Firm Profile > Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP > Oxford, England

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Banking and finance Tier 1

Led by John Chater, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises major banks on lending as well as assisting borrowers in sectors such as real estate and healthcare. The firm sits on the panels of a number of major national and international banks. Chater has broad expertise in advising on both sides of lending transactions, and leads the team from the firm's Thames Valley office. He became a partner in July 2019 and is praised by clients for his 'very precise and efficient approach'.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘In my view the firm is at equal level to the Silver Circle firms but has a more efficient cost structure.’

‘John Chater has a very precise and efficient approach. Although being a relatively young partner he acts with great confidence and takes secure decisions.’

‘The team are always available and respond quickly to any queries. They have regularly gone the extra mile for mutual clients.’

‘John Chater in particular is approachable, incredibly knowledgeable and has a rare ability to take complex legal matters and describe them in a way that can be easily comprehended. His work ethic and willingness to go the extra mile to provide a high level of service and attention to his clients sets him apart from others.’

Key clients


AIB Group (UK)

Svenska Handelsbanken AB

PRS Operations

Bergs Timber AB

Santander UK

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Agricultural Bank of China

Alpha Bank

Bank ABC

Bank of China

Bank of Communication

Banque Cantonale Vaudoise

National Bank of Greece

Piraeus Bank

Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

From its office in Guildford, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises national clients on commercial property matters. The firm is particularly active in advising on matters involving hotels, developments, retail, and promotion agreements. The practice is led by Mike Busby, who has a strong track record in acquisitions, disposals, and portfolio refinancings as well as development work. Tony Burns, Timothy Davies, and associates Graham Dixon and Lyndsey Whittell are also singled out for praise by clients.

Practice head(s):


‘Tony Burns in the commercial real estate department has broad experience of the development world and is backed by a highly efficient team. The same applies to John Chater in Banking.’

‘Mark Pooley is our main contact. Mark is very knowledgeable, but also relaxed and personable making non-legal clients feel at ease and he explains everything clearly for those without the specialist knowledge.’

‘Tim Davies and Graham Dixon are the stand-out folk for us, but we had no hesitation at all in speaking to any of their colleagues.’

‘I have found the key strengths of the individuals in their team that I have worked with are that firstly, they deal with complex matters clearly and positively. Secondly, they have a commercial approach – their work is not just based on legal theory. Third, they make transactions happen whilst still protecting their clients’ best interests. Fourth, they are prepared to go the extra mile without regard to busy schedules and times of day. Finally, it is enjoyable working with them!’

‘I have worked with Mike Busby, Sam Davies and Lyndsey Whittell. Mike Busby holds a very wide knowledge of his field. A great team leader and you know he is always there if needed. Fights for you whilst still being pragmatic. Commercial. Positive. Delivers. An outstanding lawyer both with regard to personality and expertise. Sam Davies is excellent. Great potential. Delivers in time and effort. Total commitment. Thinks in a world that rushes too much. Impressive. One to be watched! Senior associate Lyndsey Whittell is patient and copes well with multiple points from various joint owners and agents on this project. Analyses exceptionally well. Expresses key points clearly. Essential common sense as well as a most capable lawyer. A safe pair of hands.’

‘Sarah Jordan has been exceptional in pulling the transaction together despite a host of several stakeholders making this a complex endeavour.’

‘We have spent a number of years working with solicitors in real estate teams at various legal practices trying to identify someone who was committed to giving clear, concise, efficient and effective guidance. We have been consistently underwhelmed until we used Sam Davies who not only delivered but excelled in all of these key areas.’


Key clients

Eight Bankside Limited

Equinox Living

Flight Centre (UK)

Gentian Property Investments

Marick Real Estate

The trustees of the Tremayne family settlements

Worldwide Estates

Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Offering clients 'workable and cost-effective solutions', Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's Guildford-based team advises on a number of large corporate transactions, as well as reorganisations and joint ventures. They are particularly active in transactions involving international acquisitions of UK companies, especially in the technology sector. The team is led by Simon Bickerdike and also includes David Kendall. The Guildford arm frequently acts alongside Penningtons' offices in Oxford and Reading.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Excellent knowledge of our sector and mastery of the deal. Easy interaction, good availability of partners and team.’

‘The team present workable and cost effective solutions, are persistent and supportive. They understand both the commercial nature of a transaction and the effect on individuals involved.’

Key clients

Gordon Murray Design

DC Studios

Bharat Forge International


Tata Consultancy Services

Bolney Wine Estates

Barfoots of Botley

Elixirr International

Signature Lifestyle

Artemis Ventures

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

The 'outstanding' team Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP acts for both buyers and sellers in mid-market M&A transactions, particularly in the technology and life science sectors. Will Axtell and James Went operate from the Oxford office; the former leads on large technology transactions, while the latter specialises in M&A and venture capital financing. Former partner and emerging tech-specialist Nicola Mcconville  departed for Taylor Vinters  in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


The corporate team at Penningtons is outstanding. They are hugely client-focused, with a real dedication to understanding and working with our business needs. They are always available, provide straightforward and direct advice, and the quality of their work is consistently excellent. We’ve been using this team for 10 years and have been thoroughly happy throughout.’

Our main relationships are with David Tighe and James Went, both of whom are outstanding. We are particularly appreciative of the extent to which they provide direct, clear and understandable responses to our questions: they don’t shy from giving views on complex issues, and their advice is always sensible, well thought out and actionable.’

Calm, dedicated, hardworking and knowledgeable  about the acquisition process, with a willingness to go the extra mile to get the deal done in a fair and diplomatic way.’

Key clients

Halma plc

Business Growth Fund

IRIS Software Group

SQW Group


Oxford University Press


The Electrospinning Company

MoA Technologies


Mirada Medical

Evotec AG


Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Led by Michael Cole, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises clients on both contentious and non-contentious employment matters including representation in employment tribunals, TUPE aspects of transactions, and providing advice on restructurings. The team's client base includes large businesses, SMEs, charities, and UK subsidiaries of overseas companies. Cole is highly experienced in TUPE work, as well as advising directors on termination agreements. In addition to Cole, senior associate Liz Cardy is another key contact and acts in all areas of employment law, as well as providing in-house training to clients.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Someone in the team is always available for a quick, responsive answer to any query.’

Liz Cardy and Mike Cole provide excellent service.’

Key clients

Burhill Golf and Leisure

IPM Facilities

Aernnova Aerospace SA



Blue Oil Energy


BCMS Corporate


Sapienza Consulting

Consult Hyperion

Finance & Leasing Association

Firebird Heating

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

With offices in Oxford and Reading, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP offers comprehensive employment advice to clients from sectors including social housing, education, technology and construction. Daff Richardson co-leads the education sector group and provides guidance on business protection issues, reorganisations, restructurings, and senior executive appointments and departures. Eugene Wojciechowski advises on employment tribunal hearings, including those relating to complex unlawful discrimination and whistleblowing claims. David Bickford, Chris Syder  and Gemma Woodhouse  all joined the team in 2019, having relocated from the Basingstoke office. Senior associate Victoria Spires is a name to note.

Key clients

The AA

Twentieth Century Fox International Ltd

Bouygues UK

One Housing Group

UK Atomic Energy Authority

City and Guilds

Shearman & Sterling UK LLP


Charter Court Financial Services Group plc

Local Pensions Partnership

Link Asset Services

23.5 Degrees Ltd (Starbucks)

Wellington College

Cobalt Telephone Technologies/ Park Now Ltd (trading as Ringo)



Simpson Thacher & Barlett LLP

Rutland (DP) Ltd

Sika Ltd

Farnborough International Ltd (Farnborough Airshow)

Dynniq UK Ltd

Davies Group Ltd

Corel Inc – US parent, Corel UK

Unicarriers UK Ltd

Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA)

Family Assurance Friendly Society Limited (trading as One Family)

CloudFactory UK

Pocket Living Ltd

1-1 Recruitment Ltd

Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP handles family law matters for high-net-worth individuals, including matters involving children. Many of the firm's matters also feature cross-border elements. The practice is led by the experienced and 'stand-out' Veronica Gilmour. Rachel Donald offers particular expertise in pre-nuptial agreements. Associates Laura Hughes, Laura Naser and Lee Henderson are also praised by clients; Hughes is praised for her 'good judgement and practicality', while Naser has 'fantastic client care skills'. Henderson, 'a rising star', has been particularly active in matters involving surrogacy.

Practice head(s):


‘The Guildford family team has gone from strength to strength in a very short number of years. They have a breadth and depth of experience in family law and a range of fee earners to support their clients. They deal with high net worth and complex matters. I think they have a leading dynamic and innovative team.’

‘Veronica Gilmour leads the team. Her years of experience and her delightful manner make dealing with her on a client’s behalf very easy. This assists in bringing about an early resolution to matters. She always thinks outside the box and clearly is held in high regard by her team and other lawyers. Rachel Donald and Laura Naser are forward thinking practitioners and ahead of the curve with social media and particularly Laura’s book publication.’

‘Veronica Gilmour who leads the Guildford office is an exceptional lawyer. A warm and engaging lawyer who keeps her cool under pressure, has trained and continues to lead an excellent team of junior lawyers, and who runs one of the top, if not the top family law practice in Surrey. Every member of the team delivers a superlative service to their clients and from counsel’s perspective, are a delight to work with.’

‘Veronica Gilmour is a stand out partner who deserves recognition for the reasons set out above. Laura Naser is a stand out associate who deserves recognition. She is warm, empathetic and has fantastic client care skills. She has recently won a number of industry awards, has brought family law to Instagram.’

‘Penningtons is one of the most polished, professional solicitors’ firms on the market. Their lawyers have better technical skills and attention to detail than many of their peers.’

‘Laura Hughes is an associate of good judgment and practicality. She is very good tactically and can deftly turn defence into attack. She is also exceptional at detail. It is immensely rare that a solicitor spots a point of detail which is missing from my documents, but she did so in any enforcement case.’

‘Lee Henderson is an obvious rising star, a technological whizz and works brilliantly with counsel. We did a difficult case together  in which many older solicitors would have panicked, but he kept a cool head and navigated some difficult issues in a way which avoided criticism from the court.’

