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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper UK LLP's Sheffield-based team has the capacity to handle local, national and international M&A, public and private equity matters, long-term contracts, outsourcings and procurement transactions. Capital markets and M&A expert Rob McKie leads the corporate team, which includes Richard May, who has particular expertise in the manufacturing sector, and David BeechRoger Gough heads up the commercial contracts and distribution team and has particular expertise in transport and logistics arrangements. The group is also active in the energy, technology, sports and media, retail and government contracting sectors. Catherine Simister retired from the practice.

Practice head(s):

Robert McKie; Roger Gough

Other key lawyers:

Richard May; David Beech; Amanda Pilkington


DLA Piper UK LLP fields a heavyweight corporate practice in Sheffield.

The team has a calm, informed approach which would be expected from a leading London team, but at a cost which is substantially less. Its advice is consistently excellent and it really puts its clients and the work first – many other firms seem only interested in talking about fees.

DLA Piper is global, but acts local.

Robert Mckie and Liam Freeman in particular are superb: they are always available, very responsive and provide consistently excellent advice. Simply outstanding.

Richard May has an outstanding approach to work, which is night and day if necessary. He provides sound legal advice, and is highly commercial.

Key clients

Arconic Inc

Newell Brands

Yu Group plc

Vaillant Group


Anglo African Oil & Gas plc

I-Nexus Global plc

Maintel Holdings plc

Investec Investments (UK)


CPL Industries

Align Bidco

Formula E

Wilko Retail


Armitage Pet Care

Avanti Gas

Speciality Steel

Reckitt Benckiser

Work highlights

  • Advised the board of directors of i-nexus Global on the terms of a conditional placing to raise £10m and an IPO process including a pre-IPO group reorganisaton.
  • Acted for Softomotive Holding on a $25m investment from Grafton Capital.
  • Advised the UK shareholders of ZND on its sale and partial rollover to Gilde Buy Out Partners.
  • Acting for JLT EB Holdings, a subsidiary of JLT plc, on its strategic acquisition of online investment firm Moola Systems from Gemma Godfrey.
  • Acted for Align Bidco on its acquisition of Altius.


The corporate team at CMS is frequently instructed by public and private companies, private equity houses and venture capital funds on acquisitions, investments, disposals, management buyouts and joint ventures. With a host of national and international clients and the ability to leverage the firm's global network, many of the team's instructions have a cross-border element. Corporate finance expert Ben Hendry heads up the practice, which includes Gareth Saynor.

Practice head(s):

Ben Hendry

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Saynor; Nick Hopper

Key clients

NG Bailey

Civitas Social Housing PLC

GRI Group

Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME)

Select Property Group

City Taxis

British Steel


CTW Hardfacing

Corviglia Capital

CCL Stressing Systems

Feld Entertainment

Greens Associates

Work highlights

  • Advised the Dubai head-quartered company AWR Rostamani on its acquisition of a majority stake in Brayleys Car.
  • Acted for NG Bailey Group on its acquisition of Wakefield-based power engineering services contractor The Freedom Group from RG Schultz.
  • Acted for DV4 and its management team on the sale of its investment in db Symmetry to Tritax Big Box REIT.
  • Advised the Bank of London and the Middle East on the corporate, banking, real estate and tax aspects of a property investment transaction in Glasgow.
  • Assisted City Taxis Group with a number of sector acquisitions and disposals in the Sheffield and Midlands regions, and also handled the groups’ management buy-out.

Freeths LLP

The team at Freeths LLP handles a breadth of transactions for its client base, which encompasses SMEs and large corporates; the group also has particular experience acting for manufacturing, engineering and high-growth technology businesses. Practice head Peter Crawford and senior associate Lisa Wallis are key names to note and have experience handling corporate deals and commercial agreements.

Practice head(s):

Peter Crawford

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Wallis


Working with the team at Freeths is a complete delight. It is always innovative and quick to respond to any issue, which certainly helps calm tricky situations.

Peter Crawford is reliable, super professional and makes an effort to feel like he is part of the client’s company.

