SA Law LLP > St Albans, England > Firm Profile


Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 1

SA Law LLP advises clients in the retail, education and sport sectors on a broad range of commercial disputes, often with an international element. Based in St Albans, the team deals with shareholder and director disputes, and matters relating to professional negligence, health and safety and intellectual property issues. Practice co-leader Tracy Lacey-Smith has expertise in the retail sector and advises clients in relation complex contractual matters and professional negligence issues. Practice co-head Robert Ryall has notable expertise in sports-related litigation, while newly promoted partner Simon Walsh handles contractual matters and shareholder and partnership disputes.

Practice head(s):

Tracy Lacey-Smith; Robert Ryall

Other key lawyers:

Simon Walsh; Clare Mackay


‘The team are very approachable and explain things thoroughly before commencement of work – they are professional in their approach and always have the client at the core of what they do.’

‘Robert Ryall has an air of calmness, boundless enthusiasm and a ruthless determination to succeed.’

‘Clare Mackay has a calm yet confident manner, easy to communicate with and clearly very knowledgeable. Her persona is reassuring, and I always feel her approach to a given situation is well considered. Her advice is genuinely in the best interest of her client.’

‘The team are responsive, accessible, easy to communicate with, and engender confidence by their professionalism and knowledge of their subject area.’

‘Simon Walsh is a very dedicated solicitor, who provides an exceptional service to his clients. He keeps up to date with the recent legal developments and provides valuable insight and support into how a case can be won. He is able to identify with ease the key legal issues and how they will impact upon the case.’

‘Clare Mackay is a fantastic commercial disputes lawyer. She is hands on and practical, quickly works out the client’s priorities and focuses on them relentlessly.’

Key clients

Eltek AS and Eltek ASA and Eltek Power UK Ltd

The Watford Association Football Club

Oaklands College

Middlesex University

Sutton Housing Partnership

M & Co Ltd.

Ocado Retail

Aurora Lighting

The Buxton Group

Motor Fuel Group

Work highlights

  • Assisted Motor Fuel Group in managing commercial disputes, including those with outgoing site managers.
  • Defended a heavy machinery distributor against claims for misrepresentation and negligent misstatement.
  • Advised and represented J2 Marketing Digital Limited in two fee disputes and made recoveries of sums that it expected to have to write off.

Private client > Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 1

SA Law LLP’s family team has experience in challenging children matters involving sensitive issues such as abuse, as well as complex financial cases often with an international element. Based in St Albans, the team regularly uses mediation as an alternative method of resolution. Practice leader Marilyn Bell advises on a range of family matters including high-net-worth financial cases, civil partnerships and domestic violence. Kiran Beeharry handles prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, as well as receiving regular instructions from clients in respect of divorce and financial provision for children. Other key members of the team include Simran Gupta and Julie Cohen.

Practice head(s):

Marilyn Bell


‘The team at SA Law all work really well together. Marilyn Bell heads up the team and is incredibly knowledgeable, with a softly spoken manner, yet a very robust stance. Marilyn would always be on hand to help and encourage anyone within her team. She is widely respected an looked up to.’ 

‘Marilyn Bell is exceptional, not just in relation to the law, which is what you would expect, but also has wisdom and insight into what might really help clients get through a difficult situation and come out the other side in the best way possible. Kiran Beeharry is a partner in the team and he is extremely bright, on the ball and confident.’ 

‘Marilyn Bell is a hugely experienced lead at the firm. She has a wealth of experience in family law which she puts to very effective use in case resolution. Clients love her and are very loyal as a result of the service she provides. She generates a lot of client referrals as a result.’

‘Simran Gupta is effective and highly capable support. She is very engaging and makes herself very accessible to clients, especially those needing a lot of emotional support.’ 

‘Kiran Beeharry is wise beyond his years, goes above and beyond to deliver and bills fantastically.’ 

‘There is a lot of collaboration within the team, meaning that clients are getting a strong and holistic service from the off.’

‘Simran Gupta has great instincts and is brilliantly able to guide clients through the complexities of post-separation fall-out.’ 

