The Legal 500

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10 NEW SQUARE, LINCOLN'S INN, LONDON, WC2A 3QG, ENGLAND
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Work 020 7465 4300
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Fax 020 7465 4400
DX:
40 LONDON CHANCERY LANE
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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

The team at Payne Hicks Beach is known for advising ultra-high-net-worth individuals and family offices, predominantly in the financial services, technology, hotels and property, automotive and publishing sectors. Head of corporate Jonathan Gatward and head of M&A Nick Sayers advised Fairfield Industries on its acquisition of WGP Group and its subsidiaries from surveying services company Thalassa Holdings, and Gatward also acted for Legrand Electric on its acquisition of monitoring software developer Jontek. Senior associate Howard Taylor and solicitors Marcia Kidd and Isobel Symonds are also key members of the team, whose other clients include Bonnier Publishing, DNA Fit, Pineapple Holdings and Typhoo Tea. Max Baird-Smith moved to Gide Loyrette Nouel LLP.

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Partnership
Partnership - ranked: tier 5

Payne Hicks Beach

The team at Payne Hicks Beach handles matters throughout the life-cycle of partnerships, including structuring, administration and dissolution. The group has a particular focus on farming partnerships and professional practices, and (drawing on the firm’s significant private client capabilities) advises high net worth individuals seeking tax structures and property joint ventures through partnership vehicles. The group is led by Jonathan Gatward, who is instructed on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Nick Sayers, who is principally a transactional lawyer, has substantial experience in partnership mergers and the use of partnerships as investment vehicles.

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London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 5

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach is 'a fine niche firm carrying out high-profile litigation'. Its disputes work includes the finance, automobile media and hotels sectors. Other areas of strength include professional negligence, breach of warranty claims, property loan instrument disputes, defamation, judicial review and civil fraud. The practice acted for Valhalla in a claim against Coutts & Co, which related to the mis-sale of an interest rate hedging product. The recommended names are dispute resolution head Stephen King, Richard Manyon and Dominic Crossley; and senior associate Ane Vernon is 'a meticulous lawyer who will really fight her client’s corner'. Defamation, privacy and breach of confidence specialist Hanna Basha recently joined from Hill Dickinson LLP.

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London: Human resources

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

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach 'punches above its weight' and specialises in disciplinary and regulatory issues, discrimination claims, pay issues, contractual work and financial settlement matters. Department head Peter McRoberts handles reputational and health-related issues; clients praise him as 'a strong advocate for his clients' interests and fights for their cause with empathy and understanding'. Recent highlights include acting in age discrimination disputes, handling unfair dismissal mandates and representing individuals in whistleblowing and sex discrimination claims. Associate Chris Weaver is also a name to note.

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Immigration
Immigration: business - ranked: tier 6

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach’s citizenship and immigration department provides ‘clear and practical advice’ for high-net-worth individuals particularly from the US, the Middle East, India, Turkey and South America. It also advises UK companies across the arts, fashion, financial services, and the not-for-profit sectors on immigration requirements and obligations. Team head Kathryn Bradbury ’s ‘client service is second to none; she goes the extra mile to devise a solution for her clients, is extremely professional, and quickly puts any client at ease’; and is an ‘excellent tactician and this results in excellent outcomes for clients with even the most complicated cases’.

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London: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 2

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach  acts for the owners of over 50 landed estates varying in size from 750 acres to well over 30,000 acres and is increasingly advising on farming business reorganisations and succession planning work in addition to undertaking a substantial amount of agricultural development work. Practice head Alastair Murdie  is recommended along with Robert Brodrick  who acts for both trustees and owners of landed estates primarily advising on tax and estate planning. Rosamond McDowell ’s practice spans contentious and non-contentious advisory, estate planning, trust and probate work. McDowell provides ‘sound and accessible advice and always goes the extra mile for her clients’. The group advises on the full array of matters from sophisticated tax matters such as maximising agricultural property relief and entrepreneurs’ relief to advising on protecting farmers from trespass and the use of alternative energy schemes and diversification.

Leading individuals

Alastair Murdie - Payne Hicks Beach

Robert Brodrick - Payne Hicks Beach

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

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach  has a ‘team that is excellent in every way’. It is adept at advising private individuals, trustees, art dealers and charities and has particular expertise in the administration of high value and extensive collections of art and the trusts associated with these collections. James Bacon heads the art and cultural property team and is well regarded for his work on heritage property taxation. Bacon has niche expertise in the use of maintenance fund settlements for land. His clients include owners of very substantial art collections and landed estates. Alastair Murdie , who is the head of private client, routinely handles the legal and tax implications of large art collections owned by his clients. Murdie is experienced at advising on conditional exemptions as well as handling applications for the creation of maintenance funds. The team is also well-regarded for its experience in the resolution of disputes and the recovery of misappropriated items.

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

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach  is ‘regularly involved in very significant disputes both on the beneficiary and trustee side and continues to successfully build its reputation in this area’. Richard Manyon  is a ‘rising superstar with tremendous intellect and a lot of commercial nous’ and the ‘hugely knowledgeable and experienced’ Stephen King  is ‘great to have on your side and never misses anything’. Rosamond McDowell provides ‘sound and accessible advice to clients and always goes the extra mile for them’ and Dominic Crossley  ‘really fights his clients’ corner and remains calm under pressure while adding considerable value both tactically and legally’. Ane Vernon is a ‘very capable lawyer who builds up an excellent rapport with her clients who trust her implicitly’ and Emily Stoneham is also a ‘strong solicitor with good drafting skills’. The team continues to act for a Swiss trustee in relation to a substantial breach of trust claim over alleged excessive distributions by the former trustees.

