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

Wedlake Bell LLP’s corporate team was significantly boosted in spring 2022 by the acquisition of a four-strong team from Bates Wells including Mark Tasker and Stephen Callender. In 2021, the team saw a resurgence of transactions in the natural resources and energy and technology sectors. Team head Adam Lynch serves a diverse client base including public companies listed on the London Stock Exchange’s main and AIM markets, private companies, partnerships and entrepreneurs, with a focus on the hospitality and leisure, corporate real estate, and financial services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Adam Lynch

Other key lawyers:

Edward Craft; Nigel Taylor; Janice Wall; Julian Mathews; Kamalprit Lally; Mark Tasker; Stephen Callender

Testimonials

‘The team is highly capable of dealing with complex matters with a hands-on mentality. Always available when needed.’

‘The team is extremely committed and available, while being very knowledgeable and always seeking for solutions.’

‘Edward Craft is fantastic. Totally aligned with his client’s commercial needs and works relentlessly hard to achieve the best for his clients. Very practical, pragmatic and a real gentleman to deal with.’

‘Janice Wall: love the way she acts. She is very smart; full focussed on the matter at hand.’

‘Nigel Taylor and his team are efficient friendly and accessible. Good practical commercially driven advice with sound corporate legal knowledge. Great communication. Access to related and complimentary services.’

Key clients

TriSpan Rising Stars GP Limited

Global Risk Partners

Astris Advisors (UK) Limited/Rhino Holdings SCSp

Gripon Limited

Deansgate Limited

The four founder shareholders of Dentdelion SARL

Manocap Energy Limited

The Relais Cooden Beach Holding Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised TriSpan Rising Stars GP Limited on the secondary buyout of a significant majority stake in the Vietnamese restaurant group, Pho.
  • Advised Global Risk Partners on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Aquilla Insurance Brokers Limited and a minority interest in RIB Group Limited.
  • Advised Rhino Holdings SCSp (Luxembourg special limited partnership) on its acquisition of Rhino Holdings Limited (BVI company).

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 1

Wedlake Bell LLP is singled out for its strength operating in the utilities sector, with skill in the electricity and gas industry, spearheaded by highly rated Charles Robinson . Bolstered by its merger with Moon Beever, the team continues to be instructed on high value debt recovery matters, with specialisms in countering fraud and contentious insolvency work; Frances Coulson is the key contact for the former while financial services expert Graham Mcphie is recommended for the latter. The group works closely with its commercial litigation practice to provide a full service offering to clients. Other areas of activity include consumer collections.

Practice head(s):

Frances Coulson; Charles Robinson

Other key lawyers:

Graham McPhie

Testimonials

‘A thorough understanding of the utilities industry. Easily accessible with a great understanding of the sector.’

Key clients

British Gas Trading Ltd

E.ON UK plc

Orsted Energy Sales UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Achieving a £60,000 judgment with 100% costs award for Orsted Power Sales UK Limited following trial for electricity charges disputed on ground that contract signed without actual or ostensible authority.
  • Advising a British gas business on a claim for electricity charges which were disputed by the Defendant on the ground that the reads and consumption were disputed and the company had vacated the building and were therefore not liable.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

Wedlake Bell LLP is a ‘team that is on the up’ with Camilla Wallace  and Matthew Braithwaite  (who are both ‘very collaborative’) and Jenny Cutts  at the helm. The team continues to attract and retain various HNW and UHNW clients. It has specialists who advise on tax planning matters where there are heritage assets, art and collectibles for UK and international private collectors, charities, landed estates, artists and galleries. It added to the team too at partner level with the addition of Charles Wang from Rosenblatt (part of RBG Legal Services) . George Merrylees who joined from Irwin Mitchell advises on a range of cross-border tax planning, asset structuring and succession matters and is able to advise on complex matters in French.

