Corporate and commercial: Essex in South East

Birketts LLP

The corporate and commercial team at Birketts LLP is regarded as a 'go-to' firm for corporate acquisitions, and is particularly known for maintaining a focus on high-value financial services work. International in scope, its often complex undertakings are notable for their reach beyond the traditional parameters of regional law firms. The practice's work spans data protection and public sector procurement to franchising and tax. The team is led by Rafael Ruiz and also includes corporate M&A specialist Adam Jones and regulated business expert Nick Burnett. Heidi Jones and Caroline Nicholls (a recent hire from Thompson Smith and Puxon) are additional names to note.

Practice head(s):

Rafael Ruiz

Other key lawyers:

Adam Jones; Nick Burnett; Heidi Jones

Testimonials

We found there was a really good team spirit with everyone we worked with and clear tasks and responsibilities. Everyone was available and willing to help and clarify anything with our team throughout the process. Having several contacts but with defined areas of responsibility seemed to work well and we were able to marry up our own team in a similar way. This was preferable to a single point of contact approach too‘.

Excellent transaction knowledge. Not limited to specific legal issues but also very good understanding of economics/financial aspects of deal transactions.’

Birketts offer a fully comprehensive service and have specialists who cover all types of legal needs. If I needed an answer or advice on a particular subject it’s always just one call and suddenly you are heading in the right direction and can be sure that you are receiving quality advice‘.

Adam Jones and his team were exceptional. Every member I dealt with had the same high standards. Spoke to other firms before appointing them but didn’t have any confidence in the other firms, unlike Birketts‘.

Adam Jones has a real passion for his work. Gave me real confidence that I was in safe hands‘.

Rafael Ruiz – our go to partner for any legal issue, guaranteed a helpful and qualitative response‘.

The work rate and effort in the run up to the signing of the investment agreement was outstanding. The work of Heidi Jones and her team was particularly strong. We really valued the wealth of experience and commercial insight which Nick Burnett was able to bring and share with our management team. This helped our negotiations and decision making enormously throughout the process. He was always available to provide thoughts and insight.’

Key clients

Atalian Servest

Investec Investments (UK) Limited

Investec Bank plc

Excess Baggage Group

Seetec Business Technology Centre

The Reddington Group

Hydro International Limited

Sharksfin Holdings

Airtask Group/Directflight

Merryck & Co

Granarolo SpA & Group

Autoprotect

Ventrica Limited

Gates Group Limited

Commodity Centre Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for the owner of APP Wholesale on its sale to Lords Group Trading.
  • Acted for Jordan Inc Limited on its purchase of Chelmsford Accident Repair Specialists Limited.
  • Acted for Hydro International Limited in its acquisition of the whole of the issued share capital of M&N Electrical and Mechanical Services Limited.

Birkett Long LLP

The corporate and commercial team at Birkett Long LLP handles transactions of all sizes, including the buying and selling of companies, joint venture agreements, share restructuring and the preparation of commercial agreements. In addition, it provides assistance with corporate finance, tax and accounting matters. Respected for its work in healthcare, the firm also has experience in banking, manufacturing, construction and not-for-profit. David Wisbey excels in the automotive, and technology sectors while team team lead Tracey Dickens specialises in partnerships and LLPs. Tim Field is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Tracey Dickens

Other key lawyers:

David Wisbey; Tim Field

Testimonials

I have built up a strong working relationship with the Birkett Long team over a 25 year period and find them to be an extremely professional and friendly practice who fit in with our approach to our own clients‘.

The practice is able to provide high level ‘City’ grade advice with a more manageable charge out rate for its fee earners. Birkett Long have high calibre individuals across a broad range of legal areas, including HR, making them a very strong one-stop shop law firm. I have found the responsiveness of the individuals engaged to be exceptional‘.

The differentiating factor which resulted in our choosing Birkett Long ahead of other potential legal advisers was their ability to be objective and realistic whilst at the same time maintaining an appropriate level of emotion in  personal communication‘.

Professionalism and consistent quality of service‘.

I have worked with Tracey Dickens and Tim Field who have both exhibited the qualities that get the job done. My main work has been with Tim and I have put clients to him because he represented them well

David Wisbey has an extremely deep and broad knowledge of all corporate law matters. He always surpasses expectations in the delivery of his service. His responsiveness sand practical approach to corporate law matters makes him stand out among his peers’. 

