Walker Morris LLP > Leeds, England > Firm Profile

Walker Morris LLP
33 Wellington Street

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP is well regarded for its corporate expertise in the region, with a strong track record acting across private equity, equity capital markets, and cross-border M&A mandates. It has particular expertise in the food and drink, manufacturing and industrial, and technology sectors. John Hamer heads the group, with demonstrable experience in handling public and private company take-overs and acquisitions, private equity investments and joint ventures. Debbie Jackson leads on funds-related matters, while Richard Naish handles matters arising out of the food and drink sector. Daniel O’Gorman is noted for his cross-border M&A and UK ECM transactions expertise, while Oliver Duke acts on inbound M&A mandates. Jo Stephenson has experience in the healthcare sector.

Practice head(s):

John Hamer

Other key lawyers:


‘Walker Morris brings a high quality and pragmatic service at a very reasonable cost to clients. Easy to work with for outside counsel.’

‘Debbie Jackson is a commercial and pragmatic adviser. She gives straight forward, clear advice.’

‘Walker Morris punches well above its weight. The team has an ability to assist U.S. clients with their inbound investments and take a very practical approach to all issues uncovered en route.’

‘Daniel O’Gorman, Oliver Duke and Jo Stephenson are stand-out corporate partners.’

‘Walker Morris offers a multidisciplinary service from a single site. They focus on providing sound commercial advice and a partner-led service. They consistently achieve results and have great client care.’

‘Jo Stephenson is a highly regarded trusted adviser in the sector. She always delivers a professional service that goes above and beyond and is actively involved in each transaction she works on, adding great value. Her attention to detail, technical knowledge and focus on client care are second to none.’

‘Commercial approach to billing and abortive fees. Genuine interest in the work and our business. Exceptional responsiveness and availability. Safe pair of hands.’

‘Easy going, calm under pressure and really exceptional and pragmatic advice. Willing to stick their neck out and make a suggestion or propose a decision, rather than defer to the client to take all the risk.’

Key clients

Endless LLP

Audax Private Equity

Lifco AB

Avacta Plc

Renew Holdings plc

Trexon Global

Matiolli Woods plc

Statlab Medical Products

Novax Group AB

Bufab AB

Essentra Plc

Canon Production Printing

Global Connectivity Plc

Gridiron Capital

Neighborly Group

Findel Education

Holland Capital


Milwaukee Tool


Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP has demonstrable experience across a wide spectrum of competition matters, spanning from merger control and foreign direct investment, to competition litigation. Its client base includes national and international corporates across a range of sectors, as well as foreign law firms. The team is headed up by Sarah Ward, whose practice covers competition law investigations, merger control, and subsidy control matters. Gwendoline Davies is noted for her expertise in litigious competition law matters, including in relation to cartels and competition damages claims. Former practice co-head Trudy Feaster-Gee retired in February 2023.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Ward

Other key lawyers:


‘Sarah Ward is an excellent lawyer who responds quickly and gives practical, actionable advice on competition law matters.’

‘My experience of the WM competition team is that it provides city quality competition advice, relevant to our sector, and is commercial in its outlook.’

‘We enjoy working with Walker Morris. Sarah Ward is a key contact and can provide city level advice at regional fee rates.’

‘Sarah Ward provides practical and insightful advice and is a “go to” lawyer for us in this area.’

Key clients

Audax Private Equity

Arla Foods


Work highlights

  • Advised Audax Private Equity on the competition law, merger control and FDI aspects of over ten corporate transactions this year.
  • Acting for Danish-headquartered Arla Foods in its multi-million pound claim for damages against the EC truck cartel.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 1

The ‘astute commercial litigation practice’ at Walker Morris LLP acts frequently for leading national and international food and drink manufacturers, energy and infrastructure, heavy industry, and retail clients. The team acts on cross-border disputes, instructed by many leading UK and global companies. In addition to the bench strength of the pure commercial disputes, the practice is complemented by the banking, construction, and real-estate litigation teams of the firm. ‘Highly skilled, impressive and pragmaticGwendoline Davies leads the team, with expertise in litigation, arbitration, and ADR. Managing partner Malcolm Simpson has an impressive practice, representing global US headquartered firms and FTSE 100 clients. Nick Lees is also a key experienced figure in the team. Director Lynsey Oakdene remains a key player, handling a broad range of commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Gwendoline Davies

Other key lawyers:

Malcolm Simpson; Nick Lees; Nick McQueen; Stuart Ponting; Lynsey Oakdene


‘Astute commercial litigation practice able to advise on a range of commercial disputes from inception through to mediation/adjudication.’

‘Nick McQueen – excellent judgement on merits and risks and good letter drafting skills.’

‘The Walker Morris team have been a constant point of contact for us throughout a number of very technical and complex disputes. They have consistently been available to offer support, advice and guidance whenever needed, frequently on short notice and outside of normal working hours. This has been invaluable given the time difference between the various jurisdictions involved (UK, US and China), allowing us to make real progress in short timescales.

‘Not only does the team have impressive technical knowledge and legal skills, but they offer practical, commercial advice that is easily accessible to us and our global legal teams. It has been a real team effort and the support of Walker Morris has made all the difference in ensuring we achieve the best possible result in incredibly challenging circumstances. The right advisors have been available to provide the advice we need, whenever we need it. We have lawyers instructed worldwide, but the Walker Morris team have been the focal point, driving things forward for us. It can sometime be daunting instructing foreign lawyers, but the entire process, from the start to date has been effortless and consistent with Walker Morris.’

‘Gwendoline Davies, Partner and head of the Commercial Dispute Resolution team at Walker Morris. Gwendoline is a highly skilled, impressive and pragmatic lawyer who has been constantly available in fluid circumstances, despite the various jurisdictions involved in the dispute matters. Gwendoline clearly has vast technical knowledge and an impressive legal skillset, but the main thing we’ve needed throughout the process is practical commercial advice and that is exactly what we receive every time we pick up the phone to Gwendoline. We have, throughout this entire process, felt in the best and most capable of hands with Gwendoline, who is constantly live to all considerations and engages with the complexities of difficult and unusual circumstances. Gwendoline has also worked closely with our third party advisors (in UK, US and China), providing crucial input on issues that form part of a wider piece of work, ensuring we receive the highest levels of service.

‘Stuart Ponting is a partner in the Regulatory and Compliance team at Walker Morris – Stuart has worked with both our US and Chinese advisors to ensure we effectively demonstrate compliance with UK specific product safety legislation in particular relating to personal protective equipment supplied to the UK government during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuart’s expertise as a consumer safety lawyer has allowed us to respond efficiently and effectively to requests from the Department of Health and Social Care’s technical assurance team. Also, his understanding of the complexities of medical device regulation together with his experience as a defence advocate ensures his sound legal and commercial advice is consistently of the highest quality.’

‘This is a really commercially astute practice with pragmatic commercial and disputes advice that works really well with in-house teams to deliver advice that the client wants.’

‘Shout out to Nick McQueen – an excellent lawyer and person. His friendly and direct communication style puts the client at ease. Strategic advice is supported by excellent experience and commercial knowledge.’

Key clients

Mobile Broadband Network Limited

SmartestEnergy Limited

Caterpillar Group (International)

Avant Homes

British Steel




Drax Group (Drax Power, Drax Energy Solutions, Opus)

Kier Group

Arla (UK and Netherlands)



Precision Cast Parts

Evri (formerly Hermes)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Arla in order to obtain urgent pre-emptive injunctive relief, from the High Court in London, against protestors who intended to disrupt the dairy industry for a period of several weeks.
  • Acted on a substantial transaction related litigation arising out of an M&A deal by which a national car park maintenance provider was acquired in a private equity backed deal.
  • Acted on a partnership and shareholder dispute centred around a family farming and construction business.

