Firm Profile > KBL Solicitors LLP > Bolton, England

KBL Solicitors LLP

Employment: employee/union firms Tier 2

KBL Solicitors LLP’s employment practice is headed by Sarah Collier, who specialises in complex discrimination and disability cases, as well as cancer in the workplace issues. She has extensive experience acting for Employment tribunal claimants on a range of matters, including unfair dismissal, wrongful and constructive dismissal, unlawful deductions from wages, equal pay, and whistleblowing.

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‘Very friendly, knowledgeable staff. They are approachable and nothing is a silly question.’

‘Their approach is friendly and puts you at ease. They explains everything clearly and not in ‘legal’ speak, so it’s easy to understand.’ 

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the North West Tier 3

An ‘experienced team’, providing a ‘professional and friendly’ service, KBL Solicitors LLP is well-regarded for a wide breadth of litigation matters. Michael Slater, praised for his ability to 'inspire confidence', heads the practice together with Greg Gardner-Boyes; their team's commercial litigation expertise includes company and partnership disputes with broader dispute knowledge extending to claims of professional negligence and insolvency in addition to construction, manufacturing and property-related litigation.


‘From the outset, the team, particularly Michael Slater, embraced our problem.  Despite what was their already heavy caseload we felt that our complex problem was diligently analysed and legally summarised and given their full attention. Throughout, we were not just assisted but encouraged to expand on areas that we did not feel relevant but proved to be of vital importance. Without this diligent approach the  matter would not have been resolved.’

‘Michael Slater was most approachable, enquiring, explaining his thought processes during interview. Michael also inspired confidence without which we would not have the strength and staying power for us to carry on. Most importantly we both felt that he brought home the reality of our situation by telling it how it was. The team and in particular Michael Slater were able to explain the legal complexities in an easy to understand way without any intimidation.’

‘A very experienced team that is able to provide a match for what is offered in the city centres at a fraction of the cost.’

‘Michael Slater is a great dealmaker who really looks after his clients. He knows from the outset the route through the case.’

‘KBL Solicitors are an extremely great solicitors firm and I would recommend this firm to everyone. They always help me as much as they can whenever I am in need of legal help. Furthermore, in all their work they do they are very accurate and keen in it.’

‘They are very friendly and talkative. If i was to move to a different firm, I don’t think I would have the same relationship with them like I do with KBL.’

‘They have great knowledge in many areas and able to engage various people within the practice without losing the thread of the issues in question.’

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the North West Tier 3

The practice at KBL Solicitors LLP is jointly helmed by Philip Stephenson, Jonathan Shorrock and Anneka Traynor. The team works with both individuals and companies on share issues, management restructuring and business structures. Corporate transactions, sales and mergers, commercial contracts, shareholder duties and restructurings are also regularly handled, and the team has niche expertise in relation to the representation of golf clubs.


‘I engaged KBL to assist in a rather complex share purchase agreement. Phil  Stephenson dealt with the matter throughout and I was extremely pleased with his performance. He was able to cut to the chase, dealing expeditiously with the matter. The distinguishing feature between Phil and the solicitors previously engaged was his ability to take instructions from me and accordingly it progressed to completion and on budget.’

Family Tier 4

Led by Victoria Melling, who 'handles exceptionally complex cases with great care and skill', the family team at KBL Solicitors LLP acts for high-net-worth clients in matrimonial proceedings, dealing with highly complex financial settlements. Prenuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, Children Act cases and domestic abuse issues are also key areas of strength. Another name to note is associate solicitor Ceri Thomas.

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‘Victoria Melling is a solicitor with a great deal of experience in both family money and children cases. She has a calm and measured approach, which instils confidence in clients and is attractive to any Court. She handles exceptionally complex cases with great care and skill.’ 

‘They offer a friendly down to earth service and make the clients feel valued.’ 

‘Ceri Thomas is hard working and client-focused, prepared to go the extra mile to get a good outcome.’

‘I do appreciate how Ms. Ceri Thomas and Ms. Julie Stott act with honesty and integrity at all times and I am happy for them to engage with me in a direct, yet professional manner.’ 

‘This small specialist team has an excellent reputation across the board for family matters and one which belies its modest size. A very safe and caring pair of hands.’ 

‘Both Vic Melling and Ceri Thomas frequently go above and beyond – sensible advice coupled with a determined client-friendly approach mark out this highly personable and professional duo.’ 

