Paris Smith LLP > Southampton, England > Firm Profile

Paris Smith LLP
WEST PARK HOUSE
23 CUMBERLAND PLACE
SOUTHAMPTON
SO15 2BB
England

Employment > Employment: Hampshire Tier 1

Paris Smith LLP’s employment department acts for a range of clients across the region, with expertise in restrictive covenant actions and senior-level exits. Practice head Clive Dobbin has a wealth of experience in complex tribunal cases, including matters relating to whistleblowing and discrimination; he is also adept at advising on TUPE transfers. David Roath is recommended for his skill in defending protective awards relating to collective redundancies; recently, he has also extended his expertise into complex whistleblowing cases. Claire Merritt leads the team’s work in the education sector, where she represents a significant proportion of Hampshire’s sixth form colleges, as well as several independent schools. She is also recommended for her growing expertise in GDPR issues.

Practice head(s):

Clive Dobbin

Other key lawyers:

David Roath; Clare Merritt

Testimonials

‘Very professional and common sense approach to queries and issues.’

‘I deal with David Roath mostly, sometimes Clive Dobbin and other members of the employment team. They have a good understanding of the sensitivities of our business and the advice we receive is measured and sensible. We feel very supported and not just another client.’

‘Very helpful with great knowledge and offer good advice.’

‘Clive Dobbin is our point of contact and he is always wise in his advice and accommodating of his time.’

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

  • Advised an NHS consultant on a claim for whistleblowing and unfair dismissal.
  • Advised a maintenance company on a breach of restrictive covenants by a former employee.
  • Advised on a number of complex tribunal claims, including claims for whistleblowing and discrimination, many of which were listed for multi-day hearings in tribunal.

Private client > Family: Hampshire Tier 1

Paris Smith LLP‘s family team is best known for its work with high- and ultra-high-net-worth clients ranging from business leaders to sports and media personalities, medical professionals, and those with significant overseas interests. Managing partner Huw Miles is one of two team leads. He works from the Winchester office, and boasts expertise in both complex cross-border cases and nuptial agreements. Co-lead Frank Prior, based in Southampton, is similarly well-regarded by his broad base of clients in the region and beyond. Experienced partner Neil Davies further strengthens the firm’s ability to handle complex financial matters, while Lisa Bray rounds out its offering with her specialisms in child cases, especially those involving relocation and parental alienation. Sarah Passemard, Rachel Osgood, and Heather Souter are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Frank Prior; Huw Miles

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘Competent, efficient, approachable and professional, the team at Paris Smith Hampshire’s family division have been everything I would want from legal representation, and this applies to staff at all echelons of the firm.’

‘Strength in depth and real quality across the team.’

‘Huw Miles was outstanding in translating his expert legal opinion into clear concise advice that was readily understandable by a lay person. Where information was required from his wider team having corralled the requisite knowledge Huw responded in an impressively timely manner.’

‘The firm represented me throughout my divorce, which has been a somewhat complex affair, and I would recommend them to anyone going through similar circumstances: I have felt at every turn that they have had my best interests at heart.

‘Paris Smith is clearly the top family finance team in Hampshire in the south. Within the team are a number of the sharpest and best lawyers in the business. The firm has excellent premises and technology and so provides a full service to its clients. Overall the team provide an exceptionally high quality of service.’

‘Neil Davies has a wealth of experience and a fantastic client manner. He offers sound, pragmatic advice and is always a pleasure to work with. Heather Souter is extremely knowledgeable and performs consistently at the highest level.’

‘Frank Prior is a clear leader in the field. He is very commercially oriented and knows when to pursue an issue and when to leave it. He has long experience and is highly respected. He is capable of adeptly handling even the largest cases up to tens of millions pounds. Huw Miles is a meticulous and tenacious lawyer who provides exceptional service for his clients with whom he always forges excellent relationships. His preparation is second to none and his role running the firm has led to a very commercial outlook. Sarah Passemard has long experience of handling the most complex of cases and does so with great ability. She works extremely hard to make sure her clients get the best possible result. Rachel Osgood is another exceptional lawyer with very long experience and great good sense. She always brings practicality and realism to her cases and works hard for her clients, with whom she forges excellent relationships.’

