SA Law LLP > St Albans, England > Firm Profile


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

The team at SA Law LLP combines ‘strong knowledge with practical expertise‘ when advising a diverse client roster of universities, shareholders and multinational corporates. Robert Ryall and Tracy Lacey-Smith jointly head the St Albans-based team. Lacey-Smith often appears before the High Court, and ‘always goes the extra mile‘ when acting in cases concerning breach of contract claims, while Ryall is ‘calm and experienced‘ when handling claims of alleged wrongdoing, frequently advising professional athletes and sports clubs. ‘Stand-out‘ practitioner Simon Walsh has expansive experience in insolvency and civil claims, in addition to handling freezing injunctions. Praised by clients for being ‘the ideal solicitor‘, senior associate Clare Mackay predominantly handles shareholder disputes, purchase agreements, and vexatious complaints, and associate Helen Young takes a ‘tenacious and realistic‘ approach when assisting clients with contested debt recovery mandates.

Practice head(s):

Robert Ryall; Tracy Lacey-Smith

Other key lawyers:


‘Clare Mackay is the ideal solicitor. She is totally on top of her cases and is fantastic at putting clients at ease. Top quality service delivered in a friendly and approachable way. Clare provides very strong support and advice from a legal perspective.’

‘SA Law has a strong commercial litigation practice, particularly in relation to shareholder disputes, and is very highly regarded outside London in the home counties. The team combine strong knowledge with practical expertise, including a welcome focus on finding practical, commercial solutions alongside potential resolutions of dispute in court.’

‘The team are very pragmatic, dedicated to their clients, highly responsive and pragmatic when it comes to questions of legal and commercial strategy. Clare Mackay is very strong in this regard and stands out in this area.’

‘Tracy Lacey-Smith is so approachable and is able to get to the heart of the problem very quickly. She understands the pragmatic needs of an in-house legal team. Tracy is friendly, proactive, and able to deal with demanding matters, she always goes the extra mile for clients.’

‘Robert Ryall is someone that I can relate to on a personal level, someone who has the patience to clearly explain legal terms and implications when necessary. He particularly impressed me with his skills of quickly building a position and a chronological way forward. I recommend Robert and his team. Rob has a calm, experienced approach making him the go-to lawyer on messy, heated disputes.’

‘The team fully supported me, not only on legal matters, but in an emotional way as well. SA Law projects a team environment, where everyone supports all clients, there was always someone at the end of phone who could help.’

‘SA Law’s service is enriched by a diverse, knowledgeable, and easy to talk to team. The firm’s strengths are its people, there is always a person that can help. The service provided is about quality. Genuinely down to earth solicitors who get on well with clients – this makes such a difference in long running litigation.’

‘Helen Young is a stand out solicitor and star of the future. She has excellent grasp of the detail whilst also being user friendly and very commercial. Helen is a superb associate who is a great mix of tenacious and realistic.’

Key clients

Motor Fuel Group

Techna International Limited

The Watford Association Football Club

Oaklands College

Ocado Group PLC

Chesside Homes Limited

Arora Group

Upstream Workplace Solutions

MSH Planning Limited

Middlesex University

Work highlights

  • Advised Motor Fuel Group on a range of commercial disputes, including obtaining judgment in a fraud claim, and advising on the termination of supply and equipment leasing agreements.
  • Acting for Techna International Limited in the High Court in a multi-jurisdictional commercial dispute.

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

SA Law LLP‘s ‘fantastic‘ team handles the full scope of both contentious and non-contentious family law issues involving sexual abuse, in addition to mental and physical abuse. Marilyn Bell leads the St Albans-based group, and often represents parents and grandparents in divorces and financial disputes. Rated by clients as ‘outstanding in every way‘, Kiran Beeharry is particularly adept at handling issues faced by cohabiting couples, including financial provision for the children of unmarried parents, in addition to advising on the dissolution of civil partnerships. Simran Gupta has extensive expertise in matters concerning international child abduction and wardship, while associate Julie Cohen often dispenses ‘excellent advice and support‘ to high-net-worth individuals on the division of matrimonial finances, and the resolution of situations involving domestic violence.

Practice head(s):

Marilyn Bell


‘Marilyn Bell provides expertise in both financial and children related matters. Her knowledge and experience, attention to detail and dedication to clients is second to none. Rivalled only by her unrelenting work ethic, her determination to understand and get things right goes above and beyond. I would not hesitate for a second to recommend her to anyone. She genuinely cares about you and your family and it’s clear this is her vocation in life.’

‘Simran Gupta is straight talking but warm and friendly, happy to challenge me as the client rather than just accept my views and concerns, and her experience in complex cases is very evident.’

