Firm Profile > Lester Aldridge LLP > Bournemouth, England
Lester Aldridge LLP Offices
Lester Aldridge LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
‘Professionalism, good overall knowledge and of their particular area.‘
‘Good lawyers with well-rounded expertise – very commercial, thorough and available.‘
‘Michael Veal is mature, considered judgement, well-balanced advice, good commercial sense.‘
‘Chris Evans is commercial and pragmatic.‘
‘Associate Ben Kerley seems to punch above his weight in terms of not sitting on the fence.’
Lester Aldridge LLP specialises in commercial property matters related to affordable housing, telecoms and care homes. The firm also provides experience in property investment, management and development, including real estate finance and recoveries. The practice is co-led by Suki Samra, who is know for his expertise in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, as well as the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993; development specialist Roger Woolley; and Mark Benham, who focuses on house building matters and the retirement living sector. Also notable are residential development expert Lucy Stevens and associate Rebecca Humm, who advises local and regional developers on range of matters, including planning.
Excalibur Communications Group
McCarthy & Stone
Breeze Motor Group Plc
Marina Developments Limited
CHG Holdings Limited
Yorkshire Building Society t/a Norwich & Peterborough
Capture Housing Limited
Langham Land Limited
Lewis Investments Limited
In Bournemouth, Lester Aldridge LLP has a full-service corporate team which is geared towards advising regional SMEs and owner-managed businesses, although it also has significant experience with corporate clients. The group is led by corporate and commercial expert Grant Esterhuizen, whose practice spans joint ventures, commercial agreements and M&A, particularly in relation to the IT sector. Geoff Trobridge is an experienced commercial lawyer who has developed a niche in charities, social enterprises and data protection. Susan Cowan is a specialist in matters arising from the healthcare sector. In July 2019, Dean Drew joined the group from Irwin Mitchell and focuses on M&A transactions; an area associate Alexandra Clapp is also noted for.
‘Lester Aldridge demonstrates a unique ability to quickly understand the nature of our business topics and commercial needs, and interpret the law in a simple way which addresses our concerns.’
‘I have nothing but the highest praise for Grant Esterhuizen’s work. His ability to rapidly understand our business needs and interpret the law in a user friendly means that we work really efficiently and effectively together. Grant responds quickly, grasps priorities, and helps guide us through the minefield of commercial law. And he does all this with a smile on his face!‘
ESET Software UK
Enhanced Computer Solutions
Data Installation and Networking Services
Quality Care Group
Affordable Housing and Healthcare Group
Lester Aldridge LLP has a strong profile in Dorset for its employment law work, and is well known for delivering specialist advice to clients in the care sector. Other areas of expertise include the employment aspects of large corporate transactions, TUPE transfers, insolvency and business immigration. Catharine Geddes' experience spans the full spectrum of employment work, which includes representing clients in employment tribunals and subsequent appeals. Geddes jointly leads the team with Kevin Barnett, whose clients are largely drawn from the corporate sector.
‘The employment law team at Lester Aldridge stands out for me as being one of the best that I have ever worked with. I attribute a lot of that to the way that the team interacts – they all clearly value and support each other, and work excellently alongside each other. They understand each other’s strengths. In delivering workshops and events, they bounce off each other very well, making it an enjoyable and informative experience for everyone.‘
‘Catharine Geddes always has time to talk things through, provides advice and guidance in a clear manner that is practical and pragmatic, yet clearly meeting our needs. Catharine worked with our Chair of Trustees recently, who reported to me how very impressed they were with her work and her helpful nature.‘
Curtiss Wright Corporation
Ceuta Holdings Limited
Data Installations and Networking Services Limited T/a Data Techniques
Osprey Europe Limited
FRP Advisory LLP
Dorset Wildlife Trust
Durable (UK) Limited
Health and safety Tier 1
Bournemouth-based Lester Aldridge LLP distinguishes itself through its extensive prosecution work for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and also for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Equally important is defence work following accidents, which the health and safety team carries out for clients in both public and private sectors; it mainly advises clients in the marine, care and construction industries in this space. Team head Michael Veal is a seasoned litigator, who has handled prosecution work for the HSE throughout the South West of England and South Wales. Working with Veal is associate Guy Gosheron, who is a barrister with a specialism in criminal prosecutions.
Other key lawyers:
‘Good regulatory law firm. Years of experience in both prosecuting and defending regulatory offences. As the previous holder of the HSE prosecution work contract, this firm has bags of experience in dealing with these types of offences. They use that experience to good effect in preparing and seeing through to completion cases of this sort.‘
‘Michael Veal is the standout operator at this firm. Capable of conducting advocacy himself, he never fails to instruct counsel when he thinks it is necessary or the case demands it. He has great insight into the issues that are likely to arise in a case, from the very early stages in any case. A great tactical thinker and is never under prepared.‘
‘A regional firm with the feel of a top City firm. Great relationships with clients and always prepared to go the extra mile.‘
‘Michael Veal is an exceptionally good lawyer who knows everything there is to know about health & safety law. He is approachable and has a really great relationship with clients. Knowledgeable and informed. Charming and one of the best around.‘
‘The health and safety team brings exceptional experience from both prosecuting and defending health and safety cases. There are few other firms outside of London that have the breadth of experience in health and safety outside of Lester Aldridge.‘
‘Michael Veal is a true leader in his field. A real expert in health and safety cases. He brings vast experience to such matters. Guy Gosheron is hard-working, tenacious and knowledgeable.‘
‘I have always found the firm to be efficient and knowledgeable. They are very easy to work with.‘
‘I have worked with Michael Veal on several cases. His knowledge of health and safety law is highly impressive but he also has a practical approach to cases which means that he quickly gets to the point and makes life easy for me, as a barrister, and in due course, for the jury.‘
Health & Safety Executive
Maritime & Coastguard Agency
Hampshire County Council
Family Tier 2Lester Aldridge LLP has a strong reputation for advising on complex financial remedy cases, especially those which involve cross-border elements or require external expertise. Growing areas of work for the team include pre-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements and children law work with an international dimension. Rosemary Sharp leads the family team, which is split across the firm's offices in Bournemouth, Southampton and London. She works with Joanne Clarke; both combine experience in matrimonial finance and children law.
Other key lawyers:
‘Lester Aldridge are one of the few ‘go to’ firms for family work on the South Coast. Their professionalism and experience sets them apart.‘
‘Lester Aldridge have a strong financial remedies team based in Bournemouth. They provide an excellent service. As a team they are quite capable of handling cases from the very modest to very high-net-worth cases.‘
‘Rosemary Sharp’s knowledge of the law and feel for the tactics of litigation place her well above her peers at other firms. Joanne Clarke is excellent at dealing with difficult cases and more challenging clients. Her no-nonsense attitude and ability to get to the crux of a case is much appreciated.‘
‘The team work together and are friendly, professional and efficient. They have a lot of empathy with clients and reassure them emotionally and practically by explaining the process. They are happy to bring in outside resources to help with more complex cases such as pension experts and actuaries.‘
Health Tier 2
Specialising in care home-related work, Lester Aldridge LLP also advises charities, GPs and GP practices on a range of healthcare matters. The firm’s expertise includes due diligence, professional disciplinary matters and the regulation governing charities, as well as acquisitions and sales in the sector. Laura Guntrip leads the team and focuses on healthcare regulatory matters, safeguarding issues and criminal matters affecting care providers.
Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3
Lester Aldridge LLP acts for a number of local and regional charities, focusing on providing specialist advice on the registration of new charities, governance and regulatory issues. A specialism of the team is in advising healthcare charities. Geoff Trobridge, who heads up the charities team, also has expertise in charity mergers and restructurings.
Other key lawyers:
‘Geoff Trowbridge gave very detailed and knowledgable advice in his specialist area.’
‘Their charity specialist lawyer was by far the best that we met, so we decided to go with them. It was a very easy decision. We have had fabulous and faultless service from them.‘
‘Geoff Trowbridge gives an attentive, instant and very helpful service at all times. I can’t fault him.‘
Hammersley Homes Limited
Macmillan Caring Locally
Dorchester Municipal Charities
Talbot Village Trust
Help and Care
Bournemouth & District Recreational Charity
Lymington Commununity Association
The client base of the contentious trusts and probate practice at Lester Aldridge LLP includes high-net-worth individuals, families, executors and trustees, and charities, including individuals based abroad. Team head Victoria Jones has a niche practice focusing on elder financial abuse and financial fraud involving vulnerable adults. The team also advises on contested Court of Protection applications.
Professional negligence Tier 3
Lester Aldridge LLP's professional negligence team acts predominantly on the claimant side, representing clients in claims against solicitors, accountants, financial advisers and surveyors, as well as drawing on the firm's wider expertise to handle cases involving marine surveyors. The department is led from Bournemouth by Kate Stewart.
Property litigation Tier 3
Lester Aldridge LLP specialises in acting for port and marina-based landlords, as well as telecoms providers in contentious site-related issues. Kate Stewart leads the practice and acts primarily in development work, particularly representing household developer clients in matters including contract disputes, the infringement of restrictive covenants and overage disputes.
Lester Aldridge LLP is known for its specialisms in international estate matters and inheritance tax and capital gains tax planning advice. Other strengths include Court of Protection work and trust administration. Kurt Lee, Oliver Phipps and Richard Fairbairn jointly lead the private client team. Paula Shea departed for Blake Morgan LLP in March 2019.
Shipping Tier 1
With a long-established market presence, the marine practice group at Lester Aldridge LLP handles the full scope of shipping matters with a particular focus on transactions and litigation. The group also acts for clients in collision claims and personal injury matters. Practice head Russell Kelly is noted for his advisory work on the purchase and sale of vessels; Linda Jacques is also a key contact in the team.
Lester Aldridge LLP has significant expertise in housebuilding, currently acting for five of the ten largest national housebuilders. The team is also seeing significant growth in the affordable housing sector and has a strong focus on the care market, as well as sheltered housing. Roger Woolley is a leading development lawyer and heads up the real estate group. Claire Long joined the team from Irwin Mitchell and advises on all aspects of non-contentious landlord and tenant work, while John Townsend arrived from Lewis Townsend LLP and specialises in leasehold transactions.
‘The commitment to us is second to none – Lester Aldridge always put our commercial interests at forefront of mind; have an excellent commercial awareness, which they balance with the interpretation and application of relevant law and regulation; and are viewed by us as being an integral part of our business and in particular, of our Land, Planning and Development team…..rather than simply being an adviser to the company. Moreover, they are proactive in providing support, and consistently recommend improvements to our business operations, policies and processes.‘
‘Roger Woolley and Mark Benham are exceptional lawyers. They have both worked with and have supported us for many years, and have consistently provided a superb service via robust legal advice, while appreciating the wider commercial interests of the business. They are both highly talented and experienced property lawyers, who come with a good sense of humour and an ability to get on well with everyone (at all levels within our organisation), and both (together with their teams) are prepared to go the extra mile in order to help us achieve our business goals and targets.‘
‘Knowledgeable and very pro-active in providing solutions.‘
‘ Sian Rowland is always upbeat and helpful. Nothing is too much trouble and she has a pragmatic and practical approach to ensure transactions are moved forward promptly.‘
‘I feel the strength of LA is their team work. There is a very strong cohesive team with a great “can do” attitude. Any problems can quickly be answered and often with think out of the box solution.‘
‘Roger Woolley’s outside the box thinking is like no other. His thinking is strategic not just on the deal or problem we are working on but for the company as a whole.‘
‘Great service and full advice.‘
Excalibur Communications Group
McCarthy & Stone
Breeze Motor Group
Yorkshire Building Society t/a Norwich & Peterborough
‘Very good technical knowledge. Work is turned around in short order. Large number of disciplines within the practice so able to call upon these, for example dealing with complex GDPR issues following the insolvency of a medical professional.’
‘Melia Hirst has very good technical knowledge.’
‘Nick Keitley is commercial.’
‘The team are particularly good at dealing with the more unusual aspects of insolvency law.’
‘Melia Hirst deserves particular mention. Not only is she on top of all aspects of the case, she is also a very pleasant person to work with.’
‘I would describe the team as knowledgeable, professional in their conduct, always providing insight and support both on technical and practical levels, willing to share ideas and solutions on complex and/or challenging issues. Whilst these strengths are not necessarily unique, as a package, I find them unrivalled in my geographical location.’
‘Nick Keitley is passionate about delivering first class guidance and support. Nick’s experience is evident throughout my dealings on various different case instructions. Melia Hirst shares Nick’s passion for delivering class leading advice and support, she too is regarded by me as a go to person if I need legal advice on case assignments.’
‘Nick Keitley is very good at explaining issues simply and takes a relaxed approach. Melia Hirst is easy to get on with.’
‘Nick Keitley knows his area extremely well, is very thoughtful, and has a sensible commercial approach.’
‘Rebecca Walker is an excellent technical solicitor, very responsive and knowledgeable. Excellent understanding of insolvency and restructuring and a go-to lawyer for technical queries.’
JWS Business Recovery
Leonard Curtis Recovery
Peter Hall Limited
Portland Business & Financial Solutions
RSM Restructuring and Advisory
Smith & Williamson
Environment and planning Tier 3Lester Aldridge LLP's planning team has a focus on work for housebuilders, advising a number of well-known clients in the sector, and also works with regional and local developers, handling both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team is led from Southampton by Tom Alder, who has a niche practice acting for ports and marinas; he recently advised on the process to secure consent for the delivery of a new marina to accompany a substantial new waterside residential development.
Lester Aldridge LLP > Firm Profile
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 and recoveries, dispute resolution, corporate and commercial services and private client, 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 include
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 and 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 and 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.
|Managing Partner||Matthew Barrow|
|Real Estate Group||Mark Benham|
|Litigation & Recoveries||Ann Lloyd|
|Corporate & Commercial||Grant Esterhuizen|
|Dispute Resolution and Property litigation||Kate Stewart|
|Healthcare & Community Care||Laura Guntrip|
|LA Marine||Russell Kelly|
|Personal Injury & Medical Negligence||David Healy|
|Private Client||Kurt Lee|
|Regulation & Business Crime||Michael Veal|
|Restructuring & Insolvency||Nick Keitley, Melia Hirst|
|Shipping & Logistics||Linda Jacques|
|Property & Conveyancing||John Townsend|
|Charities & Social Enterprise||Lisa Watson-Cook|
|Stephanie Adams||Stephanie Adams is a Partner in the Property & Conveyancing and Real…||View Profile|
|Edward Adamson||Edward advises businesses in a range of sectors on transactional matters such…||View Profile|
|Kevin Barnett||Kevin Barnett is a Partner in the Employment & HR team. Kevin…||View Profile|
|Mark Benham||Mark Benham is a Partner in the Real Estate team. Mark is…||View Profile|
|Joanne Clarke||Joanne Clarke is a Partner in the Family team. Joanne advises a…||View Profile|
|Susan Cowan||Susan Cowan is a Partner in the Corporate & Commercial team. Susan…||View Profile|
|Martin Coward||Martin Coward is a Partner in the Real Estate team. Martin’s practice…||View Profile|
|Dean Drew||Dean is a corporate partner with over 20 years’ experience at national…||View Profile|
|Grant Esterhuizen||Grant is a partner at Lester Aldridge who heads up the firm’s…||View Profile|
|Chris Evans||Chris Evans is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team. Chris is…||View Profile|
|Rachel Gimson||Rachel Gimson is a Partner in the Property Litigation team. Rachel has…||View Profile|
|Laura Guntrip||Laura Guntrip is a Partner and Head of the Healthcare team. Laura…||View Profile|
|Victoria Jones||Victoria is a Partner in our Disputed Wills, Trusts & Probate and…||View Profile|
|Parisa Jones||Parisa Jones is a Partner in the Tax, Trusts, Wills & Probate…||View Profile|
|Kurt Lee||Kurt Lee is a Partner and Head of the Tax, Trusts, Wills…||View Profile|
|Ann Lloyd||Ann Lloyd is a Partner and Head of the Litigation and Recoveries…||View Profile|
|Danielle Montezuma||Danielle Montezuma is a Partner in our Litigation & Recoveries team. She…||View Profile|
|Oliver Phipps||Oliver Phipps is a Partner & Head of the International Private Client…||View Profile|
|Catherine Rawles||Catherine is a Partner at Lester Aldridge specialising in residential development, acting…||View Profile|
|Suki Samra||Suki Samra is a Partner in the Real Estate team. Suki acts…||View Profile|
|Rosemary Sharp||Rosemary Sharp is a Partner and Head of the Family team. Rosemary…||View Profile|
|Kate Stewart||Kate is a Partner and heads the property litigation team. She advises…||View Profile|
|Michael Veal||Michael Veal is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution & Commercial Litigation…||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of UK partners : 42 Solicitors & associates : 60 Other fee earners : 107
LanguagesEnglish Afrikaans French German Greek Hindi Italian Punjabi Spanish Swedish Zulu Flemish Yoruba Chinese (Mandarin) Portuguese Bulgarian
MembershipsLaw Society of England and Wales MSI Global Alliance
CLIENT: Alexander Kinninmonth
COMPANY/FIRM: RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP
TESTIMONIAL: “For many years now we have worked alongside Nick [Keitley] and Melia [Hirst] on a range of formal and informal restructuring assignments which have varied from quite technical and bespoke matters to working together on large complex restructurings of national businesses. Both Nick and Melia are very well respected and held in high esteem amongst their peers. We place great value and trust in their technically strong and commercially astute advice.’
COMPANY/FIRM: Legal Director at a global freight forwarder
TESTIMONIAL: “I have worked with Linda Jacques, partner at Lester Aldridge, on a few disputes involving liens among other questions, and she has proved to be extremely responsive and creative. She advises with a breadth of experience in the marine, shipping and logistics sectors and she gives pragmatic and business-oriented options to complex situations. It is a real pleasure working with her.”
CLIENT: Raoul Perfitt, Managing Director
COMPANY/FIRM: Herb UK Limited
TESTIMONIAL: “We have used Grant Esterhuizen and his team of corporate lawyers at Lester Aldridge for over a decade now. They have supported us through thick and thin. Since our original management buy-out, Grant and his team have advised us successfully on a range of commercial and corporate transactional matters, from commercial contracts and mergers and acquisitions to internal company law advice involving shareholder related matters and changes to our articles of association and general corporate governance issues. We have found them to be accessible, quick to respond, commercial in their approach and razor sharp in their ability to cut to the main issues and help in resolving our legal requirements swiftly and professionally. As a UK based international distribution company, our requirements for legal advice are varied and often span cross-border jurisdictional issues – we have found that Grant and his team are able to cover all of these bases. In many respects we see Lester Aldridge as a business partner rather than as our advisers. Grant in particular is a determined lawyer who is focussed on getting the best results for his client.”
CLIENT: Peter Burrows, VP of International Business Development and M&A Integration
COMPANY/FIRM: Ceuta Group
TESTIMONIAL: “Lester Aldridge have represented Ceuta Group across all legal matters for over 20 years. On the occasions we have had to call on the advice and expertise of the Lester Aldridge Dispute Resolution Team we have been hugely impressed with their depth of knowledge across a wide range of issues and their ability to secure excellent outcomes for our business.”
CLIENT: Individual client
TESTIMONIAL: “I cannot rate Chris Evans and the professional negligence team at Lester Aldridge highly enough.
Throughout, my case was handled with the upmost professionalism and Chris Evans and his team guided me through the complexities of professional negligence law at every stage. But more than that they provided me with reassurance and compassion at what was an incredibly difficult and emotional time for me personally. I would strongly recommend the professional negligence team at Lester Aldridge, incredible service!”
CLIENT: Gary Day of McCarthy & Stone
TESTIMONIAL: “I would not hesitate to recommend the real estate 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. Mark Benham and his colleagues have long been trusted advisors of the company, providing commercially sound and prompt advice to our offices around the country. Their knowledge of the business, and the later living sector, is crucial. They have taken the time to find out and understand fully the drivers and needs of the business, and the key issues affecting retirement housing and housing with care, which has been invaluable. And one of the striking qualities of Mark and his colleagues, is the proactive nature of the support that they provide – they constantly suggest new and improved processes and actions, to further benefit the company and its business interests.”
CLIENT: Individual client
TESTIMONIAL: “John Townsend was, during our protracted recent transaction, consistently competent, thorough, utterly reliable and patiently good-humoured faced with an extraordinary combination of hurdles: a first buyer pulling out; a transaction that involved so many different parties regarding the sale of the loft space “above” my flat, freeholders who were resident abroad, and consistently resistant to negotiation: COVID-19, and all in a chain of five properties. Single handily he kept the system going, with good grace, tact and quiet professional tenacity. He contained, with unusual calm, an anxiety and uncertainty that would have defeated anyone else I have met. It was an exemplary professionalism that I have never before encountered. After a year, and after so many additional days and nights, from work and then from home during Covid-19, he managed to keep everyone to the original costs.”
COMPANY/FIRM: Shawbrook Bank Limited t/a Shawbrook Asset Finance
TESTIMONIAL: “Lester Aldridge have supported our Asset Finance business for many years. A very professional team that is always prepared to assist and offer clear advice. The team has a wealth of knowledge and expertise which enables them to deliver high-quality advice which is both practical and commercially viable. The advice and action taken, frequently results in a positive, swift outcome.”
COMPANY/FIRM: Head of Planning at a local developers.
TESTIMONIAL: “We have used Lester Aldridge’s Planning and Real Estate team over the last five years. The work they do for us involves advising on planning application and appeal strategies, representing us at Public Inquiries, drafting and negotiating Planning S106 Legal Agreements and also securing land opportunities via Option Agreements all the way through to Site Purchases. The team at Lester Aldridge is very professional and understands our business needs. They are able to provide pragmatic and sound advice in a timely way, including dealing with matters effectively in very tight timescales. They have very good relationships with Local Authority solicitors, which has been of great help to us when negotiating legal agreements which accompany our planning consents.”
COMPANY/FIRM: OSHCS Register Consultant/ OSHCS Ltd
TESTIMONIAL: “I have worked with Michael Veal and others from the Lester Aldridge Health and Safety team over a number of years. I found them professional and helpful with a pragmatic approach to dealing with a range of health and safety issues. In my opinion, they have a comprehensive understanding of health and safety legislation. Unlike some other legal firms I have dealt with, they have an ability to rapidly understand some of the technical aspects that could often be involved in considering the application of the law to a particular situation.”
Diverse is who we are, inclusive means we are stronger together…
We recognise that our people are our biggest asset and continue to work hard to ensure that LA is a place where people can do their best work in a team that values who they are and their unique perspectives and contributions that they can bring irrespective of race, identity, gender, age, religion or experience.
Diversity and inclusion as a result forms an essential part of our culture and we are committed to fostering inclusivity throughout the firm, from entry level to partnership. We embrace and promote diversity and inclusion within our firm through raising awareness internally and participating in a variety of initiatives that also forms part of our three year Equality & Inclusion plan.
We value and encourage diversity with respect to each individual’s work style, career path and professional and life experiences. We continually strive to build and maintain a culture that values and gathers strength from our differences.
Our commitment to diversity enables us to draw from a wealth of talent to recruit and retain the best lawyers and promoting all groups in the firm fairly, and we have invested in our processes to ensure that everyone has the same chance to develop and advance. An inclusive, forward-thinking culture also enables us to provide innovative solutions to our clients.
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.
Student (The Lex 100 )
The Lex 100 VerdictSouth coast favourite Lester Aldridge is known for the ‘non-hierarchical’ and ‘friendly’ atmosphere as well as a range of specialist sectors, including maritime and aviation. The firm is highly praised for its training: ‘I wanted to train at a firm that had a robust and long-standing training programme, which Lester Aldridge does. There is both a high standard of clients and lawyers to train with’. The firm’s smaller size allows trainees a ‘hands-on’ experience plus ‘the amount of client contact and level of work seems higher than at other firms. We also have a better work/life balance and are not expected to put in time additional to our contracted hours’. Trainees feel that ‘it is clear that the firm values its staff and is always looking to develop their skills’. Highlights include ‘drafting evidence on high-value cases within the first week of starting my training contract’ and ‘being asked to manage a team of paralegals and trusted with a client relationship’. Negatives include the pay and some slow internal communications, but overall there is much more positive feedback. The pandemic has impacted seat rotations and working from home has limited inter-firm social life, but these concerns should ease. Lester Aldridge is known for ‘valuing its staff’, its robust training, and attractive client list in a range of sectors. If you fancy life on the South coast, have a look.
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Commercial litigation: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall
- Commercial property: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall
- Corporate and commercial: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall
- Employment: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall
- Health and safety