Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the North in North
Archers Law LLP
At Stockton-based Archers Law LLP, the corporate and commercial department is especially active in the area of M&A transactions, benefitting from the strength of its relationships with local accountants and corporate finance providers. This is the main area of specialisation for David Adams, who heads up the practice and is praised by clients for being ‘vastly knowledgeable and incredibly well respected’. Homegrown talent and recently promoted partner Daniel Flounders is a key contact for general corporate law issues and matters relating to joint ventures.
Other key lawyers:
‘Archers stands out for its end-to-end professionalism, the quality of service, and the attentive level of care which is unparalleled in the region. When the team is instructed to act on a project, I can be confident that little to no effort will be spent on chasing the lawyers or checking whether everything is on track. The team members proficiently go about their business without hindering progress.‘
‘David Adams is vastly knowledgeable and incredibly well-respected.‘
- Acted for management consultancy Headway Point on its acquisition of RG Distributors, an online supplier of catering equipment based in Cumbria.
Baines Wilson LLP
Garnering praise for its ‘top-class, client-centric approach’, Carlisle’s Baines Wilson LLP acts on a wide range of corporate and commercial issues, but is a particularly attractive proposition for clients seeking advice regarding corporate acquisitions and disposals. Andrew Hill sits at the helm of the department, where clients also recommend Kate Parker for regulatory advice. The group bolstered its transport and logistics sector offering through the appointment of corporate specialist Jennifer Bell, who arrived from CG Professional in September 2019.
‘I have used the services of Baines Wilson’s corporate and commercial department for over 20 years. The team adopts a top-class, client-centric approach to issues. If I am unable to make contact with an individual lawyer, I am informed of when they will be able to speak with me. Such a culture allows me to organise my workload so much more effectively. More importantly, the advice I have received over the many years of working with Baines Wilson has never been challenged — that in itself is high praise.‘
‘I work with Andrew Hill, who has the ability to convey and break down his advice in a manner that it is easily understood and does not leave the client confused. Andrew simply grasps the issue and conveys his advice in a simple and straightforward manner. He has assisted me greatly over the years and I know that when I require guidance on a legal matter, I can rely on him.‘
‘I have used the services of Kate Parker on a very complex matter concerning the GDPR. Kate’s grasp of this very complex area is mightily impressive. There have been a number of instances where my firm has been challenged on aspects of this complex legislation and I have been guided expertly through those by Kate.‘
Lloyd Motor Group
Cumberland Building Society
Penrith Farmers’ & Kidd’s
James Brearley & Sons
Butterfly Group Healthcare
A W Jenkinson
- Assisted WCF Ltd with the purchase of Herding Hill camp site.
- Advised the majority shareholder of Solid Roots on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Solid Roots to WCT 2019.
Burnetts undertakes work relating to M&A transactions across the Cumbrian region, for which it regularly receives referrals through local professional advisers. Particular areas of strength include the leisure and tourism, healthcare, professional services, technology and nuclear sectors. The group is also well placed to advise on regulatory issues arising in more niche areas, such as state aid and GDPR compliance. Practice head Vaughan Jones splits his time between Newcastle and Carlisle. Also based in Carlisle is M&A expert Michael Walby, who is ably assisted by recently promoted senior associate Melissa McManus; McManus has additional expertise in commercial contracts. Caroline Redhead is the key figure in Penrith.
Advantage Travel Centres
Townsley Leisure Parks
English Lakes Ice Cream
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority / Sellafield / Copeland Borough Council
ECM (Vehicle Delivery Services)
The Shareholder of Blacklock Harvesting
Armstrong Watson LLP
Cumberland Building Society
David Allen Financial Services (Dalston)
H & H Group
- Advised the shareholders of Veterinary Vision on its sale to Linnaeus Group.
- Advised the purchasers Robin and Joanne Graham on their £2m acquisition of English Lakes Ice Cream.
- Advised the Cumberland Building Society on the sale of its estate agency division to Hunters Estate Agents.
Endeavour Partnership LLP’s ‘highly skilled and experienced’ team has an excellent reputation for acting on M&A transactions. It also counts commercial contracting and e-commerce matters among its strengths. Department head Nik Tunley has extensive experience in the retail, renewables and technology sectors. Nigel Williams specialises in corporate transactions and acts for a mix of owner-managers and public sector clients, among others. Recently promoted partner Martin McKinnell is recommended for his commercial contracts expertise.
