Firm Profile > Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP > London, England

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
326 OLD STREET
LONDON
EC1V 9DR
England

Real estate > Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 3

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP has a team that ‘goes above and beyond’ for its clients. It is principally reputed for its corporate occupier work, which spans high-value headquarter leases, portfolio refinances and sale and leasebacks. The group also provides the full spread of landlord and tenant advice. Practice head Rudi Ramdarshan acts for clients such as high-net-worth individuals, charities and corporate investors. David Burns is a go-to for advice on enfranchisement and residential lease extensions. In addition, another key individual is senior associate Simon Lawrence, who ‘always keeps the client’s best interests at the forefront of transactions’. The team is well-placed to provide support on international matters, owing to it having an associate office in Turkey, as well as dedicated desks for Iran, CIS and Russia. Sarah Hung, who has experience of acting for investors from the Far East, is noted for her ‘clear and concise advice and fluency in Cantonese and Hakka’.

Practice head(s):

Rudi Ramdarshan

Other key lawyers:

David Burns; Simon Lawrence; Sarah Hung; John O’Callaghan

Testimonials

‘They are always ready to help with client interest at the forefront. Never can do too much, they work 24/7, always reply, have a very strong work ethic and an attitude to get things done.’

‘They have a multidisciplinary team that covers a wide variety of areas within the organisation, which is a  huge asset given we have multiple interests in different fields.’

‘Simon Lawerence is experienced and provides a quick turnaround. David Burns is flexible to clients’ needs. Rudi Ramdarshan provides both knowledge and availability.’

‘Simon Lawrence is approachable and a pleasure to work with. We have no hesitation in putting matters forward to him and can rest assured that our best interests will always be kept at the forefront in all transactions.’

‘We have been working with Sarah Hung for some years now and she stands out for us in comparison to the previous solicitors we used before. Sarah Hung is accurate, reliable, extremely professional and always provides advice that is specifically tailored to transaction and organisation.’

Key clients

Glasshouse Asset Management

Al Sraiya Group Limited (Qatar)

Dominvs Group

Habib Bank AG Zurich

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Keystone Holdings Limited (Isle of Man)

Drakesfield Group

Urban Spectrum Property Management Limited

Ganco Limited

Harson Investments Limited

ILM Capital

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general Tier 3

'Unflappable' solicitor-advocate Piers Desser and seasoned litigator Rakeebah Rahim lead the 'exemplary' offering at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP. The firm, which handles all types of criminal matters including sexual assault, drugs matters and financial crime, is praised for having 'real coalface experience, but with a professionalism rarely found in the legal aid sector'. Solicitor advocate Priya Patel and 'highly approachable and reassuring' associate Adebola Mayungbe are other names to note. The firm has bases in London, Manchester and now Exeter.  

Practice head(s):

Rakeebah Rahim; Piers Desser

Other key lawyers:

Priya Patel; Adebola Mayungbe

Testimonials

RFB have the benefit of real coalface experience, but with a professionalism rarely found in the legal aid sector. They really care about their clients and will go over and above to ensure the best result for their clients. They also are one of the most diverse firms I know, appropriately reflecting the community they serve. Their experience of serious and violent crime is second to none‘.

I trust the criminal team at RFB completely. Communication between the firm and clients is exceptional, and they are diligent in case preparation‘.

RFB are a quality criminal law firm in an area that is ever shrinking. They are committed to providing an excellent service to their clients‘.

The professionalism of the team is exemplary. I have worked with the team on a very sensitive case involving diplomatic immunity, and the level of client care and the technical expertise of the team was exceptional‘.

Piers Desser is unflappable and his long experience in the sector is evident. He creates a safe and supportive environment for clients, and always identifies the key issues in a case. His client care is second to none‘.

Piers Desser is an assiduous investigator and litigator. He is realistic in his approach to cases which means far more is achieved and clients are well prepared for the case they have to meet. His practical approach means that the necessary work is done in good time-which in turn yields the best results for the client‘.

Adebola Mayungbe is a key asset to RFB. He has an excellent rapport with clients, and makes the time for them to ensure they feel their case is being dealt with fully. He makes careful decisions, and ensures that the best possible team is built for each case. He works tirelessly on his caseload, with a keen eye for identifying the individual needs of each client‘.

Ade Mayungbe is a highly approachable and reassuring solicitor who handles a wide variety of cases with the same level of care‘.

