Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP > Oxford, England > Firm Profile

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP
9400 GARSINGTON ROAD
OXFORD BUSINESS PARK
OXFORD
OX4 2HN
England

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has particular nous in the technology and life sciences sectors, excelling on high-end cross-border M&A work and venture capital transactions. Representing Oxford university spin-outs and growth companies are another core pillar of the team’s work in the space – M&A and private equity specialist Will Axtell, in addition to VC financing expert and ‘outstanding corporate lawyer’ James Went, are the names to note for such matters. Global head of corporate Matthew Martin is based in London. At associate level, Dominique Sabatini is another key contact for spin-out and venture capital work. Partner David Tighe retired in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Martin

Testimonials

‘Teamwork is excellent and ability to cover during periods of absence almost seamless.’

‘The firm has provided outstanding corporate, commercial and transaction advice to us for over a decade. They are consistently reliable, thoughtful and efficient in their work, whether it’s a small ad-hoc matter or a full-scale deal.’

‘James Went has been our main relationship partner and is an outstanding corporate lawyer. His advice is always clear, timely and helpful, and he is equally comfortable managing complex transactions or niche legal questions.

‘We have recently begun to work with Dominique Sabatini, who is an excellent associate and has done great work in support of several transactional matters.’

‘The team I used has skills in depth and were able to help me in support of a complex M&A. The partner was involved but the people who undertook the daily contact were professional and understood the challenges of such a complex deal.’

‘The main individual was passionate and was always available and there to explain legal complexities that I could understand and execute accordingly.’

‘Experienced, extremely knowledgeable but practical and very user-friendly. We don’t go anywhere else for corporate and commercial work.’

‘James Went is outstandingly able and experienced in a broad range of transactions and sectors. He’s always calm and considered and able to keep an eye on the bigger picture while maintaining a forensic attention to the detail.’

Key clients

Seedrs

The shareholders of Titian Software Holdings Ltd

Echo Healthcare Inc

Celleron Therapeutics Limited

Sixworks Ltd

The shareholders of Source Health Economics

The shareholders of AMR International Limited

The Smithers Group Inc.

The shareholders of Analytical Services International Limited

The shareholders of Simply Sustainable

The Harbour Brewing Company

MoA Technology Ltd

Fable Data Ltd

Seloxium Limited

Solena Materials Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Seedrs on its $100m acquisition by US fintech company Republic via a scheme of arrangement.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Source Market Access Limited, trading as Source Health Economics, on its sale to private equity backed Sciris Group.
  • Acted for US medtech company Echo Healthcare Inc in its acquisition of Immersive Interactive Limited.

Employment > Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP offers ‘an exceptional level of service, is flexible in its approach, down to earth and very approachable’. Recent work has involved advising on flexible working issues and acting for companies, industry associations, charities and UK subsidiaries of overseas companies on corporate transactions as well as bullying, harassment and discrimination claims, claims for statutory rights, reorganisations and outsourcing agreements. Team head Michael Cole is ‘outstanding’ and ‘commercially astute’ and has substantial experience in acting for national and international clients in a range of sectors including the technology and financial services industries. Liz Cardy is well regarded and an ‘astute and tenacious negotiator’, active across contentious and non-contentious employment issues including work involving the education sector.

Practice head(s):

Michael Cole

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Penningtons always offers an exceptional level of service, is flexible in its approach, down to earth and very approachable.’

‘Michael Cole is outstanding, quick to respond and very approachable. He is commercially astute and has taken the time to understand our business and our needs. He always puts you at ease and takes time to explain giving clear guidance and advice. I’ve worked with Michael for many years and he is our trusted lawyer for all employment matters.’

‘Liz Cardy has provided excellent and timely support, is easily accessible and provides high-quality advice to the business.’

‘Liz Cardy is highly committed to her clients. She is pragmatic and solution oriented but also very calm under pressure and empathic to clients at a difficult time. She has excellent attention to detail and is an astute and tenacious negotiator. Liz provided me with excellent support to achieve the outcome I was looking for and combined the team’s talents very well.’

‘A very strong team with in-depth expertise in employment law, a pragmatic and solution-oriented approach at a time that can be very stressful for the client. They are quick to respond and always available for advice. They demonstrate meticulous attention to detail and are tenacious negotiators. Michael Cole and Liz Cardy are superb.’

‘I have requested support from their employment team on a number of occasions and they are so helpful and really understand how to focus their time on the key issues. Michael Cole and Liz Cardy are two of the best lawyers I have had the pleasure to work with in a career of over 25 years in HR.’

‘I am so grateful to Liz Cardy. She is highly knowledgeable, going above and beyond. Liz acted as an invaluable ally, especially when business relationships turned incredibly sour. Liz offered incredible support to both the company and me personally. She supported and advised on a number of matters including employment contracts, dismissal, theft of company property and IP and settlement agreements. Liz settled the matter swiftly and with huge support, providing the best possible outcome.’

‘Excellent support and advice from start to finish. The case they were advising me on was very complex and emotionally painful, and they took all the stress off of me and I had absolute confidence that they were able to negotiate and deliver in every area.’

Key clients

Wurth UK Limited

Future Biogas Limited

St Mary’s University, Twickenham

Domus UK Limited

Amelco UK Limited

Polymax Limited

The Handbook Venues Limited

Kent Pharma UK Limited

MCI UK Limited

Employment > Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is known for its strong sector-specific focus, with particular emphasis on work arising out of technology, charities, education, social housing, life sciences, and financial services. Practice leadership is shared between Daff Richardson  and Eugene Wojciechowski, both of whom have longstanding experience in employment matters. Partner Gemma Woodhouse is a go-to name for discrimination issues, and acts for some of the firm’s key tech and education sector clients. Katie Glendinning focuses her practice on representing clients in the education sector including independent schools.

Practice head(s):

Daff Richardson; Eugene Wojciechowski

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Woodhouse; Katie Glendinning; Victoria Spires; Tom Pimenta

Testimonials

‘We have been working with the employment team for a few years now and feel that they are an extension of our own team. Their understanding of our business and support with any legal updates has been crucial for the growth and development of our business.’

‘Eugene Wojciechowski has provided advice on some overseas workers – he has liaised with legal advisers in several countries meaning we had a “one stop shop” for our legal advice which was much appreciated. His advice was practical and balanced, enabling us to navigate a complex situation.’

‘They understand our sector and give you clear direction on what you should do. Gemma Woodhouse is a stand-out partner who is always there when you need her.’

‘It’s always been a pleasure to deal with Victoria Spires. She has always provided us with sound, pragmatic advice. Victoria understands the business needs which allows us to make confident decisions.’

‘Katie Glendinning provides practical and sensible advice without any fuss. She is quick to respond and her understanding of the duties of Court appointed Deputies when acting as employer for vulnerable individuals is second to none.’

‘The team in my experience give solid, pragmatic, and balanced advice, coming from a well-informed and commercially-savvy viewpoint. They are always swift and conscientious in their work, and have my complete faith.’

‘At the mild risk of being positively effusive (or effusively positive) I simply cannot give sufficient praise in respect of Gemma Woodhouse. I have worked with many solicitors in my career, and she is utterly superb. Every compliment I could make in respect of the excellent team at PMC, could easily be multiplied when applied to Gemma. A safer, more pragmatic pair of legal hands you will not find.’

‘I have worked directly with Katie Glendinnig with a particularly tricky employee relations issue. She has been responsive, supportive and with great knowledge of the law, pragmatic whilst maintaining our organisational integrity. She is a pleasure to work with, she understands our desired outcome and guides us to that in the most effective way.’

Key clients

The Automobile Association

Jesus College, Oxford

Castle Trust Bank

Playtech plc

Farfetch

OQEMA Limited

23.5 Degrees Limited (Starbucks franchise)

Marine Stewardship Council

Wellington College

Haberdashers’ Schools Elstree

CABI

City & Guilds

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

Not Just Cleaning

Rayner Intraocular Lenses

United Reform Church

Work highlights

  • Advised OQEMA on a major inter-group restructure.
  • Represented the AA (AA Corporation Limited) in the successful defence of a disability discrimination claim and provided general HR support.
  • Advised a large housing association on the relocation to the UK of a number of employees permitted to work abroad during the pandemic, which involved consideration of the law of numerous overseas jurisdictions.

Insurance > Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 1

Catastrophic injury cases, with emphasis on those involving severe birth brain injuries and conditions including cerebral palsy, alongside adult brain injury, and fatal cases make up the heavy-duty caseload at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. The practice is co-led in Basingstoke by ‘highly accomplished’ Alison Appelboam-Meadows – her expertise lies in obstetric and neonatal negligence, including cerebral palsy, alongside catastrophic injury cases. Co-leader Philippa Luscombe  works out of Guildford, with her practice emphasising birth injury cases and claims on behalf of parents who sustain psychiatric injury relating to traumatic birth claims.

Practice head(s):

Philippa Luscombe; Alison Appelboam-Meadows

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Code; Alison Johnson; Elise Bevan; Andrew Clayton; Helen Hammond; Lucie Prothero

Testimonials

‘They are really excellent. They have real strength in depth; they treat every cases with the thoroughness and skill it deserves.’

‘Alison Johnson is a star. She is very dedicated – she shows tremendous effort and skill to achieve excellent outcomes for her clients.

‘Alison Appelboam-Meadows is highly accomplished. She brings wisdom and a steely calm-headedness to her cases.’

‘It’s a joined up team so everyone plays their part If solicitor dealing with my case was away it would be fully handed over.’

‘The team are excellent at advising through the legal process. Regular updates on progress given with clear advice.’

‘Stephanie Code has very good judgment and is exceptionally thorough in handling her cases. She develops a great rapport with clients and barristers.’

Work highlights

  • Advising the parents of a child who sustained a severe brain injury due to them suffering acute profound hypoxia during their delivery.
  • Settling a claim for a young man now in his 20s who suffered severe brain injury during performance of neurosurgery to remove a benign cyst when he was a teenager.
  • Instructed by the wife of a man in his 40s who had died suddenly following development of an undiagnosed DVT which resulted in a pulmonary embolism.

Insurance > Personal injury: claimant Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's core workstream in the personal injury space covers catastrophic, multiple and fatal injuries but the team also offers other niche areas of expertise across product liability, elderly care and cosmetic treatment claims, as well as cases that overlap both personal injury and clinical negligence. Guildford-based Philippa Luscombe heads the practice and specialises in high value brain injury and fatal accident cases.  

Practice head(s):

Philippa Luscombe

Other key lawyers:

Mark Lee; Andrew Clayton

Testimonials

‘Philippa Luscombe is not only approachable and delightful but has a national reputation in dealing with complex brain and spinal injury and fatal accident claims. Andrew Clayton, also in the Guildford office, is switched on and down-to-earth.’

‘A diverse team who show a high level of empathy whilst clearly knowing their subject very well.’

‘Philippa Luscombe is outstanding and the go-to person for complex and challenging cases where catastrophic injuries have been sustained. She has excellent powers of analysis and sound judgement. She gives careful consideration to her cases and ensures her clients are kept informed at all key stages.’

‘ They are very professional and are focused on getting the right outcome.’

‘Accessible and approachable.’

‘Kind and approachable – client centred.’

Work highlights

  • Acted on a personal injury claim arising out of an RTA where the claimant suffered multiple injuries had to undergo one lower limb amputation early in the claim and had the other lower limb amputation four years after the accident.
  • Acted on a personal injury claim for a young man in his 20s arising out of an RTA as a result of which he suffered a spinal cord injury and was left paralysed.
  • Brought a successful claim on behalf of a protected party which was heavily disputed on both liability and causation.

Private client > Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

With a ‘strong local and international reputation’ and offering a multi-disciplinary practice to clients which include high-net-worth individuals and parents, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is well versed in international work relating to the Children Act 1989 and surrogacy law. The ‘incredibly talented’ Guildford-based team offers a ‘unique and exceptional service’ and is led by the ‘experienced, conscientious and pragmatic’ Veronica Gilmour, who leads the firm’s alternative dispute resolution offering as a mediator and represents clients in complex divorce and separation matters and private law children’s disputes. Rachel Donald is an ‘excellent lawyer’ and prominent in matters relating to nuptial and cohabitation agreements. Laura Naser offers experience in handling nuptial agreement advice, Children Act cases, domestic abuse issues, financial claims and property ownership disputes between cohabitees. Previously at Mishcon de Reya LLP, Emma Willing is a ‘superb new addition to the team’ who has extensive international experience assisting entrepreneurs, family business owners, professionals and celebrities with financial issues relating to divorce, private children law matters, cohabitation disputes and modern family building including surrogacy and adoption. Surrogacy law expert Bethan Carr is another key lawyer. Joanna Blakelock joined the department from Edwards Family Law in May 2024.

Practice head(s):

Veronica Gilmour

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Donald; Emma Willing; Laura Naser; Sarah Duckworth; Bethan Carr; Laura Hughes; Bethan Bell; Arjun Sreedaran; Gemma Kemp; Joanna Blakelock

Testimonials

‘Veronica Gilmour is fantastic. She makes complex matters simply with a combination of brilliant legal knowledge and tactical acumen. Her bedside manner is second to none. She is always accessible and makes clients feel supported and at ease. Arjun Sreedaran is an associate of note within the team. He is friendly, approachable and compassionate. His cases are well-prepared and well-pitched. Beth Bell is extremely bright and very capable. She gives clear and firm advice and has superb judgment.’

‘Veronica Gilmour is a stellar lawyer and has brilliant leadership skills. Her team have the utmost respect for her and their brilliant working relationship shines through. Rachel Donald is very competent and delightful to work with, which makes settling cases easier for all parties.’

‘One of the leading teams in Surrey. Plenty of depth & strength in all areas of family law. Personable lawyers to deal with, with constructive solutions to cases. The team has grown and gone from strength to strength under Veronica Gilmour’s leadership.’

‘Rachel Donald is an excellent lawyer, pragmatic, issue focused and very good client care and interaction. She is very approachable with a very good associate Bethan Carr. Veronica Gilmour is calm, reassuring but has a firm eye on the detail. Sarah Duckworth has the ability to manage an increasingly anxious client whilst remaining sharply focused on the key issues in the case, being able to manage expectations and encourage clients to see the wood from the trees.’

‘Laura Hughes is an exceptional lawyer with a great attention to detail. Her calm and friendly manner is reassuring and puts clients at ease as they feel that they are in safe hands.’

‘Emma Willing is a superb addition to the team. She is a class act. Excellent commercial awareness. An oracle when it comes to anything related to surrogacy. Bethan Carr is one of the country’s leading modern family lawyers. Her knowledge of all international adoption and surrogacy is second to none. She is always able to find creative solutions. She operates at partner level.’

‘Veronica Gilmour is excellent, clever, experienced, conscientious and pragmatic, the perfect combination! Clients rightly trust her implicitly and it is reassuring that they will always have been given the right advice before the case reaches counsel. It is a pleasure to work with Veronica and I regularly recommend her.’

‘As a current client of Penningtons, I am incredibly impressed by the unique and exceptional service they provide. This practice stands out from other firms in their extensive expertise in family law, their incredibly talented team, and their unwavering commitment to their client’s needs. Potential clients can comfortably rely on their understanding of the complexities of family law and their ability to handle even the most challenging cases with professionalism and empathy.’

Private client > Family: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s Thames Valley contingent is notable for having the bandwidth to handle a broad range 0f highly complex family law matters, especially those with a cross-border element or involving high-net-worth individuals. Co-head of practice Jane Mitchell is a key name for such matters, as a fellow of the International Family Law Association. Divorce specialist and renowned practitioner Kerry Fretwell  serves as fellow co-head, specialising in negotiating financial settlements. Trained collaborative lawyer Ruth James  rounds out the leadership team, focusing her practice on child disputes and high net-worth cases. In 2024, Jolene Hutchison joined the practice from IBB Law.

Practice head(s):

Jane Mitchell; Kerry Fretwell; Ruth James

Other key lawyers:

Emma Leavesley; Eleanor Moodey; Danielle Bentley; Jolene Hutchison

Work highlights

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Located in Guildford, ‘go-to firm in the region for private client work’ Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP excels in international tax planning and trust administration work for families and business owners. Led by member of STEP Lucy Edwards, who advises charities and specialises in estate and succession planning work for UK and international families and is instructed on a range of matters including will drafting and executorship, the practice also offers its own corporate trustee, PennTrust. Recently promoted partner and director of PennTrust Elizabeth Nicholas is known for her expertise in international and offshore matters, and ‘has excellent knowledge of trust law’ and ‘unrivalled’ expertise. Managing associate Cecelia Ward, who is dual qualified as a chartered tax adviser, is also noted. Another key lawyer is Hannah Gearey, who acts on complex probate matters involving vulnerable beneficiaries and philanthropic work.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Edwards

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Nicholas; Liz Cardy; Hannah Gearey; Olivia Hodgson; Cecelia Ward; Vanessa Riley

Testimonials

‘The team offers professionalism and knowledge. They have expertise in the areas of probate and empathy during what can be a very difficult time for the client. They maintained high levels of communication throughout, were always good at explaining in detail any complicated matters and were willing to adapt their practices to support my needs.’

‘Liz Cardy demonstrates empathy, professionalism, pragmatism and expertise. Hannah Gearey shows professionalism. Olivia Hodgson pays attention to detail and is professional and empathetic.’

‘Elizabeth Nicholas has excellent knowledge of trust law. She is innovative where problems arise and extremely practical. She shows patience and care with difficult issues and is quick to point out any potential problems that could arise. She makes clients feel that their concerns are safe in her hands and that all aspects of their matters are being considered. Elizabeth is highly recommended.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable and up to date with all new regulations, giving us the right advice to suit our circumstances. The team covered all the diversity needed and their response was quick and efficient.’

