Harrison Drury & Co > Preston, England > Firm Profile

Harrison Drury & Co

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

At Harrison Drury & Co, agricultural disputes and sports disciplinary matters form part of the firm’s core workload, alongside the usual range of contractual, partnership and professional negligence mandates. ‘Tough seasoned litigatorSean Gibbs heads up the contenious offering, with support from corporate and commercial team lead Nick Booth. Senior associate Helen Griffin is noted particularly for her intellectual property expertise, while associate Matthew Astley is a key contact for the group’s numerous sporting clients, on whose behalf he regularly handles litigation and arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Sean Gibbs


‘Very practical and business-like.’

‘Nick Booth is very good indeed.’

‘Matthew Astley gave me an excellent service from beginning to end.’

‘Punches above its weight in commercial litigation. Very cost-effective, but with great delivery of results.’

‘Nick Booth is a highly experienced litigator with particular experience of company disputes.’

‘Sean Gibbs is a tough seasoned litigator.’

‘Most helpful and professional in all they do.’

‘Each of the people I have met have been essential people to my needs.’

Key clients

AFC Fylde Limited

Jonathan Broomhead, private investor

Kwix UK Limited

Sam Brooks / Swinton Lions

Jordan Hulme / AFC Fylde

Work highlights

  • Represented AFC Fylde in the Fleetwood Wanderers Limited (t/a Fleetwood Town Football Club) v AFC Fylde Limited High Court proceedings, which set judicial precedent on the interaction between the common law and FA Rules.
  • Representing Jonathan Broomhead in an application to strike out and amend the particulars of a claim concerning the position of oral collateral contracts between banks and customers.
  • Represented Kwix UK in UKIPO entitlement proceedings for an ownership declaration 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 ‘outstanding‘ commercial property team at Harrison Drury & Co advise clients in a range of matters including large-scale development projects, agriculture properties, and conveyancing. Simon England leads the practice and is a specialist in landlord and tenant matters. Based in Kendal, Naomi Fell has particular experience in the agricultural sector and Amanda Marwood is a key practitioner on leisure and tourism deals. Wendy Newbury and Lara Watts advise on all aspects of property transactions, from acquisitions to real estate finance.

Practice head(s):

Simon England

Other key lawyers:

Naomi Fell; Mike Fetherstone; Amanda Marwood; Hannah Hughes; Wendy Newbury; Lara Watts; George Wilson


‘They have a passion for client outcomes – a genuine interest to see client results and to share these back to you. Simon England has been keen to better understand how we as a business support our clients, and during the pandemic reached out to ensure that they were able to provide holistic overviews with their content and support.’

‘A commitment to client service, reasonable fees, and a desire to build partnerships with clients rather than simply service their businesses.’

‘Genuinely care about their clients and want to delight them. Amanda Marwood has a laser-like focus on what truly matters. Wendy Newbury is calm and clear, taking time to articulate complex issues.’

‘Harrison Drury makes the process of buying and selling properties so much easier and quicker for a company who are not based locally to them. Because of Harrison Drury, I do not need to make long round trips which in 2022 is unnecessary, and therefore means we are able to sell much quicker.’

‘George Wilson – down to earth and approachable. George has provided very complex advice on mines and mineral matters. He has an expert understanding of the subject area and is very clear in his advice and communication.’

‘Genuine feeling they care and are highly considerate of our needs throughout. Great at managing our expectations and providing clear, helpful advice, useful in real world scenarios.’

‘Extremely dedicated to their work and consistently contactable. Proactive in providing meaningful updates – regularly over the phone too rather than all on email. Lara Watts in particular is a world class professional.’

‘They have very outstanding people, who can deliver under difficult circumstances and deadlines. They also gave us very good insight into future risks and consequences of some of our decisions, and used technology effectively to speed up the process.’

Key clients

Eric Wright Group Limited

James Alpe Developments Limited

Eric Dunmore

Cumberland Building Society

Peter Jackson, the Jewellers

PJM Property Investments

Sir Simon Towneley (Worsthorne Estate, Cliviger and Burnley)

Applethwaite Homes

Linda O’Hanlon

Oakfield Park, Kirkby Lonsdale

Jon Armitage

Affordable Mobility

Work highlights

  • Advised James Alpe Developments Limited on its multimillion-pound development from its inception.
  • Advised Barley residents on the purchase and operation of an historic Lancashire pub in the heart of the Ribble Valley by their company PTL Property Limited.

