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 impresses with a strong track record in cross-border matters, as well as in transactions related to the private equity and ECM space. Clients are often active in the food and drink, manufacturing and technology sectors. The practice is overseen by John Hamer who handles public and private takeovers and acquisitions, and also includes Debbie Jackson; she is a key contact for a variety of funds. Richard Naish is well versed in advising public companies as well as food & drink sector clients. Daniel O’Gorman and Oliver Duke are noted for their experience in cross-border M&A and UK ECM transactions. Jo Stephenson has a focus on healthcare clients.

Practice head(s):

John Hamer

Other key lawyers:

Debbie Jackson; Richard Naish; Daniel O’Gorman; Oliver Duke; Jo Stephenson

Testimonials

‘Top class, client-focused and partner led service. Diverse and well experienced team – can do practical attitude to supporting.’

‘The team has a practical can-do attitude, always get the job done, and work pragmatically and helpfully with other lawyers. Completely dependable on any project I’ve worked with them on.’

‘High quality support and advice matched by in depth understanding of the food manufacturing and retail sectors. All staff very responsive to the clients needs particularly at partner and director level. Given the quality of service, fee levels represent exceptional value in what can be a vastly overpriced sector.’

‘Richard Naish was lead partner on a recent transaction. His knowledge of the sector we operate in was outstanding and provided significant added value, over and above the high level of legal advice, which certainly helped get us to a successful completion of the transaction against a very tight deadline. His calm and thoughtful approach ensured that we were able to overcome the difficult issues which inevitably arise in any transaction.’

‘We worked in particular with Jo Stephenson. Great collaboration, smooth, fast, focusing in finding practical solutions, accommodating to the Client’s needs and particular requests, also fee related.’

‘Oliver Duke works tirelessly to ensure transactions are completed. Helped in pushing difficult issues to conclusion with vendors to keep momentum behind deals. He has been available at all times when deals have been conducted over several time zones to keep all parties fully up to date with progress of any aspects of work he is involved in.’

‘Very approachable and responsive. They have good industry insight and look for solutions to commercial problems.’

‘We have a long standing relationship with the team at Walker Morris and they understand our business, which is key to the delivery of recent major projects. They continue to be engaged and act as soon as they are contacted. Couldn’t ask for more at this point.’

Key clients

Endless LLP

Audax Private Equity

LDC

Emplifi

Proactis Holdings plc

Renew Holdings plc

Ajax I

Lifco AB

Eight Fifty Group – Management Team

AML Rightsource

Matiolli Woods plc

Valeo Foods

Stagwell, Inc.

Swarco AG

Stat Lab Medical Products

Real Good Foods plc

Novax Group AB

Linden Capital

Trevco Industries, Inc.

Grupo Palacios

MCH Private Equity

BuildData AB

TPC Wire & Cable

Work highlights

  • Advised Acuant and its private equity owner Audax Private Equity on two deals, the acquisition of the UK headquartered Hello Soda group, and on the $736m sale of Acuant to AIM-quoted GB Group plc.
  • Advised Mattioli Woods plc on the £143m dual track acquisitions of both Maven Capital Partners and Ludlow Wealth Management and the associated ECM fundraising by way of a placing with institutional investors.
  • Advised Audax Private Equity on the UK aspects of various matters, such as the sale by Audax Private Equity of Corsearch to private equity buyer, Astorg and the sale by Audax Private Equity of Katena to Corza Medical.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 1

Clients praise Walker Morris LLP‘s competition offering, which sees the group advising national and international companies on the full range of related matters; the team is well versed in Technology Transfer Block Exemption mandates and the competition regulatory aspects of regulated sectors. Practice head Trudy Feaster-Gee is a barrister with long-standing experience in the field and Gwendoline Davies combines competition and dispute resolution knowledge, while Sarah Ward specialises in transactional work.

Practice head(s):

Trudy Feaster-Gee

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Very easy to work with offering great support in competition law matters.’

‘Extremely collaborative team, keen to understand our sector such that they can provide the very best advice.’

‘Efficient and cost-effective.’

‘Trudy Feaster Gee – great team leader.’

‘Gwen Davies has great litigation judgment.’ 

‘Jack Gale – showing early promise.’

‘Trudy Feaster-Gee is very knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Audax Private Equity

Arla Foods amba

Drax

Endless LLP

Work highlights

  • Advised private equity firms Audax and Endless on the competition law, merger control and FDI aspects of over ten corporate transactions, and assisted in the preparation of a number of filings.
  • Acting 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.
  • Advised businesses and individual directors in connection with antitrust investigations by the CMA.

Employment > Health and safety Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP's full-service practice has a strong contentious offering, with Stuart Ponting acting on several fatal accident cases as well as appearing at inquests. The ‘exceptional team’ also fields legal director Claire Burrows who has experience liaising with the Police, Health and Safety Executive and Care Quality Commission, and associate Francesca Poole, who regularly advises on health and safety risks in corporate acquisitions. The firm has a strong presence in the food sector and is frequently instructed by food manufacturing and retail clients. Jeanette Burgess heads up the department.

Practice head(s):

Jeanette Burgess

Testimonials

‘Stuart Ponting is strategic and pragmatic and easy to work with.’

‘The team that I have been working with are professional, available at all times and respond quickly to queries.’

‘Walker Morris listen to experts opinions and suggestions, however, they are not afraid to put difficult questions to ensure that the expert is confident in their opinion.’

‘Stuart Ponting, Claire Burrows and Francesca Poole are in my opinion an exceptional team to work with. They have the ability to quickly grasp difficult technical concepts quickly, which is of great assistance.’

‘Having a clearly articulated plan, agreed up front and testing every action against that plan has been invaluable to us.’

‘Other legal practices have wanted the quickest and easiest solution but Walker Morris have helped us/driven us to take a holistic and insightful strategic approach to getting what we need out of the problems we have encountered and covering/protecting our organisation at every step.’

‘Stuart Ponting is just amazing – he helps us to articulate a clear, well thought out vision and reminds us of this when we want to take quicker/less appropriate actions using his much valued humourous and common sense approach.’

‘Highly respected specialist team covering all aspects of health and safety. The team combines a strong advisory practice with a great deal of litigation experience.’

Key clients

Adler & Allan Ltd

Erith Group

Galliford Try plc

Kone Plc

Leeson Polyurethanes Limited

Hermes Parcelnet

Hovis Limited

Pharmaron UK Ltd

Royal Mencap Society

Work highlights

  • Advising Leeson Polyurethanes following catastrophic fire and fatality involving disaster victim identification issues.
  • Advising national demolition contractor following fatal crushing at client’s site.
  • Defending Young’s Seafood in HSE prosecution in Crown Court.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP’s ‘first class’ banking practice is well known for advising on wholesale funding lines, consumer finance and SME finance businesses. Led by Michael Taylor, the group is regularly instructed on significant deals in the region and advises banks and borrowers on all aspects of corporate banking and debt finance. Experienced partner Philip Scott joined the team in 2021 while Peter Considine has moved to a consultancy role.

