups and early stage businesses, with group restructures, reorganisations and disposals. He co-heads the practice with Michael Ainsworth who has specialist knowledge of IT contracting and data protection work. Mark O’Connor is experienced in business structuring, M&A and corporate finance issues.

Practice head(s):

David Malone; Michael Ainsworth

Other key lawyers:

Mark O’Connor


‘The firm provides outstanding service with a personal touch . With O’Connors you are provided with an outstanding service at proportionate fees.’

‘David Malone and Mark O’Connor are highly competent, but with an understanding of what clients want.’

‘We get direct access to the same partners over a period of years who know our business and strategy so no repeating ourselves. Fees always fair for quality delivered. The firm is strong on advice as well as just producing the transactional documents.’

Key clients


Express Solicitors



DTM Legal LLP is well regarded for its expertise in various areas of corporate and commercial law including alternative funding organisations, banks, investment companies, insurance and wealth management firms. The team is well-versed in corporate restructuring, M&A, IP and employee incentives matters. Practice head Edward Barnes specialises in joint ventures, branding and IP matters. Other key team members include Philip Whitehurst, who focuses on private equity work.

Practice head(s):

Edward Barnes

Other key lawyers:

Philip Whitehurst


‘Very good, no-nonsense advice and real commitment to help. They do not waste time.’

‘Philip Whitehurst is outstanding. I have used the big firms over the last 30 years but have never had the level and quality of service that Phil provides. Really good practical and commercial advice and a desire to do what is best for us. The banks and other corporates who we deal with often have bigger firms representing them but we are never at a disadvantage.’

‘Excellent engagement and a personal feel to their approach.’

Key clients

Evoke Creative Limited

Esterform Packaging Limited

Safeguard Europe Limited

Vast Visibility Limited

Heap & Partners Limited

Marine Specialised Technology Limited

Typhoo Tea Limited

Karl Vella Group Limited

Future Moto Limited

Staffords Limited

79th Group Limited

Cream T Pickups Limited

Tarka Spring Limited

Soundtesting Limited

JSM Company Group Limited

Brand Box International Limited

Evolution Costs Limited

Lewis Reed (WAV) Limited

Smylie Limited

Whole House Ventilation Services Limited

Formwork Direct International Ltd

Ellesey and Company (Lancs) Limited

Atom Scientific Limited

Airship Images Limited

Maes Dolau Caravan Park Limited

Cambria Caravan Park Limited

Esterpet Limited

Hood Seating Limited

Two Mills Asset Management Limited

Clancy Consulting Limited

Wayne Austin IFA Limited

L51 Developments Limited

Daulby Read Limited

LimeSky Investment Partners Limited

Charles Owen Group

Proteus Facades Limited

Napthens LLP

Napthens LLP acts for a range of clients - including owner-managed businesses, family companies, management teams and institutional investors - on various venture capital and private equity matters. Joining from Weightmans LLP, Kieran Donovan leads the team with support from transactional lawyer Gareth McIntegart.

Practice head(s):

Kieran Donovan

Other key lawyers:

Gareth McIntegart


‘This is a tight and effective team, very practical and focused on the client’s objectives and getting the deal over the line, but protecting their client’s interests.’

‘Kieran Donovan is exceptionally able, practical and an effective communicator who combines expertise with experience.’

Key clients

Applied Nutrition Limited

Shaw Energi Limited

Joloda Hydraroll Limited

River Capital Management Limited

Darkhorse Design Limited

Heritage Great Britain

Abbey Logistics Group Limited

The Sovini Group

Liverpool Media Academy Limited

OBG Pharmaceuticals Limited

GBM Digital Technologies Limited

Krol Corlett Construction Group

Sutcliffe Engineers

Alpha Cars (Liverpool) Limited


Maven Capital Partners UK

YFM Equity Partners

DSG Chartered Accountants

BWM Chartered Accountants

Cucumber Recruitment Limited

Opus Utility Solutions Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised YFM Private Equity and the individual shareholders and management team led by group MD Kevin Still on the sale to US listed group CECO Environmental Corp.
  • Advised the management team of BIL Group on the MBO backed by PHD Industrial Holdings Limited.
  • Advised River Capital on its significant seven figure equity investment into fast growing North West fitness brand Built For Athletes.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP acts for a host of blue-chip corporate clients, who turn to the team for its experience in competition, data protection and information technology matters. Beyond these noted areas of expertise, the group’s broad offering encompasses private equity, M&A, and venture capital deals. Transactional lawyer Seray Kitchingman specialises in share and asset acquisitions. She co-heads the practice with Tom Trowhill, who handles data protection and intellectual property issues. Laurence Pritchard draws praise from clients for his commercial expertise, particularly in competition law. Corporate partner Gary Jones is also recommended. Michael Murphy made partner in May 2023.

Practice head(s):

Seray Kitchingman; Tom Trowhill

Other key lawyers:

Laurence Pritchard; Gary Jones; Michael Murphy


‘Gary Jones has a very fine brain and good commercial awareness.’

What stood out was their ability to keep things incredibly simple. As well their response was quick and timely. And they were able to cover off the most important issues, showing an instant and smart understanding.

‘Laurence Pritchard made working with Weightmans so pleasant and seamless.’

Key clients

S. Norton & Co. Limited

TuffX Processed Glass Limited

George Roberts (North West) Limited

MD Insurance Group

Ventcroft Limited

River Capital

Foresight Group LLP

Edge Hill Health Centre

Bridge Road Medical Centre

Edge Hill Health Centre



NHS Blood and Transplant

George Roberts UK

Recruitment People

Marpol Security

Gravity Smart Campus

Meade King Robinson


Side UK Limited

Lotus Bakeries


Peel Ports


HSS Hire Services Group

APCER Life Services

Northside Truck & Van Hire

Acromas Insurance Company Limited


Work highlights

  • Advised the Shareholders of MD Insurance Group in their sale to HSB Engineering Insurance Limited.
  • Advised the Shareholders of Ventcroft Limited in their sale to NKT.
  • Advised Side UK on a variety of voice talent and motion capture agreements with various actors in relation to a number of titles.