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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > South East > Corporate and commercial > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

B P Collins LLP counts a number of longstanding, prestigious clients in the waste management, recycling and renewable energy, technology, food, logistics, and pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, to which the team provides industry-specific advice. The team has a strong reputation in the Gerrards Cross area, while also relying on close links to the London legal market. 'Outstanding' practice head Alex Zachary has been leading the team's largest transactions and is also specialised in GDPR issues. Simon Deans is recommended for his commercially-focused approach, particularly in the technology sector and Victoria Holland and associate Beth Miel are other names to note.

Practice head(s):Alex Zachary

Other key lawyers:Simon Deans; Victoria Holland; Beth Miel


'They have proved willing to assist with and fit in with client expectations while maintaining high standards'.

'Pragmatic whilst being thorough and diligent'.

'They work very well as a team'.

'Not only are they proficient at their job, but they make the process pleasant - not always easy when dealing with legal issues. 

'Alex Zachary brings a refreshing element of humour to what are often complex matters and is clearly very knowledgeable in his field'.

Key Clients

Biffa Waste Management Ltd

CliniMed Holdings Limited

Rico Logistics Limited

TMD Holdings

Mobile Mini UK Limited

Norgine Limited

Utonomy Limited

White Light Group Limited

Summerleaze Limited

Lane4 Management Group Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders on the sale of all the shares in Welland Holdings Limited and its subsidiary CEMAR to think project!, the leading Common Data Environment provider for construction and engineering projects.
  • Advised Biffa Waste Services Limited in connection with its commercial agreement with GB Railfreight to transport inactive waste from Leeds to Roxby by rail.
  • Advised Mike Trotman on the sale of his shares in long-standing client, aura Corporation (UK) Limited, to Optimus Bidco Pty Ltd, a private equity company acting for The Marque Group.
  • Advised CliniMed on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Hydrokem UK Limited.
  • Advised Rico Logistics (which trades as TVS SCS Rico) on its acquisition of 80% of the issued share capital of Triage Holdings Limited.

Dentons' Milton Keynes-based corporate and commercial team stands out for its global focus, which is reflected in the increasing number of cross-border and international transactions in which it has been involved. The client portfolio includes a number of prestigious owner-managed businesses and well-known UK-based companies. The team has specific expertise in the automotive sector. Managing partner and practice head Andrew Harris specialises in transactional M&A, private equity and funding work. Peter Cox , Christopher Colclough and senior associate Faye Garvey are also recommended.

Practice head(s):Andrew Harris

Other key lawyers:Peter Cox; Christopher Colclough; Faye Garvey; Fasil Hussain; Ryan Chia


'We have an excellent, open relationship with this team'.

'They are responsive, knowledgeable, solution minded and proactive'.

'The team  is lead by people who display an appetite to partnership, high ethics and a positive attitude'.

'The team members take all aspects seriously, respond proactively and are keen to ensure they go the extra mile to bring resolution to matters'.

'Peter Cox and Faye Garvey are outstanding members of the team'.

'Ryan Chia is an up and coming talent making a name for himself in Milton Keynes advising corporate clients'.

Key Clients

Marshall Motor Holdings plc

Group 1 Automotive UK Limited

Polyco Healthline Limited

Tripod Crest Limited

Home Décor GB Limited

Africa Mobile Networks

Informa plc

Work highlights

  • Represented Group 1 Automotive UK in its acquisition of Robinson Autostar Garages Holdings Limited.
  • Advised Silverstone Circuits on the sale of the business and assets of its Lotus dealership located at the Silverstone circuit.
  • Advised the client on the pre-acquisition and reorganisation of Medicare Products Limited and subsequent acquisition of Medicare Products Limited.
  • Assisted the client with the sale of its Granite Dynamic business to Precision Stone.
  • Advised the client on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Convergent Holdings London Limited to Six Degrees Investments Limited.

EMW Law LLP has a dedicated corporate team, which works in collaboration with the commercial contracts team. Key areas of strength include lower and mid-market transactions, buy-outs and private equity-backed transactions, disposals and funding. Its work also includes advising on franchising, large scale IT outsourcing and next generation software developments. The corporate and commercial contracts teams are headed by Ian Mabbutt and Matthew Holman respectively. Ian Morris is well known for his extensive experience on private equity backed buy-outs, while senior associate Kirsty Simmonds is singled out for the future generation.

Practice head(s):Ian Mabbutt; Matthew Holman

Other key lawyers:Kirsty Simmonds; Ian Morris


'The are commercial, responsive, reasonably priced  and personable'.

'I expect my law firm to know the law, they do'.

'Where I believe they stand out is that they appreciate how things work in a commercial setting'.

Key Clients

Riverside Capital

Cognita Schools

TXM Group

Growthdeck Limited

Steven Eagell

Business Growth Fund

Barwood Capital

Ocee International Limited

Faccenda Foods

Health Made Easy Limited

Rightmove plc

Santander UK plc

Work highlights

  • Assisted the shareholders of 3T Leasing Limited with the share sale of its business and its wholly owned subsidiary, Prime Health Diagnostics Limited, to Apposite Imaging Holdings, backed by Apposite Capital.
  • Providing GDPR-related advice and general commercial contractual support.
  • Assisting Inter MK, part of the group which owns MK Dons Football Club and Stadium MK, with the drafting of an arena naming rights agreement between Inter MK and Marshall Amplification Plc.
  • Acted for Ocee International on the share purchase of Race Furniture Limited.
  • Acted for Blueprint Gaming on the acquisition of a gaming business from a US entity.

Freeths LLP provides commercial and strategic advice to a wide range of clients, focusing on mergers, acquisitions, disposals, shareholder arrangements and joint ventures. The Milton Keynes office has a dedicated drinks, hospitality and leisure team  which offers sector-specific, in-depth expertise to national operators. Managing partner Jonathan Hambleton heads the practice. James Cowell, who specialises in the healthcare and renewables sectors, is another name to note.

Practice head(s): Jonathan Hambleton 

Other key lawyers:James Cowell

Key Clients

BLC Leather Technology Centre

Blackstar Amplification

The Restaurant Group, inc key pub brand, Brunning & Price

Metro Supply Chain Inc, Canadian logistics

Milton Keynes Security Services

Business Growth Fund (BGF)

4 See Ltd

Charles Wells, pub company

London Luton Airport

AFI Group, powered access equipment

Frosts Garden Centres

Nebula Systems, Telematics

Butcombe Brewery

Childbase Partnership

Uniglass UK

Brakspear, pub operator

Longleat Hotels

Newnorth, printers

Sealed Air, packaging

Work highlights

  • Assisting the client, which is a Canadian third party logistics business in the US and Europe, with UK elements of two further rounds of refinancing for the business, following three previous transactions which Freeths’ corporate team had handled.
  • Assisting the client, which is part of the Restaurant Group, with the acquisition of the Food & Fuel Group.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Northampton-based BLC Leather (a globally recognised leather testing company) on the sale to Eurofins Scientific, a Luxembourg-based testing group with 400 laboratories worldwide.
  • Assisted the client with its investment into Collision Management Systems, a software business in the insurance and telematics markets, in which BGF took 25% shareholding.
  • Assisted client with its sale to Securitas Security Services UK Ltd, a global security business operating in 58 companies worldwide.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) specialises in M&A, commercial and banking work. The team caters for a wide range of clients, assisting locally based small and medium-sized enterprises, family owned businesses, individual shareholders, but also large multinationals. The team has been increasingly involved in cross-border transactions through a well-developed network of international lawyers. Other areas of strength include work in the hospitality sector, banking and finance and real estate. The names to note are practice head Adam Dowdney, Harriet Jones (promoted to partner in May 2019) and Michelle Waligora.

Practice head(s):Adam Dowdney

Other key lawyers:Harriet Jones; Michelle Waligora

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of Rice & Cole on a share sale.
  • Advised Accelerate Group Limited on the acquisition of the Webtrends Optimize business from Webtrends.
  • Advising Gamevy on documentation concerning the merger of certain operations with Lottoland.
  • Advising Cofco Holdings Limited on the sale of a Ghanaian company.
  • Advised a client  on refinancing and group reorganisation to facilitate hotel development.

Sherrards Solicitors LLP's practice is based in Hertfordshire, but operates at a local, national and international level, benefiting from a strong geographical and professional proximity with London firms. The practice has longstanding expertise in mergers, acquisitions, disposals, private equity transactions and other transactions for public companies. The client portfolio includes a number of owner-managed businesses from the media and entertainment, franchising and recruitment sectors. Leigh Head heads the practice. Andrew Cooke, who was made partner in April 2018 splits his time between St Albans and London, and senior associate Kiall Bagnell are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):Leigh Head

Other key lawyers:Andrew Cooke; Kiall Bagnell


'A very professional and experienced team'.

'The individuals are responsive, aware of deadlines and professional'.

Key Clients

KMP Taste Limited

McConnell Group Limited

Winkworth Franchising Limited

Fawcett Garages (Newbury) Limited

Arrow Medical Limited

Bestival & Camp Bestival

Mander Organs Limited

Lords Builders Merchants

Hungry Panda

International Music Summit

Work highlights

  • Continued representation of long-standing media client Bestival Festival.
  • Represented Arrow Medical, a large medical manufacturing company, on a two phase capital fundraising project.
  • Represented KMP Taste Limited in the sale of one of the largest Pizza Hut franchises in the UK.
  • Ongoing advice to international franchisor Winkworth estate agents on a wide range of corporate work.
  • Advising the founding member of a financial company, acquired by a private equity fund, on a new group restructure.

Shoosmiths LLP's Milton Keynes-based corporate and commercial practice is well known for its blue-chip transactional work, including M&A, private equity and venture capital investment. The team has particularly strong expertise in the technology, healthcare, education and retail sectors, with a client base which includes large corporate businesses, public companies, private equity houses and venture capitals. The practice is jointly headed by Sanjeev Sharma (who splits his time between Milton Keynes and Reading) and Amit Nayyar. Claire Checketts and Aleksandr Bosch  are other names to note. Simon Briggs joined from Dechert LLP in December 2018, while Iain Butler left for  Royds Withy King in March 2018.

Practice head(s):Sanjeev Sharma; Amit Nayyar

Other key lawyers:Claire Checketts; Simon Briggs; Aleksandr Bosch

Key Clients

Lloyds Development Capital / LDC (Managers) Limited

Business Growth Fund

Downing LLP

Rothschild (Five Arrows Principal Investments)

Foundation Investment Partners LP

NVM Private Equity LLP

Norland Capital LP

TA Associates


A2E Industries

Work highlights

  • Handled the merger of London-headquartered Datix (investee company of TA Associates) and RL Solutions, Canadian-headquartered global patient safety software business.
  • Acting for the client on a major group restructure including several disposals and management buy-outs in respect of five separate business units within the group.
  • Acted for the client on its high-profile merger with Tepilo, including the simultaneous acquisition by Emoov of letting agency
  • Advised the client on its investment into Priory CC13.
  • Acted for portfolio company Progress to Excellence on the mezzanine debt investment by Praesidian Capital Management Europe, the acquisition of Complete Training Solutions and the subsequent bolt-on acquisition of Innovative Alliance.

VWV's corporate expertise includes transactions, corporate governance advice and regulatory and restructuring advice. The practice has a strong reputation for its work with technology and start-up companies and family businesses and handles work in the corporate banking, healthcare, life sciences, education and charities sectors. On the commercial side, the team specialises in commercial contracts and agreements in areas such as IP, privacy and data protection, public procurement and state aid. Richard Phillips heads the practice. Samantha Chaney was made partner in November 2018 and the 'very responsive and pragmatic' senior associate Tom Cahill is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Richard Phillips

Other key lawyers:Samantha Chaney; Tom Cahill


'High levels of empathy and very good at communicating in a language that is easily understood by non-legal clients'.

'VWV have very strong pharmaceutical sector experience and a deep commitment to the sector which goes far beyond merely trying to win new instructions. This level of expertise is unparalleled in a non-city firm'.

'The team at VWV is highly professional and has been extremely helpful to our business during our implementation of GDPR'.

'We have built up a very good relationship with the team and will keep working with them in the future'.

'They always put the client first and want to make sure that we are taking as few business risks as possible, whilst not making it harder to continue trading'.

'The team members are very thorough and detailed, but also commercially minded so that they can offer pragmatic suggestions'.




Key Clients

Santander UK plc

ESRI (UK) Limited

Porcelanosa Group Limited

Oakman Inns and Restaurants Limited

D.D.D. Limited

College of Dentistry Limited

Turquoise International Limited

National Pharmacy Association Limited

Sigma Pharmaceuticals Plc

British Science Association

The Occupational Psychology Centre

Peace Hospice Care

Circus Street London Limited

White Clarke Technologies Limited

Porcelanosa Group Limited

Sabien Technology Limited

Fourth Tier Solutions Limited

Articad Limited

Consort Medical PLC

SLR Consultants Limited

Galderma (UK) Limited

SwipeStation Limited

Clock Limited

Ennogen Healthcare Ltd

Flynn Pharma Limited

TM Robotics (Europe) Limited

Chapper Healthcare

Visual Data Media Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the client on its £4.2m sale of the Dentyl Dual action mouthwash and BB Mints business to Venture Life Group.
  • Assisted the client with the sale of the independent school group to GEMS.
  • Handled the sale of Aspen Electronics to APC Technology.
  • Advised the client on its purchase of Ei Group's shareholding in the Hunky Dory Pubs joint venture.
  • Assisted the client with a negotiation for the implementation and supply of its software to a business on a managed service basis.

The corporate and commercial practice at Machins Solicitors LLP has been growing over the last few years and at the same time works closelywith the employment, commercial property and litigation departments. The team specialises in aviation and aviation finance, but also offers transactional and day-to-day advice to small businesses, start-ups, multinational companies and PLCs. The practice is jointly headed by Mark Pelopida and Jon Alvarez.

Practice head(s):Mark Pelopida; Jon Alvarez


'Machins are very quick and efficient in their response and advice'.

'The advice I receive is highly valuable to my business'.

'I find Mark Pelopida very personable and efficient, making himself available at weekends and out-of-work hours to ensure that whatever we are working on gets completed on time'.

'Down to earth people. Very pragmatic. Solution-focused'.

Moorcrofts LLP's corporate and commercial practice handles a full range of corporate work, including M&A, disposals, restructuring and management buy-outs. The team is well known for its expertise in the technology sector, providing advice on open source licensing, free software law and intellectual property. The practice is jointly headed by corporate lawyer Teri Hunter and Andrew Katz, who specialises in technology and commercial law.

Practice head(s):Teri Hunter; Andrew Katz


'They listen, communicate and understand your business before they act'.

