McCormicks > Harrogate, England > Firm Profile

McCormicks
WHARFEDALE HOUSE
35-37 EAST PARADE
HARROGATE
HG1 5LQ
England

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

Commended as ‘the best in the business’, Harrogate-based McCormicks attributes its reputation to founding partner Peter McCormick, who is praised as ‘the UK’s leading football lawyer by a mile’ and was recently appointed as interim chairman of The Premier League. McCormick leads the practice alongside Philip Edmondson, who focuses on disputes involving key clients, such as Leeds United FC, and James Towler, who advises sporting clients on acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, group reorganisations and commercial agreements. Other key members of the team include commercial property head Heather Roberts and associate Emily Steed.

Practice head(s):

Peter McCormick; James Towler; Philip Edmondson

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Peter McCormick is hugely esteemed as a sports lawyer and key player in the field.’

‘Attention to detail, results orientated, objective and confident but realistic.’

‘We have used senior partner Peter McCormick and his litigation partner Phil Edmondson. Their in-depth knowledge and experience of the football sector is outstanding. It’s also helpful that Peter is incredibly well-connected within the industry. If there’s anything that makes them unique, it’s Peter’s connections and the value he can add in a strategic sense to Phil’s tactical expertise.’

‘Peter McCormick is outstanding, very knowledgeable and well connected.’

‘Unique sports expertise, particularly football. The best in the business.’

‘Peter McCormick is the UK’s leading football lawyer by a mile.’

Key clients

The Premier League

The Premier League Charitable Fund

Leeds United FC

The Bostik League (Isthmian League)

Professional Game Match Officials Ltd

Frank Boddy (Shoot Proprietor) and the Ripley Castle Shoot Group

Visit Harrogate

Harrogate Town AFC

Walsall FC

McLaren Formula One

Otley RUFC

Leeds Rhinos RLFC

Robert Jones (Long Mountain Shoot and other shoots)

Liam Botham (son of Lord Ian Botham)

Norwich City FC

IDRS/The EFL

The Southern League

The Northern Premier League

Wycombe Wanderers FC

Lord Ian Botham

Work highlights

    Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 2

    McCormicks is a go-to name for sports clients requiring competition advice, in particular those in the football sector; the team is especially highlighted for its work for the Premier League. Practice head Philip Edmondson handles contentious and non-contentious work, and Peter McCormick is well versed in investigations.

    Practice head(s):

    Philip Edmondson

    Other key lawyers:

    Key clients

    Premier League

    GMI Construction Holdings PLC

    GMI Construction Group PLC

    Serving Sport Ltd and Venue Hospitality Ltd

    Leeds United Football Club

    Analytix Ltd

    Work highlights

    • Represented GMI Construction Holdings PLC and GMI Construction Group PLC in a successful appeal against penalties imposed by the OFT, totalling £2.7m, in an investigation related to bid rigging.
    • Represented the Premier League in a high-profile arbitration brought by Leyton Orient.
    • Represented the Premier League as interveners in a case brought by HMRC to challenge the so-called Football Creditor Rules regime.

    Crime, fraud and licensing > General crime and fraud Tier 2

    Though adept in the full array of criminal matters, McCormicks is especially reputed for serious fraud, corporate manslaughter, drug conspiracy and sexual abuse cases. Peter Minnikin, a High Court Advocate, leads the team which also holds distinct track record in representing solicitors, pharmacist and accountants, among other professionals.

    Practice head(s):

    Peter Minnikin

    Testimonials

    ‘Sound advice, straight talking, and incredibly hard-working.’

    ‘The people who make up the crime team are all excellent. They deal with the full spectrum of criminal offences and are knowledgeable and confident in their approach to cases.  The lawyers, led by Peter Minnikin, are all approachable and obtain good results for their clients.’

    ‘Peter Minnikin – responsive, efficient, extremely knowledgeable, and he can do the job. Great charm and style, he inspires confidence, and is a great communicator and persuasive advocate. Extremely hard-working, he is the master of his cases.’

    ‘Peter Minnikin leads the criminal team. He is an exceptional lawyer and extremely hardworking.  Peter is supportive of his clients and dedicated to securing a good outcome for them. He is available at all times to answer a clients questions if required to. He ensures that no stone is left unturned when preparing his cases and is a pleasure to co-defend with.’

