Firm Profile > Harrison Clark Rickerbys > Cheltenham, England

Harrison Clark Rickerbys
ELLENBOROUGH HOUSE
WELLINGTON STREET
CHELTENHAM
GL50 1YD
England

Employment > Employment: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Tier 1

One of the largest employment teams in the South West, Harrison Clark Rickerbys has a strong focus on commercial, care and manufacturing clients. In addition to a broad array of standard non-contentious work, it has been providing a significant amount of advice related to redundancies and furlough resulting from the global pandemic. It also has a notable contentious offering, which provides support in tribunal cases. Rachel Roberts leads the team from its Cheltenham office. Rowena Kay is also well regarded for her work with the team's SME client base. Oliver Weiss joined the firm from Blake Morgan LLP in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

Michael Stokes; Rachel Roberts

Other key lawyers:

Rowena Kay

Testimonials

‘The employment team at HCR are supportive beyond their legal expertise, often setting up topical learning sessions which also allow for local networking among professionals.’

‘I find the advice Rachel Roberts gives pragmatic and free of legal jargon. Rachel has recently been made a partner but is still freely available when needed to discuss ideas and issues, both strategic and operational. I never worry that a question will be too trivial and have learnt a lot from working with Rachel.’

Key clients

British Airways

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Tier 2

Harrison Clark Rickerbys' dispute resolution practice is known for handling disputes across its particular areas of specialism. Adam Finch and banking litigator Fiona Hayles are noted for financial services litigation and jointly lead the team alongside IT and IP litigation expert Steven Murray, who also assists clients with data protection disputes, and real estate litigator Andrew Walker. The group also has experience in business protection disputes, for which Jenny Raymond is noted, and has a growing debt recovery practice headed up by Jason Morris who joined from Shoosmiths LLP.

Practice head(s):

Adam Finch; Steven Murray; Fiona Hayles; Andrew Walker

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Raymond; Jason Morris

Testimonials

‘Responsive, offer a range of retainers for litigation clients. Work well with litigation funders and ATE insurers. Get good settlements quickly for clients.’

‘Adam Finch is clear in his advice and understands the commercial pressures that clients experience when litigating. He uses everything at his disposal to achieve the best possible result for clients as early as possible.’

Key clients

CGI Automotive Consulting Limited

EMC Cement Holdings Ltd

9 Group Ltd

Gemco Equiment Ltd

Cats Solutions Ltd

Leisuregrow Limited

Paragon Banking Group plc

The Colt Car Company Ltd

Paragon Technology Finance Limited

CT Capital Limited

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Tier 2

Harrison Clark Rickerbys' 'proactive and thoughtful' team in Cheltenham specialises in management buyouts, M&A for private and public companies, joint ventures and collaboration agreements, as well as the full spectrum of commercial issues. The corporate group is led by Tim Ward, who regularly handles mid-market transactions. Steve Thomas heads the commercial group, drawing on his expertise in outsourcing contracts. Splitting his time between London and Cheltenham, Richard Wilkey specialises in private equity transactions and works closely with 'common-sense lawyerRachael Reeves on share transactions. Senior partner Richard Knight is also noted for his expertise in M&A.

Practice head(s):

Tim Ward; Steve Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Richard Wilkey; Rachael Reeves; Derek Callanan; Louisa Leach

Testimonials

‘For me it is simple, everyone I have worked with has been responsive and has delivered the best service for the client and the transaction.’

‘Rachael Reeves continually delivers a high-quality service. What makes her stand out is her responsiveness to key issues.

‘The HCR team is proactive, thoughtful and efficient; they are very good at managing relationships, negotiating effectively and getting deals done.’

‘Rachael Reeves is a common-sense lawyer who has a ready appreciation of the commercial aspects which are important to us as the client.’

‘HCR’s unique attribute is the ability to offer honest, practical advice on risk assessment against contracts – they advise on what the scale of the risks could be, and what mitigations may be possible or what risks may be reasonable. Importantly, though, they can do this whilst offering the resources and experience to negotiate with the larger City law firms.’

‘Richard Knight and Tim Ward’s advice is practicable and actionable for individuals. The advice goes beyond “this is what the contract says” to how it may impact individuals and how the business may operate in the longer term, and what risks may be presented.’

‘With all the various legal issues raised within our numerous businesses, HCR always have a specialist solicitor available to deal with our issues. There are so proactive, rather than reactive, which is a real plus.’

‘A group of the hardest working and nicest individuals you can meet professionally.’

Key clients

Ethos Capital

KW Wealth Group Ltd

Miro Forestry Developments Limited

Cotteswold Dairy Limited

Horizon Capital

National Care Group

Mitsubishi Motors UK

Strategic Information Group

Kason Industries Inc.

CEPS PLC

BGF and other shareholders of Direct Online Services Holdings Ltd

Wireless Innovation Group

Alexander Mann Solutions Limited

Lead365 Limited

Public sector > Education Tier 2

Harrison Clark Rickerbys is regularly instructed by independent schools to advise on PFI conversions, integrations and formations of trusts, transactions, and investments. The team was also active in Covid-19 emergency response work. Practice head and 'a real expertKristine Scott has experience in dismissals, pupil exclusions and parental complaints. Rachel Parkin has know-how in relevant employment aspects, and Kate Hickey covers corporate and governance matters.

Practice head(s):

Kristine Scott

Other key lawyers:

Emma Swann; Rachel Parkin; Kate Hickey

Testimonials

‘An extremely proficient medium size firm with particular expertise and experience in education law. Their particular prowess is in reassuring busy and prestigious independent schools when legal issues arise.’

‘The outstanding partner is Kristine Scott. She is entirely capable of handling any matter in the education, employment or immigration field. She is brilliant at handling clients. She understands the importance of maintaining good relationships so far as possible at the top of an organisation. A real expert.’

‘What stands out for me is the culture of the firm – which is a mix of a large London based firm in terms of the wealth of experience and calibre of lawyer with the friendliness and accessibility of a local organisation.’

‘My experience with HCR has been with Rachel Parkin who I found to be a strong ally in solving some complicated legal matters. Despite the challenges faced during the pandemic, her communication skills were exemplary and, even though we were unable to meet face to face, she employed the appropriate expertise and an empathic approach to make everything as straightforward as it could be. I found Rachel to be pragmatic, approachable and extremely knowledgeable. It was a very reassuring experience.’

‘They are experts in the education field. Their understanding of independent schools is first-class. Their advice and recommendations are pragmatic. They have been exceptional responsive: quick to respond at any time.’

‘The appropriateness of their response; they understand the issue and the school’s perspective. their responsiveness from partners, associates and admin staff has been rapid, they seem to work very well as a team.’

‘HCR are the ‘go to’ experts for all education, employment, contract, commercial and international advice. Have engaged several different firms over many years, we are now firmly committed to working exclusively with the team from HCR. They are highly responsive, pragmatic, appreciate the nuances of complex cases and provide us with excellence advice. They are an impressive team who go out of their way to understand the needs of the client whilst providing impartial and objective advice. The Head of the Education Team, Kristine Scott is phenomenal, but she has also built an impressive team who we trust implicitly. ’

‘HCR is deeply experienced in advising schools. They produce innovative and practical solutions which solve problems that seem intractable. The service ethic is top class. They are not frightened of giving you their unfettered opinion which builds confidence. ’

 

Key clients

Cheltenham College

ISBA

Redcliffe School

Headington School

St Dunstan’s College

Independent Schools’ Council

Private client > Family Tier 2

Harrison Clark Rickerbys' Cheltenham-based family team offers top quality services to a variety of clients, which include high-profile businesspeople and other noteworthy individuals. The firm has experience in financial remedy, divorce, pre-nuptial agreement and children's act matters. Carolyn Green leads the team, specialising in financial remedy work which often involves complex pension issues and international elements. Andrew Morris is also based in the Cheltenham office, with a particular specialism in cross-border matters featuring complex asset structures.

Practice head(s):

Carolyn Green

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Morris; James Grigg

Testimonials

‘High-quality team of experts with real strength in depth. Always willing to above and beyond for their clients. One of the go-to firms in the South West for family finance work. ’

‘They are expert at what they do but are also always approachable and accessible. They always send full instructions ensuring that all issues are clearly identified. Highly recommended.’

‘Strong market presence covering a wide geographical base. Heavy focus on client care.’

‘Carolyn Green and James Grigg would be wanted by any firm I know – they combine decades of experience with never having lost touch. They are good with clients and the best-known divorce lawyers in and around the area.’

‘The team managed my case with equal focus but it was reassuring to know that there was a very capable pair of hands in charge, efficiently orchestrating the work. The headache and anxiety of divorce were hugely lessened by clear and considerate and communication of the team throughout the process. They behaved like a winning team.’

‘Carolyn Green was sympathetically reassuring from the outset and her determination to achieve the fairest settlement for me as the client was unwavering. I was kept informed at each stage of the process and Carolyn listened to and addressed my concerns. The clarity of her communication is exceptional. I would recommend her without hesitation.’

‘HCR Hewitsons is a large firm spanning several sectors but has a very personable and client-friendly feel. Cases are well managed and organised and client care is exceptional.’

‘Andrew Morris is an excellent solicitor who provides exceptional client care. He is not afraid to provide straight-talking advice to clients but ensures they feel well supported and represented throughout the process.’

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

With one of the largest private client teams in the Cheltenham areas, Harrison Clark Rickerbys - the result of the recent merger of Harrison Clark Rickerbys and Hewitsons - offers its clients a full range of private wealth services. This includes bespoke trust administration and financial planning on behalf of high net value clients. It also has a notable speciality in working with older and vulnerable clients on matters including injury trusts and asset protection, as well as cross-border matters. Alex Taylor heads up the team, focusing on complex tax planning. Mark Hartley and Phillipa Bruce-Kerr manage the elder client practice. Tom Murphy-Kirkhope is also well regarded.

Practice head(s):

Alex Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Mark Hartley; Phillipa Bruce-Kerr; Tom Murphy-Kirkhope

Testimonials

‘In this area of law, a feeling of trust and confidence in your legal team is key. We have absolute faith in the team, trust them implicitly, and know that they will examine every angle, nook and cranny to make sure the advice is appropriate to our situation. ’

‘Alex Taylor has not only been lead partner on our work; he has gone above and beyond in terms of support for the family. This has included navigating tricky family dynamics, difficult situations, and complex arrangements. We are incredibly grateful for all he has done, and continues to do, for us, all delivered with a healthy dose of empathy and humour. ‘

‘The private client side is very knowledgeable. Estate planning is first rate. ’

‘Alex Taylor gave very good advice which was personally tailored to our circumstances.’

‘I have worked with Tom Murphy-Kirkhope and have been continually impressed with his knowledge and understanding. All the work that he has done has been both prompt and thorough. I particularly like his approach to quantifying any advice he gives as this gives confidence in decision making.’

‘The team has a strong historic private client base and team.’

‘Alex Taylor is very bright and thinks around issues – he knows his subject very well. Mark Hartley is really approachable and has a lovely style with clients.’