'They offer one-to-one communications with senior and junior partners'.

'I have got instant feedback in respect of my queries'.

Key Clients

Flexion Mobile PLC

Shareholders of Mintec Limited

Mascioni Associati International

People Group Holdings Limited

Vendor Shareholder of Clydebridge Group Limited

LHi Group Limited

MMR Research Worldwide Limited

Big Sky Partnership Limited

The Shareholders of The Noisy Drinks Company

Uncle Buck LLP

Crystal Windows and Doors Limited

JSB Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the client on its re-registration as a public company and listing on NASDAQ First North Market.
  • Assisting the client with expanding their international operations to create both subsidiaries and franchise partners in France, Italy and the US.
  • Assisted the client with the acquisition of Reading-based insurance broker F & N trading “Independents” and “Independent chartered insurance brokers”.
  • Handled the buy-in management buyout of the recruitment consultancy business The People Group Limited, a trading arm of Mace, the London-based global consultancy and construction firm.
  • Advising the client on a number of transactions, including the drafting and negotiation of reseller and partnership agreements and marketing contracts.

SA Law LLP's corporate and commercial practice, based in St Albans,  provides advice across the business life cycle to various entities, from blue-chip organisations to owner-managed companies. The team has niche expertise in a number of industry sectors, including professional services, property, hotel and leisure, retail, healthcare, sport, media and entertainment. Christopher Wilks heads the practice. Other names to note are Peter Goodman and Vincent Billings, who joined from Bolt Burdon in September 2018.

Practice head(s):Christopher Wilks

Other key lawyers:Peter Goodman; Vincent Billings

Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a longstanding reputation in the Milton Keynes area, particularly for its expertise in corporate and commercial matters in the hotels and leisure, energy, information technology, professional services and family business sectors. Practice head Mark Thompson is well known for his experience in providing advice to clients on buying and selling companies and offering commercial support to businesses.

Practice head(s):Mark Thompson

Key Clients

Focus Hotels Management Limited

AC Plc 15

Blue Chip Customer Engineering Limited

Suisse Property Holdings Limited

De Pinna Notaries (now De Pinna LLP)

Bromham Holdings Limited

Laura Ashley

Scotts of Thrapston Limited

Tollan Energy Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted a private investment group with the purchase of the freehold and business of the landmark Hotel Colessio in Stirling, Scotland, from the Aurora Hotel Collection.
  • Acted for Bromham Holdings Limited in its sale and purchase of the entire issued share capital of JDP Financial Services, an independent financial services company.
  • Advised the client on its reorganisation for the purpose of transferring assets.
  • Advised on the substantial demerger of AC Plc’s flooring and waterproofing business in preparation for a management buyout of that division.
  • Advised De Pinna Notaries on incorporation in line with other professional service companies to become De Pinna LLP.

Taylor Walton LLP's Luton-based practice is jointly headed by commercial specialist Mike Pettit and corporate lawyer Jeremy Brockis. The team handles a variety of acquisitions, disposals and reorganisations, with a growing international transactional practice which focuses in particular on the US. The client portfolio includes prestigious names from the banking, technology, media, food and drink and charity sectors.

Practice head(s):Mike Pettit; Jeremy Brockis

Key Clients

Novanta Inc

The Entertainer

Capita Group plc

Nat West

Bank of Ireland

Campaign for Real Ale

Comline Auto Parts

Pet Food UK

Cross Pens Inc


Pieroth Wines

Work highlights

  • Advised a direct subsidiary of NASDAQ-listed company Novanta on the acquisition of Cambridge-based Zettlex Group.
  • Advised selling shareholders on the sale to Wertheimer UK of 100% of the issued shares in Taylor James Holdings.
  • Assisted the client with its nationwide revitalisation consultation with members and subsequent constitutional reform.
  • Advised shareholders on the sale to West Hill Acquisitions of 100% of the shares in Jeanie Marshal Foods.
  • Advising the client on the UK security aspects in relation to loans made to various Irish and English companies, as well as on corporate restructuring.

Tollers LLP's corporate and commercial team is renowned for its expertise in management buy-outs and M&A mandates for owner-managed businesses in the mid-market, as well as for its work with banks and insolvency practitioners. The practice also specialises in IP-related matters, as well as in the niche area of academy conversions and support services. Practice head Craig Harrison splits his time between Milton Keynes and Stevenage. Matthew Crosse and commercial property specialist Simon Massey are considered 'stand-out individuals'.

Practice head(s):Craig Harrison

Other key lawyers:Matthew Crosse; Simon Massey


'They build strong personal relationships with clients and their advisors'.

'The team has a very positive attitude towards getting the deal done'.

'Excellent knowledge of local businesses'.

Key Clients

IPS Power Limited

City Capital London LLP

Mini Athletics Limited

The Rochmills Group (also trading as Hampton Healthcare Group)

Parallel UK Limited

Photo-Me International plc


Work highlights

  • Assisting the client with  key contracts with a street bank and a telecoms company.
  • Advising the client, a professional services provider in the accountancy and tax sector, on its suite of professional terms of engagement and GDPR compliance.
  • Advised the client on the simultaneous conversion of 4 schools into a multi-academy trust which included 3 PFI schools.
  • Acted for the client on a multi-million pound purchase.
  • Advised the borrower on the refinance of a multi-million pound loan facility for funding the construction of a new care home.

Debenhams Ottaway's corporate work in the St Albans' office focuses on mergers and acquisitions, shareholder and investment agreements, joint ventures and share schemes. The team advises SMEs, larger corporate businesses, banks and a number of high-profile organisations and has particularly strong experience in the healthcare, charity and recruitment sectors. Louise Attrup heads the business services team, of which the corporate sub-team, led by senior associate Andrew Yates, is part.

Practice head(s):Louise Attrup

Other key lawyers:Andrew Yates


'Team members are commercial, approachable and easy to deal with'.

'They are always very clear in their position with sound and commercial justifications'.

'We regularly refer matters to Andrew Yates when we are in a position of conflict and have no hesitation in recommending him to colleagues, clients or personally'.

'They are a local firm that provide sound UK-based legal advice to our UK businesses'.

'We are able to get a quick response to our advice needs'.



Key Clients

Jeeves Holdings Ltd

Veruth Holdings Limited

Indigozest Limited

Europa Components & Equipment PLC

Work highlights

  • Acting for the buyer of the share capital of a limited company operating a care home business, together with the property from which the business is operated.
  • Advising on the investment agreement for an investment in a start-up business.
  • Acting for the purchaser of the business and assets of a competitor.
  • Advising the client on its incorporation under the relevant provisions of the Charities Act 2011.
  • Handling the share sale of a company operating a pharmacy business.

The Milton Keynes' corporate and commercial team at Howes Percival LLP has a strong reputation for its work with owner-managed and family-owned companies and larger multinational corporate businesses, which are advised on acquisitions, disposals, restructuring, banking and general commercial matters. The practice's sector focus includes the automotive, real estate finance, supply chain and not-for-profit areas. The 'business focused' Edward Lee heads the practice.

Practice head(s):Edward Lee


'Well-led team, clear objectives aligned with our requirements, working towards a common goal'.

'Professional, pragmatic, responsive'.

'Commercially minded on all service lines'.

'Edward Lee has an outstanding mind'.

'Edward Lee is very business focused, but more importantly he is very creative in looking for solutions'.

Key Clients

BGF (Business Growth Fund)

Mazars Financial Planning

Welcome Break Group Limited


Administrate Limited

Milton Keynes College

Work highlights

  • Handled the sale of Aspall to US company Molson Coors.
  • Acted in relation to a joint venture with The Embark Group which included the sale of 51% of its shares in Vested Employee Benefits (formerly Mazars Employee Benefits Limited) to The Embark Group.
  • Acted for a SaaS early-stage company in the energy sector in relation to a funding round and IP licences.
  • Handling the reorganisation of a loan note structure in relation to £20m+ of notes, including advice in relation to security, assignment, effects of subordination and novation.
  • Advising the client on its application to the government's IoT programme.

Hertfordshire-based Longmores Solicitors LLP's corporate and commercial team is 'strongly experienced, personable and client-focused'. The practice advises clients on a wide range of matters, including mergers and acquisitions as well as IP-related transactions. Rina Sond, who heads the practice 'is outstanding, her commitment and dedication shines through' and senior associate Agata Rumbelow is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Rina Sond

Other key lawyers:Agata Rumbelow


'The team is very focused and works well to ensure the client is always made to feel well looked after'.

'They are always prompt to respond and work really hard to ensure deadlines are met on time'.

'The team at Longmores kept me updated with progress on the cases they were assisting me with. Some of the competitor firms are not often as pro-active in reporting back with progress'.

'They have always provided us with brilliant advice'.

'We were impressed with Rina's ability to understand all facts and negotiate the best for us to swiftly conclude the issue'.

'Agata Rumbelow is very dedicated and has always delivered all work in the timescales promised'.



Key Clients

Intercake Limited

HP Tuners Europe Ltd

Prointeractive Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for a baby products design and manufacturing business in connection to various exclusive licensing arrangements with overseas companies.
  • Acting for a leading group of recruitment companies with various commercial contracts to assist their expansion into the health and wellbeing services sector.
  • Assisting a concession management business with its contract negotiations with a major UK retail chain store.
  • Acting for a waste management company in relation to complex contractual arrangements with suppliers and waste plants.
  • Assisting a global luggage company with various commercial property, general commercial and IP issues.

The company commercial department at Neves specialises in a broad range of matters, including company sales and acquisitions, shareholder protection, options, franchise agreements, management agreements and partnerships, as well as share and asset acquisitions and disposal. Healthcare and education are sectors in which the team is particularly strong. The practice is headed by Stewart Matthews from the Milton Keynes office.

Practice head(s):Stewart Matthews

Work highlights

  • Assisting a client in the education sector with the expansion of its business.
  • Handled on behalf of a client a successful Supreme Court appeal involving commercial contract restrictive covenants.
  • Assisting a shareholder seller with the sale of the entire issued share capital of a company.
  • Assisting a company with its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of a competitor.

Woodfines LLP is located on the strategic Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor. The team's areas of strength include corporate governance and company law, joint ventures, partnership and LLP agreements, shareholder agreements, business and corporate finance and business start-ups. Neil Gibbs is the 'superb' practice head and senior associate Alice Wooler is also recommended for her 'depth of knowledge and ability to connect the dots'. Martin Page joined the Bedford  office from General Motors in September 2018.

Practice head(s):Neil Gibbs

Other key lawyers:Alice Wooler, Martin Page


'Woodfines in Milton Keynes have a very experienced managing partner providing advice and support directly to clients'.

'They are very business aware and see things before others and can assist with a broad spectrum of legal specialisms'.

'Neil displayed a high level of experience in performing the legal work and was able to anticipate and develop pragmatic solutions to complex issues that were encountered as the deals progressed'.

Key Clients

Cranfield University

Geodis UK Limited

Continental Landscapes Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the sellers in the sale of a company.
  • Assisting the directors of a company take capital out of the group in the most tax efficient way.
  • Assisting a client with the demerger of a dental practice following the death of one of the partners.
  • Advising a company on a complex software licensing and a development agreement.

Corporate and commercial: Essex

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Essex
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

The 'extremely capable' corporate and commercial team at Birketts LLP is skilled in handling complex and international transactions. Headed by Rafael Ruiz, the team advises on all aspects of corporate acquisitions and high-value commercial agreements within the IT and financial services sectors. Nick Burnett has international experience, having developed expertise in advising regulated business and insurance brokers on M&A. Other key contacts include Nigel Thompson, and 'particularly good' M&A specialist Adam Jones.

Practice head(s):Rafael Ruiz

Other key lawyers:Adam Jones, Nick Burnett; Nigel Thompson; Alex Forwood; Heidi Jones


'The team at Birketts is full of quality lawyers with a personal touch.'

'Nigel Thompson communicates and manages expectations incredibly well. He remains calm under pressure, delivers to tight timescales and provides excellent support throughout complex transactions. Nigel is someone you want on your team!'

Key Clients

Atalian Servest

Excess Baggage Group

Seetec Business Technology Centre


JRL Plant and Logistics

Sharksfin Holdings

Transport Innovation

Westdrive Kia

Granarolo SpA and Group

AutoProtect (MBI)

Investec Bank


Commcise Software

Gates Group

Commodity Centre Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Dino Forte on the sale of a minority interest in Ventrica Limited to a private equity investor.
  • Represented the owners of Commcise Software Limited on the 78% sale to Euronext.
  • Acting for Servest Food Co Limited in its acquisition of Unique Catering and Management Services Limited.
  • Represented Granarolo UK Limited in its purchase of the entire issued share capital of six entities forming the Midland Food group of companies.
  • Advised Investec Bank on its investment into the Cypress Group to purchase a manufacturer of offshore and subsea cables.

Birkett Long LLP's corporate and commercial practice is led by Tracey Dickens, who 'stands out' for her corporate finance work, national and international transactional experience and restructuring matters. The team has expertise in a range of sectors including banking, healthcare, intellectual property, and education. The 'impressive' David Wisbey advises investors and businesses on corporate finance, M&A and commercial law. Tim Field is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Tracey Dickens

Other key lawyers:David Wisbey; Tim Field


'Tracey Dickens and her team are outstanding. They are knowledgeable, responsive and above all, pragmatic which is just what we need from our legal advisers.'

'The team is a pleasure to work with. They are responsive, competent, well-organised and deliver their services efficiently.'

'Tracey Dickens, David Wisbey and Peter Allen give a first-class service. They have a knowledgeable and pragmatic approach that focuses on getting things done.'

Key Clients

Healthcare Homes

Wilkin & Sons

National Westminster Bank

Navigator Terminals North Tees

St Helena Hospice

Colchester Institute

CVR Global LLP

Navigator Terminals Seal Sands

Coast Digital

Fläkt Woods

I & C Limited

Runwood Homes

Colchester Royal Grammar School

University of Essex

Colchester Royal Grammar School


Writtle University College

Work highlights

  • Acted on the sale of 100% of the share capital of Halstead company Wade International Limited to Alumasc Group plc.
  • Advised on a restructuring matter to facilitate the removal of one shareholder from the company.
  • Acted in a high-value company acquisition.

The corporate and commercial team at Ellisons Solicitors handles a wide range of significant mandates highlighted by large, cross-border transactions led by managing partner Seamus Clifford. The practice group is particularly focused on large business transfer and share purchase matters, which often have an international element. Paul Forsyth has been leading the firm's expansion into Chelmsford and has experience in insolvency matters. Also of note, the team was recently strengthened by the addition of Petra Sharp from Gotelee Solicitors.

