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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 > Wales > Public sector > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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  1. Public sector
  2. Leading individuals
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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Praised for its 'supreme level of knowledge', Blake Morgan LLP 's cross-disciplinary 21-partner team has deeply entrenched public sector relationships and as well as handling practice specific work affecting those entities (including as they relate to corporate, real estate and commercial work), the team is also recognised as a 'market leader' for pure public law matters including Welsh constitutional law issues, where the 'vastly experienced'Emyr Lewis  is a leading light. Team head Eve Piffaretti 'has extensive knowledge and understanding' of health care law and the regulatory issues impacting on the healthcare sector, advising UK-based entities across a range of matters including on judicial reviews, fitness to practice, freedom of information, and human rights and equality issues. Employment law experts Paula Kathrens and Matthew Smith are also noted for their expertise within the healthcare sector, particularly in relation to handling the disciplining and dismissal of doctors under the NHS Wales disciplinary procedure. The 'very knowledgeable' Simon McCann has vast experience at handling procurement matters where he is admired for his 'can-do attitude'; he recently advised the Welsh government on the procurement of fisheries enforcement vessels and is acting for Transport for Wales in relation to the procurement of South Wales Metro and Wales and Borders rail franchises. LitigatorAllan Wilson is noted for his 'excellent work' on behalf of public sector clients, both in relation to judicial review and procurement challenges. 'Very down-to-earth and effective' senior associate Kevin Manship has a strong reputation handling judicial review work. Former head Christopher Williams joined Geldards LLP in December 2017. Clients include Cardiff University, Newport City Council, Welsh Government and NHS England.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's multi-disciplinary team handles a range of work for Welsh and English public sector clients, including on transformational projects, outsourcing, governance and regeneration developments. Corporate partner and also head of the third sector services team, Paul Pugh advised the Forestry Commission on the investment in leisure group, Forest Holidays, by Phoenix Equity Partners. Huw Rolant Jones is the employment lead on many significant public sector mandates and recently advised the BBC on gender pay regulations obligations and on an equal pay review and audit following the recent disclosure of pay information by the broadcaster. Headed by the 'experienced, intelligent and pragmatic' Peter Jones, the Cardiff office also houses the firm's market-leading public inquiries team. Recognised as 'one of the top law firms in the area', the team 'knows the public inquiry arena inside out' having acted on many of the highest-profile matters in the market including its current representation of Cadent Gas in the Grenfell Tower public inquiry. 'Impressive' senior associate Angharad Shurmer is also noted for her public inquiries expertise and is involved in the Grenfell Tower matter alongside Jones. Bridgette Wilcox has significant experience advising on major procurement matters including her ongoing work for Transport for Greater Manchester on the restructuring of the operation and maintenance contractual structure for the Metrolink light rail system and the procurement of a new operator-maintainer. Other clients include the Welsh Language Commissioner, Serious Fraud Office and NEST.

The 'commercially-minded and well-organised' team at Geldards LLP is 'effectively able to allocate resources at the appropriate level to provide a rounded service' to public sector bodies across a range of high-value and politically sensitive matters relating to property, planning, litigation and finance. Head of public law Huw Williams 'has an excellent understanding of local government in Wales' and is advising Carmarthenshire County Council on the governance arrangements for the Swansea Bay City Deal, a programme of projects supported by funding from the UK and Welsh Governments, aimed at delivering economic growth for the region. Employment head Kim Howell is regularly engaged in high-profile public sector-related matters including his representation of Caerphilly County Borough Council in relation to disciplinary proceedings involving the Head of Paid Service, Monitoring Officer and Deputy Chief Executive, following dismissal of criminal prosecutions for Misconduct in Public Office, in 2015. The 'very personable' Bethan Lloyd provides 'responsive and professional' advice on procurement and state aid issues; she recently provided pivotal state aid advice to the Welsh government in relation to the viability of the proposed Circuit of Wales project in Ebbw Vale. 'Very experienced' real estate partner Susanne Bradley is also recommended, as is Christopher Williams , who joined the firm in September 2017 from Blake Morgan LLP.

