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Mills & Reeve LLP

BOTANIC HOUSE, 100 HILLS ROAD, CAMBRIDGE, CB2 1PH, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0344 880 2666
DX:
122891 CAMBRIDGE 4
Web:
www.mills-reeve.com

Top-tier Firm rankings

Firm Rankings


East Anglia: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Cambridge
Corporate and commercial: Cambridge - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP β€˜consistently provides timely, concise and effective advice at very reasonable rates, often exceeding clients’ requirements’. The firm is among the strongest regional players and also has a growing national presence. Many of its corporate matters have an international element; in 2016 it handled deals involving more than 75 jurisdictions including China, Canada and Australia. It is regularly called on to assist listed companies, as demonstrated by its advice to technology distributor Midwich on its Β£165m AIM listing, which included a Β£75m fundraising round and involved cross-border due diligence due to the company’s interests in France, Germany and Australasia. Other public company highlights included acting for Paypoint on the Β£14.4m sale of its online payment business to Capita. On the private company side, the team advised StepStone UK on the acquisition of graduate recruitment website Milkround Online Limited from News UK, and assisted Kaplan International Colleges UK with the creation of a new joint venture with the University of York to facilitate the recruitment and teaching of overseas students. The team is jointly led by Tom Pickthorn, who specialises in international matters, and Claire Clarke, who has particular expertise in the education sector and in the formation of investment funds. β€˜Pragmatic and robust’ venture capital specialist Zickie Lim is noted for her β€˜acute drafting and negotiating skills and commercially-rounded, sensible advice’. Clients also recommend charities expert Neil Burton for his β€˜attention to detail, availability and proactive involvement’; capital markets lawyer Stephen Hamilton; and Anthony McGurk, who is β€˜outstanding for high-level work’ in the private equity space.

Leading individuals (region-wide)

Anthony McGurk - Mills & Reeve LLP

Claire Clarke - Mills & Reeve LLP

Craig Hodgson - Mills & Reeve LLP

James Hunter - Mills & Reeve LLP

Tom Pickthorn - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in East Anglia
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Anthony McGurk - Mills & Reeve LLP

Claire Clarke - Mills & Reeve LLP

Craig Hodgson - Mills & Reeve LLP

James Hunter - Mills & Reeve LLP

Tom Pickthorn - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Corporate and commercial: Ipswich
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Anthony McGurk - Mills & Reeve LLP

Claire Clarke - Mills & Reeve LLP

Craig Hodgson - Mills & Reeve LLP

James Hunter - Mills & Reeve LLP

Tom Pickthorn - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Corporate and commercial: Norwich
Corporate and commercial: Norwich - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

At Mills & Reeve LLP β€˜the overall service is of excellent quality and the advice is first rate, practical and easily understandable’. The team is led by Craig Hodgson, who also heads the food and agribusiness department and who represents some of the UK’s leading food and beverage companies, and Greg Gibson, who leads the cross-office commercial, IP and IT department. The β€˜always responsive and practical’ James Hunter is a leading transactional lawyer who acts for the owners and acquirers of many private businesses and has extensive experience in the financial services sector. Clients also pick out Natalie Wade, who has in-depth knowledge of the health sector and who regularly acts in large corporate consolidations and acquisitions of dental practices, as well as health and IT procurement counsel Sean Earnshaw, who β€˜delivers excellent work and balances commercial and legal concerns’. In a highlight for 2016, the firm advised Boilerjuice on its sale to private equity firm Livingbridge. The team also advised Boparan Restaurants Holdings on numerous matters including its acquisition of Indian Restaurants Limited and the purchase of the entire share capital of Giraffe Concepts from Tesco. BUPA and Lotus Cars are also clients. Nick Fischl retired from the partnership.

Leading individuals (region-wide)

Anthony McGurk - Mills & Reeve LLP

Claire Clarke - Mills & Reeve LLP

Craig Hodgson - Mills & Reeve LLP

James Hunter - Mills & Reeve LLP

Tom Pickthorn - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Corporate and commercial: Peterborough
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Anthony McGurk - Mills & Reeve LLP

Claire Clarke - Mills & Reeve LLP

Craig Hodgson - Mills & Reeve LLP

James Hunter - Mills & Reeve LLP

Tom Pickthorn - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge)

At Mills & Reeve LLP, partner Christopher Townsend specialises in corporate tax matters and employee share schemes. He principally focuses on the tax implications of corporate finance transactions, M&A, corporate restructurings and investment funding. He is also active advising on property deals and investment funds from a tax perspective. Townsend played a key role in the firm’s advice to technology distributor Midwich Group on its Β£165m IPO on AIM and a related Β£75m fundraising round. He also acted on the acquisition of graduate recruitment website Milkround Online Limited by client StepStone UK Holding Limited, and assisted FactSet Research Systems with the acquisitions of Cymba Technologies Limited and Vermillion Holdings Limited, both of which were completed to very demanding timescales. Principal associate and corporate lawyer Vanessa Walton advises on complex M&A and real estate investment transactions, many of which involve overseas tax structures. Principal associate Matthew Short plays a vital role in the firm’s tax, benefits and charities team.

