The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
10 NEW SQUARE, LINCOLN'S INN, LONDON, WC2A 3QG, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7465 4300
Fax:
Fax 020 7465 4400
DX:
40 LONDON CHANCERY LANE
Email:
Web:
www.phb.co.uk

London: Corporate and commercial

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m
M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m - ranked: tier 3

Payne Hicks Beach

Fox Williams LLP’s ‘responsive, client-oriented’ team is ‘practical’ and ‘good value for money’. It also ‘works well with in-house teams’, and has a ‘hugely helpful understanding of early-stage businesses’. ‘Practical, responsive’ practice head Richie Clark has strong experience in the natural resources, financial services and technology sectors: he acted for Constellation Software on its takeover of Bond International, and assisted Volaris Software with its purchase of Results Group’s business and assets. He also advised MIP on its acquisition of Cromptons Healthcare. Andrew Woolf acted for Cymba Technologies on its sale to Factset Research Systems, Paul Osborne advised Start Ventures on its sale of a 75% stake in StartJG Hong Kong, and Peter Faber assisted Antithesis Consulting Group with its purchase of Sustain. Directa Plus and Stifel Financial are recent client wins; more longstanding clients include SuperGroup, IFG Group, Charles Taylor plc and Plexus Holdings. Nick Sayers’s departure for Payne Hicks Beach in June 2016 was offset by the arrival of Guy Morgan from Stephenson Harwood in March 2017; Morgan is strong in public takeovers and equity capital markets.

Jonathan Gatward heads the team at Payne Hicks Beach, which saw Nick Sayers and senior associate Howard Taylor arrive from Fox Williams LLP in June 2016. Largely handling private M&A, often for family-owned companies, the practice is active across a wide range of sectors: Gatward, who is very active in the publishing and media space, advised Kings Road Publishing on its acquisition of John Blake Publishing, and assisted Legrand Electric with its purchase of Jontek. Max Baird-Smith acted for SIA Partners UK on its acquisition of Molten Holdings Group. Other clients include The Picture Library, Bonnier Publishing and Pineapple Holdings. Richard Cowan retired in May 2016.

[back to top]

Partnership
Partnership - ranked: tier 5

Payne Hicks Beach

Though traditionally a private client firm, Payne Hicks Beach has carved out a specialism in partnership law and is able to handle the gamut of partnership, LP and LLP issues. It made a number of significant additions in 2016: Max Baird-Smith joined from BDGS Associés, and Howard Taylor, an experienced associate, and Nick Sayers both came over from top-ranked Fox Williams LLP. Department head Jonathan Gatward has extensive contentious and non-contentious partnership experience and provides ongoing advice to clients such as Rayner Essex LLP in relation to all partnership and LLP matters. Richard Cowan retired in 2016.

[back to top]

London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 5

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach’s is ‘a strong, dedicated, mid-sized team offering excellent levels of service’. The firm’s disputes work includes banking, derivatives, shareholder disputes and insolvency; professional negligence; commercial disputes in the motor industry; and breach of warranty claims. The practice is also experienced in marine litigation; loan instrument disputes; and reputation management. Stephen Kingbrings his calm reassuring experience to bear’; Richard Manyon is ‘an excellent, confident performer’; and Dominic Crossley is a key contact. Senior associate Ane Vernon is ‘meticulous and fights hard for clients’.

[back to top]

London: Human resources

Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: senior executives - ranked: tier 3

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach’s practice regularly handles dismissals, injunction proceedings and Employment Tribunal claims. The team was strengthened by the arrival of Kevin James from Royds Withy King; he represented a City trader in an unfair dismissal and whistleblower claim valued at £20m. Practice head Peter McRoberts primarily acts for senior executives in the financial services sector, with particular expertise in reputational and health-related issues. Associate Chris Weaver often assists senior executives with contract negotiations, disciplinary proceedings and grievances.