Employment > Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP is notable for both the range of sectors in which it advises clients and its comprehensive capabilities across those sectors. Andrew Rayment sits at the helm of the department and frequently advises on the employment elements of transactions, technology-related matters, and logistic mandates, as well as handling worker status in multiple industries. The team consists of a number of senior directors with wide-ranging expertise: Lucy Gordon boasts an established practice assisting international clients setting up in the UK; Charlotte Smith leads the sports work, acting for a number of major football clubs; Shabana Muneer heads up work relating to business immigration; and Lorna Hopps handles high-value transactional mandates.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Rayment


They offer a very good mix of making us know we are a valued client and also having a breadth of services on offer. It has been refreshing to work with the team who always look to be innovative in their approach and champion diversity across their team and the industry.’

We absolutely adore working with Lucy Gordon. To sum it up simply, she gets us. She really understands what makes us tick as a business and has a great rapport with many of our employees. We really like the way Lucy applies the relevant employment law but with a very commercial interpretation alongside.’

The employment team have a wide range of skills and experience in all areas of employment disputes and an enviable client base. The cases are always very thoroughly investigated at an early stage to keep costs in check. The team ensure that all paperwork is immaculately presented and user friendly.’

We appreciate the firm for its diversity, quality of work, and speedy responses.

Charlotte Smith is high-quality and knowledgeable, providing advice that is well thought out, confident, and speedy.

‘It’s the team’s approach to dealing with complex employment-related issues that stands out: the relationship is very collaborative, the team adapt their style to the culture of the organisation they are advising, and in some ways we go through the highs and lows together. The more junior members of the team join our calls to get exposure to the conversations, which is a great way of building rapport and learning our business.’

‘Charlotte Smith has a wealth of knowledge in complex employment law and has a unique ability to present the guidance so that it’s easily understandable. Charlotte always asks what we are looking for as an outcome and presents us with options.’

‘The team is very responsive, pragmatic, and outcome focused, and takes its time to understand our business and business challenges.’

Key clients

Lucozade Ribena Suntory

Burnley Football Club

Hallmark Cards Plc


Chipotle Mexican Grill

Menzies Distribution Group

British Steel


Watford Football Club


Work highlights

  • Advising Hovis on diversity initiatives, recruitment, and disputes, including industrial action and union negotiation.
  • Advising British Steel on a significant strike which affected their operations and the impact on the workforce following the proposed closure of a blast furnace.
  • Advised Watford FC on the appointment of head coach, Slaven Bilić, successfully obtaining an FA governing body endorsement for him.

Employment > Health and safety Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP has a strong offering across advisory, litigation, and transactional work, with an established track record in cross-jurisdictional mandates alongside major global law firms. In addition to capabilities in litigation, an focus of the team is the prevention of prosecution, with the practice noted for being ‘good at dealing with regulators’. The ‘outstandingStuart Ponting heads the team, working with a number of notable international and domestic businesses across the construction, demolition, food, and retail sectors. Senior associate Rachel Turnbull brings her experience working for a regulator to provide insights for clients.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Ponting

Other key lawyers:


Stuart Ponting is very good. Thoughtful and strategic in his approach, of course protecting the interests of his client, but pragmatic and straight-forward to deal with.’

This is the strongest H&S team I have ever worked with. They have an excellent level of legal knowledge, superb attention to detail, and an appetite to fiercely support their clients.’

Stuart Ponting has a first-class legal mind and cuts through any case to the heart of the issues.’

Very strong health and safety team which is good at dealing with regulators.’

Stuart Ponting is outstanding. Amazing knowledge and knows how to handle regulators.’

Fantastic team to work with keeping you updated and included at every step in the process.’

‘Stuart Ponting is capable of considering all potential situations and outcomes and can understand complex technical matters with very little explanation.’

Key clients

Starbucks Limited

Persimmon plc

Leeson Polyurethanes Limited

Hovis Limited


Unite plc

KONE plc

Hermes Parcelnet Limited

Galliford Try plc

Ilke Homes

Work highlights

  • Advised Hovis on a Health and Safety Executive prosecution following a serious accident.
  • Advised a chemicals manufacturer on a large multi-agency criminal/regulatory investigation following a catastrophic fire and fatality.
  • Representing a UK plc regarding a fatal accident involving the maintenance of machinery at London Waterloo Underground Station.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 1

Philip Scott serves as the the practice head at Walker Morris LLP. The Leeds-based team is noted by one client as ‘a single office firm with a concentration of talented, high calibre lawyers’. The firm has particular strength in the sports finance area, and is also noted for its expertise regarding sustainability-linked loans and private equity-backed transactions. ‘First-class’ director Laura Lister is another name to note. Former co-head Michael Taylor has left the practice.

Practice head(s):

Philip Scott

Other key lawyers:

James Crellin; Laura Lister


‘WM are a unique practice as they are a single office firm with a concentration of talented, high calibre lawyers.’

‘Philip Scott is a stand-out member of the practice for me. He provides a partner-led service that benefits from an experienced, calm and assured approach. It is clear that he is focused on the development of his team too.’

‘The team have depth and a range of knowledge to help with issues beyond just the banking documents, whether that be exit route advice for the bank, contact review or advice on IP, they have someone to help.’

‘Laura Lister is a first-class banking lawyer: bright, attentive, responsive, personable and gives clear advice.’

‘The Walker Morris team has expert knowledge of complex finance and real estate structures. The workout and recoveries team work closely with the banking team to ensure that all transactions are analysed from the “worst case” scenario to best protect their clients.’

‘James Crellin – responsive and has excellent technical banking knowledge and communication skills. James can manage all types of financings to deliver an excellent and cost effective product.’

‘The WM team have a real can-do attitude – they combine protecting their clients’ interests with a focus on delivering within the required timescales. I love the fact that, unlike some other firms, with WM you deal with the senior, experienced people who take hands-on responsibility for the work; they understand the issues and negotiate hard on your behalf.’

‘Philip Scott and Laura Lister are completely committed to their clients – doing whatever is required to get a transaction over the line. Laura Lister is brilliant at co-ordinating multiple parties in complex transactions and bringing all the threads together.’

Key clients

Marshalls Plc

Lloyds Bank Plc

Evans Property Group

Findel Education

Virgin Money (also known as Yorkshire Bank/Clydesdale Bank Plc)

HSBC UK Bank Plc

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

The restructuring and insolvency team at Walker Morris LLP in Leeds comprises ‘outstanding individuals’ who deliver an ‘excellent service’, evidenced this year by their landmark work in delivering the GoodBox restructuring plan, which was the first of its kind sanctioned outside of London. Gawain Moore and Duncan Lole jointly lead the group; the former has particular expertise regarding cross-border insolvencies, while the latter oversees the specialist financial services and regulated sector insolvency practice, with a focus on FCA-regulated businesses, assisted by director Olivia Prescott and senior associate Ashley Armitage. ‘Exceptional lawyerClaire Askew was promoted to partner in May 2022, and regularly takes the lead on bank-led restructuring work. Director Olivia Prescott is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Gawain Moore; Duncan Lole

Other key lawyers:

Claire Askew; Michael Taylor; Olivia Prescott; Ashley Armitage; Simon Clark; Oliver Wheeler; Owen Ormond


‘Very hands-on involvement from the partners down; really good tacticians and technical knowledge of insolvency; brilliant at responding and drafting and advisory services really solid.’

‘The insolvency team is close knit and comprises outstanding individuals, with the confidence and ability to deliver on heavyweight and challenging insolvency litigation.’ 

‘Straight talking, no nonsense, sound advice from good people.’

‘Claire Askew is an exceptional lawyer. She understands all aspects of her practice and you can rely on her to provide you with sound commercial advice in an easy to understand way.’ 

