Firm Profile > Freeths LLP > London , England

Freeths LLP

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 2

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.

Rising stars


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

Mediators Tier 2

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.

Commercial property: retail Tier 3

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.


‘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

Court of protection Tier 3

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.


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

Local government Tier 4

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.


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

Mediators Tier 4

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.

Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 5

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.

Planning Tier 5

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.


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

Property finance Tier 6

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.


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


Commercial litigation Tier 7

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.


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)


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.

Freeths is a national law firm with a great reputation for delivering high-quality advice and results for its clients. Clients talk about trusting the Freeths team to do the right thing, and like their strong ethics, integrity and entrepreneurial spirit.

The firm: With 13 offices in the UK the firm has excellent geographic reach and connectivity. This firmly establishes Freeths as one of the leading national law firms in the UK. A snapshot of clients includes: Aldi, RBS, Tarmac, BDW Group, Ladbrokes Coral, Travis Perkins, Fresenius Medical Care, Santander, Capita, Bellway Homes Limited, Whitbread Group PLC, Centre Parcs, Poundland, Nottingham University and Experian.

Freeths has won a host of regional and national accolades in recent years, including Best Companies for 2019, and is ranked 57th in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For 2019. It also won ‘Firm of the Year’ in the UK Diversity Legal Awards 2017. The Legal 500’s UK rankings for 2019 also put Freeths as a top-tier firm in no less than 24 categories, we have 24 Leading Elite Lawyers and 164 Recommended Lawyers. Of those 164, 13 are recommended as Next Generation Lawyers. Freeths has also been awarded silver standard in Investors in People and Legal Technology Awards and nominations. The firm is committed to the regional communities in which it is based and actively supports a number of causes, both nationally and regionally.

The firm’s approach is rooted in knowing and understanding its clients and building value. Freeths’ core values ensure it is committed to: delivering results by taking ownership of the situation in order to provide practical and often bespoke solutions; building trust and long-term relationships, working closely with clients and sharing risk when appropriate; and thinking differently, with the firm offering real insight and innovative solutions to legal and commercial issues, and to the way in which these are delivered to help its clients get a step ahead.

Clients of Freeths are particularly impressed with its efforts to partner closely with them to reduce their legal spend by analysing the root cause and then up-skilling the client’s team.

Types of work undertaken: The firm works with major international and UK corporations, FTSE/AIM companies, regional businesses, institutions, public bodies and high-net-worth individuals. It works across all areas of practice, including corporate, commercial, HR, pensions, property (developers, institutional lenders, investors, housing associations, and commercial landlords and tenants), planning, environmental, tax, dispute resolution, intellectual property, EC law and corporate defence.

Freeths’ private client team has an excellent reputation for advising individuals on every aspect of their life, from wealth generation and preservation through to acquisitions and disposals of property, future planning (wills and probate), family and childcare matters, personal injury, clinical negligence, andhelping people who lack capacity due to an accident, old age, mental illness or learning difficulties.

Key sector specialisms include stand-out experience in the drinks and hospitality sector, retail, food, franchise, transport, renewable energy, property, healthcare and public sector.

The private client team at Freeths’ Oxford office is well known in agriculture, bloodstock and rural affairs, as well as the charities sector.

Other offices: Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Oxford, Sheffield, and Stoke.


Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Colin Flanagan
Chief executive Peter Smith
Corporate and commercial Karl Jansen
Construction Chris Holwell
Dispute resolution Philippa Dempster
Employment Julian Middleton
Real estate Darren Williamson
Private client Nigel Cullen
Private client Jane Goulding
Photo Name Position Profile
 Mike Bell  photo Mike Bell
 Rachel Bolt  photo Rachel Bolt
 Tom Bradford  photo Tom Bradford
 Andrew Bretherton  photo Andrew Bretherton
 Robert Bruce  photo Robert Bruce
 Jenny Cooper  photo Jenny Cooper
 Francis Dalton  photo Francis Dalton
 Philippa Dempster  photo Philippa Dempster
 James Gorman  photo James Gorman
 Sarah Griggs  photo Sarah Griggs
 Peter Hill  photo Peter Hill
 Helen Jones  photo Helen Jones
 Clare King  photo Clare King
 Irpreet Kohli  photo Irpreet Kohli
 Martyn Kolankiewicz  photo Martyn Kolankiewicz
 David Laurence  photo David Laurence
 Andrew Maxwell  photo Andrew Maxwell
 Jaspal Pachu  photo Jaspal Pachu
 Clive Pearce  photo Clive Pearce
 Kevin Poulter  photo Kevin Poulter
 Imogen Randall  photo Imogen Randall
 Jennifer Roe  photo Jennifer Roe
 Adel Shetty  photo Adel Shetty
 Matt Stephens  photo Matt Stephens
 Amanda Trewhella  photo Amanda Trewhella
 Shradha Virji  photo Shradha Virji
 Vickie Williams  photo Vickie Williams
Number of UK partners : 206
Number of other UK fee-earners : 546