The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

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

East Anglia: Corporate and commercial

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†‚Äėhas great experience, understands the private equity industry and is able to deal internationally, with sector knowledge that is second to none‚Äė. The firm has a¬†growing focus on national and international work, while also handling high-end local transactions, and has solidified its standing as a leading M&A practice in East Anglia. In 2017, the firm as a whole advised on matters involving more than 75 different jurisdictions including the US, China and Canada. A standout deal saw the firm advise Richardson International Limited on the high-value acquisition of European Oat Millers.¬†‚ÄėExceptional lawyer‚Äė Anthony McGurk, who has more than 20 years‚Äô experience in corporate finance, led on that deal and is ‚Äėhighly recommended for any type of M&A activity‚Äė. He also acted for the Weetabix Food Company on several deals as part of its ¬£1.4bn sale to US firm Post Holdings.¬†Practice head¬†Tom Pickthorn¬†(who handled a multimillion-pound acquisition for Danish IT services business Netcompany),¬†Zickie Lim¬†(who advised venture capital firms on a $16m investment),¬† principal associate Jonathan Greenwood¬†and consultant Brian Marshall¬†provide 'an¬†excellent level of service with outstanding legal skills, impressive client handling, impeccable responsiveness, outstanding business judgement and excellent value for money'. Also recommended are¬†corporate finance partner Stephen Hamilton, who is 'calm and unflappable at all times and provides good commercial and practical advice', and leading light¬†Claire Clarke, who has niche expertise in both the education sector and investment funds formation.

Leading individuals

Anthony McGurk - Mills & Reeve LLP

Claire Clarke - Mills & Reeve LLP

Tom Pickthorn - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jonathan Greenwood - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

'There is no better firm in Norwich or Cambridge', says one client of Mills & Reeve LLP, which is¬†'strong in all areas - the team makes an effort to understand clients' business and bring ideas to the table'. Prominent¬† transactional lawyer James Hunter, who is head of the firm's Norwich office, is 'a¬†great all-rounder ‚Äď measured, proactive and a¬†great definer of boundaries'. His highlights included assisting offshore oil and gas services provider Aquaterra Energy with a ¬£22m MBO backed by a private equity house.¬†Craig Hodgson¬†leads the national food and agribusiness practice and advises global businesses on cross-border transactions. Natalie Wade¬†advises clients in the health and care sectors and clients remark that she is 'incredibly responsive and proactive'. She recently acted for Rehabworks Limited on the purchase of the entire issued share of Crystal Palace Physio Holdings Limited, a London-based physiotherapy and clinical rehabilitation provider. Also recommended are¬†Greg Gibson, who is head of the firm's national commercial, IP and IT group, and principal associate Sean Earnshaw¬†who handles work in the areas of IT, health and public procurement. Gibson recently advised the Department of Health on its multibillion-pound future operating model for NHS procurement, supply chain and logistics services.

Leading individuals

Craig Hodgson - Mills & Reeve LLP

Greg Gibson - Mills & Reeve LLP

James Hunter - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†¬†is¬†‚Äėa highly professional multi-disciplinary firm with expertise in a range of specialist land and tax-related areas'.¬†Consultant¬†Christopher Townsend¬†is the key contact in Cambridge, where 'responsive and personable' principal associate and tax specialist¬†Matthew Short¬†is highly recommended for providing 'high-quality advice in a straightforward way'.¬†The practice gained considerable experience with the recruitment of consultant¬†Robert Kent, who was previously a tax partner at¬†Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP¬†¬†. The firm has a long list of high-profile clients that includes Trinity College, Cambridge,¬†Orchard Street Investment Management, Oxford University Endowment Management, First Property Group, and¬†Exeter College, Oxford. For¬†Bournemouth University Higher Education Corporation, Short handled the tax matters arising from the sale of a long-term leasehold interest in¬†Cranborne House student accommodation block to Campus Living Villages, for which funding was arranged through an income strip with Aviva. Short also acted for developer¬†Urban&Civic on a series of commercial and residential development transactions at the Enterprise Campus and at Alconbury Weald.

[back to top]

EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†is ‚Äėexcellent ‚Äď quick to respond and¬†always coming up with innovative solutions and frameworks for resolving complex problems‚Äė. One client says of the lawyers ‚Äėthey didn‚Äôt only offer legal advice, but offered legal solutions to business challenges, shaping how we formed¬† relationships with external companies; the team was excellent and always supportive‚Äė. Another believes the firm is 'outstanding, with very swift turnaround where necessary and always clear, practical and commercial advice'. Consultant¬†Ruth Smith¬†is national head of procurement law and leads the practice and has 16 years' experience in advising public, private and utility sector clients on procurement projects in sectors such as health, government, education and technology. Her practice¬†draws on specialist expertise from many practice areas. She worked with¬†IT partners¬†Kevin Calder¬†and¬†Peter Wainman, and principal associate¬†Sophie Burton-Jones¬†on a key project for the Financial Conduct Authority, which included a variation to an outsourcing services contract and the procurement of a new e-discovery software solution. Wainman and Burton-Jones also acted for¬†Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in the procurement of new interconnecting IT systems for an Electronic Patient Records (EPR) and health informatics. Other lawyers who play key roles in the practice include principal associate and litigator¬†Helen Prandy¬†who is 'very bright and gives confident and astute advice'; construction partner¬†Stuart Thompson; commercial and IP partner¬†Greg Gibson¬†; and head of projects¬†Raith Pickup.

