Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

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.
Click here for more details

United Kingdom > Wales > Corporate and commercial > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and commercial
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Emma Borrington - Berry Smith
    • Phillip Pugh - Acuity Law
    • Matthew Sutton¬† - GREENAWAY SCOTT

Rising stars

  1. 1

Headed on the corporate front by Stephen Berry  and Paul Lowe, and for commercial work by Craig Griffiths,  Acuity Law's 11-partner team has the strength-in-depth to handle a wide range of transactional and ongoing commercial work within targeted industry sectors, including healthcare, education and renewable energy. The opening of a new office in London during 2018 (following the merger with two boutique firms) is testament to the firm's growing ambitions and need to service a client base that often extends way beyond its Welsh base of operations. Other noted partners include Christian Farrow, who excels at handling corporate deals in the renewables sector, and Phillip Pugh, whose focus on early stage work has led to his involvement on behalf of a number of university spin-out companies. Clients also continue to benefit from the firm’s in-house legal support subscription-based service - Acuity Counsel.

Practice head(s):Stephen Berry and Paul Lowe (Corporate) Craig Griffiths (Commercial)

Other key lawyers:Christian Farrow; Rachelle Sellek; Phillip Pugh; Jon Lawley; Rhodri Evans

Testimonials

'Very commercial and pragmatic.'

'An entrepreneurial approach.'

Key Clients

Capita Plc

Eco2 Limited

Portman Healthcare

IQE Plc

LifeCare Residences

Premier Forest Products

Verdion Properties

Zorin Finance

Tri-Wall International

Bluestone Resorts

Your World Recruitment

Lifetime Health and Fitness Training

MyPinPad

Newport Wafer Fab

Aqualisa

ComputerWorld

Dulas

Progressive Technology Solutions

Trinity Brands

The Sure Chill Company

Work highlights

  • The firm acted for ICSG on its acquisition of ProClincial Limited, a life sciences recruitment business with subsidiaries in the US, Germany, Switzerland and Singapore.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Ultrapharm Limited (a Welsh baker which specialises in "free from" goods), in its sale to listed food manufacturer Finsbury Foods.
  • The firm continues to act for Portman Dental Care on the acquisition of numerous dental practices.
  • Advised the Wealthify Group Limited in connection with an investment by Aviva.
  • Acted for the shareholders and the company on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Harris Pye to Joulon EU Acquisitions, a company owned by a Singapore fund controlled by global investment firm, KKR.

Led on the corporate front by the ‚Äėvery experienced and accomplished‚Äô Robert Cherry,¬†Blake Morgan LLP¬†has strong ties in the local market and beyond for a varied mix of corporates, private equity sponsors and SMEs. Although the firm is active across the spectrum of industry sectors, it has a particular niche acting for owner-managers in the health and social care sectors. James Williams¬†has an excellent reputation in the local market and, alongside senior associate¬†Richard Jones¬†,¬†¬†has recently handled numerous mandates for management teams on investments by UK and US private equity firms.¬†Penri Desscan¬†leads the firm‚Äôs commercial offering and is particularly well-known for her procurement work.

Practice head(s):Robert Cherry (Corporate) Penri Desscan (Commercial)

Other key lawyers:James Williams; Karl Foster; Richard Jones; James Vaughan

Testimonials

'Very strong team.'

'James Williams is very active in the local market.'

 

Key Clients

Shelton Care

Nigel and Bridget Roberts – former owners of Paramount Office Interiors

Shareholders of Fostering Together Limited

Cambrian SW Limited

Management team in connection with secondary buyout of Amberon Group

ZWPV Limited (Zip World Group)

Amzac Estates

Work highlights

  • Advising on the sale of a care business in the Stoke area which has been under the ownership of the Vincent family for 29 years.
  • Advising the former owners of Paramount Office Interiors Limited on their exit from the company via an MBO.
  • Advising the shareholders of the company on its sale to NFA Plc
  • Assisting on the capital reduction demerger of Cambrian Decorators Supplies Limited - resulting in the separation of the property and business assets of the company.
  • Acting for management team in connection with reinvestment terms relating to the sale of the Amberon Group to H2 Equity Partners.

The ‚Äėentrepreneurial and pragmatic‚Äô team at¬†Capital Law Limited¬†provides 'very commercial advice' across public company M&A and private equity work, both locally and outside of Wales. Formerly in-house at 3i, ‚Äėresponsive and accessible‚Äô senior partner¬†Duncan Macintosh¬†has superb insight into work for sponsors and investee companies, and is a key member of the team that also includes¬†Alys Carlton¬†and¬†Tom Kelleher, both of whom handle most of the day-to-day mandates and co-lead the corporate department. Associate¬†Laura Spendiff¬†has a flourishing reputation in the SME space, and has a focus on early-stage investment work and spin-out and venture capital investments.

