Corporate and commercial: Liverpool in North West

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP represents entrepreneurs, private companies, SMEs, owner managed businesses, family businesses, small private equity houses and AIM listed companies from its Liverpool office. The team covers a wide range of industry sectors including: sport, technology, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, dentistry, automotive, hospitality and housing associations. Mark Rathbone heads the corporate team and Matt Brown heads the commercial team, which is able to work with Brabners' other North West offices in Manchester and Preston.  Other key partners in the team include Colin Bell, Michael Brabner, Rupert Gill, Andrew O’Mahony, David Maples and firmwide managing partner Nik White. Senior associate Nicola Lomas is also recommended. Michael Winder was promoted to senior associate.

Practice head(s):

Matt Brown; Mark Rathbone

Other key lawyers:

David Seddon; Daniel Hayhurst; Colin Bell; Michael Brabner; Rupert Gill; Andrew O’Mahony; David Maples; Nik White; Nicola Lomas; Michael Winder


Quick to respond to matters and helpful during the whole process’.

 Knowledgeable, charismatic and enthusiastic’.

Key clients

Peel Ports

NWF Group plc

James Hall and Company (SPAR)

Suez Recycling and Recovery Limited

Real Good Food Group

Business Growth Fund

Liverpool Mutual Homes (now Torus62 Limited)

Acquipeak Assets

Hillview Homes

VeCapital Limited

Promenade Holdings Limited

Ion Property Group

Greenhill Industries Limited

Prime Global

Myriad Group AG

Thingstream AG

Wheatsheaf Investments Limited

Tourism Media Limited

R S Clare & Co Limited

Rosebery Capital Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising on various commercial arrangements for the Commonwealth Games Federation relating to the games’ commercial rights and various other agreements including IT agreements with suppliers, agency and consultancy agreements.
  • Acting for Ondeo Industrial Services’ in-house M&A team in Paris on the disposal of Suez Water Conditioning Services Limited.
  • Acting for Peel Ports on a wide range of commercial agreements, including the procurement of an Enterprise Resource Planning solution that will play a role in all port operations.
  • Acting for Gas Tag on its equity fund raise from Waterland Private Equity Limited and its subsequent acquisition of Millington Lord Limited.
  • Acted as lead adviser on the amalgamation of Liverpool Mutual Homes with the three registered providers that were within the Torus Group: Helena, Golden Gates and Torus.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper UK LLP 's Liverpool corporate team acts for major UK and international corporates, as well as local clients including football clubs and government bodies, on corporate and commercial  joint ventures, international collaborations, private equity based transactions and public sector outsourcing. The firm is able to leverage its network of regional and international offices as it works on matters including M&A, management buyouts (MBOs) and group restructurings. Sarah Bell and Manchester-based James Kerrigan head the team with support from commercial expert Peter Brook. Senior associate Paddy Dwyer is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Bell; James Kerrigan

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Cowap; Michael Hudson; Peter Brook; Paddy Dwyer


Peter Brook is very keen to ensure value for the client‘.

Key clients

arvato Group

Clydesdale Financial Services Ltd t/a Barclays Partner Finance


Flywheel IT Services

Heineken UK

Hunter Boots Limited

Liverpool City Council

Liverpool Football Club

Newell Rubbermaid

PetrolValves Srl

QA Limited

Sutton & Son (St Helens) Ltd

UK Government (NHS England, 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)



Work highlights

  • Advising Newell Rubbermaid UK on a range of different commercial matters from commercial agreements through to corporate restructuring, consumer protection and advertising.
  • Advising UK Research & Innovation and the Natural Environment Research Council in relation to the spin out of two of their Research Centres into the private sector, as charitable-companies limited by guarantee.
  • Acted for Air Navigation Solutions on a call-off contract for the supply of project services, including works, goods and/or services in respect of the implementation of Air Traffic Management Systems and associated airspace consultancy and development activities under an overarching framework agreement with Gatwick Airport Limited.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP 's strong Liverpool corporate team represents national and international commercial and corporate clients including large private companies, start-ups, partnerships and private individuals. Areas of expertise include M&A, private equity and joint ventures. Craig Scott heads the team with support from Jonathan Brown, Mike Jones, Matt Noon, Sue Russell and Michael Murphy. Legal director Graeme Alder is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Craig Scott

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Brown; Mike Jones; Matt Noon; Sue Russell; Michael Murphy; Graeme Alder; Emma Colins; Elan Iorwerth

Key clients

Stobart Group

Enterprise Ventures Growth II fund

Next Wave Partners

The Delivery Group

CRH Group

Carrs Milling Industries PLC

JLA Group

Fishawack Communications

Kuehne + Nagel

Downing Students

Work highlights

  • Acted for the management team of JLA Group on the acquisition by Cinven Private Equity from Hg Capital (and others) of the entire issued share capital of JLA New Equityco Limited.
  • Advised The Delivery Group on the sale of UK based global ecomms logistics delivery business P2P Mailing Limited to the FedEx Corporation in Memphis for a cash consideration of £92.7m.
  • Advised We Are Discounts Limited on its sale to Brinc Services Limited for £38.8m.
  • Advised Stobart Group and Connect Airways on its proposed takeover of Flybe plc for £102.2m.
  • Advised Peel Land on the creation of a joint venture for the £55m regeneration and redevelopment of Birkenhead Docks.


DWF represents a range of clients including SMEs and large corporates on corporate and commercial matters. Areas of expertise include M&A, private equity deals, negotiation of agreements, outsourcing arrangements as well as  asset and real estate management and licensing matters.  Paul Rimmer, Paul Attwood and Ben Cooke, who was recently promoted to partner, head the team. Senior associate James Cashman is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Paul Rimmer; Paul Attwood; Ben Cooke

Other key lawyers:

James Cashman

Key clients

Inflexion Private Equity

Marks and Spencer Plc

Livingbridge Private Equity

Optionis Group

ACC Liverpool Group

Liverpool John Moores University

Burton’s Biscuits

National Museums Liverpool

Hobs Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Burton’s Biscuits on the sale of its chocolate manufacturing plant.
  • Represented Inflexion on the creation of Comparison Technologies Limited.
  • Acting for Hobs Liver Limited in its disposal of Hobs on-site Limited.
  • Advised on the acquisition of First Freeland Limited and First Five Projects Limited.


O'Connors offers corporate, commercial, insurance and regulatory advice from its Liverpool head office. On the corporate side it covers M&A, management buyouts and buy-ins, private equity investment and restructurings. It also offers a broad range of commercial advice for companies and individuals on areas including joint ventures, public-private partnerships, as well as e-commerce and cyber security issues. Its clients, who say the firm 'treats them as part of the family' , include insurance brokers, insurers, investment funds and law firms. John Spofforth and Michael Ainsworth head the team. Firm co-founder Mark O’Connor is known for 'leading by example', instilling an 'approach of professional calm'.

Practice head(s):

John Spofforth; Michael Ainsworth

Other key lawyers:

David Malone; Paul O’Connor; Nigel Wallis; Christina Millan; Mark O’Connor; Natasha Collins


‘O’Connors has gone from strength to strength – they remain peerless in their niche sector, with approachability, clear headed thinking, coupled with a remarkable degree of understanding of a client’s needs and ambitions raising them above their competitors. To have them ‘in your corner’ is as much a comfort as anything else and the respect for their expertise and total professionalism from their contemporaries is unmatched. They are a stunning group of top professionals.’

‘A combination of high attention to detail and quality care coupled with immediate intellectual understanding sets O’Connors apart from other firms that I have dealt with.’

‘The approach of the firm as a whole is one of professional calm. Mark O’Connor leads by example in this respect and his influence is carried through into the actions of his colleagues. Considered thinking ensures appropriate response – rather than immediate reaction that requires later review/amend.’

‘The team at O’Connors have a unique ability to understand a client – from their personality to their thought process – and apply that to the work they do, ensuring the result is always what the client needs. They think outside the box and come up with proposals , solutions and suggestions that others simply would not comprehend. This coupled with their incredibly professional yet personal approach , sets them apart from any other firm I have ever worked with.’

‘I always feel like their only client despite them having many – they take the time to get to know you as an individual but also your business and your ethos and people.’

‘I am not normally one to single people out and with O’Connors it is difficult as every member of the team is exceptional, they are all worthy of special mentions.’

‘Having worked with John Spofforth on a number of occasions I cannot recommend him enough, his approach and work rate is fantastic, as is his ability to see instantly the key facts from a long-winded client description.’

‘They treat you as part of their family, and wholeheartedly work towards your goals’.

‘A close knit team who get to understand you and your objectives very quickly’.

‘Mark O’Connor takes time to understand your business and aspirations and then offers new insights’.

‘David Malone is patient and skilled’.

‘Paul O’Connor knows insurance contracts inside out’.