‘I would rate Paris Smith highly and believe that they are the stand out Family Law firm in Southampton, Winchester and Hampshire. They are highly regarded for good reason. They are specialists in the field of family finance and also for private children work. They are highly motivated to achieve good results and to give practical advice. They try to negotiate settlements in a collaborative manner and try to avoid lengthy litigation where possible.’

Real estate > Commercial property: Hampshire Tier 1

With a sizeable team split across two offices in Southampton and Winchester, Paris Smith LLP has a strong commercial property presence in the Hampshire area. John Mansell leads both the broader property and planning department and the dedicated development practice, where Victoria Onoufriou is recommended. Also in planning, commercial property partner Emma Pope focuses mainly on permitted developments. Rachel Saint and Janet May are deputy team leads in Southampton, where they deal with retail and leisure and planning applications, respectively. Hannah Winchester works alongside Saint in the retail and leisure team, with experience in landlord and tenant work, investment and development site acquisitions, and portfolio management. As deputy head in Winchester, Stuart Allen acts for clients including banks, sector-specialist lenders, and HNW private lenders. He also coleads the property finance team. Claire Egerton's construction team provides additional support, while Joanne Spittles focuses on high-value acquisitions and disposals. Lisa Busby provides specialist advice to clients in the telecoms sector.

Practice head(s):

John Mansell; Rachel Saint; Janet May; Stuart Allen

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Busby; Claire Egerton; Victoria Onoufriou; Joanne Spittles; Hannah Winchester

Testimonials

‘What impresses me is how easy it is to do business with Paris Smith. It is typical for the same individuals to be your point of reference meaning that a relationship builds; but at the same time, introducing new specialists or assistance is seamless.’

‘Quality and speed of service. On the ball, hence early recognition of potential problems and pitfalls and advice re possible solutions. Excellent client relationship.’

‘Having worked with Paris Smith on several deals I have found the team helpful, forward thinking, competent and efficient.’

‘Lisa Busby did a magnificent job of shepherding me through the maze of legislation and then reducing options to intelligible lay-speak and advising how to apply preferences and desired outcomes to determine a path forward.’

‘I have particular recommendations for Joanne Spittles and her team. They have their client’s interest front and centre and deliver.’

Key clients

Interbay Funding Limited

The Co-operative Group Limited

Hillier Nurseries Limited

Hobbycraft Group Limited

The Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society

Associated British Ports

Highwood Group

Red Funnel

Ocea Group

Bourne Leisure

Hamdon Gate

BX Property Ltd

ECC Property Partners

Alfred Homes

Work highlights

  • Advised Interbay on a £30 million funding for a mixed-use portfolio client InterBay Commercial, part of the specialist bank OSB (One Savings Bank Plc) Group.
  • Advised The Co-operative Group Limited on their acquisition programme for new stores.
  • Advised Ocea Group on the acquisition of a large office block in Bristol plus some additional open land on the basis that the property was to be redeveloped under permitted development rights from offices to residential.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Hampshire Tier 2

Paris Smith LLP‘s sizeable corporate, commercial, and finance department is well regarded for the strong sell-side work it does for its primarily Hampshire-based client base. The department is made up of three smaller teams: corporate, commercial, and IP and finance. Michael Moore heads the corporate team from the firm’s offices in Southampton and Winchester, with key experience in investment work. Crispin Dick leads the commercial and IP and finance teams, and is based out of Southampton. Winchester-based Amanda Brockwell is at the centre of the team’s efforts to expand its private equity offering, and has built a strong reputation for her buy-side expertise. Jonathon Roy is also recommended, while senior associate Jennifer Packer acts on a range of investment work, including matters relating to crowdfunding and advance subscriptions.

Practice head(s):

Michael Moore; Crispin Dick

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Brockwell; Jonathon Roy; Richard Atcherley; Jennifer Packer

Testimonials

‘Great strength in depth across the corporate team.’

‘The people at Paris Smith have consistently demonstrated a real awareness of the challenges and opportunities facing my business, and a willingness to design and deliver solutions that fit my needs, rather than a narrow focus on “legal work”.’

‘Jonathon Roy is hugely experienced, providing clear and balanced guidance to clients through complex transactions.’

