Firm Profile > Machins Solicitors LLP > Luton, England

Machins Solicitors LLP
28 Dunstable Road

Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 1

Machins Solicitors LLP handles both public and private family law, often undertaking work in the public sphere in relation to complex cases involving non-accidental injuries, deprivation of liberty applications and abuse. Its private practice specialises in advising high-net-worth individuals on complex private Children Act proceedings. Practice leaders Kathryn Ainsworth and Liz Oldham come highly recommended, as do Sarah Ashby and Richard Phillips. Mandip Bhachu joined as partner from Giffen Couch & Archer in January 2020.

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Machins are a fantastic firm to work with. Kathryn Ainsworth leads a team that in my opinion are leading the way in the home counties. They work extremely hard for all clients and are committed to every case and often go above and beyond when it really matters.

Kathryn Ainsworth’s judgement is always spot on and the high and moral standards that she sets always ensures that clients get a first class service.’

Richard Phillips was very responsive and calmed me down and explained my position clearly. He supported me through my divorce and supported me emotionally, which gave me strength.’

The team at Machins are warm, friendly and good to work with. I am always pleased to have them on a case because I know it will be handled sensibly and proactively.’

I have found that the team’s compassion, dedication to their clients, professionalism, warmth and empathy are really what sets them apart from other firms I have worked with. combined with a no-nonsense attitude they really make their clients feel valued and get exceptional results.’

Liz Oldham is client focused, analytical, and creative.’

‘Sarah Ashby is compassionate, with excellent communication skills. She understands her client’s cases really well; she thinks outside the box and perseveres.’

I have worked alongside Kathryn Ainsworth for many years in the family law world, and she always provides excellent, clear advice to her family clients and supports them through their separation.’

Sarah Ashby is a fantastic solicitor. She is empathetic and will go above and beyond for her clients. She is very hard working and will pursue all avenues to ensure that a fair outcome is achieved. She also thinks outside the box and will consider applications that other parties did not consider. She is truly exceptional.

‘Liz Oldham is an extremely experienced advocate and solicitor. She works tirelessly for her clients, and seems to have a particular strength representing child clients directly.’

Aviation Tier 2

Machins Solicitors LLP has a regional presence in the aviation sector and the firm's practice is over seen by Mark Pelopida. The team has a focus on aircraft financing issues, transactions and leasing matters; it also acts for clients in disputes.

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Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 2

2020 was the centenary year for Machins Solicitors LLP, which offers the full range of advice to small businesses, start-ups and multinationals. The team, which boasts sector specialisms in areas such as aviation and aviation finance, is co-led by 'absolute gem' Mark Pelopida, who leads on the aviation side of the practice, dealing frequently with multijurisdictional issues and complex IT contract negotiations. He works in tandem with Jon Alvarez, who has expertise in M&A, corporate governance, and IT-related contracts.

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We were recommended to Machins by our accountants. We used their services for the sale of our business. They acted very professionally with great attention to detail. Mark Pelopida dealt with us almost exclusively, keeping us informed of progress and providing excellent advice. All went very smoothly with the right advice.

I was provided straightforward, well-explained advice with a highly professional approach.’

Mark Pelopida is an absolute gem: pragmatic, level-headed, you always feel you’re in safe hands no matter the issue.

The practice has a feeling of a full-service firm without the London capital costs. Machins comes across as engaged locally with expertise and with enough resources to get the job done.’

Machins Solicitors have a raft of expertise to call upon when dealing with either corporate matters or personal affairs. They communicate efficiently and are so personable, explaining complex issues in layman’s terms, providing the confidence you need to make the right decisions. I would highly recommend Machins.’

Mark Pelopida recently assisted our firm with the sale of our business to a very large PLC company. Without Mark’s personal care we would not have got through the enormous challenge as the purchasing company did not make it easy for us. The support, guidance, and attention to detail that Mark Pelopida delivered was outstanding and reassuring every step of the way. Without Mark at our side, we would not have got the sale across the line.’

Employment: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 2

Machins Solicitors LLP's client base extends across all key sectors, with particular expertise in transport and aviation, as well as manufacturing, technology and finance. It regularly advises on senior executive hires and severances, exit strategies including post-termination restrictions, settlement agreements, and discrimination cases, specifically in disability discrimination. The team has expanded its practice to include GDPR and IP-related advice. Jackie Cuneen jointly heads the team with David Rushmere, who was recently recruited from 3HR Corporate Solicitors Ltd. Simram Lalli was promoted to solicitor in July 2019.

