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Birketts LLP

22 STATION ROAD, CAMBRIDGE, CAMBRIDGESHIRE, CB1 2JD, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01223 326600
Fax:
Fax 01223 326629
Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich, Norwich

East Anglia: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Cambridge
Corporate and commercial: Cambridge - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP¬†is ‚Äėa strong regional firm that is well placed for SME, owner-managed and mid-market clients‚Äė. One client remarks that it can ‚Äėcompete against any regional or national firm in the mid-market space, and is well positioned to manage cross-border deals through its network‚Äė. The three Cambridge-based partners act for a diverse range of clients in¬†sectors including technology, food and agriculture, transport and distribution, housebuilding and energy. James Allen¬†leads the practice and is 'well prepared,¬†pragmatic and straightforward; he remembers discussions and detail from the past'. Allen and associate Corinne Spencer, who are both described as¬†‚Äėpragmatic and professional with a commercial attitude and a keen understanding of what is important and what is not', acted for German listed company Sygnis AG in its ‚ā¨10.8m acquisition of Innova Biosciences.¬†Quentin Golder¬†and experienced senior associate Nick Burt¬†advised shareholders on the ¬£24m sale of a 70% stake¬†in Contamac Holdings to a subsidiary of¬†Shanghai Haohai Biological Technology Co. Highlights for¬†Adrian Seagers¬†included acting for the owners of Ductclean (UK) Limited in its ¬£10m sale to Marlowe plc. The practice also counts Ultrasoc Ltd, Veterinary Pathology Group and¬†Scientific Digital Imaging Plc among its clients.

Leading individuals

James Allen - Birketts LLP

Quentin Golder - Birketts LLP

Next generation lawyers

Nick Burt - Birketts LLP

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Corporate and commercial: Ipswich
Corporate and commercial: Ipswich - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has a long history in the Ipswich market and remains one of the pre-eminent firms for corporate and commercial matters. It has the largest practice in Suffolk, which works closely with the teams in the firm's three other regional offices to support both SMEs and large corporates in local, regional and national corporate transactions. Senior partner James Austin leads the department and looks after the commercial interests of a wide range of businesses based all over East Anglia and beyond. His work includes the drafting and negotiation of commercial contracts, as well as transactional matters. He worked with senior associate Sarah Lewis to advise TA Hotel Collection Limited on the purchase of the Crown and Castle hotel and restaurant in Orford, Suffolk, by way of a share acquisition of Son and Sun Limited. Corporate finance and banking partner Mark Henry also plays a key role in the practice and he supported shareholders of Magdalene Holdings Limited in its sale to M Group Services. Legal directors Alexandra Nelson, who advised on a significant acquisition in the agricultural sector, and Andrew Tubb, who acted for a supplier or hair and beauty products in a large acquisition, and Mark Gipson, who frequently advises on partnership matters, are also recommended.

Leading individuals

James Austin - Birketts LLP

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Corporate and commercial: Norwich
Corporate and commercial: Norwich - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Advice from¬†Birketts LLP¬†is ‚Äėvery good ‚Äď prompt, clear and supportive‚Äė. The firm is 'very quick, responsive, flexible and good value for money'. It handles a growing number of transactions for public companies, as well as acting for SMEs in M&A deals. Corporate finance specialist¬†Adrian Possener¬†leads the corporate and commercial practice. He acted for¬†shareholders of Gardline Holdings Limited in the sale of the company to Dutch maritime services company Boskalis Holdings B.V.¬†Key partner Greg Allan¬†is 'very capable and provides a very strong service'. He handled¬†the disposal of the entire issued share capital of Beadles Group Limited to Group One on behalf of shareholders. Legal director¬†Erika Clarke¬†focuses on public procurement, projects, outsourcing, joint ventures and commercial contracts. Her highlights included working with Allan and senior associate Paul Palik¬† (who is ‚Äėprofessional, conscientious and keeps it simple') on the acquisition of a healthcare facility as part of a major contract for the delivery of clinical services.¬†'Knowledgeable, professional and responsive' legal director and head of franchising¬†Ed Savory¬†¬†is recommended for the strength of his 'strategic deal management, negotiation skills'. Senior associate¬†John Kahn, who worked at¬†Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP¬†before joining insurance and underwriting business Marketform, joined the firm in 2017 along with solicitor¬†Nicola Gulrajani¬†from¬†Mills & Reeve LLP.

Leading individuals

Adrian Possener - Birketts LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP¬†provides ‚Äėgood response times and quality advice without London prices'. It handles structuring and transactional tax advice¬†for companies and individuals, tax-efficient structures for strategic land development, contentious matters, tax issues arising from employee incentive schemes, the structuring of agricultural businesses and matters arising from investments in Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS). Corporate tax specialist and senior associate Karl Pocock¬†leads the practice. He advised shareholders of marine geophysical survey, offshore geotechnical services and environmental survey group Gardline Holdings Limited on tax elements of its ¬£30m sale.¬†Senior associate and head of employee incentives¬†Lisa Hayward¬†is highly recommended. She acted for shareholders of Cornwall Insight Limited on tax matters relating to performance-based incentives. Senior associate¬†John Kahn, who joined from underwriters Marketform, is also recommended.