Practice head(s):Seamus Clifford

Other key lawyers:Paul Forsyth

Key Clients

Gray Dawes Travel

East of England Co-Operative Society Limited

Shareholders of Hammerton Caravan Group Limited

Shareholders of Chelsea Technologies Limited

Beggs & Partners

Ensors Chartered Accountants

CVR Global LLP

Huntstowe Land Limited

Nova Command Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Gray Dawes Travel Ltd in its share acquisition of Giles Travel Limited.
  • Represented Gray Dawes Travel Ltd in its second acquisition of the year, a four-party asset purchase.
  • Represented the 12 shareholders of Chelsea Technologies Limited in the sale of the company and its subsidiary company to Sonardyne International Limited.
  • Represented Beggs & Partners in its acquisition of Essex based company, SX Heating and Plumbing Supplies Ltd.

At Tees Law, the corporate and commercial department has gone 'from strength to strength', handling multiple high-value deals and transactions, including cross-border M&A. The team, which is led by Robert Whitaker, who is executive partner of the firm's business team, includes the 'experienced and pragmatic' Richard Payne. Troy Featherstone is noted for being 'efficient and personable', and is experienced in providing clients with advice on all aspects of incorporation and restructuring. The firm merged with Wortley Byers at the beginning of 2019; former Wortley Byers managing partner Lucy Folley is a key member of the combined team.

Practice head(s):Robert Whitaker

Other key lawyers:Richard Payne; Lucy Folley; Sue Dowman; Troy Featherstone


'Richard Payne is a very experienced corporate lawyer, with a very pragmatic approach and ensures deals get done, whilst protecting the client's interest.'

'Richard Payne provides good concise advice, in a pragmatic way, whilst sticking to fixed price wherever possible.'

'I was delighted with the service we received from the team at Tees. Advice was sound and reasoned, and I think we gave our buyers the right appearance of toughness, fairness and resilience.'

'The corporate team is going from strength to strength with key appointments, of experienced lawyers. Tees Law is becoming a very serious regional firm in this field.'

'In contrast with other lawyers I have worked with, I found Sue Dowman and her team genuinely interested in understanding our rather niche business, in understanding mine and the other shareholder's objectives in the transaction, and pragmatic and realistic in the advice they gave us. The team were obviously experienced and skilled in the areas of law we needed, but were not remote or haughty, and were proactive, effective communicators enabling myself and my fellow shareholders to make informed decisions when we needed to do so. We could not fault the team''s handling of what was, for us, a crucial transaction that would have a significant impact on our futures.'

'Highly skilled and knowledgeable. Having worked with them for over 15 years, their key skills are in depth knowledge of all our business matters, how we think and how we make decisions. They are now as good as in-house solicitors.'

'The level of detail provided is exceptional. All communication is responded to quickly and efficiently - more so than any other legal firm I have dealt with.'

'Highly knowledgeable team and the quality of the work has always been very good. Very responsive and personable. Always feel they have our interests at heart and are prepared to take a call to provide advice.'

'Quality of personal service. Speed of service. Reliability of advice given. Friendliness of partners and staff. One is made to feel as if one is a 'valued client' - which other firms say one is, but don't always follow it through with matching deeds.'

'Sue Dowman is professional, obviously competent, genuinely interested in us as clients, listened as well as advised, was pragmatic and honest in her assessment of our negotiating position and what we could achieve, proactive and all in all great to work with.'

 Baljeet Kaur is a pleasure to deal with.'

'The individuals are all very strong in their legal knowledge. Responsiveness is their key. Being able to just highlight the key issues that need to be dealt with first, and also very good commercial acumen. they are able to easily highlight the clauses that have high commercial value and also the ones with little or no commercial value.'

'Always extremely approachable and their ability to explain legal situations into simple layman terms makes them stand out. I have great working relationships with my main contact there and feel I can at any time pick up the phone to discuss any issue.'

'Sue Dowman is efficient, highly knowledgable and skilled in the particular area of commercial law that I require. From intellectual property through to commercial agreements protecting IP, Sue is always available to rapidly respond and to deal with any queries.'

'Tenacity, responsiveness, integrity, creativity and attention to detail.'

Very responsive and personable. Always feel they have our interests at heart and are prepared to take a call to provide advice.'

'Lucy Folley's work is excellent and always makes herself available to advise and recommend.'

'Susan Dowman was very easy to get hold of at short notice and very responsive and helpful with difficult questions and dealing with difficult people and problems.'

Key Clients

Xpediator Plc

Woodland Group

Work highlights

  • Represented the shareholder's sale of Used Car Sites Limited to the AA.
  • Acted for AIM-listed Xpediator plc in its £12m acquisition of Import Services Limited.
  • Advised Xpediator plc £4m acquisition of Anglia Forwarding Limited.

'Exceeding all expectations', Thompson Smith and Puxon's corporate and commercial team is adept at handling the full scope of corporate matters including M&A, disposals, and distribution agreements. Led by Mary Anne Fedeyko, who is noted for her 'very practical commercial approach', the practice group works seamlessly across practice groups and provides significant cross-border services to national and international clients across a broad range of sectors. Nick Mayles is 'excellent' and has experience with restructuring and reorganizations.

Practice head(s):Mary Anne Fedeyko

Other key lawyers:Nick Mayles; Caroline Nicholls; Claire Powell


'Mary Anne Fedeyko, Nick Mayles, Claire Powell and Caroline Nicholls are standouts in the team. They have all been responsive, articulate, accommodating and always ready with a problem-solving approach.'

Work highlights

  • Advising the seller in connection with the sale of the specialist business in the building industry.
  • Advising on various financing aspects relating to an extremely large development site involving a national house builder.
  • Advising owner in relation to the disposal of private and NHS dental practice.
  • Advising corporate buyer in connection with its acquisition of certain business assets.
  • Advising shareholders in connection with the sale of the entire issued share capital.

Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP 'outstanding' corporate and commercial team is spread across six offices and focuses on a breadth of matters for mainly charity and education sector clients. Overseen by Tony Fisher, the team handles significant high-value transactional work. Ashton Carter is experienced in share and asset sale and purchase transactions, as well as corporate restructuring. Leah Groves is highlighted for her 'in-depth, specialist knowledge'.

Practice head(s):Tony Fisher

Other key lawyers:Ashton Carter; Leah Groves


'Ashton Carter is always very helpful, available and diligent in his approach to dealing with matters. He adds a personal touch and remains accessible at all times.'

'Nothing ever seems to be too much trouble for Ashton Carter; he's always willing to help find the right way forward in any situation.'

Work highlights

  • Acted in a statutory type 3 de-merger of a company.
  • Led the restructuring of a substantial family cycle business on the departure of one of the shareholders.
  • Advised on an internal restructuring mandate for a client.

The corporate team at Pinney Talfourd LLP is noted for its scope of 'key commercial specialisms whilst still having the personal touch of a smaller firm'. Clients adore the 'exceptional' Edward Garston, who is the key contact at the firm and leads most of the group's significant mandates pertaining to joint ventures and corporate restructuring and organisation.

Practice head(s):Edward Garston


'Ed Garston is diligent and thorough. He is very personable which assists in resolving contentious matters as quickly as possible.'

'I could not recommend Edward Garston more to conflicted clients. Ed is an excellent solicitor and I know that commercial sense will win the day when he is on the other side of a transaction.'

'Ed is absolutely spot on with his legal knowledge and it makes a transaction so much easier, cheaper and more efficient for both sides.'

The corporate team at Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors is experienced in advising start-ups on a range of commercial matters, and also handles restructuring and reorganisation mandates for corporate clients. Key contacts in the department include practice head Mark Stigwood, who has a focus on private equity, and Jonathan Clarke.

Practice head(s):Mark Stigwood

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Clarke

The 'excellent' commercial team at BTMK Solicitors handles ongoing advisory work and M&A for corporate clients.  Lee Emptage has experience in dealing with high-value purchase sales and Ian Powell in Southend is another key contact. Partner and co-head of the practice group Sean Callaghan has left to join Palmers.

Practice head(s):Lee Emptage

Other key lawyers:Ian Powell


'BTMK have great depth across the whole range of legal matters and have always given excellent services. Lee Emptage and Nitin Khandia have both exhibited clear knowledge on matters and present their thoughts in a concise way.'

Work highlights

  • Advised a reality TV star on advertising regulations.
  • Acted in an acquisition in the millions of pounds.

The corporate and commercial team at Palmers is experienced in company acquisitions, partnership agreements, and contracts negotiations. Jointly led by BJ Chong in Thurrock and Basildon-based Luke Morgan, the team has expanded with the lateral hire of Sean Callaghan from BTMK Solicitors. Matthew Johnson is well-versed in corporate finance matters and peers describe him as an 'excellent lawyer'.

Practice head(s):BJ Chong; Luke Morgan

Other key lawyers:Matthew Johnson; Sean Callaghan


'Matthew Johnson had great attention to detail, and his communication was excellent. He delivers on his assurances and I would not hesitate to recommend him.'

Work highlights

  • Advising the sellers of the entire issued share capital of a private limited company for consideration of roughly £2.3m.
  • Acted on the acquisition of an affiliated financial advisor practice for approximately £3.5m.
  • Advised a founding shareholder on further investment into a company.

Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP's corporate practice group handles a variety of work involving commercial contracts, banking, licensing and insolvency matters. Led by Mark Deans, the team has been engaged in various joint agreement and acquisition matters. Westcliff-on-Sea based Fiona Colwell has complementary experience in litigation and is proficient in dealing with all matters related to M&A and company restructuring.

Practice head(s):Mark Deans

Work highlights

  • Acted in the acquisition of entire share capital of a company.
  • Assisted with the sale of the entire shareholding of a company to a third party.
  • Representing a client in connection with a shareholder’s agreement for joint ownership of a property development company.

Corporate and Commercial: Hampshire

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and Commercial: Hampshire
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Corporate restructurings, disposals and refinancing are among the key workstreams for Blake Morgan LLP's corporate team. It has a strong reputation for work arising from the healthcare, education, technology and retail sectors. Team head James Hawkeswood focuses on handling M&A, joint ventures and private equity matters for private entities. Commercial IP specialist Sheilah Mackie departed for an in-house position at BAE Systems in 2018. In another development, corporate tax specialist Simon Court retired from private practice.

Practice head(s):James Hawkeswood

Other key lawyers:Mark Hepworth; Stephen Archibald; Mat Wilson; Gemma Spiceley; Jasmin Eames


'The team was totally professional, dedicated and resourceful'.

'Our deal was completed with the utmost care and attention'.

'Highly responsive'.

'The team adapts its practices to fit the needs of the client'.

'Steven Archibald instilled us with complete confidence from the beginning of the deal to the end'.

'Gemma Spicelely is calm and pragmatic - she ensured we saw our deal through to completion even when circumstances became testing'.

Key Clients

CVS Group plc

Kendalls Group

Oyster Yachts

Cornerstone Healthcare

Gresham Technologies

Be Wiser Insurance Services Limited

Harwood Wealth Management Group

Lucketts Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised CVS on the negotiation and agreement of various documents required to enable it to raise new funds worth £60m from investors on the AIM market.
  • Advised Harwood Wealth on its acquisition of AE Financial Services worth up to £6.2m.
  • Advised an AIM-listed client on its share acquisition of a Luxembourg-based technology company worth up to €8.5m.
  • Advised the shareholders of South Africa Lodge Holdings and Kitnocks Specialist Care (collectively known as Cornerstone Healthcare) on the sale of their entire issued share capital to Ignite Growth for an eight figure sum.
  • Advised Lucketts on its acquisition of Mortons Travel.

In addition to acting for entities in the technology, financial services and manufacturing & logistics sectors, Moore Blatch LLP generates work from private entrepreneurs. Its practice covers M&A, IPOs, private equity transactions, fundraisings, buy-ins and buy-outs. The team is experienced in assisting clients with strategic serial acquisitions. Peter Jeffery is sought out to act for management teams, with a primary focus on the tech sector. Dorothy Agnew is the name to note for IT contract work.

Practice head(s):Roger Bailey

Other key lawyers:Peter Jeffery; Jeremy Over; Dorothy Agnew; David Bright; Thomas Clark


'They are more commercial than most lawyers and tend to focus on keeping legal 'speak' as simple as possible'.

'Jeremy Over is ambitious and driven and genuinely wants to drive fast results'.

'The team of Moore Blatch is outstanding in their response time and always right to the point'.


Key Clients

ICS Group Holdings

Churchill Retirement

F.T.E Group

MCT Engineering

Peach Technologies

Venture Equity Partners

Excalibur Unified Communications

Motorcare Motor Factors

Work highlights

  • Assisted the shareholders of ICS Cool Energy with the sale of the company to Ingersoll Rand.
  • Assisted Whiteley based multi-award-winning technology provider Peach Technologies with its acquisition of Taylor Made Computer Solutions.
  • Assisted a client with two rounds of bidding pertaining to an off-shore manufacturing business.
  • Assisted with the disposal of the entire issued share capital of Motorcare Motor Factors to Alliance Automotive Group.

Shoosmiths LLP's practice has a strong reputation in the venture capital, private equity and mid-market M&A arenas. Its team acts for management teams, SMEs and both national and international entities, with particular experience of advising technology sector clients. The head of the national private equity group is Sean Wright, who acts for private equity investors, management teams and portfolio companies. Stephen Porter leads the firm's national corporate division.

Practice head(s):Stephen Porter; Sean Wright

Other key lawyers:Jon Smart


'The team is very knowledgeable and always willing to assist. The responses we receive from lawyers are always spot on, to the point and well articulated'.

'The team is excellent and shows steady growth - certainly a stand-out team in Solent'.

'The firm is extremely knowledgeable and able to draw on the expertise of practitioners from a range of areas'.

Key Clients

Lloyds Development Capital

Shareholders of Taylor Made Computer Solutions

Shareholders of AndersElite


Space and Time Group

Meridian Growth Capital

Bofa International

Dukes Education

Cavendish Education


Work highlights

  • Advised LDC on the sale of BOFA International to US NYSE-listed entity Donaldson Corporation in a transaction valued at £90m.
  • Advised the shareholders of AndersElite Holdings Limited on the sale of 100% of their issued share capital to the Morson Group.
  • Advised the shareholders of Taylor Made Computer Solutions Limited on the sale of the managed providers company to Peach Technologies.
  • Advised Henkel on the sale of certain business lines in the context of the rationalisation of the business.
  • Advised Meridian Growth Capital on the sale of its shareholding in loveholidays.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has experience of matters with a nexus to the energy, retail and financial services sectors. A significant portion of its work has a cross-border aspect, and the firm has a strong profile among international clients. On the domestic front, the team acts for several large entities, which are headquartered in Hampshire.  Sebastian Briggs often leads on energy sector transactions. Ian Holden's varied practice includes corporate finance, acquisitions and disposals, and shareholder and joint venture agreements.