Leading individuals

Ruth Smith - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

East Anglia: Crime, fraud and licensing

Licensing
Licensing - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Harriet Wells¬†leads the practice at Mills & Reeve LLP¬†and has nearly 20 years‚Äô specialist experience in licensing across diverse sectors such as¬†alcohol, entertainment, late night refreshment, sexual entertainment venues, betting and gaming licensing and licensing under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. She is known for ‚Äėgood , accurate clear actions and recommendations‚Äė and regularly appears before the Licensing Authorities and Magistrates Courts. The practice has¬†a diverse and national client base within the leisure and entertainment industry and it provides licensing advice for large music festivals and events as well as holiday parks, hotels, restaurants and theatres across the UK. Wells helped¬†University of East Anglia with licence applications¬†applications for its Sportspark venue, and managed the licensing needs of Zaks (UK) Ltd, which runs a chain of themed diners in Norfolk.

Leading individuals

Harriet Wells - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

East Anglia: Dispute resolution

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP 'offers an excellent service to clients in commercial litigation matters, which are handled robustly on clients' behalf and the issues are always well thought through', says one barrister who notes that 'the calibre of the lawyers is high and they are always a pleasure to be instructed by'. Jamie Wheatley leads the practice and has 'a strong intellect coupled with sound commercial judgement, and he appears popular with clients and a real pleasure to work with'. The firm's other stars include Gary Attle who focuses on public law and clients note his 'exceptional experience and wisdom' adding that he is 'a delight to work with'; associate Lino Di Lorenzo , who handles corporate recovery and general commercial litigation, is 'incredibly capable, definitely one to watch for the future; his analysis is impressive and he provides clear, intelligible and practical advice'; 'capable litigator' and principal associate Douglas McDonald ; and principal associate Alison Garrett , who is known for 'strong commercial guidance during settlement negotiations'. Di Lorenzo helped Wheatley and principal associate Helen Prandy pursue a $7.6m breach of contract and misrepresentation claim for client 1st Class Legal Limited in Chicago, US. Another highlight saw Duncan Astill handle a £3m dispute for NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group. Consultant and head of the North America desk Graeme Menzies  is also recommended. Monika Sobiecki moved to Dentons.

Leading individuals

Jamie Wheatley - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is 'excellent, it is in the top tier of firms in the region', according to one barrister. One client reports 'an excellent level of service, pragmatic and helpful advice, and excellent value for money'. 'Very high-class litigator' and head of dispute resolution Rachel Higgs is 'highly experienced and competent, and gives very direct and realistic advice to clients; she is user-friendly and has superb judgment'. She recently acted for litigation funder 1st Class Legal Limited, which is now in liquidation, in an $7.6m action proceeding in Chicago, US, for breach of contract and misrepresentation. The claim was successfully settled. Another highlight from 2017 was her work for The One Group, which was threatened with injunctive proceedings by a competitor, Brand Recruitment Limited, following the loss of four its employees to the client. The acrimonious dispute was successfully settled, with no proceedings for breach of covenant and breach of confidentiality pursued. Higgs and experienced associate Jenny Williams also acted for Able UK Limited and NWG UK Limited, and their shareholders, in a £46m claim against a firm of accountants. Senior associate Harriet Wells, who has specialised in commercial dispute resolution since 1980, is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Rachel Higgs - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has an experienced debt recovery practice that provides a fixed fee service for undefended claims to a broad client base of companies in both the private and public sectors. Senior solicitor Harriet Wells, who has more than 35 years' experience in commercial litigation, oversees the practice in which legal executive Lynne Lawn is the lead practitioner for undefended matters. Wells acted for Aspenden Hall Farm Limited in the recovery of £45,000 in unpaid invoices. When no action was taken in response to a pre-litigation letter the firm issued court proceedings against the debtor, who failed to file a defence. The case is on-going. She also acted for Spenborough Abattoir Ltd in the recovery of a £6,500 debt.

[back to top]

East Anglia: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†¬†provides 'excellent service, and its particular strengths are its industry knowledge, commercial approach and value for money'. 'In terms of sector knowledge and business acumen, the firm is on a par with City firms for¬†asset-based lending', remarks one client.¬†William Roles¬†leads the banking and finance practice and clients praise him for his 'industry knowledge and commercially-minded approach'. He assisted lender HSBC bank with a ¬£20m acquisition finance provision to¬†the Spicerhaart Group. Acquisition finance and asset-based lending expert¬†Zak Virgin¬†is 'an excellent banking lawyer ‚Äď creative and pragmatic'. Both Roles and Virgin are 'approachable and readily at clients' disposal for ad-hoc advice as well as more detailed instructions'.¬†Sarah Seed¬†and¬†Laura Holdaway¬†are recommended for not-for-profit and real estate finance respectively. Seed and principal associate Simon Warburton¬†( who specialises in fintech, crowdfunding and ABL and is 'superb - he is knowledgeable, has endless patience and provides excellent advice') advised The Cambridge Building Society on a ¬£15m investment from the Cambridgeshire County Council Pension Fund.

