Firm Profile > Lester Aldridge LLP > Bournemouth , South West

Lester Aldridge LLP
South West

Commercial litigation: Dorset and South Wiltshire Tier 1

Lester Aldridge LLP's team has particular expertise in the marine, defence and financial sectors, where it is active in both High Court litigation and arbitral proceedings. Multiple cases handled by the firm recently have had an international dimension; Michael Veal handles the majority of the cross-border disputes undertaken by the firm. Practice head Kate Stewart has particular expertise in property litigation.

Commercial property: Dorset and South Wiltshire Tier 1

Lester Aldridge LLP's commercial property work is centred on sectors such as healthcare, leisure, telecoms, housebuilding, and ports and marinas. The practice demonstrates strong capabilities in the acquisition and sale of freehold and leasehold properties, sub-leases, portfolio management and investment transactions, among other matters. ‘Brilliant lawyerSuki Samra, who leads the Bournemouth-based team, assists landlords and property investors with landlord and tenant work and enfranchisement. Mark Benham is also highly recommended.

Corporate and commercial: Dorset and South Wiltshire Tier 1

Lester Aldridge LLP acts for national and international clients on the full range of corporate and commercial matters, and also retains strong links with SME clients in the local Dorset area. Corporate M&A has been a continuing area of growth, with transactions growing in both size and volume. In addition, a rise in cross-border work has been epitomised by foreign funds work coming in to the UK. Grant Esterhuizen specialises in both corporate and commercial law, and is able to assist clients with joint-venture agreements, M&A and commercial contracts, invariably on a cross-border level.

Employment: Dorset and South Wiltshire Tier 1

Lester Aldridge LLP retains strong links with clients in the Dorset area. It provides ongoing employment advice to employers, senior executives, directors and shareholders, and high net worth individuals. The firm also has an expanding client base outside of Dorset, with it generating work from instructing parties based in Hampshire, Wiltshire and London. Catharine Geddes and Kevin Barnett are the key names in the team, which is adept in contentious and non-contentious matters.

Health and safety Tier 1

Lester Aldridge LLP predominantly focuses on regulatory and business crime, and undertakes prosecution work principally for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), but also acts for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and local authorities. Practice head Michael Veal is a well-known name in the health and safety sphere, and handles prosecutions for the HSE throughout the South West of England and South Wales. In addition, the firm also defends commercial clients and public bodies in investigations and health and safety trials.

Family Tier 2

Lester Aldridge LLP undertakes financial remedy cases, advises on pension and tax structuring and is experienced in drafting and negotiating pre-nuptial agreements as well as declaration of trust and cohabitation agreements for the protection of assets. The firm is also specialised in private children law and is involved in international children cases that encompass disputed contact, residence and surrogacy aspects.

Health Tier 2

Active across the whole healthcare sector, Lester Aldridge LLP's team stands out nationally for its notable expertise in health and social care regulation. Its varied client base includes NHS organisations, care homes and agencies, supported living services, children’s homes and specialist learning disability and mental health providers. The health team is regularly instructed by equity funds and lenders on high-value transactions. Another pillar of the practice involves representing clients during regulatory investigations, as well as professional misconduct and criminal proceedings; Laura Guntrip is a key contact in this space. Peter Grose heads up the team, which also includes Susan Cowan.

Personal injury: claimant Tier 2

Lester Aldridge LLP advises on claims arising from severe injuries such as brain and spinal injuries. Other cases involve clinical negligence, road accidents, marine accidents as well as amputation cases. The practice is also experienced in handling claims arising from injuries sustained in a workplace. The ‘extremely efficient and well-prepared’ practice head Tim Blackwell assists with the securing of rehabilitation funds and advises families of injured individuals.

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3

Geoff Trobridge heads the practice at Lester Aldridge LLP and advises on charity registrations, charity mergers and restructuring, trustees’ duties and liabilities, fundraising regulations and charity disputes. The practice also assists with legacy protection, risk management and contentious Court of Protection cases. The firm is additionally experienced in the review of charity governance and the role of charity members.

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Lester Aldridge LLP specialises in contested will, trust and probate cases, which regularly involve cross-border aspects. The firm represents charities, care homes, high-net-worth individuals and wealthy families in contentious estate administration disputes. The firm also specialises in acting for vulnerable clients and disputes concerning the mental capacity of elderly clients. The firm also handles sensitive Court of Protection cases.

Debt recovery Tier 3

Lester Aldridge LLP advises both businesses and individuals on the recovery of secured and unsecured commercial and personal finance, recovery of assets, consumer and credit disputes, financial fraud and leasing regulations. The firm has a notable specialism in bulk recoveries of both debts and assets, from pre-legal collections to litigation. Ann Lloyd heads up the team.

Professional negligence Tier 3

Principally acting for claimants, Lester Aldridge LLP assists with professional negligence claims against accountants, property surveyors and independent financial advisers, which involves claims arising from aggressive and illegal tax schemes. Practice head Kate Stewart specialises in the negligent construction of properties and regularly advises on claims against architects and project managers. The practice also has expertise in claiming against solicitors in relation to breach of duty.

