Corporate and commercial: Birmingham in West Midlands
DLA Piper UK LLP is known for its work on complex cross-border transactions with extensive experience in both M&A and capital markets. The team is led by 'tough negotiator' Noel Haywood and Charles Cook , who both focus on international M&A transactions. Also recommended are private equity partner Tim Lake , capital markets partner John Campion and rising star senior associate Robert Newman .
Noel Haywood; Charles Cook
‘Very efficient with strong experience in M&A ‘
‘Noel Haywood is a tough, hard-edged negotiator with a laser focus on client outcomes.’
‘Tim Lake has a smiling, easy going manner which belies a strong winning mentality.’
2 Sisters Food Group
Barclays Bank PLC
Boparan Private Office
H&M Hennes & Mauritz
Hill & Smith
Huber + Suhner
Iberia Industry Capital
Morgan Advanced Materials plc
NFT Ventures Pearson
SUEZ – Water Technologies & Solutions
The Hain Celestial Group
Treehouse Group Limited
Venture Capital Bank Bahrain
- Advised Brewdog on purchase of independent pub and bar operator Draft House’s 14 venues across London and the South-East.
- Advised John Menzies on disposal of the print media distribution business of John Menzies to Endless.
- Acted for Ecolab on its recommended cash offer to acquire Bioquell, a leading provider of hydrogen peroxide vapour bio-decontamination systems and services for the life sciences and healthcare industries.
- Advised Morgan Advanced Materials on the disposal of NP Aerospace.
- DLA Piper advised Boparan Holdings, parent company of 2 Sisters Food Group, on the sale of its red meat business to Irish meat producer, Kepak Group.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP covers the full spectrum of corporate and commercial work from its Birmingham base, with an enviable client roster that includes a number of large corporates and private equity houses, carrying out high profile transactions in the region. Mark Beardmore , who has experience of both private equity and M&A transactions, sits at the helm of the practice. Susan Lewis is another key M&A partner with a strong focus on cross-border deals, while Theresa-Marie Stodell adds experience of restructurings as well as M&A.
Other key lawyers:
Mitchells & Butler plc
National Grid plc
Legal & General
- Acted for Mountain Warehouse and its management and shareholders on a minority investment into the business by Inflexion (through Inflexion’s specialist minority fund, Partnership Capital).
- Reprised its role for Lloyds Development Capital (LDC) on the sale of NEC Group to Blackstone. The firm previously acted on LDC’s investment in NEC in 2015 from Birmingham City Council.
- Advised Mitchells & Butlers on its acquisition of a minority stake in 3Sixty Restaurants – the firm that operates the Ego restaurant chain, from entrepreneur Luke Johnson.
- Acting for Starbucks on a franchise model change throughout selected parts of Western Europe.
- Acting for Henley Camland on the acquisition from Land Securities of Eastern Quarry Ltd, the corporate entity holding land at Eastern Quarry, adjacent to the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, which is earmarked for significant residential development.
Gowling WLG has a strong reputation for working on high profile M&A and private equity deals within the region and beyond. The team focuses on sectors including real estate and the automotive industry as well as handling work for investment funds. David Vaughan leads the corporate team and is supported by Chris Towle , Ragi Singh , Andrew Lawton Smith and Jeremy Millington . The commercial side is led by Sally Mewies , whose team also includes Sarah Sasse , Stephen Kenny and principal associate Caroline McNally .
David Vaughan; Sally Mewies
Other key lawyers:
Birmingham City Council
Business Growth Fund
Hill & Smith Holdings Plc
The Midcounties Cooperative
Palatine Private Equity
Atcore Technology Group Limited
Mitek Holdings Inc
GCP Applied Technologies
Codemasters Group Holdings plc
A F Blakemore & Sons
The Hut Group
M&G Real Estate
University Superannuation Scheme
Marks and Spencer
Transport for London
Nomad Foods Europe Limited (Birds Eye)
Jaguar Land Rover
SMMT (UK automotive trade association)
The Rugby Football Union (RFU)
London Electric Vehicles Company
London Legacy Development Corporation (owner of the London Olympic Stadium)
Upfield (owner of brands such as Flora)
- Advised Avison Young on its definitive agreement with Apleona, a portfolio company of global private-equity firm EQT, to acquire GVA Grimley, a subsidiary of Apleona and one of the UK’s leading and most diverse real estate advisory-led businesses.