Leading individuals

Laura Holdaway - Mills & Reeve LLP

William Roles - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†'rates very highly and is strongly recommended‚Äė. The firm has 'very capable lawyers who are on top of the technical side of this area as well as being in tune with their clients‚Äô needs and commercial considerations'. The practice frequently advises on¬†the restructuring and sale of businesses and assets within insolvency processes, and acts for¬†office holders in both the UK and overseas in connection with cross-border insolvencies.¬†Asset recovery actions and other insolvency litigation for IPs including Griffins is another mainstay of its work, as is advice to¬†directors, creditors and other stakeholder in distress situations.¬†Litigator¬†Jamie Wheatley¬†¬†leads the practice and is 'extremely quick to analyse the issues and able to provide clear, pragmatic advice to clients notwithstanding the complexity'. Litigation associate¬†Lino Di Lorenzo¬†is praised as¬†‚Äėpragmatic and sensitive; he provides good commercial advice‚Äė. Together they advised trustees in the bankruptcy of former barrister David Harris, who was left with ¬£2m in debts following a judgment obtained by the Motion Picture Association of America in respect of copyright infringement.¬†Laura Holdaway¬†, who advised¬†South East Midlands Enterprise Partnership and Luton Borough Council on a ¬£3m workout transaction concerning a loan to Bela Group, is also recommended.  

Leading individuals

Jamie Wheatley - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

East Anglia: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†provides 'a very good, efficient service'. 'The advice is always pragmatic and useful', remarks one client. National head of employment David Mills¬†leads the practice from Cambridge.¬†He has 25 years' experience and¬†advises business of all sizes from small start-ups to plcs on the full range of employment issues including board disputes, contractual matters, restructuring, redundancies, business transfers and dismissals. With associate Andrew Secker, who focuses largely on TUPE transfers and restrictive covenant disputes and is described by clients as ‚Äėa very practical and knowledgeable lawyer who¬†provides clear and thoughtful advice', Mills handled a court action for a business and its US subsidiary facing the¬†enforcement of post-termination covenants against two new hires.¬†Stuart Craig¬†leads on¬†work for health sector clients in the East of England and London, acting for,¬†inter alia,¬†national NHS bodies, acute NHS Trusts and clinical commissioning groups.¬†Veteran employment lawyer¬†Ian Mather¬†has nearly 35 years' experience and counts employers such as Olympus UK among his clients. James Kidd¬†leads the employment, pensions and immigration department in Norwich and is 'an excellent lawyer with some good junior support'. Consultant¬†Tracy Yates,¬†education specialist¬†Nicola Brown¬†and principal associates¬†Rebecca Cockerill,¬†Alex Russell¬†(who is 'very competent, efficient and responsive') and¬†Patrick Gass¬†(who¬†is 'very approachable and a pleasure to work with') are also recommended.

Leading individuals

David Mills - Mills & Reeve LLP

Stuart Craig - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†has a regulatory practice that is best-known for its work in the the healthcare sector, in which it advises both independent and public sector service providers on health and safety matters. Its recent work includes achieving the discontinuance of a corporate manslaughter investigation against an NHS Trust, obtaining early¬†resolution of a police investigation into the death of a care home resident who went missing following a fire alarm, and preventing¬†enforcement action being taken against a German contractor after subcontractors developed carbon monoxide poisoning.¬†Duncan Astill¬†in Cambridge leads the practice and frequently acts for¬†clients in the construction and healthcare industries, including overseas companies, in compliance and HSE matters. In-house barrister, regulatory lawyer and Crown Court judge¬†Philip Grey¬† leads on work in the education sector. Senior associate¬†Amanda Narkiewicz¬†is a rising star and with Astill she¬†defended Spanish company Befesa Salt Slags Ltd in two prosecutions.¬†Consultant and regulatory specialist¬†Ian Mayers¬†has more than 30 years' experience in this specialist area of law.  

Leading individuals

Duncan Astill - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Amanda Narkiewicz - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Immigration
Immigration - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

At¬†Mills & Reeve LLP, principal associate¬†Alex Russell¬†leads the immigration practice and¬†exhibits 'a strong pragmatic approach with sound advice and knowledge'. He has 12 years' experience and advises clients in diverse business sectors, though he has niche expertise in acting for¬†universities. His work includes compliance audits, advice on Visa applications, strategic immigration support, policy drafting and training for HR teams and managers. In 2017, he assisted an engineering company with a Home Office sponsor compliance audit, which required a complete review of all policies, processes and systems. He also provided support to more than 30 organisations including universities, NHS Trusts, companies and charities, to deal with the immigration implications of the Brexit vote. Consultant¬†Tracy Yates¬†is also recommended for business immigration matters. She recently worked with Russell to advise a software company on¬†the recruitment of multiple skilled employees under Tier 2.  

