Woodfines LLP > Cambridge, England > Firm Profile

Woodfines LLP
Endurance House
Vision Park
Chivers Way, Histon
CB24 9ZR

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Cambridge Tier 2

Woodfines LLP is known for its ‘strong technical knowledge and provision of a personal yet professional service’. The private client practice is led namely from Bedford but the Cambridge office has a deep and talented bench, which includes senior associate John Wright; and associate Zara Bracegirdle, who is a full member of STEP and is ‘always happy to help.’

Other key lawyers:

John Wright; Zara Bracegirdle; Thomas Hale; Phoebe Fortune; Jonathan Dattani


‘Woodfines are excellent and very professional. I would recommend them to anyone.’

‘Jonathan Dattani has been very helpful and is always there to give advice. I couldn’t rate him any higher.’

‘Woodfines has consistently provided an excellent service and I would recommend the company to anyone looking for legal advice.’

‘Phoebe Fortune has been extremely professional and efficient when dealing with my relative’s legal affairs. She was very kind and personable whenever I contacted her and my relative felt at ease with her from the outset.’

‘The firm has a good-sized private client team with a range of experience levels. Its quality of output is consistently good, and knowledge and capability in the team is strong.’

‘Associate Zara Bracegirdle is always happy to help.’

‘I have been dealing with Woodfines Solicitors LLP with regard to long-running and complicated probate matters and they have been excellent and supportive every step of the way. These matters have now successfully come to a conclusion and we are totally satisfied with the outcome. I would like to make special mention of John Wright whose experience and guidance has been invaluable, John has always been available and always supportive.’

‘Strong technical knowledge and a personal yet professional service.’

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 2

In Bedford, Woodfines LLP houses a team with ‘outstanding‘ knowledge of wills and lasting powers of attorney. Praised by clients for having the ‘perfect balance of technical ability and personability‘, practice head Mikhala Leak has vast experience in assisting clients with applications to the Court of Protection, drafting trust deeds, and the administration of estates.

Practice head(s):

Mikhala Leak

Other key lawyers:

Tim Addinell; Helen Simpson


‘They have a great private client team that strive to provide the best possible service for their clients. Mikhala Leak is particularly recommended.’

‘They are thorough, ethical, and want things done the right way.’

‘The team’s knowledge is outstanding, they are open minded and take a refreshing approach. Mikhala Leak very much leads and encourages this culture.’

‘It’s hard to beat Woodfines. Every partner or solicitor I have met from the firm has exuded friendliness and approachability. They seem to have gathered a great team who are real humans, and I feel very confident in their abilities.’

‘Mikhala Leak is so approachable and warm hearted, and has the perfect balance of technical ability and personability. She is excellent at explaining complex legal arrangements to clients, and does it in a way that instils confidence and eases anxieties. I look forward to doing more work with her.’

Employment Tier 3

The Cambridge office of Woodfines LLP's key name in employment is experienced practitioner Nick Sayer, who works closely with the firm’s Bedford and Milton Keynes offices to advise both employers and employees on the full spectrum of related issues, both contentious and non-contentious. Sayer frequently handles business protection matters, including restrictive covenant, and confidentiality and data theft cases, on which he has been instructed by national companies.

Practice head(s):

Nick Sayer

Key clients

Saffron Building Society

J W Suckling Transport Limited

Employment > Health and safety Tier 3

Often assisting landlords with HIMO compliance, Woodfines LLP primarily caters to health and safety issues concerning workplace accidents. Mike Hayward leads the team from Milton Keynes and assists those operating in the transport, haulage and distribution industry with an array of operator licensing mandates; he also advises both businesses and individuals with public law issues with local authorities.

Practice head(s):

Mike Hayward


‘The team provides great explanantions of situations, scenarios, and outcomes. Client care is a top priority, making sure you are treated with respect, dignity, and a great concern for your health.’

‘Diverse range of regulatory and criminal law dealt with by the firm.’

Work highlights

Real estate > Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 3

Woodfines is a highly respected full-service firm delivering solutions to business and and personal clients alike. As a firm, we pride ourselves on our approachable attitude, giving attention to detail and providing informed, pragmatic and clear legal advice.

