Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the West Midlands in West Midlands
George Green LLP acts for SMEs, owner-managed businesses and large corporates. Paul Bennett leads the corporate services team, which advises clients on M&A, private equity investments, restructurings, joint ventures and general company law matters. Bennett acted for the shareholders of Jobson James Holdings Ltd on the sale of the company to Aston Lark in 2019. Sarah Ward and Kam Johal are also experienced in corporate transactions. James Bird, who is the head of the commercial practice, is particularly knowledgeable about long-term supply contracts connected with the advanced engineering and aerospace sector. Guy Green now practises as a consultant.
‘Very responsive and thorough in their advice.’
‘Philip Round is extremely on the ball and provides first-rate city-quality advice at regional prices.’
‘Very experienced and down-to-earth lawyers with a broad knowledge in all aspects of civil and commercial law, good response time and focus on clients’ business needs.’
‘James Bird is always reliable and provides quick and useful answers for international clients.’
Ortus Secured Finance
Pallet Track Limited
Olive Communications Solutions Limited
Saltus Partners LLP
Diesel Marine International Limited
- Advised the majority shareholder of Palman Limited on the sale of a controlling interest in Palman to TPA Capital.
- Advised the shareholders of Ductmann Limited on the sale of the company to Lindab Limited, a subsidiary of the Swedish listed Lindab Group.
- Advises a German multinational steel conglomerate on key commercial contracts.
Harrison Clark Rickerbys
Harrison Clark Rickerbys advises on acquisitions and disposals, MBOs, joint ventures and company fundraisings, among other matters. Arpinder Dhillon acted for the management team of Shield Group on its MBO to to Kiwa Compliance BV and its rollover into a newly formed company backed by private equity house LDC. Clare Emery specialises in assisting dentists from across with the UK with acquisitions and sales of practices. Managing partner Rod Thomas heads up the corporate group, which also includes recently promoted partner Jennifer Staples and senior associate Helen Higginbotham. The commercial practice is led by Robert Capper.
‘Excellent firm. Very professional, knowledgeable and efficient in its service‘
Shield Group International
UK Farm Vets Ltd & UK Farm Vets North Ltd
McCarthy Taylor Limited
Bull Products Limited
Morgan Motor Company
Dawn Foods (UK) Limited
Legacy Leisure Limited
- Advised global engineering group Trelleborg AB on its acquisition of liquefied natural gas (LNG) transfer systems provider, Signum Technology Ltd.
- Advised Dawn Foods (UK) Ltd on its warehousing and logistics contracts including renegotiating them and subsequently putting in place new providers.
- Assisted Morgan Motor Company with their dealer agreements
At Higgs & Sons, John Heaton became the head of business services in December 2019, taking over from Nick Taylor, who became the firm's managing partner. Richard Griffiths leads the corporate practice, which is a cornerstone of the wider business services department. Clients include entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses, as well as national and international corporates. Griffiths and others advised the shareholders of Brian James Trailers on the sale of the company to Lifco AB. Jamie Partington is also recommended.
‘High involvement of all team members, including partners, in clients’ assignments. High degree of responsiveness and reactiveness‘
‘A good understanding of the client’s business and needs. High availability. Honesty and transparency‘
La Maison Bleue
Business Growth Fund
Media Based Attractions (Simworx)
Alycidon Private Equity
Severn Valley Railway
- Advised the shareholders of Jaffabox Limited on their sale of the business to the German packaging giant, Schumacher Packaging.
- Acted for La Maison Bleue on its acquisition of The Old Station Nursery Limited.
- Advised the shareholders of Akkroo Solutions Limited on the $34m sale of the company to Phoenix (US) venture-backed company Integrate Inc.
Wright Hassall LLP
Wright Hassall LLP acts for clients based in the Midlands, as well as national and international entities. Robert Lee heads up the corporate practice, which undertakes corporate and private equity transactions, MBOs and MBIs, and restructurings, among other matters. John Dormer and Nathan Lapsley advised the employee ownership trust company Planet X EOT Trustees Limited on the sale of Planet X Limited to its employees under an employee ownership trust. Elsewhere, the firm provides commercial contracts support to suppliers and corporates in the technology sector, particularly with outsourcings and procurement projects. Pete Maguire is a name to note in this space.
