Under James Bullock ’s leadership, Brachers’ corporate and commercial team has grown significantly over the past five years, with its revenue more than doubling. The practice can effectively cater for matters with cross-border elements due to its membership of international network Marcalliance. Erol Huseyin has nearly 30 years’ experience as a commercial lawyer, with a particular specialism in energy and industrial projects. Matthew Simmonds is praised for his ‘very personal approach’. Claire Williams, who is known for 'always putting client interests at forefront’, has over 20 years’ corporate experience.
Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex in South East
Other key lawyers:
Erol Huseyin; Matthew Simmonds; Claire Williams; Alex Cosgrove
‘Plenty of expertise on all areas appropriate to a corporate transaction. They make an honest appraisal of the situation to the client – advising in their best interests as opposed to simply deal completion.’
‘Personal service is paramount. Very efficient.’
‘Easy and readily available to approach. Speak in layman’s terms. Comprehensive knowledge.’
‘Friendly and helpful and pro-active service with first class market knowledge. Claire Williams led the team to a highly professional level.’
‘Matt Simmonds has a very personal approach.’
‘I had the pleasure to work with Claire Williams and Matt Simmonds. Just fantastic people. Great service and wise counsel.’
1ST PS Limited
Alterola Biotech Inc
Amergent Hospitality Group Inc
APC Technology Group Plc
Associated Asphalt Contracting Limited
Clear Treasury Group
Evolution Power Holdings Limited
Fayat Lifting Ltd
Flooring Megastore and Contemporary Trade Flooring
Gallagher Group Limited
Inspire Contact Services Limited
John Newton & Company Limited (t/a Newton Waterproofing Systems)
Knauf UK GmbH
MWA Financial Limited (My Wealth Alliance)
N&P Feedstock Hooton Ltd
N+P Beheer BV
N+P Group BV
Powerfuel Development and Finance Limited
Shareholders of Beech Underwriting Agencies Limited
Shareholders of Talisman Consultancy Limited
Shareholders of Traymate Products Limited
Smart Office Solution Limited
Sterlite Technologies UK Ventures Ltd
Subcoal Production TSP Ltd
The East Malling Trust
The Luna Cinema Limited
The Shareholders of Fire Action Limited (Paul and Louise Garry)
TSP AssetCo Ltd
- Advising longstanding client N+P Group B.V. and its founders the Jennissen family, on their partnership with Mercuria Energy Trading.
- Advising TSP AssetCo Ltd on its acquisition of the Crayford Material Recycling Facility (MRF) in South-East London from Viridor, one of the UK’s leading recycling, resources and waste management companies and one of the largest and most efficient materials recycling facilities in the UK.
Drawing on the strong full service offering of the wider firm, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s corporate and commercial team inGuildford advises major international companies, private equity houses, privately-owned businesses, as well as high net worth individuals. Team head Tim Jenkins also leads the firm’s retail healthcare transactions team. Geoffrey Sparks has extensive experience in the technology, sports and healthcare sectors. Rebecca Burford has expertise in the technology and telecoms and video gaming sectors. Helen Wong has expertise in the healthcare and education sectors alongside expertise in acting on in-bound investment transactions from Mainland China and Hong Kong. Jonathan Steele has considerable M&A expertise in the sports, technology, media, and healthcare sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Geoffrey Sparks; Helen Wong; Rebecca Burford; Jonathan Steele; Samuel Milne; Howard White; Tertius Alberts; Pei Li Kew
‘The corporate team at CRS are very diligent, hard working and creative. They ensured we got the key points across in our negotiations. At all times the team was partner led, and they brought in expertise from elsewhere in the firm when appropriate.’
‘Very commercial in their outlook.’
‘The team has expertise in acting for healthcare clients in relation to corporate transactions and, in particular, dentists and pharmacists.’
‘Jonathan Steele was recently promoted to partner and handles the firm’s dental transactions work.’
‘Tim Jenkins has acted for pharmacists who are buying or selling community pharmacies, and has specialised in that area for many years.’
Dentex Healthcare Group
Oakley Capital Limited
Grape Paradise Group
Weldricks Pharmacy Group
CMO Group plc
Cygnet Infotech Limited
Managers of Online Fuels Limited
Panecea Group Limited
- Continued to act for Avicenna Group on a series of large scale pharmacy acquisitions over the last 12 months (contributing an additional 92 branches to the group’s national retail pharmacy offering) alongside continued commercial project work.
- Advised long standing, FTSE 250 listed client, discoverIE Group plc (a leading international designer, manufacturer and supplier of customised electronics to industry), on its acquisition of high-performance antenna producer Antenova Limited for a cash consideration of £18.2m on a debt free, cash free basis.
- Advised CMO Group Plc, UK’s largest pureplay online retailer of building materials which recently listed on AIM, on its acquisition of JTM Plumbing Limited in a deal worth up to £5.7m.
Cripps’s corporate and commercial team has been taking on an increasing number of acquisition mandates from large corporates. Cross-border transactions have become an increasing focus, ranging from the US, France and Spain to Canada. The team has a booming PE offering, led by Salim Somjee with support from Helen Garner. James Beatton is highly experienced in M&A transactions and has a strong expertise in the insurance sector. The ‘highly intelligent’ Julie Hughes has significant expertise in banking and finance and leads firm’s health and care offering, as well as building a reputation in the childcare sector.
Julie Hughes; Kathryn Rogers
Other key lawyers:
James Beatton; Salim Somjee; Helen Garner; John Kirkwood
‘Strong team with good sell and buy-side expertise. The legal team we worked with was predominantly women, who built strong relationships with our internal teams who were working closely on the project with them. We were able to pull resources from across their business to work on everything from lease negotiations to the SPA.’
‘Flexible, hard working vast knowledge and expertise.’
‘They adopted a very commercial approach when negotiating agreements which helped speed up the process to completion.’
‘The team has experience in dealing with North American parties and is able to manage cultural expectations. Also adopted a pragmatic attitude to getting issues resolved.’
‘Easy to deal with and you are always confident that any challenges that arise in a deal solutions are provided and the deal can complete. A great combination of professionals that can empathise with clients and offer rounded advice even if its not what the client wants to hear!’
