Firm Profile > Pinsent Masons LLP > Birmingham , England

Pinsent Masons LLP
55 Colmore Row
B3 2FG

Living Wage

Banking and finance Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP provides 'consistently excellent service' with regards to corporate lending, syndicated lending, real estate finance, acquisition and leveraged finance, social housing finance, securitisation and debt capital markets work. The practice is also noted for its expertise in asset-based lending transactions. David Doogan leads the practice, while legal director Esther Parkes is also well-regarded.

Leading individuals

Next Generation Partners


‘The team is efficient, proactive and commercial in negotiations, which provides the support we need to execute transactions quickly and without getting drawn into unnecessary arguments’

‘The team is highly responsive, takes initiative where appropriate and provides sensible commercial advice as well as efficient and effective project management for transactions’

‘David Doogan and Oliver Morgan have provided us with outstanding service on numerous transactions’

‘David Doogan is a highly capable and commercial banking partner’

‘Oliver Morgan is a solid team player’

‘Victoria Baker is a pleasure to work with – she is highly professional and knowledgeable but also very commercial’

Key clients


Barclays Bank

National Westminster Bank

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank

Police Mutual Assurance Society

Orders of St John Care Trust

RBS Invoice Finance Limited

Specialist Motor Finance Limited

Allied Irish Bank

Employment Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP fields a large team, whose expertise spans the energy, infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and university sectors, among others. Birmingham team head Jonathan Coley is recommended for his knowledge of the enforcement of restrictive covenants. The national head of the employment and reward team is Linda Jones. Another name to note is Helen Corden, who is active in the education and TMT sectors. Senior associate Rebecca Stephen is recommended for her work with clients in the higher education and financial sectors.


The lawyers are not sitting in a legal ivory tower. They take time to listen and understand our organisation and what we want to achieve. The advice is clear, relevant and pragmatic. It is provided in a timely way and in line with the cost quote’.

It is a very easy team to work with. The team truly understands the complexities of operating in all the business sectors’.

It is a very responsive and practical team, knowledgeable and commercial –  a rare breed!’.

Jonathan Coley is knowledgeable, practical, commercial and a seasoned player who is fantastic with clients‘.

Linda Jones is top notch – just  brilliant‘.

Linda Jones is charming, straight talking and bright’.

Helen Corden is hardworking, capable and personable‘.

Clients really rate Rebecca Stephen ‘.

There are some excellent junior lawyers coming up its ranks‘.

Key clients



University of the Arts

The Binding Site

Health and safety Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP's Birmingham team, which is part of a wider UK group, acts for many leading industry players in high hazard areas, such as construction, waste, manufacturing and energy. A key feature of the practice is that the team often undertakes its own advocacy, rather than instructing external counsel. Practice head Sean Elson, who has specialised in health and safety for nearly 15 years, has a wealth of experience representing clients in coroners’ inquests and investigations by the HSE. Another cornerstone of the firm's offering involves advising clients on health and safety preventative measures, compliance-related issues and stress tests.

Leading individuals


Sean Elson is very measured, sensible to deal with and unflappable‘.

Sean Elson  is technically excellent and brilliant at litigation. He is particularly well regarded for his work on matters in the construction/energy sectors‘.

Sean Elson is very experienced with a strong track record. His manner is reassuring and detailed‘.

Louise Mansfield is knowledgeable, sensible and commercial.

Louise Mansfield is also deeply committed to this field. Her work is detailed and analytical’.

The team provides very practical advice and has a very good understanding of our business‘.

A strong player with several high quality corporate clients‘.

Key clients

ATE Truck and Trailer Sale

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP is one of the top firms in the West Midlands for insolvency and lending work. Led by 'great lawyer' Amy Flavell, the team advises banks and insolvency practitioners and on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious issues. Specific sector expertise includes education, automotive, retail and energy. Samantha Palmer joined from Ashfords LLP in June 2018 while senior associate Stuart Taylor joined in May 2018 from Shakespeare Martineau LLP.

