Ashfords LLP > Bristol, England > Firm Profile

Ashfords LLP
TOWER WHARF, CHEESE LANE
BRISTOL
BS2 0JJ
England

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 1

The corporate and commercial practice at Ashfords LLP is known for its strength in the technology and retail sectors, in which it acts in a broad range of transactions. Financial services and healthcare are also sectors in which the firm has particular expertise, further bolstered by its specialist IP practice. Andrew Betteridge heads the corporate side of the group, while Brian Farrell, whose experience extends to join venture agreements and corporate governance alongside M&A deals, leads on commercial matters. Tom Phipps excels in commercial matters at the intersection of IP and data protection. Mark Lomas retired in May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Betteridge; Brian Farrell

Other key lawyers:

Andy Young; Tom Phipps; Jonathan Croley

Testimonials

‘Expert legal advice delivered locally by a very experienced team.’

‘Andy Young is a great individual that knows his stuff and works in a pragmatic way. Brian Farrell is very experienced in his sector.’

‘Pragmatic and flexible partner-led team with a high standard of helpful and available associates.’

‘Andy Young is commercial and quick to pick up on the issues that specifically related to our company and industry.’

Key clients

Datacor Inc

Bestport Private Equity

VTTI

EGN Services

Kea New

Estate planning investment fund

Work highlights

  • Advised a client on its purchase of two portfolios of solar projects (2.8MW over 57 sites) for £3m, all located on the roofs of schools.
  • Advised Bestport Private Equity on the buyout of independent fostering agency Affinity Fostering Services for £9m.
  • Assisted Day Pitney LLP’s client Datacor Inc on UK tax, employment and corporate matters regarding the acquisition of a Cargill subsidiary, Format Solutions, with a deal value of $36m.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 1

Led by Andrew Perkins, the Exeter-based team Ashfords LLP has experience in shareholder disputes, commercial contract cases and professional negligence claims, and counts financial institutions and public entities among its key roster of clients. Perkins stands out for his expertise in shareholder disputes and breach of contract claims, while ‘creative and determined’ senior associate Anusheh Burcher handles energy litigation, procurement challenges and insurance-related disputes. Other key contacts in the group include senior associates Claire Boucher, who focuses on civil fraud matters, and Liam Tolen, who advises on defamation and reputation management cases. Tom Llewellyn joined the team from RWK Goodman and has experience in injunctive relief and contentious data protection disputes.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Perkins

Testimonials

‘Anusheh Burcher is a standout individual. She is alert to the legal risks and the practical realities, has brilliant client-handling skills and is super-organised. She is calm and level-headed in a crisis, creative and determined. One to watch.’

‘Excellent team with good strength and depth. Everyone from partner to associate is high quality, and they manage to do excellent work and provide value for money.’

‘Andrew Perkins and Claire Boucher stand out. Excellent strategic and tactical knowledge, very good to work for and client friendly.’

Key clients

Douglas Seaton Limited

Slater & Gordon LLP

Film & Foil UK Limited

Brand Architekts PLC

S. Notaro Group Limited

Bath and North East Somerset Council

London Borough Legal Alliance

London Borough of Hammersmith

Work highlights

  • Represented a PRN scheme provider in a dispute concerning one of its scheme members advising on (a) the regulatory position (b) issuing notices of material breach to the member (c) advising in respect of legal ramifications if the member utilised their market dominant position to influence the market.
  • Acting on behalf of a defendant in a multi-party partnership dispute concerning lifetime transactions between partners in a trading venture, which are now being challenged by various parties interested in the estate of the deceased.
  • Acting for the Respondent NHS Trust in a High Court in an appeal of a Pension’s Ombudsman’s decision in relation to information given to the Appellant about his entitlement to ill-health retirement.

Employment > Employment: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 1

The team at Ashfords LLP works on contentious and non-contentious employment matters for its regional, national and international client base. The practice is well regarded for its ability to handle TUPE matters, LGPS issues, business immigration issues, and whistleblowing and discrimination cases. Stephen Moore and Charles Pallot jointly lead the team. Moore is noted for his expertise in employment related anti-competition injunction claims in the High Court, while Pallot specialises in advising on the application of TUPE to business sales. Su Apps was promoted to partner in September 2022.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Moore; Charles Pallot

Other key lawyers:

Su Apps; Kirsty Cooke; Laura Wonnacott; Rachel Barnet; Ellen Parker; Emily Bowden

Testimonials

‘Ellen Parker has managed some complex cases with true professionalism. She is a pleasure to work with. The papers she sends me are well prepared and presented and she ensures these are received in good time. They have a well deserved quality client base.’

‘Emily Bowden is an excellent instructing solicitor – very responsive, sensible and a great person to work with!’

‘The team is well organised with a range of expertise that makes dealing with them straightforward- prompt delivery of advice with clear ways forward in this complicated area of law.’

‘Both Charles Pallot and Rachel Barnet were highly professional and prompt in giving advice in a difficult employment scenario. Apart from this they are both very personable and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘They are so responsive. They work well as a team and ensure they all know what each other is covering, meaning that they can pick things up when someone is out.’

‘Ashfords is a top-notch law firm. They provide clear, concise, efficient legal advice, and are always friendly and available. When our go-to contact is out of the office, there’s always a team of equally helpful, quick, knowledgeable lawyers standing by to jump in.’

‘Laura Wonnacott is exceptional. She is highly responsive, quick and efficient, gives very high-quality legal advisory, and is approachable and able to break down “legalese” effectively, rather than communicating with confusing jargon and case citations.’

Key clients

Multiverse Group Limited

Ocado Group Limited

Nevaya Limited

Simpkins Edwards LLP

Bradleys Estate Agents Limited

Havana West Limited

The Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Trust

Stef Langdons Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisting Multiverse with general HR support in relation to performance, disciplinary and sickness absence issues, as well as advising on employees working from overseas locations.
  • Handling all contentious and non-contentious employment law matters on behalf of the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Assisting Ocado Group with day-to-day employment and immigration advice and supporting its HR and management team with its internal query platform.

Employment > Immigration Tier 1

Ashfords LLP is a key port of call for clients from the care, hospitality and, increasingly, the marine sectors. The team handles a wide range of employment and recruitment issues, including obtaining skilled worker visas, and advising major domestic retailers and blue-chip multinationals with respect to sponsoring overseas workers. Exeter-based practice head Kirsty Cooke maintains a broad practice which extends to non-contentious immigration, advising on urgent applications for leave to remain for families on human rights grounds, among other matters. Laura Wonnacott has a particular focus on immigration issues in the marine sector.

Practice head(s):

Kirsty Cooke

Other key lawyers:

Laura Wonnacott; Stephen Moore

Testimonials

‘Kirsty Cooke has been extremely professional – detailed, thorough, respectful, and solution oriented.’

‘Stephen Moore created a comprehensive employment contract relevant to our needs and requirements.’

‘Kirsty Cooke was resourceful and solution oriented in every step of the process. She’s highly engaged and responsive to our needs.’

 

Key clients

CareTech Community Services Ltd

Lukka Care Homes Ltd

BECO Capital

Ocado Group Limited

Nanusens Ltd

Penhaligon’s Ltd

Rathlin Energy UK Ltd

The Roald Dahl Story Company

The Royal Automobile Club No

McDonald’s (numerous franchisees) Y

The Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS

Foundation Trust

Centrax Limited

SMASH Operations Ltd

Oterra UK Limited

CHARIS Refugees

Capital Arches Group

Work highlights

  • Assisted Centrax Limited with obtaining a Sponsor Licence in order to retain the skill set of a key employee.
  • Providing ongoing support to CareTech on a wide range of immigration issues, including the immigration implications of the acquisition of another care home business.
  • Providing ongoing support to Ocado Group Limited on all immigration issues.

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Drawing on expertise from various departments within the firm, the team at Ashfords LLP handles a broad array of contentious trusts and probate mandates, including will validity disputes, mutual claims, proprietary estoppel disputes, and related personal negligence claims. The team is jointly chaired by Robert Horsey, a highly experienced partner; Michael Alden, who also heads up the private wealth division; and Kerry Morgan Gould, noted for her expertise in contentious Court of Protection work. Other key figures include Barny Croft, who is praised as a ‘real star who attracts great work and is unflappable under pressure’, and Jess Flanagan, who joined from Clarke Willmott LLP in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Robert Horsey; Michael Alden; Kerry Morgan-Gould

Other key lawyers:

Barny Croft; Katie Webber; Rebecca Milton; Sasha Wicks

Testimonials

‘This team has a national presence and are really well regarded as being first-rate in this area of practice. They are very capable litigators with excellent and high-profile work, which exceeds expectations for their regional status.’

‘Kerry listens well, assimilates the situation promptly, in what was a very complicated case with numerous strands, she was clear and concise in her advice, drawn from her immense wealth of knowledge and experience.’

‘Barny Croft is one to watch. He is emerging as a powerful opponent, but one who takes a measured approach, balancing his clients’ best interests with a pragmatic eye on proportionality.’

‘Rebecca Milton is clever, capable and a pleasure to work with. She is totally on top of her cases, regardless of how factually complicated they are. She is first-rate.’

‘Robert Horsey and Kerry Morgan-Gould are twin giants of the contentious sector, combining to lead one of the finest teams in the country. There is nothing that these two have not seen and done. They are the full package.’

‘Robert Horsey is a towering figure in the world of contentious probate, who combines a razor intellect and strategic nous with charm and charisma.’

‘Barny Croft is a real star who attracts great work and is unflappable under pressure.’

Work highlights

  • Advised an adult child in a claim for reasonable financial provision in the estate of his non-biological parent. The estate is understood to be worth in excess of £250m.
  • Defended a challenge against the validity of the will on the grounds of undue influence and lack of knowledge and approval.
  • Seeking the removal of an executor under s116 Senior Courts Act 1981 and/or s.50 Administration of Justice Act 1985.

Real estate > Commercial property: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 1

Energy and waste, public sector real estate, and residential-led developments make up the portfolio of local and national work that has kept the team at Ashfords LLP busy in recent times. Kate Topp heads the practice from the firm’s Bristol office. In Exeter, Robin De Wreede advises on real estate matters, including large-scale regeneration and development projects. His Exeter colleagues Tim Heal and Simon Bailey focus on residential development matters and real estate investment, respectively. James Heath, who heads up the Plymouth-based team, is a key name to note for secured lending matters. Emma Warren, who often leads on the firm’s energy work, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Kate Topp

Testimonials

‘The Ashfords commercial property team are experienced and business-like, and often bring much needed commercial common sense to complex property transactions. It’s hard to do better.’

‘Strong and well-led team.’

‘Responsive, knowledgeable of our sector, and understanding of our property requirements.’

‘Approachable, commercial, sensible.’

 

Key clients

Exeter Science Park Limited (“ESPL”)

Aster Group

Persimmon

Barratt/David Wilson Homes

Crest Nicholson

Vistry Homes

Vistry Partnerships

Countryside Properties

The Cavanna Group

Morrish Homes

CG Fry & Son

Burrington Estates.

LiveWest Homes Limited

Cornerstone Housing

CURO

Stonewater Limited

Sovereign Housing Association

London Borough of Wandsworth

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

HFL Group Limited

Maidstone Borough Council

Biffa Waste Services Limited

Viridor Limited

Compass Children’s Homes

The Royal Parks Limited and TRP Trading Company Limited

Populo Living Limited

Post Office Limited

Ashford Borough Council

Darts Farm

Hitchcocks Business Park Limited

Exeter City Council

DP World London Gateway

Work highlights

  • Advised Ashford Borough Council in connection with a £250 million investment into the regeneration of 37,192 square metres of Grade 2 listed railway buildings and surrounding land.
  • Acted for Exeter City Council in the acquisition of Guildhall Shopping Centre.
  • Acted for a consortium of landowners in the sale of promoted land to Bloor Homes Limited, involving phosphate mitigation measures.

