Keystone Law > Douglas, Isle Of Man > Firm Profile

Keystone Law
THE OLD COURTHOUSE
ATHOL STREET
DOUGLAS
IM1 1JD
Isle Of Man

Isle of Man > Employment Tier 1

Keystone Law is home to two highly experienced litigators in Gillian Christian and Andrew Marshall. Christian's workload includes disputes involving disciplinary issues, unfair dismissals and allegations of discrimination. Marshall is notably active in matters concerning contractual breaches. Also recommended is Rachel Berry, who is experienced in advising on the employment aspects of major acquisitions and reorganisations.

Testimonials

‘The ability to use other members of the in-house team should areas of different expertise be needed. Billing is always laid out in a concise and detailed manner.’

‘Andrew Marshall’s knowledge of the employment sector has been exceptional. From dealing with redundancy issues to potential disputes regarding terms of employment and severances. I have had complete confidence in his advice and guidance.’

‘The team displayed a excellent knowledge of employment law and provided a detailed opinion on the matter we raised. The were very supportive during a tribunal matter. The team members are helpful and prompt to respond.’

‘Rachel Berry was extremely helpful. She went out of her way to assist even to the extent of helping out of hours or when she was on leave. Her knowledge of the law was solid, as was the advice she gave. She was honest in her assessment of our case and gave us a true picture of the likely outcome.’

Crime, fraud and licensing > Licensing Tier 1

The ‘excellent panel of licensing lawyers’ at Keystone Law offer a broad array of licensing expertise, covering common issues such as premises, personal and gaming licenses, as well as enforcement action, street trading and late-night refreshment licenses. Gareth Hughes provides a top-flight knowledge of licensing regimes, with a particular emphasis on hospitality and entertainment. He also acts on planning matters, providing his clients with a one-stop service. Andrew Wong is ‘particularly good on London restaurants, retail and hospitality developments, bars and hotels,’ and also excels advising landlords and developers. Niall McCann is also known for working with blue-chip clients and has been particularly active providing clients with Covid-19 advice. Marcus Lavell has ‘a good sense for the best points in a case,’ and James Daglish has experience with the growing CBD market.

Testimonials

‘Andrew Wong and Marcus Lavell are brilliant at client care, innovative thinkers, good with licensing authorities and carefully considered in all they do.’

‘Marcus Lavell offers great knowledge of the industry and a good sense for the best points in a case. Excellent on public law matters too.’

‘Gareth Hughes continues to be excellent to work with, achieving deadlines with efficiency and professionalism. His knowledge of licensing is outstanding and I would have no hesitation in working with him again or recommending him to others.’

‘Andrew Wong is exceptionally commercially minded and astute. Particularly good on London restaurants, retail and hospitality developments, bars and hotels. Approaches licensing like an entrepreneur, maximising the value of premises for clients and not simply as a lawyer. Results-driven, with many spectacular results under his belt.’

‘Their knowledge, contacts and 360 perspectives of our industry is excellent. James Daglish has the right tone with the council and me and gets the job done.’

‘Their excellent panel of licensing lawyers is increasing by the year.’

‘My go-to licensing lawyer is Niall McCann. Niall has excellent knowledge and experience of licensing, is well known to the licensing authorities and always delivers sound and timely advice. Particularly with the challenges of Covid, Niall has been wonderfully proactive about keeping us up to date with changes in the guidelines, etc which affect our restaurants.’

‘Excellent service that goes above and beyond.’

Key clients

Globalgrange Hotels Limited

Highgate group of New York

Tom Kerridge

Yamabahce Limited

Puttshack Ltd

Immerse London Ltd

Lawmans (UK) Limited

FL Holding Limited

Inception Group

The Chiswick Park Unit Trust

Club Glam Limited

The Shuffle Group Limited

Hunch Sports Ltd

Jumbo Interactive Limited

Carluccio’s Limited

OBS Hotel Limited

All the Ducks Limited

Nightlight Leisure Ltd

Filimonov Restaurants Limited

Chiltern Firehouse

Time Out Market London Limited

B&M Limited

Gaucho

Tate Galleries

Work highlights

  • Advised Globalgrange Hotels Limited, working with Gerald Eve on planning and licensing applications on the Holborn Gateway and a block around Southampton Row.
  • Advising Yamabahce Limited on Alan Yau OBE’s two new restaurant concepts, opening in London next year.
  • Instructed by The Chiswick Park Unit Trust to apply for a new premises licence to cover Chiswick Park for alcohol sales, music and sports events.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 1

The commercial litigation team at 'standout leader' Keystone Law has an enviable record of success in litigation, and is noted as a go-to for clients ranging in size from SMEs to large global organisations. Alex Ferrari‘s practice covers a wide variety of sectors, and encompasses both domestic and international disputes. The 'exceptionally talentedMatthew Reach specialises in business-related and company disputes, as well as financial services and securities-related litigation. Robert Lawrie is active in shareholder claims, general commercial disputes and matters involving allegations of fraud. Matthew Hennessy-Gibbs has notable expertise in sizeable commercial disputes and large-value complex fraud cases (often with international elements). Also recommended are Gagan Ranu and Dharmendra NairElaine Chan is 'a highly skilled, efficient and personable lawyer'.

Testimonials

This practice has a unique model that allows their highly-trained staff to work flexibly, unimpeded by geography. They rely on very sophisticated IT systems that work very effectively and they look after their staff particularly carefully, offering unique support that frees up the lawyers to give their full concentration to clients.

Keystone provides a knowledgeable and experienced service at more affordable rates for those who don’t need a cast of thousands.

Keystone Law is a flexible and client-oriented firm.

Matthew Reach is an exceptionally talented commercial litigator, focusing on high-value commercial and company disputes. Matthew is the go-to for certain litigation funders.

Robert Lawrie, who I found easy to discuss our case with, managed my expectations extremely well to ensure that I not only won the case but that I came out with a good settlement without over-claiming, which could have caused contentious issues with the court.

Matthew Hennessy-Gibbs is very efficient and a safe pair of hands in a crisis – straight-talking and tenacious when seeking to achieve his clients’ aims.

Elaine Chan is a highly skilled, efficient and personable lawyer.

Key clients

Indigo Global Partners

Nest Investments (Holdings)

Institutional Investors in Petrofac

Woburn Homes

Maytham Larry

PSB Alpha

CSE Transtel PTE

Arcelor Mittal Sourcing

Beauparc Group

Athena Brands

Work highlights

  • Acting for Indigo Global Partners, a UK-based financial services company, in a claim brought by SKAT (the Danish Tax collecting authority), which has commenced fraud-related claims against multiple defendants in several jurisdictions.
  • Acting for Nest Investments (Holdings), as claimant, in (reportedly) the largest fraud claim ever pursued in the courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre, which has led to several reported decisions.
  • Handling a large group action on behalf of institutional investors in Petrofac, which concerns investment losses suffered further to Petrofac’s failure to publish market-sensitive information about bribery and corruption in the Middle East.

Real estate > Residential property Tier 1

Keystone Law has a well-established presence in the London residential property market, as evidenced by its work for high-net-worth clients on sales and acquisitions, developments and disputes. It is notably strong advising on matters concerning prime and super-prime London properties, and undertakes a significant account of work for overseas investors from the Middle East, Europe and Asia Pacific. Ian Cooke and Sakhjit Randhawa joined in December 2019 after many years working together at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP – the ‘dynamic duo‘ are known for being ‘the very best in the business at the ultra-high end of the residential property market‘, advising an international client base including royalty, high-profile public figures and property developers on buying, selling and investing into London. Hugh Murphy advises UK and international clients on transactions relating to country houses, sporting estates, farms and agricultural land. Leasehold enfranchisement expert Katie Cohen and Johnny Drysdale are also recommended.  

Other key lawyers:

Hugh Murphy; Ian Cooke; Sakhjit Randhawa; Katie Cohen; Johnny Drysdale; Arwel Lewis; Dagmara Selwyn-Kuczera

Testimonials

‘Hugh Murphy has stand out execution skills whilst remaining exceptionally thorough on the detail.’

‘We are always confident having Katie Cohen in our corner. Katie’s advice is invaluable every time, she is always available and her response time is amazing.’

‘Good legal knowledge and advice, timely delivery of work done.’

‘The firm as a whole are professional, hardworking, knowledgeable and are easy to reach and work with.’

‘We’ve had absolutely no issues receiving a swift reply to our calls or messages and feel the team really go above and beyond to retain a good working relationship with us as agents and our contacts and long-term clients.’

‘As a firm, we only recommend an Ian Cooke and Sakhjit Randhawa to our overseas clients as we know they’ll do an incredible job and trust them wholeheartedly not to disappoint. ‘

‘Ian Cooke has been brilliant on multiple occasions helping to keep ours sales on track whilst continuously working in the clients best interests. Ian is very knowledgeable about the property market, he knows residential law inside out and has great communication skills regardless of who he is dealing with.’

‘Sakhjit Randhawa has been instrumental to the success of our transactions and is pleasure to deal with. On many occasions, Sakhjit and Ian have worked over the weekends and late into the evening to ensure a transaction takes place on time.’

Key clients

Regent’s Crescent Property Holding

The Old War Office Project

60 Curzon Street Limited

British Land PLC

Archie Riby-Williams and Portman Heritage

Katrina Dujardin

Work highlights

  • Advised Regent’s Crescent Property Holding on the sale of all of the apartments so far in the Regent’s Crescent development in prime central London.
  • Advising British Land PLC throughout the development and sales programme of their super-prime Clarges Mayfair development opposite the Ritz .
  • Advised Westminster Development Services Limited on the development of the famous building known as The Old War Office on Whitehall in London.

Isle of Man > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 2

Keystone Law's team includes Geoff Kermeen, who advises banks, alternative lenders and borrowers on real estate and asset finance transactions, and he also advises Isle of Man regulated banks on regulatory issues. Sally Cranshaw is another key name for real estate finance advice. Stephen Rodd, Hazel Dawson and William Margot are also recommended.

Testimonials

‘Geoff Kermeen is excellent, available, practical, never the part of a transaction that you have to worry about!’

‘Excellent turnaround times and knowledge of sector.’

‘Keystone helped guide us through the process with confidence at every step and made sure we were able to hit some very testing deadlines.’

‘Hazel made me feel that no question was too trivial and was an integral part of the success of our public listing. We really couldn’t have done it without her.’

‘Working with Sally within Keystone has to date has been a faultless experience. Sally is very prompt to react, turns the required work around in a very timely manner and her attention to detail is fantastic.’

