The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
TIME CENTRAL, 32 GALLOWGATE, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, NE1 4BF, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0191 211 7777
Fax:
Fax 0191 211 7788
DX:
61011 NEWCASTLE U TYNE
Email:
Web:
www.muckle-llp.com

North: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Newcastle
Corporate and commercial: Newcastle - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP is noted for its strong regional presence, upon which it has built outstanding corporate and commercial teams, under the leadership of the 'knowledgeable, pragmatic and strategic' Andrew Davison. The corporate practice focuses on M&A and private equity, both of which are specialisms for Anthony Evans. In 2018, the commercial group benefitted from the arrival of consultant Robin Adams, who joined from  Collingwood Legal. Adam Rayner focuses on corporate finance and company law matters.

Practice head(s):Andrew Davison

Other key lawyers:Anthony Evans; Adam Rayner; Hugh Welch; Philip Clare; Robin Adams; Matthew Walsh; Sarah Forster

Testimonials

'Client focused team'

'Able to deliver clear and concise professional advice'

'Anthony Evan has fierce intelligence and foresees how events will develop'

Key Clients

LDC Private Equity

CriSeren Foods Limited

Fairstone Group Limited

Newcells Biotech Limited

NVM Private Equity

The Naked Deli Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised LDC Private Equity, the UK’s leading mid-market private equity investor, on its secondary buy-out of Synova Capital from Mandata.
  • Advised CriSeren Foods on the sale of two businesses, Northumbrian Fine Foods and Walnut Tree Foods, simultaneously to the same French buyer, Biscuit International.
  • Advised Transforming Training with Technology Limited on its acquisition of the Scottish registered Survivex Group.
  • Advised Portion Pack Europe Holding on the acquisition by its UK subsidiary, Single Source Limited, of CustomPack Limited from Selecta.
  • Advised NVM on investment of £2.75m of growth capital into Ridge Pharma Limited.
Leading individuals

Andrew Davison - Muckle LLP

Anthony Evans - Muckle LLP

Next Generation Partners

Adam Rayner - Muckle LLP

[back to top]

North: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Newcastle
Commercial litigation: Newcastle - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP

Newcastle heavyweight Muckle LLP provides a wide variety of dispute resolution services, drawing on the firm's wider expertise in IT and technology, shipping and the construction sector. The team has also developed an active international arbitration practice, acting for a range clients across Europe. Practice head Susan Howe specialises in financial asset tracing and freezing orders, often acting in complex multi-party and cross-jurisdictional litigation.

Practice head(s):Susan Howe

Other key lawyers:George Festing; Leah Heatley

Testimonials

'What makes Muckle really special is that they understand that ultimately, any dispute resolution process has to achieve a commercial outcome for the client'

'Susan Howe is an extremely bright and creative litigator and is very commercially astute'

'Their dynamism and tenacity compare very favourably with litigation departments across the country'

Key Clients

Celtic Aerospace Ventures

Caribbean Premier League

NG Bailey Group

Mr Jeff Winn/Winn Solicitors Limited/On-Hire

Andy Taylor (Duran Duran)

Work highlights

  • The firm continues to be instructed by CAV and SNK in relation to a multi-million pound warranty claim following the acquisition of its business.
  • The firm is acting on a high value and complex contractual claim on behalf of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), an annual Twenty20 Cricket tournament held in the Caribbean.
  • Acting for Andy Taylor on matters arising from the litigation between the members of Duran Duran and Gloucester Place Music Limited, part of Sony/ATV.
Leading individuals

Susan Howe - Muckle LLP

Next Generation Partners

Leah Heatley - Muckle LLP

[back to top]

Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP

The team at Newcastle powerhouse Muckle LLP handles debt recovery matters alongside local and national enforcement officers and insolvency practitioners, utilising a state-of-the-art debt collection case management system which allows clients to track the progress of their matters. The team is led by Beverley Oliver, who is an expert in procedures for both commercial and consumer debts. The firm's panel appointments include the National Higher Education Procurement Consortia and the Crown Commercial Service. Kelly Jordan, who was promoted to partner in 2018, is another key name.