Next generation lawyers

Ane Vernon - Payne Hicks Beach

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 1

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach ‘occupies a favoured position in the pantheon of private client firms offering a sophisticated and refined level of service in the most high-profile cases’. Ian Airey  is ‘hugely respected’ and Fiona Shackleton  is ‘probably the most celebrated family lawyer of her generation. She has unsurpassable client care skills and a sixth sense at sorting out cases’. Philip McGuirk is a ‘bright and engaging lawyer who knows the law inside out’ and Matthew Booth is a ‘very safe pair of hands indeed’. Simon Beccle has an ‘extraordinarily impressive case load. He is one of the very few family finance solicitors to have appeared in both the House of Lords and the Supreme Court’. Consultant Fiona Brown is a ‘superb forensic sleuth’. Newly promoted partner Ben Parry-Smith  is ‘supremely competent and gifted at negotiation’. It is recommended for its skill at advising on all aspects of family and matrimonial law.

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

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

Payne Hicks Beach

Key figures at Payne Hicks Beach include Rosamond McDowell receives a lot of plaudits, who has ‘high technical skills, is efficient and deals brilliantly with very difficult and sensitive problems’. The ‘responsive’ Frederick Bjørn ‘stays on top of detail’. Robert Brodrick ’s practice is divided into three main geographic areas of clients namely the Middle East, US/UK and UK domestic (which also includes UK resident non-doms). Basil Dixon advises a primarily international client base of ultra-high-net-worth clients. The team is adept at advising high-net worth clients from the UK and internationally. The group advises on a mix of international and domestic work with continued instructions from Scandinavia and the Middle East. It advises on a broad array of matters such as advising some of the UK’s oldest and largest estates to having extensive experience of advising on the tax aspects of pre-and post-nuptial agreements and the structuring of divorce settlements especially those involving trusts and international assets.

Leading individuals

Frederick Bjorn - Payne Hicks Beach

Robert Brodrick - Payne Hicks Beach

Rosamond McDowell - Payne Hicks Beach

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 5

Payne Hicks Beach

When it comes to private client instructions, Payne Hicks Beach is ‘perhaps the very best firm in the market’. In the context of real estate, this expertise is reflected in high-value investment and development work carried out for family offices, high-net-worth individuals and landed estates. Department head Andrew Berry is advising a group of European investors on the development of a West London property portfolio, and is also assisting a Eurasian billionaire with various acquisitions and refurbishments in London. On the investment and management side, Richard Stapylton-Smith assisted an estate client with the disposal of a large residential scheme, and Justin Dunlop advised an investment company on its acquisition of multiple floors of a Central London premises. The team has also handled strategic sales and acquisitions in the hotel sector. Solicitor Antonia Cosby joined from Forsters LLP.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

Payne Hicks Beach

Andrew Tugwell heads the team at Payne Hicks Beach and is well-regarded for his work on complex valuation cases and estate agent issues. Tugwell is singled out as a ‘great solicitor’ and has been advising estate agencies such as your-move.co.uk and parent company LSL Property Services on matters including lease renewals, nuisance, dilapidations and injunction proceedings. Partner Matthew Spring is an important member of the team and ‘works hard for clients, pushing difficult points well’. Spring specialises on residential matters and leasehold enfranchisement disputes and is handling a Court of Appeal matter concerning lease consents in the context of right to manage companies. Scott Goldstein has joined the team from B P Collins LLP while Andrea Yiakoumetti has been promoted to Associate. Clients for the firm include Fiat, Atari, Telereal Trillium and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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Residential property
Residential property - ranked: tier 2

Payne Hicks Beach

The team at Payne Hicks Beach has ‘outstanding skills and is a pleasure to deal with’. It advises on a wide range of residential property issues, spanning purchases and sales, leasehold enfranchisement, lease extensions, collective acquisitions and development option agreements. The practice has been bolstered by the arrivals of Antonia Cosby and Penny Miller who joined the firm from Forsters LLP and Underwoods Solicitors respectively. Andrew Berry heads the group and is well-regarded for his knowledge of prime Central London property. Richard Stapylton-Smith specialises in advising foreign nationals with the firm acting for a number of clients from Europe, the United States, the Middle East, India, Scandinavia and the Far-East. Clients include property developers, corporate occupiers, property investors and landowners. In a recent highlight, the group acted for an Asian Billionaire in the purchase of a Marylebone penthouse apartment valued in excess of £10m.

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London: Risk advisory

Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 3

Payne Hicks Beach

Payne Hicks Beach acts for high-net-worth individuals, commercial organisations and publishers. Dominic Crossley led the team advising Max Mosley on media and data protection issues. Hanna Basha  and Nick Grant  joined the team from Hill Dickinson LLP; Hanna's work includes acting for Everton FC in relation to various media issues including the removal of allegations printed by the Telegraph and securing apologies for allegations which were broadcast and appeared in the press. Sarah Webb has retired.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 5

Payne Hicks Beach

Traditionally strong in sailing, equestrian sports and motorsports, Payne Hicks Beach's practice has been increasingly active in football and boxing thanks to the arrival of Hanna Basha from Hill Dickinson LLP in 2017; she is an expert in defamation, privacy and data protection, and advised Everton FC on several media-related issues. Her other clients include boxing luminaries Frank Bruno and Don King. Sailing expert Jonathan Gatward heads the department; Sarah Webb is recommended for equestrian matters, particularly horse transaction contracts. Dominic Crossley is recommended for litigation, and is especially experienced in motorsports. DNAFit, Pineapple Dance Studios and the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation are longstanding clients of the team; Kalle Sauerland is a recent client win.

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