Practice head(s):Ian Holden

Other key lawyers:Sebastian Briggs; Stephen Pierce; Carly Holt


'Excellent service and high level of responsiveness'.

'Incredibly thorough approach to transactions'.

'Highly accomplished lawyers'.

'London-quality service out of a regional office'.

'Sebastian Briggs and Anthony Alderman combine legal expertise with business acumen'.

'Stephen Pierce is a pleasure to work with; he is incredibly experienced with an excellent understanding of the market and a pragmatic approach'.

Key Clients

Chemring Group

Renewable Energy Systems


REG Power Management

Ordnance Survey

The Renewables Infrastructure Group


New Look


Comexposium Group

Imerys SA

Immediate Media

NICE Systems

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of Dutch startup Lean Library BV on the sale of the company to UK-based Sage Publications.
  • Advised The Renewables Infrastructure Group on the £195m refinancing of seven UK onshore wind farms.
  • Advised Transdev on the sale of its subsidiary Cabfind, an on-demand taxi service.
  • Assisted RES Group with the £82m sale of its 30MW Solwaybank wind farm project to The Renewables Infrastructure Group.
  • Advised Comexposium UK on its sale of business and assets connected to its right to operate the Ad Tech exhibition in the UK to CloserStill E-Commerce.

In addition to undertaking mid-market M&A, Irwin Mitchell's team also handles joint ventures and corporate restructurings. The team works across offices, enabling it to draw on firm-wide expertise in private equity transactions. Dean Drew is the name to note.

Practice head(s):John Riddick

Other key lawyers:Dean Drew

Key Clients

The Hendy Group

Spire Financial

Ross Holdings

Hectic Europe

Emerson Process Management

Trant Engineering

David Lindley & Co

Compleat Food Network UK


Portland Bunkers

Work highlights

  • Assisted The Hendy Group with its acquisition of Unbeatable Cars.
  • Assisted Ross Holdings with its acquisition and subsequent refinancing of Yarm Developments.
  • Assisted Spire Financial with its joint venture with UK-listed entity JUST Group.
  • Assisting the minority shareholder and angel investors with the sale of the entire issued share capital of Corvia.
  • Assisted the shareholders with the sale of Compleat Food Network.

The nine-partner team at Paris Smith LLP acts for clients ranging in size from owner-managed businesses to large national clients. It is also increasingly active in the advice to international entities. The group is led by Sean Davies. Another key figure is Amanda Brockwell, who is active in transactional work for mid-market clients, including those undertaking serial acquisitions. Jonathon Roy is an M&A specialist.

Practice head(s):Sean Davies; Crispin Dick; James McNeil

Other key lawyers:Amanda Brockwell; Jonathon Roy; Michael Moore; Richard Atcherley; Clare McCauley; Laura Trapnell

Key Clients



Churches Fire Security

SHB Hire

T W Metals

Smarter Business


Contraload NV

UK Web Media

Hilliers Garden Centres

Work highlights

  • Assisted the shareholders of UK Web Media with their sale to Inflexion Private Equity.
  • Assisted Churches Fire Security with three separate acquisitions of Fire Safety Services, Eton Fire and WMS, with the aggregate deal value totalling approximately £15m.
  • Assisted Diversi Foods with the UK legal aspects of the disposal of its entire issued share capital to Martin Braun-Gruppe.    
  • Assisted TW Metals with its multimillion pound acquisition of Locate supplies.
  • Assisted Smarter Business with its multimillion pound acquisition of Visionist.

The arrival of commercial contracts specialist Jon Stickland from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in May 2018 has bolstered Trethowans LLP's corporate & commercial offering. Team head Mike Watson is experienced in advising buyers and sellers of privately-owned businesses. Elsewhere, the group handles the drafting of investment agreements, shareholder agreements and joint venture agreements. Paula Eckton departed for Steele Raymond LLP in June 2018.

Practice head(s):Mike Watson

Other key lawyers:Nick Gent; Jon Stickland; Lucy Gleisner; Jamie Earley


'A corporate offering that demonstrates strong teamwork and always puts its clients first.'

'The corporate team instinctively knows exactly what its clients require.'

'Each individual is well-versed in their field of expertise.'

'The team never needs to be asked twice - it informs you every step of the way.'


Key Clients

Riskstop Group


Mail Solutions

R&M Electrical Holdings

Work highlights

  • Assisted R&M Electric Holdings with its management buyout.
  • Assisted Golden Wolf with an investment by US-based animation studio Psyop.
  • Assisted The Young Family with the sale of Sealock to Follman.
  • Assisted shareholders of Armstrong Builders Merchants with sale of the entire issued share capital to Anglesey-based builders' merchants Huws Gray.
  • Assisted shareholders of Phoenix Commercial Collections with the sale of the entire issued share capital.

Led by Sean Kelly, the corporate practice at BDB Pitmans demonstrates strong capabilities in private equity transactions; these include management buyouts and deals backed by private equity or venture capital trusts. Oliver Kelly specialises in M&A, buy-ins and buyouts and corporate finance. The firm has been particularly active in matters connected with the travel, marine/transport and IT/technology sectors recently.

Practice head(s):Sean Kelly

Other key lawyers:Oliver Kelly; Roger Gregory

Key Clients

Clipper Ventures

Red Funnel Ferries


Panoramic Growth Equity

ITS Technology

The Appointment

Premier Marinas

Specialist Journeys

Amicus ITS

AJM Healthcare

Work highlights

  • Assisted global travel company The Appointment Group with a buy-out by Apiary Capital.  
  • Assisted AJM Healthcare with a buyout by WestBridge Capital.
  • Assisted Red Funnel Ferries with its group restructuring.
  • Assisted global manufacturer of environmentally-friendly, high-tech material E-Leather with a £70 million fundraising from both new and existing investors.
  • Assisted the shareholders of Inflexion Private Equity with its investment in PMC Treasury.

Clarke Willmott LLP works on a steady flow of management buyout deals involving private equity-backed entities. Its team is also increasingly sought out in cross-jurisdictional transactions. Richard Swain has a strong track record of acting for clients in the banking & finance and telecommunications sectors. The firm's ability to deliver full-service corporate and commercial advice is supported by expertise in ancillary areas, such as real estate, IP, and employment. Niall Murphy provides tax support to corporate clients.

Practice head(s):Kelvin Balmont

Other key lawyers:Richard Swain; Chidem Aliss; Emma Couch; Amy Kerr


'Richard Swain and Amy Kerr are both very helpful and efficient; they always meet their deadlines'.

'The team is pro-active and works towards deadline dates diligently. As a banking client, we are fully kept in the loop with regard to pending transactions and concerns as they are raised'.

'Clarke Willmott takes a balanced approach problem-solving; it looks for a solution that achieves client aims without clocking up unnecessary time in arguing over niche legal points for the sake of it'.

'The individuals I work with are always available to discuss matters or answer questions'.

Key Clients

Capital Cash

Total Rail Solutions

Eton Fire

Amiri Construction

Marindus Group

Import Services

Burgon and Ball

NetPay Solutions Group



Work highlights

  • Assisted sellers with the sale of online Islamic fashion retailer Inayah to Wed2b.
  • Assisted sellers with the multi-million pound sale of Total Rail Solutions through a private equity-based management buy-out.
  • Advised Orvis on a corporate reorganisation.
  • Assisted sellers with the sale of Eton Fire to venture capital-backed company Churches Fire Security.
  • Assisted sellers with the multi-million pound sale of Marindus Group to Axel Johnson International.  

In addition to attracting a steady stream of M&A, Coffin Mew LLP's corporate team works on MBOs, MBIs, fundraisings and shareholder agreements. The team is also developing a strategic focus on the private equity space, with it increasingly acting for private equity-backed businesses. Areas of sector expertise include technology, care & protection and real estate. Hayley Bevis is the head of the firm-wide corporate practice.

Practice head(s):Hayley Bevis

Other key lawyers:Dominic Travers; Tim Watkins; Jonathan Sherman

Key Clients

Shareholders of DV02


Consumables Solutions

Jolly Property Services

MWR InfoSecurity

NMT Holding

Hughes Ellard

The shareholders of Action Pumps

Work highlights

  • Assisted the shareholders of DV02 with their sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to Daisy Group.
  • Assisted Consumables Solutions with its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Safe & Warm.
  • Assisted Jolly Property Services with the sale of its residential property management and lettings business.
  • Assisted Teneo with its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Geode Networks Europe.
  • Assisted Hughes Ellard with its merger with Vail Williams LLP.

Foot Anstey's practice has had a marked uptick in cross-border mandates, with the firm acting for entities in the US, Portugal and Belgium, among other markets. Mark Pinder in Southampton has been instrumental in building up the firm's international practice, and has a wealth of experience of cross-border M&A work, with particular knowledge of the Middle East. The firm has core strengths in matters connected with the banking and finance, media and technology, property, infrastructure and construction, and retail and leisure sectors.

Practice head(s):Mark Pinder

Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Clyde & Co LLP's Guildford team serves clients ranging from mid-sized to global, with an especially strong roster of energy clients. Simon Vere Nicol's experience spans public and private company corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and private equity transactions and much of his work has an international element. Nick Purnell serves clients in a range of sectors including marine/shipping and the wider transportation and logistics sectors, while Richard Elks has a focus on real estate work. Legal director John Hopper is noted for his negotiating skills.

Practice head(s):Simon Vere Nicol

Other key lawyers:Nick Purnell; Richard Elks; John Hopper


'John Hopper is extremely good at understanding and explaining how a point would play out in future negotiations - he can see to the horizon of a negotiation and help us make the right decisions upfront. He also really understands the nuances of the relationship between commercial/practical factors and legal factors and can balance them well. He treats me like his most important client and always has time for me.'

Key Clients

Liberty House Group

P&O Maritime BV

GeoAmey PECS

NoBe Living Holdings

Purplexed LLP

Oaktree CapitalManagement


Anglo International Shipping Group




Wyelands Property Holdings

Urban and Civic PrincessStreet

Harbour Hotels Group

Work highlights

  • Lead counsel on Liberty Industries France's $500m purchase of Europe’s largest aluminum smelter from Rio Tinto.
  • Advising on the $20.4m purchase of 51% of P&O Maritime's joint venture with TIS Group to provide vessel towing services in Ukraine.
  • Lead UK counsel in the preparation of the main and ancillary documents in relation to the sale of OSM Maritime. The deal was cross-jurisdictional and involved a complicated group restructuring prior to the partial divestment of OSM’s shares to Oaktree.  
  • Advising SIMEC on the sales of the entire issued share capital of SIMEC Uskmouth Power, the owner of a coal-fired power station in Newport, to Atlantis Resources.
  • Acting for iSec and Greenergy on a joint venture for the redevelopment of Thames Enterprise Park (Thames Gateway).

The substantial team at Cripps Pemberton Greenish handles large-scale M&A deals, has a well-established stream of private equity work and attracts international clients. It is also taking on increasing amounts of work in the advertising, media and technology sectors. James Beatton has extensive experience advising shareholders and on MBOs; Nigel Stanford handles M&A, banking and investment work and Julie Hughes has a focus advising French clients on their UK businesses and investments.

Practice head(s):James Beatton; Nigel Stanford; Pete Kenyon

Other key lawyers:Salim Somjee; Julie Hughes


'What makes this firm unique is the team. They have great knowledge of the difference between French and English law systems and have so much sector expertise.'


Key Clients

Chapel Down Group PLC


Park Holidays UK Limited

Holiday Extras

East Kent College

Local Planet International

Kent Frozen Foods

Uniguest Holdings

Accor Hotel Services UK

MetOcean Telematics

Work highlights

  • The firm advised the shareholders of Kent Frozen Foods on the company's sale to Brake Bros. The shareholders consisted of various trusts, family members and the management team, all of which had differing interests.
  • Acted for the sellers on the sale of their shares in VITL (the holding company for Integrated Technologies) to Gooch & Housego PLC.
  • Advised members of the Pack family in relation to the management buyout of Holiday Extras in a deal that valued the business at £100m.
  • Acted for Uniguest on its acquisition of Onelan. Uniguest is a US corporate backed by US private equity firm Atlantic Street Capital.
  • Advised the shareholders of Diamond Point International on the sale of the company to the Swedish quoted group, Addtech.

The substantial and growing DMH Stallard LLP team now includes corporate finance expert Helen Mead, who joined from asb law LLP. The 'knowledgeable and effective' practice serves a range of large and upcoming regional businesses on the the gamut of M&A, private equity and joint venture transactions and many of its transactions involve an international element. Jonathan Grant heads the group and, together with the highly rated Abigail Owen  and Kate Norgett, offers extensive skills across corporate deals.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Grant

Other key lawyers:Abigail Owen; Kate Norgett; Helen Mead; Danos Athanas; John Yates


'From my initial phonecall to completion some 12 months later I felt confident that they understood my fears and my needs.'

'They provide a broad legal offering, which covers many disciplines. This allows them to provide flexible advice to its clients from an office unit that covers the local region.'

'Kate Norgett has a vast experience of MBOs. As in all business transactions professionalism is paramount and key to bringing delicate negotiations to a successful conclusion. I would unhesitatingly recommend this firm without reservation.'

'Kate Norgett made herself available often at short notice to assist with matters. It was a difficult transaction, but her calm demeanour gave her the edge, helping to keep the transaction on track.'

'Abigail Owen is knowledgeable and professional and has an ability to put a client at ease.'

Key Clients

Autobox Machinery/ British Converting Solutions


Hunt and Palmer PLC

Pelham Principal Holdings/Pelham companies

Ridgeview Winery

Benyfit Natural

Valens Resources Group plc

Integer Research

Agathos Management

Leumi ABL

Work highlights

  • Acted for individual sellers on the sale of the entire shareholding in Autobox Machinery and British Converting Solutions and two international subsidiaries in the US and Mexico, to international manufacturing group Kolbus.
  • Advised on an international merger with RoomsXML Solutions, an Indian group which operates on a number of continents.
  • Advised the global, bespoke air charter business on its acquisition of the entire share capital of a competitor business, Aircraft Chartering Services.
  • Advised on the on the sale of Glazewing; the two businesses had been acquired and subsequently, the commercial waste business was sold to Veolia.

In addition to M&A mandates from private businesses and smaller PLCs, Irwin Mitchell attracts a range of private equity and venture capital work, with Dan Bastide leading the small cap group. Regional managing partner Faye Bargery, who 'runs a tight ship', is highly experienced in corporate and commercial matters, especially where private equity is concerned; Stuart Padgham overseas the commercial work and has a background in the IT industry, and Dan Hedley is well rated by technology clients.