Practice head(s):Beverley Oliver

Other key lawyers:Kelly Jordan; Katie Barrett

Testimonials

'Beverley Oliver is fantastic to work with; she deals with matters quickly and in a no-nonsense manner'

'The collection team responds very quickly to queries and use multiple methods of chasing the customer offering regular updates'

'Always helpful'

Key Clients

Soil Environmental Services

Smith Marston

Anglia Telecom Centres

Kaefer

CC Recovery Solutions

Work highlights

  • The team was instructed to collect a debt.
  • The team was was instructed to collect a debt.
  • The team was was instructed to collect a debt.
Leading individuals

Beverley Oliver - Muckle LLP

Next Generation Partners

Kelly Jordan - Muckle LLP

[back to top]

North: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP provides the spectrum of services to banks, financial institutions, corporates and individuals, as borrowers and lenders, seeking banking, finance and fundraising advice. Key areas of expertise for the team include refinancing, acquisition finance, turnarounds and debt restructuring. The 'reliable' Louise Duffy leads the team, which includes senior associate Nicola Nutley, who is developing a niche in healthcare funding and funding into the registered provider and education sectors.

Practice head(s):Louise Duffy

Other key lawyers:Kevin Maloney; Gail Bennett; Nicola Nutley

Testimonials

'Louise Duffy is an excellent role model for the team and has a great level of experience'

'Nicola Nutley is a technical expert who can always be relied on to do an excellent job'

'The team is very practical, helpful and always provides excellent client service'

Key Clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

Lloyds Bank plc/Bank of Scotland plc

Santander UK plc

Home Group

Newcastle Building Society

Work highlights

  • Advised mid-market private equity investor LDC, with the banking aspects of a £20m private equity investment into Mandata Group.
  • Advised HSBC on its funding of Cowell’s Garden Centre Limited.
  • Advised on the banking aspects on the sale of Northumbrian Fine Foods to Biscuit International (a French company) from CriSeren Foods.
Leading individuals

Louise Duffy - Muckle LLP

Rising stars

Nicola Nutley - Muckle LLP

[back to top]

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

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP's team is frequently instructed by insolvency practitioners on coplex pre-pack administrations, in addition to advising businesses in distress and secured lenders on debt recovery. The multi-disciplinary team combines restructuring and insolvency specialists with experts in other areas, such as real estate, employment, and banking and finance. Practice head Kelly Jordan focuses on transactional corporate recovery work.

Practice head(s):Kelly Jordan

Testimonials

'The team is extremely knowledgeable in the insolvency and corporate recovery side of work'

'Very pro-active with their assessment of any issues that may arise'

'Accessible and experienced in their field'

Key Clients

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

RMT Accountants & Business Advisors Limited

FRP Advisory LLP

Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

Baldwins Restructuring & Insolvency LLP

Leather Matthews Restructuring LLP

Northpoint Associates Limited

Handelsbanken plc

KPMG LLP

KRE (North East) Limited

O’Brien Aggregates Marsden Limited

Work highlights

  • Following months of discussions with administrators, the firm helped O’Brien Aggregate Marsden acquire Marsden Quarry, saving around 30 jobs put at risk following the collapse of civil engineering firm, Owen Pugh.

  • Kelly advised Dynamic Distance Learning on the sale of its business and assets prior to it going into creditors’ voluntary liquidation.

[back to top]

North: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP

Chris Maddock leads the team at Muckle LLP that includes Tony McPhillips, who is particularly well-known for his national sports related employment practice, and solicitor Roland Fairlamb, who joined from Swinburne Maddison in 2018. The firm has a range of expertise in the area, from executive appointments and terminations to inquiries and investigations, as well as offering bespoke employment law training. The team acts for employers in major commercial fields, notably educational institutions, sporting organisations and charities.

