Harrison Drury & Co > Preston, England > Firm Profile

Harrison Drury & Co

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the North West Tier 2

Harrison Drury & Co represents individuals and businesses in commercial litigation ranging from restructuring, contractual disputes and director malfeasance cases, to intellectual property and privacy disputes, including cases with significant public interest and media coverage. The firm represents a number of long-standing corporate clients, as well as individual executives and sportsmen, with notable recent work on COVID-19 mitigation for sports clubs. The Preston-based team is led by Sean Gibbs, with Nick Booth also a key player, while senior associate Helen Griffin is noted as a versatile litigator with involvement in a wide range of commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Sean Gibbs

Other key lawyers:

Nick Booth; Helen Griffin; Matthew Astley


‘They are modern, plain speaking, up to date, and user friendly.’

‘I was very impressed how the team came together. Harrison Drury were very good at collaborating with different areas of the company to make sure the highest level of expertise was in place to get the best result at each stage.’

‘Matthew Astley in particular who led the dispute was fantastic. Matthew made us feel like our case was a top priority throughout. The prep work that went into the dispute before reaching adjudication was brilliant. The opposing party was almost blown out the water before we got going. Every response to the adjudicator came across professional and to the point. We feel honoured to have received Matt’s service and won’t hesitate to use Harrison Drury in general for all our legal needs going forward.’

‘Nick Booth is a very safe pair of hands in complex commercial and technical disputes. He keeps calm when others may let panic or emotions impair their performance. He listens to advice and weighs up the merits of conflicting advice calmly and logically. Hence he has just about impeccable judgment. Nick is responsive when needed.’

‘Nick Booth – very calm and unflappable who is a real fighter with a case. Great attention to detail but never loses sight of the big picture. Sean Gibbs – clear thinker and strategist who can see the route through disputes and litigation from then outset and plans the strategies accordingly’

‘A very hardworking team that will leave no-stone unreturned to help their clients. ’

‘Matt Astley is a very astute and diligent lawyer who works tirelessly for his clients.’

Key clients

AFC Fylde Limited

Jonathan Broomhead, private investor

Kwix UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing AFC Fylde in reported High Court proceedings which set judicial precedent on the interaction between the common law and FA Rules.
  • Representing a private client in an application to strike out the claim and amend the particulars of a financial claim brought by a bank.
  • Represented Kwix UK in UKIPO entitlement proceedings for a Declaration as to ownership and an Order transferring all right, title and interest in various Patent Applications from the Defendant into the company’s name.

Real estate > Commercial property: elsewhere in the North West Tier 2

The team at Harrison Drury & Co, described as ‘very knowledgeable, skilled and attentive‘, has extensive experience of commercial property transactions, routinely cooperating closely with other practice areas within the firm. The team's work encompasses commercial and residential developments, agricultural and landed estates, acting for charities and regional businesses. Simon England leads the practice, with particular expertise in landlord and tenant matters. Amanda Marwood has expanded the firm’s presence in the holiday rental sector while Naomi Fell has particular expertise in the agricultural sector.

Practice head(s):

Simon England

Other key lawyers:

Naomi Fell; Mike Fetherstone; Daniel Boulton; Amanda Marwood


‘The team are very knowledgeable, skilled and attentive. They solve problems and stick to timelines and budgets. They are vey client-focused.’

‘The firm has communicated excellently, especially during the pandemic, when this has become ever so important. We are always kept up to date with progress with legal cases, and delivery of completed work has been exceptional. The firm is very highly regarded in our local market place and the expertise in the commercial property arena is second to none.’

‘Amanda Marwood has worked tirelessly during the pandemic on a number of cases for us and has done an exceptional job, especially given the challenges brought about by working from home. She has communicated on a regular basis to keep us up to date with how our cases are progressing, and this is the main factor we look for when choosing our lawyers. We are often asked by our clients where we are up to on the ‘legals’ and to have already been updated by Amanda has been key in us delivering our products and services to our clients.’

‘A dynamic team with excellent communication skills – knowledgeable, reliable, enthusiastic and always on hand to help – excellent service all round and a pleasure to deal with!’

‘The only word to use to describe my experience with working with Harrison Drury is excellent.’