‘The team at Walker Morris are adept at dealing with fast paced, complex situations. They invariably grasp the commercials quickly and use their experience and expertise to provide easy-to-digest and robust advice to their clients.’

‘Gawain Moore and Oliver Wheeler go above and beyond to support their clients. Based on my experience of working with them both, it is unsurprising that they were integral to the first creditor-led restructuring plan in the country.’

‘Excellent service. Colleagues used to London firms were very impressed and refreshed by ease of access and direct approach.’ 

‘Claire Askew can be relied upon to provide top quality, clear advice in a timely manner with an appropriate degree of commerciality.’

Key clients

Endless LLP

Teneo (formerly Deloitte restructuring)

Interpath (formerly KPMG restructuring)



Harrisons Business Recovery & Insolvency


Grant Thornton

Iona Capital

Together Finance

Alvarez & Marsal

Alix Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised NGI Systems & Solutions on all aspects of the creditor-led GoodBox restructuring plan.
  • Advised Alix Partners on the administration of the high-cost lender Indigo Michael, including assisting with continued consumer lending by the administrators.
  • Advised Alvarez & Marsal on the pre-pack sale of businesses within the Newbridge Energy Group, which also included a debt for equity swap.

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP draws on the expert teams of its commercial dispute resolution, construction and infrastructure, and banking litigation practices to provide sector-specific expertise in its handling of professional negligence claims. Gwendoline Davies heads up the commercial dispute resolution team, with experience bringing claims against accountants, trustees, and other professionals, where she works alongside Nick Lees and Malcolm Simpson. Paul Hargreaves, Martin Scott and senior director Sue Harris handle matters relating to engineering and construction, with a strong track record in claims against professionals involved in the development and sale of major projects. Richard Sandford, Louise Power and Rob Payne work on claims arising against professionals in the finance space.

Practice head(s):

Gwendoline Davies; Paul Hargreaves; Nick Lees; Martin Scott; Malcolm Simpson; Nick McQueen; Tom Peel; Richard Sandford; Louise Power; Rob Payne


Friendly and effective delivery of advice, and practicable (no fence sitting).

High quality and easily understood; clear directions.’

‘Brilliant team of lawyers who are a delight to work with.’

Key clients

A number of leaseholders of a development known as St Francis Tower, Ipswich

Lloyds Banking Group

Bank of Ireland

UK Asset Resolution

Topaz Finance Limited

Oakwood Home Loans

Pepper UK Finance

Prospective purchasers of off-plan units at The Rise, Liverpool

Work highlights

  • Acting for over 30 leaseholder owners of apartments at St Francis Tower, Ipswich, on their claim for aproximately £2.4m against the solicitors and licensed conveyancing practices.
  • Acting on behalf of 94 clients on a multi-party claim for approximately £6m relating to the failed development known as The Rise, Liverpool.

Public sector > Local government Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP's 'clear understanding of local government and its complexities' allows the highly regarded team to 'go beyond the provision of clear legal and procedural advice and encompass wider support'. Under the joint leadership of Ben Sheppard, who handles PPP and PFI mandates, and real estate and regeneration project expert Chris Woodthorpe, the practice's client roster spans local authorities, central government departments, NHS bodies, registered providers and contractors. The group also leverages the knowledge of competition specialist Sarah Ward, construction expert Carly Thorpe and consultant David Kilduff.

Practice head(s):

Ben Sheppard; Chris Woodthorpe

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Ward; Carly Thorpe; David Kilduff; Alastair Robertson; Lynsey Oakdene; Kathryn Vickers; Adam Bertram


‘WM have a clear understanding of LG and its complexities and have been able to apply our requirements when dealing with complex negotiations and contracts. The Team involved in the project were excellent at deciphering the key issues for the Local Authority and explaining the implications clearly – picking up extra requests for work which would better aid understanding and confidence.’

‘David Kilduff and Adam Bertram were keen to ensure that, as the client, I had all the support required to seek decisions from cabinet on complex issues and contractual arrangements with 3rd party organisations.’

‘The Local Government team at Walker Morris have been excellent to work with. We needed specialised knowledge for the sectors we work in and this team have been able to provide exactly that.’

‘WM has been very collaborative and proactive if the input from a different team within WM is needed. There is a seamless organisation of calls and inputs from these teams, still coordinated by the Local Government team so that as a client we are still only dealing with the one primary team on a project.’

‘Within this team we work mainly with 2 individuals who have stood out – Ben Sheppard (Partner) and Adam Bertram (Associate). Adam and Ben have excellent communication skills. This is helpful when trying to get projects completed or understanding when a comprehensive response will be completed. They are both very good at communicating thoughts and insights effectively and in a way which is understandable for a non-lawyer.’

‘The level of expertise and attention to detail is excellent. What is really impressive however is the real understanding of the client’s needs and requirements and the advice and support provided to achieve appropriate outcomes. Customer care is paramount and one feels that one’s matter is in safe hands and that the Team is fully engaged and committed. This goes beyond the provision of clear legal and procedural advice and encompasses wider support for the project.’

‘David Kilduff led the external adviser team and played a key role in delivering the project. All the lawyers involved were excellent but David’s commitment, expertise, support for the client’s officers and members, problem solving and suggestions at critical stages played a large part in ensuring delivery. One cannot praise highly enough how much David’s impressive knowledge and calm demeanour instilled confidence during a complex and often challenging project.’

Key clients

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Kier Property Developments Limited

Hambleton District Council

Kier Construction Limited

Harrogate Borough Council

Cumbria County Council

MVV Environment

Associated Waste Management

Eveleigh LINK Academy Trust

Barnsley Premier Leisure

Work highlights

  • Acting for Hambleton District Council in connection with the establishment, funding and contractual structuring of a joint venture LLP to manage a crematorium.
  • Acting for Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council in connection with an innovative project for the development of a town centre digital innovation campus built around two digital media centres.
  • Acting for Hambleton District Council in respect of a threatened judicial review of the Home Office’s proposal to open an asylum accommodation centre at RAF Linton.

Real estate > Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP‘s real estate team works heavily in the investment space and is praised for development experience that is ‘second to none’. Beyond working with major property developers such as Caddick, the practice also advises clients such as Unite Students on major student accommodation projects and has worked with large international companies to assist international investors such as GIC with high-value acquisitions of prime real estate in city centres. Practice head Jeremy Moore stands out for his advice on acquisitions, while Will Cousins is noted for handling real estate financing matters. George Bacon, who frequently works on high-value commercial development projects, and Adam Reed are also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Moore

Other key lawyers:

George Bacon; Austin Judson; Will Cousins; Adam Reed; Cameron Baloyi-Rigby


‘Very client-focused and work with us as part of the team rather than just a conventional outside counsel relationship.’

‘Walker Morris are extremely client focused and definitely in the business of providing solutions rather than problems. By far the best legal practice I have worked with. Their development experience is second to none, and they always work with us to derive practicable solutions.’

‘Austin Judson is by far the best Real Estate Solicitor I have ever worked with. Austin continuously approaches challenges with a positive, collaborative, practical angle. This approach, linked with his intelligence and experience, has been a significant contribution to our projects. George Bacon’s experience and practical approach is also outstanding.’

‘The team at Walker Morris are laser-focused and always there for our business, whether it’s a small job or a large, multi-faceted instruction. The constant communication without having to chase them is something that makes them stand out to me.’

‘We have worked with Walker Morris for over ten years and never been let down. We have engaged them across a variety of teams, primarily their property department. They are all highly personable, attentive and never fail to deliver or provide succinct advice. We consistently recommend them to our peers and clients.’

