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Wilkin Chapman LLP

Work 01472 262626
Fax 01472 360198
13511 GRIMSBY 1

East Midlands: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the East Midlands
Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the East Midlands - ranked: tier 3

Wilkin Chapman LLP

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:Michael Squirrell

Key Clients

Today’s Wholesale Services Limited

CNG Fuels Limited

YPP Group Limited

Healing Multi Academy Trust

Tollbar Multi Academy Trust

Unitas Wholesale

Work highlights

  • Advised on the £6.5m merger of Today’s Wholesale Services Limited and Landmark Wholesale Limited into Unitas Wholesale Limited.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Freezertech Limited on the sale of the company to Danish company Carsoe A/S.
  • Advised Healing Multi Academy Trust on its acquisition of three academies from LINK Education Trust.
  • Acted for Telappliant on its acquisition of Orbtalk Limited.
  • Advised Peacock & Binnington on its acquisition of Northfield Agricultural Services Limited.

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East Midlands: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: general
Crime: general - ranked: tier 3

Wilkin Chapman LLP

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.

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East Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the East Midlands
Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the East Midlands - ranked: tier 2

Wilkin Chapman LLP

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

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Stork; Joshua Briggs; Tom Hickingbottom; Katherine Marshall


'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

Work highlights

  • Represented the client - as one of three defendants - in a £22m claim brought by liquidators  following declarations of solvency made by the defendants in 2009.
  • Acted for an energy company as the claimant in High Court proceedings against a contractor for non-provision of services under the contract between them.
  • Advised a company in the agriculture sector on a claim for breach of contract and fraud in relation to a wind turbine project in Northern Ireland.
  • Defended client - who is a company director of a professional services firm - against a misfeasance and wrongful trading claim (brought under the Insolvency Act 1986) by the liquidator of the company.
  • Advised client on professional negligence and breach of contract claim against a firm of surveyors.
Rising stars

Tom Hickingbottom - Wilkin Chapman LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 1

Wilkin Chapman LLP

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 Gilliatt, Mark Taylor and Paul Bowden are also key partners.

Practice head(s):Chris Grocock

Other key lawyers:Matthew Dix; Elizabeth Gilliatt; Paul Bowden; Mark Taylor


'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

Work highlights

  • Appointed to London University Purchasing Consortia's panel to provide debt recovery services to all universities and further education colleges throughout UK.
  • Carrying out UK debt recovery work for Western Union Retail Services GB Limited with instructions from their European shared service centre in Lithuania.
  • Reappointed by Canal & River Trust to provide debt recovery services for unpaid mooring and licence fees across the UK.
  • Instructed by Transave UK Credit Union Limited to recover unsecured loans from members across all of UK.
  • Providing debt recovery services to Gladstone Brookes in relation to recovery of PPI award fees.
Leading individuals

Chris Grocock - Wilkin Chapman LLP

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East Midlands: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 2

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Lawyers at Wilkin Chapman LLP¬†are lauded for their ‚Äėexcellent expertise and support in employment law‚Äô. 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 ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô Oliver 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

Work highlights

  • Advising on Employment Tribunal claims by a Chief Executive and a Business Support Manager following allegations of sex discrimination based on their same sex relationship.
  • Defending claims for unfair dismissal and race discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin.
  • Advising a client on a capability and grievance process, which also involved carrying out an independent investigation into the employee’s grievance.
  • Strategic advice to a client on a major restructure and redundancy project.
  • Advising a Multi Academy Trust on anonymous whistleblowing and major safeguarding issues.

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East Midlands: Insurance

Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant
Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 4

Wilkin Chapman LLP

The ‚Äėdedicated team of professionals‚Äô at Wilkin Chapman LLP¬†¬†‚Äėleaves no stone unturned in their pursuit of justice‚Äô. 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'.


Work highlights

  • Representing a brain-injured Claimant whose injuries would have been avoided with reasonable treatment.
  • Represented a child who suffered a Grade 3 brachial plexus injury at birth.
  • Represented client in personal injury claim where client suffered fibromyalgia as a result of injuries sustained in a RTA
  • Representing a child who suffers from cerebral palsy arising out of the management of labour.
  • Representing a university student who has suffered permanent nerve damage and brain injury as a result of a delay in diagnosis and subsequent treatment of encephalitis.

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East Midlands: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Wilkin Chapman LLP

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

Work highlights

  • Partition of land.
  • Sale of a farm and woodland.
  • Purchase of a half share in a farm.
  • Purchase of 333 acres of arable land and entitlements with bank funding.

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Family - ranked: tier 1

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Wilkin Chapman LLP¬†is noted for its ‚Äėbroad experience and expertise‚Äô. 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 ‚Äėtechnically sound‚Äô Lisa 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‚Äôs 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'.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Wilkin Chapman LLP¬†is home to a team of ‚Äėaccessible lawyers with the right expertise and a practical approach‚Äô. 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'.

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East Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Elsewhere in the East Midlands
Commercial property: Elsewhere in the East Midlands - ranked: tier 1

Wilkin Chapman LLP

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)

Other key lawyers:Peter Hanson; Rachael Perry; Wendy Spalding-Siracusa; Jonty Pearson


'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

Work highlights

  • Acted for Lincolnshire Co-operative on the letting of retail premises in Lincoln city centre to Lakeland, part of a flagship city centre redevelopment scheme.
  • Acted for a landowner on the negotiation and exchange of conditional agreement of residential development land with a national housebuilder.
  • Acted for a developer on the refinance of a landmark luxury residential development in the centre of the historical quarter of Lincoln.
  • Acted for Leverton Farms on the sale of land in a village near Lincoln to a national housebuilder.
  • Acting for a landlord developer on the development agreement for lease and lease to the Botanist (a national bar/restaurant operator), which is taking a 9,000 square foot unit in the next phase of the £70m redevelopment of part of Lincoln town centre.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

Wilkin Chapman LLP

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

Work highlights

  • Represented T W Logistics Limited, the owners of a port, in an application under the Commons Registration Act. The Claimant sought amendment of a decision at Inspectorate level to designate an area of the Claimant’s port as a town or village green. The application is combined with a parallel judicial review application decision of the Local Authority in this respect.
  • Represented a client, an expert in an Expert Determination relating to the validity of an option agreement.
  • Representing clients in a farming arbitration relating to the dissolution of a partnership.
  • Represented a household name client in recovering possession of premises from squatters.
  • Represented a client in a high value dispute relating to social housing.

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 2

Wilkin Chapman LLP

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:Peter Hanson; Ruth Brewin

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

Work highlights

  • Acted for Acis Group limited on its acquisition of 60 shared ownership, rented and open market units from a regional housebuilder to develop specialist over 55s housing.
  • Acting for Linden Limited on the sale and development of twenty-eight affordable homes to a regional registered provider.
  • Acting for Linden Limited on the sale of twenty four affordable homes to a registered provider simultaneously with the exchange of a construction contract for the development of the units in return for stage payments.

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