‘Naomi Fell has a great depth of knowledge and advice in this field’

‘Simon England is extremely knowledgeable, approachable and friendly and exceptional at understanding our position and point of view. Daniel Boulton is great at filtering what information needs highlighting to us, and what issues need bringing to our attention, without overloading us with more than we need, which makes working with him very easy and efficient. Working with both Simon and Daniel has been a pleasure.

Key clients

No 8 Hotels Limited

SC2 Limited

Brandshank Ltd

Person 1st Childcare Limited

Watling Investments Limited

Union Mill Business Centre Limited

The Avenue Hotel

Also Leisure Limited

P&D Development North West Limited

Eric Wright Group Limited

James Alpe Developments Limited

Eric Dunmore

Peter Jackson, the Jewellers

PJM Property Investments

Sir Simon Towneley (Worsthorne Estate, Cliviger and Burnley)

Applethwaite Homes

Linda O’Hanlon

Oakfield Park, Kirkby Lonsdale

Ballytherm UK Limited

Jon Armitage

FDC (Holdings) Limited

Inceptum 2 Limited


Work highlights

  • Advised on a multi-million-pound mortgage of part of an estate to Hoares Bank to provide funding for a significant poultry shed.
  • Advised on the multi-million-pound development set-up and sale and leases of 21 of 32 new build industrial units and office space.
  • Responsible for the multi-million-pound property portfolio management of long-standing client Eric Wright Group Limited and Eric Wright Pension Trustees.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the North West Tier 4

Preston-based Harrison Drury & Co works with a range of corporate clients on acquisitions, joint ventures and investments, corporate governance issues, and commercial agreements, advising regional and national businesses. Of particular note is the firm's work with family businesses and on law firm mergers. Nick Booth heads up the team, with 'exemplary' associates Jack Stephenson and Kerry Southworth also playing key roles.

Practice head(s):

Nick Booth


‘They have a relatively small team but they work extensively and tirelessly towards the goal and each member contributes successfully to reassure the client that the work they are doing is best in practice. ’

‘I would like to support Jack Stephenson for his team leadership and overall control of the process and I’d like to give a special thanks to Kerry Southworth for the time and effort she put into her data room … so much information to collate in a restricted time scale and Kerry was exemplary.

‘They give excellent support, focusing on the client rather than how much they can charge in fees. The different departments communicate very well and is almost seamless.’

‘I would describe the team as both tireless and problem solvers. They offer an extremely professional and corporate service, whilst being attentive to all involved parties within every transaction I have worked alongside them. I have no hesitation in recommending Harrison Drury to any clients I work with as I know they will be impressed & satisfied. They are unique in the level of attentiveness & communication they provide. They act with the weight of a large national firm, with a personal & very effective service. ’

‘A standout individual I have worked with would be Jack Stephenson from Harrison Drury. We regularly have calls out of office hours in relation to transactions that we are working on. He always responds to any communication within a timely manner and works tirelessly for his clients. There have been many issues on various transaction we have both worked on, and having Jack involved has helped us progress towards a positive outcome for all parties.’

‘We find the team at HD to be incredibly proactive and curious about our business and the challenges shaping our ability to first win, and then execute projects. Compared to other firms, HD have proven to be ahead of the game in adapting to the changed way of working due to the pandemic.’

‘The team have a strong base of individuals always willing to help, they are responsive and relatable. For many law can be a complex area but they make clients feel at ease explaining matters clearly and concisely. For the perspective of a professional working with the team, I know they will always be on hand to bounce ideas off for what is feasible offering practical and commercial solutions to a situation. ’

‘I work most closely with Jack Stephenson within the team. Jack is enthusiastic and passionate about his work. Despite having a significant work load Jack will always find time for a conversation. He responds in an extremely timely and efficient manner. When Jack is working with us on a mutual client I know the project will be well managed, with the highest level of service provided to the client. The same level of service is shown no matter the size of the project.’

Key clients

Ellisons Solicitors

Montagu Events Limited, t/a XYZ

11 Degrees Limited

R&G Acquisitions Limited

Barton Grange Group Limited

Tangerine Group Limited

Graeme Macleod Property Limited

AFC Fylde (official legal partner)

Dexine Leyland Rubber Technology Limited

Walker Fire (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Walker Fire on a number of strategic acquisitions, and on its expansion strategy.
  • Advised South East-based Ellison Solicitors in a merger deal to strengthen its presence in the Suffolk region.
  • Advised shareholders of a petrol station business on the disposal of Auk Investments Holdings Limited, including a complex corporate restructure beforehand.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

The 'supportive and competent‘ team at Harrison Drury & Co handles a range of work for insolvency practitioners and business stakeholders, including advising on the acquisition and disposal of insolvent company assets. The team also undertakes dispute resolution work in relation to insolvent and distressed companies, including claims against directors for antecedent transactions. Team head James Robbins, who is described by clients as ‘very capable‘, is dual-qualified as a solicitor and insolvency practitioner.

Practice head(s):

James Robbins


‘The staff are always helpful and willing to assist and advise on matters.’

‘The individuals we work with are very well-qualified and are comfortable giving an opinion based on the facts of a case and advising of the best course of action, whilst mindful of our needs as a business. James Robbins is always very helpful and very capable in the role.’

‘Finance, insolvency and recovery is often an emotive area. My experience of Harrison Drury is that they are both supportive and competent.’

‘I have dealt mainly with James Robbins who I have been really impressed with. Just as I was recommended to him, I would have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone I know.’

‘James Robbins. He has an unusual knowledge and interest in legal points as well as handling all practical/client side of being a solicitor well and provides excellent, patient support to Counsel and others. He is very good value to his clients.’

Key clients

Begbies Traynor

Marshall Peters

FRP Advisory

RSM Restructuring Advisory

Simply Corporate

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of FRP Advisory LLP as the Joint Administrators of Lunar Caravans Limited (the Company) in relation to claims by its parent company, Lunar Holdings Limited, for unpaid rent and dilapidations amounting to around £1.5m.
  • Acting on behalf of Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group as Joint Administrators in a pre-pack administration sale.
  • Acting on behalf of Marshall Peters Limited as the Administrator of Bulk Products Limited, a cleaning products manufacturer based in Crewe, and advising on the sale of the business and assets of the company.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 4

Harrison Drury & Co's team is ‘always willing to go the extra mile for clients’. It has experience of a wide variety of matters, including commercial and residential landlord and tenant work, the enforcement of real property rights, and property contract and negligence claims. Practice head Colin Fenny, who specialises in contentious development matters, is praised for his ‘pragmatic approach to managing complex situations’.

Practice head(s):

Colin Fenny

Other key lawyers:

Hayley Bamber; Jody Thomasson


‘Harrison Drury were recommended for their expertise in commercial and residential disrepair claims – great advice, experience and value for money.’

‘Hayley Bamber from Harrison Drury is an excellent lawyer. She’s available at all times, responds quickly, explains how it is, gets things done, knows what is important to clients and doesn’t sit on the fence. She is totally in control, calm and collected and completely reliable and trustworthy. I would definitely recommend her to others.’

‘Colin Fenny is experienced and good with clients.’

‘The team are very approachable, professional and efficient. We have dealt with Harrison Drury for over 10 years and have always had a professional and positive experience. All members of the firm are responsive and proactive and always suit our needs.’

‘A very dedicated team with a commercial focus. Always willing to go the extra mile for clients.’

‘Jody Thomasson works tirelessly for her clients . She has a razor-sharp focus and is able to produce detailed analysis at very short notice.’

‘We work with a number of lawyers up and down the country but what we have really valued about working with Colin Fenny is his pragmatic approach to managing complex situations. Colin is accessible and conversations are kept focused. Has good industry knowledge, is mindful of cost v impact/solution.’

Key clients

Barton Grange Group Limited

Trustees of the Dunkenhalgh Estate

Eric Wright Group Limited and Eric Wright Pension Trustees

Sir Simon Towneley (Worsthorne Estate, Cliviger and Burnley)

MAC Roofing and Contracting Limited

MH Stainton Limited

Trustees of the Legh Estate

Wishcare Limited

Cronin Properties Limited

Robert Silverwood (Lowther Café)

John Weld-Blundell

Alison Hatch

Glendale Liverpool

Glendale Managed Services Limited

Parkwood Leisure Limited

Collinson Construction Plc

Kindvital Limited

Person 1st Childcare Limited.

Auk Properties Limited

Tustin Developments Ltd

Jameson properties

Northern Trust Limited

Edge Hill University

Pillar Construction Limited

Trustees of the Graythwaite Estate

Glenn Ford and Abid Hussian

Pringle Construction Ltd

Victorian Plumbing Limited

Ashland Nursing Home Ltd

Leigh Welfare Miners Institute

Dee and Patrick Miller

Mullet Conversion Limited

K Pumps Ltd

Almond Gibson Ltd

Damian Lee Buildings Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising on a large lease renewal on behalf of the client, a landlord, in contested unopposed lease renewal proceedings under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 relating to a commercial quarry. A dispute arose over the terms of the new lease and particularly the rent payable and entitlement to premium and royalties involving complex legal and commercial arguments that requiring expert evidence.   Proceedings commenced in High Court with an expert valuer in quarry leases appointed and the parties reached a mutually beneficial settlement shortly after the claim was listed for a five-day High Court trial.
  • Barton Grange Limited, who own a large complex in Garstang which includes a garden centre and entertainment complex, informed the team that travellers had taken over large parts of the car park.  Swiftly obtained an application from the court to abridge time, getting in front of a judge the next day to obtain an injunction.
  • The client entered an agreement to purchase a Lloyds Pharmacy branch, taking on a lease of the property for £500,000 and had paid a non-refundable deposit of £200,000 which Lloyds were claiming the right to retain due to the Client’s failure to complete by the agreed completion date.  Robustly defended the client’s interests to get the deal back on the table. Negotiated with Eversheds acting for Lloyds in order to resurrect the deal and ensure that it completed before the NHS contract expired.

Harrison Drury is a leading and award winning regional law firm that dates its heritage back to 1901. We have offices across Lancashire and the South Lakes and provide sector specific legal services to businesses and their owners across this region and beyond.

Over the last ten years Harrison Drury has established itself as the employer of choice within the legal sector and has grown at a pace unrivalled by other firms within the county. Attracting experts who are passionate at delivering outstanding legal services has helped our business to stand out from an otherwise competitive market.

Harrison Drury is proud to be home to one of largest commercial property teams in Lancashire and Cumbria with many decades of experience acting for business owners, developers, funders, landlords and tenants.

The firm’s corporate and commercial teams are well versed in handling business transactions, whether it is one-off sale or purchase, or a multi-million group merger. The team also has experience in dealing with a broad spectrum of contracts within with the hospitality and leisure sector, from trading contracts to ownership and management agreements.

Harrison Drury’s team of family and private client solicitors have a strong track record of success in cases that involve high net worth individuals with complex asset structures, such as business owners, sports people and professionals.

From wealth and trust planning to dealing with a bereavement, the firm’s trusted and highly experienced team that can protect  assets and ensure your property and possessions pass to those who you wish to benefit from them.

Harrison Drury assists individuals on wills and inheritance issues in a wide range of circumstances, including business owners, wealthy individuals with large estates, those with significant financial and property assets, and others looking to protect the future financial security of their loved ones.

John Chesworthjohn.chesworth@harrison-drury.com01257 258321
Marketing & Business Development Kris Midgleykris.midgley@harrison-drury.com01772 395115
Property Simon Englandsimon.england@harrison-drury.com01772 789841
Corporate & Commercial Nick Boothnick.booth@harrison-drury.com01772 258321
Residential Property Duncan Rawlinsonduncan.rawlinson@harrison-drury.com01995 676289
Private Client Clare Flemingclare.fleming@harrison-drury.com01772 258321
Regulatory David Edwardsdavid.edwards@harrison-drury.com01772 208507
Property Dispute Resolution Colin Fennycolin.fenny@harrison-drury.com01772 258321
Commercial Dispute Resolution Sean Gibbssean.gibbs@harrison-drury.com01772 429024
Family Law John Osbornejohn.osborne@harrison-drury.com01772 258321
Employment Law Kate Shawcrosskate.shawcross@harrison-drury.com01772 258321
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