‘We had consistent partner contact with Julie Hughes, which was great – and was required owing to some of the challenges we faced on our acquisition. She remained calm, collected and on top of the ever changing situation, and guided our opposite lawyers through the process. She is highly intelligent and was a great sounding board to run through pertinent points on the deal.’
‘Julie Hughes – Nothing is to much trouble and her connection with clients is exemplary, putting them at ease from day one and creating a level of trust that helps right the way through any deal.’
B.P. Marsh & Company Limited
Mobeus Equity Partners LLP
Desktop Metal, Inc
Chapel Down Group plc
The Universal Tyre Co (Deptford) Limited
Harrow International Schools Limited
Uniguest Holdings, Inc
Brazilian Nickel plc
Jarvis Securities plc
DG3 UK Intermediate Holdings Limited
Adept Technology Group plc
Bapchild Motoring World (Kent) Limited (Big Motoring World)
Haynes Brothers Limited
Adept Technology Group plc
- Advised Mobeus Equity Partners on its VCT investment in Connect Childcare Group Limited.
- Advised on the sale of Universal Tyre Co (Deptford) Limited to Halfords Auto Centres
- Advised HiiROC Limited on its Series B funding round with investment from Centrica, Cemex, Hyundai, Kia, HydrogenOne (INEOS) and Melrose Industries plc
DMH Stallard LLP’s corporate/M&A team at Gatwick is led by Jonathan Grant and John Yates. The regional team has seen a significant increase in PE deals as well as deals with a value exceeding £20m. On the corporate side, Jonathan Grant, Abigail Owen, Helen Mead, and the newly recruited Mark Diamond are well known for being able to ‘fully understand the aims of the transaction and where they can add value’. On the commercial side, John Yates’ previous career in the music industry enables him to establish strong relationships with many media clients. Debbie Venn has strong expertise in the travel sector.
Jonathan Grant; John Yates
Other key lawyers:
Abigail Owen; Helen Mead; Mark Diamond; Debbie Venn
‘The firm has a unique strength in the way project work is handled collectively using the skills on each project. For instance, for a transaction we used the firms partners’ skills in tax, HR, data protection and although a partner was only involved in part of the transaction he/she was always fully briefed. We never had to start again or get other partners up to speed.’
‘The DMH Stallard team are innovative thinkers who are ready to work under pressure in order to meet client deadlines. They offer robust feedback and advice to important and potentially contentious issues, drawing on the expertise of other members in the company to access the best advice.’
‘Debbie Venn managed our initial interview in a very professional and friendly way. She showed a genuine interest in the needs and goals of the client, in order to conducting a deep thorough analysis needed, to produce a quotation. In comparison, other solicitors I had vetted for the work failed to gain my confidence because they were too quick to issue a quotation when they had not understood the full scope of work to be done.’
‘Their key strength was that support was always available, but they also spent time to fully understand the aims of the transaction and where they could add value.’
‘Debbie Venn is good at looking at the commercial aspect behind the contract and is able to use simple language to explain technical terms.’
‘Excellent knowledge sharing and communication. Mark Diamond and his team is capable of picking up most challenging situations.’
‘Mark Diamond has always applied a professional approach. Great communicator and understands the issues quickly. I will continue to use his services throughout my career. Excellent support through a share purchase amongst other things.’
‘Mark Diamond goes the extra mile to understand our business. He is flexible in arranging meetings and sets things out simply in non legal language.’
E-zec Medical Transport
Grob & Co Holdings Ltd/Hotchkiss
Canon UK Ltd / Canon Europe Ltd
Aspen Pumps Ltd
Straumann UK Ltd
Roja Parfums Holdings Ltd
- Acted for the successful Independent Financial Advisory and Wealth Management business, Skerritt Consultants Limited (‘Skerritts’) and its founder, Richard Skerritt, on a significant investment by private equity ‘buy and build’ specialists, Sovereign Capital Partners.
- Acted for the shareholders of Gutter Games Ltd, a fast growing Dorset-based games publisher and creator which launched in August 2017, in relation to the sale of shares to US giant, Perch (Whale LLC).
- Advising Canon UK in relation to sale/lease of its printing equipment and complex print machines, drafting contracts relating to the sale and use of the equipment and software / services, TUPE and staffing matters, deeds of indemnity, lease arrangements for IT equipment and advising on data protection matters.
Stevens & Bolton LLP
Under James Waddell's leadership, Stevens & Bolton LLP’s corporate team at Guildford has seen a strong increase in turnover in recent years. The team is recognised as a credible alternative to City firms, advising a diverse client base on all aspects of M&A, fundraisings, restructurings, joint ventures, partnerships, and general corporate advisory work. The ‘very professional and helpful’ Beverley Flynn heads the commercial team and supports many well-known brands including Nintendo and Asahi. The team has strong expertise in the technology, healthcare, food and beverage, retail, insurance, and automotive sectors. Flynn has over 25 years’ experience and has worked in-house with manufacturing clients and major pharmaceutical companies.
James Waddell; Beverley Flynn
Other key lawyers:
Richard Baxter; Joe Bedford; Keith Syson; Jenny Robertson; Nick Atkins; Oscar Horwich
‘Proactive approach to commercial advice that is tailored to the project, with swift feedback and cost-efficient teamwork. This means this firm reduces possible duplication and can also promptly identify key legal issues and how to resolve them. Their diversity and collaborative skills are unparalleled – clients benefit from this with an excellent review of legal risks/opportunities and how to manage them.’
‘The team at Stevens & Bolton were excellent – they demonstrated not only technical excellence but also invaluable strategic insight, which helped us to secure a great overall result. We would have no hesitation in recommending them and working with them again.’
‘The team had depth of expertise in all required areas and had very rapid response time.’
‘Friendly, helpful and always offering assistance and direction.’
‘London quality and service at regional rates. Given the London quality, highly respected by top London firms and where multiple legal firms have been required, seamless integration and respect from all parties.’
‘Beverley Flynn has a wealth of experience which she provides with pragmatic advice. What is outstanding is how Beverley is prepared to be available for questions, to answer them in detail and to also follow up the implementation of her advice so as to achieve our objectives. She has consistently provided advice with clear language, without legal jargon. This is extremely helpful in data protection matters.’
‘Keith Syson has exceptional knowledge of the corporate deal making process and adds real commercial value.’