Employment > Employees/unions Tier 3

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP recently bolstered its employment practice with the hire of senior associate Michael Michaeloudis from Thompsons Solicitors LLP in April 2021. He works with Gerard Airey - both practitioners are noted for their experience of advising unions - and Rebecca Roberts. Airey has advised on and litigated in more than 1000 cases in his career. The team's expertise spans a multitude of areas, including discrimination, unfair dismissal, redundancy, whistleblowing and harassment.

Practice head(s):

Gerard Airey; Rebecca Roberts

Other key lawyers:

Michael Michaeloudis

Testimonials

A team with a diverse range of expertise – they are reliable, careful and precise.’

Very friendly and professional, available to discuss when there is any changes within my case. Knowledgeable with all aspects of my case and the legislation to assist me, made me have full confidence in taking my case forward.’

The firm provides premium quality and transparency in its client interactions and systems for onboarding and billing. The disclosures of firm practices and proactive survey after the engagement show a strong commitment to serving clients with respect.’

Gerard Airey was outstanding all around in concluding a settlement agreement for me and truly behaves like a partner to his clients.’

Potential clients can be assured that Ronald Fletcher Baker will focus fully on any employment issue and provide advice and guidance on how best to proceed.’

I am struck by Gerard Airey’s ability to set and keep to deadlines in what must be a very busy legal environment.’

Gerard Airey is technically very good and someone who thinks outside of the box.’

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 4

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP has focused on commercial litigation for over 60 years. It regularly acts for clients in high-stakes and complex international matters, including commercial and contractual disputes. It has a notable specialism in resolving disputes with a nexus to the art community. Following the retirement of senior partner Jonathan Roberts, the team is now jointly led by 'sterling litigator' Rudi Ramdarshan and David Burns, with the latter practitioner being noted for handling cases involving fraud, confiscation and complex financial transactions with international dimensions. Benjamin Frost, Jonathan Chan and Victoria Huxley made partners.

Practice head(s):

Rudi Ramdarshan; David Burns

Other key lawyers:

Benjamin Frost; Jonathan Chan; Victoria Huxley

Testimonials

They are a solution-oriented, tenacious group offering exceptional value for money.

The commercial litigation team at RFB are technically brilliant. I feel that I have the full force of the team when they act for me. Very few firms bring such a collaborative approach, where you feel that they are an extension of your own team. They understand that I need to make commercial decisions, and they have that at the forefront of everything they do.

A truly global service offered by a range of diverse and expert solicitors with connections internationally.

Rudi Ramdarshan is a a sterling litigator who achieves outstanding results for clients in difficult commercial disputes, even in the face of challenging opponents.

David Burns comes into his own in matters where there are allegations of fraud, and has an in-depth knowledge of joint venture disputes – he fights hard for his clients.

Jonathan Chan provides a friendly and accessible service, and is keen to support clients with timely advice.

Benjamin Frost has an astute attention to detail, and works hard to provide us with the best possible outcome.

Victoria Huxley is one of the hardest working solicitors I have come across.

Key clients

Naftogaz

Pantheon International Advisors

Josephine Bevan

Al Sraiya Group

Glasshouse Asset Management

Comptoir Group

Don’t Look Back Holdings

Pascal Dowers

David Locker

Bloomsbury Institute

Industry focus > Hospitality and leisure Tier 4

The hotels team at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP has capacity to handle international work, with desks in Istanbul, Iran and Russia, and growing connections in East Asia. In addition to operators, the group has a diverse clientbase including financial institutions, high net worth individuals and substantial corporate investors, especially those based overseas. Sarah Hung, who heads the City segment of the London office, has a strong record in investment and development transactions and licensing. John O’Callaghan heads the West End office, handling real estate work in the hotel and leisure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Hung; John O’Callaghan

Testimonials

‘All willing to help at any time, never too busy.’

‘They have a great deal of experience which means that transactions move with speed. They have some of the best people in the industry, including Simon Lawrence, Sarah Hung and John O’Callaghan.’

