Firm Profile > Charles Russell Speechlys LLP > Cheltenham, England

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
COMPASS HOUSE
LYPIATT ROAD
CHELTENHAM
GL50 2QJ
England

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 1

With a highly respected team spread across Cheltenham, London and Guildford, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP expertly handles tax, property, estate planning and agricultural law for high-value clients. Henry Fea leads the landed estates and heritage property practice, while the tenured Christopher Page head up its succession team. Tristram van Lawick offers expertise in agricultural law and advises his clients on a variety of estate management and transactional matters. Recently promoted legal director Alexander Caton is also regarded for his experience advising investors in landed estates, tax planning, and estate strategy.

Practice head(s):

Henry Fea

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Caton; Tristram van Lawick; Christopher Page; Katie Talbot

Testimonials

‘Knowledge and experience of lots of different and technical areas.’

‘High level of technical knowledge.’

‘Very efficient. Good communicators and problem solvers. Quick response time. Well resourced and consistently reliable. A good balance of speed and thoroughness. ’

‘ They are very good at what they do ’

‘ Katie Talbot is very calm, capable, efficient, grasp of detail. I can’t praise her too highly.’

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's 'excellent ' litigation practice offers 'a first-class service' to its roster of national and international clients. In addition to a range of corporate and commercial disputes, it is particularly well-known for handling contentious insurance matters, product liability and recall disputes and financial services litigation. 'Top litigator' Manoj Vaghela leads the team and counts insurance sector litigation and shareholder disputes, with a focus on unfair prejudice petitions and derivative actions, among his areas of specialism. Legal director Claudine Morgan 'works absolutely tirelessly for her clients' with experience across a range of disputes including contractual, breach of warranty, professional negligence, shareholder and civil fraud issues.

Practice head(s):

Manoj Vaghela

Other key lawyers:

Claudine Morgan; Ben Moore

Testimonials

‘The team provide a first-class service and have a practical and efficient approach to problems.’

‘Manoj Vaghela, Claudine Morgan and Ben Moore are a perfect team. Friendly, helpful and very much on top of their job.’

‘Manoj Vaghela is a top litigator, very calm and logical.’

‘Different due to breadth of expertise. Extremely courteous. rapid reaction to all queries.’

‘The CRS team are an absolute pleasure to work with on any matter. They are smart, focused and very easy to get on with.’

‘I would particularly recommend Claudine Morgan, who is such a delight. She works absolutely tirelessly for her clients and builds a very easy rapport with everyone. I would also highly recommend Ben Moore, who is great to work with and very switched on.’

‘This is an excellent commercial litigation team which offers London-quality services from outside London.’

‘Claudine Morgan – very user-friendly and has an excellent manner with client. She is very good at handling difficult clients.’

Key clients

National Bank of Kuwait (International) Plc

Tsokkos Hotels Public Limited

Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund Limited

Sports Supplements Ltd t/a Bulk Powders

Oxford Plastic Systems Ltd

Trustees of the Harrowby’s Discretionary Will Trust

The Trustees of the Earl Bathurst 1963 Settlement

Zenium Technology Partners

Argo Insurance

QBE

Real estate > Commercial property: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is considered to be an 'excellent practice with a broad range of commercial and residential property experience.' The team covers the full range of real estate matters, with special expertise in strategic land and development, specialist supported living, and property investment and management matters. The client portfolio includes corporates, individuals and investors. Ian Brothwood, who leads the group, has know-how in residential schemes. Naomi Nettleton is also well versed in the hotel sector. Nigel Morton and senior associate Julie Sharpe are also prominent practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Ian Brothwood

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Morton; Julie Sharpe; Naomi Nettleton

Testimonials

‘A very user-friendly commercial property team, who understand how to progress complex development agreements.’

‘Ian Brothwood is extremely conciliatory in the face of difficult contract negotiations, and understands what is commercially relevant to development agreements, ensuring that transactions maintain momentum and meet the clients’ objectives.’

‘They really work as a team and share an interest celebrating what they achieve for their clients.’

‘Julie Sharpe has delivered an excellent service in dealing with complicated development land transactions, and has an ability to ask only right questions of her clients and to ask them clearly with good advice.’

‘The relationship with our legal team is vitally important to us. There is a great deal at stake and they are a key part of our professional team. We have ever learnt to have ever confidence in them. We rely on them for ideas, advice and guiding us through the legal contracts and issues which keep arising.’

‘I have always found the CRS team to be approachable, polite and helpful. Their advice is always well considered and of a high standard. They are an excellent firm, and lovely to work with.’

‘An excellent practice with a broad range of commercial and residential property experience, co-ordinated from the Cheltenham office. They have shown a willingness to work alongside other law firms on specific projects, to share systems and processes and in doing so to generate greater efficiencies.’

‘Naomi Nettleton’s team offers a wide range of expertise and is well-resourced at all fee earner levels, offering experience where it’s needed and more junior support where appropriate. Naomi has a habit of asking the right questions and always manages to provide clear and practical answers. ’

Key clients

Crab Hill Developments Limited

Hearthstone Investment Management

Property Investment and Development Company

Countryside Properties (UK) Limited

Actis LLP

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's Cheltenham offices house 'collaborative, commercial and responsive' lawyers with substantial expertise in capital markets transactions, as well as high-value M&A. The team advises an impressive UK and multinational client base on deals locally and abroad. The department is led by Richard Norton, who has a strong track record in listings and take-overs, as well as leading on matters involving the Middle East. Adrian Mayer is an M&A specialist, frequently instructed to advise private equity funds that focus on Africa; he is often supported by legal director Edward RobinsonJonathan Morley is another accomplished corporate transactional lawyer, whom clients rate as 'outstanding'.

Practice head(s):

Richard Norton

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Mayer; Jonathan Morley; Edward Robinson; Matthew Hobbs

Testimonials

‘CRS provides well-qualified counsel with relevant experience and expertise without charging exorbitant fees or overcomplicating matters. We have worked with several other firms in the UK, including Magic Circle firms, and continue coming back to CRS.’

‘Their expanding European footprint has allowed us to leverage resources in Luxembourg, France and other countries, even though we already had relationships in those geographies. Collaborative, commercial and responsive – we value our partnership with CRS.’

‘Jonathan Morley is outstanding. We never feel outsourced to juniors or to other partners. He stays involved and provides practical and timely advice.’

Key clients

Trifast Plc

Pennant International Group Plc

A Tsokkos Public Limited

Gulf Air

Actis LLP

Argo Group

Bank of Cyprus

Battery Ventures

Robert Hitchins Group Limited

Growthpoint Investec Africa Properties Limited

Employment > Employment: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Tier 1

With well-established connections in the South West backed up by the wider firm's network of national and international offices, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises clients ranging from large scale multinational employers to regional SMEs. The Cheltenham team has strong links in the retail, leisure, charities and rural business sectors, providing HR support, restructuring and TUPE transfer advice to an increasingly international client base. It also has a noteworthy contentious practice, representing employers and individuals in tribunal and High Court cases. Sara Wilson leads the team from Cheltenham, with significant experience advising corporate and healthcare employers. Syma Spanjers is also highly regarded for her experience with tribunal claims and negotiating exits for senior executives.

Practice head(s):

Sara Wilson

Other key lawyers:

Syma Spanjers; Kelly Evans

Testimonials

‘Sara Wilson is extremely empathetic. Whilst my personal situation was perhaps not the most complex she had dealt with, she quickly and effectively established how to support, guide and advise me. Whether by design or just because culturally this is how this firm operates, Sara was kind, thoughtful and considerate in their engagement with me. This put me at ease, and I believe helped us together make decisions as and when the time was right.’

‘Excellent subject matter expertise delivered well. Client-centred, yet realistic. Pragmatic advice.’

‘Highly competent team of partners and associates. Excellent experience in employment law matters and therefore I felt the advice they gave was excellent.’

‘The service I received was highly professional – I dealt mostly with an associate and she was always available and the advice she gave was very sound.’

‘Both Sara Wilson and Syma Spanjers are professional and personable in their approach to any given conundrum we may have and I believe us to have a strong business relationship. They understand our business and how it operates, and when giving any advice they apply how it will affect us and what our legal position is.’

‘Strong knowledge of legal matters, quick to respond to requests for advice. Good capability within the local practice but also in the wider firm offices,’

‘Sara Wilson on the HR side is excellent. Always available with strong communication skills. I always receive very good and consistent advice from Sara’

‘I absolutely love the team at Charles Russell Speechlys – not only are they commercially minded, they are friendly and efficient. They give practical advice. As a client, I am always conscious of the time spent. However, I feel like the team at Charles Russell are always aware of this.’

Key clients

Sotheby’s

Neal’s Yard Remedies

Cats Protection

Pennant International Plc

Trifast Plc

Reynolds Catering Supplies Limited

The Garland Company Limited

Executive Jet Charter Limited

B&M Babbage & Co Limited

SourceBreaker Limited

Dunkerton Properties LLP

Plymouth Citizens Advice

Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises

African Private Equity & Venture Capital Association

Immedia Group Plc/Immedia Broadcast Limited

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Acting on behalf of a wide range of both regional and international clients, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP offers 'market-leading' experience across the full range of private wealth, trust and probate matters, with 'the depth of knowledge and skill to manage difficult situations'. Julia Cox focuses on estate and succession planning, with an emphasis on entrepreneurs, high net worth individuals, and non-UK domiciled individuals. Henry Fea, also active in the firm's agricultural department, has strong experience with trustees, private companies and foreign banks. The firm has also recently added two senior associates to bolster its probate team. The 'astute' and highly experienced Christopher Page heads up the Cheltenham-based practice. He is often supported by legal director Alexander Caton, who works with rural businesses and landed estates.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Page

Other key lawyers:

Henry Fea; Julia Cox; Alexander Caton; Claire Conlon; Sarah Roberts

Testimonials

‘A truly collaborative, joined-up team of lawyers – an individual and supportive approach to the client. High level of knowledge across all areas that I have engaged them in.’

‘Trust, communication, dedication – they have the depth of knowledge and skill to manage difficult situations. I have not worked with professional and dedicated lawyers like this before, they stand out as real thinkers and innovators.’

‘The strongest private client team in the UK as far as I know. The team work hand in glove with their corporate team which is great for my entrepreneurial clients.’

‘They offer a friendly, clear and efficient service to clients in a subject which can sometimes be quite complicated.’

‘The team at CRS are market-leading, they balance uniquely the ability to be approachable, collaborative with other advisors and provide the very best advice and support. ’

‘Julia Cox is a triumph, she is incredibly bright and balances this with her approachable and compassionate style. 

‘Christopher Page is an astute lawyer, easy to communicate with, and builds a good rapport with clients.’

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides a 'mixture of reliability, depth of support and willingness to take commercial and practical decisions at the right times.'  The team advises banks, private equity funds and hedge funds on a variety of transactions, and also assists its clients in regulatory obligations and investigations. Practice head Richard Norton focuses on loan facilities and security.

Practice head(s):

Richard Norton

Other key lawyers:

Manoj Vaghela

Testimonials

‘They are easy to deal with and can involve others in the team very quickly.’

‘The firm has people with experience who have dealt with similar issues so the job gets done quickly.

‘Mixture of reliability, depth of support and willingness to take commercial and practical decisions at the right times. Whilst a strong regional player, the partners also have extensive UK and international expertise which brings a wealth of related contacts.’

‘Richard Norton is outstanding. Brings a depth of both UK and international expertise to support corporate transactions. Richard’s attention to detail is impressive. Takes time to understand the detail and provide first class practical support often during unsociable hours. ’

 

Key clients

Awal Bank B.S.C

Trifast plc

Bank of Cyprus

Credit Suisse

Royal Bank of Canada

EFG Private Bank Limited

National Bank of Kuwait

Clydesdale Bank

Ahli United Bank

Cynergy Bank

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

The Cheltenham-based team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP leverages the firm's market-leading experience across the private client spectrum to benefit its wide range of charities clients. It has particular expertise working with educational, military and religious charities, advising them on property, employment, tax, banking and other matters. The team also has a notable focus on establishing corporate charitable foundations. This area is led by Christopher Page, who co-leads the team alongside Ian Brothwood, Julia Cox and Mike Scott. Penelope Byatt is also notable for her governance expertise.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Page; Ian Brothwood; Julia Cox; Mike Scott

Other key lawyers:

Penelope Byatt

Testimonials

‘To find a firm with a specialist charity law team is quite unusual, and it makes a huge difference to be able to speak with someone who deals only with charity law, as the depth and range of their experience are so great.’

‘The advantage of dealing with Penelope Byatt at Charles Russell is that she is an expert in all things to do with charities, and so because she has so much experience, she has information at her fingertips. Dealing with people who do charity law as only one of several areas of expertise is a much less positive experience.’

‘The Cheltenham team are approachable and responsive to requests for assistance. The advice is relevant and practical and really helps us solve our problems and challenges.’

‘Mike Scott and Penelope Byatt are knowledgeable and experienced in charity law and back this up with such a depth of personal experience of the sector.’

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 4

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team is active in residential, commercial and agricultural disputes, and is 'always willing to go the extra mile.' It portfolio includes estate clients, retailers, property management companies and charities as well as HNW individuals. Emma Humphreys' broad practice encompasses break rights and insolvency matters, among others. She leads the group jointly with Guildford-based David Haines.

Practice head(s):

David Haines; Emma Humphreys

Other key lawyers:

Emma Preece; Samuel Lear

Testimonials

‘A strong team of talented professionals with considerable experience in real estate litigation across a range of fields. The team works seamlessly across its London and Cheltenham offices.’

‘Very good strength in depth. All members of the team I have dealt with, whether in the Cheltenham or London offices, have been excellent lawyers who are easy to work with.’

‘Emma Preece has a good sense of the merits of an argument and is responsive and personable.’

‘CRS are always on the ball. They provide clear and thorough instructions which are usually targeted at all the right issues. They are always willing to go the extra mile for the client even when the battle is extremely uphill.’

‘A pretty seamless team across both London and the South West – one team across both offices means that they can get the levels of experience, expertise, people and cost just right, which is what many property clients demand. Very responsive.’

‘Samuel Lear – really building up his expertise and experience; well attuned to client aims.’

‘Emma Humphreys – excellent lawyer; very commercial, with a good strategic mind; very focused on client aims, on managing a case efficiently, and on achieving the right outcomes.’

‘David Haines: simply brilliant. Very clever, measured but tough when necessary.’

 

Key clients

Church Commissioners for England

London and Cambridge Properties

Hackney Joint Estate Charity

Hintlesham Hall Hotel Limited

West Bay Holdings Limited

Woodchester Valley Freehold Limited

Karen Zakaim

Private client > Art and cultural property Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a first-class and 'very client-orientated' team that covers the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters from the purchase, sale and financing of art through to advising on the restitution of art work that has been looted. It is also adept at advising on issues such as the donation of art in lieu of inheritance/estate taxes and is also recommended for its work on import and export licences. Other areas of expertise include advising street artists on the protection of their artworks in addition to advising on disputes about authenticity, provenance and title matters. The team, under the joint leadership of Rudy Capildeo and Tim Maxwell, regularly advises museums and art galleries in addition to foundations, charities, philanthropists, insurance brokers and collectors and is recognised for its work with national institutions on projects of major cultural importance. Suzanne Marriott is highly regarded for her work with estates that hold significant art collections.

Practice head(s):

Rudy Capildeo; Tim Maxwell

Other key lawyers:

Suzanne Marriott; Robert Blower

Testimonials

The team has unparalleled expertise in all matters relating to cultural property: heritage tax, offers in lieu, private treaty sales, Government Indemnity, export licensing, conditional exemption and all fiscal issues relating to chattels; artists and artists’ estates. I have no hesitation in recommending them as the best of the best in the field of heritage property‘.

Robert Blower, Suzanne Marriott, Rudy Capildeo and Tim Maxwell  – all outstanding in all they do: expertise, handling particularly complex and sometimes contentious cases; they know who to ask. Last year I said that their late partner Ludo de Walden had the Midas touch and I know his legacy is safe with them‘.