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East Anglia: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP is 'a very good firm indeed'. It is known for the strength of its advocacy, with barristers Laura Thomas and Matthew Gowen handling high-value cases of fraud, bribery act claims and internal investigations. Thomas, who leads the practice, is currently acting for financial services provider Price Bailey in confiscation proceedings arising from a £6.9m HMRC tax fraud by a large logistics company. Senior associate Simon Caltagirone, who is also working on that matter, is 'a first-class solicitor; he has tenacity and huge experience of criminal fraud cases, particularly bribery and competition cases, where he has a real expertise'. One client remarks that he is 'a huge asset to any legal team - he is extremely good with clients and takes the time and trouble to understand where they are coming from'. Senior associate and Proceeds of Crime Act specialist Julie Gowland is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Laura Thomas - Birketts LLP

Matthew Gowen - Birketts LLP

Next generation lawyers

Julie Gowland - Birketts LLP

Simon Caltagirone - Birketts LLP

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Crime: general
Crime: general - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP¬†is ‚Äėvery efficient' and has strong advocacy skills in barristers¬†Laura Thomas,¬†who leads the practice, and¬†Matthew Gowen. Thomas defended a man accused of common assault and senior associate¬†Julie Gowland, who ‚Äėknows her stuff and is very personable and understanding', defended the same client in a breach of restraining order matter. Gowen and Gowland worked together on a complex case of harassment and perverting the course of justice.¬†Senior associate Philippa Dyer¬†and¬†criminal defence solicitor Joanna Kasprzyk¬†are 'competent, assured, well informed, realistic and open to dialogue'. Dyer's caseload included the defence of a complex claim of gross negligence manslaughter. Senior associate¬†Simon Caltagirone, who handles¬†financial crime and white collar investigations, is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Laura Thomas - Birketts LLP

Matthew Gowen - Birketts LLP

Next generation lawyers

Joanna Kasprzyk - Birketts LLP

Philippa Dyer - Birketts LLP

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Licensing
Licensing - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Senior associate Julie Gowland leads the licensing practice at Birketts LLP, which calls upon the experienced lawyers in the firm's corporate criminal defence department. Gowland is well-versed in applications for premises licences, including  contested matters, as well as temporary event notices and personal licence applications. She worked with solicitor Joanna Kasprzyk to handle a review hearing in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for a client who ran a franchise of a well-known fast food chain. They also acted for an individual who objected to a premises licence variation application by a fine dining restaurant in Norwich who sought to increase the hours it could sell alcohol. They secured significant alterations to the licence application. Whitwell and Reepham Railway Preservation Society, Patisserie Valerie and Gastro Pubs Limited are among the firm's clients.

Next generation lawyers

Julie Gowland - Birketts LLP

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East Anglia: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Cambridge
Commercial litigation: Cambridge - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP provides 'very pragmatic service, giving the best advice for clients, promptly with honest advice and sensible fees'. The firm has established itself as one of the leading litigation practices in Cambridge with a talented team that acts not only for some of the biggest regional clients, but also handles a growing stream of cases with international aspects. Practice head Laurence Weeks 'always gives the best advice' and has a broad-ranging practice that includes cases involving fraud, banking, defamation and contract law. Senior associate Maria Peyman  devotes much of her practice to contentious intellectual property matters, but her commercial litigation practice also encompasses software disputes and breach of data protection rule claims. Also recommended is associate Naomi Westcott who worked with Weeks on a complex High Court fraud case for Powerscourt Services Limited, which included freezing orders, injunctions and strike-out applications. The case was successfully settled. They also worked together on a £600,000 claim brought by Roundshield Partners Limited concerning deal fees for financing transactions. Harsco Metals, Wybract Limited and Just Recruitment are also among the firm's clients.

Leading individuals

Lawrence Weeks - Birketts LLP

Next generation lawyers

Naomi Westcott - Birketts LLP

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Commercial litigation: Ipswich
Commercial litigation: Ipswich - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP¬†‚Äėprovides timely and commercially astute advice that responds to the direction that we want to pursue with the litigation‚Äė, remarks one client. ‚ÄėPragmatic, experienced and logical‚Äė practice head Matthew Atkins¬†is ‚Äėa highly skilled lawyer who is able to quickly cut to the pertinent issues, and his advice is always delivered with an appropriate sense of humour‚Äė. The practice handles a broad range of¬†matters including tortious and contractual claims, commercial fraud, shareholder disputes, breach of restrictive covenant agreements, partnership disputes and claims arising from sale and purchase of companies. Associate Emma Albins¬†is an experienced litigator and advocate who handles both litigation and ADR. The firm's stellar client base of local businesses includes Greene King Plc, Archant Community Media Limited and Forfarmers UK Limited.

Leading individuals

Matthew Atkins - Birketts LLP

Next generation lawyers

Emma Albins - Birketts LLP

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Commercial litigation: Norwich
Commercial litigation: Norwich - ranked: tier 2

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP's pre-eminent litigation practice in Norwich handles cases up to and including the Supreme Court level, as well as representing clients in mediations, arbitrations and expert determinations. Practice head Paul Matthews and partner Max Roessler are the leading lights of the practice and have broad experience in commercial contract disputes, partnership disputes and many other contentious matters. Senior associate Robert Tiffen 'has a strong eye for detail and makes considered decisions; his actions are both proactive and robust'. Among Matthews' highlights was his defence of a client in Commercial Court proceedings against a claim by Capita Insurance Services PLC for an indemnity provided under a sale and purchase agreement by which the client sold his interest in insurance broker Sureterm Direct Limited. At appeal the claim was unanimously dismissed. Among the firm's clients are Norwich City FC, Norwich Airport, Norfolk & Norwich Hospital and offshore energy services company Sembmarine SLP.

