Corporate and commercial: Bristol in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

At Burges Salmon LLP, the corporate team is recognised for its expertise in transactions spanning public and private M&A as well as investments. The team continues to have a strong offering in mid-market private equity, counting funds, management teams and portfolio companies amongst its clients. Key sectors for the practice include financial services, technology and renewable energy, where it advises on deals involving energy assets and SPVs. Nick Graves and Rupert Weston jointly lead the team, with wide-ranging experience across the transactional space. Mark Shepherd heads the private equity team and handles a steady stream of mandates in this area, while Richard Spink has notable expertise in cross-border work. Camilla Usher-Clark is another name to note, with a strong track record in the energy and utilities sectors. Amongst the directors in the team, Tim Roberts stands out for his recent work on high-value deals across a range of sectors.

Practice head(s):

Nick Graves; Rupert Weston

Other key lawyers:

Mark Shepherd; Richard Spink; Camilla Usher-Clark; Chris Godfrey; Tim Roberts

Testimonials

‘The team is very strong on technical knowledge, very responsive and with a clear commercial approach.’

‘I can only provide my highest recommendations to the Burges Salmon team which is one of the best teams I have ever worked with. Their legal and commercial approach to dealing with matters are outstanding.’

‘The people at Burges Salmon are all excellent in terms of their quality of thinking, their technical ability and their service.  This is rare with most law firms where it can be a bit hit and miss in terms of the quality of people.’

‘The team has been really competent, reactive and handled the process with a huge profesionalism and flawless commitment.’

‘Rupert Weston is a pleasure to work with.  technically expert, adept in drafting and negotiating.  He is very good at highlighting the critical issues as well as the options available to the client.’

‘Mark Shepherd as our client partner and key corporate adviser has helped us through a number of funding deals. He is extremely calm, intelligent and capable and definitely improves the outcome of any deal.’

‘Camilla Usher-Clark and Richard Spink are outstanding lawyers.’

‘All the individual team members who assisted us acted in a very direct and personal way, which made the project and cooperation a great pleasure.’

Key clients

Premier Miton Group plc

Virgin Group

Zetland Capital LLP

Bluefield Solar

FirstGroup plc

Darwin Alternatives

Phillips 66

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy/UKRI

ITM Power plc

CWP Global

Work highlights

  • Advised Embark Group Limited on its sale to Scottish Widows Group, part of the Lloyds Banking Group.
  • Advised long-standing client Bluefield Solar on the acquisition of Bradenstoke Solar Park Limited.
  • Advised Darwin Alternatives’ Bereavement Services Fund on its acquisition of Memoria’s nationwide portfolio of crematoria and memorial parks.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP’s 'professional but approachable' team in Bristol regularly handles high-value, complex deals involving companies from a range of sectors. The team’s experience in private equity continues to be a key strength; Alisdair Livingstone leads the firm’s national practice from Bristol and has deep relationships with a number of mid-market PE houses. In addition to counselling these clients on acquisitions, investments and disposals, he is also active in representing management teams. In public M&A, David Ferris has a focus on the energy and utilities sectors, while Conrad Davies is continuing to carve out a niche in real estate-related transactions. Mark Wesker is another name to note in the team, handling a number of AIM IPOs in 2021. Chris Yeo was promoted to partner in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

David Ferris

Other key lawyers:

Alisdair Livingstone; Mark Wesker; Conrad Davies; Simon Jones; Sarah Knight; Chris Yeo

Testimonials

‘Excellent client service, with a good understanding of the evolving technology sector. Very responsive service, with relevant and actionable advice.’

‘Mark Wesker’s general counsel is appreciated as well as his extensive knowledge of the commercial environment for technology companies. He has an in-depth knowledge of our product offering and strategic priorities, as well as forming strong and trusted relationships with directors and senior executives.’

‘Excellent service’

‘Good people.’

‘They know our business really well and take the time to understand what we want now and what we want in the future.’

‘They are professional but approachable and good at making complex matters simple.’

