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

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP advises on a wide range of transactions, with a focus on banking and technology deals. Simon Staples and Alison Patten-Hall lead the team as corporate and commercial heads respectively. Staples focuses on M&A, private equity and venture capital, and is supported by Tim Coles who advises on restructurings and share options, whilst Patten-Hall specialises in large projects including outsourcing and IT procurements. Elisabeth Bell is another specialist in this area, leading on technology and GDPR matters. Guy Constant is also recommended and is particularly strong in corporate, banking and finance.

Practice head(s):

Simon Staples; Alison Patten-Hall

Other key lawyers:

Guy Constant; Elisabeth Bell; Tim Coles


‘The M&A team at Blake Morgan is diligent, professional and highly capable, providing top-notch service at a competitive fee rate.’

‘Guy Constant is very experienced and knowledgeable in his field, yet uncomplicated and easy to deal with.’

‘A combination of expertise, patience and well structured good advice have been the hallmark of working with Alison Patten-Hall and I would not hesitate to recommend her counsel. ’

‘Blake Morgan has a great UK mid-market M&A practice full of highly experienced partners. Every deal is given the fullest care and attention. As a regional law firm, I’d say they provide a comparable City quality service at much more attractive chargeout rates.’

‘The team we work with at Blake Morgan act as an extension of our team rather than a separate legal firm. They take time to understand our mission, vision and objectives and therefore give legal advice which is relevant and collaborative, making red lines very clear rather than leaving it for us to interpret the law.’

Key clients

De La Rue plc

Sutton and East Surrey Water Plc

Dillistone Group Plc

Osirium Plc

Falanx Group

Oxford Pharmegenesis

Vail Williams LLP

Boom Holdings Limited

Recarta IT

Allmakes Limited

Simpson Associates Consulting Engineers LLP

University of Reading

HTEC Limited

NHS England

Villacom Limited

Reading Borough Council

NTT Security UK Limited

Basingstoke and dean district Council

Oxfordshire County Council



Work highlights

  • Acting for Vilicom on an offshore wind farm project for contractual provisions relating to design, installation and operation of a telecoms network through a Managed Service Agreement.

Freeths LLP

The corporate and commercial team at Freeths LLP operates as an integrated practice across 13 of the national firm's offices. The Oxford team is known for handling complex restructurings and disposals, of which corporate lead Leon Arnold, is heavily involved. The team also manages transactions with a cross-border element and has specialist expertise in a range of sectors including software, healthcare, transport and packaging. Head of commercial Rebecca Howlett is a specialist in the commercialisation of intellectual property. Other key figures are Malin Svanberg Larsson, and Tom Walker, who has developed a niche in agricultural businesses. Ben Filmer is a recommended associate focusing on the tech sector.

Practice head(s):

Leon Arnold; Rebecca Howlett

Other key lawyers:

Tom Walker; Malin Svanberg Larsson; Ben Filmer

Work highlights

  • Acted for Solidus Solutions in its acquisition of Heathpak Limited.
  • Advised Chancerygate Limited on its strategic divestment of an 11-asset urban logistics portfolio to private equity firm Northwood Investors.
  • Advised V.Group on its strategic partnership with Costamare relating to ship management and crewing across China, the Philippines and Greece.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc's Reading team offers advice on the full range of corporate matters including public and private M&A, corporate finance and private equity, as well as a variety of commercial agreements. Andrew Peddie and Paul de Vince are the key partners.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Peddie; Paul de Vince

Other key lawyers:

Mark Metcalfe; Mailin Bala

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke advises an impressive range of clients on both national and cross-border deals, handling mid-cap private equity, venture capital and corporate restructuring matters. The firm has a strong presence in the Thames Valley but can also draw on the wider firm's significant global resources to handle national and international matters. Greg Leyshon has experience in the TMC sector and acts as the national head of corporate and business transactions, while Thames Valley corporate head Sara Valentine specialises in cross-border M&A and management buyouts. Robert Wood is another key figure, advising on private equity matters, with particular expertise in transactions involving investor syndicates. In January 2021, the firm's offering was bolstered by the arrival of technology and lifestyle venture capital partners Rob Hayes and Justin Starling who joined the firm from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. Associates Caroline Drummond and Mike Freer are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Sara Valentine; Greg Leyshon

