Firm Profile > Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP > Guildford, England

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Banking and finance Tier 1

Banking and finance work at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP includes advising lenders and borrowers on finance agreements as well as support with both contentious and regulatory matters. The team specialises in complex advice on finance agency provisions, handling transactions which often involve overseas jurisdictions. On the contentious side, the practice is well versed in claims based on interest rate swap misselling and LIBOR rigging. Sector specialism on the borrower’s side includes healthcare, retail and social housing. Helen Drayton  and John Chater, who was made partner in April 2019, are recommended, while Angela Stallard joined from EMW Law LLP in May 2018.

Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's clinical negligence department has 'serious legal firepower'. The practice, which is led in Guildford by Philippa Luscombe, handles a range of matters relating to brain and spinal injuries, as well as cerebral palsy. In addition, the 'tenacious and tactically shrewdAlison Johnson has expertise in obstetric cases. Alison Appelboam Meadows, who leads the practice in Basingstoke, also heads up the firm’s cerebral palsy team. Other core members of the team include Stephanie Code in Guildford and senior associate Emma Beeson, who is noted as 'a star of the future.'


‘The firm provides extremely insightful and intelligent analysis of the issues that affect its clients. There is great attention to evidentiary detail and practice appears to be principled and ethical.’

‘Alison Appelboam Meadows is a delight to work with and embodies all of the qualities that make Penngintons a standout firm. She is vastly experienced and knowledgeable, but not in the least bit self-satisfied or stuffy. She is brilliant with clients and opponents alike.’

‘Alison Johnson seems to have a magical touch when it comes to negotiating fantastic settlements on behalf of her clients which reflects her charm and skill.’

Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP attracts regional and national clients thanks to its end-to-end expertise that includes planning, construction, property litigation and  finance. It also has an impressive range of panel appointments. The range of work encompasses developments including social housing, student accommodation, retail, leisure and industrial projects as well as high-value landlord and tenant work. The 'outstanding' Mike Busby leads the team and senior associate Sam Davies is also highlighted for his client-centric approach.


They are commercial aware, practical and  willing to support our business.’

The team is a set of incredibly hard-working, personable professionals that consistently provide top-notch advice and representation whilst understanding the client’s position beyond just the singular transaction.’

Mike Busby is always quick to respond and takes an interest in and understands our business.’

‘Mike Busby is an outstanding asset to the firm. His extensive expertise is readily available at all times. He encourages and develops his team to ensure they can also provide us with the best service on all instructions and billing is completely transparent.’

Sam Davies works incredibly hard on many, often complicated instructions, ensuring documents are reviewed promptly and contain specific client-friendly clauses.’

‘Sam Davies has a calm and matter of fact approach.’


Key clients

Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust

Future Street (Plymouth)

The Cube (Runcorn)

Flight Centre (UK)

PRS Operations

NoCo Hotels

Antony Collier

Steven and Simon Hunt (landowners)

Higher Drive Nursing Homes (Holdings)

Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's real estate team is 'one of the best in the Thames Valley'. The practice is known for its strength in handling complex and high value development projects in residential, education and leisure sectors where it counts Frontier Estates , The University of Oxford and Fitness First as active clients. The team also advises on property tax, environmental issues and planning law. Richard Smith heads the group and is the key figure for large-scale developments and environmental law; other key partner, Simon Knott focuses on acquisitions, disposals, letting and finance. Associate Laura Gorman is a name to note for commercial developments, student accommodation schemes and care homes, as is Catherine Bradshaw,  who focuses on acting on behalf of registered providers.


Consistent high performance across a wide variety of engagements.’

Richard Smith is simply excellent, and has a wealth of experience in commercial property acquisitions. ‘

Key clients

EDF Energy

St Peter’s College, Oxford

European Space Agency

Fitness First

White Stuff

Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is highly rated by the market. National corporate head Simon Bickerdike, the 'commercially-minded' David Kendall  and associate Hannah McIlwraith assist regional and international clients on high-value acquisitions, MBOs and joint ventures. They also handle private equity-funded transactions and the firm also offers multi-discipline expertise, especially in IP. The practice was enhanced in April 2019 with the hire of Seb Orton from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.