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge)

β€˜A market leader for competition law’, Mills & Reeve LLP attracts praise for its β€˜sound business acumen and excellent commercial advice’. Consultant Ruth Smith leads the team and is national head of procurement law. She is experienced in handling matters arising from the health, government, education and technology sectors. Corporate consultant Brian Marshall and IT partner Kevin Calder β€˜take a very pragmatic approach and have a good understanding of the commercial position as well as the legalities’. The team can also call on experts from a range of disciplines to advise on competition law including IP and IT specialist Greg Gibson; national head of projects and construction Raith Pickup; construction consultant Ron Plascow; and principal associate Helen Prandy in the commercial litigation team. The firm’s diverse client base includes government entities such as the Department for Education, public bodies including NHS England, and educational institutions such as the University of Coventry and the University of Central Lancashire. The firm also acts for a host of large corporates and local authorities. Public-sector highlights included advising the Department for Education on the procurement process for the operation of an early years fund, which will provide loans to nurseries to expand the number of places available to children. The team also acted for the Financial Conduct Authority on procurement issues arising from its investment in a system to process market data across the financial services sector.

Leading individuals

Ruth Smith - Mills & Reeve LLP

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East Anglia: Crime, fraud and licensing

Licensing
Licensing - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Norwich)

Clients of Mills & Reeve LLP are β€˜always pleased with the professional and efficient service’ provided by the β€˜first-class team of lawyers’. Licensing specialist and head of department Harriet Wells has 18 years’ experience in all aspects of licensing and regularly appears before the Licensing Authorities and the Magistrates Courts. She advised new client Cheval Residences Ltd on applications for five new premises licences for luxury residences in central London. All applications were successful despite one being opposed by local residents. Further highlights included achieving a major licence variation for Theatre Royal (Norwich) Ltd to extend its licensed area to include a new four-storey building; a variation of premises licence allowing University of Bedfordshire to host boxing and wrestling exhibitions; and making significant changes to the licensing arrangements of Cambridge college Peterhouse.

Leading individuals

Harriet Wells - Mills & Reeve LLP

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East Anglia: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Cambridge
Commercial litigation: Cambridge - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP provides β€˜efficient and clear advice’ at a β€˜consistently high standard’, marking it out as β€˜among the top firms in this practice area’. Partner Jamie Wheatley leads a team in Cambridge that is known for advisory, regulatory and contentious work for national and regional clients in the technology, food, agribusiness, private client, health and education sectors. Wheatley’s highlights included acting for Westward Consultants in a claim to recover Β£11m owed to it and other parties by Orb, which has been declared bankrupt in Jersey and which has assets in numerous overseas jurisdictions. Gary Attle focuses on public law and represented Queen Mary University of London at tribunal in a case concerning a sensitive request for information made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which raised the question of how to adequately protect individual-level data in a clinical trial. Also recommended are principal associates Helen Prandy, who handles contract and procurement disputes; Douglas McDonald, who handles contentious matters in the technology sector; and Lino Di Lorenzo, who handles asset recovery cases. Senior associate and barrister Monika Sobiecki β€˜quickly cuts through the noise to get to the nub of the issue’. Experienced litigator (and head of the North America desk) Graeme Menzies is now a consultant.

Leading individuals (region-wide)

Jamie Wheatley - Mills & Reeve LLP

Rachel Higgs - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in East Anglia
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Jamie Wheatley - Mills & Reeve LLP

Rachel Higgs - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Commercial litigation: Ipswich
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Jamie Wheatley - Mills & Reeve LLP

Rachel Higgs - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Commercial litigation: Norwich
Commercial litigation: Norwich - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Clients report β€˜excellent service from the entire team’ at Mills & Reeve LLP, which is β€˜very on the ball, efficient and knowledgeable – well worth the money’ and β€˜every bit as good as some of the best London firms in terms of quality and tenacity’. β€˜Clever, insightful and robust’ lead partner Rachel Higgs attracts praise for her β€˜robust, no-nonsense views on how to tackle a case; her advice is top quality in comparison not only to regional firms, but also City firms’. Associate and β€˜superb counsellor’ Jenny Williams is also recommended. Higgs and Williams are acting for Able UK, NWG UK and their shareholders in a Β£49m breach of contract claim against a firm of accountants. In another highlight, the team represented independent employment agency Jark in potential breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy and breach of contract claims after regional managers set up a competing enterprise taking the entire workforce and all of their customers to the new business. The team also represented a client in three sets of proceedings against the purchaser of shares in an investment company.

Leading individuals (region-wide)

Jamie Wheatley - Mills & Reeve LLP

Rachel Higgs - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP (Norwich)

Litigator Harriet Wells at Mills & Reeve LLP has a vast amount of experience in complex debt recovery matters as part of her broader commercial disputes practice. Chartered legal executive Lynne Lawn handles the majority of claims and has vital experience in enforcing County Court judgments. The firm’s clients include Showcard Print Limited, for which Lawn recovered over Β£10,000 from a debtor who failed to pay invoices, and Spenborough Abbatoir Limited, for which she obtained a settlement over proceedings for an outstanding Β£1,000 debt.

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East Anglia: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge, Norwich)

Mills & Reeve LLP attracts praise for its β€˜focus on clients’ requirements, ability to work to tight deadlines and for its commercial advice, which goes over and above the legal aspects’. The firm has the only national banking and finance practice in the region and is particularly well known for its specialist real estate finance team; according to one client it β€˜rightly has an unrivalled reputation in the region’, and singles out its β€˜balanced approach and good value for money’. Team head William Roles and asset-based landing expert Zak Virgin are recommended for their β€˜industry knowledge, commercial approach and for being readily at clients’ disposal for ad-hoc advice’. Sarah Seed is recommended for not-for-profit finance and Laura Holdaway for real estate finance. Holdaway advised AgFe UK Real Estate and ReAssure Limited as senior lenders on a Β£124m refinancing of property portfolios. Seed acted for Cardiff University in a Β£300m public bond issue. Other clients include HSBC and ABN AMRO Commercial Finance.

