Corporate and commercial: Newcastle in North

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP is noted for its strong regional presence, upon which it has built outstanding corporate and commercial teams, under the leadership of the 'knowledgeable, pragmatic and strategic' Andrew Davison. The corporate practice focuses on M&A and private equity, both of which are specialisms for Anthony Evans. In 2018, the commercial group benefitted from the arrival of consultant Robin Adams, who joined from  Collingwood Legal. Adam Rayner focuses on corporate finance and company law matters.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Davison

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Evans; Adam Rayner; Hugh Welch; Philip Clare; Robin Adams; Matthew Walsh; Sarah Forster


Client focused team’

Able to deliver clear and concise professional advice’

Anthony Evan has fierce intelligence and foresees how events will develop

Key clients

LDC Private Equity

CriSeren Foods Limited

Fairstone Group Limited

Newcells Biotech Limited

NVM Private Equity

The Naked Deli Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised LDC Private Equity, the UK’s leading mid-market private equity investor, on its secondary buy-out of Synova Capital from Mandata.
  • Advised CriSeren Foods on the sale of two businesses, Northumbrian Fine Foods and Walnut Tree Foods, simultaneously to the same French buyer, Biscuit International.
  • Advised Transforming Training with Technology Limited on its acquisition of the Scottish registered Survivex Group.
  • Advised Portion Pack Europe Holding on the acquisition by its UK subsidiary, Single Source Limited, of CustomPack Limited from Selecta.
  • Advised NVM on investment of £2.75m of growth capital into Ridge Pharma Limited.

Ward Hadaway

At Ward HadawayRobert Thompson leads the corporate team, while Colin Hewitt heads the commercial department. The groups work closely together, providing advice on the range of transactions (for both buyers and sellers) and business operations in the North East. The commercial team has particular experience in outsourcing deals, often for businesses operating in the banking and insurance sectors.

Practice head(s):

Robert Thompson; Colin Hewitt

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Hay-Heddle; Damien Charlton; Tom Pollard; James Nightingale; Matthew Cormack; Steven Roper


The team has excellent attention to detail and commerciality

Katherine Hay-Heddle manages projects well and looks for a commercial solution

The team has the strength to use negotiated contract clauses to deliver successful outcomes when up against difficult clients in dispute scenarios

Fast turnaround, fast to quote and delivery in agreed timescales.

Key clients

Pacifica Group

Springfield Home Care Services

The Bannatyne Group



Virgin Money

Work highlights

  • Advised North East Fund on the creation of the £145m North East Jeremie2 Fund.
  • Advised Hyperdrive Innovation Holdings on equity investment from shareholders and new investors.
  • Advised Kykloud on £12m sale to Accruent LLC.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's Newcastle office is a major hub for the transatlantic firm, ensuring it is well-placed to advise US investors into the North East. Unusually for the region, the office contains dedicated competition, tax and projects lawyers, all of whom support the corporate and commercial teams. The team is led by Ben Butler and includes corporate finance expert Jamie Pass and Stacey Hall, who specialises in corporate transactions. Ian Pritty is noted for corporate aspects of property transactions.

Practice head(s):

Ben Butler

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Pass; Robert Phillips; Simon Watts; Iain Pritty; Will Bonas; Stacey Hall; Oliver Rickett; David Ridley


The breadth of capability across disciplines is demonstrable

Jamie Pass and Oliver Rickett deserve special praise for their focus and dedication to ensuring the project is delivered

A longstanding and deep understanding of business

Key clients

Atom Bank plc

Augean plc

CN Group

EQT Infrastructure

Newcastle City Council

Richmond Group

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP

The team at Mincoffs Solicitors LLP is noted for its expertise in the healthcare, leisure, engineering, construction and technology sectors; handling advisory work for a variety of owner-managed businesses, entrepreneurs, corporates and institutions. Paul Hughes leads the team and is a veteran of corporate law in the North East.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hughes

Other key lawyers:

John Nicholson; Peter Robinson; Chris Hughes


The practice has great depth in its abilities giving clients a “one-stop-shop” to satisfy the bulk of their legal requirements

Always professional and timely

They combine a forensic knowledge of the law with a commercial and practical approach not found elsewhere

Paul Hughes and Chris Hughes are great to deal with

Key clients

High Street Group

Pharmacy Express

Northern Bear plc

LB Foster Group

Cairn Group

Telenomics Retail

Metnor Group

Work highlights

  • Represented High Street Hospitality on a number of acquisitions of leisure outlets.
  • Acted for Pharmacy Express in its acquisition programme.
  • Acted for All Saints Developments on its acquisition of Westminster Works.