‘The real strength of the team at Paris Smith is the willingness to invest time in understanding a client’s needs and the business challenges they face.’

‘Michael Moore – superb people person who is pragmatic and commercial in his approach. A real heavyweight in the local legal community who is well respected by his clients.’

‘The culture at Paris Smith is to provide a quality, high end service without any attempt to intimidate or be pretentious. Paris Smith very much have their feet on the ground whilst retaining the reliable professionalism that you would expect.’

‘Richard Atcherley was the partner in charge of acting for me on two back to back business sales. He was calm and assured throughout both transactions, used his experience to overcome the inevitable bumps in the road and dealt with the purchasers solicitor productively and without ruffling feathers.’

‘Great bandwidth across the various elements of commercial and corporate law and strength in depth.’

Key clients

Haskins Garden Centres Limited

Meachers Global Logistics Limited

Churches Fire Security Limited

Halo Accident Repair Centre Limited

Totalmobile

The Rick Stein Group

Berry Telecom Limited

Dolphin Homes Limited

Associated British Ports Plc

Hobbycraft Trading Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the shareholders of Halo Accident Repair Centre Limited to IRS Group, a PE-backed fast-growing firm with vehicle repair operations in Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden.
  • Acted for PE backed Totalmobile Limited in its largest acquisition so far of Cognito IQ Limited, a Newbury based provider of Field Service management software and its US based subsidiary, Cognito IQ Inc. to add to its suite of software solutions.
  • Corporate team advised Nineteen21 Limited (trading as ismybillfair.com) on a rights issue combined with a media credit investment made by ITV.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Hampshire Tier 2

Paris Smith LLP‘s corporate and commercial disputes offering operates as part of the firm’s national dispute resolution team, which is led by David Eminton from the Southampton office, and acts for clients across the finance, recruitment, manufacturing, property and retail sectors. Helen Brown heads up the Southampton-based corporate disputes team, with experience in director and shareholder disputes, warranty claims, and earn-outs and deferred considerations. Chistopher Holliss, also in Southampton, leads the commercial disputes, asset and debt recovery team, where he complements his expertise in the banking sector with a developing focus on handling disputes in the pharmaceuticals sector, which sees him navigating complex and novel issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Practice head(s):

David Eminton; Helen Brown; Christopher Holliss

Testimonials

‘Paris Smith provide the gold standard of commercial dispute resolution in Hampshire.’

‘A vast amount of expertise in this firm where nothing is too trivial or too daunting. Support staff right through to partners are efficient and effective.’

‘A great team with real experts in their field. Courtesy and transparency together with speed of response make them stand out from the crowd.’

‘They took time to understand our needs and accepted a fairly complex situation with complications caused by undertones of personal conflict.’

‘All round competence with a commercial stance adopted.’

‘Helen Brown took great care to listen to our case even though it was not ever going to be a large account. She gave us very clear options and worked hard to deflate what could have become a very costly personal dispute between directors. Her advice was always pertinent and thoughtful. Her approach was very reassuring and with no pressure.’

‘Chris Holliss – encyclopaedic knowledge of his practice area. Especially good on agency disputes. Always client-focused.’

‘Helen Brown – calm, assured, sensible, cogent individual with an appreciation of the commercial realities of the situation. Very strong technically.’

Key clients

Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery Limited

Hobbycraft Trading Limited

Barfoot Farms Limited

Rhymecare Limited

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 2

Paris Smith LLP is one of the largest debt finance teams in the South East advising on acquisitions, projects, general corporate banking matters and property and asset finance. The department is divided into three primary groups consisting of acquisition finance, property finance, project and asset finance with a client portfolio that includes retail banks, higher education institutions and leisure entities. The team, headed by James McNeil, has acted on matters involving in excess of £1bn of debt with notable clients such as Santander UK Plc. Liam Doughty  handles asset finance while Jonathon Roy specialises in acquisition finance.

Practice head(s):

James McNeil

Other key lawyers:

Jonathon Roy; Liam Doughty; Edward Watson; Stuart Allen; Ed Power; David Eminton

Testimonials

‘I have had dealings with Paris Smith for over 30 years through different organisations. In comparison to other firms I have always found them to be very helpful and extremely prompt when responding to urgent requests. Recently I have dealt with Liam Doughty and his property/banking team and all team members are readily available to discuss any challenging cases we may have and offer advice as the best way forward for their clients. I have personally found this to be invaluable.’

