Stone King LLP > Bath, England > Firm Profile
Stone King LLP Offices
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Stone King LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
Stone King LLP's 'exemplary' Bath-based crime and regulatory team handles criminal defence and appellate work before courts at all levels and has been praised by multiple clients for the assistance it provided in relation to court hearings during the Covid pandemic. Safeguarding is a key area for the group, which works alongside education and charity sector clients in matters arising from allegations of a sexual nature. Other practice strengths include inquest and public inquiry work, led by the 'always responsive' Andrew Banks, and assisting those with mental health issues and developmental disabilities with navigating the criminal justice system, where departmental head Matthew Graham, a veteran solicitor-advocate, focuses his time. Senior associate Nicholas Wragg is increasingly active in defending cases involving alleged sexual offences.
‘Approachable with excellent, transparent communication skills. All staff in my experience offer respect and courtesy in equal measure. Within Stone King, the ethos is not an “us and them”, it is a “we together” offering. Certainly and without question, this practice is an exemplary example of how to manage a sex offending portfolio, to facilitate hopefulness for a better life moving forward. Bravo Stone King.’
‘Matthew Graham and Nicholas Wragg are a formidable duo, and it is always a pleasure to work with either of them. They are highly professional, but are also adept at assisting clients to remain calm. They inject (metaphorically) clients with the will to survive their investigation. That is truly valued by clients. Matthew and Nicholas bring humanity, and that ought never to be underestimated.’
‘With the advent of Covid and my personal social difficulties, the use of technology both between myself and them and their arranging remote court appearances has been immensely helpful. The amount of preparation was appreciated by the court and may well have helped my case.’
‘Matthew Graham has always presented his interpretation of a situation in a clear and straightforward manner with no frills but with understanding and consideration, making sure I was making informed decisions throughout the legal process as well as making suggestions for my preparation for court. Ryan O’Donnell took over the day-to-day running of my situation, referring to Matthew when necessary. His management, preparation and presentation of my case were excellent, leading to the court expressing its gratitude.’
‘Attention to detail. Responsiveness. Plain speaking.’
‘Andrew Banks is always responsive. Excellent strategic advice.’
‘Andrew Banks’ personal availability, his clarity, his sympathetic dialogue and his sense of reassurance when I was experiencing stress were all commendable, of the highest standard.’
‘From the first point of engagement, Stone King (and Nicholas Wragg in particular) put me at total ease with my matter and never made me feel judged or bad about myself. The team, from front of house through to the partners and associates that I worked with, were very pleasant, engaging and supportive to my cause. The atmosphere within the entire building was bright and positive and I am sure that this is a conscious perception that they are keen to offer everyone that engages with them. This is far from many other professional offices where, on entering the building, there is a feeling of foreboding and even fear as you approach the reception counter. Stone King was far better than that!’
Representing over 200 charities, many of which include household names, Stone King LLP's practise advises clients on all aspects of the law in this sector. Its primary client mix includes schools, museums, livery companies and City corporations, religious organisations, and military charities. This is supplemented by an increasing focus on social enterprises, with a particular emphasis on partnerships between charities and public authorities. Practice head Tim Rutherford has significant experience working with faith-based charities and almshouses, while Alexandra Steffensen focuses on the heritage sector.
Other key lawyers:
‘Right from the outset they understood our situation and guided us seamlessly through a complex process. The team took the time at all stages to ensure we were briefed, which included explaining things in detail and in layman’s terms. They were always available to answer any queries, quickly and completely. ’
‘Prompt and thorough attention to client queries, displaying great expertise on the issues in question. Also excellent dialogue about fees and billing.’
‘We find they are clear on who is responsible for what and we contact that person directly. They are willing to go the extra mile to support our needs.’
‘Tim Rutherford was incredibly helpful and nothing was too much trouble for him. He took the time to explain situations with us which was so helpful as we were not experienced the workings of charity law.’
‘Alexandra Steffensen was our major point of contact and was always available or would tell us if she was on leave. Stone King was chosen because of its expertise with military charities. It was a very good choice’
‘The team understand their audience of small charity organisations without specialist staff and are patient to explain matters over again.’
‘Tim Rutherford is very knowledgable about almshouse law, and more so than others who have a more general housing law background. His expertise around almshouses and the connection to permanent endowment requirements is strong.’