As far as I am aware this is the biggest art and cultural property team in the country. It has well recognised people who are actively engaged in this niche area. They have a very good client base and do very good work. Suzanne Marriott,  Robert Blower, Tim Maxwell, Rudy Capildeo‘.

‘One of the most experienced and deep art law teams in the UK – covering transactional, litigation and private client advice. Rudy Capildeo – hardworking and very easy to deal with. Tim Maxwell – a determined and impressive litigator. Robert Blower – one of the most experienced private client advisors around‘.

What makes the CRS team exceptional among its UK peers is the breadth of expertise in both disputes and transactional expertise in the arts. Tim Maxwell and Rudy Capildeo are exceptional litigators‘.

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys has been exceptional. Knowledgeable, patient, diligent and responsive.  Its handling of a complex restitution case, spanning historic case law and multiple jurisdictions has been superb. The lawyers have worked with desks across the globe to help verify the legality of certain areas, and gone above and beyond to support (pro bono) the charity I represent‘.

‘In particular, I would highlight Rudy Capildeo and Tim Maxwell.  They have been diligent, extremely helpful, knowledgeable and ethics driven. They have the unique ability to translate confusing, complex (and sometimes unknown) details into digestible, clear options/position statements. They have undertaken extensive research and due diligence to ensure the best outcome for my organisation. A total pleasure to work with!‘.

Rudy Capildeo – Mr Capildeo has very deep knowledge of the art market and puts across very easy to implement solutions to complex issues in multimillion-pound, multinational transactions. His ability to deliver expert legal advice has made a huge difference to our business and we always feel we are in good hands. In comparison to his peers, Mr Capildeo excels in the understanding of not just the legal side of the transaction but also the specific asset, something that is very rare to find. Suzanne Marriot – Mrs Marriot is an extremely proficient operator who is always available to provide expert support to her clients‘.

Key clients

Vision Foundation

The Sir Denis Mahon Foundation

 

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey and Sussex Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's Guildford commercial dispute resolution team is led by Stephen Burns and Jamie Cartwright. The team has particular expertise in corporate disputes and commercial produce and supply disputes, with an increasing focus on professional negligence claims. It is also increasingly advising healthcare clients on warranty and indemnity claims. Katie Bewick often handles work in the food and beverage, retail, financial services and healthcare sectors. Charlotte Healy has extensive knowledge regarding prosecutions and investigations brought by regulators and Tom Plowman focuses on the sports and automotive sectors.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Burns; Jamie Cartwright

Other key lawyers:

Katie Bewick; Charlotte Healy; Tom Plowman

Testimonials

‘A very strong regional team with excellent knowledge of the requirements of its clients.’

‘This is an excellent team which punches above its weight. ’

‘Excellent understanding of our business and requirements for legal advice, well researched and practical advice and reasonable and transparent fees.’

‘Stephen Burns is responsive, sensible and pragmatic. He has a good sense of what a court is likely to respond to.’

‘Jamie Cartwright is a go-to litigator for our business; an excellent lawyer who is also practical and client-friendly. He gets to grips with the issues and offers timely advice and solutions.’

‘Charlotte Healy is diligent and on top of the detail.’

Key clients

Fiat Chrysler Automotive Limited

Rapha

M & A Pharmachem

eToro Group Limited

Air Products

Bowers & Wilkins

Acushnet Europe Limited

Teletrac Navman

Swiss Post

Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing

Real estate > Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles complex transactions within sectors including retail, leisure and hospitality, healthcare; the practice's regeneration team has recently undergone significant growth. The group, which 'comprises a superb range of highly competent individuals operating as an efficient, client focused team' advises a range of UK, international and high-net-worth individuals, as well as major corporates and charities. Ingrid Saffin leads the Guildford-based team with particular expertise in the healthcare, retail, hospitality and industrial sectors, whilst Claire Timmings has experience in advising on strategic property issues. Charlotte Major is also a strong member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Ingrid Saffin

Other key lawyers:

Claire Timmings; Charlotte Major

Testimonials

‘They have an established relationship with our company and understand the somewhat unique challenges of our industry. The skill set and experience of team members is well matched to our needs.’

‘Working with both the restructuring and property teams, it was evident to see the high level of collaboration between these teams to deliver an efficient and seamless client experience. The team were also highly adaptable and placed a strong emphasis on client service, producing bespoke reports to present completion progress and highlight issues so that they could be dealt with in real time.’

‘Efficient and approachable with a proactive and personal response to problem solving.’

‘No-nonsense and considered, straight forward and practical advice.’

‘The CRS commercial property team comprises a superb range of highly competent individuals operating as an efficient, client focused team. Diligent and professional, I have found all members of the team to be highly responsive and friendly.’

‘Ingrid Saffin was incredibly diligent in ensuring matters were progressed efficiently. She also made sure that she was available to discuss general project matters, such as staffing levels, in good time to ensure the project was being delivered effectively. Claire Timmings demonstrated excellent, in-depth legal knowledge and was very happy to explain the more complicated legal principles / procedures to myself and other team members, which were always set out clearly. This, together with her affable and friendly personality, meant that Claire was quickly regarded with trust, and as someone who could be easily approached with any queries.’

‘Charlotte Major is very commercial, takes practical approach and provides practical solutions. Very knowledgeable and happy to provide direction when needed.’

‘Ingrid Saffin is a stand-out lawyer, a client focused commercial property specialist with an eye for detail and a personal touch. Ingrid has proven herself to be an invaluable resource to our business. She is diligent and client focused. Clare Timmings is technically excellent; an astute solicitor with a ‘can do” approach.’

Key clients

Retail BV

Nike (UK) Limited

Converse Retail (UK) Limited

Converse Netherlands BV

Octopus Property

Dentex Healthcare Group Limited

Exeter Group

TDR Capital

Barnados

Save the Children

Warrant Investments Plc

discoverIE Group PLC

Real estate > Construction Tier 1

The Guildford construction practice at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP  takes on instructions from a diverse range of clients, including domestic and international public sector bodies, non-profits, housebuilders, and high-net-worth individuals. In recent months, the team has advised on major international regenerations, luxury property contracts, and procurement strategies - led by practice head David Savage, a dual-qualified solicitor and barrister who specialises in Middle Eastern projects. Andrew Keeley handles construction and engineering contracts for commercial and residential developers, as well as a number of adjudications around payment disputes and contract terminations.  Chi Mount  is noted for her data centre development focus, and for her work alongside the firm’s real estate and banking teams on the construction aspects of various transactions and financings.

Practice head(s):

David Savage

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Keeley; Chi Mount

Testimonials

‘Trusted firm from previous development work and good relationship already in place. Covid-19 has impacted on normal working practices but the client/lawyer interaction remained very strong, with excellent IT usage.’

‘A very professional outfit with a great deal of experience and resources.’

‘We have used Andrew Keeley and his team for a number of years for all our construction advice and assistance, even when his firm has not been involved in the particular acquisition. He has all the knowledge and expertise we need and his guidance is first class’

‘David Savage has the ability to communicate complex legal issues in a way that is comprehensible for the layperson, allowing decisions to be reached on elements of the contracts.’

‘ Andrew Keeley has been exceptional in his handling of our situation. He is  extremely knowledgeable about the construction industry, very personable and has been a pleasure to work with. I would have no hesitation in working with him again or recommending him to others.’

Key clients

Ministry of Transport & Telecommunications, Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain

Church Commissioners for England

Caring Homes Group

Eton College

Westminster Abbey

The Pirbright Institute

Marlborough College

Northvale Construction Limited

Aspire Luxury Properties Limited

Bewley Homes Plc

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

The private wealth team Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides expert advice on contentious trusts and estates, and works alongside strong landed estates and dispute resolution teams to provide full coverage for high-net-worth individuals. Having developed strong links with offshore trust jurisdictions, practice leader Duncan Elson is widely known for his work on  complex litigation. He is supported by senior associate Samantha Ewing, who advises on complex trusts, wills, and 1975 Act claims. Additionally, senior associate Rebecca Piper covers a range of matters, including will challenges, proprietary estoppel claims, and applications to remove executors, and Edward Birrell is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Elson

Other key lawyers:

Samatha Ewing; Rebecca Piper; Edward Birrell

Testimonials

‘First class excellent legal advice as one would expect in a City law firm, but outside of London at a competitive price.’

‘The practice was able to gain my confidence very quickly and I soon learned to trust their advice and the firm’s diligence and rounded advice. I knew I was in good hands! I like to think that they valued my opinion and this led to a close and trusted collaboration. The firm was able to take on all aspects of the case at the highest level whether it be private client or property matters. The advice was honest and had my best intentions at the heart of any decision; this enabled me to trust the team and to therefore put my future and that of my family in their capable hands.’

‘Rebecca Piper has exceptional knowledge of the legal system and how to reach a successful outcome while working within the parameters of the law. She successfully balances a no-nonsense, yet approachable style, never losing sight of the end goal, she helped keep the issue sharply focused and pushed tirelessly on many different levels to reach a successful resolution.’ 

We are so grateful for Rebecca and her team. I dread to think what would have happened to my mother (especially during this pandemic) had we not been able to secure an independent deputy to oversee mum’s care.

‘Duncan Elson is an extremely experienced and thoughtful litigator, providing immense reassurance to his clients and his team. I have also been very impressed by Rebecca Piper both in terms of mastery of the issues and documents in the cases she handles, calmness under pressure and efficiency. ’

‘In my view, CRS Guildford is the only top tier firm in this area of practice with a full service offering outside London. Clients are therefore afforded the resources of a top London firm at modest prices.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable of the charity sector and its needs and challenges; they tailor their advice to take account of these aspects and the reputational issues which a charity often faces in a contentious trusts and probate matter while being bullish in protecting our Trustees’ position and statutory obligations.’

‘I have worked with Rebecca Piper and Samantha Ewing. Both are very approachable, efficient and extremely knowledgeable of their areas of expertise. They are happy to take the time to explain the legal complexities.’

Key clients

The Public Trustee of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP continues to lead on some of the largest and most high-profile cases domestically and offshore and routinely handles a myriad of high-value and complex disputes that often span multiple jurisdictions. Recent highlights have included successfully advising on an application (and subsequent appeal) to the High Court on novel points of law. It also frequently works on some of the largest international divorce cases where trusts are involved and on asset tracing and fraud matters. Graeme Kleiner  ('a real star') advises trustees, executors and beneficiaries on a broad range of disputes. In addition Kleiner has a growing practice in IFA disputes and handles fraud and professional negligence cases relating to trust, tax and succession matters. Duncan Elson concentrates on large and complex trusts and estate disputes. Tamasin Perkins is experienced in advising on multi-jurisdictional injunctions and claims for the recovery of assets. This is a  'team that has excellent depth and breadth from the top down'.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Kleiner

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Elson; Tamasin Perkins; Robert Avis; Oliver Auld

Testimonials

‘Top team involved in all the big cases in this area. Incredible expertise and experience both on and offshore. Its client handling skills are excellent and the lawyers always look for a sensible solution. Graeme Kleiner is outstanding with huge experience and expertise. He has a superb team with the very bright Robert Avis. Tamasin Perkins is extremely clever and excellent with clients. Duncan Elson has enormous experience and is a really tough litigator.’

CRS features in more than its fair share of the high-profile trusts and estates cases. It has an impressive line up of highly experienced partners and well trained associates who serve their clients very well. Graeme Kleiner appears in a large number of high-profile trusts cases and for good reason. His technical knowledge is excellent and he takes both a forceful and imaginative approach on behalf of his clients.’

‘Everyone you come across is practical, commercial, astute and very nice to deal with. Graeme Kleiner – a very hands on partner, who works hard for his clients and is tenacious. He also sees the bigger picture and gets good deals done for his clients. Rob Avis – intelligent and astute. He is quick to grapple with difficult problems and find a practical and commercial solution.’

‘The breadth of its practice is unusual and notable – from large-scale offshore trust litigation, UK probate disputes, Court of Protection work, and divorce litigation. It is a quality outfit with a great private client team behind it and a strong regional presence – unusual for a City firm of this profile and strength. Graeme Kleiner – at the top of his game at the moment. Knowledgeable, pragmatic and cunning when he needs to be. Duncan Elson – an understated but highly effective and experienced litigator. Rob Avis is a standout associate based in the Geneva office.’

This is a classy firm which gives consistent and well-measured advice against a background culture which always seeks to identify the clients’ best interests. An unflappable team which operates well regardless of the pressures which frequently arise in this area. Tamasin Perkins and Graeme Kleiner are names that spring to mind. They are great representatives of the firm giving cool-headed, balanced advice as part of a well co-ordinated team effort.’

Very impressive team with expertise to handle traditional domestic disputes and complex international cases. Graeme Kleiner continues to be one of the most popular figures in this sphere and runs a very impressive and efficient ship. Tamasin Perkins is an excellent partner and a joy to work with.’

Clear thinking and focus on the important elements of cases. Sound practical advice. Graeme Kleiner – absolute standout. One of the very few “go to” solicitors in the contentious trust and probate field. A wide knowledge of the principles of law and an excellent application of them to facts of particular cases. Superb at identifying the key issues and advising accordingly.’

‘A team with superior strength and depth, led by the brilliant Graeme Kleiner. Graeme Kleiner – a dynamic, analytical and strategic operator. Duncan Elson – fantastically knowledgeable – calmly guides clients through the process. Rob Avis – based in Geneva – totally brilliant – will fly.’

Key clients

Alan Shearer CBE

Trustees of the Bathurst Estate: the Earl’s Fund

Trustee of the Michael Cowan Foundation

Nicola Mackay

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's corporate and commercial team has expertise acting for clients in the technology, healthcare, education, sport, charity and not for profit sectors. The team combines a strong regional presence with roles on an increasing number of cross-border transactions. Helen Wong has particular expertise in supporting investment transactions from China and Hong Kong. Team head Tim Jenkins - 'an outstanding lawyer within the retail pharmacy space' - leads the firm’s retail healthcare transactions team. Rebecca Burford has particular expertise in private equity transactions, fundraisings and M&A transactions in the gaming industry.

Practice head(s):

Tim Jenkins

Other key lawyers:

Geoffrey Sparks; Rebecca Burford; Helen Wong; Jonathan Steele

Testimonials

‘The team provides pragmatic and commercial approach to deals. They are able to support in terms of not only the transaction, but also in terms of the pervasive skills.’

‘Very professional in their approach and helping us and guiding us on legal and commercial matters. Very approachable firm and easy to get on with’

‘Very approachable and most important to us is their availability across their firm, so we can cover any legal matters related to our business.’

‘CRS has exceptional knowledge in the healthcare sector. This is important as the nuances within this sector change very rapidly.’

‘They have been working with us for over two years and are able to anticipate the needs of the business to ensure smooth transactions.’

‘The structures of our deals sometime involve a great deal of complexity and the team have shown the ability to meet and structure such complexity in a commercial manner.’

‘Jonathan Steele  is pragmatic, commercial and efficient, bringing a huge amount of technical knowledge tapered with commerciality.’

‘Tim Jenkins is an outstanding lawyer within the retail pharmacy space. He combines commercial pragmatism with an in-depth, unsurpassed sector knowledge. He is collaborative in approach and enjoys strong support from his wider practice team. He focuses upon delivering solutions rather than scoring points and is a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Dentex Healthcare Group

Avicenna Group

SSE Services Holdings Ltd

ITV

Sterling Healthcare Group

Clean Beauty Co Limited

LeBlanq Limited

Veloce Esports Limited

London Irish RFC

Fiveqube Limited

Barnados

CSM Sports & Entertainment Holdings Ltd

Electra Prescribing Services Ltd

John Masters

Employment > Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s Guildford employment team has specialisms in the technology, gaming, financial services, sports, healthcare and retail sectors. The team’s clients are often household names, with work spanning national and international instructions. Nick Hurley is praised as 'commercial and pragmatic' and leads the team with expertise in contentious and non-contentious employment work including handling discrimination, whistleblowing and TUPE mandates for financial services and technology clients. Ben Smith frequently acts for charities and also sits in the firm’s global markets group. Andy Williams has particular expertise in advising companies on large-scale workforce matters, including reorganisations.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hurley

Other key lawyers:

Ben Smith; Andy Williams; Emily Chalkley

Testimonials

‘Excellent employment law knowledge, coupled with good commerciality and common sense. Has spent time trying to understand the business and company culture and is able to frame advice accordingly. They have a collegiate environment and clearly work closely with colleagues from around the firm and internationally. Responsive, friendly, good to have a debate / discussion with and come up with pragmatic solutions, rather than just telling me what the law says.’

