The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Mills & Reeve LLP

Work 0344 880 2666

Yorkshire and the Humber: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire
Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 4

Mills & Reeve LLP

The team at Mills & Reeve LLP is frequently instructed on a range of mid-market transactions, with key sectors including the technology, food and agribusiness, healthcare and private wealth industries. Practice head Paul Johnson counts a range of private and public companies as clients and has recently been increasingly active in the insurance sector. Martin Priestley joined from Pinsent Masons LLP to head up the commercial team, bringing education sector expertise.

Practice head(s):Paul Johnson

Other key lawyers:Martin Priestley;

Key Clients



Rema Tip Top

WH Ireland

Servoca Plc

Kings Security Systems

YFM Equity Partners

Alliance Medical



Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of Bytemark Holdings on the sale of its entire issued share capital to Iomart Group.
  • Advised WH Ireland as broker and nominated adviser on AfriTin Mining's fundraising by way of placing and subscription of ordinary shares.
  • Assisted Bango with the placing of new ordinary shares and the acquisition of a majority stake in the Borsa Italiana-listed Audiens.
  • Advised the shareholders of the Larsen Howie Group on its sale to Kingsbridge for £2.6m.
  • Advised the shareholders of Thomas Sagar Insurance on the sale of the company to Global Risk Partners.

[back to top]

Yorkshire and the Humber: Insurance

Professional negligence: defendant
Professional negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP's Leeds team specialise in professional negligence litigation for defendants and their insurers, handling work in sectors including financial services, construction, engineering and medical product liability. The department routinely acts for large professional firms in claims against insurance brokers, pensions and construction professionals and lawyers.

Practice head(s):Neil Howes

Other key lawyers:Matthew Liston

Key Clients

Pen Underwriting

Travelers Insurance Company (recent appointment to core panel)

Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund

XL Catlin Insurance

CNA Hardy Insurance (panel reappointment)

Navigators Pro

AmTrust Europe

International Insurance Company of Hannover

Chancery Pii

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a northeast firm of solicitors facing a claim from a former client in respect of an offshore tax avoidance structure.
Rising stars

Laura Johnson - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Yorkshire and the Humber: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP

Following the departure of Julia Rangecroftto Shulmans LLP, Mills & Reeve LLP’s agriculture and estates team in Leeds is now led by principal associate Andrea Newman. Newman, who was previously based in Cambridge, has 16 years’ post-qualification experience and is well versed in high-profile transactions, such as large scale development projects for institutions and landowning charitable trusts. Other highlights of the work carried out by the practice include diversification projects and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):Andrea Newman

Key Clients

Coutts & Company

Wellcome Trust

The Countryside Restoration Trust

Farmcare Trading Limited

Northumbrian Water Limited

John Innes Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advising Coutts & Company on a review of circa 801 acres of land and buildings for bank security.
  • Acted for the Wellcome Trust on the disposal of land at Alpraham to a developer for housing.
  • Assisting the Countryside Restoration Trust with various land holdings in negotiating tenancies to best reflect the charitable obligations of the client.
  • Acting for Northumbrian Water Limited in securing easements across the length of its pipeline feeding the Abberton Reservoir.
  • Advised on the restructuring of Farmcare’s trading operation to exit direct farming on 25,000 acres.

[back to top]

Family: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Family: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP stands out for its knowledge of complex financial arrangements, with the team's expertise encompassing multi-jurisdictional disputes, trust structures, inherited wealth, pensions and marital agreements. Philip Way leads the practice and heads up the firm's Leeds office; he is also an expert on the pensions aspects of divorce. Clients also praise senior associate Claudia Gilham, who has growing expertise in cohabitation cases and private children matters; and principal associate Ellie Foster, who handles financial arrangements and pensions issues.

Practice head(s):Philip Way

Other key lawyers:Ellie Foster; Claudia Gilham


'Mills & Reeve is easily one of the leading firms in the region for family work and fields a team of experts who clearly know what they are doing'.

'Philip Way is undoubtedly a leading individual in the field'.

'Ellie Foster is incredibly thorough and professional in her approach'.

'Claudia Gilham is a fantastic family solicitor who gives commercial and practical advice and is professional and approachable. She is really building a name for herself in the region'.

Leading individuals

Philip Way - Mills & Reeve LLP

Rising stars

Claudia Gilham - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP's private client team acts for UK and international families, estates, trustees and companies, with a specialist team under the national direction of Leeds partner Andrew Playle, who holds the STEP Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising and is an expert in trusts, wills, tax, probate and related structuring advice. The team also has expertise in succession planning, lasting powers of attorney and acting in Court of Protection matters. Julia Rangecroft left to join Shulmans LLP in early 2019

Practice head(s):Andrew Playle

Other key lawyers:Ellie Milner

[back to top]

Yorkshire and the Humber: Public sector

Education - ranked: tier 3

Mills & Reeve LLP

The team at Mills & Reeve LLP has continued to grow on the back of the firm's hire of former Pinsent Masons LLP international universities head Martin Priestley in early 2018. Priestley focuses on education sector commercial projects and international joint ventures, while Mark Pearce is the key name for IP-related issues at universities, and principal associate Poppy Short has experience in governance and structuring issues.