Great all-round advice.’

David Kendall is an outstanding adviser. He’s someone you want on your side. He has the intelligence, people skills and legal knowledge that make him an essential partner for our business.’

Key clients

Q88 UK

Blue Oil Energy

Rough Guides Limited

Elixirr Partners

Barfoots of Botley Limited

Tata Consultancy Services

The Hub Pharmacy

DC Studios

Total Solutions (Southern)

Artemis Venue Services

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

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a strong track record in international M&A and venture capital  transactions and offers 'very practical and helpful advice' to major clients in the life sciences, technology and renewable energy sectors. Oxford-based partners Will Axtell and James Went specialises in M&A, fundraisings and AIM capital markets. In Reading Rob Hayes acts on behalf of investors and investee companies in mid-market M&A and venture capital transactions.


Pennington Manches team possess an excellent combination of technical expertise and commercial understanding

The team at Penningtons Manches combined undoubted legal expertise with emotional intelligence‘.

Will Axtell is a quick thinker who took the time to understand the business and the deal. He is a truly fantastic lawyer with tremendous skills and experience in the business‘.

Key clients

Business Growth Fund

Oxford University Press

Enterprise Therapeutics

Ethical Property Company

Touchstone Innovations Plc

Education Tier 1

At Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, the education team is particularly notable for its work with higher education clients, with a strong focus on governance and compliance issues. The multi-disciplinary team also advises education clients on employment, real estate, and commercial issues, as well as providing training and data protection advice. Practice head Daff Richardson specialises in education disputes and governance issues. Alison Talbot departed the firm for Winckworth Sherwood LLP in December 2018.


The team have very strong expertise in both education and employment law, which makes them ideally placed to assist on crossover topics.

The level of service and the responsiveness is excellent, especially if a partner is aware that something needs urgent attention.

Daff Richardson is committed, client-focused, knows the context within which we’re working, and is a pleasure to work.

The advice provided is pragmatic as well as being accurate.’


Key clients

Merton College, Oxford

City and Guilds of London Institute

Oxford Brookes University

Oxford University Press

St Peter’s College

Somerville College

University of Surrey

Stanford University


Employment: Hampshire Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a strong reputation of acting on the employer side; clients include regional businesses, as well as industry associations and the UK subsidiaries of European, US and Indian companies. The firm recently assisted clients with a number of sensitive matters, including whistleblowing cases, international employment contracts and senior executive departures. The employment team is led by David Bickford, who has experience of defending complex employment tribunal claims, outsourcing (including all TUPE issues), and advising on employment policies and procedures. Gemma Woodhouse is also recommended.


The team had an excellent understanding of our business and the complexity of the issues we faced.’

We were given the full range of options with all routes and risks made completely clear‘.

Gemma Woodhouse and Katie Glendinning were incredibly receptive to our ideas but also made us aware of alternative options‘.


Key clients

The AA

Local Pensions Partnership


Twentieth Century Fox International

23.5 Degrees

Specialist Lending

The Licensed Trade Charity

Industrial Cleaning Equipment

Shrewsbury House School Trust

Not Just Cleaning

Marine Stewardship Council

Wellington College

Link Asset Services


DeNave India

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP


Bouygues UK

Rutland Group

ES Holdings 2011

Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

At Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, Michael Cole, who is well respected in the market, offers clients a wealth of experience in discrimination cases, TUPE, business reorganisations and various workplace disputes. Working alongside senior associate Liz Cardy, he advises on unfair dismissal claims, settlement agreements, grievance  and redundancy procedures.


The team is always fast to respond to questions with excellent answers that any non-legal professional can understand and act upon.’

Their knowledge on any given subject is strong and they are well managed in keeping costs to a minimum  whilst providing sound advice.’