Practice head(s):

Michael Taylor

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Walker Morris’ banking practice is first class. They have strength in depth and experienced leaders in respect of Philip Scott and Michael Taylor.’

‘Approachable, sensible advice delivered to a budget. Can manage workloads to a tight timescale.’

‘Whilst being regionally based they have a national and international perspective and connectivity.’

‘Client orientated and willing to go the extra mile to support what is needed.’

‘Partner led engagement i.e. a partner leads through all aspect of the entire process whereas with other firms sometimes appoint junior members to that role.’

‘Whilst the firm is largely Leeds based it possesses the scope of disciplines that would compare favourably with that of a national practice.’

‘Consistently high quality. Great capability and strength in depth.’

‘Michael Taylor has deep banking and ABL experience, very knowledgeable and very much protects the client interest but at the same time provide practical and commercial guidance.’

Key clients

Santander UK plc

Clydesdale Bank plc (Yorkshire Bank)

Secure Trust Bank plc

Endless LLP

Shawbrook Bank

Welltower, Inc

Menzies Distribution Limited

MJ Hudson plc

Gear4Music plc

Elliott Advisers (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Welltower, Inc. as lender on its security requirements for £575,000,000 facilities made available to the HC-One group. The transaction is noteworthy because of the debt size and also that it involved multiple jurisdictions.
  • Advising the bank in relation to the provision of bilateral revolving credit facilities to the listed national housebuilder, Bellway Homes.
  • Advising the Borrower in connection with its £27,500,000 (including accordion, now utilised) secured bilateral revolving credit facilities with Santander UK plc

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP is the ‘go-to firm for heavyweight insolvency litigation'. The team continues to receive instructions from several of the largest insolvency practitioners, lenders and private equity investors in the market, with practice co-head Duncan Lole, supported by ‘real star’ Olivia Robinson, spearheading the firm’s financial services and regulated sector work. Co-head Gawain Moore has expertise in complex cross-border insolvencies, an area in which the group has seen significant growth. Elsewhere, director Claire Askew provides specialist advice in relation to restructuring matters connected to defined benefit schemes. Simon Clark now acts as the firm’s general counsel.

Practice head(s):

Gawain Moore; Duncan Lole

Other key lawyers:

Claire Askew; Michael Taylor; David Hinchliffe; Simon Clark; Olivia Robinson; Oliver Wheeler; Owen Ormond

Testimonials

‘Walker Morris has provided a consistently high level of professionalism and a ‘personalised’ service that, in my opinion, would be difficult to better.’

‘Go-to firm for heavyweight insolvency litigation. Top-class firm with a practical and commercial approach to litigation, focussed on achieving results for clients.’

‘Never afraid to give bad news as well as good news, and to advise accordingly, I have developed a high level of trust in the firm.’

‘I have always found the calibre of the staff doing the work is excellent and there is always Partner involvement across the lifetime of a project especially on complex matters.’

‘Duncan Lole – fantastic knowledgeable guy who really goes that extra mile when assisting on cases.’

‘Olivia Robinson – extremely knowledgeable and experienced beyond her years. A real star and an asset to the insolvency team.’

‘Gawain Moore has been exceptional, providing consider, commercial and technically correct advice. Is always available and willing to chat through issues.’

‘Claire Askew delivers excellent service in a user friendly way. She always finds a way to get the deal done.’

Key clients

Endless LLP

Teneo (formerly Deloitte restructuring)

Interpath (formerly Deloitte restructuring)

FRP Advisory

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Santander UK plc

Harrisons Business Recovery and Insolvency

Begbies Traynor Group

BDO UK LLP

Alvarez & Marsal

RMT Accountants and Advisory

Lloyds Development Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised FRP as Administrators of the Arlington group companies, trading as Arlington Energy, in connection with all aspects of the administrations including the complex sale of a battery storage energy site with a dynamic containment system.
  • Advised Southern Wind Group Limited in connection with the prepack acquisition of the Yorkshire headquartered restaurant chain Fazenda from administrators Begbies Traynor.
  • Advised Begbies Traynor as joint administrators of Wigan Athletic AFC Limited on all aspects of the administration, including a successful sale to rescue the club.

Public sector > Local government Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP acts for local authorities throughout the UK and public and private sector stakeholders operating in the sector including government departments and agencies, NHS bodies, registered providers, utilities companies, funders and major contractors. Areas of expertise encompass public procurements, governance work, subsidy control issues, and freedom of information matters; the group also covers real estate, construction, employment, corporate and finance work. Ben Sheppard handles PPP, PFI and outsourcing contracts, while Chris Woodthorpe is a real estate specialist; the pair jointly lead the group.

Practice head(s):

Ben Sheppard; Chris Woodthorpe

Other key lawyers:

David Kilduff; Lynsey Oakdene

Key clients

Homes England

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Kier Property Developments Limited

Hambleton District Council

Berneslai Homes Limited

Kier Construction Limited

Eveleigh LINK Academy Trust

Winchester City Council

Lancashire County Council

Harrogate Borough Council

Cumbria County Council

Oil and Pipelines Agency

Work highlights

  • Advised Barnsley Council in connection with a range of decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures, grant funded in part through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, helping the council to achieve its net-zero target.
  • Acted for Homes England on over 50 grant funded housing infrastructure development schemes.
  • Advised Barnsley Council in connection with Barnsley’s £180m ‘Glass Works’ town centre redevelopment involving a state-of-the-art library and community facility, refurbishment of Barnsley Market, together with a brand new retail and leisure offering.

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

Praised for delivering a ‘first-class service’, Walker Morris LLP ‘provides excellent support on commercial property matters’ and is noted for its capability in real estate transactions and financing mandates. Austin Judson advises on commercial and mixed-use developments, as well as acting for property developers, investors and high-street banks on real estate portfolio work. The Leeds-based team, which is led by Jeremy Moore, also includes Will Cousins, who handles development projects, sales and purchases and refinancing transactions. George Bacon advises national retailers, developers and property investors on development mandates. Adam Reed and Judith Pike are also key members of the group.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Moore

Testimonials

‘The team always provides excellent support on commercial property matters in a very flexible way, tailored to commercial needs at any given time. They value relationships very highly and invest in these.’

‘George Bacon is calm under pressure, technically excellent and he understands the commercial aspects of our business. I see George as a colleague, not just as an adviser. He is very much a valued part of the in-house team.’

‘Personable team who really take the time to understand our business, forge relationships with stakeholders and deliver first-class service. We are always made to feel like we are their most important client even if, as I am sure, they are juggling scores of transactions for others at the same time.’

‘We have used Walker Morris now for approaching ten years and have never been let down,. They are all engaging people, top of their profession and provide excellent client service. We do regularly recommend them elsewhere which we believe to be testament to them.’