[back to top]

London: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 2

Payne Hicks Beach

At Payne Hicks Beach, Alastair Murdie heads ‘a helpful, discreet and responsive team that provides robust advice that is always right. It has a number of outstanding performers’. Murdie is ‘a well-respected colossus in the field’; Robert Brodrick acts for trustees and owners of landed estates, primarily advising on tax and estate planning, and ‘does not miss a trick’; and the ‘absolutely brilliantJames Baconrelates really well with his clients’. The ‘responsiveRosamond McDowell’s covers contentious and non-contentious advisory, trust and probate work, acting for many families, agricultural landed estates, trustees and individuals. The firm ‘represents some of the country’s most substantial landowners’, acting for over 50 landed estates on private client and property matters. It is also experienced in farming business reorganisation and succession planning issues, and is increasingly active in relation to agricultural developments. The practice includes sophisticated tax matters, such as the maximisation of agricultural property relief and entrepreneurs’ relief, the protection of farmers from trespass, and the use of alternative energy schemes and diversification.

Leading individuals

Alastair Murdie - Payne Hicks Beach

Robert Brodrick - Payne Hicks Beach

[back to top]

Art and cultural property
Art and cultural property - ranked: tier 4

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach is experienced in advising private individuals, trustees, art dealers and charities, and has particular strength in the administration of extensive, high-value collections of art and associated trusts; there is ‘very little about the art and cultural property sectors that the firm has not mastered’. Practice head James Bacon has considerable knowledge of heritage property tax and niche expertise in the use of maintenance fund settlements for heritage land; ‘he has the ability to handle the most complex art and cultural property matters, and does all this sensitively’. Alastair Murdie’s work for significant landed estates includes regularly advising on the legal and tax implications of large art collections owned by his clients.

[back to top]

Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

Payne Hicks Beach

The team at Payne Hicks Beach provides ‘excellent, quick and clear advice. It does not just find problems but actually focuses on finding solutions’; it is ‘an impressive practice that is acting in high-value and prestigious cases, and handles both onshore and offshore work well’. The ‘very astute and pragmaticStephen King heads the department and is ‘terrific with clients’. Richard Manyonhas great presence and is tactically and strategically very savvy, with a razor-sharp intellect’. Robert Brodrick has ‘huge amounts of experience’, and Dominic Crossley is ‘very clever’. Senior associate Ane Vernon is ‘tenacious in pursuing the best possible outcome for her clients and has an excellent manner, always going the extra mile to put them at ease’. The team is acting for Swiss trustees in a substantial breach of trust claim involving complex cross-border and conflict of law issues, concerning alleged excessive distributions by the former trustees.

Next generation lawyers

Ane Vernon - Payne Hicks Beach

[back to top]

Family
Family - ranked: tier 1

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach provides ‘an unrivalled service that is discreet and client-focused, and it has an extremely clever team with some of the biggest names in London family law: it is an extraordinarily impressive firm’. ‘Hugely respected’ head of department Ian Aireyhas seen it all. He is an excellent strategist and is wonderful with clients’. Fiona Shackleton has ‘vast experience and is extremely busy. She is a savvy and commercial family lawyer who is passionate about protecting her clients’ interests. She attracts a large number of individuals with a high media profile, and is frequently involved in the leading cases’. The ‘phenomenally knowledgeablePhilip McGuirk is ‘highly effective and achieves good results for his clients without drama or blood on the carpet’, and Matthew Booth is ‘a thoughtful, clever and very charming individual. Simon Beccle is ‘a magnet for A-list clients’, and Fiona Browncombines her vast intelligence with great personal charm and commitment to her clients’. Among the associates, the ‘fearless, charming and pragmaticBen Parry-Smithpunches well above his weight and already does top-quality work – he is one to watch’; Emily Foy is ‘clever and thorough’; and Andrew Toseis a highly experienced family litigator who has well-honed skills in the field, knowing just when to push hard and when to reach agreement.

Leading individuals

Fiona Shackleton - Payne Hicks Beach

Ian Airey - Payne Hicks Beach

Philip McGuirk - Payne Hicks Beach

Next generation lawyers

Ben Parry-Smith - Payne Hicks Beach

Emily Foy - Payne Hicks Beach

[back to top]

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

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach is ‘a real quality firm. It does not offer unnecessary frills for show. It provides a client-focused, discreet and hugely effective service to national and international clients. It is fully capable of handling billion-pound matters with the confidence and accuracy that clients demand’. Robert Brodrickoffers a high level of technical expertise and is able to explain the details in simple and plain English. He makes the entire process as simple as possible, thus avoiding unnecessary stress and cost’. Frederick Bjørn is ‘responsive and helpful, and has an extremely impressive grasp of the law’. Rosamond McDowell’s ‘strengths are that she has great empathy yet at the same time is scarily efficient. She masters the detail but still sees the bigger picture’. Basil Dixonconstantly proves his worth. He handles the most complex and weighty affairs of global families with huge assurance’. Consultant Christopher Slyhas a nice manner and is excellent technically’. The firm’s clients feature in the Sunday Times Rich List, Forbes 400 and the Arabian Business Rich List, and the team also acts for some of the UK’s oldest and largest estates. The practice includes advising on the tax aspects of pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and structuring divorce settlements involving trusts and international assets.