Real estate > Social housing Tier 1

Ashfords LLP acts for a strong roster of major registered providers (RPs) and local authority clients on issues such as site acquisitions, housing association structuring, and a wide range of contentious work – including ASB claims. Paul Butterworth, who heads the property and development side of the practice, frequently leads on stock transfer projects. His colleague Isabelle Clement is a highly experienced adviser to major RPs on the acquisition of land for development. Lucy Woods is a public sector specialist, particularly in relation to public procurement work, while Sian Gibbon – who heads the property litigation team – has recently focused on litigation related to B5 safety regulations.

Practice head(s):

Paul Butterworth; Sian Gibbon

Other key lawyers:

Tim Heal; Lucy Woods; Victoria Bonnet; Patrick Blake; Jessica Taylor; Isabelle Clement; Amelia Pine

Testimonials

‘Great reputation in the landlord market. Consistently excellent preparation, gives a city feel to local work.’

‘Victoria Bonnet is committed and careful.’

Amelia Pine works well beyond her grade. Always comforting to see her name on the papers.’

‘Ashfords is a highly professional and skilled practice with a depth of experience working on all aspects of affordable housing delivery.’

‘Ashfords is professional, personable and responsive to client’s needs.’

 

Key clients

Sovereign Housing Association

Aster Group

LiveWest Homes Limited

The Guinness Partnership Limited

Evolve Housing & Support

Cornerstone Housing

London Borough of Wandsworth

St. Mungo Community Housing Association

HFL Group Limited

CURO

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

Housing Associations Legal Alliance (HALA)

Stonewater

Notting Hill Genesis

VIVID

Cross Keys Homes

London Borough of Southwark

Saxon Weald Homes Limited

Silva Homes

Work highlights

  • Advised The Guinness Partnership on hundreds of disrepair claims.
  • Advised Stonewater on the acquisition of land by way of sub-sale from Coventry County Council via Countryside Properties (UK) Limited.
  • Advised GreenSquareAccord on the acquisition of 93 affordable homes from Legal & General in Bristol.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 1

With a sizeable team and a ‘solid contentious and non-contentious understanding’, Ashfords LLP administers global trade mark portfolios for a host of high-profile clients. The practice is a popular choice for companies looking to register and maintain IP rights as well as engage in prosecution and invalidity proceedings. Working closely with the firm’s corporate and private equity teams, the practice also counts transactional IP work among its areas of strength. Carl Steele is the practice head and has particular experience in the retail goods and services, and consumer brand sectors. Brand protection, portfolio management and enforcement actions are part of Clare Jackman‘s advisory portfolio. Mark Lomas retired in 2022, while Andrew Braithwaite left for an in-house position in the same year.

Practice head(s):

Carl Steele

Other key lawyers:

Clare Jackman; Daniel Cahill

Testimonials

‘We’ve found Carl and his team to be highly knowledgeable, very responsive and commercial IP specialists. They take the time to give well-rounded advice tailored to the interests of our business.’

‘Ashfords LLP covers a wide range of IP issues for our clients, particularly on the enforcement side of the practice. They have a team approach so that nothing is left to the last minute with instructions.’

‘Clare Jackman is extremely thoughtful in her approach to infringement. She works with an excellent team so we are never concerned as our files are in good hands.’

‘Clare Jackman is a seasoned trade mark lawyer. Her advice is always timely and on point.’

‘Daniel Cahill is extremely responsive and gives straight forward commercially minded legal advice. He presents the overall legal picture clearly, has good judgement and is not scared to offer his view on the best way forward.’

‘Clare Jackman has extensive experience plus a Big Law background. Clare is a practical and responsive attorney who is willing to take a pragmatic, business minded approach to a legal matter.’

‘Solid contentious and non-contentious understanding – across registrations/renewals and disputes.’

‘Clare Jackman and Daniel Cahill are trusted advisers – they are on top of the detail, so we don’t have to worry as in-house counsel. They also have a good understanding of our business and how we want the trade mark portfolio to operate.’

Key clients

CMO Group PLC

Shazam Productions Limited

The Roald Dahl Story Company

Jack Daniels

Majestic Wine

J W Anderson

BlackRock

Post Office

The Brand Architekts PLC

Aardman Animations

Facegym

Fontaine

What3words Limited

Pancho Music Inc.

Pro-Direct

IOP Publishing Limited

London Grid for Learning

The Collecting Group Limited

Gaia Fertility

Young Spirits Limited

People Group Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Shazam Productions Limited in respect of successful court proceedings for copyright infringement and passing-off against unlicensed third parties that produced and performed an unlicensed “Only Fools & Horses”.
  • Advised Fontaine Limited regarding an anti-counterfeiting strategy and approach.
  • Acted for Jack Daniel’s Properties Inc to urgently clear for use in trade 17 slogans and advertising strap lines for its Christmas advertising campaign.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 1

Ashfords LLP employs a multidisciplinary team in Bristol that comprises corporate, IP and commercial lawyers with expertise in TMT and telecoms work. The firm is well versed in assisting startups in the technology space as well as investment funds in the fintech and digital health industries. Practice head Chris Dyson enjoys a strong reputation for his expertise pertaining to M&A and technology investments. Venture capital and fintech transactions form part of Jocelyn Ormond‘s portfolio, while Suzie Miles sports strength in software licensing as well as IT transformation and outsourcing work. Andrew Braithwaite left the firm for an in-house position in March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Chris Dyson

Other key lawyers:

Jocelyn Ormond; Suzie Miles; Hannah Pettit; Charlotte Kingman; Brett Lambe; Scott Preece

Testimonials

‘The team has a broad range of expertise and have always been helpful in finding the right person efficiently.’

‘They are very diligent and client focused. They helped to guide me in the right direction and produced great results when I needed them.’

Key clients

Network Merchants Limited (NMI)

Griffin Financial Technology (Griffin)

CaptionHub

Prophix Inc.

Holland & Barrett

Materna IPS UK

Nevaya

Stratiphy

Vamstar

Eseye

Post Office Limited

Form3

Capficiency

Anorak

Volution

Notion Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Form3 on all commercial and corporate aspects of its business including group restructure and customer contracts.
  • Advised Holland & Barrett on a digital and technology transformation project.
  • Advised a syndicate of technology venture capital funds on a funding round in digital mortgage broker Habito.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 1

Horseracing and regulatory mandates constitute particular specialist areas for the sports practice at Ashfords LLP, where the firm acts on behalf of sporting regulators, clubs and retailers, as well as individuals. Adept at handling both contentious and non-contentious matters, the team is led by Rory Mac Neice, who is well versed in race fixing and anti-doping issues, among others. ‘Absolutely superb’ associate Joanne Saye also specialises in equestrian sports, and is frequently sought out by clients for her knowledge of governance, anti-doping and integrity issues. With regard to other sports, the firm is also active in the swimming, football and golf arenas.

Practice head(s):

Rory Mac Neice

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Braithwaite; Joanne Saye

Testimonials

‘Joanne Saye was absolutely superb in every way. Her knowledge of the sport and all the intricate details that are associated with it, meant that at every stage of the process she was able to advise in the best way possible to reach the outcome we set out to achieve.’

Key clients

The Professional Jockeys Association

The Racecourse Association Limited

The National Trainers Federation

Dan Skelton – Racehorse trainer

The Joint Measurement Board Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for Sir Mark Todd in connection with the BHA’s regulatory investigation and inquiry regarding video footage which was widely shared online.
  • Acting for leading racehorse trainer Dan Skelton and his trading company in respect of a claim regarding the sale of a high-value racehorse.
  • Acting for racehorse owner Amo Racing Ltd following the decision of the racecourse stewards at Royal Ascot not to disqualify the first past the post following substantial interference being caused to the Amo Racing horse and other horses.

Transport > Shipping Tier 1

With its ‘unrivalled knowledge of UK ports and harbours‘, and under the guidance of much lauded expert in the field Lara MooreAshfords LLP continues to stand out for its stellar experience in this niche space. Harbour Order and Brexit-related work, marine licensing and regulation issues, harbour dues litigation, and high-value coastal developments all form a regular part of the workload. The firm’s reputation is illustrated by a client roster comprising leading industry bodies, including the British Ports Association and the UK Harbour Masters Association.

Practice head(s):

Lara Moore

Other key lawyers:

Tommy Fox

Testimonials

‘Unrivalled knowledge of UK ports and harbours.’

‘Ashfords are recognised within industry as leaders in this field. The “go-to” firm for all things shipping, ports and harbours. Exceptional law firm.’

‘Lara Moore is approachable, intelligent and her understanding of how ports operate is exceptional. Her ability to quickly grasp the crux of a problem is impressive and saves time and money.’

‘The team we have dealt with at Ashfords are UK-leading maritime and ports lawyers and always provide an expert service that goes above and beyond.’

‘Personable, professional and build relationships rather than acting as a service provider only. Open and honest from the onset – so no surprises ever.’

‘Lara Moore and her team are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in ports and harbours and shipping legal matters.’

‘The team is very quick to respond to issues, giving excellent advice at a fair price.’

‘The team at Ashfords has exceptional and in-depth knowledge of the law of harbours and ports.’

Key clients

Peel Ports (London Medway)

Felixstowe Port (Hutchinson Ports)

Port of Tyne

Peel Ports (Clydeport)

Portsmouth International Port (Portsmouth City Council)

Poole Harbour Commissioners

British Ports Association

UK Harbour Masters’ Association (UKHMA)

Shoreham Port Authority

Nicolas James Group Ltd.

Lancaster Port Commission

Department of Infrastructure (Isle of Man Government)

Littlehampton Harbour Board

Padstow Harbour Commissioners

Cornwall Council (Penzance, St Ives, Bude, Port of Truro, Penryn, Portreath, Portscatho, Newquay, Prince of Wales Pier (Falmouth) and Portwrinkle Harbours)

North Devon Council (Lynmouth and Ilfracombe Harbours)

Dorset Council (Bridport and Lyme Regis Harbours)

Falmouth Harbour Commissioners

Chichester Harbour Authority

Langstone Harbour Board

Looe Harbour Commissioners

Fowey Harbour Commissioners

Dart Harbour & Navigation Authority

East Suffolk Council (Southwold Harbour)

Cattewater Harbour Commissioners (Port of Plymouth)

Flight 4 Whitby

St Mawes Pier and Harbour Authority

Work highlights

  • Advising Hutchinson Ports on a Harbour Revision Order.
  • Successfully defended Littlehampton Harbour Board against two Section 31 Harbours Act 1964 challenges.
  • Advising Peel Ports on statutory harbour power-related matters, including a Harbour Revision Order.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 2

At Ashfords LLP, the corporate tax team excels in business reorganisations and demergers, alongside which it handles a broad range of work relating to property funds, exit strategies and real estate transactions. Angus Bauer heads up the team and has a particular focus on complex group reorgansations as well as cross-border matters. John Pindard, who joined in January 2023 from Foot Anstey, sports an active tax practice and works closely with the firm’s corporate and real estate departments. Nicola Manclark  left the firm in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Angus Bauer

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Centrax Industries Ltd

Holland and Barrett Retail Ltd

Brand Architekts plc

Swallowfield plc

Pittards plc

Schlumberger plc

City & Counties REIT plc

Nordson Corporation plc

Pennon Group plc

Northbridge Industrial Services Ltd

Work highlights

  • Provided tax structuring advice to Luxembourg holding company (Learnd Limited) whose shares are currently trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Eden Ventures on the purchase of shares in Green Man Gaming Holding Limited.
  • Advised Technology Venture Partners LLP on the sale of its shares in Eflow Limited.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 2

Ashfords LLP fields a specialist subsidy control and procurement team that caters to clients within the public, private and third sectors on a variety of topics ranging from housing and regeneration projects to telecoms and infrastructure developments. Based in Exeter, the team is headed up by Lucy Woods, whose advisory portfolio includes assisting public sector clients with public procurement and state aid matters. Senior associate Ruth Yates, praised for being ‘incredibly commercially minded’, is another key member of the practice and handles a large volume of subsidy control and procurement work. Angela Watson left the firm in July 2022.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Woods

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Ashfords offers a great service that I cannot fault. Every member of their team has been knowledgeable and able to provide me with answers and support through the process.’