- Advised shareholders of GCI Managed Services Group on the sale of a majority stake in the business to Mayfair Private Equity Partners.
- Acted for leading video games maker Codemasters on its pre-AIM IPO reorganisation.
- Advised Birmingham City Council in relation to the reorganisation of Innovation Birmingham, which sits next to Aston University close to Birmingham city centre. Innovation Birmingham has supported more than 260 businesses, created over 500 jobs and raised more than £18 million in equity finance since 2009.
Freeths LLP 's corporate and commercial practice is a prominent force in the retail, construction, logistics, hospitality and public sectors. Lee Clifford leads the corporate team and is highly skilled in handling PE transactions. Heading up the commercial team is Nigel Gardner , whose main sector focus is on the logistics and hospitality sectors.
Lee Clifford; Nigel Gardner
‘The team are commercial, pro-active and support their clients’ needs.’
‘Lee Clifford is always reachable, pragmatic and technically gifted. Lee understands what it takes to get the job done within timescales and to a high quality.’
Lloyds Development Capital
The Alumasc Group Plc
Frontier Development Capital
Funeral Partners Limited
BGF Investments LP
Eurocell Group Limited
Aldi Stores Limited
NEC Group Ltd
Inchcape Retail Limited / Inchcape UK Limited
Travis Perkins Group
- Acted for Lloyds Development Capital and Newco in relation to the acquisition of the SMH Fleet Solutions group.
- Advised Germany’s Würth Holdings UK on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Monks & Crane Industrial Group Limited to Ensco 1286.
- Advised BGF on its investment in Telford-based global returns business Rebound. The transaction represents a significant investment by BGF in the global returns business, which is used by clothing retailers such as ASOS.
- Advised shareholders in garage operator MPK ( including BGF) on the sale and purchase of the entire issued share capital of MPK by Stratford Retail Group. The deal represents one of BGF’s main exits last year.
Gateley Plc has a strong presence in the region, as highlighted by its work in M&A, private equity and commercial contracts. Tom Durrant heads the corporate team nationally and is an expert in cross-border acquisitions and disposals. Other prominent figures from the team include: capital markets specialist Paul Cliff ; private equity expert Simon Gill ; Chris Reed , who is skilled in acquisitions and disposals; Michael Ward , who is highly experienced in corporate transactions and restructurings; and public company lawyer Tom Rush .
‘Gateley is a national firm, but with a small firm service ethos. They have developed a strength in depth and have the range of services that corporate customers require.’
‘Tom Durrant poseses the right characteristics for a lead corporate lawyer, with a range of knowledge across all disciplines, a sense of fairness and what will work in the real world.’
Lifetime Brands, Inc
Franchise Brands Plc
Liberty House Group
Premier Paper Group Limited
Stuart Turner Limited
Real Estate Investors Plc
Live Company Group Plc
- Advised shareholders in housebuilder Westleigh Group (including Palatinate Private Equity) on its sale to Countryside Properties for £135.4m.
- Advised CHS Healthcare on the acquisition of BroadCare Software.
- Acted for Sdiptech on the acquisition of Multitech Site Holdings, which provides temporary infrastructure.
- Advised children’s education and entertainment group Live Company Group on a share placing and on the acquisition of Bright Bricks Holdings. Bright Bricks is a UK-based firm which constructs custom Lego brick statues and models for touring events.
- Acted for YFM Equity Partners on the management buy-out of Database Service Provider Global Limited.
Mills & Reeve LLP 's corporate practice is led by Julian Smith , who focuses on the healthcare sector; Peter McLintock , who is an expert in private equity; and Jayne Hussey , who specialises in mid-market transactions, with a particular focus on the automotive sector. Also recommended is principal associate Ruth Andrew , who specialises in commercial contracts.
