Firm Profile > Thomson Snell & Passmore > Tunbridge Wells, England

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 1

The 'impressive' clinical negligence team at Thomson Snell & Passmore is equipped to handle high-value matters involving cerebral palsy, brain injury, surgical errors, and delayed diagnosis of cancer. Practice head Fiona Follis specialises in clinical negligence litigation and maximum severity of birth injury cases. 'Tactically astute and technically excellent', Graham Bell deals with complex medical accident claims.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Follis

Other key lawyers:

Graham Bell; James Cahan; Oliver Chapman


‘Graham Bell is the standout partner in the team; a first-class legal brain and an amazing ability to take on a new case, boil down the complexities to the key issues and come up with solutions to legal conundrums.’

‘Graham Bell is probably the most meticulous lawyer I ever worked with. He sticks to the finest details of every case and he never leaves a stone unturned.’

‘James Cahan is impressive and develops a great rapport with clients and counsel alike.’

Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Thomson Snell & Passmore's large team acts for housebuilders, developers and investors with substantial portfolios and is active in areas as diverse as charity and  education to transport, logistics and food and agricultural. Richard Ellard also brings expertise in regeneration projects and the disposal of surplus land and  Joanne Wright  focuses on the many aspects of portfolio management. Sarah Easton  acts for landowners, developers and private funders and the team is ably supported by associate Kate Turnham whose work is 'first class'.

Practice head(s):

Richard Ellard

Other key lawyers:


The whole team has embraced the reality that lawyers are now team members and have to perform and show that. They deliver good-quality work to a programme that can be relied on.’

Kate Turnham’s sage advice is presented in a non-legal way which is a pleasure. The work is first rate too compared to some of her competitors. She can overcome problems using her experience and practical skills.’

The whole team are great to work with, with the highest business acumen.   You are guaranteed a fantastic service from Jo – nothing is too much.

Key clients

Pentland Homes

Millwood Designer Homes Limited

Fernham Homes Limited

Motorline Holdings

Association of Conservative Clubs

Brake Bros

COOK Trading Limited

Aldermore Bank Plc

Keystone Property Finance

Sticks n Sushi

Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

All of the team at Thomson Snell & Passmore are members of Resolution; four are also collaborative lawyers and two are mediators. It handles high-value financial work arising from divorce or the dissolution of civil partnerships and nuptial agreements in addition to complicated Children Act matters and domestic abuse issues. The group is headed by 'class actJoanna Pratt,  who is supported by the highly experienced Kirstie Law and Desmond O’Donnell.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Pratt

Other key lawyers:


They are ably led by Joanna Pratt and supported by Kirstie Law. Desmond O’Donnell is a sensible solution-focused lawyer.’

Joanna Pratt is very good  – a class act.’

Personal injury: claimant Tier 1

'Particularly highly rated', Thomson Snell & Passmore's personal injury group comprises a dedicated team of practitioners who handle all catastrophic injury matters including child and adult brain injury cases. Led by Fiona Follis, the team also has expertise in brain injury litigation and asbestos claims. Graham Bell is regularly involved in the region's highest-value personal injury matters and is recommended for his insight into the industrial disease sector. Senior associate Oliver Chapman is 'definitely one to watch.'

Practice head(s):

Fiona Follis

Other key lawyers:

Graham Bell; Oliver Chapman; Jonathan Herbert


‘Graham Bell is the standout partner for clinical negligence and personal injury work and always gets to the real points.’

‘Jonathan Herbert has a real ability to understand the client and the case and get results needed.’

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Thomson Snell & Passmore provides teams of experts in trust management and tax planning together with contentious probate and Court of Protection cases. Nicola Plant heads the private client department and Stuart Goodbody   heads the trust management team which includes the management of personal injury and charitable trusts. Helen Stewart  heads the probate group and Mark Politz and Christopher Walker are especially adept in advising on all aspects of taxation including Inheritance and Capital Gains Taxes.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Plant

Other key lawyers:

Mark Politz; Stuart Goodbody; Helen Stewart; Simon Mitchell; Stuart Price


The clear identification of specialisms within the firm allows more ready identification of the specialist most suited to the legal advice required by  clients.’