‘Marilyn Bell excels in her field. She has a wealth of experience and wisdom, and with abounding knowledge and professionalism.’

‘Julie Cohen always gives excellent advice and support, and has never hesitated to take the time to alleviate my concerns or sometime lack of understanding of the system. She has made the process a bearable one by taking on a lot of the stress and strain around this situation.’

‘Kiran Beeharry has been outstanding in every way. He is professional, insightful, strategic, shows great attention to detail and is incredibly supportive. I cannot recommend him enough.’

‘Liz Tillyer is a stand out. She has razor sharp litigation instincts. Clients feel that she is completely committed to their case. She is very personable, down to earth and great at cutting through the noise to what is important.’

‘Kiran Beeharry is absolutely brilliant. He is cool, calm, collected, and gets fantastic results in the most challenging of cases. His clients find him to be an emotional rock in turbulent waters. I cannot recommend him enough. Kiran is an extremely able practitioner. He has wisdom beyond his years and has developed a very good reputation in matrimonial matters in particular. Kiran is extremely bright, confident, and fearless.’

‘The SA Law family law team is fantastic. Marilyn and her team are reliable, attentive, and responsive. They work carefully and respectfully to help separating families achieve their best outcomes, and work collaboratively with other professionals to do so.’

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

Working out of St Albans, the team at SA Law LLP handles a broad range of discrimination disputes, constructive dismissals, and the use of DSARs in tribunal proceedings. Chris Cook heads up the practice with his ‘excellent‘ longstanding expertise in data protection work; he also assists vulnerable clients with investigations and agency issues. ‘Star individualBeth Leng is particularly adept at representing charities and clients within the financial services sector in senior executive matters, and ‘fantastic‘ associate Christine Caffrey frequently advises HR and senior management teams on unfair dismissals and grievance processes.

Practice head(s):

Chris Cook

Other key lawyers:


‘SA law are a commercially minded firm with employment law expertise, who are able to offer pragmatic advice to their clients. They are particularly supportive of local businesses as well as their larger clients, and very involved in their local community.’

‘Chris Cook has excellent knowledge of data protection and how it affects respondent clients.’

‘Christine Caffery really knows her stuff and provides pragmatic employment advice to her clients. Her cases are always thoroughly prepared and her advice is spot on. She is a fantastic respondent lawyer, able to identify strengths and weaknesses in a case and strategic in her approach. Always a pleasure to work with.’

‘Their employment team is the equal of any of the best London teams.’

‘Beth Leng is now the star individual in her region. You would be a fool to use anyone else.’

‘Professional, always helpful in explaining the risk and law in lay terms.’

‘The team are responsive and clear communicators – we have a very good working relationship with them and appreciate the way they understand our business.’

‘My experience is that the team have a strong understanding of our sector and this helps them to give appropriate advice and guidance. In particular, Chris Cook understands our business very well and makes himself available when issues come up – I cannot fault his availability and engagement. He is also a clear communicator.’

Key clients

Watford Football Club Association

Tring Park School for Performing Arts

Boxmoor Trust

Pangaea Laboratories Ltd

St Paul’s Cathedral

West London Mission

Middlesex University

Work highlights

  • Advising a religious organisation on a series of coordinated and complex grievances raised by four employees including allegations of whistleblowing, race discrimination, and bullying and harassment.
  • Advised a client in connection with the removal of its General Counsel and Compliance Officer following a breakdown in relationship with the rest of the executive board.
  • Acting for individual senior executives facing termination from a city hedge fund business within or shortly after the expiry of probationary periods.

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

SA Law LLP‘s ‘fantastic, very attentive and very knowledgeable‘ team handles a broad range of matters, including bridging and development financing work, and portfolio acquisitions. Gary Dunger and Steve Kenneford jointly head up the St Albans-based practice; Dunger has vast knowledge of leasehold enfranchisement issues, while Kenneford primarily focuses on residential conveyancing. Jacqueline Button maintains a transaction-focused practice, advising a number of mixed-use and commercial developers, and Steve Ryan has broad knowledge which spans multi-party deals and high-value projects.

Practice head(s):

Gary Dunger; Steve Kenneford

Other key lawyers:

Jacqueline Button; Stephen Ryan


‘The team at SA Law are fantastic, very attentive and very knowledgeable. We have worked with SA Law for numerous years now and continue to build on an excellent relationship. The team work cohesively to aid our property purchases, dispute resolution and overall practices.’

‘Gary Dunger works tirelessly alongside us to help us overcome challenges and obstacles.’