Practice head(s):Dan Bastide; Stuart Padgham

Other key lawyers:Faye Bargery; Stuart Padgham; Dan Hedley 


'The team has very profound knowledge in the IT sector.'

'Their in-depth familiarity and first-hand experience of IT matters helps a lot. They have shown an outstanding ability to manage complex customer, partner and supplier relationships, a strong business acumen and therefore good capability to stay pragmatic on legal matters while keeping an eye on what the business actually needs.'

Key Clients

Nuffield Health

Saga Group

LzLabs GmbH

Destiny Pharma plc

Marco Limited

Air Partner plc

Micheldever Tyre Services

Work highlights

  • In a matter valued at £15m, the firm advised Gamfook Jewellery plc on its admission to trading on the NEX exchange. The client is the Jersey holding company of a Hong Kong-based  business and the team also co-ordinated the group reorganisation and due diligence and the disclosure process across Jersey, Hong Kong and China.
  • Advised VC fund Toba Capial on an investment of $18.5m into Seal Software Group.
  • Advised Chesney’s on investment from the Business Growth Fund.
  • Advised in connection with a fundraising by way of the issue of £1m warrants and £500,000 equity.  
  • Advised a logistics service aggregator on the provision of its services and technology platform to a household name retailer.

The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is highly rated by the market. National corporate head Simon Bickerdike, the 'commercially-minded' David Kendall  and associate Hannah McIlwraith assist regional and international clients on high-value acquisitions, MBOs and joint ventures. They also handle private equity-funded transactions and the firm also offers multi-discipline expertise, especially in IP. The practice was enhanced in April 2019 with the hire of Seb Orton from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

Practice head(s):Simon Bickerdike

Other key lawyers:David Kendall; Hannah McIlwraith


'Great all-round advice.'

'David Kendall is an outstanding adviser. He's someone you want on your side. He has the intelligence, people skills and legal knowledge that make him an essential partner for our business.'

Key Clients

Q88 UK

Blue Oil Energy

Rough Guides Limited

Elixirr Partners

Barfoots of Botley Limited

Tata Consultancy Services

The Hub Pharmacy

DC Studios

Total Solutions (Southern)

Artemis Venue Services

Work highlights

  • Advised this Indian public company on its £10m investment in UK electrical vehicle manufacturer Tevva Motors.
  • Advised on the acquisition of Pelham House in East Sussex and its joint venture with Downing.
  • Acted for Paul Bateman and Luke Hersee on their management buy-out of Total Solutions (Southern) Limited (t/a Total Rail Solutions). The MBO was backed by private equity firm Rutland Partners.
  • Working with a Hong Kong firm, advised this Hong Kong-listed client on a multi-million-pound investment in UK mixed reality company Holovis.
  • Working with an Indian firm, assisted this multinational IT service and consulting company on the acquisition of W12 Studios, an award-winning digital design studio based in London.

Stevens & Bolton LLP, which is considered 'pre-eminent' in the market, can mobilise large, multi-disciplinary teams that provide expertise in areas from tax to competition issues. Its clients range from owner-managed to private equity and international businesses. James Waddell heads the corporate offering, while Beverley Whittaker leads on the commercial side. Richard Baxter is experienced in mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructurings and fundraisings, while Keith Syson's expertise lies in company law.

Practice head(s):James Waddel; Beverley Whittaker

Other key lawyers:Richard Baxter; Keith Syson

Key Clients

Broker Network Partner Holdings


Kaye Enterprises

Bakkavor Group plc

James Purdey & Sons

Fuller Smith & Turner plc

Immersive Games Lab

Shareholders of iCareHealth

Royal Philips

International Schools Partnership Limited

ICP Nurseries

Shareholders of Inzpire Group

Stackhouse Poland

Vestey Group

BMT Group

Business Growth Fund

Anheuser Busch InBev

Godiva Chocolatier

TGI Fridays

Japan Tobacco

Work highlights

  • A multi-disciplinary team advised CANCOM, one of the leading providers of IT infrastructure in Germany and Austria, on two UK acquisitions.  
  • Advised the company and the management team on the sale of Metasphere to growth equity investors XPV Water Partners.
  • Advised on the acquisition of Haydens Bakery from Real Good Food Plc for £12m.
  • Advised longstanding client Fullers on two acquisitions.
  • Advised on the £36.5m sale of the Global Voucher Group to Group.

Brachers assists clients on high-value acquisitions and financing deals as well as complex commercial transactions and contracts in a host of different sectors, with a roster of clients featuring major banks and other financial institutions. James Bullock has led on many of the largest, regional acquisitions and Erol Huseyin has a track record in energy and industrial projects.

Practice head(s):James Bullock; Erol Huseyin

Other key lawyers:Matthew Simmonds; Tim Turner

Key Clients


APC Technology Group Plc

DMC Capital Partners

Cosan SA

UK Medical Limited

Tennant Metallurgical

Mabanaft UK

Broad Oak Motor Group

Hadlow College

Work highlights

  • Advised the founder shareholders of the British Assessment Bureau on the sale of the company to an MBO team supported by August Equity.
  • Advised on the sale of the business and assets of theTenbloc business and advised the  shareholders of sister company, TM (Technology), on the share sale of TM (Technology). The sales were simultaneously completed and were sold to Norwegian multinational Elkem ASA.
  • Advised APC Technology Group Plc on its third acquisition of the year;  Aspen Electronics, which also involved a share placing on AIM.
  • Brachers LLP’s corporate team advised the investors on their debt and equity investment into the client company.  
  • Advised on the acquisition of various pharmaceutical licences from Kinedexe UK in relation to both the UK and Europe.  

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP attracts clients from a broad range of industries and has an impressive roster of healthcare, pharmacy and veterinary clients, as well as private equity houses. It provides a full service in addition to its corporate expertise, working in tandem with its London colleagues. Geoffrey Sparks leads the team; Tim Jenkins is especially noted for his healthcare focus and Catherine Drew's broad corporate expertise includes the healthcare sector. Associate Jonathan Steele is noted for his client handling abilities and practical advice and Rebecca Burford is highly rated.

Practice head(s):Geoffrey Sparks

Other key lawyers:Tim Jenkins; Catherine Drew; Rebecca Burford; Jonathan Steele


'Very accessible, responsive, measured and adept at explaining complex legal issues in straightforward terms, providing an excellent service to their clients. A London-quality practice in Guildford.'

'They are technically very competent and they have particular expertise in pharmacy matters. They offer a genuine alternative to the London marketplace.'

'Jonathan Steele is especially good with clients and a joy to work with. He is very hardworking, easily accessible at all times, and delivers high-quality, practical advice.'

'Tim Jenkins has an ingrained culture of practicality, whilst giving very sound legal advice.'

'Tim Jenkins has unique experience on pharmacy matters and is able to cut through the regulation to find pragmatic solutions.'

Key Clients

discoverIE Group plc

Unique Secure


London Irish Holdings

Goizper S.Coop

Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain

Sellers of Xstrahl Limited and Phoenix Objectives

Goddard Veterinary Group

Juno Health

Trusted Housesitters

Work highlights

  • Advised on the £18m sale of the entire issued share capital of the Xstrahl group of companies to private equity firm Risk Capital.
  • Assisted on the purchase of eight pharmacy businesses across two parallel corporate transactions (the purchase of the entire issued share capital of Davison Chemists and Dhesi Healthcare).
  • Advising on an acquisition of the Santon Group via holding company EWAC Holdings BV. The deal value is an initial £23.7m with a  further £19.9m contingent.
  • Acted for this Spanish Co-operative on its acquisition of the Micron Group, a transaction worth £12.5m.
  • Acted for the sellers of the leading multi-site veterinary practice Rainbow Equine Hospital to VetPartners Limited.

The Mundays LLP team, which is headed by Neale Andrews, handles a broad range of commercial and corporate matters with a focus on the real estate sector. David Irving has particular expertise in the logistics and life sciences sectors and has extensive experience of cross-border transactions, while consultant Mark Andrew, who is UK- and US-qualified, has extensive experience in assisting global clients on banking and finance, private equity and M&A deals.

Practice head(s):Neale Andrews

Other key lawyers:David Irving; Mark Andrew; Alexander Young

Key Clients

Concordia International



Cubiks Group

Duplo International

Elite Care Scotland

Flex Connectors

Global Logistics Group/B&H Worldwide


Kenneth Green Associates

Payment Solutions

Prestige Nursing and Stemmer Imaging

Work highlights

  • Advised Sunshine Cruise Holidays (including Royal Caribbean Cruises) on the sale of the company and its Australian and Singaporean subsidiaries to Germany-based, Dreamlines.

The team at Thomson Snell & Passmore attracts impressive regional work, including from international clients, particularly on inward investments and acquisitions. Joanne Gallagher is hugely experienced in M&A and private equity transactions, and together with Keith McAlister and associate Faye Cook, the team also tackles corporate demergers, other restructurings and share buybacks.

Practice head(s):Joanne Gallagher

Other key lawyers:Nick Gabay; Keith McAlister; Faye Cook


'There is a great mix of personalities and talents, they are legally astute, commercially aware, well resourced and enjoyable to work with.'

'I have complete faith in their ability to service clients when making referrals.'

'Joanne Gallagher is always careful to ensure she fully understands what we are trying to achieve commercially, despite often challenging timescales and circumstances, she is one of the best.'

'Joanne Gallagher, Faye Cook and the corporate team have always dealt with matters quickly and thoroughly with attention to detail, whilst remaining commercial.'

Key Clients

Goldex Investments

Ubisecure Holdings

Corinthian Pension Consulting

Nurture Landscapes Holdings

Motorline Group

Toureen Group

Bel UK

FORTEC Elektronik AG


Britannia Refined Metals  (Part of Glencore)

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of 14 Costa Coffee stores across Surrey and Kent.
  • Advised on a venture capital (debt and equity) investment from Octopus Investments.  
  • Advised the shareholders of pensions adviser Corinthian Group on the sale of a majority equity interest to the AIM-listed Just Group.
  • Advised longstanding client on its acquisition of two Hyundai digital stores in Bluewater and Westfield and its acquisition of the Hyundai Aftersales Centre in Dartford.
  • Advised the client and its and its UK subsidiaries  on the acquisition of UK-based distributors, Components Bureau and Display Solutions.

Claire Williams now heads the team at asb law LLP following the departure of corporate finance specialist Helen Mead to DMH Stallard LLP in April 2019. The firm offers a full range of expertise on corporate/M&A transactions together with financing, shareholding restructures and private equity. Of late, the practice has been especially active assisting longstanding clients on acquisitions and sales.

Practice head(s):Claire Williams

Other key lawyers:Daniel Tozer


'The team was friendly and helpful, flexible when circumstances became more challenging during the company sale, and overall were nice people to deal with.'


Key Clients

Shareholders of Jollyes Retail Group

Shareholders of Camberford Law

Shareholders of Clinical Trials Laboratory Services

Seventeen Group

Shareholders of Engenuity

Markerstudy Group

The Partners of St Bart’s Day Nurseries

Travelopia Holdings

Minority Venture Partners

Shareholders of Grosvenor International Systems

The Oyster Partnership Ltd

Shareholders of Ski Amis

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders on the sale to a management team, backed by Kester Capital, an independent mid-market private equity firm, with debt funding from HSBC.
  • Acted for a longstanding client on its investment into a joint venture to develop a new app for consumers with insurance technology firm RDT.
  • Advised the partners on the sale of the business and its assets to charity Action for Children.
  • Advised on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Grosvenor International Systems to BluJay Solutions.

Barlow Robbins LLP is known for its focus on the life sciences and technology sectors, serving SMEs, AIM-listed companies, private equity houses, schools and charities. It combines its corporate skills with practices in tax, employment and real estate and includes expertise in complex share buyback transactions. Mark Lucas' extensive experience includes a focus on mergers in the education sector and associates Ian McDonald and Graham Jewel, who trained at City firms, and Matthew Devine, assist on a range of M&A transactions and corporate matters. The team has been enlarged with the hire of corporate partner Tim Matthews from Brown Rudnick LLP in mid-2018.

Practice head(s):Mark Lucas

Other key lawyers:Tim Matthews; Ian McDonald; Graham Jewel; Matthew Devine


'I really appreciate that the team is local, but has international experience.'

'I greatly valued their integrity and timely responses.'

'Matthew Devine is as sharp as a razor and completely dedicated to his job.  I found him very easy to work with.  Always several steps ahead looking at every angle and very fast to respond during and outside office hours.'

Key Clients

Lifelines Limited


AFC Bournemouth

OLM Systems

Motion Consultants

A&DC Group


NEP Visions

Veriton Pharma

The Federation of Racecourse Bookmakers

Work highlights

  • Assisted the client with its £7m acquisition of AIR Studios and also advised on the related employment law issues.
  • Assisted on the purchase of Incereb Limited which involved several convertible loan notes.
  • Acted for the client on UK corporate regulatory matters, including the shareholder approval circular pertaining to the sale of its USA pharmaceutical business.
  • Advising the CEO, CFO and minority shareholders on shareholder issues in connection with the purchase of the  Italmatch Group by Bain Capital.
  • Advising Arcona Capital Project BV on the refinancing  agreements relating to a €46.2m loan facilitiy with an English lender.

Clarkson Wright & Jakes' clients are largely made up of owner-managed SMEs, many of which are assisted throughout company lifecycle. Ben Madden heads the team, which handles investments, acquisitions and disposals as well as management buyouts and reorganisations. Andrew Wright  brings international experience to clients and assists AIM companies, assisted by associate Dalvinder Dhinsa who joined the team in January 2019 from Whitehead Monckton.

Practice head(s):Ben Madden

Other key lawyers:Andrew Wright; Dalvinder Dhinsa

Work highlights

  • Advised on a management buyout to enable a director to retire.
  • Acting for sellers of shares to another company.
  • Advised on financial restructuring taking equity and investment.

The team at Furley Page Solicitors is cited for looking after its clients from the early stages and throughout the growth of businesses. Clients range from entrepreneurs to internationals in sectors as diverse as automotive, real estate, education and charities. Susan Jennings' extensive experience includes M&A, joint ventures and complex commercial agreements, while  'outstanding corporate lawyer' Tony Chester includes restructurings, share buybacks, demergers and MBOs among his skills. Associate Jamie Bourne is also noted for ably running cases.

Practice head(s):Susan Jennings

Other key lawyers:Susan Jennings; Tony Chester; Jamie Bourne


'The corporate and commercial team are collaborative, supportive, and work seamlessly together and with others. Their cases are meticulously well prepared and they work incredibly hard for their clients. Above all, they are a huge amount of fun. I would choose them over many a well-known London firm.'

