Firm Profile > Freeths LLP > Leicester, England
Freeths LLP Offices
ONE COLTON SQUARE
Freeths LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
Banking and finance Tier 1
Freeths LLP's market-leading reputation is underpinned by its seamless coordination across offices and breadth of expertise. Nottingham office managing partner Chris Freeston has expertise in all types of corporate lending transactions, with notable specialisms in property and construction finance, as well as project finance. Also based in Nottingham are John Heaphy, - whose acquisition finance knowledge complements his M&A experience - recently promoted director Katie Hillier and director Renata Rai. During 2018 the team was boosted by the addition of derivatives expert Adam Wood from Clifford Chance. Phil Baigent in Leicester is well-known for his expertise in the private healthcare sector, where he acts for funders, investors and care home operators.
‘Freeths offers superb out-of-the-box thinking‘
‘Chris Freeston is very engaging, and has an ability to cover a wide variety of financing transactions, ranging from property finance to private equity and everything in between‘
‘The team is very personable, knowledgeable and fast in providing solutions‘
‘In many cases, other law firms fail to provide adequate advice around the legal documents and associated risks, whereas Freeths will properly advise as to how each point will affect us‘
Allied Irish Bank
Cambridge & Counties Bank
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group
Frontier Development Capital
Lloyds Development Capital
Business Growth Fund
West Midlands Combined Authority
Freeths LLP's first-rate reputation in dispute resolution has seen its Leicester team undertake an increasing amount of work for clients in the food sector. In addition, the firm is well-known nationally for its strengths in energy (particularly LPG) sector matters. Mukesh Patel leads the team, advising on professional negligence claims, contractual disputes, insurance litigation and public procurement challenges. Simon Baigent (who has more than 20 years of dispute resolution experience), Emma Anderson and associate Richard Fitzmaurice are recommended.
Flogas Britain Limited
MPK Garages Limited
RC Tuxford Exports Limited
Travis Perkins Plc
Greenyard Fresh UK Limited
Cofresh Foods (Lakshmi & Son’s Limited)
Rigid Containers Limited
Karsten UK Limited
J&A Young (Leicester) Limited
Freeths LLP is a top-tier firm in all types of commercial property matters in the East Midlands, including commercial and residential development projects, regeneration projects, property finance, and investment sales and acquisitions. In addition to having a stable of longstanding clients, the firm continues to win work from new sources. Darren Williamson is the firm's national head of real estate. Guy Winfield, who runs the team in Nottingham, focuses on the food retail and industrial sectors. Property development expert Heather Davies, whose practice is split between Nottingham and Derby, is experienced in matters connected with areas such as waste to energy, the private rented sector, mines and minerals, and hotels. Jon Smart has a standout reputation in the care sector. James Clamp made partner in 2018.
‘The team understands how we work and what we want. It is practical and gets transactions done‘
BDW Trading (Barratt, David Wilson Homes)
Cambridge & Counties Bank
Construction Tier 1
Operating on a cross-office, national basis, Freeths LLP's construction team is a first port of call for many clients with high-stakes projects; it generates work from global construction consultants, end-users, developers, contractors and sub-contractors. 'Outstanding' national construction head Chris Holwell leads on a large number of complex construction projects; the scope of his team's non-contentious work includes hotel and sports developments, commercial/residential/mixed-use schemes and various other types of projects. On the contentious side, Amy Morley has vast expertise in all areas of construction and engineering law, and handles high-value, technically complex claims progressed by adjudication, arbitration or in the Technology and Construction Court. Guy Berwick, who was a partner for 30 years, is now a consultant.
‘Director John Kelly has a calm, considered approach and provides helpful strategic advice‘
‘A joined-up approach is taken across the various specialisms to give a co-ordinated solution. This is powerful as all specialisms and their associated nuances are considered in a process to give a good commercial outcome‘
‘Chris Holwell has an ability to address contentious issues within a negotiation in a straightforward and conciliatory manner. This is a key strength and has a big impact on the opposing party in a negotiation situation’
North Midland Construction
GF Tomlinson Group
Clients recommend Freeths LLP for its ‘very good technical knowledge’ and ability to handle ‘complex claims’. Under the leadership of Mark Keeley, the group undertakes a wide range of high-value litigation, including will challenges, removal applications and Court of Protection work. Estoppel claims and Inheritance Act matters are other strengths, as is the department’s knowledge of the agriculture sector. Director Rachel Gaffney is noted for her ‘excellent legal advice’.