Real estate > Commercial property: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Tier 3

The lawyers at Harrison Clark Rickerbys are 'knowledgeable, efficient and results driven'.  It is particularly known for its capabilities in the education sector, where it handles academy conversions, mergers, sales and acquisitions. The team also handles real estate finance work and assists its corporate group in transactions. Mark Carter is a contact for property investment companies, retail landlords and franchise owners. He jointly leads the practice with Zoe Touhey.

Practice head(s):

Mark Carter; Zoe Touhey

Other key lawyers:

Ben Thomas

Testimonials

‘HCR have specialists across all departments and every single one is knowledgeable, efficient and results driven. For us they deal with everything from planning to employment law and their advice is always balanced, thorough and effective. They are different in the fact that they feel like a natural extension of our business, a critical friend always at the end of a phone to calmly help us with whatever may have cropped up.’

‘Good understanding of our business culture and pragmatic approach which has been invaluable in recent years where we have worked extensively with HCR on divestment and acquisitions.’

‘I work with a small number of HCR on a regular basis and having consistency and the rapport that allows and their knowledge of how we work as a business is key.’

‘An excellent range of knowledge on many matters – but at the same time a personal service with excellent response times and attention.’

‘The instantaneous availability and knowledge of previous dealings. Excellence of advice and attention to detail.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank Plc

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire

Countrywide Estate Agents

HSBC Bank Plc

Santander UK Plc

Hatchbury Limited

Farncombe Estates Limited

Gloucestershire College

Cheltine Limited

Synlatex Limited

Wildmoor Property Group

Watts of Lydney Group Limited

Imperial Hearing Limited

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

Harrison Clark Rickerbys 'has strength in depth' in insolvencies and restructurings. Led by Robin Koolhoven, the practice covers contentious and non-contentious related matters, with knowledge in director disqualification under CDDA 1986 as well as a focus on the education, defence and security and renewable energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Robin Koolhoven

Other key lawyers:

Paul Grundy

Testimonials

‘Commercial and innovative firm that is well networked and offers opportunities to work collaboratively with other advisors and their client projects to help give the best possible advice.’

‘They go the extra mile, have in-depth knowledge of their subject area and are personal in their approach.’

‘Well rounded team with the breadth and depth to provide both insolvency and asset disposal advice. The team works well with IP’s the borrower and their agents. The team works well together to help deliver strategies in a timely manner.’

‘This team has strength in depth, it has acquired partners from a number of other well known local firms to build a formidable and well respected team. The knowledge of insolvency and corporate recovery is unparalleled locally.’

‘Robin Koolhoven – strong, pragmatic and commercially minded lawyer, focussed on helping his clients overcome hurdles in deals and achieve good commercial outcomes.’

‘Quick thinking and commercial.’

‘Robin is very approachable and quickly grasps the nub of the contentious issues. I particularly appreciate his willingness to accept that there may be differing opinions to his own and will discuss to ensure consensus before proceeding.’

‘HCR has a very strong team in the South West and one of the few that can support on both personal and corporate insolvency cases and also contentious and non-contentious matters. The insolvency team continues to grow alongside the wider practice.’

Key clients

BDO LLP

RSM Restructuring and Advisory LLP

Safran Landing Systems UK Ltd

Rimes and Co Limited

McAlister & Co

Mazars

CVR Global

Quantuma

Grant Thornton

Opus

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 5

Lawyers in Harrison Clark Rickerbys' Cheltenham office are particularly focused on IP litigation, an area where Steven Murray takes the lead. Murray  works closely with the firm's national office to provide a full IP service to IP owners, creators and users, but primarily handles patent, trade mark and copyright enforcement and protection issues.

Practice head(s):

Steven Murray

Key clients

Symec Technologies

allpay

Digital Swiss Gold

Amber Energy Solutions

Community Utilities

Tutum Capital

Hype For Type

Galebreaker Agri

Wolfberry Cyber

Juriba

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 1

The Cambridge office of HCR Hewitsons is home to a substantial part of the firm's agriculture, food and rural business practice, including lead partner Denise Wilkinson, who has a long-standing reputation for providing practical advice on complex property and family issues to farmers, landed estates and large agribusinesses. Wilkinson is 'exemplary - extremely knowledgeable and commercially savvy, she is devoted to her clients', and client praise the firm as 'professional, technically reliable, accurate and responsive'. Litigation partner Simon Biggin, legal director James Frankland and consultant Charles Hewitson are also heavily involved in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Denise Wilkinson

Other key lawyers:

Charles Hewitson; Simon Biggin; James Frankland; Alex Wensor; Elizabeth Davies

Testimonials

‘I find the service professional, technically reliable, accurate, responsive and timely delivered at a value for money price by nice people.

‘I deal with Simon Biggin and Alex Wensor mainly who are always extremely thorough, very pleasant to deal with and represent very good value for money.’

‘I have found them to be prompt, efficient, professional and courteous.’

‘Professional, knowledgeable and efficient.’

James Frankland and Elizabeth Davies are brilliant at their jobs, working all hours, efficient and great communication.’

‘Excellent in understanding our requirements. Particularly good on rural property and charity matters. Maintained excellent communications during lockdown.’

‘They are multi-disciplined and able to provide a wide range of quality advice.’

‘My dealings with Denise Wilkinson have been exemplary. she is extremely knowledgeable and commercially savvy. She always calls back and is devoted to her clients.’

Key clients

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 1

The 'incredibly approachable' Northampton team at HCR Hewitsons advises farmers, estate owners and rural property holders, working in tandem with a wider team of colleagues in Cambridge. Clients include some of the largest landowners in the UK; the firm advises on multimillion-pound sales and purchases, as well as tenancies, succession, finance and tax issues. Recent work has also focused on advising clients on restructuring their businesses in response to Brexit. Denise Wilkinson leads the agriculture and rural affairs from Cambridge; in Northampton, key team members include 'first-rate' head of agriculture property Gareth Williams, who draws on his strong connections in the sector to advise on complex property transactions; legal director Stephanie Dennis and associate Rachel Smith.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Williams

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Dennis; Rachel Smith; Helen Deady

Testimonials

‘A very balanced team, which uses the capabilities of all and brings in the relevant expertise as necessary.’

‘Gareth Williams is first-rate – he is far-thinking as to potential problems and not afraid to advise.’

‘Stephanie Dennis is extremely competent.’

‘The team have been actively involved in building professional relationships with our firm, and are incredibly approachable as a whole.’

‘Helen Deady is very friendly and helpful. All of my experiences with Helen have been incredibly positive, with prompt communication at all times. When I have had to ask Helen for assistance, she has been able to explain the issues that have arisen in an appropriate matter for my level of understanding. ’

‘Stephanie Dennis is very responsive to any enquiries and provides practical advice for clients on tenancy matters.’

‘Stephanie Dennis has always been very professional and helpful.’

‘Helen Deady is excellent at communication and responds to queries in a very prompt manner. She is thorough in her work and we feel assured that she will provide us with good advice.’

Key clients

Lord Rothschild (Waddesdon Estate)

Lord Northampton (Compton Estates)

Arbury Estate

Merton College, Oxford

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 1

HCR Hewitsons' charities and not-for-profit practice acts for a full array of clients, including almshouses, educational charities, and land-owning and grant-making charities. Offering 'a first class service' the department advises charities from a variety of sectors, such as conservation and education, preparing governing and transactional documents for mergers, acquisitions and conversions, while also assisting with complex disputes. Virginia Henley, who heads the team, has a focus on policy reviews and restructurings and is praised by clients for being 'unstinting with support and advice'.

Practice head(s):

Virginia Henley

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Cole; Saffa Mir

Testimonials

‘A very professional group – they provide prompt and clear advice and have good team communication.’

‘We were advised to commission this firm as having expertise in changing our charitable status from unincorporated to incorporated. They fully met our expectations in the process.’

‘We are grateful for the team’s empathy, and for their concern to understand our needs. We have sought advice in the areas of building work, a dispute with a large energy company, contracts, revision of articles of association. The availability and responsiveness in particular of the partners compares very well with other firms that we have experience of.’

‘We would like to mention Virginia Henley as outstanding in her work – she thinks deeply and is hardworking and accurate, as well as empathetic to our position, and we feel well-supported by her advice.’

‘The knowledge of our organisation through working with us over a long period means the individuals instinctively know about our make up and needs. This is extremely helpful in complex merger works which recently took place. In particular Stephen Cole and Virginia Henley have been the most recent partners to assist us.’

‘Virginia Henley has been unstinting with support, navigating us through very troubled waters. Virginia has also taken a flexible approach to charging.’

‘Very responsive, knowledgeable, and willing to bring wider expertise into the relationship when needed.’

‘I have worked most closely with Saffa Mir, who has been exemplary throughout. She has been very clear and prompt in all her communications, and has been a great help to me in understanding the practical questions and communicating them to the trustees of the body I represent. I would also like to note that she has been flexible and helpful with a wide range of issues.’

Key clients

The Analysis Trust

Aspley Guise Village Hall

Le Ciel Foundation

Finnis Scott Foundation

Isles of Scilly Museum Association

Kelmarsh Trust

Lamport Hall Preservation Trust

Queen Ann and John Revis Almshouses

National Hair and Beauty Federation

Sir Thomas Whiterthampton Charity

ICENA Limited

Wellingborough School

The Tipping Point Foundation

True Athlete Project

Garden House Hospice Care

The Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust

Singlehurst Charitable Trust

The Pixel Fund

Upshot Systems CIC

Old Wilsonians’ Association

St Francis’ Children’s Society

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 1

HCR Hewitsons has a strong reputation in the region for representing companies from a number of sectors and is most highly regarded for its IT litigation work including handling defective product issues and software development disputes. In 2020, the group handled a number of issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, including disputes relating to PPE procurement, business interruption insurance claims and disputes arising from the termination of events bookings. Northampton-based Dominic Hopkins is head of the firm-wide disputes team, which also includes the Cambridge office, and acts in cross-border commercial contract proceedings and professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Hopkins

Testimonials

‘HCR Hewitsons’ IT litigation team within the commercial litigation group is highly experienced in UK and overseas IT litigation. Its relatively small size allows it to provide close contact with clients from specialised and knowledgeable lawyers that UK and overseas clients clearly value. The regional locations of the firm allow those services to be provided at much lower costs than equivalent experienced larger teams in London firms.’

‘Dominic Hopkins is the partner in charge of the team, his industry experience and client-care are second to none. Clients look to Dominic for speedy responses and clear down to earth advice on complex technical issues.’

‘The team was focused and responsive when working on our case, they asked for all the documentation at the very beginning and reviewed it promptly; with HCR Hewitsons I felt looked after and was treated like a high priority customer.’

‘Dominic Hopkins, a partner, was my main contact throughout the process and I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate his dedication and his thoroughness: he noticed some procedural mistakes that we had previously overlooked, helping us formulate clever strategies to prevent these errors from causing problems; he also made himself available when needed, even if that meant calling me back in the evening after his meetings were over.’

‘I have used this practice for many years mostly for property transactions and although the large size of the practice may look a little daunting to some, they have not lost the personal touch that many other large practice’s do. So when I became involved in a dispute there was only one practice that I wanted on my side. The vast knowledge available in all aspects of the law under one roof really do make this a one stop shop. The rates and costs were made clear right from the beginning and I am invoiced as we progress with my case so as not to have a large bill at the end.’