Leading individuals


‘From a legal and technical point of view, the team are excellent at focusing on the right things; they are practical, very commercial in their approach and impressive in their ability to throw time at urgent situations.’

‘A diverse team, very strong at building and maintaining client and stakeholder support with multiple proactive touch points throughout the year.’

‘Equally blessed in legal skills and emotional intelligence, Amy Flavell gains a deep understanding of her clients, refreshingly lacks in an ego, takes a collaborative approach and has strong ethics – I cannot recommend her enough.’

‘Edward Sunderland is a pleasure to work with – highly professional and knowledgeable but also very commercial.’

Key clients

Grant Thornton UK LLP



Moore Stephens

FRP Advisory


Crown Commercial Service

Homes England

Charity Commission Interim Managers

Bank of Ireland Group plc

Local government Tier 1

The local government team at Pinsent Masons LLP advises on development and construction matters, with key strengths including advising local authorities on public-private partnerships, procurement and land swaps relating to regeneration works, housing projects, recycling facilities, commercial developments and leisure. Didar Dhillon is an 'insightful' expert in this sector and is often supported by David Meecham .

Leading individuals


The team is strong and proactive in their advice. The lawyers are pragmatic and seek to understand what is unique about the situation

Very supportive team taking a broad view of issues encountered in order to provide advice that supports both legal and commercial decision making

Didar Dhillon always takes the time to be involved in the projects, and to understand them. His advice is always supported with rationale. He acknowledges that others in the wider team have value to give, and always respects views. When he challenges them, he does this professionally and courteously

Didar Dhillon is an insightful lawyer with detailed knowledge of his subject area and willingness to work with the in-house team to find the best way forward

Didar Dhillon expertly negotiated the internal politics within our organisation providing a steady hand on the project to ensure we reached signature

Key clients

Coventry City Council

Cardiff City Council

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Swindon Borough Council

Peterborough City Council

Monmouthshire County Council

London Borough of Brent

Basingstoke & Deane Borough

Solihull Borough Council

Crawley Borough Council

Pensions Tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP has a full–service offering, which covers a diverse range of matters, such as master trusts and occupational pension schemes. The firm is highly active in corporate advisory and public sector work, with the firm advising both employers and trustees (from a variety of industries), as well as national and international insurers. It also has a solid base of occupational scheme work, as well as a significant pension provider practice, and a top-notch pensions litigation practice. Nick Stones and Simon Laight are key figures.

Leading individuals


Good all round team that provides practical and commercial advice on how to address relatively complex technical issues’.

Nick Stones – very personable and technically sound‘.

Daniel Shelley is very capable, strong technically and unflappable‘.

Key clients




Cadbury Pension Fund

GKN Group Pension Scheme

Michelin Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

National Express Group


Covea Insurance


Mitie Group



St Modwen


Northern Ireland Local Government Officers Superannuation Committee


Commercial litigation: Birmingham Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP's broad commercial litigation practice is notably strong in cases involving professional negligence, contract breaches and civil fraud. Jim Richards leads the team, while other key figures include legal director Jason Kirwin, who is heavily involved in the retail and manufacturing sectors; Jonathan Fortnam, who has a focus on the finance and energy sectors; civil fraud expert Andrew Herring ; and legal director Faye Moore, who acts on contract and warranty breaches.

Next Generation Partners


The service is unique because they engage with client issues, however small. They seek to understand what they need and offer ideas as well as robust advice.

‘High performing team with excellent level of legal expertise. The team provide partnership approach that supports our business in finding the most commercial solutions to issues.’

Key clients

MLS (Overseas) Limited

NISS UK Limited


London Borough of Haringey

Honda Motor Europe Limited

IMS World Publications Limited

Hill & Smith plc

APG Cash Drawer Limited

DG Robson Mechanical Services Limited

Marston’s plc

Commercial property: Birmingham Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP has a strong track record of residential development work for investors, developers and public bodies. The practice also stands out for its experience in the healthcare and public sectors, as well as for advising insolvency practitioners on real estate-related matters. Tom Johnson heads the team and handles a wide range of commercial and residential development work, while the 'very good' Tom Eastwood focuses on healthcare transactions and Carl Scott handles insolvency work.

