Corporate and commercial: Birmingham in West Midlands

DLA Piper

Rated by clients for its ‘breadth of knowledge and experience across the team’, DLA Piper continues to demonstrate its capabilities in high-value, cross-border work – particularly in the industrials, consumer goods, and life sciences sectors. The corporate team is headed up by Tim Lake, an expert in industrials and manufacturing sector work, who regularly advises on big-ticket, multi-jurisdictional acquisitions in the space. Commercial practice head Ryan Harrison is similarly well-versed in cross-border matters, particularly in the retail and consumer goods industries. Charles Cook’s broad transactional focus sees him working with leading conglomerates from the worlds of pharmaceuticals, energy, and automotive manufacturing, while global consumer goods co-chair Noel Haywood’s recent workload includes high-value deals in the food sector. Other names to note include Robert Newman, an equity capital markets (ECM) specialist, and Simon Wright, recommended for his hospitality and leisure acumen.

Practice head(s):

Tim Lake

Other key lawyers:

Ryan Harrison; Charles Cook; Noel Haywood; Robert Newman; Simon Wright; Victoria Hughes


‘Noel Haywood is always available, even when matters are being dealt with by others.’

‘Vicky Hughes combines knowledge of the law with the utmost common sense. She is especially good at explaining complicated documents in the simplest possible terms and provides great reassurance.’

‘The breadth of knowledge and experience across the team, and the way everyone functions as a team, is particularly impressive. On complicated transactions, they are able to operate and collaborate across different work streams extremely effectively. From a client experience perspective, this is particularly reassuring.’

‘Tim Lake has been my point of contact for over 10 years – from when we were a very small family business through to present day. The service levels received from Tim haven’t changed a bit, and he has always handled any matter with attention and care. It’s reassuring to know I have Tim and his team looking after the legal aspects for me.’

‘ Absolutely brilliant and consistently a step ahead of the process.’

‘A high-profile team with top-tier experience working for and against on high-profile planning and development proposals. An extremely knowledgeable multi-office team which delivers great advice.’

Key clients

2 Sisters Food Group

Adenia Partners

Alstom SA


Barclays Bank PLC


Brewdog Plc


Bromford Industries

Brookfield Properties

Chamberlin PLC

Clinigen Group plc

CommVault Systems Inc

CoreLogic Inc

CVS 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

Jaguar Land Rover

John Menzies Plc

Kelda Group

Knights Group plc

Lotus Bakeries

Medica Group plc

Mettis Aerospace

Mitsubishi Logisnext


N+1 Singer

Noble Foods Group Limited

Ocean Outdoor

Omnico Group



QMD (Q Medical Devices)


Rolls Royce plc

RPS Group plc

Samworth Brothers Limited

Sany Heavy Machinery

Sertec Corporation Limited



Sovereign Capital Partners

Starstone Insurance Services Limited

Starwood Capital


The Hain Celestial Group, Inc

Thomas International

Watkin Jones plc

Webjet Limited

Welsh Government

Wipro Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised MKS Instruments, Inc. on its acquisition of Atotech Limited, backed by buyout firm Carlyle Group Inc. The equity value of the transaction is USD5.1 billion and the enterprise value of the transaction is USD6.5 billion.
  • Represented Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. on its disposal of nine of its foreign subsidiaries and its rights regarding Intercept’s international operations, including a license to commercialize Ocaliva® (obeticholic acid) outside of the US, to Advanz Pharma. The transaction is valued at up to US$450 million.
  • Advised Dechra Pharmaceuticals plc on its £184 million equity fundraising to supports its M&A strategy.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

A stellar roster of blue-chip corporate clients – as well as a number of private equity (PE) houses - regularly turn to the team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, which is noted for its expertise in cross-border, mid-market transactions. Midlands corporate chair Mark Beardmore is particularly noted for his private equity (PE) acumen, working with a number of leading firms and investors on high-value transactions. Catherine Eley is another seasoned M&A partner whose expertise is concentrated in PE, with recent engagements including high-value investment transactions with a strong multi-jurisdictional component. Steven Hacking heads up the firm’s health and life sciences practice, while Nigel Cooke’s cross-border capabilities make him a key port of call for a diverse range of blue-chip companies. Louise Finnie  is noted for her focus on private capital work.

Practice head(s):

Mark Beardmore

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Eley; Steven Hacking; Nigel Cooke; Louise Finnie


‘Catherine Eley and James Finney have taken the trouble to really get to know our business and as a result do a first class advisory job. Quick, efficient and wide-ranging.’

Key clients

Veincentre Bidco Ltd and CBPE Capital LLP



Ranjit Boparan’s Private Office

Apollo Chemicals Group Limited and the shareholders of the Apollo Chemicals Group

New Spring Holdings Limited

Livingbridge and Management Shareholders of Carousel Logistics

LDC and Management Shareholders of Citysprint

Aston Lark Limited

Baird Capital

Work highlights

Gowling WLG

Dispensing ‘industry advice that is second to none’, Gowling WLG works with a litany of corporates and PE firms on multi-jurisdictional corporate and commercial matters - particularly in the automotive manufacturing, transport, and consumer goods sectors. The sizeable team is jointly chaired by corporate head Chris Towle and commercial lead David Lowe, who divides his time between London and Birmingham. With more than three decades of experience in the market, corporate partner David Vaughan is a key contact for a diverse range of public and private sector entities, while on the commercial side, Sarah Riding is a highly active practitioner who handles all manner of arrangements for clients in automotive, sport, and retail. Stuart Young and Anurag (Ragi) Singh are similarly noted for their automotive sector expertise; Young chairs the firm’s wider automotive group, while Singh is recommended for his expertise in manufacturing and electric vehicles. Other key figures include Jeremy Millington, a key port of call for the firm’s entrepreneurial clients, and Micky Yang, a real estate-focused corporate partner who joined the team from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Chris Towle; David Lowe

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Millington; David Vaughan; Anurag Singh; Michael Twining; Sarah Riding; Stuart Young; Micky Yang


‘We use Gowling WLG for industry advice that is second to none, their expertise in the automotive industry, particularly relating to health and safety, is excellent.’