‘Mark Keeley is good with clients and knows his stuff’
‘The team has real strength in depth. It is well respected and ably led by Mark Keeely‘.
‘Mark Keeley has excellent personable skills, enabling him to quickly build a rapport with clients and other parties alike. He is a very able technician who is also able very quickly to deliver pragmatic commercial solutions in the best interests of his clients‘.
‘They are incisive, commercially minded and technically excellent‘.
‘Rachel Gaffney is prompt and efficient. She has an awareness of practical and commercial considerations‘.
Freeths LLP, whose Nottingham team is part of a large national practice, demonstrates particularly strong capabilities in the healthcare sector, and is notably active in its work for care operators and funders. Elsewhere, it acts for a number of household names in sectors such as retail, food and drink, construction and automotive. National corporate head Karl Jansen has a particular focus on UK mid-market transactions, such as corporate acquisitions and disposals, MBOs/MBIs and private equity investments, John Heaphy, who leads the group in Nottingham, has an excellent record of advising owner-managed companies on deals.
‘John Heaphy ensures that we get the right service for the project in hand‘
‘John Heaphy performs above our expectations‘
‘The team is open, honest and pragmatic. It explains matters in a clear and concise manner‘
‘The group is able to take instructions, keep it simple for a layman and give sound advice‘
‘The firm fields quality staff, from top to bottom‘
Aldi Stores Limited
The Spicers-OfficeTeam Group Limited
Motorpoint Group Plc
Travis Perkins Plc
Carlsberg UK Limited
Maria Mallaband Care Group Limited
The Reflex Group Limited
LNT Group Limited
Employment Tier 1
The practice at Freeths LLP is particularly active in handling Employment Tribunal litigation. Clients from both the private and public sectors engage the group, which is headed by Rena Magdani and David Potter. Other core strengths include restructures, TUPE, discrimination, whistleblowing, restrictive covenants and injunctive relief. The caseload has had a recent uptick in cases concerning employment status in the gig economy.
‘The team works to extremely high standards in providing advice to us on cases, and also horizon scanning for the future. It shows the qualities expected of a true partnership in every way through strong levels of trust, commitment and openness‘
‘Rena Magdani has always been outstanding, commercial and pragmatic‘
ALDI Stores Limited
DPD Group UK Limited
Staffline Recruitment Limited
National Express Limited
Paul Smith Limited
ERIKS Industrial Services Limited
Carlsberg UK Ltd
Eddie Stobbart Ltd
Family Tier 1
Freeths LLP has a notable profile among high net-worth individuals. It excels in handling financial issues arising from divorce, with cases often involving pensions, family business interests and trusts. Judith Speed is increasingly sought out for advice on pre- and post-nuptial agreements, as well as private law Children Act applications. The practice is jointly led by Speed and Diana Copestake.
Local government Tier 1
The team at Freeths LLP advises its clients on planning and environmental issues, regeneration and redevelopment projects, commercial contracts and employment matters. On the contentious side, its work includes representing local authorities in property litigation and defending judicial review proceedings. Birmingham-based Nathan Holden serves as practice head.
‘The team is knowledgeable, helpful and quick to respond’.
Nottinghamshire County Council – Pension Fund
Cherwell District Council
Middlesbrough Borough Council
Surrey County 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
Leicester City Council
Cheshire East Council
Telford and Wrekin Council
Halton Borough Council
Rushmoor Borough Council
London Borough of Newham
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
Acclaimed as ‘extremely professional and efficient’, Freeths LLP’s personal injury team places particular emphasis on brain, birth and spinal cord injury work for both children and adults. The firm is also a 'quality outfit in the clinical negligence market’, with expertise in diagnosis delays, misdiagnoses, surgical errors, incorrect treatment, cosmetic surgery and product liability. The ‘highly knowledgeable’ Jane Goulding leads the personal injury team. The clinical negligence practice is co-led by Karen Reynolds and Jane Williams; the latter is a 'market leader and go-to expert in her field'.