'The individuals I deal with fill me with confidence; I trust in their advice and judgement.'

'Associate Jamie Bourne provided very accurate work which was rapidly carried out.'

'Tony Chester is calm, analytical and hard working and, above all, at your right hand throughout.'

'Susan Jennings was knowledgeable and effective but she was also approachable, realistic and human which made the process easier.'

'Tony Chester stepped into a project late on and owning this from the legal perspective and effectively holding our hand until we achieved our outcome.'

'Susan Jennings is our first port of call - her experience continues to be invaluable.'

Key Clients

Geerings Limited

Magna International Inc

Grupo Antolin

Megger Group

University of Kent

Hobbs Parker

Roma Capital

Breakthrough Funding

Paul Churcher

Mobility Networks

Global Invacom

Orbital Sound

Barton Engineering


Hellyar Plastics

Work highlights

  • Advised on the pre-sale reorganisation and subsequent multimillion-pound sale of Geerings Digital which also involved a range of other practice area advice.
  • Acting for the sellers on the £2.3m sale of the entire issued share capital of C-Mech Services to Rite-Hite UK.
  • Represented the client in its acquisition of Skyware Technologies for $3.2m and continues to provide commercial contracts advice.
  • Represented Hobbs Parker on a  complicated JV and the subsequent share sale of First Office Holdings
  • Advice and creation of a bespoke debt and equity fund raising for property development projects.

PDT Solicitors' practice covers M&A and strategic commercial advisory work and is also known for its finance expertise. Noel Ruddy is recognised for his corporate finance expertise; he is a specialist in receivables finance and asset-based lending. The 'very bright' Rebecca Glazebrook undertakes a range of both corporate and finance transactions, and Andrew Hoad 'who provides pragmatic and commercial advice' has a focus on the technology sector, including advising on software consultancy sales.

Practice head(s):Noel Ruddy

Other key lawyers:Rebecca Glazebrook; Andrew Hoad


'The firm strives hard to get things right - it is increasing in stature.'

'The corporate team has three strong practitioners in Noel Ruddy, Rebecca Glazebrook and Andrew Hoad. It has a no-nonsense approach and will provide sensible commercial fee proposals that are appropriate to the task in hand.'

'A small but very experienced and talented team of corporate lawyers. Real senior leadership on transactions and a commercial approach to problem solving.'

'A long-established firm, extremely well known and widely respected within this industry. Happy to deliver partner-led relationships across all disciplines - the partners will get involved personally and are not afraid to get hands dirty.'

'Top-class advice - they really care and are led from the front by the partners.'

'Noel Ruddy has unrivalled knowledge and expertise in the receivables industry. He is widely respected and extremely well connected across the sector. Always available personally to deal with our client-related matters in a helpful and expeditious manner.'

'Noel Ruddy is a wise and experienced head who brings real commercial insight. Rebecca Glazebrook is a detail-focused partner who will fight tooth and nail for her clients.'

'Noel Ruddy is a legend in the asset-based lending sector. Rebecca Glazebrook is a bright lawyer who is very capable. We have used Andrew Hoad on smaller matters where he has provided pragmatic commercial advice.'

Key Clients

Yomdel Limited

Pill Box Chemists

The Specialist Work Limited

Geotech Soil Stabilisation

Shareholders of AJ Mobility

Premier House Investments

Kamic Group AB

Shareholders of ICA Digital

Freedom Food Limited

Nucleus Commercial Finance

Work highlights

  • Advised the management team of The Specialist Works, a leading independent international media agency, on a management buy-out led by Martin Woolley and Parry Jones.
  • Advised on the MBO of Geotech Soil Stabilisation, funded by Mobeus Equity Partners. Co-ordinated the acquisition of the third party company at the same time as the MBO. The deal was valued at £14m.
  • Acted for the shareholders in driving through the sale of their company.
  • Acted for the client on its acquisition of Ralph Coleman International and also assisted with the documentation for the funding which consisted of a loan from Caple and an IF line from Arbuthnot Commercial Finance.  
  • Acted on the disposal of Amicus Commercial Finance division to Investec Bank plc.

Sara Carpenter heads a team at Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP which handles the full range of corporate mid-market transactions for SMEs. The firm's chairman Bruce Hayter has a wealth of experience in M&A transactions, MBOs and  shareholder agreements. Alan Zeal has a specialism in advising on corporate structures and Tim Sadka serves clients in sectors such as TMT, manufacturing, engineering and construction.

Practice head(s):Sara Carpenter

Other key lawyers:Bruce Hayter; Alan Zeal; Tim Sadka

Key Clients

Parker Building Supplies

Project Florence

Haines Watts Kent LLP

Keith Whitehead

Quattro Group

Pierhouse Business Solutions

Quattro Group

Smarter Shows (Power) Holdings

Broadham Care

Project Pathways

Work highlights

  • A multi-disciplinary team (corporate, employment and property) assisted on this exit by the Parker Family, to a company controlled by Cairngorm Capital. The transaction anticipated the need to address the client’s family and future interests and was valued at £20m.
  • Advised on a merger between two well-established firms of accountants  involving a complex earn out and deferred consideration provisions.
  • Holly Lodge (Kingswood) purchased the entire issued share capital in Deanland Wood Park Limited, which is one of the most sought-after Park Homes Estates in the South East, from the client.  The transaction was valued at £14.5m.  
  • Acted for the shareholders advising on the sale of the company to a Polish listed company.
  • Advised on the sale of the entire issued share capital to UBM (UK), a deal valued at £16m.

TWM Solicitors LLP's clients are predominantly made up of ultra high-net-worth individuals and local and national family-owned or managed businesses. 'Excellent communicator' Jamie Berry heads the team and Peter Stevens has a noted roster of golf club and automotive clients. The team is especially active on M&A deals involving domestic businesses.

Practice head(s):Jamie Berry

Other key lawyers:Peter Stevens; Daniel Jenking; David Powell


'They are responsive, down-to-earth, friendly, do what they say they will and are sensibly priced.'

'There is a willingness to think outside the box. The clock does not start ticking the moment I pick the phone up.'

'Jamie Berry and Daniel Jenkins are great to deal with and always respond in a timely manner. They are good with clients and are sensible on their costs. The main thing is if you refer a client you know they are going to get looked after.'

Key Clients

TVR Automotive

Tindle Newspapers

Rapid EPS

Lucas Design & Construction


Image Skincare UK

Jane Shilton Limited

OS Designs

Assetz Capital Trust Company

Avamore Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for the owner of Abbot Datastore with regard to the sale of 100% of the issued share capital in the company.
  • Advised client on asset sale in relation to an owner-managed business comprising four retail outlets to AkzoNobel.
  • Represented seller of shares in a recruitment company.
  • Advising on the corporate aspects of a £30m restructure and refinance.
  • Advising a family-owned business on offering equity to a third party in a £40m business.

Boddy Matthews Limited, which 'provides valuable advice in a clear and concise fashion', has an established reputation for its franchising expertise. Kate Matthews heads a team that advises a broad range of businesses on risk management, franchising transactions and litigation in respect of a range of franchising breaches. It also advises on establishing franchise businesses and exits.

Practice head(s):Kate Matthews


'A good solid team which understands our business and legal challenges and is always approachable.'

'It is a well-managed team. It is driven from the top and throughout the ranks the business direction and goals are well known.'

'They understand our needs and that we often need urgent advice and support - consequently, they are always available to us and will always act with the sense of urgency we require.'

'The partners are hugely experienced in their fields, willing and open to all directions of discussion.'

Key Clients

Pepe’s Franchising

Blend Clinic Limited

LK Woking Ltd

PawPals Pet Sitting

Country Wide Signs


Babyballet Franchising Ltd

Brush Party Limited

Trend Trading and Services Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for the franchisors and Claimant companies in court pcoceedings for breach of contract, wrongful and unlawful interference and/or conspiracy in relation to post term restrictions and non-compete clauses.
  • Providing advice and assistance to the franchisor on franchising its premier aesthetic and sports therapy business.
  • Acting for the franchisor-owner company in relation to forcing its franchisees to comply with their obligations and to avoid breaches of contract.
  • Acting for the owner of the brand regarding a variety of breaches including failure to adhere to the secret recipes, or use the designated supplier of food.
  • Provision of day-to-day advice in respect of franchising strategies and risk management including enforcing breaches of contract and post termination issues.

The Downs Solicitors LLP team takes on all types of corporate and commercial work including private equity, joint ventures and corporate finance and counts SMEs and family-owned business as core clients. 'Exceptional partner' Julian Harvey, who 'exudes an air of calm confidence', advises on franchising, share option schemes and financing, while associate James Bracher - 'an ever reliable and knowledgeable member of the team' - is a popular team member.

Practice head(s):Julian Harvey

Other key lawyers:Richard Clapham; James Bracher


'The Downs team has an ethos that is open and welcoming; they are prepared to listen to requirements, and deliver results effectively, promptly and at reasonable cost.'

'A small firm, but with a breadth and depth of experience more often available only from a larger firm.'

'They achieve something rarely seen in the professional services  - technical quality, commercial astuteness and a pleasure to work with.'

'Julian Harvey is a first-rate lawyer who heads his team and delivers an outstanding service with great skill, knowledge and integrity. He has excellent personal skills.'

'James Bracher has a professional attitude to his work and a very approachable and friendly demeanour.'

'Julian Harvey helped us navigate through the process in a most professional and knowledgeable way. He had the personality and diplomacy to deal with the sensitive issues and was always available. We would have no hesitation in using Downs in the future and would highly recommend this practice.'

Key Clients

Clubbable Properties

ISCA Limited

Merchants Transaction Finance

CWJ Consulting

Cerealto UK

ORIDA Corporation

East Stuff Ltd

Securus Software

Qorex Ltd

Owen James Events

Aronova Interactive

Moore Law  has a reputation for its commercial work in the technology, media and entertainment and sports areas. Founder and principal solicitor Tris Moore, together with head of digital matters Scott Appleton, offers expertise encompassing the protection and exploitation of IP assets including licensing and open source issues as well as business start-ups, exits and related shareholder issues.

Practice head(s):Tris Moore

Other key lawyers:Scott Appleton

Key Clients



Lighting Design International

John Cullen Lighting

Click Databases

Technogym UK

Waer Systems

Bigfoot Inc


Smit Mobile Equipment BV

Sidemen Clothing


Work highlights

  • Advised on the drafting of influencer contracts; also advised the sister company CPR Communications on drafting terms of supply and commercial agreements with major corporate events clients.
  • Advising on matters including all commercial and intellectual property matters in connection with provision of lighting design consultancy services in the UK/internationally.
  • Advising on the drafting of several commercial agreements including user terms and end-user licences as part of a wider audit review of its commercial terms.
  • Advised this Malaysia-based client on the UK company law aspects of a multi-million-pound global restructuring, which involved a share buyback, share assignments, termination and appointments of directors and the enforcement of restrictive covenants.
  • Advised on and drafted various commercial agreements for use with clients internationally, including terms of supply for B2B and B2C customers, reseller and white label agreements.

Morrisons Solicitors LLP's focus is on sale-side transactions and the healthcare sector. It also increasingly advises on fundraisings, working with technology start-ups as well as investors. Peter Savage heads the firm's banking and secured lending offering as well as the corporate department, while Louise Fegan has a specialism in the acquisition and disposal of dental practices.

Practice head(s):Peter Savage

Other key lawyers:Louise Fegan


'The team has diverse members who can advise on different aspects of a problem.'


Work highlights

  • Acted for the client on its first acquisition involving an app store optimisation agency and which required unusually technical option arrangements over 25% of shares retained by the sellers.
  • Acted for sellers of a copier/reprographics leasing business.
  • Acted for founders David & Alex in their exit of St James’ Place.

Warners Solicitors advises on disposals and acquisitions of owner-managed businesses in the South East. Its also acts for banks on the financing of acquisitions, as well as venture capital and private equity transactions. Kevin Sullivan has an established track record acting for clients in the IT/technology sectors, and more broadly the team also services clients in areas such as education and agriculture.

Practice head(s):Kevin Sullivan

Other key lawyers:Russell Brinkhurst; Jonathan Roberts

Key Clients

Medaphor Group Plc

National Westminster Bank

Mosaic Smart Data Limited

Rough Trade Retail Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for the client on a Series A investment by JPMorgan Chase.
  • Acting for the selling shareholders in their sale of ecological contractor company, TWIG Group Ltd to RSK Group.
  • Advising two of five selling shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of their company.
  • Acting for a company and its founder in respect of a Series B investment.
  • Acting for a bank on funding the purchase of a target business through a share purchase.  

Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Blake Morgan LLP offers 'the superb quality standard of a City firm with a personable touch at competitive rates'. The department is divided between the Reading and Oxford offices and is 'the go-to firm' for technology transactions, including spinouts, M&A and fundraising. Sectors of expertise include healthcare, education and charities. Corporate lawyer Simon Staples specialises in M&A and disposals while commercial partners Alison Patten-Hall and Penny Rinta-Suksi are recommended for projects in IT and education sectors and advising local authorities. Elisabeth Bell is experienced in IT and procurement projects. Senior associate Timothy Coles is recommended for equity investments and IPOs on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.

Practice head(s):Simon Staples, Alison Patten-Hall

Other key lawyers:Penny Rinta-Suksi; Elisabeth Bell; Timothy Coles


'An excellent firm with the expertise and high quality of a City firm and yet it has a highly personable boutique feel to it. Superb attention to detail and excellent follow-through. '

'The team at Blake Morgan have expertise in their particular area of service, and provide a personable approach allowing clients to fully understand the legal terms, implications and strategies'.

Key Clients

Places for People Leisure

University of Reading

Artemis IT Solutions


Oxford Academic Health Network

Work highlights

  • Assisting the client with the development of an online platform, eMAPs,  a market access online information tool which the client wishes to commercialise. Advised on various IP licensing and commercial matters and in the formation of a commercial vehicle.  
  • Advising the client on its sale to Solid State Plc for approximately £4m.
  • Advised the shareholders of Acuity ETS and Acuity Intelligence in its sale to the world leader in eye-tracking technology, Tobii.
  • Acted for a large utility provider in its recent debt for equity conversion and private placement of a new bond issue.

Osborne Clarkes' group of 'highly dynamic commercial lawyers' are specialists in the areas of technology, telecoms and small and mid-cap private equity and venture capital. Corporate partner Sara Valentine focuses on M&A transactions and management buyouts while Robert Wood advises on venture and growth capital transactions, private equity buyouts, along with particular expertise in  transactions involving investor syndicates. Also of note are Jeff Chang for M&A and private equity transactions in the technology and automotive sectors, particularly for India-based clients; Mike Freer for fundraising, bolt-on acquisitions, disposals and reorganisations; and Caroline Drummond for cross-border M&A. Greg Leyshon chairs the national corporate practice.

