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Paris Smith LLP

Work 023 8048 2482
Fax 023 8063 1835
Southampton SO15, Southampton SO15, Winchester

South East: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and Commercial: Hampshire
Corporate and Commercial: Hampshire - ranked: tier 2

Paris Smith LLP

The nine-partner team at Paris Smith LLP acts for clients ranging in size from owner-managed businesses to large national clients. It is also increasingly active in the advice to international entities. The group is led by Sean Davies. Another key figure is Amanda Brockwell, who is active in transactional work for mid-market clients, including those undertaking serial acquisitions. Jonathon Roy is an M&A specialist.

Practice head(s):Sean Davies; Crispin Dick; James McNeil

Other key lawyers:Amanda Brockwell; Jonathon Roy; Michael Moore; Richard Atcherley; Clare McCauley; Laura Trapnell

Key Clients



Churches Fire Security

SHB Hire

T W Metals

Smarter Business


Contraload NV

UK Web Media

Hilliers Garden Centres

Work highlights

  • Assisted the shareholders of UK Web Media with their sale to Inflexion Private Equity.
  • Assisted Churches Fire Security with three separate acquisitions of Fire Safety Services, Eton Fire and WMS, with the aggregate deal value totalling approximately £15m.
  • Assisted Diversi Foods with the UK legal aspects of the disposal of its entire issued share capital to Martin Braun-Gruppe.    
  • Assisted TW Metals with its multimillion pound acquisition of Locate supplies.
  • Assisted Smarter Business with its multimillion pound acquisition of Visionist.
Leading individuals

Amanda Brockwell - Paris Smith LLP

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South East: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Hampshire
Commercial litigation: Hampshire - ranked: tier 2

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP has had a significant increase in debt recovery mandates recently, with the firm having added a number of new asset-based lenders to its client roster. Another key growth area has been recruitment sector work; the firm acts for over 140 recruitment agencies. Team head Christopher Holliss has extensive experience of complex commercial litigation at the High Court. Former Slater Heelis LLP litigation head Helen Brown joined the firm in January 2019.

Practice head(s):David Eminton (head of department and head of property litigation); Christopher Holliss (head of commercial litigation); Mike Pavitt (head of insolvency); Cliff Morris (head of regulatory litigation); Jason Oliver (head of contentious tax and probate)

Other key lawyers:Nicola Davies; Christina Spiers

Key Clients

ABP (Port of Southampton)

Corporate Asset Solutions

Neyland Yacht Haven

Halo Corporate Finance

Quba Solutions

Clipper Contracting

Interbay Funding

The Co-Operative Group


Smith & Williamson


Clydesdale Properties

Collas Crill (Jersey)

Draper Tools

Work highlights

  • Advised Gattaca on the pursuit of a disputed claim against a defendant company in Singapore with a quantum exceeding £120k.
  • Assisted Neyland Yatch Haven with an appeal to the Welsh Minister to overturn Natural Resources Wales' strict conditions that are imposed on the client's marine dredging licences.  
  • Instructed by Corporate Asset Solutions to pursue corporate guarantors in the Republic of Ireland following the termination of a Master Lease Agreement.
  • Successfully acted on behalf of a multinational recruitment agency in an action threatened by an outgoing board member and shareholder for alleged breaches of a consultancy agreement and unfair prejudice.
  • Represented Quba in a dispute with a groundwork and construction company regarding works carried out by Quba's client.

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South East: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP’s banking and finance department is divided into three specialist groups, which focus on acquisition finance, project and asset finance and property finance respectively. The client portfolio includes retail banking groups and a number of higher education institutions, as well as large retail and leisure entities. The practice is headed by James McNeil.  Jonathon Roy and associate Liam Doughty are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):James McNeil

Other key lawyers:Jonathon Roy; Liam Doughty


'Quick to respond and drive a deal forward. Very comprehensive and detailed approach.'

'James McNeil is a very thorough partner, demonstrating a strong legal awareness and knowledge and providing easy to understand guidance.'

Key Clients

Santander UK plc

HSBC Bank plc

National Westminster Bank plc

Svenska Handelsbankend AB (publ)/Handelsbanken plc

Hampshire Trust Bank plc

Interbay Funding Limited

Royale Parkes

Yacht Havens Limited

RB Sport & Leisure Holdings plc

Metro Bank plc

Hampshire Community Trust Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for Yacht Havens Group Limited on a £14m refinance of its group companies.
  • Acted for Time GB Holdings Limited on £13m acquisition of three holiday parks.
  • Advised Haskins Garden Centres Limited on a £22.5m refinance to enable it to refinance current indebtedness and redevelop one of its garden centres.
  • Advised Santander on a £3.4m term loan facility to an owner and operator of hotels to enable the borrower to acquire two new 3 star hotels.
  • Advised Contraload NV, a Belgium-based logistics business, on its acquisition of  Packaging Logistics Services Ltd from  Bibby Line Group.