Work highlights

  • Advised AIB on a facility of €11m to a newly incorporated Irish company called Golden Bake Holdings Limited.
  • Provided Isle of Man transactional assistance in respect of several real estate finance transactions for ICG Alternative Investments.
  • Advised GreenOak Real Estate  on a £10m loan facility made available to an Isle of Man borrower company on the acquisition of 92 Dean Street, Soho, London.

Isle of Man > Corporate and commercial Tier 2

Keystone Law is the only firm in the Isle of Man with a London office , which makes it well placed to advise on real estate transactions with Manx structures. The practice also has a strong emphasis on the financial services sector, with a client list containing banks, corporate services providers and trusts. Geoff Kermeen and Sally Cranshaw are key names for the firm’s real estate work, as is Stephen Rodd, who formerly worked in the London and Dubai markets. William Margot is another key name, and handles the firm’s work for corporate service providers.

Testimonials

‘The Keystone team in Isle of Man are very responsive, proactive and fees are always reasonable.’

‘We have used Sally Cranshaw for many years now. She is very well liked by our team, works very efficiently with other legal firms covering different jurisdictions and is invariably the one we turn to for Isle of Man legal matters.’

‘Provide a bespoke and very efficient service. Excellent response time and great anticipation of requirements and management of transaction.’

‘Sally Cranshaw has an excellent understanding of her clients requirements and provides a first class service often with limited notice and in short order. Very good at managing the whole transaction process for her client from beginning to end.’

‘Will Margot is great! Very knowledgeable and always available.’

‘The team at Keystone have worked with me for over a decade. They understand our business and tailor the approach depending on our particular challenges at the time, which are usually quite unique in their own way. There is a wealth of experience individually as a team, many of our projects require several law disciplines/specialists who collaborate together to ensure we have the best advice and outcome. We have never felt that we are not top priority to the team.’

‘We have presented the team with several challenges on new contract types, which often have to be developed from scratch. Again this team always deliver.’

‘Stephen Rodd has been an invaluable adviser, it often feels like he is more of a colleague than an advocate. He goes beyond what would normally be expected, with fast responses in difficult circumstances, often working overnight and at weekends to keep us ahead of the challenges and gives a good balance to our team when dealing with issues. When needed, Stephen brings in the right level of resource to help resolve matters or make the right move.’

Key clients

Manx Telecom Trading Limited

Greenridge Investment Management Limited; Greenridge CQ4 Holdco Limited; Greenridge CQ4; Propco Limited; Greenridge BOD Holdco Limited; Greenridge GHS Holdco Limited;

Hill Robinson Management Limited

Ocorian

Rockpool Investments LLP / Boston Group Newco IOM Limited

Fundamentum Social Housing REIT plc

Sub Zero Holdings Limited

Panoro Energy ASA

Clearbell Capital LLP

ARA Venn

Work highlights

  • Advised on Ocorian’s acquisition of Estera.
  • Provided IoM law advice to ARA Venn on the provision of acquisition financing of the £400m acquisition of three build to rent developments by ECE.
  • Advised Greenridge Investment Management Limited on the acquisition of Great Northern Retail Park, Huddersfield from BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees Limited.

Isle of Man > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Trust litigation is a particular focus for Keystone Law; the firm's lawyers have been advising several claimants on the high-profile misappropriation of £13m worth of trusts funds by Montpelier (Trust and Corporate) Services Limited. Gillian Christian advised on that particular matter and, alongside trust litigation, is also skilled in professional negligence and commercial contract disputes. Andrew Marshall is another key name and advises on Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings, including restraint and production proceedings.

Testimonials

‘Andrew Marshall has had to deal with some complex and potentially stressfully situations in dealing with a difficult and potentially contentious estate. He has at all times been professional, available and thoughtful in his approach and his careful handling of personalities and scenarios has helped to avoid dramas turning into crisis.’

‘Andrew Marshall is absolutely focused on resolving each matter in the best way, deploying his very considerable knowledge of the law, his clear and detailed forensic analysis, his extensive tactical experience, and his practical common sense, to find the best solution to every problem and to provide his clients with exemplary outcomes. He is absolutely first rate.’

‘The Keystone team are all very approachable and easy to work with. Gill Christian in particular makes herself available to support us and always delivers in a timely manner on a cost effective basis. ’

Keystone is remarkable for its breadth of coverage and ability to find expertise in-house on specialist projects. The firm brings a fresh, youthful approach to litigation without being devoid of mature, experienced counsel.’

‘Andrew Marshall is a rising star in the Manx legal landscape. He is a beacon of hope for the future – bright, energetic and humble.’

‘There was no degradation of service during lockdown as Keystone were already geared up to work remotely. The other law firms I deal with all struggled to adapt and their client service suffered as a result.’

‘I have worked with Gillian Christian on a number of contentious matters over many years. Gill has always impressed me with her sensible and pragmatic approach to problems. Gill cares about clients and their issues and she gives sound, practical advice. Gill is excellent and I would always go to her first with any contentious legal matters.’

‘I have worked with Andrew Marshall. He has always been very attentive and helpful in his guidance and also very willing to explain legal terms and issues to me at length. Above all, I trust his counsel completely. He has always been at the end of the phone when I need to speak to him and in person should it be required. ’

Key clients

Ballacorey Wheat Limited and Gem Global Yield Fund Limited

Receivers of the Axiom Legal Financing Fund

Isle of Man Financial Services Authority

Bridgewaters (IOM) Limited

Browne Craine & Co as liquidators of Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited

Oak Group Isle of Man Limited

Roclad Systems Limited

Several Claimants regarding Montpelier (Trust and Corporate) Services Limited

Divyesh Mittal and Associated Entities

Forsters LLP

Boston Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the receivers of the Axiom Legal financing fund in conjunction in proceedings brought against RBSI for breach of duty.
  • Acting for the liquidators of Premier Group (Isle of Man) Limited.
  • Advised Ballacorey Wheat Limited in a case concerning fraud committed by one of its directors.

Isle of Man > Gambling Tier 2

Keystone Law has advised on gambling services and amenities in both a virtual and physical context, with expertise in corporate transactions, commercial agreements, regulatory compliance work and data protection issues. Corporate partner Stephen Rodd, who has particular knowledge of the e-gaming sector, leads the practice.

Other key lawyers:

Isle of Man > Insurance and pensions Tier 2

Keystone Law is ‘widely acknowledged as the local leader in pensions advice’, drawing on the 'in-depth knowledge' of pensions specialist Ben Hughes. His work entails providing general advice on occupational and personal pension schemes, as well as assisting with the establishment, maintenance and restructuring of major schemes.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Legal advice received is always well thought out, researched and delivered in a language which is easily digestible for a wider audience. Billing is detailed and clear and helps avoid any unexpected costs.’

‘Ben Hughes is very professional in his manner, thorough in his opinions and calm in his delivery. The reason we deal with Keystone has been due to the relationship and experience of Ben.’

‘Keystone is the go-to firm for pensions in the Isle of Man, with a depth of knowledge across a wide and diverse range of subject matters. ’

‘Ben Hughes’ knowledge of pensions legislation, related tax laws and ability to apply his knowledge in a practical and understandable way is second to none, ’

‘The key advocate is Ben Hughes who is the leading pension adviser on the Isle of Man. He has an in-depth knowledge of Manx pension law and regulations and can call on support for UK matters as required. He is pragmatic in his advice.’

‘Widely acknowledged as the local leader in pensions advice’

‘Ben Hughes has been invaluable in our recent pension merger transaction. His engagement with the opposite parties has been excellent and he has met all scheduled deadlines, even where these have been extremely demanding. ’

Corporate and commercial > M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 2

Keystone Law is well regarded by its diverse client base for its partner-led service and expertise in cross-border corporate transactions. The team regularly acts for entrepreneurs, SMEs and larger corporates on a range of acquisitions, sales, and various other strategic transactions. Key names include Nadim Zaman and Jeremy Davis; Zaman primarily focuses on cross-border M&A, with recent highlights including handling deals for high-net-worth individuals and media companies. Dee Sian is a key player in the firm’s M&A healthcare practice, while Geoffrey Davies is noted for his experience in high-profile retail transactions.

Practice head(s):

Nadim Zaman; Jeremy Davis

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘We have worked with Keystone for more than 10 years on 50+ transactions and with broadly the same set of individuals throughout that period of time. That level of continuity is key – they are to us akin to an in-house team that we work with on every deal and therefore know exactly how we work, what level of engagement we want/need, what we look for and need them to look out for. They are highly personable, always available, and very knowledgeable in their individual fields of expertise.’

‘Very personal service, built up of specialists across the various facets of deal law who dip in and out as needed with a lot of in-practise depth of experience. They are firm but fair in their approach, very pragmatic and solution orientated.’

Key clients

Teatro San Cassiano Group Ltd

HML Holdings Plc

William Edwards

Rescompany Systems Limited

Mobeus Equity Partners LLP

Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited

City and County Healthcare Group Limited

Conran Holdings

Asiability Limited

Shareholders of Dukeshill Ham Company Ltd

Intouch With Health Limited

Trutac Limited

The Rose Family

Work highlights

  • Advised Teatro San Cassiano Group Ltd on its corporate restructuring ahead of its proposed £70m joint venture for the purpose of recreating the world’s first public baroque opera house.
  • Advised HML Holdings Plc on its takeover by BDB Nominee Company Limited.
  • Acted for Conran Holdings in connection with the sale of the business and associated licensing matters.

Employment > Senior executives Tier 2

Keystone Law is home to one of the largest groups of senior employment lawyers in the country and is notable for its alternative business model. It provides expertise in the full range of employment issues for CEOs, directors, board members, senior lawyers and political figures and in areas ranging from the financial services industry to the football sector. Alistair French is highly rated for his handling of complex cases and also for being able to ‘manage expectations‘, while Clive Howard (who joined from Slater and Gordon in 2021) is known for undertaking high-profile cases. ‘Absolute proPaul Daniels‘ experience encompasses executive dismissals, discrimination and whistleblowing claims, contract disputes and sport issues, while Angharad Harris has ‘second to none‘ expertise; both also undertake employer side work. Other highly-rated practitioners include Nigel Forsyth, Michelle Last and ‘stand-out partnerJane Wheeler who ‘never fails to impress‘.

Other key lawyers:

Alistair French; Clive Howard; Paul Daniels; Angharad Harris; Nigel Forsyth; Michelle Last; Julie Morris; Jane Wheeler; Emma Clark; Alexandra Carn; Fraser Younson; Helen Sherborne

Testimonials

Keystone has built up a strong employment law offering over the past 5 years. Jane Wheeler is excellent.’

They are way more ‘joined up’ than many other practices. Extremely committed and go the extra mile under trying circumstances.’

Nigel Forsyth continues to be an outstanding practitioner in the art of employment law. Often needing to pivot to see all views, Nigel is just such a formidable competitor ( but in the most charming way possible) that he almost makes the moves for the opposition or certainly predicts it.

The whole business model makes Keystone unique as I understand it. You get a top expert without the all the usual baggage of a normal firm.

Alexandra Carn is exceptionally attuned to the needs of the client, particularly in difficult situations where there really aren’t many options- excellent client manner- she has a style of dealing with opposing firms that is assertive but low key and is very effective in practice.

I have always found Julie Morris knowledgeable, professional and supportive. Julie ensured she developed an understanding of our context and needs and has always provided pragmatic and effective guidance and advice. It is clear Julie values integrity, is ethical, focused on doing what is right and a real asset to the legal profession.

Fraser Younson’s former experience as a barrister was particularly useful as he was able to advise from various perspectives. From the outset, Fraser outlined the upsides & downsides of my case. The method of billing was transparent. I felt that Fraser adopted a “partnership” approach which helped to settle the case favourably. Given the sensitivities of employment law and my case, Fraser demonstrated professional empathy.’

I appreciate how Alistair French manages expectations and strives to reach a best case outcome. I have recommended Alistair and Keystone to colleagues on multiple occasions.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the CEO of a global PR company on a termination dispute which lasted six months and was very acrimonious.
  • Acting for the former Permanent Secretary of the Home Office in a claim for whistleblowing against Priti Patel.

Transport > Travel Tier 2

Keystone Law has notable strengths in the aviation and cruise industries, focusing on regulatory, contractual and financial issues. Key figures from the team include Trevor Sears, who is highly regarded for his expertise in aviation-related regulatory and insolvency issues, and Simon Murfitt. The practice was further strengthened by the addition of noted personal injury expert James Healy-Pratt, who has particular strength in the aviation sector, from Stewarts Law LLP in May 2021.

Key clients

Anexsea Cruises Limited

Mirayint Ship Management

CFS Aeroproducts Limited

Bushtracks Africa Ltd

Sentra Airways Limited

Laboratoire ASL SNC

Work highlights

  • Assisted Anexsea Cruises Limited with the purchase, financing, delivery and renaming of the former “Saga Sapphire” cruise ship, now named “Blue Sapphire”.
  • Provided Sentra Airways with an application for a new UK air operator certificate, and the set-up and initial operation of a new commercial international passenger aviation business.
  • Advised the cruise company Mirayint Ship Management on Covid-19’s impact on its business.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 3

Keystone Law is recommended for its ability to provide ‘top class fraud expertise and more affordable rates for those who don't need a cast of thousands'. The firm has broad expertise within the team in the civil fraud space, with particular strength in sub-Saharan Africa matters. Another key advantage is the firm’s unique model, which has served it well in adapting to the challenges of covid-19. Robert Lawrie is prominent in the area and a ‘man to have on your side in a heavy duty fraud litigation’. Another notable name is Matthew Hennessy-Gibbs, who handles large commercial disputes and complex fraud cases, often with an international element.

Testimonials

‘Flexible, streamlined and very effective. Can get things done far more efficiently than bigger, traditionally structured, firms’.

‘Rob Lawrie uses his initiative and constantly moves things along to achieve results. He is very good with clients and easy to get in with but tough and streetwise when necessary’.

‘Robert Lawrie is a man to have on your side in a heavy duty fraud litigation – a redoubtable opponent’.

‘Keystone provides top class fraud expertise and a more affordable rates for those who don’t need a cast of thousands’.

‘Rob Lawrie is a charming practitioner who really knows his stuff.  He is a first class negotiator with a very good tactical brain.  He can identify the important points in any case and make it look effortless’.

‘Matthew Hennessy-Gibbs ensures he understands the clients position fully leaving no stone unturned. His no nonsense and frank approach enables a strategy that is well planned and focused to deliver results’.

‘I think the set up at Keystone is excellent. From the first call you receive when they want to instruct a barrister to the conclusion of the case they are faultless. I hope our relationship with them continues to grow’.

‘I have known Rob Lawrie for many years, he is always an absolute pleasure to deal with. The instructions he produces are always well put together, he is very fair when it comes to agreeing fees and never any problem with paying them either!’.

Key clients

Indigo Global Partners Limited

Nest Investments (Holdings)

Woburn Homes / Maytham Larry

PSB Alpha AG

Orient Express Lines (now known as Straits Orient Lines) Singapore

Work highlights

  • Acting for Indigo Global Partners Limited. The Claimant SKAT is the Danish Tax collecting authority (the Danish equivalent of HMRC). SKAT has commenced claims against 107 defendants in multiple jurisdictions. Five sets of claims have been commenced against multiple defendants in the UK.
  • Robert Lawrie acts for Nest Investments (Holdings) in the largest fraud claim that has been pursued in the courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”), and which has led to several reported decisions which have developed key aspects of DIFC law and procedure.
  • Instructed by Orient Express Lines (now known as Straits Orient Lines) Singapore to proceed to court and obtained an injunction to freeze the account and informed the leading Bank in the UK that there was fraudster operating the account.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Gaming and betting Tier 3

Keystone Law excels in advising online and land-based gambling operators on licensing and regulatory matters, in addition to assisting with corporate transactions, commercial agreements, debt recovery and data protection issues. The team advises a broad spread of casinos, betting shops, online gambling platforms and software providers. Among the key contacts, Richard Williams has extensive experience of assisting with licence applications and reviews, and anti-money laundering and social responsibility issues, and is particularly noted for his strength in advising competition operators on regulatory matters. Niall McCann also brings his expertise in alcohol and gaming licensing to bear in land-based gambling transactions.

Other key lawyers:

Richard Williams; Niall McCann; Lara Robson; Stephen Rodd; Simon Holden; Jimmy Desai; Meriel Pymont

Testimonials

‘Keystone have always been prompt in responding to our queries, and the expertise their firm has enables us to be guided by them to find the most appropriate outcome for our business.’

‘Richard Williams is an expert in gambling-related matters. He is not only knowledgeable but understanding of our business, and tailors that knowledge to ensure we are getting the best outcome.’

‘Meriel Pymont has expertise in data protection and privacy. She provides guidance to us that gives us a commercial outcome which we are very happy with.’

Key clients

Hunch Sports Ltd

Pariplay Limited

Zulko Gaming Limited

Papaya Gaming Limited

Jumbo Interactive Limited

Electoolsaway Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Hunch Sports Ltd on anti-money laundering procedures, social responsibility, banking, payment providers and all aspects of applying for an operating licence.
  • Advised Papaya Gaming Limited on the categorisation of its games under UK gambling legislation and making an application to the Gambling Commission for a remote casino operating licence to allow it to launch those games.
  • Advised Jumbo Interactive Limited on its acquisition of Gatherwell Limited, an external lottery manager based in the UK.

Insurance > Product liability: defendant Tier 3

Keystone Law ‘attracts senior practitioners who wish to focus on the thing that they do best – namely advising and litigating‘. The team showcases a portfolio of international insurer and manufacturing clients, which it represents in matters relating to international trade as well as in property damage claims arising from fire or water. Antony Colman has an active practice involving acting in cases related to cladding, roof lining, electrical circuit protection devices, and sporting and playground equipment, among others. Jason Kallis also handles product recalls and Manchester-based Elaine Chan is well versed in insurance litigation.

Testimonials

‘Technically I consider Keystone Law to be excellent and they fully understand their client’s needs and wants. Keystone Law’s understanding of the importance of collaboration between the relevant stakeholders of a claim is one of their greatest strengths.’

‘Jason Kallis and Antony Colman are technically great, they fully understand the economics of a claim and both provide excellent levels of service. Both treat claims as a fully collaborative effort.’

‘Keystone is an excellent model. It attracts senior practitioners who wish to focus on the thing that they do best – namely advising and litigating. It means that the cadre of lawyers is exceptional – and, as far as I can see, allows them to work in such a flexible way as to maximise their potential.’

‘Antony Colman has an encyclopaedic knowledge of product liability. He is an incredibly effective solicitor and is absolutely at the top of his game.’

‘A very strong, commercially orientated team with particular expertise in insurance and product liability law. Their UK office is unique in being able to access experts in European jurisdictions in-house – and therefore in cases involving Europe-wide product cases and recalls their expertise cannot be improved upon.’

‘Antony Colman is a formidable litigator. He takes the messiest and most difficult case and has it smoothed into winning form in short order.’

‘Elaine Chan has always provided legal support and expertise to the right depth and level required for the particular case, enabling the matter to be resolved with a very satisfactory outcome.’

Key clients

Electrium Sales Limited

Samsung

Bosch (t/a BSH Home Appliances)

Yamaha UK

Work highlights

  • Represented Electrium Sales Limited in a claim regarding a fire caused by a defect in electrical equipment imported by the defendant and to which the defendant applied its trade mark.
  • Acted for a manufacturer of fittings and accessories for bathrooms and kitchens in claims arising from an escape of water from an allegedly defective fitting, causing major damage to an exclusive property.
  • Advised Allianz and HDI Global on claims relating to products made by Bosch.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 3

Keystone Law’s practice is characterised by its breadth, with the work covering various industries, including publishing, music, advertising, fashion and art. Nicola Thatcher advises publishing clients at the pre-publication stage on minimising risks. Ian Down is experienced in marketing and advertising matters, and he also advises on sponsorships, sales promotions and endorsement agreements. ‘Master strategistGerard Cukier has expertise in advising high-profile individuals in the music and film industries, while Nick Weaser (who joined from Clintons in 2020) focuses on representing emerging talent in the music space. Lucy Blick-Jones provides ‘invaluable advice’ on matters relating to digital media and technology. Vanessa Barnett is a key contact for data and technology-related issues. Jamie Horner joined from Ashfords LLP in 2020.

Testimonials

‘Keystone Law is an excellent legal practice, operating in a pretty unique way as a collection of affiliated legal professionals, rather than a traditional law firm. This seems to give them access to a much wider range of expertise than would otherwise be the case.’

‘Nick Weaser is a key part of the team, always on hand to assist and explain, and thorough in his work. Exceptional.’