‘Excellent team work, high responsiveness, excellent knowledge of UK and EU-law, very good understanding of the economic background and fair and reasonable billing. ’

‘It does what it says on the tin. Honest, transparent, fair and always have your personal well-being at the heart of their work.’

‘I value their excellent judgment as a collective, and how well organised they are in their approach to their work.’

‘Nick Hurley is responsive, commercial and pragmatic. His knowledge is current and he keeps abreast of market developments. His client base is broader than just Financial Services and is therefore able to bring in good industry practices and knowledge from broader sectors.’

‘Ben Smith is extremely personable and Senior Associate Emily Chalkley has excellent judgment, is tenacious, and very hard working.’

‘Ben Smith will always go the 1000th mile for his clients; hard working, efficient and always keeping an eye on the bigger picture.’

‘Andy Williams is an outstanding legal adviser from whom I have received valued employment and pension legal advice for around 20 years. He is a trusted responsive adviser, who I know I can contact if there is a complex employment issue.’

Key clients

Sony Playstation

National Museum of the Royal Navy

Ericsson

NEP UK

Cloud Facilities Management Group

Amundi Asset Management

Rapha Racing

Just Group plc

C Hoare & Co

CSG International

Samaritans

Lord Wandsworth College

Private client > Family Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP frequently acts in cases of the highest value and complexity. It has a significant international reach and head of department James Freeman ('tenacious and clever') is particularly well-known for his experience in Anglo-French cases. Miranda Fisher is recognised for her work on Anglo-Russian cases. The team also boasts particular expertise in cases involving onshore and offshore trust structures. Clients include successful business owners with substantial private businesses and family business structures. William Longrigg who 'brings gravitas and charm to any case' specialises in international divorce, financial relief matters (both pre- and post-nuptial agreements) as well as private law children cases. A number of his clients are ultra-high-net-worth individuals and members of high-profile aristocratic and international families. Sarah Anticoni is one of the leading mediators in London. Sarah Higgins is also well-regarded and has a particular focus on complex financial applications as well as complex private children applications. In addition the practice has carved out considerable expertise in surrogacy, adoption, cross-border contact arrangements for children as well as advising on the rights of trans-gender parents.

Practice head(s):

James Freeman

Other key lawyers:

Miranda Fisher; William Longrigg; Sarah Anticoni; Sarah Higgins; James Riby ;Sarah Jane Boon; Joshua Green; Jamie Kennaugh; Erica Shelton; Emily Borrowdale

Testimonials

‘CRS has a busy, well-regarded and effectively functioning financial remedy team. James Freemen is a hardworking, thoughtful and reliable talent with good bedside manner who successfully represents many high net worth clients. Sarah Jane Boon is thoughtful and hardworking, and full of intelligent ideas about the best ways to progress a client’s case‘.

They are heavyweights in the family arena, able to take on the best, yet approach cases with common sense and humanity. Jamie Kennaugh, Emily Borrowdale and Joshua Green. Sarah Anticoni- an extremely safe pair of hands as a a mediator‘.

‘CRS is a stellar team full of excellent people. The lawyers are simply a cut above the rest. Their strengths are a virtually unrivalled experience in the biggest and most complex family cases and the quality of their family team. They are enormously respected by judges and the wider profession, which is hard earned’.

‘William Longrigg: Exceptionally measured with impeccable judgment. The man for any occasion. Sarah Higgins: Exceptional intellect and eye for detail and incredibly hardworking. Sarah Anticoni: Very skilled litigator always several moves ahead of everyone else. Erica Shelton: Oozes class and confidence. Family law royalty. Sarah Jane Boon: A force to be reckoned with in any case. She has a seniority and gravitas way beyond her years and is one to watch’.

Jamie Kennaugh: Jamie is wonderful with clients and is devastatingly understated but effective in litigation. Emily Borrowdale: A rising star in family law who will get to the top. Wonderful manner with clients coupled with an impeccable instinct and judgement. Joshua Green: Another rising star. Able to get right to the heart of any case instantly and make the most complicated issues seem straightforward‘.

Excellent commercial nous and the ability to draw on a large team of other subject-areas makes the family team well placed to deal with almost any query thrown at it. James Riby is great- hardworking and dedicated. Really prepared to go the extra mile‘.

‘If my clients need assistance in the UK in family issues, the first law firm I am thinking about is CRS as the firm follows the highest professional standards and international best practices. They are client-friendly and very practical. They have Russian-speaking lawyers that provide the Russian clients with the possibility to discuss extremely sensitive matrimonial issues. Miranda Fisher: she has strategic thinking, which allows her to be two steps ahead of the clients‘.

‘A very solid family team. Lots of very good HNW clients and international cases. The lawyers are sensible and concentrate on the important issues. They are straight and you know where you are with them. Good people to have on the other side who will represent their clients’ interests fairly and sensibly. James Freeman is excellent. Very bright, on top of the law, settlement minded and able to cut through the detail to concentrate on what is important quickly. Highly pragmatic. William Longrigg. A very well known and liked operator who has huge experience – getting into Senior Statesman category. Miaranda Fisher. Well known for her navigation of Russian cases‘.

 

Private client > Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

The 'stellar' Guildford-based family law department at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is praised for 'smashing the ball out of the park' on difficult family cases, working with clients both nationally and internationally. The team has expertise in advising high-net-worth clients on complex financial cases involving assets held in trusts and pension assets, and handling work involving international child relocation and child protection issues. The team has strong capabilities in all forms of dispute resolution, and can also utilise the strengths of the firm's corporate, banking and tax teams for business-owner clients. Shona Alexander - who 'has seen and done it all before on the largest stage' and Karen Wilsher - 'the leading choice for matrimonial solicitors in Guildford' - co-head the department, and William Rollin has extensive experience in advising on financial remedies in divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships.

Practice head(s):

Shona Alender; Karen Wilsher

Other key lawyers:

William Rollin; Felicity Chapman; Claire Devine

Testimonials

‘This is a strong, cohesive team which provides a knowledgeable and very efficient service to its clients.’

‘Serious specialists of a type not found outside big City firms, but delivered from a local office with equivalent pricing.’

‘Karen Wilsher has a good grasp of her cases and provides excellent, clear instructions. She is good at working as part of her team, as is her colleague Claire Devine, who is more junior but coming into her own. William Rollin is also impressive for his strategic thinking and excellent manner with clients.’

‘Karen Wilsher is the leading choice for matrimonial solicitors in Guildford. Highly recommended.’

‘William Rollins has instructed me for years and has developed into an excellent choice of relatively new partner for the this firm. Karen Wilsher I rate extremely highly. They are always so well prepared, so clear and so interesting in money work and in children work of all sorts. Put simply, this is a stellar team of solicitors.’

‘Shona Alexander brings top London big money expertise to clients based outside London. She has seen and done it all before on the largest stage. ’

‘I have referred many clients to Shona Alexander and her team. The feedback I get is terrific. They are looked after in a professional and sensitive manner with the team looking to mediate rather than pour petrol on a an often difficult situation as many of their competitors do. Family law is tricky to get right but Shona and the team smash the ball out of the park.’

‘For me, Shona Alexander epitomises the phrase ‘a safe pair of hands.’ Her professionalism and deep experience is respected by her clients and peers. Working within the broader CRS infrastructure is a big benefit too. CRS have invested into building a substantial practice however they have never lost the feel of intimate service ’

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 1

Acting primarily for banks and large institutions, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is regarded as a ‘market-leading practice, with deep experience of dealing with litigation and investigations arising from complex fraud’. The firm provides international presence and expertise, with a focus on investigations, asset recovery and portfolio management. As well as being known for private wealth expertise, its ‘distinctive characteristic is that the team is highly collaborative and creative‘. Practice head Stewart Hey advises on high-value, cross-border fraud disputes and investigations across the key sectors of financial services, banking, government and energy. He can call on the talents of Charlotte Pender, who handles a range of complex, multijurisdictional fraud and banking matters; and Caroline Greenwell, who was promoted to partner in 2021 and has ‘all of the skills to become one of the best client lawyers of her generation’.

Practice head(s):

Stewart Hey

Other key lawyers:

Jason Freedman; Charlotte Pender; Caroline Greenwell

Testimonials

‘Jason Freedman is rigorously commercial, has excellent litigation judgment, and knows how build and lead effective fraud litigation teams.’

‘This is a market-leading practice, with deep experience of dealing with litigation and investigations arising from complex fraud. Its distinctive characteristic is that the team is highly collaborative and creative.’

‘I would particularly single out Caroline Greenwell – a new partner in 2021, with all of the skills to become one of the best client lawyers of her generation.’

‘Stewart Hey – a dynamic and engaging operator, hardworking and incisive, with specialist knowledge of Middle East issues. Charlotte Pender – an impressive and user-friendly litigator, adept at running big teams of lawyers efficiently.’

‘This is a fantastic firm with great depth and strength. Every lawyer I deal with from this firm is seriously competent- and that’s unusual in a firm of this size!’

‘Stewart Hey is magnificent- he is everywhere at every moment. He leads a super strong team, he’s sensible and available, he’s smart, considered and a lovely guy.’

‘The CRS Civil Fraud team are absolutely brilliant. They work efficiently and effectively, always keeping in mind the commercial realities and the client’s objectives. The work product is second to none.’

‘True seasoned experts in international fraud, with knowledgeable lawyers at all levels, which means the operation can be scaled depending on the level of work required at any given time.’ 

Key clients

RSM

FRP Advisory

Central Bank of Bahrain

Fica Frio Limited

Franek Sodzawiczny

Gulf Air

CVR Global LLP (now known as Begbies Traynor)

Ooredoo Q, s.c.

Aldemore Bank plc

Guy Colegate (Former employee of a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell)

John Mason

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's first-rate team, which is led by James Hyne , demonstrates expertise in fraud cases and high-value insolvency litigation, transactions related to company restructurings (such as pre-pack administrations and CVAs) and advice to directors and creditors prior to formal insolvencies, among other areas. Roger Elford specialises in property insolvency matters, while senior associate Melania Constable is recommended for advice on sales and acquisitions of insolvent businesses. In addition to being a major player in the domestic market, the firm is also a first port of call in cross-border insolvencies and restructurings. Its work spans a number of industries, including retail, real estate and sport. Recent highlights included acting for an investor on the collapse of the Carlauren group of companies.

Practice head(s):

James Hyne

Other key lawyers:

Roger Elford; Melania Constable

Testimonials

‘The partners and associates are very hands-on. They always have the interests of their clients in their minds and are not afraid to give good direct advice. They are also one of the more diverse groups in the restructuring and insolvency world.’

‘Roger Elford is extremely competent and really good with clients. Really clever but never big headed. Always listens carefully to more junior members of the team and gives them a lot of responsibility so that they learn although he is always there supervising.’

‘Mel Constable is a really brilliant senior associate. A real team player. ’

‘James Hyne is one of the brightest and sharpest insolvency lawyers in the market. Quick, extremely commercial and able to grasp the nub of the problem quickly. And has buckets of charm!’

‘James Hyne – commercially excellent. Roger Elford – combines excellent technical knowledge with a practical approach.’

‘They get the job done with talented lawyers, who are genuinely nice to work with. Commercial and pragmatic, they think about and put the client’s needs front and centre. Very good communicators and always responsive out of hours. They seem to work hard on developing teams and it’s good to see strong evidence of diversity within the teams.’

‘James Hyne is a no-nonsense but nonetheless thoughtful insolvency lawyer, with a sharp eye for the right answer. Always keeps an eye on the big picture and frames his advice and legal strategy accordingly. Good fun to work with.’

‘Roger Elford has extensive and wide-ranging technical expertise in all aspects of restructuring and insolvency. Commercially astute and pragmatic in advice. Good fun to work with.’

Key clients

Credit Suisse (UK) Limited

AlixPartners Services UK LLP

Deloitte UK LLP

Turpin Barker Armstrong

Grant Thornton UK Limited

Moore Kingston Smith LLP

KRE Corporate Recovery

Alvarez & Marsal

KPMG UK Limited

Leonard Curtis Business Recovery

James Cowper Kreston

FRP Advisory Limited

Begbies Traynor Corporate Recovery

MBI Coakley Restructuring and Insolvency

RSM Restructuring Advisory

Central Bank of Bahrain

Corporate and commercial > M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is a key firm for a number of clients active in the technology, healthcare and financial services sectors, which are seeking assistance with a range of domestic and cross-border corporate transactions. The team’s international focus and multilingual capabilities have been bolstered in recent months by the arrivals of Helen Wong and James Broadhurst; Wong leads the China team, most notably advising on healthcare M&A and inbound Chinese investment activity, while Broadhurst concentrates on ultra-high-net-worth family matters in Europe and Latin America. Practice head David Coates focuses on private M&A, while Mark Howard handles multiple corporate transactions for TMT clients.

Practice head(s):

David Coates

Other key lawyers:

Mark Howard; Helen Wong; James Broadhurst

Testimonials

‘Best value in the London market – experienced, sophisticated lawyers who can handle any M&A transaction.’

‘Good bench strength and availability of a variety skills that ensure transaction is as seamless as possible.’

‘Mark Howard is a machine: he just keeps going until the job is done. He has a really good understanding of what is important to a deal.’

Key clients

CareTech

Stonegate

Content + Cloud

Amber Infrastructure

Pure Data Centres Group

IQVIA

RSBG Investment Holdings Limited

Eddie Davies Trust

Tremor International

Spin Master Corp

IFS

Acora

Dalton Strategic Partnership LLP

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a large global private wealth team that provides an integrated service to HNW/UHNW individuals and their families, family offices, landed estates and private banks. Other key clients include trustees and wealth managers.  A significant proportion of its work is cross-border and it is noted for its expertise in dealing with the key international markets in the Middle East, the Far East, the USA and Russia. The London office in conjunction with its Guildford office advises on niche areas such as art, intellectual property, real estate and corporate. Bart Peerless, William Begley and Robert Blower are leading practitioners in this field who advise on the full array of complex lifetime tax and planning issues, offshore assets and trusts and other issues affecting landed estates. Peerless acts for some of the world’s wealthiest families and advises many UK and international business people and substantial landowners. The group was pleased to be joined by Simon Weil from BDB Pitmans, who brings a wealth of experience in philanthropy.

Practice head(s):

Robert Blower, Head of Private Client Division; Piers Master, Head of Private Wealth; William Begley, Head of Tax, Trusts and Succession

Other key lawyers:

Simon Weil; Suzanne Marriott; Dominic Lawrance; Nicola Thorpe; Alice Wilne; Sangna Chauhan

Testimonials

‘Very large team. Very strong technically, very responsive and great at dealing with clients. They are brilliant on the both the legal and tax side. Bart Peerless. Superb. He is extremely capable, extremely approachable, extremely good with clients, and very nice person to deal with’.

‘Piers Master and Nicola Thorpe are both brilliant‘.

‘Solid leader in this field with an enormous depth of expertise. Bart Peerless – a Colossus of private client. Suzanne Marriott – brainily sensible. Piers Master – a walking tax encyclopaedia. Nicola Thorpe – prodigious. Simon Weil – the grandfather of private client‘.

‘Highly impressive group of partners. I know Bart Peeless, Piers Masters, and Robert Blower best. They are all superb. Bart did a monumental job for a client on a matter I am working on‘.

The CRS private clients team is extremely knowledgeable regarding the quite complex interplay of the US and UK tax regimes, so the team is an invaluable resource and partner for high net worth clients who are subject to tax by both countries. I have worked extensively with Sangna Chauhan in recent years on a complex matter and have found her to be responsive, knowledgeable and resourceful.  She really went above and beyond during the pandemic lockdown in organising and executing document signings for an elderly client. She is also very personable, which is greatly appreciated by the clients’.

‘Complex approach, Russian speaking team, dual qualified with ability to support ex-CIS countries clients. Personal approach, diversity, ability and wish to develop relationship’.

‘Technically excellent team and one of the best in London. I have worked with Dominic Lawrence and Sangna Chauhan who are some of the most technically capable private client lawyers I have worked with‘.

‘The CRS private client tax, trusts and probate team is unparalleled in its depth of expertise in dealing with UK tax, trusts and probate matters. Piers Master is the perfect private client lawyer: he combined detailed technical knowledge with excellent judgement’.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

The Guildford-based private client team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is headed up by 'excellent leader' Sally Ashford, who has significant experience of Court of Protection matters. The team offers a full range of core private-client services, including tax, trust, succession planning, and additionally it advises clients nationally and globally on estate management and family office structuring. The Guildford office also houses the legacy administration team which handles contentious and non-contentious work for charities. Richard Honey has expertise in complex estate administration matters.

Practice head(s):

Sally Ashford

Other key lawyers:

Richard Honey; Natalie Butler; Lauren Clarke

Testimonials

‘Excellent attention to detail. Excellent client focused advice, care, anticipation and appreciation of client specific risks.’

‘There is a real family feel to the practice whilst also being extremely professional. They are very knowledgeable and genuinely care about their clients and the long term outcomes. They are very collaborative when dealing with other professionals and always keep others informed where the client permits. ’

‘Excellent attention to detail and ability to advise based on the “bigger picture.” Disciplined and communicative approach. Excellent, client-focused advice, care, anticipation and appreciation of client specific risks.’

‘What makes the team different is the balance of professionalism, warmth and reliability, which seems to be pitched at just the right level. Consequently, it is clear that the team really do care about their clients, and are able to deliver appropriate solutions.’

‘Charles Russell Speechlys at Guildford provided a very friendly and responsive team, led by Natalie Butler. Natalie was available to discuss matters with both me as executor and my brother and sister – they both felt very comfortable with the advice that Natalie gave to them directly.’

‘It is clear to me that Sally Ashford has carefully put together her private client team, and that she is an excellent leader who is respected and liked by them. It is also clear that she is a trusted adviser to her clients and genuinely cares about them.’

‘Lauren Clarke is delightful to work with. Complex situations with nervous clients who find themselves in uncharted territory are addressed with warmth and confidence, making her a trusted adviser. Her reassuring and competent style, which one would normally associate with those of more advanced years, is highly effective at putting clients at ease whilst inspiring confidence.’

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's practice is jointly led by nationally-renowned property insolvency specialist Peter Levaggi and David Haines. It has a first-rate reputation handling high-value and high-profile disputes for numerous blue-chip corporate and leading regional entities. The team's varied portfolio of work includes tenant default matters, dilapidation claims and insolvency matters. In addition, it is increasingly active in property finance disputes, with Levaggi undertaking work in this space. Senior associate Joe Edwards focuses on a range of contentious property securities and tax matters. In addition to his CPO work, Haines manages a litany of instructions related to commercial landlord and tenant relations, as well as leasehold enfranchisement. Senior associates Richard Flenley and Natalie Deuchar are also names to note. All named lawyers are based in Guildford.

Practice head(s):

Peter Levaggi; David Haines

Other key lawyers:

Joe Edwards; Richard Flenley; Natalie Deuchar

Testimonials

‘David Haines is the best of the best. He is super-bright and is an excellent lawyer and strategic thinker. He gets fabulous results for his clients. He is also totally unflappable. Very well-liked and respected by colleagues and clients alike.’

‘They respond quickly, no prompting is required. Their expertise is excellent and cannot I cannot fault them.’

‘They are a cohesive and affable bunch, who obviously enjoy working together and bring the advantages of teamwork to their clients. They are efficient and shrewd litigators who correctly identify the strengths and vulnerabilities of their client’s case and manage the case from pre-issue negotiation to judgment and beyond.’

‘The team has strength in breadth from partner to associate. David Haines is the head of property litigation for the whole firm (including the London office) and is an excellent lawyer whose light touch with clients keeps them happy and who is able to plan and manage difficult and long-running litigation. Natalie Deuchar brings intellectual rigour to difficult landlord and tenant issues, has a very sharp eye for details and has a niche practise in leasehold enfranchisement. Richard Flenley is a tough commercial property litigator who makes the right calls early in the case and then relentlessly presses the client’s advantage in the home straight.’

‘David Haines is very easy to work with and a calming and relaxed influence on clients. Very willing and keen to help.’

‘David Haines is an exceptional litigation solicitor who leads his team with experience and dedication. Nothing is ever a problem for David.’

Key clients

Wagamama Limited

The Save the Children Fund

Air Products Plc

Nellsar Limited

Milton Ashbury Limited

The Ernest Cook Trust

Citysprint (UK) Limited

Warrant Investments Plc

Prince Abbas Hilmi/Mohamed Ali Foundation

Barnardo’s

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is home to ‘strength in depth which permits it to cover a number of different areas’. The practice runs a far-reaching caseload in terms of industries, matter types and jurisdictions, though counts sporting-related integrity, rights and marketing among its foremost fields of focus, and also fields a dedicates SportsTech practice, fronted by Jody MacDonald. Jason Saiban is a specialist in sponsorship, merchandising, advertising and market mandates, notably serving as relationship partner to Nike, and co-heads the department alongside Nic Couchman, a lawyer who has recently deployed his formidable commercial rights expertise on behalf of Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford; their team includes corporate sports law practitioner, Satish Khandke, as well as Edward Craig who hones his focus on the contentious field with niche expertise in equine matters. Beyond partner level, senior associate Danielle Sharkeygoes the extra mile’ when advising governing bodies on litigious, regulatory and integrity matters.

Practice head(s):

Jason Saiban; Nic Couchman

Other key lawyers:

Jody MacDonald; Satish Khandke; Edward Craig; Danielle Sharkey; Nick White; Jon Higton

Testimonials

‘Quick responses to requests for advice. In-depth knowledge of media rights issues. Ability to propose innovative solutions in difficult negotiations.’

‘Jon Higton has provided invaluable advice on media rights matters and contracts. He understands the issues and drafts sensible and productive responses that progress negotiations.’

‘Responsive team with wide experience of other sports and an ability to provided sound advice in a short time frame.’

‘Easy to discuss issues with. Edward Craig is very efficient.’

‘The team has strength in depth, which permits it to cover a number of different areas.’

‘Danielle Sharkey goes the extra mile to understand a client’s needs and expectations.’

‘Nick White is particularly recommended.’

Key clients

Nike

Marcus Rashford

International Cricket Council

Premier League

International Tennis Federation

Ascot Racecourse

All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (Wimbledon)

Leicester City FC

Timo Werner

FIFA

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Bart Peerless and Henry Fea co-head the department at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP that primarily focuses on estate strategy, specialist tax and trust matters and is adept at handling intergenerational succession issues in addition to land sales and trasnfers. Through its offices in London, Cheltenham and Guildford the department is well-equipped to deal extensively with UNHW families and their businesses. The group advises on a myriad of issues from the protection of intellectual property matters through to issues surrounding art collections and heritage property as well as supporting clients when there are legal disputes. The team is well-regarded too for its work with international investors when they acquire estates and on their ongoing management. Robert Blower is recognised for his work with many well-known estate owning families  and routinely advises on estate, tax and succession issues.  

Practice head(s):

Bart Peerless; Henry Fea

Other key lawyers:

Robert Blower; James Bradford

Testimonials

James Bradford and Bart Peerless are a formidable combination. They show great technical knowledge, empathy towards the client and are very collegiate with other advisors. They operate in exactly the way you’d hope for from another advisor‘.

‘Excellent service and knowledge

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a highly regarded landed estates and heritage property team spread across London, Cheltenham and Guildford. The team in Guildford is led by hugely experienced office head Duncan Elson, who specialises in dispute resolution, with a focus on contentious trusts and estates matters. The office has seen a notable increase in landed estates work in recent years, providing a multi-disciplinary service to prestigious clients, working in tandem with their tax, trusts, private wealth and property colleagues across the wider firm.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Elson

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

The 'extremely knowledgeable' Sarah Rowley heads the group at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP that continues to represent high-profile national and international charities as well as historic educational institutions, ecclesiastical bodies and military charities. Its advice covers a wide spectrum of matters from the regulatory aspects of charity law and dealing with the Charity Commission through to advising on fundraising, data protection, mergers and acquisitions as well as other issues such as real estate and employment matters. The skilled team is adept too at helping its high-net-worth, family office and corporate clients in the establishment of corporate charitable foundations. Through its Guildford office it routinely helps charities with legacy management issues on both contentious and non-contentious probate matters. The team was bolstered by the addition of Simon Weil from BDB Pitmans.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Rowley

Other key lawyers:

Mike Scott; Simon Weil; Lynn Povey; Penelope Byatt

Testimonials

The Charities Team has taken the time to fully understand the nature of our charities and the complex environment in which we work. The team is excellent at drawing in different expertise as appropriate whilst still focusing on the underlying needs of our organisation and balancing the financial resources we have to spend on external advice. The team is always willing to pick up the phone when we need it and will often provide instant high level advice when we need it. The flexible approach to the way advice is provided across the whole of CRS and the way it is delivered to us as a client is why we value the team at CRS so much‘.

‘We have worked with Sarah Rowley over a number of years and her detailed knowledge of our organisation together with the incredibly practical and clear  advice she provides has made her an invaluable adviser to our charities‘.

The team is knowledgeable and efficient. Sarah Rowley is extremely knowledgeable, but also has an excellent, patient and understanding manner when supporting with Trustee Boards who have a variable range of knowledge and understanding‘.

Charles Russell is a well respected firm but my dealings are with one individual Penny Byatt and her supporting departments. The trust is reasonably large and gives out grants to animal charities. It is a complicated Charity. It needs skill and an intimate knowledge of Charity law and numerous other disciplines from agricultural property to data protection law. Penny manages these disciplines within the firm so the trustees obtain seamless advice‘.

Willingness to engage and provide excellent value inhouse training for our trustees. Sarah Rowley and Lyn Povey –  both are extremely approachable and responsive. They quickly understand our needs as a client and provide pragmatic and clear advice‘.

‘In sync with the client, empathetic and knowledgeable. Good collaborators – work principally with Penny Byatt and occasionally Mike Scott. Penny works hard to understand the business and what makes us unique. Valued the ability to receive quick, well-thought through advice. It has been a tough year for us and CRS has supported us through that‘.

CRS has an excellent charity practice. I always find it very quick to respond to queries and deliver work. The lawyers very swiftly feel like part of the “home team”. Sarah Rowley who leads the team is a first-class lawyer’.

‘Approachable and knowledgeable team in place dealing with a wide range of different issues relating to charities of varying sizes. Sarah Rowley is always approachable and helpful, taking the time to answer questions‘.

Key clients

National Museum of the Royal Navy

National Army Museum

Royal Air Force Museum

Westminster Abbey

Dementia UK

Autistica

British Computer Society

City & Guilds of London Institute

Samaritans

Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing

Corporate and commercial > Commercial contracts Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s team of specialist commercial contract practitioners has notable expertise in the sport, retail and TMT sectors, acting for a client base which encompasses start-ups and major corporates; key examples include Nike, Caffe Nero and Wagamama. The group also leverages its global network to assist clients with cross-border mandates; Mark Hill operates from the firm’s Dubai office. Key individuals in the practice include Jason Saiban, who leads the sport, retail and tech group; commercial group head Mark Bailey, and Megan Paul, who specialises in outsourcing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Jason Saiban; Mark Bailey; Megan Paul

Other key lawyers:

Mark Hill; Caroline Young

Key clients

Value Retail

Nike

Farfetch

Caffe Nero

wagamama

ITF

Fortis

Bowers & Wilkins

Fika

Oncam

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's 'top-class dispute resolution practice' specialises in complex cross-border and high-value corporate and commercial disputes. The team acts for a wide range of high-profile clients, including private banks, major corporates and foreign governments. Its recent cases included disputes in the technology, telecoms, sport, financial services, mining, energy, aviation and retail industries. Stewart Hey heads up the highly regarded commercial dispute resolution group, which also includes seasoned litigator Edward Craig; the latter practitioner undertakes a wide range of commercial disputes, including matters involving allegations of professional negligence. Rhys Novak's experience includes cases related to fraud, anti-bribery and financial services claims. Also key to the practice are Charlotte Pender and legal director Max Davis, as well as senior associates Lucy WicksteedKaty Ackroyd and Stephanie Bonnello. In May 2021, Caroline Greenwell made partner.

Practice head(s):

Stewart Hey

Other key lawyers:

Edward Craig; John Sykes; Rhys Novak; Charlotte Pender; Caroline Greenwell; Lucy Wicksteed; Max Davis; Katy Ackroyd; Stephanie Bonnello; Danielle Sharkey

Testimonials

Top-class dispute resolution practice with all the necessary skills and experience.

Capable of handling complex, high-value or sensitive commercial litigation with great efficiency and tactical skill.

A diverse and inclusive team that is client service-oriented, and has great availability and a strong track record of delivering success.

Excellent, commercially-minded lawyers.

They go the extra mile and are always available on short notice for any questions we have.

Edward Craig is very client focused – a  tremendous lawyer with really excellent judgement.

Caroline Greenwell, a new partner in 2021, is one of the most impressive solicitors around for her grasp of detail, commercial sense, and intuitive approach – brilliant at managing a team and in instilling confidence in clients. One of the very best.

Senior associate Max Davis is a tenacious litigator.

Key clients

Central Bank of Bahrain

Paddington & Company

Norsk Titanium

RSM

FRP

Fica Frio

Ndiaye

Charlton Athletic Football Club

Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club

EFG Private Bank

Barry McGuigan MBE

One Step (Support)

Golden Wolfe Footwear (HK)

Advanced Support

Guy Colegate

Private client > Court of protection Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a full service Court of Protection team that covers a wide geographical area and is an integral part of its wider private wealth offering. It is a large practice that handles multi-jurisdictional disputes. Work undertaken includes advising on issues of fraud and restitution through to managing large estates with global asset portfolios.  Suzanne Marriott is a member of the Solicitors for the Elderly and also the STEP special interest group on mental capacity (as is Sally Ashford ). Marriott regularly acts as the independent deputy for property and affairs and health and welfare.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Marriott; Sally Ashford

Other key lawyers:

Robyn Hack

Testimonials

‘The firm has been involved in one of the huge court of protection cases which have been raging this year and deservedly so-it has the expertise and experience to be a first choice. The private client team is exceptionally strong.  Suzanne Marriott is unsurpassed in her knowledge of Court of Protection matters. She is a first choice as deputy in so many cases. The lawyers are all great team players‘.

‘An excellent team at all levels who have a deep understanding of Court of Protection practice – fee earners from trainees to partners are very knowledgeable and hardworking. Suzanne Marriott is a leading light in Court of Protection practice: she is a go-to litigator in contentious cases, and often put forward as an independent deputy in the most high-profile cases. She is extremely well-trusted and respected by the Official Solicitor’.

Sally Ashford is inspirational in her approach to her work as a Professional Deputy for her clients with very complex needs. She deals not only with Property & Finance (as many Professional Deputies do) but also with the challenges of acting as a Professional Deputy for Health & Welfare.  Her breadth of knowledge, approachable and “hands on” stance and genuine engagement with and for her clients is impressive in the sector. When instructed by Sally, I know that she and her team have left “no stone unturned” and the fact that they do instruct us as public law community care law experts to assist with issues outside their expertise is a reflection of the commitment to cover all possible angles in the clients’ best interests. Sally Ashford – as above; and her excellent assistant Robyn Hack‘.

The firm is well respected in the Private Client/Court of Protection arena. I have worked with Suzanne Marriott who has years of experience. She is easily approachable, very knowledgeable and has a wealth of experience particularly with complex multi-jurisdictional Court of Protection matters’.

CRS is always great to work for, it has some of the best cases and is incredibly well resourced‘.

Suzanne Mariott- super lawyer and great deputy‘.

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP focuses primarily on pursuing debt recovery claims on behalf of commercial parties, financial institutions and real estate companies. Jamie Cartwright has a wealth of experience in commercial litigation across numerous areas, including the retail and automotive industries. Associate Tom Plowman is also recommended for his diverse portfolio of commercial litigation, which includes debt recovery work for clients across various sectors.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Cartwright

Other key lawyers:

Tom Plowman

Testimonials

‘Great in-depth legal knowledge for employers, but also looking for practical, effective solutions for business.’

‘Personable and practical approach.’

Key clients

Fiat Chrysler

Jeep

ACAL

ITV

Infor

Teletrac Navman

Private client > Family: mediation Tier 2

Sarah Anticoni at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a first-rate mediation practice. She has a particular emphasis on mediating on complex financial claims in the aftermath of divorce together with helping with the future arrangements for children. Clients are predominantly wealthy. As an IAFL fellow she also specialises in cases dealing with the recognition and dissolution of religious marriages. She is a trained collaborative lawyer too. Sarah Higgins is well-regarded also.

Practice head(s):

James Freeman

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Anticoni; Sarah Higgins

Testimonials

‘Sarah Anticoni is an exceptional mediator who has vast experience and lots of common sense. She will always go the extra mile to help clients reach outcomes which are fair for them both’.

Sarah Anticoni is an extremely safe pair of hands as a a mediator‘.

Employment > Health and safety Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s ‘personable and practical’ group provides clients with a full-service offering in relation to health and safety investigations, prosecutions and general regulatory matters. Rachel Warren is well regarded for her regulatory crime practice, which includes advising companies on health and safety issues in the construction industry.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Warren

Testimonials

‘They are very impressive and give the sort of service one would expect with their reputation.’

‘Handled very well and professionally by Rachel Warren. Good on tactics, lovely to work with and ultimately played a large part in a very successful outcome.’

Public sector > Healthcare Tier 2

The multi-disciplinary healthcare team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises on a range of regulatory and transactional matters for healthcare operators and professionals as well as investors.  Its experience ranges from M&A, real estate to corporate healthcare reorganisations, spanning areas including retirement homes and healthtech.  The practice is led by  Michael Lingens , while Tim Jenkins is particularly experienced advising on corporate and commercial matters for family-owned businesses and pharmacies. In May 2020 the team brought in Helen Wong from Clifford Chance LLP; in September 2021, healthcare regulatory team head Noel Wardle left to join Temple Bright LLP in Bristol.

Practice head(s):

Michael Lingens

Other key lawyers:

Tim Jenkins; Helen Wong

Testimonials

Experience and knowledge within our sector is second to none.’

Commercial experience from a depth of transactions within our sector. This is highlighted when other, less experienced firms are acting on other sides.’

The dedicated team at CRS is comprised of highly intelligent and motivated individuals with a diverse range of skills. Very focused on client outcomes and deadlines. A very commercial and practical approach.’

Michael Lingens is extremely supportive of client aims and objectives and able to offer innovative and practical solutions to problems and organise his team to assist us in the most efficient way.’

Key clients

CareTech Holdings

Caring Homes

Country Court Care

Avicenna / Juno Health

Dentex Healthcare Group

Goddard Veterinary Group

Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain

The National Pharmacy Association

Minster Care Group

Lovett Care

Canford Healthcare

Veriton Pharma

Employment > Immigration Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's immigration team works with a number of well-known corporates, while also advising international clients from as far afield as Russia, China and the Middle East, drawing on the firm's significant international footprint. The team is part of the wider employment, pensions and immigration group, and also regularly collaborates with the firm's corporate team, advising on the immigration aspects of M&A deals. Practice head Rose Carey 'always thinks from the client's point of view'; she works alongside fellow partner Kelvin Tanner, who joined from specialist immigration firm Fragomen in mid-2019.

Practice head(s):

Rose Carey

Other key lawyers:

Kelvin Tanner; Paul McCarthy; Katherine Dennis; Owen Chan; Adam Kyte

Testimonials

‘Rose Carey has extensive legal knowledge and provides very good advice. She ensures that she is up to date, and with this tremendous understanding of the rules and their application, she provides practical and excellent advice for each situation. She has a very good heart and always thinks from the client’s point of view and treats clients very well.’

‘The individuals took time to understand our specific requirements and relate to our needs. They shared experiences from working with peers that allowed for us to visualise the priorities and challenges of our own project. Potentially complex regulation was made simple and where further explanation was required they took time to do so and follow up in writing.’

‘I have found CRS to be extremely knowledgeable, with the ability to provide proactive advice.’

‘Adam Kyte and Kelvin Tanner both provide personal service on a commercial turnaround, which is highly important when business clients are moving from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.’

‘The team has excellent and up-to-date industry knowledge with extensive experience. Rose Carey and her team are extremely hard working and provide excellent service to their clients.’

‘Initial discussions were clear, expectations for the project were well communicated and costs were transparent and shared in advance. The project was delivered on time and they have been retained on a follow-up basis to ensure that the advice remains current at all times.’

Key clients

wagamama

Harrods

Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Ltd

Parkson mobile

City & Guilds

Entain

Hotel Chocolat

Brasserie Blanc

University of London

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team excels in terms of advising clients on all aspects of data centre projects. It is also well-regarded for its role in IT outsourcing and M&A transactions, in addition to its wealth of experience in the fintech sector, where it assists clients with the development of new payments technology and e-commerce platforms. 'Able negotiator' Mark Bailey specialises in IT contracting, data centre operation and cloud computing. Megan Paul, who co-heads the practice alongside Mark, handles commercial agreements and corporate transactions in the technology sector. Senior associate Caroline Young is noted for her role in major digital transformation projects, where she assists clients with technology and procurement arrangements. Associate Chris Ingram is another standout practitioner, with a particular focus on drafting commercial contracts for TMT companies.

Practice head(s):

Mark Bailey; Megan Paul

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Young; Chris Ingram

Testimonials

‘CRS put a lot of effort into getting to know their clients’ businesses and are also very keen to support beyond the day to day work, for example by delivering dedicated training sessions.’

‘Chris Ingram – very responsive, collaborative and quick to deliver.’ 

‘Good commercial understanding of our needs as a start-up. Clear communication and quick to respond. Making the legal aspects easy to understand and focusing on the salient issues rather than getting bogged down in all the detail . Strong negotiating skills that reflect our brand.’

‘Good profile and connections within the data centre sector.’

‘Mark Bailey is a very knowledgeable and experienced commercial lawyer who has deep experience of a range of data centre related contracts and is a very able negotiator.’

Key clients

Oncam Global

Bowers & Wilkins

Biomini

BSO Network Solutions

CNL Software

QuodOrbis

Caffè Nero

HelloFresh

discoverIE Group plc

Parser Digital

Content+Cloud

Nike

Value Retail

ITV

Coinbase

Whitespace Software

Pure Data Centres

Zenium Technology Partners

Swiss Post Solutions

1Spatial plc

Global Cloud Xchange

Cloudhouse Technologies

The International Tennis Federation

Acora Holdings

Transense Technologies

Farfetch

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s ‘proactive and creative’ media and entertainment group has particular expertise in the film and TV, advertising and marketing, and gaming and interactive content industries. The practice is led by commercial contracts specialist Jason Saiban, who is experienced in handling advertising and marketing matters, particularly for sports, retail and leisure sector brands. The practice leverages its international reach to handle cross-border matters, particularly in the Middle East. Also notable is that it benefits from the experience of the firm’s competition, corporate, data privacy, regulatory and litigation practice groups. Jaclyn Wilkins left to join Comcast.

Practice head(s):

Jason Saiban  

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Lamont; Jody MacDonald; Nick White; Caroline Swain; Richard Davies

Testimonials

‘Efficient and friendly. Proactive and creative. Genuinely interested in my businesses and their success.’

Key clients

Nike

Marcus Rashford

International Tennis Federation

Bowers & Wilkins

Value Retail

Westfield

wagamama

Brasserie Blanc

Richemont

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Veloce Esports/ Quadrant Esports

The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE)

Liquid Crimson

Edge Creative Enterprise Fund LP

NCSOFT

Brain Analytics Limited

Sega Amusements International Limited

Ascot Racecourse

Youview

Caroline Quentin, Ingrid Dupre and others

Image Nation Abu Dhabi

CNBC

Historylies Limited

Mediapro Group

Caviar Creative

Boomtown Productions

Downrange Production

Employment > Pensions Tier 2

With particular expertise in the IT, telecoms and media sectors, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP specialises in advising domestic and international companies in relation to the pensions aspects of scheme closures, TUPE transfers, restructuring arrangements and various other matters. Nick Hurley handles contentious and non-contentious work in the field, which includes advising clients on contractual pension issues and business transfers. Esther White is another standout practitioner, with over 15 years of experience assisting companies and trustees with pensions law requirements.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hurley

Other key lawyers:

Esther White

Key clients

Ericsson

Smith & Williamson Trustees Ltd

Sotheby’s

SS&C UK Ltd

Civica Group

City & Guilds

Goodwin Procter

NCR

Westminster Abbey

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's 'very strong and able' team covers the gamut of residential and commercial property litigation, including leasehold enfranchisement, with its expertise in the residential space strengthened by close cooperation with the private client department. Landlord and tenant disputes, alongside contentious matters arising from developments and property portfolios, including rent arrears, service charge disputes and dilapidations matters, are regular drivers of activity. 'StarEmma Humphreys is a key contact for these segments and also handles Electronic Telecommunications Code issues for landowners and infrastructure providers. David Haines leads the team; other core members include the 'vastly experiencedRobert Highmore, whose real estate litigation expertise extends to property-related professional negligence cases. This broad offering attracts an equally broad client base, including institutional investors, developers, commercial occupiers and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The firm partnered with the Carbon Trust to independently verify its carbon emissions, waste and water usage, as part of its mission to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

Practice head(s):

David Haines

Other key lawyers:

Robert Highmore; Emma Humphreys; Louise Clark; James Souter; Jeremy Hudson

Testimonials

CRS offers an exceptional service to its clients. They are responsive, well prepared and collaborative.

CRS has a very collegial attitude to all things real estate and manages to provide holistic solutions to sometimes difficult situations, taking the stress out of the transaction.

There is excellence at both partner and associate level.

Robert Highmore is vastly experienced, extremely knowledgeable and a thoroughly charming individual. Clients love him.

Louise Clark is very open to alternative opinions which she is very happy to debate.

A very strong and able team with strength, depth and experience.

Emma Humphreys is a star. She is a good lawyer, with a commercial brain and a very reassuring manner.’

James Souter is able, enthusiastic and commercial.

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Ballymore Group

Bellway Homes Ltd

Berkeley Group

Church Commissioners for England

Proudreed Limited

Derwent London Plc

Eton College

Greenwich Millennium Village Ltd

Hollybrook Limited

Howard de Walden Estates Limited

Westfield

London & Cambridge Properties Limited

Manhattan Loft Corporation

Stonegate Pub Company

The Merchant Taylors’ Company

Workspace Group

Real estate > Residential property Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's ability to tap into its international network of offices, and its team's experience of acting for non-UK domiciled clients, enables it to attract a strong flow of work from inbound investors. In addition, the firm also generates mandates from financiers, developers, property agents, land agents and trustees. Led by practice head William Marriot, the group stands out for its involvement in transactions in prime property markets in London, the home counties of the South of England, and large country estates and farms. Rural properties are a core area of expertise for Tristram van Lawick, who leads the landed estate management team, and is ably supported by Christian Massey. Thomas Moran has a first-rate reputation in the prime central London market.

Practice head(s):

William Marriott

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Moran; Tristram van Lawick; Christian Massey; Hannah Catt; Mark Rowden; Hayley Lalsing; Nigel Edge

Testimonials

‘A strong property team, with an outcome based focus, and great attention to detail. There seems to be expertise to cover all eventualities.’

‘Tom Moran has long been the key to this successful team. A calm and reassuring professional who is able to break down issues logically and address them, whilst keeping the deal as whole moving along smoothly.’

‘There are many other good people in the team, and Hannah Catt stands out as a very client focused solicitor who get things done.’

‘William Marriott is a pleasure to work with. You just know the sale will proceed no matter the difficulties encountered along the way. He is a problem solver and always charming with it.’

‘Extremely proactive and professional at all levels of their service across all team members.’

‘William Marriott is always extremely responsive, a forward thinking modern solicitor who always looks for resolution rather than creating obstacles.’

‘I have worked at length on a number of transactions with Tom Moran. He is proactive, extremely capable, willing and expedites matters. He is an excellent solicitor, is a credit to his firm and I look forward to our next transaction.’

‘CRS are a top firm with the ability to help clients looking for advice in all aspects of the law. Their real estate team is high class and constantly gives excellent and sage advice.’

Real estate > Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 3

Acclaimed for their ‘technical, practical and commercial’ service, the team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP cater to a client roster of developers, investors, property companies and urban estates in addition to corporate occupiers. Practice head Lee Medlock also represents private equity-backed businesses, namely in respect of leisure and hospitality transactions; his team includes Robin Grove, a mixed-use and regeneration development specialist who leverages the firm’s joint venture and partnership proficiency, as well as Sarah Morley who fronts the office occupier group, undertaking office acquisition, headquarter relocation and rationalisation of space matters. The firm’s international presence across EMEA and Hong Kong makes it a go-to option for international investors and owing to its dedicated sector expertise, it is also a popular choice among sporting, retail, food and beverage, charity, private wealth, logistics and life sciences clients.

Practice head(s):

Lee Medlock

Other key lawyers:

Robin Grove; Louise Ward; Sarah Morley

Testimonials

‘They provide a technical, practical and commercial application of their property knowledge in a form easily understood by their housebuilder clients.’

‘They are professional within their particular residential field – informative, receptive and communicative.’

‘Robin Grove has great all-round knowledge.’

‘They have an outstanding grasp of the London and Cambridge real estate markets, and have provided expert legal and practical advice, helping us adapt to the UK legal and business climate. They are our most trusted outside law firm globally, and we greatly benefit from their expertise and practicality. They are responsive, personable and well respected by their peers. They are an integral part of our team, and I have recommended them numerous times to other potential clients.

‘Louise Ward’s expertise in real estate has proven invaluable. While other firms’ lawyers are prone to trying to win negotiations, Louise recognises that completing a transaction is the desired result and do not let others’ egos or bluster distract her.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Berkeley Homes

BioMed Realty L.P

Caring Homes Group

Stonegate Pub Company

Crest Nicholson

David Lloyd Leisure Limited

Derwent London

Eton College

Howard de Walden Estate Limited

Landsec

National Museum for the Royal Navy

City of London Corporation

The Church Commissioners

Exeter Property Group

Real estate > Commercial property: development Tier 3

Acclaimed for their ‘technical, practical and commercial’ service, the team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP cater to a client roster of developers, investors, property companies and urban estates in addition to corporate occupiers. Practice head Lee Medlock also represents private equity-backed businesses, namely in respect of leisure and hospitality transactions; his team includes Robin Grove, a mixed-use and regeneration development specialist who leverages the firm’s joint venture and partnership proficiency, as well as Sarah Morley who fronts the office occupier group, undertaking office acquisition, headquarter relocation and rationalisation of space matters. The firm’s international presence across EMEA and Hong Kong makes it a go-to option for international investors and owing to its dedicated sector expertise, it is also a popular choice among sporting, retail, food and beverage, charity, private wealth, logistics and life sciences clients.

Practice head(s):

Lee Medlock

Other key lawyers:

Robin Grove; Suzi Gatward; Louise Ward; Lynn Povey; Alexander Gold

Testimonials

‘They provide a technical, practical and commercial application of their property knowledge in a form easily understood by their housebuilder clients.’

‘They are professional within their particular residential field – informative, receptive and communicative.’

‘Robin Grove has great all-round knowledge.’

‘They have an outstanding grasp of the London and Cambridge real estate markets, and have provided expert legal and practical advice, helping us adapt to the UK legal and business climate. They are our most trusted outside law firm globally, and we greatly benefit from their expertise and practicality. They are responsive, personable and well respected by their peers. They are an integral part of our team, and I have recommended them numerous times to other potential clients.