‘Adrian Denton is very professional and his knowledge of the system is second to none‘.
‘They have integrity and common sense. They do not pursue weak points or weak cases‘.
‘The team is tenacious, meticulous, clearly knowledgeable and willing to help at all times. They are supportive and sympathetic, clear in their explanations and always ready to listen‘.
‘Jane Goulding is a thorough solicitor and readily recommended. She is tenacious but fair‘.
‘Jane Williams never gives up and we know she will keep going until she is satisfied that she has done all she can to get a justified result‘.
‘Jane Williams stands out as an excellent litigation specialist in the highest value claims‘.
Property litigation Tier 1
Freeths LLP's first-rate reputation in property-related dispute resolution sees it generate work from clients in sectors such as retail, energy, food and construction, among others. Simon Baigent, who is highly regarded for his restructuring and insolvency expertise, has an excellent record in contentious matters involving an interplay between property and insolvency; his experience includes cases where landlords are faced with insolvent tenants and insolvency matters involving large property portfolios. Practice head Paul Tomkins is closely involved with the East Midlands branch of the Property Litigation Association, while senior associate Edward Pickard is active in all areas of property litigation, with a particular strength in dilapidations disputes, acting for landlords and tenants.
‘The firm provides practical, good value advice‘
‘Paul Tomkins gave clear, straightforward legal advice and guidance on dilapidation issues. The advice was practical and set out the implications of various actions very clearly‘
Travis Perkins Group including Wickes
Chancerygate Asset Management
Middlesbrough Borough Council (Teeside Pension Fund)
Deichmann-Shoes UK Limited
Social housing Tier 1
Freeths LLP operates at the top end of the social housing market, and its breadth and depth of expertise ensures that it wins premium work from arms-length management organisations (ALMOs), registered housing providers and developers, among other clients. Matthew Grocock and consultant Gary Reynolds co-head the practice in Nottingham, which provides a comprehensive range of services to clients, including property development, securitisation, planning, construction and procurement. One area of growth has seen the team increasingly being sought-out to assist with negotiating portfolio transactions. Stephen Pearson is another notable partner in the team. Principal property manager Sarah Rowe, and senior associates Rachel Clarke and Claire Bennett, collectively have over 38 years of experience of the social housing sector.
‘The Freeths team are my go-to team – there is a huge breadth of knowledge and positive attitude towards getting things done.’
‘They give measured and knowledgeable advice which enables things to progress quickly and productively.’
‘Senior associate Dilys Taylor is a huge asset to the Nottingham team. She is highly reliable and you are reassured any work will get done to a high standard when Dilys is involved. You can let Dilys run with any work without the need to chase or oversee any elements as she has already taken care of them.’
Nottingham Community Housing Association Limited
BDW Trading Limited
Bellway Homes Limited
Longhurst & Havelok Homes Limited
Greensquare Group Limited
Arches Housing Limited
Derwent Community Housing Association Limited
Kirklees Borough Council
Royal Borough of Greenwich, London
Cambridge City Council
Aldwyck Housing Group Limited
Lea Valley Developments Limited
Metropolitan Housing Trust
Lets Select Limited
Partner Construction Limited
Robert Woodhead Limited
Westleigh Partnerships Limited
Helena Partnerships Limited (now Torus)
Dragonfly Development Limited
Freeths LLP is well-placed to advise on large-scale and multi-party disputes, leveraging its strong presence in the Nottingham and Derby markets, as well as its wider national network. The Nottingham team is led by Graham Greenfield, who has been a partner since 1991, and who handles a wide range of commercial (including professional negligence) and financial cases. Greenfield, whose 'leadership skills and work ethic are second to none', also heads up the insolvency practice in Nottingham, and insolvency litigation is another pillar of his work. Greenfield is supported by recently promoted senior associate Jade Flint, 'a swift and efficient communicator'. Jonathan Jefferies is the main contact in Derby.
