Firm Profile > Roythornes Solicitors > Spalding, England

Roythornes Solicitors
ENTERPRISE WAY
PINCHBECK
SPALDING
PE11 3YR
England

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

Roythornes Solicitors has a strong focus on land, property and estates with a nationwide client base consisting of farm businesses and estates. The firm has strong experience in a range of land transactions, ranging from residential and small leasehold arrangements to sustainable energy and agricultural land sales. The team is jointly led by Julie Robinson, Tom Foottit, Simeon Disley, Edd Johnson and Emma Hill. Notable developments included Alan Plummer retiring from private practice and senior associate Claire Hindmarch joining from Wilkin Chapman LLP.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

The Woodland Trust

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

Roythornes Solicitors is recognised for its 'breadth of knowledge' of contentious trusts and probates in relation to agricultural and rural matters. The team displays particular expertise in proprietary estoppel claims. Practice head Tim Russ is an experienced mediator and arbitrator, who adopts a 'sensible approach' to litigation, according to one client.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

I know Tim Russ in the CT&P team. He is very experienced and has a good reputation. He has a real depth of knowledge and adopts a sensible approach to litigation. I also know Paul Thompson in the private client team, he is also very experienced and sensible.’

Roythornes have a ‘city’ gravitas in a rural environment. They are treated with respect and credibility normally only afforded to much larger metropolitan firms. They have the ability to deal with matters of high value and complexity that one would normally not expect for a firm such as this. In particular strength and depth applies to agriculture and associated agribusiness.’

Tim Russ – Head of Department. Breadth of knowledge of Contentious trusts and probate and probably as good as it gets when dealing with agriculture and rural land issues.’

Debt recovery Tier 2

With particular investment in the agricultural, food, wholesale and construction industries, Roythornes Solicitors 'excellent' team handles contentious and non-contentious debt collection for domestic corporates. Victoria Stevenson focuses primarily on the agricultural sector and specialises in cases involving high profile debtors. Associate Catherine Rickett, who heads up the debt recovery team, focuses on the recovery of unpaid debts and the enforcement of judgments against debtors.

Testimonials

‘Patient, polite and personable, you feel it’s good to have the team at Roythornes on your side.’

‘We have found with other legal firms that we are just another client, whereas at Roythornes they make you feel that you are their only client. The time-frame that they take to investigate is always reasonable, we are never left not knowing what is happening, we receive regular updates and they are always available if we need an individual update relating to a specific client.’

An excellent firm that provides an expert and professional service.

The service is much more personal than our previous debt collection solicitors and they seek to understand how our business operates in order to be effective in the service they provide.

Catherine, Martin and Michaela are always very helpful and keep us well informed with progress on outstanding cases.

It is local to the area and as such has a ‘local’ feel about it, as opposed to what could be a slightly aloof, more formal approach elsewhere.

Roythornes were excellent in explaining the potential options we had in chasing old debts. They clearly explained the options and the fees associated with each option. They were always quick to reply to emails we sent out and managed to sort out a number of large outstanding debts.’

Key clients

Grax

Brown & Co

IS Sundries

Integrated Communications Systems

Thor

Approach Personnel

E4Law T/A Lextox

Reydon Sports PLC

Mattioli Woods PLC

IJL Communications

Enterprise Loans

Kings Bros

Kyoto Futons

Laurence Gould

Joyce Designs

BWB Consulting

Masstock Arable T/A Agrii

Taurus

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

The private client practice at Roythornes Solicitors specialises in complex and high-value estate administrations involving agricultural and business assets. Other key areas of focus include business successions, wills and Stamp Duty Land Tax advice. The firm demonstrates its expertise in agricultural work by being a member of Select Lincolnshire and the National Farmers Union. Practice head Elizabeth Young works with recently promoted Robert Webb, who is particularly active.

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Testimonials

A well-established and trusted local firm able to cover all legal services one may require. A one-stop shop, as it were, with excellent advice and a very professional attitude.’

Highly professional, yet approachable and helpful.

Robert Webb is able to put clients at ease quickly and takes time to listen to client concerns and objectives. His planning is always precise, well thought through, robust and dynamic when appropriate. He always responds efficiently.’

