Paris Smith LLP > Southampton, England > Firm Profile

Paris Smith LLP
SO15 2AE

Employment > Employment: Hampshire Tier 1

Paris Smith LLP’s employment practice is regularly instructed by a range of clients in the Hampshire region. The team is particularly adept at handing restrictive covenant actions and senior level exits, most notably on behalf of local authorities, transportation companies, and sixth form colleges and private schools. Practice head Clive Dobbin is a seasoned Employment Tribunal advocate, who has experience of complex discrimination and whistleblowing cases,  and TUPE matters. Claire Merritt is the lead for the firm’s education-sector offering, and has recently been engaged on various Covid-19 response mandates. David Roath is recommended for his experience with protective awards regarding collective redundancies, and shareholder exits. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Clive Dobbin

Other key lawyers:


‘Very professional, easy to contact, responsive, always provides advice in a timely manner.’

‘Knowledgeable, adaptable to business needs, professional, transparent, responsive, willing to help, take accountability. ’

‘This is a strong team with a good breadth of experience and expertise. They have a strong focus on client care and have been quick to embrace the new technologies that the pandemic has required us to face. They are really good at working as part of a team and also have a good breadth of expertise more widely in the firm to deal with niche issues.’

‘David Roath is a very commercially astute lawyer, with a keen analytical mind. He has the ability to inspire confidence in clients and those that he works with.’

‘Claire Merritt has a real eye for detail, she also has excellent client care skills.’

‘Clive Dobbin is a shrewd tactician with an uncanny ability to home in on the core of an issue. He also has strong analytical skills.’

‘Paris Smith are excellent employment solicitors. They provide advice that is accurate, helpful and easy to understand. They respond quickly to requests and have access to specialist advisers when needed. ’


Key clients

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

AFC Bournemouth Limited

Hampshire Cricket (Ageas Bowl PLC)

Randstad CPE Limited

Barfoots of Botley Limited

Stannah Stairlifts Limited

Churches Fire & Security Ltd

Millbrook Industries Limited

Keltbray Limited

Draper Tools Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing local authority on claim of whistleblowing and discrimination.
  • Advising an NHS consultant dismissed after raising concerns about a medical practice they considered dangerous.
  • Represented a local transport and logistics employer on a two-day employment tribunal .

Private client > Family: Hampshire Tier 1

The family law practice at Paris Smith LLP takes on a host of high profile mandates for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The team is especially well regarded for its capabilities in complex financial remedy matters, where multiple business, property, and financial interests are concerned - often with a multi-jurisdictional aspect. The team is jointly led by Frank Prior and Huw Miles, who are based in the firm’s Southampton and Winchester offices respectively. Prior draws on decades of experience handling matrimonial finance proceedings with an international aspect. In addition to running the Winchester office, Miles has expertise in nuptial agreements and cohabitee disputes. New partner Lisa Bray concentrates on cases with a corporate element, while Sarah Passemard and Rachel Osgood are further key contacts for high-net-worth cases. Heather Souter is noted for her agricultural sector knowledge. Neil Davies is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Frank Prior; Huw Miles


‘The family finance team at Paris Smith is the clear leader in the field in Hampshire and the south. It has great strength in depth and is capable of handling cases both of very high-net worth and lesser values with the same degree of care and expertise.’

‘Neil Davies has been a front-runner in this field for many years and is highly respected for his great skill and commercial nous. Frank Prior is a great performer who provides excellent client care and always works very hard for his clients. Huw Miles has a great eye for detail and is a top performer, always getting the best deals for his clients.

‘Sarah Passemard is hugely experienced and wonderfully realistic. Her clients have always been very well prepared and not given any false expectations.’

‘Rachel Osgood is a class act and a tough negotiator. With lots of experience, she is always working very hard to get the best deal and prepares immaculately.’

‘Solid, reliable team and experienced in dealing with a wide range of Family Law issues including financial remedy, Children Act and Schedule 1.’

‘I appreciate Frank Prior for his sense of humour and pragmatic approach, Neil Davies for his experience as a mediator, and Huw Miles for his grasp of the law and ability to analyse the fine detail of a case’

‘Large, very well-established and well thought of regional firm who are a match for any City firm. They have a superb family law department and a number of excellent fee earners both at partner level and associate level’

‘Frank Prior is a tough litigator and negotiator and is well used to dealing with complicated financial remedy claims.’

