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Wilsons

ALEXANDRA HOUSE, ST JOHNS STREET, SALISBURY, SP1 2SB, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01722 412412
Fax:
Fax 01722 411500
DX:
58003 SALISBURY 1
Email:
Web:
www.wilsonsllp.com
London, Salisbury

South West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Dorset and South Wiltshire
Corporate and commercial: Dorset and South Wiltshire - ranked: tier 2

Wilsons

Wilsons’ ‘balanced and measured approach’ is characteristic of the corporate partners’ ‘vast experience’, which for some includes years of practice at leading City firms. The team has historical strengths in tax and transaction structuring in the technology and charity sectors and was strengthened in 2017-2018 by a number of additions to the team. Of note, Philip Stephenson joined from Barlow Robbins LLP and was engaged by the main shareholders of CSI Group (with whom he had an extensive business relationship) to advise on the shareholders’ £36m exit transaction with a private equity-backed newco. Acting alongside Stephen Whitmore and Jonathan Stephens, Stephenson also assisted US-based Entrust Datacard on the UK aspects of its acquisition of Trustis. In the charity space, James Johnson acted for The Royal Marines Association in connection with its multimillion-pound merger with the The Royal Marines Charity. Senior corporate consultant Clare Charles joined the team from consultancy Bradbury Sheerin, while former Burges Salmon LLP senior associate Mark Cook joined in 2018.

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South West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Dorset and South Wiltshire
Commercial litigation: Dorset and South Wiltshire - ranked: tier 3

Wilsons

The disputes team at Wilsons has an impressive client-roster of national charities and high-net-worth individuals and is ‘fast approaching the renown of the firm’s well-known private client practice’. Ben Thornton, who is ‘a fantastic team leader’, was instructed by Wallgate to strike out a NZ$1.6m claim brought in New Zealand for losses arising out of the termination of a contract. Thornton was also instructed in an acrimonious multimillion-dollar shareholder/director dispute involving related US and UK companies. Senior Associate Jenifer Martindale is representing Pudsey Diamond in a £1.3m contractual dispute with a supplier relating to allegedly defective supplies. Martindale was also on a team that advised AP Association on a cross-border supply contract dispute. Senior associates Debbie Ashenhurst and Michael Ellis are also recommended.

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South West: Human resources

Employment: Bristol
Employment: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

Wilsons

Wilsons provides advice on due diligence, TUPE, drafting employee provisions, settlement agreements, staff contracts, senior appointments and terminations, restructuring, safeguarding, contracting-out and severance agreements. Recent highlights include advising Krysalis Consultancy on the employment status of neuro-rehabilitation assistants and occupational health consultants, which involved advising on holidays, working practice, redrafting documentation and transferring workers from employees to self-employed status. Anthony Edwards heads the team and advises on contentious and non-contentious issues, including senior board management issues and TUPE-related matters. Partner Stephen Oxley focuses on the education and charities sectors and is adept at restructures, senior level exit strategies and strategic talent management at board level.

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South West: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 3

Wilsons

Peter Bourke leads the team at Wilsons and is recommended for his ‘understanding of clients' needs' and for 'providing sensible, cost-effective advice’. Bourke specialises in tenancy succession claims and claims against the Rural Payments Agency, as well as rights of way and neighbour disputes. Alison Bailey specialises in landowner development and rural property. Associate Tim Olliff-Lee specialises in the sale and purchase of farms and rural property, the leasing of renewable energy sites, and the letting of agricultural land.

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 2

Wilsons

‘Excellent across the board’, Wilsons has a particular strength in legacy work. The firm acted for the three charities (Blue Cross, RSPB and RSPCA) in Ilott v Mitson, the first-ever case considered by the Supreme Court under the Inheritance Act 1975. Key clients include Help for Heroes and Action on Hearing Loss (previously known as RNID).  Clients praise the team for its ‘neat balance of a depth of legal and charity experience, which is deftly applied to complex situations’. Head of the practice, legal director Gillian Fletcher, advises on all aspects of charity law and governance, including the restructuring of charities, breaches of trust and, increasingly, compliance issues. Fletcher, along with James Johnson are credited as ‘well considered, practical, prompt, timely, polite and completely professional’. Peter Jeffreys focuses on charity legacy administration and the resolution of problem estates for charities, and has a special interest in dealing with cases of probate fraud for charities.

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Wilsons

Wilsons has an array of national charities on its client list. The firm represented Blue Cross, RSPB and RSPCA, successful appellants in Ilott v Mitson, in the first case the Supreme Court has ever considered regarding the Inheritance Act 1975. Team head James Aspden is ‘very bright, diligent, sensible, and looks after his clients wonderfully’; he specialises in resolving high-value trust and probate disputes. Charlotte Watts is ‘organised, intelligent and gives amazingly clear and insightful advice’. Fiona Campbell-White advises on disputes involving legacies and disputes arising during the course of the administration of trusts and estates, with particular experience acting for charities.

Leading individuals

James Aspden - Wilsons

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Wilsons

Wilsons is ‘a top provincial firm’, providing ‘thorough, knowledgeable, practical and approachable’ advice and client service. Head of the private client group Frances Mayne specialises in mental capacity issues and Court of Protection matters. Tim Fullerlove is praised for his strong ‘demonstration of empathy', and advises on offshore matters and tax issues arising from trust and estate disputes. ‘Very careful and experienced’ associate Nicola Bushby often works under Mayne in Court of Protection issues, bringing expertise in capacity law. Bushby also manages substantial financial settlement awards, and advises attorneys on applications to the court for approval on high-value statutory gifts.

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South West: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 3

Wilsons

Wilsons acts for academies, independent schools, grammar schools, prep schools and nurseries on a broad range of education issues including admissions, exclusions, safeguarding, special educational needs (SEN), disability, employment law, governance, academy conversions, intellectual property, GDPR, reputation management and HR advice. Stephen Oxley heads the team and specialises in advising senior management teams on governance issues. Recent highlights include acting for an educational institution in relation to claims of historical abuse made by a former student; the claim was defended and a review of safeguarding procedures was carried out. Clients include Farleigh School, Holland Park School, Prince's Mead School, Sandroyd School and Ocean Learning Trust.

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South West: Real estate

Commercial property: Dorset and South Wiltshire
Commercial property: Dorset and South Wiltshire - ranked: tier 2

Wilsons

Highly regarded for its private client work, Wilsons is often engaged by private landowners in development site transactions, and also advises corporates, charities and property investors in commercial letting and transactional property matters. ‘An experienced and incisive property expert’, Jane Lonergan advised Saba Software on a commercial lease agreement for its office space in the south of England. Lonegran also provides ongoing property advice to charities such as Help for Heroes and Sense. Moreover, the team acted for a prominent real estate investor in the sale of an office building in a central London location. Alison Bailey has experience with development contracts, and is instructed by corporate and individual landowners. Also recommended are Dominic Ogden and consultant Robert Swift.

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