‘The team has a very human approach; you are far from just a number and you can tell it invests time in truly understanding the individual situation. Graham Greenfield and Jade Flint are two standout people. Empathetic and supportive‘
‘The team has an impressive breadth of experience and clearly communicates well’
‘Graham Greenfield takes a traditional supervisory role of the cases and is extremely good at making high-level strategic decisions. He always has an eye on the bigger picture and can bring the room back to reality in a mediation when all others are lost in the detail. He makes a good team with Jade Flint, who is very detail-oriented and will be sure to have thought of every angle and to have tracked down every document, if there is any chance it will help’
‘Graham Greenfield is an absolute gentleman and always puts the client first‘
FRP Advisory LLP
Sytner Cars Limited/Sytner Group
Central Bridging Loans Limited
Reflex Labels Limited
Chris Fountain Limited
Bio Dynamic (UK) Limited
The Way Ahead Group Limited t/a See Tickets
Flexiscale Technologies Limited
Freeths LLP covers the commercial property market extensively, by leveraging the expertise of its Leicester team, and also its wider national network. Its excellent reputation has seen it secure Leicester's Phoenix Arts Centre and Abbey Commercial Investments Group as new clients. Although the group in Leicester primarily focuses on high-value and complex transactions, it also handles development work, landlord and tenant matters, and real estate finance transactions, among other areas. Team head Simon Abbott specialises in investment portfolio management and work with a nexus to the retail sector. Also recommended is Sam Pancholi, who has more than 18 years of commercial property experience. Director Harjit Saund is the lead relationship manager to clients such as Tarmac and Flogas Britain.
‘Professional in its work and very efficient‘
Motor Parts Direct Limited
Cambridge & Counties Bank
Abbey Commercial Investments Group
Freeths LLP's first-rate reputation among commercial and private clients (in the UK and internationally) is underpinned by the market knowledge of its six-strong team in Leicester, which collectively has 125 years of experience of handling corporate transactions. In addition, the group's strong deal execution capabilities are complemented by the firm's ability to provide full-service support in many ancillary areas, including competition, tax and employment. Phil Baigent has a strong track record acting for clients in the healthcare sector, such as banks and care home operators. Baigent also advises businesses active in the optometry, dental and pharmacy arenas. Keith Gilbert has particular experience of acting for clients in matters involving sectors such as waste and food and drink.
‘A very cohesive and effective team that aims to provide (and succeeds in delivering) a complete package which satisfies clients’ objectives at minimum cost‘
‘Strong commercial knowledge across the team‘
‘Committed to delivering a legal solution that works for our business‘
‘The team at Freeths has always been helpful in all matters we have worked with it on. It highlights potential issues which may arise (often before we have realised), can meet with us at the drop of a hat, and is always available on the phone‘
‘Keith Gilbert has a good eye for detail‘
Bakers Waste Services Limited
Cambridge & Counties Bank Limited
Carlsberg UK Limited
Clydesdale Bank Plc
Eurokey Recycling Limited
Integrated Doorset Solutions Limited
James Convenience Retail Limited
Lloyds Bank Plc
Maria Mallaband Care Group Limited
MCR Systems Limited
Motor Parts Direct Limited
MPK Garages Limited
OEM Automatic Limited
Regen Holdings Limited / Whites Recycling Limited
Samworth Brothers Limited
Santander UK Plc
Sofidel UK Limited
Sprintquip Pty Ltd
Svenska Handelsbanken AB
Travis Perkins Plc
Education Tier 2
Freeths LLP's client roster includes various schools and colleges, as well as several major universities. Academy conversions are a key strength, with the practice undertaking a broad range of contracts and governance work, property-related instructions, student issues and employment disputes. Team head Stephen Pearson is an expert on governance contracts, procurement and state aid issues.
‘The team is accessible, well-informed and proactive‘
University of Nottingham
CPC “Crescent” Consortium (various schools and colleges)
Birmingham Metropolitan College
Shrewsbury Roman Catholic Diocesan Board of Education
Nottingham Trent University
University of Birmingham
University of Lincoln
Oxford Brookes University
Environment & planning Tier 2
Freeths LLP's planning and environment team acts for public and private sector clients in large and complex projects nationally, including residential, retail, commercial, mixed-use and urban regeneration developments. Chris Waumsley, who leads the planning and environment group, has more than 30 years of experience advising local authorities and private sector clients on planning matters. Waumsley works closely on the planning side with Paul Brailsford, whose expertise includes food and non-food retail developments, and residential-led urban extensions; both are widely respected in their field. The environment practice, which is led in the East Midlands by Emma Tattersdill, assists clients with managing issues connected with environmental permitting, waste management, contaminated land and environmental prosecutions, among other matters. Clients in this space primarily come from the minerals, waste, construction and housebuilding sectors.