Key clients

Lloyds Development Capital

M&G Real Estate

Computershare

Synova Capital LLP

Foresight

A-Gas

London & Country

Hargreaves Lansdown

Mulberry

Western Global

Imperial Brands

Shell Energy

Vistry

LDC

Burro Happold

Rail Delivery Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders and management team of Western Global, the leading provider of industrial liquid storage and dispensing solutions, on a £90,000,000 investment from MML Capital.
  • Advised Creo Medical Group, a medical device company focused on the emerging field of surgical endoscopy, quoted on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, on a successful fundraising to raise £36.32m by way of a placing and an open offer.
  • Advised Biffa Plc, the UK’s leading sustainable waste management business, on its acquisition of Company Shop Limited (CSG) for an upfront enterprise value of £82.5 million.

TLT

TLT continues to act on a wide range of both corporate and commercial transactions, handling high-value deals for prominent clients. Retail, financial services, technology and renewable energy remain key sectors for the practice, which advises public and private companies on investments, buyouts, disposals and share sales. Andrew Webber heads the national corporate team, with Alice Gardner and Nina Searle also offering broad expertise across a range of transactions. Gardner’s recent work includes handling public M&A, while Searle is praised by clients for her ‘strong commercial advice’. Perran Jervis leads on commercial transactions, with a core focus on the commercial agreements involved in supply chains.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Webber; Perran Jervis

Other key lawyers:

Alice Gardner; Nina Searle; James Webb; Antonia Silvestri; Kay Hobbs; Bill Hull; Dan Whitewood; Philip Barratt

Testimonials

‘The team’s combined knowledge and experience covered all necessary bases for our extremely challenging project. It is only because of the ease of communication and a real enthusiasm to find pragmatic ways forward that our project was a success. All members of the team brought a very useful personal touch to the table which I have not experienced at other firms.’

‘Nina Searle is the stand out in the team we worked with as she really got under the skin of the project, fully understood it and helped us navigate a way through some incredibly challenging situations. All this was offered up with genuine sympathy which made it an absolute pleasure to work with her.’

‘TLT has a large skill set with qualified and capable staff in many disciplines. Everything we needed to facilitate our business sale – and it was complex with many facets – was handled internally by TLT with great efficiency.’

‘The team worked really hard for us – especially over the closing 72 hours of the business sale. They were calm and professional and this instilled a sense of confidence in them and the process we were going through. James Webb as project lead had an outstanding command of the detail over an extended period of time.’

‘TLT is a mid sized firm that has a lot of regional strength in the SW of England. They offer a full service in the region and have advised on numerous corporate and private equity deals in recent years, giving them the latest market knowledge to be able to give the best advice.’

‘Nina Searle is the partner I have worked with most. She is very responsive, is very hands-on for the key elements of the deals and gives strong commercial advice based on the latest market practice as well as obviously having great legal knowledge.’

Key clients

BTQ Ltd

Roper Rhodes

Gapsquare Limited

Blackfinch Energy

Detectortesters

Maven Capital Partners

Decision Logic Ltd

Clue Computing Company Limited

Inchcape Retail Limited

Brothers Drinks

Vans365

Urban Pub & Bars

boohoo group plc

AgriBriefing Limited

Biffa

Starling Bank

Ecotricity

Low Carbon

TravelLocal

SSE plc

Bluefield

Macquarie

Capital Dynamics

Good Energy

NTR plc

Green Investment Group

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd

Department of Health and Social Care

Government Legal Department

Superdry plc

WH Smith PLC

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Metropolitan Police

Yorkshire Building Society

Checkout.com

Elavon Financial Services

Imperial Brands PLC

Matthew Clark Bibendum Limited

Iceland

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of long-standing client Roper Rhodes, a leading independent supplier of bathroom products, on its sale to Svedbergs, a market leader in the Nordic region.
  • Advising BTQ Limited on its acquisition by US-based MSA Safety.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has sector specialisms in energy, insurance and real estate, offering clients expertise in acquisitions, disposals, investments and joint ventures. The team is particularly active in deals involving private equity, where the practice acts for PE houses including Puma, Piper and LDC as well as for management teams. Tom Fitzpatrick serves as practice head and is noted for his work on deals involving financial services and insurance companies, while Simon Hewes has substantial experience in mid-market transactions, particularly in the oil and gas space. Managing associates Sammy Hill and Alex Fergus are also recommended for their broad transactional experience.

Practice head(s):

Tom Fitzpatrick

Other key lawyers:

Simon Hewes; Sammy Hill; Alex Fergus

Testimonials

‘Excellent understanding of handling the sale of our company to a European purchaser. They were able to call on individual specialists as required. They inspired confidence right through the process and always gave very prompt responses.’

