Firm Profile > Charles Russell Speechlys LLP > London , London

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has been involved in some of the largest and most high-profile cases domestically and offshore including a heavily contested hearing overseas and a privately heard matter for a very well-known person in the English Court of Protection. It has also been involved in the recently published decision of Cowan v Foreman. There is a particular focus on attracting complex high-value cross-border disputes work often involving multiple jurisdictions. Graeme Kleiner heads the team and advises trustees, executors and beneficiaries on a broad range of disputes. In addition Kleiner has a growing practice in IFA disputes and also handles fraud and professional negligence cases relating to trust, tax and succession matters. Other key team members include Duncan Elson, Tamasin Perkins, Aimee West, Oliver Auld and Jessica Stafford.

Family Tier 1

Under the leadership of Sarah HigginsCharles Russell Speechlys LLP has a focus on high-value and multi-jurisdictional cases. The excellent team covers a wide range of specialist areas in family law from complex divorce and finance cases through to international children related cases under the Children Act and the Hague Convention. Other areas of expertise lie in advising on adoption, surrogacy, civil partnerships and drafting marital agreements. In addition the team has a detailed knowledge of onshore and offshore trust structures and complex family business structures. Another focus of the practice is advising people in the sports and media sectors – it acts for premier league footballers as well as other sports and media professionals. Sarah Anticoni has a particular focus on mediating complex financial claims and children related matters. It remains a solid team despite a number of departures.

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP covers corporate M&A, private equity and equity capital markets work, primarily within the lower and mid-market space. The firm's focus on private wealth means the team is most active in advising entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses, as well as family offices and high net worth individuals, both from the UK and overseas. It has also seen notable growth in acting on inbound investment from the US to the UK, in addition to increased activity in Africa. The firm's corporate M&A team works in tandem with its private equity team, with certain individuals spanning both practices. The 'superbMalcolm MacDougall is one such individual - he co-heads the practice alongside Chris Putt, a specialist in corporate finance.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a large team that advises the wealthiest families globally and routinely advises them on complex cross-border and multidisciplinary projects. Clients range from prominent UK families to internationally mobile wealthy individuals. The London offering in conjunction with its other offices in Cheltenham and Guildford also represents some of the UK's leading landed estates (both rural and urban). Bart Peerless and William Begley head the team. Robert Blower has particular expertise in lifetime tax and estate planning, and issues relating to offshore assets/trusts as well as UK landed estates. Piers Master has a particular focus on Middle Eastern clients, and acts for many ruling family members and billionaires often with US links.

Residential property Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's international team of residential property lawyers stands out for its work on time pressured, high value transactions, covering elements such as construction, planning, Shariah financing and secured borrowing and lending. Sakhjit Randhawa provides a 'top-level service', distinguishing herself through her strong network of clients in Asia who turn to her for advice on their investments in UK property, and her expertise advising luxury property developers on the central London sales. Practice head Thomas Moran - 'undoubtedly one of the finest lawyers in the business' - is noted for his problem-solving abilities on on high value property deals, while senior associate Tristram van Lawick is particularly active on estate and farm sales, as well as acquisitions and refinancing deals across the country.

Sport Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s large sports practice, which gained a significant boost through its merger with leading sports boutique Couchmans in 2018, acts for international governing bodies, Premier League football clubs, sportspeople, e-sports companies, broadcasters, media and betting companies. The team’s wide-ranging expertise spans regulatory matters, governance, data and IP, media rights, commercial agreements, private investment and contentious matters such as anti-doping investigations and employment disputes. Sports marketing partner Jason Saiban is retained by Nike to manage all of the brand’s legal needs in relation to sports law; work this year has included advising Nike on sponsorship and commercial agreements with the FA and Chelsea FC and handling numerous promotions for Nike’s Brand and Digital teams, including influencer deals. Partner Darren Bailey, a specialist in governance and commercial sports law, advised the International Tennis Federation on its contract with Kosmos Investments to restructure the Davis Cup, assisting with every stage of this groundbreaking multi-billion investment deal. Mark Hill, who specialises in commercial branding and structuring, joined the firm’s Dubai office in 2018. Couchmans founder Nic Couchman is also highly regarded for sports business and rights law.

Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Through its offices in Cheltenham, London and Guildford, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP represents some of the UK’s leading landed estates. The multi-disciplinary group advises on a myriad of issues from tax and estate planning on land sales/transfers, to providing agricultural law advice to land agents in relation to farms and rural businesses. The team also advises on family law matters as well as on all aspects of heritage assets and valuable art works. Henry Fea heads the rural businesses and landed estates team and specialises in heritage property taxation advice for the owners of landed estates and the administration of complex estates. Bart Peerless is another key member of the team who is well-regarded for his succession and estate planning advice for substantial landowners.

Art and cultural property Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has been expanding its team with the recent additions of Tim  Maxwell and Rudy Capildeo from Boodle Hatfield LLP. Head of team Suzanne Marriott has considerable experience in advising individuals, landed estates and charitable trusts with sizeable art work as part of their assets. Art litigator Ludovic de Walden is another key member of the team that frequently handles a wide range of both contentious and non-contentious art matters. The practice is also renowned for its experience on complex cross-border issues. Robert Blower is another recommended member of the team who specialises in lifetime tax and estate planning for individuals, their trusts and companies. Blower has carried out a great deal of UK heritage tax work.

Brand management Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP acts for a diverse range of brand owners in the  media, sports, retail, and food and drink industries; Nike, wagamama and World Rowing are among its active clients. The arrival of Nick White and his team from Couchmans LLP has significantly bolstered the brand management practice, particularly in the sports and leisure arena, with further expertise in licensing and franchising, e-commerce, broadcasting and marketing. Mary Bagnall leads on the soft IP side and is particularly noted for her extensive experience in the protection and enforcement of trade marks and design rights; she is continuing to act for Cadbury in attempting to trade mark its iconic purple packaging against opposition from Nestle. Kate O'Rouke moved to Mewburn Ellis LLP.

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

Under the leadership of Lynn Povey at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP the team continues to represent high-profile national and international charities on the full range of legal issues including fundraising, data protection and employment matters. The team’s private wealth team also assists with various issues such as the establishment of charitable trusts and other philanthropic ventures. The group routinely advises private clients on making large charitable donations and on the establishment of charitable foundations. Mike Scott acts for a large number of charities that are governed by Royal Charter. Newly promoted partner Sarah Rowley advises on governance structures and on other matters such as the relationship between charities and commercial partners.

Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 2

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP was recently bolstered by the arrivals of Melville Rodrigues and David Paxton from CMS and Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP respectively. Rodrigues joined as head of the real estate funds team, while Paxton has bolstered the team’s development transaction offering. International and domestic institutional private investors, HNWs, asset managers and property funds routinely instruct the team for matters including urban renewal and mixed-use developments, PRS schemes and modular housing. The corporate occupier workload includes disposals, acquisitions, HQ relocations, exit strategies, restructuring, sales and leasebacks as well as portfolio management. Mark Smith heads the practice which includes recommended senior associate Eddie Richards, a specialist in secure lending and development projects. The group, which is highly regarded for its sector expertise, provides expert understanding of the charities, education, retail and leisure, healthcare and residential markets.

Court of protection Tier 2

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP works across a large geographical area through its offices in London and Guildford. Suzanne Marriott is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and the STEP special interest group on mental capacity. Sally Ashford is also a member of the STEP special interest group on mental capacity. Marriott specialises in cross-border and UK mental capacity and Court of Protection work as well as tax planning, wills, trusts and other contentious trusts and probate matters. She regularly acts as the independent deputy for property and affairs and health and welfare cases in situations where the family is in dispute about residency and the tax implications of losing non-UK residency and domicile.

Employment: senior executives Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's practice is spearheaded by Nick Hurley, who handles both contentious and advisory employment law issues. Also notable are project management expert Trevor Bettany, corporate employment lawyer Michael Powner, charity and not-for-profit sector specialist David Green and Emma Bartlett. In recent highlights, the group provided TUPE and related collective bargaining advice to an international retailer to avoid UK-wide industrial action, and also helped a surgeon to secure his reappointment following his dismissal from one of the UK’s largest NHS trusts.

Family: mediation Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has nine partners who are trained mediators and many of the team are collaboratively trained. Sarah Anticoni is a skilled family mediator in both finance and children. Sarah Whitten is also well-regarded for her work as a successful mediator. Its mediation practice covers a wide range of specialist areas in family law including high-value divorce and finance cases through to international children related cases and civil partnerships.