‘Freeths has a very capable and experienced team, which stands out in the East Midlands‘
‘Chris Waumsley and Mark Bassett are very good planners with a deep understanding of their field. They are people that you can rely on‘
Millenium Land (10M Consortium)
Aldi Stores and group companies
Taylor Lindsey Ltd
Henry Boot Developments
The Tarmac group of companies
Urban and Civic
Carlsberg/London Fields Brewery
South Lincolnshire Estates
Health Tier 2
Freeths LLP has core strengths in acquisitions, disposals and mergers in the private healthcare sector. In addition, its team is experienced in handling land acquisitions and subsequent developments for senior living facilities and supported living units. Other specialist areas include end of life consent matters, inquests and other regulatory enforcement matters, as well as corporate governance and procurement. Clients include public sector entities, care providers and real estate investment trusts. Thomas Golding, James Clamp and Phil Baigent jointly lead the practice.
LNT Group / Ideal Care Homes
Maria Mallaband Care Group, including Countrywide Care Homes
Athena Care Homes
One Housing / Baycroft
Bank Leumi UK Plc
NHS Shared Business Services
NHS Property Services Limited
Country Court Care Homes
Freeths LLP has a particularly strong focus on acting for regional and national insolvency practitioners, but it is also seen as a first port of call by trustees, directors and creditors, among others. On the non-contentious side, its team advises on the entire ambit of matters, including reorganisations and restructurings, administrations/receiverships/CVAs and acquisitions/disposals of distressed companies. It also provides assistance on the full range of contentious insolvency issues. Simon Baigent and Charles Darby (an expert in anti-avoidance and asset avoidance cases) are the main contacts in Leicester, while Graham Greenfield is the name to note in Nottingham.
Begbies Traynor LLP
CBA Business Solutions Limited
Elwell Watchorn & Saxton LLP
FRP Advisory LLP
Greenfield Recovery Limited
PKF Cooper Parry Limited
Licensing Tier 2
Noted for its ‘positive, knowledgeable and passionate approach’, the team at Freeths LLP is traditionally adept in alcohol licensing matters and is increasingly advising on health and safety, trading standards and fire safety matters. Lisa Gilligan, ‘an experienced expert in the field’, helms the practice and is engaged for personal licenses, premises licences and DPS applications. She represents a client base which includes various bars, pubs, supermarkets and leisure businesses.
‘Lisa Gilligan is a trusted adviser who understands the client’s business needs and has an excellent commercial approach‘
‘Lawyers are are extremely approachable and so make all interactions, particularly inquiries, very easy‘
Aldi Stores Limited
Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars
Davy’s of London
Laine Pub Company
Gangmasters Labour & Abuse Authority
Freeths LLP fields dedicated teams for tax and estate planning, trust administration, probate and wills. Trusts and inheritance tax are also core strengths, as is estate administration, including matters with a cross-border element. Scott McKittrick heads up the practice, which was bolstered in 2018 by the arrival of senior associate Charlotte Royal from Browne Jacobson LLP ; she adds to the team’s strengths in technical trust and tax issues.
Freeths LLP > Firm Profile
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.
|Chief executive||Peter Smith|
|Corporate and commercial||Karl Jansen|
|Dispute resolution||Philippa Dempster|
|Real estate||Darren Williamson|
|Private client||Nigel Cullen|
|Private client||Jane Goulding|
|Simon Abbott||View Profile|
|Simon Baigent||View Profile|
|Nick Benton||View Profile|
|Keith Gilbert||View Profile|
|Lisa Gilligan||View Profile|
|Rena Magdani||View Profile|
|Julian Middleton||View Profile|
|Fiona Powell||View Profile|
|Harjit Saund||View Profile|
|Emma Tattersdill||View Profile|
|Jane Williams||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of UK partners : 206 Number of other UK fee-earners : 546
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Banking and finance
- Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the East Midlands
- Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby
- Contentious trusts and probate
- Corporate and commercial: Nottingham and Derby
- Local government
- Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant
- Property litigation
- Social housing