Real estate > Commercial property: Hampshire Tier 1

Paris Smith LLP’s commercial property practice comprises dozens of lawyers across its two Hampshire sites, who regularly act for clients on a range of high-value real estate matters. Following the retirement of Mark Howarth, John Mansell has been leading the overall department. Mansell also leads the firm’s sizeable development practice - where Victoria Onoufriou is a key contact for brown and greenfield site acquisitions and infrastructure agreements. Rachel Saint handles retail and leisure instructions, supported by the landlord and tenant-focused Hannah Winchester. Claire Egerton runs the construction team, while Lisa Busby helms the firm’s growing telecoms offering. In the Winchester office, Stuart Allen heads up the property finance practice. All named lawyers are based in Southampton unless noted otherwise.

Practice head(s):

John Mansell (head of department); Rachel Saint (deputy head in Southampton); Janet May (deputy head in Southampton); Stuart Allen (deputy head in Winchester)

Other key lawyers:


‘Paris Smith have an excellent track record of retaining talent, which means we benefit from longstanding relationships with team members who really understand our business and the issues that are important to us. Whilst we have one main point of contact for commercial property matters, Paris Smith makes sure that a wider team is available to support us. ’

‘I would not hesitate to recommend the partner I deal with. The speed of the service provided has always been first class.’

‘Many of the staff and partners have been with the firm a long while, which creates stability and consistency, especially when it comes to long-term strategic land promotion.’

‘Lisa Busby is great to work with. She has a sound commercial approach, great attention to detail, is responsive and really understands our needs.’

‘Joanne Spittles is a pleasure to deal with. She is an expert in all legal commercial real estate matters, always providing straightforward no-nonsense advice. She is consistent with her advice whilst always being able to explain more technical matters clearly and in a manner that makes it easier to digest. The same can be said with Victoria Onoufriou.’

‘All of the Paris Smith team have just the right balance between the personable and the professional. Each grasps the required direction of objectives quickly and, in each case so far, has effected the requested outcome.’

‘Stuart Allen has an incredible knowledge of the specialist market and his job. His team is an asset to the industry; highly motivated and knowledgeable staff that will go out of their way to help and support .’

‘I have always found dealing with Paris Smith to be very commercially minded and fast in turning things round. I can’t praise them enough.’

Key clients

Erbay UK Limited and their Turkish parent company

Red Funnel


Patrick Lewis Architects

New College Swindon

Dolphin Homes

Alfred Homes

Co-operative Group

Haskins Garden Centres

Hillier Nurseries

Hobbycraft Trading Limited

Footstep Living

AOFFS Friendly Society

Richmond Cars


Work highlights

  • Acted for Haskins Garden Centres Limited on the purchase of Forest Lodge Garden Centre, Garden Style and Birdworld.
  • Acted for Dolphin Homes (Holdings) Limited on the refinancing of its care homes portfolio.
  • Acted for Alfred Homes on multiple development sites and onward sales.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Hampshire Tier 2

Paris Smith LLP’s combined corporate, commercial and finance practice has been building on its sell-side transactional reputation with Hampshire SMEs by handling an increasing number of acquisitions, IPOs and management buyouts, often with an international aspect. The firm has also adivsed on a number of solvent restructurings over the course of the pandemic. Southampton-based Michael Moore manages the firm’s corporate and private equity teams, and in recent months has been a key figure for distressed M&A transactions. Crispin Dick heads up the commercial team from the Winchester office, while Jonathon Roy jointly runs the firm’s private equity practice alongside Moore. Richard Atcherley attracts substantial work in the SME space, increasingly from international companies. Arezou Rezai is recommended for her work on a broad range of key corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Michael Moore (Corporate); Crispin Dick (Commercial)


‘Good knowledge and ability to explain key issues succinctly.’

‘Calm, approachable manner and able to deal with matters in a timely fashion.’

‘Crispin Dick provides exemplary service and I would not hesitate to recommend his services.’