Practice head(s):Alys Carlton; Tom Kelleher

Other key lawyers:Duncan Macintosh, Laura Spendiff

Testimonials

'Very well respected, advising on M&A transactions with very strong credentials in private equity.'

'Duncan Macintosh is a class act who has seen it all'

'The very well respected and extremely experienced Tom Kelleher is one of the stand out corporate lawyers in the region, especially for private equity work'

'Tom Kelleher is level headed and unflappable'

'The very approachable Alys Carlton is an excellent corporate lawyer, with specific expertise of advising management teams.'

'Alys Carlton excels in private equity matters and has a great network in London and South Wales'

Key Clients

WestBridge Capital

Development Bank of Wales

Cairngorm Capital

NCL Technology Ventures

Cardiff City Football Club

British Medical Association

DevOpsGroup Limited

Admiral Group plc (via its main trading subsidiary, EUI Limited)

PCI Pharma Services

Veezu Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acted for Simply Do Ideas in an equity fundraise, made by various angel investors and the Development Bank of Wales.
  • Acted for Development Bank of Wales in a debt and equity investment in World Class Finance.
  • Acted for Novum Securities in relation to their role as placing agent and joint broker for Nu-Oil and Gas Plc
  • Acted for NCL Technology Ventures on its investment in Andiamo Ltd.
  • Acted for DevOpsGroup in a £3m equity investment from the British Growth Fund.

With three partners focused on handling corporate work from the firm's Cardiff office, and also able to leverage a significant national and international presence, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is particularly strong at handling upper/mid-market transactional work, often without a connection to the Welsh market. The firm is particularly strong at handling investments by private equity sponsors in the financial services and renewable energy sectors. Team head Paul Pugh has an excellent reputation for handling fintech M&A, while Michelle Davies and Charles Reynard  regularly lead on the firm's energy-related M&A matters.

Practice head(s):Paul Pugh

Other key lawyers:Michelle Davies; Charles Reynard; Richard Franklin; Shelley Evans; Matthew Gough

Key Clients

Pollen Street Capital

Stena Line Ports UK Limited

Kingspan Environmental Limited

Jaja Finance Limited

Greater London Authority

Atlantis Resources

CGN Europe Energy SAS

Places for People Group

Kier Group Plc

Castleoak Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Pollen Street-backed acquisition vehicle, Currency Holdings, on its acquisition of Foreign Exchange Direct Plc.
  • Advising on the acquisition of a majority interest in the Miles Smith Insurance Group
  • Advising Stena on the unwinding of its property-related joint venture regarding a proposed development at Holyhead waterfront with Conygar Holdings Limited and certain related arrangements.

Geldards LLP has a particularly strong reputation handling transactional work within the public sector, where key clients include the Welsh government and the Development Bank of Wales. In the private sector, the firm has a strong and growing reputation handling corporate and commercial work within heavily regulated sectors, including gaming and healthcare. Team head Andrew Morris has an excellent reputation among local corporates, as does Geraint Tilsley, who is also noted for his growing reputation for private equity and venture capital matters. Chris Williams leads on the commercial front.

Practice head(s):Andrew Morris (Corporate) Chris Williams (Commercial)

Other key lawyers:Geraint Tilsley; Martyn Davies; Justin Harrington

Key Clients

Admiral Insurance

Arix Capital

Arts Council of Wales

Breed Reply Investments

Business Growth Fund

Celsa UK

Certus IT Limited

Dawnus Construction

Development Bank of Wales

Greentube Internet Entertainment Solutions

John Bean Technologies

LDC

National Museum of Wales

Novomatic UK

Office Depot

Pembroke College

Proton Partners International Limited

Schauenburg International

Simbec-Orion Group

Swansea University

Tower Colliery Limited

Wales Millennium Centre

Welsh Government

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders and management of SOGL on a formal structured auction culminating in its sale to a newco buyer backed by CBPE Capital and the partial reinvestment of sale proceeds in the new entity.
  • Advised LDC on its significant minority investment in Zip World.
  • Advised the Business Growth Fund on a £3m equity investment in fast-growing Cardiff-based IT services company, DevOps Group.
  • The firm continues to advise Breed Reply Investments on a range of seed and series A investments.
  • Acted for the cleint on the sale of retail fashion brand Toast.

Headed by the 'experienced' Gerallt Jones,  Hugh James'six-partner team has the strength in depth to enable a significant degree of specialisation to both domestic and international clients across an array of corporate and commercial matters. Greg Williams has developed a significant niche in relation to healthcare M&A work, and is a key member of the team that also includes Aled Walters , who is able to parlay his vast media (he was formerly in-house counsel at S4C) and gaming sector knowledge to good effect on corporate and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):Gerallt Jones (corporate); Aled Walters (commercial)

Other key lawyers:Greg Williams; Lowri Walters

Testimonials

'A strong practice'

'Gerallt Jones has good experience and is trusted to deliver the legal support we need.'