Leading individuals

Max Roessler - Birketts LLP

Paul Matthews - Birketts LLP

Next generation lawyers

Robert Tiffen - Birketts LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has a dedicated debt recovery team that includes highly experienced litigators in contact partner Matthew Atkins, practice head and 40-year veteran of debt recovery Robert Howard and associate Emma Albins. The practice acts for local and national private companies, professional partnerships and major Plcs in wide range of industry sectors including shipping and construction. Atkins recently assisted an overseas company with a substantial debt claim for unpaid invoices for the supply of goods to a UK customer. Albins, who handles more complex contested cases, acted for a leasing company in a claim seeking unpaid excess mileage charges under a commercial leasing contract. Greene King Plc, Archant Community Media and Ford & Slater Leyland DAF are among the firm's clients.

Leading individuals

Robert Howard - Birketts LLP

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East Anglia: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

The 'professional, competent and client-focused' practice at Birketts LLP¬†is ‚Äėexcellent ‚Äď very responsive and easy to deal with providing good advice from a reasoned viewpoint‚Äė. One client highlights 'excellent response times, good commercial acumen and service that is reasonable in terms of price'.¬†Mark Henry¬†in Ispwich leads the practice, which counts¬†Barclays Bank,¬†HSBC Bank and¬†Ipswich Building Society among its clients.¬†Banking partner¬†James Allen, property partner Chris Schwer, corporate partner¬†Greg Allan¬†are all key names in the practice. Senior associate Nick Burt¬†is 'always available, good to deal with and commercially very sound'. Another client notes that he¬†‚Äėimpresses with his knowledge, speed of response and practical approach to getting the deal completed'. Legal director Alex Schaafsma's strengths are her 'speed of response, articulation of the impact of proposed changes, and her open, pragmatic and commercial approach'. A highlight for the firm was its work for borrower Time Group GB in a ¬£42.2m loan transaction to finance acquisitions.

Leading individuals

James Allen - Birketts LLP

Mark Henry - Birketts LLP

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

'To my mind, it is the premier firm in the East region', says a client of Birketts LLP. The firm is known for 'very good response times and it never steps outside of its technical capability; it has good strength in depth and represents good value for money for its great practical, yet commercial, advice'. The firm frequently handles high-value matters for IPs such as Price Bailey, McTear Williams & Wood, Ensors and RSM Recovery and Restructuring. Litigator and practice head Laurence Weeks in Cambridge, who is a council member of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, is 'client-focused and practical'. For RSM, he handled the administration of F.H. Gilman, which had potential assets with a value of £12m. Corporate partner James Allen, who handles non-contentious matters, is 'a sound commercial lawyer with a loyal client following'. Greg Allan, who advised Price Bailey on the £2m administration of Enigma Limited, and litigator Matthew Atkins are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Laurence Weeks - Birketts LLP

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East Anglia: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP¬†fields a 'pragmatic and efficient' employment practice whose ‚Äėservice standards are exceptional‚Äė. The ‚Äėvery down-to-earth,¬†unflappable'¬†Jeanette Wheeler¬†‚Äėinstils confidence‚Äė and leads the firm-wide practice from Norwich. Clients recommend her for her ‚Äėbreadth of knowledge and her common sense approach'. She recently assisted a client in the healthcare sector with an investigation into a senior staff member's conduct. Also in Norwich, the ‚Äėvery knowledgeable,¬†friendly and approachable‚Äė Matthew Newnham¬†is praised for his¬†‚Äėwonderful calm demeanour and his practical advice'.¬†Investigations and Employee Relations Consultant Lorna Townsend¬†leads the firm‚Äôs HR consultancy and investigations service, which focuses on employee relations.¬†'Thorough and pragmatic' associate Sam Greenhalgh¬†and legal director Tom Sharpe¬†are also recommended. In Cambridge, Abigail Trencher¬†is the key contact. For a UK employer, she handled TUPE matters arising from a foreign acquisition. Senior associate Katie Harris-Wright¬†is ‚Äėvery personable and easy to talk to; she takes the time to understand clients‚Äô business'. Fellow senior associate Lottie Seaborn¬†is ‚Äėgreat to speak to and has a unique personal touch to her work'. Consultant¬†Tim Tyndall¬†is also recommended. Catherine Johnson¬†¬†takes the lead in Ipswich, where senior associate¬†Lisa Hayward¬†specialises in share schemes.

