Corporate and commercial: Birmingham in West Midlands

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has an outstanding track record in complex, high-profile and strategically significant M&A, corporate reorganisations and IPOs, among other matters. In addition to acting on domestic transactions, its first-rate group also excels in mandates with a cross-border component. The team includes Tim Lake and senior associate Simon Wright, who were among the advisers to Sovereign Capital Partners and the management shareholders on the £250m auction disposal and secondary MBO of the Outcomes First Group by The National Fostering Agency. Charles Cook heads up the UK corporate practice, while Noel Haywood leads the team in Birmingham. Robert Newman made partner in May 2020.


An excellent range of experienced lawyers, great joined-up working with other specialisms within DLA Piper. Get the job done efficiently and effectively

Pragmatic, responsive and more then legal advisers. Rising star – Rob Shaw

Key clients

2 Sisters Food Group

Adenia Partners

Alstom SA


Barclays Bank Plc


Brewdog Plc


Bromford Industries

Chamberlin Plc

Clinigen Group Plc

Darwin Group

Dechra Pharmaceuticals Plc

Dignity Plc

DS Smith Plc

East End Foods Group

Ecolab, Inc.

Elan Homes

Fetim BV



H&M Hennes & Mauritz

Hill & Smith

Huber + Suhner

Iberia Industry Capital

John Menzies Plc

Kelda Group

Lotus Bakeries

Mettis Aerospace


National Grid

NFT Ventures

Noble Foods Group Limited

Norsk Hydro ASA

Ocean Outdoor


Rolls Royce Plc

Sertec Corporation Limited



Sovereign Capital Partners

Starstone Insurance Services Limited

Starwood Capital


The Hain Celestial Group, Inc

Thomas International

Watkin Jones

Webjet Limited

Wipro Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Rolls Royce on the sale of its civil nuclear service businesses in US, Canada, France & the UK.
  • Advised East End Foods Holdings and its shareholders on the sale of East End Foods to Exponent Private Equity.
  • Advised Solway Foods Limited/2 Sisters Food Group on the sale of its sandwich/food to go business to Samworth Brothers Limited.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a strong profile among domestic and international clients, for whom it acts on their most complex mid-cap and large-cap transactions. Led by Mark Beardmore, the team undertakes a mix of private equity, M&A and equity capital markets work. Beardmore and Nigel Cooke were among the advisers to the shareholders of ALE Holdings Limited on the proposed disposal of the company to its main competitor Mammoet Holdings BV. Catherine EleySteven Hacking and Theresa-Marie Stodell are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mark Beardmore


‘Very pragmatic, responsive and personable – as well as being excellent lawyers.’

‘Theresa-Marie Stodell is very good – a quality lawyer. The honest advice is appreciated, both from a legal and commercial perspective.’

Key clients

Shareholders of ALE Holdings Limited

Aston Lark Group Limited

Wienerberger Limited

Audley Group Limited

Norman Hay Plc

Envigo International Holdings LLC

Escape Hunt Plc

Genting Casinos

Work highlights

  • Advised Aston Lark on its acquisition of Protean Risk Limited.
  • Advised Wienerberger Limited on its acquisition of BPD Holdings Limited.
  • Advised Audley Group on its joint venture to develop four new residential retirement  sites with Schroders Real Estate and Octopus Real Estate.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is active in headline M&A and private equity deals, and it also provides specialist commercial contracts advice. The group acts for clients in industries such as real estate, automotive and food and drink. In 2019, Chris Towle and others advised BGF Investments LP on its co-investment with CBGF into Appnovation Technologies as part of its international expansion strategy. David Vaughan heads up the corporate team in Birmingham, which also includes Jeremy MillingtonAnurag (Ragi) Singh and Stuart YoungSharon Ayres leads a group specialising in private fund formation, investments and restructurings. Principal associate Caroline McNally is also recommended.


They care and are very attentive in understanding their clients’ needs and offering great advice. They also guide their clients through difficult waters, with a full support network being available to support the lead solicitors

Key clients


Birmingham City Council

Southco Inc.



Business Growth Fund

Rettig Group

Hill & Smith Holdings Plc

Cummins Inc.