Leading individuals


‘Very strong technical ability with a commercial approach.’

‘The team has strength in depth and is capable of handling very complex commercial property and corporate transactions across the real estate sector. Their non-confrontational approach is refreshing and has been of great help in completing a variety of deals often involving multiple legal firms acting for third parties.’

‘Lisa Middleton and Tom Johnson are the best commercial property lawyers I have worked with in many years. One of their greatest attributes is their response time and accessibility at all times of the day.’

‘Lisa Middleton is always responsive and not only has a very strong technical ability but brings a commercial approach to her advice.’

Key clients

Arena Central Developments LLP

Homes England

Elevation Capital Partners


Extracare Charitable Trust

Methodist Homes

Orders of St John Care Trust

Oakland Primecare


Spire Healthcare

Porthaven Group

MedicX/Octopus Healthcare

Akari Care

IM Properties

Henry Boot Developments Limited

Birmingham City Council

Lovell Partnerships Limited



Ernst &Young



Places for People Group

Crawley Borough Council

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation

St Mungo Community Housing Association

Corporate and commercial: Birmingham Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP's Birmingham team has a particularly international focus, with a notable skillset in private equity, M&A and capital market transactions. In terms of sector focus, prominent industries for the team include energy, technology, healthcare and manufacturing. Nicole Livesey  heads up the corporate department and is highly involved in the advanced manufacturing sector. Public sector specialist  Clare Francis  leads the commercial side and is notably skilled in advising on Brexit-related issues. Andrew Hornigold  is another name of note, and is heavily involved in corporate issues surrounding the technology sector.

Leading individuals

Key clients

Cargill PLC

Headlam Plc

Halma plc

Homeserve Membership Limited

Keys Bidco Limited

ISS Facility Services Limited

Financial Times Group

Porthaven Group Holdings Limited


Starship Technologies

E.ON Ministry of Justice

Education Tier 2

Well-respected for its work in the higher education sector, Pinsent Masons LLP is instructed by universities and colleges on commercial, regulatory, governance, charity and employment matters. Gayle Ditchburn, who heads the team, stands out for her regulatory, structuring and governance expertise; Helen Corden specialises in employment law and handles restructurings and redundancies linked to the pressure to cut costs as well as staff status issues. Charity head Chris Thomas acts for higher education clients on charity-related governance matters and issues relating to joint venture structuring and the acceptance of gifts.

Key clients

Universities UK

University of London

University of Lincoln

University of Sussex

Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority

Dyson Technology Limited

Heythrop College

University of Surrey

University of Gloucestershire

University of Manchester

University of Greenwich

City, University of London

INTO University Partnerships Limited

OpenClassrooms SAS

Coursera, Inc

Online Educational Services Limited

Energy Tier 2

Noted for its real estate expertise, Pinsent Masons LLP has a strong track record of work in energy and infrastructure projects as well as real estate transactions, spanning wind, waste-to-energy and battery storage matters. The team's client roster includes national and international clients in the public and private sector, often in relation to PPPs.

Key clients



Amber Infrastructure

Knowsley Council

FCC Environmental

Viridor Waste Management


Peterborough Council

Doosan Enpure

Hitachi Zosen Inova

Westminster City Council

Health Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP focuses on providing non-contentious corporate and commercial advice to private healthcare clients and investors. Practice head Joanne Ellis handles real estate and corporate transactions including acquisitions of dental practices, sale of care home portfolios and the negotiation of partnerships. She is often supported by director Tom Eastwood on real estate transactions.