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 2

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP's insolvency practice in Southampton acts for a number of major creditor and landlord clients but also maintains an extensive roster of owner-managed businesses. Key sectors in which the team are known for working include property, finance, retail, leisure, not-for-profit, SMEs, public sector, and recruitment. Mike Pavitt heads the team and is praised for delivering 'well thought out and thorough advice'. Pavitt also holds the respected post of Chair of R3 Southern.  Work highlights for the team include advising shareholders and loan note holders of the UK's largest wholesaler to the convenience and forecourts market, which went into administration in 2017.

Practice head(s):Mike Pavitt


'Mike Pavitt delivers well thought out and thorough advice. Quick to respond and advise on ways forward.'

Key Clients


Beacon Insolvency Practitioners

Begbies Traynor

Corporate Asset Solutions

CVR Global

James Cowper

Interbay Funding Ltd



Moore Stephens



Smith & Williamson

Work highlights

  • Advice and court representation  to trustees in bankruptcy in respect of realisation of shareholding in a London pub company
  • Advice to shareholders and loan note holders as former employees of Palmer & Harvey, the UK's largest wholesaler to the convenience and forecourts market which went into administration in 2017.

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South East: Human resources

Employment: Hampshire
Employment: Hampshire - ranked: tier 1

Paris Smith LLP

In addition to undertaking employment tribunal litigation, Paris Smith LLP's team often acts for clients in restrictive covenant actions and director exits. Education is a key sector for the group, which acts for the majority of sixth form colleges and private schools in Hampshire. Transfer of Undertakings (TUPE) claims specialist Clive Dobbin is the practice head. David Roath is another name to note.

Practice head(s):Clive Dobbin

Other key lawyers:David Roath; Claire Merritt


'All members of staff that we have dealt with, at all levels, are technically competent and able to provide a top-class answer to our employment questions straight away'.

'Clive Dobbin, David Roath and Claire Merritt are extremely approachable and offer a practical solutions to our issues'.

'A great service focused on listening to the challenges clients express and working to effect the best outcomes'.

'Clive Dobbin is a great support to our senior management team; he provides practical and considered feedback and proposes solutions to complex issues'.

'Clive Dobbin's ability to give a client complex information whilst checking understanding and involving them in the process is outstanding; he provides a truly bespoke service.'

Key Clients

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

AFC Bournemouth

Hampshire Cricket

Focal Point Fires

Barfoots of Botley

Stannah Stairlifts

TW Metals

Millbrook Industries


Draper Tools

Work highlights

  • Advised a college on a tribunal claim brought for unfair dismissal and race discrimination.
  • Advised Barfoots Cropping on a tribunal claim alleging disability discrimination and whistle-blowing.
  • Acted for a maintenance company in obtaining an injunction against a former employee and their new employer.
  • Assisted a maritime logistics company with reviewing both its short-term and persistent long-term absence policies.
  • Assisted a procurement director for an international manufacturing company with their exit from the company.

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South East: Private client

Family: Hampshire
Family: Hampshire - ranked: tier 1

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP's family work includes high-value financial remedy cases and contested residence matters. In addition to being active in court litigation, the firm assists clients with alternative forms of dispute resolution. The team heads are Southampton-based Frank Prior and Huw Miles in Winchester. Prior has experience of acting for high and ultra-high net worth individuals, such as celebrities, business-people and public figures. Neil Davies has more than 30 years of family law experience, and acts for clients from London and across the south of England, as well as those based further afield internationally.

Practice head(s):Frank Prior; Huw Miles

Other key lawyers:Neil Davies; Sarah Passemard; Rachel Osgood; Lisa Bray; Helen Cort; Heather Souter

Leading individuals

Frank Prior - Paris Smith LLP

Huw Miles - Paris Smith LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Hampshire
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Hampshire - ranked: tier 2

Paris Smith LLP

Nick Turner leads the tax and estate planning department at Paris Smith LLP, which acts for elderly clients and disabled individuals, among others. The team includes Isabel Deverill, who has extensive expertise assisting high net worth individuals with lifetime and post-death tax and trust matters. The group also advises on other matters, such as the creation/ termination of trusts and wills, care issues and Court of Protection issues. Elizabeth Power is another key figure. With the firm having a rural property team, it is well-placed to provide bespoke tax and trusts advice to farmers and landed estates.

