Firm Profile > Pinsent Masons LLP > Manchester, England

Pinsent Masons LLP
M3 3AU

Banking and finance Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP is active across real estate finance, corporate lending, acquisition finance, public sector lending, debt capital markets, asset based lending and education finance mandates. The team acts for a raft of major banks, public sector bodies, sponsors and borrowers on complex domestic and international transactions. Team head Matthew Morgan acts for lenders and borrowers on real estate finance, corporate finance and acquisition finance mandates, while Samantha Rollason is experienced in advising on the restructuring of UK and international real estate transactions and UK and overseas real estate funds, and Tim Fearn specialises in corporate finance, acquisition finance and asset based lending. Senior associate Sarah Jay and legal director Pippa Whitmore are also noted.


Matthew Morgan is an exceptional lawyer, and he has vast experience and is very visible in the market

The team is adept at handling complex transactions

Tim Fearn is experienced across corporate finance, acquisition finance and asset based lending work

Samantha Rollason is brilliant

Sarah Jay is a star of the future

Key clients



Select Property Group

Permira Debt Capital

Tyman plc

PJ Livesey Group

N M Rothschild & Sons

European Metal Recycling

Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank

Quint Group

Construction Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP is active across a raft of complex transactional and contentious construction mandates in the UK and internationally. It is active across real estate development and regeneration work and it operates across the nuclear, conventional power, offshore wind, energy from waste, rail, roads, education and health sectors. Graham Alty heads the transactional construction and projects team and Michael Hopkins leads on construction advisory and disputes work. Anthony Bradley specialises in major construction and infrastructure projects, Mark Job heads the national transactional team and Katherine Sneddon handles contentious construction work. Legal directors Siân Hughes, who is 'first-rate', and Ian Fairclough are also noted, as is senior associate Arwyn Jones.

Key clients


Ministry of Justice

Yapı Merkezi İnşaat ve Sanayi A.Ş

Wates Construction

Himor (Carrington)

Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council

Seddon Construction

Lendlease Construction (Europe)

Johnson Matthey

SK Engineering & Construction Co.

Corporate and commercial: Manchester Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP is adept at representing large corporates on strategic M&A and equity capital markets deals, as well as focusing on private equity, where it works with many buyout houses and management teams . On the commercial side the firm advises on supply chain management, franchising, advertising, agency, distribution, outsourcing, logistics, managed services, licensing, data protection and compliance. Key client sectors include manufacturing, technology and energy. Gregg Davison and Samantha Livesey head the team, with support from Helen Ridge, Kieran Toal and Amie Norris who was recently promoted to partner. Senior associate Alasdair Weir is also recommended.

Key clients

AMEC Foster Wheeler Plc

Livingbridge Equity No Partners LLP


Equistone Partners No Europe Limited

ECI Partners

UDG Healthcare plc

Sovereign Capital Partners

Linnaeus group

Co-operative Group

Aventas Manufacturing

Vaultex UK Limited

UK Sport

Innovative Vector Control Consortium

The Jockey Club

Corporate tax Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP advises on general tax issues, disputes and interventions, share plans and incentives, M&A-related tax, compliance, criminal tax offences and cross-border tax issues. Clients include major corporates, high-net-worth individuals and family offices. Lynette Jacobs heads the team from Manchester with support from Steven Porter who advises on both contentious and non-contentious tax matters, specialising in tax investigations. The team also works with Pinsents' network of offices across the UK.

Leading individuals

Key clients

Imperial Brands plc

Halfords Group plc

Rightmove plc

River and Mercantile Group plc

AMC Theatres

Portmeirion Group plc

Carr’s Group plc

Begbies Traynor Group plc

Norcros plc

Janus Henderson Investors


Energy Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP handles a raft of national and international projects in the energy sector and acts for large energy organisations, public sector clients, owners, developers, operators, funders and utilities clients. The nuclear, thermal power, oil and gas, biomass, solar and wind, waste management and mining sectors are key areas of focus for the team. Graham Alty  heads the transactional construction team in Manchester and  Mark Job leads the transactional construction and engineering team in the UK. Legal directors Ian Fairclough, who is experienced in nuclear, conventional energy and renewables projects, and Sian Hughes, who handles disputes, are also noted.