The firm provides its clients with a first-class level of technical expertise in a professional yet highly personable way. Other firms which are able to deliver the same levels of technical ability often fail to provide it to the client in a manner that is both appropriate and of most beneficial to the intended recipient.’

‘All our dealings with Roythornes have been efficient, thorough and comprehensive.’

‘I have always found Lisa Millington to be professional, technically excellent and extremely helpful.’

Planning and environment Tier 2

Roythornes Solicitors's 'extremely efficient and successful' team advises developers, landowners and local authorities on all aspects of various planning and development transactions and disputes, including environmental projects. The firm has particularly strong expertise negotiating Section 106 and highways agreements. Shruti Trivedi specialises in contentious planning and environmental judicial reviews and legal challenges. Trivedi also regularly drafts and negotiates planning, highway and infrastructure agreements, and boasts particular expertise in residential projects. Associate Charlotte Lockwood advises clients on contentious and non-contentious planning and development matters.

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Testimonials

‘Shruti Trivedi plays a key role in providing legal planning advice for a number of development sites at different stages of advancement. She has shown herself to be a true asset to the company and I often call her for advice on matters before raising legal instructions.’

‘This team has specific skills in planning law that other firm cannot supply.’

‘The team at Roythorns are cohesive at all time and show real tenacity in the face of complex issues presented to them, often under difficult time frames.’

‘The key strengths of this practice are professionalism, communication skills, clear pricing for work and forecasting of work to be invoiced. ‘

‘Small dedicated team that jump on the work quickly. Issues don’t get lost or forgotten about and practical advice is given quickly.’

Key clients

A C Gotham & Son

Mr B A Alcock

Alcocks J M, B, and AD

Ashley King (Developments Limited

Mr Richard Beeby

Richard & Elizabeth Butler

Chevin Homes Limited

DSL Holdings Limited

Evolution Homes

Fowler Forest Farm Limited

G A Jenkinson & Sons Limited

Brian Hedley

Hull, D R, M J and CR

Ikon Residence

S B & D E Julian

Kaaimans International Limited

Karam Properties Limited

Kier Living Limited

Langton Evans & Walker Limited

Larkfleet Limited

Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 3

Based in Spalding, Roythornes Solicitors' real estate team is best known for advising landowners and, to a lesser extent, developers engaged in residential, commercial and mixed-use projects in the region. In addition, the firm has notable expertise in landlord and tenant work. Jo Ladds has particular experience of acquisitions and disposals, option agreements and leaseholds. Iain Hibbert specialises in advising clients on all aspects of renewable energy projects.

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Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge of the local markets in the East Midlands. Able to bridge the gap between landowner and developer very well.’

Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in East Midlands Tier 3

Focusing primarily on agriculture, technology, energy, logistics and construction, Roythornes Solicitors tends to advise regional and multi-national clients on commercial agreements, investments, M&A and restructuring. Martin Jinks handles commercial and corporate matters, including critical outsourcing arrangements and contracts underpinning large-scale automation projects. Julia Seary has a strong track record advising on corporate governance and regulatory compliance, particularly in relation to data privacy. Corporate lawyers Mike Matthews and Lizzie Walters joined the firm's partner roster in 2019.

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Testimonials

‘The practice has a very good and longstanding connection with its clients which is clear from its involvement in multiple M&A transactions.’

Key clients

TGW Ltd

Frontier Agriculture Ltd

Beeswax Dyson Farming Ltd

Majestic Bingo Limited

Family Tier 4

Roythornes Solicitors specialises in advising clients on agricultural-related matters. The family law team frequently handles high-value cases involving farming assets and businesses. The team handles both matrimonial cases and Children Act proceedings. Nick Ingrey, who leads the team, is 'an outstanding communicator'.

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Testimonials

Roythornes’ uniqueness is in its attention to detail, thoroughness and fairness, however long the process takes. Their strength is their teamwork, and a key capability is leaving no stone unturned. Everyone I dealt with always made me feel valued, respected and reassured.’

Nick Ingrey was highly professional, outstanding communicator, supportive and understanding.

