Paris Smith LLP > Southampton, England > Firm Profile

Paris Smith LLP
SO15 2AE

Employment > Employment: Hampshire Tier 1

Paris Smith LLP fields a team of ‘very well-known and respected lawyers’ who are well placed to handle restrictive covenant actions, employment tribunal cases, and senior level exits. The group demonstrates considerable strength in the transport, recruitment, and education sectors, with Southampton-based practice head Clive Dobbin bringing extensive experience in complex discrimination and TUPE claims to the practice. David Roath is a specialist in business protection and director exits, while Claire Merritt routinely supports clients from the education industry with contentious issues, including restrictive covenant disputes in the High Court.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

David Roath; Claire Merritt


‘David Roath is for me the standout practitioner in the firm. He is available most of the time and on short notice, gives clear and practical advice, is totally professional, but also approachable and helpful.’

‘There is expertise in all areas. They are quick to respond at all hours and their advice is spot on!’

‘Clive Dobbin, he is top drawer, so good on all aspects of employment law.’

‘They are the leading Solent-based law firm. Strong roots in local business have been fostered by years of high-quality work. They are expert but also have a good personal touch. A joy to work with.’

‘David Roath – calm under pressure, unflappable, excellent legal knowledge and tactical nous, great to work with.’

‘Clive Dobbin – a star individual, great with clients, easy to work with, strong legal knowledge and always has a great grasp of the detail of a case, strong commercial sense.

‘It employs very well-known and respected employment lawyers who have been practicing in Southampton for many years. They offer an excellent service and lend pragmatism and robust advice to all scenarios.’

‘Clive Dobbin is always accessible, shows great knowledge and I trust him implicitly to give me sound advice.’

Key clients

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

AFC Bournemouth Limited

Hampshire Cricket (Ageas Bowl PLC)

Randstad UK

Barfoots of Botley Limited

Stannah Stairlifts Limited

Churches Fire & Security Ltd

Mayflower Theatre Trust Ltd

Keltbray Limited

Draper Tools Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing an NHS consultant in a tribunal claim involving whistleblowing.
  • Representing a company director in their exit from a national manufacturer, including advising on a subsequent settlement agreement.
  • Advised a local service provider on the enforcement of restrictive covenants, including representing a client in an application for injunctive relief.

Private client > Family: Hampshire Tier 1

Paris Smith LLP is instructed by a notable roster of high-net-worth-individuals and business owners, demonstrating significant strength in the agricultural and rural sectors. The family division is well equipped to assist clients through mediation and arbitration proceedings, as well as private financial dispute resolution hearings. Winchester-based managing partner Huw Miles is an expert on nuptial agreements and cohabitee disputes, while in Southampton, Frank Prior focuses on high-value matrimonial finance cases. Neil Davies is a highly regarded mediator, and Sarah Passemard concentrates on complex litigation claims. Rachel Osgood is knowledgeable on family trust and separation matters, and Lisa Bray deals with private Children Act issues. Heather Souter is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Frank Prior; Huw Miles

Other key lawyers:

Neil Davies; Sarah Passemard; Rachel Osgood; Lisa Bray; Heather Souter; Zoe Culverwell


‘Huw Miles – extensive knowledge of the law and practice. Calm under pressure and instils confidence in clients.’

‘Frank Prior has a great manner with the client and is very adept at looking at all angles.’

‘Zoe Culverwell – just a fantastic legal brain with a great understanding of the issues.’

‘Frank Prior is an extremely experienced, charismatic partner at Paris Smith who is a first-rate lawyer. He gets brilliant results and is adored by clients and opponents alike.’

‘Lisa Bray is a fantastic lawyer. She is extremely good with details and her knowledge of the law is second to none.’

‘Sarah Passemard has a brain the size of a planet. She is a fantastic lawyer who gets great results and is extremely well liked by clients. She combines her knowledge of the law with commercial pragmatism which makes her a very safe pair of hands. She is a match for any of the top London firms.’

‘Rachel Osgood is brilliant. She is one of the best matrimonial finance lawyers out there. She is tactically extremely astute and combines fantastic interpersonal skills which clients love with an expert knowledge of the law and procedure.’

