Firm Profile > Michelmores LLP > London, England

Michelmores LLP

Insurance litigation: for policyholders Tier 2

Michelmores LLP's 'thorough and tenacious' team has significant experience in the insurance and reinsurance sector, handling work spanning professional indemnity, political risk, D&O, product liability and public liability matters. The group's client base includes policyholders in the real estate, public, utilities, financial services and manufacturing sectors, among others. Practice head Garbhan Shanks regularly acts for companies in the financial, energy, pharma and utilities sectors, while 'astute' senior associate Harriet Chopra focuses on product liability, professional indemnity and D&O insurance.


The team at Michelmores is very thorough, tenacious, and very knowledgeable. Lawyers have your best interest at heart and you trust their judgement

Expert firm for insurance litigation matters. In depth understanding of insurers perspective. Attention to detail

Garbhan Shanks and associate Naomi Hall are very capable in this field

‘Senior associate Harriet Chopra is very astute

Key clients

Wyelands Capital

GFG Alliance

Aviva Canada Inc

Houlder Limited

Plurimi Wealth LLP / Plurimi Investment Managers

Walters Power International

Kot Addu Power Company Limited

G L Hearn

United Bank Limited

Education: schools Tier 3

Michelmores LLP is adept at handling a variety of education matters and is known for its advice to state-funded schools, colleges and local authorities. The team led by Antony Power handles complex and often high-value matters relating to re-brokerage and establishing new institutions. Charlotte Antoniou is particularly experienced in advising on governance structures, while Russell Holland, who splits his time between Bristol and London, is recommended for his employment law expertise.


Michelmores offer a personalised and prompt service and all of their lawyers are extremely knowledgeable about their field of expertise. The speed of action is the best facet of this firm.’

‘Michelmores is a firm which takes time to listen to client needs, prefers face-to-face meeting and is responsive to requests. The advice is clear and well communicated.’

The education team at Michelmores always go above and beyond and have a rapid response time. They instill so much confidence and one feels well supported. They really do know their stuff.’

‘Antony Power, Russell Holland, Charlotte Antoniou and Tom Briant are the standout colleagues.’

‘Michelmores always have the client at the heart of their service.’

‘The administrative efficiency of all the team is fantastic.’

Key clients

Aspirations Academies Trust

Astrum Multi Academy Trust

Bright Tribe

One Day Trust

Wandle Learning Trust

Bellevue Place Education Trust

The Sigma Trust

South Devon College

Exeter Diocese

Link Academy Trust

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 3

With strong standings in both Exeter and London, Michelmores LLP primarily handles lower mid-market work for regional, national and international clients. A large proportion of work is done for AIM-listed PLCs, advising companies, nominated advisers and brokers on stock exchange transactions, including IPOs. Also noted is the firm's activity in emerging markets, where it acts for African companies in the mining and minerals sector. Richard Cobb heads the corporate team, while Ian Binnie is head of the capital markets practice; the duo advise clients in equal measure across the firm's sectors.


Highly reactive, providing sound corporate advice

Ian Binnie is an experienced and clear-thinking adviser

Key clients

LEBC Holdings Limited

TESM Limited

African Battery Metals Plc


Knadel Limited



Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime

Trend Investments

Arbaro Fund

Boultbee Estates Limited

Safeboda Holdings



Global Medical Investments AB

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 4

Through its offices in London and the South West head office Michelmores LLP advises clients based in England and Wales and internationally. It is regularly instructed by both national and regional charities including local hospices, educational and church charities. Recent work highlights have included advising on a variety of will validity claims, administration disputes as well as other proprietary estoppel claims. It has also advised on various trust disputes which were complicated by an offshore or an international component. Tony Cockayne heads the department.


‘The profile of this team is on the rise: it is involved in some of the largest, most complex proceedings. Its USP is that it combines the experience of the big London firms but with the fresh perspective of a firm outside London.’

‘It is a team with greater visibility and presence than its South West location would suggest. Tony Cockayne has a good balance between hard nosed litigation and a collaborative approach.’

‘Tony Cockayne works incredibly hard to secure the best possible result for his clients – be that through litigation or negotiation – he is diligent, thorough in his legal analysis, as well as practical and commercial in his thinking.’

‘Highly regarded firm that competes with the big names in the capital for this work. Able to offer experienced partner involvement at competitive rates.’

‘Jennifer Ridgway is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, highly able and great to work with.’

‘Tony Cockayne is a real star- he works really hard to get the best for his client and is tough behind his cheerful demeanour. He has fantastic support from his team including Jasmine Davies, who is intelligent and calm under pressure.’

‘Tony Cockayne and Jasmine Davis are approachable, very competent, and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Tony Cockayne is outstanding, a pleasure to deal with and very good with clients. Jasmine Davis is also very able and has a bright future ahead of her.’

‘Jasmine Davis and Tony Cockayne are able distil complicated legal issues easily and provide practical and sensible advice. They are extremely responsive.’

Emerging markets Tier 4

Michelmores LLP continued to expand the scope of its mid-market work in emerging markets in 2018. Clients praise 'a small  but proactive team that is very active in the DFI and impact investment space' and note that it is 'well known for its work involving Africa and has a commercial and solution-driven approach to legal issues'. The practice led by Joe Whitfield, who specialises in deals in sub-Saharan Africa, advises financial institutions, private equity funds, impact investors, project sponsors, developers, and leading foundations on equity and debt investments, exits and portfolio management in sectors such as agribusiness, financial services, FMCG, forestry, real estate and renewable energy. Whitfield, senior associate Harry Trick and other key practitioners have recently handled matters involving, inter alia, India, Mozambique, Pakistan, Nigeria and Tanzania.


