Firm Profile > Howes Percival LLP > Cambridge , East Anglia

Howes Percival LLP
East Anglia

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

Howes Percival LLP has a large and diverse client base of substantial landowners, trusts and partnerships. Catherine Scott leads a thriving agricultural property practice that handled large farm transactions and tenancies, basic payment and environmental schemes, and the investigations and registration of complex unregistered titles. Estate management for landed estates included specialist advice on agricultural holdings and protected tenancies. The firm also calls on its specialist tax practice to advice rural clients on matters such as iheritance and capital gains tax. Another key name to note is rising star Katharine Danks.

Commercial property: Norwich Tier 1

At Howes Percival LLP 'capable individuals make up the team, which provides good response times'. The 'very thorough and diligent' Joanna Nicholls, firm chair and and practice head Tessa Haskey and development specialist Tracey Hughes are the key partners. Their work encompasses residential development for clients including Bloor Homes, commercial development for major developers and local authorities, the management of portfolio investments, and property finance in sectors such as energy, leisure, automotive, healthcare and education. Nicola Curle is recommended for projects in the education sector.

Debt recovery Tier 1

Commercial litigation and insolvency partner Alison Kirby leads the debt recovery practice at Howes Percival LLP, which focuses on complex, high-value and high-profile work for its strong commercial client base. Where litigation is required, the firm draws on contacts across the country in the form of High Court Enforcement Officers who can assist with enforcements of writs of control. Associate Gordon Simpson has more than 20 years’ experience in handling contentious disputes, including recovery of debts arising from commercial and construction contracts.

Environment & planning Tier 1

Howes Percival LLP in Norwich is regularly instructed to act in the negotiation of complex planning obligations and, in 2018, these included a number of planning obligations related to substantial urban extensions, as well as numerous successful planning appeals. Paul Wootton leads the planning practice and is also head of the firm's development sector group. He primarily advises on large-scale residential development schemes. Newly promoted director Jay Mehta frequently assists developers, promoters and local planning authorities with the defence of judicial review challenges. The environmental practice is led form Leicester but solicitor Phillippa Summerlee in Norwich handles contentious matters.

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Howes Percival LLP has a large insolvency practice across its office network, in which Norwich is a key hub. Morris Peacock leads the insolvency service group, which is on the government panel for insolvency matters, and conducts complex public interest winding-up matters, often involving large-scale frauds, and director disqualification work. The firm also undertakes complex insolvency litigation for regional and national IPs, as well as transactional and advisory insolvency matters including CVAs. Alison Kirby, newly promoted partner William Shirley,  associate Patrick Manning and, in Cambridge, experienced partner Michael Green are also recommended.

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Norwich Tier 1

Howes Percival LLP provides bespoke planning and strategic advice in complex situations to high-net-worth individuals, families and trusts. Catherine Scott is head of the private client services group across all of the firm's offices and is head of the estates practice. Stuart Maggs is a leading practitioner for strategic planning, management and tax minimisation for trusts, partnerships and companies. Tom Lawrence advises business owners and their families on complex succession and estate planning issues including wills and tax matters.

Property litigation Tier 1

Howes Percival LLP has 'one of the best practices in the region and the team is highly experienced in all areas of contentious commercial, residential and agricultural property work'. Simon Murphy and rising star associate Leanne Davis in Cambridge manage large property portfolios and act for both landlords and tenants in contentious matters. They also advise technology and biomedical clients on dilapidations liabilities, including the biochemical and radioactive decontamination of buildings. In Norwich, Jamie Kidd and William Trow focus on land and development issues, which include a growing caseload of leasehold and freehold enfranchisement disputes.

Banking and finance Tier 2

Howes Percival LLP acts for many of the UK’s main banks and also for a private corporate funder with a large turnover of high-risk investments. It also advises private clients on complex refinancing transactions. Joanna Nicholls, whose 'knowledge of commercial transactions is unrivalled', leads the real estate finance and banking practices, and has a steady flow of work in the leisure, real estate developments and healthcare sectors. Tessa Haskey acts for banks and private lenders in relation to property security. Corporate partner Robert Colman handles acquisition and debt finance for both borrowers and lenders.

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

The charities practice at Howes Percival LLP has many partners who act as charity trustees and have experience in dealing with governance issues. The multi-disciplinary group handles charity formation and administration, including advising on new and changed structures, incorporations, conversion, governing documents and mergers. Notable skills include tax advice from the estates practice, which frequently advises on Gift Aid, enhanced legacy income and inheritance tax matters. Head of private client services Catherine Scott is the key contact.

Commercial litigation: Cambridge Tier 2

Howes Percival LLP handles a mixed case load of local, national and international work from Cambridge and routinely deal with multimillion-pound litigation. The firm hired Michael Green from Weightmans LLP to lead its litigation practice and clients describe him as 'a fantastic lawyer with good interpersonal skills and a strong understanding of the law'. Rising star associate Victoria Sandell is 'thorough, grounded, down-to-earth and really puts the hours in when necessary'.

