Burnetts’ corporate and commercial practice recently saw a changing of the guard, with Michael Walby taking over as practice head from Vaughan Jones, who remains active in the practice; the pair are singled out as ‘a great team, and provide a professional service backed up by great advice’. The team acts for a roster of SMEs and entrepreneurs across the region with notable experience in the leisure, professional services, nuclear, engineering, healthcare and technology sectors. Senior associate Caroline Swift adds to the firm’s healthcare expertise.
Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the North in North
Other key lawyers:
Vaughan Jones; Caroline Swift
‘Burnetts are a fantastic solicitors firm that applies strong commercial thinking and strategy to the legal negotiations.’
‘The partners and associates provide timely advice and act on instructions quickly and efficiently.’
‘A strong corporate and HR team has helped us with a number of transactions. They have been flexible in how they work depending on the nature of the work.’
PaR Systems Limited
Mitchell Dryers (Kingmoor) Limited
Cumbria Waste Management Limited
Thomas Graham & Sons Limited
H&H Group PLC
Armstrong Watson LLP
KMF Group Limited
Amsric Holdings Limited
Saint & Co Chartered Accountants
Tuddenhams (Longtown) Limited
Eden Valley Hospice
Cumbria Community Foundation
Cubby Construction Limited
English Lakes Ice Cream Limited
Border Group Limited
Lloyds Bank PLC
- Advised Nuclear Site Services Group Limited on the MBO of Par Systems Limited.
- Advised Amsric Holdings Limited on the sale of its Starbucks business comprising of 12 stores to Cobra Coffee Limited, and its KFC business comprising of 52 KFC stores to EG Group.
- Advised Armstrong Watson LLP on the acquisitions of three accountancy businesses.
With ‘in-depth knowledge of businesses in the North East region’, Endeavour Partnership LLP is highly active in mergers and acquisitions, leveraging support from the commercial contracting and banking teams, and acts for regional SMEs and mid-sized corporates. Nik Tunley heads up the department, which also includes transactional specialist Nigel Williams, finance expert Deborah Kirtley, and Martin McKinnell, who handles a range of commercial and corporate work. James Butler was promoted to the partnership in 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Nigel Williams; Deborah Kirtley; Martin McKinnell; James Butler; Jessica Lenham; Sean Jackson
‘The firm has an in depth knowledge of businesses in the North East region. The partners have nearly all worked in the region most of their careers and have an excellent reputation for getting the jobs done. The firm has grown in recent years, which has given it the resources to undertake larger/complex transactions.’
‘They have a clear understanding of my needs. They use clear language to explain the meanings/ reasons for some of the complex legal structures in various investment documents.’
‘Hugely experienced, well-resourced team with a proactive can-do approach to deal resolution. Typically under huge time-pressure the corporate team at Endeavour have never failed to deliver, working around the clock to ensure completion on time.’
‘Martin McKinnell and James Butler were the cornerstones of a much larger team that allowed us to deliver in a complex restructuring process with many stakeholders.’
‘Nigel Williams and Nik Tunley – very good corporate lawyers’
‘They have built a strong and large team who have the ability to react to and deal with deals of all sizes. As specialist lawyers they have gained great experience and so cope well with the unexpected. They undoubtedly have the strongest team in Teesside both in terms of size and experience.’
‘In terms of the work I do with the team I normal work with Nigel Williams, Nik Tunley and Martin McKinnell. Each brings a different experience to the project but all share the same commerciality and desire to get the deal done for their clients.’
AV Dawson Limited
Tees Valley Combined Authority
Lindy Electronics Limited
Mandale Homes Holdings Limited
J T Atkinson & Sons Limited
Den Hartogh Group
ACBA Systems Limited
Mythic Games SARL
Racz Group Limited
ABCA Systems Group Limited
Topp Holdings GmbH/RTS Wind AG
- Advised on an investment in ABCA Systems Holdings Limited by Trimountain Partners and its syndicate of investors.
- Assisted Den Hartogh Exploitatie Maatschappij BV with the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Tower Gateway Limited.
- Assisted the shareholders of Apple GB Limited with the sale of the entire issued share capital to Amalgamated Laboratory Solutions Limited.
Baines Wilson LLP’s ‘very cohesive and effective’ team has ‘a strong commercial ethos’ and is able to ‘ensure that transactions are navigated with as little stress as possible’. Leveraging its knowledge of corporate acquisitions and disposals, the group also handles MBOs, private equity transactions, shareholder agreements, reorganisations and general company issues for a client roster of national and regional companies. Andrew Hill heads up the team, which fields Kate Parker, who is praised by clients as ‘a great asset to the firm’, and Jennifer Bell, who specialises in the transport and logistics sector. Since publication, the firm has been acquired by Knights plc.
