The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Debenhams Ottaway

Work 01727 837161
Fax 01727 830506
Radlett, St Albans

South East: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 3

Debenhams Ottaway

Debenhams Ottaway's corporate work in the St Albans' office focuses on mergers and acquisitions, shareholder and investment agreements, joint ventures and share schemes. The team advises SMEs, larger corporate businesses, banks and a number of high-profile organisations and has particularly strong experience in the healthcare, charity and recruitment sectors. Louise Attrup heads the business services team, of which the corporate sub-team, led by senior associate Andrew Yates, is part.

Practice head(s):Louise Attrup

Other key lawyers:Andrew Yates


'Team members are commercial, approachable and easy to deal with'.

'They are always very clear in their position with sound and commercial justifications'.

'We regularly refer matters to Andrew Yates when we are in a position of conflict and have no hesitation in recommending him to colleagues, clients or personally'.

'They are a local firm that provide sound UK-based legal advice to our UK businesses'.

'We are able to get a quick response to our advice needs'.



Key Clients

Jeeves Holdings Ltd

Veruth Holdings Limited

Indigozest Limited

Europa Components & Equipment PLC

Work highlights

  • Acting for the buyer of the share capital of a limited company operating a care home business, together with the property from which the business is operated.
  • Advising on the investment agreement for an investment in a start-up business.
  • Acting for the purchaser of the business and assets of a competitor.
  • Advising the client on its incorporation under the relevant provisions of the Charities Act 2011.
  • Handling the share sale of a company operating a pharmacy business.
Rising stars

Andrew Yates - Debenhams Ottaway

[back to top]

South East: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 2

Debenhams Ottaway

Debenhams Ottaway’s team has strong expertise in contentious insolvency, professional negligence and IP disputes. Cases from the technology and construction areas are on the rise. The practice is headed by insolvency expert Luke Harrison. Juliet Schalker is the name to note for professional negligence work, while senior associate Rosie Patterson is recommended for her experience in patent disputes, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry.

Practice head(s):Luke Harrison

Other key lawyers:Juliet Schalker; Rosie Patterson

Key Clients

Pret a Manger

Fairgate Development Ltd

Grant Thornton

Griffins Insolvency Practitioners

Moore Stephens LLP

The Chartered Institute of Marketing

F&M Investments Ltd

Menzies LLP

Valentine & Co

Scheidt & Bachmann

Portas Agency Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted client with the defence of a £1.7m claim for damages arising from alleged wrongful termination of a project manager’s contract on a North London development.
  • Assisting client with the defence of a claim by an  investment group relating to investments by two of its VCTs.
  • Assisting one of the big 6 accountancy practices in an office holder claim against a cosmetics distributor for £1.22m arising out of transactions at an undervalue.

  • Assisting client with two streams of litigation arising out of the administration of NJM Clothing.
  • Acting for husband and wife migrants in a defamation and harassment claim against three National press groups following the publication of more than 25 untrue and inaccurate articles in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Rising stars

Rosie Patterson - Debenhams Ottaway

[back to top]

South East: Human resources

Employment: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Employment: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 2

Debenhams Ottaway

Debenhams Ottaway’s employment team assists corporate, owner-managed and family businesses and SMEs with the gamut of employment law-related matters, including disciplinary and grievance issues, redundancy and restructuring, Employment Tribunal representation, settlement agreements and restrictive covenants. The practice also advises individuals, particularly at the senior/board level, and works with a number of independent schools, care homes and charities in the Hertfordshire and north London area. Louise Attrup is practice head and associate Michael Kerrigan is another name to note.

Practice head(s):Louise Attrup

Other key lawyers:Michael Kerrigan

Key Clients

Brook Street

Work highlights

  • Assisting a major recruitment business with a claim for race discrimination, whistle blowing and unfair dismissal.
  • Appled for an emergency injunction on behalf of a client to prevent the misuse of confidential information by an ex-employee.
  • Acting for a marketing services company in defending claims of unfair dismissal.
  • Acting for a client defending claims of sex discrimination, unfair dismissal and maternity-related discrimination made by an ex-employee.
  • Advising a claimant on claims for age and sex discrimination and constructive dismissal.
Rising stars

Michael Kerrigan - Debenhams Ottaway

[back to top]

South East: Insurance

Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 3

Debenhams Ottaway

The personal injury team at Debenhams Ottaway has a strong focus on work-related accidents such as slip, trips and falls, and also has experience handling liability claims which range from low to medium value. Team leader Howard Kent has extensive experience in areas such as complex injuries arising from accidents in the workplace, including cases that feature chronic pain and spinal injuries.

Practice head(s):Howard Kent; Luke Harrison

Work highlights

  • Acting for a client in work related injury.
  • Managing a claim for construction worker seriously injured at work.
  • Acting for a claimant who sustained physical and psychiatric injuries as a result of injury caused by equipment in the workplace.

[back to top]

South East: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 2

Debenhams Ottaway

Debenhams Ottaway's integrated, multi-disciplinary team of trusts, company, employment and property law specialists advise a mix of local and national organisations such as the St Alban’s Citizen Advice Bureau and the International Society for Krishan Consciousness (Hare Krishna). Nicholas Turner advises charitable organisations on all aspects of their operations and is particularly experienced in formations, trustee issues, altering trusts and advising on Charity Commission schemes. Commercial property lawyers Ruth Boulton and Jonathan Foy are also of note, as is associate James Brawn.

Practice head(s):Nicholas Turner, Ruth Boulton, Jonathan Foy

Other key lawyers:James Brawn

Key Clients

Hubbard Will Trust

Pavyer Trust

[back to top]

Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 1

Debenhams Ottaway

Debenhams Ottaway’s family department offers a fully-integrated services to high-net-worth clients, working in close connections with the private wealth, commercial, property and employment teams. The practice specialises in all aspects of family law, including complex financial cases and representation in divorce proceedings, nuptial agreements as well as children cases involving separating couples and often with international elements. Practice head Helen Young and associate Natalie Lester are recommended.

Practice head(s):Helen Young

Other key lawyers:Natalie Lester


'Every person I dealt with was friendly and helpful'.

'Friendly, accessible and very knowledgeable'.

'The family team is professional and dynamic'.

'The family team is one of the strongest outside London and holds its own in all cases'.

'Helen Young leads a very good team'.

'Helen Young is perfectly at ease dealing with multi-million pound cases, against specialist central London firms. She offers reassuring, practical and measured advice'.

'Natalie Lester is sensitive and caring'.

Work highlights

  • Prenuptial agreement with significant disparity between the wealth of the parties.
  • Financial case with international issues.
  • Variation of final financial order relating to sale/transfer of property.
  • Financial proceedings following overseas divorce.
  • Financial proceedings with issues relating to non disclosure and hiding assets.
Leading individuals

Helen Young - Debenhams Ottaway

Rising stars

Natalie Lester - Debenhams Ottaway

[back to top]

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 1

Debenhams Ottaway

The private client department at Debenhams Ottaway assists clients with inheritance tax and estate planning, setting up and administering trusts and probate and estate administration. The team is also experienced in life planning advice, including lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection and professional deputy services, and elderly care including the protection of vulnerable adults. The client base is made up of generations of wealthy families, as well as young professionals, celebrities, entrepreneurs and business owners. Managing partner Susan Glenholme heads the practice. Claire Sharp, Nicholas Turner and senior lawyer Rachel Hyndman are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):Susan Glenholme

Other key lawyers:Claire Sharp; Nicholas Turner; Rachel Hyndman

Leading individuals

Nicholas Turner - Debenhams Ottaway

Susan Glenholme - Debenhams Ottaway

[back to top]

South East: Real estate

Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 2

Debenhams Ottaway

Debenhams Ottaway is well versed is a wide range of real estate matters, including landlord and tenant work, property development, sales and purchases of owner-occupied and investment properties and secured lending. The practice has specific expertise in the ecclesiastical, charity, banking and hospitality sectors, as well as in working with local councils. Ruth Boulton from the Radlett office and St Albans-based Jonathan Foy jointly head the practice. Senior associate Neil Mercer is another name to note.

Practice head(s):Ruth Boulton; Jonathan Foy

Other key lawyers:Neil Mercer

Key Clients

CVR Global

High net worth individuals based in North London

Berry Recruitment Group

Brighton Limited / Finding Fabulous LLP

New Era Fuels Limited

Spiritland Limited

Acorn Braintree Limited

Aitchison Rafferty Group

Crohn's and Colitis UK – a registered charity in England & Wales

McGowan Group

Amoriono Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Brighton Limited / Finding Fabulous LLP on the on-shoring of a high value portfolio of properties held in a number of trusts and offshore companies.
  • Assisted the joint liquidators with the sale of residential freehold properties.
  • Assisted the purchaser of a high-value residential property which involved a complex title, deeds of covenant and stamp duty issues.
  • Acted for Berry Recruitment Group on a number of property matters.
  • Handled the relocation of the head office for New Era Fuels Limited.
Leading individuals

Ruth Boulton - Debenhams Ottaway

Rising stars

Neil Mercer - Debenhams Ottaway

[back to top]

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to