Brabners LLP fields a specialised team of experts, with Mark Rathbone overseeing the corporate side, while Nik White and Matt Brown lead the commercial offering. Rupert Gill and David Maples are key contacts for transactional matters. Andrew O’Mahony and Colin Bell lead the finance and intellectual property groups respectively. Recently promoted partner Nicola Lomas‘ core client base comprises dentists wishing to sell or acquire practices. At the senior associate level, Victoria Trigwell is the key name to note, while consultant Michael Brabner is a noted contact at the highly experienced end. The firm has also seen continued growth, with the arrival of senior associate Emma Collins from Hill Dickinson LLP in September 2021, and the acquisition of highly regarded practitioner John Spofforth from O'Connors in January 2022.
Corporate and commercial: Liverpool in North West
Mark Rathbone; Nik White; Matt Brown; Colin Bell
Other key lawyers:
Andrew O’Mahony; Rupert Gill; Michael Brabner; David Maples; John Spofforth; Nicola Lomas; Victoria Trigwell; Emma Collins
‘Brabners have always been excellent at bridging the gap between legal understanding and practical application, across a range of areas. The depth of expertise is second to none, whatever the question, and all those we engage with are relatable and helpful, without feeling you are on the clock or that the end result will be pages and pages of unusable legal drivel.’
‘Colin Bell has excellent practical knowledge and understanding of complex GDPR issues.’
‘Andrew O’Mahony is the safest pair of hands to support in supporting corporate transactions. Knowledgeable, always calm and the right person to have on your side. Always a feeling that Andrew and his team were in control.’
‘The team that we worked with were all on top of their skill sets and knew their topics well. They were focused, diligent, honest and down to earth. They guided us well and ensured the transaction was completed in a timeline that suited us. The team worked outside normal working hours and on weekends to ensure our project was on target at all the time. Good value for the fees we paid.’
‘The team were exceptionally dedicated to our project and at times prioritised our project timeline by sacrificing their personal time.’
‘Very experienced team enables a pragmatic approach to corporate matters. Where options exist they communicate the pros and cons and generally let us decide what to do, only turning up the volume on their advice when the consequences are significant.’
‘We have recently dealt with Rupert Gill on various matters. He brings huge experience and a calm and pragmatic manner. A pleasure to work with.’
‘Very approachable and friendly. Amazing team.’
Alphavet International Ltd
Mercia Asset Management plc
North West Roller Services
CRP Subsea Limited
Human Recognition Systems (HRS)
Peel Ports Group
Yodel Delivery Network
Henry Bath & Son Limited
Medtrade Products Ltd
James Hall & Company Ltd (SPAR)
Icon Lifesaver Limited
Commonwealth Games Federation
Group Tyre UK Ltd
Open Outdoor Media Ltd
South Cliff Dental Group
Synergy Dental Group
Sinara Consultants Limited
Lucid Games Limited
- Advised all the shareholders of Hitex Holdings on their disposal of the Hitex group of companies to Swarco, based in Austria.
- Advised the India-based Apeejay Surrendra Group on the disposal of its majority shareholdings and other financial interests in Typhoo Tea.
- Assisted Sale Sharks Rugby with sponsorship and trade mark issues.
DLA Piper‘s ability to expertly assist at both the domestic and cross-border level ensures that a wide range of local, national and international clients instruct the firm. The commercial offering, which is best known for advising on complex contract matters, is spearheaded by Sarah Bell and Peter Brook. The former is particularly well regarded for knowledge of the government sector, while the latter acts as the national practice head. On the corporate side, James Kerrigan is the key name to note. Other notable team members include Gemma Cowap and legal director Paddy Dwyer.
James Kerrigan; Sarah Bell
Other key lawyers:
Peter Brook; Gemma Cowap; Paddy Dwyer; Michael Hudson
‘Our go-to team for legal contract and commercial matters. They have a wide range of expertise and can be relied on to provide well thought through advice that is tailored to our organisational constraints.’
‘Peter Brook makes himself available, however busy he is on other work, is happy to talk through the situation at hand, provides high quality legal advice and brings in colleagues to advise on specific matters where required.’
