Ashfords LLP > Exeter, England > Firm Profile

Ashfords LLP
ASHFORD HOUSE
GRENADIER ROAD
EXETER
EX1 3LH
England

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

Ashfords LLP advises on the full gamut of corporate and commercial transactions from its office in Exeter, with the team’s partners offering a range of specialisms. Andrew Betteridge leads on corporate matters, and alongside Andy Young often acts on investments and M&A deals in sectors including technology, utilities and energy. In addition to the scale of the transactions it is involved in, the practice also stands out for its work for public companies. Brian Farrell and Plymouth-based Tom Phipps are key names to note on commercial matters, with expertise spanning joint ventures, distribution agreements and the commercialisation of IP. Louise Workman serves as CEO of the firm and is also highly experienced in the corporate space.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Betteridge; Brian Farrell

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘We engaged Ashfords to support with an investment transaction in 2021. Their in depth experience with similar transactions and personal attention given by the CEO set them apart from other firms we were considering at the time. A number of specialist solicitors were brought onto the project as needed, and we were able to heavily lean on these resources throughout.’

‘Andy Young demonstrated the highest level of professionalism and capabilities. The CEO, Louise Workman, maintained regular oversight of the project and was directly available throughout.’

‘They provide very straightforward advice in a number of business areas and always have someone to hand who can advice from general commercial matters to specialist areas. They are also very responsive, pragmatic and down to earth.’

‘Tom Phipps not only has excellent knowledge and experience but he is also very pragmatic and personable. I feel comfortable referring non legal members of the company directly to him as he is very responsive, approachable and can explain complicated matters very simply.’

Key clients

Pennon Group plc

Ahren Innovation Capital

Schlumberger plc

FTI Management Limited

Management of Behavioural Insights Ltd

Reevoo Limited

Malcolm Hollis LLP

Altus Holdings Limited

Viridor Limited

Samworth Brothers Limited

Fontaine Limited

Framptons Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Pennon Group, on the acquisition of Bristol Water for an enterprise value of £814m, adding a business with approximately 1.2 million customers.
  • Acting on the acquisition by Schlumberger plc, the world’s largest supplier of products and services to the oil and gas industry, of Zilift Holdings Limited, a Scottish manufacturer of magnet materials for use in the oil & gas sector for approximately US$28,000,000.
  • Advising Fontaine Ltd, the owner of the luxury fragrance brand “Creed” on the acquisition of its main distributor and selective distribution rights for its fragrances (online and offline) in the UK and on establishing its subsidiary business and premises in China.

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

According to clients, ‘reassurance, promptness and clarity are the main traits’ associated with Ashfords LLP, which is a key name in the market for shareholder and corporate disputes and professional negligence claims, where the team regularly acts for financial institutions. The Exeter-based practice is also developing its expertise in defamation and reputation management work and contractual disputes. Rory Mac Neice heads up the regional department from Bristol, and Andrew Perkins is the go-to name in Exeter; Perkins is particularly adept in shareholder litigation. Senior associate Anusheh Burcher is also singled out for energy sector claims.

Practice head(s):

Rory Mac Neice

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Perkins; Anusheh Burcher; Liam Tolen; Claire Boucher; Stephen Walker

Testimonials

‘Andrew Perkins is very knowledgeable and commercial in his approach to all matters. Leads the matter and communicates well.’

‘Anusheh Burcher helped us get a satisfactory resolution in a dispute against a major company. She guided us through the process with meticulous attention to detail. Nothing was too much trouble. Her communications were pitched perfectly and she was able to bring home a satisfactory conclusion for us after a long 18 month battle. We would have no hesitation in recommending Anusheh to anyone – we could not have got through the process without her.’

‘Personalised service providing excellent client focused legal advice for SMEs and individuals in relation to commercial matters and disputes.’

‘In the years that I have worked with my company, I have had several lead contacts at Ashfords who have been superbly communicative and helpful. Ashfords work in a communicative way to ensure they understand our legal concerns, anxieties and considerations so that they can give the best advice.’

‘Reassurance, promptness and clarity are the main traits I associate with the service we receive. We have found Ashfords to be good value for money in terms of quality of advice and pricing.

‘The practice has a holistic approach to the dilemmas faced by the client; they extract all information, put the pieces of the jigsaw together and map out a planned approach. You are left under no illusion as to the best way forward.’

‘The main person dealing with our case has been Stephen Walker, whose pragmatic, thorough approach to all aspects has been refreshing. He has kept us continually informed and has been diligent in getting timely responses.’

‘Clearly competent, focused on the client, commercial and realistic.’

Key clients

Shift Group Limited

Brand Architekts Plc

Adult Home Care Limited

S. Notaro Group Ltd

Kent Council

Pennon Group PLC

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Progressive Systems Ltd

PKF Francis Clark

Interact Group

Padstow Gin

Work highlights

  • Acted for a group of senior board level employees/shareholders, in proceedings brought against a PLC, with £64m in dispute.
  • Acted for Adult Home Care Limited and its director in relation to a restraint of trade interim injunction pursued by an adult care franchisor.
  • Acted for a client in a cross-border dispute in the Court of Appeal, successfully overturning a £8.4m summary judgment resulting in the proceedings being dismissed.

Employment > Employment: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 1

The practice at Ashfords LLP is well-regarded for its defence of whistleblowing and discrimination cases, as well as claims pertaining to the National Minimum Wage and restrictive covenants. The sizeable team often represents clients before the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Employment Tribunal. Its commercial expertise assists the handling of TUPE matters and LGPS issues. The employment practice is led from Bristol by Stephen Moore; Charles Pallot leads the Exeter team.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Moore; Charles Pallot

Other key lawyers:

Kirsty Cooke; Su Apps

Testimonials

‘They felt like an extension of our company and were always available to answer any queries and more importantly, meet our very tight deadlines. I won’t hesitate to recommend this company to anyone looking for superior legal advice.’

‘This firm was recommended to me and fully lived up to my expectations.’

‘Su Apps is great to have on your side. She is pragmatic and measured. She’s also a good listener.’

‘The dealings I have had with Ashfords have been first class.’

‘Ashfords quickly understood the objectives of our legal support requirements and comfortably and quickly understood the commercial challenges associated with the case they were working on.’

‘Charles Pallott demonstrated a pragmatic balance between the legal requirements and the commercial aspects and risk associated.

Key clients

Post Office Limited

Multiverse Limited

Kirks

Nagel Langdons Limited

Havana West Limited

The Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

The Oasis Care Home Limited

Wandsworth Borough Council Shared Service

Work highlights

  • Advised Multiverse Limited on IR35 assessments, contractual reviews and general HR support.
  • Represented Post Office Limited in employment tribunal claims.
  • Advised The Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust on contentious and non-contentious employment law matters.

Employment > Immigration Tier 1

Ashfords LLP is well regarded for its advice on employment and recruitment matters concerning workers from outside the UK. The practice is led by Kirsty Cooke; she has notable experience advising on employment issues for foreign nationals, in addition to advising on non-contentious immigration issues for private individuals. Cooke led on the firm's work for Ask Products, an artificial intelligence based technology company, and is praised for her 'helpful, clear and firm' advice.

Practice head(s):

Kirsty Cooke

Other key lawyers:

Laura Wonnacott

Testimonials

‘Professional, dedicated and friendly.’

‘I’m particularly impressed by my lawyer Kirsty Cooke and I feel lucky to have her.

‘Kirsty Cooke reminded me of my new visa application even before I contacted her. Every time when I asked her questions and advice, I always got her prompt reply. Her instructions and advice are always helpful, clear and firm, which shows she’s very knowledgeable and clear-minded — I like that very much!’

‘Ashfords was highly responsive to my needs. And also understood how stressful the whole process can be.’

‘Ashfords is very up to date and efficient with its billing arrangements, technology and collaboration with colleagues.’

‘I valued Laura Wonnacott’s interest, enthusiasm, knowledge and her ability to listen. She was quick to understand my complicated and urgent immigration situation and was able to offer helpful, positive ideas regarding a detailed plan of action.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the Royal Automobile Company on securing a sponsorship licence.
  • Advised CareTech Community Services Ltd with ongoing support on immigration matters, including immigration implications of the acquisition of another care home business.
  • Acted as sole immigration advisor to Rathlin Energy UK Limited and oversaw a variety of immigration matters.

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

The team at Ashfords LLP is well versed in the handling of proprietary estoppel claims and executor and trustee disputes, as well as breach of trust claims and will rectification and construction claims. The practice is led by Robert Horsey. His expertise includes advising clients on matters before the Court of Protection. Barny Croft is well experienced in advising on enduring powers of attorney, lasting powers of attorney and the administration of estates. Both are members of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists.

Practice head(s):

Robert Horsey

Other key lawyers:

Kerry Morgan Gould; Barny Croft; Katie Webber

Testimonials

‘Ashfords deserves its reputation as one of the top firms in this area of work. Whilst they are based in the South West, their work is national, and they more than match the top London-based firms in respect of their know-how and approach to cases.’

‘Their particular strengths lie in their ability to find pragmatic and effective solutions to issues facing their clients.’

‘Barny Croft is a real heavy-hitter with an excellent knowledge of the law, and the tactical acumen to achieve excellent results for his clients.’

‘I felt our case to be in exceptionally capable and intelligent hands- and this was borne out by the end results.’

‘Robert Horsey was extremely personable, has great speed agility and good humour handling very complex and fussy details.’

‘Ashfords made defending against a contested Will a smooth and relatively easy process and we would highly recommend the firm to anyone who needs one.’

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

Work highlights

  • Defended a claim brought against a minor and a young adult under the Inheritance (Provision for Families and Dependents) Act 1975 by their father.
  • Acted for the beneficiaries of a Will in the matter of a challenge to a Will on the basis of invalidity, coercion and professional negligence.

Real estate > Environment Tier 1

Ashfords LLP advises on the whole life cycle of environmental projects from design and implementation through to decommissioning, as well as contentious matters. The practice acts for clients from a variety of sectors including waste and recycling businesses, local authorities, statutory infrastructure undertakers and food producers. The practice is headed by a trio consisting of Brian Farrell in Exeter, Ben Derrington in Bristol, and Ian Manners, the latter who joined the firm in from DAC Beachcroft LLP at the end of 2021 and is located in Bristol.

Practice head(s):

Ian Manners; Ben Derrington; Brian Farrell

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Team which, in environment, punches well above their weight.’

‘Ben Derrington – great on gritty environmental disputes including waste and water.’

‘The Ashfords team gets to know its clients in a comprehensive and unique fashion. Having got to grips with the client’s business, it is uniquely well-placed to steer the client through the difficulties the case may present. Once the client has experienced Ben Derrington’s attention to detail, they want no one else to fill those shoes.’

‘Ben Derrington is second to none. His knowledge of client businesses goes before him, both in legal circles and in the commercial community. He never ceases to work for his clients and with Ben, they rightly feel looked after in all respects and in the best possible way.’

Key clients

Urbaser Ltd

Pennon Group plc

Noble Foods Ltd

Somerset Drainage Board

Wandsworth Borough Council

Torbay Council

Assured Energy LLP

Framptons Ltd

Cogen

Viridor

GP Biotec

Adapt Energy

Cornwall Council

Ashford Borough Council

Redrow Homes

Work highlights

  • Advised Pennon Group on the acquisition of Bristol Water plc for c £814m, including due diligence on environmental aspects.
  • Advised a recycling business following the long-term deposition of 200,000 tonnes of waste in alleged breach of their environmental permit.
  • Advised a large construction group based in England and Scotland in relation to entering into a Sustainable Growth Agreement with a construction company and focus on environmental performance across an entire supply chain.

Real estate > Social housing Tier 1

Ashfords LLP possesses a strong presence in the South West with offices in Exeter, Bristol, Taunton and Plymouth, which work closely with the firm’s London hub to provide comprehensive advice for clients in and outside the capital. Sian Gibbon leads the housing litigation and tenancy management team and is regularly involved in disrepair claims and counterclaims, social housing fraud causes, and injunctions to enforce tenancy obligations. The property and development side of the practice is spearheaded by Paul Butterworth, who is specialised in large scale complex development and regeneration work. Public sector expert Lucy Woods handles public procurement issues, while senior associate Isabelle Clement regularly deals with matters pertaining to development.

Practice head(s):

Paul Butterworth; Sian Gibbon

Testimonials

‘Clearly very specialist with a breadth and depth of understanding of housing law.’

‘Ashfords is a reliable choice for delivering an excellent service. You know exactly what you will get which is a excellent overall service.’

‘Paul Butterworth – always my first choice for complex schemes. I value his wealth of experience and his pragmatic approach. He is always available to discuss and is excellent at focusing on key issues to deliver robust contracts for us.’

‘Ashfords have a sharp understanding of the complexities of the current social housing contractual requirements. Ashfords have been a great help in moving opportunities forward at pace with rigorous thought. Ashfords have provided sound advice and problem solved on complex contract negotiations.’

‘The Ashfords team are approachable and also manage the clients expectations well. Ashfords are unafraid to challenge demands on both sides.’

Key clients

Sovereign Housing Association

Aster Group

LiveWest Homes 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

London Borough of Southwark

Saxon Weald Homes

Work highlights

  • Advised The Guinness Partnership on many hundreds of disrepair claims, including County Court injunction/damages claims and EPA claims before the Magistrates’ Court.
  • Advised Stonewater on the acquisition of 103 affordable housing units at Drummond Park, Ludgershall, Wiltshire from Lovell Partnerships which form part of a 412-home development by Lovell.
  • Acting for the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond in all non-routine litigation matters including residential possession actions, leasehold matters, homelessness reviews, disrepair claims, judicial reviews, commercial lease disputes, management and telecoms issues.

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

Ashfords LLP has a broad intellectual property offering, providing comprehensive advice to clients on the management and commercial use of IP rights. The practice advises a sizeable client base on managing IP portfolios, assisting with the registration of IP rights across a range of jurisdictions; the team also handles opposition proceedings and prosecutions. The IP issues surrounding the development of new brands are another area of focus for the team. On the contentious side, the practice’s work includes handling claims of infringement and passing-off, opposition proceedings at the UK and EU level, and anti-counterfeiting actions. Carl Steele leads the team, with Clare Jackman another key name to note; both partners offer expertise in contentious and non-contentious IP.

Practice head(s):

Carl Steele

Other key lawyers:

Clare Jackman; Mark Lomas

Testimonials

‘The knowledge and expertise provided by our point of contact always provides clear understanding.’

‘Carl Steele, whilst always being professional, has shown understanding to my personal requirements. This, as with any other professional service, is sadly not always the case, and it is, I feel, a credit to him as a person, not just as a professional.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for Shazam Productions Limited, the owner of IP rights to the “Only Fools & Horses” sitcom in a claim for copyright infringement of characters and text of “OFAH” scripts
  • Handling trademark portfolio management for a range of clients.  
  • Acting for Fontaine, the owner of the CREED range of fragrances, in taking action against counterfeiters.

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

Ashfords LLP stands out for its work advising fast-growing technology companies on investment rounds, transactions and commercial agreements. The practice has particular specialisms in the fintech and digital health sectors; it is also increasingly active in the energy space. Elsewhere, the team is instructed by prominent public and private sector clients to handle technology outsourcing agreements. Chris Dyson leads the team and is recognised for his expertise in technology transactions, with Jocelyn Ormond also adept at handling deals involving private equity and venture capital funds. Suzie Miles is the key name to note in IT outsourcing.

Practice head(s):

Chris Dyson

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘Approachable, competent and responsive. Both Suzie Miles and Hannah Petit delivered good quality, valued input.’

‘We have a longstanding relationship with Ashfords and as a result the firm has an excellent understanding of our business operations. When providing advice, the firm adopts a proactive, commercial approach and the fee earners display a good technical knowledge on both commercial and data protection matters.  The advice provided has been clear and pragmatic.’

‘Suzie Miles is our primary partner-level contact. Charlotte Kingman manages the handling of the majority of our requests. Overall we have been very impressed with both Suzie’s and Charlotte’s advice. Both have taken time to understand our business and this is borne out in the advice provided.’

‘The team has worked with us and our wider community over the last few years. They have consistently been willing to go the extra mile to ensure we feel supported and get the advice we need.’

Work highlights

  • Advised fintech company Form3 on its continued growth, including a $160,000,000 strategic investment round led by Goldman Sachs and enterprise customer negotiations with Tier 1 financial institutions and challenger banks.
  • Advised NMI, a leading payment provider, on a broad range of commercial matters including contracts with distributors and merchants in the UK and EU; licensing arrangements, IP and other business matters.
  • Advised digital health company eConsult Health on its acquisition of QDoctor, a video consultation and SMS platform for connecting doctors and patients.

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

Ashfords LLP stands out for its expertise in the horseracing sector, where it offers comprehensive advice to a range of clients on contentious and non-contentious matters. The team’s disputes work includes frequently representing jockeys in appealing decisions by racecourse stewards, and it also represents trainers and owners in litigation. Cases involving injuries to horses are another area of focus. Beyond horseracing, the practice provides input on employment disputes, sponsorship deals and the development of sport facilities for clients involved in golf, football and cricket. Practice head Rory Mac Neice is a former jockey with deep experience in horseracing, while Andrew Braithwaite handles commercial agreements involving sports clients. Associate Joanne Saye is also a specialist in horseracing matters.

Practice head(s):

Rory Mac Neice

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

The Professional Jockeys Association

The Racecourse Association Limited

The British Show Horse Association Limited

Ascot Racecourse Limited

The National Trainers Federation

The Joint Measurement Board Limited

Dan Skelton

Brian Hughes

Oisian Murphy

John Hales

Hollie Doyle

Jonjo O’Neil

Harry Skelton

Graham Gibbons

The Professional Golfers Association

Work highlights

  • Acted for John Hales, a major racehorse owner, in connection with a dispute with a veterinary clinic, following the death of his racehorse whilst under the clinic’s care.
  • Advised one of the South West’s leading financial advisers, Cooper Associates Limited to secure its exclusive sponsorship deal of a first class county cricket club (Somerset County Cricket Club) commencing in 2021 for a term of 5 years.
  • Acting for racehorse trainer Heather Main in respect of an appeal against the decision of the racecourse stewards to fine her following a finding post race of an irregularity of the weight that the jockey riding her horse was allotted to carry.

Transport > Shipping Tier 1

With ‘unrivalled expertise in maritime law, particularly ports and harbours’, Ashfords LLP covers the whole gamut of maritime work and fields particular strengths in harbour order and Brexit-related work, as well as marine licensing and regulation. Harbour dues litigation and high-value coastal development are further areas of specialism. Based in Exeter, practice head Lara Moore is praised for her ‘specific and detailed knowledge of port and harbour legislation‘ and her ability to draw from ‘in-depth industry experience’.

Practice head(s):

Lara Moore

Testimonials

‘Unrivalled expertise in maritime law, particularly ports and harbours.’

‘Lara Moore has a specific and detailed knowledge of port and harbour legislation with the ability to not only provide advice and interpretation of points of law, but to back this up with examples drawn from in-depth industry experience.’

‘Lara Moore – Always reliable; always delivers; and always maintains contact despite her other workload.’

‘A small friendly team who genuinely care about their sector. Highly regarded within the industry, they give advice across the whole sector to ports large and small with the same degree of care.’

‘Ashfords is the top firm for Port and Harbour clients in the UK. They have exceptional links with industry and advise on all aspects of law, servicing all of our legal needs.’

‘I consider Lara Moore to be exceptional. Her subject matter knowledge is at the highest level and she is regarded throughout the industry as an authority, particularly in port governance and planning.’

‘This practice is unique in its understanding of Ports and Harbours and the centuries of legislation that is still relevant when dealing with marine assets.’

‘Ashfords from the beginning set a professional and client-focused tone. It was with a real sense of genuine sensitivity. Always willing to go the extra mile to achieve the aim and support the client.’

Key clients

Peel Ports (Clydeport)

Portsmouth International Port (Portsmouth City Council)

Poole Harbour Commissioners

British Ports Association

UK Harbour Master’s Association (UKHMA)

Shoreham Port Authority

Department for Infrastructure (Isle of Man Government)

Littlehampton Harbour Board

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

Dorset Council (Weymouth, Bridport and Lyme Regis Harbours)

Chichester Harbour Authority

Langstone Harbour Board

Looe Harbour Commissioners

Fowey Harbour Commissioners

Dart Harbour & Navigation Authority

East Suffolk Council (Southwold Harbour)

Cattewater Harbour Commissioners (Port of Plymouth)

Flight 4 Whitby

St Mawes Pier and Harbour Authority

Work highlights

  • Advising Peel Ports (Clydeport) in connection with the Clydeport (COP 26 etc.) Harbour Revision Order 2021.
  • Advising the Department of Infrastructure (Isle of Man Government) in respect of a new Ferry Terminal being built in the Port of Liverpool.
  • Advising Littlehampton Harbour Board in respect of defending two harbour dues challenges brought against it, under section 31 of the Harbours Act 1964 (including the related 4 day Public Inquiry).

Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 2

The corporate tax team at Ashfords LLP is continuing to develop a reputation for advising on the tax aspects of reorganisations, including demergers. The group is also regularly instructed on M&A deals, where it acts for both buy and sell-side clients, as well as providing tax advice relating to the establishment of investment funds. Angus Bauer leads the team from the firm’s Exeter office, with Nicola Manclark another name to note; Manclark’s expertise includes advising on corporate and real estate transactions as well as on employee incentive plans.

Practice head(s):

Angus Bauer

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Centrax Industries Ltd

Holland and Barrett Retail Ltd

Brand Architekts plc

Swallowfield plc

Pittards plc

Schlumberger plc

City & Counties REIT plc

Nordson Corporation plc

Pennon Group plc

Northbridge Industrial Services Plc

Work highlights

  • Providing tax advice to Pennon plc and negotiating tax provisos in the share purchase agreement for the purchase of Bristol Water plc.
  • Advising the selling shareholders on the sale of Loaf Limited to CoCo Holdings company including advice on capital gains tax rollover treatment, entrepreneurs’ relief and employment related securities risks, and negotiating the sale contracts. Consideration of £70m (confidential)
  • Advising City & Counties REIT plc on establishing a tax efficient and tax transparent £200M REIT. The company is registered in Gibraltar. It is tax resident in the UK for tax purposes and will be listed on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange main market.   We gave tax advice on which property investment entity is the most tax efficient structure to use to invest in UK sited residential property.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 2

The competition team at Ashfords LLP specialises in advising clients on state aid and subsidy control issues, with a focus on matters related to EU and UK government funds such as the Future High Streets Fund, the Levelling Up Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and the Port Infrastructure Fund. The team provides assistance to local governments both on making and applying for grants, and also advises private sector clients on grant applications. Public procurement is another area of strength for the practice. Lucy Woods leads the team and has a particular focus on the public sector, with associate Ruth Yates also experienced in this area; the pair ‘work as a cohesive team with excellent results’.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Woods

Other key lawyers:

Ruth Yates; Angela Watson

Testimonials

‘Ashfords have been assisting us with subsidy control advice on various grants received and to be issued. They provide clear, concise advice which is easy to understand. They provide solutions to problems in a timely manner.’

‘Lucy Woods and Ruth Yates work as a cohesive team with excellent results.’

Key clients

Herefordshire Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Herefordshire Council in relation to its Fastershire Broadband project since its conception in 2011, and provided detailed State aid advice throughout. It is our understanding that this project is the first of its kind to use the GBER exemption in the UK for the rural broadband projects, following the expiry of the National Broadband Scheme.

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 2

The asset recovery team at Ashfords LLP sits within the firm’s wider restructuring and insolvency department and is supported by practitioners in the dispute resolution group. The practice is active in the recovery of invoice and statutory debts and also assists cross-border clients with the recovery of debt from foreign debtors as well as regional clients with foreign assets. Clients encompass professional services businesses, local authorities and SMEs. Key names include solicitor Holly Ransley.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The firm has a committed focus on the client’s objectives and are very good at identifying the issues and engaging as part of a team when preparing a case for court. The team are adept at assisting clients with remote and in-person hearings, and ensuring that case presentation is equally effective in both settings. This is not a firm which shies away from tackling the harder issues which a case might raise.’

‘The team are very approachable. No query is too small and I never feel that I am taking up their time unnecessarily. I am always made to feel that I am their most valued client.’

‘Holly Ransley is the individual that I work most closely with, and I couldn’t ask for a more knowledgeable, patient person. She keeps me updated and gives me enough time to respond when there are deadlines.’

Work highlights

  • Recovered significant five-figure debt for a professional services client including costs of the proceedings.
  • Enforced judgment against an overseas debtor on assets located in the UK leading to payment in full.
  • Argued for a client to be awarded its full costs pursuant to a contractual entitlement in a small claims matter.

Employment > Employment: Bristol Tier 2

Ashfords LLP has a full service practice, with expertise in employment litigation, the management of redundancies and restructures, HR support and disputes pertaining to restrictive covenants. Stephen Moore heads the employment practice. Jenny Marley has sector expertise in hospitality and healthcare. Solicitor Georgina Burrows joined the practice in September 2021.  

Practice head(s):

Stephen Moore

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Marley; Kristen Currer

Testimonials

‘From top to bottom this team is the most capable, diverse and knowledgeable in the Southwest.’

‘They have very strong market presence and are trusted and reliable.’

‘They manage to combine leading employment law specialism with an approachable and down to earth ethos.’

‘Georgina Burrows is capable, diligent and a safe pair of hands.’

‘Stephen Moore is a very impressive employment specialist and leads his team well, attracting great clients.’

‘I have felt part of an effective team, working with them.’

‘The individuals I have worked with have been very competent individuals, who appear to have built a good rapport with their clients, are knowledgeable, but sensibly seek advice when appropriate. I have felt part of an effective team, working with them.’

‘Cases are well prepared and the solicitors are accessible and fully engaged with the details of a case.’

Key clients

Continuum (Financial Services) LLP

CJ Room Ltd

Multiple pilots in a group action claim

Director/shareholder of leading dental practice

Former director/CEO of well-known Estate Agent

Post Office Limited

A financial services business

Multiple UK-based franchisees of a global fast food restaurant

A national healthcare agency

S B Security Solutions Ltd

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for Continuum (Financial Services) LLP in a High Court restrictive covenant dispute.
  • Acted for client in Employment Tribunal proceedings pertaining to claims of unfair dismissal, age and sex discrimination and trade union detriment.
  • Advised client on matter concerning breach of covenants by former employee.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 2

Praised for being ‘very commercial and approachable’, Ashfords LLP’s banking and finance practice fields a ‘great team of professional and personable solicitors’. With offices in Exeter, Bristol, Taunton and Plymouth, the firm has a strong South West presence, complimented by its regular involvement in cross-border transactions. Practice head Rebecca Dury, transactional specialist Ed Hobbs, James Heath, who focuses on the property aspects of transactions, as well as project finance, energy and infrastructure finance expert Clare Brewer are the key names.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Dury

Other key lawyers:

Ed Hobbs; James Heath; Clare Brewer

Testimonials

‘Ashfords have developed a strong Banking Team led by Rebecca Dury.’

‘Rebecca Dury – exceptional technical knowledge and client interaction skills. Approachable with clear client service ethos. A great communicator.’

‘Ed Hobbs – technical knowledge and willingness to work through new situations.’

‘During the recent pandemic Ashfords continued to provide excellent service remotely. Speed of turnaround and excellence continued.’

‘A great team of professional and personable solicitors with a range of levels from the paralegal to the partner, who worked together to provide a quality and seamless service.’

‘Stand-out qualities include responsiveness (which is required when working to tight timescales), attention to detail, ability to provide clear advice and importantly, co-ordinating and progressing transactions in a timely manner with other solicitors.’

‘The team is very commercial and approachable which makes client interactions easy and without risk of upset.’

‘Legal knowledge is excellent which makes it so there’s never a question not to be answered.’

Key clients

St James Place plc

Lloyds Bank plc

HSBC UK Bank plc

Santander UK plc

Paragon Bank plc

Paragon Development Finance Limited

Arena Investors LP

BLG

Craven Street Capital Y

Exeter Finance Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising St James Place Plc in respect of the amendment and restatement of its £340,000,000 revolving credit facility, including the transition to SONIA.
  • Acting for Santander UK plc in respect of the acquisition financing provided to enable the MBO of iOutlet, a South-West based online vendor of used and refurbished mobile phones and laptops.
  • Acting for Paragon Development Finance Limited (a Paragon Bank group company) on its £12.45 million funding to a property development company for a 110 apartment development in Leeds.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Praised for its ‘broad experience in both contentious and non-contentious insolvency’, Ashfords LLP is particularly well known for its cross-border work for a wide range of clients. Alan Bennett heads the department with offices in Bristol and Exeter, and sports extensive experience handling insolvencies in a number of jurisdictions. Land and asset recovery as well as insolvent estates of deceased persons are the specialisms of David Pomeroy.

Practice head(s):

Alan Bennett

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘This team continues to punch far above its weight in the insolvency litigation field.’

‘Alan Bennett continues to put most other insolvency solicitors in the shade. Judgement is perhaps the most important single quality in a litigation solicitor, and Alan has perhaps the best judgement in the market: when to press, when to take a pause.’

‘They are simply one of best insolvency teams in the South West with broad experience in both contentious and non contentious insolvency.’

‘The team were all collectively knowledgeable and there was never a case of them having to go away and research the legal position and come back with text book answers. They are a large firm and because of that you get the immediate expertise you require. This is essential when time is limited.’

‘Alan Bennett was exceptional in his guidance. Not only very skilful during mediation at keeping us as his client level headed but he also recognised the need to go further to avert any further attacks on our business and drove us to closing the deal in such a way that there would be no future comeback.’

Key clients

Smith & Williamson LLP

CVR Global LLP

Menzies LLP

Kirks

Albert Goodman LLP

PKF Francis Clark LLP

Bishop Fleming LLP

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Milsted Landon LLP

Quantuma LLP

Work highlights

    Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 2

    The agricultural experts at Ashfords LLP advise clients on property transactional work, secured lending, contentious trusts and probate and environmental compliance. Susie Murray and Tom Biddick lead the practice. Jonathan Hickman is noted for his advice to private clients regarding estate tax planning. Senior associate Frances Griffiths joined from Beviss & Beckingsale in early 2022.

    Practice head(s):

    Susie Murray; Tom Biddick

    Other key lawyers:

    Darren Blackburn; Jonathan Croley; Jonathan Hickman

    Work highlights

    • Advised two SPVs on investments relating to a horticultural glasshouse in South England.
    • Advised owner of an on-farm anaerobic digestion facility on the refinancing of its AD facility.

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

    Ashfords LLP handles both contentious and non-contentious matters. Its team comprises of experienced litigants, Court of Protection specialists and transactional specialists. The team is headed by both Kerry Morgan-Gould and John Toth . Morgan-Gould oversees the contentious charities team, whilst Toth oversees the non-contentious charities team. Barny Croft is noted for his representation of national charities and trustees.

    Practice head(s):

    Kerry Morgan-Gould; John Toth

    Other key lawyers:

    Robert Horsey; Barny Croft; Katie Webber

    Testimonials

    ‘Committed to the highest standards, patient, understanding and willing to spend the time to secure the best possible outcome.’

    ‘Genuinely interested in us as an organisation and as individuals. We always know that we’re getting the very best support delivered with sincerity, integrity and professionalism.’

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

    ‘The friendly and simple approach to providing what the charity needs in language that makes sense to charity people, not lawyers, makes Ashfords a dream to work with.’

    ‘Ashfords excels at responding quickly to new instructions and providing pragmatic legal advice at a competitive rate.’

    ‘Kerry Morgan-Gould consistently provides excellent, pragmatic advice to charities. She always keeps an eye on the PR sensitivities of litigation for charity clients.’

    ‘Ashfords’ charities and not-for-profit practice has an astonishingly strong team at partnership level, who can cover the internal challenges for charities as early as they can litigation in which charities are involved.’

    ‘John Toth brings a wealth of experience to the table from many years practice at the highest level in London. While clients love him for his relaxed and easygoing manner, they also know that they can have 100% confidence in his judgment.’

    Work highlights

    • Represented a leading national health charity in respect of a challenge to the validity of the last known Will of a testator.
    • Acted for four charities and advised the Trustees on making an application to the Charity Commission for an ex-gratia payment.
    • Acted for a large Hospice charity defending a 1975 Inheritance Act claim brought by the deceased’s adult, estranged daughter.

    Private client > Family Tier 2

    Ashfords LLP has expertise in international child relocation, asset protection and financial remedy proceedings. The team is led by the ‘pragmatic and practicalZoe Porter; she regularly advises high net worth clients with issues concerning financial arrangements. The ‘professional and compassionateSamantha Newton has specialist expertise in internal and international children relocation cases.

    Practice head(s):

    Zoe Porter

    Other key lawyers:

    Jayne Turner; Samantha Newton; Megan Prideaux

    Testimonials

    ‘Very strong in the South West.’

    ‘A team with good depth of specialist knowledge and juniors who are very thorough in their preparation.’

    ‘Megan Prideaux is always calm, clear and thorough even in complex and rapidly changing situations.’

    ‘Ashfords are often a firm who we find as opponents on good quality high net worth divorces. We find them to be sensible opponents who generally take pragmatic, practical approaches to the outcome of cases.’

    ‘Zoe Porter is a pragmatic, practical solicitor.’

    ‘Samantha Newton was exceptional. My case was very difficult and traumatic – Samantha was professional and compassionate and made sure that she fully understood my situation.’

    Work highlights

      Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

      Ashfords LLP's focus lies within succession and inheritance tax planning, estate administration and the creation and administration of trusts. Michael Alden is highly regarded for his understanding of the issues facing high-net worth clients, whose estates require complex financial, tax and succession planning. He co-leads the team with Kerry Morgan Gould and primarily oversees the private wealth department. Gould focuses on the trusts and estates department.

      Practice head(s):

      Michael Alden; Kerry Morgan-Gould

      Other key lawyers:

      Tom Biddick; Sarah Mansbridge; Jonathan Hickman

      Testimonials

      This is a large team which offers support for clients in every aspect of private client law. There is always someone knowledgeable who will be able to handle any matter that may be presented.’

      ‘Tom Biddick – for our rural area he is outstanding when it comes to matters affecting farming families.’

      ‘Kerry Morgan-Gould – no-nonsense trust and contentious probate lawyer. Absolutely across her brief and handles everything with outstanding professionalism.’

      ‘The team were always up to speed and pressing the matter forward. When obstacles appeared they were ready to work out solutions.’

      ‘Tom Biddick has a gift for connecting with clients and explaining difficult and sensitive topics well.’

      Work highlights

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

        Noted for its ‘very strong knowledge and practical working experience of the sector’, Ashfords LLP counts energy, waste and leisure amongst its core sectors. Project sponsors, lenders, and local authorities regularly seek out the practice’s expertise in regard to sustainability and decarbonisation projects. Brian Farrell heads the team, which is based across Exeter and Bristol, and specialises in the delivery and support of substantial energy generation and waste recourse management projects for both the public and private sector. Project finance and PFI transactions are part of Clare Brewer‘s advisory offering, while Mark Manning focuses on construction and infrastructure projects. Partner Jonathan Croley assists clients in the waste and energy sector and is praised for being ‘excellent at addressing difficult matters’Carl Thompson, who fields extensive know-how in energy projects, joined the practice from Osborne Clarke LLP in early 2022.

        Practice head(s):

        Brian Farrell

        Other key lawyers:

        Clare Brewer; Mark Manning; Carl Thompson; Emma Warren; Jonathan Croley

        Testimonials

        ‘Strengths and capabilities include very strong knowledge and practical working experience of the sector and the issues faced by companies within the sector, which overall compares very well with other firms.’

        ‘Nothing is too much trouble and they would go the extra mile when you need them to. Brian Farrell is very good at what he does, which is a lot! Complex and sophisticated matters are grasped very quickly and his ability to break these down in a way that even non-proficient English speakers understand is commendable.’

        ‘Very responsive, morally upright and dependable commercially focused lawyers in the Energy corporate team. Very reasonable and good value in terms of their pricing.’

        ‘Brian Farrell – extremely commercial has a good manner, empathetic, always a step ahead of you in terms of anticipating our concerns.’

        ‘Jonathan Croley has been excellent at addressing difficult matters.’

        ‘Regional law firm, relatively young workforce, good connectivity within their organisation when seeking additional areas of advice, and a broad spread of sector experience.’

        Key clients

        Pennon

        Wichelstowe LLP

        Isles of Scilly Community Venture

        Framptons Limited

        Torbay Council

        Assured Energy LLP

        South Somerset District Council

        Biffa

        Whitetower Energy

        STC

        Viridor

        Eco Sustainable Solutions

        GP Bio Tec

        Urbaser Limited and Balfour Beatty

        Ixora Energy

        Bioenergy Infrastructure Group

        Northacre Renewables

        Ingenious Capital Management

        Scandinavian Energy Contractor A/S

        CoGen Limited

        Noble Green Energy

        WiseEnergy

        North Yorkshire County Council

        Work highlights

        • Advising Viridor on the commercial (project financed assets) part sell down of 20% stake in its energy from waste portfolio to Equitix.
        • Advising a client on the development of its project-financed energy from waste project.
        • Advising Urbaser Limited in its role as sponsor and O&M Contractor in its bid for the Maltese Energy from Waste PFI.

        Public sector > Health Tier 2

        Led by Jocelyn Ormond and Ben Tarrant out of Bristol, the healthcare, digital health and life sciences practice at Ashfords LLP serves NHS as well as independent sector clients. ‘Able to provide broad support across all areas of need’, the team’s focus extends to social care provision and early-stage digital health matters alongside more traditional issues in the health sector. Vanessa James, an ‘outstanding partner’ with ‘excellent business acumen’, fields extensive experience in assisting clients with employment law and HR matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Jocelyn Ormond; Ben Tarrant

        Other key lawyers:

        Testimonials

        ‘Wonderful team with lots of experience in their practice area. Very transparent and straight forward to work with, understood our needs and delivered in a fee conscious manner and excellent with communications/technology.’

        ‘The team are big enough to provide support but small enough that we get a personalized service.’

        ‘Jocelyn Ormond had an outstanding knowledge of the healthcare space, key operators, traps we should look out for, etc. He went well beyond his role as an attorney to introduce us to other service providers, helpful contacts, etc.’

        ‘The Ashfords team are able to provide broad support across all areas of need, providing support and timely advice to critical decisions.’

        ‘Jocelyn Ormond ability to rationalise the key objective, convey risk and advise on negotiation strategy is exemplary and clearly reflects positively on his team’s ability to provide further, detailed support.’

        ‘Ben Tarrant has taken the time to understand our business model and is therefore able to offer sound advice in a timely fashion.’

        ‘Experienced, knowledgeable, pragmatic and professional. Thoroughly well-versed in the sector, at least equal to a prestigious international firm’

        ‘Knowledgeable, sensible. Deliver well-considered views and advice appropriate to the client. Always available and very communicative.’

        Key clients

        Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

        Devon Partnership NHS Trust

        CareTech

        TLC Group

        Compass Children’s Homes

        Home Farm Trust

        Silva Care

        The Medical

        eConsult Health

        Birdie

        Iksuda Therapeutics

        Gaia Fertility

        Holland & Barrett

        Work highlights

        • Advising eConsult Health on its acquisition of video consultation platform Q Doctor in a share-for-share exchange.
        • Advising Compass Children’s Homes on the acquisition of 14 new sites for care provision and 14 leases for Compass own office requirements or for its educational function.
        • Advising Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust on a range of employment, immigration and regulatory matters, including matters of strategic focus.

        Public sector > Local government Tier 2

        ‘The team just work exceptionally well’, remarks a client about the public sector team at Ashfords LLP, which is based in Exeter and Bristol, and covers the whole gamut of local government issues. Practice head Lucy Woods supports clients throughout the full lifecycle of public sector projects, while Jessica Taylor is well versed in advising on construction and engineering law. Also central to the team are employment specialist Charles Pallot and property litigator Sian Gibbon. Robin De Wreede combines real estate expertise with knowledge of public sector matters, including regeneration and development projects, as well as acquisition and disposal.

        Practice head(s):

        Lucy Woods

        Testimonials

        ‘Robin de Wreede is an exceptional property lawyer. His speed of response conceals the detail he gives and the analysis behind that advice – he has that lovely knack of explaining the complicated in a straightforward manner.’

        ‘They are problem solvers and I can trust them to deliver results without making anything more complicated than it needs to be.’

        ‘Lucy Woods and her team are all extremely responsive, down to earth and an absolute pleasure to deal with. They provide their advice in a clear and concise way which makes a difficult topic easier to understand. Lucy is known for her expertise in the sector.’

        Key clients

        Wandsworth Borough Council and Richmond Upon Thames London Borough Council

        London Borough of Newham

        Watford Borough Council

        Chichester District Council

        Mendip District Council

        Maidstone Borough Council

        Cornwall Council

        North Devon District Council and Devon County Council

        Work highlights

        • Advised Watford Borough Council on all property related matters across its Croxley Park estate.
        • Acting as standing legal advisor to Wandsworth Borough Council and Richmond Upon Thames Borough Council who share legal services.
        • Advised Maidstone Borough Council in connection with a multi-million point leasehold acquisition of a multi-let office premises as an investment.

        Real estate > Commercial property: Bristol Tier 2

        Large-scale property development, property finance and real estate investment are part of Ashfords LLP real estate practice, which attracts a variety of clients ranging from house builders and commercial developers to franchisors and local authorities. Practice head Andrew Worley is well versed in leases of retail property as well as purchasing property for personal pension schemes alongside franchising matters. Praised for her ability to ‘cut through issues quickly’, Kate Topp advises clients on the promotion, purchase and sale of land for residential development. Major regeneration and development projects constitute an area of expertise for Paul Butterworth.

        Practice head(s):

        Andrew Worley

        Other key lawyers:

        Kate Topp; Paul Butterworth; Ian Ramsay Tompkins; Warren Reid; Ben Tarrant

        Testimonials

        ‘Kate Topp and her team are knowledgeable and approachable and provide pragmatic advice.’

        ‘What sets them out from the other regional firms available to us is their resource and ability to act quickly when requested for us, which we have not had the luxury of elsewhere.’

        ‘I work with the development team, Kate Topp and Ian Ramsay Tompkins. The team has in depth knowledge on development, works in a very efficient and proactive way.’

        ‘Kate Topp is exceptional. She knows how to cut through issues quickly and get matters resolved in a very pragmatic way.’

        ‘The team at Ashfords have been brilliant in helping set up tax efficient structures to accommodate commercial development activities. Their knowledge and expertise was demonstrated throughout the process and explaining all the complex things in simple terms.’

        ‘Paul Butterworth, Partner, was immense throughout the process using his knowledge and expertise to good effect to facilitate the end objective. His attention to detail and being proactive and arranging calls to explain complex things in simple terms and seeing the whole process through was exemplary.’

        Key clients

        David Wilson Homes South West

        Barratt Bristol

        Loungers Group

        Crest Nicholson Operations Limited

        Wainhomes Severn Valley Limited

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

        Vistry Homes Limited

        Aster Group

        Stonewater Limited

        Sovereign Housing Association Limited

        VIVID

        LiveWest Homes Limited

        Subway

        Cornerstone Housing

        Stonewater Limited

        Bicester Heritage

        London Borough of Wandsworth

        Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

        UK Storage Company (SW) Limited

        HFL Group Limited

        Curo

        James Hay Partnership

        Curtis Banks

        Taco Bell

        Miss Millies Fried Chicken

        Starbucks

        Compass Children’s Homes

        Lloyds Bank

        Handelsbanken

        Immersive Labs

        Natwest Bank

        Work highlights

        • Acting for Curtis Banks Group Plc in relation to the purchase of commercial properties into a members SIPP or SSAS plan, grant of leases to tenants and disposals of properties.
        • Advised Crest on the purchase of a development site with planning permission for 435 residential dwellings at Perrybrook, Brockworth, Gloucestershire.
        • Advised Stonewater on the acquisition of 103 affordable housing units at Drummond Park, Ludgershall, Wiltshire from Lovell Partnerships which form part of a 412-home development by Lovell.

        Real estate > Commercial property: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 2

        Residential development, energy and waste, and social housing are three of the key sectors for Ashfords LLP South West real estate practice with offices in Exeter and Bristol. The firm sports a highly specialised set of practitioners: Practice heads Tim Heal and Kate Topp provide expertise in large-scale residential-led development; Paul Butterworth focuses on housing and regeneration; energy and waste are handled by Emma Warren; and Andrew Worley covers the team’s franchising offering. Simon Bailey is a go-to contact for transactional matters, and was promoted to partner in September 2021 alongside health and charity sector expert Ben Tarrant. Robin De Wreede joined the firm at the beginning of 2021 from Davitt Jones Bould and brings to bear experience spanning regeneration and development projects, acquisition and disposals, and landlord and tenant matters.

        Practice head(s):

        Tim Heal; Kate Topp

        Other key lawyers:

        Key clients

        Exeter Science Park Limited (“ESPL”)

        Sovereign Housing Association

        Aster Group

        LiveWest Homes Limited

        Cornerstone Housing

        London Borough of Wandsworth

        HFL Group Limited

        CURO

        Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

        Stonewater Limited

        Maidstone Borough Council

        Biffa Waste Services Limited

        Viridor Limited

        Compass Children’s Homes

        Work highlights

        • Advising DP World London Gateway (DPWLG) in respect of a large logistics park in Europe (c.800 acres) with planning secured for 9.25 million sq. ft of warehousing space via a local development order.
        • Advising North Devon District Council on the acquisition of Green Lanes Shopping Centre in Barnstable.
        • Advising Viridor Group on the real estate aspects of its sale to Biffa of its collections business and certain recycling assets, including a number of lease assignments and property arrangements.

        Real estate > Construction Tier 2

        Providing ‘the upmost professional level of service’, Ashfords LLP construction and infrastructure practice is well regarded in the market for both its non-contentious and dispute offering. Often acting for local authorities, the firm is increasingly involved in matters pertaining to modern methods of construction and off-site manufacturing. Dispute resolution specialist Patrick Blake leads the team, which is located in offices across Exeter and Bristol. Accredited adjudicator Stephen Homer and waste and utilities expert Mark Manning are further key contacts. With the arrival of Carl Thompson, who joined the team in January 2022 from Osborne Clarke LLP and is noted for his ‘fantastic ownership mentality’, the practice has bolstered its strengths in the energy and utilities sector, particularly in relation to renewable energy projects. The expertise of senior associate Laura Reeve ranges from commercial, residential and retail sectors to local government as well as energy and waste.

        Practice head(s):

        Patrick Blake

        Other key lawyers:

        Stephen Homer; Carl Thompson; Mark Manning; Laura Reeve

        Testimonials

        ‘Ashfords provide the upmost professional level of service, bringing very real added value to the process through considered and, where appropriate, innovative advice that enables the best results to be obtained.’

        Very switched-on, client-friendly and commercial.’

        ‘Patrick Blake – great lawyer, very commercial and proactive. Lianne Edwards – excellent all around.’

        ‘Laura Reeve exemplifies a great lawyer/client relationship. Always proper, factual, well-briefed and also kind, considerate and approachable in explanations and progress of work.’

        ‘Stephen Homer has always provided the very best advice and is a pleasure to work with. Deadlines are always met and expectations exceeded.’

        ‘Carl Thompson has a fantastic ownership mentality and is excellent at taking the negotiating lead in conversations.’

        ‘A great team, communicate clearly, precisely and more than happy to de-mystify terms and have been ever so considerate in repeating explanations where through usually pressure of work or time we have forgotten. Always available, fast response times, and consistent through all parts of the Construction team.’

        ‘Pragmatic and commercial legal support with a focus on problem-solving. Strong track record on delivering to budget through honest communication on where legal review and input is isn’t valuable to the client’s position.’

        Key clients

        CC Construction

        Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

        DP World London Gateway

        Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

        Exeter City Council

        Canterbury City Council

        Cormac Solutions Limited

        Cornerstone Housing Limited

        Wain Homes (South West) Limited

        BDW Trading Limited

        Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

        Work highlights

        • Advising the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom on the construction documentation for a 3-Phase ‘masterplan’ for the refurbishment and expansion of the Marine Biological Association’s headquarters and main research facility.
        • Successfully Acted for the contractor on the reported cases of CC Construction Limited v Mincione [2021] EWHC 2502 TCC and Mincione v CC Construction Limited [2021] EWHC 3138 TCC.
        • Advising DP World London Gateway on the construction aspects of multiple Agreements for Lease, relating to the client’s fully integrated port and logistics park in Essex, one of the largest in the UK.

        Real estate > Planning Tier 2

        Ashfords LLP has an established planning team based in Exeter and Bristol, whose expertise spans the housebuilder sector and advising public sector clients. Compulsory purchase orders, contentious planning matters, and coastal developments form part of the firm’s advisory offering. ‘Standout partner’ David Richardson is the practice lead, and focuses on residential and mixed use developments, community infrastructure levies, as well as CPOs and compensation work. Coastal and marine specialist Lara Moore, who was promoted to partner in September 2021, and legal director Duncan Moors are further key contacts. Stephen Humphreys joined the team in October 2021 as legal director from a previous position at Burges Salmon LLP.

        Practice head(s):

        David Richardson

        Other key lawyers:

        Testimonials

        ‘David Richardson at Ashfords LLP is a clear communicator, very pleasant to work with. I value his judgement and his inclusion in any team. I know when I recommend David I will get a service that I would wish for my clients.’

        ‘Well informed and professional with a commercial approach.’

        ‘David Richardson is the standout partner in their planning team.’

        ‘Stephen Humphreys is extremely capable and dynamic. Nothing is too much trouble and he has a keen attention to detail.’

        ‘Working with the Ashfords Team is always a pleasure. Ashfords always provide us with strong legal support which provides confidence to our business and surety within the marketplace.’

        ‘We use Ashfords across many disciplines, the one item that stands out and appears to be common place within their practice is how proactive each of their team members are.’

        Key clients

        Vistry Homes

        Viridor

        Devon County Council

        Barratt David Wilson

        London Borough of Wandsworth

        Wain Homes

        Dorset Council

        Countryside Properties Limited

        London Borough of Brent

        Torridge District Council

        Cornwall Council

        Department of Infrastructure (Isle of Man Government)

        Work highlights

        • Advising North Devon District Council and Devon County Council on the section 106 agreement required for the urban extension project at Westacott, Barnstaple which will provide up to 820 dwellings, and provision for community facilities in a neighbourhood hub, a primary school, and other related infrastructure.
        • Advising the Depart for Infrastructure on the marine planning and consenting aspects of its new ferry terminal in the port of Liverpool.
        • Advising the London Borough of Brent in relation to planning obligations for Phase 2 of the Northfields Industrial Estate development, which forms part if the wider site redevelopment providing up to 2,900 homes and substantial commercial floorspace.

        Real estate > Property litigation Tier 2

        Sporting ‘considerable experience from partners to associates’, Ashfords LLP advises clients on matters ranging from professional negligence claims to commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters. Sian Gibbon leads the practice from Exeter, where Victoria Bonnet and Marjorie Batten are recommended for their expertise in both private and public sector property litigation. James Hemsley in Plymouth and the Bristol-based Warren Reid are further key contacts.

        Practice head(s):

        Sian Gibbon

        Other key lawyers:

        Testimonials

        ‘The team has strength in depth and exclusively practises in property litigation. Considerable experience from partners to associates. One of the go to firms for property litigation in in the SW.’

        ‘Victoria Bonnet is one of the best that I have come across. She knows her stuff. But just as importantly she knows her clients and how to negotiate on their best behalf.’

        ‘James Helmsley is very commercial, easy to work with and is able to immerse himself in detail but also take a wider commercial view of matters.’

        ‘Great expertise and hands-on partner involvement. Must be among the best in the South West for their depth of expertise and range of experience.’

        ‘Warren Reid – commercial, thoughful and insightful, very easy to work with. Rob Nicholson – commercial, bright, responsive.’

        ‘Very prompt, efficient and personal service.’

        ‘Victoria Bonnet provided an effective plan and brought about a resolution within a satisfactory time frame.’

        ‘All of the partners are very capable and it is difficult to pick out one. However Rob Nicholson is somebody with great experience. Whilst he is a tough litigator, he also knows when the correct advice to the client is that the matter should settle.’

        Key clients

        London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond

        London Borough of Newham

        Torbay Council

        Brick by Brick (Croydon) Limited

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

        Kernick Farm Limited

        London Borough of Southwark (planning and property team)

        Courtenay Group of Companies

        St Mungo Panel Appointment

        West of England Developments

        The Guinness Trust

        Lone Eagle Retail Limited

        Hollis Global

        Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality

        Subway Realty Ltd

        Launcelot Investments Ltd

        Work highlights

          Public sector > Local government Tier 2

          The public sector team at Ashfords LLP features a wide range of specialists in employment, construction and infrastructure, planning, real estate, procurement and dispute resolution. Over recent years, the team has been busy assisting clients with their legal and financial obligations relating to the pandemic, and the subsequent lockdown and social distancing restrictions. Team leader Lucy Woods has extensive experience in procurement and local government matters, while Bristol-based Paul Butterworth focuses on major real estate regeneration and development projects. Robin De Wreede has recently joined from Davitt Jones Bould, bringing with him an expertise in handling real estate projects for public sector clients.

          Practice head(s):

          Lucy Woods

          Testimonials

          ‘Collaboration is very clear – they work well on complex matters between teams. The people are excellent, personable and interested in our priorities.’

          ‘Robin de Wreede has been a particular pleasure to work with – he feels like an in house lawyer with his approach and grasp of local authority work. I should also mention David Richardson for his planning expertise and sheer speed of response to advise on a very individual complex matter.’

          ‘At all times they have been professional and a pleasure to be in a meeting with.’

          ‘All the lawyers I have worked with at Ashfords respond to my communication immediately with a timescale for detailed response.’

          Key clients

          Wandsworth Borough Council and Richmond Upon Thames London Borough Council

          London Borough of Newham

          Watford Borough Council

          Chichester District Council

          Mendip District Council

          Maidstone District Council

          Cornwall Council

          North Devon District Council

          Devon County Council

          Work highlights

          • Advised Watford Borough Council on all property related matters across its Croxley Park estate.
          • For Wandsworth Borough Council and Richmond Upon Thames Borough Council, covering a wide range of legal specialisms, including Procurement and contracts; Planning; Residential; Employment; Commercial litigation and Dispute resolution; and Construction.
          • Advised Maidstone Borough Council in connection with a multi-million point leasehold acquisition of a multi-let office premises as an investment.

          Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Bristol Tier 3

          Ashfords LLP‘s Bristol office is known for advising venture capital funds and startups on investments, with a particular focus on the healthcare and technology sectors; where it is also active in M&A and commercial transactions, as well as associated areas such as fintech and healthtech. Chris Dyson leads the practice’s VC work and specialises in technology transactions, while Jocelyn Ormond handles deals involving healthcare and financial services. Rory Suggett is another name to note on corporate deals, while Suzie Miles is the key name on commercial transactions, with a practice which includes advising on outsourcing and distribution agreements.

          Practice head(s):

          Andrew Betteridge

          Other key lawyers:

          Chris Dyson; Jocelyn Ormond; Rory Suggett; Suzie Miles; Scott Preece; Nicola Manclark

          Testimonials

          ‘All people who touched the file were exceptional. Very well versed in their practice areas and extraordinarily helpful. Being a non-UK resident/investor, the team helped tremendously in understanding the market and were very thoughtful in their advice.’

          ‘Jocelyn Ormond has been wonderful to work with. We often ask our lawyers to add value in non-legal areas and he certainly helped us understand a number of commercial points. He has done a great job of staying in touch on relevant matters and other opportunities for us. He has gone well beyond a typical attorney/client relationship.’

          ‘A very professional firm with qualities you would look for from a so-called Magic Circle law firm in partners across corporate, tax, property and technology.’

          ‘Experienced, pragmatic, knowledgeable – and always available, seemingly 24/7. Jocelyn Ormond and Nicola Manclark in particular.’

          Key clients

          SimplyCook

          Craven Street Capital

          eConsult Health

          Iksuda Therapeutics

          Back Office Technology (trading as Form3)

          Altus Holdings

          ESI Controls

          Frog Capital

          Post Office

          NMI

          Holland & Barrett

          Vamstar

          Work highlights

          • Advising Craven Street Capital on its acquisition of Kreston Reeves Financial Planning and the establishment of Craven Street Wealth, a new wealth management business. Together with the separate acquisition of London based Christchurch Investment Management, it has created a wealth management and financial planning group with approximately £850 million of assets under management and advice.
          • Advising the shareholders of SimplyCook, the subscription-based recipe box service, on the sale of the entire issued share capital to Nestlé UK. The deal will help accelerate SimplyCook’s growth and follows Nestlé’s takeover of Mindful Chef in November expanding their direct-to-consumer portfolio.
          • Advising Form3 on its recent $160m Series C funding round led by Goldman Sachs, along with participation from Draper Esprit, a leading VC firm and existing investors, including Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, Barclays, Mastercard and 83North.

          Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Bristol Tier 3

          Ashfords LLP ‘gives a real feeling of confidence’ to a variety of regional, national and international clients spanning the technology, retail, professional services, sport and financial services sectors; the group also acts in regulatory and risk-related litigation. Rory Mac Neice leads the team and excels in the technology and financial spaces, while Ben Derrington leads the firm’s risk team, which is active in the construction, waste, food and manufacturing sectors, and handles regulatory disputes. Ian Manners joined the team from DAC Beachcroft LLP in late 2021, and Joanne Saye is the key name at associate level.

          Practice head(s):

          Rory Mac Neice

          Testimonials

          ‘Good client focus; personable; give added value; attention to detail; understand client’s needs.’

          ‘Jo Saye has been very impressive with a fine brain and attention to detail. Tactically very astute.’

          ‘Great strength in depth able to pick up difficult legal issues at short notice.’

          ‘Joanne Saye – Associate. She was able to work at high speed and produce a quality legal product. She stood out as really effective and able to deliver.’

          ‘Great communication, they give a real feeling of confidence. The process was detailed and thorough.’

          ‘Rory Mac Neice was superb, very formidable to the opposition in his desire to get our case settled.’

          Key clients

          Environment Agency

          The National Trainers Federation

          Racecourse Association Ltd

          Ascot Racecourse Ltd

          Noble Foods Limited

          Work highlights

          • Advised a government agency in respect of a multimillion pound flooding claim.
          • Acted for a major waste services provider in connection with a dispute regarding termination of a multimillion pound waste services contract with a local authority.
          • Advised a major national company in connection with a dispute with suppliers arising out of a nationwide replacement scheme for the client’s ATM machines (and associated customer services).

          Employment > Health and safety Tier 3

          Ashfords LLP has a full service practice, advising clients on investigation management and press and media management as well as crisis response support. Clients range from public authorities to regional healthcare trusts and food production companies. Ian Manners - who recently joined from DAC Beachcroft LLP - and Ben Derrington  lead the practice.

          Practice head(s):

          Ian Manners; Ben Derrington

          Testimonials

          ‘Ian Manners: a keen legal brain and quick to see the issues. He has always demonstrated a good understanding of the link between technical issues and the law.’

          ‘The team at Ashfords has great supporting technical knowledge that allows them to quickly understand and analyse cases. The advice provided is always pragmatic and realistic and is accessible to clients.’

          ‘Ben Derrington is an excellent leader and leaves no stone unturned for his clients. He is particularly strong at technical analysis and long term case management.’

          ‘The Ashfords team gets to know its clients in a comprehensive and unique fashion. Having got to grips with the client’s business, it is uniquely well-placed to steer the client through the difficulties the case may present.’

          ‘Ben Derrington is second to none. His knowledge of client businesses goes before him, both in legal circles and in the commercial community.’

          Work highlights

          • Secured an acquittal for Garry Harbutt, director of Night and Day Glaziers Ltd, for a charge of Gross Negligence Manslaughter following a fatal construction site accident.
          • Represented a transport company at inquest following the death of a child and advised the company of potential health and safety implications and further regulator action.
          • Represented a hospital trust in relation to a regulatory investigation into a fall from height following a patient accessing the roof of a trust building.

          Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 3

          Ashfords LLP acts for companies and private individuals in claims against professionals including surveyors, solicitors and accountants. Rory Mac Neice co-leads the team and also handles the general litigation practice; he handles claims against a range of professionals, with a particular focus on claims against veterinary professionals related to bloodsports. Victoria Bonnet also serves as practice co-head and focuses on disputes related to property transactions, while Stephen Homer handles claims in the construction sector. Senior associate Chris Freeman is noted for his work advising lenders on claims.

          Practice head(s):

          Rory Mac Neice; Victoria Bonnet

          Other key lawyers:

          Testimonials

          ‘We have complete confidence they are in control of what is happening, great communication and knowledge.’

          ‘Rory Mac Neice is such a formidable opponent that I can honestly say if your case is good then I can’t possibly see how you could lose.’

          Work highlights

          • Advised a banking client in connection with claim against professional valuers of a commercial property used for secured lending.
          • Acted for John Hales (a major racehorse owner) in connection with a dispute with a veterinary clinic, following the death of his racehorse whilst under the clinic’s care.
          • Advising a household name manufacturing site in respect of a substantial claim against its former solicitors in relation to security granted by the Claimant for the liabilities of a related trading company.

          TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment Tier 3

          Corporate and commercial > Venture capital Tier 3

          Led from Bristol by Chris Dyson and the ‘calm and strategic’ Rory Suggett, Ashfords LLP has a strong reputation among funds, as well as a growing roster of tech sector investees, particularly as it relates to early-stage financings. The team was also recently enhanced by the arrival of several lawyers with in-house fund-side expertise, including London-based Kim Hawkins who joined in February 2021 from now defunct impact EIS fund Earthworm VC. Praised for its market knowledge, gleaned from many years’ experience advising on transactions in the sector, the firm knows ‘where market standard is at any one time’, and is thereby well-positioned to provide the most appropriate advice dependent on where the company seeking investment is within its growth journey. Head of the firm’s corporate department and business services division, Andrew Betteridge also has significant venture capital expertise, as does Jocelyn Ormond, who has a particular niche advising companies and investors in the digital health/life sciences sector.

          Practice head(s):

          Chris Dyson; Rory Suggett

          Other key lawyers:

          Andrew Betteridge; Jocelyn Ormond; Kim Hawkins; Scott Preece; Ross Van De Velde

          Testimonials

          The team is particularly commercial and knows the market well and where market standard is at any one time.’

          They are commercial, pragmatic and focused on providing useful feedback and guidance.’

          ‘Feels like they are acting for me rather than just throwing a load of information at me.’

          ‘Rory Suggett is commercial, practicable, fair, calm and able to think strategically and get into the detail.’

          Key clients

          Form3

          Frog Capital

          Gaia Fertility

          Iksuda Therapeutics

          Hambro Perks

          Join Capital

          Notion Capital

          Ahren Innovation Capital

          Global Satellite Vu

          Birdie

          BGF

          Episode 1 Ventures

          FourthRev

          eConsult Health

          Anorak

          Fathom

          Work highlights

          • Advising biotech company, Iksuda Therapeutics, on its $47m Series A investment round led by Korean investors Mirae Asset and Celltrion.
          • Advising Form3 on its recent $160m Series C funding round led by Goldman Sachs, along with participation from Molten Ventures (formerly Draper Esprit) and existing investors.
          • Advising BGF on leading a £33m Series B investment round in biopharmaceutical company PhoreMost.

          TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 3

          Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 5

          Ashfords LLP's disputes practice covers contractual issues, emergency relief, contempt of court proceedings, fraud, asset and tracing claims, and company and partnership disputes. The team also assists with claims against company directors, multi-jurisdictional disputes, professional negligence and debt recovery. London dispute resolution head James Crighton is increasingly sought out for contempt of court proceedings; and Rory Mac Neice in Bristol is the firm-wide practice head. Senior associate Chris Freeman is a specialist in professional negligence and technology sector disputes.

          Practice head(s):

          James Crighton; Rory Mac Neice

          Other key lawyers:

          Testimonials

          ‘Teams are appropriately resourced, and partners are very engaged and hands on to ensure that cases are well run, in terms of giving advice and contact with clients, as well as the smooth running of the litigation process.

          ‘What is particularly great about this team is that strategic decisions are properly considered.’

          ‘Very commercially astute litigators, always with an eye on the long-term ramifications in the litigation; and they are able to anticipate and address issues well before they come to light in the litigation.

          ‘Able to adapt seamlessly between an aggressive approach when required, but keeping the door open to good commercial outcomes for the client.’

          ‘Partner expertise and hands-on involvement is always available. This allows for a very consistent application of strategy from start to finish.

          ‘James Crighton is a hands-on partner, who is on top of the detail in terms of the facts and the law, and has good judgement when it comes to making strategic and tactical decisions.’

          James Crighton is an experienced and astute litigator.

          ‘James Crighton is a pleasure to deal with.

          Key clients

          IIB Group Holdings

          Fontaine

          Douglas & Gordon

          LBF Travel

          Betterstyle International

          Hardis Group

          CognitionX

          Interlex Advokater

          Milestone Civil Engineering

          Work highlights

          • Defended Eric Watson in Kea Investments Ltd v Watson, which involved the longest committal trial in English legal history (17 days).
          • Defended Nobu Su in proceedings involving a fraud claim of $37m, committal applications and search orders.
          • Acted for Milestone Civil Engineering in enforcing a substantial arbitration award from a construction dispute, which now involves contested winding-up proceedings.

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

          Ashfords LLP advises a substantial number of national charities in all types of disputes and an array of contentious trusts and probate matters. Exeter-based Robert Horsey has a wealth of experience in all aspects of contentious trusts and estate administrations. Practice co-head Kerry Morgan Gould who is also based in Exeter is recommended for her work on a range of contentious charities matters. John Toth heads the non-contentious charities offering and is based in London.

          Practice head(s):

          Kerry Morgan-Gould; John Toth

          Other key lawyers:

          Robert Horsey; Barny Croft

          Testimonials

          ‘They are very clever, very good lawyers, very approachable and very good value for money’.

          ‘Barny Croft and Kerry Morgan-Gould are both exceptional, Barny in particular is a very good contentious probate specialist’.

          ‘Ashfords understands and supports the charity sector, rather than simply feeding off it. The service is accurately tailored to each client’s needs’.

          ‘Kerry Morgan-Gould is the consummate contentious charities trusts and estates performer. She can cope with the biggest cases, and the most intense disputes’.

          ‘Barney Croft has built an excellent reputation in the sector, and the team can rely on the encyclopaedic knowledge of John Toth, too. Everything is covered’.

          Work highlights

          • Representing a leading national health charity in respect of a challenge to the validity of the last known Will of a testator.
          • Acting for four charities and advising the Trustees on making an application to the Charity Commission for an ex-gratia payment.
          • Acting for a large Hospice charity defending a 1975 Inheritance Act claim brought by the deceased’s adult, estranged daughter.

          Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 5

          Ashfords LLP is known for advising local authorities and developers on construction, infrastructure, housing, and regeneration projects. It has a strong practice acting for London borough councils, advising on project procurement. It also acts for employers and purchasers on energy projects. Jessica Taylor heads the London team, with particular expertise advising housing sector clients.

          Practice head(s):

          Patrick Blake; Jessica Taylor

          Other key lawyers:

          Carl Thompson

          Testimonials

          ‘The commerciality of their advice is great.’

          ‘Jessica Taylor is very knowledgeable in the field of construction offering pragmatic, commercially sound solutions.’

          ‘There is no waffle – clear direction on the best way to solve issues with relevant case study if needed.’

          ‘It’s all down to the people; they are knowledgeable in their fields and try to find the most cost effective solutions to supporting our business.

          ‘Jessica Taylor’s guidance to others within the firm has been second to none.’

          ‘The depth of knowledge and personal skills has been above standards.’

          Key clients

          London Borough of Hackney

          Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

          Norman Rourke Pryme Limited

          Wandsworth Borough Council

          Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

          Curo Group

          Shepheard Epstein Hunter

          Stonewater Limited

          CC Construction Limited

          London Gateway Port Limited

          Work highlights

          • Acting for a leading housing provider on a complex, multi-million pound acquisition and development scheme.
          • Acting for specialist consultants on a major highways and infrastructure scheme for a London Borough.
          • Advising Curo Enterprise Limited in respect of its acquisition of a site on which it intends building 124 open market and affordable homes involving particularly complex construction advice.

          Finance > Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 8

          Drawing on a 'good mix of technical know-how and commercial acumen', Ashfords LLP provides a 'cost effective service' to stakeholders engaged in a wide variety of corporate and personal insolvency assignments. Under the guidance of the 'knowledgeable, commercial and pragmatic' Alan Bennett , who splits his time between the firm's London and Bristol offices, the team has gained most acclaim for its contentious insolvency expertise, as well as its skill at handling insolvencies in the professional services field. The 'technically brilliant' Amy Gallimore  has an excellent following among IPs in the SME market, and is also 'highly skilled in navigating professional disciplinary investigations'. 

          Practice head(s):

          Alan Bennett

          Other key lawyers:

          Amy Gallimore; Crispin Jones

          Testimonials

          The team continues to punch massively above its weight-relative-to-size ratio in the litigation stakes.’

          ‘The team provides a cost-effective service with a good mix of technical know-how and commercial acumen.’

          Alan Bennett is a very knowledgeable, commercial and pragmatic lawyer, with a very approachable and helpful style.’

          Alan Bennett is a hugely experienced insolvency litigation solicitor, and something of a legend in the market. If good judgement is the most important quality in a litigator, then Alan is in the very front-rank of litigation solicitors.’

          ‘Amy Gallimore is technically brilliant and commercially adept.’

          Amy Gallimore is highly skilled in navigating professional disciplinary investigations.’

          ‘Crispin Jones’ boundless energy and enthusiasm for his work shines through in everything he does and ensures working with Ashfords is never less than a pleasure.’

          Key clients

          Azets (formerly Wilkins Kennedy)

          Begbies Traynor

          Carter Clark

          FRP Advisory

          Grant Thornton

          Manolete Partners plc

          Menzies

          Moore Kingston Smith

          Quantuma

          Rollings Butt

          Turpin Barker Armstrong

          Work highlights

          • Successfully pursued a £2m claim on behalf of a market-leading litigation funder.
          • Advised the liquidators (at Azets) of a mining consultancy company facing ongoing litigation from a significant creditor based in Central Asia.
          • Successfully defended joint administrators (at Begbies Traynor) who were challenged on validity of their appointment and their conduct by shareholders.

          Private client > Court of protection

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

          CEO: Louise Workman
          Executive Board:
          Chair & Head of Real Estate Division – Tim Heal
          Head of Commercial Division – Andrew Betteridge
          Head of Private Wealth – Michael Alden
          CFO – Philip Strange

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

          Sectors:
          Charities; Energy & Resource Management; Food & Drink; Healthcare, Digital Health & Lifesciences; Homes, Communities & Regeneration; Ports, Harbours and Coastal Development; Public Sector; Retail; Rural; Sport; Technology

          DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
          CEO Louise Workman
          Chairman Tim Heal
          Head of Commercial Services Division Brian Farrell
          Head of Real Estate Division Kate Topp
          Head of Private Wealth Division Michael Alden
          Head of Technology Sector Chris Dyson
          Head of Commercial Litigation Andrew Perkins
          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 David Pomeroy
          Head of Intellectual Property Carl Steele
          Head of Risks & Regulation Ian Manners
          Head of Residential Property & Head of Agriculture Susie Murray
          Head of Trusts and Estates Kerry Morgan-Gould
          Head of Banking & Finance Rebecca Dury
          Head of Corporate Rory Suggett
          Head of Family Zoe Porter
          PhotoNamePositionProfile
          Michael Alden photo Michael AldenPartner and Head of the Trusts and Estates Team specialising in acting…
          Bryoney Alford photo Bryoney AlfordBryoney is a Solicitor in the Banking and Finance Team.
          Su  Apps photo Su AppsLegal Director
          Simon Bailey photo Simon BaileyPartner
          Rachel Barnet photo Rachel BarnetAssociate in the Employment Team. She advises corporate and individual clients on a wide range of…
          Peter Barton photo Peter BartonPartner
          Marjorie Batten photo Marjorie BattenAssociate
          Angus Bauer photo Angus BauerPartner
          Alan Bennett photo Alan BennettPartner in the Restructuring and Insolvency Team with a specialism in cross-border…
          Amy Bennett photo Amy BennettAmy is a Chartered Legal Executive in the Property Litigation Team.
          Tom Biddick photo Tom BiddickPartner in the Trusts & Estates team
          Brendan Biggs photo Brendan BiggsProfessional Support Lawyer
          John Birch photo John BirchConsultant 
          Patrick Blake photo Patrick BlakePartner and Head of the Construction & Infrastructure Team.
          Victoria Bonnet photo Victoria BonnetPartner
          Emily Bowden photo Emily BowdenEmily is a Solicitor in the Employment Team. Emily assists the Employment Team with…
          Ben Boyland photo Ben BoylandAssociate
          Katharine  Breckin photo Katharine BreckinAssociate
          Clare Brewer photo Clare BrewerPartner in the Construction & Infrastructure Team. Clare is a project finance…
          Katie Brimblecombe photo Katie BrimblecombeKatie is a SRA regulated Solicitor in the Trusts and Estates Team.
          Kelly Brown photo Kelly BrownAssociate
          Anusheh Burcher photo Anusheh BurcherSenior Associate in the Commercial Litigation team
          Cathryn Butler photo Cathryn ButlerCathryn is an Associate in the Restructuring and Insolvency Team.
          Daniel Cahill photo Daniel CahillChartered Trade Mark Attorney
          Rachel Carter photo Rachel CarterLegal Director
          Deborah Cochrane photo Deborah CochraneDeborah joined the firm in 2020 as an SRA Regulated Solicitor in…
          Kirstin  Cook photo Kirstin CookPartner
          Sarah Cox photo Sarah CoxAssociate
          Kathy Cracknell photo Kathy CracknellAssociate
          Barny Croft photo Barny CroftPartner in the Disputed Wills, Trusts and Estates team
          Jonathan  Croley photo Jonathan CroleyAssociate
          Matt Damant photo Matt DamantMatt is a Solicitor in the Trusts and Estates Team.
          Robin De Wreede photo Robin De WreedePartner
          Donna Duncan photo Donna DuncanDonna is a SRA Regulated Solicitor in the Residential Property Team and specialises in Agriculture…
          Rebecca Dury photo Rebecca DuryPartner
          Anna Eagling photo Anna EaglingAssociate
          Lianne Edwards photo Lianne EdwardsAssociate
          Katie Farmer photo Katie FarmerLegal Director 
          Brian Farrell photo Brian FarrellPartner
          Chris Francis photo Chris FrancisChristopher is a solicitor in the Commercial Litigation Team.
          Carol Gaskell photo Carol GaskellCarol is a Chartered Tax Adviser in Ashfords’ Trusts and Estates Team.
          Sian Gibbon photo Sian GibbonPartner
          Elizabeth Gibson photo Elizabeth GibsonPartner and Head of Public Sector. She has a particular specialism in…
          Stephanie Gillam photo Stephanie GillamSenior Associate
          Annika Gleeson photo Annika GleesonLegal Director
          Victoria Green photo Victoria GreenAssociate
          Chris Gregson photo Chris GregsonPartner
          Katie Gwyther photo Katie GwytherKatie is a Solicitor in the Employment Team.
          Emma Harris photo Emma HarrisEmma is a Solicitor in the Commercial and Intellectual Property Team.
          John Hasson photo John HassonJohn is a specialist Personal Injury solicitor with 20 years litigation experience.
          Tim Heal photo Tim HealPartner and Head of the Real Estate Team. Tim specialises in all…
          Brian Hegarty photo Brian HegartyPartner
          Jonathan  Hickman photo Jonathan HickmanAssociate
          Charlotte  Hill photo Charlotte HillAssociate
          Emma Hindon photo Emma HindonEmma is a Solicitor in the Property Litigation Team.
          Carli Holmes photo Carli HolmesAssociate
          Annabel  Holyoak photo Annabel HolyoakReal Estate
          Stephen Homer photo Stephen HomerPartner and Head of Adjudication and Arbitration Services.
          Jonathan Hyde photo Jonathan HydeAssociate
          Christopher  Ingles photo Christopher InglesAssociate
          Clare Jackman photo Clare JackmanPartner
          Crispin Jones photo Crispin JonesLegal Director 
          Annie Joseph photo Annie JosephAnnie is a Solicitor in the Family Team.
          Carl Langley photo Carl LangleyCarl is an Associate and SRA Regulated Solicitor in the Residential Property Team.  He…
          Matthew Libby photo Matthew LibbyMatthew is an Associate in the Corporate Team. He advises on a…
          Mark Lomas photo Mark LomasPartner, Chairman and Head of Intellectual Property
          Andrew Macmillan-Scott photo Andrew Macmillan-ScottPartner
          Mark Manning photo Mark ManningPartner
          Isobel Massey photo Isobel MasseyIsobel is a Solicitor in the Family Team.
          Hannah McGown photo Hannah McGownAssociate in the Real Estate Team.
          Philip Mogridge photo Philip MogridgePhilip is a Consultant in the Residential Property Team.
          Russell Moore photo Russell MooreLegal Director
          Duncan Moors photo Duncan MoorsLegal Director 
          Susie Murray photo Susie MurrayPartner
          Amelia Newman photo Amelia NewmanAmelia is an Associate in the Real Estate team specialising in commercial property transactions.
          Robert Newton photo Robert NewtonRobert is a Solicitor in the Commercial Litigation Team, within the Dispute Resolution department.
          Ella Nyakuedzwa-Smith photo Ella Nyakuedzwa-SmithSolicitor
          Elisabeth Osborne photo Elisabeth OsborneLegal Direcor
          Charles Pallot photo Charles PallotPartner
          Tamara Paul photo Tamara PaulProfessional Support Lawyer
          Andrew Perkins photo Andrew PerkinsPartner
          Michelle Perring photo Michelle PerringAssociate
          Daisy Peskett photo Daisy PeskettDaisy is a Solicitor in the Trusts and Estates Team.
          Jenni Porteous photo Jenni PorteousJenni is a Chartered Legal Executive in the Trusts and Estates Team.
          Zoe Porter photo Zoe PorterPartner and Head of the Family Team.
          Holly Ransley photo Holly RansleyHolly is a Chartered Legal Executive in the Restructuring and Insolvency Team. 
          Laura Reeve photo Laura ReeveAssociate
          David Richardson photo David RichardsonPartner
          Andrew Rothwell photo Andrew RothwellPartner
          Daniel Sefton photo Daniel SeftonAssociate
          Frances Smith photo Frances SmithAssociate
          Stephanie Sparks photo Stephanie SparksStephanie is an Associate in the Real Estate Team.
          Carl Steele photo Carl SteelePartner
          Julia Suarez photo Julia SuarezLegal Director 
          Jessica Tallon photo Jessica TallonJessica is an Associate in the Property Litigation team.
          Ben Thomson photo Ben ThomsonBen is a solicitor in the Commercial team.
          Rachel Tilley photo Rachel TilleySenior Associate
          Liam Tolen photo Liam TolenAssociate
          David Tomlin photo David TomlinDavid is a Solicitor in the Restructuring and Insolvency Team.
          Tilly Traill photo Tilly TraillTilly is an Associate in the Construction & Infrastructure Team.
          Sophie Tucker photo Sophie TuckerSophie is a Solicitor in the Real Estate Team.
          Kerry Venn photo Kerry VennKerry is a solicitor in Ashford’s Disputed Wills, Trusts and Estates team having retrained into…
          Stephen  Walker photo Stephen WalkerLegal Director
          Sophia Walsh photo Sophia WalshSophia is a Solicitor in the Property Litigation Team. Sophia is experienced in dealing…
          Lee Ward photo Lee WardAssociate
          Teifi Warner photo Teifi WarnerTeifi is a Solicitor in the Corporate Tax team.
          Emma Warren photo Emma WarrenLegal Director 
          Sarah Wasniowski photo Sarah WasniowskiProfessional Support Lawyer
          Clare Werry photo Clare WerryLegal Director 
          Cara White photo Cara WhiteCara is a Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution Team.
          Emma Whiting photo Emma WhitingAssociate
          Stuart Willis photo Stuart WillisStuart is a Solicitor in the Real Estate Team specialising in planning.
          Laura Wonnacott photo Laura WonnacottAssociate
          Chloe Wood photo Chloe WoodChloe is a Solicitor in the Construction & Infrastructure Team.
          Flora Wood photo Flora WoodPartner
          David Wood photo David WoodPartner
          Lucy Woods photo Lucy WoodsPartner in the Public Sector team
          Louise Workman photo Louise WorkmanPartner
          Ruth Yates photo Ruth YatesSolicitor 
          Andy Young photo Andy YoungPartner
          Number of UK partners : 74
          Number of other UK fee-earners : 183
          ISO:9001 Quality Management
          The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS)
          The Specialist Quality Mark (SQM)
          Law Society Family Law Accreditation
          Law Society Personal Injury Accreditation
          Law Society Mental Capacity (Welfare) Accreditation
          Lot 2a and Lot 3 of the Crown Commercial Services Wider Public Sector Legal Services Framework (RM3788)
          London Boroughs Legal Alliance
          NHS SBS
          Cyber Essentials Plus

          ENVIRONMENT, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE

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

          Our ESG Programme focuses on three priority communities:

          THE GREEN COMMUNITY

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

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

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

          THE ASHFORDS COMMUNITY

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

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

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

          OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY

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

          THE ASHFORDS FOUNDATION

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

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

          DIVERSITY REPORT

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


          CLIENT: Michael Carson, City Surveyor

          COMPANY/FIRM: Exeter City Council

          TESTIMONIAL:

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


          CLIENT: Alexander Hewitt. COO & Co-founder

          COMPANY/FIRM: Anaphite Ltd

          TESTIMONIAL:

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


          CLIENT: Not known

          COMPANY/FIRM: International Banking Client

          TESTIMONIAL:

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


          CLIENT: Caroline Plumb – Founder & CEO

          COMPANY/FIRM: Fluidly

          TESTIMONIAL:

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


          CLIENT: Mike Walters – Chief Product Office

          COMPANY/FIRM: Form3

          TESTIMONIAL:

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

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


          CLIENT: Chris McCarthy – Commercial Director & General Counsel

          COMPANY/FIRM: Urbaser

          TESTIMONIAL:

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


          CLIENT: Mark Wheeler, Chief Executive Officer,

          COMPANY/FIRM: Driver Group

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


          CLIENT: Anonymous

          COMPANY/FIRM: Anonymous

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


          CLIENT: Jennifer Chamandi

          COMPANY/FIRM: N/A

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


          CLIENT: Francesca Rhodes, Finance Director

          COMPANY/FIRM: Homes for Lambeth

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


          CLIENT: Mark Caroe, partner

          COMPANY/FIRM: Eden Ventures

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


          CLIENT: Anonymous

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

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


          CLIENT: John Perry, Land Director

          COMPANY/FIRM: Barratt David Wilson Homes South West

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


          CLIENT: David Jackson, Executive Chairman

          COMPANY/FIRM: Altus Ltd

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