Tim has a great ability to listen carefully, to analyse critically, and most significantly, to ask the kind of penetrating relevant questions which encourage and enable one, as the client, to see and understand the subject from a variety of angles. This results in a much better comprehension of and appreciation for the legal advice provided‘.

Tracey Dickens, proved tough in negotiations with our purchaser in representing our interests and would often come up with innovative solutions to help with any impasses. Tim Field involved himself closely in our business and kept the Directors on track in a complex transaction, he was available 24/7 and remained calm throughout the process. The fact the agreed sale price for the business was the original offer price is testimony to the efforts of Tracey and Tim‘.

Key clients

Altitude Aviation Limited

Colchester Institute

Colchester Royal Grammar School

CVR Global LLP

Flakt Woods Limited

Healthcare Homes Group Limited

Navigator Terminals Limited and Subsidiaries

I & C Limited

Navigator Terminals North Tees Limited

Navigator Terminals Seal Sands Limited

Project Etopia Limited

Project Etopia UK Limited

Runwood Homes Limited

Simarco International Limited

University of Essex

Valeo

Wilkin & Sons Limited

Writtle University College

Work highlights

  • Completed an international share sale on behalf of the shareholders of Cognitran Limited.
  • Assisted 52 of the 120 separate accountancy practices that consolidated on 1 June 2019 to form the Xeinadin Group.
  • Advised and assisted Project Etopia, which provides energy-efficient modular homes and school buildings, on its £9m equity investment from the Reuben brothers.

Ellisons Solicitors

The corporate and commercial team at Ellisons Solicitors is well-regarded for its work on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and company restructures. As part of the international Alliott Group network, it is able to handle multi-jurisdictional transactions in tandem with accounting and law firms of equal repute. Team lead Seamus Clifford specialises in areas such as corporate recovery, corporate finance and hotel & leisure. Other names to note are Paul Forsyth, an expert in transactions arising from insolvency, and senior associate Petra Sharp.

Practice head(s):

Seamus Clifford

Other key lawyers:

Paul Forsyth; Petra Sharp

Testimonials

Excellence in engaging with and communicating with clients to understand very clearly what the clients goals are so that interests and focus can be aligned‘.

Ellisons is a very strong regional practice which has all relevant specialisms covered. The quality and reliability of the firm, its partners and staff is excellent‘.

The team has a broad knowledge and skill set, whilst being quick, efficient and reasonably priced. As a growing startup, it’s really important we can get all our legal support in one place, from a trusted partner‘.

Petra Sharp, Seamus Clifford and Paul Forsyth are extremely knowledgeable, practical and collaborative‘.

Paul Forsyth is pragmatic and commercial. You feel as though Paul and the team are genuinely trying to achieve the same goals as the principals in any transaction‘.

We love working with Petra Sharp and she is one of the best solicitors we have ever worked with. What makes her great, is that she really understands our business and knows what is important for a business of our stage. She explains the facts and risks very clearly and the key points in a contract we need to win during a negotiation. She’s fast, efficient and reliable. Her input and advice has been fundamental to our business growth of the last few years and I hope to work with her for many more‘.

Key clients

Gray Dawes Travel Limited

Colin Leek and Douglas Curtis Machine Tools (Colchester) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Gray Dawes Travel Limited on its acquisition of Amber Road Travel Limited from a private equity company.
  • Advised Colin Leek and Douglas Curtis Machine Tools (Colchester) Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Pultrex Limited.

Tees Law

The corporate and commercial team at Tees Law has an established reputation across various industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, insurance and print. Known for its ability to cover management buyouts and joint ventures,  the team also handles M&A, private equity transactions and the development of start-ups. Following the 2019 merger with Wortley Byers, the firm has consolidated and expanded on this experience, recently overseeing the sale of the majority interest in Excitech Limited. Team lead Sue Dowman is known for her expertise in pharmaceutical regulations, Lucy Folley is a noted specialist in M&A and Baljeet Kaur is recommended for asset and share acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Sue Dowman

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Folley; Baljeet Kaur

Testimonials

I found the practice to be very effective and professional and I did feel that i was dealing with a highly professional company and team of individuals. I felt that the costs were transparent and that you offered fantastic advice before i even instructed your firm on this project. I used Tees Law for a range of legal matters and i always felt there was a relevant professional available to speak to me‘.