The Coldstream Guards Regimental Lieutenant-Colonel’s Fund
Dr Pusey Memorial Fund
Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood
Methodist Ministers’ Housing Society
Brentwood Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust
St John’s Winchester
St John’s Foundation Est. 1174
Bath Rugby Community Foundation
United St Saviour’s Charity
Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne
Society of Chemical Industry
- Advised the Dr Pusey Memorial Fund on the incorporation of charity, transforming its 19th-century structure into a modern corporate charity.
- Consolidating the regimental charities associated with the Coldstream Guards to enable more efficient use of resources.
- Advising the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood, an international Roman Catholic order, on transforming their activities into a group structure to provide a foundation for their future work.
Public sector > Education Tier 1Stone King LLP‘s team is regularly instructed by state funded and independent schools as well as higher education institutions and Church of England schools. It covers the full gamut of employment, property, commercial, corporate and education matters. The group also guides its clients in their Covid-19 responses with webinars and a dedicated website. The team is jointly led by independent school expert Helen Tucker in Bath, Cambridge-based Roger Inman and HE expert Tom Morrison in Leeds. Ciara Campfield handles procurement matters, while Michael Brotherton is well versed in disputes.
‘The team at Stone King are always quick to respond to my queries and are sympathetic to the tight timeframes that sometimes exist. They understand the education sector extremely well and provide support on a wide range of issues.’
‘My work is mostly through Michael Brotherton who I always find to be approachable and attentive. He takes the time to get to know his clients, and their schools or trusts, and is able to frame his advice in the context of that knowledge. His advice is always extremely helpful and he has supported the trust on wide ranging themes including admissions, exclusions, complaints and trust legal documents.’
‘Stone King are experts in Education Law and legal matters that impact schools. The education sector has seen enormous challenges in the last few years and Stone King provide invaluable, up to date, specific advice and guidance to help schools navigate their way through. Their approach helps to give school leaders options, solutions and confidence in how to proceed.’
‘I have worked with Helen Tucker and Lucy Blackwell. Both are superb in terms of their client facing approach. They are available, flexible and very understanding of the specific challenges that we face in the education sector. They have a solutions-based approach with a great balance between seeing and explaining the big picture and then rolling up their sleeves to provide tangible, practical advice and documentation. This helps School Heads to move forwards both informed and with confidence.’
The Partnership Trust
Wellsway Multi Academy Trust
Palladian Academy Trust
Cotswold Beacon Academy Trust
The Futures Trust
St Gregory’s Catholic College
St Brendan’s Sixth Form College
Greenwood Tree Academy Trust
Clevedon Learning Trust
- Advised Cotswold Beacon Academy Trust on a range of issues this year but in particular on a complex objection to the admission arrangements of its flagship grammar school.
- Advised King Edward VI Academy Trust on a range of Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) in the 2020 summer examination process dispute but in particular shutting down a threatened Judicial Review application against the Trust based on discrimination over CAGs.
- Defended Christ the King College against a claim for circa £8m.
Stone King LLP supports numerous state schools, including faith schools, and independent schools, drawing on strong charity and business law teams. It provides a full range of services including handling school collaborations, pupil and parents issues, governance work, employment law issues, social finance matters and construction mandates, and has recently expanded its schools offering in information law, immigration issues and procurements. The specialist independent schools team, led by partner Helen Tucker, has a strong record in handling complex school merger and acquisition projects, school groups and partnerships. Other areas of work include admissions and appeals, pupil behaviour issues and exclusions, and safeguarding and Equality Act matters. Team lead Graham Burns is well known for his expertise in PFI schemes, particularly involving complex challenges with local authorities. Roger Inman heads the overall department, while Tom Morrison manages the FE sub-group.
Graham Burns; Roger Inman; Helen Tucker; Tom Morrison
‘Measured advice. Speedy response. Strong knowledge of law as it applies.’
‘All team members are specialists in their field, able to give confident and knowledgeable responses to our queries. They have clear responses, in layman’s terms when necessary, giving us clear guidance to reduce our risk profile.’
United Learning Trust
Angelina Learning Trust
Ormiston Academies Trust
Peterborough Diocesan Education Trust
Red Kite Learning Trust
United Church Schools Trust
Girls’ Day School Trust
- Advised on academy projects through a close collaboration with the Confederation of School Trusts.
- Advised a prestigious religious body in relation to the guidance and advice they could distribute to their schools in relation to school admissions and the process around this which had been severely restricted by the pandemic.
- Advised Epworth Education Trust on the merger of two Academy Trusts to create a new combined Trust for Methodist academies across the country.
