Firm Profile > Stevens & Bolton LLP > Guildford , South East

Stevens & Bolton LLP
South East

Aviation Tier 1

The 'well-knit' aviation team at Stevens & Bolton LLP handles a range of multijurisdictional aircraft and engine transactions and it also advises aircraft operators on significant contentious matters. 'Ferociously commercial' practice head Richard Mumford specialises in complex legal disputes and asset recovery. Daniel James departed for asb law LLP in May 2018.

Banking and finance Tier 1

Stevens & Bolton LLP’s banking and finance team has in-depth expertise in acquisition finance, real estate finance and corporate debt financing and refinancing. Asset-based lending deals, bridge finance and trade finance are other areas of strength. The practice is also known for his high-profile work on the borrower side, advising corporate businesses of various sizes on negotiating banking facilities in conjunction with M&A and multilateral deals. Jonathan Porteous heads the practice. Andrew Dodds was made partner in May 2019.

Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey and Sussex Tier 1

One of the largest regional teams, Stevens & Bolton LLP's disputes resolution group takes on large-scale litigation and international arbitration. It serves clients in myriad sectors and includes those that are USA-based. Its work also encompasses advising on commercial disputes in areas such as trading disputes, shareholder actions, fraud and negligence. Team head Sarah Murray  acts for well-known, international retail clients and Richard Mumford focuses on the aviation sector. Michael Frisby and Richard King provide a wealth of experience in both litigation and arbitration and Andrew Quick has expertise in professional negligence and franchising disputes.

Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Stevens & Bolton LLP serves an impressive breadth of retail and leisure, developer, and investor clients in addition to lenders; it is on the panel of a number of banks. Andrew Steele is highly rated for his experience in the healthcare sector and for advising corporate occupiers. Howard Lupton's expertise includes industrial and out of town retail developments, joint ventures and forward funding. 'Trusted partner' Alex Watt is valued for his work on all types of acquisitions and related funding and he and Jonathan Cope 'work tirelessly to support [clients] and ensure the service given is exceptional.'

Construction Tier 1

Stevens & Bolton LLP's construction and engineering group sits within the firm's wider real estate practice. It generates a steady flow of contractual and procurement work in relation to high-value projects, and also handles contentious work, with a strong penchant for technical engineering disputes. Practice head Stephen Rockhill, who qualified as a mechanical and electrical engineer before becoming a solicitor, 'combines robustness with wisdom'. Ben Willis, who primarily undertakes non-contentious construction work, joined from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP.

Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Stevens & Bolton LLP, which is considered 'pre-eminent' in the market, can mobilise large, multi-disciplinary teams that provide expertise in areas from tax to competition issues. Its clients range from owner-managed to private equity and international businesses. James Waddell heads the corporate offering, while Beverley Whittaker leads on the commercial side. Richard Baxter is experienced in mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructurings and fundraisings, while Keith Syson's expertise lies in company law.

Corporate tax Tier 1

The corporate tax team at Stevens & Bolton LLP is best known for advising entrepreneurial clients, owner managers and SMEs on exit tax planning and M&A transactions involving complex equity incentive structures. The practice is growing its expertise across the full range of equity incentive schemes, including EMI schemes and unapproved option schemes, as well as employment-related incentive structuring for private equity transactions. Kate Schmit heads the practice. Jamie Crawford was made partner in May 2018.

Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

'With a very commercial approach', the impressive employment and immigration team at Stevens & Bolton LLP is led by the 'exceptional' Kerry Garcia. Equally well-regarded partner Hannah Ford has a track record dealing with tribunal litigation; Lloyd Davey concentrates on clients within the technology, media and retail sectors and is highlighted for his offering on the full range of HR advice; and senior associate Abigail Etchells has a focus on TUPE matters and agency worker issues. The team has collective skills across all aspects of employment advisory and contentious cases.

