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 acts on high-value financing matters for major banks and corporates, handling national and international mandates from the firm's single office in Leeds. The team advises on financing issues for international investors active in the UK, syndicated loan facilities, real estate financing work and private equity acquisitions for clients in the real estate, logistics, and food sectors. Practice head Michael Taylor focuses on corporate banking and acquisitions finance issues, with Peter Considine working on debt and equity instruments, alternative financing work and cross-border matters.

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Testimonials

Laura Lister is attentive and very organised – ultimately a safe pair of hands and reliable.

Easy team to work with who take time to understand what you as the client are looking to achieve and action accordingly whilst ensuring the correct advice has been given. Have had an instance where a curve ball was thrown at us from the other party and only through the team’s diligent approach and professional suggestions was the matter resolvable.

The WM team are highly experienced, well regarded in the professional community to be a firm that is professional yet commercial. They are never afraid of advising as they see it, but are prepared to listen when required.

Peter Considine – excellent banking and finance lawyer. Professional, knowledgeable yet absolutely commercial and approachable.

Peter and Michael’s knowledge about the appetite of the banking sector and the restrictions/clauses which banks may impose are invaluable to us.

The interactions we have with Walker Morris offer a consistent level of quality and sometimes challenge where appropriate. We know that the job will be done properly and efficiently, with value added where appropriate.

Key clients

Santander

Yorkshire Bank

Strata Homes

Servelec Group

Proactis Holdings

Moolmoor Investments Limited

Pelsis

Hargreaves Services

Moorgarth Retail

Endless LLP

Commercial litigation: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP has a strong commercial disputes practice with particular construction, manufacturing, energy, food and retail sector expertise. The group acts for a growing list of leading UK and global companies as well as entrepreneurs; it is also a popular choice for foreign companies in UK disputes and counts US-headquartered industrial companies and Western European energy companies among its clients. Practice head Gwendoline Davies, Malcolm Simpson and Nick Lees all have broad expertise in commercial litigation and arbitration. Other names to note include directors Nick McQueen, who has developed a niche in energy sector litigation, and Lynsey Oakdene.

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Testimonials

‘Walker Morris are a high class DR outfit.’

‘Gwendoline Davies is a class act with great clients.’

‘Nick McQueen is the powerhouse of the firm, with all of the skills needed to be a blue chip litigator – passionate, meticulous, great judgment, awesome legal knowledge and fantastic with clients.’

‘Nick McQueen is streets ahead of all of his peers.’

Key clients

Kraft Heinz

Menzies

Barrett Steel Limited

Morses Club plc and subsidiaries

Ortec BV

Moisture Control & Measurement Limited

ENGIE

Asda

Bupa

Kier

Persimmon

Capita

Caterpillar Group

Servelec

LF Europe (part of Li & Fung)

Arla

Drax

Commercial property: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP advises national and international developers, corporates and investors on high-profile transactions and projects. Clients include major retailers, healthcare companies, energy and telecoms suppliers, and private equity funds, reflecting the group's broad sector expertise. The 'fantasticJeremy Moore leads the team and has been active in the healthcare sector, while Judith Pike focuses on energy and infrastructure development work. Consultant Nick Cannon has maintained his work for national retailers after moving into a consultant position, and Will Cousins handled several high-value site acquisitions for student property developers. Senior associate Adam Reed continues to play a key role in major transactions.

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Testimonials

Great property team led by Jeremy Moore. Very good planning team led by Richard Sagar.

Jeremy Moore – fantastic property knowledge available 24/7. Martin McKeague – excellent in all aspects of landlord and tenant litigation.

Knowledgeable, pragmatic, approachable and always available. Provide robust fee proposals and stick to them – out of scope work is flagged early. Work hard to get to know the business as well as the in-house legal team.

Chris Woodthorpe gets the job done – he is a safe pair of hands and always goes above and beyond to help drive projects to a conclusion.

Key clients

Kirkland & Ellis

Unite Students

Downham Land

Gregory Property Group

Unite Students

S Harrison Developments

Port of Tilbury

Scarborough Group

Homes England

Unite Students

Construction Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP advises developers, corporates and local authorities on a diverse range of projects including student housing, healthcare and education projects, and residential and commercial developments. The team provides partner-led advice on contentious and non-contentious matters. Litigator Martin Scott heads up the 'first-class' team and acts in professional negligence and defective premises cases, while Tom Peel acts for developers and corporates in high-value contentious proceedings and advises on building developments. Jules Harbage is noted for his energy infrastructure and engineering expertise, and director Carly Thorpe specialises in drafting standard and bespoke documents and representing clients in enforcement proceedings.

