Firm Profile > Hewitsons > Northampton, England


Agriculture and estates Tier 1

Hewitsons impresses through its ‘attention to detail’ and ‘practical advice’. Its client base includes substantial landed estates, in addition to major producers of cereals, potatoes, herbs, vegetable and livestock. Particularly strong on the transaction front, the team is well-versed in acting for farmers and rural estate owners on the disposal of agricultural land for residential and commercial developments. Renewables are an additional area of expertise, with the workload increasingly consisting of matters related to solar farms and battery storage. The ‘bright, hard-working and reliableGareth Williams leads the department, which includes rising star Stephanie Dennis.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Williams

Other key lawyers:


They are an efficient, knowledgeable team, which is able to advise and carry out work on a variety of topics‘.

Stephanie Dennis is very diligent, efficient and communicative. Her work is always carried out with complete professionalism and skill‘.

The whole team offers excellent customer service, being responsive and timely with its advice‘.

Gareth Williams has a practical and proactive approach to projects, which is often missing elsewhere‘.

Key clients

Compton Estates

Wistow Estate. Leicestershire

Bedford Estates

Merton College, Oxford

Homes England

Watford Estate, Northamptonshire

Northern Family, Bedfordshire

Arbury Estate, Warwickshire

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 1

The ‘range of expertise is outstanding’ at Hewitsons, with the team acting for a host of service-providing, corporate, grant-making and education charities, in addition to various other non-profit organisations. Practice head Chris Knight deploys his ‘vast knowledge of the charity sector’ in governance, commercial, regulatory and contentious matters. The group is also experienced in handling mergers and redevelopments.

Practice head(s):

Chris Knight

Other key lawyers:

Virginia Henley; Stephen Cole


They have a close knit team that keeps all of its members in the loop‘.

They are readily available‘.

Chris Knight is quick to grasp the issues being faced. His manner is always pleasant and engaging, and his explanations clear‘.

Key clients

Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust

Psoriasis Association

Oundle School

Community Spaces Northampton

Theotokos Romanian Church

Northamptonshire Association for the Blind

Jesus Army Charitable Trust

Sir Thomas White’s Northampton Charity

Northamptonshire Choral Foundation Ltd

Becketts and Sargeants Educational Foundation

Bedfordshire Charitable Trust

Kathleen and Michael Connolly Foundation

Woburn Estate / Woburn 1986

Thomas Christie Almshouse and Relief in Need Charity

Northamptonshire ACRE

Davidge Usher Trust

Northamptonshire Industrial Training Association

The Good Loaf

Nottingham Castle Trust

Roger and Jean Jefcoate Trust

Sports Chaplaincy UK

Kelmarsh Trust

Lamport Hall Preservation Trust

Headway Northampton

The Combined Harpole Charitable Trust

Will Woodlands

Frederick and Phyllis Cann Charitable Trust

Thomas and Rosemary Greenhalgh Charitable Trust

The Henry and Elizabeth Lineham Fund

The Finnis Scott Foundation

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 1

Hewitsons' practice stands out in disputes connected with renewable energy, financial services, technology and plant and equipment hire. In addition to handling domestic matters, the firm is also frequently sought-out for cases with an international dimension, where it acts for both UK and overseas-based clients. 'Very thorough and very detail-oriented' practice head Dominic Hopkins has a wealth of experience in commercial contracts disputes, partnership and shareholder disputes, professional negligence cases, investment product litigation and IT-related matters, among other areas. Senior associate Stephen Cole is active in state aid cases, and he also acts for charities and education sector clients in other contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Hopkins

Other key lawyers:

Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 1

Hewitsons provides full-service support on all aspects of commercial property work, and while its strong profile in the Northampton market sees it attract mandates from boot and shoe manufacturers, the firm also has notable specialisms in the motor dealer, healthcare and education arenas. Work for public sector clients is another pillar of the practice. Team head David Wells has vast experience of investment acquisitions and sales (particularly in the office and light industrial sectors), and also commercial landlord and tenant matters. Marc Carter is recommended for his commercial property development expertise. Other standout individuals include Patricia Kempson and legal director Claire Howard-Amos.

Practice head(s):

David Wells


‘Able to understand the key issues and practical concerns.’