    Key clients

    National Pharmaceutical Association

    Leeds United FC

    Professional Games Match Officials Ltd

    City Football Group Ltd

    Simon Mallen

    Daniel Ainsley

    Jaroslaw Rutowicz

    Izabel Alves

    Kevin Chandler

    Oliver McBurnie

    Crysencio Summerville

    Nicola Fletcher

    Jon Braganza

    Jake Waudby

    Sarah O’Connor

    Narvinder Nandra

    Denise Milestone

    Yvonne Jones

    Darren Wright

    Work highlights

    • Representing the National Pharmaceutical Association in relation to a substantial number of cases. The pharmacists are arrested in relation to gross negligence manslaughter and other serious criminal offences arising out of their role as pharmacists including investigations by the NHS Fraud Prevention Team.
    • Acing for Leeds United FC Acting in a range of regulatory matters (for the club, management, coaches and players) and criminal matters (for players).
    • Representing the City Football Group, the parent group of Manchester City Football Club, in relation to health and safety legislation and other regulatory matters.

    Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 3

    The agricultural team at McCormicks is led by Peter McCormick, who is a longstanding member of the Country Landowners and Rural Business Association. The team acts for a number of substantial agricultural estates, namely assisting landowning clients in the refinancing or diversification of their estates, including developing buildings for office and residential developments.

    Practice head(s):

    Peter McCormick

    Testimonials

    ‘Their billing is very clear. A very prompt and quick service.’

     

    Key clients

    The estate of the late John Herbert Strutt

    The Ripley Castle shoot

    Rudding Park

    Sir Thomas & Lady Ingilby of the Ripley Castle estate

    WMT

    Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

    Cheywynde School

    Liam Botham

    Royal Horticultural Society

    Yorkshire Agricultural Society

    Work highlights

    • Advising on matters of the complex estate of the late John Herbert Strutt and its associated trusts and charities with regards, in particular, the potential future development and/or sale of various properties held within the residuary estate.
    • Assisting and advising on all relevant aspect of the Ripley Shoot along with several others, including Hob Green, Cayton Gill, the Nidd Estate, Mountgarret Shoot, which together form the second largest portfolio of shoots in the UK.
    • Advising on the Rudding Park Estate, including advising on the re-financing of the entire estate, which involved advising on a related dispute relating to the granting of an entertainment licence to a neighbouring property.

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

    The charities offering at McCormicks is headed by Peter McCormick. It advises various well-known charities on high-value matters from incorporation and registration with the Charities Commission, to the negotiation of a variety of commercial and charitable arrangements between the charity, its specialist providers and its funding partners.

    Practice head(s):

    Peter McCormick

    Testimonials

    ‘Everyone is really friendly and helpful. The practice deals effectively and quickly with all the issues we raise. They clearly explain things, converting technical terminolgy and issues into simple language.’

    ‘Everyone we deal with at McCormicks is excellent. We appreciate their swift responses, thorough understanding and clarity in explanation.’

     

    Key clients

    Harrogate International Festivals

    John Strutt Centre for Parrot Conservation, John Strutt Memorial Foundation, John Strutt Conservation Foundation, The John Strutt Charity

    The Premier League Charitable Fund

    War Memorial Trust

    The Football Foundation

    The Helen Feather Memorial Trust

    The Harrogate Operatic Players

    The Royal Horticultural Society

    The Outward Bound Trust

    Yorkshire Agricultural Society

    Rydale Special Families

    Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust

    Work highlights

    • Advising on the complex estate of the late John Herbert Strutt and the associated Trusts and Charities with regards, in particular, the proposed future development and/or sale of various properties within the residuary estate.
    • Advising the War Memorials Trust on on a wide range of matters, including the drafting of new governing documentation and advice regarding the relocation of its premises in London.
    • Providing a full service to the The Premier League Charitable Fund, with regards all commercial and charitable arrangements between the charity, its funding partners and specialist service providers.

    Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

    Elaine Lightfoot  heads the contentious trusts and probate team at McCormicks in Harrogate. Its workload mainly involves advising executors, trustees and potential beneficiaries of family estates and trusts of significant value. The team advises on a variety of cases from will drafting and registration to complex division of assets cases.

    Practice head(s):

    Elaine Lightfoot

    Work highlights

      Private client > Family: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 3

      The family department at McCormicks in Harrogate is led by Stephen Hopwood. The team predominantly advises on division of asset matters following relationship dissolution. In addition, the team lends a portion of its focus to children’s matters, namely custodial disputes. Its cases often involve technically and emotionally complex factors such as domestic abuse or criminal allegations against one of the involved parties.

      Practice head(s):

      Stephen Hopwood

      Testimonials

      ‘A strong practice comprising of individuals, expert in their field, working as a team with a customer-centric ethos.’

      ‘Stephen Hopwood is a hands-on solicitor who works closely with his clients.’

      Work highlights

      • Advised a husband whose properties are held in family trusts, including gaming land.
      • Advised a wife in financial proceedings who had been subject to controlling and coercive behaviour.
      • Advised a mother who had been subject to an abusive relationship on a children matter.

      Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 4

      McCormicks has a strong track record in sports disputes, acting for the Premier League and Leeds United Football Club and other EFL Clubs. In the commercial space, the group also covers contractual disputes, construction disputes, debt recovery issues, professional negligence claims, and contentious probate work for a variety of clients. Peter McCormick is noted as a reputed sports lawyer, and practice head Philip Edmondson can also offer support in insolvency disputes arising from liquidations and administrations. Senior associate Will Bates is another prominent practitioner.

      Practice head(s):

      Philip Edmondson

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘Excellent commercial litigators. Value for money. Very strong commercial advice with senior respected lawyers.’

      ‘Peter McCormick: he is my go-to lawyer, deep unrivalled sports sector experience. Great investigator, commercial advice, fast response times.’

      ‘Commercially astute with sound advice.’

      ‘Phil Edmondson and Peter McCormick. Great commercial approach. Make you feel like the most important client and readily accessible.’

      Key clients

      The Premier League

      Rudding Park Ltd

      Leeds United Football Club

      GMI Construction Group PLC

      Oracle Finance Limited

      DFS Furniture Company Limited

      Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited/Legal and Professional Insurance

      The Isthmian League (Bostik League)

      Lunchbox Theatrical Productions Limited

      InTechnology PLC

      The Estate of the late John Strutt and associated trusts

      Wycombe Wanderers Football Club

      Work highlights

      • Continued to deal with a significant case load for Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited, involving a variety of debt recovery and run-off claims management matters.
      • Represented Leeds United Football Club Limited and Marcelo Bielsa in relation to the investigations and eventual charges brought by the FA and EFL respectively.
      • Representing Wycombe Wanderers Football Club Limited in advancing a claim for unlawful means conspiracy against Derby County Football Club and others for agreeing to breach the EFL P&S (Financial Fair Play) Rules.

      Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

      Led by Philip Edmondson, McCormicks is primarily instructed by clients in the national sports sector; the group has a strong foothold in the football industry with the Premier League being a notable client. It also acts for local insolvency practitioners on a number of transactions that include breach of director duty and constructive trusts. Associate Will Bates  provides strong support.

      Practice head(s):

      Philip Edmondson

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘Fast commercial advice – this is crucial in insolvencies.’

      ‘Peter McCormick – great unrivalled experience.’

      ‘We work with a small number of individuals predominately in relation to recovery actions. These can be complex and extremely difficult to manage but they are handled with skill, delicacy when required and professionalism.’

      Key clients

      The Premier League

      Solicitors Indemnity Fund Limited/Legal and Professional Insurance

      DFS Furniture Company Limited

      Oracle Finance Limited

      Leeds United Football Club Limited

      Walsh Taylor Business Support Group

      Rudding Park

      Wycombe Wanderers Football Club

      Work highlights

      • Advising and representing the Premier League, with recent insolvency related matters including providing advice relating to Portsmouth FC.
      • Represented the Premier League in proceedings threatened by its former landlord pursuant to an Authorised Guarantee Agreement, providing insolvency advice as to the tenant’s status throughout.
      • Advising Wycombe Wanderers on its 8 figure claim in the insolvent estate of Derby County Football Club.

      Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

      The personal tax, trust and probate offering at McCormicks is co-headed by Elaine Lightfoot and Peter McCormick. The team advises trustees, beneficiaries, attorneys and deputies on a range of matters, including: the establishment and running of possession trusts and charitable trusts; the appointment of income and capital from trusts; the effect of incapacity in LPA matters; and Court of Protection applications and contentious cases. In addition, it advises on the administration of estates.

      Practice head(s):

      Peter McCormick; Elaine Lightfoot

      Work highlights

      • Advising on the complex estate of the late John Herbert Strutt and the associated charities with regards, in particular, the future development and/or sale of various properties comprised within the residuary estate
      • Advising the Premier League in respect of structures to protect young players from financial predators.

      Real estate > Property litigation Tier 4

      McCormicks advises its roster of clients, including private investors, developers, landed estates and charities, on landlord and tenant work, dilapidation claims, boundary disputes and possession matters. Philip Edmondson leads the team, which includes experienced commercial litigator Peter McCormick and Heather Roberts. Key clients include The Premier League, Leeds United FC and GMI Holdings Limited.

      Practice head(s):

      Philip Edmondson

      Other key lawyers:

      Key clients

      The Premier League

      John Strutt Conservation Foundation

      Executors of John Herbert Strutt Deceased

      Leeds United FC

      John Strutt Centre for Parrot Conservation

      John Strutt Memorial Foundation

      GMI Holdings PLC

      Liam Botham

      Alison Johnson

      Work highlights

      • Represented the Premier League in proceedings threatened by its former landlord pursuant to an Authorised Guarantee Agreement.
      • Acting for a client in relation to the management of the Derbyshire Estate, involving managing tenants, advising on forfeiture and distraint, interference with right of way and adverse possession claims.
      • Advising Leeds United FC on an ongoing basis on all aspects of its properties.