Leading individuals

Jeanette Wheeler - Birketts LLP

Matthew Newnham - Birketts LLP

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has 'an excellent team, professional but with personality, detailed but with clear advice and little jargon'. 'The response times were always excellent; their approach supportive and timely; their knowledge and business acumen is extremely thorough', remarks one client. Another sees the firm as 'on a par with some of the Silver Circle London firms'. Barristers Matthew Gowen (whose advice is 'always concise, to-the-point and relevant') and Laura Thomas 'provide excellent counsel and practicality; they are superb in court, very knowledgeable and give great commitment and support with candid and considered advice'. They defended a company facing prosecution for a quadruple fatality on a construction project. Senior associates Julie Gowland and Philippa Dyer advise both companies and individuals on HSE matters, and solicitor Joanna Kasprzyk is also recommended as 'an up-and-coming lawyer with attention to detail and frankness'. Consultant Frank Sykes, whose experience includes a stint as principal inspector at the HSE, is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Laura Thomas - Birketts LLP

Matthew Gowen - Birketts LLP

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Immigration
Immigration - ranked: tier 2

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP¬†provides ‚Äėvery good and very knowledgeable service and support‚Äė. One client describes the practice as ‚Äėoutstanding ‚Äď the firm had current, in-depth knowledge of Visa¬† processes, relevant regulations, supporting document requirements and timelines‚Äė. Another describes 'thorough knowledge of immigration legislation, especially the points based system'.¬†'Supportive and understanding' senior associate Clare Hedges, whose employment law practice has now transitioned to focus full-time on immigration, has ‚Äėexcellent knowledge of immigration matters and¬†knows the pitfalls of¬†getting Visas‚Äė. Clients praise her ‚Äėspecialist knowledge of and insights into immigration law and her impressive track record of assisting clients to a successful conclusion'. She is now supported by a specialist paralegal. Her recent highlights include advising the Bishop of Lincoln on the appointment of a new Bishop's Chaplain, which involved ensuring the recruitment process¬†complied with the Home Office's resident labour market test. JRL Group and Frontier Developments are also among her clients.

Leading individuals

Clare Hedges - Birketts LLP

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East Anglia: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has a strong claimant practice that services clients both in East Anglia and nationwide. It regularly handles claims against a variety of professionals but with a particular focus on solicitors and accountants, and it deals with many cases concerning negligent probate advice. Experienced litigator and member of the Professional Negligence Lawyers’ Association (PNLA)  Max Roessler leads the practice and advises both business and private clients on claims against a wide range of professionals, though many of his cases focus on matters involving other law firms. Partners Paul Matthews and PNLA member Laurence Weeks also play key roles in the practice, in which senior associates Bernadette Baker and Robert Tiffen and associate Susannah Catchpole are also recommended. Roessler recently acted for a client bringing a claim against financial advisers for poor investment advice affecting beneficiaries. Highlights for Matthews included acting in a claim against solicitors for the negligent management of a potential claim.

Leading individuals

Max Roessler - Birketts LLP

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East Anglia: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

At Birketts LLP¬†‚Äėthe service levels cannot be faulted and the appropriateness of advice is exceptional‚Äô. The firm has one¬†of the largest specialist agriculture teams in England and from its four offices it serves a national client base on diverse matters including¬†ecclesiastical law, public access issues, aggregates extraction and management, renewable energy projects and taxation, as well as agricultural property transactions. Among its clients are¬†Norwich Diocesan Board of Finance,¬†National Westminster Bank,¬†Suffolk Wildlife Trust and¬†HSBC Bank, as well as many landowners across the UK. Practice head¬†Jack Royall¬†handles property matters including¬†landlord and tenant cases, partnership and succession planning, farm sales and diversification projects. He recently handled the review and documentation of shooting, stalking, farming, grazing and cropping arrangements on a multimillion-pound estate. The deep bench of talent includes¬†Neil Sparrow, who handles farm sales and matters involving¬†capital tax and estate planning, wills and trusts;¬†Christopher Coupland¬†who leads the firm‚Äôs agricultural banking team and also deals with property transactions;¬†property specialist¬†James Dinwiddy¬†;¬†Nigel Farthing¬†who has a¬†national practice dealing with public rights of way, commons and town and village greens; legal director¬†Stuart Jones¬†who advises¬†landowners and mineral operators on the development and management of mineral deposits; and¬†legal director¬†Rachel McKillop-Wilkin¬†who deals with property and succession issues.¬†‚ÄėExcellent communicator‚Äô¬†and senior associate¬†Sophia Key¬†in Norwich is praised for her ‚Äėperseverance, quality advice and¬†great knowledge and understanding of all matters associated with agricultural land and farms'.

Leading individuals

Jack Royall - Birketts LLP

Next generation lawyers

Sophia Key - Birketts LLP

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

At Birketts LLP 'the overall level of service is excellent and the team is extremely knowledgeable, showing an in-depth understanding of the issues'. The firm acts for more than 400 charity clients, advising on charity law, ecclesiastical law, corporate matters including mergers, compliance, endowments, disputes, commercial property and retail, social enterprise structures, academy conversions, trustee powers and employment law. Senior associates Sara Sayer and Liz Brownsell lead the practice. Brownsell was a member of the Charity Law Association Working Party that consulted on the new Charity Governance Code. Sayer and legal director Erika Clarke have particular expertise in public procurement and state aid, advising on contentious and non-contentious matters arising from projects and collaborations. Commercial property partner Gavin Acheson advised Trust for London on the £11m acquisition, refurbishment and letting of premises in London, which was let to an independent creative media higher education college. Associate Amanda Timcke, who joined from Birkett Long LLP, is also recommended for property matters. Senior associate Kitty Rosser in the corporate and commercial team, who is a recognised expert in data protection and the GDPR, is 'particularly good and easy to work with, she gives clear explanations'. Also recommended are James Hall and Stuart Jones for ecclesiastical matters, and senior associate Clare Hedges for employment law.