Key clients

Mansfield College, Oxford

United Learning Group

The Trustees of the Wilson Foundation (Charity)

IMT Aviation Limited

Lightdoor Limited

Cheaney Shoes Limited

Medigold Health Consultancy Limited

Bedford College (FE)

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 Limited

Community Spaces Northampton (charity)

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 1

Hewitsons primarily handles corporate transactions and commercial matters for SMEs, but it also has a significant client following among larger UK and overseas-based corporates. In addition, it acts for public bodies, family-owned businesses and individuals. David Browne leads the Northampton team, which includes Neil Harpham, and whose recent work included high-value share and asset sales and acquisitions, corporate reorganisations and advice on company constitutional and governance issues. On the commercial front, Kevin Fletcher is the name to note for assistance with partnership and limited liability partnership agreements, supply and partnership agreements, and agency and distribution agreements. Fletcher is particularly knowledgeable about commercial agreements involving technology-related and intellectual property issues. Elsewhere, the firm generates work from clients in sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, automotive and charities.

Practice head(s):

David Browne

Other key lawyers:


Hewitsons provided us with timely legal support adhering to the scope of the service agreed

Great communication, reasonable fees, good value for the money

Good continuity throughout the project

Key clients

Perrys Motor Sales Limited

Medigold Health Consultancy Limited

Hi-Force Limited

Briggs & Forrester (UK) Limited

ACF Technologies Inc Group plc

Fencor Packaging Group Limited

Intamac Systems Limited

Tii Technologies Limited / Kelta Limited

The Lilacs Isham Limited

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

The ‘extremely professional’ practice at Hewitsons has maintained an ‘excellent local reputation over numerous years’. Inheritance tax planning, trust reorganisation and administration, overseas assets and capital gains tax are among its specialist areas. The ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘thoroughClare Colacicchi is a standout name and is highly recommended for trust, tax and property advice in relation to landed estates. She is also an expert on capital taxes. Associate Antonia Cooper is active in a broad range of private client matters and is valued for her 'knowledge' and 'professionalism'.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Curtis;

Other key lawyers:

Clare Colacicchi; Catherine Ball; Carolyn Bagley; Antonia Cooper;


Strong attention to detail. Always quick to respond to queries and easy to make appointments. Excellent reputation locally over many years‘.

They are caring and understanding. Relate well with individual needs‘.

Antonia Cooper and Catherine Ball’s knowledge is valued and they are professional throughout‘.

Clare Colacicchi is most efficient, thorough, very approachable and trustworthy‘.

Clare Colacicchi is always willing to help and advise. She makes one feel at ease and makes sure any issues are clearly explained‘.

Employment Tier 2

Lawyers at Hewitsons are noted for their ‘quick’ and ‘approachable’ service. Key strengths include TUPE, terminations and employment clauses, business immigration, discrimination and whistleblowing matters, as well as tribunal claims. The team's recent work also included employment support on various mergers and acquisitions. Headed up by Nick Hall, the group has specific sector expertise of the construction industry and also represents a significant number of clients in the education, trading charity and sports sectors.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hall

Other key lawyers:

Lynne Adams; Gemma Hill;


Lynne Adams works with both empathy and great professionalism. She puts great thought into the situation’.

The team brings a personal dimension to relationships with its clients, which is missing in this day and age

Key clients

Travis Perkins PLC and its subsidiaries

Perrys Motor Sales Limited

Medigold Health Consultancy Limited

Barings UK Limited

The Stephen Perse Foundation

Mace Limited

VolkerWessels Limited

Telford Holmes PLC

Accommodation Concern

Royce Lingerie Limited

Banking and finance Tier 3

Hewitsons' banking and finance offering operates on a cross-office, multidisciplinary basis, supporting clients on a wide range of transactions. The firm sits on a number of regional bank panels, such as Lloyds, Santander and AIB. It is also highly regarded on borrower-side mandates. Under the leadership of banking head Neil Harpham, the practice covers property finance, corporate and acquisition finance, and construction finance, among other areas. Sector specialisation is a core feature of the practice, with strengths including agricultural finance and financing for the charities and education sectors. Tim Middleton is experienced in transactions connected with residential property development.

Practice head(s):

Neil Harpham


The team makes a real effort to understand the underlying transaction, act professionally, accurately and often within demanding timeframes

Key clients

Homes England

Lloyds Bank Plc

AIB (UK) Plc

Clydesdale Bank

The Agricultural

Mortgage Corporation Plc

Svenska Handelsbanken

Education Tier 3

Hewitsons' multi-faceted practice covers areas such as data protection, development and construction, dispute resolution, employment and regulatory advice for clients. It is also adept in independent school mergers and acquisitions, as well as single and multi-academy conversions. Practice head Chris Knight advises a number of clients from the charity sector on education-related issues.

