Firm Profile > Freeths LLP > Leeds, England

Freeths LLP

Commercial litigation: Sheffield, South Yorkshire Tier 2

Freeths LLP handles a variety of contentious matters ranging from shareholder and partnership disputes to public procurement challenges, contractual claims, insolvency matters and reputation management work. James Hartley, who splits his time between the Leeds and Sheffield offices, heads up the team alongside the 'super smart' James Berry, who attracts praise for being 'very personable and quick on the uptake' and focuses on the manufacturing, construction and technology sectors. Senior associate Mark Gudgeon acts for clients in a range of commercial disputes including public procurement challenges.


Freeths LLP commercial litigation team provides a very professional and pleasant approach to clients.

Freeths LLP is an excellent choice for anyone (claimant or defendant) who requires advice or representation in commercial disputes, whether in Yorkshire or indeed nationally.

Freeths LLP‘s dispute resolution team is very experienced, competent, professional and good value.

Freeths LLP‘s provides partner-led client engagement with a broad range of specialist areas and an effective network of wider business contacts.

Freeths LLP litigation team provides clear advice, unwavering support, genuine interest in the client’s business, unprompted updates and engagement.

James Hartley has a great reputation in Yorkshire for commercial litigation.

James Berry is quick to respond and is able to confidently and concisely provide sound advice that is understandable and clear to a lay person.

James Berry is absolutely first rate — he is highly intelligent, strong analytically and strategically, extremely hardworking and excellent with clients.’

James Berry is the man you want on your side in commercial litigation; he is the complete package.

Associate Ciaran Dearden is one to watch as he is smart, diligent and dedicated to the client’s interests.

Key clients

Global Technologies Racing Limited

MGS Technical Plastics Limited

Paragon Quality Foods Limited

Additive Manufacturing Technologies Limited

Advanced Alloy Services Limited

Solpro Manufacturing Limited

C Spencer Limited

EMP Technologies Limited

EMC Solihull MBC


Healthcare Business Solutions (UK) Limited

FISC Limited

Engie Fabricom UK Limited

Zoll Medical UK Limited

EMC Melton Borough Council

Rafico Engineering Ltd

Corporate and commercial: Sheffield, South Yorkshire Tier 2

The team at Freeths LLP handles a breadth of transactions for its client base, which encompasses SMEs and large corporates; the group also has particular experience acting for manufacturing, engineering and high-growth technology businesses. Practice head Peter Crawford and senior associate Lisa Wallis are key names to note and have experience handling corporate deals and commercial agreements.


Working with the team at Freeths is a complete delight. It is always innovative and quick to respond to any issue, which certainly helps calm tricky situations.

Peter Crawford is reliable, super professional and makes an effort to feel like he is part of the client’s company.

Key clients

The Floow

The InfoTrack Group

Careport Group

The Arkote Group


Additive Manufacturing Technologies

Whitespace Technology

Pro Display TM

Osmond Capital

Various Eateries Group

Environment Tier 2

Freeths LLP is known for its work on complex development sites, handling issues relating to wildlife and the natural environment, water, waste and contaminated land work. The group also assists with permitting matters, environmental crime work, water and ground pollution incidents, transactional mandates and judicial reviews. Team leader Penny Simpson is an all-round environmental lawyer and counts developers, mineral, energy and water companies, charities and public sector bodies among her clients.


Penny Simpson is a well-known name in the environmental world and a go-to practitioner in the field‘.

Key clients

The States of Jersey Government

Howard Sawston Ltd

Naturespace Partnership Ltd

Thatchers Cider Company

Commercial Estates Group Ltd

Affinity Water Ltd

Morris Homes Ltd

Cornwall Council

Corporate tax Tier 3

Freeths LLP's tax practice is instructed on the tax elements of a range of corporate and real estate transactions including M&A, project finance work and the structuring of private equity funds. It benefits from the ability to leverage its national network in large instructions. Nottingham-based Bob Neal heads the team, which includes Adrian Hackett in Sheffield.

Key clients

Eddie Stobart

Linley & Simpson


Hague SR Limited


Xceed Group Limited

JGA Group Limited

Majenta PLM Limited

Flomax Limited

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

Freeths LLP focuses on complex restructurings and non-contentious corporate insolvencies for clients in a variety of sectors including retail, hospitality, manufacturing, property and banking. Insolvency practitioners, accountants, banks, creditors, corporates and individuals make up the team's client roster nationally. Oliver Jackson heads up the group.


Freeths fields a great team, who all work together to achieve the desired outcome‘.

The team is growing its profile in the local market, becoming increasingly visible‘.

Oliver Jackson is very thorough and provides a fantastic service‘.

Key clients


Begbies Traynor

Wilson Field

Leonard Curtis

The Springs Partnership (Graywoods)

Abbey Taylor

BHP Clough Corporate Solutions

Restart BTI

ELS Advisory

Maxim IP

Pensions Tier 3

Freeths LLP acts for a range of clients spanning family-owned businesses, SMEs, large corporates and public sector clients. The team was established following the arrival of practice head Nigel Bolton and Kim Jones in November 2017 from Irwin Mitchell. Bolton is frequently instructed on public sector outsourcings and advising trustees on scheme closures, mergers, data protection issues and scheme funding issues, while Jones has particular expertise assisting with scheme mergers and scheme wind-ups on a solvent and insolvent basis.


Freeths provide an excellent, pragmatic and practical pension legal service to middle-market businesses at a very competitive price.

Nigel Bolton is a very experienced pension lawyer with a strong commercial understanding of entrepreneurial and family businesses. His capability to devise practical solutions to pension legal problems is unsurpassed in the market.