Fraud: civil Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is adept at handling a range of civil fraud matters, including asset tracing and worldwide freezing orders. The firm works with clients including multinational businesses, regulators, professional advisers and high-net-worth individuals in sectors such as financial services, government, energy and natural resources. Stewart Hey, who heads the practice was admitted to the Cayman Bar in relation to the high-profile, multibillion-dollar AHAB/SAAD Cayman trial. Charlotte Pender has a track record on high-value cross-border banking and fraud cases.

Healthcare Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's healthcare team is made up of 'highly accomplished lawyers with strong expertise' across a broad range of healthcare-related matters, notably in corporate and real estate transactional and financing work, and private equity investments in and buyouts of healthcare service providers, with key expertise in care homes, primary care and pharmacy law. Noel Wardle is the key figure for healthcare and pharmacy regulatory advice, while Tim Jenkins supports public sector and family-owned dental, veterinary and pharmacy businesses in corporate and commercial transactions. Michael Lingens is likewise recommended for financial transactions in the healthcare and care home space. David Reissner retired in May 2018.

Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP offers expertise across advertising, marketing, film, TV, gaming, social media, interactive content, music, sports, publishing and theatre work. The team's advertising and marketing department is a core focus, where it is instructed by a number of household-name brands, media agencies and celebrities on sponsorship, influencer engagement, copy clearance, ASA compliance, disputes, brand partnerships and media buying agreements, as well as digital, social media and consumer matters. For gaming, social media and interactive content, the team is engaged by global publishers and games studios, and it is increasingly active in the esports arena. Senior associate Jaclyn Wilkins specialises in digital media and gaming matters. The film and TV practice is engaged by independent UK broadcasters and it is experienced in sports rights and media rights matters.

Property litigation Tier 2

Handling commercial and residential property litigation, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP acts for an extensive client roster, including commercial investors, developers and high-net-worth individuals as well as commercial, retail and leisure occupiers. The 'proactive and commercially aware' team led by Robert Highmore has a specialism in leasehold enfranchisement and, based on its expertise in the Electronic Communications Code, telecommunications sector work. Handling regeneration projects and rights to light matters are other key areas of expertise as are dilapidation claims, rent reviews and service charge disputes. The recommended Emma Humphreys handles the full range of commercial and residential property matters including contractual and development disputes involving the removal of telecoms masts and communications cables.

Commercial contracts Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides commercial support for clients ranging from international brands and specialist public tech companies to financial institutions and tech solution providers. The firm has regional and international reach, including in Switzerland and Dubai. Jason Saiban leads the practice and focuses on the sport, retail and technology sectors. He can call on the expertise of Megan Paul, who specialises in complex outsourcing transactions in domestic and global markets. Also notable is associate Caroline Swain, who works closely with retail clients. The team advises Nike on commercial contracts, including sponsorship, sports marketing, regulatory and data protection issues.

Commercial property: development Tier 3

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP was recently bolstered by the arrivals of Melville Rodrigues and David Paxton from CMS and Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP respectively. Rodrigues joined as head of the real estate funds team, while Paxton has bolstered the team’s development transaction offering. International and domestic institutional private investors, HNWs, asset managers and property funds routinely instruct the team for matters including urban renewal and mixed-use developments, PRS schemes and modular housing. The corporate occupier workload includes disposals, acquisitions, HQ relocations, exit strategies, restructuring, sales and leasebacks as well as portfolio management. Mark Smith heads the practice which includes recommended senior associate Eddie Richards, a specialist in secure lending and development projects. The group, which is highly regarded for its sector expertise, provides expert understanding of the charities, education, retail and leisure, healthcare and residential markets.

Commercial property: investment Tier 3

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP was recently bolstered by the arrivals of Melville Rodrigues and David Paxton from CMS and Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP respectively. Rodrigues joined as head of the real estate funds team, while Paxton has bolstered the team’s development transaction offering. International and domestic institutional private investors, HNWs, asset managers and property funds routinely instruct the team for matters including urban renewal and mixed-use developments, PRS schemes and modular housing. The corporate occupier workload includes disposals, acquisitions, HQ relocations, exit strategies, restructuring, sales and leasebacks as well as portfolio management. Mark Smith heads the practice which includes recommended senior associate Eddie Richards, a specialist in secure lending and development projects. The group, which is highly regarded for its sector expertise, provides expert understanding of the charities, education, retail and leisure, healthcare and residential markets.

