Drawing high praise for its ‘brilliant people and fantastic service’ – particularly with regard to its ‘exceptional’ partner service – Harrison Clark Rickerbys handles a wealth of high-value mandates, particularly in the manufacturing, healthcare, tech, retail, education, and energy sectors. The team is jointly chaired by corporate head Charlotte Thornton-Smith and commercial lead Robert Capper. Thornton-Smith is particularly noted for her expertise in health and social care sector transactions, while Capper, who specialises in advanced manufacturing, works with a diverse range of both SMEs and larger corporates, as well as professional partnerships and doctors’ practices. Head of health and social care Rebecca Leask, who splits her time between the firm’s offices in Worcester and Birmingham, is also experienced in retail sector transactions. Wye Valley office head Arpinder Dhillon is a key port of call for clients seeking assistance with corporate transactions, most recently in the IT and sanitation sectors. Clare Emery heads up the firm’s dental care-focused offering, while Helen Higginbotham is recommended for her due diligence acumen. Tom Bartley-Smith left the firm for an in-house role in December 2022. All named lawyers are based in Worcester unless stated otherwise.
Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the West Midlands in West Midlands
Charlotte Thornton-Smith; Rebecca Leask; Arpinder Dhillon; Robert Capper
Other key lawyers:
Clare Emery; Helen Higginbotham
‘Every single member of the team involved in the sale of our business was extremely professional, knowledgeable and proactive. And a great pleasure to work with.’
‘I would HIGHLY recommend this law practice to anyone who requires outstanding service.’
‘I have worked with various law firms over some 30 years in business and without a shadow of doubt HCR have stood out in every respect.’
‘Brilliant people and fantastic service.’
‘HCR are always prepared to go the extra mile to deliver a project on time and to budget. The most unique feature about HCR has to be the people. everyone in the organisation is highly motivated, experienced and has a robust understanding of our needs as a business. HCR has such a breadth of expertise to support in any situation. They are able to bring together the right team to support our needs. We have never found HCR to be wanting in any transaction.’
‘The team that we work with in HCR will always complete a transaction on time and will work whatever hours required to achieve this objective. They will always keep us informed of progress on a project and will support in difficult situations. Everyone I have worked with at HCR is professional, driven, competent, and experienced. I cannot say enough good things about Arpinder and the team.’
‘Partner engagement is exceptional.’
‘Pragmatic in approach.’
HSL Compliance Ltd
Liberty Flight Holdings Limited
Dataflow Measurement Systems and Shareholders
Chance Brilliant Limited
Safran UK Limited
Ethical Power Ltd
Educational & Clinical Research & Innovation Group
- Advising DV8 Technology Limited, and Axis Mining Technology Limited, on their sale to Project Grace Holdings Limited and Orica Investments Pty Ltd with a very large value.
- Advised the shareholders of Liberty Flight Holdings Limited on their sale to Supreme Imports Limited.
- Advised the Educational and Clinical Research and Innovation Group on a new commercial collaboration with Harper Adams University and the University of Keele.
Based in Brierley Hill, Higgs LLP impresses an extensive roster of regional and national clients, who turn to the team for its ‘knowledgeable, informative, punctual’ service in a range of corporate transactions. Business services head John Heaton is an experienced M&A lawyer whose recent highlights include manufacturing and automotive sector deals. Corporate head Richard Griffiths is a prolific adviser whose ‘stand-out’ expertise is notably concentrated in corporate finance transactions. Jamie Partington, who heads up the tech and high-growth team, anchors the firm’s venture capital offering in the region, while Geoff Kettle is noted for his focus on healthcare and early years education sector work. Katie Willems is also recommended.
John Heaton; Richard Griffiths
Other key lawyers:
Geoff Kettle; Jamie Partington; Katie Willems; Emily Parks
‘Very practical and commercial with their advice.’
‘Richard Griffiths is extremely personable, and can quickly build strong relationships with clients. He is also commercial and can explain legal matters clearly and concisely to people with limited legal knowledge,’
‘The Higgs team are incredibly well integrated with partners from across several service streams working closely together to ensure a commercial resolution to any issue. I have not seen such collaborative working across any other firm that I have engaged. I am also impressed by how much senior involvement there is on a project and how proactively they manage potential issues. They really are in a class of their own.’