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Testimonials

The team comprises a first class group of lawyers at all levels of seniority. They are all also a really nice bunch of people.

Paul Hargreaves is relentless. Martin Scott’s commercial acumen is second to none. Tom Peel is calm authority personified. Carly Thorpe is always so cheerful and positive.

The team is full of down-to-earth and incredibly hard working individuals. That makes them so well-suited to running group litigation with individuals – often with competing interests – against large corporate entities. The team is extremely well resourced and full of construction and insurance experience from top to bottom. Often, the team operates on the side of the angels and due to recent big cases are all experienced in big TCC disputes. On top of this, the team works with numerous big contractors and has a wealth of knowledge about construction.

Paul Hargreaves is exceptional. He is a tenacious litigator. Martin Scott is a smooth operator with considerable skill in running multi-party high stakes litigation involving construction and insurance issues. He has incredible experience of running successful class action litigation against defendants who are able to run deep-pockets defences.

Key clients

Unite Group

Arla Foods

Homes England

Drax Power Limited

Rushbond Group

Barnsley Metropolitan Council

Leeds Arts University

Tolent Construction

ENGIE Regeneration

Bupa

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

Walker Morris LLP is the premier single-office firm in Leeds and enjoys a reputation as a key practice for providing corporate advice to global and UK-based businesses. Equity capital markets issues, private equity work and private M&A transactions in the mid and large-cap fields are routinely handled by practice head John Hamer, Richard Naish, Debbie Jackson and Daniel O’Gorman. Clients are drawn from a broad range of sectors, with particular strength cited in the manufacturing, IT, financial services and food and drink industries. Jo Stephenson has a focus on the healthcare sector and recently handled a variety of acquisitions for international clients.

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Testimonials

‘Despite the significant size of the firm they have a very personal approach. Pragmatic and deal experienced.’

‘Dan O’Gorman is an outstanding lawyer who charges reasonable rates.’

 

Key clients

Servelec Group

Endless LLP

The Meatless Farm

HelpSystems Group

Menzies Distribution Limited

TheWorks.co.uk

Karro Food Group

Lifco AB

Renew Plc

Audax Private Equity

Innovative Chemical Products Group

EU and competition Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP’s competition practice has notable strength in merger control and regulatory compliance issues under the leadership of Trudy Feaster-Gee. The team is also instructed by a high volume of private equity clients to support on UK investments; corporate clients also stem from the energy and IT sectors. The group also advises public bodies on state aid issues. Contentious matters are handled by commercial litigators Nick Lees and Gwendoline Davies; recent work includes handling follow-on damages cases arising from cartel disputes.

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Testimonials

A large and experienced team in Leeds.

We’ve been very happy with Trudy Feaster-Gee and Sue Harris for a long time.

Key clients

Audax Private Equity

Arla Foods amba

Drax

Endless LLP

Pipers Crisps Ltd.

Homes England

Bridlington Harbour

Hambleton District Council

University of Sheffield

Health Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP undertakes a broad range of work for public sector clients, such as the Department of Health and NHS trusts and is appointed to several NHS legal panels. The firm advises on contractual, procurement and real estate issues and works on proceedings concerning the regulation of health and social care organisations. A niche specialism of the firm is in medical devices, advising a number of multi-national operators on medical device matters such as compliance and re-certification requirements. Jo Stephenson heads the Healthcare team in Leeds and has particular experience in advising on acquisitions and disposals for healthcare clients.

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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

BMI Hospitals

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP counts banks, insolvency practitioners, private equity funds, challengers and alternative lenders, as well as major corporates as clients, acting on high-profile business insolvencies. Practice co-heads Gawain Moore and Duncan Lole advise on complex restructurings; Moore works on major retail and construction matters, while Lole specialises in financial services and regulated industry work. Simon Clark continues to be active, and was appointed to  a senior leadership position within the firm in 2019. Michael Taylor has particular expertise in debt-to-equity deals on behalf of indebted companies. Director Olivia Robinson specialises in complex financial services matters, alongside work in other regulated industries.

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Testimonials

A true heavy-weight player. Deservedly a magnet for high-value and complex litigation (both regionally and nationally).

Duncan Lole – Unflappable. Straight-talking. A great strategist. Olivia Robinson – Experienced beyond her years. Truly invested in achieving her clients’ goals.

I think they are unique in Leeds in the quality of insolvency work that they attract, particularly Duncan Lole in bringing in work in Special Investment Administrations.

Alistair McHenry is super bright and thoughtful but also well prepared and gets the job done.

There is a strong depth in the team. They are experienced in small matters to large scale claims with good internal support. The team proactively manage their case loads and know their cases inside out.

Practical and commercial advice from an experienced and knowledgeable team who are also all really pleasant to work with.