‘The fast response, that I received from Dominic Hopkins was instantly reassuring, combined with Dominic’s knowledge and ability to explain the Law in such a way that I could understand my options available whilst also showing me both sides of the coin.

‘The team is efficient, knowledgeable, quick to respond and exceptionally customer friendly. Their procedures are all easy to understand and transparent.’

‘Strategy clearly explained and robustly implemented.’

‘I have worked with Dominic Hopkins for many years and always found him first class.’

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the West Midlands Tier 1

With offices across the West Midlands, the team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys is best known for its strong track record in litigation involving defence, financial services and agriculture clients, including complex cross-border fraud claims and PPI disputes. Elizabeth Beatty (Worcester), who sits as a Deputy District Judge at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre, continues to handle an impressive array of commercial disputes. Richard Morgan (Hereford), who also sits as Deputy District Jude at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre, is well known for his success in complex litigation involving defence and security companies. ‘Hardworking and practical’ partner Hefin Archer Williams (Wye Valley) excels in partnership disputes and professional negligence cases.

Practice head(s):

Richard Morgan; Elizabeth Beatty; Hefin Archer Williams

Testimonials

‘The firm has some incredibly strong individuals who pull together to form a fantastically effective litigation team. They have expertise across a number of different areas and deliver a high-quality product on a consistent basis.’

‘Responsive, offer a range of retainers for litigation clients. Work well with litigation funders and ATE insurers. Get good settlements quickly for clients.’

‘Elizabeth Beatty is a standout individual who offers a superb client service on every case from cradle to grave. She is ably backed up by immensely talented individuals.’ 

‘This team has been very successful on my half. Seven cases all resolved in my favour. Some difficult some almost impossible.’

‘Strong presence in the market with strength in depth. Good use of technology.’ 

‘Elizabeth Beatty is calm and commercially astute.’ 

Key clients

Pertemps Group of Companies plc

J Hoots Healthcare Limited

The Paragon Group of Companies Plc

Amada United Kingdom Limited

Precision Castparts Corp

Network Sales and Marketing Limited

Safran UK Limited

Poundland Limited

British Dressage

Gemco Service Limited

Real estate > Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 1

HCR Hewitsons' real estate group collaborates with the firm's construction and planning teams to provide a comprehensive service to its developer and property investor clients, most notably with regards to retail outlets, offices and logistics warehouses. The firm is particularly strong in residential development and strategic land issues; Claire Howard-Amos, who was promoted to partner in 2020, leads the specialised team and assists developers and  landowners with promotion agreements and option agreements, with the Oxford-Cambridge Arc a region of recent focus. David Wells leads the team across the Milton Keynes and Nottingham offices.

Practice head(s):

David Wells

Other key lawyers:

Marc Carter; Particia Kempson; Claire Howard-Amos

Testimonials

‘HCR Hewitsons has dealt with a number of lease negotiations and property transactions over the last year. We work principally with Marc Carter, in whom we have great confidence, due to his dedication and expertise.’

Trish Kempson – always available, always responsive.’

‘It is a multidisciplinary practice that can cover most commercial aspects.’

‘We work primarily with Claire Howard-Amos by request as she is a pragmatic, commercially minded doer who moves matters forward. A number of the transactions that we work on are complex land transactions so they require someone who is able to focus the true intent of the parties and through problem solving find ways to drive matters forward so that the transactions can be completed to the satisfaction of both parties. This is sometimes quite a long process but Claire persists and goes above and beyond that of other lawyers to achieve positive outcomes when I suspect others would abandon play.’

‘I have worked with Marc Carter for many years and found him very professional.’

‘Good team which cover a number of different areas in property. Very professional and prompt in replying. They also take into account the client’s needs.’

‘They are straight to the point and very clear in their advice and getting the job done.’

‘Our company has relied on this firm for legal advice for many years. They have considerable expertise in many areas, and what makes them stand out is their professionalism and efficiency.’

Key clients

Oastlodge Limited

United Learning Group

IMT Aviation Limited

Lightdoor Limited

Cheaney Shoes Limited

Medigold Health Consultancy Limited

Ardent Hire Solutions

A W James

Levitt Bernstein Associates Limited

Wimbledon Property Holdings Ltd /Marchmont Investment Management Limited

Bright Horizons Family Solutions Limited

XPO Transport Solutions UK Ltd

Community Spaces Northampton (charity)

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in East Midlands Tier 1

HCR Hewitsons works closely with its offices in other regions to provide comprehensive services to its clients, many of which come from the manufacturing, technology, agricultural and motor industries. David Browne leads the team and advises large local clients on M&A transactions and group reorganisations. The banking group is led by Neil Harpham, who manages the firm's relationship with a number of leading banks. At associate level, Anne-Sophie Reynolds assists with many of the team's largest corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

David Browne

Other key lawyers:

Neil Harpham; Anne-Sophie Reynolds

Testimonials

‘I’ve worked with this firm for many years professionally and have used them personally to help and guide me through an exit strategy that has now concluded. I used them personally having experienced their service professionally and that was the main reason for engaging them on a personal basis. They give the impression of solidity and certainty without being ponderous or stuck in the past.’

‘David Browne has always provided excellent legal advice and has always been able to understand the commercial context.’

‘The team are always so quick to respond and that is what I rely upon. When information is needed it is always needed yesterday! So I am often grateful that the team are so accessible and I don’t have only one person I can contact when needed. They also have a lot of historic knowledge that I simply don’t have, so that can be invaluable at times.’

‘Neil Harpham is always available for us whenever we need him and has always been timeous, diligent and thorough in his approach.’

‘The team are so professional and dedicated and they deliver with such a personable style, friendly approach and a human touch. Anne-Sophie Reynolds has been a pleasure to work with. Her eagerness to help and respond to our demands (even when juggling holiday and lockdown with kids at home) is second to none. We completed a large re-financing in the last year and the speed of response and logical, clear and concise manner in which it was delivered made my life a lot easier, for which I am grateful.’

‘We have worked with the firm for a number of years and in that time they have taken the time to get to know and understand our business, which makes working with them so easy. It saves us so much time not having to repeat ourselves or go over information unnecessarily. They are always very clear about the fees appropriate for each case, and always give the most pragmatic and sensible advice.’

‘We have almost exclusively worked with Anne-Sophie Reynolds. She knows and understands our business and objectives, and just gets us. Not sure we could ever work with anyone else, she just makes working with HCR Hewitsons an easy decision.’

‘The company commercial team provide the quality of advice expected from a London firm. I have been very happy to put my faith in them for the last 11 years. If my regular partner is unavailable, the substitution has always been seamless. Nothing is too much for them.’

Key clients

Anglotech Group Holdings Limited and Anglotech Solutions Limited

Perrys Motor Sales Limited

Medigold Health Consultancy Limited

Hi-Force Limited

Gambling.com Group plc

Fencor Packaging Group Limited

Intamac Systems Limited

Homes England

C Walton Limited

The shareholders of C Walton Limited

Biogen (UK) Limited

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the West Midlands Tier 1

The ‘fantastic, proactive’ team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys has a varied corporate practice covering public and private M&A, management buyouts, share schemes, fundraising and private equity investment. Managing partner Rod Thomas, dual-qualified and experienced in the US and Canada, fronts the corporate team; his counterpart in the commercial space is Robert Capper, a specialist in all forms of commercial deals, especially those in the advanced manufacturing space. Other prominent names include transaction specialist Arpinder Dhillon, singled out for her ‘amazing passion and knowledge of the law’, as well as dental sector authority Clare Emery and due diligence expert Helen Higginbotham. The client roster includes SMEs, FMBs, FTSE 100 companies and leading private equity houses from industries as diverse as education, sports, healthcare, defence and technology.

Practice head(s):

Rod Thomas; Robert Capper

Other key lawyers:

Arpinder Dhillon; Clare Emery; Helen Higginbotham; Charlotte Thornton-Smith; Rebecca Leask; Alison Scott; Tom Bartley-Smith

Testimonials

‘Professionally competent and innovative in service design.’

‘The corporate team are fantastic. The knowledge and experience within the team rivals with the inner city law firms, but the cost of the advice is significantly lower. The corporate team have various departments that can advise on specialist industries. We always have multiple points of contact so that if one lawyer is in a meeting and we have something urgent to discuss, we can speak to another member of the team working on our case.’

‘The use of technology was very good and allowed us to have regular meetings with the team working on our case, meaning that we could complete the matter quicker and have a better understanding of the finer details of the contract at the same time.’

‘The fees were exceptional for the amount of work that was completed.’

‘Our two main points of contact throughout the matter were Tom Bartley-Smith and Alison Scott. We really felt like nothing was too much trouble for them.’

‘This was the first corporate transaction that my business partner and I completed and we were informed of progress all along the way and the whole process was explained to us in clear and plain English. We were never in doubt that we were in very capable hands.’

‘Their negotiation skills were also phenomenal as the other side pushed back on a few points, however, we ended up with everything we asked for and ended up with a great deal.’

‘No matter when I contacted Arpinder Dhillon, she responded almost instantly. I honestly cannot rate her enough.’

Key clients

SMI Group

Holmleigh Care Homes Limited

Muddy Boots

Poundland

Triple Two Coffee

Matara UK Limited

Fluidone Limited

MSC Associates

Bishops of Bromyard Limited

Prometheus Medical Ltd

Private client > Family: elsewhere in the West Midlands Tier 1

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has one of the largest family law teams in the country, with 40 lawyers in seven locations that advise high-net-worth individuals, members of the farming community and business owners. It is also adept at advising active and retired members of HM armed forces and their spouses on a myriad of complex issues such as pensions and child arrangements. Head of department Andrew Caldicott has a well-established reputation for his work on high-net-worth-financial disputes and complex children act matters. Nadia Davis is a recognised name for her work on difficult financial disputes while Anita Hennessey  is best known for her work on children act matters. Senior associate James Osborne is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Caldicott

Other key lawyers:

Nadia Davis; Anita Hennessey; James Osborne

Testimonials

‘We rate the Harrison Clark Rickerbys family law department highly. The lawyers give prompt and very personal attention to their clients, they are well regarded by the local judiciary and other professional workers in the field and have an experienced team which works well together and provides an excellent in depth service. They appear to be up-to-date with the latest technology’.

‘We have been looked after by Andy Caldicott. He impresses us as a lawyer with considerable maturity of experience and sound judgement. He is highly regarded in Worcester and Hereford and over the years has developed a reputation with the judiciary and other professionals within the field as someone who can be relied upon’.

‘A very efficient team of people who delivered the outcome I wanted at a reasonable cost. I don’t know of another law firm that matches Harrrison Clark Rickerbys’ ability. As a client it ticked all the boxes. 10/10’.

‘I was very impressed with the way I was guided and supported throughout my divorce process. My solicitor was Nadia Davis, who along with her associates working under her, kept me reassured at all times and dealt with everything in a straightforward manner. 10/10’.

‘HCR has always been held in the highest regard as a family team. It is a formidable team renowned for its absolute determination to achieve what the clients want. The team has a number of outstanding senior practitioners and a growing team of super talented juniors’.

