Wedlake Bell LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Wedlake Bell LLP
71 QUEEN VICTORIA STREET
LONDON
EC4V 4AY
England

Corporate and commercial > M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 1

Praised for its 'creative and commercial' approach, the team at Wedlake Bell LLP combines its cross-border capabilities with a diverse sector approach to regularly handle work for clients in the financial services, insurance, hospitality and leisure, fintech and logistics industries. The firm has increasingly fielded instructions from an international client base looking to make acquisitions and investments in the UK. Practice head Adam Lynch is an experienced M&A specialist who has recently advised car manufacturers, software companies, and care home operators on major transactions. Nigel Taylor has extensive experience in mid-market M&A and private equity-backed transactions, while Edward Craft is sought out by family investment companies and family limited partnerships on corporate governance work. Janice Wall is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Adam Lynch

Testimonials

‘Strong deal structure experience, coupled with solid team delivery.’

‘Excellent customer service orientation.’

‘Collaboration between teams was strong which helped to deliver the overall objective well. Customer service has also been strong.’

‘Both creative and commercial. Very important traits.’

Key clients

Diversified Gas & Oil plc

Global Risk Partners Limited

Rainham Environmental Holdings Limited

Urban Logistics REIT plc

Lionbridge Technologies, Inc

3i Infotech (UK) Limited

Relais Henley Holding Limited

Electus Healthcare 1 Limited

Cosworth Group Holdings Limited

Gypsy Moth Storage Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Cosworth Group Holdings Limited on the purchase of Delta Motorsports.
  • Acting for Global Risk Partners on various M&A transactions.
  • Acting for Urban Logistics REIT on the acquisition of seven regional logistics/warehouse properties via purchase of a property trust.

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 1

Wedlake Bell excels in undertaking debt recovery work with a nexus to the electricity and gas supply industry; this is Charles Robinson‘s sector specialism. Further reflective of the firm’s strengths in this space, it has won a significant number of debt recovery tenders from utility companies. Elsewhere, work for clients in the financial services sector (particularly in relation to consumer collections) is also a driver of activity. Frances Coulson and Graham McPhie co-head the department together with Robinson. Coulson combines her experience in all forms of debt matters with knowledge of commercial litigation, contentious insolvency, fraud and injunctive relief. McPhie has longstanding experience of all aspects of financial disputes and also doubles as a commercial litigator.

Practice head(s):

Frances Coulson; Charles Robinson; Graham McPhie

Other key lawyers:

Steven Elsey

Testimonials

‘Good at identifying and utilising high-quality junior counsel to advance debt recovery claims in a cost-efficient and proportionate manner. They have excellent knowledge of the electricity and gas markets. They take a strategic view when considering the merits of a claim, including the risk that a loss may create an unhelpful precedent on a key issue with implications for future claims.’

‘The team are especially experienced in debt recovery work in the electricity and gas supply sector. Their knowledge of the industry is very strong and has been built up over a number of years with some of the largest utilities in Britain. One of the consequences of this experience is that they are able to deal with cases in a cost-effective way. Charles Robinson is excellent: efficient, experienced and generally a good solicitor.’

Key clients

British Gas Trading Ltd

Orsted Energy Sales UK Limited

Accountancy firms

Insolvency Practitioners

Consumer debt

Landlords and/ or tenants

Debt purchasers

Local Government

Work highlights

  • Represented Orsted Power Sales UK Limited in £60,000 judgment with 100% costs award following trial for electricity charges disputed on ground that contract signed without actual or ostensible authority.

Real estate > Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 2

Wedlake Bell LLP, which recently merged with fellow City firm Moon Beever, has a strong commercial property department which covers a range of specialisms including high-value investments, a front on which David Roberts is exceedingly active, leveraging his expertise in logistics and retail assets. The department is also reputed for its full-service development service, which has a focus on mixed-use, business park and heritage building schemes with Kim Lalli particularly busy in the residential project space. Justin Lewis-Vivas helms the practice, which also includes Sarah Blunn, a lawyer integral to the firm's corporate occupier practice which caters to companies from the luxury brand, hospitality and leisure, co-working, sciences and professional services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Justin Lewis-Vivas

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Blunn; Suzanne Gill; Leah Freeman

Testimonials

‘Wedlake Bell combine professionalism, knowledge, pragmatism and a personal relationship that makes interactions quick and easy. With reasonable charging rates and quality of personnel, they are my default practice of choice.’

‘David Johnston has been our lead point of contact at Wedlake Bell, working on property transactions and development agreements. These throw up many diverse challenges but he has been my rock in every storm. I have 100% confidence in him. His legal knowledge and grasp of context, fused with his ability to communicate precisely, succinctly and clearly, have been invaluable.’

Suzanne Gill is simply brilliant. Suzanne is both a trusted advisor and a great lawyer. A titan in real estate world, both deeply analytical with a razor sharp wit. Her velvet glove negotiating style is backed with extreme gravitas, making her the only lawyer you want on your team.’

‘The partners we deal with always have their clients’ best interest at the heart of what they do, but balanced with a commercial approach. The partners and surrounding team are all very knowledgeable and available whenever needed to get things done.’

‘Leah Freeman is like our in-house lawyer, she completely understands retail and our business.’

‘The individuals I have worked with have been terrifically down-to-earth, looked to understand exactly what we wanted and how we wanted to work with them, they explained things in  a simple and friendly manner and  delivered on what they have said.’

‘Claire Nelson embodies everything that makes challenging situations easier to work in. A detailed knowledge of complex legalities combined with an ability to disseminate information, communicate clearly and directly a collaborative way forward.’

Key clients

J. A. Kemp

Oxford Sciences

Busaba

Hugo Boss

Breitling

Crowe

LondonMetric

Urban Logistics

Work highlights

  • Worked with Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC to develop a lease form requiring minimal negotiation with a clear understanding that the client is also a shareholder in its tenant companies.
  • Advised on the acquisition of new leasehold premises for patent attorney firm J A Kemp’s London HQ.
  • Worked closely with Hugo Boss UK Limited to ensure that they were prepared for the challenges involved in opening a new store at Unit 37 Drake Circus, Plymouth in a pandemic/Brexit transition scenario.