‘Marilyn Bell brings a wealth of experience to every case in which she acts; she has excellent judgment and clients have a huge amount of confidence in her. Marilyn is thoughtful and considered and will leave no stone unturned in getting the best outcome for her clients.’

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 2

Based in St Albans, SA Law LLP advises clients on a range of corporate matters including M&A, sales and purchases, management buy-outs, corporate finance and restructurings. The practice has particular expertise in the professional services, high-tech and real estate sectors. Practice leader Vincent Billings handles the sale and acquisition of companies in administration, joint ventures, share capital reduction demergers and business transfers.

Practice head(s):

Vincent Billings


‘The team takes a honest and fair approach, providing a language and style which allows clients to understand and follow their advice.’

‘Quick to respond, consistent and easy to understand.’

Key clients

Core UK Limited

Ignite Marketing UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a construction company in Hertfordshire on its £20m acquisition of a demolition company with a £32m turnover, within eight weeks.
  • Advised founders of a bespoke software company on the $10m sale of their company to a global corporate software company.
  • Completed the £1m management buyout of an insurance company from its US parent company.

Employment > Employment: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 2

The employment team at SA Law LLP offers specialist advice to clients in the charity, education, employment and football sectors on complex matters including GDPR, settlement agreements, dismissals and discrimination issues. Based in St Albans, practice leader Chris Cook fields expertise in data protection and deals with employer and employee disputes concerning data subject requests in tribunal proceedings. Beth Leng joined as a partner from Mishcon de Reya LLP in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Chris Cook

Other key lawyers:


‘Chris Cook is insightful, commercial and has a great knack for seeing the other side of an argument, so is able to test matters with frightening speed.’

‘The practice works as a seamless team, even during Covid, and working remotely there has never been a concern or a doubt that our needs would not be met and responded to in a timely manner.’

‘Chris Cook is sympathetic, confident and competent. He had assisted us on many occasions and has an unbroken record of providing only the best legal advice.’

‘The SA Law team is an excellent, informative and reliable resource for our company. They are always very professional and I can’t fault the service they provide to us in any way.’

‘The team are pragmatic, open, and responsive.’

‘Chris Cook is excellent in his work, communication, knowledge, service that he provides to our business. What I really appreciate is that he understands us, knowing our staff and history. Any new query that I put to him has the benefit that he knows our company and management team well.’

Key clients

Middlesex University

The Watford Association Football Club Ltd.

St Paul’s Cathedral

Birkin Cleaning Services

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

Hestia Housing and Support

Smartbox Group UK Ltd

Depaul UK

London School of Architecture

Work highlights

  • Advised a family run transport solution specialist company on a dispute between the owners and a director.
  • Advised a longstanding football club client on planning for IR35 and guidance related to the clubs Covid-19 response.
  • Advised a nationwide grocery retailer on key employment law aspects of its merger with another nationwide grocery retailer to form a new joint venture.

Real estate > Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 2

Based in St Albans, SA Law LLP advises clients in the charity, retail, healthcare and hospitality sectors on a range of commercial property matters including investment acquisitions and disposals, option agreements, and landlord and tenant work. The department also leverages the firm's in-house team of real estate litigation experts. Practice co-head Steve Kenneford specialises in residential conveyancing work, while co-head Gary Dunger advises on future income generation through the retention of overage rights on disposals, and investment acquisitions. Other key members of the team include Steve Ryan and John Moore.

Practice head(s):

Steve Kenneford; Gary Dunger

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Tulsesense Limited

Royal Bank of Scotland

Eurochange Limited


Handelsbanken PLC

Watford Football Club

Bloomsbury Leisure Group

PHS Limited

Bahlsen LLP

Portman Finance Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Eurochange Limited on over 40 instructions as the company re-brands its portfolio to NM Money, and continues its portfolio expansion with new store openings.
  • Advised a residential development client on high-value matters including site assembly, planning issues, statutory agreements and plot sales across sites in the Northern Home Counties and East Midlands.
  • Advised Bloomsbury Leisure Group on the acquisition of a new London location, expanding the client’s portfolio of eating and drinking establishments, accommodation, and bowling alleys.