‘Andrew Caldicott is a standout practitioner not just locally but nationwide. He has the unusual combination of strength and tact. He is a fantastic advocate when required and this brings an unusual feature to his work as a solicitor as he understands what the Court will be interested in. He is focused on the outcome but always sensitive to the children in the case and the impact that continued litigation has on them. He is the true essence of a children lawyer’.

‘I have dealt with members from the firm’s Birmingham and Worcester offices. It is undoubtedly the flagship firm in Worcester for family finance work and is one of the biggest players in Birmingham.’

‘I work most closely with James Osborne and Nadia Davis. James Osborne is energetic and confident. He is very approachable, with an easy going manner and an excellent set of legal skills. Nadia Davis is a delight to work for. She is quick to identify the key issues in a case, formulating clear and effective strategies for their successful resolution. No-nonsense, down to earth pragmatism, forms excellent working relationships with clients, and a formidable negotiator‘.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Daniel Curtis heads the private wealth department at HCR Hewitsons from Cambridge. The team, which frequently acts for international and non-UK domiciled clients, advises on inheritance tax planning, exemptions and reliefs on charitable donations, administration of heritage properties and landed estates as well as the administration and reorganisations of trusts. Consultant Clare Colacicchi has a specialism in the use of trusts and heritage tax reliefs with the aim of alleviating capital taxation. ‘Exceptionally efficient‘ and ‘very approachableKerri Woodrow joined the practice at the beginning of 2020. Catherine Ball and Antonia Cooper are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Curtis

Other key lawyers:

Clare Colacicchi; Catherine Ball; Antonia Cooper; Hauke Harrack; Kerri Woodrow

Testimonials

‘Very efficient and professional team.’

‘Hauke Harrack is very professional, knowledgeable, and approachable. He has a good ability to listen and advise according to personal requirements and explain clearly and concisely.’

‘Hauke Harrack has a pleasant manner, is confident and thoroughly professional.’

‘Kerri Woodrow is exceptionally efficient but at the same time very approachable. If things are complicated she is always ready to explain things in detail. Dealing with solicitors and legal matters can be quite distressing but Kerri just puts me at my ease.’

‘This firm was recommended by a friend who has dealt with them for many years. His estate is very substantial and therefore not straightforward.’

‘I found Kerri Woodrow and Clare Colacicchi extremely helpful and very patient whilst we absorbed the advice to achieve what we required.’

‘For me the strength of this firm is its ability to call on subject matter experts. They adapted very quickly to the pandemic, enabling on-line meetings.’

‘Kerri Woodrow is our main contact and dealt with the revision of our wills and other matters incredibly professionally. She explains complex issues without using jargon and ensures that a full understanding is accomplished before moving on.’

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Cambridge Tier 1

'I find it difficult to believe that any other firm could provide a better service', says a client of HCR Hewitsons. The firm has experts in key areas of private client law, not least inheritance tax planning, probate and the administration of estates with international assets. Daniel Curtis is 'an expert in his field' and leads an a group of eight partners across the firm's office network, which has a core group of experienced practitioners in Cambridge. Among them are trusts expert Elizabeth Davies, 'imaginative and innovative thinkerBernadette O’Reilly, associate Kelly Wardell and legal director Katherine Hague.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Curtis

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Davies; Bernadette O’Reilly; Kelly Wardell; Alexandra Francis; Katherine Hague

Testimonials

‘The service provided by Alexandra Francis was outstanding in every way. I find it difficult to believe that any other firm could provide a better service. Although mine was a very straightforward minor matter which would have brought in a drop in the financial ocean to the firm, I was always made to feel that my concerns were being treated as if I were a major client worth many, many times more.’

‘Bernadette O’Reilly has depth and breadth of knowledge with interpersonal skills to match. An imaginative and innovative thinker. Daniel Curtis is an expert in his field, always happy to give informal advice and signpost. For all, if you refer a client or have a query there is a real sense of security that you will get the right advice/info, delivered in a friendly and efficient way.’

‘Very timely responses to all queries and clear pricing. Very impressed with the overall service that I received.’

‘Alexandra Francis was extremely efficient in the creation of my Will. I had not had any previous experience of working with a solicitor for such a document and at all times, I felt able to ask any question and receive a response in language that I could understand. Any technical terminology was well explained and there were no delays in the process. The video consultation was very helpful and Alexandra explained everything very well and was easy to talk to. She is a credit to her organisation and I would be happy to recommend her to any of my friends or family should they require any assistance.’

‘The team is highly skilled and professional, unstuffy and approachable, easy to work with and you have the security of knowing that you are in safe hands. Like us, they are always happy to deal at senior/partner level and clients don’t get passed down the food chain like they do in some more corporate firms. There are no obvious weaknesses.’

‘We like working with the team at HCR Hewitsons. they are very knowledgeable, professional and reactive to clients needs and questions. They are very good with clients at explaining complex scenarios and are not pushy or aggressive in terms of fees.’

‘My main contact is Elizabeth Davies. She is very good with all different types of clients and is very responsive and contactable which is key for me when referring professionals. All of the clients I have referred have been very positive with feedback.’

‘I worked with Elizabeth Davies to create my will and letter of intention for my executors. From the very first conversation I was impressed with Liz and how she worked with me. She got her measure of me quickly, understanding the speed and efficiency required to meet my needs. She was very proactive and made the process smooth and painless. In addition she responded to any questions and requests with clarity and speed. No request was too much. Some elements of inheritance law are complex and Liz explained them in a way that was clear and felt like she really did have my interests at heart. I would not hesitate to recommend Liz.’

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Cambridge Tier 2

At HCR Hewitsons, 'the commercial litigation team is highly responsive, and always delivers high-quality advice rivalling any top City firm'. The core of the litigation practice is in Cambridge, where practice head Simon Biggin handles a range of work from contract and product liability disputes to warranty claims, and shareholder litigation. Legal director Stewart Morrison, whose recent work includes a High Court judicial review, is a 'hardworking litigator who always delivers sound legal advice'. Public procurement disputes are a key area of expertise for the firm.

Practice head(s):

Simon Biggin

Other key lawyers:

Stewart Morrison; Toby Price

Testimonials

‘The commercial litigation team is highly responsive, and always deliver high quality advice rivalling any top City firm. I especially appreciate their flexibility and willingness to discuss queries over the telephone and are often prepared to give quick, off-the-cuff advice.’

‘I am especially impressed by Stewart Morrison. He is a hard working litigator who always delivers sound legal advice. The quality of his advice in fact rivals that of many partners in other firms. He is certainly a talented litigator.’

‘HCR Hewitsons has a strong commercial litigation team with a fantastically loyal set of clients. They take the trouble to understand clients’ disputes and are high-quality litigators.’

‘Stewart Morrison is a real star. He is very considered in his approach, and delivers excellent results for clients.’

‘I have worked closely over the last couple of years with Stewart Morrison, Simon Biggin and their team in an ongoing, complicated high-value construction dispute. They are a joy to work with because of their team ethos. Stewart in particular has a real can-do attitude, knows the relevant law extremely well, is receptive and proactive and a calm and effective client handler. ’

‘Stewart Morrison is a pleasure to work with in all respects.’

‘The dispute resolution team at HCR Hewitsons is fantastically bright and responsive and provides a high-quality service.’

‘Stewart Morrison stands out for his complete mastery of the facts of his cases, his willingness to make himself available at any time to discuss tricky points, and his keen sense of litigation strategy. Toby Price is also an impressive young lawyer.’

Key clients

NFU

Neology UK Limited

University of Cambridge

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

HCR Hewitsons acts on behalf of commercial clients, landlords, tenants and residential developers, regularly negotiating complex conditional contracts, development agreements and promotion agreements. The commercial property team also assists with the disposal of large mixed-use development projects comprising commercial offices, residential plots, schools and community facilities. Head of real estate for Northampton and Milton Keynes David Wells has experience in investment sales and acquisitions of offices as well as commercial landlord and tenant matters, and acts for clients in the light industrial sectors. Yvette Morgan specialises in large-scale housing and mixed-use development projects. Lewis Djemal joined the firm's Reading office from Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

David Wells; Yvette Morgan

Key clients

AW James Limited

Homes England

Richard Utley Limited

Vibe Estates Limited

Olney Property Limited

Ardent Hire Solutions Limited

Marchmont Farms Limited

Wimbledon Property Holdings Limited

Bright Horizons Family Solutions Limited

Real estate > Commercial property: Cambridge Tier 2

HCR Hewitsons was formed by the merger of Harrison Clark Rickerbys and Hewitsons in mid-2020. James Simpson and Ceri Riddell had already moved between the two firms prior to the merger; Simpson, who was Cambridge head of real estate at Hewitsons, now heads up the practice at the combined firm. The team, which also includes Graeme Sampson and Susanne Hinde, acts for developers, landowners, promoters, investors, landlords and tenants. Its work spans commercial property transactions and residential development projects, as well as the management of property portfolios.

Practice head(s):

James Simpson

Other key lawyers:

Ceri Riddell; Graeme Sampson; Susanne Hinde

Testimonials

‘Ceri Riddell is a very experienced commercial property lawyer.’

‘Ceri Riddell is a lawyer with a very personal approach. I have always been impressed with how she is prepared to understand the clients needs in tailoring her advice.’

Real estate > Construction Tier 2

HCR Hewitsons’ close-knit team of experienced practitioners works across several offices, handling a mix of high-value developments and contract arrangements for a range of private and public sector clients. The team is headed by Milton Keynes-based Tim Richards, a veteran figure for major construction and public procurement matters. Richards specialises in charity, education, and finance sector matters, while Simon Wain handles both contentious and non-contentious instructions for clients in the energy, infrastructure, transport, and healthcare  sectors. In Cambridge, Colin Jones is noted for fluency in domestic and European matters, and boasts a growing client base in the renewable energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Tim Richards

Other key lawyers:

Simon Wain; Colin Jones

Key clients

A W James Limited

British Institute of Interior Design

Homes England

Velocity 1 Limited

Osbourne Developments Limited and Osbourne Construction Limited

Mettler-Toledo Safeline X-Ray Limited

Colmore Tang Construction Limited

Huntcourt Limited

Springfield Farm Limited

RSPB

Real estate > Construction Tier 2

HCR Hewitsons 'listens to what clients want and provides direct responses'. The firm advises on multimillion-pound construction projects in East Anglia and further afield, as well as being a key adviser to Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator, on residential construction projects. The Cambridge-based Colin Jones, who was managing partner of Hewitsons prior to its 2021 merger with Harrison Clark Rickerbys, is a specialist construction lawyer, while other key figures in the Cambridge office include solicitor Sardeep Gill.

Practice head(s):

Colin Jones

Other key lawyers:

Sardeep Gill

Testimonials

‘They were very good at managing a particularly difficult relationship and through extensive negotiation delivered an acceptable outcome to all parties.’

‘They listen to what you want and provide a direct response to this request. The same individual sees the project from inception through to completion, which enables work to be picked up in a piecemeal fashion and attended to seamlessly and without further delays.’