Commercial litigation: Norwich Tier 2

The litigation practice at Howes Percival LLP frequently deals with high-value, complex and high-profile matters both in the UK and overseas. It also acts for government departments in multimillion-pound litigation. Practice head Alison Kirby has 20 years' trial experience mainly in the High Court, including trials relating to the fraudulent reclaiming of VAT conducted in the First Tier Tax Tribunal. Her practice encompasses a wide range of disputes for business clients and high-net-worth individuals.

Commercial property: Cambridge Tier 2

Howes Percival LLP has a broad commercial property practice that handles high-value residential development projects for clients such as Hill Residential and commercial development work for the likes of Turnstone Estates, as well as the management of real estate investment portfolios and property finance transactions for major lenders. The firm has niche expertise in key sectors such as tourism, leisure, education, technology and the public sector. It has a group of highly experienced partners in practice head Jonathan Greenhalgh, 30-year market veteran Steven Beach and strategic land specialist Michaela Henson. Director Will Stokes is a rising star.

Corporate and commercial: Norwich Tier 2

Howes Percival LLP has 'a strong team that responds rapidly to both the clients' and fellow professionals' needs in complex and pressured situations'. Practice head Nathan Horton frequently acts for owner-managed businesses across a range of sectors in sales and acquisitions, reorganisations and shareholder or investment agreements. A client remarks that the firm has 'a refreshing and practical approach' to multimillion-pound deals, which in 2018 included the high-profile sale of Aspall Cyder to Molson Coors.

Employment Tier 2

Howes Percival LLP has 'highly valued professional advisers' in its Norwich and Cambridge offices, and practice head Matthew Potter is respected for his work for both PLCs and large SMEs. Potter frequently handles heavyweight and high-profile litigation on behalf of boardroom directors and CEOs. Associate Nicola Butterworth is a rising star who advises on all areas of employment law from policy drafting and business change, to defending complex Employment Tribunal claims.

Social housing Tier 2

Howes Percival LLP has a multi-disciplinary social housing team led by experienced housing management lawyer  Simon Murphy, who draws upon the expertise of property litigator Jamie Kidd, property development partner Michaela Henson and a large pool of conveyancing, planning and construction talent. The firm has strong relationships with all of the East Anglian Registered Providers operating in Cambridge and frequently handles golden brick agreements, development purchases and site assembly matters.

Construction Tier 3

Howes Percival LLP joins the rankings having hired two construction specialists. Director Simon Franklin in Cambridge joined from Teacher Stern LLP and he handle all aspects of non-contentious construction law including strategic procurement. He has extensive experience in working with developers and housebuilders on projects including student accommodation, hospitals, retail developments and urban regeneration schemes. Solicitor Emma Raspin in Norwich joined from Cozens-Hardy LLP and her recent work includes dealing with all construction issues relating to the sale of a multimillion-pound property portfolio.

Corporate and commercial: Cambridge Tier 3

Howes Percival LLP continued to grow its client base in 2018, notably among owner-managed and family-owned businesses. It focuses predominantly on corporate acquisitions, reorganisations and commercial work. Lead partner Nathan Horton, who works between the Cambridge and Norwich offices, draws on expertise in the firm's other offices to service the needs of clients in the local market, as well as his own in-depth knowledge of acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, shareholder and investment agreements and corporate reorganisations across a range of industry sectors.

Education Tier 3

Howes Percival LLP joins the ranking this year having handled a growing volume of real estate work for clients in the education sector. Steven Beach and Michaela Henson are highly experienced property partners who act for the firm's growing client base, which includes the University of Cambridge and Norwich University of the Arts. Simon Murphy is recommended for contentious property matters. Nathan Horton leads the firm's academies team, which handles academy conversion and ongoing post-conversion matters. Legal director Nicola Curle handles land disposals for FE colleges.

Family Tier 3

The family law practice at Howes Percival LLP is part of an integrated private client group that works across its offices in Cambridge, Leicester, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Norwich. Working closely with the estates and private client team, it focuses on wealth preservation where clients have business and land assets and other inherited wealth. Lead partner Amy Walpole and associate Sophie Key frequently handle divorce, financial negotiations, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation issues and Children Act matters for high-net-worth individuals.

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Cambridge Tier 3

Howes Percival LLP specialises in providing planning and strategic advice in complex situations to high-net-worth individuals, families and trusts. This includes lifetime planning, probate, powers of attorney, inheritance and capital gains tax, trusts and pensions advice. The practice is led from Norwich but in Cambridge, associate Amy Wallhead is building the firm's reputation. One client describes the practice as 'very client-service orientated – they show a deep care for making sure clients receive the very best advice'.

The firm: Howes Percival is a regional commercial law firm operating across the heartland of England. Howes Percival has expertise and resources usually associated with much larger national and City firms and provides top-quality legal services to businesses, the government and individuals. The firm prides itself on the agile, energetic and commercial approach of its lawyers.

Howes Percival values excellent client relationships and invests time and resources in understanding its clients’ businesses, the sectors they operate in and their requirements. The firm’s offices and teams then work closely together with its clients to provide them with a seamless, high-quality service. The location of the firm’s office network helps it provide services to clients across the country.