Real estate > Residential property Tier 2

Wedlake Bell LLP’s practice is particularly active in the prime and super-prime residential market in London and the Home Counties, where its work covers acquisitions and sales of houses, flats, estates and penthouses, among other real estate assets. In addition, the team is sought after for advice on individual and collective leasehold enfranchisement transactions. Group head Tom Allfree, who has 20 years of transactional experience, works with Nick Stone and Jonathan Achampong. Clients of the firm include high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families, investors and trustees.

Practice head(s):

Tom Allfree

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Nick Stone and his team are truly excellent – they are highly professional, work all hours with strong communication levels, and take a very commercial approach where possible. They are solution focused, which is a key attribute in any solicitor.’

‘Nick Stone – he is my go to solicitor, and I trust him implicitly. In addition to the many clients I introduce him to, he also handles my personal work.’

‘They are extremely proactive and always seem focused on finding solutions rather than focusing on problems.’

‘Tom Allfree is an excellent operator and an absolute pleasure to work with.’

‘Wedlake Bell is a respected firm of solicitors, and I have dealt with them for many years. I have always found them proactive.’

Corporate and commercial > VAT and indirect tax Tier 3

Wedlake Bell LLP is a 'friendly' firm that displays an understanding of VAT and SDLT at the 'highest levels'. The practice is led by VAT and indirect tax specialist Michael Ridsdale, whose knowledge of SDLT is 'second to none'. Ridsdale advises on a broad range of transactions and has significant experience representing tax payers in HMRC disputes and enquiries.

Practice head(s):

Michael Ridsdale

Testimonials

A very friendly team that clearly understands VAT and SDLT at the highest levels.’

Mike Ridsdale’s knowledge on SDLT is second to none. Tax is a very dry subject and Mike is able to communicate in a way that keeps the listener’s attention to enable full interaction with the client.’

Honest, trustworthy and open.’

Key clients

Imperial College London

Interpublic

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Caroline Miller now heads the team at Wedlake Bell LLP that handles a comprehensive range of high-value and complex domestic and international contentious trusts and probate disputes. It routinely advises high-net-worth individuals and families, executors, trustees and beneficiaries. Andrew O’Keeffe is a key member of the team. Ann Stanyer is highly regarded for her work on elder law and elder financial abuse matters. The team has also been appointed by the independent administrator in a number of high-value matters. Oliver Embley has been promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Miller

Other key lawyers:

Andrew O’Keeffe; Ann Stanyer; Oliver Embley; Katie Turney

Testimonials

‘A strong private client firm with a number of high-value disputes. Andrew O’ Keeffe – very knowledgeable and solidly practicable. Caroline Miller – I have worked with Caroline for many years. She is really excellent and manages a great team.’

‘A strong cross-over between its contentious and non-contentious teams and an excellent international client base. Caroline Miller is a wonderful C&P litigation partner, charming, intelligent and commercial.’

Andrew O’Keeffe, Katie Turney, Caroline Miller and Oliver Embley are all outstanding lawyers.’

‘Wedlake Bell’s contentious trusts team combines a deep knowledge of the private client world with pragmatic and effective litigators. Caroline Miller is a very experienced private client lawyer who has turned her considerable skillset to resolving disputes. Andrew O’Keeffe has been involved in a number of important cases concerning farming families and estoppel. New partner Oliver Embley will be a great asset to the team and firm.’

This is a great team in a friendly City firm, handling high-value estate litigation with aplomb. Andrew O’Keeffe is great with clients, and knows exactly what to do in any given situation. Oliver Embley, recently promoted to partner, is a sound and strategic thinker on the tax and trust aspects of any dispute.’

‘A well-respected contentious trusts and probate team who are involved in many large matters this year. Andrew O’Keeffe is an experienced partner with a well-tuned sense of judgement on the merits of cases and how to handle clients and opponents; definitely one to have on your side. Caroline Miller is another experienced and well-respected partner; she is astute, diligent and practical‘.

This is a ‘can-do’ litigation team supported by an excellent private client department with capable and experienced litigators. Andrew O’Keeffe –  an excellent litigator and tactician. Very personable and a great communicator with clients, calm under pressure, persistent and achieves great results for clients. Katie Turney – associate who is hardworking and astute, very good with clients. Caroline Miller – partner in private client team with litigation experience, knowledgeable and a practical problem solver.’

‘The firm provides a very good service across the full breadth of private client litigation. Andrew O’Keefe is a highly experienced litigator and is not phased by anything.’

Private client > Family Tier 3

Wedlake Bell LLP is known for its skill at handling complex prenuptial agreements where the assets are worth hundreds of millions (sometimes billions) and where there are significant international issues to be considered. Head of department Charmaine Hast is an 'inspirational leader and clients love her' - she is a dual-qualified South African lawyer. Trisha Siddique specialises in Sharia law and high-net-worth divorce cases.  Conrad Adam  is now at Adler Family Law Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):

Charmaine Hast

Other key lawyers:

Trisha Siddique; Natasha Kurth

Testimonials

Great mix of commercial and family. Charmaine Hast is a veteran and seasoned warrior. Loved by all she works with’.

‘Charmaine Hast heads up the Wedlake Bell family team, which are all very strong and benefit from her wealth of experience and tenacious legal ability. Charmaine is vastly experienced and knows exactly when to settle or fight a case. Her clients think she walks on legal water, which is almost true. There is no one who knows the twists and turns of financial remedy law and practice like Charmaine. She is never outgunned. Natasha Kurt: an excellent Associate who will soon be a star of financial remedy work. She is more than one to watch‘.

‘Dynamic, busy department that provides a sleek, efficient and cost effective service. Trisha Siddique is an engaging, committed and talented solicitor. She is supportive when needed, fearless when required and gets great results for her clients‘.

Good, solid team of family lawyers. Charmaine Hast has been the totemic figure for this firm for years and she has garnered an impressive reputation for managing difficult, high-profile clients‘.

People, all about the people. Truly fantastic team. Charmaine Hast is an absolute master in her field. Super knowledgeable, creative, proactive and a great partner.’