Leading individuals

Laura Holdaway - Mills & Reeve LLP

William Roles - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge, Norwich)

Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜one of the best for insolvency; the service and the value for money are excellent, and response times are fast’. Jamie Wheatley leads the team and regularly advises corporates and IPs, bringing particular knowledge of special administration regimes for energy supply and network companies and insolvencies in the technology sector. According to clients he is β€˜responsive, thorough and provides extremely practical advice, adding value at every stage of the process’. Among the firm’s β€˜excellent strategists’ is β€˜thorough and hardworking’ principal associate Lino Di Lorenzo, who acts in cross-border insolvency matters and complex asset recovery actions and β€˜has a good grasp of how a case may pan out; like in a chess game, he plans several moves ahead’. Laura Holdaway excels in real estate insolvencies and Zak Virgin often advises asset-based lenders and agricultural sector lenders. Wheatley advised the administrators of family-owned farming business S Morgan & Sons in a case that involved complex security arrangements and disputes between creditors. IPs McTear Williams & Wood and Griffins are among the firm’s clients.

Leading individuals

Jamie Wheatley - Mills & Reeve LLP

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East Anglia: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge, Norwich)

Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜extremely fast to respond and has a broad depth of knowledge and specialisms that ensures value for money is good’. Five of the firm’s ten employment partners are based at its Cambridge and Norwich offices. As a result, department head David Mills oversees one of the region’s largest teams, which handles complex employment matters for clients in the commercial, education and healthcare sectors, including many that have cross-border issues. Veteran employment lawyer Ian Mather is head of the Cambridge office where β€˜professional and responsive’ education specialist Nicola Brown and health-sector expert Stuart Craig are also recommended. In Norwich, clients recommend the β€˜clear and measured’ James Kidd as β€˜straight-talking and very clear on the advice he gives’; associate Rebecca Cockerill (who β€˜has great customer focus – you really feel she is part of your team’); and principal associate Alex Russell (who is β€˜very responsive, competent and has a sensible and pragmatic approach’). The firm’s highlights included advising Redgate Software on a major business reorganisation, which resulted in collective redundancy proposals; providing employment guidance to insureds through a collaboration with insurer AIG Europe; and helping Lotus Cars Limited to update its contracts and benefits scheme for 900 employees.

Leading individuals

David Mills - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Norwich, Cambridge)

Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜responsive and professional in its approach to regulatory matters’. Clients β€˜value its balanced approach and its pragmatism’ and laud the firm as β€˜one of the best by far’. β€˜Trusted adviser’ Duncan Astill leads the team and advises clients in the high-risk industries of construction and healthcare. His caseload includes advice on cross-border matters and he recently acted for German and Spanish clients involved in construction-related HSE prosecutions, and advised a US-owned healthcare business on compliance issues. Regulatory specialist Ian Mayers retired from the partnership but continues to act as a consultant. Principal associate, in-house barrister and Crown Court judge Philip Grey in Cambridge is β€˜particularly helpful; he understands the sector and provides a level of clarity to complex matters’. Astill and senior associate Amanda Narkiewicz are currently acting for a client in the healthcare sector in a health and safety investigation into the death of a patient.

Leading individuals

Duncan Astill - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Amanda Narkiewicz - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Immigration
Immigration - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge, Norwich)

The immigration practice group at Mills & Reeve LLP is led by associate Alex Russell in Norwich, who is a leading adviser to the education sector and last year assisted many university clients with analysis of the implications of the EU referendum result on staff from the European Economic Area (EEA). Clients recommend associate Emma Tuck, who also advises higher education institutions on Tier 4 student visa applications. Consultant Tracy Yates has a broad practice that includes immigration advice on sponsor licences, the recruitment of foreign nationals, operational matters and visa applications. She has a particularly strong reputation among health-sector clients. Highlights included advising two universities in preparation for Home Office sponsor compliance audits; assisting numerous NHS Trusts with their sponsorship obligations in relation to the employment of overseas nurses; and handling Tier 2 sponsorship matters to enable Red Gate Software to employ skilled software developers from abroad.

Leading individuals

Alex Russell - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Norwich)

Mills & Reeve LLP is known for handling β€˜big-ticket deals at regional prices’ and for providing β€˜commercial and pragmatic advice in complex matters with a short timescale’. Clients recommend β€˜knowledgeable, proactive and pragmatic’ consultant Laura Sayer who β€˜delivers sound, practical advice in a very personable manner’. Sayer joined in 2016 from the London office of Squire Patton Boggs and now leads the pensions team in Norwich. She sits on the East Anglia group committee of the Pensions Management Institute. Associate Alex Kenworthy sits on the public sector sub-committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers. The team is advising the trustees of the J&H Bunn Limited Pension Fund on its documentation and on the validity of scheme amendments made since the 1980s. It is also working with the trustees of the Institute of Incorporated Engineers Pension and Life Assurance Scheme on its buyout. Other clients include the trustees of Farnham Castle Newspapers Limited Pensions and Life Assurance Scheme and C U Pension Trustees Limited.