The Midcounties Cooperative

Otto Bock

Palatine Private Equity

Atcore Technology Group Limited


Sandvik AB


Metsaliitto Cooperative

GCI Group

Mitek Holdings Inc

GCP Applied Technologies

Codemasters Group Holdings Plc

A F Blakemore & Sons

ReBound Returns


Aston Manor

The Hut Group

Sanctuary Group

SLR Global

M&G Real Estate

University Superannuation Scheme

St Modwen

NFU Mutual

Avison Young

Coca Cola European Partners

Sdiptech AB

Work highlights

  • Advised Rigby Group on the sale of Fluidone Holdings Limited to Livingbridge EP LLP.
  • Advised Avison Young on its acquisition of GVA Grimley from Apleona Group GmbH, a portfolio company owned by EQT.
  • Advised LDC and the management team on the sale of the Away Resorts Group, a UK holiday park operator, to Bregal Freshstream.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP is strong in M&A, private equity and growth capital investments, and capital markets transactions. In addition, general commercial work is a bedrock of the practice. Clients of the firm include sponsors, global corporates and institutional funders. The team includes Mike Jackson and senior associate Kirk Glenn, who acted for Command Line Software Limited (trading as Impala) on an $11m investment round. Roger Birchall and Michael Stace are other ley corporate partners. On the commercial law side, Richard Nicholas and Ryan Harrison advise clients on matters such as outsourcing, contracts for the sale and purchase of goods and licensing.


Mike Jackson – our partner at Browne Jacobson – is truly fantastic and a great source of both legal counsel and business and negotiation advice

Kirk Glenn & Daniel Thomas – Both exceptional associates that are on the ball and highly communicative. They manage to keep a lot of separate threads together in complex transactions

The team at Browne Jacobson has made a significant effort from our first engagement to not only get a real detailed understanding of our business but have gone a stage further to understand the different characters within the leadership team. This level of understanding helped enormously in our sale process that took a big effort from Browne Jacobson to get the drawn out process over the line

Mike Jackson (Partner) and his Birmingham team of (Clare, Francesca and Kirk) worked tirelessly on our transaction and, despite the lengthy process, remained focused and pushed all parties along. Where I think the team really stood out was its ability to see the challenges of the transaction from the ‘eyes’ of all stakeholders (management, Investors and buyers). This helped with decision making and resolving of conflicts by offering pragmatic solutions that worked

Key clients

T.C.L. Holdings (Parent) Limited

Apiary Capital LLP

C7 Health Limited

RentE Limited (trading as Evezy)

Slick Stitch Holdings Limited

Command Line Software Limited (trading as Impala)

CET Group Holdings Limited

Mobeus Equity Partners LLP


Sunrise Records and Entertainment Limited

The National Trust

PZ Cussons Beauty LLP

DPD Group

Camelot (the National Lottery)

John Smedley Limited

The Fresh Olive Company Limited

The Mission Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of TCL Group on the company’s disposal to Idverde and reinvestment of certain managers in the buying entity.
  • Advising Apiary Capital LLP on the purchase and financing of a nursery group.
  • Advised AFCW Plc on a £2m crowdfunding campaign with Seedrs and on arrangements with other high net worth investors, including in the US.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's corporate team in Birmingham is led by Lee Clifford, who is also the national head of private equity. Clients range in size from SMEs to multinational companies. The group's work includes M&A and private equity transactions, restructurings, MBOs and MBIs. Tom Brown led the advice to Funeral Partners Limited on its acquisition of Funeral Services Northern Ireland Limited from Co-operative Group Holdings (2011) Limited in 2019. Mark Neale heads up a separate specialist commercial group, which handles large-scale, transformational projects. Nigel GardnerKirstin Roberts and Jason Richards are also recommended for their commercial law expertise. Ateeq Ahmed joined PwC.


‘Partner-led service, deep sector knowledge, experienced team, excellent communication and delivery, solution focused.’