EU and competition Tier 1

Stevens & Bolton LLP’s competition and regulatory team specialises in investigations and merger control, particularly in the life science, fast-moving consumer goods and retail sectors. The practice’s work has a strong international focus, providing strategic advice to clients on complex cross-border matters including Brexit issues. Gustaf Duhs heads the practice.

Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

The 'proficient' team at Stevens & Bolton LLP attracts some of the most complex financial remedy cases and disputes relating to nuptial agreements, advising clients including ultra high-net-worth individuals and business owners. It also handles cases where clients and/or assets are located abroad and private children matters. Nicola Harries has extensive experience in dealing with high-value divorce cases, usually involving complex financial proceedings and Caroline Gordon-Smith's broad practice includes disputes over children, especially where moving abroad is an issue.

Immigration Tier 1

Stevens & Bolton LLP has extensive expertise in business immigration, especially in Tier 2 and related business immigration matters. 'First class' employment lawyer Kerry Garcia heads the practice which is increasingly sought after by private and corporate clients to assist with T1 Investor applications, residency permits, naturalisation and advising on the status and employment of EEA nationals post Brexit.  Associate Jackie Penlington is also recommended for business and personal immigration issues.

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

The 'very strong' insolvency and corporate recovery team at Stevens & Bolton LLP's Guildford office has gone from strength to strength over the last year. Under the leadership of practice heads Tim Carter and David Steinberg, the team attracts complex and high profile matters, covering the full range of restructuring and insolvency matters. Recent work highlights include taking instruction from the administrators and then the liquidators of a telecoms company in relation to the ongoing trading of the company in administration and post-completion issues, including liquidation-only disclaimer of lease property.

Intellectual property Tier 1

Stevens & Bolton LLP provides clients with a full service in IP matters, and is particularly notable within the region for the range of its client roster. The firm is also distinguished by its life sciences and technology offerings, which include patent and know-how licencing work. Practice head Tom Lingard focuses primarily on contentious work, along with complex licencing, while other key names at the practice include Charlotte Tillett and senior associate Elaine O'Hare.

IT and telecoms Tier 1

Stevens & Bolton LLP is home to one of the region's largest IT teams that serves clients from a wide range of sectors. The firm maintains strong links with the University of Surrey's technology incubator, giving it a notable presence in the start-up and emerging technologies sector. Beverley Whittaker heads the team and has significant expertise in IT contracts, while managing associate Charles Maurice is also a key member of the team.

Media and entertainment Tier 1

Stevens & Bolton LLP provides a full service to media sector clients, with strong offerings in both contentious and non-contentious work. The firm is notable for its work with publishing sector clients on IP matters, including litigation and advice on the licensing of IP rights. Tom Lingard heads the practice, and is a key contact for media-related litigation as a solicitor-advocate.

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

Stevens & Bolton LLP is highlighted for combining first-rate advice with diplomatic handling of clients' sensitivities. The 'calm, reassuring and authoritative'  Stuart Skeffington  supports clients on on all aspects of tax and trusts including: complex onshore and offshore trust structures and charities issues as does Nick Acomb. Rosie Todd is noted for her 'poised and authoritative' approach to succession planning for both UK- and non-UK-domiciled clients. Junior members of the team, particularly partner James Hardaker also attract client appreciation.

Property litigation Tier 1

The 'very experienced' real estate dispute resolution team at Stevens & Bolton LLP  'consistently provides excellent advice'. It acts for clients across a wide range of industries, including retail, food and drink, travel and leisure, education and healthcare. The practice has had a notable increase in mandates from developers and real estate investors. Also notable is that, in 2018, the firm advised on a number of complex lease renewal claims. Helen Wheddon heads up the team, which includes Markus Klempa, who has particular expertise in devising vacant possession strategies.