‘Neil Davies and Zoe Culverwell are a great team delivering pragmatic advice at a fair price.’

Real estate > Commercial property: Hampshire Tier 1

The Paris Smith LLP property and planning group is singled out by one client as ‘the perfect place to go for expert advice‘, covering the full spectrum of real estate work for major names within the property finance, leisure, and public sectors. John Mansell leads from the Southampton office, bringing extensive expertise on land acquisition and disposals to the group, while the ‘fantastic’ Joanne Spittles regularly handles complex development matters and acquisitions. Rachel Saint focuses on development agreements and conditional contracts, and Winchester-based Stuart Allen deals with structured lending proposals. Claire Long specialises in landlord and tenant issues, while Janet May boasts over 25 years’ experience in the public and private sector. Lisa Busby routinely advises technology companies, while Hannah Winchester acts for national retailers. Sean Hogan is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

John Mansell; Rachel Saint; Janet May; Stuart Allen

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Spittles; Mark Withers; Claire Long; Lisa Busby; Hannah Winchester; Sean Hogan; Edward Watson; Edward Power; Peter Gammie; Tamsin Simmonds; Lisa Sherman; Melissa Thompson; Alexander Cheele; Elinor Davis; Rachel Montgomery; Jennifer Sanders


‘The property and planning department at Paris Smith proved to be the perfect place to go for expert advice. They adopt a very collegiate and professional approach, are well respected in the industry, communicate very well, build constructive relationships between the contracting parties’ legal teams (which is so important) and are also really nice and decent to deal with.’

‘They have all the expertise you need to guide you through what can be a minefield. Costs are clearly laid out and all the work was delivered within pre-agreed budgets.’

‘Joanne Spittles is fantastic, consistently demonstrating not only an incredibly detailed technical legal understanding of land and property development – a complicated area fraught with risk – but also outstanding commercial and negotiating skills, and strong interpersonal skills to succinctly explain complicated issues and enable properly informed decisions to be taken.’

‘I could not recommend Joanne Spittles highly enough as one of the most impressive legal professionals I’ve dealt with.’

‘For a large business they are very friendly and approachable. I’m not a huge customer but I always feel like my business is valued. With a wide range of skills I have yet to find a matter they cannot help me with. Also what I like is that I have a few key contacts I deal with and if my issue needs to be handled by a different person within the firm they will direct me to the correct person.’

‘What make them different is they will make sure I get looked after and follow up. It’s the small things that make the difference. This is all backed up my simple and clear billing – which is done with a bit of common sense. They are about more than just billing!’

Nice to deal with the same skilled people year after year. My two main contacts are Lisa Busby and Joanne Spittles – both have given me excellent service dealing with commercial property matters. I have not had a problem at all in over 10 years. In fact I cannot see me dealing with anyone else for my property matters. From simple things like answering emails or taking phone calls, both have given first class service. They have an excellent attention to detail. Also they know their key area inside out!’

Key clients

The Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society Limited

Parkview Retail Limited

Private Jersey-owned company (owner) and Hamdon Gate (developer)

Le Gallais Group

Private landowning trust

Hobby Craft Group Limited

Co-operative Group Limited (Co-op)

Bourne Leisure Limited

Hillier Nurseries Limited

Castle Trust Bank PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Hillier Nurseries on the £17.5m acquisition of Rosebourne, a company with a portfolio of three garden and homeware centres in Solihull, Aldermaston and Andover.
  • Advising The Co-operative Group on its acquisition programme for new stores.
  • Advised Castle Trust on £10m worth of funding for local residential portfolio investors, which included a variety of residential investment property types, including flats and HMOs.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Hampshire Tier 2

Boasting private equity funds and SMEs amongst its client list, the Paris Smith LLP group consistently advises on M&A and restructurings across industries ranging from life sciences to construction. Michael Moore leads on the corporate side, while Crispin Dick focuses on commercial matters from the Southampton office, specialising in software licensing and technology transfers. Amanda Brockwell operates out of the Winchester office, assisting buyers, sellers and investors with management buy-outs. Southampton-based Jonathan Roy assists with private equity matters. Emily Sadler was promoted to partner in March 2022, and has 10 years’ experience supporting clients with their commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Brockwell; Jonathon Roy; Richard Atcherley; Emily Sadler; Claudia Mihai; Ryan Mitchell


‘The Paris Smith team has stood out for their ability to respond in a consistently timely and professional manner at all times across a broad range of legal advice areas.’

