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Freeths LLP

Work 01782 202020
20727 HANLEY

West Midlands: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Birmingham
Corporate and commercial: Birmingham - ranked: tier 2

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP 's corporate and commercial practice is a prominent force in the retail, construction, logistics, hospitality and public sectors. Lee Clifford  leads the corporate team and is highly skilled in handling PE transactions. Heading up the commercial team is Nigel Gardner , whose main sector focus is on the logistics and hospitality sectors.

Practice head(s):Lee Clifford; Nigel Gardner


'The team are commercial, pro-active and support their clients' needs.'

'Lee Clifford is always reachable, pragmatic and technically gifted. Lee understands what it takes to get the job done within timescales and to a high quality.'

Key Clients

Lloyds Development Capital

The Alumasc Group Plc

Frontier Development Capital

Würth Group

Funeral Partners Limited

BGF Investments LP


Travis Perkins



Eurocell Group Limited

Tarmac Group

Hypnos Limited

Aldi Stores Limited

NEC Group Ltd

Inchcape Retail Limited / Inchcape UK Limited

Travis Perkins Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Lloyds Development Capital and Newco in relation to the acquisition of the SMH Fleet Solutions group.
  • Advised Germany's Würth Holdings UK on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Monks & Crane Industrial Group Limited to Ensco 1286.
  • Advised BGF on its investment in Telford-based global returns business Rebound. The transaction represents a significant investment by BGF in the global returns business,  which is used by clothing retailers such as ASOS.  
  • Advised shareholders in garage operator MPK ( including BGF) on the sale and purchase of the entire issued share capital of MPK by Stratford Retail Group. The deal represents one of BGF's main exits last year.

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West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Birmingham
Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 3

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP focuses on contentious matters concerning contract breaches, professional negligence, partnership agreements and commercial fraud. The 'remarkably user-friendly' Richard Coates leads the practice, while another key figure is Louise Wilson, who a similar focus on contract breaches and negligence cases.

Practice head(s):Richard Coates 

Other key lawyers:Louise Wilson


'Richard Coates is remarkably user-friendly and has a strong natural instinct for commercial litigation.'

'Louise Wilson brings a clear head and well-thought-out strategic advice.'

'Freeths is a very effective mid-tier commercial litigation practice, with great focus on efficient matter management for medium size cases.'

Key Clients

Aldi Stores Limited

Inchcape Retail Limited

The National Exhibition Centre Limited

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Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the West Midlands
Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the West Midlands - ranked: tier 3

Freeths LLP

The Stoke office of Freeths LLP is primarily known for advising on disputes in the property and energy sectors. Stephen Hadley leads the team and has extensive experience in corporate and property litigation.

Practice head(s):1

Other key lawyers:4

Key Clients

Tarmac PLC

Bird & Sons / Yarrows Aggregate Ltd

Norcros PLC

Baker Tilly

Moore Stephens

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West Midlands: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Freeths LLP

At Freeths LLP, the banking and finance team has a strong focus in acquisition finance, and also assists banks and borrowers with refinancing and corporate lending. The department, which is led by the 'exceptional and highly regarded' James Dyson recently boosted its offering with the arrival of Islamic finance and asset-based lending expert Renata Rai, who joined as a director from Al Tamimi & Company in November 2018.

Practice head(s):James Dyson

Other key lawyers:Renata Rai


'Pragmatic, forward thinking and driven - the team gives an exceptional quality of advice, commercial insight and support.'

'Always very helpful in discussing proposed complex corporate and property structures. The firm keeps you informed of the process and is very commercially minded in getting deals through.'

'James Dyson is exceptional and highly regarded in the market; he is fair, commercial and technical at the same time, and provides the highest level of service.'

'James Dyson is highly knowledgeable and able to explain complex legal jargon in layman's terms. He is very commercially minded and can work to very tight deadlines even when unexpected issues arise.'

'Commercially minded in getting deals through.'