Other key lawyers:

Robert Wood; Caroline Drummond; Rob Hayes; Justin Starling; Mike Freer


‘Osborne Clarke has a range of disciplines within the business that provide a rounded legal service, from site acquisition, affordable housing sales, tax and planning advice, all of which are fluidly linked with each other to offer the best comprehensive and commercially minded advice to us as clients’

‘Sara Valentine is diligent, fair and pleasant to work with. ’

Key clients


Davies Group Limited



Whitehelm Capital

Focus Group

Highland Europe

Windsor Telecom

Business Growth Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised Davies Group on the acquisition of law firm Keoghs.
  • Advised Whitehelm Capital, one of the world’s largest independent infrastructure managers, on its initial £80m investment into Smart City operator Connexin.
  • Acted for an Italian company on the acquisition of the UK Auto Pedestrian Doors and Assa Abloy Entrance Systems business.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a strong M&A and venture capital practice, with particular experience advising clients in the technology and life sciences sectors. Simon Bickerdike and Matthew Martin jointly head the team. Other key figures at the firm include Will Axtell and James Went who both specialise in M&A; Axtell also has extensive experience of AIM listings, whilst Went, who now heads the venture capital team, after former co-heads  Rob Hayes and Justin Starling left the firm to join Osborne Clarke in January 2021, focuses on venture capital financing.

Practice head(s):

Simon Bickerdike; Matthew Martin

Other key lawyers:

Will Axtell; James Went; David Tighe


‘The Penningtons corporate team is outstanding – creative, diligent, highly responsive, always focused on working efficiently and effectively on behalf of clients – a delight to work with.’

‘Their service is a good balance of breadth and depth, but with the interpersonal benefits that can get lost in a bigger practice. They have a great understanding and experience of the technology sector. ’

‘Will Axtell goes the extra mile for his clients and is always available when needed’

‘An excellent team with considerable experience in spin-outs, seed and Series A fundraisings, especially in relation to deep tech and life science companies. One of the most highly regarded and experienced teams in the sector.’

‘Our main current relationship is with James Went, who is brilliant. He is both cerebral and commercial -always happy to discuss details of a point of legal analysis, while also constantly focused on the practicalities of what the business needs. And his work is always thorough, accurate and effective.

‘We also work regularly with David Tighe, who is a highly effective lawyer and adviser and whose work is unfailingly top-notch.’

Key clients

Seedrs Limited

Oxford University Press

Evotec SE

Elis UK Limited

Orca Computing Limited

Bramble Energy Limited

First Light Fusion Limited

Celleron Therapeutics Limited

Mind Foundry Limited

Oxford Flow Limited

Genuport Trade GmbH

Work highlights

  • Acting for Seedrs Limited on its proposed merger with Crowdcube.
  • Acted for Celleron on the establishment and €37m funding of its spin-out SynOx Therapeutics Limited.
  • Acted on the sale of Webexpenses to ELMO Software, a human capital management software company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Shoosmiths LLP

The corporate and commercial team at Shoosmiths LLP advises on the full range of corporate transactions, with particular expertise in the technology, healthcare, education and retail sectors. Thames Valley and Milton Keynes head of corporate Sanjeev Sharma acts for a wide variety of clients, including venture capital firms, private equity houses and management teams. Nina Smith and Kiran Dhesi manage the team alongside Sharma and have significant experience in a wide range of corporate transactions. On the commercial side, international technology and data privacy lawyer Nick Holland leads the team, specialising in global outsourcing transactions and global privacy compliance. Holland and fellow commercial specialist Fiona Teague are both able to draw on their previous experience working in-house at global businesses.

Practice head(s):

Sanjeev Sharma; Nick Holland

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Teague; Nina Smith; Kiran Dhesi; Adam Leszczynski


‘The team have a good blend of pragmatism and technical understanding. Having an in-house tax specialist who is well-known in the industry and can be called in to give opinions is very useful and somewhat unique compared to other firms; also being able to call on specialist departments as part of the due diligence process.’

‘Sanjeev Sharma does a good job of listening to our needs and making sure the service provided is high quality.’

‘Fiona Teague is a hands-on and proactive partner. She thinks about issues that our team may face, makes efforts to connect us with others in her firm, and has maintained a good client relationship during lockdown.’

