Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx in South East
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.
‘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‘.
Biffa Waste Management Ltd
CliniMed Holdings Limited
Rico Logistics Limited
Mobile Mini UK Limited
White Light Group Limited
Lane4 Management Group Ltd
- 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.
‘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‘.
Marshall Motor Holdings plc
Group 1 Automotive UK Limited
Polyco Healthline Limited
Tripod Crest Limited
Home Décor GB Limited
Africa Mobile Networks
- 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
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.
Ian Mabbutt; Matthew Holman
‘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‘.
‘They set out my options and what are the genuine commercial risks‘.
Business Growth Fund
Ocee International Limited
Health Made Easy Limited
Santander UK plc
Suzuki GB plc
Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts Ltd
Atheon Analytics Ltd
BFS Group Ltd t/a Bidfood
MHA MacIntyre Hudson LLP
Inter MK Ltd (MK Dons)
Banking Standards Board
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
BLC Leather Technology Centre
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
Brakspear, pub operator
Sealed Air, packaging
- 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)
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.
- 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.
‘A very professional and experienced team‘.
‘The individuals are responsive, aware of deadlines and professional‘.
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
International Music Summit
- 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.
Sanjeev Sharma; Amit Nayyar
Lloyds Development Capital / LDC (Managers) Limited
Business Growth Fund
Rothschild (Five Arrows Principal Investments)
Foundation Investment Partners LP
NVM Private Equity LLP
Norland Capital LP
- 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 Urban.co.uk.
- 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.
‘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‘.
Santander UK plc
ESRI (UK) Limited
Porcelanosa Group Limited
Oakman Inns and Restaurants 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
Consort Medical PLC
SLR Consultants Limited
Galderma (UK) Limited
Ennogen Healthcare Ltd
Flynn Pharma Limited
TM Robotics (Europe) Limited
Visual Data Media Services Limited
- 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.
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.
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‘.
‘The team builds up significant knowledge of the business they are working with, which enables them to deliver high-quality work in an extremely efficient manner‘.
‘They are a pleasure to work with‘.
‘They build up strong working relationships‘
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
Chapman Black Limited
Elliot Browne International Limited
Manolete Partners Plc
Applied Acoustic Design Limited
Nicoll Curtin Technology Ltd
CCL Specialist Supplies Limited
- 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
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.
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.
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
Scotts of Thrapston Limited
Tollan Energy Limited
- 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.
Mike Pettit; Jeremy Brockis
Capita Group plc
Bank of Ireland
Campaign for Real Ale
Comline Auto Parts
Pet Food UK
Cross Pens Inc
- 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'.
‘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‘.
‘The individuals I have worked with have been proactive, responsive and have provided a personalised service‘.
‘Craig Harrison is willing to go above and beyond to get the transaction completed‘.
‘Stand-out individuals include Simon Massey‘.
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
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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‘.
Jeeves Holdings Ltd
Veruth Holdings Limited
Europa Components & Equipment PLC
- 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.
‘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‘.
BGF (Business Growth Fund)
Mazars Financial Planning
Welcome Break Group Limited
Milton Keynes College
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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‘.
HP Tuners Europe Ltd
- 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.
- 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.
‘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‘.
‘All of Neil’s team were hardworking and focused on delivering a successful outcome‘.
‘Alice Wooler is simply superb. I feel like she works for my company, not Woodfines‘.
Geodis UK Limited
Continental Landscapes Limited
- 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.