Clydesdale Financial Services Ltd t/a Barclays Partner Finance
Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
Liverpool Football Club
UK Government (Cabinet Office, Department for Transport, Natural Environment Research Council, Department for Work and Pensions, Crown Commercial Services, Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, HMRC, FCDO)
Newell Rubbermaid UK Services Limited
The Contact Company
- Advised the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on over eleven procurements, supporting both COP26 and G7.
- Assisting with the development of Sciontec, including advising on its formation, appropriate structures, grant funding, trade marks, and employment and contractual matters.
- Advised on the set-up and investment strategy of a new company, LCR Ventures, which (supported with £7.5m of funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and in conjunction with the North West Innovation Agency) will provide business incubator services and proof of concept investment funding to high potential SMEs in the Liverpool City Region.
On the corporate side, Hill Dickinson LLP is known for its ability to successfully close transactions, especially those with a nexus to private equity and international work, on behalf of a wide range of mid-market clients. In 2021, Craig Scott was promoted to become leader of the firm’s Business Services Group, while Matt Noon acts as head of the corporate, banking and commercial offering in Liverpool. Michael Murphy is a key contact for work in the manufacturing and real estate sectors, while seasoned practitioner Jonathan Brown is instructed by many of the group’s leading private company clients. For M&A, Mike Jones and Sue Russell are both recommended. In terms of recommended legal directors, the department fields Elan Iorwerth and Graeme Alder; the latter is the name to note for commercial mandates.
Craig Scott; Matt Noon
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Brown; Mike Jones; Sue Russell; Michael Murphy; Graeme Alder; Elan Iorwerth
‘At all times they have been great partners of our company – always helpful, involved in the business, and effective, efficient and responsive when we have needed them, sometimes at short notice. They are a pleasure to work with.’
‘Matt Noon – responsive, extremely knowledgeable, great at introducing other specialists, and always works to the fee he has quoted.’
‘Strengths are the accessibility of the staff along with their detailed knowledge and experience in the sector and experience at getting deals over the line.’
‘The team is generally strong, but the lead partner Craig Scott has been outstanding in his availability, advice and approach. The practical approach and can-do ethos ensures deals progress smoothly.’
‘Personal, attentive service. Always contactable and client facing in response.’
‘Hill Dickinson consistently punch above their weight and have demonstrated an ability to serve us effectively over multiple practice areas with a joined up overall approach.’
‘Craig Scott has been a trusted advisor and brings a pragmatic and commercial approach to all his dealings. He understands the key issues for businesses, and quickly gets to the heart of this.’
‘Matt Noon is our go-to adviser, but what makes Hill Dickinson important to us is the team behind him. Elan Iorwerth has become a real asset to our team, her professional approach and can do attitude gives us confidence that we will get the right outcome for the business. Their coordinated team approach give us the edge!’
Fishawack Health Group
Tactus Holdings Limited
Richard Baker Harrison Limited
Bromborough Paint & Building Supplies Limited
Broadway Partners Limited – Management/Shareholders
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
- Advising Downing Students on its £388m disposal of the Project Jura portfolio of 4 Guernsey Unit Trust structures to Greystar Europe relating to four student developments and one build to rent portfolio based across London, Manchester and Coventry.
- Advising Broadway’s management on a £145m debt and equity investment from Downing LLP to support the company’s rollout of fibre broadband to rural communities across Wales and Scotland.
- Advising Tactus Holdings on its acquisition of CCL Computers from Adrian Clifford Wood.
Although the team at Bermans is proficient at advising larger businesses on their regional and national corporate and commercial needs, the firm also maintains a core client base of local SMEs. Family businesses, entrepreneurs, management teams, professional partnerships, charities and institutional investors regularly instruct the group to assist with matters ranging from M&A to shareholder reorganisations. Sectors of particular strength include automotive, retail, pharmaceuticals and telecoms. Practice head Anton Stirrett oversees the work, frequently supported by senior associate Catherine Lo.