Practice head(s):

Camilla Wallace; Jenny Cutts; Matthew Braithwaite

Other key lawyers:

Andrew O’Keeffe; Kate Johnson; Rebecca Barry; George Merrylees; Charles Wang

Testimonials

‘The team is known for its straightforward answers and expertise in helping international clients navigating through complex UK tax issues. I work with Matt Braithwaite. Approachable, no nonsense and always helpful!’.

‘Wedlake Bell is professional and very competent. It is forward thinking and gives confidence in the projects that they work on. They are very efficient, respond quickly and are totally trustworthy’.

‘Camilla Wallace – very discrete and gives me real confidence’.

‘In my experience with the personal tax and trusts team, their advice has been practical and technically astute. A great deal of thought goes into their bespoke documents. It is a pleasure to work with them’.

‘Camilla Wallace is compassionate, yet whip smart, instantly recognising priorities when circumstances are complex. She is supported by a superb team’.

‘Kate Johnson has an equally keen mind, designing succession and managing global projects. She is a pitch-perfect point person among clients and multiple advisors‘.

‘Rebecca Barry is a relatively recent addition, responsive, diligent, a quick study and also great with clients’.

 

Real estate > Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 2

Praised for its ‘diligent attention to detail, personal relationship management and depth of experience across the team’, City firm Wedlake Bell LLP acts for a wide range of domestic and international corporate buyers and funds in investment transactions. Led by David De Maupeou, the real estate group is noted for its capability in residential development projects, as well as mixed-use and business park schemes, with Kim Lalli being a key contact in this space, particularly for housebuilders and healthcare providers. David Roberts has considerable experience in investments arising out of the retail and logistics sectors, while Sarah Blunn and Suzanne Gill, who is commended for her ‘razor sharp mind’, are key contacts for corporate occupier matters.

Practice head(s):

David de Maupeou

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Blunn; Suzanne Gill; Leah Freeman; Claire Nelson

Testimonials

‘Suzanne Gill is a great lawyer. She is very responsive, thorough and practical. She is excellent at overcoming seemingly insurmountable issues.’

‘Commercial, pragmatic, responsive and real problem solvers.’

‘Claire Nelson has the ability to cut through the noise and solve the ‘real’ problem.’

Key clients

J. A. Kemp

Oxford Science Enterprises plc

Busaba

Hugo Boss

Illumina

AlixPartners

Crowe

J. Choo Limited

Ivy Farm Technologies Limited

Refuge

Quadrature Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising Hugo Boss UK Limited on the acquisition of new flagship store in Oxford Street, London.
  • Advised Ivy Farm Technologies on their agreement for lease of 4050 Oxford Business Park.
  • Advising the financial advisory and global consulting firm, AlixPartners, on its HQ office deal opposite Land Securities.

Real estate > Residential property Tier 2

Wedlake Bell has a broad range of expertise ranging from handling landlord and tenant matters to advising on the purchase and sale of houses, flats, apartments, penthouses, estates and land in prime and super-prime locations in London and the Home Counties. It is also adept at advising on lease extensions as well as individual and collective enfranchisement transactions. Tom Allfree  heads the department and covers all aspects of high-value residential conveyancing. Nick Stone continues to attract high and ultra-high net-worth clients and well-known celebrities and advises on a variety of residential conveyancing matters including the purchase and sale of properties in the prime and super prime markets. Jonathan Achampong also plays a pivotal role in the department.

Practice head(s):

Tom Allfree

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Nick Stone and his team are exceptional. They are highly professional, diligent and are commercial in their approach. We would entrust them with all of our clients’.

A tenacious and committed team that has consistently delivered an excellent service to my clients. Have worked with them on a significant number of high value transactions I value the attention and consideration they give each client as the real reason behind their success’.

‘I work very closely with Tom Allfree who I find to be professional and measured in everything he does. Having worked on a number of high value transactions with time sensitive deals with demanding clients – these have been handled extremely efficiently. Tom has a rare ability to resolve issues and dissipate pressure whilst retaining a sense of perspective and humour’.