‘Pennington Manches Cooper are a go-to firm in the region for private client work. The team are very capable and are definitely my first port of call outside of London. My experience suggests real strength in depth and no weak links in the team.’

‘Cecelia Ward, supported by Vanessa Riley, has been acting on a complex estate of which I am executor. The complexity of the matter does not phase them. The team has a full grasp of the detail, is able to advise on all aspects with some very knotty problems and provide good value advice to the family.’

‘High responsiveness to client needs, combined with high proficiency in dealing with them. Cecelia Ward and her team are assisting me. The list of Cecelia’s skills and attributes would be long and that of her shortcomings, empty.’

‘The best private client department outside London. They have the depth and breadth of experience of a big firm but the flexibility and informality of a small one. It is a winning combination. Elizabeth Nicholas is the best young partner with whom I’ve worked in the last year. Her expertise and strategic vision is unrivalled. The availability, understanding, flexibility of Elizabeth to deal with our case stood out. Any client is lucky to have Elizabeth on their side.’

Real estate > Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

The ‘dynamic, hardworking and insightful team’ at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP in Guildford has experience in planning, development and construction work, acting for care homes, social housing clients and industrial spaces; the team’s client roster also features industrial investors and developers, landowners, and multi-site retailers. Team leader Mike Busby is noted by the market and handles development work for a range of clients covering strategic options and promotions agreements, high-value asset acquisitions and portfolio refinancings. Expert on logistics sites Tony Burns acts for occupier clients on investment portfolio transactions and specialises in the acquisition, development and management of industrial sites, development funding agreements and energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Mike Busby

Other key lawyers:

Tony Burns; Sam Davies; Jamie Lynch; Nellie van der Lande

Testimonials

‘Friendly, knowledgeable, patient and efficient.’

‘The commercial property team at Penningtons are a dynamic, hardworking and insightful team that provide real value through a broad knowledgebase and a keen understanding of our business and what we want to achieve in any given scenario. Response times and communication is exceptional across the team and I truly feel valued as a client.’

‘Mike Busby and Sam Davies are lawyers that stand out. I’ve worked with both Sam and Mike for 6 years and they both consistently provide a service beyond expectation. Both are very keen to understand what we want to achieve and take the time to understand the role of any given matter and how this plays into the bigger picture of our business. Their knowledge, communication, advice and turnaround times provide me with confidence as a client.’

‘During the past few months members of the commercial property team in Guildford have helped our companies with the sale of an office building and some land associated with an industrial property. The advice and support we have received has been excellent and timely, as indeed it has been for each of the years that we have been a client. The team clearly has a great depth of experience. Every speciality we have needed has been well covered.’

‘During this past year I have once again had good reason to be extremely grateful to Mike Busby and Jamie Lynch. Both have been absolutely excellent and consistently so. Mike Busby particularly is clearly hugely experienced, commercially aware and despite, no doubt, being exceptionally busy, he is always abreast of matters. His timely advice and proactive interventions have been vital on a number of occasions. Likewise, Jamie Lynch is highly competent and an excellent communicator. Both are extremely hardworking and have provided a superb service.’

‘They offer legal excellence, the ability to act as part of the internal legal team and brilliantly clever lawyers that are still human.’

‘Sam Davies has been an essential part of our team over the past few years. I don’t know how we would have coped without him. He is exceptional. A great lawyer for our transactions, who is always quick to help and genuinely interested in our business.’

‘They give good advice, explain the legal jargon well. They work to a good schedule, and it is never our company/solicitors that the other side are waiting for. They are not afraid to chase things up. Mike Busby and Nellie van der Lande are the lawyers that we worked with.’

Key clients

Seybourne Estates Limited

White Oak Transport Services Limited

Flight Centre Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Seybourne Estates Limited on the sale of property and the Development Funding Agreement (£1.2m and £13.8m respectively) for the construction of a new 120,000 square foot industrial warehouse to a fund, EQT Exeter, involving the renegotiation of a long underlease.
  • Instructed to act for a developer client on the acquisition of a large site which consisted of both freehold and leasehold land, a simultaneous sub-sale to a housing association and development which totalled £16.5m.
  • Advising on the sale of a London hotel for an eight figure sum.

Real estate > Social housing Tier 1

Counting local authorities, housing associations, and financial services providers amongst its key clients, the Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP social housing team is described as ‘extremely dedicated and professional’. The practice routinely handles complex section 106 agreements and manages commercial property portfolios, with Basingstoke-based head Linda Storey specialising in advising housing providers on acquisitions and disposals. Having joined the firm as a partner from Perrin Myddelton in September 2022, Sanjeev Shah brings vast expertise in developments, acquisitions and investments to the Oxford office. In Reading, Eugene Wojciechowski focuses on relevant employment law issues, while Basingstoke-based Charlotte D’Avola handles large-scale securitisation transactions. Senior associates Laura McCann and Catherine Bradshaw are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Linda Storey

Other key lawyers:

Sanjeev Shah; Eugene Wojciechowski; Charlotte D’Avola; Laura McCann; Graham Phillips; Rebecca Conway; Adam Crawford; Catherine Bradshaw; Tom Pimenta

Testimonials

‘The team is extremely dedicated and professional; they always provide firm and thorough updates allowing us to do our jobs better and forecast efficiently.’

‘They are all extremely knowledgeable and helpful- I couldn’t ask to work with a better group of solicitors.’

‘Laura McCann is fantastic and is such an asset.’

‘I am so pleased we changed our previous solicitors to Penningtons, the team are experienced in dealing with the property sales we work on, and will attend team meetings weekly to discuss sales cases, and agree action points the team need to work on to achieve completion within the agreed timelines.’

‘I deal with Laura McCann, Linda Storey and Catherine Bradshaw, who easily understand my requests, and deal with them efficiently, keeping me updated on progress.’

‘Easy to contact. Happy to take time to explain possible courses of action and potential outcomes of different alternatives.’

Key clients

Accent Group Ltd

Hightown Housing Association

MTVH

Octavia Housing

Paragon Asra Housing

Peabody

Poplar HARCA

Saxon Weald

Mount Green Housing Association Ltd

Bromford Housing Association Limited

London Borough of Havering

Origin Housing

Greatwell Housing

London & Quadrant Housing Group

Sovereign Housing Limited

Work highlights

  • Handling a broad variety of corporate, governance, development and dispute resolution work on behalf of Hightown Housing Association.
  • Assisted Paragon Asra Housing with two portfolio acquisitions worth approximately £100m from other housing associations.
  • Supporting Peabody with its sales and aftersales programme, including providing advice on transactions and providing variations to bring the current documentation in line with current requirements.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 1

The ‘excellent team’  Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is led by Reading-based Joanne Vengadesan who often advises clients with GDPR, in addition to their IP portfolios. Oliver Kidd works out of Guildford and his workload features activity in compliance and technology agreements, while Dan Lovett in Reading is also noted for his expertise in data protection mandates.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Vengadesan

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Kidd; Dan Lovett; Nora Pook; Fiona Rodgers; Thomas Kirby

Testimonials

‘Excellent Team.’

‘Penningtons have a very unique value proposition, delivering a world class legal services to SMB’s and startups – I highly recommend Oliver Kidd and his Team.’

Key clients

Lumenisity Limited

SiXworks Ltd

Fable Data Ltd

Seedrs

OneAston UK Limited

IS Research Limited

Flatiron Health Inc.

Infosec K2K Limited

Skyloop Digital Limited

Ubisense Limited

Wavex Technology Limited

Humantold Technology LLC

Surevine

Mollis Group

Work highlights

  • Assisted Lumenisity and its shareholders on its acquisition by Microsoft.
  • Advised Wavex Technology Limited on commercial and IT matters.
  • Advised a large IT supply agreement where global financial solutions integrator, OneAston, acted as sub-contractor to a main contractor.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 1

'A go-to legal firm that cannot be faulted', Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s has notable strength in cross-border and international disputes. The practice's current claims roster includes several large-value matters involving countries such as India, Guinea and South America, as well as North America. Dividing her time between Cambridge and London, Clare Arthurs leads the team that comprises consultant Rustam Dubash, a former practice head; David Niven, who co-heads the professional negligence and group actions practice alongside David O’Brien; international litigation head Richard Marshall; and IP and IT disputes leader Phillip D’Costa. Also integral to the practice, Michael Brown, Kamran Rehman and Alex Fox all maintain active commercial disputes practices; and Charlotte Hill, Harriet Vidot and Laura Coleclough, along with Chris Hoyer MillerOliver Cooke, Colin Hayes, and Valya Georgieva are key senior associates. Insolvency and civil fraud partner John Adams joined from Browne Jacobson LLP in August 2022.

Practice head(s):

Clare Arthurs

Testimonials

‘A very hands-on approach, punching well above its size.’

‘A go-to legal firm that cannot be faulted.’

‘All the partners and associates are pragmatic, commercially aware, and knowledgeable in their particular area. Very strong commercial litigators – they are fighters who get results’

‘Excellent understanding of its client base and the various commercial litigation issues that can arise during cases.’

‘Richard Marshall – a sound leader with vast experience.’

‘John Adams is outstanding. He is excellent, hardworking and very client friendly.’

Oliver Cooke – Excellent instincts, client care, and a tenacious litigator who is a fantastic team player.

Lauren Cormack – up and coming associate who is a pleasure to work with.

Key clients

Arani and Others

Arkeyo

Cutlers Holdings

Scarborough Group International Limited

Which? (Consumers’ Association)

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a Floridian law firm to represent individuals that survived a plane crash, as well as the families and estates of those that did not.
  • Acts in various high-profile matters for one of the UK’s largest family-owned property companies, with regard to the sale of Sheffield United Football Club.
  • Acted for the Consumers’ Association, Which?, in both its Court of Appeal and Supreme Court interventions in the APP fraud case of Philipp v Barclays Bank UK Plc, which involves an important point of banking law relating to the scope of a banker’s duty.

Private client > Family Tier 1

Jointly chaired by Anna Worwood and James Stewart, the team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has been praised as the ‘best family law team in London and beyond’. It is well-regarded for its international family law capabilities and the group routinely advises on mandates involving choice of jurisdiction, child relocation, child abduction, and cross-border enforcements. Elizabeth Carson drives the team’s US offering, focusing on the needs of high-net-worth individuals with a US connection. Rebecca Carlyon is highly experienced in drafting post and pre-nuptial agreements, both domestic and international, and in resolving issues between unmarried couples. Amanda Andrews is sought after for her work on high-value matrimonial finance and complex children cases. Tammy Knox has an excellent reputation for her work with high-net-worth individuals in private law children proceedings, and other notable members of the ‘incredible team‘ include Jane Craig, Linzi Bull, who acts for many high-net-worth members of the LGBTIQA+ community, and Amy Fox, who was recently promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Anna Worwood; James Stewart

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘PMC have a first-class family department headed by the unique James Stewart. He is their rain maker. They are also notable for the high level of associates they attract who are unbeatable.’

‘I have been very impressed by Anna Worwood and by James Stewart. There are a number of brilliant junior partners as well as real strength and depth across the team of associates. I’m seriously impressed.’

‘This is the best family law team in London. The firm also has a strong private client offering allowing it to draw on other legal disciplines where necessary to serve their divorcing and family team clients.’

‘James Stewart attracts work of the highest calibre. He runs his cases impeccably and has instinctive first-class judgment. He should never be underestimated.’

‘I hugely rate Elizabeth Carson who is calm under fire, extremely intelligent, and has a wonderful manner with her clients.’

‘Amy Fox is also an excellent new young partner having been recently promoted. She has excellent judgment.’

‘James Stewart is a firm favourite. He has a knack for being able to get along with anyone from any walk of life, from any cultural background, any age or gender, whatever the case may be. He is exceptionally good at financial remedies work, particularly cases with an international dimension and always makes sure the best juniors are working with him on his cases.’

‘One of the leading family teams in the country. They are at the vanguard of family law cases, dealing with some of the most cutting-edge cases in the last decade.’

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 2

Led by London-based Matthew Martin, the Guildford team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, also a member of the Multilaw network, regularly advises corporates, high-net-worth entrepreneurs and investors on start-ups, investments, restructurings and acquisitions. Its client base spans the technology, manufacturing and healthcare industries. Technology and private wealth expert David Kendall leads on joint ventures and transactions such as management buyouts, private equity work and reorganisations. Another key player in the team is Simon Bickerdike who often advises business owners and management on ownership structures and best practice as well as cross-border sales and purchases. Senior associate Hannah McIlwraith offers experience in assisting on cross-border M&A, reorganisations and corporate governance issues. Also noted is Philip Walton who has specialist knowledge across a range of areas including aviation, pharmacy, retail and real estate, while commercial lawyer Oliver Kidd focuses on IT, technology and procurement work.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Martin

Testimonials

‘The firm and team has a longstanding relationship with our company and also with me as an individual. They offer high level advice and heavyweight partners with good value compared to some other firms.’

‘David Kendall and Hannah McIlwraith stand out as two individuals we have worked with who stand out. Their positive and professional approach helps to break down complex or difficult situations into manageable pieces that a layman like me can understand. They have long working knowledge with key individuals in our company and the company itself.’

‘The team offers friendliness, a willingness to help with anything and great legal knowledge.’

‘David Kendall is my go-to person, not just for corporate advice but every time I need a sounding board for anything. He’s incredibly supportive and shows a genuine interest in our business and our future plans. When he’s working with us, he acts and feels as though he’s part of our company.’

‘Penningtons is local and also has an international reach. They have had a presence in Surrey where we are headquartered and those local roots are important to us as we care about the local business environment, and also value the ability to meet face-to-face where necessary. The reach they have both within the firm, with presence in London and across the UK, has allowed them to tap into other expertise elsewhere in the firm if that hasn’t been immediately available. We have likewise benefited from the international connections for help with specific matters in other countries including employment and contracts with teams overseas.’

‘Our principal point of contact in the company has always been Simon Bickerdike and his involvement with our company since founding has been incredibly useful to maintain continuity and allow for a speedy and accurate response to matters. Over the last few years, our day to day involvement has been with Oliver Kidd. He had shown understanding of our sector and an ability to learn quickly.’

Key clients

RazorSecure Limited

The Shareholders of Alemba Topco Limited

The Shareholders of E C Electronics Limited

The Shareholders of The BCS Consulting Group Ltd

The Shareholders of The Hub Community Healthcare Holdco

Connected Innovations Limited

CottonConnect Limited

Infosec K2K Limited

Accelerate Group Limited

Polymax Holdings Limited

U1st Sports, S.A.

Elixiir International PLC

Barfoot Farms Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for shareholders on the disposal of the Alemba group to Volaris PLC.
  • Advised the shareholders of EC Electronics on its recent funding from Rockpool Investments.
  • Provided M&A support and assisted the shareholders of The Hub Community Healthcare Holdco Limited which following the investment by Bridges Fund Management expanded to include 16 pharmacies.

Employment > Pensions Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises a breadth of public and private sector clients, including individuals, insurers, sponsoring employers, staff associations and trustees. Alison Hills leads the team from London and has notable strength in governance, implementing scheme benefit structure changes, in addition to the pension aspects of corporate restructurings. Clare Coley in Guildford advises clients with drafting and amending trust documents.

Practice head(s):

Alison Hills

Other key lawyers:

Clare Coley; Maria Riccio

Testimonials

‘They have extensive knowledge of employment, personal injury, clinical negligence, pensions, and regulatory work. The practice has adapted to post-covid technology changes and offers both face to face and virtual meetings.’

‘The partners at the firm have thorough expertise of their fields, they always provide immediate updates should things change.’

Key clients

Trustees of the Bredero Shaw UK Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme

Trustees of the Buhler Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Sortex Final Salary Pension Scheme

Trustees of the United Road Transport Union 1978 Retirement and Death Benefits Pension Scheme

Trustees of the United Road Transport Union Pension Scheme

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Elstree Schools Ltd

The Trustees of The Leicestershire Police Federation Medical Scheme

London & Caledonian Trustees Limited

Trustees of the Northamptonshire Police Federation Group Insurance Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advising the Trustees of a final salary scheme for the employees of a trade union on governance requirements and scheme documentation.
  • Advising a multinational infrastructure platform company on their ineffective UK salary sacrifice arrangements.
  • Advising the Trustees of a final salary scheme with scheme amendments in preparation for buy-out with an insurer.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s team often dispenses advice to clearing and overseas banks on real estate, project, and leveraged financing issues. The ‘very professionalJohn Chater leads the practice from Reading, utilising his deep knowledge of bilateral and syndicated transactions, and real estate investment finance. In Birmingham, senior associate Andy Rushfirth joined the team, contributing his experience in acting for specialist debt funds and alternative lenders in receivables finance matters.

Practice head(s):

John Chater

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The firm’s practice is very strong in the mid-size direct lending market.’

‘John Chater is very professional and responsive.’

‘A combination of broad expertise and technical specialism, alongside good local presence and active involvement in the local market.’

‘Commercial approach and willingness to respond quickly and positively to urgent queries. Supported by a very customer centric and approachable team.’

‘Definitely a personal approach. They look beyond just the legals to actually understand what you are trying to achieve. Can trust that they’ll get the job done and done well.’

‘John Chater is our main point of contact. Straight talking and easy to work with, he’s become a trusted adviser.’