“Joe Whitfield is a fountain of knowledge on equity investments in frontier markets. Harry Trick is very ‘hands-on’ and interested in the commercial side of the transaction.”

“The team is proactive and has a ‘hands-on’ approach to client matters. I am very confident recommending Michelmores to clients in my jurisdiction seeking quality advice from an English firm at an accessible price.”

“Joe Whitfield, Henry Taylor and Harry Trick are not only very proactive and responsive, but also very open and approachable, which has contributed to a great long-standing working relationship. It has been a pleasure working alongside them.”

“They bring a deep knowledge of the local market context, the impact investment sector and transactions involving financial institutions. They are able to provide sound advice in relation to the implications of legal terms – looking ahead to future possible scenarios – and guiding on best practice.”

“The team is very good at building relationships with local legal counsel, and guiding and getting the most out of them. They take a straightforward and transparent approach to negotiations, maintaining good relations with opposing counsel, and ensuring positive outcomes for transactions.”

“Calm, diligent and insightful. They are excellent at communicating and building relationships with clients. They are sensitive to client needs, their advice is measured and pertinent, and they know when to push back if they feel the wrong course is being taken.”

“Michelmores provides a simple and proportionate approach to completing transactions in emerging markets. They have deep industry and market knowledge, which means that they can provide relevant and appropriate advice. Long and complex documents are relatively easy to draft. What’s harder is a short robust document, which can be easily understood by all parties. This is exactly what Michelmores has mastered, with great skill and at a competitive price.”

“Joe Whitfield and Harry Trick have both been standout lawyers to work with. Both are incredibly practical and bring a very pragmatic approach to finding a sensible and proportionate solution to negotiating deals. They actually give advice, rather than simply acting on the instructions of the client. This creates real value, rather than just being a papering job.”

“Michelmores has been excellent at advising on the structuring and legal documents to inform good governance of complex vehicles seeking unusual development outcomes with multiple complex parties. They have done this in a flexible, responsive and client focused manner.”

“Joe Whitfield has been truly outstanding in terms of technical knowledge, guiding us through complex issues, and working in a responsive and flexible manner to meet our needs.”

Key clients

African Battery Metals PLC


AHL Growth Fund LP

Arbaro Fund

Bamboo Finance


Cantor Fitzgerald Europe (AIM Adviser/Broker)

DOB Equity

DSM Venturing




Global Innovation Fund

Global Medical Investments AB




SafeBoda Holdings

Soros Economic Development Fund

The Lundin Foundation

Thirdway Africa Capital

Triodos Investment Bank

Equity capital markets – small-mid cap Tier 4

The team at Michelmores LLP maintains a steady stream of work through its strong broker relationships and its dedication to the technology and natural resources sectors. Acting on the company side, one of the group's greatest strengths is its experience handling the transitional phase for smaller companies looking to list for the first time. The practice group has reported a very active year precisely because of its focus on smaller deals. As a reflection of its increased activity, the team promoted three new senior associates and hired an additional junior lawyer. Ian Binnie heads the capital markets group.

Key clients

Maistro plc

African Battery Metals plc

Orchard Funding Group plc

Sutton Harbour Holdings plc

China New Energy Ltd

Limitless Earth plc

Modern Water plc

Plant Health Care plc

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe

Strand Hanson Limited

Arden Partners plc

Allenby Capital Limited

S.P. Angel Corporate Finance LLP

VSA Capital Limited

Spark Advisory Limited

Whitman Howard Limited

Optiva Securities Limited

Turner Pope Investments (TPI) Limited

Tamesis Partners LLP

IT and telecoms Tier 4

The 'commercially focused' technology and innovation team at Michelmores LLP is highlighted for its 'availability, knowledge of the industry and tenacity' and its 'ability to translate legalese into plain English'. The team, which is spread across the firm's London and Exeter offices, is regularly instructed by a combination of private and public sector clients on commercial IT projects and related disputes. The 'highly commercial, sensible and pragmatic' Tom Torkar heads up the practice, which includes commercial disputes partners Sara Chisholm-Batten and Charles Courtenay, who recently joined the London team from Latham & Watkins.


Michelmores’ technology team delivers silver circle quality work for regional prices.

The team has a good understanding of the commercial value, not just the legal aspects of the matter involved, and is prepared to be flexible in order to get the deal agreed.

Tom Torkar is simply superb.

‘Tom Torkar is superb; his attention to detail and doggedness is first class’.

‘The team is led by the incredibly capable Tom Torkar.  Tom delivers Magic Circle service and quality of advice, at regional prices’.

‘Tom Torkar is a pragmatic, sensible, astute, diligent and extremely capable lawyer.  He breaks down problems into manageable issues and provides pragmatic, commercial solutions to the business’.