The Old Station Nursery Limited
Mercia Asset Management
United Glass Group
Alycidon Private Equity
First Choice Catering
Foresight Group LLP
Talkout Holding Limited
Webster & Horsfall
- Advised Mercia Asset Management’s MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund (part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund), its EIS funds, and its Northern VCT funds on numerous venture capital investment deals during 2022.
- Continued to act for The Old Station Nursery Limited (OSN) as its sole legal advisor in the UK on its acquisition programme, completing four acquisitions for OSN over the course of the last 12 months which added 18 nurseries to their portfolio.
- Advised Quest Vitamins on its sale of its UK flavouring business Quest Ingredients Limited to the Highlander PE-backed Fuerst Day Lawson.
Wright Hassall LLP
Turned to by a number of manufacturers, sports companies, and publishers, Wright Hassall LLP is well-versed in both corporate and commercial matters. The team is jointly chaired by corporate chair Steve Halkett, whose expertise ranges from transactions to corporate governance issues, and commercial head Peter Maguire, who regularly handles contracts and outsourcing arrangements for a broad array of clients. Robert Lee’s recent highlights include cross-border deals in the media and education sectors. All named lawyers are based in Leamington Spa.
Steve Halkett; Pete Maguire
Other key lawyers:
Guthrie Douglas Group Limited
Gestamp Automocion SA
Hilco Capital Limited
Denby Holdings Limited
Bridge Event Technologies Limited
Working across multiple offices in the West Midlands, Ansons’ latest expansion efforts saw the ‘regional heavyweight’ open a site in Dudley in July 2022. Mere Green-based practice co-chair Neil Jones is a highly active adviser whose recent highlights include both corporate and commercial matters in the IT, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors. Based in Cannock, fellow co-chair Jamie Gill is particularly noted for his experience in healthcare and logistics sector work, while Dudley-based senior consultant Paul Bennett has latterly advised on a slew of engineering sector deals. Emma Rowley is also recommended.
Neil Jones; Jamie Gill
Other key lawyers:
Paul Bennett; Emma Rowley
‘We are made to feel important at all times and their responses are swift.’
‘Easy to discuss all matters – trivial and important.’
‘We have worked with Ansons for many years and I recommend to all my clients. Ansons will always make a transaction as smooth as possible. Always available to speak, extremely professional, and help with any issues which crop up.’
‘Neil Jones is always there to help ourselves and our clients, and will go out of his way to ensure our deals continuously move forward. His experience and knowledge is extremely valuable to any pharmacy sale, and we really see the difference when Ansons are appointed on either side.’
‘The firm has specialist expertise in dealing with community pharmacies and this has proved very valuable for a firm like ours as we have many clients in this sector. We have found the partners and staff to be approachable and the firm offers a competitive fixed fee quote, again valued by many of our clients. The firm is also proactive, commercial and sensitive to client needs.’
‘We work with Neil Jones, Jamie Gill and Emma Rowley, and their knowledge and expertise as corporate lawyers is second to none. They are very commercial and offer good, sound advice. Nothing is too much trouble and they will go out of their way to help a client.’
‘A regional heavyweight firm providing partner-led, responsive, and thoroughly detailed service combined with intimate knowledge of their clients on a business and personal basis.’
‘Neil Jones takes personal responsibility for leading and delivering the firms services. Neil is honest and realistic in his advice on commercial issues and timescales. Proven to be more than a match for any of the biggest law firms.’
Diesel Marine International
- Advised Hypermotive Limited and management team in relation to an investment from AP Ventures.
- Advised Diesel Marine International on its acquisition of WM Codd Limited.
- Advised management team on the management buyout of Wells Plastics Group and Refinance with Virgin Money of £9m.
George Green LLP
Particularly sought out by SMEs and owner-managed businesses – most notably in the manufacturing sector – George Green LLP works with both domestic and international clients on various corporate matters. The 'excellent' Sarah Ward heads up the practice, drawing on significant experience in the retail, energy, and logistics sectors in her role as a transactional adviser. James Bird heads up the commercial offering, working with clients on various contractual matters and IT/IP agreements, while Phillip Round is recommended for his ‘brilliant’ capabilities in regulated sectors such as financial services and pharmaceuticals. A key contact for various owner-managed businesses, Wolverhampton-based Kam Johal’s wide-ranging corporate experience spans sectors as diverse financial services, manufacturing, and hospitality. All named lawyers are based in Cradley Heath unless noted otherwise.