Julian Smith; Peter McLintock; Jayne Hussey
Other key lawyers:
Deutsche Bahn AG
Elaghmore PE Fund
Hiermeule & Meule GmbH
Indigo Telecom Group Limited
Iron Mountain Jaguar Land Rover
Luxury Family Hotels
- Advised Heimerle + Muele on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Weston Beamor Holdings, including its subsidiaries WB The Creative Jewellery Group and Gecko Trading .
- Acting for individual sellers on the disposal of the entire issued share capital of Zettlex Holdings.
- Advised management of Juno Health Limited on its acquisition of Ashchem Chemists – a group of 15 pharmacies, employing around 120 people in North East England.
- Acted for Elysium Healthcare Holdings 3 on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Broadham Care from its three founding shareholders.
Pinsent Masons LLP's Birmingham team has a particularly international focus, with a notable skillset in private equity, M&A and capital market transactions. In terms of sector focus, prominent industries for the team include energy, technology, healthcare and manufacturing. Nicole Livesey heads up the corporate department and is highly involved in the advanced manufacturing sector. Public sector specialist Clare Francis leads the commercial side and is notably skilled in advising on Brexit-related issues. Andrew Hornigold is another name of note, and is heavily involved in corporate issues surrounding the technology sector.
Nicole Livesey; Clare Francis
Other key lawyers:
Homeserve Membership Limited
Keys Bidco Limited
ISS Facility Services Limited
Financial Times Group
Porthaven Group Holdings Limited
E.ON Ministry of Justice
- Advised Cargill on its joint venture with Faccenda Foods to create a UK food company focused on chicken, turkey and duck.
- Advised Guy Hale and Matthew Aston on the disposal of their final 50% issued share capital in Hadley Steel Framing Limited (HSF) to Hadley Industries Plc.
- Advised insurer HomeServe on strategic acquisitions to increase its customer base, such as acquiring The AA’s home emergency policy book, which will allow HomeServe to operate under the AA brand for three years.
- Acted for The Financial Times Group on the acquisition of a controlling stake in Longitude Research.
- Advising Headlam on its long term “buy and build” strategy. The last year has included four acquisitions of a range of flooring distribution businesses.
Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a broad practice covering M&A, corporate finance, private equity and general commercial matters. Practice head Richard Wrigley is an expert in transactions and restructurings, with a strong emphasis on the energy sector. Other important names include: mid-market M&A specialist Adam McGiveron ; the corporate finance-focused Kavita Patel ; and Keith Spedding , who has a strong interest in the tech sector.
Express & Star Newspapers
National Grid Plc
Whitworth Holdings Ltd
Freshwater UK Plc
Alliance UK Ltd
- Advised Alliance Automotive (the European division of US-listed Genuine Parts Company) on multiple UK acquisitions.
- Advised Whitworths on purchase of Hovis’ flour milling operation.
- Advised Foresight Group investment fund on the merger of two funds to create a single fund with assets of more than £360m.
- Acted for Carver Group – a long established Midlands based company in the manufacturing sector -on the acquisition of Cool-Therm.
Squire Patton Boggs' corporate and commercial team advises industrial, manufacturing, healthcare, retail and sports companies on public and private M&A and private equity deals. The 'excellent' Geoff Perry leads the team and focuses on mid-market M&A and PE transactions alongside partners such as Andrew Glaze . Other important members of the team include David Hull , who is highly experienced in corporate transactions, particularly in the sports sector where the firm works with a large number of football teams, and commercial expert Stuart James , who often advises on procurement and sourcing matters.
‘This is very much a partner-led practice, with the engagement partner visible and hands on throughout the transaction process. Having said that, support from associates is excellent.’
‘Geoff Perry has excellent commercial legal skills and the ability to communicate effectively with a lay client inexperienced in corporate deal-making.’
