Firm Profile > Weightmans > Leeds, England


Health and safety Tier 2

Weightmans' regulatory team assists a client roster, which spans the public, commercial, charity, sports and insurance sectors, with a range of health and safety matters. Practice head David Lewis' experience encompasses corporate and gross negligence manslaughter investigations and sensitive jury inquests.

Key clients

Newcastle University

Contract Natural Gas

UPM (Kymmene) UK Ltd

Vantage Drilling

Personal injury: defendant Tier 2

The practice at Weightmans breaks down into eight personal injury practice areas: disease, large loss, commercial insurance, motor, fraud, local government, casualty and costs. The large team in Leeds acts for leading insurer clients, whose volumes of claims often require a separate group of individual lawyers exclusively assigned to them. Dealing with the full spectrum of injury, local government, social welfare, property and disease claims, the firm also represents numerous FTSE 100 companies, PLCs and large private and public organisations. Team head Blaise Smith works on cases up from County Court to the Supreme Court.

Key clients


East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Durham County Council

Leeds City Council



Planning Tier 2

Weightmans acts on national projects under the leadership of residential and infrastructure project specialist Lee Gordon. Key areas of expertise for the group include advising on development consent orders related to infrastructure and energy projects, residential and urban extension projects, public sector work and promoting compulsory purchase orders for highways and mixed-use developments. Bob Pritchard counts multiple public sector organisations as clients.

Key clients

Welsh Government

Royal Mail Group

Leeds City Council

York City Council

Prospect Estates

British Steel

Robinsons Brewery

Peterborough City Council

Viridor Waste Management

North Yorkshire County Council

Sheffield City Council Council

Selby District Council

Nottingham County Council

East Hertfordshire Council

Broad Energy

Transport Tier 2

The transport regulatory team at Weightmans has capabilities across the sector with clients including contractors, infrastructure owners, post and courier service providers, hauliers, bus and coach companies, and marine insurers. Liverpool-based Dewi Ap-Thomas and associate Martin English head up the national team; the Leeds group includes Gary Hodgson, who is experienced in road regulatory matters at hearings, inquiries and tribunals, and Ben Daniel, who is a key name for employment matters, particularly transport-related industrial disputes.

Key clients

FirstGroup Plc (UK Bus and Rail)

National Express Group Plc (UK Bus and Coach)

Hoyer Group


Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Turners (Soham)

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Weightmans has put together a 'very good team' in Leeds on the back of the hire of principal associate Matthew Morton from Lupton Fawcett in 2018. He acts for high-profile clients including several national charities and receives instructions from financial advisers, professional deputies, accountants, and other lawyers and solicitors. He works alongside the firm's other Leeds-based lawyer Hollie Marcham, as well as other probate litigators from the national firm’s Manchester, Liverpool, London and Birmingham offices.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

Weightmans has invested heavily in its wills, trusts and estates team and is now developing a private client department in Leeds. Backed by the firm’s national presence – and drawing on the support of its well-established corporate and employment departments – associate David Stokes has put together a fresh team of four lawyers based in Leeds. The practice benefits from a significant referral network and provides advice on wills, succession planning and lifetime trusts for business owners.

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 4

Weightmans is known for its work in the leisure sector, acting for several pub companies. The team is led by James Sargent, who advises clients on development, acquisitions and investment alongside Mark Crabtree , a specialist in the licence and leisure industry. The firm's real estate team also acts for a number of investors and developers including overseas investors buying landmark buildings for conversion into residential apartments.

Key clients

Punch Taverns

Admiral Taverns

Greene King Plc

Broadland Properties

Hoyer Petrolog (UK)


Calderdale College

Bootham School


East Riding Fertility Services

Royal Mail Group

Energiepark UK LI GmbH

Martsons Plc


West Ranga Property Group

Kerfoot CS

Surrey & Sussex Police Forces

Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 5

Weightmans frequently acts for owner-managed businesses, public sector clients, charities and social enterprise organisations, and has particular expertise in the transport, financial services, manufacturing, and software and digital media sectors. The Leeds-based team includes Stephen Johns, who joined from DLA Piper UK LLP and specialises in  infrastructure sector deals; and recently promoted partner Victoria Robertson. Manchester-based Sarah Walton leads the national practice.