‘The team at Wedlake Bell has fantastic knowledge of the law and can provide clear advice to clients about any issues in respect of relationship breakdown. Trish Siddique is a sensible, intelligent and diligent solicitor who fights firmly for her clients interests. She is a pragmatic practitioner who will always try to settle a case if at all possible‘.

‘I dealt predominantly with Charmaine and Natasha and soon referred to them as the Dream Team. Someone once described Charmaine to me as a street fighter with a heart of gold. She truly cares and whilst she doesn’t mind adopting a very direct approach at times the final result was far better than I could ever have hoped for. Both my daughter and I will be eternally grateful’.

‘Wedlake Bell has a solid reputation for high end family law cases. Charmaine Hast is an exceptionally highly-regarded family lawyer with a strong reputation for high end family law work‘.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

Wedlake Bell LLP acts for an array of major clients who range from prominent UK families to internationally mobile wealthy individuals. The team predominantly acts for serial entrepreneurs, landed estates as well as public personalities. The practice has a strong focus on cross-border succession planning and has also experienced considerable growth in advising on the establishment of new charitable structures. Camilla WallaceJenny Cutts and Matthew Braithwaite are among the key members of the team. Andrew O’Keeffe  is another recommended individual along with Antoaneta Proctor. The practice was bolstered in 2021 by the merger with Moon Beever - that tie-up saw Richard Boulding and senior associate Charlotte Pollard join the team.

Practice head(s):

Camilla Wallace; Jenny Cutts; Matthew Braithwaite

Other key lawyers:

Andrew O’Keeffe; Antoaneta Proctor; Emma Loveday; Clare Armitage

Testimonials

‘One individual who stands out is Antoaneta Proctor. Antoaneta is very talented at envisaging all aspects of a particular issue and anticipating clients’ questions. Antoaneta shares her thinking with clients and prospects equally, which is very engaging for the clients. In her interaction with clients, virtually or over the phone, Antoaneta is both effective and reassuring, and adapts herself to the audience. Antoaneta is extremely pragmatic and intent on finding the most efficient course of action’.

‘Responsiveness, value for money, personal approach and a clear communication of complex ideas to the uninitiated. Matthew Braithwaite is very responsive and easy to work with‘.

Technically strong with a good understanding of family dynamics and commercial issues. The team at Wedlake Bell works together to deliver to clients. Matthew Braithwaite, Camilla Wallace and Jenny Cutts – each with their own style; all three are technically excellent and provide solution driven advice’.

‘Technical competence with a friendly approach. Emma Loveday is very experienced and knowledgeable but has an understated manner which puts the client at ease. You never feel you have been lectured to’.

‘Clare Armitage – brings a calm and measured approach to any queries; she thinks about the client first and foremost and is a delight to work alongside‘.

‘Charlotte Pollard is sensitive, diligent and very personable. She is excellent in her role. She has a lovely manner and navigates her way around difficult client issues with delicacy and ease. She has a good sense of humour and is down to earth. Highly recommended‘.

Richard Boulding is is pleasant, well respected and good with clients. Richard is a very experienced solicitor, exceptionally bright and a full member of Step. Richard is diligent, with good attention to detail and excellent organisational skills. Charlotte Pollard deals very efficiently with matters referred to her and provides clients with a pragmatic and efficient approach. Charlotte has a refreshing enthusiastic approach to complex and sometimes challenging estates’.

Charlotte Pollard is compassionate, astute and a wonderful lawyer. She listens to her clients and actively works with them to create a legal solution for their problems. She can diffuse tense situations and create a safe space for her clients. Charlotte is a private client solicitor who truly cares about her clients and providing the best possible service for them‘.

Key clients

LANCE Platform Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised LANCE Platform Limited on an innovative, digitised solution for assessing UK tax exposure connected with offshore trust and corporate structures run by offshore fiduciary service providers.

Real estate > Commercial property: investment Tier 3

Wedlake Bell LLP, which recently merged with fellow City firm Moon Beever, has a strong commercial property department which covers a range of specialisms including high-value investments, a front on which David Roberts is exceedingly active, leveraging his expertise in logistics and retail assets. The department is also reputed for its full-service development service, which has a focus on mixed-use, business park and heritage building schemes with Kim Lalli particularly busy in the residential project space. Justin Lewis-Vivas helms the practice, which also includes Sarah Blunn, a lawyer integral to the firm's corporate occupier practice which caters to companies from the luxury brand, hospitality and leisure, co-working, sciences and professional services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Justin Lewis-Vivas

Other key lawyers:

David Roberts; Claire Nelson; David Johnston

Testimonials

‘Wedlake Bell combine professionalism, knowledge, pragmatism and a personal relationship that makes interactions quick and easy. With reasonable charging rates and quality of personnel, they are my default practice of choice.’

‘David Johnston has been our lead point of contact at Wedlake Bell, working on property transactions and development agreements. These throw up many diverse challenges but he has been my rock in every storm. I have 100% confidence in him. His legal knowledge and grasp of context, fused with his ability to communicate precisely, succinctly and clearly, have been invaluable.’

Suzanne Gill is simply brilliant. Suzanne is both a trusted advisor and a great lawyer. A titan in real estate world, both deeply analytical with a razor sharp wit. Her velvet glove negotiating style is backed with extreme gravitas, making her the only lawyer you want on your team.’

‘The partners we deal with always have their clients’ best interest at the heart of what they do, but balanced with a commercial approach. The partners and surrounding team are all very knowledgeable and available whenever needed to get things done.’

‘Leah Freeman is like our in-house lawyer, she completely understands retail and our business.’

‘The individuals I have worked with have been terrifically down-to-earth, looked to understand exactly what we wanted and how we wanted to work with them, they explained things in  a simple and friendly manner and  delivered on what they have said.’

‘Claire Nelson embodies everything that makes challenging situations easier to work in. A detailed knowledge of complex legalities combined with an ability to disseminate information, communicate clearly and directly a collaborative way forward.’

