Corporate and commercial: Manchester in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard offers a 'broad range of business expertise' for major M&A and private equity deals, alongside a noted structured real estate capability, led by Shelley McGivern . 'Technically astute' practice head Paul Medlicott advises a range of national private equity houses on large-scale buyouts, investments, and portfolio company issues, with Andrew Green also a strong contributor to the firm's private equity offering. Roger Hart specialises in PLC advice, working with listed companies on equity raisings, takeovers, and other capital markets considerations, alongside Richard Lee.  Duncan Wilson maintains an active M&A practice, while George Danczak was promoted to partner in mid-2021 in recognition of his work on complex corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Paul Medlicott

Other key lawyers:

Roger Hart; Andrew Green; George Danczak; Richard Lee; Shelley McGivern; Duncan Wilson; Nadine Waters


Paul Medlicott – probably the leading light in the north west corporate legal community, bar none.’

‘Very broad range of business law experience, technical collaborations, large procurement and supply contract development, competition law. ’

‘The commercial team is clearly the leading team in the Northwest – demonstrating unrivalled expertise, and a breadth of knowledge across key sectors. Their work for FTSE 100 organisations gives them exposure to the highest levels of work. The corporate team is exceptionally experienced and talented, handling a large proportion of the key north west deals. Excellent links within the PE and finance communities. ’

‘Nadine Waters – a firm favourite with her clients, she has great experience and a rare, no nonsense approach to running a transaction. An extremely safe pair of hands.’

‘George Danczak – one to definitely watch, extremely experienced for his PQE, there are few things that George can’t handle with real professionalism. ’

‘Addleshaw Goddard provides a complete service. The link up between the in-house teams is seamless and provides easy access to a broad range of knowledge. The corporate team that we work with have a great interface with the real estate, tax and procurement teams and hence advice is always given having taken a much more rounded view that we have experienced with other legal practices.’

‘Shelley McGivern is an exceptional partner to work with. Her in depth legal knowledge and experience, combined with her commercial awareness, responsiveness and ability to come up with innovative solutions makes her an invaluable partner to work alongside.’

‘They are very proactive and responsive and pleasant to deal with.’

Key clients

JD Sports

Allied London


Dixons Carphone


Manchester Airport Group


PZ Cussons


Work highlights

  • Advised Zeus Capital and Jefferies as joint bookrunners on Boohoo’s secondary placing which raised equity proceeds of £197.7m.
  • Advised BT on the disposal of Tikmit Limited.
  • Advising PZ Cussons Plc on the sale of its Nigerian dairy business, Nutricima, to FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a strong profile for corporate and commercial work, advising national and international clients on M&A and private equity deals, commercial agreements and procurement contracts. Digital transformation projects in the retail and fintech sectors is another strength. The team is led by James Kerrigan, an experienced dealmaker, and commercial IT specialist Lee Brierley. An extensive senior team also includes Jonathan Watkins, who advises on complex M&A deals, Yunus Maka, who has notable expertise in cross-border transactions, private equity-focused Andrew Phillips, and ‘exceptional deal counsel‘ Elia Montorio, who is recognised for her broad work on M&A and private equity matters. Christopher Wilson was promoted to partner in mid-2020 in recognition of his private equity work, while director David Booth specialises in commercial projects.

Practice head(s):

James Kerrigan; Lee Brierley

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Watkins; Yunus Maka; Elia Montorio; Andrew Phillips; Christopher Wilson; David Booth; Chris Wilson


‘The DLA Piper team in Manchester is an outstanding practice. They have deep bench strength in the Manchester office and seamlessly leverage partner offices as required. The team has a very deal-focused approach to transactions, in that they have practical understandings of what it takes to close the gaps between bid and ask on deals.’

‘Elia Montorio is an exceptional deal counsel and has gained a keen insight and understanding of the chemical industry. She also has a strong sense of how to effectively manage and advise private-owner clients.’

‘A highly professional team able to deliver imaginative solutions to problems. Straight forward, practical. Able to find solutions to complex problems. The team were able to effectively support us on a refinancing and an equity process whilst working remotely. All signing done electronically. ’

‘Chris Wilson is very clear and straight forward. He brings calm and assurance to complex situations. He is easy to talk to and provides helpful advice and solutions. ’

‘A senior team with first class knowledge and understanding of the market we operate in, the partners we work with and the customers whose interests we support and serve. A workforce that pulls together to support the interests of our customer base and understand how to deliver.’

‘My go to partner remains Lee Brierley. We have worked together for many years. I always value Lee.’

Key clients

ABM Industries Inc


Beech Tree Private Equity


Talk Talk Telecom Group plc

Flowtech Fluidpower plc

Lloyds Development Capital

NCC Group plc

Nichols plc

Verna Group



Biffa Group Limited

Crown Commercial Service



Key Retirement Group

Molson Coors

Next No

Payvision (part of ING Bank)

The Co-Operative Bank

The Hut Group

Snowdonia Cheese


2Equistone Partners Europe


Work highlights

  • Advising Equistone Partners Europe and its portfolio company, Fircroft Engineering Services, on the strategic merger with NES Global Talent, backed by AEA Investors, creating NES Fircroft.
  • Advising Lloyds Development Capital and the management team on the sale of Mitrefinch Holdings Limited.
  • Advising The Hut Group on its day-to-day requirements regarding its trading arrangements and its most strategically important transactions.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP stands out for its deep transactional capabilities, advising a diverse range of local, national, and international clients on large-scale and complex transactions, encompassing public and private M&A, corporate financing, and private equity investments, with private equity a particular specialism for newly-promoted partner Lizzy Tindall. The team is led by Michael Birchall, who advises on M&A, equity raisings, and joint ventures, with Daniel Hall, the 'persuasiveAlistair Cree, and commercial practitioner Tom Bridgford also key senior names within the team. Director Jamie Partridge is noted for her role in M&A and ECM matters in the healthcare, TMT and retail sectors, while senior associate Annika Unsworth is an up-and-comer in the corporate team.

Practice head(s):

Michael Birchall

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Hall; Alistair Cree; Tom Bridgford; Lizzy Tindall; Jamie Partridge; Annika Unsworth


‘We worked with the team on a number of projects this year and were fully supported at every stage. Good practical advice was prvovided and costs were aligned with what we expected. There was great availability to seek guidance and we always felt valued as a client.’

‘Alistair Cree has a very practical perspective on matters and sees matters from the clients point of view. He is also persuasive when necessary and got the deals done within the timeframe.’

‘The team are very client focused and are really interested to understand what is important to us as a client.’

‘Our key contacts were Alistair Cree and Annika Unsworth. Both of them were always readily available, client focused and worked with us to complete a transaction in challenging uncertain times.’

‘The Eversheds Sutherland team is accessible and approachable, working in partnership with us as a client. Their sector expertise and specialism is invaluable.’