Practice head(s):Chris Maddock

Other key lawyers:Tony McPhillips; Jill Donabie

Testimonials

'The team demonstrate a specialised understanding of the education sector, particularly regarding multi academy trusts'

'They provide a blend of HR, governance and commercial expertise'

'Solution are pragmatic and well thought out'

'Jill Donabie has exceptional employment and education knowledge'

Key Clients

Sunderland Association Football Club

NG Bailey

The Football Association

Newcastle Building Society

Bishop Auckland College

Bonnier Publishing Group

Education Development Trust

Durham Cricket CIC

Silentnight Group

Hill & Smith

Work highlights

  • Obtained emergency interim relief for an insurance brokerage business to prevent a team move by approximately nine employees  to join a competing business. At the time of drafting, High Court proceedings in the matter continue and are likely to continue into 2019.
  • Advised an education charity on the transfer in of 200 staff from three different providers as a consequence of a public sector tender win. The outgoing employers refused to co-operate with our client in relation to the transfer process. This required substantial TUPE and restructuring advice within a very short period of time.
  • Advised an education charity on issues regarding the conclusion of a senior management secondment in the UAE and the potential considerations around the relocation of the affected employee to Saudi Arabia or their repatriation to the UK.
  • Advised A North West manufacturing client on all employment law aspects of a factory-wide restructure of roles and responsibilities across all roles, covering 250 plus employees.
Leading individuals

Tony McPhillips - Muckle LLP

[back to top]

North: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 4

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP's practice works across a range of matters in the agricultural and estates area, including acting for landed estates in their rural portfolio management, dealing with historic property ownership issues and agricultural property disputes. David Towns leads the team and has a particular focus on landed estate management, sporting rights and minerals rights. His team includes senior associate Elizabeth Earle, who has experience acting for a range of private individuals, trusts and charities, notably in estate management and rural property work.

Practice head(s):David Towns

Other key lawyers:Elizabeth Earle

Testimonials

'A genuine specialism and expertise in agriculture and manorial rights, as well as mines and minerals.'

'Client-focused and solution-oriented people in the agricultural team, with a strong regional profile for minerals knowledge.'

'Background knowledge, clear thinking, accurate analysis and clear advice.'

'David Towns is a go-to partner for minerals advice, and knowledge surrounding manorial rights.'

'Elizabeth Earle is a highly competent practitioner in non-contentious landlord and tenant matters, who is able to find the straightforward and effective solution to a legal problem.'

Key Clients

Lonsdale Settled Estates

The Boughton Estates

Muncaster Castle Estate

Northumberland Estates

Allendale Estates

O’Brien Aggregate Marsden

Viscount Lowther’s Trust

Work highlights

  • Private ownership of minerals in respect of a proposed, new deep coal mine site in Cumbria. The firm acts for a local landed estate in respect of arrangements with the mine operator.
  • Acting for the Allendale Estate U Fund in respect of its manorial rights and minerals interests in Northumberland and Yorkshire.
  • Acting for a local farmer in a nuisance to property dispute caused by deliberate channelling of water.
  • Advising a landowner farmer on documentation relating to an underground conveyor system for a proposed new deep coal mine.
  • Advising a freehold quarry owner in North East England. Part of the title was unregistered due to missing or never completed documents.

[back to top]

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP¬†provides a full range of services to charity clients nationwide, including advising on corporate governance, fundraising, mergers, employment, property and tax issues. The firm is particularly well known in the sports and education sectors. The ‚Äėoutstanding advocate in charity law and business‚Äô John Devine¬†leads the practice and specialises in sports and finding innovative solutions to legal issues for high-profile clients.

Practice head(s):John Devine

Testimonials

'Due to Muckle's size they are able to tap into a wealth of specialists.'

'The practice has a real understanding of the operating environment and takes the time to get to the root of issues rather than looking for a quick fix.'

'Whatever the task Muckle engages with the appropriate resources efficiently and effectively.'

'John Devine has deep knowledge of and empathy with the charitable sector.'

'George Festing always takes care to really understand all the elements of an issue.'

Key Clients

The Great North Air Ambulance Service

The Alnwick Garden Trust

The Greggs Foundation (official affiliated charity of Greggs PLC)

The Premier League Charitable Fund

North Music Trust (The Sage Gateshead music venue)

Chelsea FC Foundation

British Airways' Concorde Club

The Auckland Castle Trust

Tyneside Cinema

St Cuthbert’s Care (incorporating The Alan Shearer Foundation)

Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF)

Newcastle University Students' Union

Mental Health Concern (Concern Group)

QPR in the Community Trust

parkrun Global

Work highlights

  • Advise The Auckland Castle Trust to preserve the castle as a visitor attraction in Bishop Auckland. Work includes advising on the incorporation of a project-related trading subsidiary including appropriate legal structures, different types of trading, governance issues and property issues.
Leading individuals

John Devine - Muckle LLP

[back to top]

Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 4

Muckle LLP

Keith Hately leads the Muckle LLP practice known for representing business owners, company directors and senior executives, as well as wealthy individuals and their families. Expert in personal estate planning for business clients Julie Garbutt joined as a senior associate from Sintons LLP in 2018. The team was further strengthened by the arrivals of agriculture, estates and property specialists David Towns and senior associate Elizabeth Earle from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2018.

