Corporate and commercial: Newcastle in North

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP leverages its ‘diverse portfolio of expertise’  to advise a range of clients in the automotive, technology, food, healthcare, retail, energy and financial services sectors, on both corporate and commercial mandates.  The corporate team, led by Anthony Evans, is known for advising clients on equity investments and acquisitions. Additionally, Evans deals with a range of corporate governance and compliance matters. Corporate finance practitioner Adam Rayner assists private equity investors and tech-centric companies with M&A transactions. Sarah Forster, Philip Clare and Matthew Walsh are also key contacts in the corporate team, while associates Sara Worsick and Stephanie Brown are key supporting members. The firm also benefits from the experience of Andrew Davison, who is now a consultant. Head of the commercial team Alex Craig focuses on non-contentious IP matters pertaining to acquisitions, disposals, collaborative ventures, development agreements and licensing deals. At associate level, Tom Justice supports IP, digital tech and data-driven companies.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Evans; Alex Craig

Other key lawyers:

Adam Rayner; Matthew Walsh; Philip Clare; Sarah Forster; Stephanie Brown; Andrew Davison; Tom Justice


‘There is a real commitment at Muckle to working collaboratively with the client to execute an instruction with precision, diligence and commercial awareness.’

‘Anthony Evans, who heads up Muckle’s Corporate Finance team, sees the big picture and small details, advising concisely, pragmatically and with an exceptional ability to understand the instruction. Working collaboratively he leads strategically and executes brilliantly.’

‘Matthew Walsh very quickly grasps and understands your requirements and adopts a calm and pragmatic approach, keeping a keen and focused overview of projects whilst ensuring his team are well briefed and coordinated throughout the process. He is well supported by Sara Worsick, who is very dedicated and hardworking and demonstrates a clear and concise knowledge of current business law picking up on complex matters and highlighting where templated documents are out-of-date.’

‘Muckle provide a diverse portfolio of expertise and has assisted us on issues ranging from noise abatement orders to contractual disputes and business sales/acquisitions.The firm always provides sound advice, in a very timely manner and at a reasonable rate.’

‘From the junior team to the senior partners, the people at Muckle genuinely care and are invested in maintaining a close relationship with their clients. As a client, I certainly feel valued and working with Muckle is always easy; dare I say it, it can even be fun at times.’

‘Tom Justice was appointed to support me in developing the license. I cannot recommend Tom and Muckle more highly – I’d definitely go back.’

‘Alex Craig is extremely client focused with exceptional technical knowledge. She takes the time to ensure she understands what we need on a matter-by-matter basis and uses this information to tailor her advice. I know that the advice Alex provides is always well thought out, rather than just going with the standard approach.’

‘Stephanie Brown is technically brilliant with the detail.’

Key clients

Kitwave Group plc

Mandata Group

Stellantis N.V.

3T Energy Group Limited

Vertu Motors Plc

Growth Partner LLP

Foresight Group LLP

NorthEdge Capital

Hadrian Healthcare

Elmtronics Limited

Aspire Technology Solutions

Simpsons Malt Limited

Arbor Education

Everflow Limited

England Athletics Limited

Parkrun Limited

Thomas Swan & Co Limited

The Algorithm People Limited

Mercia Asset Management PLC

Thunderful Group AB

John Nixon Limited

Fairstone Group Limited

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Caribbean Premier League

CAV Advanced Technologies Limited

Meiyume (UK) Limited

University of Newcastle

LDC Private Equity

The Lakes Distillery plc

Trivselhus UK Limited

PX Group

HC One Limited

Tekmar Group plc

Newcells Biotech Limited

Houghton International Electrical Services Limited

Samuel Knight International

The Port of Tyne

NG Bailey Limited

Sofina Foods Group

Banks Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Vertu Motors plc on its acquisition of Helston Garages Group Limited for £182,000,000. The transaction also involved the negotiation of new debt facilities of £65m and the simultaneous sale of two franchise dealerships to two separate third party buyers.
  • Advising Aspire Technology Solutions on LDCs’ £85m growth capital investment. The investment included debt provided by Five Arrows and Clydesdale Bank.
  • Advising Foresight Group LLP on its investment in Quanta EPC Holdings Limited.

