Charles Russell Speechlys LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
5 Fleet Place
EC4M 7RD
England

Corporate and commercial > M&A: Smaller Deals, £10m-£100m Tier 1

Operating across a myriad of sectors and industries, including but not limited to TMT, healthcare, real estate and professional services, the corporate team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP manages a steady stream of deals for a diverse portfolio of clients. With the wider firm’s emphasis on private capital, the team’s expertise is notably pronounced in the private wealth, financial services, and private equity sectors, where it has experienced an uptick in cross-border activity. Practice head David Coates specialises in corporate finance advisory and transactional work for both public and private companies. The business advisory and transactions services division is led by David Collins, who has extensive experience in both domestic and cross-border M&A transactions across a range of sectors. Hamish Perry is noted for his strong focus on private company M&A, joint ventures and private equity work.

Practice head(s):

David Coates

Other key lawyers:

David Collins; Hamish Perry; Mark Howard; Jonathan Morley; Keir Gordon; Daniel Rosenberg; Sarah Wigington; Charlie Ring; Tom Smitham

Key clients

Farfetch

Waverton Investment Management

Global Technical Realty (GTR)

IFS

Battery Ventures

Acora

Content+Cloud

discoverIE

Altadia Group

IQVIA

Caring Homes

Work highlights

  • Acted for Battery Ventures and management as lead counsel (UK and Luxembourg) on the sale of Forterro to Partner’s Group.
  • Advised the independent board of Caretech Holdings PLC, the AIM-listed care provider, in its take private sale to a management-led bidding vehicle, Amalfi Bidco Limited, for £870.3 million.
  • Acted for Battery Ventures and management as lead counsel on the disposal in relation to the sale of SPT Labtech to EQT.

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is ‘involved in the big cases and is handling these big cases well’, under the able leadership of the ‘exceptionalGraeme Kleiner, who has ‘almost legendary status.' The practice enjoyed a number of recent highlights, including the arrival of the ‘real powerhouseZiva Robertson from McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP, and the promotion of Geneva-based Robert Avis to the partnership. The team has a stellar reputation both nationally and internationally. Its work spans the entire private wealth sector – it regularly works with its matrimonial team on some of the largest international divorce cases. Duncan Elson covers the full gamut of contentious trusts and estates work. Tamasin Perkins advises high-net-worth individuals, trustees and fiduciaries on many complex international trust and probate disputes. Areas of expertise include breach of trust claims, and claims involving protectors. Oliver Auld specialises in acting for private clients, and a wide range of people who are acting in a fiduciary capacity.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Kleiner

Other key lawyers:

Ziva Robertson; Duncan Elson; Oliver Auld; Tamasin Perkins; Robert Avis

Testimonials

‘Oliver Auld and Graeme Kleiner are both very able litigators. Graeme is highly experienced. Both are very able lawyers and tacticians. Superb client handling always with a view to getting the best outcome for the client. The team is big and strong across the board.’

‘Graeme Kleiner – clients love him and he has very good instincts as to where a case might go. Duncan Elson is equally excellent and really fights his client’s corner while knowing when to make a good deal.’

‘Tamasin Perkins is an excellent lawyer and very good with clients. Robert Avis, a new partner, is a phenomenal lawyer and very calm. There are some excellent associates.’

‘Very strong in contentious trusts and probate. Clear practical advice and litigation preparation. Availability of specialist advice in other areas of the law to complement the litigation team.’

‘Graeme Kleiner. Absolute standout. The solicitor you would want to act for you. Very knowledgeable, quick thinking and practical. Will ask the difficult questions early on, so that where there are risks and difficulties the client is fully aware of them before getting too far involved in litigation. Has his finger on the pulse of the latest developments in the law and practice.’

‘Graeme Kleiner is a first-rate litigator who relishes hard-fought litigation. Ziva Robertson is a great strategist who can come up with solutions to the most difficult problems.’

‘Simply one of the best in London – strength and depth in the team which is studded with stars of trust and probate litigation. Graeme Kleiner – one of the most experienced, bright and sensible trust litigators in London. Tamasin Perkins has a firm handle on trust litigation.’

‘Duncan Elson – combines experience, knowledge, intellect and robustness in litigation with sensitivity for the human element. A difficult combination to find. And a total delight to work with.’

Key clients

Mate v Mate

Dawson Damer v Grampian

Colicci and another v Grinberg and another (It acts for Robert, Rosanna and Josephine Colicci)

Work highlights

  • Successfully bringing a claim for members of a farming family in respect of claims for proprietary estoppel, unjust enrichment and professional negligence in relation to development of farming land and declarations of trust.
  • Acting for the defendant/counterclaimant in High Court proceedings concerning claims relating to a Grade I listed property in Buckinghamshire designed by Sir John Soane with Grade II listed Capability Brown grounds, worth approximately £15m.
  • Acting for the claimants in High Court proceedings relating to a promise to make wills and the subsequent succession of 40% of the shares in a family company, which operates a number of cafes, restaurants and kiosks across various locations in central London.

Private client > Family Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLPhas a great family practice with real strength in depth and, in particular, some great younger partners coming through, which bodes well for a strong future’. Head of the department James Freeman combines a ‘formidable brain with huge pragmatism’. This powerhouse excels at handling highly complex cases involving significantly valued assets. With its international reach, it is also well placed to assist clients in cases involving private and family business structures, and has particular expertise in cases concerning onshore and offshore trusts. Miranda Fisher acts for many international clients and is skilled at handling cases with jurisdictional disputes. William Longrigg specialises in international divorces, financial relief, and private law children cases. Sarah Higgins has a particular focus on complex financial applications regarding family businesses, and Sarah Jane Boon continues to manage a very busy case load. Jamie Kennaugh is also recommended, and senior associate Joshua Green has a broad family law practice. Emily Borrowdale, also a senior associate, advises on all areas of family law and has a growing practice in complex financial remedy cases and cases concerning jurisdictional issues.

Practice head(s):

James Freeman

Other key lawyers:

William Longrigg; Miranda Fisher; Sarah Higgins; Sarah Jane Boon; Jamie Kennaugh; Emily Borrowdale; Joshua Green; James Riby; Charlotte Posnansky; Erica Shelton; David Carver

Testimonials

‘James Freeman heads the team with a seeming lightness of touch that belies his rock solid core. As a family lawyer, if I were getting divorced, he would be my go-to.’

‘William Longrigg is a classy fellow and always a pleasure to deal with. He wears his experience lightly, is always respectful to those he may come across at every level of experience and reassuring to clients.’

‘Charlotte Posnansky has bundles of common sense, is a delight to work with, and is extremely bright. Jamie Kennaugh is tough when she needs to go into battle for her clients and doesn’t shrink from a fight, but will also be pragmatic and collaborative wherever she can. Keen to roll up her sleeves.’

‘One of the best family teams in London. An all-round excellent service.’

‘As a firm, they are at the top of their game and are as good as you will find. Miranda Fisher, William Longrigg, Jamie Kennaugh and David Carver are particularly impressive.’

‘They have one of the best crops of young partners who look set to lead the profession in years to come. Jamie Kennaugh’s care for clients and utter dedication to obtaining the right answer for them is hard to surpass with a warm humanity that verges on the inspiring. James Riby is a hugely knowledgeable technical and commercially minded lawyer.’

‘Sarah Jane Boon is an extremely able new partner and always goes the extra mile. Joshua Green is a charming, thoughtful lawyer with excellent client handling skills.’

‘Sizeable and impressive team with great calibre throughout. James Freeman is a perfect team leader and excellent lawyer; pragmatic rather than political, determined in his progression of cases, and ever commercial.’

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

The large team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a stellar reputation for its advice to HNW/UHNW individuals and their families, family offices, landed estates, private banks, trustees and wealth managers. It also acts as leading advisers to entrepreneurial wealth creating families. The practice is led by Robert Blower, Piers Master and William Begley. A sizeable portion of its work is cross-border and it is particularly skilled at coordinating cross-jurisdictional matters. Highlights included Nicola Saccardo joining the firm from Italian tax law firm, Maisto e Associati in August 2022. It also added Jeremy Arnold to its ranks from Withers LLP in June 2022. Simon Weil specialises in tax planning, trusts, philanthropy and charities. Nicola Thorpe  and Sangna Chauhan  – who is ‘technically excellent’ – are rapidly building strong client bases. Dominic Lawrance and Alice Wilne are other key members of the team. Clients include some of the world’s wealthiest families. The group also excels in advising on inter-generational succession.

Practice head(s):

Robert Blower; Piers Master; William Begley

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘CRS is a firm that combines a local and UK focus on private clients with larger offshore trust work. They have good litigation support too’.

‘Bart Peerless  is well-respected, full of common sense, excellent at dealing with private clients, a thoroughly easy person to work with. Robert Blower is an intelligent and thoughtful tax and trust lawyer with strong clients in the offshore sector, who is always a pleasure to work with’.

‘Technical leaders in their field of expertise. Technically proficient advice delivered in a highly personable manner’.

‘Dominic Lawrence is the pre-eminent advisor in London on the taxation of non-UK domiciled individuals and offshore trusts. Highly respected by his clients, colleagues and peers’.

‘Sangna Chauhan – technically strong, practical and diligent. Would have no hesitation at referring Sangna to any client’.

‘High quality, strength in depth, value for money. Bart Peerless, Robert Blower and Piers Master are all outstanding; know their stuff, and have ability to convey in simple terms’.

‘Very responsive and a few real stars in the areas of both technical excellence and client service. Bart Peerless-very experienced partner with outstanding client service skills and technical strength’.

‘Piers Master is a highly intelligent and excellent technician with understated but effective style’.

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

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP excels in corporate and M&A transaction work particularly in the pharmacy and dental industries. Based in Guildford, the team’s growing client roster features international and local businesses, private equity companies and high-net-worth individuals across an expanding list of sectors including the technology, education and sports industries. Practice head and M&A specialist Tim Jenkins, who also heads up the firm’s retail healthcare transactions team, assists clients with joint ventures, shareholder agreements and business sales, while Geoffrey Sparks handles commercial work relating to information technology and outsourcing issues. Helen Wong left the firm in April 2022 to join Setfords Solicitors, and Jonathan Steele left in May 2023 for Stevens & Bolton LLP.

Practice head(s):

Tim Jenkins

Other key lawyers:

Geoffrey Sparks; Samuel Milne; Howard White; Mark Howard

Testimonials

‘A strong team with a solid understanding of the pharmacy sector from both a corporate and regulatory viewpoint.’

‘A good commercial team that has a good understanding of sectors and is responsive to the market.’

‘Howard White deals with matters with an extremely sensible head and ensures that the problem is understood with practical solutions offered. Very technical and extremely knowledgeable.’

‘A very good team technically that is pragmatic, easy to work with and has detailed knowledge of the pharmacy sector.’

‘Mark Howard is excellent personally and does well at bringing in the wider team when required. Just a really good person to deal with.’

‘They are very strong on client relationship management. There is good engagement at all levels of the team and the lead partner is always very accessible.’

‘Tim Jenkins is a very technically skilled lawyer.’

Key clients

DiscoverIE plc

Dentex Healthcare Group

Maitland Medical Service Ltd

Avicenna Holdings Limited

CAJ Mercian Holdings Limited

Barnardo’s

London Irish Rugby Club

University of Surrey

E Nova Healthcare Group

Weldricks Pharmacy Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the majority shareholders of In Touch Games Limited, as part of a cross-office multi-disciplinary team on all legal aspects of the cross-border sale of the In Touch group, including its overseas interests, to Skywind Holdings Limited.
  • Advised DiscoverIE Holdings Ltd, as part of a cross-office multi-disciplinary team, on its acquisition of Custom Design Technologies.
  • Acting for Dentex Healthcare Group, providing commercial, employment and regulatory advice across a range of areas and completing 30 dental acquisitions during 2022 supporting the client with its acquisition and growth strategy.

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

Focusing on dispute resolution, litigation prevention and risk management, the Guildford team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles matters with multi-jurisdictional elements for corporate clients in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, with clients praising it as ‘a law firm of great calibre with excellent people’ who are ‘great, very friendly and a pleasure to work with’. The team specialises in corporate litigation, commercial matters, and product liability and supply chain disputes and is increasingly handling professional negligence claims. The team is led by Stephen Burns, who is ‘clever, with terrifically good judgment’ and is a specialist in Companies Act litigation, shareholder disputes and professional negligence issues; and ‘shrewd, experienced negotiator’ Jamie Cartwright, who has experience in technology, automotive, retail and product liability disputes. Rachel Warren is ‘excellent on financial services regulation and disciplinary matters’. The ‘highly commercial’ Gareth Mills is an expert in international arbitration and has substantial experience advising financial services and TMT clients. Head of the Guildford office Duncan Elson is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Burns; Jamie Cartwright

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Warren; Gareth Mills; Duncan Elson; Katie Bewick; Rory Partridge; Charlotte Healy

Testimonials

‘Stephen Burns and his team are exceptional litigators. They are well resourced, hardworking, and have the capability to draw on other specialists across the firm for specific matters.’

‘Stephen Burns is clever, with terrifically good judgment. He offers the right balance of aggression and common sense, and always pushes hard to meet the client’s commercial objectives. Katie Bewick is an excellent and hardworking associate, who is a joy to work with.’

‘The team is extremely practical. On each of the cases I’ve seen, they have found a creative solution to force an outcome in their client’s favour.’

‘Stephen Burns is very calm and collected. Charlotte Healy is detail driven and impressive. Jamie Cartwright combines a thorough grasp of the detail together with the ability to advise strategically and tactically. He’s also a shrewd, experienced negotiator.’

‘I work with CRS on cases with multi-jurisdictional and international elements. I find the team to be great to work with, able to work seamlessly across offices in different jurisdictions, and extremely experienced in advising clients on complex enforcement issues. The team are very user friendly, and punch well above their weight.’

‘Rachel Warren is excellent on financial services regulation and disciplinary matters. Gareth Mills is highly commercial and insightful in all interactions.’

‘The team has a very personable approach and takes time not only to provide excellent insight and service, but to do so in an approachable, reassuring, professional and amicable manner.’

‘The team at CRS is great, very friendly and a pleasure to work with. I have had many cases with them by now and I get excited each time I work with them, which shows how great it is. They are all very sensible as to demands and as to what arguments work and which do not. They are a law firm of great calibre with excellent people who know their stuff.’

Key clients

City & Guilds

Cargill

Jankel Armouring

Essity

ATC UK

Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited

Swiss Post

Pro Med Pharma Limited

Fiat Chrysler

Stonegate Pubs

Employment > Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

The ‘stellar’ and ‘attentive and professional’ team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP regularly advises employers and listed companies across the financial services and video games sectors including household names such as Sony PlayStation. The practice is co-headed by Nick Hurley, who has a contentious and non-contentious employment practice which includes handling discrimination, TUPE and reorganisation matters, and the ‘hugely impressive’ Ben Smith, who often represents clients in the charities and not-for-profit sectors and has significant experience with Employment Tribunal litigation. Emily Chalkley specialises in transaction-related employment matters and litigation concerning sex discrimination and equal pay claims, and is praised as a ‘rising star and hardworking with terrific judgment’. The ‘approachable’ Rachel Hearn frequently acts for senior executives on a range of employment issues including employee exits, disciplinary issues, grievances and redundancies.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hurley; Ben Smith

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘A stellar employment team with exceptional judgment and hard-hitting cases. They are hard-working, strategic, and highly commercial. They understand the needs of their clients well. The employment team is approachable with bags of common sense and loads of energy.’

‘Ben Smith is a go-to partner and knows everything there is to know in this area. He is amazing with people and the law and takes sensible and pragmatic decisions. It is not about show boating, it is always about the client, front and centre. Emily Chalkley is a rising star and hard working with terrific judgment.’

‘I have mainly used the team for employment matters and usually the more complex ones. I have found the team very responsive with excellent communication throughout engagements including urgent enquiries. This is much better than a number of other firms that I have used in the past. The team all work closely together and this is also a reason that matters are dealt with efficiently and effectively. In summary, the differential I find to other legal firms is the quality of the people, who are good communicators and go the extra mile for their clients. I would also note that it didn’t matter if I was requiring support as the CEO of the business or someone from admin. The response and service was the same exemplary standard.’

‘Ben Smith is extremely responsive and understanding of the position of the client. Ben is very quick in providing a summary of the company’s position, possible remedies and potential outcomes. This is so helpful in planning the approach. Rachel Hearn is possibly one of the most approachable lawyers I have come across in my career. She understands the demands of the business and is able to respond accordingly. Rachel has taken time to understand the business, some of the leaders, and dealt with all matters very efficiently and with extremely good grace despite significant pressures.’

‘They deliver quality work with a personal touch and are attentive and professional.’

‘Ben Smith is a hugely impressive partner, who frets for his clients, leaving no stone unturned to deliver results.’

‘The employment team has a great combination of technical expertise in statutory law and strategic nous which, coupled with excellent client handling skills, makes it an obvious choice for a lot of companies and organisations. They are also attractive to claimants with high value claims for the same reasons.’

‘Emily Chalkley is calm, knows her case load really well, provides careful and considerate instructions to counsel, and wins trust of her clients. She is always very attentive and pragmatic with her advice.’

Key clients

Rapha Racing

Amundi Asset Management

Nike

Framatome BHR Limited

Sony Playstation

Just Group plc

C. Hoare & Co

Dementia UK

Margarete Steiff GmbH

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP offers advice on the full range of insolvency mandates, including insolvent and distressed sales, company voluntary arrangements, and the rescission of winding up orders. In Guildford, Roger Elford leads the team alongside James Hyne; Elford regularly acts for overseas governments and foreign banks in restructuring matters and external administrations, while Hyne focuses on contentious recoveries, often advising liquidators and administrators. Hannah Edwards has extensive expertise in antecedent transaction claims, and often advises companies and their directors on recovery options.

Practice head(s):

Roger Elford; James Hyne

Other key lawyers:

Peter Worrall; Hannah Edwards

Testimonials

‘Highly commercial and very user friendly team. A combination that produces great results.’

‘James Hyne continues to be able to dance through all aspects of the insolvency world whilst retaining hard core principles…and a degree of charm!’

‘Peter Worrall is pragmatic, approachable, and client focused. He will provide you with the options in a clear and concise way, and give you straight forward advice. I would not hesitate to recommend Peter and look forward to working with him again soon.’

Key clients

Credit Suisse (UK) Limited

AlixPartners Services UK LLP

Teneo

Begbies Traynor Corporate Recovery

FRP Advisory Limited

RSM Restructuring Advisory

Central Bank of Bahrain

Grant Thornton UK Limited

Moore Kingston Smith LLP

KRE Corporate Recovery

Alvarez & Marsal

James Cowper Kreston

MBI Coakley Restructuring and Insolvency

Kroll Advisory Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising the administrators of Haircare Limited on their appointment as administrators and the pre-pack administration sale of the company’s assets and business of a hair salon (formerly trading as Vidal Sassoon).
  • Advising Grant Thornton UK LLP and FRP Advisory on the potential liquidation of the Greensill group. The firm advises on investigations, including information gathering using the joint liquidators’ compulsive powers and potential recovery actions.
  • Advising RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP on the winding up of five collective investment schemes arising out of the Lehman Brothers insolvency, with claims exceeding $1bn.

