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Freeths LLP

Work 0845 050 3200
Fax 0845 050 3250

London: Corporate and commercial

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m
M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m - ranked: tier 2

Freeths LLP

Across its 13 nationwide offices, Freeths LLP  acts for clients ranging from owner-managed SMEs and individual entrepreneurs to larger listed public companies. The M&A team works closely with equity capital markets colleagues to advise AIM clients on listings and related acquisitions. Practice head Tom Rowley has particular experience in the aviation industry. Associate Francis Dalton has a broad practice, with a focus on private M&A in the media, technology and healthcare sectors.

Practice head(s):Tom Rowley

Other key lawyers:Francis Dalton


'Freeths are smart, focused and 100% professional'

'Practical approach backed by experience'

'Creative thinking, innovative, absolute dedication, tremendous work ethic and value for money'

'Tom Rowley and Francis Dalton encompass the values that make Freeths such a pleasure to work with'

Key Clients

Patron Capital Partners

Green Man Gaming Holdings Plc

Eddie Stobart Logistics Plc

Quixant Plc

Gama Aviation Plc

BGF Investments LP

Northbridge Industrial Services Plc

N+1 Singer Advisory LLP

Crown Worldwide Limited

Calculus Capital

Proteome Sciences plc

Ten Entertainment Group plc

Benito’s Hat


ECSC Group Plc

Autins Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of insurance broker WWIS and its underwriting arm ORS on the sale of WWIS and ORS to PIB Group Limited
  • Advised Eddie Stobart Logistics on its acquisition of The Pallet Network Group for £52.8m on a cash and debt free basis.
  • Acted as counsel to AIM-quoted eg Solutions on its public takeover by Verint Systems Inc, implemented by way of scheme of arrangement, for £26m.
  • Advised Calculus Capital on its acquisition of 10% of the share capital of Cloud Trade Technologies, for £2m.
  • Advised the shareholders of London mortgage broker Charles Cameron & Associates on its sale to private equity firm Lonsdale Capital Limited.
Rising stars

Francis Dalton - Freeths LLP

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London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 7

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's 'team provides good value for money' across a broad array of disputes work including corporate and M&A matters, commercial disputes, fraud, insolvency, group actions, public sector disputes, IT matters and insurance. Philippa Dempster is the principal contact and Vickie Williams was promoted to director.

Practice head(s):Philippa Dempster

Other key lawyers:Vickie Williams


'The team has a strong presence in IT litigation'.

'Director Vickie Williams is a good team player and takes a commercial approach'.

Key Clients

Eddie Stobart

William Hill Organization

Lyle & Scott

Volare Aviation

GP Surveyors

The liquidators of SHB Realisations (formerly BHS)

Work highlights

  • On behalf of nearly 600 claimants, the team acted in a group action against Post Office for damages suffered because of the Horizon computer system's failings.

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Mediators - ranked: tier 4

Mark Keeley - Freeths LLP

Charles Powell - Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's Charles Powell, who is also at In Place of Strife, is 'an exceptional mediator'. He 'finds patches of common ground in battlefields littered with casualties' and 'parties trust him to guide them towards a resolution because he understands the necessary ingredients for settlement and does not allow himself, or the parties, to become hung up on irrelevant aspects'. Powell has over 20 years of mediation experience and has conducted over 500 commercial mediations; he specialises in commercial and partnership disputes, property and fire damage claims, professional negligence and banking and asset finance disputes.

Freeths LLP's Nottingham-based Mark Keeley qualified as a mediator in 2010 and is widely respected for his specialism in contested trust and estate cases. He mediates approximately 40 cases each year and has helped resolve disputes involving complex UK and offshore estates.

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London: Human resources

Immigration: business - ranked: tier 6

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP handles a range of immigration work for corporate, individual and high-net-worth clients; ranging from entrepreneurs to multinational clients. The team regularly advises on right to work, compliance audits and advises clients on preventing and challenging civil penalties. It also handles sponsor licence applications and management issues and advises on suspended and revoked licences. The education, care, manufacturing, cyber, sports. technology, logistics and leisure sectors are key areas of focus. The team operates closely with the firm's corporate department to advise on the immigration implications of transactions. Tom Bradford, who previously worked at the Home Office, is the key partner in London.