Other key lawyers:
James Bird; Philip Round; Kam Johal; Kevin Styles
‘My dealings with both Sarah Ward and Philip Round have been excellent. Their commercial knowledge and advice is technically excellent and are both able to distil the legal complexities to board members and management. They demonstrate great ability and have been prepared to work over and above expected to ensure successful completion of the deals.’
‘I work most closely with Kam Johal and Kevin Styles. Both are friendly and approachable, and highly regarded by their clients for knowledge and commitment.’
‘The team at George Green provides corporate-level advice whilst taking time to understand your business. As an SME we find this practical approach really useful.’
AGT Retail Limited/Refined Brands
Chapter Restaurant Limited
Alloy Wire International Limited
Pargat & Co Limited
Pinnacle Financial Planning Limited
Voice & Script International Limited
Three Pines Building Co. Limited
The Graves Family (sale of International Tooling Corporation)
Peritum Group Limited
Erlson Precision Holdings Limited
A E Harris Limited
THL (Holdings) Limited
Shareholders of Robson Property Management
- Advised the Management Team of Saltus Partners LLP on the investment by Preservation Capital Partners in the Saltus Group.
- Advised Refined Brands (AGT Celtic Limited) on the acquisition of Turtle Doves and subsequently Kettlewell Colours.
- Advised the Management Team on the MBO of Alloy Wire International.
Working across offices in Solihull, Halesowen, and Worcester, Thursfields Solicitors ‘provide excellent insight and advice’ to a strong mix of SMEs, owner-managed, and family businesses seeking assistance on corporate sell-side deals and reorganisations. The practice is chaired by Gareth Burge, a highly experienced transactional partner who works between Solihull and Worcester. In Worcester, the ‘outstanding’ Tim Edwards – noted for his expertise in healthcare M&A – has also recently handled deals in the logistics, IT, and data sectors. Other names to note include ‘excellent’ corporate lawyer Joe Rollins, and Reece De-Vaney, who focuses on healthcare sector M&A. Hannah Clark, a specialist in commercial contracts, joined the practice from Waldrons Solicitors in March 2022. All named lawyers work between the firm’s offices in Solihull and Worcester unless noted otherwise.
Other key lawyers:
Tim Edwards; Joe Rollins; Reece De-Vaney; Hannah Clark
‘The team went above and beyond, they were super helpful and provided excellent insight and advice. Their advice was invaluable to me as it meant that I was able to achieve exactly what I needed out of a situation.’
‘Gareth Burge’s relentless efforts to assist me was truly appreciated. He was patient and super knowledgeable.’
‘The partner-led approach means that any contentious issues are dealt with quickly and decisively.’
Freemans Event Partners Holdings Limited
Demma Group Limited
Worcester Carsales Limited
DRP Holdings Limited
Rockfire Resources plc
Network Catering (Engineers) Limited
Greensafe IT Limited
Avon Freight Group Limited
- Advising the sellers of Demma Group Limited on their sale of the company to the Nordomatic group, backed by Trill Impact.
- Advising the Sellers of Compco Fire Systems Limited on their sale of the company to the Writech group, backed by Waterland.
- Advising the shareholders of the Linkchoice group on the capital reduction demerger of the trading company, Avon Freight Group Limited, from the property investments held within the group pending an MBO of the Avon Freight Group business.
Drawing considerable praise from clients for its ‘excellent service’ and its ‘ fast, conscientious, and service-oriented work’, the Dudley-based Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited regularly works with a number of clients – both domestic and international – on M&A deals and reorganisations. With more than three decades of experience in the market, Colin Rodrigues is a seasoned corporate and real estate practitioner whose recent highlights include a host of multi-million-pound acquisitions and divestitures for corporates in the construction, media, and pharmaceutical sectors, among others.
‘A focused corporate law practice, with the relevant specialisms to handle most corporate law requirements.’
The senior personnel are very experienced and pragmatic in their approach to advising upon transactions, plus the fees they charge are very competitive compared to other law firms in the region who have corporate transactional teams/expertise.’
