Firms To Watch: Corporate and commercial: Birmingham

Sydney Mitchell LLP‘s corporate practice works with a varied roster of clients active in a number of sectors, both domestically and internationally. Practice chair Roy Colaba specialises in food retail and energy sector transactions.

Corporate and commercial: Birmingham in West Midlands

DLA Piper

An extensive roster of blue-chip MNCs and financial institutions turn to the ‘super responsive and industrious’ DLA Piper for representation in big-ticket, multi-jurisdictional deals. Practice co-chair Charles Cook drives many of the office’s most high-profile transactions, working with market-leading companies from the worlds of consumer goods, life sciences, and automotive manufacturing. Praised for his ‘highly intelligent and commercially perceptive’ approach, Noel Haywood specialises in M&A transactions, most notably in the consumer goods, food and retail sectors. Global manufacturing co-chair Tim Lake works closely with a number of the firm’s international clients on a steady flow of big-ticket acquisitions and disposals, while equity capital markets specialist Robert Newman routinely leads multi-million pound fundraisings for various AIM and Main Market-listed entities. Legal director Jonathan Clarke, a Turkish corporate and M&A specialist, also handles multiple insurance sector transactions, whereas senior associate Simon Wright is acclaimed for his fast-moving consumer goods expertise. Ryan Harrison, who joined from Browne Jacobson LLP in November 2021, works with major retailers on cross-border, commercial contract matters. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

Practice head(s):

Charles Cook; Noel Haywood

Other key lawyers:

Tim Lake; Jonathan Clarke; Simon Wright; Ryan Harrison; Robert Newman


‘Super-responsive and industrious. They know the market and fight your corner. When obstacles appear (as they do), they have the strength in-depth to explore every avenue and build clever solutions fast. They were also very personable to deal with – and worked really collaboratively with the wider team of advisors, shareholders and management.’

‘Noel Haywood is highly intelligent and commercially perceptive. Dedicated to establishing and achieving the client’s objectives.’

‘Simon Wright is knowledgeable, highly responsive and very personable. Certainly one to watch.’


Key clients

CoreLogic Inc

CommVault Systems Inc

Jaguar Land Rover

Mitsubishi Logisnext

Brookfield Properties

Work highlights

  • Advised MKSI on the acquisition of Atotech Limited EV for $6.5bn.
  • Advised Noble Foods Group on the sale of Gü Puds to Exponent Private Equity
  • Advised the shareholders of Pangaea Laboratories Limited, a global beauty business, on its investment from Inflexion Private Equity.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Renowned for the depth of its mid-market private equity and equity capital markets offering, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP fields one of the strongest corporate practices in Birmingham, advising an array of household names on premier, multi-jurisdictional deals. Practice head Mark Beardmore works on a wide variety of deals, exits, and management changes, while seasoned M&A advisor Catherine Eley is frequently sought out by national and international houses for her ‘terrific‘ technical acumen in divestitures and investment transactions. Equity capital markets lead Steven Hacking also handles a number of healthcare sector deals, working with a diverse array of industry players on high-value investments and acquisitions. Nigel Cooke is routinely instructed on big-ticket, cross-border deals for various FTSE 100 and Fortune 500-listed companies. Louise Finnie focuses primarily on private equity-driven transactions. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

Practice head(s):

Mark Beardmore

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Eley; Nigel Cooke; Peter McHugh; Louise Finnie


‘Very responsive, commercially astute and really pleasant to deal with. Great value for money.’

‘Catherine Eley is a top-notch corporate partner. Delightful to work with and terrific technically.’

‘Peter McHugh is very hard-working and smart. A good lawyer with great delivery.’

‘Best value for money in the market.’

Key clients

Reconomy (UK) Limited

Reconomy Group

Wolseley UK

Aston Lark Limited

Baird Capital

ProCook Group plc

AFH Financial Group plc

Create Health Limited

Genting Casinos UK Limited

Gresham House plc


Compass Group


Work highlights

    Gowling WLG

    Fielding one of the largest corporate and commercial practices in the region, Gowling WLG consistently handles big-ticket international transactions for a formidable line-up of public and private sector entities. Corporate chair Chris Towle spearheads the firm’s US sales and UK indirect real estate practices, handling cross-border REIT transactions and restructuring for some of the market’s biggest investment managers. Stuart Young heads up both the corporate finance and automotive sector groups, while automotive manufacturing lead Ragi Singh works with a number of electric vehicle companies on a steady flow of acquisitions. Sharon Ayres is highly experienced in investment structures and joint venture agreements, while Amar Adatia heads up the solvent structuring and group reorganisation desk. On the commercial side, David Lowe is reputed for his ‘knowledgeable, practical and solution-driven’ approach to logistics agreements and procurement strategies, most notably in the food and retail arenas. The ‘outstanding’ Sarah Riding is well-versed in all manner of contract arrangements, regularly assisting clients from the worlds of manufacturing, automotive, energy and sport. Principal associate Caroline McNally is also recommended. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

    Practice head(s):

    Chris Towle; David Lowe

    Other key lawyers:

    Sarah Riding; Stuart Young; Sharon Ayres; Amar Adatia; Caroline McNally


    ‘The firm possesses broad expertise and inspires confidence in dealings.’