Key clients

EET Europarts

Maintel Europe

IPM Facilities


Grand Prix Legends

The Recruitment Consultancy Ltd/Surrey HR Forum

Gilamor Stephens



Sapienza Consulting

Finance and Leasing Association

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

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's Oxford and Reading offices demonstrate 'first-class expertise' in employment law, particularly in relation to data protection/GDPR, advocacy in Employment Tribunals and senior executive disputes, among other HR issues. Daff Richardson and Eugene Wojciechowski are the lead partners in Oxford and Reading respectively.


The most commercial and business orientated employment law team I have come across. Daff and Eugene work with you, understanding the business challenges faced, to arrive at relevant and valued recommendations.

Eugene Wojciechowski has a natural business instinct and works hard to understand the context we work in. He provides confidence to our managers and gives a balanced view. He and his team provide exceptional customer service, and are contactable at any time.’

Key clients

The City & Guilds of London Institute

M20 Property Group

Unicarriers UK Limited

One Housing Group

Charter Court Financial Services Group

Environment Tier 1

Led by Richard SmithPenningtons Manches Cooper LLP's team acts for clients active in industries such as engineering, energy, chemical production, manufacturing and waste management. The scope of its experience includes environmental due diligence, warranties and indemnities, as well as advice on the full range of commercial transactions and contentious issues. Water pollution, hazardous waste and landfill are among other areas of specialisation.

Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's clients include high-net-worth individuals with more than £10m in assets.  Its comprehensive expertise spans financial and children matters together with tax, property and reputation management. Veronica Gilmour handles complex financial issues often with challenging jurisdictional complications and is also an expert on foreign pensions. Rachel Donald is an expert on pre-nuptial agreements and where company assets are involved and Lee Henderson has experience of surrogacy cases.


Pennington’s Guildford office offers the quality of representation of a central London practice. There are very few other ‘Rolls Royce’ practices outside of the country’s big cities.’

This is one of the top firms with offices outside London.  The family lawyers in the Guildford office provide London-quality service and expertise.

Veronica Gilmour is not only a highly experienced and accomplished lawyer but she genuinely cares about her clients. She is warm and personable and every client I have referred to her has reported how comfortable they feel working with her.’

Laura Hughes is a senior associate with the full skill set one would hope for in a solicitor. She is a good lawyer and strategist, but also able to cope with strong personalities.’

Associate Lee Henderson  is an exceptional lawyer and has that rare ability to be able to give his clients clear and difficult advice but in a way that makes them feel entirely supported by him.  He has incredible energy and his sense of needing justice for his clients makes him always go the extra mile.  He is one to watch for sure.

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

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP’s areas of expertise include divorce proceedings and negotiating children arrangements, often with an international element. It is also know for its handling of international surrogacy, trusts of land and the Appointment of Trustees Act, Children Act  and Hague Convention applications. Jane Mitchell handles complex financial and children matters with a specialisation in international trusts and company arrangements. Kerry Fretwell in Reading and Ruth James in Oxford are the other key partners. Associates Bethan Thomas and Stuart Webber are also of note.


The Oxford and Reading offices are full of quality lawyers, always giving clear and accurate advice in a way that clients understand. ‘

Jane Mitchell is a lawyer that is head and shoulders above her peers. Jane displays a good manner and charm both of which appear to shield a real steel core. Jane is unafraid of highly contentious litigation and has shown nothing but patience, diligence and resolute determination. She is a really impressive lawyer.’

I am very impressed with Kerry Fretwell. She is very experienced and knows how to manage clients’ expectations well, she also clearly explained my legal position and gave me the confidence and knowledge to move forward.’

IT and telecoms Tier 1

Data protection and IT transactions specialist Joanne Vengadesan heads the team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, which is known for its work with the firm's corporate team on technology transactions in combination with its  abilities on IT contracts and its cross-border capabilities. The highly regarded Vengadesan has a 'solid background in technology matters' and technology transfer specialist Nicola McConville is another key figure within the team.