Key clients

N Brown Group plc

BAE Systems plc

Kingspan Group plc

Lookers plc

Van Elle Holdings Plc

Daisy Communications / Matthew Riley

Zeus Capital


Newlands Capital Limited

Brown Shipley

Work highlights

  • Advised the sellers on the sale of Digital Wholesale Solutions to Inflexion for $1bn.
  • Advised N Brown Group plc in connection with an underwritten placing and open offer to raise £100m.
  • Advised Kingspan on its strategic acquisition of Colt Investments Limited for an enterprise value of £132m.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP stands out for its strong stable of private equity clients, including major national and international houses, as well as its work on major public M&A, with notable capabilities in cross-border work. The firm also works with target companies and businesses in the tech, healthcare, and education spaces on commercial matters, including contracts and IT procurement. Helen Ridge heads up the corporate team and has a consistent record in major M&A, while Samantha Livesey leads the commercial practice, and has particular expertise in commercial IT matters. Kieran Toal is a prolific PE dealmaker with strong fund relationships, supported by Amie Norris, who continues to grow her profileAlasdair Weir was promoted to partner in mid-2020 and specialises in corporate finance.

Practice head(s):

Helen Ridge; Samantha Livesey

Other key lawyers:

Kieran Toal; Amie Norris; Alasdair Weir


‘The team provided a comprehensive solution to our request for a newly designed share plan. Working to a tight budget, they delivered on time and significantly below alternative competitive quotes. ’

‘The team provided workable solutions rather than just a list of options with clear guidance as to pros and cons of each.’

‘There is a team contribution, in that each member of the team validly contributes and is given a voice. Advice is arrived at in a collaborative manner, as opposed to some other law firms that I have worked with where the lead partner drives advice. Pinsent Masons’ strengths are that they cover all areas that I require support, and that they are incredibly easy to work with.’

Key clients

Horizon Capital

Peel Ports Investments Limited

John Wood Group PLC

Sabio Ltd

NorthEdge Capital LLP

Lily’s Kitchen Limited

British Engineering Services Group

Numis Securities Limited

Ten10 Group Limited


Work highlights

  • Advising World Athletics on its efforts to continue to run and broadcast high level sporting events during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advised John Wood Group PLC on its sale of the entire issued share capital of Wood Group Industrial Services Limited to KAEFER GmbH for initial consideration of c.$104m.
  • Advised Lily’s Kitchen Limited and its shareholders on the sale of 100% of the Company’s share capital to Nestlé UK Ltd.


CMS focuses on high-value, often cross-border, transactions within its key focus industries, which include corporate real estate, hotels and hospitality, retail, and financial services, advising major national companies, international investment funds, particularly REITs, and banks. Howard Gill is a key name within the Manchester office, and specialises in corporate real estate and hotel deals. Matthew Davies has a strong focus on the financial services sector, advising banks alongside fintech clients and growth companies.

Practice head(s):

Howard Gill; Charles Currier

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Davies


‘Working with the firm felt like an efficient process – not over-lawyered, but with sufficient resources and support where required.’

‘Howard Gill provided very good support and was highly engaged throughout the process. I felt completely informed at all stages. He was proactive and got ahead of issues before they became issues. Wouldn’t hesitate to use again.’

Key clients

Far East Consortium International Limited


International Hotel Properties Limited

Manchester Airport Group

Select Property Group

Spectrum Brands Group

Brooks Macdonald Funds Limited

Ground Rents Income Fund plc

Bibby Line Group Limited

Costcutter Supermarkets Group Limited

Yappy Limited

NatWest Group PLC

WSP UK Limited

BFC Bank Limited

International Currency Exchange Limited

Lenlyn Holdings Limited

Close Brothers Asset Management

Precision Aerospace Investment Group Limited

Aldermore Bank PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Bibby Line Group on the sale of Costcutter Supermarkets Group Limited to Bestway Wholesale Group.
  • Advised RDI REIT PLC on the sale of six companies to M7 Box Group for £157m.
  • Aadvised Manchester Airports Group on the sale of its property holding company, MAG Investment Assets Limited (MAGIA) for a sum in excess of £350m to Columbia Threadneedle Investments.


DWF stands out for its expertise in the private equity and financial services spaces, advising a number of regional and national funds and companies on major acquisitions and disposals, including many with international elements. In commercial work, the firm is strong in telecoms and technology, with strong related regulatory capabilities. The corporate team is led by Frank Shephard, an experienced private equity, capital markets, and corporate finance practitioner, with Jonathan Robinson also a consistent private equity dealmaker. James Lonsdale heads up the commercial team, specialising in long term supply and distribution agreements. Directors Vicky Thomas and Catherine Harrison are noted for their transactional work and IP licensing expertise respectively. Craig Chaplin has moved to a non-legal role, while Lisa Stavropoulos is now general counsel at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Frank Shephard

Other key lawyers:

James Lonsdale; Jonathan Robinson; Vicky Thomas; Catherine Harrison; Lisa Stavropoulos

Key clients


Sovereign Capital

Moneyplus Group Limited

Optionis Group

James Halstead plc

Equiniti Group plc

Inflexion Private Equity Partners

Waterland PE

Lloyds Development Capital

NorthEdge Capital

Livingbridge LLP

Aurelius private Equity


RMS International Limited

Cardinal Maritime Group Limited

Swizzels Limited

Zuto Holdings Limited

Velocity Composites plc

Scapa Group plc

Together Money

Endless LLP

Palatine Private Equity LLP

Reebok International Limited

IWG plc

Zeus Capital Limited

finnCap Limited

Tatton Asset Management plc

Assura PLC


Wincanton Plc

NVM Private Equity LLP

Munnelly Group plc

Bollington Wilson Limited

Entertainment Magpie Group

Arthouse Limited

Daisy Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Waterland Private Equity on its investment into Integrated Medhealth Communication Group.
  • Advised Sovereign Capital Partners LLP on their take private acquisition of Murgitroyd Group Plc.
  • Advised Sovereign Capital Partners LLP on their acquisition of Zenitech.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP combines a strong M&A offering with a well-established commercial team, with notable capabilities within the IT and telecoms sectors. The corporate practice stands out for its national mid-market private equity connections, advising several major funds on buy-side transactions. Ian Gillis heads up the corporate team and has expertise across the firm’s corporate offering, including capital markets work, takeovers, M&A, and corporate governance. Mark Fitzgibbon leads the commercial practice, with a number of public and private sector clients, handling procurement contracts and infrastructure issues, while David Mkhitarian has an active private equity practice.

Practice head(s):

Ian Gillis; Mark Fitzgibbon

Other key lawyers:

David Mkhitarian; Tracey Sheehan


‘The team is highly skilled, particularly in procurement matters. It is more than capable of matching the service you would expect from a London city firm, but without quite the same layers of cost.’

‘Mark Fitzgibbon. He is an excellent solicitor and is highly knowledgeable in all things procurement. Mark is pro-active and can take a commercial approach when required to overcoming legal challenges to best meet client needs.’

‘Hill Dickinson LLP have been our Corporate and Commercial Advisors for a number of years and have a very clear understanding of our needs. When a privately owned company such as ours acquires another company, typically the other company is also a private family business. Many firms will simply follow the typical belt and braces approach to all matters, Hill Dickinson consider the commercial aspect and the impact of each clause not only for the acquirer, but also the family that are selling their business.’