‘Always available, professional and great fun outside of the work environment. A real pleasure to deal with them all.’
The Ardonagh Group
Natures Way Foods
Fuller Smith & Turner plc
- Advising CANCOM SE on the sale of CANCOM UK&I to Telefónica S.A for a value of circa EUR400m.
- Acting for DocuSign on a complex international re-organisation involving the DocuSign group spanning six jurisdictions globally.
- Advising Asahi on contract drafting and negotiating through a commercial retainer as well as through a reciprocal secondment relationship for their commercial work.
Irwin Mitchell’s corporate team at Gatwick is led by Dan Bastide, who is highly experienced in supporting mid-market companies with their corporate legal needs. Faye Bargery has extensive experience working with private equity management teams. The commercial team is led by the ‘highly capable, amenable and astute’ Stuart Padgham, who is also Irwin Mitchell’s national head of commercial. Dan Hedley is a specialist IT lawyer, having worked in technical and service delivery roles in the IT industry for many years before retraining as a lawyer. Aurelia Butler-Ball has been working with a growing set of influencers.
Daniel Bastide; Stuart Padgham
Other key lawyers:
Faye Bargery; Daniel Hedley; Aurelia Butler Ball; Kate Sun
‘Responsive lawyers who are easy to work with. They understand our business and our commercial requirements but, as you’d expect, have a solid grasp of the legal issues and requirements.’
‘A strong corporate and commercial offering with a first-class track record and blue-chip clients.’
‘Stuart Padgham – highly capable, amenable and astute. Collaborative and great to work with. Proactive where required and always responsive.’
‘Kate Norris – strong legal skills and highly diligent. A pleasure to work with.’
‘Dan Bastide works extensively in the listed markets, on private equity deals and with OMBs. A very bright technically capable lawyer who “gets it” very quickly. Dan offers practical legal and commercial advice and is a go to lawyer for our firm.’
XP Factory plc (formerly Escape Hunt plc)
Various Eateries plc
The shareholders of The SAS Group of Companies
Hambledon Vineyard plc
Bluerock Diamonds plc
iSmash UK Trading
- Advised XP Factory plc of the acquisition of Boom Battle Bar for £18m.
- Advised the shareholders of The SAS Group of Companies on its disposal to, Livingbridge portfolio company, Fluid One.
- Advised leading UK tech repairs specialist iSmash on a new investment round led by TELUS Ventures, the strategic investment arm of world-leading Canadian communications technology company, TELUS Corporation.
The Maidstone business transactions team at Outset Limited is ‘very client focused whilst remaining commercial’. The team has a strong specialism in the healthcare sectors – almost two thirds of the deals the team completed in 2021 involved dental, veterinary and GP practices. In addition, the team has acted for many ‘buy and build’ clients in the recruitment, manufacturing and professional services sectors. Tilly Clarke has worked with clients in many sectors but has specialist sector experience in food & drink, digital business, healthcare and automotive. Sean Gorman’s and Nick Lewsley’s ‘work ethic is second to none and they are friendly, approachable and very knowledgeable'. Andy Poppleton, with in-house experience at National Grid and SGN, leads the commercial law team.
Other key lawyers:
Sean Gorman; Nick Lewsley; Andy Poppleton; Liam Mulvee; Sally Arnold
‘The team is very client focused whilst remaining commercial. They are very pro-active in their approach to a transaction.’
‘Proactive and commercial thinkers with solutions not just advice.’
‘Outset assembled a brilliant team to assist in our dealings with them. Their fee model and the sharing of risk this presents is also highly attractive, particularly as at no point did it feel that our access to the team or their availability was compromised. The process is entirely output focused.’
‘I have appreciated the attention to understand our business objectives and wider considerations. Not only has this helped build a rapport with the team and individuals, it has allowed them the opportunity to consider their advice with a broader perspective.’
‘Both Sean Gorman and Nick Lewsley have an absolute dedication to their clients and to the firm. Their work ethic is second to none and they are friendly, approachable and very knowledgeable, whilst still willing to listen to reasoned arguments.’
‘Sean Gorman especially realises that clients want to see value in the fees they pay, enabling their businesses to grow and succeed as opposed to fees just being a professional fee.’
Independent Vetcare Limited
Ward Security Group
KBE Drinks Limited
Enigys Trading Limited
Charlton Athletic Football Club
Produced in Kent
- Advised Independent Vetcare on their acquisition of a four site animal veterinary group based in Suffolk with various complex inter-company arrangements in place.
- Advised Toppesfield on their sale to FM Conway, which included sophisticated net debt and working capital adjustment provisions.
- Advised KBE Drinks on their investment and related exclusive distribution agreement with Yeastie Boys, a growing New Zealand founded craft beer brand.
The ‘really pragmatic and friendly’ corporate and commercial team at PDT Solicitors is based in Horsham and jointly led by Noel Ruddy, Rebecca Glazebrook and Ian Lindley. The corporate team has strong experience of working on disposals relating to the asset-based lending market. The commercial team has advised on significant commercial contracts, including the commercial aspects of asset and invoice finance documents. The commercial team has also dealt with all manner of data protection issues, supporting lenders and financiers, domestic and multinational companies, charities and non-profits across the country.
‘A really pragmatic and friendly team, who will always go the extra mile to assist and provide the best advice dependent upon the situation. Always available and at times becomes not just legal advisors but also a sounding board.’
‘The corporate team always have a pragmatic approach to complement their technically capabilities.’
‘The particular strength of the team is that there is always colleagues available to be bought in on separate specialisms. As part of the project we have required property and employment law advice which have been seamlessly bought in to advise which has assisted keeping our project on track.’
‘The PDT team supported the sale of our business in several areas which helped us extensively in understanding our commitments and conditions of the sale which we had no experience with. On reflection PDT made the sale process smooth and protected us from any unfair conditions within the agreements.’
‘Noel Ruddy and Sian Webber – great communication, friendly and will do their upmost to provide the advice required to resolve the issue in a pragmatic and commercial manner.’
‘Rebecca Glazebrook always calmly and professional explained complicated scenarios to help us understand and be aware of our commitments. Rebecca, 100% was standing with us accompanying and coaching us through the process and made us feel like partners rather than a customer.’