SA Law is a clear leader in the South East. From offices in Hertfordshire and London, it solves local, national and international legal challenges with cutting-edge solutions, delivered with Lexcel-accredited, outstanding client service.

Private, public and third-sector organisations benefit from its exceptional legal expertise and a range of added-value services such as insurance-backed protection schemes, flexible payment options and swift-response helplines.

SA Law represents clients across a range of sectors including sport, retail, healthcare, property, technology and media.

Individuals are supported by outstanding legal guidance across all aspects of their personal lives by a team that is dedicated to obtaining the best possible outcome in every situation.

Types of work undertaken
Commercial litigation and dispute resolution: The team focuses on resolving disputes as quickly, cost-effectively, and risk-free as possible. through expertise in all dispute resolution methods, including litigation, mediation, adjudication, expert determination and arbitration. The firm advises on debt recovery and commercial disputes, insolvency matters, professional negligence claims, and high profile, complex multi-jurisdictional actions.

Corporate and commercial: Companies and individuals benefit from comprehensive advice on all aspects of their day-to-day operations, with the aim of optimising profitability and minimising risk. The team advises on a broad range of corporate and commercial matters and is particularly well regarded for its work in meeting commercial objectives through strategic sales and acquisitions. SA Law stands out from other firms in the region through its expertise in international deals and unique or complex transactions.

Property: The firm helps investors, developers, contractors, financial institutions and other parties to optimise their real estate returns, delivering success across development, investment and construction. It also advises landlords and tenants on all aspects of their commercial relationship, as well as helping families and individuals with residential sales and purchases, and portfolio management.

Property litigation: A dedicated property disputes team with an exceptional track record of success gives peace of mind to clients facing or considering legal action. It acts for high-net-worth individuals, national property management companies, leaseholders with extensive portfolios, as well as major national retailers and the healthcare sector. The team also provides expert strategic advice to reduce risk and help avoid potential problems before they arise

Employment: Employers rely on the team’s expertise to ensure they comply with legislation, protect themselves against employment tribunals, and navigate specialised situations such as reorganisation and redundancy. Specialist data protection advice complements and enhances the firm’s employment law services. The team also supports the employment rights of individuals, from C suite and senior directors to temporary staff, and helps employees make the best decisions in challenging circumstances such as unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, compromise agreements and redundancy.

Family: SA Law’s family department stands for its skills in handling the most challenging financial and children cases combined with a collaborative service that includes wills, conveyancing, corporate, and employment law advice. This approach makes the firm the go-to choice for high-net-worth individuals and those with commercial business interests. Key specialisms include divorce and separation; financial disputes, including pensions and the breakdown of family-owned businesses; complex children matters; civil partnerships and cohabitation matters in the UK and abroad; and post and prenuptial agreements. It is widely respected for its expert handling of family matters where there is a strong international element or foreign parties.

Wills, trusts and tax: The team ensures optimal future prosperity for families, with extensive experience advising high-net-worth individuals on every aspect of succession planning, from writing a simple will, and drafting and registering LPA and Court of Protection applications, to highly sensitive contested probate matters.

Immigration: National and international businesses benefit from comprehensive advice on their workforce posting requirements to ensure employee security and ongoing compliance.

Sport: SA Law’s sport lawyers have first-hand experience of working in the industry. They advise prominent sporting organisations and businesses in all commercial and regulatory aspects of their operation and give non-sport clients invaluable insight into the unique aspects of supplying to and contracting with sport clubs. The team is also exclusively equipped to deal with the career and private legal needs of sporting individuals. These include advising on the family matters and the public relations issues that often come with celebrity status.