Key clients

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Metropolitan Police Service)

Limitless Technology Limited

Landmark Information Group Limited

Triodos Bank NV

Institute of Directors

Mizrahi Bank

Deko (Pay4Later)

Jessops Europe Limited



Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

Michelmores LLP advises on all aspects of wealth structuring for wealthy individuals and their families, whether they are based in the UK or internationally. The tax, trust and succession team in London is augmented by lawyers who are based in Exeter and Bristol. The team has a qualified accountant and a chartered tax advisor so it is well-placed to advise on disputes with an international/offshore dimension that involve complex trust and corporate structures, as well as on complicated probate matters. Jonathan Riley heads the team.


Jonathan Riley is very competent and experienced.

Michelmores delivers a quality service at a fraction of the price. Jonathan Riley is responsive, commercial pragmatic, bright and easy to work with.

To have this combination of experience and price efficiency is rare and extremely attractive to private families. Jonathan Riley is very charismatic and engaging and has forged a very good name.

Sandra Brown brings a wealth of experience and is able to translate this to ensure it is accessible to clients.

‘James Radcliffe is very pleasant to deal with and very competent.

James Radcliffe is very approachable and calm and clients of mine have appreciated his clear and concise advice.

‘I have been enormously impressed with Jennifer Ridgway’s diligence, speed of response, charm and technical know how across the whole range of private client issues.

Provides London-quality service and advice at regional prices.


Reputation management Tier 5

Michelmores LLP's reputation management practice stands out for its expertise advising charities. The firm is involved in a lot of contentious work as one of its major clients, PETA Foundation UK Ltd., often stand their ground and take legal proceedings all the way. Senior associate Jayne Clemens heads the team, which receives an increasing number of instructions related to social media, fake news and user-generated content. Peter Sigler covers all matters related to litigation, while associate Charlotte Bolton advises on issues with an IP aspect.


‘The media team is small but very responsive to urgent problems for their clients.’

‘Jayne Clemens is very good in the media field, as is international head Peter Sigler.’

Key clients

PETA Foundation UK Ltd.

Gemalto UK Limited

Fintellect Publishing Limited

Commercial contracts Tier 6

Michelmores LLP specialises in advising on consumer protection law issues, including distance selling, e-commerce considerations and financial services regulation, as well as acting for data-driven businesses. Tom Torkar leads the practice and is experienced in advising national and multinational clients in the aviation, IT, media, big data, e-commerce and financial services sectors. Notable in his team are Ian Holyoak, who has expertise in major commercial contracts and related areas of competition, state aid and procurement, and David Thompson, who is known for acting in the food and drink and manufacturing sectors. The team was further strengthened by the arrival of former barrister Charles Courtney, who focuses on IP/IT matters and bridges the gap between the commercial and disputes practices; he joined from Latham & Watkins in 2019.


‘A solid team with great strength and depth to support on all matters’

‘Cost effective and responsive with good sound pragmatic advice appreciating and recognising the needs and pressures of the client’

‘Tom Torkar is a fantastic all-round commercial lawyer. Fast-working and uncompromising, with the tenacity to secure the best interests of the client whilst not losing sight of the commercial drivers’

Key clients

Saba Park Services UK Limited / Saba Park Solutions UK Limited (formerly Indigo Park)

Haynes Publishing Group plc

Landmark Information Group Limited / SearchFlow Limited

Limitless Technology Limited

Ashton Bentley Collaboration Spaces Ltd

Regional & City Airports Limited (part of Rigby Group plc)

Downing  LLP


Camp Kerala Group

Gro Group Limited

Frobishers Juices Ltd

Commercial litigation Tier 6

Michelmores LLP is 'very responsive to questions, requests for meetings and reacting to developments generally. The practice obviously has other matters, but clients feel as if their case is the priority'. It is best known for financial services litigation, insurance coverage disputes, insolvency litigation, and  financial crime and fraud. Jonathan Kitchin in Exeter is department head, Peter Sigler became private client head in 2019 and Garbhan Shanks is head of both international arbitration and insurance and reinsurance.


The lawyers think ahead and consider proactive ways to avoid problems arising or how best to manage anticipated issues that lie ahead‘.

Jonathan Kitchin has a very sound legal mind and is very approachable‘.

Peter Sigler is exemplary – thoughtful, responsive and has expert knowledge of the law. He is also an excellent case strategist and effective leader of clients’ issues‘.

Garbhan Shanks is hands on and always directly involved.He is obviously experienced and gives calm, measured advice, even when the pressure is on‘.

Key clients

Wyelands Capital

GFG Alliance

RGL Management

York Global Finance

Richard Pease & CRUX Asset Management

United Bank

AlixPartners Services UK

Professional negligence Tier 6

Based across its London, Exeter and Bristol offices, the team at Michelmores LLP is 'specialised, which means it has in-depth knowledge both of the law and of the defendant insurers and their solicitors; this allows the team to offer an informed tactical approach to disputes'. The team handles claimant and defendant work across disputes involving financial service providers, architects, chartered surveyors, solicitors, accountants, valuers and receivers. The team is noted for its specialist knowledge of agricultural-related professional negligence cases.


Jayne Clemens is highly experienced and has excellent client management skills; she is effective at communicating the strengths and weaknesses of the position to the client, and helps the client identify and focus on their real objectives.

The team is incredibly professional and diligent in their work, at both strategic and operational levels.

Fiona Pearson and Tim Richards stand out for their calmness, tenacity and negotiating skills.

Fiona Pearson is a highly experienced and pragmatic lawyer; she is hardworking, great to deal with and always has the interests of her clients at heart.