‘I have found Liam Doughty and his team to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful in all areas of banking related law. The other team members include Shaun Piesley, Fred Chandler and more recently Tom Fish. What I like about Paris Smith is their ability to nurture newly qualified talent and develop their skills with Liam’s overall guidance and support.’

‘Very easy to deal with, good sector knowledge and insight.’

‘They always answer the phone and provide necessary feedback, legal opinion and common sense advice. Always happy to talk to wider stakeholders.’

‘Liam Doughty is my go to person for more complex queries. An invaluable point of reference. I just don’t have that from any other practice.’

Key clients

Interbay Funding Ltd

Hampshire Trust Bank Plc

PCF Bank plc

Santander UK Plc

Chordis Capital Limited

Hampshire Sport

Leisure Holdings Limited

Yacht Havens Limited

Haskins Garden Centres

Stelling Properties Limited

Unilife Limited

National Westminster Bank plc

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Work highlights

  • Advised on the leveraged buyout of an independent trust company operating in Jersey, Hong Kong, Singapore, Anguilla and BVI., involving a global re-organisation and group-wide security.
  • Advised the BontexGeo Group on a LMA-based senior facilities agreement and all English law governed security documents in connection with a €44m funding package.
  • Advised Interbay Funding Ltd on the £26.5m term loan facility provided to a national residential lettings group to refinance a real estate portfolio of over 400 units.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Paris Smith LLP is a highly respected insolvency practice with a broad base of clients, acting for insolvency practitioners, directors, creditors, lenders, debtors and other stakeholders. Some of this work involves assisting insolvency office-holders in complying with their statutory duties and to effect realisations for the benefit of the creditor pool. The firm operates in a number of sectors including property and finance, Not-For-Profit, retail and leisure. Mike Pavitt heads the practice with expertise in contentious and non-contentious mandates in addition to technical advisory matters. Associate Christopher Parsons is a rated practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Mike Pavitt

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Parsons

Testimonials

‘A very approachable team with depth and strength of knowledge in the insolvency sector which is essential for my practice. Knowing that when I need their help I am going to receive quality and timely advice.’

‘A growing team that deserves more recognition, highly specialist and efficient. They act for all the major IPs on the south coast and cover both corporate and personal insolvency.’

‘Mike Pavitt is one of the leading insolvency lawyers on the South Coast. His knowledge of the area is detailed and vast, far exceeding many of his local competitors. Applied with practicality and care he achieves results others can only hope for. Chris Parsons is definitely one to watch out for the future. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable he will excel.’

‘This Southampton-based firm works hard at maintaining its longstanding and well-deserved reputation. Friendly, reliable and good value for money.’

‘Mike Pavitt is a great person to have on your side. He has an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of insolvency law and is completely reliable and trustworthy.’

‘The team are a close-knit family who look after each other and their clients. This is evident in their collaborative approach and friendly bedside manner. Whilst other firms can appear as a forced group of individuals practicing in the same area, Paris Smith demonstrate a great team ethos and collective approach.’

‘Mike Pavitt is an exemplary solicitor who demonstrates very strong and thorough ethical and technical prowess with a sense of fun and genuine warmth in his dealings with clients.’

‘Chris Parsons has a keen understanding of the law and combines this with a pragmatic and commercial approach to his assignments, bringing great value to his clients.’

Key clients

Beacon Licensed Insolvency Practitioners LLP

Hampshire Trust Bank

Interbay Funding Limited

James Cowper LLP

Interpath Limited

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Manolete Partners PLC

Portland Business & Financial Solutions Limited

Begbies Traynor Group PLC

SKSi Limited

Smith & Williamson LLP

Quantuma Advisory Limited / K3 Restructuring

Azets Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Manolete Partners PLC in a liquidation for breaches of duty against former directors and secured judgment with damages to be assessed against one de jure director.
  • Acted for Peter Hall Limited in connection with various legal issues and prospective claims against three directors.
  • Acted for Interpath Limited in connection with a lengthy dispute regarding a bankrupt’s estate assets.