Leading individuals

Alex Russel - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

The employment law practice at Mills & Reeve LLP in Norwich has a dedicated pensions lawyer in consultant Laura Sayer, who focuses predominantly on private sector pensions work but last year handled a growing number of matters relating to public sector pensions. Sayer, who sits on the East Anglia Committee of the Pensions Management Institute and on the public sector sub-committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers, works closely with the team based in Birmingham, where national practice head Clare Grice resides, to serve clients based in the region and in London. Sayer provides day-to-day advice to the trustees of the Jarrold & Sons Limited Pension Plan, who last year sought her counsel on a proposal to buy-in pensioner and deferred benefits with an insurance company. This required a thorough analysis of the benefits to be insured, advising on the discretions as part of the insurance policy, and reviewing the insurance contract that was ultimately signed with Aviva. She also assisted the trustees of M&H Staff Pension Plan with the move to a liability-driven investment strategy with P-Solve.

Leading individuals

Laura Sayer - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

East Anglia: Insurance

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

Stephen King in Norwich leads the national medical malpractice group at Mills & Reeve LLP, which is praised by clients for its 'excellent provision of services that are prompt, to-the-point and relatively inexpensive'. King has a broad insurance defence practice that includes defending the NHS and some of its largest teaching trusts, as well as acting for independent healthcare providers, multi-national corporations, specialist associations and individual practitioners. He has niche expertise in Mental Capacity Act matters. Senior associate Matthew Wilson has a professional negligence practice that includes the defence of claims against surgeons, as well as complex coverage issues. One recent case led by King involved the defence of an insurer in matters arising from a mass litigation in the US, which led to claims in the UK concerning health problems allegedly caused by defective mesh products used to repair tissue prolapses. He also represented an insurer and a provider of urgent care in a claim brought by an individual who sought treatment for a hand injury caused in a fall. The matter concerns alleged delays in the review of x-rays and treatment. Virgin Care, Zurich Global and Global Diagnostics are among the firm's clients.

[back to top]

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

The service from Mills & Reeve LLP‚Äės defendant practice is ‚Äėprofessional and comprehensive with timely responses‚Äė. One client notes that 'it is¬†one of the leading firms in the country for professional negligence with¬†unrivalled experience across the range of professions'. Insurance disputes specialist¬†Stephen King, who frequently handles claims against¬†solicitors and clinicians, and¬†Neil Davies, whose work includes matters involving the construction industry, surveyors and insurance brokers, are co-heads of the practice. Davies and¬†principal associate¬†Clare Howard¬†are¬†known for 'pragmatic advice and successful outcomes'. Clients also recommend 'extremely able' senior associate¬†Matthew Wilson¬†and associate¬†Sophie Howard. The firm counts Countrywide plc, Sompo Canopius, CNA Hardy, Travelers and Pen Underwriting among its clients. Consultant¬†Guy Hodgson, who previously led the insurance disputes practice, remains keenly involved in matters involving¬†policy and coverage advice, and handles claims against solicitors. The firm's highlights included a high-value claim against a contractor who failed to identify and remove asbestos from a commercial building, causing delay to a major refurbishment project.

Leading individuals

Neil Davies - Mills & Reeve LLP

Stephen King - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Matthew Wilson - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

East Anglia: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†is 'excellent in all areas' and has strong practitioners in both Cambridge and Norwich. The firm is 'in a different league' compared to its competitors, according to one client, who highlights its¬†‚Äėexceptional service‚Äô. Another describes ‚Äėa¬†highly professional multi-disciplinary firm with¬†a deep understanding of the law'.¬†Agribusiness is one of the firm's key sectors and it handles the full range of rural land matters including some of the highest value and most complex deals nationally.¬†Practice head¬†Michael Aubrey¬†acted for Albanwise in its ¬£21m purchase of a village and 2,000 acres of farmland in North Yorkshire. He leads a practice of which¬†one client remarks 'my experience is the same as with any of the London Magic Circle firms'. The firm acts for¬†traditional farming clients, landowning Cambridge and Oxford colleges, pension funds, prestigious landed estates and large agribusinesses such as Greenyard and Farmcare.¬†Agricultural property specialist¬†Amanda Tagg¬†in Cambridge and associates¬†Nicola Dernieand¬†Louise Butcherin Norwich are highly recommended. They ‚Äėprovide reasoned, sensible advice in a concise and understandable way to ensure the correct decisions can be made'.¬†Tim Ryan¬†is a key partner and he advised a farm company¬†on the surrender¬†and grant of five agricultural tenancies in Yorkshire.¬†'Skilled, pragmatic and empathetic' senior associate¬†Dawn Chapman¬†is ‚Äėvery supportive as well as professional and efficient; she is reassuring, cheerful and empathetic'.¬†Associate Matthew Hesketh, who regularly deals with agricultural estate and farmland sales and purchases, 'provides customer-focused service', and¬†associate Denis Costello¬†is 'well-rounded and knowledgeable in minerals and waste management property matters, providing unambiguous advice'.