Key Clients

Clydesdale Bank

Lloyds Bank

Allied Irish Bank

Santander UK

Cambridge & Counties Bank

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Frontier Development Capital

Lloyds Development Capital

Finance Birmingham

Business Growth Fund

Leumi ABL

West Midlands Combined Authority

Work highlights

  • Represented Clydesdale Bank on the provision of senior term loan and working capital facilities to WHCO9 to support the management buy-out of recruitment services business Siamo Azzuri.
  • Represented Project Chicago Newco on the banking and finance aspects of its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of vehicle management and logistics support specialist SMH Fleet Solutions.
  • Represented Allied Irish Bank on the provision of senior term loan facilities to Flamerite Fires Group to support its acquisition of Flamerite Holdings.
  • Represented Leumi ABL on the £10.5m provision of asset based lending facilities to manufacturer and distributor of health and beauty products D.D.D.
  • Represented Clydesdale Bank on its refinancing of Penso Group.

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West Midlands: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 4

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP ’s regional employment practice is serviced by its Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent offices, but the firm also benefits from a strong national profile. It receives a steady flow of work from a diverse client base, such as well-known listed companies and a large number of public and education sector clients. Rebecca Sawbridge and Peter Gavin are the main contacts in the team, which is well-equipped to handle complex Employment Tribunal claims.

Practice head(s):Rebecca Sawbridge; Peter Gavin

Key Clients

ALDI Stores

DPD Group UK

Tarmac Group

Sofidel  Group

Staffline Recruitment

National Express

Center Parcs

Paul Smith

ERIKS Industrial Services

The Reflex Group

Aperam Alloys IMPHY

Preston Innovations

Stone Group

AP Racing

EH Smith

The British Horse Society

Envisage Group

Daelmans Pastries

Hydrock Consultants

Medinet Clinical Services

Inchcape Retail

Voltalia UK

Sopra Steria Recruitment

International Glazing Services


Work highlights

  • Provides AP Racing with regular HR assistance on everyday operational matters as well as strategic advice.
  • Recently advised Stone Group on the departure of several key Board members and senior managers, as well as the enforcement of restrictive covenants in relation to the poaching and loss of staff.
  • Acting as sole employment law advisor to Paul Smith, advising on day-to-day HR matters and employment litigation as well as providing training to the HR team and line managers
  • Defending a client against a claim for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal/breach of contract and whistleblowing by the former CEO.
  • Defending a client against a claim of unfair dismissal brought by a lecturer following a collective redundancy exercise.

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West Midlands: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy - ranked: tier 3

Freeths LLP

Traditionally strong in the renewable sector, Freeths LLP recently increased its offering with the October 2018 hire of waste sector expert Kirstin Roberts, who joined as a director from Gateley Plc. The team regularly acts for developers, energy suppliers, operators and investors on a variety of contentious and non-contentious matters, including renewable energy projects, acquisitions and disposals, energy supply and offtaker agreements. Former partner Catherine Burke left in May 2018 to join client Metka-EGN as general counsel.

Practice head(s):Jason Richards, Kirstin Roberts, James Larmour


'Freeths has experience and knowledge in the energy sector, with the breadth of non-energy specific specialists to cover our needs from contracts to trademarks.'

'Jason Richards has been a great help in both offering advice and connecting us with specialists in other fields.'

'Kirstin Roberts is a proactive and pragmatic solicitor who cares about the results of her work and is great to work with.'

'Very capable, responsive, engaging, fun to work with, and excellent value for money.'

'Willing and able to accommodate commercial reality alongside legal 'best practice' in a way that makes life much more manageable.'

Key Clients

FCC Environment

Oasthouse Ventures

Clean Earth Group

Metka-EGN Limited

Voltalia UK Limited

Voltalia Portugal S.A.