‘First-class professional service‘
‘I found Wright Hassall to be responsive and accessible – both in terms of giving me direct access to the right people working on our project and also guiding me in the right direction within the firm when specialist knowledge was needed. Access to our key contacts on the project at both associate and partner level was forthcoming and we were met at a level that was empathetic and thoughtful, based on their experience, as well as our immediate and future needs‘
Wasps Holdings Limited
Gestamp Automocion SA
Hilco Capital Limited
Denby Holdings Limited
Cad Cam Automotive Limited
Cloudview Holdings Limited
Extra Technology Limited
Associated Technology Pipeline Limited
Computer Systems International Limited
- Advising Wasps Holdings on Wasps’ new sponsorship agreement with Vodafone, among other matters.
- Acted for Educare Learning on the sale of Educare Limited to TES Global Limited (formerly the Times Educational Supplement).
- Advised Reality in Virtual Reality Limited on ownership and licensing of content for realistic interactive scenes for fire investigation training.
Beswicks Legal is well-established in the Staffordshire market, and it also advises clients based elsewhere nationally and internationally. Team head Peter Ellis is experienced in business acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, restructurings and company law and partnership matters.
Thursfields Solicitors has had a recent increase in mandates connected with the healthcare, events, technology and professional/financial services industries. Led by Gareth Burge, the team handles M&A, private equity and venture capital investments, joint ventures and reorganisations. It also provides commercial contracts advice. Philip Chapman, who joined from Wall James Chappell in 2019, and recently promoted director Tim Edwards are other key figures. In one highlight, Chapman led a team which advised the director of Compass Wealth Management on the sale of the business to CN Poole Ltd. Associate director Fiona Boxwell joined from George Green LLP.
‘Professional, honest and acts as a team with other advisers for the greater good of their clients‘
‘Gareth Burge, Joe Rollins, Nick O’Hara and Michelle O’Hara are all extremely professional and take time to truly understand their clients, providing honest, straightforward and expert advice to clients‘
‘They are a very well-known local firm known for their quality and service. They are client-driven and very personable with the clients‘
‘Responsive, logical in approach, solutions focused and hard working, with a great attention to detail‘
‘Gareth Burge (Director) – Exceptional solicitor and corporate lawyer. Very responsive, clear advice and gets things done. Has been able to handle everything thrown at him with great aplomb, delivering a quality product and outcome. Great at liaising and taking the lead with other parties (e.g. tax advisers) to provide a seamless multidisciplinary service‘
‘I dealt with Fiona Boxwell at Thursfields. From the first meeting I was confident that we would work well together. She was incredibly efficient, whilst being approachable and available at all times. She brought a human touch to a multimillion pound transaction so that I felt confident and secure from start to final completion‘
‘The most significant difference between Thursfields and other legal firms I have used is their approach to the more complex issues that arise during a commercial transaction. Responsive and solution-oriented, I am never left feeling that either communication or a lack of legal creativity will stand in the way of or delay a transaction‘
Rockfire Resources Plc
Oakland International Limited
Freemans Event Partners Holdings Limited
DRP Holdings Limited
PCMSEng Group Limited/Practice Care Maintenance Services Limited
Airband Community Internet Limited
Ruroc Global Holdings Limited
Demma Group Limited
Republic Cargo Systems Limited/Rhenus Group
- Advising the shareholders of Biocensus Limited on the sale of Biocensus to RSK.
- Advising the shareholders of AJ Case Management Limited on the sale of AJ Case Management to Active Assistance Finance Limited.
- Acting for the majority shareholder on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Midland Telecommunications Management Limited and two subsidiaries to a new MBO holding company, Midland Telecom Holdings Limited.
In 2019, Ansons opened an office in Sutton Coldfield as part of a strategy to expand its footprint in the West Midlands. The firm provides the full scope of corporate and commercial advice to clients, including M&A, private equity transactions, reorganisations, shareholder agreements and partnership matters. It has a particularly strong track-record acting for clients in the healthcare sector, including dentists and pharmacy owners. Hilary D’Cruz, who led the expansion into Sutton Coldfield, co-heads the practice with Cannock-based Neil Jones.