Practice head(s):Keith Hately

Other key lawyers:Julie Garbutt; David Towns; Elizabeth Earle

Testimonials

'The firm has a continual dedication to providing their clients with top quality advice and a proven commitment to client focused service of the highest level.'

'Where issues require other forms of legal expertise the firm's comprehensive coverage of all aspects of law is incredibly useful.'

'The Muckle team is well-established and focuses on its core business strengths within the local marketplace.'

'The individuals are always professional, knowledgeable and willing to work collaboratively on client matters to ensure an appropriate outcome.'

'Keith Hately and Julie Garbutt use their vast combined experience to understand the needs and viewpoints of business owners and always respond well and intelligently to individual client requirements.'

'Keith Hately has proven himself time and again to be the go-to trusts and probate lawyer in Newcastle. He has wide ranging technical knowledge, coupled with a genuine and heart felt determination to look after his clients and ensure that they receive appropriate advice.'

'Keith Hately is considered a very safe pair of hands for clients and is able to flex his style to work successfully with a range of personalities.'

'Julie Garbutt is a class act with clients and her straightforward, no nonsense approach always goes down well and ensures good results.'

[back to top]

North: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP's practice has experience in a range of energy sectors spanning oil and gas, nuclear and renewables. The multi-disciplinary team is led by 'tower of strength' Andrew Davison, who is most noted for his work on the corporate aspects of energy projects and has an active transactional practice. Development work is handled by Libbie Henderson, who specialises in energy, waste and minerals, drawing on a strong background in land-based wind, solar and nuclear energy projects.

Practice head(s):Andrew Davison

Other key lawyers:Libbie Henderson; Will McKay

Testimonials

'Muckle has an unfailing knack of making you feel like their most important client as soon as you walk through their door'

'First class, professional legal and business advice, to how to gain the oxygen of publicity necessary for strong business growth'

'Andrew Davison is a tower of strength; with impressive legal and business knowledge and an understanding of the energy sector combined to bring about a relationship of trust and results'

Key Clients

EDMI Europe

Studsvik

Port of Tyne

Guernsey Electricity

Penultimate Power UK

Work highlights

  • Acted for Port of Blyth in a development agreement for lease of a substantial new facility, purpose built for Royal IHC Limited.
  • Advised Avid Technology on a waste heat recovery contract for the construction of a waste heat recovery Unit.
  • Advised 55 Degrees Holding Limited, the vehicle used by the current managing director for the management buyout of Fabricom Offshore Services.
  • Advised Transforming Training with Technology and its private equity investor on the acquisition of Survivex Group.

[back to top]

North: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP has experience across the sector, acting for HE and FE institutions nationally, as well as multiple MATS, academy trusts and independent schools in the region. Tony McPhillips leads the practice and focuses on multi academy trusts, colleges and universities. Also notable in the team is Joanne Davison, who specialises in academies work.

Practice head(s):Tony McPhillips

Other key lawyers:Joanne Davison

Testimonials

'Muckle has a responsive, commercial and proactive approach'

'The firm has developed relationships with key stakeholders such as local authorities in the region and the department for education which means they understand how to progress matters in the most appropriate way in the sector'

