Firm Profile > Steele Raymond LLP > Bournemouth, England

Steele Raymond LLP

Commercial litigation: Dorset and South Wiltshire Tier 1

Steele Raymond LLP, which handles the full range of disputes for local clients, has had a notable increase in property litigation, construction litigation and professional negligence mandates. Peter Rolph (who has over 36 years of commercial litigation experience) heads up the team, which was strengthened by the arrival of Lauren Hayes from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. Hayes covers a wide range of commercial disputes, with a particular specialism in contentious intellectual property matters. Hannah Dare is recommended for her property litigation expertise, which includes landlord and tenant disputes and applications under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

Practice head(s):

Peter Rolph

Other key lawyers:


Very experienced in dealing with all kinds of commercial disputes, and can be relied upon to proceed with a case in a sensible and proportionate manner

Very practical and good with people, excellent at understanding the client’s needs and finding the best way to achieve the best possible outcome

They act pragmatically and advise you on the options and likely costs

The core team has been together for many years and have a good understanding of our business and the problems that we face. They handled matters in a competent, professional manner whilst remaining approachable at all times

Peter Rolph is a highly experienced litigator who takes a practical approach

Alice Toop is organised and very thorough

Peter Rolph has an excellent legal and commercial brain

I have found Peter to be careful, efficient and knowledgeable of the area; he steered a difficult claim with great sensitivity and expertise. He was ably supported by Alice Toop

I have found all the individuals I have dealt with to be outstanding. Always available to explain legal procedures in layman’s terms and their advice has been invaluable

Peter Rolph and Alice Toop have been exceptional, so helpful and knowledgeable in their dealings with me, I cannot praise them highly enough

Peter Rolph and Alice Toop were extremely friendly and listened to my problem; as a result, one already felt at ease

Partners Peter Rolph, Tim Stone, Paul Longland and Jennifer Rogerson embody the capabilities that we value in the firm

Lauren Hayes joined the team relatively recently but has achieved some excellent results for us

Nikki Gates has handled work for us for many years with considerable success

Key clients

Selwood Limited

Commercial property: Dorset and South Wiltshire Tier 1

Steele Raymond LLP's team advises on matters such as sales and acquisitions of properties, leases, licenses, mortgages and charges, among others. Practice head Chris Twaits is ‘proactive and demonstrates an extremely high level of professional skills and ability’. Jennifer Rogerson, who is ‘always attentive and highly professional’, excels in retail sector landlord and tenant work, as well as investment and pension property investment mandates. The ‘excellentEmma Stainwright handles residential development mandates for landowners and regional housebuilders. Carol Elliott and associate Kayleigh Medland are also highly recommended. In April 2019, Caroline Probert joined from Trethowans LLP.

Practice head(s):

Chris Twaits


Very responsive and always willing to help even under great pressure

The firm’s commercial property service exceeds other property firms in the area

The team is thorough, comes up with creative solutions, and has a highly professional approach

The team adopts a personal approach but it is also sufficiently big in size to handle more demanding issues

Key clients

Premiere Coffee


Broadshade Group

Toogoods Property Company

West Wales Airport

Grange Mill Investments

World of Water Garden Centre

West Quay Holdings Poole

Charles Trent


Pivotal Homes Group


Bournemouth Churches Housing Association

Harry J Palmer

AJC Developments



GP Commercial Investments

Old Malthouse (Purbeck)

Hillbrush Company

Stewarts Garden Centres


JGP Lakedale

The Jurassic Coffee Company

Corporate and commercial: Dorset and South Wiltshire Tier 1

Steele Raymond LLP undertakes a broad range of corporate and commercial work, although its primary specialism is in the M&A market. Share buybacks, corporate demergers and MBOs are bedrocks of the practice, while aircraft acquisitions and renewable energy projects have been areas of significant expansion. Tim Stone heads up both the corporate and commercial teams, with his experience leaning towards corporate M&A. New arrival Paula Eckton has a wealth of commercial experience, having previously led the team at Trethowans LLP.

Practice head(s):

Tim Stone

Other key lawyers:

Nick Davies; Shaun Guppy; Paul Longland; Craig Hardman


‘The team fully understands our commercial needs and desire to minimise legal fees. A great level of experience in dealing with corporate matters with all sizes of businesses. The key people are interested in getting to know our business. You feel every time you contact them you can pick up from where you last left off, without the need to explain the basics all the time. That sense of stability really matters.’