Key clients


Caddick Group


Gregory Property Group

Kier Group

MBU Capital Group Limited

Moda Living

Next plc

Rushbond Plc

Unite Students

Work highlights

  • Advised GIC on the acquisition of a 75% share in British Land’s Paddington Central, valued at £700m.
  • Advised Unite Students on a conditional purchase contract in respect of the property known as Jubilee House, 2 Farthingale Walk, valued at £72m.
  • Advised Moda on the acquisition of the M&S central Birmingham store for a new BTW tower development with a GDV of over £100m.

Real estate > Construction Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP‘s construction practice covers a ‘huge range of expertise’ and is capable of handling a wide array of residential and commercial development mandates for developers, landowners and contractors. The team frequently advises on negotiations and contracts in relation to build-to-rent schemes and is also very active in the contentious space, regularly handling defect claims, cladding disputes, and litigation related to project delays. Tom Peel, who leads the practice, is an expert in the contentious space who maintains close relations with major contractors and developers. The practice is also bolstered by the expertise of litigation experts Paul Hargreaves and Carly Thorpe, while Jules Harbage handles both contentious and non-contentious mandates in the energy and infrastructure spaces. Martin Scott retired in May 2023.

Practice head(s):

Tom Peel

Other key lawyers:


‘Very knowledgeable in their field of expertise, which generally means that disputes are avoided as they get the legal side correct at the onset, which leads to fewer problems towards the end of the process.’

‘Excellent, hands-on lawyers, who are enthusiastic, approachable, hard-working, and commercially minded.’

‘Jules Harbage is very enthusiastic and really seems to enjoy getting to grips with the hardest cases; he is also very calm and approachable, Carly Thorpe is diligent, hard-working and a pleasure to work with. Tom Peel is down to earth and extremely sharp. Paul Hargreaves is excellent at client management and gets to the heart of what matters.’

‘The team is excellent. They cover a broad range of clients, so they are able to see all angles of a case. They also have great trial experience (which few solicitors have).’

‘Tom Peel is calm, very intelligent and very analytical. Paul Hargreaves is tenacious and gives his all for clients.’

‘My experience of this team is that they are fast, diligent, and really good at getting things done without having to be chased. We have had some great help from them on a very tricky project, and they have stuck to the task, showing great dynamism to help us solve the problems encountered.’

‘Carly Thorpe is very knowledgeable and delivers an excellent client focused service.’

‘The Walker Morris construction team are always available to give practical legal advice when called upon. Their key construction staff have a huge range of expertise, which we can readily call on. They are adept at developing strategies for successful outcomes, and can be flexible in their approach to changing situations. I have found their particular strengths to be in the areas of time and cost claims, fire safety and adjudication. They have also always dealt efficiently with non-contentious work.’

Key clients

Asda Stores Limited

Caddick Developments

Kier Construction Limited

MODA Living

Next Holdings Limited

RG Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for MODA Living on a major build-to-rent development with a GDV of £200m on the former Heworth gasworks site in York.

Real estate > Planning Tier 1

The team at Walker Morris LLP is well regarded for its ‘quality of work and proven success rate‘ on a wide spectrum of planning matters, handling major residential and logistics developments as well as a growing volume of infrastructure projects on behalf of clients such as Taylor Wimpey and Caddick. In addition to advising on large-scale planning applications and compulsory purchase orders, the team maintains a strong presence in contentious matters and regularly assists with planning appeals and public inquiries. Practice head and residential development expert Richard Sagar is a key contact for appeals and disputes, while Chris Slater regularly handles section 106 planning applications. Rob Moore is also highly recommended for his advice on land promotion matters. In December 2022, Alison Ogley left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Richard Sagar

Other key lawyers:

Chris Slater; Rob Moore; Josh Kitson; Victoria Leam


‘The team are very experienced, and have the ability to offer a rounded level of advice from site acquisitions through to S106 and any planning issues through the development process. Their uniqueness comes from the strength of their professionals and from their ability to consistently offer this rounded advice.’

‘All the team members I have worked with on a regular basis (Chris Slater, Richard Sagar, Rob Moore, Josh Kitson) are on hand and available to answer queries and provide advice at short notice. The right level of advice is given depending on circumstance.’

‘This is a very strong planning team.’

‘Rob Moore is exceptional for his ability to get on top of and hold the details of a case at his fingertip. He is an excellent strategist too, as well as being personable.’

‘Rob Moore is really one of the best.’

‘Walker Morris has an excellent reputation in this field and are renowned for their quality of work and proven success rate. They have a forensic approach which leaves no stone unturned!’

‘I have worked with Richard Sagar and Rob Moore. They are very professional, but also approachable, and they tell you how it is! They know their profession inside out, are very thorough, and get to the heart of issues directly. They are very honest in their assessment of the likely chances of a project’s success.’

Key clients

Arla Foods


Asda Stores

Avant Homes


Berkley De Veer

BDW Group

Bellway Homes

Bowmer & Kirkland Limited

Caddick Group

Commercial Estates Group

FCC Environment (UK) Limited

Galliford Try

Gleeson Developments

Hallam Land Management Ltd

Harworth Group

Highstone Homes


Newett Homes

Park Holidays UK

Park Lane Properties Ltd

Redrow Homes

Taylor Wimpey

The Peel Group

Town Centre Securities plc

Unite Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Harworth on a section 78 appeal against the refusal of outline planning permission for the erection of up to 397 dwellings and associated infrastructure.
  • Advised Caddick on the Examination in Public of the Local Plan to promote a 4.5m sq ft logistics and industrial development on the A57/A1 junction.
  • Advised Taylor Wimpey and Redrow on planning and highway matters and the drafting of a complex 106 agreement in relation to a proposed development in Leeds for up to 925 dwellings, including means of primary vehicle access, a central spine road, associated infrastructure works, and a 2.6 ha community hub facility (provisionally comprising a primary school, convenience store and health provision).

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP maintains a ‘superb team of extremely experienced property litigators’ that advises large national retailers and major developers and landowners on a wide array of property management and development disputes. The team is particularly well regarded for its expertise in building safety matters, having acted in landmark disputes related to the Building Safety Act 2022, and is also instructed to handle dilapidations, restrictive covenants, and insurance disputes. Martin McKeague, who has built a strong reputation in matters related to indemnity insurance, co-leads the practice with landlord and tenant dispute expert Karl Anders. David Manda is a key contact for contentious development matters, and Lewis Couth is highly recommended for his building safety expertise.

Practice head(s):

Martin McKeague; Karl Anders

Other key lawyers:

David Manda; Lewis Couth; Asia Munir


‘We have worked with Walker Morris for over 15 years, and they have a very strong and deep legal knowledge base of property litigation. Their ability to take a step back and look at it from a client’s perspective is their most outstanding attribute.’

‘Martin McKeague goes out of his way to ensure that we are looked after properly within his firm. His own breadth and depth of legal knowledge in this field is quite remarkable, but his ability to weigh up the benefit to the client is where he stands out. He is pragmatic with his approach to matters and gives the client a proper sense of security when representing.’

‘Strong leadership and a real sense of an empowered team working together to create results.’

‘Dedication, calm under pressure, good grasp of a wide horizon of relevant legal issues and well presented advice.’

‘Lewis Couth is the standout. He is very good indeed. Very shrewd, conscientious and knowledgeable. He’s also always a pleasure to deal with. David Manda is excellent, too.’

‘A superb team of extremely experienced property litigators.’

‘Martin McKeague is an extremely experienced solicitor who thinks of every angle. One of the best in the market. Lewis Couth is a new generation of lawyer. Brilliant to work with, insightful and with great commercial common sense. A superstar in the making. Asia Munir is a hard-working and effective associate.’

‘I’ve been very happy with the team at Walker Morris and found them to be knowledgeable and professional. We now count on them as a partner and consider them part of our extended team.’

