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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > South West > Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles national and cross-border work for leading companies, including listings, corporate M&A and takeovers. It has notable specialisms in the aviation and renewables industries. In addition, the firm is increasingly active in matters connected with the Middle East and Africa, such as investments and acquisitions. Richard Norton is a key figure in the team.

Practice head(s):Richard Norton

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Morley; Matthew Hobbs; Rebecca Brown; Adrian Mayer

Testimonials

'Their service stands out as exceptional, they are extremely attentive to clients' needs and extremely responsive'

'Delivered an excellent work product for very good value'

'Adrian Mayer is always extremely helpful and solutions-oriented; he knows the market well'

'Matthew Hobbs is not only very responsive and efficient, but also a pleasure to work with'

Key Clients

Trifast Plc

Dunkerton Family Office

A Tsokkos Public Limited

Gulf Air

Actis LLP

Argo Group

BMI Regional

Battery Ventures

Robert Hitchins Group Limited

Datatec

Work highlights

  • Advised Awal Bank B.S.C on the Global Buyout Fund and the sale of a steel plant in Oman.
  • Advised Trifast Plc on its acqusition of Precision Technology Supplies Limited.
  • Advised Battery Ventures on the acquisition of the Mecmesin group of companies by way of share purchase.
  • Advised Kout Advisory on the £10.4m acquisition of Crosslane Student Developments Limited
  • Advised Soundbitelearning UK Limited on the buyout of government shareholders by other private shareholders.

BPE Solicitors LLP's clients include listed companies, entrepreneurs, SMEs and mid-market companies. Its commercial team, which is led by Iain Garfield, advises a number of UK law firms on their conversion from or to LLP status. It also delivers commercial contracts advice to other types of clients located across the UK; the scope of the work includes manufacturing agreements, procurement contracts and outsourced supply agreements. A significant portion of the work in this space has a cross-border dimension. Anthony Rudge heads up the corporate team, which undertakes M&A, AIM fundraisings and private placements. Senior associate Louise Grzasko is experienced in corporate finance matters, such as IPOs.

Practice head(s):Anthony Rudge; Iain Garfield

Other key lawyers:Anthony Rudge; Kathryn Broughton

Key Clients

Allenby Capital Limited

Sureserve Group Plc (formerly Lakehouse Plc)

The Shareholders in MAB (Gloucester) Limited

Sosandar plc

APC Technology Group Plc

Big Sofa Technologies Group Plc

Integumen Plc

Garlands Leisure Limited

Crowe UK LLP

Mears Group

Gloucester Rugby

Open Data Institute

Outdoor & Cycle Concepts/ Cotswold Outdoor

Pure Gym Limited

Future Advanced Manufacture

Location Sciences Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for Allenby Capital Limited as nominated adviser and broker to Grafenia Plc on a £3.5m secondary placing.
  • Advised Sureserve Group Plc on the sale of its Construction and Property Services division.
  • Advised APC Technology Group Plc on its £2.5m secondary placing and vendor placing.
  • Acted for Crowe UK LLP in acquisition of a boutique accountancy firm from Accounting for Entrepreneurs Limited.
  • Acted for Clean Linen Services Limited in the negotiation of the terms of a joint venture agreement for the supply of services to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station project.

Swindon-based law firm Clark Holt fields separate corporate and commercial teams, which operate independently on standalone mandates, but also collaborate on transactional work. The firm's clients range in size from start-ups to listed international companies. Jeremy Holt heads up the commercial team, which handles commercial contracts, IP-related engagements and commercial regulatory work. The corporate practice is led by Philip Humphreys, who has a strong track record undertaking M&A for UK and US clients.