Key clients

Glasshouse Asset Management

Al Sraiya Group Limited (Qatar)

The Dominvs Group

Habib Bank AG Zurich

Cranfield Investments Limited

Comptoir Libanais (Levant Group)

Keystone Holdings Limited (Isle of Man)

Drakesfield Group

Delphinus Developments Limited

Urban Spectrum Property Management Limited

Ganco Limited

Eagleyed Ltd

NOGO Ltd

Planwell Limited

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 4

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP increased its partner bench with the promotions of Jonathan Chan and accredited mediator Ben Frost at the end of 2020; both handle a wide range of commercial property litigation, which constitutes the practice's key focus. Much work in this space arises from developments and redevelopments, such as vacant possession strategies, boundary issues and forfeiture proceedings, while property portfolio work is another key element of the practice. The team is jointly led by accredited mediator Rudi Ramdarshan and lease enfranchisement expert David Burns. Its client base is testimony to its particular expertise across the hotel, leisure and asset management sectors.

Practice head(s):

Rudi Ramdarshan; David Burns

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Chan; Ben Frost

Testimonials

The team’s biggest strength is the ability to tackle any situation, no matter how diverse or complex.

David Burns is professional, approachable and has a commercial understanding of the ground realities.

Rudi Ramdarshan is a practical negotiator with in-depth knowledge and experience.

Ronald Fletcher Baker is highly skilled in property litigation. The team are very collegial and tight knit, which enables them to be agile in fast-paced matters.

Rudi Ramdarshan is an excellent strategic thinker, who is able to anticipate pitfalls well in advance of them materialising. He is also strong on the optics of his cases. He is results-driven and has high expectations of himself and others.

David Burns has great technical knowledge but wears it very lightly so that the client feels they are just having a friendly chat but in fact are being expertly navigated through complex and dangerous waters.

A dynamic, energetic, committed and able team – always prepared to go the extra mile for clients.

We received extraordinary service, especially with respect to communication, which was immediate and on the point even out of office hours.

Key clients

Glasshouse Asset Management

Dominvs Group

Al Sraiya Group Limited (Qatar)

Habib Bank AG Zurich

Cranfield Investments Limited

Drakesfield Group

London Stretch Ltd

Keystone Holdings Limited (Isle of Man)

ILM Capital

Comptoir Group

Don’t Look Back Holding’s Limited

Altin Homes Limited

Delphinus Developments Limited

Bloomsbury Institute

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 5

Devorah Ormonde heads the department at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP that has been advising on an array of complex cross-border matters, as well as receiving an increasing number of instructions to advise on and create lifetime trusts. The team frequently advises on the administration of estates worth several million pounds, as well as on cross-border tax planning matters for both domiciled and non-domiciled clients. Chris O’Callaghan is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Devorah Ormonde

Other key lawyers:

Chris O’Callaghan

Testimonials

The outstanding courteous approach the team has especially in this area of practice when clients are dealing with sensitive topics. In addition the lawyers share with clients a sense of genuine care and attention to their matters. Devorah Ormonde provides a sense of assurance to clients and is very trustworthy and efficient in her responses while not missing out on details‘.

‘RFB provides a most professional service, and I found it to be most efficient in dealing with my father’s estate after his passing. Devorah Ormonde executed my father’s will in a most satisfactory way‘.

1.This is a wonderful legal team. 2.The lawyers are very quick to respond. 3.They are not very expensive. You can call them anytime and the solicitor will pick up the phone directly. I will definitely recommend again and again. They have been successful in all the cases they have done for us. I have been dealing with Chris O’Callaghan and Devorah Ormonde. They are both wonderful solicitors, I first started with Chris but due to the complicated nature of our case Devorah is also involved. I can pick up the phone and call Chris or Devorah and they are always willing to speak to me’.

The team is exceptional. Not only did it find tax savings where I didn’t believe it was possible but the lawyers were a pleasure to deal with. The team deals with matters quickly but most importantly the advice is correct and presented in a client friendly way. I dealt with Chris O’Callaghan and was instantly impressed. His knowledge belies his years and he is the standout advisor from my team. I wouldn’t hesitate to refer him to my clients and instruct him myself. In my view the best young practitioner in the market‘.

The lawyers are easily accessible, provide good value for money, have a common sense approach to solving client’s problems and care a lot about their clients. I have interfaced with Devorah and Chris. They are very down to earth and are always available to attend to clients. You never get the impression that you are bothering them. They are on top of their game and go overboard to help’.

I am impressed by Devorah Ormonde’s knowledge of her subject and her ability to make the mysteries of inheritance tax and powers of attorney easily comprehensible.  She works very quickly, responds immediately to calls and emails.  She is business like but also friendly and approachable‘.

