Firm Profile > VWV > Birmingham , West Midlands

B1 2JB
West Midlands

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 1

VWV has a large practice, which is well-equipped to advise charity clients on all aspects of their operations, such as governance, procurement, regulatory compliance, investment, tax and fundraising. The team was strengthened by the hire of Shivaji Shiva from Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP. Shiva has a wealth of experience on the corporate and commercial aspects of the charity sector. Recently promoted partner Frances Anderson is highly rated for her work with arts, charities and universities, in particular.

Immigration Tier 1

VWV has a national immigration practice, which is led in Birmingham by Tom Brett-Young. Although the specialist team has expertise in immigration issues across a wide range of sectors, the practice has a particular emphasis on the pharma, life sciences and technology industries. Another cornerstone of the practice is work for clients in the education sector;  the firm is increasingly sought out to advise clients in the independent school and higher education space on issues such as Tier four compliance, among others.

Debt recovery Tier 2

Debt recovery specialist Dee Kundi is the key name of note at VWV, 'combining knowledge and experience of the debt recovery and litigation arenas with sharp business acumen. The firm has recently revamped its offering with a bulk debt recovery model in an effort to control costs. Kundi and her team have particular experience in sectors such as financial services, professional services, education, recruitment and energy.

Education Tier 2

VWV stands out for its wide client roster including academies, schools, universities and further education colleges. Team head Jane Byford handles both contentious and non-contentious issues relating to restructuring, outsourcing, unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. Frances Anderson, who was promoted to partner in November 2018, advises higher education clients on commercial contracts, research collaborations and spinouts, while Clive Read handles all education-related real estate matters.

Employment Tier 3

VWV has considerable strength in the education sector. It also advises numerous charities and various public sector clients on diverse issues, including investigations, employment tribunal claims and on the management of senior exits. In addition, the firm has a strong commercial client base. Jane Byford and Kathy Halliday are the key members of the team.

Intellectual property Tier 4

VWV has a particular focus on the education and charities sectors, representing a number of universities and private schools. Practice head Frances Anderson has expertise in advising charities and not-for-profits in various IP matters, while the team's other work includes handling complex research and development agreements for higher education institutions and technology contracts for notable manufacturing companies.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

VWV advises on all areas of the law relating to estates, tax planning and trusts. Its team is adept at handling a broad range of private client matters, such as those involving business assets, agricultural assets, family businesses and cross-border assets. It is also active in Court of Protection work. Rachael Armstrong is experienced in inheritance tax planning, the creation and administration of trusts, drafting powers of attorney and deputyship applications.

Commercial property: Birmingham Tier 5

VWV focuses on advising developers and investors, charity and education sector clients and private individuals on real estate transactions and commercial and residential development. Experienced property finance specialist Andrew Tubbs joined from Shoosmiths LLP in February 2018.

VWV is an award-winning firm which puts its clients at the heart of everything it does.

The firm: VWV has national recognition for its sector-focused approach. The firm directs its skill, energy and expertise towards understanding clients in the sectors they operate in. Each and every client receives bespoke and high-quality legal counsel, with VWV’s lawyers going above and beyond to meet clients’ needs.

VWV’s 400-strong team, located across offices in London, Watford, Bristol and Birmingham, brings a wealth of sector expertise and professionalism. VWV is proud to have the reputation of being a friendly firm to work with, and 98% of clients say that they would recommend the firm.

VWV’s core values underpin everything it does:

  • Teamwork and collaboration: ensuring there is a joined-up approach, often working across offices and departments to make sure the best possible solution is achieved.
  • Client at the centre of the firm: VWV thinks about how best to communicate and work together with its clients, and puts itself in their shoes.
  • Commercial approach: VWV is always keen to make sure clients receive the best possible service at a competitive rate.

The firm’s sector focus is supported by its core legal services of real estate, corporate, commercial, IP and technology, employment, dispute resolution and tax. VWV also offers high-level legal advice to private clients, which includes the specialised areas of contentious probate, personal injury and high-quality conveyancing.

Types of work undertaken

Charities: advises trustees and senior management of charities on all legal and regulatory issues. Acts for over 1,000 charities from community-based organisations through to national charities, ranging from grant-making charities to charities with complex operations. Charities involved in health and social care, education, faith and the arts are a particular focus for the firm.

Education: supports the full range of education institutions on every aspect of school relationships with pupils, parents, local authorities and regulators. Advises on the implementation of school T&Cs, finance and fee recovery, welfare of pupils, safeguarding, inspections, pupil discipline, governance, overseas franchising and much more. Assists over 1,000 education institutions across all types of contentious and non-contentious matters.

Family-owned businesses: supports family-owned businesses to achieve long-term strategic goals by advising on governance, succession, developing the next generation, and the transition from owner-managers to owners as the business grows, recognising each family’s unique history.

Healthcare: acts principally for healthcare providers, GP practices, GP-owned consortia, federations and provider companies. Acts on GP surgery development schemes and mergers of GP practices and provides a range of legal services to care homes, healthcare charities, social enterprises, dentists, pharmacies, private consultants, NHS and foundation trusts and vets. The firm has dedicated pharmaceutical and life sciences lawyers to aid clients who are involved in the supply of medicines, medtech and the convergence of IT and telecoms, and to assist pharmacies in the services they provide.

Private client: acts for individuals and families with many different interests and requirements to protect assets and provide for the succession of family members. The firm’s advice includes property purchase, will and trust disputes, estate planning, family-owned businesses and philanthropy.

Public sector: national public sector practice acting for over 100 local authorities by providing a one-stop full legal service for central and devolved government on property, planning, commercial contracts, vires, tax, construction, projects and employment issues as well as specialist teams advising on EU procurement, state aid, election law, standards and constitutional issues.

Client base: Airbus, Cheltenham Ladies College, DfE, The Royal Ballet School, London Symphony Orchestra, Diocese of Gloucester, Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation, EDF Energy, Oxford City Council, Dorset County Council, The Fire Service College, IMG Media, Crest Nicholson, Hills Group, Le Cordon Bleu, PricewaterhouseCoopers, CBRE, Arcadis, The Royal Mint, Sigma Pharmaceuticals, The Serocor Group, REAch2 Academy Trust.

International: founder member of the Association of European Lawyers, which means the firm has a network of lawyers and associates around the world that can provide local legal assistance.


Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Simon Heald
Chairman David Emanuel
Aerospace and defence Ben Holt
Charities Con Alexander
Commercial Doug Locke
Conveyancing Jackie Roe
Corporate Robert Collier
Education Barney Northover
Employment Gareth Edwards
Energy and utilities Jason Prosser
Family business David Emanuel
Healthcare Ben Willis
International Doug Locke
Litigation Ed Husband
Partnerships and LLP Jos Moule
Personal injury Jan Markland
Private client Michelle Rose
Property development David Marsden
Public sector and emergency services Allison Cook
Real estate Huw Morgan
Technology Nathan Guest
Photo Name Position Profile
 Kathy Halliday  photo Kathy Halliday
 Clive Read  photo Clive Read
 Andrew Tubbs  photo Andrew Tubbs
 Shivaji Shiva  photo Shivaji Shiva
 Frances Anderson  photo Frances Anderson
 Lucy Barr  photo Lucy Barr
 Dee Kundi  photo Dee Kundi
 Nigel Mears  photo Nigel Mears
 Rachael Armstrong  photo Rachael Armstrong
 Tom Brett-Young  photo Tom Brett-Young
 Jane Byford  photo Jane Byford
Number of UK partners : 70
Number of other UK fee-earners : Over 400