Key clients

Santander UK plc

AIB Group (UK) Plc

Bergs Timber AB

Punjab National Bank (International) Limited

HSBC UK Bank plc

Link Asset Services

Bangkok Bank Public Company Ltd

Bank of China

Compass Box Delicious Whisky Ltd

Hightown Housing Association

Scarborough Group International

Munroe K

Work highlights

  • Advising HSBC UK Bank plc on the cross-border, multicurrency revolving credit facility and term loan to assist with the acquisition of a key target in the communications sector. The facilities constituted a $18m multicurrency term loan facility and £5m multicurrency revolving loan facility.
  • Advised BioLite on an LMA facility based on sustainable principles, amounting to an initial commitment of $10m.
  • Advised Compass Box Delicious Whisky Ltd. on its new £40m facility to assist with the acquisition and development of its new distillery.

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises education institutions, grant making charities, philanthropists and religious institutions with governance, powers and duties of trustees in addition to regulatory matters. With over three decades of experience, Daff Richardson leads the team and frequently assists clients with employment issues, including grievances and whistleblowing. Rachel Spruce is sought after by private clients for structural matters, including the formation of charitable trusts. All the individuals mentioned are located in Oxford.

Practice head(s):

Daff Richardson

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Spruce; Edmund Forey

Testimonials

‘They have a breadth and depth of charity expertise.’

‘What makes them standout is the hands-on attitude of the solicitors and their ability to explain legislation and legal discourse.’

‘Penningtons Manches have an exceptional understanding of our business which has been gained by actively engaging with us as a client. This has ensured a truly collaborative way of working.’

‘Excellent quality of legal advice. Pragmatic and succinct approach.’

‘Highly responsive, client-focused, and efficient. Excellent at delivering focussed solutions to fit the scale of the issues and appropriate budgets.’

‘Daff Richardson combines being the soul of discretion with giving clear, concise pragmatic advice.’

Key clients

Christ Church, Oxford

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Elstree Schools Limited

Pembroke College, Oxford

International Headache Society

National Oceanography Centre

Nuffield College, Oxford

Reeds Foundation

The Institute of Leadership and Management

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

The Licensed Trade Charity

Marine Stewardship Council

The Merchant Seaman’s War Memorial Society

The Fire Fighters Charity

Green Templeton College, Oxford

The Institute for Fiscal Studies

Wellington College

Oratory Schools Association

Jesus College, Oxford

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Work highlights

  • Advised Christ Church College on a number of matters, including non-academic disciplinary procedures.
  • Acted for The Oratory Schools Association on the disposal of a significant development site.
  • Supported the in-house legal team at the National Oceanography Centre on a wide range of matters including advising on the terms of an international research collaboration.

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

Public sector Tier 2

Described by clients as ‘one of the top firms working in the public sector’, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP education department is equipped to advise a broad range of higher and further education clients. Led by employment expert Daff Richardson in Oxford, the team’s areas of work also include real estate and regulatory law as well as reputation management issues. The ‘truly outstanding’ Sam Rose is a key contact for consumer law, public law challenges, governance issues and disputes relating to teaching and assessment.

Practice head(s):

Daff Richardson

Other key lawyers:

Hilary Aldred; Sam Rose; Sophie Whitebread; Gemma Woodhouse

Testimonials

‘Highly responsive and client focused. Experts in their field who show wide industry knowledge.’

‘Sam Rose is a truly outstanding lawyer who we instruct on a repeat basis because of her wide knowledge, breadth of experience, responsiveness, excellent client care and sound judgment. Sam has proved a very safe pair of hands for the most complex and sensitive cases.’

‘An incredibly hard-working team, creative with their legal arguments and unflappable under pressure. They are one of the top firms working in the public sector.’

‘Hilary Aldred is the go-to solicitor on the intersection between public sector law, employment law and education law. She knows everything there is to know in this area.’

‘Sophie Whitbread is a star. Hard working with terrific judgment.’

Key clients

Jesus College, Oxford

Green Templeton College, Oxford

Christ Church, Oxford

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Pembroke College, Oxford

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

St Mary’s University, Twickenham

Hampstead Hill School

ICMP Management Limited (Institute of Contemporary Music Performance)

The Institute of Leadership and Management

Independent Schools Association

Beaconsfield Educational Trust (Davenies)

Brampton College

Wellington College

Haberdashers’ Schools Elstree

Caversham Preparatory School

Nuffield

City & Guilds

Work highlights

  • Providing day to day employment advice to Christ Church, Oxford, in respect of academic and non-academic staff, including advice on the settlement of the Employment Tribunal claims brought by long running disputes with its former Dean, which has been widely discussed and reported in the national press.

Real estate > Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 2

Landlord and tenant, mixed-use development, investment and franchising are the core work streams for Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP’s commercial property offering. Simon Knott leads the team, representing mixed-use developers in large-scale schemes and lending his expertise to the full spectrum of commercial property work. Justin Winterbottom is well experienced across the full life-cycle of property ownership, from acquisition to estate management. Consultant Charles Seaward handles acquisitions, disposals, portfolio management, and development work. The team also frequently handles complex matters in the life sciences sector, acting for university spin-outs. Laura Gorman is the key name at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Simon Knott

Other key lawyers:

Justin Winterbottom; Charles Seaward; Laura Gorman; Catherine Bradshaw; Roberta Bombaci; Lauren Winch

Key clients

Grafton Group (UK) Plc

Torus Angle Limited

Quadratiks Ltd

Patrizia Hanover

Selco Trade Centres Limited

Fortitudo

23.5 Degrees Limited

Frontier Estates Limited

White Stuff Clothing

Work highlights

  • Acting for Fortitudo in connection with the acquisition and development of a large mixed-use scheme in the centre of Bournemouth known as Glen Fern & Fir Vale Road.
  • Acting for Frontier Estates Limited in relation to a major new retail and industrial scheme incorporating two food retail stores, six non-food retail units, gym, drive-thru cafe, petrol station and car wash, hotel and ten units for B2/B8.
  • Acting for 23.5 Degrees Limited in relation to all its UK property matters.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 2

Fielding a ‘dynamic, hard-working and insightful’ real estate litigation team, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP specialises in handling the gamut of property disputes, from complex dilapidation claims to restrictive covenant issues. The firm has experience acting for clients in property disputes up to the Court of Appeal and High Court, with the ‘superb’ John Morrison providing vast expertise in commercial and residential landlord disputes. Associate Amy Evans is regularly acts on cases concerning easements and right to light. The team is based in Oxford.

Practice head(s):

John Morrison

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The firm has an outstanding range of expertise together with a significant depth of available resources. In particular there is an ease of communication and ability to establish effective personal working relationships. The range of expertise has proved invaluable in identifying and covering new related issues.’

‘The property litigation team are a dynamic, hard-working and insightful team that provide real value to each instruction through a broad knowledgebase and a keen understanding of our business and what we want to achieve in any given scenario. Response times and communication is exceptional across the team and I truly feel valued as a client.’

‘I’ve worked on instructions with both John Morrison and Amy Evans for several years and they both consistently provide a service beyond expectation. Both are very keen to understand what we want to achieve and take the time to understand the role of any given instruction and how this plays into the bigger picture of our business.’

‘Their knowledge, communication, advice and turnaround times provide me with confidence as a client.’

‘John Morrison is a superb litigator and a great team player – every case I have worked on with him has been superbly prepared.’

‘John Morrison is a supremely capable property litigator. Like clients – and unlike some opponents – he sees litigation as a means to an end and works hard to bring cases to a businesslike conclusion. He is just the solicitor to go to if you are a landowner in a tight spot.’

‘John Morrison is fantastic, and Amy Evans is brilliantly commercial and hugely popular with clients.’

‘Amy Evans is our main contact. Amy is responsive and is happy to answer the smallest enquiries. Nothing is too much trouble for her.’

Key clients

Flight Centre (UK) Limited

White Stuff Limited

Pinnacle Group Limited

East Tower Apartments Limited

Fortitudo Limited

Thatcham Research

Patrizia Hanover Property Unit Trust

23.5 Degrees Limited

Selco Trade Centres Limited

Merchant Seamans War Memorial Society t/a Care Ashore

Work highlights

  • Represented East Tower Apartments throughout long-running litigation with its landlord regarding the reasonableness of utility charges, applications for consent to assign and the recoverability of landlord’s costs at No 1 West India Quay.
  • Acted for a private client and defeated her neighbour’s claim for a prescriptive easement.
  • Acted for AT & DR Property Investment Partnership in a dilapidation dispute with a high street clothing retailer in which the primary issue was whether a lease clause providing that the landlord’s loss is a debt and not damages was valid.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is thoroughly experienced in transactional IP matters, including collaboration agreements, copyright licenses, patents, R&D agreements, as well as trademarks. Christopher Shelley in Oxford heads up the firm’s life sciences sector practice and is the national joint head of team alongside the London-based Anna Frankum. Joanne Vengadesan in Reading co-leads the IP & technology department, with Daniel Berry, who is also based in Reading, helming the IP litigation offering.

Practice head(s):

Chris Shelley; Joanne Vengadesan; Daniel Berry; Anna Frankum

Other key lawyers:

Gavin Stenton, Dan Lovett; Thomas Kirby

Testimonials

‘Their services were professional and efficient. I could rely on their services.’

‘Excellent legal knowledge, very commercially aware, and a good understanding of the issues.’

‘Expertise in depth and easy to deal with at all levels of customer knowledge.’

‘Penningtons Manches Cooper’s team is very responsive and experienced. The firm has a holistic approach and can provide a good perspective on the dispute as well as recommended actions.’

‘Daniel Berry is very responsive and a good negotiator, we trust his knowledge.’

‘Chris Shelley is extremely reliable.’

‘Chris Shelley is consistently excellent with his advice and always brings a commercial perspective.’

‘Joanne Vengadesan is my main contact and is exceptional in the support she gives our business and to me in my position as CFO. Joanne is intuitive, responsive, practical as well as being easy to deal with, positive in approach and totally professional’.

Key clients

Lumenisity

Andreas Stihl Limited

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

IS Research Limited, trading as Megabuyte

Organix Brands Limited

Data analytics provider in education sector

Rezatec Limited

Roka London Limited

OneAston UK Limited

Skyloop Digital Limited

King’s College London

Oxford University Press

Pirbright Institute

CAB International

bioMérieux SA

Veryan Medical Limited

Astro Lighting Holdings Limited

Celleron Therapeutics Limited

Grey Wolf Therapeutics Limited

Ethypharm Holdings SA

Norbar Torque Tools Limited

Oxford Gene Technology Group

Oxford VacMedix Limited

Oxular Limited

Oxford Endovascular Limited

BreatheOx Limited t/a Albus Health

Orthoson Limited

Orthox Limited

MitoRX Therapeutics Limited

First Light Fusion Limited

Myricx Pharma Limited

Pathios Therapeutics Limited

Oxford Flow Limited

Opsydia Limited

OxVax Limited

Charterhouse Turf Machinery Limited

First Law P.C. (Bighit Entertainment Co Ltd)

Compass Box Delicious Whisky Limited

Zihipp Limited

ProtonDX Limited

Cogitat Limited

Solena Materials Limited

About: Energy Limited

Thirtyfive Bio Limited

Emma Raducanu

Quadram Institute Bioscience

Sanderson Design Group (previously Walker Greenbank)

4D Medicine Limited

Owen Mumford Limited

National Oceanography Centre

Evox Therapeutics Limited

Mint Neurotechnologies Ltd

SPARTA Biodiscovery Limited

Orfonyx Limited

Seloxium Limited

ISOgenix Limited

Credo Therapies Limited

Ground Truth Labs Limited

Bioataraxis Limited

aVaxziPen Limited

Work highlights

  • Supported Lumenisity and its shareholders through bids from multiple global technology giants and thereafter on its acquisition by Microsoft, which completed in December 2022.
  • Instructed by the National Oceanography Centre in respect of a wide range of commercial and intellectual property matters.
  • Managed the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants UK, EU and International trade mark portfolio.

Employment Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP in Cambridge is noted as having impressive ‘commercial pragmatism‘. The Cambridge office is a key hub in the national, firm-wide employment practice, and the local team is a key advisor to major clients in the technology and education sectors in particular. ‘Pragmatic and decisive‘ practice head Hilary Aldred recently settled long-running, high-profile tribunal claims for Christ Church, Oxford concerning its former Dean. Managing associate and ‘very logical thinker’ Sophie Whitbread is described as ‘providing clear and succinct legal advice‘, and ‘responsive, indefatigable, innovative and supportive‘ senior associate Charissa Upton are highly recommended team members.

Practice head(s):

Hilary Aldred

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Hilary Aldred is excellent, knowledgeable, pragmatic, decisive and always offers quality advice.’

‘Charissa Upton is very knowledgeable and has a very commercial approach.’

‘This practice is super efficient.’

‘Charissa Upton is excellent; responsive, indefatigable, innovative and supportive.’

‘The personal service – you deal with one person and you can build up a working relationship with them. They get to know your organisation which saves time and their strengths are their communication skills and supportiveness.’

‘Sophie Whitbread understands how our business works.’

‘The team at Penningtons is very knowledgeable, approachable and commercially pragmatic.’

‘Sophie Whitbread is a friendly, knowledgeable and authoritative professional. She has offered considered and valuable advice to our business in key matters.’

Key clients

Abcam Plc

Christ Church, Oxford

Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Nuffield College, Oxford

Urban Intelligence Limited

UCL Business PLC

Vix Technology Limited

Wintercomfort for the Homeless

Whitings LLP

Campbell Buchanan George

Ubisense Limited

Unifrog Education Ltd

Norbar Torque Tools Ltd

Elixirr Consulting Ltd

Haberdashers’ Elstree Schools

Work highlights

  • Advising Christ Church, Oxford day-to-day in respect of academic and non-academic staff issues, which has included advising on the settlement of the employment tribunal claims brought against their former Dean, Martyn Percy.
  • Advised Abcam Plc on all employment and immigration matters, including the recruitment of staff overseas; recruitment of non-UK nationals into the UK; and a number of difficult disciplinary issues, grievance matters and benefits issues.
  • Advised a University on the payment of holiday pay following the Supreme Court judgement in Harpur v Brazel Trust, for a number of workers engaged on various types of atypical contract.

Public sector Tier 2

The Cambridge office of Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has 'an incredibly hardworking team, creative with their legal arguments and unflappable under pressure'. Regarded as one of the leading practices for employment matters in the education sector, it has a 'pragmatic and succinct approach'. Lead partner and employment specialist Hilary Aldred, who is co-head of the firm's national education practice, is 'the go-to solicitor on the intersection between public sector work, employment law, and education law'. Managing associate Sophie Whitbread, who acts for education institutions and charities,  is 'a rising star, hardworking with terrific judgement'.

Practice head(s):

Hilary Aldred

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘An incredibly hard-working team, creative with their legal arguments and unflappable under pressure. They are one of the top firms working in public sector work.’

‘Hilary Aldred is the go-to solicitor on the intersection between public sector work, employment law, and education law. She knows everything there is to know in this area. Sophie Whitbread – a rising star. Hardworking with terrific judgement.’

‘Excellent quality of legal advice. Pragmatic and succinct approach, which keeps the firm excellent value for money.’

‘Sophie Whitbread – very logical, succinct and pragmatic advice. Very calm and clear with the internal client. Excellent value for money.’

Key clients

Christ Church, Oxford

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Jesus College, Oxford

Green Templeton College, Oxford

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Pembroke College, Oxford

St Mary’s University, Twickenham

Florida State University

American Institute for Foreign Study

ICMP Management Limited

Unifrog Education Ltd

UCL Business

Work highlights

  • Day to day employment advice to Christ Church, Oxford in respect of academic and non-academic staff. This included advice on the settlement of the employment tribunal claims.
  • Acted for a higher education institution when they found themselves in the middle of a “Twitter storm” as a result of polarised views. This involved balancing freedom of expression and  free speech on campus against the need to protect staff for unlawful harassment.
  • Acting for Fitzwilliam College in defending a claim under the Equality Act brought by the campaign group Christian Concern.  This matter has been subject to press interest, involving the tension between the holding of religious beliefs and the need for an institution to protect its integrity and the health and safety of its students where those beliefs are at odds with the institution’s ethos.

Real estate > Commercial property: Cambridge Tier 2

The commercial property group at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is ‘knowledgeable, engaging, focused and experienced‘. ‘Diligent, commercially minded, responsive and proactive‘ managing associate Giorgia Clements frequently advises property investors; and associate Joanna Wilde, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, contributes her broad knowledge of commercial property transactions, in addition to landlord and tenant matters. Former practice head Sarah Coates left the team in July 2023.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘I want a diligent, commercially minded, responsive and proactive solicitor and that is what I get from my contact at Penningtons Cambridge.’

‘Giorgia Clements is very diligent, efficient, commercially minded and clear in her advice . She understands the assets she works on and how we need to draft the leases to make them commercial for both landlord and tenant so parties achieve their aims in a timely manner.’

‘Excellent support for clients. Clear advice, not just information dissemination. Good response times.’

‘Giorgia Clements makes very good assessments of risk. Practical solutions offered from a position of deep knowledge of property law.’

‘Penningtons are a standout organisation. I say this having been involved in a number of commercial property transactions with them over the years and just witnessing their professionalism and knowledge when up against the opposition.’

‘Knowledgeable, engaging, focused and experienced, Giorgia Clements really stands out.’