Gawain Moore is forward thinking, up to date with current issues and gives commercial and practical support to find solutions.

Great investigative strengths for fraud litigation and tactically wise to achieve results.’

Key clients

Endless

Deloitte

EY

KPMG

Homes England

RCapital

RSM

Mazars

NorthEdge

Santander

CVR Global

Harrisons Business Recovery & Insolvency

Grant Thornton

PWC

Begbies

BGF

European Commission

Local government Tier 1

The local government department at Walker Morris LLP offers advice on the full range of public law issues, including governance, finance, state aid, procurement, real estate, development, planning, environment, employment, regulatory as well as waste, housing or leisure. The firm has longstanding relationships with over 100 authorities as well as public and private stakeholders, including government departments and agencies, NHS bodies and contractors. Ben Sheppard advises public and private sector clients on local government matters, including PPPs and public sector procurement. Chris Woodthorpe specialises in public sector real estate, acting on complex regeneration, development and housing transactions.

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Testimonials

“Locally minded practice, with a detailed understanding of the sectors and regions they work within.”

“Ben Sheppard worked across both public and private sectors providing an understanding of the key drivers for different stakeholders. Able to flex style to suit different clients.”

“David Kilduff is well regarded across the industry and particularly strong in the provision of advice to the public sector.”

Key clients

Winchester Council

Cumbria CC

South Cambridgeshire DC

North Lincolnshire Council

The London Borough of Bexley LBC

Hambleton District Council

Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation

Hull CC

Wakefield MDC

Homes England

Northamptonshire CC

Private sector contractors

Harrogate BC

Monmouth CC

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Planning Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP provides a broad range of strategic advice to its client base of landowners, property developers, minerals companies and corporates. Key areas of expertise encompass Section 106 and land acquisition issues, environmental and regulatory compliance work, inquiries and contentious proceedings. The team has also increased its involvement in student housing developments and renewable energy projects. Practice head Richard Sagar advises on large-scale planning applications and also handles High Court challenges and environmental matters, while Chris Slater assists with the planning elements of infrastructure and housebuilding projects. Dual-qualified solicitor and barrister Alison Ogley is particularly skilled in contentious environmental issues.

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Testimonials

The Planning team at Walker Morris has considerable strength in the depth of knowledge and strength of advice provided by all staff. There are several Partners all with individual specialisms with one consistency, that they all provide excellent, commercially friendly planning advice. The strength in depth within the team is unrivalled across the north of England.

First class planning team, great for planning appeals.

A team that is well known in Yorkshire and the North for the quality of its advice and robust approach. It is particularly sound on providing practical and commercially-focused strategic advice in promoting large development schemes. Although mostly acting for developers, it has good relationships with planning authorities that arise from its sensible and trustworthy approach when dealing with other persons and bodies involved in the planning process.

Clear, concise and decisive advice. Excellent communication skills and also go the extra mile.

Alison Ogley is a delight to work with. Sharp, quick witted and her attention to detail is second to none. I would not hesitate to recommend Alison.

A truly stellar planning practice, covering the full range of work from inquiries and examinations in public to the most difficult contentious Court cases. The firm’s strong tradition in solicitor-advocacy means that its team are considerably finer-tuned then the competition and always have a laser-like focus on the critical issues. Not just the best planning firm in Leeds but at the very top of the tree nationwide.

Richard Sagar – impeccable judgement, a huge legal brain, peerless at client management and works like a Trojan. His vast experience as an advocate means he works particularly effectively with counsel in formulating the most persuasive arguments and the most effective tactics in difficult and complex court cases. Universally respected by clients, opponents and counsel alike, he is one of the best in the business.

Key clients

Hallam Land Management

The Peel Group

FCC Environment

Commercial Estates Group

Persimmon

Taylor Wimpey

Asda Stores

Bowmer & Kirkland

Town Centre Securities

Unite Group

Bellway Homes

BDW Group

Galliford Try

Professional negligence: claimant Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP's expertise spans numerous sectors and the team acts in disputes involving accountants, solicitors and architects. The practice is also frequently instructed in claims arising from leasehold disputes, including claims where the title to a property is unsecured or there is a challenge to the value of the lender's security. Gwendoline Davies, Paul Hargreaves, Nick Lees, Louise Power, Richard Sandford, Martin Scott and Malcolm Simpson collectively lead the team and are key practitioners. Andrew Beck became a consultant in 2019.

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Testimonials

They know the sector inside out, and all the vulnerabilities of the defendants.’

Extremely strategic – very able to deal with claims involving hundreds of claimants and several causes of action.’