Practice head(s):

Chris Knight;

Key clients

The Wilson Foundation

Maidwell Hall School

Becketts and Sargeants Educational Foundation

United Church Schools Trust

United Church Schools Foundation

United Learning Trust

Bedford College

Kimbolton School

Northampton Free School Trust

Oundle School

Wellingborough School

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

One client recommends Hewitsons for its 'breath of knowledge and ability to provide the right person with the correct skill set for the task in hand'. The firm has a large cross-office team led from Cambridge by the 'extremely trustworthyDenise Wilkinson , who handles complex property and family issues in the rural sector, whether for smaller farmers, landed estates or major institutions. Legal director James Frankland and consultant Charles Hewitson also have excellent reputations for handling agricultural property transactions.

Practice head(s):

Denise Wilkinson

Other key lawyers:


“Charles Hewitson is involved at all levels on a personal and business level. He is an excellent leader and ambassador for the firm.”

“Denise Wilkinson exhibits great knowledge and attention to detail.”

“I work regularly with Denise Wilkinson who is exceptional in every way.”

“Hewitsons has high professional standards. They are well informed, cover all of our necessary disciplines and cover them well. They are always available at short notice when required.”

Denise Wilkinson specifically gives advice on charity issues; agricultural and commercial. Her great strength is to be able to see an issue from all angles, thinking on her feet. She has experience in contractual arrangement that are not conventional, and always give very sound advice.”

“A dynamic yet pragmatic approach to getting the job done.”

“Denise Wilkinson provides excellent advice on a range of property matters in a concise and clear way which is readily understood.”

Key clients

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

The Philpot Family and Associated Companies

National Farmers Union (NFU)

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Hewitsons is 'a very well-established private client firm, and a leading regional firm, particularly for the resolution of trusts and probate disputes'. Practice head Lucinda Brown is a full member of ACTAPS and solicitor Kate Harris is an associate member. They frequently handle high-value cases involving the validity of wills, breach of trust claims, Inheritance Act claims, rectification of wills and trust documents, contentious Court of Protection matters and financial abuse of vulnerable adults. The firm's strong private client, charity and agriculture practices are also brought to bear on contentious matters for high-net-worth individuals.

Practice head(s):

Lucinda Brown

Other key lawyers:


‘Lucinda Brown is an extremely able lawyer and has a level of expertise and the sort of sound judgement one would expect to find in someone far more senior.’

‘Kate Harris is outstanding.’

Environment & planning Tier 1

Hewitsons in Cambridge handles large-scale development projects, including residential and mixed-use urban expansions, and acts for Homes England in substantial regeneration projects. The firm regularly undertakes work in connection with judicial reviews and other legal challenges in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal, and it undertakes its own advocacy at public inquiries, hearings and in Magistrates Courts. Leading light Deborah Sharples is the key partner and has a large client base of landowners, farmers, investment owners and landed estates across the UK. Associate Gemma Dudley has more than 15 years' experience in planning and compulsory purchase matters.

Practice head(s):

Deborah Sharples

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Dudley; Emma Bowman


“Hewitsons is an impressive practice – client-focused, efficient and effective. The firm punches well above its weight.”

“Deborah Sharples is a pleasure to work with – quick to respond, diligent, reliable and meticulous in her attention to detail.”

“The firm is excellent all round. The work is always to a very high standard and within deadlines. The lawyers understand developers’ needs and perspective and give well researched, practical, clear and insightful legal advice.”

“Excellent value for money – market-leading advice without market-leading rates.”

“Excellent in-depth knowledge of planning law and practice from a highly commercial firm.”

“Fantastic value for money – the firm provides first-class advice at a fraction of the cost of London and bigger firms.”

“Gemma Dudley provides excellent advice on all matters. She is an exceptional planning lawyer with impressive knowledge of legislation, case law and its implications.”

“Clear, thoughtful advice which delivers practical solutions to often complex issues. The advice is always presented logically and clearly.”

“Gemma Dudley is quick to grasp the issues and always sees the bigger picture. First-class and always first choice. The best planning advice in Cambridge.”

“Emma Bowman is very bright and capable and is flourishing under Gemma Dudley’s guidance.”

