Firm Profile > Freeths LLP > Leicester , East Midlands

Freeths LLP
ONE COLTON SQUARE
LEICESTER
LE1 1QH
East Midlands

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 ChancePhil Baigent in Leicester is well-known for his expertise in the private healthcare sector, where he acts for funders, investors and care home operators.

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 1

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.

Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby Tier 1

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.

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.

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

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’.

Corporate and commercial: Nottingham and Derby Tier 1

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.

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.

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.

Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant Tier 1

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 knowledgeableJane 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'.

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.

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.

Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby Tier 2

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.

Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 2

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.

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 2

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.

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.

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.

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.

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

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.

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.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

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 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
 Simon Abbott  photo Simon Abbott
 Simon Baigent  photo Simon Baigent
 Nick Benton  photo Nick Benton
 Charles Darby  photo Charles Darby
 Keith Gilbert  photo Keith Gilbert
 Lisa Gilligan  photo Lisa Gilligan
 Rena Magdani  photo Rena Magdani
 Julian Middleton  photo Julian Middleton
 Sam Pancholi  photo Sam Pancholi
 Mukesh Patel  photo Mukesh Patel
 Fiona Powell  photo Fiona Powell
 Robert Rowley  photo Robert Rowley
 Harjit Saund  photo Harjit Saund
 Emma Tattersdill  photo Emma Tattersdill
 Jane Williams  photo Jane Williams
Number of UK partners : 206
Number of other UK fee-earners : 546