Walker Morris LLP > Leeds, England > Firm Profile

Walker Morris LLP
33 Wellington Street
LEEDS
LS1 4DL
England

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

Walker Morris LLP provides a 'top-notch legal service' and retains its market position as a regional powerhouse in the corporate space, advising a number of domestic and international clients. Private equity work remains a core strength for the practice with Daniel O’Gorman and Oliver Duke (who was elevated to the partnership in 2020) undertaking cross-border private equity mandates for European and US funds, as well as mid-market equity capital markets transactions. Overseen by John Hamer, the core group also includes Richard Naish, who heads up the firm's food and drink industry group, Debbie Jackson and healthcare sector specialist Jo Stephenson. At associate level, Thomas Mieszkowski is experienced in acquisitions and sales. The team bolstered its capacity through Michael O’Halloran who joined in January 2021 from Latham & Watkins.

Practice head(s):

John Hamer

Testimonials

‘Excellent team that work efficiently together and have a wide breadth of knowledge and expertise.’

‘Walker Morris provides top notch legal work at reasonable rates. Being a US-based client, we rely heavily on the Walker Morris team to advise us on all things related to UK law. The team has proven ability to work on tight deadlines and provide great results. Almost universally the team has been very responsive and has widely adopted our preferred manner of doing things.’

‘Dan O’Gorman is wonderful and is one of a handful of truly trusted advisers that we rely on. Dan “gets it” and strikes the right balance between running with things and taking things off our plate as well as properly escalating issues when needed. In addition to the great legal work he’s done for us, Dan has developed a network of similar trusted law firms in other European countries and can almost always point us in the right direction. The transactional support provided by Oli Duke and Jo Stephenson has been top notch as well and they would be highly recommended to others.’

‘Very strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with difficult counterparts. Had the ability to guide us as clients to the best path forward to move the deal ahead and come to a successful conclusion. Very timely in responses and work in a deal that had many stops and starts.’

‘Oli Duke was exceptional at guiding us through the nuances to UK transactions. The individuals on our side had very little experience with UK M&A, so we required a heightened level of explanations.’

‘We’ve worked with Walker Morris for years now and are very comfortable trusting them to move things on in the background without checking every draft of a document. They’re very reliable and thorough – and the principle of only having to tell them something once applies here.’

‘The firm has a strong private equity practice. What makes the practice stand out is the seamless way in which they execute on deals together with their clients. I have also found that they manage buy side mandates on competitive processes extremely well. They are creative in finding solutions to help their client stand out from the competition.’

‘Daniel O’Gorman is the partner that I mainly deal with on cross border matters. Dan is different from competitors by being always available and very hands-on. Dan is also able to provide advice that is very commercial and strategic. He has strong relationships with his private equity clients and they rely heavily on his strategic judgement. He has a great ability to guide clients through complex M&A projects with ease.’

Key clients

Endless LLP

BSW Timber

Eight Fifty Food Group

MJ Hudson Group plc

Lifco AB

Menzies Distribution Limited

Avacta plc

Camano Capital

Tonka Bay Equity

Total Capital Partners

Audax Private Equity

N+1 Singer

Numis Securities

Prototal Industries AB

Mattioli Woods plc

Valeo Foods

Renew Holdings Plc

SIG plc

Hargreaves Services Plc

Corsearch Group

Innovative Chemical Products Group/ICP Group

Corrona, LLC

HelpSystems Group

Voyage Care

Ottawa Avenue Private Capital y

Mesa Laboratories, Inc.

JZ International

Work highlights

  • Advised Endless LLP on its major acquisition of the £350m turnover forestry and saw milling business, BSW Timber Limited and all its associated subsidiaries.
  • Lead adviser to Innovative Chemical Products (ICP Group) and Audax Private Equity on the cross border acquisition by US-headquartered ICP Group of the Leeson Polyurethanes group.
  • Advised AIM-listed MJ Hudson Group plc, the international asset management consultancy, on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of fund performance analytics specialist, Prof Gottschalg UG and its subsidiary PERACS GmbH.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP’s competition practice has a focus on merger control and complex litigation work, and is led by Trudy Feaster-Gee who is singled out for her ‘eye for detail and pragmatism’. The team regularly handles a significant amount of public procurement matters for local authorities and higher education sector clients, as well as advising on state aid work. Litigators Nick Lees and Gwendoline Davies are key names for competition-related damages work and commercial disputes. Director Sue Harris has experience in multi-party litigation. In early 2021 Sarah Ward joined the team as a partner from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

Practice head(s):

Trudy Feaster-Gee

Testimonials

‘Trudy Feaster-Gee is highly recommended and very easy to work with. Has also shown great flexibility and willingness to deliver in extreme circumstances.’

‘Experienced resources can be called in when required. Detailed communications, updates and relevant market knowledge.’

‘Trudy Feaster-Gee developed excellent relationships with client and other stakeholders very quickly impressing both with her subject matter knowledge and experience but also her patience, empathy and trustworthiness.’

‘Good regional practice with decent rates and highly capable lawyers.’

‘Trudy Feaster-Gee is highly skilled in her field and has great attention to detail. I would describe her as a steady and reliable hand.’

‘Trudy Feaster-Gee and Sue Harris are running a complex action with extreme efficiency and regular communication of the strategic and tactical decisions requiring decisions to be made.’

‘Trudy Feaster-Gee and Sue Harris have a complete command of the case.’

‘In an area of law that can be labyrinthine, Trudy combines an eye for detail and pragmatism. She knows that understanding the client’s business is key to the efficacy of the advise she gives.’

Key clients

Audax Private Equity

Arla Foods amba

Drax

Endless LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised parents and portfolio companies on UK and foreign merger controls (including submissions to the CMA), UK foreign direct investment controls and issues arising on due diligence.
  • Acted for Danish head-quartered Arla Foods amba in its multi-million pound claim for damages against the EC truck cartel, which is being heard before the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal.

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

Walker Morris LLP's 'formidable' commercial litigation team has a breadth of dispute resolution experience; it is particularly popular among North American headquartered industrial companies and Western European energy companies and counts a range of leading UK food and drink manufacturing, housebuilding and retail sector companies among its clients. The group also counts competition follow-on damages claims among its growth areas, for which Nick Lees is noted, while recently promoted partner Nick McQueen is developing a niche in energy and facilities management contract disputes. Led by 'star' litigator Gwendoline Davies, the team also includes highly experienced managing partner Malcolm Simpson. Other names to note include director Lynsey Oakdene, who has particular expertise in procurement challenges, and senior associate Claire Acklam, who is highlighted for her 'friendly, unflappable approach and pragmatic advice'.

Practice head(s):

Gwendoline Davies

Testimonials

Very strong team, work very closely with client to resolve issues.’

They combine expertise with a very down-to-earth approach; thoughtful without being remote. Fee management is always a tricky area between private practice firms and in-house teams and so trust and fairness is paramount: on this point the team score much better than most private practice firms.