Dalata UK Limited
Veolia ES (UK) Limited
Park Ohio Industries Inc
Lyndon Scaffolding Plc
Aston Villa FC
Raksha Energy Holdings Limited
Riverview Law Holdings Limited
Sociedad Anonima Industrias Celulosa Aragonesa (SAICA)
CH Bailey Plc
Arena Event Services Limited
Arrow Global Plc (FTSE listed provider of financial services)
Bournville CollegeHCA International
- Advised Dalata UK on acquisition of the entire share capital of Hintergard – the owner of a London hotel.
- Advised long-standing client Veolia on four transactions within six months, including the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of KDC Holdings .
- Acted for Lyndon Scaffolding on its sale to Brand Industrial Services.
- Advised Riverview Law and its majority shareholders on its acquisition by ‘Big 4’ accountancy practice EY.
Browne Jacobson LLP 's corporate team focuses on M&A, private equity and venture capital deals, while the commercial team is primarily concerned with contractual matters. Mike Jackson heads up the corporate side and has a particular emphasis on the technology sector. The commercial team is led by Ryan Harrison , who frequently advises on cross-border matters.
Mike Jackson; Ryan Harrison
‘Browne Jacobson’s M&A team are commercial, straightforward and always available. I trust their advice and ability to get a transaction done in line within a required timeline.’
The National Trust
PZ Cussons Beauty
NCP (National Car Parks)
The Mission Marketing Group
Palatine Private Equity
North Edge Capital
- Advise the beauty division of PZ Cussons on most domestic and international commercial legal needs, including supply chain contracts and distribution arrangements for brands like St Tropez Tan, Sanctuary Spa, Fudge Professional and Charles Worthington.
- Provided the National Trust with a retainer for commercial legal work that the in-house team cannot resource. Mandates include anything from filming & location agreements to brand licensing arrangements, gift card programmes and GDPR requirements.
- Advised NorthEdge Capital on a significant majority stake in facilities management company Orbis Protect, backing an MBO with the existing management team led by CEO Guy Other and COO Ben Howard.
- Acted for LDC and the other shareholders of The Pallet Network Group on an exit to ESLL Group Limited (Eddie Stobart).
- Advised Bray Leino , a UK based integrated communications agency that is part of The Mission Marketing Group plc, on the disposal of its BroadCare healthcare focused platform to Carehome Selection Limited.
Emms Gilmore Liberson 's corporate and commercial team advises on M&A, restructurings, joint ventures and commercial contracts. It is also developing its healthcare client-base. Leading the practice is Stephen Gilmore , who is notably strong in shareholder and partnership agreements and Gregory Emms, who focuses on a range of corporate transactions.
Stephen Gilmore; Gregory Emms
Other key lawyers:
Kian Golestani; Gurmeet Jakhu
PTV Group Peach Pub Group
Business Loans Limited
Tipton & Coseley Building Society
Scott Brownrigg Jaffer Group
Select Lifestyles Limited
LCF Developments Ltd
TWL Franchising Limited
APC – The Alternative Parcels Company
Mirko G Limited
- Advised shareholders in JNC Solutions on sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to Eque2.
- Acted for Scott Brownrigg architecture and design on the purchase of Acanthus. Acanthus’ transport clients include Transport for London, London Underground, DLR and Network Rail.
- Advised the majority shareholder in telecoms company CDI on its sale.
Fieldfisher LLP launched in Birmingham in late 2016 when it merged with specialist business law firm Hill Hofstetter. Now, the firm's corporate and commercial team, which is headed by partner Chris Hill, focuses on advising the professional services sector on acquisitions, disposals and restructurings. It also advises tech and other companies on software and hardware transactions, with a high proportion of its matters involving some international element. Matthew Williams joined from Orrick to help strengthen the firm's corporate presence in the energy, commodities and infrastructure sectors, with Hugo Lidbetter joining as a partner from EDF as part of the same push.
‘Graham Muth is very commercial in his way, which often is not the case with corporate lawyers. His right-hand man Iain Wilton is also very good, organised and commercial too.’
Solihull Moors Football Club
- Advising India’s Enzen Global on the UK aspects of its fundraising from Greater Pacific Capital.
