Firm Profile > Field Seymour Parkes LLP > Reading, England
Field Seymour Parkes LLP Offices
1 LONDON STREET
Field Seymour Parkes LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
Corporate tax Tier 1
Field Seymour Parkes LLP's tax practice has a focus on restructuring and exit planning matters. The team is now jointly led by Rob Crowther and Sue Vandersteen and handles tax planning advice and capital reduction demergers for a host of corporate clients. It also offers transactional advice for an international client portfolio.
Field Seymour Parkes LLP handles a full range of private client matters, spanning tax and succession planning, wills, estate/trust administration, Court of Protection work and elderly client law. The team also works in conjunction with other departments to assist owners of SMEs on succession and tax planning as well as agricultural estates. Practice head Rob Crowther specialises in providing complex tax planning and asset protection advice to high-net-worth individuals. Ben Oliver, promoted to partner in 2019, has a particular speciality in lifetime tax planning. Sue Vandersteen advises in relation to wealth preservation and inheritance tax mitigation.
‘The team work very well together and are a proper team, with deep collective knowledge on estate practice, IHTA, wills and trusts. All the members respond quickly to emails and can often be reached by phone, not something that can be said of everyone with whom I deal.’
‘I have worked with Rob Crowther for many years and he is very caring and thoughtful about the client and my needs.’
Banking and finance Tier 2
From its office in Reading, Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises lenders and borrowers on matters including corporate, real estate, project and bridging finance. The firms also has a specialism in motor manufacturer finance, and is on the panels of a number of significant banks. John Barker is experienced in all areas of banking and finance work, and frequently works with HSBC and Santander. Senior associate Alex Illingworth is also an integral part of the team.
‘All of the staff at FSP seem to work exceptionally well together. Matters requiring input from more than one department are well co-ordinated.’
‘FSP are proactive and communicate exceptionally well.’
‘Alex Illingworth provides an excellent standard of advice and service.’
‘Outward looking and well respected within the Thames Valley business community.’
‘John Barker is an excellent banking lawyer. John is highly experienced, incisive, clear and practical.’
Honda Finance Europe
National Westminster Bank
Whistl Group Holdings
World Wise Foods
FSE Fund Managers
The disputes team at Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises significant commercial clients from a variety of sectors. Tom Maple leads the practice and has expertise in the automotive and food sectors, managing relationships with key clients Volvo and Honda. Maple also handles complex professional indemnity claims and issues relating to sustainable fisheries. Bill Dixon is recommended for his work in cross-border disputes. The team also handles international arbitration.
Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises on a range of real estate issues for high profile clients including HSBC, Honda and University of Reading. The practice is led by Marcus Francis, who deals with high value landlord and tenant transactions, investment and development acquisitions and disposals, complex secured lending work and strategic land transactions. Dean Bickford regularly acts for large corporate occupiers, national charities and universities on all aspects of landlord and tenant matters, Michael Higgin is also recommended.
Servicing clients from a diverse range of sectors, Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises on all corporate matters, with particular specialisms in private equity/venture capital issues, as well as corporate restructurings. The team, led by Rachael Maunder , includes managing partner Jeremy Parkes, who has considerable experience advising clients on high value, complex corporate finance transactions and restructurings. Senior partner Ian Wood-Smith works with entrepreneurs from start-up to exit and also has significant restructuring/insolvency experience. Penelope Garden works with clients on venture capital investments and management teams on PE-backed buy outs. Philip Stephenson is recommended.
‘Direct and straightforward.‘
‘What they say they will do, they do.‘
‘Penelope Garden was direct, to the point and took trouble to explain the more complex aspects of the documents. I would recommend Penny strongly.‘
‘Cathrine Ripley has been no-nonsense and patient.‘
‘Charlotte Burroughs pointed out options in clear and helpful terms, giving practical advice and then following though on our decision. Refreshing.‘
‘Agile and highly responsive.‘
‘Take a commercial, balanced and practical view.‘
‘Understand the business and what is truly important to the client in the context, consistently adding value as a result.‘
‘Partner-led service all the way. Partners are highly visible and hands-on, and demonstrate accountability and responsibility at all times.‘
‘Regularly out-match peers in negotiations and reasoning. Solid skillsets with a practical and commercial approach.‘
‘Penelope Garden and Rachael Maunder are consistent deliverers with high energy, sound technical skills, excellent communication and response times.‘
Whistl UK Limited
Euro Car Parts Limited
Finch Commercial Insurance Brokers Limited (part of the Ardonagh Group)
On Direct Business Services Limited (trading as Cloud Direct)
Finance South East
Honda Motor Europe Limited
Heartstone Inns Limited
BGF Investments LLP
Cynergy 3 Limited
A full service employment practice, Field Seymour Parkes LLP handles large-scale restructures, reorganisations and day-to-day HR support, in addition to contentious matters up to Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal level. The practice, led by Ian Machray, services clients from both the public and private sectors. Machray specialises in complex TUPE matters, the enforcement of restraints of trade and high value or technical tribunal litigation. Associates Louise Smyth, Jackie Denham and Katie Burley are key practitioners.