Key Clients

Newcastle College Group

Tyne Coast College

Bishop Auckland College

Newcastle University

University of Northumbria

Sunderland University

SMART

Sedbergh School

Dame Allan’s Schools

Three Rivers Trust

Emmanuel Schools Foundation

River Tees MAT

East Durham College

Park View MAT

Balmoral MAT

Valour MAT

Southmoor MAT

NEAT MAT

Durham Diocesan MAT

Tyne Coast Academy Trust

Hadrian Learning Trust

Kenton MAT

CLV

Pele MAT

Balmoral MAT

1590 Trust

Dove

Work highlights

  • Continue to provide legal support to Newcastle University on the design and construction of the new teaching and learning facility at Richardson Road and the provision of advice regarding liabilities for replacement of plant within shared buildings.
  • Advised on the creation of the Pele Multi Academy Trust.
  • Advising as to whether the recipient (R.C. School) of a nil consideration transfer of land was in breach of the covenant restricting use, thus triggering an obligation to transfer back to The Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Providing a specialist service across multiple disciplines at Dame Allan’s Schools.
  • Providing training and support to Diocese of Durham Education Board by running  a programme for all Church of England schools across the Diocese.
Leading individuals

Tony McPhillips - Muckle LLP

[back to top]

North: Real estate

Commercial property: Newcastle
Commercial property: Newcastle - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP is the go-to firm for real estate clients in the education and sport sectors, alongside its more general real estate offering; and was appointed to the Crown Commercial Service panel in 2018, cementing its reputation with public sector clients. The group is instructed on transactions, portfolio management and joint ventures. Jonathan Combe leads the team, which includes David Towns (who joined from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2018) and transactional lawyer Gail Bennett.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Combe

Other key lawyers:Gail Bennett; Will McKay; David Towns; James Armstrong

Testimonials

'Excellent, pragmatic and knowledgeable service and good understanding of real estate in the North East of England'

'Jonathan Combe and James Armstrong in particular provide an exceptional service in term of advice, accuracy and speed of response'

'The diversity of expertise in the firm means that, as a collective, they can cover a wide spectrum of legal advice and disciplines'

Key Clients

McAleer & Rushe Group

Home Group

Newcastle University

Mandale Group

Arriva plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for McAleer & Rushe Group on a forward funding of The Gate, Furnival Square, Sheffield with Curlew Capital & Curlew Student Trust.
  • Acted for Metnor Group on the sale of the Grade II listed Generator Studios building in Newcastle city centre to Vengrove Group.
  • Advised O’Brien Aggregate Marsden in its acquisition of Marsden Quarry, saving around 30 jobs put at risk following the collapse of civil engineering firm, Owen Pugh.
  • Acted for Home Group (fourth largest provider of social housing in the UK) to agree facilities and perfect security on its latest funding run.
  • Instructed by the World Wheel Company on all real estate, corporate and financing matters in relation to the proposed development of Europe’s tallest observation wheel on Newcastle Quayside.
Leading individuals

Jonathan Combe - Muckle LLP

Next Generation Partners

Gail Bennett - Muckle LLP

[back to top]

Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP

The focus at Muckle LLP is construction and engineering projects, serviced by a team well-versed in contentious and non-contentious work. The team is led by Public Private Partnership and joint venture expert Lucilla Waugh, whose clients include public sector procurers and private sector contractors. 'Extremely knowledgeable' senior associate Adam Aston leads on a number of projects.

Practice head(s):Lucilla Waugh

Other key lawyers:Adam Aston

Testimonials

'Very knowledgeable construction team that have a clear understanding of the frequently used construction contracts and, as a result, are able to provide clear explanations of how the contracts work and the effect of amendment'

'Adam Aston is always well prepared and grasps quickly the risks associated with projects'

'Pragmatic advice in very complex areas with a problem solving approach'

Key Clients

The University of Newcastle

Jersey Electricity plc

Mandale Group

McAleer and Rushe

Clouston Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for the University of Newcastle on the design and construction contracts for their new £16m indoor sports facility in Richardson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Acting for Aura, the lead consultant appointed for the refurbishment of Newcastle Civic Centre, which is to become a hub for government agencies in the North East.
  • For Stephenson Quarter Developments, prepared and successfully negotiated a full suite of construction documents with the government and local authority’s legal teams. These documents (which included building contracts, a suite of professional appointments, collateral warranties and guarantees) were essential in order to protect the developer’s interests and secure funding for the scheme.
  • Conversion of PFI-built Walker Technology College to an academy within the Tyne Coast College multi-academy trust, the merger of South Tyneside and Tyne Met colleges.
  • Advised Mandale Group on a range of refurbishment projects across the UK; leisure accommodation and a range of residential apartments to meet the UK’s housing demand.
Rising stars

Adam Aston - Muckle LLP

[back to top]

Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP's property litigators are situated within the wider real estate team, assisting firm-wide and standalone clients on a variety of property disputes, with a strong focus on the residential and social housing sectors. The group is led by Charlotte McMurchie, who counts a number of regional housing associations as clients. In 2018, the team was joined by associate Sarah Barratt from Hay & Kilner, while Russell Hall left for an in-house position.