‘Ruth Yates is exceptionally knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with, and creates and allows confidence in any project.’

‘I find their advice extremely commercial. They work to a range of complex areas.’

‘I have worked mainly with Ruth Yates, who I find to be incredibly commercially minded. She is efficient and gets the way that we work. She is an absolute pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Herefordshire Council

Torbay Council

Ashford Borough Council

North Devon District Council

Council of the Isles of Scilly

Mid Devon District Council

Wandsworth Borough Council and the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames

The Royal Parks

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Exeter City Council

West Devon Borough Council

Post Office Limited

North Yorkshire County Council

Somerset County Council

Kent County Council

Shropshire Council

Advance Northumberland Commercial Limited

Sedgemoor District Council

Populo Living Limited

South Somerset County Council

London Borough of Lambeth

Watford Borough Council

Gloucestershire County Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Wandsworth Borough Council and the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames on all complex procurements as sole legal advisers.
  • Advising Ashford Borough Council on subsidy control and procurement work for the development of a new film studio.
  • Advising Exeter City Council on the procurement implications of the Guildhall Shopping Centre sale.

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 2

Situated within the restructuring and insolvency department, Ashfords LLP‘s debt recovery practice frequently collaborates on matters with the firm’s commercial litigation group. Recovering debts from foreign debtors, handling the enforcement of personal guarantees, and assisting invoice and statutory debts form part of the team’s advisory portfolio. Holly Ransley helms the practice and has extensive experience handling insolvency claims at both a domestic and cross-border level. David Pomeroy is noted for his knowledge of contentious insolvency matters. Former practice head Katie Farmer moved to Trowers & Hamlins LLP in July 2022.

Practice head(s):

Holly Ransley

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Ashfords provide a very personal service. There is no judgment when I ask rather mediocre questions, rather they answer fully in a way that I understand without being patronising.’

‘I primarily work with Holly Ransley, and I couldn’t find a more helpful, knowledgeable, friendly, though professional, person to work with. She often anticipates any problems I may have with a particular case and will work with me to alleviate them before they escalate.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a maritime client in relation to the recovery of a shipping debt.
  • Advised a banking client in relation to a personal guarantee.
  • Successfully advised a client on a settlement and recovered a debt from an international company based overseas.

Employment > Employment: Bristol Tier 2

Helmed by national employment group head Stephen Moore, Ashfords LLP – regarded by some clients as ‘the best team in Bristol‘ – is especially noted for its contentious capabilities, acting for both claimants and respondents in employment tribunal proceedings across a host of sectors. Lorna Clark is highly experienced in employment litigation, appearing on behalf of clients before the Employment Tribunal, County Court, and High Court. Other key figures within the practice include Hayley Marles, noted for her knowledge of the education and non-profit sectors, and Kirsten Currer, who specialises in discrimination cases – most recently acting for clients from the worlds of care and hospitality.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Moore

Testimonials

‘Hayley Marles is a thoughtful and skilled litigator. She takes time with clients to ensure that they have the best service. She is approachable, kind and considerate, but also astute and rather clever in her approach to litigation. She is particularly good with clients who find litigation difficult, and is a very supportive and effective litigator. Clients know that Hayley has got their back, and she instils confidence and trust.’

‘Lorna Clark is highly intelligent and commercially astute. An experienced employment lawyer who gets better and better.’

‘Stephen Moore is a consummate professional. An expert employment lawyer with particular experience in relation to restrictive covenants. He is sensible, skilled and a very safe pair of hands.’

‘The Ashfords employment team are a great bunch of employment lawyers. They are the best team in Bristol and understandably attract some top-notch clients. They cover all bases of employment law with a wide breadth of knowledge within the team. All the lawyers I know within the team are very knowledgeable and down-to-earth.’

‘Stephen Moore is a bit of a legend in Bristol. He has an excellent manner with clients and leads a great team. Hayley Marles is another safe pair of hands. She knows when to fight a corner and when a more commercial approach is necessary. Both Lorna Clark and Ellen Parker are also exemplary members of the team.’

‘The associates and assistants within the team are excellent and exercise sound judgment.’

‘Lorna Clark is exceptional. She is incredibly diligent and hard-working and has a very good grasp of employment law. She is also highly practical in her approach to managing and advancing cases on behalf of clients.’

Key clients

Multiple UK-based franchisees of global fast-food restaurant

Comptoir Group PLC

Westbury Care Ltd

Greys Residential Home Ltd

A residential care home

A scrap metal yard

Work highlights

  • Acting for multiple UK-based franchisees of a global fast food restaurant, assisting in defending employment tribunal claims of all types, including those relating to unfair dismissal, constructive unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing, holiday pay, and arrears of pay.
  • Represented Comptoir Group in a defence of a Disability Discrimination and Unfair Dismissal claim.
  • Representing Westbury Care Ltd as part of the ongoing ‘No Jabs, No Jobs’ Group Action being instigated by 127 Claimants against Care Home and Care Providers who dismissed the Claimants following their decision not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Employment > Health and safety Tier 2

Ashfords LLP is instructed by clients of all sizes, including multinational food production companies, national water providers, public authorities, and regional healthcare trusts. Representation at inquests following fatal injuries or care-related suicides, crisis management, and advice in relation to building and fire safety regulations are all particular areas of strength. Ian Manners heads up the practice. Lara Moore, who leads the marine and transport department, brings her expertise in port and harbour-related work to the team.

Practice head(s):

Ian Manners; Lara Moore

Other key lawyers:

Zoe Hunt

Key clients

Cappagh Public Works Ltd

Noble Foods

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, Cornish Mutual Insurance and Educating Safely LLP

EHSL Supported Housing

Farm Partnership / Cornish Mutual

Cattewater Harbour Commissioners

Work highlights

  • Representing a London-based recycling company in a HSE investigation into a serious accident at a material recovery facility.
  • Representing an NHS Trust in a regulatory investigation into a serious incident following a fall from height on the trust estate by a patient.
  • Providing crisis management advice and ongoing representation to a farming partnership in relation to a police and HSE investigation into a fatal accident on Dartmoor.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

The ‘quality commercial service’ at Ashfords LLP is noted for its capabilities in transactional and restructuring matters, cross-border work, and litigation. Bristol-based practice head David Pomeroy handles a broad range of contentious and non-contentious work, including pre-pack administrations. The Exeter-based Anna Thompson, who specialises in finance and restructuring, joined the team from Michelmores LLP in January 2023, while contentious insolvency expert Nicola Brastock and Melissa George joined from Thrings LLP in November 2022 and May 2023, respectively. Meanwhile, Katie Farmer and Alan Bennett left in July and December 2022, respectively.

Practice head(s):

David Pomeroy

Testimonials

‘The Ashfords team has quality lawyers providing a quality commercial service.’

‘David Pomeroy is really excellent. He has great technical knowledge, quality of service and practical solutions to complex situations. He deals with difficult defendants in a polite but decisive way, and his approach leads to clear solutions quickly.’

‘An excellent insolvency team; good partners and excellent support.’

‘The team at Ashfords has always been well known for the quality of their legal advice.’

 

Key clients

Albert Goodman LLP

Azets (formerly Wilkins Kennedy)

Begbies Traynor LLP

Bishop Fleming LLP

Bishop Fleming LLP

Evelyn LLP (formerly Smith & Williamson LLP)

Grant Thornton UK LLP

FRP Advisory

Manolete Partners plc

Mazars

Menzies LLP

Milsted Langdon LLP

PKF Francis Clark LLP

Quantuma LLP

Turpin Barker Armstrong

Westcotts

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended joint Administrators (at Begbies Traynor) who were challenged on validity of their appointment and their conduct by shareholders.
  • Advising Tim Sloggett and Richard Easterby of Quantuma on the pre-packaged sale of the business and assets of a tech company.
  • Successfully defended an individual client who faced claims brought by Liquidators in excess of £3.8m.

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Ashfords LLP is a strong choice for clients seeking assistance on property transactional work, contentious trusts and probate, secured lending, and environmental compliance matters. The team, which ‘deploys IQ and EQ in spades’, is led by Susie Murray, a fellow of the Agricultural Law Association who is noted for her expertise across rural affairs. The 'hugely knowledgeable' Jonathan Hickman advises on a range of private client matters, including complex wills.

Practice head(s):

Susie Murray

Other key lawyers:

Darren Blackburn; Jonathan Croley; Jonathan Hickman; Frances Griffiths; Michael Alden

Testimonials

‘All of the Ashfords team are approachable and knowledgeable – Jonathan Croley has been excellent.’

‘One can have a conversation with them and they understand the ultimate objective of the matter they are working on. They deploy IQ and EQ in spades.’

‘Specifically Jonathan Hickman and Michael Alden are hugely knowledgeable and demonstrate the use of soft skills that raise their impact above the norm.’

‘The people and the culture. Ashfords staff are approachable, knowledgeable, and human.’

Work highlights

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

Ashfords LLP advises a broad range of national and regional charities on both contentious and non-contentious matters. The cross-disciplinary practice draws on members of the private wealth, employment, commercial litigation and property litigation teams, providing clients with a comprehensive legal service. The team is jointly led by trusts and estates head Kerry Morgan Gould, who also spearheads the contentious charities sector offering; John Toth, noted for his tax capabilities; and Robert Horsey, who heads up the disputed wills and trusts team.

Practice head(s):

Kerry Morgan-Gould; John Toth; Robert Horsey

Other key lawyers:

Barny Croft

Testimonials

‘The friendly and simple approach to providing what the charity needs in language that makes sense to charity people, not lawyers, makes Ashfords a dream to work with. Barny Croft is simply my go-to person and provides an excellent soundboard as well as the legal protection we all need.’

‘I have worked with Barny Croft on numerous matters over the years and have always found him to be robust, assertive, communicative, consistent, and unafraid to issue proceedings as and when necessary.’

‘The Ashfords team has a very friendly approach to providing excellent legal advice to our charity on many tricky issues.’

‘Barny Croft is very pleasant with great integrity. Extremely able.’

‘Committed to the highest standards; patient, understanding and willing to spend the time to secure the best possible outcome. Genuinely interested in us as an organisation and as individuals. We always know that we’re getting the very best support delivered with sincerity, integrity, and professionalism.’

‘I can always rely on someone in the team to come back to me with a fast and pragmatic first advice, and with clear costs estimates to take matters forward.’

Key clients

A Hospice

A South West based children’s charity

An international charity

A national charity

International Animal Charity

Work highlights

  • Represented a national charity in defending a claim by a spouse for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
  • Represented a housing association in relation to an issue that arose relating to a death in service benefit policy.
  • Represented national charity clients in a claim challenging the validity of a testator’s will and were able to successfully negotiate a resolution.

Private client > Family Tier 2

A key port of call for a mix of business owners and agriculture sector clients, the team at Ashfords LLP is well regarded for its ‘excellence at every level.’ Its expertise includes complex financial proceedings and asset protection, extending also to international child relocation matters. Practice head Zoe Porter specialises in divorce and financial matters, regularly advising a number of high-net-worth individuals. Samantha Newton - noted for her ‘constructive, collaborative approach’ - has a particular specialism in dealing with high-net-worth financial work.  

Practice head(s):

Zoe Porter

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Newton; Jayne Turner; Megan Prideaux

Testimonials

‘Very responsive, professional and engaged. Highly motivated to provide an excellent service.’