Fiona Pearson is experienced, knowledgeable, and is prepared to go the extra mile for her clients.

Jane Swannell is very measured in her dealings and is quick to grasp the technical law, issues and facts.

Key clients

Cancer Research UK

Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 8

Praised for its 'ability to provide a very high-quality service at a reasonable price', Michelmores LLP excels in advising boards of directors of companies experiencing financial difficulty, where it is noted for its 'strategic thinking' and ability to provide 'commercial and hands-on advice in complex situations'. The 'experienced, practical and approachable'  Charles Maunder heads the three-partner team that also includes the 'pragmatic and strategicDouglas Hawthorn, who excels in handling private equity sponsor-led restructurings.


The team provides high quality, commercial and hands-on advice in complex situations.

Charles Maunder is superb.

Douglas Hawthorn has extensive insolvency experience and knowledge.

Key clients

Board of Directors of Mothercare UK Limited, Childrens World Limited and Early Learning Centre Limited

Board of Directors of JD Classics Limited

Board of Directors of Wolf Minerals (UK) Limited

Board of Directors of Toys ‘R’ Properties (UK) Limited

York Global Finance


Octopus/Ticketus LLP

Founders of Bullitt Limited

The Board of Directors of Flybe plc

FRP Advisory Limited

Commercial litigation: The West Country Tier 1

Michelmores LLP acts for regional, London-headquartered and international clients. Its team stands out in matters concerning corporate breakdown, insurance coverage, intellectual property, reputation management, professional negligence and international enforcement. Jonathan Kitchin, who was recently promoted to practice head,  has experience of handling disputes with a nexus to the financial services sector at High Court level. In a notable development, Charles Courtenay (a qualified barrister with contentious IP expertise) recently joined from Latham & Watkins LLP. Senior associate Jayne Clemens is a go-to for reputation management claims and advice on defamation issues. She is also experienced in handling professional negligence cases and contractual disputes.


Responsiveness, attention to detail, commercial awareness, longstanding relationship and an understanding of our business and how we work

Bill Duncan is a very experienced lawyer able to manage any type of dispute

Jonathan Kitchin is very astute, pragmatic and a measured commercial adviser, relied upon as very much an external extension of our Group Legal Resource

Jayne Clemens is efficient, says things as they are and does not skirt around issues and takes no prisoners

Jayne is knowledgeable in her specialist field and that is exactly what I want in any solicitor I contract

Key clients

The Lord Chancellor (Legal Aid Agency)

Intelsat Global Sales & Marketing Ltd

Gemalto  UK Limited

RGL Management Limited

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (the Met Police)

Landmark Information Group



CRUX Asset Management

LEBC Group Limited

Jessops Group

Commercial property: The West Country Tier 1

Michelmores LLP has a particularly first-rate reputation in development and public sector work, but it is also highly regarded in other areas of commercial property; the broader practice also encompasses strategic land, joint ventures and secured lending transactions, among other matters. The firm is strong in cross-departmental cooperation, as is evidenced by the fact that asset management practice head Richard Honey plays a leading role in providing transactional property advice to police authorities. Another key figure is David Howe, who ‘has all qualities and traits which a highly skilled property lawyer should have’. The ‘very experienced’ department head Emma Honey serves as a key contact for residential developers, as well as schools and academies. Also in the residential development space, Lucy Smallwood has particular expertise in acquisitions and disposals of land.


Emma Honey and David Howe are always readily available and, unlike competitors in their field, provide proactive commercial advice in a speedy manner

Very good strategic advice from a reliable, knowledegable and friendly team

Team members have good knowledge of the region and the development sector in the South West

Michelmores builds strong personal relationships whilst providing market leading commercial advice

Key clients

Barratt David Wilson

Cavanna Group

Clinton Devon Estates

CG Fry

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime

Persimmon Homes

St Modwen Developments

Sutton Harbour Holdings

University of Exeter

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Michelmores LLP advises high-net-worth individuals and wealthy family members as executors, beneficiaries and trustees on a wide range of disputes involving wills, trusts, probates and legacies. The firm’s work includes the assortment of will validity claims, administration disputes as well as estoppel claims. Practice had Tony Cockayne, who is 'recommended for his professionalism, vigour and integrity', is a charity expert and advises private clients on contentious trust matters with international connections.


‘The Michelmores team is thoughtful, responsive and spends time listening to what clients actually need and want before suggesting creative solutions. They also give good value’

‘The team is hard-working and professional at all times. It focuses on executable strategies and is not distracted by manoeuvres of their opponents’

‘The advice I received graduated towards an agreed solution – at no time did I feel that I was being led into an area that had not been discussed’

‘Tony Cockayne is always strategically insightful and is one of those lawyers who makes himself available to clients rather than hiding behind layers of support staff’

‘Disputed wills and trusts solicitor Jasmine Davis is enthusiastic and knowledgeable’

Key clients

Cancer Research UK

Corporate and commercial: The West Country Tier 1

Michelmores LLP excels in assisting high net worth entrepreneurs, private equity clients and listed companies with complex M&A and private equity transactions, demergers and restructurings, among other matters. In the commercial sphere, the team is experienced in drafting and negotiating a wide variety of contracts, such as manufacturing agreements, licensing agreements and distribution agreements. A significant portion of the firm's work has a cross-border component; the team has experience of completing M&A and private equity deals in emerging markets, such as sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

Key clients

Sutton Harbour Holdings PLC

Maistro PLC

Succession Group

Downing LLP

Exeter Rugby Club (Exeter Chiefs)

Credit Reporting Agency (Trading as Clearscore)

Revo Developments Limited

Seasalt Limited

Business Growth Fund

TESM Limited

Crime: fraud Tier 1

Michelmores LLP advises clients on internal and external investigations, enforcement matters involving regulators and prosecutors, as well as on compliance issues and fraud prevention. The practice also provides specialist fraud advice in commercial litigation matters. Typical clients hail from the real estate, manufacturing and aerospace sectors. Practice head Andrew Oldland QC acts for both corporate clients and governments on anti-corruption compliance and enforcement.