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP routinely assists real-estate owning clients with the maintenance, purchases and sales of long-held family assets and property-based businesses. Duncan Elson is a strong choice for landed estate and pension litigation, while William Marriott is particularly proficient in the acquisitions and disposals of domestic property. David Haines is a key port of call for professional negligence claims concerning property. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Guildford.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Elson

Other key lawyers:

William Marriott; David Haines; Alex Munday-Muir; Tom Denham-Smith

Testimonials

‘The team’s technical ability is excellent, we received high quality legal advice which is practical.’

‘Duncan Elson is everything you would want in dealing with estates held in settlements. He is practical whilst being technically excellent.’

Work highlights

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Leveraging support from the firm’s London office, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is led by Guildford-based Duncan Elson, a reputed practitioner who frequently acts as an independent administrator, professional executor, and trustee in contentious estate matters. Oliver Auld splits his time between Guildford and London and is particularly proficient in challenging wills through the Inheritance Act. Rebecca Piper and Edward Birell are also based in Guildford, the former is a seasoned court of protection litigator, whereas the latter is knowledgeable of asset tracking and freezing injunctions.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Elson

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘This is one of the leading firms in this sector. They have excellent people in the team who have so much experience and expertise in this area.’

‘Practical and expert partners and senior associates at the top of the industry, supported by a deep bench of junior lawyers and trainees. They put together excellent and effective teams.’

‘The team has considerable strength in depth. It has a first-rate reputation in the industry; it attracts top quality clients and they have enviable relationships with all professional sectors.’

‘Duncan Elson has years of experience. He fights very hard for his client and knows this area of law backwards. Rebecca Piper is a talented lawyer, very good with clients and an excellent litigator.’

‘Duncan Elson has a justly deserved reputation for calm and sensible leadership on the most complex cases.’

‘Duncan Elson deals with heavyweight cases and leads the team with aplomb. A reassuring presence on the other side of cases.’

‘Edward Birrell is extremely knowledgeable, experienced and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Edward Birrell is an outstanding senior associate: user-friendly and commercial, he can really grasp the detail while still seeing the wood for the trees. A real delight to work with.’

Key clients

The Public Trustee of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Public Trustee of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in relation to losses to 5 Guernsey pension schemes in a number of proceedings dealing with a multi-jurisdictional asset base.
  • Acted for a farming family in respect of claims for proprietary estoppel, unjust enrichment and professional negligence in relation to development of farming land and declarations of trust.
  • Acted in a landed estate dispute between family members involving family trusts, corporate holdings, valuable chattels and land divisions.

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

In Guildford, full-service firm Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is noted by clients as fielding ‘one of the best regional family law departments in the country’. Its client roster features national and international high-profile and high-net-worth clients that need advisory and dispute resolution assistance with complicated matters relating to children such as relocation, child protection and adoption work, financial assets including offshore trusts and significant pensions, and unmarried family agreements. The ‘commercially astute’ Shona Alexander has a broad practice with substantial experience in financial cases, pre and post-marital agreements and cohabitation issues. Co-heading the team with Alexander is the ‘unflappable’ Karen Wilsher, who specialises in high-value financial cases and child law cases in relation to families with addiction difficulties. William Rollin offers extensive experience in matrimonial finance and private law children matters including international relocation and parental alienation cases.

Practice head(s):

Shona Alexander; Karen Wilsher

Other key lawyers:

William Rollin; Claire Devine; Rebecca Arnold; Nicholas Bass; Felicity Chapman

Testimonials

‘One of the best regional family law departments in the country.’

‘Shona Alexander is a very impressive lawyer and leader. She has an incisive legal mind and her clients, rightly, adore her. Rebecca Arnold is also a superb associate who is a rising star.’

‘Karen Wilsher is a class act, an unflappable and great technical lawyer but also pragmatic. Claire Devine has a great manner with clients, an eye for detail and excellent judgement. Nick Bass is outstanding and a future star. He offers mastery of the facts and figures in a case and tactical and sound instinct.’

‘An extremely well-known firm that is a leader in the field of matrimonial finance. The Surrey and Sussex practice delivers top level representation but provided locally and without charging central London prices.’

‘Felicity Chapman is excellent, unflappable and pragmatic. She is sensible, measured but also friendly and approachable.’

‘Shona Alexander is a fantastic lawyer. She is commercially astute and will go the extra mile for her clients. She is incredibly collaborative which means her clients get results. She is proactive and will always try and resolve matters before resorting to litigation. She is also an excellent mediator.’

‘They have great family team who are well known for dealing with high net worth and complex financial matters. The team stand out against competitors for their expertise with high value matrimonial work whilst offering an excellent service.’

‘Karen Wilsher is utterly dedicated to her job. She has excellent client care skills and is always keen to ensure that the client has an opportunity to voice their concerns about their case. She has an innate sense of anticipating the other side’s next move so is always one step ahead. Claire Devine is very much a partner in the making. She is always clear in highlighting what the client’s objectives are in a case. Nick Bass is definitely one to watch. He has great care to detail and is very responsive to client’s needs.’

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

The ‘unerringly professional’ tax, trusts and probate team is at the core of Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’ offering in Guildford with recent work involving family business clients and cross-border estates. Practice head Sally Ashford has been described as ‘highly intuitive, generous, friendly and incredibly dynamic’ and specialises in estates and family succession planning including inheritance tax mitigation and trusts and Court of Protection matters. Richard Honey ‘provides responsive and practical support’ and goes ‘above and beyond’ to assist high-net-worth individuals with succession planning and trust structuring work and, more recently, issues involving cryptocurrencies and digitally held assets. New arrival Harriet Betteridge offers substantial experience across a range of matters including estate administration and specialist tax advisory work covering IHT areas and CGT matters. Kathryn Robinson works with large national charity clients and private clients on wills, lasting powers of attorney and lifetime inheritance tax planning. Natalie Butler is also noted by clients.

Practice head(s):

Sally Ashford

Other key lawyers:

Richard Honey; Harriet Betteridge; Kathryn Robinson; Natalie Butler; Lauren Clarke; Charlotte Voller; Tom Denham Smith

Testimonials

‘We have found the team to be extremely empathetic, enabling them to understand and advise us in a sensible and pragmatic way that suits our needs. They are also unerringly professional and we have complete confidence in their knowledge and ability. Nothing is too much trouble for them, from chatting over our concerns to producing the necessary documents. The practice appears well managed, documents are clear and everything is done in a timely fashion.’

‘Natalie Butler is incredibly helpful and seems to understand exactly what we need. She explains processes clearly and succinctly. It is Natalie’s innate friendliness, patience and understanding that make her so very easy to deal with. Richard Honey provides responsive and practical support.’

‘Discussing wealth and estate planning requires mutual trust, discretion, and a personable approach. The team that Sally Ashford has built around her are highly skilled, professional, dynamic and have the capacity to tailor your personal wishes and translate them into legal constructs. This is a multidisciplinary team and related matters can be dealt with in-house. Multiple generations of a family can be advised with mutually beneficial structures, trusts and inheritance planning woven in. This team at CRS will cater to individual needs and wishes, expertly.’

‘Sally Ashford was warm, highly intuitive, generous, friendly and incredibly dynamic. She clearly understands the law, the implications of the various legal structures and constructs and can deliver solutions with elegance and professionalism. Sally navigated us through a mountain of information within the space of a few meetings. Sally understood our needs, our risk appetite and what we wished to achieve with our estate planning and for our family. All our matters were resolved and paperwork completed efficiently and to our satisfaction. Our wider family have also had the benefit of Sally’s advice.’

‘The Guildford Private Client team at Charles Russell Speechlys has considerable knowledge and is able to advise clients with simpler needs and those with complex affairs with equal diligence and care. Practitioners are proactive with their advice, considering individual scenarios and delivering bespoke, high-quality advice.’

‘Sally Ashford and Richard Honey in particular go above and beyond no matter the client size. The personal approach is so valuable and necessary to really understand the clients needs. They are organised and proactive rather than reactive.’

‘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. They are great people to deal with and they get the job done without unnecessary fuss or drama. The team is compassionate and understands their clients’ situations.’

‘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. I have witnessed her skilfully overseeing complex situations with multiple stakeholders with varying degrees of financial experience and acumen and can see that she makes her clients feel confident with her ability and at ease with her warm manner. Lauren Clarke is equally delightful to work with. 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. Natalie Butler is another highly valued member of the team for us. Charlotte Voller and Tom Denham Smith have also been excellent to work with and are clearly popular with clients.’

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

Located in Guildford, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP offers a ‘vast knowledge base with specialists in key subjects who are experts in their field’. Assisting with corporate real estate work, secured lending issues and development sales in the healthcare, retail and leisure sectors, the team also offers expertise in industrial gas production facilities and pipelines. The team is headed up by Suzi Gatward in London; Ingrid Saffin in Guildford, who acts for FTSE and internationally listed companies including industrial gas and hydrogen production companies; and David McClenaghan, who has the ability to ‘remain calm in a storm’ and has significant experience in the residential development sector, acting for home builders and developers. Another key lawyer is Sydney Forster, who is praised as ‘consistently reliable’ and ‘knowledgeable’.

Practice head(s):

Ingrid Saffin; Suzi Gatward; David McClenaghan

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Sydney Forster was a great contact to work with at CRS. I had many questions and she never hesitated to help, providing over and above responses.’

‘I have enjoyed their knowledge and their willingness to help. I also appreciate their transparency.’

‘Sydney Forster in their conveyancing department is a great asset to CRS. She is consistently reliable, knowledgeable and is able to provide comprehensive advice on complex matters which includes in-depth detail of possible risks and options available to us.’

‘The team are dedicated, skilled and comprehensive in their approach. Working with them, I do not have to worry about things being missed or spend my own time double checking what is happening as they always have everything completely covered. Not only do we have a long-standing relationship with the residential conveyancing team, we have had occasion to use the construction, litigation and tax teams, all of whom have displayed a similar very high level of competence.’

‘The team of lawyers we work with are highly professional and experienced. They are extremely knowledgeable and always willing to help. They identify issues and give succinct and clear advice and guidance on practical solutions. The team provide extremely good client service and we would not hesitate in recommending them.’

‘We have worked with David McClenaghan for many years which is testament to his abilities and level of understanding of what makes a successful residential development. David stands out from his peers for his experience, gained over many years in practice, together with his ability to remain calm in a storm.’

‘Historic relationship that have grown over time with both partners and senior associates that have time to provide expert advice in all property related matters.’

‘‘Good range of experience within the team.’

Key clients

Nike Retail B.V. and Converse Netherlands B.V

Dentex Healthcare Group Limited (and group companies)

Warrant Investments Plc (and group companies)

Air Products Group

Avicenna Retail Limited

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Silversea Cruises

London Irish Rugby Football Club

Charlton Athletic Football Company Limited

ATP Tour, Inc.

Silbury Specialty Finance Limited

Royal Horticultural Society

Bellway Homes Limited

Rushmon Limited

Berkeley Homes Limited

Barts Square First Limited (Helical)

Countryside Properties (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing advice to Air Products Group, a multibillion-dollar industrial gases giant, on its entire portfolio of property in England and Wales, including all key operational site leases and pipeline arrangements and various freehold and leasehold interests.
  • Advising London Irish Rugby Football Club on the complex title issues and property aspects of the funding arrangements from Sport England which is providing government backed financial support to the club to assist in mitigating the financial issues experienced following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acting on behalf of the Thames Valley Division of Bellway Homes in relation to the legal set-up and sale of private market homes on a new residential development in Taplow, known as Huntercombe Walk, which includes affordable housing, open space, landscaping and associated infrastructure works.

Real estate > Construction Tier 1

Counting international governments, major corporations, and contractors amongst its key clients, the Guilford-based Charles Russell Speechlys LLP construction team has in-depth expertise in advising on high-value engineering and construction contracts. The offering spans complex contentious matters, ranging from dispute avoidance to arbitration and litigation, with practice head David Savage bringing over 25 years’ experience in acting for employers, governments and consultants in cross-border construction disputes to the team. Chi Mount focuses on the construction aspects of property transactions and development financing.

Practice head(s):

David Savage

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They have demonstrated remarkable adaptability and appreciation for the specifics of our dispute.’

‘David Savage has a keen sense for dispute analysis, strategy, and solid legal acumen in both oral and written delivery. His service response has been impressive.’

‘A strong team with depth and considerable knowledge.’

‘Individuals are polite and professional, advice provided is considered and sound.’

Key clients

Maldives Airport Company Limited (a 100% Maldives Government owned company)

Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications, Government of Bahrain

Caring Homes Group

Eton College

Kate Bingham Interior Design

The Pirbright Institute

Marlborough College

Northvale Construction Limited

Church Commissioners for England

Bewley Homes Plc

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Maldives Airport Company on a three-year-term to provide contentious and non-contentious FIDIC-related construction law services in relation to the ongoing redevelopment project at Velena International Airport on Hulhulé Island in North Malé Atoll, Maldives.
  • Advising The Pirbright Institute on the redevelopment, procurement strategy generally, and drafting and negotiation of all construction documentation.
  • Handling contentious and non-contentious construction work on an ongoing basis for Aspire Luxury Properties, including acting for the client in recovering sums owed by a number of HNWIs.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 1

Demonstrating ‘a great energy and sense of cohesion’, the Charles Russell Speechlys LLP team is highly recommended for its handling of property litigation issues, particularly in relation to mortgage-based disputes, landlord and tenant claims, and property finance matters. The group represents clients ranging from banks to large multinational companies, with the ‘exceptional’ Guilford-based head David Haines noted for his vast expertise in property-related professional negligence claims and dilapidations. Richard Flenley, who was promoted to partner in May 2022, regularly assists with development-based disputes and property insolvency elements, while Peter Levaggi focuses on contentious property finance work. Natalie Deuchar boasts significant experience in dealing with leasehold enfranchisement matters. Joe Edwards typically acts for offshore property investment vehicles and specialist real estate lenders.

Practice head(s):

David Haines

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team at CRS has a great energy and sense of cohesion. They are all top lawyers, who gel into an impressive and efficient squad.’

‘They are efficient and meet deadlines, but they are also really fun to work with.’

‘David Haines is always able to separate the wheat from the chaff, knows a good point when he sees it, has a sound commercial head so knows when and where to spend money on a case, and when not to.’

‘Natalie Deuchar is a flying senior associate, punching well above her weight, being as happy with commercial matters as with complex leasehold enfranchisement claims.’

‘Richard Flenley is an impressive commercial property litigator who is ahead of the curve on Building Safety Act 2022 matters. Always thinks through the case properly at an early stage.’

‘Fee earners at all levels are impressive. The excellent quality of their trainees bodes well for the future of the firm.’

‘David Haines has been exceptional; provided a comprehensive budget for costs, managing costs within budget without exception and provided a consistently excellent cost-effective service. David makes himself available at short notice and was quick to identify/understand and was invested in achieving the client’s objectives.’

‘Attentive, friendly, astute, practical advice received from an experienced team where the objective is to ensure the client receives the most appropriate advice for the situation from the outset when dealing with litigation.’

Key clients

Nellsar Limited

NEC UK Limited

Air Products PLC

Warrant Investments PLC

The University of Surrey

The Trustees of the Meyrick Estate

Emmaus

The Save the Children Fund

wagamama Ltd

Citysprint (UK) Limited

Diocese of Guildford

Silversea Cruises (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Nellsar in a dispute with HMRC concerning stamp duty land tax and corporation tax in the context of acquisitions of care home properties and businesses by the client.
  • Representing NEC in a dilapidation claim prior to lease termination.
  • Representing the University of Surrey in High Court litigation concerning a campus hall of residence and relevant fire safety requirements.

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

Based in Cheltenham, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s corporate practice acts for an enviable roster of clients including those hailing from the aviation, renewables and technology sectors. The firm is well known for its strong offering in M&A, particularly pertaining to the Middle East and Africa. Practice head Richard Norton focuses on corporate finance and banking transactions, with banks, borrowers and international companies among his client base. Jonathan Morleydelivers complex legal advice in a clear manner’ and is particularly active within the private equity space. Legal director Edward Robinson has built a niche specialism in corporate transactions involving the sub-Saharan region.

Practice head(s):

Richard Norton

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Mayer; Jonathan Morley; Edward Robinson; Matthew Hobbs

Testimonials

‘Our engagement is with the corporate department for M&A transactions; in an economic environment where “costs matter”, the team delivers sound legal advice provided by ex-City partners.’

‘Jonathan Morley is a knowledgeable individual, who delivers complex legal advice in a clear manner, and whom makes himself available where in other circumstances one might be passed off to a non-partner. Edward Robinson also stands out in terms of corporate/M&A advice.’

Key clients

Trifast plc

Pennant International Group

A Tsokkos Public Limited

Gulf Air

Actis LLP and related Africa and emerging market funds

Argo Group

Bank of Cyprus

Battery Ventures

Robert Hitchins

Material Technologies Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of Sourcebreaker on its sale to Invenias (a subsidiary of Bullhorn Inc.)
  • Advised Battery Ventures on the sale of Forterro to Partners Group.
  • Advised the shareholders of Plumbworld on the sale of the Company to Highbourne Group.

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

Praised for its ‘meticulous attention to detail and desire to provide a first-class service’, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP houses a team of ‘master tacticians’ and stands out for its experience in contentious insurance disputes, shareholder litigation, product liability and recall cases, and financial services litigation. Manoj Vaghela leads the Cheltenham-based team and specialises in contentious insurance mandates, often involving a cross-border element, while ‘unflappable’ legal director Claudine Morgan handles contractual disputes, breach of fiduciary duties, shareholder litigation and breach of warranty issues. Commended as ‘indefatigable’, senior associate Ben Moore is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Manoj Vaghela

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Commerciality and willingness to get stuck in. Definitely one of the friendliest firms I’ve worked with.’

‘Manoj Vaghela is commercially astute, particularly in the field of pensions, and has a great sense of the commercial realities of a dispute.’

‘CRS is a smart, dynamic team. Great knowledge of the law, and master tacticians. I am always struck by their ability to work as an effective and efficient team, with clearly defined roles.’

‘Claudine Morgan is unflappable, spots the big picture quickly, responsive and extremely good at putting clients and everyone in the team at ease.’

‘The team stands above others due to their commercially focused approach.’

‘Ben Moore is indefatigable, able to get on top of masses of documents and detail, and calm and collected at all times.’

‘Meticulous attention to detail and their desire to provide a first-class service.’

Key clients

Greggs plc

Keith Smith

Tsokkos Hotels Public Limited

Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund Limited

Ian Stannard

Oxford Plastic Systems Limited

Trustees of the Harrowby’s Discretionary Will Trust

The Trustees of the Earl Bathurst 1963 Settlement

Riverstone Insurance/Argo Insurance

Zenium Technology Partners

Argo Insurance

QBE

Lord Wemyss

Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for Greggs in a claim issued in the High Court, winning a landmark ruling in Greggs’ battle over a £150m insurance claim triggered by the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Successfully obtained an Anti-Suit Injunction for the benefit of our clients, based in Ghana and Mauritius, restraining the defendant from pursuing its claims in respect of various alleged breaches of a shareholders’ agreement.