‘Colin Rodrigues is, in my opinion, a very good corporate transactional lawyer.’
‘Colin has many years experience which he brings to bear. He has always treated my clients extremely well in terms of advice and manner.’
‘Extremely professional. Excellent service.’
‘The people at Hawkins Hatton deliver fast, conscientious and service-oriented work.’
‘Colin cares for his clients and is always ready to assist.’
‘They always offer a highly personal and practical service.’
Conway Packaging Services Limited
IDS Transport (UK) limited
Medicom Helathpro Limited
Kay Group Holdings Limited
Zip Clip Limited
GB Tyres Limited
Generix Facades ltd
IBC Healthcare Ltd
- Acted for Sicon Limited on the sale of their entire share capital.
- Instructed by the shareholders of PestProof to act on the sale of the entire share capital to Rollins UK Holdings Ltd.
- Instructed by a Belgium-based company active in the industrial, construction and agricultural sector to act on two large acquisitions during the course of 2022.
Underpinned by strong cross-office collaboration, Lanyon Bowdler’s ‘knowledge, advice, and expertise’ makes them a key port of call for a host of corporate clients. Shrewsbury-based Grainne Walters is an ‘excellent’ adviser whose wide-ranging client base spans the consumer goods, education, care, and industrials sectors, to name a few. ‘Highly experienced and extremely knowledgeable’, Ludlow-based Edward Burrell’s recent workload includes both M&A and restructuring mandates, while Conwy-based Jennifer Edwards is noted for her significant experience in asset sales.
Other key lawyers:
Edward Burrell; Jennifer Edwards
‘The service provided by Lanyon Bowdler is excellent. Their team are knowledgeable and friendly, and produce work in a timely manner.’
‘Jennifer Edwards has provided excellent service, offering clear advice throughout.’
‘Creative, responsive, knowledgeable, experienced, and a great help in negotiations. Focused on the big picture rather than getting bogged down in legal nuances.’
‘London firm quality in a regional practice.’
‘Grainne Walters is excellent and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Lanyon Bowdler acted to manage and over see the legal elements of the management buy out of our company. Their knowledge, advice, and expertise made the sale successful and time efficient. They dealt with a vast amount of legal paper work and jargon quickly and efficiently, using all their resources.’
‘Ed Burrell is very commercial, highly experienced, extremely knowledgeable, quick, and efficient. Without his determination, tenacity, and resourcefulness, the sale would not have been a success. We are very grateful.’
LAF Holdings Limited
Highgate Capital Management LLP
Lodders Solicitors LLP
Working across offices in Birmingham and Stratford Upon Avon, Lodders Solicitors LLP’s corporate and commercial practice routinely advises on corporate and commercial matters for a litany of clients, most notably in the industrials space. The team is headed up by Graham Spalding, a seasoned partner with particular expertise in manufacturing sector deals. Bradley Quin is noted for his broad corporate and commercial practice, while Stuart Price, who joined the team from Thursfields Solicitors in March 2022, specialises in commercial contracts, IP, and data protection. Leanne Lawrence is noted her real estate acumen.
Other key lawyers:
Bradley Quinn; Stuart Price; Leanne Lawrence
‘I found Graham Spalding and his team extremely efficient and always available with guidance, all throughout a very tricky experience.’
‘Took the pressure off me and undertook processes on my behalf. This gave me reassurance and, above all, it meant that I had complete trust in the whole team at Lodders.’
Shareholder in Frontier Development Capital
Shareholders in Sweetfuels Limited
SRG Park Holdings Limited
Taylor and Taylor Limited
Marrill Group Limited
Whitehouse Industries Limited
Onfolio Holdings Inc
GIL Boxnewco2 Limited
Bagnall and Wild
A key port of call for a host of owner-managed businesses, Aaron & Partners LLP’s broad sector focus sees the team acting for manufacturers, healthcare organisations, tech companies, and retailers, among others. Some of the key names to note include Stuart Haynes, experienced in both corporate and commercial mandates; Hugh Strickland, a seasoned M&A lawyer who also heads up the banking and finance practice; and Peter Manford, a commercial partner whose recent engagements are concentrated in the retail and manufacturing sectors. Corporate practitioner Zoe Lloyd is also recommended. All named lawyers are based in Shrewsbury.