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

Split across the firm’s Southampton and Winchester offices, Paris Smith LLP‘s tax and estate planning department handles all aspects of private client work for clients including landed estates, farmers, entrepreneurs, and businessowners. Isabel Deverill in Winchester is especially well known for her work on wills, trusts, and estates, while William Hadley focuses in particular on agricultural and business relief. Anthony Nixon joined the Southampton office from Irwin Mitchell as a consultant in September 2021, and brings both depth and breadth of experience. Jason Oliver heads the contentious probate and trusts disputes team.  

Practice head(s):

Kelly Greig

Other key lawyers:

Isabel Deverill; William Hadley; Anthony Nixon; Jason Oliver

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

Paris Smith LLP's charities and education practice is led by senior partner Nick Vaughan, who has more than 25 years' experience in the sector. He advises charities clients on a wide range of issues, but has particular expertise with regards to property matters. The Southampton-led team also includes practitioners who focus on intellectual property, commercial and employment.

Practice head(s):

Nick Vaughan

Key clients

Mayflower Theatre Trust

YMCA Fairthorne Group

Hampshire Cultural Trust

Work highlights

  • Advise the Mayflower Theatre Trust a whole range of matters from governance through to property and employment issues.
  • Advising Hampshire Cultural Trust on governance and property matters both leasehold and freehold.
  • Advising YMCA Fairthorne Group on all of its property matters, governance issues and supporting the trustees.

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

Paris Smith LLP covers design rights and copyright, but is particularly noteworthy for its expertise in trade mark portfolio management and related infringement work. Laura Trapnell heads the team and goes ‘beyond the call of duty‘ when advising clients from the tech industry or the food and drink sector. She works closely with Helen Brown, who counsels companies through litigation as well as on agreements pertaining to IP.

Practice head(s):

Laura Trapnell

Other key lawyers:

Crispin Dick; Helen Brown; Emily Sadler

Testimonials

‘The practice is highly competent in all the fields in which they have worked for me. The Intellectual Property team is very knowledgeable, but also always brings a high degree of pragmatism to any case which I value highly.’

‘Laura Trapnell combines in-depth knowledge of her subject with an ability to communicate key points clearly to people with little experience. She very effectively builds a rapport with those seeking IP advice, which is particularly valuable in working with start-up and early stage companies.’

‘Their IP team is friendly, offers good access and availability, is knowledgeable and cost-effective for us.’

‘Laura Trapnell and her team provide very professional support to knowledge-based companies in the region. Laura makes a great contribution to the entrepreneurial community by educating business leaders on the importance of intellectual property (in all its forms) and providing legal support in a way that is accessible to start-up and high-growth companies.’

‘Laura Trapnell worked closely with Paris Smith LLP partner Helen Brown and negotiated on our behalf, achieving the best settlement outcome possible. She was very supportive of us as clients suffering under stress. Her approach was very human and reassuring. She went ‘beyond the call of duty’ to ensure we achieved a result within an unreasonable time-frame set by an unreasonable third party.’

‘Laura Trapnell helps with technical inquiries as well as being exceptionally knowledgeable in their specialist areas. It feels like you have an indirect legal team at your disposal internally as a colleague.’

‘Laura Trapnell is an enthusiastic leader. She provides sensible and appropriate advice to entrepreneurs and business leaders.’

‘The team is knowledgeable and provides practical, relevant advice.’

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

  • Acted for The Libation Company Limited in respect of its appeal to the Appointed Person in the Trade Marks Registry.
  • Acted for Focal Point Fires Ltd in respect of infringement of their design rights, patents, and copyright.
  • Acting for Hildon Limited in respect of the management and administration of its international trade mark portfolio.

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

Tech SMEs entrust Paris Smith LLP to handle matters pertaining to data protection, e-commerce, and corporate transactions and restructurings. In addition to her IT expertise, clients may rely on practice head Laura Trapnell‘s proficiency in IP law. She regularly employs both in service of emerging tech companies.

Practice head(s):

Laura Trapnell

Other key lawyers:

Crispin Dick; Helen Brown; Christopher Holliss; Emily Sadler

Testimonials

‘The team has a good feel for the commercial needs of a small technology business. They can balance the legal situation with the commercial reality. They are good at working to an agreed budget.’