- Advising Enzen Limited (a subsidiary of the India based Enzen Global Solutions) on its investment into Seville based Wellness Telecoms.
- Acting for professional services consolidators Metamorph Group on the acquisition of midlands based professional services firm Terry Jones solicitors.
- Advising Solihull Moors FC on a multi-million pound investment in the club.
Irwin Mitchell handles M&A, private equity and commercial contracts from its Birmingham office. Nick Dawson co-heads a team clients describe as 'easy to do business with' and is very active in M&A and private equity deals. Sarah Riding leads on the commercial side and is an expert in commercial contracts and outsourcing agreements. The third practice head is Chris Rawstron , who primarily focuses on corporate transactions and capital raising.
Nick Dawson; Sarah Riding; Chris Rawstron
‘The team are easy to do business with and have a “laser-like” focus on the specific requirements of the client.’
‘Irwin Mitchell’s team cuts through the legal challenges to get to the most pragmatic, commercial and cost effective outcomes.’
‘Nick Dawson sets the culture of his team through the way he leads his team, works with his clients and delivers his services.’
‘Chris Rawstron is extremely practical in finding solutions that work for you and the deal as a whole.’
idverde Holdings Limited
Gravity Fitness Limited
Lexon (UK) Limited
Reconomy (UK) Limited
thyssenkrupp UK plc
National Grid plc
ATS Euromaster Ltd
The British Chambers of Commerce
- Advised the shareholders of M & J Evans Construction Limited (“M&J”) on the sale of an initial minority stake to Bregal Freshstream.
- Advised shareholders of Weir Waste (a leading provider of waste and recycling solutions in the West Midlands) on the disposal of the entire issued share capital of the company to Biffa Waste Services.
- Advised Lexon (UK) Limited on its acquisition of Vittoria Healthcare, an 11-site retail pharmacy business – a deal which required syndicated funding from NatWest and Lloyds.
- Acted on behalf of landscaping company idverde on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Landscaping Centre (Holdings) Limited t/a Out There Services, Northern Ireland’s leading landscaping and grounds maintenance company.
- Advised the shareholder of Unique Catering Limited on its sale to global facilities management services provider, Atalian Servest.
Shoosmiths LLP has a multi-disciplined corporate and commercial practice which is particularly known for its work in the private equity and venture capital space. Alastair Peet heads the national venture capital team and is also very skilled in public M&A. Ben Turner leads the midlands corporate group, which has a strong focus on the hospitality, technology and real estate sectors. Also recommended is commercial team head David Jackson , who is notably strong in the technology sector.
Alastair Peet; Ben Turner; David Jackson
Other key lawyers:
Maurice Dwyer; Paul Batchelor
‘Clear advice, professional and friendly demeanour. Highly reliable.‘
‘Alastair Peet is a great person to work with and has an acute commercial appreciation, excellent personal style and a keen legal mind.‘
B S Eaton
GPE Capital Partners LLP
Mercedes Benz UK
Octopus Ventures/Octopus Investments
Wilkinson Williams LLP
- Acted for property business Wilkinson Williams on the sale of its business, trade and assets to Avison Young (AY).
- Advised Octopus Ventures, one of Europe’s leading and most active venture capital houses, on its investment into Wave Optics Limited.
- Advised the management team of Orbis Protect, the UK’s leading vacant property management provider, on the sale of shares to a company backed by Northedge Capital.
- Advised management of West Midlands-based PP Control and Automation, a provider of strategic manufacturing outsourcing solutions, on a major new investment by Ardenton Capital.
- Acted for management of CitNOW on its sale to Tenzing and reinvestment into the Tenzing-backed new company.
Clarke Willmott LLP has a broad corporate practice but its Birmingham office has a particular focus on the education, manufacturing, logistics and real estate sectors. John Irving works at the helm and is notably skilled in competition and supply chain issues. Corporate lawyer Andrew Beedham is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘John Irving is always punctual, never misses deadlines and goes out of his way to assist clients.’
