Firm Profile > Walker Morris LLP > Leeds, England

Walker Morris LLP
33 Wellington Street
LEEDS
LS1 4DL
England

Banking and finance Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP's broad banking expertise encompasses unitranche fundings, leveraged buyouts, real estate finance work and debt fund matters. The practice, rated for its 'down-to-earth approach and strong technical proficiency', has also grown its wholesale funding expertise for consumer finance and SME finance businesses. 'Excellent' team head Michael Taylor handles all elements of corporate banking and acquisition finance work, Peter Considine is noted for his cross-border expertise, while Ian Akitt is described as 'brilliant'.

Testimonials

Walker Morris is unique in that it combines strong technical proficiency with a down-to-earth approach and provides professional, timely and efficient support‘.

Michael Taylor is a clear leader in the local market’.

Peter Considine is technically very competent and adept at providing advice on complex issues that non-subject-matter experts can understand. He goes above and beyond the standard levels of service‘.

The team is always available, turns around documents efficiently and has top-class advice‘.

Key clients

Santander

Yorkshire Bank

Strata Homes

Servelec Group

Proactis Holdings

Moolmoor Investments

Augean

Hargreaves Services

Moorgarth Retail

Endless

Evans Property Group

Evo Business Supplies

Banking litigation Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP handles the full range of contentious matters for its impressive financial services client roster. Louise Power heads up the team and focuses on financial litigation involving secured lending elements including multi-jurisdictional fraud issues and surveyors negligence claims. Other names to note include Richard Sandford, whose experience ranges from secured and unsecured debt recovery to professional negligence claims; Andrew Beck, who is a key contact for fraud investigations, and multi-jurisdictional debt and asset recovery partner Rob Aberdein.

Testimonials

The banking litigation team at Walker Morris LLP is very approachable and knowledgeable,  quick to respond and proactive with making suggestions and improvements.

Director Justin Coley is very supportive and highly professional and diligent in responding to client queries with urgency. He brings a clear and balanced line of advice to a varied range of topics.

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group

Leeds Building Society

Yorkshire Building Society

Co-operative Bank

Admiral Financial Services

UKAR

Bank of Ireland

Skipton Building Society

Furness Building Society

Atom Bank

Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 1

Praised for its 'attention to detail, strategic planning and forward thinking', the practice at Walker Morris LLP acts for a range of local, regional and international clients including large UK housebuilders, US-headquartered industrial companies and Western European-based energy companies. Team head Gwendoline Davies is experienced in handling pensions litigation, trade disputes, contentious corporate and partnership matters, product liability issues, nuisance claims and technology sector disputes; Malcolm Simpson has notable expertise in the manufacturing, automotive, power generation, property development and technology sectors, and Nick Lees has particular knowledge of the food and drink sector.

Testimonials

Malcolm Simpson is a conscientious lawyer who does a good job.

The skillful and intelligent way that Walker Morris LLP  disarms and collapses any opposing arguments that are not founded on the White Book or factual matters of law and process brings a refreshing sigh of relief that they are your lawyers and not the opponents.

Walker Morris LLP fields a first-rate team doing superb quality work, outshining many firms based in London.

With great leadership by Gwendoline Davies, the team at Walker Morris LLP employs a commercial and tactical approach linked to good technical knowledge.

Key clients

Persimmon plc

Capita

Caterpillar Group

Engie

Servelec

Asda

LF Europe (part of Li & Fung)

Kier

Alexander Dennis

Johnson Controls

Wright Leisure Limited (t/a Xercise4less)

Jet2

Drax

Arla

1st in Rail

Mibelle (part of Migros)

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 1

Leeds firm Walker Morris LLP has an extensive client base across the Yorkshire region, London and the international arena. Nick Cannon leads the team while Jeremy Moore is noted as a 'standout' performer, handling work for many of the firm's overseas clients. Other important names are Judith Pike, whose recent work has focused on the energy and regeneration sectors, and Will Cousins, who has worked on a number of significant multimillion-pound transactions since making partner in 2017. Director Adam Reed is also well-regarded for his work for ultra high net worth individuals on London acquisitions.

Testimonials

‘We have been working with Walker Morris now for four years and have always found them to be particularly attentive and offer a first class service. We would have no problem recommending them to others.’

‘The team offers unrivalled knowledge across the sector. This is accompanied by a level of personal care and attention you would expect from a family practice.’

‘The all-round service offer set Walker Morris apart from its competitors.’

Jeremy Moore and Martin McKeague are standout partners from the commercial property team.’

‘Joanne Hunter is highly experienced in the residential team and has dealt with some complicated issues for our house building business.’

‘Will Cousins is excellent, particularly attentive and always able to jump on things and turn them around quickly. He is always involved even if associates are taking the lead on matters and we have total faith that he has our clients interests at the forefront of his attention. It is for this reason that we have recommended other clients to engage with him and Walker Morris as a whole.’

‘All individuals at Walker Morris (from front desk to partner) are personable and fun to work with.’

The team at Walker Morris fields several exceptional talents. Judith Pike is an excellent lawyer, Jeremy Moore is a stalwart statesman and a class act, and Adam Reed is a smashing lawyer‘.