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

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP handles the full spectrum of family and matrimonial law, including children work, dispute resolution and pre/post-nuptial agreements.  Its work includes negotiating financial settlements for married and cohabiting couples, dealing with divorce proceedings and negotiating children’s arrangements. Practice head Jane Mitchell's expertise in  complex financial cases and difficult disputes concerning arrangements for children attracts an international client base. Kerry Fretwell is a trained mediator and has experience of Schedule One applications for unmarried parents. 'Assertive and fearless' associate Bethan Thomas is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


The team provides an excellent service at all levels. They are very well organised and highly focused on client care.

Kerry Fretwell is very good at thinking about what is really going on and is important in a case.

‘Incredibly professional and this is reflected in the polite, helpful and efficient manner of every individual I have had interactions with. Penningtons Manches Cooper is a firm which puts the client at the heart of everything it does, while maintaining its integrity.

‘The intellect and legal knowledge are both stand-out. In Oxford, Jane Mitchell and Ruth James are both impressive brains and have the legal experience to match.

‘The team span a large geographical area, so even though you deal with one branch, you get the expertise of the whole family team. Attention to detail is excellent and good quality work is attracted. The partners and consultants are extremely experienced and train up and coming lawyers very well.

IT and telecoms Tier 1

Data protection specialist Joanne Vengadesan, who leads the IT & telecoms team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, is also co-chair of the data protection committee at international tech law association iTech Law. The wider practice's expertise includes structuring and negotiating transactions, data protection for new technologies, international manufacturing agreements, blockchain and artificial intelligence projects. Oliver Kidd is a specialist in IT, technology and outsourcing while Dan Lovett is renowned for his work in complex data protection matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Joanne Vengadesan is smart, focused, with a wide international background that allows her to liaise and connect easily with clients and peers‘.

The team is well organised and partners are always available and responsive‘.

Penningtons Manches Cooper’s IT and telecoms team has strong industry experience which provides excellent and practical advice‘.

Not only do the firm members have superior technical and legal skills, they offer strategic and practical advice taking into account the business interests of the client. The advice is comprehensive and direct‘.

Key clients

Bluepointlondon Limited

Blue City (UK) Limited

Senseye Limited

IRIS Software Group

TicketSocket Inc

Barfoots of Botley

Finance & Leasing Association

Nihilent Ltd

Tata Advanced Systems

Bharat Forge

Pensions Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's 'pleasant, approachable, informative and friendly' team provides full transactional support to clients from the private wealth, not for profit, public services and education sectors. The firm also handles work for individuals, principally involving pension disputes with their schemes or employers. Maria Riccio  leads the team and is 'knowledgeable and approachable' in advising on defined benefit schemes and contentious pension-related work. Clare Coley specialises in defined contribution and auto-enrolment issues, while Verity Cruse works on documentation  for Pension Protection Fund guarantees and buy ins.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Penningtons are very attentive and give good, concise advice in a timely manner.’

Maria Riccio has provided us with solid, sound advice over the years and she is our “go to” person for advice on all matters.’

They seamlessly achieve and maintain the balance between friendly, informal interaction with us as clients and adhering to the strict, professional and unwavering attention to detail in application and interpretation of the points of law.’

We followed Maria Riccio from her previous firm. Verity Cruse is also knowledgeable and approachable.’

The team are always very professional and have time to explain areas that we are not sure of at the time.’


Key clients

Stafford Grammar School

Trustees of the Hoburne Pension Scheme

Bespoke Pension Trustees

The Police Federation

Trustees of the ELIM Pension Fund

Trustees of the Progressive Media Markets Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Teachers Assurance Pension Scheme

London & Caledonian Trustees

Trustees of the Shaftsbury Estates

Retirement and Death Benefit Scheme

Trustees of the Hovertravel Widows & Widowers Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's 'fantastic' practice is known for handling complex claims across the serious personal injury and clinical negligence space. Led out of Guildford by 'class act' Philippa Luscombe, the team is skilled in birth injuries, surgical issues and delayed diagnosis on the medical negligence front. Alison Johnson deals exclusively with clinical negligence matters and is recommended for her insight on birth injury and oncology. Over in Basingstoke, Alison Appelboam-Meadows has a specialism in obstetric and paediatric negligence, as well as heading up the firm’s cerebral palsy team. Stephanie Code is recommended for fatal claims and inquest work. The core team also comprises  senior associates Emma Beeson and Emma McCheyne. The group is also experienced in product liability matters.


‘Philippa Luscombe heads the personal injury and clinical negligence teams. She is a class act. She is strategic in her thinking about her cases. She handles complex cases of the utmost severity. She is a thinker who sees the problem and thinks through solutions. She ensures her clients are properly advised of the key issues and of their options.’

‘Alison Appelboam Meadows is a senior partner with particular expertise in handling high value cerebral palsy claims. She instil confidence in her team and clients. She is a tour de force.’

This team is excellent. They are exceptionally hard-working. They have detailed knowledge and experience of clinical negligence practice, but they combine this with a friendly and open manner which makes them very easy to deal with. Clients feel they are very well supported.’

Philippa Luscombe is one of the outstanding clin neg solicitors in the country. She manages her team brilliantly and leads by example. The essential quality this team has is that it combines very hard work with excellent client care. They are all very empathetic but understand the complexities and difficulties of litigation and are adept at steering their clients through the stress and strains of protracted legal proceedings.’

There are three star individuals that I would single out: Alison Appelboam Meadows, Alison Johnson and Emma Beeson. Alison Appelboam-Meadows has an encyclopedic knowledge of clinical negligence: she’s creative, tenacious and a delight to work with. Alison Johnson is equally tremendous: great with clients and opponents alike and time and again appears to secure settlements against all expectations. Emma Beeson is very much a rising star: incredibly thorough and she handles a caseload of increasingly high-value cases. First-rate.’

A very impressive outfit.  The team handles a wide range of cases across different medical specialisms and values. There is real strength in depth throughout their team.’

Alison Johnson the compassion and warmth that she conveys to her clients belies the steeliness with which she presses their cases with defendants. She is very thorough and leaves nothing to chance.

Emma Beeson – very impressive for such a relatively junior solicitor. Has been involved in some extremely (medically) sensitive cases with demanding clients and shown herself to be more than capable of dealing with these.

Philippa Luscombe stands out as the most well known and able lawyer in the firm doing clinical negligence and personal injury work. She is very experienced and very capable. Calm, well prepared, considered, intelligent and sympathetic. She is a joy to work with.’

A fantastic, professional team, large enough in the claimant clinical negligence field to have unsurpassed expertise, but small enough to retain the personal touch.’

Philippa Luscombe’s judgement on the tactics and management of cases is exceptional. Emma McCheyne’s attention to detail is second to none. Naomi Holland is excellent with clients. Stephanie Code has a sureness of touch and gets results.’

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

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a strong reputation for handling major projects and complex development contracts for sectors such as rail, housing and renewable energy. Practice head Simon Knott acts for developers and landowners in connection with land assembly for residential and mixed use schemes. Senior associate Laura Gorman leads on complex and high value on transactional work relating to housing and commercial developments, student accommodation schemes and care homes. Justin Winterbottom  arrived from legacy BrookStreet des Roches in April 2019, while former practice head Richard Smith departed in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Justin Winterbottom is approachable and always at hand for any advice needed – nothing is a chore.’

Extremely professional and knowledgeable team. The solicitors are all very personable and approachable for any queries that may arise.’

Key clients

23.5 Degrees (Starbucks)

Beggars Group

Berendsen UK

Coats Group plc

EDF Energy

European Space Agency

Fitness First

Fortitudo Homes Limited

Frontier Estates

Grafton Group

Hitachi Ventara

Lyca Mobile

Orange Business Services

Oxford Brookes University


Portman Burtley Estate

St Peter’s College, Oxford

White Stuff

Employment: Hampshire Tier 2

David Bickford manages Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's employment practice and has wide-ranging experience in all areas of employment law, both contentious and non-contentious. The team advises on various issues, including managing terminations of employment, defending complex employment tribunal claims, outsourcing (including all TUPE issues), employment policies and procedures, as well as restrictive covenants and confidential information.

Practice head(s):

Environment and planning Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's team acts for clients in the engineering, energy, chemical production, manufacturing and waste management sectors.  Water pollution, hazardous waste and landfill are among other areas of specialisation. Richard Smith leads the practice.

Intellectual property Tier 2

Chris Shelley in Oxford and the London-based Anna Frankum oversee the IP offering at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. Respectively known for their work in life sciences and education, they handle a broad range of matters covering patent licensing and passing-off. More broadly, the team handles design and rights issues. On the contentious side, the firm has a strong record of work on cross-border contract disputes. Daniel Berry is known for anti-counterfeiting advice while Joanne Vengadesan is particularly strong in software matters. Holly Strube specialises in brand protection.

Practice head(s):


This is a technical area needing even more specialist advice than other areas of law, and a potential minefield for the uninitiated. I get that advice from Penningtons Manches Cooper‘.

Joanne Vengadesan and I have worked on many different projects over the years. She is an extremely capable, intelligent and warm person and makes you feel valued as a client. She has navigated us through a number of IP related matters in recent times without fault‘.

Key clients

Senseye Limited

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn

Barfoots of Botley

Finance & Leasing Association


All Saints Retail Ltd

CAB International

Compass Box Delicious Whisky Ltd

First Law P.C.

Needle & Thread Design Holdings Ltd

Norbar Torque Tools Ltd

Thames Valley Housing Association Ltd

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP handles estates for clients including ultra high net worth individuals. The estates they advise on often involve complex aspects including international assets and agricultural, commercial and residential property. The team also advises clients on tax and probate matters. The practice is led by Liz Garvey, who is particularly skilled in the challenging areas of family conflicts and cases involving the Court of Protection and vulnerable beneficiaries. The firm has a strong team of associates including Cecelia Ward, Hannah Gearey and Elizabeth Nicholas. Lucy Edwards joined the Guildford office from the London office in November 2019.

Practice head(s):


‘One of the very top out-of-London practices with fantastic breadth and depth of expertise and experience. There is nothing they can’t turn their hands to. They are technically astute, very good at spotting complexities that others might miss, and superb with difficult clients.’

‘Elizabeth Nicholas is one of the most adept and accomplished private client practitioners I work with. I have recommended her countless times on difficult matters requiring sensitivity and responsiveness.’

‘The team are very holistic and have great personal empathy to our vulnerable client group who have had life changing injuries. Law is an area we are becomeing more familiar with but Penningtons are very professional providing human clarity to a difficult subject to both clients and staff.’