Leading individuals

Erika Clarke - Birketts LLP

Liz Brownsell - Birketts LLP

Sara Sayer - Birketts LLP

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

The contentious trusts and probate practice at Birketts LLP is one of the few in the region to have a dedicated team of specialists working in this area of law. Commercial litigation partner Paul Matthews is the key contact and he draws on the 14 years' experience of ACTAPS member and senior associate Bernadette Baker who is recognised as a leader in her field. She recently advised the son of a deceased man who changed his will shortly before he died to change the division of property, which included a multimillion-pound farming business, between his children. Litigation associate Susannah Catchpole also plays a central role in the practice. She worked with Baker on a complex matter in which a firm of solicitors had failed to transfer a multimillion-pound property into a trust before the owner's death. The practice advised the deceased's daughter on tax mitigation strategies.

Leading individuals

Bernadette Baker - Birketts LLP

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP¬†is 'a standout firm' and its highly experienced, 12-lawyer family practice acts for many high-net-worth individuals across East Anglia, in London and from overseas. It has notable expertise in complex finance and children matters, frequently involving multi-jurisdictional issues,¬†and is known for its skill in drafting bespoke prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. All fee earners in the practice are members of Resolution and the firm handles all approaches to family disputes including litigation, mediation, arbitration and collaborative law.¬†Oliver Gravell, who was among the first collaborative lawyers in the UK, leads the practice and counsel notes that he¬†'knows the answers; he has great experience and superb judgment, and clients are calmed by his calm approach and gravitas'. Among the firm's senior associates¬†Katie Beaven¬†is best-known for complex and high-net-worth financial settlements and¬†Children Act matters;¬†Roopa Ahluwalia¬†frequently handles¬†divorce, separation, nuptial agreements, and¬†complex children matters; and¬†Juliet Harvey¬†is vice chair of Resolution's national committee.¬†The practice recently hired¬†Elisabeth Sneade¬†from¬†Tees Law, who is¬†‚Äėparticularly supportive emotionally and structurally‚Äô.

Leading individuals

Oliver Gravell - Birketts LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Cambridge
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Cambridge - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP¬†has a full service private client practice that handles trusts, tax, succession planning and probate matters. It frequently advises¬†landowners, business executives, trustees and beneficiaries on domestic and offshore trust and tax issues, trust creation and administration, landed estates matters, wills and lifetime planning, inheritance tax and capital gains tax, and¬†Court of Protection applications.¬†Caroline Stenner¬†leads the practice and recently supported a board of trustees with a large shareholding in a family company on tax and trust administration. Senior associate¬†Catherine Bacon¬†is recommended for her tax and trusts work for non-dom and non-resident clients. Senior associate¬†Rachel Winter¬†has a strong following among the local business community and is recommended for¬†Court of Protection applications. Associate Kimberly Sayward, formerly of¬†Mills & Reeve LLP, is¬†‚Äėparticularly highly regarded as empathic and thorough'. Solicitor¬†Melissa de Carvalho¬†joined the team having completed her training contract at¬†Prettys Solicitors LLP.

Next generation lawyers

Rachel Winter - Birketts LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Ipswich
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Ipswich - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

The 'highly competent and very responsive' practice at Birketts LLP is 'particularly strong in this area and a leader in local market for these services'. Head of probate Louise Long  is the key contact in Ipswich and clients describe her as 'personable, knowledgeable and very good with clients'. She specialises in estate administration and has extensive experience in dealing with multimillion-pound estates with complex family and tax issues involving negotiations with HMRC. Charles Boscawen has been at the firm for more than 30 years and has a large client base across East Anglia for will and estates work. 'Considered, pragmatic' senior associate Richard Guy  is 'happy to help and explain ideas and concepts to clients in words they understand, and he is not afraid to challenge preconceptions or perceived truths which are wrong'. Agricultural specialist Nigel Farthing also plays a key role in the practice. He worked with Long and Guy to handle the administration of the estate of an intestate man who had assets in excess of £2m.

Next generation lawyers

Richard Guy - Birketts LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Norwich
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Norwich - ranked: tier 2

Birketts LLP

The Norwich office of Birketts LLP is a key part of the firm's cross-office private client practice, which handles wills and lifetime estate planning for farm owners, landowners, industrialists and entrepreneurs across East Anglia and further afield. It also deals with complex and disputed probate, including those with cross-border elements, as well as trust administration, tax advice, Court of Protection matters and the management of elderly clients' affairs. The vastly experienced Lorna Spear is the key contact. She frequently focuses on the needs of agricultural clients and acts for numerous landed estates and high-net-worth farming families. She works closely with agricultural trust expert Jack Royall. Senior associate Ruth Pyatt joined from Steeles Law to add experience in a broad range of private client matters, with a particular focus on cross-border and elderly client matters. Partner Neil Sparrow advises high-net-worth clients and landed estates on complex tax and trust matters, including a recent succession planning matter for a multimillion-pound estate. Senior associate Margaret Smith has more than 30 years' experience in this field of law.