‘Louise Ward’s expertise in real estate has proven invaluable. While other firms’ lawyers are prone to trying to win negotiations, Louise recognises that completing a transaction is the desired result and do not let others’ egos or bluster distract her.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Berkeley Homes

BioMed Realty L.P

Caring Homes Group

Stonegate Pub Company

Crest Nicholson

David Lloyd Leisure Limited

Derwent London

Eton College

Howard de Walden Estate Limited

Landsec

National Museum for the Royal Navy

City of London Corporation

The Church Commissioners

Exeter Property Group

Real estate > Commercial property: investment Tier 3

Acclaimed for their ‘technical, practical and commercial’ service, the team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP cater to a client roster of developers, investors, property companies and urban estates in addition to corporate occupiers. Practice head Lee Medlock also represents private equity-backed businesses, namely in respect of leisure and hospitality transactions; his team includes Robin Grove, a mixed-use and regeneration development specialist who leverages the firm’s joint venture and partnership proficiency, as well as Sarah Morley who fronts the office occupier group, undertaking office acquisition, headquarter relocation and rationalisation of space matters. The firm’s international presence across EMEA and Hong Kong makes it a go-to option for international investors and owing to its dedicated sector expertise, it is also a popular choice among sporting, retail, food and beverage, charity, private wealth, logistics and life sciences clients.

Practice head(s):

Lee Medlock

Other key lawyers:

Robin Grove; Eddie Richards; Louise Ward; Sarah Morley; Robin Grove

Testimonials

‘They provide a technical, practical and commercial application of their property knowledge in a form easily understood by their housebuilder clients.’

‘They are professional within their particular residential field – informative, receptive and communicative.’

‘Robin Grove has great all-round knowledge.’

‘They have an outstanding grasp of the London and Cambridge real estate markets, and have provided expert legal and practical advice, helping us adapt to the UK legal and business climate. They are our most trusted outside law firm globally, and we greatly benefit from their expertise and practicality. They are responsive, personable and well respected by their peers. They are an integral part of our team, and I have recommended them numerous times to other potential clients.

‘Louise Ward’s expertise in real estate has proven invaluable. While other firms’ lawyers are prone to trying to win negotiations, Louise recognises that completing a transaction is the desired result and do not let others’ egos or bluster distract her.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Berkeley Homes

BioMed Realty L.P

Caring Homes Group

Stonegate Pub Company

Crest Nicholson

David Lloyd Leisure Limited

Derwent London

Eton College

Howard de Walden Estate Limited

Landsec

National Museum for the Royal Navy

City of London Corporation

The Church Commissioners

Exeter Property Group

Lloyds Bank

Opera

The Rumi Foundation

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team is known for its 'good communication, clear advice and no-nonsense approach' to its contentious construction work. It has experience acting on behalf of employers, contractors, specialists and consultants, and offers business services for its construction clients. Steven Carey leads the team, advising his clients on the full range of contentious construction matters. James Worthington offers expertise in acting for housebuilders working on regeneration projects, and Rupa Lakha has the full range of dispute resolution experience. Michael O’Connor is also recommended for work related to the new Fire Safety Act.

Practice head(s):

Steven Carey

Other key lawyers:

James Worthington; Rupa Lakha; Michael O’Connor

Testimonials

‘Collaborative and supportive advisers, always on hand.’

‘Michael O’Connor is a reliable pair of hands who can cut through the issues and advise through a clear commercial lens.’

‘There is strength and depth of knowledge and experience within the team and an excellent speed of response and availability when needed. Problem-solving in difficult situations has been first class.’

‘Good communication, clear advice and a no-nonsense approach in dealing with the issues and their resolution.’

‘They want to work with you rather than for you. They want to understand your business, what the real issues are and how those issues really impact it. A unique blend of legal expertise, working knowledge of the industry, a hands-on and can-do attitude, great drafting skills, sheer hard work when required, approachability and charisma.’

‘Steven Carey manages and motivates a great team but is always there himself to provide that extra experience and expertise just when needed. His legal skills and problem-solving abilities are special but, just as importantly, he listens and works with you and is never too proud to consider and adopt your suggestions. He is great to work with.’

‘James Worthington is very reliable, knowledgeable, extremely thorough and a great drafter. You disagree with his legal interpretation and advice at your peril!’

‘The team are very thorough with their advice. Their attention to detail is next to none.’

Key clients

Atkins

Ferrovial Aggroman

Mace Group

Permasteelisa Group

Ridgeford

Salamanca Group

Siemens Postal, Parcel and Airport Logistics Limited

Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 3

Already experienced in advising employers, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, the team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has expanded its focus and, as part of its joined-up contentious and non-contentious approach, it has created a hub focused on fire safety regulation for construction professionals. It also has strong international connections, in particular with Africa and the Middle East. Steven Carey leads the practice and is supported by Fiona Edmond and James Worthington; Edmond advises central London developers, and Worthington acts on regeneration and renewable energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Steven Carey

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Edmond; James Worthington

Testimonials

‘Steve Carey manages and motivates a great team, but is always there himself as well to provide that extra experience and expertise just when needed. His legal skills and problem-solving abilities are special, but just as importantly, he listens and works with you and is never too proud to consider and adopt your suggestions – great to work with.’

‘James Worthington is very reliable, knowledgeable, extremely thorough and a great drafter. You disagree with his legal interpretation and advice at your peril!’

‘The firm is really customer focused, much more than many other firms I have come across. There is a true breadth of experience and knowledge, and willingness to assist.’

‘They want to work with you rather than for you. They want to understand your business, what the real issues are and how those issues really impact on it. A unique blend of legal expertise, working knowledge of the industry, hands on can-do attitude, great drafting skills, sheer hard work when required, approachability and charisma. The legal team that you need!’

‘There is strength and depth of knowledge and experience within the team and an excellent speed of response and availability when needed. Problem solving in difficult situations has been first class.’

‘The team are very thorough with their advice. their attention to detail is next to none.’

‘Collaborative and supportive advisors, always on hand.’

Key clients

Romulus Construction Ltd.

BioMed Realty LLP

Countryside Properties

Derwent London PLC

Permasteelisa Group

Reynolds Polymer

Sipral

United Living Group

London Array Limited

Industry focus > Emerging markets Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has decades of experience in Africa, and it has also represented a number of the island governments in the Caribbean as well as handling deals in the Middle East. The practice also has a dedicated India group comprising English and Indian-qualified lawyers in London and Dubai. Team head Adrian Mayer advises on investments and corporate finance work, primarily in Africa, while John Sykes handles cross-border commercial litigation, mediation and arbitration proceedings. In 2020, James Broadhurst, who advises companies, private investors and family offices on transactions in Latin America, joined from Hierons LLP, and in 2021, Robert Reymond joined from Stikeman Elliott (London) LLP to lead the Latin America practice.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Mayer

Other key lawyers:

John Sykes; James Broadhurst; Robert Reymond

Key clients

Harborough Limited

Actis LLP

Growthpoint Investec Africa Properties

fastjet plc

GHL Bank plc

AgDevCo Limited

Predator Oil & Gas plc

Government of Trinidad & Tobago

Daystar Power plc

Corporate and commercial > Equity capital markets – small-mid cap Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's recent work spanned the mining, technology, telecoms, financial services and energy sectors. The practice is led by Andrew Collins, who has a strong track record in handling the listing of foreign companies in London. The team also includes Paul Arathoon, who recently led advice to Tamesis Partners LLP, Ashanti Capital Pty Ltd and Shard Capital Partners LLP as joint brokers to Trident Royalties plc on a £20.2m placing and subscription for new ordinary shares. Senior associate Tom Smitham is another notable individual.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Collins

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Younghusband; Mark Howard; Paul Arathoon; Tom Smitham

Testimonials

The team has a good knowledge and experience in this sector of the market and able to give effective and actionable advice on issues that are discrete to small cap companies such as ourselves. We have worked with the team for 15 years and have seen it mature into an excellent practice.’

Paul’s pragmatic and commercial approach enables him to move deftly through deal issues without jeopardising transaction timetables.’

Personal attention at partner level. Rapid response and turnaround.’

Excellent service from Mark Howard.’

I have worked closely with Paul Arathoon and found him to be calm, efficient and extremely reliable. I have found Paul to be incredibly responsive and very quick to grasp the nature of the job at hand.’

I really enjoy working with Victoria Younghusband. She is intelligent and empathetic and able to see problems from her clients’ perspective.’

The team assigned to our company has had excellent understanding of plc business. They were also very efficient and quick. The turnaround time of assignments was very short.’

Key clients

Oracle Power

HeiQ Materials

CYBA

7digitial Group

Ergomed

1Spatial

Europa Oil & Gas

The Biotech Growth Trust

India Capital Growth Fund

Predator Oil & Gas

Transense Technologies

LiDCO Group

Dukemount Capital

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 3

Highly rated IP litigator Mary Bagnall helms the practice at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. The team’s expertise includes design infringement litigation, damages cases and breach of contract disputes pertaining to copyright. The firm houses a dedicated art law team which also takes on copyright litigation. For non-contentious matters, Nick White applies his knowledge of the sports, retail and food and beverage sectors to commercialisation and licensing mandates, including image rights exploitation. Senior associate Caroline Young also handles commercial IP instructions.

Practice head(s):

Mary Bagnall

Other key lawyers:

Nick White; Caroline Young; Peter Byrd; Olivia Gray; Charlotte Duly

Testimonials

The breadth of expertise and the ability to provide truly expert and focused advice has been a great source of confidence for me as a client.

The team have an excellent knowledge of trade mark protection, from the procedural to the practical aspects of protecting a trademark. They have provided me with thoughtful, insightful and level-headed advice.

Peter Byrd has provided responsive, considered, detailed, practical advice and support on trade mark matters.

Very commercial attitude; problem-solvers. Deliver what they promise and on time.

Nick White – understands business needs, very approachable and thinks out of the box.

Mary Bagnall’s knowledge of color and enforcement paradigms in the UK and EU is invaluable.

Charlotte Duly has provided a high level of understanding and experience in trade mark matters, giving very clear advice.

Olivia Gray has in-depth approach to each case and request. She is working very well with deadlines.

Key clients

Actis

Essity Hygiene and Health (formerly SCA)

Cadbury

Sandvik

Moore Global (network of accountants) – Formerly Moore Stephens

Hachette

Wahaca

Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprungli AG

ITV

Rapha Racing

Gulf Air

wagamama

Formica

Childrensalon Group

Vindavinci Beverage Company

Australian Manuka Honey Association

World Rowing

Honest Burgers

itsu [grocery]

Howard de Walden Estates

Spotlight Sports Group (publishers of the Racing Post)

Kennedys Law

Tobacco Free Portfolios

Food4Heroes Limited

Chance for Nepal

buildingSMART International Limited

Salus Optima Limited

Fitbit International

Blakely Clothing Co

Dementia UK

Timo Werner

Investment fund formation and management > Listed funds Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises institutional and boutique fund managers on fund structuring and launches, equity raisings and regulatory issues. Its team in London regularly works with its Luxembourg and Swiss offices on international mandates. The team also has a notable broker-side practice, advising on placement agreements and platform issues. The practice is jointly led by David Hicks and Victoria Younghusband, who regularly advises on complex regulatory issues, and has expertise in open and closed-ended funds investing in a variety of asset classes.

Practice head(s):

David Hicks; Victoria Younghusband

Key clients

The Biotech Growth Trust

Fidelity Asian Values

Fidelity China Special Situations

Fidelity European Trust

Fidelity Japan Trust

Fidelity Special Values

Shore Capital

Liberum Securities

Vina Capital Investment Management Limited

India Capital Growth Fund

Circle Property plc

Duke Royalty

Chelverton Growth Trust

Chelverton UK Dividend Trust

Dispute resolution > Professional discipline Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s ‘excellent‘ team advises across the spectrum of healthcare and sports regulatory matters. The healthcare team is best known for its regulatory assistance with NHS legislation and remuneration, Fitness to Practise proceedings, representation at NHS tribunal hearings, judicial reviews, and health sector crime; and on the sports side, the practice focuses on assisting organisations with regulatory, governance and integrity compliance. Edward Craig is a horseracing and polo specialist; legal director Rachel Warren is ‘tactically very good’; and senior associate Danielle Sharkey is ‘highly experienced in equine-related regulatory matters‘.

Other key lawyers:

Edward Craig; Rachel Warren; Danielle Sharkey

Testimonials

An excellent firm, with depth and breadth of experience in regulatory matters.

CRS is the premier legal team for pharmacy law. The team has an encyclopaedic knowledge of pharmaceutical regulations, which enables it to give fast, detailed and tactically astute advice in a number of different jurisdictions; and it is hugely experienced in defending both individual and corporate pharmacy clients.

The team is experienced and highly capable in integrity-related matters; and they are adaptable to our needs – without doubt a market leader in the area; and the firm’s method of electronic bundling is particularly impressive and not something that I have experienced with other firms over the COVID period – extremely easy to use.

Rachel Warren is tactically very good – clients will accept robust advice from her because they respect her and she is invariably right.

Danielle Sharkey is highly experienced in equine-related regulatory matters. Her knowledge and willingness to help with any matter is greatly appreciated – Danielle sees possible issues in cases that would otherwise go unseen, and is able to offer practical solutions.

Key clients

Greyhound Board of Great Britain

Ascot Racecourse

National Pharmacy Association

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is highly experienced advising both individuals and companies acting as claimants against professionals including accountants, architects, and construction specialists such as surveyors, contractors, and engineers. The team, which is co-led by Stephen Burns, David Savage, and Duncan Elson, frequently advises on high-value claims in the financial services, construction and legal sectors. Andrew Keeley is particularly experienced in bringing claims against construction professionals.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Burns; David Savage; Duncan Elson

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Keeley

Testimonials

‘Stephen Burns is a canny operator with great enthusiasm for his clients’ cause.’

‘They have a very good grasp of all the key points and don’t get too bogged down in name-calling or chest-beating. The team is willing to take on board client’s views rather than insist they need to know everything to form their own views.’

‘Stephen Burns is cool-headed, can see where a good outcome is, and works towards it in the most direct way possible.’

Key clients

Icon 1992 Limited

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Reputation management Tier 3

The reputation management and privacy team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP  has considerable experience in both claimant and defendant work. Led by Duncan Lamont, the practice acts for a diverse client base that includes international corporations and high net-worth individuals. It is also noted for having strong links to the commercial TV sector, acting for major clients like ITV News and Channel 4 News. In December 2020, senior associate Claire Greaney left the firm to join Schillings.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Lamont

Other key lawyers:

Gabrielle Shovlin

Testimonials

‘Charles Russell Speechlys are reliable, swift to respond, incredibly reassuring throughout any proceedings, and extremely knowledgeable.’

‘The team has a good understanding of how we, as the client, operate.’

‘Duncan Lamont is an expert in the field of reputation management and has a fine judgement of where the opposing party has made a mistake.’

I have worked with several departments within the firm and the common thread is outstanding service to the client. Everyone’s attitude is positive and respectful. No matter how dumb my questions are they get treated with a professional and respectful approach.’

‘ Duncan Lamont is incredibly approachable and is always willing to make himself available at short notice – which is really important when dealing with fast-moving media issues. His advice is thoughtful and pragmatic.’

Key clients

ITV News

Channel 4 News

Martin Clunes

Antony Cotton (Dunn)

Samantha Womack (nee Janus)

Caroline Quentin

Garland

wagamama

Samaritans

Hampden

Camilla Fayed

Industry focus > Retail and consumer Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s retail offering distinguishes itself through its longstanding track record in commercial, IP and technology-related matters. It regularly receives instructions concerning commercial contracts, advertising and marketing work, e-commerce-related issues, and trade mark advice and infringement. Leading the wider sports, retail and tech group that includes the retail practice, Jason Saiban frequently advises high-profile clients on high-end commercial contracts, which is also a strong suit of Megan Paul's. Edward Craig stands out for his knowledge of luxury retail brands, Michael Powner primarily advises food and beverage clients and Mary Bagnall specialises in IP issues.

Practice head(s):

Jason Saiban; Edward Craig; Michael Powner

Other key lawyers:

Mary Bagnall; Megan Paul

Testimonials

Extremely personable and easy to converse with; flexible; provide quick responses when you need something urgently.’

Megan Paul is exceptional. Megan has taken a lot of time to understand our business requirements and the specificities of our industry. A good level of realism mixed with an excellent legal understanding means you can trust her advice fully. We wouldn’t work with anyone else now.’

Key clients

Nike

Stonegate Pub Company Limited

Converse

Caffè Nero

Farfetch

Rapha Racing

Al Tayer Group (“Al Tayer”)

Itsu [grocery]

Value Retail

H&M (Hennes & Mauritz)

Wahaca

Cadbury

HelloFresh

Honest Burgers

Brasserie Blanc

Australian Manuka Honey Association

Fiat Chrysler

Perfect Moment

Employment > Senior executives Tier 3

The Charles Russell Speechlys LLP group is headed up by Trevor Bettany who has an established reputation in acting for senior executives, and LLP members, particularly those in the financial services sectors including hedge funds and PE houses. The team has a focus on negotiating entries or exits involving complex remuneration packages, often as a result of major reorganisations. Clients also come from the NHS and academia. The team's client services includes a bespoke early document review platform (Discovery on Demand).  Other noted practitioners include Nick Hurley (he handles both both contentious and non-contentious matters and has experience of Employment Tribunal and court cases concerning discrimination, and whistleblowing claims). Michael Powner advises on negotiating senior executive exits arising from restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Bettany

Other key lawyers:

Nick Hurley; Michael Powner

Risk advisory > Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 4

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's data protection practice sits within the firm’s wider commercial department, and has broad expertise across international compliance issues, data transfers and data breaches. The practice draws on strength from its colleagues in the employment, litigation and pensions teams, among others. Jonathan McDonald heads up the team.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan McDonald

Testimonials

‘They are team players, understand the business and people very well and collaborate easily’.

‘Friendly and knowledgeable’.     

‘Quick availability’.

‘Good knowledge of GDPR and data protection’.

‘Clear in the scope of work and advice’.

‘Knowledgeable, friendly and flexible’.

Key clients

Ericson Ltd

Caffé Nero

Oncam Global Ltd

Nike

The International Tennis Federation

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

With a strong technology infrastructure and IP practice, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is well placed to handle fintech matters and is particularly active in the commercial and regulatory aspects of the sector. The practice has particular expertise in cryptocurrency, blockchain, regtech and payments technology. Co-head of team Mark Bailey specialises in regulated IT sector contracting, with a focus on the financial services sector. William Garner, who jointly heads the team, handles regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Mark Bailey; William Garner

Other key lawyers:

Kate Troup; Christina Fleming

Testimonials

‘Very professional and competent.’

Key clients

Coinbase

OneRagtime Platform Ltd

Duco Technology

Conferma

Kuende

Nxtera Ltd

Cheshire Datasystems Limited

Industry focus > Hospitality and leisure Tier 4

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP works with a wide range of hospitality and leisure clients, including many household names. Recent work has focused on advising clients on the implications of the pandemic, as well as real estate, finance and employment matters. The lead UK partners are corporate employment lawyer Michael Powner and real estate head Lee MedlockJason Saiban works with some of the team's best-known clients on commercial matters, while senior associate Caroline Swain leads the firm's food and beverage team; she is also a commercial contracts specialist. Sarah Morley, who co-heads the office occupiers group, is another key name. The team caters to international clients by working in tandem with real estate specialist Simon Green in Hong Kong; he heads up the hotels and hospitality practice across Asia and the Middle East.

Practice head(s):

Michael Powner; Lee Medlock

Other key lawyers:

Jason Saiban; Sarah Morley; Caroline Swain

Testimonials

‘The CRS team understand hospitality and brand reputations. They enable us to think differently and look at issues from a different point of view. They are ahead of upcoming issues and help to define the industry’s response and conversations.’

‘Mike Powner has a deep understanding of the hospitality space and is highly engaged around the issues and opportunities that we face. He and his team’s advice is first class and their attention to detail around contractual matters is excellent.’

Key clients

Caffe Nero

Ascot Racecourse

The Dorchester Hotel

David Lloyd Gyms

Wagamama

Cote Brasserie

Corporate and commercial > Partnership Tier 4

Acting primarily for financial services partnerships, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises on LLP agreements, profit-sharing negotiations and transactional matters. David Hicks leads the practice, with numerous corporate partners, including James Carter, and private client and tax partner Sophie Dworetzsky also acting on key mandates.

Practice head(s):

David Hicks  

Other key lawyers:

James Carter; Sophie Dworetzsky; Charlie Ring

Testimonials

Pragmatic and very good to work with. Good personalities who you’re confident will go the extra mile. The team deserve an excellent reputation and confidence.

Charlie Ring is a credit to the firm. He consistently goes above and beyond and showed unrelenting dedication to a major transaction for our firm.

Key clients

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Sterling Healthcare Group Ltd

Safeonline LLP

Dalton Strategic Partnership LLP

Employment > Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 4

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's pension team is considered a go-to for charity and not-for-profit pensions advice. Michael Jones leads the practice, which offers expertise in funding, risk reduction, M&A, and restructurings. The team offer a personal approach, also advising on TPR clearance and PPF 'pre-pack' arrangements. Esther White is a key member of the team and a specialist in acquisitions and auto-enrolement.

Practice head(s):

Michael M Jones

Other key lawyers:

Esther White

Testimonials

‘The team were accessible and took time to understand the complications of issues and work through solutions in an open and transparent way. They were realistic in their options and were able to deliver great service and a positive end result.’

‘Highly professional and accessible, taking time to explain and de-mystify the complex issues they were dealing with.’

‘Michael M Jones and his colleague Esther White were responsive, friendly and commmunicative.’

‘Michael and Esther are good at identifying the key issues and focusing their advice where it is most effective. They are also commercial and understand the working of their clients’ business, as well as how to get the best out of their interactions with other professional advisers.’

Key clients

City & Guilds

Westminster Abbey

Smith & Williamson Trustees Ltd

DST Systems

Dalriada Trustees Limited

Ericsson

Atkin Trustees Limited

Caffé Nero

Real estate > Planning Tier 4

The planning team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP acts across all areas of planning and public law, covering contentious and non-contentious planning issues. It specialises in regeneration projects, major urban extensions and new settlements. Practice head Claire Fallows focuses on strategic land projects and tall buildings; an area in which the team was recently instructed by Greenwich Millenium Village, winning an appeal to grant consent for a controversial new residential tower building.

Practice head(s):

Claire Fallows

Other key lawyers:

Helen Hutton

Testimonials

‘Charles Russell Speechly houses a superb team of lawyers, working right at the heart of the real estate sector. They act for high-profile institutional developers and companies in contentious property matters.’

‘The firm is highly regarded throughout the wider property market, with commercially astute professionals available at every level. They are extremely good at recognising and facilitating the needs of their clients, they’re highly responsive, and on technical matters, they are truly excellent.’

‘Claire Fallows is accessible at all times to resolve issues as they occur. Her knowledge in respect of planning law is exceptional. She has the ability to make complex issues seem very straightforward.’

‘Helen Hutton is outstanding. She gives completely clear and commercially practical advice. She produces work quickly. She is very good at bringing council legal departments to heel.’

Key clients

The Church Commissioners for England

Derwent London

ITV plc

Bellway Homes Limited

Higgins Homes plc

Countryside Properties

Siemens Benefits Scheme

Eton College

Alperton Limited

Greenwich Millennium Village Limited

Corporate and commercial > Private equity: transactions - mid-market deals (up to £250m) Tier 4

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is active in handling private equity transactions across a range of sectors. In addition to acting for PE houses and management teams in acquisitions and disposals, the practice is noteworthy for its work with private clients, advising them on investments. The team also stands out for its work in the African market. The team is jointly led by Andrew Clarke and David Coates in London, and Adrian Mayer in Cheltenham.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Clarke; David Coates; Adrian Mayer

Testimonials

‘I found CRS easy to work with. Always approachable and personable. They were transparent and explained in detail all the necessary legals required for the transaction, while taking into account our needs. They went over and beyond what I would expect from any solicitors. They were solid in their approach, and understood that this deal was very personal to us. It was a pleasure to work with the CRS team.’

‘A very strong and entrepreneurial team.’

‘Experienced and knoweledgeable, very approachable, candid.’

Key clients

TDR Capital

Battery Ventures

Limerston Capital

Kreos

Duet Private Equity

Puma Private Equity

Actis

Content+Cloud (backed by ECI Partners)

IFS (backed by EQT and TA Associates)

Acora (backed by Palatine)

Veriton Pharma (backed by Charterhouse Capital Partners)

Dispute resolution > Tax litigation and investigations Tier 4

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises on HMRC enquiries, investigations and tax litigation, with particular expertise advising on private client tax litigation. The team is led by recently promoted partner Hugh Gunson, who advises on direct and indirect taxes and covers income tax, CGT, inheritance tax, SDLT, corporation tax and VAT. According to a client, Gunson is a ‘rising star‘.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Gunson

Testimonials

The CRS Private Client Tax Litigation and Investigations practice are at the cutting edge of private client litigation. Their team combines technical knowledge with litigation judgment and always delivers for its clients.’

Hugh Gunson is the rising star of the UK private client tax litigation market. His background at the Bar combined with his technical tax knowledge gives him a real market edge.’

The team has got strength in breadth and depth and offer dispassionate, balanced and detailed advice which always serves the client’s interest in the long run.’

Hugh Gunson is likely to go far – effective, polished but ultimately a real lawyer’s lawyer when it comes to the detail.’

Employment > Employers Tier 5

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's employment team emphasises non-contentious mandates, deploying particular strength in the professional services, financial services and retail and leisure sectors. It is led by Trevor Bettany, who concentrates on collective redundancies, TUPE and large-scale variation exercises. Another key name is ‘exceptional lawyerMichael Powner, whose workload extends from LLP disputes to the employment aspects of high-profile internal reorganisations. Other areas of strength include senior executive issues, post-termination restrictions, and disciplinary and termination matters. Emma Bartlett departed in January 2021 to join CM Murray LLP.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Bettany

Other key lawyers:

Michael Powner; Nick Hurley

Testimonials

I have worked with multiple associates in the practice over the years and they are shockingly competent and confident. They present like partners.’

Michael Powner is very business-minded and gives practical, easy-to-understand advice. He is highly responsive and a valued business partner.’

The employment team at CRS is exceptional. They offer calm and practical advice, they never panic and are an excellent partner.

Mike Powner is an exceptional lawyer. He challenges me, supports me and is a highly engaging person to be around. Always available and highly responsive when time is tight but equally at home playing a long game when that is right strategy. Mike’s modesty belies his incredible legal talent.’

Advice is practical, commercial and easy to understand for non-lawyers. Good links into firms with different specialisms / jurisdictions. Well-linked internally so will seek specialist input from within the firm as well.

It is the individuals I deal with who provide me with the experience of the team and the impression I have of the firm. Proactive, practical, collaborate well within their firm and with linked firms. Able to explain things in a practical and easy to understand way. Take a commercial view.’

Extremely responsive. Willing to move things around. Make you feel like their only client.’

Key clients

Leon

Ivy Collection

Brasserie Blanc

Nike

Pearson

Wagamama

Hotel Chocolat

Leicester City

Parkson Mobile

Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

Corporate and commercial > Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 5

The financial services regulation team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP draws from the firm’s strong private banking and wealth management platforms, advising clients on issues including the structuring, establishment and distribution of their financial products and on private banking matters. Lawyers also have expertise in regulation applying to broking, trading and markets and a growing specialism in crypto-assets, areas of specialism for practice head William Garner. Jonathan Bayliss is the name to note for private banking and wealth management regulation. Senior associate Jessica Arrol Caws is building a solid reputation for advising investment firms entering the UK market.

Practice head(s):

William Garner

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Bayliss; Jessica Arrol Caws; Richard Ellis

Testimonials

The CRS team is fantastic. And I can honestly say their excellence level did not slip one bit during all of the challenges of the past year.’

I find the firm to be more pragmatic than certain of its competitors in the private banking legal advice market. In-house lawyers need clear, concise, and commercial advice from external legal counsel; they do not have time to deal with ambiguity or an overly-academic approach.’

Key clients

EFG Private Bank

Royal Bank of Canada

Credit Suisse

St. James Place

Walker Crips Group

Conferma

Julius Baer

Coinbase

LiquidNet Holdings

Lanistar

Real estate > Property finance Tier 5

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP acts for banks, alternative lenders and borrowers, and is particularly strong in handling structured private wealth transactions. Paul Kay heads the 'extremely commercial' team, and is skilled in debt and equity financing, structured finance and asset-based lending, with experience in cross-border mandates. The 'always availableJon Bond advises both lenders and borrowers on syndicated lending, acquisition and development finance, mezzanine finance and Sharia-compliant finance.

Practice head(s):

Paul Kay

Other key lawyers:

Jon Bond

Testimonials

‘Their ability to act in a collegial way to find solutions to complex real estate matters is second to none.’

‘Extremely commercial and give genuine opinions, rather than sitting on the fence.’

‘Very comprehensive and prompt advice and assistance. We have used CRS for a number of years and they understand our requirements and work very effectively with us.’

‘Jon Bond is always available to discuss and provide guidance on all matters related to real estate finance.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank

Octopus Property

Exeter Property Group

Silbury Specialty Finance

London & Oxford Capital Markets

Puma Investments

EFG Private Bank

Rothschild Bank

Opera

The Rumi Foundation

Lombard North Central

Downing

Topland Jupiter Limited

Metro Bank

Country Court Care Homes Limited

Ekistics Property Advisors

Salamanca Group

Caring Homes Group

Northridge Capital

Corporate and commercial > Venture capital Tier 5

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides a 'commercial and solution-oriented' service to a balanced mix of investor and investee clients on deals throughout the investment lifecycle. The team is particularly well equipped to handle mandates in the TMT, healthcare and fintech sectors. The firm's private wealth expertise has led to a significant amount of work for family offices, a growing class of investor in the venture capital ecosystem. Chris Putt co-heads the team alongside Rossana Conti  and is noted for his corporate venture debt expertise, as well as his work for entrepreneurs and family offices.

Practice head(s):

Chris Putt; Rossana Conti

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Burford

Testimonials

The team was very commercial and solution-oriented.’

An awesome team that is ready to serve effectively, no matter how inconvenient. During our transaction, they were very reachable and made themselves available like we were the only clients.’

‘The firm is unique in thinking on behalf of their clients, both predicting the issues, providing creative yet simple solutions and also carefully managing both expectations and relationships to ensure a smooth outcome in the most difficult situations.’

Key clients

Franline

Flashpoint Capital

Kreos Capital

Bestport Ventures

Shore Capital/ Puma VCT

IDG Capital

Business Growth Fund

Ace & Co

Takumi

Zeal Networks SE

Battery Ventures

Fika

Duco Technologies

Silicon Valley Bank

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 6

Jointly led by Paul Stone and Paul Henty, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP 's competition practice provides strategic and behavioural advice to a range of clients, and in 2020 frequently advised on the potential impact of Brexit and the global pandemic. The telecoms and media sectors are areas of particular focus, and the firm is a longstanding adviser to high profile companies such as ITV, which it advises on a range of competition issues, including commercial arrangements and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Paul Henty; Paul Stone

Key clients

ITV

Consultant Eye Surgeons Partnership Limited (CESP)

Gamma Telecom

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain (TRA)

YouView

Celesio

BDO

Atkins Limited (a subsidiary of WS Atkins)

Arcadis

Battery Ventures

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: patents (contentious and non-contentious) Tier 6

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP offers clients the benefits of its team's expertise in the licensing and collaboration of vaccine patents, and it secured mandates relating to international Covid-19-related R&D and collaboration agreements. Key names at the firm include practice head Mary Bagnall and senior associate Caroline Young, with corporate partners also providing assistance. Recent contentious work pertained to patent infringements in the mining sector.