Key clients

Moda Living

Unite Students

Welltower, Inc

Moda Living

Pickards

Peel Group

Walker Family Trust

Xian Developments Limited

Peel Group

Pickards

Work highlights

  • Advised Moda Living on an extremely complicated development involving 750 units in central London with a gross development value of c.£600m.
  • Advised Unite Students on the acquisition of a development site in Paddington, London from Travis Perkins.
  • Advising Welltower, Inc, alongside Gibson Dunn, in relation to the provision of a £550m loan to HC-One Limited.

Real estate > Construction Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP ‘has a first-class construction practice, which holds its own against any city-based or nationwide firm’. Paul Hargreaves is a ‘force of nature’ when advising leaseholder groups on claims arising out of defective premises, while practice leader Tom Peel and Daniel Lyon advise clients across the retail, office and student accommodation sectors on development work and contentious matters. Jules Harbage focuses on energy and infrastructure projects and Carly Thorpe ‘devises great strategies’ when pursuing and defending adjudication enforcement claims. Other key members of the team include ‘tactical geniusMartin Scott, directors Alastair Robertson and Hayley Hayes.

Practice head(s):

Tom Peel

Testimonials

Walker Morris has a first-class construction practice, which holds its own against any city-based or nationwide firm. It has excellent partners with a strong commercial, and practical grasp and real strength in depth in associates.’ 

‘Paul Hargreaves is a force of nature. A tireless work ethic, a keen sense of justice and his considerable acumen as a litigator make him a man you want on your side. Martin Scott is another fearsome partner. He combines huge experience, unrivalled tactical nous and a true commitment to the cause.’ 

‘The team at Walker Morris are affable, which makes clients feel comfortable. This approach is underpinned with excellent legal knowledge that is provided in a very grounded way. They align with our values.’ 

‘Carly Thorpe is our main contact. She is simply amazing. Very approachable and works in a collaborative manner. Carly devises great strategies and her ability to respond efficiently is to be applauded.’ 

‘Hayley Hayes and Tom Peel are first and foremost great people. They genuinely care about their profession, and are always on hand to offer advice or help. They are provide an invaluable service to our business and are my first port of call.’ 

‘Daniel Lyons provides an exceptional service, always considering the commercial and practical aspects in any legal advice provided. I would recommend Dan to any client needing a strong construction lawyer.’ 

‘Alastair Robertson was leading the construction team on behalf of Walker Morris. He was pragmatic and grasped the commercial challenges for the developer early on, made the transaction relatively smooth, co-ordination was particularly strong and the wider team were very supportive and reacted quickly to any issues or client requests.’ 

‘Jules Harbage is exceptionally good with clients and getting to grips with complicated technical issues.  He gives fantastic and pragmatic advice.’ 

Key clients

Zagora Management Limited and the Leaseholders of New Lawrence House

Moda Living

Outotec (USA) Inc

Glencar Construction Ltd

ENGIE Regeneration Limited

Interchange

Caddick Developments

Port of Tilbury London Limited

Scarborough Group International

Work highlights

  • Advised Zagora Management Limited and the leaseholders of New Lawrence House in a £15m claim for fire safety and cladding defects against their new home warranty.
  • Advised Moda Homes on construction documents for the design and construction of 824 homes with a deal value of £260m.
  • Acted for Outotec (USA) Inc, the Part 20 Defendant, in a litigation claim of circa $134m.

Real estate > Planning Tier 1

Praised for its ‘strength in depth and a first-class advocacy service’, Walker Morris LLP’s workload includes residential and mixed-use developments, energy and infrastructure projects, particularly in the waste and renewables sectors, as well as compulsory purchase mandates. Practice leader and advocate Richard Sagar, who is commended as ‘a first-rate legal mind’, advises on planning applications, compulsory purchase matters and disputes in the High Court, while ‘highly knowledgeable‘ solicitor and barrister Alison Ogley has experience in high profile planning appeal cases. Chris Slater is another key member of the team and is noted for his work on section 106 planning obligations.

Practice head(s):

Richard Sagar

Other key lawyers:

Alison Ogley; Chris Slater; Robert Moore

Testimonials

‘The team is very experienced, motivated and forensic in their consideration of the detail. The team has a reputation (well earned) for considering all the potential angles in a case and are highly organised, and this is a reflection of their intimate understanding and expertise. Client and consultant relationships are well developed.’

‘Richard Sagar is a fantastic advocate and has superb tactical judgment and a first-rate legal mind.’

‘Walker Morris provides expert and focused planning legal advice, not just from a law and regulatory point of view, but also on strategy and tactics. Their advice is well considered, sophisticated and with a great attention to detail.’

‘Alison Ogley is fantastic and highly knowledgeable. Rob Moore is brilliant and so easy to work with.’

‘Strength in depth and a first-class advocacy service.’

‘Robert Moore is outstanding for his combination of shrewd tactical and strategic advice, coupled with a phenomenal grasp of detail; a very unusual combination as one usually finds one or the other, it’s rare to find both in one individual.’

‘Walker Morris has an excellent reputation in this field and are renowned for their quality of work and proven success rate, all of which I have experienced first hand. They have a forensic approach and leave no stone unturned.’

‘Their partners are always engaged in the process, and never do you find they ‘pitch and ditch’. Highly informed on all legal planning issues, and always able to give an early opinion. I would note that Richard Sagar is the epitome of the firm. Thorough, engaged in the project, highly knowledgeable, accessible and always available. Best summed up as an all round team player.’

Key clients

Arla Foods

Anchor

Asda Stores

Avant Homes

Axiom

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

Homes England

Mulgrave

Newett Homes

Park Lane Properties Ltd

Redrow Homes

Taylor Wimpey

The Peel Group

Town Centre Securities plc

Unite Group

Work highlights

  • Represented FCC at a public inquiry lasting ten days, which was held following a refusal of a section 73 application to vary a number of conditions, which would extend the lifetime span of the landfill until 2037 and set out new dates for a full restoration of the site.
  • Advised Axiom, whose development site comprises 43 hectares of land in the Green Belt adjacent to J32 of the M62, in the promotion of the site for an alternative use as an employment/logistical hub for large scale distribution/storage operators.
  • Acted for Hallam Land Management and obtaining planning permission, ultimately on appeal, for c.100 homes.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 1

Walker Morris LLP acts as a ‘full-service provider for all property litigation matters, from run-of-the-mill neighbour disputes to large rights of light commercial claims’, and counts national retailers, local authorities, public sector bodies, developers and landlords among its key list of clients. Martin McKeague, whose ‘knowledge of property litigation law and the practical application of it, makes him a forerunner in his field’, jointly leads the practice alongside Karl Anders, who handles residential landlord and tenant matters. Malcolm Simpson acts for developers in disputes relating to option agreements, conditional contracts and planning promotion agreements. Directors David Manda and Lewis Couth are also key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Martin McKeague; Karl Anders

Testimonials

‘The firm offers practical, relevant and sound advice on property litigation, putting the client’s objectives first and foremost.’