‘We have found Hill Dickinson to be very reliable in terms of legal advice. Their initial quotations for legal work have been very accurate and they have been very focused of staying within agreed costs. We have found them to be very responsive to requests for information or quick to turnaround amendments to legal documents, some of which has been necessary out of normal Office hours.’

Key clients

Tyrrell Systems Limited

Neogen Europe Limited

Elcometer Limited

IQ Glass Solutions Limited

Five Wealth Limited

Neuven Solutions Limited

Location One Limited

Brad-Chem Limited


Sandcastle Care

Cawood Scientific

Hakim Group

GDM Group


Rochdale Borough Council

Stobart Air Unlimited Company

Sykes Cottages

NHS Business Services Authority

Master Distributor Limited

Broadway Partners Limited

ITS Technology Group Limited

Aryza Ireland Limited

Medicines Discovery Catapult Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising LDC on its investment into Ellesmere Port-headquartered Rhino Products.
  • Advising the shareholders of Naimuri, a software development and data analytics company, on its sale to QinetiQ, the listed defence specialist headquartered in Hampshire, in a deal worth £25m.
  • Advising the shareholders of Kids Allowed on the sale of 100% of the share capital of the company to Kids Planet Day Nurseries Limited.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP has notably expanded its share of high-value corporate transactional work, advising private equity investors and portfolio companies alongside public companies on major acquisitions and disposals, including several with multiple cross-border elements. The corporate team is headed up by experienced practitioners Andrew Millar and Tim Jackson-Smith, both of whom offer City experience and handle complex transactions and corporate finance deals. Richard Millington and Luke Stubbs head up the commercial practice, specialising in IT and sports matters respectively. Suzanne Taylor has a strong focus on commercial matters in the financial services sector. Associate Kendra McCullough is noted as an up-and-coming corporate practitioner, heavily involved in a number of major transactions.


‘Shoosmiths have been very forward thinking in how they engage with our organisation and clients and have made it really straightforward to access the right expertise within the firm. Shoosmiths’ suite of products including legal knowhow training and seminars and legaltech products add real value to the work that they do.’

‘We’ve worked closely with Luke Stubbs in recent years and he has played a key role in developing Greater Manchester’s FinTech sector. Luke is a real expert in his field and is a key partner for the work that we do.’


Key clients

Hexagon Metrology Inc

Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

Malvern International Plc

Hedges Direct Group Limited

Wraith Holdings International Limited

Hallam Land Management Limited

Matillion Limited

Fissara Limited

Tudor Group Limited

Sandcastle Care Limited

Radius Payment Solutions Limited

Radii Planet Group Limited

Infex Therapeutics Limited

Biofortuna Limited

Crown Golf Limited

DataLase Limited

Lingit A.S.

Berkeley de Veer Limited

Zip Payments

Cellnex UK Limited

Global Switch Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Hexagon on two complex, cross-border acquisitions in the tech space during 2020.
  • Lead UK advisor to Cellnex Telecom, providing advice in relation to the TfL Mobile Commercialisation tender and the Uninterrupted Brighton Mainline Cellular Internet and Mobile project bid.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs has a strong record in corporate finance and private equity-backed transactions, alongside traditional M&A in a variety of sectors, particularly technology and e-commerce. The firm has notable capabilities in cross-border deals, with recent transactions including US, Canadian, and European elements. Practice head Giles Chesher is an active dealmaker with a number of notable repeat clients, while James Fitzgibbon is noted for his expertise across M&A and private equity work. Darren Warburton handles large-scale deals within the chemicals sector, while 'practical and pragmaticAndrea Cropley specialises in corporate finance work for infrastructure and financial services clients. Louise Barber was recently promoted to partner, and has expertise in corporate governance, ESG, and equity raisings.

Practice head(s):

Giles Chesher

Other key lawyers:

James Fitzgibbon; Andrea Cropley; Louise Barber; Darren Warbuton


‘I always appreciate the access to and involvement of the partner in engagements with SPB, which differentiates them from other firms I deal with’

‘Andrea Cropley is always on top of the detail as well as the big issues, and gives pragmatic and practical advice’

‘Diligent, driven and personable. Working with all associates and partners is a pleasure but importantly, deliverables are on time and to a high standard.’

‘Always on the end of the phone, no matter the time, to make sure things are delivered to deadline.’

Key clients

Zeus Capital Limited

GB Group plc

Instem plc

Studio Retail Group plc

Foresight Group/Clubhouse Golf

LDC Private Equity


Clear Group

Hili Ventures

Miss Group (backed by Perwyn)

Shareholders of Nexus Topco Limited / Arkessa Limited

ROI Media UK Limited

Business Growth Fund

Atherton Bikes

Hospedia Limited

Co-operative Group Limited

Intec Business Solutions

Mobeus Private Equity

On The Beach plc

The Coaching Inn Group Limited

Bantry Bay Capital Limited

Aptamer Group Limited

Finance Yorkshire Limited

Galliford Try Investments Limited

University Games Inc

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders on the sale of local pet food supplier MPM Products.
  • Advised Zeus Capital, in its role as financial advisor, on the recommended takeover of Be Heard Group plc by LDC backed MSQ Partners Ltd.
  • Advised GB Group on its acquisition of HooYu.

Brabners LLP

The team at Brabners LLP is active in mid-market M&A, also handling a range of commercial matters covering manufacturing, contracts, and supply chain issues. Clients include SMEs, OMBs, AIM listed companies, and private equity houses, with sector focuses in sport, technology, healthcare, and housing. Sam Mabon heads up the corporate team, while Richard Hepworth leads the commercial practice. Tony Harper is an experienced transactional advisor, with particular expertise in working with entrepreneurial businesses and housing associations, while Caroline Litchfield stands out for her experience in the motor industry. Simon Lewis manages complex transactions and shareholder issues.

Practice head(s):

Sam Mabon; Richard Hough

Other key lawyers:

Tony Harper; Caroline Litchfield; Simon Lewis; Emma Thomas


‘Fantastic team, work well together, deliver an exceptional service.’

‘Simon Lewis has become the most trusted advisor I have ever had in business.’

Emma Thomas always understands there is a balance to be struck on sensitive acquisition negotiations and has the ability of being firm whilst looking after the often sensitive nature of the sellers.’

‘Emma Thomas is tenacious without being abrupt or sharp with her counterparts – I have found that quality in her invaluable given the nature of some of the other parties natures. ’

‘They have comprehensively supported us over the past 12 years – from our early days as a start-up right through to the sale of our company last year. They are very professional, very transparent on all billing matters so we avoid any nasty surprises and no matter what your need, there is always a very knowledgeable professional available to help.’