Key clients

Natgraph Limited

Ricor Global Limited

Lloyds Development Capital

The Alumasc Group Plc

Finance Birmingham Limited

Wurth Group

Funeral Partners Limited

BGF Investments LP

ALDI Stores


Travis Perkins


Barratt Developments

NEC Group

Eurocell Group

Eddie Stobart

William Hill


H W Martin

FCC Environment

Arkphire UK Limited

NCR Limited

Atlas Hotels

Principal Hotel Company

Synergy Logistics


Samworth Bros

Pukka Pies


Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of Natgraph Limited (an advanced drying technology business) on the disposal of the company to Nasdaq Stockhom-listed business Indutrade.
  • Acted for Ricor Global Limited on the acquisition of Walsall Pressings Company Limited and DRB Engineering Limited.  
  • Advised Funeral Partners Limited on the acquisition of Funeral Services Northern Ireland Limited from Co-operative Group Holdings (2011) Limited.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc acts for a mix of UK-based and international clients, including private equity houses, nominated advisers (NOMADs) and brokers, corporates and entrepreneurs. Tom Durrant heads up the corporate practice, while Paul Cliff leads the national capital markets team. In one highlight, Tom Rush led a cross-practice group, which assisted Hammonds Fitted Furniture Group Limited with a £19.75m MBO. Simon Gill, Gareth John and Andrew Cowan are also experienced in corporate transactions. On the commercial contracts side, Simon Pigden has expertise in outsourcing, the procurement of goods and services and supply chain management, among other areas.

Key clients

Likewise Group Plc

Hammonds Fitted Furniture Group Limited

Connection Capital LLP

Sdiptech AB

Prism UK Medical Limited

GIL Investments Limited

TTC Group (UK) Limited


YFM Private Equity


Grosvenor Health and Social Care Limited

Palatine Private Equity

The Watches of Switzerland Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of RADMS Paper Limited on the sale of the company to Japan Pulp and Paper Co,. Ltd
  • Acted for Likewise Group Plc on its acquisition of Heatseam Limited, as well as the client’s placing and re-admission to The International Stock Exchange of The Channel Islands.
  • Acted for LDC on the MBO of Instinctif Partners Holdings Limited.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is highly regarded for mid-market corporate and private equity work. Its team includes Julian Smith, who is the head of the national independent health and care team. James Fry leads the life sciences practice, while recently promoted partner Junaid Haroon heads up the Midlands agri-food and business group. Another key figure is Peter McLintock, who is the head of the firm's Africa desk. In 2019, Smith, senior associate Joanna Duncan and others advised independent bookmaker Wilf Gilbert on the sale of the business to Boylesports. Kevin LoweJane HusseyDavid Varnham and principal associate Ruth Andrew are also recommended.


‘The team have really strong and detailed knowledge of IT and Cloud deployment particularly which was both highly unusual in our experience and equally incredibly helpful. One big positive with this firm is their pragmatism – the ability, and willingness, to tackle a thorny subject.’

‘Peter McLintock has extensive commercial experience; a highly credible individual and very pragmatic. Ability to cut through the fluff, agree exactly what should be done and how is compelling. Also able to flex things to meet our requirements.’

‘Mills & Reeve understands our business and offers guidance rather than just options.’

‘Pragmatic, supportive, easy to get hold of and high level of skill throughout the wider team.’

Key clients


Deutsche Bahn AG / Deutsche Bahn Digital AG

Elaghmore Fund

Stantec Inc

Healthshare Limited

Indigo Telecom Group Limited

Iron Mountain

Key Capital Partners

Geary’s Bakery group

Virgin Care

Swish Fibre Limited

Phoebus Software Limited

NorthEdge Capital

Palatine Private Equity

Senova PTY Limited

Jaguar Landrover

Apollo Chemicals Limited

Delta Financial Systems Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Swish Fibre Limited on a £250m MBO.
  • Advised Soneva PTY Limited on a £200m investment into the company by an affiliate of KSL Capital Partners.
  • Advised Preventx, its management team and shareholders on a strategic equity investment by private equity investor Synova Capital Fund.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's corporate team, which is led by Nicole Livesey, acts for clients based in the West Midlands, UK and elsewhere worldwide. Andrew Hornigold has a standout reputation in technology-related M&A, and he also heads up the life sciences M&A practice. Elsewhere, the firm has a well-established reputation in the advanced manufacturing sector. Joanne Ellis, who focuses on the healthcare industry, led the advice to Xeon Smiles UK Limited (Bupa Dental Care) on the acquisition of the Total Dentalcare Partnership, MDANZ Holdings Limited, MZINC Limited and Future Drilling Limited, from the founder operators. Clare Francis heads up the commercial practice in Birmingham.