‘Martin Mckeague is an excellent asset to Walker Morris. His knowledge of property litigation law and the practical application of it, makes him a forerunner in his field. His ability to put our concerns first before his firm’s fees, makes him a lawyer that we enjoy a close working relationship with.’

‘Full-service provider for all property litigation matters, from run-of-the-mill neighbour disputes to large rights of light commercial claims.’

‘Lewis Couth is exceptional. Very clever and knowledgeable, but also diligent, practical and user-friendly. Martin McKeague and David Manda have excellent client contacts.’

‘Excellent knowledge of relevant law, combined with a full understanding of the underlying commercial realities.’

‘Martin Mckeague and David Manda are approachable, responsive and practical.’

‘The team is large and can handle a variety of work. The firm retains client continuity on parties dealing with the client which maintain standards and means the team place importance on getting to know the client to service to the client’s needs.’

‘Martin McKeague and David Manda are easy to work with and client friendly. They both have the quality and depth of knowledge and will quickly get to the heart of an issue. They both listen and take the time to understand the client’s needs and adopt a commercial and pragmatic approach.’

Key clients

Starbucks

Menzies Distribution Limited

Persimmon

Blackpool FC

Kier plc

Sky

Unite

Homes England

FCC Environment (UK) Limited

The Coal Authority

Work highlights

  • Representing Elcombe Limited in respect of a claim against Axa Insurance plc and Locktons (broker) for damages of £1.7m arising out of property damage insurance policy.
  • Representing landowners in relation to the modification and discharge of restrictive covenants that prevent development of land.
  • Representing a large supermarket in a dispute with the proposed landlord for breach of its obligations under an agreement for lease, where the damages claim is approximately £4m.

Real estate > Social housing Tier 1

Noted for its longstanding relationship with Homes England, Walker Morris LLP advises registered providers, local authorities and housing associations on a range of matters, from housing management and regulatory compliance to residential landlord and tenant issues and litigation. Other key clients include First Choice Homes Oldham and Engie Regeneration Limited. The team is jointly led by Karl Anders and Chris Woodthorpe. Anders is noted for his experience in advising on housing management and regulatory issues, while Woodthorpe handles residential and mix-used development work, as well landlord and tenant matters.

Practice head(s):

Chris Woodthorpe; Karl Anders

Key clients

First Choice Homes Oldham

Engie Regeneration Limited

Work highlights

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

    Walker Morris LLP ‘has real strength in sales and purchases of football clubs’, and counts Fulham FC, AFC Bournemouth and Burnley FC among its key roster of clients. The team is well-versed across a range of other matters, from sponsorships deals, transfer agreements and commercial partnerships to real estate transactions and disputes. Practice leader David Hinchcliffe is noted for his expertise in finance mandates involving football clubs, while Alistair McHenry specialises in sports litigation, including arbitrations and contentious regulatory matters. Other key members of the team include commercial property partner Jeremy Moore as well as senior associates Charlotte Smith, who focuses on employment disputes, and Christian Slinger.

    Practice head(s):

    David Hinchliffe

    Testimonials

    ‘Walker Morris has a first-rate sports law practice. Their breadth of experience in acting for a large number of top clients (including a substantial number of Premier and lower league clubs), which extends from running multi-million pound fraud claims in arbitrations to minor contractual disputes, means that they have seen it all and are able to provide a highly effective one-stop shop for clients’ sports and commercial issues.’

    ‘David Hinchliffe understands clients’ needs and with his commercial and insolvency background, he is able to give comprehensive advice that covers all bases. Alistair McHenry is also excellent. A good lawyer whose clients get on with him well and respect him, and who manages cases very effectively.’

    ‘Highly commercial team and has real strength in sales and purchases of football clubs.’

    ‘David Hinchliffe is shrewd, hardworking and finds solutions.’

    Key clients

    Swansea City FC

    Fulham FC

    Burnley FC

    Crystal Palace FC

    AFC Bournemouth

    Swindon Town FC

    Brighton & Hove Albion FC

    Nottingham Forest FC

    Sheffield United FC

    Wrexham AFC

    York City Knights

    Work highlights

    • Advised Burnley Football Club’s Chairman, Michael Garlick on the club’s sale to US private equity firm, ALK Capital.
    • Advised AFC Bournemouth in concluding the contract for their new Head Coach, Scott Parker
    • Advised Australian businessman, Clint Goodchild, on the acquisition of Rugby League Championship side York City Knights.

    Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 1

    The ‘excellent’ professional negligence practice at Walker Morris LLP is reflected in the strength of its practice heads; Gwendoline Davies, Nick Lees, Malcolm Simpson and Nick McQueen handle high-value claims in a commercial disputes context, while Paul Hargreaves, Tom Peel and Martin Scott are experts in construction and engineering litigation. For financial services sector expertise, Richard Sandford, Louise Power and Rob Payne are the key practitioners, advising clients on investor fraud rings, money laundering and cybercrime.

    Practice head(s):

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

    Testimonials

    ‘The professional negligence and title rectification team at Walker Morris is excellent – client service is outstanding as the team is friendly, approachable and efficient and the advice provided is clear, comprehensive and of an excellent quality.’

    ‘The teams work well together and also ensure every member is up to date on the proceedings.’

    ‘They stand out with their knowledge and attention to detail. I feel they would go above and beyond to get the best result.’

    ‘I appreciate their honesty, even with the information sometimes as a client you don’t want to hear. I would recommend the team to anyone looking for legal advice.’

    ‘Paul Hargreaves is fantastic; not only because he is great to work with, but because he doggedly pursues his clients’ interests. I cannot speak highly enough of him.’

    ‘Gwen Davies is a star individual.’

    Key clients

    Leaseholders of apartment blocks at Meridian Quay, Swansea

    Leaseholders of a development known as St Francis Tower, Ipswich

    Lloyds Banking Group

    Bank of Ireland

    UK Asset Resolution t/a Mortgage Express, Bradford & Bingley & NRAM Limited

    Topaz Finance Limited

    Oakwood Home Loans

    Pepper UK Finance

    Work highlights

    • Acting for various leaseholder owners of apartments in a residential development in Meridian Quay Swansea in claims against Zurich Insurance Plc in connection with the issue of insurance cover notes.
    • Acting for over 30 leaseholder owners of apartments at St Francis Tower, Ipswich in claims against the solicitors and licensed conveyancing practices in relation to advice provided to the claimants on the purchase of their flats.

    Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax Tier 2

    Walker Morris LLP covers tax assistance in M&A, real estate, employment, and litigation matters. The team has notable expertise in share schemes, SDLT and VAT advisory work, and (cross-border) assistance for private equity clients. Director Nicola Parkinson leads the practice. Directors Simon Slade and John Christian are also active practitioners.