‘HCR Hewitsons provide us with an excellent service that we have yet to find with other firms. They have worked with us on several schemes and on each have provided us with advice and expertise that have saved us both time and money.’

‘They show great understanding of our projects which is something we look for in a legal partner. They fully understand our needs and procedures as a client, making it very easy to trust their recommendations and advice.’

Key clients

Homes England

RSPB

Osborne Developments

British Institute of Interior Design

Skako A/S

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

With Beth King-Smith at the helm, the disputed wills, trusts and estates team  at Harrison Clark Rickerbys is a recognised name for its work across all sections of the high-net-worth community regionally. It has been busy advising long-established farming families through to high-net-worth individuals on a range of complex trust disputes and Inheritance Act claims. It also frequently advises on the removal of executors. Senior associate Alyson McGowan works alongside King-Smith in Worcester.

Practice head(s):

Beth King-Smith

Other key lawyers:

Alyson McGowan

Testimonials

‘This is a practice which is very clear on costs and very proactive with clients. The team is also good at working with other firms. Beth King-Smith is outstanding. We regularly refer very difficult matters and clients to her and she deals with this with grace and tenacity. We really see her as a colleague down the corridor’.

‘HCR is very strong in being able to offer in-depth expertise. The lawyers combine a strategic overview of a case with significant technical experience including in charitable and agricultural work’.

‘I have worked mainly with Beth King-Smith who brings a combination of robust advice and the ability to make decisions quickly and decisively. More importantly she has an acute sense of the personal, recognising the emotional nature of the underlying facts of many cases. This gives her a particularly good bedside manner which helps clients put their cases in a wider perspective. She is also a good delegator which means she provides value for money by drawing on the skills of those in her team’.

‘Beth King-Smith’s client care was excellent and she kept me informed and really well briefed through a very worrying court case so that I knew what to expect and how to prepare’.

‘Beth King-Smith is a big personality who really cares about her clients and helping them to resolve disputes’.

‘A top-class team getting top-class work. Smart, experienced and totally professional, but also friendly, easy to deal with and down to earth. You can see why clients love this team . Beth King-Smith is a first-rate partner. She is clever, hugely experienced and always looking to add value to a case. She is particularly good with complicated trusts and practical solutions to structure deals’.

‘The team provided an excellent service. Beth King-Smith represented us assisted by-Alyson McGowan. Throughout the case they provided excellent service, reassured us, always kept us informed proving a professional service. I would recommend them any time ’.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Cambridge Tier 2

The work is done at a standard equal to any top City firm‘ remarks a client of HCR Hewitsons. Working as a single team across the firm’s office network, the corporate practice handles share acquisitions and disposals, capital markets transactions, private equity deals and the support of high-growth companies and SMEs. James Lawrence leads on corporate transactions and Bill Thatcher on commercial matters.  Lawrence  frequently handles complex share sales and purchases, corporate restructuring as well as MBOs. In May 2021, Nathan Evans joined from Memery Crystal LLP as Cambridge head of commercial. Associate Charlotte Bull is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

James Lawrence; Bill Thatcher

Other key lawyers:

Nathan Evans; Charlotte Bull

Testimonials

‘I appreciate their responsiveness, their honesty in relation to billing, and the quality of their work. The work is done at a high standard, equal to any top City firm.’

‘I am especially impressed by James Lawrence. There are few lawyers that have the same level of understanding of business drivers (and the law). As a result, I am always confident that his legal advice will be focused and useful and done to a high standard.’

‘Charlotte Bull is a hardworking and meticulous corporate lawyer. Her attention to matters of detail when working on particularly significant corporate transactions is very reassuring to a client like myself. She is also a team player and works well with all involved in such transactions.’

‘ I particularly appreciated the tight teamwork, ability to meet deadlines, and patient guidance at key points in the transaction processes.’

‘The team works closely and were well co-ordinated across all their internal departments. Their communications with me as client were exemplary. I was particularly impressed that they pitched their support and advice at an appropriate level, keeping us informed and involved every step of the way. Special mention must go to James Lawrence and Charlotte Bull who were excellent throughout both transactions.’

‘The team acts with dignity and discernment. They are calm under pressure and have provided excellent support to us at a difficult and emotional time.’

‘Our team included Charlotte Bull and worked cohesively and was unflappable. Charlotte operated with great integrity, collaboration and accessed the necessary expertise for our highly individual case. She was very responsive and gave balanced and careful judgement.’

‘They offer great, practical advice on commercial transactions. I have found James Lawrence to be pragmatic in approach and advice, commercially minded and solutions-orientated in all our dealings.’

Key clients

Quartix Holdings Plc

KisanHub (UK and India)

Cambridge Maintenance Services Limited

Elogbooks Facilities Management Limited

4D Monitoring Limited

VKR Group (owner of Velux brand with HQ in Denmark)

Hill Residential Limited

Spirol Group, Inc. (HQ in USA)

Silverwell Technology Limited

Homes England

Bf1 Systems Limited

Lesko Group

Biogen (UK) Group

Proteinlogic Limited

Signplay Ltd

SAP UK

Public sector > Education: schools Tier 2

Harrison Clark Rickerbys is a key choice for independent schools, handling demanding mandates across transactions, employment issues and regulatory work; it counts the ISBA and the ISC as clients. Employment is a core strength of the practice, which regularly supports schools with performance management issues, restructurings, grievances and employment tribunal cases. In addition, the group has extensive experience in advising Church of England diocesan boards and diocesan MATs. ‘Exceptionally knowledgeable‘ practice head Kristine Scott advises on issues relating to staff, pupils and parents; she has experience in sensitive dismissals, pupil exclusions and parental complaints, as well as allegations against staff and peer-on-peer abuse.

Practice head(s):

Kristine Scott

Other key lawyers:

Emma Swann; Rachel Parkin

Testimonials

‘The way the education team assisted in our management of teachers’ pensions consultation was outstanding. Their advice was clear and timely and they responded exceptionally quickly to requests for information and approval from our school.’

‘Kristine Scott was exceptionally knowledgeable, straight-forward, understanding and responsive.’

‘The service provided by the HCR education team is consistently excellent. They are always timely in their responses and are never condescending in their replies – no matter how daft the question. They always provide a balanced view alerting us to risk and helping us chart the way forward with tricky issues.’

‘They take the time to build relationships with their clients and get to know their schools intimately. As a result they are trusted partners, providing timely and pragmatic advice that helps Governors and Senior Leadership Teams take informed decisions, often under considerable pressure where reputational damage can have severe consequences. We also value the breadth of the advice available from HCR, knowing that we can draw on experts from a wide variety of different practices, from company law and mergers to detailed planning advice.’

Key clients

Cheltenham College

ISBA

Redcliffe School

Headington School

St Dunstan’s College

Independent Schools’ Council

Employment Tier 2

At HCR Hewitsons, the employment practice is led from Northampton and the Cambridge office is home to experienced partners including Valerie Lambert, who focuses on complex disputes in the High Court and Employment Tribunals and is 'phenomenally conscientious and hardworking, a match for any City firm’; and Elizabeth Swinburn, who deals with the employment aspects of business restructurings. According to one client, 'the team is deeply knowledgeable but also able to apply that knowledge to a commercial setting'. The group frequently advises large local employers on litigation, commercial transactions and TUPE transfers.

Other key lawyers:

Valerie Lambert; Elizabeth Swinburn

Testimonials

‘I have worked with HCR Hewitsons both professionally in my capacity as an HR Director and personally. I have unfailingly found the team members not just deeply knowledgeable but also able to understand and apply that knowledge to a commercial/real-life setting. Their employment team in particular is excellent in this regard.’

‘Elizabeth Swinburn is without doubt the best employment attorney I have worked with in 40 years in HR. Liz is the only attorney I have partnered with who cared about the issue in hand every bit as much as I did, her level of commitment to her client is truly exceptional. She will worry at a problem, however intransigent it may appear, until she can tease out a solution. It is a genuine pleasure to work with Liz.’

‘Valarie Lambert is a credit to the organisation. I have worked with her on many occasions over the last 7 years and she is sharp, intelligent on many aspects of law. She understands the problems and finds the best and quickest solution which ultimately reduces costs. This has led to a 100% confidence level by me and all of my company personnel that have dealt with her. In fact our reliance on her advice finds me hearing from most senior personnel with regard to a potential problem say “lets call Val first”. I can’t recommend her and thank her highly enough.’

‘The firm is extremely responsive to any requests or issues that arise mainly because of the partner that we deal with and they adopt an extremely practical and common sense approach.’

‘We deal primarily with Valerie Lambert. Her responsiveness and availability is first class. She is very practical and adopts a common sense approach and provides excellent value for money in terms of approach adopted and outcomes achieved.’

‘Valerie Lambert is without doubt the leading High Court employment litigation solicitor in the East of England. She brings commercial dispute expertise, and significant experience of “big ticket” High Court litigation, to the employment arena, making her the ideal solicitor for contentious commercial/employment crossover disputes. Phenomenally conscientious and hardworking, will go the extra mile for her clients, leaves no stone unturned, and is a match for any City firm.’

‘The personal support given throughout the practice is fantastic. The work and dedication given was superb.’

‘The team work very hard on behalf my companies always putting our interests first over and above their own, collectively working as a team to ensure the best person is placed to assist my companies in resolving the issues we have.’

Private client > Family: Birmingham Tier 2

The team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys is led by the ‘exceptional’ Kevin Harris-James, who is recommended for his skill at handling complex financial disputes as they arise on divorces regionally, nationally and internationally. Andrew Breakwell is a known name for his work on financial remedy cases where there are complex trusts and where there are hidden assets. Breakwell is an accredited Resolution specialist in substantial asset cases and a fully qualified arbitrator in family finance. Victoria Fellows specialises in high-net-worth divorces and financial matters and has substantial experience in cohabitation issues.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Harris-James

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Breakwell; Victoria Fellows; Georgina Burrows; Shereen Chohan

Testimonials

‘Kevin Harris-James is a very strong leader of his team. He works tirelessly for the pursuit of his clients’ interests and by virtue of his endeavour he motivates a young team’.

‘Kevin Harris-James is the stand-out lawyer. Andrew Caldicott has had a great deal of experience over the years and is particularly adept at dealing with children cases’.

‘Georgina Burrows stands out for me as passionate, knowledgeable and exceptionally proficient. Her commitment to her clients is unrivalled. She provides sensible and accurate advice. She acts with the utmost integrity. I would recommend her to act for my own family and friends’.

‘Enthusiastically led by Kevin Harris-James, HCR’s private client team in Birmingham offers a city-based service experienced in dealing with higher-value property issues as part of its strong family law practice’.

‘Kevin Harris-James is a tough operator who always fights his client’s corner hard. Victoria Fellows is a skilful and sympathetic family lawyer‘.

‘In Kevin Harris-James, HCR has the market leader in financial remedy work. His client base is second to none and there is no one in the circle of financial work that he does not have a professional relationship with – accountants, finance executives, judiciary, professional sports people, celebrities and the like all seek him out for his professional services’.