‘Simon Lewis was a huge support to us as we sold our company last year. He understands business and gives very sound advice. You get the sense that he cares about your business almost as much as you do. I would class Simon as an exceptional lawyer. His colleagues were also great to work with. ’

Key clients

Bridgestone Tyres

Beaverbrooks The Jewellers

Begbies Traynor Group plc

Rhenus Logistics

Chase de Vere Group

Omni Partners LLP

Seddon Group Limited

Asertis Limited

Codeweavers Ltd Limited

UK Meds Direct Limited

NorthWest EHealth Ltd

Wigan Rugby League Club Limited

Electric Glass Fiber UK Ltd

HR Healthcare t/a

Innox Trading Ltd T/A Chemist-4-U

Fleetsolve Limited

International Exhibition Co-operative Wine Society Limited t/s the Wine Society

Work highlights

  • Advised Beaverbrooks the Jewellers Limited on the acquisition of two jewellery stores from Fraser Hart.
  • Advised the management team of Vernacare on the exit by Palatine to H.I.G. Capital
  • Advised the sellers in the sale of Skill-Pill Holdings Limited to Boost (Bidco) Limited.


Fieldfisher combines strong commercial work, including outsourcing and contracts work for retail, consumer goods, and franchising clients, with regular transactional advise to AIM-listed corporates and venture capital investors, with the ‘solution oriented‘ Tom Ward specialising in early-stage private equity and growth capital investments. Practice head David Bowcock is highly experienced in transactions, advising major clients including Marlowes on a number of complex, often cross-border deals, while James Corlett heads up the commercial practice. Senior associate Adam Jones is also noted as a key member of the transactional team.

Practice head(s):

David Bowcock; James Corlett

Other key lawyers:

Adam Jones; Tom Ward


‘The team was very approachable, knowledgeable and practical.’

‘ Very efficient, clear advice and great ability to push along projects, deal with the obstacles and with the other side to get projects delivered.’

‘Extremely straightforward to deal with, with a wide range of expertise in nuanced deals.’

‘This team is flexible, commercial and communicates especially well. For example in 2020 the team managed a cross-border, US-style, multi-vendor and complex sale through COVID 19 resulting in a successful completion and without significant compromises on our part.’

‘Tom Ward – very responsive and solution oriented. He really values the relationship he builds with his clients, which is a crucial element to look for in a trusted advisor!’

‘We engaged Fieldfisher to assist us to set up an employee ownership trust  and transition to a 100% employee owned business. Fieldfisher are one of a small number of law firms that have experience in this work. The EOT purchased the shares in May 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Working remotely was a challenge, but it was handled extremely well and we were expertly guided at all stages.’

‘Adam Jones consistently provides outstanding service. He has a can do attitude to every transaction, is extremely responsive and always finds a straightforward solution to every issue that comes up. Having worked with him now for several years I can highly recommend him.’

Key clients

Marlowe plc

Restore plc

Custom Gateway

Creative Lynx Limited T/A Havas

Allegion plc

Velocity Composites plc

Jaywing plc


Worn Again Technologies Limited

Ernst & Young

Cream Café Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Marlowe plc on its £59m acquisition of Ellis Whittam Holdings Limited from LDC and management and the related £30m placing and £70m refinancing to fund this and other acquisitions.
  • Advised Pistachio Holdings and Bidco on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of the Creams dessert café businesses.
  • Advised Formtech GmbH and its UK subsidiary on a high-value, complex supply of goods and collaboration agreement to supply a leading F1 Team with component parts over an extensive term.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc focuses on corporate M&A and private equity deals, recording a high volume of transactions on behalf of a diverse range of business clients and private equity funds.The team is led by Charles Glaskie, who advises on public and private M&A, alongside corporate finance matters. Paul Jefferson heads up the firm's private equity offering, while Rebecca Grisewood has great experience across a diverse range of transactions, particularly within private equity. Stephen Roberts is noted for his work on cross-border deals, while Kate Richards specialises in M&A and employee ownership trusts.

Practice head(s):

Charles Glaskie

Other key lawyers:

Paul Jefferson: Rebecca Grisewood; Stephen Roberts; Kate Richards.


‘A forward-thinking firm that are commercial, approachable and willing to work with a business to develop an on-going relationship. We have recently started using different disciplines within the firm and like the seamless passage of information from one team to another. ’

‘The corporate team are highly commercial and pragmatic, focused on achieving the client’s key objectives. They work collaboratively to achieve the client’s goals.’

Key clients

Palatine Private Equity LLP

Inspired Energy Plc

Independent Wealth Planners UK

JD Sports Plc

Just Childcare

Maven Capital Partners



Timpson Group

Peninsula Business Services

Praetura Ventures

KBS Corporate

Radius Payment Solutions Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Palatine Private Equity LLP on an investment into, and later acquisition of Acora Holdings Limited.
  • Advised Inspired Energy Plc on its acquisition of 40% of the shares of Ignite Energy Ltd, and the later acquisition of the remaining 60%, alongside a share placement.
  • Advised IWP on the acquisition of over 10 independent financial advisory businesses with an aggregate consideration of over £32m.

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP advises an array of SMEs and OMB clients on complex transactions, employee share issues, and private equity investments, advising a number of notable national clients and individuals. The firm has notable expertise in innovative business structuring and work for SaaS providers and other regulated financial services clients. The team is led by Mike Blood, who has strong expertise in the sports, media, and digital sectors. Mark Heppell advises on transactions and corporate governance issues, and Emma Hickman is noted for her ‘creative‘ transactional and commercial advice.

Practice head(s):

Mike Blood

Other key lawyers:

Mark Heppell; Emma Hickman


‘JMW are a creative law firm. They continually look for solutions to clients issues. My company was a start-up in a relatively new media sector. The service I received was and still is outstanding. They were very innovative in the way they structured complex partnerships with high profile entertainment personalities and always took the time to explain the whole structure to ourselves but also the individual concerned. JMW are problem solvers which allows me to focus on the running of my business. They are outstanding communicators and provide a brilliant all round legal service.’

‘Mike Blood has been working with my company from the very start. He helped establish the whole legal process at the company. He has amazing patience and always offers sound and thoughtful advice – and not just in terms of legal advice – his knowledge of the business world gives him a great perspective.’

‘Emma Hickman – the most creative and talented lawyer I have ever come across. An absolute joy to work with. She is always prepared to go above and beyond in her work to find the best legal solutions. Amazing team player.’

‘Since we’ve used JMW for our corporate and commercial legal affairs we’ve never looked back. What makes them unique from previous firms that we’ve used is the speed and quality with which they turn around work packages. Whilst other firms may look to spend longer on projects than necessary, JMW look to use, as far as possible, pieces of work they’ve done previously as a base to keep costs down. They also turn things around remarkably quickly and are always looking out for our commercial interests. They’ve delivered a number of very important contracts for us, and this is enabling us to grow with confidence.’