Practice head(s):Philip Humphreys; Jeremy Holt

Other key lawyers:Jeff Jenkins; Joe Lewis

Testimonials

'Hugely experienced'

'Unafraid of telling clients the best route forward'

'Dedication to helping clients achieve their desired outcome, rather than billing hours'

Key Clients

KAM Project Consultants

Saietta Group

JNP Group

Gurr Johns

Gorilla Spirits

Microgen plc

Algomi

Orangebox Group

Absolute Antibody

Back Office Associates

Pirium

Solverboard (Ignition DG)

Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of Orangebox Group Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to a listed buyer from the US.
  • Acted for Absolute Antibody Limited on its cross-border merger with US-based Kerafast, Inc.
  • Advised the shareholders of Ethical Direct Limited (trading as Office Coffee Company) on the sale of the company to Belgian coffee Group Miko.
  • Acted for the client on the establishment of a new holding company and vendor-initiated management buyout.
  • Advised certain medical managers of Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM) on BCRM's spin-out to the private sector after planned discontinuation of services by the NHS.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys primarily handles corporate and M&A work for key clients in the healthcare, manufacturing, technology, education and retail sectors. The scope of the team's services includes management buyouts, joint ventures, post-acquisition issues and share schemes. Practice head Richard Wilkey has a strong focus on private equity and venture capital transactions, where he acts for management teams and fund clients. Tim Ward and Derek Callanan are new arrivals to the group, arriving from BPE Solicitors LLP and Knights plc respectively.

Practice head(s):Richard Wilkey

Other key lawyers:Richard Knight; Peter Raybould; Rachael Reeves

Key Clients

Rowan (216) Limited

Paragon Bank Plc

Wireless Innovation Limited

National Care Group Limited

DVV Media International Limited

Horizon Capital

GIL Investments

Teamsport Holdings Limited

Viper Innovations

Premier Employer Solutions Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Rowan (216) Limited on the £5.4m sale of Newent-based Ladder and Fencing Industries Limited, including both management buy-ins and buyouts.
  • Acted for Paragon Bank Plc on the £274m acquisition of development finance provider Titlestone Property Finance and associated loan book.
  • Acted for National Care Group Limited on the purchase of the entire issued share capital of Shelton Group Holdings Limited.
  • Advised Chelverton Asset Management Limited on the purchase of shares in Tufwell Glass.
  • Advised Premier Employer Solutions Limited on an investment by Chiltern Capital for funding technology and services innovation.

Thrings LLP has a strong capability in corporate and M&A matters, working with both national and international clients in the firm's core sectors of engineering, manufacturing and financial services. Elsewhere, the firm has seen a substantial growth in work in the technology, healthcare, education and banking industries. John Davies  and Jonathan Payne co-head the corporate group. Commercial lawyer Kate Westbrook leads a team, which advises clients on the interplay between Brexit and investments, commercial relationships and M&A strategies.

Practice head(s):John Davies; Jonathan Payne; Kate Westbrook

Other key lawyers:Simon Hore

Key Clients

Yuasa Battery Europe Limited

CybSafe Ltd

Arkells Brewery Limited

MAN Truck & Bus UK Limited

MAN Truck & Bus AG

Wasdell Packaging Limited

Multivac UK Ltd

Intrinsic Financial Services

Procurri Limited

The Wishford Group (Independent Schools)

HSBC Bank

Santander Bank

Fermac Limited

Elcome

Torchlight Limited

World Fuel Services Limited

Metex Online Limited

Dynamatic Limited

Magdev Limited

Optimal Industrial Technologies

Bonsai Tiger

Excalibur Communications Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead adviser to the Wishford Group on its purchase of Westonbirt School, including the estate, grounds and leisure centre business.
  • Acted for Rockley Holdings Limited as the purchaser of the entire issued share capital of Ferman Traffic Services Limited.
  • Advised Arkells Brewery Limited on its acquisition of a hotel, restaurant and public house.
  • Advised Procurri Europe Limited on corporate restructuring and reorganisation following the purchase of EAF Supply Chain Holdings Limited.
  • Assisted Optimal Industrial Technologies Limited with the negotiation of commercial agreements to supply software and related services to major multinational pharmaceutical and consumer goods companies.