Roythornes Solicitors handled my recent divorce case. From the moment I instructed them I had no doubts about their integrity. Their communication was excellent, effortless, efficient with an ability to quell anxiety and worry through a very difficult time. Teamwork was excellent throughout. I am hugely satisfied with their work.’

Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant Tier 4

Roythornes Solicitors' 'friendly' and 'down to earth' practice attracts high- value technical work and complex clinical negligence claims. The team specialises in travel claims and claims against the MOD, catastrophic claims and claims involving brain injury. Team head Victoria Stevenson has an interest in cases involving significant psychological injuries and mental health conditions.

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Testimonials

This is one of the friendliest practices I have ever had the pleasure to be instructed by, and to work with. Not only are they friendly, approachable and down to earth but they have top quality work and provide excellent all round legal services.’

Professional, brilliant at what they do and friendly – you don’t always get all three, and this stands them apart. Tim Edwards is a friendly ‘stand-out’ solicitor, who goes the extra mile to ensure that his client’s best interests are pursued to the full.’

Tim Edwards has instructed me for a number of years. He is a very experienced, conscientious solicitor with good client handling skills. He has good judgment.’

Strong focus on the client and extremely helpful for the medical expert in providing a high quality legal product.’

Robert Dempsey and Victoria Stevenson both provide excellence in the legal product.’

Rob Dempsey dealt with my claim and he was always totally professional but at the same time had a very comfortable manner to work alongside. I have had experience of other legal firms where the individuals are difficult to contact or quick to shortcut responses.’

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

'The depth of knowledge, particularly in agricultural matters, is excellent,' says a client of Roythornes Solicitors. The firm operates as a single agriculture practice across five offices, two of which are in East Anglia. Julie Robinson in Alconbury is the key partner, with Tom Foottit working in both Alconbury and Spalding. The firm acts for  farmers, tenants and developers, as well as some family estates. It primarily handles property and private client matters involving agricultural land and estates. Its property work ranges from residential and small leasehold arrangements to complex development and financing arrangements. Senior associate Kirsten Rimmer is also recommended.

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Testimonials

The depth of knowledge at Roythornes, particularly in agricultural matters, is excellent.

Julie Robinson is able to grasp matters immediately and turn the job around efficiently and cost-effectively.

Key clients

The Woodland Trust

Personal tax, trusts and probate: elsewhere in East Anglia Tier 3

The Alconbury office of Roythornes Solicitors continues to grow as a hub for the firm's services, among which private client is a key area. The firm is particularly well known for dealing with complex agricultural matters typically with a business succession aspect. The 'professional, friendly and helpful' team, led by Elizabeth Young, works across all of the firm's offices but has a longstanding client base in East Anglia. Jarred Wright and Paul Thompson are the other main partners.

Testimonials

I was very happy with the service – clean offices with professional, friendly and helpful staff.

Joseph Stoehr in the Huntingdon office was the solicitor assigned to help my partner and I with a pair of mirror wills, under the WillAid scheme. He was fantastic – knowledgeable, friendly, respectful, helpful. He explained everything clearly, answered questions fully and also made recommendations where appropriate. As a result, I have confidence that our wills will provide us with security in the event of our deaths and also will be kept safely. He also explained the advantages of a trust for one of us, and so this aspect of our money management is also covered now. I can’t praise him highly enough.

Roythornes Solicitors is one of the UK’s leading agri-food firms, with extensive experience in other sectors including private client, energy and commercial property.

The firm: Roythornes was founded in 1934. It now has five offices and over 200 staff and continues to expand. The firm’s main office is in Spalding, which is at the heart of the agriculture and fresh produce industries  – sectors in which Roythornes has particular expertise.

Roythorne’s growth plans include an increase in focus on developing areas such as added value food and drink, energy and planning, as well as continued expansion and development of expertise in agriculture. Employing experienced cross-functional teams who handle complex and interrelated issues for clients, the firm offers a complete approach providing the very best advice available in the UK.