‘I work primarily with Adam Leszczynski on transactions and very much enjoy the relationship. He is hardworking, patient, and has a good blend of pragmatism and technical understanding.’

Key clients


Downing LLP

Business Growth Fund

NVM Private Equity

Churchill Contract Services

BAT UK Limited

Henkel Limited

Frogbikes Limited

Roofoods Limited (Deliveroo)

Aerial Direct Limited

World Duty Free Group Limited

Mercia Asset Management

Foresight Group LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for the founders and management of Churchill Contract Services on their sale and re-investment into the group alongside an investment by ESO Capital Partners.
  • Acted for LDC on its multimillion-pound minority investment into Foundation SP, a provider of digital transformation services to large enterprises and public sector organisations.
  • Advised a FTSE top 10 client on multiple agreements as it adapted to the new trading environment during the Covid-19 pandemic, including a high-value cross-border outsourcing arrangement and IT services framework agreement.

Boyes Turner

Handling complex IT matters, the team at Boyes Turner specialises in the technology sector, providing strategic commercial, transactional, regulatory and contentious advice to its national and international client base. Corporate lead Kate Eavis has extensive experience in providing advice to high-growth technology companies through the funding lifecycle as well as domestic and international M&A transactions. In addition, the team is able to provide expertise to clients in the water industry, with Chris Dobson as a specialist in this sector. Mark Blunden leads the technology sector and international sector teams.

Practice head(s):

Kate Eavis; Mark Blunden

Other key lawyers:

Chris Dobson


‘A good, cohesive team delivering sound advice combined with a clear understanding as to commercial realities. Many firms offer lip service to this last point; Boyes Turner understand that some compromise is necessary and work with the client to arrive at an optimal position from both a legal and commercial perspective.’

‘Boyes Turner has been a truly trusted and valuable partner to our business from day one when we were simply a start-up with a concept and no resources. We were valued as much as any other long-term client would have been – the partners and associates within the practice pooled resources, time and connections to help get our business off the ground and we have never looked back.’

‘Chris Dobson and Mark Blunden have both been stand-out individuals with the firm for us, Chris especially has been a great support throughout our working relationship. He has on many occasions been able to bring together teams or contacts to resolves issues we have faced, or gone away to research a problem to find a resolution. Many of these times he has given his time freely and without hesitation – we are very grateful for that.’

Key clients

Sonos Inc

Culligan International

Auto Trader Group Plc

Mobeus Equity Partners


CIRCOR International Inc.

Origin Enterprises Plc

AND Digital

Harvey Water Softeners

Xtrac Transmissions


Zip Water

Mortgage Gym


Becton Dickinson


Wind River

Signal Media

2 Heads Global



Bedrock Healthcare Communications


ESP Global

Work highlights

  • Advising AND Digital on all legal aspects in respect of securing an investment from BGF to fund future growth.
  • Advising Mobeus on its injection of growth capital into Muller EV Ltd (t/a Anderson EV), which designs aspirational electric vehicle charge points.
  • Advising 2Heads Global on negotiation of complex IP ownership of background and foreground and associated licensing provisions in connection with production of a live show and PlayTech visitor experience at Legoland Korea.

BDB Pitmans

The corporate team at BDB Pitmans has particular expertise in private company M&A, with an increasing focus on private equity and cross-border transactions. Leading the teams in Reading and Southampton, Oliver Pilkington has broad experience advising on a wide range of transactions, specialising in equity capital markets and M&A. Stephanie Perry is another key practitioner, with her corporate work focusing on management buy-outs and buy-ins, shareholder agreements and joint venture arrangements. Solicitor Daniela Munro is one to watch, working with Pilkington on several of the firm's major transactions.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Pilkington

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Perry; Daniela Munro


‘The BDB Pitmans team are a pleasure to work with; they anticipate our needs (often with limited briefing) and work proactively to produce what we require, as such they make it easy to make strategic decisions and changes to our businesses knowing they will be there to produce the legal back up that is required.’

‘Consistency of service and quality of offering matched with value for money makes this practice unique and unlike any other I have worked with. This is the reason they now assist me exclusively with all my transaction legal requirements.’