Practice head(s):

Mary Bagnall

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Young

Key clients

Sandvik Group

Deepak Nitrite

National Pharmacy Association Limited

DriWay

Atkins

YouView

Norsk Titanium

Emergex Vaccines

Immodulon Therapeutics

Essity

Pritchard Spray Technology

Finance > Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 8

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's 'knowledgeable and responsive' four-partner team provides 'user-friendly' advice to debtors and creditors across a range of formal insolvency and restructuring work, in both a corporate and personal insolvency setting. Benefiting from a high degree of flexibility on fees, which includes acting on a contingency basis as well as through third-party funding, the firm is perhaps best-known for its contentious insolvency expertise, including as it relates to cross-border fraud and asset tracing. Guldford-based James Hyne  heads the team, which also includes recently promoted partner Jason Freedman , who 'goes above and beyond what is normally expected of a solicitor and is able to provide technical legal advice along with practical and commercial solutions to problems'.

Practice head(s):

James Hyne

Other key lawyers:

Hanh Nguyen; Jason Freedman; Bethan Cunniffe; Jamie Tilling

Testimonials

‘The lawyers are extremely user friendly and work above and beyond the call of duty for their clients.’

The team is knowledgeable, diligent, flexible and responsive.’

The team provides technical excellence whilst keeping a commercial outlook on advice given.’

The corporate restructuring and insolvency team at Charles Russell Speechlys is very strong and compares most favourably to a lot of its competitors.’

Hanh Nguyen stands out for providing clear, concise and quality advice on a timely basis. She is also a pleasure to deal with and takes the burden off the individual seeking the advice by covering off all avenues’

Jason Freedman goes above and beyond what is normally expected of a solicitor and is able to provide technical legal advice along with practical and commercial solutions to problems.’

Key clients

CVR Global LLP (now known as Begbies Traynor)

Central Bank of Bahrain – Awal Bank B.S.C (in Administration)

Adrian Hyde and Edgar Lavarello (trustees in bankruptcy of Gregory King)

Aldo UK Limited

JB Global Limited (aka Oak Furnitureland)

Awal Bank BSC (in administration)

Grant Thornton

Duff & Phelps

Deloitte

FRP Advisory

Menzies LLP

The firm: Charles Russell Speechlys provides clients with personalised and considered advice across the full spectrum of business and personal needs. This wider perspective, clear insight and a strongly commercial long-term view helps us to secure the growth of our clients as they move confidently into the future.

We are a leader in the world of dynamic growth and family businesses, and among the world’s leading creators and owners of private wealth and their families. Major corporates and institutions find our more considered and personal approach a refreshing alternative to conventional business law firms.

The firm is built on trusted, personal relationships with clients, guiding them through their most pressing challenges and rewarding opportunities. We do this by getting to the heart of a clients’ needs to bring them best-fit solutions – based on years of experience, collective legal expertise and global reach.

We are a law firm headquartered in London with a network of UK and international offices and associations that provide the global breadth to match our clients’ needs.

Types of work undertaken
Banking and finance: focusing on borrower work in all sectors, particularly real estate finance and projects, bank lender work in the Middle East and elsewhere, and non-bank lender work, including mezzanine finance, corporate finance support, and structured finance.

Commercial: focusing on complex work from corporate organisations requiring regular commercial contracting support, including compliance and corporate risk, EU, competition and trade, IP transactions, and licensing and outsourcing.

Commercial dispute resolution: undertaking all types of litigation, arbitration and mediation both in the UK and internationally, and has particular expertise in commercial disputes, corporate recovery and insolvency, judicial review and fraud.

Construction, engineering and projects: focusing on commercial clients across a wide range of business sectors, but with a particular emphasis on real estate developers, property investment companies, contractors, and major engineering consultancies. The firm also advises high-net-worth individuals when undertaking high-value residential construction projects.

Corporate: advising on a wide range of issues, including flotations, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity and venture capital financings. Specialist teams provide advice on all types of commercial contracts and outsourcing arrangements and have particular expertise in data protection issues, competition matters and tax.

Corporate recovery and insolvency: undertaking both contentious and transactional work for insolvency practitioners, often with an international component.

Employment, pensions and immigration: providing corporate clients with strategic insights and practical solutions for all their employment, pensions and immigration issues as well as advising senior individuals on a personal basis.

Family: advising individuals and intermediaries on matters concerning family breakdown, children and relationship agreements.

Financial services and tax: assisting clients with their everyday regulatory and legal issues, as well as focusing on advising on transactional and strategic matters.

Healthcare: providing a comprehensive range of transactional, regulatory and advisory expertise to deliver an integrated service to clients in the social care, primary care, dental and veterinary sectors.

Intellectual property: advising on all types of contentious and non-contentious work, including copyright, patents, trade marks, registered designs, database rights, passing off and confidential information.

Private property: working with international banks, private investment companies, and private individuals from the UK and overseas, advising on UK and international investment property transactions.

Property litigation: advising major institutional land and estate-owning clients, in particular in London, the South East, and the South West and for property insolvency-related work.

Real estate: advising on every aspect of commercial property, including the structuring and financing of property transactions, planning a development, advising on landlord/tenant issues or managing a property portfolio.

Tax, trusts and succession: advising individuals, trustees, beneficiaries, entrepreneurs and landowners on the establishment and management of trusts and on the tax implications associated with the establishment and running of the structure.

Other offices: Doha, Dubai, Geneva, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Manama, Paris, Zurich.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior Partner Bart Peerless
Managing Partner Simon Ridpath
Charities and not-for-profit Sarah Rowley
Construction and infrastructure David Savage
Financial services Jon Bond
Healthcare Michael Lingens
Healthcare Noel Wardle
Private wealth Piers Master
Real Estate Fiona Edmond
Retail and leisure Edward Craig
Sport Jason Saiban
TMT Mark Bailey
TMT Mark Howard
Banking & Finance Paul Kay
Commercial Mark Bailey
Commercial dispute resolution Charlotte Pender
Construction, Engineering & Projects Steven Carey
Corporate David Coates
Corporate restructuring and insolvency James Hyne
Corporate Tax James Carter
Employment, pensions and immigration Trevor Bettany
Family James Freeman
Financial Service Regulation & Funds William Garner
Immigration Rose Carey
Intellectual property Mary Bagnall
Private Client Robert Blower
Private Property William Marriott
Private Wealth Disputes Graeme Kleiner
Real Estate Lee Medlock
Real Estate Disputes David Haines
Cheltenham Ian Brothwood
Doha Simon Green
Dubai Patrick Gearon
Geneva Michael Wells-Greco
Guildford Duncan Elson
Hong Kong Simon Green
Luxembourg Jean-Baptiste Beauvoir-Planson
Manama Patrick Gearon
Paris Frederic Jeannin
Zurich Mark Summers
Photo Name Position Profile
 Ian Brothwood  photo Ian Brothwood Ian has a wide range of experience in the real estate sector…
 Penelope Byatt  photo Penelope Byatt Associate
 Tabitha Collett  photo Tabitha Collett Senior Associate
 Julia Cox  photo Julia Cox Julia is a personal tax and trust lawyer with considerable experience in…
 Christian Massey  photo Christian Massey Christian advises on a diverse portfolio of private client property matters, with…
 Adrian Mayer  photo Adrian Mayer Adrian is a corporate transactional lawyer and specialises in advising on private…
 Jonathan Morley  photo Jonathan Morley Jonathan is a corporate finance lawyer advising clients on a wide range…
 Nigel Morton  photo Nigel Morton Nigel advises on conveyancing, residential property investments, secured lending, and landlord and…
 Naomi Nettleton  photo Naomi Nettleton Partner
 Richard Norton  photo Richard Norton Richard specialises in corporate finance and banking, both for public and private…
 Edward Robinson  photo Edward Robinson Senior Associate
 Julie Sharpe  photo Julie Sharpe Senior Associate
 Manoj Vaghela  photo Manoj Vaghela Partner
 Jonathan Wilkinson  photo Jonathan Wilkinson Legal Director
 Sara Wilson  photo Sara Wilson Legal Director
 Tristram van Lawick  photo Tristram van Lawick Partner
Number of UK partners : 145
Total UK fee earners : 445

Our Social Impact

Overview

We believe that, to be successful, our business must have a positive social impact. We are an integral part of the communities – global and local – in which we operate and believe that supporting these communities is part of our responsibility as a business. In particular, we believe that it is our duty – as leading international law firm – to help level the playing field by improving access to justice, access to education and access to professional opportunities for disadvantaged groups. We also believe that a strong community programme reflects our values: a commitment to valuing difference, to building human connections, to treating others as we would wish to be treated and to developing long-term partnerships.

We do this through our Social Impact Programme. Led by our Senior Partner, Bart Peerless and our dedicated Social Impact Team, it comprises a strong Pro Bono practice and a high impact Community Investment programme of fundraising and volunteering activities.

Our connection with our community is all the more important in times of crisis and we are proud to have strengthened our Social Impact Programme in response to COVID-19 by:

  • Increasing our volunteering allowance from 14 to 21 hours for staff to lend their time and skills to support the NHS or COVID-19 related causes.
  • Launching Project Companion – an emergency package of fundraising and pro bono support to assist Emmaus, a national charity providing homes and livelihoods for the homeless.
  • Converting all our pro bono community legal advice clinics to webcam format so that people unable to afford a lawyer can get access to legal support during the lockdown period and sharing best practice with other commercial firms to help them do them same.
  • Providing full-service pro bono legal support to Food4Heroes, a new non-profit organisation that is mobilising chefs and catering businesses nationwide to feed NHS workers on the frontline of the crisis.

Pro Bono

Pro Bono is part of our core practice as a firm. We treat our pro bono clients as we do our paying clients and support all our lawyers to get involved – at all levels of seniority and whatever their area of expertise. We provide free legal advice to help disadvantaged groups get access to justice and to support charities and social enterprises providing vital services.

Impact highlights

  • We train and deploy our lawyers for 2-week secondments to the Greek islands of Lesvos and Samos to help asylum-seekers navigate the asylum process.
  • We were the first commercial law firm in the UK to launch a pro bono legal clinic by webcam to reach people outside London where pro bono help is scarce. The webcam project – Highly Commended at the LawWorks Awards 2019 – has provided the basis for us and other firms to run pro bono advice clinics during the COVID-19 shutdown.
  • A partner-led team from across our UK offices represents disabled people at the First-Tier Tribunal to appeal the withdrawal of disability benefits.
  • We are proud partners of Social Business Trust, providing pro bono legal support to help its small charity investees increase their reach and social impact.
  • We provide free commercial legal advice on an ongoing basis to a wide range of charities and innovative social enterprises.

Community Investment

Community Investment

We have a long history of involvement with the communities in which we live and work. Our focus is on social mobility and supporting the most isolated and vulnerable in society through our charity partners and other local initiatives.

Impact highlights

  • Our staff support children in local primary schools through our In-school Reading Scheme and Work Week Programme designed to develop awareness of the world of work and challenge misconceptions about career prospects linked to gender and/or ethnicity.
  • Through our 5-year Talent Pipeline Programme (Career Start) , we open up careers in law for state school students from under represented backgrounds by providing high quality work experience and mentoring programmes. Through our collaboration with the Social Mobility Business Partnership (SMBP) we also work with commercial organisations enabling our students to gain further exposure to the legal world through a further week of work experience and skills based activities.
  • We value the longstanding relationships we have with our local charitable organisations. Our staff volunteers support.
    • The Positive Ageing Group and The Crusoe Club, a club for the blind and visually impaired, at The Blackfriars Settlement with initiatives including an annual Halloween quiz night for the Positive ageing Group, a “Crusoe” Christmas lunch at our London office, supporting the Crusoe members on day trips out and staff volunteering to cook and prepare Christmas lunches at the Settlement. Staff also volunteer via the charity’s telephone befriending service.
    • The Churn’s Good Neighbour Project is a community-based project seeking to combat social isolation and improve wellbeing in Cirencester and neighbouring villages. Volunteers from our Cheltenham office provide support via a telephone befriending service and host an annual Afternoon Tea for elderly members in the community.
  • The Charles Russell Speechlys Foundation (“Foundation”) launched in the summer of 2020, with its focus on advancing justice – supporting a stronger, fairer society for all. Alongside funding from the Foundation, the Firm looks to offer support by providing pro bono legal assistance and the professional skills of our staff to help charity partners tackle major social issues. Working alongside the Foundation, the Firm will enhance its focus, coordination and impact of its charitable giving and fundraising initiatives firm-wide, adding as much value to the charitable partnerships as possible.

DIVERSITY

We believe in creating equal opportunities for everyone. Not only do we want to attract, develop and retain the best talent, we are committed to providing a work environment and culture that supports individuals to thrive irrespective of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, maternity status, disability or socio-economic background.

By working with people from different backgrounds or with different experiences, we get a different perspective and that helps us to think more broadly, question more and share our skills, knowledge, and experience as part of a collective intelligence.

We believe that creating a diverse and inclusive workplace allows our people to be the best they can be, and do the best for our clients, who can expect a firm that understands their objectives and delivers advice that considers their commercial and personal needs.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I) is led from the top. Partner action groups are in place to drive and support the Achieving Balance and Race Action programmes referenced below and D&I Partners champion and lead on each of the D&I Committees.

D&I Committees

The D&I Team work closely with five active employeeD&I Committees, each led by a designated D&I Partner. The Committees focus on events and initiatives to promote and raise awareness relating to their specific area, and also in collaboration with each other to focus on different areas of intersectionality. The Committees play a valuable role in firm projects and assisting with policy review to ensure they are inclusive.

Our five core D&I committees include:

  • CAPability (Collaborating And Promoting ability)
  • Gender
  • LGBTQ+
  • Religion, Belief and Ethnicity
  • Social Mobility

Age-related initiatives fall within the remit of all networks.

In addition, we also have a Family Friendly and a Carers Network that meet to share experiences, provide support to each other and host topical speakers.

Our Committee initiatives vary from year to year, but some of our recent achievements include ranking in the Top 25 of the Legal Sector in the Stonewall Equality Index ranking 72 in the Social Mobility Employer Index and being awarded the Bronze Award from the Employers Network of Equality and Inclusion.

Diversity & Inclusion programmes

We are committed to further developing our D&I Strategy and identifying key, longer term, programmes to help us achieve that. These include:

  • Achieving Balance, this programme aims to improve the gender balance at Partnership level and in leadership roles across the firm.
  • Our Career Start talent pipeline programme, is our flagship social mobility initiative which extends and develops our engagement with individuals from low socio economic backgrounds. It is a five year commitment to increase employability and to further improve the diversity of our employees.
  • Race Equality Action-, this programme of action supports our commitment to improve the ethnic diversity across the Firm and identify ways that we can collaborate with others to increase the representation in the profession and how we can work with others business communities and education to support and drive more ethnic representation in professional services roles. .

For more information regarding our initiatives, or vacancies, please check our website, www.charlesrussellspeechlys.com

The Lex 100 Verdict

Charles Russell Speechlys’ ‘strong private client outfit’ continues to be a draw for lawyers to be. The firm’s ‘outstanding family team’, ‘private wealth disputes work’ and ‘specialisms in sports regulatory and intellectual property’ were also big enticements. That CRS is ‘focused on still being approachable and friendly’ did not go unnoticed by trainees, who appreciate working with colleagues who ‘stem from a variety of backgrounds and experiences but are united in delivering the best service to clients and providing the best support for each other’. What’s more, ‘having a good work/life balance is actively encouraged by partners and other fee earners’. Little wonder CRS has amassed seven Lex 100 Winner awards this year, with job satisfaction and supervisor approachability among them. On the flip side, despite acknowledging the inevitability of having to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trainees felt that they ‘could have been better supported through the move to remote working’. The ‘lack of parking’ at the Guildford office, especially given the distance to the main train station, is also an annoyance. It helps that the quality of work is extremely high, with recruits enjoying ‘advising pro bono clients on setting up charities’ and ‘assisting with the negotiating and drafting of a partnership agreement between a premier league player and a global clothing brand’! Not all the work is fun though; ‘working for 36 hours straight’ and ‘starting a new seat and being thrown in at the deep end without instructions or much supervision’ were more stressful. To be ‘fully included in both the work and social aspects of a firm and feel that your input in both respects is valued and encouraged’, research Charles Russell Speechlys.