‘Hannah Gearey and Liz Garvey have a very effective approach to their work which makes a difference to our client group. What ever the issue we seem to have, there is an expert within the organisation to give clear direction, clarity and efficiency.’

‘They provide a very comprehensive service across the full breadth of private client concerns. If clients need additional support with legal matters outside of this, Penningtons always demonstrate an extremely joined up approach to this.’

‘I work with Lucy Edwards quite frequently. She is thoroughly engaging, professional, polite and hard working, always going the extra mile where necessary.’

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP offers expertise in all matters relating to estate planning, succession, tax and trusts. The team provides 'extremely detailed and knowledgeable advice' to high net worth clients including entrepreneurs, academics and those with established family wealth. 'Exceptionally professional' Caroline Van Zyl leads the practice and advises on all aspects of personal wealth planning. An increasing number of her clients have interests overseas or foreign domicile considerations. Louise Lewis departed to join Freeths LLP  in 2019.

Practice head(s):


‘Happy to explain everything at a level that I could understand and always smart and courteous.’

Caroline was exceptionally professional and fully grasped the complexities of our situation. We were kept informed throughout the process, which proved to be difficult and protracted. Caroline’s warm and friendly approach made a difficult situation more bearable.’

Property litigation Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP undertakes portfolio management issues for commercial property tenants in the leisure, hotel and retail sectors. The team has significant expertise in development work, specifically acting in covenant disputes, easements, adverse possession claims and the associated land registry and tribunal applications. Amy Evans joins the team from Brethertons LLP and has particular experience in dealing with lease extensions and enfranchisement claims. Oxford-based practice head John Morrison's work includes lease renewals, dilapidation claims, service charge disputes, forfeiture issues, possession proceedings and boundary disputes. Donald Lambert leads the firm's national group.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Commercial property team best in class.

Very personable, understand client needs and give very commercial advice.

John Morrison is exceptionally clear thinking and astute. He provides very efficient and timely responses, having analysed quickly and effectively. He distils complex issues into more easily understood concepts. He instils confidence into what can be a worrying area of law. Outstanding!

John Morrison shows genuine empathy and focus on the objective. Always conscious of costs.

Amy Evans gave clear concise advice on the eviction of a residential tenant with long-running debt issues. She deftly guided us through the process and successfully obtained vacant possession of the property.

John is calm, thoughtful and willing to spend time talking through the issues, not purely from a legal perspective. He is well connected and was able to recommend an excellent barrister and surveyor.’

Key clients

Flight Centre

Frontier Estates

Elis UK

White Stuff

Oxford Brookes University

London Development Group

Somerville College, University of Oxford

St Peter’s College, University of Oxford

23.5 Degrees

Public sector Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's standout education practice is known for handling matters for higher education clients including several Russell Group universities. The team's offering covers the full gamut of issues from corporate mandates to litigation, and also assists clients requiring governance and regulatory expertise. Practice head Daff Richardson also has employment law experience and undertakes advisory and data protection mandates.

Practice head(s):


‘It’s key strength is its versatility; a true “one-stop shop”. Unparalleled experience in the field of University disputes. A tireless working ethic.’

‘Hilary Aldred is a tireless worker and versatile expert on employment law and its related aspects, with a particular strength in the Universities sector.’

‘Very strong client focus; extremely hard working and efficient; comprehensive, effective and pragmatic advice covering difficult and complex situations; very approachable; extremely good communication with counsel.’

‘Pragmatic. Down to earth. Focused on their clients interests. Extremely well-organised.’


Key clients

St Mary’s University Twickenham

The Pirbright Institute

Trinity Laban Conservatoire Of Music And Dance

St Peter’s College, Oxford


The Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering

Institute of Leadership and Management

City & Guilds

UK Atomic Energy Authority

The University of Derby


Social housing Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP supports more than 70 housing providers in the social housing sector. The team is well known for its large home ownership practice, while the social housing securitisation team provides a comprehensive service in respect of securing loans, bond issues and private placements. Linda Storey leads the social housing team and has over 20 years' experience advising housing providers on acquisitions, disposals, associated planning agreements, home ownership transactions and lease extensions. Senior associate Charlotte D’Avola, who leads the social housing securitisation and portfolio team, specialises in large scale securitisation transactions and a variety of portfolio asset management and commercial property matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Pennington Manches Cooper is one of our go-to firms on the legal framework we use. The service provided from the outset is always within the timeframes we set and the advice we receive is clear; they manage our transactions really well.

Linda Storey gives sound advice and is proactive in finding solutions. She leads a great team.

Great knowledge base and always able to provide a full, detailed and – most importantly – relevant response to anything that may arise.

Charlotte D’Avola stands out as being willing to help on many different fronts – she has an encyclopaedic knowledge that has come in use several times.

Key clients

Accent Group

Advance Housing & Support

Arhag Housing Association

Bournemouth Council


Bromford Housing Group


Citystyle Living

Coastline Housing

Flagship Housing Group

Heylo Housing

Hightown Housing

Inquilab Housing Association

Local Space

London and Quadrant Housing Group

Metropolitan Thames Valley

Newlon Housing Trust


One Housing Group

Paragon Asra Housing


Phoenix Community Housing


Richmond Housing Partnership

Sage Housing


Saxon Weald

Southern Housing Group

Sovereign Housing Association

VIVID Housing

Wandle Housing Association

White Horse Housing Association

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

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP  conducts large-scale complex litigation for business clients from industries including energy, retail and financial . The Oxford team is part of a wider national commercial dispute resolution practice led by Rustam Dubash from London.   Former Oxford practice head Julie Bond, who is now a consultant, has particular expertise in regulatory compliance and corporate governance issues. Emma Davies advises on financial litigation including derivatives claims and data protection matters. Senior associate Ed Weightman specialises in energy regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


The team at Pennington Manches Cooper LLP understood my issues swiftly and provided advice and backup promptly.

Emma Davies and James Groves were experienced and very helpful whilst being pragmatic.’

Knowledgeable and organised in their approach to the legal research.’

Ed Weightman was very responsive.’

Key clients

Citizens Advice

Munroe K Ltd and Munroe K Luxembourg SA

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

The contentious trust and probate team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP  is known for advising charities, executors, and trustees on complex multi-jurisdictional matters, such as contenting wills and trusts, international trusts and estates, and breach of trust claims. The practice is led by Michael Cash, who divides his time between the firm's Basingstoke and London offices, working with Henrietta Mason.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘My lawyer was very clear from the beginning about the potential weakness of my legal position. She gave clear advice and managed phonecalls well, and produced clear and accurate correspondence. She avoided criticising my previous lawyers, although she did indicate what she would have done differently while also being clear about what she thought that they had got right. My only regret is that I was not with her from the beginning. I would definitely recommend Penningtons.’

‘Michael Cash is a star in the area. He has decades of experience and brings a calm approach to the most difficult of circumstances. Despite a heavy work load, he is responsive, helpful and totally charming.’

‘Jack Bailey is a rising star, rightly promoted very recently to senior associate. He has a commendable ability to juggle multiple balls without showing any strain. He fights for his clients like a lion.’

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has recently seen significant growth in cross-border work, with a growing number of transactions involving the US, India, China and Germany. The group regularly acts for high net worth entrepreneurs, owner managed businesses, investors and publicly listed companies with a focus on the tech, real estate, private wealth and retail sectors. During Seb Orton joined the practice from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP; he has significant experience advising both private and public companies as well as financial institutions on IPOs, secondary fundraisings, M&A, including public company takeovers, and corporate governance issues. Department head Matthew Martin is an expert in acquisition finance, restructuring and refinancing, acting for a wide range of quoted and unquoted mid-cap companies. Ross McNaughton is another name to note within the practice.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Onward Luxury Group SpA

Netalogue Technologies Plc

All Saints Retail Limited

Needle & Thread Design Holdings Limited

Doree Bonner Holdings Limited

Jacobs UK Limited

Tough Mudder UK Limited

Banking and finance Tier 2

The Cambridge office of Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP plays a key part in the firm-wide banking and finance practice that not only advises some of the world's most active lending banks, but also has a large roster of large corporate borrowers in the healthcare, real estate, retail, education, construction and social housing sectors. The practice led by Helen Drayton, who handles acquisition finance, bi-lateral lending and development finance, works with the London office to assist banks and investors outside of the EEA to enter the UK.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

AIB Group (UK) plc

Link ASI Limited

Blighter Surveillance Systems Limited

Biotechnology Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a cross-office biotechnology practice with a significant presence in Cambridge, where commercial IP specialist Rachel Bradley is the lead partner. Her in-house experience at a large pharmaceutical company is a major advantage in the firm's work on commercial agreements for biotechnology companies, which includes complex collaboration agreements. The firm frequently acts for  funders and universities in spinouts from academic research groups. Employment partner Hilary Aldred and corporate partner Ross McNaughton, who works in Cambridge and San Francisco, also play key roles.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


The team did all it could to make the transaction go as smoothly and as quickly as possible. In addition, they were able to recommend other specialists to us and invited us to a useful meeting to investigate setting up in the US. All useful for a fast growing SME.

Rachel Bradley was very helpful and attentive and ensured her team met our needs. She also recommended other specialists to us and linked us up with the team at the JP Morgan Conference in San Francisco, which was very useful.

Key clients

The Company of Biologists Limited

Cytocell Limited

Wren Therapeutics Limited

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

Eternans Limited

Metrion Biosciences

Abcam PLC

King’s Commercialisation Institute

Atopix Therapeutics

Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP 'has good depth of experience in commercial litigation, and provides advice that is both practically and commercially sound, while being highly effective'. The team's scope of work covers general commercial litigation, international litigation and arbitration, and group action litigation. Other litigation areas include banking and finance disputes, reputation management, cybercrime, product liability, energy, HNW disputes, and IP and IT; and the practice's international work involves diverse jurisdictions, such as India and South America. Commercial dispute resolution head Rustam Dubash also heads the India group; David Niven and David O’Brien co-head the professional negligence and group action practices; Alex Fox leads the business and finance disputes team; while Richard Marshall is international litigation head. Also highly rated are IP and IT disputes head, Phillip D’Costa  and regulatory head John DohertyMichael Brown joined as a partner from Bird & Bird LLP in 2019, and consultant Noel McMichael and senior associate Charlotte Hill are also experienced practitioners.

