Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Corporate and commercial: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Hemingways Solicitors Limited is gaining ground in Sheffield, advising on small-cap deals, restructurings and financial services regulation; Laurence Gavin and Chris King act for a range of private and public sector clients.

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


CMS can showcase involvement in numerous national and international transactions, thanks to its nationwide and international set-up. The team supports SMEs, entrepreneurs and owner managed business as well as private equity clients and international corporates. Group leader Ben Hendry‘s recent caseload has included working for real estate, chemical and retail sector clients. Gareth Saynor has considerable know-how in joint venture investments, and is often active in the student residence and care home space. Senior associate Caroline Walker deals with private equity and venture capital investments.

Practice head(s):

Ben Hendry

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Saynor; Caroline Walker; Luke Chapman

Key clients

NG Bailey

Civitas Social Investment Managers

GRI Group

Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME)

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Select Property and Vita Groups

City Taxis

British Steel


Surgical Innovations

CCL Stressing Systems

Feld Entertainment

Holland & Barrett

Westfield Health


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

Work highlights

  • Acted for NewRiver REIT plc in relation to its sale of the entire issued share capital of Hawthorn Leisure REIT Limited to AT Brady Bidco Limited.
  • Acted for Vita Group on the sale of four student residences sites to Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd in a £165m deal.
  • Acted for PIMCO on the purchase of Lincolnshire based housebuilder Larkfleet.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a well-established practice in Sheffield, which can effortlessly assist clients with local, national and international matters. The group has special know-how in the energy, TMT, infrastructure, industrials, manufacturing and sports sectors. Besides its traditional corporate and M&A practice, its offering also includes takeovers, IPOs and secondary fundraises; practice co-head Rob McKie is a key contact in these instructions. His fellow team leader Amanda Pilkington covers a range of commercial queries. Richard May handles joint ventures and reorganisations, and David Beech can advise on strategic private equity investments. Roger Gough has now left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Rob McKie; Amanda Pilkington

Other key lawyers:

Richard May; David Beech

Key clients

Learning Technologies Group plc

ZOO Digital Group plc


THE World Universities Insights

Square Inc

Bridgstock Limited

TES Global

Discovery Inc


Richard Sanderson


University of Sheffield

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Department of Health and Social Care and United Kingdom Health Security Agency

Work highlights

  • Advised THE on its acquisition of Insider Higher Ed.
  • Acting for Discovery, Inc on its minority equity investment in GB News.
  • Advised Learning Technologies Group on its acquisition of a strategic provider of online Diversity and Inclusion training solutions for an initial cash consideration of £13.2m.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP is an established adviser in Sheffield to manufacturing and engineering businesses, and increasingly also high growth technology clients. Under the lead of Peter Crawford, the group assists clients with a variety company law matters, including acquisitions and disposals, drafting and negotiating commercial agreements, implementing joint venture structures, and refinancings. Director Lisa Wallis is also entrusted by SMEs up to larger, national clients.

Practice head(s):

Peter Crawford

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Wallis


‘Feels like it is in-house corporate legal advice.’

‘Peter Crawford feels like a very long-term friend and has our best interest at heart in all ways.’

‘Very commercially strong team, with the ability to put options on the table in the language and scenario required by business owners.’

‘We have been particularly impressed with Lisa Wallis. She has shown business-owner-type acumen when advising us of benefits and potential drawbacks of different option on transaction approach and the detail on terms. Lisa is much more commercially aware than other corporate finance lawyers we have engaged previously.’

Key clients

Additive Manufacturing Technologies

ATI Global group (including InfoTrack Practice Evolve and Search Acumen)


Careport Group

Plus X



UniHomes and Bills

Work highlights

  • Advised ATI Global on its acquisition of Search Acumen.
  • Advised Additive Manufacturing Technologies on its $15 million Series B Fundraise.
  • Advised Powerstar on a significant investment by SCF Partners.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited is noted for 'bringing creative thinking to the process.' The group often acts for clients such as manufacturing companies, a variety of healthcare sector participants, and is further involved in development and regeneration projects. Group head Duncan Shepherd has longstanding experience in corporate transactions and commercial arrangements. John Baddeley often supports in law firm mergers and partnership restructurings, and Rebecca Robinson's practice also encompasses acting for local charities and charitable incorporated organisations.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Shepherd

Other key lawyers:

John Baddeley; Rebecca Robinson


‘Solid and experienced corporate team. Friendly, approachable and commercial. Trusted by their clients.’

‘John Baddeley is a vastly experienced corporate lawyer who is tenacious in looking after his clients’ interests whilst getting the deal done.’

‘Duncan Shepherd is a solid corporate lawyer who is excellent at driving deals to completion.’

‘Wake Smith give an excellent friendly service. Their have helped us through various acquisitions and bring creative thinking to the process. Their ability to deliver solutions to complex issues on a timely basis is exemplary. They have strength in depth across a wide range of corporate matters.’

‘The individuals at Wake Smith are great to work with, friendly efficient and timely. They speak at our level and don’t use legal jargon helping us clearly understand the issues.’

‘Duncan Shepherd is exceptional in his support to our company we have been associated to him and the company for 20 years which indicates how highly we rate them.’

Key clients

Castings Technology Holdings Limited

Red Industries Ltd

HSBC UK Bank plc

Yorkshire Bank

Exol Lubricants Ltd

Moody Direct Ltd

Granville Oil & Chemicals Ltd

PBS Group Ltd

Evolution Power Tools Ltd

Swann Morton


Newell & Wright Transport Group

Smith Bros

Work highlights

  • Advised Castings Technology Holdings Limited on the MBO and £2m fundraising, backed by Mercia Asset Management, via the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and Nucleus Commercial Finance.
  • Advised Truswells on the sale of entire issued share capital of John Truswell & Sons (Garage) Ltd to Blackburn-headquartered OTIF Group for cash on completion and on deferred terms.
  • Assisted Allotts Business Services Ltd with the sale of the business and assets of a Rotherham based chartered accountants, together with the separate, but simultaneous sale, of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Allotts Financial Services Ltd, by way of a share sale, to listed Kingswood Group.

Taylor Emmet

The team at Taylor Emmet is led by Rob Moore who combines corporate, litigation and insolvency experience. He also has close ties to the corporate finance community. The practice is involved in commercial, corporate and M&A matters for a variety of Yorkshire-based clients; these are often active in the manufacturing and industrials space. Associate solicitor Tom Haywood advises on MBOs/MBIs, partnerships, and shareholder agreements.

Practice head(s):

Rob Moore

Other key lawyers:

Tom Haywood


‘Good use of online communications, and prompt and considered advice when requested by email.’

Key clients

Exiting Shareholders of Netcom Technologies

Newman & Bond LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted in the sale of 50% of a private company, as well as dealing with associated post-completion restructuring.
  • Acted in the sale of entire issued share capital of a building company to externally funded management team.
  • Acted in the sale of entire issued capital of a group of companies to management team within a very short time frame.