‘A highly skilled and experienced leadership team with a great reputation‘
‘The strength of the team stretches through from partners to newly qualified lawyers. The overriding wish to exceed client expectations is apparent whenever you deal with them.‘
‘Nik Tunley is commercially astute and technically strong – the perfect lawyer for owner-managed businesses with transactional work.‘
‘Nigel Williams brings a wealth of experience in both public and private sector transactional work.‘
‘Martin McKinnell is excellent in commercial contract work.‘
Key Sports Management
Homes By Carlton
Tees Valley Combined Authority
Growth Capital Ventures
- Assisted the shareholders of Wolf Laboratories with the company’s sale to Scientific Laboratory Supplies.
- Assisted Heinzmann Holding GmbH with the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Giro Engineering Holdings.
The Durham-based corporate and commercial department at Swinburne Maddison is adept at handling small to mid-market M&A transactions, corporate finance matters, general commercial issues concerning the provision of services and goods, and corporate law issues including corporate governance advice. The department ‘displays professionalism and efficiency at every level’ and is led by corporate transactions specialist Martyn Tennant. Alex Wilby is a standout practitioner in the venture capital space. Clients laud associate Mike Ward as an e-commerce expert.
‘A large, commercial team that responds very effectively, and is always approachable and eager to assist.‘
‘Swinburne Maddison LLP’s team displays professionalism and efficiency at every level. The team has excellent legal knowledge and shows commitment.‘
‘Martyn Tennant answered all my questions, backing his answers by weighing all pros and cons, which made my decisions easier.‘
‘Martyn Tennant is a bright lawyer who has been able to help us through complex issues.‘
‘Mike Ward explains complex issues very well and in an engaging manner; he is great to work with.‘
‘Mike Ward worked with us extensively in the areas of contract and company law. He helped us structure our standard service agreements in a manner that works for both small and large organisations. Regarding our company share options and other matters, Mike has made sure we cover what we need when we need it. Mike is very knowledgeable and pragmatic, and always provides very high-quality advice on time.‘
The Esh Group
St John’s College, Durham
Mercia Fund Managers
The Enquire Learning Trust
Maven Capital Partners
Howarth Litchfield Partnership
Elddis Transport (Consett)
- Advised RHK Business Advisers LLP on the sale of the trade and assets of the business to national firm of accountants Haines Watts.
- Assisted a client with the sale of the trade and assets of the client’s global e-commerce business to a US-registered company.
- Assisting a client with the acquisition of a politically sensitive area of industrial real estate, along with the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of a limited company operating a port facility connected with the land.
BHP Law’s corporate and commercial department has been undergoing changes, following the arrival of current practice head Dermot Winters from Close Thornton at the firm's office in Darlington. The team provides advice regarding sales and acquisitions of businesses, private equity finance, contractual issues, and general corporate law issues such as corporate governance and directors’ duties. Recently, the group has also been particularly active in the retail and hospitality sectors across the Tyne Tees region.
Tilly Bailey & Irvine
Tilly Bailey & Irvine places an emphasis on corporate finance, corporate transactions and commercial contracting. The team’s client roster consists of both for-profit and non-profit organisations. Of particular note, Wynyard-based department leader Craig Malarkey is well versed in assisting education sector clients. Former practice head John Walters retired from the partnership in December 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘Tilly Bailey & Irvine’s lawyers only attempt to do their best for the client, but they are also direct in their approach and accommodate the needs of the client. I knew that any direction I took, I would be receiving honest advice. I was also able to talk freely and confidently, whereby I knew any discussion or question would be treated with utmost respect.‘
‘The team has a good range of skills; it is also capable of establishing proper contact with clients of all sizes, ranging from very small to much larger clients.‘
‘Craig Malarkey is always pleasant, helpful, professional, and genuinely interested in protecting my interests.‘
Ad Astra Academy Trust
- Advised Ad Astra Academy Trust on its conversion of Barnard Grove Primary School to a multi-academy trust, including a transfer of the school’s existing commercial assets, employees and contracts, among other matters.