Practice head(s):


‘David Niven: commercially savvy; aggressive when he need to be; fearless in defending and advancing clients’ interests. David O’Brien: one of the brightest and most astute litigators in the market. Phenomenally clever, hard-working and insightful. Jenna Coad: efficient, easy to deal with and never misses a beat.’

‘The team has a good depth of experience in a range of commercial litigation. They provide advice that is both practically and commercially sound, whilst being highly effective. Also, with clients located in certain geographical areas (in particularly India) this firm has particular expertise and contacts, which gives such clients a distinct advantage over the competition.’

‘Phillip D’Costa is a particularly astute tactician. He has many years of experience of commercial litigation and provides legal advice which based on my personal experience is both practical and commercially sound. Clients appear to have confidence in his ability to deliver results and he motivates clients well and keeps them focussed on the important points. He has particular expertise and understanding of the Indian legal system and has a loyal (and substantial) following of clients from India.’

Key clients

Over 400 investors in failed property schemes

Cyrpus-based family office

Mestec Limited

Vance Locking

Scarborough Group Developments Limited (and 53 others)

Three high net worth individual directors

Shannon Construction Limited

Commodities disputes Tier 2

Formed in 2019 through the merger of Penningtons Manches and shipping and trade specialist Thomas Cooper, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has built an international trade and commodities group that acts for clients across the supply chain including producers, trading companies, banks and end users. It remains heavily involved in matters under the rules of the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA), the Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations (FOSFA), the Sugar Association of London, the Refined Sugar Association (RSA) and the British Coffee Association. Practice heads George Mingay (who has 'a level-headed approach to litigation and arbitration') and Mark Sachs, along with key partner Lisa Hillary, work closely with the firm's shipping and trade finance groups, as well as specialists in the firm's offices in Singapore, Paris and Madrid. Their work covers soft commodities, metals, mining and oil and gas matters, with Mingay particularly prominent in sugar disputes.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘I have worked primarily with partner George Mingay at Penningtons, formerly Thomas Cooper. He works in a number of different commodity sectors including sugar, grains and metals and is an excellent analytical lawyer who approaches all his cases with his clients’ commercial objectives firmly at the forefront of his mind. His hard work and level-headed approach to litigation and arbitration leads to great results.’

‘The team is very ready to roll up their sleeves and get into the detail. It is adept at handling technically complex problems and developing pragmatic solutions. It has a very thorough understanding of the commodities business.’

‘George Mingay is an excellent lawyer – technically adept and always pragmatic.’

‘From our experience working with Penningtons, they have always been readily available, extremely knowledgeable about the matters at hand and have anticipated issues excellently. The guidance and expert opinion we have received has always meant we have felt comfortable that we are in safe hands.’

‘We have worked predominately with George Mingay on a recent matter. George has always been fully engaged, always available and anticipated issues excellently, as well as clearly being extremely knowledgeable in all matters of the process. George is excellent at explaining detailed legal process in a very accessible way.’

Key clients

Czarnikow Group Limited

British Coffee Association

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP acts for high-net-worth individuals, families, trusts and estates and the majority of its work has an international component. Practice head Michael Cash is adept at advising on domestic and international trust and estate litigation such as breach of trust claims and claims under the Inheritance Act 1975. Henrietta Mason is another noted name in the market for her work with UK and overseas individuals and charity clients. Sarah Lee has advised on the interaction between estate law and human rights claims, as well as issues under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 where money in trusts and estates is linked to criminality.

Practice head(s):


Michael Cash is a giant of the contentious private client world. His experience and calm approach are deeply impressive, the service he offers clients is superb and he is a delight to work with

Henrietta Mason is excellent legally and technically and has fantastic client skills

Henrietta Mason is constantly seeking to find a solution

‘It has a country-wide presence, but still gives a bespoke service. Sarah Lee is a very bright and tenacious litigator. She intelligently plays to the strengths of the client’s case, while fully alive to any weaknesses

‘Great team, knowledgeable, true specialists, great work’

‘Michael Cash and Sarah Lee are both excellent. Both are very approachable and collaborative to work with

‘Jack Bailey is an up-and-coming associate with a bright future. He fights hard for his clients and is gaining a well-deserved reputation for his tenacious but realistic approach to trust litigation’

‘Ruth Giddings is a junior associate who has recently joined the team and has already made herself invaluable in a lot of trust litigation

The defining feature of the PMC contentious trusts and probate practice is its user-friendliness. PMC take great pains to ensure that the client is kept informed at all stages, and the lawyers are experts at navigating the client through what even to fellow lawyers might appear to be a highly complex process. Mike Cash leads the team to great effect. A disarmingly understated exterior conceals a first-class tactical brain, and an ability to cut through the undergrowth to identify the key issues

Michael Cash is an exceptionally calm and thoughtful litigator. He is ably supported by Jack Bailey, who manages efficiently to process the inevitably large amounts of paper involved in a case, and demonstrates a clear understanding of the key features of the case

Key clients

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

Patrik Schumacher

Penntrust (Farrell)

Savernake estate

Morigi Family

Corporate and commercial: Cambridge Tier 2

The corporate practice at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is led from Guildford and London, but the Cambridge office plays a key role in the firm's national offering. Helen Drayton handles all aspects of company law, including mergers and acquisitions, and has a particular focus on MBOs and acquisitions for owner-managed businesses.

Practice head(s):


A very responsive and personal service, with excellent communication skills.

The service received was excellent, during three transactions handled over the past 18 months. Helen Drayton in particular was superb throughout all dealings.

Key clients

Cambridge Innovation Capital

Vindis Group

Wren Therapeutics

Oppilan Pharma

Topia Limited

Iliffe Media Publishing

Blighter Surveillance Systems

Friar’s Pride

Cambridge Commodities

Kinphire/ eReceipts

Court of protection Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP frequently acts as a professional deputy or trustee for individuals who are in receipt of an award due to personal injury or clinical negligence. The team led by Julie Burton acts for children and adults with acquired brain injuries and other injuries across the UK and internationally. It also manages the estates of a number of elderly clients. PennTrust Ltd, the firm's trust corporation, is on the Court of Protection deputyship panel and the brain injury group specialist panel for Court of Protection practitioners. The team recently welcomed Grace Serwanga to its ranks from Simpson Millar LLP and Daniel Toop was promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):


This team is always superb when it comes to representing brain injured people – just outstanding

Julie Burton wears her wealth of experience lightly; always appears friendly and approachable with clients; and, importantly, manages to take clients with her, even in situations where she is having to give them advice they do not want to hear. Daniel Toop, now himself recently made up as a partner, is very much in Julie’s mould and definitely one to watch for the future

‘A strong COP team that is highly regarded in COP circles and does high-profile work. Led by Julie Burton with a wealth of experience’

Julie Burton is calm and extremely knowledgeable and is able to make quick, common-sense decisions based on her years of experience and background in private client law. Danny Toop is also very knowledgeable’

Julie Burton is very experienced and deals with the most complex of matters. Daniel Toop has now been made partner after specialising in this field for a long period of time. He’s excellent at balancing the client’s needs with what the finances will allow to be achieved. A lot of fellow practitioners would do well to follow his lead’

This is a brilliant team led by Julie Burton. The lawyers are so committed to clients in terms of the support that they provide during litigation and after. I am confident that they will do what is best

The team is very responsive, proactive and engaged. The lawyers are very approachable and I deal with Julie and her team almost exclusively because they are so brilliant. Julie is so knowledgeable and has huge experience. She is also incredibly down to earth and approachable; her ability to explain and talk through the issues is unrivalled. She is very practical’

‘I am delighted that Daniel Toop has been made partner. He has absorbed Julie’s knowledge and commitment to clients. I am very impressed with him. Rachel Taylor is a senior associate in the team.  She is fantastic – very proactive, practical and approachable. She is brilliant

Employee/unions Tier 2

Paul Mander heads the employment team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. The growing team has extensive experience in advising on industrial actions and trade union law and regularly acts on group claims and precedent setting claims, while the firm's defamation and privacy lawyers take action on behalf of member organisations and their members who are subject to defamatory allegations. The 'calm and supportive' Binder Bansel and 'tactically astute' Anthea Christie represent trade unions, staff associations and individual clients on issues covering trade union law, industrial disputes, collective bargaining, staff associations and member claims, with significant experience and expertise in industrial action claims, large group actions, discrimination and whistleblowing claims. The team has a multidisciplinary approach and can advise on employers, employees as well as act in cases of unionised workplaces. The firm's recent merger with Thomas Cooper LLP saw industrial relations expert Nick Humphreys join the team.

Practice head(s):


‘This practice has significant experience in numerous areas of litigation which is of considerable help when dealing with highly complex matters. They are very quick to respond to urgent requests for advice and assistance and go the extra mile in the service they provide.’

‘The individuals who work for Penningtons are very experienced especially the partners of the firm. They are very open and honest with their advice regarding matters you speak to them about. They are very professional and very approachable. ‘

‘Binder Bansel has great empathy and understanding. Never flustered. Always available and readily replies to enquires. A true professional who really cares for his clients. Ensures you are informed and updated. Has a calm and supportive manner. He is honest and a man of stature.’

‘Anthea Christie has an awesome ability to quickly to master the detail of cases and to identify points of difficulty both in relation  to the law and tactics.’

‘Binder Bansel has extremely impressive knowledge across a range of subject areas, combined with excellent client care skills and strong strategic sense. ‘

They show great empathy and understanding. They provide reassurance without over-promising. There is always a point of contact when the main solicitor is away or unavailable. Keep you up to date and informed. Well prepared and knowledgeable. Make you feel valued and cared for.

‘Expert litigators. Leading specialists in the law relating to police organisation and terms and conditions. Able with ease to manage the interface between public law and employment issues.’

Key clients

Police Federation of England & Wales

Communication Workers Union (CWU)

Civil Nuclear Police Federation

United Road Transport Union

First Division Association

Superintendents Association

Association of Schools & College Leaders

National Association of Schoolmasters & Union of Women Teachers

Employment Tier 2

'The team stands out for its creativity in tackling legal problems, its organisation and its responsiveness,' says counsel of the practice at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP in Cambridge. The firm focuses on the technology, charities and education sectors. It advises both employers and employees in boardroom disputes, and counts multinational businesses among its clients. Practice head Hilary Aldred is the regional member of a 13-partner practice across the firm's office network. She has more than 20 years' experience in contentious matters and advisory work. Senior associate Sophie Whitbread is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Hilary Aldred gives excellent practical advice and always gives the impression she is on top of all the issues, both legal and practical, and is considering them all in her advice.

The team stands out for its creativity in tackling legal problems, its organisation and its responsiveness. The team is an absolute pleasure to work with, and it is one of the best firms to receive instructions from.

Sophie Whitbread is highly meticulous, a fantastic lawyer and a tenacious litigator. She goes the extra mile for her clients, and is a dream instructing solicitor.

Hilary Aldred is a brilliant lawyer, highly knowledgeable and someone you would want fighting your corner.

Partners are generally responsive to timelines and make the effort to be available at short notice.’

The firm provides really high-quality work. The witness statements, for example, are far more thorough and better drafted than many comparable firms.

They give very good advice. The firm’s solicitors understand the nuances of the law well.

Sophie Whitbread instructs me as counsel. If I were a client, she is the solicitor I would want representing me.

Sophie Whitbread is an excellent technical lawyer. She is very bright, which is important in Employment Tribunal cases. They often include a complicated matrix of facts. In order to give good advice you don’t just need to understand the law. You need to have mastery of what is often a very complicated chronology in order to properly assess the various variables and risk factors in any given case.

Sophie Whitbread’s work is of very high quality. Her pleadings are good. Her witness statements are excellent – clear and detailed. She really adds value for the client.

A highly professional business offering constructive advice and being able to deliver on service and outcome. Very focused on delivering a high level of client service.

Most of my dealings were with Sophie Whitbread. Sophie took time to understand my requirements and represented my interests in what was a challenging and time-sensitive negotiation. The opposing lawyers employed various bullying tactics but Sophie and her team stood their ground and refused to allow such tactics. Sophie responded efficiently and quickly on all matters and provided me with all-round strong sensible advice to achieve the best outcome.

Sophie Whitbread made herself available out of hours as well to enable negotiations to be concluded. Her documentation and advice were clear and easy to understand.

I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Sophie Whitbread and her team to others – she was outstanding.

They offer very practical, usable advice. Instead of just explaining the technical, legal position, which they do well, they provide the advice in context and apply it to the situation at hand and are not afraid to give definitive advice rather than just a range of options.

I like working with Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP because they are very pragmatic and find solutions that work best for both the employer and employee.

The employment team offers an exceptional level of personal service, recognising each other’s areas of strength and collaborating accordingly. They understand our business environment and it feels like they are an integral part of the management team, when called upon. Their communication with the client, speed of response and management of deadlines is excellent.

Hilary Aldred has an unrivalled understanding of the university and collegiate environment and the complex employment challenges this brings. She is able to advise in a flexible way and tailors her advice to the audience as needed.

Sophie Whitbread has the personal touch. Her style of working is truly a business partnership and she provides very clear, pragmatic advice on all matters of employment.

Key clients

Abcam Plc

Ocado Central Services Limited trading as Ocado

Cambridge University

Carl Zeiss Microscopy Limited

Darwin College

Fitzwilliam College

BidX1 Limited

Vix Technology Limited

Ubisense Limited

Lanson International UK Limited trading as Lanson Champagne

Family Tier 2

With Jane Craig and James Stewart at the helm, the team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is highly recommended for its expertise in complex and high-value financial cases, both nationally and internationally. It is experienced in advising on marital agreements and financial claims following an overseas divorce, as well as advising trustees, family offices and other third parties on financial remedy matters. Another area of expertise is the international relocation of children, including applications for the return of children under the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. In addition, its ‘modern families’ unit has seen an increase in instructions relating to surrogacy, legal issues surrounding assisted reproduction techniques and LGBTQ+ families. The team was strengthened by the arrival of  Amanda Andrews from Winckworth Sherwood LLP in April 2020.

Practice head(s):


The family law team sets a class act to follow. The firm achieves quite successfully a corporate outlook whilst delivering an incredibly personal service

Anna Worwood goes from strength to strength and is a class operator. She brings a calm and astute perspective to cases; her clients love her and one can see why. She is measured and supportive and I believe that the client understands that she will always do everything that is right and possible as their lawyer and do it well’

Jane Craig always impresses: she has undoubted legal and tactical intelligence but also emotional intelligence.’

Linzi Bull is a legal superstar. She is at the cutting edge of interesting family law work, as her cases often involve complex jurisdictional issues (both in matrimonial finance and in private law children work). She is an expert in fertility and surrogacy matters’

‘Tammy Knox is able to develop a rapport with clients in a very easy manner. She is strategic in her legal planning, which has a positive outcome to her cases.’

‘Ed Floyd is one of the most impressive rising stars of the younger breed of family law practitioners. A real fighter and an excellent tactician

Matilda Kingham gets the work done in a quiet, efficient manner.  Her memory recall is impressive. She is calm and totally dedicated to her client

Intellectual property Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a strong commercial IP and life sciences practice in Cambridge. Partner Rachel Bradley is co-head of the practice, which is also led from the firm's Oxford and London offices. Bradley has specific experience in the life sciences sector, though her broad experience includes the technology sectors and publishing sectors, and she is frequently seconded to a not-for-profit scientific publishing organisation. Associate Natasha Bowyer Irvine joined from Taylor Vinters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


I have a good impression of the firm. I believe it has done a good job for us. The firm has been a good fit for us – they are reasonably priced, very knowledgeable in the areas we need help and are sufficiently flexible to work around our own weaknesses.

Rachel Bradley has produced good work, mostly on time. I don’t think we are the easiest client and on the modest evidence I have, she handles us well. Rachel is quite obviously trying to build a solid relationship with us and I think she is going about this in a natural and unforced way. She communicates well and strikes the right tone, not overly formal or stuffy, but very professional.

Rachel Bradley is straightforward about what she can deliver, for what price and when and has almost always stuck to that. I believe she works very hard and I trust her.’

Rachel Bradley explains things well and asks the right questions. She communicates clearly by email and on the phone and delivers on promises. She is personable and patient.

The work Victoria Wright produced for us has been of high quality.

Key clients

The Company of Biologists Limited

Cytocell Limited

Wren Therapeutics Limited

Dementia UK

Cambridge Commodities

Scarab Solutions Ltd

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

Chalante Ltd

Panacea Charitable Trust

Eternans Limited

Genestack Limited

Property litigation Tier 2

The Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP office in Cambridge is central to the firm's national property litigation practice, which is led from London. Senior associate and practice head Andrea Nicholls, who works closely with real estate partner Sarah Coates, handles an extensive range of disputes, including those relating to agricultural and rural property, freehold matters, rights of way, restrictive covenants, overage agreements and options. She also has experience in commercial leasehold disputes, forfeiture and rent arrears cases.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Senior executives Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a strong reputation for its board-level work, such as restructuring, redundancies, whistleblowing and senior management dismissals and disputes. Team head Paul Mander regularly acts for both employers and senior executives, managing a number of the firm's long-term client relationships, while other notable team members include Tom Walker, an expert in handling board-level disputes and crisis management, and Andrew Haywood, known for his expertise in post-termination restrictions and injunctive relief work, for both employers and senior executives. The June 2019 merger of Penningtons Manches and Thomas Cooper strengthened the team with the addition of Nick Humphreys, who brought expertise and clients from the shipping sector, as well as a strong sports practice.

Practice head(s):


‘Professionalism, dedication and good advice, coupled with their commitment to their clients. This helped to resolve a difficult situation that I was in, in my favour.’

‘When any long term relationship breaks down including in a work setting, having someone on your side to navigate you through the process and help to remove the emotion of the situation is invaluable. This is what I got from Penningtons and in particular from Andrew Haywood. I would highly recommend him to anyone going through a complicated and challenging employment issue.’

‘Andrew Haywood offers excellent support in a practical, very human way. He does what few lawyers take sufficient time to do today: deeply understanding your needs. This sets him apart in delivery terms, cutting through the noise. He invests in relationships, cares about his clients, and operates with integrity.’

‘First rate team of employment solicitors. Real experts in the area, very responsive.’

‘Nick Humphreys is a really excellent partner. He is without doubt who I would choose in the event of an employment dispute. Fights the client’s corner very hard. Tactically astute and very knowledgeable in the area. He gets on brilliantly with clients too, who really enjoy working with him. Highly recommended.’

‘Paul Mander is as astute as he is outcomes-driven. His eye remains firmly fixed on winning at proper cost to the client.’

‘Andrew Haywood is a partner who drives his teams to win with the focus on delivering the result that the client needs. He is charming but driven.’

‘It’s a small team but has a significant amount of expertise particularly when it comes to advising senior executives and especially in respect of complex whistleblowing claims.

‘Tom Walker is really clever and offers great tactical advice.’


Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 3

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP fields a team of 'clinical negligence specialists' who 'are not afraid to take on the most complex and challenging cases', including cerebral palsy, spinal injury, complications arising from cardiac surgery, and delayed diagnoses of strokes. According to one client, practice head John Kyriacou is 'very brave with cases and gets results'. He is supported by associates Sarah Hibberd, who has a particular interest in claims involving an element of psychological injury, and Rosie Nelson, who has a key focus on orthopaedic injuries.

Practice head(s):


John Kyriacou runs an excellent small team of clinical negligence specialists who do a great job for clients and have an interesting mix of cases.

They are a very strong team with real in-depth knowledge and are not afraid to take on the most complex and challenging cases.

John Kyriacou is very brave with cases and gets results.

Commercial property: Cambridge Tier 3

At Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, the Cambridge real estate practice acts for global banks, developers, housing associations, science parks, colleges and wealthy families. It handles property finance transactions for both lenders and borrowers. Lead partner Sarah Coates is best known for the acquisition and set-up of residential development sites. Social housing partner Mark Sellers, working from both London and Cambridge, assists registered providers with acquisitions, option agreements and golden brick transactions. Senior associate Giorgia Clements handles investment purchases, and landlord and tenant matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

This Land Limited

Vindis Group

Friar’s Pride

Cytocell Limited


Max Barney Estate

Blues Property Limited

Cambridge Commodities Limited

Despatch4U Limited

Newbury News Limited

Education: institutions Tier 3

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a well-known name among universities, for whom it handles banking and finance, dispute resolution and employment law work. Led by the 'outstanding' Daff Richardson in Oxford, the practice has a niche reputational management sub-group, which assists clients with student-related issues and social media matters. In Cambridge, Hilary Aldred is a go-to for advice on contentious and non-contentious employment issues. Also recommended are immigration head Pat Saini and Hazar El-Chamaa, who advise London-based universities on student visa matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Pennington Manches have a large team of employment lawyers with Higher Education expertise who sit across their various offices.’