Key clients

Urban Logistics

LondonMetric Property PLC

Oxenwood Real Estate LLP

Jersey Co

London City Mission

Work highlights

  • Acting for UK-based AIM-listed property investment company Urban Logistics REIT, which acquired the Crown Portfolio for £47.2m via the corporate acquisition of the units in the EOS Property Unit Trust, a JPUT owned by funds managed by Legal & General Investment Management.
  • Acting for Oxenwood Real Estate, which specialises in the acquisition and development of high-quality income producing assets with scope for medium term value add asset management initiatives primarily in the logistics sector.
  • Won a competitive tender to advise London City Mission (LCM) on its property portfolio.

Corporate and commercial > Equity capital markets – small-mid cap Tier 4

Martin Thomas leads Wedlake Bell LLP's capital markets practice, which handles AIM and Main Market IPOs, secondary fundraises and follow-on M&A work for corporate issuers, NOMADs and brokers. Thomas' transactional experience spans the oil and gas, natural resources, financial services and early stage technology sectors, among others.

Practice head(s):

Martin Thomas

Employment > Senior executives Tier 4

Wedlake Bell LLP has an established track record in advising senior individuals in the private equity space. Team head Richard Isham has niche expertise in relation to private equity houses, advising individuals on exiting and joining companies including remunerations, share options, bonus schemes and restrictive covenants. The team also advises on rights and entitlements under LLP agreements. Adam Grant has a background in the hospitality sector, while William Granger's broad expertise spans a range of financial and corporate sectors where he assists senior executives, interest groups, boards and shareholders.

Practice head(s):

Richard Isham

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘William Granger is an outstanding lawyer. Not only does he have a superb grasp of the law and the most recent cases, but he is also a brilliant tactician and is a genius at finding workable solutions for clients. I am always glad he is acting for me and not against me in any case! His approach to client care is particularly impressive. William also has the amazingly ability to recall facts in even the most complex of scenarios. In short, William Granger and his team never fail to impress to me. He is in a class of his own. Simply outstanding.’

‘The practice has a personal approach to clients. Every member of the team is full briefed on your case, responds quickly to queries and works well with supervising partners. There is an impressive team approach. Updates and changes to the law are quickly and succinctly communicated. The firm also appear to have an excellent training and development programme for trainees, as evidenced by the subsequent quality of their work.’

Work highlights

  • Handling sensitive negotiations in respect of the departure of a professor as Principal of the Central School of Speech and Drama.
  • Acting for the outgoing CEO of Kier Group plc, who was ousted amidst a storm of shareholder activism over the share price collapse following the insolvency of construction rival Carillion and market sentiment showing no confidence in the sector.

Real estate > Commercial property: development Tier 4

Wedlake Bell LLP, which recently merged with fellow City firm Moon Beever, has a strong commercial property department which covers a range of specialisms including high-value investments, a front on which David Roberts is exceedingly active, leveraging his expertise in logistics and retail assets. The department is also reputed for its full-service development service, which has a focus on mixed-use, business park and heritage building schemes with Kim Lalli particularly busy in the residential project space. Justin Lewis-Vivas helms the practice, which also includes Sarah Blunn, a lawyer integral to the firm's corporate occupier practice which caters to companies from the luxury brand, hospitality and leisure, co-working, sciences and professional services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Justin Lewis-Vivas

Other key lawyers:

Suzanne Gill; Kim Lalli

Testimonials

‘Wedlake Bell combine professionalism, knowledge, pragmatism and a personal relationship that makes interactions quick and easy. With reasonable charging rates and quality of personnel, they are my default practice of choice.’

‘David Johnston has been our lead point of contact at Wedlake Bell, working on property transactions and development agreements. These throw up many diverse challenges but he has been my rock in every storm. I have 100% confidence in him. His legal knowledge and grasp of context, fused with his ability to communicate precisely, succinctly and clearly, have been invaluable.’

Suzanne Gill is simply brilliant. Suzanne is both a trusted advisor and a great lawyer. A titan in real estate world, both deeply analytical with a razor sharp wit. Her velvet glove negotiating style is backed with extreme gravitas, making her the only lawyer you want on your team.’

‘The partners we deal with always have their clients’ best interest at the heart of what they do, but balanced with a commercial approach. The partners and surrounding team are all very knowledgeable and available whenever needed to get things done.’

‘Leah Freeman is like our in-house lawyer, she completely understands retail and our business.’

‘The individuals I have worked with have been terrifically down-to-earth, looked to understand exactly what we wanted and how we wanted to work with them, they explained things in  a simple and friendly manner and  delivered on what they have said.’

‘Claire Nelson embodies everything that makes challenging situations easier to work in. A detailed knowledge of complex legalities combined with an ability to disseminate information, communicate clearly and directly a collaborative way forward.’

Key clients

Jaynic Properties

GSE Group

Honourable Society of Middle Temple

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Shareholders of Tendring Farms

Obsidian

London City Mission

Work highlights

  • Advised Jaynic Properties Limited on a development and promotion agreement for 156 acres of land near Stowmarket Suffolk for 2.3m sq ft commercial development.
  • Advised The Honourable Society of Middle Temple on the refurbishment and redevelopment of Garden Court and Blackstone House and construction of a four-storey link building between the two, together with financing the development works and forward letting to a leading set of barristers.
  • Advised Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance on plans to extend its facilities by entering into two development agreements with two house builders in relation to sites adjacent to their existing building in Deptford.

Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 4

Offering diverse expertise, the team at Wedlake Bell LLP acts on behalf of owners, funders and operators both domestically and internationally. Its sector specialities include a strong focus on care sector projects, as well as expertise in housebuilding, medtech and high-end residential work. Sarah Elliott heads up the team, acting on a number of high-value matters. Helen Garthwaite and Suzanne Reeves are also well regarded.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Elliott

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Wedlake Bell has a diverse pool of talent that has been extremely useful to us as a company when looking at the various types of contractual arrangements we use within our business. All of the team are professional, conscientious and commercially minded as well as having the ability to explain complicated matters simply to their clients.’

‘Sarah Elliott in the construction team demonstrates dedication to the client’s needs. She understands the way the client operates and tailors her service to suit. Wedlake Bell has introduced an online collaboration portal and loads contracts, appointments and other legal documents in a place where we can easily find and download them for all our different projects.’