Leading individuals

Amanda Tagg - Mills & Reeve LLP

Michael Aubrey - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is known for 'very prompt response times and it can be relied on to meet deadlines and produce high-quality and considered input that balances depth of expertise and pragmatism'. Practice head Neil Burton 'rates very highly and is very helpful'. With senior associate and charity law specialist Mark Ashton he assisted Francis Crick Institute with setting up a trading subsidiary, as well as advising on endowments and fundraising. Sarah Seed leads a charity fundraising group that handles high-value bond issues and smaller schemes for schools and other charities. Caroline Dean and principal associate Lucy Whipps are recommended for property matters and clients praise their 'excellent experience and ability to ensure that transactions are progressed as expediently as possible'. Dean provided early-stage advice to John Innes Centre on a proposed £250m building at Norwich Research Park. Principal associate Dona Ardeman in the corporate team is 'a valuable partner - very able, thorough, pragmatic and responsive'. 'Very approachable and clear' principal associate Patrick Gass in Cambridge is recommended for employment law matters. He worked with partner Nicola Brown on a commercial agreement for an international science and education charity. Contested legacy specialists David Catchpole and Lucy Howard, and property partner Nick Finlayson-Brown are among the other lawyers who contribute to the practice.

Leading individuals

Neil Burton - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†is known for ‚Äėexcellent response times, in-depth knowledge of the UK legal system, timely advice and a pragmatic approach‚Äė. ACTAPS member¬†David Catchpole¬†leads the team from Norwich and concentrates purely on contentious trust and probate matters. Principal associate¬†Lucy Howard¬†is a rising star and clients comment on her 'excellent service, advice and attention to detail'. The practice¬†deals with disputes concerning the validity of wills, actions involving trustees and executors, claims under the Inheritance Act 1975 and related claims concerning lifetime transactions. Its clients consist of¬†high-net-worth individuals and estates, as well as¬†charities involved in contested legacy matters. Catchpole recently acted for the executors and trustees of a complex ¬£1m estate against which three claims were made.  

Leading individuals

David Catchpole - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Lucy Howard - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Family
Family - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

'A¬† regional superpower',¬†Mills & Reeve LLP¬†is ‚Äėvery effective in high-value divorce cases with complex financial elements‚Äė, with one client stating it has¬†'by far the best family team in the Eastern region; the client care is second-to-none and it continues to provide an amazing Rolls-Royce service'. The firm's¬†'unbeatable team' includes the ‚Äėsmart, effective, incisive and devastatingly effective'¬†Nick Stone¬†in Norwich, who is 'a pleasure to deal with, clearly at the top of their profession, he understands the full emotions of the process and is extremely adept at navigating complex cases‚Äė. He handled a matrimonial case involving financial assets in excess of ¬£60m.¬†'Simply the best family lawyer in Cambridge', according to one barrister,¬†Caitlin Jenkins¬†in Cambridge 'has a good client manner; she is at the forefront of new family law developments, never seems rushed and is always friendly and courteous'. She has 'a wonderfully calm and warm approach with razor-sharp legal skills; she is very clever and strategic and has a national reputation which is second-to-none'. Principal associate¬†George Sprague¬†'has the perfect combination of acuity and emotional intelligence'. Also recommended are principal associates¬†Hannah Wilson¬†(who is 'clever, determined and really cares about her clients; she is a great negotiator and litigator') and¬†Frances Bailey¬†(who has 'very good client care skills'), and¬†senior associate¬†Rachel Brand.¬†  

Leading individuals

Caitlin Jenkins - Mills & Reeve LLP

Nick Stone - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

At¬†Mills & Reeve LLP¬†‚Äėthe overall level of service is excellent from a well-qualified team that has many years of experience; they respond quickly and provide helpful and practical advice at a reasonable cost‚Äė.¬†Clients are ‚Äėimpressed with the quality of the advice and fairness of the fees‚Äė and one source remarks that it 'certainly punches above its weight in terms of the calibre of clients and the advice it gives; it is a London standard firm based in the provinces'. The firm advises many business owners, landowners, high-net-worth individuals, trusts and charities across East Anglia and beyond. Chris Belcher¬†(who has 'unrivalled knowledge of clients' needs and expectations') and ‚Äėquick-witted, clear and pragmatic‚Äė rising star senior associate Alex Hunt¬†are ‚Äėexcellent at understanding clients‚Äô needs quickly and providing appropriate advice; they make an effort to provide advice which is practical and easy to understand where matters might be quite complex, and apart from the expected technical expertise, they understand the requirement for a fast response‚Äė. Hunt has 'great in-depth knowledge of the taxation of non-domiciled individuals'. Kimberly Sayward¬†¬†joined Birketts LLP.  