Employment > Employment: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a reputable employment team which is singled out by one client for its ‘wide range of skills and experience’. The firm’s global reach allows the team to provide employment law advice on a range of cross-border matters. The team advises its client roster, consisting of large commercial organisations and high-net-worth-individuals, on the full spectrum of employment issues. Legal director Sara Wilson leads the team and specialises in advising clients in the healthcare sector. Senior associate Syma Spanjers is noted for her expertise in dealing with complex tribunal claims.

Practice head(s):

Sara Wilson

Other key lawyers:

Syma Spanjers; Kelly Evans

Testimonials

‘They are exceptional in their service and their ability to swiftly understand the key areas, and then make intelligent, swift and commercial decisions.’

‘Sara Wilson is excellent. Sara inspires total confidence and has an ability to be totally professional whilst also maintaining a friendly touch. Whilst they are a multinational company, when dealing with Sara, she maintains the feel of a local/family company in terms of relationship building and injecting some humour here and there.’

‘You are provided with bespoke advice and direction with an understandable strategy to meet your end goal. Sara Wilson provided support through a difficult time, as well as giving the right advice.’

‘The diverse team has a wide range of skills and experience, and collaborate well to provide effective and pragmatic support whatever the problem.’

‘I have worked with Sara Wilson on a number of occasions involving complex negotiations when changing employers. She is knowledgeable, pragmatic and worked hard to bring potentially confrontational situations to a measured conclusion. Sara was always available at critical moments and provided wise counsel.’

‘The team is diverse and very client focused.’

‘Sara Wilson stands out. She is always available at short notice, provides good advice and is very clear in her written opinions. Sara is an asset to the firm.’

‘The support we receive was second to none. I have absolute confidence in the team and in particular the quality of the advice and timeliness is very good.’

Key clients

Plymouth Citizens Advice

Executive Jet Charter Limited

Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises

B&M Babbage & Co Limited

Sotheby’s

Neal’s Yard Remedies

Goodwin Proctor LLP

Just Group plc

Work highlights

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 1

Drawing praise for its ‘technical excellenceCharles Russell Speechlys LLP has a highly regarded agricultural practice, comprising a team who are capable of providing expert advice on a range of services, including property law and estate planning. The broad agriculture practice is noted for its work with large landed estates and high-net-worth individuals, as well as its work on cross-border matters. The practice is led by Henry Fea and Tristam Van Lawick. Other notable individuals include Christopher Page and Kate Eckley. The ‘excellent’ Katie Talbot is also recommended.  

Practice head(s):

Henry Fea; Tristram van Lawick

Testimonials

‘High-quality advice on landed estates both in terms of technical excellence and ability to communicate this in an understandable way.’

‘Katie Talbot is excellent; combines legal and tax knowledge to an exceptional standard.’

‘Experts in rural property and transactions. Focussed on getting the deal through and listen to clients needs and advise accordingly.’

‘Tristram Van Lawick is exceedingly knowledgeable and diligent.’

‘Kate Eckley has a refreshing approach – really listening to clients needs and advising accordingly.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a private family in the acquisition of a £20m landed estate.
  • Advised family members and trustees on a family dispute and buy-out options relating to a significant landed estate.
  • Advised family members and trustees on succession, restructuring and a family constitution following the death of the previous generation of custodians of a landed and urban estate.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

‘Professional, approachable, dependable, and knowledgeable’, the team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP works with a deep roster of clients on a wide spectrum of tax, trusts and succession matters, underpinned by a cross-disciplinary approach. Advising clients on both a national and international scale, the practice has been described as having ‘London quality with Cheltenham value for money’. Practice head Christopher Page - who has 35 years’ experience advising the owners of landed estates and agricultural businesses - is an expert in complex strategic and succession planning. Julia Cox continues to draw high praise for her 'outstanding technical advice', while Henry Fea is noted for his cross-border expertise.  

Practice head(s):

Christopher Page

Other key lawyers:

Henry Fea; Julia Cox; Katie Talbot; Tabitha Collett; Harman Bains; Mary Perham; Tom Denny

Testimonials

‘The quality of work and innovation for clients can be described as London quality with Cheltenham value for money. There is real depth in the team and a collegiate approach both within the firms departments and outside.’

‘Julia Cox is the go to private client lawyer in Cheltenham, and beyond. Julia has brought on an excellent team to support her and grow the business, about which she cares deeply. Julia also really cares about her clients and can empathise with their situations and is always available to find a solution and deliver with care and competence.’

‘Professional, approachable, dependable, and knowledgeable – the CRS personal trust team are a cut above the rest in my experience.’

‘Julia Cox continues to be extremely professional and runs a fantastic team, along with Henry Fea. In the last year, I have been particularly impressed by Tom Denny, who is extremely bright and easy to get on with.’

‘The combination of excellent technical knowledge and the ability to truly understand what a client is trying to achieve.’

‘Julia Cox delivers outstanding technical advice in a very warm and compassionate way that clients instantly feel comfortable with.’

Work highlights

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

Praised for its ‘uniquely personal approach’, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP assists a range of clients – from governments to developers – on the full gamut of commercial property issues. Real estate finance, residential investment, and real estate disputes are among the ‘responsive and experienced‘ team’s areas of expertise. Practice chair Ian Brothwood is singled out for his expertise in residential schemes, while lead real estate partner Naomi Nettleton is a key contact for clients from the hotel sector. Phil Webb handles strategic land matters for prominent landowners, while Charlotte Mee, who joined from Dentons in February 2022, has a broad practice that spans acquisitions, disposals, and corporate support work.

Practice head(s):

Ian Brothwood

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Clear, succinct and commercial advice.’

‘Reliable, responsive and experienced land and planning team, well versed in the current issues prevailing in residential development and house building.’

‘Ian Brothwood and Phil Webb are a great team to have on side when dealing with complex issues, and they make themselves available to deal with problems as they arise.’

‘The team provide full dedication to a transaction and are able to commercially close within tight timeframes.’

‘Engagement at partner level is very strong, and they are heavily involved in all aspects of the deals.’

‘The practice has a uniquely personal approach where they aim to understand not just the dry commercial objectives, but the motivations that drive the parties involved.’

‘Ian Brothwood and Phil Webb are both excellent. Easy to work with, friendly and approachable. Always looking for the best solution and offering solid intellectual debate of the issues, where required.’

Key clients

Topland Jupiter Limited

TLR1 (Allen House) (part of the Topland Group)

Yellow Pagoda Limited

Book Essay Limited

Trustees of the Third Baron Hesketh Settlement Trust

Rochester Diocesan Society and Board of Finance

Hollamby Estates Development Limited

Countryside Properties UK Limited

Church Commissioners for England

Manhattan Loft Gardens Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client, Topland Jupiter Limited on three real estate investment finance transactions with an aggregate value of £33,871,000.
  • Advised longstanding client Topland Group on the refinancing of the acquisition costs of Allen House in Kensington with a total value of £50m.
  • Acted on an option agreement to facilitate access to a development site for the Trustees of the Third Baron Hesketh Settlement Trust.

Corporate and commercial > Commercial contracts Tier 2

A ‘responsive, practical and thorough’ practice, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP continues to work for sector-leading clients on an array of commercial arrangements, demonstrating activity in the retail, telecommunications and tech, transport and financial services industries. Over the last twelve months the firm has been particularly concentrated on the sports sector, acting for both sporting organisations such as the ITF and British Swimming on sponsorship, influencer and IP matters, in addition to clients engaging with bodies within the sector, such as software technology entity Sage on its various deals with Six Nations Rugby, Major League Baseball and The Hundred. The department is spearheaded by three highly-experienced practitioners; Mark Bailey, who handles tech and infrastructure related matters, whilst possessing notable expertise in IT and data centre issues; Jason Saiban, who exercises a strong advertising, marketing and sponsorship offering, working closely with key clients such as Nike and Samaritans; and Megan Paul, whose focus is on supply chain management and distribution agreements. Senior associate Caroline Young, who has been a main driver behind the for the firm’s growing life sciences activity, continues to garner praise from clients for the ‘sterling support’ she provides to business operations, fielding a broad practice that covers multiple sectors.

Practice head(s):

Mark Bailey; Jason Saiban; Megan Paul

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Responsive to the client’s needs, practical and commercial approach to issues and challenges. Provide good technical advice.’

‘Very easy to work with. Responsive, practical and thorough.’

‘They truly operate as an extension of our in-house team, and they are so incredibly nimble.’

‘Caroline Young gives us sterling support. She goes above and beyond and nothing is too much trouble. She really takes problems and makes them go away.’

Key clients

Nike

Sage

Robert Kime Limited

British Swimming

Caffe Nero Group Limited

Bowers & Wilkins

Samaritans

International Tennis Federation

Brasserie Bar Co Ltd

The Royal Horticultural Society

Fika Community

Gulf Air

Marshmallow

Lowe Rental Group

wagamama

Perfect Moment

David Lloyd

Ascot Racecourse

Cote Brasserie

Work highlights

  • Advising Nike on all of their marketing work in the UK, including their marketing campaign around the Women’s Euros, updating Nike’s template “boot deal” used with numerous leading male and female footballers, and advising on their data privacy playbooks.
  • Advising British Swimming on commercial sponsorship matters, including advising on and negotiating a six year deal with global swimwear brand Speedo to provide swimwear and specialist equipment to all aquatic disciplines across both junior and senior teams for two Olympic cycles.
  • Providing a strategic review of Gulf Air’s contract templates across a range of supplier and customer-facing functions, which included a comprehensive review of existing templates as well as a complete restructure of contracting approach.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP excels in pursuing and defending a broad spectrum of cross-border fraud actions, including those with freezing orders, injunctions and search orders. The team, which caters to businesses, central banks, regulators, governments and professional advisers, is especially acclaimed for its work within the crypto, digital assets and technology sectors. Practice head Stewart Hey  and Charlotte Pender are both also accomplished within the banking space, meanwhile Caroline Greenwell is likewise noted for her retail, consumer and leisure know-how.

Practice head(s):

Stewart Hey

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Pender; Rhys Novak

Testimonials

‘A good team with strong experience in civil fraud and broader commercial litigation.’

‘Rhys Novak is excellent. He is very commercial and gets right to the heart of what the client cares about. Abigail Rushton is an associate who operates at a very high level – she is capable of running files by herself to great success.’

‘I really like working with the CRS team. On top of their undoubted technical abilities they bring a warmth and strong sense of enjoyment to the client-solicitor collaboration. They are also highly commercial.’

‘Stewart Hey, Charlotte Pender and Caroline Greenwell are the partners I have worked most closely with. They are all steely individuals when a firm approach is required; yet commercial and receptive when a non-contentious resolution is the more appropriate way forward. They all display the good characteristics I describe under the Team heading above.’

All absolutely superb, incredibly well-connected and are a real pleasure to deal with at all times. A very classy firm.’

Key clients

RSM

FRP Advisory

Central Bank of Bahrain

Gulf Air

Grant Thornton

Begbies Traynor

PwC

Credit Suisse

Ooredoo Q. s.c

Aldemore Bank plc

Guy Colegate, former employee of Shell

Ocorian Trust

Shaw Industries

Global Steel

Estate of Pouncey

Bilta (UK) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Retained by the Bilta (UK) Ltd group of companies and their appointed liquidators on the retrial of this landmark fraud case.
  • Defending the client, the co-founder of one of the first bespoke data centre businesses, who was the victim of a high profile and complex fraud perpetrated by twice-convicted fraudster Dr Gerald Smith and others.
  • Successfully acted for a former employee of a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, which, together with ENI, was alleged to have engaged in international bribery and corruption in respect of a 2011 settlement of various disputes concerning the rights to a deepwater oil block off the coast of Nigeria.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s 'well-established commercial litigation team' is widely respected for its expertise in fraud matters, in addition to its disputes experience in the technology, engineering, telecoms, sporting regulatory and financial services sectors. It also acts in claims involving the mining, energy, aviation, professional services and retail industries. Clients additionally benefit from the London group's leveraging of expertise of colleagues in Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Luxembourg, Dubai, Doha, Manama, Hong Kong and Singapore. Commercial dispute resolution head Charlotte Pender 'gets on top of the legal and factual issues rapidly'; Stewart Hey heads the fraud, asset recovery and investigations group; Rhys Novak has longstanding experience in commercial and corporate disputes; and Edward Craig is 'great with clients and gets results'. Caroline Greenwell's cases typically involve contract breaches and misrepresentations, civil fraud and asset tracing, and bribery and corruption allegations. Lucy Wicksteed and Abigail Rushton are experienced senior associates.

Practice head(s):

Charlotte Pender

Testimonials

‘A well-established commercial litigation team, which deals with a wide range of very good work for a range of clients.’

‘Charlotte Pender gets on top of the legal and factual issues rapidly and organises work streams, enabling the whole team to be fleet of foot in fast-paced commercial litigation.

‘Edward Craig – great with clients and gets results.’

‘Rhys Novak is excellent. A pleasure to work with and extremely competent.’

‘Rhys Novak is very engaged, very hands-on and very intelligent.’

‘A firm that really knows the market.’

‘Clients really like working with the CRS team. On top of its undoubted technical abilities, the lawyers bring a warmth and strong sense of enjoyment to the client-solicitor collaboration. They are also highly commercial.’

‘Stewart Hey, Charlotte Pender and Caroline Greenwell are all steely individuals when a firm approach is required, yet commercial and receptive when a non-contentious resolution is the more appropriate way forward.’

Key clients

Central Bank of Bahrain

Awal Bank BSC

RSM Restructuring & Advisory

FRP Advisory

Fica Frio

Charlton Athletic Football Club

Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club

EFG Private Bank

Bilta (UK)

Greggs

LK UK

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Guy Colegate in the (reportedly) largest corruption prosecution in Italian legal history, which concerned alleged grand-scale bribery in Nigeria.
  • Assisting a victim of a complex fraud with enforcement efforts, against the backdrop of a concerted campaign by the Award debtors to frustrate recovery.
  • Successfully acted for Greggs in a High Court claim over a £150m insurance claim triggered by the Covid-19 crisis.

Employment > Immigration Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is well-placed to serve major international clients through its large global network of partner firms and growing international presence, in addition to the strength of its cross-service offering. The team’s existing capabilities in China have been bolstered with the opening of a new office in Singapore, and the firm has established a track record in assisting US-based start-ups and HNW individuals operating in the Middle East. The firm’s wider corporate offering, including the corporate tax and private wealth teams, are well integrated with the immigration practice, providing a comprehensive service for relocating HNW individuals. Rose Carey heads the practice, applying her ‘in-depth technical and industry knowledge’ to her impressive Chinese HNW client base, and has cultivated close relationships with a number of US firms. Kelvin Tanner is noted for his specialism in inward investment for companies establishing a presence in the UK.

Practice head(s):

Rose Carey

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The immigration practice provides high level and comprehensive advice. All members of the practice are very responsive and take the time to understand the client’s specific needs.

Kelvin Tanner was always very thorough in assessing our needs and provided us with excellent legal advice. He was very responsive in regard to any query. His advice was comprehensive, and he kept us up to date on future legislative developments with potential impact on our case.’

CRS are very responsive, knowledgeable and proactive, with proven experience in handling all types of cases whether it’s simple or very complex. The team works with their various complementary departments, such as tax planning, to provide a comprehensive package to the client before they immigrate to the UK. The team also maintains a good relationship with the Home Office to keep abreast with their new and updated immigration rules and regulations, and to advise clients of any changes that may affect their visa status.

CRS have proven to be extremely knowledgeable in this area, with the ability to provide proactive advice where needed.

Kelvin Tanner provides a personal service on a commercial turnaround.’

Rose Carey is excellent and an outstanding leader, as she has the in-depth technical and industry knowledge and can react very quickly to the continually changing visa landscape and requirements.’

‘A very smart outfit which delivers brilliant service, rapidly and without compromise.’

‘Rose Carey is a legend. Organised, informed, influential and supremely well-connected.’

Key clients

Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

Entain

Brasserie Bar Co

Work highlights

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Spearheaded by Bart Peerless and Henry Fea, the nimble team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP primarily focuses on providing specialist tax and trust advice for intergenerational succession. It deals extensively with ultra-high-net-worth families and their businesses both in the UK and overseas. As well as advising on all aspects of strategic land purchases and sales, it excels in advising on issues relating to art collections and heritage properties. Another core area of expertise for the group is advising landed estates on a wide range of disputes, from high-value divorces to contentious property matters. Robert Blower specialises in all aspects of private client work and acts for many well-known estate owning families, advising on estate, tax and succession structuring issues. William Begley is also highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Bart Peerless; Henry Fea

Other key lawyers:

Robert Blower; William Begley; Terence Bennett

Testimonials

Excellent technical knowledge delivered with strong commercial awareness‘.

‘Very approachable and make themselves available when they obviously have other demands on their time. Bart Peerless is very practical and commercial. Terence Bennett is great at assimilating the facts of a case and providing relevant advice’.

Private client > Art and cultural property Tier 2

Suzanne Marriott heads up the art and luxury practice at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. Marriott is skilled at advising artists and collectors on structuring their art ownership for tax and succession purposes. Robert Blower is a known name for his tax and estate planning work on estates that contain significant art collections, while Stewart Hey is well regarded for his work on various high-value international disputes and investigations. Chris Haywood and Mark Hill are among the other highly-regarded members of the department. There have been some departures from the department – Rudy CapildeoTim Maxwell and Petra Warrington are now at Wedlake Bell.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Marriott

Testimonials

They are first class in my experience‘.

‘The taxation issues affecting art and cultural property are varied and complex. The CRS team are, in my experience, excellent in producing pragmatic solutions for clients. Each of the members of the practice are highly qualified, technically excellent, well grounded and diligent. Their stand-out quality is their enormous strength in depth’.

‘Robert Blower (huge experience, technically expert, charming and unostentatious) – consistently very high quality’.

‘Suzanne Marriott and Robert Blower are both extremely well known and highly respected in the Art and Cultural Property Law world. They are supported by an extensive team’.

‘Extremely knowledgeable, trustworthy and professional and very well respected in this area of the law’.

‘Robert Blower: extremely knowledgeable in heritage tax matters. Suzanne Marriott: excellent in all things she does’.

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

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a strong reputation for its work with various high-profile national and international charities, as well as with historic cultural institutions, ecclesiastical bodies and military charities. Led by Sarah Rowley, the practice covers the full range of legal requirements that charities may have from fundraising and data protection matters, to mergers and acquisitions; it also deftly handles a broad range of contentious matters. The group is well equipped to manage large-scale projects for charities, as well as being adept at establishing and managing charitable and individual foundations. The legacy management practice at the firm's Guildford office advises many UK charities on both contentious and non-contentious probate matters. Simon Weil is another key member of the department; he specialises in tax planning, trusts and philanthropy. Senior associate Liz Gifford joined the team from Barker Gotelee.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Rowley

Other key lawyers:

Simon Weil; Penelope Byatt; Liz Gifford

Testimonials

‘Having used multiple firms specialising in charity law, I have no hesitation in recommending Charles Russell Speechleys to any charity. They are efficient, hugely knowledgeable and very enjoyable to work with. I actively enjoy consulting them’.