‘The team continues to provide us with excellent legal advice on our IT/telecoms contracts.’

‘Efficient, competent, and professional legal advice on a range of topics.’

‘They are responsive and straightforward. Laura Trapnell has always been easy to deal with, quick to respond and has given good advice.’

‘Emily Sadler and Ryan Mitchell have been uniformly excellent. The business advice that Paris Smith has offered has been excellent as well.’

Key clients

Loan Market Association

VisitorChat Limited

Quotall Limited

Squalk Limited

British Friendly Society

University of Southampton Science Park

Autofutura Limited

Feefo Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Autofutura Limited in respect of its global customer contracts in connection with its SaaS products for Retail and Fleet valuation.
  • Advising The Website Company on an agile software development agreement for a local website development company.
  • Advising Merchant Technology Marketing on contracts for the provision of website development for the Law Society and Oil Spill Response Services.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 4

Paris Smith LLP‘s team acts for clients across a range of sectors, with experience in the retail and leisure industries and a developing focus on telecoms matters. David Eminton leads the practice, and is well regarded for his work on high-value and complex dilapidations, while Cliff Morris has experience in boundary and right of way disputes. Nicola Davies, who was recently promoted to partner, is especially well regarded for her commercial landlord and tenant work. Associate Lucy Taggart is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

David Eminton

Testimonials

‘I have always found this team to be excellent not only in their advice to their clients but also their balanced view of the case. They are always quick to respond to queries and show a high level of patience in difficult situations.’

‘Extremely experienced in dispute resolution in property rental matters. Expert understanding of the relevant aspects of the legal system.’

‘Robust knowledge and experience in real estate matters. ‘

‘Paris Smith have an excellent knowledge of law relating to a variety of different fields. They are generally highly efficient and their staff are reachable and helpful.’

‘David Eminton – very experienced and competent. Nicola Davies – very capable, good on landlord and tenant matters.’

‘Nicola Davies: excellent in all respects.’

‘They are extremely professional and go out of their way to keep you informed of case progression on an ongoing basis, without having to chase. You can always rely on them to deliver a good result, particularly Lucy Taggart in commercial property issues.’

‘Lucy Taggart always keeps us up to date. Gives very good advice – very active and knowledgeable. An excellent solicitor. Highly recommend.’

Key clients

Lumen Technologies UK Limited

The Co-Operative Group Limited

Hillier Nurseries Limited

Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society

Hobbycraft Trading Limited

Richmond Motor Group

Marwell Zoological Park

Haven Leisure Group – part of Bourne Leisure Limited

YMCA Fairthorne

Millbrook Healthcare Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting on varied matters for the Bourne Leisure Group, including acting for Haven Leisure in implementing strategies to enable the redevelopment of individual premises by serving hostile s.25 Notices and opposing renewal claims brought by the tenants.
  • Assisting and advising Richmond Cars Limited on strategies to enable the client to fulfil its redevelopment plans and occupation of more space across the South Coast and in particular taking possession of leased commercial premises using grounds of opposition based on an intention to redevelop in order to do so.
  • Handling a complex Upper Tribunal claim for Southern Fisheries Limited that involved a lease that allowed a party to extract fish and to maintain the land.

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.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Senior partner Nick Vaughannicholas.vaughan@parissmith.co.uk023 8048 2482
Managing partner Peter Taylorpeter.taylor@parissmith.co.uk023 8048 2482
Head of Property John MansellJohn.mansell@parissmith.co.uk023 8048 2482
Head of Company & Commercial James McNeiljames.mcneil@parissmith.co.uk023 8048 2482
Head of Employment Clive Dobbinclive.dobbin@parissmith.co.uk023 8048 2482
Head of Business and commercial disputes David Emintondavid.eminton@parissmith.co.uk023 8048 2482
Head of Family Frank Priorfrank.prior@parissmith.co.uk023 8048 2482
Head of Tax and estate planning Kelly Greigkelly.greig@parissmith.co.uk023 8048 2179
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
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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.


CLIENT: DNA IC Ltd
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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
COMPANY/FIRM: Paris Smith LLP
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.