Practice head(s):Nick Turner

Other key lawyers:Isabel Deverill; Elizabeth Power

Work highlights

  • Acting as executors of a complex estate with valuable interests in family companies, partnership involving farming, commercial let property, golf course and hotel and obtaining business property in complex situations.
  • Acting as court appointed independent administrator of complex disputed estate.
  • Advising executors of a complex estate including a Home Loan Scheme and successfully arguing the effectiveness of the Home Loan Scheme.
  • Advising married couple on exceptionally complex domicile issues on moving to new domicile without resurrecting UK domicile.

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South East: Real estate

Commercial property: Hampshire
Commercial property: Hampshire - ranked: tier 1

Paris Smith LLP

The 'approachable' property and planning group at Paris Smith LLP is spread between the Southampton and Winchester offices. Assistance is provided to clients through niche team sub-specialisms in development, planning and plot sales. The group regularly liaises with the charities and education group when advising on the property aspects of schools converting to academies. Elsewhere, housebuilders, major retailers, banks and leisure companies are among the team's key clients. Lisa Busby recently made partner. Mark Howarth and John Mansell are also key contacts, as is associate Emma Pope.

Practice head(s):Mark Howarth; John Mansell

Other key lawyers:Lisa Busby; Emma Pope


'A highly positive and helpful team'.

'Takes a proactive and commercially aware approach'.

'David Eminton and Lisa Busby provide excellent guidance and advice'.

'As a chartered surveyor who interacts daily with lawyers from innumerable Hampshire-based firms, I can safely say that the service my client's receive from Paris Smith is among the best'.

'The team is quick to respond and covers the whole breadth of real estate issues'.

'Emma Pope is one person who particularly stands out for me as a real estate professional who, to my mind, strikes the perfect balance between technical competence, pragmatism and commercial awareness'.

Key Clients

Co-operative Group

Fat Face

Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society

Associated British Ports

Ann Summers


Petchey Industrial Holdings

Alfred Homes

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Bargate Homes

Century Link Communications UK

Work highlights

  • Assisting Co-operative with multiple acquisitions of new stores in the context of its target to open 100 new stores.
  • Assisting Alfred Homes with the acquisition of development sites, contracts and options relating to sites and onward plot sales.
  • Assisting the landlord with leasing three laboratories and a storage room at the University of Southampton Science Park; the tenant will be using the premises for a mixture of research and development chemistry.
  • Assisted Furness House Developments with the acquisition of a Furness House in Redhill, a tenanted office block for conversion into 72 flats under permitted development rights.
  • Assisted lenders with over 1,000 property financing matters worth approximately £500m in total.
Leading individuals

Mark Howarth - Paris Smith LLP

Next Generation Partners

Joanne Spittles - Paris Smith LLP

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South East: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP is prominent in the regional SME and start-up market, advising a wide range of such clients on IT matters. Practice co-head Laura Trapnell is an adviser to the University of Southampton Science Park's Catalyst Programme, a factor that maintains the firm's base of start-up clients. The practice is most known for its outsourcing, procurement, and cloud computing work. Fellow co-head Crispin Dick handles software development and licensing as well as technology transfers and outsourcing.

Practice head(s):Crispin Dick; Laura Trapnell

Key Clients

Datwyler Cabling Solutions AG

British Friendly Society Ltd

The Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society Ltd

Beyond Encryption Ltd

Quotall Ltd

Gobel & Partners

Local First Community Interest Ltd

Millbrook Healthcare Ltd

Cobalt Telephone Technologies Ltd

University of Southampton Science Park Ltd

Pyxus International, Inc

The Entertainment Retailers' Association

Visitor Chat Ltd

Mercury 1 Ltd

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP is recognised for its IP audit practice, as well as its track record advising on IP strategy work. In addition to its established client base, the department has recently been focusing its practice on the start-up market and is first choice for technology companies being spun off from academic institutions. Practice head Laura Trapnell specialises in EU trade mark and design rights law, as well as international trade mark registrations.

Practice head(s):Laura Trapnell

Other key lawyers:Crispin Dick


'Very knowledgable, helpful and efficient.'

'We have an excellent relationship with Laura Trapnell, who has a wealth of business-minded expertise in IP.'

'Laura's attention to detail and having our interests in mind, mean we always have great confidence in her ability.'

'Unlike other firms we have dealt with our experience of working with Paris Smith has been exceptional from start to finish.'

'The attitude of staff working in the firm has aligned perfectly with our own and their work has been exemplary.'

'The team offers pragmatic solutions that have regard to the commercial implications of each decision to be taken.'


Key Clients

Meachers Global Logistics Ltd

The Wetwheels Foundation

Hobbycraft Trading Limited

Jane Austen House Museum

Barfoots of Botley Ltd

Gist Ltd

Keltbray Ltd

Marwell Wildlife

Hildon Ltd

The Mayflower Theatre Trust

Aquavitrum Ltd

Absolute Yoga Ltd

Foresters Friendly Society

Focal Point Fires Plc

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