Key clients

Accord Mortgages Limited

Bank of Ireland

Leeds Building Society

Yorkshire Building Society

Persimmon

Taylor Wimpey plc

Property litigation Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP represents clients in complex real estate litigation and provides support on portfolio-related disputes. Clients include national retailers and businesses, commercial and institutional landlords, and public sector bodies in the healthcare and education sectors. Recent work includes landlord and tenant issues, development disputes, land compensation and CPO claims, and residential lease forfeitures. Andrew Beck is now a consultant and has been replaced as practice head by Martin McKeague, who represents landlords, tenants, and insurers in a variety of cases. Malcolm Simpson specialises in development disputes.

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Testimonials

They listen and are very user friendly, they highlight the issues promptly and explain everything and guide you through the process.

Lewis Couth is amazing, he always has time for you and always returns calls, just an amazing ambassador for his firm.

Pragmatic and cost efficient support and advice.

The approach is one that understands our business, what we want out of the legal advice and how to maximise what legal tools are available to us to achieve that.

Martin McKeague is able to look at our matters from our perspective and give us advice based on what is best for our company rather than just what the law says.

Martin McKeague – Of all the lawyers I work with, he is my go to man. He gets to the crux of the matter quickly and his advice is always focused. The team is strong and in my view, the leading real estate litigation team in the region. They are specialists and therefore able to offer the best legal and strategic advice on conducting complex litigation. They are proactive and actively manage each of our matters. We are kept well informed and have no nasty surprises on fees. I have also been very impressed by David Manda who has a cool head and is unflappable.

Key clients

Starbucks

Coal Authority

Persimmon

Menzies Distribution

Kier

Sky

Unite

Homes England

FCC Environment

Social housing Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP provides advice across all stages of housebuilding and social housing projects, including the planning, financing and construction elements, related disputes and property management issues. The team counts a number of national housing associations as clients alongside developers and infrastructure funds, with public funding advice a growing part of the firm's offering. The practice is led by Chris Woodthorpe who acts for housing providers, public sector bodies and developers on transactions and developments, while Karl Anders heads up the housing management and litigation team, advising landlords and associations on a number of regulatory issues.

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Testimonials

The team are highly efficient, due to their knowledge, expertise, professionalism and all round can do attitude. All queries are treated with the same respect, irrespective of their complexity. Working with the team is a pleasure, not a hinderance.’

I work closest with Karl Anders, Zoe McLean-Wells and Emma Needler. Whenever I contact any of them I know that I’m going to be received positively and they make me feel as if I am valued. I never have any reason to doubt any advice they provide and am 100% confident in recommendations they provide. The biggest compliment I can pay them all is that if I need help, they are my first go to people.’

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

First Choice Homes

Sport Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP fields an extensive team of highly praised experts in sports law under the leadership of David Hinchcliffe. Premier League and EFL football clubs engage Hinchliffe and senior associates Liz Coley and Katie Reed on commercial sponsorship deals, player transfers and loan licenses, financing issues, club acquisitions and club disposals. Director Alistair McHenry heads up the sports disputes team, which handles disciplinary proceedings, regulatory disputes and commercial arbitration proceedings. The group also acts for high-profile investors on acquisitions and the management of sports property portfolios.

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Testimonials

Walker Morris have one of the best all-round teams for sports law in the country, especially in relation to football disputes.

David Hinchliff is one of the most experienced and well-connected lawyers involved in football, especially with respect to insolvency, shareholder and ownership issues, and financing.

Liz Coley is extremely knowledgeable having herself previously worked for a number of football clubs on the inside.

A strong team on M&A work in football.

David Hinchliffe is best in the country on buying and selling football clubs.

Katie Reed is an excellent up-and-coming associate.

This is a dynamic and specialist team with a practical outlook for solving a clients’ problems.

Alistair McHenry is a brilliant and accessible lawyer, very knowledgeable in the football market. He is respected in the industry, especially for his commercial expertise acting for Clubs.

Key clients

Swansea City FC

Fulham FC

Bolton Wanderers FC

Burnley FC

Crystal Palace FC

AFC Bournemouth

Reading FC

Amir Khan

Brighton & Hove Albion FC

Nottingham Forest FC

Scunthorpe United FC

Sheffield United FC

Banking litigation Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP's banking and finance litigation group is particularly known for its expertise in mortgage-related disputes, with experience in debt recovery, professional negligence and fraud-related matters. The one-office practice has an impressive national presence and experience in handling cross-border matters. 'Top-level banking litigation partner' Louise Power leads the team, which includes Richard Sandford, who has a broad banking litigation practice. Andrew Beck, who leads the fraud investigations team, and 'up and coming director' Sandip Singh have particular experience in mortgage fraud and professional negligence claims.