‘Sarah Rowley is an exemplary partner: accessible, smart, quick and highly informed. Her advice is always clear, high quality and timely. The whole team are very impressive in their grasp of sector issues and ability to cut through to the key issues’.

‘Proactive, approachable and outstandingly professional. They put their clients first and they are so approachable – this latter point makes them almost unique’.

‘Approachable, friendly and personable but with a deep sense of trust in all that they do. Stand-out partner is Sarah Rowley who goes above and beyond every time’.

‘I work with Penelope Byatt who provides outstanding client service and has a deep knowledge of charity law’.

Key clients

Nike

Dementia UK

Westminster Abbey

City & Guilds of London Institute

Royal Air Force Museum

Marie Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust

The National Army Museum

National Museum of the Royal Navy

Samaritans

British Computer Society

Private client > Court of protection Tier 2

Suzanne Marriott and Sally Ashford co-head the department at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, which is an integral part of the wider private wealth practice. As a result, it regularly handles major multi-jurisdictional disputes, as well as cases with fraud and other issues relating to the management of large estates and global asset portfolios. Marriott is a member of the Solicitors for the Elderly and the STEP special interest group on mental capacity. Ashford is also a member of the STEP special interest group on mental capacity. Marriott often acts as a trustee, executor, deputy, attorney and charitable trustee for many well-known clients. Ashford concentrates on deputyship matters, and other issues such as statutory will applications. Ashford deals with complex capacity issues, in addition to acting as a professional deputy on welfare, property and financial affairs.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne Marriott; Sally Ashford

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Auld; Robyn Hack

Testimonials

‘This firm is highly experienced in this area. There are few individuals with more expertise in COP work than Suzanne Marriott’.

‘The team really know their way around the practice area. They have a lot of experience in the area and this allows them to act with great calmness and efficiency, with a strategic eye at all times’.

‘Suzanne Marriott is without peer in Court of Protection work. She is the first port of call both for HNW litigants seeking representation and parties seeking an independent professional deputy in such cases’.

Oliver Auld, having learnt from the likes of Suzanne Marriott, has already carved out his own reputation as a leading practitioner in this area.’

‘The Court of Protection practice at CRS LLP are a pleasure to work alongside. What makes this team unique is the huge depth of knowledge that they bring to each client’s matter, because the firm covers such a range of legal sectors’.

‘In addition to their excellent work for high net worth clients, their team has a truly impressive commitment to meaningful pro-bono work and it has been a pleasure to partner with them to deliver legal training to the charitable sector’.

‘Sally Ashford and her colleague Robyn Hack stand out for their dedication, enthusiasm and skilled approach to resolving the many tricky aspects of their vulnerable clients’ cases. They are a pleasure to work with – extremely organised and always pertinent’.

‘Sally Ashford’s approach not only demonstrates her skill and experience, but also her human nature. She goes “above and beyond”’.

Private client > Family: mediation Tier 2

At Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, Sarah Anticoni  is a ‘mediator of stellar calibre’. She continues to receive a steady flow of referrals from major law firms and counsel. She has a particular emphasis on mediating on complex financial claims upon divorce and on future arrangements for children for HNW clients. Anticoni has considerable experience of drafting nuptial agreements and is also a Fellow of the IAFL. In addition, she is recognised for her specialist knowledge of the recognition and dissolution of religious as well as civil marriages. James Freeman heads the department.

Practice head(s):

James Freeman

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Anticoni; Sarah Higgins

Testimonials

‘Charles Russell is known for its constructive approach to family law which makes the team ideally placed to offer mediation’.

‘The family team at charles russell are excellent and their expertise is superb’.

‘Sarah Anticoni is one of the best mediators in family law. Her wealth of experience enables her to be firm but fair, and to manage even the most challenging of separating couples’.

‘Sarah Anticoni stands out in the mediation world and is one of, if not, the top family mediator around. She oozes experience, gravitas and excellence so couples (and their lawyers) feel she is completely in command of the mediation’.

Sarah Anticoni is outstanding as a mediator. She is robust and kind in her approach and will go the extra mile to achieve the best outcome for her clients’.

Sarah Anticoni- THE mediator in London. Incredibly talented- bright, firm and an exceptional listener. Is able to get people to focus on the next chapter and be solution orientated’.

‘Sarah Anticoni is a superb mediator and one of the best in London. She has such a talent for getting through the most difficult cases and finding a way forward’.

‘Sarah Anticoni and Sarah Higgins’ decades of experience means a sensible clear and calm approach to the matters’.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 2

Working across the whole spectrum of property litigation, the ‘strong and well-resourced’ practice at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP features particular expertise in rights of light and leasehold enfranchisement matters. The team also contains experts in London Urban Estates and the telecoms sector, particularly the Electronic Communications Code. 'Outstanding lawyer' Emma Humphreys has a particular focus on break rights, insolvency matters and rent arrears. 'Superbly gifted practitioner' James Souter leads the firm’s enfranchisement group and has a notable specialism in development-related work. David Haines leads the team, splitting his time between London and Guildford.

Practice head(s):

David Haines

Other key lawyers:

Emma Humphreys; James Souter; Georgina Muskett; Lauren Fraser

Testimonials

‘A very strong and well-resourced team across different regions who work well collectively.’

‘James Souter is commercially savvy and on top of recent trends.’

‘Georgina Muskett is hardworking, diligent and extremely committed, with a keen eye for detail.’

‘Emma Humphreys makes the practice unique. She is an outstanding lawyer. The team is well organised with matters resourced effectively across the London and Cheltenham offices. Always well appraised of developments and trends within the market.’

‘Emma Humphreys is an outstanding lawyer. She is commercial in her approach, with an excellent understanding of our business and the issues we face.’

‘Georgina Muskett is extremely able. She single-handedly dragged a case that we were working on together back from oblivion – when our expert witness could no longer give evidence. Her management was very, very impressive, and we subsequently won the case. I could not speak more highly of her.’

‘Absolutely top expertise in rights to light. They combine hard work and imagination.’

‘James Souter knows more about rights to light than anyone – a superbly gifted practitioner with enormous flair and imagination.’

Key clients

Church Commissioners for England

Howard de Walden Estates Limited

Ballymore Group

Stonegate Pub Company Limited

abrdn

London & Cambridge Properties

Derwent London Plc

Eton College

Actis LLP

Pivotal Homes

Workspace Group

London Hotels Collection

RCL Cruises

Bellway Homes Ltd

Berkeley Group

Greenwich Millennium Village Ltd

Manhattan Loft Corporation

The Merchant Taylors’ Company

Hollybrook Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Ballymore on a variety of commercial lease and telecoms disputes and successfully recovering possession of a commercial unit from squatters.
  • Acting on behalf of the Church Commissioners in an unusual application to determine the apportionment of garden rates under an Estate Management Scheme.
  • Acting on behalf of the Church Commissioners to recover possession of a commercial unit after the dissolution of the tenant company and unlawful occupation by one of its former directors, including setting aside an injunction.

Real estate > Residential property Tier 2

William Marriot and Thomas Moran co-lead the department at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, which has a focus on complex and high-value transactions in prime central London. It regularly works with leading intermediaries and advises a wide range of clients from UHNW buyers and sellers, to developers, land agents and trustees. The group also has considerable international capabilities and works closely with its strong private wealth offering. Moran advises on many landlord and tenant matters and issues relating to leasehold enfranchisement. Marriott is skilled at handling all aspects of the acquisition and disposal of high-value property across England. Tristram van Lawick is known for his agricultural law expertise and runs the firm’s landed estate management team.

Practice head(s):

William Marriott; Thomas Moran

Other key lawyers:

Tristram van Lawick

Testimonials

‘The team are able to advise private clients on a wide range of specialisms, so that advice can be provided in a joined up and convenient format. The advice is always clearly communicated and relevant’.

‘Thomas Moran’s methodical, calm approach, focused on solving problems, rather than finding them, is refreshing and reassuring. He is always responsive, understanding the value of communication’.

‘Collaborative and take a sensible approach. When we see CRS on the other side we breathe a sigh of relief!’.

‘Tom Moran is so wise and always calm and great to deal with’.

‘The team are excellent. Knowledgeable, slick, reliable and very user-friendly. They can react to a situation very quickly and their advice is always top class’.

‘Tom Moran. He is an extremely wise lawyer and there is nothing that he hasn’t experienced. He can navigate a tricky situation with complete dexterity. He is also a great deal of fun to deal with – something that isn’t always the case!’.

 

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

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP acts for clients across the full IT supply chain, from data centre operators and cloud service providers to software providers and customers purchasing IT solutions. The firm is noted for its standout experience in IT disputes and insur-tech-related matters. Mark Bailey has particular specialism in regulated IT sector contracting and co-heads the team alongside transactional lawyer Mark Howard. Jason Saiban assists clients with supply and procurement agreements, while Megan Paul focuses on large-scale commercial agreements, including outsourcing transactions. Caroline Young, who advises on a broad range of technology and procurement contracts, is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Mark Bailey; Mark Howard

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Responsive to the client’s needs, practical and commercial approach to issues and challenges. Provide good technical advice.’

‘Megan Paul is through and technically good.

‘They truly operate as an extension of our in-house team. They are incredibly nimble and know our requirements so well.’

‘Caroline Young gives us sterling support. She is always available and responsive. Nothing is too much trouble. She takes problems and makes them go away.’

‘Good understanding of our risk appetite, operate as an extension of our team rather than an arms length organisation providing theoretical advice. The advice is always adapted to the context that we operate in.’

‘Caroline Young is a particularly strong member of this team. She is pragmatic and clear when advising clients and tailors her legal advice to the operational or commercial context.’

Key clients

Nike (Nike European Operations Netherlands BV)

Fika Community Limited

Content+Cloud

Oncam Global Limited

Marshmallow

Juriba Limited

Battery Ventures

Zenzero

REaD Group Limited

Conferma Limited

Acora

Work highlights

  • Acting as the key legal advisers for Marshmallow, disruptor of the insurance market and unicorn as of July 2022 when they were valued at over $1.25bn; supporting across a range of practice groups.
  • Advising Content+Cloud on the acquisition of Microsoft Dynamics specialist, Azzure IT.
  • Advising Juriba, provider of workplace management automation software designed to revolutionize the management of continuous or one-off enterprise IT transformation streams, on multiple deals across Europe and North America.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media: Advertising & marketing Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a strong track record of work on advertising, marketing, sponsorship and other commercial matters, with a notable focus on the sports sector, advising clients such as Nike, Ascot Racecourse and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford. The firm's most prominent names in this line of work include commercial contracts specialists Jason Saiban and Richard Davies, and Nick White, who offers IP expertise.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Richard Davies; Nick White; Caroline Swain; Rachel Bell

Key clients

Nike

Sage

International Tennis Federation

Bowers & Wilkins

Marcus Rashford

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Ascot Racecourse

The majority shareholders of In Touch Games Limited

Fika Community Limited

ATP Tour Inc.

Channel 4

Work highlights

  • Advising Nike across the full range of practice areas including digital transformation project, technology contracts, sponsorship, sports marketing, advertising, e-commerce, regulatory, privacy and data protection, litigation, employment and real estate.
  • Advising Sage, a global leader in software technology, on sponsorship deals for Six Nations Rugby, Major League Baseball and The Hundred. CRS advised Sage on a series of high-profile sports sponsorship deals, which included innovative technical aspects to the partnerships.
  • Settling more than 30 phone hacking claims against MGN Limited (now Reach PLC – The Mirror, The Sunday Mirror and The People) for unlawful gathering of private and confidential information through phone hacking; and working on a substantial number of claims in the current tranche of the Mirror Newspaper Hacking Litigation.

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

Headed up by Jason Saiban, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s sports, retail and technology group and is a key contact for both sponsors and sports entities. Key engagements for the team see them working with major multinational apparel companies and national governing bodies on sponsorship, marketing and advertising matters. Nic Couchman – who heads up the sport department – advises high-profile athletes on commercial, brand, and image rights matters. Edward Craig is the first port of call for equine matters, advising governing bodies in horseracing on contentious and non-contentious matters. Nick White advises clients on NFTs, ambush marketing issues, the assignment and transfer of trade marks and supports on sponsorship deals in tennis. Richard Davies and Danielle Sharkey support the team on a range of sponsorship, media rights and marketing instructions. Sharkey, in particular, leverages her experience of working as a legal and compliance adviser at the British Horseracing Authority.

Practice head(s):

Jason Saiban; Nic Couchman

Testimonials

‘The team are very much experts in their field. They understand the needs of the client and ensure the wider organisational matters are considered. CRS meet deadlines and work well with the in-house team, ensuring that others learn and are not side-lined during the process.’

‘Danielle Sharkey remains our go-to lawyer when we need external advice. She is incredibly knowledgeable, diligent and produces work which is exactly what is asked for, in a way that can be quickly and easily applied in the industry. She makes herself available when we need assistance and anticipates problems.’

‘Edward Craig is an exceptional leader of the dispute resolution team. He is approachable, knowledgeable and delivers work which is exactly what the client requires. As an organisation, we cannot recommend him enough.’

‘Responsive, pragmatic and knowledgeable. Burgeoning sports practice with experience across a range of disciplines.’

Key clients

Nike

The International Tennis Federation

International Cricket Council

Marcus Rashford

Ascot Racecourse

ATP

Sage

British Swimming

Premiership Rugby

British Horseracing Authority

Work highlights

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s Guildford-based debt recovery department runs out of the firm's commercial dispute resolution team, and handles contested, complex and international debt work for its commercial and financial clients. The department is headed up by experienced commercial litigator Jamie Cartwright, whose expertise includes debts arising out of issues relating to the supply of goods and services, as well as technology disputes. Katie Bewick advises clients from the retail, food, financial services and healthcare sectors on complex debt issues.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Cartwright

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Eighty One UK Limited

Fiat Chrysler and Jeep

Jackson Lift Services Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Fiat Chrysler for over 20 years on contested debt claims, including recent success in the county court with in-house representation advocacy and early-strike out application.
  • Advising for Acushnet on its range of brands, such as Titleist, on supplier debt, including retention of title issues.
  • Acting for an international drinks brand in contested debt claims under supply and sponsorship contracts.

Employment > Health and safety Tier 2

The Guildford-based regulatory crime team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is often engaged in advisory work and is well-equipped to advise clients under investigation for health and safety offences. Rachel Warren leads the team and her client roster feature significant names operating in the construction, restaurant, and luxury retail sectors. She is also often engaged in assessing health and safety issues in the context of corporate transactions. Charlotte Healy is particularly proficient in commercial disputes, in addition to product liability issues, allergens, food labelling, and food safety.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Warren

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Healy

Testimonials

‘The team has a tremendous relationships with their clients.’

‘Rachel Warren has great judgment and acuity.’

‘The team works well together. Whatever the seniority, the service is always first class with the client central to all they do.’

Work highlights

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 2

With expertise in pension disputes, tax and trust matters, the Guildford-based practice Charles Russell Speechlys LLP assists both individuals and company claimants. Stephen Burns is particularly active in matters pertaining to the financial services, healthcare, as well as technology and telecoms sectors. Duncan Elson is knowledgeable of negligence claims against solicitors, while David Savage has over two decades of experience in claims against construction professionals.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Burns; David Savage; Duncan Elson

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Keeley

Work highlights

  • Advised the trustees of a significant family settlement in relation to a professional negligence claim against a leading clearing bank.
  • Advised a client on a large pension negligence claim including the rectification of the pension scheme terms and issues of equalisation of normal retirement age.
  • Advised a property developer in relation to professional negligence claims against consultants and surveyors arising out of a construction project.

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

A strong choice for various schools, educational charities, military charities, and religious organisations, the team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP draws on the expertise of multiple departments within the firm – including the property, construction, employment, corporate and banking teams – to bolster its wide-ranging charity law practice. The team is jointly led by Christopher Page, Julia Cox and Ian Brothwood. The ‘organised, diligent, and extremely bright’ Penelope Byatt is noted for her experience of handling constitutional and governance matters for charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Page; Julia Cox; Ian Brothwood

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Charles Russell Speechlys have acted for us in several different situations. They have a diverse team that offer individual specific services. All our dealings have been quick and smooth with constant support throughout.’

‘Penelope Byatt has been super helpful, very knowledgeable and incredibly efficient when we have been dealing with charitable law, the Charity Commission and Companies House.’

‘Whenever we have dealt with at Charles Russell Speechlys over the years, they have always been super efficient, ready to help, and quick to advise and respond to emails and queries. I have been very impressed with all our contact with them. They are all very professional.’

‘Penny Byatt is exceptional. She is organised, diligent, extremely bright, and has the law at her fingertips.’

Work highlights

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

The ‘very experienced‘ team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, which is noted for its specialist expertise in the technology and hydrocarbon sectors, acting on behalf of companies, advisors and AIM NOMADs on a full range of matters. Takeovers are a key strength for the practice, which is also well versed in M&A, share offerings, company reorganisations, financings, venture capital, private equity and joint ventures. Practice head Andrew Collins – ‘careful, thorough and wise‘ – is a highly experienced adviser whose wide-ranging capabilities span the full gamut of ECM work. Collins is regularly supported by fellow key contact Paul Arathoon, who frequently handles corporate finance work for public companies.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Collins

Other key lawyers:

Paul Arathoon; Mark Howard

Testimonials

‘Personable, pragmatic and commercially astute. Very experienced team.’

‘Careful, professional people with the judgement and depth of experience to deliver good commercial advice.’

‘Andrew Collins. A good listener, careful, thorough and wise.’

‘Mark Howard provides practical corporate advice.’

‘Paul Arathoon’s responsiveness and availability are excellent.’

Key clients

Shore Capital

Transense Technologies plc

Cakebox plc

Tamesis Partners LLP

Ashanti Capital Pty Ltd

Shard Capital Partners LLP

Caretech Holdings plc

Circle Property Plc

Prime People Plc

Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited

Prospex Oil and Gas plc

Work highlights

  • Advised the independent board of Caretech Holdings PLC in its take private sale to a management-led bidding vehicle, Amalfi Bidco Limited, for £870.3 million.
  • Advised Shore Capital (Robert Finlay/David Coaten), as nominated adviser, broker and bookrunner on a £14m fundraising for AIM-listed Helios Underwriting Plc, through a placing, direct subscription and open offer.
  • Advising AIM-listed property investing company Circle Property Plc, on the disposal by Circle Property Unit of Kents Hill Park Conference Centre to LXI Property Holdings 4 Limited for £34.5m in cash.

Dispute resolution > Professional discipline Tier 3

Employment > Senior executives Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles a range of mandates for senior executives, with particular expertise in advisory work. The team also handles contentious exits and unfair dismissals, and acts in Employment Tribunal claims. Team head Nick Hurley is well versed in a breadth of discrimination, victimisation and whistleblowing claims. Michael Powner‘s workload spans the full range of employment-related issues, including disciplinary proceedings and harassment claims. Another key member of the team is Trevor Bettany.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hurley

Other key lawyers:

Michael Powner; Anne-Marie Balfour; Trevor Bettany; Nick Hawkins

Testimonials

‘The practice is very focused upon obtaining justice for ex-employees and is sympathetic to the pressures faced by individuals when facing multinational firms in employment disputes.’

