Firm Profile > Russell-Cooke LLP > London, England

Russell-Cooke LLP
SW15 6AB

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP is particularly recommended for its work at advising on charity mergers and the restructuring of charities. Under the leadership of Andrew Studd the practice is increasingly becoming known for its work at supporting charities in financial difficulties. It also continues to advise charities with unusual governance structures such as charities governed by Acts of Parliament, Royal Charter and Charity Commission Schemes. Chris Rowse is experienced at advising on international projects and James Sinclair Taylor is another name to note for his work on sensitive contractual, funding and risk management issues.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Studd


What is different is the way that they treat you like a human and not a fee opportunity. I always feel like I am dealing with people that care and who are experts‘.

It is a grounded and down-to-earth team‘.

‘The team provides a personal and efficient service‘.

Key clients

Breast Cancer Now

World Wildlife Fund UK

World Vision UK

British Heart Foundation


Youth Hostel Association (England & Wales)


Thomas Pocklington Trust

Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust

Salvation Army

Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP offers representation to the full-range of individuals requiring legal services, advising adults from all walks of life as well as children who  have been victims of medical negligence. Key areas of work include acting on claims concerning injuries sustained at the time of birth, head and spinal injuries, delays in treatment, misdiagnoses of sepsis and cancer, as well as dentistry, ophthalmology and orthopaedic injuries. Team leader Deborah Blythe acted in the landmark victory in the Supreme Court of Darnley v Croydon Hospital NHS Trust, which further defined the legal principle of the duty of care for non-medical staff and A&E departments.

Practice head(s):

Deborah Blythe

Other key lawyers:

Janice Gardner; Dominic Fairclough; Lucy Wilton


‘The clinical negligence team offer the highest professional standards with expertise and service that sets them head and shoulders above others.’

‘There is a comfort in knowing that Russell Cooke are a class- act who will fight their cases ethically, appropriately, but always to the best advantage of their clients.’

‘The team is professional and succinct in their instructions, diligent, thoughtful and with excellent attention to detail.’

Court of protection Tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP has a well-regarded full-service Court of Protection property and affairs practice that advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters. It acts as an independent attorney, deputy for financial matters and trustee in relation to those lacking capacity through progressive illnesses such as dementia or for those who have suffered brain injury. It also helps those who are vulnerable to abuse. The skilled team is particularly known for its expertise at handling cross-border/private international law matters. Rita Bhargava and Gareth Ledsham are the names to note.

Practice head(s):

Rita Bhargava; Gareth Ledsham


The firm provides an extremely assured service, in a sympathetic manner, which gives its clients both the confidence and the reassurance they so badly need‘.

Super impressed with Russell-Cooke as the team is very professional and on top of things’.

Russell-Cooke continues to go from strength to strength – the team regularly appears in the knottiest or most high-profile Court of Protection cases‘.

Rita Bhargava is simply outstanding. She brings a passion to her client’s interests and to this area of the law, not just providing an excellent service but playing a major role in assisting and encouraging developments within the sector’.

Gareth Ledsham is a brilliant and outstanding solicitor. He thinks outside the box and is a great leader. He is very professional‘.

The associates are always very well schooled, so provide excellent support‘.

Key clients

Russell-Cooke Trust Company

Crime: general Tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP's 'assiduous' team has been kept busy recently handling cases of historic and current sexual offences, assault, firearms and motoring offences. Practice head Jae Carwardine is 'meticulous, immensely intelligent and knowledgeable'; she is supported by the 'super-capableNicola O’Connor. Senior associate Marie Bourke is recommended. In June 2019 Martin Rackstraw returned to the firm after seven years at Bindmans LLP, where he had been joint head of the criminal law team.

Practice head(s):

Jae Carwardine

Other key lawyers:

Nicola O’Connor; Marie Bourke; Martin Rackstraw; Jenny Boyden


Jae Carwardine has an exceptional manner with clients and leaves no stone unturned in the preparation of a case‘.

Marie Bourke is exceptional in her ability to obtain the best outcome for her client. Her determination, intelligence and intuitiveness are extremely impressive‘.

‘Nicola O’Connor is a super-capable solicitor. Nothing is too much trouble for her and her clients skills are fantastic. Great to have in your team’.

‘Jenny Boyden stands out in a crowded field as a highly dedicated and long experienced criminal defence lawyer. She is well liked by her clients because of her ability to make each of them feel as if they are her only client. She demands the best and achieves stellar results.’