Leading individuals

Next Generation Partners

Key clients

Apposite Capital

August Equity

Intellectual property Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP has a strong presence in the retail, manufacturing and education sectors, supporting an impressive roster of clients - including a number of high-profile engineering and manufacturing companies - on cross-border transactions and litigation. The team is led by the 'outstanding' and 'exceptionally committed' Cerys Wyn Davies, while director Jo Alderson is highly regarded for her technical excellence in M&A and private equity transactions. Legal director Tom Nener joined from HGF Law in June 2019.

Leading individuals

Next Generation Partners

Rising stars


‘Cerys Wyn Davies is the most outstanding person I have ever worked with on the legal side.’ 

‘Cerys Wyn Davies is exceptionally committed and a driving force under pressure. She combines deep IP knowledge with right on target hands-on support.’

Key clients

The Robert Bosch Group

ZyXEL Communications

UK Limited

Safestyle plc HPAS

Limited (trading as

Safestyle UK)



The London School of Economics

The Financial Times Group

Smith & Nephew PLC

Sage PLC


Magnesium Elektron




IT and telecoms Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP's practice has a strong focus on the manufacturing sector, working with both international and national clients in the technology and retail fields. Andrew Hornigold co-heads the practice while also handling major M&A work for key technology clients, working alongside Birmingham commercial head Clare Francis, who acts for both private and public sector clients.

Key clients

The Financial Times




Centrica Connected Home



The Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire

Repton School

Kier Limited

Planning Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP recently brought in a new local team head with the hire of former Ashurst partner Lucy Thomas, who handles large-scale regeneration schemes. The practice has outstanding expertise in advising local authorities on infrastructure and housing development matters, often working in collaboration with the London office, and also acts for developers on residential projects. Director Heidi Slater, who has 'an infinite capacity for sustained hard work', is well-regarded for her infrastructure work and also specialises in compulsory purchase and acquisition matters.

Next Generation Partners


The team has the ability to work harder and more effectively over sustained periods of time in order to get the job done, and to deliver incisive and commercially astute advice at the preparatory stages of project development, backed up by an up-to-date knowledge of the law and its latest developments, and to then follow through to delivery of the project through the relevant consenting regime

The team clearly shows the reason for the firm’s market leading position, offering expert advice, providing strength in depth and demonstrating that going the extra mile is simply business as usual

The team has the ability to always provide advice constructively with a solutions focus, allowing them to become trusted members of the wider project team, rather than just legal gatekeepers

I have found the knowledge and experience of Pinsent Masons to be unparalleled within the sector. All employees that I have worked with have a thorough understanding of the range of planning consenting approaches

Legal director Heidi Slater has an infinite capacity for sustained hard work, a detailed knowledge of compulsory acquisition and development consent order law, practice, and procedure, and a sound grasp of tactics and commercial realism

Heidi Slater is very approachable and makes the often stressful DCO examination process much simpler with her calm approach that shows that she is in control of the situation. She is responsive and efficient

Associate Matthew Fox has a ‘can do’ attitude combined with a steadiness under pressure, an ability to deliver against tight deadlines, and a microscopic attention to detail

Matthew Fox is particularly knowledgeable of the technical aspects of the environmental disciplines. Matthew also has a remarkable ability to understand and recall the approach to the assessment

Associate Jonathan Leary is a oasis of calm in a pressured environment, with a detailed knowledge of DCO drafting and compulsory purchase compensation, and a reassuring sense of keeping matters firmly under control

Heidi Slater and Jonathan Leary have provided excellent legal advice and exceptional hard work

Lucy Close is one to watch, with a real understanding of her clients, strong drafting skills and a practical approach to advice

Key clients

Highways England

Suffolk County Council

Norfolk County Council

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation

Transport for London

Heathrow Airport Limited

Crest Nicholson

Environment Agency

Countryside Properties UK Limited

Port of Tilbury Limited

Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council & Hampshire County Council (jointly)

Cory Riverside Energy

L&Q/ Gallagher Estates Limited

West Midlands Combined Authority

Davidsons Developments Limited

CALA Homes

London Borough of Croydon

Stone Hill Park Limited

Portsmouth City Council

Leeds City Council

Project finance and PFI Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP has expertise in handling work relating to PPPs in the waste sector, contracting arrangements in the rail market, alternative funding sources and development projects. Practice head Didar Dhillon, who specialises in PPP projects across the energy and waste sectors, works alongside Nigel Blundell, who leads much of the practice's most important work, as well as senior associates Gemma Glasspole and Oliver Mangiapane.

Key clients

Cardiff City Council

FCC Environmental

Volker Rail

Morgan Sindall

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Hitachi Zosen AG

Peterborough Council

Amber Infrastructure

South East London Combined Heat & Power Limited

Knowsley Council

Property litigation Tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP's diverse client base includes investment funds, local authorities, energy providers, waste operators, universities and housing associations, and the practice is well-regarded for its expertise in the telecoms, energy and waste sectors. The team also provides comprehensive advice on landlord and tenant issues such as break clauses, rent reviews and land ownership, as well as on development, regeneration and transactional disputes. The highly regarded Alicia Foo has broad expertise in all types of property disputes, while the 'outstanding' senior associate Craig Downhill is frequently involved in development and insolvency cases.

Leading individuals


Alicia Foo is very good

Craig Downhill is an outstanding lawyer

Key clients




Watford Borough Council

Union Investments

London and Regional Properties Limited

London Boroughs of Brent

Wandsworth & City of Westminster

CBRE Global Investors



Homes England

Peterson (United Kingdom) Limited

Moreton Morrell Parish Council

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP is well-known for providing specialist charity law advice to universities, as well as assisting commercial clients with the establishment of corporate foundations. It also acts for major insurance companies on their entering into ‘affinity’ arrangements with charities, and also generates work from local government charities. Legal director Chris Thomas is the name to note.

Key clients

London School of Economics

University of Sheffield

University of Leeds

Sheffield Hallam University

University of Surrey

Coventry University

University of Edinburgh

University of Huddersfield

University of New South Wales

University College London


Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Construction Tier 3

The Birmingham team at Pinsent Masons LLP, which focuses on non-contentious work, is led by Nigel Blundell, who has advised a number of contractors on issues relating to the collapse of Carillion. The team acts for an impressive range of public and private sector clients, including some of the best-known names in the property and infrastructure sphere, and works in tandem with the firm's market-leading lawyers across the UK on major matters.

Key clients


Grainger Plc

Balfour Beatty PLC

Galliford Try PLC

Arena Central Developments LLP

IM Properties

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP’s focus is on trusts in a commercial context. The team acts for insurance companies, banks, pension providers and government agencies on all types of trusts that are used in commercial transactions, such as funeral trusts and insolvency customer monies trusts. It also has considerable strength in tax-specific trusts, particularly those that are linked to employment and reward structures. Chris Thomas is a key contact.

Key clients

Royal London


Scottish Widows

Standard Life

Social housing Tier 4

At Pinsent Masons LLP, the team led by David Meecham stands out for its expertise in housing development work for local authorities and charities, and regularly acts on land acquisitions, planning, construction, procurement and regeneration matters. Homes England is a key client of the practice.

Key clients

Homes and Communities Agency

Ministry of Defence

Ebbsfleet Development Corporation

Brent London Borough Council

Birmingham City Council

London Borough of Hackney

Crawley Borough Council

London Borough of Southwark

London Borough of Hounslow

Westminster City Council

Southampton City Council

Methodist Homes

Coventry City Council

Lichfield City Council

St Mungo Community Housing Association

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
 Didar Dhillon  photo Didar Dhillon
 Gayle Ditchburn  photo Gayle Ditchburn
 Craig Downhill  photo Craig Downhill
 Joel Kordan  photo Joel Kordan
 Carl Scott  photo Carl Scott
 Rebecca Warren  photo Rebecca Warren
Number of UK partners (including legal directors) : 380 approx
Number of other UK fee-earners : 1,300+