Work at BPE Solicitors LLP's Cheltenham-based office is split between a distinct corporate team, led by Louise Grzasko (promoted to partner in 2019), and commercial team, led by Iain Garfield. The teams advise clients locally and nationally, with a niche handling work for small and mid-cap public companies. On the corporate front, the group is well-versed in M&A, private equity and venture capital investments, and has developed a particular strength in fundraising. The commercial contracts team is in a good position to advise clients in Cheltenham's growing IT sector, as well as continuing to assist with matters pertaining to real estate and insurance contracts. Anthony Rudge is another key name for corporate finance work.
Corporate and commercial: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire in South West
BPE Solicitors LLP
Other key lawyers:
‘From the outset I found their advice and the style of delivery to be coherent, understandable and responsive. There have been a number of challenges and technically difficult areas on which advice has been needed and they have always delivered.’
‘Anthony Rudge has always been particularly supportive and rounded in his advice.’
‘The most enthusiastic team of precision-driven, detail orientated corporate lawyers I have ever worked with.’
‘Nothing is too complicated and every task was completed on time, even if it took through the night.‘
Mears Group plc
Howard Tenens Group
Agria Pet Insurance
CLEAN Linen Services
Shareholders of Redcomb Pubs
Open Data Institute
Cotswold Outdoor / Outdoor & Cycle Concepts
Timber Trade Federation
Open Orphan plc
Summit Medical Group
APC Technology Group plc
Motorcycle Industry Association / Motorcycle Live
Shareholders of Positek
Shareholders of Allcooper
Cavendish Park Holdings
- Advised AIM-quoted Totally plc on its £11.5 million reverse takeover of Greenbrook Healthcare, as well as advising on the company’s placing and open offer of shares which raised, in aggregate, £9.7 million (before expenses).
- Advised the shareholders of Allcoopers, a Gloucestershire-based installer and monitor of security and fire systems, on the sale of the company to a leading global security service provider, Securitas, for £6 million.
- Advised FTSE-listed Mears Group on its successful bid for the Government’s asylum accommodation contract, including supporting the client in drafting and negotiating various sub-contracts required for initial accommodation, transport, longer-term housing and other associated services.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's Cheltenham office advises clients on a regional, national and international basis, handling high-value M&A, restructurings and refinancings. The team, which is led by Richard Norton, has particular specialisms in the aviation and renewable energy sectors, notably handling the administration of Fly BMI. The office is also regularly instructed on M&A and investment into the Middle East and Africa, drawing on the significant experience of Adrian Mayer in overseas deals. Another strand of the practice is US venture capital and private equity investments into the region's IT industry, which is an area of focus for Jonathan Morley.
Dunkerton Family Office (founder of Superdry plc)
Bank of Cyprus
Robert Hitchins Group
Datatec (Listed on Johannesburg)
- Advised the sellers and management team of PKL Topco Limited, a supplier of portable kitchens, on the sale of the entire issued share capital to Lowe Rental Group. This was a private equity backed purchase.
- Advised the shareholders on the sale of Square Mile Broking Limited, a leading City based insurance broker, to Miles Smith Insurance Brokers. This was a private equity backed purchase and involved split exchange and completion to allow for FCA approval.
- Advising the Bond Family Office, the main investor in FlyBMI, in connection with rights in relation to the administration of FlyBMI, including advice in relation to existing security obligations and rights in administration
Swindon firm Clark Holt was recently acquired by Gardner Leader LLP. The corporate team is led by Philip Humphreys, specialising in M&A, management buy-outs (MBOs) and reorganisations, as well as shareholders’ agreements. The group advises a mixture of regional, national and international clients, with Joe Lewis able to draw on experience in listings and fundraisings.
‘Professional, honest, pragmatic firm who deliver.’
‘A small but highly specialised team focused on their core areas of corporate transactions and commercial matters.’
‘The team is partner led, providing a truly personal and bespoke service to clients.’
‘The key partners provide a wealth of expertise from many years working within the legal sector. Key contacts on the corporate side include Philip Humphreys, James Thorpe and Joe Lewis. The partners are all highly responsive to client needs and really take time to understand the commercial aspects and drivers.’
ACORD Solutions Group
Imperial Business Systems
Jonas Computing (UK)
KAM Project Consultants
Michel Roux Snr
Solverboard (Ignition DG)
Strategic Maintenance Planning
- Advised on a £17.6m private equity supported management buy-out.
