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.

Practice head(s):

David Adams

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Flounders


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.

Key clients

Headway Point

Work highlights

  • 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.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Hill

Other key lawyers:

Kate Parker; Jennifer Bell


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.

Key clients


Lloyd Motor Group

Cumberland Building Society

Svenska Handelsbanken

Penrith Farmers’ & Kidd’s

James Brearley & Sons

Butterfly Group Healthcare

EcoRenew Group

A W Jenkinson

Work highlights

  • 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.

Practice head(s):

Vaughan Jones

Key clients

Veterinary Vision

Advantage Travel Centres

Townsley Leisure Parks

English Lakes Ice Cream

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority /  Sellafield / Copeland Borough Council

ECM (Vehicle Delivery Services)

Farlam Hall

The Shareholder of Blacklock Harvesting

Armstrong Watson LLP

Cumberland Building Society

David Allen Financial Services (Dalston)

H & H Group

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

Nik Tunley


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 clients

Racz Group

Key Sports Management


Homes By Carlton

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Fleet Factors

Growth Capital Ventures

Applebridge Construction

Equinity Technology

Magnitude Biosciences

Work highlights

  • 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.

Swinburne Maddison

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.

Practice head(s):

Martyn Tennant

Other key lawyers:

Alex Wilby; Mike Ward


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.

Key clients

Durham Cathedral

The Esh Group

Atom Bank

Hargreaves Services

Sirius Engineering

Beyond Housing


Hadrian Technology

St John’s College, Durham

Mercia Fund Managers

Teescraft Engineering

The Enquire Learning Trust

BIM Investments

Maven Capital Partners


Singletrack Systems

Howarth Litchfield Partnership

Elddis Transport (Consett)

Land Technologies

Aetrio Holdings

Work highlights

  • 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.

Practice head(s):

Dermot Winters

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.

Practice head(s):

Craig Malarkey

Other key lawyers:

Michael Stevens


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.

Key clients

Ad Astra Academy Trust

Work highlights

  • 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.