Leading individuals

Chris Belcher - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Alex Hunt - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

The ‚Äėextremely competent‚Äė practice at¬†Mills & Reeve LLP¬†makes it 'a firm of choice for complex private client matters'. It has 'excellent strength in depth and provides careful, well-considered and comprehensive advice'. For high-net-worth individuals and landed estates the firm provides 'very good tax knowledge and careful tax planning advice that is not overly aggressive, and all of the lawyers are very good handling clients'. Virginia Edgecombe¬†has 'great depth of experience and is a safe pair of hands'. She leads a four-partner practice that includes newly promoted partner Lauren Parker, who is 'very good on technical tax points especially Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax'; senior partner Justin Ripman, who¬†acts for a large number of landed estates across the UK; and private tax specialist¬†Gregory Laming. Laming and principal associate Elizabeth Field¬†have¬†‚Äėa thorough understanding of the issues, an up-to-date knowledge of relevant legislation and case law, and the ability to merge the two in an effective and challenging way‚Äė. One client remarks that Field 'displays great knowledge in the area of trusts and estates and demonstrates a good ability to get on with clients'. 'Bright and sensible' associate Alexandra Clarke¬†is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Justin Ripman - Mills & Reeve LLP

Virginia Edgecombe - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

East Anglia: Projects, energy and natural resources

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†is 'grounded and pragmatic; it has excellent industry knowledge, and a concern to tailor the advice to the audience'. The firm has a large team based in Cambridge and is one of the national leaders in the PFI/PPP space. Most of the work in this sector now focuses on student accommodation and the practice led by¬†Raith Pickup, who is head of the firm's projects and construction group, has specialist expertise in that area, notably¬†‚Äėtenacious and strategic' partner¬†Andrew Wood¬†and principal associates¬†Julie Marshall¬†and¬†Alison Davies. Wood acted for¬†Bournemouth University Higher Education Corporation in the sale of a long leasehold interest in Cranborne House student accommodation block to Campus Living Villages. Principal associate and real estate specialist¬†David Stead¬†also focuses mainly on the¬†health and education sectors. The firm also has a standout practice for defence projects, and it supported the Ministry of Defence with the development its multibillion-pound programme to provide communications and information systems for use in tactical environments.¬†Andrew Ray, whose work spans projects in the defence, health and energy sectors, led that work. Other highly recommended members of the practice include¬†Bridget Archibald¬† who leads the health and care sector group, and¬†consultant¬†Peter Rout¬†who advises on projects matters including restructuring, PFI variations and disputes, notably in the transport sector. Rout and Pickup assisted a large teaching hospital with a major overhaul of its PFI arrangements.

Leading individuals

Andrew Ray - Mills & Reeve LLP

Bridget Archibald - Mills & Reeve LLP

Raith Pickup - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

East Anglia: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†is ‚Äėsuperb-plus‚Äė, according to one client who remarks that¬†‚Äėresponse times are usually same-day from initial inquiry to telephone discussion in depth, all staff are very courteous, knowledgeable, and business-like, and the firm represents very good value for money‚Äė. The firm's national multi-disciplinary education group is led from Cambridge by¬†'good all-rounder'¬†and higher education (HE) law specialist¬†Gary Attle, who has shown ‚Äėflawless performance over a decade and is the expert in HE-related legal matters', according to one client.¬†National head of projects and construction Raith Pickup¬†specialises in student accommodation. Property partner¬†Caroline Dean¬†handles development projects for landowners including charities and education sector clients. Principal associate¬†Jonathan Greenwood¬†is recommended for corporate and commercial advice, real estate partner¬†Andrew Wood¬†for student accommodation transactions,¬†Nicola Brown¬†for employment law, and¬†Sarah Seed¬†for banking work. Seed handled a ¬£300m listed bond issue for the University of Southampton. Associate Alison Williams¬†in the firm's regulatory, public law and commercial disputes group is 'very good on legal detail'.

[back to top]

Health
Health - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

The health and care practice at Mills & Reeve LLP provides 'an excellent overall level of service with excellent sector knowledge and commercial experience, a fast response rate, strong healthcare team depth, and good value for money'. Project finance specialist Bridget Archibald leads the practice from Cambridge and is the relationship partner for key clients such as as NHS Property Services. Corporate partner Natalie Wade has 'fantastic knowledge and network in the healthcare sector, and deep commercial understanding of competitors and corporates'. She handles high-value M&A projects for clients including Virgin Care and Elysium Healthcare. She recently advised a private equity house on the acquisition of a regional dental chain. Her team is noted for including 'incredibly responsive and proactive market experts'. Also recommended are procurement specialist Kevin Calder, who handles major projects for the Department of Health; regulatory specialist Duncan Astill; IT contracts expert Peter Wainman; and new arrival James Fry , who was previously head of life sciences at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