Other key lawyers:
Kate Parker; Jennifer Bell
‘The team whom act for us are all approachable and easy to contact. The time they invest in understanding us a client is invaluable in terms of ensuring each transaction is completed in an efficient manner in terms of only raising issues to be addressed which they know are important to us as a client.’
‘The expertise of the individuals who have acted for us cannot be questioned however, what sets these key individuals apart from others we have worked with before is that they understand us a client and what is important to us. This knowledge of us as a client ensures that transactions are navigated with as little stress as possible as these key individuals are able to highlight areas which they know maybe a concern for us and to take a commercial approach to other matters which they understand are not as critical for us.’
‘The team are very cohesive and effective. They have a strong commercial ethos but balance that well with where to focus and cost. The team are extremely approachable and are genuine people.’
Lloyd Motor Group
Genesis Homes Group
Penrith Farmers’ & Kidd’s plc
James Brearley & Sons Limited
Hollyblue Healthcare Finance Limited
A W Jenkinson
Swinburne Maddison LLP
The ‘always available and very responsive’ Martyn Tennant heads up the ‘first-class’ corporate and commercial group at Swinburne Maddison LLP, which is ‘approachable, professional and conscientious in all its dealings’ and ‘has a wide range of talented individuals, who complement each other to form an effective team’. Expanding on its transactional strength, Craig Malarkey was recently recruited into the practice from Tilly Bailey & Irvine to add to the firm’s commercial expertise. Alex Wilby is a key contact for transactional and private equity work, and Mike Ward was recently promoted to legal director.
Other key lawyers:
Craig Malarkey; Alex Wilby; Mike Ward
‘Whether it’s been a case of needing advice or support we’ve found Swinburne Maddison to be first class. With experts in all areas of business, we’ve been able to get specific help when needed. In a recent engagement the team went above and beyond what was required and displayed their class in how they conducted themselves, showing that the work they did was as much out of friendship and loyalty as it was as a result of a commercial relationship.’
‘We’ve dealt with a number of individuals within the firm but it’s Martyn Tennant who we have dealt with most. A partner at the firm, we’ve found him to be an excellent solicitor and have relied on him numerous times to advise on various situations that have arisen. He’s always available and very responsive, which is what you really need from your legal advisor.’
‘In my experience, this firm was very approachable, professional and conscientious in all their dealings with me during my recent deal. Compared to other firms I reached out to they stood out by their simple, structured and open approach in assisting me to navigate the process. Martyn Tennant one of the partners took the lead and brought in other partners and associates as their areas of expertise was required, never once giving me the feeling he was not in control overall.’
The Esh Group
Atom Bank plc
Hargreaves Services plc
Sirius Engineering Limited
Beyond Housing Limited
The Enquire Learning Trust
Drywall Solutions UK
Hadrian Technology Limited
St John’s College, Durham
Teescraft Engineering Limited
Maven Capital Partners
Singletrack Systems Limited
Orange Genie Group Limited
Howarth Litchfield Partnership Limited
Elddis Transport (Consett) Limited
Land Technologies Ltd
Co. Durham Land LLP
The Auckland Project
Deepstar Subsea Limited
Silent Games Ltd
Seriös Group Limited
Peridot Partners Limited
Pantheon Macroeconomic Ltd
Savannah Group Limited
Amberstone Security Group Limited
Mechplant (North East) Limited
Education World Limited
Sofas and Stuff Limited
The Gibside Hotel Limited
The Beamish Park Hotel Limited
Opencast Software Europe Limited
- Acting on the re-acquisition of a company valued at c£10m.
- Advising the shareholders of Cellular Solutions Limited on its sale to Communications Plus Limited.
- Acting on the restructure of a group of companies with a turnover of £40m.
BHP Law handles a broad spectrum of corporate and commercial mandates spanning sales and acquisitions, private equity transactions, commercial agreements, refinancing work and share schemes, among others. The team is highly active in the region and leverages its network of offices across the North East to provide a comprehensive offering. Dermot Winters leads the group.
‘The team has a “can do” attitude. Always willing to go the extra mile even on a weekend.’
‘Dermot Winters is exceptional. Approaches every problem with a commercial view and gets great results.’
TJR Properties Limited
Sherwoods Motor Group Limited
Ward Bros Steel (UK) Limited
CG Fixings Limited
Glass Assist Limited
Castle Kindergarten Limited
Nano Purification Solutions Limited
Connor Group Limited
Cleveland Sports & Social Club Limited