Construction: contentious Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's contentious team advises contractors, subcontractors and employers on both domestical and international matters. Steven Carey heads up the team, working alongside the 'unflappable' Kevin Forsyth, who recently advised a cladding contractor on defect-related disputes arising from the construction of tower blocks in Manchester. Rupa Lakha, a specialist in dispute avoidance, acts for developers and subcontractors, while Michael O’Connor, who acts across the spectrum of construction issues domestically and internationally, is also recommended.

Contruction: non-contentious Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's non-contentious team acts for contractors, developers and user occupiers on residential developments and mixed use developments and energy work. The team is led by Steven Carey who recently advised Permasteelisa on several developments such as Shard Place and Bankside Yards. Fiona Edmond is also a notable name within the team, and has been advising Derwent London on recent developments including Soho Place and the Brunel Building. Edmond has advised commercial developers on office and mixed use developments, hotels and data centres. Duncan Salmon is noted for his work in the regeneration and development sectors, while newly promoted partner James Worthington is also recommended.

Education: schools Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's education team is led by Lynn Povey and is known for its advice to private schools on matters such as mergers, restructurings, data protection and sensitive staff issues. The practice also draws on the expertise of the firm's private wealth team to advise education clients on establishing charitable trusts. Mike Scott has specialist expertise in the area of educational institutions and charities, while newly made-up partner and deputy head of charities Sarah Rowley has advised on a variety of projects for educational institutions.

Emerging markets Tier 3

'The team stands out as being really enthusiastic about the sector, interested in its clients, and motivated to make the transactions work for its clients', remarks one client of Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. The firm acts for large companies, growth companies and family businesses, as well as creators and owners of private wealth, their families and advisers. In emerging markets, it is best known for advising on investments in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean, notably in the financial services, real estate, infrastructure and agribusiness sectors. The practice, led by the 'technically very knowledgeable and very solutions-orientedAdrian Mayer, handles debt and equity transactions for borrowers and lenders, as well as advising on the debt finance elements of private equity and fund investments. Head of financial services Jon Bond and head of the firm's Caribbean group Hamish Perry are also recommended.

Employment: employers Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's practice is spearheaded by Nick Hurley, who handles both contentious and advisory employment law issues. Also notable are project management expert Trevor Bettany, corporate employment lawyer Michael Powner, charity and not-for-profit sector specialist David Green and Emma Bartlett. In recent highlights, the group provided TUPE and related collective bargaining advice to an international retailer to avoid UK-wide industrial action, and also helped a surgeon to secure his reappointment following his dismissal from one of the UK’s largest NHS trusts.

Equity capital markets – small-mid cap Tier 3

Fueled in part by the firm-wide focus on private wealth, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has developed expertise in advising shareholders and growth companies on public company transactions. Led by Andrew Collins, the practice group has relationships with some active nomads and brokers, but its extensive experience acting for corporate issuers across a huge range of industry sectors makes it a particularly attractive choice for companies seeking to grow through the capital markets. Clients have singled out Paul Arathoon as 'an excellent partner, who is very easy to work with'.

Fintech Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's fintech team is particularly invested in the areas of blockchain, regtech and payments technology, where it acts for a wide range of start-ups, software companies, and p2p lending platforms. On the corporate side the group handles sales, management buyouts and private equity fundraising, while on the commercial end it manages contractual arrangements including partnership agreements and software licensing agreements. The team has further expertise acting for cryptocurrency and blockchain developers in the launch of new platforms in the UK and the EU. In a recent matter, financial services regulatory partner William Garner advised Coinbase on various elements of setting up its operations in Europe, including contract negotiations with third party service providers. Mark Bailey, the group's resident technology expert, specialises in IT-sector contracting, cloud computing, outsourcing and data centre operation, and has additional expertise in the area of blockchain technology. Bailey is working with Konsentus to produce a white paper on the impact of PSD2 on the banking sector.

IT and telecoms Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP counts customers and suppliers of IT services, and leading telecoms operators among its client roster. It handles a range of corporate, commercial and contentious matters with particular experience in the retail and financial services sectors, and the computer games industry. Mark Bailey, who focuses on technology and infrastructure matters and has particular expertise in IT sector contracts and data centre projects, jointly leads the team with corporate transactions partner Mark HowardMegan Paul also handles a range of outsourcing agreements, and Paul Stone is a specialist in EU and competition issues.