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

Harrison Drury & Co‘s transactional expertise spans the software development, manufacturing, leisure, agricultural, and retail sectors. The ‘brilliant‘ team is well versed in advising on the full gamut of issues, from shareholder agreements to management buyouts. The Preston-based Nick Booth and the Lancaster-based Jack Stephenson are the key senior contacts. The arrival of Timothy Grover, whose wide-ranging practice covers both corporate and commercial mandates, from Vincents Solicitors in February 2021 has further expanded the firm’s geographical presence in Clitheroe.

Practice head(s):

Nick Booth; Jack Stephenson

Other key lawyers:

Kerry Southworth; Timothy Grover


‘Jack Stephenson from Harrison Drury has always performed to a high standard and is very well respected within the commercial real estate sector in the north of England.’

‘Harrison Drury are a professional, efficient and brilliant practice. The perfect company in all respects. I never hesitate in recommending Harrison Drury as they have never given me cause to call them a second time to reiterate. We get weekly updates without needing to request them.’

‘Jack Stephenson goes over and above in his service, answers out of hours and even when on holiday. Even with sticky situations, Jack is always calm, cool and polite (and everyone knows how clients can get irate). Totally professional and helpful always.’

‘Timothy Grover has been excellent whilst helping us improve the quality of our client services and software support and licensing contracts. His clear and concise walk-throughs of each point, their meaning and relevance given our specific context, and their potential use-cases makes the process simple and stress-free.’

‘I felt the company offered a range of specialist services linked to my needs. Where appropriate they met with me face to face, but also kept in regular contact via video call and email. They spoke with patience and care in a language which was both informative, direct and clear, which built trust.’

‘Jack Stephenson stood out in the firm as his approach was timely, informative, supportive and clear. I wanted a sound understanding of liability and gain, a rationale on cost, and to be clear on the process and timeline. Jack delivered on this consistently and took my many questions with understanding and patience. His approachable manner gave me the confidence to ask him anything. I don’t think I’d have had the confidence to work with a typical solicitor, but Jack broke down those preconceived ideas very quickly.’

‘The team is extremely approachable and explain complicated issues in a user-friendly way for clients. There is a real depth of knowledge within the team. They have a local approach with the support of a much wider team. They have a no-fuss approach while ensuring all legislation is adhered to and all essential matters considered.’

‘I worked mostly with Timothy Glover who on a personal level was friendly, professional and honest, and on a professional level was measured in his advice with a clear eye on commercial realities.’

Key clients

Walker Fire (UK) Limited

St Jude’s Residential UK Limited

Ellisons Solicitors

Montagu Events Limited, t/a XYZ

11 Degrees Limited

Dexine Leyland Rubber Technology Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders on the disposal of AUK Investment.
  • Assisted with the sale of Broughton Lubricants to a leading UK firm.
  • Advised a residential care home on a complex management buyout.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

Harrison Drury & Co offers a blend of corporate and business insolvency work, with an emphasis on working for insolvency practitioners and key business stakeholders. Though much of its work involves pre-insolvency advisory work, it also offers expertise on distressed acquisitions and contentious advice. James Robbins leads the team in Preston and offers a strong cross-border practice.

Practice head(s):

James Robbins


‘Harrison Drury offers an excellent level of service, ensuring the relevant timings are adhered to and ensuring clients fully understands the process and implications.’

‘James Robbins is extremely knowledgeable in all insolvency matters and we have always received an excellent level of service from him and his team.’

‘Always available to answer queries and more than happy to explain things in detail. Always respond to emails and correspondence in a timely manner and really take on board the client’s views and wishes with the direction of a case.’

‘James Robbins’ wealth of knowledge is second-to-none. He always makes himself available to us and takes the time to explain matters in a way that helps the client to understand the progression and direction of the case.’

Key clients

Marshall Peters Limited

Begbies Traynor

FRP Advisory

Simply Corporate

Leonard Curtis

Opus Restructuring

RSM UK Restructuring Advisory

Credit Limits International

Work highlights

  • Advised Mullet Conversion Limited and the Trustees of the Honourable R.C. Assheton’s Settlement on the insolvency of the Assheton Arms pub.  
  • Acted for Carter Halliwell, in the complex transfer in the region of 280 Individual Voluntary Arrangements and 20 trust deeds.
  • Negotiated a settlement for the joint administrators of Lunar Caravans Limited.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 4

Harrison Drury & Co's 'enthusiastic and collaborative practice' advises clients on a range of landlord and tenant issues, contract disputes, and boundary matter such as trespasser claims. Colin Fenny leads the team with specialisms in contentious development and professional negligence claims. Hasin Amin advises landlords and tenants on commercial property disputes, while Joseph Mitchell has wide ranging experience in handling rural and agricultural disputes.