‘The Paris Smith team acts as a genuine partner and are there where and when you need them, consistently and professionally – I couldn’t ask any more of them.’

‘Jonathon Roy has acted with clear advice and guidance, always seeking the outcome we needed but not wasting time and money on areas that aren’t necessary. His open guiding manner is very easy to work with and follow. He has a team around him who turn documents and responses around very quickly and efficiently. I couldn’t recommend him highly enough.

‘We have worked with Ryan Mitchell on commercial contracting and Ryan has produced and advised on a wide range of commercial contracts in a very timely and professional manner.’

‘Clear and quality legal advice, hardworking legal counsel.’

‘Dedicated to the service they provide.’

Key clients

Haskins Garden Centres Limited

Hobbycraft Trading Limited

Berry Technology Group Limited

Hiller Nurseries Limited

Totalmobile Holdings Limited

Churches Fire Security Limited

Schneider Electric Limited

British Friendly Society

Alfred Homes Limited

Soletanche Freyssinet SAS

Work highlights

  • Advised exiting shareholders of Berry Technologies Group on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to Babble Cloud.
  • Advised the majority shareholders of SAL Scientific on the sale of their shareholding interests to Advanced Industries, the UK subsidiary of Advanced Instruments LLC, a global provider of scientific and analytical solutions for the bioprocessing and clinical industries.
  • Advised Hillier Nurseries on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Rosebourne, which added three centres to Hiller Nurseries’ estate.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Hampshire Tier 2

Boasting significant strength in the recruitment, finance, and manufacturing spaces, the Southampton-based Paris Smith LLP team specialises in all aspects of disputes arising out of corporate transactions. The firm has recently expanded its public and pharmaceutical sector work, with Christopher Holliss bringing in-depth experience of advising emerging and international pharmaceutical and tech companies to the group. David Eminton heads up the practice, operating out of Southampton, and routinely dealing with all fields of commercial litigation. Helen Brown supports clients with disputes ranging from IT contracts to shareholder issues.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘I have found Helen Brown to be excellent, conscientious, available, and patient with me when I’m finding the situation difficult to handle. I genuinely believe she cares about the case and a positive outcome and is proactively fighting my corner.’

‘Helen Brown is extremely knowledgeable and has a measured approach. Responses are always well researched. Gives a very honest opinion, even if it is one the client does not wish to hear, in an authoritative but friendly way. Very approachable and always willing to help.’

‘Our in-house legal team were faced with a complex dispute and they were experiencing delays, barriers and a lack of understanding with our normal external solicitors. Chris Holliss and David Eminton of Paris Smith were recommended to me and we found dealing with Paris Smith to be a breath of fresh air. Within 4 weeks their expertise had solved our dispute which was a record and their approach was a breath of fresh air, sensible and experienced heads who were breaking the mould of the tedious stuffy approach.’

‘Chris Holliss and David Eminton were outstanding, their approach is fresh and their knowledge and understanding of not just the law but business is outstanding. I believe that for a solicitor to be truly effective they need to understand in depth the issue at hand and both Chris and David seemed as versed in my business as they did in the law within a few hours. I cannot recommend them highly enough.’

‘Chris Hollis demonstrated exceptional skill in dealing with a very antagonistic individual and has shown a great deal of empathy and commitment to resolving matters.’

‘Chris Holliss has amassed a lot of knowledge in the recruitment sector. He is always available and will give us an honest opinion of the best course of action.’

‘I have worked alongside Chris Holliss for over 15 years and he has always provided an excellent service to my clients and to me. I can trust that any work I pass to Chris will be handled to a high standard.’

‘Chris Holliss’ particular quality, aside from being a great lawyer, is his industry knowledge. A number of firms claim to specialise in the sector with little substance behind those claims. Chris genuinely understands the market.’