‘Sammy Hill has an amazing grasp of the complexities involved in the company sale process. She was able to talk us through each of many changes in the SPA as it progressed.’

Key clients

Vitol Group (Vitol SA)

Energie Baden-Württemberg AG

OVO Energy Limited

RWE Npower

Piper PE LLP

LDC Managers Limited

Puma Private Equity

Arch Insurance & Arch Reinsurance

Howden Broking Group

Willis Towers Watson plc (including Innovisk Capital Partners)

Moorfield Group

NCR Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised leading mid-market private equity firm LDC on its £13m investment in digital media company Hybrid.
  • Advised longstanding client Piper Private Equity, the leading specialist investor in consumer brands, on its £33m minority stake investment in Omlet, the fast growing design-led pet accessories brand sold exclusively online.
  • Advised Bermuda-based Arch Reinsurance Ltd. on its agreement to acquire Somerset Bridge Group Limited, Southern Rock Holdings Limited and their subsidiaries.

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP‘s Bristol office is known for advising venture capital funds and startups on investments, with a particular focus on the healthcare and technology sectors; where it is also active in M&A and commercial transactions, as well as associated areas such as fintech and healthtech. Chris Dyson leads the practice’s VC work and specialises in technology transactions, while Jocelyn Ormond handles deals involving healthcare and financial services. Rory Suggett is another name to note on corporate deals, while Suzie Miles is the key name on commercial transactions, with a practice which includes advising on outsourcing and distribution agreements.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Betteridge

Other key lawyers:

Chris Dyson; Jocelyn Ormond; Rory Suggett; Suzie Miles; Scott Preece; Nicola Manclark

Testimonials

‘All people who touched the file were exceptional. Very well versed in their practice areas and extraordinarily helpful. Being a non-UK resident/investor, the team helped tremendously in understanding the market and were very thoughtful in their advice.’

‘Jocelyn Ormond has been wonderful to work with. We often ask our lawyers to add value in non-legal areas and he certainly helped us understand a number of commercial points. He has done a great job of staying in touch on relevant matters and other opportunities for us. He has gone well beyond a typical attorney/client relationship.’

‘A very professional firm with qualities you would look for from a so-called Magic Circle law firm in partners across corporate, tax, property and technology.’

‘Experienced, pragmatic, knowledgeable – and always available, seemingly 24/7. Jocelyn Ormond and Nicola Manclark in particular.’

Key clients

SimplyCook

Craven Street Capital

eConsult Health

Iksuda Therapeutics

Back Office Technology (trading as Form3)

Altus Holdings

ESI Controls

Frog Capital

Post Office

NMI

Holland & Barrett

Vamstar

Work highlights

  • Advising Craven Street Capital on its acquisition of Kreston Reeves Financial Planning and the establishment of Craven Street Wealth, a new wealth management business. Together with the separate acquisition of London based Christchurch Investment Management, it has created a wealth management and financial planning group with approximately £850 million of assets under management and advice.
  • Advising the shareholders of SimplyCook, the subscription-based recipe box service, on the sale of the entire issued share capital to Nestlé UK. The deal will help accelerate SimplyCook’s growth and follows Nestlé’s takeover of Mindful Chef in November expanding their direct-to-consumer portfolio.
  • Advising Form3 on its recent $160m Series C funding round led by Goldman Sachs, along with participation from Draper Esprit, a leading VC firm and existing investors, including Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, Barclays, Mastercard and 83North.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP‘s 3-partner practice is instructed on mid-market M&A deals across a range of sectors. The team has long-standing relationships with many of its clients, acting for them on a series of transactions; it is also notable for its work on cross-border deals. Simon Thomas leads the team, with Simon Smith handling much of the team’s cross-jurisdictional work. Robert Ridd is another name to note and advises on M&A transactions, investments and restructurings; he and Thomas are valued by clients for their ‘very clear, commercial and down to earth advice’.

Practice head(s):

Simon Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Simon Smith; Robert Ridd

Testimonials

‘A solid, dependable firm demonstrating all the technical skills and inter-personal qualities needed for corporate finance transactions which can, at times, involve sensitive negotiations due to the individuals and personalities involved.’

‘Simon Smith provided high quality advice during a recent corporate transaction, displaying excellent client handling & management skills during periods of tricky negotiation with the parties involved. He helped to resolve some difficult technical issues and was always accessible throughout the deal. He can definitely be depended upon to deliver when the going gets tough.’