Practice head(s):

Colin Fenny

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Mitchell; Alex Walmsley; Hasin Amin


‘Joseph Mitchell worked on my case and was prompt to react, gave the best, worst and most realistic outcomes. Any communication was swift and I was always kept up to date. From engagement to closure Joseph went the extra mile and have recommended him and for other work. Joseph really does know the ‘ins and outs’ along with detail and how to neutralise a stressful situation. A real asset to his employer.’

‘Helped to resolve a difficult situation with an a jointing property in a very professional manner. He had the skills within the firm to solve the problems we had and bring the matter to a conclusion in a timely manner. Costs where quite high but this was due to the extra work required in witness statements etc.’

‘Alex Walmsley represented us throughout the process. I found Alex to be very knowledgeable and all questions I had where answered. Alex went out of his way to visit the site personally to ensure he fully understood the case. The Case lasted around 22 months due to Covid etc Alex remained very positive and reassuring throughout.’

‘Colin Fenny is very pragmatic.’

‘I have always been particularly impressed by the teams ability to quickly respond to urgent situations and respond well as they develop even when the matters arising are particularly complex and unique. The ability of the team far out ranks other practices we have had the opportunity to utilise over the years. The diversity of the teams knowledge is exactly what we look for and gives us great confidence in their work.’

‘I have worked with several members of the team but I would recommend Hasin Amin as a valuable member of their team. His actions are always prompt efficient and quick. The diligence he shows in handling our work is second to non and is very effective in bringing about the resolution we are looking for. He is also a very personable individual who we have no problem recommending or utilising on a regular basis’

‘I have dealt with Harrison Drury in regard to property disputes and related issues. I find that this practice is both knowledgeable and expert in property and related matters and therefore can truly call themselves experts in this area. It is refreshing to work with a firm that has true expertise in property related matters and I have had many experiences where this service is provided as ‘an add on’ by other firms.’

‘Harrison Drury are an enthusiastic and collaborative practice with a fresh ‘can-do’ attitude unlike other staid legal firms simply relying on their longstanding existence as their key business marketing strength. Their employees at all levels are very friendly and helpful.’

Key clients

Cumbria Zoo Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Secured an urgent interim injunction on behalf of Cumbria Zoo Company Limited, with the High Court upholding the claim for unlawful forfeiture/relief from forfeiture arising from landlord’s peaceable re-entry.
  • Prepared a defence and application for relief from forfeiture in the alternative, successfully settling the matter at mediation.
  • Acted in this claim for interference with an implied easement for water supply. The matter was successfully resolved by way of mediation before it reached the final hearing – the client had their water supply and drainage reinstated to the property.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Licensing

Harrison Drury & Co, has made a push into the licensing sector after practice head Malcolm Ireland joined from Napthens LLP in 2021; he was followed by Samantha Faud the following year.

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.

John Chesworthjohn.chesworth@harrison-drury.com01772 208070
Marketing and Business Development Megan Normoylemegan.normoyle@harrison-drury.com01772 395115
Property Simon Englandsimon.england@harrison-drury.com07968 195550
Commercial Dispute Resolution Nick Boothnick.booth@harrison-drury.com01772 429025
Residential Property Duncan Rawlinsonduncan.rawlinson@harrison-drury.com01995 676289
Private Client Clare Flemingclare.fleming@harrison-drury.com01772 428536
Regulatory David Edwardsdavid.edwards@harrison-drury.com01772 208507
Property Dispute Resolution Colin Fennycolin.fenny@harrison-drury.com01772 208071
Commercial Dispute Resolution Sean Gibbssean.gibbs@harrison-drury.com01772 429024
Family Law John Osbornejohn.osborne@harrison-drury.com01539 751979
Employment Law Kate Shawcrosskate.shawcross@harrison-drury.com01772 258321
Corporate and Commercial Jack Stephensonjack.stephenson@harrison-drury.com01524 544 237
Insolvency James Robbinsjames.robbins@harrison-drury.com01772 208503
Licensing Malcolm Irelandmalcolm.ireland@harrison-drury.com01200 401131
Nick Booth photo Nick BoothPartner
Simon England photo Simon EnglandPartner
Naomi Fell photo Naomi FellPartner
Colin Fenny photo Colin FennyPartner and Head of Property Dispute Resolution
Sean Gibbs photo Sean GibbsPartner
Helen Griffin photo Helen GriffinSenior Associate Solicitor
Amanda  Marwood photo Amanda MarwoodPartner
James Robbins photo James RobbinsPartner
Kerry Southworth photo Kerry SouthworthSolicitor
Jack Stephenson photo Jack StephensonSenior Associate Solicitor
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