Key clients

Handepay Limited

Crowd Network Limited

DNA Fit Limited trading as Prenetics

LWC Drinks Limited

Voly Limited

Universal Tanker Group Limited

Maven Capital

Healthwork Limited

Stockport County FC

Green Thumb Limited

HAP Solutions Group Limited

Boutique Hotel Group Limited

Uinsure Limited

Brookhouse Limited

No Drama Limited

Merchant Rentals Limited

Queensberry Promotions

HS Property Group Limited

Eurofins Forensic Services Limited

Compass Minerals UK Limited

Envirosystems (UK) Limited

Hozah Parking Solutions

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of Handepay Ltd and Merchant Rentals Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of both Companies to PayPoint plc.
  • Advised Prenetics on their commercial contracts for undertaking Covid-19 testing with key sporting governing bodies/promoters including the English Premier League, English Cricket Board. Matchroom Promotions and SoccerAid.
  • Advised MaxContact on the acquisition of majority shareholders and growth investment by FPE Capital.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP advises medium-to-large-sized companies on corporate transactions, growth investments, and commercial issues such as procurement contracts, combining regional and national clients. The team has particular expertise in the retail, life sciences and healthcare, technology, and media industries, and has expanded its share of private equity and venture capital work. The team is led by Chris Ross and pharmaceutical sector specialist Chris Wilkinson, who take the lead on corporate issues, alongside Paul Knight, who advises on commercial matters, particularly relating to technology and data protection.

Practice head(s):

Chris Ross; Chris Wilkinson; Paul Knight

Other key lawyers:

Vicky Protano


‘An excellent team which provides a full legal service to meet the needs of a SME .They have good experience in the life science/pharma industry sector and understand the needs of PE-backed businesses with diverse investor profiles. We have experienced much better service and key account management skills than a local/regional generalist law firm.’

‘Vicky Protano played a strong role in supporting the chair and the investors through a challenging 24 months, and effectively supported a M&A process until completion. Vicky was ably supported by her assistants and Chris Wilkinson.’

Key clients

Yellowbus Solutions Limited

Kinomica Limited

ADC Biotechnology Limited

L.Rowland & Company (Retail) Limited

Pantek Limited / Solutions PT Limited

Broadwick Group Limited

Robert Atherton

ADC Biotechnology

Shareholders of Isopharm Limited

RE Walsh Investments Limited

ODEON Cinemas Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Solutions PT on its acquisition of MAC Solutions.
  • Advising Kinomica Limited on a significant investment by BGF.
  • Advising ODEON on a significant contract for the supply of beverages across ODEON’s global estate, alongside negotiating IT procurement contracts.

Pannone Corporate LLP

Pannone Corporate LLP has a broad offering, encompassing public M&A, private equity investments, commercial contracting advice, and notable expertise in cross-border work, with the firm’s advice to shareholders of Pretty Little Thing in its acquisition by BooHoo –  a standout involvement during 2020. Steven Grant leads the team, while Tim Hamilton is a highly experienced advisor to corporate and private equity clients. Amy Chandler is noted for her work on commercial agreements, particularly in the IT sector. Associate Andrew Walsh is active in corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Steven Grant

Other key lawyers:

Tim Hamilton; Amy Chandler; Tom Hall; Mark Winthorpe


‘I find the corporate team based in Manchester to be adaptive and pragmatic in their guidance and advice. We completed three transactions with them and found them to be sensibly priced and adaptive in their approach to the size and scale of due diligence required.’

‘We worked with the team at Pannone on several acquisition and they were fast to respond, highly knowledgeable and flexible. Good value for the money.’

‘Tom Hall is very engaged, pragmatic and knowledgeable. He delivers good quality even on short notice and finalized each deal with an after-closing key actions summary.’

‘The team have great experience with corporate transactions, at both dealing with the large multinationals down to the family owned businesses. I found that Pannone Corporate were able to partner with us in the negotiation of a business purchase, and provide solid practical advice, that achieved the right balance for both sides in order to facilitate the transaction.’

‘The team is very practical, friendly and supportive. The advice takes into account the commercial realities of doing business.’

‘Mark Winthorpe is an outstanding corporate partner and has excellent knowledge of M&A and the nuances of deals. He pays particular attention to the perspectives and incentives of those involved in deals which makes a real difference.’

Key clients

YFM Equity Partners

Maven Capital Partners

Slicker Recycling

Tradebe Group

Marlborough Fund Managers

NorthEdge Capital

NVM Private Equity



Naveo Commerce / Digital Goodie

Manchester Central Convention Centre

Granada Material Handling



Work highlights

  • Advised shareholders of PrettyLittleThing on the sale of PLT to online fashion giant for up to £323m.
  • Advised the shareholders of pensions administration business Talbot & Muir on its sale to Curtis Banks Group Plc for £25.2m.
  • Advised oils collections business Slicker Recycling Group on its acquisition of Regroup (UK) Limited

Slater Heelis

Slater Heelis is active in lower mid-market M&A, advising clients on a diverse range of acquisitions and sales regionally, nationally, and on a cross-border basis. Practice head Simon Wallwork is noted for his life sciences and tech sector work, handling complex regulatory and finance issues, while Nicky Collins  regularly advises healthcare sector clients, including GPs and veterinary surgeries on M&A.  Rhian Owen is another key team member.

Practice head(s):

Simon Wallwork

Other key lawyers:

Nicky Collins; Rhian Owen; Janet Robinson


‘Everyone in the team is very friendly and genuinely cares. They are very efficient and you trust them to do a brilliant job. They are easily contactable and go above and beyond to meet deadlines. Nothing is too much trouble for them.’

‘Janet Robinson – always upbeat and positive. Takes accountability and manages the process from end to end. You don’t need to chase. When working to a deadline Janet is always contactable.’

‘I though Janet Robinson was excellent, in her clear and precise legal language but also helping me through the complex and stressful journey that ended up in a successful outcome. ’

‘The Slater Heelis team are always pro-active, knowledgeable and supportive. Response is always timely and they are flexible in their approach. It also helps that they are extremely personable and fun to work with. Billing is never an issue and is always reasonable and good value.’

‘Simon Wallwork – vastly experienced, pragmatic and always calm and reassuring. Instils you with confidence. Rhian Owen – very responsive at any time of the day and always good fun to work with. Always knowledgeable and instils confidence.’

‘The Slater Heelis corporate finance team, are of a size and breadth to match our requirements as an SME. They are agile enough to respond as and when required, but have experience and depth to handle all the transactions and advice we require.’

‘Simon Wallwork has stood out as the man to guide our business through business change and positioning for our future plans. He always responds in a timely manner, thinks outside the box and offers clear guidance on options available and the pros and cons of each. He’s there for the long term not just the next transaction.’

‘Nicky Collins is excellent and assists us by providing good pragmatic advice; and she is always available, and quickly appreciates the legal issues that arise.’


Key clients

Blueberry Therapeutics Limited

Quantum Science Limited

QBS Technology Group Limited

F Klucznik & Son Limited

Denaxe Limited

Hasgrove Limited

IEG Holdings Limited

Novo Properties Limited

Farratt Holdings Limited

Route Finance Limited


TLT advises listed companies, public sector bodies, and financial services clients on a range of transactions and commercial issues, with particular strength in sell-side private equity deals, public sector contracts, and IT procurement. The practice is led by Ian Roberts, who has a strong record in corporate and private equity transactions, including cross-border deals, within the retail and financial services sectors, alongside Stuart Campbell, who takes the lead on commercial work, primarily tech procurement and supply agreements for financial services clients.