Employment: The West Country Tier 1

Michelmores LLP serves public and private sector clients from sectors such as education, healthcare and retail, among others. The team has a strong focus on the regional market; one of its key clients is Torbay & South Devon NHS Trust. Team head Andrew Tobey, who is experienced in both contentious and non-contentious employment matters, has expertise in senior executive termination procedures, breach of covenant injunctions, TUPE outsourcing issues and employee misconduct claims.


Michelmores has a small but strong employment team which enables them to provide their clients with excellent advice, both legal and commercial

This team is very knowledgeable and very flexible. They have a huge amount of experience in dealing with complex and highly sensitive situations

They are highly responsive with a good understanding of our business

There is a real feeling from me as a client that my needs are being taken seriously. I also feel that the service is personalised

The team understand local government work and are able to adapt practices to the particular area and processes they are dealing with

I have worked mainly with Nikki Duncan. She has exceptionally good knowledge of TUPE cases and is able to give clear practical advice to her clients

James Baker is a fantastic legal partner to have in your corner when faced with any employment related issues. His knowledge for the area and strategic advice has helped us deal with some very sensitive situations

Nikki Duncan an absolute pleasure to work with

They are very personable and able to relate to the concerns and issues that the customer is dealing with. They are able to provide options and highlight the risks with each of those

Key clients

Carey Group Plc

Formula E Operations

Enotria Limited

Mitchellson Formwork


Haynes Publishing Group P.L.C.

Steinhoff Manufacturing Group

Mint Velvet

Mole Valley Farmers

Devon Doctors Group

Greenland Group


Kew Green Hotels Group


Gro Group

Landmark Information Group

Metropolitan Police

Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

Northern Devo9n Healthcare Trust

Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

The Met Office

Dorset County Council

Somerset County Council

Family Tier 1

Michelmores LLP is experienced in handling divorce and dissolution proceedings, the drafting and negotiation of cohabitation agreements, the enforcement of court orders, as well as the implementation of injunctions that involve protection from harassment. The firm also provides assistance with dispute resolution mediums, such as mediation, arbitration and collaborative law. Practice head Simon Thomas regularly advises high-net-worth individuals on matrimonial finance matters. Louisa Ghevaert left the practice in May 2018. Associate Rachael Shearmur has particular expertise in relation to financial matters and domestic violence.

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Michelmores LLP's team has a wealth of experience handling a full range of financially distressed situations, including debt restructuring and individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), transactional matters, recovery work and personal insolvency. The team is also highly capable in complex contentious asset investigations. Clients include insolvency practitioners and directors, companies and other stakeholders. Charles Maunder has significant experience of financial restructurings, while Sacha Pickering and Karen Williams handle all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency work.

Key clients

York Global Finance

Wilkins Kennedy

FRP Advisory

Devon Commercial Property

Richard J Smith & Co


Moore Stephens

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Michelmores LLP handles domestic and cross-border wealth structuring for high-net-worth individuals and their families, while working closely with the firm’s financial services, agricultural and privacy lawyers to provide advice on tax, trusts and succession planning matters. James Radcliffe is especially experienced in advising clients with connections to the USA. Typical clients of the practice include farmers, entrepreneurs, trustees as well as vulnerable persons and elderly clients that require extra assistance with formulating their will. Senior associate Edward Porter covers estate administration and focuses on estate matters with tax and trust elements.


Michelmores provides top quality advice at sensible charge out rates

Jennifer Ridgway has been outstanding. She is very responsive and hard-working and has extensive experience in trust and tax related work

Jonathan Riley is calm, affable and technically excellent

Project finance and PFI Tier 1

The projects group at Michelmores LLP has cutting-edge expertise in the sectors of healthcare and education, and is increasingly gaining recognition for its work on distressed projects. The team notably undertakes complex work for international clients, acting on high-value projects in developing jurisdictions, for which practice co-head Ben Hogan (‘a pleasure to work with’) is a key contact. Practice co-head Carol McCormack, who ‘takes proactive steps in handling her clients’ transactions’, advises on all aspects of PPP projects. McCormack has a particular specialism in social infrastructure. Associates Jo Spalding and Hannah Slater are also recommended.


The team is very responsive, practical and solution-driven, which certainly inspires confidence

Ben Hogan is always available, very pragmatic and provides commercially focused advice

Both Carol McCormack and Ben Hogan are able to advise on complex issues in a clear and concise manner

Carol McCormack provides highly authoritative and reliable advice

While the legal advice is always partner-driven, the partners are supported by a very solid team of associates

Key clients

ISS Mediclean

Innisfree Group

Gemalto UK

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Aberystwyth University

Brighton & Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust

The Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation


Finance in Motion GmbH

Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Michelmores LLP handles litigations and arbitration in the agricultural sector, including disputes in regards to landowners, tenants and trusts. The practice is also experienced in covering estoppel claims and is active for both claimants and defendants. Practice co-head Ben Sharples handles contractual disputes and is also involved in professional negligence matters as well as on contentious and non-contentious subsidy claims.