‘The team at Clarke Willmott Bristol always react with a highly responsive, thoughtful and engaged approach. This can involve simply bouncing an idea around about how best to approach an issue / project, through to advice in the middle of an important investment.’

‘Simon Thomas and Robert Ridd have both provided very clear, commercial and down to earth advice in a ‘trusted friend’ type relationship which is really very helpful as part of our investments where we typically deal with founders/entrepreneurs who need quite a lot of coaching through the process.’

Key clients

Wasserman Media Group

Addnode Group AB

Fortem International Limited (formerly Prysm Media Group Limited)

Evergreen Garden Care Limited

Turtle Bay Hospitality Limited

Yeo Valley Associates Limited

Somerset County Cricket Club

Nederman Group AB

Trailsuite Limited

OMM Group Holdings

Pieminister Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of Trailsuite Limited on their sale to Access UK Limited.
  • Advised Wasserman Media Group on its acquisition of Team Sauerland.
  • Advised Fortem International Limited on the sale of Fortem Farm Business Ltd, Fortem FAM Ltd, and Fortem HPR Ltd to US private equity backed Arc Media Group Limited.

Roxburgh Milkins Limited

Roxburgh Milkins Limited remains highly active in mid-market M&A, advising on transactions for new and established clients. The team is instructed on both the buy-side and sell-side of deals; its recent work also includes handling management buyouts and transitions to employee benefit trusts. The practice is engaged by clients in sectors including technology and hospitality. Co-founding partner Jason Milkins heads up the corporate offering, with 'extremely attentive' fellow co-founder Bruce Roxburgh another name to note in the team. Elsewhere, Charles Van Der Lande has a focus on the technology sector. Senior associate Laura Guest is well-regarded for her experience across a range of transactions and is praised as ‘highly competent, thorough and responsive’. Richard Hopkins is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Jason Milkins

Other key lawyers:

Bruce Roxburgh; Charles van der Lande; Richard Hopkins; Laura Guest

Testimonials

‘The firm operates a very practical and down to earth approach to legal transactions. This is refreshing and easy to work with.’

‘Jason Milkins – highly knowledgeable, practical outlook, very responsive. Laura Guest – highly competent, thorough and responsive. Great to work with.’

‘We have found the team at RM to be proactive, knowledgable and very easy to get hold of. We have used them for a number of projects and have been impressed with how thorough they are, and how capable they are of explaining complex issues to us as laypeople.’

‘We have worked specifically with Laura Guest and Charles van der Lande who have both been extremely proactive in their communications, available to us both in and out of office hours, and very professional, yet friendly, in our dealings.’

‘I used them as my lawyers to sell my business. Their approach was great, we had a quick relaxed but professional call to flesh out the project and talked through the process and how it would go. They were happy to discuss in detail the small points I raised. I was introduced to the people around the lawyer I would work with all very reassuring. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone selling a business.’

‘Led by Bruce Roxburgh, we found the entire team incredibly thorough and approachable at any point throughout the day. Clearly, this firm has extensive legal knowledge which is relayed to the client in a manner and language we could comprehend to. The firm was even able to offer advice through involvement of a lawyer that had an understanding and experience of our particular industry.’

‘Our main point of contact was Bruce Roxburgh whom we felt was extremely attentive and was able to offer sound advice throughout the process on both a commercial and personal level. Philip Edmonds was also able to offer additional guidance based on his previous experience of our particular industry. As a team, we felt the joint participation of both Bruce and Philip positioned us excellently.’

‘Roxburgh Milkins commercial department is clearly a very talented and knowledgeable team. They have represented my company on many calls with the lawyers of top city investment banks and have always delivered results and found a way to either unblock issues or negotiate to our advantage. If you want very high quality legal advice that can take on city lawyers, without paying city fees and a more approachable and personal touch then Roxburgh Milkins are a great option.’

Key clients

Focus Group

GoProposal

Terrafirma

IWS

NMi (LLCP)

Pinnacle

KETS Quantum Engineering

Arcturus Corporation

Blu Wireless

Elektraglide/Polystream

Work highlights

  • Advised telecoms business, Focus Group, on their acquisition of swcomms – expanding the group’s geographical footprint as part of their ongoing buy & build strategy.
  • Advised GoProposal, accounting and bookkeeping software innovators, on their acquisition by Sage, a leading accountancy provider.
  • Advised property tech business, Terrafirma IDC Limited, on their acquisition by Toronto Stock Exchange listed Dye & Durham Corporation.