Education: individuals Tier 2

Eva Akins heads the education team at Russell-Cooke LLP, which has experience acting for children with SEN and disabilities, as well as for transgender and non-binary pupils who face marginalisation and difficulty accessing school facilities. Associate Georgina Downard assists clients with securing education provision and with appeals. Specialist children law solicitors Samantha Little and Sarah Richardson are also key practitioners in the team; they also handle complex cases involving vulnerable adults.

Practice head(s):

Eva Akins; Samantha Little


Eva Akins and Georgina Downard both worked late to hit deadlines and were proactive in ensuring the right evidence was in place.

Employment: senior executives Tier 2

The 'strong and responsive' team at Russell-Cooke LLP regularly represents senior executives in discrimination and whistleblowing claims and in disputes relating to share schemes, bonuses, commission, restrictive covenants and team moves. Anthony Sakrouge, who advises on all aspects of employment law, with a special emphasis on contentious and advisory work, leads the team that includes the 'sharp and straightforward' Alex Bearman and 'savvy litigator' Edward Wanambwa.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Sakrouge


‘In comparison to other firms the client relationship; the level of professionalism, timeliness, availability and clear communication has been far superior than that offered by others.’

‘Alex Bearman’s straightforwardness, clear communication, sharp and active listening skills, ability to pinpoint salient arguments helped to eliminate any concerns I had.’

‘The team was not only very responsive and available for conference calls/meetings at short notice, but they all complimented each well in terms of their strengths and areas of expertise, showing solid team work.’

‘Ed Wanambwa is a very savvy litigator who is charming with clients but relentless in the quest for successful outcomes for his clients in litigation.’

‘Sound advice dispensed in a timely and cost effective manner.’

Family Tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP acts on complex and interesting cases. Clients range from those with substantial wealth through to those with modest means or those who are entitled to legal aid. It is at the forefront of new and emerging areas of law such as declaration of parentage, international and domestic surrogacy as well as female genital mutilation and forced marriages. As part of its full service offering it also advises on complex private children law cases involving serious domestic abuse or on issues of adoption. The group is often appointed by the court to represent the children when the children are joined in proceedings. Six of its partners are trained as mediators, five are collaboratively trained and one acts as an arbitrator. James Carroll, Kate Hamilton, Fiona Read and Sarah Richardson are all well-respected practitioners. Hannah Field was promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Hannah Field;Samantha Little; Sarah Richardson; Fiona Read; Kate Hamilton; James Carroll; Camillla Thornton

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Minty; Anna Keat; Jemma Pollock


Russell-Cooke has gone from strength to strength over recent years. It has strength across all levels, with some superb junior solicitors coming up. The lawyers are all without fail hugely user-friendly, and are not weighed down by the arrogance of some of its competitors‘.

It has an unrivalled presence in the market as a firm able to deliver high-quality legal advice and fantastic results. James Carroll has amazing judgement and is a whizz with numbers and complex trust and company issues. Kate Hamilton has fantastic judgement – she is wonderful with clients and is a brilliant lawyer‘.

‘James Carroll is an extremely experienced and good litigator. Sees the wood for the trees, and focuses the client and the case extremely well. Will settle when possible, but excellent litigation skills in a contest, and always on top of the case‘.

It has the depth and experience to deal with the highest value and most complex cases, as well as the breadth needed to deal with more modest (but often equally difficult) cases‘.

Samantha Little deals with extremely complex cases. She is consistently instructed in the most ground breaking of cases . She has a superb reputation for hard work and sensitivity which is well deserved‘.

Sarah Richardson is exceptional’.

Kate Hamilton – bright, focused and commercial. Kate is no push-over but really constructive and committed to getting the deal done‘.

Hannah Field’s work is always outstanding, clients like her and her advice is always absolutely spot on. Invariably, her initial advice to a client as to outcome is accurate’.

Camilla Thornton has absolute attention to detail. Experienced and sensible, with good legal knowledge and instincts’.

‘Hannah Minty was absolutely superb. She was calm and insightfulAnna Keat has an extraordinary ability to deal with the most difficult of clients and to find the best in their cases. She is immensely patient and thorough‘.

Family: mediation Tier 2

Mediation is a central part of the practice at Russell-Cooke LLP and it offers sole mediation as well as co-mediation and shuttle mediation. Fiona Read, who is a deputy district judge as well as an arbitrator, heads the team and has mediated for many years along with James Carroll who also has an excellent reputation for mediation. Therese Nichols has now retired and Louise Connolly is also recommended. The team mediates on a variety of family and children law-related issues, including cohabitations and property ownership.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Read

Other key lawyers:


It has an excellent mediation practice. James Carroll really is a ‘go to’ mediator. Cases I have sent him that seemed intractable have been resolved though his guidance‘.