The lawyers at Penningtons Manches are responsive, committed and very well focused.

I appreciate that the partners are personally available and directly handle the paperwork.

Joanne Vengadesan has a solid background in technology matters. She is smart and always responsive when needed, so teaming with her is always a pleasant experience.

Key clients


Senseye Limited

Alemba Limited

IRIS Software

Touchstone Innovations

Halma plc

Rezatec Limited

Royal Selangor

Support Revolution

Conidia Bioscience Limited

Pensions Tier 1

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a strong reputation as one of 'the most pre-eminent pension practices in the South East'. Led by Maria Riccio, the practice works across all sectors with an emphasis on charities, insurance and private wealth. It provides transnational support and training, as well as handling contentious matters such as pensions fraud. The firm also advises private clients in pension disputes with their schemes or employers, in particular involving the operation of Small Self-Administered Schemes, Self Invested Personal Pensions and the payment of death benefits. Clare Coley and Verity Cruse are also of note.


Maria Riccio combines expertise and clarity of thought in her subject with the ability to explain to those that do not know or understand pensions what the issues are. She has good ideas about how to overcome problems and does not sit on the fence – she gives advice. Maria is clear in her analysis of the risks which is a big help with our decision making.

Maria Riccio is fantastic- she really understands the issues and puts the client at the heart of what she is doing. Her advice is always pragmatic. If there is a pensions issue she is always the first choice.’

Maria Riccio is one of the few pension lawyers with in depth experience in advising trustees and employers.

Key clients

Trustees of the Hovertravel Pension and Assurance Scheme

London & Caledonian Trustees

Trustees of the Teachers Assurance Group Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Imtech and Infra Traffic Pension Scheme

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

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP handles complex and large-scale commercial litigation and also conducts investigation and enforcement work. The Oxford-based team headed by Julie Bond continue to be active in major disputes in the energy, education and retail sectors, and also leverage additional expertise from the London office in representing individuals and corporations in complex commercial proceedings. Senior associate Emma Davies a name to note for financial litigation and regulatory matters.

Intellectual property Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's IP team has strong sector experience in life sciences and technology, handling a range of contentious and non-contentious cases for clients including patent and know-how licencing. The team is also noted for its work on software licencing and data protection where Joanne Vengadesan is the key contact. Practice head Chris Shelley is notable for his work with universities and their spin-out companies, while senior associate Holly Strube is also a key team member.

Key clients

Walker Greenbank plc

Astro Lighting Holdings Limited

STG Aerospace

Oxford Gene Technology


Lomare Technologies

Oxford VacMedix

Oxford Genetics

King’s College London

King’s Commercialisation Institute

Swansea University

Grey Wolf Therapeutics Limited

Richemont International (Alfred Dunhill, Vacheron Constantin, Mont Blanc)

Oxford University Press

Kandy Therapeutics


Oxford Brain Diagnostics

BioMe Oxford

Conidia Bioscience Limited



Thatcham Research

Gray Plant Mooty

Duane Morris

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn

Bharat Forge

Barfoots of Botley Ltd

Tata Advanced Systems

Fenn Night Vision Limited

Senseye Limited

First Law P.C.

Thames Valley Housing Association Ltd

RM Education Ltd

The Consortium for Purchasing and Distribution Ltd

CAB International

Norbar Torque Tools Ltd

Compass Box Delicious Whisky Ltd

All Saints Retail Ltd

Hudson Shoe Agencies Ltd

Needle & Thread Design Holdings Ltd

Tech London Advocates/Global Tech Advocates

Personal injury: claimant Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is 'highly rated and respected' and advises across the spectrum of personal injury matters, with expertise in road traffic accidents, employers’ liability and public liability claims. Practice head and 'skilled lawyer' Philippa Luscombe has expertise in brain injury matters.


‘Philippa Luscombe is a truly standout practitioner who combines good judgement and sharp legal instincts with a caring and committed approach to her clients. Lucky them!’

‘Alison Appelboam Meadows instills confidence. She is a very able all-around lawyer who is bright, intelligent, articulate and charming.’

‘The team has talented and experienced lawyers who handle PI and clinical negligence claims of the utmost severity and complexity.’

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

At Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, Liz Garvey is trusted for her handling of high- value estates which involve assets in both the UK and abroad and, with notable associate Hannah Gearey, also deals with complex probate cases and Court of Protection applications. Senior associate Cecelia Ward is dual qualified as a Chartered Tax Advisor. Elizabeth Nicholas is also recommended. Director Adrian Moss manages the accounting and tax compliance service.


Penningtons take the time to get to know the individuals they work with and are very keen to support our charity with their knowledge and expertise.’

They are very personable and able to relate to clients easily, putting them at ease. They also have in-house tax advisers who are capable of explaining complex matters in relatively simple terms.’

Hannah Gearey is very relatable, caring and extremely competent. I am yet to meet someone as efficient and timely in her field when it comes to client work.’

Adrian Moss has an ability to explain complex tax matters very effectively, which makes clients feel at ease and like we actually know what is going on.’

‘Liz Garvey and Hannah Gearey are prompt to respond, compassionate in their interactions with beneficiaries and very good at building up trust and therefore a positive working relationship with them, often at a very difficult time for the individuals concerned.

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

Caroline Van Zyl heads up the private client practice at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP Oxford office where she primarily assists high-net-worth individuals and families with succession and tax planning, often with an international element. Louise Lewis is the key contact for individuals seeking advice on philanthropic donations; advising on trusts for tax planning purposes. She is also experienced in digital estate planning.


‘Caroline is very knowledgeable on trusts and administration of commercial property. It was very reassuring to know that every aspect of administration of the entire estate could be dealt with under one roof.’

Caroline van Zyl has given me expert advice in intelligible prose and clearly explained any potential hazards which may come up further down the line. A splendid person to work with.

Louise Lewis is very sensible and hard-working. She is forthright but polite, and performs with excellence.

Property litigation Tier 2

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's real estate litigation group is 'approachable, clear and always willing to help'; it shows 'persistence in the face of difficult and rare problems'. Team head John Morrison advises on both commercial and residential property disputes, and has a notable specialism in contentious matters involving the education sector. The practice regularly handles lease renewals, terminations and dilapidations cases, and generates work from both private clients and corporate entities.


The firm responds quickly and always provides a clear explanation of the situation in a straightforward and professional manner‘.

Knowledgeable, clear in their advice and highly responsive‘.

John Morrison finds answers as opposed to telling you about problems‘.

John Morrison is a pleasure to work with; he always gives sound advice in a simple and pragmatic manner‘.

Unlike some in the legal profession, John Morrison never comes across as condescending and is always professional’.

Key clients

Berendsen UK Limited

Flight Centre (UK) Limited

White Stuff Limited

Frontier Estates Limited

Somerville College, University of Oxford

Verco Office Furniture Limited

White Oak Transport Services Limited

Social housing Tier 2

Linda Storey heads up Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's 'knowledgeable' social housing team, whose work covers securitisation. portfolio and asset management, commercial property, housing management and development/acquisitions, among other areas. In addition to Storey, employment expert Eugene WojciechowskiAndrew Casstles and Peter Massey are other recommended partners. Associate Charlotte D’Avola is another notable individual.


The team are approachable and always clear in explaining the subject of discussion‘.

Knowledgeable, provide comprehensible advice and always respond promptly‘.


Key clients

London & Quadrant



Hightown Housing Association


Metropolitan Thames Valley


Bromford Housing Group



Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP acts for charitable organisations such as educational institutions and membership organisations, disability charities and registered social landlords. It counts house-hold names such as Make-a-Wish Foundation UK and City & Guilds of London Institute among its recent clients. The multi-disciplinary practice advises on a broad range of matters including governance, corporate and commercial, real estate, public law, legacy disputes and employment matters. Henrietta Mason, Daff Richardson and Hilary Aldred are the key contacts. Practice head Alison Talbot  departed to Winckworth Sherwood LLP in December 2018.