Practice head(s):

Ian Roberts; Stuart Campbell

Key clients

K3 Capital group plc

Boohoo Group plc

Deloitte LLP and directors of Go Outdoors Retail Limited

SpaMedica Limited

In The Style Fashion Limited


Mark and Antonia Ogden-Meade

Barburrito Group Limited and management

Matthew Lloyd and other sellers of Omniplex Group Limited

A leading national clearing bank

Department of Health and Social Care

Government Legal Department


Royal Museums Greenwich

Art Council England

Yorkshire Building Society

Work highlights

  • Advised Boohoo Group on the acquisition of the online business and intellectual property rights relating to Debenhams and its sub brands.
  • Advised K3 Capital Group on the AIM-related aspects of the purchase of a new subsidiary vendor placing.
  • Advised the management team of Barburrito on the accelerated sale process of the business into a new investment structure led by Barburrito’s Chairman Graham Turner, its existing management team and certain private investors.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP has increased its share of national and cross-border M&A, alongside its traditional strength in acting for regional OMBs. The firm has advised on public M&A, private equity investments, with a sector-specific approach providing particular expertise in healthcare, technology, utilities, and financial services. The team is led overall by corporate lawyer Sarah Walton, with Paul Raftery heading up the corporate OMB practice. The commercial team is led by Mark Vincent and Vincent King, and has strong capabilities in IT, IP, public sector procurement, and projects work. Principal associate Jo Loake arrived from Knights plc in 2021 and specialises in third sector governance.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Walton

Other key lawyers:

Paul Raftery; Mark Vincent; Vincent King; Catherine Hendy


‘The team are very efficiently organised and have extensive experience of operating within the business’s regulatory environment, meaning we can cut to the chase on key deal issues and continue to keep on top of market norms. ’

‘Sarah Walton as the client relationship partner is straightforward and focused on what is important for us when delivering on either disposals or acquisitions.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable and very thorough legal team. We worked with them on a very complex, international transaction across five jurisdictions. ’

‘Nothing is ever too much trouble. They’re always on hand when I need them, and proactive in their approach too.’

‘Catherine Hendy is a fantastic legal support. Her positive attitude and constant support through the process makes a huge difference. She would work evenings and weekends if needed, and nothing was too much trouble. For someone like myself who is not an expert in the legal processes, Catherine made it very easy to understand every aspect. ’

‘Always willing to go the extra mile.’

‘Diversity and commercial acumen. As a female founder, it was refreshing to deal with two female partners from Weightmans, who both grasped an understanding of my business quickly and who were able to give sound, balanced advice.’

‘Sarah Walton in particular was very easy to talk to, quick to grasp the fundamentals of my business and someone I feel I could always return to in the future for further advice.’


Key clients

Private sector clients

Sonoco Limited

Bestway National Chemists Limited t/a Well Pharmacy

Sontay Limited

Slush Puppie Limited

ANS Group Limited

DSW Venture Capital LLP

Community Integrated Care

TAC Holding Limited

Hoyer Petrolog UK Limited

Apadmi Limited

Cybertill Limited

Great Ideas Group Limited

Robert Smethurst

Composites One LLC

Prosperity Investments and Developments Limited

Seventeen Group

Card Saver Limited

Manchester Fertility Services Limited

Chiesi Limited

Mercarto Limited

Public sector clients

Daventry District Council

Rutland County Council

Harrogate Borough Council

NHS Blood and Transplant

London Fire Brigade

North West Ambulance Service

Northern Health Science Alliance

Copeland Borough Council

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Leicestershire County Council

Surrey Police

Sussex Police

Cambridgeshire Police

Lancashire Police

West Mercia Police

Cheshire East Council

Not for profit

Locala Community Partnerships CIC

Work highlights

  • Advised serial entrepreneur Rob Smethurst on his acquisition of Macclesfield Town Football Club.
  • Advised Composites One LLC on its proposed acquisition of a group of European subsidiaries of Belgian listed multinational group Solvay.
  • Advised on and negotiated a high value software development and maintenance agreement for Manchester based Mercarto with ‘Pretty Little Things’ and provided all associated advice.


Bermans has expanded its Manchester practice with the hire of Barney Leaf from Laytons LLP, a specialist in private equity and venture fund M&A. The firm has increased its share of cross-border and national work, with particular strength in the ALB sector. The team is led by Jonathan Davage, who focuses on SME work alongside a growing focus on growth companies. Stephen Jarman handles corporate finance issues.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Davage

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Jarman; Barney Leaf


‘I have worked with Steve Jarman for 15 years and he has consistently provided pragmatic, timely and authoritative – no-nonsense – advice on all Corporate matters. Highly recommended.’

‘The firm has a wide company/business offering but the corporate function is clearly punches above its weight. I have followed Barney Leaf from his last firm to Bermans and his advice is not only academically and technically very good but the commercial advice, that is clearly based on a great deal of experience, is the reason that I choose to instruct Barney Leaf and his team at Bermans. ’

‘I have instructed Barney Leaf for many years and, as a former practising solicitor, I expect a high standard of service and quality of legal advice. Barney Leaf have consistently managed to provide this high level of service ’

‘I find the Bermans team exceptional in that they provide a strong and capable team from a technical point of view but are also highly commercial in their approach. They have provided exceptional input on M&A transactions in my previous role and have been able to continue supporting my clients in my new consultancy role, dealing with contracts, licence agreements and financing arrangements. ’

‘We were introduced to Bermans, and in particular Barney Leaf, initially in respect of advice required in respect of our business, although that subsequently developed into the sale of the business. We really appreciated the wealth of experience that Barney and his team brought to the table.’

‘Jon Davage leads the team with a focus on SME businesses, particularly with a tech angle. Given the COVID pandemic, this focus on early stage tech has kept Jon and the team busy with a surge in demand for this type of product and business. Pragmatic and great at BD, you know what you are going to get with Jon and the team – always a pleasure to work with.’

‘Jon Davage is a key individual – his ability to shape a transaction and give clients clear and concise straight-talking guidance is welcomed by the the SME target market.’

‘Steve Jarman has a practical approach to commercial law that allows us to focus on the growth and development of our business. Steve’s deep knowledge of our business allows for practical solutions are implemented seamlessly in to our business.’

Key clients

1PM Group/Academy Leasing Limited

Advance Group Holding Limited

Baker Bennett Limited

Bedspace Resource Limited

Bespoke Funding Solutions Limited

Boost & Co Limited

Bromak Limited

Castle Chemicals Ltd

CF Capital plc

Checkd Media Holdings

Clarity Healthcare Limited

Compudal Ltd

Connect Childcare Group Limited

Constant Group Limited

Controlled Air Solutions Group

Creative Capital Limited

Domis Property Group

Drive Motor Retail Group

FM Outsource Limited

Frontline Healthcare Limited

Gnatta Limited

GoProposal Limited

Higson Brewery Group

Hippo Motor Group Limited

IRG (Holdings) Ltd

ITS Group

John Such Cranes Limited

Key Recruitment Group

Likahea Holdings Ltd

Mast Group

Missionlabs Limited

Nanoptima Ltd

Nutriculture (UK) Limited


Practical Publishing International Limited

Promedics Group

Prometheus Professional Services Limited

Reviv Global Limited

Rivers Leasing Limited

SRO Holdings Limited

System Hygiene Limited

The F

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of CF Capital PLC on the sale to Investec/and a newly formed management buyout vehicle.
  • Advised a food and beverage group on its sale to a family shareholder.
  • Advised Harada Corp on the acquisition of a 25% share in bedfont group.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP has developed its profile within the Manchester market since the office was founded in 2019, combining work on behalf of regional SMEs and OMBs with notable cross-border M&A and private equity deals on the buy and sell-side. The team is led by the 'first ratePeter Allen, an experienced corporate practitioner with a national practice, with 'star in the making' senior associate Ryan Brown also heavily contributing at a senior level, particularly in private equity transactions.