Key clients

Vindis Group

World Leading R&D company

Blues Property

Vitality Corporate Services Limited

Florida State University

Warren Capital

Hilltop Credit Partners

Work highlights

  • Acted for two companies within the Vindis group in a portfolio sale and leaseback transaction worth £22.3m, three properties being sold by and let to Vindis Group, and the remaining two properties by and to F. Vindis & Sons (Bedford).
  • Acting for an R&D company on its high value pre-let of a considerable proportion of a new-build building in Cambridge, with exchange of the agreement for lease due as soon as possible and the lease due to complete in summer 2023.
  • Acted for Warren Capital in respect of a loan to a borrower for property acquisition and development purposes worth £5.6m with £3m loan. This involved carrying out due diligence in respect of the property as well as acting on the financing documents. The firm became involved between exchange and completion of the property acquisition.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Biotechnology Tier 2

The Cambridge office of Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP plays a key role in the firm’s life sciences practice, acting for many of the companies based in the local science and technology hub. IP, IT and commercial partner Rachel Bradley, who co-leads the multi-disciplinary group, acted as co-ordinator of the review of all European clinical trial agreements for various different research studies for Applied Molecular Transport, Inc. to govern the clinical trials it is sponsoring across Europe. Employment partner Hilary Aldred and real estate specialist Sarah Coates are key members of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Bradley

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

The Company of Biologists Limited

Applied Molecular Transport, Inc

Fluid Pharma Ltd

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

Enterprise Therapeutics

Metrion Biosciences

Abcam PLC

King’s College London

Synox Therapeutics

MitoRx Therapeutics Limited

42 Technology Limited

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies

Certis Europe B.V.

Birch Tree IP

HutanBio Limited

Flatiron Health, Inc.

Genestack Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Applied Molecular Transport, Inc in the review of all European clinical trial agreements. The firm instructed expert local counsel, for multiple clinical studies across Europe, interpreting the advice and seeking instructions from the client’s legal counsel. This project has been on-going for almost 3 years.
  • Advised Fluid Pharma Limited on a co-operation agreement with a contract manufacturer of GMP materials for the development Fluid Pharma’s MicroCoat™ technology. Assisted Fluid Pharma with the drafting and negotiation of the agreement.
  • Advised Flatiron Health, Inc. on the impact of UK data protection, and EU GDPR requirements on Flatiron’s health-tech products.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 2

Corporate and commercial > M&A: Smaller Deals, £10m-£100m Tier 2

The ‘experienced’ team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP focuses on the technology, real estate, private wealth and retail sectors. Praised by clients for its ‘great technical knowledge’, the team has a strong international focus, regularly advising on cross-border deals. Practice head Matthew Martin provides corporate and finance expertise to a range of clients; Martin also co-heads the firm’s fashion, luxury and lifestyle sector group. Michaela Britton, praised for her ability to 'tackle complex matters with ease’, advises on a wide range of corporate transactions and is regularly instructed by entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. The team has been bolstered by the arrival of partner Mona Patel, who joined the firm from Ince & Co in January 2023, as well as Adam Carling, who joined from Bird & Bird LLP in October 2022. Jose Millan Martin left for Pinsent Masons LLP that same month.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Martin

Other key lawyers:

Mona Patel; Michaela Britton; Emily MacDonald; Giordano Suergiu; Michaela Britton; Joanne Vengadesan

Testimonials

‘The team is excellent, very responsive and their attention to detail is impressive.’

‘We work with Michaela Britton mostly on M&A matters. She is an excellent professional and I really like working with her. She tackles complex matters with ease and can address difficult and pressing situations with composure and effectively and efficiently sort out things.’

‘We work with Joanne Vengadesan on various matters, and I would like to praise her professionalism and work ethic.’

‘The team are very experienced and provide good and timely advice. They also have the ability to be commercial when required.’

‘They are very responsive and have great technical knowledge.’

Key clients

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Holdings PLC

Tough Mudder UK

Doree Bonner Holdings

Needle & Thread

BM Advisory

Transearch International Partners Limited

HBL Bank UK Limited

SkinBioTherapeutics plc

finnCap

Peel Hunt

Canaccord

Newsquest Media Group Limited

BTE Plant Sales Limited

Heracles Productions Limited

Ori Industries 1 Limited

Clubspeed LLC

FaceGym Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised New Era Music Company, a global record label and media company, on its acquisition of Defected Records Ltd and all of its group companies, through a new group holding company, Optimum Defected Holdings Limited.
  • Advised Newsquest Media Group Limited, one of the UK’s regional media groups, on its acquisition of Archant Community Media Ltd from Rcapital Nominees Limited, a private investment firm.
  • Advised the senior leadership team at BTE Plant Sales Ltd on the management buy-out of one of the largest independent plant suppliers in the UK from its shareholders.

Dispute resolution > Commodities disputes Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is known for ‘speed, availability, wide legal knowledge, and pragmatism‘. The firm’s international trade and commodities group is known for its presence in commodities, shipping and trade finance matters, with its work spanning soft commodities, metals, mining, and oil and gas. ‘Availability and approachability are key selling points of the firm and he is a standout example‘, say clients of George Mingay, who leads the practice with vastly experienced shipping and commodities partner Mark Sachs. The have recently acted for numerous of soft commodity clients on GAFTA and FOSFA arbitration proceedings in arbitration and in respect of related litigation and potential challenges under the Arbitration Act 1996.

Practice head(s):

George Mingay; Mark Sachs

Testimonials

‘Speed, availability, wide legal knowledge, pragmatism.’

‘The team is very diverse with a lot of experience.’

‘George Mingay makes himself available to educate and impart his knowledge. He is very experienced in commodity disputes and arbitration, and is always available.’

‘Availability and approachability are key selling points of Penningtons, with George Mingay as a standout example.’

‘Experience of knowledge of the arbitration process and sugar arbitrations in particular.’

Key clients

Czarnikow

The Refined Sugar Association

The Sugar Association of London

British Coffee Association

Bank of China

Agricultural Bank of China

Piraeus Bank

National Bank of Greece

Bank ABC

RJH Trading Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising on a trade finance dispute relating to a syndicated loan under a Master Risk Participation Agreement where the security held in collateral provided in respect of commodities proved insufficient in value and volume.
  • Acting for an overseas government procurement agent responsible for the import of refined petroleum products and more than 20 Purchasers under a term procurement contract with the Respondent Seller.
  • Advising a number of soft commodity clients on GAFTA and FOSFA arbitration proceedings in arbitration and in respect of related litigation/potential challenges under the Arbitration Act 1996.

Employment > Employees/unions Tier 2

Acting for a number of police officers and the Police Federation, the ‘assiduous’ team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is trusted by clients from unionised work places, or workplaces with a staff association, to advise on issues such as industrial action, police law, collective bargaining issues and pension rights. Team head Binder Bansel has longstanding experience of representing a diverse range of trade unions and staff associations. Anthea Christie's broad practice includes a niche focus on regulatory issues affecting police officers, while Clare Walsh is well placed to handle disability discrimination test cases.

Practice head(s):

Binder Bansel

Other key lawyers:

Anthea Christie; Clare Walsh; Gemma Faulkner; Saima Sarwar

Testimonials

‘Anthea Christie has been stand out to me. Her communication has been excellent and her attention to detail is second to none.’

‘The interaction I had with Penningtons was a very positive one from the outset, the team was amazing.’

‘Gemma Faulkner is truly an exceptional individual she always made herself available and made sure I fully understood the legal jargon.’

‘Assiduous, thought leaders who are masters at running group and large scale litigation.’

 ‘I have been very impressed by Saima Sarwar; she is so easy to work with and meticulous in her approach.’

‘Binder is vastly experienced and knowledgeable, but wears it lightly with a good sense of humour.’

 ‘Clare Walsh is very knowledgeable on the law but very practical in her advice. And very hard working.’

‘Great union-side employment team, covering the full range of employment issues including pensions and employment crossover.’

Key clients

Police Federation of England and Wales

Communication Workers Union

Civil Nuclear Police Federation

United Road Transport Union

First Division Association

Police Superintendents’ Association

Association of School and College Leaders

National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers

School Leaders Scotland

British Dietetic Association

Work highlights

  • Advising the CWU on its ongoing industrial dispute with Royal Mail and its subsidiaries regarding pay and changes to terms and conditions.
  • Pursuing test claims for three retired police officers in the High Court for breach of statutory duty arising from their former Chief Officers’ failure to pay their correct pension benefits.
  • Representing over 200 female and part time officers of Essex Police for indirect sex discrimination and the force’s failure to accurately record work undertaken on public holidays.

Employment > Immigration

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP provides a full service immigration offering for a range of clients, but possesses particular sector strengths in relation to education, tech, and private wealth. As a freestanding immigration practice within a full-service law firm, the team is able to leverage both a genuine immigration specialism and wider offerings in related areas of tax, employment, and corporate law. The firm’s offering has been bolstered by the addition of the audit compliance and training arm to the immigration team. Practice head Pat Saini is also the co-lead of the firm’s India group, and deploys her substantial experience in education and tech to related matters. Hazar El-Chamaa leads on private wealth work, acting for clients from every part of the world, while senior associate Meghan Vozila works with HNW clients, particularly in creative industries. Associate Jen Parker joined from Bindmans LLP in September 2022, and brings expertise in private individual cases, namely those related to exceptional applications and engaging human rights.

Practice head(s):

Pat Saini; Hazar El-Chamaa

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Their advice was accurate, helpful and timely. We had a time deadline, and with their cooperation were able to meet the target time.’

They are approachable. No question is too small or too foolish. All of our queries have been answered thoroughly. Advice has been accurate.

Excellent service from start to finish. The whole team are very professional. I highly recommend them. They have been very punctual with appointments and prompt in their communications. Great service, fast, efficient and great value.’

They understood my requirements immediately and provided the required advice and accompanying documentation within a pressured timeline and for a reasonable fee. Highly recommended.’

Committed, responsive, practical, and judicious and persistent in the follow-up of applications with urgency considerations where appropriate.

Pat Saini, partner & head of immigration, is an expert at navigating the immigration process with the Home Office and other relevant ministries. She is knowledgeable and highly responsive to the needs of clients. Moreover, she delegates tasks effectively to subordinates to achieve the desired results in a timely manner.’

Pennington Manches Cooper LLP was easy to work with, and I always received necessary support.’

Pat Saini is a great leader with good judgment, and who responds swiftly and well to urgent situations.’

Key clients

Galileo Global Education

Regent’s university

Portsmouth University

S P Jain School of Management

Valero

Nexus Productions

The Oversight Board

Navitas

Student Circus

Dhani

Work highlights

Insurance > Personal injury: claimant Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s personal injury team focuses on catastrophic injury claims, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, orthopaedic injuries, losses of limb, fatal accidents and psychiatric injuries. The team is co-led by Tristan Hallam and Warren Collins; the former brings ‘an exceptional level of sound practical judgement‘ to claims, with particular experience acting for the Police Federation, while the latter focuses on traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations and wrongful death. The team also has notable expertise regarding cross-border US and UK claims. At the associate level, Louise Taylor and Sophie Bullimore are both recommended.

Practice head(s):

Warren Collins; Tristan Hallam

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The diligence and absolute professionalism and compassion shown to me by Louise Taylor has been first class. I have found her incredibly approachable and supportive, going the extra mile when needed, and her attention to detail is second to none. I would wholly recommend Louise to anyone within the public or private sector requiring expert representation with complete discretion and the highest of standards.’

‘The team were very knowledgeable and kept me updated. The customer service skills were excellent.’

‘Sophie Bullimore is an excellent associate, very dedicated to her work and clients, whose knowledge and experience belies her PQE.’

‘Tristan Hallam is a stand-out personal injury solicitor of huge experience. He brings an exceptional level of sound practical judgement to the handling of claims.’

‘Warren Collins is an incredible lawyer with an amazing ability to secure fantastic results for his clients. He works tirelessly throughout day and night on cases. Much admired in the sector for his thoroughness, capability, wisdom and experience, he will never let a client down. He works sensibly and collaboratively with counsel and is fearless. His opponents understand his ability and respect him hugely.’

‘Tristan Hallam has an exceptional depth of knowledge, particularly in relation to the legal principles governing claims for psychiatric injury. He manages his team with a quiet authority that allows others to thrive.’

‘Louise Taylor is a confident, capable associate. She is unafraid to advocate for her clients’ interests, even in a room of longer-serving lawyers. Louise is hard-working, intelligent and kind.’

‘Sophie Bullimore is a smart, dedicated associate. The quality of her work is exceptional. Her client care is kind and effective.’

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has an ‘abundance of wonderful people’, with Michael Cash at the helm. It acts for high-net-worth individuals, families, trusts and estates. Cash specialises in domestic and international trust and estate litigation, and breach of trust actions. Other core areas of expertise include advising on contentious applications to the Court of Protection and claims under the Inheritance Act. Sarah Lee is another known name in the market for her work on a variety of trust and estate claims. Lee also covers other areas such as advising on the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in the context of trust and estate funds. In addition, the team is skilled at handling financial abuse and TOLATA claims.

Practice head(s):

Michael Cash

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Lee; Sarah Arnold; Andrew Bird

Testimonials

‘PMC are long-standing experts in this field and, although they have a London office, offer the option of regional charging rates with their Basingstoke office. Michael Cash is widely regarded as a leader in this field. Michael has an in-depth knowledge of this area of the law and a calm, considered temperament that is reassuring to any client’.

‘The best out of London team bar none. A delight to work with and highly efficient in delivering a product that few if any can match. Michael Cash – remains outstanding. Head and shoulders above most rivals. A keen strategic brain and always available’.

‘Sarah Arnold is the team’s standout performer and key to its future success.’

‘Very accessible and clearly on top of their subject area. Sarah Arnold – consummate professional with a perfect mix of legal acumen and commercial savvy’.

‘The star of the team is Sarah Lee. She is supremely technical and knows her stuff, but doesn’t lose sight of the commercial realities of a matter. She is unshakable in the face of tough and complex litigation and cares deeply for her clients going above and beyond’. 

‘Sarah Lee has been exceptional in every way in that she is clear decisive and yet willing to listen and take into consideration the needs and concerns of the clients. This willingness to serve and deliver runs throughout the company’.

‘A powerful team in their own right, but set in an extremely supportive and capable firm, with the ability to draw on the very highest capability in associated areas’.

‘Michael is probably the leading contentious trust and estate solicitor in the country, with a very strong record both in both onshore and offshore disputes. Sarah Lee is as sharp as she is energetic. She delights her clients while terrifying her opponents. Andrew Bird is one to watch for the future’.

Key clients

Patrik Schumacher

Administrator for the estate of His Exalted Highness the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad

Administrator of Darrel Evans Dec’d

Savernake Estate

Administrator of Prince Abbasi Estate

Work highlights

  • Acting for the administrator of the 7th Nizam’s estate in the long running dispute over £35m held by National Westminster Bank that was deposited in 1948. This case is fascinating as it is tied up with the political history of India and Pakistan and issues of sovereign immunity.
  • Acted for Patrik Schumacher on his application to remove his co-executors from acting as executors of the estate of Zaha Hadid (the internationally distinguished architect) and have been advising on the subsequent administration of the estate against this background.
  • Acting as a trustee for the Savernake estate, which is dealing with the well-publicised ongoing issues arising out of the trust.

Private client > Court of protection Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has ‘one of the largest COP teams in the country, led by the excellent Daniel Toop’. The team receives plaudits for creating ‘very strong bonds with clients and families who trust their legal judgement’. The practice continues to be busy acting as a professional deputy or trustee for individuals in receipt of an award due to a personal injury or clinical negligence claim. Other significant work includes advising on DOLS and other welfare matters; cross-jurisdictional applications, and on applications for attorneys to make gifts for inheritance tax purposes. Julie Burton is a known name in the market. Burton regularly acts as a professional deputy for adult and children clients with complex brain injuries. These injuries have occurred as a result of personal injuries. Managing associate Grace Serwanga is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Toop

Other key lawyers:

Julie Burton; Grace Serwanga; James Berry; Rachel Taylor

Testimonials

‘Daniel Toop is very forward-thinking practitioner with a keen eye for detail. Very calm and methodical in his approach when dealing with more complex matters. Julie Burton is a very experienced CoP practitioner. She has extensive skill and knowledge in this area of law’.

‘Daniel Toop is calm and reflective with a sharp legal mind and a pragmatic approach. Julie Burton is a leading practitioner in the field who wields gravitas when needed. Rachel Taylor is a very capable solicitor. Grace Serwanga is a positive addition to the growing team’.

‘The team are a pleasure to deal with. They are communicative, organised and very responsive. James Berry is very motivated and friendly’.

‘Rachel Taylor is approachable, personable, and professional. She makes herself available at short notice even on her non-working day, if necessary. She is very responsive to queries and her advice on matters is always clear’.

‘Daniel Toop has been brilliant, always explaining things. Good advice when asked, very efficient and understanding. Julie Burton has been brilliant too. I know we are in good hands with Julie Burton and Daniel Toop. Excellent service’.

‘Julie Burton is part of a formidable team along with fellow partner Daniel Toop ably backed up by senior associates Rachel Taylor, James Berry and Grace Serwanga. You will be hard pressed to find a more knowledgeable team of partners and senior associates in this practice area’.

Penningtons LLP is a large firm with particular expertise in Court of Protection work. They have an excellent team, with real strength in depth which makes them an obvious choice for high value settlements. They are flexible in their approach and determined to secure the best quality of life for the clients that they support’.

‘They are a very friendly yet professional team and are keen to ensure everything they do is centred fully around the client and in their best interests’.

Transport > Travel Tier 2

The personal injury practice at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is headed up by Mark Lee, who is noted for his ‘vast experience’ across the travel space. The team’s workload consists in significant part of acting for claimants in international transport-related incidents which lead to serious or catastrophic injury; road traffic accident-related cases are a particular area of specialism across the team. It also frequently acts against hotels. ‘Fantastic’ associate Joanna Wylie is experienced handling both claimant and defendant-side foreign accident claims. Consultant John Strange is also noteworthy for his marine-related work.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lee

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Penningtons have a solid team with decades of travel law experience and a strong reputation.’

‘Mark Lee has vast experience in dealing with travel law matters and Joanne Wylie is fantastic too.’

