Firm Profile > Sydney Mitchell LLP > Birmingham, England

Sydney Mitchell LLP
B2 5TJ

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Sydney Mitchell LLP has a thriving contentious probate department with Kamal Majevadia at the helm. It continues to receive referrals from the firm’s busy private client departments as well as returning clients. It also receives a steady flow of referrals from other law firms. The team has noticed an increase in the number of estates where there are disputes relating to the ownership of private companies. It has also witnessed a surge in the number of potential negligence claims arising from advice given by other firms. The team continues to act on a significant number of TOLATA cases and is acting in several cases dealing with the distribution of trust assets when relationships have broken down. Majevadia routinely advises on estates that have cross-border elements and where there is a dispute over commercial matters and company shares. Tracy Creed  heads up the private client team and has extensive knowledge of complex probate matters.

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The team represents excellent value for money litigators. The team is partner led, with very hands-on input and support. The team gets a good quality of work and case load and is well respected in the Midlands‘.

Kam Majevadia is an experienced lawyer and drives the direction of litigation well. He has a sensible and pragmatic approach, whilst ensuring that his clients get a good deal. He and his team will pull out all the stops to offer help and support to clients’.

There is a general and obvious warmth with this practice along with its professionalism and work ethic to communicate with the customer‘.

The team has proper specialist knowledge combined with a commercial approach. Kam Majevadia is a proper expert in this area with lots of experience and takes a realistic and commercial approach‘.

The team is experienced and represents good value for money. Kam applies a sound and commercial approach as well as a good legal approach to his cases‘.

The team offers sensible and pragmatic advice. Kamal Majevadia is commercially focused, a smooth operator‘.

Family: Birmingham Tier 2

Sydney Mitchell LLP has a strong collaborative practice with three fully qualified collaborative lawyers across its three offices. Mauro Vinti is a family law panel member and Teresa Mannion is a children’s law panel member. Karen Moores is another prominent member of the team that advises on the full array of family law issues from divorce and civil partnerships to child arrangements, protective injunctions and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. It is also well-regarded for its work on financial remedy matters as well as TOLATA and cohabitee arrangements.

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‘Sydney Mitchell can easily rival the biggest of national law firms. During the year or so I interacted with Karen Moores and her family law team, the quality and service they extended to me was nothing short of fantastic‘.

Karen Moores is excellent. She is efficient, industrious and robust. She has sound judgement and a good manner with clients. Mauro Vinti is also highly recommended for his ability to navigate difficult cases calmly and effectively‘.

‘Karen Moores is an outstanding professional who brings high levels of emotional intelligence and outstanding technical expertise to her work. Karen was consistently professional, readily available and provided an excellent client service experience’.

I felt Karen Moores was absolutely working to “fight my corner”, sincerely had my best interests at heart, explained everything clearly, and provided me with the necessary peace of mind during a very difficult period‘.

Karen Moores is a truly respected and feared opponent who simply never gives up‘.

Extremely efficient, does not overcharge, always prepared to negotiate; all documents and bundles well prepared and counsel are briefed on time.

I really appreciate Mauro Vinti’s quiet assurance and wise counsel and his friendly, calm manner’.

Immigration Tier 2

Sydney Mitchell LLP has established a new immigration department with the recruitment of Andre Minnaar and Melissa Southall. They joined the firm in May 2019 from Cartwright King. The first-rate team specialises in private fee-paying personal and human-rights related immigration advice. Minnaar has substantial experience of resolving complicated UK immigration, asylum and nationality problems and is also an experienced tribunal advocate. Southall provides extensive immigration advice to clients on visas for spouses, applications for children, asylum as well as European applications for citizenship.

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Melissa Southall and Andre Minnaar work exceptionally well together as a team. They provide an excellent service to their clients and are extremely dedicated to achieving the best outcome possible. They both have excellent knowledge of the law. They are committed to providing an excellent service to clients‘.

The immigration team is outstanding, professional, knowledgeable and exceptional in its client care‘.

Andre Minnaar is an exceptional practitioner. He answered every question I had clearly, swiftly and correctly‘.

‘Andre Minnaar provides such a spectacular service, what makes him different from competitors is that he is very straightforward and he explains everything so smoothly and politely, I value his service so much that I can comfortably say he’s part of our family, and he would be a diamond to any company’.

Andre Minnaar is an incredible guy – his attitude and attention to detail in every aspect is amazing‘.

‘The service was excellent from start to finish. The company’s prices are reasonable and yet this does not compromise the quality of advice. Melissa Southall was excellent, responding quickly to enquiries and very organised and supportive. At all times we found her to be efficient and professional‘.

Melissa Southall put our minds at ease, dealt with everything superbly and professionally and I would recommend her to anyone. She handled everything and you can’t imagine the burden she lifted from our shoulders‘.

Andre Minnaar and Melissa Southall both work extremely hard for their clients. They anticipate difficulties in cases and seek to resolve them‘.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

Sydney Mitchell LLP has a wealth of experience in a wide range of private client matters from wills/estate planning through to deputyship applications to the Court of Protection. It is also skilled at advising on powers of attorney and on elderly client matters. The department offers specialist advice on NHS continuing healthcare issues and on care placement and care funding. Head of department Tracy Creed is well-regarded. Creed deals with probate, trusts and estate planning matters and specialises in elderly care work.

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Professional, welcoming, friendly office. Tracy Creed was very professional, friendly, empathetic and her knowledge and experience were exceptional‘.

Ravinder Sandhu is a very caring and sympathetic person. Ravi has offered exceptional service and sound advice‘.

Ravinder Sandhu goes out of her way to make the client feel that they are getting the best solution and usually gives more than one solution to a problem‘.

The practice has high standards of expertise maintained by a caring close-knit partnership who invest in the training of the team‘.

Shelley Collingbourne is both diligent and highly efficient. Shelley is always ready and available to provide advice both on the telephone and in face-to-face meetings at the office. She is approachable, knowledgeable and always displays a pleasant disposition‘.

Debt recovery Tier 3

Leanne Schneider-Rose leads Sydney Mitchell LLP's team, whose expertise includes defended debt cases, return of goods claims, repossession claims, winding up petitions and statutory demands. The firm's strong credentials in the debt recovery arena sees it act for clients such as insolvency practitioners, small businesses and professional services firms, among others. Kamal Majevadia is another notable individual.

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Sydney Mitchell have excellent knowledge and experience on all aspects of secured loan recovery. If our regular contact, Gemma Parker, is not immediately sure of the action required then she correctly uses external relationships and the ability available in-house to ensure a quick and correct answer is found with minimal delay.

Gemma Parker keeps us updated very efficiently at all times.

Key clients


West Bromwich Commercial Limited

Goldhill Finance Limited Bridging Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

On the contentious side, Sydney Mitchell LLP's team head Leanne Schneider-Rose is experienced in handling a wide range of claims for insolvency practitioners, such as those involving transactions at undervalue, preferential claims, directors' misfeasance and debt collection. Non-contentious work is also a mainstay of the work undertaken by the group, which also generates mandates from lenders and distressed companies. Senior associate Emma Birch joined from Weightmans LLP.

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I have found Sydney Mitchell to be extremely professional, very knowledgeable and very prompt to react to queries

Leanne Schneider-Rose understands our business and provides us with an efficient service to enable us to carry out our duties as insolvency practitioners. She is pragmatic over billing and realises that not all cases can stand a 100% recovery. Her technical knowledge is very good and I would have no hesitation in recommending her

Key clients

Dains Business Recovery Ltd

Poppleton & Appleby

FRP Advisory LLP

Commercial litigation: Birmingham Tier 4

Sydney Mitchell LLP's commercial litigation team attracts praise for its 'competitive costs' and 'high levels of partner involvement'. Dean Parnell, who handles a range of commercial litigation and employment disputes, jointly leads the practice alongside Shirley-based Kamal Majevadia, who handles probate disputes involving commercial issues and company shares. 'Tenacious' senior associate Emma Birch joined from Weightmans LLP adding financial services litigation and manufacturing disputes experience.

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My dealings with the team have always been excellent and they are able to provide concise legal advice which is pragmatic and always consider the commercial aspects of the case. They tend to specialise in different areas of commercial litigation which means that they are well placed to give advice on their particular areas of specialism. I find them equally as effective as much larger legal teams but feel the service they provide is more personal and they do seem to genuinely care about getting the best possible result for you.

A high-quality service comparable with much larger firms but very competitive costs, with high levels of partner involvement.

Every case is partner-led and total accessibility to a fee earner from day one, including mobile telephone numbers, is provided to each client. Nothing is too much trouble. Fees are fair and transparent and kept under review so that there are no nasty surprises. The team punch well above their weight locally and receive referrals from larger firms which is always a good sign of how well they are regarded, particularly Dean Parnell.

I have worked closely with Dean Parnell since 2009. He oozes confidence, knows everything about his client, the commercial realities of the case and how to win. He is creative in his thinking. Someone to have on your side rather than against you.

Emma Birch is tenacious and committed to her clients’ goals.’

My main point of contact is Dean Parnell who I consider to be a genuinely brilliant problem solver. Dean is able to combine great intellect with incredible creativity and this provides clients with the best possible litigation strategy which is not obvious to anyone until he mentions it. He is a great negotiator and tactically he always seems to be a few steps ahead of the opposition. If you want to have the best chance of getting the best result in a litigation matter then it is best to have Dean as part of your legal team.

Dean Parnell is a very well-known figure and combines a good knowledge of the law with a very commercial outlook and is highly regarded locally, frequently being asked to act as a court-appointed independent solicitor to supervise search orders.’

Professional negligence Tier 4

Sydney Mitchell LLP continues to act on a number of high-quality professional negligence cases ranging from individuals who have personally suffered from professional negligence to commercial organisations that were wrongly advised by valuers on property transactions. Kamal Majevadia is a key member of the team. Associate Sundeep Bilkhu is another important contact. Bilkhu primarily acts for various leading lenders and individuals in bringing claims against surveyors, accountants and architects.

Commercial property: Birmingham Tier 5

At Sydney Mitchell LLP, department head Fahmida Ismail advises a diverse range of clients on property management issues, finance work and corporate structures. Core areas of strength include representing banks in matters relating to the security for loans and enforcement issues, as well as handling site developments, corporate acquisitions and disposals.

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Employment Tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP works for employers and employees. It has represented some key international companies and has also represented individual clients on a range of matters from whistleblowing and disability discrimination cases through to issues of sexual harassment and discrimination. In addition to these contentious matters the group has also been busy advising on a number of employment issues that have arisen on some complex TUPE transfers. Emma-Louise Hewitt, a senior associate, heads the team and advises on all aspects of employment law, acting for individuals and businesses of all sizes including a global automotive company and fashion designer/retailer. Dean Parnell predominantly advises companies and very senior employees.

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Provides a first-class service to its clients. Dean Parnell is someone who you want on your side in a contested matter, rather than against you. He is a master craftsman at negotiation and always gets the best deal he can for his client‘.

The team provided sensible and practical advice. The team listened to my concerns and fought my corner strongly. Emma-Louise Hewitt handled my case and she was excellent‘.

Emma-Louise Hewitt is responsive and communicates in a transparent way‘.

Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant Tier 5

The personal injury department at Sydney Mitchell LLP continues to receive a good amount of high-value and complex work. The group also handles the full range of clinical negligence claims. It is currently instructed in a number of cases involving very serious injuries where the likely damages will be in the region of £1m. The practice advises on the full spectrum of personal injury matters ranging from very minor injuries involving road traffic accidents to accidents resulting in very serious injury or death. Mike Sutton represents those who have suffered an injury as a result of accidents at work, on the road or any other public place. Senior personal injury executive David Lydon deals with all areas of personal injury such as accidents at work, road traffic accidents and accidents involving slipping or tripping.

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Sydney Mitchell has a small team of PI and clinical negligence professionals that is able to deal with every type of claim in this field, from the lowest financial value, to multimillion catastrophic claims. A long-established firm in Birmingham, much of the work comes from previous clients who have been impressed by the service that they have received‘.

I have found Sydney Mitchell to be clear, professional and easy to deal with. David Lydon has kept me informed through each step in a professional and supportive manner‘.

The team is really good and helpful and David Lydon is so nice in fact all the team is always there to help‘.

‘David Lydon makes everything so simple and the whole legal process is simplified for you, and he never pushes on you any decision, but always helps you make an informed decision‘.

David Lydon is personable, affable and effective. He puts clients at ease and is a shrewd practitioner, whose decisions are rooted in common sense’.

Mike Sutton is a very tenacious and capable lawyer who is always prepared to get stuck into a fight in difficult cases‘.

Adam Hodson – thoughtful and thorough in his approach, exceptionally supportive of clients‘.

Key clients

Mr B

Mr S-W

Mr A D

Property litigation Tier 5

Sydney Mitchell LLP focuses on landlord and tenant disputes, which is a key area for real estate litigation associate Sundeep Bilkhu, who acts alongside Dean Parnell, who leads the wider dispute resolution practice. The duo handles claims relating to the termination of leases, dilapidation claims, adverse possession claims and boundary disputes. Bilkhu also acts for lenders and private clients in bringing professional negligence claims against surveyors and architects, as well as restrictive covenant disputes.

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‘I have dealt with a number of solicitors in the area over a considerable number of years and consistently found Sydney Mitchell to be the best. As a result, I have used them for matters relating to probate, conveyancing, employment advice, dispute resolution and the sale of businesses. They provide a broad range of specialist expertise under one roof.’

Sydney Mitchell Solicitors is a leading regional firm providing a comprehensive range of legal services to regional, national and international clients. The firm continues to win legal awards (Birmingham Law Society – Law Firm of the Year 5 to 16 partners – won in 2018, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011 and 2008) and is seen by many as being one of the strongest medium-sized firms within the Greater Birmingham and Midlands region.

The firm: Founded in 1763 by Richard Chattock, Sydney Mitchell Solicitors has been serving the West Midlands community for over 250 years. The firm is identified as a top-tier firm in The Legal 500 and is recognised for most of its practice areas within this publication. It also has both Lexcel and Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation. Understanding clients and their businesses is the cornerstone of the firm’s success and this approach ensures the various teams provide specialist advice and support that is tailored to the needs and objectives of their clients. The firm is able to offer a more personal service to clients regardless of the value or complexity of the instruction and it prides itself on being able to offer a first-class service that is often partner-led.

Types of work undertaken
Corporate and commercial:
Sydney Mitchell has built a strong reputation in supplying innovative legal solutions for businesses of every size, from start-ups to listed companies with global brands. In January 2016 the corporate team was identified as one of five finalists in the Birmingham Legal Awards where the other four finalist corporate teams were from national and international law firms. The team has acted on a variety of complex high-profile commercial transactions including a multi-million pound financial agreement involving commercial property and commercial aspects, European data protection processes connected to a listing on NYSE, and a US supply agreement.

Litigation and dispute resolution:  the firm is recognised as a top-ten litigation practice within Birmingham. It is able to undertake most areas of commercial disputes and is very experienced in dealing with complicated big ticket disputes. Recently experience includes appearing before the Court of Appeal on three separate matters, securing injunctive relief against one of the main political parties in relation to the suspension of one of its members and has acted in a high profile fraud matter valued in the region of £15m. The team regularly acts for organisations involved in multimillion pound disputes and has built up an expertise in SWAP claims. It is also very experienced in ADR/mediation and has a qualified mediator who has led over 50 commercial mediations. The team is also able to offer a supervising solicitor to oversee the execution of search orders.

Employment: the employment team act for a broad range of companies and businesses in relation to both non contentious and contentious employment work. The team are able to offer flexibility in terms of fee structures which also include an annual retainer product called Employment Armour. This is a fixed fee employment law advice and assistance service which will provide practical support to employers when they have to deal with employment law issues within the work place. The employment team also regularly act for directors and senior employees (of both private and public limited companies) in relation to contentious employment matters such as the negotiation of a termination package as well as employment tribunal claims.

Private client: the firm is particularly strong in this sector. The department continues to grow and has seen a marked increase in the quantity and complexity of new instructions. As part of an ongoing commitment to elderly client services the firm supports private clients with care funding and continuing healthcare assessment processes. The team has built up a formidable reputation for contentious probate work and it is now seen as a leader for this practice area within the Greater Birmingham area.

Personal injury: the firm operates a specialist PI team that is very experienced in claimant work covering general personal injury, clinical negligence claims and work-related accident claims. A high proportion of work undertaken is multi-track work carried out for local clients who come to the firm on recommendation from former clients.

Family law: the firm has an excellent reputation in family law. Whereas many larger firms have changed focus away from family law, Sydney Mitchell has always seen it as part of its core offering and is now highly regarded in the West Midlands, advising on multi-million pound and international divorces.

Property: residential and commercial property has always been an important part of the firm’s services and despite all the changes in the property market over the years, the team is flourishing and undertaking high-end work.

Insolvency: the insolvency team advises in all aspects of contentions and non-contentious insolvency matters in particular, administrations, liquidations, and bankruptcy; the team also deals with the appointment of Fixed Charge and LPA Receiver and acts for Receivers following appointment.  They further act for lenders advising on the restructuring and recovery of loans and act for directors in respect of wrongful trading claims, misfeasance claims and directors disqualification proceedings.

Immigration: our immigration team is very experienced in explaining and guiding clients through the immigration process by simplifying the legal procedure and offering clear and honest advice.  As a result of politics and ever changing world events, immigration rules and laws change frequently, sometimes without notice. Our team’s expert and up to date knowledge  ensures that our clients do not go down the wrong path.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior Partner and Head of Family Law Karen Moores
Company and commercial Fahmida Ismail
Litigation Dean Parnell
Litigation Kam Majevadia
Private client Tracy Creed
Family Mauro Vinti
Conveyancing Adam Oleskow
Restructuring and Insolvency Leanne Schneider-Rose
Finance Sarah Archer
Immigration Andre Minnaar
Photo Name Position Profile
 Sundeep Bilkhu  photo Sundeep Bilkhu Associate Solicitor
 Emma Birch  photo Emma Birch Senior Associate
 Baljit Chohan  photo Baljit Chohan Partner
 Roy Colaba  photo Roy Colaba Senior Associate
 Shelley Collingbourne  photo Shelley Collingbourne Senior Associate
 Emma-Louise Hewitt  photo Emma-Louise Hewitt Head of Department
 Fahmida Ismail  photo Fahmida Ismail Fahmida specialises in helping businesses with finances, corporate structures and property management.…
 Kamal Majevadia  photo Kamal Majevadia Kamal specialises in all types of disputes including commercial litigation, contentious probate…
 Andre Minnaar  photo Andre Minnaar Senior Associate
 Dean Parnell  photo Dean Parnell Dean is a Partner and he jointly heads up the Dispute Resolution…
 Leanne Schneider-Rose  photo Leanne Schneider-Rose Leanne is a Partner specialising in Restructuring and Insolvency.  Leanne has over…
 Melissa Southall  photo Melissa Southall Associate
 Mike Sutton  photo Mike Sutton Head of Department
Number of UK partners : 10
Number of other UK fee-earners : 55