Fiona Read is a powerhouse, whose broad knowledge and skills make her a joy to work with‘.

James Carroll really knows his stuff, is very strong and works hard‘.

This solid team delivers good work both in and out of London. James Carroll is a ‘solicitor’s solicitor’ and a joy to work with. Pragmatic and sensible he always seeks to find a sensible resolution in even the nastiest cases‘.

It has a solid core of mediators who are all family lawyers. Kate Hamilton – pragmatic, effective and yet very kind and personable‘.

Louise Connolly, Fiona Read and until recently Therese Nichols ( who has retired) are an impressive and comprehensive team of mediators‘.

Louise Connolly has an enormous amount of emotional intelligence. She is very bright and very easy to work with‘.

Louise Connolly – approachable and no nonsense combined with good legal skills‘.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP is highly regarded for its work on complex cross-border tax planning and succession issues, particularly those relating to France. Key clients include entrepreneurs, family businesses, celebrities, senior civil servants as well as politicians, lawyers and judges. Its clients range from the substantially wealthy to longstanding clients and their families. The team has also launched the Russell-Cooke Family Office service that is led by Rebecca Fisher. This provides a range of legal services that are tailored to UHNW and HNW clients in relation to their wealth and succession planning. Dawn Alderson is another name to note. Richard Frimston is now a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Fisher; Dawn Alderson (French Team)

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Godfrey


Russell Cooke’s private client team is unique in that it has a range of practitioners, covering the whole spectrum of private client work from routine wills and probate through to its family office offering.

The firm has a clear emphasis on practical solutions, having the expertise to deal with complex issues.

This is a pragmatic and helpful team – partner led and without lots being passed to juniors. Rebecca Fisher is outstanding –  pragmatic and helpful.

Rebecca Fisher is an exemplary professional. She listens, understands and translates the requirements of clients very quickly. Her natural empathy makes complicated will and trust issues very transparent and we were very impressed with the speed and efficiency of her creative solutions.’

What makes Rebecca Fisher so very different from her contemporaries is that she is the “modern day face” of private client lawyers. She has charisma and charm.

Rebecca Fisher is excellent. She is very responsive and gives clear advice.

Rebecca Fisher is caring, human, professional and directs us with brilliant pragmatism, exactly what I want in my lawyer. I could not recommend her highly enough.

Rebecca Fisher and Andrew Godfrey, who are both outstanding practitioners in their field. They understand fully the cross-jurisdictional issues that arise for my clients and provide practical solutions. I find them to be responsive and dynamic.’

Andrew Godfrey – can distil complex matters. Approachable. Clients (and other advisors) like him.

Professional discipline Tier 2

Acting for both professional and regulatory bodies, regulated businesses and individuals, Russell-Cooke LLP has 'amassed a considerable amount of knowledge over many years in relation to numerous areas of professional discipline'. The practice has particular expertise in complex and high-profile cases involving solicitors, barristers, healthcare professionals, architects, accountants and charity trustees. Matt Bosworth is a highly rated adviser, and senior partner John Gould and Paolo Sidoli acted for the SRA in a landmark appeal that concerned the concept of lack of integrity for professionals, which had not previously been defined. Michael Stacey and Andrew Pavlovic are the senior associates to note; former senior associate Michael Colledge left for Blake Morgan LLP.

Practice head(s):

John Gould; Matt Bosworth


Russell-Cooke genuinely has a presence across nearly every sector of professional discipline; the firm has experience of defending, prosecuting and sitting on panels, and its background in crime makes it particularly adept where there are allegations of fraud‘.

The practice appears for both the regulator and for those appearing before their professional regulator, which gives it unique insight in this field; its lawyers also have a commercial, pragmatic and unfussy approach‘.

John Gould is a huge figure in this field – he is incredibly knowledgeable but really client focused as well‘.

Matt Bosworth is a standout individual, who appears both for and against the SRA, and has a direct approach with clients, doesn’t waste their time and doesn’t waste their money. He is also a great team leader who knows everyone in this field, and as a result is trusted by clients and regulators alike‘.

Paolo Sidoli is resourceful and determined‘.

Michael Stacey is thorough and balanced‘.