Key clients

Haskins Harden Centres Limited

Rick Stein Group Limited

Capstone Foster Care group

Totalmobile Holdings Limited

The Cooperative Group Limited

Pyxus International, Inc (US multinational)

Churches Fire Limited

Draper Tools Limited

Gozney Group Limited

Grandeco Walfasion Group (Belgium – multinational)

Work highlights

  • Advised Totalmobile Holdings Ltd, backed by Horizon Capital, on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Global Rosters Ltd, a technology company specialising in the provision of the logistical and safety management of remote workers.
  • Advised shareholders of Imperial Car Supermarkets, one of the largest independent used car retailers with 18 locations across the UK, on its sale to Cazoo, the UK’s leading online car retailer.
  • Advised Grandeco Wallfashion Group, a Gimv Private Equity-backed major pan European manufacturer and distributor of wallcoverings, on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Holden Decor Limitedfrom D&V Holden Limited.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Hampshire Tier 2

Paris Smith LLP’s regional reputation sees it acting for a range of local SMEs and national companies headquartered in the South. Practice head Helen Brown attracts a high volume of work, regularly taking on disputes work for many of the firm’s most high-profile clients. Christopher Holliss leads the debt collection and asset recovery sub-division, and is especially active for SME and multinational clients operating in the recruitment sector. Peter Ralls QC draws on a wealth of experience  as a commercial and civil litigator to run cases and act as counsel on complex matters led by colleagues within the team. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

David Eminton – head of department; Helen Brown – head of commercial disputes; Chris Holliss – head of debt collection & asset recovery

Other key lawyers:

Peter Ralls; Emma Cory Wright


‘Paris Smith’s commercial litigation team provides a gold standard service to their clients. The bundles are always meticulously prepared, the briefs comprehensive and thorough.’


‘Helen Brown is highly able, efficient, precise and hugely experienced in civil litigation law and procedure. A reassuring adviser.’

‘Peter Ralls QC is a seasoned veteran of commercial litigation, bringing with him a rare insight into both sides of the table. The more complex and adversarial the dispute – the less I would want him on the other side.’

‘Emma Cory Wright is patient and personable with clients but extremely robust with difficult opponents.’

‘Chris Holliss is exceptionally knowledgeable in agency law. Efficient, justifiably confident and absolutely committed to a positive result.’

Key clients

Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery Limited

Hobbycraft Limited

Euro Car Parts Limited

Southern Fisheries Ltd

Randstad CPE Limited

Metro Bank Plc

Gattaca Plc

Corrotherm International Limited

Quba Solutions Limited

Hampshire Trust Bank

Work highlights

  • Acting in a claim bought by Southern Fisheries Ltd  against Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd arising out of work on Southern Fisheries’ property, leading to loss of fishing swims and damage to both the river bed and the river banks, damage to a SSSI site and failure to reinstate or provide compensation.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 2

Paris Smith LLP's banking and finance practice excels in handling general corporate banking matters, as well as transactions involving acquisition finance, project finance, real estate finance and asset finance. In addition to maintaining strong relationships with national banks and large corporates, the team is highly sought after by challenger banks, higher education institutions and retail/leisure operators. James McNeil heads up the team, which includes Liam Doughty (who made partner in 2020) and acquisition finance expert Jonathon Roy. McNeil and Roy acted for Haskins Garden Centres on the refinancing of current banking facilities with HSBC.

Practice head(s):

James McNeil

Other key lawyers:


‘They have brought calm diligence and expertise to the process, ensuring the details are not missed whilst keeping their eye on the overall transaction.’

Key clients

Interbay Funding Ltd

Hampshire Trust Bank plc

PCF Bank Limited

Santander UK plc

Handelsbanken plc

RB Sport and Leisure Holdings Limited

Yacht Havens Limited

Haskins Garden Centres Limited

Millbrook Healthcare Limited

National Westminster Bank plc / The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for InterBay Funding Ltd on a £10m+ term loan facility to a Jersey corporate borrower. The team advised on the structure of the transaction and prepared all necessary finance documentation, including the facility agreement.
  • Acted for Santander UK plc on the provision of term loan, cross-currency overdraft and invoice finance facilities to leading supplier of key farming inputs (fertiliser, feed and agronomy), Bartholomews (Holdings) Limited and its subsidiaries.
  • Advised leading wallpaper manufacturer Grandeco Wallfashion Group Belgium NV on the finance elements of its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Holden Decor Limited. This required the target’s accession to a €43.5m senior facilities agreement with Belgian lenders.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Mike Pavitt leads Paris Smith LLP's corporate restructuring and insolvency practice, which serves a diverse client base including companies, lenders directors and other individuals. The firm is also highly regarded by insolvency practitioners, as is evidenced by the fact that it generates a strong flow of referrals from KPMG, RSM and Quantuma, among various others. Pavitt, who has focused almost exclusively on insolvency since qualifying as a solicitor in 1999, undertakes a mix of contentious, non-contentious and technical advisory work. In 2020, he advised the joint liquidators of Kinsale Construction LLP on prospective claims against two former members, one living and one deceased, for an account of assets, transactions and actions undertaken by them in respect of the business's final period of trading.