Practice head(s):

Peter Allen

Other key lawyers:

Ryan Brown


‘Peter Allen leads the Manchester Team and is our key contact. Assisted by Ryan Brown who is a superstar in the making. We concluded a BGF PE transaction with the BJ Team early in the pandemic. Their ability to adapt to home working, electronic signing, accessibility and flexibility in approach made a tricky transaction straightforward. ’

‘Peter Allen and Ryan Brown as a duo have a great working relationship with each knowing exactly what the other is doing. A calming influence in challenging circumstances and an ability to get to the key points quickly and to negotiate them efficiently and fairly has been key.’

‘Very responsive; excellent sector specialisms; first rate lower and mid-market M&A practice. ’

‘Peter Allen is our go to lawyer at the firm, and through him we access their wide bench of sector and practice specialists. Peter is first rate, bringing a City-level service to the regions.’


Key clients

A Wilderness Way Limited

Livings Lens Enterprise

T.Freemantle Limited

First American Financial Corporation

First Milk and The First Milk Cheese Company

Thermatic Limited

HH Global Interactive


NMCN plc

Construction Testing Solutions Limited

Apiary Capital

Northedge Capital LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised A Wilderness Way and its shareholders on an investment by BGF.
  • Advised Livings Lens and its key management shareholders on the disposal to Medallia Inc for around £20m.
  • Advised the shareholders of T.Freemantle on their disposal to a Swedish based buyer.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP works with a range of businesses, investors, and management teams on acquisitions and disposals in the healthcare, technology, and financial services sectors. The firm primarily advises regional and national entities, as well as handling cross-border issues and working in collaboration with its national corporate team. Ed Foulkes leads the team, advising on a range of transactions.

Practice head(s):

Ed Foulkes


‘The team has become prominent in the North West with some astute recruitment decisions in recent years. Adding established and respected names has enhanced the firms profile and capabilities within an increasingly competitive market.’

‘Ed Foulkes is knowledgeable, organised and effective in his advice and delivery.’

‘The team respond in a timely manner, give focused advice and have a clear strategy. They are are an extremely hard working team and you quickly form the view that you are in the best legal hands.’

Key clients

The Nova Crowd Ltd Ltd

Mark Read & Others

David Salmon & Jenny Salmon

Xrail Group Limited

Martello Financial Services Holdings Limited

Manchester Consultants Eye Partnership LLP

Alchemette Investments Ltd

Aaron Rail Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised The Nova Crowd on a bond issuance.
  • Advised Mark Read and others on the disposal of a financial advisory practice.
  • Advised Manchester Consultants Eye Partnership on its disposal to NHS trusts.

Irwin Mitchell

With a strong focus on corporate and private equity transactions, the team at Irwin Mitchell advises a number of major local companies and investors, with notable sector expertise in real estate, financial services, and media. Victoria Zivkovic and Adam Kaucher head up the corporate team, and both offer significant experience in complex M&A and private equity deals, including cross-border transactions, while Laura Harper leads the commercial practice, advising clients in the sports, media, and entertainment sector on contracts and intellectual property issues.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Zivkovic; Adam Kaucher; Laura Harper


‘Adam Kaucher and Vicky Zivkovic are our key partner contacts in Manchester. Both different individuals in their own rights, meaning that a particular client is likely to gel with one more than the other. A great duo and flexible in their approach to a transaction.’

‘Adam Kaucher was key to concluding a transaction in the September 2020 alongside us. This was a challenging MBO but Adam’s technical ability and pragmatic approach helped us navigate a difficult transaction involving a number of advisors across Manchester.’


Key clients

Swansway Group

Fircroft Group

Brown Shipley & Co

Maven Capital Partners

Apis Assay Technologies

Praetura Ventures


Whispering Smith Limited

Liverpool Chirochem Limited

Firesprite Limited

Newson Health Limited

Balance App Limited

J Hopkins (Contractors) Limited

Waterside Hotel

Autocoding Systems Limited

YFM Ventures

Park Homes (UK) Limited

FCF Holdings Limited

Manchester Rusk Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised JHC Acquisitions on the MBO of J Hopkins (Contractors) Limited.
  • Advised shareholders on the sale of Solo Containments Limited to US buyer ILC Dover.
  • Advised YFM on an investment into Vypr Validation Technologies.

KPMG Law in the United Kingdom

KPMG Law in the United Kingdom' has a 'diverse team with great depth' based in Manchester which handles a broad range of corporate and M&A matters, as well as large-scale business reorganisations. The practice is able to draw on the wider Big Four firm's substantial resources, regularly fielding integrated teams which pull together tax, accounting and pensions actuarial expertise. The key names in the team include the 'exceptional' Edward Bartlett and the 'extremely commercial' Paul Kelly, who focus on M&A and international business reorganisations.

Practice head(s):

Edward Bartlett; Paul Kelly

Other key lawyers:

David Fitzmaurice; Sarah Flinn; Madeleine Silverman


‘The team were resolute in getting solutions, and understood our key objectives and the timescales involved. Ours was a really complex project with some unique areas, and the team came up with good ideas to resolve issues.’

‘A multi-disciplined team that work cohesively and seamlessly for the benefit of their clients.’

‘A diverse team with great depth. No question over their commercial capability or technical expertise.’

‘David Fitzmaurice and Sarah Flinn were particularly key to our project – they committed their time and knowledge to ensuring that we had the best result possible. They were resourceful, accessible, knowledgeable, flexible – and fun to work with.’

‘Ed Bartlett is an exceptional advisor. Incredibly knowledgeable and experienced and with a superb level of pragmatism, diplomacy and persistence to obtain the right outcomes in the right manner. He is very well supported by a high quality, proactive and personal team in Sarah Flynn and Madeleine Silverman.’

‘Paul Kelly has very specialist knowledge and was able to navigate complex corporate legal structuring issues on behalf of a mutual client. He is a very responsive practitioner and always on hand to give his view on matters as they arise. Paul strikes the right balance between being extremely commercial but also unwavering in the support of his clients.’