Sport Tier 1

Advising on commercial and IP matters, the team at Stevens & Bolton LLP act for a wide range of sports clients, including high-profile sports clubs, agencies, and events organisers. Charles Maurice is the key contact for sports clients seeking commercial advice, and acts for some of the firm's most high-profile clients. On the IP side, Tom Lingard takes the lead, and has strong experience in litigation as a solicitor-advocate.

Environment Tier 2

Stevens & Bolton LLP demonstrates strong capabilities in a wide range of matters, with particular strengths in environmental liability and environmental insurance. Its work includes advice to clients on environmental insurance policies, liabilities related to land and water pollution, the environmental liability directive and environmental damage regulations. Associate Markus Klempa  is the name to note for asbestos-related litigation. Valerie Fogleman leads the team.

Pensions Tier 2

Stevens & Bolton LLP advises a mix of start-up businesses and large international corporates as well as trustees of occupational trust-based schemes.  Gabrielle Holgate leads the practice from the Guildford office and assists employers with governance, benefitS changes, litigation, Pension Protection Fund-related issues and pensions aspects of corporate transactions.

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Partner James Lister heads up the contentious trusts and estates department at Stevens & Bolton LLP, which 'balances the work ethic and knowledge of a city firm with the personal sensibilities of a local firm'. The group has significant involvement in multijurisdictional matters, having recently represented clients in disputes connected with Guernsey, Jersey, Singapore, France and Germany. High-value trust and estate work is a key area of focus. Lister also has experience of Court of Protection cases.

Stevens & Bolton is a leading full-service top 100 law firm, with a single office in Guildford, with 42 partners and some 150 lawyers. Its single-office strategy, close to London, ensures excellent communication and co-ordination of resources, for the benefit of its clients. The firm offers a high-quality alternative to City of London firms, as its out of London location means combining quality with cost-effectiveness, helping to deliver a better-value service.

The firm: Clients include a number of the top 100 and other UK FTSE companies, as well as other major international groups and high-net-worth individuals. Key industry sectors and markets include aviation, entrepreneurs, life sciences, retail, and technology and media. With many clients being multinationals, being based overseas or with international business interests, the firm has established close relationships with overseas firms in key jurisdictions, whose approach to service and quality is similar to its own.

Independently recommended in 26 specialist practice areas, the firm has attracted many other awards and quality marks – the firm was highly commended for ‘Regional/Offshore Firm of the Year’ at the Legal Business Awards 2019 and shortlisted for ‘National Firm of the Year’ at The Lawyer Awards 2019.

Types of work undertaken: Stevens & Bolton offers a wide range of specialist practice areas, combined with sector experience and strength in depth.

Corporate/commercial: with one of the largest teams of specialist corporate lawyers in the South East, outside London, the firm undertakes the full range of corporate and corporate finance work including public and private M&A, private equity, fund raisings, joint ventures and IPOs. The team is supported by the full range of specialists required to support corporate transactional work, including real estate, tax, planning and environment, employment, immigration and pensions, banking and finance, regulatory, intellectual property and franchising. The firm’s experienced commercial team advises across a wide range of commercial transactions.

Real estate: the team (including construction, property litigation, planning and environment) has a wealth of experience dealing with corporate occupiers, developers, investors and lenders across a number of sectors including retail, office, industrial, hotels and leisure, education, medical centres and nursing homes. One area of particular strength is landlord and tenant work where it acts for a number of well-known retailers and corporate occupiers including acting for franchisors and franchisees.

Commercial litigation: as one of the largest contentious law practices in the South East, the team has a wealth of experience in advising clients in the full range of corporate and commercial disputes. Dedicated teams manage disputes in relation to construction, employment, information technology, insolvency, insurance, intellectual property, professional indemnity and real estate. In addition to handling litigation, the firm represents clients in arbitrations (both UK and international), mediations and expert determinations and regulatory prosecutions, providing strategic advice in the areas of claims avoidance, risk management and litigation costs, including advice on litigation funding and defending costs claims.

