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VWV

NARROW QUAY HOUSE, NARROW QUAY, BRISTOL, BS1 4QA, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0117 925 2020
Fax:
Fax 0117 925 2025
DX:
7831 BRISTOL
Email:
Web:
www.vwv.co.uk

South West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Bristol
Corporate and commercial: Bristol - ranked: tier 3

VWV

VWV has a strong presence in the South West region, and its corporate team regularly advises local owner-managed businesses, entrepreneurs and family-run companies. In addition to providing day-to-day advice, the commercial group advises clients on long-term contracts. Both the corporate and commercial practices are heavily involved in the education and technology sectors; the latter sector, in particular, is a notable area of growth, with a number of start-ups and scale-ups turning to the firm for advice. Robert Collier, who heads up the corporate team, has extensive experience of the M&A and venture capital market. Commercial group head Doug Locke works closely with the intellectual property and technology teams. senior associate Jacob Scott, who is a recent hire, is a specialist in IT commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):Robert Collier; Doug Locke

Other key lawyers:Ed Rimmell; Nathan Guest

Testimonials

'Team are very experienced in working with early stage companies in the life science sector, and clearly demonstrated this'

'The firm has a lot of connections which speeds up negotiations processes'

'Support was always available and the team were very helpful'

'I was particularly impressed by the guidance they offered, and what was important to the company's future'

'We've seen them a fair bit more in the market recently'

Key Clients

Bellevue Education

Port of Ramsgate

Essilor International

ULC Robotics

University of Bristol

Hills Waste Solutions

Starpick

KETS Quantum Security Limited

SWR

United Learning

enModus

Inovo Robotics

Work highlights

  • Advised the Port of Ramsgate on its commercial arrangements with Seaborne Freight (UK) Limited and the Department of Transport in relation to the establishment of a new scheduled freight ferry service.
  • Represented the shareholders of Bellevue Education International Limited in relation to the multi-million pound sale of the company to GEMS.
  • Acted for United Church Schools Trust on the sale of Bournemouth Collegiate to Bright Scholar.
  • Acted for Inovo Robotics Limited on a substantial venture capital investment by the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund.
  • Advising Hill Waste Solutions Limited on the development of an 'Energy from Waste' facility adjacent to a preexisting client waste facility.

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 3

VWV

VWV is increasingly instructed in matters with an international aspect and a significant portion of its work involves acting for non-UK domiciled individuals with business interests in the UK. It also advises clients in the charities and education sectors. Emma Bradley leads the team, whose expertise includes high-value SDLT and VAT planning, HMRC disputes and cross-border tax structuring. The group works closely with practitioners in various other areas - such as corporate, real estate, employment and private client - to advise clients on a broad cross-section of tax issues.

Practice head(s):Emma Bradley

Key Clients

Morgan Lloyd Administration Limited

Bellevue Education Group

Magmatic Limited t/a Trunki

enModus

University of Bristol

Work highlights

  • Advised The United Church Schools Trust/The United Church Schools Foundation on VAT issues with the result of  achieving a tax saving.
  • Assisted the owner of Daneshill School with the tax aspects of the sale of the school to the Duke of Wellington Estate
  • Provided cross-border tax advice to a foreign legal firm, specifically in relation to UK stamp duty.
  • Represented an international executive in a high-value income tax dispute.
  • Successfully defended a client from an HMRC enquiry.

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South West: Crime, fraud and licensing

Licensing
Licensing - ranked: tier 2

VWV

VWV assists with the application of licensing permitting the sale of alcohol and the running of restaurants, cafés, bars and pubs. The firm also advises on private and public venue hire and is experienced in representing clients in prosecutions arising from the alleged breach of licensing regulations. Other areas of expertise include gaming and gambling laws as well as legal requirements relating to events that involve different age groups.

Practice head(s):Jason Prosser

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South West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Bristol
Commercial litigation: Bristol - ranked: tier 3

VWV

VWV provides litigation support in relation to general corporate and commercial disputes, and is particularly active in procurement, energy and utilities, charities and healthcare matters. Its excellent reputation ensures that it generates work from regional and national clients. Ed Husband, who leads the UK team from the Bristol office, has particular expertise in disputes related to financial distress and business breakdown.