Key clients

Talisker Corporation

Crosslane

Homes England

Kier Property

Unite Group

St Bride’s Managers

Scarborough Group

Port of Tilbury

Construction Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP's client base spans listed companies, local authorities, education providers, developers, contractors and consultants, which the team advises on contentious and non-contentious issues at a national and increasingly international level. Martin Scott leads the department and focuses on construction disputes, Tom Peel is active across the full spectrum of work, Jules Harbage handles energy projects, and senior associate Carly Thorpe is also a key name to note. Former director Joanne McNamara left in early 2018 for an in-house role at Home Group, but the team was subsequently boosted by the promotion of Paul Hargreaves and Dan Lyon to the partnership.

Testimonials

The team at Walker Morris works extremely hard to protect the client’s interests and makes great efforts to ensure their opinions on matters are considered while ensuring that the correctness of the legal advice isn’t compromised‘.

Walker Morris fields a team of stellar individuals, which is laid back and a pleasure to work with. It instills confidence in clients, who tend to trust its judgment, and will fight any case as well as it can be fought, often coming up with creative ideas to get results‘.

The team demonstrates a real strength in depth, commitment to its clients and proactively progresses projects. It balances sound technical expertise with a pragmatic, commercial approach‘.

Martin Scott has excellent commercial instincts‘.

Tom Peel provides great support on a wide range of matters and has excellent sector knowledge, consistency and a strong client care ethos. He is highly commercially confident but approachable and realistic‘.

Jules Harbage stands out for his in-depth industry knowledge and strategic advice. He easily sees the big picture‘.

Paul Hargreaves never stops fighting and works exceptionally hard to find an angle that others would likely miss‘.

Carly Thorpe is always excellent for concise and accurate legal advice. She is very commercial and spot-on with her tactical advice. It is refreshing for a relatively junior person to be so commercially aware and confident in her decisions‘.

Key clients

Unite Group plc

Infinis PLC

Tolent Construction Limited

Starbucks

Rushbond Group

Drax Power Limited

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

From its Yorkshire base, Walker Morris LLP attracts a variety of impressive national and international transactions, with particular expertise in the food and drink, retail, waste and energy, technology, healthcare and medical devices and industrials sectors. Practice head John Hamer handles the full range of public and private company takeovers and acquisitions, public market listings, private equity investments and joint ventures, while Debbie Jackson has particular experience in M&A, private equity work and venture capital transactions.

Testimonials

John Hamer is very able and has a commercial attitude.

The quality of the work at Walker Morris is as good as its London rivals and peers, plus it is very well connected to the local business community.

Walker Morris is legally sharp, business and deal-minded, and approachable, with “international firm” levels of responsiveness and service. It is much more international in its way of working than some of the other regional firms, while offering an unbeatable price-quality ratio. That unique combination makes it a clear first choice.

Walker Morris provides a great service and proves you do not need to hire a London firm to get first-class legal advice. Its approach on transactions is to be partner-led, which is invaluable. It has a strong commercial approach, provides clear advice and has a good knowledge of industry specific issues.

Daniel O’Gorman is a key partner in the corporate team. He is intellectually agile and solution-minded, always available and helpful. Dan is simply brilliant. He can jump from a private equity matter to an equity capital markets prospectus issue in a matter of seconds, and comes up with the right approach to move things forward.

Debbie Jackson and Richard Naish are names worthy of a specific mention, who are extremely impressive.

The high-quality advice always focuses on the needs of the client and is always given in a friendly manner.

Key clients

Pelsis Holding (UK)

Renew Holdings plc

Mattioli Woods plc

Revolution Dancewear

Mobileum Group

Fastener Distribution Holdings

Numis Securities

Calbee UK

Audax Private Equity

Pipers Crisps

Endless LLP

TheWorks.co.uk

Total Capital Partners

Business Growth Fund

EU and competition Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP covers all areas of competition law, with a particular focus on merger control, abuse of dominance and other compliance issues. The firm also advises public authorities and private developers on procurement and state aid matters. The team is jointly led by Trudy Feaster-Gee, who has extensive experience in areas including regulated utilities and financial services, and Jeremy Scholes, who also has wide ranging experience, particularly in relation to construction materials and regulated materials. Senior associate Richard Jacques  is the firm's Groceries Supply Code of Practice expert and also has CMA market investigation and EU/UK merger clearance experience.

Testimonials

‘Very friendly and forthcoming lawyers that really know the business.

‘The team is fully responsive to clients needs and proactive in keeping them informed and in seeking instructions as issues arise.’

‘Trudy Feaster-Gee has excellent skills and Richard Jacques does a fine job.’

‘Trudy Feaster-Gee and Richard Jacques are both highly recommended.

‘Trudy Feaster-Gee and Richard Jaques provide an excellent service, are on top of the case and communicate well.’

Key clients

Audax Private Equity

Endless

Hargreaves

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Arla

Pelsis

Pipers Crisps

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP acts on national restructuring and insolvency matters for funders, corporates and administrators. Alongside the team's traditional lender client base and strength in the financial services sector, it has seen an increase in instructions from debt funds and private equity clients. Simon Clark and Duncan Lole jointly lead the practice, which also includes David Hinchliffe, who has a particular focus on finance work for football clubs. The team also includes consultant John Roche, senior associate Sarah MacAuley  - who handles contentious insolvency matters - and senior associate Olivia Robinson, an expert in the financial services and regulated sectors.

Testimonials

The firm fields a joined-up team of good to work with and commercial individuals. The busy team allows clients to benefit from the latest direct insights on technical matters as well as case law‘.

Simon Clark always gives considered and concise advice and quickly grasps the importance of wider commercial dynamics‘.