Key clients

The Floow

The InfoTrack Group

Careport Group

The Arkote Group


Additive Manufacturing Technologies

Whitespace Technology

Pro Display TM

Osmond Capital

Various Eateries Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the Arkote Group on its acquisition of Zanogen.
  • Assisted the Careport Group with multiple care home acquisitions.
  • Advised the InfoTrack Group on all aspects of its restructuring.
  • Advised a provider of co-working spaces on a significant investment by a FTSE-listed plc.
  • Acted for the management of a South Yorkshire-based manufacturer on its £9m MBO.


Keebles' corporate team handles the full spectrum of transactions for its client roster of regional, national and international companies. The group acts for a mix of SMEs, owner-managed businesses and large corporates, and has experience handling acquisitions, disposals, mergers, demergers, reconstructions, shareholder arrangements and joint ventures. Key sectors for the team include the technology, healthcare, hospitality and manufacturing industries. The 'highly-regardedMatt Ainsworth heads up the practice, which includes Paul Trudgill and recently promoted partner Michael Hall. Roger Dyson retired.

Practice head(s):

Matt Ainsworth

Other key lawyers:

Paul Trudgill; Michael Hall


Keebles’ corporate team has good all-round experience.’

Matt Ainsworth understands the client’s needs and requirements, and manages the process well with a commercial and practical approach.

Michael Hall and Matt Ainsworth are very impressive.

Key clients


Altek Europe

Calsithem Verwaltungs

BG Engineering

Delivered On Time

Pressure Technologies plc

Senior Architectural Systems

ELG Haniel

Vacation Rentals UK

Wyndham Worldwide

Work highlights

  • Advised the management team of Ask4 on the investor buy out of Darwin Private Equity by Bowmark Capital.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Biocatalysts on the sale of its entire issued share capital to Brain Biotechnology Research and Information Network UK.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Altek on its sale to Harsco.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Nationwide Retail Systems on the sale its entire issued share capital to Civica UK.
  • Acted for Calsitherm Verwaltungs on its £8.5m acquisition of International Syalons (Newcastle).

Lupton Fawcett

Lupton Fawcett has 'long-standing experience in corporate M&A transactions' and is instructed by a mix of regional and national companies as well as overseas clients, which the team frequently advises on buying, selling, investing, refinancing, and reorganising UK-based assets. Practice head Michele Phillips stands out for her corporate finance expertise and education sector experience. Corporate tax specialist Sarah Illidge joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

Practice head(s):

Michele Phillips

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Illidge


Lupton Fawcett has a very cost-effective approach and provides advice that is to the point.

The corporate team at Lupton Fawcett provides a friendly face with a professional service.

Michele Phillips is very practically minded, results oriented, and able to find reasonable compromises in a negotiation.

Key clients

Atlas North Group


Smyle Creative Group

Timber Garden Buildings

Airmaster Air Conditioning

Air Flow Cooling Group

Each Other Care Holdings

Stay Properties

National Westminster Bank

Events Solutions


Lillison Engeineering Services

Westdale  Group

Genesis Group

AD Tyres

Aldermore Bank plc

Secure Power

SBD Apparel




Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of Smyle Creative Group on its acquisition, backed by investment from Rockpool Investments.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Events Solution on sale its entire issued share capital to Arena.
  • Assisted Atlas North Holdings with the simultaneous acquisitions of Air Cat and Special Air Services.
  • Advised the vendor shareholders of iDisrupted on its sale to The Panoply.
  • Advised STAY Properties on its establishment of a new UK-based care home operator group and the related acquisition of 3 care homes in the UK, with funding support from Barclays Bank.

Bell & Buxton

The practice at Bell & Buxton advises owner-managed businesses on corporate transactions, and is frequently instructed by shareholders on share disposals and management buyout transactions. Alex Ross heads up the practice and has particular experience assisting clients in the IT, engineering and manufacturing sectors. Commercial lawyer Emma Digby is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Alex Ross

Other key lawyers:

Emma Digby


Bell & Buxton never lets clients down in terms of efficiency and the general process. Not only that, it also takes a real commercial view on deals and liaises with clients on key situations giving a real clear picture, both legally and financially. Ultimately its harmoniously works with clients, maintaining a high level of overall advice.