‘The team  is excellent at communicating with all parties and is always available on the phone to speak to both agents and clients. They are proactive in finding solutions to any issues which arise and deal with them swiftly. They are also able to offer clients a comprehensive range of services to facilitate the entire process eg tax advice’.

‘A top drawer firm that is very professional and well regarded in the industry. Nick Stone & Tom Alfree’.

‘The team at Wedlake Bell provides pragmatic advice that allows for a deal to be executed with pace. They don’t look to point score or make the deal process an academic exercise, they just focus on ensuring their client is well protected and add value to sometimes what are commercial decisions that need to be taken to get the deal closed. They are quick to get up to speed and are always available to discuss points of importance as is necessary. I would highly recommend the team.’

‘Tom Alfree is knowledgeable and provides advice in a form that allows for decisions to be made quickly’.

 

Corporate and commercial > VAT and indirect tax Tier 3

Wedlake Bell LLP has a team of experts providing specialist advice on tax matters including suspected fraud, as well as tax issues for clients in the construction and higher education sectors. Michael Ridsdale leads the practice and advises standalone clients on specialist VAT matters - he is also an active member of the VAT Committee of the British Property Federation.

Practice head(s):

Michael Ridsdale

Testimonials

‘Very personable, great communication and values’

‘Michael Ridsdale – excellent partner on all levels, trustworthy and very knowledgeable’

‘The team includes one of the VAT and property experts in the country and a person who is very experienced and knowledgeable in SDLT issues. The aforementioned VAT expert regularly liaises with HMRC on this area of VAT law and its application to transactions, helping to formulate HMRC Policy.’

‘The team at Wedlake Bell is dominated by one individual – Mike Ridsdale. Mike’s is one of those names that anyone involved with VAT would recognise instantly. He is a former national chair of the VAT Practitioners Group, and lectures regularly on current issues. He has earned universal respect from colleagues, clients, and competitors. A star individual in his field if ever their was one.’

‘I particularly appreciate the personal service that we receive, which is thoughtful, bespoke to our particular needs and always practical. The firm has access to individuals with deep expertise and with an extremely customer-focused approach. Other firms I have issued also exhibit these characteristics but not consistently in combination.’

‘The individuals I deal with are responsive and friendly. I never feel I am encroaching on their time or that my questions are inappropriate. The individuals I have been especially impressed with are Mike Ridsdale.’

Key clients

Imperial College London

Interpublic

Work highlights

  • Advising Imperial College London in relation to the construction and development of a new campus in the London area.

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Wedlake Bell is flourishing under the direction of Caroline Miller and advises across a wide range of high-value and complex domestic and international contentious trusts and probate disputes. Clients include high-net-worth individuals and families, executors, trustees and beneficiaries. Andrew O’Keeffe has particular expertise in disputes concerning the Inheritance Act where he has acted for spouses, adult and minor children, dependants and executors.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Miller

Other key lawyers:

Andrew O’Keeffe; Oliver Embley; Katie Turney; Thomas Klemme

Testimonials

‘This firm handles some very large trusts and this feeds into a strong and successful contentious team. Andrew O’Keefe and Caroline Miller are both great to work with’.

‘Katie Turney stands out to me. She does a mixture of both private client non-contentious and contentious work. This means she has experience that many other solicitors (perhaps the majority) lack and can provide really good insight. Not only is she very clever and switched on about the law, she is also very good with clients, putting them at ease’.

‘Wedlake Bell is a world-class team of contentious trusts lawyers, often leading the way in key areas such as confidentiality, disclosure and cross-border enforcement. They have outstanding talent at all levels and have developed innovative and well-resourced ways of keeping them. Caroline Miller gets the very best out of her team’.

‘Caroline Miller may possibly be the best contentious trusts partner in the world. She creates an instant bond of trust with clients, keeps the commercial realities in mind and is unceasingly creative and courageous in pursuing their goals’.

‘Andrew O’Keeffe is experienced and dependable, and has deadly dangerous negotiation skills. Tom Klemme is his reliable and switched-on right-hand man’.