    Practice head(s):

    Nicola Parkinson

    Other key lawyers:

    Key clients

    Kirkland & Ellis

    Endless LLP

    Unite Students

    Swarco AG

    Mattioli Woods

    Proactis Holdings

    Work highlights

    • Worked alongside Kirkland & Ellis to provide clients in the UK and USA with due diligence advice relating to share schemes and incentives.
    • Provided advice and assistance in the disposal of Adare International to HH Global, acquisition of Bibby Supply Chain Services and the acquisition of Findel Education Limited from Studio Retail Group plc.
    • Providing support to the tax team at Unite, including advice in connection with VAT and SDLT.

    Dispute resolution > Banking litigation Tier 2

    Walker Morris LLP is noted for its ‘enviable blend of legal knowledge and practical know-how’ and the team covers fraud and professional negligence cases as well as disputes relating to regulatory and insolvency matters. Its client roster includes high street banks, alternative, niche and challenger lenders as well as receivers and insolvency practitioners. The practice was reinforced by the arrival of Rob Payne in October 2021 from Gateley Plc; he and Richard Sandford now jointly head up the team. Louise Power is a key contact for vulnerable borrowers and Kate Hicks‘ ‘advice is always of an exceptionally high quality‘.

    Practice head(s):

    Rob Payne; Richard Sandford

    Other key lawyers:

    Louise Power; Kate Hicks; Ellen McLean; Karl Anders

    Testimonials

    ‘Very strong banking offering entirely at home with complex legal issues.’

    ‘Walker Morris’ banking litigation team has an enviable blend of legal knowledge and practical know-how. Its lawyers offer the complete package to their banking clients.’

    ‘Kate Hicks’ extensive knowledge of the sector provides reassurance that complex title rectification matters and professional negligence claims are in safe hands. Advice is always of an exceptionally high quality, considered and comprehensive and matters are dealt with efficiently and resolved swiftly wherever possible. Kate’s friendly, proactive and helpful approach also makes her a delight to work with.’

    ‘The team is able to bring first class levels of experience to the resolution of financial disputes.’

    ‘Richard Sanford has a wealth of experience in finance litigation, a keen eye for detail and is always prepared to take a hands-on role.’

    ‘The team are extremely knowledgeable, professional and efficient in all of their dealings. They are happy to discuss cases with us and offer advice if we are going in the wrong direction and review correspondence to ensure that it is water tight and correct.’

    ‘Rob Payne – excellent banking litigation partner.’

    ‘Louise Power – unrivalled experience in mortgage and other consumer banking litigation.’

    Key clients

    Lloyds Banking Group

    Handelsbanken Plc

    Bank of Ireland

    UK Asset Resolution t/a Mortgage Express, Bradford & Bingley & NRAM Limited

    Topaz Finance Limited

    Oakwood Home Loans

    Pepper UK Finance

    Imagine Mortgages Limited t/a Generation Home

    The Mortgage Lender Limited

    Loughborough Building Society

    Skipton Building Society

    Leeds Building Society

    Yorkshire Building Society

    Schneider Financial Solutions Limited

    Foundation Home Loans

    Furness Building Society

    Leek Building Society

    SDKA Limited

    Work highlights

    • Acting for Handelsbanken in defence of a claim pleaded in excess of £20m arising from the circumstances of the Bank’s demand under its facilities and subsequent appointment of Administrators in respect of a customer company.
    • Acting for Handelsbanken in a contested application to vary a criminal restraint order to facilitate the realisation of a substantial investment property by Receivers appointed by the Bank.

    Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 2

    Walker Morris LLP puts emphasis on representing North American-headquartered industrial companies as well as foreign energy companies in English law disputes. At a national level, it has close ties to food and drink manufacturers, energy and infrastructure clients, house-builders and retailers. Alongside expertise in commercial conflicts, the group also handles pensions and competition damages claims. ‘Star individualGwendoline Davies leads the team and impresses with a broad practice, while Malcolm Simpson handles a varied range of dispute resolution issues, including arbitration proceedings, and Nick Lees is a key contact in supply chain disputes. Other key team members include Nick McQueen, and directors Lynsey Oakdene and Claire Acklam.

    Practice head(s):

    Gwendoline Davies

    Testimonials

    ‘Nick Lees – very responsive and explains advice in a clear and concise manner.’

    ‘Nick McQueen – understands the needs of the business, astute tactically and clearly able to articulate legal issues in a clear manner which allows the business to take appropriate decisions at the right time. A very solid commercial litigator.’

    ‘Fantastic team and service.’

    ‘Very good problem solvers. Gwendoline Davis has been fantastic.’

    ‘From its base in Leeds, Walker Morris provides a top quality national service in a range of commercial and insolvency work.’

    ‘Gwendoline Davies is a star individual, with extensive experience of heavy duty commercial litigation.’

    Key clients

    Avant Homes

    British Steel

    Hallmark

    Lucozade

    Caterpillar Group

    Asda

    ENGIE / EQUANS

    Arla Group

    Drax Group

    Kier Group

    Bupa

    Persimmon

    Marshalls Plc

    British Steel

    Precision Cast Parts

    Starbucks

    Work highlights

    • Acting for Arla Foods in a large competition damages claim arising from the EC truck cartelists.
    • Acting for Kenneth Hall (Builder) Limited and others in a partnership and shareholder dispute centred around a family farming and construction business.
    • Represented Brookhouse Aerospace in connection with a supply chain dispute with Velocity Composites.

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

    Walker Morris LLP has a diverse employment practice, acting for clients within the manufacturing, food and drink, finance and technology sectors. It also has a particularly strong sports employment focus, with a number of Premier League football clubs in its client roster. Practice co-head Andrew Rayment is a specialist in employment work for international transactions while fellow practice head David Smedley continues to develop the group’s immigration offering, advising on sponsor license applications, visas and post-Brexit right to work changes. Senior associate Charlotte Smith is ‘fantastic’. Laura McLellan left the firm to join Knights plc in February 2022.

    Practice head(s):

    David Smedley; Andrew Rayment

    Other key lawyers:

    Shabana Muneer; Charlotte Smith; Lucy Gordon

    Testimonials

    ‘Their knowledge is excellent. Fast response times. Approachable and easy to understand. Understand business and gives practical advice as well as legal.’

    ‘The team genuinely take the time to understand the organisational context, what we are ultimately trying to do and how best to navigate through it. They are very accessible and focused on providing a first class service.’

    ‘Charlotte Smith is fantastic. She has delivered very good work on a multitude of matters at a very sensitive time for our business at the same time as getting to know me and my team. She has built trusted relationships very quickly both locally and internationally.’

    ‘Leading employment law firm in Yorkshire. Very experienced in acting for employers, employees, unions and in class actions.’

    ‘David Smedley – first class employment lawyer with years of practical experience.’

    ‘Andrew Rayment is an excellent forward-thinking employment lawyer.’

    ‘The team has a very accessible style which is valued by clients. Being able to pull together a product integrating input from other specialists within the firm is another appealing user-friendly feature of this team.’

    ‘The team at Walker Morris are extremely responsive and approachable. They take a commercial approach to matters and seek to deliver their services in a practical, cost-effective manner.’