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The team is always responsive, fully understand our business needs and ensure they explain options and risks fully but simply.

Jackie Cuneen provides advice for employment relations cases. She has a pragmatic approach to problem-solving and is clear in relation to risk in order that the business can make commercial decisions advisedly. She is able to translate legal language into language easily understood by managers who need to be brought into the process.

Machins has a broad breadth of capabilities due to its many knowledgeable and experienced staff. The way they conduct their business, (professional, polite, timely, etc.), the responsiveness, and the ability to communicate in plain English provides a unique experience in my view.

I have had the pleasure of working with both partner Jackie Cuneen on several occasions. She has been the epitome of what one should expect of individuals within the legal profession: knowledgeable, approachable, objective, and professional at all times. I have also worked less closely with associates which again has proved to be a most professional experience on each occasion.

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 2

Entering its centenary year, Machins Solicitors LLP has built a practice in Luton that works with high-profile clients across the South East, including MPs, sports stars, music artists, and high-net-worth individuals, advising on all manner of issues, including new practice areas such as GDPR compliance. Practice leader Nic Pestell advises high-net-worth clients on trusts and tax planning, as well as wills and trust structures. 'A true asset', associate solicitor Nicki Denton-Masih is highly recommended.

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They make a great effort to understand their client’s needs. Nic Pestell particularly cares for his clients with empathy.’

They have a unique way of making all our business with them very personal. Both Nicki Denton-Masih and her aide know us well and have always dealt with our business in a very prompt manner. They also give us frequent updates. Other firms are nowhere up to their standard.’

Nicki Denton-Masih has always dealt with us and her work makes it easy to talk to her.

The members have the ability to listen and communicate, in often very personal and private circumstances. True desire to assist clients to reach a realistic outcome.’

Nic Pestell is simply the best probate lawyer I have ever met. He is both knowledgeable and practical in a non-condescending way. Nicki Denton-Masih is knowledgeable and mature beyond her years; so keen to be of genuine service, and bursting at the seems to help. Good sound advice flows, only after extracting all the relevant information. A true asset.’

The private client team at Machins handle family matters with care and sensitivity whilst explaining matters clearly.’

Nic Pestell always deals with clients professionally, but at the same time sensitively.

In our dealings with the firm we have been treated with courtesy and the staff have always been friendly and helpful. They have acted for us for many years.’

We have primarily dealt with Nicki Denton-Masih and she has always been very careful to explain clearly what our options are when dealing with our wills and the lasting powers of attorney recently. Nicki has been very kind and it means a lot that there is a human face to deal with.

Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 3

The Machins Solicitors LLP team in Luton has recently expanded into new areas of practice, including GDPR and IP related advice. Practice head Neil O’Callaghan has experience in dealing with contentious insolvency work, including pursuing and defending directors for breach of duties, bankruptcy proceedings, and liquidations. Janice Young is a property litigation specialist while Holly Baker works on commercial and property disputes.

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‘Neil O’Callaghan is an excellent lawyer and negotiator. A very good strategist and able to get great deals for his clients. On top of the detail, always well prepared, easy to work with and clients seem to love him. Also good at working with opponents despite getting the best deal possible for his own client.’

‘Janice Young provides remarkably good value to clients with her pragmatic commercial know-how. A pleasure to work with.’

‘Holly Baker has a detailed knowledge of the law and her attention to detail is excellent. I would definitely recommend her and use her again if needed.’

‘I have been using the dispute resolution/commercial litigation team at Machins for the past two years, and they have always given me excellent care and service. They provide an exceptional level of client care, which includes responding to my queries in a timely manner and breaking down complex matters. ‘

‘Janice Young is always on top of every detail of a case – she exudes cleverness.’

‘Holly Baker is a strong performer. She is extremely thorough, and she anticipates what is needed, and has done it before it is asked. I really valued her calm efficiency. She gets the line between authoritative and accessible exactly right.’

‘Neil O’Callaghan – clients like and respect him; he is very personable. There are not many solicitors that I would actually look forward spending a day sitting in a mediation room with, but he is one of them.’

‘They are very professional, quick to respond to questions and concerns, they explain the process clearly. All the staff I have worked with at Machins have been of the highest quality.’

Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 4

Based in Luton, Machins Solicitors LLP provides advice to regional clients such as charities, property and corporate investors and banks, on a range of matters, including estate development work, freehold and leasehold acquisitions, and auction transactions. Practice leader Santokh Singh is an expert in property and estate development work, as well as auction transactions. Nick Ginger advises clients on sales of development land and conditional contracts.

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Machins deliver solid advice you can rely upon and are great value for money. Nick Ginger provides an excellent blend of experience, insight and pragmatism.’

I have been using Machins for both business and personal affairs for a period of some 40 years. Each and every aspect is dealt with professionally using a specialist department in whatever field is required. The relevant partners remain approachable at all levels throughout any negotiations.’

I have been dealing with Nick Ginger throughout my relationship with this firm. Nick at all times offers advice and assistance in a thorough and practical manner whatever and whenever the need arises. He is most approachable and understands we are human and not merely a client number. Nick is able to deal with issues from the mundane to the most complex with complete confidence at each step.’

Machins Solicitors are a well-known and respected firm in Luton. They have a large team of solicitors who work together to bring about a solution to clien’s requirements and problems.’

A reliable, fast, and efficient service. A very good team. Machins are always friendly and make you feel that your business is important to them.’

Debt recovery Tier 4

Machins Solicitors LLP has specialist debt collection expertise in both recovery of service and management charges. Specifically, it handles work on behalf of landlords and agents and covers issues such as consumer finance and business debts. Department head Neil O’Callaghan, a specialist in corporate and personal insolvency litigation, can assist with payment monitoring, the tracing of absent debtors and related enforcement measures.

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Machins Solicitors is widely recognised as one of the region’s leading commercial firms. Progressive and well run, it has a reputation for being reliable, cost effective and highly professional.

The firm: Machins Solicitors has carried on business under the name of Machins since 1920 and can trace its roots back to a law firm that had opened for business in the late 1800s.  This year the firm is celebrating its centenary year.

Following the success of its 2012 merger with Sumner & Tabor in Berkhamsted, it has a strong geographic reach, acting for clients not only in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire but also Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, the Thames Valley Corridor, London and internationally.  It has a growing team with expert lawyers offering a full range of business and individual legal services (aside from criminal and immigration) with offices in Luton and Berkhamsted.

Within the individual services sector, it has specialist niches in family and child care issues, as well as wills, trusts and probate. The firm works closely with highly respected counsel, actuaries, accountants, independent financial advisors, mediators and business valuers.

Types of work undertaken
Company commercial: Machins Solicitors has built up a strong commercial team with experts advising across a spectrum of disciplines, providing help to businesses, directors, institutions, societies, owners and managers. Over recent years, the department has seen a sustained growth both in the scope and the value of the work undertaken. Work includes all areas of acquisitions and mergers, joint ventures, contractual and compliance issues and intellectual property acting for a range of clients from sole traders to multinational companies.

Commercial property: The commercial property team continues to grow through its wide range of transactions providing advice to property owners, developers, investors, lenders and tenants. The firm’s reputation is built on sound practical judgement and experience acquired over decades. It acts for large property companies, sole traders, and local, national and international businesses. It is able to help with the full range of commercial property issues including property litigation, enfranchisement and lease extensions, site acquisition development and disposals, and agricultural holdings and farm tenancies as well as landlord and tenant issues and business lease renewals.

Employment:  In addition to advising a growing core employer client base on  business as usual employment matters and high-net-worth individual clients on their exit packages, the team is kept busy both in relation to litigation and corporate transactional matters, business advisory and dispute resolution advising on a number of injunctive disputes, multi-jurisdiction Employment Tribunal claims and TUPE transactions. The team also has particular expertise in relation to discrimination cases, specifically disability discrimination.

Private client: With a team of seven lawyers, the private client department continues to attract high-net-worth clients, many of whom are London-based. The department advises on wills, probate, contested probate, establishing trusts and trust management, tax planning and cross-border estates, deputyships and powers of attorney.

Family (private law): Machins has a family (private law) team in Luton and Berkhamsted who are all qualified solicitors performing to a high standard of excellence. Acting for clients throughout the UK and abroad, this growing department specialises in dealing with cases involving private high-net-worth individuals, particularly those with their own businesses, TV executives and bankers as well as work ranging from fixed-fee divorce, cohabitation agreements, pre- and post-nuptial agreements through to helping clients with complex private Children Act proceedings, mediation and collaborative law.

Family (public law): the team, based in Luton, excels in public law children proceedings and holds a legal aid franchise which enables the team to provide legal advice and representation in relation to public family law including applications for special guardianship orders and adoption including international adoption.

Debt recovery: the debt recovery department has 40 years’ experience specifically in the fields of motor finance and property management.

Commercial litigation: Machins’ commercial litigation team is well respected for specialist niches particularly in relation to shareholder disputes, insolvency and property litigation as well as standard contractual litigation of a commercial nature. It is widely recognised as one of the leading litigation firms in the region.

Aviation: The firm has a long history of providing advice in this niche area, having acted in relation to acquisitions/disposals, leases and related issues for over 40 years.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner & Head of Company Commercial Department Mark Pelopida
Company Commercial Jon Alvarez
Commercial Property Nick Ginger
Commercial Property Santokh Singh
Commercial Property Simeon Clipstone
Civil litigation & Debt Collection Neil O'Callaghan
Employment Jackie Cuneen
Employment David Rushmere
Head of Family Department (Private Law) Kathryn Ainsworth (private family law)
Family Paul Owen (private family)
Family Mandip Bhachu (private family)
Head of Family Department (Public Law) Liz Oldham (public family law)
Private Client Nic Pestell
Residential Conveyancing Dipak Odedra
Photo Name Position Profile
 Jon Alvarez  photo Jon Alvarez Partner
 Mandip Bhachu  photo Mandip Bhachu Partner
 Simeon Clipstone  photo Simeon Clipstone Partner
 Jackie Cuneen  photo Jackie Cuneen Partner
 Nick Ginger  photo Nick Ginger Partner
 Liz Oldham  photo Liz Oldham Partner
 Neil O’Callaghan  photo Neil O’Callaghan Partner
 Mark Pelopida  photo Mark Pelopida Managing Partner
 Nic Pestell  photo Nic Pestell Head of Private Client Department
 David Rushmere  photo David Rushmere Partner
 Santokh Singh  photo Santokh Singh Partner
Number of UK partners : 14
Number of other UK fee-earners : 41

People are at the heart of our business and core to its future sustainability. We are committed to encouraging workforce diversity and inclusion and aim to be an employer of choice, maintaining a high reputation of employee care and consideration.

Machins Solicitors LLP believes our success is a direct result of the experience and quality of our employees. We are, therefore, committed to focusing our employment procedures and practices on maximising the potential of each individual. We believe this is best achieved by developing our employees’ talents, whilst recognising their differences. By treating people fairly and equally and by accepting and embracing their diversity, we can also improve our market competitiveness, enhance our corporate social responsibility and create an inclusive and positive working environment for all employees.

It is the policy of the Firm that no person acting on our behalf shall discriminate in any situation against another individual or group, directly or indirectly, because of age, sex, disability, gender re‐assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, paternity, race, religion and belief and sexual orientation. Machins Solicitors LLP also endorses the principle that the workforce at each location should reflect, as far as is reasonably possible, the community within which it operates. These principles apply to recruitment selection, training, promotion, transfer, pay and benefits and performance appraisal procedures, in addition to all terms and conditions of employment.

Our aims are as follows:-

  • To ensure equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and community
  • To offer fair treatment in every aspect of working life in Machins Solicitors LLP, from our written procedures through to every decision made
  • To promote a culture where each employee and colleague is treated with respect and dignity and recognises the value that a diverse workforce can bring

Machins Solicitors LLP also has a growing corporate social responsibility programme within Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. We ensure our local community, charity and pro-bono legal work; as well our environmental practices are a core part of our firm-wide business strategy.

We have strong links with local charities, schools and universities and strive to ensure our partners and staff work in partnership to share their expertise and knowledge. We are proud of the role our people play within the local community. Our ongoing partnerships and community programmes ensure we are dedicated to deploying our skills and experience to provide valuable and vital services which in turn promote more access to justice and social inclusion.