Practice head(s):Sara Valentine

Other key lawyers:Robert Wood; Jeff Chang; Mike Freer; Caroline Drummond; Greg Leyshon


'The team at Osborne Clarke are very knowledgeable and quickly understand the timeframe and issues to be addressed. They are  always contactable and work the necessary hours to secure the goal.'

'This is a highly dynamic group of commercial lawyers, very much in tune with market practice and very responsive to client requests. The team went truly above and beyond in their quest to provide value for money and make sure the client understands the issues at hand and all available actions to address these issues.'

'Sara Valentine and Robert Wood are truly outstanding'.

Key Clients



Redwood Technologies/Content Guru

Highland Europe

Business Growth Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised NewVoiceMedia, on its $350m sale to US-based and NYSE-listed Vonage Holdings
  • Advised Conduent on the sale of its off-street parking business and assets in the UK and France, as well as its airport business in the US.
  • Advised the shareholders of Redwood Technologies Group Limited on the sale of Redwood and the £25m investment into Redwood by Scottish Equity Partners through the SEP V Limited Partnership.

  • Acted for buyer in the acquisition of the insurance services and captive management operations from Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Limited.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a strong track record in international M&A and venture capital  transactions and offers 'very practical and helpful advice' to major clients in the life sciences, technology and renewable energy sectors. Oxford-based partners Will Axtell and James Went specialises in M&A, fundraisings and AIM capital markets. In Reading Rob Hayes acts on behalf of investors and investee companies in mid-market M&A and venture capital transactions.

Practice head(s):Will Axtell

Other key lawyers:James Went; Rob Hayes


'Pennington Manches team possess an excellent combination of technical expertise and commercial understanding'

'The team at Penningtons Manches combined undoubted legal expertise with emotional intelligence'.

'Will Axtell is a quick thinker who took the time to understand the business and the deal. He is a truly fantastic lawyer with tremendous skills and experience in the business'.

Key Clients

Business Growth Fund

Oxford University Press

Enterprise Therapeutics

Ethical Property Company

Touchstone Innovations Plc

Work highlights

  • Assisted Enterprise Therapeutics on the closing of a circa £29m series B funding round.
  • Advised MedPharm on a growth equity investment from private equity firm Ampersand Capital Partners.
  • Acted on behalf of the majority shareholder on the disposal of their interests to FTSE-100 listed utilities company, Severn Trent Plc, in a transactions totalling £120m.
  • Represented Oxford Vacmedix on its Series A financing round of approximately £9m with a consortium of South Korean and Chinese investors.

Shoosmiths LLP has notable expertise across all aspects of corporate and commercial law, with an emphasis on private equity transactions in the technology and retail sectors. Sanjeev Sharma leads the corporate group and continues to be very active in the venture capital and private equity space.  Nina Smith, who made partner in April 2019 is the other key adviser in the Thames Valley office. Senior associate Kiran Dhesi is noted for her corporate work with large private equity and venture capital clients. Private equity partner Sean Wright heads the southern corporate practice from the Solent office.

Practice head(s):Sanjeev Sharma

Other key lawyers:Sean Wright; Nina Smith; Kiran Dhesi

Key Clients

LDC Equity LLP

NVM Private Equity

Downing LLP

Portchester Equity

Magma Global

Work highlights

  • Advised the sellers in connection with the £221m sale of smart locker technology and field service solutions company, Bybox, to private equity house Francisco Partners.
  • Portchester Equity’s disposal of Chevron Traffic Management to Triton Partners.
  • Advised Planet Organic Limited, on  a substantial investment by  Inverleith LLP.
  • Advised the sellers (including FPE Capital) of software and consulting services business, Ikon Science Limited, on its sale to US private equity firm, Great Hill Partners.

Boyes Turner is best known for its strong expertise withing the technology sector. Mark Blunden assists technology clients on the commercialisation of their products and services, including outsourcing, licensing, product and brand development, often with an international aspect. Corporate partner Kate Eavis advises life science, biotechnology and software spin-outs. Senior associate Chris Dobson is recommended for  M&A transactions in the technology and healthcare sectors. Robert Rice departed to Harrison Clark Rickerbys in December 2018.

Practice head(s):Mark Blunden

Other key lawyers:Kate Eavis; Chris Dobson

Key Clients

Shareholders of BrandView Limited

Auto Trader Group plc

CIRCOR International Inc.



Work highlights

  • Advised the founder and shareholders of Brand View Limited on all aspects of the disposal of shares to Ascential plc for £38m.

BDB Pitmans has expertise in the areas of M&A, takeovers, restructuring and AIM listings. The firm boasts a strong and varied client roster in the financial services, real estate, oil and gas and automotive sectors, among others. Oliver Pilkington has a particular expertise in equity capital markets, and John Hutchinson leads on M&A transactions and private equity investments. Corporate partner Stephanie Perry is noted for acquisitions and disposals, and management buy-outs and buy-ins.

Practice head(s):Oliver Pilkington

Other key lawyers:Stephanie Perry; John Hutchinson

Key Clients

Bridges Fund Management Ltd

FinnCap Limited

Royal Berkshire Shooting Group

Berenberg Bank

Waylands Automotive

Work highlights

  • Advised FinnCap and Berenberg, joint brokers, on a placing of new and existing shares in Taptica International Ltd, to raise gross proceeds of approximately $55m.
  • Advised CALA Homes on its takeover by FTSE-100 insurer Legal & General Capital, following the acquisition of the majority stake for £315m.  
  • Acted for Totaltec Oilfield Services Limited in raising initial equity finance to start up a Guyana based oilfield services company from numerous investors based across several jurisdictions.
  • Advised John O’Hanlon and Waylands Automotive on the acquisition of a Volvo dealership.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP supports startups, entrepreneurs and small to medium sized enterprises on all corporate matters, ranging from M&A deals and disposals, private equity transactions and day-to-day corporate advice. The technology and insurance sectors are particularly strongly represented. Corporate lawyer and managing partner Jeremy Parkes handles complex corporate finance transactions and restructurings.  Ian Wood-Smith and Penelope Garden are also of note for corporate transactions, as are Rachael Maunder and Philip Stephenson, who joined the team in September 2018 from Wilson Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):Rachael Maunder

Other key lawyers:Jeremy Parkes; Ian Wood-Smith; Philip Stephenson


'The corporate team's approach is practical, commercial and solution-focused. They have a real strength of technical expertise, consistently out-negotiating counter parties on key points, whilst balancing this with the client's commercial desire and realities to keep deals on track.'

'Field Seymour Parkes have the ability to resource deals at appropriate levels of experience, and consistently demonstrate a high standard of client care. Extremely responsive and considered very good value for money.'

'Penny Garden is noted for exceptional ability to manage complex deals across a number of industry sectors coupled with outstanding client care.

'Rachael Maunder is a great addition to the partnership and a solid pair of hands.'

Key Clients

Whistl UK

Euro Car Parts Limited

On Direct Business Services Limited(trading as Cloud Direct)

Finch Commercial Insurance Brokers Limited (now part of Broker Network)

Honda Motor EuropeLimited

Work highlights

  • Advised Whistl UK on the acquisition of privately owned Nottingham based Parcelhub Limited and Mail Workshop Limited.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Stewarts Coach Group on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to the Kings Ferry Group, a subsidiary of the National Express Group.
  • Advised Akzonobel on a share acquisition together with three further business acquisitions to expand its retail stores.
  • Represented the founders of Vineup, provider of career mentoring software, on its sale to UK based private equity backed purchaser.
  • Advised Cohort on acquisition of a majority shareholding in Chess Technologies for approximately £42m.

Freeths LLP is 'always one step ahead' and provides 'excellent' support to SME and family owned businesses in the engineering, logistics, food and education sectors. Leon Arnold, Tom Walker and Malin Svanberg Larsson are the key corporate partners; commercial lawyer Rebecca Howlett is recommended for commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):Leon Arnold

Other key lawyers:Rebecca Howlett; Tom Walker; Malin Svanberg Larsson


'The corporate team at Freeths  is always one step ahead of their larger competitors. They are well prepared and always put the client first'.

'Leon Arnold and his team are exceptional.'

Key Clients

Integrity Print Limited

Complete Childcare Limited

The Adolf Würth Group

Santova Limited

NSF Safety and Quality UK Limited

Travis Perkins PLC

Work highlights

  • Represented the management team of Northern Paper Board Limited on the investment, and subsequent acquisition, by Solidus Solutions.
  • Advised the selling shareholders of the JGA group companies on the sale to Jensen Hughes.
  • Advised Santova on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of SAI Logistics Limited in a deal valued of over £3m.
  • Advising White Rabbit Pizza on its fundraising activities.
  • Assisted the Oxford College with various contractual documentation relating to summer school projects and the College’s general trading terms with third parties.

Gateley Plc's Reading practice is well placed to advise TMT sector clients on all corporate and commercial law matters, particularly in connection with buy-outs, M&A and private equity transactions.  Practice head Andrew Peddle  handles M&A and fundraising work and Paul de Vince  advises on commercial agreements, with an emphasis on projects involving procurement. The team has also benefited from the arrival of commercial expert Mary-Ann Orr, formally head of corporate and commercial at Blackstone Solicitors Limited in September 2018.

Practice head(s):Andrew Peddle

Other key lawyers:Paul de Vince; Mary-Ann Orr

Key Clients

CACI Limited

Lloyds Development Capital and related group companies

New York Bakery Company Limited

Babble Cloud Holdings Ltd (LDC investee company, formerly called IP Solutions Holdings Limited)

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Connection Capital

Cohort PLC

Brand Events group

JD Williams


Transglobal Freight

Urban Science

Work highlights

  • Advised on the management buy-out of Martin Audio Limited, backed by Lloyds Development Capital, including acquisition and funding.
  • Advised the buyer, Babble Cloud Holdings on all aspects of the acquistion of Arden Communications Group Limited.
  • Advised on the management buy-out of British Waterways Marinas Limited, the owner and operator of 18 canal marinas around England, from Canal & River Trust the owner post-privatisation of the canal network in England, backed by Lloyds Development Capital and Santander.
  • Assisted Maven on a VCT investment in Lydia Limited by Maven Capital Partners UK LLP and DBW Investments.

White & Black Limited's corporate and private equity-focused boutique continues to act on behalf of technology-focused private equity houses, household name clients and SMEs in the financial services, IT and telecoms, engineering and energy fields. Co-heads Phil Riman and John Allen are noted for their 'breadth of knowledge' in cross-border M&A and private equity transactions. The practice also benefits from Stephen Silvester's 'strong commercial expertise' in the Fintech sector.

Practice head(s):Phil Riman, John Allen

Other key lawyers:Stephen Silvester


'White & Black are simply excellent - comprehensive and deep knowledge in corporate and shareholder law, dedicated and efficient.'

'Phil Riman and John Allen have a breadth of knowledge in the M&A and PE areas.'

Key Clients

Gigaclear PLC

Moixa Energy

Scottish Equity Partners


Highland Capital

Work highlights

  • Assisted Moixa Energy Holdings, a smart battery company, in their formation of a strategic partnership with Japan-based Itochu Corporation, which included the acquisition of shares and initial investment of £5m.
  • Advised Liquid Finance, a funding provider to small and medium-sized entities in the UK and Ireland, on its business combination with YouLend, a Danish facilitator of flexible finance and banking services.  
  • Assisted South Korean based G-SMATT Global with the establishment of a UK subsidiary.
  • Advised NVM Private Equity on its initial investment in Lending Works, including a further bridge round investment.

Clarkslegal LLP supports SME's and technology start-ups with corporate structuring, SEIS/EIS investments, funding and equity investments and commercial matters. The team also regularly assists international companies with inward investment into the UK. Department head Ashan Arif advises on the full spectrum of corporate, commercial and private equity matters, and is particularly sought after by clients in the automotive, technology and media sectors. Corporate partner Stuart Mullins joined the team  in June 2018.

Practice head(s):Ashan Arif

Other key lawyers:Stuart Mullins

Work highlights

  • Acting for a major automotive group on a number of strategic acquisitions.
  • Acting on the £30m sale of a number of businesses and associated assets.
  • Acting on the acquisition of a market leading group of companies in the catering sector.

Herrington Carmichael LLP's 'commercially astute' lawyers provide 'the high standards of service expected of a City firm' with 'reasonable billings'. The firm focuses on M&A transactions with an international element, as well as advising on share sales and purchases, corporate restructurings, company option schemes, shareholders’ agreements and other commercial arrangements.  Yavan Brar, Mark Chapman and Alex Canham are the lead partners.

Practice head(s):Yavan Brar

Other key lawyers:Mark Chapman; Alex Canham


'Herrington Carmichael are able to draw on multiple areas of expertise and are very commercially minded, practical and good strategists.'

'Mark Chapman is extremely thorough and has a good eye for detail, but advises with a very good balance of technical legal advice and commercial/practical suggestions. '

'Yavan Brar is outstanding in finding solutions to every problem. He is committed in terms of his energy, time and strategic mind.'

'Alex Canham provides excellent advice and takes the time to understand the nature of the client's business and objectives and explain the issues efficiently and clearly.'

Key Clients

Grundon Waste Management

Metro Bank


Gavin Jones

The corporate and commercial group at Knights plc advise clients in connection with development and growth capital, buy-outs, M&A, shareholder arrangements, commercial contracts and asset finance matters. Paddy Gregan specialises in business sales, joint ventures, restructures and partnerships and cooperative arrangements. Hugh Tebay  is the lead commercial partner.

Practice head(s):Paddy Gregan

Other key lawyers:Hugh Tebay

Key Clients

Baywater Healthcare


Calor Gas

BGF Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Baywater Healthcare on its acquisition by The Bastide Group.
  • Assisted the shareholders of Kinetic on their exit by means of an employee ownership trusts buy-out.
  • Assisted 59club in the franchise of its business across South and South East Asia.

Spratt Endicott has 'a profound understanding of clients' needs and a focus on delivering quality in a timely manner'. The practice has expertise across a broad range of corporate and commercial transactions and is also able to advise on share purchase agreements and company reorganisations and restructurings. Chairman John Spratt is noted for his 'agile thinking and ability to tackle any challenge'. Hitendra Patel has particular expertise in management buy-outs and buy-ins and joint ventures. Associate Catherine O’Riordan is lauded for 'top quality legal advice on issues concerning e-commerce law'.