Strong commercial awareness linked to professional expertise and tactical nous. Good tech solutions.

Lynsey Oakdene combines a creative, problem-solving approach with down-to-earth realism.

Gwendoline Davies – a star.

Nick McQueen – diligent, thoughtful and commercial litigator who is readily able to grasp issues and translate into appropriate advice.

Gwendoline Davies – good strategic oversight on matters with the ability to delegate where appropriate but be sufficiently closely involved to add the benefit of experience.

I would particularly recommend Claire Acklam, for her friendly, unflappable approach, and pragmatic advice, always with a keen appreciation of what is commercially right for our business. A very safe pair of hands.’

Key clients

Caterpillar Group

Asda

TVS Motor Company Limited

ENGIE

Arla Group

Drax Group

Cameroon Quality Products Limited

Cocoa Coffee Quality Limited

STE Cooperative Des Producteurs Agropastoraux Due Cameroun

Kier Group

Ortec BV

Bupa

Persimmon

The Meatless Farm Limited

Marshalls Plc

Trutex

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of the liquidators of Begbies Traynor against the beneficiaries of complex multimillion pound fraudulent transactions and companies beneficially owned by those individuals which received the proceeds of the fraud.
  • Acting for Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey in a claim against a law firm for professional negligence, regarding the drafting of the terms of an option agreement relating to the purchase of land for a large housing development in Oxfordshire.
  • Acting on a large competition damages claim for Danish headquartered Arla Foods claiming damages from the EC truck cartelists.

Employment > Health and safety Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP is instructed on contentious health and safety mandates including serious fatalities and complex litigation work. Overseen by Jeanette Burgess, the full-service practice has a strong track record in acting in inquests of national importance, sensitive investigations and corporate negligence cases. Stuart Ponting is a key name in the group and has a number of household names as key clients, while newly promoted director Claire Burrows acts for construction, manufacturing and care home sector clients. Cross-border work also features in the group’s caseload.

Practice head(s):

Jeanette Burgess

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Excellent team that work efficiently together and have a wide breadth of knowledge and expertise.’

‘Claire Burrows is exceptional. She is incredibly responsive and knowledgeable, and has a brilliant eye for detail for her clients.’

‘Stuart Ponting and Claire Burrows are a well organised and coherent support team, whose service has never been anything but exemplary to me.’

‘Stuart Ponting has excellent knowledge of corporate law in regard to health and safety. He was fully aware of current trends and legislative developments that could have had a potential impact on the company. Stuart was always very quick to respond to our needs with a willingness to go above and beyond.’

Key clients

Warburtons

Vistry Homes

Persimmon plc

Royal Mencap Society

Young’s Seafood Limited

Galliford Try plc

Erith Group

Adler & Allan Ltd

Oil & Pipelines Agency (UK Government)

KONE plc

Work highlights

  • Advised the UK Government agency in an appeal against an Improvement Notice issued by HSE at highly sensitive military COMAH site.
  • Advising an engineer at Didcot Power Station on the ongoing joint Police and HSE investigation in which charges of corporate and gross negligence manslaughter are being considered.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 1

Michael Taylor leads the banking team at Walker Morris LLP, which is an ‘excellent legal firm with top quality professionals’. Taylor is a recognised figure in the North East region, and is noted for advising banks and corporate borrowers on all aspects of corporate banking and debt finance. He advised Santander UK Bank in relation to the provision of £10m trade finance facilities to British Steel in Scunthorpe shortly following its acquisition out of liquidation by the Chinese based Jingye Group. Peter Considine is an expert in syndicated, complex and cross-border financings and investment fund finance. In September 2021 the team team was joined by Philip Scott, who previously led Pinsent Masons LLP' Yorkshire banking team.

Practice head(s):

Michael Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Excellent legal firm with top quality professionals.’

‘My day to day contact is with Michael Taylor and Peter Considine, both banking partners. They are both strong and knowledgeable on the banking and finance sector.’

‘Both Michael and Peter have excellent market insight and are aware of all changes in banking regulations and drafting.’

‘Collaborative and problem solving, particularly when working alongside other lenders advisors.’

‘Peter Considine – measured and intelligent. Takes ownership to project manage and ensure tight timescales are always delivered.’

Key clients

Santander

Yorkshire Bank

Strata Homes

Servelec Group plc

Proactis Holdings Plc

Moolmoor Investments Limited

Pelsis

Hargreaves Services Plc

Moorgarth Retail limited

Endless LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising EVO Business Supplies in connection with the raising of £90,000,000 syndicated multi-currency asset based lending facilities.
  • Acted for Marshalls Plc in connection with the provision of £90,000,000 of additional facilities from its existing club of banks in three bilateral, but simultaneous, transactions.
  • Advised Proactis Holdings Plc on putting in place significant amendments to its £45m term and revolving facilities with HSBC Bank plc demonstrating our significant international network and cross-border capability.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

According to a client, Walker Morris LLP is the 'go-to firm for heavyweight insolvency and corporate recovery work in the North'. The practice is sought after by traditional lenders, debt funds and private equity firms for advice on corporate insolvencies, administrations involving distressed real estate and CVAs. 'Unflappable' and 'experienced litigator' Duncan Lole co-heads the practice with Gawain Moore, who is 'a star player who gives careful thought to strategy'. Moore is particularly active in cross-border insolvencies, voluntary arrangements and schemes of arrangement as a restructuring tool. Director Claire Askew is 'very experienced, knowledgeable and efficient in her role.' Also of note are Michael Taylor (for non-contentious corporate recovery advice), Simon Clark, senior associate Olivia Robinson and David Hinchliffe, who has niche expertise in football club finance.

Practice head(s):

Gawain Moore; Duncan Lole

Testimonials

‘Walker Morris is the go-to firm for heavyweight insolvency and corporate recovery work in the North (and beyond).’

‘Duncan Lole: Unflappable and an excellent strategist.’

‘Olivia Robinson: Experienced and knowledgeable beyond her years. Truly invested in achieving results for her clients.’

‘A very professional set up, with bright solicitors working there and strong support teams. Always go the extra mile for their clients.’

‘Duncan Lole – strong litigator. Client-friendly and easy to work with. Always keeps in mind the bigger picture and how to manage expectations. Olivia Robinson. Very easy to work with, very clever, friendly and excellent at dealing with complex litigation.’

‘In my experience of working with Claire Askew on a number of cases over the past 12 months and indeed several years, Claire is very experienced, knowledgeable, professional, friendly and efficient in her role. I would highly recommend Claire and indeed Walker Morris as a legal firm.’

‘Gawain Moore is a star player who gives careful thought to strategy.’

