Addleshaw Goddard‘s ‘excellent‘ corporate practice group houses a multidisciplinary team of experts who routinely handle big-ticket corporate transactions and private equity deals. Overseen by Garry Elliott, the team comprises Mark Hallam, who has sector strength in the financial services industry, and James Tatro, who focuses on retail and consumer goods clients. Star practitioner Yunus Seedat is rated highly by peers, and handles an assortment of domestic and international M&A and private equity matters for clients including NorthEdge. On the corporate finance side, Richard Hunt is the key contact. The team also advises on IPO’s and fundraisings; Adam Hastings has over two decades of experience in this area.
Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire in Yorkshire And The Humber
Other key lawyers:
James Tatro; Yunus Seedat; Adam Hastings; Richard Hunt; Mark Hallam
‘AG’s Leeds corporate and commercial team is excellent and can punch its weight with any of the big London teams. Their strength lies in excellent, tight knit teamwork, great communication within their team and the teams at large, a very good working relationship with counsel and the client and a tenacious approach to getting the right results for their clients.’
‘Excellent and very highly skilled team. A good combination of top end technical knowledge with genuine commercial litigation experience.’
‘Well led, good depth of experience and common sense, very commercially orientated, certainly knows the local market very well and are very well connected but with a good national reach especially in private equity, and they do what they say they will do when they say they will do it.’
‘Yunus Seedat is outstanding. Wise, perceptive, intuitive, smart, speaks when he has something to say but boy, is it worth listening to. Unflappable.’
‘Garry Elliott – used to be up and coming but now well established. Has real presence and presence of mind. A good commercial adviser, very practical.’
The 'excellent' corporate and commercial practice group at DLA Piper is singled out for its international capacity and handles high-value acquisitions and private equity deals. Andrew Davies oversees the group, which has sector strength cross the renewable energy, healthcare, and hospitality sectors; team co-chair Matthew Duncombe recently acted for Hyatt International. On the capital markets side, John Gallon is the key contact and continues to be instructed on deals spanning the consumer goods, manufacturing and construction sectors, whilst Stephen Atkinson handles M&A work. At the associate level, Milena Falciano-Padron advises on commercial contracts, franchising agreements and data protection issues. The team's capacity has been bolstered with the promotion of Amar Mann to the partnership; he brings a strong financial services background with clients including Triple Point Capital.
Andrew Davies; Matthew Duncombe
Other key lawyers:
Stephen Atkinson; John Gallon; Milena Falciano-Padron; Amar Mann
‘The team are excellent – always very responsive and client-focused. Backed-up with technical know-how and experience. Despite clearly being very busy, we always feel like a priority.’
‘John Gallon has been outstanding although this special mention should not diminish from the other members of the team who are also excellent. John supported our business on a highly time-pressured and important project last year and did not miss a beat. The perfect balance between being technical and ensuring the client understands the matters at hand and also knows exactly what is required of them.’
‘They are all very committed to meeting our objectives. Stephen Atkinson was extremely tuned into the commercial factors of the deal including the financial complexities.’
Intercontinental Hotels Group
Toyota Fleet Mobility
Tetra Tech UK
Adler & Allan Limited
Wescom Signal & Rescue
- Advising on the English law aspects of the Indian state mandated merger between Canara bank and Syndicate bank, reportedly creating the 4th largest public sector bank in India.
- Advised Sun Capital on its acquisition of Netherlands headquartered CNC. The transaction involved working with DLA offices in the Netherlands and Poland on the corporate acquisition, whilst also facilitating the provision of bank financing to fund the acquisition.
- Advised Sun Capital on its acquisition of Wescom Signal and Rescue. The transaction involved working with DLA offices in Germany, Spain and Australia in facilitating the provision of bank financing to fund the acquisition.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's corporate practice group has an excellent track record in advising private equity houses and handling high-value M&A matters for a wide roster of clients. The group has extensive domestic and international coverage and is headed up by Robin Skelton in Leeds, where large transactional mandates are led by Amanda Partland. In the equity capital markets space, Alison Starr is the main contact, particularly for takeovers. The group also has an experienced associate base, with senior associate Jonathan Wharam specialising in corporate finance work and principal associate Jonathan Pollard singled out for acquisitions and takeovers. David Milne left the firm for Squire Patton Boggs.
Other key lawyers:
Alison Starr; Amanda Partland; Jonathan Pollard; Jonathan Wharam
Inflexion Private Equity
Perwyn Advisors UK Limited
Kodak Alaris Holdings Limited
The Shareholder of Pipes UK (Holdings) Limited
DFS Furniture plc
New Imagitas Inc., a subsidiary of Red Ventures
The shareholders of Neoss Limited
The shareholders of Liberatis Limited
Broadstone Holdco Limited, a Livingbridge portfolio company
MC20 HDGS Limited, a subsidiary of Broadstone Holdco Limited a Livingbridge portfolio company
DAI Global, LLC
Shareholders of Natural Balance Foods Limited
- Advised private equity house Inflexion on an investment, alongside the original founder team, into Goals Soccer.
- Advised private equity house Perwyn Advisors UK Limited on the acquisition of a majority stake in Miss Group, a Stockholm headquartered website hosting company with operations in the Nordics, Spain and the US.
- Advised Perwyn Advisors UK Limited on the acquisition of a majority stake in Agilitas, an inventory management business based in Nottingham.
Pinsent Masons LLP
The full service corporate practice at Pinsent Masons LLP is praised as the 'powerhouse of the North', and handles a steady stream of high-value transactional mandates for global corporates and private equity houses. Andrew Black oversees the sector-driven practice, which has strength across the technology, energy and financial services industries. The core group includes Andrew Kerr, who is singled out as a 'real asset to the team', and Catherine Hemsworth and Michelle Kershaw, who continue to be instructed by PE clients. Senior associate Tom Ralph handles local and European M&A work and is recommended for his niche in the healthcare sector. On the commercial side, legal director Lisa Harley manages the commercial subgroup and has over two decades of experience in the IT sector, specialising in outsourcing and procurement issues.
Andrew Black; Lisa Harley
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Kerr; Catherine Hemsworth; Michelle Kershaw; Tom Ralph
‘Client needed advisers who were approachable, attentive, diligent. Lead partner was Andrew Kerr but lead associate Tom Ralph was my main contact. Tom was an excellent listener, he calmly walked his client through the due diligence process. Good people management skills ensured sale process kept to timetable, offering guidance or responding to questions as necessary. It reinforced my view he was always on top of the subject.’
‘A very good team and powerhouse of the North. Stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Magic Circle firms but is more approachable and cheaper! They are constantly developing their more junior lawyers to ensure continuity and engagement with clients is sensible and not too heavy on the marketing.’
‘Andrew Kerr is excellent as a client partner and ensures that the right people are working on the matters referred to the firm. His legal knowledge is excellent and approachable.’
‘Highly personable team who we have worked with for a few years. Initial work started as reasonably simple corp dev work and has recently covered business of a more complex nature. From our partner contact down to associates on the team, all were available when we needed and highly efficient. We also felt that the team clearly translated legal speak and helped us navigate complex legal discussions with comfort. Gave us overall peace of mind we were being well represented.’
‘Hard working, pragmatic and overall very clear about what we were doing and why. Clearly stating next actions and acting on them.’
‘The depth of the team and their relationships within the waste, recycling and energy industries are a key reason for working with Andrew Kerr and his team.’
‘The team is very capable, approachable and responsive. They provide excellent practical corporate and commercial advice in a pragmatic and business friendly manner and within budget. The team is IT proficient readily using IT to enhance efficient processes. ’
‘Andrew Kerr is a very attentive client lead partner ensuring the service offered by his team meets one’s expectations. In particular, Tom Ralph senior associate provided excellent clear and pragmatic corporate and commercial advice meeting challenging timescales in a relaxed but very professional manner.’
‘Andrew Kerr is a real asset to the team and one to watch with interest. He is clearly very experienced; with good technical knowledge in (and beyond) his specific field of corporate law. He offers sensible, well reasoned and balanced pragmatic advice to me (as GC) as well as to my business leaders and approaches all interactions with integrity, efficacy and in the true spirit of teamwork; proactively providing me with visibility of any key issues to support the transaction as well as our own longer term management of the matter. He is a lawyer that I know that I can trust to provide swift, sound and pragmatic legal support and judgement to my business whilst ensuring necessary visibility for the GC. I would not hesitate to recommend Andrew to my peers.’
Imagination Technologies Limited
Air Partner plc
Greencoat Capital LLP
Biffa Waste Services Limited
Surgical Innovations plc
The National Employment Savings Trust (Nest)
- Advised Imagination Technologies on the sale of the Ensigma Wi-Fi communication technologies business (with operations in the UK, India, Sweden and Taiwan) to Nordic Semiconductor ASA.
- Advised Hyland Software, Inc. in relation to its agreement to acquire Alfresco, a content services platform and solutions provider, headquartered in Boston, MA and with operations in the UK, Germany and France.
- Acted for Air Partner PLC, a Main Market listed global aviation services company, on its cashbox placing which raised £7.5m.
Noted for its 'extremely high standard of work', Squire Patton Boggs has an excellent track record and maintains a spread of activity across the international private equity funds and capital markets spaces. Overseen by Hannah Kendrick, the team has been recently bolstered with the arrival of David Milne who joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, and the elevation Mae Salem to the partnership. The group is engaged by many private equity funds on high-value M&A transactions and is skilled in handling IPOs. Jonathan Jones is a key transactional lawyer in the group as is Paul Mann, and Jonathan Ross is also singled out. Form commercial work, Paul Jinks is the main contact, advising a range of clients including blue-chip companies.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Jones; Paul Mann; Jonathan Ross; David Milne; Mae Salem
‘Robust legal advice. Take time to understand our needs and apply advice with a commercial focus. Problem solvers as well as lawyers. Good rapport with clients and always make themselves available at short notice.’
‘Jonathan Ross. Technical legal adviser who adopts a commercial approach. Has built a high level of trust with us as a client and became our go-to for corporate legal services.’
‘We have used SBP for two and a half years on all the M&A deals (27 in total) we have done. We continue to use the team as not only do they perform to an extremely high standard, they are also a really nice, friendly, helpful team of people. We have no complaints about them.’
‘The team are very helpful and flexible in terms of more active support when needed.’
‘Very practical and pragmatic team. Down to earth. Hannah Kendrick is my contact.’
‘They are very “user-friendly”, by which I mean that they are incredibly easy to deal with – they are hugely impressive with the quality of their advice but they work with you in such a way that it’s not an intimidating, over-bearing, heavy-duty exercise. It’s just really good advice delivered in a friendly, professional manner that is easy to follow for non-lawyers.’
‘Corporate partner – Hannah Kendrick. Very approachable, always makes time for you and is pragmatic, credible, authoritative and manages to be an invaluable source of counsel for the senior management and board of the company.’
Inflexion Private Equity Partners
Mobeus Equity Partners LLP
Clearcourse Partnership Acquireco Limited
Heitman International LLC
H2 Equity Partners
Tissue Regenix Group plc
Xeros Technology Group plc
Applied Graphene Materials plc
TransUnion (formerly Call Credit)
Punter Southall Group
Clear Books Plc
- Advised on the milestone exit by LDC of long-standing client Adler and Allen Group and the related Sun Capital Investment.
- Acted as Kooth plc’s legal advisers in respect of an admission and placing of share capital on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange which raised £26m to support the company’s future growth.
- Acted for the shareholders of InXpress Holdings Ltd, a new client, on the sale of the entire issued share capital of InXpress Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries, including overseas subsidiaries in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Hong Kong and Vietnam to Salt Bidco Limited, backed by Hudson Hill Capital.
Walker Morris LLP provides a 'top-notch legal service' and retains its market position as a regional powerhouse in the corporate space, advising a number of domestic and international clients. Private equity work remains a core strength for the practice with Daniel O’Gorman and Oliver Duke (who was elevated to the partnership in 2020) undertaking cross-border private equity mandates for European and US funds, as well as mid-market equity capital markets transactions. Overseen by John Hamer, the core group also includes Richard Naish, who heads up the firm's food and drink industry group, Debbie Jackson and healthcare sector specialist Jo Stephenson. At associate level, Thomas Mieszkowski is experienced in acquisitions and sales. The team bolstered its capacity through Michael O’Halloran who joined in January 2021 from Latham & Watkins.
Other key lawyers:
Daniel O’Gorman; Oliver Duke; Richard Naish; Debbie Jackson; Jo Stephenson; Thomas Mieszkowski; Michael O’Halloran
‘Excellent team that work efficiently together and have a wide breadth of knowledge and expertise.’
‘Walker Morris provides top notch legal work at reasonable rates. Being a US-based client, we rely heavily on the Walker Morris team to advise us on all things related to UK law. The team has proven ability to work on tight deadlines and provide great results. Almost universally the team has been very responsive and has widely adopted our preferred manner of doing things.’
‘Dan O’Gorman is wonderful and is one of a handful of truly trusted advisers that we rely on. Dan “gets it” and strikes the right balance between running with things and taking things off our plate as well as properly escalating issues when needed. In addition to the great legal work he’s done for us, Dan has developed a network of similar trusted law firms in other European countries and can almost always point us in the right direction. The transactional support provided by Oli Duke and Jo Stephenson has been top notch as well and they would be highly recommended to others.’
‘Very strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with difficult counterparts. Had the ability to guide us as clients to the best path forward to move the deal ahead and come to a successful conclusion. Very timely in responses and work in a deal that had many stops and starts.’
‘Oli Duke was exceptional at guiding us through the nuances to UK transactions. The individuals on our side had very little experience with UK M&A, so we required a heightened level of explanations.’
‘We’ve worked with Walker Morris for years now and are very comfortable trusting them to move things on in the background without checking every draft of a document. They’re very reliable and thorough – and the principle of only having to tell them something once applies here.’
‘The firm has a strong private equity practice. What makes the practice stand out is the seamless way in which they execute on deals together with their clients. I have also found that they manage buy side mandates on competitive processes extremely well. They are creative in finding solutions to help their client stand out from the competition.’
‘Daniel O’Gorman is the partner that I mainly deal with on cross border matters. Dan is different from competitors by being always available and very hands-on. Dan is also able to provide advice that is very commercial and strategic. He has strong relationships with his private equity clients and they rely heavily on his strategic judgement. He has a great ability to guide clients through complex M&A projects with ease.’
Eight Fifty Food Group
MJ Hudson Group plc
Menzies Distribution Limited
Tonka Bay Equity
Total Capital Partners
Audax Private Equity
Prototal Industries AB
Mattioli Woods plc
Renew Holdings Plc
Hargreaves Services Plc
Innovative Chemical Products Group/ICP Group
Ottawa Avenue Private Capital y
Mesa Laboratories, Inc.
- Advised Endless LLP on its major acquisition of the £350m turnover forestry and saw milling business, BSW Timber Limited and all its associated subsidiaries.
- Lead adviser to Innovative Chemical Products (ICP Group) and Audax Private Equity on the cross border acquisition by US-headquartered ICP Group of the Leeson Polyurethanes group.
- Advised AIM-listed MJ Hudson Group plc, the international asset management consultancy, on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of fund performance analytics specialist, Prof Gottschalg UG and its subsidiary PERACS GmbH.
Clarion is 'technically strong, personable and engaging' according to clients and handles a range of corporate finance matters and is active in the private equity arena. Co-led by Richard Moran and Matthew Hattersley, the group is a strong player in the domestic market and is able to handle international instructions for large companies. The core team comprises Jonathan Simms, who has over two decades of experience in M&A and private equity transactions, and David Cunningham, who works across both public and private sector spaces. On the senior associate level, Kaira Clarehugh and Sarah Harrison are singled out by clients. The technology and IT sectors remain key specialisms.
Richard Moran; Matthew Hattersley
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Simms; David Cunningham; Sarah Harrison; Kaira Clarehugh
‘The team provide our business with a breadth of legal support, pulling on technical experts from within and externally where appropriate. In comparison to other firms we have worked with Clarion stand out for providing a strong and innovative team which creates a trusted partnership and consistently deliver excellent results.’
‘The staff and partners at Clarion are technically strong, personable and engaging. They are very supportive but equally challenging when required. They build strong relationships throughout the business and provide proactive support which feels more like an in-house legal resource.’
‘Very approachable team, down to earth and always gives good, pragmatic advice. Being Yorkshire based means they tend to “tell it how it is”, rather than skate around tricky subjects like some of their London counterparts. No smoke and mirrors. Lack of ego in the team, very good gender balance in the teams we have worked with.’
‘Jonathan Simms and Sarah Harrison are the people we work most closely with. Both are very pragmatic individuals whose advice can be solidly trusted and also good fun. Sarah is a machine – she just never seems to stop working!’
‘For me, Clarion is all about the people. We have worked with them for a number of years and never have they let us down – the legal support is impeccable but this is amplified by the individual care and attention we get from every one of our key contacts. Always going the extra mile, investing time in understanding not only our business but our entire industry.’
‘Jonathan Simms and Sarah Harrison have been with me every step of the way. They understand me, my businesses and my industry with equal measure, making the advice and support I receive accurate, insightful and valuable in so many ways. No problem or challenge is unanswered and the level of trust we have built over the years is second to none – they are my go to for advice on all things – not just legal.’
‘Clarion have a very strong commercial offering. They have recruited some very strong non partners into the firm over the last few years which has given them much more depth to their offering. The firm provides great transparency on billing when required and has provided some innovative leadership on providing dedicated resourcing.’
‘Matthew Hattersley is a strong, pragmatic and calm lawyer who looks to solve issues. He thinks about the bigger picture.’
Chameleon Technology UK Limited
Harwood Capital LLP
Harrison Spinks Beds Limited
Assisi Pet Care Limited
Acumen Waste Services Limited
Strata Homes Limited
Heck! Food Limited
Force 24 Ltd
LSS Waste Management Group Limited
The Home Marketing Group
Shopper Media Group Ltd
Belgrade Insulations Limited
Brandsby Agricultural Trading Association / William Thompson Feeds
Trinity McQueen Limited
Carnaby Caravans Limited
The Data Shed Limited
All Steels Trading Limited
NG Bailey Group Limited
Intermarketing Group Limited
Vocalink Limited (Mastercard)
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies UK Limited
- Acted for Force 24 Ltd and Management on a share sale and private equity investment by YFM Private Equity Partners.
- Acted on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Hollings Limited, a pet food and pet treats manufacturer and supplier by Assisi Pet Care Limited.
- Advised the majority shareholder on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Chameleon Technology (UK) Limited to Chameleon Technology Holdings Limited funded by Shard Credit Partners Ltd.
Gateley Plc is instructed by an arsenal of domestic and international clients on high-value M&A mandates, investment deals and corporate finance matters. The corporate practice group is headed up by Nicholas Emmerson and David Armitage and advises a wide range of clients on market entry issues, particularly in South Asia, and cross-border transactions and investments. On the commercial side, Rob Lucas is the key figurehead and advises international brands across the manufacturing, packaging, cosmetic and retail business sectors.
Nicholas Emmerson; David Armitage
Other key lawyers:
Schofield Sweeney‘s corporate and commercial practice group is led by David Strachan, Chris Schofield and Bradford-based Martin Sweeney, and is instructed on national and international transactions by large corporates. The team handles M&A, demergers and disposals, with Steven Millward leading on private equity fund mandates. Former commercial group head Luisa D’Alessandro left to join Tyr; Karen Crutchley now leads the team, which is experienced in corporate acquisitions, acting for IT and fintech sector clients.
Chris Schofield; Martin Sweeney; David Strachan; Karen Crutchley
Other key lawyers:
Steven Millward; David Cowgill
‘Schofield Sweeney have provided us with advice in relation to a number of corporate matters over the years, and most recently in connection with some group restructuring matters. They offer extremely good value for money (without sacrificing the quality of advice).’
‘Martin Sweeney is a very experienced lawyer that is able to provide commercially astute and balanced advice – you feel that he is looking to provide the right level of advice rather than looking to over-engineer things with one eye on the clock – which is very reassuring.’
‘Schofield Sweeney are an extremely pro active and pleasant firm. They are very reliable for meeting tight deadlines whilst being diligent with all required detail. I have worked with many law firms and these are by far the best I have experienced.’
‘The two main partners I work with are Karen Crutchley and David Cowgill. Both of these individuals take the time to help with your issues and have an excellent pragmatic approach to resolutions. Their diligence sets them apart and can be relied on at all times. The knowledge of their specialist areas is brilliant which makes working with them very easy.’
Cubico Group Limited
Leman International Limited
Greenhous Group Limited
H. Dawson Sons and Company (Wool) Limited
DFDS Seaways Plc
Catfoss Renewables Limited
Business Growth Fund
4D Pharma Plc
C4X Discovery Holdings Plc
EMIS Group Plc
Kettlewell Fuels Limited
NDL Software Limited
Millers Oils Limited
Airedale Catering Equipment Group Limited
CI Biomass Management Limited (including BWSC Power Corporation/Templeborough/Kent Renewable/ Lostock)
Wastecare Group Limited
Elevation Financial Group Limited
Claritas Solutions Limited
Optima Energy Group
Switalskis Solicitors Limited
- Advised C4X Discovery Holdings Plc on its largest equity fundraise to date.
- Represented Cubico and its shareholders who sold a 22% stake in the group to Growth Partner LLP.
- Advised Advanced Digital Innovation (UK) Limited on its second round of investment from Mercia, under the Future Fund “matched funding” scheme.
Shoosmiths LLP has a 'superb' track record acting on mid-market regional private equity mandates and securing an impressive roster of global corporate clients. Practice head James Foster retains his expertise in large private equity deals and oversees the team, which comprises new partner Simon Procter, who handles complex transactional work and has a number international private equity houses as key clients. The group has expertise in both public and private M&A and corporate finance work, with senior associate Natalie Hager focusing on transactions across various sectors, including the food and drink industry. The team has grown its capacity with two new hires; Anna Jackson-Smith and Jessica Wetherop joined from Ward Hadaway and Jones Day respectively. Former practice head Philip Goldsborough departed to Knights plc.
Other key lawyers:
Simon Procter; Natalie Hager; Alex Kirkhope; Jessica Wetherop; Anna Jackson-Smith
‘The team were very responsive. The team’s commercial acumen was excellent and ensured that all the risks were suitably mitigated through legal or other more practical routes. Their technical skills were superb and they managed to convey complex issues in a clear and consistent manner to a team with limited acquisition experience. Highly recommended team.’
‘Knowledgeable, responsive, and client focused. Strong partners with very strong senior associate support.’
‘Alex Kirkhope provides clear advice and strong leadership. He articulates points clearly and ably cuts through some esoteric issues. Natalie Hager has impressed the entire team – she provides clear and direct advice. Simon Procter has also delivered a great service.’
WM Morrison Supermarkets plc
Fraser Group plc (Sports Direct)
Capiton Private Equity (and multiple investee companies)
Lloyds Development Capital (and multiple investee companies)
Azets Holdings Limited (a HG Capital investee company)
Moorfield Private Equity Group
Maven Capital Partners UK LLP (and multiple investee companies)
YFM Private Equity Limited
Wild Life Group Limited
Business Growth Fund (and multiple investee companies)
- Advised Moorfield Private Equity Group, a leading UK specialist real estate fund manager, on a £125m joint venture and investment with Allegra Care, the UK-focused care home operator.
- Advised private equity house Capiton, via its investee company Euro Vital Pharma, on the acquisition of Principle Healthcare group, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers and distributors of vitamins, minerals and supplements in the private label consumer healthcare sector.
- Advised Wild Life Group Limited on the £38m investment in Yorkshire Wildlife Group by way of equity investment by the UK’s most active investment company Business Growth Fund, and debt finance provided by a major high street bank.
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's corporate and commercial practice has a focus on mid-market private equity matters, and is led by Simon Pilling. The group has core expertise in the food and drink sector, and regularly handles a steady steam of corporate mandates including disposals, M&A and shareholder agreements. Director James Cook is the key name for private equity transactions and corporate finance work. Clients include SME's, large corporates and investment funds.
Other key lawyers:
Blacks Solicitors LLP's corporate and commercial team has 'excellent sector knowledge' and is active in handling high-value sales, complex restructurings and shareholder agreements for large regional clients. Overseen by co-heads and Nigel Hoyle and Dave Paterson, the team advises on mid-market M&A deals and international investment matters for clients operating across the technology, leisure and tourism, and food and drinks sectors. In the commercial group, Philip Parkinson heads up the team and primarily advises owner-managed businesses and SMEs on contacts, marketing arrangements, and data protection issues. The wider team also includes legal executive Alex Hall who is described as 'brilliant' by clients, and Lewis Goodwin.
Nigel Hoyle; Dave Paterson; Philip Parkinson
Other key lawyers:
Lewis Goodwin; Alex Hall; Matthew Hutchinson
‘Extremely responsive, advice is always bespoke to my company’s position and circumstances.’
‘The relationship feels to be a very personal one, they are always interested in how my company is performing, they retain a detailed knowledge of the business from previous dealings which can’t be easy to achieve across all clients. Advice given is not only legal, but also backed up with practical and pragmatic suggestions.’
‘The firm’s ethos has always been to give quality advice and service to clients and their advisers. This is always done in a professional manner, in very acceptable time frames and at reasonable costs.’
‘As a rule, all the individuals I work with bring their own individuality to the table and you always feel you are working with professional friends as opposed to someone who is simply there to do the job and move on to the next one.’
‘Blacks have a very good all round team that seem to work well and communicate well between departments. They are a big enough company to have highly skilled people all different areas of expertise but still keep a very personal relationship with clients. I feel that as a small family business we get the same level of service that a large corporate company would expect.’
‘Having worked closely with both Dave Patterson and Matthew Hutchinson I admire the way they are both extremely skilled and professional in their respective areas of expertise but manage to deliver this service at a level I can understand and in a very modest, friendly and personal manor.’
‘Always contactable. Very professional, honest and direct. A lot more knowledgeable than the other party.’
‘Alex Hall was the brilliant individual who I predominately worked with and she was very calm in what was quite a pressured situation and had an ability to cut to the chase in terms of her advice and the key salient points.’
Harrogate Spring Water
Merritt & Fryers
City District t/a Fazenda
Innervate Technology Solutions
Catalyst IT Solutions
Perega (aka Thomasons Group)
David Wood Baking
Great Rail Journeys
The Dalesman Group
Hague Print Media Supplies
Danielle Exclusive Creations
HKA Financial Services
- Advised the shareholders of Packetts Holdings Limited in relation to the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance company Jensten Group Limited.
- Advised on a vendor initiated and assisted management buy-out of Mendahose Hydraulics Limited.
- Advised the family owners of Harrogate Spring Water in relation to the sale of a majority shareholding in the company to Danone.
The corporate team at Gordons LLP is led by James Fawcett in Leeds and has experience handling corporate transactions and M&A work. Jonathan Asquez advises clients on acquisitions and disposals, while Duncan Firman handles restructurings. On the commercial side, Andy Brian leads the team and has a specialism in the retail sector. Consultant John Holden is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Asquez; Duncan Firman; Andy Brian; John Holden
Harrowells Solicitors' corporate practice acts for a range of SMEs in the local and regional market on sales, acquisitions, and investments. The team is overseen by Susie Mortonson, who specialises in transactional matters such as M&A and joint ventures, while also handling the corporate governance aspects of such deals where necessary. New partner Matthew Rowley specialises in corporate finance work, and is also singled out for his regulatory expertise. Recent work for the team - which is praised for its 'good blend of Yorkshire pragmatism and national-level knowhow' - has included share purchases and sales, company reorganisations, as well as matters referred by regional accountancy professionals.
Other key lawyers:
‘Superb ability in both corporate and family law, billing has always been transparent and fair plus the ability to hit agreed timescales has never been questioned.’
‘I can highly recommend Matthew Rowley – the advice given over numerous years has been nothing but first class – a true understanding of the task in hand and the ability to deliver the advice in simple laymen terms is second to none. A true asset to Harrowells.’
‘Susie Mortonson is my main point of contact and she is currently heading up the sale of one of our companies – they have worked evenings, weekends and Susie was on holiday for a week but still made herself available’
‘I work in corporate finance and we have completed a number of transactions with the support of the corporate team at Harrowells. They offer a very personal approach combined with excellent practical advice. Our clients have appreciated the way they have been able to translate more complex legal issues into layman’s terms.’
‘We have worked closely with Suzie Mortonson and Matthew Rowley, partners in the corporate team. They have always been very accessible and provided our clients with excellent advice over the course of transactions. They have both taken the time to fully explain some of the particular legal aspects to the transactions which has allowed us to provide a comprehensive and joined up approach for our clients. Working with them feels very much like working as one team. When working on long and potentially complex transactions it is important that you get on with your fellow professionals and that is certainly the case with Suzie and Matthew.’
‘The team are responsive and personable – trusted advisors who feel like friends. A good blend of Yorkshire pragmatism and national-level knowhow.’
‘When we sold our business last year, Matt Rowley was our primary contact. With tight deadlines and a fractious time leading up to the March lockdown, he was level headed, patient, friendly and always on our side. We felt in a safe pair of hands.’
With a regional reach across Leeds, Sheffield and York, the corporate and commercial practice at Lupton Fawcett is headed up by Giles Clegg and is regularly instructed by clients on large demergers, restructurings and sales. The group is well-placed to handle corporate finance deals and private equity investments, with Daniel McCormack advising international clients. Jonathan Oxley in York is the contact for SME sales and purchases; he also has an employment law element to his practice. The core team also comprises the head of banking Michael Kidd, who handles corporate finance work for PLCs and private equity houses, and Sarah Illidge, who has tax expertise.
Other key lawyers:
Daniel McCormack; Jonathan Oxley; Michael Kidd; Sarah Illidge
Velocity S/EIS Technology Funds
STAY Properties AS
Northern Bloc Ice Cream Limited
HD Brows Group
Yorkshire Health Partners
PP Group Holdings
- Acted for longstanding client Northern Bloc Ice Cream Limited in connection with a seven figure equity investment by Mobeus Partners VCT.
- Acting for Vet-AI Limited in connection with a proposed rights issue, including coordinating the shareholder group on necessary changes to the company’s articles of association and the fund raising process.
- Acted for Coverings Ltd on the acquisition of Tile Giant from Travis Perkins plc.
Mills & Reeve LLP's corporate practice has a focus on mid-market M&A mandates and private equity transactions, acting for an impressive roster of clients operating in the technology and finance sectors, and has been bolstered with the arrival of partner Joanna Jowitt from Deloitte Legal, who has a proven track record in acting for PE funds. Jointly overseen by Paul Johnson and commercial specialist Martin Priestley, the group is made up of experienced associate Alex Kenworthy, who also co-heads the firm's European desk and handles acquisitions and inbound investment matters for international clients, and Vanessa Walton, who has over two decades of experience advising on M&A mandates for UK and international companies.
Paul Johnson; Martin Priestley
Other key lawyers:
Alex Kenworthy; Joanna Jowitt; Vanessa Walton
Rema Tip Top Limited
Traditum private equity
Maisons du Monde
Global Graphics Plc
Voyageurs du Monde SA
Archant Community Media Limited
Karndean International Limited
Enva group of companies
Reward Investments Limited
Internet Insurance (Holdings) Limited
Falcon Court Property (Holdings) Limited
Maritime & Coastguard Agency
University of York
Department of Health & Social Care
- Advised PayPoint Plc on its acquisition of i-movo, the UK’s leading secure digital voucher system.
- Advised the Maritime & Coastguard Agency on a major procurement project to appoint Telent Technology Services to build and maintain a modern and resilient fibre-based radio network under a 10 year £170m contract.
- Advised technology business Global Graphics PLC on its acquisition of HYBRID Software Group from Congra Software for £73.4m.
At boutique firm 3volution Limited, the corporate and commercial practice has specialism across the IP and IT sectors, and is led by Jonathan Priestley. The group is instructed on a number of M&A matters, investment deals and restructuring work for a steady stream of SME clients. New partner Michael Cantwell advises plc’s and private individuals on buy-outs, acquisitions, investments and disposals.
Other key lawyers:
Freeths LLP’s corporate and commercial practice has a focus on large regional and national private equity transactions, acting for corporates and SME's. Based out of Leeds, key practitioners to note include Dahren Naidoo, who advises investors and shareholders on M&A, and Andy Francey, who handles corporate restructurings and reorganisations. On the transactional side, Jeremy Swift is the key name, particularly for cross-border acquisitions across EMEA.
Jeremy Swift; Andy Francey; Dahren Naidoo
At LCF Law, the corporate and commercial practice retains its expertise in the healthcare sector, under the leadership of Susan Clark, who is singled out by clients for her skillset. The group receives a steady stream of mandates from GPs, pharmacies and nursing home clients on compliance, transfer and reorganisation matters; M&A mandates also feature in the workload. In the Harrogate office, Cathy Cook advises large businesses on sales, purchases, and acquisitions, while Michael Crook in Bradford is the main contact for pharmacy sales.
Other key lawyers:
Cathy Cook; Michael Crook
‘Susan Clark worked very well, also liaising as required with our accountants who were negotiating the sale. I particularly valued the way in which the process was explained and any areas of potential conflict were rationalised and managed.’
‘Susan Clark – partner is our main contact. We use her expertise and counsel on a weekly basis. I have found that Susan has an unique skill amongst corporate lawyers used to understand her client.’
Edge Analytics Limited
Stonehouse Projects Limited
Wonderful Trade Limited
- Advised Edge Analytics Limited on the establishment of an employee ownership trust to acquire the entire issued share capital of the company.
- Advised the shareholders of Stonehouse Projects Limited in connection with a private equity investment by Leoni Sceti Group Limited, a family owned Italian private equity investor.
- Advised an individual on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Photographic Studio Consultants Limited to Lumesca Group Limited.
Raworths' corporate and commercial practice group is 'extremely well connected' and has a proven track record in acting for private equity-backed clients across the UK and internationally. Based in Harrogate, the growing team, which includes commercial head Simon Morris, acts for SMEs on acquisitions, restructurings and reorganisations. Jon Healey was recently promoted to head of corporate, while senior associate Thaynara Charlesworth advises on buyouts and contractual agreements.
Jon Healey; Simon Morris
Other key lawyers:
‘Very personal service but also very professional. Very attentive to client’s needs. Proactive in making sure that the client’s interests are looked after.’
‘The Raworths team are extremely well connected to each other across disciplines. We frequently retain them on M&A work which inevitably involves commercial, HR law and property matters and they never fail to work seamlessly. Their speed of response is also truly exceptional compared to others we have used in the past.’
‘Simon Morris is perfectly in tune with our private equity backed buy and build strategy, understanding the balance between strict corporate governance and real world commerciality. His knowledge of this sector is exceptional and we have retained him for over 45 acquisitions to date. Simon is very ably supported by Thaynara Charlesworth.’
‘We have used Raworths for a number of years now. Simon Morris and his team have always been accessible and available to support our business. Work is always completed on time and I always feel the fees are very fair for the advice we receive.’
‘Simon Morris is friendly and makes the law understandable, gives us clear options and advice. Thaynara Charlesworth has worked on the owner buyout and contractual matters and again has always guided us and made the process smooth.’
Linley & Simpson Limited
Celli Group (UK) Limited
Shareholders of CE Holdings Limited
Shareholders of Higgidy Limited
Boundless Networks Limited
Test Meter Limited
- Advised Linley & Simpson Limited on its continued growth strategy involving over ten separate acquisitions completed over the course of 2020.
- Advised Celli Group (UK) Limited on both acquisitions and the restructuring of UK operations to ensure its growing presence in a hospitality sector facing unprecedented challenges.
- Advised the shareholders of Higgidy Limited on the sale of a majority stake to Samworth Brothers Limited.
At Ward Hadaway, the corporate practice has expanded its offering with the arrival of Jonathan Pollard from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and has a proven track record advising on private equity matters and investment deals. The team includes key practitioners Adrian Ballam who handles acquisitions, disposals, and corporate finance transactions, whilst James Nightingale acts for large corporates and SMEs on reorganisations and restructurings.
Other key lawyers:
James Nightingale; Jonathan Pollard; Adrian Ballam
‘The advice and support is always practical, measured and commercially-focused. Excellent client services and accessibility and always deliver on a promise. Collaborates and communicates well with other law practices. ’
‘Responsiveness and value for money. Jonathan Pollard could not be more available, and his pragmatic and general advice and views outside the strictly legal (eg in commercial and operational terms) is always hugely appreciated.’
‘Their team is led by James Nightingale, partner, who leads on all matters. This ensures a professional and highly competent service which understands our legal requirements. They understand how we like to do business and James and all of his team are very personable and give excellent service. ’
‘James Nightingale’s personable style and attention to detail has been invaluable.’
‘The firm’s collegiate approach to fees is also welcome and greatly appreciated as the client, where best value is achieved for both parties.’
Solingen Private Equity Limited
CNG (Group) Limited
BGF Investments LP
SHG (Care Villages) Limited
Thermon Group Holdings, Inc
Epta Developments Corporation
Suncrop Produce Limited
- Advising the shareholders of CLA (Risk Solutions) Limited, a commercial insurance broker, on their share disposal to Bollington Insurance.
- Acting for RFM Group on its acquisition of Ventrolla, a wooden sash window repair, manufacturing and installation business, from ERA Home Security, a division of Tyman plc.
- Advising NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance in connection with a Future Fund investment in Advanced Digital Innovation, a healthtech business.
Bevan Brittan LLP's corporate and commercial practice group is experienced across M&A, complex restructurings and disposals. Jointly overseen by Chris Harper and transactional lawyer Christian Hunt, formerly of Langleys Solicitors LLP, the team act for a mixed base of public and private sector clients, SMEs and large corporates. Sarah Greenhalgh is the key name for corporate governance work for housing associations and was elevated to the partnership in 2020.
Chris Harper; Christian Hunt
Other key lawyers:
First Corporate Law Services
Sirran Engineering Services
Commerce Business Systems
Red Arrow Electrical Distribution
Concept Plastic Packaging
Compass Business Finance
Canal & River Trust
Places for People
Wirral Borough Council
Commercial Services Kent Limited
- Advised Cardio Solutions (UK) on its sale to Healthcare 21 Group.
- Advised Veezu Holdings on its acquisition of Leeds based private hire business, Premier Cars.
- Advising Peabody Trust on its joint venture with Lendlease to work on the £8bn development at Thamesmead Waterfront.
At DWF, the corporate team handles a mix of domestic and cross-border M&A and equity capital markets work. Lester Wilson leads the group and advises on fundraisings, takeovers and large disposals for clients including SMEs and national businesses. Jon Marriott is singled out by clients for his 'great balance of detail with commercial acumen', and solicitor Amelia Mackie focuses on takeovers and acquisitions. The team has been strengthened with the arrival of partners Jonathan Procter and Wendy Harrison from DLA Piper, who bring decades of expertise across international acquisition work and equity capital markets issues.
Other key lawyers:
Jon Marriott; Amelia Mackie; Jonathan Procter; Wendy Harrison
‘We use the DWF team at Leeds a lot for M&A, HR enquiries and property and lease management. We find we get a high quality experience at an out of London value. It really works for us.’
‘Led by Lester Wilson our main contact – who is always available. A good and responsive team.’
‘Responsiveness and accessibility to clients needs and timetable coupled with first class technical ability and strong commercial skills and experience to deliver the clients’ objectives.’
‘Organised, on the ball, aware of traps as before they arise, helpful as regards planning steps needed to be taken incorporating a matrix of issues and have a team of sufficient ability to cover any and all matters. Excellent.’
‘Lester Wilson (partner) and Amelia Mackie (solicitor). Both first class, always available and capable of drawing on wide depth of colleagues so matters all dealt with correctly on on time. Thorough understanding of issues that matter and able to focus the other side on valid matters rather than endless rabbit holes.’
‘We work with Jon Marriott, he has a great balance of detail with commercial acumen that helps ensure that we cover of the finer points that make the difference and don’t get lost on arguing over minor points which carry little risk.’
Lambert Smith Hampton
Learning Technology Group plc
Morrisons Supermarkets plc
Nick Dunning Associates
Zinnwald Lithium plc
- Advised Hunters Property plc on the takeover of Hunters Property plc by The Property Franchise Group plc by way of a scheme of arrangement.
- Advising Zinnwald Lithium plc on a reverse takeover, fundraising and spin out.
- Advised Premier Financial Management Limited on its disposal to Socium Group Holdings and rollover management equity issues.
Irwin Mitchell's corporate practice is managed by Gavin Maddison in Leeds and handles M&A work for financial services and pharmaceuticals sector clients. Senior associate Catherine Hinchliffe advises on corporate finance issues. Data privacy and compliance work also feature in the workload.
Other key lawyers:
Langleys Solicitors LLP
In York, Langleys Solicitors LLP’s corporate practice group is led by Tim Cross and handles a range of commercial contracts for regional SMEs and businesses. Luke Rees assists with corporate governance work and M&A matters. Senior associate Oliver King left for Berwins.
Other key lawyers:
Ramsdens Solicitors LLP
Ramsdens Solicitors LLP’s corporate practice is based in Huddersfield and is jointly overseen by Stephen Newman and Richard Dean. The team provides 'practical and commercial solutions' and handles an array of disposals, acquisitions and management buyouts for SMEs. Experienced senior associates Emma Spragg and Adam Cockroft are singled out by clients and handle corporate transactions, restructurings and commercial property matters.
Stephen Newman; Richard Dean
Other key lawyers:
Emma Spragg; Adam Cockroft; Paul Booth
‘My go to two people are Stephen Newman and Paul Booth, both partners at Ramsdens, they are both approachable, they both respond and speak to me directly. They are both down to earth and speak in layman’s terms, never hiding behind a junior or secretary or racking up unnecessary costs in the process. I get big gun power without the added costs.’
‘This is a big company that continues to grow, however Ramsdens always provide a personal service usually only found in small companies, their strengths across all departments is considerable.’
‘My main contact is Stephen Newman. Over the years Stephen has acted for me in a variety of ways from a company restructuring which was required to fulfil my will and testament, his extensive knowledge of legal, accountancy and taxation is rare in one person.’
‘Whilst the team always deliver a professional service, their friendly, caring attitude and approachability make them stand out.’
‘Good personal service and no change of solicitor from beginning to end of the case, and also went beyond to help file required paperwork.’
‘Very easy to deal with. Inspired confidence and brought in specialist support when required.’
‘The team is very knowledgeable and easy to work with on joint projects, making the whole process run smoothly.’
‘Emma Spragg is very engaging, knowledgeable but also easy to communicate and talk too. I would also include Adam Cockcroft in a similar mould.’
- Acting for the owners of Widcombe Limited on the disposal of its issued share capital to PracticeEvolve Group.
Weightmans' cross-departmental corporate and commercial practice is headed up by the 'unflappable' Victoria Robertson, and is experienced in advising both public and private sector clients across the higher education and transportation sectors. The team handles acquisitions, reorganisations and procurement matters. Vincent King advises local authority clients and maintains a specialism in IT contracts.
Other key lawyers:
Vincent King; Stephen Johns
‘Stephen Johns: Brings the best out of his juniors without over-delegating or over-charging. Rather than just advising about legal issues, Steve proactively identifies and solves problems. Complete fee transparency using traditional methods (conversation).’
‘When you are looking for a legal firm to use you need to know that you have access to top quality expertise across all disciplines needed. This was not only something we found with Weightmans but we also found them to be efficient and well priced for such a quality organisation.’
‘The time taken to understand what we were trying to achieve and then add value in giving guidance on how best to structure the contracts for our new enterprise was invaluable to us. In my experience you often have to instruct a firm on exactly what you want and have to come up with the logic behind it yourself. When you want something which doesn’t currently exist this can be difficult so having access to support which helped develop the concept in collaboration was refreshing.’
‘Dealt with the termination of a public finance initiative contract. This is not a well trodden path. The team at Weightmans dealt with the legal negotiations and drafting extremely well and ensured that an end of financial year settlement was achieved.’
‘Both Vincent King and Stephen Johns who worked on the project are approachable, professional, clear in their advice and prompt in responding to correspondence and dealing with the matter generally. They made complex issues seems easy and showed a clear understanding of the issues which needed to be dealt with.’
‘Excellent. We dealt with a large legal project and Weightmans invested the time to understand what we were trying to achieve and put us and our customers at the centre of everything they did for us.’
‘Victoria Robertson. Trusted advisor. Unflappable.’
Alstom Transport Limited
Reach Personal Injury Services Limited
Costcutter Supermarkets Group Limited
The Open University
St Helen’s & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Dennis Distribution LLP
Harrogate Borough Council
- Advised BJSS Limited on comprehensive contract reviews, amendments and negotiation across all five client sectors for BJSS.
- Advised Alstom Transport UK on a suite of contracts for the new franchisee for the West Coast mainline on a £670m deal.
- Advised Costcutter Supermarkets Group on a complex and complete redraft of all trading agreements with its retailers across the country, taking into account electronic ordering via a platform, relationships with other entities such as Nisa and Co-op, and complicated rebates and payment structures.
Berwins' corporate practice is singled out for its niche sector strengths and 'excellent understanding of the technology industry.' Practice head Paul Berwin is rated highly by clients and advises a range of IT clients including international names on transactional matters, contracts and commercial licensing work.
‘Berwins’ insight and skills are vast, they made me feel comfortable and confident.’
‘Without doubt Paul’s experience, advice and professionalism was on a another level, he was significant in keeping my deal on track I could not have been happier with Paul and Berwins.’
‘The people at Berwins invested a significant amount of time getting to understand our unique wants and needs. They went above and beyond before any contract was signed, and ever since they started acting for us, they’ve been efficient. They’ve got an excellent understanding of the technology industry, especially where special category data is held.’
‘The individuals are extremely passionate about their roles. They want to make a difference at the heart of it, which is quite a change from many in the profession.’
‘Great firm who provide an excellent and efficient service. We have been a client of Berwins for years.’
‘Paul Berwin, the owner of the company is always available to reach out to for more complex matters.’
‘Friendly and approachable, helping simplify complex issues. Good appreciation for clients’ individual cultures, and good understanding of digital scene in Yorkshire.’
‘Paul Berwin is a joy to work with.’
McCormicks provides 'top-notch advice' and is instructed by leading sports sector clients on commercial contracts and corporate matters. Overseen by Peter McCormick and James Towler, the team advises UK and international clients, and has expanded its sector strength across the aviation, hospitality and leisure industries. Also in Harrogate is Emily Steed, who focuses on corporate restructurings and incorporations.
Peter McCormick; James Towler
Other key lawyers:
‘McCormicks grasp the subject matter quickly and provide transparent, non jargon advice. They understand the ethos of our business and how we work.’
‘They understand the business and the person in depth and company values.’
‘Brilliant unique sports practice, particularly Football. Unrivalled reputation in football. Top notch advice and at regional rates.’
‘Peter McCormick – exceptional commercial advice.’
The Premier League
The Premier League Charitable Fund
Harrogate International Festivals Ltd
Leeds United Football Club Limited
Abacus Direct Limited
Harrogate Town Football Club
Isthmian Football League Limited
Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Trust
Redline Specialist Cars Limited
- Advised Leeds United Football Club on a large number of commercial contracts.
- Advising the Premier League in respect of the operation of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test.
- Advised IT and telecoms business (AQ) Limited in relation to various commercial relationships and contracts with third party suppliers, customers and partners.
Needle Partners Limited
Needle Partners Limited handles corporate transactions for both private and public sector and has a number of Malaysian clients. Overseen by Sharon Needle, the team has a niche in Islamic finance and investment issues, and advises domestic and foreign investors.