The Legal 500

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71 QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, LONDON, EC4V 4AY, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7395 3000
Fax:
Fax 020 7395 3100
Email:
Web:
www.wedlakebell.com

London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 6

Wedlake Bell LLP

One of Wedlake Bell LLP's key partners is Adam Edwards, who is 'brilliant at getting to the crux of the matter'. Edwards acts for owner-managed businesses based in the US, UK and Europe across a number of industries. Also praised is 'very thorough and responsive' Jonathan Cornthwaite. Led by Adrian Heath-Saunders, the team assists UK and overseas-based clients with agency, distribution agreements, franchising, joint ventures and outsourcing arrangements, among other matters. Heath-Saunders is acting for Axpo Power AG in its contractual arrangements with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority over the provision of nuclear waste reprocessing services at Sellafield. Heath-Saunders also recently assisted Pearson Lloyd Design with contractual negotiations with a major European airline relating to the design of the business class seating and cabin interior of a new fleet of Boeing 777-9 aircraft. Christopher Tite is particularly active in the ports, automotive and legal services sectors.

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M&A: smaller deals up to £50m
M&A: smaller deals up to £50m - ranked: tier 2

Wedlake Bell LLP

The team at Wedlake Bell LLP acts for clients including small and medium-sized quoted companies, investment managers, private clients and family-owned businesses. The practice is led by corporate real estate expert Janice Wall, whose clients include Cala Homes and Care UK. Wall is also noted for her experience in advising public companies on fundraising matters; alongside corporate governance specialist Edward Craft, she acted for nominated adviser and broker client N+1 Singer on a £60m placing of shares in an AIM company. Julian Mathews, who is the key contact for the hospitality and leisure sectors, advised the founder of Bestplace on the sale of a majority interest in the company to Enterprise Managed Investments; he also acted for Petersham Nurseries, Honest Burgers and Nadler Hotels. Rosalyn Breedy specialises in the financial services and private wealth sectors. Adam Lynch joined from Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in October 2017.

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VAT and indirect tax
VAT and indirect tax - ranked: tier 3

Wedlake Bell LLP

Wedlake Bell LLP's Michael Ridsdale has 'a high level of expertise' in VAT, SDLT and other indirect taxes, for which he is 'quick to identify issues' and 'develop practical solutions'. The predominant focus of the department is transactional and tax consultancy advice, although it also represents taxpayers in disputes with HMRC. In 2017, the group was instructed on major property transactions and development projects, as well as insurance-related tax work. Consultant Martin Scammell is another key contact, with vast expertise in real estate and construction VAT.

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London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 7

Wedlake Bell LLP

Wedlake Bell LLP is 'very good, quick to respond and gives overall reasonable value for money'. The practice is focused on disputes involving professional negligence, commercial contracts, judicial review, procurement, IP, insolvency and trusts. It is also well known for property litigation and construction disputes. David Golten is 'very commercial and responsive'.

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London: Finance

Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans
Bank lending: investment grade debt and syndicated loans - ranked: tier 6

Wedlake Bell LLP

Led by the 'very professional' Hilary Platt, Wedlake Bell LLP 's 'well-balanced' two partner team provides a 'responsive service' to lenders and corporate borrowers across a wide range of syndicated and bilateral financings. Platt has recently handled numerous large refinancing deals for Day Lewis plc including in relation to the addition of a new tranche of debt to the group's main club facility. Chris Vause is also recommended. Other clients include HSBC, Honest Burgers and Bank of Ireland.

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London: Human resources

Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers and senior executives - ranked: tier 7

Wedlake Bell LLP

Recent highlights for the 'fabulous' department at Wedlake Bell LLP include advising OKI Europe on the employment elements of the reorganisation of its EMEA operations and assisting Kuehne + Nagel with its liability for enhanced redundancy payments, threats of industrial action and commercial contract arrangements. Other clients include Millenium Hotels, the Royal Academy of Arts, AEG Europe, Countrywide and Nektan. The 'calm, professional and unbelievably intelligent' Blair Adams - who joined from DMH Stallard LLP in 2017 - heads up the group, which also includes the 'highly responsive' Ravinder Mahal, Richard Isham and Julia Jackson. David Israel joined Royds Withy King in 2017.