Key clients

Endless

Deloitte

KPMG

FRP

PwC

Santander

Rcapital

Harrisons Business Recovery & Insolvency

EY

Grant Thornton

Begbies

BDO

Alvarez & Marsal

RMT Accountants and Advisory

Lloyds Development Capital

Duff & Phelps

Strategic Advantage SPC

RSM

Work highlights

  • Advising the directors of BMB Clothing Limited in relation to all aspects of the successful CVA proposal involving 52 retail stores and circa 130 concessions in respect of which KPMG were appointed as supervisors.
  • Advising Harrisons, the administrators of an FCA regulated ‘payday’ lender Uncle Buck LLP in relation to all aspects of the administration including in relation to claims, set off arrangements and loan book sales.
  • Advising Begbies Traynor as liquidators of Changtel Solutions (UK) Limited and trustees in bankruptcy of its former director, Jason Tsai in relation to multiple ongoing multijurisdictional claims.

Insurance > Professional negligence: claimant Tier 1

The professional negligence team at Walker Morris LLP includes a wide range of experts, including commercial disputes head Gwendoline Davies, construction specialist Paul Hargreaves, Nick Lees, banking and finance litigation head Louise Power, Richard Sandford, construction and engineering head Martin Scott and managing partner Malcolm Simpson. Experienced in claims against professional advisors, the team handles high value matters with a focus on investor fraud, property hijack, money laundering and cybercrime. In addition, the firm is increasingly active in issues raised against conveyancing solicitors, many of which related to defects within off-plan apartments, hotel rooms and student accommodation. Director Sandip Singh has expertise in multi-party frauds and the misappropriation of funds.

Practice head(s):

Gwendoline Davies; Paul Hargreaves; Nick Lees; Louise Power; Richard Sandford; Martin Scott; Malcolm Simpson

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Sandip Singh stands out for his excellent legal knowledge. He is keenly focused on protecting the client’s interests and achieving a commercial and practical result.’

‘Sandip Singh is one of the best solicitors I have had the pleasure of working with. He is calm, considered, and careful, as is his advice.’

‘They are uniquely brilliant at handling professional negligence claims on behalf of hundreds of claimants against many defendants, with great accuracy and strategic thinking.’

Key clients

Accord Mortgages Limited

Bank of Ireland

Leeds Building Society

Yorkshire Building Society

Persimmon

Taylor Wimpey plc

Lloyds Banking Group

Work highlights

  • Advised high net worth individuals in design and construction defects affecting a ‘Grand Designs’ house
  • Acted for a mortgage lender in a multi-million pound fraud claim involving impersonation, ID theft and property hijack.
  • Acted in claims in excess of £11m for negligent advice relating to off-plan apartment purchases.

Public sector > Local government Tier 1

Ben Sheppard and Chris Woodthorpe lead the local government practice at Walker Morris LLP, which is best known for its expertise in state aid and public procurement, as demonstrated by its appointment to Crown Commercial Services and work with the NHS Shared Business Services and Homes England. Sheppard specialises in PPP, PFI, outsourcing contracts and grant funding, while Woodthorpe is a go-to for regeneration, development, housing and asset management transactions. Consultant David Kilduff is also of note.

Practice head(s):

Ben Sheppard; Chris Woodthorpe

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Winchester Council

Cumbria CC

Northumberland CC

Associated Waste Management

North Lincolnshire Council Berneslai Homes Limited

The London Borough of Bexley LBC

Hambleton District Council

Barnsley Premier Leisure

Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation

Church Commissioners for England

Arun DC

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Harrogate District Council

Homes England

MVV Environment

Work highlights

  • Acting for Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council in relation to the redevelopment of Barnsley Town Centre (known as “The Glass Works”). Advising the Council in relation to circa £88,000,000 of works comprising new shops, restaurants, bowling alley and cinema.
  • Engaged by Homes England under its legal services panel to act on over 50 matters relating to the award of grant funding to local authorities for housing development schemes under the Housing Infrastructure Fund (Marginal Viability Fund) and the Local Authority Accelerated Construction (LAAC) grant funding models.
  • Advising Hambleton District Council on a redevelopment of the former town centre prison site in Northallerton involving forward funding by the Council and a mixed use retail, leisure and civic development.

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

Walker Morris LLP‘s team has ‘a diverse range of skills’ in real estate transactions and property financings. The ‘highly responsive and pragmatic’ Jeremy Moore is sought after by national blue-chip corporates on landmark transactions; his recent work included advising the administrators of Debenhams on the real estate aspects of its administration. Austin Judson  acts for property investors, developers, retailers and high street banks on real estate portfolio matters. Also recommended are Judith Pike, who acts for clients in the energy and utilities sector, as well as Will Cousins and director Adam Reed. George Bacon  recently joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, where he led the Leeds real estate team.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Moore

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Excellent value, flexible approach to fees and to work, very responsive and pragmatic.’

‘Jeremy Moore – highly responsive and pragmatic and genuinely interested in and supportive of our business.’

‘The team have a diverse range of skills, ranging from standard sale and purchase agreements to structuring complex retirement living purchases.’ 

‘Client care and approach is second to none. We always receive robust advice and an excellent service.

‘The key strength of Walker Morris is no doubt its people. We’ve always felt that Walker Morris has an understanding and genuine interest in the direction and growth of our business.’

‘The level of contact that we are able to have with the partners and associates stands out from other firms. We work closely with Will Cousins (partner). We  value Will’s opinions very highly and would rate the accessibility and flexibility that comes with working with him as a key component.’

Key clients

Hospital Topco Limited/ BMI Hospitals

Debenhams

Neovia Logistics

City Square Developments Limited

Unite Accommodation Management Limited

Major regional landowner/developer

Leeds Beckett University

Gregory Projects (Bingley Street) Limited

Tait Technologies UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing real estate advice to Hospital Topco Limited on the disposal of BMI Healthcare and the GHG group.
  • Advised third party logistics provider Neovia Logistics on its sale and leaseback of a 1.65m sq ft warehouse campus to Griffen UK, an international real estate investment and development fund managed by Griffen Capital.
  • Advised Leeds Beckett University on a high value lease re-gear relating to Broadcasting Place, Leeds, part of part of the teaching facilities at the university.

Real estate > Construction Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP's 'excellent team' demonstrates 'great strength in depth and a broad range of skills and experience' across a diverse range of sectors and at all levels of the supply chain. Its construction advisory practice is complemented by a strong contentious offering. Martin Scott and Paul Hargreaves are experienced in representing multiple claimants in high-value defect rectification claims and professional negligence cases. Tom Peel, Jules Harbage and Daniel Lyon are the key partners for energy, infrastructure and student development work. Director Carly Thorpe is skilled at drafting and negotiating complex contracts.

Practice head(s):

Martin Scott

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Carly Thorpe deserves particular mention for her succinct advice.’

‘The Walker Morris team offers a first class legal service in an agile and responsive team. I have worked with them on major transactions where they tapered in seamlessly operating as if an extension of the in-house team. They could be relied upon to drive a transaction forward whilst engaging with the business and its priorities.’

‘It’s an excellent team, with great strength in depth and a broad range of skills and experience.’