‘Sarah Riding has extensive knowledge of the automotive industry, health & safety, and insurance, together with an understanding of franchising. All of this is also applied with practical commercial considerations.’

‘Genuine focus on real estate with strength in depth. Amazing client list and big deal exposure.’

‘Mike Twining is on top of every deal and offers commercial solutions.’

Key clients

Cummins Inc

Coca Cola European Partners


Avison Young

Sanctuary Group

Atcore Technology Group Limited

Hill & Smith Holdings Plc

HC One

SLR Global

BGF (Business Growth Fund)


The Midcounties Co-operative


Perwyn Advisors UK Limited

Salto Systems S.L.

Galway Sustainable Capital Inc

Sdiptech AB

Royal London

Mitek Holdings Inc

A F Blakemore & Sons

Birmingham City Council

Southco Inc.


Rettig Group


Otto Bock

Palatine Private Equity


Sandvik AB


Metsaliitto Cooperative

GCI Group

GCP Applied Technologies

Codemasters Group Holdings plc

ReBound Returns

Aston Manor

M&G Real Estate

University Superannuation Scheme

St Modwen

NFU Mutual

Banyan Software

Evolution Funding

All Saints Retail Limited


Aston Martin

Azumi Restaurants Limited

Baylis & Harding

Bentley Motors Limited

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Bloor Homes Limited

British Red Cross

Baylis & Harding

Cadent Gas



Cherry Park Residential

Chips Away International Limited (Franchise Brands plc)

Church & Dwight





Gordon Murray Automotive

Hermes (Parcels)


Hydrafacial UK Limited

Jaguar Land Rover

Marks & Spencer

Mazda Motors UK Limited

Medicine Discovery Catapult

Molson Coors

NCP Limited

Nomad (Birds Eye)

Norton Motorcyles




Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited

Premier Foods


Rodan & Fields

SMMT (The UK automotive trade association)

Saint Gobain

Spirit AeroSystems


St Modwen

St Peter’s Spirits


Taylor Wimpey

The Office Group

Toyota Motor Manufacturing

Transport for London

Triumph Motorcycles Limited

United Biscuits



Weston Park Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Rigby Private Equity on the sale of Nuvias Group to Bridgepoint-backed Infinigate Group, to form a combined business across Europe and EMEA with an anticipated turnover in the region of €1.4 billion.
  • Advised Weetabix Food Company on its acquisition of Lacka Foods Ltd.
  • Advised Motors UK Ltd on a number of key commercial matters, including updating dealer and repairer agreements, alternative retail models and electric vehicles.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Drawing on strong cross-office working relationships, Browne Jacobson LLP handles a mix of MBOs, acquisitions, and divestitures for a diverse range of corporate clients. The wider team is jointly chaired by several partners working across multiple sites: Nottingham-based corporate head Richard Cox; West Midlands corporate lead Mike Jackson, a specialist in tech and VC work; London-based commercial chair Declan Cushley; and Clare Auty, noted for her focus on commercial health matters. PE head Gareth Davies regularly advises on high-value investments, acquisitions, and exits, while commercial partner Richard Nicholas works with various well-known corporates and charitable organisations on a range of contracts and agreements. Other key names to note include the real estate and construction-focused Clare Hanna, and commercial partner Nick Smee, who heads up the firm’s cleantech offering.

Practice head(s):

Richard Cox; Clare Auty; Mike Jackson

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Davies; Richard Nicholas; Clare Hanna; Nick Smee


‘They care. They take their time to understand the business, understand the brief, and then come up with a timely and practical solution.’

‘Nick Smee, in particular, goes above and beyond. He understands the complex relationship between commercial expediency and legal necessity and manages to find the right balance.’

Key clients

Shareholders of Logik Logistics International Limited

Entegra Europe UK Limited

Tisski Limited

Tecsa Limited

Aceleron Limited

Obsequio Group Parent Limited

Coniston Capital Management

Lloyds Development Capital (Holdings) Limited

MSQ Partners Ltd

Construction Testing Solutions Limited (Palatine Private Equity)