Simon Clark is a safe pair of hands and a market leader‘.

The technical ability of the solicitors in the department and their ability to think outside the box and resolve matters is excellent‘.

Olivia Robinson is an exceptional lawyer with a bright personality. She is both rigorous and practical and therefore achieves results‘.

Key clients

Endless

Deloitte

EY

KPMG

Homes England

RCapital

RSM (UK)

Mazars

NorthEdge

Santander

CVR Global

Harrisons Business Recovery & Insolvency

Grant Thornton

Local government Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP counts more than 100 authorities across the UK as clients, and also acts for public and private companies operating in the local government sector, including NHS bodies, registered providers, utility companies, funders and contractors. David KilduffBen Sheppard and Chris Woodthorpe jointly lead the practice; Kilduff handles projects and procurement work, Sheppard specialises in energy-from-waste projects and Woodthorpe focuses on real estate issues.

Testimonials

Walker Morris is a well-rounded firm, which gives good, timely, appropriate, cost-effective advice in a friendly and personable manner. It feels like ‘one of the team’ as you can establish a relationship without having to worry too much about the clock ticking. The team considers the project as a whole and is willing to come up with alternative solutions rather than doggedly pursuing a point‘.

The practice is adept at translating complex matters and jargon into laymans terms and can easily identify risks‘.

David Kilduff is knowledgeable and approachable and experienced in issues affecting public procurement agendas. He knows his way around the sector and understands the wider environmental factors affecting decision making on major projects‘.

Key clients

Winchester Council

Cumbria CC

Monmouthshire CC

South Cambridgeshire DC

North Lincolnshire Council

The London Borough of Bexley LBC

Hambleton District Council

Barnsley MBC

Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation

Northampton BC

Durham CC

Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council

Hull CC

Manchester CC

Engie

KIer

Pensions Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP advises its high-profile clients on a range of pensions matters with particular expertise in the privatised utilities sectors including water, electricity, coal, gas and nuclear clients; it also assists charities and not for profits including universities, and public sector clients. Practice head Jo Ratcliffe has specialist TUPE and Beckmann liabilities knowledge, and Gwendoline Davies is highlighted for pensions litigation. Other names to note include directors Craig Looker and Ruth Bamforth; Looker is 'an excellent, technical lawyer' and has particular expertise in employer debt and sex equalisation issues in defined benefit schemes, while Bamforth has experience handling a range of pensions matters, from reorganisations to the winding-up of schemes and regulator interventions.

Testimonials

Walker Morris LLP has a strong pensions team, which is well known in the local market, with a strong brand and reputation.

Walker Morris LLP has a significant Leeds based pensions team with a large number of senior practitioners, which provide a high-quality service.

The pensions team at Walker Morris LLP is pragmatic and sensitive to the culture and behaviours of clients.

Jo Ratcliffe is experienced, well known and respected and has strong leadership skills.

Director Craig Looker is very impressive in client situations, calm, measured and brings experience and good commercial skills.

Director Ruth Bamford has stand-out technical skills and is very much respected in the market.

Craig Looker has the ability to address the most complex of problems in a practical and supportive manner. He has a clear communication style and is personable and easy to engage with.

Craig Looker is highly approachable and takes personal ownership of finding solutions. He is an excellent team player, working smoothly alongside other advisers.

Key clients

Capita Group plc

Trustees of the Capita Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Trustees of the Rockware Glass Pension Scheme

Trustees of the PACCAR UK Pension Plan

Trustee of the Banco de Brasil Pension Scheme

Trustees of the University of Manchester Superannuation Scheme

Trustees of the Toyota Material Handling UK’s Two Pension Schemes

Trustees of the Water Associated Pension Scheme (a sectionalised scheme for non-associated employers)

Leeds University

Trustees of the York University Pension Fund

Planning Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP's client base spans individual landowners, property developers, housing businesses, mineral companies, care homes, student developments, and companies in the residential, mixed-use development and strategic land areas. Team head Richard Sagar has substantial experience in strategic planning advice, planning applications, compulsory purchase orders, High Court challenges and environmental issues; Chris Slater handles section 106 planning obligations; and dual-qualified barrister and solicitor Alison Ogley focuses on contentious work alongside growing non-contentious experience.

Testimonials

Walker Morris commands an excellent reputation in this field and justifiably so. Its professionalism, quality of work, depth of knowledge and honest advice all contribute to its proven success rate‘.

The team provides a well-rounded perspective on all aspects of planning. The group never fails to answer or help with a query and the broad range of expertise from junior to partner level is not surpassed elsewhere‘.

Walker Morris has a sterling reputation for planning in the North, acting for some of the most litigious clients in the most complex and controversial cases. It has a depth of experience across the full range of planning disciplines, which gives it a real understanding of both commercial and legal issues, and it offers incredibly sound, pragmatic and correct advice. A first-rate set of solicitors‘.

The key personnel at Walker Morris are highly professional but at the same time very approachable. They know their profession inside out and get to the heart of issues directly‘.

Richard Sagar and senior director Robert Moore are excellent advocates who leave no stone unturned in the quest to present the strongest case possible at appeal or in court‘.

Chris Slater provides excellent commercial advice‘.

Richard Sagar is a highly experienced planning partner, who is expert in a range of planning disciplines and manages to marry pragmatic and realistic strategic advice with forensic attention to detail, based on his vast experience. He is great with clients and a steely negotiator‘.

Key clients

Hallam Land Management Limited

The Peel Group

Bowmer & Kirkland Limited

Taylor Wimpey

Persimmon Homes

Commercial Estates Group

Asda Stores

BDW Group

Evans Property Group

Unite Group

Professional negligence: claimant Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP has a notably large professional negligence team covering a plethora of areas of work. The 14-partner practice advises financial institutions and other companies on claims regarding fraud, money laundering and cybercrime; the practice is also sought out by lenders, borrowers and investors involved in cases relating to defective construction, while it also has expertise in multi-party disputes. The firm's already strong client base is continuing to expanding to include overseas clients involved in claims against conveyancing solicitors back in the UK.

Testimonials

‘Very experienced and knowledgeable professionals with high integrity.’

‘Knowledgeable and professional, and also very caring.’

‘They show strong logical thinking and excellent analytical skills.’

‘Team members are detailed in their analysis, intelligent and of good judgement.’

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group

UKAR

Accord Mortgages Limited

Bank of Ireland

Leeds Building Society

Yorkshire Building Society

Persimmon

Taylor Wimpey plc

Property litigation Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP's client base encompasses national retailers and occupiers, landlords, public sector companies and energy sector clients. The group has a notable reputation for handling contentious matters relating to developments, particularly housebuilding work. Other areas of expertise include portfolio management issues, contentious disposals and acquisitions, residential lease forfeitures and enfranchisements; the team is also growing its contentious defective title insurance work. Andrew Beck and Martin McKeague jointly lead the department, Malcolm Simpson focuses on developer clients and Karl Anders handles residential landlord and tenant matters.

Testimonials

The team works closely with in-house counsel to try and identify creative solutions that strongly advocate for its clients, but simultaneously aims to achieve a mutually agreeable solution‘.

Walker Morris fields experts in the field who succeed in their key areas and provide an outstanding service at a reasonable price‘.

Martin McKeague and his colleagues approach litigation from the client’s perspective. The advice is sound from a legal viewpoint and also commercial. Martin gets to the bottom of the problem quickly and provides real commercial directions, which is unique in the field‘.

Key clients

Post Office

Starbucks

Secretary of State for Defence

Persimmon

Barratt Homes

Department of Health

Coal Authority

Sky

Unite

Social housing Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP's client base spans housing associations, local authorities, registered providers, contractors, arms-length management organisations and finance clients. The team regularly assists with development and construction transactions, procurement work, joint ventures, housing regulation, housing management, disputes, affordable housing disposals and finance work. Chris Woodthorpe leads the department, which also includes Karl Anders, who heads up the housing management and litigation team; and public sector expert David Kilduff.

Testimonials

Walker Morris is dedicated and responds quickly to client requests, and tries to add value to the matter wherever possible‘.

Key clients

Homes England

Hyde Housing Association

Anchor Hanover Group

St Leger Homes Doncaster

Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing

Broadacres Housing Association

Bpha

South Cambridgeshire District Council

Rykneld Homes

Harrogate BC

First Choice Homes

Sport Tier 1

The sports group at Walker Morris LLP assists with the full range of issues from commercial and contractual matters, including sponsorship deals and transfer agreements, to real estate issues, disputes, disciplinary hearings, club acquisitions and disposals and other corporate and finance mandates. It has experience assisting clients in football, boxing, equestrian sports and cricket as well as investors. David Hinchliffe heads up the practice which includes commercial property partner Jeremy Moore and directors Shakeel Dad and Alistair McHenry, who specialise in employment law and disputes respectively. Senior associates Katie Reed and Liz Coley also have significant experience in the sector.

Testimonials

The team at Walker Morris has exceptional strength in depth – from the commercial acumen of David Hinchcliffe to the first rate litigation skills of Alistair McHenry and Liz Coley‘.

Walker Morris is excellent and definitely in the top bracket. David Hinchcliffe and Liz Coley deserve special praise; they know the game inside out and have an excellent reputation on takeovers as well as all sporting issues‘.

The team has a very strong presence in football, acting for a number of clubs and owners of clubs both in an advisory capacity and in litigation‘.

David Hinchcliffe is one of the best. Liz Coley is also outstanding‘.

Key clients

AFC Bournemouth

Burnley FC

Crystal Palace FC

Everton FC

Fulham FC

Bolton Wanderers FC

Norwich City FC

Nottingham Forest FC

Reading FC

Sheffield Wednesday FC

Rotherham United FC

Scunthorpe United FC

Leyton Orient FC

Dagenham & Redbridge FC

Langford Holdings

General American Capital Partners LLC

Amir Khan

New Era Global Sports

Corporate tax Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP's tax group provides its impressive client roster with a range of corporate, real estate and employee tax planning and transactional advice . Directors Sarah Bruce and Nicola Parkinson jointly lead the practice and handle a range of corporate and property tax instructions, with particular expertise in stamp duty and student housing taxation respectively. Parkinson also has experience assisting clients with employee incentive arrangements.

Testimonials

The team has very good specialist knowledge and experience of various sectors.

Key clients

Endless LLP

Shareholders of Pipers Crisps Limited

Wright Leisure Limited (t/a Xercise4less)

Servelec Group plc

Avacta Group plc

Augean PLC

Renew Holdings plc

Real Good Food plc

Fulcrum Utility Services Limited

Total Capital Partners LLP

Education Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP assists schools and further education institutions at a national level with the full spectrum of issues including commercial contracts, governance issues, employment work, real estate developments and litigation. David Smedley and Jules Harbage jointly lead the practice; Smedley focuses on employment and industrial relations work and Harbage handles contentious and non-contentious construction matters.