Leading individuals

Natalie Wade - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

East Anglia: Real estate

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP‚Äės has ‚Äėcommercial and responsive lawyers‚Äô that¬†represent 'good value for money in relation to London-based practices'. Planning partner¬†Beverley Firth¬†is national head of the firm‚Äôs real estate practice, which has an extremely talented bench. 'Strong property partner'¬†Christine de Ferrars Green¬†is ‚Äėalways available to try and help manage her team and assist with all matters‚Äė.¬†Nick Finlayson-Brown¬†has more than 20 years' experience in real estate matters and his role as head of the firm's China team sees him handle many cross-border property matters. He is 'entirely commercial in his approach and provides excellent service and advice'. Partner¬†Charles Staveley¬†leads the firm's real estate investment sector group, which advises institutional pension funds, management houses, property companies, onshore and offshore investors. He assisted HPG Gonville Ltd with the ¬£6.5m purchase of properties and their lease back to Cambridge Education Group.¬†Vincenzo Maggio¬†focuses on investment work and landlord and tenant matters with an emphasis on science parks. He acted for Babraham Institute on a review of its multimillion-pound portfolio. Also recommended are¬†Michelle Cookson, who specialises in complex investment and development projects; real estate finance specialist¬†Tim Allsop, who is¬†is ‚Äėexcellent ‚Äď detailed, commercial and very responsive on more complicated matters‚Äė; and senior associate¬†Tom Nash, who¬†is praised for ‚Äėhis clarity of thought, expression and delivery, which are invaluable‚Äė.  

Leading individuals

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

Tom Nash - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†has 'a¬†very responsive and knowledgeable team that has a strong sense of duty to the client'.¬†The ‚Äėbright, responsive and always pragmatic'¬†Caroline Dean¬†leads the practice and¬†specialises in development work; she acted for Kilverstone Trust on the sale of land for a 5,000-home development near Thetford. 'Absolute star'¬†Carina Cobbold, who¬†specialises in mixed-use development work and large-scale projects, is ‚Äėexcellent - a very skilful operator, very knowledgeable with a good depth of experience;¬†her measured yet commercial approach is invaluable'. She handled a sustainable urban extension project near Rugby for Sue Developments, which has a total value in excess of ¬£28m and involved planning permission for 6,200 new homes, as well as commercial retail and leisure space, and four schools. Also recommended are principal associates¬†Lisa-Marie Kennedy, who ‚Äėhas a great work ethic and achieves fantastic results‚Äė;¬†Lucy Whipps¬†, who¬†is 'focused, intelligent, hardworking and a great legal mind'; and¬†Zoe Cooke, who handles high-value residential development work for London-based clients.¬†Senior associate¬†Anna Aldous¬†is¬†'very thorough, conscientious and always available'.

Leading individuals

Carina Cobbold - Mills & Reeve LLP

Caroline Dean - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Anna Aldous - Mills & Reeve LLP

Lisa-Marie Kennedy - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†is ‚Äėa very knowledgeable law firm that is very approachable and is always looking out for the client‚Äôs best interests'. ‚ÄėThe legal and industry knowledge and the manner in which the team provide advice and strategy for resolution cannot be faulted‚Äė. Litigator and practice head Stuart Thompson¬†¬†is ‚Äėvery committed to his clients‚Äė¬†and is ‚Äėable to quickly define the key elements of a dispute and is incisive when it comes to the negotiation of settlements or committing to litigation'. He assisted University of Cambridge on the¬†procurement of its new ¬£300m Cavendish III laboratory, which included the drafting of all construction contracts, consultant appointments and negotiations with contractors. He also advised Urban&Civic on several projects including the 5,000-home development at Alconbury Weald and the 6,200-home RadioStation Rugby project.¬†The deep bench of principal associates includes the¬†'extremely diligent' Alexandra Pike¬†¬†who is ‚Äėpassionate and works closely with clients to build strong relationships‚Äė, and whom clients praise for her ‚Äėstrong industry awareness and technical knowledge and her adaptable and flexible approach', Alison Garrett¬† who¬†is recommended for project management and contentious matters; and¬†Robert Weatherley¬†who frequently handles projects in the education, healthcare, commercial and retail sectors.¬†Consultant¬†Peter Rout¬†is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Stuart Thompson - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Alexandra Pike - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is 'not just cost-efficient compared to London firms, it operates at the same level in terms of quality'. The firm is among the leading national firms for real estate development work, and its work includes not only on some of the largest projects in East Anglia, but also major projects across the UK and overseas. The vasty experienced Peter Seaborn is head of the planning department and he specialises in the promotion of complex planning and compulsory purchase projects including residential led strategic land schemes, new settlements, urban extensions and town centre regeneration projects. He advised Marshall Group Properties on the promotion of an urban extension to Cambridge that comprises 1,200 new homes, as well as commercial and community developments. Senior associate Howard Felstead played a key role in that deal. Head of the firm's real estate group Beverley Firth is 'an exceptional lawyer, technically sound, incredibly proficient and persuasive; she is able to find solutions that work for everyone', according to one client who adds that 'she is the best planning lawyer I have ever come across'. She worked with Seaborn to advise South Kesteven District Council on the determination of a significant retail planning application for a designer outlet village near Grantham. She also assisted Urban&Civic with its 9,000-home Waterbeach development built on land owned by the Ministry of Defence. The firm's stellar team includes senior associate Saskia Molekamp and associate Jack Robinson.

