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Thrings LLP

THE PARAGON, COUNTERSLIP, BRISTOL, BS1 6BX, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0117 930 9500
DX:
7895 BRISTOL
Email:
Web:
www.thrings.com

South West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Bristol
Corporate and commercial: Bristol - ranked: tier 4

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP has extensive experience of mid-market M&A, equity investment transactions and corporate restructuring, and is particularly active in the retail, food and drink, health and tech sectors. Mike Tomlin is a key contact in the Bristol office and advised TrueSpeed Communications on multiple investment rounds with angel and institutional investors; a mandate that involved debt and equity investments. Elaine Meyrick acted for Charon Holdings and the company’s shareholders in relation to the sale of Paul Davis Freight Services to Channel Island Lines. Acting alongside John Richardson, who relocated to Bristol from the firm’s London office, Meyrick also advised a real estate services franchisee on multimillion-pound convertible note investment from an Asian jurisdiction. In an example of the team’s buy-side instructions, Jane Oakland counselled Fundamentals on its acquisition of Ferranti Tapchangers and Ferranti Engineering. Solicitor Lizzie King joined the team from Burges Salmon LLP in 2017.

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Corporate and commercial: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire
Corporate and commercial: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP specialises in regional mid-market corporate transactions and though the team works across a variety of industries, with particular emphasis on the healthcare and education sectors. The team assisted Wishford Schools Group with a number of independent school acquisitions, which recently included its acquisition of Prior Park Prep School. Simon Hore assisted the selling shareholders of Young Black Industrial Stapling with the sale of its entire issued share capital to Sweden-based Indutrade. John Davies advised the management team of Weird Fish on its secondary private equity buyout by Total Capital Partners. Kate Westbrook and Jonathan Payne acted for the shareholders of Resterra Group in relation to Dublin-based Origin Enterprises’ £16m acquisition of the company.  Alex Pyatt is the key figure in the Bath-based team, which includes associate Sarah Ellis.

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South West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Bristol
Commercial litigation: Bristol - ranked: tier 2

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP’s dispute resolution department has specialist sub-groups focusing on financial services and pension litigation, IP disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, agriculture-related claims, real estate and planning disputes, and insolvency litigation. Department head Alastair Govier represented the administrators of a gastro-pub business in a £1.75m claim against a UK bank regarding the mis-selling of an interest rate hedging product, which pushed the business into insolvency. Russell Reeves is involved in an £11m dispute concerning the dissolution of a farm partnership - a case that has the potential to reach the Supreme Court. Similarly, Mark Cullingford, who has particular experience in partnership and shareholder issues, is acting for a professional services firm in relation to various disputes with former partners. Megan Jefferies leads the contentious IP practice, while Warren Reid and Alex Madden focus on real estate and planning disputes, respectively.

Next generation lawyers

Megan Jefferies - Thrings LLP

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Commercial litigation: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire
Commercial litigation: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire - ranked: tier 1

Thrings LLP

Noted for its ‚Äėoustanding service‚Äô, the litigation team at Thrings LLP¬†has particular expertise in professional negligence, product liability, and commercial disputes in the financial services, manufacturing, IT and aerospace sectors. Caroline Watson¬†represented a telecoms company in multimillion-pound High Court claims against Devon and Somerset County Councils for breach of procurement regulations. Watson also acted for a client in a high-value High Court claim against a mezzanine lender for alleged breach of facility loan agreement. Department head David Patterson¬†is representing a fibre optic manufacturer in Technology and Construction Court proceedings regarding damages arising out of a breach of sale and supply contract. Further, Patterson is advising a multinational consumer goods company on an appeal of a ruling from a European regional court.¬†¬†Ramona Derbyshire advised the company on significant claims under the Consumer Protection Act regarding allegedly defective products that caused serious injuries to adolescents.

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP

The debt recovery group at Thrings LLP sits within the wider disputes group and handles domestic and cross-border contested recoveries, from pre-action stage through to enforcement. Amanda Richardson and Ramona Derbyshire are key contacts in the team. Richardson has nearly three decades of experience in the debt recovery industry and serves as the firm’s dedicated recoveries manager, while Derbyshire has extensive litigation experience. The team has maintained a number of relevant panel appointments, which includes Honda Finance Europe, The Bar Council of England & Wales, and Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board.

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South West: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP

Providing ‚Äėa standard of service that exceeds many of its regional competitors‚Äô, Thrings LLP¬†has secured a number of bank panel appointments and also has a significant borrower-side practice. Mike Tomlin¬†is ‚Äėa lawyer whose opinion clients can thoroughly trust‚Äô. On the lender side, Tomlin is regularly instructed by clients such as Santander and AIB Group (UK), while borrower-side instructions have included advising TrueSpeed Communications, as target company, on ¬£75m of combined debt and equity investments by an alternative lender. Legal director Robert Barnes¬†has experience acting for borrowers and lenders in development finance transactions and recently advised National Westminster Bank on the provision of a ¬£20m development finance revolving credit facility. The Bristol team also assisted a borrower with a high-value refinancing of existing senior and mezzanine facilities in relation to a property portfolio. Additional key figures include Ben Tarrant¬†and Swindon-based John Davies.

Leading individuals

Mike Tomlin - Thrings LLP

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP¬†is ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô in regional bankruptcy and liquidation work and ‚Äėcompares favourably to most of the South West competition‚Äô. Headed by Mark Cullingford, the team is instructed by a variety of lenders, insolvency practitioners and directors and shareholders in insolvent companies. Cullingford is representing the directors of an insolvent construction company in an investigation by The Insolvency Service concerning the company‚Äôs failure to maintain appropriate records of commercial contracts. Melissa George¬†advised the administrators of an internet trading and promotions business on a debt restructuring, which involved a business and asset sale to an associated company of the secured lender. Further, Cullingford and George are representing a non-UK supplier of retail goods in claims against its UK distributor, in relation to the distributor‚Äôs possible insolvency.

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South West: Human resources

Employment: Bristol
Employment: Bristol - ranked: tier 2

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP¬†provides a ‚Äėsuperb service with prompt response times‚Äô and ‚Äėexcellent, reliable advice‚Äô. It advises on site closures, TUPE, board-level exits, restructuring, employee relations issues and employment tribunal claims. The practice recently settled a tribunal claim of unfair dismissal and disability and sexual orientation discrimination, all claims were dismissed at a preliminary hearing. Kerrie Hunt¬†heads the team and is rated for providing advice that is ‚Äėclear, concise and easy to understand‚Äô. The manufacturing, engineering, charities, agriculture, food, telecoms, IT, technology, creative industries and FMCG are all sector strengths. Key clients include Centurycomm, Denhay Farms, Lydney Settled Estate and CFH Docmail.

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South West: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP¬†represent the two¬†largest agricultural membership associations in the UK - the NFU and Country Land and Business Association - and advises the third,¬†the Tenant Farmers Association. Recent work includes a high-value farm partnership dispute, which is listed for appeal at the Court of Appeal in October 2018; Bristol-based head of agricultural litigation¬†Russell Reeves¬†is leading. Reeves brings ‚Äėa very sound grasp of law and procedure and very good judgement‚Äô. Neil Barbour¬†heads up the agricultural property team from Bath, specialising in the sale, purchase, and leasing of agricultural property, particularly the acquisition and disposal of high-value farms, estates and country houses. Recommended associate Robert James¬†acts for the defendants in the first-ever High Court claim against a British company in relation to modern slavery. Duncan Sigournay¬†heads up the practice.

Leading individuals

Russell Reeves - Thrings LLP

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP

The team at Thrings LLP specialises in divorce cases with agricultural elements, acting on cases with complexities arising from interests in farm assets, planning and development issues, tax, and property valuations. Department head Matthew Kellow is experienced in relation to Hague Convention applications, and recently acted in complex UK-New Zealand children abduction proceedings. Kellow was also recently instructed to represent a husband in a multimillion-pound asset divorce, involving a partnership between two brothers. Head of private client, Fiona Kellow, focuses on high-net-worth matrimonial finance. Sally Pike joined Thrings in September 2017 from Coffin Mew LLP, where she had been a partner and head of the team; she has expertise in company and shareholder issues, pensions and property issues. Pike's recent instructions include acting for a company director in divorce proceedings, which involved assets valued between £5m and £8m; and advising on a co-habitation agreement with assets in excess of £30m. Associate Samantha Newton was instructed by a partner of a significant farm in Bath in divorce proceedings, concerning assets in the UK and America valued at more than £5m. Newton is also currently advising on cases with connections to Australia, France, Africa and Spain; and Kellow in cases connected to Hong Kong, California and Miami.

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South West: Real estate

Commercial property: Bristol
Commercial property: Bristol - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP

The property team at Thrings LLP has experience in residential development, corporate occupier mandates and property investment transactions, and is particularly active in the healthcare, retail, leisure and mining and minerals sectors. In the housing space, Steve Schofield advised Newland Homes on its acquisition of a development site, which will be the client’s largest development in the South West to-date. Ben Tarrant leads the healthcare sector group and assisted Helping Hands (the UK’s largest domiciliary care provider) with its acquisition of a leasehold in a 20,000 sq ft office building in Alcester. Legal director Robert Barnes has experience in secured lending and recently counselled a high-street lender on the provision of a development finance secured lending facility. David Mears is another key figure in the team.

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Commercial property: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire
Commercial property: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire - ranked: tier 2

Thrings LLP

The property team at Thrings LLP is best known for handling commercial agreements and strategic land transactions, but also advises corporates in property acquisition strategies and has a developing practice focused on renewable energy property. Alex Pinhey assisted a well-known regional brewery with its strategic acquisition of a pub and hotel. In the secured lending space, Pinhey advised a European bank on a multimillion-pound refinancing transaction, the financing for which was secured by several public houses. Edward Jackman assisted a high-net-worth landowner with a promotion agreement for a mixed-use development site of over 200 acres. Alan Goulding also specialises in strategic land transactions. Legal director Charlotte Barrett provides ongoing portfolio management advice to a LSE-listed company with over 200 properties under management. Associate Iain Mason is instructed by landowners and developers to handle various property aspects of renewables schemes.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP handles a range of contentious and non-contentious construction matters for a range of project participants, including student accommodation developers, utilities providers, and constructors and sub-contractors. Steve McCombe is acting for a commercial property group  in a £1m dispute arising from defective works in a mixed-use development in central London. McCombe is also defending a sub-contractor in a dispute with a major house builder concerning alleged defects in various completed houses. Associate Natalia Sokolov advises Fusion Student on a host of construction matters in relation to its ongoing student accommodation developments. Eric Livingston is another key figure in the department. Additional clients include Truespeed Communications, AFL Services Europe and Braintree Properties.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 4

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP has particular experience with environmental matters in the energy, waste and agricultural sectors. Of particular note, department head Alex Madden acted for PB Gelatins UK in negotiations with Natural Resources Wales in relation to a pollution incident on the River Taff. Additionally, Madden is representing a landowner in an investigation by the Environment Agency regarding water discharge activities. The team also advised WZ Packaging on an alleged environmental permitting regulations offence and continues to act for the client in relation to potential claims brought by the local authority. In the non-contentious space, the group regularly handles environmental due diligence projects and advises on the environmental aspects of planning permits. Associate Matt Gilks joined from Dutton Gregory LLP.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 4

Thrings LLP

The planning team at Thrings LLP¬†provides landowners and residential developers with ‚Äėa safe pair of hands‚Äô in contentious and non-contentious planning matters. Alex Madden, who heads the planning team, acted for Cotswold Homes in connection with its contested planning permission for a residential development in South Gloucestershire. Acting alongside the Southampton team, Madden also advised the majority of landowners in relation to Pennyfeathers Property Company‚Äôs proposed mixed-use development on the Isle of Wight. Further, the team acted for a third party objector in judicial review proceedings concerning a new planning permission for a residential development in a conservation area. The department has also taken on a number of new lawyers including Matt Gilks, who joined from Dutton Gregory LLP.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP

Split across the firm’s Swindon and Bristol offices, the property litigation department at Thrings LLP is regularly instructed by corporate occupiers and agricultural landlords in contentious lease matters and also handles strategic property portfolio management. Warren Reid is advising a prominent estate agent concerning contentious property issues across its portfolio of around 1,400 properties. Michael Tatters has assisted corporate retailers and consumer product companies with contested lease renewals. Further, Gemma Featonby advised a regional holiday park on residential property management issues including service charge disputes, arrears and breach of lease agreements. Featonby also has experience in collective enfranchisement mandates. Key clients include BAM Nuttall, Matchesfashion.com and Countrywide Estate Agents.

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South West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP¬†advises mid-size technology suppliers on contentious and non-contentious technology matters such as customer contract drafting, negotiations and disputes. It also advises users on IT procurement. Recent highlights include advising Truespeed Communications in relation to investment for its rural broadband network, this matter involved facility agreements, security documents, assistance with lender due diligence and compliance issues and is worth ¬£75m. Other clients include Cognito iQ, CybSafe, Bonsai Tiger, Altus, Teleperformance, Excalibur, Benefex and National Friendly. Kate Westbrook¬†heads the team and¬†has ‚Äėa great understanding of the IT and telecoms sector‚Äô. Brett Lambe¬†deals with technology-related commercial, M&A and investment work. Mary Chant¬†joined as partner in June 2017 from¬†Blake Morgan LLP. Andy Braithwaite¬† joined Ashfords LLP¬†in April 2017.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

Thrings LLP

‚ÄėHelpful and competent‚Äô Thrings LLP¬†deals with the full range of contentious and non-contentious IP issues such as applications, registrations, licenses, franchises, distribution arrangements and enforcements. It focuses on the key sectors of digital, media, retail, leisure, food and beverages, aerospace and defence. Recent highlights include acting for Lovehoney in relation to its multijurisdictional IP portfolio and IP registration and enforcement. Another highlight includes advising Kenro on product development and protection of their trade mark registrations. A further highlight includes advising Vision3 on negotaitions for option agreements in relation to its 3D effects and virtual reality/augmented reality products. Graeme Fearon¬†heads the team supported by partner Megan Jefferies¬†.¬†Andy Braithwaite¬†joined Ashfords LLP. Other clients include Dancerace, Kinetik Medical Devices, Studio Nicholson, Taxi Studio and Multivac UK.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP advises on advertising regulation and compliance, content distribution, delivery platforms, digital design, finance, insurance, programme formats, registering and enforcing intellectual property rights, clearance and exploitation, licenses, and TV and film production. Graeme Fearon heads the team.

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