Ward Hadaway LLP

Ward Hadaway LLP’s corporate and commercial team supports clients across a range of sectors, namely leisure, human capital, independent healthcare, manufacturing, and healthcare. The team covers a diverse array of mandates, including commercial matters involving contractual IP and data protection, as well as corporate matters concerning debt investments and sale of share capitals. The commercial team is headed by Damien Charlton, while former team leader Colin Hewitt remains a key contact. Recent promotions to partner level Matthew Cormack and Tom Pollard advise clients across pharmaceuticals, energy, retail, aviation, engineering and technology on corporate governance, corporate transactions and commercial agreements. Head of the corporate team Robert Thompson is experienced in dealing with acquisitions, disposals, mergers, corporate restructurings, and reorganisations for public and private sector clients. Richard Butts is the key contact for growing businesses seeking advice on funding and investments. Commercial practitioner Steven Roper focuses on supporting infrastructure, renewable energy and technology companies with non-contentious and contentious advice on contractual arrangements. James Nightingale is the go-to for corporate finance mandates, while Clare French supports on investments and acquisitions at a managing associate level. An additional name to note is Phil Tompkins, a specialist in IT-related commercial arrangements. Corporate associates Danielle Borley and Liam Stubbs are key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Robert Thompson; Damien Charlton

Other key lawyers:

Colin Hewitt; Richard Butts; Tom Pollard; Clare French; Steven Roper; Matthew Cormack; James Nightingale; Phil Tompkins; Daniella Borley; Liam Stubbs


‘The take team the time to understand the requirements of the business allowing the work to progress smoothly.’

‘Steven Roper offers excellent service combined with detailed understanding of practical issues.’

‘The team inspires us with confidence and encourages us to grow and think differently, providing beyond legal support and exceptional levels of service.’

‘Steven Roper’s attention to detail, knowledge and ability to respond promptly to every query we’ve put his way places him head and shoulders above other legal practitioners we’ve dealt with.’

‘The corporate and commercial team are engaging, proactive and approachable and work collaboratively and in a one team manner.’

‘Matthew Cormack in particular have been fantastic for me and the businesses I’ve worked in for a number of years and their attitude, work ethic, advice and professionalism have meant I have had no concerns about any legal areas of my business.’

‘I understand the team has also recently invested in legal technology which enables them to produce documents at a more cost-effective price for clients, something not often seen with other law firms in the region. At a time of economic uncertainty, it is great to see a law firm trying to reduce client costs where possible.’

Key clients

PHS Home Solutions Limited/ Pacifica Group Limited

Handbag Clinic Limited

BGF Investment Management Limited

SHG Care Villages Limited

The Northumberland Estates

The Bannatyne Group

Inn Collection Group

eQuality Solutions Group

ScS Group Plc

Zytronic Plc

Port of Tyne

Enerpac Tool Group

Newcastle International Airport


Northumbrian Water

Connect Health



Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP advises companies in the retail, leisure, financial services and energy sectors on regional and national level corporate and commercial mandates. Head of the corporate team Ben Butler advises banks and private equity companies on its own funding options and investments into companies. Experienced corporate finance practitioner Robert Phillips focuses on working with shareholders and companies on growth plans through private equity investments. With the support of managing associate David Ridley, Philips also works on the acquisition and sale of entire share capitals for a range of clients which includes charities and shareholders. Simon Watts is the key contact for private equity real estate transactions, company acquisitions in the engineering and manufacturing space, and international transactions involving US companies. Legal director Iain Pritty specialises in assisting clients with setting up corporate joint ventures, while Stacey Hall and managing associate Oliver Rickett are key names to note.

Practice head(s):

Ben Butler

Other key lawyers:

Robert Phillips; Simon Watts; Stacey Hall; Iain Pritty; Oliver Rickett; David Ridley

Key clients

UK Land Estates


Reece Group Limited

Cleveland Containers Limited


Jonathan Abbott and Rachel Thornton-Abbott

Endless LLP

Industrialisation and Energy Services Company (TAQA)

GB Bank Limited

Easby Group Bidco Limited

Atom Bank plc (1)

Notify Technology Ltd

Bourne Holidays Limited

3T Energy Group Limited

NWGH Holdings Limited

Atom Bank plc

Work highlights

  • Advising the managers of UK Land Estates on its $425 million acquisition by one of the world’s largest property investors.
  • Advising private equity firm LDC on its £85 million minority investment in award winning IT Manager and Internet Service Provider Aspire Technology Solutions.
  • Assisted on the sale of Reece Group’s two main defence firms, Pearson Engineering and Responsive Engineering, to global defence giant Rafael Advance Defense Systems Ltd and the complicated group restructure required prior to completion of the transaction.

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP advises clients in the leisure, hospitality, construction, manufacturing, healthcare and technology sectors on corporate and commercial matters. Private equity specialist Luke Philpott advises venture capitalist trusts on securing investments, and also supports companies on the sale of majority shares to special purpose vehicles. The experienced Paul Hughes heads the corporate team and works alongside M&A specialist Chris Hughes. John Nicholson remains a key contact for corporate instructions, while head of the commercial team Antony Hall works on contracts concerning software, IP and data protection.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Luke Philpott; John Nicholson; Antony Hall; Chris Hughes


‘Chris Hughes and John Nicholson act professionally and there appears to never be any delays when they act for clients. Both Chris and John are very experienced in pharmacy transactions and every client I have recommended to them is always happy with the service.’