I have always received a professional service form all of the team, they communicate very well and are very good with providing impartial advise‘.

The strengths are in communication and teamwork. Contact is prompt and regular, with the team gelling so that all relevant parties can deal with the case at a moment’s notice‘.

Excellent understanding of the business and its needs‘.

My main contact within the organisation is Lucy Folley. She has provided legal assistance to me in a number of issues and has done so at a very high professional level‘.

Lucy Folley has been handling commercial matters for our business for a number of years. Lucy has always shown a good understanding of the matters being dealt with and the requirements of the business‘.

Baljeet Kaur is efficient, friendly, courteous, communicative and, above all, clearly providing advice in a client’s best interest – keen to ensure every detail is taken care of, yet pragmatic and aware that matters ultimately will need resolution to all parties satisfaction‘.

Baljeet Kaur was always available to support me; . I felt she really understood what I was trying to achieve and effectively guided me through the process to offer maximum protection in the final draft of legal contracts‘.

Key clients

St Kitts & Nevis International Ship Registry

Warneford Healthcare Limited

Flexipharm Austrading Limited

Excitech Limited

Majenta Solutions Limited

Review Hotels Limited

Clive Seagers

Quest Medical UK Limited

Keith Warwick, Daren Flight and others

Adrian Atkinson and others

Hearn Capital Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of ATP Architects + Surveyors Limited on the sale of their shares to RSK Environment Limited.
  • Advised Majenta Solutions Limited on a number of commercial agreements relating to the technology industry and assisted them with the final stages of their restructure.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Excitech Limited in the sale of Excitech Limited to Addenode GROUP AB.

Thompson Smith and Puxon

Thompson Smith and Puxon's corporate and commercial team handles a broad variety of work, covering franchise acquisitions, agency and distribution agreements, construction contracts, demergers and data protection. Serving both regional and international clients, it is particularly notable for team lead Mary Anne Fedeyko's expertise in agribusiness. In addition, it is also well established in the healthcare sector where it regularly oversees the purchase and sale of dental practices. Nick Mayles specialises in corporate finance and commercial law while Claire Powell is known for her work with GP practices and NHS contracts.

Practice head(s):

Mary Anne Fedeyko

Other key lawyers:

Nick Mayles; Claire Powell

Testimonials

We found from day one that we were dealt with in a clear, easy to understand and professional way which immediately gave us confidence‘.

The team at Thompson Smith and Puxon were fantastic at understanding what I wanted to achieve as a client whilst ensuring it was fair for both myself and the other parties involved. They ensured all angles were considered and gave clear explanations as to the options of how we could achieve the final goal. They were compassionate whilst assertive from the start to end‘.

Thompson Smith and Puxon have built strength in depth across the whole of their corporate and commercial team. There is particular expertise in the agricultural sphere to rival any of the leading agricultural lawyers in the area. They also have transatlantic expertise‘.

I was particularly impressed with the attention to detail and the understanding they gave us of the implications of aspects that I would have missed with potential for unseen liabilities‘.

Through recent experience, Mary Anne Fedeyko, Nick Mayles and Claire Powell clearly work very well together as a team. Individually they have each helped move things forward positively and their expertise has been invaluable, but they have also collectively ensured that we are on top of things all the way‘.

Both Mary-Anne Fedeyko and Nick Mayles were a pleasure to work with reassuring and competent whilst being realistic about the real world commercial nature of our project‘.

Mary Anne Fedeyko is a fantastic lawyer who goes above and beyond to ensure her client’s goal is achieved. She is fair to all parties involved and maintains a calm demeanour throughout the process. Her team did a very through job and they worked together seamlessly‘.

Mary Anne Fedeyko is dynamic and transmits her energy and enthusiasm to the rest of us‘.

Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP

Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP 's corporate and commercial team is strong across a number of areas, including education IT and healthcare. In particular, it is notable for its expertise in the buying and selling of dental practices as well as its handling of CQC registrations. Team lead Tony Fisher is an accredited CEDR mediator who specialises in mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and commercial contracts. Ashton Carter is recommended for transactional work and Leah Groves is known for her experience in property and employment issues.

Practice head(s):

Tony Fisher

Other key lawyers:

Ashton Carter; Leah Groves

Testimonials

We have used FJG for a variety of tasks across different specialisms. When working through legal contracts, these tend to be time critical. Regardless of the partner involved, or the assistance supporting, they have always provided timely and detailed support with obvious understanding of their specialism which gives us the confidence that we can rely on them regardless of challenge‘.