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Testimonials

The team provides first-rate client support in the conduct of complex and sensitive dispute resolution. The team is able to manage document-heavy litigation with ease and with the kind of efficiency which puts it on a par with top-tier firms.

Flexible and pragmatic and great at providing solutions for our varied caseload. One of our “go-to” firms for complex and non-standard cases.

Walker Morris provide very comprehensive advice on complex fraud recovery cases in easy to understand terms and language. The team have excellent communication skills and respond to enquiries quickly.’

Louise Power is a top-level banking litigation partner, with a huge amount of experience.

Sandip Singh is an up and coming director, with great legal knowledge and real determination to deliver for his clients.

Richard Sandford has such a wealth of knowledge experience in banking litigation that he is able to navigate the most complex cases with ease.  He manages to combine high-level technical knowledge, commercial common sense and good humour.’

Richard Sandford and his team have a clear understanding of the commercial aspect of our business and show an incredible attention to detail in their work.

As well as dealing with the ‘routine’ in a professional and efficient manner, the partners are quick to respond to unforeseen circumstances, providing support and advice when required. Louise Power and director Justin Coley stand out in this respect.

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

Corporate tax Tier 2

Directors Nicola Parkinson heads up Walker Morris LLP’s corporate tax practice with a focus on corporate and real estate transactional work. The team also provides regulatory assistance as well as advice on employee incentive schemes and VAT tax planning issues.

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Key clients

Valeo Foods

Lifco AB

The Management Team of Servelec Technologies Ltd

FutureLearn Limited

Avacta Group plc

Fulcrum Utility Services Limited

Lloyds Development Capital (LDC)

ICP Construction Inc

Evo Business Supplies Limited

Education Tier 2

David Smedley and Jules Harbage head the education group at Walker Morris LLP. The firm offers a full range of legal services to education institutions, covering corporate and commercial, governance, state aid, employment, pensions and real estate matters, advising on disputes, campus redevelopments and refurbishments and energy and energy efficiency contracts. The firm also handles academy conversions and construction advice, and is also increasing its focus on university work, acting for Leeds Arts University and Leeds Beckett University.

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Testimonials

“The practice is very knowledgeable and has significant experience in the sector and in the type of contracts we are dealing with. They are accessible and always available to answer queries. They listen to the client and will work with you rather than against you.”

“The Walker Morris education team provide excellent value for money. They truly are the exception in being very professional and at the same time friendly and supportive in building a strong and valuable working relationship. This is to the extent that it feels like we are one team rather than provider and client.”

“They are a team I can trust in providing a quality service.”

“David Kilduff provides appropriate advice and guidance with complex issues and uses his undoubted negotiating skills to resolve with external parties to our satisfaction.”

Key clients

Leeds Arts University

Bury College

Leeds College of Building

Burnley College

New College Pontefract

Rochdale Sixth Form College

Exceptional Education Trust

St Mary’s Catholic High School, Chesterfield

South Wigston High School, Leicester

NoKirkbie Kendal School, Kirkbie

Rossett School, Harrogate

Cottesmore Academy

Bradford Girls Grammar School

Connaught School for Girls

Bolton College

Pontefract Academies Trust

Xaverian Sixth Form College

Leeds Beckett University

Eveleigh Link Academy Trust

Hoyland Common Academy Trust

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP’s employment practice has recently expanded its client roster, adding significant names in the sports, retail and manufacturing sectors. Practice head David Smedley is instructed on the full scope of contentious and non-contentious matters, while Andrew Rayment focuses on the food and drink sector, advising on immigration issues, restructurings, senior exits, furlough arrangements, corporate transactions and other HR governance issues. The team also handles large-scale tribunals concerning unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and discrimination claims; recent recruitment director Laura McLellan, who joined from Squire Patton Boggs, has added to this area of expertise.

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Testimonials

The team have solid technical experience but it is their client-centric approach that really stands out. They are very flexible, keen to find a solution that best suits each situation, and always ready and willing to help. We feel that they are an extension of our own team.

Andrew Rayment and Shabana Muneer have been extremely helpful and responsive and the quality of their work is always excellent.

Key clients

Lucozade Ribena Suntory

Barrett Steel Limited

Kraft Heinz

Tottenham Hotspur

RWE Supply & Trading GmbH

Fung Group

Moss Bros Group PLC

StatsPerform

Wavin Limited/Mexichem

Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation

Environment Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP has a broad environmental practice, encompassing corporate support such as regulatory advice and permits alongside strong capabilities in contentious work. Practice heads Alison Ogley and Stuart Ponting both hold considerable advocacy experience, with Ogley having taken roles on significant environmental enforcement cases, including representing Darrington Quarries before the Supreme Court, while Ponting maintains a contentious regulatory practice. Clients include local authorities, corporates, property developers and mineral companies. Associate Rachel Turnbull is noted for her work in environmental enforcement proceedings, having previously worked for the Environment Agency as a regulator.