Practice head(s):

Mike Pavitt


‘I always know and take comfort that when I engage the team I will get solid legal advice. It so important these days and often key when looking to achieve a recovery for the benefit of creditors.’

‘Headed by the hugely experienced Mike Pavitt, the team covers all aspects of insolvency law, both contentious and non-contentious. Now also act for litigation funders.’

‘Mike Pavitt has worked in insolvency for years and should be treated as a leading insolvency lawyer and not just in the south. He is, without doubt, one of the best insolvency lawyers in the south. His practice covers personal and individual insolvency. He puts his heart and should into a case, without losing sight of the commercial needs of a client. He goes the extra mile.’

‘The insolvency team are accessible and down to earth; providing timely, relevant and sound advice. They explain in plain terms the consequences of any courses of action and provide realistic solutions and clear advice.’

‘Mike Pavitt provides detailed knowledge and foresight of potential consequences of actions. Always confirms own instructions, provides fullest information and clear recommendations.’

‘The team has a strong technical knowledge for both contentious and non contentious matters. It is well supported by a wider practice.’

‘The team at Paris Smith, ably led by Mike Pavitt, provides a responsive, value for money service. Instead of just saying they are client-focused, they demonstrate this in all they do.’

‘Mike Pavitt’s knowledge of the both the law and of the way in which the insolvency profession operates is second to none. He is an able practitioner who is nevertheless willing to listen to alternative views.’

Key clients

Hampshire Trust Bank

Interbay Funding Limited

James Cowper LLP


Kreston Reeves LLP

Manolete Partners PLC

Mayflower Theatre Trust Limited

Peter Hall SKS Benedict Group

Quantuma Advisory Limited

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Work highlights

  • After Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) went into administration in 2020, the firm advised Mayflower Theatre Trust Limited on the administration purchase and bidding process, which saw Mayflower Theatre take over the NST City site.
  • Acted for Manolete Partners PLC and secured judgment with damages to be assessed against one de jure director, with proceedings continuing against a de facto, disqualified director.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Hampshire Tier 2

Paris Smith LLP’s expertise in the trusts and estate planning sphere sees it acting for a broad client base throughout Southampton and Winchester, including farmers, property investors, and business owners with significant assets. Practice head Elizabeth Power is well-versed in Court of Protection matters, and leads a team dedicated to safeguarding the interests of vulnerable people, while Nick Turner handles a range of tax planning and asset structuring matters for elderly clients. Isabel Deverill and William Hadley jointly lead the Winchester office, concentrating on wills and agricultural relief matters respectively. Winchester-based Jason Oliver leads the contentious probate and trusts disputes team, and often acts on behalf of clients at the High Court. All named lawyers are based in Southampton unless noted otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Power


‘Having worked with some of them for a number of years, they have been able to deal with any problems, with a background knowledge of the matter. ’

‘Although the firm has grown tremendously over the 50 years I have known them, they still make you feel important no matter how small the problem is on which you are seeking their advice.’

‘They have great teams in place. I would happily recommend the Trusts and Estate and matrimonial teams to others’

‘I believe the team at Paris Smith are brilliant in the way they treat vulnerable clients and families with honest and trustworthy advice.’

‘Isabel is very knowledgeable and able to explain technical details so that it is easy to understand.  From a personal perspective, Isabel is always happy to ask questions and check on the detail . This is particularly important for Court of Protection or Trust cases, where a cautious and considered approach is absolutely essential.’

‘Isabel is incredibly empathetic and is very well liked by all she deals with which sets her and Paris Smith apart from other law firms. In terms of quality of advice and how it is delivered clearly and compassionately, Isabel is the best I have worked with.’

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 3

Operating from Southampton, Paris Smith LLP works with SMEs to develop IP audit strategies, in addition to managing a number of international trade mark portfolios. Laura Trapnell leads the team and stands out for her expertise in the food and drink marker, representing a number of companies from the sector on trade mark registration and licensing. Helen Brown acts in IP disputes as part of a broad commercial litigation practice.

Practice head(s):

Laura Trapnell

Other key lawyers:


‘Paris Smith will review the problem and then think about how else the matter could be dealt with rather than simply going down the path that has been laid out. In our case, this was adjusting a know-how licence into a software licence that delivered the same effect all parties were after but with significantly less work on our parts and was able to resolve points of contention between the parties.’