Comau UK Limited
MiX Telematics Europe Limited
Conex Universal Limited
Ingersoll Rand Limited
Ballard Casinos Limited
DWF 's small Birmingham corporate team is led by Mark Gibson . The team works closely with other DWF offices, in particular those in Manchester and Liverpool, as well as London. Its client-base includes FTSE 250-listed UK corporates and financial institutions as well as handling work from the US, Russia and the CEE. Gibson has extensive experience in handling M&A, disposals and management buy outs. The sectors he is most active in include hospitality, healthcare, technology and financial services.
Park Holidays UK
Acenta Steel Limited
OGL Computer Services Group
Profab Access Limited
Starboard Hotels Limited
CST Pharma Limited
- Acted for the Shareholders of Profab in sale to ERA Home Security.
- Acted for Vertrio on the sale of its shareholding in Seneca Software to Compass Star (a BVI company).
- Advised sellers on the sale of the share capital of Fern Capital and Satrak to Trackunit (a large Danish corporate).
- Represented shareholders of Acenta Steel Holdings in sale of the entire issued share capital to Aar Industries Pte .
Legal Clarity's work within the corporate and commercial space covers M&A, investment funds and reorganisations for clients including accounting firms and GP practices. Richard Underwood leads the team and has a broad practice covering M&A, reorganisations, joint ventures and shareholder arrangements. Also recommended are James Quinn and Chris Wright , who has a particular emphasis on capital restructurings.
Filtermist International Limited
Funeral Zone Limited
Stonegate Trinity LLP
- Represented shareholders in technology company B4 Enterprises on the sale of the entire issued share capital to Esendex Holdings
- Represented shareholders of Bracebridge Restaurant in the establishment and shareholder arrangements of a new holding company.
- Acted for shareholders and the management team of TeacherActive in its reorganisation and refinancing.
- Represented management in the MBO of manufacturing company Universal Bolt Forgers
The Wilkes Partnership is strong in mid-market deals involving M&A, disposals and management buyouts. Managing partner Gareth O’Hara leads the Midlands' firm's team and has a particular focus on the automotive sector.
Other key lawyers:
Jeremy Parkin; Kate Hackett; Rick Smyth,
Baldwins Holdings Limited
Johnsons Cars Limited
Norman Hay PLC
BGFProject Victoria Limited
Smarts Specialists Plumbing Limited
MBG Global Brands GmbH
Fraikin Wesleyan Bank Limited
ADV Manufacturing / Dynamo Taxis
Big Cat Group
Dennis Eagle Limited
Aston & Fincher
- Advised accounting firm Baldwins on the acquisition of Booth Ainsworth.
- Acted for Norwegian client Azets As on its purchase of the share capital of Enterprise-Documents Solutions UK (E-Docs UK)
- Acted for Johnsons Cars on the acquisition of FCA Brand Centre Swindon.
- Acted for Johnsons Cars on the sale of Volvo Dealerships in Oxford and Swindon.
- Advised majority shareholders on the cross-border sale of construction software business Synchro Software to Bentley Systems.
Weightmans LLP has a practice with a particular focus on private equity transactions and owner-managed businesses, especially those in the automotive manufacturing supply chain. The corporate team is led by Mathew Harvey , who focuses on both areas, while the commercial side of the offering is headed by Tracy Lake , who joined in late 2018 from National Grid and who predominantly works on commercial contracts in the utilities sector.
Mathew Harvey; Tracy Lake
Sertec Corporation Limited
Leacy MG Limited
Wealden & Eastbourne Lifeline Limited
BHSF Group Limited
Springboard Corporate Finance
Cameron Price Limited
Maven Capital Partners
Slate Hall Veterinary Practice
- Acted for the sellers of the Slate Hall Veterinary Practice to CVS Group,
- Advised shareholders and directors of Springboard Corporate Finance in connection with the sale of the company to Begbies Traynor
- Acted for Midven on the Midlands Engine Equity Fund’s investment in companies including Travel Safety.
- Advised Maven Capital Partners on Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund’s investment into Hiring Hub Holdings.