‘Daff Richardson has outstanding expertise across employment law and education law, and is well placed to advise Universities and others on cross-over issues. Sophie Whitbread has similarly broad expertise, and is similarly well placed.’

Key clients

King’s College, London

UCL Business PLC

Florida State University

City & Guilds London Institute

University of Surrey

University of Derby

University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate


Stanford University

ICMP Management Limited

St Mary’s University, Twickenham

Christ Church, Oxford

Personal injury: claimant Tier 3

A significant proportion of Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's personal injury instructions come from the Police Federation, and Tristan Hallam in particular has 'huge experience handling claims on behalf of police officers'. Hallam leads the team jointly with 'star performerWarren Collins, the latter of whom is known for representing catastrophically injured claimants from both the UK and US. The firm also takes on traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, orthopaedic injuries, loss of limb cases, fatal accident claims and psychiatric injuries, and is focused on ensuring prompt rehabilitation for clients.

Practice head(s):


‘The team has some exceptional individual practitioners, which enables them to compete with larger personal injury specialist firms.’

‘Warren Collins is a star performer whose ability to think out of the box is second to none.’

‘This team deals flawlessly with the most catastrophic claims.’

‘Tristan Hallam is one of London’s leading personal injury lawyers and has huge experience handling claims on behalf of police officers in particular.’


Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

The 'excellent' Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has strong international capabilities and routinely advises UK resident and non-resident, non-domiciled individuals, international families, trustees, private banks, family offices and business owners around the world. Team head Clare Archer has a focus on advising landed and business families, and assists clients with generational planning and governance matters. Ryan Myint is adept at advising on multi-jurisdictional planning issues such as cross-border tax reporting, disclosure and transparency matters. Senior associate Tristan Smale joined from TLT in June 2020.

Practice head(s):


James d’Aquino is an excellent lawyer with a sharp commercial edge. He is a mine of information and practical experience in international tax planning

This is an excellent firm, with top legal advice provided at a fraction of the price of its competitors’

Lucy Edwards is an outstanding solicitor who has worked closely with a number of my UHNW and HNW clients and has received stellar feedback on a consistent basis

‘A longstanding presence in the field with significant prowess in advising on dynastic assets in a modern and international setting

Laura Dadswell is the shining star in the private client team. She is responsive and communicates in a clear and decisive way’

Public sector Tier 3

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has deep experience and an increasingly national profile for advising Higher Education clients. It counts many colleges of Cambridge and Oxford Universities among its clients, as well as many other universities. The practice is spread across the firm's offices, but Cambridge is home to practice co-head and employment law specialist Hilary Aldred who handles both contentious matters and advisory work, which includes advice on regulatory matters. She frequently advises universities seeking to establish themselves in the UK.

Practice head(s):


Its key strength is its versatility; a true “one-stop shop”. Unparalleled experience in the field of University disputes. A tireless working ethic.

Hilary Aldred is a tireless worker and versatile expert on employment law and its related aspects, with a particular strength in the Universities sector.

The firm has a very strong client focus. It is extremely hard working and efficient, providing comprehensive, effective and pragmatic advice covering difficult and complex situations. It is very approachable and there is extremely good communication with counsel. Hilary Aldred stands out for all of these qualities.

Key clients

Florida State University

UCL Business Plc

Fitzwilliam College


ICMP Management Limited

Christ Church

King’s College London

Reputation management Tier 3

Housed within the commercial dispute resolution department, the reputation management offering at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP covers defamation and misuse of private information advice. The team is often called in to assist other departments, such as family law, employment, private client and charities, handle highly sensitive cases in which reputational and privacy issues are likely to arise. Crisis management around sexual harassment allegations and data protection incidents are making up an increasing amount of the team's workload.  Jeremy Clarke-Williams is a solid performer in high profile libel cases; he is often instructed by corporate clients both as claimants and defendants. Adele Ashton assists clients with issues prior to publication, as well as in litigation arising from breach of privacy rights.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Good competences and spread in the handling of cases.’

‘Each individual carefully points out the pros and cons of each option, resulting in the client gaining  solid basic legal advice to choose how to proceed. All members of the team are highly responsive.’

Shipping Tier 3

Formed by the merger of specialist shipping firm Thomas Cooper with Penningtons Manches in mid-2019, Penningtons Manches Cooper is active across a range of shipping matters including admiralty disputes, dry shipping disputes and shipbuilding work. The practice is led by Tim Kelleher, who has over 35 years' experience in this area, and Darryl Kennard, who is active in both wet and dry shipping disputes. Alex McIntosh is another key contact, recognised for his work on charterparties; he is well-regarded by clients.

Practice head(s):


‘Alex McIntosh is the person I go to at the firm. He is always available, quick to respond and very proactive. He knows the law and is very practical.’

‘Very responsive; in-depth knowledge of the sector, and excellent understanding of client needs on the legal and commercial level.’

‘Darryl Kennard has excellent knowledge and experience in his field – he is efficient, proactive and solution driven.’

‘We have had a long association with Alex McIntosh and we are very happy with the handling of our cases.’

Key clients

Palmers Marine Services


Venture capital Tier 3

The 'brilliant' team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP 'knows what needs to be done for early-stage companies without over-complicating'. It is also noted for its 'outstanding' technology transfer expertise and is involved in a raft of spin-out work. Clients benefit from the group's seamless integration with the tax team, particularly as it relates to EIS transactions. Reading-based associate Elizabeth Yell is a 'definite rising star' in the team for high growth technology businesses and numerous institutional investors.


‘Partners were surprisingly responsive to our questions and actively engaged in delivering many aspects of the work we needed to complete our spin out and seed round.’

‘The associates and partners we worked with at Penningtons were all very informative and readily provided the information we needed to understand the process, documentation and all the practical implications.’

‘I would pull out Attilio Leccisotti as he has been fantastic at supporting our company through a number of different rounds.’

‘They know what needs to be done for early stage companies without overcomplicating. This leads to sharp and efficient legal progress that serves the companies well both from a future proofing and a fees angle.’

‘Knowing when enough is enough is crucial especially for early stage companies. Not over complicating issues and having a time and cost efficient style for companies who really want to put their resources in to science and not legal fees is refreshing. The team also work well with their tax partners and this has been a very valuable additional service.’

‘The Penningtons VC team are a brilliant team with exceptional experience of early stage VC work. Their knowledge and experience sets them apart from others in the sector.’

‘Elizabeth Yell is exceptional and incredibly experienced. Attilio Leccisotti is very talented and one to watch for the future. Elizabeth Yell is definitely a rising star.’

Key clients

Cloudfactory Holdings

Grey Wolf Therapeutics

Pathios Therapeutics

King’s College London

Concirrus Limited

Business Growth Fund

Cambridge Innovation Capital Plc


MoA Technology

Mirada Medical

Product liability: defendant Tier 4

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's team is instructed by product manufacturers, distributors and retailers from a wide range of industries, including the automotive, food and drink, life sciences, retail and technology sectors. Areas of expertise include product liability claims, regulatory advice, and general litigation. John Doherty is also well versed in EU-safety requirements; he jointly leads the team with commercial dispute resolution specialist Rustam Dubash. Associate Nick Bamber also advises on the regulatory landscape.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘As a team I am impressed by the integrity, professionalism and commitment to support us through liability issues that is displayed by all members that I have come in contact with.’

‘John Doherty can be relied on to give the legal position and advice on the correct course to take, even when this is uncomfortable to hear. The particular quality that I value most highly is his strong sense of morality and ethics.’

‘The PMC team offers the perfect combination of technical advice, industry knowledge, commercial awareness and client-focus / partner time. Reliable delivery, on time, on budget and excellent value for money, every time.’

Key clients

Joy Organics LLC

Andreas Stihl Limited

The Conran Shop

British American Tobacco (BAT)

Leyland Trucks Limited

Bharat Forge

Veg of Lund

Professional negligence Tier 4

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP ‘never fails to rise to the challenge’ of advising on complex, multi-party claims against solicitors and construction professionals. The practice specialises in large group action claims; ‘seasoned litigatorDavid Niven has a strong reputation for claims against solicitors for mis-sold properties, while David O’Brien advises claimants on disputes arising from failed investment schemes. Construction lawyer Peter Stockill advises on both sides of disputes involving engineers, construction professionals and contractors.

Practice head(s):


‘The practice has built up a stellar practice in consumer mis-selling cases, acting for tens, scores and sometimes many more individual clients with complaints against professionals and FCA-regulated entities or individuals.’

‘David Niven is a seasoned litigator, commercially astute, dedicated to pursuing his clients’ interests and never afraid of the competition.’

‘David O’Brien is phenomenally bright, with an encyclopaedic and insightful grasp of relevant law and procedure; provides a “magic circle” service. A delight and inspiration to work with.’

‘David Niven is excellent at directing the overall strategy of the cases which he supervises and in identifying issues which need to be resolved. He was correctly described by an opponent as tenacious.’

‘David O’Brien is particularly good at considering legal issues, and is always willing to listen to contrary arguments.’

‘David Niven is one of the leading professional negligence lawyers in the country and is one of my favourite lawyers to deal with. He is straight-talking, knows the law inside out and is very commercial.’


Key clients


Northern Powerhouse

Baltic House, Angelgate and North Point Pall Mall

Sport Tier 4

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is the point of call for the League Managers Association and has recently represented managers such as Lee Bowyer and Alex McLeish on libel claims. More broadly, the team advises on general commercial and employment disputes for individual athletes, managers and coaches. Andrew Haywood is notably adept in employment issues, particularly in relation to discrimination and disciplinary issues. The team has been expanded by the merger of Penningtons Manches and Thomas Cooper in 2019; Nick Humphreys is an expert in employment litigation, whereas Richard Marshall focuses on commercial litigation and arbitration. Jeremy Clarke-Williams handles privacy and defamation disputes.

Practice head(s):


‘Really strong, in particular on the commercial and employment overlap with sport. Involved in some leading manager disputes.’

‘Nick Humphreys is an employment specialist who will get results for managers and backroom staff.’

‘Andrew Haywood is another employment specialist who is very dynamic and user-friendly.’