C7 Health Limited

Cooper Parry Group Ltd

Suez SA

Sella Limited

Tom Joule and Trusts

PZ Cussons Beauty LLP

John Smedley Ltd

Q Holding Company t/a Q Medical Devices

DPD Group UK Ltd

Lotus Cars Ltd

Iconic London (Holdings) Ltd

QMS Holdings Ltd t/a QMS Medicosmetics

National Car Parks

King’s College London

Freeths LLP

Drawing strong praise from clients for its, ‘technical capability and commerciality’, the team at Freeths LLP works with a number of public and private sector entities on various mid-market matters – particularly in the tech, retail, manufacturing, engineering, and chemicals sectors. The corporate team is headed up by the ‘incredibleLee Clifford, who also chairs the firm’s national private equity group, while Mark Neale – who also runs the national IT and data team – heads up the commercial practice. Other commercial partners to note include Nigel Gardner, whose broad focus encompasses logistics, manufacturing, and hospitality; Zoë Robertson, a contracts specialist whose recent engagements have seen her working for both local authorities and national retailers; and Kirstin Roberts, who specialises in waste and renewables sector work. Other key figures include Olivia Johnson, experienced in mid-market corporate deals, and Mohammed Abbas, who is central to the firm’s PE offering. Shireen Eliyas is also recommended for commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Lee Clifford; Mark Neale

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Gardner; Zoe Robertson; Kirstin Roberts; Olivia Johnson; Mohammed Abbas; Shireen Eliyas; Baljit Atwal


‘The team are very responsive and pragmatic in working with us to deliver a tailored service. The team are able to call in different departments, but the corporate department co-ordinates this in a project manager capacity.’

‘I’d like to specially mention Tom Brown, Mohammed Abbas, and Baljit Atwal for their dedication in getting a deal over the line and providing constructive solutions to mitigate any issues.’

‘Good personal touch with access to partner-level knowledge at all times.’

Key clients

Lloyds Development Capital (LDC)

Funeral Partners


Hydrock Group

Stone Technologies

EH Smith

Flow Communications

Tarmac Group

Shaken Udder

Cardel Group

ALDI Stores Limited

Toolstation Limited (part of Travis Perkins Group)

ShoeZone Retail Limited

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Runnymede Borough Council

Micheldever Tyre Services Limited

Cromwell Tools Limited

Fosse Healthcare Limited:

Lyle & Scott Limited

Skarn Associates Limited

The British Dietetic Association


Highbourne Group



Travis Perkins PLC


Navitas Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Lloyds Development Capital (LDC) on its minority investment into Shaken Udder.
  • Advised several different clients in relation to their arrangements for the implementation of complex, substantial and high value automated/robotic warehouses, including contracts for the construction and fitting out of ALDI’s largest ever distribution centre.
  • Appointed by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council to assist in its procurement of an operation and maintenance contractor for its energy-from-waste plant at Lister Road, Dudley.

Gateley Legal

Steered by Birmingham corporate head Tom Rush, Gateley Legal is instructed by a wide array of corporates for its capabilities in cross-border M&A and reorganisations. Paul Cliff, national head of the equity capital markets practice, continues to handle mid-market transactions for clients in the consumer goods, life sciences, and insurance sectors, among others. Andrew Cowan, head of transaction services, regularly works with a host of owner-managed businesses, PE houses, and corporates – most recently in the professional services and healthcare sectors. Recent highlights for Max Moore, who joined the practice from Gowling WLG in April 2022, include multi-million-pound deals working with national property developers. Former practice head Tom Durrant left to join Squire Patton Boggs in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Tom Rush

Other key lawyers:

Paul Cliff; Andrew Cowan; Max Moore

Key clients

Godwin Developments Limited

Stuart Turner Limited

Likewise Group plc

Gymshark Ltd

Clowes Developments

NorthEdge Capital


Palatine Private Equity

Connection Capital

Franchise Brands plc

Virgin Wines UK plc

Work highlights

  • Advised the selling shareholders and management on the management buy-out of JessupGroup Limited, backed by Palatine Private Equity LLP.
  • Advised the selling shareholders and management on the secondary management buy-out to Angel Topco Limited, backed by Epiris LLP.
  • Advised Franchise Brands plc on its recommended all share offer for the shares in Filta Group Holdings plc.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Particularly well-versed in health, life sciences, and care sector M&A, the ‘outstanding‘ team at Mills & Reeve LLP is also noted for its capabilities in commercial contracts matters. National private equity head Ryan Hawley advises on both PE and M&A transactions, working with a host of mid-market entities, The Birmingham team is led by commercial practice head Jayne Hussey, who advises many of the firm’s leading clients on all manner of issues including outsourcing contracts and license agreements. Other names to note include health sector head Julian Smith, and Junaid Haroon, who heads up the firm’s Midlands agri-food and life sciences teams. David Hall is noted for his expertise in commercial IP and IT issues.

Practice head(s):

Ryan Hawley; Jayne Hussey

Other key lawyers:

Julian Smith; Junaid Haroon; David Hall; Paul Krivosic


‘Great team who clearly enjoy working with each other, which translates into a great product for their clients. This particular transaction had complexities that I have not seen in 25 years of doing deals. Mills & Reeves were outstanding.’

‘Julian Smith has a great, calming style and a good ability to step back and work out what really matters.’

‘Paul Krivosic is efficient and effective, but has a good commercial grounding coupled with pragmatism.’

Key clients

Aspris Children’s Services

Cornwall Care

Operose Health

Riverdale Healthcare

Bango plc

Puratos NV

Antser Holdings

Bio Products Laboratory Limited

The Binding Site

Knox Lane

Horiba Mira Limited


Brigade Electronics Group plc

AAH Pharmaceuticals

River Island

Ariat International Inc

Starship Technologies Inc

Phillip Morris Products S.A.

The West Group Ltd

Rhubarb Food Design

MM Newport Limited

SAS International

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is roundly praised by a diverse roster of clients for its expertise in both cross-border transactions and large-scale, commercial mandates. The corporate team is headed up by the ‘ excellent’ Nicole Livesey, a specialist in technology and manufacturing work, while Clare Francis, experienced in both high-profile public and private sector projects, leads the commercial offering. Andrew Hornigold is a highly experienced figure in tech and life sciences M&A, while Joanne Ellis spearheads the firm’s health sector offering, working with a host of clients in the social care, fertility, and dental arenas. Recent engagements for John Tyerman, who chairs the firm’s global renewable energy practice, include big-ticket, transatlantic acquisitions, while Laura Ayre – who focuses on commercial contracts – has recently worked with leading national energy companies on procurement and supply chain issues. Michael Lakin is noted for his capabilities in the healthcare and real estate sectors.

Practice head(s):

Nicole Livesey; Clare Francis

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Hornigold; Joanne Ellis; John Tyerman; Laura Ayre; Michael Lakin; Rami Labib; Daniel Braithwaite


‘During negotiations for a substantial contract, an urgent need for advice around data protection emerged – Pinsent Masons were able to react and generate critical advice at very short notice (within 24–48 hours) that gave us a real advantage in progressing our negotiations. Not only that, the depth and breadth of expertise that they were able to draw upon was really evident, giving us real faith in them as clients, and the advice they were providing.’

‘Our team within our company is naive to the intricacies of corporate law. Pinsent Masons were extremely helpful in not only advising us and leading key parts of the negotiations on our behalf, but also took the time to explaining things and identify solutions to move things forward. To my mind, this is exactly what one would want from a top corporate and commercial law firm, and evidences a strong client focus, which we really appreciated.’

‘The team were extremely helpful and responsive, we had an extensive engagement, negotiating several contracts over the course of 18 months, and we really appreciated the clear, well explained advice that we received from the practice. The people we interacted with showed real understanding of us and our needs, and were very supportive of us, playing a key role in getting us the resolution we wanted. They were dependable and reliable, and without them, we would not have been able to complete some very complex and trying negotiations.’

Key clients

Aedifica UK Limited

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd

Olympus Corporation

Doncasters Group

Shareholders of Readypower Group Limited

East Anglia One Limited

TricorBraun Inc



Tesco plc

Scholl’s Wellness Company

Fulham Football Club

Northern Gritstone

The Ministry of Justice

Work highlights

  • Advised Doncasters Group on its significant cross-border acquisition of Uni-Pol.
  • Advising East Anglia One Limited on the sale of transmission assets relating to the 714MW East Anglia.
  • Advised Centrica on its partnership supply arrangement with German manufacturer 2G Energy AG to provide Centrica customers with 100% hydrogen ready Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems. The deal covers the UK, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and Italy.

Shoosmiths LLP

Jointly helmed by VC specialist Alistair Hammerton and experienced commercial contracts lawyer Simon McArdle, Shoosmiths LLP’s Birmingham team draws high praise from clients for its ‘strong commercial acumen’ – especially in the manufacturing, recruitment, tech, infrastructure, retail and data sectors. The team is especially noteworthy for the strength of its venture capital practice, anchored by the efforts of VC team head Alastair Peet. National corporate chair Ben Turner – who splits his time between the firm’s London and Birmingham offices – works with various household names on M&A and PE-driven work, often with a cross-border element. Helen Burnell focuses especially on VC and infrastructure sector matters, advising on a slew of investment transactions.

Practice head(s):

Alistair Hammerton; Simon McArdle

Other key lawyers:

Alastair Peet; Ben Turner; Helen Burnell; Georgina Rennie; James Keates; Al Hetherington


‘Al Hammerton is by far the best transaction lawyer I have worked with. I have worked with him on over 20 deals for this reason. Helen Burnell is also excellent.’

‘Shoosmiths team works very well together – seamless experience working with Restructuring and Corporate team on the same transaction.’

‘James Keates is very commercial, a strong negotiator, proactive in suggesting solutions, and good at challenging the client’s thought process.’

‘Al Hetherington; very calm in difficult situations, good balance between being in the detail but still able to see the bigger picture.’

‘They are a very strong team across the board, from partner down to paralegal. An outstanding combination of market/industry knowledge, legal knowledge and deal management, delivered in a no-nonsense package.’

‘The team have an excellent attention to detail, diligent and have strong commercial acumen. What stands them apart from other lawyers, is they are approachable and are partners on the transaction rather than advisors and are low ego.’

‘The team, led by Alastair Peet, possess a unique blend of in-depth legal knowledge coupled with an entrepreneurial drive to identify and resolve issues proactively and pragmatically which enables them to deliver unparalleled client service. They collaboratively manage all aspects of a transaction to meet deadlines without fail and always develop cohesive, tested, well-balanced solutions.’

‘The individuals within the team collaboratively tackle complex issues to develop simple, achievable solutions throughout the advice they deliver. Alastair Peet is hands down one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with in any country (against a legal peer set that spans 4 continents).’

Key clients

John Banaszkiewicz and Freight Investor (Holdings) Limited

DIF Capital Partners

Joules plc

Everbridge Inc.