Leading individuals

Laura Sayer - Mills & Reeve LLP

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East Anglia: Insurance

Clinical negligence: defendant
Clinical negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP (Norwich)

β€˜A valued partner’, Mills & Reeve LLP β€˜punches above its weight on a number of fronts; it is technically excellent but differentiates itself in its commercial understanding’. One client notes that β€˜the lawyers are willing to put in the hard yards and have an exceptional bedside manner’. The medical malpractice team is led from Norwich by Stephen King, who is β€˜proactive in keeping clients abreast of emerging issues; his advice is accurate and concise’. β€˜Knowledgeable, approachable and empathetic’ associate Flora McCabe has ten years’ experience and β€˜an understanding of the legal issues that is ahead of her peers’. Senior associate Matthew Wilson is also recommended. The firm acts for medical practitioners, insurers, regulators and corporate entities in the independent health sector. In 2016, the firm represented a GP who found herself without insurance having been on maternity leave and having neglected to renew her insurance immediately upon her return. A patient who developed a pituitary tumour alleged breach of duty when the GP failed to recommend an MRI scan. The case is set for trial this year. The team also acted for an insurer and a plastic surgeon in a claim relating to a rhinoplasty operation that required numerous revisions that the insurer declined to cover.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Norwich)

Clients receive β€˜a high standard of service – London level at regional rates’ from Mills & Reeve LLP, which is β€˜one of the leaders in the field and always provides timely advice; it is conscientiously precise in its assessment of claims, liability and quantum’. Stephen King and Neil Davies (who is noted for his β€˜pragmatic approach and legal acumen’) lead a team with β€˜a wealth of experience’ and which is β€˜extremely flexible depending on the insurer’s needs’. Consultant Guy Hodgson is also recommended for insurance disputes and focuses largely on policy and coverage matters arising from claims against solicitors. β€˜Thorough, efficient’ principal associate Clare Howard attracts praise for her β€˜clear and robust advice’. Clients also recommend senior associate Matthew Wilson, who is β€˜a star of the future and is calm under pressure’. The firm counts Countrywide, Sompo Canopius, CNA Hardy and Travelers among its clients. In 2016, the firm acted for a major international insurance group and its insured in a complex claim arising out of the purchase of a leasehold property and alleged failure to advise on enfranchisement issues. The team also advised an insurer on a claim against solicitors for breach of trust and negligence that arose out of a property sale.

Leading individuals

Neil Davies - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Matthew Wilson - Mills & Reeve LLP

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East Anglia: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge, Norwich)

Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜very proficient and has genuine specialists’. Head of agribusiness Michael Aubrey (who can β€˜provide a strategic overview of any legal issue facing an estate’) and agricultural property specialist Amanda Tagg, who also has extensive experience in renewable energy projects, are β€˜among the best in the region’. Tim Ryan is a fellow of the Agricultural Law Association and often leads on diversification projects for farmers, landowners and estate owners, often involving complex consortium, promotion and option agreements. The firm has a deep bench of expertise that includes senior associate Dawn Chapman, who specialises in the sale and purchase of farms and estates; senior associate Denis Costello, who deals with rural property matters, with particular expertise in minerals and waste management work; associate Louisa Butcher, who helps clients of the agribusiness team with property matters including tenancies, covenants and easements; associate Nichola Ross, who handles agricultural lending and advice to family farming businesses; principal associate Jane Peel, who advises landed estates on renewable energy projects and farm tenancies; and principal associate Nicola Dernie, who also handles property matters. The firm’s highlights included advising Fengrain Limited on the grant of a 25-years underlease for three grain silos, and acting for the trustee landowners of the Kirton Estate on negotiations for an option for cabling easement for a large section of the estate. The firm also counts Oxford University Endowment Management, Trinity College Cambridge and Farmcare Limited among its clients.

Leading individuals

Amanda Tagg - Mills & Reeve LLP

Michael Aubrey - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge, Norwich)

Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜excellent across the board and stands out for its responsiveness, gravitas, experience and knowledge’. Part of the firm’s sizeable national charities practice, a strong core of this β€˜knowledgeable, understanding and direct’ multidisciplinary team resides in its Cambridge and Norwich offices. Neil Burton leads the team and is known for being β€˜approachable and able to grasp issues quickly’. He continues to be a key adviser to clients such as Kidney Cancer UK and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Other key figures include David Catchpole, who leads the firm’s legacies practice, Sarah Seed, who has a thriving charity fundraising practice, senior associate and charity law specialist Mark Ashton, and associate Harriet Edwards, who handles philanthropy matters including high-value gifts to charities. The firm can also call on the expertise of property partner Caroline Dean, HR specialist Nicola Brown and associate Patrick Gass in the employment team. Burton advised The Federation of European Biochemical Societies on potential liabilities arising from the cancellation of its annual congress in Turkey in light of the country’s political unrest. The matter involved complex insurance implications and regulatory issues. Other highlights included acting for an overseas alumnus of a Cambridge College who established a special structure to leave a property legacy to the college.

Leading individuals

Neil Burton - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Norwich, Cambridge)

The team at Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜very professional and competent, giving excellent support to its clients’. The firm handles disputes concerning the validity of wills, actions involving trustees and executors, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and related claims concerning lifetime transactions. It also acts for a number of charities involved in contested legacy matters. ACTAPS member David Catchpole focuses exclusively on contentious trust and probate matters and is β€˜thorough and persistent; he keeps clients well informed’. Senior associate Lucy Howard is β€˜very supportive and constructive in her advice’. The team recently acted for the husband and son of a deceased woman who left a large part of her estate to relatives with whom she did not have a close relationship. The clients are challenging the validity of the will on the grounds that the deceased lacked testamentary capacity. In another key matter, the team defended a claim concerning a will that left property to a client whose relatives allege undue influence over the deceased.