The 'capable, diligent and responsive' team at Acuity Law continues to pick up market share and 'is winning some excellent work', particularly for local authorities including City of Wolverhampton Council, West Sussex County Council and Wrexham County Borough Council. 'Excellent at getting to the commercial heart of the problem and focusing the team's efforts accordingly', team head Deryn Rees has broad-ranging public sector experience including as it relates to procurement and complex funding structures to facilitate PFI/PPP schemes and other commercial arrangements. Rees has considerable expertise in the waste sector and recently advised Thurrock Borough Council on a suite of contract documents to facilitate the procurement of operation and management services at the council’s network of recycling and waste handling centres and other waste management facilities. Currently on part-time secondment to the Local Government and Community Safety team within the Legal Services Department of the Welsh government, the 'excellent' Craig Griffiths 'brings important experience of working in-house for local authorities, which means he understands the legal and political context and is able to provide very useful practical guidance'. Griffiths is advising the University of Wales Trinity St David on the procurement of a joint venture partner which will seek to transform the SA1 area of Swansea, and building on the work already commenced by the University to develop new campuses on that site. Associate Laura Mitchell 'understands the peculiarities of advising the public sector' and is particularly accomplished at handling procurement matters.

The 'personable, enthusiastic, committed and engaged' team at Capital Law Limited is 'impressively strong at public law and regulatory/compliance issues' where it is able to provide 'expert advice on the Welsh jurisdiction and Wales’ specific legal requirements'. The team has picked up a significant amount of public sector work since its appointment to the NPS panel including Jeremy Williams' work for the Welsh government on the M4 relief road project, work which has expanded to include dealing with all the parties affected where the proposed relief road impacts on their interests. The 'very approachable and knowledgeable all-rounder' Nicola Mead-Batten has a 'real capacity for lateral thinking and a great commercial acumen', particularly as it relates to judicial review matters as demonstrated by her high-profile work alongside commercial litigator Stephen Meade for the British Medical Association. Senior associate Rhiannon Holtham 'has very strong waste procurement knowledge' and is acting for Caerphilly County Borough Council on the procurement of the Organics Waste treatment contract.

Strengthened by the recent arrival of procurement expert Emily Powell from the Ministry of Defence and property law practitioner Richard Macphail from Blake Morgan LLP, Hugh James has increased the resources and enhanced the bandwidth with which it is able to service its impressive array of public sector clients which include local authorities, government bodies, education authorities and housing associations. Powell is acting for Natural Resources of Wales to ensure its contracts are compliant with the impending GDPR legislation. Regulatory head Martin Jones is acting for various local authorities in contentious public law matters relating to their safeguarding responsibilities for children and older people. Caroline O'Flaherty and Ioan Prydderch also regularly handle real estate and construction public sector work, respectively. Clients include the Welsh government, Welsh Water, Crown Estate and Sport Council for Wales.

Sinclairs is 'extremely experienced and adept at dealing with public law matters' and is 'at the top of its game' in relation to acting for claimants challenging the decisions of public bodies. 'Incredibly bright' associate Kevin McManamon 'has a great depth of knowledge' and 'always advocates passionately on behalf of his clients'. Praised for his 'detail-oriented approach', McManamon has handled numerous public law cases in the healthcare sector including challenging a Welsh health board’s decision not to award a tender following a procurement exercise. Team head Michael Charles also has vast experience, particularly in relation to handling public law cases in the education sector.

In spite of its small size, Watkins & Gunn Solicitors is recognised as 'one of the best firms representing claimants in public law cases in Wales', and is noted for its 'very strong' capability in relation to administrative law challenges concerning the decisions of local authorities. 'Excellent and thorough' team head Michael Imperato  is recognised as 'one of the very few proper public law lawyers in Wales' and is noted in particular for his expertise at handling  cases in the healthcare and education sectors. Praised for his 'thorough preparation' and ability to 'appreciate complex legal arguments', Imperato has been acting in a number of hospital downgrade potential judicial reviews across the length and breadth of the country.

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