‘Paul Hargreaves’ dedication to his clients is second to none. He will fight their corner for as long as it takes until he gets the best result possible for them. Martin Scott is a commercial animal, whose strategic insight is beyond compare. Tom Peel is calmness personified, never phased by any twist or turn that might arise in a case.’

‘The Walker Morris real estate construction team is the best in class where construction and the new home warranty insurance market meet; they have unrivalled experience and ability at the intersection between those two practice areas.’

‘WM’s construction practice boasts real strength in depth and a capacity which can stand up to the big London City firms. The team is also very commercially savvy and client friendly.’

‘Jules Harbage – extremely bright, engaging and a pleasure to work with. Carly Thorpe – excellent with clients and highly efficient and well-organised. Tom Peel – Gives robust, clear advice.’

Key clients

Unite Group plc

Arla Foods

Homes England

Drax Power Limited

Rushbond Group

Barnsley Metropolitan Council

Leeds Arts University

Tolent Construction Limited

ENGIE Regeneration Limited

Bupa

Work highlights

  • Advised ENGIE Regeneration on the major development for Kingston University.
  • Successfully represented various claimants against Zurich Insurance plc (including dealing with leave to appeal to the Supreme Court) in relation to claims under a 10 year new home warranty.
  • Acting for MODA Living with respect to a major mixed-use scheme at Sackville Road, Hove, Brighton.

Real estate > Planning Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP's client portfolio comprises of landowners and property developers, as well as housing, minerals and environment-focused national businesses. The team is led by Richard Sagar, who is a leading advocate in strategic planning applications, compulsory purchase and High Court challenges. Chris Slater is skilled at drafting and negotiating planning and highways legal agreements, with notable expertise in community infrastructure levy, compulsory purchase work and strategic planning advice for large developments. Solicitor and barrister Alison Ogley is particularly active in section 78 appeals and enforcement prosecutions.

Practice head(s):

Richard Sagar

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team at Walker Morris are genuinely passionate about the projects we have worked on together. They have a broad knowledge base but are able to identify specific requirements for planning or technical considerations and confidently present the legal case to support planning applications and appeals.’

‘Alison Ogley is an incredibly approachable person and brings a level of calmness that gives confidence to clients because she is extremely knowledgeable about planning. She is able to deliver positive outcomes for clients, even on the most complex of planning applications in high pressured situations.’

‘The Walker Morris planning team comprises of a large experienced team, with a variety of levels for various types of planning legal work. They have recently moved to new offices which provide plenty of meeting rooms, plus they have the latest technology to hold virtual meetings.’

‘The practice has a full range of in-house experts who can deal with every aspect of planning and real estate law. The partners, directors and associates can answer any question and respond to any challenge that you set them.’

‘Chris Slater provides excellent advice on points of planning law and legal agreements. Richard Sagar and Alison Ogley are outstanding planning advocates, leaving no stone unturned in preparation for a planning appeal’. 

‘Walker Morris’ planning team is the undoubted market leader for planning work in the north of England and is recognised as leading practice nationally. They have an unrivalled understanding of the planning and commercial issues affecting the development sector and with a strong cohort of in-house advocates they offer a more rounded service than most firms.’

‘Richard Sagar – he is peerless in the planning field. A top rate planning inquiry advocate to rival QCs at the bar. He has a brilliant legal mind, great client skills and excellent tactical judgment.’

Key clients

Asda Stores

Avant Homes

Berkley De Veer

BDW Group

Bellway Homes

Bowmer & Kirkland Limited

Caddick Group

Commercial Estates Group

Commercial Development Projects

FCC Environment (UK) Limited

Galliford Try

Gleeson Developments

Hallam Land Management Ltd

Highstone Homes

Mulgrave

Newett Homes

Park Lane Properties Ltd

Persimmon plc

Redrow

Taylor Wimpey

The Peel Group

Town Centre Securities plc

Unite Group

Work highlights

  • Provided strategic advice to Taylor Wimpey on the promotion of a site for 800 dwellings in West Yorkshire.
  • Acting for Commercial Estates Group in a project seeking planning permission for a mixed use scheme in the Green Belt of West Yorkshire. The proposed scheme comprises up to 500 houses; new primary school; community facilities and green infrastructure.
  • Represented Blue Anchor at the Doncaster Local Plan Examination in Public, over 6 days of virtual hearing sessions. The scheme promoted was for some 2.5 m sq ft of development for motorway related distribution and employment uses on a junction site with access to the east coast ports.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP provides 'a good balance of service and price without compromising on quality'. The client roster includes national retailers, landlords, developers, local authorities and public sector bodies. Martin McKeague provides 'practical and sensible advice' on a wide range of contentious matters, and is growing his practice in the field of insurance acting for both defective title indemnity insurers and claimants. Malcolm Simpson and Karl Anders represent developers and landlords. Senior associates Lewis Couth and David Manda are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Martin McKeague

Testimonials

‘Regularly provide us with updated training sessions that are excellently tailored to our specific business needs.’

‘Lewis Couth has excellent communication – always keeps us well up to date with matters and offers pragmatic (and understandable!) practical advice.’

‘Walker Morris is a well respected firm operating outside of London with partners who are specialists in their fields. They provide a good balance of service and price without compromising on quality.’

‘Martin McKeague is very knowledgeable in his field and provides not just excellent legal advice, but also practical and sensible advice depending on the specific scenario. ’

‘Very strong team – the strongest in the North East’

‘Lewis Couth is really good. He thinks carefully about his cases and has a really good knowledge of the law, combined with excellent commercial awareness. Martin McKeague and David Manda are very client-focused and commercial.’

‘Hugely friendly and approachable team who dispense timely and practical advice.’

Key clients

Starbucks

Department for Health

Persimmon

Barratt Homes

Kier

Sky

Unite

FCC Environment (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Elcombe Limited, the claimants against Axa Insurance plc in relation to claim for damages of approximately £1.7m arising out of property damage.
  • Representing Baymount Investments, in respect of dilapidations claim in excess of £2m.
  • Represented Q Property Holdings in a right of light dispute against the developer of one of the largest buildings in the region.

Real estate > Social housing Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP has a longstanding relationship with Homes England, often advising on development, asset management and funding schemes. The practice handles the full gamut of housing services, encompassing landlord and tenant, housing management and regulatory compliance and litigation. Karl Anders acts for social and private sector landlords in housing management and litigation, which is complemented by Chris Woodthorpe's asset management and development work.

Practice head(s):

Karl Anders; Chris Woodthorpe

Testimonials

‘Very thorough in assessing risk and advising on mitigation to protect our position’

‘The team is very well led and all those I have had dealings with are exceptionally efficient with a client-focused outlook to social housing litigation. ’

‘Karl Anders is approachable, highly knowledgeable and a superb solicitor and leader of his team. I have recommended him consistently to clients looking for top notch, practical and sensible representation.’