Leading individuals

David Catchpole - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Lucy Howard - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge, Norwich)

Mills & Reeve LLP β€˜sits at the top of the league as one of the go-to firms for heavy and complex family cases’. Clients describe the β€˜Rolls Royce service’ provided by the practice as β€˜top tier in terms of client care, out-of-court resolution and contentious litigation’. Nick Stone in Norwich leads the team and is β€˜first class; he is highly regarded as one of the best matrimonial lawyers in East Anglia, a stickler for procedure who gives clients sound advice’. Caitlin Jenkins leads the Cambridge team and β€˜combines robust technical knowledge with excellent people skills’. The team’s third partner is Roger Bamber, who works from the London and Cambridge offices and has particular expertise in complex financial matters involving business owners. The firm also has a strong team of associates in β€˜formidable litigator’ George Sprague, who is β€˜incredibly thorough and dependable, smart and practical, and has a lovely bedside manner’; Hannah Wilson, who is β€˜highly rated for her collaborative work’; and Frances Bailey, who β€˜has a very personable manner, can provide difficult advice when needed, and prepares matters meticulously’. Barristers also praise family law executive Christine Bensley as β€˜very experienced, comprehensive and impeccable in her instructions to counsel’. The team recently acted for a husband in divorce proceedings in the High Court, which involved assets valued at more than Β£50m.

Leading individuals

Caitlin Jenkins - Mills & Reeve LLP

Nick Stone - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Cambridge
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Cambridge - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

For some, Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜the leading firm in the area for private client matters’. Team head Chris Belcher is praised for his β€˜pragmatic approach to problem solving, client rapport and knowledge of tax matters’. He is also praised for his β€˜excellent technical knowledge and ability to explain complicated issues to clients’. The firm regularly advises ultra-high-net-worth clients, often with an international dimension to their needs. Senior associate Alex Hunt β€˜understands clients’ needs quickly and provides appropriate advice, making an effort to ensure it is practical and easy to understand’. Senior associate Kimberly Sayward is also recommended for her work on setting up corporate structures for UK investors and her tax advice to trustees and business owners. The firm recently advised a high-profile sportsman on all aspects of his private client and commercial affairs, which included the setting up of trusts in the UK and overseas to take advantage of his non-domiciled status.

Leading individuals (region-wide)

Chris Belcher - Mills & Reeve LLP

Gregory Laming - Mills & Reeve LLP

Justin Ripman - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Alex Hunt - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Elsewhere in East Anglia
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Chris Belcher - Mills & Reeve LLP

Gregory Laming - Mills & Reeve LLP

Justin Ripman - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Alex Hunt - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Ipswich
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Chris Belcher - Mills & Reeve LLP

Gregory Laming - Mills & Reeve LLP

Justin Ripman - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Alex Hunt - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Norwich
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Norwich - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP’s private wealth practice attracts praise for its β€˜refreshing approach to tax planning’ and for its ability to handle the full range of private client work for a regional, national and international client base. Virginia Edgecombe leads the team and specialises in complex and high-value probate matters, as well as advising business owners and landowners on issues such as asset protection and tax planning. The firm’s senior partner Justin Ripman acts for numerous landed estates in East Anglia and across the UK, providing advice on strategy and complex tax planning matters such as heritage property and development land consortia and structuring trusts. Clients are β€˜always happy to recommend top private client lawyer’ Gregory Laming, who advises wealthy individuals in the UK and abroad. He is rated for his β€˜lateral approach to coming up with excellent solutions that many other lawyers would not see’. Associate Lauren Parker is recommended for her advice to landed estates and high-net-worth individuals. β€˜Extremely bright and extremely personable’ associate Elizabeth Field advises landowners and entrepreneurs on wills, family trusts and capital tax planning. Last year, the team acted for the trustees of a multimillion-pound landed estate on tax structures for agricultural and business property relief as well as conditional exemptions for heritage property.

Leading individuals (region-wide)

Chris Belcher - Mills & Reeve LLP

Gregory Laming - Mills & Reeve LLP

Justin Ripman - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Alex Hunt - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Peterborough
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Chris Belcher - Mills & Reeve LLP

Gregory Laming - Mills & Reeve LLP

Justin Ripman - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Alex Hunt - Mills & Reeve LLP

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East Anglia: Projects, energy and natural resources

Project finance and PFI
Project finance and PFI - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge)

β€˜Excellent in all areas’, Mills & Reeve LLP is particularly well known for its specialist higher education sector advice. The firm has also experienced an increased workload for the Ministry of Defence (MoD); recent highlights include acting on the Β£2bn TyTAN project to support the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. Defence and student accommodation specialist Raith Pickup, the firm’s national head of projects and construction, played a key role in that project. Defence, health and energy expert Andrew Ray advised the MoD on the rollout of Project Morpheus, which covers the procurement of future tactical battleground communications systems. Consultant Peter Rout, who joined from Transport for Greater Manchester and was previously a partner at DLA Piper UK LLP, specialises in long-term infrastructure projects; clients note that β€˜his negotiation and drafting skills are head and shoulders above just about anyone else in the sector’. He advised Transport for Greater Manchester on aspects of the Β£1.5bn Metrolink Expansion project, including undertaking a peer review of contractual documentation relating to the procurement of the new operator/maintainer of the Manchester Metrolink tram system. Bridget Archibald, who leads the firm’s national health and care team, acted for Community Health Partnerships in relation to a land retained agreement to facilitate the construction of an integrated care centre in Hull. Highlights for student accommodation expert Andrew Wood and principal associate David Stead included advising Bournemouth University on a leasehold disposal for premises comprising 500 student bedrooms.