‘Kevin is supported by a number of excellent practitioners in his team including Andrew Breakwell and Victoria Fellows. Shereen Chohan is worthy of special mention, an undoubted star in the making’.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

The team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys is renowned for its highly experienced’ and ‘commercial, concise advice’, is particularly active in the construction, defence and security, finance, healthcare and education sectors. Sam Payne spearheads the firm’s national practice, dividing his time between Birmingham and London – he represents a broad spread of clients from boutique insolvency practices through to names from the Big 4 such as KPMG. Payne is supported at partner level by Alan Meiklejohn, who acts for office holders, secured creditors and other stakeholders on the full array of recovery and insolvency options, as well as turnaround specialist Jon Whitbread.

Practice head(s):

Sam Payne

Other key lawyers:

Hayley Phelps; Alan Meiklejohn; Jon Whitbread

Testimonials

‘A hands-on team, offering concise and commercial advice that is appropriate for the circumstances. Well established client relationships with a reputation for offering a personal service at reasonable cost.’

‘The team of Sam Payne and Alan Meiklejohn are great to work with. Not only have they provided me with good advice when required, I have witnessed them do likewise with mutual clients. The advice that they provide is high quality and without waffle – they tell their clients what they need to know given the scenario and are commercial in their approach.’

‘A powerhouse in the industry.’

‘Sam Payne is a heavy hitter in the insolvency world.’

‘Highly experienced team, able to adapt to matters in front of them and offer pro-active, solution orientated, straightforward advice. Acutely aware of the commercial realities of working on restructuring and insolvency assignments.’

‘Fantastic initial engagement and focus on the issues.’

‘Alan Mieklejohn has breadth of experience which can be applied in complex situations to deliver great results.’

‘A firm which has not lost its ability to provide very good advice on a regional level despite its large expansion nationally.’

‘Very knowledgeable individuals, Alan Meiklejohn has always provided an outstanding service and highly commercial advice in insolvency matters.’

Key clients

RSM

Thincats

Smith Cooper

KPMG

Mazars

Butcher Woods

FRP

MBI

Duff & Phelps

Smith & Williamson

Ratesetter (now part of Metro)

Hilco

SKG Capital

RCapital

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 2

The ‘friendly and approachable’ technology sector team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys has hit the ground running since the opening of the Cardiff office in 2020 and has picked up some notable mandates for Wales-based clients, as well as those outside the region. This success is largely down to the superb reputation that ‘knowledgeable and commercially astute‘ team head Nicola McNeely has across a range of IT and fintech-related matters, including as it relates to blockchain.

Practice head(s):

Nicola McNeely

Other key lawyers:

David Beynon

Testimonials

‘The outstanding Cardiff team is friendly, approachable and always happy to support where required.’

‘I cannot recommend Nicola McNeely highly enough – she is knowledgeable and commercially astute.’

‘‘David Beynon exhibits a commercial and pragmatic approach.’

Key clients

Symec Technologies Limited

allpay Limited

Insource Limited

Digital Swiss Gold

Qbase Data Services

ProspectSoft Limited

Muddy Boots Software Limited

Delta XML

SD Worx

Circle IT Solutions Limited

RSM Partners Limited

Employment > Pensions Tier 2

HCR Hewitsons has a well-established specialist pensions practice that assists employers and trustees of private sector occupational schemes through the UK, as well as advising on public sector pensions in the local government, healthcare and education sectors. Its work encompasses advice on scheme closures and mergers, incentive exercises and buyouts. Clients remark that the firm provides 'practical, pragmatic advice that nonetheless is willing to consider others'. Legal director Christopher Nuttall leads the practice; though based predominantly in Northampton, he works across all of the firm's offices.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Nuttall

Testimonials

‘The depth and breadth of their pensions knowledge is extensive. The speedy turnaround is central to our effectiveness as a professional trustee. Clarity and timeliness of billing are impressive.’

‘The speedy comprehensiveness of response to queries is impressive; practical, pragmatic advice that nonetheless is willing to consider others.’

Key clients

Biochrom Limited

T Groocock & Co (Rothwell) Limited

Permastore Limited

Trustees of the Velux Co. Ltd Retirement Benefits Scheme

United Learning Trust

Visit Cambridge & Beyond

Trustees of the Superior Pension Fund (Greenery UK Limited)

Trustees of the AT Oliver & Sons Ltd Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Trustees of the Sortex Final Salary Scheme (Buhler Sortex Limited)

Perrys Group Limited

Morris Education Trust (Eastern Learning Alliance)

C Walton Limited

St Francis’ Children’s Society

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

HCR Hewitsons specialises in providing tax and trust advice to both local and international clients, including inheritance tax planning assistance and trust reorganisations, as well as capacity issues relating to lifetime gifts, wills, and the administration of complex estates. The private client team frequently collaborates with other teams in the firm to provide a comprehensive service. Practice leader Carolyn Bagley has 'a fine analytical brain ' and handles a range of private wealth matters including complex trusts and wills, inheritance tax planning issues and administrations of multi-jurisdictional estates.

Practice head(s):

Carolyn Bagley

Testimonials

‘The combination of great experience, proven technical knowledge and a focus on client service make HCR Hewitsons a stand out private client team.’

‘Carolyn Bagley is vastly experienced with huge technical knowledge. She has a fine analytical brain which enables her to find appropriate solutions. She has a knack of being able to explain complex issues in a way that clients find easy to understand.’ 

‘HCR Hewitsons’ wealth management team are all very knowledgeable and can be relied upon to give good advice.’ 

‘Carolyn Bagley is highly knowledgeable, meticulous, clear in her explanations of the law, and flexible when the situation calls for it.’ 

‘My experience with the wealth management team has been one of total confidence in their ability, advice and both internal communication and communication with me the client. All work has been carried out according to my expectations. The relationship is built on trust.’ 

‘I found Carolyn Bagley extremely thorough, willing and able to address all the issues I raised in a constructive fashion.’

‘HCR Hewitsons offers consistently good, prompt, and friendly service.’ 

Real estate > Planning and environment Tier 2

HCR Hewitsons has a small but highly skilled team in Cambridge that handles large-scale development projects, as well as advising farmers and landed estates on planning matters. Legal director Gemma Dudley, who leads the practice and is 'highly professional, very knowledgeable and eager to help', has more than 17 years’ experience in planning, environment and compulsory purchase matters. She recently advised Homes England on the proposed development of Lodge Hill Camp in Kent. Associate Brendon Lee 'shows a very high level of commitment and knowledge within his field of expertise'.

Practice head(s):

Gemma Dudley

Other key lawyers:

Brendon Lee

Testimonials

‘Gemma Dudley is highly professional, very knowledgeable, quick in her responses, and eager to help. It felt that she was empathetic relating to matters in hand and accordingly she was a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Brendon Lee was fantastic, his advice and support was greatly appreciated in our land dispute and he went over and above other solicitors I have dealt with in the past – I couldn’t recommend him enough.’

‘The firm offers a tailored service that met our needs during what can be only described as very difficult times during a global pandemic. The communication systems were flawless and the staff are very knowledgeable and provide a rapid level of service while having to work away from the office. All staff involved in our case were always polite and helpful and as a whole, the team was outstanding in the level of service and support is provided. We have recommended their services. ’

‘Brendon Lee is an outstanding associate within the firm, he shows a very high level of commitment and knowledge within his field of expertise. We found him polite, helpful, and he was able to communicate his points across to us in a manner that was logical and concise. This provided us with a strong feeling of trust in his ability to look after our needs. He is a true credit to the firm and an asset in developing client relationships that will be long lasting. We would not hesitate to call on Brendon in the future.’

‘Strong knowledge of planning legislation, case law, its implications and practical application to development. Responsive, diligent. Work is always to a very high standard and within deadlines. Excellent value for money.’

‘Gemma Dudley is an exceptional planning lawyer. Second-to-none knowledge of planning legislation, case law, its implications and practical application. Clear, thoughtful advice which delivers practical solutions to complex issues. Advice is always presented logically and clearly and gets to the heart of the issue. Quick to grasp the issues and always sees the bigger picture. First-class, always first choice.’

‘We have worked with the planning and environment team over a lengthy period for a variety of matters including planning appeals, planning agreements, site licensing and rights of way. The team has wide experience which underpins sound and clear advice which is appreciated by clients.’

Key clients

Homes England

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

The Greensand Trust

Cambridge Investment Partnership LLP

CIP (Mill Road Development) LLP

CIP (Cromwell Road) LLP

Dene Homes Limited

Downing College, Cambridge

Pembroke College, Cambridge

JCAM Commercial Real Estate Property VII Limited

Great Oakley Farms Limited

Campbell Melhuish and Buchanan Limited

Hill Residential Limited

Knowles Transport Limited

Turnstone Limited

Lochailort Fairfield Limited

Chestnut Inns Limited

The Brooke Hospital for Animals

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Clayson Country Homes Limited

Rushmoor Development Partnership LLP

Bank Farm Ltd

Rearsby Estates Limited

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 2

The 2021 merger of Hewitsons and Harrison Clark Rickerbys has formed HCR Hewitsons, a combination which brings together two strong real estate litigation teams. The key names in Cambridge are Natalie Minott and legal director Rachel Sims, both of who are former practice heads at Hewitsons. The combined team advises on a range of high-value disputes, acting for private landowners, investor landlords and commercial tenants, and it has particular expertise in disputes in the telecoms and energy sectors, particularly those relating to easement and wayleave issues. The practice also has strong knowledge of agricultural and commercial landlord and tenant matters.

Other key lawyers:

Natalie Minott; Rachel Sims

Testimonials

‘Natalie Minott is very easy and helpful to work with. She goes out of their way to respond very promptly and is exceptionally clear and detailed.’

‘Working with Rachel Sims has been most productive and an absolute pleasure. She understands the matter at hand very quickly. She always thoroughly researches all angles before presenting legal advice. No matter how busy she is, she finds time to listen and respond. Rachel has even worked on the weekends to complete time critical tasks. That is above and beyond the normal call of duty and has to be appreciated.

‘Natalie Minott has been outstanding, offering good advice in clear English and also giving good advice about how to save on solicitors costs!’

‘When dealing with Natalie Minott, she was very clear about what was needed. She made contact with all parties and kept me fully informed.’

‘Rachel Sims has been prompt and responsive on a range of issues. Her billing is entirely transparent. Rachel is an accessible solicitor who is prepared to engage on a variety of issues and is prepared to say when she needs to consult further. She has been well suited to our requirements.’

‘I felt that Natalie Minott was totally committed to getting the issue resolved in a manner that was fair. She kept me updated on the progress of the case so that I felt fully aware of what was happening at every stage.’

‘We have always received a very prompt and professional service. Not only is the team highly competent, they always take the extra time to understand their client and the client’s specific requirements. The team’s commitment is worthy of mention and this is what I believe truly sets them apart.’

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3

HCR Hewitsons has a ‘very professional group providing prompt and clear advice', and the firm counts large charities such as the National Hair & Beauty Federation among its clients, as well as major landowning education clients, including Downing College, Cambridge. The practice is largely based in Northampton, but the Cambridge office is home to the vastly experienced Denise Wilkinson, who advises charities on conservation and land issues.

Other key lawyers:

Denise Wilkinson

Testimonials

‘Very professional group, prompt and clear advice, reference to specialists in the practice, good team communication.’

‘We are grateful for the team’s empathy, and for their concern to understand our needs. The availability and responsiveness in particular of the partners compares very well with other firms that we have experience of.’

‘The team at HCR Hewitsons have been particularly supportive in helping us to carry out our affairs swiftly and competently. Their knowledge about our organisation is what makes them unique. This comes from a long and established working relationship over a good number of years.’

‘Very responsive, knowledgeable, and willing to bring wider expertise into the relationship when needed.’

‘Everyone I have dealt with has been quick to respond and made an effort to understand the issue I have put to them from my perspective.’

‘Excellent professional service. Worked very well around my challenges.’

Key clients

Abu Salabikh Archaeological Trust

Charity of Ann Howsden

Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre

Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry

National Hair & Beauty Federation

Craft Bakers Association

Downing College, Cambridge

Morris Education Trust

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

HertsCam Network

ICENA Ltd

Garden House Hospice Care

Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge

Swavesey Fire Relief Fund

Trumpington Village Hall CIO

Varrier-Jones Foundation

Jesus College, Cambridge

Upshot Systems CIC

Wye Building Preservation Trust

The United Church Schools Trust

Real estate > Construction Tier 3

Harrison Clark Rickerbys counts the infrastructure, education and health sectors as its foremost fields of activity, though the firm has noted an uptick in the renewables and energy-to-waste industries of late. The team is formed of construction lawyers, charted quantity surveyors and construction professionals and is led by Keith Blizzard, a disputes expert who notably serves as an arbitrator, adjudicator and mediator. Other key names include the ‘very responsive’ litigator Andrew James, education and utilities specialist, Daniel Barchet, as well as Lucinda Baker whose non-contentious focus sees her engaged development finance, tender documents and professional appointments, among other matters.

Practice head(s):

Keith Blizzard

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Barchet; Lucinda Baker; Andrew James

Testimonials

‘The lawyers are always very helpful and provide clear and concise advice.’

‘Andrew James is recommended for his leadership, as is Lucinda Baker for her clear and concise advice.’

‘The people at HCR are very dedicated and available at short notice and outside normal hours.’

‘Very responsive; particularly Andrew James who I have worked with many times. Very good breadth of services for a provincial firm.’

‘We just find HCR to be very user friendly and respond promptly to our sometimes unrealistic requests’

‘We have dealt with numerous people at HCR and have found them all to be very through and answer the questions we ask.’

Key clients

University of Gloucestershire

Lloyds Bank

Speller Metcalfe

Tarmac

Barnwood Group

Royal National College for the Blind

Apex Contractors Limited

Gloucestershire College

LJH Paving Limited

Hatchbury Limited

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 3

The team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys acts for equity houses, sellers and management teams and is particularly active on private equity-backed transactions. Rachel Turner heads the Thames Valley corporate team; she is a ‘very impressive, experienced and formidable lawyer’ with extensive experience working with high-value and complex transaction structures. Robert Rice is another key practitioner whose specialties include M&A, private equity and management buy-outs.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Turner

Other key lawyers:

Robert Rice; Joel Molloy

Testimonials

‘Rachel Turner is a very impressive, experienced and formidable lawyer. She is extremely knowledgeable and this shone through throughout my dealings with her.’

‘An extremely formidable team that helped get us what we wanted and when we wanted it. I certainly would not want to be on the other side of the table to them!’

‘HCR have a really experienced corporate team, many of which have been working in the Thames Valley market for a significant period of time thus fostering exceptionally strong client relationships. Key capabilities include private equity and venture capital investment in particular alongside traditional M&A transactions.’

‘The ethos of the team is one of delivering pragmatic yet robust advice in a way which is tailored to clients needs and priorities. Rachel Turner in particular embodies this in the way see approaches each engagement. I have worked with Rachel for a number of years now and as well as being an incredibly talented and knowledgeable professional, she builds relationships with clients and other parties in a transaction really well and as such is able to help navigate the undulations of a transaction with ease – I look forward to the next deal where I can work with Rachel again!’

Key clients

Quantuma LLP

Shareholders of Juriba Limited

Former shareholders of Camo Ltd, trading as Simply Waste Solutions

Steer Automotive Group Limited

Shareholders of Porterhouse Medical Group Limited

Shareholders of DCSL Software

YFM Equity Partners

Shorterm Group

Channel Mum Limited

Collard Group Limited

Projects, energy and natural resources > Energy, project finance and PFI Tier 3

Harrison Clark Rickerbys focuses primarily on advising clients in the renewable energy sector on corporate transactions and commercial matters, including joint ventures, sales and acquisitions, project financing mandates and power purchase agreements. The ‘exceptional’ Harriet Murray Jones has particular strength handling the real estate aspects of acquisitions involving renewable energy companies, and ‘pragmatic’ practitioner Hefin Archer Williams is recommended for construction litigation.

Practice head(s):

Harriet Murray Jones

Other key lawyers:

Hefin Archer Williams

Testimonials

‘HCR have a very reactive and responsive group of professionals.’

‘Harriet Murray-Jones is exceptional and very pragmatic.’

‘Hefin Archer Williams – Pragmatic, clarity of message and when able will always look at cost as part of obtaining a solution. Always willing to hand on to a colleague if they have a better experience in the matter in hand. Strong interpersonal skills and communicator.’

Key clients

Ethical Power

New Forest Energy

Innova Capital

Noriker Power

Safran Landing Systems UK

New Stream Renewables

Novalux Energy

Caplor Energy

Sunetik

Kingdom Energy

Boom Power

Upper House Farm

Square Meadow

Amber Energy

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 3

Led by the ‘knowledgeable and commercially astute‘ Nicola McNeely, the nascent Cardiff-based technology sector team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys provides ‘sound legal advice’ across the spectrum of non-contentious IP matters. McNeely has a particular niche advising on blockchain-related matters, including the use of that technology to produce gold investment products.

Practice head(s):

Nicola McNeely

Other key lawyers:

David Beynon

Testimonials

‘The team is commercially minded.’

The lawyers are extremely friendly and make it easy to pick up the phone, whatever the question. They are an outstanding firm.

‘The team provides our business with sound legal advice framed in a  commercial context.’

‘The team is excellent in comparison to many of its peers, since it regularly engages and communicates to clients/former clients/stakeholders by email or via social media channels advising them on sector developments.’

I have never engaged a more professional, polished, knowledgeable and commercially astute lawyer than Nicola McNeely in my career.’

‘David Beynon was extremely helpful, and was really quick to understand our business, its structure and processes, and what we need to do in order to formalise our business better.’

Key clients

Symec Technologies Limited

allpay Limited

Digital Swiss Gold

Amber Energy Solutions Limited

Community Utilities Limited

Tutum Capital Limited

Hype For Type Limited

Galebreaker Agri Ltd

Wolfberry Cyber Limited

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

Under the leadership of Dawn Oliver, the team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys advises on a significant number of private wealth matters on a regional, national and international level. Oliver has been increasingly advising on the use of private family charitable trusts to mitigate inheritance tax. The team was pleased to add Laura Banks to its ranks to head the Birmingham wills, trusts and estates team from Thursfields Solicitors. Beth King-Smith is well-regarded for her work on contentious trusts and probate while Shirley Rabbetts has a niche practice in advising farmers on a broad range of inheritance issues.

Practice head(s):

Dawn Oliver

Other key lawyers:

Laura Banks; Beth King-Smith; Shirley Rabbetts; David King

Testimonials

‘Dawn Oliver leads a well respected and expert team. Its reputation in the county is excellent and it is the stand out firm for professional advice. Dawn is exceptionally capable and an expert in her field. She shows great depth of understanding of client’s needs. She has a natural authority but able to put clients at ease in the most difficult of situations’

‘Dawn Oliver is very approachable knowledgeable and fun to work with!’.

‘Harrison Clarke Rickerbys has a very ‘hands on’ attitude. Very approachable, whilst giving fair advice, the lawyers are able to draw on many key figures if the case changes direction and are happy to redirect clients if needs be, to another department, if other services are required, to give the client the best overall chance of success’.

‘David King has worked with us on a complex probate case, and gave us the strength to pull us through. His good humour whilst being calm and supportive saw us through a tough time. His ability to understand the complex issues and get to the point quickly, was invaluable to us’.

Dawn Oliver puts her clients at ease‘.

Laura Banks – technically outstanding but also very personable‘.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

Led by the 'very knowledgeable' David King  from the firm's Wye Valley office and also aided by 'empathetic and highly committed' Welsh speaking Cardiff-based associate Nerys Thomas, HCR Hewitsons provides 'high-quality' advice to private clients based in south Wales, as well as on the England and Wales borders. The scope of the work is broad, running the gamut from fairly commoditised will writing and Power of Attorney mandates, through to the complex estate planning for high-net-worth individuals involving significant assets held overseas.

Practice head(s):

David King

Other key lawyers:

Nerys Thomas

Testimonials

‘The private client team delivers high-quality work in a timely fashion.’

‘From the outset we have been made to feel valued and quickly developed a high confidence in their work and confidentiality. All issues have been dealt with in a timely manner. The clarity of charges and billing was also excellent.’

‘Nerys Thomas was highly personable and showed a genuine interest in our case.’

‘Nerys Thomas is able to explain the legal technicalities in plain English and extract the client’s wishes, even for scenarios that they had not thought of.’

‘Nerys Thomas displays high levels of professional integrity, empathy and commitment to meeting cient needs.’

David King is very knowledgeable and oversees the team very effectively.’

Real estate > Planning Tier 4

The team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys are ‘exceptionally customer-focused and implicitly understand the needs of their customers’; the practice is spread across Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire and is principally active on judicial review applications, statutory challenges, compulsory purchase order negotiations and enforcement matters. Clients ‘value the commercial experience’ of department head Rosalind Andrews whose core expertise lies in residential development, highway and village green matters.

Practice head(s):

Rosalind Andrews

Other key lawyers:

Laura Greenman; Elizabeth Shield

Testimonials

‘An excellent team. The whole team are polite, flexible, professional, hard working and easy to work with. The team are extremely diligent in their work, and set out to work with us to achieve common goals.’

‘Elizabeth Shield is very knowledgeable, conscientious and accurate.’

‘The planning law team at HCR are exceptionally customer-focused and understand implicitly the needs of their customers. Communication and advice is excellent. ’

‘Rosalind Andrews is very easy to work with, and provides timely advice on a range of planning matters, but particularly s106 legal agreement drafting. Her commercial experience is particularly valued.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank Plc

Malvern Hills District Council

Wychavon District Council

Gloucestershire Police

Wayfair (UK) Limited

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 5

HCR Hewitsons has a wealth of experience in acting for service-providing charities, corporate charities, land-owning and grant making charities as well as alms-houses, educational charities and the full range of non-profit organisations and small local charities. Head of team Virginia Henley is skilled at advising on a range of governance, commercial and regulatory matters. Ben Moorhead has helped to establish several leading charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Practice head(s):

Virginia Henley

Other key lawyers:

Ben Moorhead; Saffa Mir

Testimonials

‘I find Virginia so approachable and pragmatic, it never ever feels ‘about the fee’, nothing is ever too much trouble and crucially the advice is always in plain English! Approachable, good humoured and easy to get hold of. I find the approach to charging sensitive and sensible, that’s why I continue to make further referrals!’.

The team will work with you hand in hand to deliver the outcomes you are looking for, always taking into account the charitable nature of your organisation. The individuals we worked with were professional and knowledgeable but what made them stand out was their flexibility to work around the needs and time commitments of our trustees‘.

‘The team clearly had a deep and sympathetic understanding of the charity sector which was/is important to us. The lawyers also understand the way the Charity Commission works and has advised us helpfully on procedures and system. Saffa Mir has reacted promptly to all queries and also explained to us in clear and simple terms what is happening, expected timescales and options that are available to us. She has reacted positively to requests for clarification. She is also “friendly” whilst maintaining a professional relationship which to us is important. She has also given us confidence that what we are seeking to do is possible and will “hold our hands” through the complicated process‘.

Our initial contact with Hewitsons was with one of the partners, Virginia Henley.  Virginia spent a long time seeking to understand our issues and when appropriate handed the work over to Saffa. We have the confidence that she is maintaining a watching brief whilst rightly allowing Saffa to work with us independently. She has always made herself available to us if needed‘.

In the relatively short time I have worked with Hewitsons, I have found the lawyers knowledgeable, willing and helpful across a range of topic areas.  Their understanding of the governance of registered societies has been particularly helpful to me. I have found everyone I have dealt with at Hewitsons to be ready to help and keen to understand the issue from our perspective in order to ensure that they provide the advice or service that we need‘.

Virginia’s expertise of charity law is very impressive. She is also very pragmatic, and client focused, and particularly sensitive to the issue of fees, which is always a concern for charities.  Saffa has been very, very impressive.  Saffa is very responsive, highly organised, and has a very impressive knowledge of charity law, especially given that she is relatively newly qualified. Virginia Henley: an absolutely outstanding lawyer,  very responsive, impressively knowledgeable,  as well as client focused and pragmatic‘.

Saffa Mir: I have no doubt that Saffa should be recognised as a potential future leader in the field of charity law.  It is evident that Saffa is very committed to  charity law, and that really shows in the way  in which she works with clients.  Saffa is very approachable, and I have full confidence that she really does know what she is doing, which is particularly impressive for a relatively newly qualified solicitor.  I look forward to seeing Saffa’s career develop, I have no doubt she has huge potential to be a leader in her field‘.

Very helpful and willing staff, knowledgeable and competent.  Very fair with pricing. Virginia Henley and her assistant Saffa Mir were very efficient and helpful despite a heavy workload.  Went the extra mile to help us with intricate detail‘.

Key clients

Old Wilsonians Association

Upshot Systems CIC

Wye Building Preservation Trust

The Isles of Scilly Museum Association

The Toybox Charity

Mrs Ann Dutton’s Charity

Consortium for Street Children

Garden House Hospice Care

The Pelly Charitable Trust CIO

Soham Moor Old Grammar School Fund

Community Spaces Northampton

The Scott Bader Commonwealth Limited

Xylem Global

The Max Perutz Fund

Wellingborough School

SLG Charitable Trust Limited

SLG 2017 Limited

GMC Charity to End FGM

Employment Tier 5

Worcester-based Michael Stokes leads the large team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys; the firm acts for a range of household name corporate entities on a broad array of contentious and non-contentious matters. The practice also has a specialist senior executive team. Rebecca Kirk heads the Hereford employment offering in addition to leading the department’s employment work in the defence and security sector.

Practice head(s):

Michael Stokes

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Kirk

Testimonials

‘The HCR employment team delivers absolutely first-class service which is not bettered by more expensive Magic Circle firms. The solicitors are highly expert and strategically skilled in their approach to cases, so costs are not wasted but equally corners are not cut, so the best possible outcome is achieved. They also know and understand their client businesses well’.

Key clients

British Airways

Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has an excellent clinical negligence team that assists clients with varied and complex clinical negligence matters involving birth injuries, delayed diagnoses and surgical errors. Other areas of expertise include claims concerning mental health issues and dental negligence claims. The team is managed by Inez Brown who specialises in brain injury cases. Ally Taft is another accomplished practitioner who is skilled at handling claims relating to surgical errors as well as delayed diagnosis cases. In addition Taft has recently concluded several difficult fatal claims.

Practice head(s):

Inez Brown

Other key lawyers:

Ally Taft

Testimonials

An up and coming firm in Birmingham. Very good individuals. Inez Brown is an excellent head of department.’

‘Local firm with impressive commitment – Inez Brown is a driving force‘.

‘HCR offers a quality CN offering. Inez Brown is very well known within the legal community. She leads a team of dedicated and hardworking lawyers. She is a joy to work with. She is incredibly hardworking and very well respected within the local and wider legal community‘.

A great team which is friendly and committed. Inez Brown and Ally Taft are the two lawyers I have worked with. They are both excellent clinical negligence solicitors, completely committed and very successful’.

The partners are all stars in the field, with long-standing and well-deserved reputations for providing a great service – handling claims with expertise and skill, as well as being great with clients.’

‘Inez Brown and Ali Taft are very prominent in the field, known for handling even the most complex cases with absolute and well-placed confidence’.

South East > Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 3

The team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys acts for equity houses, sellers and management teams and is particularly active on private equity-backed transactions. Rachel Turner heads the Thames Valley corporate team; she is a ‘very impressive, experienced and formidable lawyer’ with extensive experience working with high-value and complex transaction structures. Robert Rice is another key practitioner whose specialties include M&A, private equity and management buy-outs.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Turner

Other key lawyers:

Robert Rice; Joel Molloy

Testimonials

‘Rachel Turner is a very impressive, experienced and formidable lawyer. She is extremely knowledgeable and this shone through throughout my dealings with her.’

‘An extremely formidable team that helped get us what we wanted and when we wanted it. I certainly would not want to be on the other side of the table to them!’

‘HCR have a really experienced corporate team, many of which have been working in the Thames Valley market for a significant period of time thus fostering exceptionally strong client relationships. Key capabilities include private equity and venture capital investment in particular alongside traditional M&A transactions.’

‘The ethos of the team is one of delivering pragmatic yet robust advice in a way which is tailored to clients needs and priorities. Rachel Turner in particular embodies this in the way see approaches each engagement. I have worked with Rachel for a number of years now and as well as being an incredibly talented and knowledgeable professional, she builds relationships with clients and other parties in a transaction really well and as such is able to help navigate the undulations of a transaction with ease – I look forward to the next deal where I can work with Rachel again!’

Key clients

Quantuma LLP

Shareholders of Juriba Limited

Former shareholders of Camo Ltd, trading as Simply Waste Solutions

Steer Automotive Group Limited

Shareholders of Porterhouse Medical Group Limited

Shareholders of DCSL Software

YFM Equity Partners

Shorterm Group

Channel Mum Limited

Collard Group Limited

Hewitsons is a leading law firm that treats each of its clients on an individual basis, advising businesses, individuals and institutions. Hewitsons operates UK-wide, delivering a broad range of high-quality specialist legal services through its groups of solicitors and via its international network, LawExchange International.

The firm: Hewitsons operates out of locations in Cambridge, London, Milton Keynes and Northampton, from which its teams provide a well-tailored and co-ordinated service to clients. The expertise and professional approach of the firm’s personnel are equal to the quality expected from national practices but with the added advantages that the firm’s strategic locations bring in terms of cost-effectiveness and pertinent local knowledge.

The international dimension of Hewitsons’ service is strengthened through LawExchange International, the association of pre-eminent legal practices, which Hewitsons founded in 1994. Member firms throughout Europe, North and South America, Asia/Pacific and the Middle East provide their clients with informed legal knowledge within each respective national jurisdiction, and excellent service with global reach through the deeply integrated LawExchange network.

Hewitsons has the size and depth of resources, combined with commercially-minded and innovative approaches to client service, to ensure delivery of a high quality service that meets its clients’ legal requirements comprehensively and consistently adds value.

Types of work undertaken: Hewitsons provides a broad spectrum of services for the business community, public sector bodies, private clients and educational and charitable entities, encompassing all aspects of corporate, commercial, property and employment law, from non-contentious negotiations and advice through to dispute resolution and litigation. The firm offers in addition a higher number of specialist services (for example pensions, sport and technology law) than most firms of comparable size.

Hewitsons has multidisciplinary sector-focused groups to target its services, and to meet its clients’ current and future needs. These include dedicated groups focused on agricultural food and rural clients, banking and finance, development, technology and clean-tech, charities, educational institutions, high-net-worth clients, owner managed businesses, real estate portfolio management and sport.

Hewitsons’ corporate and commercial teams are market leaders with extensive expertise in all areas, including M&A, buyouts, start-ups, equity and debt investments, IPO’s, share schemes and corporate reorganisations. The firm is highly regarded for its expertise in the technology field, particularly for intellectual property and ICT law issues, and has a dedicated employment law group and dispute resolution lawyers specialising in commercial and intellectual property matters.

The firm’s property services group has exceptional knowledge of and experience in property and development work, including commercial sales and leasing, options, capital funding, joint venture and consortium agreements and associated construction, public procurement, planning and environmental issues, both contentious and non-contentious. Clients include owners and occupiers, promoters, developers, end-users, investors and portfolio managers.

Hewitsons’ substantial and highly respected private wealth unit provides specialised advice on tax planning, charity and agricultural law, trusts and probate to individuals and trustees whose wealth derives from family companies, listed market and other financial investments, commercial and agricultural property and landed estates.

Department Name Email Telephone
Private Wealth Clare Colacicchi clarecolacicchi@hewitsons.com 01604 463317
Construction Colin Jones colinjones@hewitsons.com 01223 532731
Agriculture Denise Wilkinson denisewilkinson@hewitsons.com 01223 532743
Banking and finance Neil Harpham neilharpham@hewitsons.com 01604 463301
Charities Chris Knight chrisknight@hewitsons.com 01604 463103
Corporate James Lawrence jameslawrence@hewitsons.com 01223 532716
Commercial Bill Thatcher billthatcher@hewitsons.com 01223 532709
Construction Tim Richards timrichards@hewitsons.com 01908 247011
Dispute resolution Dominic Hopkins dominichopkins@hewitsons.com 01604 233233
Education Chris Knight chrisknight@hewitsons.com 01604 463103
Employment Nicholas Hall nicholashall@hewitsons.com 01604 463375
Information Technology Andrew Priest andrewpriest@hewitsons.com 01223 532746
Intellectual property Mark Elmslie markelmslie@hewitsons.com 01223 532720
Pensions Christopher Nuttall christophernuttall@hewitsons.com 01604 463134
Private wealth Daniel Curtis danielcurtis@hewitsons.com 01223 461155
Public sector Tim Richards timrichards@hewitsons.com 01908 247011
Real Estate Development Claire Howard-Amos clairehoward-amos@hewitsons.com 01604 463323
Residential property Tim Middleton timmiddleton@hewitsons.com 01223 461155
Sport Ben Moorhead benmoorhead@hewitsons.com 020 7400 6578
Number of UK partners : 45
Number of other UK fee-earners : 95
English (fluent)
French
German
Italian
Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP)