Firm Profile > Field Seymour Parkes LLP > Reading, England

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Corporate tax Tier 1

Field Seymour Parkes LLP’s tax team specialises in restructuring and exit planning, while also providing support to the corporate and property teams. The practice has a strong reputation for being able to advise on highly  technical issues and provides expert reports on trusts, stamp duties and international matters, with a rapidly growing international client portfolio. Dr Philippa Roles heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Dr Philippa Roles


‘they always go the extra mile and are always on hand. Very knowledgeable and capable.

Field Seymour Parkes have provided exceptional Enterprise Investment Scheme consultancy alongside their assistance in setting up our company. Furthermore, our needs have been quite wide ranging and FSP have guided us through applying for a business loan, drafting our Articles of Association, negotiating and drafting a shareholders agreement to drafting data privacy and fair usage policies and consumer offer terms. Mention must also go to the welcoming and hospitable reception team.

A practice offering a wide range of disciplines and very professional, still with a personal touch.

Our principal contact Phillipa Roles, in addition to providing unparalleled understanding of EIS, has always offered great availability, flexibility to urgent requests and a wealth of useful contacts that has helped us sourcing technology, banking and accountancy services. Her ability to anticipate our needs and provide value added assistance is outstanding.

Dr. Philippa Roles is very capable with an impressive ability to solve problems and she’s really good to work with.

Key clients

e-Cargobikes.Com Ltd

Dolphin Head Group Ltd

Rent ID Ltd

Landlord Personal Agents Ltd

Rippll Ltd

Stampede Global Europe Ltd

Lunzer Wine Events

Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership

QRewards Ltd

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 1

Field Seymour Parkes LLP's Reading–based team has substantial experience handling estate administration, tax planning work, including inheritance and capital gains tax planning as well as broader private client matters. Key figures in the practice include tax experts Dr Philippa Roles and associate and Chartered Tax Advisor Ben Oliver  and practice head Sue Vandersteen who specialises in complicated lifetime planning and wealth preservation. Rob Crowther is noted for his experience representing clients in contentious probate matters, as well as capacity-related issues, including lasting powers of attorney and Court of Protection applications. Also of note are associates Mandy Clarke for trust administration and Katherine Riley for dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Sue Vandersteen


A friendly professional approach to giving excellent advice.

The team is has excellent communication and negotiation skills, and pulls out all the stops to get the job done and meet deadlines.’

Banking and finance Tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP’s team acts for lenders and borrowers on a wide range of matters, including corporate, acquisition and real estate finance, in additon to motor manufacturer finance, project finance (such as solar farms) and bridging finance for small developers. The practice is on the panels of a number of banks and financial institutions such as Santander, Clydesdale, NatWest and HSBC. John Barker heads the practice. Senior associate Alex Illingworth is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

John Barker

Other key lawyers:


They understand our needs and objectives and work hard to help us achieve them to the required timescales.

Excellent banking and property teams. Highly competent lawyers who provide practical, timely advice.

John Barker’s knowledge and attention to detail is invaluable.

Key clients

Santander UK


Honda Finance Europe

National Westminster Bank

Bewley Homes

Clydesdale Bank

Ultimate Capital

Svenska Handelsbanken

Dominvs Investments

Redbrick Capital

FSE Funds Managers

Berkshire College of Agriculture

Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises high-profile clients in the financial services, retail, consumer goods and charities sectors with notable experience in the automotive field where it counts Volvo and Honda as active clients. Tom Maple's practice spans automotive disputes, complex professional indemnity claims involving failed tax schemes, and contentious matters related to the food and drink industry. Bill Dixon is particularly active in cross-border disputes, often alongside Maple.

Practice head(s):

Tom Maple

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Volvo Car UK

Whistl (formerly TNT)

Reading Football Club



Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises a mix of corporate occupiers and developers such as  University of Reading, Honda and  Bewley Homes, among others. The practice is also able to leverage complimentary expertise from specialists in construction and finance. Partners Marcus Francis and  Dean Bickford are regularly supported by senior associates Joe Preisner and Anna Zatouroff. The practice has been joined by landlord and tenant expert Richard Higgs and senior associate Paul Dench  who focuses on litigation from Clarkslegal LLP and Charles Russell Speechlys LLP , respectively.