'Aled Walters is excellent at advising on commercial matters in the gaming sector'

Key Clients

Princes Gate Spring Water

Novomatic

DS Smith

Avanti

Welsh Rugby Union

Vista Retail

Celtic Manor Resort

S.A. Brain & Company

Walters Group

Amelco

Work highlights

  • Advised the owners of Princes Gate Spring Water on the sale of the business to Nestlé Waters.
  • Advised Avanti Media on the sale of a majority shareholding to Sky Plc and the securing of the Songs of Praise contract from the BBC.
  • Advising DS Smith on commercial agreements with customers and suppliers.
  • The firm advised Cardiff University on the creation of a new body via a corporate vehicle.
  • Advised Walters Group on the sale of Ffos Las racecourse.

Benefiting from strong local business community ties,¬†¬†Berry Smith¬†provides a ‚Äėvery commercial and cost-effective service‚Äô to SMEs on their ongoing commercial requirements, as well as on transactional work. In addition to his regular corporate and commercial work for life sciences clients, team head¬†Andrew Bound¬†has also developed a particular niche advising professional services firms on their transactional activity, as well as on the development and execution of their corporate structures and succession planning. The ‚Äėvery detail-oriented‚Äô¬†Emma Borrington ¬†is well-regarded for her work in the financial services and manufacturing sectors, and is a key member of the team that also includes associate Paul Evans, who is noted for his ‚Äėexcellent work‚Äô within the healthcare space.

Practice head(s):Andrew Bound

Other key lawyers:Emma Borrington; Paul Evans; Philip Griffiths

Testimonials

'Totally reliable'

'Always looking for innovative ways to deal with issues they are presented with.'

'Andrew Bound provides very effective advice'

Key Clients

EKF Diagnostics Holdings Plc

Jellagen Pty Ltd

National Procurement Service for Wales

ISA Training Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for EKF in the spin out of its clinical diagnostic solution for kidney disease into a new company, Renalytix AI Plc.
  • Acted for Jellagen Pty Ltd in a £3.8m funding round.
  • Advised ISA Training Limited on its sale to Educ8 Training Group Limited.
  • Advise NPS generally on all contractual and procurement issues.

'A very entrepreneurial law practice',¬†GREENAWAY SCOTT¬†‚Äėpunches well above its weight‚Äô, and provides ‚Äėstrong business acumen‚Äô in relation to the corporate and commercial needs of start-up and early stage growth corporates in the region. Leveraging significant IP expertise, as well as corporate and commercial prowess, the firm excels at handling transactions within the life sciences and tech sectors, and benefits from strong ties with a number of leading UK universities. Founding partner¬†Nigel Greenaway¬†and¬†Matthew Sutton¬†provide ‚Äėcommercial and pragmatic advice‚Äô on corporate transactions, while¬†Rhian Osborne ¬†leads on the commercial front.

Practice head(s):Nigel Greenaway

Other key lawyers:Matthew Sutton; Rhian Osborne

Testimonials

'The team provides solid and commercially focused advice.'

'The firm manage the process throughout, understanding both the client in every aspect and the circumstances they are facing.'

'Nigel Greenaway is the driving force of the firm with a  justifiably excellent reputation.'

Key Clients

Santia Asbestos Management Limited

Velar Projects Limited

Datacom Limited

Philtronics Ltd

Trakcel Limited

Clinical Innovations LLC

Handelsbanken

Cool- Therm Limited

Wales Co-operative Development and Training Limited

Photonstar LED Group PLC

Flexicare Medical Limited

Cooper Projects Limited

Work highlights

  • Advisor to disposal company for a deal with over £1 million.
  • Advisor to the disposal company with a value of £13.4 million.
  • Advisor to the shareholders of the disposal company.
  • Advisor to life sciences company receiving major cross-border investment.
  • Recently advised on the 60% disposal of the entire issued share capital of Difference Corporation Ltd to UK cloud based telephony company Voip-4U

Led by Betsan Powell, JCP Solicitors' three-partner team provides 'knowledgeable and efficient' advice to a primarily SME and owner-managed local client base from key targeted industry sectors, including healthcare, charities and waste/recycling. Work includes advice on joint venture structuring, M&A transactions and business restructurings, while on the commercial front the firm continues its fruitful relationship with a major international sportswear manufacturer.

Practice head(s):Betsan Powell

Other key lawyers:Michael Williams; Chris Davies

Testimonials

'Betsan Powell efficiently processes major transactions'

 

Key Clients

Wales Air Ambulance

Macron

LBS Builders Merchants

Marine Power Systems

Energybuild Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Macron on a new five-year technical kit supplier agreement with Nottingham Forest FC.