Key clients

Berneslai Homes Limited N

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Management Company (for Kier Property)

Efficiency North

First Choice Homes Oldham

Hyde Housing

St Leger Homes Doncaster

Work highlights

  • Advising Anchor Hanover Group on an asset register review of part of its portfolio to ensure compliance with the requirement of the Regulator of Social Housing.
  • Advising Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council in relation to entering into a flow-down agreement with a developer which mirrored the terms of the grant funding agreement between Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and Homes England.
  • Advising Efficiency North, a collaborative consortium of social housing providers in the North of England with a focus on procurement/supply chain, training and skills as well as affordable housing, across a range of real estate, construction and commercial/procurement matters.

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

Walker Morris LLP fields a market-leading sports practice and is able to handle the full spectrum of work including dispute resolution and real estate mandates. Overseen by David Hinchcliffe, the group has extensive expertise in sports law and counts a number of football clubs including Fulham FC and Reading FC as key clients. Alistair McHenry is the key name for contentious mandates and leads the sports disputes team, which handles disciplinary proceedings, regulatory disputes and commercial arbitration proceedings. On the commercial property side, Jeremy Moore handles high-value portfolio transactions. Also in the team is senior associate Charlotte Smith, who advises clients on employment litigation and international immigration matters, and Liz Coley and Katie Reed.

Practice head(s):

David Hinchcliffe

Testimonials

‘Outstanding client list and first class quality of both contentious and non-contentious partners.’

‘David Hinchclffe – commercial partner with unparalleled client list and unflappable, charming manner. Alistair McHenry – litigator with excellent judgement and diligence.’

‘The team combines legal expertise with a commercial attitude and prompt service.’

‘David Hinchliffe, who heads the team, is one of the foremost lawyers in the country dealing with the sales and purchases of football clubs. He understands the market and he finds commercial solutions to deliver the client’s wishes.’

‘Walker Morris has commanding in-depth knowledge of the football industry. They are without doubt market leaders.’

‘Alistair McHenry is an outstanding practitioner. His knowledge of football coupled with his unerring sense of the appropriate tactical decision make him a formidable litigator.’

‘David Hinchliffe is recognised as a leader in his field. He knows all that there is to know about football – as well as knowing all the individuals there are to know. David is a go-to football solicitor.’

Key clients

Swansea City FC

Fulham FC

Burnley FC

Crystal Palace FC

AFC Bournemouth

Reading FC

Sunderland AFC

Brighton & Hove Albion FC

Nottingham Forest FC

Scunthorpe United FC

Sheffield United FC

Work highlights

  • Instructed by administrators Begbies to appeal to the EFL Arbitration Panel against the sporting sanction (a deduction of 12 points) imposed by the EFL on Wigan Athletic as a result of the club entering into administration.
  • Acted for South Shields FC in its FA Rule K arbitration proceedings against The Football Association in respect of the FA’s decision to curtail the 2019-20 non-league football season in March 2019 for all leagues from step 3 down and expunge that season’s results as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acted as lead sell side advisers on the sale of 83.97% of the shares in the holding company of Burnley Football & Athletic Company Limited (the entity holding a share in the Premier League) to a consortium put together by ALK Capital, LLC.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP’s corporate tax practice is overseen by director Nicola Parkinson and handles tax restructuring matters, transactional work and employee incentive schemes. John Christian advises on private equity and institutional investment matters.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Parkinson

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable and approachable corporate firm. Quality people.’

‘Nicola Parkinson has very good understanding of SDLT and related tax issues. She is happy to discuss tax planning issues and offer workable solutions.’

‘Exceptional standard of knowledge- pragmatic but business focused in their evaluation of situations and numbers.’

‘Personable, pragmatic and available!’

Key clients

Kirkland & Ellis

Gregory Property Group

Unite Students

Engie

Lifco AB

Endless LLP

Valeo Foods

Work highlights

  • Advised Endless LLP on the acquisition of forestry businesses: BSW Timber Limited; SCA Wood UK; and Dick Brothers Forestry.
  • Providing ongoing advice and support to Kirkland & Ellis relating to share schemes and incentives and related due diligence.
  • Provided advice and assistance to Gregory Property Group on a number of large property transactions.

Dispute resolution > Banking litigation Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP's banking litigation team acts for a range of financial institutions in litigation and is particularly strong for secured mortgage disputes. Practice head Louise Power specialises in this area and also handles fraud investigations for lenders and professional negligence claims, for which senior associate Sandip Singh is another name to note. For corporate and commercial lending disputes, Richard Sandford is highlighted. Andrew Beck retired from the practice.

Practice head(s):

Louise Power

Other key lawyers:

Richard Sandford; Sandip Singh; Christina Gill; Kate Hicks

Testimonials

Strength and breadth of knowledge in the team. Very commercially focused.’

Kate Hicks is a gem. She has a breadth and depth of knowledge that is unusual to find below partner level, particularly in banking, real property, conveyancing, mortgage, and land registration issues, and her negotiation skills are second to none.

Always striving for a great legal result. Thinking commercially and ensuring we receive value for the fees. Extremely hard working throughout the pandemic and it is really appreciated.

The team were a pleasure to work with. No friction, ego, or unnecessary fuss, and you definitely feel as though you are all pulling in the same direction.

Sandip Singh is one of the best solicitors I have had the pleasure of working with. He is calm, considered, and careful, as is his advice. What I valued most when I was instructed by Sandip was his ability to identify and separate good points from bad points, meaning that the evidence that went before the court was potent, efficient and proportionate. Sandip was ably assisted by Christina Gill, who is one to watch out for in future.

They are uniquely brilliant at handling professional negligence claims on behalf of hundreds of claimants against many defendants, with great accuracy and strategic thinking.

Experienced team always available to have a chat or provide some general advice as well as support with technical and challenging cases.

Key clients

Leek United Building Society

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

Foundation Home Loans

Work highlights

  • Acting for a commercial lender in an £8m possession claim with counterclaims raised against the lender.
  • Acting for a high street lender in a £7m claim surrounding allegations that its charges are void due to an alleged fraud by a third party company director.
  • Successfully defended a high street lender against an injunction arising from the first lockdown involving five flats with mortgages totalling £2.2m secured against them and issues surrounding safe access.

Employment > Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP’s employment practice is jointly led by David Smedley and Andrew Rayment, and has strength acting in the sports, retail and manufacturing sectors. The group is regularly instructed on both contentious and non-contentious matters and has skill in advising on large restructurings, international corporate transactions, acquisitions and HR governance issues. Director Laura McLellan has experience acting in large multi-party litigation, while senior associate Charlotte Smith has an extensive employment-sport practice. Shabana Muneer heads up the firm's business immigration group and has over a decade of expertise in corporate immigration work.

Practice head(s):

David Smedley; Andrew Rayment

Testimonials

‘We have worked with Walker Morris for a number of years now, and they are key partners for us across a number of legal areas. They work well not only with members of the HR team but also other Senior Leaders within the business and our own in-house Legal team. We appreciate their commercial understanding and approach to our business, they are practical and responsive.’