Sovereign Energy Partners LLP

Orbital Power Ltd

Hybrid Energy Solutions

Kanfa Group

Amber Infrastructure


RE Projects Development

Reliance Energy Limited

Icosa Water

Travis Perkins plc

Tarmac Trading Limited

Derbyshire Dales County Council


RCD Utilities

4D Energy

ALDI Stores

Envirotech Energy Solutions

Solar Power Inc

The National Exhibition Centre

Sowden Group Limited

Onsite Energy Projects

Nottingham Trent University

Aurora Energy Research

Work highlights

  • Advising Voltalia Portugal on an EPC contract to design, supply and commission a 7.5MW solar PV plant in Burundi, and advising on associated risks related to an existing Power Purchase Agreement between the Burundian employer and a local offtaker.
  • Advised Clean Earth Group on the restructuring and refinancing of eight onshore wind projects, having previously advised the client on the acquisition of the projects.
  • Advising Reliance Energy on various side agreements associated with a dispute concerning the sale of a developed site under a long-term agreement for the development of flexible power generation projects.

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Project finance and PFI
Project finance and PFI - ranked: tier 2

Freeths LLP

Led by James Larmour, Freeths LLP's practice focuses on advising infrastructure funds and asset management companies on funding and development matters in the energy and education sectors, including the financing and refinancing of energy and infrastructure projects and the procurement of contracts. Waste and renewables industry specialist Kirstin Roberts joined from Gateley Plc in September 2018.

Practice head(s):James Larmour


'Very capable, responsive, engaging, fun to work with, and excellent value for money'

Key Clients

Amber Infrastructure Limited/International Public Partnerships Limited

Calvin Capital

Dalmore Capital

Engie Services Limited


inspiredspaces Tameside Limited

Transmission Investment

Work highlights

  • Advised Tameside on a number of construction projects following the Carillion insolvency.
  • Advised an infrastructure fund managed by Amber Infrastructure on the refinancing of five PFI projects.
  • Advised Amber Infrastructure on the acquisition of Carillion’s interests in six Local Education Partnerships.
  • Advised on a £100m street-lighting PFI refinancing.
Leading individuals

James Larmour - Freeths LLP

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West Midlands: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP focuses on real estate and commercial matters. The 'knowledgeable' Nathan Holden, who leads the firm's local government offering, is regularly involved in the drafting of partnership arrangements, compulsory purchases and other commercial work. Mitchell Ball assists local authorities with real estate-related work such as residential projects, regeneration of industrial sites, office developments, as well as property sales and acquisitions.

Practice head(s):Nathan Holden

Other key lawyers:Mitchell Ball


'Nathan Holden is a very reassuring presence in any project. He is very, personable, knowledgeable and explains complicated issues in a effective manner'

Key Clients

Nottinghamshire County Council – Pension Fund

Cherwell District Council

Middlesbrough Borough Council

Surrey County Council

Wigan Council

Milton Keynes Development Partnership

Mole Valley District

Guildford Borough Council

Cumbria County Council

Luton Borough Council

London Borough of Camden

Tandridge District Council

Milton Keynes Council

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Staffordshire Moorlands District

Birmingham City Council

Derby City Council

Leicestershire County Council

Kettering Borough Council

Cambridge City Council

Leeds City Council

Kirklees Council

Leicester City Council

Cheshire East Council

Telford and Wrekin Council

Halton Borough Council

Walsall Council

Rushmoor Borough Council

London Borough of Newham

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Assisting Leicester City Council in securing a CPO for the regeneration of a former industrial site, including the delivery of 500 homes.
  • Represented Tandridge District Council in respect of partnership arrangements with Freedom Leisure for the continued operation of leisure facilities in the district.
  • Acting on a range of property acquisition and property management work.
  • Appointed by Leicester City Council to procure the development of land as new office and incubator space adjacent to the National Space Centre.

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West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham
Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 5

Freeths LLP

With expertise in the logistics, retail, energy and public sector, the real estate team at Freeths LLP acts for local authorities, landowners and developers on real estate matters relating to residential and commercial development, as well as transactions and leasing. Lucy Jackson was promoted to director in September 2018.