Global Critical Logistics (USA)

NorthEdge Capital

Cow Corner Investments


Octopus Ventures

Triple Point

Rotala plc

Broadway Malyan

BS Eaton

Hambro Perks

Insurtech Gateway

Business Growth Fund

Gresham House

Mercia Fund Management Limited

Proximity Data Centres

GEMS Education


Pentech Ventures, Outward VC, West Loop Ventures (USA), Pi Labs



Ricor Group

Gardin Ltd

Blackfinch Ventures

Akmazo Capital



Form Ventures

Deepbridge Capital

Volkswagen Group

Estée Lauder

The White Company


WM Morrisons Supermarkets PLC



Mountain Warehouse

Loram UK Limited

WH Davis Limited

Exergy Solutions Limited

ADComms Limited

Legacy Rail Limited


Key Media UK Limited (and its management shareholders)

The shareholders of Enamel Dental and Incisive Smiles

Nash Squared Limited

N Family Club

4th Utility

DIF Capital

Mercedes Benz

Bonnier Ventures

Work highlights

  • Advised Livingbridge on its investment in Nourish Care.
  • Advised Akmazo on its acquisition of JRNI.
  • Advising Key Media Group and its management team in relation to the investment and exit to Housatonic, multiple pre-close global reorganisations, and a US$22m facility provided by National Bank of Canada.

Squire Patton Boggs

A strong choice for a number of well-known corporate clients, Squire Patton Boggs’ ‘very responsive, practical and knowledgeable’ team is regularly engaged for its capabilities in mid-market transactions and large-scale commercial matters. Corporate chair Geoff Perry is a highly experienced partner whose expertise is concentrated in cross-border M&A and PE-driven work, most recently for a number of clients in the media and manufacturing sectors. Stuart James’ role as commercial head sees him advising both domestic and international companies on various contractual matters – particularly in the world of healthcare. David Hull is particularly noted for his experience in sports and tech M&A. Tom Durrant, who joined the practice from Gateley Legal in January 2023, boasts capabilities across both corporate and private equity transactions.

Practice head(s):

Geoff Perry; Stuart James


‘A multidisciplinary team which can be drawn upon at short notice.’

‘A friendly team that are attentive and stick to the fee estimates.’

‘Geoff Perry has great understanding of the market and always calls out what is important from a practical and commercial perspective.’

‘Very responsive, practical and knowledgeable.’

‘All the people who support the client matter are both skilled, but critically open to discussion and exploration of interpretation and approaches. Equally, they are personable and pleasant to deal with, which is a great asset in high octane stressful situations. They are respectful of and responsive with their colleagues, which helps to ensure that there are no gaps in approach.’

‘Tom Durrant is extremely knowledgeable, but what makes tom stand out particularly is his broad business knowledge and excellent experience of working in a multinational environment. This gives him an edge’

‘David Hull has bags of experience, identifies potential pitfalls early and tackles them head-on.’

Key clients

Altrad Group

Cazoo Holdings Limited

Cellnex UK

Friend Media Technology Limited

Hackman Capital Partners

Hinduja Group

Homeserve PLC

MBS Equipment U.K. Limited

New Wave Group AB

RCaptial Nominees Limited

Rebound Technology Group Holdings Limited

Rimac Automobil

Work highlights

  • Advised Altrad UK Limited on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Hawk Newco Limited.
  • Advised a joint venture of Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital on its investment in Greystones Media Campus Limited.
  • Advised Transport for Greater Manchester on all the contracts which are required to deliver the proposed Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan.


DWF’s corporate and commercial team maintains a broad focus, working with a diverse client base that ranges from utilities companies to high-profile sports clubs. Mark Gibson, who heads up the corporate side of the practice, has recently worked with clients from the worlds of hospitality, tech, and engineering on a range of sell-side matters. John Campion’s corporate expertise spans M&A, reorganisations, and takeover, while on the commercial side, IT group lead Ben McLeod is engaged by a diverse clientele spanning local authorities, telecoms providers, and high-profile sports clubs. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

Practice head(s):

Mark Gibson; Ben McLeod

Other key lawyers:

John Campion


‘Ben McLeod is professional, hard-working, available and measured. He is a real asset to DWF and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Park Holidays UK Limited

Shareholders of OGL Computer Support Holdings Limited

Simon Sliwinski

Shareholders of Integrity Wealth (Holdings) Limited

Wynnstay Group PLC

Microlise Group plc

Miroma SET Limited

Zinnwald Lithium plc

Mercantile Ports Limited

Keywords Studios plc

Severn Trent Water Limited

Shareholders of H K Wentworth Limited

Silentnight Holdings Limited

Lewis Morgan

Hamble Properties Limited

BAI Communications Limited

BT plc

EE Limited

Virgin Media O2

Johnson Matthey plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Miroma SET Limited on its £30 million recommended takeover by Miroma Holdings Limited.
  • Provided management advice on the disposal of Park Holidays UK Limited.
  • Advised on the disposal of OGL Computer Support Holdings Limited.


Led by Peter Workman, KPMG Law is experienced in a range of corporate matters, regularly advising on M&A transactions, joint ventures, and reorganisations. Legal director Jenna Ostrowski handles a number of cross-border corporate transactions across a host of industries. Thomas Swain specialises in restructuring – acting for both domestic companies and multinationals – while Eve Oppenheimer’s recent engagements include cross-border acquisitions and reorganisations. Dean Chauhan is also recommended for corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Peter Workman; Jenna Ostrowski; Thomas Swain

Other key lawyers:

Eve Oppenheimer; Dean Chauhuan; Amarit Dhaliwal


‘KPMG have a strong team to support all aspects of corporate M&A legal advice.’