‘Wide ranging breadth of experience including key partners who have a land agency background providing a balanced professional view on issues and means of resolution for their client’s benefit.’

‘We have worked regularly with Peter Williams, Vivienne Williams, Tom Hyde, Ben Sharples, Adam Corbin – their knowledge, attention to detail and practical case management capabilities are second to none.’

‘They are very good technically, yet down to earth and get the job done.’

‘Exceptional experience and depth and breadth of knowledge concerning agricultural law.’

Key clients

Clinton Devon Estates

The Wasing Estate

Dorset County Council

West Sussex County Council

The Trustees of the Savile Trust 2008

Staffordshire County Council

Powys County Council

Graham, Michael and Elaine Auliffe

Stephen Moore

James Read

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

Michelmores LLP advises charity trustees on formation and ongoing governance. The firm also represents charities in litigations arising from legacy disputes. Other areas of expertise are the acquisition and disposal of assets, as well as the handling of professional negligence claims against administrators of estates the clients are entitled to. The practice is also experienced in advising trustees on charitable trusts.


Senior associate Edward Porter impresses with his knowledge, depth of thought, analytical abilities and client engagement. It is always a pleasure to work with him

Construction Tier 2

Michelmores LLP’s construction and engineering team operates regionally and nationally across the firm’s offices based in Exeter, Bristol and London. Practice head Chris Hoar and Gerald Offen regularly take the lead on contentious construction matters, working closely with members of the wider dispute resolution practice. Senior associate Michael Bonning is another key figure in this space. Elsewhere, Alan Tate’s practice focuses on transactional construction work. The varied client base includes public authorities, developers, contractors, project managers and funders. Areas of significant activity include renewable energy, leisure and residential development.


Great level of support coupled with attention to detail during all stages of a construction project – inception, negotiation, management of issues, and litigation, where necessary

A very dedicated and highly professional team whose attention to detail is second to none

The team adopts an approach that is proactive, friendly and helpful at the same time

Chris Hoar is diligent and straightforward in his communication with clients

Knowledgeable and approachable, Alan Tate is not only a true professional, but also a pleasure to work with

Gerald Offen and Michael Bonning are very experienced and successful in handling claims

Key clients

Ministry of Justice

HM Courts and Tribunals Service

Exeter and Devon Airport

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Midas Construction

Plymouth City Council

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Met Office

Downing LLP

Swindon Borough Council

Kingsbridge Estates

Debt recovery Tier 2

Michelmores LLP predominantly acts for public agencies and bodies in the debt recovery space, where it handles both domestic and cross-border recovery and enforcement matters. Jonathan Kitchin is the key name in the department.

Education Tier 2

Michelmores LLP has carved out a strong reputation, based on its work for state-funded schools and further education colleges. Its team is experienced in handling sensitive issues, such as parental complaints, exclusions, disability discrimination, and special educational needs. Exeter-based practice head Antony Power has a particular focus on academy structures and capital projects. Charlotte Antoniou is experienced in establishing collaborative structures and supporting groups on initiatives to open new schools.

Key clients

Ambitions Academies Trust

Aspirations Academies Trust

Academies Enterprise Trust

The Sigma Trust

Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust

Truro College

Discovery Schools Academy Trust

Aspire Academy Trust

The Stour Academy Trust

Herts for Learning

Intellectual property Tier 2

Although Michelmores LLP's IP practice has a strong focus on the South West market, it is gaining increasing prominence nationally, with it being recognised for its capabilities in cross-border matters. Practice co-heads Tim Richards and David Thompson lead the contentious and non-contentious offerings respectively. Charles Courtenay, who recently joined from Latham & Watkins LLP, is dual-qualified to practise in the US and England and Wales. Working closely with colleagues in the tax and competition teams, the IP group manages copyright and design rights for large-scale projects, and also assists clients with identifying and protecting rights, trade marks and patents.

Key clients

Landmark Information Group Limited / (Daily Mail and General Trust plc)

Haynes Publishing Group PLC

Indigo Park Services UK Limited / Indigo Park Solutions UK Limited

Exeter Rugby Group plc

Limitless Technology Limited

Ashton Bentley Collaboration Spaces Limited

Seasalt Limited

Jessops Europe Limited

Regional & City Airports Limited (part of the Rigby Group)

Numatic International Limited

IT and telecoms Tier 2

Michelmores LLP has a well-established reputation in the South West technology arena, where it works with longstanding clients in major new projects. The firm has seen a notable increase in instructions from new and existing fintech clients, as well as gig economy and disruptive technology clients; many use cloud-based platforms and crowd-sourced expertise to service customers. It has advised a number of UK and international clients on data protection, including GDPR audits, documentation and general compliance. Tom Torkar heads up the group.


‘Good quality, responsive and pragmatic advice’

‘Tom Torkar is technically great and very responsive’

‘Tom Torkar is superb; his attention to detail and doggedness is first class.’