‘Nick Hurley has a pragmatic and practical approach, which combined with his extensive experience makes him a very good judge of the best course of action to take.’

‘I was very impressed by their flexibility.’

‘I have worked with Nick Hawkins, who was brilliant. He’s the ideal senior associate and no doubt one to watch for the future. He’s got a really strong legal understanding, excellent manner with clients, and is acutely aware of the particular sensitivities of senior executive work.’

Industry focus > Emerging markets Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is 'capable of managing matters across multiple jurisdictions in a professional and user-friendly manner with great respect to time and realistic approach to time required for fulfilment'. The firm is active in key emerging markets across Africa, India, Latin America and elsewhere, and its work encompasses corporate transactions, capital markets issuance, restructuring, and litigation in sectors ranging from financial services to infrastructure and telecommunications. Africa lead partner Adrian Mayer is known for 'a client-focused approach, ensuring tailored solutions to complex challenges'. He acted for Ascent Rift Vallely Fund II in the final close of the fund in late 2022 with $128m. Caribbean lead partner Hamish Perry assisted majority shareholders of In Touch Games Limited on its sale to  Skywind Holdings Limited. India lead partner Rupa Lakha is highly experienced in construction disputes and principal Latin America partner Robert Reymond advises financial institutions and high-net-worth families on international wealth structuring.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Mayer; Hamish Perry; Rupa Lakha; Robert Reymond

Other key lawyers:

John Almeida; Shane Thompson

Testimonials

‘The CRS Caribbean practice is of the highest standing and in many ways unique. The team that is led by John Almeida acts for Governments and has, among London law firms, an unparalleled Privy Council practice. This has led to involvement in some of the most important Commonwealth cases.’

‘John Almeida enjoys incredible respect in the region, and not least among key Government officials.’

‘Charles Russell Speechlys is capable of managing matters across multiple jurisdictions in a professional and user-friendly manner with great respect to time and realistic approach to time required for fulfilment.’

‘Friendly and very helpful. Quality of service with realistic approach to the local environment.’

‘A very decent choice for competent, effective representation in corporate and commercial including private equity and real estate, under Adrian Mayer, and disputes matters with a well-established emerging markets track record and extensive expertise. CRS excels in various legal areas, including corporate, commercial, real estate, and dispute resolution. Their team of skilled lawyers exhibits a client-focused approach, ensuring tailored solutions to complex challenges.’

‘Adrian Mayer is an experienced and clever corporate lawyer who stands out due to his versatile expertise, client-centric approach, creative and pragmatic problem-solving skills and familiarity with cross-border aspects of doing business in Nigeria, He is pragmatic and great fun to work with, transparent in his communication, and ethics. A greatly competent, effective and impressive lawyer and a pleasure to partner with to advise clients on Nigeria and Africa facing cross-border deal.’

‘No matter how large or small the ticket price is, Adrian Mayer is always just a call away, willing to dedicate his time to resolving any issue. Client management is excellent – the team do a great job of it and also help the client manage other advisors across various countries.’

‘Adrian Mayer – great knowledge of the subject area, very hands on in managing the matter while at the same time allowing his team take enough responsibility to demonstrate their own competence, he keeps in touch, keeps the relationship warm, very responsive and flexible on pricing, committed to cross-border work in Africa, no airs about him. He is a great guy!’

Key clients

African Development Bank (Cote D’Ivoire)

Fidelity China Special Situations (China)

Nimble Ways (Morocco)

Maldives Airport Company Limited / Government of the Maldives (Maldives)

Airtel (India)

Actis LLP (Emerging Markets)

AgDevCo (Africa)

Ascent Capital (Africa)

Daystar Power (Africa)

Metier Capital (Afria)

M-Kopa Solar (Africa)

Central Bank of Bahrain (Bahrain)

Work highlights

  • Advised Daystar Power Group, a leading provider of hybrid solar power solutions to businesses in West Africa, on its recent acquisition by Shell.
  • Advised longstanding client AgDevCo, a specialist impact investor in African agribusinesses, on its recent participation in a $14 million funding round in Flow Equity.
  • Advised a former employee of a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, which, together with ENI, was alleged to have engaged in international bribery and corruption in respect of a 2011 settlement of various disputes concerning the rights to a deepwater oil block off the coast of Nigeria. The disputes involved the Federal Government of Nigeria and Malabu, a Nigerian oil and gas company, associated with Dan Etete (a convicted money launderer and former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum).

Industry focus > Retail and consumer Tier 3

With strength in advertising, marketing, and brand protection work, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s retail, consumer, and consumer tech group acts for food and beverage sector clients, sports retailers, and luxury brands. Jason Saiban takes point on commercial contracting matters, including digital transformation projects, sponsorships, and logistics mandates. Contentious and regulatory matters are handled by Edward Craig, while Michael Powner is recommended for his employment expertise. Saiban, Craig and Powner jointly lead the team. Intellectual property specialist Mary Bagnall is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Jason Saiban; Michael Powner; Edward Craig

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Nike

Perfect Moment

Robert Kime

Freddie’s Flowers Ltd

Cadbury

Wagamama (part of TRG)

Urban Outfitters

Bowers & Wilkins

Caffe Nero Group Limited

Côte Brasserie

Farfetch

Work highlights

  • Handling sponsorship, sports marketing, advertising, e-commerce, regulatory, privacy and data protection, litigation, employment, and real estate issues on behalf of Nike.
  • Advising Bowers & Wilkins on several brand collaborations, partnerships and sponsorship deals, including a brand collaboration for 007 James Bond intellectual property, featuring the launch of 007-branded headphones, licensing of the Bond theme music and an event at Abbey Road Studios featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Successfully registered Cadbury’s colour purple (defined by Pantone 2685C) as a trade mark without contours and with no description defining its use.

Investment fund formation and management > Listed funds Tier 3

The ‘personable, pragmatic and commercially astute’ team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP acts for the full range of fund managers, from boutiques to major international managers, advising on the structuring and establishment of investment vehicles. The practice group also provides advice on regulatory matters, including packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs) and the new consumer duty regulations, as well as tax issues. Following David Hicks‘ move to Simmons & Simmons in January 2023, listings specialist Andrew Collins has stepped into a leadership role alongside Victoria Younghusband, whose practice encompasses the full lifecycle of listed open- and closed-ended funds. Charlie Ring assists fund managers with corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Younghusband; Andrew Collins

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Personable, pragmatic and commercially astute.’

‘Very experienced team.’

‘Victoria Younghusband is very commercially aware and has longstanding experience in respect of dealing with cross-border issues and listings/capital markets.’

‘Victoria Younghusband possesses extensive expertise in UK listed closed-ended funds and remains up-to-date with emerging issues.’

‘Victoria Younghusband consistently meets our needs in a timely and thorough manner.’

Key clients

The Biotech Growth Trust

Shore Capital

VinaCapital Investment Management Limited

India Capital Growth Fund

Circle Property plc

Duke Royalty

Chelverton Growth Trust

Chelverton UK Dividend Trust

Fidelity China Special Situations

Work highlights

  • Advised Shore Capital, as nominated adviser, broker and bookrunner on a £14m fundraising for AIM-listed investing company, Helios Underwriting Plc, through a placing, direct subscription and open offer.
  • Advised AIM-listed property investing company Circle Property Plc, on its disposal of Kents Hill Park Conference Centre to LXI Property Holdings 4 Limited for £34.5m in cash.
  • Advised Circle Property plc on methods of returning capital to shareholders, including the choice between a tender offer and the creation of redeemable B Shares.

Real estate > Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 3

Housing a robust life sciences practice, the ‘highly competent’ team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is knowledgeable of joint ventures and partnership arrangements. Lee Medlock leads the real estate team and Sarah Morley often caters to headquarter moves, in addition to the rationalisation of space. Mark White is a key port of call for investors in the leisure and social care sectors and Sarah Keens' practice encompasses commercial property transactions, in addition to development projects. Robin Grove, Suzi Gatward and Alexander Gold are knowledgeable of regeneration projects, and Louise Ward is experienced in advising new market entrants into the property market, with a particular focus on the life sciences sector. Eddie Richards is adept in property finance transactions, while Cara Imbrailo is active in the life sciences, office, and retail sectors. Lynsey Inglis handles a breadth of landlord and tenant matters, and Usman Khan is routinely sought out by charity and not for profit clients.

Practice head(s):

Lee Medlock

Testimonials

‘The CRS commercial property team are highly competent, quick to respond and personable.’

Key clients

Derwent Valley London Limited

BioMed Realty

IQHQ

David Lloyd

Bellway Homes Limited and Redrow Homes Limited

Stonegate Pub Company Limited

EQT Exeter

Derwent Valley Central Limited

Bellis Acquisition Company 3 Limited

Topland Olympus Limited

Crab Hill Developments

Hello Fresh

Freddies Flowers

TDR Capital

Derwent Valley London Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted US law firm Perkins Coie in advising Workday on taking new office space in Finsbury Avenue.
  • Advised David Lloyd Leisure on the acquisition of a new club in Cricklewood, London.
  • Advised WRM Capinvest Ltd on the 15-year lease of a whole Grade II listed office building at 51 Berkeley Square.

Real estate > Commercial property: development Tier 3

Housing a robust life sciences practice, the ‘highly competent’ team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is knowledgeable of joint ventures and partnership arrangements. Lee Medlock leads the real estate team and Sarah Morley often caters to headquarter moves, in addition to the rationalisation of space. Mark White is a key port of call for investors in the leisure and social care sectors and Sarah Keens' practice encompasses commercial property transactions, in addition to development projects. Robin Grove, Suzi Gatward and Alexander Gold are knowledgeable of regeneration projects, and Louise Ward is experienced in advising new market entrants into the property market, with a particular focus on the life sciences sector. Eddie Richards is adept in property finance transactions, while Cara Imbrailo is active in the life sciences, office, and retail sectors. Lynsey Inglis handles a breadth of landlord and tenant matters, and Usman Khan is routinely sought out by charity and not for profit clients.

Practice head(s):

Lee Medlock

Testimonials

‘Knowledge delivered clearly and with understanding of the client’s business.’

‘Personable and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Derwent Valley London Limited

BioMed Realty

IQHQ

David Lloyd

Bellway Homes Limited and Redrow Homes Limited

Stonegate Pub Company Limited

EQT Exeter

Derwent Valley Central Limited

Bellis Acquisition Company 3 Limited

Topland Olympus Limited

Crab Hill Developments

Hello Fresh

Freddies Flowers

TDR Capital

Derwent Valley London Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Bellway Homes Limited on the acquisition of a development parcel at their flagship scheme at Barking Riverside in East London.
  • Advised Helical on the sale of their long leasehold and freehold interests in a residential development of luxury apartments near Smithfield Market.
  • Advised Biomed Realty on a joint venture agreement with Babraham Research Campus Limited for the development of a 40,000 sq ft purpose-built life sciences building.

Real estate > Commercial property: investment Tier 3

Housing a robust life sciences practice, the ‘highly competent’ team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is knowledgeable of joint ventures and partnership arrangements. Lee Medlock leads the real estate team and Sarah Morley often caters to headquarter moves, in addition to the rationalisation of space. Mark White is a key port of call for investors in the leisure and social care sectors and Sarah Keens' practice encompasses commercial property transactions, in addition to development projects. Robin Grove, Suzi Gatward and Alexander Gold are knowledgeable of regeneration projects, and Louise Ward is experienced in advising new market entrants into the property market, with a particular focus on the life sciences sector. Eddie Richards is adept in property finance transactions, while Cara Imbrailo is active in the life sciences, office, and retail sectors. Lynsey Inglis handles a breadth of landlord and tenant matters, and Usman Khan is routinely sought out by charity and not for profit clients.

Practice head(s):

Lee Medlock

Testimonials

‘The team are responsive and commercial.’

‘Very dedicated to the client.’

 

Key clients

Derwent London Limited

BioMed Realty, L.P

IQHQ, L.P

David Lloyd Leisure

Bellway Homes Limited and Redrow Homes Limited

Stonegate Pub Company Limited

EQT Exeter

Asda Stores

Topland Olympus Limited

Crab Hill Developments

Hello Fresh

Freddies Flowers

TDR Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised BioMed Realty on the JV agreement, Agreement for Lease and Lease at 960 Babraham Research Campus.
  • Advised Asda Stores Limited on the real estate elements of its landmark acquisition of the Co-operative Group’s petrol station business.
  • Advised EQT Exeter on the letting of a large distribution unit in Bridgwater to EDF to assist them in facilitating their Hinkley Point nuclear site.

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides a comprehensive range of services for large-scale construction and engineering projects, including procurement, transactional, project advisory services, and disputes advice, both in the UK and internationally. The team is led by Steven Carey, who offers dispute resolution advice to a wide range of stakeholders, from employers to suppliers. Fiona Edmond offers specialised advice to central London commercial developers on a multitude of construction projects and property transactions. Rupa Lakha focuses on dispute avoidance and resolution, and acts for those at all stages of the supply chain. Michael O’Connor’s expertise spans a diverse range of contentious matters, and he is at the forefront of handling fire-safety-related issues arising from the Building Safety Act.

Practice head(s):

Steven Carey

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Edmond; Kevin Forsyth; Rupa Lakha; Michael O’Connor; Christopher Hadnutt

Testimonials

‘The firm is big enough to have people with good knowledge in a lot of areas and use their team to good effect, while maintaining personal contact.’

‘The staff are open and friendly. They listen and take notice of what is said but are not afraid to push back at the client where they think it is right to do so.’

‘Kevin Forsyth, through high understanding of the issues at hand, brought comfort to senior management with clear education and a willingness to listen.’

‘Their knowledge of construction law is excellent.’

‘They always respond promptly, quickly understand our products and applications and sort through large amounts of historic project detail. Discussion and explanation of potential strategies are also very useful.’

‘The have in-depth knowledge of construction law. The experience of the team is very broad and this is extremely useful in resolving disputes.’

‘Steven Carey is exceptionally knowledgeable in construction law and able to give commercially sound advice based on the breath of his knowledge and experience. Christopher Hadnutt, likewise, is quick on his feet and able to assimilate large complicated issues in a very short amount of time. His advice and solutions are pragmatic and cost-saving to the client.’

 

Key clients

Atkins Limited

United Living Group

London Array Wind Farm

Dover Harbour Board

Permasteelisa (UK) Limited

Higgins Partnerships 1961 PLC

Work highlights

  • Advising Atkins Limited on a multi-party High Court litigation case relating to the construction of the £150M (450,000ft2) Milburngate mixed use scheme in Durham.
  • Represented Hapimag Management UK in High Court proceedings against Tilbury Douglas Construction and Euler Hermes SA.
  • Represented United Living (South) Ltd in High Court proceedings against Hawkins Brown Ltd, Stanmore Contractors Ltd and NHBC Building Control Services.

Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP offers an extensive range of services for major construction and engineering projects, both domestically and internationally, covering procurement, transactional work, and dispute resolution. The construction group is spearheaded by Steven Carey and features specialists like Fiona Edmond, who advises central London commercial developers on a multitude of construction projects and property transactions. Senior counsel Duncan Salmon lends his expertise to the regeneration and development sectors, advising on substantial UK projects.

Practice head(s):

Steven Carey

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Edmond; Duncan Salmon; James Worthington

Key clients

Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd

Bellway Homes Limited

Hill Residential Limited

BioMed Realty L.P.

Derwent London Plc

Howard de Walden Estates

Work highlights

  • Advising Derwent London Plc on all of their construction work across their entire portfolio, including their newest major scheme, 25 Baker Street, which comprises 298,000 sq. ft, and started on site in February 2022.
  • Advised BioMed Realty L.P. in relation to all of their UK developments across their extensive portfolio of multi let science park developments, including extensive construction input on multiple agreements for lease and preparing and negotiating construction documents for incoming tenants.
  • Acted for Bellway Homes Limited (Bellway Partnerships) in the negotiation of a complex development agreement for the regeneration of Avenue Road Estate in Leytonstone with the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Real estate > Planning Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's planning team covers a full range of planning matters, including contentious matters, and the firm has a successful track record in planning appeals. The group is involved in fast-growing areas within the sector, including hydrogen projects, as well as experience in more niche areas of planning, such as projects in the minerals and engineering sectors. Claire Fallows heads the team, with experience in significant London regeneration schemes and strategic land projects for landowners and developers.

Practice head(s):

Claire Fallows

Other key lawyers:

Rachael Davidson; Sophie Willis

Testimonials

‘The team at CRS works like clockwork. Everyone is on the same page and their commitment is always 100%.’

‘Their understanding of the matter is clear. Compared to other firms, CRS stand out beyond others.’

‘My main contact is one of the best, if not the best. Claire Fallows’ service level is outstanding.’

‘The distinguishing characteristic of the team is their understanding of the client and the knowledge of the subject. Town planning is always moving, and Claire Fallow is always sharp on these matters.’

‘Very strong planning and compulsory purchase practice, led by Claire Fallows, with a strong supporting team. Experience and strong judgement in terms of strategy and good outcomes. Pragmatic and practical in its outlook.’

‘Claire Fallows has extremely good judgement and is not afraid to take difficult calls on the basis of her knowledge and experience. She doesn’t just execute (although she does that very well); she contributes invaluable opinion and recommendation. She is supported by a very capable team, in particular Sophie Willis.’

‘The planning practice team at CRS is highly professional and works at a very efficient level providing valued professional advice.’

‘The planning practice team works to make its client queries its priority and ensures that we feel we are a much-valued client with every query we send their way. Claire Fallows works very hard to lead her team on a professional level providing an outstanding level of service.’

Key clients

The Church Commissioners for England

Greenwich Millennium Village Limited

Air Products Limited

Bellway Homes Limited

Higgins Homes plc

Countryside Properties

Biomed Realty

Eton College

David Lloyd Leisure Limited

MCA Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the Church Commissioners for England on a number of major residential-led and mixed-use developments across its strategic land portfolio.
  • Acted for Air Products on a major hydrogen project and the associated application for a development consent order.
  • Assisting Biomed Realty with a successful appeal for a new life sciences development in Cambridge.

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

The ‘well-resourced’ and ‘nimble’ team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP maintains a strong practice in brand protection, IP-related transactions and dispute resolution, with the capability to advise on strategy, rebrands and various trade mark and design portfolios. Practice head Mary Bagnall’s wealth of experience in advising a multitude of clients on the protection and enforcement of soft IP rights means she is invaluable to clients in the courtroom. Nick White is notably active in the leisure, fashion and food and beverage industries, while Charlotte Duly handles global re-branding projects and various contentious matters for clients. Other names to note include senior associates Caroline Young and Olivia Gray, as well as associate Peter Byrd.

Practice head(s):

Mary Bagnall

Testimonials

‘Nick White and Charlotte Duly are responsive and helpful. They add value in the advice they provide and are top-notch communicators.’

‘The Charles Russell Speechlys LLP IP team in the UK is well-resourced, nimble, provides timely and insightful advice, and is very practical in assisting clients with responding to IP infringement claims.’

‘Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has an international reach, but mid-tier rates, which we appreciate.’

‘They have provided our company with responsive and exceptional IP representation in the UK.’

Key clients

Actis

Essity Hygiene and Health (formerly SCA)

Cadbury

Moore Global (network of accountants) – Formerly Moore Stephens

Hachette

Wahaca

Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprungli AG

Samaritans

Rapha Racing

Gulf Air

wagamama

Australian Manuka Honey Association

World Rowing

Honest Burgers

Itsu [grocery]

Howard de Walden Estates

Immodulon Therapeutics Limited

Emergex Vaccines Holdings Limited

Rentschler Biopharma

FIFA

International Tennis Federation

Freddy’s Flowers

Aldo

V&H Limited

M Group

Dementia UK

Work highlights

  • Successfully opposed a UK certification mark for MANUKA HONEY by Manuka Honey Appellation Society.
  • Successfully registering Cadbury’s colour purple as a trade mark without contours and with no description defining its use in a landmark decision which will impact on the registration of single colours in the UK and the way the IPO must now deal with them.
  • Continuous management and protection of the global IP portfolio for Wagamama.

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

Experienced in both claimant and defendant work, the reputation management team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles defamation and libel matters for a range of prominent HNWIs in the UK and internationally. In addition, the team frequently handles pre-publication advice, data protection and breach of confidence matters. Department head Duncan Lamont has over 30 years of experience acting for newspapers and broadcasters on all aspects of media law, including in matters relating to the phone hacking scandal.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Lamont

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Gornall; Stephanie Bonello; Gabrielle Shovlin

Testimonials

‘The spirit of team work is outstanding.’

‘From having worked closely with Duncan Lamont, Hannah Gornall and Stephanie Bonnello, I have great respect for their individual and collective attention to detail. I trust their advice and appreciate that they keep me updated at all times.’

‘The team is incredibly quick to get back to us, and their responses are accurate and reliable.’

‘Duncan Lamont gives speedy and sensible advice over the liability of any news story or feature I feel slightly nervous about.’

Key clients

ITV News

Channel 4 News

Ingrid Dupre

Fern Britton

Nikki Sanderson

Wagamama

Samaritans

Danny McCall

Michael Turner

Jennifer Hill

Rupert Hill

Vicky Binns

Jack Shepherd

Work highlights

  • Acting for various celebrity clients in the group voicemail interception litigation against News Group Newspapers.

Employment > Pensions Tier 3

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s banking and finance team is active across loan and security transactions, including major loan facility agreements and an array of international deals – extending to Shariah-compliant financings for Middle East banks. Noted for his broad international coverage, practice head Richard Norton regularly acts for listed companies and hedge funds, while Naomi Nettleton is well-placed to handle complex commercial property transactions. Daniel Moore leverages his expertise in insolvency and distressed situations to advise banks on a range of related issues including freezing orders and refinancings. Edward Robinson and Matthew Hobbs are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Richard Norton

Testimonials

‘Breadth and depth of expertise in handling complex cases worldwide.’

‘Richard Norton is a stand-out partner; he takes the time to understand what is required to deliver a solution.’

‘Richard Norton and team offer an outstanding service. Legally excellent of course, but business savvy, practical, result-oriented, and tenacious; all qualities for successful business engagement.’

‘Strong ability to close transactions within a short period and provide full dedication amongst the team.’

‘Ability to take commercial approach on transactions and be at the end of the phone whenever is required.’

 

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

Work highlights

  • Advising Telecom Development Company Afghanistan on a further restructuring of the loans from IF involving complex negotiations and release of security over assets in Afghanistan.
  • Advising Tsokkos Hotels Public Limited on amendments/restatements of a loan facility with Bank of Cyprus to allow for construction of new hotels.
  • Advised Topland Jupiter Limited on three real estate investment finance transactions with an aggregate value of £33bn.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

The Cheltenham-based team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP maintains a broad practice, acting for insolvency practitioners on transactions, advising directors on issues related to formal insolvency, and handling an array of contentious work such as asset recovery and security enforcement. Practice head Daniel Moore is praised for his ‘unparalleled knowledge of cross-border insolvency and financial markets.' Ben Moore and Hannah Gornall bolster the group's disputes offering.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Moore

Other key lawyers:

Ben Moore; Hannah Gornall; Carris Peacey; Joseph Evans

Testimonials

‘The insolvency team at Charles Russell Speechlys are a match for any top City law firm in this area. They punch way above their weight. The partners and associates are all first-rate.’

‘Dan Moore has unparalleled knowledge of cross-border insolvency and financial markets, as well as a solid grounding in general commercial law.’

‘Recent associates of note are Joseph Evans and Carris Peacey. Both write extremely well, are always up on the issues, and are future partners in the making.’

 

Key clients

RSM Restructuring & Advisory

Begbies Traynor

Quantuma

Corporate and commercial > Partnership Tier 4

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is well versed in advising both individuals and partnership structures, particularly in relation to limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships. The team assists on a full range of matters such as drafting and updating constitutional documents, transactional work, regulatory matters and partnership disputes. Practice head Charlie Ring principally focuses on the financial services sector, providing governance, constitutional and transactional advice to investment and wealth managers. Head of employment Nick Hurley handles the employment aspects of partnerships including cases involving discrimination, whistleblowing and TUPE matters. Anne-Marie Balfour advises employers and senior executives on employment law and litigation, as well as recruitment sector clients on regulatory compliance. Victoria Younghusband specialises in assisting investment funds on governance, mergers, restructuring and winding-ups. Previous team head David Hicks left the firm in December 2022.

Practice head(s):

Charlie Ring

Key clients

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Dalton Strategic Partnership

Waverton Investment Management

RSM UK Restructuring Advisory LLP

Ascent Capital Africa

Brown Rudnick LLP

Fudco Partnership

Kreos Capital funds

Work highlights

  • Advising the Ascent Rift Vallely Fund and its manager Ascent Capital Africa on the final close of the fund in September 2022 at more than $128m.

Dispute resolution > Tax litigation and investigations Tier 4

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has strength in a range of areas, including tax-related professional negligence matters as well as trust and commercial disputes. The group acts for both corporate and private clients, both in the UK and offshore. Lead partner Hugh Gunson, described as ‘technically great, but also tactically astute’, has experience litigating tax at all levels.

Practice head(s):

Hugh Gunson

Testimonials

‘CRS is very well known in the market and this is one of their strongest teams.’

‘Hugh Gunson – technically great, but also tactically astute. And very nice to work with.’

Work highlights

Industry focus > Hospitality and leisure Tier 4

The international and multi-disciplinary hospitality and leisure team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has significant sector knowledge of the food and beverage, consumer brands, and hotels and hospitality areas. The team covers the full range of legal services and is particularly well versed in marketing and branding, sponsorship, and enforcement issues, as well as occupier services, relevant litigation, and employment harmonisation and restructuring. The trio of lawyers heading up the team consists of: Michael Powner, an employment expert who handles the relationship with Wagamama and Caffe Nero; commercial contract specialist Jason Saiban, who leads the firm’s tech, consumer and sport group; and Lee Medlock, head of the real estate team. Investors, commercial developers and corporate occupiers regularly instruct Louise Ward, who has recently advised on theatre and research park developments, and the sale and leaseback of leisure clubs. Mark White has significant experience in the investment and corporate occupier sector.

Practice head(s):

Michael Powner; Jason Saiban; Lee Medlock

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The CRS team have a long history within our sector which remains relevant, deeply respected and just as importantly, up to date. Their knowledge of the issues we face encourages us to think differently in addition to simply being there for the law. Our business is stronger as a result of their partnership.’

‘Mike Powner and Jason Saiban are exceptional partners. In addition to their legal knowledge they are thoroughly decent people to do business with and fun to boot.’

Key clients

Caffe Nero Group Limited

Ascot Racecourse

Wagamama (part of The Restaurant Group)

Honest Burgers

Greggs

Gulf Air

Silversea Cruises

Hapimag

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Stonegate

David Lloyd Leisure Limited

Cote Brasserie

Work highlights

  • Advising Caffe Nero on a key new partnership with Waitrose, which involved negotiating a licensing and supply agreement with Waitrose which expanded Caffe Nero’s at-home retail range to all UK Waitrose stores and covered the supply of Caffe Nero coffee beans for the Waitrose in-store coffee offer (relaunched having been withdrawn at the peak of Covid-19).
  • Advising David Lloyd Leisure on all aspects of the acquisition of land for development as a new club on Urban & Civic’s Radio Station Rugby scheme, as well as providing advice on construction documentation for the new club.
  • Continuing to advise British restaurant chain Côte Brasserie on a range of matters, including recently being instructed to advise on management of its real estate portfolio, which is made up of close to 90 sites.

Risk advisory > Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 4

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

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 4

Lauded by clients as ‘second to none’, the real estate disputes team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is active across an array of residential, commercial and agricultural property litigation, handling disputes related to residential tenancy issues, farm business tenancies and lease terminations, among other matters. Practice chair Emma Humphreys, who divides her time between Cheltenham and London, is praised for being ‘at the forefront of new law’, while Emma Preece is recommended for possessing a ‘particular prowess in rights of way and boundary dispute matters’. 

Practice head(s):

Emma Humphreys

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Emma Preece is bright, attentive and calm under pressure. She has good client management skills and presents the merits and risks in a straightforward and accessible fashion.’

‘A very strong property team across both its London and Cheltenham offices and is a very safe pair of hands.’

Emma Preece is a thoughtful and friendly practitioner who provides realistic and commercial advice to clients.’

‘The prop lit department at CRS is second to none. They have fantastically experienced and knowledgeable solicitors at both partner and associate level.’

‘Emma Humphreys is superb litigator and a market leader. She is also always at the forefront of new law (both case law and statutory); she writes articles and participates in podcasts that analyses new law and explains it to the market.’

‘Emma Preece is a fast-rising star of the property litigation scene. She has particular prowess in rights of way and boundary dispute matters and she is another who likes to get to grips with new law.’

‘Emma Humphreys is a real superstar. She is committed to the cause, clever, determined. Superb at identifying and addressing the issues that really matter. Exactly the sort of lawyer that you want on your side. The clients absolutely adore her.’

Key clients

Ballymore Group

Church Commissioners for England

LCP Group

Vanya Ivanova

The Executors of June Smith, deceased

Hackney Joint Estate Charity

West Bay Holdings Limited

Rochester Diocesan Society and Board of Finance

Trustees of the Third Baron Hesketh

Work highlights

  • Acted successfully for the Ballymore Group to demonstrate the reasonableness of service charges and achieve full recovery of arrears owed.
  • Acted in an unusual dispute where the size of the holding meant that the tenant had to source income from elsewhere and was unable to satisfy the livelihood condition.
  • Secured a court declaration under TOLATA in favour of the beneficial owner of a flat, allowing her to realise her interest in a flat.

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

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a ‘huge depth of expertise’ advising on matters concerning private banking, wealth management and private funds, in addition to crypto assets, equity capital markets and broking, trading and markets mandates. William Garner leads the team and advises on the establishment, operation and regulation of trading platforms, including MFTs and OFTS, as well as proprietary trading across all asset classes. Other key contacts in the group include Victoria Younghusband and Charlie Ring.

Practice head(s):

William Garner

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Outstanding range of financial institutions form part of CRS’s client base, which has given the FS practice a huge depth of expertise.’

‘William Garner is a rainmaker par excellence.’

‘I was very impressed by Charlie Ring’s depth of knowledge and experience, which came across very clearly. He was able to distil everything down to the key issues, explaining concisely where the other side was coming from and what actually mattered.’

Key clients

EFG Private Bank

FairXchange Limited

FIL Investment Services (UK) Limited

Coinbase

C Hoare & Co.

LGT Vestra

LiquidNet

Lanistar

Credit Suisse

Waverton Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Advised the managers of Sepura Limited on Sepura’s sale to London-based private equity group Epiris in July 2022.
  • Acting for London and Capital Limited (L&C) on a sale of a majority of its shares to private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners (LMP).
  • Advised the shareholders of Metis Wealth Limited and Metis Asset Management Limited on the sale of those companies to Hurst Point Group (which is supported by funds managed by The Carlyle Group).

Corporate and commercial > Private equity: transactions - mid-market deals (up to £250m) Tier 5

Turned to by both PE firms and portfolio companies, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is regularly engaged on lower mid-market transactions. The practice is jointly led by David Coates, an active adviser with particular experience in the TMT and retail sectors, and Andrew Clarke, whose broad capabilities span sponsor, management team, and HNWI representation. Rebecca Burford, noted for her focus on management buy-outs and growth capital investments, has most recently advised on deals in the healthcare and logistics sectors. In Cheltenham, Adrian Mayer is especially noted for his Africa-focused work. Cheltenham-based corporate finance partner Jonathan Morley is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Clarke; David Coates

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Burford; Adrian Mayer; Jonathan Morley

Key clients

Shareholders of Modern Networks

Shareholders of Fudco

IFS

AgDevCo

Appital Limited

Puma Private Equity

Oakfield Capital Limited

Management sellers of Online Fuels Limited

CMO Group Plc

Content+Cloud

Daystar Power

Actis LLP

M-Kopa Solar

Metier Private Equity

Battery Ventures

Ascent Africa Capital (Ascent Rift Valley Fund II)

Work highlights

  • Advised Stonegate on its investment into Peckwater Brands as part of a wider £15m series A funding round.
  • Advised AgDevCo, a specialist impact investor in African agribusinesses, on its recent $70m equity funding from the CDC Group, and Norfund.
  • Advised Maitland Medical Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Doctors Clinic Group Ltd which is backed by private equity firm Oakfield Capital, on its acquisition of Soma Health Limited.

Employment > Employers Tier 5

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises an array of clients ranging from corporates and professional service firms, as well as managing high value employment issues for private wealth clients. Managing senior executive exits and severance negotiations is also an area of strength. Nick Hurley, who providing strategic employment reorganisation and TUPE advice, leads the team. He is supported by Trevor Bettany, who is recommended for LLP disputes, and retail sector HR expert Michael Powner.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hurley

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team are always available with expert, commercial and practical knowledge which encourages you to look at things in a different way.’

‘Mike Powner is an exceptional lawyer. He has a deep understanding of the law and how this applies to our sector. He is always available, a unique skill for such a busy man and is an vital partner to our business.’

Key clients

Brasserie Blanc

Pearson

Wagamama

Hotel Chocolat

Goodwin Procter LLP

Parkson Mobile

Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

PrimeRevenue

Belron

Aon

Work highlights

  • Assists Belron on a wide range of employment matters on an ongoing basis.
  • Acts as employment adviser to Sony PlayStaton.
  • Advises Amundi, a large European asset manager, on employment matters.

Real estate > Property finance Tier 5

Daniel Sullivan heads the practice at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, advising primarily in the residential and commercial development, healthcare, logistics and student accommodation sectors. With a Middle East and an Asia desk, the firm is well-placed to advise overseas clients and ultra-high net worth individuals on their investments and lending, including Islamic finance, into the UK property market.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Sullivan

Testimonials

‘Expert knowledge is second to none. Willingness to solve problems in a straightforward way. Always collaborative.’

‘Well known and respected in the field.’

‘A reliable, knowledgeable and responsive team.’

 

Key clients

Silbury Finance

EQT Exeter

Octopus Property

London & Oxford Capital Markets

Puma Investments

EFG Private Bank

Rothschild Bank

Opera

The Rumi Foundation

Lombard North Central

Downing LLP

Topland Group of Companies

Country Court Care Homes Limited

Ekistics Property Advisors

Salamanca Group

Caring Homes Group

Northridge Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Silbury Finance on a £64m retirement living financing in St Albans in relation to a 124 unit integrated retirement community.
  • Advised Topland Group on the acquisition and development financing of the high-end residential development of Allen House in Kensington for over £50m.
  • Advised Octopus Real Estate on a £24m evolving peak-debt facility, to fund the development of 138 residential units, 7 commercial units and community buildings at a former chocolate factory in Bristol, England.

Corporate and commercial > Venture capital Tier 6

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

Capable of acting for a range of clients, from blue-chip multinationals to emerging technology companies, ‘reliable’ Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has particular expertise in regard to international licensing deals. Practice head Mary Bagnall is vastly experienced in handling patent litigation in relation to a variety of technologies, while senior associate Caroline Young specialises in the commercialisation of IP and technology matters.

Practice head(s):

Mary Bagnall

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Charles Russell Speechlys have kept us well-informed about the state of cases.’

‘As a firm, they are pragmatic, reliable and are quick to respond to queries, providing accurate and concise information.’

‘Caroline Young has helped us with client referrals and has made collaborating easier than we would otherwise have expected. We look forward to continuing working with her due to her responsiveness and ease of communication.’

Key clients

Avicenna Group

Apollo Aerospace Components

Rentschler ATMP Limited

Rentschler Biopharma

Immodulon Therapeutics Limited

Apacor Limited

Dentsply Sirona

Trafalgar Scientific

Work highlights

  • Advising Rentschler, an independent contract manufacturer for the development and production of biopharmaceuticals, on a range of commercial contracts with IP as a key focus.
  • Advising Immodulon (a leader in immuno-oncology) on a range of contracts relating to its proprietary intellectual property.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 7

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a team that is well-equipped to assist clients on a broad range of competition law matters. The practice possesses specific expertise representing a number of luxury brands in connection with the overhaul of the UK and EU competition rules on vertical agreements. Senior counsel Paul Stone , who has more than 25 years experience, leads the London team.

Practice head(s):

Paul Stone

Testimonials

‘Having worked with the team on EU and competition matters for nearly 15 years, the strength is derived from the understanding that long relationship provides.’

‘Paul Stone remains a “go-to” adviser, not least because of his 100% track record for us.’

Key clients

ITV Plc

Walpole Institute

Gamma Telecom

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Bahrain (TRA)

YouView

Battery Ventures

Content+Cloud

Caretech Holdings PLC

Meggitt Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised ITV on a broad range of competition matters, including in relation to a wide variety of commercial arrangements such as procurement contracts, supply arrangements, strategic joint ventures, and business acquisitions.
  • Advised Walpole and its members in relation to the revision by the EU Commission of the Vertical Agreements Block Exemption and the new UK block exemption.
  • Acted for Gamma in relation to a broad range of competition law matters, including Ofcom market reviews, regulatory statements, and other competition law investigations.

Finance > Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 7

Tapping into the expertise of a team of 'sage seniors and clever associates', Charles Russell Speechlys LLP makes effective use of its resources to provide a cost-effective and solutions-oriented service to debtors and creditors across a range of domestic and cross-border formal insolvency and restructuring work, in both a corporate and personal insolvency setting. The team, which was recently enhanced by the arrival of the 'very impressive' Alison Goldthorp from Norton Rose Fulbright, has excellent knowledge of the "black letter law", but does not lose sight of how to effectively implement these principles in a commercially sensitive manner. Hanh Nguyen is a 'serious intellect' whose skills are appreciated by IPs, including when they are seeking to bring claims against stakeholders/third parties to maximise recoveries for creditors. 'Experienced and cool headed' team head Roger Elford also regularly handles contentious work and is particularly adept at handling real estate-related restructurings/insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

Roger Elford

Other key lawyers:

Alison Goldthorp; Hanh Nguyen; Joseph Evans; Bethan Cunniffe; Jamie Tilling

Testimonials

The team has sage seniors, and clever juniors who can be relied upon to do the work properly.’

They are efficient, client friendly, and commercial.’