‘Ms Devorah Ormonde was excellent – she was very pleasant, professional and accommodating. She was efficient, understanding and patient. She helped me write a new codicil to my will and then helped me with a new will: this was fairly complicated as it involved recipients of items and/of money in 5 countries worldwide’.

‘Always willing to help , if the answer is not known there is always the experience close at hand and always prompt. Personal touch, hardworking and engaging‘.

Private client > Family Tier 6

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP acts for some high-net-worth individuals including property entrepreneurs, City executives and company directors. It specialises in complex matrimonial financial issues including some with a cross-jurisdictional dimension. It has also expanded its offering into surrogacy and adoption. John O’Callaghan heads the team that include Bik Wong  and Adam Bowes .

Practice head(s):

John O’Callaghan

Other key lawyers:

Bik Wong ; Adam Bowes

Testimonials

‘Very down to earth approach. The lawyers provide a huge amount of support to clients and provide practical, realistic advice at all times. Always very well prepared. Adam Bowes is incredibly personable and fantastic to work with. He is always completely on top of all the facts of the case and takes a very sensible approach, whilst still pushing for the best for his client‘.

‘A small team offering a bespoke service to a diverse range of clients. The existence of broader commercial, property and criminal teams enables clients easily to access advice on such areas which are often relevant to family law disputes. Bik Wong is especially good and works very hard for her clients‘.

‘Bik Wong helped me through a very difficult divorce. She was kind and sympathetic at every stage and offered the best type of advice as it helped me financially and emotionally, kept communication channels open with my ex-wife and ensured my young children knew they were as loved and supported as possible. I am very grateful to Bik and we have kept in contact from time to time after‘.

‘I have referred clients to RFB and have found that the responses are prompt and concise.  It has a good team structure and deals with a wide range of family issues. Adam Bowes in particular is very approachable and works collaboratively. He has no hesitation in picking up the phone to discuss matters and move matters forward with a good resolution for both clients. He has a very good manner with clients, is very patient and explains issues to clients in a way that they understand‘.

‘I have used the RFB team for a number of legal reasons and always found them to be more personable than transactional – a key differentiator from past interactions with other legal firms. Bik Wong specifically counselled me through a very difficult and complex legal process with an adept knowledge of her domain and an empathetic approach to my situation‘.

‘I have worked with Bik Wong for a number of years. Perhaps her most standout quality is the ability to act with speed and energy when a situation demands it. She has also taken the trouble to understand our particular environment and requirements, creating a really positive working relationship over time‘.

‘With the advent of COVID 19, the firm switched seamlessly to online and video call consultations. My solicitor really took the time to explain things clearly and comprehensively, discuss needs and intentions, and advocate for me as the client‘.

Real estate > Property finance Tier 7

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is adept at advising on offshore corporate structures and mezzanine and Islamic finance, with a growing client base in the East Asian market. Practice co-head John O’Callaghan is skilled in advising on commercial developments, while co-head Paul Cain is strong in bridging finance. Other recommended lawyers include Sarah Hung, who is active in investment and development transactions, and associate Simon Lawrence, who has experience in the hotel sector.

Practice head(s):

John O’Callaghan; Paul Cain

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Hung; Simon Lawrence

Testimonials

‘Excellent service, never a stupid question and focused on problem solving.’

Key clients

Octane Property Finance Limited

Cranfield Investments Limited

OneSavings Bank Plc

RGL Services Ltd

Glasshouse Asset Management

Dominvs Property Developments Limited

Keystone Holdings Limited

Ganco Holdings Limited

ILM Capital

For over 50 years, Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP has been providing expert advice from its offices in the City of London, the West End of London, Manchester, and internationally via its office in Istanbul, and its Russia, Ukraine and CIS, and Iran desks. The firm promises to be professional, responsive and competitive.

The firm: Vast experience acting for domestic and international governments, medium to large national and international companies, financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals and substantial corporate investors, many of whom are based overseas.

Types of work undertaken
Corporate and commercial: this department provides a full service to clients in connection with commercial contracts, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and corporate projects involving multiple jurisdictions where skilled negotiation is fundamental.

Litigation: the department specialises in managing complex cases involving multiple claims and parties, often with a multi-jurisdictional remit. The firm deals with a broad range of commercial disputes ranging from contractual disputes, commercial fraud, injunctive relief, dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration, intellectual property, construction disputes and negligence including professional negligence.