‘This team has good experience and provides a consistently good service. Andrew O’Keefe works diligently for his clients, and is a formidable litigator’.

‘The contentious partner with whom I have worked recently is Andrew O’Keefe, who is extremely steady and whose low key approach belies the effectiveness of the way in which he runs matters. I have also been impressed recently with his associate Thomas Klemme’.

Private client > Family Tier 3

Charmaine Hast heads the department at Wedlake Bell LLP that is frequently involved in a significant number of international matters and complex nuptial agreements where there are substantial assets and offshore entities. Hast has particular expertise in trusts and pension issues and is adept at handling matters as diverse as co-habitation and nuptial agreements as well as abductions and children issues. Trisha Siddique is now at Family Law Partners  while Mathew Brunsdon-Tully joined the group from Forsters LLP.

Practice head(s):

Charmaine Hast

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Brunsdon-Tully; Natasha Kurth

Testimonials

‘The people involved in Wedlake Bell LLP Family were outstanding. Led by Charmaine Hast an expert practitioner of Family law a professional that will go the extra mile for their client giving sound advice and guiding you personally through the legal system every step of the way. Charmaine Hast stood out as a dedicated, tenacious advocate for her client’.

‘I was treated with understanding and care by the team from the offset. I am sure this is the quality that makes them unique. They listened to what I had to say and they understood the outcome that I wanted to achieve. Then they put it all into practice’.

‘I worked with Charmaine Hast, I valued her depth of knowledge of family law and empathy. She also had a great sense of humour and was kind and driven to get me the best settlement possible, which I really appreciated. Charmaine was totally engaged in working for me. Charmaine made the extremely challenging journey less frightening with her wisdom, knowledge and deep empathy’.

‘International experience Tough litigators. Excellent client care skills. Charmaine Hast , Natasha Kurth’.

Real estate > Commercial property: investment Tier 3

Praised for its ‘diligent attention to detail, personal relationship management and depth of experience across the team’, City firm Wedlake Bell LLP acts for a wide range of domestic and international corporate buyers and funds in investment transactions. Led by David De Maupeou, the real estate group is noted for its capability in residential development projects, as well as mixed-use and business park schemes, with Kim Lalli being a key contact in this space, particularly for housebuilders and healthcare providers. David Roberts has considerable experience in investments arising out of the retail and logistics sectors, while Sarah Blunn and Suzanne Gill, who is commended for her ‘razor sharp mind’, are key contacts for corporate occupier matters.

Practice head(s):

David de Maupeou

Other key lawyers:

David Roberts; Claire Nelson; Kathryn West

Testimonials

‘The diligent attention to detail in their work, personal relationship management and depth of experience across the team is excellent.’

‘Suzanne Gill has a razor sharp mind. She has a grasp of the details and demonstrates extreme intellectual honesty. Suzanne has immense gravitas and is not scared to show it.’

Key clients

Urban Logistics REIT Plc

LondonMetric Property PLC

Oxenwood Real Estate LLP

Jersey Co

London City Mission

Summix Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising Hugo Boss UK Limited on the acquisition of new flagship store in Oxford Street, London.
  • Advising LondonMetric Distribution on the forward funding of a new temperature controlled distribution warehouse at Alconbury Park, Huntingdon.
  • Advising Europa Capital Partners (investor) in joint venture with Panattoni UK (developer) on the purchase of Interchange Park, Rotherham, for the development of “a vast distribution centre” of 715,000 sqft alongside the M18 in Rotherham.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 3

Wedlake Bell is entrusted by an array of clients to oversee a variety of contentious matters, working with landlords, investors, occupiers, developers and insolvency practitioners. The team's expertise caters to a wide range of sectors with particular focus upon those within retail, development and religion. Adam Colenso has over 25 years' worth of experience; his focus lies within adverse possession, restrictive covenants and village green registrations. He also leads the practice. Jonathan Hibberts acts for clients includeing London Diocesan Fund, Welby Group and CALA Homes.