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East Anglia: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP provides 'excellent service including timely and tailored responses, sector knowledge, foresight in anticipating potential concerns and sensitivity to financial implications', according to one client in the education sector. The firm's multi-disciplinary practice works for clients from all parts of the education sector including pre-schools and nurseries, preparatory and independent schools, academies and academy trusts, and FE and HE colleges. The practice is led by employment partner Abigail Trencher but also includes experts in construction, planning, property, commercial law, litigation, student issues, charities and governance. Trencher recently acted for Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. Consultant Tim Tyndall also handles employment law. Corporate and charities partner Erika Clarke counts College of West Anglia among her clients. Senior associate Sara Sayer is the key contact for disputes and student issues. Senior associate Liz Brownsell, who is co-head of the firm's charities and social enterprise group and who frequently advises on academy conversions, is 'exemplary in her thorough preparation and commitment to providing a professional service; she is personable and sensitive to the clients' requirements, and provides valuable advice'. Senior associate Dwight Patten is recommended for property transactions.

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Health
Health - ranked: tier 2

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP is a member of the NHS Shared Business Services framework and the NHS Commercial Alliance legal framework. It has a strong track record in the health and social care sector, particularly for employment and property work. The key contacts are legal director Erika Clarke, who leads the public sector practice, and head of health Richard Eaton. Clarke handles major capital projects, outsourcings, business-critical contracts and public procurement issues. She recently acted for an NHS foundation trust in numerous matters including the interpretation of contract terms and public law duties associated with the funding of care packages. Eaton's area of expertise is public law and judicial reviews. He recently succeeded in quashing a CQC draft report for a care home provider. Commercial property partner Chris Barker has extensive experience in trust portfolio management, and Matthew Newnham handles employment law matters including tribunals for health sector clients. Also recommended are corporate finance partner Greg Allan, employment partner Jeanette Wheeler and head of charities Sara Sayer.

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East Anglia: Real estate

Commercial property: Cambridge
Commercial property: Cambridge - ranked: tier 2

Birketts LLP

Advice from¬†Birketts LLP¬†is ‚Äėexcellent ‚Äď timely, straightforward, knowledgeable and pragmatic'. The firm has a national reputation for strategic land transactions thanks to¬†practice head Katherine Herbert, who frequently handles high-profile and complex projects. She recently acted for Huntingdon Road Consortium, which consists of landowners the National Institute of Agricultural Botany Trust, The Chivers Family interests, Christs College Cambridge, St Catharine's College Cambridge and Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, on the ¬£68m sale of more than 300 acres of land for the development of 1400 homes at¬†Darwin Green. Gavin Acheson,¬†who has 25 years' experience and who advises¬†institutional, corporate and private clients on commercial real estate matters, is 'very responsive¬†and good value for money, and has both good business acumen and industry knowledge'. He assisted grant-making charity Trust for London with the ¬£11m acquisition, refurbishment and letting of a bespoke multi-media project in London. Senior associate Dwight Patten¬†joined from¬†Mills & Reeve LLP¬†to focus on¬†commercial occupiers and development work, most notably in the education and not-for-profit sectors. The firm has a strong bench of senior associates including¬†Nick Pickersgill¬†who leads on¬†real estate finance matters;¬†Claudia Haisman-Green¬†who¬†handles¬†residential development projects; strategic land specialist¬†Deborah Marshall;¬†Natalie Biggs¬†who deals with commercial property and development; and¬†Isabel Wightman-Cooper¬†who focuses on real estate finance. Associate¬†Emma Medina¬†is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Katherine Herbert - Birketts LLP

Next generation lawyers

Deborah Marshall - Birketts LLP

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Commercial property: Ipswich
Commercial property: Ipswich - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP is 'excellent - it has superior technical knowledge and is very client-focused'. The firm's 'knowledgeable and accessible team is ideal for all areas of property advice and delivers a superb service and knowledge base'. The firm has a strong reputation in key areas such as strategic land work, development projects, property investment management, property finance and utilities. Chris Schwer leads the property practice and has extensive experience in acting for housebuilders and developers in joint ventures, collaboration arrangements and promotion agreements; 'he has a thorough and superb understanding of clients' business requirements'. Schwer acts for utility companies in major projects and in day-to-day legal matters. The firm has a deep bench of experienced lawyers including Chris Barker, whose expertise lies in complex strategic land and development projects, most notably for clients in the health and education sectors; Stuart Raven, who has specialist expertise in retail and restaurant developments and regularly handles the sale and purchase of large investment properties; and Oliver Crichton whose broad practice includes property finance and pension fund property investment work, in which he acts for some of the UK's largest self-invested personal pensions (SIPP) and numerous small self-administered schemes (SSAS). Among the senior associates, Julie Hoy who 'delivers exceptional work', advises landowners, developers and housing associations on residential and mixed-use schemes; Pam Dawson has particular expertise in the area of ports and logistics developments; Stacy Aspden is 'very good, proactive rather than reactive with excellent advice'; and Vicki Chilton acts for private developers, investor purchasers and business owners.