‘Laura Trapnell – engaging and takes time to really understand the business and the team in order to deliver a really personalised service. Very knowledgeable and is able to translate that knowledge into layman’s terms.’

‘In depth understanding of intellectual property and pragmatic approach to IP protection.’

‘Ability to communicate in terms early stage businesses readily understand. Particularly commend Laura Trapnell who has been outstanding.’

Key clients

Hildon Limited

Autofutura Limited

Draper Tools Limited

Hobbycraft Trading Limited

Millbrook Industries

Barfoots of Botley

Churches Fire Security Limited

Gist Limited

Keltbray Limited

Focal Point Fires Plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for Hildon Limited in respect of the management and administration of its international Trade Mark portfolio.
  • Acting for The Innovation Group PLC in respect of the management and administration of its international Trade Mark portfolio.
  • Acting for Draper Tools Limited on a range of its intellectual property matters but are reporting on a trade mark infringement and passing off enforcement action with various sellers who were using the Draper trade mark and reputation in order to sell counterfeit goods.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 3

Paris Smith LLP works with tech-focussed SMEs, which it advises on IT services contracts, outsourcing, system integration and licensing. Laura Trapnell is the most active partner; with expertise spanning intellectual property and commercial law; Trapnell is able to assists with SaaS provision contracts, data protection and complex IT separation matters. James McNeil leads the commercial practice.

Practice head(s):

James McNeil

Other key lawyers:


‘Laura Trapnell is sensible, commercial and robust when necessary. Good interpersonal skills.’

‘The team possesses substantial in-depth knowledge of IP around cloud and App development alongside of System integration practice and ability to impart that quickly and concisely, dealing with their counterparts with a true understanding and respect meant that contracts particularly around Californian west coast tech IP lawyers were satisfied quickly and with huge benefit to us as a business’

Laura Trapnell for all IP documents creation and the great efficiency in dealing with counterparts for contract negotiations and the commercial understanding on communicating that back to me, along with the speed of response in delivering back any docs required.’

Key clients

Loan Market Association

VisitorChat Limited

Quotall Limited

Squalk Limited

British Friendly Society

University of Southampton Science Park

Autofutura Limited

Gobel & Partners

Datwyler Cabling Solutions Limited

Feefo Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Visitor Chat in relation to a multi-year international contract for the provision of outsourced live web chat services.
  • Advised British Friendly Society on the revision of the large statement of work governing its IT development and procurement contract.
  • Advised Autofutura Limited on the negotiation and drafting of a complex international Master Services Agreement.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 4

Paris Smith LLP has a longstanding focus on the retail, food, leisure and tourism sectors. Its team has extensive expertise in commercial landlord and tenant work, such as cases involving rent/service charge arrears, dilapidations and break options. In addition, residential real estate litigation is another driver of activity. Practice head David Eminton is recommended for advice on option and other property contract disputes associated with residential housing and commercial developments. Cliff Morris has a specialism in boundary and right of way disputes. Nicola Davies and Lucy Taggart  are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

David Eminton

Other key lawyers:


‘The team has a diverse range of skills and are able to provide for a range of legal needs under one roof.’

‘Nicola Davies did an excellent job of taking the time to understand our situation and position, laying out the options available to us and associated benefits and costs, guiding us through our decisions making process, providing detailed background on the case law surrounding our situation and providing additional clarity, and producing a high quality final product based on detailed research.’

‘David is very competent and responsive, and an asset for Paris Smith and its clients.’

‘The team at Paris Smith are always highly efficient and provide a prompt response to any requests that I have for legal support and advice. The advice given is not only timely, but provides an appropriate balance of detail and succinctness and always includes pragmatic recommendations.’

‘The litigation team has always provided commercial well considered advice. They keep a cool head in a pressured situation. They will act within very tight timescales if required and ensure that risk is minimised to the client.’

‘David Eminton is a highly experienced but approachable individual. I would be confident that all bases are covered in the advice provided and the negotiations held on my behalf.’

‘Responsive and dedicated, no matter how tricky the task.’

Key clients

Centurylink Communications UK Limited

The Co-Operative Group Limited

Hilliers Garden Centres

Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society

Hobbycraft Trading Limited

Richmond Motor Group

Marwell Zoological Park

Russell Miller and Matt Samuel Camps of Vail Williams

Hedge End Town Council

Petchey Industrial Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the owners of a business park on an array of site development issues.
  • Acting for numerous private residential clients on boundary disputes, right of way disputes, and repossession matters.