We’ve been working with Pinsent Masons for over a year now. They are very keen and willing to innovate, cost effective and very easy to deal with. They get the challenges that our in-house team is facing and are aligned with the requirement to create win-win arrangements with our external counsel as we seek to increase efficiency and reduce operating cost

Jo Ellis, the lead partner. She is easily Magic Circle quality and highly commercial in all negotiations

Our experience with the firm’s M&A team in Birmingham has always been excellent

Nicole Livesey is an outstanding partner – commercially minded, pragmatic, great at taking the initiative, a terrific negotiator, all underpinned by excellent legal knowledge and good industry knowledge

Reliable, knowledgeable, efficient, effective responses

Nicole Livesey is a strong character, knowledgeable and very personable. She is someone I can and do rely upon. I trust her implicitly and seek and value her advice on a range of issues

The investment the firm makes in understanding its clients’ businesses is exceptional. Technical expertise (if you can call it that) is a given at this level, knowledge and interest in your business take the service to another level and the fact that the lawyers are real “people’s people” makes the firm a true extension of your business and the process a pleasure

Andrew Hornigold – a real stand out business partner, astute huge sector knowledge and fantastic to work with

Key clients

The Good Care Group London Limited

Riverdale Healthcare

The Ministry of Justice

E.ON Plc

Capita Plc

Node4 Limited

Linnaeus Group

Tesco Plc

Financial Times Group Limited (FT)

Xeon Smiles UK Limited (Bupa Dental Care)

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of Crosslink Technology Holdings Limited on the disposal of Crosslink’s subsidiary, Silentbloc UK Limited, to Dellner Bubenzer Group AB, as well as the subsequent disposal of Crosslink and its subsidiary, Icon Aerospace Technology Limited, to Integrated Polymer Solutions.
  • Advising Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority on an ambitious project to establish a new university in Peterborough.
  • Advised the Business Growth Fund, and the founder and manager shareholders of live-in care specialist ‘The Good Care Group’, on the multimillion pound disposal of the group to Sodexo Holdings Limited.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's team includes Richard Wrigley, who is often sought out in complex restructurings and transactions involving a cross-border component. Wrigley is also noted for his energy sector expertise. Kavita Patel heads up the firm's investment funds practice and leads the corporate finance group. Patel assisted Mobeus Equity Partners LLP with a £58m fundraise involving four established venture capital trusts. Adam McGiveron and Emma Bryant (who was promoted to partner in 2019) are other names to note. Keith Spedding is also recommended.

Other key lawyers:

Keith Spedding; Emma Bryant


A trustworthy, reliable and very competent law firm

I have known Adam McGiveron for some 15 years. He is very professional, cost-efficient and highly attuned to the complex legislative framework in M&A and wider disciplines of law. He provides high quality and business friendly input

Key clients

National Grid Plc

Express & Star Newspapers

Alliance Automotive

Foresight Group LLP

Mobeus Equity Partners LLP

Lexon Holdings

British Independent Retail Association

British Independent Utilities

Sunderland of Scotland

Acorn Automotive

Work highlights

  • Acted for Horstman Group on the multijurisdictional sale of a defence manufacturer.
  • Handled 17 corporate acquisitions for Alliance Automotive.
  • Acted for Foresight Group on the launch of the FP Foresight Global Real Infrastructure Fund (FGRI Fund), a sub-fund of FP Foresight OEIC, a UK open ended investment company (OEIC).

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP is particularly strong in growth and venture capital transactions; notable individuals with expertise in this space include Alastair Peet (who is the head of the national venture capital practice) and Alistair Hammerton (who made partner in 2019). Ben Turner leads the corporate team in the Midlands, which also provides full-service support on a wide range of other matters, including private equity transactions, M&A, joint ventures and corporate governance. The group acts for clients operating in industries such as technology, energy and infrastructure, hotels and leisure. David Jackson leads the commercial team. Helen Burnell was promoted to senior associate.


Shoosmiths appears to have an excellent culture, which translates into an excellent service (quality of advice and client service levels). Appears to have a clear policy of recruiting from large firms and providing opportunities for progression, which means that Shoosmiths partners and team members are typically technically talented / experienced whilst being engaged and motivated. Shoosmiths has a broad service offering, with specialists available for almost all of our requirements

Typically Shoosmiths partners and teams provide the ideal balance of technical proficiency and commerciality. They do not fail to highlight and explain risks, and also offer solutions to overcome issues and a pragmatic assessment of the impact of risks. They move at pace throughout a transaction and are never the cause of unnecessary delay, which is often not the case with their competitors. Ben Turner (Partner) and Nick Little (Associate) in particular typify this approach

Key clients

Titgemeyer GmBH

Rotala Plc

GIL Investments

National Care Group


Hambro Perks

Octopus Ventures

Precious Homes

Iron Mountain Inc.