“My experiences of Hewitsons is of an engaging and welcoming law firm that is always happy to assist. The planning team is highly professional and consistently provides prompt and well-considered advice. The advice provided is rarely ambiguous.”

“Gemma Dudley and Deborah Sharples are highly competent and, of equal importance, friendly and approachable.”

“Gemma Dudley has established working experience and relationships with equivalent local authority practitioners and the value of this cannot be under estimated when seeking to expedite a legal agreement with such parties.”

“The firm provides a very high level of client care and great attention to detail.”

“Deborah Sharples is friendly and a good team player with high professional standards and in-depth knowledge.”

“The practice has a broad yet comprehensive range of expertise, and I appreciate Deborah Sharples’ dedication and commitment, communicating openly and honestly and working in partnership with the client.”

Key clients

Homes England

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

The Greensand Trust

Andersons Assets Ltd

Beyond Storage Leicester Limited

Dene Homes Ltd

Duxford Developments Ltd

Girton College, Cambridge

Downing College, Cambridge

Pembroke College, Cambridge

Fitzwilliam College Cambridge

Henry Fairley and Sons Limited

JCAM Commercial Real Estate Property VII Limited

Gibson Developments Ltd

Great Oakley Farms Ltd

Galliers Homes Limited

Campbell Melhuish and Buchanan Ltd

James Davenport

Bedstone Growers

Bedfordia Farms Limited

GCR Camprop Eight Ltd

Hill Residential Limited

Howard Group Limited

Oastlodge Limited

Arndale Properties Limited

Flogas Britain Limited

Foster Property Developments Limited

Hay Farms Ltd

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Cambridge Tier 1

Hewitsons has a highly experienced practice for estate planning, complex wills and powers of attorney, trust administration and reorganisation, the administration of high-value estates, and advice on foreign assets. The firm's strong rural practice sees it handle the affairs of many clients in the farming industry, as well as large landed estates. Practice head Daniel Curtis and key partners Bernadette O’Reilly and Elizabeth Davies are all leading lights in the market, and associate Kelly Wardell is a rising star. The firm's clients include a number of estates with a net worth in excess of £100m.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Curtis

Other key lawyers:

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


‘Friendly, approachable and professional.’

‘Bernadette O’Reilly knows her subject and explains things so they are easy to understand.’

‘The practice offers a broad range of skills and expertise – together with a “can-do” attitude and a supportive outlook.’

‘The firm is responsive and offers a good range of skills and expertise within the landed estates and farming sector.’

“Hewistons is a good firm – they are specialists in what they do – and they deliver a good, reliable service.”

“The firm has a client-focused approach. It explains legal issues in a way that makes sense to the client and has a good understanding of the emotions that clients are feeling when discussing family circumstances and challenges.”

“Bernadette O’Reilly is particularly empathetic with clients dealing with emotional circumstances.”

“All members of Hewitsons have been unfailingly professional and helpful.”

“Katherine Hague has been consistently thorough, organised, helpful and knowledgeable. At a difficult time for our family, she has been sensitive and professional in all of our interactions. She has great communication skills, along with a relaxed manner, and we could not give her a higher recommendation.”

“An exceptionally dedicated team with good clear communication between specialists and excellent clear responses, advice and billing.”

“A good clear legal and human response combined with unwavering legal expertise.”

“The solicitors were efficient, responded quickly, knew their stuff, and were practical. I would enthusiastically Elizabeth Davies for private trust and probate work.”

Property litigation Tier 1

Hewitsons in Cambridge has 'a very strong regional team providing London quality work without having to pay for the overheads of a City firm'. One client notes that practice head Natalie Minott 'has City grade experience and skills'. The firm handles both commercial and residential property disputes, including matters for high-net-worth individuals, corporates and rural landowners. In 2018, the firm saw a growing caseload disputes arising from leasehold enfranchisement, collective enfranchisement and the right of first refusal, and in work for corporate clients relating to the Landlord and Tenant 1954 Act. Kate Church and Kate Harris are noted as Rising Stars.

Practice head(s):

Natalie Minott

Other key lawyers:

Kate Harris; Kate Church; Barbara Judkins


“Natalie Minott is the stand out individual at the firm in this area. As well as possessing great legal skills, she is exceptionally good with difficult clients.”

“The firm has broad and deep experience of all types of real estate litigation. It is proactive and responsive.”

“Natalie Minott has excellent client handling skills, and is very collaborative and firm in her views.”

“The technical legal knowledge seems second to none and is allied with the knowhow to maximise this expertise to the client’s benefit.”