‘ We work closely with Charlotte Smith, Senior Associate who is our key contact within the business, we appreciate the understanding she has built up of our business, she is very responsive, practical and easy to deal with, her advice balances our commercial and legal requirements. We very much appreciate her advice and guidance across a variety of different matters. She is highly proactive and has connected us with various other colleagues as required to support us in different areas.’

Key clients

Suntory Beverage and Food Group (formerly Lucozade Ribena Suntory)

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

AFC Bournemouth

The Meatless Farm

Advent International

Menzies Distribution

Bright Horizons

RWE Supply & Trading GmbH

Fung Group

New Collaborative Learning Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised The Meatless Farm on all HR matters.
  • Advised Advent International on the very significant acquisition of the Hermes parcel-logistics business.
  • Advising Tottenham Hotspur Football Club on all HR matters and assisting Tottenham Hotspur FC Women on its sponsor licence application and visa applications for high-profile players.

Employment > Pensions Tier 2

Led by Jo Ratcliffe, the pensions team at Walker Morris LLP is 'excellent' and acts for a range of national employers and trustees on contentious and non-contentious issues. The group has extensive expertise in complex pensions regulator funding interventions, GMP equalisation issues and transactional due diligence matters. Director Ruth Bamforth is the name for both employers and trustees, while litigation contact Gwendoline Davies handles domestic and international dispute resolution work. The team is active in the privatised utilities industry and public sector. The well-regarded Elizabeth Graham  bolstered the practice, joining from Squire Patton Boggs, and brings nearly three decades of expertise in pensions law.

Practice head(s):

Jo Ratcliffe

Other key lawyers:

Ruth Bamforth; Gwendoline Davies; Elizabeth Graham

Testimonials

‘Excellent team have a close working relationship across the whole team.’

‘The team has a pragmatic approach and looks to find solutions to problems. It combines a good technical knowledge of the law with an understanding of what parties are trying to achieve.’

‘The members of the Walker Morris team are real people that you can engage with and work with. Working with Walker Morris feels more like an extension of our team than a relationship with an external adviser.’

‘A very personal and hands on approach to providing advice and a good ongoing relationship. Specific mention to Jo Ratcliffe for this.’

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

Trustees of the York University Pension Fund

Trustees of the University of Manchester Superannuation Scheme

Trustees of the PACCAR UK Pension Plan

Trustee of the Alliance Learning Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Leoni UK Pension Scheme

Trustees of the NG Bailey Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Trustees of the Banco do Brasil Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Ashland Scheme

Trustees of CMP Batteries

Work highlights

  • Acted for Menzies Distribution on its acquisition of Bibby Distribution from the Bibby Line Group.
  • Advised the Trustees of the Ashland UK Pension Fund on day-to-day defined benefit pensions issues.
  • Acted for the Trustee of the CMP Batteries Pension Scheme since 2014.

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

Walker Morris LLP fields a cross-disciplinary team of experts across real estate, construction and planning to handle infrastructure projects, particularly in the waste and bioresources sectors. Overseen by Ben Sheppard, who is the contact for waste and energy-from-waste projects, the core group comprises construction expert Jules Harbage, and Judith Pike, who is noted for real estate transactions. The team also receives a steady stream of mandates across housing and wind farm financing projects. On the litigation side, Gwendoline Davies focuses on energy-related disputes, acting for large businesses.

Practice head(s):

Ben Sheppard; Jules Harbage; Judith Pike

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘I am always delighted to learn that Ben Sheppard will be on a deal. I have now worked with him on two deals and every time I find him to be extremely professional, courteous and a pleasure to deal with. He also approaches issues on a collaborative basis and builds strong relationships will all involved in a deal.’

‘Ben really comes in to his own when his clients need to be inventive and think outside the box to find a solution to a commercial issue. He supports and helps them to find that solution using gentle persuasion which is appreciated by all round the table.’

‘The team have a strong focus on delivery, which is greatly appreciated when we have tight deadlines. They also take the time to understand our requirements and take a flexible approach when trying to meet them.’

‘The individuals we have worked with consistently have a “can do” attitude with a strong client focus. This gives us confidence that we can rely on them when required.’

Key clients

MVV Environment

Arla Foods

Kier Group

FCC Environment

Coal Authority

Grissan Energy Limited

Associated Waste Management

Iona Capital

Earth Capital Limited

Yorkshire Water Services

Barnsley Metropolitan District Council

Northumbrian Water

Bio Capital Limited

Anchor Hanover Group

Rock Solid Processing

Vinci Construction

Northern Hydropower Limited

Winston & Strawn LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising Northumbrian Water on a development framework for up to eight externally financed solar farm projects supplying the waste water treatment works facilities with green energy by way of private wire power purchase agreements.
  • Advised ENGIE on a student accommodation PPP project with Kingston University involving £55m construction and a 50-year facilities management and lifecycle contract worth a further £140m for new student accommodation.
  • Advised Peel Environmental on a collaboration with public and private sector partners to create a net zero industrial zone for the North West of England and North East Wales, aiming to create over 33,000 new jobs and more than £4bn of investment.

Public sector > Education Tier 2

Leeds-based firm Walker Morris LLP handles a broad range of work, from academy conversions and governance advice to dispute resolution. The practice is steadily growing its profile among colleges and universities, and counts Burnley College, Leeds Arts University and Leeds Beckett University as clients. David Smedley focuses on education employment law issues, including admissions, exclusions and claims for judicial review. Jules Harbage specialises in real estate and construction matters.

Practice head(s):

David Smedley; Jules Harbage

Key clients

Leeds Arts University

Bury College

Leeds College of Building

Burnley College

New Collaborative Learning Trust

Rochdale Sixth Form College

Exceptional Education Trust

St Mary’s Catholic High School, Chesterfield

South Wigston High School, Leicester

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of and advising King Edward VI Educational Trust trust on large multi-million pound new build construction sports hall refurbishment scheme at King Edward VI Grammar School.
  • Acting for ENGIE Regeneration and ENGIE Services in relation to a project comprising the refurbishment of 1,216 existing rooms and the addition of 117 new rooms at Kingston University’s Kingston Hill and Seething Wells sites.
  • Advising Burnley college in respect of construction works for a new building project for a new teaching black and re-development of an existing sports hall on the campus.

Public sector > Health Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP is recognised for its work in care/retirement homes, particularly in M&A capacity, health regulations, medical devices and Covid-19 commercial challenges. Recent work included advising a straw manufacturer on commercial and regulatory compliance issues related to the diversification of its factory for the production of disposable face visors and PPE equipment. Key figures include commercial partners Jeremy Moore and Jo Stephenson, as well as regulatory expert Stuart Ponting.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Moore; Jo Stephenson

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The Walker Morris team have consistently been available to offer support, advice and guidance whenever needed, frequently on short notice and outside of normal working hours.’

‘Highly skilled, engaging and collaborative in their approach to their support for our needs. Work hard to understand our business and what our needs are. Very approachable and proactive in their approach, a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Anchor Hanover Group

Avacta

David Wylde

Hyde Group

Kirklees Council

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

Servelec Group

Work highlights

  • Appointed by a US client who had been awarded several contracts by the UK government for the provision of hand sanitiser and PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist them in successfully placing fully compliant PPE manufactured in China onto the UK market.
  • Worked with Avacta on a number of contracts focussed on responding to the Covid-19 crisis. Avacta’s patented Affimer technology has potential application in rapid testing for Covid-19.
  • Represented Leyden Delta BV (one of the companies owned by Leyden Pharmaceuticals BV) in respect of inquest proceedings arising from the death of an individual who committed suicide.

Real estate > Environment Tier 2

Walker Morris LLP's group comprises of former regulators, who provide strategic advice on contentious and non-contentious environment-related matters affecting large scale infrastructure and development projects in the residential, retail, waste and renewable energy sectors. Alison Ogley and Stuart Ponting lead the regulatory and contentious offering respectively.

Practice head(s):

Alison Ogley; Stuart Ponting

Testimonials

‘Alison Ogley is particularly knowledgeable about her field and has a knack of explaining complicated areas in a very succinct manner.’

‘The team at Walker Morris are genuinely passionate about the projects we have worked on together. They have a broad knowledge base but are able to identify specific requirements for planning or technical considerations and confidently present the legal case to support planning applications and appeals.’

‘Alison Ogley is an incredibly approachable person and brings a level of calmness that gives confidence to clients because she is extremely knowledgeable about planning. She is able to deliver positive outcomes for clients, even on the most complex of planning applications in high pressured situations.’

‘Top class team.’

‘Alison Ogley – first class planning and environment partner.’

‘Alison Ogley provides excellent advice in a friendly manner, good communication, excellent knowledge within the field of expertise, trusted and reliable.’

‘Alison Ogley – she’s absolutely top of her game, she’s collaborative, innovative, great to work with and inspiring.’

Key clients

FCC Environment (UK) Limited

Hargreaves Services Plc

Taylor Wimpey (Yorkshire) Limited

ICP Building

Commercial Estates Group

Keigar Homes

Bowler Adams Ltd

Darrington Quarries Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised CEG in relation to a planning application for a scheme near Newton Abbot comprising up to 450 homes, a local centre of shops and offices and up to 22,000 square metres of employment land.
  • Acted on behalf of CEG on a planning appeal including reviewing and advising on EIA documentation submitted in support of the application and on complex HRA issues relating to protected species.

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

The technology and digital practice group at Leeds firm Walker Morris LLP is headed by Sally Mewies; the team works with a range of major providers of software and technology services. The group handles a significant amount of complex contractual work, licensing deals, and cloud and SaaS contracts. James Crayton acts for both public and private sector clients on a wide range of technology matters, including IT outsourcings, whilst associate Malcolm Simpson is a key name for commercial disputes. Jeanette Burgess advises on data security work and information law. AI and blockchain matters also feature in the firm's workload.

Practice head(s):

Sally Mewies

Testimonials

‘Walker Morris clearly have all the ability and experience you would expect from a top-tier firm. What makes them stand out from the crowd is their culture that is very much focused on client service. Walker Morris have taken the time to understand our business so that their advice always has relevance and context. Their approach hits the right balance between quality and pragmatism and this leads to transactions being progressed efficiently.’

‘Walker Morris have ensured that we have had great continuity in staff across all their disciplines. This has helped ensure quality and consistency for many years. The culture of the firm means that all individuals possess the same values and all have provided great service.’

‘The team show great strength in depth, seamlessly calling on other elements of the firm for specialist advice. This makes for a great user experience. They are open to and innovative around approach to billing and staffing to ensure that budgets and demand is managed properly.’

‘James Crayton is a great leader. His focus on getting all of his team to spend time on secondment in-house is refreshing and is a key differentiator.’

‘Dedicated, responsive, pragmatic, energetic and approachable – we get a great service at a great price from Walker Morris.’

‘Sally Mewies stands out as an exceptional TMT lawyer and hands-on partner, with vast TMT experience, deep knowledge of her clients and a real dedication to them. The business has complete confidence in her judgment and commerciality and knows that she always has its best interests at heart. We see her as part of our business, as a partner who never lets us down, is always available, never loses energy, speaks wisdom and truth and knows all the stakeholders, personalities and politics. On top of that she is super astute, good humoured, fun and very straightforward to deal with. We have known Sally for many years and more recently have got to know James Crayton and been really impressed by him too. Together they make a great team.’

‘Sally Mewies is a star. Down to earth and very experienced. Best IT lawyer I have come across.’

Key clients

Chipotle

JustGo Technologies

Gutteridge Haskins & Davey Limited

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

The Salford Valve Company Limited

Betsson Services Limited

AFC Bournemouth

Amscreen

Work highlights

  • Advised Chipotle on delivery partner agreements with Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
  • Advised Tottenham Hotspur in respect of preparation of new terms and conditions for its primary retail website.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 3

Walker Morris LLP has a proven track record in handling a steady stream of contentious and non-contentious IP mandates for leading national clients. Overseen by director Alan Harper, the team has experience in appearing before the High Court, defending trade mark infringement matters and copyright issues. Senior associate Matthew Lingard focuses on technology and software work, and has a growing practice in the sports sector; he is recommended for non-contentious matters including commercialisation and partnership deals.

Practice head(s):

Alan Harper

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Alan Harper remains level-headed in the midst of a furore. He stands out as being able effectively to identify and focus on the important points, getting results quickly and efficiently. He’s precisely what you want to succeed in litigation at a sensible cost.’

‘The main thing I find with Walker Morris is their friendly approach. I never feel patronised or given incomprehensive jargon.’

‘As with the team, the warmth of approach stands out. In particular Alan Harper. They will always help, very quickly.’

‘Walker Morris are a strong firm that defy the “regional” epithet: they are more than capable of going toe-to-toe with any London firm.’

‘Alan Harper and Matthew Lingard are top notch – commercial, sensible, and easy to work with.’

‘I like how they work, it’s always professional. Their people all seem approachable and friendly.’

‘Alan Harper in particular never lets me down, his hard work, advice and support is second to none.’

Key clients

Easy Cleaning Solutions

Warburtons

Ferrero Group/Fox’s Biscuits

Hallmark Cards

Moulded Fibre Products

Deckers Outdoor Corporation

The Meatless Farm Co Limited

Avacta Group Plc

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

Totemic Ltd

Symington’s Limited

Globe-Trotter Group

Cubico Bathrooms

Drax Group Plc

The R.R. McReynolds Company, LLC

Sheffield Wednesday FC

Tinkture – The Clean Alcohol Company

Ellis Patent Holdings

Fluent LLC

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of Easy Cleaning Solutions in the defence of a major trade mark infringement claim brought by easyGroup, owners of the EasyJet brand.
  • Instructed to act on behalf of Ferrero Group in relation to its trade marks and brand protection.
  • Provide full service IP support to Hallmark Cards in relation to its brands and products.