‘Oliver Pilkington is technically extremely competent, pragmatic and client-focused. He delivers results tailored to the brief and instructions, not his own desires or ambitions and always adapts well to the circumstances building effective relationships with his counterparts and the other side. He is very ably assisted by Daniella Munro.’

‘We work with Stephanie Perry and her team in the Thames Valley. The depth of knowledge, with me being able to throw almost anything at her, and the commerciality is what we value the most. ’

Key clients

Westcoast (Holdings) Limited

Ravenscroft Group

Guernsey Investment Fund

Novacyt SA

Waylands Automotive


Sipsmith Ltd

Dye & Durham Corp.


MXC Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for finnCap as nominated adviser and broker to Fonix Mobile plc in connection with its admission to trading on AIM (which valued the company at £90m) and associated placing to raise £45m.
  • Acted for the members of CVR Global LLP in the sale of the business and assets of the LLP to Begbies Traynor Limited for £20.8m.
  • Advised longstanding client, Novacyt on its acquisition of the entire share capital of IT-IS International Ltd (IT-IS) for £12m.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP acts primarily for entrepreneurs and owner-managed SMEs. The team has a strong venture capital offering, with practice head Rachael Maunder and partner Penelope Garden providing significant expertise on venture capital investments and PE-backed buy-outs for management teams. Managing partner Jeremy Parkes is another key member of the team, handling high-value corporate finance transactions and restructurings. Ian Wood-Smith works with entrepreneurs from start-up to exit in addition to undertaking insolvency work. Philip Stephenson's work often involves overseas and pre-completion restructuring elements.

Practice head(s):

Rachael Maunder

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Parke; Penelope Garden; Ian Wood-Smith; Philip Stephenson


‘A very competent and well-run business, FSP has plenty of top-level skill available to advise on all aspects of my company`s needs ’

‘We have worked well with FSP for many years and they know what we want, when we want it, and have a good and big enough team to deliver that. They were early to bring in digital signatures and sharing docs has always been easy.’

‘Can-do attitude and great problem solvers but also good at understanding what we want when it is more complex than normal. Penelope Garden and Rachael Maunder are the two key partners that look after our delivery.’

Key clients

AkzoNobel Plc

Various entities which form part of the Ardonagh Group

BGF Investments LLP

Cohort Plc

Euro Car Parts Limited

Finance South East

Heartstone Inn Limited

Honda Motor Europe Limited

On Direct Business Services Limited (t/a Cloud Direct)

Whistl UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of Foehn Limited on the sale of 100% of the shares in the company to a newly formed group backed by investment from LDC.
  • Advised Whistl on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Clientbase.
  • Advised BGF on its £11m investment in AND Digital.

White & Black Limited

White & Black Limited has a robust corporate and private equity practice with a track record of work on mid-market M&A deals. A particular area of strength for the firm is its focus on the technology sector, with practice head John Allen specialising in high-tech M&A and private equity transactions, as well as industrial technology and marketing services industries. Phil Riman has worked in venture capital in both the UK and the US, and undertaken transactions across the world, notably involving Japanese investors. Stephen Silvester, whose work focuses on private equity, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

John Allen

Other key lawyers:

Phil Riman; Stephen Silvester


‘The White & Black team are very knowledgeable and incredibly approachable. They make the technical seem simple and always find a way to bridge any issues with creativity and proactivity.’

‘I have dealt with Phil Riman and John Allen, who have been excellent. They quickly build trust through their friendly and professional approach. ’

Key clients

Moixa Energy

Zzoomm PLC

Trizell Holding SA

Ability Matters Group

Tonic Games

Vectair Systems

Nexus GS


Work highlights

  • Advised Vectair and its shareholders on investment by US-based consortium of funds.
  • Advised smart battery tech company Moixa Energy Holdings on a multimillion-pound investment by Japan-based Itochu Corporation.
  • Advised Nexus GS, an IT services provider, and its shareholders in connection with the acquisition by IT and comms provider AirIT.

Clarkslegal LLP

Clarkslegal LLP assists a wide range of corporate and commercial clients and has developed a niche client base in the start-up/early-stage technology space. In this area, practice head Ashan Arif and his team advise on everything from initial corporate structuring, SEIS/EIS investments to complex equity investments and commercial arrangements. Arif also has experience acting for clients in the media, technology, hotel and automotive sectors. In November 2020, Chrysilla De Vere left the firm for an in-house role.