It is quite a big firm, but operates as a cohesive and very professional team. The visitor feels welcome and well looked after from moment of entry.’

Stuart Price assisted a high-net-worth client with complex generational tax and trust planning, He has dealt with the client sensitively and professionally at all stages of the process. He has built sufficient trust that other members of the same family have also appointed him to advise on their affairs.’

Helen Stewart and Stuart Goodbody are both very expert in their fields. There is nothing to fault.


Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

Thomson Snell & Passmore  is a firm favourite among education, health and social carec and community support charities. The Tunbridge Wells–based team draws on its expertise in the commercial, employment, real estate and private client areas to advise charities and non-profit organisations on all aspects of their operations, including formation, trustee duties, structures and funding options. James Partridge and Nick Hobden are the lead advisers.

Practice head(s):

James Partridge

Other key lawyers:


Excellent and independent advice, always well thought through and clear to understand. Client focused and understanding of the needs of not-for-profits.’

James Partridge is empathetic with the sector, full of knowledge and understanding and behaves with the utmost integrity.’

Key clients

Avante Care & Support

Medway Anglican Schools Trust

Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People

Chatham Maritime Trust

The Charity Bank

Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey and Sussex Tier 2

Thomson Snell & Passmore works with international and domestic clients on the full scope of disputes ranging from international contracts, trade and commodities disputes to insurance-related litigation, financial services and shareholder and partnership conflicts. Kamal Aggarwal is the well-regarded co-head of the team who, alongside Nicholas Horton and Douglas Skilton, has considerable expertise in both litigation and ADR. James Cradick  handles a range of litigation and arbitration and Rico Dexiades, who joined the team from Griffin Law, includes contractual and IP-related disputes within his expertise. 

Practice head(s):

Kamal Aggarwal; Nicholas Horton


Their qualities are focus, attention to detail, professionalism and courtesy.’

My introductions have always been to one senior partner who has to date provided excellent service via his real estate and litigation team, and that gentleman is Mr Kamal Kishore Aggarwal.’

James Cradick is a very open-minded, forward-thinking person. He is a very good lawyer and his arguments are to the point. I’m enjoying cooperation with him very much.’

Key clients

Genting Casinos UK

Britannia Refined Metals (A Glencore company)

Bel UK

BDP International

Colas Limited

Motorline Holdings

Berry Gardens Limited

Ward Security Limited

Compagnie Fruitiere UK

North Kent College

Capespan International

Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 2

The team at Thomson Snell & Passmore attracts impressive regional work, including from international clients, particularly on inward investments and acquisitions. Joanne Gallagher is hugely experienced in M&A and private equity transactions, and together with Keith McAlister and associate Faye Cook, the team also tackles corporate demergers, other restructurings and share buybacks.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Gallagher

Other key lawyers:


There is a great mix of personalities and talents, they are legally astute, commercially aware, well resourced and enjoyable to work with.’

I have complete faith in their ability to service clients when making referrals.’

Joanne Gallagher is always careful to ensure she fully understands what we are trying to achieve commercially, despite often challenging timescales and circumstances, she is one of the best.

Joanne Gallagher, Faye Cook and the corporate team have always dealt with matters quickly and thoroughly with attention to detail, whilst remaining commercial.’

Key clients

Goldex Investments

Ubisecure Holdings

Corinthian Pension Consulting

Nurture Landscapes Holdings

Motorline Group

Toureen Group

Bel UK

FORTEC Elektronik AG


Britannia Refined Metals  (Part of Glencore)

Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 2

Nick Hobden and the team at Thomson Snell & Passmore are considered 'exceptional' in their handling of Employment Tribunal and High Court claims concerning unfair dismissals and other employee disputes. Hobden also advises on senior executive terminations and business restructuring exercises. Highly recommended senior associate Ben Stepney has a notable focus on the healthcare sector and advises on areas such as sexual discrimination and harassment.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hobden

Other key lawyers:


I really felt the whole team cared about our issues and the outcome – an exceptional piece of work, we were so pleased with the advice and the outcome.’

Ben Stepney and his colleagues guided us through a complicated dismissal with great professionalism. They were responsive, supportive and pragmatic at every step.’

TSP as a firm has real integrity and they care.

I particularly valued Ben Stepney’s advice. It wasn’t just that he gave sound legal advice – helping me to understand our position and options at each stage – but he was also very supportive during a difficult time. I can’t recommend him or the firm highly enough.’

Key clients

Avante Care & Support

Seacon Terminals (part of the Seacon Group)

Rivermead Inclusive Trust

Compagnie Fruitiere UK

Airflow Developments Limited

St Thomas More Roman Catholic Primary School

Southward Diocesan Board of Education Multi-Academy Trust

Shipping Tier 2

Thomson Snell & Passmore's client base includes freight forwarders, warehouse operators, importers and underwriters. Fielding a cross-practice transport and logistics team, the firm provides corporate and commercial advice on acquisitions and disposals, as well as preparing various types of commercial agreements, including sector-specific agency and distribution agreements, supply agreements and warehousing, transport and logistics agreements. Employment-related work is another driver of activity. The firm also has a strong reputation in contentious matters, handling the full range of disputes arising from the logistics, distribution and supply chain processes. Practice head James Cradick is experienced in domestic and international litigation and arbitration.

Practice head(s):

James Cradick

Key clients

AXA Corporate Solutions

Gefco UK Ltd


Richard Hochfeld Ltd

Colas Rail

BDP International Ltd

Agriculture and estates Tier 3

Thomson Snell & Passmore deals with agricultural and rural affairs with a cross-practice team which includes commercial property, corporate and commercial, employment, private client and family specialists. The team acts for estates, landowners and landowning trusts, tenants and developers on land sales and purchases, agricultural tenancies, sporting rights, renewable energy projects, developments and planning issues. Commercial and contract work for farmers, advice on intellectual property rights and regulatory law, and support with tax, trusts and probate issues are other areas of strength. Sue Lister heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Sue Lister


Long experience on dealing with commercial and agricultural issues and ability to call in expertise from other members of the firm including employment, FBT, planning and exposure to environmental liability risks‘.

Prompt responses and good IT resources and understanding. Amazing breadth of knowledge‘.

Sue Lister and her team specialise in agricultural matters and have an extremely good understanding of the industry and its nuances‘.

Sue Lister has a wealth of knowledge in our specialized area of quarrying and farming and is always able to provide advice that is to the point while understanding the companies’ objectives‘.

Sue has built a strong personal understanding of a family-run business and provides advice in an understandable, user-friendly way. Sue’s ability to translate legalese with ease is much appreciated in our meetings‘.

Sue Lister was excellent in keeping matters relevant and keeping a clear head as to how to work through the complexities and emotional aspects of our matter‘.

Construction Tier 3

Thomson Snell & Passmore provides comprehensive support at all stages of construction projects (of any size), with the work encompassing project documentation (pre-tender to pre-commencement), project support (in relation to live and recently completed projects) and dispute resolution. Developers, funders, main contractors and sub-contractors are among the clients of the practice. Consultant Chris Whittington heads up the group. Chris Kirby-Turner is the name to note for contentious work.

Practice head(s):

Chris Whittington

Other key lawyers:


Thomson Snell & Passmore give first-class advice with regard to all contractual matters arising from projects‘.

Chris Whittington is a straight-talking legal representative who guides clients through a range of construction issues‘.

Chris Kirby-Turner was the main draw of the firm for me‘.

Chris Whittington always made himself available to us; we felt secure that we were getting the right advice from him‘.

Chris Kirby-Turner is tenacious, methodical, well organised and always makes sure to visit the site so that he has a practical understanding of the issues in question‘.

Key clients

Avenue Building Company Ltd

Kentish Projects Ltd

OFP Timber Framed Homes Ltd

Faithdean PLC

Stonegrove Refrigeration Services Ltd

Baxall Construction Ltd

Chatham Maritime Trust

Aldermore Bank PLC

GGT Estates Ltd (part of Motorline Group by common ownerhsip)

Charles Edward Ltd

Property litigation Tier 3

Thomson Snell & Passmore's property dispute resolution group works closely with the firm's commercial property department, with which it shares a number of repeat clients. The firm generates contentious work from entities in the charity, restaurant, real estate investment, public authority and property development sectors. Commercial landlord and tenant work forms the bulk of the work. The team is jointly led by Nicholas Horton and Mark Steggles.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Horton; Mark Steggles


The lawyers are very proactive, easy to deal with and have a friendly attitude; they are also experienced in their field of work‘.

Mark Steggles, Guy Evans and Kate Turnham are very responsive and willing to explain situations in as much detail as the client needs‘.

Key clients

The Association of Conservative Clubs Limited

British Transport Police

Royal British Legion Industries Limited


Marley Pensions Limited / Marley Pension Trust Limited

Hautford Limited

Drakes Plumbing Supplies Limited

Fernham Homes Limited

Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People

LEFA Enterprises Limited

J Clubb Limited

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 4

Thomson Snell & Passmore's dispute resolution group, which undertakes the firm's contentious trusts and probate work, demonstrates 'robust expertise across all levels of seniority'. The scope of the work includes will challenges, Inheritance Act claims, trust disputes between co-owners of a property and disputes arising from the administration of trusts and estates. Practitioners work with members of the dedicated non-contentious tax, trusts and probate practice, as well as experts in Court of Protection matters. Nicholas Horton is the head of the dispute resolution team. In a recent development, contentious probate specialist Monika Byrska joined from Anthony Gold.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Horton

Other key lawyers:

Amy Wilford


A highly professional team – always a sound choice‘.

Genuinely nice people who are a pleasure to work with‘.

They were professional yet deeply sympathetic to my situation. The anticipated costs and timeline were made very clear to me from the outset and key legal points were explained to me in an easily comprehensible manner‘.

Working with Amy Wilford was like dealing with an old friend; she is very caring‘.

Amy Wilford is conscientious and hard-working with a great depth of knowledge‘.

Amy Wilford is very bright and thorough; she is a a reliable practitioner and handles each case with skill‘.

Nicholas Horton’s depth of experience in this area shows in the way he handles cases. His knowledge of the practice area is so clear that clients are soon put at ease‘.

Amy Wilford handled my case efficiently, professionally and sympathetically.  I knew where we were at every step of the journey‘.

Court of protection Tier 1

Thomson Snell & Passmore has a large and dedicated team that deals solely with Court of Protection work and acts as deputy in over 250 cases with an estimated value of over £300m. The excellent team that is headed by Eddie Fardell is skilled at handling property and affairs cases especially in the context of high-value catastrophic injury claims. It is vastly experienced at administering complex personal estates for elderly clients involving foreign property, commercial property and business as well as any issues of financial abuse, insolvency and continuing healthcare claims. Brian Bacon is another known name and routinely acts as deputy, trustee and an expert witness in these matters while Catherine Fuller is also well regarded. The much lauded Martin Terrell is now at Warners Solicitors.

Practice head(s):

Eddie Fardell

Other key lawyers:


‘The team is efficient, professional, highly competent, experienced and knowledgeable in this field.’

‘The team is fantastically helpful and also very responsive and friendly. I know that our personal injury clients are in good hands with its Court of Protection team.’

‘Other firms don’t have the same level of understanding of working with disabled clients and their families. This requires patience, care and a willingness to go over and above – which the team has in spades.’

‘The team is very approachable, knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. Every query, no matter how small or big, is always addressed with efficiency and speed.’

‘Eddie Fardell is fantastic, a voice of great experience and tact. He is incredibly helpful in challenging situations. A born diplomat!’

‘Eddie Fardell is well-regarded.’

‘Brian Bacon is very experienced.’

‘ Brian Bacon is very helpful, and seems to have an understanding of what clients have to deal with.’

‘Catherine Fuller is a developing star, she is tough and kind.’

‘Rosie Hamlyn has a lovely manner with families.’

Family: mediation Tier 2

Thomson Snell & Passmore has Kirstie Law and Desmond O’Donnell who are both well regarded. The team regularly receives referrals from both local and London firms for mediation information assessment meetings and mediations. The team is skilled at handling complicated financial cases and difficult children issues. Law is qualified to meet children as part of the mediation process. O’Donnell is an 'all issues' Resolution-trained mediator (including children and finances). He is working towards Law Society accreditation and is a collaborative lawyer.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Pratt

Other key lawyers:

Kirstie Law; Desmond O’Donnell


Kirstie Law is a very knowledgeable and capable mediator. She also conducts child mediation, which is helpful for mediations involving older children‘.

Kirstie Law and Desmond O’Donnell  are very professional and respectful of the situations that prompt clients to engage in mediation‘.

Kirstie Law is an excellent mediator’.

Family Tier 6

The family team at Thomson Snell & Passmore has four qualified collaborative lawyers, two Resolution-trained mediators (one mediator is qualified to meet children) and everyone in the team is a member of Resolution. The group regularly deals with high-net-worth financial cases and has also been dealing with some complicated Children Act matters. In addition head of team Joanna Pratt also deals with pre-and post-nuptial agreements.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Pratt

Other key lawyers:

Kirstie Law; Sarah Judd; Sarah Keily


Thomson Snell and Passmore is the pre-eminent family law firm in Tunbridge Wells and one of the best in the South East. It may be the oldest firm in the country, but it is distinctively modern in its approach to family law issues, embracing the many forms of dispute resolution to the best advantage of its clients and separating couples and their children generally‘.

This is a good provincial firm based in Tunbridge Wells which attracts high quality work’.

Joanna Pratt works with you to achieve bespoke solutions to often complex issues. She is a great, practical problem solver‘.

Joanna Pratt is firm but fair and always effective‘.

Kirstie Law is bright, efficient and great to deal with‘.

‘Kirstie Law is a real class act, combining a sharp intelligence with outstanding emotional intelligence‘.

Kirstie Law is a highly experienced family lawyer. She is straightforward and pragmatic in her approach and even acrimonious cases can be dealt with in a sensible and amiable manner due to this skill’.

Sarah Judd is calm and diligent‘.

‘Sarah Judd is the grande dame par excellence of Tunbridge Wells family law. She has a cool, measured approach and is calm in a crisis‘.

Sarah Keily works hard  and is always available to give clients more than 100%‘.

Property finance Tier 7

Thomson Snell & Passmore's practice focuses on acting for lenders, including UK clearing banks and investment banks, but also represents high-net-worth individuals and corporate borrowers. The team advises on acquisition and development finance; senior, mezzanine and short-term finance; loan restructuring; and portfolio refinancing. Richard Ellard leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Richard Ellard

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Grogan


Thomson Snell & Passmore takes a direct, no-nonsense and business-like approach to all matters, supported by professional expertise. The service is timely and well delivered‘.

Richard Ellard and his team are attentive and engaged in the whole process – they act is if these were their own transactions‘.

All of the team members are friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and professional. They understand our requirements and explain things in a language we can understand. Matthew Grogan displays all these qualities – it is a pleasure working with him‘.

Key clients

Close Brothers

Titlestone Property Lending

Paragon Development Finance

Aldermore Bank

The Charity Bank

Svenska Handelsbanken

Keystone Property Finance

LendInvest Security Trustees

Commercial Acceptances

Acorn Developments (SW)

This leading South East law firm is recognised for the high quality of its services in areas ranging from corporate and commercial law, commercial property and development, employment and dispute resolution to high-value private client work, clinical negligence, residential conveyancing and family matters.

The firm: With roots going back to 1570, Thomson Snell & Passmore has been honoured by the Guinness World Records as the oldest law firm in the world still in operation. Based in Tunbridge Wells and the Thames Gateway, just 15 minutes from St Pancras and with over 140 lawyers, the firm prides itself on giving uncomplicated, insightful advice conveyed in a straightforward way, making use of first-class technology. It has a history of providing high-quality, prompt and cost-effective legal services that protect client’s interests and safeguard their rights. The firm builds long-term relationships by encouraging a culture of respect, understanding and excellence. The client base includes private individuals, including directors, sports and media personalities, entrepreneurs, PLCs, SMEs, family businesses, subsidiaries of overseas companies, housing associations, schools and charities.

The firm’s continuing organic growth has been supported by a number of hires, together with its strategy of working in teams, sharing knowledge and expertise. Its aim is to provide peace of mind for generations of families and businesses. The practice has been recognised by industry awards in a number of fields, including a Top 25 Law Firm awarded by Private Client Practitioner magazine and appearances in the Citywealth leaders list. Twenty-six of its leading practice areas are ranked by prominent independent guides to UK law firms. Thomson Snell & Passmore is frequently quoted on legal topics in the media, including the Financial Times.

Types of work undertaken: The corporate and commercial team handles a range of matters, including complex and high-value transactions and cross-border as well as domestic issues. All aspects of trading and contractual matters are dealt with, with the aim of maximising client’s long-term profitability. Commercial property and development expertise includes extensive experience in promoting, acquiring and disposing of land for development, property finance and all aspects of purchasing, selling or leasing commercial property.

Specialist employment lawyers help to prevent employee claims arising and protect businesses against penalties. They have significant experience with tribunal claims. Dispute resolution expertise includes finding the most practical and cost-effective route to successfully dealing with any dispute. A variety of international as well as UK matters are handled.

Private client expertise includes a large number of referrals from clients and other professionals, as a result of the complexity and high quality of the firm’s work. Services include tax, probate, estate planning and trusts. The firm has the second largest Court of Protection practice in the country by number of cases and value, and is recognised for its range, depth and expertise in property and financial deputyships, welfare and contentious cases and personal injury trusts.

The clinical negligence & personal injury team is expert in a variety of complex and high-value cases, including cerebral palsy, other types of brain injury, amputation and delayed diagnosis of cancer. Catastrophic injury and adult and child brain injury are among the firm’s personal injury specialisms. The family team has the experience to act even in the most unusual and difficult circumstances. Matters include mediation and collaborative law, financial agreements, child welfare, care proceedings, cohabitation disputes and prenuptial agreements.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner James Partridge
Photo Name Position Profile
 Brian Bacon  photo Brian Bacon
 Graham Bell  photo Graham Bell
 James  Cahan  photo James  Cahan
 Sarah Easton  photo Sarah Easton
 Richard Ellard  photo Richard Ellard
 Eddie Fardell  photo Eddie Fardell
 Fiona Follis  photo Fiona Follis
 Catherine Fuller  photo Catherine Fuller
 Nicholas Gabay  photo Nicholas Gabay
 Stuart Goodbody  photo Stuart Goodbody
 Gilbert Green  photo Gilbert Green
 Matthew Grogan  photo Matthew Grogan
 Rosie Hamlyn  photo Rosie Hamlyn
 Alastair Harvey  photo Alastair Harvey
 Ruth Harwood  photo Ruth Harwood
 Guy Hollamby  photo Guy Hollamby
 Nick Horton  photo Nick Horton
 Claire Josef  photo Claire Josef
 Sarah Judd  photo Sarah Judd
 Sarah Keily  photo Sarah Keily
 Kirstie Law  photo Kirstie Law
 Sue Lister  photo Sue Lister
 Keith McAlister  photo Keith McAlister
 Desmond O’Donnell  photo Desmond O’Donnell
 James Partridge  photo James Partridge
 Nicola Plant  photo Nicola Plant
 Mark Politz  photo Mark Politz
 Joanna Pratt  photo Joanna Pratt
 Mark Steggles  photo Mark Steggles
 Helen Stewart  photo Helen Stewart
 Rebecca Swain  photo Rebecca Swain
 Alisa Sweeney  photo Alisa Sweeney
 Rachel Taylor  photo Rachel Taylor
 Christopher Walker  photo Christopher Walker
 Joanne Wright  photo Joanne Wright
Number of UK partners : 46
Number of other UK fee-earners : 98
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