Leading individuals

Frederick Bjørn - Payne Hicks Beach

Robert Brodrick - Payne Hicks Beach

Rosamond McDowell - Payne Hicks Beach

[back to top]

London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 5

Payne Hicks Beach

Commercial property: general - ranked: tier 5

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach continued to handle a range of investment and development deals for the firm’s array of landed estate clients and high-net-worth individuals. The ‘very commercially minded and astuteAndrew Berry leads the team and advised Home Counties landed estate on the prospective development of 90 acres of its agricultural holdings for several thousand units of commercial, residential development, community-use and care homes; he also assisted another landed estate with the negotiation of terms for a mixed-use housing development in Yorkshire. Another name to note is Richard Stapylton-Smith, who assisted a Middle Eastern Consortium with the £15m sale refurbished high-end flats in South Kensington. The team also acts for a number of corporate occupiers with large portfolios.

[back to top]

Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach’s ‘small but very effective team’ is led by ‘impressive talentAndrew Tugwell. The group acts for major corporate occupiers, high-net-worth individuals, landowners and developers, and clients include Saga Group, Cola Holdings, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK Payments group of companies and Snap-on. Tugwell is highly regarded for his expertise in valuation cases and matters involving estate agents, and the ‘extremely tenaciousMatthew Spring, who is ‘a masterful strategist and is technically and legally razor sharp’, is recognised as the key individual for residential matters and leasehold enfranchisement disputes. In a recent highlight, Tugwell led advice to GMS Estates on the property litigation elements of the redesign and development of a new shopping area.

[back to top]

Residential property
Residential property - ranked: tier 3

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach’s team advises across a wide variety of residential property issues, spanning land sales, residential property purchases and sales, and leasehold enfranchisement issues. The group works closely with the firm’s private client practice acting for high-net-worth individuals based in the UK and overseas. Andrew Berry, who heads the firm’s property practice, is highly regarded for his advice to high-net-worth individuals and landowners; he is also the key individual in the firm for advice to Middle Eastern clients. Richard Stapylton-Smith specialises in advising foreign nationals and Justin Dunlop is a key name for investment mandates.

[back to top]

London: Risk advisory

Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 3

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach has notable expertise in the private client space, and the firm regularly handles reputation management and privacy matters for clients such as Steve Coogan and Richard Lyttelton. The ‘faultless’ department is led by the ‘strategically smartDominic Crossley, whose recent work includes representing Issam Khorani in a high-profile libel and harassment dispute relating to anonymous internet comments and public demonstrations, advising the Dowler Family on media interest and harassment issues, and acting for Nelson Piquet Jr in a libel matter. Other names to note include Sarah Webb, who has ‘sound mature judgement, concern for the client’s needs and an ability to put forward arguments in a robust yet respectful way’; assistant solicitors Andrew Willan and Emily Gailey; and Hanna Basha, who joined from Hill Dickinson LLP in 2017.

[back to top]

London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 5

Payne Hicks Beach

Sailing, equestrian sports and motorsport are the core strengths of Payne Hicks Beach’s team, which is headed by Jonathan Gatward. Consultant and sailing expert Richard Butcher acted for Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation on a fundraising collaboration with the Royal Yachting Association, and on an agreement with the 1851 Trust for a sailing project to encourage young people to sail. He also advised Olympic sailors Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves on a sponsorship agreement with Pensato Capital. Litigator Dominic Crossley has longstanding experience in representing high-profile individuals in harassment, defamation and breach of privacy cases. Equestrian specialist Sarah Webb is recommended for commercial litigation. Defamation, privacy and breach of confidence expert Hanna Basha joined from Hill Dickinson LLP in May 2017.

[back to top]


Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to