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Pensions
Pensions (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 5

Wedlake Bell LLP

Wedlake Bell LLP's 'responsive, knowledgeable and partner-driven team' provides 'an excellent service that is sensible, pragmatic and technically strong'. Justin McGilloway leads the department, which also counts Clive Weber and partner Alison Hills as key names. McGilloway led advice to WNS Services on the pensions components of its outsourcing contracts with financial services companies, Weber assisted Buhler and the trustees of a single-employer final salary scheme with the implications of a principal employer being acquired, and McGilloway and Hills acted for the trustees of the Jotun Paints (Europe) Limited Pension Scheme on scheme funding and employer covenant issues. The Scandinavian Airlines System Pension and Assurance Scheme, Natixis Pension Scheme and Carlton Tower Pension Scheme are also clients.

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London: Private client

Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

Wedlake Bell LLP

Wedlake Bell LLP¬†¬†provides the ‚Äėhighest level of service without the highest price tag‚Äô. Andrew O‚ÄôKeeffe¬† is ‚Äėvery commercially savvy ‚Äď nothing fazes him‚Äô. The ‚Äėimmaculately prepared‚Äô Caroline Miller¬† is noted for her¬†‚Äėgreat attention to detail and fights hard for her clients‚Äô. O‚ÄôKeeffe advises on a wide range of contentious and probate matters with particular expertise in disputes under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, where he has acted for spouses, partners, both adult and minor children as well as dependants. He has also advised executors in relation to these claims.

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 2

Wedlake Bell LLP

Wedlake Bell LLP¬†¬†has a ‚Äėstrong team of fee earners possessed of the highest calibre of legal knowledge'. The ‚Äėhugely experienced and knowledgeable‚ÄôCharmaine Hast¬†heads the team and is ‚Äėnever phased by anything and has seen it all before‚Äô. Conrad Adam¬†is particularly adept at dealing with complex financial cases. Senior associate Trisha Siddique¬† is ‚Äėcommitted to her clients, is great at drafting, pragmatic and resolute and feisty when called for‚Äô.

Leading individuals

Charmaine Hast - Wedlake Bell LLP

Next generation lawyers

Trisha Siddique - Wedlake Bell LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

Wedlake Bell LLP

Wedlake Bell LLP¬†¬†has an extensive track record of involvement in a number of heavy trusts and probate cases. Camilla Wallace¬†heads the team, which includes the ‚Äėclient-friendly and extremely knowledgeable‚Äô Andrew O‚ÄôKeeffe, who¬†provides a ‚Äėreassuring and comprehensive service in an understated and professional manner. He is very good at finding workable solutions‚Äô. Emma Loveday¬†and Eleanor Metcalf¬† ‚Äėspecialise in the overseas investor and non-doms‚Äô. The ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô Charles Hicks¬† is very experienced at advising on trusts, probate, wills¬† as well as wealth management for high-net-worth individuals.¬†Ann Stanyer¬†covers a wide range of trust, probate and private wealth advisory work and holds over 70 trusteeships in addition to acting as an executor and attorney. The ‚Äėhigh-quality and consistently reliable‚Äô team handles a variety of high-value and complex work for its portfolio of longstanding clients. Its clients comprise an interesting mix of international financiers, fashion designers, architects, landed estates, international royal families, property developers, entrepreneurs and those with inherited wealth.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: corporate occupiers - ranked: tier 3

Wedlake Bell LLP

Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 4

Wedlake Bell LLP

Commercial property: investment - ranked: tier 3

Wedlake Bell LLP

Commercial property: retail - ranked: tier 4

Wedlake Bell LLP

Wedlake Bell LLP has a wide-ranging real estate team focusing on domestic and inbound international investment mandates, residential development and London-centric corporate occupancy work. Suzanne Gill has particular expertise in the telecoms sector and recently advised a household name telecoms provider on its lease of an innovative employee space in Central London; though Gill also has experience in development work, where she acted for Taylor Wimpey and Jaynic Suffolk Park in relation to the promotion agreement and construction documents for a 90-acre greenfield site in Suffolk. In the investment space, department head Malcolm Macfarlane advised a foreign wealth fund on its acquisition of an office plot in a prestigious London development site, and Claire Nelson assisted a private offshore investor with the due diligence on a high-value acquisition of a multi-let building in London. Macfarlane also provides ongoing advice to Fuller, Smith and Turner in relation to its pub, hotel and restaurant portfolio. The team is also active in the retail space, where Leah Freeman assisted Hugo Boss UK with three new store openings, and Grainne McCourt advised Warburg HIH Invest on lease transactions with H&M and Sushi Mania at a retail scheme in Cambridge. Marc Leyshon was promoted to partner.