    Key clients

    Suntory Beverage and Food Group (formerly Lucozade Ribena Suntory)

    Burnley Football Club

    Hallmark Cards

    Starbucks

    AFC Bournemouth

    Menzies Distribution

    British Steel

    RWE Supply & Trading GmbH

    Renew Holdings

    Hermes

    Work highlights

    • Advised Hallmark Cards Plc on the TUPE transfer of 600+ people following a change of service provision. We act in respect of ongoing employment advice.
    • Advised Menzies Distribution on a number of issues, including employment tribunal claims (in all areas of the United Kingdom); managed advice in foreign jurisdictions; advised of sector critical issues such as employment status and national minimum wage; TUPE issues on key contracts; competition issues; and post transaction integration issues.
    • Assisted Burnley Football Club in negotiating Sean Dyche’s new contract and continue to provide advice to the Club in respect of all HR and employment matters.

    Employment > Pensions Tier 2

    Specialising in privatised utilities, charities and not-for-profits, Walker Morris LLP's pensions team has significant expertise in complex Pensions Regulator funding interventions. The team handles a mixture of contentious and non-contentious matters, with practice head Jo Ratcliffe being an expert in TUPE and Beckmann issues. Ruth Bamforth has experience advising on the international pensions aspects of banking and corporate transactions as well as public sector outsourcings.

    Practice head(s):

    Jo Ratcliffe

    Other key lawyers:

    Ruth Bamforth; Gwendoline Davies; Elizabeth Graham

    Testimonials

    ‘The Walker Morris pensions practice provides a large number of high quality pensions professionals at a great price. They are well networked within a wider practice who provide a full range of legal services.’

    ‘Jo Ratcliffe is a very experienced, practical and commercial partner. She is very personable and great to work with.’

    ‘Ruth Bamforth – very competent and dedicated lawyer.’

    ‘Approachability, pragmatism and commerciality. In particular individual staff members who go above and beyond to develop and maintain relationships.’

    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

    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

    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 Pension Scheme

    Trustees of the Capita International Retirement Benefits Scheme

    Trustees of the Hashimoto Limited Pension Scheme

    Trustees of the Billington Final Salary Pension Scheme

    Trustees of the NG Bailey Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

    Work highlights

    • Advised Phamaron UK Limited on the pensions aspects of Project Corner (the acquisition of Aesica Pharmaceuticals Limited) from Consort Medical Limited.
    • Advised the trustees of Ashland UK Pension Scheme in relation to GMP equalisation and GMP conversion.
    • Advised the trustee of the Capita Pension and Life Assurance Scheme in relation to the day-to-day matters arising, investment issues, data protection, scheme funding and covenant issues and advising on member queries and disputes.

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

    Walker Morris LLP has demonstrable experience in the waste and bioresources sectors and advises its roster of clients on energy from waste, anaerobic digestion and biogas projects. The ‘commercially astute’ team frequently leverages the expertise of other departments within the firm to provide multidisciplinary advice on infrastructure and energy mandates. Ben Sheppard, who is a key contact for energy from waste, renewables and low carbon energy matters, jointly leads the practice alongside real estate partner Judith Pike. Litigator Gwendoline Davies and construction expert Jules Harbage are also key members of the team.

    Practice head(s):

    Ben Sheppard; Judith Pike

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘Walker Morris consistently provides high quality practical advice at reasonable rates. The team is very responsive and they have been instrumental in helping the business achieve a positive outcome in a wide variety of matters. The team is commercially astute and understands the nature and needs of our business, meaning that we can trust them to be a “safe pair of hands” to progress matters to a successful conclusion.’

    ‘The lead partner, Ben Sheppard, has immersed himself in our requirements and those of the other stakeholders. This maximises the specific nature of the advice given to us, creating value and supporting the efficient management and development of our projects and their associated contracts.’

    ‘Brilliant lawyers with excellent knowledge of the industry and very good practical approach.’

    ‘Judith Pike has strong case management skills and has been able to bring challenging matters to a successful conclusion. She has excellent all-round expertise and provides high quality pragmatic legal advice. Judith is very responsive to the needs of the business and has developed good knowledge of our sites and business.’

    ‘I have found Walker Morris to be an ideal legal adviser to support the high value projects and contracts I have used them for. With a range of experienced partners, they have the strength of a London firm at the costs and accessibility of a regional practice.’

    ‘Ben Sheppard, partner and head of energy and infrastructure, is very good.’

    ‘The team is responsive and dedicated in working towards tight deadlines.’

    Key clients

    MVV Environment

    Arla Foods

    Kier Group

    EKFB Joint Venture

    FCC Environment

    Coal Authority

    Grissan Energy Limited

    Associated Waste Management

    Earth Capital Limited

    Barnsley Metropolitan District Council

    Northumbrian Water

    Bio Capital Limited

    Rock Solid Processing

    Northern Hydropower Limited

    Eelpower Limited

    Gasrec

    Oatly

    East London Biogas

    Conrad Energy

    Port of Tilbury (Forth Ports)

    Storengy

    Drax Group plc

    East London Biogas

    Work highlights

    • Advised MVV Environment in connection with a project for the development and construction of a £200m energy from waste facility capable of treating up to 260,000 tonnes of household and commercial waste a year and generating up to 23MW of clean, renewable energy.
    • Advised the UK’s largest producer of biomethane on the development of two new anaerobic digestion projects to supply green gas to the grid and help decarbonise the distilleries supplying feedstock to and purchasing green gas from the facilities.
    • Advised Northumbrian Water on the procurement and negotiation of a framework development contract with a renewable energy project developer for the development of a number of solar power projects on Northumbrian Water sites.

    Public sector > Education Tier 2

    Areas of expertise for Walker Morris LLP are advising schools and colleges on academy conversions and also construction matters; the group is increasingly working for universities and also assists councils, funders, education institutions and suppliers. The practice's work spans a wide range of mandates, covering topics such as general commercial issues, governance work, state aid matters, employment and pensions mandates, real estate transactions, regulatory work and litigation. David Smedley has knowledge of employment law, admissions and exclusion issues and acts in judicial reviews, while Jules Harbage is well versed in construction and building matters; the pair jointly lead the team.

    Practice head(s):

    David Smedley; Jules Harbage

    Other key lawyers:

    Alex Jones

    Testimonials

    ‘Very approachable and knowledgeable, and supportive teams, good network support.’

    ‘Very down to earth in approach whilst still providing a very professional service.’