Sintons LLP

Sintons LLP's group handles the spectrum of corporate matters, including M&A, buyouts, private equity investments, solvent and insolvent reorganisations and corporate finance, with a particular focus on healthcare, life sciences and leisure. The commercial team's instructions include data protection and cybersecurity law advice. Practice head Karen Simms has significant experience in transactions involving the energy and waste management sectors. Senior associate Emma Pern is noted for complex transactions.

Practice head(s):

Karen Simms

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Welch; Emma Pern; Matt Collen; Adrian Dye; Chloe Dinsdale


A well organised practice, very knowledgeable and quick respond to queries

Team members are friendly and very approachable

Karen Simms is not only methodical but always remains calm during pressured situations

Key clients

North Tees Limited


Eagles Community Foundation

The Auckland Project

Techflow Group

Gainford Group

Malhotra Group plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for Dr Nas Khan OBE in relation to the demerger of three motor dealerships.
  • Assisted NE1 with sponsorship agreements for the Newcastle Motor Show.
  • Acting for Northcare in relation to the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Chrysalis Sales Limited.


Weightmans' team has experience across a broad ranged of sectors, notably technology, education, private equity, venture capital and franchising; advising a mixture of domestic and foreign companies on transactions in the North East. Duncan Reid leads the team, which includes all-rounder Paul Wigham.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Reid

Other key lawyers:

Paul Wigham; Marc Allison; Kirsty Adamson

Key clients

Broadband Satellite Services

Accelerated Digital Ventures

Northstar Ventures


Maven Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised The Car People on its acquisition by Sytner.
  • Advised pub group Wear Inns and its shareholders on its £22.4m sale to property investor Aprirose.
  • Advised Accelerated Digital Ventures on a significant number of investments in scale-up technology businesses, totalling an aggregate value of over £50.5m.
  • Advised online shopping cart recovery business SafeCycle on an investment of £11.5m from BGF.
  • Advised BGF Investment Management Limited to facilitate an investment into Arc Trinova Limited.


DWF's team draws on the firm's UK-wide presence to provide clients, including major domestic and foreign corporates, with a full-service offering for corporate matters. Areas of expertise for the firm include financial services, TMT, energy and utilities and real estate. Practice head Jeremy Swift  regularly handles private equity transactions and M&A.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Swift

Other key lawyers:

Jemil Visram

Key clients

Immotion Group plc

Polemos plc

Vibe Group Holdings

Digitalbox Group

Northern Gas and Power

Work highlights

  • Advising Digitalbox Group Limited on a statutory demerger of three subsidiaries by share capital reduction.
  • Advising Immotion Group, a virtual reality/augmented reality company, on three acquisitions on a share for share basis and raising £1.4m to fund working capital.
  • Advising Nplus1 Singer Advisory LLP on a secondary fundraise for its client by way of an accelerated book build.

Hay & Kilner

The lawyers at Hay & Kilner are the go-to firm for a variety of owner-managed businesses and regional SMEs in the care home, pharmaceutical and veterinary sectors, in addition to a number of corporates. The team is co-led by Jonathan Waters who, alongside significant corporate law expertise, advises a range of charity-sector clients on complex restructuring and operational issues. Mark Adams co-leads the team alongside Waters.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Waters; Mark Adams

Other key lawyers:

Laurie Wilson; Ben Jackson; Sarah Hall

Key clients

Park Lane Healthcare

PLH Moorgate Holdco

Wingrove Motor Company

Bonds Group

Indigo Software

Work highlights

  • Advised PLH Moorgate Holdco Limited in refinancing and related group restructuring.
  • Representing Wingrove Motor Company Limited in the acquisition of a Peugeot dealership from the PSA national franchise operator.
  • Representing Novares Venture Capital SAS on an equity investment in a Cambridge-based tech company specialising in advanced user interface technology for the automotive industry.