Managing Partner; Partner, Real Estate Services (Commercial) Steve Ryansteve.ryan@salaw.com01727 798079
Partner, Head of Corporate & Commercial Services Vincent Billingsvincent.billings@salaw.com01727 798000
Partner, Head of Employment Law and Data Protection Services Chris Cookchris.cook@salaw.com01727 798089
Partner, Head of Family Law Services Marilyn Bellmarilyn.bell@salaw.com01727 798066
Partner, Joint Head of Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Services Robert Ryallrobert.ryall@salaw.com01727 798092
Partner, Joint Head of Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Services; Intellectual Property Services Tracy Lacey-Smithtracy.lacey-smith@salaw.com01727 798016
Partner, Joint Head of Real Estate Services; Commercial Property Services Gary Dungergary.dunger@salaw.com01727 798020
Partner, Joint Head of Real Estate Services; Residential Property Services Steve Kennefordsteve.kenneford@salaw.com01727 798050
Partner, Real Estate Services (Commercial and Residential Property Services) John Moorejohn.moore@salaw.com01727 798074
Partner, Real Estate Services (Commercial Property Services)) Jacqui Buttonjacqueline.button@salaw.com01727 798086
Partner, Employment Law Services Beth Lengbeth.leng@salaw.com01727 798046
Partner, Family Law Services Kiran Beeharrykiran.beeharry@salaw.com01727 798047
Partner, Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Services; and Insolvency ServicesServices Simon Walshsimon.walsh@salaw.com01727 798085
Partner, Director of Finance & Support Services Gill Garrettgill.garrett@salaw.com01727 798011
Senior Associate, Head of Property Litigation Services Alex Wyattalex.wyatt@salaw.com01727798057
Solicitor, Wills, Trusts & Probate Services Catherine Robsoncatherine.robson@salaw.com01727 798036
Senior Associate, Contested Probate Services Clare Mackayclare.mackay@salaw.com01727 798025
Consultant, Employment Law Services; Immigration Services Gemma Jonesgemma.jones@salaw.com01727 798000
Kiran Beeharry photo Kiran BeeharryPartner, Family Law. Kiran specialises in helping families and individuals through the…
Marilyn Bell photo Marilyn BellPartner, Head of Family Law. Marilyn specialises in divorce and all the…
Vincent Billings photo Vincent BillingsPartner and Head of Corporate & Commercial. Helping organisations and entrepreneurs to…
Jacqueline Button  photo Jacqueline Button Partner, Real Estate, Commercial. Jacqui deals with broad-reaching projects and portfolios across…
Christine Caffrey  photo Christine Caffrey Solicitor, Employment Law. Christine advises organisations and individuals in all areas of…
Julie Cohen photo Julie CohenSolicitor, Family Law. Advising in all aspects of the law in relation to…
Chris Cook photo Chris CookPartner, Head of Employment and Data Protection. Chris advises organisations and individuals…
Gary Dunger photo Gary DungerPartner, Joint Head of Real Estate. An experienced commercial property specialist, Gary…
Simran Gupta photo Simran GuptaSolicitor, Family Law. Simran specialises in complex relationship and divorce matters involving…
Steve Kenneford photo Steve KennefordPartner, Joint Head of Real Estate. A residential conveyancing specialist, Steve’s clients…
Tracy Lacey-Smith photo Tracy Lacey-SmithPartner, Joint Head of Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution. Tracy guides clients…
Beth Leng  photo Beth Leng Partner, Employment Law. Beth helps organisations and individuals to realise opportunities and…
Clare Mackay photo Clare MackaySenior Associate, Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution. An experienced commercial disputes lawyer,…
Robert Ryall photo Robert RyallPartner, Joint Head of Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution. Specialising in complex…
Steve Ryan  photo Steve Ryan Managing Partner, and Partner, Real Estate – Commercial Property. Steve advises on…
Amy Sevier  photo Amy Sevier Consultant, Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution – Property Dispute Resolution. Amy advises…
Elizabeth Tillyer  photo Elizabeth Tillyer Associate, Family Law. Elizabeth advises a wide range of clients in all…
Simon Walsh photo Simon WalshPartner, Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution. An experienced commercial disputes lawyer with…
Alex Wyatt  photo Alex Wyatt Senior Associate, Commercial Litigation ad Dispute Resolution – Head of Property Dispute…

CLIENT: Anonymous
COMPANY/FIRM: Corporate client based in Hertfordshire
TESTIMONIAL: I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you. It was the first time I have been involved in this kind of business transaction and your clear and concise advice, confidence and optimism was evident throughout. This enabled us to move forward through the difficult and personally testing stages of the sales process to a successful completion feeling supported and assured of success. It was an absolute pleasure to work with you and I wish you every success in the future.

