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Russell-Cooke LLP

Living Wage
Work 020 7405 6566
Fax 020 7831 2565

London: Corporate and commercial

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m
M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m - ranked: tier 3

Russell-Cooke LLP

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

Work highlights

  • Represented the seller of a property in Cannon Street via a corporate vehicle, with a deal value in excess of £47m.
  • Represented G Adventures in its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of small group youth travel specialists TruTravels.
  • Represented marketing technology company Phrasee Limited in a $4m Series A fundraising round.
  • Advised the shareholders of Character Cottage Holidays Ltd on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to LDC, a UK mid-market private equity firm.

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London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: general
Crime: general - ranked: tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP

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-capable' Nicola 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.'

Leading individuals

Jae Carwardine - Russell-Cooke LLP

Rising stars

Marie Bourke - Russell-Cooke LLP

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Fraud: white-collar crime
Fraud: white-collar crime - ranked: tier 3

Russell-Cooke LLP

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

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in a £1m VAT evasion and money laundering case.
  • Defending director in £6.2m care home fraud.
  • Advising solicitors facing trial over allegations of conspiracy to defraud.
  • Representing a client in a matter that relates to VAT fraud over a six year period involving multiple false tax returns and the creation of false invoices totalling an inaccurate reclaim of almost £300,000 in VAT.
  • Following a three month trial at Southwark Crown Court our client was acquitted of conspiracy to defraud.  A private prosecution was then brought where it was alleged that our client and others defrauded many millions of pounds from insurers. All were acquitted.
Leading individuals

Jae Carwardine - Russell-Cooke LLP

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London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 7

Russell-Cooke LLP

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

Other key lawyers:Paolo Sidoli; Lee Ranford; Elliot Elsey; Michael Stacey


'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

Work highlights

  • Represented a digital services provider in a complex contractual dispute, which included bribery allegations.

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Professional discipline
Professional discipline - ranked: tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP

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

Other key lawyers:Paolo Sidoli; Michael Stacey; Andrew Pavlovic


'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

Work highlights

  • Represented a solicitor who was struck off the roll by the SRA, following a hearing in which the solicitor was unable to represent himself due to mental health issues.
Leading individuals

John Gould - Russell-Cooke LLP

Rising stars

Michael Stacey - Russell-Cooke LLP

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London: Human resources

Employment: senior executives
Employment: senior executives - ranked: tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP

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.'

Work highlights

  • Acting for a client in a High Court claim for breach of contract against Staffline, whose staffing division is the largest recruiter in the UK.
  • Represented a senior partner in a top 15 law firm who was dismissed for sexual harassment.
  • Acted for a senior executive at a private equity firm who was threatened with dismissal after she reported that she had been sexually harassed by a colleague.
  • Provided employment/discrimination advice to a founding partner who was also a shareholder in an associated company.
  • Acting for a star fund manager who is being poached by a global investment management firm which is prepared to make good the substantial deferred compensation he will be losing by moving.  

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 4

Russell-Cooke LLP

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.'

Next Generation Partners

Kizzy Augustin - Russell-Cooke LLP

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Immigration: business - ranked: tier 3

Russell-Cooke LLP

Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay - ranked: tier 3

Russell-Cooke LLP

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


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.

Work highlights

  • Brought a successful judicial review claim for a major multinational pharmaceuticals company.
  • Advised a leading US-based financial services company on UK immigration issues arising from Brexit.
  • Advised a US financial trading company on obtaining a sponsor licence and a Tier 2 visa for a key employee.
  • Representing a client on a permanent residence and British citizenship application.
  • Advised on an application for leave to remain in the UK, outside of the Immigration Rules on compassionate and exceptional grounds.
Leading individuals

Edward Wanambwa - Russell-Cooke LLP

Rising stars

Nisha Patel - Russell-Cooke LLP

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London: Insurance

Clinical negligence: claimant
Clinical negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP

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.'