Sian Hughes is able to identify key strengths and weaknesses with a strong commercial sense

They are not only very bright lawyers, they are also very commercially astute, outstandingly good at handling clients and at managing cases, and are very easy to work with

They team is keenly attuned to the commercial objectives of the client and is highly skilled at devising the strategies by which such objectives might be achieved

Anthony Bradley is an outstanding lawyer who commands the absolute confidence of his clients, and is hugely conscientious and hardworking


Key clients


Johnson Matthey

United Utilities

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Balfour Beatty

Laing O’Rourke


Health and safety Tier 1

Kevin Bridges leads the health and safety team at Pinsent Masons LLP, which acts for major players in high hazard industries including construction, waste, manufacturing and energy. Bridges, who is also qualified as a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner and member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, has wide-ranging experience, while senior associate Zoe Betts has a particular focus on the waste sector. Associate Emma Evans handles, among other things, manslaughter investigations, inquests and challenges to enforcement notices.


Zoe Betts is a very dedicated lawyer and has a keen eye for detail‘.

‘Kevin Bridges provides high quality expert advice immediately‘.

Zoe Betts is approachable,  confident, clear in terms of advice, bold and very trustworthy‘.

Key clients

Kier Group plc

Crest Nicholson Operations Limited

Into Properties

Morgan Sindall Group plc

Pennon Group plc (Viridor and South West Water)

Future Industrial Services Limited

Bouygues Group


FedEx / TNT

IT and telecoms Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP's ‘highly proactive and efficient’ team advises top clients on a range of matters relating to IT procurements, outsourcing, cloud computing and online trading. Other areas of expertise GDPR, breach notification and remediation work, which the firm is seeing an increasing amount of instructions for. Clients include both public and private businesses in the tech and retail spaces. Samantha Livesey co-heads the team and focuses on IT, digital and IP matters. Claire Edwards also co-heads the team and specialises in major IT, technology and data protection matters.

Leading individuals


Highly proactive and efficient’.

Claire Edwards is responsive and highly engaged’.

Key clients

Exerp ApS

Celtic Football Club

Bonmarché Holdings Plc

The Jockey Club

Hanson Group

DCC plc

Allstate Insurance

Liberty IT


Local government Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP  in Manchester is best known for its ability to advise on a range of issues for local government clients including cutting-edge developments in PPP policy in regeneration and social housing, alternative service models, alternative investment models and infrastructure funds in the region and beyond. The team also offers planning advice and is regularly engaged on housing, development and regeneration schemes. Team head Scot Morrison has a 'wealth of experience' and is noted for his experience in joint venture structuring; he is ably supported by Helen Robinson on public-private partnership transactions.

Leading individuals

Key clients

Manchester City Council

Wandsworth Borough Council

London Borough of Haringey

Homes England

Folkestone and Hythe District Council

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council

London Borough of Croydon

Pensions Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP's pension department advises in relation to some of the largest pension schemes in the country with significant experience of scheme restructuring, funding and security projects. The team also has substantial capability in pensions litigation, helping clients with investigations by The Pensions Regulator or the Pensions Ombudsman. The team's client base includes financial institutions and pension providers, as well as pension schemes and their employers. Stephen Scholefield leads the department; litigator Hayley Goldstone was promoted to partner in May 2018 and senior associate Robert Tellwright is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Next Generation Partners


The pensions team at Pinsent Masons has a strong London and regional presence and the extensive network of pensions lawyers allows the team to service clients in a prompt and cost effective manner. The size of the team and collaborative working patterns means that they can tap into specialist advice from their tax, insurance, employment and data protection teams, amongst others.’

Stephen Scholefield is always pragmatic and understands our business and any constraints within which we are working.’

Personable, friendly, accessible. Technically hugely competent but wrapped in a very friendly package which was just right for the circumstances.

Stephen Scholefield is pragmatic, organised, experienced, knows his clients well and is good to work with.