Property litigation Tier 3

Lester Aldridge LLP’s property litigation department is led by Kate Stewart, who has extensive expertise in a wide range of general real estate and landlord and tenant disputes. Stewart's experience includes possession claims, dilapidations, service charge disputes and enfranchisement matters. Stewart's team works closely with the wider real estate group to advise developer clients on contentious matters. In addition, it also provides support to the ports and marinas department, as well as the care team.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

Lester Aldridge LLP has expertise in international estate transfer, domestic and offshore tax planning, the establishment and structuring of trusts for vulnerable individuals, as well as in wealth planning, business succession issues and cross-border wealth transfer between high-net-worth individuals and family members. Other key clients include charities, which the team regularly advises on regulatory aspects and the structuring of assets.

Lester Aldridge is a full-service law firm with offices in Bournemouth, Southampton and London. The firm’s core practice areas are real estate, litigation, private client and commercial services, which it delivers regionally, nationally and internationally.

The firm:

Lester Aldridge offers something to clients that other, larger firms do not: a genuine partnership. Client satisfaction is reflected in the growth it has experienced, seeing revenues increase steadily. Big name clients include Ceuta Holdings, Lloyds Bank, Marina Developments, Moore Stephens and Monzo Bank.

Lester Aldridge is a growing firm whose breadth of service continues to broaden. Formed following the merger of two large Bournemouth firms in 1988 (with origins tracing back to 1796); in 2007, it changed status from a traditional partnership to that of a limited liability partnership, and is a “go to” firm, which has proved to be attractive to partners from other firms.

Lester Aldridge has been accredited with the Law Society’s Lexcel Quality Standard since 2007.

Types of work undertaken:

Real estate: the firm’s extensive property team span sectors including commercial development, care, residential and lending, investment and retail, with expertise to handle a wide range of property issues, from development projects, management and investment, buying and selling properties, landlord and tenant issues, to planning, environment and construction. It also has expertise in the niche areas of ports and marinas, waterside developments and assisted living.

Dispute resolution: Lester Aldridge’s experienced team covers a broad range of general commercial litigation, as well as working for clients in specific industries, handling everything from emergency injunctions to mediation and high court litigation in areas as diverse as debt collection and multi-million cross-jurisdictional claims.

Corporate & Commercial: The team handles an array of corporate work for a diverse client base. Particularly noted for its M&A work, the team regularly advises clients on other company and commercial issues, including joint ventures, IT and IP licensing, competition law and restructurings. The team also acts for international, national and regional clients in many sectors, including charities and the third sector.

Litigation & Recoveries: Lester Aldridge’s team has a proven track record in providing effective advice to banks, building society, finance houses, leasing companies and insolvency practitioners. It specialises in the recovery of secured and unsecured commercial and personal finance, as well as asset recovery.

Marine: LA Marine is the specialist shipping and marine law team of Lester Aldridge, providing expert advice and practical solutions to the commercial shipping, logistics, superyacht and leisure marine industries. LA Marine deals with all aspects of maritime law, from non-contentious matters to collisions, charterparty issues, bill of lading disputes, demurrage claims and personal injury.

Healthcare: One of the leading areas of expertise at Lester Aldridge and one for which the firm has a national reputation. For over 20 years, members of the specialist healthcare team have been specialising in the regulation of health and social care services, regularly acting for independent social care providers, independent hospitals, NHS Trusts and GPs. The team also acts for children’s homes, schools and fostering agencies.

Employment: As one of the leading employment teams in the south, the team provides specialist advice on all areas of employment law, acting for international, national and major regional employers in all sectors. The team supports HR and senior management in dealing with a multitude of employment issues, from drafting service agreements, employment contracts, employment policies and handbooks, to advising on tribunal claims, redundancy programmes and TUPE-related matters.