‘Suzanne Reeves’ depth of knowledge of the sector and our business and very personable nature are highly valued. She has ensured a consistent calibre of associates who always provide a thorough and reliable service. They make it easy for us and have always kept our trust over many years.’

‘An extremely responsive, practical and helpful team who know our business intimately and can be trusted to get on with the job efficiently and always deliver a quality product. Key differentiation is knowledge of our business, trust and relationships with the right people, developed over years, making it a relatively hands-off work-stream for the in-house lawyer.’

‘An excellent team of lawyers. They work well together, with other teams within the firm and with external consultants.’

‘Helen Garthwaite is very personable and easy to work with, and she provided excellent advice throughout.’

Key clients

CALA Homes

Novanta

Urban Logistics REIT

Native Land

Heron International Group

GSE Commercial Estates

Trinity Laban

Oxford Sciences

London Metric Property PLC

Spire Healthcare

Vectura Group

Care UK

Hugo Boss

Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC

Helical PLC

Illumina

Vertex

Elysian Residences

Electus Healthcare

Work highlights

  • Advising Novanta Technologies UK on the delivery of its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Taunton.
  • Advising CALA Management on development agreements for affordable housing, often involving separate contracts for affordable rented and shared ownership units.
  • Advising Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC on a variety of drafting and procurement matters for the refurbishment of an existing building in Oxford Sciences Park.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 4

Following John Muncey's retirement in March 2021, Adam Colenso took over the lead of Wedlake Bell LLP's property litigation team, which recently expanded its charity offering with the hiring of commercial disputes partner Jonathan Hibberts from Fladgate LLP in February 2021. Both Colonso and Hibberts specialise in commercial landlord and tenant litigation and act for property investors and landlords, developers and occupiers, while development-related work also accounts for a significant portion of their workload. Expertise in telecoms sector work, where the team acts for developers, and cladding-related issues faced by lessees complement this offering.

Practice head(s):

Adam Colenso

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Extremely knowledgeable. Good on both legal arguments and practical issues.

Willing to go the extra mile for clients. Very focused on obtaining the best outcome for clients by reaching practical solutions and giving realistic advice from the outset.

Unlike some firms, they do not seek to litigate for the sake of it or seek to run up costs by being overly aggressive or unrealistic and rushing to trial.

Adam Colenso is extremely impressive in both his knowledge of the law and his ability to apply it to the facts of any given case and, based on that, to give sound, sensible advice.

Adam Colenso is incredibly thorough and leaves no stone unturned in attempting to obtain the best possible outcome for his clients.

‘They combine sound legal knowledge with carefully thought-out strategy to achieve the best outcome for their clients. They leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of a favourable resolution of a dispute from their clients’ point of view, whether in court/arbitration, in mediation or in negotiation.

Key clients

London Diocesan Fund

Welby Group

London Baptist Property Board

Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Care UK

Robert Dyas

Manpower

CALA Homes

Hugo Boss

Devonshire Metro Limited

Summix

London City Mission

Work highlights

  • Advised Dragon Investment Management Limited in a dispute over the contracts for the construction and purchase of a large block of flats in London.
  • Advised a private property portfolio company in relation to an application under section 84 of the Law of Property Act 1925 to modify a restrictive covenant so as to permit the erection of a five-house terraced development in Tunbridge Wells valued at a number of millions of pounds.
  • Advised an international property investment and development company on a dispute over the lease obligations in respect of two leases of the headquarters building of one of the UK’s largest professional services firms.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 5

The dedicated fraud team of Moon Beever acts at the intersection with commercial litigation, debt and insolvency. The firm ‘draws on its stand-out insolvency practice to attract really interesting civil fraud work, often with an insolvency angle'. Frances Coulson specilases in contentuious insolvency matters, particularly cases involving fraud and injunctive relief. She co-leads the team with experienced commercial litigation and insolvency practitioners Graham Mcphie and James Latham.

Practice head(s):

Frances Coulson; Graham McPhie; James Latham

Other key lawyers:

Richard Saunders; Sara Crystal

Testimonials

‘The Fraud and Insolvency Team at Moon Beever are highly experienced and well established in this field. They know exactly what they are doing and know how to get results. They are stand-out because of the clients they attract and their collective experience and know-how’.

‘Frances Coulson is a very effective and tenacious litigator who always gets results. She is highly experienced and deserves her formidable reputation in the market’.

‘Richard Saunders is very experienced in all aspects of insolvency and particularly in cases with a fraud angle. A very effective litigator who knows exactly what he is doing and always gets results’.

‘Sara Crystal is extremely efficient, knowledgeable and hard working. She is a great team player, very supportive and knows insolvency like the back of her hand’.

‘Frances Coulson provides vision, profile and leadership but then lets her team get on with it unless there is a specific issue which warrants her attention’.

‘Graham McPhie is the most technically able solicitor in the personal insolvency market and is my go to person on issues I have not come across before – he recently resolved a cross over case involving bankruptcy and a restraint order’.

‘Moon Beever draws on its stand-out insolvency practice to attract really interesting civil fraud work, often with an insolvency angle’.

‘It is a relatively small firm, but its reputation in the insolvency and civil fraud market means it is able to attract heavyweight disputes’.

Key clients

RSM UK LLP

British Gas

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Haslers

KPMG LLP

Mazars LLP

Begbies Traynor Plc

Azets Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for David Ingram of Grant Thornton Liquidator of MSD Cash & Carry, the Liquidator in assessment of damages against de facto and de jure director following findings of fraud for circa £1mn.
  • Acting for Adrian Hyde and Kevin Murphy of Begbies Traynor Plc in international property fraud in excess of £5mn involving money laundering, tax evasion, mortgage fraud, and document forgery between 14 parties located in the UK, Pakistan and Dubai. The Crown Prosecution Service, HM Revenue and Customs, and the Metropolitan Police are all involved in the action.
  • Acting for Stephen Hunt of Griffins in an employee benefit trust claim circa £55mn involving 7 pursuing loss to the company in engaging in tax avoidance schemes. British Virgin and Cayman Islands.