The firm: Paris Smith enjoys an exceptional reputation as a provider of services from its offices in Southampton and Winchester to both business and families in the regions and nationally.  It boasts many longstanding relationships with clients and referrers throughout the region and beyond. While justifiably proud of its 200+-year history, the firm’s focus is very much on the future with an emphasis on having the right people, resources and technology. Paris Smith’s purpose is to enable its clients to succeed and to help them overcome the challenges which they may face, adding value to its clients through a positive experience with a quality of service which has become synonymous with the name Paris Smith. The firm uses its significant legal skills and extensive network to enable the outcomes which its clients seek.

The firm comprises some of the finest lawyers in the region, many of whom are considered to be leaders in their respective fields. Paris Smith offers a first-class proposition for those seeking a top-drawer legal service on par with much larger central London law firms, but at regional fee rates. The firm is increasingly being engaged by clients who have previously retained lawyers in the capital, evidenced by the quality of its client list, which includes large regional businesses, high-street brands, well known national PLCs, and high- and ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

Types of work undertaken: The firm offers specialist advice to both business and personal clients. The corporate team is an established provider of mainstream M&A advice to enterprises ranging from midsize corporates to established owner-managed businesses. The commercial team provides a strong offering with ex-City expertise. It regularly advises clients on domestic and international commercial non-contentious and contentious matters.  The firm also has a highly respected banking and finance offering which has considerable experience in advising lenders and borrowers including UK and international banks, building societies and corporate clients. It is complemented by specialist intellectual property and regulatory lawyers. The intellectual property team advises on IP/IT, GDPR and e-commerce matters. The regulatory and business crime team advises on health and safety and other regulatory issues. The experienced corporate restructuring and insolvency team is regularly retained by a number of established and well respected insolvency practitioners across the country.

The employment team has a strong reputation for its work both with employers and employees and offers insurance-based solutions if appropriate. Lawyers in the team regularly provide line manager training to commercial clients.

The commercial property team is retained by many high-street names. It has advised on some of the south’s most high-profile developments. It boasts a specialist leasehold enforcement team (ALEP membership) and an agricultural and rural property team.  Its planning team comprises specialist lawyers and, uniquely, planning consultants, most of whom have had an involvement in many major planning projects in the central south region. The public sector team is retained by regional local authorities and several London boroughs.

The firm’s family and private client teams are recognised as leaders in their respective fields with several of their partners commended as among the leading lawyers in the region.   The teams have specialists in the field of succession planning, Court of Protection cases for vulnerable adults and matters with an international theme.

Dedicated teams in litigation and dispute resolution advise clients on a range of complex and high-value corporate and commercial actions including those concerning contractual issues, shareholder and partnership actions, property disputes, professional negligence, intellectual property claims, debt recovery and asset-based lending recovery actions. Lawyers in the firm have developed a reputation for dealing professionally with many contested probate, trusts and estates actions, many of which have been very complex in nature.

The firm has a number of trained mediators in employment, commercial and family disputes and has offices which are frequently used as a venue for mediation.

The firm’s charities and education teams act for national and regional charities, higher and further education establishments, schools and colleges. The firm acts for schools converting to academies.