The firm: we are well established in the Oxford – Cambridge growth corridor, having grown to 20 partners and employing 120 team members who work across our offices in a hybrid and collaborative way. With offices in Bedford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes, we are proud to work in the heart of our communities to deliver solutions to our clients’ legal problems.

The firm’s client base ranges from large organisations and PLCs, to independent owner-managed businesses and high-net-worth private clients.

Woodfines is known nationally for its expertise in transport law, and has a number of highly regarded specialist teams operating in corporate and commercial, litigation, real estate, agriculture, employment, private client, and crime and regulatory fields.

Types of work undertaken:

Corporate and commercial: our team offers legal advice to all business types from owner-managed businesses to large organisations and PLCs. Our solicitors have specialist experience in serving organisations across a wide range of sectors including transport, recruitment, green energy and agriculture. We combine our corporate expertise with a gained knowledge of our client’s business to deliver strategic and pragmatic legal advice. We believe in creating partnerships, taking time to understand the particular needs and objectives and tailoring our advice, services and fees accordingly.

Commercial property: the team provides advice ranging from assisting start-up businesses looking to acquire their first premises to helping substantial companies looking for new premises or development sites across the country. We deal with complex and large-scale property transactions involving acquisitions and/or disposals, joint ventures, property development or funding work. We act for both landlords and tenants on commercial leasehold transactions involving settling the terms of leases, advice on ongoing property issues, rent review, property portfolio management, insolvency and receivership.

Employment: the firm’s employment team has a reputation for being proactive and provides advice to both employers and employees. The experience of our Employment Law team helps ensure legal compliance to prevent disputes and, where this is not possible, to resolve employment issues effectively. The team offers a retained employment law service, known as the Employment Support Service, to lighten the workload of HR managers and business owners. The bespoke service is designed to meet the needs of the business, ensuring from the start that the right policies and procedures are in place and the steps needed in order to meet the standard the law requires.

Litigation and dispute resolution: the firm has long been known for its expertise in commercial litigation, in which it continues to grow. The team advises in a wide range of business disputes; insolvency; debt recovery; professional negligence and business protection. The team also has an increasing reputation in the field of contentious trusts and probate, being one of few firms with an expert team in this area.

Crime and regulatory: the firm’s crime and regulatory department is very well respected, and acknowledged for its varied caseload. Its team members are experts in health and safety and environmental regulatory issues, and continue to handle heavyweight criminal matters.

Road transport: led by highly respected transport solicitor Mike Hayward, Woodfines’ road transport team is seen as one of the best in the country. One of only six firms appointed nationally to represent the DVSA in prosecuting serious cases, it also represents a wide range of operators and drivers at public inquiries and courts.

Agriculture: the firm’s agriculture team has extensive experience handling all agricultural matters, including partnership agreements, inheritance issues, business tenancies, and the sale and acquisition of farming and agribusiness land. It also provides specialist support for rural diversification across the region.

Private client: Woodfines provides a wide range of services for private individuals, including specialist services for the elderly and disabled, expert advice in complex trust matters and Court of Protection cases. The team includes an Office of the Public Guardian-appointed Panel Deputy, one of only 68 in the UK, in Nigel Ashton, and is led by a highly experienced team of specialists.

Family: the family department has two main practice areas: divorce and separation, and care work. The team handles a wide variety of high-profile cases, advising on complex cases involving overseas jurisdictions.

Woodfines offers a highly capable, personal service, while retaining real commercial weight and expertise for organisations of all sizes.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner Neil Gibbs ngibbs@woodfines.co.uk 01908 202150
Commercial Property Suzanna Stephenson sstephenson@woodfines.co.uk 01908 202156
Employment Maria Gallucci mgallucci@woodfines.co.uk 01908 209791
Private Client Mikhala Leak mleak@woodfines.co.uk 01234 270600
Family John Leadbeater jleadbeater@woodfines.co.uk 01234 760039
Crime / Regulatory Mike Hayward mhayward@woodfines.co.uk 01908 202150
Litigation Claire Spencer cspencer@woodfines.co.uk 01234 760038
Marketing & Business Development Rebecca Covington rcovington@woodfines.co.uk 01223 411421
Number of UK partners : 20
Number of other UK fee-earners : 50
English (fluent)