VWV

At VWV, the corporate and commercial team has a strong focus on the education sector, where advises on deals involving educational assets as well as the establishment of new schools overseas. The practice also has a niche in advising startups on investments from venture capital funds, with Nathan Guest leading on this work. Robert Collier leads the overall corporate team while Doug Locke heads up the commercial practice.

Practice head(s):

Robert Collier; Doug Locke

Other key lawyers:

Nathan Guest

Testimonials

‘The team has built up experience in working with players in the ecosystem and understanding the parameters of acceptable deal terms which flows into the advice and pragmatism applied to advice in facilitating deal execution.’

‘Nathan Guest is our lead corporate partner and has delivered advice in a collaborative manner. As ever individuals stand out based on personal chemistry with your team as well as technical or advisory capabilities which holds true for Nathan.’

Key clients

Ripjar

Lettus Grow

Cytoseek Limited

Insphere Limited

TGS (UK) Limited

Essilor International

Bellevue Education Group

Forfar Education

Great Western Regional Capital

Bristol Waste Company

Imophoron

Science Creates Incubators/Unit DX

ULC Robotics

Enable (Marketing and Promotions) Ltd

University of Bristol

ISCC Limited

Soil Association

Hills Waste Solutions

North Somerset Council

United Learning

Smartbox Assistive Technology

Genomic Labs t/a Genomekey

Work highlights

  • Handled a number of transactions for Forfar.  
  • Advised Cytoseek on all aspects of a significant funding round.
  • Advised the King’s School, Canterbury on the establishment of the King’s School, Vattanacville in Cambodia.

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP is instructed on a variety of corporate matters, including M&A transactions, joint ventures, management buy-outs and share sales. The practice has a focus on the real estate sector, where it acts for public sector clients such as local authorities as well as private developers and investors. Practice head Chris Harper offers experience across transactions, joint ventures and restructurings, with Marti Burgess recognised for her work for SMEs, including advising them on employee incentives.

Practice head(s):

Chris Harper

Other key lawyers:

Marti Burgess; Richard Hiscoke; Andrew Spicer

Testimonials

‘Able to provide pragmatic and practical solutions which are grounded in helping to make development happen, and avoid getting stuck in legal mud!’

‘The team was dedicated, responsive, always across all of the detail of a highly complex joint venture (which needed to cohere with extensive finance and property documents) and persevered through contested negotiations. I also consider that the team worked efficiently and delivered value for money.’

‘Andrew Spicer was highly responsive in a demanding, high value joint venture. The negotiations were contested and he quietly persevered. He was pragmatic when appropriate and dogged when not. He was across all of the detail of complicated legal documentation. Chris Harper went above and beyond to step in where additional support was required.’

‘Responsive and supportive. Knowledgeable about the specific concerns of those in local government and a good supportive, collegiate approach to completing deals.’

‘Andrew Spicer: practical, good value advice, taking in both the strategic and the detail of the deal.’

Key clients

Peabody Trust

Catalyst Housing and Peabody Trust

Milverton Homes Limited

Lansdowne Place Wealth Management Limited

A cyber security

Digby Associates Limited

Wraxall Capital Solutions

Veezu

FCLS Limited

Red Construction South West Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Peabody on the acquisition of a company (registered in England and Wales) which owns the iconic Ford plant in Dagenham that, once developed, is likely to provide in excess of 3,100 new homes (both affordable and market sale/rental), new community space and commercial properties.

Foot Anstey

Foot Anstey advises on the spectrum of corporate transactions, including acquisitions, disposals, funding rounds and management buyouts, and also has a very active commercial practice. On the corporate side, Ken Lewins is the name to note and acts for a sizeable client base of owner-managed businesses and SMEs. Alexandra Hammond was promoted to partner in May 2021 and leads the commercial practice; as well as acting alongside general counsels to provide ongoing advice, she is also able to fulfil the role of general counsel for clients on a temporary or permanent basis. The group added to its commercial expertise in November 2021, when Ashley Avery joined the firm from Travers Smith LLP. Avery has significant experience in the drafting and negotiation of commerical contracts, particularly in the technology sector. The team in Bristol frequently acts alongside colleagues in the firm’s Exeter office.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Stoate; Alexandra Hammond; Ken Lewins

Other key lawyers:

Karl Bradford; Martin Cuell; Annalisa Checchi; Ashley Avery

Testimonials

‘The great thing about Foot Anstey is the consistency with the people you work with across the organisation – whether it be employment or commercial advice sort, for example, the level of service is always excellent.’