Key clients


Menzies Distribution Limited


Department for Levelling Up Homes and Communities

Kier plc

Sky plc

Unite plc

Avant Homes

The Coal Authority

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) on groundbreaking litigation under the Building Safety Act 2022.
  • Acted for a developer client in relation to an application to discharge or modify restrictive covenants contained within a long lease and which prohibit the proposed residential development of land in Manchester.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 1

Considered ‘one of the best, if not the best, solicitors teams working within sport’, Walker Morris LLP has an impressive roster of football clients and frequently assists clubs with buyouts, commercial agreements, and regulatory matters. Practice lead David Hinchliffe has extensive experience in football finance matters and maintains strong relations with clubs such as AFC Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove Albion. The team also leverages a strong litigation offering, with key contacts Charlotte Smith and Matthew Lingard regularly acting in employment and corporate disputes. Regulatory expert Christian Slinger is also a key name to note. Alistair McHenry left the firm in April 2022, while the firm welcomed Tim Howden in October of the same year.

Practice head(s):

David Hinchliffe


‘Walker Morris is one of the best, if not the best, solicitor teams working within sport, especially football. Their industry knowledge of football is second to none, and they take on a wide variety of work, from transactional to litigation, in the sector.’

‘David Hinchliffe is one of the star lawyers in the UK working in football. I would rely on his judgment more than just about anyone else. He is extremely well-connected and brings in, or thinks up, excellent cases.’

‘A very experienced team steeped in the issues affecting sport clients.’

‘David Hinchliffe: Hugely experienced, very savvy, warm-hearted. India Swall: already a star. Switched on, clever, astute.’

Key clients

AFC Bournemouth

Ali Acun Ilicali – Hull FC


Bidding Consortium for the takeover of Chelsea FC

Blackpool FC

Brighton & Hove Albion FC

Burnley FC

Carlisle United FC

Huddersfield Town AFC

Leeds United FC

Sheffield United FC

Watford FC

Wrexham AFC

York City Knights RLFC

Work highlights

  • Acted on the sale of AFC Bournemouth Limited to the consortium led by American philanthropist and businessman, William Foley II.
  • Advised Brighton & Hove Albion FC in relation to a number of charges brought by the FA relating to a significant number of historic player transactions.
  • Advised one of the bidding consortiums on the widely publicised race for the takeover of Chelsea FC and carried out due diligence on the target group (including football and regulatory aspects of target club).

Dispute resolution > Banking litigation Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP acts for a variety of clients, from high street banks, to alternative, niche and challenger lenders, as well as receivers and insolvency practitioners. Rob Payne has a broad practice that covers managed-exit advice, fraud, asset-tracing and recovery, and operational disputes, while Richard Sandford acts for lender clients on a range of disputes. Louise Power rounds off the leadership team, with particular expertise acting for vulnerable borrowers. Legal director Ellen McLean focuses on secured lending litigation, while senior associate Ashley Neville has experience in the retail mortgage and commercial lending arena.

Practice head(s):

Rob Payne; Richard Sandford; Louise Power

Other key lawyers:


‘Rob Payne and his team have taken the time to really understand our business and how we operate. As a result, the advice we receive is meaningful, commercially minded and allows us to quickly make a decision regarding next steps. We are immensely grateful to have built such a good relationship with Rob and his team and have no doubt that it is greatly improved our in house service to our business.’

‘The team are experienced and reliable to work with.’

‘Rob Payne is as good as it gets. His grasp of the technical knowledge required is second to none, and he is able to distil that knowledge into sound, commercially minded advice to the benefit of his clients. Ashley Neville is a rising star and will no doubt make a fantastic partner in the future.’

‘The team is helpful and pragmatic.’

‘Ellen McLean and Rob Payne are always available to discuss matters it is helpful and a valuable outlet to our team.’

‘Huge amount of experience in banking litigation. Excellent partners and a really strong pipeline of talented associates. Always a pleasure to work with.’

‘Rob Payne is an excellent partner with experience, legal knowledge and determination to get results.’

‘Walker Morris’s banking litigation practice is one of the strongest regional practices I know. They have excellent links to a number of high street banks and as a result are very experienced in the range of banking and financial claims likely to arise.’

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group

Handelsbanken Plc

Bank of Ireland

Mortgage Express

NRAM Limited

Topaz Finance Limited


Oakwood Home Loans

Together Commercial Finance

OneSavings Bank

Capita Business Services Limited

Pepper UK Finance

Octopus Real Estate

Imagine Mortgages Limited

Shawbrook Bank Limited

FRP Advisory

The Mortgage Lender Limited

Loughborough Building Society

Skipton Building Society

Leeds Building Society

Yorkshire Building Society

Schneider Financial Solutions Limited

Foundation Home Loans

Furness Building Society

Leek Building Society

SDKA Limited

Walker Singleton

Work highlights

  • Advising Handelsbanken on a professional negligence claim against valuers and solicitors which has impacted on approximately £1m of security value and associated negotiation with the bank’s customer.
  • Acting for Handelsbanken in an application to vary a criminal restraint order to facilitate the realisation of a substantial investment property by receivers appointed by the bank.

Employment > Pensions Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP acts for a range of high-profile pension schemes and provides pension support to a number of US law firms, particularly in relation to major transactional mandates. The Leeds team, led by Jo Ratcliffe with her ‘huge depth of knowledge and experience‘, has a sector specialism in privatised utilities, charities, and public sectors. Also of note is Elizabeth Graham, who has developed a large client roster of pension funds from her work both nationally and internationally.

Practice head(s):

Jo Ratcliffe

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Graham; Ruth Bamford


Highly knowledgeable and experienced, particularly in complex transactions and negotiations.’

‘Great breadth of knowledge and skills in the team. Very easy to get hold of and work with.’

‘Their Pensions Breakfast Seminars in Leeds are well-known for being innovative, fun, and engaging.’

Jo Ratcliffe is down-to-earth, warm and engaging, and easy to work with. Jo is has a huge depth of knowledge and experience and I would want her on my team on any difficult negotiations.

Friendly and very knowledgeable. Gave practicable advice at all times.’

Good attention to detail.

Key clients

Trustees of the Forth Ports Group Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Drax 2019 Defined Benefit Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Capita Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Trustees of the Water Associated Employers Pension Scheme

Trustees of the York University Pension Fund

Trustees of the University of Manchester Superannuation Scheme

Trustees of the PACCAR UK Pension Plan

Trustees of the NG Bailey Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Trustees of the Banco do Brasil Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Ashland Pension Scheme

Trustees of CMP Batteries Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Hashimoto Limited Pension Scheme

Trustees of the NG Bailey Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Projects, energy and natural resources (including PFI) > Infrastructure and energy Tier 2

Praised for its 'exceptional client care and collaborative approach', Walker Morris LLP's infrastructure and energy practice is particularly noted for its knowledge of the energy-from-waste and bio-resources sector where it acts for local authorities, contractors, fuel suppliers, developers and technology suppliers. The group is also active in renewables work and Net Zero issues including sustainable finance work and low-carbon projects. Energy-from-waste specialist Ben Sheppard, real estate expert Judith Pike and corporate partner Tim Jackson-Smith jointly lead the practice, which also includes litigator Gwendoline Davies and Jules Harbage, who handles construction work.

Practice head(s):

Ben Sheppard; Judith Pike; Tim Jackson-Smith

Other key lawyers:

Gwendoline Davies; Jules Harbage; Adam Bertram; Jake Smith


‘I would highly recommend Walker Morris given their professionalism, excellent quality of service, speed of delivery and value for work done.’

‘Adam Bertram and Ben Sheppard are very thorough, efficient and have excellent knowledge of project and finance documentation. Their ability to deliver high quality work on a short notice (in case of a change to project deadline) is most impressive. The team is very responsive to requests and always provides a constructive solution within a short time frame.’

‘Exceptional client care, collaborative approach and are fully invested in our needs.’

‘Commercial understanding combined with straight talking no nonsense approach to dealing with sometimes complex issues. Turnaround for items of work is also exceptional.’

‘Great team with great experience in the sector.’

‘In depth knowledge, excellent approach, pragmatic. Feel well looked after.’

‘The team not only know their sector, but are very client focused, delivering advice that is practical, precise and punctual. The infrastructure and energy practice has been our port of call for most of our difficult queries. There is a real sense they want to help their clients achieve success.’

‘Judith Pike and Jake Smith are both phenomenal and are the key support team on all property related matters. They both really care about their clients achieving the desired commercial outcome but finely balance this with protecting our position as much as possible. The rest of the team are also brilliant, and highly responsive. There is a strong collaborative approach to their work.’

Key clients

MVV Environment


Drax Group plc

Port of Tilbury

British Steel

Smartest Energy

Homes England

Kier Group

FCC Environment

Grissan Energy

Outotec (USA) Inc

Associated Waste Management

Barnsley Metropolitan District Council


Rock Solid Processing

Arla Foods


East London Biogas

Conrad Energy


Iona Capital


OCO Technology


Island Green Power

Direct Special Metals

Integrated Power International Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising leading energy-from-waste company MVV Environment on an energy-from-waste combined heat and power facility capable of generating 30MW of electricity and approximately 5MWth of renewable heat.
  • Acting for Port of Tilbury in connection with the expansion of its operational port at Tilbury.
  • Advising Global Connectivity plc on the £75m investment by Tiger Infrastructure Partners Fund III LP into two operating subsidiaries delivering full fibre broadband in rural areas.

Public sector > Education Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP is highly regarded for its work with schools and colleges, and is particularly active on academy conversions and building carried out pursuant to the Condition Improvement Fund. Recently, the group has also been expanding its client base in the university arena, with prominent names including Leeds Arts University and London South Bank University now featuring on the firm’s roster. Key senior contacts David Smedley and Jules Harbage are recommended for their employment and construction expertise, respectively.

Practice head(s):

David Smedley; Jules Harbage

Other key lawyers:

Alex Jones


‘Everything about Walker Morris is a joy. They are quick to respond, support us and are always helpful.’

‘They have always been knowledgeable, reliable and helpful.’

‘Very, responsive, personable, professional and practical.’

‘Walker Morris has gone over and above helping our client and myself navigate the legal and contractual process for a project that has been specifically difficult.’

‘They just provided the assurance that you need sometimes when we have difficult problems to overcome.’

‘I worked primarily with Alex Jones and I would recommend him without hesitation or reservation. Knowledge is key, and his interpretation in legal terms for our difficult situations always gives us confidence when we are dealing with delicate situations that could cause significant financial issues to the trust.’

‘They have supported us through many projects and are always very clear with their direction and instructions. To a non-legal person their support through the process has been invaluable. Their response times are excellent and they are always on hand to offer support.’

Key clients

Leeds Arts University

Leeds College of Building

Burnley College

New Collaborative Learning Trust

Exceptional Education Trust

St Mary’s Catholic High School, Chesterfield

South Wigston High School, Leicester

Kirkbie Kendal School, Kirkbie

Bradford Grammar Schools

Connaught School for Girls

Bolton College

Pontefract Academies Trust

Leeds Beckett University

Eveleigh Link Academy Trust

Hoyland Common Academy Trust

New Collaborative Learning Trust

Rodillian Multi Academy Trust

Findel Education

The Rutland Learning Trust

Spalding Academy

Hartwell Primary School

King Edward Vi Education Trust

Giles Academy

Monkwearmouth Academy

Stanley Learning Partnership Trust

Innovate Multi Academy Trust

Excel Academy Partnership Trust

Every Child Matters Academy Trust

Westgate Academy

The Grammar School at Leeds

London South Bank University

Dorrington Academy Trust

Rossett School

The Consortium Multi Academy Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising EQUANS Regeneration on a £200m student accommodation scheme at the University of Birmingham’s Pritchatts Park campus.
  • Assisting the Consortium Multi Academy Trust with multiple construction projects undertaken via the Condition Improvement Fund scheme for a combined value of £5m.
  • Advising Leeds Arts University on a window replacement project, including associated infrastructure and controls, at the St Marks Road elevation of the University’s Blenheim Walk campus.

Public sector > Health Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP has demonstrable experience advising care providers and retirement living companies, medical devices corporations and NHS trusts on a broad range of healthcare matters, from regulatory issues and construction cases to M&A transactions and restructurings and insolvencies. Jo Stephenson, ‘who delivers a professional service that goes above and beyond’ to clients in the health and medical devices sectors when advising on acquisitions and disposals, jointly leads the team alongside director Lucy GordonJeremy Moore is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Jo Stephenson; Lucy Gordon

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Moore; Adam Reed; Claire Burrows


‘The team provides user-friendly, practical advice. It conducts a thorough assessment of the issues at hand before focusing on the most relevant aspects for the client.’

‘Walker Morris offers a multidisciplinary service from a single site. They focus on providing sound, commercial advice and a partner-led service. They consistently achieve results and offer great client care.’

‘Jo Stephenson is a highly regarded trusted adviser in the sector. She always delivers a professional service that goes above and beyond and is actively involved in each transaction she works on, adding great value. Her attention to detail, technical knowledge and focus on client care are second to none.’

Key clients

Anchor Hanover Group


David Wylde

Glencar Construction Ltd

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

NHS Business Services Authority

NHS SBS – appointed to the NHS SBS panel

NHS Commercial Alliance – appointed to the NHS Commercial Alliance Partnership to provide legal services

Servelec Group

Synergy Healthcare UK Limited

TPP (The Phoenix Partnership)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Avacta since its spin out from Leeds University and advising it on its acquisition of Launch Diagnostics, an independent distributor in the UK in-vitro diagnostics market.
  • Advised Glencar in relation to a project comprising the design and construction of the UK’s Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) at The Harwell Science And Innovation Campus, where Glencar had been engaged as main contractor by Harwell Oxford Management Limited in relation to the design and construction of the specialist £195m VMIC.
  • Advised Moulded Fibre Products in relation to a in a patent litigation involving paper pulp products which were supplied to the NHS.

Real estate > Environment Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP‘s environmental law team is active in both the corporate regulatory compliance and planning space and is capable of handling a wide range of contentious and non-contentious mandates, particularly in relation to climate change and waste regulations. Stuart Ponting, who leads the team’s regulatory activities, advises on the environmental compliance and due diligence aspects of major corporate mandates and real estate development projects, as well as acting in environmental investigations and disputes surrounding regulatory breaches. Richard Sagar leads the planning side of the team following Alison Ogley's departure in December 2022 and provides environmental insights on planning applications and appeals. Regulatory expert Rachel Turnbull is also recommended, along with Josh Kitson, who advises on site contamination and waste issues in relation to environmental permits.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Ponting; Richard Sagar

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Leeson Polyurethanes Limited

Manor Farm Feeds Limited

Stonebridge Homes

FCC Environmental Limited


Associated Waste Management Limited – Derbyshire Waste

MVV Environment

Arla Foods

Grissan Energy

Northumbrian Water

Work highlights

  • Advised a national housebuilder on a significant prosecution for repeated and ongoing silt pollution incidents, securing a financial penalty considerably below what had been anticipated.
  • Advised a client on the environmental due diligence aspect of its purchase of two contaminated sites.
  • Advised a leading waste management business on end of waste criteria and assessments.

Real estate > Social housing Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP’s Leeds-based social housing team acts for a range of housing associations, contractors, house builders and lenders. Housing development expert Chris Woodthorpe and property litigation lawyer Karl Anders jointly lead the cross-disciplinary practice, which is active in contentious and non-contentious work and chiefly handles development projects, tenancy work, and financings. Ben Sheppard is a further key contact for procurement matters, and real estate specialist Paul Laverty is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Chris Woodthorpe; Karl Anders

Other key lawyers:

Ben Sheppard; Paul Laverty; Deborah Brown


‘Karl Anders is an extremely cool-headed, intelligent, efficient, and experienced solicitor who is great to work with. Deborah Brown is very experienced, bright, hard-working, and also great to work with.’

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP is instructed by a diverse roster of standout clients including Ferrero and Leeds United to advise on the management of trade mark portfolios, excelling particularly in international brand protection matters. The team regularly assists with trade mark registrations and, through its ability to handle patent and trade mark infringement claims, is particularly renowned for its strength in contentious matters. Practice head Alan Harper is highly recommended for his experience as a litigator, working on a diverse array of infringement claims for defendants and claimants, and is also active on IP licencing deals. Sarah Williams is a key contact for IP portfolio management, particularly for clients in the sport sector.

Practice head(s):

Alan Harper

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Williams; Matthew Lingard


‘In recent years I have worked predominantly with Alan Harper. I find that his analysis and strategy is consistently pitched just right – a fine balance of assertiveness, cunningness, and reason – which time and time again gets an early result for his clients.’

‘Practical advice with a commercial focus.’

‘Knowledgeable and approachable.’

‘The Walker Morris team are extremely responsive and make themselves available at any time, for any situation that arises. They are highly approachable and able to explain issues in layman’s terms, so we are always clear on actions required.’

‘Alan Harper is our key contact for IP matters. He is very approachable and will invest time and effort into ensuring that we get the best outcome in any circumstance. His advice is measured and fair. He has taken the time to really understand our business, which makes a major difference in our interactions.’

‘The team is responsive and provides helpful input across a variety of areas of IP law.’

‘Alan Harper has a good understanding of cross-border IP issues and differences between jurisdictions. He draws on his contentious experience when providing transactional advice, which helps make his input more focused.’

Key clients

Banner Group

Deckers Outdoor Corporation

Ferrero Group

Findel Education Limited

Hallmark Cards Inc

Harrison Bathrooms Limited

Leeds United

Leisuregrow Products



Moulded Fibre Products Limited


The Meatless Farm Limited

Watkins Drinks (t/a Mighty Pea)

Welspun (Christy)

Wrexham AFC

Work highlights

  • Advised Ferrero Group, one of the largest chocolates and confectionery companies in the world, on the enforcement and management of its entire UK trade mark portfolio.
  • Advised pioneering biotechnology company Moderna on brand clearance in relation to multiple key brands.
  • Acted for Moulded Fibre Products in a High Court patent dispute.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 2

The IT and telecoms team at Walker Morris LLP advises an extensive client roster, which includes Starbucks and Crystal Palace FC, on IT procurements, and handles contractual matters and negotiations in support of bespoke software purchases and digital transformations. The team is particularly well versed in handling technology matters for sports clients and also has notable expertise in advising on technical telecoms matters. Practice head Sally Mewies is renowned for her ability to advise on IT contracts, especially in the context of cloud-based solutions and SaaS. James Crayton and Luke Jackson are also highly recommended for their expertise in outsourcing matters. The practice benefitted from the recruitment of Nick Stubbs in 2024, who joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

Practice head(s):

Sally Mewies

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Bloor Homes

Center Parcs

Crystal Palace Football Club


Mobile Broadband Network Limited



Vitt Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Bloor Homes on its multi-million pound framework agreement for its strategic procurement of business critical IT systems.
  • Advised Starbucks alongside its UK and EMEA legal teams on various IT procurements for its stores and franchise.
  • Advised Center Parcs on various IT projects.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 3

Walker Morris LLP handles a range of corporate tax matters for domestic and international clients, with demonstrable experience advising on M&A, real estate, employment, and litigation matters. Key areas of expertise include share schemes, SDLT and VAT advisory work, and corporate transactional work for private equity and sports sector clients. Nicola Parkinson leads the team and handles share scheme-related matters for international clients. Simon Slade and John Christian recently departed the firm.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Parkinson


‘There is always someone who can help you. If they do not have someone in their practice that can help, then they also work with many other overseas teams that they can draw on.’

‘They are always helpful and get back to you quickly. They work with us on projects which are new to us, but that they specialise in, so they explain things so we can understand them. Very friendly and also professional.’

Key clients

Kirkland & Ellis

Endless LLP

Unite Students

Willkie, Farr & Gallagher

Jigsaw Insurance Services plc

Avacta Group plc

AFC Bournemouth

Work highlights

  • Worked alongside Kirkland & Ellis to provide clients in the UK and USA with due diligence advice relating to share schemes and incentives.
  • Advised on the disposal of BSW Timber group to Binderholz.
  • Advised Unite Students in connection with VAT and SDLT matters.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 3

The Leeds-based Walker Morris LLP‘s sports team – led by David Hinchliffe and supported by directors Christian Slinger and Charlotte Smith as well as India Swall – focuses on football matters, particularly the sale and purchase of football clubs, and Football Association (FA) regulatory charges concerning breaches involving player transfers and intermediaries. Slinger - noted for his experience of working on football sector M&A - is a key port of call for for a number of clubs in the Premier League, the English Football League and the National League, while Smith routinely assists on employment aspects.

Practice head(s):

David Hinchliffe

Other key lawyers:


‘Always popping up in a range of sports cases, particularly football. A really good bunch of people.’

‘David Hinchliffe is the go-to person when it comes to takeovers in football. Hugely knowledgeable, well-known, very much liked. A treat to work with him.’

‘India Swall is a great associate. Deals brilliantly with cases and clients. Very bright, great drafting. Works at a level way above expectations for someone of her PQE.’

‘Top level sports law firm. Their incredible roster of loyal clients – especially Premier League and Championship football clubs – really says it all. They know the sports law world inside out and back to front, and always fight hard for the best results.’

‘Clients love and trust David Hinchliffe, with good reason. He understands their commercial needs and always fights their corner, he’s extremely well-connected, has seen it all, and knows the best way through any issue or dispute. India Swall is an excellent up-and-coming associate, with calm, poise and ability beyond her years. Always a complete pleasure to work with. Capably and dependably manages every aspect of major and high profile High Court and sports arbitration work. One to watch.’

‘Perhaps the firm with the best understanding of and connections in elite level football in the UK.’

‘David Hinchliffe is one of the best connected and most experienced lawyers operating in the sector.’

‘Their absolute strength is that no other firm is as deep in the industry as them. They know the industry better than anyone. Stephen Morris and David Hinchliffe are absolute sector specialists.’

Key clients

AFC Bournemouth

Ali Acun Ilicali


Bidding consortium for the takeover of Chelsea FC

Blackpool FC

Brighton & Hove Albion FC

Burnley FC

Carlisle United FC

Huddersfield Town AFC

Leeds United FC

Sheffield United FC

Watford FC

Wrexham AFC

York City Knights RLFC

Work highlights

  • Acted on the sale of AFC Bournemouth Limited for A.FC.B Enterprises Limited to the consortium led by American philanthropist and businessman, William Foley II.
  • Assisted Brighton & Hove Albion FC in relation to a number of charges brought by the FA relating to a significant number of historic player transactions.
  • Supported Sir Martin Broughton’s Bidding Consortium in the widely publicised race for the takeover of Chelsea FC and carried out due diligence on the target group.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Manchester

Corporate and commercial > Private equity: transactions - mid-market deals (up to £250m)

From its Leeds base, Walker Morris LLP acts for portfolio companies and private equity funds - both domestic and international - on a range of buyouts and portfolio company transactions, frequently with a cross-border element. Debbie Jackson - experienced in PE, VC, and M&A work - leads the team.

North West > Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Manchester

Walker Morris LLP is a commercial law firm that provides tailored, long term, strategic advice to multinational companies and public and private companies around the world. Our diverse collection of lawyers and professionals carry an entrepreneurial spirit and work incredibly hard to help clients forge their own paths and achieve greater success.


Our corporate group advises on UK and multi-jurisdictional private and public acquisitions. For the majority of our clients we have long lasting and imbedded relationships which allows us to be aligned with the strategic rationale of the transaction at hand. The size of our corporate group, along with the nature of the transactions we work on, allows us to navigate our clients through UK and overseas market practices and ensure that transactions are run in the most efficient manner and align with our clients’ goals. Our Corporate lawyers are familiar with all aspects of corporate law and regulation affecting public and private companies, private equity and venture capital sponsors, management teams and their respective advisers. We also work closely with our specialist tax team and merger control/national security team to ensure transactions are structured appropriately.

Our finance team has the knowledge, experience and expert legal skills, as well as the business judgment, to enable even the most complex of financing deals to be completed smoothly and safely for our clients. We act on local, national and international financings and on each type of transaction, we’re able to spot and overcome issues before they become problems and the strength and size of our team means we can deliver these solutions on time and within budget. Our Team of lawyers have specialist expertise in corporate financings, acquisition and leveraged finance, property finance (both investment and development), asset based finance and restructuring work covering the full range of corporate funding requirements.All of the partners in our team are recognised as leaders in their own fields.

Our litigation & dispute resolution team is one of the largest and most successful outside London, offering specialist legal services in litigation, international arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. We help our clients to avoid disputes becoming litigious wherever we can. Right from the very start we‘ll work with you to develop a clear strategy, as well as identifying and analysing any risk.Our role is to optimise any pressure points and find opportunities to resolve the dispute. We make decisions based on the outcome you need and we don’t lose sight of cost.Our clients are in every industry sector, ranging from multinational corporations and major financial institutions through to SMEs and high-profile individuals. We regularly advise on potentially contentious aspects of major corporate and financial transactions, and with an increasingly global client base, our international arbitration practice is growing rapidly.

Our real estate group is a close-knit team of over 40 lawyers who believe in real teamwork. We have one of the strongest specialist real estate groups in the country and have an enviable reputation for delivering focused legal advice. Our knowledge of real estate law, built through decades of business cycles, combined with our day-to-day involvement with the market, means we can identify important issues and provide advice of the highest quality. Our depth of experience ensures we provide you with the expertise you need to achieve your goals. We represent all of the various parties involved in real estate transactions including: sellers, buyers, developers, investors, partners, lenders, borrowers, landlords and tenants and our clients rank among the top players in the industry.

Our commercial group is one of the largest commercial law teams outside London and we’re proud of our unique blend of technical and commercial skills. Everyone in our team has spent time working in-house either in permanent roles or on secondment and we put this frontline experience to good use, helping our clients to minimise their risk of disputes while also maximising their chances of success. Our team operates at the nexus where law meets business.We know your business relies upon its contracts: with suppliers, customers, distributors, agents, partners, service and logistics providers. We want to help you get those contracts right and we’ll find a way that works for you – whether that’s a lengthy negotiated legal text, or something much shorter – we’re built to be flexible and we’ll work with you to find the approach that most suits your needs. We have market leading experience in the food and drink sector, pharma, football, manufacturing and logistics and we pride ourselves on adding value by appreciating the commercial risks and drivers of a situation, while our market knowledge ensures we avoid unnecessary negotiations.


At Walker Morris we believe in doing things differently. We strive to elevate our clients to greater success and we need the right team to do that. If you join us, we’ll take the time to get to know you and we’ll let you take the lead. Have an idea? Go and make it happen. Want to forge your own path? Visit www.walkermorris.co.uk/join-us

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Malcolm Simpson malcolm.simpson@walkermorris.co.uk +44 (0)113 283 2500
Chairman of the LLP David Smedley david.smedley@walkermorris.co.uk +44 (0)113 283 2500
Photo Name Position Profile
Karl Anders photo Mr Karl Anders Partner
George  Bacon photo Mr George Bacon Partner
Cameron Baloyi Rigby photo Mr Cameron Baloyi Rigby Partner
Jeanette Burgess photo Mrs Jeanette Burgess Partner and Head of Regulatory & Compliance
Mark Byrne photo Mr Mark Byrne Partner
Nick Cannon photo Mr Nick Cannon Consultant
Simon Clark photo Mr Simon Clark Partner 
Peter Considine photo Mr Peter Considine Consultant
Will Cousins photo Mr Will Cousins Partner 
James Crayton photo Mr James Crayton Partner and Head of Commercial
Gwendoline Davies photo Mrs Gwendoline Davies Partner and Head of Commercial Dispute Resolution
Oliver Duke photo Mr Oliver Duke Partner
Trudy Feaster-Gee photo Mrs Trudy Feaster-Gee Partner, Barrister and Head of Competition
Liz Graham photo Ms Liz Graham Partner
John Hamer photo Mr John Hamer Partner and Head of Corporate
Jules Harbage photo Mr Jules Harbage Partner
Paul Hargreaves photo Mr Paul Hargreaves Partner – Construction & Engineering
David Hinchliffe photo Mr David Hinchliffe Partner and Head of Sport
Debbie Jackson photo Mrs Debbie Jackson Partner
Austin Judson photo Mr Austin Judson Partner 
Nick Lees photo Mr Nick Lees Partner
Duncan Lole photo Mr Duncan Lole Partner
Daniel Lyon photo Mr Daniel Lyon Partner – Construction & Engineering
Martin McKeague photo Mr Martin McKeague Partner
Nick McQueen photo Mr Nick McQueen Partner
Sally Mewies photo Ms Sally Mewies Partner and Head of Technology Group
Jeremy Moore photo Mr Jeremy Moore Partner
Gawain Moore photo Mr Gawain Moore Partner
Richard Naish photo Mr Richard Naish Partners and Head of Food & Drink
Steve Nixon photo Mr Steve Nixon Partner – Real Estate Group
Andrew Northage photo Mr Andrew Northage Partner
Daniel O'Gorman photo Mr Daniel O'Gorman Partner
Alison Ogley photo Ms Alison Ogley Partner – Planning & Environment
Tom Peel photo Mr Tom Peel Partner
Judith Pike photo Mrs Judith Pike Partner
Stuart Ponting photo Mr Stuart Ponting Partner
Louise Power photo Mrs Louise Power Partner
Jo Ratcliffe photo Mrs Jo Ratcliffe Partner and Head of Pensions
Andrew Rayment photo Mr Andrew Rayment Partner
Adam Reed photo Mr Adam Reed Partner
Richard Sagar photo Mr Richard Sagar Partner
Richard Sandford photo Mr Richard Sandford Partner
Martin Scott photo Mr Martin Scott Partner and Head of Construction & Engineering
Ben Sheppard photo Mr Ben Sheppard Partner
Malcolm Simpson photo Mr Malcolm Simpson Partner
Chris Slater photo Mr Chris Slater Partner
David Smedley photo Mr David Smedley Partner and Head of Litigation and Employment
Jo Stephenson photo Ms Jo Stephenson Partner – Corporate Department
Michael Taylor photo Mr Michael Taylor Partner and Head of Banking & Finance
Sarah Ward photo Ms Sarah Ward Partner
Jane Weaver photo Mrs Jane Weaver Partner
Chris Woodthorpe photo Mr Chris Woodthorpe Partner
Number of UK partners : 57
Number of other UK fee-earners : 300