Practice head(s):

Adam Colenso

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Adam Colenso is a brilliantly good lawyer. The solicitor I would want most to instruct me on a covenant case. He is technically totally on the ball and is astute and intelligent in his approach to trial preparation.’

‘The firm has great breadth and depth of experience across property litigation, as a result of having a large property, development, planning and construction teams resulting in wide ranging specialist knowledge and sector experience.’

‘In terms of innovation, they were very well equipped at the start of the pandemic to adapt to remote systems as they already had effective remote systems and platforms, including data rooms.’

‘Jonathan Hibberts – very bright, intuitive and commercial.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable people. Very helpful and approachable. Very hardworking and committed to getting the best results.’

‘I mainly work with Adam Colenso. He is insightful, very knowledgeable, extremely diligent, leaves no stone unturned. Also an extremely good judge and tactician.’

‘An innovative and proactive approach to problem solving and legal knowhow.’

Key clients

Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Care UK

Robert Dyas

Manpower

CALA Homes

Hugo Boss

Devonshire Metro Limited

Summix

London City Mission

London Diocesan Fund

Welby Group

CALA Homes

Work highlights

  • Advised Dragon Investment Management Limited on a dispute against the developer and NHBC over the contracts for the construction and purchase of a large block of flats in London.
  • Advised client on a dispute over lease obligations in respect of two leases of one of the largest UK professional services firm’s headquarter building.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 4

Led by Frances Coulson, the team at Wedlake Bell is well-equipped to handle fraud matters at the interface of debt recovery and insolvency issues. The client roster includes insolvency practitioners, high-net-worth individuals, SMEs, business owners, managers and directors, and several utilities companies; the team is also regularly involved in matters taking place in overseas or offshore jurisdictions. James Latham is knowledgeable in tax and government-backed grant fraud cases, while Richard Saunders handles payroll fraud matters.

Practice head(s):

Frances Coulson

Other key lawyers:

James Latham; Richard Saunders; Sam Fenwick; Sara Crystal

Testimonials

‘Small, focused team with substantial lead from the partners, which was always very reassuring.’

‘The three key litigation partners that we work with are Richard Saunders, James Latham and Francis Coulson, and they all similarly provide a significant level of senior input on every case that they work on.’

Key clients

RSM UK LLP

British Gas

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Haslers

KPMG LLP

Mazars LLP

Begbies Traynor PLC

Azets Limited

Opus Restructuring

Resolve

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Liquidator of MSD Cash & Carry in assessment of damages against de facto and de jure director following findings of fraud for circa £1m plus significant interest.

Employment > Senior executives Tier 4

Recommended for its ‘outstanding personal care and attention given to each client’, Wedlake Bell LLP represents executives, board teams, committees, investor nominees and proxies from a range of sectors in employment matters. Key advice includes exit arrangements, whistleblowing matters and incentive schemes. ‘Sector leader and genuine starWilliam Granger leads the team.

Practice head(s):

William Granger

Other key lawyers:

Emily Daly; Jemma Pugh

Testimonials

‘Jemma Pugh is an excellent lawyer. She always has the right strategy worked out. Provided good advice but also listened to my needs.’

‘The outstanding personal care and attention given to each client really makes this practice unique. This, combined with the experience, knowledge and attention to detail displayed by each person working on the case, makes the Senior Executives Practice in this firm a sector leader.’

‘Each person who has worked on my case has been fully up to speed on even the most complex aspects. Clear leadership is shown by the partner in charge, but each member of the team contributes brilliantly and thus they work efficiently and effectively as a team. The working relationships between the partner, associates and trainee solicitors are impressive.’

‘William Granger never fails to impress. He is clearly a sector leader and a genuine star. Not only does he grasp complex facts quickly, but he is also an amazing strategist, finding workable solutions for clients. What is particularly impressive is his genuine passion for justice, especially for clients who have experienced discrimination and hardship as a result of wrongful behaviour. He really cares about his clients.’