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Testimonials

I have always found the team to be courteous, efficient and professional, responding to specific deadlines in a timely and constructive manner. Their focus on detail and sound commercial advice stand out from other practices that I have experienced.

Alison Ogley represents the client’s best interests by giving honest, astute and commercial view – always offering beneficial strategic advice in relation to town planning matters. She knows when to lead and when to support other consultants.

Great team. Highly knowledgeable and accommodating at short notice.

My involvement was with an unusual town planning case – Alison Ogley and her team at Walker Morris were able to muster a very strong case based on little-known precedents.’

‘Walker Morris are clearly very strong on planning matters. 

Alison Ogley is highly proficient as a planning lawyer. She is very personable and was happy to listen to and give consideration to approaches/interpretations different to her own. She is a powerful force in court.’

Walker Morris and Alison Ogley’s team of planning specialist solicitors have always put our clients needs first –  they offer a first class service which is tailored for each of our clients requirements and sites. Alison offers pragmatic solutions to situations which require considerable thought and an expert mindset to overcome.

Alison Ogley is most certainly one of the most approachable and pragmatic professionals – she instantly facilitates an open discussion and a focus on core issues. She is always on hand and always listens, never once has she failed to provide an opportunity to a potential constraint.

Key clients

FCC Environment

Hargreaves Services

Taylor Wimpey

Royal Wolverhampton Trust

Commercial Estates Group

Keigar Homes

The Gascoines Group

Darrington Quarries

Health and safety Tier 2

Stuart Ponting is the go-to name at Walker Morris LLP for contentious health and safety engagements; he handles litigation and inquests into fatal accidents for household-name UK and international clients in the food and retail sectors. The team also provides full-service crisis management and incident response support to care homes and construction, manufacturing and healthcare companies, while practice head Jeanette Burgess regularly handles training programmes and audits. Senior associate Claire Burrows provides support on prosecutions and investigations, and is developing a niche in post-Grenfell fire safety issues.

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Testimonials

Walker Morris have a very strong regulatory team with exceptional performers at partner level.

Stuart Ponting is exceptional – a great mix of experience, knowledge and nous all combine to enable him to deal with most regulators in a way which provides a positive outcome. He is the only external lawyer on speed dial in my car- ’nuff said.

‘Simon Tingle is a stand-out lawyer who manages huge clients extremely well and is a future star in the making.

Key clients

Warburtons

P&S Textiles Limited

Kerfoot Group

Karro Food Limited

Young’s Seafood Limited

Galliford Try plc

Jet2.com

NHS Digital

Arla Foods Limited

KONE plc

Infrastructure and energy Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP draws expertise from its real estate, projects, construction and finance departments to handle national, low-carbon infrastructure projects for public and private clients. Practice head Ben Sheppard has extensive experience advising on waste and energy-from-waste projects, while Jules Harbage recently assisted with the engineering contracts for energy and gas storage projects. Gwendoline Davies focuses on energy litigation, notably acting for renewable energy providers in damages claims. The team also advises on rail and housing projects. Judith Pike is also a key name to note.

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Testimonials

Walker Morris has supported us on delivering a number of large-scale energy infrastructure projects that have contributed to delivering our strategic sustainability objectives. I have confidence in Walker Morris due to their breadth of experience and knowledge within the industry. The team are always accessible, and make themselves available as required often at short notice.

Friendly, professional team with excellent expertise in low and zero carbon technologies such as solar PV, battery storage and gas generation.

We find the practice is flexible and client focused. This helps them to meet our requirements in an efficient manner.

Walker Morris have provided a great service to us. Their wide knowledge base enables them to deal with complex issues quickly and always with a sound, commercial approach. Communication and management of issues is very good and work is always well considered.

Ben Sheppard is responsive, clear and efficient.

Ben Sheppard stands out for his outstanding knowledge in the energy infrastructure projects that we have engaged him on. The area of sustainable energy is very complex with a minefield of government legislation and subsidies and is constantly developing. Ben ensures that his knowledge is always at the forefront of what is achievable within the sector, and his advice has proven invaluable on a number of occasions. He is always professional, proactive and pragmatic with a clear commercial mindset.

Jules Harbage is a font of knowledge on NEC contracting and we utilise his expertise constantly on small matters to ensure we are protected from low risk, high-impact disputes.