‘The team were pragmatic, organised, and happy to go the extra mile when faced with late changes that challenged the completion timetable.’

‘KPMG have been very supportive and always available to provide advice for what became a very complex corporate M&A with difficult stakeholders.’

‘Jenna Ostrowski in particular has always provided timely and accurate advice and is very good to work with’

‘Thomas Swain – very responsive and collaborative and great communication throughout.’

‘Thomas Swain, Dean Chauhan and Amarit Dhaliwal were clear throughout process, provided additional support as required and remained focussed on the required work without attempting to expand scope beyond our requirements. The team were responsive to changes in scope and timing and ensured the ultimate deadlines were met.’

Key clients

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Global Savings Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on the initial carve-out and subsequentdisposal of its “Building Costs Information Service” business to Lloyds Development Capital.
  • Advised Global Savings Group GmbH on its acquisition of Pepper Media Holding GmbH, aGerman holding company with, amongst others, a wholly owned UK subsidiary (Pepper DealsLtd).

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Commercially astute, highly agile and responsive’, Shakespeare Martineau LLP is noted for the depth of its investments fund expertise, working with clients across the healthcare, tech, renewables, logistics, and consumer goods sectors on a range of corporate transactions. New practice head Michael Stace, who joined the team from Browne Jacobson in April 2022, has recently advised on deals in the leisure, logistics, and consumer goods sectors. Keith Spedding handles both public and private company M&A, while Kavita Patel is noted for her expertise in private equity and corporate finance transactions. Other names to note include Jody Webb and Peter Mayhew, the latter of whom specialises in venture capital and private equity funds-driven work.

Practice head(s):

Michael Stace

Other key lawyers:

Keith Spedding; Kavita Patel; Jody Webb; Peter Mayhew; Gweni Rees-Evans


‘We have worked with the team in Birmingham for many years, particularly on M&A and divestments. The team is extremely capable, commercially astute and highly agile and responsive. We would wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone in this area.’

‘Keith Spedding is a top-notch lawyer who never fails to deliver on M&A and related transactions.’

‘Peter Mayhew’s team is hugely responsive and keenly aware of our often firm tax year-end driven deadlines. They really understand how our business works, both at a team and individual level, and tailor their advice and working practices accordingly. You always feel that you are their number one priority, and they work very collaboratively with us.’

‘Peter Mayhew is very responsive, highly engaged and extremely intelligent, especially on EIS and VCT tax issues. He is a walking knowledge bank of both tax matters and our previous deals, often recalling unique details of previous deals from many years ago, which proves invaluable when negotiating deals.’

‘Gweni Rees-Evans is a very strong and efficient lawyer with good deal management and communication skills.’

Key clients

Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC

One Heritage Group PLC

Avingtrans PLC

Cizzle Biotechnology PLC

Crossword Cybersecurity PLC

Shareholders of Mobius Newtorks Limited

BGF Investments LP – Business Growth Fund

Foresight Group LLP

Mobeus Income & Growth VCT plc, Mobeus Income & Growth 2 VCT plc, Mobeus Income & Growth 4 VCT plc and The Income & Growth VCT plc

Unicorn AIM VCT plc (managed by Unicorn Asset Management)

Blackfinch Investments Limited

Pollet Pool Group NV

Easyairconditioning Group Limited

Palletforce Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Solid State plc on its acquisition of Custom Power in a deal worth $45 million.
  • Advised the Mobeus VCTs on their 2022 joint offers for subscription launched on 20 January 2022 to raise £35 million, acting as project manager, legal adviser, and VCT adviser.
  • Acting for Palletforce in connection with its acquisition of Ovimore Limited.

The Wilkes Partnership

Praised for its ‘genuine focus on the SME market’, The Wilkes Partnership fields a highly experienced team whose capabilities span both corporate and commercial matters, advising clients from the worlds of manufacturing, telecoms, and industrials, among others. The team is led by Gareth O’Hara, a veteran corporate practitioner whose experience is concentrated in the automotive retail sector. Rick Smyth is a comparably experienced partner specialising in mid-market corporate finance deals, working with a host of clients on (frequently) cross-border matters. Kate Hackett is another seasoned partner who regularly works with privately owned businesses on acquisitions, divestitures, and reorganisations.

Practice head(s):

Gareth O’Hara

Other key lawyers:

Rick Smyth; Kate Hackett; Matt Hartas


‘Wilkes has a genuine focus on the SME market and an understanding of the key issues that impact deals in this sector. Always pragmatic and commercial. Excellent in effectively working with other professionals.’

‘Rick Smyth is the stand-out legal adviser for SME/owner-managed businesses in the West Midlands. Yes, his legal knowledge is second to none, but beyond that he comes up with commercial and creative solutions for clients facing a range of business challenges. For owner-managers who want trusted business advisers rather than legal technicians, this skill set distinguishes Rick from his peers.’

‘The team were very personable when dealing with us, if we didn’t understand anything they would find a way of explaining it. Nothing was too much trouble or too simplistic. We were given an estimate at the beginning and informed along the way if anything was an additional cost before it was started, so there were no surprises.’

‘The corporate team guided us every step of the way, making recommendations when appropriate, being patient when needed, and robust when necessary. For us, this was a foreign environment, and they guided us through the process and made us feel very comfortable with each step.’