Real estate: the firm attracts a diverse client base from financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals and substantial freehold corporate investors, as a result of which the firm has considerable expertise acting for corporate investors based in the BVI, Bahamas, Mauritius, Seychelles, Turkey and Isle of Man. This department also acts for sellers and buyers, and buy-to-let investors, many based overseas. The department has special experience of the more complex flat schemes and leasehold enfranchisement in Central London, and also has particular expertise in acting in high-value hotel purchases. The firm is also regularly instructed in big-ticket transactions.

Property litigation: the firm attracts a diverse real estate client base from financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals and substantial freehold corporate investors. The firm excels in complex property litigation disputes and is retained by several substantial overseas freehold investors in heavily contested 1954 Act lease renewals. The firm also excels in cases involving allegations of fraud, construction disputes, contested lease extensions, enfranchisement and cases where emergency action needs to be taken, including obtaining freezing injunctions.

Employment: the department is best known for its discretion when dealing with senior executives and employers. The firm has regularly been instructed by other law firms, barristers and high-value executives in contentious and non-contentious matters.

Professional discipline: the department has a focus on healthcare, and specialises in providing a high-quality service to individuals facing investigation by their regulator. The department has a particular expertise in appeals against initial registration.

Crime: the firm is one of the longest serving firms in London with a substantial criminal practice. The firm is best known for its experience and discretion in dealing with highly sensitive matters. The firm has particular expertise in acting in matters of fraud involving jurisdictional elements and for this reason the firm is the first choice by other City law firms seeking to bring in external expertise in the areas of criminal fraud and extradition.

Family: this department brings its technical expertise and sensitivity to this difficult area of law. The firm has experience of acting in divorce and separation and resulting financial and property issues, international and jurisdictional disputes and civil partnership dissolution. The firm’s team are members of Resolution, the Law Society Children Panel, the Law Society Advanced Family Law Panel and the lawyer-supported mediation network so that you can be confident that its advice is of the highest quality.

International: the firm is well placed to deal with the global nature of corporate, transactional and litigation work via its associated office in Istanbul and dedicated teams in its Iran desk, China desk, and Russia, Ukraine and CIS desk. International work includes international arbitration, high-value corporate and property and high-value commercial litigation.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Jonathan Roberts j.roberts@rfblegal.co.uk
Managing partner Rakeebah Rahim r.rahim@rfblegal.co.uk
Corporate and commercial Rebecca Roberts r.roberts@rfblegal.co.uk
Dispute resolution Rudi Ramdarshan r.ramdarshan@rfblegal.co.uk
Dispute resolution David Burns d.burns@rfblegal.co.uk
Real estate John O'Callaghan j.ocallaghan@rfblegal.co.uk
Real estate Sarah Hung s.hung@rfblegal.co.uk
Property litigation Rudi Ramdarshan .ramdarshan@rfblegal.co.uk
Employment Rebecca Roberts r.roberts@rfblegal.co.uk
Crime Piers Desser p.desser@rfblegal.co.uk
Family law Daniel Martinez d.martinez@rfblegal.co.uk
Private client Chris O'Callaghan c.ocallaghan@rfblegal.co.uk
Professional discipline Piers Desser p.desser@rfblegal.co.uk
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Piers Desser photo Mr Piers Desser Partner and Head of Department
 Sarah Hung photo Sarah Hung Sarah Hung is a real estate lawyer and The Legal 500 recommended…
 Deniz Oguzkanli  photo Deniz Oguzkanli Deniz Oguzkanli, a partner, heads up the firm’s Istanbul office. Described in…
 John O’Callaghan  photo John O’Callaghan John qualified as a solicitor in 1983 and has been a partner…
 Rakeebah Rahim  photo Rakeebah Rahim Rakeebah Rahim is the managing partner at the firm. Described as ‘tremendously…
 Rudi Ramdarshan  photo Rudi Ramdarshan Rudi Ramdarshan is a partner of the firm and The Legal 500…
 Jonathan Roberts  photo Jonathan Roberts Jonathan Roberts is the senior partner of the firm. He has vast…
Number of UK partners : 13
Number of other UK fee-earners : 43
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Chinese (Cantonese
Ukrainian
Gujarati
French
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Italian
Kurdish
German
Spanish