‘They are clear thinking, strategic, and consistently thinking of creative solutions which might afford a practical way forward.’ 

‘Roger Elford is experienced and accordingly cool headed, with his eyes on the big picture.’

Hanh Nguyen and Joseph Evans are very much on top of the legal principles but also look  for a commercial way forward in a constructive way.’

Jamie Tilling is superb: he is clever, writes well, and always understands the issues.’

Key clients

Begbies Traynor

Central Bank of Bahrain

CVR Global

FRP Advisory

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Insolve Plus

Interpath (formerly KPMG)

Kroll (formerly Duff & Phelps)

Leonard Curtis

Mercer & Hole

Menzies

Opus Restructuring & Insolvency

RSM

Teneo (formerly Deloitte)

The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas

UHY Hacker Young

Nike (on supplier insolvency issues)

Verulam Advisory Ltd

Rollings Butt

BDO LLP

Work highlights

  • Following the high-profile collapse of Greensill Limited, the firm was instructed to advise on the potential liquidation of the company. The firm continues to advise the Joint Liquidators in relation to their investigations generally, including on potential recovery actions.
  • Appointed liquidator of Awal Bank by the Bahrain Civil High Court pursuing the recovery of Awal’s $2bn of balance sheet assets.
  • Acting for the Joint Administrators on an urgent basis to place Haircare Limited into administration and effect the pre-pack sale of the Company’s business and assets to VS Salons UK Limited, a newco linked to the existing ownership team.

Employment > Employee share schemes

Led by tax specialist Robert Birchall, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises a wide range of businesses on the structuring of incentive arrangements.

Public sector > Administrative and public law

The public and administrative law disputes group at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP was formed in 2021 under the leadership of Max Davis; the team acts in relation to planning, immigration and public inquiries, and is also noted for its strong connections with the Caribbean jurisdictions.

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

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP excels in corporate and M&A transaction work particularly in the pharmacy and dental industries. Based in Guildford, the team’s growing client roster features international and local businesses, private equity companies and high-net-worth individuals across an expanding list of sectors including the technology, education and sports industries. Practice head and M&A specialist Tim Jenkins, who also heads up the firm’s retail healthcare transactions team, assists clients with joint ventures, shareholder agreements and business sales, while Geoffrey Sparks handles commercial work relating to information technology and outsourcing issues. Helen Wong left the firm in April 2022 to join Setfords Solicitors, and Jonathan Steele left in May 2023 for Stevens & Bolton LLP.

Practice head(s):

Tim Jenkins

Other key lawyers:

Geoffrey Sparks; Samuel Milne; Howard White; Mark Howard

Testimonials

‘A strong team with a solid understanding of the pharmacy sector from both a corporate and regulatory viewpoint.’

‘A good commercial team that has a good understanding of sectors and is responsive to the market.’

‘Howard White deals with matters with an extremely sensible head and ensures that the problem is understood with practical solutions offered. Very technical and extremely knowledgeable.’

‘A very good team technically that is pragmatic, easy to work with and has detailed knowledge of the pharmacy sector.’

‘Mark Howard is excellent personally and does well at bringing in the wider team when required. Just a really good person to deal with.’

‘They are very strong on client relationship management. There is good engagement at all levels of the team and the lead partner is always very accessible.’

‘Tim Jenkins is a very technically skilled lawyer.’

Key clients

DiscoverIE plc

Dentex Healthcare Group

Maitland Medical Service Ltd

Avicenna Holdings Limited

CAJ Mercian Holdings Limited

Barnardo’s

London Irish Rugby Club

University of Surrey

E Nova Healthcare Group

Weldricks Pharmacy Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the majority shareholders of In Touch Games Limited, as part of a cross-office multi-disciplinary team on all legal aspects of the cross-border sale of the In Touch group, including its overseas interests, to Skywind Holdings Limited.
  • Advised DiscoverIE Holdings Ltd, as part of a cross-office multi-disciplinary team, on its acquisition of Custom Design Technologies.
  • Acting for Dentex Healthcare Group, providing commercial, employment and regulatory advice across a range of areas and completing 30 dental acquisitions during 2022 supporting the client with its acquisition and growth strategy.

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

Focusing on dispute resolution, litigation prevention and risk management, the Guildford team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles matters with multi-jurisdictional elements for corporate clients in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, with clients praising it as ‘a law firm of great calibre with excellent people’ who are ‘great, very friendly and a pleasure to work with’. The team specialises in corporate litigation, commercial matters, and product liability and supply chain disputes and is increasingly handling professional negligence claims. The team is led by Stephen Burns, who is ‘clever, with terrifically good judgment’ and is a specialist in Companies Act litigation, shareholder disputes and professional negligence issues; and ‘shrewd, experienced negotiator’ Jamie Cartwright, who has experience in technology, automotive, retail and product liability disputes. Rachel Warren is ‘excellent on financial services regulation and disciplinary matters’. The ‘highly commercial’ Gareth Mills is an expert in international arbitration and has substantial experience advising financial services and TMT clients. Head of the Guildford office Duncan Elson is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Burns; Jamie Cartwright

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Warren; Gareth Mills; Duncan Elson; Katie Bewick; Rory Partridge; Charlotte Healy

Testimonials

‘Stephen Burns and his team are exceptional litigators. They are well resourced, hardworking, and have the capability to draw on other specialists across the firm for specific matters.’

‘Stephen Burns is clever, with terrifically good judgment. He offers the right balance of aggression and common sense, and always pushes hard to meet the client’s commercial objectives. Katie Bewick is an excellent and hardworking associate, who is a joy to work with.’

‘The team is extremely practical. On each of the cases I’ve seen, they have found a creative solution to force an outcome in their client’s favour.’

‘Stephen Burns is very calm and collected. Charlotte Healy is detail driven and impressive. Jamie Cartwright combines a thorough grasp of the detail together with the ability to advise strategically and tactically. He’s also a shrewd, experienced negotiator.’

‘I work with CRS on cases with multi-jurisdictional and international elements. I find the team to be great to work with, able to work seamlessly across offices in different jurisdictions, and extremely experienced in advising clients on complex enforcement issues. The team are very user friendly, and punch well above their weight.’

‘Rachel Warren is excellent on financial services regulation and disciplinary matters. Gareth Mills is highly commercial and insightful in all interactions.’

‘The team has a very personable approach and takes time not only to provide excellent insight and service, but to do so in an approachable, reassuring, professional and amicable manner.’

‘The team at CRS is great, very friendly and a pleasure to work with. I have had many cases with them by now and I get excited each time I work with them, which shows how great it is. They are all very sensible as to demands and as to what arguments work and which do not. They are a law firm of great calibre with excellent people who know their stuff.’

Key clients

City & Guilds

Cargill

Jankel Armouring

Essity

ATC UK

Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited

Swiss Post

Pro Med Pharma Limited

Fiat Chrysler

Stonegate Pubs

South East > Employment > Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

The ‘stellar’ and ‘attentive and professional’ team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP regularly advises employers and listed companies across the financial services and video games sectors including household names such as Sony PlayStation. The practice is co-headed by Nick Hurley, who has a contentious and non-contentious employment practice which includes handling discrimination, TUPE and reorganisation matters, and the ‘hugely impressive’ Ben Smith, who often represents clients in the charities and not-for-profit sectors and has significant experience with Employment Tribunal litigation. Emily Chalkley specialises in transaction-related employment matters and litigation concerning sex discrimination and equal pay claims, and is praised as a ‘rising star and hardworking with terrific judgment’. The ‘approachable’ Rachel Hearn frequently acts for senior executives on a range of employment issues including employee exits, disciplinary issues, grievances and redundancies.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hurley; Ben Smith

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘A stellar employment team with exceptional judgment and hard-hitting cases. They are hard-working, strategic, and highly commercial. They understand the needs of their clients well. The employment team is approachable with bags of common sense and loads of energy.’

‘Ben Smith is a go-to partner and knows everything there is to know in this area. He is amazing with people and the law and takes sensible and pragmatic decisions. It is not about show boating, it is always about the client, front and centre. Emily Chalkley is a rising star and hard working with terrific judgment.’

‘I have mainly used the team for employment matters and usually the more complex ones. I have found the team very responsive with excellent communication throughout engagements including urgent enquiries. This is much better than a number of other firms that I have used in the past. The team all work closely together and this is also a reason that matters are dealt with efficiently and effectively. In summary, the differential I find to other legal firms is the quality of the people, who are good communicators and go the extra mile for their clients. I would also note that it didn’t matter if I was requiring support as the CEO of the business or someone from admin. The response and service was the same exemplary standard.’

‘Ben Smith is extremely responsive and understanding of the position of the client. Ben is very quick in providing a summary of the company’s position, possible remedies and potential outcomes. This is so helpful in planning the approach. Rachel Hearn is possibly one of the most approachable lawyers I have come across in my career. She understands the demands of the business and is able to respond accordingly. Rachel has taken time to understand the business, some of the leaders, and dealt with all matters very efficiently and with extremely good grace despite significant pressures.’

‘They deliver quality work with a personal touch and are attentive and professional.’

‘Ben Smith is a hugely impressive partner, who frets for his clients, leaving no stone unturned to deliver results.’

‘The employment team has a great combination of technical expertise in statutory law and strategic nous which, coupled with excellent client handling skills, makes it an obvious choice for a lot of companies and organisations. They are also attractive to claimants with high value claims for the same reasons.’

‘Emily Chalkley is calm, knows her case load really well, provides careful and considerate instructions to counsel, and wins trust of her clients. She is always very attentive and pragmatic with her advice.’

Key clients

Rapha Racing

Amundi Asset Management

Nike

Framatome BHR Limited

Sony Playstation

Just Group plc

C. Hoare & Co

Dementia UK

Margarete Steiff GmbH

South East > Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

The team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP offers advice on the full range of insolvency mandates, including insolvent and distressed sales, company voluntary arrangements, and the rescission of winding up orders. In Guildford, Roger Elford leads the team alongside James Hyne; Elford regularly acts for overseas governments and foreign banks in restructuring matters and external administrations, while Hyne focuses on contentious recoveries, often advising liquidators and administrators. Hannah Edwards has extensive expertise in antecedent transaction claims, and often advises companies and their directors on recovery options.

Practice head(s):

Roger Elford; James Hyne

Other key lawyers:

Peter Worrall; Hannah Edwards

Testimonials

‘Highly commercial and very user friendly team. A combination that produces great results.’

‘James Hyne continues to be able to dance through all aspects of the insolvency world whilst retaining hard core principles…and a degree of charm!’

‘Peter Worrall is pragmatic, approachable, and client focused. He will provide you with the options in a clear and concise way, and give you straight forward advice. I would not hesitate to recommend Peter and look forward to working with him again soon.’

Key clients

Credit Suisse (UK) Limited

AlixPartners Services UK LLP

Teneo

Begbies Traynor Corporate Recovery

FRP Advisory Limited

RSM Restructuring Advisory

Central Bank of Bahrain

Grant Thornton UK Limited

Moore Kingston Smith LLP

KRE Corporate Recovery

Alvarez & Marsal

James Cowper Kreston

MBI Coakley Restructuring and Insolvency

Kroll Advisory Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising the administrators of Haircare Limited on their appointment as administrators and the pre-pack administration sale of the company’s assets and business of a hair salon (formerly trading as Vidal Sassoon).
  • Advising Grant Thornton UK LLP and FRP Advisory on the potential liquidation of the Greensill group. The firm advises on investigations, including information gathering using the joint liquidators’ compulsive powers and potential recovery actions.
  • Advising RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP on the winding up of five collective investment schemes arising out of the Lehman Brothers insolvency, with claims exceeding $1bn.

South East > Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP routinely assists real-estate owning clients with the maintenance, purchases and sales of long-held family assets and property-based businesses. Duncan Elson is a strong choice for landed estate and pension litigation, while William Marriott is particularly proficient in the acquisitions and disposals of domestic property. David Haines is a key port of call for professional negligence claims concerning property. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Guildford.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Elson

Other key lawyers:

William Marriott; David Haines; Alex Munday-Muir; Tom Denham-Smith

Testimonials

‘The team’s technical ability is excellent, we received high quality legal advice which is practical.’

‘Duncan Elson is everything you would want in dealing with estates held in settlements. He is practical whilst being technically excellent.’

Work highlights

South East > Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Leveraging support from the firm’s London office, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is led by Guildford-based Duncan Elson, a reputed practitioner who frequently acts as an independent administrator, professional executor, and trustee in contentious estate matters. Oliver Auld splits his time between Guildford and London and is particularly proficient in challenging wills through the Inheritance Act. Rebecca Piper and Edward Birell are also based in Guildford, the former is a seasoned court of protection litigator, whereas the latter is knowledgeable of asset tracking and freezing injunctions.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Elson

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘This is one of the leading firms in this sector. They have excellent people in the team who have so much experience and expertise in this area.’

‘Practical and expert partners and senior associates at the top of the industry, supported by a deep bench of junior lawyers and trainees. They put together excellent and effective teams.’

‘The team has considerable strength in depth. It has a first-rate reputation in the industry; it attracts top quality clients and they have enviable relationships with all professional sectors.’

‘Duncan Elson has years of experience. He fights very hard for his client and knows this area of law backwards. Rebecca Piper is a talented lawyer, very good with clients and an excellent litigator.’

‘Duncan Elson has a justly deserved reputation for calm and sensible leadership on the most complex cases.’

‘Duncan Elson deals with heavyweight cases and leads the team with aplomb. A reassuring presence on the other side of cases.’

‘Edward Birrell is extremely knowledgeable, experienced and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Edward Birrell is an outstanding senior associate: user-friendly and commercial, he can really grasp the detail while still seeing the wood for the trees. A real delight to work with.’

Key clients

The Public Trustee of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Public Trustee of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in relation to losses to 5 Guernsey pension schemes in a number of proceedings dealing with a multi-jurisdictional asset base.
  • Acted for a farming family in respect of claims for proprietary estoppel, unjust enrichment and professional negligence in relation to development of farming land and declarations of trust.
  • Acted in a landed estate dispute between family members involving family trusts, corporate holdings, valuable chattels and land divisions.

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

In Guildford, full-service firm Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is noted by clients as fielding ‘one of the best regional family law departments in the country’. Its client roster features national and international high-profile and high-net-worth clients that need advisory and dispute resolution assistance with complicated matters relating to children such as relocation, child protection and adoption work, financial assets including offshore trusts and significant pensions, and unmarried family agreements. The ‘commercially astute’ Shona Alexander has a broad practice with substantial experience in financial cases, pre and post-marital agreements and cohabitation issues. Co-heading the team with Alexander is the ‘unflappable’ Karen Wilsher, who specialises in high-value financial cases and child law cases in relation to families with addiction difficulties. William Rollin offers extensive experience in matrimonial finance and private law children matters including international relocation and parental alienation cases.

Practice head(s):

Shona Alexander; Karen Wilsher

Other key lawyers:

William Rollin; Claire Devine; Rebecca Arnold; Nicholas Bass; Felicity Chapman

Testimonials

‘One of the best regional family law departments in the country.’

‘Shona Alexander is a very impressive lawyer and leader. She has an incisive legal mind and her clients, rightly, adore her. Rebecca Arnold is also a superb associate who is a rising star.’

‘Karen Wilsher is a class act, an unflappable and great technical lawyer but also pragmatic. Claire Devine has a great manner with clients, an eye for detail and excellent judgement. Nick Bass is outstanding and a future star. He offers mastery of the facts and figures in a case and tactical and sound instinct.’

‘An extremely well-known firm that is a leader in the field of matrimonial finance. The Surrey and Sussex practice delivers top level representation but provided locally and without charging central London prices.’

‘Felicity Chapman is excellent, unflappable and pragmatic. She is sensible, measured but also friendly and approachable.’

‘Shona Alexander is a fantastic lawyer. She is commercially astute and will go the extra mile for her clients. She is incredibly collaborative which means her clients get results. She is proactive and will always try and resolve matters before resorting to litigation. She is also an excellent mediator.’

‘They have great family team who are well known for dealing with high net worth and complex financial matters. The team stand out against competitors for their expertise with high value matrimonial work whilst offering an excellent service.’

‘Karen Wilsher is utterly dedicated to her job. She has excellent client care skills and is always keen to ensure that the client has an opportunity to voice their concerns about their case. She has an innate sense of anticipating the other side’s next move so is always one step ahead. Claire Devine is very much a partner in the making. She is always clear in highlighting what the client’s objectives are in a case. Nick Bass is definitely one to watch. He has great care to detail and is very responsive to client’s needs.’

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

The ‘unerringly professional’ tax, trusts and probate team is at the core of Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’ offering in Guildford with recent work involving family business clients and cross-border estates. Practice head Sally Ashford has been described as ‘highly intuitive, generous, friendly and incredibly dynamic’ and specialises in estates and family succession planning including inheritance tax mitigation and trusts and Court of Protection matters. Richard Honey ‘provides responsive and practical support’ and goes ‘above and beyond’ to assist high-net-worth individuals with succession planning and trust structuring work and, more recently, issues involving cryptocurrencies and digitally held assets. New arrival Harriet Betteridge offers substantial experience across a range of matters including estate administration and specialist tax advisory work covering IHT areas and CGT matters. Kathryn Robinson works with large national charity clients and private clients on wills, lasting powers of attorney and lifetime inheritance tax planning. Natalie Butler is also noted by clients.

Practice head(s):

Sally Ashford

Other key lawyers:

Richard Honey; Harriet Betteridge; Kathryn Robinson; Natalie Butler; Lauren Clarke; Charlotte Voller; Tom Denham Smith

Testimonials

‘We have found the team to be extremely empathetic, enabling them to understand and advise us in a sensible and pragmatic way that suits our needs. They are also unerringly professional and we have complete confidence in their knowledge and ability. Nothing is too much trouble for them, from chatting over our concerns to producing the necessary documents. The practice appears well managed, documents are clear and everything is done in a timely fashion.’

‘Natalie Butler is incredibly helpful and seems to understand exactly what we need. She explains processes clearly and succinctly. It is Natalie’s innate friendliness, patience and understanding that make her so very easy to deal with. Richard Honey provides responsive and practical support.’

‘Discussing wealth and estate planning requires mutual trust, discretion, and a personable approach. The team that Sally Ashford has built around her are highly skilled, professional, dynamic and have the capacity to tailor your personal wishes and translate them into legal constructs. This is a multidisciplinary team and related matters can be dealt with in-house. Multiple generations of a family can be advised with mutually beneficial structures, trusts and inheritance planning woven in. This team at CRS will cater to individual needs and wishes, expertly.’

‘Sally Ashford was warm, highly intuitive, generous, friendly and incredibly dynamic. She clearly understands the law, the implications of the various legal structures and constructs and can deliver solutions with elegance and professionalism. Sally navigated us through a mountain of information within the space of a few meetings. Sally understood our needs, our risk appetite and what we wished to achieve with our estate planning and for our family. All our matters were resolved and paperwork completed efficiently and to our satisfaction. Our wider family have also had the benefit of Sally’s advice.’

‘The Guildford Private Client team at Charles Russell Speechlys has considerable knowledge and is able to advise clients with simpler needs and those with complex affairs with equal diligence and care. Practitioners are proactive with their advice, considering individual scenarios and delivering bespoke, high-quality advice.’