Types of work undertaken: The firm was recently appointed to the Government’s Crown Commercial Services General Legal Services Panel for England and Wales.

The firm provides services to a range of clients including, Marston’s Mercedes-Benz, Persimmon Homes, the University of Cambridge, Greene King and All3Media. However, it also has a large client base of owner-managed businesses and individuals. It has particular expertise in the automotive, development and construction, education, food and drink, and leisure and tourism sectors.

Corporate and commercial: Howes Percival is a market leader in corporate work and has particular expertise in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, disposals, MBOs and MBIs, and private equity transactions. All aspects of banking law are dealt with and insolvency is a particular specialism. In the commercial arena the firm is also recommended for outsourcing agreements, joint ventures, manufacturing and supply agreements, IT work and intellectual property agreements.

Commercial property: Howes Percival has a highly skilled and extremely well-regarded commercial property team providing specialist advice on all aspects of the sale and purchase of residential and commercial development land and built out sites, option and clawback arrangements, commercial leases and property portfolio management, banking and finance, planning, environmental issues, mines and minerals, construction and property tax.

Dispute resolution, insolvency, intellectual property, property litigation and regulatory/environmental: the firm has an extremely experienced dispute resolution team which deals with disputes inside and outside the UK. It also has highly regarded construction, intellectual property/IT, insolvency, property litigation and regulatory/environmental teams.

Employment: an award-winning team providing the full range of contentious and non-contentious work for clients across the country, carrying out high quality work for a range of clients, from household names to owner managed businesses, and gaining new instructions based on reputation alone. Members of the team provide solution-focused commercial employment advice, taking a robust approach to litigation (having gained a number of costs awards in favour of clients) and are particularly experienced in handling high-value litigation disputes.

Family: the team has national and international reach, providing high-level advice upon divorce and relationship breakdown as well as wealth preservation to high-net-worth individuals including company directors, entrepreneurs and celebrities. The team provides expertise in cases involving family businesses, farming businesses, landed estates and trusts. The practice deals with children and private law matters and has two qualified collaborative lawyers.

Private client: a highly respected team providing advanced estate planning including preparation of wills, formation of trusts and bespoke tax solutions for landowners, directors and high-net-worth individuals with extensive experience advising farms and estates, administering trusts and advising charities. The team includes three Fellows of the Agricultural Law Association and is a retained adviser on Camelot’s legal panel. Team memberships include ACTAPS and STEP.

Offices: Cambridge, Leicester, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Norwich

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking Daniel Banton
Banking Haydon Simmonds
Banking Ian Ilersic
Banking Tessa Haskey
Charities Tom Lawrence
Charities Richard Lovett
Commercial contracts Gerald Couldrake
Commercial property Tessa Haskey
Commercial property Jonathan Greenhalgh
Commercial property Lucy Lord
Commercial property Nicholas James
Corporate finance Gerald Couldrake
Corporate finance Robert Colman
Corporate finance Daniel Banton
Corporate finance Edward Lee
Education Graham Irons
Education Daniel Banton
Employment Paula Bailey
Employment Graham Irons
Employment Simon DeMaid
Employment Matthew Potter
Family Amy Walpole
Family Justine Flack
Farms and estates Catherine Scott
Farms and estates Stuart Maggs
Farms and estates Jonathan Wortley
Fraud recovery Geraint Davies
Government recovery Morris Peacock
Health and safety Alan Millband
Insolvency Carl Mifflin
Insolvency Katie Summers
Insolvency Deborah Nigh
Insolvency Michael Green
Intellectual property Matthew Talbot
Intellectual property James Howarth
IT and telecoms Matthew Talbot
Litigation and dispute resolution Geraint Davies
Litigation and dispute resolution Satnam Chayra
Litigation and dispute resolution Michael Green
Planning and environment Paul Wootton
Planning and environment Chris May
Planning and environment Alan Millband
Commercial Property Mark Davies
Corporate Jahid Ali
Commercial Property Steven Beach
Corporate Oliver Brookshaw
Commercial Property Stuart Burns
Commercial Property Christopher Cubitt
Commercial Property Nicola Curle
Estates Katherine Danks
Commercial Property Michaela Henson
Commercial Property Tracey Hughes
Planning Paul Hunt
Property Litigation Jamie Kidd
Tax Stuart Maggs
Private Client Stuart Maggs
Commercial Property Lisa Mantle
Property Litigation Simon Murphy
Commercial Property Jo Nicholls
Insolvency Deborah Nigh
Insolvency William Shirley
Intellectual Property Hannah Steggles
Insolvency Katie Summers
Healthcare Oliver Pritchard
Corporate Oliver Pritchard
Photo Name Position Profile
 Steven Beach  photo Steven Beach
 Michael Green  photo Michael Green
 Jonathan Greenhalgh  photo Jonathan Greenhalgh
 Michaela Henson  photo Michaela Henson
 Simon Murphy  photo Simon Murphy
 Matthew Potter  photo Matthew Potter
Number of UK partners : 43
Number of other UK fee-earners : 109
Abacus Worldwide
Number of UK Partners : 43
Number of UK Fee Earners : 109