‘Emily Daly is definitely one to watch. Her attention to detail is remarkable and her written work of the highest quality. It is hard to believe she only qualified in 2020! She always performs at the highest level and is brilliant with clients.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the board and UHNW owners of a renowned celebrity design hotel on a complex cross border legal and reputation dispute with rogue hotel manager taking customer information, cars, land and IP.
  • Advised the founder and CEO of a sport data company on the float of his business whilst maintaining the balance between autonomy for the business to grow and share protection for new investors.
  • Advised the CEO of a large energy business owned by two of the world’s biggest PE houses and a sovereign wealth fund. CEO challenged the founding chairman over unlawful behaviour that could jeopardise the exit plans and ESG profile of the investors and was removed as a result.

Real estate > Commercial property: development Tier 4

Praised for its ‘diligent attention to detail, personal relationship management and depth of experience across the team’, City firm Wedlake Bell LLP acts for a wide range of domestic and international corporate buyers and funds in investment transactions. Led by David De Maupeou, the real estate group is noted for its capability in residential development projects, as well as mixed-use and business park schemes, with Kim Lalli being a key contact in this space, particularly for housebuilders and healthcare providers. David Roberts has considerable experience in investments arising out of the retail and logistics sectors, while Sarah Blunn and Suzanne Gill, who is commended for her ‘razor sharp mind’, are key contacts for corporate occupier matters.

Practice head(s):

David de Maupeou

Other key lawyers:

Kim Lalli; Suzanne Gill; David Johnston

Testimonials

‘As a client, to have a team like this who in on top of everything, and leaves no stone unturned to find the right answer, is worth so much. There were quite a few aspects of this project that needed looking at and Wedlake Bell were always there, with timely and good advice.’

‘My main contact is David Johnston – a man with incredible knowledge, capacity, integrity and diligence. His advice is always spot on and I know that if he says we need to take this course of action or that, I can trust him entirely.’

‘Friendly, efficient and tenacious.’

‘David de Maupeou gets things done quickly and effectively.’

Key clients

CALA

Care UK

Carpenters’ Company

Fullers

Global Holdings Group

GSE Group

Hugo Boss

Illumina

Ivy Farm Technologies

Jaynic

LondonMetric

Native Land

Oxenwood

Sir Richard Sutton Estate

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Tungsten Properties

Zeno Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising LondonMetric Distribution on the forward fund of new temperature controlled distribution warehouse at Alconbury Park.
  • Advising Jaynic Suffolk Park Logistics on the lease and forward fund of SP76 Suffolk Park Bury St Edmunds.
  • Advising Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance on 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

Wedlake Bell LLP advises on high-value and complex construction matters both domestically and internationally, with its key areas of sector expertise being logistics, pharmaceuticals, residential development, and healthcare and later living. Sarah Elliott heads the team, principally acting for developers, funders, property investors, consultants and contractors, as well as for ultra-high net worth clients. Suzanne Reeves has a broad expertise, including in infrastructure matters, whilst Helen Garthwaite offers construction-related finance advice.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Elliott

Other key lawyers:

Suzanne Reeves; Helen Garthwaite; Natascia Alden

Testimonials

‘A very approachable firm at all levels of seniority, who take the time to explain issues without running the clock.’

‘Their attention to detail stands them apart, with a focus on getting matters concluded promptly and efficiently.’

‘Sarah Elliott is exceptional – exceptional contract knowledge and goes out of her way to support her client in whatever is needed.’

‘Attention to detail while also understanding commercial aspects of contract negotiations, ensuring that commercially sensible, legally robust terms are in place on different scales of projects.’

‘Very personable and approachable. Willing to advise on contractual position but with a realistic approach to potential outcomes.’

‘Impressive industry knowledge and expertise within the construction field. The team also have foresight in the way construction terms are negotiated and look to future proof agreements where possible.’

‘Suzanne Reeves and Natascia Alden are pragmatic, dedicated, attention driven, and supports the client in delivering to timescales.’