Employment > Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 5

Wedlake Bell LLP's pensions practice falls within the firm's business services group. Led by Justin McGilloway, the team advises occupational and personal pension schemes on scheme strategy/liability management, corporate transactions,  and governance for the manufacturing, leisure, and food sectors. Paul Ashcroft joined from DWF, strengthening the team's multinational corporate transaction expertise.

Practice head(s):

Justin McGilloway

Other key lawyers:

Alison Hills; Paul Ashcroft

Testimonials

‘User friendly pensions specialists who give strong directional advice.’

‘Alison Hills is practical, legally strong and with a terrific grasp of the whole picture. The real deal – formidably bright, approachable, clear of expression and not afraid to discuss the possibilities.’

‘Justin McGilloway is excellent, giving very practical advice’

Key clients

M&G Investments

Royal London

Trane UK Limited Retirement Benefits Plan

The Museum Association Pension Plan

Scandinavian Airlines Pension and Assurance Scheme

Buhler Limited

Terrence Higgins Pension & Assurance Scheme

Natixis Pension Scheme

Steamship Insurance Management Services Limited Pension Scheme

The Carlton Tower Pension Scheme

Jotun Paints (Europe) Limited Pension Scheme

Capital Radio Pension Plan

Carpenters Company Pension Scheme

Tenneco Automotive (UK) Pension Scheme

Sumi Agro Pension Scheme

Concentrix (a subsidiary of SYNNEX Corporation)

Global Association of Risk Professionals

Work highlights

  • Advising Scandinavian Airlines Pension and Assurance Scheme trustees on a restructuring exercise with particular focus on the PPF entry rules.
  • Advising The Trane UK Limited Retirement Benefits Plan trustees on the pension aspects of the separation of Ingersoll Rand’s industrial business to Gardner Denver. The consideration for the spin-off amounted to $1.9bn.
  • Advising Jotun Paints (Europe) Limited Pension Scheme trustees on scheme funding and employer covenant issues.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 5

Wedlake Bell LLP has a diverse client base which includes political parties, household name retailers and comparative websites. Michael Gardner has a track record of successfully pursuing domain name and trade mark infringement claims through WIPO. In the retail sector, the team provides strategic advice on parallel trading. Adrian Heath-Saunders leads on commercial IP and licensing matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Gardner

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Consistently reliable and efficient.

Wedlake Bell is a very good example of a partner-led firm. It is very much focused on its clients’ needs.

Key clients

Tesco Stores Ltd

Which? Ltd

Booker Ltd

Lacoste

Jumeirah Carlton Tower

Pangaea Laboratories Ltd

CSCS

Reform UK (formerly the Brexit Party)

The Reclaim Party

BHL Global Limited

Work highlights

  • Pursuing anonymous owners of two financial services-related websites on behalf of Which?, filing and successfully pursuing administrative proceedings through WIPO for the dotcom domain.
  • Providing ongoing advice to Tesco on its trading in parallel goods so as to prevent any infringement of IP rights.
  • Acted on an appeal for Yellow Bulldog to the High Court following the client’s unsuccessful attempt to register its trade mark GEEK STORE.

Employment > Employers Tier 6

Wedlake Bell LLP offers employment law assistance to clients both through its flagship department and a subsidiary, iGlobal Law, an independent practice geared towards international employers. Richard Isham tends to focus on litigation and strategic projects for UK-based clients, whereas iGlobal director Ravinder Mahal is an international law expert with considerable experience in multijurisdictional projects, from reorganisations to M&A transactions.

Practice head(s):

Richard Isham; Ravinder Mahal

Other key lawyers:

William Granger; Adam Grant; Jemma Pugh

Testimonials

The employment team at Wedlake Bell make sure that they go the extra mile to help me as a stand alone HR professional.’

Jemma Pugh and Adam Grant provide most of our day-to-day advice. They are both able to take the legal position and help align it to the requirements of the organisation.’

A great team who are always quick to respond and refer me to the right person for the specific question.’

All individuals are very nice to work with and they are knowledgeable. I mainly work with Adam Grant who has been brilliant over the years – succinct, knowledgeable and responsive. He has taken the time to learn about our industry and UK office / team. A pleasure to work with!

Key clients

Cosworth Group Holdings Limited

Electus Healthcare 1

Fuller, Smith & Turner

TRAD Group

The Relais Henley Holding Limited

Real estate > Property finance Tier 7

The firm: Wedlake Bell provides clients with a full package of legal services delivering commercial and creative solutions for their business and personal interests. With a high level of technical expertise and a service capability which is second to none, the firm strives to meet or exceed client expectations by ensuring that integrity and service quality are at the heart of its approach to working. Longstanding clients of the firm include large multinationals, FTSE 100 companies, owner- managed businesses and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The firm works on a broad range of international transactions and established the Trans European Law Firms Alliance (TELFA) to provide clients with legal expertise in all the main jurisdictions in Europe, as well as in Australia and China. The firm is also a member of USLAW NETWORK, Inc. a legal network with over 160 offices in 47 US states, and members in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and China and has a dedicated and renowned lndia Group comprising lawyers from teams across the firm.

Types of work undertaken
Banking and finance: the banking and finance team handles multi-jurisdictional transactions and acts for both lenders and borrowers on a wide range of syndicated, club and bilateral financings.

Insolvency: the team acts for lenders, insolvency practitioners, creditors, corporate entities, directors and other stakeholders in circumstances where a company or individual is insolvent or experiencing financial difficulty.

Commercial: the commercial team advises clients on a wide range of commercial agreements such as franchises, merchandising, outsourcing, and on competition law. Longstanding clients include large UK and international retailers and FTSE 100 companies.

Commercial litigation and dispute resolution: the commercial litigation team protects its client’s interests in disputes both in the UK and internationally, whether by litigation, arbitration, expert determination, negotiation, mediation or other methods of alternative dispute resolution.

Corporate and financial services: the corporate and financial services team provides corporate, corporate tax and financial services advice to clients including FTSE 100 companies, banks and financial institutions, owner-managed private companies, family offices and high-net-worth individuals.