Key clients

Greenhalghs Craft Bakery

Barfoot Farms Limited

Hobbycraft Trading Limited

Southern Fisheries Limited

Neyland Yacht Haven Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Barfoots Farms on a theft by an employee of sums in excess of £750,000.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 2

The Southampton-based practice at Paris Smith LLP handles the full range of debt finance issues, having ‘excellent knowledge‘ of property and asset financing and acquisition projects. The team regularly assists clearing and challenger banks with debt and working capital facilities, and leveraged finance matters. James McNeil leads the team with his longstanding experience in acting for banks and corporates. Jonathon Roy maintains his corporate-focused practice, often advising owner-managed business on transactional matters. Liam Doughty has left the practice to join Walkers.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Jonathon Roy; Edward Watson; Stuart Allen


‘They have excellent knowledge across the practice.’

‘They are friendly, easy to speak to, professional, with excellent knowledge.’

‘James McNeil – James always makes himself available regardless of whether it is a 2 minute or 30 minute conversation. His advice is always well founded from years of experience, we see him as a very valuable extension of the team.’

Key clients

Interbay Funding Ltd

Hampshire Trust Bank plc

PCF Bank plc

Santander UK plc

Castle Trust Plc

Hampshire Sport and Leisure Holdings Limited

Haskins Garden Centres Limited

Hilliers Nurseries Limited

Stelling Properties Limited and Unilife Limited

National Westminster Bank plc / The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

The ‘technically gifted‘ team at Paris Smith LLP serves a diverse range of clients, including SMEs, not for profits, and finance corporates. Mike Pavitt heads up the Southampton-based team with ‘formidable breadth of knowledge and understanding‘, often assisting insolvency practitioner accountants, creditors and companies with disputes and transactions. Claire Long joined the team from Lester Aldridge LLP in August 2022, contributing her broad expertise in the purchase and sale of distressed property, particularly regarding retail administrations.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Andrews; Clare Long


‘Mike Pavitt leads a strong team. They are friendly, dependable and keep abreast of all the latest developments in the law and practice in this area.’

‘Mike Pavitt is a gentle giant whose kind nature belies his strength of character. With his formidable breadth of knowledge and understanding, he tailors his approach to the circumstances of each case, to get the right results.’

‘A very commercially sound and technically gifted team who provide excellent service.’

‘Lucy Andrews is a delight to work with.’

‘Mike Pavitt is widely regarded as a leading figure in the insolvency industry, with excellent technical knowledge, commercial and efficient application of that knowledge, and brilliant client care.’

Key clients

Azets Holdings Limited

Bailey Ahmad Business Recovery

Beacon LIP Limited

Begbies Traynor Group PLC

CMB Partners UK Limited

Evelyn Partners

FRP Advisory Trading Limited

Hampshire Trust Bank

Interbay Funding Limited

Interpath Limited

James Cowper LLP

Manolete Partners PLC

Portland Business & Financial Solutions Limited/Leonard Curtis

Quantuma Advisory Limited/K3 Restructuring


RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

SKSi Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Manolete Partners PLC on claims from insolvency officeholders, ranging from recovery of misapplied Bounce Back Loans, to Overdrawn Directors’ Loan Accounts and misfeasance.
  • Acted for Leonard Curtis in the appointment of administrators by qualifying floating charge holder, defence of winding-up petitions.
  • Advised West Hill Capital as a security trustee and creditor on its rights and realisation strategy prior to and after various companies’ administrations to maximise returns for bondholders, and on the validity of administration appointment documents and on some occasions, in respect of the administrators proposals and prospective pre-pack sale by administrators.

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

Receiving instruction from landed estates, farmers, and entrepreneurs, Paris Smith LLP’s team is highly experienced in advising on tax-efficient wills and creating trusts in line with family investment companies. Within the department, there is a specialist Court of Protection and contentious probate section. Vicky Day leads the group from Southampton after arriving from Coffin Mew LLP in July 2022. Anthony Nixon is an expert in succession planning and associated tax issues, while Winchester-based Jason Oliver is highly knowledgeable in contentious trust and estate matters. William Hadley focuses on inheritance and capital gains tax planning.