- Advised Jonas Computing (UK) on the acquisition of Motion Software and Retail & Sport Systems.
- Ongoing legal support to Kallidus. This includes support to the director responsible for sales and his team.
At Harrison Clark Rickerbys, the corporate team, led by Richard Wilkey, specialises in M&A for public and private companies, MBOs, joint ventures and collaboration agreements, as well as post-acquisition issues. Richard Knight is a key member of the corporate team, and is regularly instructed on high-value transactions in the region; Rachael Reeves specialises in advising start-ups and SMEs on corporate deals, with particualr expertise in equine business matters and contracts. Stephen Thomas runs the commercial team, with expertise in outsourcing projects.
‘A very personable group that works well together. Patiently worked through some complex arrangements, and gave us confidence and knowledge so we could make the best decisions.’
‘Down to earth and personable, patient and far from humourless! Always professional with a much-needed eye for detail.’
National Care Group
Mitsubishi Motors UK
Royds Withy King
The corporate team in the Bath office of Royds Withy King is able to work hand in glove with the firm's offerings in Bristol, Swindon, Oxford and London to advise corporates and SMEs on a variety of corporate transactions. The group is led by Katharine Mortimer, known for her health and care sector expertise. James Worrall is another noted individual for M&A work. In April 2019, the firm recruited Dan Meadon-Bower from an in-house position with TSB Bank, and he now leads the firm's commercial and technology team.
‘Katharine Mortimer and the corporate team helped us establish a joint venture efficiently and effectively. I was particularly impressed by Katharine’s ability to navigate the inevitable sensitivities that presented themselves from time to time.’
‘I valued their speed, their precision and their humanity. They recognised that I acted and responded quickly, and matched it appropriately.‘
‘The partners are very responsive to client needs and will go the extra mile to deliver the required service within the stipulated timescales.’
‘This practice has a strong regional presence in the South West which is complemented by a London team. Partner contact with clients is very good and the services provided are commercially focused and represent excellent value for money.’
Apollo MAM Group
Fidelius Financial Holdings
Half Moon Bay
The Jolly Hog Group
Cellmark Forensic Services
Sharp Laboratories of Europe
- Advised the shareholders of digital media buying agency Search Star on the sale of the Company to US headquartered digital transformation group Welocalize Inc.
- Advised the shareholders of specialist care provider Values In Care on the sale of the company to private-equity funded Swanton Care and Community.
- Advised men’s make-up brand Shakeup Cosmetics on the terms of an equity capital raising and the development and manufacturing agreement with its main supplier.
John Davies leads the Swindon-based team at Thrings LLP, which is able to handle mid-market M&A, mainly in the manufacturing, logistics, health, education and technology sectors. Strengthening the group in 2019, associate Will Foulkes joined from Foot Anstey, bringing with him substantial blockchain expertise. Simon Hore is noted for corporate finance.
GS Yuasa Battery Europe
Wasdell Packaging & Wasdell Holdings
Abbey Business Interiors
- Lead adviser on Wasdell’s strategic acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Honeywood . Thrings carried out full commercial due diligence as well as handling the property aspects of the transaction.
- Lead legal adviser on Rockley Holdings second sector specific acquisition of Agribulk. Thrings handled all corporate, commercial, property and employment matters of the transaction.
- Lead legal adviser to Jammac Group on its acquisition of the business and assets of Longview Carehome. Thrings handled commercial contracts, due diligence, and the property and employment aspects of the transaction.
On the corporate side, Willans LLP's team specialises in transactions relating to the renewable energy, technology, telecoms and manufacturing sectors, assisting start-ups, scale-ups and corporates with M&A and investments. In terms of commercial work, the group focuses on professional practices, with particular expertise in partnership law. Since 2019, Chris Wills has been the practice head. Paul Symes-Thompson takes the lead on work for professional practices.
Sanderson Solutions Group plc
Philip Dennis Foodservice
X Cyber Group
Isles of Scilly Steamship Company
Stephen Betts & Sons
Mosaique Creative & Marketing
Former shareholders of Cavendish Park Bricklayers
Former shareholders of Blueberry Wave
Federation Internationale de l’Automobile
Client Manager’s Toolkit (CEMAR) part of the thinkproject! group
Randall & Payne LLP
- Advised Sanderson Solutions Group plc (formerly known as Resource Solutions Group plc) on its acquisition of Intelligent Resource (formerly Sopra Steria Recruitment ) from a subsidiary of the French listed information technology consulting group, Sopra Steria Group SA.