Data protection: the data protection team advises on all aspects of data protection law, whether pre-emptive compliance advice, or response to data breaches and cyber-attacks.

Employment: the employment team advises employers and senior executives on re-organisations, mergers, share and business acquisitions and disposals, the protection of businesses assets, employee rewards and equity arrangements, exit strategies and discrimination issues through to day-to-day disciplinary and grievance matters, as well as employment contracts and policies.

Family: the family team provides first class advice in respect of all matrimonial matters. The team advises clients on pre- and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, divorce and separation, civil partnerships and dissolution and Sharia and international law.

Intellectual property: the intellectual property team advises clients on a wide range of intellectual property issues, including registration of trade marks, licensing, distribution and franchising to help clients create, protect, exploit and enforce their intellectual property rights.

Pensions and employee benefits: the pensions team acts for trustees, employers and members of a wide range of pensions issues around affordability, business survival, HR policy and retirement savings options schemes.

Private client and tax: the private client team advises entrepreneurs, business managers and new enterprise investors, as well as long-established family wealth and high-net-worth individuals.

Real estate: the real estate team provides clients with a range of contentious and non contentious services spanning property investment and development, construction, acquisitions and disposals, strategic land use issues and planning and environmental issues.

Technology: the information technology team advises software suppliers, systems integrators, outsourcing service providers and customers on technology projects and the issues arising out of the use, exploitation, protection and management of information.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Managing partner Martin Arnold
Senior partner Kim Lalli
Banking and finance Hilary Platt
Commercial Adrian Heath-Saunders
Commercial litigation Glenn Chidgey
Construction Suzanne Reeves
Corporate and financial services Adam Lynch
Data protection Alexander Dittel
Employment Richard Isham
Family Charmaine Hast
Insolvency, restructuring and recoveries Frances Coulson
Intellectual property Michael Gardner
Pensions and employee benefits Justin McGilloway
Private client Jenny Cutts
Projects and infrastructure Christopher Tite
Property litigation Adam Colenso
Residential property Tom Allfree
Real estate Justin Lewis Vivas
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Martin Ackland photo Martin AcklandMartin’s experience covers offices, shops and industrial buildings, the retail and leisure…
Conrad Adam photo Conrad AdamFamily law partner, trained collaborative lawyer and trained mediator specialising in divorce…
Tom Allfree photo Tom AllfreePartner specialising in all aspects of residential conveyancing, acting for UK and overseas…
Martin Arnold photo Martin ArnoldPartner specialising in all aspects of corporate insolvency, both contentious and non-contentious. He…
Sarah Blunn photo Sarah BlunnSarah is a partner and has been a real estate lawyer in…
James Castro-Edwards photo James Castro-EdwardsPartner advising domestic and multinational organisations on data protection issues. Experience includes managing…
Glenn Chidgey photo Glenn ChidgeyGlenn specialises in contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters. He acts on behalf…
Adam Colenso photo Adam Colenso
Jonathan Paul Cornthwaite photo Jonathan Paul CornthwaitePartner specialising in drafting and negotiating all types of commercial agreements and highly…
Edward Craft photo Edward CraftPartner specialising in corporate governance advises companies including privately held businesses (of…
Jenny Cutts photo Jenny CuttsJenny is a specialist Private Client lawyer providing advice on wealth protection…
Jay Das photo Jay DasPartner specialising in planning and environment, compulsory purchase orders and compensation, highways and…
David De Maupeou photo David De MaupeouDavid is a partner who acts for developers, landlords, tenants, and investors…
David Earl photo David EarlConsultant specialising in property development and its funding and financing. Typically this…
Sarah Elliott photo Sarah ElliottPartner specialising in matters relating to construction projects including procurement issues and is…
Ivan Fitzherbert photo Ivan FitzherbertSince 1986 Ivan was Head of Property at Stitt & Co prior…
Leah Freeman photo Leah FreemanPartner specialising in property team. She advises on all aspects of commercial…
Michael Gardner photo Michael GardnerPartner specialising in disputes involving commercial, IT and in particular intellectual property matters including trade…
Helen Garthwaite photo Helen GarthwaiteHelen has a proven track record of leading legal services delivery at…
Suzanne Gill photo Suzanne GillPartner specialising in advising commercial property occupiers and investors, particularly office, retail and…
Tal Goldsmith photo Tal GoldsmithTal Goldsmith is an insolvency and litigation lawyer. She conducts a variety…
David Golten photo David GoltenDavid is a litigation specialist and acts for a wide range of…
Louise Gowman photo Louise GowmanPartner specialising in the consenting, development and financing of infrastructure projects. A…
Adam Grant photo Adam GrantAdam has considerable experience working in partnership with employer businesses especially with…
Charmaine Hast photo Charmaine HastCharmaine is regarded as an expert in English Family Law and is…
Adrian Heath-Saunders photo Adrian Heath-SaundersPartner specialises in intellectual property and commercial matters with particular expertise in trade marks and…
Charles Hicks photo Charles HicksPartner specialising in trusts, probate, wills, capital taxation and wealth management for high-net-worth…
Mr Richard Isham photo Mr Richard IshamPartner specialising in both contentious and non-contentious employment law and advising corporate clients on a…
Julia Jackson photo Julia JacksonJulia is a Partner and an expert in UK Immigration and Nationality…
David Johnston photo David JohnstonDavid is a partner who acts for investors, property owners and tenants…
Kim Lalli photo Kim LalliKim’s particular expertise is in property development transactions, whether acquisitionsor disposals. Clients…
Justin Lewis-Vivas photo Justin Lewis-VivasPartner specialising in commercial property, both transactional and management workincluding acting for landlords, tenants…
Marc Leyshon photo Marc LeyshonMarc is a Partner with experience of a wide range of real…
Emma Loveday photo Emma LovedayPartner specialising in advising both UK and non-UK-domiciled clients on general tax matters…
Adam Lynch photo Adam LynchAdam is a corporate lawyer with a broad range of experience and…
Malcolm Macfarlane photo Malcolm MacfarlaneMalcolm is a consultant and has worked as a solicitor in the City…
Ravinder Mahal photo Ravinder MahalPartner specialising in managing cross-border and international employment law advice and projects. He…
Matthew Mainstone photo Matthew MainstoneMatthew is a partner in the commercial property group, specialising in planning…
Julian Mathews photo Julian MathewsPartner who leads the hospitality and leisure group. As a corporate lawyer,…
Philip Matthews photo Philip MatthewsPhilip is a partner who advises on all areas of commercial property…
Claire McConway photo Claire McConwayPartner who is a corporate and funds lawyer in our business advisory…
Grainne McCourt photo Grainne McCourtGrainne is a partner whos practice covers all areas of commercial property…
Justin McGilloway photo Justin McGillowayPartner specialising in advising employers (UK and international), trustee boards (including offshore), pension product…
Eleanor Metcalf photo Eleanor MetcalfPartner specialising in estate and tax planning for UK and non-UK-domiciled individuals, trusts,…
Caroline Miller photo Caroline MillerCaroline is a Partner and deals with both non contentious private client…
John Muncey photo John MunceyPartner specialising in property litigation including commercial landlord and tenant disputes and management-related issues and…
Claire Nelson photo Claire NelsonClaire is a partner who regularly deals with the acquisition, disposal, funding…
Andrew O'Keeffe photo Andrew O'KeeffePartner specialising in contentious trust and probate matters with particular expertise in disputes…
Hilary Platt photo Hilary PlattHilary is head of the finance team and specialises in asset and…
Suzanne Reeves photo Suzanne ReevesPartner specialising in construction projects dealing with both contract drafting and disputes (domestic…
Michael Ridsdale photo Michael RidsdalePartner who advises on all aspects of UK and international taxation affecting…
David Roberts photo David RobertsPartner whos practice  focuses on all aspects of Commercial Property investments and…
Ann Stanyer photo Ann StanyerPartner specialising in wills, trusts, probate and estate planning for high-net-worth clients.…
Edward Starling photo Edward StarlingPartner specialising in contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters, acting on behalf of lenders,…
Christopher Tite photo Christopher TiteChristopher’s experience spans the practice and business of law. His legal work,…
Chris Vause photo Chris VausePartner specialising in advising lenders and borrowers on a broad range of real…
Janice Wall photo Janice WallHead of corporate practice group, with substantial UK and international experience in…
Camilla Wallace photo Camilla WallacePartner specialising in advising high-net-worth individuals, both UK and non-UK domiciliaries, on estate…
Clive Weber photo Clive WeberClive is a Partner advising on all aspects of UK pensions law drawing…
Number of UK partners : 73
Number of other UK fee-earners : 170
Total staff : 32
English