‘The practice can be relied upon to provide sound advice which takes into account the commercial realities whilst focussing on protecting the client’s best interests. Excellent knowledge and capabilities at both Partner and Associate level.’

‘Alexandra Hammond always adds value and goes beyond the brief.’

‘A fantastic team producing City quality work in the South West. Punch well above their weight, and have a very transparent approach to fees. Everyone that I have dealt with has been responsive, clear and commercial.’

‘Karl Bradford is our go-to contact. He is an absolute delight to work with and razor sharp. Karl is someone that you want on your side of the negotiation table. He is front and center on all of his deals and clearly adopts a partner-led approach to his matters.’

‘Innovative approach to providing the equivalent of in house general counsel service through outsourced arrangement. Have been flexible and proactive in adapting team over time to provide appropriate service.’

‘The people become part of your team and collaborate completely seamlessly. They have a real talent at getting to know your business, but also your staff on a personal level enabling them to deliver first class service.’

‘They know what they are talking about and will not sit on the fence. We like firms that are happy to stick their neck out and give an opinion and face the challenges it may present. We always get that from Foot Anstey

Key clients

Blacksand Real Estate Company W.L.L

Shareholders of Silverfish

Hawksmoor Group Ltd

Flynn Group

Digital Claims Service Ltd

eXmoor Pharma

FRP Advisory

Stripe & Stare Ltd

The Royal Shakespeare Company

Chivas Brothers International

Work highlights

  • Advising the shareholders on the sale of Flynn Group Limited to M&J Evans. This is an example of our entrepreneurial private company advisory team in action and represents the deep specialism within our team in advising on this type of deal.
  • Managing a bespoke outsourced in-house legal service for the Royal Shakespeare Company and our role is to advise on all legal queries which a General Counsel would pick up.
  • Advising Stripe & Stare Limited on a Series A funding round which saw BGF (Business Growth Fund) and a number of Angel Investors invest £2.5m in Stripe & Stare Limited.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP has a niche in transactions involving private equity, assisting portfolio companies with bolt-on acquisitions and investment rounds as well as advising shareholders on sales to PE funds. Beyond the private equity space, the practice is instructed on a steady stream of M&A deals, investments, commercial agreements and corporate government matters. Emily Settle leads the ‘practical and approachable’ team and has a client base spanning portfolio companies, large corporates, SMEs and startups. Charlotte Hugo was promoted to director in October 2021 and is another name to note in the private equity space, winning praise for her ‘excellent eye for detail’.

Practice head(s):

Emily Settle

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Hugo

Testimonials

‘Practical and approachable.’

‘Working with Emily Settle and Charlotte Hugo was a pleasure. Both were very well structured, very responsive and had an excellent knowledge of the mandate.’

‘Well run and efficient team. Always available to help and deliver a direct and no nonsense approach to corporate transactions.’

‘Charlotte Hugo stands out as a star performer. She has an excellent eye for detail, is a brilliant project manager and has a warm personable style. One to watch.’

‘The team were a well oiled machine. They were incredibly organised and had great time management. They also maintain thorough and regular communication throughout the entire project. They were on top of all the key legal and commercial issues that a complex deal could face.’

‘Emily Settle and Associate Charlotte Hugo have been a pleasure to work with on projects. Their eye for detail is impeccable. They are also great communicators, a trait very important in project work consisting of various parties.’

‘The work Freeths do for us is very much partner led, so we know we are getting experienced corporate advice that has been well thought-through.’

‘I have worked mainly with Emily Settle, who has led the corporate advice given to us by Freeths. Whilst not directly involved in individual transactions, Emily’s role has been to assist us from a wider group perspective – giving that “bigger picture” analysis. Emily is extremely effective in delivering this at a high quality. Her advice is clear, concise and is pitched at the right commercial risk level.’