- Advised exiting shareholders of Cavendish Park Bricklayers on the management buyout of Cavendish Park Bricklayers.
- Advised Federation Internationale de l’Automobile on all legal aspects relating the setting up of its new multidisciplinary motorsport event, the FIA Motorsport Games.
The team at Wilsons is instructed by corporates, professional service firms, charities and high-net-worth individuals, but it has particular expertise advising on transactions in the health and social care sector. James Johnson heads the team and has broad commercial law expertise. Senior associate Mark Cook is noted for mid-market M&A.
Other key lawyers:
‘Easily contactable and approachable with a deep understanding of how the law works commercially.’
‘James Johnson is very practical and commercial and takes instructions and gives advice in clear terms whilst being supported by detailed legal documents and interpretations.’
Robert Brett & Sons
Sizmek Technologies Inc
Moore Kingston Smith LLP
The Soho Agency
Picker Institute Europe
- Advised Robert Brett & Sons on a joint venture with Breedon Southern , a purchase of 50% of Britannia Aggregates from Tarmac Trading to take Britannia into 100% ownership of Brett and advised on a number of other commercial arrangements relating to the supply of aggregates.
- Advised Sizmek Technologies Inc and its subsidiaries on the UK aspects of the sale of its Adserver business to Amazon for an undisclosed figure.
- Advising The Soho Agency on its investment by DLT Entertainment UK .
Mogers Drewett LLP
The team at Mogers Drewett LLP specialises in M&A for SMEs in the region, frequently advising on transactions involving the hotel and leisure, creative and technology, and food and drink sectors. Tom Webb heads the group, and is also able to draw on company law expertise. Associate Emily Eccles is another company law expert.
Other key lawyers:
‘Mogers are a well-established and well-regarded firm in the South West. They have well-appointed offices in the centre of Bath, which house a team of excellent litigators who are able to offer commercial advice and legal solutions across a wide range of sectors.’
The Kaledioscope Collection
M & N Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
Lloyd & Whyte Group
The Leonidas Group
Coombe Castle International
A H Warren Trust
Ascend Learning UK
Infinia Cyber Consulting
- Lead advisers to The Kaleidoscope Collection on the sale of 100% of the shareholding in No 15 Great Pulteney to Guest Holdings Ltd.
- Advised Lloyd & Whyte on the purchase of the business and assets of PPS GI, a veterinary insurance specialist.
Parker Bullen LLP
Practice head Mark Lello is the stand-out lawyer at Parker Bullen LLP, which handles corporate and commercial work across the technology, healthcare and professional services sectors, as well as having experience handling charity sector work. The group carries out corporate transactions, fundraisings, restructurings and joint ventures, as well as advising on intellectual property matters.
‘From the start they were very clear about what they could do and how they would work on our behalf.’
‘Mark was readily available at all times to answer questions. This is unusual as at many firms you often have to deal with someone more junior.‘
‘The firm was well organised and quick to respond to any contact and were able to provide swift answers to any query.’
‘Mark Lello had a clear overview of the process and where we were and where it was heading.’
PW & JA Hedge
Guernsey Residential Home
Dowsing & Reynolds
Independent Living Solutions
Teal & Mackrill
Help for Heroes
- Advised and acted for two shareholders in the sale of their entire shareholding in PW & JA Hedge Limited, a corporate owner of two pharmacies.
- Advising Help for Heroes on an agreement to provide grant funding to another military linked charity in order to assist its development plans.
- Drafting a sealed bid agreement relating to a Guernsey registered company, Guernsey Residential Home, conducting sealed bid reveal process and completing the company share buy-back.
Solicitors Title LLP
Solicitors Title LLP has carved out a practice advising local technology sector SMEs on commercial contracts and data protection issues. On the corporate side, department head Richard James has experience in MBOs, joint ventures, M&A and restructurings.
C2 Business Solutions
Chapel Barton House Co.
Orchards Estates and Lettings
The Organic Plantmilk Company
- Assisted The Don Solutions with creating and advising on all mobile application licensing terms, including EULA for The DON Smart Task Completion App.
- Negotiated and structured second-round £3.5m MBO with deferred consideration protected via non-QCB loan notes, acting for IT Equipment.