Firm Profile > Ashfords LLP > Exeter, England

Ashfords LLP
ASHFORD HOUSE
GRENADIER ROAD
EXETER
EX1 3LH
England

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Ashfords LLP is recognised for its expertise across the full spectrum of disputes relating to wealth management and retention. Alongside its core client base of high-net-worth individuals and landed estates, the team also attracts a number of well-known charities and trust corporations. The practice is headed up by Robert Horsey from the firm's Exeter office; other senior partners include Kerry Morgan-Gould, who has expertise in advising charities, and Michael Alden, whose specialism lies in the agricultural sector. Senior associate Barny Croft has expertise in multi-jurisdictional succession disputes.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

I have worked with Robert Horsey and the qualities that stand out for me is that he always makes sense of a situation which may have become blurred, and I always feel when coming off the phone from him as if a weight has been lifted and that everything has or will be sorted. He takes the stress out of a nightmare situation.

Strength in depth’

‘Kerry Morgan-Gould and Barny Croft are very experienced and respected in this specialist area of the law. They are down to earth, approachable and straight talking.

Fantastic response times and client servicing. It goes without saying that the technical expertise is top notch.

‘Well respected in this sector and with some excellent fee earners.

Robert Horsey is a very experienced litigator who produces good results for clients whether in court or in negotiation. Practical, sensible and approachable. Barny Croft is a diligent and forceful litigator who knows how to present a client’s case to full effect. He is one to watch.

They manage their cases with absolute efficiency and their communication with their clients is top-notch. Clear, firm and insightful.

Kerry Morgan-Gould is a colossus. She is completely unflappable and hugely reassuring to her clients. She is proactive, rather than reactive, which is exactly what you want in your solicitor, in this sector. Robert Horsey is enormously experienced, respected and trusted. Barny Croft is proving himself as one of the up-and-coming stars in the field, who mixes sensitivity to his clients’ needs with an imaginative approach to driving their cases forward. The team is small enough that excellence can be guaranteed at all times, but large enough to handle very substantial cases.

An excellent and expanding team providing truly specialist advice in South West England.

Corporate and commercial: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 1

The Exeter-based team at Ashfords LLP is coordinated from Bristol by Andrew Betteridge, and advises on management buy-outs (MBOs), financial services transactions, corporate restructurings and governance. Louise  Workman leads the corporate and commercial team in the office, also heading up the firm's retail sector team. Associates Dominic Ring and Emma Clayton respectively focus on corporate finance and M&A.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Swallowfield PLC

BGF

Notion Capital

Datum Alloys

Armada Civil Engineering (SW)

Redland Business Solutions

Fluidly

People HR

Frog Capital

Creditcall

Employment: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 1

Ashfords LLP provides employment law support to clients in the public sector, as well as areas such as health, energy and retail. On the contentious side, the team regularly defends clients against complex employment tribunal claims and High Court litigation. Equally important is the department’s advisory work, which spans restrictive covenants, TUPE, immigration, collective redundancies and senior executive exits. Practice head Stephen Moore, who is based in Bristol, has expertise in all areas of employment law, while Exeter employment head Charles Pallot focuses on areas including TUPE, senior executive matters and collective redunancies.

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Testimonials

The team are very approachable, distil the circumstances well to provide timely, targeted, apposite advice on each occasion, be it (in the past year) a complete overhaul of our staff contracts, terms and conditions with a grading structure or the TUPE etc implications of acquiring fee base from another firm, along with various of their staff members.

Ashfords are responsive, knowledgeable and have always dealt with numerous issues in the most professional and supportive manner, at all times.

All those I dealt with at Ashfords were excellent.

I have worked with Charles Pallot for some 25+ years and his colleague Su Apps has also been involved for HR issues. They respond to queries, whether by phone, or email very proactively seeking to give cost-effective responses that address the specific situations as well as setting out a step-by-step action plan detailing how to deal with them. That is a skill that is very much valued from a tried and trusted team.

Key clients

CDS (Superstores International) Limited, trading as The Range

Francis Clark

Mr and Mrs Rampersad t/a Clifton Residential Care

Wates Group of Companies

Holly Rise Consultants T/A Bluebird Care

Private Medical Consulting Facility

Shane Kirby

St Mungo Community Housing Association

Ultimate Finance Limited

Nagel Langdons Limited

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Technically strong, efficient, reliable and always willing to help', Ashfords LLP has a ‘very strong insolvency team with a broad skillset across corporate and personal insolvency cases'. The firm has ‘lots of experience’ in transactional work, professional practice insolvency, cross-border advisory work and litigation concerning director conduct. Alan Bennett leads the team and is ‘one of the most experienced insolvency litigators in the business’. Also notable is David Pomeroy, who is ‘technically competent and pragmatic in providing advice'.

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Testimonials

‘Unlike other specialist insolvency firms outside London, Ashfords deals with a high volume of cross-border insolvency cases, both personal and corporate’

‘David Pomeroy and Alan Bennett complement each other nicely. They both have excellent technical skills’

‘Quality advice with practical solutions’

‘David Pomeroy is always available and provides practical solutions’

‘Ashfords is unique because of the extremely high quality of its individual lawyers’

‘They punch very considerably above their weight in terms of significant litigation conducted’

‘What makes Ashfords different from its competitors is the way the team works so collaboratively together’

‘Crispin Jones and Amy Gallimore are hugely experienced insolvency lawyers, both of whom have undertaken the JIEB exams, with a compelling track record of achievement. They work seamlessly together’

Key clients

Quantuma LLP

Smith & Williamson LLP

PKF Francis Clark LLP

Bishop Fleming LLP

Milsted Langdon LLP

Albert Goodman

Kirks inc Neville & Co

Lameys

CVR Global LLP

Thomas Westcott Business Recovery LLP

IT and telecoms Tier 1

Ashfords LLP fields a multi-disciplinary team for technology matters, that includes commercial, IP and corporate lawyers who specialise in the technology sector. The group is particularly well-versed in advising emerging technology businesses, investment funds in the fintech and service-as-software (Saas) sectors. The arrival of Jocelyn Ormond from Simmons & Simmons in November 2019 kick-started the firm's digital health practice. Chris Dyson is department head, focusing on technology investment and acquisition work. Andy Braithwaite is an industry stalwart, handling supplier-side and customer-side deals. Suzie Miles is the practitioner to note for IT transformation, outsourcing and software licensing.

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Testimonials

The Ashfords TMT team work tirelessly to achieve the desired outcome, they respond confidently and accurately to our needs. I would not hesitate in recommending them.’

I work with a number of lawyers at Ashfords – all are excellent. They quickly grasp the detail and provide thorough, clear, and prompt advice. They are very approachable and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Network Merchants (NMI)

Notion Capital

Post Office

Form 3

Sensus

WhiteHat

People HR

Fluidly

DESACC

Episode1

Sparkol

Handshake

Shipping Tier 1

Ashfords LLP is 'at the forefront of maritime legislation and regulation', specialising in ports and harbour work. The firm acts in the sale and purchase of high-value vessels, as well as providing expertise in regulatory matters in the sector. The team is co-led by legal director Lara Moore, who has particular expertise in ports and harbours, and ex-mariner Charles Hattersley, who specialises in marine transport and commercial litigation, as well as heavyweight transactional work involving the sale and purchase of a variety of vessels.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The quality of the team within Ashfords LLP makes them a one-stop shop for all the complexities that operating a port involves and they have the legal expertise in-house rather than outsourcing some aspects of a query’ 

‘A good knowledge of fishing practices in the south coast area, which is beneficial for us’

‘Charles Hattersley has been very helpful with cases, vessel registrations and sale documents’

‘The team’s experience, knowledge and confidence in understanding the issues concerning their clients’ requirements is second to none’

‘Lara Moore is very well respected by her peers who operate at the highest level in the UK maritime industry and who value her knowledge and true understanding of the issues at hand’

‘Always available and committed to providing excellent advice and service. Unsurpassed in my experience’

‘They are on the ball and not long winded, and when a team member is assigned to your case he or she will be the person you deal with on a regular basis’

‘Charles Hattersley is very polite, helpful and thorough. He is a very smart person and never fails to assist you’

Key clients

Littlehampton Harbour Commissioners

Department of Infrastructure (Isle of Man Government)

Poole Harbour Commissioners

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

Shoreham Port Authority

Dorset Council (Weymouth, Bridport and Lyme Regis Harbours)

East Suffolk Council (Southwold Harbour)

Fowey Harbour Commissioners

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

Dart Harbour and Navigation Authority

Charlestown Harbour Authority

Cattewater Harbour Commissioners (Port of Plymouth)

Flight 4 Whitby

Metmar Denizlek Cilik Sanayi Ve Ticarat Limited

Social housing Tier 1

The ‘impressive, efficient and dedicatedAshfords LLP provides a strong practice spread across the South West. The firm’s expertise includes disrepair claims, affordable housing, public procurement and tax planning matters. The department also handles bespoke grant agreements for local authorities, as well as housing litigation and tenancy management issues. The team is co-led by Sian Gibbon, who specialises in tenant management, transactional and corporate work; Paul Butterworth, who focuses on development and regeneration work for both registered providers and local authorities; and Tim Heal, who is known for site acquisition and general development matters. Also recommended is associate Isabelle Clement, particularly for development matters.