“Barbara Judkins was very professional, efficient and thorough in acting for us. She took particular care in understanding the detail of our case. Refreshingly these days, she was ready to recommend a course of action to us and to set out all the matters that required our consideration.”

“Barbara Judkins proved invaluable in fighting my corner for me in a very personable and effective style.”

Key clients

Homes England


Fish ‘n’chick’n

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

The charities and education practice at Hewitsons is led from Northampton but calls upon the agriculture, property and planning teams in Cambridge to act for a host of regional and national charities. Rural property and agricultural law expert Denise Wilkinson plays a key role in the practice, as does real estate and finance partner James Simpson. The firm counts several education institutions such as the University of Cambridge and numerous national charities among its clients.

Commercial litigation: Cambridge Tier 2

Hewitsons has a diverse commercial litigation practice in which the key lawyers have developed expertise in specialist areas of law. Lead partner Simon Biggin has been at the firm for nearly 30 years and is highly regarded for contract, product liability and software development disputes, as well as warranty claims, shareholder disputes and judicial review cases. Rising star associate Stewart Morrison has a particular focus on public procurement disputes, EU regulatory matters and public law work. IP specialist Mark Elmslie and real estate litigation partner Natalie Minott also act in general contract disputes.

Practice head(s):

Simon Biggin

Other key lawyers:

Lorna Carter; Mark Elmslie; Natalie Minott; Stewart Morrison; Kate Church

Key clients

Stody Estate Limited

Commercial property: Cambridge Tier 2

Hewitsons frequently handles large and complex projects, particularly in the leisure and residential sectors. It also advises technology and biotechnology companies on matters such as science park lettings, and has significant expertise in strategic land deals. Practice head James Simpson has a strong reputation for complex development and strategic land transactions and Graeme Sampson handles complex mixed-use development projects for developers, landowners and institutions. Both are supported by rising star senior associate Ceri Riddell. Partner Susanne Hinde manages a separate team that handles landlord and tenant and investment matters.

Practice head(s):

James Simpson


‘Friendly, efficient, pragmatic, sound, cost effective advice.’

‘A particular pleasure to work with James Simpson and Michael Russell, a steadier and more effective two pairs of hands it would be hard to match. Both have consistently proven their superior experience above their counterparts in acquisitions on our behalf.’

Key clients

Homes England

The Howard Group

Hill Residential Limited

Turnstone Estates Group

The Chesterford Group

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Swiss Laundry Ltd

Anglian Country Inns

HTS Estates Limited

Lloyds Bank Plc


Construction Tier 2

Hewitsons acts for a wide range of clients on construction projects across the UK, including contractors, developers, investors and consultants, among others. It has established specialist business units, which enables the firm to provide sector-specific advice; one area of strength is the education sector, where the construction department (together with practitioners in ancillary areas, such as planning and real estate) provides bespoke advice to schools and other institutions. In 2018, the firm advised developers, contractors and clients active in the charity and investment sectors on multimillion pound construction contracts. Practice head Tim Richards and Colin Jones both have expertise in contentious and non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Tim Richards

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

AW James Limited

MK Gallery

Oundle School

Velocity1 Limited

Perrys East Midlands Limited and Perrys Motor Sales Limited

Homes and Communities Agency

PFI Lighting Limited

British Institute of Interior Design

Nottinghamshire Castle Trust

Construction Tier 2

Hewitsons has a highly experienced construction group that works across its London, Milton Keynes and Cambridge offices. In Cambridge, managing partner Colin Jones is the standout practitioner who frequently handles complex and high-value matters for developers, contractors, design and construction professionals, construction product manufacturers, funders and occupiers. He is supported by solicitor Sardeep Gill who handles both contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm has a long-standing reputation for work on UK-wide construction projects, and its recent work includes projects for Oxbridge colleges and Homes England.

Corporate and commercial: Cambridge Tier 2

Hewitsons has a long-established reputation for M&A, corporate finance, private equity, investment and capital markets transactions. It has a broad client base with particular expertise in the technology, charities and education, healthcare, sport and energy sectors. Practice heads James Lawrence and Andrew Priest and key partner Bill Thatcher in Cambridge have a particular focus on the technology sector, in which they frequently handle acquisitions, venture capital investments, MBOs and MBIs. Newly promoted partner Laurence Evans has a strong practice in partnerships and LLPs, particularly for the firm's agricultural client base.