Key clients

Arriva plc

J Sainsbury plc


Aegion Corporation

Bluegrasscoms Limited (and owner, Stuart Bartlett)

Encirc / Vidrala NoInov-8 Ltd

Killer Ink

Shareholders of Siderise


Management team of Giacom

Planet X

Synetiq Group


Work highlights

  • Advising J Sainsbury plc on the design, structure and implementation of an asset-backed contributions arrangement.
  • Acting for INEOS Group on a cross border group simplification and reorganisation project.
  • Advising the founder of Cumbria-based Inov-8 on the £26m reacquisition of the company out of Japanese corporate ownership.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP advises a diverse range of companies, including businesses in the healthcare, retail, tech, and leisure sector, with clients including family-owned businesses, national companies, and AIM-listed businesses. Rob Buckley heads up the overall team, focusing on corporate transactions and private equity work, with particular strength in the sports sector. Kirsti Pinnell takes the lead on corporate transactional and finance work, while James Wall advises on commercial matters such as contracts and IP issues.

Practice head(s):

Rob Buckley; Kirsti Pinnell; James Wall

Other key lawyers:

Helen Mather


‘Strong client engagement with an open and honest style. Responsive and flexible approach to delivering work. Only charge where work is of value to us.’

‘Take time to understand our business and our personalities in order to offer us the service we demand. Quick to react and always ahead of the game.’

‘Personable and practical. Easy to talk to and understand the daily realities of business.’

‘Ease of access to subject matter experts with low friction. ’

‘Helen Mather – During a particularly difficult management buyout, Helen was able to help us navigate negotiating all of the key terms and ultimately get the deal done. She was able to tread carefully – being both candid and professional. She worked effectively as an extension of our business, no question or query was too much and her guidance was exceptional. ’


Key clients

Beauty Bay

GG Hospitality Management Limited

Graco, Inc

Harnbury Holdings (San Carlo Group)

Hollowood Chemists Limited

Ironveld plc

Kazera Global plc

Property Alliance Group Limited

Relentless group of companies (Gary Neville)

Salford City Football Club

Smartkem Limited

The Barkby Group plc

University Academy 92 (UA92)

Work highlights

  • Advised The Barkby Group PLC on a reverse takeover on AIM for an aggregate consideration of £30.6m.
  • Advised Graco Inc on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Alco Valves Limited, a UK subsidiary.
  • Advised on Salford City FC’s extended five-year sponsorship deal with TalkTalk.


BLM advises clients on acquisitions, commercial agreements, and business strategy, with notable strengths including the commercial property, TMT, and e-commerce sectors. Matters include advising businesses on private equity investment responses, and handling contentious IP contracts and disputes. The firm also works with public sector clients on commercial contracts. The team is led by Daniel Varney and Steve Kuncewicz.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Varney; Steve Kuncewicz


‘The people know how to cut through the noise and get what you want done quickly, they don’t just pass work to juniors that need to be briefed constantly and are very pragmatic.’

‘Danny Varney is an excellent commercial lawyer, he’s the partner I deal with and has really spent the time to learn what’s important to me and my firm. Danny knows we want fair and transparent agreements that aren’t all biased in our favour.’


Key clients

Solid Bond Capital

Salboy Limited

Domis Developments Limited

Qover Insurance Company

Oliver James Associates Limited

One Iota Limited

The Defence Works Limited

St Helens Borough Council

Oldham Borough Council

Ridge & Partners LLP

Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports

MTC Novo


LOVE Creative

Don’t Panic Projects Limited

Santander UK Plc

Cert Property Group

Avensure Limited

Landscape Institute

Tangerine Limited

Green Energy Advice Bureau

Owl Live

Sputnik Digital

Work highlights

  • Advising St Helens BC on a significant public sector regeneration project, accomplished via joint venture.
  • Advising Fresh Carnation on the acquisition of Hedges Direct Group from Foresight and the management team.
  • Advised the owner of The Defence Works Limited, Edward Whittingham, on the sale of the company to Proofpoint.

Glaisyers LLP

Glaisyers LLP bolstered its corporate offering with the hire of William Pinnock as practice head from DAC Beachcroft LLP. Pinnock is an experienced transactional advisor, working with regional and international clients on investments, M&A, and joint ventures, while Julian Bond focuses on cross-border work and long-term strategic advice to clients. The firm also advises high net-worth individuals, as well as handling commercial contracts and procurement.

Practice head(s):

William Pinnock; Julian Bond

Key clients

ETL Holdings (UK) Limited

FS Health Systems, LLC

Grupo Sagola

SpectrumX Holdings Limited

RJJW Limited

HGPS Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised ETL Holdings on a 51% investment into Nyman Libson Paul Chartered Accountants.
  • Advised Grupo Sagola on the sale of its Spanish subsidiary to a UK buyer.
  • Advised SpectrumX Holdings Limited on a long term licensing and supply agreement with a US-based supplier of sanitising solutions.

gunnercooke LLP

gunnercooke LLP offers a partner-led platform to corporate clients, advising on M&A and private equity transactions, as well as corporate restructuring. The firm’s experienced team includes Nick Ducker, who specialises in M&A and corporate finance transactions, Jo Glass, who has notable expertise in cross-border and commercial matters, and Patrick Billyeald, who divides his time between London and Manchester, and handles strategic acquisitions, joint ventures, and shareholder-related work.

Other key lawyers:

Nick Ducker; Jo Glass; Patrick Billyeald


‘Jo Glass is a unique lawyer who understands that there are occasions when a client needs urgent legal advice or assistance outside of the typical working day. When it comes to billing, Jo is always fair and very reasonable. Jo will often give a fixed price but go above and beyond to ensure that the legal work is carried out perfectly.’

‘Having worked with many law firms for over 20 years, gunnercooke is the first firm that has delivered on all fronts consistently. When we started our working relationship, we were a small client and we tended to use different law firms for different requirements. Due to the service standard that we received, we now use gunnercooke exclusively. However, the level of service we receive has not altered from when we were a small client to now when use the firm a number of times every week.’

Key clients

HH Legal

Paragon Group Ltd

Calveton UK

Breal Capital Limited

SSS Super Alloys Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Paragon Group Ltd on its UK acquisitions, including that of RRD Europe.
  • Advising Calveton UK on the acquisition of Byron Burgers.
  • Advising shareholders of Trivoni Software on the sale of the Trivoni Software business to its management team.


Primas advises clients on M&A, shareholder arrangements, corporate governance issues such as succession planning, and joint ventures, led by practice head Gary Black. Firm founder Adam Kerr specialises in commercial contracts and corporate finance.

Practice head(s):

Gary Black

Other key lawyers:

Adam Kerr

Ward Hadaway LLP

Led by Sean FitzGerald, the team at Ward Hadaway primarily advises manager-owned businesses in the recruitment and life sciences sectors, as well as private equity funds, on M&A and growth investment, prioritising work with emerging companies and early-stage investments. The firm also advises transactional clients on wider regulatory and tax considerations.

Practice head(s):

Sean FitzGerald

Key clients

Techstream Group

Management/Sellers of Cloudstream, Xcede and Etonwood

Key Capital Partners

CMO Group

JSA Services

Syntor Fine Chemicals (Holdings) Limited

Venturi Holdings Limited

Kingdom Services Group Limited

The Brecks Company Limited

WHCO Halmed Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Techstream Group on equity funding matters.
  • Advised the sellers on the sales of Cloudstream, Xcede and Etonwood to Techstream Group.
  • Advised Key Capital Partners on its investment in Commhoist.