Key clients

CALA Management Limited

Hachette UK Limited

Sheppard Robson Architects LLP

London Metric Property PLC

Oxenwood Real Estate LLP

Oxford Sciences Innovation PLC

Skonto Plan UK Ltd

Elysian Residences

Blue Coast Capital Properties

Quadrature Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising CALA Management Limited on the development agreements for affordable housing and for build to rent schemes.
  • Advising Elysian Residences on all construction and associated construction finance aspects for its growing portfolio of investment and development projects.
  • Advising London Metric Property PLC in respect of construction and development works at several of their properties.

Employment > Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 5

Wedlake Bell LLP's 'very pleasant to deal with' pensions and employee benefit group works closely with teams across the wider firm, including the banking and finance, and insolvency and restructuring, teams to offer a broad pensions practice. The group has experience in advising employers on final salary schemes, in regulatory issues such as auto-enrolment, and in pensions matters pertaining to divorce. Heading the department is Justin McGilloway , who is ably supported by Alison Hills and Clive Weber , who 'brings the advantage of very many years experience in the field'.

Practice head(s):

Justin McGilloway

Other key lawyers:

Alison Hills; Clive Weber

Testimonials

‘Very pleasant to deal with.’

‘Clive Weber brings the advantage of very many years experience in the field.’

Key clients

Trane UK Limited Retirement Benefit Plan (Trustees of the Plan)

Scandinavian Airlines Pension and Assurance Scheme (Trustees of the Scheme)

The Staff Pension and Life Assurance Scheme of the Grand Lodge

(Trustees of the Scheme)

Jotun Paints (Europe) Limited Pension Scheme (Trustees of the Scheme)

Capital Radio Pension and Assurance Scheme (Trustees of the Scheme)

Steamship Insurance Management Services Limited Pension and Assurance Scheme (Trustees of the Scheme)

The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited

South-African Co-operative Citrus Exchange Limited Pension and Assurance Scheme (Trustees of the Scheme)

Louvre Fiduciary Group Limited

Trustees of the Carpenters’ Company Pension and Assurance Scheme (Trustees of the Scheme)

Natixis Pension Scheme

Sumi Agro Pension Scheme

The Museum Association Pension Plan

Global Association of Risk Professionals

The Carlton Tower Pension Scheme

Capital Radio Pension Plan

Buhler Limited

M&G Investments

Trad Scaffolding Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising The Carlton Tower Limited on the closure to accrual of its final salary pension scheme.
  • Advising the Trustees of The Trane UK Limited Retirement Benefit Plan (formerly the Ingersoll- Rand Holdings Limited Retirement Benefits Plan (1974)) on historic documentation issues.
  • Advising South-African Co-operative Citrus Exchange Limited Pension and Assurance Scheme on the buy-out of the scheme’s liabilities.

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 5

Wedlake Bell LLP offers a breadth of sector expertise, including in logistics, hotels, pharmaceuticals, housing, and later living. Sarah Elliott leads the team, primarily acting for developers, funders, consultants, property investors, and specialist contractors. Natalie Pilagos focuses on construction project disputes and is experience in all forms of dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Elliott

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘A vibrant team full of highly intelligent people.’

‘Natalie Pilagos is exceptional.’

‘Natalie Pilagos is a superb lawyer. Loved by clients and incisive in her analysis. A real winner, who gives everything for her clients.’

‘David Kingsford is a great team member. Hardworking and pragmatic – a cool head.’

‘Natalie Pilagos is very hands on and provides a lot of attention to detail, also very personable and knowledgeable.’

‘They provide consistent, coordinated and timely advice tempered to the client’s specific needs, with willingness to adapt scope of services to suit changes in circumstances and course of action.’

‘Strength of resources ensures the right person comes to the fore at the right time.’

‘Patience and understanding of the client situation and willingness to take time to explain each step, and then work together on an appropriate solution or course of action.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for an international luxury hotel group in relation to disputes with contractor relating to refurbishment of 5 star hotel.
  • Acting for an industry leading later living sector client in relation to payment adjudication claim by insolvent contractor.
  • Acting for a central London heritage estate owner in relation to multiple disputes relating to construction of new offices with national contractor.