Listed funds Tier 3

'Always available, pleasant to deal with and clear at communicating' is how one client describes Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's investment funds department, which is jointly led by Jonathan Bayliss  and Keir Gordon. The group was strengthened by the addition of real estate funds expert Melville Rodrigues, who joined from CMS in April 2018. A varied client list is a key feature of the practice, which regularly assists both major institutional fund management groups and smaller boutique managers. The firm's charity-sector group works hand-in-hand with the funds practice, attracting a number of charity fund managers. Victoria Younghusband is recommended for her 'extremely responsive manner'.

Private equity: transactions – mid-tier – up to £250m Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP works with a roster of buyout house clients such as Elysian Capital, which Malcolm MacDougall and senior associate Chris Manning advised on its acquisition of Key Travel. In addition to investment houses, the firm also acts for management teams, investee companies and  high net-worth family offices. Venture capital and growth capital PE are some other key areas of activity. Adam Crossley, who advised the management team on the £1.2bn sale of MRH to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, is another name to note. McDougall heads up the practice together with Adrian Mayer.

Professional discipline Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP 'has years of experience in this sector, with a deep understanding of the relevant regulatory regimes'. The healthcare team is best known for its advice to pharmacists and pharmacy owners; it also assists doctors and dentists with professional discipline matters. The practice is also highly regarded for its advice to sports governing bodies on disciplinary proceedings. Noel Wardle in Guildford heads the healthcare regulatory team and London's Edward Craig has niche expertise in equine matters, including horse racing and polo, and legal director Rachel Warren has particular expertise in advising clients appearing before the Fitness to Practise panels of the GPC, GMC and NHS Performance and Fitness to Practise committees. David Reissner retired from the firm.

Reputation management Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a team with unique knowledge of the commercial television sector led by the 'incredibly helpfulDuncan Lamont. The 'absolutely brilliant' firm acts for claimants and defendants alike and therefore boasts a genuine understanding of both sides of the table. Senior associate Claire Greaney, who is also admitted to practise as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand, provides key support in on-going phone hacking litigation and regularly assists businesses in GDPR-compliant reactions to data breaches. Matters or clients with a sports aspect are often covered by associate Hannah Kent.

Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 4

Private banking and wealth specialist Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has experience in a range of financial services work, including regulated lending, structured products and matters with a cross-border element. Jonathan Bayliss leads the practice and has a particular focus on advising institutional clients. He can call on the expertise of Kate Troup, who handles investment management and private banking issues; and William Garner, who leads the firm’s broking, trading and markets practice.

Partnership Tier 4

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team has strength in the financial services, professional practices and property development sectors. Non-contentious work includes transactional, corporate, tax structuring matters and change management, which bring together expertise from other departments in the firm. The group is also noted for handling disputes both for partnerships and individual partners. Financial services expert David Hicks leads the team, utilising experience in complex structures, conversions to and transactions involving LLPs, governance issues and restructuring.

Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 4

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP counts a number of high-profile charities, not-for-profits and livery companies on its client list, alongside a number of key trustees, sponsors and individual scheme members. Recent highlights for the team include assisting with scheme buy-outs, scheme rule interpretations, governance reviews, restructurings, corporate acquisitions, risk reduction and regulatory advice. Practice head Michael Jones’ private client offering focuses on issues surrounding pension transfers, fixed protection issues and overpayment issues. Jones also receives praise for his expertise in auto-enrolment matters.

Planning Tier 4

The planning team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has recently enjoyed a solid flow of London-based mixed-use development and regeneration projects for an expanding client base of commercial clients, developers, property managers, and housebuilders. Claire Fallows has niche expertise with handling the challenges facing the retirement living space with a number of major new projects included on the mandate portfolio. Helen Hutton has significant experience in the field of hydrocarbon planning. A significant client, the Church Commissioners for England, has instructed the team on a wide suite of matters that have encompassed urban extensions and garden village projects.

Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 4

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is best known for its corporate, commercial and project advisory skills, particularly in the waste energy and offshore wind sectors. Key partners in the team are construction specialist Kevin Forsyth, the corporate finance-focused Chris Putt and commercial lawyer David Berry. The practice was bolstered in 2018 by the arrival of associate Edidem Basiekanem, who has brought experience of private M&A and private equity transactions in Africa.

