Firm Profile > Nelsons Solicitors Limited > Leicester, England

Nelsons Solicitors Limited

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Nelsons Solicitors Limited has a sizeable contentious trusts and probate team that frequently handles disputes concerning high value estates. The team displays strong expertise in Inheritance Act claims, complex challenges to wills, court of protection and defamation matters. Practice head Kevin Modiri and his team are 'sensible and pragmatic' and frequently deliver client training and CPD seminars. Lewis Addison and associate Lewis Hastie are noted.

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A large and very friendly team of experts.’

Kevin Modiri and Lewis Addison are a pleasure to work with/against. They’re both easy to discuss disputes with; they are sensible and pragmatic.’

My dealings with Nelson’s has been quite limited but I have been involved as mediator with Kevin Modiri, who has impressed me with his grasp of the relevant legal issues and more particularly his ability to help clients manage complex legal matters in a way that works for them.’

Family Tier 1

Nelsons Solicitors Limited has an experienced family and children law practice, and is noted for its strength in cases with an international element. The family team, which is led by practice head Kelvin Henderson, regularly advises high-net-worth individuals on financial relief cases. Melanie Bridgen, who heads up the children team, is experienced in complex children proceedings; this includes matters concerning international relocation, parental alienation and non-accidental injuries. Senior associate Gareth Protheroe is also recommended.

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Kelvin Henderson in Nottingham is very highly regarded. A sensible and capable practitioner. Well-liked and respected. He will fight his client’s corner with vigour but is fair and even-handed.’

Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant Tier 1

Nelsons Solicitors Limited has an experienced personal injury team that specialises in handling severe and catastrophic injury cases. The firm features on all appropriate and approved personal injury panels, including Headway and Spinal Injuries Association. The practice is led by Lisa Preece who is 'dedicated' and 'diligent'. Preece specialises in child and adult brain injury claims. Bruce Williams has a specialism in brain injury and birth injury claims.

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The team are tight knit and communicate well with each other. There is clarity of role for each team member leading to an efficient and effective service.’

Always there to listen and give good solid advice.’

Highly knowledgeable personal injury team with excellent communication skills.’

Lisa Preece always impresses with her dedication to clients and her diligent approach to cases, always making sure she gets the best for the client.’

Bruce Williams is excellent – he is very careful and knows his cases very well. He understands his clients well and is good at seeing where things might go wrong. He really is first-rate.’

Banking and finance Tier 2

Nelsons Solicitors Limited's Leicester practice handles a wide ambit of work for borrowers and lenders, including acquisition finance, asset finance, property funding, development funding and refinancing transactions. Chris Rees has vast experience in this field, and has notable specialisms in corporate banking, refinancings and property-backed lending. David Kaplan, who is based in Derby, has particular strengths in asset-based lending and funding arrangements. The 'tenacious' James Coningsby and associate Peter Rees often advise clients on property finance transactions.

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‘Chris Rees provides an outstanding service. His ability to cut through to the key issues and provide practical, solution orientated advice has been paramount to getting numerous transactions over the line.’ 

‘Paul Hinchliffe is one of the best property experts I have come across in over two decades of banking.’


Key clients

National Westminster Bank PLC

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Svenska Handelsbanken

Prime Life Limited

Rushcliffe Care Limited

Ultimate Asset Finance Limited

Cambridge & Counties Bank Limited

4Syte Structured Finance Limited

Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby Tier 2

Nelsons Solicitors Limited often represents SMEs and larger UK companies in commercial disputes relating to construction projects, shareholders agreements and malfeasance. Cathryn Selby has a wealth of experience in cases regarding commercial contracts, civil fraud, insurance and unfair prejudice. Chris Adams expertise resides in breach of contract claims, professional negligence and partnership disputes. Jon Roberts has a strong track record in fraud cases.

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‘Nelsons enjoys a strong reputation in and around Nottingham.  It is a medium sized practice, being large enough to field experts in a wide range of disciplines, but small enough to offer a personal service to its clients.’

Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 2

With particular expertise in the retail and education sectors, Nelsons Solicitors Limited's Leicester team is instructed by developers, investors and banks in various matters, including lease agreements, investment purchases, secured lending transactions and property sales. James Coningsby has a wealth of experience advising clients engaged in residential, retail and mixed use projects. Associate Peter Rees has notable expertise in lending and project financing.