Senior partner Nick 8048 2482
Managing partner Peter 8048 2482
Head of Property John 8048 2482
Head of Company & Commercial James 8048 2482
Head of Employment Clive 8048 2482
Head of Business and commercial disputes David 8048 2482
Head of Family Frank 8048 2482
Head of Tax and estate planning Kelly 8048 2179
Mr Richard Atcherley  photo Mr Richard Atcherley LLP Partner
Mr Henry Barker  photo Mr Henry Barker Solicitor
Ms Imogen Beaver  photo Ms Imogen Beaver Solicitor
Ms Stephanie Bellamy  photo Ms Stephanie Bellamy Solicitor
Ms Jane Biddlecombe  photo Ms Jane Biddlecombe Associate
Ms Lisa Bray  photo Ms Lisa Bray Associate
Ms Helen Brown photo Ms Helen BrownLLP Partner
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Ms Charlotte Bunch  photo Ms Charlotte Bunch Solicitor in the commercial property department.  My clients include property owners, landlords…
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Mr David Eminton  photo Mr David Eminton LLP Partner
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Ms Sarah Hayes  photo Ms Sarah Hayes Solicitor
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Mr Ryan Mitchell  photo Mr Ryan Mitchell Solicitor
Ms Rachel Montgomery  photo Ms Rachel Montgomery Solicitor
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Ms Susan Moore  photo Ms Susan Moore Chartered Legal Executive
Mr Michael Moore  photo Mr Michael Moore LLP Partner
Mr Cliff Morris  photo Mr Cliff Morris LLP Partner
Ms Victoria Onoufriou  photo Ms Victoria Onoufriou LLP Partner
Ms Rachel Osgood  photo Ms Rachel Osgood LLP Partner
Ms Jennifer Packer  photo Ms Jennifer Packer Associate
Mr Christopher Parsons  photo Mr Christopher Parsons Solicitor
Ms Sarah Passemard  photo Ms Sarah Passemard LLP Partner
Mr Mike Pavitt photo Mr Mike PavittLLP Partner
Ms Emma Pope photo Ms Emma PopeLLP Partner
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Mr Frank Prior photo Mr Frank PriorLLP Partner
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Ms Rachel Saint  photo Ms Rachel Saint LLP Partner
Ms Jennifer Sanders  photo Ms Jennifer Sanders Solicitor
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Mr Rob Sellen  photo Mr Rob Sellen Planning Consultant
Ms Lisa Sherman  photo Ms Lisa Sherman Solicitor
Ms Tamsin Simmonds  photo Ms Tamsin Simmonds Senior Associate
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Ms Joanne Spittles photo Ms Joanne SpittlesLLP Partner
Mr Stephen Stafford  photo Mr Stephen Stafford Associate
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Ms Eugenie Taylor  photo Ms Eugenie Taylor Solicitor
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Ms Hannah Winchester  photo Ms Hannah Winchester LLP Partner
Mr Mark Withers  photo Mr Mark Withers LLP Partner
Number of UK partners : 50
Number of other fee-earners : 98

Paris Smith places great value on the unique and varied talents of our people and we understand that meaningful diversity within the firm contributes directly to excellence in client service. Therefore, we seek to integrate diversity into all our activities and foster an inclusive culture.

We believe this is achieved by recruiting and retaining diverse talent, understanding and delivering the needs of our diverse clients, and supporting the diverse community in which we serve.

Underpinning this is our commitment to providing equal opportunities in the work place. This means that all job applicants, consultants, casual workers, employees, agency staff and partners will receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, paternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (‘protected characteristics’). We ensure that people have the opportunity to join the firm and to develop their full potential regardless of their background.

Our policy applies to all aspects of our relationship with staff and to relations between staff members at all levels. This includes, but is not limited to, job advertisements, recruitment and selection, training and development, opportunities for promotion, pay and benefits, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment.

We acknowledge that increasingly our people have to balance their career aspirations and work responsibilities with a wide range of domestic issues, such as caring for children, or elderly or infirm relatives. We therefore support applications for flexible working where it is practicable to do so. We also support the government’s child care voucher scheme.

We are also committed to not discriminating in the way we provide services or use service providers.

CLIENT: InterBay Commercial
TESTIMONIAL: As a lender, InterBay Commercial finds using Stuart Allen and the team at Paris Smith refreshing and a delight to deal with. The team takes a real proactive, positive approach to all of our cases as the lawyers acting on behalf of the lender. Their experience and knowledge of commercial and residential property has proven invaluable to us and we often turn to them for specialist property advice safe in the knowledge that we will receive a swift, professional, well informed response. Quality and speed of service is key to the success of InterBay and our proposition. Paris Smith always delivers to our expectations and beyond. As a leading large legal firm on the south coast we are delighted that Paris Smith are a professional partner helping InterBay in being a first class, successful lender.

CLIENT: The Briley Group
TESTIMONIAL: Paris Smith has been a strong partner for us in maintaining our extensive trademark portfolio. They have provided responsive, informative, and reliable thoughts on all registration matters on our domestic and international portfolio. Additionally we have relied upon their advice for determining the best course of action on various possible infringement actions. We would be happy to recommend them to anyone looking to establish or manage a growing portfolio.

CLIENT: We Are Creative Creatures
TESTIMONIAL: I approached Paris Smith based on the recommendations of another law firm I had worked with previously, regarding the split from an ex business partner. They helped me detangle the IP issues as part of the buyout and, importantly, supported me through the various aspects of the overall dispute. Business is not just business – especially not for SMEs like me! So, it was critically important that Laura and Helen understood both the business issues, but also had an appreciation for how I might want to deal with things considering my personal objectives as well as outlook on life. I would recommend the team because they deeply care about their clients and are able to marry up the cold legal world with the softer needs of the people they are trying to help.