Commercial litigation Tier 5

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP 'has an excellent understanding of its clients' objectives and their industries'. The team advises on complex, high-value corporate and commercial disputes for clients that range from multinational corporations to high-net-worth individuals. Recent cases include disputes in the technology, telecoms, financial services, mining, energy, aviation and retail sectors. Stewart HeyEdward CraigJohn Sykes and Rhys Novak are all highly rated practitioners; Charlotte Pender was made partner.

Employee share schemes Tier 5

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is experienced in both HMRC approved and unapproved share option plan work, including bespoke employee share plans for multinationals. The team has a specialism in advising on the introduction of UK share plans to other jurisdictions and the adjustment of overseas plans, particularly US-based plans, for UK and European operations. James Carter is the key contact. Martin Griffiths left for Addleshaw Goddard.

Intellectual property Tier 5

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's department is singled out for its brand management and disputes expertise, which spans soft IP matters including trade marks, copyrights, designs and internet and advertising issues. Practice head Mary Bagnall has developed notable expertise in the protection and enforcement of non-traditional trade marks including colour or shape marks; she is advising Cadbury on its efforts to protect 'Cadbury purple' as a registered trade mark. Other names to note include Nick White, who excels in the sports, food and beverage, and retail sectors, and Jennifer Pierce, who focuses on technology and brand issues. Trade mark expert Kate O’Rourke left to Mewburn Ellis LLP.

Mining and minerals Tier 5

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a multidisciplinary mining team, comprising capabilities in corporate, commercial, banking, litigation and real estate. Corporate partner Andrew Collins sits at the head of the sector group which covers a wide range of issues including farm-in and farm-out agreements, financing transactions, private placings and IPOs, as well as competition and regulatory matters.

Property finance Tier 5

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP acts for a mix of lenders and borrowers; the firm’s client base includes major banks and private banks, property developers and high-net-worth individuals, and new market entrants such as debt funds and challenger banks. Areas of strength include healthcare, student accommodation, industrial and residential property, and data centre financing. The team also has experience in sharia-compliant transactions. Paul Kay, who counts an increasing number of Asian investors among his clients, leads the team.

Venture capital Tier 5

As part of the firm's overarching private equity capabilities, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles a significant amount of work for venture and growth capital investors, as well as investees, across the spectrum of the investment lifecycle (where clients also benefit from the ability to leverage the expertise of lawyers with complementary practice area knowledge in tax, IP and finance). Tapping into the firm's private wealth prowess, the team also has strong market traction among the growing family office investor class, as well as for high-net-worth individuals on their venture capital investments. Chris Putt is a key member of the team whose range of expertise includes traditional venture capital work, as well as venture debt matters. Putt has recently handled numerous matters for Kreos Capital, including its €20m investment in Dutch biopharmaceutical company Kiadis Pharma.

EU and competition Tier 6

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP assists clients with merger control issues, market investigations and inquiries, and contentious matters. The department is jointly headed by Paul Henty and Paul Stone, who are both highly praised by clients. The pair have a longstanding client base including telecoms clients, with recent work including handling instructions from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain as well as Gamma Telecom. Other sectors of focus for the team include media, e-commerce, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals.

Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 8

The 'incredibly diligent, knowledgeable and approachable' five-partner team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP 'can deal with everything from complex, cross-border restructuring and insolvency issues to more straightforward, domestic insolvency matters'. Although the firm also handles restructuring and transactional-based matters, it has a particularly strong reputation in relation to contentious insolvency matters, including misfeasance claims brought against directors. Simon Ridpath provides 'very commercial and highly technical advice'.


Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles a spread of immigration work for both individuals and corporate clients. The team is instructed by a raft of high-profile multinational clients on PBS and non-PBS matters, and also utilises its international presence to handle complex immigration issues, often advising Chinese and Russian clients. It is also increasingly acting for US nationals and is instructed by a growing number of start-ups. Advising high-net-worth individuals on personal immigration issues is also a key focus of the department. Team head Rose Carey has a 'wealth of experience' of advising financial services sector clients and handles a raft of sponsor compliance issues. Senior associate Paul McCarthy is experienced in business and personal immigration work; he advises on various PBS visa categories and has advised clients on applications for Tier 2 sponsor licences.

Charles Russell Speechlys is known as a leading adviser within the world of dynamic, privately owned businesses and among the world’s leading creators and owners of private wealth and their families. Major corporates and institutions find the firm’s more considered and personal approach a refreshing alternative to larger, conventional business law firms.