Practice head(s):John Spratt

Other key lawyers:Hitendra Patel; Catherine O’Riordan


'Spratt Endicott have a strength in depth through a large and experienced team with a reputation for getting things done efficiently and at a fair price.'

'Spratt Endicott has a very wide scope of expertise across a diverse range of legal services.'

'John Spratt is an outstanding individual who takes the time and makes the effort to truly understand the client's business and place his advice firmly in context.'

'Hitendra Patel has a deep understanding and delivers practical solutions  regarding shareholders' agreements, sale and purchase agreements and business acquisitions'.

Work highlights

  • Advising a multinational client on its UK dealership agreement and policy under which it trades.
  • Advised on the acquisition of two associated companies in the security industry.
  • Advised the buyer on the purchase of a company specialising in the supply of scientific and registration services in the agrochemical, biocidal and chemical industries.

Blandy & Blandy LLP is instructed by SMEs and owner-managed businesses on a wide range of corporate and commercial mandates, including cross-border M&A transactions, corporate governance and regulatory issues as well as assisting companies with entrance into the UK market and UK clients with out-bound investments and expansions into overseas markets. David Few and Debbie Brett are the key figures.

Practice head(s):David Few, Debbie Brett

Key Clients

Reading Transport Limited

Austin Fraser Limited

Revium Group Limited

Box Technologies Holdings Limited

Science Media Partners Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Reading Transport Limited on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Newbury & District Limited, a regional bus service provider.
  • Assisting the company on the establishment of its operations in Germany and expansion of its network in the US.
  • Advised the trustees and directors of Padworth College Education Trust on the sale of the business and assets to Inspiring Futures Limited.

Key areas of expertise for Brethertons LLP include acquisitions and disposals, corporate governance, internal reorganisations and purchase and supply agreements. The practice is also able to draw on the expertise of colleagues in the employment, real estate and dispute resolution departments. Recently promoted partner Amy Edwards leads the practice.

Practice head(s):Amy Edwards

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors provide a 'practical, solution-focused and efficient' service to SMEs and owner-managed businesses in commercial transactions, shareholder agreements, corporate structures and restructuring work. Practice head Barry Niven's recent mandates include advising shareholders in disposal of shares, sales and acquisitions and management buy-outs and buy-ins.

Practice head(s):Barry Niven


'The team at Clifton Ingram are very approachable and always willing to help on any issue, big or small.'

'Barry Niven is a brilliant corporate lawyer - always responsive, knowledgeable and tailors advice to suit the requirements of the client and the business.'

Work highlights

  • Advised multiple shareholders on the disposal of the entire issued share capital of Europe’s leading supplier of warehouse labels and rack identification solutions.
  • Advised a holding company on the sale of its trading subsidiary to a US competitor.
  • Advised a leading manufacturer and distributor of fibre optic technology on an off-market buy back of share capital from distributable reserves.

Gardner Leader LLP handles a broad range of corporate and commercial matters on behalf of start-ups, owner-managed businesses and investors. Recent matters include advising on cross-border sales and acquisitions, shareholder agreements and commercial arrangements.  Greg Humphreys, Diane Yarrow and recent hire Michal Freeman-Shor are the main advisers.

Practice head(s):Greg Humphreys

Other key lawyers:Diane Yarrow; Michal Freeman-Shor


'Gardner Leader are always very responsive and understanding of issues presented to them.'

'The corporate team are responsive, smart, thorough and go the extra mile for their clients.'

'Diane Yarrow takes the time to understand the client's business, products and customers with a genuine desire to uphold the clients values and ethics.'

Key Clients

Henley Women’s Regatta Limited

Individual shareholders of Easy2Name Limited

Sight Solutions Limited

Team Technology Limited

Individual shareholders of Bright Bricks Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a technology company on a cross-border funding offer of £11m.
  • Assisted a renewable energy start-up company with the preparation of their shareholders’ agreement.
  • Advised on the sale of a property holding company for approximately £2.75m.

Royds Withy King predominately focuses on assisting owner-managed businesses and management teams in corporate transactions, company reorganisations and investments, particularly in the life sciences and technology sectors. Iain Butler heads the group and is particularly known for advising spin-out companies from The University of Oxford on various funding rounds.

Practice head(s):Iain Butler


'The team at Royds Withy King is very responsive, has excellent communication skills and great attention to details'


Key Clients

Argosy Components


Cellmark Forensic Services

Oxford Genetics

The Sampler

Work highlights

  • Advised the management team on the management buyout of the company from its US parent company.
  • Assisted an Oxford University spin out, on its investment from a number of investors including Oxford Sciences Innovation.

Corporate tax

The corporate tax team at Blake Morgan LLP is best known for its focus on the tax-related aspects of acting for both companies and venture capitalist firms on equity fund raising and mid-tier M&A activity. The practice has a growing portfolio of public and private companies and has been increasing its involvement in cross-border deals with incoming investment from the US into the UK and Europe as well as UK’s expansion into the US. Legal director Cathy Bryant heads the practice nationwide. Senior solicitor John Shallcross is a name to note in the Southampton office. Simon Court has retired.

Practice head(s):Cathy Bryant 

Other key lawyers:John Shallcross

Key Clients

Richard Kendall and Others

Oliver Sargent

Gresham Technologies plc

Andrew Dunkerley and others

Harwood Wealth Management Group plc

Nick Farrell and others

Lucketts Holdings Limited

CVS (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of Kendalls Group on its sale to Aggregate Industries for an undisclosed eight figure sum.
  • Advised the shareholders of South Africa Lodge Holdings Limited and Kitnocks Specialist Care Limited (collectively known as Cornerstone Healthcare) on the sale of their entire issued share capital to Ignite Growth for an undisclosed eight figure sum.
  • Advised AIM listed client on the share acquisition of a Luxembourg tech company for up to €8.5m.
  • Advised the management team and private investors on the sale of their shares.
  • Advised Harwood Wealth on acquisition of AE Financial Limited for up to £6.2m.

Clarke Willmott LLP’s tax department has a wide range of expertise assisting clients in areas such as real estate and housing associations in addition to  corporate tax and includes related litigation. In particular, the team focuses on property structuring for the property investment market, the creation of property funds, de-enveloping issues, offshore property trading, SDLT, ATED, NRCGT and capital gains tax. Other areas of strength include the implementation of share incentive schemes and the negotiation of settling historic tax liabilities. Niall Murphy heads the practice.

Practice head(s):Niall Murphy


'They have been very good , responsive and fair.'

'Responsive, knowledgeable and practical. They do not waste time with unnecessary complexity.'

'Commonsense is applied and they get to the point quickly with a deep knowledge of their subject areas.'

'Niall Murphy is the most practical and down-to-earth lawyer I have met.'

Key Clients

Onecom Group Limited

Addnode Group AB

Aquis Exchange Plc

Oerlikon Drive Systems GbmH, Pfaffikon (now changed name to Graziano Fairfield AG)

Eduko Education Limited

Total Solutions (Southern) Limited t/a Total Rail Solutions

Eton Fire Limited

Marindus Group Limited

Import Services Limited

Burgon & Ball Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for longstanding client Addnode (a Swedish listed IT group and Europe’s leading provider of software and services for design and engineering) on the strategic acquisition of Cadassist Limited and D2M3 Ltd.
  • Advised Addnode on the acquisition of Strategic Simulation & Analysis Limited (SSA) and Simuleon BV.
  • Advised Aquis Exchange Plc on the creation of an EMI share option scheme and unapproved share option scheme in preparation for its listing on AIM.
  • Acted for the sellers on the sale of shares of IT Group UK Limited to Blackrock Expert Services.
  • Advised the sellers on the sale of Total Rail Solutions, a private equity based management buyout.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP’s tax team specialises in restructuring and exit planning, while also providing support to the corporate and property teams. The practice has a strong reputation for being able to advise on highly  technical issues and provides expert reports on trusts, stamp duties and international matters, with a rapidly growing international client portfolio. Dr Philippa Roles heads the practice.

Practice head(s):Dr Philippa Roles


'they always go the extra mile and are always on hand. Very knowledgeable and capable.'

'Field Seymour Parkes have provided exceptional Enterprise Investment Scheme consultancy alongside their assistance in setting up our company. Furthermore, our needs have been quite wide ranging and FSP have guided us through applying for a business loan, drafting our Articles of Association, negotiating and drafting a shareholders agreement to drafting data privacy and fair usage policies and consumer offer terms. Mention must also go to the welcoming and hospitable reception team.'

'A practice offering a wide range of disciplines and very professional, still with a personal touch.'

'Our principal contact Phillipa Roles, in addition to providing unparalleled understanding of EIS, has always offered great availability, flexibility to urgent requests and a wealth of useful contacts that has helped us sourcing technology, banking and accountancy services. Her ability to anticipate our needs and provide value added assistance is outstanding.'

'Dr. Philippa Roles is very capable with an impressive ability to solve problems and she's really good to work with.'

Key Clients

e-Cargobikes.Com Ltd

Dolphin Head Group Ltd

Rent ID Ltd

Landlord Personal Agents Ltd

Rippll Ltd

Stampede Global Europe Ltd

Lunzer Wine Events

Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership

QRewards Ltd

Work highlights

  • Provides tax advice and assistance to e-Cargobikes.Com across all areas of the business including fundraising.
  • Advising the UK holding company of the EU group Stampede Global Europe on restructuring matters.
  • Providing tax technical and governance support to Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership on an ad hoc basis.
  • Advising the UK holding company of the EU group Dolphin Head on restructuring matters.
  • Advising on and assisting Rippll with a capital reduction demerger and obtaining HMRC clearance.

Shoosmiths LLP’s tax practice advises both investors and investee companies on enterprise investment scheme and venture capital trust-compliant investments. The department has in-depth experience in all types of corporate tax issues and share scheme arrangements and has a thriving and dedicated real estate tax practice. The client base includes large multi-national corporates, serial investors, commercial property investors, high-growth companies and owner-managed businesses. Tom Wilde  heads the practice. Daniel Kennedy is another name to note.

Practice head(s):Tom Wilde

Other key lawyers:Daniel Kennedy


'Very strong knowledge of venture capital trust regulations. Flexible to work with, accommodating changes in scope and process. Very responsive with quick turnaround times to hit deadlines.'

'Tom Wilde is a true expert in the field and has the unique quality (among tax lawyers) of being both approachable and commercial.'

'Tom is a true expert and we rely upon him heavily for our qualification advice. There is no other tax lawyer we trust more for this type of advice.'

'Tom Wilde's high-level of subject matter expertise is a great asset to us.'

Key Clients

Allied London

IM Properties plc

Octopus Investments

Beringea LLP

Downing LLP

Calculus Capital

Gilltown Limited

SIG plc

Jacobs Engineering

NVM Private Equity LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for Allied London on its sale of 7 development sites for over £300m.
  • Acted for IM Properties on its £98m property sale of a well-known Birmingham office building, advising on the tax implications.
  • Provided VCT and EIS advice to Octopus Investments on the sale of their stake in Limited to Nestle Purina.
  • Acted for Beringea LLP on the investment by the venture capital trusts they manage into Festicket Ltd.
  • Advised Jacobs Engineering on the tax implications of consolidating its office space in London into a single location.

The corporate tax team at Stevens & Bolton LLP is best known for advising entrepreneurial clients, owner managers and SMEs on exit tax planning and M&A transactions involving complex equity incentive structures. The practice is growing its expertise across the full range of equity incentive schemes, including EMI schemes and unapproved option schemes, as well as employment-related incentive structuring for private equity transactions. Kate Schmit heads the practice. Jamie Crawford was made partner in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Kate Schmit

Other key lawyers: Jamie Crawford


'Outstanding service - prompt and clear communication, absolute transparency on transaction and time spent, delightful people to deal with'.

Key Clients


Brockton Capital LLP

Stackhouse Poland

ICP Nurseries

Ylem Group Limited (formerly ENER-G plc)

Pebble Beach Systems plc

ESO Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for specialist insurance broker and longstanding client Stackhouse Poland on their sale to Gallagher and three corporate transactions in 2018.
  • Advised CANCOM SE, one of the leading providers of IT infrastructure and services in Germany and Austria, on the acquisition of 82.1% of UK- based Ocean Intelligent Communications Limited and the acquisition of UK based IT solutions provider OCSL.
  • Advised the shareholders of longstanding client and care home software provider iCareHealth on its sale to the Access Group.
  • Advised the partners of Brockton Capital LLP in connection with equity incentive arrangements put in place at the time of the creation of a new property investment vehicle with Tel Aviv-listed AlonyHetz Property and Investments
  • Advised the nursery group ICP Nurseries on numerous acquisitions.

EU and competition

Shoosmiths LLP’s competition team comprises professionals with considerable experience at major international firms in the City and in Brussels. The practice offers advice on complex competition compliance queries and handles major competition law investigations or merger cases, working in close connection with the litigation department where needed. The client portfolio includes several high-profile household businesses from the automotive, drink and food, hospitality, travel and insurance sectors. Simon Barnes heads the practice.

Practice head(s):Simon Barnes


'Simon Barnes gives excellent, commercial, pragmatic advice. He is very knowledgeable on competition law, but also quickly gets to grips with complex companies and industries so is able to provide focused commercial advice.'

Key Clients

Ageas Insurance


BAT UK & Ireland




Peugeot Citroen


Citizen Watch


Work highlights

  • Represented Micronclean in the CMA’s investigation into cleanroom laundries.
  • Acting for an insurer in relation to the CMA’s investigation into Compare The Market’s use of most favoured nations clauses.
  • Acting for a leading independent funeral care business in the CMA’s market investigation into funeral care.
  • Acted on a major CMA merger control review in the Fintech sector.
  • Represented an individual in one of the CMA’s high-profile, ongoing investigations in the pharmaceuticals sector.

Stevens & Bolton LLP’s competition and regulatory team specialises in investigations and merger control, particularly in the life science, fast-moving consumer goods and retail sectors. The practice’s work has a strong international focus, providing strategic advice to clients on complex cross-border matters including Brexit issues. Gustaf Duhs heads the practice.

Practice head(s):Gustaf Duhs

Key Clients

Bakkavor Group

Chas A Blatchford & Sons

FGX Europe Limited

Papa Johns International

Samsung Electronics UK Limited

Sonardyne International Limited

Securmed UK Limited

TM Lewin & Sons

Work highlights

  • Advised leading medical device company on US Federal Trade Commission proceedings, including subpoenas and depositions as well as implications for the market and its business.
  • Advising a global digital healthcare company on merger control and related regulatory issues
  • Provided extensive competition law, telecommunications regulatory and related public law advice (including state aid) to the leading open access fiber provider.
  • Advising one of the key parties in the CMA’s investigation into the delisting and alleged excessive pricing in relation to a generic drug.

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