Solid Solutions Management Limited

Gresham House Ventures

Three Mobile

Odeon Cinemas


BNP Paribas

Estée Lauder


Mercedes Benz

Cushman & Wakefield

Volkswagen Group


Molson Coors


Dignity Plc

Santander Consumer

The White Company

Work highlights

  • Advised AIM-listed transport solutions operator Rotala Plc on its acquisition of the business and assets of First Manchester Limited, including its Bolton depot.
  • Acted for GIL Investments on the acquisition of the trade and assets of the Scottish precision machining business of Proserv UK Limited.
  • Advised National Care Group on its acquisition of Integra Group.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs is a powerhouse for mid-market corporate M&A, and it features particularly prominently in the industrials and manufacturing, healthcare, leisure and retail, and football industries. Although its team is primarily active in buy-side mandates, it also demonstrates strong capabilities in sell-side matters. Elsewhere, private equity deals, Takeover Code work and equity capital markets transactions form other key pillars of the practice. Birmingham corporate head Geoff Perry and Andrew Glaze acted for CH Bailey Plc on its AIM delisting and capital reorganisation. Stuart James has over 20 years of experience advising clients on commercial law issues.

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Glaze; Simon Jones


Responsive, deep commercial knowledge, and with the scale to get things done efficiently

Stuart James, partner, is an exceptional intellect with extraordinary commercial knowledge and experience. The consensus here is that he is the most capable lawyer any of us has dealt with. He is incredibly effective and has single-handedly helped us generate revenue where we thought there was no opportunity. He has a decent team too

Seamless integration of the various technical segments offered through the corporate team. I have one point of contact who simply makes life easy and delivers high quality advice. Not just legal advice but a genuine commercial involvement in transactions and real assistance with forming a view of the issues before us

Andrew Glaze is engaged, always available and offers excellent technical, real world advice. I see him as my team mate on transactions not my lawyer. I really value his opinion. The practical issues of delivering the legal support are his and I don’t need to see them but he absolutely ensures that the big issues are surfaced early and clearly

Key clients

Anglo Asia Mining Plc

Carver (Wolverhampton) Limited

CH Bailey Limited (previously C.H. Bailey Plc)

Dalata Hotel Group Plc

DK Group Investments Ltd

Lyndon Scaffolding Limited (previously Lyndon Scaffolding Plc)

Park Ohio Industries Inc

SAICA (Sociedad Anonima Industrias Celulosa Aragonesa)

Transport for Greater Manchester

Veolia Group

Vulcan Industries Plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for Lyndon Scaffolding Limited (formerly Lyndon Scaffolding Plc) and the shareholders on the sale of Lyndon Scaffolding Plc to Brand Energy Holding BV.
  • Advised Dalata Hotel Group Plc on the acquisition of the Tamburlaine Hotel.
  • Advised Waterstones on the acquisition of new SaaS based systems for the operation of its warehouses, and for the ordering and supply of books throughout its store network.


DWF's corporate practice was strengthened recently by the arrival of John Campion from  DLA Piper. Campion's expertise includes M&A, equity capital markets transactions and public takeovers. Campion works with Birmingham corporate head Mark Gibson, who acted for Fairview Hotels Limited on the acquisition of the Holiday Inn in Cardiff. Ben McLeod, who heads up the commercial team in Birmingham, handles mandates with a national and international dimension; he has been instrumental in growing the firm's work in the TMT sector.


Clear point of contact, attentive staff, value for money

Mark Gibson – practical and commercial approach. Understands our needs

Key clients



Severn Trent Plc

Specialist Computer Centres Plc

Skytek Limited

Munnelly Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for Manx Telecom Plc on its £255.9m recommended takeover by Basalt Infrastructure Partners.
  • Acted for Aperture on the acquisition of Synseal Extrusions Limited.
  • Advised Cartesian on its $24m investment into London-based sleep technology company Simba Sleep Limited.