Charles Russell Speechlys is a law firm headquartered in London with offices in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong.

The firm: The firm is focused on securing the growth of its clients. With an unusually broad range of skills and experience across the full spectrum of business and personal needs, the firm has a wide perspective, clear insight and a strongly commercial long-term view.

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 Christopher Page
Managing Partner James Carter
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 Simon Ewing
Retail and leisure Edward Craig
Sport Jason Saiban
TMT Mark Bailey
TMT Mark Howard
Commercial dispute resolution Stewart Hey
Corporate Malcolm MacDougall
Corporate restructuring and insolvency James Hyne
Employment, pensions and immigration Nick Hurley
Family Sarah Higgins
Intellectual property Mary Bagnall
Cheltenham Richard Norton
Doha Simon Green
Dubai Simon Green
Geneva Michael Wells-Greco
Guildford Duncan Elson
Hong Kong Tom Shaw
Luxembourg David Louis
Manama Patrick Gearon
Paris Frederic Jeannin
Zurich Mark Summers
Photo Name Position Profile
 Katy Ackroyd  photo Katy Ackroyd
 Sarah Anticoni  photo Sarah Anticoni
 Paul Arathoon  photo Paul Arathoon
 Oliver Auld  photo Oliver Auld
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Number of UK partners : 145
Total UK fee earners : 510

CLIENT: Geoff Carton-Kelly, Partner
TESTIMONIAL: “A brilliant legal team with an unshakeable focus and total command of the complex subject matter. They are willing to make personal sacrifices and remain good-humoured, even under huge pressure during the trial, where their clear strategy, adaptability and impressive co-ordination delivered a masterclass.”

CLIENT: Alan Shearer CBE
TESTIMONIAL: “The team at Charles Russell Speechlys provided me with outstanding legal advice and have shown real professionalism and integrity throughout the dealings I have had with them.”

CLIENT: Richard Cherry, Group Deputy Chairman
COMPANY/FIRM: Countryside Properties
TESTIMONIAL: “Our relationship with Charles Russell Speechlys goes back many years, spanning each of the defining steps in our corporate history. The team is able to deploy experts across the full range of disciplines required for the deal. Their commercially based advice, strong sense of commitment to us and to the achievement of the transaction made them once again much valued members of our team.”

CLIENT: Mahesh Patel, CEO
COMPANY/FIRM: Minster Care Group
TESTIMONIAL: “Having advised the family for nearly 30 years on business and personal matters, the team at Charles Russell Speechlys was perfectly placed to support us in this innovative transaction which allowed some family members to exit, and others to remain involved, in the business which will now be backed by a publicly-traded real estate investor”.

CLIENT: Kelly Fairweather, Chief Operating Officer
COMPANY/FIRM: International Tennis Federation
TESTIMONIAL: “We were delighted to have the Charles Russell Speechlys team on side, whose sport sector expertise, multi-disciplinary service, global footprint and combined unique regulatory and commercial insight were vital to completing the deal.”

Charles Russell Speechlys
A 'prestigious firm with a human side', Charles Russell Speechlys offers a 'unique mix of private client and commercial work'. The London-headquartered firm also has offices in Cheltenham and Guildford and is a 'market leader in sports, media and technology law'. Trainees are 'really valued' and 'encouraged to take on responsibility' by 'partners who do what they can to help you get the most out of your training contract'. Indeed, colleagues will 'usually find time to go through work you've done and advise how you can improve'. There is a 'good work/life balance in most departments' thanks to a 'positive approach to a life outside of work'. All this without compromising at all on high-quality work, 'often with an international element'. Client secondments are also on offer; one trainee particularly enjoyed their time at ITV, where they were 'exposed to interesting work across a variety of disciplines' and even 'managed to spot a few celebs'. Some respondents reported 'a bit of a divide between the regional offices and London'. Others pointed to the fact that there are 'limited training seats in some of the areas which are strongly marketed by the firm'. 'Working long hours on a deal which then fell through' was lamented, whilst 'signing the wrong part of a document and the client having to come back in to re-sign' was embarrassing. Proud moments included 'realising I was the team's go-to on a specific technical area of law which I had researched' and 'meeting counsel on my own and attending a hearing'. For a friendly firm with a 'breadth of practice areas' where everyone 'wants you to succeed', consider Charles Russell Speechlys.