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Testimonials

‘Ashfords provide a high-quality service and slick delivery’

‘Ashfords will always take the time to ensure that everything needed and nothing superfluous is provided to counsel’

‘Joanne Young is always excellent. Collaborative, knowledgable, friendly and commercial. A genuine leader in her field’

‘The team is very responsive and happy to discuss any aspect of the project’

‘Isabelle Clement is outstanding. She is so responsive and clear in her advice. Always happy to get involved and go the extra mile’

‘Paul Butterworth is very approachable and pitches his advice at the right level’

‘I have found Sian Gibbon and Marjorie Batten particularly impressive. Both have an impressive depth of knowledge and exceptional client care skills’

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

Homes England

Stonewater

Notting Hill Genesis

Cross Keys Homes

Saxon Weald Homes

Sport Tier 1

The team at Ashfords LLP stands out for its impressive expertise in horseracing and regulatory work, although it is often also instructed on matters pertaining to football and golf. Clients include a wide range of individuals, sporting regulators and associations, as well as clubs and retailers. With 'outstanding knowledge of all aspects of horseracing', Rory Mac Neice heads the department, with added expertise in anti-doping regulations and issues arising from race-fixing allegations. 'Effective' associate Joanne Saye has developed a practice in equine sports work, particularly in relation to contractual and negligence matters.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Very strong team with expert in-depth knowledge and experience in horse sale disputes. My ‘go to’ people for disputes over sales of horses.’

A sports law team outside London with genuine experience and expertise and a strong client base.’

Rory Mac Neice has leading expertise in racing cases. He has outstanding knowledge of all aspects of horseracing – horseracing regulation, personal injury, sales disputes. Very good at putting you at ease and speaking the same language.’

Rory has real knowledge and experience in equine sports law. Joanne is a dedicated and effective associate.’

Key clients

The Professional Jockeys Association

The Racecourse Association

The British Show Horse Association

The British Harness Racing Club

Ascot Racecourse

Paul Nicholls – champion racehorse trainer

Dan Skelton – leading racehorse trainer

The Joint Measurement Board

John Velazquez (USA Hall of Fame Jockey)

Oisin Murphy – Champion Jockey

Exeter City Football Club

Banking and finance Tier 2

Ashfords LLP focuses on banking transactional work, with experience acting on lending matters and financing transactions for banks, government agencies and corporates. The firm is particularly active in property investment and development finance, and marine, energy and public sector work. Practice head Rebecca Dury acts for lenders and borrowers on a range of domestic and cross-border banking transactions.

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Testimonials

‘Ashfords are a solid local banking team’

‘They deliver a great service’

‘The speed of response is excellent and the quality of advice is very good’

‘Not many other firms in the South West have their capability’

‘Transparent invoicing’

‘Jonathan Hyde is a very competent banking solicitor. Quick, efficient and courteous’

‘Rebecca Dury is always on hand for advice as necessary’

Key clients

Exeter Finance Limited

Homes England

Paragon Bank Plc

Paragon Development Finance Limited

Lloyds Bank Plc

HSBC UK Bank Plc

The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc / National Westminster Bank Plc

Santander UK Plc

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

The trusts and estates group at Ashfords LLP has a wealth of experience in advising national charities, many of them household names, on legacy disputes, management and estate administration. Practice co-head Kerry Morgan-Gould in Exeter advises clients on contentious matters, including disputed wills and trusts, proprietary estoppel matters and Inheritance Act claims. Fellow co-head John Toth (based in London) oversees the department's non-contentious charities offering, which covers a range of charity governance and regulatory issues, as well as the setting up of new charities.

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Testimonials

Ashfords is highly competent and very friendly.

A solid and experienced charity team which understands its clients’ needs well and offers a full range of services to charities.

We have been delighted with Kerry Morgan-Gould’s work for us this year. Kerry has a very sharp legal mind and responds quickly to client instructions. She always sees the bigger picture and offers charities pragmatic and cost-effective ways to resolve estate administration problems. She also listens carefully to what her clients want and is willing to adapt the tone of her correspondence to reflect a charity client’s PR concerns, rather than defaulting to the tough and uncompromising tone of so many contentious probate solicitors. Approachable, efficient and, above all, effective, Kerry is recognised as a serious player in the field of contentious probate for charity clients.

Barny Croft is fantastic to work with. Kerry Morgan-Gould is incredibly knowledgeable and exceptionally skilful in dealing with sensitive matters.

Commercial litigation: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 2

For corporate and contractual disputes, professional negligence claims and contentious reputation management work, Ashfords LLP's commercial litigation group is a popular choice among regional, national and international private and public sector clients. Practice head Andrew Perkins focuses on shareholder and contractual disputes, while Jason Squire has particular experience in farming and construction partnership disputes and medical professional negligence claims. The group also has an expanding data breach practice, for which associate Elizabeth Johnson is highlighted.

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Testimonials

Andrew and Liam are both great communicators, clear, concise and very committed to what they do.

Andrew Perkins and Liam Tolen have total integrity.

 

Key clients

Post Office Limited

Ultimate Finance Group Plc

Biffa Municipal Limited

Notaro Group

Teignbridge Council

Bath and North east Somerset Council

The Pension Drawdown Company Ltd

Commercial property: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 2

Ashfords LLP provides a 'comprehensive team of expert property lawyers experienced in real estate transactions and the sale of development sites'. The firm has broad commercial property expertise that includes development, housing, investment, secured lending and healthcare matters. The practice has particular specialisms in franchising matters, and in the energy and waste sectors. Tim Heal leads the team and specialises in all aspects of the development of residential and commercial property, notably strategic site assembly.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The work undertaken by Ashfords is incredibly complex, involving a variety of teams including real estate, construction and tax’

‘Simon Bailey coordinates all the work we do, which is often subject to very tight deadlines, multi-disciplinary and very complex’

‘Ashfords have a strong property team that works well with the banking team’

‘Hannah McGown provides exceptionally detailed property advice, especially relating to the certificate of title’

‘Delivers an exceptional service with outstanding detail’

‘They have good resources as a firm so are able to call on support for tax, VAT, planning, trusts and corporate law matters’

‘Excellent property team lead by Tim Heal and including Andrew Rothwell, Chris Gregson, Annika Gleeson. All very responsive and commercial in terms of their advice and ability to progress complex transactions’

‘Professional and extremely capable in commercial work’

‘Ability to make a real contribution to any deal through the legal process’

‘Ensure that any deal entered into takes account of all aspects to avoid as much as possible issues that might affect the success of the transaction’

Key clients

Wainhomes (South West) Holdings Limited

Persimmon Homes Limited

BDW Trading Limited

Cavanna Homes

Burrington Estates

Strongvox Limited

Homes England

Torbay Council

Biffa Waste Services Limited

Subway

Construction Tier 2

Ashfords LLP is well regarded for construction-related dispute resolution, notably adjudication, mediation, litigation and arbitration. The firm also has a non-contentious practice that includes acting for local authorities and developers in respect of major projects and regeneration schemes. Patrick Blake leads the team and is experienced in construction and engineering disputes in the TCC and Court of Appeal, as well as providing expertise in energy matters. Also recommended is Stephen Homer, who advises on contentious and non-contentious construction matters, covering the leisure, student accommodation, housing and energy sectors, among others.

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Testimonials

Unlike many construction lawyers they have a deep knowledge and understanding of the construction industry itself, as well as the relevant law associated with it. They react very quickly and never need to be chased. They remain a breath of fresh air when dealing with what is often a stressful situation. They are polite, friendly and always reliable.’

Stephen Homer and Patrick Blake are both excellent leaders. They involve themselves in the process, which is rare in my experience when dealing with partners of a company. They have an excellent training regime and it is clear that all of their associates and junior members of staff are benefiting from this.’

Some particular associates to mention are Lee Ward, Lianne Edwards and Ella Nyakuedzwa-Smith. All are excellent in their knowledge and ability, They will go far in their chosen career.’

Key clients

Wates Construction Limited

London Borough of Hackney

Prosperity Capital Limited

The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain

Exeter City Council

Midas Construction Limited

United Living Group

EP Langage

The Cambridge Union Society

Navigant Europe Limited

Corporate and commercial: Bristol Tier 2

Ashfords LLP has developed a strong practice in MBOs, financial services transactions, corporate restructurings and corporate governance issues. The group is led by Andrew Betteridge, who has vast experience in transactional work. Chris Dyson is the name to note for venture capital, and is often instructed by major investment funds. In November 2019, Jocelyn Ormond arrived from Simmons & Simmons, bringing with him significant expertise in healthcare and life sciences transactions.