Practice head(s):Ed Husband

Other key lawyers:Ben Holt; Nick Martindale

Testimonials

'VWV have a great team working ethos, working together collaboratively especially well. They have a vast range of knowledge and specialists which means you can get insight and advice quickly. They are approachable, friendly and understand that sometimes advice needs to be given in an understandable way to non-legal professionals'

'We have worked with other firms and found VWV to be much better'

'The team has a broad range of experiences across practice areas, allowing them to draw upon these in complex commercial cases; for example those including company, property or trust law issues'

'I have found them to be extremely good with clients, ensuring that the right advice is given in a measured and supportive way. They are also excellent at handling difficult opponents'

'Ben Holt is strong on commercial litigation when in need of a claim. Ben has been the voice of reason when dealing with issues we felt had the potential to impact our reputation'

'Ben is intuitive about what a commercial company should and shouldn't be doing when having to manage a crisis or issues where the law can support'

'Ben Holt is a superb partner, he keeps abreast of the detail, whilst ensuring that the overarching strategy is implemented efficiently. He is not afraid to tackle the knotty issues which crop up in litigation and has a wonderful manner with clients'

'Sarah Perry managed difficult opponents and a tight litigation timetable skillfully and calmly'

Key Clients

EDF Energy

Certsure LLP

Merthyr (South Wales) Limited

The Department of Education Sport and Culture (Isle of Man)

Corona Energy

The Bar Council

Brandon Hire

Begbies Traynor

Reading Borough Council

University of Greenwich

Work highlights

  • Acted for Merthyr / Gwent Investments Limited / Gwent Investments Limited in a number of disputes, including injunctive proceedings, arbitration proceedings over production-related rent and alleged wrongful termination of a haulage contract.
  • Acted for University of South Wales in an appeal against accreditation decisions.
  • Advising University of Greenwich (UoG) on a number of reputation management issues arising from data breach incidents, which have been highly-publicised.
  • Acting for a local authority in a professional negligence claim.
  • Acting for a major office fruit supplier, pursuing claim for supply of goods and defending a counterclaim for alleged unlawful termination.

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 2

VWV

VWV is particularly well-known for representing clients in the energy and utilities sector in debt recovery matters; its track record dates back more than 30 years. In addition, the firm acts for administrators and liquidators, as well as companies entering insolvency. The education sector is another driver of work. The key name in Bristol is Ed Husband, who works closely with the Birmingham office. Husband is active in financial distress disputes, business breakdown and insolvency, and also energy sector debt recovery.

Practice head(s):Ed Husband

Key Clients

Handicare Accessibility Limited

The Bar Council

EDF Energy Customers Plc - since 2010

Kingston Smith & Partners LLP

1stClaims Limited

Phoenix Commercial Catering Equipment Limited

Rothdean Limited

Severn River Crossing Plc

The Health & Safety Group Limited

FastTrack Management Services Limited

Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP

Porcelanosa North West Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the liquidators of Officeserve Technologies Limited in recovering significant sums paid out to multiple third parties.
  • Instructed to resolve a historic dispute between the client and a debtor.
  • Represented a client in a dispute over unpaid electricity and gas invoices.
  • Assisting a client with various cases where customers are refusing to pay or have entered a formal insolvency process.

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South West: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

VWV

At VWV, the banking and finance team's strong transactional capabilities are evidenced by its work for clients in sectors such as education, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, life sciences and the public sector. Robert Collier, who leads the practice, is equally strong in mandates from banks and borrowers. Another key figure is real estate lawyer Steven McGuigan, who has extensive expertise in secured lending matters.

Practice head(s):Robert Collier

Other key lawyers:Steven McGuigan

Key Clients

Santander UK

Lloyds Bank

Royal Bank of Scotland

Allied Irish Banks

HSBC Bank

Handelsbanken

Homes England

Work highlights

  • Handling refinance issues for Volunteering Matters.
  • Acted for Barclays Bank in relation to a £5m refinancing package of a care home group.
  • Advised Homes England on a £4m residential development loan to a housebuilder.

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 2

VWV

At VWV,¬†insolvency litigation¬†is a cornerstone of the practice, with the team acting both for and against office holders.¬†Other work includes advising a number of energy suppliers on supply chain insolvency issues, as well as handling restructurings in the charity and education sector.¬†The team is led by the ‚Äėcalm but firm‚Äô Ed Husband, who has specialised in insolvency and restructuring work for 20 years. Associate Kelly Johnson¬†is ‚Äėdiligent and attentive to detail‚Äô.

