Firm Profile > KBL Solicitors LLP > Blackburn, England

KBL Solicitors LLP

Employment: employee/union firms Tier 2

Sarah Collier now leads the department at KBL Solicitors LLP after joining from Napthens LLP in July 2018. Collier has experience in advising on complex discrimination cases, with particular expertise advising on cancer in the workplace. She also represents employment tribunal claimants on a range of matters including unfair dismissal, wrongful and constructive dismissal, unlawful deductions from wages, equal pay and whistleblowing.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Collier

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the North West Tier 3

KBL Solicitors LLP advises SMEs and owner-managed businesses on shareholder and partnership disputes, professional negligence claims, and litigation relating to construction, property and manufacturing. The 'tactically astuteMichael Slater  heads up the team out of Bolton, working alongside the Blackburn-based Greg Gardner-Boyes.

Practice head(s):

Michael Slater; Greg Gardner-Boyes

Other key lawyers:

Nick Horsfall


Commercially orientated and client focused service’.

Michael Slater is tactically astute’.

The practice is well placed to provide a great local service with capable and expert partners who are able to deal with their client needs’.

Greg Gardner-Boyes applies a level of determination, professionalism and expertise to matters whilst maintaining a human perspective’.

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the North West Tier 3

KBL Solicitors LLP acts for individuals and businesses in relation to share issues, management restructurings, growth and development, sales and mergers. The practice has recently seen an increase of instructions relating to secured lending for property developments and projects. Department head Philip Stephenson focuses on corporate transactions, commercial contracts, MBOs, joint ventures and partnership work. Consultant Jonathan Shorrock is experienced in advising sports clubs on governance matters.

Practice head(s):

Phil Stephenson

Other key lawyers:

Anneka Traynor; Jonathan Shorrock

Family Tier 4

The family team at KBL Solicitors LLP, which is is led by the 'calm and confident' Victoria Melling, 'consistently punches above its weight on family matters', helping high-net-worth clients to reach complex financial settlements in matrimonial proceedings. The team also advises on pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements, Children Act cases and other issues arising from relationship breakdowns.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Melling

Other key lawyers:

Ceri Thomas


‘This tiny department consistently punches above its weight on family matters. Led by the calm and confident Victoria Melling and ably assisted by Ceri Thomas, early growth is highly likely to be built upon in coming months and years as the department gains ground locally.’

‘The practice has a very able and accomplished family department who have worked together for a significant amount of time as a team – which brings strength to what they offer. They support and compliment each other in their experience and areas of interest and expertise.’

‘Well placed to provide a great local service with a high level of skill and professionalism matching the city firms in Manchester.’

‘Victoria Melling revels in the challenge of working with her clients to get the best, cost-effective outcome for them. Her clients value her advice and expertise.’

‘Ceri Thomas is passionate and compassionate about her work with families and someone who is versatile, organised and has an eye for detail which flows into her client care and compliments her legal work.’

‘Victoria Melling always has a very professional, determined but fair approach – she clearly stands up for her clients.’

Key clients


Employment Tier 5

At KBL Solicitors LLP, Sarah Collier has taken over leadership of the employment department from Christine Hart, who left to join Brabners LLP in mid-2018. She advises a loyal client base comprising local businesses, SMEs and senior executives, advising on both contentious and non-contentious matters, with specialisms in sexual harassment, discrimination, unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, restrictive covenants and TUPE matters. The team also provides support on corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Collier


They are down to earth and always willing to work alongside you, rather than them just doing what they think is best for their client. They are always welcoming and try to go the extra mile in supporting you as a client.

I like that they visit the workplace and understand how your business works. They get to know you and the values of the company which helps when dealing with current and future legal issues. They always respond quickly and keep you very informed and up to date on all processes.


Key clients

Folsana Pressed Solutions

SGH Moulds

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 Greg Gardner-Boyes  photo Mr Greg Gardner-Boyes Consultant. Greg Specialises in both contentious and non-contentious commercial matters, advising small to…
Mrs Kathryn Maclennan  photo Mrs Kathryn Maclennan Partner and Head of Insolvency. Kathryn deals with all aspects of insolvency issues…
Mrs Victoria Melling  photo Mrs Victoria Melling Partner & Head of Divorce & Family Law. Victoria deals with all…
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