Key clients

LexisNexis Risk Solutions

The Open University

School Lettings Solutions

Luxfer Group

Surrey and Sussex Police

GDS Group

Bubba Gump Shrimp (UK)

Operational Group

BJSS Limited

Anixter Group

Totus Environmental

Brit European Transport

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 5

The Leeds employment team at Weightmans primarily works with clients in the transport, logistics and health sectors, including NHS Foundation Trusts, advising on industrial disputes and senior-level organisational change management. The practice, which is led by Ben Daniel, also has a strong record of advising local councils and family authorities, often handling sensitive cases. Other work ranges from internal reorganisations and TUPE transfers to unfair dismissal claims.

Key clients

FirstGroup Plc (UK Bus and Rail)

National Express Group Plc (UK Bus and Coach)

Hoyer Group


Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

North Cumbria University Hospital & Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Leeds City Council

Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Turners (Soham)



Weightmans is an award-winning UK law firm, employing more than 1,200 people. The firm has grown rapidly because of its focus on two key aspects of its business: its clients and its people.

The firm: Weightmans’ people are determined to achieve the best result for their clients. The firm monitors results to provide value that can be measured – ensuring clients come back time and time again and that it is their preferred choice of legal service provider. As such the firm recognises the importance of its people enjoying what they do. That’s why it is committed to creating a friendly and inspiring working environment.

Types of work undertaken: The firm’s practice is structured into six key segments: built environment, corporates, insurance, owner managed businesses (OMB), private client and public bodies.

In brief, the firm offers a formidable reputation and heritage in insurance in which it is a leading national player; a substantial and diverse range of commercial services for public sector bodies, large institutions, owner-managed businesses and plcs; an impressive reputation in the public sector market, acting for many local, police and fire authorities and a range of NHS trusts, and a full family and private client service, including wills, tax, probate and residential conveyancing.

Weightmans is a national firm with international reach, with an extensive informal network of law firms in most foreign jurisdictions courtesy of its membership of Insurance Law Global (ILG) and Legalink.

Clients: the firm’s clients include insurance companies, public sector organisations, UK plcs, multinational companies, education establishments, private individuals, SMEs and owner managed businesses.

Other offices: Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner John Schorah
Senior partner David Lewis
Built environment Karl Jackson
Corporates Tim Lang
Insurance Rob Williams
OMB Paul Raftery
Private client Carole Atkinson
Public bodies Martin Forshaw
Photo Name Position Profile
 David Lewis  photo David Lewis
Number of UK partners : 197
Number of other UK fee-earners : 633

The Lex 100 Verdict

Trainees at Weightmans receive 'lots of client contact' and describe their training experience as very 'hands-on'. The firm has gained a Lex 100 Winner medal for a highly-praised work/life balance. Applicants agree 'the people' were a major attraction and were quick to compliment their 'very approachable colleagues who are always more than happy to help', rendering Weightmans 'a very enjoyable place to work'. Examples of best moments include 'attending court hearings alone' and 'running my own small caseload while working in the healthcare department'. However, 'uncertainty over where your next seat will be' was a cause of concern for some trainees and others have suggested that 'the social side of the firm could be improved'. Performing administrative tasks such as 'deed scheduling property documents' was also unpopular, but having the opportunity to go on client secondment was greatly appreciated. In fact, client secondments are in abundance at Weightmans; one trainee had the opportunity to undertake three whilst working at the firm and 'gain invaluable insight into what is important to clients'. In addition to formal training, recruits 'are required to be part of each office's CSR committee and are encouraged to suggest pro bono causes they feel passionate about'. If a 'full-service firm with a friendly feel' appeals to you, take a closer look at what Weightmans has to offer.