Key clients

Leeds Arts University

Selby College

Bury College

Leeds College of Building

Loreto College

Burnley College

Bradford College

Blackpool Sixth Form College

New College Pontefract

New College Doncaster

Kendal College

Rochdale Sixth Form College

The Every Child Matters Academy Trust

London Borough of Bexley Council

South Woodham Pre-school

Franklin College

New College Educational Trust

Harrow College

South Woodham Pre-school

Innovate Multi Academy Trust

Exceptional Education Trust

Westgate Academy Limited

South Manchester Learning Trust

King Edward VI Education Trust

The Red Kite Academy Trust

Leeds Grammar School

Rodillian Multi Academy Trust

Dudley Academies Trust

St Mary’s Catholic High School, Chesterfield

South Wigston High School, Leicester

Humphrey Perkins School, Loughborough

Kirkbie Kendal School, Kirkbie

Rossett School, Harrogate

Giles Academy, Boston

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 2

The Leeds employment team at Walker Morris LLP has recently secured a number of major client wins, with Premier League football teams joining an already impressive roster featuring international corporates. The team, which is led by David Smedley, handles both national and international work alongside its strong roots in Leeds, with food and drink - an area of specialism for Andrew Rayment - standing out as a key sector. Shakeel Dad was recently promoted to partner after playing a central role in many of the firm's recent client successes.

Testimonials

‘The firm displays a genuine desire to understand my business and its key stakeholders, and to use this understanding to give context to our challenges and thus the advice that is then provided. The quality and relevance of the advice is always good.’

‘It can be difficult if you don’t get continuity, and have to explain any scenario several times; this does not happen at Walker Morris – the team are small enough to keep each other informed, but experienced enough to deal with all scenarios.’

‘Unlike some competitors, Shakeel Dad has always taken time to understand my business, my industry and the challenges that we face. He has a very practical approach that he always puts into a commercial context which is really important in business. I value Shakeel’s professionalism, objectivity, commerciality, realism, directness, willingness to support and help, and ability to manage what must be a huge workload. I also admire the way that Shakeel is forward thinking.  I enjoy hearing about how he is managing and developing his own team, and how he is trying new initiatives for example to support better work/life balance whilst still providing the service to clients. Shakeel is also very passionate about developing future talent which is refreshing to hear and I think reflects how much he values the input to his own career.’

‘Shakeel Dad understands the importance of culture to a business and works with his team to ensure that advice that is delivered is on point and in keeping with the relevant company culture. Pragmatic and not afraid to voice an opinion where needed.’

Key clients

Kraft Heinz

Lucozade Ribena Suntory

Everton FC

Tottenham Hotspur

Moss Bros Group PLC

ENGIE

Caterpillar Financial

Asda

The Works PLC

Starbucks

Energy Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP's expertise is focused around waste matters, including energy-from-waste projects, anaerobic digestion matters and bio-resources projects. The group's clients span public sector bodies, utilities and project companies, developers, technology providers, subcontractors and funders. David Kilduff and Ben Sheppard jointly lead the group; Kilduff focuses on project work and Sheppard handles energy-from-waste matters. Gwendoline Davies is the key name for contentious work, Jules Harbage handles construction-related matters and Judith Pike focuses on real estate issues.

Key clients

Sustainable Development Capital LLP

MVV Environment

Wakefield Council

Arla Foods

Kier Group

FCC Environment

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

Coal Authority

Grissan Energy Limited

Associated Waste Management

Barn Energy

Iona Capital

Earth Capital Limited

Yorkshire Water Services

Oil & Pipeline Agency

University of Sheffield

Barn Energy

Environment Tier 2

At Walker Morris LLP, the 'bright and tenacious' Alison Ogley heads up the civil element of the firm's environmental practice, while Stuart Ponting leads the criminal aspect. The group handles the full range of contentious, non-contentious, civil and, increasingly, criminal environment matters and fields a number of former regulators. Recent expertise includes providing permitting advice and handling enforcement cases, planning-related work, European environmental law matters, High Court claims and biodiversity issues.

Testimonials

The team at Walker Morris is approachable, has first-rate knowledge and always puts the client first‘.

Alison Ogley is professional, bright and tenacious. She is a joy to work with and always makes herself available with commercial advice. You would not want her acting on the opposite side‘.

Key clients

Hargreaves Services Plc

Commercial Estates Group

Homes and Communities Agency

FCC Environmental Limited

Taylor Wimpey (Yorkshire) Limited

Rainford Timber Limited

Health Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP's cross-departmental practice counts government departments, NHS trusts, care home and care village providers and private sector companies as clients. The group also advises on medical device issues, restructurings and insolvencies, and regulatory mandates. Jo Stephenson heads up the group, which also includes commercial specialist David Kilduff, regulatory lawyer Stuart PontingJeremy Moore, who handles real estate work; and competition expert Trudy Feaster-Gee, who is experienced in the healthcare, pharmaceuticals and life sciences sectors.

Key clients

Anchor Hanover Group

Avacta

Hyde Group

Kirklees Council

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

Servelec Group

Synergy Healthcare UK Limited

NHS Business Services Authority

NHS SBS

NHS Commercial Alliance

Health and safety Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP is frequently instructed by well-known companies on a range of contentious and non-contentious health and safety matters, with clients spanning the food, manufacturing, healthcare, care homes, construction and demolition sectors. Jeanette Burgess, who has particular experience in handling corporate manslaughter prosecutions, heads up the team, which includes regulatory expert Andrew Northage, Stuart Ponting, who handles a range of contentious matters with a focus on the food, retail and construction sectors; and Robert Starr, who counts rail, food, retail and care among his sector specialisms.

Testimonials

The health and safety team at Walker Morris LLP is wise, sharp, sparky, full of commercial and creative solutions, has outstanding market knowledge, and is ready to roll its sleeves up and be on site late at night or at unsocial hours.

Walker Morris LLP‘s health and safety team is flexible in its approach, pragmatic and helpful.

Walker Morris LLP‘s team is technically on the ball and very approachable.

Stuart Ponting is ‘rock star’ quality; his depth of experience and market knowledge (plus knowledge of the regulators, prosecutors and judges) is second to none.

Stuart Ponting offers wise advice to minimise impact and protect the client.

Director Robert Starr is experienced and has a sound understanding of health and safety, and fire safety legislation.

Robert Starr is an excellent communicator and knows the area of law extensively.

Senior associate Claire Burrows is an outstanding lawyer, very skilled in carrying out and supporting investigations and in negotiating with the regulator.

Key clients

Anchor Trust

Arla Foods Limited

Capvest

Galliford Try plc

Jet2.com

Karro Food Limited

KONE plc

NHS Digital

Renew Holdings

Infrastructure Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP fields practitioners from multiple departments to handle matters in the rail, highways, energy, waste, utilities, education, leisure and telecoms sectors. Clients include local authorities, utility companies, power companies, developers, constructors, technology providers and funders. David Kilduff jointly leads the group with energy-from-waste project specialist Ben SheppardGwendoline Davies focuses on contentious work, Jules Harbage handles construction matters and Judith Pike specialises in funding energy sector work.

Key clients

Wakefield Council

Hull City Council

Barnsley Council

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

Sustainable Development Capital LLP

MVV Environment

Iona Capital

Earth Capital Limited

Barn Energy

Oil & Pipeline Agency

Yorkshire Water

IT and telecoms Tier 2

The technology team at Walker Morris LLP acts for both providers of software and technology services and customers, including large national and international corporates and blue-chip companies. The group is particularly active in assisting with technology transactions in the financial services, health, energy and public sectors. James Crayton advises clients on a range of commercial IT and technology contracts and heads up the cross-departmental team which includes commercial litigator Malcolm Simpson, corporate and capital markets expert Daniel O’Gorman, and regulatory partners Jeanette Burgess and Andrew Northage.

Testimonials

Walker Morris LLP‘s technology team offers excellent availability and response rates with a great commitment to the client relationship.’

Key clients

Age Partnership Limited

Amscreen

Servelec HSC Limited

Arla Foods Limited

Bettson Group

Jet2.com/Jet2holidays

Landis + Gyr

The Phoenix Partnership (Leeds)

Proactis PLC

Lucozade Ribena Suntory

Intellectual property Tier 3

The intellectual property, trade mark and designs group at Walker Morris LLP assists its impressive client roster of well-known brands and high-profile public and private companies with the full spectrum of IP matters. The group has a particular strength in the food production and consumer goods, and sports sectors. Directors Alan Harper and Heather Williams head the IP solicitors team and the trade mark attorney practice respectively. Clients praise Harper as 'enthusiastic and knowledgeable'; he handles a range of contentious and non-contentious work relating to all IP rights, while Williams advises on all aspects trade mark and design law.

Testimonials

The intellectual property team at Walker Morris LLP is friendly yet professional and receives good client base referrals.

Walker Morris LLP‘s IP team stands out for its approachability, willingness to get to the crux of an issue and strong commerciality.

Walker Morris LLP shows real expertise in its proposals and sound judgement in the execution of solutions to international challenges faced by clients.

Alan Harper and associate Matthew Lingard are both very friendly and approachable, and are able to deliver complex information in a straightforward manner.

Heather Williams combines technical expertise with sound practical advice, which allows clients to get to a solution quickly and effectively.

Alan Harper has an encyclopaedic knowledge of his area and is always willing to share best practice and get back to clients quickly.

Key clients

Hallmark Cards

Deckers Outdoor Corporation (Owners of UGG)

Crystal Palace Football Club

Provident Financial PLC

Pipers Crisps

Drax Group PLC

Calbee

Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund/Mibelle Ltd

Dakota Hotels

Harrisons Bathrooms Limited

Seabrook Crisps

Hughes Safety Showers

AFC Bournemouth

Symington’s Ltd

Easy Cleaning Solutions

2 Sisters Food Group

MRBLANCTEETH Limited

Arville Textiles

Barbarian Football Club

Burnley Football Club

Welspun (Christy Towels)

Engie

International Procurement & Logistics

BMB (Baird Group)

Vastana

Janus International

Meatless Farms

Panache Lingerie

Amir Khan

Equity capital markets – small-mid cap Tier 3

Leeds-based Walker Morris LLP had an outstanding year both in terms of deal volume and individual highlight deals, having advised on three IPOs in 2018 each with a market capitalisation of over £100m on admission. Acting for corporate issuers and dealers/brokers, the strong performance of the ECM group and wider corporate team has been recognised by a variety of market sources. The practice group is jointly headed by Richard Naish and Daniel O’Gorman, who is noted for his 'commercial approach to transactions'.

Testimonials

A tremendously commercial team.

Daniel O’Gorman is very knowledgable and brings a commercial approach to transactions.

Key clients

Mattioli Woods plc

Custodian REIT plc

Gear4music (Holdings) plc

Avacta Group plc

Numis Securities

Renew Holdings plc

PROACTIS Holdings plc

Fulcrum Utility Services

N+1 Singer

TheWorks.co.uk plc

Stockdale Securities/Shore Capital

Zeus Capital Limited

Sport Tier 4

While predominantly acting for football clubs and private investors, the sports team at Walker Morris LLP also frequently advises on the selling and purchase of clubs or shareholdings in clubs, as well as sponsorship deals, commercial agreements, partnership agreements and disputes between clubs, often concerning compensation claims, or between individuals and governing bodies. Corporate partner David Hinchliffe represents Premier League and EFL clubs, and has a niche in advising clearing banks, stadium companies and debt funds on financial activity in relation to football, including takeovers. Senior associate Katie Reed, who previously worked in-house at Manchester City FC, recently advised two football clubs on major shirt sponsorship deals.

Testimonials

‘Every partner that I deal with is always readily available at any time. An invaluable service in the world of professional sport.’

‘A real in-depth knowledge of football and its key stakeholders and a partner in David Hinchliffe that runs a tight ship and a great responsive team.’

‘I have nothing but a high regard for David Hinchcliffe and Geoff Cunningham. Their advice is always measured and very sound. They have a real passion for their work, it’s not just a job; you sense a real enjoyment at getting the right answer and solution. They are also fun to work with, knowledgeable, personable and decent.’

Key clients

AFC Bournemouth

Burnley FC

Crystal Palace FC

Everton FC

Fulham FC

Bolton Wanderers FC

Norwich City FC

Nottingham Forest FC

Reading FC

Sheffield Wednesday FC

Rotherham United FC

Scunthorpe United FC

Leyton Orient FC

Dagenham & Redbridge FC

Langford Holdings

General American Capital Partners LLC

Amir Khan

New Era Global Sports

The firm: Walker Morris is a distinctive law firm, valued by its clients for consistently delivering excellent results. It offers a full-service commercial law firm focused on providing national and international clients with partner-led, high-quality advice. Its single national centre of excellence in Leeds has significant advantages in terms of developing a strong, collaborative culture, with the inherent value and cost-effectiveness that a Leeds base brings.

With a staff of over 450 including 46 partners, Walker Morris is uniquely recognised for its strong multi-disciplinary teamwork and straightforward advice. It offers their clients truly accessible partners who get the job right, providing partner-led advice based on their knowledge and understanding of working with individual clients.

Its lawyers’ focus on delivering what they promise, coupled with a high level of commercial awareness, fuels their ability to attract significant new clients from around the world. Working with a global network of like-minded firms, it believes that clients’ interests are best served by introducing them to the right overseas firms for the matter in hand, rather than adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Types of work undertaken: Walker Morris is a commercial law firm offering a full range of legal services. Its depth of expertise assures the needs of its broad client base of national and international companies and public sector  organisations€ can be met.

Corporate: the Firm’s corporate group is well known for its commercial acumen and legal expertise. With 12 partners, many of whom are nationally recognised for their expertise as advisers and deal-makers in their own right, the Group is equipped to advise on all aspects of corporate law and regulation affecting public and private companies, from corporate governance and compliance issues to M&A, IPOs, MBOs, MBIs, fundraisings and takeover bids. The Group works closely with the financial, regulatory and tax groups to provide a full range of M&A, funding and structuring advice.

Finance: with eight partners, all of whom are recognised leaders in their own fields, the Finance Group offers a breadth of specialist expertise in all areas of finance including banking, restructuring, property finance, insolvency, recoveries, real estate and litigation. The Group acts for corporates as well as some of the UK’s largest financial institutions and is recognised as a leading player in the region. The Group was awarded the ‘Legal 500 Award Finance Firm of the Year Award’ (outside London) 2017.

Litigation: the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department consists of 15 partners and is one of the largest and most successful outside London. It is a previous recipient of The Legal 500 ‘€˜Litigation Firm of the Year’€™ (outside London) Award. In addition to the litigation undertaken by the Employment, Construction, Intellectual Property and Insolvency teams, Walker Morris also has vast experience in the fields of commercial dispute resolution, property litigation, banking litigation and professional negligence. It regularly handles high-profile and sensitive disputes, and as well as offering in-depth experience at trial, it handles all forms of dispute resolution including arbitration, expert determination, adjudication and mediation, and several partners are accredited mediators.

Real estate: the Real Estate Group, comprising 12 partners and 30 other fee-earners, is one of the premier real estate groups in the UK and was previously shortlisted for ‘The Legal 500 €˜Real Estate Firm of the Year (outside London)” Award’. It offers a full commercial property service and is supported by the property litigation, commercial dispute resolution, tax, planning and environment, and construction groups. The Group’s list of clients has been likened to ‘a walk down the high street’ as it acts for many well-known brands and the quality, range and value of the work undertaken is impressive.

Commercial: working for both the public and private sectors, the work undertaken includes: intellectual property matters; mainstream private sector commercial contracting; IT and technology contracting; and public sector project and procurement work. The Group has substantial in-house experience with many of its lawyers coming from or having secondments with in-house public and private sector teams. It has a national reputation for PFI and project work, having acted on some of the UK’s biggest projects, particularly in the waste and energy sectors.

International: working with a global network of like-minded firms, it believes that clients’ interests in overseas matters are best served by introducing them to the right overseas firms for the matter in hand, rather than adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Recruitment: Walker Morris continues to invest in its specialist expertise, having made a number of lateral hires and internal promotions in key growth areas. It heavily supports training and development for all staff as a means of achieving the Firm’s corporate objectives. For further information please visit www.walkermorris.co.uk/careers

Department Name Email Telephone
Non-executive chairman David Smedley david.smedley@walkermorris.co.uk +44 (0)113 283 2500
Managing partner Malcolm Simpson malcolm.simpson@walkermorris.co.uk +44 (0)113 283 2500
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Ian Akitt  photo Mr Ian Akitt
Mr Karl Anders  photo Mr Karl Anders
Mr Andrew Beck  photo Mr Andrew Beck
Mr Andrew Bennett  photo Mr Andrew Bennett
Mrs Jeanette Burgess  photo Mrs Jeanette Burgess
Mr Nick Cannon  photo Mr Nick Cannon
Mr Simon Clark  photo Mr Simon Clark
Mr Peter Considine  photo Mr Peter Considine
Mr Will Cousins  photo Mr Will Cousins
Mr James Crayton  photo Mr James Crayton
Mr Shakeel Dad  photo Mr Shakeel Dad
Mrs Gwendoline Davies  photo Mrs Gwendoline Davies
Mrs Trudy Feaster-Gee  photo Mrs Trudy Feaster-Gee
Mr John Hamer  photo Mr John Hamer
Mr Jules Harbage  photo Mr Jules Harbage
Mr Paul Hargreaves  photo Mr Paul Hargreaves
Mr David Hinchliffe  photo Mr David Hinchliffe
Mrs Debbie Jackson  photo Mrs Debbie Jackson
Mr Austin Judson  photo Mr Austin Judson
Mr David Kilduff  photo Mr David Kilduff
Mr Nick Lees  photo Mr Nick Lees
Mr Duncan Lole  photo Mr Duncan Lole
Mr Daniel Lyon  photo Mr Daniel Lyon
Mr Martin McKeague  photo Mr Martin McKeague
Ms Sally Mewies  photo Ms Sally Mewies
Mr Andrew Moodie  photo Mr Andrew Moodie
Mr Jeremy Moore  photo Mr Jeremy Moore
Mr Gawain Moore  photo Mr Gawain Moore
Mr Richard Naish  photo Mr Richard Naish
Mr Steve Nixon  photo Mr Steve Nixon
Mr Andrew Northage  photo Mr Andrew Northage
Ms Alison Ogley  photo Ms Alison Ogley
Mr Daniel O’Gorman  photo Mr Daniel O’Gorman
Mr Tom Peel  photo Mr Tom Peel
Mrs Judith Pike  photo Mrs Judith Pike
Mr Stuart Ponting  photo Mr Stuart Ponting
Mrs Louise Power  photo Mrs Louise Power
Mrs Jo Ratcliffe  photo Mrs Jo Ratcliffe
Mr Andrew Rayment  photo Mr Andrew Rayment
Mr John Roche  photo Mr John Roche
Mr Richard Sagar  photo Mr Richard Sagar
Mr Richard Sandford  photo Mr Richard Sandford
Mr Martin Scott  photo Mr Martin Scott
Mr Ben Sheppard  photo Mr Ben Sheppard
Mr Malcolm Simpson  photo Mr Malcolm Simpson
Mr Chris Slater  photo Mr Chris Slater
Mr David Smedley  photo Mr David Smedley
Ms Jo Stephenson  photo Ms Jo Stephenson
Mr Michael Taylor  photo Mr Michael Taylor
Mrs Jane Weaver  photo Mrs Jane Weaver
Mr Chris Woodthorpe  photo Mr Chris Woodthorpe
Number of UK partners : 46
Number of other UK fee-earners : 260

The Lex 100 Verdict

Walker Morris has 'an excellent reputation within the northern market and pays well for the work/life balance you receive'. Applicants were attracted to the 'six-seat training contract and the opportunity to get involved with regional, national and international work'. Trainees enjoy a mix of 'high-profile and high-value work while assuming a high level of responsibility on small matters' such as 'taking the lead in a phone call negotiating a contract'. Survey respondents were 'struck by the approachability of the partners' and reported that 'the firm is fully invested in a work/life balance'. With colleagues 'eager to train and teach', Walker Morris 'provides a unique learning and development platform' and 'there is a real focus on internal development and career advancement'. Although some trainees were upset that 'there are no international opportunities', others were delighted about 'securing a client secondment'. Recruits complimented the 'combination of top-quality commercial work in a genuinely friendly firm' and some feel that the 'single-site location really adds to the atmosphere and allows different departments to work in a more integrated way'. Because the 'trainee intake is large and very sociable, there is always something going on' and Walker Morris is a Lex 100 Winner for social life. Understandably, being 'overloaded with work at times' and 'one particular week of long hours and urgent deadlines' were less favourable aspects of training. But, 'being trusted to go on a solo visit to a client in London' and 'having freedom in CSR initiatives' were relished opportunities. If you would enjoy 'reasonable hours, friendly staff and loads of social activities', consider applying to Walker Morris.