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of a motorcyclist who suffered life-changing injuries in Germany, securing a 100% liability judgment at a 5 day liability trial in the English High Court.
  • Recovered damages for a professional motorcycle racer who suffered catastrophic injuries to his spinal cord, brain and lower-limb injuries while participating in the Isle of Man TT races.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 3

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is known for its work in general commercial litigation, with specialist advice also including international litigation and arbitration, group action litigation, and banking and finance disputes, among others. The team is led by Clare Arthurs who splits her time between Cambridge and London. Charlie Shillito specialises in financial services and professional negligence claims. Former practice head Emma Davies Day left the firm in February 2023.

Practice head(s):

Clare Arthurs

Other key lawyers:

Charlie Shillito; Holly Strube

Testimonials

‘They have some really strong lawyers, particularly for a firm outside of the major cities. They are essentially offering London quality services.’

‘Charlie Shillito has pedigree, but also an excellent understand of how defendant professional indemnity firms operate. He is also plainly very clever, engages with the details and merits of the case, and has sound judgement.’

‘The team are a formidable legal force that are knowledgeable, flexible, commercial and adaptable. They use the latest technology to make life easier on clients and to reduce costs. They have real depth in their team.’

‘Penningtons deliver magic circle quality legal advice at a competitive price, and without the egos!’

‘Responsiveness, easy to work with and no frills.’

‘Penningtons Manches Cooper is very professional and efficient. Members of the practice have varied knowledge and experience in different fields which is always very useful.’

‘Charlie Shillito has been working very hard to protect us both commercially and privately. He has been efficient, knowledgeable and helpful.’

‘They are not afraid to go and get advice from other professionals as needed and listen to the advice. The team work well together and all contribute. If someone is away there is always someone within the team to talk to who has been assigned to the case.’

Work highlights

  • Act for Gilliam Wallace in both her personal and commercial (as director of Azaria Consulting Ltd) capacities.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

Predominantly based in Oxford, the ‘exceptional‘ team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises a diverse range of clients, including those in the property, technology and private client sectors. Practice head Clare Arthurs works out of both the Cambridge and London offices, while the ‘brilliantRebecca Andrews-Walker assists clients within the education, retail, and sports sectors with contentious bankruptcies and corporate insolvency disputes. In Reading, John Chater frequently acts for receivers and insolvency practitioners on corporate restructuring issues. Associate Matthew Letts is a ‘walking encyclopaedia‘ when it comes to turnarounds and solvent liquidations.

Practice head(s):

Clare Arthurs

Testimonials

‘Rebecca Andrews-Walker is approachable and engaged, and Matthew Letts is a walking encyclopaedia who is in the detail of every case.’

‘They have been exceptional throughout with communication. The team are absolutely brilliant in recovering debts. All credit to this team.’

‘I would like to personally thank Rebecca Andrews-Walker and Matthew Letts who have been brilliant with helping us navigate through crises. Their advice has been amazing and they work tirelessly to make sure our company is on the right path.’

‘The team are passionate about their clients and work collaboratively to seek resolutions. They have the technical expertise and apply a pragmatic approach which makes them a real pleasure to work with.’

‘Rebecca Andrews-Walker lives and breathes the law and thrives on a challenge to use her skill and knowledge of her subject, whilst seeking to explore commercial solutions. As a client you feel she has your absolute best interests at the forefront of her mind and approaches each case with passion and energy.’

‘Approachable, knowledgeable, and fun to work with.’

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3

The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is led partner Hilary Aldred who advises a wide-range of charity and not-for-profit clients, including some key to the education sector, on employment, education and charity law matters. The ‘hardworking, strategic, and highly commercial' team acts for The Company of Biologists, National Oceanography Centre, and numerous Oxford and Cambridge colleges. Managing associate Sophie Whitbread and commercial and IP partner Rachel Bradley are also called upon by charity clients.

Practice head(s):

Hilary Aldred

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘A stellar team with exceptional judgment and hard-hitting cases. They are hardworking, strategic, and highly commercial. They understand the needs of their clients well.’

‘Hilary Aldred is the go-to solicitor on the intersection between charities, employment, public, and education law. She knows everything there is to know in this area. Sophie Whitbread is hardworking, with terrific judgment.’

‘If the main contact is not available, then I’m always given an alternative who is up to speed with the actions ahead of time. Billing is always accurate and sent in a timely manner.’

‘Sophie Whitbread understands how our business works, which is really unique.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable and competent regarding GDPR, and fully aware of the practical challenges for a small not-for-profit. Resourceful in finding practicable solutions for the client.’

‘Very friendly and understanding. Lots of patience for our situation and challenges.’

‘Offers knowledge, experience and practical advice on structuring, documenting, and negotiating international licence agreements to achieve the best outcome for their clients.’

‘Rachel Bradley is very knowledgeable, quick to respond and always gives sound commercial advice when advising on international licence agreements and business issues.’

Key clients

Christ Church, Oxford

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

International Headache Society

National Oceanography Centre

Reeds Foundation

The Institute of Leadership and Management

Cambridge Commonwealth European and International Trust

The Company of Biologists

The Licensed Trade Charity

Marine Stewardship Council

The Fire Fighters Charity

Pembroke College Oxford

The Chartered Association of Business Schools

Wellington College

Oratory Schools Association

Jesus College, Oxford

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Work highlights

  • Acting for Christ Church, Oxford on a wide-range of matters including data sharing, and freedom of information requests as well as privacy issues and employment.
  • Advising a non-profit organisation on employment matters including how to implement changes to the benefits it offers its employees.
  • Advising The Company of Biologists Limited on all its commercial agreements, including drafting and advising on agency agreements with foreign agents, granting rights to sales agents and drafting and negotiating site licence agreements to licence access to their journals to institutions all over the world.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 3

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a national practice in which the Cambridge office plays a key role. Senior associate Andrea Nicholls is the firm’s local specialist, with clients describing her as a 'logical, methodical, calm problem solver who works hard on the solution'. Nicholls is 'absolutely fantastic', and frequently handles matters concerning property insolvency, landlord and tenant issues, and agricultural property, having recently assisted Vitality Health Limited with numerous break notices.

Practice head(s):

Andrea Nicholls

Testimonials

‘Good honest, personable, straight forward clear communicating individuals who are well versed in their field. Strong depth of knowledge and wide-ranging skill set within the team.’

‘Andrea Nicolls is a logical, methodical, calm problem solver who works hard on the solution. Excellent depth of experience. Excellent communication skills, works to find alternatives and a solution rather than create a problem. Responsive and approachable with an easy manner. Honest with clients and manages expectations well. Strong communicator.’

‘Penningtons Manches Cooper as a whole is superb and a the best property litigation firm in the area.’

‘Andrea Nicholls is absolutely fantastic, commercial and really talented. Amy Evans is also a brilliant solicitor and client manager.’

‘Friendly and great at what they do.’

Key clients

Vitality Health Limited

Arnold Lodge School

The Country Market

Work highlights

  • Advising Vitality Health Limited on a number of break notices, both serving them on behalf of the client and advising on the validity of break notices received. The break notices were conditional and involved complex compliance including the calculation and payment of a break premium.
  • Advising Arnold Lodge School after the tenant purported to withdraw their break notice on a sub-lease of part of the school building to be a nursery school which was run by an independent provider of nursery education.
  • Advising a large family farming business including a farm shop, restaurant, retail concessions, a car boot sale site worth and a mixed farm on a family partnership dispute worth £2.5m on value, ownership and family members not included.

Employment > Senior executives Tier 3

The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a ‘strategic and empathetic’ approach to assisting senior executives, with a particular focus on contentious departures in the financial sector. Alongside this, the firm advises on non-contentious reshuffling, exit negotiation, and post-termination restriction cases. Paul Mander is experienced at handling the full range of departures, while Ruby Dinsmore is ‘a force to be reckoned with’, and specialises in discrimination litigation, particularly pertaining to gross misconduct and sexual harassment. Other key team members include Tom Walker, who leads on regulatory work, managing associate Hester Jewitt, and senior associate Sarah Mant.  

Practice head(s):

Paul Mander

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team have a holistic approach to giving advice and providing support. They have a strategic and empathetic approach to problem solving.’

‘Ruby Dinsmore has real expertise and depth of experience, with a commitment to getting the right outcome for her client.’

‘Sarah Mant is prompt and provides incredibly useful and detailed responses.’ 

‘Hester Jewitt was proactive and professional.’

‘Tom Walker is very knowledgeable, proactive and effective.’ 

‘Andrew Haywood stood out as extremely compassionate, yet knowledgeable and very communicative.’

‘Ruby Dinsmore I thought was outstanding – she was a force to be reckoned with, yet personable and empathetic at the same time.’

Finance > Trade finance Tier 3

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a 'knowledgeable and approachable practice that is always frank and concise with honest and straightforward comments'. The practice, which counts among its clients Bank of China, Ghana International Bank, and National Bank of Greece, is frequently involved in financing transactions in Africa and Brazil, and it is called upon to advise on the implications of Russian sanctions. Head of financial services Grant Eldred, who is 'always very hands on and directly to the point, ' has particular expertise in advising the London branches of overseas banks on a broad range of their operational, regulatory and transactional requirements. Trade finance litigation specialist Mark Sachs plays a key role in the practice, and banking and finance associate Ellis van der Vos is recommended for bilateral and syndicated lending, and international trade finance.

Practice head(s):

Grant Eldred: Mark Sachs

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Strong and extensive expertise in the products we require. Knowledgeable and approachable practice with an ability to respond within the time frame we need.’

‘Always frank and concise with honest and straightforward comments. Grant Eldred has always given sensible and practical advice.’

‘Excellent level of engagement’

‘Grant Eldred is very reactive, well listens to and understands the needs – he is brief and clear in his advice and has strategic thinking.’

‘Penningtons provided trade finance legal advice to us. Despite it being a sizeable transaction, the team under the guidance of Grant Eldred supported us in a timely, competent and professional way.’

‘Grant Eldred – who was always very hands on and directly to the point – and Ellis van der Vos managed our position in the negotiations very well and we achieved what we wanted. Both did fast returns of the documents and gave good summaries of what our position was and what we could achieve.’

Key clients

Bank of China

Agricultural Bank of China

National Bank of Greece

Bank ABC

Banque Cantonale Vaudoise

Bank of Beirut (UK) Ltd

Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited

Bank of Communications (UK) Limited

Ghana International Bank plc

Zenith Bank

Insurance > Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 3

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP’s team is led by John Kyriacou, whose broad caseload spans cerebral palsy, spinal injury, surgical complications and delayed diagnoses. The team receives medical negligence referrals from the Police Federation of England and Wales, and provides expertise regarding financial loss in such claims. Rosie Nelson specialises in birth injury claims and cerebral palsy cases, as well as claims resulting from orthopaedic injury. Lyndsey Banthorpe focuses on adult-acquired brain injury claims.

Practice head(s):

John Kyriacou

Other key lawyers:

Rosie Nelson; Lyndsey Banthorpe; Emily Reville; Rosa Shand

Testimonials

‘A small but very efficient and committed team who are delightful to work for.’

‘Specialists in the field of clinical negligence. Always well prepared and detailed in their instructions.’

‘Lyndsey Banthorpe is exceptional, incredibly hard working, great understanding of the key issues, kind and caring with clients, and very good at handling experts.’ 

‘Rosa Shand is knowledgeable, well prepared and has a great manner with experts and clients.’

‘Penningtons can always be trusted to provide high quality briefs, excellently prepared and with the client’s needs firmly in mind. They are a pleasure to work with.’

‘Rosie Nelson is a standout individual who invests time and effort into every case, to make sure no stone is unturned in getting the best result for her clients. I would recommend her to anyone.’

‘Penningtons handle their cases with the utmost care and diligence.’

‘Rosie Nelson is a superb solicitor. Has an ability far beyond her level of experience. She is an extremely thoughtful and safe pair of hands. Lyndsey Banthorpe is also superb. She does not leave a stone unturned when investigating and preparing a case. She does not shy away from the tough tasks. John Kyriacou brings a level of experience to the work that must be almost unmatched in the field.’

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

Under the leadership of Clare Archer , Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is known for its strong international capabilities. It regularly assists UK resident and non-resident, non-domiciled individuals and international families as well as family offices and business owners on a broad range of issues. James d’Aquino specialises in tax, trust and succession planning matters. Ryan Myint is particularly sought after for UK-Singapore cross-border issues. At associate level, Tristan Smale is well-regarded. James Lewis was promoted to the partnership in April 2023.

Practice head(s):

Clare Archer

Other key lawyers:

Tristan Smale; Elizabeth Nicholas; James d’Aquino; Ryan Myint; James Lewis

Testimonials

‘The best private client non-contentious team outside London, with a very strong London presence to compliment their offering. They are a pleasure to work with, combining responsiveness, technical ability, and charm in spades. They have a good client base who return to them and recommend them widely’.

‘Elizabeth Nicholas is a superlative private client partner who has everything that it takes to deliver first rate advice and to look after all her clients’ interests’.

‘James d’Aquino is an old school private client partner with charm, dedication and technical ability’.

‘The team offer experience with both UK clients and international clients.’

‘My dealings with Ryan Myint have been excellent. He is very experienced at dealing with complex issues and is willing to provide guidance to other professionals’.

‘Claire Archer is a fantastic lawyer, and leads by example. She cares deeply about her clients and colleagues.’

‘James d’Aquino is ferociously intelligent. He cannot be stumped on international issues. At the same time he appreciates the need for real world advice to help clients.’

‘Penningtons has a long history of giving trusted advice in this area.’

Public sector > Education: institutions Tier 3

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is instructed by universities and Oxbridge colleges to handle ‘complex and cutting-edge cases‘ involving contentious employment and student disciplinary matters as well as handling a wide spectrum of governance and commercial matters in relation to data privacy, partnerships and contracts, and real estate. The team boasts notable expertise in issues related to safeguarding, student and staff misconduct, and industrial relations. Employment specialists Daff Richardson, who is based in Oxford, and Hilary Aldred, who practices from Cambridge, are regularly entrusted to act in complex mandates surrounding discrimination, freedom of speech, and no platforming. Oxford-based governance and student relations expert Sam Rose is also highly recommended. In London, immigration specialist Pat Saini and commercial expert Anna Frankum are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Hilary Aldred; Daff Richardson

Testimonials

‘Penningtons Manches Cooper has a very strong education legal teams. They advise on and fight complex and cutting-edge cases and have unparalleled experience in this field. There is quality in their most junior associates right up to their leading partners.’

‘Hilary Aldred is one of the leading lights in education law nationally. She knows everything there is to know and has a wealth of experience to draw on.

Sophie Whitbread is a terrific and hardworking lawyer with excellent judgment and negotiation skills.’

‘In depth knowledge and expertise in dealing with educational institutions and knowledge around policymaking is a big strength of the organisation.’

‘The team offer pragmatic advice, taking into account risk versus reward. They get to know your business and what works for you.’

‘Highly responsive, deeply knowledgeable, commercial and client-need focussed.’

‘Very high recommendation for Sam Rose. She’s very well-informed on Education Issues in HEIs, highly practical, and a pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

American Institute for Foreign Study

Chartered Association of Business Schools

Christ Church, Oxford

Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Florida State University

Green Templeton College, Oxford

ICMP Management Limited

Jesus College, Oxford

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Pembroke College, Oxford

S P Jain School of Management

St Mary’s University, Twickenham

The Institute of Leadership and Management

Unifrog Education Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Christ Church, Oxford on day-to-day employment matters in respect of academic and non-academic staff.
  • Advised Florida State University on all aspects of their property holding including advice on banking arrangements where the parent companies are overseas.
  • Advised the American Institute for Foreign Study’s US and UK offices on UK GDPR compliance as well as UK real estate matters.

Public sector > Education: schools Tier 3

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s team of independent school specialists is well-regarded for its advice on employment, safeguarding, and governance issues, with a notable record of advising on employee compensation and pension matters as well as sensitive student and staff disciplinary issues. Practice head Gemma Woodhouse, who practices from Reading, is particularly noted for her understanding of matters related to students with special educational needs and is also a key contact for discrimination and employment issues. Katie Glendinning is also based in Reading and is recommended for her employment expertise, while London-based lawyer Hazar El-Chamaa provides schools with critical regulatory compliance advice, especially on immigration matters.

Practice head(s):

Gemma Woodhouse

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The education team is of genuine exceptional quality.’

‘Gemma Woodhouse is a class act. Excellent knowledge of the law, great with clients, and a wonderful crossover understanding of education/employment/safeguarding. Would unreservedly recommend.’

‘Unique ability to cover both education and employment law, so a stand-out firm for school clients. Really strong team.’

‘Katie Glendinning is our primary point of contact with Penningtons, and she is exceptional. Katie is timely with her responses, which are always thorough and detailed, providing specific support and guidance. Katie’s ability to provide quick support as well as work through complex matters is impressive. At the heart of Katie’s high quality is her willingness to understand us and the core values we operate within. Katie is able to then ground her advice both in terms of the legal framework we operate in, but also within the values we hold important to us. Alongside this, she has a highly personal approach that makes you feel very valued as a client.’

‘Penningtons have been superb legal partners for us. The breadth and depth of their expertise is extensive, and we have had numerous positive reports from our members. Not only do they give excellent advice, they also take the time to understand our members and fully appreciate their needs.’

‘Good and through understanding of independent schools, leading to clear, practical advice.’

‘Gemma Woodhouse is a creative thinker and gives good, pragmatic advice. I value Gemma’s honesty, clear guidance, and being able to engage with different people in my organisation.’

‘Gemma Woodhouse was outstanding, very responsive in a difficult situation, and technically very strong.’

Key clients

Arnold Lodge School

Association for the Education and Guardianship of International students

Beaconsfield Educational Trust (Davenies)

Bedford Greenacre Independent School

Brampton College

Cambridge Tutors College

Caversham Preparatory School

Cognita Schools

Crosfields School

Falkner House Preparatory School

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Elstree Schools Limited

Hampstead Hill School

Independent Schools Association

King’s House School

Mander Portman Woodward

Notre Dame Prep School

Prior’s Field School

Reed’s School

Scarisbrick Hall

School’s Enterprise Association

Shrewsbury House School Trust

St John’s College School

St John’s Preparatory School

Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship

The Licensed Trade Charity

The Oratory Schools Association

The Stephen Perse Foundation

Wellington College

Work highlights

  • Acted for The Oratory Schools Association on the disposal of a significant development site to a UK housebuilder.
  • Advised a leading Charity with three Independent Schools on the review of its employment contracts and on the application of legislation to the calculation of holiday.
  • Advised Haberdashers’ Aske’s Schools on complicated disciplinary and grievance issues, with potential safeguarding consequences.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Reputation management Tier 3

The reputation management and privacy team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP encompasses a wide range of focus areas, including defamation, misuse of private information, harassment and data protection. Social media is another growing area of expertise. Jeremy Clarke-Williams advises on defamation, breach of confidence and misuse of private information matters, and co-leads the team with Adele Ashton, who has a strong track record acting for both claimants and defendants on issues concerning privacy, defamation and data protection.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Clarke-Williams; Adele Ashton

Other key lawyers:

Elisabeth Mason

Testimonials

‘Penningtons is a leading claimant firm for media and data protection matters, with a good depth of solicitors and know-how in bringing claims in this sector. They are an impressive group.’

‘Jeremy Clarke-Williams and Adele Ashton are both seasoned media professionals with top notch judgment.’

‘Adele Ashton is a standout person and our main contact there. Very accessible, knowledgeable and down to earth.’

‘Jeremy Clarke-Williams and his team have extensive experience and expertise in all aspects of media law, and they are easy to deal with.’

‘Jeremy Clarke-Williams and Adele Ashton are both technically very good, and as individuals, they are both likeable and helpful.’

‘Adele Ashton – superb lawyer and gives clients expert knowledge and advice. Able to consider and deploy the wider issues in a case that will assist in settlement and best resolving the client’s ultimate aims.’

‘Jeremy Clarke-Williams – a doyen in the field of media law and widely respected by all. Huge experience which he puts to great use.’

Key clients

Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW)

Christ Church, Oxford

Communications Workers Union (CWU)

TWI Ltd

Wellington College

Work highlights

  • Represented a number of corporate defendants, primarily based in the US, who had been the subject of claims in respect of the placing of cookies on claimants’ systems.
  • Acting in a number of group claims on behalf of individuals who have had their privacy and data protection rights infringed.

Transport > Shipping Tier 3

Praised for its ‘dedication to its clients and a pragmatic commercial attitude’, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP sports a robust shipping practice that is regularly involved in a wide spectrum of disputes. Darryl Kennard receives frequent instructions from shipowners, underwriters and salvage companies, handling both wet and dry matters; he jointly leads the team with Alex McIntosh, whose areas of focus include charterparties, bills of lading, and casualties. Mark Sachs retains strong ties with clients in the Japanese insurance sector.

Practice head(s):

Darryl Kennard; Alex McIntosh

Other key lawyers:

Nick Donnelly; James Severn; Tony Riches; Mark Sachs

Testimonials

‘Vast experience of shipping associated with a dedication to their clients and a pragmatic commercial attitude.’

‘The solicitors at the firm are considered part of the client’s team.’

‘Alex McIntosh has been really great at providing concise advice despite the complex nature of the problem we were facing. His solutions are practical and commercially appropriate, and he is quick to pivot if/when we need to change approach.’

Key clients

Condor Ferries Ltd

Gard P&I

Multraship

NYK Orpheus Corporation

West of England P&I

North of England P&I

Work highlights

  • Acting for vessel owners in a three-way collision in the Panama Canal.

Corporate and commercial > Equity capital markets – small-mid cap Tier 4

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP represents nominated advisers, brokers and AIM-listed issuers on a broad range of equity transactions, including fundraisings, IPOs and reverse takeovers. Praised for his 'excellent, pragmatic advice and expertise', Seb Orton leads the team which also includes Adam Carling, an energy and technology-focused partner who arrived from Bird & Bird LLP in October 2022.

Practice head(s):

Seb Orton

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The Penningtons team is vastly experienced in the small-mid cap space and provide a high quality service at a reasonable rate.’

‘Seb Orton is greatly experienced in acting for small-mid cap PLCs and investment banks. He provides excellent, pragmatic advice and expertise and has a very calm approach. He has a great ability to quickly understand any challenges and find straightforward solutions without overcomplicating matters.’

Key clients

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies Holdings

SkinBioTherapeutics plc

finnCap

Stanford Capital

Elixirr International PLC

Peel Hunt

SI Capital

Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG

Liberum

Hannam & Partners

Torpedo Factory Group

Strip Tinning Holdings plc

Work highlights

  • Advising SkinBioTherapeutics on a placing and open offer.
  • Advising finnCap on a secondary fundraising for SRT Marine.
  • Advising Stanford Capital on a secondary fundraising for ImmuPharma.

Corporate and commercial > Venture capital Tier 4

The 'excellent' team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP 'goes the extra mile for its clients', which include many life sciences and "deep tech"-focused entities, from an early stage, through to latter rounds of investment. In this context, the core venture team, which is led by Matthew Martin  and James Went, from London and Oxford, respectively, is also able to lean into the expertise provided by employment, tax and IP practitioners to provide a very comprehensive service to these companies on their growth journey. Much of the investee-side work relates to university spin-outs, with Oxford University and Imperial College particularly fertile sources of instructions.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Martin; James Went

Other key lawyers:

Will Axtell; Kathy Hills; Adam Carling; Dominique Sabatini; Lindsay Chadwick

Testimonials

‘It is an excellent team that is always goes the extra mile for the client.’

‘Calm and composed advice and deep experience in the niche of academic spinouts.’

‘James Went and Dominique Sabatini are stand-out. Both individuals are extremely quick to respond, above and beyond the communication expectations of other legal professionals, and always calm and considered in their view.’

‘James Went – highly responsive and attuned to client needs.’

‘Will Axtell – very flexible and pragmatic.’

Key clients

Seloxium Limited

Toffeeam

Ploughshare Innovations Ltd

Mint Neurotechnologies Ltd

Moa Technology Ltd

Fable Data

Ground Truth Labs

Ecosync

FaceGym

Solena Materials

Work highlights

  • Advising moa Technology – a crop protection discovery company spun out from Oxford University – on the completion of their £35m Series B financing round.
  • Advising Seloxium – whose technology enables the extraction of high-purity metals from waste water – on its spin-out from Oxford University and seed funding let by Oxford Science Enterprises.
  • Advising Imperial College spin-out TOffeeAM on its £5m Series A fundraising led by Presidio Ventures Europe (part of Japanese trading and investment group Sumitomo Corporation) and East Innovate, with IQ Capital.

Dispute resolution > Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 4

The banking practice at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a ‘force to be reckoned with’, with vast experience acting both for and against banks. The team has expertise in high-profile swaps litigation, and is recognised for its digital asset litigation capabilities. ‘Dynamic partnerAlex Fox acts as head of business and finance disputes, and leads the ‘dedicated and hard-working team‘ alongside Clare Arthurs and David Niven. The team continues to expand, with the arrival of John Adams from Browne Jacobson LLP in August 2022. Charlotte Hill is another key contact at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Clare Arthurs; Alex Fox; David Niven

Other key lawyers:

John Adams; Kamran Rehman; Charlotte Hill; Bronagh Adams

Testimonials

‘Dedicated and hard-working team. They bring energy and dedication to a case as well as being excellent lawyers.’

‘Solid team with good experience of acting for claimants in this sector.’

‘Kamran Rehman works hard to keep clients happy (very happy to push barristers to deal with papers!)’

‘The Penningtons banking team is a force to be reckoned with, and there isn’t a weak spot in the team: partners are engaged and hard-working, and the associates work incredibly hard.’

‘Charlotte Hill has deservedly just been elevated to the partnership, and is a real force of nature.’

‘At associate level, Bronagh Adams is deserving of special mention: hard-working and delightful to deal with.’

Key clients

City and Country Group

Cutlers Holdings Limited (formerly Sheffield United Limited)

Scarborough Group International Limited

Social Money

Genesis Town Planning Limited

The Consumers’ Association (t/a Which?)

Ghana International Bank Plc

Work highlights

  • Acts on various high-profile matters for one of the UK’s largest family-owned property companies with regard to the sale of Sheffield United Football Club.
  • Acted for the Consumers’ Association (Which?) on both their Court of Appeal and Supreme Court interventions in the APP fraud case of Philipp v Barclays Bank UK Plc which involves an important point of banking law relating to the scope of a banker’s duty.
  • Acting in a professional negligence valuation claim for a short-term bridging lender, Hope Capital.

Dispute resolution > Group litigation: Claimant Tier 4

The practice at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is ‘very experienced, trustworthy, and very capable in managing complex group actions’, acting for clients in claims linked to insurance, financial mis-selling,  and professional negligence. For one client, the team led by Clare Arthurs is ‘probably one of the best for group litigation‘. Noted practitioners include ‘extremely effective and knowledgeable’ David Niven and David O’Brien, who is commended for ‘leaving no stone unturned‘.

Practice head(s):

Clare Arthurs

Other key lawyers:

David O’Brien; David Niven; Nicole Blakey

Testimonials

‘David Niven directs overall strategy in a commercial way, leaving the detailed day-to-day conduct to his very competent and diligent team.’

‘The team is extremely pleasant to deal with, and extremely well informed. They are accessible. When they delegate to associates and others, they are well-chosen and extremely good quality.’

‘An excellent team that knows what it’s doing and does it well.’

The team is very experienced, trustworthy, and very capable in managing complex group actions.’

‘Extremely experienced team – probably one of the best in for group litigation. Very capable and committed to getting the best results for clients.’

‘David Niven is extremely effective and knowledgeable’

‘Nicole Blakey is extremely approachable and a good problem solver.’

‘David O’Brien is committed and leaves no stone unturned.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a total of 27 clients in breach of stakeholder contract claims against 174 Law Solicitors Limited in relation to the alleged unlawful release of  client deposits in a property investment scheme.
  • Acting for around 50 NFU Mutual policyholders, pursuing unpaid business interruption claims against the insurer arising out of Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acting for a group of 43 individual claimants in a complex group action against an architect (Stuart Duffy) and his company (The Keith Davidson Partnership Ltd).

Insurance > Product liability: defendant Tier 4

The commercial dispute resolution team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP guides multinational product manufacturers, distributors and retailers on their obligations and litigation risks. John Doherty  is a leading practitioner in EU product safety matters and co-heads the team with litigation expert Clare Arthurs. Lisa Page provides regulatory advice on medical devices.

Practice head(s):

Clare Arthurs; John Doherty

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The real strengths of this team are that they know their areas inside and out and go the extra mile to make sure clients are happy.’

‘John Doherty is a lovely chap, and very good with clients.’

‘John Dogherty – head of the practice with extensive experience and practical approach

Richard Marshall – excellent litigator with experience in court litigation and arbitration. Furthermore, he successfully represented one of our clients in a mediation process.’

‘Penningtons’ team has outstanding knowledge about the product liability practice in the UK. Moreover, Penningtons’ strength lies in its network with EU law firms which makes it possible to keep pace with rapid developments and respond promptly to requirements posed by governmental authorities in EU countries concerning product liability matters.’

‘John Doherty’s work is impressive. His first priority lies in the client’s satisfaction, not to mention his expertise in this field. He is always quite responsive and considerate of the client’s needs and expectations.’

Key clients

Breathe Happy Limited

Eco Insulation Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Breathe Happy Limited concerning the production and marketing of their novel reusable face masks.
  • Advising Eco Insulation Ltd, a manufacturer of a novel product for the insulation of home loft hatches.
  • Advising a client on the voluntary global recall of wireless in-ear headphones after reports emerged of the charging case overheating, creating a risk of ignition / fire / bodily injury.

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 4

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a claimant focused firm which specialises in group action claims against solicitors and construction professionals. The firm is praised for its ‘unparalleled sense of team spirit and sense of collaboration and support’. The ‘no nonsenseDavid Niven specialises in high value, multi-party professional negligence actions against legal professionals. David O’Brien is highly experienced in international group actions, including those brought before the High Court, while Kamran Rehman covers the banking, finance, and real estate sectors.

Practice head(s):

David Niven

Other key lawyers:

David O’Brien; Nicole Blakey; Colin Hayes; Kamran Rehman

Testimonials

‘Very attentive and focussed representation. Top-notch.’

‘Solid team. Well able to assess when to incur the costs of instructing counsel and when to handle internally.’

‘Kamran Rehman has good knowledge of latest developments in this area. He works very hard to keep his clients happy and to meet client expectations (including client-imposed deadlines).’

‘They give an unparalleled sense of team spirit and sense of collaboration and support.’

‘Very technically and legally knowledgeable partners and associates who do not simply rely on counsel, but have well-developed and thought out analyses and stratagems on their cases. They are remarkably diligent at getting the evidence that is required, but they are not wasteful with resources.’

‘David Niven and David O’Brien are the partners I have worked with – they are both very pleasant and on the ball. ’

‘Vastly experienced and very capable.’

‘They are all experts in their field and very capable in managing complex group actions.’

Key clients

NPPM action groups

Hope Capital

Cutlers Holdings Limited

Scarborough Group International Limited

Social Money

City and Country Group

Work highlights

  • Acted on various high-profile matters for one of the UK’s largest family-owned property companies, with regard to the sale of Sheffield United Football Club.
  • Acting in a professional negligence valuation claim for a short-term bridging lender, Hope Capital. The Defendant valued a 15th Century Grade II listed property in Cobham owned by the National Trust, which was used as a restaurant and was being converted into a large home, without the National Trust’s consent.
  • Acted for a total of 27 clients in breach of stakeholder contract claims against 174 Law Solicitors Limited in relation to the alleged unlawful release of our clients’ deposits in a property investment scheme.

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 4

Under the joint leadership of Daff Richardson and Hilary Aldred, the multi-practice offering at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises a broad range of third sector clients including local and national charities, as well as education institutions, social housing and trade associations and religious organisations. The group has considerable strength in contentious side work, and Laura Dadswell advises many high-net-worth families on the creation of philanthropic structures, and ongoing compliance and governance issues.

Practice head(s):

Daff Richardson; Hilary Aldred

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Whitbread; Laura Dadswell

Testimonials

‘Penningtons Manches has one of the strongest Charities and Non-for-Profit legal teams nationally. They advise on, and fight, complex and cutting-edge cases, and have unparalleled commercial judgment. There is quality in their most junior associates right up to their leading partners’.

‘Hilary Aldred – One of the leading lights in Charities and Non-for-Profit law. She knows everything there is to know, and has a wealth of experience to draw on’.

‘Sophie Whitbread – A terrific and hardworking lawyer with excellent judgment and negotiation skills’.

‘The team is very pragmatic. Daff Richardson is an excellent sounding board whose advice and guidance have been invaluable both about UK employment law but also about a discussion of the issues arising in our international operations’.

‘The team are knowledgeable, easy to work with and make themselves available in a very timely way’.

‘Daff Richardson has been extremely proactive in helping us manage our risks as a charity, with clear advice and pragmatic guidance’.

‘Very approachable and knowledgeable about our industry. Offer sound advice in a timely manner. Provide excellent service.’

‘Very client-need focused, highly commercial and practical, and very knowledgeable of our sector.’

Key clients

Christ Church, Oxford

Pembroke College, Oxford

International Headache Society

National Oceanography Centre

Reeds Foundation

The Institute of Leadership and Management

Cambridge Commonwealth European and International Trust

The Company of Biologists

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

The Licensed Trade Charity

Marine Stewardship Council

The Fire Fighters Charity

Green Templeton College, Oxford

The Institute of Psychoanalysis

The Chartered Association of Business Schools

The Institute for Fiscal Studies

The Finzi Trust

Wellington College

Oratory Schools Association

Jesus College, Oxford

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Work highlights

  • Acted for The Oratory Schools Association on the disposal of a significant development site.
  • Supported the in-house legal team at the National Oceanography Centre on a wide range of matters.
  • Advised the Company of Biologists Limited on all the company’s commercial agreements.

Real estate > Social housing: local authorities and registered providers Tier 4

Andrew Casstles leads the London-based social housing team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, advising housing associations on significant acquisitions and developments. The team provides structures for housing delivery to local authorities, and investment models to an increasing number of private-sector investors that are moving into the social housing space. Peter Massey leads the practice’s busy fire-safety group, advising housing associations. The arrival of Sanjeev Shah in September 2022 from Perrin Myddelton bolstered the team’s offering in joint ventures and commercial matters within the sector.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Casstles

Other key lawyers:

Sanjeev Shah; Mark Sellers; Peter Massey; Ben Robinson; Tom Manderson; Minara Khatun; James Hallas

Testimonials

‘Everybody is very friendly and approachable, including the partners. They build a genuine rapport with their clients and add personal touches to conversations and meetings.

‘In terms of collaboration, they are adept at leading meetings where there will be a mix of people from the housing association and very different levels of understanding. They are knowledgeable without being patronising.’

‘I would definitely mention Ben Robinson as a stand-out partner. I have been working with him on various cases for over 3 years now. He makes the effort to get to know the whole team and takes time to explain things that he could delegate. He makes you feel valued, as you are never passed around.’

‘Andrew Casstles has acted for us on numerous transactions over the last 6 years. He is proactive and knowledgeable in property matters and will work with his clients to achieve a sensible and pragmatic solution.’

‘Andrew Casstles has a wealth of experience and knowledge. He is approachable and easy to work with and has the interests of the client at the forefront of his mind. I hope to continue working with Andrew on transactions in the future.’

Key clients

Paragon Asra Housing

Newlon Housing Trust

Newlon Build Limited

Peabody Trust

CBRE UK Affordable Housing Fund

Hightown Housing Association

Optivo

bpha Limited

Saxon Weald

Accent Housing

Abri Group Limited

Settle Group

White Horse Housing Association

Poplar HARCA

Treveth Holdings LLP

Treveth Development LLP

Mount Green Housing Association

Phoenix Community Housing Association

Inquilab Housing Association

Plymouth Community Homes Ltd

North London Muslim Housing Association Ltd

One Housing Group Ltd

Hexagon Housing Association Ltd

NW3 Community Land Trust Limited

Sapphire Independent Housing Limited

LiveWest Homes Limited

Southern Housing Group Ltd

West Kent Housing Association

Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association Ltd

Epping Forest District Council

Advance Housing & Support Limited

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Raven Housing Trust Limited

South Yorkshire Housing Association Ltd

Catalyst Housing

Cross Keys Homes Ltd

Bromsgrove District Housing Trust Limited

Richmond Housing Partnership Ltd

Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing

Westway Housing Association Ltd

Bromford Housing Association Ltd

Sovereign Housing Association Ltd

Ekaya Housing Association Ltd

Warrington Housing Association Limited

Orbit Group Ltd

Mace Housing Cooperative Limited

Christian Action (Enfield) Housing Association Ltd

Midland Heart Limited

Wandle Housing Association Ltd

Mackenzie Homes Limited

Housing Solutions Group

Octavia Housing

Walton on Thames Charity

Clarion

Notting Hill Genesis

Origin Housing

Wooldridge Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for for Paragon Asra Housing Limited in the forward funding and acquisition of four significant housing blocks in the context of a significant wider regeneration of a brown field site in South London by a Jersey based trustee ultimately funded by L&G.
  • Advised Treveth Holdings LLP and Treveth Developments LLP on the set up and delivery of Cornwall Council’s investment and delivery programme, including advising on over 12 active developments.
  • Acting for Abri and its subsidiary The Swaythling Housing Society Limited in options to purchase a large 100+ dwellings site, including development agreement, joint venture, and ultimately the outright purchase of the site.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 4

Advising football teams and athletes across a range of sports - notably including sailing and yacht races - on brand protection, employment, reputational and commercial disputes and issues are routine instructions for Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s sports team. Practice head Andrew Haywood focuses on employment and disciplinary issues, while Richard Marshall regularly works on contentious and contractual matters in football - often with a multijurisdictional aspect. Nick Humphreys is a key contact for managers, coaches and backroom staff in the football industry, undertaking matters pertaining to high court and employment tribunal litigations. James Severn and Jeremy Clarke-Williams are key names to note for agent-player disputes and defamation claims, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Haywood

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Nick Humphreys is a beacon of good sense and commercial nous in the world of sports law. The hardest working lawyer in London, he gets things done. Somehow he manages to be fun to work with too.’

‘PMC is a very strong sporting team – real depth of knowledge in manager disputes and football arbitration in particular. Very personable and commercially astute team too.’

‘Nick Humphreys is brilliant, a joy to work with. James Severn is incredibly hard-working, knows his stuff.’

‘Andrew Haywood is an excellent employment law specialist, who majors on discrimination allegations in sport.’

‘Richard Marshall is a hard-nosed commercial litigator who you want on your side.’

Key clients

League Managers Association

Emma Raducanu

British Elite Athletes Association

Mahindra Racing UK Limited (“Mahindra Racing”)

Gordon Murray Group

Sport Resolutions

Katie McCabe (Arsenal and captain of the Republic of Ireland women’s national football team)

Carlos Ortiz-Patino (founders and previous owners of the Valderrama Group which owns the Valderrama golf course, Spain)

Twelve Consultancy Group

Players, staff and estates of the same of former employees of Associação Chapecoense de Futebol

I Trust Sport

Dominic Ball (football player)

Grey Sports Group

Rathbone Boxing Club

Work highlights

  • Advised Dominic Ball on his transfer from Queens Park Rangers to Ipswich Town.
  • Instructed to assist Emma Raducanu implement a global brand protection and enforcement programme across multiple continents.
  • Acting for Brad Galinson in the majority share acquisition of Gillingham Football Club.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Birmingham Tier 4

Led by Matthew Martin, the ‘exceptionalPenningtons Manches Cooper LLP works with a diverse roster of corporate clients – both domestic and international – on M&A, reorganisations, and commercial matters. A seasoned corporate partner, Adam McGiveron’s recent highlights include a series of acquisitions in the sports, automotive, and logistics sectors. Richard Wrigley is comparably well-versed in cross-border transactions - particularly in the tech and energy arenas – while the ‘dynamic and highly creative’ Emma Bryant specialises in early-stage, fast-growth businesses across a range of industries.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Martin

Testimonials

‘We have been working with PMC for a number of years now, and we remain clients because the team are reliable, efficient, challenge to us to ensure we make the right decision, timely and effective. All things we need as a client as part of our M&A process. What we like compared to other firms is the total focus from senior staff and partners. The team has sought to collaborate with us to ensure they fully understand our business and needs.’

‘The individuals are very knowledgeable in their subject matter and always seem up-to-date with key topics. They are rigorous. Always prepared to go into battle for us and not back down. We are kept up to date on issues, so nothing is last-minute. Emma Bryant is particularly tenacious and someone we have worked with for over 10 years. She understands our business and the risks we might face.’

‘The partners are very hands-on, provide exceptional advice on a timely basis, and have a fantastic network of clients making them an enjoyable team to work with. The model is very agile and the advice offered is very competitively priced.’

‘Adam McGiveron is highly commercial, has a real ability to handle difficult client situations very well and manage complex personalities, particularly during very tricky legal negotiations. Adam is very honest and trustworthy, bringing a very practical application of the law and a thoroughly rounded sounding board on a variety of business issues.’

‘Strong, experienced partners who are very good at understanding the underlying commercials and objectives, ensuring that the documents achieve and support those objectives while providing good practical advice.’

‘I have worked with Richard Wrigley for a number of years, including on various complex reorganisations, and always found him approachable, practical and commercial.’

‘You feel like you are receiving a highly personable service from a quality regional law firm, complemented by significant depth and diversity of experience that you would expect from a large international practice.’

‘Emma Bryant and Adam McGiveron tend to work as a team, providing a double headed partner service. Emma is an exceptional lawyer, with an ability to meet deadlines and make things happen. She is personable, dynamic and highly creative at resolving issues. Adam McGiveron is commercial, always demonstrating a strong grasp of a situation ahead of most other people on a transaction, but with an acute eye for the detail and an ability to articulate issues succinctly to clients. The combination of the two partners is formidable.’

Key clients

Alliance Automotive Group/Genuine Parts Alliance

Customs Support Group UK Limited

Claverley Group Limited

Socotec UK Limited

Bushell Investment Group Limited

Hyperama Plc

Intercity Technology Limited

British Independent Retailers Association

Carver Group

Sustainable Energy First

Work highlights

  • Acted for Brad Galinson on the acquisition of Gillingham Football Club.
  • Acted for Customs Support Group on three acquisitions in the UK.
  • Acted for Alliance Automotive on 13 acquisitions during the year.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 5

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP runs a broad caseload, spread across banking and finance, digital asset, cybercrime, shareholder, contractual, restructuring, insolvency and product liability disputes. Clare Arthurs fronts the team, which has recently litigated in jurisdictions as diverse as India and South America.

Practice head(s):

Clare Arthurs

Other key lawyers:

Richard Marshall; Michael Brown

Testimonials

‘Excellent team, very client friendly and hands on’

‘Really strong team, in particular on cross-border disputes.’

‘Richard Marshall – takes no prisoners, and gets solutions/outcomes for clients.’

‘The PMC team is a highly effective outfit. It acts in high profile, high value cases, often involving very serious allegations of dishonesty and corporate wrongdoing.’

‘Richard Marshall is an exceptional partner. He has a high degree of commercial acumen which makes him a great legal strategist.

‘A solid choice for any party litigating civil fraud matters. The team has unsurpassed legal experience of the germane to the novelty of digital assets.’

‘The amount of work that the associates get through is, even for a commercial firm, truly impressive.’

Key clients

Ortiz-Patino

Podhurst Orseck PA (on behalf of 43 individuals)

Arani and others

Various individuals and corporate entities (SKAT)

Group Action – re Parc Vacances

Police Federation

Plustech Limited

Nicholas Martin

John Crocker

The Consumers Association – Which?

Work highlights

  • Acting on a claim relates to a profit sharing agreement arising from the sale of a world renowned golf course. The client is seeking to enforce his rights for payments due on the sale of the assets.
  • Instructed by Floridian law firm, Podhurst Orseck PA, to represent individuals that survived the highly publicised Chapecoense plane crash and the families and estates of those that did not, in resisting and seeking the quashing of an interim anti-suit injunction obtained in England by broker Aon, and re-insurer Tokio Marine Kiln.
  • Acted for the Consumers’ Association (Which?) on both their Court of Appeal and Supreme Court interventions in the APP fraud case of Philipp v Barclays Bank UK Plc which involves an important point of banking law relating to the scope of a banker’s duty.

Employment > Employers Tier 5

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is known for its representation in board level disputes and high value discrimination claims, as well as providing assistance with the employment aspects of restructurings. The firm is also notable for its specialisms in the sports and technology sectors. Practice head Paul Mander is recommended for restructuring and collective redundancy advice as well as support on contentious dismissals. Sports specialist Andrew Haywood and maritime expert Nick Humphreys are also integral.

Practice head(s):

Paul Mander

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Haywood; Nick Humphreys

Testimonials

‘Great team; well resourced; covers all aspects of employment law’

‘Nick Humphreys – a total guru when it comes to employment law. The person you definitely want in your corner fighting for you.’

‘Nick Humphreys is excellent – he’s very experienced, has great judgment, and always calm under pressure.’

‘Reaching out to our appointed lawyers is akin to catching up with your close friends. There are warm welcomes each and every time we meet and they genuinely wish to help with the right advice and guidance, so we can quickly resolve the matters that we may be facing.’

‘Their knowledge is encyclopaedic and their breadth of experience is no less.’

‘The employment team has a depth and breadth of expertise lending itself to supporting our needs in an agile and efficient way. Work is resourced at the appropriate level and well supervised meaning that excellent value for money is provided.’

‘Paul Mander is extremely available and is always commercial in his advice. He truly understands our business and culture and so can get to grips quickly with any challenge we face and provide a tailored solution.’

‘An outstanding firm. They care for their customers and always provide us with the best solution. My company feels safe with them.’

Key clients

Oversight Board (Facebook/Meta)

Plaid

Weber Shandwick

British Athletics Commission

Brick Kiln Composites Ltd

Gillingham Football Club / Brad Galinson

Playtech plc

Farfetch UK Ltd

Arup

Ocado Central services Ltd trading as Ocado

Amelco

Lanson International UK Limited t/a Lanson Champagne

Cenkos Securities

Bucher Industries AG

John McAslan & Partners

Insurance > Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 5

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP acts for underwriters, protection and indemnity associations and Lloyds syndicates, as well as their policyholders, members and assured businesses and individuals. The team is known for its work in the shipping, tech, aviation and construction sectors. Specialising in marine hull and war claims, Rhys Clift heads up the firm’s London team. Other names of note include the Guildford-based travel head Mark Lee; associate director Louise High for her aviation expertise; Peter Stockill for his contentious capabilities; and Sarah Allan who leads the yacht/superyacht group. Construction insurance expert Chris Bates was promoted to partner in April 2023.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lee; Rhys Clift; Louise High

Other key lawyers:

Peter Stockill; Sarah Allan; John Strange; Chris Bates; Colin Hayes; Lisa Hilary

Testimonials

‘A firm with real knowledge of the superyacht litigation sector’

‘Sarah Allan has a cool head and a great eye for the bigger picture.’

‘The team has extensive experience handling high value and multi-jurisdictional disputes, including with a foreign law element.’

‘A go-to for disputes involving total loss claims arising from marine casualties such as vessel detentions.’

‘Rhys Clift is an excellent factual investigator into the most complex cases and gives careful thought to strategic decisions.’

‘Sarah Allen is a commercially astute litigator with an eye on the objective and the legal issues.’

‘Lisa Hilary is an energetic and diligent litigator.’

‘Peter Stockill is exceptionally clever and picks up issues you wouldn’t even think about.’

Key clients

Swiss RE International, SE

Work highlights

  • Advising Swiss Re International on various high-value claims for alleged losses and detention of aircraft in Russia.

Real estate > Commercial property: development Tier 5

Praised for its ‘commercial and diligent approach’, real estate transactions remain a key component of Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP’s practice. James Nadin oversees the commercial real estate team and advises institutional and private clients on development fundings, in addition to portfolio disposals and acquisitions. James McNeilly is focused on long income real estate, while Alison Lewis is a key contact for on-shore and off-shore private sector developers. Greg Phillips’ notable work highlights include Paddington Square and Liverpool Street developments.

Practice head(s):

James Nadin

Other key lawyers:

James McNeilly; Alison Lewis; Greg Phillips; Louis Manches; Simon Allan; Ben Law; Alex Prew

Testimonials

‘They have a full-service offering and are a national powerhouse. The partners are keen to work alongside in-house counsel and the business collaboratively. They take the time to understand the client’s business.’

‘Alison Lewis has been very easy to work with, she is clear with her advice and uses suitable language for the audience involved. She is also commercial, astute, proactive and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Alex Prew is very responsive and commercially aware of the matters affecting our business. A true collaborator and partner to our business.’

‘PMC are able to quickly form a bespoke team that meets our needs across property, planning, corporate and HR disciplines. The team are responsive and fast to provide their advice.’

‘We always feel that Alex Prew leverages his real estate and development experience to help us find solutions on contractual negotiations.’

‘They have a commercial and diligent approach; Alison Lewis also stands out as someone who can carry out complex large transactions.’

Key clients

Mersey 1 Limited (a joint venture between Sellar Property Group and MTR Corporation)

Great Western Developments

Munroe K

Work highlights

  • Advising Mersey 1 Limited (a joint venture between Sellar Property Group and MTR Corporation) on its proposed redevelopment of Liverpool Street Station and the Andaz Hotel.
  • Advising Great Western Developments Ltd on a Paddington Square development.
  • Advising Munroe K on the continued expansion and development of White Rose Office Park in Leeds.

Real estate > Commercial property: investment Tier 5

Praised for its ‘commercial and diligent approach’, real estate transactions remain a key component of Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP’s practice. James Nadin oversees the commercial real estate team and advises institutional and private clients on development fundings, in addition to portfolio disposals and acquisitions. James McNeilly is focused on long income real estate, while Alison Lewis is a key contact for on-shore and off-shore private sector developers. Greg Phillips’ notable work highlights include Paddington Square and Liverpool Street developments.

Practice head(s):

James Nadin

Other key lawyers:

James McNeilly; Alison Lewis; Greg Phillips; Louis Manches; Simon Allan; Ben Law

Key clients

Mersey 1 Limited (a joint venture between Sellar Property Group and MTR Corporation)

Great Western Developments

Munroe K

Work highlights

  • Advising Mersey 1 Limited (a joint venture between Sellar Property Group and MTR Corporation) on its proposed redevelopment of Liverpool Street Station and the Andaz Hotel.
  • Advising Great Western Developments Ltd on estate management arrangements and the pre-letting of the Paddington Square.
  • Advising Munroe K on the continued expansion and development of White Rose Office Park in Leeds.

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 5

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has been proactive in assisting clients navigate the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, fluctuating material costs, insolvency issues, and the implementation of the Building Safety Act. Peter Stockill, a specialist in advising on live construction projects, uses adjudication to resolve disputes over matters such as interim applications, final accounts, variations, delays, and termination.

Practice head(s):

Peter Stockill

Other key lawyers:

Chris Bates; James Mapley

Testimonials

‘The team are personable and plainly enjoy the job they are doing.’

‘Peter Stockill is a very knowledgeable and experienced litigator, who is not afraid to dive into the detail.’

‘Able to handle complex disputes and achieve outcomes at reasonable costs.’

‘Peter Stockill is an excellent lawyer with an eye for lateral solutions and a strong track record in resolving complex disputes.’

‘Chris Bates is an energetic and able lawyer who has a great track record in resolving complex disputes and is well-liked by clients.’

‘Chris Bates is an outstanding new partner, hard-working, and one of the best I have worked with in this field.’

‘James Mapley is an up-and-coming associate who works very hard and is incredibly diligent in making sure no stone is left unturned and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Peter Stockill is extremely good and is always able to identify what the real issues are and cut through the irrelevant.’

Key clients

Patrizia Hanover Property Unit Trust

L1 Property

Ares Management

Activum SG Capital Management

Espalier Ventures

City & Country

Wooldridge Developments

Hutchison Ports

The Lancaster Landmark Hotel Company

Peabody Trust / Peabody Construction

Poplar Harca Housing

Newlon Housing Trust

Paragon Asra Housing

Clarion Housing

Optivo

Catalyst Housing

AECOM

Ramboll

Zurich Insurance

Beazley Furlonge

Andreas Stihl Limited

Esdevium Games Limited

Signature Care Homes

NL Bushy

Concert Health

Plymouth Community Homes

Work highlights

  • Acted for the owners of a large venture park in a claim against regarding leading technology facility, defending the claim and bringing claims against the project team.
  • Acted for the owners of high rise residential properties with major fire safety and structural defects.
  • Acted for the employer following a flood during construction, assisting it in dealing with the consequences, defending collateral claims for extensions of time and variations.

Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 5

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP offers expertise across multiple sectors, including housing, local authorities, energy, care, and hotels, with notable experience in advising on fire safety issues. Led by Peter Massey, the practice handles various public-private joint ventures, developments, and regeneration schemes, contributing to projects such as waste-to-energy and green infrastructure initiatives.

Practice head(s):

Peter Massey

Other key lawyers:

James Hallas; Mike Newton; Osaruchi Amadi-Echendu

Testimonials

‘Peter Massey and the team are very knowledgeable and seek to find practical and commercial solutions to a problem. They highlight areas that are of concern without burdening you in areas that are of little commercial and financial risk.’

‘Peter Massey leads the team well, is always available to discuss matters and also understands that sometimes a commercial position needs to be taken. I have worked now with Peter on a number of high-value transactions and would recommend him to others.’

Key clients

Treveth Developments LLP

Treveth Commercial LLP

Peabody Trust / Peabody Construction

Patrizia Hanover Property Unit Trust

L1 Property

Ennismore Group

Norlake Hospitality

Hoxton Hotels

Abri Housing Association

Clarion Housing Association

Activum SG Capital Management

Espalier Ventures

City & Country

Wooldridge Developments

Hutchison Ports

The Lancaster Landmark Hotel Company

Poplar Harca Housing

Newlon Housing Trust

Paragon Asra Housing

Clarion Housing

Optivo

Catalyst Housing

AECOM

Ramboll

Zurich Insurance

Ares Management

Aviva Insurance

Beazley Furlonge

Andreas Stihl Limited

Esdevium Games Limited

Signature Care Homes (Signature Senior Lifestyle Developments Ltd)

NL Bushey and NL Properties

Concert Healthcare No 2 Ltd

Plymouth Community Homes

Nazareth Care Charitable Trust

Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing

Greencore Construction Ltd

Gordon Murray

Native

Aytoun Street Developments

Invel Real Estate Partners

Eiffage

Farnborough International Ltd

Parkwood Leisure

Third Space

All Star Lanes

K West Hotel & Spa

Principal Hotels

Great Eagle Group

Gleneagles

Southern Housing Group

Sovereign Housing Association Limited

CBRE UK Affordable Housing Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised on the set-up and delivery of Cornwall Council’s investment and delivery programme through Treveth Holdings LLP and Treveth Developments LLP, including advising on over 12+ active developments.
  • Acting on the forward funding and acquisition of four housing blocks for Paragon Asra Housing Limited in the context of a wider regeneration of a brown field site in South London by a Jersey based trustee funded by L&G.
  • Advising on a complex agreement for lease for Asmodee UK Limited, comprising their head office, storage space and headquarters for their UK operations and acting as their primary distribution centre.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 5

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s practice is active across a wide array of matters in the sector, including on development disputes, telecoms, insolvency and block management work. The team also features a prominent fire safety practice led by ‘exceptional partner’ Ben Robinson, who acts on a number of residential property issues. Department head Donald Lambert is focused on development disputes such as rights of light, forward-funding and conditional sales.

Practice head(s):

Donald Lambert

Other key lawyers:

Ben Robinson; David Masters; Laura West; Sara Stephens

Testimonials

‘Penningtons is amongst the very best of the firms I deal with. They are practical, diligent, thorough and robust in their advice and dealings with other parties – in short, everything clients want in their legal advisors.’

‘Ben Robinson is an exceptional partner with a breadth of knowledge far beyond his specialism. He is sharp, delivers for his clients and is a real pleasure to deal with.’

‘Really down-to-earth and good value while being the top of their game in litigation.’

‘Ben Robinson is outstanding – a real leader and the future of the firm.’

‘Donald Lambert demonstrates his experience by developing effective strategies to achieve his clients’ goals. He is always keeping an eye on the big picture.’

‘The team are always available and even when key people are away, other members of the team are always up-to-speed and able to fill in seamlessly.’

‘Ben Robinson is approachable, knowledgeable and a great people person, who takes you on the journey to enhance your understanding of the issues and challenges. He instills confidence.’

‘Sara Stephens is a talented solicitor. She has a wealth of experience and offers clients practical, commercial advice.’

Key clients

Aviva Investors Ground Rent GP Limited & Aviva Ground Rent Holdco Limited

Monkhill Limited

Munroe K Luxembourg SA

Southern Housing Group

Metropolitan Thames Valley

Sellar Property Group (developers of The Shard)

Peabody Trust

Cross Stone Securities Limited

Rock Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Acting for the respondent in the Supreme Court case of Aviva Investors Ground Rent GP Ltd and another (Respondents) v Williams and others (Appellants), a significant decision for the whole sector which ensures that landlords retain crucial control over discretionary management decisions in respect of residential service charges.
  • Acting for a social housing provider in relation to a project to enter into agreements pursuant to the Electronic Communications Code to provide full fibre connections to the entire portfolio, covering a range of matters including in relation to fire safety, post-installation.
  • Acting in relation to a Rent Review Arbitration on behalf of the landlord worth £2.2m. Arguments before the Arbitrator concern ‘comparables’ permitted under the assumptions set out in the lease.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 5

The ‘knowledgeable’ team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP provides a broad range of trade mark and design protection services, with demonstrable experience in the life sciences sector, notably in relation to technology transfer activities. Practice head Anna Frankum focuses on non-contentious IP matters, namely trade marks and copyright, while Duncan Curley bolsters the team's litigation capability, joining the firm in March 2022 from litigation boutique, Innovate Legal.

Practice head(s):

Anna Frankum

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Curley; Cheng Tan

Testimonials

‘The team are knowledgeable. They adhere to timescales, make themselves available in a timely way and are easy to work with.’

‘Cheng Tan is knowledgeable, provides appropriate advice and explanation in an easy to understand manner.’

‘In-depth knowledge.’

‘Knowledgeable, attention to detail and very personable.’

Key clients

The Fire Fighters Charity

The Institute for Fiscal Studies

The Finzi Trust

The Institute of Psychoanalysis

Roots Reggae Reggae Sauce Ltd and Mr Levi Roots

Tata Ltd

Joseph Giles Ltd

The Alchemist Bar & Restaurant Limited

King’s College London

Andreas Stihl Limited

The Company of Biologists

Koto Card Limited

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Limited

General Healthcare Limited

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Student Crowd Limited

Rezatec Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised The Alchemist Bar & Restaurant Ltd on a worldwide trade mark settlement, arising out of a trade mark infringement in Singapore.
  • Advised the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons on trade mark revocation proceedings, successfully representing them at a hearing at the UKIPO.
  • Advising Roots Reggae Reggae Sauce Ltd on maintaining its US trade mark registrations by submitting evidence of use; also maintaining its other international trade marks including in Australia and Trinidad & Tobago.

Real estate > Commercial property: Birmingham

Real estate > Social housing: tenant

Employment > Pensions (non-contentious)

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP‘s pensions practice was bolstered by the May 2022 addition of practice head Alison Hills from Wedlake Bell LLP, who is particularly experienced with assisting in cross-border pensions issues.

Real estate > Social housing

Hugo Stephens joined Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP in January 2022, bolstering the firm’s practice in social housing; he often works alongside Charlotte D’Avola, who was promoted to partner in April of the same year.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a leading UK and international law firm which provides high-quality legal advice tailored to the needs of both businesses and individuals. It aims to address the specific objectives of each client through its broad market insight and technical expertise, and offers a personal service founded on a strong team ethic and culture.

The firm: Penningtons Manches Cooper’s head office is in the City of London. There are further UK offices in Basingstoke, Birmingham, Cambridge, Guildford, Oxford and Reading while its overseas network stretches from Asia to Europe and beyond through offices in Singapore, Piraeus, Paris and Madrid. Clients range from private individuals and owner-managed businesses to multinational corporations, public companies, universities, professional partnerships, banks and financial institutions.

Types of work undertaken: The firm has established a strong reputation in a variety of sectors, particularly private wealth, shipping, technology and property. It is also recognised for its expertise in life sciences, education,  retail, sports and entertainment and international trade and commodity finance. The main areas of legal services provided are real estate, dispute resolution, corporate and commercial, private client and family. To ensure a seamless service is provided to clients, all Penningtons Manches Cooper’s activities and people are divided into a series of divisions.

Business services: the firm offers expertise in all types of dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration with specialists located in three of the world’s leading arbitration centres of London, Paris and Singapore. It also provides a wealth of expertise in corporate services and corporate finance, MBOs, MBIs, M&A and joint ventures as well as initial public offering and AIM listing. Areas of work include corporate tax, IP, data protection, employment, immigration, banking, financial regulation, restructuring and insolvency, insurance and reinsurance, international arbitration, marine, trade and energy, travel law and reputation management and privacy.

Real estate: the real estate team represents companies, institutions and individuals, both in the UK and overseas, seeking property advice. Solicitors are experienced in dealing with investment sales and purchases, funding agreements, development schemes, portfolio management, landlord and tenant matters, registered social landlords and agricultural investments, as well as smaller commercial property work. Specialist town and country planning, environmental, taxation, real estate litigation and construction law advice is also provided. The residential property team advises on high-value residential property sales and purchases, including French property transactions.

Private individuals: private client services include international tax structuring, personal tax planning, wills, trusts, charities, the administration of estates, and capacity and Court of Protection matters. The family team provides a comprehensive service which incorporates all aspects of family financial work and international family law issues. The firm also has a substantial clinical negligence and personal injury practice which is regarded as one of the leading teams in the South East.

International: Penningtons Manches Cooper has a broad international focus and provides an integrated service for corporates, individuals and their families, wherever they live or do business. Its network of international offices is supplemented by its membership of Multilaw and the European Law Group, associations with representatives in over 100 countries, while many of its lawyers play leading roles in a range of international bodies. The firm is well placed to advise on all aspects of inward investment and offers specialist international maritime, commodities, trading and finance law advice.

Other offices: Basingstoke, Birmingham, Cambridge, Guildford, Oxford, Reading, Madrid, Paris, Piraeus, Singapore

Department Name Email Telephone
Chief executive Helen Drayton
Head of dispute resolution division Franco Bosi
Head of business services division David Kendall
Head of private individuals division Rebecca Dziobon
Head of real estate division Mike Busby
Banking and finance Grant Eldred
Clinical negligence Philippa Luscombe
Clinical negligence Alison Appelboam Meadows
Commercial Anna Frankum
Commercial Chris Shelley
Commercial dispute resolution Clare Arthurs
Construction Peter Stockill
Contentious trusts Michael Cash
Corporate Matthew Martin
Court of Protection Daniel Toop
Education Hilary Aldred
Employment Paul Mander
Energy and offshore George Mingay
Family Anna Worwood
Immigration Pat Saini
Insurance and reinsurance Mark Lee
Intellectual property Anna Frankum
Intellectual property Chris Shelley
International trade Darryl Kennard
International wealth Laura Dadswell
International wealth James Stewart
Life sciences Chris Shelley
Personal injury Philippa Luscombe
Private client Clare Archer
Real estate Mike Busby
Real estate litigation Ben Robinson
Residential property Lee Greaves
Retail Matthew Martin
Shipping Darryl Kennard
Social housing Linda Storey
Tax Stephen Goldstraw
Technology Joanne Vengadesan
Travel Mark Lee
Photo Name Position Profile
Rebecca Andrews-Walker photo Rebecca Andrews-Walker Rebecca is a specialist insolvency partner in the commercial dispute resolution team.…
Will Axtell photo Will Axtell Will is a partner in the corporate team, specialising in M&A, fundraisings,…
Ruth James photo Ruth James Ruth is a partner and trained collaborative lawyer in the family law…
Simon Knott photo Simon Knott Partner in the real estate team. He has considerable experience dealing with…
Jane Mitchell photo Jane Mitchell Head of the family law team in Oxford, specialising in family law,…
John Morrison photo John Morrison Partner in the firm’s real estate litigation team, specialising in disputes affecting…
Kathy Potter photo Kathy Potter Partner in the Oxford office who advises on the tax position for…
Daff Richardson photo Daff Richardson   Daff co-leads the firm’s multi-disciplinary education sector group, and is a…
Christopher Shelley photo Christopher Shelley Partner in the IP and commercial department, specialising in intellectual property and…
Gavin Stenton photo Gavin Stenton Gavin is a dual-qualified solicitor and chartered trade mark attorney, working between…
James Went photo James Went Corporate lawyer specialising in advising life sciences and technology companies. His transactional…
Justin Winterbottom photo Justin Winterbottom Partner in the real estate team specialising in portfolio management and with…
Number of UK partners : 140
Number of other UK fee-earners : 393

At Penningtons Manches Cooper, we believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce generates vitality for our firm and helps to shape individuals’ professional development. We actively endeavour to attract a vibrant and varied workforce from the widest pool of qualified candidates. All job applicants and employees receive equal treatment regardless of age, sex, gender identity, marital status, race, religion, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation or disability.

Our inclusion strategy takes a five-point approach covering recruitment, retention, training, communication, and data analysis. We are committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting equality and diversity in our policies, practices and procedures and in those areas in which we have influence in the wider community. We have a diversity inclusion working group leading and implementing initiatives and addressing issues such as the provision of quality work experience to young individuals from less privileged backgrounds in the UK. We review the impact of our inclusion efforts on a regular basis and complete a full strategic review of our practices, processes, and external partnerships annually.

External partnerships

As a firm, we are committed to widening access to the legal profession and our external partnerships play a key role in this.

Penningtons Manches Cooper is a signatory to the Race Fairness Commitment which mandates the firm to a series of data driven techniques and measures aimed at tackling inequality in the recruitment, progression and retention of talent from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK.

We remain committed to supporting our colleagues’ mental health. Last year, we signed the Mental Health at Work Commitment to help inform our approach and to make our existing targets more ambitious. In line with this, we have refreshed our mental health action plan to adhere to the standards set out in the commitment, focusing on tackling the stigma of talking about mental health, ensuring our culture supports positive mental health and increasing understanding and awareness of mental health throughout the firm.

The firm has also joined the Women in Law Pledge which was launched by the Law Society, in partnership with the Bar Council of England and Wales and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX), to promote gender equality across the profession. The pledge supports our broader gender pay gap action plan.

Internal working groups

We have six employee inclusion networks: Age, Disability and Mental Health, Gender, LGBTQIA+, Race & Faith, Socioeconomic. Our networks are run by employees and supported by partner sponsors. Our networks provide an open forum for employees to share their thoughts and ideas and play a pivotal role in raising awareness and educating the firm on inclusion initiatives.

In addition to our networks, we have 27 Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Ambassadors who are committed to fostering, embedding, and promoting an inclusive culture. They have lived experience in the area in which they are offering support and as such, can provide tailored guidance and a safe space for individuals to share their thoughts and experiences.


CLIENT: Duncan Logan, CEO, RocketSpace
COMPANY/FIRM: Penningtons Manches Cooper
TESTIMONIAL: “London’s tech community continues to expand rapidly and drive innovation. Creating a physical presence here is critical to our expansion strategy and mission to build an ecosystem for innovation to thrive, across a global network of campuses. We are delighted to have worked closely with their inward investment team who provided us with vital legal support for this major business transaction.”


CLIENT: Jan Schnitzer, General counsel, u-blox
COMPANY/FIRM: Penningtons Manches Cooper
TESTIMONIAL: “I have been impressed by their professionalism and attention to detail. Their work has been prompt and delivered on budget, but without sacrificing quality of service. They were able to provide the full range of services that we needed for this complex transaction which demanded not only an ability to work with lawyers in two other jurisdictions, but also to meet the intellectual property challenges of working in the cutting edge area of LTE wireless technology.”


CLIENT: Dr Scott Brown, CEO, Nexeon
COMPANY/FIRM: Penningtons Manches Cooper
TESTIMONIAL: “The Penningtons Manches Cooper team provided a first class service to help us secure this major funding round. We found them to have a good grasp of the legal issues, offering solutions when required, and they were always available and responsive. Members of their team have worked with the company since its incorporation in 2006 which certainly helped us navigate our way through the process.”


CLIENT: Cecilia Emanuelson, Legal Affairs, Inter IKEA Holding Services SA
COMPANY/FIRM: Penningtons Manches Cooper
TESTIMONIAL: “Their team understands the specificities of our company which makes it so much easier to communicate. They always get back to us in a timely manner with advice and know what to look out for on our behalf. We are very impressed with their work as well as the results of a number of trademark infringement cases.”


CLIENT:  Simon Wyatt, Director, Contamac Ltd
COMPANY/FIRM: Penningtons Manches Cooper
TESTIMONIAL: “Our requirement is that our advisers become, in effect, part of our management team, understanding our business, plans and strategy, which we achieve through regular meetings
and communication. In choosing our legal advisers, we needed to be sure they understood our requirements, and had the capability to deal with them. Penningtons Manches Cooper has acted for us over many years, and we have made full use of many of the services they provide, covering commercial agreements, property transactions, IP requirements and employment law. They have never let us down, providing sound, sensible advice in a timely fashion.”


CLIENT: Ralph Dawson, Director, Dawson Walker Communications
COMPANY/FIRM: Penningtons Manches Cooper
TESTIMONIAL: “I have always found their team to be accessible, responsive and professional in the advice and support they provide to my organisation. They take the time to discuss the issues so we have a clear understanding of our position and to explain matters in enough detail for us to be able to make informed decisions on what to us would otherwise often be very complex issues. They are a pleasure to work with.”