Key clients

World Obesity Federation

Leonard Cheshire Disability

Marine Stewardship Council

Wellington College

Marshal Beresford Fund

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's contentious trusts and probate work is managed by the firm's private client team, which has a strong record of representing clients in matters involving multiple claims or assets spread across several jurisdictions. Practice head Michael Cash covers the full range of disputes, which includes contentious applications in the Court of Protection. Henrietta Mason is another name to note.

Key clients

Administrator for the estate of Nizam of Hyderabad

Nora Greenslade


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.

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 growing overseas network stretches from Asia to America through offices in Singapore, Piraeus, Paris, Madrid, São Paulo and San Francisco. 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, San Francisco, São Paulo, Singapore

Department Name Email Telephone
Chief executive David Raine
Head of business services division Franco Bosi
Head of private individuals division Tim Palmer
Head of real estate division Peter McElligott
Banking and finance Grant Eldred
Banking and finance Helen Drayton
Clinical negligence Philippa Luscombe
Clinical negligence Alison Appelboam Meadows
Commercial Anna Frankum
Commercial Chris Shelley
Commercial dispute resolution Rustam Dubash
Construction Richard Cooke
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 Sachs
Intellectual property Anna Frankum
Intellectual property Chris Shelley
International trade Tim Kelleher
International wealth Laura Dadswell
International wealth James Stewart
Life sciences Chris Shelley
Pensions Maria Riccio
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 Rob Hayes
Travel Mark Lee
Photo Name Position Profile
 Simon Bickerdike  photo Simon Bickerdike
 Tony Burns  photo Tony Burns
 Mike Busby  photo Mike Busby
 Stephanie Code  photo Stephanie Code
 Michael Cole  photo Michael Cole
 Timothy Davies  photo Timothy Davies
 Rachel Donald  photo Rachel Donald
 John Ewens  photo John Ewens
 Liz Garvey  photo Liz Garvey
 Veronica Gilmour  photo Veronica Gilmour
 David Kendall  photo David Kendall
 Mark Lee  photo Mark Lee
 Philippa Luscombe  photo Philippa Luscombe
 Tim Rafter  photo Tim Rafter
 Maria Riccio  photo Maria Riccio
 Gillian Rivers  photo Gillian Rivers
 Philip Walton  photo Philip Walton
Number of UK partners : 134
Number of other UK fee-earners : 340

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

Penningtons Manches Cooper is a 'forward-thinking' firm which gives trainees 'the opportunity to grow'. Recruits have a 'great support system' and benefit from access to 'PAs and other support staff' which enables them to spend more time on chargeable work. Penningtons Manches Cooper 'really places an emphasis on your training and treats everyone like an important valued part of the team', something which respondents had also witnessed during their vacation scheme. The 'collegiate and friendly environment' creates a 'collaborative feeling that everyone is working towards the same goal'. Moreover, recruits are given a 'great deal of responsibility' and have 'exposure to high-net-worth individuals', enough to earn the firm a Lex 100 Winner medal for client contact. Trainees appreciate that 'colleagues are approachable and have a friendly but professional approach to work' and that they are given 'high-quality work from day one'. The 'lack of secondment opportunities' annoyed recruits; others felt that 'the office needed updating, in particular the IT systems'. Best moments include 'running a client meeting by myself', 'attending a High Court hearing', 'the buzz from late night completions' and 'being offered a job upon qualification'. Conversely, trainees least enjoyed 'having a very heavy workload from a variety of partners' which at times was 'too much to handle'. As for CSR, 'while there are a variety of opportunities, there is room to do more'. Recruits receive 'excellent supervision and feedback' and are pleased that they 'have such a well-respected work/life balance'. If, like these trainees, you are attracted to the firm's 'reputation', 'team ethos' and 'inclusive atmosphere', apply to Penningtons Manches Cooper.