Other key lawyers:
‘I appreciate the strength of their corporate team and also appreciate that they have good depth across other specialisms, which really is key when looking to get transactions completed.‘
‘Hilary D’Cruz stands out as an exceptional corporate lawyer. Hilary is a strong lawyer bringing a wealth of experience, depth of knowledge coupled with a high level of commercial awareness. This combination of skills is rare and therefore Hilary stands out against peers.‘
‘Very responsive to phone calls and emails.‘
‘I have used the firm for advice and legal help with the sale and purchase of companies. Over the past ten years, they have always been extremely helpful and practical in all dealings.‘
‘Every member of staff have always been helpful and above all knowledgeable. They always deliver as they promise. I cannot speak too highly of them.‘
‘Practical and down to earth with the aim to achieve an outcome quickly and safely.‘
‘The individuals will assess the risks, make recommendations, and look to get the deal done as opposed to just putting obstacles in the way. in this respect Hilary D’Cruz stands out.‘
Shareholders of Protech Computer Systems Limited
ISM Pharma Limited
- Advised the shareholders on the disposal of Protech Computer Systems Limited.
- Advised ISM Pharma Limited on the dual acquisition of two separate pharmacy businesses.
FBC Manby Bowdler LLP
FBC Manby Bowdler LLP advises clients on acquisitions and disposals of companies, restructurings and commercial contracts. Wolverhampton-based team head James Sage, David Preece in Telford and Shrewsbury-based Stuart Rea are recommended.
Colin Rodrigues heads up the practice at Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited, which opened an office in London in 2019. The firm is active in high-value domestic and cross-border deals across a wide range of industries; in 2019, Rodrigues acted for the shareholders of London-based vintners S & G Vintners Limited on a £1m sale of shares to a Northern Irish wine merchant.
‘A niche practice that excels in corporate work – especially company sale and MBO transactions. The firm has excellent levels of knowledge, and is very adept and focused. Its smaller size makes it very accessible and flexible.’
‘Colin Rodrigues is a stand-out partner – always highly proactive, commercial, practical and engages well with all clients.’
‘Always available, they know what they are good at and stick with it. Always act swiftly and keep you informed at every stage.’
‘They provide an excellent service, offering clear, concise, effective advice and will work around the clock if necessary to get the job completed. They have a dedicated team that builds solid professional relationships with its clients.’
‘Colin Rodrigues’ strengths include his ability to negotiate, accessibility, ability to give advice (rather than sit on the fence) and his ability to seek out innovative commercial solutions. Harminder Sandhu is a charismatic individual who is very detailed in her approach to work. Her knowledge, in particular, when dealing with business law is superb.’
‘Colin and his team have great personal qualities and make you feel that the situation is as much theirs as yours, giving you the support needed. This personal touch stands out from other legal firms.’
Sovereign Risk Management Ltd
THL (UK) Holdings Ltd
Secal by Genius Facades Limited
Tollgate Adapt Holdings
HSBC UK Bank Plc
Midland Telecom Holdings Limited
Royal Bank of Scotland Plc
- Acted for education insurance provider Sovereign Risk Management Limited on the exit of its Bermuda-based investor for £12m.
- Acted for Parkersteel Limited and THL (UK) Limited on their £14m acquisition of a company in administration by way of a pre-pack.
- Acted for one of the shareholders of Midland Telecommunications Management Limited on the MBO of the company.
In a notable development at Lanyon Bowdler, Edward Burrell made partner in 2019. Burrell works with department head Gráinne Walters to handle a wide range of complex corporate transactions, including acquisitions, disposals, investments and mergers. Other work covers joint ventures, corporate reorganisations and succession planning. The team, which is based in Telford, is well-known among businesses located throughout the West Midlands.
Other key lawyers:
‘Ed Burrell headed up the sale of my business and his attention to detail was first class. This was a multimillion-pound sale and he was always on hand at any time of the day or night to answer all my questions. He has a real knack of putting things into a way I could understand. He took all the legal jargon out of it for me. Amazing service and support.’
‘To be honest, what makes these guys and girls different is the fact they really get under the skin of your business and gather an incredibly accurate understanding of the task in hand. The lever of detail is first class. Outstanding in fact!’
‘Our experience was that the corporate team at Lanyon Bowdler was very swift at responding to all matters relating to our transaction. This is an attribute that is frequently wished for, but not always forthcoming from legal firms in general.’
‘Gráinne Walters was the main person handling our transaction. She was outstandingly responsive, extremely efficient, always very pleasant and to the point. It was markedly noticeable that she did not waste her own time, or that of her team, or ourselves, by engaging in unnecessary social chat. Gráinne stood out as a really genuinely nice, caring, person who is sensitive to everyone’s needs at the same time as always giving a fair and balanced opinion on all matters she dealt with.’
LAF Holdings Limited and its group companies
Hafren Scientific Limited
Plastic Omnium Automotive Limited
Dodd Group (Midlands) Limited
Grange Fencing Limited
Hoshizaki Europe BV
Maxell Europe Limited
Severn Bridges Multi-Academy Trust
- Advised Cymryd Rhan, a charity focused on home care for the elderly, on its acquisition of a children’s nursery business.
- Advised Hafren Scientific Limited on the acquisition of X-ray Mineral Services Ltd as part of the client’s expansion into Wales.
Lodders Solicitors LLP
Led by Kim Klahn, Lodders Solicitors LLP's corporate and commercial services team acts for a wide variety of clients, including SMEs and owner-managed businesses, entrepreneurs, charities and logistics companies. The group handles a wide range of matters for clients, including company and LLP formations, reorganisations, MBOs, partnership agreements and distribution agreements. Klahn has a notable specialism in the healthcare sector, and regularly advises on sales and purchases of care homes. In a key development in 2019, Graham Spalding joined from RPC.
‘Wide range of skills within the team, with a rounded and highly commercial perspective applied to all transactions. A team that has enjoyed significant well-deserved growth of late.’
‘Mike Wakeling and Kim Klahn demonstrate a good knowledge of the law and of the businesses they support, as well as being able to apply some commercial thinking into their advice. They are well-supported by an excellent team more than capable of dealing with the day-to-day matters. Partners are very accessible, which is helpful.’
‘I have worked with the Lodders team now for over 15 years. The key thing that impressed me is the speed of its response rate and in-depth knowledge of the legal position on various deals.’
‘Hard working, driven and focused. Attention to detail is also a key strength of the team.’
- Acted for a group of private investors on the share purchase of Sandland Packaging Limited (SPL).
- Acted for Whitehouse Industries Limited on the purchase of the entire issued share capital of Flotronic Pumps Limited (FPL) from Norris Holdings.
MFG Solicitors LLP
MFG Solicitors LLP's corporate team includes Stephen Wyer, who specialises in matters connected with the healthcare, education, energy and agriculture industries. In 2019, Clare Lang (who recently became the department head) led the advice to the sole shareholder of SP Services Limited on the sale of the company to Williams Medical Supplies Limited. Lang also advises clients on complex corporate reorganisations and employee share schemes. James Hayes has 30 years of M&A experience.
‘Excellent personal service.’
‘Clare Lang – excellent personal service and explains everything in clear language.’
‘James Hayes is our “go-to” trusted adviser for all UK mergers and acquisitions, and other transactions. An excellent lawyer, a proactive problem solver and very experienced, he gets the deal done.’
Kew Tech Limited
Worcester YMCA Limited
Adam Jones Investments Limited
- Acted for Vectric Group and its owner on a complex capital reduction demerger.
- Acted for Trademagic on its acquisition of K Guard International Limited.
- Acted for the shareholder of Phoenix Training Services Limited on the sale of the company to Challenge Recruitment Group Limited.
With practice head Craig Davies at the helm, Pickerings Solicitors has built up a loyal client following among family-owned and owner-managed businesses in Staffordshire. The team demonstrates extensive expertise in all stages of the business lifecycle. The scope of its work includes company formations, sales and purchases of businesses, MBOs and MBIs, joint ventures and restructurings. The group also assists clients with drafting and negotiating a wide range of commercial agreements. Solicitor Keri Pointon is another key figure.
Other key lawyers:
‘Pickerings has looked after my legal affairs for a number of years, from the purchase of a business many years ago to the subsequent sale to a Fortune 500 company. A practice needs to be approachable and have the personal touch and Pickerings certainly ticks this box. They have loyal and reliable staff, with very little turnover.’
‘My principal contact is Craig Davies and he has advised me in many corporate matters, from acquisitions, business sale, company structure, share purchase agreement and warranty. He is very level-headed, very approachable and understands the commercial aspects (as well as the legal aspects) of a deal. He has been a great support to me over the years. He also pulls out all the stops when a deadline is looming, we have had many calls in the early morning and late evening, but he has always got the deal over the line. Keri Pointon is also very able, approachable and professional, and they work together as a solid team.’
‘The team is pragmatic and problem-solving, cutting through the commercial noise to focus on the essential points of the issue at hand, with a strong focus on customer satisfaction.’
‘Craig Davies leads the team with a personable and engaging style, ensuring it shows a strong commitment to addressing client problems in a timely manner, using language that a non-legal professional can easily understand.’
- Acting for a company on the purchase of its own shares for circa £1m.
- Acted for clients on the sale of their shares in a company which supplied mobile computing and bar code labelling equipment and associated software applications.