Practice head(s):Tom Bradford

Other key lawyers:Shradha Virji

Work highlights

  • Represented a leading African musician on the establishment of a UK record label.
  • Advised a local authority on issues relating to Brexit.
  • Advised on the immigration issues relating to a merger of two companies.
  • Provided sponsor licence and visa support for a major UK telecoms infrastructure client.
  • Assisted a sucessful franchise on the transfer of senior executives to the UK.

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Pensions (non-contentious)
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 5

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP handles a broad range of issues for corporate clients, with regular mandates including updating trust deeds and rules, advising on pension scheme liabilities arising from acquisitions, indexing issues and GDPR compliance. The team has recently provided expertise with advising on auto-enrolment requirements and pension harmonisation issues for international businesses entering the UK market.

Practice head(s):Parminder Latimer

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London: Private client

Court of Protection
Court of Protection - ranked: tier 3

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP has a UK-wide Court of Protection team. The majority of its clients are brain-injured people who have received large awards. The practice is skilled at helping clients who require substantial care packages and have complex equipment and property needs as well as behavioural difficulties. The group handles a wide array of matters from acting as professional deputies for clients with valuable estates (several clients have large agricultural estates, businesses and foreign assets) through to preparing expert reports on Court of Protection costs for litigation proceedings. Melanie Williams and Jane Maitland were appointed to the Office of the Public Guardian’s panel of deputies in July 2015.

Practice head(s):Melanie Williams; Natasha Molloy

Other key lawyers:Jane Maitland


'Jane Goulding is very efficient, organised and is very passionate about what she does, always being client centred in her approach'.

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London: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 4

Freeths LLP

A substantial offering at Freeths LLP comprises numerous offices around the country that advise on a broad range of development and regeneration projects, including mixed-use constructions, shopping centres and investment transactions. It provides planning, environment and real estate expertise in these areas, and more broadly also advises on areas such as tax and property litigation. Nathan Holden is a key contact in Birmingham and Stephen Pearson is noted for his broad expertise, which includes employment law. Some of the key team members include Ian Rowson and Clive Pearce for real estate, and Robert Bruce and Jennifer Roe for planning.

Practice head(s):Nathan Holden

Other key lawyers:Stephen Pearson; Ian Rowson; Clive Pearce; Robert Bruce; Jennifer Roe


'They are flexible and responsive, good engagement with both officers and members'.

'Stephen Pearson is very knowledgeable and able to brief clients in plain English and is supportive of the development new policy and excellent at Elected member briefing'.


Key Clients

Rushmoor Borough Council

Wigan Borough Council

Melton Borough Council

Nottinghamshire County Council Pension Fund

Darlington Borough Council

Leicester City Council

Hinckley and Bosworth BC

London Borough of Camden

Royal London Borough of Greenwich

Swindon Borough Council

Staffordshire Moorlands DC

Work highlights

  • Acting for Mole Valley District Council on the £6m restructuring of the long shopping centre lease of St Martin’s Walk, Dorking.
  • Acting for Rushmoor Borough Council on a £3.4m acquisition of a retail unit occupied by Marks and Spencer.
  • Successfully defended  Nottinghamshire County Council Pension Fund and Standard Life Aberdeen on a High Court challenge, and subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal to a valuable certificate of lawfulness obtained by Notts CC as land owner. The matters has been appealed to the Supreme Court.
  • Acting for Milton Keynes Development Partnership (a development partnership set up by Milton Keynes Council to promote the development of its land). The promotion is for the development of up to 1,200 homes.
  • Acting for the London Borough of Camden in connection with the development of land in West Hampstead, which comprises the development of the site for housing and office uses, including an 11-storey tower.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property: retail
Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 3

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP’s 'knowledgeable and skilled' retail property team, which is led by Sarah Griggs and Jenny Cooper, advises clients ranging from household high street names to small niche retailers and also includes European, Australian and US entities entering the UK market. Instructions include a broad array of property matters in addition to retail-related IP, disputes, employment and regulatory affairs, among others. Ian Rowson leads the overall real estate department which is engaged for property transactions, real estate finance work, regeneration, urban regeneration and infrastructure projects as well as the disposal of distressed assets.

Practice head(s):Sarah Griggs; Jenny Cooper


'Freeths are extremely reliable and have strength in depth covering every aspect of work - development, investment, landlord and tenant, insolvency, contracts, construction and planning.'

'Ian Rowson, Clive Pearce and Frances Astbury are a formidable property team and deal with all challenges'.

'Strength in depth and expertise in most areas combined with excellent customer service.'