Stone King LLP's dispute resolution team is particularly well known for its education and charity sector expertise, and the group is experienced in handling a range of commercial disputes including contractual and corporate litigation. Practice head Tony Pidgeon has a particular focus on real estate-related disputes, while Gavin Llewellyn (who splits his time between London and Bath) focuses on IP and brand management disputes. 'Strong lawyer' Luke Watson joined from Mogers Drewett LLP and has a breadth of commercial dispute and contentious probate experience.
‘Very client focused, understands our needs and status/position very well, ability to forecast and understand options/scenarios/plan ahead.’
‘Well regarded team, with strong private client reputation.’
‘Engaging, positive, articulate, responds well and rapidly.’
‘Luke Watson has recently joined the team. I have known Luke for about 20 years and have always found him to be very reasonable and pleasant and also to seek a settlement rather than ‘scoring points’; which is to be encouraged in this area of law.’
‘Luke Watson is highly experienced and has good judgment. He is a safe pair of hands to conduct the complex estates and charity legacy work at Stone King.’
‘Luke Watson- a good, strong lawyer.’
‘Luke Watson is a strong recent acquisition at partner level. Great personality with a real focus on the commercial reality of a dispute. Gets stuck into the detail and works hard to really understand the client.’
The Governing Body of Christ the King College
The National Heritage Memorial Fund
- Successfully defended The Governing Body of Christ the King College in a claim brought by School Facility Management for breach of contract arising out of a ‘hire agreement’ for a modular building.
The sizeable employment team at Stone King LLP offers 'a very good all-round level of service and engagement' to its base of local and national clients. The practice is well connected with its highly regarded charities, education and private client colleagues, enabling it to offer a broad range of services on matters including teachers pension advice, and exit advice for charitable CEOs. Peter Woodhouse, who leads the firm's transport and logistics work, heads the employment team from Bath. John McMullen left for Spencer West in July 2020.
Other key lawyers:
James Barratt; Jean Boyle
‘Excellent advice – solutions-oriented, up to date information. Excellent interpersonal skills – the team are customer focused, manage expectations. Excellent billing – detailed logs, great transparency. ’
‘James Barratt is always keen to assist. He is friendly and personable and has excellent customer service skills. If I present him with a case that we intend to deal with more robustly, he will provide the appropriate advice and solutions to safeguard the company’s interests.’
‘Extremely knowledgeable, and we always feel reassured and confident in the advice we are given.’
‘Jean Boyle is very generous with her time and is a great person to talk through issues with to get a legal perspective. Her knowledge on schools employment law is exemplary.’
‘Good knowledge of the sector, especially the obscure areas. Various partners lead on specific areas, for example, employment, immigration, mergers.’
‘Jean Boyle has developed a good understanding of our organisation. Her knowledge is extensive and the response time is excellent. ’
‘A very good all-round level of service and engagement. Very responsive. Excellent adaptation to working in lockdown, good virtual meeting platform’
‘Peter Woodhouse is very engaged with us as clients and worked with us in the way we wanted to work. Handled the matters we were working on at partner level and very responsive, always available. Technically excellent’
Employment > Immigration Tier 2
Stone King LLP is best known for its work in the education and charities sectors, and its specialist immigration practice is heavily focused on advised schools and academy trusts with visa applications. In the charities sector, it frequently advises religious organisations with applications for members to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme. 'Her professional knowledge, competence and efficiency are most helpful and reassuring', says a client of practice head Julie Moktadir in Cambridge, who also handles immigration matters for private individuals and start-up companies.
‘I have found Julie Moktadir to be very knowledgable and helpful with our sponsorship queries. She is always prompt and clear with her responses.’
‘The things I appreciate most from the team who have helped me in my recent immigration application are their efficiency and good use of technology which has been particularly helpful during the periods of lockdown we have had.’
‘It’s a real pleasure to work with Julie Moktadir who acted for me in my recent immigration application. Her professional knowledge, competence and efficiency are most helpful and reassuring. In addition, with her warm personality and excellent communication skill, she is approachable and makes me feel very much at ease especially during these difficult times of Covid.’
‘I have worked with Julie Moktadir at Stone King for about two years now. We are forever grateful to her support and knowledge of immigration law. Julie operates in a professional manner. She is very helpful, reassuring and client driven. I would definitely recommend seeking Julie’s legal advice.’
‘The team was well coordinated and offered an integrated service so there was always somebody I could contact/talk to. Proactive in sorting issues in advance and preparing for the processes ensuring a good flow.’