Practice head(s):

James Lawrence; Andrew Priest

Other key lawyers:

Bill Thatcher; Laurence Evans; Charlotte Bull


“The level of subject matter expertise, business sense, responsiveness, and cost-effectiveness is unmatched in my experience with law firms around the globe.”

“I would like to call out Bill Thatcher as an absolutely outstanding asset to our business. His responsiveness, commercial expertise, and value is truly remarkable. It has been a true privilege to work with him over the years.”

“Hewitsons provided us with timely legal support adhering to the scope of the service agreed.”

“Great communication, reasonable fees, good value for the money.”

“I particularly liked the approach of Hewitsons in that we worked with the same lawyer from initial discussions and quotation through to completion of the sale. This meant there was good continuity throughout the project.”

“The practice was very accommodating of a change of direction that occurred mid-way through the sale and also the complications of dealing with a foreign buyer.”

“We worked predominantly with Laurence Evans on the sale of our business. He understood the business, our objectives and helped to negotiate a successful outcome.”

“I found Laurence Evans to be professional and very easy to work with. He was also very fast at turning around questions we raised and amendments to the contract.”

“I would have no hesitation in recommending both Laurence Evans and Hewitsons in general.”

“Hewitsons offers a broad spectrum of specialist support for whatever commercial issues you face.”

“Bill Thatcher has proved to be a formidable ally to have onside during tricky commercial negotiations. His ability to make the complex seem simple, and to make arguments which are hard to dispute, is uncanny.”

“Bill Thatcher has an amazing ability to deeply understand our business, despite it being extremely specialised. All in all he is an invaluable part of our team and one we could not recommend highly enough.”

“Excellent all round abilities, with very solid associates and good access to partner expertise.”

“James Lawrence has a first rate legal mind, and his advice is always succinct and completely on the point.”

Key clients

Quartix Holdings Plc (listed)

Homes England

KisanHub (UK and India)

Nuformix Plc (listed)

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

Cryptomathic Group (HQ in Denmark)

Spirol Group, Inc (HQ in USA)

Amino Technologies Plc (listed)

Scientific Molding Corporation Ltd

Hill Residential Ltd

Education Tier 2

Hewitsons has a diverse range of clients that includes schools and FE and HE colleges. Head of the charities and education practice Chris Knight now works predominantly from the Northampton office but spends time in Cambridge to advise the firm's university, school and college clients. The firm's services include charity law and governance, data protection advice, dispute resolution, employment, environmental law, pupil issues and M&A. James Simpson and Susanne Hinde frequently work on property matters for clients in the education sector, while Andrew Priest handles commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Chris Knight


“The particular knowledge of our trust since becoming a foundation school through to a multi-academy trust makes their relationship with us unique. With their specialist education knowledge we find Hewitsons to be an invaluable part of our team.”

“Their strengths, in particular regarding our sometimes quirky approach to running a trust, we find to be very useful. It is this that makes them stand out in our view against others.”

“The firm provides excellent partner expertise at highly competitive rates.”

Key clients

University of Cambridge

The Colleges in the University of Cambridge (31 in number)

Oxford and Cambridge Examination Board

Stephen Perse Foundation

Morris Education Trust

Bush & Bennett charity

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Culford School

Kimbolton School

Sancton Wood School

City of Cambridge Education Foundation

Employment Tier 2

The employment practice at Hewitsons, which is led from the firm's Northampton office, has a strong presence in Cambridge through experienced partners Valerie Lambert and Elizabeth Swinburn. The team increased its capacity in 2018 with the internal transfer of solicitor James Makin from its commercial practice group, in order to handle a growing workload of High Court litigation, business reorganisation, Employment Tribunals, TUPE transfers, disciplinary matters and support for M&A transactions. The practice increasingly handles cases with cross-border elements.

Intellectual property Tier 2

Hewitsons acts for clients ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations, including well-known brands and Cambridge colleges, in IP licensing, development contracts and contentious matters. Clients praise 'the breadth of IP knowledge from accessible partners at keen rates'. Practice head Andrew Priest handles IT, outsourcing, technology transfer and general commercial contracts, while key partner Mark Elmslie's work for national and international clients includes research and development arrangements and technology licensing contracts.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Priest

Other key lawyers:

Mark Elmslie; Bill Thatcher; Tania Saigol; Carole Mahoney


“In intellectual property matters the expertise available via the team is second to none.”