    ‘Sarah Riding has a sound understanding of the industry, and is a trusted advisor. We are relatively new to dealing with the firm but we have been very impressed so far.’

    ‘Sarah Riding’s knowledge of her area, together with her commercial considerations, are outstanding.’

    ‘David Lowe leads a great team at Gowling. Knowledgeable, practical and solution-driven.’

    ‘David Lowe brings a human touch to everything he does. Practical and understands business needs.’

    Key clients

    Cummins Inc

    Coca-Cola European Partners


    Avison Young

    Sanctuary Group

    Atcore Technology Group Limited

    Hill & Smith Holdings Plc

    HC One

    SLR Global

    Business Growth Fund


    The Midcounties Co-operative

    The Hut Group

    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


    All Saints Retail Limited

    Azumi Restaurants Limited

    Baylis & Harding

    Bentley Motors Limited

    Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

    Bloor Homes Limited

    British Red Cross

    Baylis & Harding

    Cadent Gas



    Chips Away International Limited (Franchise Brands plc)

    Church & Dwight




    Hermes (Parcels)


    Hyde Housing Association

    Hydrafacial UK Limited

    Jaguar Land Rover

    Marks & Spencer

    Mazda Motors UK Limited

    Molson Coors

    NCP Limited

    Nomad (Birds Eye)



    Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited

    Premier Foods

    Regional & City Airport

    Rodan & Fields

    SMMT (The UK automotive trade association)

    Saint Gobain

    Spirit AeroSystems

    St Modwen


    Taylor Wimpey

    The Office Group

    Toyota Motor Manufacturing

    Transport for London

    Triumph Motorcycles Limited

    United Biscuits

    Upfield (global food manufacturer with brands such as Flora)

    The Office Group

    Transport for London


    Work highlights

    • Advised Halfords Autocentres, a subsidiary of Halfords Group plc, on its acquisition of Universal Tyre and Autocentres (Universal).
    • Advised BGF Investments LP, and other shareholder individuals in the disposal of the entire share capital within CHS Healthcare Holdings Ltd.
    • Advised Sdiptech AB  on its acquisition of specialist EV charging point designer, manufacturer and retailer Rolec Services Ltd and One Stop Europe Ltd.

    Browne Jacobson LLP

    Regularly attracting wider market acclaim for its capabilities in corporate and commercial dealings, Browne Jacobson LLP is sought out by a number of corporations, venture capitalists, and private equity firms seeking assistance in cross-border transactions. Tech and VC specialist Mike Jackson works across a number of sectors on fundraisings, acquisitions, and exits, most recently for clients in automotive manufacturing and clean energy production. Richard Nicholas helms the team’s commercial offering, working with an array of in-house counsel – particularly in the tech and data space – on the full gamut of technical and contractual concerns. Gareth Davies runs the West Midlands private equity desk, advising a diverse roster of mid-market funds and PE-backed SME portfolio companies, while Clare Auty ’s expertise in the UK health market ensures that she is regularly instructed by companies and asset managers on inbound investment transactions. Senior associate Kirk Glenn, who focuses on high-value energy deals, and senior associate Clare Hanna, an SME and FSI specialist, are also standouts. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

    Practice head(s):

    Clare Auty

    Other key lawyers:

    Mike Jackson; Richard Nicholas; Gareth Davies; Kirk Glenn; Clare Hanna

    Key clients

    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

    The National Trust

    JaxJox Inc

    Impala Travel Technology

    Luxury Cottages

    PBE Group

    Biosite Systems Limited

    Aceleron Limited

    Palatine Private Equity

    Apiary Capital LLP


    Weight Partners Capital

    Globus Medical Inc

    Work highlights

    • Advised Slick Stitch on its provision of tailored garments to Marks & Spencer plc.
    • Advised Wissmatec on it’s branding arrangements and supply of sushi to Iceland stores.
    • Advised a leading hotel and travel aggregator site on its arrangements with hotels, travel companies and consumers.

    Freeths LLP

    Lauded extensively for its ‘ innovative and pragmatic’ approach and ‘first-class’ client service, Freeths LLP works with regional, national, and international clients operating across all manner of industries. ‘Exceptional‘ corporate head Lee Clifford also runs the private equity practice, advising various PE houses and shareholders on major acquisitions and investment transactions. The ‘excellentTom Brown works with numerous private equity-backed companies on M&A deals, often with a cross-border element. Commercial chair Mark Neale is a regular port of call for emerging companies and international market players, who turn him for his expertise in IT and data matters. Nigel Gardner focuses on transportation and warehousing matters for some of the nation’s largest retailers and supply merchants. Managing associate Mohammed Abbas also comes highly recommended.

    Practice head(s):

    Lee Clifford; Mark Neale

    Other key lawyers:

    Tom Brown; Nigel Gardner; Mohammed Abbas


    ‘First-class customer service, responsive, technically strong and go the extra mile.’

    ‘Always available, innovative and pragmatic.’

    ‘Approachable, down to earth and very knowledgeable.’