Practice head(s):

Marcus Francis 

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Euro Car Parts

WSH Group

Go Develop

Bewley Homes plc

Whistl (formerlyTNT Post)

Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP supports startups, entrepreneurs and small to medium sized enterprises on all corporate matters, ranging from M&A deals and disposals, private equity transactions and day-to-day corporate advice. The technology and insurance sectors are particularly strongly represented. Corporate lawyer and managing partner Jeremy Parkes handles complex corporate finance transactions and restructurings.  Ian Wood-Smith and Penelope Garden are also of note for corporate transactions, as are Rachael Maunder and Philip Stephenson, who joined the team in September 2018 from Wilson Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):

Rachael Maunder


The corporate team’s approach is practical, commercial and solution-focused. They have a real strength of technical expertise, consistently out-negotiating counter parties on key points, whilst balancing this with the client’s commercial desire and realities to keep deals on track.’

Field Seymour Parkes have the ability to resource deals at appropriate levels of experience, and consistently demonstrate a high standard of client care. Extremely responsive and considered very good value for money.’

Penny Garden is noted for exceptional ability to manage complex deals across a number of industry sectors coupled with outstanding client care.

Rachael Maunder is a great addition to the partnership and a solid pair of hands.’

Key clients

Whistl UK

Euro Car Parts Limited

On Direct Business Services Limited(trading as Cloud Direct)

Finch Commercial Insurance Brokers Limited (now part of Broker Network)

Honda Motor EuropeLimited

Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises on the complete range of employment law- related matters. Key partner Ian Machray specialises in complex TUPE matters and tribunal cases. Associate Louise Smyth has particular expertise in the education sector and also advises on executive exits and all aspects of litigation. Associates Jackie Denham and Katie Burley are particularly recommended for corporate restructuring and defending employers in litigation.

Practice head(s):

Ian Machray 


Good tactical appreciation of employment law. Always ready to support and look at challenges to suggest the most efficient way forward.

Very accessible and ready to help. Ian Machray has excellent knowledge and provides this in a useful and efficient manner.’

Key clients




Fara Enterprises

GTI Media

Family: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP handles the full spectrum of family law issues and  also advises on property portfolios, complex business interests and rural or farming estates. Key figures in the team include Sue Baker, who specialises in medium to high-value financial cases and child law cases, and Michelle Mann for financial matters involving complex company, property assets and trusts and cross-border aspects. Associate Lindsay Davies is also of note.

Practice head(s):

Sue Baker

Other key lawyers:

Licensing Tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP acts for clients on a wide range of licensing application and variation issues, but is most known for its work in contentious licensing matters. Associate Mark Banham heads the practice, and is notable for his representation of clients at licensing hearings. The team is part of the firm's wider property litigation practice, which facilitates its substantial premises licensing and licensing variation offerings.

Practice head(s):

Mark Banham


Mark Banham’s approach was supremely professional. He had a clear grasp of the law; the politics, and the personalities involved

Mark Banham made my job considerably easier’

What I like most about the firm is the accessibility of the solicitors working on my case

Key clients

Heartstone Inns Limited

Westbury StreetHoldings Limited

Parsons Leisure Limited

Benugo Limited

Gilbey’s Restaurant Limited

Eden Bookmakers

Sport Tier 2

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises its sports sector clients on areas including corporate, commercial, real estate, and employment. The team is overseen by founding partner Ian Wood-Smith who has significant experience in the sport sector, following 21 years of service as a director of Reading Football Club. Wood-Smith is noted for his expertise in transactions and other corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Ian Wood-Smith

Agriculture and estates Tier 3

Field Seymour Parkes LLP’s farming and estates team is well versed in all aspects of rural work, including sales and acquisitions of agricultural land and buildings, complex overage provisions, and all aspects of farm-related tenancy issues, such as tenants’ rights of succession and surrenders of such tenancies. The team’s rural private client and corporate specialists handle restructurings of farming partnerships with a focus on succession planning and inheritance tax reliefs. Associate Hazel Eccles heads the practice. Real estate expert James Burgess is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Hazel Eccles

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Trevor and Elizabeth Gibbins

Lotte Jensen and Mark Riley

Thorogood Haylage Limited

Hugh Thorogood

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3

Field Seymour Parkes LLP utilizes its cross-departmental expertise to handle incorporations, mergers, structuring, governance and constitution matters for charities, charitable trusts and NFPs. It also advises on pensions and property. Tax partner Dr Philippa Roles and associate Katharine Riley are the key advisers in Reading.