Field Seymour Parkes LLP acts for mainly high net worth individuals on complex matrimonial and children issues. The firm's international experience includes advising on cases involving foreign property, investments, businesses and pensions, declarations of non-recognition of foreign divorce and financial relief following foreign divorce. Practice head Sue Baker is an expert in the field of sharing armed forces pensions within the context of divorce; Michelle Mann is an experienced notary and advises on complex financial remedy cases.
Licensing Tier 2
Field Seymour Parkes LLP primarily advises on premises and property licensing matters, leveraging the wider firm's real estate offering. Led by associate Mark Banham, the practice handles various licensing applications and sale transfers for clients. The practice sits within the wider property disputes team, meaning it can draw on support from the firm's commercial and contentious property lawyers.
Sport Tier 2
The sports offering at Field Seymour Parkes LLP assists clients with commercial, real estate and employment matters. The team is overseen by Ian Wood-Smith, a founding partner of the firm who has significant experience in the sports sector, including 21 years as a director of Reading Football Club.
Agriculture and estates Tier 3
The farming and estates team at Field Seymour Parkes LLP is experienced in advising landed estates, trusts, and farming partnerships on issues such as sales and acquisitions, renewable energy projects, and succession planning, amongst others. Head of the team Hazel Eccles is known for her work on acquisitions, tenancies, and the grant of ancillary rights, while the Reading-based James Burgess advises on agricultural property and rural development matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Well resourced team with accessible partners and concise, objective advice.’
‘Kelsie Essenhigh has a straightforward and friendly approach backed by a wealth of experience.’
‘Rob Crowther has a detailed and effective manner and well prepared to advise accordingly.’
‘Established a good working relationship. Very approachable.’
Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3
Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises clients including charities, sports clubs, parish councils and schools on incorporation and mergers, structuring, governance, pensions and property matters. The practice has also launched Reading’s first free charities legal consultation service. Philippa Roles advises charities on all UK tax-related matters, including VAT, Gift Aid, and stamp duty issues. Katharine Riley specialises in aspects of disputes concerning wills, trusts, and inheritance. Ruo Wu joined from Allen & Overy LLP in July 2019.
‘The team responds promptly to requests. They have good experience in dealing with associations and quickly get to grips with the specific circumstances. I feel they make an effort to understand the business objectives and also pick up on wider implications of any actions.’
The Talwar Foundation
AIPH – International Association of Horticultural Producers
The parochial church council of the ecclesiastical parish of Southlake St James Waters of Wales
Gateway Life Trust
Basingstoke Launchpad Reading
Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises clients on trust disputes, removal of executors and trustees, and claims against fiduciaries and challenges to wills. Legal director Katharine Riley heads up the team, working with disputes specialist Bill Dixon, who handles cross-border high-value trust disputes involving complex assets, while Sue Baker has experience in proprietary estoppel. Ben Oliver was promoted to partner in October 2019.
‘This contentious probate team works very closely with their excellent private client department. This provides for an excellent wrap-around service.’
‘Excellent service with vast experience and a commercial mindset from the outset.’
‘Katharine Riley is passionate about her clients and finding innovative solutions to their disputes.’
‘Field Seymour Parkes is an extremely good law firm.’
‘Katharine Riley is the stand-out lawyer at Field Seymour Parkes. She is extremely approachable, friendly, and knows the law inside out.’
Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises on a broad range of insolvency matters, including pre-pack sales, the acquisition of assets from an insolvent company, and the appointment of administrators. The team also handles litigation related to insolvency. Practice head Ian Wood-Smith has over 20 years advising on insolvencies and restructurings, and the team receives instructions from both national and regional insolvency practitioners, as well as companies and boards of directors.
KRE Corporate Recovery
Property litigation Tier 3
Field Seymour Parkes LLP's property litigation team is recognised for its expertise in handling complex litigation and assists the wider real estate team with high-value transactional work, including acting for a number of high-profile national and international corporate clients. Paul Dench, who was promoted to the partnership in 2019, leads the practice and has experience in agricultural issues, landlord and tenant litigation, residential lease extensions and enfranchisement work.
‘FSP offer a better service than London firms by marrying experience and specialism with a personal touch. Impressive attention to detail and my first recommendation for all types of property litigation. Extremely good value for money by comparison to competitors’
‘Paul Dench is a pleasure to work with, understands the clients needs and uses deep understanding of substantive law and procedure to help acheive the objectives.’
‘Having a client relationship manager who is also a specialist and has taken the time to understand our needs as a client. This person is able to respond to our queries and expedite matters efficiently and effectively. Specialists within the FSP team are then passed over to us to deliver on our instructions.’