Leading individuals

Andrew Ray - Mills & Reeve LLP

Bridget Archibald - Mills & Reeve LLP

Raith Pickup - Mills & Reeve LLP

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East Anglia: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge, Norwich)

Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜a firm that really understands and is invested in the higher education sector; it is very much respected for its up-to-date knowledge and expertise among universities’. β€˜Highly personable and responsive’ higher education expert Gary Attle heads the firm’s national education practice and is β€˜exceptional in every respect – strategic, far-sighted and extremely accomplished’. Attle and associate Alison Williams, who provides β€˜very pragmatic advice on student issues’, advised Queen Mary University of London on a Freedom of Information Act request for patient data it held as part of a Β£5m clinical trial. Attle, property partner Caroline Dean, corporate partners Clare Clarke and Jonathan Greenwood, and senior associate and barrister Monika Sobiecki, who is β€˜a consummate professionalwhoalways responds with pragmatic advice’, assisted University of Suffolk with the launch of its new campus. Property partner Andrew Wood and projects expert Raith Pickup stand out for student accommodation developments. Alex Russell handles student immigration and lead employment partner Nicola Brown β€˜has good knowledge of HR and managing client relationships’. She is assisted by associate Emma Tuck, who β€˜demonstrates an absolute commitment to achieving client objectives – she is the lawyer you want on your side in times of crisis’.

Leading individuals

Gary Attle - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Health
Health - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge, Norwich)

Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜very responsive to clients’ needs’. Its national health and care team is led from Cambridge by project finance specialist Bridget Archibald and includes health and technology counsel Sean Earnshaw in Norwich, who provides a virtual in-house service to hospital trusts going through major commercial and outsourcing projects. He acted alongside head of technology Kevin Calder for the Department of Health on its Β£5bn Future Operating Model project that will replace NHS Supply Chain and reorganise how NHS Trusts purchase clinical and non-clinical equipment. Corporate partner Natalie Wade advised a private equity firm on its investment into the development of a corporate dentistry platform. Regulatory specialist Duncan Astill assisted a private sector provider of mental healthcare with a challenge to a CQC inspection, which ultimately upgraded its assessment of the facilities. Health technology expert Peter Wainman worked with Calder to advise Great Ormond Street Hospital on the procurement of electronic patient record systems. Principal associate and barrister Philip Grey is recommended for his expert insight into healthcare regulation.

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East Anglia: Real estate

Commercial property: Cambridge
Commercial property: Cambridge - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

β€˜A class above many others in the region’, Mills & Reeve LLP’s team is β€˜very efficient and knowledgeable, and very good value for money’. Planning partner Beverley Firth oversees a department, which clients rate as β€˜10 out of 10 for value and appropriateness of advice’. The firm is a respected national player that handles high-quality work on a regional, national and international level for investors, nationally known developers, strategic landowners, major corporates, and education and health and care providers. Charles Staveley leads the firm's real estate investment group and his clients include institutional pension funds, management houses, property companies and both onshore and offshore investors. Vincenzo Maggio is β€˜knowledgeable, responsive and easy to work with’. He focuses on investment work and landlord and tenant matters for a client base that includes Cambridge colleges and pension funds. Michelle Cookson specialises in complex investment and development projects and is β€˜highly skilled and a pleasure to work with’. Nick Finlayson-Brown is recommended for advising UK and overseas clients on investment and development projects. Christine de Ferrars Green, who regularly advises Urban&Civic, is β€˜hugely knowledgeable and hands-on’. Tim Allsop β€˜has very good attention to detail and provides excellent advice’. He has particular expertise in major development projects, joint ventures and real estate finance. Clients also recommend senior associates Rachel Kent (who is β€˜an up-and-coming lawyer with good negotiation skills’) and Tom Nash (who β€˜never shirks going the extra mile’). The firm’s key deals included advising Brookgate on the multimillion-pound CB4 city centre regeneration project in Cambridge.

Leading individuals (region-wide)

Caroline Dean - Mills & Reeve LLP

Charles Staveley - Mills & Reeve LLP

Christine de Ferrars Green - Mills & Reeve LLP

Michelle Cookson - Mills & Reeve LLP

Nick Finlayson-Brown - Mills & Reeve LLP

Vincenzo Maggio - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Anna Aldous - Mills & Reeve LLP

Lisa-Marie Kennedy - Mills & Reeve LLP

Rachel Kent - Mills & Reeve LLP

Tom Nash - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Commercial property: Elsewhere in East Anglia
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Caroline Dean - Mills & Reeve LLP

Charles Staveley - Mills & Reeve LLP

Christine de Ferrars Green - Mills & Reeve LLP

Michelle Cookson - Mills & Reeve LLP

Nick Finlayson-Brown - Mills & Reeve LLP

Vincenzo Maggio - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Anna Aldous - Mills & Reeve LLP