    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

    Kirkbie Kendal School, Kirkbie

    Bradford Grammar Schools

    Connaught School for Girls

    Bolton College

    Pontefract Academies Trust

    Leeds Beckett University

    Eveleigh Link Academy Trust

    Hoyland Common Academy Trust

    New Collaborative Learning Trust

    Brodetsky Primary School

    Rodillian Multi Academy Trust

    Findel Education

    The Rutland Learning Trust

    Spalding Academy

    Hartwell Primary School

    King Edward Vi Education Trust

    Giles Academy

    Monkwearmouth Academy

    Upperwood Academy

    Stanley Learning Partnership Trust

    Innovate Multi Academy Trust

    Excel Academy Partnership Trust

    Every Child Matters Academy Trust

    Westgate Academy

    The Grammar School at Leeds

    London South Bank University

    Work highlights

    • Acting for ENGIE in relation to a £200m housing and student accommodation scheme at the University of Birmingham’s Pritchatts Park campus.
    • Advising LSBU in relation to its dispute with WDI concerning WDI’s notices of delay and anticipated additional costs due to delays to works.
    • Acting for a trust on several CIF-based construction projects at several of the trusts schools.

    Public sector > Health Tier 2

    Walker Morris LLP‘s practice head Jo Stephenson‘s ‘attention to detail, technical knowledge and focus on client care are second to none.’ The group regularly acts for care and retirement living companies and medical device and technology sector clients, such as national and international operators, as well as NHS trusts. Areas of expertise span regulatory issues, restructurings and insolvencies, and construction matters. Jeremy Moore is recognised for his portfolio transaction expertise.

    Practice head(s):

    Jo Stephenson

    Other key lawyers:

    Jeremy Moore; Adam Reed; Claire Burrows

    Testimonials

    ‘The team provides an excellent service and proves that you don’t need to hire a London firm to get top quality legal advice. They provide us with a consistent team of people on transactions who are familiar with our approach / requirements which enables us to have an efficient and streamlined process. Their approach on transactions is to be partner-led, which we particularly value.’

    ‘We work a lot with Jo Stephenson, a partner in the corporate department. Jo is always available and very hands on, delivering excellent client service. She has a solid knowledge of sector specific issues and routinely comes up with the right approach to move matters forward. Her attention to detail, technical knowledge and focus on client care are second to none.’

    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

    Glencar Construction Ltd

    Work highlights

    • Acting for Glencar in relation to a project comprising the design and construction of the UK’s Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) at The Harwell Science And Innovation Campus, where Glencar had been engaged as main contractor by Harwell Oxford Management Limited in relation to the design and construction of the specialist £195m VMIC.
    • Provided real estate and real estate finance advice to Welltower Inc on lending £540m to be secured against HC-One’s care home portfolio, comprising approx. 350 properties.
    • Providing ongoing advice to Moulded Fibre Products in relation to a patent infringement claim regarding a paper pulp washbowl that has been made by Vernacare (alleging infringement of two of its patents).

    Real estate > Environment Tier 2

    Walker Morris LLP advises on the contentious and non-contentious environment-related aspects of large-scale infrastructure and development projects across the residential, retail, minerals, waste and renewable energy sectors. The ‘knowledgeable and approachable’ team has seen an increase in matters arising out of the waste sector, regarding compliance issues and emerging projects, and continues to act on enforcement cases, including environmental prosecutions and statutory nuisance. Alison Ogley, who has experience in EIA mandates, habitat regulations and waste development projects, jointly leads the practice alongside Stuart Ponting, who is regularly instructed in environmental investigations.

    Practice head(s):

    Alison Ogley; Stuart Ponting

    Other key lawyers:

    Rachel Turnbull

    Testimonials

    ‘They’re just excellent. Open, honest, practical and excellent at what they do. Always knowledgeable and approachable. In honesty, a pleasure to work with.’

    ‘Stuart Ponting and Rachel Turnbull are just marvellous. Nothing is ever too much trouble, they’re on side with what’s in your best interests as a client, they will support you and the business on all levels when needed, whilst maintaining a professional, friendly and approachable attitude.’

    Key clients

    Northumbrian Water Limited

    FCC Environment Limited

    Pharmaron

    Work highlights

    • Acted on behalf of Northumbrian Water Limited, submitting a holding objection in respect of water capacity issues.
    • Represented FCC at public planning inquiry which was held to determine whether the strategic waste site at Bletchley should be allowed to continue until 2037.
    • Acting for Manor Farm Feeds Ltd in respect of the first appeal against an Environment Agency penalty notice for breaches a of Climate Change Agreement.

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

    Walker Morris LLP showcases ‘valuable and insightful knowledge’ when advising clients on a broad range of technology matters, including contractual work and licensing agreements, transformational projects and IT procurements, as well as contentious cases. ‘Class-actSally Mewies leads the team and acts for clients across the retail and telecoms sectors on cloud and SaaS style contracts, while James Crayton advises on IT outsourcing mandates and platform agreements. ‘Talented’ senior associate Luke Jackson is another key member of the team, who focuses on IT contracting matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Sally Mewies

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘They have a great understanding of our business and the ability to advise in a commercial and pragmatic way whilst remaining professional at all times.’

    ‘Sally Mewies is a class act. Hugely talented, tech savvy and gets things done.’

    ‘Walker Morris have made a huge investment in this space and have recruited the very best talent in the shape of Sally Mewies to lead it. As well as having phenomenal experience and skills, Sally and the team really look to leverage tech to drive how they deliver new products.’

    ‘Sally Mewies and Luke Jackson have a great communication style, which makes you feel valued and not just another client.’

    ‘Luke Jackson is a talented tech/digital lawyer, who is a great listener and delivers high quality work on time. He has an easy and relaxed communication style, collaborative approach and is a joy to work with.’

    ‘The team is very responsive, pragmatic, and has valuable and insightful knowledge of our sector, developments in the market, our organisation and stakeholders.’

    Key clients

    Starbucks

    Mobile Broadband Network Limited

    Center Parcs

    BMB Clothing Limited

    Chipotle

    Vet-Ai

    Hermes

    University of Leeds

    Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club

    Crystal Palace Football Club

    Work highlights

    • Advised BMB Clothing in relation to a sales platform agreement with Boohoo.
    • Advised Definition Group in relation to the procurement of a video-conferencing platform.
    • Advised Appfire Technologies on the acquisition of certain assets in the Atlassian marketplace.

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

    Walker Morris LLP ‘provides comprehensive, non-jargon explanations and clear advice’ to its roster of national clients on both contentious and non-contentious mandates, covering a broad range of IP rights. Praised as an ‘IP whiz’, recently promoted partner Alan Harper leads the team and frequently acts to enforce the IP rights of household brands, as well as defending clients in infringement claims. Senior associate Matthew Lingard has experience in the sport and technology sectors, and regularly assists Harper in IP litigation.

    Practice head(s):

    Alan Harper

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘There are no weaknesses in the Walker Morris team. They have an incredible depth of knowledge, are prompt, practical, efficient, and cost effective. I would match them against any firm in the UK, and trust in their process.’

    ‘Alan Harper is an IP whiz, creative in his solutions, practical and efficient in his approach, and an adviser I would trust with the most sensitive matters.’

    ‘The most unique and impressive thing about Walker Morris is the approachable and friendly manner in which the team conduct their businesses. Provides comprehensive, non-jargon explanations and clear advice.’