The firm’s clients range from individuals and families to some of the UK’s fastest moving and most innovative businesses. Within this there are long-standing family trusts looking after large country estates, property investors managing extensive portfolios and large high-street charities and corporates. A large proportion of clients have been coming to Roythornes for generations. It also acts for some of the most entrepreneurial companies in the UK – in particular in the area of renewable energy.

Types of work undertaken
Agriculture: without doubt, Roythornes’ key strength is in agriculture, where the firm has a national client base – working for farmers and landowners, the agri-businesses they run, and their families. This brings in a wide range of work including agricultural property, commercial property and private client, where the firm has a particularly strong reputation. It acts for a large number of trusts and estates, providing tax and trust advice to help generations of families protect and preserve their assets.

Food: in terms of food clients, Roythornes’ experience helps clients to manage their businesses when margins are tight. The firm helps them to negotiate with high-street retailers and make sure their position is as protected as possible when developing new and innovative food products. When high-profile issues arise over food safety, it can act fast to ensure damage is minimised and all important reputations maintained. Roythornes has extensive supply chain and logistics experience.

Energy: the firm has a national reputation in this area, in particular working on large-scale projects. The team, led by Edd Johnson, has been involved in some of Europe’s largest schemes. With experience of wind power, anaerobic digestion and energy from waste as well as the emerging technologies of battery storage, the team’s ability to see projects from both sides (developer and landowner) gives it a unique position when advising clients.

Property: Roythornes undertakes a considerable amount of work for developers, in particular, large national house builders. It has an efficient team handling plot sales for new-build estates etc. This type of work requires efficient systems and work processes which are developed in-house.

Planning: a rapidly expanding planning team advises landowners and developers on complex schemes including highways and infrastructure, land promotion, appeals, and large-scale mixed-use schemes.

Debt recovery: the busy debt team handles debt recovery for many large clients, including high-street names. Significant investment in systems means clients now instruct Roythornes online and have 24/7 access to the current position on their matters.

Corporate and commercial: led by Martin Jinks, the team is quickly gaining a reputation for high-quality work, and the recent appointment of additional senior level headcount is further enhancing its capacity and skills in this sector.

Personal injury: Roythornes’ personal injury practice covers mainstream business together with specialised work involving claims against the MOD. The firm operates a number of helplines for major insurers and financial institutions.