    ‘Tom Brown was excellent. Available anytime time to answer questions and guide us with his wisdom and experience. A firm but fair negotiator.’

    ‘Mohammed Abbas was excellent. His patience and perseverance helped us through the whole transaction.’

    ‘The team provides a tailored service, and where I particular value them is their ability to understand what I am trying to achieve – they then find a way to do it. Their commerciality is a particular strong point – they come with solutions rather than problems. Their technical abilities are strong and they understand the market incredibly well.’

    ‘Lee Clifford is exceptional. He provides excellent service from across his team while giving a personal approach. Lee is always available and takes the time to understand the situation, the wider transaction and what you are trying to achieve. A stand-out corporate lawyer in the Midlands, respected across the community.’


    Key clients

    BlueRunner Solutions


    Egis S.A

    Flow Communications

    Innovative Safety Systems

    Seqirus Vaccines

    Duranta Energy


    HBM Global Group

    Flamingo Horticulture

    Bolt UK


    Hydrock Group

    Stone Technologies


    Lloyds Development Capital

    The Alumasc Group Plc

    Vox Group

    Wurth Group

    Funeral Partners Limited

    BGF Investments LP

    ALDI Stores


    Travis Perkins including: Toolstation


    Tile Giant


    Barratt Developments

    Eurocell Group

    Eddie Stobart

    William Hill


    H W Martin

    FCC Environment

    Arkphire UK Limited

    NCR Limited

    Atlas Hotels

    Principal Hotel Company

    Synergy Logistics

    Bio Dynamics

    Jack Moody Plc

    Johnson Aggregates

    Severn Waste Services

    Work highlights

    • Supporting Travis Perkins with the legal separation of its IT arrangements ahead of its demerger of subsidiary Wickes, and the sale of its plumbing and heating business to HIG.
    • Advising Aldi in relation to the contracts for the construction and fitting out of their largest ever distribution centre, at Bardon in Leicestershire.
    • Advising Egis S.A on its acquisition of Galson Sciences.

    Gateley Legal

    Gateley Plc fields one of the most active practices in the West Midlands, handling a strong mix of corporate and commercial transactions for various market-leading clients. Corporate practice chair Tom Durrant handles a number of cross-border acquisitions and disposals for individual entrepreneurs and international corporates alike. Paul Cliff specialises in equity capital markets and public company advisory work, while Simon Gill and Beth Mather focus on corporate finance and leveraged transactions. Commercial lead Simon Pigden, who also heads up the firm’s IP, commerce, and technology practice, routinely advises on outsourcing, procurement, and supply chain issues.  The ‘exceptionalTom Rush works with numerous household names on public M&A deals, most recently for clients in healthcare and manufacturing. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

    Practice head(s):

    Tom Durrant; Simon Pigden

    Other key lawyers:

    Paul Cliff; Simon Gill; Beth Mather; Tom Rush


    ‘Very informative team who really get to know their client and the client’s desired outcome.’

    ‘Tom Rush and his team are exceptional in their ability to translate complex legal scenarios into an understandable and successful outcome to his clients. He has taken the time to really understand our business and what we are trying to achieve in each of our transactions with him. Tom’s ability to communicate with our whole team and develop a relationship that ensures the best for all parties is exemplary.’

    ‘Gateley’s corporate practice in Birmingham benefits from its heritage and DNA in cost-effective, pragmatic legal advice. The firm isn’t into gimmicks and makes us feel that our work is treated as a priority, whilst also giving us partner-led, added value. The corporate team works closely with the banking and tax teams which is also a plus.’

    ‘A true commercial attitude to law especially when trying to complete a deal.’

    ‘Gateley’s took more time to understand our businesses approach to deals than any other firm previously. They took time to find out about the culture of our business, our style, and were able to adapt their communication to better represent our business pre sale. It’s a cliché, but they genuinely feel like and sound like an internal business partner rather than an external supplier. This makes the deal process much more collaborative and less stressful.’

    ‘With Tom, there is no ego, no house view, and he brings a genuinely collaborative approach to the deal process. It is refreshing to work with someone in Tom’s position that genuinely focuses on the desired client outcome and makes a huge amount of effort to ensure that the process is good for all parties.’



    Key clients

    Grosvenor Health and Social Care Limited

    Likewise Group Plc

    Prism UK Medical Limited


    NFP Group

    NorthEdge Capital


    Palatine Private Equity

    Virgin Wines UK plc

    Franchise Brands plc

    Trackwise Designs plc

    Real Estate Investors plc

    Work highlights

      Mills & Reeve LLP

      Praised for its ‘straightforward, proactive and responsive‘ manner, Mills & Reeve LLP is regularly instructed by a diverse array of public and private entities, most notably in the health and care sectors. Corporate chair and national private equity head Ryan Hawley handles numerous mid-market transactions for a diverse roster of clients, especially those in the education and renewable energy sectors. As head of the firm’s health team, Julian Smith is regularly involved in big-ticket acquisitions and disposals for some of the sector’s biggest players. Peter McLintock advises on cross-border M&A and private equity investments for major entities from the worlds of telecoms, software, and commercial property. Commercial practice chair Jayne Hussey heads up the firm’s automotive and engineering practice, advising on supply chain and logistics projects for various household names. In addition to helming both the agri-food and the life sciences teams, Junaid Haroon is a prolific advisor to private sector health and care clients.