Key clients

Balfour Beatty Pension Fund

Royal Ordnance Pension Schemes

Rentokil Initial plc

Unite the Union Pension Scheme

Newell Rubbermaid UK Pension Scheme

Mercer Limited and Mercer (Ireland) Limited

Baxi Group Pension Schemes

Babcock International Group Pension Scheme

Eurotunnel Pension Schemes

Laird Pension Scheme

Makro Staff Pension Scheme

Planning and environment Tier 1

At Pinsent Masons LLP the planning team, which is led by Mike Pocock, acts for developers, public sector clients and landowners, as well as construction, energy and water companies. It is engaged on infrastructure and development projects and is experienced in education sector work. Compulsory purchase orders and development consent orders are also a key area of expertise and it handles contentious planning cases. Associate Elizabeth Nuttall is experienced in development planning mandates and senior associate Melanie Grimshaw is 'excellent'. Legal director Claire Gregory heads the environmental team which handles contentious and non-contentious work for clients across the water, energy, waste, chemicals, infrastructure and advanced manufacturing sectors.


‘The environment team is particularly strong technically and it offers pragmatic, user-friendly legal advice.’

‘Claire Gregory provides excellent specialist legal advice in a user-friendly way and is very reliable and approachable.’

‘The team is unerringly friendly, down to earth and hugely competent.’

‘Mike Pocock is a pleasure to deal with, his friendly and approachable manner is greatly appreciated.’

‘Mike Pocock is excellent with clients and is astute and approachable.’

‘Matthew Baker is excellent with clients.’

‘Beth Grant is diligent, well prepared and hardworking.’

Key clients

United Utilities

Northern Trust Company


University of Sheffield

Land and Lakes

Befesa Salt Slags

Stockport Council

The Casey Group


Yorkshire Water

Miller Homes

Kier Construction

Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure

Tata Steel

St Modwen

Project finance and PFI Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP handles a range of national and international development, construction and infrastructure projects and is particularly noted for its experience in energy, waste, transport, health, education and real estate projects. The team is adept at handling joint ventures, PPP and PFI work across a range of sectors. Graham Alty heads the firm's nuclear practice and Scot Morrison is noted for transactional work.

Leading individuals

Sport Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP advises both national and international sports clients on a broad range of matters, covering investment, disputes, construction, planning and technology. Clients include governing bodies, sponsors, venues, teams, major events, funders, broadcasters and high-net-worth individuals. Julian Diaz-Rainey heads the team and focuses on dispute resolution, commercial and regulatory matters. Senior associate Andrew Mitchell specialises in contentious sports matters. Jo Seed is also recommended.

Key clients

Manchester City Football Club/City Football Group Limited

The Jockey Club / Jockey Club Racecourses (including Aintree and Haydock Park in the North- West Region)

The International Association of Athletics Federations

The English Football League

Leeds United Football Club (and parent company ASER)

Sport England

UK Sport

Rugby Football League

Everton Football Club

Club Regatas Vasco De Gama FC

Commercial litigation: Manchester Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP's practice advises an impressive roster of clients on high-value disputes, with the Manchester team leading on major international matters backed up by the firm's 24 offices around the world. The northwest practice is notable in that it offers a 'search and seizure' practice, which has attracted a number of referrals from leading law firms. ‘Fantastic team leader and a stand-out litigatorJulian Diaz-Rainey heads the team; he advises on commercial disputes, company disputes and trust litigation, while senior associates Andrew Mitchell and Jo Seed are also well-regarded.


The Pinsent Masons litigation team is superb’.

Julian Diaz-Rainey is wonderful to work with, a great strategist and handles clients superbly well’.

Key clients

Travel CounsellorsLimited

London School of Economics and Political Science

NoMauser UK Limited

CVS (Commercial Valuers& Surveyors) Limited

NoHCMT Limited / AnthonyHanson

United Drug (UK) Holdings Limited

Manchester City Football Club

Jockey Club Racecourses Limited

Education Tier 2

The 'brilliant' team at Pinsent Masons LLP is regularly involved in a range of planning, environmental, projects, construction, finance and employment mandates for higher education clients. Development, planning and environmental specialist Michael Pocock advises on large and complex development projects for clients in the university and higher education sector and legal director Pippa Whitmore leads the firm's education finance bank lending practice and focuses on lending to education institutions.