CLIENT: Anonymous
TESTIMONIAL: A heartfelt thank you for everything you have done to free me from a difficult situation I thought I would never reach the end of. I appreciate your thoughtfulness, integrity, clarity and most of all, your generosity.

CLIENT: Anonymous – placed on Google Reviews
TESTIMONIAL: Incredibly helpful and efficient.

CLIENT: Anonymous – placed on Google Reviews
TESTIMONIAL: The team at SA Law has been wonderfully efficient at processing our property purchase. Steve at the St Albans office has been consistently contactable and reliable, facilitating what has been a stress-free process. Thoroughly recommended.

CLIENT: Anonymous
TESTIMONIAL: I just wanted to say thank you for being the best solicitor ever! I don’t know how to thank you enough. I couldn’t be happier and that’s mainly all down to you! Your advice, your professionalism, your knowledge made us an unbeatable team.

CLIENT: Anonymous
TESTIMONIAL: I have been working with Clare Mackay a lot recently on one of our claims and I have to report that we have found her a real pleasure to work with – very responsive, thorough in her advice and extremely pragmatic.

CLIENT: Anonymous
TESTIMONIAL: I used SA Law to guide me through my recent Divorce. Marilyn Bell was extremely professional and responsive. Her experience, knowledge and grasp of strategy was apparent at all times. My key objective was to manage the process without escalation, at minimum cost for both sides and with maximum sensitivity. Whilst offering strong and frank advice at all times, Marilyn was entirely respectful of my preferences. The result was a fair outcome, contained costs and good post divorce relations.

CLIENT: Anonymous – placed on Google Reviews
TESTIMONIAL: My solicitor was very helpful, professional, friendly, and explained to me in my language my contract after being made redundant. I know if I have a problem further down the line, he will sort it out for me. Thank you for all your help.

CLIENT: Anonymous – placed on
TESTIMONIAL: SA Law supported me throughout the completion on two properties. The process was not straightforward with help to buy or the mortgage on either completion. Claire was very professional, personable and go back to all my queries in a timely manner. I just wanted to offer some feedback as I am very grateful for the service received and for keeping me calm when things were not easy through this process.

SA Law is committed to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) within the firm as well as in the areas in which it has influence. As you would expect, this commitment is embedded in our policies and procedures, but also in our behaviours, communication, and marketing.

Engaging every member of the team in our ED&I approach is central to our success. Team members are provided with equality and diversity training and guidance appropriate to their needs and responsibilities. Our ED&I SMART objectives are set, shared and communicated across the firm each year, and all are encouraged to contribute. We also gather diversity information during the recruitment process and from existing team members through a confidential annual survey so that we can monitor the effectiveness of our ED&I policies and actions on our recruitment processes as well as on team development and retention.

Our ED&I Committee is dedicated to championing the firm’s diverse workforce and aims to identify SA Law’s strengths and opportunities relating to diversity and inclusion. Committee members represent and reflect the diversity of our team and our clients. At present, we have seven committee members representing diverse demographics such as age, disability, race and LGBTQ+. The ED&I Committee is responsible for putting diversity initiatives in place within the firm and monitoring the impact of such initiatives in a continuous cycle of equality audit.

The firm has also established a Race, Ethnicity and Heritage Network (“Network”) to provide support for team members of underrepresented race or ethnicities within the legal field, which feeds concerns and issues to the ED&I Committee. However, the Network is predominantly for colleagues from similar backgrounds to provide each other with guidance and mentorship.

Alongside the ED&I Committee and Network, our Wellbeing Team works to support a culture that promotes the physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing of all employees and partners from all backgrounds and all walks of life. Many in the Wellbeing Team are qualified mental health and first aid champions who support colleagues outside their immediate team/line management or HR and are responsible for creating and implementing a Wellbeing Strategy for the firm.