Other key lawyers:
Datco Healthcare Limited
Trederwen Springs 2008 Limited
Jark 2 Limited
GRV Media Limited
GRS Contractors Limited
Butterworth Spengler Limited
Access Personal Checking Services Limited
Aerocare Group (Warrington) Limited
Brookes Bell LLP
Senate Mech Limited
Keywest Group Limited
UFW Holdco Limited
- Advised the shareholders of Butterworth Spengler on their management buyout following investment from JM Glendinning.
- Advising Credit Investments on its acquisition of the business and assets of Beacon Fell View Holiday Park from Sam Hagan Leisure.
- Advising Jark 2 on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Peer Funding.
Under the guidance of Ben Cooke, the commercial offering at DWF continues to act for a notable portfolio of blue chip clients, with a focus on those in the retail sector. On the corporate side, Liz Clark takes the lead and is noted particularly for her M&A expertise. In October 2021, senior associate Christine Williams joined the team from Clyde & Co, bringing with her considerable in-house experience from her time as head of legal at Liverpool Airport. Seasoned practitioner Paul Rimmer is also recommended.
Ben Cooke; Liz Clark
Other key lawyers:
Paul Rimmer; Christine Williams
‘In all of my dealings with DWF, they are extremely responsive. They have always met or exceeded all of our expectations, providing clarity where required and concluding matters with total professionalism.’
‘They take total ownership of the relationship and deliver what they say they will to both time and budget.’
Inflexion Private Equity Partners
Aurelius Private Equity
Liverpool John Moores University
Inflexion Private Equity Partners
- Advised Integrated Medhealth Communication Group on its acquisitions of R2R Holdings, JLW Communications, Wedgewood Communications and Fusion Animation.
- Advised the founder shareholders and management team of the Village Bakery Group on an investment by Limerston Capital.
- Assisting Homebase with a range of commercial contracts, including concessions, logistics and IT.
Following the departure of John Spofforth in January 2022, the team at O’Connors is now under the dual leadership of David Malone and Michael Ainsworth, who head up the corporate and commercial sides, respectively. The firm is known for providing transactional, contractual, regulatory and insurance advice to UK-based businesses which are active all over the world. The group’s strength at the junior level was recently further increased by the arrival of Craig Geraghty from Bedell Cristin; he joins a strong associate bench which also includes Natasha Collins. At the senior end, Mark O’Connor continues to provide seasoned advice.
David Malone; Michael Ainsworth
Other key lawyers:
Mark O’Connor; Natasha Collins; Craig Geraghty
‘The team had a deep commercial knowledge that enabled me to successfully manage my transaction.’
‘Mark O’Connor was extremely responsive and gave me expert counsel.’
‘In all cases, the team is responsive, insightful and can be relied upon for well balanced advice.’
‘The team is incredibly client-focused and able to tailor its approach to the needs of its individual client and/or transaction and is able to pull together resources rapidly and effectively as required. The collective approach manifests itself through collective targets, rather than individual targets, which really enhances team work and collaboration.’
‘Mark O’Connor – expertise, commercial acumen, relationship, legal knowledge.’
‘David Malone and Natasha Collins are noted for their availability, pro-activity and knowledge.’
‘They co-work in teams which means there is always someone available to deal with any issue that arises, and that knows exactly how our company operates. Total transparency with regards to billing.’
‘Mark O’Connor: his legal knowledge is exceptional and he is also able to give pragmatic and practical advice on how to deal with different situations.’
PHD Equity Partners
Right To Dream
- Advised PHD Equity Partners on the sale of its investments to a new independent holding company for £24m.
- Advised the owners of Pescado on the sale of the company to Arrow Business Communications.
- Advised the Moxham family on the sale of their shareholdings in Click Dealer to a private equity-backed buyer, Evolution Funding Group.
DTM Legal LLP
DTM Legal LLP is known for forming strong partner-led relationships with the owners and board level management teams of a diverse range of SMEs, owner-managed and family businesses, and larger corporates based both in Liverpool and further afield. Recently, the group has seen an increase in complex restructuring work as well as in instructions from alternative funding organisations and banks. Practice head Edward Barnes and experienced practitioner Philip Whitehurst are the key contacts.