Key clients

Swarco UK Limited

Ventura Alliance Limited


Audbern Investments Limited/Tulsesense Limited

Eurochange Limited

Techna International Limited

Holywell Haulage Limited/Readymix Concrete Limited

Portman Structured Finance Limited

OYO Developments Limited

Watford FC

Work highlights

  • Acting for an Ventura Alliance Ltd on the £1.5m acquisition of four industrial units at the ongoing development site at Ventura Business Park, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.
  • Acting on the sale of over 50 plots for a long-standing developer client. The firm advises on development work from site assembly through planning and other statutory agreements to plot sales across numerous sites in the Northern Home Counties and East Midlands.
  • Advised Portman Structured Finance Limited on two development loans to the same borrower, with a gross development value of £1.8m.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 3

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.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner; Partner, Real Estate Services (Commercial) Steve Ryan 01727 798079
Partner, Head of Corporate & Commercial Services Vincent Billings 01727 798000
Partner, Head of Employment Law and Data Protection Services Chris Cook 01727 798089
Partner, Head of Family Law Services Marilyn Bell 01727 798066
Partner, Joint Head of Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Services Robert Ryall 01727 798092
Partner, Joint Head of Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Services; Intellectual Property Services Tracy Lacey-Smith 01727 798016
Partner, Joint Head of Real Estate Services; Commercial Property Services Gary Dunger 01727 798020
Partner, Joint Head of Real Estate Services; Residential Property Services Steve Kenneford 01727 798050
Partner, Real Estate Services (Commercial and Residential Property Services) John Moore 01727 798074
Partner, Real Estate Services (Commercial Property Services)) Jacqui Button 01727 798086
Partner, Employment Law Services Beth Leng 01727 798046
Partner, Family Law Services Kiran Beeharry 01727 798047
Partner, Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Services; and Insolvency ServicesServices Simon Walsh 01727 798085
Partner, Director of Finance & Support Services Gill Garrett 01727 798011
Senior Associate, Head of Property Litigation Services Alex Wyatt 01727798057
Solicitor, Wills, Trusts & Probate Services Catherine Robson 01727 798036
Senior Associate, Contested Probate Services Clare Mackay 01727 798025
Consultant, Employment Law Services; Immigration Services Gemma Jones 01727 798000
Photo Name Position Profile
Kiran Beeharry photo Kiran Beeharry Partner, Family Law. Kiran specialises in helping families and individuals through the…
Marilyn Bell photo Marilyn Bell Partner, Head of Family Law. Marilyn specialises in divorce and all the…
Vincent Billings photo Vincent Billings Partner and Head of Corporate & Commercial. Helping organisations and entrepreneurs to…
Jacqui Button photo Jacqui Button Partner, Real Estate, Commercial. Jacqui deals with broad-reaching projects and portfolios across…
Christine Caffrey photo Christine Caffrey Christine is am Associate Solicitor in our Employment Law team. She advises…
Julie Cohen photo Julie Cohen Solicitor, Family Law. Advising in all aspects of the law in relation to…
Chris Cook photo Chris Cook Partner, Head of Employment and Data Protection. Chris advises organisations and individuals…
Gary Dunger photo Gary Dunger Partner, Joint Head of Real Estate. An experienced commercial property specialist, Gary…
Simran Gupta photo Simran Gupta Solicitor, Family Law. Simran specialises in complex relationship and divorce matters involving…
Steve Kenneford photo Steve Kenneford Partner, Joint Head of Real Estate. A residential conveyancing specialist, Steve’s clients…
Tracy Lacey-Smith photo Tracy Lacey-Smith Partner, 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 Mackay Senior Associate, Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution. An experienced commercial disputes lawyer,…
Robert Ryall photo Robert Ryall Partner, Joint Head of Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution. Specialising in complex…
Steve Ryan photo Steve Ryan Managing Partner and Real Estate Partner – Commercial Property. Steve advises on…
Elizabeth Tillyer photo Elizabeth Tillyer Associate, Family Law. Elizabeth advises a wide range of clients in all…
Simon Walsh photo Simon Walsh Partner, Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution. An experienced commercial disputes lawyer with…
Alex Wyatt photo Alex Wyatt Alex is a senior associate in the Commercial Litigation ad Dispute Resolution…

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 are committed to building a culture where everyone feels welcomed, heard, respected, supported, valued, and able to reach their full potential; regardless of their background, identity or circumstance.  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 equality, diversity, and inclusion (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, our clients and our community. At present, we have eight committee members representing diverse demographics such as age, disability, neurodiversity, 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, and we are proud members of the Disability Confident Scheme.

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 and help inform the wider practices and behaviours of the firm.

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. Many in the Wellbeing Team are qualified mental health 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.