Leading individuals

Beverley Firth - Mills & Reeve LLP

Peter Seaborn - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Howard Felstead - Mills & Reeve LLP

Saskia Molekamp - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP's practice¬†‚Äėgets to the heart of the issue and finds a resolution‚Äė. The 'very experienced, level-headed and able'¬†Richard Hanson¬†leads the national practice, which counts¬†Countrywide Legal Indemnities and¬†Urban&Civic Group among its clients. Principal associate James Hordern¬†is ‚Äėable to interpret complex legal matters, understand the core issue at stake and efficiently advise how best to proceed‚Äė. One client notes that he is ‚Äėextremely comfortable with detail, and quickly reads into the very complex technical and engineering aspects of a case; he marries both legal and case law knowledge with the technical, non-legal aspects incredibly effectively'. He advised an agricultural investment company on a ¬£5m dispute arising from¬†the operation of biomass boilers. 'Exceptionally astute' principal associate Julian Steed¬† is 'a very able lawyer with¬†an unusual capacity for independent analysis of the legal merits of the cases'.

Leading individuals

Richard Hanson - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

East Anglia: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Biotechnology
Biotechnology - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†provides ‚Äėan excellent level of service and response times are very fast‚Äė. One client remarks that the practice provides ‚Äėfirst-class, pragmatic and timely advice'. The firm handles¬†corporate and commercial transactions, patents and IP, privacy, regulation and compliance, HR, product liability, litigation, tax and real estate matters for biotechnology companies. It is highly regarded for research collaborations and licensing agreements across a range of therapeutic areas. New arrival James Fry, who joined from¬†Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP¬†in late 2017, leads the multi-disciplinary life sciences practice and is praised for his ‚Äėexcellent sector knowledge'. He acted for speciality pharmaceuticals business Diurnal Group in setting up¬†its supply chain for the production of two drug candidates.¬†Finance specialist Zickie Lim, who handled a syndicated financing for¬†PredictImmune Limited, and capital markets expert Stephen Hamilton¬†are also recommended.¬†IP partner¬†Alasdair Poore, corporate partner¬†Anthony McGurk, disputes specialist¬†Graeme Menzies¬†and head of technology¬†Kevin Calder¬†also play central roles in the firm's work for biotechnology clients.

[back to top]

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP¬†handles major IT projects for central government and is one of only 12 firms¬†to win a place on Tier 1 of the new Government Crown Commercial Services legal services framework. It recently acted for the Department of Health¬†and the NHS Business Services Authority on IT procurement as part of its Future Operating Model project.¬†Kevin Calder,¬†who ‚Äėalways provides high-quality advice and responds very promptly to requests', leads the firm-wide technology and life sciences group and is the key partner for government projects. He recently supported the Financial Conduct Authority in negotiating key supplier contracts, including an agreement with¬†Sopra Steria for market data processing. IT and data protection specialist¬†Peter Wainman¬†leads the health technology group. He led a team that included rising star¬†principal associate¬†Sophie Burton-Jones¬†to assist chip manufacturer Arm with key IT contracts, the implementation of¬†a new consultancy services framework,¬†and data protection. They also worked with Redgate Software on numerous issues including the redevelopment of its customer terms, the negotiation of¬†key contracts with high-profile customers, and¬†the acquisition of software businesses.

Leading individuals

Kevin Calder - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Sophie Burton-Jones - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

At Mills & Reeve LLP 'the overall level of service is fantastic with rapid response times and well-communicated dates for deliverables; the firm goes above and beyond to ensure the appropriate advice is given'. The practice is known for 'providing practical advice and making complex issues understandable'. The firm acts for start-ups and spin-outs, small to mid-cap biotechnology and technology companies, and high-value brand businesses. Among its healthcare sector clients are Atlantic Healthcare, Virgin Care and Royal Marsden Hospital. Practice head Alasdair Poore is a leading light in the market. He manages the international trade mark portfolio of Queen Mary University of London, which includes filing and prosecution work. New arrival James Fry, who joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP to lead the life sciences group, has extensive experience in IP, particularly in the areas of technology and brand transfer, product development, R&D agreements and IP strategy. Also recommended are principal associates Richard Plaistowe and Nicola Hanglin, who handle IP protection and enforcement.

Leading individuals

Alasdair Poore - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has an accomplished sports regulatory practice, which is led from Manchester but calls on expertise in the Cambridge and Norwich offices. The firm handles image rights, tax and private client matters for for high-profile sports personalities and teams, particularly in football. It also provides in-depth knowledge of technology and intellectual property issues. Greg Gibson in Norwich, who handles commercial and IP matters, and tax adviser Chris Belcher in Cambridge are the key contacts. Principal associate Richard Plaistowe is a key adviser on IP matters. Cambridge-based associate Edward Hadcock  is a member of the regulatory, public law and dispute resolution teams, and he gives 'consistently clear advice' on matters such as GDPR. He provides specialist commercial support for athletes and sports organisations, including advice on image rights and representation. He was part of a cross-office team that helped Liverpool and England footballer James Milner establish a sports agency focusing on young, up-and-coming golfers.

[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

London

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