Other key lawyers:
Evoke Creative Limited
Esterform Packaging Limited
Daisy & Jake Day Nursery Limited
Vast Visibility Limited
Heap & Partners Limited
Marine Specialised Technology Limited
Typhoo Tea Limited
Karl Vella Group Limited
Future Moto Limited
Harts Caravan Park Limited
Adapt Formwork Limited
HPAPI Project Services Limited
C Wynne & Sons Limited
Evolution Costs Limited
Lewis Reed (WAV) 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
Hood Seating Limited
Two Mills Asset Management Limited
Clancy Consulting Limited
Wayne Austin IFA Limited
L51 Developments Limited
North West Roller Services Limited
- Advising the shareholders and management of North West Roller Services on the sale of the company to management and private equity investors.
- Advising Typhoo Tea on the acquisition by Zetland Capital of a majority shareholding in the company.
- Advising the shareholders of E Massey Transport on the sale of the entire issued share capital of that company with deferred consideration, associated security, lease back of the premises and an option to purchase the freehold property.
Glenville Walker & Partners
At Glenville Walker & Partners, the team is well versed in the full gamut of corporate and commercial mandates, particularly those at the intersection with banking, property or intellectual property law. Denise Walker leads the department, which also fields noted practitioners Joanne Shelley and Phil Rees-Roberts.
Other key lawyers:
Joanne Shelley; Phil Rees-Roberts
Be Victorious Fitness
Presidential Care Limited
Inc Retail Group Limited
- Assisted Inc Retail Group with the acquisition of shares in national multi-site food-to-go operator Chop’d.
- Advised the sole shareholder on the re-structure and sale of the entire issued share capital in Staveley Holdings to Communicate Better Holdings.
- Advised MLD Global on its sale to DataCo International UK.
At Weightmans LLP, corporate and commercial work is overseen by Seray Kitchingman and Tom Trowhill, respectively. The firm continues to be known for its private company M&A work and is increasingly making a name for itself in cross-border mandates. Competition law expert Laurence Pritchard and managing partner John Schorah are both recommended, as is principal associate Michael Murphy.
Seray Kitchingman; Tom Trowhill
Other key lawyers:
Roland Hutchins; Laurence Pritchard; Michael Murphy; Sean Crotty; John Schorah
‘Weightmans has consistently provided the right resource at the right time helping us to make the right decisions to both move the business forward and mitigate the risks. The commercial advice they offer us is exactly that, commercial. We do not operate in a world of black and white and the partners and associates who are dedicated to our account understand that.’
‘They truly understand what it means to be an advisor to a business. Whilst they understand we plan ahead, there are always challenges that need to be faced at a moment’s notice and both Roland Hutchins and Tom Trowhill at Weightmans always make themselves available to take a Teams call, mobile call, face to face meeting and so on to ensure they keep helping us make the right decisions for the business.’
‘The team is very responsive and has an in-depth knowledge of our business in the UK. M&A and other corporate matters are dealt with swiftly and with good insights.’
‘Roland Hutchins is very responsive and eager to help also outside of normal business hours. Very knowledgeable in corporate and banking matters.’
‘Very responsive and able to work to tight timelines. Good use of the wider team across the specialisms.’
‘Dedicated and professional, delivered a first class service under time pressure’
OBG Pharmaceuticals Limited
Liverpool Media Academy (LMA)
Rösler UK Limited
Indigo Environmental Group
HealthNet Homecare Limited
EDP Health, Safety & Environment Consultants Ltd
Archibald Bathgate Group
Goonhilly Earth Station Limited
Park Holdings Limited
S. Norton & Co. Limited
TuffX Processed Glass Limited
George Roberts (North West) Limited
Great Ideas Group Limited
Manchester Fertility Clinic
Mersey Docks & Harbour Company
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust
St Helens & Knowsley NHS Trust
Cheshire East Council
Liverpool City Council
- Advised the shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of of GJC Holdings and Tuff X Processed Glass to Alcuin Capital Partners, and reinvestment by John Tierney to include a 40% stake in the buyer Project Crystal Topco.
- Advised HSS Hire Group on the commercial contracts relating to its sale of its heating, ventilation and air-conditioning business – All Seasons Hire – to Cross Rental Service.
- Advised Side on a variety of voice talent and motion capture agreements with high-profile actors in relation to a number of high quality titles.