Leading individuals

Key clients

University of Sheffield

London Legacy Development Corporation

University of Huddersfield

Bricks Capital

University of Exeter

University of Gloucester

University of Sussex

University of Lincoln

Employment Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP's employment team - which is led by Neil Black, who is known for his work for food and drink clients - has expertise in large-scale reorganisations and restructurings, minimum wage enforcement and matters relating to the gender pay gap, industrial relations, TUPE and outsourcing. The team serves local, national and international clients including large bluechip corporates.


A knowledgeable team, with good practical advice.

‘Commercial and pragmatic – the firm understands our business and culture.’

Key clients

Wincanton plc

Mondelez International (Cadbury / Kraft)



Costain plc

Morgan Sindall plc


Barratt Developments plc

N Brown plc

Witherslack Group

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP is adept at handling complex regional and national restructuring and administrations, and its client-base spans a range of banks, asset based lenders, major corporates, directors, private equity houses, distressed investors, pension trustees and public sector bodies. The pensions and charity sectors are key areas of focus for the experienced Manchester-based team which is headed by James Cameron.

Leading individuals


James Cameron is a first-rate operator and has good commercial awareness


Key clients

FRP Advisory

Deloitte LLP



Hilco Capital

SEA Equity

Duff & Phelps



Intellectual property Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP has a particular focus on the life sciences, TMT and retail sectors for soft IP. Other client sectors include construction, IT, financial services, media and entertainment and consumer. Areas of expertise include brand reputation and development, portfolio management, patent procurement strategies, design right protection, unfair competition, breach of confidence actions, patent litigation and GDPR. Samantha Livesey heads the team and focuses on IP, IT, digital and data matters.

Leading individuals

Key clients

The Jockey Racecourses Limited

Innovative Vector Control Consortium

Lily’s Kitchen

Bandai Namco


Headlam Group PLC

University of Manchester Innovation Group

F2G Limited

Consumer Credit Solutions

Total Composite Solutions

Property litigation Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP is instructed by investors, developers and occupiers on a range of landlord and tenant disputes and development issues. Its sector expertise is wide, and it spans the financial services, agriculture, housing and development, utilities, infrastructure, leisure, energy, retail and education sectors. The team has specialist knowledge of rights to light, electronic communications, tresspass, professional negligence, judicial review and vacant possession cases. Michael Smith  has transferred from Leeds to Manchester to lead the local property disputes team. Senior associate Stuart McCann is experienced in the application of non-domestic business rates and agricultural law. Associate Patricia Mellody is also a key figure.

Next Generation Partners


Michael Smith is always available to advise and comment on strategic matters. He is an excellent litigator and provides clear and concise advice and guidance on all matters. Clients wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him‘.

Key clients

Balfour Beatty Group

The University of Manchester

Aviva Group

JD Williams & Company

St Modwen Properties Group

Homes England


Preston North End Football Club

Harworth Group

Asda Stores

Aldi Stores

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Morgan Sindall Group

United Utilities

Social housing Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for a range of housing sector clients such as landowners, registered providers, residential developers, local authorities, funders, grant givers and contractors. The team is adept at handling public-private housing partnerships and is experienced in structuring public sector joint venture vehicles. It is regularly instructed on complex housing and regeneration schemes, where team head Helen Robinson  is active, and the team also boasts strong planning expertise for projects in the sector.

Next Generation Partners

Key clients

Homes England

HIMOR (Carrington)

Manchester City Council

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council

Morgan Sindall Investments

London Legacy Development Corporation

Folkestone and Hythe District Council

Keepmoat Homes

Crawley Borough Council

Rowlinson Construction

Commercial property: Manchester Tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP handles a raft of complex, high-profile development and regeneration projects including investment work, and regularly acts for international investors. The firm also advises on public and private sector developments and joint venture projects, and advises on residential development projects. The hotels, leisure, logistics, energy and infrastructure sectors are key areas of focus, and the team also handles real estate finance mandates. Team head Jonathan Brocklehurst specialises in tax efficient funding structures and is experienced in complex promotion agreements, site assembly and regeneration projects. Helen Robinson, legal director Matthew Rowlands and senior associate David Herbert are also noted.


‘The team is able to handle highly-complex transactions and will get to grips with large volumes of information in a short period.’

‘Matthew Rowlands is down-to-earth and very approachable; he doesn’t just take a textbook legal approach to issues, he will suggest a suitable commercial approach to a matter where required in order to facilitate a transaction.’

‘The scope of services and integration of the commercial teams means the firm provides a one-stop shop for commercial property.’

Key clients

St Modwen Developments

Manchester City Council

Bricks Capital

United Utilities


Morgan Sindall Investments/Lovell Partnerships

Balfour Beatty

Homes England


Harworth Estates

Lancaster City Council

BVK Hines

Yorkshire Ventures

Pinsent Masons is an international law firm that likes to do things differently. The business is built around the needs of its clients across five global sectors: energy, infrastructure, financial services, real estate, and advanced manufacturing and technology. Because the firm knows those sectors inside out, it is able to innovate with, and for, its clients to deliver modern solutions to complex challenges. In recent years, Pinsent Masons has achieved more Tier 1 rankings in The Legal 500 UK than any other firm, been named the most innovative law firm in Europe by The Financial Times and simultaneously held the ‘Law Firm of the Year’ award from Legal Business and Legal Week. The firm has more PLC clients than almost any other law firm in the UK.

The firm: With over 1,500 lawyers operating from 23 locations throughout the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, Pinsent Masons is well-placed to advise on complex multi-jurisdictional matters across a full range of legal disciplines.

Type of work undertaken: The firm has significant international credentials in the global energy, infrastructure, financial services and advanced manufacturing and technology sectors. In the UK, it also conducts market-leading work in sectors including real estate, government, retail, universities and higher education.

Services provided across these sectors include corporate and M&A, commercial, competition, litigation and arbitration, banking, restructuring, insurance, regulatory, construction, projects, pensions, property, planning and environmental, procurement, outsourcing, employment, share plans, technology and tax advice.

Pinsent Masons stands out in particular for its innovative approach to service delivery. For example, the firm operates a hub of freelance lawyers, called Vario, and has also developed Cerico, a cloud-based regulatory compliance solution. It has developed long-term service agreements, often referred to as ‘sole adviser’ relationships, with a number of blue-chip organisations.

Other offices: Aberdeen, Beijing, Belfast, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Madrid, Melbourne, Munich, Paris, Qatar, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Richard Foley
Managing partner John Cleland
Head of London office Carolyn Saunders
Head of Birmingham office Greg Lowson
Head of Leeds office Chris Booth
Head of Manchester office Helen Ridge
Photo Name Position Profile
 Melanie Grimshaw  photo Melanie Grimshaw
 Stuart McCann  photo Stuart McCann
 Michael Pocock  photo Michael Pocock
 Helen Robinson  photo Helen Robinson
Number of UK partners (including legal directors) : 380 approx
Number of other UK fee-earners : 1,300+

The Lex 100 Verdict

Pinsent Masons is admired for its 'international focus' and is regarded by respondents as 'a large firm with small firm values'. Pinsent Masons maintains a 'strong reputation and client base' while being 'committed to diversity and inclusivity', providing applicants with 'the best of both worlds', and therefore winning a Lex 100 Winner medal in this category. Boasting 'a friendly ethos', the firm is praised for its 'progressive and approachable culture', and is a Lex 100 Winner for inclusiveness. This grew from 'the Scotland training week', during which many made 'lasting connections'. Moreover, newbies claim to have a good work/life balance, combining high-quality work with client contact, the opportunity to get involved in social activities and 'many excellent CSR initiatives'. However, a particular gripe was the seat allocation process which some felt 'was challenging at times' especially if you didn't get your seat preference. Others were disappointed that 'despite being an international firm there are not many international secondments'. The 'uncertainty of being relocated to another office' was unsettling for some and 'working till 2am on a Friday evening' upset others. Nevertheless, trainees appreciate that 'this is the nature of the job' and 'more common in a corporate seat'. 'Being involved in some of the most high-profile legal disputes in Scotland' allowed one trainee to gain enough responsibility to 'feel stretched yet supported'. If an 'innovation-focused firm' with 'a remarkable international expansion vision' sounds attractive, why not apply to Pinsent Masons where 'hard work is recognised' and 'a real team spirit' unites the office.