    ‘Alan Harper is my main contact for any IP matters. He always responds quickly, explains things very clearly and gives pragmatic solutions.’

    ‘The team is pragmatic and provides which is commercial and tailored to the client’s needs.’

    ‘Alan Harper deploys concise and astute litigation strategy to achieve effective commercial results.’

    ‘Matthew Lingard and Alan Harper are a great team and are always happy to have an initial chat to understand the issue, suggest some outline options before the formal work officially starts.’

    ‘Alan Harper has been our go-to person at Walker Morris. He has been the linchpin to all intellectual property and broader legal matters, drafting in colleagues and professional services when required.’

    Key clients

    Ferrero Group

    Hallmark Cards Inc

    Moulded Fibre Products Limited

    Leeson Polyurethanes Ltd

    Cubico UK Ltd / Easy Bathrooms

    Avacta Group PLC

    Burnley FC

    Forth Ports Limited

    Barbarians FC

    Deckers Outdoor Corporation

    Watkins Drinks (t/a Mighty Pea)

    Lansinoh Laboratories Inc

    The Meatless Farm Limited

    Wrexham AFC

    Baird Group Limited

    Drax Group PLC

    BK VAX Ltd

    Work highlights

    • Instructed on behalf of Ferrero Group to support with its trade marks and brand protection.
    • Provided full-service IP support to Hallmark Cards in relation to its brands and products.
    • Acting for Moulded Fibre Products in the defence of an issued patent infringement claim.

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

    Walker Morris LLP handles the full gamut of work for football clubs from sponsorship deals, commercial partnerships and transfer agreements through to real estate, arbitration and sports disciplinary hearings. The Leeds-based firm is also recognised for its work on football club acquisitions, with practice head David Hinchcliffe particular recommened within this area. Beyond partner level, the team is supported by associates Charlotte Smith and Christian Slinger; while the former handles employment litigation for football clubs, the latter focuses on M&A within football. Fellow associate India Seaton specialises predominantly in sports disputes. Former senior associate Katie Reed left to join Tottenham Hotspur as head of legal in early 2021.

    Practice head(s):

    David Hinchliffe

    Testimonials

    ‘The sports team at Walker Morris are easily one of the best, most experienced and all rounded I have come across.’

    ‘David Hinchliffe has an unrivalled knowledge of, and connections with, the football industry. He has advised on many high profile take overs and often carts for premier league and championship clubs.’

    ‘Hugely experienced team that know the sports sector backwards.’

    ‘David Hinchliffe is a legend in the sports world.’

    ‘India Seaton is a brilliant associate.’

    ‘Excellent on sale and purchase of football clubs.’

    Key clients

    Swansea City FC

    Fulham FC

    Burnley FC

    Crystal Palace FC

    AFC Bournemouth

    Swindon Town FC

    Brighton & Hove Albion FC

    Nottingham Forest FC

    Sheffield United FC

    Wrexham AFC

    York City Knights

    Brentford

    Work highlights

    • Advised Burnley Football Club’s Chairman, Michael Garlick on the club’s sale to US private equity firm, ALK Capital.
    • Advised AFC Bournemouth in concluding the contract for their head coach Scott Parker.
    • Advised Australian businessman, Clint Goodchild, on the acquisition of Rugby League Championship side York City Knights.

    Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Manchester

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

    Based in Leeds, Walker Morris LLP acts for national and international PE funds in buyouts and portfolio company M&A. Debbie Jackson leads the team.

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

    X

    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
    Karl Anders photoMr Karl AndersPartner
    George  Bacon photoMr George BaconPartner
    Cameron Baloyi Rigby photoMr Cameron Baloyi RigbyPartner
    Jeanette Burgess photoMrs Jeanette BurgessPartner and Head of Regulatory & Compliance
    Mark Byrne photoMr Mark ByrnePartner
    Nick Cannon photoMr Nick CannonConsultant
    Simon Clark photoMr Simon ClarkPartner 
    Peter Considine photoMr Peter ConsidineConsultant
    Will Cousins photoMr Will CousinsPartner 
    James Crayton photoMr James CraytonPartner and Head of Commercial
    Gwendoline Davies photoMrs Gwendoline DaviesPartner and Head of Commercial Dispute Resolution
    Oliver Duke photoMr Oliver DukePartner
    Trudy Feaster-Gee photoMrs Trudy Feaster-GeePartner, Barrister and Head of Competition
    Liz Graham photoMs Liz GrahamPartner
    John Hamer photoMr John HamerPartner and Head of Corporate
    Jules Harbage photoMr Jules HarbagePartner
    Paul Hargreaves photoMr Paul HargreavesPartner – Construction & Engineering
    David Hinchliffe photoMr David HinchliffePartner and Head of Sport
    Debbie Jackson photoMrs Debbie JacksonPartner
    Austin Judson photoMr Austin JudsonPartner 
    Nick Lees photoMr Nick LeesPartner
    Duncan Lole photoMr Duncan LolePartner
    Daniel Lyon photoMr Daniel LyonPartner – Construction & Engineering
    Martin McKeague photoMr Martin McKeaguePartner
    Nick McQueen photoMr Nick McQueenPartner
    Sally Mewies photoMs Sally MewiesPartner and Head of Technology Group
    Jeremy Moore photoMr Jeremy MoorePartner
    Gawain Moore photoMr Gawain MoorePartner
    Richard Naish photoMr Richard NaishPartners and Head of Food & Drink
    Steve Nixon photoMr Steve NixonPartner – Real Estate Group
    Andrew Northage photoMr Andrew NorthagePartner
    Daniel O'Gorman photoMr Daniel O'GormanPartner
    Alison Ogley photoMs Alison OgleyPartner – Planning & Environment
    Tom Peel photoMr Tom PeelPartner
    Judith Pike photoMrs Judith PikePartner
    Stuart Ponting photoMr Stuart PontingPartner
    Louise Power photoMrs Louise PowerPartner
    Jo Ratcliffe photoMrs Jo RatcliffePartner and Head of Pensions
    Andrew Rayment photoMr Andrew RaymentPartner
    Adam Reed photoMr Adam ReedPartner
    Richard Sagar photoMr Richard SagarPartner
    Richard Sandford photoMr Richard SandfordPartner
    Martin Scott photoMr Martin ScottPartner and Head of Construction & Engineering
    Ben Sheppard photoMr Ben SheppardPartner
    Malcolm Simpson photoMr Malcolm SimpsonPartner
    Chris Slater photoMr Chris SlaterPartner
    David Smedley photoMr David SmedleyPartner and Head of Litigation and Employment
    Jo Stephenson photoMs Jo StephensonPartner – Corporate Department
    Michael Taylor photoMr Michael TaylorPartner and Head of Banking & Finance
    Sarah Ward photoMs Sarah WardPartner
    Jane Weaver photoMrs Jane WeaverPartner
    Chris Woodthorpe photoMr Chris WoodthorpePartner
    Number of UK partners : 46
    Number of other UK fee-earners : 260