Practice head(s):

Vicky Day

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Nixon; Jason Oliver; William Hadley


‘Great service and legal advice.’

‘Anthony Nixon clearly has a handle on the legal issues we have that require a range of varied skills, and can find people in his wider team to support with their expert knowledge. I believe too we have received value for money and a clear roadmap moving forward.’

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3

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

Recently engaged in software licensing, Paris Smith LLP is geared to handle an array of copyright infringement, design rights and registered design disputes. In Southampton, Emily Sadler is adept in commercial contracts.

Other key lawyers:


‘Helen Brown is a ‘hands on’ partner who is very dedicated to the client’s case.’

‘The advice is extremely clear and the team is well placed to give legal advice in a broader commercial context.’

‘IP knowledge combined with business insight.’

‘They effectively dealt with a complex IP dispute concerning copyright in computer software intertwined with allegations of breach of directors’ duties.’

‘A very capable team which is able to take on complex work and provide clients with sound, realistic and commercially astute advice.’

‘Impressive attention to detail and excellent case management. I would highly recommend them for any complex IP / company law / commercial dispute.’

Key clients

Hildon Limited

2iC-Care Limited

Custom Furniture Limited

Langham Wine Limited

Cansr Limited

Barfoots of Botley Limited

Millbrook Beds Limited

Miista Limited

Opa Bakery Franchise Limited

Treadwell & Treadwell Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Hobbycraft Trading Limited in several disputes involving their brand, unauthorised sale of products and cyber-related misuse of the brand.
  • Advised Focal Point Fires Ltd on design right infringments, patent and copyright in their range of New Forest Fires.
  • Assisted Hildon Limited with the management and administration of their international trade mark portfolio.

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

Paris Smith LLP is a strong choice for SMEs in the technology sector and the team is geared to handle matters pertaining to GDPR, IT contracts and transactions. Crispin Dick is located in Southampton and assists clients with platform access agreements, software licensing and development. Ryan Mitchell splits his time between Southampton and Winchester, and his recent work highlights include drafting terms and conditions for a range of SaaS platforms.

Other key lawyers:

Crispin Dick; Ryan Mitchell


‘Ryan Mitchell has great technical legal knowledge but more than anything, I appreciate the way he simplifies the tasks and is very solution driven plus commercially minded.’

‘Ryan Mitchell is a stand out associate.’

‘Crispin Dick is extremely knowledgeable and always provides practical, timely advice.’

‘Great service – extremely responsive and they take time to understand the needs of our business.’

Key clients

Cansr Limited

Match ID Limited

Smarter Technologies Trading

Work highlights

  • Advised Match ID Limited on the establishment of its UK subsidiary.
  • Assisted Cansr Limited on the market launch of its multidisciplinary software platform.
  • Advised Smarter Technology Trading Limited on a framework agreement with abrdn for the provision of remote smart metering technology and analysis tools.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 4

Headed by David Eminton, the Southampton-based property litigation practice at Paris Smith LLP is typically instructed by national retail companies, HNWIs, and charities to handle all aspects of contentious property matters. Nicola Davies is an expert on landlord and tenant disputes affecting commercial and residential property. Solicitor Lucy Taggart focuses on residential work for private individuals, while Lisa White deals with commercial lease renewals.

Practice head(s):

David Eminton

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Davies; Lucy Taggart; Lisa White


‘Nicola Davies is a very competent litigator.’

‘Paris Smith have a very good reputation and knowing they were on our side, I felt we stood a good chance of a resolution and also it conveyed to the plaintiff we were serious. They have the resources to assist.’

‘David Eminton- with 20 plus years as a solicitor under his wings, his experience and legal knowledge showed as we met with the opposing solicitors. As the meeting progressed, I felt I had the better legal mind and came out the other end with a good resolution.’

‘Paris Smith handled the matter efficiently, closing it down quickly.’

‘I was impressed by Lucy Taggart taking time to really understand the problem.’

‘This is a stand-out property litigation team in the area offering strength in depth from top to bottom.’