Alex Ross’ measured approach creates a sustained peace of mind for clients and he easily deals with very challenging transactions, ultimately taking the worry and burden away from the client. Essentially Alex, with his team, provides an excellent service and works closely with the client to ensure its best interests are followed through to completion.

Work highlights

  • Acted for the selling shareholders on the sale of shares in Trac Systems and its subsidiary, Zedcore Systems to Civica UK.
  • Advised the sellers on the disposal of Eyres of Chesterfield.
  • Acted for the management team on the management buyout of Designer Kasbah, trading as The Natural Bed Company.
  • Assisted ECS Sheffield with a capital reduction as part of a tax planning exercise, following the disposal of two subsidiary businesses .
  • Advised the selling shareholders on the disposal of Firber Engineering.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell handles a range of instructions with particular experience in the education, manufacturing, not-for-profit and charity sectors at a regional and national level. Practice head Laurence Gavin has particular expertise in providing securities regulatory advice; transactional lawyer Gavin Maddison is another key name to note and regularly advises on acquisitions, disposals, reorganisations, shareholder arrangements and corporate governance issues.

Practice head(s):

Laurence Gavin

Other key lawyers:

Gavin Maddison


The team has significant accumulated knowledge and is pro-active in applying it.

The individuals have significant in-depth knowledge of the sector.

Key clients

Electronic Data Processing Plc

Barnsley College

British Chambers of Commerce

Biovation UK Ltd

Bruker UK

Builders Merchants Federation

Cadbury College

Cepac Limited

Downstream Fuel Association

Havant and South Downs College

Key Fund

Westfield Health Limited

Maltby Learning Trust

Peak Indicators

South Essex College

Telford College

Whitby Seafoods Limited

Sheffield City Trust

Sheffield Futures

P.A. Jewellery Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Electronic Data Processing on its £11m public takeover by Eagle Bidco 2018.
  • Advised Key Fund Investments on its legal funding documents.
  • Acted for Telford College of Arts and Technology on its merger with New College Telford.
  • Advised Cadbury College on its acquisition by Sandwell College.
  • Advised Downstream Fuel Association on a voluntary car wash scheme to assist with the prevention of modern slavery.

Taylor & Emmet LLP

Taylor & Emmet LLP counts family-run businesses, SMEs and not-for-profit organisations as clients, particularly in the manufacturing, professional services, retail and education sectors. Rob Moore heads up the practice and advises on a range of corporate and commercial mandates from M&A transactions to commercial agreements including IP licenses and service agreements.

Practice head(s):

Rob Moore

Key clients

The owners of Gain Solutions Limited

Starchild Nurseries Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the owners on the sale of Gain Solutions Limited.
  • Assisted Starchild Nurseries with the sale of a nursery in Goole and another in York to two separate newly incorporated companies.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited

The team at Wake Smith Solicitors Limited is frequently instructed by local SMEs and owner-managed businesses on a variety of transactions with notable strength assisting clients in the regional manufacturing sector. Duncan Shepherd heads up the practice, which includes John Baddeley and recently promoted director Rebecca Robinson.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Shepherd

Other key lawyers:

John Baddeley; Rebecca Robinson

Key clients

Gala Technology Ltd

Sunnybarn Investments Ltd

Red Industries Ltd

HSBC UK Bank plc

Clydesdale Bank plc

Exol Lubricants Ltd

Moody Ltd

Granville Oil & Chemicals Ltd

PBS Group Ltd

Evolution Power Tools Ltd

Swann Morton


Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Allied Glazing Systems to J&G Holdings in a management buy-in.
  • Acted for Red Industries on its £23.5m acquisition of Environmental Resource Group, funded by term loan facilities of £17.1m provided by HSBC UK Bank.
  • Advised the selling shareholders on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Pentag Gears & Oilfield Equipment to BG Engineering.
  • Assisted the selling shareholders with the sale of the entire issued share capital of Guardian Electrical Compliance to Premier Technical Services Group.
  • Acted for the owner of Billington International on the sale of its entire issued share capital to James Jones & Sons Pallets and Packaging.