Key clients

Met Office

Limitless Technology Limited

Landmark Information Group Limited

Triodos Bank NV

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Metropolitan Police Service)

Devon and Cornwall Police

Deko (Pay4Later)

Jessops Europe Limited

Linn Systems Ltd

TESM Limited

Professional negligence Tier 2

Michelmores LLP provides negligence advice regarding employment, finance, intellectual property, real estate, tax planning and banking matters. The firm assists investors with claims arising from the negligent handling of assets by unregulated banks. The practice also acts on agricultural negligence, which involves acting for surveyors and their professional indemnity insurers on claims arising from alleged failure to advise on the provisions of the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 and the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995.


‘The firm is able to provide a high quality but personal client service.’

‘Fiona Pearson is extremely conscientious, hard-working and an excellent communicator.’

Key clients

Cancer Research UK

Banking and finance Tier 3

Michelmores LLP, whose team is equally adept acting for both borrower and lender clients, has a strong track record in project finance transactions. It is also highly reputed in bilateral and syndicated lending transactions, and is particularly strong in matters with a nexus to areas such as energy, healthcare and education. Team head Charles Maunder, whose practice is split between London and Exeter, is knowledgeable about all types of debt products and funding arrangements. In October 2018, Asheesh Das departed to accept an in-house position.

Key clients

St Austell Brewery Company


Rowe Estates (UK)

Swindon and  Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership

Social & Sustainable Capital

Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation

Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries

Netherlands Development Finance Company

Triodos Bank

Energy Tier 3

Michelmores LLP is particularly active in energy-related development and project finance matters. The scope of its practice covers many types of projects, including energy-from-waste, gas-to-grid, solar PV, wind, battery storage and electric vehicles, among others. A significant portion of the team’s work has an international dimension, and it is frequently sought out in overseas energy projects.  ‘Pragmatic’ practice head Ian Holyoak focuses on project finance, while the ‘brilliantAlexandra Watson advises on  all aspects of corporate energy transactions.


The availability of solicitors is excellent

The team always gets the job done

The group has a deep understanding of the market as well as impressive experience in handling different types of projects

Alexandra Watson is very commercial and focused on the needs of the client

Ian Holyoak is extremely knowledgeable and provides spot-on advice

Key clients

Guinness Asset Management

Armstrong Energy

Outlook Energy Services


Thrive Renewables

Zestec Asset Management

Rendesco Holdings

Suncredit Solutions

Gamma Energy

Health and safety Tier 3

Exeter-based Michelmores LLP has a focus on workplace serious injury and fatality cases, including those involving corporate manslaughter issues. Its team advises clients on crisis management following serious incidents, and strategies to minimise the risk of prosecution. Team head Andrew Oldland QC, who has experience of prosecuting Health and Safety Executive cases, now defends corporate clients in investigations and prosecutions. In addition, on the non-contentious side, the group advises clients on reviews of policies and procedures, and regulatory compliance.

Key clients

Clinton Devon Estates

Cavanna Homes (South West) Ltd

Local government Tier 3

The cross-practice local government team at Michelmores LLP’s covers a full spectrum of local authority law issues concerning real estate transactions, planning, environment, employment, regeneration, and funding and asset management. Mark Howard’s practice focuses on planning and environmental matters. Real estate partner Sally Rice assists local authorities with transactions involving redevelopment work.

Key clients

Cornwall Council

Devon County Council

Plymouth City Council

Somerset County Council

Swindon Borough Council

Wiltshire Council

Innisfree Group

South West Smart Applications

Planning Tier 3

At Michelmores LLP, key sectors of expertise of the planning team include real estate, marine, manufacturing, and energy and renewables. The department is also very active in the public sector, in which it represents a number of local authorities on matters concerning planning obligations, assets of community value, neighbourhood planning and general public authority decisions. The team has developed a niche in coastal development work and marine licensing and planning. Practice head Mark Howard advises on a wide range of environmental, commercial and regulatory matters.

Key clients

Barratt Homes

Cornwall Council

Devon County Council

Dorset Councils Partnership

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime


Wiltshire Council



Property litigation Tier 3

Although Michelmores LLP has historically been known for acting for public sector clients in property-related disputes, it has significantly increased its market presence in the private sector, and now generates work from a growing number of developers, private landowners and corporate occupiers. Practice head Andrew Baines, who splits his time between Exeter and Bristol, has more than 22 years of property litigation experience. His expertise includes landlord and tenant disputes, and matters concerning property ownership and property rights.


The team is very client-focused  and provides clients with good access to senior personnel

Key clients


S&A Group

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime

Greenland Group


University of Exeter

Aberystwyth Universit

Barratt Homes

Persimmon Homes

Saba Park Services

Mole Valley Farmers

Vistra Trust Corporation

Poplar Harca

Environment Tier 4

Michelmores LLP's cross-practice team undertakes environmental due diligence on real estate and corporate transactions, and advises on issues concerning the content of contamination indemnity agreements. Waste and water-related work (including bank erosion, pollution and flooding) are among other areas of focus. Practice head Mark Howard acts for clients such as developers, local authorities and landowners.

Key clients

Downing LLP

RNS Holdings

Nijjar Properties

Michelmores is a top 100 law firm offering legal advice and commercial counsel to businesses and individuals, both nationally and internationally. The firm’s international reach is growing – nearly a fifth of its revenue is sourced from outside the UK

The firm: Michelmores continues to attract and retain talented and entrepreneurial lawyers, who enjoy a collegiate approach to work and the opportunity to be given the space to think freely and deliver innovative and practical solutions to clients. Lawyers in the firm’s South West offices enjoy working for national and international clients based in London or further afield.

Michelmores offers a range of core services across a range of sectors: commercial (including technology and intellectual property), corporate, dispute resolution (including litigation and international arbitration), employment, family law, projects/PFI, real estate, regulatory, restructuring and insolvency, and tax and trusts.

Types of work undertaken: Cross-office teams focus on servicing clients in a number of strategic sectors.

Finance and investment: the firm has experience from across the finance and investment sector in banking and finance, re/insurance, investment funds, wealth management financial regulation (including financial crime) and enforcement. The team has expanded its deal base to include a number of international and national clients including Astana International Financial Centre Authority, Finnfund, Succession Group, Traderiver Finance Limited and Triodos Bank.

Real estate: the real estate group acts for national house builders and developers, investors, public bodies and national institutions. There is a close link between the non-contentious and contentious lawyers in the group, providing clients with a one-stop shop. Clients are guided through acquisition and planning to construction and disposal, and benefit from advice on international tax and funds. Clients include Barratt/David Wilson Homes, Greenland Group, Lendlease, MOPAC and Stanhope plc.

Private wealth: the private wealth group provides partner-led advice to wealthy individuals and their families, owner-managed businesses, landed estates and the wealth management firms and institutions that preserve and protect their assets. The group acts for an increasing number of clients from overseas or with offshore interests, particularly in the area of international tax and trusts.

International: the firm is a member of the International Bar Association and has a growing reputation for its corporate and investment work in emerging and frontier markets. It is increasingly winning international work from the Far East, for example, the firm is acting for Chinese developer Greenland Group on the Spire London development in Canary Wharf – Spire London will be the tallest residential tower in Western Europe.

The firm also services a number of high-profile clients from the agriculture, education, manufacturing, renewable energy and retail sectors.

Recruitment: recent lateral hires have included Ian Binnie (corporate, London), Ash Das (corporate, Bristol), Stephen McColgan (real estate, Bristol) and Chris Hoar (construction, Exeter). There have been a number of internal promotions this year: two new partners, two new senior associates and one new director.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Malcolm Dickinson
Senior partner Andrew Oldland
Finance director Graham Johnson
Agriculture Vivienne Williams
Bristol office Vivienne Williams
Charities Tony Cockayne
Commercial property Emma Honey
Commercial property Paul Paling
Company/commercial Richard Cobb
Company/commercial Ian Holyoak
Construction Chris Hoar
Corporate recovery Charles Maunder
Dispute resolution Tim Richards
Employment Andrew Tobey
EU/competition Ian Holyoak
EU/competition Michael Papadakis
Family Simon Thomas
Financial services and markets Andrew Oldland QC
Insurance Garbhan Shanks
Intellectual property David Thompson
Investment funds Joe Whitfield
Litigation Tim Richards
London office Paul Paling
Planning Mark Howard
Private client Jonathan Riley
Private equity Stephen Morse
Projects/PFI Carol McCormack OBE
Property litigation Andrew Baines
Public sector Andrew Tobey
Regulatory Andrew Oldland QC
Technology, media and communications Tom Torkar
Photo Name Position Profile
 Ian Binnie  photo Ian Binnie
 Roger Fink  photo Roger Fink
 Melanie Hughes  photo Melanie Hughes
 Charles Maunder  photo Charles Maunder
 Paul Paling  photo Paul Paling
 Jonathan Riley  photo Jonathan Riley
 Simon Rose  photo Simon Rose
 Garbhan Shanks  photo Garbhan Shanks
 Peter Sigler  photo Peter Sigler
 Joe Whitfield  photo Joe Whitfield
 Chris Willison  photo Chris Willison
 Alexander Wood  photo Alexander Wood
Number of UK partners : 66
Number of other UK fee-earners : 155

The Lex 100 Verdict

'Highly-ambitious' Michelmores accepts a 'small trainee intake' and offers 'London-quality work in the south west of England'. Complimented for 'demonstrating impressive organic growth', Michelmores is attractive to applicants 'because of its well-known reputation as being a friendly place to work' that originated from 'humble family roots'. Certainly, the people and culture are highly praised by all respondents, particularly 'the approachable nature of supervisors and associates'. 'The variety of seat choice' also impressed newbies, giving recruits a 'wide range of work and responsibility' and 'client contact and exposure to high-quality work' at such an early stage. Trainees also enjoyed 'developing relationships with the team' and receiving 'quick and helpful feedback' from colleagues. The work/life balance at Michelmores is impressive, with trainees working 'reasonable hours' whilst maintaining 'the same profile of work and clients' as larger firms. Consequently, Michelmores has earned five Lex 100 Winner medals this year for job satisfaction, living up to expectations, quality of work, confidence in being kept on and inclusivity. This is echoed by responses from trainees that 'good work doesn't go unrecognised' and they feel 'more included in the firm as a whole'. However, the Exeter office location was often criticised because 'there isn't much to do' nearby. Applicants also feel that 'there could be more social events at the firm'. Working closely with high-profile clients, running the annual Christmas Bazaar for the charity of the year and representing grateful clients were work highlights. If 'a very friendly and personable firm' sounds attractive to you, consider applying to Michelmores.