Leading Individuals

Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Corporate and commercial: Sheffield, South Yorkshire in Yorkshire And The Humber


CMS has a well-established corporate transactions practice, with the team covering a full range of matters, ranging from local acquisitions to cross-jurisdictional deals, owing to its impressive international footprint. The team is headed by Ben Hendry, who has significant experience advising on national and international deals, including for clients in the real estate, retail, chemicals, and technology sectors. Other key practitioners include Gareth Saynor, who has expertise handling cross-jurisdictional transactions and joint ventures, and is particularly active in the student residence, care home, hotel, and real estate sectors, and senior associates Luke Chapman and Caroline Walker.

Practice head(s):

Ben Hendry

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Saynor; Luke Chapman; Caroline Walker

Key clients

NG Bailey

Civitas Social Investment Managers

GRI Group

Bank of London and the Middle East

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Select Property and Vita Groups

City Taxis

British Steel


Surgical Innovations

CCL Stressing Systems

Feld Entertainment


Hendy Group

Hard Rock Cafe

Welltower Inc.

Air Liquide

Blue Coast Capital

NewRiver REIT plc

Oryx Real Estate Partners

Cerberus European Investments


Envivo Group Limited

Arrow Capital Partners

Big Motoring World

New Balance


Work highlights

  • Advised Bapchild Motoring World (Kent) Limited and its principal shareholders in relation to the partial sale to and investment in BIG by PE fund, Freshstream.
  • Advised easyHotel on its €145m acquisition and financing of eight franchised Benelux hotels from real estate and private equity fund manager Crossroads Real Estate as part of its European growth drive.
  • Advised Vita Group on its disposal of Vita Student Lewisham Exchange via the sale of the entire issued share capital of Vita (Lewisham) 2 Limited to AXA Investment Managers.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s corporate team handles a wide span of national and international matters, including cross-border M&A transactions, group restructurings and IPOs. Its key sectors include energy, manufacturing, TMT, financial services, infrastructure, sports, and entertainment. On the commercial side, the team is regularly involved in multi-jurisdictional commercial transactions, with a particular focus on the retail, consumer products, food, and manufacturing sectors. Robert McKie leads the corporate side of the practice, while Amanda Pilkington heads the commercial practice. Richard May is noted for his M&A expertise, while David Beech advises large-scale corporates on cross-border mandates.

Practice head(s):

Robert McKie; Amanda Pilkington

Other key lawyers:

Richard May; David Beech

Key clients

Arconic Corporation

ZOO Digital Group plc

Howmet Aerospace

The World Universities Insights

Square Inc

Bridgstock Limited

TES Global

Discovery Inc


Richard Sanderson


University of Sheffield

Outokumpu Oyj

USAA Realco Europe BV

UGI International, LLC

Excel Sports Management, LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised USAA Realco on the setting up and entering into of a £1 billion joint venture investment with Packaged Living Limited, whereby the joint venture will invest in and develop a portfolio of multifamily BtR assets across the UK.
  • Advised Outokumpu Oyj on the UK aspects of its disposal by competitive auction sale of their Long Products division.
  • Acted for UGI International LLC  on the sale by its group company, AvantiGas On Ltd, of its on-grid B2B gas utility business to British Gas. The divested business supplies natural gas to approximately 13,000 business meter points on the gas grid in the UK.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP has an established reputation amongst Sheffield’s manufacturing and engineering businesses, as well as a growing practice advising technology clients. Peter Crawford heads the corporate team and has experience handling company acquisitions and disposals, fundraising, and joint venture matters. Meanwhile Roger Gough, who recently joined from DLA Piper, leads the commercial practice and has particular expertise in trading and supply agreements, and warehousing and transport contracts. Recently promoted partner Lisa Wallis is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Peter Crawford; Roger Gough

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Wallis


‘Peter Crawford brings the main issues to the fore and has a great commercial outlook.’