At Wedlake Bell we are committed to a culture of fairness and equal opportunities. This culture underpins our recruitment practice and guides the firm’s policy in relation to the development and retention of all those who work at the firm.

We are signatories to the Law Society’s Diversity & Inclusion Charter and we strive to build and maintain a culture that values and gathers strength from difference. We have always emphasised that our firm is a true “meritocracy”, with opportunities accessible to all.

Our Equality and Diversity Committee which includes Partners, legal and support staff from across the business meets on a regular basis to review all matters relating to diversity and to help us provide an inclusive and supportive place to work. The Committee reports direct to the firm’s board.

Within the firm’s leadership, Kim Lalli was elected as the firm’s first female Senior Partner, beginning a four year term in January 2017. Three of our eight board members are women. We were prize-winners in the City Wealth Awards 2016 for “Women in Leadership” and were ranked ninth in the Top 100 Law Firm table 2016 compiled by The Lawyer in terms of the percentage of equity partners who are female.

Apprenticeships: Wedlake Bell is an advocate of apprenticeships. We currently have an apprentice who sits in our IT Department, as a fully integrated member of the firm. The firm has sponsored the apprentice to undertake IT qualifications, in addition to the practical experience gained working within the firm.

Law Society Diversity Access Scheme: We support promising entrants from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who face exceptional obstacles to qualification by offering work experience placements in various departments across the firm. This provides hands on experience working within a law firm, together with support from our HR Department on careers, help with CVs, and interview guidance.

Links with colleges: We provide both work experience and employment opportunities to secretarial college students. A number of our secretaries started their careers with us through this initiative and we have ongoing links with the colleges to continue such arrangements.

Inspire! Education Business Partnership: We work with secondary schools in the Hackney and Camden areas to provide work experience to GCSE and A-level students. This is part of our commitment to widen access to opportunities and provide young people with relevant work-related skills helping them to develop an understanding of the world of work.

London Law Fair: We have attended the London Law Fair, which is specifically designed to encourage a more diverse range of entrants into the legal sector. This will give entrants the opportunity to discuss careers at Wedlake Bell and gain career advice.

Networking: We are associated with and support several business development networking organisations including Young Entrepreneurs in Property, Women in Property, TeCSA 10s, and Chicks with Bricks. We also host our own annual “Wedlake Bell – Future Business Leaders” networking event for junior clients and contacts.

The Lex 100 Verdict

Known for the ‘approachability of staff at all levels’ and the ‘quality of work and clients’, Wedlake Bell is popular with its current trainees. A Lex 100 Winner for client contact and social life, the firm has a ‘good working culture; small enough to feel familiar, large enough for interesting and varied work, plus plenty of social events’. The small intake size means that trainees are ‘afforded a higher level of responsibility', with 'greater client contact', resulting in a 'generally more 'hands-on' experience from the outset’. ‘The firm takes a 'human' approach and there is a clear effort to ensure that you are well looked after from the outset of your training contract’. Negatives mentioned include lack of transparency over qualification and the pay, which in some seats is felt to not reflect the hours worked. But overall, comments are very positive; as one trainee adds, Wedlake Bell has the ‘mostly friendly, helpful and fun colleagues with great atmosphere when in the office. The firm is small enough to get to know most people’. Highlights of training include ‘leading client meetings’ and ‘working in a strong team to meet an urgent court deadline’. If you are looking for a smaller London firm offering lots of client interaction and a family feel, Wedlake Bell could be for you.