‘Commercial dispute resolution specialist Richard Marshall is first-rate at financial disputes in sport.’

‘A really talented team. Richard Marshall is a highly experienced practitioner who is always well prepared and is willing to go the extra mile for his clients. He blends that with a realistic approach which makes him very effective.’

Key clients

League Managers Association

Mahindra Racing UK Ltd

Dave Richardson (cricketer)

Richard Collinge

Twelve Consulting Group Ltd

Grey Sports Group

Toca Football UK Ltd

I trust Sport

Sports Resolutions

Rathbone Boxing Club


Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 5

The 'brilliant' business and financial disputes team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP benefits from experience acting for and against banks in litigation, with particular expertise in swaps litigation. Practice head Rustam Dubash has significant experience representing Indian companies; Alexander Fox handles both traditional banking and fintech disputes, including cryptocurrency claims, while Phillip D’Costa  is noted for contentious regulatory matters. Other names to note include Michael Brown, who joined from Bird & Bird LLP , bringing misselling of investment products claims, LIBOR and card payment services disputes expertise. Recently promoted partner Emma Davies (who splits her time between Oxford and London) and 'tenacious litigator' Charlotte Hill are other names to note.

Practice head(s):


The Penningtons team is a really top-drawer outfit. I would not hesitate to recommend them . For claimant-side work, Penngingtons are up there with the very best financial services lawyers.

They are brilliant – Hungry for work, engaged and always willing to go the extra mile for us. I have the feeling they are punching above their weight in terms of the mandates they win. Clients love them.

A varied client base: financial institutions and high net worth individuals, particularly with links to India. Very responsive to the needs of individual clients.’

Phillip D’Costa is reassuring, unflappable, commercially savvy and immensely hard-working. James Harrison never misses a beat, is commercially astute and a great tactician.

Alex Fox is both charming and effective. He excels at seeing both the big picture, but is also a hands-on partner with a good grip of the detail. He is extremely calm and thoughtful in a crisis, and adept at getting the best out of his team.’

Charlotte Hill is a tenacious litigator, and a real force of nature. She is brilliant at case management and marshalling evidence. She has a particular talent for sniffing out the best pieces of evidence in a case. She  is clearly going places and is an asset to any legal team!’ 

Alex Fox  is a whirlwind of energetic intellect; constantly driving on the team by example and direction. Emma Davies is unusually hard-working and determined and will leave no stone unturned to achieve the result intended’ 

Key clients

Scarborough Group Developments Limited (and 53 others)

Munroe K Limited and Munroe K Luxembourg SA

Syndicate Bank Limited

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 5

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises a diverse range of clients, including educational institutions and training providers, public service and membership organisations, and ecclesiastical and faith-based organisations, as well as private individuals and philanthropic bodies. The team’s expertise spans constitutional and governance advice through to serious incident reporting and safeguarding issues. Other strengths lie in advising on data protection and complex legacy disputes. Henrietta Mason heads the team, which also includes Daff Richardson, who predominantly acts for higher education institutions.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

The Diocese of Westminster

St Peter’s College, Oxford

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating


Marine Stewardship Council

The Oratory Schools Association

The Police Federation of England and Wales

Wellington College

Shrewsbury House School Trust


City and Guilds of London

Institute of Leadership and Management

Construction: non-contentious Tier 5

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP works with local authorities, property developers and contractors, and is praised for 'really taking the time to get to know their clients'. The team advises on mixed-use and private rented sector developments, student accommodation and hotels. 'Clear communicator' Richard Cooke has a background in civil engineering, while Francis Ho, who has 'first-rate knowledge of the industry' has expertise in a range of non-contentious matters covering construction, infrastructure and projects.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘They take a proactive and practical approach to problems and offer clear advice.’

‘The team really take the time to get to know their clients and so the service they provide is always very personal.’

‘Excellent knowledge and good, practical advice.’

‘Richard Cooke is clear communicator with a very sensible approach to structuring solutions. Good knowledge of industry sector and recommendations for further expert advice, as needed.’

‘Francis Ho has a first-rate knowledge of the industry. Engaged in the detail despite delegation to subordinates. Strives to find creative solutions that protect our commercial as well as legal interests.’

‘Richard Cooke offers excellent advice on property and development related matters and contracts.’

Key clients

Abingdon School

American Institute for Foreign Study Inc

Ares Management Limited

Asmodee Group Limited

Avtoun Street Developments Limited

Black Mountain Partners


Ennismore International / Hoxton Hotels

Gordon Murray Automotive

Patrizia Immobilien

Peabody Trust

The Hurlingham Club

Education: schools Tier 5

At Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, the education group has a wide offering spanning areas such as employment, data privacy and data protection, immigration and corporate governance. The firm also has a specialist safeguarding sub-group that acts for schools and individuals in contentious student issues and historical abuse. The practice is jointly led by Hilary Aldred, Daff Richardson and Reading-based Gemma WoodhousePat Saini and Hazar El-Chamaa are also recommended.

Other key lawyers:


‘The team is knowledgeable, pragmatic, approachable and gives clear advice. Sound knowledge and information about the sector and up to date practices.’

‘Gemma provides excellent advice and we have a good client/lawyer relationship. Gemma provides strong direction and advice with any associated risks.’

‘Gemma Woodhouse is an exemplary partner. Highly commercial dedicated hard working. Nothing is too much trouble and solves issues.’

Key clients

Wellington College

Shrewsbury House School Trust

Reed’s School


Haberdashers’ Aske’s Elstree Schools

The Licensed Trade Charity

Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students

Cognitas Group

Bristol International College

The Oratory Schools Association

Unifrog Education Ltd

Beaconsfield Educational Trust (Davenies)

Employers Tier 5

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a strong reputation for its board-level work, such as restructuring, redundancies, whistleblowing and senior management dismissals and disputes. Team head Paul Mander regularly acts for both employers and senior executives, managing a number of the firm's long-term client relationships, while other notable team members include Tom Walker, an expert in handling board-level disputes and crisis management, and Andrew Haywood, known for his expertise in post-termination restrictions and injunctive relief work, for both employers and senior executives. The June 2019 merger of Penningtons Manches and Thomas Cooper strengthened the team with the addition of Nick Humphreys, who brought expertise and clients from the shipping sector, as well as a strong sports practice.

Practice head(s):


‘First-rate team, well resourced, hyper responsive, great attention to detail.’

‘Nick Humphreys is the employment partner I would go to with any employment related problem. Fantastic manner with clients, gaining their confidence easily. Provides consistently thorough and detailed high quality advice. Clients obviously love him. Nick is always robust in fighting his clients corner whatever it takes.’

‘Nick Humphreys is a joy to work with and a truly formidable opponent. He is utterly tenacious in his clients’ interest.’

‘The team at Penningtons take a collaborative approach to identifying solutions and take extra care to identify your specific business requirements to ensure the proposed solution is best fit.’

‘If you don’t want a lecture about the law and what you can’t do, I would recommend the team at Pennington Manches Cooper as they will stay connected throughout the process and beyond.’

‘Tom Walker is an excellent advisor who has a wealth of employment law knowledge and a practical hands-on ability that provides confidence to the client when dealing with challenging and sensitive matters.’

Key clients


Farfetch UK Ltd


Tennor International Services BV

John McAslan + Partners

Williams Grand Prix Limited (t/a Williams F1)

Cenkos Securities

Lanson International UK Limited t/a Lanson Champagne

General Practitioners Defence Fund (GPDF)

Brummer & Partners Capital LLP

Seahorse Maritime Limited

Curzon Street Partners

Ayondo Markets Limited

Liontari Capital (“Atrum Global Limited)

Soap & Co

Habib Bank plc

Comsec Investigations Limited



Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 5

Anna Frankum and Chris Shelly head the IP practice at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, which recently advised on brand enforcement and opposition strategy for high-profile retail, fashion, food and drink celebrity clients. Clients in the automotive and architecture sectors also engaged the team on brand and design safeguarding, IP rights transfers and infringement claims. A solid list of technology clients retains the team for IP advice relating to software, data and algorithms.

Practice head(s):


‘The team is technically excellent, and backs this up with strong commercial judgement and advice. They have a real can-do attitude. The team is very user friendly.’

‘Anna Frankum is calm, authoritative and sound in her advice.’

Key clients

All Saints Retail Ltd

Barfoots of Botley

CAB International

Compass Box Delicious Whisky Ltd

Finance & Leasing Association

First Law P.C.

General Practitioner’s Defence Fund

Gordon Murray Design Limited

Home Smart Home Ltd

Joseph Giles Ltd

Needle & Thread Design Holdings Ltd

Norbar Torque Tools Ltd

Root’s Reggae Reggae Sauce Ltd and Levi Roots

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Tradecraft Tools Ltd

Thatcham Research


Senseye Limited

Property litigation Tier 5

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is strong in handling development disputes, including telecoms sector matters, and disputes at the intersection with construction (most notably in the fire safety space), as well as landlord and tenant work. Clients include investors, developers and landlords, including social housing providers. Portfolio management expert Donald Lambert is the head of the practice.

Practice head(s):


Clear concise advice. Responses are always swift and to the point. Good to deal with. First class service. Compares favourably with other firms we have dealt with.’

A strong team providing excellent and commercial advice; especially in the development context.

Growing sub-specialism in telecommunications work on behalf of landowners/developers.

David Masters – an old hand who inspires confidence in both the professional and lay client alike. Very calm and collected in the heat of trial.

Laura West – largely responsible for the branching out into telecommunications work; an important facet to any team advising developers these days. She has a cool head and provides clear and concise advice.’

The team has strength in depth across various levels of experience and across most aspects of property litigation.

Partners Donald Lambert and David Masters are approachable, commercially astute and very good lawyers.’

Very good and hardworking team.’

Key clients

Alpha Real Capital

Curzon Asset Management

Elvaston Investment Limited

Kames Capital

Metropolitan Thames Valley

Munroe K Luxembourg SA

Peabody Trust

Pinnacle Places Ltd

Sellar Property Group

Southern Housing Group

University College School

Wandle Housing Association

Social housing: local authorities and registered providers Tier 5

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP provides a ‘very good all-round experience’ to housing associations across the UK, which encompasses advice on developments, acquisitions and litigation. Andrew Casstles heads up the London team. Another name to note is Mark Sellers, who advises on acquisitions by outright purchase, conditional agreements, option agreements and golden brick agreements. Ben Robinson is a specialist in contentious housing issues. Linda Storey is another key name.