Practice head(s):

Ashan Arif

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Mullins


‘Ashan Arif is central to our working relationship – we have a high degree of trust and confidence in his work. He was interested in our business from the outset, clear about the firm’s capability and focus, and has provided high-value and cost-effective support.’

‘We deal with the M&A personnel as well as other teams. They are always readily available and respond very quickly to queries. Always happy to go the extra mile whatever the situation and can be contacted at all times. Their advice has proved very valuable and they work collaboratively with other legal teams from other firms around the globe on our acquisitions. They are always professional and rated in high regard by other law firms we use. ’

Key clients

BMW Group UK

University of Reading

Reading Golf Club

Offsite Archive Storage and Integrated Services (UK) Limited

TFC Holdings London Limited

Eden Motor Group

New Era UK Holdings Ltd

CenturyLink Limited

Dynamic International Freight Services Limited

Independent Trustee Services Limited

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

The team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys acts for equity houses, sellers and management teams and is particularly active on private equity-backed transactions. Rachel Turner heads the Thames Valley corporate team; she is a ‘very impressive, experienced and formidable lawyer’ with extensive experience working with high-value and complex transaction structures. Robert Rice is another key practitioner whose specialties include M&A, private equity and management buy-outs.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Turner

Other key lawyers:

Robert Rice; Joel Molloy


‘Rachel Turner is a very impressive, experienced and formidable lawyer. She is extremely knowledgeable and this shone through throughout my dealings with her.’

‘An extremely formidable team that helped get us what we wanted and when we wanted it. I certainly would not want to be on the other side of the table to them!’

‘HCR have a really experienced corporate team, many of which have been working in the Thames Valley market for a significant period of time thus fostering exceptionally strong client relationships. Key capabilities include private equity and venture capital investment in particular alongside traditional M&A transactions.’

‘The ethos of the team is one of delivering pragmatic yet robust advice in a way which is tailored to clients needs and priorities. Rachel Turner in particular embodies this in the way see approaches each engagement. I have worked with Rachel for a number of years now and as well as being an incredibly talented and knowledgeable professional, she builds relationships with clients and other parties in a transaction really well and as such is able to help navigate the undulations of a transaction with ease – I look forward to the next deal where I can work with Rachel again!’

Key clients

Quantuma LLP

Shareholders of Juriba Limited

Former shareholders of Camo Ltd, trading as Simply Waste Solutions

Steer Automotive Group Limited

Shareholders of Porterhouse Medical Group Limited

Shareholders of DCSL Software

YFM Equity Partners

Shorterm Group

Channel Mum Limited

Collard Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Quantuma LLP on the sale of their interests to K3 Capital Group plc in a deal worth up to £42m.
  • Advising the shareholders of iHASCO in its high-value sale to The Citation Group, backed by KKR and HG Capital.
  • Advising the shareholders of Camo Ltd, trading as Simply Waste, to Biffa plc on a £40m transaction.

Herrington Carmichael LLP

Herrington Carmichael LLP advises clients on a range of corporate, M&A and commercial mandates, handling cross-border matters as well as domestic deals. As managing partner and practice head, Yavan Brar is a key figure at the firm and advises on large-scale investments. Alex Canham and Mark Chapman are also recommended, with Canham’s practice focusing on corporate matters within the financial services sector and Chapman on the commercial side, advising finance, software and manufacturing industry clients.

Practice head(s):

Yavan Brar

Other key lawyers:

Alex Canham; Mark Chapman; Cesare McArdle; Stephanie Craig; Matthew Lea


‘The corporate and commercial team are the best technical and at the same time practical and real-world solicitors I have come across – great client service’

‘Herrington Carmichael has a diverse skillset, covering most requirements. This means we can tackle complex issues knowing that they can call on their colleagues to compliment the analysis.’

‘Herrington Carmichael has acted like an extension of our business. They have been a huge support, have been exceptionally credible in some extremely difficult commercial contractual matters.’

‘This is a commercially minded practice that is led by a talented lawyer, Yavan Brar, who focuses his team on providing excellence in all they do. The team is genuinely keen to ensure good quality and pragmatic advice for clients and in my experience, this is achieved.’

‘Yavan Brar, sets the tone for the whole practice and leads from the front. He has developed an excellent corporate team and brought team members through to partner including the talented Alex Canham who has developed a niche in the financial services sector for the firm.’

‘Alex Canham is very knowledgeable – he also has a good appreciation of what is the minimum standard and what represents potentially less commercially needed aspects. ’

‘Strong commercial and corporate team, offering reliable and practical advice at competitive rates. The quality of advice we have received when instructing the commercial team is comparable to many large City firms we have used but at non-City fees. ’

‘Mark Chapman is extremely commercial and approachable. His previous in-house experience is clear and a real asset to his in-house clients. Cesare McArdle is a pleasure to deal with and detailed in his approach, but commercial and practical at the same time ’

Key clients

Grundon Waste Management

Metro Bank


Portable Multimedia

VPS Holdings

Blandy & Blandy LLP

Blandy & Blandy LLP's corporate and commercial team advises on a variety of complex deals, including mergers, joint ventures, reorganisations and restructurings on the corporate side and contracts, outsourcing and procurement on the commercial side. Debbie Brett, whose expertise is in intellectual property and advertising, leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Debbie Brett

Other key lawyers:

David Few; Nick Burrows


‘Thoroughly professional approach, high standards and flexibility are the distinguishing hallmarks of this practice.’

‘The team at Blandy & Blandy have a very wide range of experience and industry knowledge. The partners are always ready to provide legal advice on a wide range of corporate matters, from early inquiry through to completing an assignment. They maintain regular communication so that as a client you always feel that you are up to date and aware of progress. They are also very good at meeting deadlines.’

‘Excellent local regional presence and multi-disciplinary office. Clear, agreed plans of action are developed through constructive dialogue which focused on the intended business outcomes. This results in very efficient, value for money services delivered in support of our business needs.’

‘David Few has provided top-class services – accessible, flexible in approach, focused on the intended outcomes – excellent partnership approach in managing complex corporate business.’

‘Compared to other law firms I have worked with so far in my career I find the team really approachable (at all levels). Being experts in their field is a given but the way they support us and work with our business is very collaborative and personable.’

Key clients

Reading Transport Limited Group of Companies

Skellerup Agri Holdings Limited

The Oratory Schools Association

ACOEM Group SAS – Dynoptic Systems Limited

ACOEM Group SAS – Air Monitors Ltd

Austin Fraser Limited

Revium Group

Vertoscope Limited

Eclipse Professional Hair & Beauty Supplies Limited

GTK UK Limited

Parago Software limited

EIT Food CLC North West Ltd

Warner land Surveys Group

Crest Hotels

Just Kampers Group of Companies

The Cheeky Panda Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for all the shareholders in Parago, a school management Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider, on its acquisition by Civica, a global leader in software for public services.
  • Acting for the owners of a leading specialist automotive parts & accessories business on the sale of the company in a management buyout whereby existing EMI option holders, supported by a new non-executive director and external corporate finance advisers will acquire the entire issued share capital of the company and the founder family members substantially reduce their investment in the business.
  • Acted for Warner Land Surveys Holdings in connection with a reorganisation involving the retirement of a founder shareholder and the purchase by the company of the shares.

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors focuses on clients in the SME market and large owner-managed businesses. The team undertakes a broad range of corporate and commercial work and has a strong transactional practice, with practice head Barry Niven regularly advising on management buy-outs and buy-ins, joint venture agreements, corporate structures and company restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Barry Niven


‘The team work very well together and share a similar ethos of a focus on client service as well as commercially-driven legal advice. They work exceptionally well with other professional advisers to provide a joined-up approach to client advice.’

‘I work primarily with Barry Niven who always delivers proactive and timely service for clients. Barry always makes his advice relevant to the commercial objectives of his clients and thinks proactively about potential issues so they can be addressed early on in the process. 

Key clients

Lawsons Holdings Limited

Nike Land Securities Limited

Sandhurst Autoprint Limited

Longacres Garden Centres Limited

Cleartone Group Limited

Bowman International Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Lawsons Holdings Limited on its continued expansion with the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Hertfordshire Building Supplies Limited, a company that operated four retail sites across the south of England and a sawmill.

Gardner Leader LLP

Gardner Leader LLP provides guidance for a range of clients, from large listed companies and private equity funds to start-ups and SMEs. Practice head Greg Humphreys is a specialist commercial property lawyer and has extensive experience advising on complex issues relating to affordable housing, development agreements and building leases and licences. Diane Yarrow is 'excellent', with expertise on a broad range of corporate and commercial work, including M&A transactions and international re-financing projects.

Practice head(s):

Greg Humphreys

Other key lawyers:

Diane Yarrow


‘The team is diverse with a strong mix of experience and youthful energy. They are very responsive and communicate and work together well. They have key individuals with expertise in different fields eg commercial property and franchise agreements. ’

‘Put simply, every partner and fee earner I have met at Gardner Leader is highly professional, very empatheti, and they don’t take themselves too seriously – they are fun to work with, something which cannot be said about a lot of lawyers!’

‘Diane Yarrow is excellent. She infuses confidence in her approach. She is suggestive, strong at communicating and a pleasure to work with. I cannot recommend her enough.’

Key clients

Swan London Limited

Emma Shipley Limited

Premier Pipeline Limited

Greenwood Childcare Limited

Rivar Ltd

Swift Logistics

Team Technologies Limited

Pomroy & Hine Limited

One SightSolutions Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing corporate support to Rivar Ltd in relation to the development of various residential sites.


Now operating from three locations, IBB Law opened its Reading office in July 2019. The corporate and commercial team is led by Adam Dowdney , who specialises in all aspects of company law and corporate finance work, including M&A, private equity transactions and restructurings. He is supported by senior solicitor Ami Bhatt who has experience in management buy-outs and buy-ins and an interest in insolvency issues.

Practice head(s):

Adam Dowdney

Other key lawyers:

Ami Bhatt


‘The team I worked with at IBB Law were incredibly helpful – they worked tirelessly to protect our interests and they translated everything into layman’s speak so we could understand exactly what was going on with the legal process they were handling on our behalf. Furthermore, the resources they applied to us were always great. They have an excellent grasp of commercial law, HR law and general legislation that might affect their clients.’

Key clients

Renault UK/Renault Retail Group

Patek Philippe

ARRI Rental

SEB Professional

Ascend Global Media Limited

AIB Group (UK) plc

Wilderness Safaris

Boatfolk Marinas Limited

Chiltern Group

IST Supplies Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Wilderness Safaris on its expansion through the acquisition of the Jacada brand.
  • Advised The Berry Group on the acquisition of business and assets carried on at Inchcape’s site at Portsmouth Road, Thames Ditton, to add to the Group’s expanding number of sites in the region.
  • Advised Ascend Global Media Limited, the purchasers on the acquisition of the Maddox Events business from the administrators.

Royds Withy King

Royds Withy King's Oxford corporate team handles M&A, shareholder arrangements, joint ventures and private equity deals - Iain Butler is the key contact.

Practice head(s):

Iain Butler

Spratt Endicott

Led by John Spratt, the team at Spratt Endicott assists clients on a full range of corporate and commercial matters, with specific expertise in M&A, company restructurings, management buy-outs and buy-ins, joint venture arrangements and e-commerce laws. The team has also developed a specialism in intellectual property and data protection, an area in which associate Catherine O’Riordan has expertise. Hitendra Patel is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

John Spratt

Other key lawyers:

Catherine O’Riordan; Hitendra Patel


‘An extremely knowledgeable and experienced team. What sets Spratt Endicott apart is their availability; direct contact to the senior team that offer trusted advice. We know that Spratt Endicott will look after our customers with the care and diligence that we strive for ourselves. ’

‘John Spratt has an excellent grasp of our business and the sector in which we operate, both in the UK and overseas, and has been instrumental in assisting us with numerous projects over the years.’

‘Hitendra Patel is very knowledgeable and also humble compared to other corporate lawyers that we have worked with in the past. Hitendra’s breadth of experience and calm approach are particularly appreciated by our clients.’

‘We like the proactive advice we receive from Spratt Endicott. The partners I work with have had significant experience and are able to bring a different perspective to situations and provide good workable advice.’

‘As well as setting out the legal position clearly, the team bring a high degree of commercial understanding to the problems and disputes we have presented to them over the years.’