Lisa-Marie Kennedy - Mills & Reeve LLP

Rachel Kent - Mills & Reeve LLP

Tom Nash - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Commercial property: Ipswich
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Caroline Dean - Mills & Reeve LLP

Charles Staveley - Mills & Reeve LLP

Christine de Ferrars Green - Mills & Reeve LLP

Michelle Cookson - Mills & Reeve LLP

Nick Finlayson-Brown - Mills & Reeve LLP

Vincenzo Maggio - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Anna Aldous - Mills & Reeve LLP

Lisa-Marie Kennedy - Mills & Reeve LLP

Rachel Kent - Mills & Reeve LLP

Tom Nash - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Commercial property: Norwich
Commercial property: Norwich - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

According to one client, Mills & Reeve LLP is β€˜the best firm for development work in East Anglia; the service is very good, with strong technical knowledge from partner to associate level’. The firm is a national player in the real estate sector and its Norwich team has a strong reputation of advice to landowners, developers such as Urban&Civic, investors including SUE Developments, a host of corporates and education institutions, and numerous housebuilders and charities. Head of department Caroline Dean advises her landowner client base on development work and is β€˜a very high-calibre lawyer’, with clients citing her β€˜depth of local knowledge as well as her practical and pragmatic approach’. Carina Cobbold is β€˜very bright, able, personable and switched on; she is one of the brightest and hardest-working solicitors around’. Senior associate Anna Aldous is β€˜hardworking, decisive, diligent and has the ability to see issues clearly and find solutions’. Also recommended are principal associates Lisa-Marie Kennedy (who is noted for her β€˜excellent legal knowledge and client awareness’) and Zoe Cooke, who specialises in high-value residential projects for London-based developers; and associate Lucy Whipps, who handles landowner investment and development matters for clients such as the Centre for Food & Health. Keith Hamilton has retired. Highlights included acting for landowner Kilverstone Trust on the sale of land for a residential development project that will deliver 5,000 homes near Thetford as part of a project to develop a new community that will include three schools, a health centre and 48 acres of employment land.

Leading individuals (region-wide)

Caroline Dean - Mills & Reeve LLP

Charles Staveley - Mills & Reeve LLP

Christine de Ferrars Green - Mills & Reeve LLP

Michelle Cookson - Mills & Reeve LLP

Nick Finlayson-Brown - Mills & Reeve LLP

Vincenzo Maggio - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Anna Aldous - Mills & Reeve LLP

Lisa-Marie Kennedy - Mills & Reeve LLP

Rachel Kent - Mills & Reeve LLP

Tom Nash - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Commercial property: Peterborough
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Caroline Dean - Mills & Reeve LLP

Charles Staveley - Mills & Reeve LLP

Christine de Ferrars Green - Mills & Reeve LLP

Michelle Cookson - Mills & Reeve LLP

Nick Finlayson-Brown - Mills & Reeve LLP

Vincenzo Maggio - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Anna Aldous - Mills & Reeve LLP

Lisa-Marie Kennedy - Mills & Reeve LLP

Rachel Kent - Mills & Reeve LLP

Tom Nash - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge, Norwich)

Mills & Reeve LLP β€˜has a very impressive legal team that is strong, dynamic and able to provide strategic and innovative solutions’. The firm’s Cambridge office features 12 construction lawyers who focus on major projects across East Anglia. Stuart Thompson leads the team and provides β€˜sound strategic and technical advice with an approach that engenders calmness and reassurance in times of uncertainty and stress’. Thompson oversees a strong team of principal associates that includes Robert Weatherley, who is the main point of contact for the University of Cambridge and many of its colleges, and is also working on the Cambridge Mosque project; Alexandra Pike, who β€˜has strong industry awareness and takes a leading role in complex construction disputes’ and who works closely with major developers such as Urban&Civic; Katherine Souter, who has taken the lead on state aid and construction procurement work since Ron Plascow retired from the partnership to take on the role of consultant; and Alison Garrett, who is regarded as an outstanding construction disputes lawyer. Consultant Peter Rout, who joined the team from Transport for Greater Manchester, has more than 25 years’ experience in major infrastructure projects. Highlights included advising the University of Cambridge on setting up its consultant and contractor framework and advising a borough council on the construction, procurement and state aid implications of an Β£11.8m transaction to finance and acquire a long-term property investment.

Leading individuals

Stuart Thompson - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge, Norwich)

Mills & Reeve LLP is a national player in the real estate development sector and acts not only on some of the most significant projects in East Anglia, but also elsewhere in the UK and abroad. The firm has a strong reputation among investors, national developers, strategic landowners, major corporates, and education and healthcare providers. Peter Seaborn leads the planning team and specialises in complex planning and compulsory purchase projects involving residential strategic land schemes, new settlements, urban extensions, and town centre regeneration projects. The β€˜very highly rated’ Beverley Firth, who leads the firm’s real estate practice and is a partner in the planning team, handles large-scale residential development and mixed-use schemes and for clients such as Urban&Civic, which she is advising on its appointment by the Ministry of Defence to be the developer of its land holdings at new settlement Waterbeach New Community. This project will create 9,000 homes in the Cambridge area. She is also advising the company on planning matters for new communities at Alconbury Weald and Radio Station Rugby. Senior associate Saskia Molekamp is a rising star and regularly acts on planning matters for landowners including Cambridge colleges. In another highlight, the team acted for Marshall Group Properties on a 1300-home urban expansion project near Cambridge Airport, which will include car dealerships, a primary school, retail outlets and community and commercial facilities.