‘Always approachable and available to discuss options and debate any issues. Chris Hughes and John Nicholson are both very professional but make working with them enjoyable and easy to deal.’

‘Wide and varied range of skill sets and backgrounds bring together a team who not only gel and work together but also produce the best possible individual results for their clients.’

Key clients

LB Foster

Sudhir Power

Singha Corporation Co

Northern Bear PLC

Ladhar Group

The Inn Collection Group

Ascot Care Group

Northern Telecom

Cairn Hotel Group

Thunderful Group A.B.

Danieli Holdings

Lugano Group

Modern Milkman

Mercia Fund Management

Northumbria University

Durham University

IT Professional Services Limited

Hark Group

Acropolis Street Food

Enterprise Ventures

My Delhi Streetery Limited

Vapiano UK

East Coast Concepts

Anticus Partners

Oak North Bank

Pembroke VCT

Foresight Group

The Capital Partnership

ART Health Solutions

Work highlights

  • Advised L.B. Foster in connection with the UK element of its acquisition strategy, which included dealing with the purchase of Skratch Enterprises Limited and Intelligent Video Limited.
  • Acted for the management team in the sale of their shares in the capital of Intelligence Fusion Ltd to Sigma7.
  • Advised Northern Telecom on four acquisitions in 2022, welcoming UP Telecom, Ensign Communications, Direct Market Services and to the wider group.

Sintons LLP

Sintons LLP’s ‘fantastic, sharp, intelligent and friendly’ corporate team is regular port of call for clients in the leisure, energy, life sciences, healthcare and manufacturing sector seeking advice on corporate finance transactions, namely buy-outs, sales, acquisitions and disposals. Corporate team head Adrian Dye supports companies operating in the care, technology and veterinary sectors with advice on M&A transactions and investments. Christopher Welch is a key contact for leisure companies and pharmacies, while Matt Collen assists shareholders of oil and gas companies as well as manufacturing and software companies. Emma Pern supports a range of clients on the full remit of corporate instructions. Karen Simms remains a name to note, with Sophie Townes supporting at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Dye

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Welch; Matt Collen; Emma Pern; Sophie Townes


‘Very professional and also very welcoming.’

‘The legal work for our transaction was led by Adrian Dye and assisted by Sophie Townes. Both were extremely knowledgeable and professional. Sophie handled most of our face-to-face transaction and communication and expertise was excellent.’

‘Predicted costs were accurate and very good value for money.’

Key clients

Ritchie Bland Energy Limited

Advanced Electric Machines Group Ltd

Pebbles Properties Ltd

Meldrum Construction Services Limited

Waste Managed Limited

Scholes & Brown Ltd

Reed Thermoformed Packaging Ltd

P.D.Q. Engineering Limited

MGL Group Limited

McBreen Group Limited

Work highlights


Weightmans corporate team, led by Duncan Reid, is known for providing ‘exceptional business advice against a backdrop of solid commercial knowledge’. Reid advises clients, including private equity companies, on investments involving debt and equity, with Paul Wigham also a key name to note in this space. Reid and Wigham not only advice investors but also support target companies of investments. Kirsty Adamson and recent arrival Eleanor Baird support at principal associate level, while associate Nick Gray is also a key figure. The Newcastle team regularly work with Marc Allison, who relocated from Newcastle to Leeds.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Reid

Other key lawyers:

Paul Wigham; Kirsty Adamson; Eleanor Baird; Nick Gray


‘I would describe Weightmans corporate finance team as genuine dealmakers as opposed to many other local firms. They work proactively and collaboratively with both parties to ensure the best deal is completed at the best cost and in the best timescale.’

‘My two main contacts are Duncan Reid and Nick Gray. Both very capable and personable advisers.

‘Duncan Reid took time to get to know me and my plans a full two years before we transacted any project together which showed massive personal and relationship commitment.’

‘In completing two separate investment agreements, I found both Duncan Reid and Nick Gray to be patient and inclusive in explaining the key issues in somewhat complex agreements.’

‘We deal with Nick Gray whom we find persistent, calm, and very capable with a good understanding of venture capital structures.’

‘Weightmans Newcastle team has an impressive group of corporate lawyers, with forward-thinking commercial acumen. They do not bill excessive hours by chasing unobtainable deal terms, but rather take a pragmatic approach to legally executing a win-win scenario for all parties. Highly respected in the VC, IP and technology verticals.’

‘Duncan Reid and his corporate team at Weightmans offers exceptional business advice against a backdrop of solid commercial knowledge. Having completed many deals, on both a large and small scale, they understand what needs to be achieved to architect a deal that gets completed.’