Fieldfisher LLP

Fieldfisher LLP has a well-established reputation in the energy, commodities and infrastructure sectors. It also advises professional services businesses, such as surveyors, architects and solicitors. Graham Muth leads the team, which advises on M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions, restructurings and offshore investments. Chris Hill retired from private practice. Hugo Lidbetter joined from EDF Energy in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Graham Muth

Key clients

Metamorph Group Limited

Incap Oyj

Enzen Global Limited

Glancy Nicholls Architects Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Metamorph Group Limited, a consolidator of law firms, on its acquisition of Parrot & Coales LLP (a law firm in Aylesbury).
  • Advising Metamorph Group Limited on its acquisition of Verisona Limited (a Portsmouth based law firm).
  • Advising Finnish listed company Incap Oyj on the acquisition of an electronics manufacturing services group with production facilities in the UK and Slovakia.

Irwin Mitchell

At Irwin MitchellNick Dawson heads up the corporate group in Birmingham, and also leads the firm's national private equity practice. In 2019, the team was strengthened by the arrival of Emma Callow from Pinsent Masons LLP. Callow was the lead adviser to Reconomy (UK) on its acquisition of Advanced Waste Solutions, as well as its acquisition of Nationwide Services Group. Chris Rawstron runs the corporate team nationally. The commercial group in Birmingham is led by Sarah Riding.

Other key lawyers:

Emma Callow


Nick is very experienced, very energetic and well organised. His team has taken on all of these characteristics

Nick Dawson:  experience, well connected, reasonable, able to take a firm line with his client (me!) and never loses his temper. he is everything you want in a lead partner at a law firm

Matt Smith: Matt is the perfect lieutenant. He works very long and hard, he is intelligent and experienced, yet when he is unsure of a point, he will always refer back to Nick. And he is not too proud to admit that he needs to do this. I am quite certain Matt will be a partner at the firm shortly

The main individual I worked with was Matt Smith. I valued his professional and knowledgeable approach. He was also very efficient and did not waste time, which I have known to be the case with some competitors

I work with Charlotte Avery. She is very supportive and professional. Her great strength is her attention to detail and overall understanding of any commercial challenges we face, not just the legal aspects

I think the strength of the team came from its timely responses, very organised approach and knowledge of the service I required

Key clients

Hadley Industries Plc

Norchem Limited

Lexon (UK) Limited

Reconomy (UK) Limited

thyssenkrupp UK Plc

National Grid Plc

Jaywing Plc

Gravity Fitness Limited

The British Chambers of Commerce

Restore Plc

Camfil AB

Nuffield Health

Whitworths Limited

ATS Euromaster Ltd

Xoserve Ltd

idverde Holdings Limited

Mizuno Corporation

Motus Holdings (UK) Limited

NG BaileyEuropa Worldwide Group

Acorn Growth Companies

Work highlights

  • Advised private equity firm Acorn Growth Companies on its acquisition of a majority interest in Aerospares 2000.
  • Acted for the shareholders of AGC Aerospheres Holdings on the sale of the company to Cumulus Acquisition (part of the FDH group of companies).
  • Advised Motus Holdings (UK) on its acquisition of F&G Commercials and F&G Holdings.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP's Birmingham team includes commercial contracts specialist John Irving, who is knowledgeable about distribution, franchising and partnerships, among other areas. Irving works with David Robinson, who was hired from Davies and Partners in 2019, and handles a mix of corporate restructurings, MBOs and MBIs.

Other key lawyers:

John Irving; David Robinson


‘Very commercial and practical in how they approach problem areas.’

Key clients

Comau UK Limited

NVC Lighting Limited

Henry Squire and Sons Limited

Ingersoll Rand

Turnaround Management Association

Stockton Engineering Limited

Extra MSA Group

Kumho Tyre (UK) Limited

Conex Universal Limited

Casino 36 Limited

Jack Allen Holdings Limited

Ashbourne Management Services Limited

Legal Clarity

Corporate and commercial boutique Legal Clarity attracts work from owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurs. Led by Richard Underwood, the team advises on acquisitions, disposals and investments. Gary Davie, who joined from Shakespeare Martineau LLP in 2019, is experienced in employee ownership transitions (EOTs) and other tax or commercial-led reorganisations.