‘Strong and determined team with an excellent local presence.’ 

‘Vic is my go-to family solicitor. She is caring, responsive and determined. I have complete confidence that she is working to get her clients the best outcome.’ 

‘Victoria Melling is experienced and very sensible. She has good judgement.’ 

‘Victoria Melling is everything you would want from a lawyer. Attentive, understanding, patient, listens and most importantly knows the law to deliver effective outcomes.’ 

Employment Tier 5

KBL Solicitors LLP’s employment team is headed by Sarah Collier, a 'diligent, well-prepared' lawyer who advises local businesses, SMEs and senior executives on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Sexual harassment, discrimination, unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, restrictive covenants and TUPE matters are areas of expertise. The team provides support on corporate transactions and also represents clients in employment tribunals.

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‘Sarah Collier is a diligent, well-prepared practitioner who offers pragmatic and reasoned advice and has an excellent rapport with clients.’ 

‘Respond to any queries, no matter how insignificant, in a way that makes you feel you are their most important client.’

‘I find it very easy to explain situations to Sarah Collier. I always get an answer to my questions. She always makes sure I understand any options available to resolve a situation. Any other solicitor I have had contact with at KBL has always been excellent.’ 

KBL Solicitors offers a straight-talking, no-nonsense approach to law and prides itself on providing a city-centre service from a local base at competitive prices – without compromising the high quality of the work.

The firm: Kippax Beaumont Lewis was formed in November 1985 as a result of a merger between Lewis & Co and Kippax Beaumont. Since then, KBL has gone from strength to strength and now has a sizable team and an extensive and prestigious client base. The firm works closely with clients, who have direct access to partners, building strong relationships. This accessibility has earned KBL a reputation for effectiveness, efficiency and flexibility.

Types of work undertaken: With offices in Bolton and Blackburn, the practice offers a full range of services, with dedicated departments specialising in commercial litigation, commercial property, corporate and commercial, Insolvency, employment, residential property, divorce and family law, wills, trusts, tax and probate.

Commercial litigation: City-trained Michael Slater specialises in complex commercial disputes and heads up team which is well regarded as one of the most experienced commercial litigation teams outside the centre of Manchester with a reputation for combining their technically excellent advice with a pragmatic and commercial approach. The team advise on all aspects of commercial litigation with a particular emphasis on the banking and financial services industry. Other specialisms include partnership/shareholder/contractual disputes, insolvency, property litigation and contracts.

Commercial property: Partner, Debbie Roberts, heads up KBL’s Commercial Property team who have substantial experience of dealing with all aspects of commercial property work. The department is well-versed in commercial lease procedures acting on behalf of both landlords and tenants and has particular expertise in acting for commercial investors and developers.

Corporate and commercial: the growing corporate & commercial team, headed up by Phil Stephenson, advises both individuals and businesses, providing initial advice on the structure of a business, share issues and management restructuring, cash injections, growth and development through to negotiations and completion on a sale or merger. The department deals with companies ranging from owner-managed businesses and multiple retailers to sole traders and specialises in corporate transactions, commercial contracts, MBOs and MBIs, joint ventures, restructuring and partnerships. The team also advise numerous sports clubs and sporting organisations on constitutional and governance matters.

Employment: Sarah Collier heads up the department which specialises in employment law advice for employers and senior executive employees with experience in both contentious and non-contentious fields advising on a broad spectrum of employment law issues. Sarah has a particular interest in complex discrimination cases including disability with expertise and experience advising on cancer in the workplace. The department continues to act for SMEs, providing clear, commercial advice and HR assistance to allow business owners to concentrate on running their business. Specialist areas include sexual harassment, discrimination, unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, restrictive covenants, TUPE, drafting director /executive service agreements including restrictive covenants and enforcement in the high court.

Insolvency: KBLs Insolvency team is well regarded as a niche insolvency department with diverse experience gaining work across the country with particular focus on NW clients. Department Head, Kathryn Maclennan has 20 years’ experience in the field acting for insolvency practitioners, debtors, directors, local authorities and providing technical advice to regulatory bodies. Kathryn joined KBL in May 2019 as Partner and Head of Insolvency and deals with all aspects of insolvency issues including bankruptcy, liquidations, individual voluntary arrangements, and advice to creditors.  She is an associate member of R3 – which is the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.  Kathryn regularly writes for professional publications in the field of insolvency.