Kim Jones has a great capability to communicate complex issues in a manner that is clearly understandable by trustees and senior management teams alike.

Nigel Bolton and Kim Jones provide an excellent service, responding quickly and sensibly to requests for advice.

Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 4

Freeths LLP handles a range of issues including international dispute resolution and arbitration, trusts, estates and private litigation, pensions matters, competition litigation and insurance sector claims. James Hartley, who has expertise in litigation funding, heads the team, which includes Lindsey Clegg, who is frequently instructed in cross-border commercial disputes, and legal director Stephen Lewis, who has particular expertise in insurance litigation. The team benefits from the addition of senior associate Laura Short, a trusts and estates dispute specialist, who joined from Jones Myers LLP.


Freeths LLP‘s dispute resolution team has been making an impact on the Leeds legal market and is developing a reputation for handling some good work.

The individuals at Freeths are clearly experts in their field.

Freeths LLP‘s dispute resolution practice provides customers the best answer for the best value for money, with no hint of complacency.

The litigation team at Freeths LLP  is very personable, easy to work and communicate with, and combines good team spirit with a competent professional approach to issues.

Freeths LLP has excellent technical skills and awareness of the law, combined with a practical approach to cases and a very pragmatic approach to solving the problem at hand and finding the solution for the client.

‘Senior associate Laura Short is very on the ball, technically excellent and a great advocate to have fighting your corner.’

Key clients

Peerless Europe

North Tyneside Council

Onur Air T.S.

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 4

Freeths LLP's real estate team focuses on commercial development, leisure and retail, public sector and pharmacy clients. Matthew Thompson leads the practice, and also leads on much of the team's most significant work in sectors including manufacturing, retail and leisure. Liz Banks is another notable name, leading the firm's local government team, with a focus on investment and development transactions.

Key clients



Travis Perkins

Glentrool Estates Group

Highgrove Group

Opus Land

S Harrison Developments

Leeds City Council

Harrogate Borough Council

Prestige Car Direct Properties

Imaan Ltd

Sharief Healthcare

Marsdens Developments

Construction Tier 4

Freeths LLP is noted for its contentious expertise, with a particular focus on the water, energy, utilities, engineering and technology sectors. The group has also recently handled a number of procurement processes. Joseph Hale and Rachael Yates jointly lead the department; Hale handles procurement work alongside his contentious expertise and Yates counts employers, contractors and subcontractors as clients.


Freeths’ team of specialists gives thorough and sound advice. The small size of the team means clients have regular personal contact with partners, and everyone is willing to get stuck in to get things done. The team values personal relationships with clients and goes above and beyond to ensure that client expectations are met and provides a first-class service along the way‘.

Joseph Hale is an excellent contentious and non-contentious partner. He is very bright and knowledgeable on the law and gives sensible and clear advice. He is fun to work with and clients respect and trust him‘.

Key clients

Mott MacDonald Bentley

Vital Energi Utilities Limited


Amey Plc

Engie Fabricom

Delta Simons

Sarens (UK) Limited

Mayfair Developments and Properties Limited

GF Tomlinson and Sons Limited

Gyron Internet Limited

James Fisher Nuclear Limited

Kanfa Group

Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 5

Freeths LLP handles M&A, private equity work, financing and corporate restructuring and reorganisation transactions for its diverse client roster, which includes owner-managed businesses, SMEs and national public and private companies. Dahren Naidoo jointly heads up the team with Andy Francey, who has particular experience handling bank refinancings in the leisure sector.


The Freeths team demonstrates a personable service and a holistic approach to dealing with legal matters. It is able to break down an idea into a logical legal roadmap and implement an idea into a solid agreement that captures what the client needs. What makes it unique is its personable, logical, holistic approach to matters backed by various legal expertise in the one firm, that can be conveniently accessed.

Andy Francey from the commercial law division stands out with his logical approach to resolving complex legal matters, coupled with his personable approach and ability to deliver outstanding service on a tight time line, within the budget originally estimated.

The individuals at Freeths are approachable, knowledgeable, accessible and helpful. They often go the extra mile without being asked in order to deliver the best outcome for the client, and the speed of response is excellent.

Dahren Naidoo thinks laterally and proactively tests and challenges the business rationale for a particular action in the context of the legal framework. He manages the project and team cost effectively and on time, and delivers sound advice in a timely fashion and acts very much as a critical friend to the business. He is very highly regarded and the ‘go-to’ corporate lawyer for M&A, with first-class associates and junior lawyers in support.

Key clients

Eddie Stobart

Linley & Simpson



Peratech Holdco

Hague SR


Arie Capital

Arie Tech LLP

Filmore and Union

Knightsbridge Mergers and Acquistions PTY

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
 Liz Banks  photo Liz Banks
 Helen Bates  photo Helen Bates
 Nigel Bolton  photo Nigel Bolton
 Emma Brooksbank  photo Emma Brooksbank
 Lindsey Clegg  photo Lindsey Clegg
 Jonathan Crew  photo Jonathan Crew
 Richard Crosland  photo Richard Crosland
 Nichola Faith  photo Nichola Faith
 Andy Francey  photo Andy Francey
 Joseph Hale  photo Joseph Hale
 James Hartley  photo James Hartley
 Dean Hill  photo Dean Hill
 Kim Jones  photo Kim Jones
 Stephen Lewis  photo Stephen Lewis
 Daniel McNally  photo Daniel McNally
 Philip Myers  photo Philip Myers
 Dahren Naidoo  photo Dahren Naidoo
 Emma L Roche  photo Emma L Roche
 Matthew Thompson  photo Matthew Thompson
 Rachael Yates  photo Rachael Yates
Number of UK partners : 206
Number of other UK fee-earners : 546