Practice head(s):

Philippa Roles

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Riley


The team have been of great support to our charity over the years. They are always very responsive, professional and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Make a Wish Foundation

Potterspury Lodge Trust Limited

Royal Berkshire College of Agriculture

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

At Field Seymour Parkes LLP, the contentious trusts and probate team is 'well respected and provides an excellent specialist service'. Key areas of work for the group include Inheritance Act claims, contentious Court of Protection work, trust disputes, removal of executors and trustees, claims against fiduciaries and challenges to wills. Consultant Katharine Riley is the practice head.

Practice head(s):

Katharine Riley


Katharine Riley is an extremely capable solicitor with plenty of charm; I refer cases to her and she has always been top notch‘.

Katharine Riley is friendly, quick-witted and thorough. She successfully settled our very difficult case unexpectedly. It was a very good result‘.

Katharine Riley is a highly experienced contentious probate lawyer who is building a successful team‘.

Education Tier 3

Field Seymour Parkes LLP provides a full service to education sector clients, combining members of several departments within the firm to assist clients. The firm is particularly notable for its employment offering, as well as its governance, real estate, and construction work. Associate Katie Burley heads the group, and specialises in employment advice and defending clients before tribunals. The practice recently benefited from the addition of real estate expert Richard Higgs and employment specialist Louise Smyth, from Clarkslegal LLP and Freeths LLP respectively.

Practice head(s):

Katie Burley

Other key lawyers:


A strong practice in terms of range and integration of services – able to deal with issues relating  to charitable and company status, data and IP as well as organisational/HR.


Key clients

Berkshire College of Agriculture

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

Field Seymour Parkes LLP's Reading-based team is well connected in the region with a range of professionals advising on corporate insolvency and restructuring matters. The team is regularly instructed by national firms of insolvency practitioners, as well as companies looking to restructure, investors, funders and company directors. With over 20 years' experience advising on corporate insolvencies and restructurings, Ian Wood-Smith heads the practice and has led his team on matters including the  appointment of administrators and sale of assets of an engineering company.

Practice head(s):

Ian Wood-Smith

Key clients

KRE Corporate Recovery LLP

Thames Valley Capital Limited

Property litigation Tier 3

In a key development at Field Seymour Parkes LLP, in 2018, Paul Dench was hired from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP and took over as practice head from Joe Lott, who left the firm to become a full-time mediator. Having joined the firm as a senior associate, Dench recently made partner. Praised by one client for providing 'first-class service', the group regularly acts for charities, real estate investors, educational institutions, landed estates and property developers. In addition to handling standalone contentious mandates, the team also provides support to the broader real estate group in property transactions.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dench


Comprehensive and extensive knowledge and expertise combined with a can-do mentality‘.

A very strong and consistent attitude is demonstrated across the whole team‘.

IT and telecoms Tier 4

Field Seymour Parkes LLP's expertise encompasses software development, resale deals, licensing, and cloud computing. Catherine Ripley heads the practice, focusing on commercial contract advice for clients at all levels of the market. The firm also offers a substantial data protection practice, and developed a GDPR audit service for clients alongside an external IT company, and continues to act for clients following implementation of the GDPR.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Ripley


Volume Limited

OLM Systems Limited

Subshare Limited

SciChart Limited

PragmaticDLT Inc (Canada/Ukraine)

Field Seymour Parkes LLP is a leading Thames Valley law firm located in the centre of Reading.

The firm: FSP provides services for clients ranging from multinational companies to small family businesses and has one of the strongest real estate teams in the Thames Valley, including four individuals recognised as leaders in their fields. FSP also places great emphasis and value on its private clients and is widely recommended as providing a high-quality, comprehensive and cost-effective private client service including a notarial service. FSP is accredited by the Lexcel and IIP professional standards.

Types of work undertaken: Banking and finance: advising financial institutions, private investors and corporate borrowers on transactions such as cash flow and other corporate lending, real estate finance, mezzanine funding, project finance, security, guarantees and debt restructuring.