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for claimant in Darnley v Croydon Healthcare NHS Trust before the Supreme Court on issue of Duty of Care for non-medical staff  in A& E departments.
  • Preparing case for the review of doctrine of ‘ex turpi causa’ in the Supreme Court, after a claimant with a long mental history of schizophrenia killed her mother, following alleged negligent treatment and failure to act by the Hospital Trust responsible for her care.
  • Representing claimants against Epsom General Hospital in fatal claim, resulting from various failures and delay in diagnosis of vascular problem.
  • Acting on behalf of claimant against St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in relation to treatment and surgery negligence.
Leading individuals

Deborah Blythe - Russell-Cooke LLP

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Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 4

Russell-Cooke LLP

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.'

Work highlights

  • Represented a 75-year-old woman who sustained an injury at home involving a cupboard landing on her left shoulder.
  • Acted in a complex causation claim for a client who suffered a complicated left hip injury following an accident in a supermarket and had a long history of hip-related issues.

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London: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP

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

Other key lawyers:James Sinclair Taylor; Chris Rowse


'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

Work highlights

  • Represented Breast Cancer Now on its merger with Breast Cancer Care.
  • Advised the Education Trust and a related charity on the sale to Lancaster University of the collection of paintings, books, photographs and drawings by John Ruskin, the epoch-defining critic, artist, environmentalist and social thinker.
  • Advised the Suzy Lamplugh Trust on the legal aspects of a pioneering project working with perpetrators of stalking, including putting in place agreements with funding bodies and partner organisations.
  • Advised on the restructuring of the Alliance Group and the transfer of historic data and records to one of the entities. Some partners at Russell-Cooke became directors of the entity to ensure the preservation and proper handling of the data.
  • Advised Deaf Direct on a restructuring and merger involving a charity that runs a centre for the deaf in Oxford.
Leading individuals

Andrew Studd - Russell-Cooke LLP

James Sinclair Taylor - Russell-Cooke LLP

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

Russell-Cooke LLP

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)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Olga and Alexander Scherbakov in relation to an international succession dispute.
  • Acting for Tana Knyvett, Alwyn Turner and Richard Wells as executors and representative beneficiaries in defending the estate from a 1975 Act claim brought by a claimant purporting to have been maintained or to have cohabited with the deceased.
  • Acting for Susan Ubbi in the defence of a 1975 Act claim brought by the minor children of the deceased.
  • Acting for one of four executors of an estate with assets in England, Spain, Jersey, Ontario and British Colombia.
  • Advising a widow on a potential 1975 Act claim in England, coupled with equivalent claim now issued in Alberta Canada, in circumstances where the estate contains assets in England, Alberta and Georgia, USA.
Leading individuals

Alison Regan - Russell-Cooke LLP

Next Generation Partners

Gareth Ledsham - Russell-Cooke LLP

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Court of Protection
Court of Protection - ranked: tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP

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

Work highlights

  • Representing the deputy of D on an application to commence nullity proceedings.
  • Represented a family trust in relation to a statutory will application of which it was a proposed beneficiary.
  • Representing the trustee of a will trust where the life tenant lacks capacity and there are allegations of financial abuse.
  • Representing the attorney in relation to a claim for maintenance from P by the second wife.
  • Representing the parents of P who wished to remove her from the jurisdiction.

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Family - ranked: tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP

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'.

Work highlights

  • Acted in complex High Court Nullity, Schedule 1 and Children Act proceedings for a senior member of a royal family including appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
  • Instructed in proceedings involving an invalid marriage.
  • Advising and representing applicants for a parental order in an international surrogacy case.
  • Advising a client on his pre-nuptial agreement to protect his family estate.
  • Representing a child in a declaration of parentage case arising from fertility clinic errors (Family Court, High Court).
Leading individuals

Camilla Thornton - Russell-Cooke LLP

Fiona Read - Russell-Cooke LLP

James Carroll - Russell-Cooke LLP

Kate Hamilton - Russell-Cooke LLP

Samantha Little - Russell-Cooke LLP

Sarah Richardson - Russell-Cooke LLP

Rising stars

Hannah Minty - Russell-Cooke LLP

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Family: mediation
Family: mediation - ranked: tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP

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:James Carroll; Kate Hamilton; Louise Connolly


'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'.

Work highlights

  • Acted as mediator on all issues (children and finances).
  • Mediation for a couple where wife has a terminal illness.
  • Mediation for a couple where a man was transitioning to a woman following previous failed mediation.
  • Mediating after a long marriage.
  • Mediating in a highly charged relationship breakdown.
Leading individuals

Fiona Read - Russell-Cooke LLP

James Carroll - Russell-Cooke LLP

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

Russell-Cooke LLP

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.'

Work highlights

  • Acting for client in relation to an international succession dispute.
  • Acting for an UHNW family with major business interests who are Family Office clients.
  • Acting for a high-profile individual on the interpretation of family trusts and the extent to which the trustees could exercise their discretion in relation to publishing rights from books.
  • Acting for UHNW client who is non-domiciled and looking to purchase property and relocate his family to UK for schooling.
  • Advising a non-domiciled client on the structuring of his will to comply with the terms of an English consent order while retaining privacy in the context of a high-profile divorce.
Leading individuals

Rebecca Fisher - Russell-Cooke LLP

Richard Frimston - Russell-Cooke LLP

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London: Public sector

Education: individuals
Education: individuals - ranked: tier 2

Russell-Cooke LLP

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

Other key lawyers:Georgina Downard; Sarah Richardson


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

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London: Real estate

Commercial property: retail
Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 3

Russell-Cooke LLP

Russell-Cooke LLP's ‚Äėtechnically skilled' team provide¬†'a personalised and responsive service‚Äô. 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


'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

Work highlights

  • Dealt with the real estate aspects of the acquisition of 13 gyms from easyGym in various locations across England and Wales.
  • Acting for Pret A Manger (Europe) Limited on a lease renewal with an initial rent of £1.5m and a minimum rental commitment for the term of £13.5m.

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Planning - ranked: tier 5

Russell-Cooke LLP

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

Work highlights

  • Advised Perenco UK Limited on multiple planning applications to extend the operational life of its oil field at Wytch Farm Dorset.
  • Representing Copperwood Developments Limited on all planning aspects associated with a proposed residential scheme of 154 units near Guildford.
  • Advising Goldcrest Land Limited on the redevelopment of an industrial workshop site in Wimbledon Park.
  • Advising Fairfax Acquisitions Limited on four residential-led schemes in Wealdon District, with environmental implications.
  • Providing Newable Property Development Limited with advice on the compulsory acquisition of its land associated with the proposed Silvertown Tunnel.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

Russell-Cooke LLP

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 'excellent' Jason 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

Work highlights

  • Representing Norfolk Square in long-running litigation against a hotel tenant involving an injunction to gain access and a contested claim about the tenant's right to a new tenancy, among other matters.
  • Assisted Thomas Pocklington Trust with the release of a restrictive covenant over its land meaning that it can now realise the substantial value of it.
  • Acted for Spitalfields Small Business Association in a claim brought by a commercial landlord seeking a declaration from the court about how a rent review clause is to be interpreted.
  • Advising Publica Properties, a commercial landlord, on its rights to enforce repairing covenants in the lease of property occupied by House of Fraser on Oxford Street.
  • Successfully represented Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators in a High Court possession and injunction claim against trespassers with caravans and vehicles.
Leading individuals

Jason Hunter - Russell-Cooke LLP

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Social housing: tenant
Social housing: tenant - ranked: tier 3

Russell-Cooke LLP

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:Caroline Brosnan; Matilda Rubens

Work highlights

  • Assisting families directly impacted by the Grenfell Tower fire with obtaining long-term/permanent housing, and also representing a number of households in the inquiry into the disaster.
Rising stars

Caroline Brosnan - Russell-Cooke LLP

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Sport - ranked: tier 5

Russell-Cooke LLP

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

Work highlights

  • Acting in Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, County Court, Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court matters to protect Sky’s IP rights in relation to sports broadcasting/live sports broadcasts within the UK.

  • Instructed on an ongoing basis to represent Chelsea FC officials and players in numerous matters throughout the year, including privacy and reputation management issues.
  • Advising British Fencing generally and especially with regard to issues of safety.
  • Acting in Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court matters to protect AMRAC’s IP rights in relation to broadcasting/live sports broadcasts of horse racing via the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.

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Legal Developments in the UK

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