Practice head(s):

Richard Underwood

Other key lawyers:

Chris Wright; Gary Davie


Collaborative approach and fast turnaround times

Gary Davie is the go to person for advice on transactions involving employee ownership trusts (EOT)

Professional, coordinated team with good communication. No fuss. Understandable and justifiable fee structure

Richard Underwood’s professional approach, impeccable attention to detail and thoroughness ensured the business sale completed. Highest quality, excellent level of contact and explanation of all complex issues. Would always recommend Richard to my contacts who are considering a business sale

Gary Davie is the partner we work with. Gary is always available and very responsive. He is commercially-minded and always willing to look for creative solutions. Gary provides us with an excellent service and we would have no hesitation in recommending him to other potential clients

I was impressed with their attention to detail and the clear way in which the contractual advice was presented. I was also given the impression they were very aware of charging the correct fees. I always felt I knew where I stood and the advice given was in my interest

Key clients

Filtermist International Limited

TeacherActive Limited

Microlise Limited

Baldwins Accountants

Magma Accountants

Prime Accountants

Dains Accountants

Modality Partnership

Stonegate Trinity LLP

Window Widgets Limited

Pallex Group Limited

William Gibbons & Sons Limited

Advanced Hydrocarbon Fuels Limited

DP9 Limited

Eclisse UK Limited

Whitemoor Davis Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for Filtermist on three acquisitions in 2019, including a £6.6m investment in DCS Group of companies.
  • Acted for Fab Flamingoes Limited’s management Team on the MBO of Window Widgets (2006) Limited from DW3 Products Group Limited.
  • Acted for DP9 Limited on its transition to employee ownership, which involved the transfer of the entire issued share capital of the company to a new trustee company.

The Wilkes Partnership

Gareth O’Hara leads The Wilkes Partnership's well-established corporate practice, and generates work from owner-managed businesses and other privately-owned companies, as well as banks. Its varied workload includes asset and share transactions, reorganisations and general company law matters. Jeremy Parkin leads the commercial contracts team.

Practice head(s):

Gareth O’Hara


The team at Wilkes played a vital part in the successful outcome of the sale of my business. Their expert guidance was crucial in overcoming the complications presented by the international nature of this transaction and they gave me the confidence to move ahead at every step to completion

The individuals that I work with at Wilkes are approachable and present information, options and outcomes in an easy to understand way. I’d like to specifically mention Jeremy Parkin and Helen Smart, who’ve been outstanding when I’ve had cause to interact with them

Gareth O’Hara is an exceptional lawyer – highly commercial, practical advice. I would highly recommend him and his team

Feels like they instantly become part of your team and provide the advice and support required to aid you with reaching your goals

Gareth O’Hara is very personable, and leads each assignment, giving his full attention on the matters in hand

A strong team with a real can do attitude. Relentless focus on the client outcome and getting the deal done, with a refreshing approach to clear communication and minimal use of legal jargon

Gareth O’Hara – a great understanding of business and business people, thinks like a business owner meaning he focuses on the key elements and how to get the deal done. Offers wise counsel during the deal, and is honest and realistic in managing the sale/purchase process and timelines, which is crucial. An ability to “cut to the chase” helps in pulling all parties together and avoiding drift

Key clients

Baldwins Holdings Limited

Johnsons Cars Limited

Fitzgerald Contractors Limited

Farillio Limited


Star Events Group Limited

Smarts Specialists Plumbing Limited

MBG Global Brands GmbH

Cotswold BMW


Wesleyan Bank Limited

Dennis Eagle Limited

Aston & Fincher



Epyx Ltd

AF Blakemore (Spar)

J S Wright

HIA International Limited

Ricor Limited

Carter Environmental/Refrigeration

Niclen GmbH

STABILA Messgeräte Gustav Ullrich GmbH

Böcker AG

TruVenturo GmbH

Polytec AMR GmbH & Co KG

German Christmas Company Limited

Huber Car Park Systems International GmbH

Pravida Bau GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client Johnsons Cars on the purchase of four Volkswagen dealerships, including three freehold sites and one leasehold site.
  • Acted for Coppice Alupak Limited on the purchase of the business and assets of Nicholl Food Packaging Limited (in administration).
  • Acted for the shareholders of Voluntas MRS Limited on the sale of the company to IFF Research.