‘I have dealt with Wilkes for almost 20 years on a wide range of legal issues, using a number of different partners. Everyone I have dealt with has been very professional and reliable, giving sensible and solid advice.’

‘I have worked closely with Gareth O’Hara over the years, and recently on the sale of my business. I have always been reassured that all the details would be dealt with conscientiously. On the recent sale Helen Smart did a fantastic job, making sure every minute detail was dealt with, and this led to a very smooth process.’

‘Matt Hartas is our go-to at the firm.’

Key clients

Wesleyan Bank

Johnsons Cars

PPS Equipment Holdings


Star Events Group

Cotswold BMW

Wake Power Distribution

Dennis Eagle


J S Wright

HIA International


STABILA Messgeräte GustavUllrich



Polytec AMR

Huber Car Park Systems International

Pravida Bau

Fountains Forestry UK

The Service Response Group

China Industries Limited

Strongs Plastic Products

Monarch Care Group

Clive Smith and Lee Gripton

Bluevest Capital Partners

Work highlights

Clarke Willmott LLP

Noted for its experience in secured lending matters, Clarke Willmott LLP works with a wide array of SMEs and owner-managed businesses on all manner of corporate deals. The ‘excellent’ corporate head Kim Klahn is a prolific adviser whose recent workload includes acquisitions and divestitures for clients in the care, engineering, and hospitality sectors, among others. On the commercial side, John Irving is noted for his expertise in capital goods and manufacturing matters, advising on contractual issues and policy updates. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

Practice head(s):

Kim Klahn

Other key lawyers:

John Irving


‘Solid firm with a proper team of skilled lawyers who are prepared to cover all business areas.’

‘John Irving is hugely experienced, which makes him very close to the business’ needs of our company. He provides effective legal advise and support, always with a view to the real world of business. He is always ready to effectively bridge the gap between the business needs and the legal frame.’

‘An extremely friendly and pragmatic team, committed to delivering client service in an accessible and sensitive manner without compromising on professionalism.’

‘Kim Klahn is a technically excellent lawyer, particularly on complex, challenging cross-border transactions. Delivers advice to her clients in a jargon-free and friendly manner.’

Key clients

Shareholders of Ascott Analytical Equipment Limited

Casino 36 Limited

Croft Avenue Care Home Limited

Graham Fitzgerald and Nigel Fitzgerald

Work highlights

  • Acted for the sellers in the sale of the entire issued share capital of F T Gearing Systems Limited to an American VC.
  • Advised the shareholders in the sale of the entire issued share capital of Ascot Analytical Equipment Limited to a German based competitor.
  • Acted for the Business Buyer and the Property Buyer in their purchase of the business and assets of Croft Avenue Care Home Limited from HC-One.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell’s wide-ranging capabilities sees them working with a number of clients across the manufacturing, aerospace, software, tech, engineering, and retail sectors. Matt Smith is also recommended for the range of his corporate capabilities. Nick Dawson and Emma Callow left the firm in February 2024.

Other key lawyers:

Matt Smith


‘The Irwin Mitchell corporate team provides exceptional commercial support with our acquisitions. They are both competent and professional, but also easy to work with and provide focused advise. These qualities run across the team – both associates and partners – so we feel reassured whoever is acting on our transactions.’

Key clients

Motus Holdings (UK) Limited

Aerospares 2000 Holdings Limited

Shareholders of Clearvision (CM) 2005 Limited

Lee J McNeill and Liam Wiltshire as shareholders of Tebex Limited

Shareholders of Linea Research Holdings Limited

Phenna Group Holdings Limited

Knights Chemist Limited

Shareholders of Vernier Holdings Limited

Reconomy (UK) Limited

Gravity Fitness Limited

Expromet Technologies Group Limited

The KGJ Insurance Group Limited

Vision Global Growth Fund

Dains LLP

Black Swan Data Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Motus Holdings (UK) Limited on the £190m purchase of the entire issued share capital of Motor Parts Direct (Holdings) Limited.
  • Advised Acorn Growth Companies and Aerospares 2000 Holdings Limited in respect of the acquisition of Sentry Holding, Inc.
  • Advised Phenna Group Holdings limited on four acquisitions in the last 12 months as part of Phenna Group’s strategic drive to build a global portfolio of independent testing, inspection, certification and compliance (TICC) business that serve a variety of sectors.

Legal Clarity

Jointly chaired by corporate partners Richard Underwood and Gary Davie, Legal Clarity draws praise from numerous clients for the breadth of its corporate and commercial offering; the 'highly experienced' team regularly advises on M&A, investment transactions, and commercial reorganisations. Chris Wright is noted for his experience in capital restructurings and reorganisations, while Martin Clifford’s recent engagements include multi-million-pound acquisitions and disposals for clients from the worlds of manufacturing and distribution.

Practice head(s):

Richard Underwood; Gary Davie

Other key lawyers:

Chris Wright; Martin Clifford; Jane Jevon


‘Martin Clifford has been particularly supportive to our practice over the last few years. Martin is always on hand via email or calls to help with our legal requirements when looking at advisory projects, and he is always happy to jump on a call/meeting with clients to explain legal requirements and documents in layman’s terms, which puts our clients at ease. He is very knowledgeable about his area of expertise, and is able to use that knowledge to assist with our client projects, and even our own internal legal requirements. I would highly recommend Martin to any of our clients and partners.’