Royds Withy King works with clients at all stages of their business life cycle, with notable strengths in the financial services, technology and healthcare sectors. Katharine Mortimer leads the team.

Practice head(s):Katharine Mortimer

Willans LLP is well regarded for corporate and commercial matters, as is evidenced by the fact that it acts for clients ranging from owner-managed businesses and LLPs to international companies, including UK subsidiaries of US entities. The practice was bolstered by the arrival of Chris Wills from Murrell Associates in 2018; he subsequently became the department head in January 2019. Key sectors for the practice include technology, renewable energies and charities, among others. In addition, there has been an increase in work from professional services clients, such as accountancy firms.

Practice head(s):Chris Wills

Other key lawyers:Paul Symes-Thompson; Kym Fletcher

Key Clients

Excelerate Technology Limited

MA020 Limited

Continental Limited

Blueberry Wave Limited

Frazier Properties Limited

EcoGen Services Limited

Miles Mann Limited

Lakes Bathrooms Limited

Resource Solutions Group Plc

Ross Aldridge Solicitors Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Haboki Limited on the sale of its majority stake in EcoGen Limited as part of a management buyout.
  • Advised the owner-manager in connection with the sale of the entire issued share capital of the Regency Clinic to Total Health Ethos Limited.
  • Advised Miles Mann Limited on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of jewellery retailer Percy Davies & Son Limited
  • Acted for a car dealership on its acquisition of a property investment company with interests in Gloucestershire.

Mogers Drewett LLP acts for SMEs and owner-managed businesses in Bath, Bristol, the M4 corridor, the M5 corridor and elsewhere in the South West. It also generates work from clients based in London and further afield. Its varied workload includes advice on M&A, restructurings, joint ventures, shareholder agreements and reorganisations. Tom Webb in Bath heads up the team.

Practice head(s):Tom Webb

Other key lawyers:Emily Eccles

Key Clients

The Kaleidoscope Collection Limited

Lloyd & Whyte Group Limited

Ascend Learning UK Limited

Hodge Bank

Arbuthnot Latham

Koin Limited

Middledale Foods Limited

Synergy Farm Health Limited

Teaglo Limited

ADMP Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Kaleidoscope Collection Ltd on the sale of The Abbey Hotel, Bath to KE Hotels, as well as the subsequent purchase of The County Hotel, Bath from Seasons Hotels Limited.
  • Advised Rochford Family on the sale of Rochford Holdings Limited to AL-KO Gerate GmbH.
  • Acted for Helen Edwards on the sale of her company H C Life Limited to Belmont Instrument LLC.
  • Advised three individuals on the sale of the entire issued share capital of an agricultural business to an international purchaser.
  • Acted for House Hotels Limited as the purchaser of the business and assets of Bridge House Hotel for £1.2m

Sherbornes Solicitors Limited assists clients of various sizes with acquisitions, disposals, corporate refinancing and the negotiation of key business contracts. Simon Birks, who leads the team, has notable experience of acquisitions and disposals, as well as commercial matters, involving sectors such as retail, hospitality, healthcare and housing. Senior associate William Stebbings is another key figure.

Practice head(s):Simon Birks

Other key lawyers:William Stebbings

Testimonials

'The team is nimble and dynamic in its approach to providing concise legal advice'

'Friendly and family-orientated team, always willing to help and look after the best interests of their clients'

'Know how to deliver a great service, know what they are good at and not afraid to refer to others if the situation warrants it'

Key Clients

Ferroli Ltd

Black Type Services

Versarien PLC

Gloucester Rugby

Indeluxe Windows

Officeworx Ltd

Global ATS

Community Fibre

Eight Wealth Management Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Black Type Services on an equity fundraising project, bringing in new corporate shareholders.
  • Acted for Horsebridge Defence and Securities on the sale of £2m worth of shares to Viasat UK Limited.

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