‘Duncan Reid is highly personable and a trusted advisor to many of the top technology companies in the North of England, and beyond. I would have no hesitation in recommending his services to anyone looking for solid commercial legal advice, with a “get the deal” done mentality.’

Key clients

Business Growth Fund

Bluetree Design & Print Limited

LDC (Managers) Limited

Food for Thought Solutions Limited

Crafter’s Companion Limited

Camerons Brewery Limited

Northstar Ventures

RamarketingPR Limited

Maven Capital Partners

Perwyn Advisers

Additional Lengths

Mercia Fund Management

Redu Group

Broadband Satellite


Total Recycling Services

Work highlights

  • Advised the fund managers of LDC Limited on its investment in Scarlett Abbott (Topco) Limited.
  • Advised RemarketingPR Limited in connection with a high value equity investment by NorthEdge in its global life sciences marketing agency.
  • Advised LDC (Managers) Limited on its investment in Cleveland Containers Limited.

Clarke Mairs LLP

Clarke Mairs LLP’s company and commercial team is noted for its transactional work in the pharmacy space, including sales, refinancing, acquisitions as well as disposals of assets and share capitals. The team, led by Tim Clarke and supported by Alex Robson, also take instructions from clients in the travel, tourism, accounting, manufacturing and haulage industries.

Practice head(s):

Tim Clarke

Other key lawyers:

Alex Robson


‘Clarke Mairs provides that extra personal touch that is required.’

‘Over the last 7 years we have been engaged and not matter how complicated or simple the issue in hand is, Clarke Mairs has always stepped up to the task. As a team we have overcome some very complicated transactions and a refinancing deal that Clarke Mairs have played a fundamental role in ensuring we achieved our goal.’

‘Between Alex Robson and the insolvency team, the firm has been very supportive and reassuring through each and every step of the way. The positive outlook is exactly what is needed when it appears that things cannot be resolved. They have an ability to find the time needed to address your questions and queries. They have always been proactive over the last 5 years.’

Key clients

Callaly Leisure Ltd

Clavis IDS Limited

D.L.Carter and Son Limited

B & T Prescriptions Limited

LNS Healthcare Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Callaly Leisure Ltd on the sale of Cottage and Glendale Holiday Park and Chevington Castle Holiday Park to Park Holidays UK.
  • Advised Clavis IDS Limited on a £1.4m refinance with OakNorth Bank.
  • Advised D.L.Carter and Son Limited on the acquisition of Flagg Court Pharmacy, supporting further expansion of the group of pharmacies operated by the buyer group in the North East.

Hay & Kilner

The corporate team at Hay & Kilner is led by Mark Adams, who specialises in acting for automitve, veterinary and pharmacy clients on a range of instructions, including buyout and sale of entire issued share capitals. Jonathan Waters is a go-to for care home operators, leisure sector clients and charities for assistance with sales, acquisitions, complex restructurings and operational issues. Ben Jackson is a key support at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Mark Adams

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Waters; Ben Jackson


‘I have worked with Hay & Kilner for a number of years now and find them to be an invaluable part of our extended team. Whatever the issue we require assistance with they have the relevant people to help.’

‘I mainly deal with Ben Jackson from the cooperate team. I always find that Ben goes the extra mile to help even if the matter may not relate directly to his area of expertise or practice.’

‘H&K continue to focus on strong client relationships with a genuine desire to fully understand the pulls and pushes of our business to enable them to give the best advice they can. The high-quality team has been in place for some time now and they continue to be a very good stable practice which is more than capable of supporting our business. We are very happy with the support from a Corporate, Employment and Legal perspective.’

Key clients

Indigo Software Group

Novares Group

Barrier Group

Groundshire Group

Solar Solve Ltd

Turntide Technology Group

R. Lord & Co. (Newcastle) Ltd

Centre for Life

A&J Henfrey Ltd

ATM Security Ltd & Centralock Ltd

Wingrove Motor Group

Monument Real Estate Management Ltd

Park Lane Healthcare Group

Lavender Fields Care Village Ltd

VH Bio Ltd

Town Centre Automobiles Ltd

Medical Architecture and Art Projects Ltd

55 Fisheries Ltd

Jaspers Health Ltd

JT Dove Ltd

Mountgate Caravans Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for Monument Real Estate on all corporate, investment and banking elements of its joint venture with a number of investors on the acquisition of Gosforth Shopping Centre from Custodian REIT PLC for a price of £9.3m.
  • Supported the vendors in the sale of the entire issued share capital of Solar Solve Ltd, a supplier of specialist anti-glare screens to the marine and aviation industries, to Rivertrace Ltd.
  • Advised Indigo Group in the management buyout of the entire issued share capital of Indigo Software Group Ltd.