Practice head(s):Mitchell Ball; Richard Beverley; Lucy Jackson


'Lucy Jackson is very calm and collected, she gives sound advice in a clear manner.'

'Mitchell Ball is a very good lawyer - he is thorough, professional and very knowledgeable. On top of that he is very easy to work with, responsive to queries and provides reassurance that the client is in safe hands.'

'The best practice I have used for commercial property development work - never  anything other than very engaging and professional.'

Key Clients

Paul Smith Limited

Gant UK Limited

Y International (UK) Limited

Santander UK plc

Lloyds Bank plc

Measure Corporation Limited

Calthorpe Estates

Central Bedfordshire Council

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Leicester City Council

Cherwell District Council

The National Exhibition Centre

Telford and Wrekin Council

Walsall Council

Tandridge District Council

Work highlights

  • Acted for Cherwell District Council in relation to the acquisition of Castle Quay shopping centre.
  • Acting for the Daventry District Council in relation to the redevelopment of the Daventry town centre.
  • Acted for Y International (UK) in relation to a large-scale site acquisition and development loan.
  • Acted for Moorfields Advisory in respect of the sale of a complicated brownfield site.
  • Advising for Walsall Council on the new lettings at Saddlers shopping centre in Walsall.

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West Midlands: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP has an experienced team that advises high-profile commercial retail clients on outsourcing and data protection matters. Mark Neale, who has more than 15 years’ experience of advising on IT and data matters, heads up the team, while also working with clients on the development of new websites and representing them in negotiations for new services arrangements. He is assisted by Nicola Cooper and Matthew Johnson.

Practice head(s):Mark Neale

Key Clients


Travis Perkins



Jaguar Land Rover Retail Board



William Hill

RGIS Inventory Specialists




Stone Computers

Luceco Plc

Funeral Partners

Work highlights

  • Advising Travis Perkins Group in respect of the separation of its IT arrangements in advance of its proposed sale of its plumbing and heating division.
  • Advising a major supermarket of its procurement of a new Wide Area Network (WAN) throughout its UK stores and offices.
  • Advising a retail company on its renegotiations with a payroll and HR systems provider.
  • Advised a retail company on the development of new technologies for implementation into its group websites, together with ongoing maintenance of its existing website technologies.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's growing IP team provides 'commercial and pragmatic' advice covering patents, trademarks and copyright infringement. Led by 'true subject matter expert' Simon Barker, the practice focuses primarily on soft IP matters. The team is particularly active in the retail sector and clients include a well-known global cosmetics brand and other high-profile international and high-street names.

Practice head(s):Simon Barker

Other key lawyers:Stuart Lester


'Very pragmatic and sensible.  Excellent technical skills.'

'Simon Barker provides a high quality service.'

'Commercial and pragmatic.'

'Simon Barker is a trusted adviser who is a true subject matter expert.'

Key Clients

Aldi Stores Limited

Bridges Business Space No2 LLP

Birlea Furniture Ltd

Creative Products Ltd


Travis Perkins plc

Eurocell Group plc

William Hill


Work highlights

  • Acted in relation to a trade mark infringement of the EU word mark BIRLEA by a third party on a major international retailers' website.
  • Acted for Creative Products Limited in defence of an alleged design registration infringement brought by an international company.  
  • Advising in relation to pre-action correspondence intimating patent infringement, and requesting pre-action disclosure for an aerospace client.  
  • Managing and maintaining a substantial trade mark portfolio for a leading international bookmaker.
  • Advised on and drafted the necessary assignment documents in relation to a reorganisation of major cosmetic company's trade marks in over 50 territories around the world.
Leading individuals

Simon Barker - Freeths LLP

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Further information on Freeths LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Freeths LLP in other jurisdictions.

East Midlands

Offices in Nottingham, Derby, and Leicester


Offices in London

North West

Offices in Manchester and Liverpool

South East

Offices in Milton Keynes and Oxford

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham and Stoke on Trent

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Sheffield and Leeds

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