Practice head(s):Ed Husband

Other key lawyers:Kelly Johnson

Testimonials

The team is always capable of dealing with anything we throw at them, grasping the fundamental problems and providing practical solutions and support

Extremely approachable and professional at all times

While the team is deservedly considered one of the leading firms in the South West for insolvency and restructuring work, but it also has a distinct national presence

Both friendly, approachable and highly determined to bring clients the right result, Ed Husband and Kelly Johnson make a brilliant team that provides excellent advice and support

Key Clients

Begbies Traynor

Smith & Williamson

Mazars

RSM

KPMG

Bibby

EDF Energy

Grant Thornton

Moore Stephens

CVR Global

Work highlights

  • Acted for the liquidators of Officeservce Technologies (OTL) and Officeserve Direct (ODL) on successfully concluding claims against the directors of ODL and OTL for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and misfeasance.
  • Advised the administrators of Humberts on all matters relating to the administration of a high-profile estate agents, headquartered in Berkeley Square in Mayfair.
  • Advised the trustees on multiple claims arising from the bankruptcy of a partner of a former law partnership.
  • Assisted the directors and proposed administrators on all aspects of Resourceful Earth's administration, a company which operated a waste-to-energy facility.
  • Advising the administrators of Blackdown Hills Enterprises on the administration of the company which operated a commercial poultry farm.
Rising stars

Kelly Johnson - VWV

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South West: Human resources

Employment: Bristol
Employment: Bristol - ranked: tier 2

VWV

The VWV employment practice has a strong profile nationally acting for commercial, charities, education and public sector clients. The firm is highly reputed for advisory work, and it is also equally adept in representing clients in complex Employment Tribunal claims. Within the education sector, the employment team acts for numerous independent schools and academies in contentious and advisory matters. Gareth Edwards is knowledgeable about discrimination law and freedom of information uses, and he is also experienced in advising clients on industrial relations, executive severances and TUPE and outsourcing issues.

Practice head(s):Gareth Edwards

Other key lawyers:Simon Bevan

Testimonials

'The team has wide experience and excellent subject knowledge and is at the forefront of employment law practice for charities and independent schools'

'Simon Bevan is an outstanding partner for employment law matters. His advice is always sound but is also balanced by a good understanding of the practical issues and the operational requirements of his clients'

Key Clients

CBRE Limted

CBRE Global Investors Limited

British Library

Bristol Old Vic Theatre

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

South Gloucestershire Council

Clifton College

REAch2 Academy Trust

Rugby School

University of Bristol

Loughborough Endowed Schools

Eton College

Dorset County Council - the Shadow Dorset Authority

Bournemouth Borough Council

Millfield

Redmaids High School

Cheltenham Ladies College

Work highlights

  • Providing advice to CBRE on the full range of employment law issues, including grievances and senior manager exits.
  • Defended The Harpur Trust in Court of Appeal litigation relating to holiday pay and entitlement for term-time only workers.
  • Defended Haberdasher's Monmouth Schools in Court of Appeal litigation relating to time limits for lodging proceedings.
  • Undertake a wide range of employment advisory work for Cheltenham Ladies College, including strategic support with gender pay gap reporting.
  • Ongoing advice to Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service on the full range of employment law issues, including managing grievance, sickness absence, capability and disciplinary matters.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 3

VWV

VWV advises clients on health and safety compliance and critical incident management, as well as the impact of breaches on governance, reporting obligations and liabilities. In addition to providing standalone health and safety advice, its team also plays a key corporate support role. In the contentious space, the team advises clients on investigations and enforcement actions by the Health and Safety Executive. Key areas of sector expertise include education, healthcare and charities. Tabitha Cave is the head of the regulatory compliance team.

Practice head(s):Tabitha Cave

Work highlights

  • Advice to various clients on the investigation and management of abuse allegations and involvement in the Independent Inquiry into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
  • Provide specialist advice to independent schools and academies on first aid and wider medical care obligations and a school's equality duties.
  • Advised an academy client on regulatory action by the HSE following an accident involving a student during a sports session.
  • The firm advised an internationally renowned, botanical research and education institution on health and safety and liability issues surrounding a significant project, involving a circular treetop walkway.
  • Advised a client on health and safety considerations associated with the provision of teleradiology services, from its prospective UK-based health and wellness centre.