Practice head(s):Martin Priestley

Other key lawyers:Mark Pearce; Poppy Short

Key Clients

University of York

University of Durham

Northumbria University

Nottingham Trent University

Work highlights

  • Advising the University of York on its acquisition of its joint venture partner's 50% share in an LLP which holds the freehold interest of its new Constantine College.
  • Assisted the University of Durham with a private placement of notes issued to six investors.
  • Acting for the University of Northumbria on a proposed project to replace several of its student accommodation buildings with a new development.

[back to top]

Yorkshire and the Humber: Real estate

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 3

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has a full service real estate team which advises on national and international property projects. The firm has a range of clients including investors, developers, land owners, institutional and local authority funds and corporations. The team is led by Simon Sherwood, who focuses on real estate investment, with a particular expertise in primary healthcare development work. Real estate represents roughly a third of Mills & Reeve's total turnover, demonstrating the significance of the practice to the wider firm.

Practice head(s):Simon Sherwood; Beverley Firth

Key Clients

Consolidated Property Group

Harmony Bridge

Encon Insulation

The British Library

Brookgate Property

Ridgeon Group

London House Exchange

DB Cargo

General Practice Investment Corporation


Work highlights

  • Advised Ridgeon Properties on the £27m sale of a brownfield site with the benefit of residential planning permission to Cambridge City Council.
  • Reviewing around 800 acres of land and buildings for bank security for Coutts & Company.
  • Advising Consolidated Property Group on lettings on new retail park developments at Newquay and St Albans to major retailers including B&Q, Wilko, Pets at Home, KFC and Costa Coffee.
  • Advising Encon Insulation on the grant of two new industrial leases following extensive landlord work.
  • Advising The British Library on general estates matters including lettings and occupation licences.

[back to top]

Yorkshire and the Humber: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 4

Mills & Reeve LLP

The commercial, IT and IP team at Mills & Reeve LLP has particular experience advising central government, education sector and healthcare sector clients on IT projects; it also assists growing technology businesses. The group is jointly led by commercial lawyer Martin Priestley and IP specialist Mark Pearce, who splits his time between the Leeds and Cambridge offices.

Practice head(s):Martin Priestley; Mark Pearce

Key Clients

Maritime & Coastguard Agency

Premia Solutions Limited

University of York

University of Leeds

University of Surrey

Bytemark Limited

WH Ireland Limited

Bango Plc

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency on its major procurement project to source a replacement for the existing radio network infrastructure.
  • Advised Premia Solutions on data protection compliance issues relating to its new online insurance product, 'Look After My Car'.
  • Acted for Egton Medical Information Systems on data protection compliance and confidentiality matters relating to the use of blockchain technology to connect patients with their data.
  • Advised the shareholders of Bytemark on the sale of Bytemark Holdings to Iomart Group.

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

Mills & Reeve LLP

With technology, life sciences and education sector expertise, Mills & Reeve LLP is instructed on a range of intellectual property matters ranging from advising on the protection of rights in corporate transactions to representing clients in high-profile patent litigation. Mark Pearce heads up the national practice from the Leeds office and has experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):Mark Pearce

Key Clients

Nottingham Trent University

Cambridge University Hospitals Trust

University of West London

Tekmar plc

Fox International Group Limited

Premia Solutions Limited

The Institution of Engineering and Technology

Spomb Fishing Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted a private individual (an owner of two pharmacy businesses) with their intervention in the high-profile Supreme Court hearing, Warner-Lambert v Generics.
  • Acted for Fox International on the IP aspects of its acquisition of Spomb and its subsidiary, Spomb Fishing.
  • Represented Tekmar Energy in a patent infringement action against Seaproof.
  • Advised Cambridge University Hospitals Trust on a partnership with a German manufacturer of hearing-related medical devices for the establishment of a Cambridge Ear Institute.
  • Acting for Spomb Fishing in patent infringement proceedings in the IPEC against Serbian company, Carp Systems DOO, its UK distributor and two companies in the Nash Group.

[back to top]

Further information on Mills & Reeve LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Mills & Reeve LLP in other jurisdictions.

East Anglia

Offices in Cambridge and Norwich


Offices in London

North West

Offices in Manchester

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of¬† ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan ¬† [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess ¬†Surinder Singh ¬†cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.