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

Wedlake Bell LLP maintains a strong contentious and non-contentious IP practice, advising a number of clients from the retail and leisure sectors, as well as political parties, and clients from the consumer affairs industry. Clients praise the outfit for its ‘practical, straight forward advice that takes into account business considerations’. The group is co-led by ‘outstandingly good’ commercial IP expert Michael Gardner and ‘smart, responsive and down-to-earth’ international trade mark expert Charlotte Wilding.

Practice head(s):

Michael Gardner; Charlotte Wilding

Other key lawyers:

Debra Goldwyn

Testimonials

‘Wedlake Bell is a very good midsized legal firm which is partner-led for all disputes. They have a very good business-sense approach to disputes making sure that the client and counsel work as a team.’

‘Mike Gardner is outstandingly good with clients and also works well with Debra Goldwyn, who is brilliant at detail.’

‘The team takes complete ownership of the issues and delivers the result with minimum of fuss and minimum of intervention, on budget.’

‘Charlotte Wilding was the main individual involved. Amazingly clear thinking and organised; very easy to deal with.’

‘Wedlake Bell provides practical, straight forward advice that takes into account business considerations. The opinions and client advisory are clear and succinct.’

‘Charlotte Wilding is smart, responsive and down-to-earth. She understands trade mark law and articulates clearly risks involved so a client can make an informed business decision.’

Key clients

Tesco Stores Ltd

Yellow Bulldog Ltd

Which? Ltd

Warpaint Cosmetics (2014) Limited / Badgequo Limited

Warpaint Cosmetics (2014) Limited

Nicholas Sornin & Francois Sforza

The Reclaim Party Ltd

Lacoste

Universal Protein Supplements Corporation t/a Universal Nutrition

Work highlights

  • Advising Lacoste concerning a trade mark infringement and passing off claim against Marks & Spencer p.l.c. regarding the use of its marks for the word ‘crocodile’ and its logos.
  • Providing ongoing advice to Tesco on its trading in parallel goods so as to prevent any infringement of IP rights.
  • Advising Yellow Bulldog Limited in relation to an infringement action.

Employment > Employers Tier 6

Wedlake Bell LLP fields a ‘competent, practical team with talent distributed fully throughout’. Led by Adam Grant, the practice has developed a niche representing financial services companies with extensive capabilities supporting on global corporate transactions, business reorganisations and litigation. Grant also has a keen following among household names in the hospitality and creative arts sectors.

Practice head(s):

Adam Grant

Testimonials

‘The team makes the difference, their knowledge, reactivity and availability are always 100%.’

‘Adam Grant and his team are excellent. His advice is always spot on and he steers us through any issues we may have with sensitivity and clarity.’

‘A competent, practical team, with talent distributed fully throughout the team.’

‘The team, led by Adam Grant, go the extra mile to get to know your business, the key personnel and what you are looking to achieve.’

‘They deliver a service that is responsive, efficient and commercial.’

‘What makes the team stand apart is its ability to cut through the legal challenges and provide pragmatic and effective advice.’

‘They truly are trusted advisors.’

‘Adam Grant is our go to solicitor of choice. A true partner who cares about you and your business. He understand the law, explains it in a clear and concise manner and provides exceptional commercial solutions.’

Key clients

Fuller, Smith & Turner

TRAD Group

TriSpan Rising Stars GP Limited

The Relais Cooden Beach Holding Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising TriSpan Rising Stars GP Limited on the employment aspects of a significant majority stake in the Vietnamese restaurant group, Pho.
  • Advising a global recruitment business on the legal and practical employment and date protection challenges posed by clients requiring candidates to be vaccinated against COVID.
  • Providing multi-jurisdictional advice to Kroll Advisory on return to office policies, vaccinations and related rules.

Real estate > Property finance

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…
Richard Isham photoMr 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.