“Mark Elmslie has a unique knowledge of the regulatory framework established by IPReg, the regulator for the IP profession. He is calm and measured in his advice.”

“Andrew Priest is a really valuable addition to the firm’s IP expertise, with deep industry understanding and a sharp legal mind.”

IT and telecoms Tier 2

The IT practice at Hewitsons acts for suppliers to and purchasers of IT services across a broad range of IT businesses, advises on on EU Framework Programme contracts in IT fields, handles data protection compliance issues and data security breaches for IT and technology companies, and deals with matters of software development, licensing, distribution and support. It also has niche expertise in IT and business process outsourcing. Practice head Andrew Priest handles IT outsourcings and technology licensing deals in the public and private sector, and consultant Bill Thatcher has nearly 30 years' experience in IP and IT transactions.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Priest

Other key lawyers:

Pensions Tier 2

Head of pensions Christopher Nuttall at Hewitsons works mainly from Northampton but regularly attends the Cambridge office to advise the firm's key clients. The firm acts for employers and trustees of private sector occupational pension schemes throughout the UK and across a wide range of business sectors. It has significant experience in public sector pensions, particularly involving the local government, healthcare and education sectors.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Nuttall


“Chris Nuttall  delivers comprehensive advice in a timely manner and strives to deliver a meaningful and helpful service.”

Key clients

Perrys Group Limited

Trustees of the Superior Pension Fund (Greenery UK Limited)

Trustees of the Velux Co. Ltd Retirement Benefits Scheme

Permastore Limited

Biochrom Limited

Trustees of the Jacques Vert Limited Pension Scheme

United Learning Trust

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

Visit Cambridge & Beyond

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

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

Hewitsons’ private wealth practice has long-standing expertise in trust matters including trust administration and reorganisations and  assistance with foreign assets. It also has comprehensive tax expertise; inheritance tax and capital gains tax planning and income tax returns. The team works closely with rural and charity specialists, and has significant international links. Carolyn Bagley is the main contact in the Milton Keynes office.

Practice head(s):

Carolyn Bagley


Extremely professional, approachable, courteous and knowledgeable in the areas of wills, powers of attorney and inheritance tax planning.’

‘Advice is always presented in a very clear, practical and concise manner.’

‘The strength in depth and breadth of expertise of the team is outstanding.’

‘The team ethos works brilliantly. There is no problem about delegation.’

‘The team are creative in finding solutions to issues (often on non legal matters) I always feel safe with their advice and work.’

‘Probably the most highly qualified team in the area. They are both highly knowledgeable and hugely experienced and that runs through the breadth of the team. From my dealings with them they offer a top class service delivered by genuinely caring people.’

‘In my opinion/experience Hewitsons is top of its class. It has experts in every field.’

‘Hewitsons is outstanding. It is professional, knowledgeable and efficient.’

‘Carolyn Bagley is a master of her subject. Carolyn has demonstrated from the outset that she is able to proactively advise us on options tailored to the personal circumstances of my wife and I. She has often identified issues that we have not considered and advised us how we can deal with them, in a very practical manner. Carolyn helps us to look at the wider picture and consider all the angles, particularly regarding Inheritance Tax planning. Her general approach is always so professional, reassuring and courteous.

‘Carolyn Bagley has fantastic technical knowledge, and a meticulous and methodical approach.’

‘Carolyn Bagley is professional and approachable, always happy to talk through potential cases and issues and has always delivered a first class service.’

‘Carolyn Bagley is a formidable lady but nevertheless kind and thoughtful. She sees matters from every angle and her advice is greatly to be accepted.’

Banking and finance Tier 3

The finance practice at Hewitsons is led from Northampton by Neil Harpham but the firm's Cambridge office has corporate, agricultural and real estate partners who handle high-value financings for their clients. James Lawrence handles corporate and acquisition finance, Deborah Sharples handles agricultural finance, James Simpson focuses on real estate finance, and Tim Middleton advises on residential property finance. Much of the firm's work centres on secured lending and bank funding in the education and charity sectors.

Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 3

Hewitsons’ real estate practice is best known for its longstanding work with Government agency Homes England. The team assists this client with the disposal of large mixed-use developments including residential plots, commercial offices, schools and community facilities, to national house builders and developers. In addition, the team specialises in residential and commercial development projects, housing infrastructure grant funding to local authorities and landlord and tenant law. Yvette Morgan and David Wells head the practice.