Key clients

Wakefield council

Cumbria County Council

Barnsley council

MVV Environment

Earth Capital Limited

Oil & Pipeline Agency

Yorkshire Water

FCC Environment

Homes England

Linbrooke Services

London Thamesport

Homes England

Renew Holdings

Thorpe Park Developments Limited

1st Inrail

IT and telecoms Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP’ technology practice recently had a significant lateral hire with Sally Mewies, who joined from Gowling WLG to head up the technology practice. Mewies and James Crayton handle the breadth of commercial IT matters, including outsourcing contracts, licensing deals, cloud and SaaS contracts and M&A activity. IT-related disputes are handled by Malcolm Simpson, and Jeanette Burgess applies her regulatory knowledge to cross-border data processing and data sharing agreements. The client roster comprises both IT customers and suppliers.

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Key clients

Betsson Services Limited

Equifinance Finance Limited

Crystal Palace Football Club

Everton Football Club

Leyden Delta

Uniti

Ceridian

Aimia Foods Limited

Blue Logic

Servelec Group

Pensions Tier 2

With a client roster comprising national employers and trustees, Walker Morris LLP’s pensions practice handles the breadth of contentious and non-contentious issues. Recent engagements for practice head Jo Ratcliffe have involved GMP equalisation, revisions of scheme deeds and rules, audits of historical errors, buyins and buyouts and transactional due diligence. Director Ruth Bamforth leads on bulk transfer projects for defined contribution plans. Commercial litigation head Gwendoline Davies defended a high-value pensions claim for a pensions administrator concerning scheme management and investment.

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Testimonials

The team has a great no-nonsense style. They crack on with projects, finding solutions to problems and making sure that good commercial outcomes can be achieved by all parties.’

Walker Morris are competent, good humoured, responsive and good value. They inspire confidence.

Jo Ratcliffe has a straightforward approach to advice, providing the information that is needed for clear decision making.

Ruth Bamforth has a comprehensive knowledge of legal issues and communicates them simply and clearly.

Ruth Bamforth is a technically able lawyer and communicator.

Key clients

Trustees of the Forth Ports Group Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Drax 2019 Defined Benefit Pension Scheme

Capita Group plc

Trustees of the Capita Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Ardagh 2017 Pension Scheme

Trustees of Toyota Material

Trustees of the Water Associated Pension Scheme

Trustees of the York University Pension Fund

Trustees of the University of Manchester Superannuation  Scheme

Trustees of the PACCAR UK Pension Plan

Intellectual property Tier 3

Walker Morris LLP has a strong contentious IP practice, highlighted by the team’s recent involvement in numerous High Court disputes. Recent work for director Alan Harper (who leads the practice) included defending trade mark infringement and passing off claims for high-profile corporate clients. Associate Matthew Lingard assists with non-contentious matters including commercialisation and partnership deals, corporate due diligence and general portfolio management work. The group also has expertise in the manufacturing, sports, technology and software sectors.

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Testimonials

I like that all teams are under one roof which creates an efficient environment to work in.

I work closely with the Head of IP, Alan Harper, and also Matthew Lingard. Both individuals are very professional and responsive, while being friendly and approachable.

Key clients

Warburtons Limited

Hallmark Cards

Easy Cleaning Solutions Limite

Harrison Bathrooms Limited

Sheffield United FC

Deckers Outdoor Corporation (owners of UGG)

Burnley Football Club

Brady Corporation

The Meatless Farm Co Limited

Drax Group Plc

TSP Projects

Sheffield Wednesday

Symington’s Limited

Meter Provida

Age Partnership

2 Sisters Food Group

Provident Financial PLC

Leask Marine

Wright Leisure Limited (owners of Xercise4Less)

Equity capital markets - low-mid cap Tier 3

Leeds-based firm Walker Morris LLP provides support to a wide range of market participants including companies, sponsors, nominated advisers and brokers. The scope of its practice covers AIM and Official List IPOs, secondary fundraisings, M&A and corporate governance issues. Richard Naish and Daniel O’Gorman jointly lead the team.

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Sport Tier 3

Based in Leeds, Walker Morris LLP covers the spectrum of corporate and commercial work for a large number of Premier League and Championship football clubs. David Hincliffe has advised on the purchase and sale of major football clubs, most recently acting for Simon Sadler on his takeover of Blackpool FC. He is supported by director Alistair McHenry, who focuses on contentious matters; senior associate Liz Coley, whose standout strength is in handling player transfer and contracts; senior associate Geoff Cunningham, who works on contentious football-related issues; and 'exceptional' senior associate Katie Reed, who deals with football-related M&A.

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Testimonials

‘Strength in depth and some real streetwise lawyers.’