‘This team helped us through our first business acquisition process. They were very supportive throughout and very thorough. They had a clear focus on the key parts of the deal and made sure that everything was covered off before we completed. Their attention to detail and guidance were greatly appreciated as was their accessibility when we needed to contact them. They are a very competent team that filled you with confidence that they would deliver the right result which they did.’

‘I have had some complicated and difficult corporate matters that required some detailed expert knowledge and also a great deal of patience in ensuring a successful outcome. They involved complicated people and situations. They took the time to understand all the nuances of complicated legal and personality problems with understanding, integrity and a clearness of thought.’

‘What is unique about Steele Raymond is that they consistently deliver on what they actually say you can expect from them. The client experience focus is tangible and evidenced by their partner-led approach, which is accessible and responsive. The transparency on fees is refreshing, however, the stand out aspect from my personal experience is the plain English ethos which allows our business to act quickly and professionally.’

‘Steele Raymond represent a hands on and senior led advisory practice. Having worked them in both a corporate and private capacity, they take the time to understand both the issues and the personalities involved and how their advice both needs to be technically accurate but capable of being delivered and the best outcome reached in the specific circumstances involved.’

‘A well resourced commercial/contract team who importantly are prompt to respond, willing to take on challenges and have a very pragmatic approach to setting out agreements which helps to ease the whole process.’

Extremely good presentation. First impression of office ambience is very professional. We have a good working relationship with the senior partner Tim Stone and his team. Very knowledgeable and thorough. Other firms have not had the specialist knowledge our clients were looking for.’

‘Individuals demonstrate they know our business, it’s key drivers and key objectives.’

‘We worked with Tim Stone on a long-term corporate matter. His thoughtful and considered advice to us in an unfamiliar situation was of enormous help in coming to our final conclusions. He was always available to discuss matters and his experience in these matters was invaluable.’

‘They are responsive, delivering when agreed no matter how big (or small) the piece of work across a range of specialisms.’

‘Tim Stone leads from the front and guided us through the process. He is very approachable but with a keen eye for the major issues.’

‘Tim Stone provides a very personal hands-on approach with a clear understanding of all matters along with good legal knowledge and an excellent negotiating ability. I have rarely found a lawyer who has the integrity of Tim and who has such excellent qualities and wish to do the very best for his clients.’

‘One standout partner at Steele Raymond is Paula Eckton. What impresses me, is that Paula not only manages to decipher what I am trying to articulate but similarly articulates her response in such a way that really helps me understand the context and purpose. This ability enables me to converse and negotiate confidently with our customers whilst supporting my personal development.’

‘I’ve worked with both Tim Stone and Craig Hardman, on cases where the personalities (both client and other side) have been hugely challenging. Their advice always reflects both the legal position but also the practical achievement of the best outcome for the client. Often in advisory firms the concept of delivering good advice can be forgotten in identifying the legal situation. At Steele Raymond they focus on the outcome and how to achieve that and guide and advise their clients to understand what is both deliverable and a good outcome for them.’

‘Paula Eckton is without doubt one of the best commercial/contract lawyers I have come across. She is a very dedicated individual who strives to get the best out of the parties involved. She is highly responsive , experienced and pragmatic in her approach.’

‘Tim Stone is extremely grounded and is able to deliver complicated topics in a coherent way. Paul Longland is also of a similar personality. They are a pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

Clark family, Clark Group, Parvalux Electric Motors


Robert Braithwaite (founder of Sunseeker International Yachts)

Arden Group

Lewis family, Rotable Repairs, PDQ Airspares

Challenge Group (HK)

Goadsby Estate Agency Group

Viper 10 Sportswear

The Hill Brush Company Limited

Selwood Limited

Employment: Dorset and South Wiltshire Tier 2

Steele Raymond LLP's contentious work is a notable area of growth; the firm is increasingly active in discrimination cases, in particular. It also undertakes a a significant volume of whistleblowing matters. Elsewhere, the firm has a strong flow of non-contentious work, which includes assisting clients with service agreements and TUPE transfers. In addition, the team has expertise in long-term sick leave and income protection policies. Team head Amy Cousineau Massey works with Peter Rolph, who has experience of restructurings, share packages and post-termination restrictions.

Practice head(s):

Amy Cousineau Massey

Other key lawyers:


For me what makes Steele Raymond LLP unique is whoever I come into contact with at the practice, I find I am dealt with in a friendly, professional and approachable manner. 

The team can be relied upon to deliver what they say they are going to and I have no doubt at all that our working relationship will strengthen even more over time

I especially appreciate their clear communication, how they manage my expectations re: budget and expected duration of work, and their expert knowledge which has often proved greater than lawyers I have used in the past

An excellent team with a very practical and commercial outlook

The employment team builds strong relationships with their clients through understanding of their needs and commercial requirements. They are pragmatic and empathetic in their approach, and honest with their advice

They responded very quickly and guided us through a potentially tricky and very time consuming situation with ease. They came up with a practical solution to sensitive issue which solved the situation completely

I would specifically recommend Amy Cousineau-Massey

Amy Cousineau-Massey has high emotional intelligence, and is shrewd in her advice

Amy is approachable, engaging and an expert in her field. She offers effective legal solutions to complex employment cases by taking a pragmatic approach and fully understanding the commercial reality of any given situation. Amy is also keen to support and build working relationships within professional networks for the mutual benefit of all concerned. In short, Amy is a pleasure to work with and a credit to her profession

We worked with Amy Cousineau Massey and Peter Rolph during a recent restructuring exercise. The situation was fast moving and Amy and Peter gave swift and clear answers to issues that we encountered during the process. It made a difficult easier to deal with knowing that we had excellent legal advice available very quickly

The calmness of both Peter Rolph and Amy Cousineau Massey is a breath of fresh air within the legal arena. They are both strategic yet pragmatic in their approach to their work and their clients. Quite simply, they are a pleasure to work with and they accomplish outstanding results

Amy Cousineau Massey is a very approachable and resourceful. She is very accessible and has provided some very helpful and cost effective solutions to some tricky situations

Family Tier 2

Steele Raymond LLP advises on financial remedy and cohabitation disputes, as well as on financial settlements after divorce and relationship breakdown. The practice also covers the drafting and negotiation of prenuptial agreements and assists with the protection of assets. Polish-speaking practice head Daniel Sanders handles child-related matters such as relocation disputes and regularly acts for members of Polish community groups. Senior associate Lindsay Halliwell is a family mediator and advises on urgent interim child arrangements. High-net-worth individuals, landowners and business owners count to the practice’s key clients.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Sanders

Other key lawyers:

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Steele Raymond LLP handles contested probate and trust disputes and Inheritance Act claims. The firm is experienced in handling disputes regarding offshore trusts and cross-border estates. Clients involve high-net-worth claimants and defendants as well as executors. Another key aspect of the work is advising contentious matters regarding wills constructed by or on behalf of elderly clients with insufficient mental capacity as well as disputes concerning undue influence asserted on vulnerable clients.

Practice head(s):

John Andrews

Education Tier 3

Steele Raymond LLP is deeply embedded in the education sector, with members of its team having experience of serving as school governors. It acts for independent and maintained schools and colleges on governance and staffing arrangements as well as student/staff discipline, among other matters.. John Andrews, who heads up the department, has particular experience of handling appeals, including those involving decisions about pupils’ admissions. Peter Rolph represents clients in disputes over employment, construction and commercial affairs. The team has particular expertise advising clients on issues associated with individuals with special educational needs.

Practice head(s):

John Andrews

Other key lawyers:


A very solid and highly professional team

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

Steele Raymond LLP specialises in technical tax issues, including advice on the taxation of offshore assets, inheritance tax, estate tax returns and the tax-efficient termination of trusts. The practice is also experienced in administering trusts and estates. The team additionally provides regulatory advice regarding company reorganisations and stamp duty land tax. Another field of expertise is the drafting of wills.

Practice head(s):

Sue Adams

Other key lawyers:

Paul Causton


The private client team has a great tax expertise which is a big bonus; it can interface very well with accountants and link well

Sue Adams and her team really are a credit to the firm

Sue Adams is very approachable and easily understood and a pleasure to deal with

Property litigation Tier 4

The property litigation team at Steele Raymond LLP is knowledgeable about a full spectrum of contentious issues arising in relation to both commercial and residential property. Senior associate Hannah Dare, who leads the team, advises on disputes arising from the ownership, leasing and management of land. The team expanded its offering by hiring solicitor Lauren Hayes from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in 2018.

Practice head(s):

Hannah Dare

Other key lawyers:


Steele Raymond has a litigation practice which provides solid legal advice and works closely with its clients

All team members are very competent, professional and focused

Steele Raymond’s property team is second to none

Hannah Dare provides comprehensive and commercially strong advice

Hannah Dare has a steady hand in guiding clients through difficult processes

Key clients

Bournemouth Churches Housing Association

Jennings Racing


Grange Mill Investments Limited

South Somerset District Council

Betting Shop

This leading Southern England practice serves a wide range of business and private clients. Company and commercial law, involving a wide range of corporate transactions (including complex Mergers and Acquisitions), commercial litigation and commercial property deals, are notable strengths and the firm also has particular expertise in large scale residential development projects, SIPP/SSAS pension investments, employment and construction litigation. Specialist commercial tax is a strength and private client services, including related tax advice, are also provided including specialist contentious trusts and probate work.

The firm: Steele Raymond LLP was founded in 1979 as a niche practice to serve the legal needs of all types of commercial client. Since then it has grown rapidly to become one of the most successful commercial law firms on the south coast of England.

The firm now has an extensive and varied portfolio of UK clients, including private and public companies, partnerships, housing associations, educational bodies, charities, insolvency practitioners and insurance companies. The practice also acts for a number of clients based in Europe, the US and the Far East.

The firm has both the capacity and expertise to respond effectively and efficiently to clients’ needs, as well as the skills to communicate its advice clearly and concisely. The firm adopts a commercial and proactive approach to solving problems.  Front and centre of all the advice provided is an answer to every client’s key question: ‘What would you do in my shoes?!

The firm’s solicitors are also used to working with in-house legal teams and supporting them in their role.

Types of work undertaken:

Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Tim Stone 01202 294566
Managing Partner Peter Rolph 01202 294566
Corporate & Commercial Tim Stone 01202 294566
Commercial Litigation/Litigation Peter Rolph 01202 294566
Commercial Property Chris Twaits 01202 294566
Education John Andrews 01202 294566
Private client Sue Adams 01202 294566
Tax Sue Adams 01202 294566
Family Daniel Sanders 01202 294566
Residential Property Jennifer Rogerson 01202 294566
Development & Social Housing Emma Stainwright 01202 294566
Employment Law Deborah West 01202 294566
Construction Peter Rolph 01202 294566
Pension Property Investment Caroline Probert 01202 294566
Photo Name Position Profile
 John Andrews  photo John Andrews John has wide experience in several sectors and is partner within the…
 Michelle Bettell  photo Michelle Bettell Chartered Legal Executive
 Laura Clarke  photo Laura Clarke Laura is an Associate solicitor in the private client team in Southbourne.…
 Jesamine Somerville  photo Jesamine Somerville Jesamine is a solicitor in the Private Client Team in the Bournemouth…
Number of partners : 15
Number of other fee-earners : 34
Farsi (Persian)
Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP)

The Lex 100 Verdict

Bournemouth's Steele Raymond 'punches above its weight in terms of the high-quality commercial work it undertakes'. A 'very well-organised and structured assessment day' where trainees 'had the chance to talk to the chairman and managing partner from the outset' impressed recruits. In fact, the firm came across as so 'friendly and welcoming' that one respondent 'felt at home from the first time I came here'. Whilst 'trainees are expected to work hard, 'supervisors don't believe in us staying late in the office simply for the sake of appearances'. But this does not mean recruits have to compromise on responsibility in any way, rather they are 'given the opportunity to take ownership of matters', which 'prepares [them] for life as an NQ'. Steele Raymond has earned an impressive seven Lex 100 Winner awards this year; quality of work and partner approachability just a couple of the medals the firm has amassed. One grumble was that 'trainee salaries lag behind other firms', with another trainee bemoaning the 'salary level in the second year of the training contract'. That the firm is not very well known outside of Dorset, 'despite having a number of very large clients', was also a bugbear. Worst moments were 'having to say no to work from a partner because my workload was already too high' and 'being faced with an upset client in a particularly sad case'. A genuine high point, however, was 'my six months in the company commercial team where I was treated to a varied and fast-paced caseload and partners devoted considerable time to help me develop'. To work with people who are 'friendly and happy to help' in a firm which is a few minutes' walk from some of Bournemouth's best beaches – what's not to like?', research Steele Raymond.