‘Noel Ruddy and Rebecca Glazebrook are both very personable, amiable and always provide an exemplary service.’
Shareholders of Bamboo Distribution Limited
Setfords Law Limited
Shareholders of AD Williams
QF Holdings NW Plc (previously Regency Factors Plc)
- Advised the shareholders of Bamboo Distribution Limited on the acquisition by Rubicon Partners.
- Acted for Management on the secondary buy out of Setfords Law Ltd by Phoenix Equity Partners.
- Acted for a media and advertising agency in negotiating several significant new sports and gaming sponsorship agreements with three major multiplatform broadcasters.
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's corporate team in Guildford has seen a significant increase in instructions with a cross-border element. Nationally, the team continues to work on a range of complex matters, having recently acted for Thatcham on the acquisition of Gamston Aviation Limited. The team is led by Simon Bickerdike , who has a special interest in supporting clients in the vital consideration of sustainability in business and the impact of law on the green economy. David Kendall has expertise in the technology and private wealth sectors. Philip Walton is a leading expert on pharmacy acquisitions and disposals.
Simon Bickerdike; Matthew Martin
Other key lawyers:
David Kendall; Philip Walton; Hannah McIlwraith
‘As well as providing support on deals, I can turn to the team for general advice and to talk something over. No matter which member of the team you deal with, you always get a friendly approach.’
‘David Kendall and his excellent team, including Hannah McIlwraith, are able to provide us with a first rate service, commercial, pragmatic and very sound legal advice and help solve problems for us.’
‘David Kendall has advised us on several corporate reorganisations and acquisitions. Responsive, commercial, problem solving, engaging and very smart. An exceptional lawyer. Our go to lawyer for corporate matters and M&A.’
‘David Kendall has been my rock over the past couple of years – guiding and supporting through a complicated transaction with many twists and turns. He is down to earth and pretty much unflappable – which is exactly what’s needed. He has a really great team of associates who are confident and willing to step in and help as needed.’
Artemis Group Limited
Barfoots Farms Limited
Blue Commodities LLP
Brick Kiln Composites Limited
Ecologi Action Limited
Elixirr International plc
Group Positive Limited
Infosec K2K Limited
Precision Acoustics Limited
Sourdough South Limited
Technical Resources Limited
The Magic Bean Co Limited
Wavex Technology Limited
- Acted for Thatcham on the acquisition of Gamston Aviation Limited, the owner and operator of Retford Gamston Airport.
- Advised the shareholders of Whitespace on a transaction with Sequel Business Solutions Limited for an investment and acquisition of Whitespace. Whitespace provides re/insurers with a scalable digital placing platform and the investment allows a rapid acceleration of growth leveraging the digital transition in the re/insurance industry.
- Advised the shareholders of Verb, the luxury performance marketing agency, on its sale to private equity-backed digital marketing agency, Croud.
Thomson Snell & Passmore
Led by the 'extremely personable, down to earth' Joanne Gallagher, the corporate and commercial team at Thomson Snell & Passmore has enjoyed a strong and sustained period of success, with fee income more than doubling on the back of a string of completed deals. Alongside its notable sector expertise in relation to food and beverage, automotive, manufacturing and technology industries, the team has in the past year focused more heavily on mid-market and private equity work. Jason Varney joined the firm in July 2020 and has strong expertise in the technology sector. Faye Cook was promoted to partner in January 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Jason Varney; Faye Cook; Joseph Hartland
‘Extremely professional and well organised department. Interdepartmental communication was excellent. It was never too much trouble to explain things in layman’s terms.’
‘Excellent knowledge of our industry and business. Key part to getting the deal over the line with a difficult purchaser. I would consider TS&P’s corporate team to be the equal (or better) than any I have worked with before.’
‘The team are highly skilled lawyers, operating effectively and efficiently. They are able to communicate complex scenarios and technical points to their clients in an understandable manner and ensure the client has a full understanding of the transaction. They are exceptionally responsive and work collaboratively with the clients other advisors to achieve shared objectives.’
‘I have found the team at Thomson Snell & Passmore to provide all of the services we required and their ability to work as one joined up team has proven very valuable on a number of complex issues, their diversity and collaboration has prove vital on many of our transactions resulting in successful outcomes.’
‘Jason Varney – a very personable man who has great knowledge and great empathy with the client. His team were all exemplary in their work. Their support and efforts made the sale of my company a lot easier.’
‘Jason Varney is an amenable and very competent lead corporate lawyer. His calmness and commercial understanding very much helped to complete a tricky transaction.’
‘I have found Faye Cook, supported by her team to be an exceptional advisor. Her client care ethic is impressive and her clients are happy with their service and value for money. She responds promptly and ensures that there is always appropriate team coverage for client matters (including partner level cover). Faye includes her team in matters and her team all show the same impressive level of client care and professionalism.’
‘Joanne Gallagher – team and deal leader, kept the transaction on track and negotiated hard with the other side. Faye Cook – my day-to-day contact partner, always easy to get hold of and extremely helpful. Managed the team well with Joanne and ensured the sale was completed on time despite a difficult buyer.’
Nurture Landscapes Holdings Limited
Kingsway Group Global Limited
North Kent College
Electra Private Equity Plc
Bel UK Limited
Barth Haas UK Limited
Richard Hochfeld Group
Base Quantum Limited
- Advised the shareholders of one of the biggest motor groups in the South, and long-standing client, the Motorline Group, on the sale of their shares to Marshall Motor Holdings Plc.
- Advised long-term client Nurture Landscapes on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of the Rokill Group.
- Advised the shareholders of leading Kent based supplier of exceptional, premium chilled desserts, Rhokett Limited, in its sale to private equity backed Palacios, a Spanish organisation which develops, produces and sells a wide range of food products.
The corporate and commercial team at Downs Solicitors LLP works with clients in a variety of sectors, particularly technology, media, healthcare, hotels and leisure, recruitment, travel, sports, professional services, and manufacturing. Team head Julian Harvey has a strong track record of work on acquisitions and disposals, especially in the SME sector and for family-owned businesses, and has considerable international experience. Richard Clapham advises on all areas of corporate and commercial law and specialises in the formation of Family Investment Companies.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Clapham; Charmaine Dudman; Emily MacNiven
‘In-depth skills and experience which apply well to client proposals.’
‘I find Downs easy to work with and straightforward in their advice. Downs have many different areas of expertise, and have always been able to provide efficient and proactive advice when needed.’
‘The team are approachable, highly knowledgeable and commercial in their approach. They place their clients interests first at all times and act with integrity. They have an outstanding corporate team and are a trusted partner. We regularly recommend their services to our clients. They have invested in market leading data room technology and offer this as a value added service to our shared clients.’
‘Downs are very friendly and easy to work with. Richard Clapham is a delight as he handles everything with ease and in reasonable time. He keeps the client informed throughout the process.’
‘I work mainly with Richard Clapham whose approach to legal advice is clear and effective whenever the need arises.’
‘Richard Clapham has been fundamental in helping my business to ‘get our house in order’ as we have evolved and grown over the past five years or so. He has helped me to standardise our policies, terms of business and employment contracts to give a strong foundation upon which to operate. In addition, I value Richard’s advice and support along with his patience and willingness to explain complex ideas in simple terms – a true trusted advisor’
‘Julian Harvey is highly skilled with fantastic legal knowledge and experience. He is calm and measured in his approach. He demonstrates excellent people skills and is able to explain complex legal detail in a way that his clients can understand. He is a first class lawyer and I feel very confident in his ability to look after our clients.’
‘Emily MacNiven is a rising star. She is incredibly detailed in her approach and fantastically well organised. She is able to adapt her style to suit the client and demonstrates a high level of emotional intelligence. Our clients always sing her praises.’
Clubbable Properties Ltd
Cerealto UK Ltd
ORIDA Corporation Ltd
Hound and Porter Limited
Aronova Interactive Ltd
Ishrosh Healthcare Limited
Air Studios Limited
Office Base Limited
Awin Barratt Siegel Wine
Prosys International Limited
CHD Living Ltd
EGAP Estates Ltd
Guest Holdings Ltd
- Advised the shareholders of REAL Digital International Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital to LDC.
- Advised Orida Hotels Ltd in its acquisition of the assets and property at the Hilton, Maidstone.
- Advised Guest Holdings Ltd on its share acquisition of a well-established Yorkshire based hotel, expanding on its existing hotel portfolio.
Furley Page Solicitors
Furley Page Solicitors has extensive experience working for clients in the automotive, design, manufacturing and supply of goods and services, professional services, education, landowners/farming/agriculture, and charity sector. Team head Susan Jennings has over 23 years' experience supporting a diverse client base ranging from SMEs to multibillion-pound businesses. Tony Chester works on a range of M&A, restructurings and succession planning, and is particularly strong in demergers, farming and charity restructures.
Other key lawyers:
Tony Chester; Will King; Jamie Bourne
‘A robust team under strong leadership have ensured a constant level of high service.’
‘Furley Page have an extensive range of expertise provided by teams of legal specialists who worked closely together in providing excellent advice to us as clients. We were very impressed by the service we received during the pandemic – there was always someone on hand to assist us.’
‘Excellent customer service with a real understanding of the intricacies our our business and the situations we are presented with. Rapid response time. Clear communication.’
‘Susan Jennings oversaw the sale of my shares back into my company in a very hostile situation. Her calm demeanor and sound strategic advice kept the deal on track when I was ready to walk away. It was quite clear that Susan’s relationship with her clients is not transactional, she truly cares about getting the best outcome for her client, not allowing them to compromise themselves or their reputation in the process.’
‘Tony Chester and Jamie Bourne are our contacts within Furley Page. Our relationship with both has grown over the years and they have advised promptly and fully to the various and sometimes complicated situations with which we have needed assistance. Open and friendly communication, excellent advice and service including out of office hours when needed.’
‘Tony Chester handled an extremely complex and delicate family business demerger with great sensitivity and understanding. He is very personable and approachable and his team were very efficient in successfully completing a difficult task. It was a real pleasure to work with him.’
Roma Capital Group Ltd
Joint Venture Properties / Capel Street Property Developments Ltd / Godwyn Road Developments Limited
University of Kent
Global Invacom Limited
All Seasons Community Support CIC (now renamed Cadetcare CIC following completion)
John Boyd (Farms) Limited
Clock House Farm Limited / CHF Sustainability Limited
- Advised CHF Sustainability on multi-million pound supply and innovative installation funded by Hampshire Trust Bank plc.
- Advised Global Invacom Limited on matters ranging from multi-million pound refinance to complex supply arrangements.
- Advised David Ward in respect of the sale of his shares in the Ward Security Group.
Chris Brightling leads Girlings’ corporate and commercial team in Ashford. The department focuses on entrepreneurs and owner managed SMEs but is also expanding and acting for larger corporates, including AIM listed entities. It is further diversifying and developing other new areas of its practice, specifically in the social media influencer area, as well as working with brands, helping them manage and negotiate influencer relationships, celebrity product endorsements and celebrity and influencer agency relationships.
‘Local, very personable, decent range of service expertise.’
‘We have always found Girlings to be very clear and transparent in all dealings we have had with them. They have always gone the extra mile to ensure that we are kept fully informed and up to date at all stages of transactions.’
‘We have built a strong relationship with many of its legal advisers during this time and formed an ongoing friendly association with them. We appreciate their reputation and welcome their prompt and professional service. We are confident that Girlings offer the proficiency to cover all our requirements.’
‘We have built a strong relationship with many of Girling’ legal advisers during this time and formed an ongoing friendly association with them. We appreciate their reputation and welcome their prompt and professional service. We are confident that Girlings offers the proficiency to cover all our requirements.’
‘The individuals we have dealt with at Girlings have been very down to earth and clear communicators who truely understand our business requirements without over complicating things. They ask the right questions and also answer our questions clearly and honestly.’
‘Friendly, approach and pragmatic approach.’
‘Chris Brightling – extremely well presented and personable.’
‘My case was handled by Chris Brightling, who was very attentive and responsive to my needs and questions.’
- Advised the selling shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of a specialist mechanical and electrical company for a consideration of £9m.
- Advising on the multi-million pound sale of a security and risk management systems business to a FTSE 250 listed cyber security specialist.
- Advised on the sale of previous car dealership site encompassed within a corporate structure together with a wholly owned development subsidiary on a site with an ultimate gross development value of over £60,000,000.
Moore Barlow’s corporate and commercial team at Southampton typically acts for owner-managed businesses with a turnover of up to £10m and SMEs with a turnover between £10m-£100m, as well as their owners. The team provides multi-disciplinary service by calling on support from the wider firm's employment and commercial property teams, as well as other specialists. Team head Jeremy Over supports a broad client base, with a particular niche expertise in executing buy and build strategies and management buyouts.
Other key lawyers:
Roger Bailey; Peter Jeffery; David Bright; Tim Matthews; Mark Lucas; Thomas Clark; Kirsty Bowyer; Polly Cross; Matthew Devine
‘Mark Lucas and Matthew Devine have been and continue to be exceptional at listening to the complex and making it simple and easy to deliver. At the same time, they leave no stone unturned to ensure that we are well covered for all eventualities. I want to know that we can trust our legal team to look after our best interests without continual oversight and I can honestly say that over multiple transactions the level of trust built by Mark and Matthew’s outstanding professionalism makes them ‘go to’ people for our business and well-trusted and valued partners.’
Shareholders of Smartlogic
SKS Business Services Ltd
Hall & Woodhouse Limited
New Path Fire & Security
Aqua Cooling Limited
R&D Groupe SAS (trading as FOLAN)
Southern Communications Holdings Limited
- Advised the shareholders of long-term client Smartlogic on their sale to $1.2bn Silicon Valley tech giant Marklogic (a portfolio company of Vector Capital).
- Acted for the shareholders of Fluorogenics Limited in relation to the sale of the entire issued share capital to New England Biolabs, Inc. based in Massachusetts.
- Advised New Path Fire and Security Ltd on numerous acquisitions throughout the year, to add to their group and assist with their ongoing growth and business plan.
Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP’s reputation extends across Sussex, Kent, Surrey and into London. Kathryn Paisley has been head of the corporate and commercial team since 2019. With Paisley’s position on the board of Eurojuris International, the team is able to support clients who require specialist cross-border advice. Tim Sadka has continued to extend his experience in employee ownership trusts. Alan Zeal ’s reputation for advising large businesses in the IT/TMT sector continues to grow. Bruce Hayter is praised for his business acumen.
Other key lawyers:
Tim Sadka; Alan Zeal; Bruce Hayter; Jamie Tavares
‘In my experience the team is very well versed in all aspects of corporate and commercial services. I have seen the practice operate from both the seller and the buyer perspective and have no hesitation recommending them to other companies or individuals who require effective, efficient and fairly-priced support in the corporate arena.’
‘All staff we encountered were helpful, knowledgeable and readily available; matters were dealt with very efficiently especially given the challenges presented by Covid.’
‘The practitioner allocated to my case was Kathryn Paisley and I found her to be very responsive and timely in all her dealings, and she dealth with me with an open and clear method of communication. Any legal process can be daunting to the non-professional but Kathryn made it a painless experience, which is intended as a great compliment!’
‘Kathryn Paisley: well-trusted by our mutual client, pragmatic and adaptive to the client’s circumstances and commercial priorities.’
- Acted for Stephen King in his sale of Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club Limited.
- Advised the Neilcott group of companies (Neilcott), a £80M+ turnover business, on its sale to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT Transaction).
- Worked with Red Sea Farms Limited in connection with its pre-Series A investment round, part of a funding round that has led to Red Sea Farms being named at number 45 in the Forbes most funded start-ups in 2021.
The business law department at TWM Solicitors LLP, led by the ‘very approachable’ Jamie Berry, has grown turnover by more than 500% in turnover in the past eight years, handling a surge of M&A in recent months The team has extensive experience in advising international clients on their investment in UK businesses. The team prides itself on its personal touch and is praised to be ‘an excellent extension to the team, rather than hired assistance’, working with many family businesses locally and nationally on M&A deals.
‘I have engaged TWM on a number of business sales, and have enjoyed their collaborative, pragmatic and commercial approach to transactions – they are smart and responsive and I have always felt them to be an excellent extension of our own team rather than “hired assistance”. TWM took time to understand our position, potential exposure, thinking and our end game and translated that into pragmatic and commercial advice.’
‘Working together collaboratively, with an expertise in each department. Advice and guidance was always top level, we never felt we were dealing with “yes” people, they were prepared to strongly disagree when appropriate. Response times were always excellent, and the quality of correspondence accurate.’
‘The team is extremely approachable and very willing to have conversations on situations at an early stage without obligation or expectation. Their fees are competitive and they are our “go-to” firm when referring our clients to a legal practice. They have a wealth of experience in putting transactions together.’
‘The team at TWM are excellent. Everyone I have dealt with, across multiple teams, is engaged and helpful. They have excellent knowledge and are always keen to minimise cost and deliver value for money.’
‘Jamie Berry is always available, has an eye for detail and is able to think on his feet – takes time to listen to deal concerns and invariably has a positive approach or solution to issues raised so all important deal momentum can be preserved.’
‘Jamie Berry is first class. Always answered emails promptly. He has a great back up team too.’
‘I have worked with Daniel Jenking for many years and value his methodical and calm approach. He is able to unpack complex issues in a straightforward manner and is a pleasure to work with on transactions. When working with him you know he’ll do what he says he’s going to do.’
‘We work across time zones, and Daniel Jenking always makes himself available. He does a great job helping us to navigate the differences between US law and UK law.’
TVR Automotive Limited
Tindle Newspapers Limited
Lucas Design & Construction Limited
Image Skincare UK Limited
Maincourse Associates Limited
Assetz Capital Limited
Crowd Property Limited
Founding partner Kate Matthews heads up the team at Boddy Matthews Limited - she has notable niche expertise with regards to franchising. The team has a diverse client base including both sophisticated and start-up clients, and works with both domestic and international businesses, having recently advised Babyballet Ltd on its expansion to Australia. In addition to Matthews’ specialist knowledge in franchising, clients praise her for her excellent client service. As the Chair of Encouraging Women into Franchising for the South Region, Matthews gives her time to support women in the business environment.
‘Quick and concise responses. Boddy Matthews Limited are upfront about their pricing and offer different options based on your budget.’
‘Super enthusiastic, highly knowledgeable and definitely a trusted advisor. Always happy to recommend the firm and individuals.’
‘We have worked with Kate Matthews and her team for a number of years and have always found them to be professional and attentive. Kate herself has excellent knowledge on Franchising and licensing and has always gone out of her way to explain things to us in layman’s terms.’
‘Kate Matthews always makes herself available to help at the earliest opportunity and is always open and honest about what can be achieved.’
‘We have Kate Matthews as our corporate solicitor, as the New Master Franchise, she really help and assisted me in our needs for legal advises. Available almost anytime of the day including weekends and holidays- really appreciated that since we worked in different time zone.’
‘Kate Matthews is a very quick, straightforward solicitor who gets straight to the heart of your current problem. The most important quality I appreciated from Kate was that she cares about you as a client and takes into consideration what you have said during meetings to form a strategy which best enables you to move forward with your case. Her experience and expertise really comes through when she presents and advises you on multiple options. She helps you to make well informed decisions more easily.’
Little Kids Sports Club Limited and Raymond Lau trading as Little Kickers Hong Kong
Babyballet Franchising Limited (re Franchisees Greenwich etc)
Babyballet Franchising Limited- expansion in UK of Australia licence
LK Woking Limited t/a Little Kickers Woking
People Tree Fair Trade Group Limited
Gesibsumnes Ltd t/a Gymboree Play & Music
Brush Party UK Limited
Clare Fulthorpe and Emma Playle and Playsons LLP trading as Monkey Music Leatherhead
Blueprometheus Ltd t/a Countrywide Signs Limited and Paul Green as an Individual
MSP Secretaries Limited
- Acting for the international brand owner, Babyballet Ltd to secure additional contracts with other child activity brands to promote the Babyballet brand, expansion through franchising and adding licenses and expansion in Australia to increase the network reach during UK lockdowns.
- Acting for multi million pound company, Caremark Ltd, in securing its trading position for the Franchise network of over 100 franchisees in the UK and internationally in India and Malta in particular and advising on corporate matters.
- Providing trusted advisor company legal services to People Tree Fair Trade Group Limited during 2021 trading including advising the board in respect of UK matters and share issues, employment, company guarantees.
Clarkson Wright & Jakes
The corporate and commercial team at Clarkson Wright & Jakes specialises in supporting owner-managed small and medium sized businesses throughout their lifespan. working with a loyal and longstanding client base. Ben Madden became head of the team in 2013, with expertise in business sales and acquisitions, private equity investment transactions, and many more. Andrew Wright, who became senior partner in 2019, has expertise in AIM company work, management buyouts, and much more.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is very proactive; responds to all requests in a timely and thorough manner. All members of the team are able to assist if the main contact is unavailable and that is a vital quality.’
‘Nothing seems too much trouble for the team. Personable and professional. Open, competitive fee structure.’
‘Ben Madden is my “go to guy” for all things in this field. His knowledge and responsibility for all his work is so valuable when dealing with mutual clients. I would and do recommend him every time.’
S+B Herba Foods Limited
Winch Energy Limited
- Assisted Trooli Limited with reorganisation as preparation for further investment of £67.5m for expansion capital by a senior debt facility.
Coole Bevis LLP’s corporate & commercial team in Brighton acts for a wide range of clients including individuals, sole traders, companies, partnerships and other organisations and businesses in many industry sectors such as motor dealerships, computer software businesses, media companies, property companies, nursing homes, and manufacturing and services companies. Team head Chris Clifton-Moore is ‘commercially focused and pragmatic but absolutely on top of the legal detail’. Ismail Groves, promoted to joint managing partner this year, is praised for ‘working tirelessly to get the job done’.
Other key lawyers:
Ismail Groves; Robert Hutchins
‘I found them to be professional through the process offering specific support when required. Having had such a positive experience I have since recommended them to other business associates.’
‘Competitively priced, above and beyond customer service.’
‘We’ve been really impressed by the breadth of expertise at Coole Bevis and the seamless collaboration between different members of the team. They have taken ownership of the corporate transaction we engaged them on and have managed the various moving parts (with internal and external stakeholders) brilliantly.’
‘Chris Clifton-Moore and his team were exceptional in challenging circumstances – they went above and beyond with my recent transaction.’
‘Chris Clifton-Moore is a pleasure to deal with. He is commercially focused and pragmatic but absolutely on top of the legal detail which he can explain clearly and succinctly. His ability to run complex calls and then send carefully considered follow-up notes within a short time frame has been impressive and much appreciated. He has certainly cut down the amount of time I would have expected to have spent on this with internal resource and has made a significant contribution to the success of our latest transaction.’
‘Throughout the whole transaction I found Ismail Groves to be very knowledgeable, helpful and supportive. During the very intense period of the SPA Ismail always made himself available to myself offering a great deal of guidance and advice. Without Ismail’s support I suspect that the deal may have collapsed!!’
‘At 5pm the phone lines didn’t close, Ismail Groves worked tirelessly to get the job done in the short time space, staying open late to meet the deadline. Ismail made the whole process less stressful, always answering calls/emails quickly and never made me feel that I was a pain, it was all about customer service. The way Ismail dealt with us has led us to using Coole Bevis for other needs and recommending them to others.’
‘Robert Hutchins has been impressive in his approach to disclosure documentation. He ran very long calls with diligence and good humour and made the process far less painful than I believe it can be. Like others in the CB team he is commercially aware and was able to help us before we would get too far into rabbit holes of unnecessary details.’
Tunbridge Wells firm Cooper Burnett LLP, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2021, has an active corporate and commercial practice led by Victoria Sampson – who has ‘has an unparalleled knowledge of corporate law’ – and Andrew Hawkins, working across sectors such as healthcare, IT, education, charity and hospitality. The team, which is known for providing a ‘highly professional, knowledgeable and friendly service’ handles a range of M&A, company refinancings and reorganisations, share purchases and other corporate matters. Hawkins has particular expertise in the veterinary sector.
Victoria Sampson; Andrew Hawkins
‘Victoria Sampson is very client focused.’
The whole team works very closely together, communicates extremely well, is technically excellent, commercially very strong and a pleasure to work with throughout transactions.’
‘A diverse team of very knowledgeable and switched-on lawyers. Just about as sharp as they come, but with a polite and considerate manner with which it is delivered.’
‘Fees are competitive and the practice punches well above its weight for a small regional practice. I have had no hesitation in using CooperBurnett as first port of call on almost all commercial queries.’
‘We have used CooperBurnett for over 30 years in both a private and corporate capacity. Their team provides an elite, experienced and broad range of capabilities across all departments, delivering a highly professional, knowledgeable and friendly service with swift and straightforward communication.’
‘Victoria Sampson is an excellent leader and communicator.’
‘Victoria Sampson is exceptional – she cuts through the waffle and smoke to get to the crux of the matter. Straightforward, talks in plain English and matters are dealt with efficiently. Having her as a client partners means all our work is well coordinated.’
‘Victoria Sampson has an unparalleled knowledge of corporate law.’
Alpha Schools Group
Eleanor Care Homes Holdings Limited
- Advised long term client Alpha Schools Group on a number of acquisitions over the course of 2021.
- Advised Eleanor Care Homes Holdings Limited, a leading care home operator in the South East, on a number of acquisitions over the course of 2021.
GBH Law Limited
The corporate team at GBH Law Limited, based in Godalming, supports clients not only in Surrey and London but throughout the UK and internationally. Team head Denise Harrington has extensive experience dealing with corporate and commercial maters, with a niche specialism in advising legal and accounting practices from set up and incorporation to acquisition.
Other key lawyers:
Kate Doody; Chloe Wallington
‘GBH Law were extremely responsive to fast moving changes in requirements throughout the process of sale of our business. Each person we interfaced with made sure that they gave us support when required and hit all of the deadlines they provided.’
‘Quick turn around and personal service. Good advice on corporate law and company secretarial services.’
‘Kate Doody is the stand out partner.’
‘Denise Herrington has a great approach to provide very clear documents/notes, with no unnecessary information, she is really straight to the point.’
‘Denise Herrington was very available throughout the process. She is very reactive and straight to the point, business orientated.’
‘We were so pleased with the advice and support GBH gave to help us navigate being acquired by another company. Their team was very competent, spearheaded by the very able Kate Doody, their advice was clear and on-point, and they consistently turned around drafts and analysis within the timeframes committed, always taking into account the bigger picture of the deal.’
‘Kate Doody was exceptional. We had come to GBH based on having encountered her several years earlier at another firm. Her clear-headedness, intelligence, and ability to hold an extraordinary number of complex interconnected aspects in mind when considering issues was invaluable, as well as her drive to keep pushing matters forward to resolution.’
Condor Gold Plc
Members of PMN Financial Management LLP
Shareholders of Willow Technologies Ltd
Shareholders of Delv Global Limited
Watson Martin Ltd
Shareholders of Merrifield Centre Ltd
Mountfitchet Group Limited
Axis Football Investments Ltd
Shareholders of Red Hot Penny Ltd
Safegroup Services Ltd
The Thoroughbred Breeders Association
Grant Jones Accountancy Ltd
- Advised long standing AIM listed client Condor Gold Plc on two placements of new ordinary shares and warrants, raising £8.1 million in aggregate for the company.
- Advised the members of PMN Financial Management LLP on the sale of the membership interests in the LLP to Close Brothers Asset Management, increasing Close Brothers’ assets under management by £300 million.
- Advised the equity partners at Roffe Swayne on the sale of Roffe Swayne Limited and the business and assets of the Roffe Swayne partnership to Azets.
Healys' Brighton-based corporate and commercial team, led by Karen Lord , focuses mainly on owner-managed SME businesses and has particular expertise in the IP/IT, care homes, and childcare sectors. In the past year, the team have also dealt with data protection matters and the implementation of the new IR35 rules.
Other key lawyers:
Andrei Baev; Samantha Oakley
‘The firm is well represented in numerous areas of law, as well as geographically location.’
‘I found the individual allocated to my query to be very knowledgeable and easy to deal with and to converse with.’
‘Very flexible and always available people.’
‘Availability, flexibility, interested in understanding my needs.’
Tinysaurus Nurseries Limited
Majestic Securities Limited
On Your Game
- Advised the founder and managing director of The Learning People on its Management Buy-out backed by Cow Corner.
- Advised the shareholders of Brookland Computer Services Limited on the sale of the company to managed IT Services provider CMI.
- Advised BreadAhead on the franchising of its new stores, including in Saudi Arabia.
The corporate and commercial team of Moore Law, a Brighton-based boutique firm that celebrated its ten-year anniversary in 2022, is dedicated to the technology, media and sports sectors. Under Tris Moore’s leadership, the team has continued to grow and has taken on new corporate clients such as the University of Sussex. Mike Townley has 30 years’ experience. Scott Appleton and represents many of the firm’s media and YouTube/influencer clients.
Other key lawyers:
Mike Townley; Scott Appleton
University of Sussex
Brighton & Sussex Medical School
Cow Corner Investment Fund
Base Insurance Brokers
Sidemen Clothing Limited
Lighting Design International
Lucy & Yak
British Triathlon Federation
Bailey & French
We Are Tilt
Ice Hockey UK
British Bobsleigh and Skelton Assoc.
- Acted for established gaming software client Onnisoft/ Goat Gaming on its acquisition by US-based betting platform Underdog Fantasy.
- Advised Cow Corner on the acquisition of a substantial South East UK regional professional advisory services group including a regulated law firm.
- Advising established client Pacific Green (NASDAQ-listed) on multi-million pound development of UK Battery Energy Storage Plants, including finance, construction and operators agreements, National Grid connection and supply agreements.
The Tonbridge-based corporate, commercial and IP team at Warners Solicitors has broad experience advising on the disposals and acquisitions of owner-managed businesses, primarily in the southeast of England, with expertise in the agriculture, financial services, and the creative and technology sectors. Team head Kevin Sullivan has particular expertise in the software sector, especially fintech. In addition to M&A work, Russell Brinkhurst provides corporate and commercial legal advice to clients on an ongoing basis and works closely with the firm’s employment team.
Other key lawyers:
Medaphor Group Plc
National Westminster Bank Plc
Mosaic Smart Data Limited
Rough Trade Retail Group Limited
Beggars Group Limited