Practice head(s):Charlotte McMurchie

Other key lawyers:Jennifer Pearson; Sarah Barratt

Testimonials

'Charlotte McMurchie is sensible practical advice and sound commercial focus'

'The balance in the team is excellent with Charlotte and her very capable team always on hand to provide the practical and legal advice in a cost effective manner'

'Jennifer Pearson is always on-hand to give the best advice in a concise and swift manner'

Key Clients

Grainger plc

Castles & Coasts Housing Association

North Tyneside Council

Residential Management Group (RMG)

The Football Association

Diocese of Durham & Newcastle

Work highlights

  • Represented Castles & Coasts Housing Association in obtaining access to property for annual gas safety check, including in enforcement proceedings.
  • Provision of advice to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne regarding liabilities for replacement of plant within shared buildings
  • Advising Vertu Motors plc on forfeiture of premises
  • Represented Karbon Homes Limited in obtaining an anti-social behaviour injunction against a tenant’s partner.
  • Advising BPT (Bradford Property Trust) Limited in relation to a possession claim arising out of rent arrears on a regulated tenancy, and counter-claim for disrepair.

[back to top]

North: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP specialises in non-contentious commercial arrangements as well as contractual structures and documentation for technology procurements. Practice head Alex Craig is particularly experienced in IT and trade mark work. His team includes George Festing, who has a contentious IT and IP background, and associate Jill Dovey, who has in-house technology and data experience.

Practice head(s):Alex Craig

Other key lawyers:George Festing; Jill Dovey

Key Clients

Fairstone Group Limited

Intelligent Services Group

LDC Private Equity

Pivotal Networks Limited and Specialist IT Services Group Limited

Newcastle United Foundation

Troo Limited

XQ Digital Resilience Limited

England Athletics

Mercia Fund Managers

Transforming Training with Technology Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Fairstone Group Limited in relation to IT strategy including logistical issues that arise from acquisitions.
  • Advising LDC Private Equity on secondary buyout of Synova Capital in Mandata.
  • Advises Pivotal Networks Limited and Specialist IT Services Group Limited in relation to a range of issues relative to the company’s provision of infrastructure, telephone and virtualisation consultancy and services including in relation to GDPR.
  • Advising Troo Limited, a tech start-up in the energy buying market, on all legal matters since incorporation.
  • Advising XQ Digital Resilience Limited, a tech company operating in the cyber security sector, on a wide range of legal issues.
Rising stars

Jill Dovey - Muckle LLP

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP

The ‚Äėuser-friendly and responsive‚Äô Muckle LLP¬†IP practice specialises in tech, media, sport and charity, in contentious and non-contentious matters. Alex Craig¬†leads the team and has experience advising on a range of non-contentious IP matters. He can call on the expertise of George Festing, who focuses on contentious IP, and associate Jill Dovey, who has a particular specialism in the technology area.

Practice head(s):Alex Craig

Other key lawyers:George Festing; Jill Dovey

Testimonials

'City quality lawyers based in the North East'

'The approach taken by the team is very commercial and provides a good cross-team mix across the different aspects of the sector'

'Strong individuals that work together well as a team and provide a pro-active rather than reactive service wherever possible'

'Alex Craig is an excellent commercial lawyer. Clear, concise and a true expert'

'Associate Jill Dovey is an excellent data lawyer who is all any company needs'

'Anthony Evans provides a knowledgeable focus to the corporate aspects of any transaction, displaying a no-nonsense approach to document negotiation'

'George Festing is commercial, smooth and analytical'

'Giles McCourt is proactive and advises on relevant changes, and their implications for the client when required'