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‘The people I have dealt with have all been courteous and knowledgeable in their fields of expertise.’

Key clients

Cambridge and Counties Bank Ltd

Abode Hallam Ltd

Aimrok Retail Ltd

Soft Touch Arts

Aimrok Development Ltd

GS Developments (Leicester) Ltd

Homestart UK

Ruddle Merz Limited

Petit Forestier UK Ltd

National Space Science Centre

IMAP Student Limited

Trafalgar Global Limited

Royal Bank of Scotland

4syte Structured Finance Ltd

Prime Life Limited

National Westminster

Svenska Handelsbanken AB


Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby Tier 2

Nelsons Solicitors Limited's varied portfolio of work includes strategic land acquisitions, lease agreements, site assembly and project finance transactions. Riaz Dudhia is particularly experienced in commercial landlord and tenant work, land acquisitions and disposals, as well as commercial development. Associate Paul Hinchcliffe has a strong track record acting for freeholders and landlords on projects in central Nottingham, including regeneration schemes and portfolio acquisitions and disposals.

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‘The people I have dealt with have all been courteous and knowledgeable in their fields of expertise.’

Key clients

Redrow Homes East Midlands Ltd

Fairgrove Homes Limited

PKF Cooper Parry LLP

Giant UK Limited

Carlton Street Trading Limited

Intelligent Money Limited

Talbot & Muir Limited

Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in East Midlands Tier 2

With a range of clients that includes SMEs, public companies and owner managed businesses, Nelsons Solicitors Limited is particularly strong in M&A, corporate restructurings and drafting commercial contracts. Chris Rees is experienced in corporate finance and private equity transactions, where he acts for clients such as management teams, investors and corporates. Harpreet Sandhu advises clients on commercial agreements and risk mitigation strategies across various key areas, including outsourcing, distribution, product development and IP.

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‘An excellent team ethos, particularly in the Leicester based corporate team led by Chris Rees.’ 

‘Nelsons are very efficient, helpful and insightful. They come back in a timely manner and are ahead of the curve when it comes to legislative changes.’ 

Key clients

Prime Life Limited

Nucleus Commercial Finance Limited

Nucleus Property Finance Limited

Ultimate Asset Finance Limited

Nucleus Cash Flow Finance Limited

Nucleus Business Cash Advance Limited

Cambridge & Counties Bank Limited

4Syte Trade Finance Limited

4Syte Structured Finance Limited

4Syte Limited

Corporate and commercial: Nottingham and Derby Tier 2

Nelsons Solicitors Limited's varied client roster includes SMEs, owner-managed businesses and Plcs. It handles a high volume of sales and acquisitions across a wide range of different industries. Derby team lead David Kaplan acts for clients such as large aerospace businesses and small-medium healthcare operators in corporate transactions. Nottingham-based partner Harpreet Sandhu advises clients on all types of commercial agreements and risk assessments. The 'exceptionally supportive' Duncan Taylor (who is also based in Nottingham) had a very active year in 2019, completing over 14 transactions.


‘Duncan Taylor and of the team have provided us with outstanding professional expertise and legal services. Without exception, in all the numerous projects in which we have engaged their services over the years, we have always achieved a successful outcome.’

‘Duncan Taylor is a leading expert in his field and a man you can trust completely.’

Key clients

Badgemaster Limited

Ekkosense Limited

Cornshire Limited

Chromalloy Gas Turbine LLC

MHK Group AG

iCandy World Limited

Midland Lead Limited

Monarch Acoustics Limited

Navmii Holdings Limited

Nottingham Rugby Limited

Murphy & Son Limited

The Double R

Gas Container Services Limited

Cooper Parry

Power Electronic Measurements

Prime Life Limited

Rushcliffe Care Limited

HUUB Limited

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Based in Leicester, Nelsons Solicitors Limited's team is led by Rachel McCahill, whose broad expertise spans administrations, liquidations, bankruptcies and non-contentious work with distressed companies. The practice is also well-equipped to pursue bond claims cases against insolvency practitioners relating to alleged fraud. Alistair Haggerty, who was promoted to associate in 2019, is another key figure.

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Key clients

FRP Advisory LLP

Kennway Francis Limited

The MacDonald Partnership

Smith Cooper

Menzies LLP

Blades Insolvency

Bridgewood Financial Services Ltd


Elwell Watchorn & Saxton LLP

PKF Cooper Parry

Berley Chartered Accountants

Mazars LLP

4Syte – panel appointment

Intellectual property Tier 2

Nelsons Solicitors Limited's practice is jointly led by Harpreet Sandhu (who heads up the firm’s non-contentious IP offering) and Emma Ward  (who leads the contentious IP practice). Ward, who is a 'truly exceptional solicitor', is an allied member of the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA).

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Nelsons’ IP group has all the advantages of a small team – accessibility, client care, etc – but packs a mighty punch that can floor the big boys.’

Emma Ward is a truly exceptional solicitor. Her legal knowledge is deep, her litigation skills are very strong, and her client care appears to be very good. She is a strategist, a tactician and one of the most organised and efficient people I have every worked with.’

Emma Ward is very approachable and friendly, in addition to being very competent.’

They have a broad base of experts – a good one-stop shop.’

IT and telecoms Tier 2

Nelsons Solicitors Limited is sought out to advise on outsourcing and IT projects, software development, licensing and maintenance. Harpreet Sandhu heads up the non-contentious IT practice, while Emma Ward leads the contentious IT/IP offering. Sandhu has a high level of expertise in GDPR matters and regularly speaks at events on GDPR compliance.

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Private finance initiative (PFI) Tier 2

Nelsons Solicitors Limited's Derby practice specialises in energy projects, where it provides full-service advice on matters such as land purchases, employment law and commercial agreements, among others. Practice head Martin Jinks has over 40 years of commercial property experience.

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Professional negligence Tier 2

Nelsons Solicitors Limited acts for a wide range of clients on high value claims involving high-net-worth individuals, sports professionals, individuals and commercial and property businesses. The firm also assists professionals with defending claims where there is no insurance cover. Practice head Daniel Brumpton has vast experience of professional negligence-related litigation. Cathryn Selby specialises in high value, complex claims. Clients describe the team as 'approachable' and 'proactive'.

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Only really dealt with Cathyrn Selby, Partner. This is the first prof neg claim I have brought against anyone. Overall I was very impressed by the advice given to me. Cathryn knew the detail of my case and was able to form a very good and clear view of the merits and risks in my case. The advice was clear both verbally and in writing and Cathryn had the ability to communicate things in quite simple terms so I could understand as a non-lawyer.’

Approachable, proactive, and sympathetic to the needs of the client.’

Key clients

Ched Evans

Pure Legal Services Ltd

Potential Group Action – against the Woodford Fund and/or Hargreaves Lansdown

Property litigation Tier 2

Nelsons Solicitors Limited's team, which is based in Nottingham and Derby, has particular expertise in commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, planning law cases and breach of contract disputes. Simon Waterfield has vast experience of landlord and tenant disputes, including those concerning forfeiture, dilapidations and contested rent review applications. He also has niche expertise in flooding disputes. 'Friendly and professional' associate Oliver Maxwell is particularly active in commercial landlord and tenant matters, easement disputes and claims involving the interpretation and enforcement of overage agreements. Cathryn Selby is another key individual.

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‘The individuals combine well, involving each other as necessary, and seem to have a clear view of each person’s areas of expertise, which ensures that the client’s requirements are addressed effectively.’

‘Oliver Maxwell is a formidable force to be reckoned with; he will defend your case as well as anyone can, and he has a level of insight which sets him above other solicitors.’

Key clients

Helier Limited

Chevin Homes (Ashbourne) Limited

Nucleus Finance Limited

W Westerman Limited

Redrow Homes (East Midlands) Limited

Abode Hallam Limited

Intelligent Money Limited

Debt recovery Tier 3

Nelsons Solicitors Limited predominantly advises clients on non-contentious B2B debt collection in various industries, including insurance, asset finance and retail. Simon Key's expertise includes winding up petitions and bankruptcy proceedings.

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I have dealt with Nelsons for many years now, the response time and the result has always been second to none. Kelly Beavon is my main point of contact at Nelsons, she is brilliant

My contact with Mac Clarkson has always been efficient, he is most helpful and to date he has concluded all ended accounts successfully. Always polite, helpful and professional. It’s a pleasure to deal with him

Mac Clarkson is a pleasure to deal with, he is efficient and reliable, and he gets results

Employment Tier 3

Nelsons Solicitors Limited is well-recognised in the education sector. Its employment team works closely with the dispute resolution and corporate/commercial departments to cover a wide range of mandates. The group's expertise includes restrictive covenants and the misuse by employees of confidential information, as well as TUPE issues. Restructuring and insolvency work is an area of growth for the team, which is led by practice head Laura Kearsley. She is an experienced Employment Tribunal advocate and a regular presenter at seminars and training events.

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Accessible, down to earth and passionate.’

They are a very professional team who tell you like it is whether or not it is what you prefer to hear. They then use their excellent professional expertise to solve the legal issue in the most cost effective way. You feel like a family member who is treated as an important person.’

Laura Kearsley is focussed, has great tactical/strategic awareness and is great with clients.’

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

Nelsons Solicitors Limited has an extensive offering, with practitioners having experience of trust administration, Court of Protection work, investment management, wills and probate. A key feature of the practice is its innovative, online wills service. Jane Sutherland is the head of the team. Clients praise Helen Salisbury's 'personal and approachable' manner.

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The firm has the feel of a large commercial business but the service provided has a very personal touch. The level of expertise is very high.’

The personal touch, and approachable attitudes. Transparency of fees and value for money. Exceptional individual; Helen Salisbury.’

Nelsons is a large practice with a wide range of expertise in many areas of law. My dealings have been with the probate and disputes areas. The matter has been complex, but has been handled efficiently, with good communication between members of the team, and with me. I feel listened to and supported, through a time when I have felt quite vulnerable. The human face backed up, with efficient work is a major strength of the team.’

The main solicitor that we have dealt with is Catherine McCannah, she has been extremely helpful, professional and friendly at all times which has given us complete confidence in her abilities in her and the firm.’

Helen Salisbury excels as an ambassador for Nelsons; crucially, her listening skills give clients space to set out their concerns and objectives before advisers ‘dive in’ with solutions. This is also conducive to enabling clients to ask questions and explore options in comfort and with confidence, resulting in tailored and relevant advice.  Helen has an open, inclusive and approachable style of leadership meaning that both clients and team members feel at ease about raising questions and contributing to discussion.’

Public sector Tier 3

Nelsons Solicitors Limited provides a wide range of advice to schools, academies, education providers and senior employees operating in the education sector. The firm handles academy conversions and the formation of multi academy trusts, investigations into misconduct and employment-related matters. Laura Kearsley is the head of the practice.

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Communication is a real strength of the teamwork and as a result, service is very rapid and responsive, even when one team member isn’t directly available.’

Incredible responsiveness to our individual cases and need. We can always be confident that we have access to timely support. The advice is concise, confident and well explained, but most importantly it responds to the priorities we have when there are alternative choices or options.’


Nelsons was formed in 1983 as an independent partnership with Tim Hastings and two other solicitors in a small Nottingham office. Since then, we have grown to become one of the leading law firms in the East Midlands with offices in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham, providing support and advice to businesses, individuals and families with their legal and investment needs.

In June 2017, Nelsons’ succession plan was announced which saw Partner Stewart Vandermark become Chief Executive. Tim Hastings, who had been Chief Executive since 2003, became Chairman and remains a member of the board, working alongside Stewart.

Empowering You
At Nelsons, we look to empower our clients, give them a voice, fight for them, help them to seek justice and steer them through the complex legal issues they face. The desire to push ourselves forwards to better serve our clients has been a constant throughout our evolution.

We’ve grown both organically and through several strategic mergers and acquisitions across the East Midlands. In 1999 and 2000, we expanded into Derby and Leicester and in just 18 months acquired seven local firms. The firm’s last acquisition was the historic Derby firm Moody and Woolley in April 2015.

We have always looked to challenge the traditional norms often associated with the legal industry. In 2010, we were one of the first law firms in the region to become a Limited company. Then in 2014, we were granted Alternative Business Structure (ABS) status, which allows our employees who aren’t solicitors – such as those in the management, conveyancing and investment management teams – to become partners.

Our specialist experience and the depth of our resources enables us to offer services to other solicitors in our region through Fusion Legal, a referrals and support network for law firms.

Leading the way
We feature in The Lawyer’s UK 200 Annual Report of the UK’s largest 200 law firms, and during 2019 we won the following awards:

  • Company Leader (over 100 employees) award (Stewart Vandermark) at the East Midlands Leadership Awards 2019
  • Large Law Firm of the Year at the Leicestershire Law Society Legal Awards 2019
  • Large Law Firm of the Year at the Derby & District Law Society Awards 2019
  • Solicitor of the Year (Dianne Collins; Personal Injury) at the Derby & District Law Society Awards 2019
  • Deal of the Year with Fairgrove Homes at the East Midlands Brick Awards 2019
  • SME Deal of the Year at the Insider East Midlands Dealmakers Awards 2019
  • Regional Conveyancing Firm of the Year for the East Midlands and the second-place silver award for Overall Conveyancing Firm of the Year at the LFS Conveyancing Awards 2019

We were also shortlisted for ‘Law Firm of the Year – The Independents’ at The Lawyer Awards 2020.

Committed excellence
We are committed to the concept that all aspects of our operations and services should be of the highest quality and are accredited by Lexcel. This quality mark recognises the commitment of everyone at Nelsons to providing clients with the superior service, which they are entitled to expect.

Our expertise
We have expertise in commercial and personal law, investment management as well as market-leading online services.

  • Business services cover all aspects of banking and finance and corporate services.
  • Expertise also covers commerce and technology, commercial property, construction and engineering, franchising and intellectual property.
  • Nelsons has one of the largest disputes and debt teams in the East Midlands.
  • Commercial disputes expertise includes contract claims, fraud and asset recovery, IP matters, partnership disputes, and shareholder and director disputes.
  • Nelsons also specialises in debt recovery, pre-legal services, corporate and personal restructuring and insolvency, property litigation and professional negligence.
  • Personal disputes are a particular area of expertise, including contract claims and inheritance claims.
  • The HR and employment team focuses on all aspects of employee rights and workforce management issues for business clients.
  • Accident claims are a particular specialism, including accidents in public places, road traffic accidents, asbestos claims, brain and head injuries, defective products and group actions.
  • Clinical negligence is also a major area of expertise.
  • Nelsons’ family team is one of the largest in the East Midlands, with expertise including divorce and separation, domestic violence and matters relating to children.
  • Our private client team advise on residential care planning, powers of attorney and Court of Protection issues.
  • All aspects of wills, trusts and probate, as well as residential conveyancing, are specialisms.
  • Investment management expertise covers the full range of financial strategies and planning including cash flow modelling and specialist pension advice.
  • Nelsons also advises clients based in the charities, education and health and care sectors.

In June 2018, we launched our fresh vision and values to capture who we are and where we are heading and internally communicated this to ensure that every employee clearly understands our how, what and why; including our three and ten year targets. In January 2019 we launched our new brand which reflects our vibrant, dynamic and innovative personality.

We have strategic projects in place and are not only looking to achieve growth, but continue to empower our clients and employees in fresh ways relevant for the modern world.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chief Executive Stewart Vandermark
Chairman Tim Hastings
Head of Corporate Services Alice Rees
Head of Dispute Resolution Cathryn Selby
Head of Family Law Kelvin Henderson
Head of Personal Injury Lisa Preece
Head of Private Client Jane Sutherland
Head of Real Estate Riaz Dudhia
Head of Employment Law Laura Kearsley
Head of Investment Management John Stanley
Photo Name Position Profile
 Lewis Addison  photo Lewis Addison Partner. A member of Nelsons’ dispute resolution team and based in our…
 James Coningsby  photo James Coningsby Partner. James specialises in all types of commercial property law matters, including…
 Emma Davies  photo Emma Davies Partner. Emma specialises in family law cases and advises on divorce and…
 Laura Kearsley  photo Laura Kearsley Partner and head of employment and education. Laura has a strong reputation…
 Rachel McCahill  photo Rachel McCahill Partner. Insolvency specialist working on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious insolvency,…
 Matthew Olner  photo Matthew Olner Partner. Areas of practice include all clinical negligence claims with specialist expertise…
 Chris Rees photo Chris Rees Partner. Experienced corporate and banking lawyer specialising in all types of corporate,…
 Jane Sutherland  photo Jane Sutherland Partner and head of wills and probate. Since qualification, Jane has specialised…
Number of UK partners : 37
Number of other UK fee-earners : 100