‘The team at Keystone Law are committed to providing accurate and timely advice. I have found them to be flexible and responsive to our legal needs.’

‘Lucy Blick-Jones goes the extra mile for her clients, and she is always readily available to provide invaluable advice. She has a broad knowledge base about our particular industry and her general business sense means that we can be confident in the service she is providing.’

‘Keystone’s uniqueness is well-known, a happy and effective place to work. The firm attracts lawyers with balanced lives, which leads to better judgement, in my experience.’

‘Gerard Cukier always puts the clients’ interest first. He recognises the dangers inherent in protracted litigation and will always take great care before advising a client to litigate. Combines great effectiveness in a classy unaggressive style. A master strategist.’

Key clients

Julia Kogan

Dame Shirley Bassey DBE

Tommy Farrow

Simon Armitage (Poet Laureate)

August Ramberg (‘Discrete’)

Matthew Bishop

Hachette Book Group

Pan Macmillan

McDonald’s Restaurants Limited

Lady Colin Campbell

Fresh Air Production (Neil Cowling Limited)

Oxford Media Solutions Limited (trading as Videvo)

FIPP Limited

Russell Watson

Wienerworld

Henry Hadaway Organisation Ltd.

101 Films Limited

Six Music Group

Nelson’s [Mandela] Kids Ltd

Deepak Sikka

Skyrocket Entertainment Limited

Richard Walters

Work highlights

  • Acting for Julia Kogan in her high-profile dispute with Nick Martin concerning the film Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Hugh Grant and Meryl Streep.
  • Advised singer Dame Shirley Bassey on her new recording deal with Decca Records.
  • Advising Hachette Book Group on potential liability for libel and infringement of privacy rights of the books, and assists with editing to minimise risk.

Transport > Aviation Tier 3

The growing bench of aviation experts at Keystone Law work with airlines, airports, aircraft manufacturers, banks, financiers, and leasing companies on a wide range of matters. Hugh O’Donovan ‘is the go-to person‘ for regulatory work, Alex Ferrari advises on insurance disputes, while Susannah Sheppard and Philippe Ruttley are experts in EU and UK competition law. In early 2020, ‘multi-skilled lawyerStephen McGlennan joined from Hybrid Air Vehicles, where he was CEO and general counsel, while aviation insurance specialist James Healy-Pratt joined from Stewarts Law LLP in May 2021.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Hugh O’Donovan has unrivalled knowledge and experience. He is the go-to person for novel or knotty situations and is very responsive.’

‘Stephen McGlennan is an exceptional multi-skilled lawyer in the domain of aviation. The breadth and depth of his expertise goes beyond legal talent; he is well connected with organisations and individuals within the global aviation sector.’

‘The depth of experience of Philippe Ruttley is quite unique. He offers flexibility on rates and has the ability to make legal matters accessible.’

‘Philippe Ruttley is very user friendly – always available for calls and very responsive. His depth of legal knowledge and experience is second to none.’

‘Stephen McGlennan has a deep knowledge of corporate and commercial law, but also the experience of having worked within entrepreneurial business including as COO and CEO. This blended mixture of experience means that you are provided robust legal advice, balanced by commercial pragmatism. I find this approach to be very valuable. He is always available to talk over issues and act as a sounding board. In short, he is a great support to our company and I would recommend him to any other SME.’

Key clients

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust

Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd

CMBC International Holdings Limited

Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited

CFS Aeroproducts Limited

Eastgate Investments Limited

Laboratoire ASL SNC

Channel Islands Jet Services Limited

CHC Group Ltd

Blue Islands Ltd

Wizz Air

Airbridge International Agencies Limited

Jazeera Airways

Airport Coordination Limited

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 3

The team at Keystone Law is instructed by a wide range of businesses, from start-ups to multinational corporates. The group is equally adept at handling contentious issues, often with an international dimension, and advisory work. Key contact Will Sander's broad practice exemplifies this wide-ranging proficiency; he assists with the full gamut of intellectual property matters, from the identification of IP to its protection and commercialisation, as well as handling disputes both within and outside the UK.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Life Health Foods UK Ltd

Aerus LLC

Hottinger Investment Management Limited

Notonthehighstreet Enterprises Ltd

Mammoth Sport Ltd

Trinny London

Physical Company

Thane Inc

Building & Engineering Services Association Limited

Jeff Banks

Royal Armouries

Work highlights

  • Advising Hottinger Investment Management, an international wealth management company, on all contentious and non-contentious IP matters.
  • Providing support to Aerus as its external European intellectual property counsel, including acting on disputes in Spain and throughout Europe.
  • Advising  Mammoth Sport on a variety of contentious and non-contentious IP matters.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and M&A Tier 3

Keystone Law’s Belfast lawyers are experienced in corporate transactions, governance, restructurings and fundraisings. Managing director John McMahon is particular prominent in the aerospace, engineering and energy sectors. He works alongside solicitor Lauren McGarry and consultant Richard McLaughlin.

Testimonials

‘Keystone Law always offer a first class experience – we would not hesitate to recommend their services. They are prompt, efficient and always offer the most appropriate advice.’

‘The small team in Belfast are efficient and have a very good range of legal expertise.’

Key clients

Keltbray Group

Beasts of War Ltd

Causeway Aero Group Limited

Vertigo TQ Holdings Ltd

CSM Property Management Ltd

Ferdinand Felder (individual)

A large Northern Irish pharmaceutical company

N Parking Europe Limited

HALF Holdings Limited

Real Estate Engineering Services Limited

Merchant Money

Volvo Bus Corporation

Rotini Group Limited

Galgorm Resort & Spa

Galgorm Castle Holdings Limited

Hatch Brothers Limited

Harry Dunlop Refrigeration Europe Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Keltbray on the company’s enhancements to its corporate governance structure, which includes the creation of Keltbray Holdings Limited.
  • Assisted Merchant Money with entering the NI marketplace.
  • Advised the owners of Beasts of War Limited, the UK’s largest table top gaming community, on its sale to Wayland Games Limited.

Real estate > Commercial property Tier 3

Keystone Law has increasingly become prominent in advising developers in high-profile development mandates. In addition, its practitioners are a go-to for advice on investment acquisitions and disposals, leasing agreements and real estate finance transactions. Recent work included acting for Harcourt Developments on its lease renewal of Trident House Belfast to Fujitsu. Commercial director Danny McKay has over 25 years of real estate experience, and acts for a mix of corporate and private individuals. Director Jim Houston is noted for his expertise in handling commercial and residential development projects, and also his experience of negotiating leases for landlords and tenants in relation to retail, industrial, office and hotel premises.

Other key lawyers:

Danny McKay; Jim Houston; Jonny Mullan

Testimonials

‘A small tight team with a great network within the Northern Ireland. A no-nonsense approach to business with a nice personal touch. The team had a real sense of warmth and trust about them. The firm seemed more like a family who clearly respect and look after each other and their clients.’

‘Jim Houston – took time to understand our organisation and how we work. Took time to make sure they were doing what they needed to. A man who clearly wants to give a client great service. A great sounding board and trusted adviser.’

Key clients

Harcourt Developments

Hatch Brothers Limited

GIANTS PARK BELFAST LIMITED

Causeway Asset Management Limited

Allen + Overy LLP

Johncorp (no3) Limited

Straben Limited

Kilmona Property Limited

Hollyblue Healthcare

Work highlights

  • Advised Hollyblue Healthcare in the sale of Hollyblue Healthcare (Ulster) Limited, its Northern Ireland business, comprising 3 care homes to Impact Healthcare.
  • Continues to act for Giant’s Park Belfast Limited pursuant to its recent successful bid to develop the new £93m visitor and leisure attraction at Giants Park Belfast.
  • Avised on the property aspects of Hatch Bros Limited’s acquisition of the business and assets of Pastaking, a well-known family business based in Devon.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 3

At ‘virtual firm’ Keystone Law, the bench of South East private client lawyers cover a wide range of private client issues such as wills, trust work and probate issues, working with a variety of international and UK based clients. Robert Knight has particular expertise in issues of succession, trust and UK personal tax. Alex Boothman  frequently advises high-net-worth international clients on tax planning and asset protection.

Other key lawyers:

Robert Knight; Alex Boothman; Barry Adamson; Luke Trigona; Nia Jones; Camilla Bishop

Testimonials

‘I have regular dealings with Robert Knight who has been excellent in providing advice to my clients. Robert is very empathetic to a clients needs and is an extremely good listener. He personally deals with my clients which is what i like and is very responsive not only in contacting the client but also in providing feedback to me.’

‘Camilla Bishop is a great communicator, excellent at explaining what needs to be done and helping the clients understand everything.’

Real estate > Construction Tier 3

Keystone Law‘s members are instructed by private, public and non-profit sector clients as well as contractors, sub-contractors and consultants. It has in-depth experience of the education, hotel and leisure, infrastructure, housing and energy sectors. The key practitioners are Louise GarciaMartin HoweJon Close and Tom PhillipsNeel Mehta and Andrew Thompson joined from Ashfords LLP and Devonshires Solicitors LLP respectively in 2020, while Louise Elmes  joined from Trowers & Hamlins LLP in March 2021.

Testimonials

‘We have engaged Jon Close on a number of occasions over several years and have also recommended Jon to our own clients. Over the years we have engaged Jon to assist us on a number of complex adjudications and on each occasion Jon has provided advice which has resulted in a positive outcome for both us and our clients. Jon is an erudite individual with an encyclopedic knowledge of construction law.’

‘This team is agile and responsive and always looks for a solution that delivers the client’s preferred outcome. I have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with this team and always recommend them to clients as I have the upmost confidence that they will add value and provide commercially astute service and advice.’

‘Jon Close in particular is a fantastic networker and is blessed with a contact directory that always enhances the client experience. Added to which the Keystone model enables partner-led advice at a more reasonable fee amount and the Keystone model also ensures that genuine sector specialists are engaged where there is merit in doing so. a genuinely collaborative practice.’

‘Jon Close and Tom Phillips are fantastic committed passionate construction professionals and they absolutely take the time to understand the client’s business and what they can do to help and address any issues.’

 

Key clients

Ecotricity Group Limited

JND Building Services Limited

St James’ Construction Limited

UK Power Solutions Limited

Geoffrey Osborne Limited (and other Group companies)

University of Southampton

University of the West of England

Deconstruct (UK) Limited

Cape Homes Limited

Ascent Development Ltd/Barola Asset Management Ltd

Complete Utilities Ltd

Smith’s (Gloucester) Ltd

South East Rail Construction Limited/Lowery Ltd

Forcia Limited

Build Limited

Geocisa limited

Vitruvius Management Services Limited

PR&S Construction Limited

Rob Cole Civil Engineering Limited

Hewer Facilities Management Limited

Design Installation Service Limited

Bath Demolition Limited

Cotswold Energy Group Limited

Moss Construction and Project Management Limited

Britannia Construction Limited

Pennyfarthing Construction Limited

Quality By Design Limited

GT Civils Group Ltd

Parabel (UK) Limited

Altcar Solar Limited

Wind Energy Solutions

Willmore Iles Architects

3ti Energy Hubs Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Geoffrey Osborne Group  on the non-contentious and contentious aspects, dealing directly with senior directors of the company across the various divisions of road, rail, commercial and housing.
  • Acting for Wind Energy Solutions in the project documentation and negotiation of corporate documentation including the sale and purchase agreement.
  • Acted in non-contentious construction & engineering matters for Ecotricity Group and its various subsidiary companies.

Insurance > Professional negligence: claimant Tier 3

Keystone Law's Jonathan Watmough has substantive experience working for professional indemnity insurers and acts exclusively for claimants and uninsured defendants. The expertise on offer covers claims against solicitors, accountants, insurance brokers and financial advisers, including matters concerning structural engineering, surveying, project management and real estate.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is very hands-on, pragmatic and easy, as well as pleasant, to work with. My experience was that cases are managed by small teams, which is often the most effective way to deal with them. I think clients can rest assured that their case is in safe hands if it is with Keystone. ’

‘Jonathan Watmough is a very experienced professional negligence specialist. He has the great advantage of having spent most of his career representing insurance-funded defendants, so he is highly effective in settlement negotiations. ’

‘A very professional team with a clear knowledge of our particular situation. They have an excellent support team of experts to facilitate our claim and we feel grateful for all their collective hard work. ’

‘Jonathan Watmough has been our main point of contact from when Keystone Law took over this specific case. Jonathan has been an excellent support throughout the process and has given us confidence in how the legal process works at every step of the way.’

‘Jonathan Watmough has uniquely turned from being a defendant lawyer to the claimant side. In my opinion this puts him a step ahead of his peers and competitors and allow his clients to benefit from a real understanding of both sides of the litigation process. Allied with a sensible, commercial approach, Jonathan is a real asset to his clients.’

‘I first contacted Jonathan Watmough in May 2020; from the start I was impressed by his efficiency and manner. In particular, although forthcoming and affable, I noted a care in both what he said and, more importantly, what he left unsaid. I felt he was approachable, knowledgeable and professional, and guarded without being obstructive, the latter I considered a key quality of a good advocate’.

Corporate and commercial > Partnership Tier 4

Acting primarily for individual partners, Keystone Law’s practice handles contentious exits in the legal and accountancy sectors. The 'highly knowledgeable' Peter Garry leads on high-stakes court proceedings, while Clive Howard, who joined the firm from Slater and Gordon in January 2021, represents individuals in whistleblowing and discrimination claims. Emma Clark assists with contract drafting and consultant Jonathan Greensmith advises on regulatory issues.

Testimonials

Peter Garry is a standout partnership practitioner. Very efficient. Very numerate. Highly knowledgeable.

Key clients

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Work highlights

  • Defending Simmons & Simmons LLP in an employment tribunal claim brought by a former partner who resides outside the UK.

Insurance > Personal injury: defendant Tier 4

The team at Keystone Law acts on behalf of a wide range of clients, from notable insurers to self-insured organisations and income protection providers. Local authorities are another key source of work, and regularly instruct recommended practitioner Steven Conway. Also noted is 'preferred legal counsel' Cordelia Rushby, who has developed a successful practice defending employers and their insurers against substantial claims for psychiatric loss. 

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘I have the pleasure of working closely with Cordelia Rushby, who is the widely recommended and preferred legal counsel of insurance carriers due to her impeccable tailored approach to each matter. She is dedicated to providing detailed and timely analyses in a clear and concise manner. She stands out with her unique ability to engage with our clients from the outset, build trust and rapport which are paramount for the favourable completion of claims. I can wholeheartedly recommend Cordelia to anyone who requires expert legal assistance in the personal injury field.’

Key clients

Allianz

HDI Gerling SE

Ipswich Borough Council

Top Mark Claims Management Limited

Travelers Insurance

Zurich Municipal

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a £200,000 highways tripping claim brought by the senior partner of a GP practice in the High Court.
  • Successfully applied to strike out a claim brought by a pedestrian who sustained serious injuries when she was hit by a London bus crossing a pedestrian crossing.
  • Secured the discontinuance of a claim for stress at work, bullying and harassment brought by a manager in a London borough’s housing department.

Private client > Family Tier 4

Keystone Law has recently been advising parties who have several billion in assets and its cases frequently involve international elements such as foreign nationals or offshore assets. In addition it regularly appears in the High Court and it has acted for and against international DJs, ‘A list’ celebrities, models and high profile business people, tech developers and landowners. The group has considerable expertise in matrimonial dispute resolution and wealth protection as well as substantial experience in children matters. Susan Apthorp; Zoë Bloom and Caroline Kelly are amongst the names to note. Hannah Cornish joined the practice from Slater and Gordon. It has some ‘fantastic lawyers'.

Other key lawyers:

Susan Apthorp; Zoe Bloom; Caroline Kelly; Richard Collins; Rachel Lemon; Ruth Abrams; Hannah Cornish; Charlotte Cuevas; Claire O’Flinn; Terrence Trainor; Sarah Thompson; Carolyn Bottomley

Testimonials

Zoe Bloom is a cut above anyone I’ve ever worked with. She is smart, creative, incisive and incredibly personable, making it a pleasure to deal with her even on the grittiest cases. Having worked alongside her looking after a mutual client, and having actually been her client, I can honestly say that it is always a pleasure to deal with her and I can’t think of a safer pair of hands‘.

Strong across the board team. Working with other disciplines makes them strong. Susan Apthorp is focused and determined. Ruth Abrams is very experienced‘.

‘Keystone operates an innovative and client focused business where the overheads are kept to a minimum and the calibre of the lawyers is kept consistently high. Richard Collins is a very experienced family law solicitor with a very loyal following. He offers a Rolls Royce service at a reasonable price. He is pragmatic and solutions focused and his clients have total confidence in him’.

I have been primarily working with Rachel Lemon from Keystone Law. She has been incredibly supportive towards me throughout my terrible ordeal. She has listened with empathy and kindness‘.

‘Hannah Cornish is bright, determined, and highly skilled – a fantastic, all round family solicitor. A star who will shine at the new firm‘.

‘Keystone Law is probably the fastest growing Family Team in the business, meaning each member has an amazing array of talent from which to advise and experience from. Hannah Cornish was an inspired recruit! One of the most underrated lawyers in the field of family law, her client skills are second to none, her ability to bring a team together is like no other, and her advice is so measured. Definitely worth a mention. Charlotte Cuevas is also worth noting for similar reasons as Hannah. A delight to work with‘.

Charlotte Cuevas is very dedicated to her clients and well prepared. A safe pair of hands. Claire O’Flinn has loads of experience and is always willing to get to grips with a case and try and approach it from a different angle if it is not resolving itself. Terrence Trainor very accomplished family lawyer with commercial sensibility and high level experience’.

‘Keystone offers a partner led service for a more cost effective price. Many of its partners are ex top flight firms and clients get the partner themselves whenever they call and the benefit of their expertise and attention throughout for the price of an associate at another firm. Its technology is excellent and has stood them in good stead in the pandemic as has working flexibly because that was already part of their culture’.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Oil and gas Tier 4

At Keystone Law, one of the key individuals is Richard Temple, who has a particularly strong track record of handling oil and gas transactions connected with Africa. In addition, he is prominent in North Sea deals. Elsewhere, other practitioners at the firm handle corporate finance transactions, and also advise on commercial contracts and intellectual property issues. Stuart Carter who joined from Fieldfisher, advises on the buying and selling of gas assets, while Fei Mao (formerly of Ince) who advises mostly Chinese clients on litigation.

Testimonials

The team is responsive, experienced and good value.’

Stuart Carter: Has a good blend of in-house and private practice experience in the energy sector. He is knowledgeable, practical and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

IOG plc

Schlumberger Oilfield UK PLC

Trafalgar Oil & Gas

Kuwait Petroleum International (Q8)

iSquared Capital

Calon Energy Limited (formerly a subsidiary of RWE Generation)

Lexoo Limited

Ansila Energy NL

Cabot Energy

Pennant Resources

CLH

Echo Petroleum

Hansa Hydrocarbons

Painted Wolf Resources

North Sea Natural Resources

Work highlights

  • Advised Trafalgar Oil & Gas on the acquisition of micro-refineries in the USA for set up and installation in Cameroon and Nigeria.
  • Advised Kuwait Petroleum International (Q8) on the legal impact of COVID-19 on its various European wide oil storage and supply arrangements.
  • Advised iSquared Capital in connection with its 45% investment in Rubis Terminal, a pan-European oil storage operator.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 4

Keystone Law’s bench of energy specialist practitioners has been bolstered with the arrival of Neel Mehta from Ashfords LLP, who focuses on construction and engineering, infrastructure, and energy and waste projects. Other key names include corporate and commercial specialist Richard Temple, who has worked at a series of major firms and most recently served as general counsel to international gold mining company Hummingbird Resources. The group has experience in both domestic and cross-border transactions on solar and wind projects, with recent engagements including advising a wind plant developer in Italy. Jon Close is a construction and engineering expert, while Sandra Bates (who joined from Fladgate LLP) is a transactions specialist.

Work highlights

  • Acting for a turnkey developer of solar and hydrogen plants in the UK. This involved advising on the project documentation and negotiation of the installation, operation and sale of electricity and hydrogen to local authority.
  • Acting for Seven Seven Capital in its strategy to acquire and operate ground mounted solar sites in the UK.
  • Acted for UK Power Solutions, which has been acquired by US giant InfraCapital and is now a £75m turnover business.

Real estate > Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 4

Keystone Law's practitioners are well-versed in all facets of real estate, including large-scale leases and landlord and tenant issues, mid-market acquisitions and disposals, as well as development projects. The practice is particularly strong in corporate occupier matters; Shayne Foley is experienced in the establishment of headquarters and relocations.

Other key lawyers:

Shayne Foley; Lisa Raymond; James Goff; James Daglish; Paula Abrahamian; Andrew Tugwell

Key clients

Your-move.co.uk (and LSL Property Services PLC Group)

National Home Move Limited

Omnes Healthcare

Adam Smith International Limited

Streamlined Communications Limited

Meech Static Eliminators Limited

PFU (EMEA) Limited

Caversham Trading Limited and Caversham Finance Limited both trading as Brighthouse

Archway Homes Limited

The Shuffle Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Omnes Heathcare, a primary care service provider, on its lease from Community Health Partnerships of a substantial part of the newly constructed Tessa Jowell Health Centre in Southwark. The project was a particular success given the sheer number of moving parts in pressurised circumstances and during such unprecedented times.
  • Acted for Courts (Chester) Limited on the investment purchase of 47 Northgate and 1 Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2HQ. This is a beautiful building on the edge of the new Northgate Development and opposite the renowned Storyhouse in Chester.
  • Took the lead role and full co-ordination of a pressurised organisational relocation of a UK Japanese subsidiary in Greater London.

Transport > Shipping Tier 4

Keystone Law, which demonstrates strong capabilities across the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious dry shipping work, acts for charterers, P&I clubs, shipbuilders and high net-worth individuals, among other clients. Jonathan Hadley-Piggin advises on the construction, sale and purchase of yachts. Another notable practitioner is Dharmendra Nair, who handles charterparty disputes for multinational clients. Anastasia Papadopoulou leads on non-contentious commercial shipping work, including charterparties and ship finance transactions, as well as sales and purchases. Fei Mao is another key individual.

Testimonials

‘The team is professional and experienced in the shipping field.’

‘Dharmendra Nair is very attentive, prompt to understand the matter and offers the best advice to resolve it. He is very sharp and provides a very valuable service to our business.’

‘The team are approachable and always willing to collaborate and discuss issues, even on an informal basis. They have a flexible approach to the handling and the billing of the case, and in a sense, this creates a bespoke service that can be modelled according to client needs.’

‘Dharmendra Nair is our point of contact. Given that we regularly discuss various legal issues with him, he has a very clear understanding of the client’s business and this is key when deciding strategy and the best outcome at an early stage.’

Commercial and practical advice.’

Key clients

Orient Express Lines Straits Orient Lines Singapore

Global Chartering Limited (Mauritius) part of Arcelor Mittal Group

Gard P. & I. (Bermuda) Ltd.

Marla Tankers Shipmanagement Inc.

AMT Insurance Ltd

Maersk Trade Finance A/S

Teo Shipping Corp & Others

OneSubsea Ip UK Limited

Lexoo Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Straits Orient Lines Singapore on a hacking incident.
  • Acted for Global Chartering Limited (Mauritius) in a back-to-back charterparty dispute in connection with the supply of poor-quality bunkers on board the m.v Darya Gayatri [Vessel].
  • Acted for Gard P. & I. (Bermuda) Ltd in an arbitration related to a charterparty.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 4

Keystone Law‘s ‘pragmatic‘ and ‘innovative‘ IP group in the South West offers services related to the identification, management, protection and exploitation of IP assets for a range of IP owners. Jessica Bent, who ‘knows her subject inside out‘, is noted for handling contentious and non-contentious issues on behalf of technology and creative sector clients. Charlie White is focused on IP arrangements and commercial contracts concerning software and mobile applications. Anna Keeling has experience in transactions that involve the transfer of IP rights.

Testimonials

‘They are extremely professional and service is always to a very high standard. Having a team of specialists is highly beneficial and means we are always directed to the best individual for the type of enquiry we have.’

‘The team has a proactive approach, looking for areas of weakness and suggesting improvements to existing legal agreements and frameworks.’

‘Jessica Bent is thorough, pragmatic and innovative in her approach.’

‘First-class IP and technology team.’

‘The standout individual is Jessica Bent. Jessica is very diligent and has an in-depth knowledge of the field. She is very approachable. We have direct access to her with phone and email.’

‘Pragmatic, deliver the goods and are innovative. Very approachable and genuinely enjoy their work.’

‘Jessica Bent is very responsive and knows her subject inside out.’

Key clients

Icon Scientific Limited

Bath Spa University

Adam Matthew Digital Limited

Anglia Home Furnishings Limited

Bitmap Books Ltd

Marine Conservation Society

Mytton Williams Ltd

MediaClash Limited

FluoretiQ Limited

Neptune (Europe) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Icon Scientific on various intellectual property subsistence issues, licensing agreements, non-disclosure and R&D agreements.
  • Advising Adam Matthew Digital on its licensing agreements with archives, as well as advising on and drafting changes to customer-facing agreements.
  • Advising niche computer games book publisher Bitmap Books on a variety of matters, including an exclusive licensing agreement with a game’s publisher, enabling Bitmap to produce and publish a book featuring particular games and artwork from the game’s publisher.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 4

Keystone Law‘s ‘responsive and knowledgeable‘ technology team has expertise in IT contracts and data protection issues, assisting a wide variety of start-ups and SMEs. Areas of specialism include affiliate agreements, confidentiality and non-disclosure issues, distance selling, privacy policies and software licensing. Key names include the ‘creative and impressive‘ Jessica Bent, an outsourcing expert, and Charlie White, who focuses on commercial contracts and intellectual property.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is extremely professional and service is always to a very high standard. Having a team of specialists is highly beneficial and means we are always directed to the best individual for the type of enquiry we have.’

They always provide a highly professional and high-quality service.’

Very responsive and knowledgeable, down to earth and pragmatic.’

Jessica Bent is very approachable, very creative and impressive.’

Key clients

Adam Matthew Digital Limited

Smart Recruiters Inc

Coconut Collaborative Ltd

Bitmap Books Ltd

The Ideas Network Public Relations Limited

Applicable Ltd

MediaClash Ltd

FluoretiQ Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Smart Recruiters on its acquisition of JobPal, which included reviewing JobPal’s data protection regime.
  • Advising longstanding client The Coconut Collaborative on its data protection compliance.
  • Advised the Ideas Network Public Relations Limited, a London-based PR agency, on influencer agreements which Ideas Network puts in place on behalf of its clients, including e-commerce websites and telecoms providers.

Corporate and commercial > Venture capital Tier 5

Utilising the firm’s alternative business model, Keystone Law is particularly well equipped to advise venture capital clients. With experience in advising clients throughout the funding lifecycle, Catherine Williams has also gained particular acclaim for her ‘brilliant‘ support to small start-ups on early stage fundraising efforts. The ‘experienced and knowledgeableDee Sian focuses more on investor-side mandates and is accomplished at handling EIS, SEISS and VCT transactions. Nadim Zaman is also a key name to note. Sector strengths include the technology, healthcare and media industries.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Very personal service, built up of specialists across the various facets of deal law who dip in and out as needed with a lot of in practice depth of experience.’

‘The firm is very pragmatic and solution-oriented.’

The practice is incredibly nimble, meaning expertise can be pulled from other departments if necessary, ensuring that every aspect of the engagement can be covered.’

The knowledgeable practice shows genuine care and empathy for its clients.’

Dee Sian is very experienced, knowledgeable and understanding. She is meticulous with her work, always having the interests of the client at front of mind.’

I would highly recommend Catherine Williams to any early stage company seeking to raise VC funding.’

The brilliant Catherine Williams has consistently gone well beyond the extra mile to support the company and its management team and shareholders and consistently delivered a very high-quality of service.’

Key clients

Kano Computing Limited

Mobeus Equity Partners LLP

Calculus Capital Limited

True Global

Ozo Innovations Limited

PrecisionLife Limited

Trinny London Limited

FitnessGenes Limited

Ecoveritas Limited

Teatro San Cassiano Group Ltd

The Fink Family Office

Datamaran Limited

Connected Innovations Ltd

Scaleup Capital

Indra Renewable Technologies Limited 

Frank Body Limited 

Work highlights

  • Advising Teatro San Cassiano Group Ltd on its corporate restructuring ahead of its proposed £70m joint venture for the purpose of recreating the world’s first public baroque opera house (dating back to 1637) in Venice, Italy, while being managed out of the UK.
  • Advised Kano Computing, on its investment by Microsoft and others, following various historical financings totalling over $40m from the likes of Index Ventures, Kanye West, Breyer Capital and others.
  • Advised Indra Renewable Technologies Limited on its Series A fundraise by Gulf Oil and Clean Growth Fund.

Employment > Employers Tier 5

Characterised by its nontraditional structure, Keystone Law has assembled a deep bench of employment law specialists. ‘Exceptional lawyer’ Angharad Harris has a track record in dealing with sensitive strategic employment law issues, from board-level disputes to employment litigation. In addition to advisory work, Kelly Sayers also takes the lead in high-level grievance and disciplinary hearings and undertakes investigations. Other names to note include Nick Tsatsas, Fraser Younson, Emma Clark, and ‘superb strategist Nicholas Robertson, who joined from Mayer Brown International LLP in January 2021.

Other key lawyers:

Nick Tsatsas; Kelly Sayers; Angharad Harris; Rob Eldridge; Fraser Younson; Emma Clark; Sofia Syed; Rachel Tozer; Alexandra Carn; Nick Robertson

Testimonials

I have found Keystone to be totally reliable, professional and on point to deliver an outstanding service to my organisation. We have used them now for numerous issues over the last few years and are very happy to keep returning to them.’

Nick Tsatsas is incredibly reliable, hard-working and thorough. He is also particular personable and easy to deal with. Nick gets totally involved in the issues, reads into the detail really thoroughly, and has impressive recall for all the facts.’

Kelly Sayers’ advice was clear and concise and she framed our obligations and opportunities very clearly. She anticipated most of the concerns that the Board might have and gave the project team clear guidance on appropriate ways to address those concerns.’

Angharad is an exceptional lawyer, who knows her field extremely well. She is creative in her approach and will often think outside of the box, which I find unique in this particular field. Angharad gives extremely clear guidance and reasoning on every aspect of a case, which helps me make the right decisions.’

Emma Clark is a wonderfully practical adviser – she listens and understands our commercial and organisational realities and responds swiftly with legally robust guidance. Her support has been outstanding on both everyday matters and in more sensitive and challenging situations.’

What I like about Keystone Law (Sofia Syed) is that they always own your problem and they listen and advise every step of the way in any issues I have within my companies.’

Nick Robertson is an exceptional lawyer! He is extremely knowledgeable, and can handle complex and challenging issues with ease. He is a superb strategist and brilliant tactician, always focussed on delivering the outcome the client seeks.’

Key clients

Simmons & Simmons LLP

MSX International Limited

Phillips Auctioneers Limited

SRLV LLP Accountants

Energy Developments (UK) Limited

Advanta Wealth Ltd

Clsh Management Limited

Coach Stores Ltd

Dorsett Hotel London

Temporis Capital Ltd

Ely Diocesan Board of Finance

St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Board of Finance

Jefferies International Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Simmons & Simmons LLP in defending a tribunal claim brought by a former partner.
  • Providing  general employment advice to Phillips Auctioneers, including around furlough arrangements for most employees, self-employed and casual employees as well as advice around seeking voluntary consent to other contractual arrangements designed to mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employment > Immigration Tier 5

Keystone Law has put together a strong bench of immigration specialists, including the 'extremely knowledgeable' Sharmila Mehta, who can draw on more than two decades of experience at Magrath Sheldrick LLP and Farrer & CoNicola Richards has a strong reputation for her work with technology clients, while Christine Chiew, who joined from Edwin Coe LLP in 2020, handles both private client and corporate immigration matters. Other key names include the 'exceptionally knowledgeable' Tsige Berhanu and 'sterling adviser and advocate' Jayanti Mitra-Valdes.

Testimonials

‘Nicola Richards was a pleasure to work with. Her assessment of the process and likely outcome was 100% accurate. She went beyond the call of duty.’

‘Christine Chiew has been a great help. She is professional, responsible and passionate and she makes applications easier to achieve. Her team has also been helpful on various enquiries.’

‘Sharmila Mehta’s expertise and care is second to none; she knows the immigration legal system inside and out such that she was able to provide us with the information we needed and in a very clear, professional yet at the same time personable manner. Not only profoundly knowledgeable, Sharmila was genuinely kind and caring of our situation, which is so important with immigration matters that cause so much stress and anxiety, not least during a pandemic.’

‘Jayanti Mitra-Valdes is a sterling adviser and advocate: always available, very thoughtful, went the extra mile to figure out the right tactics and positioning and language for my visa application.Superb.’

‘Christine Chiew is extremely dedicated and her knowledge of the field is unparalleled. I have known her for six years now and she has always made me feel reassured.’

‘Tsige Berhanu is exceptionally knowledgeable in all areas of her specialism, and can always give expert advice on a question, no matter how challenging it may be. Outstanding customer service and response times – highly recommended.’

‘Nicola Richards is exceptional and has supported us for years. She’s pragmatic, knows our business and industry well, and gives a great candidate experience – those she’s helped bring over rave about how great she is. She’s also happy to do the heavy lift where we need support, and is one of the most responsive lawyers I’ve ever worked with. I recommend Nicola to every tech company that ever asks me about immigration law.’

‘Sharmila Mehta is extremely knowledgeable and always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that both my organisation and the individuals we are supporting are fully aware of their responsibilities. Sharmila is able to explain complicated processes in a way that makes them easy to understand, and her calm professionalism means that she is able to reassure individuals who are concerned about their visa applications. I would have no hesitation in recommending Sharmila for any immigration work.’

Key clients

Save the Elephants

Americaneagle.com

Work highlights

  • Advised Americaneagle.com UK Limited, a US headquartered digital marketing company, which wished to apply for a Sponsor Licence in order to sponsor two strategic hires (one in India and the other in Jordan). Keystone Law worked with the company and their banking providers to ensure that the documentation was compliant from a Home Office perspective.
  • Advised Health Harmonie Limited on an application for a medical doctor to join the UK practice, which involved applying for a sponsor licence for the practice to be followed by a Tier 2 general visa.
  • Successfully advised and assisted a high-net-worth client, who was a senior executive shortly before retiring from McKinsey, with an application under the Global Talent route.

Insurance > Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 5

Keystone Law is noted for its strength in coverage disputes and acts for insurers and reinsurers across construction, property and personal injury insurance policies. Experienced insurance litigator Jason Kallis and ‘eminent practitionerJames Crabtree are key contacts in the team, along with product liability specialist Antony Colman and Elaine Chan, who joined from Ward Hadaway LLP in October 2020.

Testimonials

‘Pragmatic, determined and knowledgeable.’

‘James Crabtree is an eminent practitioner in insurance and reinsurance law with extensive experience and deep knowledge of the market. He is extremely kind, collaborative and a pleasure to work with.’

‘The practice is absolutely “ahead of the curve” with flexible, technology-enabled ways of working and meeting client needs. As an outsider, I can see that Keystone Law give unusually high levels of support to their lawyers which enables then to concentrate on the client and the job in hand. They also have a very open and diligent way of dealing with issues and challenges.’

‘Jason Kallis – attention to detail and ability to convey complex issues to lay clients is exceptional.’

‘Antony Colman is a hugely experienced litigator. His attention to detail is second to none. His tactical nous is superb. He knows the law backwards. And it is unsurprising that he has built up a loyal client base. I work with him regularly and know and appreciate his considerable talents. And he gets incredible results for his clientele. He’s absolutely at the top of his game.’

Key clients

Electrium Sales Limited

HDI Global SE

Allianz Global CS

Barbican Managing Agency Limited

UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG

Samsung SDI

WR Berkley (Offshore)

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd

Yamaha Motor Europe NV, Branch UK

Argo Global Insurers

Bosch (t/a BSH Home Appliances)

Work highlights

  • Advising Samsung and their Captive in relation to fires and related damage caused by misuse or defective batteries manufactured by the insured entity, and pursuing distributors and retailers for breach of distribution agreements made between Samsung and its distributors.
  • Acting for a private ambulance service firm, Argo Global Limited, being pursued in the Royal Courts of Justice.

Real estate > Planning Tier 5

Keystone Law‘s growing planning team is particularly strong in (General Permitted Development) Order (GDPO) matters. Ben Garbett and Oliver Goodwin are among the key names; Garbett has expertise in planning for housing and new communities, utilities and motorway service areas, while Goodwin advises both private and public sector clients on the full spectrum of planning matters. The team also has renewable energy expertise, with environmental law expert Yohanna Weber focusing on infrastructure and renewable energy development.

Testimonials

‘The team is strong in complementary areas. There are specialists in a range of planning fields ranging from pre-planning advice to judicial review and rights of light.’

‘Yohanna Weber – experienced, very knowledegable, highly efficient, an impressive planning solicitor.’

‘Ben Garbett is highly approachable. He has a brisk and efficient manner coupled with a sense of humour which makes it a pleasure to work with him.’

‘Yohanna is very responsive to clients requirements and quick to resolve and complete tasks. Yohanna has the ability to get straight to the heart of the issue and provide a good service to the client.’

Key clients

Globalgrange Hotels Limited

Highgate Group of New York

Wheelabrator Technologies Inc

Dominvs Group

Atlas Partners Ltd

Bembridge Harbour Trust

Private Couple

Private landowner client

Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Limited

Calon Energy Limited (formerly a subsidiary of RWE Generation)

Tim Moya Associates

Victoria and Albert Museum

Coventry Gliding Club

Private client

Hallson Homes Limited

Hayashi Developments Ltd

Work highlights

  • Accting on behalf of Highgate Group of New York to achieve premises licensing for what should be the tallest hotel in London and based in Shoreditch.  This will be the first in London.
  • Advised Dominvs Group on planning issues relating to the development of two new landmark hotels in London over a courthouse in Hammersmith.
  • Acted for Bembridge Harbour Trust in the challenge of several planning applications for residential development and other development activities of the Harbour Authority and other company entities, and use of powers under the Harbours Acts generally.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 5

Major hotels, estate agents and property investment firms regularly retain the team at Keystone Law to assist with lease renewals and portfolio management matters – qualified arbitrator and mediator Andrew Tugwell is a key contact for the latter – as well as with various development-related issues, including those at the intersection with construction and planning. Tugwell forms part of the core team together with casual dining sector expert Greg Barnbrook, who has recently assisted a number of landlords with tenant CVAs and also handles residential property disputes, and commercial property specialist Chris Hill. Other clients include developers, retailers and high-net-worth individuals.

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Tugwell; Greg Barnbrook; Chris Hill; Alison Moore; Ed John

Testimonials

I have worked with Andrew Tugwell and found him to be a very capable lawyer dedicated to getting the best for his clients.

Chris Hill is always available to discuss cases and provides in-depth yet clear guidance on the options.

Thorough knowledge of planning and development law in what is an increasingly complex planning process.

Strongly committed to achieving a successful result.

Experts in property litigation.

The team has specialist knowledge and deals with such matters promptly, efficiently and discreetly where necessary. They know the industry well and are established professionals in their field.

Greg Barnbrook and his colleagues are a pleasure to work with. His ability to clearly articulate the law to his clients is highly valued and we appreciate his counsel. He is always very prompt and professional – we look forward to continuing working with Greg.

Key clients

Cola Holdings / Cola Hotels Group

Your-move.co.uk (and LSL Property Services PLC Group)

Reeds Rains Limited

GMS Estates

Personal Touch Financial Services Ltd

The Westbury Hotel, Mayfair

National Home Move Limited

Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Limited

Coventry Gliding Club

BrightHouse Group (in administration)

Conran Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Cola Holdings with planning challenges and appeals and high-value contractor claims dealt with in the High Court.
  • Advised a group of 14 property holding companies and a related charitable trust on the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic regarding their retail and leisure clients across a portfolio of approximately 45 prime casual dining restaurants, coffee shop and pub/bar sites, all of which are tenanted by well-known national chains.
  • Acting for the Westbury Hotel Limited on a number of property matters, including planning law regarding the proposed major remodelling and extension over two new floors and in respect of construction matters arising from a major refurbishment.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: patents (contentious and non-contentious) Tier 5

At Keystone Law, patent litigator Rebecca Halford–Harrison is active in disputes connected with chemistry-based and technology-rich industries, such as life sciences, energy, and food and beverages. Numerous clients in the cosmetics sector have engaged her team to defend patent infringement claims, requiring strategic guidance across the EU and US. In another notable mandate, the group defended a Bulgarian manufacturer of payment devices in a case over patent type designs.

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Halford-Harrison; Jeremy Schrire; Simon Chalkley; Fiona Nicolson; Muzaffar Shah; Alexander Carter-Silk; Claire Blewett

Testimonials

Enormously varied skills that can be called on to meet any issue.