‘Samantha Newton is used to dealing with complex cases, gives realistic and robust advice. An excellent solicitor focussed on her client’s case. Stellar communication.’

‘Exceptional service with a very compassionate manner. The team are super professional yet warm and friendly and ensure that you understand everything. Communication is efficient and legal fees are very transparent.’

‘Ashfords has proved to be a top class firm for all personal, residential, family and business problems.’

‘Excellence at every level – professional, friendly, pro-active and timely. Jayne Turner is an outstanding family lawyer.’

‘Jayne Turner has a supportive yet robust approach to her cases which enables clients to be looked after throughout the litigation process in the knowledge that their interests are best represented. Her experience and knowledge of pension issues puts her clients at a real advantage.’

‘Samantha Newton has a constructive, collaborative approach. She is organised and thinks ahead, and is enjoyable to work with.’

‘Jayne Turner is an extremely competent lawyer who bends over backwards for her clients.’

Work highlights

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

‘Efficient, knowledgeable, professional and extremely capable’, Ashfords LLP advises a wide range of clients including high-net worth individuals, business owners, landed estates, farmers, executors and trustees. The 'professional and extremely capable' team has specialisms in complex succession and inheritance tax planning, will drafting, capital gains tax mitigation and high value estate administrations. The practice is jointly chaired by Michael Alden, who has extensive experience of working with high-net-worth individuals, and Kerry Morgan Gould, an ‘extremely intelligent, focussed’ partner who oversees the private wealth department.

Practice head(s):

Michael Alden; Kerry Morgan-Gould

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Hickman; Victoria Emmett; Victoria Green

Testimonials

‘The team at Ashfords is, literally, the whole package. They cover everything from day-to-day will writing to complex trusts and estates and a litigation team, should the unfortunate need arise.

‘Everyone I have worked with at Ashfords has been efficient, knowledgeable, professional and extremely capable whilst remaining approachable and easy to work with.’

‘Kerry Morgan-Gould is an extremely intelligent, focused contentious probate partner. Definitely someone you would want on your side. Calm, unflappable and just all round winner.’

‘Victoria Green is just the warmest, most down-to-earth probate associate. Empathetic and kind – I recommend my most vulnerable clients to Vicki, and she never lets me down.’

‘Sarah Mansbridge is a bright, creative lawyer who just gets stuff done. Great on trusts and overall estate management.’

‘Our experience of the team has been excellent. A deep understanding of what is required and, importantly, how to most effectively reach a solution. Easy to engage with the team, who has an ability to relay information clearly and advise on all options available and potential outcomes.’

Work highlights

Projects, energy and natural resources > Energy, project finance and PFI Tier 2

Following a concerted expansion strategy, the practice at Ashfords LLP has recently seen significant diversification and an increasing focus on a wide spread of projects work in both the renewable and traditional energy spaces; the hire of Carl Thompson, whose expertise lies in construction and infrastructure matters, from Osborne Clarke LLP in February 2022 is a key example of this. Brian Farrell oversees the offering, leveraging his commercial background to advise clients from both the public and private sectors. Jonathan Croley is another key contact on the commercial front. Stephen Humphreys is the name to note on the planning side, while Emma Warren leads on real estate-related mandates. Key recent areas of work have included advice on carbon credit, phosphate offsetting and biodiversity schemes, as well as decarbonisation and sustainability projects.

Practice head(s):

Brian Farrell

Testimonials

‘Ashfords continues to provide value for money with sound legal, and just as importantly, commercial advice. Brian Farrell epitomises this approach and is ably supported by the rest of the team.’

Key clients

Island Green Power

Biowise

Wase Limited

Viridor

Suez Waste

Bioenergy Infrastructure Group

VTTI

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Pennon

Wichelstowe LLP

Isles of Scilly Community Venture

South West Water

Bristol Water plc

Bournemouth Water

Torbay Council

South Somerset District Council

Biffa

Whitetower Energy

STC

Eco Sustainable Solutions

GP Bio Tec

Urbaser Limited and Balfour Beatty

Ixora Energy

Northacre Renewables

Ingenious Capital Management

Scandinavian Energy Contractor A/S

CoGen Limited

Noble Green Energy

WiseEnergy

North Yorkshire County Council

Stuarts Partner

Renewable Assets Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Viridor on the part sell down of a 20% stake in its energy-from-waste portfolio.
  • Advising Brynrhyd Solar Farm on the proposed application for the development of a DNS 35MW solar farm in Wales.
  • Advising Pennon on the acquisition of Bristol Water and transfer of Bristol Water into the South West Water business, by way of an approved transfer scheme under the Water Industry Act 1991.

Public sector > Health Tier 2

The healthcare and life sciences practice at Ashfords LLP is chaired by Jocelyn Ormond and Ben Tarrant, both of whom work out of the firm’s Bristol office. Acting for a diverse client base that includes NHS trusts, private hospital operators and digital healthcare centres, the team handles a broad range of matters; property acquisitions and venture capital investments stand out as key recent areas of focus. Kirsty Cooke contributes expertise in employment and immigration matters to the team, while Katie Webber is a Court of Protection proceedings specialist. Partner Vanessa James left the firm in August 2022.

Practice head(s):

Jocelyn Ormond; Ben Tarrant

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The Ashfords team provide complete oversight of complex transactional/licensing negotiations and agreements whilst appreciating the need for clarity and pragmatism.’

‘The Ashfords team provide exemplary advice and guidance which is stage appropriate and tailored to the company’s requirements.’

 

Key clients

The Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Spire Healthcare

CareTech

Nexus Bioquest

Cedar Care Homes

Solent Childcare

Compass Children’s Homes

Aspris Children’s Services

Silva Care

The Medical

eConsult Health

Gaia Fertility

Vamstar

Lindus Health

Iksuda Therapeutics

Holland & Barrett

Helping Hands

Work highlights

  • Advised The Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on a range of employment, immigration and regulatory matters, including matters of strategic focus.
  • Advised Compass Children’s Homes in connection with 30 property acquisitions.
  • Advised Vamstar on its $9.5m Series A funding round and on a range of commercial matters.

Public sector > Local government Tier 2

The ‘great service’ provided by Ashfords LLP‘s public sector team spans employment, construction, and dispute resolution. Practice chair Lucy Woods‘ expertise extends to subsidy control for rural broadband projects and enterprise zones. Sian Gibbon focuses on telecoms work and right of light claims, while planning expert David Richardson  assists local authorities with compulsory purchase and public law advice. Other key figures include regeneration and development projects specialist Robin De Wreede; Laura Reeve, a key contact for construction procurement mandates; and the ‘exceptionally knowledgable’  Ruth Yates. All named lawyers are based in Exeter.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Woods

Other key lawyers:

David Richardson; Robin de Wreede; Laura Reeve; Ruth Yates

Testimonials

‘Ashford’s team offers a great service that I cannot fault. I have worked with them for approximately seven years. They hire talented people with top drawer knowledge of procurement law.’

‘Ruth Yates is exceptionally knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.’

 

Key clients

Wandsworth Borough Council and Richmond Borough Council

London Borough of Brent

Cornwall Council

Bristol City Council

Exeter City Council

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Ashford Borough Council

Populo Living

London Borough of Southwark

Torbay Council

Dorset Council

Mid Devon District Council

Watford Borough Council

Mendip District Council

Shropshire Council

Advance Northumberland Commercial Limited

Herefordshire Council

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

Sedgemoor District Council

North Devon District Council

West Devon Borough Council

South Somerset District Council

London Borough of Lambeth

London Borough of Hackney

Maidstone Borough Council

Kent County Council

North Yorkshire County Council

Portsmouth City Council

Thanet District Council

Stratford Upon Avon District Council

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Hampshire County Council

East Suffolk Council

Devon County Council

North Devon Council

South Hams District Council

Torridge District Council

Swansea Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Ashford Borough Council in connection with a £250 million investment into the regeneration of one of the largest brownfield sites in the UK.
  • Acting as standing legal adviser to Wandsworth Borough Council and Richmond Upon Thames Borough Council for a wide range of specialisms.
  • Acted for Exeter City Council in the acquisition of Guildhall Shopping Centre.

Real estate > Commercial property: Bristol Tier 2

Rated by clients for its ‘excellent, practical advice', the team at Ashfords LLP – which is especially well-versed in franchising work – maintains a strong position across the social housing, hospitality, SIPP & SSAS, and residential sectors. The Bristol group is led by Andrew Worley, an experienced partner whose capabilities are concentrated in retail leasing and restaurant franchising work. Kate Topp specialises in residential development matters, including acquisitions and joint ventures, while Isabelle Clement maintains an active housing sector practice, working with various providers on land and unit transactions. Ian Ramsay Tompkins is also noted for his experience in residential matters, acting for both developers and landowners on all manner of deals.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Worley

Other key lawyers:

Kate Topp; Ian Ramsay Tomkins; Isabelle Clement; Ben Tarrant

Testimonials

‘Good knowledge. Well-organised.’

‘Personable and flexible.’

‘The partners genuinely have an interest in the business, and provide regular updates to ensure we continue to work effectively. The team is very approachable and practical in application, ensuring the right measure are in place for any potential risk and cases complete timely. All of this stands them above other firms and enables us to confidently drive our business forward knowing they’re alongside us all the way.’

‘Ben Tarrant is extremely knowledge and provides clear advice when required.’

‘Attention to detail and speedy responses on projects. They provide excellent, practical advice to legal problems.’

‘Ashfords are always responsive. Kate Topp and Ian Ramsay Tompkins are exceptional.’

Key clients

David Wilson Homes South West

Barratt Bristol

Loungers Group

Crest Nicholson Operations Limited

Wainhomes Severn Valley Limited

Wichelstowe LLP (this is our JV of Barratt and Swindon Borough Council)

Vistry Homes Limited

Aster Group

Stonewater Limited

Sovereign Housing Association Limited

VIVID

LiveWest Homes Limited

Subway

Cornerstone Housing

Stonewater Limited

Bicester Heritage

London Borough of Wandsworth

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

UK Storage Company (SW) Limited

HFL Group Limited

Curo

Curtis Banks

Taco Bell

Miss Millies Fried Chicken

Starbucks

Compass Children’s Homes

Lloyds Bank

Handelsbanken

Immersive Labs

Natwest Bank

Monmouthshire Building Society

Home Farm Trust

Cedar Care Homes

Aspris Children’s Services

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise Loungers on their 400 + site property portfolio and advised on the acquisition of its first round of investment properties in the roll-out of the new ‘Brightside’ road side diner brand.
  • Acting as an approved firm of panel solicitors for Curtis Banks Group Plc, assisting them with the purchase of commercial properties into a members SIPP or SSAS plan, grant of leases to tenants and disposals of properties.
  • Acting for a large housebuilder in the purchase of development land, consented for the delivery of circa 250 homes.

Real estate > Construction Tier 2

The ‘pragmatic and sensible’ construction and infrastructure team at Ashfords LLP is well-placed to advise on an array of contentious and non-contentious work, with modern methods of construction and energy and waste projects standing out as two recent areas of focus. Practice chair Patrick Blake‘s recent workload has seen him advising on a range of building contract disputes. Accredited construction disputes adjudicator Stephen Homer litigates major disputes for local authorities and large developers and often appears in legal publications such as the Driver Trett Digest. Mark Manning is regarded by clients as ‘tenacious, detailed and thorough’, while Carl Thompson is noted for his expertise in energy and waste management matters. Lianne Edwards and the ‘thoughtful and experienced’ Laura Reeve are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Blake

Testimonials

‘The Ashfords construction team shows strength in depth throughout, with each member of the team being fully briefed on the matter and able to provide helpful input into the ongoing progress of a case.’

‘Lianne Edwards is a clear partner-in-waiting, she shows brilliant tactical judgment and has a strong ability to maintain focus on client objectives through the litigation process.’

‘Stephen Homer is a superb leader who manages his team brilliantly.’

‘Laura Reeve has been our guide and legal mentor throughout our journey from small to substantial as a business. Super clear, friendly, thoughtful and experienced.’

‘Excellent team. Very strong advice, and a dedicated, London-style service.’

‘Mark Manning is excellent. Tenacious, detailed and thorough, with a good client manner.’

‘Ashford are always proactive in their approach to any situation and their construction team are very much specialist in that field. I have always found their billing to be reasonable and accurate.’

‘Stephen Homer has an excellent ability to grasp complex arguments and distil them into what is the important point of focus and follow that focus through in a clear and concise manner. I have worked with him on a number of claims and always found him a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Exeter City Council

Wain Homes (South West) Limited

BDW Trading Limited

Canterbury City Council

Watford Borough Council

London Gateway Port Limited

CC Construction Limited

Curo Group

Northacre Renewable Energy Limited

Bioenergy Infrastructure Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising on the construction due diligence aspects relating to the acquisition by the Council of the Guildhall Shopping Centre in Exeter.
  • Advising on various matters relating to the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea’s new homes programme, existing housing stock and wider authority infrastructure.
  • Successfully acted for BDW in the reported case of BDW Trading Limited v Lantoom Limited [2023] EWHC 183 (TCC).

Real estate > Environment Tier 2

Ashfords LLP's broad practice focus sees the team advising on the purchase of energy from waste plants, helping commercial developers to unlock carbon credits, and supporting clients who have been accused of waste permitting breaches, including advising on interviews under caution and negotiating enforcements. The leadership team is divided between two cities; Ian Manners and Kate Topp are based in Bristol, while Brian Farrell and Tim Heal work from Exeter. Bristol-based Zoe Hunt is another name to note. Ben Derrington left the firm in November 2022.

Practice head(s):

Ian Manners; Brian Farrell; Kate Topp; Tim Heal

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Approachable, helpful, contactable and commercial.’

‘They understand the needs and requirements of the sector.’

 

Key clients

Pennon

Viridor Limited

Local Authority and Harbour Authority

Brynrhyd Solar Farm Limited (SPV of Island Green Power UK Limited)

Holiday Park Owner

BDW Trading Limited

North Devon Council

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Department of Infrastructure (Isle of Man Government)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Viridor on all aspects of the sale of its glass recycling business to Sibelco.
  • Representing a holiday park owner in relation to investigation by the Environment Agency in relation to waste permitting breaches and the use of U1 exemptions.
  • Advising a local authority on the legal framework and feasibility for harnessing inshore sustainability and biodiversity projects for carbon and biodiversity offsetting.

Real estate > Planning Tier 2

With expertise spanning CPOs, DCOs, energy matters, and s106 agreements for both the public and the housebuilder sector, Ashfords LLP‘s ‘deep experience’ is brought to bear across a broad range of advisory and contentious planning mandates. Practice chair David Richardson has a strong focus on the public sector, regularly working with various local authorities and district councils, including on the establishment of phosphates credits trading schemes. New energy specialist Stephen Humphreys steers the firm’s energy work, advising on NSIP and DNS developments.

Practice head(s):

David Richardson

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Humphreys; Duncan Moors

Testimonials

‘David Richardson is a pragmatic, clear, efficient. He is sensitive to client needs and their capacity to absorb technical information. David is clear with advice to other professionals and has a positive approach to obtaining the best outcomes.’

‘The team has strength in depth and is able to give rounded advice as it works for public and private sector clients. Their advice is invariably pragmatic as well as being sound. We have a strong working relationship with them.’

‘Both David Richardson and Duncan Moors are approachable and always willing to find a solution, irrespective of the nature of the issue. We feel like a valued client and not just one making up the numbers.’

‘Ashfords is a leading planning law team, and it would be difficult to find any better in the local area.’

‘Well-led team. David Richardson is the stand-out partner.’

‘Very knowledgeable and wide and deep experience of planning issues, particularly arising in the green energy sector, highways and related infrastructure.’

‘Stephen Humphreys is extremely good. Very knowledgeable and thorough with sound judgement.’

Key clients

Vistry Homes

Biffa Waste Services

Devon County Council

Barratt David Wilson

London Borough of Wandsworth

Land Value Alliances

Dorset Council

Countryside Properties

London Borough of Brent

Cornwall Council

Work highlights

  • Advising South Somerset District Council on the establishment of a phosphate credit trading market by En Trade to ensure nutrient neutrality for development proposals.
  • Advising Waddeton Park in relation to an appeal against a refusal by the local planning authority to grant permission for Waddeton’s Topsham residential scheme.
  • Advising Brynrhyd Solar Farm Limited on the development of a proposed 35MW solar farm in Wales.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 2

Praised by clients for its ‘good mix of private client and public sector experience‘, Ashfords LLP's broad capabilities are brought to bear on commercial landlord and tenant disputes, development and investment work, and constructive trusts claims, among other matters. Practice head James Hemsley advises various clients - including banks and multinationals - on a range of contentious property and property insolvency matters.  Sian Gibbon‘s practice includes equitable proprietary remedies, while Victoria Bonnet leads on many of the team’s professional negligence claims. 'Experienced litigator’ Robert Nicholson and the ‘cerebral’ Warren Reid are additional names to note.

Practice head(s):

James Hemsley

Other key lawyers:

Sian Gibbon; Victoria Bonnet; Robert Nicholson; Warren Reid; Sophie Michaelides; Marjorie Batten; Katherine Breckin

Testimonials

‘Victoria Bonnet is a tenacious litigator; willing to put the extra hours in to get the most out of her cases’

‘James Hemsley is a pragmatic and no-nonsense partner who sees the bigger picture for clients; Sophie Michaelides is a great solicitor with a super client care skills and a great attention to detail’

‘The team is very able and has strength in depth from partner to junior solicitor levels. It is capable of litigating substantial real estate disputes.’

‘James Hemsley is a superb partner and manages his team extremely well. Warren Reid is also very able. Sophie Michaelides is an absolute star and has an extremely promising career ahead of her.’

‘They have a good geographical reach for a firm based in the South West, and can provide a service on a level of experience and expertise of larger firms.’

‘Rob Nicholson is very pleasant to deal with, but tough with it. A very experienced litigator with great tactical judgement.’

Sian Gibbon is very experienced and knowledgeable.’

Warren Reid brings a very cerebral and thoughtful approach to his cases, and a pleasure to work with. Very sound judgement.’

Key clients

London Gateway (LG Park Leasehold Limited)

Watford Borough Council

Torbay Council

London Borough of Southwark

Bristol City Council

The Guinness Partnership Limited

London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond

St Mungo

Pinnacle Group Limited

London Borough of Lambeth

Brick by Brick Limited

CDS (Superstores International) Limited (“the Range”)

University of Plymouth

State Credit and Investment Limited

Courtenay Group of Companies

Key West Holdings Limited

West of England Developments

Lone Eagle Retail Limited

Wood & Wood International Signs Limited

Allianz Global Corporate and Speciality

Subway Realty Limited

TJX UK Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised LG Park Leasehold Limited about options for ending the leases and the likely effect of the administration on the tenant’s obligations under the leases prior to determination.
  • Assisted the London Borough of Southwark in recovering possession of a telecom site which the Council needed to demolish.
  • Advised the London Borough of Wandsworth on obtaining possession of a large commercial premises that had been occupied by two guardians.

Public sector > Local government Tier 2

Ashfords LLP 's Exeter-based team is capable of handling the full spectrum of public sector work for its local authority clients and boasts particular expertise in advising on land transactions, planning proposals, and procurement initiatives in connection with large regeneration schemes and infrastructure developments. The team is also regularly instructed by London Boroughs to provide ongoing assistance with all governance, employment, and corporate structuring work clients encounter during in the course of their development activities. Lucy Woods, a regulatory compliance and corporate structuring expert, serves as practice head and is regarded as a key contact for subsidy control matters. Other key contacts include planning expert David Richardson, who acts across the contentious and non-contentious aspects of major residential developments, and procurement expert Ruth Yates.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Woods

Other key lawyers:

David Richardson; Robin de Wreede; Ruth Yates

Key clients

Advance Northumberland Commercial Limited

Ashford Borough Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

Bristol City Council

Cornwall Council

Devon County Council

Dorset Council

East Suffolk Council

Exeter City Council

Hampshire County Council

Herefordshire Council

Kent County Council

London Borough of Brent

London Borough of Hackney

London Borough of Lambeth

London Borough of Southwark

Maidstone Borough Council

Mendip District Council

Mid-Devon District Council

North Devon Council

North Devon District Council

North Yorkshire County Council

Populo Living

Portsmouth City Council

Richmond Borough Council

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Sedgemoor District Council

Shropshire Council

South Hams District Council

South Somerset District Council

Stratford Upon Avon District Council

Swansea Council

Thanet District Council

Torbay Council

Torridge District Council

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Wandsworth Borough Council

Watford Borough Council

West Devon Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Ashford Borough Council on the Ashford International Studios Project, a £250m investment into the regeneration of one of the largest brownfield sites in the UK.
  • Advised Wandsworth Borough Council Richmond Upon Thames Borough Council on a wide range of matters related to procurement and contracts; planning, residential, employment, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, and construction.
  • Acted for Exeter City Council on the acquisition of Guildhall Sopping Centre, one of the most high profile and publicized deals in the region in 2022 due to the popularity and the nature of the purchaser.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Bristol Tier 3

Variously praised for its ‘professionalism and responsiveness’ as well as for its ‘clear and commercial advice’, Ashfords LLP is well-versed in cross-border corporate and commercial work, particularly within the energy, consumer goods, healthcare, life sciences, and tech sectors. The team is headed up by corporate chair Rory Suggett, whose workload is concentrated in the tech and life sciences arenas. Chris Dyson, who chairs the firmwide technology offering, is regularly instructed by a diverse roster of investment funds, private equity houses, and fast-growth companies active in the sector. Bristol office head Jocelyn Ormond spearheads the firm’s healthcare and digital health practice; his recent engagements include a series of investment transactions and cross-border deals for clients operating in the health tech and cybersecurity arenas. Commercial partner Suzie Miles’ practice is concentrated in IT and fintech projects, where she acts for a number of well-known retailers, among others.

Practice head(s):

Rory Suggett

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Betteridge; Chris Dyson; Jocelyn Ormond; Suzie Miles; Brett Lambe

Testimonials

‘The key attributes are their professionalism and responsiveness. The latter inevitably is always important when legal questions can create delays to time sensitive issues.’

‘Always friendly and helpful. Rapid response to requests.’

‘Very responsive, experienced and knowledgeable. Clear and commercial advice.’

‘Rory Suggett is a top operator. A pleasure to work with and absolutely knows their stuff when it comes to early stage venture deals.’

‘Well-versed in commercial law, I’ve always received great service and advice.’

‘Brett Lambe is a great example of how solicitors should distill solutions and apply it to their clients’ business. He knows the history of our company and I trust his advice implicitly.’

Key clients

Malaby Holdings

Noble Foods

Volution Ventures

Gaia Fertility Limited

BGF

Global Satellite Vu

Vamstar

Capficiency Private Equity

AlphaPet Ventures

Post Office

Form3

Ecosurety

Holland and Barrett

Applied Market Information

Work highlights

  • Acted for AlphaPet Ventures GmbH on its private equity-backed acquisition of Arden Grange.
  • Advised on the sale of Fluidly to Oaknorth.
  • Advised Global Satellite Vu on a £15m investment round led by Seraphim Space Investment Trust, the world’s first listed space tech fund.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Bristol Tier 3

Ashfords LLP handles a broad range of disputes across the IT and technology, waste, retail, sport and financial services sectors, with demonstrable experience in regulatory and risk-related litigation. Rory Mac Neice leads the Bristol-based practice and acts for clients in the financial and technology arenas in litigation, in addition to acting for retail and manufacturing clients on product recall cases. Ian Manners has experience in serious incident representation and crisis management mandates, while Andrew Perkins, who operates from the firm’s Exeter office, is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Rory Mac Neice; Andrew Perkins

Other key lawyers:

Ian Manners; Joanne Saye

Testimonials

‘Rory Mac Neice and Joanne Saye have the depth of understanding of working with local authorities and specifically within the waste collection and disposal service sector, to be able to give honest and clear advice as to the likelihood of the success of the arguments we constructed in relation to our dispute.’

‘Strengths and capabilities demonstrated through a collaborative, informed and skilled handling of work.’

‘Joanne Saye richly deserves accolade not only for her legal adeptness but also for her robust and tenacious litigation skills and client handling. Having quickly assessed and understood the issues at stake, Jo delivered the legal expertise required providing support and guidance throughout negotiations to successfully conclude the matter.’

‘Very open to discussion and the sharing of ideas. Great insight and commercial judgement. Responsive and client-focussed. The practice has a lot of talented individuals with different experience and expertise. We’ve used several lawyers at the firm and have been impressed by all of them.’

‘Rory Mac Niece handled our matter. When he took on our case he listened carefully and rapidly identified the key issues at the heart of our situation and developed appropriate arguments to tackle them. He was insightful, professional and very easy to work with.’

Key clients

The National Trainers Federation

Axminster Group

Holland & Barrett International Ltd

Lloyds Bank Plc

Bank of Scotland Plc

Amo Racing Ltd

Dan Skelton Racing Ltd

British Show Horse Association Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for a waste services company in a dispute with a local authority, regarding the renegotiation and termination of a waste services contract (the contract value is over £12m).
  • Acted for a technical ceramics manufacturer in a dispute with a supplier of bespoke manufacturing equipment, worth approximately £4m.
  • Acted for a UK-based producer of health and wellness products in a dispute regarding an issue with a number of its health supplements which had been produced by a supplier based in Germany.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 3

The varied banking work undertaken by Ashfords LLP includes acquisition finance, project finance and corporate financing; the team's varied client base ranges from major banks and independent lenders to corporate clients from sectors such as manufacturing, property investment and leisure. Rebecca Dury, whose transactional expertise extends to syndicated and bilateral financings, runs the practice from Exeter. Her colleague Clare Brewer's practice encompasses energy and infrastructure finance. In Bristol, ‘positive and proactive’ Ed Hobbs works across a wide range of lending and security work with a particular focus on venture debt. Real estate specialist James Heath extends the unit’s property financing expertise.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Dury

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Highly skilled team. Respond to tight timescales. Good connection between the Banking and Property teams. Able to manage volume transactions.’

‘Jonathan Hyde is extremely efficient.’

Rebecca Dury gives good all-round advice.’

‘The Ashfords banking and finance team is very focused on high quality, efficient offerings to clients. The team knows the market inside and out and gets right to the heart of a matter.’

‘Ed Hobbs is like a walking archive of all UK finance transactions structures and terms. He is also always very positive and proactive.’

 

Key clients

Lloyds Bank plc

National Westminster Bank plc

Santander UK plc

HSBC UK Bank plc

Homes England

St James Place Plc

Ashford Borough Council

Form3

Exeter Finance Limited

Fox Funding LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead drafting counsel for St James Place PLC on the refinancing of their £345m revolving credit facility.
  • Acted for Ashford Borough Council on a cross-departmental basis on a financing and investment with a value of over £100m of a brownfield site in Kent.
  • Advised Lloyds Bank plc on its £13 million funding of a South West based hotel group.

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 3

At Ashfords LLP, the professional negligence practice is well versed in acting for solicitors as well as clients in the banking, bloodstock and construction sectors. Rory Mac Neice in Bristol jointly heads up the team with Exeter-based Victoria Bonnet, who is often called upon to handle negligence claims pertaining to solicitors. Chris Freeman left the firm for an in-house position in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Rory Mac Neice; Victoria Bonnet

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Homer

Key clients

Lloyds Bank plc

The Bank of Scotland plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for a major high street bank in connection with a claim against solicitors for failing to advise the bank on the extent of the bank’s security over land.
  • Acting for a private client in a claim against a veterinary clinic for negligence in connection with a routine wind procedure to a racehorse.
  • Acting for a property leasing and management company in defending a debt claim brought by a waste management services company. The client has brought a counter claim in respect of poor performance of the services which led to an environmental spillage incident.

Corporate and commercial > Venture capital Tier 3

The ‘extremely responsive’ team at Bristol-based firm Ashfords LLP provides ‘strong impartial advice on “what is market”, thereby enabling principal decision makers on the investor and investee side to make commercial and sensible decisions relating to venture capital funding. While the team is best-known for acting on earlier stage financing rounds, it is also adept at handling ‘complex cross-border transactions and is able to deal with technical subjects’. Key to this work is ‘excellent technician’ Chris Dyson , who combines deep industry knowledge with commercial and legal smarts to very effectively guide innovators and funders in the technology space. Jocelyn Ormond  has a particular niche advising companies and investors in the digital health/life sciences sector. Dyson co-heads the team alongside Rory Suggett , whose investor side focus includes handling a raft of work for an impressive roster of fund clients includes the Business Growth Fund, which he regularly advises on its funding of early and growth stage companies.

Practice head(s):

Chris Dyson; Rory Suggett

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Betteridge; Jocelyn Ormond; Scott Preece

Testimonials

They provide strong impartial advice on “what is market” to assist principal decision making.’

The team is extremely responsive. It can be trusted with complex cross-border transactions and is able to deal with technical subjects.’

‘The friendly and collaborative Chris Dyson is an excellent technician with a pertinent and pragmatic approach to complex transactions.’

Key clients

Volution Ventures

Gaia Fertility

BGF

Global Satellite Vu

Vamstar

Form3

Frog Capital

Notion Capital

Ahren Innovation Capital

Episode 1 Ventures

Fourthrev

Draper Biotech

Hambro Perks

Mercia

Iksuda Therapeutics

DW Healthcare Partners |(specialist North American private equity investor)

Work highlights

  • Advised Volution Ventures on a £26m funding round in digital payments start-up WeGift alongside Element Ventures, Clocktower Ventures, AlbionVC, SAP and CommerzVentures.
  • Advised Gaia Fertility on a $20m Series A funding round led by Atomico.
  • Advised Global Satellite Vu on a £15m investment round led by Seraphim Space Investment Trust, the world’s first listed Space Tech Fund.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Water Tier 3

Ashfords LLP‘s energy and resource management team assists water companies with corporate transactions and contracts, asset maintenance and repair and regulatory advice, while also acting for developers on S104 sewer adoption agreements. Leading the practice are Mark Manning, an engineering contracts and disputes specialist, and M&A, and regulatory lawyer Brian Farrell, who also advises on water technology developments.

Practice head(s):

Mark Manning; Brian Farrell

Testimonials

‘Responsive staff who are accountable and competent.’

‘Brian Farrell and Mark Manning were quick to respond to requests and delivered on what was promised.’

‘Ashfords, through regular contact with internal key client contacts, have consistently ensured that all team members working on specific projects are aware of challenges and time constraints.’

‘This has resulted in an efficient delivery for the client, culminating in several recent projects completing ahead of schedule and as a consequence removing them from the critical path.’

‘Mark Manning is accessible, personable and professional at all times, whilst retaining a sense of humour.’

‘Mark Manning’s availability and sound judgement has really stood out from his peers.’

‘Senior partners make themselves personally available to junior members of our business, and provide guidance on contractual matters.’

‘They acted as though they were part of our business and when the gauntlet was thrown down, stepped into the breach with the appropriate resources and expertise.’

Key clients

Pennon

South West Water

Bournemouth Water

Bristol Water plc

Wase Limited

Biofactory

Cappagh Public Works Limited

Peel Ports (London Medway)

Felixstow Port (Hutchinson Ports)

Department of Infrastructure (Isle of Man Government)

Cornwall Council

Barratt David Wilson

Wain Homes

Vistry Homes

Work highlights

  • Advised Pennon Plc on the acquisition of Bristol Water and subsequently advised South West Water on the transfer of Bristol Water into the South West Water business, by way of an approved transfer scheme under the Water Industry Act 1991.
  • Advised on the establishment and roll out of a strategic and innovative partnership in the sector, the Centre for Resilience, Environment, Water and Waste, between South West Water and the University of Exeter.
  • Advising Hutchinson Ports (Felixstowe) in respect of a Harbour Revision Order.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 4

Ashfords LLP's commercial litigation practice covers contract disputes, emergency relief, contempt of court proceedings, fraud, asset and tracing claims, and company and partnership disputes. Other key areas range from claims against company directors, to cross-border disputes, defamation, professional negligence claims, and debt recovery and enforcement matters. The principal figures are London office head James Crighton, who is 'always thinking strategically'; Exeter-based commercial disputes head Andrew Perkins; and technology and sports disputes expert Rory Mac Neice in Bristol.

Practice head(s):

James Crighton; Andrew Perkins; Rory Mac Neice

Other key lawyers:

Ceris Fuller

Testimonials

‘The team is able to respond to instructions really quickly, always with the goal of achieving the very best outcome for the client.’

‘All the solicitors are available, on top of the papers and issues, and uniformly pleasant to deal with.’

‘James Crighton stands out because he is really engaged in his matters, on top of all the detail, and always thinking strategically. He manages clients really well and is a pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

iiB Group Holdings

Fontaine

Douglas & Gordon

Slater & Gordon No

Betterstyle International

Hardis Group

CognitionX

Voilerie du Sud Ouest

Work highlights

  • Defended Samuel Watson against a claim for fraud and conspiracy, which was valued at over £100m, and was brought by multiple claimants (including Voltaire Capital Holdings).
  • Defended Eric Watson in Kea Investments Ltd v Watson, which included (reportedly) the longest committal trial in English legal history.
  • Defended Nobu Su in proceedings involving a fraud claim of $37m, committal applications and search orders.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 4

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 5

The cornerstone of Ashfords LLP's practice involves disputed charity matters by way of legacy disputes; these matters are handled by the disputed wills and trusts team. Its wider charity offering comprises lawyers with a specialist charity interests from other departments such as the private wealth, employment and commercial litigation teams. Kerry Morgan Gould represents a number of national charities, as well as various smaller local charities. Robert Horsey and John Toth are among the other key senior members of the offering.

Practice head(s):

Kerry Morgan-Gould; John Toth; Robert Horsey

Other key lawyers:

Sasha Wicks

Testimonials

‘The Disputed Wills & Trusts Team consistently achieves great results for us in defending contested legacies left to charities’.

‘The team always responds quickly to new instructions and has secured a quick and pragmatic settlement of several disputed legacies for us’.

‘Kerry Morgan-Gould continues to stand out as a highly trusted and immensely capable partner. Whether the case calls for the very sensitive handling of a bereaved Claimant or for a robust response to a nuisance claim, Kerry always judges the situation and the financials just right, and she has obtained great results for us’.

‘Sasha Wicks is also proving to be a very clear-headed and pragmatic adviser to her charity clients’.

Work highlights

  • Represented a national charity in defending a claim by a spouse for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
  • Represented a housing association in relation to an issue that arose relating to a death in service benefit policy.
  • Represented national charity clients in a claim challenging the validity of a testator’s will.

Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 5

With Jessica Taylor at the helm, Ashfords LLP‘s London team handles complex construction, engineering, and infrastructure projects for a varied client base, including central and local government bodies, housing groups, and developers. The department has particular expertise in managing intricate multi-phase regeneration schemes.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Blake; Jessica Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Carl Thompson

Testimonials

‘They provide highly tailored, specialist advice for a reasonable price. It is refreshing in the charity sector to be able to afford such a high-quality service. They are also commercially astute; the advice is always provided based on what is reasonable, achievable and in our best financial interest.’

‘Jessica Taylor is extraordinarily knowledgeable and extremely swift to respond.’

Key clients

Ashford Borough Council

London Borough of Hackney

Populo Living

The Royal Parks

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Norman Rourke Pryme Limited

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

Curo Group

Shepheard Epstein Hunter

Studio Millership

Stonewater Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Ashford Borough Council on the construction aspects of the redevelopment of the Newtown Works site into an International Film Studios complex.
  • Advising the London Borough of Hackney on its complex social infrastructure regeneration project being procured in up to 10 phases.
  • Advising a multi-disciplinary consultancy on a 9 year sub-consultancy agreement in connection with a contract for a London Borough.

Finance > Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 8

Now headed from Bristol by David Pomeroy, following Alan Bennett‘s departure in December 2022 to Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, Ashfords LLP maintains a solid practice and in spite of its modest size ‘manages to punch way above its weight in insolvency litigation’. Crispin Jones , who was promoted to partner in September 2022, has developed strong ties with the London IP market and has ‘a particular specialism in insolvent law firms and insolvency fraud cases’. 

Practice head(s):

David Pomeroy

Other key lawyers:

Crispin Jones

Testimonials

‘The Ashfords insolvency team is relatively small yet somehow manages to punch way above its weight in insolvency litigation.’

‘The highly accessible team provides responsive and pragmatic advice on complex insolvency matters.’

‘Crispin Jones has deep links with the London insolvency practitioner market – he is universally well known and well liked by all the top officeholders and is rewarded with leading mandates accordingly.’

‘Crispin Jones has a detailed knowledge of all aspects of insolvency law and applies that knowledge in a clear and pragmatic way.

Key clients

Azets (formerly Wilkins Kennedy)

Begbies Traynor

Carter Clark

FRP Advisory

Grant Thornton

ManoletePartners Plc

Menzies

Moore Kingston Smith

Quantuma

Rollings Butt

Turpin Barker Armstrong

Work highlights

Private client > Court of protection

Ashfords LLP fields a ‘really strong team which deals with some of the more complex welfare matters before the Court of Protection’. Katie Webber. Kerry Morgan Gould and Michael Alden co-head the department, which was pleased to add Jess Flanagan to its ranks, as a consultant, from Clarke Willmott LLP.

Ashfords are valued legal partners to a wide range of corporate, public sector and private clients across the UK and internationally; counted on by clients to get the right result whether that’s delivering commercial objectives, protecting family assets, making investments or solving disputes.
The firm has four UK offices and through its international network can support clients in over 70 countries worldwide.

CEO: Louise Workman
Chair & Head of Real Estate Division – Tim Heal
Head of Commercial Division – Andrew Betteridge
Head of Private Wealth – Michael Alden
CFO – Nick Wrigley

Legal services and sector specialisms include:
Services
Banking & Finance: Rebecca Dury
Business Risk & Regulation: Ian Manners
Commercial: Brian Farrell
Construction & Infrastructure: Carl Thompson
Corporate: Rory Suggett
Commercial Disputes: Andrew Perkins
Employment: Stephen Moore
Family: Zoe Porter
Immigration: Kirsty Cooke
Intellectual Property: Carl Steele
Planning: David Richardson
Property Disputes: James Hemsley
Private Wealth: Michael Alden
Real Estate: Kate Topp
Residential & Rural Property Conveyancing: Susie Murray
Restructuring & Insolvency: David Pomeroy
Tax: Angus Bauer
Trusts & Estates: Kerry Morgan-Gould

Sectors:
Energy & Resource Management; Food, Drink & the Rural Economy; Healthcare, Digital Health & Life Sciences; Homes & Regeneration; Marine; Public Sector & Local Government; Retail & Leisure; Technology & Digital Transformation

Department Name Email Telephone
CEO Louise Workman
Chairman Tim Heal
Head of Commercial Services Division Brian Farrell
Head of Real Estate Division Kate Topp
Head of Private Wealth Division Michael Alden
Head of Technology Sector Chris Dyson
Head of Commercial Disputes Andrew Perkins
Head of Employment Stephen Moore
Head of Construction and Infrastructure Carl Thompson
Head of Property Disputes James Hemsley
Head of Real Estate Kate Topp
Head of Restructuring and Insolvency David Pomeroy
Head of Intellectual Property Carl Steele
Head of Risks & Regulation Ian Manners
Head of Residential Property & Head of Agriculture Susie Murray
Head of Trusts and Estates Kerry Morgan-Gould
Head of Banking & Finance Rebecca Dury
Head of Corporate Rory Suggett
Head of Family Zoe Porter
Photo Name Position Profile
Paul Butterworth photo Paul Butterworth Partner
Scarlett Cater photo Scarlett Cater Scarlett is a Solicitor in the Corporate Team.
Isabelle Clement photo Isabelle Clement Senior Associate
Kirsten Currer photo Kirsten Currer Associate
Charles Davies photo Charles Davies Charles is a Solicitor in the Corporate Team.
Chris Dyson photo Chris Dyson Partner in the Corporate Team and Head of the Technology Sector.
Jess Flanagan photo Jess Flanagan Jess is a Consultant in the Court of Protection team.
Jon Groves photo Jon Groves Jon is an Associate in the Corporate Team specialising in venture capital, private equity…
Ed Hobbs photo Ed Hobbs Partner
Lorna Hughes photo Lorna Hughes Lorna is an Associate in the Employment Team. Lorna provides legal advice to both businesses…
Stephen Humphreys photo Stephen Humphreys Stephen is a Partner in the Planning team.
Zoe Hunt photo Zoe Hunt Zoe is a Solicitor in the Business Risk & Regulation team.
Charlotte Kingman photo Charlotte Kingman Charlotte is an Associate is the Commercial Team.
Brett Lambe photo Brett Lambe Senior Associate in the Commercial team and Technology sector
Tom Llewellyn photo Tom Llewellyn Tom is a Partner in the Commercial Litigation team, based in Bristol.
Rory Mac Neice photo Rory Mac Neice Partner
Ian Manners photo Ian Manners Partner and Head of Business Risk & Regulation
Hayley Marles photo Hayley Marles Hayley is a Senior Associate in the Employment Team.
Suzie Miles photo Suzie Miles Partner
Stephen Moore photo Stephen Moore Partner and Head of the Employment Team specialising in all aspects of…
Derek  Moore photo Derek Moore Legal Director
David  Morris photo David Morris Legal Director 
Shahannah Nazir Hussain photo Shahannah Nazir Hussain Shahanna is a Solicitor in the Corporate Team.
Samantha Newton photo Samantha Newton Partner
Jocelyn Ormond photo Jocelyn Ormond Partner
Amy Penn photo Amy Penn Amy is a Solicitor in the Employment team.
David Pomeroy photo David Pomeroy David is a Partner and head of the Restructuring and Insolvency Team.
Scott Preece photo Scott Preece Senior associate
Megan Prideaux photo Megan Prideaux Megan is an Associate in the Family Team.
Patricia Przygodzka photo Patricia Przygodzka Patricia is an Associate in the Real Estate Team.
Ian Ramsay Tompkins photo Ian Ramsay Tompkins Senior Associate
Warren Reid photo Warren Reid Partner in Property Disputes Team.
Tom Storey photo Tom Storey Senior Associate in the Corporate team
Rory Suggett photo Rory Suggett Partner & Head of the Corporate Team
Barney Sykes photo Barney Sykes Barney is an Associate in the Corporate Team. 
Ben Tarrant photo Ben Tarrant Partner
Carl Thompson photo Carl Thompson Carl is a Partner and Head of our Construction & Infrastructure team
Kate Topp photo Kate Topp Partner
Rianna Treasure photo Rianna Treasure Rianna is a solicitor in the Real Estate Team.
Ross Van De Velde photo Ross Van De Velde Associate
Katie Webber photo Katie Webber Partner
Andrew Worley photo Andrew Worley Partner in the Real Estate Team.
Number of UK partners : 74
Number of other UK fee-earners : 183
ISO:9001 Quality Management
The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS)
The Specialist Quality Mark (SQM)
Law Society Family Law Accreditation
Law Society Personal Injury Accreditation
Law Society Mental Capacity (Welfare) Accreditation
Lot 2a and Lot 3 of the Crown Commercial Services Wider Public Sector Legal Services Framework (RM3788)
London Boroughs Legal Alliance
NHS SBS
Cyber Essentials Plus

ENVIRONMENT, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE

Ashfords engages in a wide and ever-growing range of actions to support the social, economic and mental wellbeing of our communities inside and outside the firm.

Our ESG Programme focuses on three priority communities:

THE GREEN COMMUNITY

To ensure sustained and meaningful action, our environmental strategy is based on three core actions: “Manage, Minimise and Improve”:

  • Manage: manage the impact our operations have on the environment, make environmentally conscious management decisions, and promote a firmwide green culture;
  • Minimise: take steps to reduce our consumption of materials and energy, minimise waste and pollution, and meaningfully reduce our carbon footprint;
  • Improve: actively improve the environment in the areas in which we live and work with a focus on increasing biodiversity.

We take our responsibility to the environment very seriously by publicly reporting our annual emissions and committing to reducing our year-on-year figures. Our other activities includes carbon offsetting through the UN Carbon Neutral Now Initiative, planting trees, reducing waste (with zero waste to landfill), and procuring local suppliers with green supply chains wherever possible. We have plenty more actions planned in the pipeline for the coming year.

THE ASHFORDS COMMUNITY

We want to provide a positive, rewarding and supportive environment for all employees. We do this through supportive initiatives such as staff discounts at local businesses, holiday purchase scheme, providing a robust health package, and introducing a flexible work policy.

Ashfords is also a strong advocate for supporting mental health, and recently launched a mindfulness app for employees. This sits alongside dedicated mental health awareness training, weekly movement and mindfulness activities, free access to counselling and alternative therapies, and additional life support such as money management webinars.

We are committed to promoting Diversity and Inclusion within our teams. We already have a strong set of initiatives in place (such as Apprenticeship schemes to improve Access to Law; post-maternity support; skills-based hiring processes; DEI training). We know we can always do more, the Board instigated a Diversity Action Group to spearhead substantial change in the coming years, with Diversity and Inclusion taking on a larger presence to ensure everyone is empowered to be the best that they can be.

OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY

We actively contribute to our local communities and aim to provide support where it’s needed most through staff volunteering and fundraising, as well as financial support through The Ashfords Foundation.

THE ASHFORDS FOUNDATION

We provide financial resources to support local community organisations. We do this through two core funding streams i) Supporting Communities (a small one off grant to support small charities and similar organisation) and ii) Preserving Communities (larger grant sums with potential to secure funding over several years).

Our charitable mission is to make a real difference in the lives of these communities. As a grant making Foundation, we can only be as effective as the organisations we support. They are at the very heart of our mission. https://www.ashfordsfoundation.org.uk/

DIVERSITY REPORT

Here is a link to our diversity statistical report from August 2022: https://www.ashfords.co.uk/media/5122/ashfords-diversity-stats_2022_ecd.pdf


CLIENT: Mark Wheeler, Chief Executive Officer,
COMPANY/FIRM: Driver Group
TESTIMONIAL: Ashfords are one of the few firms that do offer a real ‘full service’ approach, we have used them for a wide range of business and commercial advice. The construction partners we work with have introduced us to their colleagues who specialise in planning, regulatory, employment etc and we have seen a strong client focussed customer ethos across the spectrum, with sound commercial and practical knowledge underpinning all of the work undertaken. We have yet to find a weak link in the Ashfords chain and look forward to working with them for many years to come.


CLIENT: David Jackson, executive chairman
COMPANY/FIRM: Altus Ltd
TESTIMONIAL: The Ashfords technology team work hard to achieve the desired outcome; they respond promptly, confidently and accurately to our needs…I would not hesitate in recommending them.


CLIENT: Michael Mueller, CEO
COMPANY/FIRM: Form3
TESTIMONIAL: Ashfords have been great partners to our business ever since the company was established in 2016. Based on a combination of good knowledge of the fintech sector and strong expertise in enterprise technology, the Ashfords team have provided us with highly effective support in various investment and commercial initiatives.


CLIENT: Anonymous
COMPANY/FIRM: Anonymous
TESTIMONIAL: We cannot thank the disputed wills and trusts team enough for your ongoing support and professional knowledge. You have gone above and beyond anything we could have expected from a solicitor. This is, and always was, about justice for our mum’s life of hard work and love for her children. All that you have done for us and for mum is really so appreciated and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


CLIENT: Jennifer Chamandi
COMPANY/FIRM: N/A
TESTIMONIAL: I’d like to thank the intellectual property team at Ashfords for supporting me through the protection of my brand and designs. The patent was particularly significant in capturing the judges’ attention.


CLIENT: Mark Caroe, partner
COMPANY/FIRM: Eden Ventures
TESTIMONIAL: We’ve worked closely with the Ashfords CoComm team for many years across our portfolio, including on investment rounds and the subsequent sale of NewVoiceMedia. Ashfords provided us with the excellent support we have come to expect from their team – their market knowledge and commercial advice are second to none.


CLIENT: James Cole, founder and CEO
COMPANY/FIRM: Route1
TESTIMONIAL: We are pleased to have closed this round in record time and with the usual excellent service from Ashfords and the CoComm team. These funds will enable Route1 to further leverage its technology solution for clients and candidates in the post GDPR legal recruitment environment.


CLIENT: Francesca Rhodes, Finance Director
COMPANY/FIRM: Homes for Lambeth
TESTIMONIAL: The team at Ashfords provided valuable, insightful, timely and pragmatic advice and support to Homes for Lambeth as we designed and implemented the company structure, governance arrangements, policy framework and key documents to enable the company to trade; their knowledge of corporate law, banking, local authority context, and housing development structures was instrumental in building the foundations for Homes for Lambeth’s success and ultimately for the delivery of more and better homes for the people of Lambeth.


CLIENT: Kieran Daya, national land and development director
COMPANY/FIRM: Galliford Try Partnerships
TESTIMONIAL: All partners who I have dealt with at Ashfords are very hands on – they do the work as well as manage the relationships. That’s not to say that the teams beneath them are not capable, they very much are, but I always felt like I was getting the right level of lawyer for the job in hand. Where the job required a partner to both front the matter and do the work, this happened. There a number of standout lawyers who I highlight as follows: Tim Heal – Tim is the head of the real estate team and oversees our relationship. Tim is both responsive and helpful, with the rare skill-set of being extremely ‘commercial’ which every solicitor claims to be but very few are. We know that when we give Tim a problem, he either sorts it out or tells us how to do so. Kate Topp can only be described as ‘best in class’. She is a Rolls Royce property solicitor and her team manage our day-to-day transactional work. Something that sets Kate apart is how she applies her knowledge of the development industry; she is able to communicate with us in a language we understand from graduate to chief executive. Lastly, Ian Ramsay Tompkins – a name to watch within real estate in the South West.


CLIENT: Manisha Patel, legal manager
COMPANY/FIRM: Catalyst Housing
TESTIMONIAL: Paul Butterworth is professional, approachable and able to communicate in terms I could understand. He provides pragmatic and effective advice, is practical-minded and available at all times. Paul always applies a positive approach to resolving problems whilst remaining calm under pressure, together with applying acute attention to detail to deliver results in a timely manner.


CLIENT: Gordon R. Riddock MCIOB, Project Director,
COMPANY/FIRM: Stace LLP
TESTIMONIAL: Jessica Taylor (Partner) is very professional and approachable. Her extensive legal knowledge is coupled with a robust and very fair and considered approach to all legal issues. Her practical and commercial advice is always communicated in clear understandable terms.

She has a positive and engaging approach to resolving problems and a razor sharp attention to detail. Jessica is by far my favourite construction lawyer and I would be happy to recommend her. She is a pleasure to work with both professionally and on a personal level and I look forward to working with her in the future.


CLIENT: Barry Thomson, partner consultant
COMPANY/FIRM: ART Surveyors
TESTIMONIAL: I have had the pleasure of working with Paul Olliff on a number of projects over the last 10 years or so, and during recent years while you have been at Ashfords. Our work together has mainly involved the sale and purchase of commercial investments in London on behalf of non-resident entities and I have always enjoyed the collegiate approach which we have used in our work together. I have always found your legal advice to be of the highest order and always provided often within tight time frames. The help of your litigation team at Ashfords was also extremely helpful in one particular instance recently.


CLIENT: Caroline Plumb, founder and CEO
COMPANY/FIRM: Fluidly
TESTIMONIAL: Rory Suggett and the CoComm team at Ashfords are superb. They are responsive, knowledgeable and have a good sense of where the market is at and what the key issues are to focus on. I especially value his pragmatic, commercial advice – always delivered in a clear, straightforward way which provides confidence and direction while keeping momentum on a deal.


CLIENT: Simon Calver, head of investments
COMPANY/FIRM: BGF Ventures
TESTIMONIAL: Ashfords’ ongoing support for BGF Ventures in this NewVoiceMedia transaction was excellent. Chris Dyson and the CoComm team at Ashfords were very responsive and worked tirelessly to get the deal over the line despite the challenges and time differences with many overseas parties.


CLIENT: Matt Smith, Operations Manager
COMPANY/FIRM: Fastershire Broadband
TESTIMONIAL: Lucy is the consummate professional, she has an excellent knowledge and an eye for detail. Whilst she is extremely assertive in her representations she is also able to empathise with the client and translate the implications of often complex legal issues in a clear and concise way. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Lucy to anyone.


CLIENT: Emma Leake and Rob Powe
COMPANY/FIRM: Wichelstowe LLP (a joint venture between Barratt Homes and Swindon Borough Council)
TESTIMONIAL: David Richardson provided us with excellent support in relation to the completion of our Section 106 agreement. Advice was clear and concise, demonstrating a strong understanding of our project and objectives for the development. We particularly welcomed the approach to problem-solving with proactive and effective solutions found. Resource was available when required with someone available at the end of the phone whenever we had any queries.


CLIENT: Michael Carson, City Surveyor

COMPANY/FIRM: Exeter City Council

TESTIMONIAL:

“It was a pleasure to work with Simon and the team at Ashfords. We were well supported throughout the process with the Ashfords team acting with a level of professionalism and commercial awareness that was critical to making this a successful acquisition.”


CLIENT: Alexander Hewitt. COO & Co-founder

COMPANY/FIRM: Anaphite Ltd

TESTIMONIAL:

Ashfords went above and beyond on in assisting us in our latest investment round. Not only did I feel like we were in capable hands, but it really felt like we were working as a team together, especially in my engagement with Scott Preece who brought both humanity and tenacity to the experience. Emma Griffin-Davies pulled out the stops finalising and helping manage the signing process on a tight deadline, and Charles Davies was professional and deft in his work helping to prepare the documents with Scott.”


CLIENT: Not known

COMPANY/FIRM: International Banking Client

TESTIMONIAL:

“An extremely experienced international commercial project finance lawyer with the ability to rapidly grasp the intricacies of a complex structure in order to undertake a significant and influential role in the negotiation, leading to a timely financial close.”


CLIENT: Caroline Plumb – Founder & CEO

COMPANY/FIRM: Fluidly

TESTIMONIAL:

“The team at Ashfords are superb. They are responsive, knowledgeable and have a good sense of where the market is at and what the key issues are to focus on. I especially value their pragmatic, commercial advice – always delivered in a clear, straightforward way which provides confidence and direction while keeping momentum on a deal.”


CLIENT: Mike Walters – Chief Product Office

COMPANY/FIRM: Form3

TESTIMONIAL:

“It is rare to find in a legal team with the combination of professionalism, technical knowledge, work ethic and temperament to work on such a complex transaction between a cloud native payment technology provider, such as Form3, and our

established banking clients – particularly for such critical services – it has been a pleasure to work with the team at Ashfords and we look forward to working with them on many more!”


CLIENT: Chris McCarthy – Commercial Director & General Counsel

COMPANY/FIRM: Urbaser

TESTIMONIAL:

“The dedication, counsel and professionalism shown by Brian and his colleagues was second to none. Commercial acumen is seemingly a prerequisite of engagement by Ashfords and is in abundance throughout the team.”


CLIENT: Mark Wheeler, Chief Executive Officer,

COMPANY/FIRM: Driver Group

TESTIMONIAL: Ashfords are one of the few firms that do offer a real ‘full service’ approach, we have used them for a wide range of business and commercial advice. The construction partners we work with have introduced us to their colleagues who specialise in planning, regulatory, employment etc and we have seen a strong client focussed customer ethos across the spectrum, with sound commercial and practical knowledge underpinning all of the work undertaken. We have yet to find a weak link in the Ashfords chain and look forward to working with them for many years to come


CLIENT: Anonymous

COMPANY/FIRM: Anonymous

TESTIMONIAL: We cannot thank the disputed wills and trusts team enough for your ongoing support and professional knowledge. You have gone above and beyond anything we could have expected from a solicitor. This is, and always was, about justice for our mum’s life of hard work and love for her children. All that you have done for us and for mum is really so appreciated and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


CLIENT: Jennifer Chamandi

COMPANY/FIRM: N/A

TESTIMONIAL: I’d like to thank the intellectual property team at Ashfords for supporting me through the protection of my brand and designs. The patent was particularly significant in capturing the judges’ attention.


CLIENT: Francesca Rhodes, Finance Director

COMPANY/FIRM: Homes for Lambeth

TESTIMONIAL: The team at Ashfords provided valuable, insightful, timely and pragmatic advice and support to Homes for Lambeth as we designed and implemented the company structure, governance arrangements, policy framework and key documents to enable the company to trade; their knowledge of corporate law, banking, local authority context, and housing development structures was instrumental in building the foundations for Homes for Lambeth’s success and ultimately for the delivery of more and better homes for the people of Lambeth.


CLIENT: Mark Caroe, partner

COMPANY/FIRM: Eden Ventures

TESTIMONIAL: We’ve worked closely with the Ashfords Corporate team for many years across our portfolio, including on investment rounds and the subsequent sale of various portfolio companies. Ashfords provided us with the excellent support we have come to expect from their team – their market knowledge and commercial advice are second to none.


CLIENT: Anonymous

COMPANY/FIRM: North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council

TESTIMONIAL: The advice received from the Ashfords team who have supported the North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council long term waste treatment project has been excellent throughout their engagement. Any issues are dealt with in a swift and professional manner and the quality of advice is extremely high.”


CLIENT: John Perry, Land Director

COMPANY/FIRM: Barratt David Wilson Homes South West

TESTIMONIAL: We thoroughly enjoy working with the Ashfords team. Kate Topp and Ian Ramsay Tompkins provide expert contract advice and work tirelessly on transactions. They are not fazed by tight timescales, even at the busiest times of the year.


CLIENT: David Jackson, Executive Chairman

COMPANY/FIRM: Altus Ltd

TESTIMONIAL: The Ashfords technology team work hard to achieve the desired outcome; they respond promptly, confidently and accurately to our needs…I would not hesitate in recommending them


CLIENT: Unknown

COMPANY/FIRM: Unknown

TESTIMONIAL: Sam Phillips is wise beyond his years. He works incredibly well with the clients and experts, and is able to get on top of large amounts of information and marshal the facts well.