      Dispute resolution > Professional discipline Tier 4

      McCormicks is well known for its football-related disciplinary and regulatory work. The practice also handles SRA investigations and SDT defence work. Peter McCormick is a renowned sports lawyer; Peter Minnikin‘s practice includes disciplinary matters involving medical practitioners and physiotherapists; and Philip Edmondson heads up the litigation services team.

      Practice head(s):

      Philip Edmondson; Peter McCormick

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘Good knowledge of the football industry means the firm can apply any area of law with relevance.’

      ‘Peter McCormick makes you feel like the most important client all the time.’

      Key clients

      National Pharmacy Association

      The Premier League

      Professional Game Match Officials

      Leeds United FC

      Sport Resolutions (UK)

      Yorkshire Agricultural Society

      Solicitors Indemnity Fund

      Liverpool FC

      CEDR

      IDRS

      Wycombe Wanderers FC

      Work highlights

      • Representing solicitors and firms of solicitors that are the subject of investigations and/or subsequent prosecutions by the SRA.
      • Acting for the NPA in relation to professionals’ investigations and disciplinary proceedings.
      • Acted for the Premier League in a number of professional disciplinary matters.

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

      McCormicks handles matters for an array of sports-based clients, predominantly within the football industry. Practice head Peter McCormick was appointed interim chairman of the Premier League in January 2022 and continues to fulfill a number of other renowned governing roles across football. James Towler and Philip Edmondson also lead the Harrogate practice; while the former deals with corporate and commercial transactions in the sports space, the latter takes charge of litigation portfolios for sporting clients.

      Practice head(s):

      Peter McCormick; James Towler; Philip Edmondson

      Testimonials

      ‘The team is very commercial and understands the dynamics and nature of the football industry.’

      ‘Peter McCormick has an outstanding understanding of the industry.’

      ‘Highly specialised and hugely experienced in sports law generally and football in particular. Very few firms in any sector can claim to be unique but Peter McCormick’s profile and reputation in football supports the claim for his firm. His ability to provide legal advice with a high level of strategic input makes his participation in our relationship of the utmost importance.’

      ‘Peter McCormick is ably supported on contentious matters by his litigation partner Phil Edmondson, who also specialises in sporting disputes. Both he and Peter are fully familiar with the detailed layers of regulation to which football clubs are subject, as well as the issues around enforcement of those regulations.’

      Key clients

      The Premier League

      The Premier League Charitable Fund

      Leeds United FC

      The Bostik League (Isthmian League)

      Professional Game Match Officials Ltd

      Frank Boddy (Shoot Proprietor) and the Ripley Castle Shoot Group

      Visit Harrogate (Peter McCormick was the inaugural Chairman)

      Harrogate Town AFC

      Walsall FC

      McLaren Formula One

      Otley RUFC

      Leeds Rhinos RLFC

      Robert Jones (Long Mountain Shoot and other shoots)

      Liam Botham (son of Lord Ian Botham)

      Norwich City FC

      IDRS/The EFL (formerly the Football League

      The Southern League

      The Northern Premier League

      Wycombe Wanderers FC

      Lord Ian Botham

      Work highlights

      • Advised the Premier League on multitude of issues.
      • Acted for Leeds United FC continuously since 1989.
      • Acted for the proprietors of 23 grouse, pheasant and/or partridge shoots, together with clay pigeon shooting grounds. In addition, acted Robert Jones T/A Long Mountain Shoot in relation to the three other legendary shoots which he runs in Wales – Three Valleys, Llechweddygarth and Llanforda.

      Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 5

      McCormicks is an established advisor to sport sector clients in particular, with clients such as Premier League, the EFL and Leeds United FC on its roster. Here, it advises on commercial contracts and sponsorship agreements. The practice also offers support to hospitality and leisure as well as private clients. The key contacts and practice heads are James Towler and senior partner Peter McCormick.

      Practice head(s):

      Peter McCormick; James Towler

      Other key lawyers:

      Emily Steed

      Testimonials

      ‘Excellent corporate advice, value for money, huge experience.’

      ‘Peter McCormick: fantastic client service and unrivalled sector expertise.’

      Key clients

      The Premier League

      The Premier League Charitable Fund

      (AQ) Limited

      Harrogate International Festivals Ltd

      Leeds United Football Club Limited

      Abacus Direct Limited

      Harrogate Town Football Club

      Harrogate Racquets Club Limited

      Universal Search Group Limited

      Redline Specialist Cars Limited

      Work highlights

      • Acting as retained advisors to the Premier League in respect of the operation of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test.
      • Advising Leeds United on a large number of commercial contracts, including a large number of sponsorship agreements.
      • Advising IT and telecoms business, AQ Limited, in relation to various commercial relationships and contracts with third party suppliers, customers and partners.

      Employment > Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 5

      Based in Harrogate, McCormicks is best known for its preeminent sports practice, with the Premier League and various football clubs making up its client roster. Practice co-head Peter McCormick is responsible for the recruitment and terms of employment for all senior executives of the Premier League and the FA. Iain Jenkins  jointly leads the practice and handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment issues, including TUPE, redundancies and cases at the Employment Tribunal, amongst others.

      Practice head(s):

      Peter McCormick; Iain Jenkins

      Testimonials

      ‘McCormicks make a point of ensuring that their team members know their clients and their businesses and as a result, you feel respected and receive a high level of service across the team.’

      ‘In-depth knowledge of sport and complexities. Very reliable and discreet.’

      ‘Fast analysis and detailed action. Friendly, honest, always in contact and responsive.’

      ‘The care, attention to detail, communication and overall approach is outstanding in all departments.’

      ‘Iain Jenkins is extremely responsive and pragmatic, with a calm, friendly, professional manner. His expert advice and mediation experience was invaluable as he guided us through a difficult matter with sensitivity and complete professionalism.’

      ‘I wanted an experienced top lawyer and knew this firm would have it. I was right. I was supported, understood and that expertise was exemplary.’

      ‘The diverse skill set the practice has and the way it is delivered. The clear sound advice given goes beyond what you would expect from others.’

      Key clients

      The Premier League (The Football Association Premier League Limited)

      Professional Game Match Officials Limited

      Leeds United Football Club Limited

      Norwich City FC

      Harrogate Town AFC Ltd

      The Premier League Charitable Fund Ltd

      Harrogate International Festivals Ltd

      Walsall FC

      Yorkshire Agricultural Society

      Rudding Park

      Redline Specialist Cars

      Work highlights

      • Advising Professional Game Match Officials on numerous matters arising from the pandemic and issues relating to officials, working practices and various capability issues, also advising on the impact of IR35 with various third party providers and terms and conditions, also advice in relation to officials and the Women’s Super League, including contracts and an overseas appointment.
      • Advising Professional Game Match Officials in a Supreme Court case against HMRC concerning worker status and the issues around mutuality of obligation in the employment relationship.
      • Advising Leeds United on an ongoing basis and following a new HR appointment.

      Real estate > Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 5

      McCormicks counts property developers and portfolio investors, as well as landed estates and charities, among its list of key clients, and continues to build its roster of commercial property and residential investors. Heather Roberts leads the team and advises on residential development schemes, in addition to sales, purchases and tenant issues arising out of the retail sector.

      Practice head(s):

      Heather Roberts

      Key clients

      John Strutt Conservation Foundation

      The Premier League

      John Strutt Centre for Parrot Conservation

      John Strutt Memorial Foundation

      The John Strutt Charity

      Leeds United FC

      Yorkshire Agricultural Society

      Work highlights

      • Acting for the Estate of John Strutt , the Eden Place Estate, the Belper Estate together with associated trusts and charities on residential property development involving substantial listed buildings and asset management, among others.
      • Advising on due diligence on each Premier League Club’s compliance with the PL Ground Criteria set out in the PL Rules.
      • Acting for Leeds United FC on an ongoing basis, on a range of property work.

      Dispute resolution > Mediators Tier 5

      Peter McCormick OBE – McCormicks  McCormicks' senior partner Peter McCormick OBE has 'an outstanding reputation'. Appointed chairman of the Premier League in January 2022, McCormick is widely recognised for his sports-related mediation expertise; and is a member of a panel of legal specialists at Sport Resolutions (UK), which provides mediation and arbitration facilities for parties involved in sporting disputes.

      TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Reputation management Tier 5

      With a focus on advising clients in the sports sector, McCormicks offers a broad range of reputation management services including defamation and privacy protection. Practice head Philip Edmondson has expertise advising clients on sensitive defamatory publications, including allegations of misconduct and breach of regulations. Peter McCormick OBE has a wealth of experience working with leading sports organisations, and leads the practice in advising the Premier League on all potential reputational issues.

      Practice head(s):

      Philip Edmondson

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘Massive strength in its industry knowledge and understanding.’

      ‘A strong team with fee earners at the correct level for all work and a full team if needed . The firm is aware of the need to balance the level of lawyer to the needs of the client and his/her finances.’

      ‘Peter McCormick himself is head and shoulders above the competitors in this field. Shrewd advice keeps his clients safe. I have been very impressed with Phil Edmondson and his ability to understand clients’ sensitivities.’

      Key clients

      The Premier League

      Leeds United FC

      Professional Game Match Officials Ltd

      Harrogate International Festivals

      Jamboree Entertainment Ltd and JWTC Ltd

      Rudding Park Limited

      Wycombe Wanderers Football Club

      Work highlights

      • Continue to advise the Premier League on defamation and reputation management issues including confidential advice on remarks made in a number of newspapers and the press.
      • Advised client in relation to an article published by a prominent tabloid newspaper seeking to cast doubt on the client’s good faith towards its own fans, reaching a resolution of having the defamatory material altered within a matter of days.
      • Permanent retainer from PGMOL in respect of defamation and reputation management work, often allied with employment.

      McCormicks is an award-winning practice in Harrogate with an impressive client list across the legal disciplines. The firm is regarded as one of the top regional practices, acting in high-profile national cases as well as those in its region.

      The firm: McCormicks has grown organically and is admired for its continued ability to operate successfully in the corporate and commercial field, while at the same time maintaining its strong commitment to its private client practice. The firm’s traditional core values of integrity, technical excellence and hard work are combined with its reputation for vibrancy and dynamism, and a team that is committed to providing clients with an unrivalled quality of service and innovation.

      Types of work undertaken: The firm’s major areas of work are corporate/commercial (including commercial property), commercial dispute resolution, competition, corporate recovery, corporate crime and risk, and private client (including family/matrimonial and charities).

      The corporate/commercial department has a client list that includes owner-managed businesses, partnerships, pIcs and private businesses, banks, insurance companies, and personalities from the world of sport and entertainment. High-profile clients in the region include Rudding Park and Harrogate International Festivals. The complete range of commercial work is handled, including corporate, commercial property, franchising, intellectual property, liquor licensing and employment. The firm has established a burgeoning reputation in IT and e-commerce, advising a number of internet and new media businesses. Leisure is also an important sector. Peter McCormick has been chairman of Visit Harrogate, responsible for all business and leisure tourism in the region.

      The practice has an outstanding reputation in sports and media/entertainment law, and senior partner Peter McCormick is regarded as one of the leading sports lawyers in the country, having advised on a number of high-profile matters involving football, rugby, horse racing, cricket, motor racing and athletics. He is Chairman of the Legal Advisory Group of the Premier League. He has been acting chairman of the Premier League 2014-15. He is Chairman of the Football Board of the Premier League, Vice Chairman of the F.A., a member of the Football Regulatory Authority, Professional Game Board and chairman of the F.A. International Committee and F.A. Group Remuneration Committee. Other clients include Leeds United FC, Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, Harrogate Town FC and a variety of other leading organisations, clubs and individuals.

      The firm has a strong reputation for regulatory and disciplinary work in sport and the professions. Mr McCormick acts for the Premier League and as a chairman of tribunals and arbitrations. He is also a chairman of Sports Resolutions (UK).

      McCormicks’ commercial dispute resolution practice covers the full range of work in this area, including personal litigation, defamation, property litigation, contract disputes, construction, intellectual property, debt recovery for national institutions and contentious trusts and probate. The firm is very strong in alternative dispute resolution and mediation.

      The firm has developed nationally recognised expertise in competition law, having represented a construction company in the largest investigation ever launched by the OFT and which became the largest appeal case in the history of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. McCormicks’ work on behalf of the appellant resulted in the case becoming the first successful appeal on all issues, including liability, in a case in which penalties had been imposed under the Competition Act 1998.

      McCormicks has a legendary reputation in criminal law, covering all aspects of this practice area, with a focus on serious fraud, major crime and defence of tax investigations. Under the leadership of partner  Peter Minnikin, the team has acted in a number of major tax cases and VAT tribunals. The firm was one of the first in the country to be appointed to the Specialist Fraud Panel and the Very High Costs Cases (VHCC) Panel. Another specialism is defending road traffic cases of all types.

      Private client work includes residential conveyancing and a full service on wills, trusts and settlements. Inheritance and tax planning are other strengths. The firm is a leader in charity law and acts for over 20 charities, including the Outward Bound Trust, The Premier League Charitable Fund, the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation and War Memorials Trust.

      All aspects of family work are covered, including childcare, divorce and separation, and the firm was among the first to be accredited under the Law Society’s Family Law Scheme. Mr Rogers is a member of the Family Panel and the firm is a member of Resolution.

      DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
      Senior Partner Peter McCormick OBEp.mccormick@mccormicks-solicitors.com01423 530630
      Corporate and Commercial James Towlerj.towler@mccormicks-solicitors.com01423 530630
      General Crime Brian Nuttneyb.nuttney@mccormicks-solicitors.com01423 530630
      Corporate Crime, Fraud and Risk Peter Minnikinp.minnikin@mccormicks-solicitors.com01423 530630
      Dispute Resolution (including Commercial, Mediation and Personal) Philip Edmondsonp.edmondson@mccormicks-solicitors.com01423 530630
      Employment Iain Jenkinsi.jenkins@mccormicks-solicitors.com01423 530630
      Commercial Property Heather Robertsh.roberts@mccormicks-solicitors.com01423 530630
      Private Client Elaine Lightfoote.lightfoot@mccormicks-solicitors.com01423 530630
      Family and Matrimonial Stephen Hopwoods.hopwood@mccormicks-solicitors.com01423 530630
      Family and Matrimonial Carol Hancockc.hancock@mccormicks-solicitors.com01423 530630
      Corporate and Commercial Emily Steede.steed@mccormicks-solicitors.com01423 530630
      Dispute Resolution William Batesw.bates@mccormicks-solicitors.com01423 530630
      PhotoNamePositionProfile
      Philip Edmondson photo Philip EdmondsonPhilip is the Head of Commercial Litigation services at McCormicks. Philip has…
      Stephen Hopwood photo Stephen HopwoodStephen is the Managing Partner and heads the McCormicks Family Department, ranked…
      Iain Jenkins photo Iain JenkinsIain Jenkins heads up our Employment Department. Iain specialises in Employment Law…
      Elaine Lightfoot photo Elaine LightfootElaine Lightfoot heads up our Private Client Department. Elaine’s areas of expertise…
      Peter D G McCormick OBE photo Peter D G McCormick OBEPeter McCormick is the Senior Partner at McCormicks. He is an internationally…
      Peter Minnikin photo Peter MinnikinPeter is Head of the Crime, Corporate Crime and Risk Department at…
      Brian Nuttney photo Brian NuttneyBrian is a Senior Associate Solicitor specialising in all aspects of Crime.…
      Heather Roberts photo Heather RobertsHeather is a Commercial Property specialist with wide experience of acting for…
      Emily Steed photo Emily SteedEmily is a Solicitor, working alongside Jon Healey, in the Corporate and…
      James Towler photo James TowlerJames is a Partner and heads up the Company/Commercial Department. He has…
      Number of UK partners : 7
      Number of other UK fee-earners : 11

      CLIENT: Peter Banks
      COMPANY/FIRM: Rudding Park Ltd
      TESTIMONIAL: McCormicks mainly do commercial work for us such as contracts and leases, however there has been some commercial dispute resolution and some employment issues. What we most like about McCormicks is your honesty and forthright opinion. If we are wasting our time you tell us. Then you actually perform, and if necessary, demonstrate an iron fist in a charming velvet glove.


      CLIENT: Sharon Canavar
      COMPANY/FIRM: Harrogate International Festivals
      TESTIMONIAL: Our work is undertaken by people we know, trust and like, and is provided in a refreshingly clear and accessible way.


      CLIENT: Frances Moreton
      COMPANY/FIRM: War Memorials Trust
      TESTIMONIAL: McCormicks provide amazing support for the charity dealing with whatever we throw at them. When you are a small charity the things that cross your desk end up being rather diverse and often new, but McCormicks are on hand to help us make sense of it all.


      CLIENT: Richard Doyle
      COMPANY/FIRM: Radish Investments
      TESTIMONIAL: What I like most about working with McCormicks is they are flexible, easy to do business with and competitive.


      CLIENT: Garry Plant
      COMPANY/FIRM: Harrogate Town Football Club
      TESTIMONIAL: The club has a long and fruitful relationship with McCormicks built on trust and results. Both organisations are involved in results-driven sectors. McCormicks understand who we are, what we do and how we breathe. McCormicks are straight talking, no jargon and offer a quick, candid assessment of matters, relevant and to the point, offering simple choices.


      CLIENT: Chris France
      COMPANY/FIRM: BeerHawk
      TESTIMONIAL: McCormicks are my favourite fixers! When you start a business from scratch, you get into all kinds of pickles and scrapes. You get things wrong, get into unintended arguments and just frequently find yourself on unfamiliar territory. When I can tick any of the above, I come to McCormicks. In short, I have never come off badly in any of the cases McCormicks has helped out with, McCormicks has always given great advice and, every time we wrap things up, I think the outcome is infinitely better than it would have been had we tried to muddle through alone.


      CLIENT: Karla Newbury-Jones
      COMPANY/FIRM: Mrs Energy
      TESTIMONIAL: McCormicks helped us with a legal matter that was confusing; their staff were friendly and approachable and we felt they dealt with our query in a quick and efficient manner. The cost of their services was very competitive as well! McCormicks are friendly and professional, they have a hands-on approach and were speedy and precise when dealing with our query.


      CLIENT: Nigel Pulling
      COMPANY/FIRM: Yorkshire Agricultural Society
      TESTIMONIAL: McCormicks is our “go to” firm when we need advice on contentious issues and from time to time (unfortunately!) we do. They provide straight-talking, no nonsense, punchy advice which gets to the heart of the issue quickly. Peter McCormick and I also share a love of football, though I think he’d say I support the wrong team!


      CLIENT: Nick Robinson
      COMPANY/FIRM: Ryman League
      TESTIMONIAL: The first major work was the overhaul of our Articles and since then we have had help with sponsorship and commercial contracts and Rule amendments. We enjoy the ease of working with McCormicks, the speed with which the work is carried out and the value we get with good pricing by the firm.


      CLIENT: Trevor Stroud, Chairman
      COMPANY/FIRM: Wycombe Football Club and Supporters Trust
      TESTIMONIAL: We are deeply indebted to James Towler, Emily Steed and Heather Roberts at McCormicks Solicitors, who advised us throughout what proved to be a complex transaction. Their deep knowledge of the legal intricacies of the football world was of enormous help to us during the extended negotiations, and they were a pleasure to deal with. Their advice was always clear, pragmatic and constructive, and enabled us all to focus without distraction on the key issues which needed to be resolved. We really appreciate the way they handled the transaction for us.


      CLIENT: Confidential – Client Feedback Questionnaire (Regulatory and Disciplinary Client)
      COMPANY/FIRM: N/A
      TESTIMONIAL: From the moment we first had contact with Peter Minnikin, he filled both my wife and I with confidence. He was realistic in his advice, robust and utterly professional and for the first time we felt we had someone who understood the situation and was firmly on our side. All in all, he has provided us with exceptional service and helped us through the most difficult of times, giving us the confidence not to give up but fight on. We cannot recommend his services highly enough.


      CLIENT: Confidential – Client Feedback Questionnaire (Criminal Department)
      COMPANY/FIRM: N/A
      TESTIMONIAL: I feel very lucky that I chose Brian Nuttney to represent me at my recent Court appearance for speeding. Mr Nuttney instantly put me at east, at what was a very stressful time. He undertook a thorough and constructive review of my case and the circumstances around it and put forward a well structured and reasoned plea for mitigation, resulting in a fine and a 28 day ban, at a speed of 117 mph, was a better resolution than I had feared. I would happily recommend Brian to anyone seeking high quality legal help.


      CLIENT: Confidential – Client Feedback Questionnaire (Family Department)
      COMPANY/FIRM: N/A
      TESTIMONIAL: Both Stephen Hopwood and Carol Hancock have been very supportive over the last 16 months and have guided me carefully through this very long and at times gruelling process. Carol spent the day with me at the final Hearing and kept me calm and focussed, which was a mission in itself as the stress is phenomenal during the Hearings.


      CLIENT: Confidential – Client Feedback Questionnaire (Private Client Department)
      COMPANY/FIRM: N/A
      TESTIMONIAL: I felt I had to write a few words in praise of Elaine Lightfoot. Following the death of my father we were lucky enough to be led through the probate procedure by Elaine who always kept us up to date with what was happening at every stage and replying to emails very swiftly. Elaine took the stress out of the whole thing from start to finish and on behalf of my family I would like to thank your company for having such a delightful solicitor working for you and we would not hesitate in recommending her to anyone.


      CLIENT: Confidential – Client Feedback Questionnaire (Criminal Department)
      COMPANY/FIRM: N/A
      TESTIMONIAL: When life throws you into a circus of trauma and stress, not of your own making, it is easy to panic. This happened to me. However, I had Peter Minnikin as my lawyer. Peter’s expertise in the field of criminal law is outstanding. Peter was reassuring on a consistent basis which you need, as the lows can be very low at times. He had faith and belief in me which he fought for, and I truly felt defended by him, which matters so much. I cannot say enough good things about Peter. He is a true gentleman and a brilliant lawyer who goes above and beyond the call of duty.


      CLIENT: Confidential – Client Feedback Questionnaire (Family Department)
      COMPANY/FIRM: N/A
      TESTIMONIAL: I can only admire Stephen’s calm but methodical approach, reassuring me that all was well, especially when I was feeling a little ” wobbly” about things. He is an absolute pleasure to work with and I always had confidence in his decisions. His support was fantastic throughout the build up to and during the Hearings.


      McCormicks treats everyone equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect, regardless of their disability, gender, age, marital status, race, racial group, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.

      We apply our Equality and Diversity Policy to everyone we deal with – staff, clients, contacts, job applicants and the public.

      When recruiting our lawyers, intellectual achievement, personality, character, ambition, a sense of humour and commitment to hard work are crucial qualities, regardless of background.