Key clients

Additive Manufacturing Technologies

ATI Global group


Careport Group

Plus X



UniHomes and Bills

TES Global Limited

Ibstock Brick

Highbourne Group-City Plumbing

Audio Technica


Work highlights

  • Advised The Floow and its former shareholders on their exit to NASDAQ listed Otonomo Technologies.
  • Advised the shareholders of the NAPIT Group on their exit to Phenna.
  • Advised the shareholders of WINCRO Holdings on their exit to an MBO team.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited is active in the regional manufacturing sector, though it also regularly handles matters for local and national clients across the healthcare sector. Practice head John Baddeley advises on corporate transactions and commercial agreements, including on law firm mergers and partnership restructurings. Rebecca Robinson is noted for her experience in handling acquisitions, disposals, and internal reorganisations, and has specific expertise acting for local charities and charitable incorporated organisations. Duncan Shepherd remains at the firm on a consultant basis.

Practice head(s):

John Baddeley

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Robinson; Duncan Shepherd


‘We use Wake Smith commercially for various different business needs. They’ve always been very attentive and helpful, whatever our needs. They’ve assisted with contract documentation, HR issues and even dealt with an acquisition on our behalf.’

‘John Baddeley has been nothing but helpful every step of the way. He’s always made time to be available.’

‘The strength of the practice is its people. WS have great people who are real, connected and down to earth. They are a pleasure to work with and take time to care and understand your needs.’

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

Yorkshire Bank

Exol Lubricants

Moody Direct Ltd

Granville Oil & Chemicals Ltd

PBS Group Ltd

Evolution Power Tools Ltd

Swann Morton


Wincro Metal Industries Limited

Newell & Wright Transport Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Allotts Business Services Ltd on the sale of the business and assets of a Rotherham-based chartered accountants, together with the separate sale, of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Allotts Financial Services Ltd, by way of a share sale, to listed Kingswood Group.
  • Acted for the MBO team in the management buy-out of Wincro Metal Industries Limited.
  • Acted on the acquisition by Trulife Limited of the entire issued share capital of Simplymed Limited, a supplier of walking aids and therapy equipment to the NHS, local authorities, community equipment providers and retailers in the UK.

Hemingways Solicitors Limited

Hemingways Solicitors Limited advises public and private sector clients on a range of matters, including M&A, restructurings, and demergers. The group is co-headed by Chris King, who has experience advising a variety of clients, including SMEs, national and international companies, and private equity investors, and Laurence Gavin, who has a broad practice that includes advising financial services regulated clients, charities and education colleges, and local corporates.

Practice head(s):

Chris King; Laurence Gavin


‘An impressive depth of knowledge coupled with practical advice. The team was supportive of our needs.’

‘Great spread of experience and knowledge. Always capable of dealing with our clients needs.’

‘Chris King is very efficient and commercial in working through transactions for our clients. Always willing to discuss problems and help present solutions.’

Key clients

Avenir Registrars Limited

Great2 Enterprises Limited

Key Fund Investments Limited

Motorway Direct Limited

Peak Indicators Limited

Sheffcare Limited

Sheffield City Trust

Whitby Seafoods Limited

Slingco Limited

Thurra Limited

Best Risk and Financial Service Ltd

Fortus Limited

Legacy Hotels and Resorts Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the individual sellers of tech company Peak Indicators Limited on its sale to quoted company TPximpact Holdings plc for consideration valued at £3.5 million.
  • Advised Key Fund Investments Limited on its participation in a number of funding programmes including the Regional Growth Fund, Northern Impact Fund, Local Access Fund and others, helping secure the continuing flow of matched funding to voluntary and community sector organisations and others across England and Wales.
  • Advised Luxembourg-listed leisure operator Sheffield City Trust on new funding arrangements with Sheffield City Council.

Lupton Fawcett

Lupton Fawcett is adept at handling conventional corporate transactions, particularly for private equity backed clients. The practice is led from Leeds by Giles Clegg; the key name to note in Sheffield is Rory Conwill, who recently joined from Knights plc, and has experience handling a broad range of corporate deals, including M&As, group reorganisations, and joint venture agreements. Michele Phillips remains at the firm as a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Giles Clegg

Other key lawyers:

Rory Conwill; Michele Phillips


‘Very experienced, efficient and sensibly priced.’

‘Knowledgeable about our business.’