‘Sally Ashford and Richard Honey in particular go above and beyond no matter the client size. The personal approach is so valuable and necessary to really understand the clients needs. They are organised and proactive rather than reactive.’

‘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. They are great people to deal with and they get the job done without unnecessary fuss or drama. The team is compassionate and understands their clients’ situations.’

‘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. I have witnessed her skilfully overseeing complex situations with multiple stakeholders with varying degrees of financial experience and acumen and can see that she makes her clients feel confident with her ability and at ease with her warm manner. Lauren Clarke is equally delightful to work with. 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. Natalie Butler is another highly valued member of the team for us. Charlotte Voller and Tom Denham Smith have also been excellent to work with and are clearly popular with clients.’

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

Located in Guildford, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP offers a ‘vast knowledge base with specialists in key subjects who are experts in their field’. Assisting with corporate real estate work, secured lending issues and development sales in the healthcare, retail and leisure sectors, the team also offers expertise in industrial gas production facilities and pipelines. The team is headed up by Suzi Gatward in London; Ingrid Saffin in Guildford, who acts for FTSE and internationally listed companies including industrial gas and hydrogen production companies; and David McClenaghan, who has the ability to ‘remain calm in a storm’ and has significant experience in the residential development sector, acting for home builders and developers. Another key lawyer is Sydney Forster, who is praised as ‘consistently reliable’ and ‘knowledgeable’.

Practice head(s):

Ingrid Saffin; Suzi Gatward; David McClenaghan

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Sydney Forster was a great contact to work with at CRS. I had many questions and she never hesitated to help, providing over and above responses.’

‘I have enjoyed their knowledge and their willingness to help. I also appreciate their transparency.’

‘Sydney Forster in their conveyancing department is a great asset to CRS. She is consistently reliable, knowledgeable and is able to provide comprehensive advice on complex matters which includes in-depth detail of possible risks and options available to us.’

‘The team are dedicated, skilled and comprehensive in their approach. Working with them, I do not have to worry about things being missed or spend my own time double checking what is happening as they always have everything completely covered. Not only do we have a long-standing relationship with the residential conveyancing team, we have had occasion to use the construction, litigation and tax teams, all of whom have displayed a similar very high level of competence.’

‘The team of lawyers we work with are highly professional and experienced. They are extremely knowledgeable and always willing to help. They identify issues and give succinct and clear advice and guidance on practical solutions. The team provide extremely good client service and we would not hesitate in recommending them.’

‘We have worked with David McClenaghan for many years which is testament to his abilities and level of understanding of what makes a successful residential development. David stands out from his peers for his experience, gained over many years in practice, together with his ability to remain calm in a storm.’

‘Historic relationship that have grown over time with both partners and senior associates that have time to provide expert advice in all property related matters.’

‘‘Good range of experience within the team.’

Key clients

Nike Retail B.V. and Converse Netherlands B.V

Dentex Healthcare Group Limited (and group companies)

Warrant Investments Plc (and group companies)

Air Products Group

Avicenna Retail Limited

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Silversea Cruises

London Irish Rugby Football Club

Charlton Athletic Football Company Limited

ATP Tour, Inc.

Silbury Specialty Finance Limited

Royal Horticultural Society

Bellway Homes Limited

Rushmon Limited

Berkeley Homes Limited

Barts Square First Limited (Helical)

Countryside Properties (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing advice to Air Products Group, a multibillion-dollar industrial gases giant, on its entire portfolio of property in England and Wales, including all key operational site leases and pipeline arrangements and various freehold and leasehold interests.
  • Advising London Irish Rugby Football Club on the complex title issues and property aspects of the funding arrangements from Sport England which is providing government backed financial support to the club to assist in mitigating the financial issues experienced following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acting on behalf of the Thames Valley Division of Bellway Homes in relation to the legal set-up and sale of private market homes on a new residential development in Taplow, known as Huntercombe Walk, which includes affordable housing, open space, landscaping and associated infrastructure works.

South East > Real estate > Construction Tier 1

Counting international governments, major corporations, and contractors amongst its key clients, the Guilford-based Charles Russell Speechlys LLP construction team has in-depth expertise in advising on high-value engineering and construction contracts. The offering spans complex contentious matters, ranging from dispute avoidance to arbitration and litigation, with practice head David Savage bringing over 25 years’ experience in acting for employers, governments and consultants in cross-border construction disputes to the team. Chi Mount focuses on the construction aspects of property transactions and development financing.

Practice head(s):

David Savage

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They have demonstrated remarkable adaptability and appreciation for the specifics of our dispute.’

‘David Savage has a keen sense for dispute analysis, strategy, and solid legal acumen in both oral and written delivery. His service response has been impressive.’

‘A strong team with depth and considerable knowledge.’

‘Individuals are polite and professional, advice provided is considered and sound.’

Key clients

Maldives Airport Company Limited (a 100% Maldives Government owned company)

Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications, Government of Bahrain

Caring Homes Group

Eton College

Kate Bingham Interior Design

The Pirbright Institute

Marlborough College

Northvale Construction Limited

Church Commissioners for England

Bewley Homes Plc

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Maldives Airport Company on a three-year-term to provide contentious and non-contentious FIDIC-related construction law services in relation to the ongoing redevelopment project at Velena International Airport on Hulhulé Island in North Malé Atoll, Maldives.
  • Advising The Pirbright Institute on the redevelopment, procurement strategy generally, and drafting and negotiation of all construction documentation.
  • Handling contentious and non-contentious construction work on an ongoing basis for Aspire Luxury Properties, including acting for the client in recovering sums owed by a number of HNWIs.

South East > Real estate > Property litigation Tier 1

Demonstrating ‘a great energy and sense of cohesion’, the Charles Russell Speechlys LLP team is highly recommended for its handling of property litigation issues, particularly in relation to mortgage-based disputes, landlord and tenant claims, and property finance matters. The group represents clients ranging from banks to large multinational companies, with the ‘exceptional’ Guilford-based head David Haines noted for his vast expertise in property-related professional negligence claims and dilapidations. Richard Flenley, who was promoted to partner in May 2022, regularly assists with development-based disputes and property insolvency elements, while Peter Levaggi focuses on contentious property finance work. Natalie Deuchar boasts significant experience in dealing with leasehold enfranchisement matters. Joe Edwards typically acts for offshore property investment vehicles and specialist real estate lenders.

Practice head(s):

David Haines

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team at CRS has a great energy and sense of cohesion. They are all top lawyers, who gel into an impressive and efficient squad.’

‘They are efficient and meet deadlines, but they are also really fun to work with.’

‘David Haines is always able to separate the wheat from the chaff, knows a good point when he sees it, has a sound commercial head so knows when and where to spend money on a case, and when not to.’

‘Natalie Deuchar is a flying senior associate, punching well above her weight, being as happy with commercial matters as with complex leasehold enfranchisement claims.’

‘Richard Flenley is an impressive commercial property litigator who is ahead of the curve on Building Safety Act 2022 matters. Always thinks through the case properly at an early stage.’

‘Fee earners at all levels are impressive. The excellent quality of their trainees bodes well for the future of the firm.’

‘David Haines has been exceptional; provided a comprehensive budget for costs, managing costs within budget without exception and provided a consistently excellent cost-effective service. David makes himself available at short notice and was quick to identify/understand and was invested in achieving the client’s objectives.’

‘Attentive, friendly, astute, practical advice received from an experienced team where the objective is to ensure the client receives the most appropriate advice for the situation from the outset when dealing with litigation.’

Key clients

Nellsar Limited

NEC UK Limited

Air Products PLC

Warrant Investments PLC

The University of Surrey

The Trustees of the Meyrick Estate

Emmaus

The Save the Children Fund

wagamama Ltd

Citysprint (UK) Limited

Diocese of Guildford

Silversea Cruises (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Nellsar in a dispute with HMRC concerning stamp duty land tax and corporation tax in the context of acquisitions of care home properties and businesses by the client.
  • Representing NEC in a dilapidation claim prior to lease termination.
  • Representing the University of Surrey in High Court litigation concerning a campus hall of residence and relevant fire safety requirements.

South East > Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s Guildford-based debt recovery department runs out of the firm's commercial dispute resolution team, and handles contested, complex and international debt work for its commercial and financial clients. The department is headed up by experienced commercial litigator Jamie Cartwright, whose expertise includes debts arising out of issues relating to the supply of goods and services, as well as technology disputes. Katie Bewick advises clients from the retail, food, financial services and healthcare sectors on complex debt issues.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Cartwright

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Eighty One UK Limited

Fiat Chrysler and Jeep

Jackson Lift Services Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Fiat Chrysler for over 20 years on contested debt claims, including recent success in the county court with in-house representation advocacy and early-strike out application.
  • Advising for Acushnet on its range of brands, such as Titleist, on supplier debt, including retention of title issues.
  • Acting for an international drinks brand in contested debt claims under supply and sponsorship contracts.

South East > Employment > Health and safety Tier 2

The Guildford-based regulatory crime team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is often engaged in advisory work and is well-equipped to advise clients under investigation for health and safety offences. Rachel Warren leads the team and her client roster feature significant names operating in the construction, restaurant, and luxury retail sectors. She is also often engaged in assessing health and safety issues in the context of corporate transactions. Charlotte Healy is particularly proficient in commercial disputes, in addition to product liability issues, allergens, food labelling, and food safety.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Warren

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Healy

Testimonials

‘The team has a tremendous relationships with their clients.’

‘Rachel Warren has great judgment and acuity.’

‘The team works well together. Whatever the seniority, the service is always first class with the client central to all they do.’

Work highlights

South East > Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 2

With expertise in pension disputes, tax and trust matters, the Guildford-based practice Charles Russell Speechlys LLP assists both individuals and company claimants. Stephen Burns is particularly active in matters pertaining to the financial services, healthcare, as well as technology and telecoms sectors. Duncan Elson is knowledgeable of negligence claims against solicitors, while David Savage has over two decades of experience in claims against construction professionals.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Burns; David Savage; Duncan Elson

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Keeley

Work highlights

  • Advised the trustees of a significant family settlement in relation to a professional negligence claim against a leading clearing bank.
  • Advised a client on a large pension negligence claim including the rectification of the pension scheme terms and issues of equalisation of normal retirement age.
  • Advised a property developer in relation to professional negligence claims against consultants and surveyors arising out of a construction project.

South East > Employment > Pensions Tier 3

South West > Finance > Banking and finance

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s banking and finance team is active across loan and security transactions, including major loan facility agreements and an array of international deals – extending to Shariah-compliant financings for Middle East banks. Noted for his broad international coverage, practice head Richard Norton regularly acts for listed companies and hedge funds, while Naomi Nettleton is well-placed to handle complex commercial property transactions. Daniel Moore leverages his expertise in insolvency and distressed situations to advise banks on a range of related issues including freezing orders and refinancings. Edward Robinson and Matthew Hobbs are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Richard Norton

Testimonials

‘Breadth and depth of expertise in handling complex cases worldwide.’

‘Richard Norton is a stand-out partner; he takes the time to understand what is required to deliver a solution.’

‘Richard Norton and team offer an outstanding service. Legally excellent of course, but business savvy, practical, result-oriented, and tenacious; all qualities for successful business engagement.’

‘Strong ability to close transactions within a short period and provide full dedication amongst the team.’

‘Ability to take commercial approach on transactions and be at the end of the phone whenever is required.’

 

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

Work highlights

  • Advising Telecom Development Company Afghanistan on a further restructuring of the loans from IF involving complex negotiations and release of security over assets in Afghanistan.
  • Advising Tsokkos Hotels Public Limited on amendments/restatements of a loan facility with Bank of Cyprus to allow for construction of new hotels.
  • Advised Topland Jupiter Limited on three real estate investment finance transactions with an aggregate value of £33bn.

South West > Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery

The Cheltenham-based team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP maintains a broad practice, acting for insolvency practitioners on transactions, advising directors on issues related to formal insolvency, and handling an array of contentious work such as asset recovery and security enforcement. Practice head Daniel Moore is praised for his ‘unparalleled knowledge of cross-border insolvency and financial markets.' Ben Moore and Hannah Gornall bolster the group's disputes offering.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Moore

Other key lawyers:

Ben Moore; Hannah Gornall; Carris Peacey; Joseph Evans

Testimonials

‘The insolvency team at Charles Russell Speechlys are a match for any top City law firm in this area. They punch way above their weight. The partners and associates are all first-rate.’

‘Dan Moore has unparalleled knowledge of cross-border insolvency and financial markets, as well as a solid grounding in general commercial law.’

‘Recent associates of note are Joseph Evans and Carris Peacey. Both write extremely well, are always up on the issues, and are future partners in the making.’

 

Key clients

RSM Restructuring & Advisory

Begbies Traynor

Quantuma

The firm:

Charles Russell Speechlys is an international law firm with a focus on private capital, at the intersection of personal, family and business. The Firm offers legal services across the private capital space and a broad range of integrated advisory, transactional and contentious services.

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

The Firm is headquartered in London with offices across the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. When working with individuals and businesses that operate in a single country or across borders, the firm will put together the perfect team – pulling from their sector and geographical expertise and partnerships with the best law firms across the world covering 200 legal jurisdictions.

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 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.

Sport:  advising governing bodies, major clubs, elite athletes, brands and agencies across the full spectrum of sports, including football, rugby, horse racing, Formula 1, cricket, e-sports, boxing, tennis, greyhound racing, athletics, cycling and many more.

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, Singapore, Luxembourg, Manama, Paris, Zurich.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior Partner Bart Peerless
Managing Partner Simon Ridpath
Business Advisory and Transactional Services David Collins
Banking & Finance Daniel Sullivan
Commercial Mark Bailey
Corporate David Coates
Immigration Rose Carey
Employment Nick Hurley
Financial Services William Garner
Construction, Real Estate and Disputes Robin Grove
Construction, Engineering and Projects Steven Carey
Real Estate Lee Medlock
Real Estate Disputes David Haines
Litigation and Dispute Resolution Stewart Hey
Commercial Dispute Resolution Charlotte Pender
Intellectual Property Litigation Mary Bagnall
Private Wealth Disputes Graeme Kleiner
Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Roger Elford
Private Client Robert Blower
Private Client Bart Peerless
Trusts, Tax and Succession William Begley
Private Property William Marriot
Family James Freeman
Tax Robert Birchall
Technology, Consumer, Sport Jason Saiban
Sport Richard Davies
Digital & Consumer Nick White
Hi-Tech. Engineering & Manufacturing Caroline Young
Food & Beverage Michael Powner
Business Technology Mark Bailey
Consumer Brands Caroline Greenwell
Photo Name Position Profile
Shona Alexander photo Shona Alexander Partner
Sally Ashford photo Sally Ashford About Sally leads the non-contentious Private Client team in Guildford and has…
Harriet Betteridge photo Ms Harriet Betteridge Harriet is very experienced in estate planning for high net wealth clients…
Katie Bewick photo Katie Bewick Senior Associate
Edward Birell photo Mr Edward Birell Edward has significant and growing specialism in complex trust disputes particularly those…
Rebecca Burford photo Rebecca Burford Partner
Stephen Burns photo Stephen Burns Partner
Natalie Butler photo Natalie Butler Natalie advises on all aspects of private client work including will drafting,…
Jamie Cartwright photo Jamie Cartwright Partner
Emily Chalkley       photo Emily Chalkley Associate
Felicity Chapman photo Felicity Chapman Senior Associate
Natalie Deuchar photo Ms Natalie Deuchar About Natalie’s work covers a broad range of residential and commercial landlord…
Joe Edwards photo Mr Joe Edwards Senior Associate
Roger Elford photo Roger Elford Roger is one of the lead restructuring partners working on the firm’s…
Duncan Elson photo Duncan Elson Partner
Samantha Ewing photo Samantha Ewing Senior Associate
Richard Flenley  photo Richard Flenley Partner
Sydney Forster photo Ms Sydney Forster Sydney is a Chartered Legal Executive with nearly 10 year’s experience in…
David Haines photo David Haines Partner- Head of Real Estate Disputes
Charlotte Healy photo Charlotte Healy Associate
Rachel Hearn photo Ms Rachel Hearn Rachel advises employers and senior individuals on all manner of workplace issues…
Richard Honey photo Richard Honey Senior Associate
Nick Hurley photo Nick Hurley Partner
James Hyne photo James Hyne James is head of the corporate restructuring and insolvency group. He specialises…
Tim Jenkins photo Tim Jenkins Tim is a corporate partner with over 25 years of experience in…
Peter Levaggi photo Peter Levaggi Peter is a solicitor advocate with higher rights of audience. He has…
William Marriott photo Mr William Marriott William is head of the firm’s Private Property group, and specialises in…
David McClenaghan photo Mr David McClenaghan David is a Senior Associate in the Real Estate team with over…
Daniel Moore  photo Daniel Moore Senior Associate
Gavin Partridge photo Gavin Partridge Senior Associate
Rebecca Piper photo Miss Rebecca Piper Rebecca is experienced in advising on UK disputes involving challenges to wills,…
Prav Reddy photo Prav Reddy Prav deals in corporate and personal insolvency for office holders, creditors, debtors,…
Kathryn Robinson photo Ms Kathryn Robinson Associate
William Rollin photo William Rollin Partner
Ingrid Saffin photo Ingrid Saffin Partner
David Savage photo David Savage David is head of construction, engineering and projects at Charles Russell Speechlys.…
Geoffrey Sparks photo Geoffrey Sparks Partner
Gareth Walliss photo Gareth Walliss Senior Associate
Rachel Warren photo Rachel Warren Legal Director
Karen Wilsher photo Karen Wilsher Partner
Number of UK partners : 170

The Legal 500 Future Lawyers Verdict

A ‘unique mixture of commercial and private client work’ sets Charles Russell Speechlys apart. The ‘humanity in the recruitment process’, the ‘opportunity to train in a number of different practice areas’ and a ‘commitment to ESG and the future of the firm’ encouraged trainees to choose the London, Guildford and Surrey-based firm. It follows that the firm is Future Lawyers Winner for sustainability. Some of the benefits of working at Charles Russell Speechlys are ‘the established base of landed estate clients’, ‘the approachability of the partners and senior fee earners’ and the people: ‘everyone who works at the firm has a great perspective on life and similar values, which makes for a great working environment’ - ‘there is no dog-eat-dog atmosphere’ here! Another plus point is that the ‘work/life balance is extremely reasonable given the quality of work we do. Some trainees complained about the ‘over-popularity of some seats, such as private client, family and employment’ which can ‘make seat rotations unpredictable’. There is also a ‘push towards real estate and corporate seats, something which some recruits say they were not aware of before joining. Trainees would also like the firm to be ‘more transparent about job opportunities post qualification earlier on in the process. Best moments include ‘sitting in on a meeting with a celebrity’, ‘independently running matters for a charity in my real estate seat’ and ‘attending a five-day hearing at the High Court for a high-net-worth divorce’. Less enjoyable times were ‘reviewing 20 boxes of files for 'relevant documents'’, ‘a few late nights, and ‘messing up on a completion’. For a ‘breadth of practice areas without compromising on quality of work’ at a firm with ‘a very good level of support and supervision’, research Charles Russell Speechlys.