‘David Hinchliffe is astute and commercial. He knows the work and the business from top to bottom. ‘

‘Katie Reed is exceptional in the world of professional football and assisting knowledgeably in all aspects of the day-to-day issues of running a football club commercially.’

‘David Hinchcliffe’s football expertise and knowledge surpasses any other law firm partners that I have dealt with in the past.’

‘Geoff Cunningham is always very readily available at any time of the day to offer advice.’

Key clients

Swansea City FC

Fulham FC

Bolton Wanderers FC

Burnley FC

Crystal Palace FC

AFC Bournemouth

Reading FC

Amir Khan

Brighton & Hove Albion FC

Nottingham Forest FC

Scunthorpe United FC

Sheffield United FC

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 Karl Anders  photo Mr Karl Anders Partner
 George  Bacon  photo George  Bacon Partner
 Cameron Baloyi Rigby  photo Cameron Baloyi Rigby Partner
Mrs Jeanette Burgess  photo Mrs Jeanette Burgess Partner and Head of Regulatory & Compliance
 Mark Byrne  photo Mark Byrne Partner
Mr Nick Cannon  photo Mr Nick Cannon Consultant
Mr Simon Clark  photo Mr Simon Clark Partner 
Mr Peter Considine  photo Mr Peter Considine Consultant
Mr Will Cousins  photo Mr Will Cousins Partner 
Mr James Crayton  photo Mr James Crayton Partner and Head of Commercial
Mrs Gwendoline Davies  photo Mrs Gwendoline Davies Partner and Head of Commercial Dispute Resolution
 Oliver Duke  photo Oliver Duke Partner
Mrs Trudy Feaster-Gee  photo Mrs Trudy Feaster-Gee Partner, Barrister and Head of Competition
 Liz Graham  photo Liz Graham Partner
Mr John Hamer  photo Mr John Hamer Partner and Head of Corporate
Mr Jules Harbage  photo Mr Jules Harbage Partner
Mr Paul Hargreaves  photo Mr Paul Hargreaves Partner – Construction & Engineering
Mr David Hinchliffe  photo Mr David Hinchliffe Partner and Head of Sport
Mrs Debbie Jackson  photo Mrs Debbie Jackson Partner
Mr Austin Judson  photo Mr Austin Judson Partner 
Mr Nick Lees  photo Mr Nick Lees Partner
Mr Duncan Lole  photo Mr Duncan Lole Partner
Mr Daniel Lyon  photo Mr Daniel Lyon Partner – Construction & Engineering
Mr Martin McKeague  photo Mr Martin McKeague Partner
 Nick McQueen photo Nick McQueen Partner
Ms Sally Mewies  photo Ms Sally Mewies Partner and Head of Technology Group
Mr Jeremy Moore  photo Mr Jeremy Moore Partner
Mr Gawain Moore  photo Mr Gawain Moore Partner
Mr Richard Naish  photo Mr Richard Naish Partners and Head of Food & Drink
Mr Steve Nixon  photo Mr Steve Nixon Partner – Real Estate Group
Mr Andrew Northage  photo Mr Andrew Northage Partner
Mr Daniel O'Gorman photo Mr Daniel O'Gorman Partner
Ms Alison Ogley  photo Ms Alison Ogley Partner – Planning & Environment
Mr Tom Peel  photo Mr Tom Peel Partner
Mrs Judith Pike  photo Mrs Judith Pike Partner
Mr Stuart Ponting  photo Mr Stuart Ponting Partner
Mrs Louise Power  photo Mrs Louise Power Partner
Mrs Jo Ratcliffe  photo Mrs Jo Ratcliffe Partner and Head of Pensions
Mr Andrew Rayment  photo Mr Andrew Rayment Partner
 Adam Reed photo Adam Reed Partner
Mr Richard Sagar  photo Mr Richard Sagar Partner
Mr Richard Sandford  photo Mr Richard Sandford Partner
Mr Martin Scott  photo Mr Martin Scott Partner and Head of Construction & Engineering
Mr Ben Sheppard  photo Mr Ben Sheppard Partner
Mr Malcolm Simpson  photo Mr Malcolm Simpson Partner
Mr Chris Slater  photo Mr Chris Slater Partner
Mr David Smedley  photo Mr David Smedley Partner and Head of Litigation and Employment
Ms Jo Stephenson  photo Ms Jo Stephenson Partner – Corporate Department
Mr Michael Taylor  photo Mr Michael Taylor Partner and Head of Banking & Finance
 Sarah Ward  photo Sarah Ward Partner
Mrs Jane Weaver  photo Mrs Jane Weaver Partner
Mr Chris Woodthorpe  photo Mr Chris Woodthorpe Partner
Number of UK partners : 46
Number of other UK fee-earners : 260