‘David Eminton and Nicola Davies in particular are consummate professionals, yet easy to deal with. They have a deep understanding of the law and the property litigation process and at the same time a very down to earth manner.’

Key clients

Lumen Technologies UK Limited

The Co-Operative Group Limited

Hillier Garden Centres

Ballymore Group

Hobbycraft Trading Limited

Southern Fisheries Limited

YMCA (Fairthorne Group) Limited

Bourne Leisure Group (including Haven Leisure Holiday Parks)

Associated British Ports

University of Southampton Science Park

Quay Warehousing Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing YMCA Fairthorne Group in residential landlord and tenant disputes.
  • Advising Hobbycraft Group on its strategic approach to securing lease renewal, including handling court proceedings for a new lease should the parties be in a negotiating deadlock.
  • Advised Lumen Technology on rights under the Electronic Communications Code and the interrelation between the Code and the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954.

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.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior Partner Peter Taylor 023 8048 2482
Managing Partner Huw Miles 023 8048 2482
Head of Residential Property Natalie Clarke 023 8048 2482
Head of Commercial Property John Mansell 023 8048 2482
Head of Corporate, Commercial, Banking James McNeil 023 8048 2482
Head of Employment Clive Dobbin 023 8048 2482
Head of Business and Commercial Disputes David Eminton 023 8048 2482
Head of Family Frank Prior 023 8048 2482
Head of Tax and Estate Planning William Hadley 023 8048 2482
Photo Name Position Profile
Lucy Andrews photo Ms Lucy Andrews Solicitor
Stephanie Bellamy photo Ms Stephanie Bellamy Associate
Lisa Bray photo Ms Lisa Bray Partner
Ashleigh Bryant photo Ms Ashleigh Bryant Senior Paralegal
Lisa Busby photo Ms Lisa Busby LLP Partner
Jas Chahal photo Ms Jas Chahal Paralegal
Fred Chandler photo Mr Fred Chandler Solicitor
Shaheen Cheychi photo Ms Shaheen Cheychi Licensed Conveyancer
Natalie Clarke photo Ms Natalie Clarke Solicitor and Head of Residential Conveyancing
Hayley Davey photo Ms Hayley Davey Legal Assistant
Neil Davies photo Mr Neil Davies Consultant
Vicky Day photo Ms Vicky Day Partner and Head of Wills, Trusts & Estates
George Dewar photo Mr George Dewar Paralegal
Catherine Diamond photo Ms Catherine Diamond Senior Associate and Head of Corporate of Protection
William Downer photo Mr William Downer Solicitor
Jasmine Feeny photo Ms Jasmine Feeny Solicitor
Peter Gammie photo Mr Peter Gammie LLP Partner
Henry Goodchild photo Mr Henry Goodchild Solicitor
Jess Hemmings photo Ms Jess Hemmings Paralegal
Sean Hogan photo Mr Sean Hogan Partner
Chris Holliss photo Mr Chris Holliss LLP Partner
Marika Javor photo Ms Marika Javor Legal Assistant
Sarah Jessup photo Ms Sarah Jessup Senior Paralegal
Janay Jones photo Ms Janay Jones Solicitor
Claire Long photo Ms Claire Long Partner
John Mansell photo Mr John Mansell LLP Partner
Kate Marsh photo Ms Kate Marsh Partner
Emily Middleditch photo Ms Emily Middleditch Paralegal
Susan Moore photo Ms Susan Moore Chartered Legal Executive
Kirsty Morrison photo Ms Kirsty Morrison Solicitor
Rachel Osgood photo Ms Rachel Osgood LLP Partner
Sarah Passemard photo Ms Sarah Passemard LLP Partner
Angela Powell photo Ms Angela Powell Legal Assistant
Frank Prior photo Mr Frank Prior LLP Partner
Barry Russell photo Mr Barry Russell Senior Associate
Rachel Saint photo Ms Rachel Saint LLP Partner
Jennifer Sanders photo Ms Jennifer Sanders Associate
Joanne Spittles photo Ms Joanne Spittles LLP Partner
Stephen Stafford photo Mr Stephen Stafford Senior Associate
Nick Turner photo Mr Nick Turner LLP Partner
Nick Vaughan photo Mr Nick Vaughan Consultant
Lisa White photo Ms Lisa White Solicitor
Mark Withers photo Mr Mark Withers LLP Partner
Number of UK partners : 42
Number of other fee-earners : 90

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.