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

Based in Leeds, Walker Morris LLP is ‘brilliant on club acquisitions’, ‘very good on M&A’ and ‘a leading firm for football disputes and advice’. Its non-contentious knowhow also extends to sponsorship deals, commercial partnerships, player and management contracts, transfer agreements and brand protection. David Hinchliffe, hailed as ‘first choice for many clubs’, has overseen upwards of 40 football club transactions throughout his career; his team also provides an extensive contentious offering which covers disputes, arbitrations, regulatory matters and disciplinary hearings. Senior associate Katie Reed notably counts nine of the 20 Premier League teams for the 2020-21 season among her client list.

Practice head(s):

David Hinchliffe

Other key lawyers:

Katie Reed; Jeremy Moore

Testimonials

‘Brilliant on club acquisitions.’

‘David Hinchcliffe is superb.’

‘Walker Morris is one of the leading firms in the country for any football dispute or advice.’

‘David Hinchliffe has deep experiences and expertise in the football sector making him and his team the first choice for many clubs.’

‘Very good on mergers and acquisitions, especially football clubs. Strong team offering swift service.’

‘David Hinchliffe is streetwise, hardworking and a problem solver.’

Key clients

Swansea City FC

Fulham FC

Burnley FC

Crystal Palace FC

AFC Bournemouth

Reading FC

Sunderland AFC

Brighton & Hove Albion FC

Nottingham Forest FC

Scunthorpe United FC

Sheffield United FC

Work highlights

  • Instructed by administrators Begbies Traynor to appeal to the EFL Arbitration Panel against the sporting sanction (a deduction of 12 points) imposed by the EFL on Wigan Athletic as a result of the club entering into administration.
  • Acted for South Shields in their FA Rule K arbitration proceedings against The Football Association in respect of the FA’s decision to curtail the 2019-20 non-league football season in March 2019 for all leagues from step 3 down and expunge that season’s results as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acted as lead sell side advisers on the sale of 83.97% of the shares in the holding company of Burnley Football & Athletic Company Limited (the entity holding a share in the Premier League) to a consortium put together by ALK Capital, LLC.

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

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Non-executive chairman David Smedleydavid.smedley@walkermorris.co.uk+44 (0)113 283 2500
Managing partner Malcolm Simpsonmalcolm.simpson@walkermorris.co.uk+44 (0)113 283 2500
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Mr Ben  photo Mr Ben Partner
Mr Nick  photo Mr Nick Consultant
Mrs Louise  photo Mrs Louise Partner
Mr Chris  photo Mr Chris Partner
Mrs Debbie  photo Mrs Debbie Partner
Mr Daniel  photo Mr Daniel Partner
Mr James  photo Mr James Partner and Head of Commercial
Mr Gawain  photo Mr Gawain Partner
Mr Richard  photo Mr Richard Partner
Mr Steve  photo Mr Steve Partner – Real Estate Group
Mr Karl Anders  photo Mr Karl Anders Partner
Mr George Bacon  photo Mr George Bacon Partner
Mr Cameron Baloyi Rigby  photo Mr Cameron Baloyi Rigby Partner
Mrs  Burgess  photo Mrs Burgess Partner and Head of Regulatory & Compliance
Mr Mark Byrne  photo Mr Mark Byrne Partner
Mr  Clark  photo Mr Clark Partner 
Mr Peter Considine  photo Mr Peter Considine Consultant
Mr Will Cousins  photo Mr Will Cousins Partner 
Mrs Gwendoline Davies  photo Mrs Gwendoline Davies Partner and Head of Commercial Dispute Resolution
Mr Oliver Duke  photo Mr Oliver Duke Partner
Mrs  Feaster-Gee  photo Mrs Feaster-Gee Partner, Barrister and Head of Competition
Ms Liz Graham  photo Ms Liz Graham Partner
Mr John Hamer  photo Mr John Hamer Partner and Head of Corporate
Mr  Harbage  photo Mr Harbage Partner
Mr Paul Hargreaves  photo Mr Paul Hargreaves Partner – Construction & Engineering
Mr  Hinchliffe  photo Mr Hinchliffe Partner and Head of Sport
Mr Austin Judson  photo Mr Austin Judson Partner 
Mr  Lees  photo Mr 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
Mr Nick McQueen photo Mr Nick McQueenPartner
Ms  Mewies  photo Ms Mewies Partner and Head of Technology Group
Mr Jeremy Moore  photo Mr Jeremy Moore Partner
Mr  Naish  photo Mr Naish Partners and Head of Food & Drink
Mr Andrew Northage  photo Mr Andrew Northage Partner
Ms Alison Ogley  photo Ms Alison Ogley Partner – Planning & Environment
Mr  Peel  photo Mr Peel Partner
Mrs Judith Pike  photo Mrs Judith Pike Partner
Mr Stuart Ponting  photo Mr Stuart Ponting Partner
Mrs  Ratcliffe  photo Mrs Ratcliffe Partner and Head of Pensions
Mr Andrew Rayment  photo Mr Andrew Rayment Partner
Mr Adam Reed photo Mr Adam ReedPartner
Mr  Sandford  photo Mr Sandford Partner
Mr Martin Scott  photo Mr Martin Scott Partner and Head of Construction & Engineering
Mr  Simpson  photo Mr Simpson Partner
Mr Chris Slater  photo Mr Chris Slater Partner
Mr  Smedley  photo Mr 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
Ms Sarah Ward  photo Ms Sarah Ward Partner
Mrs Jane Weaver  photo Mrs Jane Weaver Partner
Number of UK partners : 46
Number of other UK fee-earners : 260

The Lex 100 Verdict

Leeds-headquartered and full-service Walker Morris LLP is a major name in the Yorkshire legal market and very well regarded for its training. The firm is international in both outlook and client list, and provides trainees with superb training opportunities. Trainees single out the ‘friendliness of all staff from partners to associates to secretaries and receptionists’, saying that ‘the firm feels like a family with a very welcoming culture’. One trainee ‘liked the idea of a single-site firm and on attending the assessment day everyone I met was so approachable; they seemed really invested in making sure we received an enriching training contract’. The single Leeds location was mentioned by many trainees as a really important factor in the firm’s culture. Also popular is the six-seat system, perfect for those keen to experience a range of practice areas. As one trainee comments: ‘I like that I can try out six seats with the offer of a client secondment because I am not currently sure where I want to qualify’. Trainees report 'completing national and international work (on occasions) of the same calibre as the bigger firms'. Trainees also appreciate the 'approachable fee earners who take time to explain matters to you' plus 'the remuneration is fair and in line with other firms in the area’. If you are looking for a Leeds training contract then Walker Morris is a very strong contender.