Corporate: UK and cross-border acquisitions and disposals, private equity, shareholders’ subscription and investment agreements, share investment schemes, tax and advice relating to partnerships and LLPs.

Corporate recovery and insolvency: advising insolvency practitioners as well as directors and funders on all aspects of administrations, liquidations and corporate restructuring.

Commercial and technology: commercial ventures, distribution and agency, escrow agreements, framework agreements, franchising, internet and cloud computing, outsourcing, sponsorship and data protection.

Litigation: UK and cross-border disputes including financial services, construction, contract and agency, corporate investigations, fraud, intellectual property, pensions and property litigation.

Employment: tribunal and court litigation, redundancy, business restructuring, restrictive covenants, employment documentation, employee benefits, and business acquisitions and the TUPE regulations.

Family: divorce and separation to include civil partnerships. Disputes concerning children and financial relief on separation. The team comprises Law Society-accredited specialists.

Charity: from local to international charities, advising on incorporation, governance, property, tax, data protection, employment contracts and advertising.

Real estate: commercial property, farming and estates, property development and planning, social housing, and residential property including residential leases and enfranchisement. Construction law, advising developers, funders and contractors as well as professional consultants such as architects and surveyors.

Private client: advising in relation to wills, trusts and estates (including multi-jurisdictional and complex estates), inheritance tax, capital gains tax and Court of Protection matters, as well as the full range of contentious probate matters.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Ian Wood-Smith
Managing partner Jeremy Parkes
Banking and finance John Barker
Corporate Rachael Maunder
Corporate recovery Ian Wood-Smith
Commercial and technology Cathrine Ripley
Litigation Bill Dixon
Employment Ian Machray
Family Sue Baker
Charities Katie Burley
Real estate Marcus Francis
Private client Rob Crowther
Notary public Michelle Mann
Education Katie Burley
Photo Name Position Profile
 Susan Baker  photo Susan Baker Partner specialising in family law including divorce and separation, disputes regarding children…
 John Barker  photo John Barker Partner specialising in banking and finance advice for banks, other lenders, venture…
 Dean Bickford  photo Dean Bickford Acting for landlords and tenants, secured lending, acquisitions and disposals, portfolio management,…
 James Burgess  photo James Burgess Partner in commercial property team specialising in development funding and investment transactions,…
 Rob Crowther  photo Rob Crowther Partner in wills, trusts and estates department at FSP. Specialising in complex…
 Bill Dixon  photo Bill Dixon Partner in the dispute resolution and litigation team. Handles a wide variety…
 Marcus Francis  photo Marcus Francis Clients include corporate occupiers, high-street banks, investors, residential and commercial developers, landed…
 Penelope Garden  photo Penelope Garden Partner in the corporate team advising on the sale and purchase of…
 Michael Higgin  photo Michael Higgin Partner in the team dealing with corporate and retail occupation, commercial property…
 Ian Machray  photo Ian Machray Ian heads the Field Seymour Parkes employment team and specialises in complex…
 Michelle Mann  photo Michelle Mann Partner specialising in advising clients on all aspects of family law but…
 Rachael Maunder  photo Rachael Maunder Partner in the corporate team who has significant experience in advising corporate…
 Jeremy Parkes  photo Jeremy Parkes Partner specialising in orporate finance work for buyers, sellers or lenders. Acted…
 Cathrine Ripley  photo Cathrine Ripley Advises and negotiates a wide range of commercial contracts for clients in…
Dr Philippa Roles  photo Dr Philippa Roles Partner specialising in tax and share schemes in the corporate team. Philippa…
 Philip Stephenson  photo Philip Stephenson Partner in the corporate team advising corporates, owners managers and private equity…
 Sue Vandersteen  photo Sue Vandersteen Head of wills, trusts and tax planning, probate applications and estates administration,…
 Ian Wood-Smith  photo Ian Wood-Smith Corporate finance advice to buyers, sellers and lenders, particularly owner-managed businesses. Member…
 Sarah Wray  photo Sarah Wray Partner in charge of residential property team dealing with all aspects of…
Number of UK partners : 22
Number of solicitors : 38
Number of other UK fee-earners : 2