Other offices: Nottingham, Birmingham, Peterborough, Alconbury.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Paul Osborne paulosborne@roythornes.co.uk
Managing Director Vember Mortlock vembermortlock@roythornes.co.uk
Head of Agriculture Julie Robinson julierobinson@roythornes.co.uk
Litigation Phil Cookson philcookson@roythornes.co.uk
Renewable energy Edd Johnson eddjohnson@roythornes.co.uk
Property and development Bhavesh Amlani bhaveshamlani@roythornes.co.uk
Corporate and commercial Martin Jinks martinjinks@roythornes.co.uk
Private client Elizabeth Young elizabethyoung@roythornes.co.uk
Personal injury Victoria Stevenson victoriastevenson@roythornes.co.uk
Debt recovery Victoria Stevenson victoriastevenson@roythornes.co.uk
Food and drink Peter Cusick petercusick@roythornes.co.uk
Charity Julia Seary juliaseary@roythornes.co.uk
Planning Shruti Trivedi shrutitrivedi@roythornes.co.uk
Photo Name Position Profile
 Alex Armstrong  photo Alex Armstrong Associate
 Kelly Armstrong  photo Kelly Armstrong Paralegal
 Elizabeth Barnden  photo Elizabeth Barnden Paralegal
 Natasha Bicknell  photo Natasha Bicknell Solicitor
 Claire Biggadike  photo Claire Biggadike Solicitor
 John Boon  photo John Boon Associate
 Abbie Boon  photo Abbie Boon Solicitor
 Robert Carter  photo Robert Carter Solicitor
 Melissa Casey  photo Melissa Casey Solicitor
 Phil Cookson  photo Phil Cookson Partner
 Peter Cusick  photo Peter Cusick Partner
 Robert Dempsey  photo Robert Dempsey Senior Associate
 Simeon Disley  photo Simeon Disley Partner
 Sam Elkin  photo Sam Elkin Partner
 Alex Forster  photo Alex Forster Associate
 Matt Fowler  photo Matt Fowler Solicitor
 Kerry-Jo Hatfield  photo Kerry-Jo Hatfield Paralegal
Mr Iain Hibbert photo Mr Iain Hibbert Partner
Ms Emma Hill photo Ms Emma Hill Partner
 Laura Hill  photo Laura Hill Solicitor
 Claire Hindmarsh  photo Claire Hindmarsh Associate
 Victoria Hope  photo Victoria Hope Senior Associate
Mr Nick Ingrey  photo Mr Nick Ingrey Partner
 Rebecca Jackson  photo Rebecca Jackson Associate
 Martin Jinks  photo Martin Jinks Partner
 Shola Khan  photo Shola Khan Solicitor
 Jo Ladds  photo Jo Ladds Partner
Ms Alice Lees photo Ms Alice Lees Partner
 Hannah Leese  photo Hannah Leese Senior Associate
 Talat Mahmood  photo Talat Mahmood Associate
 Mike Matthews  photo Mike Matthews Partner
 Lisa Millington  photo Lisa Millington Associate
 Vember Mortlock  photo Vember Mortlock Partner
 Alex Murray  photo Alex Murray Solicitor
 Bukola Obadun-Craigs  photo Bukola Obadun-Craigs Partner
 Paul Osborne  photo Paul Osborne Partner
 Oliver Palmer  photo Oliver Palmer Solicitor
 Kate Parry  photo Kate Parry Solicitor
 Julie Robinson  photo Julie Robinson Partner
 Tim Russ  photo Tim Russ Partner
 Julia Seary  photo Julia Seary Partner
 Desley Sherwin  photo Desley Sherwin Senior Associate
 Joanne Sinclair  photo Joanne Sinclair Solicitor
 Benjamin Smith  photo Benjamin Smith Senior Associate
 Victoria Stevenson  photo Victoria Stevenson Partner
 Jonathan Swan  photo Jonathan Swan Partner
 Ben Taylor  photo Ben Taylor Solicitor
 Mark Towey  photo Mark Towey Solicitor
 Lizzie Walters  photo Lizzie Walters Partner
 Robert Webb  photo Robert Webb Partner
 Sarah Whitehurst  photo Sarah Whitehurst Partner
 Emily Wilson  photo Emily Wilson Solicitor
 Georgina Worley  photo Georgina Worley Senior Associate
 Jarred Wright  photo Jarred Wright Partner
 Emily Wright  photo Emily Wright Solicitor
 Fiona Yorath  photo Fiona Yorath Solicitor
 Elizabeth Young  photo Elizabeth Young Partner
Number of UK partners : 33
Number of other UK fee-earners : 78

The Lex 100 Verdict

Roythornes 'gets really interesting work and clients due to its specialisms' in agricultural law and rural estates. This 'not only gives trainees brilliant learning opportunities but also keeps the work exciting'. Several recruits enjoyed visiting the Spalding-headquartered firm's 'At home with Roythornes' open day, during which they were impressed by 'the approachable staff' and 'the welcoming atmosphere'. Others had previously worked at Roythornes as paralegals and had first-hand experience of the 'friendly, authentic supervisors who I knew would always aim to bring out the best in me during my training contract'. Whilst trainees are 'very involved in matters from very early on', they still benefit from an 'outstanding work/life balance'. Perfect for those who 'still want to enjoy good quality work but not be expected to regularly outstay the contracted hours'. Little surprise then that Roythornes has bagged four Lex 100 Winner awards in the categories of quality of work, client contact, confidence of being kept on and work/life balance. Trainees say that the worst things about the firm are the location of the Spalding office – described as 'a bit out of the way' and that some of the satellite offices 'don't seem to receive the same level of investment as headquarters'. Trainees loved the opportunity to 'run client meetings and take responsibility for files', something which really allows them to 'appreciate the client care and case progression aspects of a matter'. But the flipside of being entrusted with high-level work is sometimes 'having to deal with urgent matters I have no experience in when my supervisor is out of the office', which can prove nerve-racking. To learn from people who are at the top of their sector and have a huge amount of knowledge to impart', research Roythornes.