Leveraging its strong ties with the local business community and beyond, Swansea headquartered firm¬†Morgan LaRoche¬†provides a ‚Äėfirst-rate service‚Äô across the spectrum of corporate and commercial work for SMEs and owner-managed businesses. Team head¬†William Barletta has vast transactional experience in the waste recycling and healthcare sectors, and also regularly handles work for professional services businesses on matters including partnership reorganisations and restructurings. Christopher Evans¬†splits his time between the Swansea and Carmarthen offices, and has successfully cultivated a strong west Wales-based client base which are appreciative of his Welsh language skills.

Practice head(s):William Barletta

Other key lawyers:Christopher Evans

Testimonials

'William Barletta is a very thoughtful strategist'

Key Clients

Culina group Limited

Hallmark Care Homes

Esterkin Group

Athena Care Homes

USB International

Redrow Homes

GDH (Holdings) Limited

AMP Clean Energy

Metro Property Investments

Santander (UK) Plc

National Westminster Bank

CKC Group

Swansea University

Ospreys regional rugby club

Scarlets regional rugby club

Mid Wales Housing Association

M&P Direct Limited

Platinum Group

Cultech Limited

David Jenkins Limited

Owens (Road Services) Limited

Llanelec Precision Engineering Company Limited

Blackhills Caravan Sales Limited

Neath Port Talbot (Recycling) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the company on the sale of assets to AIM-listed company, SigmaRoc Plc
  • Advised on the sale of shares to the Linneaus Group
  • Advised on the sale of shares to AIM-listed company CVS Group.
  • Acquisition of business and assets of ACR Environmental

At Darwin Gray LLP,  team head Stephen Thompson has significant transactional and commercial experience on behalf of local and national corporates from a range of industry sectors, including manufacturing. Thompson has also developed niche expertise in relation to the sale and purchase of franchise businesses.

Practice head(s):Stephen Thompson 

Swansea-based Douglas-Jones Mercer provides an 'excellent service' to local SMEs and owner-managed businesses, as well as a growing roster of international corporates, including Dawnus Group and Dawn Meats Group. Although his expertise covers a range of sectors, 'very responsive' team head Sheraz Akram has developed a significant niche within the healthcare sector, where his work includes advice on joint ventures, as well as acquisitions and disposals of healthcare businesses.

Practice head(s): Sheraz Akram 

Other key lawyers:Aaron Hayward; Chloe Williams

Testimonials

'A strong committed team supporting all aspects of commercial needs'

'Sheraz Akram is very customer-oriented and responsive'

Key Clients

Dawn Meats

Dawn Meats Group Unlimited

Dawnus Construction

Gravells Motor Company

Morgan Construction

Handlesbanken

Principality Building Society

DP Shayban

Action for Children

Furat Acquisitions

Silver Fox Acquisitions

Oxford Diecast

Work highlights

  • Represented Dawn Meats on the restructuring of its UK operations following a strategic partnership between it and Dunbia Group
  • Represented Fresh on the Go on the purchase of the Jack’s Beans business from Smiths News Plc.
  • Represented iCOM Works in a complicated restructure and demerger arrangement of its business operations.
  • Represented JTG Enterprises on the funding and investment into Morgan Construction with regard to a large-scale development.
  • Represented Calon Wen in respect of its constitutional arrangements and succession planning.

While it is undoubtedly best-known for its defendant public sector personal injury offering, Dolmans also handles some commercial and corporate work for local authorities, SMEs and local entrepreneurs. A member of the Business in the Community Cymru Advisory Board, team head Justin Harris has significant experience on corporate governance, commercial contract drafting and M&A matters, and is a key member of the team that also includes senior partner Adrian Oliver, who regularly handles regulatory and contractual matters for sports clients.

Practice head(s):Justin Harris

Other key lawyers:Adrian Oliver

Testimonials

'Their commitment to their clients' requirements are paramount and they strive to deliver all our legal services requirements however diverse and disparate in nature.'

'Justin Harris has a top legal mind allied to a strong leadership style which ensures that all of his team deliver to the high standards expected of them.'

Key Clients

Swansea Council

Established in Powys for over 170 years, Harrisons Solicitors LLP provides a 'responsive and commercial service' to clients spread across Powys, mid Wales and the Shropshire borders. Headed by Paul Ingram , work includes assisting local clients adopt and establish the most effective business structure to run their operations, as well as the provision of ongoing commercial services.

Practice head(s):Paul Ingram

Work highlights

  • Represented the client in its acquisition of the assets of eight stores from Countrywide Stores Plc in administration.

West Wales stalwart Red Kite Law LLP has strong ties with the local business community and regularly handles transactional and commercial work for SMEs and owner-managed businesses in the region. Team head Paul James  provides general corporate and commercial support as well as transactional advice to local clients from a range of industry sectors.

Practice head(s):Paul James

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to