Leading individuals

Chris Schwer - Birketts LLP

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Commercial property: Norwich
Commercial property: Norwich - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

At¬†Birketts LLP¬†'the service level is excellent and the work is done in a timely fashion'. One client remarks that it is 'among the best firms for this type of work due to its speed of execution'. 'In all departments the value for money is superb and they offer top professional advice with it', remarks one client. The 'commercially-minded, solutions-focused and extremely diligent' Melissa Loucas,¬†who leads the retail sector group and advises corporate clients based both locally and nationally, including landlords, tenants, occupiers and investors on¬† acquisitions, disposals and asset management, is 'exceptional ‚Äď always available to deal with any issues that arise; she gives commercial and professional advice‚Äô. Loucas, partner Bhargav Trivedi, associate Andrew Ridout¬†and¬†solicitor Joe Yexley¬†are 'very knowledgeable and able to put complex legal issues in more simple terms; they are very committed, hardworking and personable'. Loucas and Ridout recently assisted an international technology company with landlord and tenant matters, as well as leases for its national network of retail premises. Robert Gibbs¬†leads the¬†strategic land group. Last year, he advised a national retailer on¬†the management of its surplus leasehold property portfolio, which comprised ten sites across the UK.¬† Rising star associate Greg McCurday¬†is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Melissa Loucas - Birketts LLP

Robert Gibbs - Birketts LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

'One of the best regional firms in construction',¬†Birketts LLP's construction practice is ‚Äėvery commercial and is always prepared to offer options‚Äė.¬†Andrew Rush¬†in Ipswich leads the practice and is praised for his 'no-nonsense approach'; he recently handled a contentious matter for a well-known housebuilder arising from defects in a property. Leading light Ruth Sunaway¬†is 'a standout lawyer in construction - she manages to strike the right balance between attack and commercial sense'. In Cambridge, Stefan Harris-Wright¬†¬†and associate Rory Abel¬†¬†are ‚Äėvery responsive and easy to deal with; they take control of situations and are not afraid to take difficult decisions and have difficult conversations'. Harris-Wright advised¬†Inspired Impact House Limited on the construction of 235 apartments at a site in Croydon. Senior associates¬†Oli Worth¬†and Josh Ripman¬†¬†and associate Hanna McNab¬†¬†are 'on course for very successful careers', according to counsel. Construction dispute resolution executive¬†Dan Leno¬†is 'well-known, respected and continues to attract good work'.

Leading individuals

Andrew Rush - Birketts LLP

Ruth Sunaway - Birketts LLP

Next generation lawyers

Josh Ripman - Birketts LLP

Oli Worth - Birketts LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has 'a very good team, a strong client base, and good breadth and depth of work, as well as a growing market share'. One client remarks that the firm 'compares very favourably with its competitors and is definitely one of - if not the - top firm in the field in the region'. The firm has a broad practice that assists clients in the agriculture, energy and waste industries, as well as supporting landowners across East Anglia. Property litigator, practice head and member of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association Richard Eaton is 'very competent, knowledgeable and good with clients'. With planning specialist Tom Newcombe, he advised two parish councils on the potential judicial review of a retrospective grant of planning permission for an anaerobic digester. Barristers Matthew Gowen, who has a stellar reputation for defending environmental matters in the criminal courts, and head of the corporate criminal defence practice Laura Thomas, defended a large farming business against claims of environmental permit breaches. Legal director Stuart Jones specialises in projects for the development and management of mineral deposits. Clients praise commercial property associates Nicola Doole   as 'calm and very well organised' and Chloe Glason as 'popular with clients'. Senior associate and planning lawyer Sue Chadwick is also recommended.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has a deep bench of planning lawyers who handle every aspect of contentious and non-contentious work for clients across East Anglia and the Thames Gateway region, including major infrastructure projects. Its diverse client base of public and private sector enterprises includes Tarmac, Lafarge and Longwater Gravel, Cambridge City Council, Mid Suffolk District Council, Babergh District Council, strategic developers such as Countryside Developments and Enterprise Property Group Limited, and regional and national housebuilders including Hopkins, Countryside, and Persimmon. Tom Newcombe leads the practice from Cambridge. He recently acted for Countryside Properties in the high-profile redevelopment of Beam Park Dagenham, which will include 2,900 homes, two schools and a new railway station. Senior associate Sue Chadwick played a key role in that project. The same team also advised Countryside on the Rochester Riverside project, which will include 1,500 new residences. Consultant Philip Kratz and property litigator Richard Eaton are also recommended. The Cambridge office welcomed two new lawyers in legal director Simon Kelly, formerly an associate at DAC Beachcroft LLP, and Edward Long , who was previously an associate at Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Leading individuals

Tom Newcombe - Birketts LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

'Among the best property litigation firms in the region', Birketts LLP 'always takes into account the client’s needs and the best solution for them, and in terms of value for money, every penny spent has been worth it'. The ten-lawyer practice handles all aspects of property litigation but is best-known for town and village green matters, Telecoms Code cases, rights to light, leasehold enfranchisement, and commercial landlord and tenant work. The 'very enthusiastic and determined' Richard Eaton leads the practice and he is 'very focused on his clients’ objectives and has a great eye for detail'. He recently handled a High Court Chancery Division case arising out of a dispute between neighbours following a complicated land acquisition arrangement. John Scannell recently advised a farming partnership on a proprietary estoppel claim. Clients praise the 'exceptional work' of the 'very knowledgeable, technically very good and very pragmatic' James Robinson. Senior associate and barrister Simon Woodhead is highly recommended. Associate Laura Tanguay 'can explain incredibly technical information in a simple, easy way'. Senior associate and rising star Charlotte Wormstone is strongly recommended for her 'timely, straightforward and pragmatic advice'.