‘Jane Jevon is incredibly knowledgeable about her subject area, and provides very diligent information to clients regarding the process and the legal documents required.’

‘Richard Underwood is always commercial and pragmatic both in his advice and approach to transactions.’

Key clients

Magma Accountants

Prime Accountants

Microlise Group PLC

Coral Products PLC

Azets Accountants

Stoford Group

Dains Accountants

Translift Group

BMG Research Limited

Ad Valorem Accountancy Services

Window Widgets Limited

Direct Trade Yorkshire

Halliwell Homes Limited

Piercy & Company London Ltd

Witham Garage Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Halliwell Homes Ltd in connection with the acquisition of the entire issued share capital by an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).
  • Acted for the management team in the acquisition of Direct Trade (Yorkshire) Limited.
  • Acting for the Coral Products plc on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Ecodeck Grids Limited.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Led by Matthew Martin, the ‘exceptionalPenningtons Manches Cooper LLP works with a diverse roster of corporate clients – both domestic and international – on M&A, reorganisations, and commercial matters. A seasoned corporate partner, Adam McGiveron’s recent highlights include a series of acquisitions in the sports, automotive, and logistics sectors. Richard Wrigley is comparably well-versed in cross-border transactions - particularly in the tech and energy arenas – while the ‘dynamic and highly creative’ Emma Bryant specialises in early-stage, fast-growth businesses across a range of industries.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Martin

Other key lawyers:

Adam McGiveron; Richard Wrigley; Emma Bryant


‘We have been working with PMC for a number of years now, and we remain clients because the team are reliable, efficient, challenge to us to ensure we make the right decision, timely and effective. All things we need as a client as part of our M&A process. What we like compared to other firms is the total focus from senior staff and partners. The team has sought to collaborate with us to ensure they fully understand our business and needs.’

‘The individuals are very knowledgeable in their subject matter and always seem up-to-date with key topics. They are rigorous. Always prepared to go into battle for us and not back down. We are kept up to date on issues, so nothing is last-minute. Emma Bryant is particularly tenacious and someone we have worked with for over 10 years. She understands our business and the risks we might face.’

‘The partners are very hands-on, provide exceptional advice on a timely basis, and have a fantastic network of clients making them an enjoyable team to work with. The model is very agile and the advice offered is very competitively priced.’

‘Adam McGiveron is highly commercial, has a real ability to handle difficult client situations very well and manage complex personalities, particularly during very tricky legal negotiations. Adam is very honest and trustworthy, bringing a very practical application of the law and a thoroughly rounded sounding board on a variety of business issues.’

‘Strong, experienced partners who are very good at understanding the underlying commercials and objectives, ensuring that the documents achieve and support those objectives while providing good practical advice.’

‘I have worked with Richard Wrigley for a number of years, including on various complex reorganisations, and always found him approachable, practical and commercial.’

‘You feel like you are receiving a highly personable service from a quality regional law firm, complemented by significant depth and diversity of experience that you would expect from a large international practice.’

‘Emma Bryant and Adam McGiveron tend to work as a team, providing a double headed partner service. Emma is an exceptional lawyer, with an ability to meet deadlines and make things happen. She is personable, dynamic and highly creative at resolving issues. Adam McGiveron is commercial, always demonstrating a strong grasp of a situation ahead of most other people on a transaction, but with an acute eye for the detail and an ability to articulate issues succinctly to clients. The combination of the two partners is formidable.’

Key clients

Alliance Automotive Group/Genuine Parts Alliance

Customs Support Group UK Limited

Claverley Group Limited

Socotec UK Limited

Bushell Investment Group Limited

Hyperama Plc

Intercity Technology Limited

British Independent Retailers Association

Carver Group

Sustainable Energy First

Work highlights

  • Acted for Brad Galinson on the acquisition of Gillingham Football Club.
  • Acted for Customs Support Group on three acquisitions in the UK.
  • Acted for Alliance Automotive on 13 acquisitions during the year.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Noted for their commercial expertise, the team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP works with a mix of public and private sector clients, particularly in the care, tech, energy, manufacturing, and financial services sectors. Practice co-chair Amardeep Gill is especially rated for his public sector acumen, working with a number of local government bodies on high-profile commercial projects. Fellow co-chair Matthew Harvey is an experienced corporate partner specialising in owner-managed businesses, while Moad Giebaly’s recent engagements include acquisitions in the veterinary and real estate sectors.

Practice head(s):

Amardeep Gill; Mathew Harvey

Other key lawyers:

Moad Giebaly

Key clients

Buck Design LLC

Future Planet Capital (Ventures) Limited

Progress Housing Limited

Management of Avantis Group Limited

Shareholders of Rosewood Pet Products Limited

Evolve Capital Partners Limited

Oxsight Limited

Oxbridge Limited

Birmingham City Council

West Midlands Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Advised Birmingham City Council in its capacity as Host City for the Commonwealth Games 2022, continuing support on delivering legacy projects for local residents.
  • Advised the shareholders of Rosewood Pet Products Limited in connection with the strategic partnership with Dayes B.V..
  • Advising West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) on a number of projects including the Bus Contingency Project – Transport for West Midlands (arm of WMCA) in relation to its 70-day bus contingency plan for workforce and spectator access to the Commonwealth Games in the event of industrial action on the railways.