I work with Rebecca Halford-Harrison who is a highly gifted adviser. She takes a very commercial view, is able to deal with any IP matter and draws on her superb litigation skills to inform her advice in transactional matters. She is swift, provides clear urgent advice and is a superb resource.

Rebecca Halford-Harrison is utterly brilliant at what she does and goes above and beyond. For that, we are very grateful to have her represent us, looking after a very complicated matter that’s currently ongoing.

Key clients

World Programming Limited

F W Thorpe Plc

Secret Smokehouse Ltd

Veiovia Ltd

Pembrook Products Ltd

Athena Cosmetics, Inc.

HP1 Technologies Ltd

Erda Energy

Avantra (Syslink Xandria Ltd)

Yok Energy Ltd

Adeki Ltd

Datecs OOD

Khemco (UK) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised UK beauty product company Pembrook in relation to the defence of a patent infringement claim brought by a US beauty company in the UK initially and then in the US.
  • Advised US-headquartered cosmetics company Athena on numerous intellectual property (patents, designs, copyright, trade marks) and related regulatory matters.
  • Successfully advised the analytics software developer and services provider World Programming, in defending claims of patent and copyright infringement brought against World Programming by one of the world’s largest privately owned software companies, SAS Institute.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 5

Keystone Law has a deep bench of lawyers with capabilities across the soft IP spectrum. Rebecca Halford–Harrison’s expertise covers design and trade mark infringements and has secured previous litigation successes regarding Protected Geographical Indications. Simon Chalkey and Karen Fong focus on commercial exploitation and transactional matters in sectors ranging from food and drink and fashion to software and engineering. 'World-class expert' Anthony Misquitta actively provides strategic brand advice in the SME space.

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Halford-Harrison; Simon Chalkey; Karen Fong; Anthony Misquitta

Testimonials

‘Anthony Misquitta is a world-class expert on copyright, intellectual property, and contract law. He has provided excellent advice for our publishing house.’

‘An excellent network of solicitors, all of who are reasonably priced.’

‘Anthony Misquitta is an excellent lawyer. He’s on my speed dial for disputes. Rebecca Holford-Harrison is also very good, with a particular interest in geographical indicators. Both are a joy to work with.’

Key clients

World Programming Limited

Datecs OOD

Secret Smokehouse Limited

Random Theory LLC (t/a Playbook Products)

Athena Cosmetics, Inc.

Avantra (Syslink Xandria Ltd)

Work highlights

  • Advised the analytics software developer and services provider World Programming in defending claims of patent and copyright infringement brought against it by one of the world’s largest privately owned software companies, SAS Institute.
  • Defended Bulgarian manufacturer of payment devices Datecs OOD against design infringement claims initiated by Square Inc.
  • Provided advice to Random Theory (t/a Playbook Products, a manufacturer and seller of a distinctive range of sports merchandise involving diagrams of “plays”) on the copyright and trade mark implications of manufacturing, selling and advertising these products without the need to seek a licence from the brand holders.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Reputation management Tier 5

Keystone Law undertakes both claimant and defendant work across a range of reputation management issues, acting for politicians, celebrities, media personalities and large corporates. Gerard Cukier  has substantial experience obtaining court injunctions to protect private lives, in addition to protecting high-profile figures in matters of blackmail and extortion. Media litigator Nicola Thatcher specialises in advising publishing clients, whilst Sofia Syed brings employment law expertise to the team.

Testimonials

‘Sofia Syed is thoroughly professional and knowledgeable. creative and pragmatic. She has always made things incredibly simple for someone like me who has no legal background to follow. I will always use her while she is with Keystone.’

Key clients

Connected Innovations Limited

Hachette Book Group

Pan Macmillan

Olivier Couriol and others

Lady Colin Campbell

Ildar Uzbekov

McDonald’s Restaurants Limited

Work highlights

  • Removed false and defamatory comments and references in publications appearing on influential and recognised KYC and due diligence databases such as WorldCheck and Acuris data about Olivier Couriol and others which caused great difficulties to the clients in conducting their commercial activities.
  • Advising Hachette Book Group on potential liability for libel and infringement of privacy rights, and assists in editing to minimise risk.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 6

Keystone Law’s sports department was recently strengthened by the arrival of Jamie Horner, a ‘standout expert in the field of motorsports’ who notably serves as director of Arden and is a founding director of the Young Racing Driver Academy. Other key names include Rachel Flynn, a horseracing and breeding specialist, Paul Daniels, who possesses ‘a mass of experience in acting for football managers’, as well as Gerard Cukier whose expertise lies in defamation, privacy and sporting-related agreements.

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Flynn; Paul Daniels; Gerard Cukier; Jamie Horner; Paul Renney; Nick Tsatsas

Testimonials

The Keystone model gives access to very experienced lawyers in specialist fields without the baggage of the larger firm. Very cost effective for focused specialist advice.’

‘Gerard Cukier is very experienced in the world of football, including manager and agent disputes. Paul Daniels has a mass of experience acting for managers in football.’

‘Keystone has an excellent sports team with great strength in-depth and a wealth of senior experience.’

‘Jamie Horner is a stand out expert in the motor racing field. An excellent advocate as well as technical lawyer, he is greatly respected (and liked) by clients and peers alike.’

‘Rachel Flynn has a unique understanding of TB racing/breeding industry.’

‘Experienced practitioners which is key in this sector because of the regulatory structures in place.’

‘Gerard Cukier is user-friendly and committed with a deep understanding of the issues.’

Key clients

Arden Motorsport Limited/Arden International Motorsport Limited/ Arden Sports Management Limited

Velocity Experience

Young Racing Driver Academy Limited

R-Motorsport

JOTA

TBA plc

In2Racing Limited

Kofler Group

The Racing Foundation

Thoroughbred Breeders Association

Jockey Club Racecourses

European Breeders Fund

Oliver St Lawrence Bloodstock Limited

Ricky Hatton

Work highlights

  • Advised Arden International Motorsport Limited, the vendors of the British-based F2 team, on the sale of its assets and assignment of the team’s FIA F2 Championship entry to leading German motorsport brand HWA.
  • Represented leading brand experience agency Velocity Experience in relation to its successful appointment to design and operate the W HQ hospitality experience for the W Series.
  • Advised an up-and-coming Newmarket thoroughbred breeding stud and bloodstock sales consignor on a difficult employment issue where the employee concerned was causing a challenging situation in the workplace.

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit

Employment

Employment > Employees/unions

Finance > Transport finance and leasing

Private client > Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx

Insurance > Insurance litigation: for policyholders

The lawyers at Keystone Law act for policyholders in insurance disputes involving property damage, cyber risk and business interruption claims. Key contacts include Jane Harte-Lovelace, who has particular expertise in construction and property-related policies, and Marie-Claire Di Mambro, who has almost 30 years' experience in insurance coverage disputes.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate

Keystone Law's bench of personal tax experts includes Alex Boothman, Barry Adamson and Luke Micallef Trigona, all of who have joined in recent years - Adamson was formerly the head of private client at Moore Blatch.

A legal pioneer, Keystone Law was established in 2002 by a group of forward-thinking lawyers who were determined to build a law firm that would serve the needs of its clients more effectively than the conventional alternatives. Now a full-service firm with 250 lawyers and 45 support staff, Keystone has won countless awards and is considered a significant force within the legal sector.

The firm: While predominantly practising corporate and commercial law, Keystone’s private client team also caters to the needs of senior executive and high-net worth individuals. The firm’s offering is delivered across 23 service areas and 14 sectors with clients including: FIFA, Amlin, Bosch, Siemens, RSA, Cancer Research Technology, the V&A, Galderma, HMV, Glencore, Hiscox, Nationwide and Thyssenkrupp.

Representing somewhat of a dichotomy, Keystone invests heavily in technology in order to increase human interaction and enhance business relationships. Keystone only recruits senior partner-level lawyers with an average of 23 years’ experience, obtained at the UK’s best law firms and in-house with major FTSE 250 and Fortune 500 multinationals. Lawyers work collaboratively with colleagues across the firm and with others involved in the transaction, whether they are the client themselves, the client’s external legal advisers or their in-house legal team. Keystone also has a range of expert lawyers who specialise and work full time in particularly niche legal areas and are routinely instructed by other law firms to plug any gaps in expertise or capacity and thus to offer a fuller service to their own clients. These niche areas include tax, construction, share schemes, regulatory and pensions in addition to the wider services offered by the firm. In 2014 Keystone launched operations in Australia as Keypoint Law. Two years later, the firm opened its doors in the offshore jurisdiction of the Isle of Man and in 2017 Keystone Law Northern Ireland (KLNI) was launched in Belfast. Keystone continues to have plans in place for further expansion in the near future.

Types of work undertaken: Keystone Law is a full-service corporate law firm offering a complete range of business legal services and additionally providing private client advice to senior executives. The firm operates across a range of industry sectors and boasts a number of former in-house counsel from leading companies who work closely with the rest of the team to ensure they are fully aware of industry insight and issues. The firm also has a range of expert lawyers who specialise and work full time in niche legal areas and are routinely instructed by other law firms to plug any gaps in expertise or capacity and thus to offer a fuller service to their own clients. These niche areas include tax, construction, share schemes, regulatory and pensions in addition to the wider services offered by the firm.

Other offices: Bristol, Douglas (Isle of Man), London, Belfast (Northern Ireland), St Peter Port (Guernsey), Melbourne and Sydney

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Managing director James Knight
Operations director William Robins
PhotoNamePositionProfile
 David Bermingham  photo David BerminghamDavid is an Advocate and Notary Public in the Isle of Man…
 Rachel Berry  photo Rachel BerryRachel is an advocate in the Isle of Man team with specialist…
 Sally Cranshaw  photo Sally CranshawSally is a Manx Advocate whose practice includes a broad variety of…
 Hazel Dawson  photo Hazel DawsonHazel is a corporate and commercial lawyer who advises Isle of Man…
 Ben Hughes  photo Ben HughesBen has advised on pensions and employee benefits for fifteen years. He…
 Geoff Kermeen  photo Geoff KermeenGeoff is a Manx Advocate with a practice that includes a wide…
 Andrew Langan-Newton  photo Andrew Langan-NewtonAndrew is an Isle of Man advocate who specialises in resolving commercial disputes on…
 William Margot  photo William MargotWilliam is both a Manx Advocate and qualified Solicitor in England and…
 John Melia  photo John MeliaJohn is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer with significant experience in finance, mergers and acquisitions,…
 Stephen Rodd  photo Stephen RoddStephen is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer with a wide range…
Number of UK partners : 250