Private client: The firm offers a full range of services for individuals, with specialists in wills and estates, tax planning and trusts, contentious probate, community care, residential conveyancing, family, employment, personal injury and medical negligence. The international private client team supports both professionals and private individuals across a range of global estate planning and administration matters, including a specialist medallion signature guarantee service.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Roger Woolley
Managing Partner Matthew Barrow
Litigation and recoveries Ann Lloyd
Charities and social enterprise Geoff Trobridge
Corporate and commercial Grant Esterhuizen
Dispute resolution and property litigation Kate Stewart
Employment Catharine Geddes
Family Jane Porter
Healthcare Laura Guntrip
LA Marine Russell Kelly
Personal injury Tim Blackwell
Real estate Mark Benham, Suki Samra
Private Client Kurt Lee
Regulation & business crime Michael Veal
Restructuring & Insolvency Nick Keitley, Melia Hirst
Shipping & logistics Linda Jacques
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Roger Woolley photo Mr Roger Woolley
 Kevin Barnett  photo Kevin Barnett
 Mark Benham  photo Mark Benham
 Tim Blackwell  photo Tim Blackwell
 Danielle Montezuma  photo Danielle Montezuma
 Jane Porter  photo Jane Porter
 Oliver Phipps  photo Oliver Phipps
 Joanne Clarke  photo Joanne Clarke
 Martin Coward  photo Martin Coward
 Catherine Rawles  photo Catherine Rawles
 Suki Samra  photo Suki Samra
 Rosemary Sharp  photo Rosemary Sharp
 Kate Stewart  photo Kate Stewart
 Karen Thompson  photo Karen Thompson
 Geoff Trobridge  photo Geoff Trobridge
 Susan Cowan  photo Susan Cowan
 Michael Veal  photo Michael Veal
 Lindsey Watkin  photo Lindsey Watkin
 Dean Drew  photo Dean Drew
 Stephanie Adams  photo Stephanie Adams
 Chris Evans  photo Chris Evans
 Grant Esterhuizen  photo Grant Esterhuizen
 Catharine Geddes  photo Catharine Geddes
 Peter Grose  photo Peter Grose
 Laura Guntrip  photo Laura Guntrip
 Victoria Jones  photo Victoria Jones
 Ann Lloyd  photo Ann Lloyd
 Kurt Lee  photo Kurt Lee
Number of UK partners : 45
Solicitors & associates : 55
Other fee earners : 107
Law Society of England and Wales
MSI Global Alliance

CLIENT: Private individual
COMPANY/FIRM: Lester Aldridge
TESTIMONIAL: “I recently instructed Lester Aldridge to act on my behalf regarding a family dispute matter. The firm and in particular, Victoria Jones who personally handled my case, proved to be extremely professional, knowledgeable and efficient at all times… Because of Victoria’s skill I had a very successful outcome to my case and I have no hesitation in highly recommending her and Lester Aldridge.”

CLIENT: Private individual
COMPANY/FIRM: Lester Aldridge
TESTIMONIAL: “That is the perfect response – timely, easy to understand, answers all my queries and with clear reasoning… It backs up my reasoning for saying how brilliant it is having you and the Lester Aldridge team by my side as support.”

CLIENT: Gary Day, McCarthy & Stone
COMPANY/FIRM: Lester Aldridge
TESTIMONIAL: “I would not hesitate to recommend Mark and the property team at Lester Aldridge. Having advised McCarthy & Stone on several hundred development sites around the UK, I believe their track record is second to none.”

CLIENT: Private individual
COMPANY/FIRM: Lester Aldridge
TESTIMONIAL: “It only remains to thank you and the whole team at Lester Aldridge for holding my hand and steering me through the unexpected twists and turns of this saga.  Your input, calm heads, empathy and grasp of the vast detail were very helpful, supportive and impressive for what has undoubtedly been an emotional journey for me.”

CLIENT: D. Wright
COMPANY/FIRM: Lester Aldridge
TESTIMONIAL: “I can only say my experience with the team and mainly Victoria Jones, was excellent… There was never a time when following a telephone call, or letter from LA, that I didn’t feel so much better. I found the service efficient, advice factual and clear, but delivered with great empathy.”

CLIENT: Debbie Beere, Dbeere Yachts
COMPANY/FIRM: Lester Aldridge
TESTIMONIAL: “Having known Louise Fuller in a professional capacity for over ten years, I can honestly say she always goes above and beyond with her work. The service Louise and Lester Aldridge provide us is second to none and I would always be confident to recommend their services to others.”

At Lester Aldridge, we believe in equality and diversity for everyone – employees, clients and the firm. As part of our overall commitment to equality of opportunity, we are fully dedicated to promoting a good harmonious working environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Our Equality and Diversity Committee is chaired by the Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) and consists of a group of Partners and Associates, together with the Head of Human Resources. The Committee meets regularly to consider equality and diversity issues throughout the firm, monitoring and reporting of diversity data, policy reviews and compliance with relevant legislation as well as identifying areas for improvement. The Committee reports regularly to the Managing Partner and the Group Leaders.

We have a diversity policy which we are committed to making effective and will take all appropriate steps to ensure everyone is treated fairly. We also encourage all staff to complete an optional annual diversity questionnaire.

In 2010, we became a signatory of The Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Charter. Like The Law Society, we believe this commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential to reflect the society we serve today. It makes business sense because it helps us to attract and retain the best talent, it enables us to understand and meet clients’ needs more effectively and so provide a better quality service.

Accordingly, we will:

· Strive to achieve best practice in our recruitment, retention and career progression practices as employers.

· Support the development of good diversity practice by collecting and sharing examples of practical activities that contribute to progress with other signatories.

· Assign responsibility for meeting our Charter commitments to a named, senior level individual.

· Work together to develop and adopt future protocols that support the practical implementation of the aims of this Charter.

· Annually publish the diversity profile of our UK employees and details of our work on equality, diversity and inclusion.

· Publish a joint annual report on the basis of a monitoring exercise to measure the impact of this Diversity and Inclusion Charter and its protocols. These reports will form the basis of regular dialogue with stakeholders, employees and clients.