‘We have been clients of Stone King for over 25 years. Our experience of their professional approach to matters has been excellent. We have been impressed by their response time especially in the area of immigration and visa applications. Julie Moktadir’s advice and support has been invaluable.’
‘Julie Moktadir is very knowledgeable, and patient. We have had some tricky situations over the past 12 months and Julie’s calm approach and the knowledge she has made things much easier for us. ’
‘The practice is able to adapt their advice based on your business. We have a unique structure and links between our sponsor schools. The Stone King team understands this and is more likely to give us the advice that works across the group. Julie Moktadir builds a relationship with the people in our schools so it is very easy to discuss complex issues with her.’
Poor Servants of the Mother of God
United Church Schools Trust
T4 UK Franchise Limited
River Learning Trust
Public sector Tier 2
Stone King LLP provides 'an outstanding level of service, detailed knowledge and understanding of the sector, timely responses and practical advice'. The firm has more than 30 years' experience in assisting state-funded schools, and also has extensive experience acting for independent schools. Roger Inman in Cambridge, who 'brings a high level of pragmatism and political astuteness to his support', is head of the education sector group, which spans the firm's other offices in Bath, Leeds and London. Employment expert Tim Tyndall and immigration specialist Julie Moktadir are also key members of the Cambridge team.
‘Stone King offers us a wide range of specialists and a lot of practical experience in the sorts of queries we bring to them. Their responsiveness is much better than other firms with which we have worked and this is aided by a quickly-developed understanding of our context, corporate personality and our risk appetite – invariably, Stone King solicitors meet us where we are.’
‘Roger Inman – brings a high level of pragmatism and political astuteness to his support for us. Julie Moktadir has been invaluable to us as an inexperienced licence holder to sponsor overseas workers.’
‘Stone King provide our trust with Legal and HR advice and support. The service they provide us is excellent.’
‘The team at Stone King is extremely knowledgeable and have been able to provide us with excellent support for a number of years now. I can safely say that Stone King provide an outstanding level of service.’
‘One of the real strengths of the company is the value they place on making sure that you know the people you are working with. As part of our service with Stone King, we are linked with key colleagues and they provide us with support and advice. What makes Stone King stand out is the consistency of approach you get when you contact them and the fact that you have dedicated, named people at Stone King who you deal with on a regular basis. Roger Inman is a standout individual.’
‘Detailed knowledge and understanding of the sector. Timeliness of response and practical advice.’
‘The team are very knowledgeable, personable and highly efficient. They respond immediately to our needs and are meticulous and consistent in their delivery of high-quality support.’
United Church Schools Trust
Unity Schools Partnership
West Suffolk College
Active Learning Trust
Peterborough Diocesan Education Trust
Diocese of St Albans Multi Academy Trust
South Suffolk Learning Trust
Wycombe Abbey School
The Chelmsford Learning Partnership
Milton Keynes College
- Advised Boswells School on defending a claim that it had unlawfully excluded a pupil with special needs when his behaviour was unsafe for other pupils.
- Advised a local primary school multi-academy trust (the MAT) on successfully defending a tribunal claim by a parent that it had discriminated against their disabled child.
- Advised Milton Keynes College on its relationship with the IoT (which is a subsidiary of the College), including from a contractual perspective.
The charity and social enterprise team at Stone King LLP is particularly noted for its work on purpose-aligned partnerships between charities and public authorities in public services. It is well-known too for its work with educational charities and charities that work with young people. It is also increasingly active in advising livery companies and corporations and it is recommended for its work with military charities as well as heritage, arts and museums. Another pre-eminent area of expertise at the firm is its work with religious and faith organisations and other types of charities such as almshouses and benevolent funds. Stephen Ravenscroft leads the agile team that includes recommended practitioners like Julian Blake, Hannah Kubie, Reema Mathur and consultant Ann Phillips. The strong national team acts for over 200 of the country’s largest charities.
‘The team is always available, and carefully listens to the problems to be resolved, and provides practical and deliverable solutions. Stephen Ravenscroft considers issues in a sensitive and client facing manner, and brings a wealth of experience. Additionally, I have found the work and contribution of Clive Vergnaud exceptionally thoughtful and based on sound knowledge‘.
‘Stone King has a national reputation as a centre of excellence across the charity and social enterprise sector founded on exceptional expert teams based in London and the regions backed up by top quality specialists in relevant fields, including education, data protection, disputes, employment and property law‘.
‘Julian Blake – Partner – Charity & Social Enterprise Team – Julian has exceptional expertise in law, governance and procurement combined with a widely respected deep values-led commitment to the charity and social enterprise sector and his clients. In addition he is known nationwide for developing innovative collaborative partnerships for public bodies and social enterprises achieving high social value for communities and high impact public benefit services‘.
‘We have used Julian Blake for many years as our adviser on renewable energy co-operatives and his advice has been excellent. We now use other partners in Stone King for additional work. Not many firms have expertise in this area, the combination of co-operatives (an unusual entity) and renewable energy, a fairly new technology. Understanding of our rather unusual business, willingness to take on unusual problems and questions, and responsiveness‘.
‘Particular expertise in charity law in the context of educational trusts. Practical and pragmatic approach to solving problems‘.
‘Stone King is charity-focused which means that all the advice takes into account issues relating to the charitable status of its clients. Ann Philipps has been unfailingly supportive -she has always been able to react promptly in a crisis giving practical and focused advice‘.
‘The team is very experienced in education governance. Customer service is strong and the lawyers will go above and beyond to reassure clients and build strong relationships. The team is experienced in all charity and education law and regulations. We have a yearly review of services and the team is open to feedback. The lawyers review how we have utilised their services and offer revised cost solutions. The lawyers are open to new ideas and out of the box thinking. They work with their clients to find the right solution which can be creative and unique when required. I very much value their time to talk through matters and bounce ideas‘.
‘Julian Blake is our principal partner – he is one of, if not the leading public benefit lawyers in the country. He’s not only intellectually brilliant but pragmatic and purposeful in his advice’.
Save the Children International
National Autistic Society
Haberdashers’ group companies and charities
Royal Society of Medicine, The
Higher Education Statistics Agency
Royal Horticultural Society
- Analysing Trinity House’s (1685!) Charter and advising on how it could hold meetings and voting by electronic means, given the circumstances of the pandemic.
- Advising MJT Securities Limited founder of Toomey Charitable Trust on the registration as a charity of the Trust, securing recognition of the charitability of an imaginative interpretive conversion of an existing scheme, applying a commercial business methodology to a particular social issue requiring innovation.
- Assisted The Samuel Courthauld Trust with various matters including securing an important gift for the collection – the client holds the collection for the Courtauld Gallery, the art museum in Somerset House on the Strand in London.
At Stone King LLP, the 'excellent' offering is jointly led by Tim Rutherford in Bath and Tom Murdoch in Leeds. Handling 'purpose-aligned' partnerships between charities and public authorities, the team is particularly well known for its work on behalf of military interests, heritage clients, educational establishments and benevolent funds. In particular, the firm's client portfolio recently expanded with the acquisition of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Public Interest News Foundation and City Hearts.
Tim Rutherford; Tom Murdoch
‘I instructed Tom Murdoch in my then-capacity as a trustee of a local charity when the charity needed assistance with contract renewal negotiations that were getting tricky. Tom and others at Stone King really helped. They got to the nub of the issue, provided solid commercial advice, quickly provided and at a good price. The trustees were very pleased with their advice and support’
‘They have been our go to on charitable advice matters for some years and the advice is always of the highest quality and unambiguous.
‘I consult Tom Murdoch on a fairly regular basis. I find him very responsive, practical and and he has a deep knowledge and understanding of our charitable and professional body governing documents. Where anything outside his area comes up he involves colleagues to put together a holistic piece of advice. He is always friendly, thoughtful and great value.
‘Diligent work team, who seek to listen advise and support client’s wishes. They have adapted appropriately with technology throughout the pandemic, ensuring high quality of service. The breadth of the work of the firm has meant has meant we have been signposted and received expert advice no matter the issue at hand.’
‘Tom Murdoch is one of the most thoughtful and creative practitioners in the field of charity law. He is able to draw on a deep knowledge of case law and regulation to craft a compelling case. He is genuinely engaged with the charity sector, and is passionate about enabling charities to deliver public benefit. He has provided us with invaluable guidance for many years.’
‘Great all round service – developed an excellent understanding of what we are trying to achieve (in a relatively new area of the law concerning charities and social investment), and provided clarity about securely achieving our goals and responsiveness in dealing with queries. Excellent to work with.’
Public sector > Education Tier 2
Stone King LLP bolstered its team with the arrival of Jamie Otter from Browne Jacobson LLP, who leads the academy projects offering. He and practice head Tom Morrison acted for Humber Education Trust on the transfer of North Carr Collaborative Academies Trust, including the acquisition of three schools. Employment partner Polly O’Malley and senior associate Louise Castle are also of note.
‘The quality of advice given by both partners I have dealt with has been exceptional in scope and depth. This advice has always been presented in a form comprehensible to my lay fellow directors.’
‘Tom Morrison is excellent to work with. His knowledge of the further and higher education sector means that every conversation adds value to my current knowledge.’
‘In a highly volatile and changing situation, the guidance and knowledge demonstrated has been very valuable. Particular mention to Tom Morrison, partner.’
‘They stand out because it becomes a an excellent partnership and does not feel like just a legal service. They have your particular needs to hand and are so welcoming and extremely friendly.’
‘Great team committed to working with you as a partner. Very experienced and knowledgeable about the education sector (this is why we are using them) and their response to our questions and requests are completed in an efficient and timely manner.‘
United Learning Trust
United Learning Church Trust
Red Kite Learning Trust
Exceed Academies Trust
The Gorse Academies Trust
Astrea Academy Trust
The Sheffield College
Humber Education Trust
- Advised Sheffield College on the funding and construction of new facilities to support a ground-breaking digital engineering venture involving the College, the Sheffield City Region LEP and substantial employer investment.
- Advised the Exceed Academies Trust on an exciting EduTech, a project supporting online learning for disadvantaged pupils, and a regional school improvement coordination project.
- Reviewed the governance arrangements for NCG, the largest college group in the country.
Private client > Family Tier 3
The 'friendly, approachable and professional' team at Stone King LLP has a broad family practice with particular skills in litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Its primary work includes financial remedy, cohabitation and private children's law cases. Tracey Smith leads the team in Bath, focusing on high-value matrimonial matters. Caroline Fell and Meg Moss are also notable for their work in mediation and pre-nuptial agreements.
‘Over the many months that I have been a client of Stone King, my experience throughout my divorce, has been that all the team are friendly, approachable, professional, reliable and work as a fully cohesive unit’
‘Meg Moss has been a consummate professional and was impressively calm and efficient throughout. She is engaging and empathetic and provides thorough, timely and constructive cost-effective advice, whilst being totally committed to a fair outcome despite challenging legal issues.’
‘Experience and breadth of expertise, open to new ideas for settlement.’
‘Tracey Smith, Meg Moss and Caroline Fell are a good partner team, all bringing different skills to the mix.’
Stone King LLP offers a wide set of private wealth services for clients, who range from high-value families to more vulnerable clients. Alison Allen heads the overall private client sphere, while Daniel Harris and Kathryn Layzell head up more specialized subteams. Harris focuses on international work as well as charity legacy work, while Layzell primarily focuses on trusts and estates. The team has a growing practice focusing on elder care services.
Alison Allen; Daniel Harris; Kathryn Layzell
Other key lawyers:
Daniel Whitworth; Andrew Mortimer
‘The team has been a willingness to collaborate with other professionals and to share best practices.’
‘Alison Allen in particular is well respected by all, and is very empathetic and in tune with her clients and their needs. She has referred a number of clients to us and we to her, and have every confidence that they will be in safe hands ’
‘Very intelligent; quick to respond; clear and concise advice; fun to work with’
‘They have skills in several disciplines which means it is very much able to draw on skills and experience from across their offices. They are accessible, friendly, efficient and above all professional. ’
‘Daniel Harris is tenacious and was willing to step up to resolve a high value matter.’
‘There is strength in depth – I know that simple cases can be dealt with by a very competent lawyer, while a more complicated client can be looked after by one of several partners. ’
‘They understand the importance of taking the blinkers off, and providing rounded advice. This includes the need to bring in other advisers. ’
‘A focus on helping older clients has meant a great depth of knowledge as well as a desire to help in many different circumstances. Its not just about technical skills, they care about their clients too.’
Stone King LLP is praised for its 'efficiency of work'; the offering encompasses sales, acquisitions, leases, landlord and tenant work and dispute resolution. The group has particularly strong expertise in the education and charity sectors, and also supports its corporate team on a regular basis. Caroline Taylor, who leads the practice, has know-how in transactions and contracts. Hugh Pearce covers construction contracting and planning. Joanne Burton is a key contact for education clients.
‘We have used the firm regularly and have confidence in the service they offer.’
‘There is strength across the team in their ability to respond to a range of different issues which inevitably arise with Real Estate. This has benefited our clients when transactions have taken unexpected turns. There is a detailed understanding of Charity law within the Real Estate team along with an appreciation of how charity clients operate which helps projects run more smoothly.’
‘Very professional team. We have full confidence in their ability to deliver and to make sure that there are no surprises. Very flexible too in terms of the types of property that we ask them to be involved with’
‘The customer service is highly professional, personable and when linked to high levels of technical knowledge, has enable us to negotiate a significant contract with a large commercial house builder in confidence.’
‘Joanne Burton was very knowledgeable and thoughtful in a complex matter. There was attention to detail, but also the ability to look at the big picture and to phrase advice accordingly. In addition, there were measured discussions about strategy and tactics in order to bring the matter to a satisfactory resolution. This was particularly appreciated as most of this took place during lockdown.’
‘Very attentive to our needs – they will respond very quickly and are flexible. They will look at whatever type of problem we come up with.’
‘Efficiency of work has meant that nothing we have asked has been too much even when working to very tight deadlines. We noted the large amount of work that was taking place outside of normal working hours to support a contract that was going to have significant impact.’
‘Joanne Burton was the Partner working with us always providing sound advice and choices for us to make. Joanne made the process make sense to both our Executive Team and Board and was highly effective representing us with both the commercial house builder and our planning agents.’
South East Surrey Schools Education Trust
The Edward James Foundation Limited
Society of Antiquaries of London
The Carmelite Charitable Trust
Leicester Diocesan Board of Finance
- Advised South East Surrey Schools Education Trust on a range of agreements and land transactions in connection with the development of a new school sports hall.
- Acting for Kingswood School in connection with various property aspects in order to assist in the incorporation of the charitable trust.
- Provided The Edward James Foundation with property advice and due diligence assistance relating to the financing of various capital projects for the Foundation.
Employment Tier 3
The Cambridge office of Stone King LLP plays a key role in the firm's national employment practice, which acts for employers and individuals, working with the firm's four core sector teams focusing on business, charity, education and private client matters. The firm also provides an HR consultancy service, which has nine consultants across its five offices. Tim Tyndall is the lead partner in Cambridge and has ' excellent advocacy skills, knowledge and experience and is a very calm and reassuring presence'.
Other key lawyers:
‘Clear support and advice when needed. Very approachable team with a huge amount of expertise in different fields. Lots of reassurance provided when dealing with difficult or challenging issues. Always made to feel that every question raised is valid.’
‘Tim Tyndall has excellent advocacy skills, knowledge and experience and is a very calm and reassuring presence.’
‘Julianna Barker has fantastic administration skills and is incredibly patient when dealing with queries.’
Stone King LLP is 'particularly good at property issues for charities.' The firm further has a core focus on the education sector. Under the lead of Tony Pidgeon, the team handles dilapidations claims, forfeiture, possession of land and trespasser claims.
‘Great practice which is particularly good at property issues for charities.’
The corporate and commercial practice at Stone King LLP is led from London, but Cambridge-based partner Tamsin Eastwood - who joined the firm from Brabners LLP in 2018 - has more than 20 years' experience in corporate finance, M&A, banking and financial services matters. The firm has a strong flow of corporate transactions in the education, charity and social enterprise sectors, in which it is nationally recognised.
Other key lawyers:
‘Tamsin Eastwood was so helpful. She was quiet and sensitive with immediate understanding of the work that was needed. She was greatly efficient for me and my family.’
Thrive Therapeutic Software Limited
DPL Partnership Limited
Stone King LLP's employment practice continues to have strength in the education and charity sectors, with key contact Polly O’Malley being singled out by clients. The group in Leeds handles a number of contentious and regulatory matters including industrial actions, senior-level exits and safeguarding issues. Craig Vincent was recently promoted to the partnership and heads up the firm's consultancy services; he advises on disciplinary proceedings, grievances and restructuring work.
‘Employment and education law specialists; their strengths are many but what stands out is the client relationships they work really hard to build and maintain. They can really relate to stakeholders and this is really key from a client perspective. Their skills, expertise and knowledge are above any other firms I have worked with.’
‘Polly O’Malley is amazing. Her breadth of knowledge of the sector and how she handles each case with depth, diligence and attention to detail and still manages to be a really lovely person to deal with never ceases to amaze me!’
Stone King LLP > Firm Profile
Stone King is a national leader in charity and education law and has won independent praise for the high-quality legal advice it offers to businesses and individuals across the UK.
The firm: Stone King has offices in Bath, Bristol, Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds and London.
It continues to see growth across its charity, business, education and private client divisions and now employs over 200 people, including 42 partners and 118 fee-earners.
The firm’s sector-leading education team advises over 1,000 maintained and independent schools nationally and has been at the forefront of the academies programme.
Within the third sector, Stone King acts for hundreds of leading charity and not-for-profit organisations across the UK, including many educational establishments and religious groups.
The firm also offers a broad range of commercial legal advice to a wide variety of organisations, from family-run businesses to international companies.
In addition, Stone King has gained independent recognition for its expert advice to individuals and families, particularly on issues relating to care funding and family mediation.
Types of work undertaken
Charity and social enterprise: Stone King’s sector expertise includes advice on the formation and registration of new charities, Charity Commission investigations and review visits, charity mergers, establishing trading subsidiaries, and duties and liabilities of trustees. The firm also specialises in modernising and restructuring charity constitutions, governance and compliance issues, legacy disputes, corporate sponsorship and fundraising.
Education: the firm’s sector-leading work for educational institutions includes academy creation and conversions, governor training, corporate and regulatory issues, student disputes and issues arising from negligence in relation to the provision of education. It also specialises in employment matters including TUPE, the establishment of relevant employment contractual documents and advice on the appointment process.
Employment and HR: Stone King advises clients on a wide range of employment matters including those arising from a business sale, purchase or organisational change, TUPE, changing terms and conditions, restructuring, redundancy, dismissal and discrimination. The firm also provides representation at employment tribunals and HR support.
Commercial property: the firm specialises in commercial, charitable, educational and social housing work, providing expert advice on all aspects of planning and environmental law.
Construction: Stone King’s work covers a range of projects, from refurbishment works in existing facilities to large-scale new developments. This includes legal advice on construction procurement, building contracts and preparing bespoke schedules of amendments to standard forms, consultants appointments, letters of intent, collateral warranties, funding agreements, and PFI/PPP documentation.
Corporate and commercial: the firm advises on a wide range of commercial matters including business start-ups, administration and compliance, director duties and liabilities, IT, IP, shareholder and joint venture agreements.
Dispute resolution: Stone King’s expertise encompasses contentious work involving litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.
Transport: the firm offers specialist advice on all aspects of road transport legislation, including public inquiries, appeals to the Transport Tribunal, tachograph and drivers’ hours regulation, construction and use regulations and the bus service operators grant.
Trusts and estates: Stone King provides bespoke advice to individuals on wills, trusts and tax planning, including advice on overseas assets. In addition the team is developing a strong reputation in providing specialist advice to clients in later life and their families and carers, particularly issues relating to care funding.
Family law and mediation: the firm’s expertise includes advice on divorce and separation, mediation, cohabitation, civil partnership, prenuptial agreements and cases involving children.
Residential property: Stone King specialises in local and national sales and purchases, transfers of equity, shared ownership, new-build purchases, residential leases and remortgages.
Court and regulatory: Stone King handles all manner of crime, including white-collar crime and fraud. The firm also specialises in regulatory defence in matters such as environmental, consumer protection and health and safety issues.
|Managing partner||Steven Greenwood|
|Alison Allen||Alison is a Partner and Stone King’s Chairman. Alison joined Stone King…||View Profile|
|Andrew Banks||Andrew is a Partner and Head of the Court and Regulatory Team.…||View Profile|
|Michael Brotherton||Michael is a Partner and specialises in all areas of Education Law,…||View Profile|
|Ciara Campfield||Ciara has amassed a wealth of experience advising a range of education…||View Profile|
|Caroline Fell||Caroline recognises that, with the right guidance, it is eminently preferable for…||View Profile|
|Steven Greenwood||Steven is Managing Partner of Stone King. He joined the firm as…||View Profile|
|Sarah Lane||Sarah is a Partner and Head of the Business Property Team. Sarah…||View Profile|
|Andrew Mortimer||Andrew specialises in estate planning advice for private individuals, particularly inheritance tax…||View Profile|
|Hugh Pearce||Hugh is a Partner and advises on a broad range of property…||View Profile|
|Caroline Taylor||Caroline has extensive experience of all aspects of commercial property with a…||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of UK partners : 42 Number of other UK fee-earners : 118
LanguagesEnglish French Spanish Catalan Hindi/Urdu
- Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general
- Private client > Charities and not-for-profit
- Public sector > Education
- Public sector > Education: schools
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire
- Employment > Employment: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire
- Employment > Immigration
- Public sector
- Private client > Charities and not-for-profit
- Private client > Charities and not-for-profit
- Public sector > Education
- Private client > Family
- Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate
- Real estate > Commercial property: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire