Firm Profile > Wilkin Chapman LLP > Lincoln, England

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

At Wilkin Chapman LLP, practice head Catherine Harris handles all areas of agricultural law, including large scale transactions, farming subsidies and environmental schemes, agricultural tenancies, restructuring and succession planning. The wider team is also adept in development work, renewable energy, easements and farm diversification. Claire Hindmarsh recently arrived from Roythornes Solicitors, bolstering the group’s transactional expertise.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Harris

Other key lawyers:

Claire Hindmarsh; James Lloyd; Flora Bennett

Key clients

Lindsay Marsh Drainage Board

Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 1

Wilkin Chapman LLP, which acts for regional and national clients, is particularly noted for its strengths in the housing and development space, where it undertakes a significant amount of work for developers; Rachael Perry is the lead adviser to Galliford Try, one of the firm's largest clients. In addition, the firm also has a sizeable social housing client base. Led by practice head Ruth Brewin, the team also has a strong profile in commercial property matters with a nexus to the energy and renewables, education and academies, and tourism and leisure industries. Peter Hanson and Jonty Pearson are other key figures in Lincoln. Long-serving partner Martyn Chilvers retired during 2018, while Wendy Spalding-Siracusa, whose practice is split between Grimsby and Lincoln, came on board from Sills & Betteridge LLP.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Brewin (Grimsby)


The firm has great strength in depth and a good team ethos

Peter Hanson is very experienced and knowledgeable, and is supported by a diligent team

The team’s strengths are its insightfulness, dogged determination and ability to work to tight deadlines in a transaction

The team is very down-to-earth

The firm strikes a good balance between modern efficiency and a personal approach to client contact/relations

Ruth Brewin is not only an outstanding property solicitor, but also has great interpersonal skills and is a pleasure to work with. She also has good common sense and offers practical advice, which is always based on legal necessities. Her negotiation skills are excellent and she always seems to remain calm when under pressure

Key clients

Linden Homes/Galliford Try Group

Cyden Homes Limited

LACE Housing Association

Aga Rangemaster Group Plc

The Brocklesby Estate/Earl of Yarborough

Acis Group Limited

M F Strawson

Ashover Estates Limited

Lincoln Corn Exchange Markets (1991) Limited/ Lincolnshire Co-operative Limited

Castle Square Developments

Debt recovery Tier 1

Working in tandem with the firm's Beverley office, Wilkin Chapman LLP's Grimsby team acts as a one-stop debt recovery shop to clients in the credit union, utility and commercial debt sectors. The firm also has a compelling offering for local authority clients, which it assists with recovering council tax/business rates, property-related debts and sundry debts, such as parking charges, benefits overpayments and social care costs. Insolvency-related work is another bedrock of the practice, with the team assisting clients with enforcing charging orders by way of orders for sale, and also with managing bankruptcy and winding up petitions; Matthew Dix is a qualified insolvency practitioner. Chris Grocock heads up the practice, while Elizabeth GilliattMark Taylor and Paul Bowden are also key partners.

Practice head(s):

Chris Grocock


Approachable team with excellent technical knowledge providing sound practical advice. Good performance management processes and information

Paul Bowden and Mark Taylor are great ambassadors for the firm – they make themselves available when needed and have provided solid sensible solutions to difficult cases

Key clients

Western Union Retail Services GB Limited

Canal & River Trust

Transave Credit Union Limited

University of East London

Gladstone Brookes Limited

London Borough of Bexley

London Borough of Haringey

London Borough of Newham

RAC Group Limited

Churchill Sloan Limited

Family Tier 1

Wilkin Chapman LLP is noted for its ‘broad experience and expertise’. Its team handles a wide range of divorce cases, including those involving members of the armed forces, farming-related matters, and other work comprising of business and trust elements. The ‘technically soundLisa Boileau leads the team, which also specialises in pre-nuptial agreements. The recent arrival of senior solicitor Faye Bentley from Diane Genders Specialist Solicitors, has bolstered the group’s offering on child-related work.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Boileau;

Other key lawyers:

Mark Carlton; Faye Bentley


A competent family law team based in a commercial practice‘.

Lisa Boileau provides a personable and professional approach. She is technically sound and gives pragmatic advice‘.

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 2

Wilkin Chapman LLP leverages the expertise of its core dispute resolution team (which is led by senior partner Andrew Holt), as well as practitioners in other areas to advise on a wide range of contentious matters. The practice is noted for its particular focus on a number of key sectors, including housing and developments, agriculture and food, tourism and leisure, renewables and energy, and military. In Lincoln, Holt (who has 30 years of commercial dispute resolution experience) works with the 'very capable, practical' Jonathan Stork and solicitor Tom Hickingbottom. Another solicitor, Katherine Marshall, divides time between the Lincoln and Horncastle offices. Joshua Briggs in Grimsby handles a broad cross-section of commercial disputes, with a particular strength in property litigation. The group's recent work included matters involving breaches of contract,  professional negligence and insolvency-related claims.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Holt


Deep dives into detail without losing sight of the overarching aim of the litigation (including cost to the client) – a rare combination!

Jonathan Stork is very on the ball. He works closely with counsel on cases to ensure that there is a robust strategy to get the client what they need

The team is simply uniquely down-to-earth, friendly, efficient and offers good advice and therefore good value

Andrew Holt is easy to talk to and effective in setting out the options, as well as providing the right guidance


Key clients

Nisa Retail Ltd

Lincolnshire Co-operative

Cat Tech International Limited

Unipart Rail Limited

T W Logistics Limited

Barbon Insurance Group

EDF Energy Customers Limited

Active Business Partnerships Limited

Beal Developments Limited

National Farmers Union

Vale Garden Houses Limited

Branston Limited

Credit Enforcement Services Limited

Employment Tier 2

Lawyers at Wilkin Chapman LLP are lauded for their ‘excellent expertise and support in employment law’. Acting for both public and private sector clients, the team advises numerous local authorities, educational establishments and health sector clients. It also generates work from companies in the food, logistics, warehousing and packaging industries. Practice head Teresa Thomas provides counsel on redundancy, restructuring and TUPE projects and also undertakes advocacy at the Employment Tribunal. Calum Hanrahan, who is a new arrival from Sills & Betteridge LLP, has expertise in business immigration. Elsewhere, the ‘outstandingOliver Tasker recently made partner, while David Buckle retired.

Practice head(s):

Teresa Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Katie Davies; Oliver Tasker


Personable and professional lawyers who deal with issues in good time

Very helpful, approachable, personable individuals

Always available and approachable with quick response times when needed

The team are responsive and informative regarding any type of query.  They articulate the advice in an easy to understand format

Approachable and understanding of the complex issues surrounding employment and HR. Prepared to give time to listen

Teresa Thomas is great to work with. She is always easy to get hold of, very responsive and gives a really quick turnaround

Katie Davies  is very approachable, nothing is too much trouble. She responds to all requests quickly and thoroughly

Katie Davies always goes the extra yard to ensure we have the advise needed and that we are aware all of the options available

Key clients

Mizkan Euro Limited

Healing Multi Academy Trust

Tollbar MAT

Fives Landis Limited

BLE Smoke & Fire Curtains

The St Lawrence Academy

Lindum Group Ltd

Lincolnshire Sports Partnership

Pilgrim Foodservice Ltd

Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust

Craven District Council

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

Wilkin Chapman LLP is home to a team of ‘accessible lawyers with the right expertise and a practical approach’. Renowned for its agricultural and trust knowledge, the practice also assists clients with estate planning (specifically in relation to family succession), asset protection, tax mitigation and mental capacity issues. The practice also acts for a number of vulnerable and elderly clients, supporting them on care provision issues. Lisa-Jane Howes heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Lisa-Jane Howes;

Other key lawyers:

Imogen Fay Holmes; Emma Carr;


‘Keen interest and attention to detail in identifying and managing requirements and meeting expectations with a view to building relationships and delivering results’.

‘Imogen Fay Holmes has a natural empathy and adapts her approach to suit client needs’.

‘Imogen Fay Holmes is conscientious, knowledgeable in the administration of trusts and estates and very prompt in replying to any correspondence or queries.  She is also very approachable, uses plain English and understands the requirements of charities, making her very easy to deal with’.

Social housing Tier 2

Housing and development is an area of focus at Wilkin Chapman LLP, which is highly regarded by registered providers, developers and landowners. The firm has an outstanding reputation in the East Midlands, and its client base is primarily concentrated in the region, but it also undertakes work on a national basis as well; it acts for Linden Limited (Galliford Try's housebuilding arm),  serving six of its national housebuilding divisions. The firm also works with Galliford Try's affordable housing team. Reflective of the credentials of the team, Rachael Perry's background in private practice is complemented by her previous experience of working in-house at a national registered provider, where she focused on strategic development work, securitisation and property management and rationalisation. Peter Hanson and Ruth Brewin are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Rachael Perry

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Linden Homes/Galliford Try Group

Cyden Homes Limited

LACE Housing Association

Lincolnshire Housing Partnership Limited

Acis Group Limited

Salix Homes Limited

Longhurst & Havelok Homes Limited

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 3

Wilkin Chapman LLP has an excellent record of acting for SMEs, as well as owner-managed and family-owned businesses. Ian Sherburn and Russell Eke lead the Grimsby and Lincoln teams respectively, which excel in small and mid-market acquisitions and sales, MBOs/MBIs, corporate reorganisations, commercial contracts matters and refinancing transactions. Michael Squirrell is another key partner in Lincoln. In addition to Sherburn, the Grimsby office also houses senior solicitors Adam Aisthorpe and Adam Ottley.

Practice head(s):

Russell Eke (Lincoln); Ian Sherburn (Grimsby)

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Today’s Wholesale Services Limited

CNG Fuels Limited

YPP Group Limited

Healing Multi Academy Trust

Tollbar Multi Academy Trust

Unitas Wholesale

Crime: general Tier 3

Senior solicitors Rachel Taylor and Gordon Holt are among the key names at Wilkin Chapman LLP. The team represents clients at the police station, youth, magistrates and crown court and also handles judicial reviews. Areas of specialisation include legal aid work and road traffic offences as well as regulatory matters ranging from health and safety prosecutions to environmental offences.

Property litigation Tier 3

Wilkin Chapman LLP's Grimsby and Lincoln offices both generate contentious property work, with the practice being led by team head Joshua Briggs. Noted for its industry-focused approach to servicing its clients, the firm particularly stands out in areas such as housing and developments, tourism and leisure, and renewables and energy. In the agriculture sector, the firm's position as Regional Panel Members for the National Farmers’ Union (Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire) makes it well-placed to advise on related property disputes. Senior partner Andrew Holt is another key figure.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Holt (Lincoln); Joshua Briggs (Grimsby)


The team is excellent, provides a cost-effective service and is always available to be contacted when needed

The team is a nice size. Large enough to handle everything. Small enough to feel you have a personal contact etc. Very approachable. Just extremely competent and quick to respond

Joshua Briggs is a standout individual

The team is very knowledgeable and experienced

Key clients

Canal & River Trust

MSL Legal Expenses Ltd

Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant Tier 4

The ‘dedicated team of professionals’ at Wilkin Chapman LLP  ‘leaves no stone unturned in their pursuit of justice’. Jonathan Baker leads the clinical negligence practice, which operates across the full range of medical negligence matters, including brain and birth-related injuries. On the personal injury front, department heads Mark Robinson and Tean Butcher specialise in Ministry of Defence and highway claims, in addition to employer liability.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Baker, Mark Robinson and Tean Butcher


It is particularly strong in claims by serving and ex-service men and woman against the MOD‘.


Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

Wilkin Chapman LLP advises insolvency practitioners, creditors and individuals at a national level, and also has a notable local authority client base. Matthew Dix leads the practice and is a registered insolvency practitioner, Adam Marham focuses on insolvency work and contentious issues, and senior solicitor Gary Taylor leads the firm's work on personal insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Dix

Other key lawyers:


The team is made up of very good lawyers who are all commercial in their approach and a pleasure to deal with‘.

Gary Taylor is an excellent lawyer with a firm grasp of personal insolvency law and a very pragmatic approach‘.

Key clients


Redman Nichols Butler



Bridgewood Financial Services Group

Silk & Co

RCM Advisory

Haringey Council

Wakefield Council

Rexel UK

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

Wilkin Chapman LLP provides farmers and business owners with 'excellent quality' advice on a wide range of matters, including family succession, asset protection, tax mitigation (personal and corporate tax), mental capacity and estate and trust administration. The Beverley-based team is part of the firm's  larger private client department and is led by the 'calm and professional' Lesley Archer. She works closely with the firm’s agricultural and corporate teams on complex cases involving restructuring or terminating farming arrangements and trusts as well as trusts with private company shares.

Practice head(s):

Lesley Archer


‘A wealth of knowledge and expertise on hand to meet all potential problems.

‘The firm always acts with wisdom, capability and assurance, which gives confidence that you are in good hands.

‘Lesley Archer has a sympathetic and professional manner.’

‘Lesley Archer has a very calm and professional manner in the most trying of circumstances, and displays personal resilience while also providing support to her clients – she made a very difficult situation better for our family.’

Key clients

STEP – Lesley Archer

STEP – Lucy Butterfint

Solicitors for the Elderly – Lucy Butterfint

Mencap Panel

Alzheimer’s Society

Camelot (National Lottery)

Probate Solicitors Network


Photo Name Position Profile
 Lisa Boileau  photo Lisa Boileau
 Tean Butcher  photo Tean Butcher
 Imogen Holmes  photo Imogen Holmes
 Lisa-Jane Howes  photo Lisa-Jane Howes
 Michael Squirrell  photo Michael Squirrell
 Jonathan Stork  photo Jonathan Stork

The Lex 100 Verdict

A 'really supportive and friendly environment' aptly describes Wilkin Chapman. Applicants were enticed by the 'good work/life balance' and those who previously worked at the firm in particular 'really appreciate its values, ethos and reputation'. Recruits relished 'being given real responsibility' and enjoyed opportunities where 'they were treated like an associate'. A 'diverse and varied workload' pleased newbies, who report their tasks are 'always interesting'. The inclusive environment was also a major attraction. Many felt supported by colleagues throughout their development, with one respondent stating: 'there is a clear career progression path and I feel that I belong here'. At Wilkin Chapman 'everyone is approachable', in fact 'the people' are the best thing about the firm. Work highlights include 'having an active role in a corporate transaction from start to finish' and 'achieving successful results on cases that I have had full control of'. Conversely, 'the IT systems' and the 'long hours' were frustrating. Trainees participate in CSR and pro bono initiatives and have the opportunity to 'mentor A-Level students at a local college' as well as 'volunteer at a Citizens Advice Bureau'. Although 'spending a day photocopying' and 'making a mistake in a file' were worst moments, they don't happen often and luckily, trainees are usually 'able to rectify the situation'. Wilkin Chapman offers a 'true open-door policy' with 'cross-departmental working' allowing trainees to get to know their colleagues and benefit from sharing ideas. If a collaborative working culture appeals to you, investigate Wilkin Chapman.