‘We fielded three practices in the local area before settling on FSP as our preferred advisors. FPS was the only practice who spent the time engaging with us to understand our needs.’
‘Aside from their clear demonstrable capabilities, they are a dynamic and charismatic team who are all strong communicators and are fun to work with. They are always on hand to help us, no matter how big or small the instruction.’
‘Field Seymour Parkes’ real estate litigation practice is second to none. When I am asked to recommend a firm of solicitors in the Reading area by my own friends and family, that is where I send them.’
‘They are much loved by their clients and correspondingly always have great work. They are equally adept at dealing with rural matters as they are with commercial matters.’
‘As a department, they are deep thinkers; keen to win at trial, but anxious to get a good settlement so their clients don’t have to take their chances at trial. They are masters of cost effective litigation in an era when that quality is rarely seen. They are also thoroughly amiable – a joy to work with from the barrister’s point of view.’
Euro Car Parts
University of Reading/Thames Valley Science Park
Public sector Tier 3
Operating from Reading, the education practice at Field Seymour Parkes LLP acts for a wide range of clients including local authorities and higher education institutions. Katie Burley leads the team, which has expertise across M&A and employment issues, advising clients on establishing corporations and acting in disciplinary hearings. Louise Smyth is noted for her employment expertise; she advises on senior-level exits and is skilled in High Court litigation.
IT and telecoms Tier 4
The IT & telecoms team at Field Seymour Parkes LLP handles standalone transactions for investment projects and outsourcing arrangements. Key clients are drawn from industries such as hardware, cloud computing, mobile technology and logistics. Practice head Cathrine Ripley is a litigation specialist with substantive experience working for tech sector clients.
‘We are impressed by the quality of advice that we receive from Field Seymour Parkes. Matters are dealt with comprehensively and on a timely basis. We have every confidence in our dealings with the firm and would happily recommend them to other companies’.
‘The team offers knowledge, speed and quality of response. They understand our requirements and involve their colleagues when situations span specialisms’.
Field Seymour Parkes LLP > Firm Profile
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.
|Senior partner||Ian Wood-Smith|
|Managing partner||Jeremy Parkes|
|Banking and finance||John Barker|
|Corporate recovery||Ian Wood-Smith|
|Commercial and technology||Cathrine Ripley|
|Real estate||Marcus Francis|
|Private client||Rob Crowther|
|Notary public||Michelle Mann|
|Susan Baker||Partner specialising in family law including divorce and separation, disputes regarding children…||View Profile|
|John Barker||Partner specialising in banking and finance advice for banks, other lenders, venture…||View Profile|
|Dean Bickford||Acting for landlords and tenants, secured lending, acquisitions and disposals, portfolio management,…||View Profile|
|James Burgess||Partner in commercial property team specialising in development funding and investment transactions,…||View Profile|
|Rob Crowther||Partner in wills, trusts and estates department at FSP. Specialising in complex…||View Profile|
|Bill Dixon||Partner in the dispute resolution and litigation team. Handles a wide variety…||View Profile|
|Marcus Francis||Clients include corporate occupiers, high-street banks, investors, residential and commercial developers, landed…||View Profile|
|Penelope Garden||Partner in the corporate team advising on the sale and purchase of…||View Profile|
|Michael Higgin||Partner in the team dealing with corporate and retail occupation, commercial property…||View Profile|
|Ian Machray||Ian heads the Field Seymour Parkes employment team and specialises in complex…||View Profile|
|Michelle Mann||Partner specialising in advising clients on all aspects of family law but…||View Profile|
|Rachael Maunder||Partner in the corporate team who has significant experience in advising corporate…||View Profile|
|Jeremy Parkes||Partner specialising in orporate finance work for buyers, sellers or lenders. Acted…||View Profile|
|Cathrine Ripley||Advises and negotiates a wide range of commercial contracts for clients in…||View Profile|
|Dr Philippa Roles||Partner specialising in tax and share schemes in the corporate team. Philippa…||View Profile|
|Philip Stephenson||Partner in the corporate team advising corporates, owners managers and private equity…||View Profile|
|Sue Vandersteen||Head of wills, trusts and tax planning, probate applications and estates administration,…||View Profile|
|Ian Wood-Smith||Corporate finance advice to buyers, sellers and lenders, particularly owner-managed businesses. Member…||View Profile|
|Sarah Wray||Partner in charge of residential property team dealing with all aspects of…||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of UK partners : 22 Number of solicitors : 38 Number of other UK fee-earners : 2
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Banking and finance
- Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
- Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
- Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
- Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
- Family: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
- Agriculture and estates
- Charities and not-for-profit
- Contentious trusts and probate
- Insolvency and corporate recovery
- Property litigation
- Public sector
- IT and telecoms