Leading individuals

John Scannell - Birketts LLP

Richard Eaton - Birketts LLP

Next generation lawyers

Charlotte Wormstone - Birketts LLP

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP is best known for acting for registered social housing providers in development, sales, funding, planning, housing management, employment and specialist constitutional and regulatory matters. It also advises on the set-up of new registered providers for private housebuilders, of which it completed two in 2017, and also assists with the set-up of assets and liabilities registers. Among its clients are Orbit Group Limited, Flagship Housing Group Limited, Broadland Housing Group and Havebury Housing Partnership. Peter Goddard leads the social housing and residential development practices, with support from a deep multidisciplinary team. Senior associate Emily Groom handles development and regulatory matters; partner John Scannell deals with housing management and property litigation; Tom Newcombe and senior associate Sue Chadwick focus on planning matters; associate Lottie Fletcher advises on corporate structures; and newly promoted associate Sarah Fish handles development matters including the acquisition of s106 sites. For Orbit Group, the practice handled the multimillion-pound acquisition of a scheme in Norfolk with 220 dwellings, and for Chelmer Housing Partnership Limited it assisted with the acquisition of 99 freehold and leasehold units, as well as the leaseback of a commercial unit at Taylor Wimpey’s Waterside site in Chelmsford.

Leading individuals

Peter Goddard - Birketts LLP

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East Anglia: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP acts for a broad range of UK and international clients, from start-ups to multinationals, in complex IT matters. Practice head and key lawyer Quentin Golder specialises in commercial and technology work, including venture capital and business angel financing, IP and IT development agreements, licensing arrangements, joint ventures, distribution and reseller arrangements. He assists internal security software supplier BullGuard Limited with all commercial and IT matters around the world, which includes software development and licensing agreements, reseller and agency agreements, and data protection advice. Golder calls on the skills of corporate partners Adrian Possener and Mark Gipson to advise on corporate structures, data protection, freedom of information and IT matters, as well as franchise, agency and distribution agreements. Senior associate and rising star Kitty Rosser advises on all aspects of data protection compliance including subject access requests, marketing strategies and the handling of data breaches. She also negotiates and drafts IT contracts.

Leading individuals

Quentin Golder - Birketts LLP

Next generation lawyers

Kitty Rosser - Birketts LLP

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP¬†‚Äėhas good knowledge of UK and international IP and trade mark law, and it consistently represents¬†good value for money versus London-based international specialist firms‚Äô. One client remarks that the firm is ‚Äėas capable of serving our needs as an SME with global exports and IP needs as any more expensive specialist firm'. ‚ÄėPrompt, thorough and to-the-point‚Äė senior associate Nellie Jackson¬†leads the practice and has ‚Äėgood all round knowledge and provides speedy turnaround'. One client remarks that she ‚Äėprovides very commercial and practical advice and understands the market'. She assists Greene King with the management of its trade mark portfolio, which includes¬†clearance searches, the registration of proposed brands, UK and worldwide trade mark filings, UK and EU trade mark opposition proceedings, infringement actions and allegations and ad hoc IP advice.¬†Experienced technology partner¬†Quentin Golder¬†also plays a key role in the practice.

Leading individuals

Nellie Jackson - Birketts LLP

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East Anglia: Transport

Transport and shipping
Transport and shipping - ranked: tier 1

Birketts LLP

Clients praise the ‚Äėexpertise in insurance, shipping and commodity matters'¬†at Birketts LLP, which¬†supports clients in the¬†all sectors of the transport industry including logistics, haulage, warehousing, freight forwarding and ocean shipping. Shipping and logistics partner¬†Nicholas Woo¬†is the key contact. Henry Adams¬†and associate Pamela Dunning are key members of a practice that provides ‚ÄėCity expertise delivered on a more personal basis'. 'Response times are quick, the industry knowledge is good, the advice is always thorough and excellent value for high-quality service', says one client of the¬†shipping practice, which frequently handles¬†cargo claims and charterparty disputes. 'The quality of service standards compares to renowned London City shipping law firms', he adds.¬†Alex Davey¬†and¬†senior associate¬†Sarah Holsgrove¬†'provide thorough and commercial advice'.¬†Barrister Matthew Gowen¬†and senior associate Philippa Dyer¬†are recommended for contentious matters and clients remark that they are 'attentive, proactive, approachable, understanding and knowledgeable'.¬†Barrister and¬†Deputy Traffic Commissioner¬†Laura Thomas¬†is recommended for regulatory matters.¬†Associate Daniel Hart¬†in Cambridge is part of the¬†firm‚Äôs corporate criminal defence group and specialises in transport regulatory matters.

Leading individuals

Alex Davey - Birketts LLP

Henry Adams - Birketts LLP

Nicholas Woo - Birketts LLP

Next generation lawyers

Sarah Holsgrove - Birketts LLP

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Further information on Birketts LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Birketts LLP in other jurisdictions.

East Anglia

Offices in Norwich, Ipswich, and Cambridge

London

South East

Offices in Chelmsford

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