Key clients

Freshwave Services Limited

Zetar Limited

Public Group International Limited

Perci Health Ltd

Hasan Sheikh Faridul & Mohamed Abria

The Cornwall Council

Poundhost Internet Limited

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP

Self-Portrait Ltd

Centrica plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Poundhost Internet on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Catalyst2 Services Ltd from the founder, key management and family members.
  • Advised long-standing client self-portrait on its strategic acquisition of the luxury dress brand Roland Mouret from administrators.
  • Appointed to Centrica’s corporate panel in January 2021 and since appointment have advised the plc on various corporate matters including structuring and governance advice, confidential acquisitions, and a minority investment into hydrogen production technology company HiiROC.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

GL Law, which recently merged with Shakespeare Martineau LLP, has a strong track record in advising SMEs on corporate transactions, including acquisitions, disposals and management buyouts. The practice, led by Paul Hardman, is also instructed on restructurings. Hardman focuses on mandates pertaining to the precision manufacturing, healthcare, technology and retail sectors.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hardman

Other key lawyers:

Bridget Juckes

Key clients

CRS Building Supplies

The Games Room

Transvault Software

SWNS Media Group

Wright Minimix

The Istoria Group

Morgan Capital

Bath & West Finance

Apex Pumps

Debbie Fortune

Ash (Care Homes)

Brian Eatwell

Work highlights

  • Assisted RV Smith Leisure ltd t/a The Games Room to acquire the remaining, majority, stake in the iconic juke box brand, Rock-Ola. This involved a series of buy backs in the US and Cayman Islands together with a discharge of loans and other liabilities as part of a cross-border transaction co-ordinated in the UK.
  • Acted for the owners of local accountancy practice, Copson Grandfield on the sale to TC Group.
  • Acted for the majority shareholders of CRS Building Supplies on its sale to Grant & Stone (backed by Cairngorm Private Equity).

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP is instructed on a range of corporate transactions, including M&A deals, joint ventures and investments. The firm’s corporate practice is split between its Swindon office, where John Davies heads the overall team, and Bristol, where Elaine Meyrick serves as practice head. In 2021, Meyrick and John Richardson handled work including advising private equity portfolio companies on transactions as well as the establishment of employee benefit trusts. Head of banking Mike Tomlin is another name to note and advises on corporate transactions and financings.

Practice head(s):

John Davies; Elaine Meyrick

Other key lawyers:

John Richardson; Mike Tomlin

Testimonials

‘Very practical, commercial and realistic. Genuinely people orientated and build excellent relationships across the transaction stakeholders’

‘The Bristol team is relatively new to us – we have worked with Thrings Swindon for many years and the Bristol team assisted the Swindon team on a business sale. Thrings Swindon have been absolutely brilliant through the years, and Thrings Bristol were also outstanding. The time and dedication that they spent on the tasks was exceptional, and their subject knowledge and attention to detail just fabulous. I can’t thank them and the Swindon team enough.’

‘ITheir dedication to the task in hand was quite exceptional.’

‘Pragmatic and responsive. A natural extension of our in house team.’

‘Tenacious but well respected. Speak plain English.’

‘I think what makes this practice special is the broad span of its advice and also the quick turn-around time for that advice. I’ve asked questions on investing in a start up bank, the acquisition of a hotel, the acquisition of a fashion business, vendor contracts for everything from linen washing contracts to construction management. In every case the attorney in charge has been responsive and well-informed. Also, they like what they do, or at least appear to do so.’

‘John Davies is my lead partner. John is humble, humorous, enthusiastic, smart, and personable. What more could you want in a solicitor? He deflects praise and heaps it in his team members. There hasn’t been a problem he hasn’t been willing to investigate and offer the best legal option possible.’

Key clients

Whim Hospitality Group (All UK operations)

Shareholders of Pump Supplies Limited

Truespeed Communications Limited

Boost & Co

HSBC

Lovehoney

GS Yuasa Europe

World Fuel Services

Compass Energy Limited

Learndirect group

Stonewood Partnerships

Sothebys International Realty (UK Franchise)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Truespeed Communications Limited in relation to an additional debt facility from the Aviva group.
  • Acted as lead legal advisor on the sale of Pump Supplies Limited to Lakers, part of a Nordic group based in Oslo.
  • Advising Stonewood Partnerships Limited on their Regional Growth Initiative Joint Venture with Housing Growth Partnership.