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Construction
Contruction (non-contentious) - ranked: tier 5

Wedlake Bell LLP

Wedlake Bell LLP¬†is ‚Äėvery responsive to any client matters raised, providing good industry knowledge, and assistance through any contractual issues.‚Äô Sarah Elliott¬†provides ‚Äėsound advice in JCT contract negotiation,‚Äô¬†acting principally for developers, funders and property investors. Recent work includes advising longstanding client City Developments Limited on various high-specification residential and hotel developments worth ¬£100m across London. The team is also advising the Bank of Ireland on the construction aspects of a significant financing for the remodelling, extending and refurbishing of a former city department. Associate Ed Phillips¬†is recommended for his ‚Äėlevel-headed, no-nonsense approach.‚Äô Suzanne Reeves¬†heads the transactional team

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 5

Wedlake Bell LLP

Hilary Platt leads the 'well-balanced', 'knowledgeable' and 'approachable' team at Wedlake Bell LLP, which has handled transactions relating to a variety of asset classes, including student accommodation, residential schemes and hotels. In addition, Chris Vause acted for HSBC on a £15m term loan and accordion facility with a golf club company, and advised a central London property investor on a £35m loan secured over a portfolio of commercial properties. Key clients include Alpha Bank London, Day Lewis, Care UK and Fairacre Asset Management; Arbuthnot Latham, Elysian Residences and Global Holdings are among the team's new clients. Associate Helena Heaton and solicitor Tamsin Davies are also noted; Richard Roberts left for an in-house role.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

Wedlake Bell LLP

Wedlake Bell LLP¬†is ‚Äėconsistently good for a range of property disputes‚Äô including forfeiture and possession claims, 1954 Act business lease renewals and restrictive covenants. Typical clients are landlords, investors, occupiers, developers and insolvency practitioners including Hargreaves Developments, Manpower and CALA Homes. 'Excellent and highly recommended' practice head John Muncey recently handled a case for Fresh Wharf Estates Limited. Injunctions were obtained against boat owners who have moored their boats adjacent to the client‚Äôs land which is set to undergo a major residential development. In another highlight, Adam Colenso¬†has deployed his ‚Äėgood legal mind, practical common sense and commercial approach‚Äô in a deposit dispute for Maylands Capital Limited. A ¬£750,000 lock out agreement was paid to the client as part of a ¬£30m property purchase though the opposing party later claimed a right to return on the basis of a defect of title and structural defects. Chan D'Souza¬†has retired.

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London: Risk advisory

Data protection privacy and cybersecurity
Data protection privacy and cybersecurity - ranked: tier 4

Wedlake Bell LLP

James Castro-Edwards heads up the data protection practice at Wedlake Bell LLP. The practice has experience handling data protection compliance projects spanning several jurisdiction, and has also advised in response to data breaches. Adrian Heath-Saunders is another key name to note.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management
Brand management - ranked: tier 4

Wedlake Bell LLP

The team at Wedlake Bell LLP¬† ‚Äėpunches well above its weight‚Äô and regularly acts for brand-owners in the retail, sports and hotel industries. ‚ÄėExtremely diligent‚Äô practice head Michael Gardner¬† represented Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in a trademark registration dispute against Ritz-Carlton.¬† Adrian Heath-Saunders¬†combines trademarks and advertising with a commercial approach, his recent clients include Surrey County Cricket and Science in Sport. Jonathan Cornthwaite¬† is also recommended.

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 4

Wedlake Bell LLP

The information technology team at Wedlake Bell LLP¬†offers a ‚Äėvery reliable and consistent service‚Äô. Adam Edwards¬†heads up the team which includes the ‚Äėvery thorough and responsive‚Äô¬† Jonathan Cornthwaite. Work highlights include advising YoBike UK on all commercial, technology and licensing elements of its mobile-technology driven bicycle hire product.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 5

Wedlake Bell LLP

The 'expert and highly knowledgeable' intellectual property team at Wedlake Bell LLP attract praise for being 'reliable and consistent' and 'providing clear friendly and appropriate advice'. The 'smart, intelligent and authoritative' Michael Gardner heads up the department and is leading a team representing Kaboodle in a trade mark infringement claim against Homebase and Bunnings stores. The 'very thorough and responsive' Jonathan Cornthwaite acts for Momondo Group on trade mark matters, including in trade mark opposition proceedings. In another work highlight, the group is acting for YoBike on licensing arrangements relating to its patented YoBike bicycle rental system and mobile app. Lacoste, Tesco Stores and Which? are all clients.

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