'Ian Rowson, Clive Pearce and Frances Astbury make an exceptionally strong property team.'

'Freeths have a key understanding of the commercialities and practicalities of the development process. They are able to sound advice whilst also having a forward thinking approach as to how the clients interests are protected.'

'Ian Rowson has a forward thinking approach and commercial approach to development.'

'David Laurence is quickly able to grasp a client's requirement with legal application. He has a skill to be able to allow a client to simply understand complex legal matters.'

'The team on retail property are very knowledgeable and skilled. They know all the key issues to discuss.'

'Sarah Griggs is a top class retail property lawyer. She understands the points that are important to retailers. She is very professional, practical and reliable.'

Key Clients

PVH (Tommy Hilfiger & Calvin Klein)


Duck & Dry


Wood Wood


Hotel Chocolat

Aldi Stores Limited

Papa John’s Pizza

Beyond Retro

City North Finsbury Park

Anytime Fitness

Matt Roberts Gyms

Psycle Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Hotel Chocolat on over 30 retail property deals in high streets, train stations and shopping centres, including the relocation in Westfield, London.
  • Acted for Aldi in the UK, dealing with the administration of their alcohol licensing since they first emerged in the UK in 1990.

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Planning - ranked: tier 5

Freeths LLP

The planning and environmental team at Freeths LLP handles complex residential-led and mixed-use developments for a modest list of local authorities, advising on all relevant issues including section 106 negotiations, highways agreements, rights of way issues, and CIL. Commercial clients instruct the team to represent their interest in judicial review proceedings, with recent successes in both defending and challenging planning decisions in the High Court. Practice head Robert Bruce also advises on CPO compensation claims and other contentious issues.

Practice head(s):Robert Bruce


'Provides prompt and thorough legal advice.'

Key Clients

Nottinghamshire County Council Pension Fund & Aberdeen Standard Life

English Heritage

Stein Management Limited

Milton Keynes Development Partnership



Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council

Travis Perkins

Urban & Civic

Work highlights

  • Advising Stein Management on an application for a 3,200 home mixed-use development in Nottingham.
  • Handled Travis Perkins' judicial review claim against Grosvenor Estates' planning permission approval by Westminster City Council for the demolition of a non-designated heritage asset in a conservation area.
  • Advising Aldi on how to obtain planning permission and mitigate the legal risk following a High Court challenge by Co-op Food to a new Aldi store in Highworth, Swindon.
  • Represented the NHS in a multi-million pound CPO compensation claim in the Upper Tribunal.
  • Advising Urban & Civic on a complex redevelopment application crossing multiple  boroughs.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 6

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's growing client base includes investment and development companies, private equity and infrastructure funds, and clearing and challenger banks. The team has particular expertise in development finance, particularly in the healthcare (including care homes) and student accommodation sectors and for mixed-use and residential development schemes. Practice head Richard Williams leads the practice, which also handles mezzanine lending, distressed property finance, and sharia-compliant transactions.

Practice head(s):Richard Williams


'Freeths offers strong partner and associate support.'

'The team stands out for its commercial acumen; it is relationship driven, very responsive and solution focused.'

'Richard Williams deserves praise for his availability, speed and accuracy of engagement.'

'Freeths has excellent service, is very timely on delivery of work and is a very competent team.'

'The team understands how we work and what is important to us, and therefore negotiates positions that we are comfortable with.'

'The team is not only very knowledgeable and efficient but also incredibly responsive.'

'The access you have and the presence of Richard Williams on the transaction is second to none. He is always available and on top of all the aspects of the transaction.'

'The team has a pragmatic and commercial outlook to transactions. They have strong attention to detail and a proactive approach.'

Key Clients

Puma Investments

Ahli United Bank

Allied Irish Bank


Santander UK plc


Lloyds Banking Group

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Patron Capital


Work highlights

  • Advising ICG-Longbow on its mezzanine financing of over 20 commercial real estate assets throughout the UK.
  • Advising the City North Finsbury Park joint venture on its development funding of the City North, Finsbury Park mixed-use development.
  • Advising Patron Capital on a number of real estate funding arrangements, including the acquisition financing of a group which owns a number of pubs in the UK.
  • Advising Homes England on a number of sharia-compliant development finance facilities, including the refinancing of a converted residential building.
  • Advising Svenska Handelsbanken AB on the refinancing of over 50 residential properties in England and Wales.

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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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