Great value for money, always prompt and thorough responses, and happy to provide fixed fees which are much easier to gain sign off for in a business. The support team are always friendly and helpful‘.

Tony Fisher’s advice and guidance has been instrumental in a number of changes we have made to the company, and the detail that we have put in to our contracts to secure and derisk our growth. Tony is reactive, and available at short notice and you can see he has an ability to flex his diary to accommodate us when needed‘.

Ashton Carter always goes out of his way to assist, working late if our query is urgent. We would never expect anyone to do this but the fact that he is willing to do so when necessary is a great help to us. His responses are always thorough and clear, and I rarely have to ‘translate’ his responses to relay them to the business. We have had reps previously whose responses were very ‘legal’ and I have had to put them into layman’s terms for the board to be absolutely clear on what is being said‘.

Pinney Talfourd LLP

'Highly recommended' team lead Edward Garston brings extensive banking knowledge to the corporate and commercial team at Pinney Talfourd LLP, which handles matters spanning corporate finance, specialist lending and security transactions. Operating across the Essex and Greater London areas, it regularly advises owner-managed businesses, listed PLCs and companies with substantial overseas activities. Key industries covered include property, aerospace, transport & logistics and cyber security.

Practice head(s):

Edward Garston

Testimonials

The main strength in my view is that all members of the team offer a common sense, pragmatic, businesslike solution. They are each knowledgeable in their various fields and bring that forward with proactive thoughts which sometimes challenge the way we may have approached things – a very good resource for us when you most need it‘.

We have used Pinney twice in the past 12 months and the service is second to none. They are very proactive and get the job done‘.

Pinney Talfourd sets itself apart by ensuring that each client it works with are treated as individuals. Partners ensure that the requirements of clients are duly met in a timely manner and to the excellent standard that we have come to expect. The knowledge of the partners in all matters ensures that all legal aspects are covered and provides assurance to clients that the advice we receive is accurate. Clients need to feel that they are listened to when discussing all matters and this is one of Pinney Talfourd’s strengths‘.

City level quality – a genuine alternative without the fees that accompany instructing larger firms‘.

Edward Garston has an excellent talent of turning complex legal situations into plain English. He is very knowledgeable, approachable and passionate‘.

Edward Garston is very passionate about corporate and business law, this really does shine through and gave me great confidence at all times. He is extremely capable and has the rare ability to offer the personal touch and that makes him stand out for me. His communication skills are outstanding which makes him very successful and along with a hard working attitude makes him a head and shoulders above his competitors. His legal knowledge and experience means that I will now always use Edward Garston, he has my compete trust‘.

Edward Garston is a highly valued member of the professional community , with clients and professional advisers commending him for his diligence and willingness to go the extra mile‘.

Edward Garston is always excellent to work with. Highly recommended.

Key clients

Golding Accountancy

SP Location Rental Limited

Elfin Kitchens Limited

Alexander Fraser & Son Limited

Webster Miller Limited

DMS Furniture Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised DMS Furniture Limited on its complex acquisition of Ideal Furniture Limited (simultaneously with a corporate group restructuring).
  • Assisted the founders of Media Servicing Limited on their disposal of Media Servicing Group Limited to Kansas-based Underground Vaults & Storage.
  • Advised a key shareholder and Lituanica UK Limited on the rationalisation of its corporate ownership structure across different European countries/markets.

Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors

The corporate and commercial team at Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors is experienced in advising start-ups on a range of matters, and is also known for handling restructurings and reorganisations for a number of corporate clients. Maintaining a focus on private equity, the key contact in the department is practice head Mark Stigwood. Jonathan Clarke is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Mark Stigwood

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Clarke

BTMK Solicitors

The team at BTMK Solicitors advises across the full spectrum of commercial matters. Led by Lee Emptage and Ian Powell, it has extensive experience in areas such as corporate finance, shareholder agreements and the sports sector. Notable for handling significant transactions for high net-worth individuals, it has a substantive footprint in the engineering, dental and finance sectors. Leigh Scott and Beau Borg are names to note.