Residential property: the experienced residential property team, led by partner David Johnson provides a professional and personal service, acting quickly and efficiently to meet clients’ needs. The team acts on behalf of numerous developer clients in connection to the sales/acquisition of large sites for residential development. The residential conveyancing team has secured membership of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme: the mark of excellence for the home buying process.

Matrimonial and family: the family team have a recognised reputation for advising high-net-worth clients in matrimonial proceedings and dealing with highly complex financial settlements. Partner, Victoria Melling who has unrivalled expertise in the family law arena heads up the team who are well versed in the financial aspects of relationship breakdown and advise in relation to all matters arising from a relationship, including forward planning prior to cohabitation or marriage such as pre-nups and cohabitation agreements, together with issues arising from a relationship breakdown for married and unmarried couples and are well equipped to deal with complex financial issues, including resolving finances port-separation, Children Act cases and protection from domestic abuse.

Wills, trusts, tax and probate: The department provides expertise to a wide range of clients, from private individuals looking for lifetime tax planning advice, deeds of variation and lasting powers of attorney or the elderly worried about making sensible provision for their own and their families’ future, to charities and those with considerable sums to invest. Partner, Maria Lonergan heads up the team and deals with a full range of private client matters including wills; trusts; probate and estate administration; tax and estate planning (pre and post death); asset protection; Court of Protection matters (deputyship and ancillary applications) and powers of attorney. Maria is a fully qualified member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) and  a specialist in contentious trust and estate matters to include contentious probate; post-death estate claims/family disputes and trust disputes/litigation.

Department Name Email Telephone
Head of Residential Property David Johnson 01204 527777
Head of Commercial property Debbie Roberts 01204 527777
Head of Corporate and commercial Phil Stephenson 01204 527777
Head of Commercial litigation Michael Slater 01204 527777
Partner, Commercial Greg Gardener-Boyes 01254 268790
Head of Family Law Victoria Melling 01204 527777
Partner, Insolvency Kathryn Maclennan 01254 268790
Head of Wills, Trusts & Probate Maria Lonergan 01204 527777
Head of Employment Sarah Collier 01204 527777
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Zaheer Ahmed  photo Mr Zaheer Ahmed Solicitor specialising in property transactions, Zaheer advises individuals, companies and lenders regarding…
Miss Sarah Collier  photo Miss Sarah Collier Head of Employment, Sarah advises businesses on a multitude of HR/employment matters…
Miss Gillian Hindle  photo Miss Gillian Hindle Associate Solicitor – dealing with all aspects of commercial property work on…
Mr Nick Horsfall  photo Mr Nick Horsfall Consultant – specialising in commercial and residential property as well as property-related…
Mr David Johnson  photo Mr David Johnson Partner and head of residential property. He advises builders and developers on a…
Miss Maria Lonergan  photo Miss Maria Lonergan Partner, Head of Wills, Trusts & Probate and is a fully qualified…
Ms Debbie Roberts  photo Ms Debbie Roberts Partner and head of commercial property, Debbie has substantial experience of dealing…
Mrs Sarah Sayers  photo Mrs Sarah Sayers Chartered Legal Executive – Sarah speciaises in residential plot sales and residential…
Mr Jonathan Shorrock  photo Mr Jonathan Shorrock Consultant. Jonathan Specialises in a broad range of corporate transactions including mergers…
Mr Michael Slater  photo Mr Michael Slater Partner and experienced commercial litigator. Specialist areas include partnership/shareholder/contractual disputes, professional negligence,…
Mr Philip Stephenson  photo Mr Philip Stephenson Partner & Head of Corporate & Commercial. Phil specialises in corporate transactions,…
Mr Christopher Taylor  photo Mr Christopher Taylor Partner specialising in Wills, Trusts & Probate matters.
Mrs Ceri Thomas  photo Mrs Ceri Thomas Associate Solicitor deals with all aspects of a relationship breakdown and specialises…
Mrs Anneka Traynor  photo Mrs Anneka Traynor Associate Solicitor – Anneka specialises in corporate transactions, terms & conditions of…
Number of UK partners : 10
Number of other UK fee-earners : 12
STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners)
Resolution Accredited with particular specialisms in Children Law and Private
Law Society