CLIENT: Marine Data
TESTIMONIAL: We needed a lawyer to review and protect potential sources of IP in existing products, in addition, raising awareness within the R&D team to identify and highlight potential IP when developing new products. Laura Trapnell and the team at Paris Smith resolved this by conducting a comprehensive IP audit of our products which also highlighted R&D process improvements to help capture potential future sources of IP. The approach was well structured, straightforward and pragmatic, which suited our business as an SME well. A very valuable and worthwhile exercise.

CLIENT: Totton College
TESTIMONIAL: Paris Smith provides outstanding service. Our experience is continually a high positive one with concise, relevant advice given with patience and clarity. From assistance and training in updating policies and procedures to advising a college on their obligations both in relation to individuals and more widely, in regards to the Public Sector Equality Duty, we have found Paris Smith to be always diligent, thorough and very supportive.

CLIENT: COR Financial Group
TESTIMONIAL: Clive has provided employment advice to our company for many years now. His uncomplicated and pragmatic advice consistently provides us with clear direction on how to handle sensitive and potentially troublesome matters. His availability to take a call and talk through matters or turn around documentation in short order is also invaluable.

CLIENT: Hillier Nurseries
TESTIMONIAL: The team at Paris Smith were central to us getting the transaction over the line. This was a deal that we could have easily missed out on if we had not had the right team in place. It is exciting for us as a business as the acquisition sits very well within our financial targets, as well as our mission, vision and values moving forward. In terms of our partnership with Pars Smith, they were central to us getting the transaction over the line.

CLIENT: Eastleigh Borough Council
TESTIMONIAL: I am delighted to have the opportunity to say a few words about Paris Smith, who I have known and worked with for over 20 years. It would be too easy to simply say that they provide a highly professional and efficient planning consultancy and legal service. Of course they do, but the relationship both I and Eastleigh Borough Council enjoy with Paris Smith goes well beyond that of the normal client and contractor scenario. It is much more a partnership that we have developed over many years based on trust, mutual respect and a real understanding of our priorities and needs.

TESTIMONIAL: Paris Smith and Partner, Claire Egerton, have been our ‘go to’ commercial and contractual solicitor for a number of years now. Claire has dealt with a variety of commercial matters for us and it is the professionalism and efficiency with which she handles our cases that ensures our on-going loyalty. We have found that it is not only Claire’s legal expertise, but also her solid and straight-talking commercial logic that really sets her and the Paris Smith team apart from the competition.

CLIENT: The Incuhive Group
TESTIMONIAL: I approached Paris Smith to provide legal support for the acquisition of a substantial commercial property which involved some very complex bespoke terms, dealing with a large corporate company in the UK. I have known of Paris Smith for some time via business connections and networks, where they always come very highly recommended. Paris Smith supported us in 16 months of solicitor negotiations, including keeping things pushing forward across a national lockdown thanks to Covid-19, offering quick and personal updates on progress of the acquisition and demonstrated a high level of detail when reviewing a large amount of documentation. I often recommend Paris Smith to fellow business connections and we will certainly be using the team at Paris Smith again in due course.

CLIENT: Co-operative Group
TESTIMONIAL: Responsive, knowledgeable and excellent value for money. I have worked closely with the Paris Smith team for a number of years on a range of property issues and have found them to be responsive, knowledgeable and excellent value for money. Their experience is evident in the professional manner they adopt and the outcomes achieved. They are very personable and their interest in both work and personal well being has earned my trust over numerous years.

CLIENT: Mayflower Theatre
TESTIMONIAL: The 30 years’ partnership between Paris Smith and the Mayflower Theatre is so important to us. As the region’s premier theatre, we feel it important to associate with businesses who are similarly invested in the region. The length of our association shows the value Paris Smith put on supporting the arts locally. The relationship is strengthened by the variety of initiatives we have developed together and I look forward to working with the team over the coming years.

CLIENT: Peter Cooper Motor Company
TESTIMONIAL: The Peter Cooper Motor Group has been acquainted with Paris Smith for a number of years, over which we have moved our entire legal requirements to them. Whether dealing with their contracts, employment or property teams, we have always found them accessible, informative and effective. Paris Smith is considered a long term partner of our business, who works proactively with us to develop our futures together, maximising opportunities ahead.