Key clients

Solicitors Regulation Authority

The Law Society of England and Wales

Architects Registration Board

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Commercial property: retail Tier 3

Russell-Cooke LLP's ‘technically skilled' team provide 'a personalised and responsive service’. Headed by Matt Garrod, the practice has a well-established reputation in the retail sector where it assists clients with the full range of commercial property issues including acquisitions, lease renewals and developments. Additional strengths for the team include inward investment by overseas clients, landlord and tenant work, residential sales and purchases, real estate finance, redevelopments, joint ventures, overage agreements and the regeneration of brown sites.

Practice head(s):

Matt Garrod

Other key lawyers:

Peter Nicholson; Neil Dryer


‘They are very quick to understand the client’s business culture, key drivers, problems and political relationships’.

‘Peter Kitson has an incredibly sharp mind, vhe ery rarely needs to hear things more than once in order to form a robust understanding of what’s being asked, is innovative in his thinking when we have a problem to solve, and is able to explain complex legal scenarios simply.’

‘A technically skilled team providing a personalised and responsive service’.

‘The development and transactional teams operate well together’.

‘They all know there roles very well and interact well without overstepping their individual expertise.’  

‘The team has a clear and extensive knowledge of property transactions, and are able to offer advice around all aspects of property development.’

Key clients

Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited

Matalan Retail Limited

Food for Thought

L.K. Bennett

Arcadia Limited

Mid Sussex District Council

The Gym Group

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Alison Regan is a highly recommended head of department at Russell-Cooke LLP. The department deals with a broad range of succession disputes across borders and is particularly adept at advising on conflict of law issues and on the interplay between common law and civil law jurisdictions. In addition it is skilled at advising on will challenges on the basis of testamentary capacity and on applications for rectification of wills. Gareth Ledsham has developed a niche practice in applications to the court to deal with property that is owned by minors in civil law jurisdictions.

Practice head(s):

Alison Regan

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Ledsham; Tom Deely


The fact that it has an inhouse French team and partners who are fluent in French means that they are perfectly placed to deal with clients who have properties in European jurisdictions – they are used to dealing with continental systems‘.

The team handles many large and complex matters, usually against the other leading firms in this area. The team is first-rate‘.

As well as having a detailed knowledge of the law, the members of the team inevitably have a good grasp of the commercial realities of a case and are able to give their clients sound practical advice‘.

Alison Regan is always one step ahead, and while always taking a pragmatic, commercial approach to cases, will robustly pursue the clients’ interests‘.

Alison Regan – very pragmatic, commercial and intellectually astute which makes her a great fighter and team player‘.

Gareth Ledsham is very experienced in this field and takes a pragmatic approach to cases‘.

‘Gareth Ledsham – a brilliant calm lateral thinker. He uses his broad life skills to be pragmatic and commercial. A real breath of fresh air in times of grief‘.

Gareth Ledsham – combines excellent in-depth knowledge with a deep understanding of the client’s perspective. Alison Regan is a tough litigator‘.

Gareth Ledsham was at all times efficient, knowledgeable and empathetic‘.

Tom Deely is very thorough indeed, and has an easy, engaging manner with clients which is more characteristic of a partner than an associate. He knows his stuff‘.


Key clients

Two of the claimants in Olga Scherbakova et al v. Brigita Morinaet al BVIHC (COM) 134 OF 2018; defendant in Ubbi & Anori (Minors) v Ubbi [2018] EWHC 1396 (Ch)

Fraud: white-collar crime Tier 3

Russell-Cooke LLP handles confiscations, forfeiture, restraint and freezing orders, and defence and prosecution of private prosecutions. Areas of expertise include multijurisdictional cases, employment, regulatory, international and tax advice. The firm is particularly adept at handling cases that involve intrusive media attention. Head of team Jae Carwardine is experienced in advising all levels of professionals and has defended cases against the SFO, FCA, HMRC and CPS. Hannah Bains joined as senior associate from Bark&co and Martin Rackstraw joined as a partner from Bindmans LLP.

Practice head(s):

Jae Carwardine

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Bains; Martin Rackstraw; Marie Bourke; Nicola O’Connor; Jenny Boyden


‘This is a well-established team of high quality criminal lawyers’.

‘They are friendly, experienced and well resourced’.

‘Nicola O’Connor is absolutely first class – easy to deal with, bright, approachable and hard-working’.

‘Russell Cooke’s practice is wide and varied, they are able to deal, as a firm, with practically any allegation in the criminal and regulatory sphere’.

‘Jenny Boyden stands out in a crowded field, she is a highly dedicated and long experienced criminal defence lawyer’.

‘Nicola O’Connor is a partner in the criminal team who has very high standards and is prepared to go the extra mile for her clients’. 

‘Jae Carwardine demonstrates high standards and a work ethic second to none’. 

‘Jae Carwardine has an exceptional manner with clients and leaves no stone unturned in the preparation of a case.’

‘Jae Carwardine is meticulous, immensely intelligent and knowledgeable and puts the clients needs at the heart of the service.’

‘Jae Carwardine is dedicated to every case she does and devoted to the client – a great combination.’

Key clients

Chin Lam

Lucinda Barton

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 3

Russell-Cooke LLP 's clients are a mix of large corporates, high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs and SMEs, and they are typically London-based. The firm's sector specialities include technology, travel and leisure, and real estate, with the team collaborating with the real estate department on complex transactions with property assets involved. In the technology sector, the team primarily advise start-ups, and is the UK legal partner for the Founder Institute, a pre-seed accelerator for young businesses. Jonathan Thornton is head of the corporate and commercial team, and is the key name to note for advice to creative and professional partnerships regarding shareholding activities.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Thornton

Other key lawyers:

Guy Wilmot

Key clients

The Ilchester Estate

Phrasee Limited

Beavis Morgan LLP

G Adventures

Kent Equine Hospital Limited

Property litigation Tier 3

Russell-Cooke LLP's 'strong' practice draws on a wealth of expertise assisting retail industry clients, charitable organisations and high-net-worth individuals, among others, with landlord and tenant disputes, various matters involving freehold land, such as restrictive covenants, rights of way and rights to light issues and party wall disputes, alongside issues pertaining to build-to-rent projects, telecoms sector work and property development matters. The 'excellentJason Hunter is the main contact and handles a wide range of commercial, residential and mixed-use property disputes.

Practice head(s):

Jason Hunter

Other key lawyers:

Paul Greatholder; Graham French


Good mix of expertise in residential and commercial property disputes.

Graham French is very knowledgeable and has a sound commercial instinct while also being a pleasure to work with.

Significant knowledge and understanding of charities.

Jason Hunter is quick to respond and efficient with paper work while also having good common sense.

Key clients



Get Living

Pret a Manger

Clipstone Industrial Unit Trust

Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators

Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust



Ilchester Estates

Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust

Thomas Pocklington Trust


The Gym Group

Social housing: tenant Tier 3

Russell-Cooke LLP has a strong commitment to legal aid work, in addition to advising clients on a private basis. Many of its clients are vulnerable, including victims of domestic violence and individuals with severe mental health difficulties. In addition to acting for private individuals, the team demonstrates strong capabilities advising tenant management organisations (organisations run by tenants for tenants) and housing co-operatives. It has been assisting families directly impacted by the Grenfell Tower fire with obtaining long-term/permanent housing, and is also representing a number of households in the inquiry into the disaster. The scope of its broader social housing practice is wide ranging, with the team advising clients on matters including disrepair, possession proceedings, homelessness reviews and appeals, and judicial review claims. Associate Caroline Brosnan has more than a decade of experience of the social housing sector. Another key figure is consultant Matilda Rubens, whose expertise includes homelessness cases that often involve domestic violence issues. Graham French heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Graham French

Other key lawyers:

Health and safety Tier 4

Russell-Cooke LLP 's team is led by the 'inspirational' Kizzy Augustin, who is an expert in both contentious and non-contentious health and safety matters. She has represented organisations and individuals in HSE investigations and coroners inquests.

Practice head(s):

Kizzy Augustin


The team is led by Kizzy Augustin, an inspirational woman who leads on so many issues as well as being a skilled and knowledgeable solicitor.’

‘Kizzy Augustin brings a wealth of experiences.’

‘Kizzy Augustin is a brilliant lawyer, an astute tactician and has flawless judgement.’

‘Kizzy Augustin is hugely experienced, has excellent client skills and an enviable depth of knowledge.’

‘Kizzy Augustin is outstanding in terms of her approachability, knowledge and understanding of the issues. She also liaised with partners in other fields of law that were outside her level of expertise. She was very reassuring to work with.’

‘A team of solicitors who understand their field and are a go to resource for health and safety law.’

‘Kizzy Augustin is very approachable, a great negotiator with fantastic specialist knowledge, approachable and helpful.’

Personal injury: claimant Tier 4

Russell-Cooke LLP has a strong record presenting the 'very best cases for its clients'. The team assists individuals who have sustained serious injuries, and occasionally attracts work where novel and interesting points of law are raised. Janice Gardner, whose personal injury legal experience spans nearly 25 years, supervises large multi-party actions as well as high-value cases involving psychiatric and criminal injury compensation claims, and those arising from road traffic accidents. Sarah Towler specialises in claims against local authorities, notably in relation to abused children. Deborah Blythe heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Deborah Blythe

Other key lawyers:

Janice Gardner; Sarah Towler; Nimmisha Aslam


‘Russell-Cooke has a team of very experienced partners and associates, who are well supervised and exposed to work at an appropriate level which permits the development of properly rounded experienced lawyers .’

‘Excellent representation of injured people to ensure they achieve justice.’

‘Janice Gardner is an exceptional lawyer. She has the heart of a lion and will fight hard for her clients. However, she will not lose perspective and will both seek and heed advice where appropriate.’

‘Janice is good at distilling complex issues and evidence into digestible  chunks for clients and will never lose sight of the bigger picture or commercial realities of a case.’

‘Deborah Blythe is a very experienced lawyer with a gentle manner that belies a steely resolve to do well for her clients. She is a very safe pair of hands.’

‘Nimmisha Aslam has excellent knowledge of the law and can identify the real issues in a case and focus on those to achieve the best outcomes for clients.’

‘Sarah Towler is a market leader in the industry; she can pick the essence of a case and develop it to a successful conclusion.’

Planning Tier 5

Russell-Cooke LLP regularly advises private sector clients on their residential-led development schemes in London and throughout the UK. Alex Ground provides the full spectrum of assistance on planning issues such as section 106 applications, CIL, highways agreements, CPO compensation advice, and office-to-residential conversions. The team has a strong contentious offering, with experience acting on planning appeals, enforcement appeals, judicial reviews, and High Court challenges. Clients are drawn from a broad range of sectors including retail, residential development, student accommodation, and private individuals.

Practice head(s):

Alex Ground


Russell-Cooke provides an excellent balance of specialist planning law knowledge and personable and approachable lawyers who are helpful and extremely professional.

Key clients

Perenco UK Limited

Woodcock Holdings Limited

Newable Property Developments Limited

Copperwood Developments Limited

Graham Oates Associates

Fairfax Acquisitions Limited

The Gym Group

Pret A Manger


Dexters London Limited

Triplerose Limited

Imperial London Hotels


Westminster Roman Catholic Diocese

Countrywide Developments Limited

Sport Tier 5

Russell-Cooke LLP acts for broadcasters, football clubs, governing bodies, charities and individuals, handling both contentious and non-contentious matters. On the contentious side, work includes acting for broadcasters in IP infringement cases, representing football clubs in employment disputes and advising on disciplinary proceedings. In the non-contentious space, matters relate to privacy, reputation management, data protection and incorporation, including establishing charitable vehicles. Solicitor advocate Matthew Bosworth, who specialises in professional disciplinary matters and intellectual property rights, is retained by Chelsea FC and Tottenham FC to provide ongoing advice in relation to privacy, on-field issues and reputation management.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Bosworth

Other key lawyers:

Peter Cadman


‘Highly professional partners and associates, outstanding response times.’

‘A vastly experienced firm, assisting sportsmen, clubs, sporting bodies and officials across the gamut of sports from athletics to wrestling and with everything in between.’

‘They are a rare firm to successfully combine experience of regulatory matters for sports with unrivalled experience of criminal law – they are the go-to firm for a number of Premier League clubs.’

‘Responsive, frank advice.’

‘Peter Cadman is calm, robust and fearless. Brilliant with the media even when refusing to speak to them!’

‘Matt Bosworth has been our preferred choice for many years. Experienced in doping, regulatory breaches and crime in sport.’

Key clients


Chelsea FC

Tottenham Hotspur FC

British Fencing

AMRAC/Turf TV – 2012

Surbiton Hockey Club

Sonny Webster

Roehampton Club

Commercial litigation Tier 7

Russell-Cooke LLP 'concentrates on providing great value for money and quality advice'. Senior partner John Gould's areas of practice include complex financial schemes; Paolo Sidoli is noted for claims involving fraud and asset-tracing, minority shareholders, directors and partnerships, and breach of warranties; and Lee Ranford is insolvency team head. Elliot Elsey and Michael Stacey were recently made partners, while former commercial litigation team head Francesca Kaye was appointed a Master of the Chancery Division.

Practice head(s):

John Gould


Able to conduct complex commercial litigation skillfully, unencumbered by the conflicts that can constrain larger firms‘.

Paolo Sidoli is a superb lawyer, who is adept at conducting heavyweight commercial litigation, especially disputes involving alleged frauds and offshore trust structures‘.

Elliot Elsey is very savvy, clever and commercial‘.

Key clients


Voluntary Service Overseas

Youth Hostels Association


Pelican Rouge

Venson Automotive Solutions

Solicitors Regulation Authority

Rex Brown


MX Sports

BNP Paribas

FRP Advisory


Russell-Cooke LLP's business immigration team regularly advises national and multinational businesses on the immigration implications of complex and high-value transactions. The team is also able to advise on complex sponsor license issues; it is regularly engaged in cases where sponsor licences have been revoked or are under threat and the team is noted for its education sector expertise. The team is also engaged by high-net-worth, ultra-high net worth and professional foreign nationals on Investor and Entrepreneur visas. The team also handles a raft of human rights, appeals and overstay mandates; the team advises on complex issues and has a growing reputation for sensitive adoption cases and is also advises families and individuals facing complex immigration issues. Senior associate Nisha Patel leads on personal immigration work for individual clients and is experienced in complex appeals, spousal visa applications and applications outside of the immigration rules. The 'experienced' Edward Wanambwa heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Edward Wanambwa

Other key lawyers:


Nisha Patel is very professional; she has outstanding knowledge and the capability to organise a team that works for the client.

The firm is capable of covering any task for clients, including complex matters.

Russell-Cooke is a top 100 London legal firm with around 200 partners and lawyers. Its highly regarded specialist lawyers, breadth of expertise and mix of commercial, private and public sector clients reflect the complex legal needs of contemporary London. Many of the firm’s teams are leaders in their fields, with peer-group accolades in areas as diverse as commercial property, professional regulation, crime and children law.

The firm: Pursuing its strategy of sustainable development, the firm has expanded through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. It has extended its breadth but retained a strong focus on service quality.

London’s demanding businesses, public organisations and professionals are attracted by the firm’s combination of serious expertise, unstuffy style and value-for-money fees. Its clients are hugely diverse, reflecting its range of work. The firm has a reputation as the ‘lawyers’ lawyers’, with a client base including the Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Magistrates Association, ILEX and many barristers’ chambers. Russell-Cooke’s ability to tackle complex, multi-dimensional cases means that a significant proportion of its work comes from referrals by other solicitors.

Russell-Cooke is one of a select group of broad-based practices in the top 100. There are few other substantial London firms offering such a full range of legal services.

Types of work undertaken: The firm handles virtually the whole range of contentious and non-contentious corporate and commercial work, with its M&A, real estate and property litigation teams enjoying a particularly high reputation.

The charity and social business team is amongst the top three legal teams in the sector and advises over 600 charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Russell-Cooke offers a full range of services for private clients including highly-regarded children law, family, employment, immigration, conveyancing/residential property, clinical negligence, personal injury and criminal litigation services. Private clients also benefit from the firm’s highly specialist contentious probate, tax, French law and cross-border estates expertise. Additionally, the firm has a principled commitment to an element of publicly funded work.

Russell-Cooke has a substantial international dimension with a dedicated international group facilitating cross-border activities for a diverse range of clients. Clients are drawn from all sectors, and include multinational and overseas corporations, public sector bodies, entrepreneurs and individuals.

Other offices: Putney, Kingston upon Thames

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner John Gould
Managing partner Jonathan Thornton
Administrative law and solicitors John Gould
Charities and social business Andrew Studd
Child abduction Fiona Read
Children law Samantha Little
Commercial and construction litigation/ADR Mark Fletcher
Corporate and commercial Jonathan Thornton
Conveyancing Donall Murphy
Construction Peter Kitson
Criminal litigation and fraud Jae Carwardine
Cross-border estates Andrew Godfrey
Employment Anthony Sakrouge
Education Eva Akins
Immigration Edward Wanambwa
Insolvency Lee Ranford
Family Camilla Thornton
Family mediation James Carroll
French law Dawn Alderson
Personal injury and medical negligence Janice Gardner
Property litigation Jason Hunter
Professional regulation Michael Stacey
Real estate Matt Garrod
Sports Matt Bosworth
Tax Scott Leonard
Trusts Rebecca Fisher
Trusts and estate disputes Alison Regan
Start-ups Guy Wilmot
Health and safety Kizzy Augustin
Photo Name Position Profile
 Dawn Alderson  photo Dawn Alderson Partner and head of French private client team. Dual qualified. Advises in…
 Alex Bearman  photo Alex Bearman Alex is a partner in the employment team, acting for both employers…
 Rita Bhargava  photo Rita Bhargava Partner in private client team. Head of Court of Protection and capacity…
 Deborah Blythe  photo Deborah Blythe Consultant specialising in clinical negligence and personal injury; main areas of practice…
 Jae Carwardine  photo Jae Carwardine Jae has over twenty years’ experience; renowned as a tenacious and tactically…
 Alan Edwards  photo Alan Edwards Alan is a consultant in the conveyancing team with extensive experience in…
 Rebecca Fisher  photo Rebecca Fisher Partner specialising in private client law. Areas of expertise include advising clients…
 Graham French  photo Graham French Graham is a consultant in the property and housing litigation team now working principally…
 Richard Frimston  photo Richard Frimston Consultant in the private client team. He advises clients in relation to…
 Janice Gardner  photo Janice Gardner Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence – both High Court. CICA and Inquests…
 Matt Garrod  photo Matt Garrod Matt is a partner in the real estate team, advising clients on…
 Andrew Godfrey  photo Andrew Godfrey Partner in private client team. Specialises in cross-border tax, succession and estate…
Mr John Gould photo Mr John Gould Senior Partner whose particular expertise is regulation and public law. He specialises…
 Alex Ground  photo Alex Ground Alex is a partner in our planning team and specialises in the…
 Peter Kitson  photo Peter Kitson Peter is a partner in the real estate team, and has specialised…
 Jane Klauber  photo Jane Klauber Partner in the charity and social business team. Employment law specialist undertaking…
 Gareth Ledsham  photo Gareth Ledsham Partner specialising in all types of trust and estate/succession-related litigation, including will…
 Scott Leonard  photo Scott Leonard Specialist expertise in M&A, joint venture agreements and partnership law.
 Donall Murphy  photo Donall Murphy Donall is a partner in the conveyancing team. Donall advises both buyers…
 Lee Ranford  photo Lee Ranford Partner and licensed insolvency practitioner specialising in contentious insolvency (corporate and personal)…
 Fiona Read  photo Fiona Read Solicitor, mediator, collaborative family practitioner and family arbitrator; undertakes all aspects of…
 Alison Regan  photo Alison Regan Partner specialising in contentious trust and succession disputes including will and probate…
 Rachael Rigamonti  photo Rachael Rigamonti Consultant in real estate. Rachael advises on a wide range of property…
 Anthony Sakrouge  photo Anthony Sakrouge Partner specialising in contentious employment law. Has acted for a wide range…
 James Sinclair Taylor  photo James Sinclair Taylor Partner in the charity and social business team dealing with charities, social…
 Andrew Studd  photo Andrew Studd Advises charities, social businesses and other not-for-profit organisations on the corporate and…
 Howard Swindall  photo Howard Swindall Howard is a partner in the real estate team. Howard advises private,…
 Jonathan Thornton  photo Jonathan Thornton Head of corporate and commercial; workload encompasses MBOs, MBIs, share and asset…
 Edward Wanambwa  photo Edward Wanambwa Partner in the immigration and employment teams; head of the immigration team.…
 David Webster  photo David Webster Partner in the corporate and commercial group. Areas of expertise include corporate…
 Guy Wilmot  photo Guy Wilmot Business start-ups; branding and intellectual property; commercial contracts; e-commerce and IT. Specialisms…
Number of UK partners : 61
Number of other UK fee-earners : 148

The Lex 100 Verdict

The breadth of work on offer at Russell-Cooke means that 'there is greater scope for trainees to find the right area of law for them'. From family to corporate, recruits have the opportunity to 'explore their various interests' in an 'open atmosphere' where there is 'hardly any hierarchy' and 'everyone is friendly, sociable and welcoming'. On the one hand, trainees at RC are 'involved in more substantial elements of cases and given responsibility, whilst still being supported through superb supervision'. On the other hand, training can be inconsistent because of each department being independently managed; some trainees felt as though they were 'working for a completely different firm when [they] changed seats'. Nonetheless, Russell-Cooke has amassed four Lex 100 Winner awards this year. One for its 'very good work/life balance – there is no culture of staying late to be seen', another for its 'amazing social life, including sports teams and film club nights', and two for the vacation scheme and confidence of being kept on post qualification. Several trainees pointed to the fact that Russell-Cooke is a 'sustainably-growing firm which is not afraid to do things differently'. This 'even extends to keeping our own bees on the roof (with the added bonus of honey being available to staff)'! 'A week where the deadlines were really highly pressured in a way I hadn't experienced before' was a worst moment, whilst 'attending a swanky completion lunch after a difficult matter' and 'working on the sale of a high-value property from start to finish' were highlights. To train at a firm which is 'prominent enough that you get to work on prestigious cases and small enough that you do real, meaningful work', consider Russell-Cooke.