Other key lawyers:
Stuart Haynes; Hugh Strickland; Peter Manford; Zoe Lloyd
‘Efficient, good attention to detail, good communication.’
‘Zoe Lloyd did a very good job for us. She was available to me throughout a tricky negotiation and was a big part of the success of the transaction.’
‘There is always someone available to take a call with prompt call backs, emails are answered promptly, time is taken to give you the correct advice. Clear pricing and agreements so there are no grey areas.’
‘Zoe Lloyd has been a stand-out person when dealing with our company matters, and is always our primary option when legal services are required. Her work is always very thorough.’
Invertek Drives Ltd
Tudor Griffiths Limited
MFG Solicitors LLP
The ‘very knowledgeable’ corporate team at MFG Solicitors LLP works across offices in Birmingham, Worcestershire, and Shropshire on a range of transactions for clients in manufacturing, agriculture, IT, and healthcare. The ‘excellent’ Clare Lang – who divides her time between the firm’s offices in Birmingham and Kidderminster, handles a host of corporate matters, from M&A to reorganisations and insolvency proceedings. With more than three decades of experience in the market, Worcester-based James Hayes - ‘an outstanding lawyer who gets the deal done every time’ - is particularly well-known for his healthcare and IT sector work. Also in Kidderminster, the similarly experienced Stephen Wyer is recommended for his expertise in education, healthcare, energy, and agriculture.
Other key lawyers:
James Hayes; Stephen Wyer
‘The firm has a very knowledgeable corporate team with experience of many different types of corporate dealings. No matter what we ask, they always appear to have had dealt with a similar circumstance in the past. They have been a great support to our firm.’
‘Clare Lang has been excellent in assisting us with a number of corporate deals. She is always very clear and concise with clients, and extremely helpful in guiding them through the process.’
‘James Hayes is a trusted advisor to our business and is our key partner contact. James and the team have consistently, over several high value acquisitions, provided an extremely specialised, experienced and entirely bespoke service, surpassing our high expectations. They are extremely reliable and have a very broad depth of knowledge across all corporate and commercial matters. A multidisciplinary team with cumulative experience spanning decades, derived from a diverse range of clients in the UK, Europe, and the USA. James and the team provide us with unquestioned confidence in their ability.’
Shareholders of ACR Heat Products Limited
Hotelshop UK Limited
Solutions By Jigsaw Limited
Dolphin IT Limited
Shareholders of The First Class Pet Company Limited (trading as Little Big Paw)
Pharos Offshore Group
Drayton Manor Resorts
West Midlands Safari Park
DLF Seeds Limited
- Acted for Tony Ryan and Martyn Ryan on their sale to Decisive Dividend Corporation of 100% of ACR Heat Products Limited.
- Advised the shareholders of The First Class Pet Company (trading as Little BigPaw) on the sale of the company to Petbuddy Group AB.
- Advised Pharos Offshore in relation to taking a £7.8m funding package from Thincats to facilitate the purchase of new assets.
Praised for its ‘consistently strong level of service’, a varied lineup of SMEs and owner-managed businesses regularly turn to the ‘first class’ team at Pickerings Solicitors. At the helm, Craig Davies is a longstanding member of the firm with particular experience acting for manufacturers and IT companies on both corporate and commercial matters. ‘Extremely competent and proactive’, Keri Pointon’s capabilities span acquisitions, sales, and corporate reorganisations, most recently for clients in the healthcare and manufacturing sectors. All named lawyers are based in Tamworth.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are a group of highly skilled and experienced professionals who go above and beyond to deliver exceptional results for their clients. Their commitment to excellence is evident in everything they do, from their strategic approach to their attention to detail. The team is also very collaborative and responsive. I would highly recommend them to anyone seeking representation’
‘I have had the pleasure of working with Craig on several projects. What sets Craig apart is his commercial approach, being pragmatic all while not losing sight of the important details. Craig has always been approachable and responsive in talking through both strategies and detail and I would gladly recommend both him and the team.’
‘Consistently strong level of service and a particularly good fit for our owner-managed business clients. They take time to understand clients’ needs and work closely with them, helped by a strong and experienced team.’