- Acted as the lead adviser to a client on the circa £1.4m purchase of an IT company.
Shakespeare Martineau LLP's clients are well-served by the firm being able to leverage its resources nationally in complex mandates. Andrew Smith heads up the team in Stratford-upon-Avon, which is active in mid-market M&A, MBOs and MBIs, joint ventures, group reorganisations and restructurings. It also advises on corporate governance issues. The group acts for clients in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, energy, agriculture, charities and social housing. Clients range in size from start-ups to multinational companies.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very helpful and responsive, takes time to understand the business and specific issues and keep up to date on what is happening. Always offers a valued opinion and happy to help.’
‘I have been dealing with Andrew Smith. He has been very professional, prompt to respond and is quite prepared to discuss and give good advice. I would not consider another practice given the level of service I have received.’
‘Always available and able to translate business issues into appropriate legal parameters and back again, so that we understand what is required. I have always found that I get straight answers, even if they are not what I want to hear, which is not always the case with solicitors. They have taken the time to clearly understand my business.’
UK Battery Industrialisation Centre
Idea Catalyst Partners LLP
Hylands House Care Ltd
The Extracare Charitable Trust
Walsall Housing Group
- Acted for the shareholders of Hylands House Care Limited on the sale of the company to Imperial Care Group Limited.
Aaron & Partners LLP's team, which is led by Stuart Scott-Goldstone, generates work from large local businesses (and their owners), as well as national and international businesses. Hugh Strickland and Stuart Haynes are notable individuals in the group, which advises clients on M&A, MBOs, general company law matters and commercial contracts.
‘Excellent relationship with team, in particular partner Stuart Haynes. Good understanding of business in general and interest in our long-term success. Always come up with practical solutions to issues that we may have‘
Blue Prism Software Limited
Tudor Griffiths Limited
MTD Acquisitions Limited
A P Wireless Limited
YEE Group Limited
TSB Returns Limited
Thomas Thomas & Co Limited
Ellis Whittam Limited
Heaven Health and Beauty Limited
Invertek Drives Limited
TRB Technology Group Limited
- Advising the shareholders of Invertek Drives Limited on the sale of the company to Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd, a global corporation listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
- Advised TSB Returns on IP strategy and commercial agreements for software platform use, as well as engaging with retailers and carriers on integrated retail returns services contracts.
- Advised EA Group UK Limited on the acquisition of a security products company.
Band Hatton Button LLP
Band Hatton Button LLP's local market presence was reinforced by its merger with Coventry-based firm Richardson & Davies in January 2020. Sean Byrne leads the team, which acts for SMEs, public companies, sole traders and partnerships. Its work covers M&A, share reorganisations, shareholder agreements and commercial contracts. The group also advises on intellectual property protection and exploitation.
Other key lawyers:
Brindley Twist Tafft & James
Senior partner Samantha Wright leads Brindley Twist Tafft & James' department, which assists clients with business acquisitions and disposals, intellectual property issues, company reorganisations and restructurings, commercial contracts and shareholder-related matters.
Enoch Evans LLP
Enoch Evans LLP's practice head is Sukie Shemar, whose experience includes M&A, company reorganisations, share sales and purchases, and the drafting and negotiation of shareholders' agreements. Shemar has developed a notable specialism in the healthcare industry, particularly in matters involving pharmacy businesses.
‘Have dealt with Sukie Shemar who has always been thorough and reverts back in the minimum of time. Always willing to accommodate meeting times which meet the clients’ requirements e.g. early morning or late evenings‘
‘The whole team at Enoch Evans LLP works well together to ensure that clients receive the best possible advice‘
‘Ms Sukie Shemar gets on with the job in hand, keeps you informed of progress and any queries as soon as they arise, offering solutions and advice as to how to deal with them in a speedy, effective way‘
Hatchers Solicitors LLP
Hatchers Solicitors LLP in Shrewsbury acts for clients in sectors such as healthcare, education and not-for-profit. Its corporate and commercial team also works closely with members of the agriculture group to advise farming clients on various issues, particularly succession planning. Practice head Ann Fisher acts for partnerships, LLPs, private companies and owner-managed businesses.
- Advised the governors of a leading independent preparatory school on a merger with a high-profile independent public school.
- Advised a fifth-generation family-owned business group on a proposed company acquisition.
- Ongoing advice to a client operating in the financial services sector; recent work included creation of another new subsidiary within the group, as well as company secretarial matters and share transfers connected with succession planning.