Leading individuals

Beverley Firth - Mills & Reeve LLP

Peter Seaborn - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Saskia Molekamp - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Norwich)

β€˜A market leader in East Anglia’, Mills & Reeve LLP has extended its reach nationally, enabling it to β€˜hold its own against any regional or national firm’. The firm has a specialist property litigation practice that is best known for landlord and tenant disputes, title disputes, land-related remedies, and contentious residential and agricultural work. Leading light and β€˜class act’, Richard Hanson β€˜has a wealth of experience and sound judgement, which he combines with commercial experience and an understanding of the risks’. β€˜Commercial, practical and knowledgeable’ principal associate Julian Steed is β€˜a real expert and one of the nicest people to have on your side’. β€˜Extremely thorough, quick and approachable’ principal associate James Hordern exhibits β€˜old-school rigour with a modern, commercial approach’. Clients also recommend associate Rowena Leary, who β€˜handles complex matters competently and diplomatically’. The firm successfully acted for the defendants in a Β£250,000 dispute between neighbouring owners in respect of alleged loss and damages caused to the claimant’s fishery by the excavation of lakes on the client’s land and the consequent abstraction of underground water. The team also acted in a Β£2.2m case for liquidated company Denouement in pursuing a long-running claim for possession of residential property in Kensington.

Leading individuals

Richard Hanson - Mills & Reeve LLP

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East Anglia: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Biotechnology
Biotechnology - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge)

Clients note the β€˜excellent service at reasonable rates’ from the team at Mills & Reeve LLP, which provides the full range of commercial, regulatory and IP advice to the biotechnology sector. Life sciences expert and head of intellectual property Alasdair Poore leads the team. Corporate partner Stephen Hamilton advised Mercia Technologies on the AIM listing of its portfolio company Concepta Diagnostics, which develops products for the personalised mobile health market. Finance specialist Zickie Lim assisted IQ Capital with funding for its Β£5m investment in University of Cambridge spinout Fluid Analytics, which is active in the field of protein characterisation. Also recommended are corporate partner Anthony McGurk, litigator Graeme Menzies and Kevin Calder, who handles commercial contracts for biotechnology businesses. Isabel Napper retired. The firm’s other clients include BUPA, the University of Cambridge, Bayer Crop Science and AstraZeneca.

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge)

Mills & Reeve LLP’s IT practice is handling a growing workload for central government agencies such as Defra and the Department of Education, in addition to acting on landmark NHS technology projects. The firm also provides advice to established and fast-growth technology businesses based in Cambridge and handles strategic project work for regulatory bodies and charities. Firm-wide head of technology and life sciences, Kevin Calder β€˜has a very strong background in procurement law and always goes the extra mile to help’. Clients also remark that IT and data protection specialist Peter Wainman β€˜provides excellent advice, often at short notice, on complex technology contracts’. Wainman and principal associate Sophie Burton-Jones are among the lawyers who regularly advise multinational semiconductor and software design company ARM. In one recent matter they helped the company to negotiate IT contracts with key suppliers including NetApp and SAP. Calder, Wainman and Burton-Jones advised the Department of Health (DoH) on the procurement of technologies to deliver its Future Operating Model programme. Principal associate and senior health technology lawyer Sean Earnshaw also regularly works with the DoH. Head of IP Alasdair Poore is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Alasdair Poore - Mills & Reeve LLP

Kevin Calder - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Sophie Burton-Jones - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge)

Mills & Reeve LLP’s team is β€˜very responsive, thorough and thoughtful, and it understands the business aspects of any legal strategy’. Clients note that β€˜the fees are reasonable for the high level of experience and service the firm provides’, and rate it for its β€˜superior professional yet business-savvy approach’. The β€˜incredibly intelligent and diligent’ Alasdair Poore, who leads the IP team, is a registered trade mark and design attorney and β€˜has in-depth knowledge of the law and incredible insight into patents and product design’. Principal associates Richard Plaistowe (who β€˜has a deep understanding of patent law’) and Nicola Hanglin are also recommended. Poore advised Indian government organisation APEDA, which represents the interests of food exporters, on registering a restriction on the name Basmati to describe only rice that meets specific technical and geographical origin criteria. Claire O’Brien’s highlights included a High Court action for Jaguar Land Rover to prevent sale of replica wheels bearing its registered JLR trade mark. She ultimately secured a permanent injunction, delivery up, damages and costs.

Leading individuals

Alasdair Poore - Mills & Reeve LLP

Kevin Calder - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Sophie Burton-Jones - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP (Cambridge, Norwich)

Mills & Reeve LLP has β€˜very good lawyers at the senior end and some capable and keen juniors’. The national team, which is β€˜approachable, commercial and very good on regulatory matters’, is led from Manchester but has strong input from the Cambridge office. Partner Chris Belcher advises many athletes on tax, trust and estate matters. He is part of the team that assists international footballers including Kevin De Bruyne and Pablo Zabaleta on commercial endorsements, image rights and tax. Principal associate Richard Plaistowe is a key part of the firm’s commercial, intellectual property and technology teams and advises athletes and sports bodies on image rights, endorsement agreements and trade mark protection. He helped the Tour of Cambridge road race to secure the affiliation necessary to ensure that winners of the event could compete at the World Finals.

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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

London

Offices in London

North West

Offices in Manchester

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

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