TESTIMONIAL: “I was more than happy with Neil and Zoe during their handling of my recent divorce. I felt like I had both friends and professionals genuinely interested and concerned for me and my interests. Importantly they kept an eye on the financials, but did not lose track of what the right thing to do as well seeking justice in very difficult circumstances.”

CLIENT: Notable Practitioners


TESTIMONIAL: “Mediator and trained collaborative lawyer Neil Davies has longstanding experience in financial matters and children cases. Market commentators are quick to praise his “unflappable and calm” approach towards the most complex issues.”


CLIENT: Stephen Parry, Legal Team, Acting Head of Property

COMPANY/FIRM: Co-operative Group Ltd

TESTIMONIAL: “We find Rachel to be an extremely intelligent and commercial professional whose enthusiasm and dedication towards our business goals shines through in everything she does. She has an excellent way of dealing with people at all levels of our business and runs a well organised and efficient team at Paris Smith”

CLIENT: Michael Ockwell, Chief Executive

COMPANY/FIRM: Mayflower Theatre

TESTIMONIAL: “The partnership between Paris Smith and 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 puts 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 Nick and his team over the coming years.”

Tax and Estate Planning

CLIENT: Anne Lester


TESTIMONIAL: “Sincere appreciation and grateful thanks for all your valuable knowledge, advice and hard work that contributed to a very satisfactory and correct conclusion.”

CLIENT: David Ward


TESTIMONIAL: “Thank you so much for all your help with Mum’s estate. You have been a great support at a very difficult time for me and dad. We really appreciate it.”

Dispute Resolution

CLIENT: Mr and Mrs E


TESTIMONIAL: “Thank you for your most excellent and diligent work on behalf of our son. Without your support and advice, we both feel the situation could have become much worse. Your experience and correctness showed through many times throughout the drawn out process. We would certainly seek your advice should we ever need further help in litigation. With very grateful thanks.”#



TESTIMONIAL: We have frequently used Chris for high-value or complicated dispute resolution matters and have found his service to be excellent. Chris has gained a reputation as a solicitor with specialist knowledge of the recruitment market and it is refreshing to deal with someone who understands the legal and commercial issues which we face on a daily basis. I would highly recommend him.”

Company Commercial

CLIENT: Karen Read, Director

COMPANY/FIRM: Wetwheels Solent CIC

TESTIMONIAL: “Paris Smith has helped us with regard to the protection and exploitation of our intellectual property along with giving us a lot of other help and advice in becoming GDPR compliant. We were really happy with the service we received and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone.”

CLIENT: Jo Ash, Chief Executive

COMPANY/FIRM: Southampton Voluntary Services

TESTIMONIAL: “Thank you so much for your support, advice and guidance delivered promptly and efficiently with patience and good humour which was very much appreciated.”


CLIENT: Mary Garner, HR Director


TESTIMONIAL: “Why do I use Paris Smith for my employment law advice? I use them because they always offer timely, honest and pragmatic advice which results in us being able to make decisions necessary for the business from an employment law perspective. I have worked with David Roath, Clive Dobbin for over ten years and know that when I phone them up they will listen and act in a professional and friendly way whether it is for general employment law advice or something more complicated. The firm also supports us by offering excellent training seminars which ensure we keep well informed of new or changing legislation in the employment law area. I have always enjoyed my interactions with the team at Paris Smith and look forward to working with them in the future.”

CLIENT: Gordon Dodds, Deputy Principle, Finance & Administration

COMPANY/FIRM: The Sixth Form College. Farnborough

TESTIMONIAL: “I have been working with Claire Merritt for around 18 months. I am extremely happy with Claire’s advice and response rates. She advises many other colleges and therefore provides advice that is tailored to our organisation’s specific needs and standards. I feel Claire sets an excellent standard for legal advice in the sector. Claire helps us navigate the minefield of employment law and we apricate the service she provides.”

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.