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Immigration
Immigration - ranked: tier 2

VWV

VWV's immigration practice operates at a national level, but also maintains a strong market presence in Bristol. Its sector coverage spans a wide range of areas, with a particular emphasis on issues concerning independent schools, higher education institutions and technology companies. One specialism involves assisting independent schools with regulatory compliance audits and handling threatened actions arising from alleged breaches of Tier 4 sponsor guidance. The team works closely with the employment team on migrant worker issues, and acts alongside the corporate group on restructurings and reorganisations. Associate Judith Hockin is the key name in Bristol.

Practice head(s):Tom Brett Young

Other key lawyers:Judith Hockin

Work highlights

  • Advised an independent school threatened with the revocation of its Tier 2, 4 and 5 sponsor licence.
  • Assisted a client with a successful application for a Tier 2 sponsor licence.
  • Assisted a client with proving that his mother, a Canadian citizen, had been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain status.
  • Carried out a review of a client's compliance with Tier 4 rules, and subsequently assisted with updating processes and policies.
  • Advised members of staff from several universities on the EU Settlement Scheme and alternative immigration options

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South West: Insurance

Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 1

VWV

VWV has expertise in brain, upper limb, spinal and multiple orthopaedic injury as well as amputation claims. The firm also assists with cross-border accident claims. Another area of expertise are injuries sustained in road traffic accidents. The practice equally advises on claims relating to suicides and psychiatric diseases. The team is experienced in assisting with the obtainment of funds for accommodation and rehabilitation costs. The team is headed up ‚Äėthe very experienced and conscientious‚Äô Jan Markland, who deals with fatal accident claims.

Practice head(s):Jan Markland

Other key lawyers:Dan Thompson

Testimonials

The firm is impressive, skilled, empathetic and transparent.

Senior associate Dan Thompson accomodates diseases in the most empathetic way.

Work highlights

  • Advising on a £250k claim arising from a fall from a scaffold.
  • Advising on a £3m claim arising from injuries caused by an car traffic accident abroad.
  • Representing an NHS consultant who sustained a serious brain injury in a RTC.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

VWV

VWV advises banks and financial institutions on professional negligence claims against solicitors, surveyors and valuers. The firm is also experienced in assisting both private claimants and defendants on corporate, charity, insolvency and real estate claims. The practice advises on insolvency litigations arising from professional negligence of solicitors, tax advisers and accountants. Another area of expertise is the handling of intellectual property infringement claims.

Practice head(s):Ed Husband

Key Clients

Platform Funding

Cheltenham Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Platform Funding on a professional negligence claim against its former solicitors in relation to a fraudulent sale and leaseback scheme.
  • Acted for Platform Funding in a claim against a firm of valuers.
  • Advising a local council on a claim arising from negligent legal advice provided by solicitors in relation to a real estate development site.
  • Defending a claim in relation to purported investment advice.
  • Defending a claim in relation to tax impacts ignored.

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South West: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 1

VWV

VWV specialises in advising healthcare, arts and educational charities. The firm regularly advises on structural reviews, commercial projects, use of trading subsidiaries as well as on governance and fundraising issues. Other areas of expertise include advice on employment law, tax planning, construction and financing matters. The ‚Äėcalm, reflective and well-reasoned‚Äô practice head Con Alexander gives ‚Äėhelpful advice‚Äô when acting for charities, academics, schools and universities on transactions, endowment funds, fundraising, mergers, and the restructuring of subsidiaries. Senior associate Rachel Tonkin assists with charity tribunal proceedings and cross-border transfers of charitable assets. Senior associate Laura Chesham has expertise in the registration and incorporation of charities.

Practice head(s):Con Alexander

Other key lawyers:Barney Northover; Rachel Tonkin; Laura Chesham

Testimonials

'VWV has a very wide and deep charity practice, which possesses an excellent network and a good understanding of current legal and operational issues'

'Barney Northover’s understanding of the sector and particularly of charitable schools is second to none'

Key Clients

Soil Association

Diocese of Truro

Harpur Trust

Wallace & Gromit's Children's Foundation

Institute of Cancer Research

National Star Foundation

Society and College Radiographers

Malvern Hills Trust

University of Law

Royal Academy of Music

London Southbank University

St Peter’s Hospice

Bristol Old Vic

James Tudor Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advised Harry Crook Foundation on making a £1m grant to Bristol Cathedral.
  • Established The National House Project, a charitable incorporated organisation to support young people leaving the public care system.
  • Advised Abbotsholme School on its acquisition by a commercial third party.
  • Advised Bancroft Clark Charitable Trust on a grant funding arrangement with the Alfred Gillett Trust.
  • Advised an educational charity on a governance dispute.
Leading individuals
Rising stars

Laura Chesham - VWV

Rachel Tonkin - VWV

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

VWV

VWV has expertise in lifetime transaction disputes, disputes regarding the legal and financial duties of executors and trustees, and professional negligence claims in respect to will drafting. The firm’s client base includes high-net-worth individuals and business clients, wealthy families, charities and celebrities. The practice is led by Michelle Rose, who 'consistently searches for new ways to lead the legal battle', while senior associate Fiona Lawrence has experience of cross-border probate and trust litigation.

Practice head(s):Michelle Rose

Other key lawyers:Marianne Nankervis; Fiona Lawrence; Sally Rushton; Julia Hardy

Testimonials

'Enquiries are answered promptly and efficiently without the client being left in the dark'

'VWV is a market leader and competes on even terms with major London players in the marketplace'

'The firm is characterised by doggedness and efficiency'

'Michelle Rose is knowledgeable, competent and expresses a profound understanding towards financial and emotional hardships of the clients. She is also ready to make brave financial decisions in support of the client’s ends'

'Michelle Rose swiftly grabs any chance to turn the table in favour of the client and leads to a brilliant result of settlement'

Fiona Lawrence is able to run large high-value estate claims across multiple jurisdictions, which usually end in a very advantageous settlement in favour of the client'

Work highlights

  • Acting as court-appointed independent administrator in estates disputes.
  • Representing claimant in Inheritance Act claim against her late partner’s estate.
  • Representing in a will challenge on the basis of undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity.
  • Representing court-appointed deputy in High Court proceedings involving a £12m unlawful share transfer.
  • Representing in a claim against the client’s late husband’s estate under the Inheritance Act 1975.
Leading individuals
Rising stars

Fiona Lawrence - VWV

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 2

VWV

VWV provides legal advice on legal aspects of family breakdown and divorce proceedings, which covers assistance with financial settlements, unmarried family disputes, separation planning and wealth structuring. Other aspects include cross-border relocation issues, child support agreements, cohabitation claims and Court of Protection proceedings. The firm seeks settlements both within and outside court hearings. Practice head Samantha Hickman is especially active in matrimonial and cohabitation disputes, as well as on disputes involving children.

Practice head(s):Michelle Rose; Samantha Hickman

Work highlights

  • Advised on an application to vary the terms of a periodical payments order.
  • Advised on a leave to remove application and international child arrangements.
  • Advised on divorce and financial remedy proceedings.
  • Provided cohabitation advice.
  • Advised on the enforceability of pre-nuptial agreements.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

VWV

VWV advises on estates and trusts with issues involving inheritance tax, capital gains tax and stamp duty land tax, which also includes assistance with the claiming of any tax relief available. The firm also advises on the creation of lifetime trusts and provides advice to trustees and existing trust administrators on exercising their duties. The team regularly acts as estate administrator. Clients include high-net-worth individuals, charities and business clients.

Practice head(s):Michelle Rose; Mary McCrorie

Work highlights

  • Acting as administrators of a £9m estate with residue left to charity
  • Setting up a personal injury trust

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South West: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 4

VWV

The energy and utilities team at VWV includes energy disputes specialist Ed Husband and planning and infrastructure expert David Bird, who advises clients on new pipelines and the enforcement of rights in relation to existing pipelines. Jason Prosser leads the group, whose expertise includes energy plants, combined heat and power plants, commercial biomass installations, district heating systems, wind farms, solar farms and energy performance contracting. Commercial partner Edward Rimmell is another key figure.

Practice head(s):Jason Prosser

Other key lawyers:Ed Husband; Edward Rimmell; David Bird

Key Clients

EDF Energy Customers

Hills Waste Solutions

ULC Robotics

United Gas & Power

Valero Energy

CLH Pipeline System

Wessex Water

Work highlights

  • Represented EDF Energy Customers in a reported case concerning recovery of liquidated damages from a supplier who failed to provide energy-saving measures promised under the Energy Company Obligation scheme.
  • Advising Hills Waste Solutions on the development of an energy-from-waste facility adjacent to its existing waste treatment facility.
  • Advising ULC Robotics International on the terms of high-value contracts with two of the UK's largest gas network operators.
  • Advised United Gas & Power on the development of its terms and conditions of gas and electricity supply, together with associated regulatory advice.

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Project finance and PFI
Project finance and PFI - ranked: tier 2

VWV

The projects group at VWV¬†handles projects in the fields of education, construction, energy, waste management, local government, grant funding and procurement.¬†The team‚Äôs growing client base includes charities and local authorities, schools and¬†higher education¬†institutions, as well as private sector organisations.¬†A noteworthy aspect of the team‚Äôs recent work is its increasing prominence in state aid work, particularly in relation to advice on EU and UK project funding schemes. The ‚Äėreliable‚Äô Stephanie Rickard¬†heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):Stephanie Rickard

Testimonials

'A team of highly focused, professional and efficient lawyers'

'VWV has a very wide breadth of relevant experience and knowledge of the area'

'The team has a broad range of experience and is able to field practitioners in the specialist areas of law which some clients need, such as UK and EU law'

Contracts prepared by the team are well drafted and understandable

 

Key Clients

West of England Combined Authority

Cabot Learning Federation

Harris Federation

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Airbus Operations

University of Bristol

Hills Waste Solutions

National Composites Centre

University of Exeter

University of Hull

Thanet District Council

University of Bath

Dorset County Council

Surrey Heath Borough Council

Fareham Borough Council

REAch2 Academy Trust

Bath Spa University

Work highlights

  • Acting for Dorset County Council on a £40m procurement process for a development partner(s) to build and operate a care home and to provide social housing.
  • Representing Port of Ramsgate (Thanet District Council) during negotiations with the Department of Transport and a new entrant for the operation of a new cross-channel scheduled freight ferry service.
  • Providing ongoing legal support to National Composites Centre in connection with capital projects, including the £36.7m iCAP programme aiming to deliver new technologies for composite manufacture.
  • Advising the University of Bristol on the professional appointments for the design and planning team for its new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus.
  • Advising Hills Waste Solutions on the development of an energy-from-waste facility adjacent to its existing waste treatment facility.

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South West: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 1

VWV

VWV¬†is a ‚Äėone-stop shop‚Äô for further and higher education institutions, independent schools, academies, academy trusts and maintained schools. Its team has niche expertise in charity law, governance, regulatory compliance, safeguarding, procurement, state aid and immigration. Barney Northover, who provides ‚Äėvaluable and highly competent support‚Äô, advises independent schools on charity law, M&A and strategic reviews.

Practice head(s):Bettina Rigg; Emma-Jane Dalley; Barney Northover; Chloe Brunton

Testimonials

'All members of the team are highly reliable and very quick to respond'

'The advice on employment law and school policy drafting has been exemplary'

'Sensitive matters were handled well in a clear and timely manner'

'The firm's rates are very reasonable, while the partners are very direct and pragmatic'

Key Clients

Bath Spa University

Bournemouth University

London School of Economics and Political Science

London South Bank University

Norland College

Oxford Brookes University

Royal Academy of Music

University of Bath

University of Bristol

University of Exeter

University of Greenwich

University of Law

University of South Wales

Work highlights

  • Advising a London-based university on the disposal of a £30m landholding by the university.
  • Providing ongoing legal support to the National Composites Centre for the running and expansion of the NCC.
  • Advising a university on the disposal of a significant landholding.
  • Advising Clifton College on a full scope of operational issues.
  • Advised Gatehouse Green Learning Trust on the conversion of a single academy to multi-academy trust status, the conversion of four co-operative schools and ancillary matters.
Leading individuals

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Health
Health - ranked: tier 2

VWV

The healthcare group at VWV focuses on acting for GP practices, for whom it advises on all types of partnership arrangements, acquisitions and disposals, leases, employment and health and safety issues, and partnership disputes. It also generates work from other clients, including dentists, vets and pharmacists. Ben Willis specialises in healthcare development work and funding. Willis jointly heads up the practice with the 'very knowledgeable and pleasant' Oliver Pool, who focuses on GP partnerships and mergers.

Practice head(s):Ben Willis; Oliver Pool

Testimonials

'Highly competent experts in the healthcare sector'

'The team is very good in handling NHS matters for clients'

'Each partner makes a client feel like a priority'

Key Clients

Trowbridge Health Centre Partnership

32 GP practices across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire

Platinum Health

The Lewisham Care Partnership

Mendip Vale Medical Group/ Mendip Batch Medical

Clark Avenue Surgery

East Norfolk Medical Practice

Work highlights

  • Acting for two GP practices in their development of a new purpose-built surgery.
  • Acting for 32 GP practices in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire on new leases with NHS Property Services Ltd.
  • Acting for Platinum Health on the large merger of nine GP practices in Cheshunt.
  • Acted on the merger of five GP practices to form one super-partnership called The Lewisham Care Partnership.
  • Assisting Clark Avenue Surgery with the drawing up of a new partnership agreement.
Leading individuals

Ben Willis - VWV

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 3

VWV

VWV's clients, which include local authorities and the emergency services, turn to the firm for advice on particularly complex issues, such as governance reviews, disputes, Code of Conduct complaints and constitutional matters. In addition, the firm is sought out to advise on projects, employment and real estate matters. Also notable is that it has had a longstanding role running and facilitating the Local Government Training Partnership (LGTP), which is a platform that is intended to enable members to provide and receive sector-specific training. Department head Allison Cook has been instrumental in growing the emergency services practice.

Practice head(s):Allison Cook

Key Clients

Dorset County Council

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Borough of Poole Council

Thanet District Council

Surrey Heath Borough Council

Fareham Borough Council

Herefordshire Council

South Somerset District Council

North Wales District Council

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a council in dealing with a number of Code of Conduct complaints.
  • Assisting Dorset County Council with the procurement of a care home and social housing as part of the Bridport Gateway scheme.
  • Instructed by Surrey Heath Borough Council to carry out a Code of Conduct investigation.
  • Instructed by a council to carry out a peer review of the structure and focus of its legal department.
  • Advised Oxford City Council on the renewal of leases for the Covered Market.

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South West: Real estate

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

VWV

At VWV, the commercial property department brings together expertise in property acquisitions and disposals, property development, finance and investment, leases and relocations, and other projects. The practice is led by Steven McGuigan, whose client base mostly comprises property developers, local authorities, lenders and central government bodies. The firm has also built a strong reputation for advising religious and educational institutions, and also international energy companies. Jessica Booz and Simon Linnitt are recommended.

Practice head(s):Steven McGuigan

Other key lawyers:Jessica Booz; Simon Linnitt

Testimonials

Highly professional

The team delivers high-quality results in a speedy manner

The lawyers understand what the client’s objectives are, and work hard towards achieving them

Key Clients

Airbus Operations Airbus Defence

PricewaterhouseCoopers

University of Bristol

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

United Reformed Church

Essar Oil UK

St Vincent de Paul Society

Mainline Pipelines

Diocese of Truro

King Edward's School

The Diocese of Gloucester

Oxford City Council

Jisc

Wiltshire Council

Wing Yip

Crest Nicholson

Pell Frischmann

Homes England

Oxford Brookes University

Berkeley Homes

Faraday Developments

Soil Association

Bristol Waste Company

Thanet District Council

Poole Borough Council

Bath Spa University

Work highlights

  • Acted for the University of Bristol on the £20m leasehold acquisition of a new student accommodation development in central Bristol.
  • Advised the University of Reading on the disposal of a significant landholding by the client.
  • Advised the United Church Schools Foundation on the £10m property and business sale of Bournemouth Collegiate School to overseas investors.
  • Advising a council on the land agreements required for National Grid's IFA2 project.
  • Advising Henry Boot Developments on the terms of a conditional contract and an option agreement with landowner Summerfield Estates for the development of a 100-acre site.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

VWV

VWV's equally strong capabilities in contentious and non-contentious construction matters sees it generate work from clients in areas such as education, aerospace, energy, healthcare, insurance, and the public sector. Huw Morgan assists with PPP and PFI projects, design-and-build issues, and various contractual arrangements. Also recommended is Jason Prosser, who is particularly adept at acting on energy and utilities projects. Senior associate Alice Lang is a key contact for education sector clients and property developers.

Practice head(s):Huw Morgan

Other key lawyers:Jason Prosser; Alice Lang

Key Clients

Bouygues UK Limited

Airbus Operations Limited

University of Bristol

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Bath Spa University

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Taylor Maxwell & Co Limited

Herefordshire District Council

ULC Robotics International Limited

Thanet District Council

Work highlights

  • Advising Airbus on the construction of a bespoke £30m building for research and advanced testing.
  • Acting for Bristol Cathedral Choir School on the negotiation of a complex development agreement to refurbish and expand the School.
  • Advising ULC Robotics on its innovative robotic gas pipeline repair work in the UK energy sector.
  • Acting for a leading Russell Group university on the preparation of an entire new suite of construction documentation for its various projects.
  • Acting for the University of Bristol on the construction aspects of its £350m Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus Project.
Leading individuals

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

VWV

VWV¬†houses an ‚Äėexceptional‚Äô property litigation practice, which operates as an integrated part of the firm‚Äôs real estate department. The team has a particular strength in contentious work in the healthcare, education and public sectors. It also acts for developers, charities and religious institutions. Michelle Bendall¬†is an ‚Äėexcellent advocate‚Äô. The 'brilliant' David Bird¬†and senior associate¬†Daniel Hall¬†are also recommended.

Practice head(s):Michelle Bendall

Other key lawyers:David Bird; Daniel Hall

Testimonials

'The team's real strength lies in the fact that everyone takes a very commercial approach towards litigation, realising that sometimes a good settlement may be worth more to a client than a judgment from a court'

'The team is quick to respond and provides clear advice and practical solutions'

'Michelle Bendall is a force to be reckoned with and someone you want in your corner'

'Michelle Bendall is a pleasure to deal with'

'Daniel Hall is a thorough and savvy litigator'

Key Clients

Airbus Operations

Airbus Defence and Space

PricewaterhouseCoopers

University of Bristol

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

United Reformed Church

Essar Oil UK

St Vincent de Paul Society

Mainline Pipelines

Diocese of Truro

King Edward's School

The Diocese of Gloucester

Oxford City Council

Jisc

Wiltshire Council

Wing Yip

Crest Nicholson

Pell Frischmann Consultants

Homes England

Bournemouth Borough Council

Oxford Brookes University

Berkeley Homes

Faraday Development

Soil Association

Bristol Waste Company

Thanet District Council

Poole Borough Council

Bath Spa University

Work highlights

  • Advised a local authority on the contentious property issues arising from the CPO of land needed to facilitate the construction of a new link road in the south coast of England.
  • Representing a central government body in a contested rent review of its national headquarters.
  • Representing the Diocese of Gloucester to acquire a strategically important parcel of land and access rights by way of adverse possession and prescriptive rights.
  • Assisting a university with obtaining possession from trespassers.
  • Representing a university in a contentious possession claim involving the Equality Act and reputational issues.
Leading individuals
Rising stars

Daniel Hall - VWV

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South West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

VWV

Doug Locke leads the team at VWV, which has a particularly strong track record in the education sector. It acts for a large number of schools, and also counts more than 50 universities as clients. The scope of its work includes advising on international school licensing projects and cross-border school trade mark prosecutions, as well as assisting universities with the protection and commercialisation of IP. Elsewhere, the team provides trade mark advice to clients ranging in size from start-up companies to multinational corporations. It is a first port of call for many clients in the charities sector in Bristol. The firm also works with international agents on contentious trade mark matters.

Practice head(s):Doug Locke

Other key lawyers:Paula Williams; Ben Holt;

Key Clients

Rugby School

World Sailing

Airbus

Wallace & Gromit's Children Foundation

Hunters Property Group

King's School, Canterbury

Western Global Holdings Limited

Marlborough College

Malvern College

The British Library

Work highlights

  • Advised Stonyhurst on cross-border licensing details pertaining to the establishment of Stonyhurst College, Malaysia
  • Handling a large-scale trade mark protection project for Western Global Holdings, including filing new trade marks internationally.
  • Advised World Sailing on trade mark protection and prosecuting infringement relating to the client's rebranding.
  • Assisting King's School, Canterbury with establishing licensee schools in China and protecting the client's trade mark in international territories.

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Further information on VWV

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