      Practice head(s):

      Ryan Hawley; Jayne Hussey

      Other key lawyers:

      Julian Smith; Peter McLintock; Junaid Haroon


      ‘Strong team of well-coordinated individuals, adept at complex, multi-faceted transactions.’

      ‘Peter McLintock is highly experienced and prepared to make committed recommendations rather than offer vague advice, which I value highly.’

      ‘Very straightforward, proactive and responsive.’


      Key clients

      Aspris Children’s Services

      Operose Health/Centene

      Nactarome UK Limited

      Delta Financial Systems Limited

      The Binding Site


      Jasper Private Equity LLP

      Elaghmore Group

      The Martin James Network


      Palatine Private Equity

      Brigade Electronics Group plc

      Essentra Components Ltd

      Horiba Mira

      Oxford Leadership Academy

      Starship Technologies Ltd

      Phillip Morris Products S.A.

      Advanced Electric Machines


      South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (regional collaboration)

      Work highlights

      • Advised Aspris Children’s Services on its merger with 50 care specialist care home Sandcastle Group creating a £200m turnover children’s healthcare and education services business.
      • Advised Antser Holdings on its £8.5 equity investment from BGF.
      • Advised Artisan Acquisition Corp on its $1.7bn merger with Prenetics, a global leader in genomic and diagnostic testing (and the number 1 genomics and diagnostics business in Hong Kong and the UK).

      Pinsent Masons LLP

      Lauded for its ‘sector-leading expertise‘ in a number of disciplines, Pinsent Masons LLP draws on its robust national network of offices to advise a host of entities from the worlds of healthcare, tech, manufacturing, and energy. Practice co-chair Nicole Livesey anchors the team’s manufacturing and industrial sector offering, working with a number of domestic and foreign clients on corporate and commercial matters. Andrew Hornigold focuses on tech and life sciences transactions, while Joanne Ellis is well-regarded for the depth of her healthcare expertise, particularly in the social care, fertility, and dental arenas. Energy and infrastructure specialist John Tyerman is regularly engaged on renewable and clean tech matters, including onshore wind transactions and transition projects. On the commercial side, practice co-chair Clare Francis is a key port of call for clients seeking assistance with post-Brexit and post-Covid strategy whereas the ‘outstanding’ Gayle Ditchburn advises on regulatory, structuring and governance matters for various higher education institutions. Senior associate Rami Labib is also recommended.

      Practice head(s):

      Nicole Livesey; Clare Francis

      Other key lawyers:

      Andrew Hornigold; Joanne Ellis; John Tyerman; Gayle Ditchburn; Rami Labib


      ‘Gayle Ditchburn is so impressive. Outstanding client service and exceptional expertise.’

      ‘Rami Labib is extremely knowledgeable and delivers excellent client service.’

      ‘Sector-leading expertise, strength in depth of the team, responsiveness, ability to understand client’s particular commercial desires and provide solutions to reflect that, exceptionally easy to work with.’

      ‘Gayle Ditchburn is outstanding,  I cannot speak highly enough of her. She is great to work with, understands the business, its risk appetite and applies pragmatic solutions to the problems.’

      ‘The team we work with are confident, capable and hardworking. They are a pleasure to work with. I trust the advice I receive in the knowledge that as issues arise they will be dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.’

      ‘Nicole Livesey is a fantastic partner, easy to work with, hard-working, knowledgeable and pragmatic. Nicole explains situations in a clear and concise manner, highlighting issues and opportunities and proposing practical solutions. Nicole’s team are always well prepared and negotiate from a position of strength without being over-bearing.’ 

      Key clients

      Wesleyan Assurance Society

      Sage Group Holdings Limited

      Rampion Offshore Wind Limited

      Centrica Plc

      Twenty20 Capital Holdings Limited

      Apposite Healthcare Fund II LP

      Node4 Limited

      Equifax Inc.

      Mohawk International Services BV

      Shareholders of Readypower Group Limited

      M&J Evans Group Limited

      Telent Technology Services Limited

      Riverdale Midco Limited

      Fortescue Metals Group Ltd

      Aedifica UK Limited

      HomeServe Assistance Limited

      Robert Bosch and management of Boxt Limited

      The Ministry of Justice

      Tesco plc

      Rolls-Royce Plc

      Honda Motor Europe

      Dubai Road Transport Authority

      Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority

      Work highlights

      • Advised Fortescue Metals Group on the £164m acquisition of Williams Advanced Engineering Limited from private equity firm EMK Capital and Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited.
      • Advised the shareholders and management of Node4 on the exit of Bowmark Capital and LDC’s investment to Providence Equity Partners.
      • Advised the Dubai Road Transport Authority with a long-term strategic alliance agreement for the development and deployment of an autonomous robo-taxi service in Dubai.

      Shoosmiths LLP

      The ‘truly impressive’ corporate and commercial group at Shoosmiths LLP fields one of the largest teams in the region, working on a litany of M&A deals and private equity transactions for various clients from the worlds of consumer goods, tech, logistics and media. National corporate head Ben Turner regularly works with multinational tech companies and PE houses on big-ticket mandates, while commercial practice chair David Jackson specialises in technology outsourcing deals, with recent engagements including customer and supplier-side contracts for major telecoms companies and car manufacturers. Praised for his ‘highly responsive’ approach, national VC practice head Alastair Peet acts for investors on funding, scaling, and exit matters, while the ‘excellentAlastair Hammerton handles a myriad of transactions in the space. Senior associate Georgina Rennie is regarded as ‘a star‘ for her capabilities in M&A transactions. Michelle Craven-Faulkner , who joined the practice from Geldards LLP in January 2021, focuses on commercial contracts and other projects in the rail sector. 

      Practice head(s):

      Ben Turner; David Jackson

      Other key lawyers:

      Alastair Peet; Alastair Hammerton; Georgina Rennie; Michelle Craven-Faulkner


      ‘The Shoosmiths team are a highly experienced team with deep knowledge and understanding of our business, really dedicated, and with strengths in various disciplines which we can rely on at any time.’

      ‘Alistair Peet and his team are a pleasure to work with. Alistair knows the market inside out and provides excellent guidance in handling negotiations. He is highly responsive, thoughtful and unstintingly cheerful.’

      ‘Questions are answered correctly and quickly at all times. The assistance is extremely helpful. Shoosmith has become familiar with our business area in a very short time and is able to provide us with spot-on advice.’

      ‘The team are experts in the venture capital area. They are very responsive and work hard and diligently.’ 

      ‘We look forward to working with the Shoosmiths team again going forwards – we highly recommend them.’

      ‘Alistair Hammerton is great to work with. He listens to what you want and need and is happy to give a steer when requested. Most of all, he is commercial and appreciates that all sides want a positive outcome when it comes to investment transactions.’

      ‘Georgina Rennie is a star. She is tenacious, organised and a pleasure to work with. I have every confidence in her ability and I am always pleased if Georgina is working on my files.’

      ‘Alastair Hammerton is an excellent resource. He exemplifies the team attributes of knowledge, understanding and applicability of advice and strategies.’

      ‘The entire team was incredible. Truly impressive performance.’

      Key clients

      John Banaszkiewicz and Freight Investor (Holdings) Limited

      DIF Capital Partners

      Joules plc

      Everbridge Inc.


      Cow Corner Investments


      Octopus Ventures

      Triple Point

      Hambro Perks

      Insurtech Gateway

      Business Growth Fund

      Gresham House

      Mercia Fund Management Limited

      Proximity Data Centres

      GEMS Education




      Ricor Group

      EVAC+CHAIR International Limited

      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


      Work highlights

      • Advising Livingbridge on its investment into Quorum Cyber Security Limited.
      • Assisting Everbridge Inc. with its strategic acquisition of Anvil Group.
      • Advised Equitix on its £75m investment into Grain Connect Limited.

      Squire Patton Boggs

      Squire Patton Boggs‘ ‘hardworking, pragmatic, and professional’ team routinely handles mid-market M&A deals, PE transactions, and multi-jurisdictional commercial contracts for various corporate clients. Practice co-chair Geoff Perry is highly experienced in cross-border transactions, with recent highlights in the construction and manufacturing sectors. Andrew Glaze specialises in corporate finance, possessing particular experience in real estate and Takeover Code transactions. On the commercial front, practice co-chair Stuart James works with a number of international entities on data transfer and supply chain mandates, while Simon Jones is noted for his capabilities in large-scale logistics projects and public sector contracts. Senior associate Claire O’Connor is also recommended.

      Practice head(s):

      Geoff Perry; Stuart James

      Other key lawyers:

      Andrew Glaze; Simon Jones; Claire O’Connor


      ‘Hardworking, pragmatic and professional. Reasonable fees and a strong desire to be close to their client.’

      ‘Geoff Perry is a standout lawyer: responsive, focuses on the real issues and avoids wasting client time on the nitty details of the contract. Gets to the heart of the issue.’

      ‘Simon Jones is very helpful. Makes himself available and has great knowledge of public sector contracting.’

      ‘Stuart James has been outstanding. He has proved to be highly responsive, demonstrated a high degree of legal acumen and professionalism and continues to present pragmatic and business-like solutions.’

      ‘Stuart James is able to make his advice commercial and concise to enable internal stakeholders to understand the big issues.’

      ‘Without doubt all of the team demonstrated exceptional knowledge and experience, and came across as really genuine people.’ 


      Key clients

      Altrad Group

      ARB Corporation Limited

      Cazoo Holdings Limited

      Daniel Harris and other minority shareholders

      Enterprise Control Systems Limited

      GracoRoberts UK Limited

      Hackman Capital Partners LLC

      Homeserve PLC

      Ontic Engineering and Manufacturing UK Limited

      Rimac Automobil

      Rock Power Connections Limited

      SAICA Pack UK Limited

      Work highlights

      • Acted for Rimac in relation to a significant joint venture between Rimac and Bugatti.
      • Advised Hackman Capital Partners on numerous matters throughout 2021, including on the acquisition of Ardmore and Troy Studios (the two largest film studios in Ireland).
      • Advised Homeserve PLC on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of CET Structures Ltd (Project Castle) in a deal worth £53m.


      DWF is regularly engaged on high-value, cross-border transactions by a broad roster of clients, ranging from telecoms companies and utilities providers to property developers. Mark Gibson is a seasoned M&A lawyer who regularly works on deals for various healthcare, technology, and financial services players, including businesses based in the CEE. John Campion is renowned for his capabilities in equity capital markets work, with recent highlights including technology IPOs and media takeovers. Commercial and IT practice chair Ben McLeod works with both vendors and customers on outsourcing and cloud deals. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

      Practice head(s):

      Mark Gibson; John Campion; Ben McLeod

      Key clients

      Microlise Group plc

      Miroma SET Limited

      Zinnwald Lithium plc

      Mercantile Ports Limited

      Keywords Studios plc

      Shareholders of H K Wentworth Limited

      Silentnight Holdings Limited

      Lewis Morgan

      Hamble Properties Limited

      Severn Trent Water Limited

      EE Limited

      BT Plc

      A.F Blakemore & Sons

      BAI Communications Limited

      Mobilitie LLC

      Work highlights

      • Advised Microlise Group plc on its IPO on AIM, raising a total of £61.2m and achieving a market capitalisation of £157m .
      • Advised Miroma SET Limited on its £30m recommended takeover by Miroma Holdings Limited.

      KPMG Law in the United Kingdom

      KPMG Law in the United Kingdom‘s deal and structuring team is a burgeoning presence in the Birmingham market, advising a diverse roster of companies on M&A transactions, joint ventures, and reorganisations – often with a strong cross-border element.  Practice chair Jenna Ostrowski‘s recent highlights include international divestitures for clients in recruitment consultancy and food manufacturing. Thomas Swain focuses on privately held companies, while Dean Chauhan has most recently handled reorganisations and incentive scheme reviews. Eve Oppenheimer is also noted.

      Practice head(s):

      Jenna Ostrowski

      Other key lawyers:

      Tom Swain; Dean Chauhan; Eve Oppenheimer

      Key clients

      Shareholders of Romax Technology Ltd

      Shareholders of Find A University Ltd

      Shareholders of Meat Snacks Group Ltd

      Shareholders of Fire Glass Ltd

      Shareholders of Vee Bee Ltd

      Work highlights

      • Advising the shareholders of Find A University Ltd on the sale of the business to Keystone Academics Solutions AS.
      • Advised the shareholders on the sale of Meat Snacks Group Ltd to Rowes Honey Ltd.

      Shakespeare Martineau LLP

      Readily available and extremely knowledgable‘, Shakespeare Martineau LLP is well-versed in an array of corporate and commercial matters, possessing key expertise in tax-related investments and cross-border deals. Practice chair Keith Spedding handles a number of public and private company M&A deals for businesses operating in a number of sectors, ranging from life sciences to cybersecurity. Kavita Patel, who heads up the investment funds desk, is widely praised for her capabilities in private equity and corporate finance deals. Jody Webb, who joined the practice from Freeths LLP in November 2021, is highly experienced in UK mid-market transactions.

      Practice head(s):

      Keith Spedding

      Other key lawyers:

      Kavita Patel; Jody Webb


      ‘They are readily available and extremely knowledgable in their field which allows for an impeccable service.’

      ‘Keith Spedding’s knowledge of capital markets, corporate governance and M&A is inimitable. His attention to detail and management throughout each transaction allows for a consistently smooth process. We would not hesitate to recommend his services to our clients.’

      ‘Jennie Davis approaches each transaction with scrupulous attention to detail which allows for a consistently smooth and diligent process. We would not hesitate to recommend her services to our clients.’

      ‘Highly professional, knowledgeable and able to deliver within extremely tight deadlines and within set budgets. Covering complex issues within corporate finance and speciality technology areas with exceptional skill sets in liaising with the FCA and other corporate finance partners.’

      ‘Fantastic support and always delivering.’

      ‘Kavita Patel’s knowledge of our business, combined with her considerable experience and strong project management skills, make her stand out.’

      Key clients

      Foresight Group LLP

      Unicorn AIM VCT Plc

      Blackfinch Investments

      Avingtrans Plc

      Cizzle Biotechnology PLC

      Solid State PLC

      One Heritage Group PLC

      Socotec UK Limited

      Work highlights

      • Acting for Bermele plc on its acquisition of East Imperial Limited and readmission to the Standard segment of the Official List and readmission to trading on the London Stock Exchange.
      • Acting for Avingtrans PLC on its sale of Peter Brotherhood Limited for an enterprise value of £35m.
      • Acting for Foresight Group LLP (Foresight) on the restructuring and relaunch of its Foresight Inheritance Tax Fund.

      The Wilkes Partnership

      With notable expertise in the German market, The Wilkes Partnership is consistently engaged by a litany of domestic and international companies seeking representation in corporate deals, commercial contracts, and financial transactions. Practice chair and senior partner Gareth O’Hara is instructed by numerous owner-managed businesses, most notably in the automotive retail sector. Rick Smyth is a prolific advisor on mid-market corporate finance transactions, regularly handling multi-million pound acquisitions, sales, and management buyouts. Seasoned corporate and commercial partner Kate Hackett focuses on privately-owned businesses seeking assistance in divestitures and general company law issues. Jeremy Parkin retired from the partnership in 2021, but remains with the practice as a consultant. Associate Helen Smart is also recommended.

      Practice head(s):

      Gareth O’Hara

      Other key lawyers:

      Rick Smyth; Kate Hackett; Jeremy Parkin; Helen Smart


      ‘The firm has worked with us for over seven years and is our go to for advice and guidance outside the day-to-day transactional processing. Always willing to explain matters in simple, easy to understand terms to ensure that key risks are adequately assessed.’

      Key clients

      Wesleyan Bank Limited

      Johnsons Cars Limited

      PPS Equipment Holdings

      Benx Limited

      Star Events Group Limited

      Cotswold BMW

      Wake Power Distribution Limited

      Dennis Eagle Limited


      J S Wright

      HIA International Limited

      Niclen GmbH

      STABILA Messgeräte Gustav Ullrich GmbH

      Böcker AG

      TruVenturo GmbH

      Polytec AMR GmbH & Co KG

      Huber Car Park Systems International GmbH

      Pravida Bau GmbH

      TwentyFive 8 Management Company

      The Service Response Group

      Wow! Stuff

      Strongs Plastic Products

      Radiant Financial Group UK Holdings Limited

      Monarch Care Group limited

      BK Plus Limited

      Work highlights

        Clarke Willmott LLP

        Clarke Willmott LLP delivers ‘commercially-orientated and considered advice‘ in corporate dealings to a strong mix of businesses, particularly in the fields of manufacturing, engineering, and healthcare. Practice head Kim Klahn, who joined from Lodders Solicitors LLP in October 2021, is experienced in both transactions and corporate governance matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Kim Klahn


        ‘The key to this practice is it treats you as an individual. Listens to what you require and then works with you to achieve the right outcome. It’s very client-centric.’

        ‘Very commercially-orientated and considered advice.’

        ‘Kim Klahn is pragmatic and commercial.’


        Key clients

        Ovako Limited

        Montpelier Developments Limited

        Ashdale UK Limited

        John Hibbard and Helen Shears

        NVC Lighting Limited

        Comau UK Limited

        Your Doctor Film and Media Limited

        Toylander Real Life Toys Ltd

        Work highlights

        • Advised Ashdale UK Limited on the sale of the business and assets (comprising real property) of a hotel and spa in Harrogate.
        • Advised John Hibbard and Helen Shears (founders of Red Paddle Co) on the sale of shares in the leading paddle board producer in the UK to private equity.
        • Advised Comau UK Limited on tender documentation and assisting in the drafting and negotiating of high value contracts with UK customers, liaising with the group legal department.

        Irwin Mitchell

        Leveraging its national network of offices, Irwin Mitchell is instructed both by SME clients and high-profile corporates on the full gamut of corporate and commercial matters. The Birmingham practice is chaired by M&A specialist Nick Dawson, who also serves as head of the firm’s national private equity group. Emma Callow is most active in the manufacturing, recycling, technology, and food and drink sectors, working with various UK companies on acquisitions and outsourcing agreements. Associates Matt Smith and Charlotte Avery are also integral to the offering.

        Practice head(s):

        Nick Dawson

        Other key lawyers:

        Emma Callow; Chris Rawstron; Matt Smith; Charlotte Avery

        Key clients

        Reconomy (UK) Limited

        The KGJ Insurance Group Limited

        Vision Global Growth Fund

        Knights Chemist Limited

        Motus Holdings (UK) Limited

        Intelex Vision Ltd

        Vulcain Engineering UK Holdings Limited

        Lexon (UK) Limited

        Expromet Technologies Group Limited

        Dains LLP

        Phenna Group Holdings Limited

        Acivico Limited

        Hadley Industries PLC

        Gravity Fitness Limited

        Black Swan Data Limited

        Work highlights

        • Advised Reconomy (UK) Limited on the acquisitions of Eurokey Recycling, Kingscote Limited, GAESystems, Casepak and Oceala.
        • Advised The KGJ Insurance Services Group Limited on its sale to NFP.
        • Advised Dains LLP and its Partners on its investment from Horizon Capital into Dains Accountants.

        Legal Clarity

        Legal Clarity attracts praise from numerous clients for its capabilities in M&A and investment transactions, employee-ownership transitions, and other commercial-led reorganisations. The practice is jointly led by Richard Underwood, lauded by multiple owner-managed businesses for his ‘broad range of technical specialisms‘, and the ‘outstanding’ Gary Davie, reputed for his capabilities in employee buyouts. Senior associates Martin Clifford and Matthew Gwyther are also noted.

        Practice head(s):

        Richard Underwood; Gary Davie

        Other key lawyers:

        Martin Clifford; Matthew Gwyfer


        ‘An excellent team.’

        ‘A very capable team, populated by experienced lawyers who have worked in the local market for a number of years.’

        ‘Richard Underwood is commercially astute and has a broad range of technical specialisms. He is always accessible.’

        ‘We have found the level of specialist advice to be excellent. We could not have completed particular projects without engaging Legal Clarity.’

        ‘The skill and professionalism provided by Gary Davie has been outstanding. Not only is Gary a gifted specialist, but he is very approachable and easy to deal with.’

        ‘Richard Underwood is extremely intelligent and is always approachable, explaining issues in a way which is easy to understand.’

        ‘Experienced and technically able with the ability to explain matters in a clear and concise way.’

        ‘The team demonstrates a strong ability to work outside the box in finding creative commercial solutions to complex matters and then assist in implementation in an extremely cost-effective way.’

        Key clients

        Microlise Group PLC

        Coral Products PLC

        Azets Accountants

        Lyle & Scott Limited

        Magma Accountants

        Prime Accountants

        Dains Accountants

        Modality Partnership

        Stonegate Trinity LLP

        Inform Accounting Limited

        DP9 Limited

        Eclisse UK Limited

        Whitemoor Davis Ltd

        Work highlights

        • Advised Microlise Group PLC on various reorganisation matters and refinancing in relation to its admission to AIM.
        • Advised Marcus Aniol in its transition to employee ownership, advising on the bespoke governance and management arrangements going forward for the new group under EOT ownership.
        • Acted for Simon Rothwell on the sale of Flexmort to a group of investors. The deal involved a cross border transfer of shares, assets and rights to an Australian company and its subsidiary.

        Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

        Working with a diverse roster of corporate clients, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises on numerous mid-market private and public M&A transactions – both within the West Midlands and beyond. Adam McGiveron is regularly sought out by various entrepreneurs and directors for assistance in various corporate transactions, including reorganisations and shareholder and private-equity driven investments. Richard Wrigley is noted for his capabilities in cross-border deals, particularly in the technology and energy sectors. Emma Bryant specialises in early-stage and fast-growth business transactions. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

        Practice head(s):

        Matthew Martin (Co-head of Corporate); Simon Bickerdike (Co-head of Corporate); Matthew Martin (Co-head of Corporate); Simon Bickerdike (Co-head of Corporate); Matthew Martin (Co-head of Corporate); Simon Bickerdike (Co-head of Corporate)

        Other key lawyers:

        Adam McGiveron; Emma Bryant; Richard Wrigley


        ‘The Penningtons approach is highly personable combined with exceptionally strong legal advice. The team are hard working, and most transactions tend to be dual partnered, ensuring senior level input is available at all times. Billing rates are extremely competitive. Most of all, they do what it takes to deliver transactions on a timely basis.’

        ‘Unique combination of an eye for detail, coupled with a sensible level of pragmatism.’

        ‘Richard Wrigley is able to bring his experience to bear to get to a sensible solution in a good timeframe.’

        ‘The team are extremely commercial – forward thinking and approachable.Out of the box thinkers who are willing to work very hard for their clients.’

        ‘Adam McGiveron is always very enthusiastic and positive when working with us and it is a pleasure to work with him and the team.’

        Key clients

        Alliance Automotive Group

        Griggs Family, founders of Dr Martens plc

        Express & Star

        Polygiene AB/Addmaster UK Ltd

        Bushell Investment Group Limited

        Valsoft Corporation Inc.

        Monavate Holdings Limited

        Digital Asset Services/Coincover

        Faraday Institution

        Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies

        Work highlights

        • Completed around 10 acquisitions for Alliance Automotive during the year.
        • Advised Polygiene AB on the acquisition of Steritouch following our role advising the sellers on the £33m sale of Addmaster to Polygiene.
        • Advised fintech companies Monavate and Coincover on multi-million pound cross-border private equity investments.

        Trowers & Hamlins LLP

        Trowers & Hamlins LLP fields a robust corporate and commercial offering, working on a mix of transactional and advisory mandates for clients in healthcare, tech, sports, and venture capital. Mathew Harvey is noted for his expertise in manufacturing and automotive sector deals, as well as his burgeoning focus on telecare acquisitions. Amardeep Gill advises various public sector organisations on high-profile commercial projects, most recently in relation to 5G rollouts and the Commonwealth Games. Moad Giebaly specialises in UK private equity company buy-out and M&A deals, while senior associate Mike McMahon focuses on venture capital investment transactions.

        Practice head(s):

        Mathew Harvey; Amardeep Gill

        Other key lawyers:

        Moad Giebaly; Mike McMahon

        Key clients

        Shareholders of Alanto Limited

        Colmore Partners Limited

        Midven Limited

        Progress Housing Limited

        Doro AB

        Medivet Group Limited

        Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

        Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult Limited

        Birmingham City Council

        WM5G Limited

        West Midlands Combined Authority

        Transport for West Midlands

        Work highlights

        • Advised the shareholders of Alanto Limited in connection with the sale of the entire issued share capital of the Company to Jacobs & Thompson Inc.
        • Acting for Medivet Group Limited on their share and business acquisitions of individual veterinary practices.
        • Advising Birmingham City Council in its capacity as host city for the Commonwealth Games.