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Testimonials

‘Friendly and approachable.’

Jocelyn Ormond provided exceptional support for a recent transaction, pulled together a very competent team and ensured that all details were considered. We were made to feel we were in safe hands in what proved to be a tricky transaction.’

Key clients

Adludio

BGF

Notion Capital

RX Info

Armada Civil Engineering (SW)

Redland Business Solutions.

Fluidly

People HR

Frog Capital

Creditcall

Corporate tax Tier 2

Ashfords LLP has developed a strong tax reorganisation practice, with the team also advising on demergers of  high-value property investment businesses to mitigate tax liabilities. Clients include corporate groups and standalone entities, with the practice advising on the full spectrum of tax work, from employment  and cross-border issues, through to  corporation, VAT and property tax matters. Tax structuring expert Angus Bauer heads the department, which includes Nicola Manclark, who often supports the firm's corporate and real estate teams.

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Key clients

Brand Architekts Group plc

Oxygen House

Pittards plc

Pennon Group plc

Centrax Industries

Schlumberger plc

Clarke International & Machine Mart

Crowdcube

Torbay Council

Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Crime: fraud Tier 2

Assisting with both the defence and prosecution side in fraud cases, Jeremy Asher is the name to note at Ashfords LLP. Asher specialises in advising individuals, institutions and corporates on anti-bribery measures, fraud prevention and in relation to fraud compensation claims.

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Debt recovery Tier 2

Ashfords LLP has the ‘perfect balance of professionalism and friendliness'. The firm is known for the recovery of invoices, as well as providing expertise in the recovery of debts from foreign debtors. Legal director Katie Farmer leads the practice and has particular experience in recovering debt from jurisdictions including the US, Russia and France.

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Testimonials

‘I am always made to feel I am a valued client, and any queries I have are always looked into, however trivial they may be’

‘Although Ashfords is a large firm, the service is what I would expect from a small family business: it is personal and I feel that I am important to them’

‘Holly Ransley and Katie Farmer are a pleasure to speak to, as they know exactly what my needs are’

Employment: Bristol Tier 2

Ashfords LLP provides employment law support to clients from a wide range of industries; it is strong in the public sector, as well as the health, energy and retail sectors. On the contentious side, the team regularly defends clients against complex employment tribunal claims and High Court litigation. Equally important is the department's advisory work, which includes restrictive covenants, TUPE, immigration, collective redundancies and senior executive exits. Team head Stephen Moore is experienced in all areas of employment law. Associate Jenny Marley has expertise defending social care and housing association clients against employment tribunal claims.

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Testimonials

Very professional, expert, human, supportive and accessible.

Key clients

Mr and Mrs Rampersad t/a Clifton Residential Care

Holly Rise Consultants T/A Bluebird Care

Shane Kirby

St Mungo Community Housing Association

Lonetree Ltd

Penhaligon’s Limited

ARAG plc

Nicholas Iles

Franchisee of Subway

Various individuals in respect of Sainsbury’s Settlement Agreements

Energy, project finance and PFI Tier 2

Ashfords LLP advises on domestic and international projects in the energy and waste sectors, with a particular focus on renewable energy and municipal energy-from-waste projects. Specialities include biomass and waste gasification, pyrolysis and anaerobic digestion (AD) projects. The firm also has experience in contentious proceedings and EV charging point projects. ‘Trusted pair of handsBrian Farrell leads the team and is ‘very commercial and on the ball’ in the development of new projects, support of existing operations and commercial advice.

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Testimonials

‘We use them on our energy efficiency projects and find their projects team to be very commercial, professional and excellent value for money’

‘They look after us well’

‘Brian Farrell is also a pleasure to work with – he has a light manner and is engaging. He just gets it’

‘Mark Manning is a professional and a hard worker’

‘Jonathan Croley is easy to work with and diligent’

Key clients

Ixora Energy Limited

Urbaser Limited

Lakeside Energy From Waste Limited

Wichelstowe LLP

Family Tier 2

Operating out of three offices across the South West, Ashfords LLP advises on all areas of family law. Clients include business owners, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals, particularly in the agricultural sector. The team has expertise in complex financial remedy proceedings, asset protection and collaborative law. Exeter-based team head Zoe Porter is highly adept at handling divorce matters, while Jayne Turner in Taunton specialises in high-value cases, especially involving complex pension schemes. Senior associate Samantha Newton, who joined from Thrings LLP in July 2019, is highly active in the growing Bristol team.

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Testimonials

Professionalism with a relaxed and friendly face at all levels. This is what we have come to expect and we have never been disappointed in our dealings with every department of Ashfords. A well-led firm that uses clients’ time efficiently and fast.

Excellent client skills deployed in a comfortable manner. Jayne Turner personifies this, coupled with a steely resolve to fight for the client and willingness to enlist top-class legal opinion.

Across the firm’s family department there is a real interest in supporting the client through what is probably the most difficult time in their lives by offering measured, sensitive and realistic advice. Preparation of cases for court is timely and excellent.’

I would commend Zoe Porter and Samantha Newton for their client management skills and their professional courtesy to all whatever the circumstances. Both exhibit good judgement and an ability understand the issues and deliver proper advice to clients.

Jayne Turner really cares about her clients and this is clear in her communication and style. Divorce is an emotive time and high levels of empathy are critical.

Not only was Samantha Newton extraordinarily capable and efficient, she works from her heart.

Immigration Tier 2

Ashfords LLP delivers specialist advice to UK companies that employ workers from within and outside the EU.  Its recent work included advising clients on obtaining Tier 2 sponsorship rights, employment-related immigration issues in corporate transactions and longer-term strategic advice, particularly in relation to the impact of Brexit. The department is notably active in supporting a  corporate client base of largely domestic businesses. In addition, it is also adept at advising high-net-worth individuals on matters such as Tier 1 and 2 visa applications and extensions, among others. Senior associate Kirsty Cooke leads the practice.

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Testimonials

The team overall was excellent with communication and in letting us know what we needed to provide and what format/template to use for each step of the way. Communication was always swift even with a large time difference.

Kirsty was incredibly helpful in providing detailed instructions on the documents we would need for my visa. Without her help and guidance, it would have been a much harder process to navigate.

The immigration team at Ashfords has been absolutely brilliant in designing a tailor-made training package for our staff on the EU Settlement Scheme. It has been instrumental in following up on queries raised during training sessions and excellent at corresponding with us whenever we have any questions. We are incredibly impressed with its professionalism.

Key clients

Rathlin Energy (UK) Limited

Penhaligon’s Limited

St Mungo Community Housing Association

Moortec Semiconductor Limited

WhiteHat Group Limited

Contracta Construction UK Limited

Intellectual property Tier 2

The key pillars of the practice at Ashfords LLP are trade mark portfolio management, for which the firm benefits from the presence of five chartered trade mark attorneys, and patent attorney services, such as drafting, filing and prosecutions. The group is also regularly instructed on transactional work, alongside the firm's corporate and private equity teams, and is also well-versed in copyright, trade mark and design rights litigation. Carl Steele heads the team, which benefited from the arrival of experienced brand protection expert Clare Jackman from Norton Rose Fulbright in September 2019.

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Testimonials

Very detail oriented, approachable and responsive. As a small start up, relatively new to trade mark issues, we heavily relied on Clare Jackman and her team to walk us through the process. She has been an invaluable resource.’

They are extremely responsive, and you have a great deal of comfort that they will get the legal advice technically correct.

Carl Steele is very responsive and practical in the advice that he gives.’

Key clients

Penhaligon’s  (luxury perfumes)

L’artisan Parfumeur (luxury perfumes)

Velcro  BVBA (owner of the famous VELCRO® brand)

The Roald Dahl Story Company

Ginsters (Samworth Brothers)

Majestic Wine

J W Anderson (luxury fashion clothing business, owned in part by LVMH)

BlackRock (one of the world’s leading asset and investment management firms)

Post Office

The Brand Architekts PLC (owner of “DIRTY WORKS”, “FISH”, “SENSE SPA””ARGAN 5″, and “THE REAL SHAVING CO.” brands)

Facegym

Lay & Wheeler

Day Pitney (US law firm)

Akermann LLP (US law firm)

Aardman Animations (owner of WALLACE & GROMIT, SHAUN THE SHEEP, CHICKEN RUN, etc.)

Shazam Productions  (owner of IP rights relating to the famous “Only Fools and Horses” TM series)

What3words

Pancho Music Inc. (Michael Bublé’s music company)

Beat Capital Partners

Tarian Underwriting

Chord Reinsurance

Munitus Agency

Flow Intermediaries

Brace Underwriting

Local government Tier 2

Ashfords LLP advises on a range of local government matters, including procurement, powers, governance, state aid, planning and the Local Government Pension Scheme. Practice head Lucy Woods has particular expertise in the political and governance framework of the area. Also notable in the team is solicitor Melissa Jones, who specialises in providing advice to public sector clients on commercial contracts, procurement law and state aid.

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Key clients

Council of the Isles of Scilly

HFL Group Limited

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

London Borough of Lambeth

London Borough of Hackney

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

Wandsworth Borough Council and Richmond Borough Council

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

Ashfords LLP advises high-net-worth individuals and their families, as well as trust corporations and charities, on the full range of private wealth-related matters. The team also frequently acts for landed estates and clients in the agricultural industry. Michael Alden heads up the trusts and estates department, lending additional experience in Court of Protection matters as a deputy and attorney, while Robert Horsey leads the disputed wills and trusts sub-team. The department also has expertise in tax and trusts administration.

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Testimonials

Strong awareness of legal and tax issues in connection with trust and estate matters.

Sarah Mansbridge is very personable and approachable for clients and professionals alike, which is of foremost importance when dealing with probate matters as you deal with clients at the worst of times.

The depth and breadth of the knowledge within the team is exceptional. The team also works closely with other departments within the firm; clients generally have more than one issue, not always at the same time, and it is a huge bonus knowing that the private client team has taken the time to build up internal relationships to the point that they can make an referral to a colleague that will prove to be very positive. The firm also values contributions from other professionals, not solicitors, who are able to bring something to the table to help their clients. They work hard at building and maintaining external relationships.

Kerry Morgan-Gould is a calm, empathetic partner working in contentious probate. She sees the issue, dissects it, resolves it.’

‘Sarah Mansbridge is an outstanding associate. She’s technically excellent but doesn’t let her exceptional technical ability get in the way of a warm and personable approach with clients.’

‘Vicki Green is an approachable associate who manages to take the complications out of matters. She always sees the most straightforward and effective route to take.’ 

Jonathan Hickman is an exceptional lawyer, combining experience with the best client support, quick responses and attention to detail.

Excellent technical knowledge on a broad range of legal matters.

Tom Biddick is technically strong and has great client delivery and service.

Planning Tier 2

Ashfords LLP provides expertise in the housebuilding sector, the community infrastructure levy and public sector planning. The firm has a particular specialism in coastal development, ports and harbours work. In addition, the practice has experience in CPOs and contentious planning matters. David Richardson leads the team and his focus includes residential and mixed-use developments. Also notable are legal directors Lara Moore, who is a specialist marine planning, licensing and regulatory lawyer, and Duncan Moors, who acts predominantly for local authority clients. Graham Cridland left the firm in 2019 for planning consultancy Origin3.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team are proactive, fully aware of each other’s projects and are always willing to assist when called upon’

‘The individuals at Ashfords are committed to delivering a fantastic service within the agreed time periods’

Key clients

Bovis Homes

Cogen Limited

Devon County Council

Wainhomes

Barratt David Wilson

London Borough of Wandsworth

East Suffolk Council

Department of Infrastructure (Isle of Man Government)

London Borough of Brent

Persimmon Homes

Livewest Homes

Dorset Council

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Summerfield Developments

Curo Enterprises Limited

Brick by Brick Croydon

Property litigation Tier 2

Ashfords LLP acts for commercial landlords and tenants, as well as advising lenders on commercial properties. The firm’s expertise includes complex development work, leasehold enfranchisement matters and professional negligence claims. In addition, the practice provides particular experience in the telecoms space. Sian Gibbon leads the team and is known for acting on contentious property matters for commercial and public sector clients. Also recommended are Rob Nicholson, who specialises in dilapidations, partnership disputes and injunction claims; James Hemsley, who focuses on contentious property and property insolvency matters; and associate Marjorie Batten, who acts for residential and commercial landlords and tenants. Paul Dunbar left for Winckworth Sherwood LLP in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘They are a highly capable property litigation team with strengths in mortgage litigation and repossession actions’

‘James Hemsley is a practical, experienced and hands-on partner with very good tactical and commercial sense for complex mortgage litigation’

‘Sophie Michaelides is a highly effective associate: very conscientious, with great attention to detail’

Key clients

Wainhomes (South West) Holdings Limited

Penhaligons Limited

Biffa Waste Services Limited

Persimmon Homes Limited

London Borough of Wandsworth

11-13 Randolph Crescent Limited

CDS (Superstores International) Limited

Courtenay Investments Limited

London Borough of Southwark

Brick by Brick Limited

Agriculture and estates Tier 3

Ashfords LLP advises private clients and businesses in the agriculture sector across the South West. Among areas of recent growth are the department's contentious trusts and probate offering, as well as agricultural property and succession planning. Darren Blackburn heads up the practice from Exeter; he specialises in the sale, purchase and letting of farms, land and rural properties.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Always highly professional in all their dealings. They provide an excellent service to their farming clients in all areas. They are efficient, respond quickly and get on with dealing with instructions without any delays.

Darren Blackburn is seen as a well-established and efficient solicitor who has an excellent reputation with his clients.’

Ashfords provides a strong multi-disciplinary approach to the agricultural sector with a variety of specialists underpinned by a local presence and approachable practitioners.

Tom Biddick is strong all-rounder who has a real understanding of agriculture and what his clients need. Darren Blackburn is the standout performer in agricultural property with a can-do attitude and a real warmth in his approach to people and problems.

Strong industry knowledge in relation to the agriculture sector. Technical excellence in a wide range of specialist areas.

Tom Biddick has excellent technical and industry knowledge, coupled with great client service.’

Commercial litigation: Bristol Tier 3

Ashfords LLP acts for regional and national clients in a range of commercial litigation with particular financial services and sporting regulatory expertise. Practice head Rory Mac Neice has notable financial services and technology sector knowledge and product recall disputes experience, while associate Joanne Saye counts professional negligence and environmental disputes among her areas of focus.

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Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Ashfords understand the needs of the business and so can tailor the way they run a case to those needs. Their flexibility and adaptability is therefore very good for the nature of the case and the type of client. They are all very personable and diligent with excellent dispute resolution skills and an innate understanding of the litigious process.

Associate Joanne Saye has a keen eye for detail and organisation together with a fine knowledge of the CPR and a keen legal brain.

Rory Mac Neice provides a very good strategic overview of any case which works very well with Joanne’s diligence.

Key clients

Lloyds Bank Plc

Post Office Limited

Environment Agency

Biffa Municipal Limited

Zoo Sport International PTE Ltd (part of the Transworld Group)

Racecourse Association Ltd

Ascot Racecourse Ltd

Dan Skelton Racing Limited

Joint Measurement Board

Ponies Association UK

Commercial property: Bristol Tier 3

Ashfords LLP specialises in the residential housing and retail sectors, particularly franchising-related work. The practice is co-led by Andrew Worley, who has expertise in the leases of retail property and purchasing property for personal pension schemes; Paul Butterworth, who advises housing clients on major regeneration and development projects; and Kate Topp, who has experience acting for residential developers, landowners and promoters in relation to residential development. The team was also boosted by the 2019 arrivals of associate Ian Tompkins from Osborne Clarke and legal director Ben Tarrant from Thrings LLP.

Testimonials

‘Strong advice and very commercial’

‘Hardworking and understand our business’

‘David Morris and Will Hammond provided professional advice that was first class, advising on all angles and eventualities. They are both commercial and pragmatic, coupling expert advice with a fantastic work ethic and great teamwork throughout my time working with them. I would strongly recommend them to any peers and they are  key to the high regard in which I currently hold Ashfords’

‘David Morris is very responsive, takes a good commercial view and get deals done’

‘Andy Worley is very attentive, gives a good balanced view and provides advice with a commercial mind’

Key clients

David Wilson Homes South West

Barratt Bristol

Loungers Group

Crest Nicholson Operations Limited

Wainhomes Severn Valley Limited

Wichelstowe LLP

Vistry Homes Limited

Aster Group

Sovereign Housing Association

LiveWest Homes Limited

Homes England

Subway

Bicester Heritage

UK Storage Company (SW) Limited

Environment Tier 3

Acting for regional, national and international clients, Ashfords LLP provides expertise in contentious, enforcement-related matters, as well as issues relating to renewable energy and municipal energy-from-waste projects. In addition to a specialist regulatory practice, the firm has experience in commercial dispute resolution, regulatory defence and contentious civil proceedings. Brian Farrell focuses on energy generation and infrastructure projects, advising the public and private sectors. He co-leads the team with legal director Ben Derrington, who advises clients in the waste sector on permitting and defence matters, as well as developmental and policy issues.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Ben Derrington’s intense and insightful client focus is what makes Ashfords the go-to firm in this region’

‘Careful attention to detail, coupled with complete understanding of the position of key witnesses’

‘The Ashfords team translates its genuine concern into highly effective action’

‘Ben Derrington’s careful analysis of the case in hand, coupled with his genuine concern for clients’ wellbeing, is what makes him unique’

Key clients

Ixora Energy Limited

Urbaser Limited

Lakeside Energy From Waste Limited

Wichelstowe LLP

EU and competition Tier 3

The Exeter-based procurement and state aid department at Ashfords LLP advises public, private and third sector clients on competition law matters in sectors including housing and regeneration projects, energy, telecoms, infrastructure and aerospace. The group is regularly called upon to advise on procurement rules and assist with contractual documentation. Lucy Woods heads the group and has extensive experience in state aid issues in the housing development and telecoms spaces alongside Elizabeth Gibson.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

They work very well together. We have conducted many legal reviews and the team was certainly the most prepared out of 5 other different law firms that we interacted with.

Key clients

Council of the Isles of Scilly

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

London Borough of Lambeth

HFL Group

Wandsworth Borough Council and Richmond Borough Council

Health Tier 3

Ashfords LLP has a ‘first-class healthcare offering', acting for NHS and independent sector clients. The 'knowledgeable’ practice focuses on healthcare services providers, advising social and affordable housing landlords and local authorities on social care provision, as well as acting for early-stage digital health companies. The team is co-led by Jocelyn Ormond, who joined from Simmons & Simmons in 2019 and brings an ‘in-depth knowledge of healthcare from all angles’, and legal director Ben Tarrant, who joined from Thrings LLP in 2019 and provides ‘first-class service’.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘What makes Ashfords unique is their ability to quickly understand our business and the challenges that we face on a daily basis’ 

‘Vanessa James and Jenny Marley understand our business and the challenges that we have. Vanessa, in particular, has been very helpful in understanding the requirements of our senior management team’

‘Jocelyn Ormond has that great combination of being legally rigorous without being overly complicated. He also gets things done expediently and is a real pleasure to work with’

‘Ben Tarrant has always been thorough in his advice and very approachable’

‘Ashfords has provided an effective service, especially in terms of understanding some of the more tricky issues that we have been confronted with in terms of land registration’

‘Ben Tarrant was a pleasure to work with, very knowledgeable and responsive’

‘What I’ve really appreciated is the attention to detail and hands-on approach’

Key clients

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

TLC

The Medical

Quanticate

Oldfield Surgery

DesAcc EMEA

CareTech

Developing Health and Independence

Health and safety Tier 3

Ashfords LLP's practice has gained momentum following the arrival of Ben Derrington as a legal director from Lyons Davidson in March 2019. It has attracted a number of high-profile clients for health and safety matters. Derrington's experience includes advising clients on workplace accidents, the risk and liability arising from product safety issues, and food safety concerns. Clients range from multinational food companies to local government bodies.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Ben Derrington’s intense and insightful client focus is what makes Ashfords the go-to firm in this region. Recent achievements include the total transformation of a Coroner’s attitude to a prominent social care client – from heavily criticised to exemplary. That could only have been achieved by the most careful attention to detail, coupled with complete understanding of the position of key witnesses. The Ashford’s team translates its genuine concern into highly effective action.

Ben Derrington’s careful analysis of the case in hand, coupled with his genuine concern for clients’ well-being (personal and commercial) is what makes him unique.

Media and entertainment Tier 3

Tom Phipps is the contact for media and entertainment advice at Ashfords LLP. The group is experienced in television production contracts, adtech, advertising and marketing, as well as rights issues, data monetisation, data protection and privacy.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

The team is knowledgeable, highly experienced and incredibly responsive, drawing in additional expertise when appropriate. Always thinking ahead and anticipating future issues or questions and liaising regularly, they provide advice and assurance by the bucket-load.’

Tom Phipps (partner) stands out for his professional approach, considerable knowledge and his exceptional levels of communication.’

 

Key clients

Aardman Animations

Michael Caines

Alexander Blackman

Professional negligence Tier 3

Ashfords LLP's lawyers have expertise acting for banks in claims against surveyors, solicitors and project managers. The group also has a niche in representing bloodstock clients in claims against vets and other industry professionals. The group is jointly led by Rory Mac Neice, a veterinary professional negligence specialist, and Victoria Bonnet, whose focus is claims related to property.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Highly professional, dedicated and tenacious, with in depth knowledge of the area and underlying subject matter.’

I found them thoroughly well-informed, professional, informative, yet at ease. They spelt out to me clearly the validity of my case in terms of my local firm’s negligence, giving me the option to move forward, with clear detail of procedure, timescale, expectations and anticipated costs.’

Victoria Bonnet is very dynamic and effective, she has a good feel for risks and merits and works well with counsel too.’

Rory Mac Neice is a natural litigator, with strong tactical awareness, who keeps his eye on the best interests of his clients.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank plc

Bank of Scotland plc

Exeter City Council

Clinical negligence and personal injury: claimant

At Ashfords LLP, personal injury work is led by civil litigation expert Stephen  Walker, whose practice includes representing claimants following workplace and traffic accidents. Another area in which the firm is noted is injury claims involving children and babies.

Practice head(s):

Local government Tier 2

Ashfords LLP advises local government organisations on matters covering as employment, planning, procurement, property litigation and other disputes. The team is led by Lucy Woods, who advises on areas such as corporate and outsourcing, while Elizabeth Gibson provides advice on state aid and EU law in areas such as leisure, housing regeneration, and shared services agreements. Paul Butterworth focuses primarily on regulatory frameworks, development projects, social housing, and public finance. Additionally, Andrew Rothwell deals with real estate matters such as development and regeneration projects, such as site assembly and construction. In 2019, the team was appointed to the VIVID Housing Framework.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Council of the Isles of Scilly

HFL Group Limited

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

London Borough of Lambeth

London Borough of Hackney

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

Wandsworth Borough Council and Richmond Borough Council

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 3

Ashfords LLP's corporate and commercial team has significant expertise working with large national and international clients with a particular focus on the technology sector. The firm has a well-established presence in the South West and Bristol, while the London group is increasing the amount of cross-border work it is handling through its membership of ADVOC. Giles Hawkins leads the London department with a client roster comprised of private and public companies across a range of technology related sectors including fintech, agritech, cleantech, internet, mobile and telecoms, software and semiconductor companies. Stuart Fleet is another name to note for his work in public and private mergers, as well as management buy-outs.

Practice head(s):

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PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 3

Ashfords LLP added dual-qualified solicitor and chartered trade mark attorney Clare Jackman, formerly at Norton Rose Fulbright, to its bench in September 2019. With its mixed team of solicitors and trade mark attorneys, the firm is able to assist with the full range of trade mark services, with a particular focus on the management of large global trade mark portfolios, especially for clients from the luxury goods sector. In addition to fielding a busy UK and EU trade mark filing caseload, the group is active in transactional work and IP disputes. Carl Steele and new arrival Jackman direct the practice from the Exeter office.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Carl Steele is friendly, attentive and passionate about his work.’

‘They are a very pleasant team to deal with, and stick to their deadlines. Their communication levels are extremely good and they are generally very responsive.’

‘With Carl Steele, I never have to wait long for a response, even if it is just a holding email. When I do get the advice, I always know that it is technically spot on, and clearly thought through and structured. He is also a very nice guy.’

Key clients

Velcro BVBA

The Roald Dahl Story Company

Ginsters (Samworth Brothers)

Majestic Wine

J W Anderson

BlackRock

Post Office

The Brand Architekts PLC

Aardman Animations

Facegym

What3words Limited

Pancho Music Inc.

Beat Capital Partners Limited

Tarian Underwriting Limited

Chord Reinsurance Limited

Munitus Agency Limited

Alitus Intermediaries

Brace Underwriting Limited

Venture capital Tier 3

Recognised in the market as a 'very safe pair of hands', the Bristol-based team at Ashfords LLP includes numerous 'sensible people who really know what they are doing', based on many years' experience advising investors on technology financings. Chris Dyson and Andrew Betteridge co-head the team and have both developed strong funds relationships, ensuring a significant deal flow including early and later-stage financings and subsequent exit strategies. The arrival in late 2019 of Jocelyn Ormond from Simmons & Simmons enhanced the firm's credentials in relation to digital health-related venture capital, while London-based Giles Hawkins  continues to grow the investee practice, particularly in the fintech and agrifood technology sub-sectors.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘We have a long standing relationship with Ashfords which ensures continuity for our business. This deep background knowledge of the company also ensures that we are able to execute on corporate transactions quickly due to the ongoing oversight. The team are well versed in our background and requirements and endeavours to deliver the right advice/contracts to often short deadlines.’

‘Jocelyn Ormond is frequently in contact with us as a business to ensure that he has the latest updates and our thinking on future strategies. This is “off the clock” and ensures that Ashfords are able to react to our needs with minimal upfront diligence on our approach. Jocelyn ensures that his broader team are equally well versed in our corporate activities and always ensures that our requirements are delivered on time and within budget – which is greatly appreciated.’

‘The team are first rate, always on hand and always deliver a great service. Have a good mix of legal knowledge and pragmatism backed up by good knowledge of the VC industry.’

‘Extensive knowledge of me as a client having worked with them for 8 years. Ability to go the extra mile when needed.’

Key clients

Episode One Ventures

Notion Capital

Redsift Limited

Guinness Asset Management Limited

TravelTime Platform (iGeolise Limited)

Eseye Limited

Whitehat Group Limited

Tiney Limited

Bruce’s Pet Care Ltd

Baby Mori Limited

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 5

Ashfords LLP has a strong charity offering that advises clients on a myriad of issues, from health and safety matters through to property law, employment and reputational management issues. John Toth, who specialises in non-contentious charity law, advising on charity regulation and governance issues, is the joint head of the team. Team co-head Kerry Morgan-Gould advises household-name charities on various contentious legacy matters such as disputed wills.

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Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Ashfords has an almost unparalleled understanding of the needs of charity clients. By getting to learn the culture of their client, the lawyers can gear their legal advice accordingly. Their flexibility and transparency on fees is highly commendable

‘Robert Horsey is an ebullient and highly personable partner, extremely experienced in the ways of the legal world, and with tremendous commercial nous

‘Kerry Morgan-Gould is exceptional, knowledgeable, efficient and very responsive to clients’ needs

‘Kerry Morgan-Gould stands out as providing pragmatic, cool-headed and effective solutions for charities where legacies are contested. She always listens carefully to her clients

Kerry Morgan-Gould exudes a calm wisdom and an imperturbable manner

‘Barny Croft is approachable, sensible and responsive and always gives excellent advice. I always feel comfortable passing cases to Barney, in the full knowledge that he and his team will consider matters sensibly and expeditiously

‘Barny Croft is the nicest lawyer I have ever worked with, as well as being extremely effective

‘They stand out for the strength in depth of both the contentious and non-contentious teams. Barney Croft has many years experience in the charity legacy sector and is well known and respected for his expertise

Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 5

Ashfords LLP's 'excellent commercial litigators' are best known for contract disputes, fraud, asset tracing, company and partnership disputes (including minority shareholder matters), and claims against company directors. Other areas of strength include disputes over share and asset purchase agreements, emergency relief, debt recovery, and cross-border and multi-jurisdictional disputes. James Crighton and Bristol-based Rory Mac Neice are experienced partners.

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Testimonials

Ashfords offers an efficient and high-quality commercial litigation team which punches considerably above its weight. Whether at partner level or trainee, everyone is extremely responsive and willing to roll-up their sleeves to deliver whatever is necessary for the client.

James Crighton is a very experienced partner and someone in whom clients can have confidence. Offering a highly commercial outlook, he ensures that clients benefit, not only from a highly skilled legal approach but imaginative solutions as well. Tom Leach is a very good solicitor who, with an excellent eye for detail, ensures that no stone is left unturned.

Ashfords has an effective litigation team which appears to me to give good value to clients.

James Crighton is an excellent litigator. East to deal with, impressive and effective.

Excellent commercial litigators who are particularly well experienced in handling litigation involving elements of insolvency, civil fraud and company law and are able to traverse these areas.

James Crighton: an experienced and adept at commercial litigator. His correspondence is excellent and he is very tactically astute in court and more generally. Clients get on with him very well and he is able to command their trust very quickly. He is also well experienced with commercial litigation that has a multi jurisdictional angle. He also has an eye for a good settlement when required, and is a very able negotiator.

 

Key clients

Slater and Gordon

Douglas and Gordon

nGage Specialist Recruitment

Laurus Law

Ascension Island Government

The Great American Bagel Factory

Shepheard Epstein & Hunter Limited

Eric Watson

Construction: non-contentious Tier 5

South West-based firm Ashfords LLP has an 'extremely professional and diligent' London team with a particular focus on work for local authorities and developers on projects and regeneration schemes. The 'exemplary' Jessica Taylor leads the team and has advised on social regeneration projects, with particular work undertaken for London councils. Alongside this, her clients include contractors, consultants and banks.

Testimonials

‘Ashfords have always gone beyond my expectations in terms of dealing with any issues faces by my organisation. I’ve noticed the amount of off-the-clock support they have given – when I’ve worked with similar organisations, it feels that the stopwatch starts for every call.’

‘Extremely professional and diligent team.’

‘The team know their stuff and spot potential issues.’

‘Jessica Taylor has been our main contact – every partner she has introduced me to has also met our needs, Jessica has been exemplary in every matter whether directly involved or working alongside us.’

Key clients

London Borough of Hackney

The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

EP Langage

Brick by Brick (Croydon) Limited

Wates Construction Limited

Yarlington Homes Limited

Navigant Europe Limited

Parabel (UK) Limited

Prosperity Capital Limited

MNM Property Services Limited

Wandsworth Borough Council

Property litigation Tier 5

Ashfords LLP handles commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, which frequently arise from lease interpretations and terminations. In addition, the practice also assists with telecoms and development-related issues. Sian Gibbon is a key contact for commercial landlord and tenant litigation. Gibbon jointly leads the practice with Rob Nicholson, who predominantly handles dilapidations, partnership disputes and injunction claims. Clients include councils, freehold and commercial property owners, property investment firms and tenants. Paul Dunbar joined Winckworth Sherwood LLP in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Robust decisive advise delivered in an easy to understand way.

Robert Nicholson has been great to work with, providing firm and direct advise in a manner that is understandable and gives confidence.’

Thorough and unshowy, they have shown themselves to be capable of managing litigation at the highest level.

Alison Oates – very good at managing complex relationships.’

Key clients

11-13 Randolph Crescent Limited

PML Limited

Trustees of the Boropex Holdings Pension Scheme

London Borough of Wandsworth and Richmond

London Borough of Southwark

Courtenay Investments Limited

London Borough of Newham

Social housing: local authorities and registered providers Tier 5

Ashfords LLP advises local authorities, housing associations, ALMOs and social landlords on a broad range of issues, including the acquisition and disposal of housing developments, litigation and tenancy management issues. Property litigation head Sian Gibbon handles matters concerning anti-social behaviour, disrepair claims and EPA claims, and homelessness reviews. Tim Heal is another key practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Ashfords LLP is a national provider of legal services. By combining the highest quality and depth of legal expertise, commercial experience and a wider network, we help clients achieve their goals, providing value for time and value for money.

The firm:  Ashfords works with many different kinds of clients – business owners, public sector, large corporates, private individuals and not for profit organisations – to help them make the most of their opportunities, whilst effectively managing risk.  We are commercially attuned to our clients, known for giving advice that is rooted in a wider appreciation of the world our clients are living and working in.

Ashfords’ client-focused and straightforward approach attracts clients including Pennon plc, Viridor Sensus, Lloyds Banking Group, Swallowfield, Persimmon, London Borough of Wandsworth, Crown Commercial Service, Penhaligon’s, The Roald Dahl Story Company, Duchy of Cornwall, Form3 and Post Office.

Types of work undertaken: Ashfords provides integrated multi-disciplinary teams of expert lawyers who combine strategic understanding and technical excellence across a broad range of disciplines to deliver insightful advice on a full range of legal services including:-

Banking and finance: advising on all aspects of finance transactions and related issues.

Business risk and regulation: advising on crisis management, health and safety, public health incidents, enforcement action and prosecutions/enforcement by the HSE, Public Health England & Wales, Local Authorities and the Police.

Commercial: advising on the full range of commercial arrangements, helping clients to maximise their opportunities whilst minimising risks.

Construction and infrastructure: advising on a diverse range of projects – from renewable energy schemes and infrastructure to major commercial and mixed use developments.

Corporate: advising on corporate transactions, including M&A, reorganisations, venture capital, cross-border transactions, private equity investments, IPOs and joint ventures and restructurings.

Data protection: providing comprehensive data protection advice and privacy programme management services.

Dispute resolution: advising on matters involving litigation, arbitration and mediation, finding the most effective route to resolving the disputes that inevitably arise during the course of business helping to quantify and manage risk and offering solutions driven advice.

Employment: advising on all aspects of employment law including preparing contractual documents and handbooks, advising on redundancy and restructures, TUPE, industrial action, working time issues and the management of litigation in the Courts and Employment Tribunals.

Equity release: advising on the legal implications of lifetime mortgages and reversion plans, including lifetime interest only mortgages, hybrid lifetime interest only/compound mortgages and conventional lifetime mortgages.

Family: advising on matters concerning family breakdown, children and relationship agreements.

Intellectual property: specialist team including Chartered Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys advising on UK, EU and International IP law, including trade mark, designs and patent filing, IP licensing, IP protection and IP infringement.

Planning: advising on all aspects of the development process including planning agreements, statutory challenges and judicial review, planning appeals and compulsory purchase orders and compensation.

Property litigation:  advising on all aspects of property litigation ranging from commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, service charge claims, property issues arising in redevelopment projects and on insolvency, to equitable proprietary remedies, including trusts of land and agricultural land disputes.

Real estate: advising on the whole real estate-related spectrum, from negotiating development agreements, planning agreements and handling landlord/tenant disputes to working on major projects, and renowned for large scale residential and commercial property development, urban regeneration, infrastructure projects and real estate investment.

Residential property: advising on all types of property transactions including local and national sales and purchases, transfers of equity, shared ownership, new-build purchases, residential leases and remortgages.

Restructuring and insolvency: advising on all types of Contentious and Non-Contentious Corporate, Personal and Cross Border insolvency issues.

Tax: advising on a wide variety of taxation issues including reorganisations and demergers, succession planning, tax structuring and planning, debt financing, venture capital reliefs, HMRC enquiries, VAT and stamp taxes, employment taxes and share schemes.

Trust and estate: providing support in looking after personal and business interests, advising on Wills, estate planning, trusts, succession planning and Powers of Attorney.

International: Ashfords has a far-reaching and experienced international presence: as a member of the ADVOC international network of independent law firms, International Referral and other networks, Ashfords can co-ordinate the delivery of legal advice from over 100 jurisdictions worldwide.

Sectors: Ashfords’ multidisciplinary teams have in-depth understanding and connection with key sectors including technology; public sector; energy and waste; digital health and life sciences; homes, communities and regeneration; sport; agriculture and private wealth. Our sector specialists provide advice that is not just technically sound, but is rooted in a wider appreciation of the world in which they live and work,  adding strategic value through knowledge sharing, helping clients see what’s coming and providing timely advice, so that they can stay ahead of the curve.

Other offices: London, Bristol, Exeter, Taunton, Plymouth, Tiverton

Department Name Email Telephone
CEO Louise Workman
Chairman Mark Lomas
Head of Commercial Services Division Andrew Betteridge
Head of Real Estate Division Tim Heal
Head of Private Wealth Division Michael Alden
Head of Technology Sector Chris Dyson
Head of Commercial Litigation Rory Mac Neice
Head of Employment Stephen Moore
Head of Construction and Infrastructure Patrick Blake
Head of Property Litigation Sian Gibbon
Head of Real Estate Kate Topp
Head of Restructuring and Insolvency Alan Bennett
Head of Intellectual Property Carl Steele
Head of Risks & Regulation Ben Derrington
Head of Residential Property & Head of Agriculture Darren Blackburn
Head of Trusts and Estates Kerry Morgan-Gould
Head of Equity Release Peter Barton
Head of Family Zoe Porter
Photo Name Position Profile
 Michael Alden  photo Michael Alden Partner and Head of the Trusts and Estates Team specialising in acting…
 Su  Apps  photo Su  Apps Legal Director
 Simon Bailey  photo Simon Bailey Senior Associate
 Peter Barton  photo Peter Barton Partner
 Marjorie Batten photo Marjorie Batten Associate
 Angus Bauer  photo Angus Bauer Partner
 Alan Bennett  photo Alan Bennett Partner in the Restructuring and Insolvency Team with a specialism in cross-border…
 Brendan Biggs  photo Brendan Biggs Professional Support Lawyer
 John Birch  photo John Birch Consultant 
 Patrick Blake  photo Patrick Blake Partner and Head of the Construction & Infrastructure Team.
 Victoria Bonnet  photo Victoria Bonnet Partner
 Ben Boyland  photo Ben Boyland Associate
 Katharine  Breckin  photo Katharine  Breckin Associate
 Clare Brewer  photo Clare Brewer Partner in the Construction & Infrastructure Team. Clare is a project finance…
 Kelly Brown  photo Kelly Brown Associate
 Daniel Cahill  photo Daniel Cahill Chartered Trade Mark Attorney
 Rachel Carter  photo Rachel Carter Legal Director
 Isabelle Clement photo Isabelle Clement Associate
 Kirstin  Cook  photo Kirstin  Cook Partner
 Sarah Cox  photo Sarah Cox Associate
 Kathy Cracknell  photo Kathy Cracknell Associate
 Jonathan  Croley  photo Jonathan  Croley Associate
 Rebecca  Dury  photo Rebecca  Dury Partner
 Rebecca  Dury  photo Rebecca  Dury Partner
 Anna Eagling  photo Anna Eagling Associate
 Lianne Edwards  photo Lianne Edwards Associate
 Katie Farmer  photo Katie Farmer Legal Director 
 Brian Farrell  photo Brian Farrell Partner
 Sian Gibbon  photo Sian Gibbon Partner
 Elizabeth Gibson  photo Elizabeth Gibson Partner and Head of Public Sector. She has a particular specialism in…
 Stephanie Gillam  photo Stephanie Gillam Senior Associate
 Annika Gleeson  photo Annika Gleeson Legal Director
 Victoria Green  photo Victoria Green Associate
 Chris Gregson  photo Chris Gregson Partner
 Tim Heal  photo Tim Heal Partner and Head of the Real Estate Team. Tim specialises in all…
 Brian Hegarty  photo Brian Hegarty Partner
 Jonathan  Hickman  photo Jonathan  Hickman Associate
 Charlotte  Hill  photo Charlotte  Hill Associate
 Carli Holmes  photo Carli Holmes Associate
 Annabel  Holyoak  photo Annabel  Holyoak Real Estate
 Stephen Homer  photo Stephen Homer Partner and Head of Adjudication and Arbitration Services.
 Jonathan Hyde  photo Jonathan Hyde Associate
 Christopher  Ingles  photo Christopher  Ingles Associate
 Clare Jackman  photo Clare Jackman Partner
 Elizabeth Johnson  photo Elizabeth Johnson Associate
 Crispin Jones  photo Crispin Jones Legal Director 
 Mark Lomas  photo Mark Lomas Partner, Chairman and Head of Intellectual Property
 Andrew Macmillan-Scott  photo Andrew Macmillan-Scott Partner
 Mark Manning  photo Mark Manning Partner
 Russell Moore  photo Russell Moore Legal Director
 Duncan Moors  photo Duncan Moors Legal Director 
 Susie  Murray  photo Susie  Murray Partner
 Robert  Newton  photo Robert  Newton Solicitor
 Robert  Newton  photo Robert  Newton Solicitor
 Ella Nyakuedzwa-Smith  photo Ella Nyakuedzwa-Smith Solicitor
 Elisabeth Osborne  photo Elisabeth Osborne Legal Direcor
 Charles Pallot  photo Charles Pallot Partner
 Tamara Paul  photo Tamara Paul Professional Support Lawyer
 Andrew Perkins  photo Andrew Perkins Partner
 Michelle Perring  photo Michelle Perring Associate
 Zoe Porter  photo Zoe Porter Partner and Head of the Family Team.
 Laura Reeve  photo Laura Reeve Associate
 David Richardson  photo David Richardson Partner
 Andrew Rothwelll  photo Andrew Rothwelll Partner
 Daniel Sefton  photo Daniel Sefton Associate
 Frances Smith  photo Frances Smith Associate
 Carl Steele  photo Carl Steele Partner
 Julia Suarez  photo Julia Suarez Legal Director 
 Rachel Tilley  photo Rachel Tilley Senior Associate
 Liam Tolen  photo Liam Tolen Associate
 Stephen  Walker  photo Stephen  Walker Legal Director
 Lee Ward  photo Lee Ward Associate
 Emma Warren  photo Emma Warren Legal Director 
 Sarah Wasniowski  photo Sarah Wasniowski Professional Support Lawyer
 Clare Werry  photo Clare Werry Legal Director 
 Emma Whiting  photo Emma Whiting Associate
 Laura Wonnacott  photo Laura Wonnacott Associate
 Flora Wood  photo Flora Wood Partner
 David Wood  photo David Wood Partner
 Lucy Woods  photo Lucy Woods Partner
 Louise  Workman  photo Louise  Workman Partner
 Ruth Yates  photo Ruth Yates Solicitor 
 Andy Young  photo Andy Young Senior Associate
 Joanne  Young  photo Joanne  Young Legal Director 
Number of UK partners : 71
Number of other UK fee-earners : 274

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Our priorities go beyond business and we believe passionately that our firm can be a force for good in the communities in which we work.
We make sure our business behaviour encourages the growth and development of our communities and that we act responsibly towards the environment.
Our staff lead our corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, which we call “Community Matters”. It relates to three types of community:

THE GREEN COMMUNITY 
We take our responsibility to the environment seriously. Activities include planting trees, reducing waste (we now send zero waste to landfill) and using local suppliers where possible. We also have our own beehive – protecting bees, producing honey and giving staff the chance to learn new skills in the process.

THE ASHFORDS COMMUNITY 
We want to provide a positive and rewarding working environment for all employees. We do this through CSR initiatives including arranging staff discounts at local businesses, allowing staff to buy up to three days’ holiday each year and introducing a cycle scheme offering subsidised bikes.

OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY 
We actively contribute to the communities in which we work. For example, for the last three years we have asked all our teams to nominate a charity of the year, which  has raised almost £300,000 for Mind, Parkinson’s UK  and Alzheimer’s Society.

The Ashfords Foundation
The Ashfords Foundation is a grant making charity which is closely associated with Ashfords LLP, a national provider of legal, professional and regulatory services. Established in 2018, the Foundation brings together all of Ashfords’ charitable giving. It is overseen by a Trustee Board, who are supported by a Staff Committee drawn from the various Ashfords’ offices. Our charitable mission is to make a real difference in the lives of the communities in which the partners and staff of Ashfords LLP live and work. 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. Our ability to make a difference relies on their work.
https://www.ashfordsfoundation.org.uk/


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: Stephen Humphreys, head of development and sales
COMPANY/FIRM: Saxon Weald
TESTIMONIAL: The quality of Ashfords’ advice is fantastic. Too often legal firms communicate and report risks or advice in a very lengthy legal way. Ashfords keep the information at a level that their clients fully understand. Their Reports on Titles are very thorough and clear to read. The solicitors that I have dealt with, in both property and construction disciplines, are some of the best that I have encountered. They have always met any deadline that I have set them. I like Ashfords’ approach to risk, in that they do report on every risk, but place a focus on those risks that are commercial to the deal. They have a great understanding of us as a client, how we work, our purpose, our staff and what is key to us. Invoices are timely submitted with summaries of the work given. Ashfords are multi-disciplined, and it really helps in development when you have specialist tax, charging, plot sales, planning, property and construction advice when it is under one roof. Apart from the usual training and legal updates, Ashfords have been able to provide my new staff with one-on-one training on specific areas. My first choice when wanting to appoint a solicitor.


CLIENT: Oliver Mason, co-founder
COMPANY/FIRM: Magna Asset Management
TESTIMONIAL: We’ve worked with Paul Olliff since our inception over 5 years ago – his technical knowledge applied with a shrewd commercial approach mean we will continue to do so. He gets things over the line swiftly and efficiently. He and his team help with everything from development (including PD), options, re-financing, leasing and licensing. Aside from the legal work done, we also bring him in to advise on structuring transactions and our Group – we look at him more as a member of the team and look forward to many more years with him!


CLIENT: James Palmer, founder/owner
COMPANY/FIRM: Rainbo Limited
TESTIMONIAL: I just wanted to write to thank you not only for your technical support with the legal advice and technical documentation, but also for the broader assistance and advice you have given us in helping our business achieve its strategic goals. You have been a pleasure to work with on both a professional and personal level and I look forward to working together for many years to come as we continue to expand and build our business.


CLIENT: Alfie Lay, managing director
COMPANY/FIRM: Leib Productions
TESTIMONIAL: I have been working for nearly half a year with Paul Olliff on obtaining a long lease for a building in south-east London with the intent to convert it into a creative community of studios and small businesses. From the beginning, Paul has been excellent in giving me advice and guidance, stretching from the more legal nuances of the long lease, to thoughts at the meta level about the business model and where and how to make the right spot-checks one should undertake with such a project. At certain points, he used his contacts in the industry as part of his whole package of consultation. The negotiations with the landlord have been fairly protracted and tough, but Paul has been very assured and a calming influence on what has been a rather stressful project, especially given that this is my own personal start-up. Thus his ability to combine a firm stance to better my position in the negotiations with a personable nature to feed back to me and be empathetic has made the whole process far smoother and manageable, indeed enjoyable, in parts as we’ve worked through it together. Property law can seem daunting at times, but is far less so, when people such as Paul are involved. I cannot recommend him enough.


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: Val Bagnall, managing director
COMPANY/FIRM: Apex Airspace Developments
TESTIMONIAL: It’s an absolute delight to be collaborating with Paul Olliff and the Ashford team to pioneer a new market in airspace development for London and the UK. Ashfords’ positive approach to promoting and developing the legal architecture for airspace development is driving the conversation on how new value can be extracted from existing assets to deliver more for asset holders and London’s homeless. Paul has demonstrated good technical knowledge, particularly in the joint seminars we’ve done, and I would recommend him as a ‘go-to’ person in this burgeoning area of the market.


CLIENT: Wilmar Lorenz, owner
COMPANY/FIRM: JMLP UK
TESTIMONIAL: We have engaged Paul Olliff at Ashfords LLP in the last year to advise and represent us with our UK transactions and based on the experience can attest to the following: Paul is expertly knowledgeable in his field, he will only issue advise once he has ascertained all the facts, and when advice is needed outside Paul’s direct field of expertise he is very efficient at engaging and coordinating the right sources for further expert guidance. He is always readily available to offer any support he can, and is very reachable and easy to deal with.


CLIENT: Phillip Wallis, managing director
COMPANY/FIRM: Metroprop
TESTIMONIAL: I am writing to thank Paul Olliff and all the team at Ashfords for doing an excellent job with Ealing. In my experience successful firms have strong leadership, depth of talent in their team and a culture of understanding the balance between the intellectual exercise and commercial realism/value. Ashfords tick these boxes for me.


CLIENT: Laith Mubarak, acquisitions manager
COMPANY/FIRM: Click Properties
TESTIMONIAL: Paul Olliff’s knowledge and commercial attitude have been invaluable to us in structuring our way into this really cutting area of the real estate market, which the whole industry is only just beginning to get its head around. Paul’s been a pleasure to have assisting us in getting to grips with it.


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 Top 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 Tompkins – a name to watch within real estate in the South West.


CLIENT: Sacha Sebbah, finance director
COMPANY/FIRM: PathMotion
TESTIMONIAL: Their teams truly understand the needs and challenges of technology-driven businesses and have been dependable legal partners throughout the different stages of business growth.


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: Anonymous
COMPANY/FIRM: Anonymous
TESTIMONIAL: Thank you so much for the news of the settlement. I cannot thank you and the disputed wills and trusts team enough for all you have done. I am so fortunate in having you both, thank you again for all you are doing.


CLIENT: Anonymous
COMPANY/FIRM: Anonymous
TESTIMONIAL: I want to thank the disputed wills and trusts team for all your work now that the matter is settled. You reassured me earlier that this would be the case so a big thank you for your successful work. I knew the truth was on my side but needed a cracking good lawyer to help me, well done!


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: 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: 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, and it’s headed up by a highly experienced lead in Andy Braithwaite, who has great specialist knowledge in this area. I would not hesitate in recommending them.


CLIENT: Euan Blair, co-founder and CEO
COMPANY/FIRM: White Hat
TESTIMONIAL: We’ve been delighted with the excellent level of support and advice received from the Ashfords CoComm department. They’ve worked tirelessly on our behalf and helped to ensure everything went smoothly. We’re looking forward to working with Giles Hawkins and the team in the future!


CLIENT: William Chappel, head of growth capital
COMPANY/FIRM: Shawbrook Bank
TESTIMONIAL: Venture debt helps unlock and accelerate the growth potential of the clients we serve. But to understand that potential takes specialist knowledge and requires a number of parties to work closely together – the client, the funder and our legal advisers. Like Shawbrook, Ashfords are specialists in what they do and their input has been utterly invaluable in creating this growth capital facility for REG.


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, Giles and his team have provided us with highly effective support in various investment and commercial initiatives.


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: 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: 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: Jason Garside, CEO
COMPANY/FIRM: Torquay Leisure Hotels
TESTIMONIAL: It was truly a pleasure working with the many solicitors that were placed in front of us. Light-heartedness aside, the team at Ashfords have been consummate professionals from the beginning, and they ensured our interests were at the heart of everything. We look forward to working with them on future occasions, albeit on less complex matters.

The Lex 100 Verdict

For trainees looking for 'a high-calibre firm', City-quality work and a 'strong commitment to the South West' with a growing reputation in London, Ashfords is a natural fit. The firm boasts of being one of the leading players in the South West, and with that comes a work/life balance and a friendly nature. Trainees comment that 'everyone is approachable and always willing to help' and this culture 'enables me to feel included'. 'There isn't really a hierarchy system' and it is felt that 'learning and development was genuinely supported as I was viewed as the future of the firm'. The firm secures a Lex 100 Winner award for client contact and only missed out on work/life balance by the narrowest of margins having had previous success in this category. Respondents wrote of 'astonishing' levels of exposure to clients 'on a daily basis', including working on 'live, chargeable matters' and 'meeting clients, counsel and other third parties' as well as independently attending 'mediations and court hearings'. Some respondents with previous experience at the firm as paralegals identified that this brought them insight into the 'welcoming' culture of the firm. Recruits value the firm's pro-bono work with the Ashford Foundation but wish there was more on offer and would like more clarity surrounding seat allocations. They appreciate the support given by the firm, including partners and associates, with one trainee commenting that 'everyone is really friendly and welcoming, and you really feel as though the firm is invested in your career development. It's a really nice place to work'.