Practice head(s):


They are efficient and don’t hang around in endless legal jargon, providing straight answers. They look for ways to deal with issues rather than debating them back and forth.

The unique ability of this firm is the strength of its associates and the personable nature of the firm. They have excellent knowledge of the property sector and are able to advise on a wide range of deal structures. The advice they provide is clear and concise and PMC is always prepared to go the extra mile for their clients.

Very responsive, good access to very experienced senior-level partners.

Peter Massey – As a senior partner, Peter is always available and responsive to client enquiries, he always finds the time to take my calls. No matter what the time is! Peter brings a strong commercial focus, and draws on his experience across both the private and housing association sectors to highlight potential different options that can help to unblock an impasse.’

Professional. A very good all-round experience, easy access to partners and always happy to offer solutions and guide you through some of the most tricky negotiations.

All the individuals I have had cause to work with have been very easy to get along with and make things easy to understand. Nothing is too much trouble.’

The team is well led by Andrew Casstles and has a good depth of knowledge, they are responsive and advise in an easily understandable way, highlighting key areas of risk.

Andrew Casstles leads the team well and provides clear and easily interpreted advice.’

Key clients

Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association

Paragon Asra Housing Limited


Poplar HARCA


Southern Housing Group

Bromford Housing Association

Saxon Weald

Peabody Trust

Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association Limited

RHP (Richmond Housing Partnership)

West Kent Housing Association

Phoenix Community Housing Association (Bellingham and Downham) Limited

Hightown Housing Association Limited

Wandle Housing Association Limited

Sovereign Housing Association Limited

Hexagon Housing Association Limited

One Housing Group Limited

North London Muslims Housing Association Limited

Plymouth Community Homes Limited

Aldwyck Housing Group Limited

Octavia Housing Limited

Network Homes Limited

London and Quadrant

LiveWest Homes Limited

Magna Housing Limited

Westway Housing Association Limited

Shepherd’s Bush Housing Group Limited

Settle Group


The immigration group at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is particularly recommended for its work for education and technology client, sectors where practice head Pat Saini has a strong reputation; she also has extensive experience in UK-India relations. The team provides audit and compliance services and advises schools and study abroad providers seeking to set up in the UK. Associate May Cheung provides corporate immigration advice and handles sponsor compliance audits. On the private client side, Hazar El-Chamaa heads the firm's private wealth immigration offering, with a practice focused on complex investor and nationality applications. Adam Cotterill specialises in private and family immigration, including human rights claims, international surrogacy and adoption.

Practice head(s):


‘Adam Cotterill was exceptional in all of our interactions.  He was both professional and also kind and understanding to our situation.  His expertise in this area was made a great impact to our case, as he was able to clearly see the paths forward, able to look around corners and foresee any possible challenges and provide solutions to those before we got there. His ability to predict the information or challenge we might experience helped us be completely prepared.’

‘Pat Saini is outstanding.  She understands the details and complexity of immigration rules and also is able to discuss the bigger picture impact of immigration policy.’

‘Pat Saini has years of experience in representing schools and higher education. I often think she knows everyone in the industry!’

‘Hazar El-Chamaa is very thorough with her work. She presented a process of the matter presented to her from start to finish. Hazar is also very prompt in all her responses.’

‘The team was hands down one of the best I’ve worked with from our first engagement. I would say some of their strengths are: communication, flexibility, efficiency, high level of knowledge in their specialist fields and overall wonderful service.’

‘The team was expeditious, very respectful and resourceful in each of my consultations.’

Key clients

Coventry University

English UK

Quantum Solutions


Cognita Schools


Istituto Marangoni

Living Optics

Independent Schools Association

Tata Limited


Operating as part of a large, multi-disciplinary team, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's personal injury practice is instructed on complex cross-border cases by both claimants and defendants. It often acts for those affected by a life-changing injury; high-profile cases involving individuals who have sustained catastrophic brain injuries are a key area of strength. 'Building a reputation as a leader in the field', travel law practice head Mark Lee primarily represents travel insurers and their policyholders in high-value compensation claims arising from accidents abroad. The team also features Warren Collins, who has 'extensive experience in handling cross-border claims involving personal injuries of the greatest severity' including catastrophic claims and fatal accident litigation.

Practice head(s):


‘Mark Lee is building a reputation as a leader in the field. Warren Collins has extensive experience in handling cross-border claims involving personal injury of the greatest severity.’

‘Excellent solid team led by Mark Lee.’

‘Mark Lee – sensible, savvy, quick, polite.’

‘Very client oriented, with a lot of humanity.’

‘They have many years worth of expertise in the niche field of travel insurance related claims; the Penningtons team have remained a reliable and ever more knowledgeable presence.’

‘Mark Lee and Keith Dean have always demonstrated absolute professionalism, and manage to combine pragmatism and clarity of advice, with a friendly and open approach to whoever needs their advice.’

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 South America through offices in Singapore, Piraeus, Paris and Madrid, as well as in São Paulo via an association with Brazilian law firm Mattos Engelberg Echenique. 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 three divisions:

Business services: this division 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, insurance and reinsurance, international arbitration, marine, trade and energy, travel law, reputation management and privacy, insolvency work and all types of real estate litigation.

Real estate: the real estate division 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 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. This division 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 David Raine
Head of business services division (contentious) Franco Bosi
Head of business services division (non-contentious) Helen Drayton
Head of private individuals division Tim Palmer
Head of real estate division Peter McElligott
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 Simon Bickerdike
Corporate Matthew Martin
Court of Protection Julie Burton
Education Hilary Aldred
Employment Paul Mander
Energy and offshore Tim Kelleher
Family Jane Craig
Immigration Pat Saini
Insurance and reinsurance Mark Lee
Intellectual property Anna Frankum
Intellectual property Chris Shelley
International trade Tim Kelleher
International wealth Laura Dadswell
International wealth James Stewart
Life sciences Chris Shelley
Personal injury Philippa Luscombe
Private client Clare Archer
Real estate Peter McElligott
Real estate litigation Donald Lambert
Residential property Duncan Taylor
Retail Matthew Martin
Shipping Darryl Kennard
Social housing Linda Storey
Tax Stephen Goldstraw
Technology Joanne Vengadesan
Travel Mark Lee
Photo Name Position Profile
 Will Axtell  photo Will Axtell Will is an experienced corporate finance partner. He has a Magic Circle…
 Julie Bond  photo Julie Bond Consultant. Commercial dispute resolution especially regulatory matters, major claims and class actions;…
 Emma Davies photo Emma Davies A partner in the commercial dispute resolution team, Emma thrives on helping…
 Kathy Hills  photo Kathy Hills Partner in the Oxford office who advises on the tax position for…
 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…
 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…
 David Tighe  photo David Tighe David is a partner in the corporate department in the Thames Valley…
 James Went  photo James Went Corporate lawyer advising on a wide range of corporate transactions and business…
 Justin Winterbottom  photo Justin Winterbottom Partner in the real estate team specialising in portfolio management and with…
Number of UK partners : 132
Number of other UK fee-earners : 385

At Penningtons Manches Cooper, we acknowledge that people differ – in ways that are visible such as age, gender, ethnicity and physical appearance, as well as those that are not obvious, for example education, social background, religion, sexual orientation, personal experiences and perspectives. We believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce generates vitality for our firm and helps to shape individuals’ professional development. It is important to us to employ a broad range of individuals to obtain the most extensive knowledge and provide the highest quality service to our clients. We actively endeavour to attract a vibrant and varied workforce from the widest pool of qualified candidates to continually diversify and improve upon that expertise. 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 employ transparent and all-encompassing policies for our recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment, access to training opportunities, promotion, work allocation and any other employment related activities. We run a compulsory diversity training course via an e-learning module to deliver up to the minute information to all members of the firm. We will always take appropriate positive measures (as permitted by the Equality Act) to provide special training and support for groups that are underrepresented in the workforce and encourage them to take up training and career development opportunities.

External partnerships
External partnerships Penningtons Manches Cooper is a signatory of the Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter and endeavours to meet the requirements of the charter in order to ensure high standards are maintained. By observing our diversity statistics, we can track our development and establish where we are having an impact and growing our talent or where further improvements are still needed.

As members of the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme, we demonstrate our desire for excellence in the industry standards for fair treatment of individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. We are actively working to ensure our workplace encourages all members of the firm to be themselves, whatever background, as we appreciate people perform better and maintain a healthier attitude when being able to do so.

Internal working groups
We have a diversity and 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. It is still early days in terms of assessing the impact of such initiatives but we will continue to support them and find ways to track the progress of our firm in achieving greater diversity at all levels.

Our PRIME, Penningtons Manches Cooper LGBT – Straight Allies, community was recently established to focus on ensuring the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is fairly represented and treated equally within our firm. We aim to introduce more straight allies to the group and continue networking opportunities across the industry to better promote and grow our existing LGBT population.

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.”

The Lex 100 Verdict

'Multi-service' Penningtons Manches Cooper has 'strengths in numerous practice areas', including family law, clinical negligence and, thanks to a merger with Thomas Cooper in the summer of 2019, maritime and corporate law. Whilst the firm's specialist areas were certainly high on the agenda, most of those surveyed were also drawn to the work/life balance. 'The culture of the firm is second to none' thanks to 'friendly and approachable people', something which several recruits experienced on the vacation scheme. 'Good levels of client contact' have led to PMC, which has six offices in the UK, earning a Lex 100 Winner award. 'There is no hierarchy at all' and supervisors are 'happy to explain any amends to your work'. What's more, respondents reported having 'very good relationships, even with partners', something which is facilitated by the open-plan offices, making it 'easy to chat or ask questions when needed'. Despite the 'wide range of seats' on offer, it can, on occasion, be difficult to get the seat you want, which trainees found frustrating. Moreover, the training experience can be very different depending on the team and supervising fee-earners in question. Others grumbled that some of the 'regional offices could do with updating'. Best moments included 'working on an abduction case with a multitude of complexities in my family seat', 'having my first article published' and being 'involved in a three-day, all-parties completion meeting'. Conversely, 'admin and preparation of bundles in litigation seats', in particular when it occurs 'late into the night/morning and not being thanked for it', were begrudged. For a 'professional and ambitious firm' where 'everyone is genuinely friendly and helpful', take a closer look at Penningtons Manches Cooper.