Employment, immigration and pensions: the firm’s top-ranked team advises on all aspects of employment law and provides a full range of contentious and non-contentious employment services for employers, together with industrial relations advice. It also offers advice on immigration matters and in relation to pensions.

Private client: the experienced private client team advises on all aspects of private client matters including in relation to tax, trusts, estate planning, charities, family law and residential property – including capital tax planning, onshore and offshore trusts, planning for non-UK domiciliaries, estate administration, investment taxation, heritage property, landed estates and tax litigation.

Further information on the firm’s experience and services offered is available from its website,

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Richard King
Banking and finance Jonathan Porteous
Charities Stuart Skeffington
Commercial contracts Beverley Whittaker
Construction and engineering Stephen Rockhill
Contentious trusts and probate James Lister
Corporate finance James Waddell
Data protection Beverley Flynn
Debt recovery Michael Frisby
Dispute resolution Richard Mumford
Employment Kerry Garcia
Entrepreneurs Nick Atkins
Environment Valerie Fogleman
EU and competition Gustaf Duhs
Family Nicola Harries
Franchising Nicola Broadhurst
Immigration Kerry Garcia
IP Tom Lingard
IT Gary Parnell
Life sciences Charlotte Tillett
Partnership Jenny Robertson
Pensions Gabrielle Holgate
Private client Nick Acomb
Professional negligence Andrew Quick
Real estate Andrew Steele
Real estate litigation Helen Wheddon
Restructuring and insolvency Tim Carter
Restructuring and insolvency David Steinberg
Share options, employee incentives Kate Schmit
Tax Stuart Skeffington
Photo Name Position Profile
 Nicholas Acomb  photo Nicholas Acomb
 Nick Atkins  photo Nick Atkins
Ms Richard Baxter photo Ms Richard Baxter
 Joe Bedford  photo Joe Bedford
 Nicola Broadhurst  photo Nicola Broadhurst
 Tim Carter  photo Tim Carter
 Ian Craig  photo Ian Craig
 Jamie Crawford  photo Jamie Crawford
 Lloyd Davey  photo Lloyd Davey
 Andrew Dodds  photo Andrew Dodds
 Gustaf Duhs  photo Gustaf Duhs
 Kimberley Eyssell  photo Kimberley Eyssell
 Beverley Flynn  photo Beverley Flynn
 Valerie Fogleman  photo Valerie Fogleman
 Hannah Ford  photo Hannah Ford
 Daryl Fox  photo Daryl Fox
 Michael Frisby  photo Michael Frisby
 Kerry Garcia  photo Kerry Garcia
 James Hardaker  photo James Hardaker
 Nicola Harries  photo Nicola Harries
 Gabrielle Holgate  photo Gabrielle Holgate
 Richard King  photo Richard King
 Tom Lingard  photo Tom Lingard
 James Lister  photo James Lister
 Howard Lupton  photo Howard Lupton
 Charles Maurice  photo Charles Maurice
 Sarah Murray  photo Sarah Murray
 Gary Parnell  photo Gary Parnell
 Jonathan Porteous  photo Jonathan Porteous
 Andrew Quick  photo Andrew Quick
 Daryl Rivero  photo Daryl Rivero
 Jenny Robertson  photo Jenny Robertson
 Stephen Rockhill  photo Stephen Rockhill
 Kate Schmit  photo Kate Schmit
 Stuart Skeffington  photo Stuart Skeffington
 Andrew Steele  photo Andrew Steele
 David Steinberg  photo David Steinberg
 Keith Syson  photo Keith Syson
 Charlotte Tillett  photo Charlotte Tillett
 Rosie Todd  photo Rosie Todd
 James Waddell  photo James Waddell
 Alex Watt  photo Alex Watt
 Helen Wheddon  photo Helen Wheddon
 Beverley Whittaker  photo Beverley Whittaker
Mr Ken Woffenden photo Mr Ken Woffenden
Number of UK partners : 42
Number of other UK fee earners : 111