Practice head(s):

Lee Emptage; Ian Powell

Other key lawyers:

Leigh Scott; Beau Borg

Testimonials

Lee Emptage and his team in corporate and commercial assisted me in a shareholder buyout that was relatively complicated – the team provided clear direction, and kept me up-to-date throughout the process – providing good advice and reassurance when needed. They were instrumental in getting the deal done at a sensible price, and in a timely fashion, for which I am extremely grateful‘.

Lee Emptage and his team dealt with me on my level, and made me feel valued as a client – despite the fact they would have been working on several other cases at the same time. I was made to feel very much that the firm ‘had my back’. I can’t recommend them highly enough‘.

Key clients

Iris Insurance Brokers

National Federation of Demolition Contractors

Hills Prospect Plc

Ventrica

Sofa Club

Conor Benn

Demi Sims

John Ryder

AB Group (Southend) Ltd/Alan Blunden & Co

Climatec

London South East Ltd

Ultimate Hair & Beauty

Work highlights

  • Advised AB Group Ltd in relation to a 61% management buy out of Alan Blunden & Co.  
  • Advised Hills Prospect Plc on its investment in  Rooftop Film Club.
  • Advised Sofa Club Ltd regarding a part-sale of the business.

Jefferies Essex LLP

Handling a varied portfolio of work, the corporate and commercial team at Jefferies Essex LLP covers areas such as; mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, company restructures and small business sales. Specifically, its footprint has been established in the service of local SMEs, trade businesses and various charitable organisations. Led by trade and acquisitions expert Katrina Holland, it is capable of handling both regional and national work. Amelia Hayes is experienced in the property sector.

Practice head(s):

Katrina Holland

Other key lawyers:

Amelia Hayes

Testimonials

The great thing about all my dealings with Jefferies is their availability and attention to detail. Also their commercial approach to getting things done‘.

Jefferies’ expertise and experience has supported and guided us through what could have been a very difficult period in our history. They have provided solutions and assistance, and throughout, they have been very responsive and solution oriented, providing a very friendly service, displaying a real interest in us and giving us the confidence to proceed‘.

A strong commercial instinct that supports the legal advice provided. Experienced and competent individuals who support and advise on a pro-active and commercial, cost-effective basis‘.

Katrina Holland is an excellent M&A adviser; she offers very clear and concise advice‘.

Katrina Holland worked tirelessly on our behalf regarding the sale of our business. The purchasers’ solicitors and accountants would have ‘taken us to the cleaners’ without her diligence. We were also impressed that she brought in a expert consultant to assist with clarification of unusual ‘terms’ in one sale contract offered to us. We would not hesitate to recommend Katrina to anyone requiring legal advice on any corporate matter‘.

Palmers

Palmers' corporate and commercial team is jointly led by BJ Chong and Luke Morgan, who 'provide confidence and reassurance whilst remaining grounded and approachable'. The team covers areas such as business acquisitions, shareholders’ agreements, directors’ duties and company administrations. Well-regarded associate Matthew Johnson is the name to note for corporate finance matters.

Practice head(s):

BJ Chong; Luke Morgan

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Johnson

Testimonials

Excellent team. Fast turnaround. Immediate understanding of requirements‘.

A provincial firm with considerable firepower and City standards executed in a highly professional, easy to understand manner‘.

B J Chong and Matt Johnson both provide confidence and reassurance whilst remaining grounded and approachable‘.

Matthew Johnson has an incredible grasp of corporate law and blends this effectively with seeking the best outcomes for his clients. I know that Matthew’s approach will always be appropriate to the matter in hand‘.

I work with Matthew Johnson, who has provided excellent service throughout all engagements; delivering on time and budget and also adding value through raising other items worthy of consideration‘.

Work highlights

  • Advised a large, high net worth group of companies on a complex internal corporate restructure.
  • Advised a company on receiving equity investment and the roll out of an innovative end-to-end services platform.
  • Assisted a selling shareholder on the sale of their company for £8.1m.

Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP

The corporate and commercial team at Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP is jointly led by Mark Deans (Billericay) and Fiona Colwell (Westcliff-on-Sea). The practice, which also has offices in Benfleet and Stratford, handles both regional and national work, covering areas such as commercial contracts, refinancing, licensing and insolvency. Clients can also benefit from the wider firm's expertise in the property elements of asset purchases. The firm's portfolio typically features work on behalf of individuals, businesses and financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Mark Deans; Fiona Colwell