Key Clients

Andy Taylor (Duran Duran)

Robert Barton (re Iron Maiden)

Parkrun Limited

England Athletics

Caribbean Premier League

Zytronic Displays Limited

QPR in the Community Trust

Liverpool FC Foundation

Work highlights

  • Acted for Zytronic Displays Limited in defending a complex claim in the Patents Court.
  • Acts for Andy Taylor on matters arising from the litigation between the members of Duran Duran and Gloucester Place Music Limited, part of Sony/ATV.
  • Acted for Robert Barton in a claim brought by Barry McKay against him and members of the band Iron Maiden for copyright infringement in relation to the Iron Maiden songs 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' and 'The Nomad'.
  • Advises the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious intellectual property rights issues.
  • Represents England Athletics in relation to a wide range of contentious and non-contentious intellectual property rights issues.
Leading individuals

Alex Craig - Muckle LLP

Rising stars

Jill Dovey - Muckle LLP

[back to top]

Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP¬†specialises in music and sport matters, notably image rights. The firm advises on high-value matters for clients in the entertainment industry ranging from Premier League footballers and football clubs, to international music artists. The ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô practice head George Festing¬†is ‚Äėthe ideal person to speak to in a crisis‚Äô. His team includes John Devine, who is an expert in sports matters.

Practice head(s):George Festing

Other key lawyers:John Devine

Testimonials

'There is a strong understanding of the industry and of the rather unique relationships and complexities that go with it'

'They maintain a highly professional approach with clients'

'An out of London firm that has in-depth music litigation knowledge'

'Muckle always has someone who can assist, no matter the issue'

'George Festing is a calm and considered lawyer offering sensible, commercial advice'

'Tony McPhillips has the ability to get things done'

Key Clients

Performing Right Society Ltd (PRS)

Caribbean Premier League Limited

North Music Trust

Andy Taylor (Duran Duran)

Robert Barton (Iron Maiden)

Tyneside Cinema

England Athletics Limited

Magnetic North East

Durham County Cricket Club

Sunderland AFC

The Football Association

The Northumbrian Pipers Society

Work highlights

  • Acts for Andy Taylor on matters arising from the litigation between the members of Duran Duran and Gloucester Place Music Limited, part of Sony/ATV.
  • Acted for Robert Barton in a claim brought by Barry McKay against him and members of the band Iron Maiden for copyright infringement in relation to the Iron Maiden songs 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' and 'The Nomad'.
  • Represents the Caribbean Premier League in relation to a wide range of contentious and non-contentious intellectual property rights issues.
  • Represents England Athletics on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious intellectual property rights issues.
  • Advised a football club on all legal issues arising from the hosting, staging and live broadcasting by Sky TV on Sky One of a charity match.

[back to top]

Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP has expertise in club structures, tax status and complex facilities projects, as well as a particular speciality in contentious regulatory and football related matters. John Devine leads the team and works exclusively for clients in the sports sector, handling commercial IP issues, advertising and image rights. He is experienced in advising professional clubs, footballers, rugby players, boxers and intermediaries on a range of matters.

Practice head(s):John Devine

Key Clients

The Football Association

England Athletics

parkrun Global

The Caribbean Premier League

Chelsea FC Foundation

The EFL Trust

The Premier League Charitable Fund

Sport England

Newcastle United Football Club

Durham County Cricket Club

The Rugby Players’ Association

Brentford FC Community Sports Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised the Football Association, from concept to realisation, on a project of national significance.
  • Advised a football club on all legal issues arising from the hosting, staging and live broadcasting by Sky TV on Sky One of a charity match.
  • Various advice to England Athletics including event sponsorship and commercial rights and governance issues.
  • Advises on parkrun's activities throughout the UK and across its global networks.
  • Advises annually on the organisation, hosting and delivery of the Caribbean Premier League.
Leading individuals

John Devine - Muckle LLP

[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
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of¬† ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan ¬† [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess ¬†Surinder Singh ¬†cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a¬† sole representative visa ¬†is not ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11).¬†
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 
  • PARALLEL PROCEEDINGS ‚Äď CIVIL AND CRIMINAL

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal.¬†The¬† explanatory notes ¬†to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the¬† Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.