Key clients

Haarslev UK Ltd

Risk Services (NW) Ltd

Essential Cuisine Ltd

Intelipac Paper Manufacturing

MSB Solicitors

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP handles M&A, corporate governance, funding, general company law advice and commercial affairs for public and private companies. Other areas of practice include succession planning, joint ventures, shareholder reorganisations and venture capital, private equity transactions and GDPR compliance. Clients sectors include built environment, financial services, retail, utilities, transport, logistics, leisure, manufacturing, professional services and insurance. Manchester-based Sarah Walton heads the team. Laurence Pritchard and John Schorah are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Walton

Other key lawyers:

Patricia Grinyer; Roland Hutchins; Gary Jones; Kieran Donovan; Sean Crotty; Laurence Pritchard; John Schorah; Rachel Owen; Rachel Coppenhall


Laurence Pritchard gets straight to the centre of the problem and gives clear advice‘.

Key clients

OBG Pharmaceuticals Limited

Sovini Group Limited


1pm plc

All About Food Limited

NW Trading (Holdings) Limited

Greif UK International Holdings Limited

Belton Farm Group Limited

Goonhilly Earth Station Limited

Peter Johnson

George Roberts ( North West ) Limited

S Norton & Co Limited

Meade –King Robinson & Company Limited

Pilgrim Global ICAV


Lloyds Bank plc

Allied Irish Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised All About Food Limited on a licence for the manufacture, promotion and retail of certain products under the Costa brand.
  • Advising manufacturing company Greif and its wider group of parent companies in connection with Greif UK becoming a signatory to an international syndicated credit agreement.
  • Advising NW Trading  in connection with options around the end of a joint venture operation at one of its locations in the North East.
  • Advising oil & gas company H&D Fitzgerald on the establishment of a new group structure and reorganisation of the business to hive down a discrete part of the business in preparation for sale to Oil & Gas Measurement Limited, a UK subsidiary of a Russian multinational.
  • Advised BHSF on the negotiation of a contract between April UK and BHSF about a book of business to be taken over by BHSF.


Bermans 'outstanding' team is adept at handling private equity backed transactions, venture capital deals, M&A, disposals, joint ventures and shareholder reorganisations. Clients include private companies, SMEs, family businesses, entrepreneurs, management teams, professional partnerships, charities and institutional investors. The firm is increasingly dealing with cross-border transactions. Manchester-based Jon Davage heads the team with support from Anton Stirrett. Stephen Jarman joined from Taylors LLP as partner.

Practice head(s):

Jon Davage

Other key lawyers:

Anton Stirrett; Stephen Jarman


Outstanding commercial and technical expertise, and knowledge’.

Jon Davage has an intuitive understanding of his clients’ position and approach to risk, and their objectives from the deal. He is an outstanding team leader’.

Key clients

M & A Beer Holdings Limited

Everbright Lodge Limited

Work highlights

    DTM Legal LLP

    DTM Legal LLP advises on sales and acquisitions, restructurings, international deals and private equity deals. Recently the firm has seen increasing instructions from alternative funding organisations, banks, investment companies, insurance and wealth management companies. Clients include SMEs, owner-managed businesses and family businesses. Edward Barnes, who splits his time between Chester and Liverpool, heads the team with support from Philip Whitehurst.

    Practice head(s):

    Edward Barnes

    Other key lawyers:

    Philip Whitehurst; Kevin Howard

    Key clients

    Evoke Creative

    Esterform Packaging Limited

    Daisy & Jake Day Nursery Limited

    Vast Visibility Limited

    Heap & Partners Limited

    Marine Specialised Technology Limited

    UK Circuits and Electronics Solutions Limited

    Future Moto Limited

    KMS (Europe) Limited

    Prima Business Control Software Limited

    GRS Contractors

    Pharmadaggio Limited

    Harts Caravan Park Limited

    Adapt Formwork Limited

    Soundtesting Limited

    HPAPI Project Services Limited

    C Wynne & Sons Limited

    R L Davies & Son Limited

    Work highlights

    • Represented Evoke and its owner managers on its £6m investment by the Business Growth Fund. This involved complex private equity document negotiation and related share structure work to support its rapid growth in the UK and overseas.
    • Acting for the owners and managers of the national children’s day nursery chain, Daisy and Jake Day Nurseries Limited, in the multi-million pound sale of the business to Busy Bees.
    • Acted for the owners of Bolton based IT and audio visual business, Information Data Network Supplies Limited (IDNS) in relation to a restructuring and multi-million pound funding arrangement and subsequent sale of the business to its key management.
    • Acting for owners of GRS (Contractors) Limited on the sale of the company for significant consideration.