Practice head(s):

Yvette Morgan; David Wells

Key clients

Homes England

AW James Ltd

XPO Transport Solutions Ltd

Bright Horizons Family Solutions Limited

Richard Utley Ltd

Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust

Bedford College (FE)

Booyah Investment Ltd

Levitt Bernstein Associates Ltd

Braham Good LLP

Wimbledon Property Holdings Ltd

United Learning Group

The Trustees of the Wilson Foundation (Charity)

Community Spaces Northampton (charity)

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 01604 463317
Construction Colin Jones 01223 532731
Agriculture Denise Wilkinson 01223 532743
Banking and finance Neil Harpham 01604 463301
Charities Chris Knight 01604 463103
Corporate James Lawrence 01223 532716
Commercial Bill Thatcher 01223 532709
Construction Tim Richards 01908 247011
Dispute resolution Dominic Hopkins 01604 233233
Education Chris Knight 01604 463103
Employment Nicholas Hall 01604 463375
Information Technology Andrew Priest 01223 532746
Intellectual property Mark Elmslie 01223 532720
Pensions Christopher Nuttall 01604 463134
Private wealth Daniel Curtis 01223 461155
Public sector Tim Richards 01908 247011
Real Estate Development Claire Howard-Amos 01604 463323
Residential property Tim Middleton 01223 461155
Sport Ben Moorhead 020 7400 6578
Photo Name Position Profile
 Catherine Ball  photo Catherine Ball Partner in private wealth department in Northampton, specialising in wills, probates, tax…
 Tiffany Benson  photo Tiffany Benson Associate
 David Browne  photo David Browne Partner specialising in corporate acquisitions and disposals, banking and non-contentious insolvency. In…
 Marc Carter  photo Marc Carter Partner in commercial property business unit specialising in development and investment work,…
 Clare Colacicchi  photo Clare Colacicchi Partner
 Stephen Cole  photo Stephen Cole Senior Associate
 Antonia Cooper  photo Antonia Cooper Associate
 Helen Deady  photo Helen Deady Solicitor
 Stephanie Dennis  photo Stephanie Dennis Associate
 Kevin Fletcher  photo Kevin Fletcher Head of commercial/technology unit in Northampton; main areas of work: commercial contracts,…
 Bryan Guest  photo Bryan Guest Associate
 Nick Hall  photo Nick Hall Partner and team leader of the employment team at the Northampton offices;…
 Neil Harpham  photo Neil Harpham Heads Hewitsons’ banking and finance group. Partner in corporate department, based in…
 Hauke Harrack  photo Hauke Harrack Senior Solicitor
 Rachel Hawkins  photo Rachel Hawkins Senior Solicitor. Rachel advises clients on a wide range of Private Wealth…
 Virginia Henley  photo Virginia Henley Associate. Virginia specialises in advising charities, universities and schools, and a wide…
 Gemma Hill  photo Gemma Hill Solicitor. Gemma has experience in areas such as unfair dismissal, redundancy, equal…
 Dominic Hopkins  photo Dominic Hopkins Partner, commercial litigation and ADR with a particular emphasis on cross-border disputes…
 Claire Howard-Amos  photo Claire Howard-Amos Legal Director
 Patricia Kempson  photo Patricia Kempson Partner in Real Estate department, Northampton and Milton Keynes, specialising in all…
 Christopher Nuttall  photo Christopher Nuttall Head of Pensions
 Amanda O’Mahony  photo Amanda O’Mahony Solicitor
 Anne-Sophie Reynolds  photo Anne-Sophie Reynolds Solicitor
 Alexia Simon  photo Alexia Simon Trust Manager, Alexia deals with the administration of Trusts, ensuring tax compliance…
 Rachel Smith  photo Rachel Smith Solicitor. Rachel deals with sales and purchases of agricultural land and farms…
 Jane Stebbings  photo Jane Stebbings Associate
 Alexandra Svennevik  photo Alexandra Svennevik Solicitor. Alexandra advises clients on a range of a Private Wealth matters…
 Katie Wall  photo Katie Wall Senior Solicitor
 Ciara Wanstall  photo Ciara Wanstall
 Eric Wardle  photo Eric Wardle Chartered Accountant / Head of Trust Managemement
 Gareth Williams  photo Gareth Williams
 Kerri Woodrow  photo Kerri Woodrow Kerri is a Partner in the Private Wealth team, based in the…
Number of UK partners : 45
Number of other UK fee-earners : 95
English (fluent)
Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP)