Firm Profile > Blake Morgan LLP > London, England

Blake Morgan LLP
6 NEW STREET SQUARE
LONDON
EC4A 3DJ
England

Professional discipline Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP's 'collaborative, flexible and always available' practice is widely respected for its representation of over 20 professional regulators, particularly in relation to healthcare, legal, education, accountancy and engineering. Overseeing the firm’s contracts with several professional regulatory bodies, London and Reading-based Nick Leale is regulatory business group head; Bradley Albuery, who divides his time between London and Southampton, leads the professional disciplinary offering, consistently managing complex investigations and presenting cases before Fitness to Practise (FtP) and Conduct and Competence committees; and Graham Miles in Cardiff is a client relationship partner for Teaching Regulation Agency, Education Workforce Council (Wales) and Social Care Wales. At legal director level, Delme Griffiths regularly appears as an advocate in fitness to practise proceedings; Antonia Dowgray is a healthcare disciplinary specialist; James Danks has approximately a decade of experience in assisting regulators and respondents with disciplinary proceedings; and Guy Micklewright acts before disciplinary tribunals in the healthcare, accountancy, legal, teaching and engineering sectors. Experienced partner Clare Strickland returned to the firm in May 2021 from the NMC, where she was deputy director of FtP.

Practice head(s):

Nick Leale; Bradley Albuery

Other key lawyers:

Graham Miles; Delme Griffiths; Antonia Dowgray; James Danks; Guy Micklewright; Samantha Hatt; Matthew Corrie

Testimonials

The team is collaborative, flexible and always available for discussion on any casework issue.

One of the strengths of the team is the ability to adapt to increased demand, sometimes at short notice.

We have particularly valued the positive collaboration with the team at Blake Morgan when dealing with the challenges of progressing casework during the pandemic, and now as we work through our recovery plans.

Key clients

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Health & Care Professions Council

General Pharmaceutical Council

General Dental Council

NHS England

Social Care Wales

Teaching Regulation Agency

Education Workforce Council (Wales)

Architects Registration Board

Institution of Mechanical Engineers

General Osteopathic Council

General Optical Council

Security Industry Authority

Royal Institute of British Architects

Healthcare Tier 2

Blake Morgan LLP 's team helped support the NHS response to Covid-19 by advising on matters such as managing UK drug supply and PPPs supporting the development of new drugs. It also continued its longstanding work advising on national inquiries, such as the Infected Blood Inquiry, and advising on complex healthcare transactions. Practice co-lead Bruce Potter focuses on PPPs, transactions, and complex commercial drug procurement deals. In Wales, Eve Piffaretti  advises on the statutory interpretation of health and social care, regulatory law, as well as human rights and equality law. She is also an expert in mental capacity and mental health law. Consultant Richard Jones is a key contact for matters concerning mental health and community care law.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Potter; Eve Piffaretti

Other key lawyers:

Richard Jones

Key clients

Oxford Academic Health Sciences Network

NHS Wales

NHS England

InHealth Limited

Medway Community Healthcare

Medical Imaging Partnerships Limited

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3

Blake Morgan LLP acts for some of the largest charities, not-for-profit and social enterprise organisations in the UK alongside some smaller local charities. With offices in London, Thames Valley, the South Coast and Wales, the team is well-equipped to advise on a range of complex issues from governance and safeguarding advice to grant making and securitisation. Other areas of expertise include advising on the creation of or amendments to Royal Charters as well as advising on joint ventures and collaborative working arrangements between charities and third parties. Ben Brice leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Ben Brice

Other key lawyers:

Kirsteen Hook

Testimonials

‘A good sized provincial firm offering quality advice for the Charity sector. Ben Brice was really good to deal with.   Very approachable.  Responded quickly’.

Very easy to talk to, billing was regular and kept us regularly up to date with fees and did not exceed the agreed fee without contacting us‘.

The team is impressively responsive with replies to emails and calls being provided expeditiously. As a consequence we are able to be agile and responsive in commercial matters, which invariably means obtaining the best results quickly. Very approachable team. We have no issues with picking up the telephone to discuss a matter. Always friendly and helpful and able to update you immediately with current state of play on a particular matter, notwithstanding the number of other matters they are dealing with. Great link up between estates and property litigation teams. You can rest assured that your matter is in safe hands from beginning to end, across the two contentious and non-contentious fields. In depth knowledge of landlord and tenant law and always up to speed with new developments relevant to our business‘.

‘In regard to the application of relevant Charity Law it demonstrated in depth understanding. The company had been recommended to us by a friend/contact of ours who also is a qualified solicitor. Kirsteen Hook was our main solicitor, until maternity leave, and she always responded promptly and helpfully‘.

‘The team is technically knowledgeable and understands the HE sector‘.

Key clients

Oxfam

The Methodist Church

The British Red Cross Society

The Big Issue Foundation

Association for Project Management

Girls Friendly Society

Pilgrims’ Friend Society

The Mary Rose Trust

Basingstoke Rape and Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre

Langley House Trust

Age Concern Newbury & District

The Ebico Trust for Sustainable Development

National Counselling Society

Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF)

Project Turn-Over

Sailors’ Society

Response Organisation

CLEAPSS

Nekton Foundation

Various Oxford Colleges

Education: institutions Tier 3

Blake Morgan LLP's HE and FE team is widely recognised for its advice on regulatory issues, with governance work, administration issues, education law and charity regulations as key areas of strength. The practice also handles corporate and IP commercialisation work, employment and pensions issues, estate management mandates, health and safety work and student discipline issues, with a niche in advising on overseas campuses. Practice head Matthew Smith has extensive experience in dealing with employment matters, defending claims of unfair dismissal, alleged discrimination and whistleblowing, and TUPE transfers.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Smith

Testimonials

‘Practical approach, cutting to the key issues.’

‘Very approachable and very responsive.’

‘We work with a wide range of individuals within Blake Morgan, all of which are very knowledgeable within their field and are always available when needed. Nothing is too much trouble and no level of urgency is not met.’

‘Blake Morgan have worked with the University for a number of years and are incredibly knowledgeable of the sector and the University and its processes. They are easy to talk to and are always available to assist the University with any legal requirement with speed and expertise.’

‘Excellent knowledge of legal aspects of education in supporting the college to become a single academy and then multi-academy trust.’

Key clients

New College, Oxford

Balliol College, Oxford

Cardiff University

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Oxford Foundation for Theoretical Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence

St Dominic’s Sixth Form College

Portsmouth Diocesan Trust

University of Reading

Christ Church College, Oxford

Brasenose College, Oxford

University College, Oxford

University of Winchester

University of Chichester

Hereford Sixth Form College

Swansea University

Magdalen College, Oxford

University of South Wales

Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 3

Led by the 'impressive' Martin Kay, Blake Morgan LLP's London M&A practice focuses on private acquisitions and disposals for a range of corporate clients. Stojan Essex  focuses on high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses, while Lawrence Phillips specialises in handling acquisitions and disposals for owner clients and board members. Clients rate Michelle Davenport for her broad transactional expertise, with recent highlights including various cross-border transactions in the financial services and leisure sectors. Sports and corporate finance specialist Dov Katz joined from Greenwoods GRM.

Practice head(s):

Martin Kay

Other key lawyers:

Lawrence Phillips; Michelle Davenport; Dov Katz; Stojan Essex

Testimonials

‘The team cover a wide range of sector experiences, giving pragmatic, considered and commercial feedback to challenges and issues raised.’

‘I have worked with Stojan Essex on several commercial deals, and the level of understanding regarding what level of detail is important, how the communication flow works and the risk/reward metrics that I am likely to find acceptable makes the process much more progressive.’

‘Dealing with Blake Morgan was an entirely positive experience. They offered clear, concise advice on a timely basis and were excellent to deal with.’

‘Martin Kay was a pleasure to work with. His work was excellent and delivered on schedule.’

‘We have always found Blake Morgan’s services to be excellent. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Michelle Davenport’s legal expertise for management buyouts, shareholder agreements, EMI share options, sale and purchase agreements, or any other aspect of mergers, acquisitions and exit strategies.’

‘Michelle is in a different league. Michelle is always very efficient and thorough, whilst explaining every step of the legal process in positive and precise, user-friendly terms.’

‘Dov Katz is a good lawyer, very attentive to the client and also personable.’

Key clients

Air France KLM

Alexander Associates Technical Recruitment Ltd

Altour Limited

Babylon Park UK Play & Entertainment Ltd

Blackbird plc

Cogora Group Limited

CVS Group Plc

Empiribox Limited

Foster Denovo Group

Globe Invest Limited

KCR Residential REIT plc

Kerry Group plc

Marketcom Technology Limited

Olivetti SpA

Optimal Ltd

Osirium Technologies plc

Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited

Sustainable Harvest, Inc.

Telecom Italia SpA and its subsidiaries

Virtual Clarity Limited

Education: schools Tier 4

Blake Morgan LLP handles a wide range of issues, encompassing transactional matters, litigation, and specialist education tribunal work, acting for maintained, academy, free and independent schools. Areas of expertise include academy conversions, governance issues, M&A and funding arrangements. Sector group head Matthew Smith is a key name for employment work, defending claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination, and whistleblowing proceedings; he also advises on TUPE transfers.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Smith

Other key lawyers:

Tim Forer

Testimonials

‘Specialists in the field of education. Hugely accessible, top quality advice and guidance.’

‘Very good client engagement. Responsive. Open to discussion.’

‘Responsive personal service from partners and their teams who understand our needs. Desire to provide pragmatic solutions.’

‘We feel they always have us covered.’

Key clients

Magdalen College School

King Edward VI School

St Swithun’s School, Winchester

Capital City Academy Trust

University of Chichester Multi-Academy Trust

The Portsmouth Grammar School

St Marylebone Church of England Academy

Portsmouth Catholic Diocesan Trust

Stockley Academy

The Cherwell Academy

Winchester Diocesan Board of Finance

Solent Academies Trust

The Gregg School

The Gallery Trust

Hamwic Education Trust

Villiers High School

Portsmouth Grammar School

Hereford Sixth Form College/Heart of Mercia

Planning Tier 4

Blake Morgan LLP's planning and environment practice is in a period of growth, expanding into new practice areas including marine planning, DCOs and environmental law. Anita Kasseaan joined the firm from Howard Kennedy LLP in May 2020 to head up the department; her experience of planning and environmental law issues includes the management of environmental liabilities and risks. The team, which also includes legal director Keith Lancaster and Guthrie McGruer, is also strong in heritage, highways, and town and country planning.

Practice head(s):

Anita Kasseean

Other key lawyers:

Keith Lancaster; Guthrie McGruer

Testimonials

‘I have found them to be very helpful and knowledgeable in relation to construction contracts, Section 104 agreements etc.’

‘The environment and planning team punches way above its weight, regularly undertaking (so-called) ‘Magic Circle’ category work – but better executed: “exceptional” is BM’s ‘norm’.’

‘Its unique quality is that it is simultaneously low-key and exceptional. It has a wide client base, does complex work, and advises practically and commercially at every turn. It is ostensibly and naturally diverse where others have to strive to be so.’

‘Anita Kasseean is the star partner of the BM Team: most charming, measured, and steely in equal measure, she is devastatingly effective in delivering her clients’ objectives. Intellectually nimble, together with her tireless resourcefulness, commercial pragmatism, and extensive legal knowledge base, she is immensely valued by all clients.’

Key clients

Cooper Estates Strategic Land Limited

Meadow Residential (and subsidiaries)

Lidl Great Britain Limited

Berkeley Homes (Southern) Limited

Peabody Housing

Metro Bank

Welsh Government

Justin Homes / Joseph Homes

Hyde Group

Stratland Estates

Hollybrook Homes Limited

Bougyues

Sutton and East Surrey Water

Dorrington Plc

Agudas Israel Housing Association

Investec

Calthorpe Estates Limited

Boatfolk Marinas

FJB Hotels Group

Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust

Bellway Homes Limited (Thames Valley)

Methodist Church

Abri HA (ex Radian and Yarlington)

Development Bank of Wales

Aster Group

RNIB

Sunley Estates Limited

Newport City Homes Limited

West Wales HA

Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 5

Blake Morgan LLP undertakes heavyweight litigation that frequently involves Russia and CIS-based clients. Sarah Rees leads the London commercial litigation team, which includes 'star partner' Justin Weare. Legal director Lucy Edwards leads the practice's insolvency litigation and Proceeds of Crime Act workload. Alex Shirtcliff (previously admitted in the BVI as well as England and Wales) returned to the firm as legal director in 2020 after five years at  Kobre & Kim, and subsequently made partner in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Rees

Other key lawyers:

Justin Weare; Alex Shirtcliff; Lucy Edwards; Conor Daly

Testimonials

Great for their knowledge, dedication, judgement and hard work at all hours.

The team is small, but nimble and able to accommodate all aspects of clients’ needs – not just litigation, but also getting input from colleagues dealing with corporate transactions.

Direct partner involvement, great tactical skills and efficient matter management – punches above its weight and price band for City firms.

Sarah Rees is a clever lawyer- not only the manager of a project team but personally involved in the legal discussions and drafting of documents.

Justin Weare is a star partner, who goes above and beyond for his clients.

Justin Weare is a perfect team player, attending to the client’s needs, and ensuring that everything in the litigation goes smoothly (or as smoothly as possible).

Justin Weare is pragmatic and hands-on, with a keen eye for tactical advantage in litigation.

Alex Shirtcliff is superb with clients and tactics.

Key clients

The Kerry Group

Robert Simon Terry

South American Aircraft Leasing

Grant Thornton UK

Stephen Hunt (of Griffins)

Media Entertainment NV

Desmond Reeves

Maxwell Audley

Awendale Resources

Buyer’s Dream

IT and telecoms Tier 5

With a particular focus on the technology sector, Blake Morgan LLP is regularly retained by clients from start-ups to multinationals to assist with financial services and IP issues. In addition, the firm has a strong data protection practice. Simon Stokes advises clients on outsourcing arrangements, data protection and software licensing; he is also well-regarded for supporting clients with technology transactions. Associate Charles Mallows is also a core member of the team, having worked on secondment for IBM and Deutsche Bank.

Practice head(s):

Simon Stokes

Other key lawyers:

Charles Mallows

Testimonials

‘Simon Stokes brought a commercial attitude alongside his excellent data IP knowledge. The outcome was as good as we could have hoped for.’

Key clients

Wiggle Limited

STS Payments

TEG MJR

Etrading Software

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 5

Blake Morgan LLP has a particular emphasis on structuring advice relating to the holding and acquisition of UK residential property and owner-managed businesses. It is frequently instructed to advise on tax-efficient structures for property holdings, both from an investment and development standpoint. The team is also skilled at advising on the administration of complex, cross-border estates and trust structures. Helen Bunker leads the team. Arshoo Singh is now at RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP.

Practice head(s):

Helen Bunker

Testimonials

‘Personal service at partner level with back-up at appropriate associate level and the consequent reasonable charges is a particular strength of this team. Helen Bunker is an intelligent, knowledgeable and empathetic private client lawyer. She makes clients feel listened to and wins their trust giving them the confidence to share with her their personal and sensitive family and personal matters’.

Helen Bunker is a stand out partner from its London office’.

 

Family Tier 6

Flora Grossman is a Resolution accredited specialist in high-net-worth cases and heads the department at Blake Morgan LLP. Grossman receives instructions from various high-profile individuals from the world of sport and film as well as professionals and business owners. The team also receives a steady flow of instructions on Children Act matters. In addition Grossman is a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel.

Practice head(s):

Flora Grossman

Testimonials

‘The team is impressive, well coordinated and client focused. Flora Grossman is exceptional. She is meticulous. Her attention to detail is phenomenal. In finance cases she is always several steps ahead in her analysis of accounts and totally in charge. Her client management skills are second to none. She is patient, advises skilfully, carefully bringing the client with her. She works tirelessly to secure the best outcome for her clients‘.

One of the key things that sets Blake Morgan apart from other family firms is the additional resources it can utilise as a result of being part of a full service law firm. The firm’s property and succession and tax departments enable clients to swiftly access these additional services that are often linked to relationship breakdowns. The support offered by the corporate and commercial teams also make Blake Morgan the perfect firm for company owners and entrepreneurs who are looking to protect their business interests following a relationship breakdown‘.

Flora Grossman is a fantastic lawyer whose empathetic nature and sound legal knowledge swiftly puts clients at ease and reassures them that they are in good hands. Flora is always looking for the fastest route to resolution and offers clients practical and pragmatic advice. Flora represents a wide range of clients from high net worth entrepreneurs and business owners to homemakers, all of whom are grateful for the additional support Flora offers as they try to navigate their way into this new phase of their lives‘.

‘Flora always goes above and beyond for her clients. Since Flora joined as the Head of the Family Team in London in 2017 the team has gone from strength to strength, building a good base of clients, including some high profile individuals, and making an excellent name for the team both internally within the firm and within the wider family law community‘.

‘The family team in London led by Flora Grossman is excellent and is responsive to the needs of the client during  the pandemic. The team deals with financial and children cases very well and is also good value compared to other city firms’.

‘The stand out team member is Flora Grossman who is as capable of dealing with complex children and financial cases. She is also very collaborative and nice to deal with‘.

‘This practice is unique in that it has access to all areas of law and practitioners. While my matter was essentially a family matter, it was multi-jurisdictional involving 4 potential jurisdictions and Blake Morgan was able to obtain expertise in international law as it pertained to the matter and ensure we had experts in all of the very different aspects such as finance, international law, matrimonial, etc. Further, the team quickly identified the complexity of the matter to ensure that it was handled in the most appropriate court fitting its complexity‘.

‘I worked with Flora Grossman, who is a partner at Blake Morgan. From day one, she was amazing and grasped all of the legal and factual concepts and complexities extremely quickly, ensuring our matter was placed at the outset in the correct court, and the preparatory and important applications were made promptly. Flora did her research thoroughly in recommending appropriate Counsel at QC level to address the applications to be made before the Court. Her analytical skills and her forethought were absolutely critical in ensuring that my matter was successful and reached the conclusion that was fair and desired. I found Flora’s advice accurate and reliable, making me confident of the likely result in my matter. I found Flora very quick in her response and advice, including addressing issues on the weekend as may have been necessary. I would most definitely recommend Flora Grossman‘.

Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 6

Blake Morgan LLP's financial services compliance team works closely with the firm's corporate and banking departments to advise on new financial products, as well as applications and registrations with the FSMA, PRA and FCA. The group is led from Oxford by Richard Humphreys, who specialises in regulations pertaining to equipment finance leases and motor vehicle finance. Legal director Felicity Rowan, who draws on experience in the FCA's enforcement division, regularly advises clients on their interactions with the regulators, as well as on new financial legislation.

Practice head(s):

Richard Humphreys

Other key lawyers:

Felicity Rowan

Testimonials

Ex-regulator Felicity Rowan, is insightful, proactive and trusted by the regulator.’

Key clients

Investec Asset Finance Ltd (IAF)

Metro Bank Plc

Hitachi Capital UK Plc

Virtual Lease Services Limited

Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 6

Blake Morgan LLP is adept at representing senior executives and high-net-worth individuals in relation to allegations of bribery and corruption, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud, among others; its investigations work often involves agencies including the SFO, the FCA and HMRC. The practice has additional expertise in confiscation and asset forfeiture matters. Recently promoted partner Mark Jones is the key white-collar crime practitioner in the team, which sits within the wider commercial litigation department led by Sarah Rees.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Rees

Other key lawyers:

Mark Jones

Testimonials

‘Mark Jones is an impressive individual. He is always thoughtful and measured in his responses to clients facing a crisis. He is very emotionally intelligent, essential for dealing with individuals at the very worst times in their life. He has a wealth of experience dealing with regulators and law enforcement and is a very safe pair of hands.’

‘The team have a growing reputation in representation of individuals who are suspects or defendants.’

‘Mark Jones leads a niche practice within Blake Morgan which brings strength and depth to the firm’s strong reputation in disciplinary and financial services matters. Mark has a strong white-collar fraud background and has taken Blake Morgan’s team forward into this field. He has some impressive instructions including a high-profile anti-competition investigation.’

‘This team is relatively new to the market with Mark Jones really setting it up.  It has been able to draw on its internal commercial clients but as a result of Mark attracted individual clients outside of this sphere. They have really stepped up in this area; Mark Jones is a real feather in their cap.’

‘Synergy of legal expertise. Creative thinking. Commitment to client.’

‘Sarah Rees is a leader in field. True expert. First-class client care. Makes a difference.’

‘Mark Jones was outstanding. Mark was highly knowledgeable, able to advise on difficult matters where disappointing news had to be delivered, and empathetic to my needs and challenges.’

‘Mark Jones is a very experienced white-collar crime practitioner, with a calm manner, great judgment and tactical nous, and top-level client care skills.’

Property finance Tier 6

Blake Morgan LLP is on a number of lending panels for clearing banks, investment banks, private banks and non-institutional financiers. The team handles development and agricultural finance and secured and portfolio lending, and has a developing Islamic finance offering thanks to legal director Sophie Shaladi's expertise in the area. Practice head Tony Coyne has strengths in acting for banks, public and private sector clients, and clients based in the Far East.

Practice head(s):

Tony Coyne

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Shaladi

Commercial property: investment

Blake Morgan LLP’s investment practice is led by Tony Coyne who provides distinguished expertise in secured lending; the team is able to provide a full-service and often involved in transactions with both a development and investment element.

Travel

Blake Morgan LLP is well equipped to handle personal injury and regulatory work and counts household names including Axa and Air France among its clients. The ‘calm and unflappable‘ Daniel Scognamiglio leads on the personal injury front from the Southampton office and has been advising on accidents across the EU, US and Latin America, mostly involving catastrophic injuries. He is supported by associate Katherine Ettridge. Turning to regulatory and commercial work, Ian Skuse is a respected name for commercial disputes as well as fraudulent claims involving ticketing. His particular strengths are in airline and travel trade issues.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Scognamiglio

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Ettridge; Ian Skuse

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge of cross-border issues and great client care.’

‘Daniel Scognamiglio has first-rate client handling skills, and is charming and experienced.’

‘The firm has a good history of working in this field and some very effective practitioners. Daniel Scognamiglio is a well-known practitioner in this area and a very effective one.’

‘Their travel knowledge is second to none. Ian Skuse is an outstanding font of knowledge on the practical application of travel law.’

‘A great team. Unusual in that they genuinely do work on both sides (claimant and defendant), and both at a high level.’

‘Daniel Scognamiglio is the real deal – he is calm and unflappable, and knows the area like the back of his hand. ’

‘Blake Morgan are a highly experienced firm of solicitors specialising in international injury work. Their client care is second to none, and they are communicative and know the sector inside out.’

‘Daniel Scognamiglio is very experienced – a safe pair of hands for high-value complex litigation. He’s versatile, with knowledge of a number of different sub-specialisms. ’

Key clients

Air France

KLM

Omega World Travel

Altour International Inc.

Ovation Travel

Ickenham Travel Group plc

Great Canadian Railtour Company (Rocky Mountaineer Railway)

Sunset Travel Limited

Meon Valley Business Travel

Healthy Holidays

Travel Talk Adventures

GlobalStar Travel Management

Ski Basics

Banking and finance Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP is widely acknowledged as a market-leader, with its team showcasing its expertise across a myriad of large and complex transactions. Clients include banks and other institutional lenders, airlines, large corporates, SMEs and social housing providers. Led by Kath Shimmin, the practice excels in areas such as syndicated lending, real estate finance, project finance, structured finance and leveraged finance. Guy Constant has expertise in Islamic finance. Beyond pure banking work, the firm is also able to advise on bonds issuances and other debt finance transactions. Rebecca McCabe-North and Richard Humphreys are among other notable individuals in the group.

Practice head(s):

Kath Shimmin

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca McCabe-North; Guy Constant; Richard Humphreys; Danielle Collett-Bruce

Testimonials

‘All the people I’ve worked with at Blake Morgan have been pleasant, intelligent and diligent. There is a culture of pragmatism generally which means that potentially thorny issues are usually easily resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. This ‘can do’ attitude has been really helpful in creating commercially sound but non-standard financing arrangements.’

‘Kath Shimmin has been a joy to work with over many years. She is smart and to the point, but also great fun. At times she has turned the legal process from a necessary evil to something actually enjoyable. She listens to what the bank and the borrower want/need and works to find solutions that suit both.’

‘We have exceptional engagement with Blake Morgan. This extends beyond partner level with the wider teams engaging with us in a timely, professional way across regardless of weather they are acting for the bank or a customer.’

Competitive rates, willing to act in a collaborative manner and always able to meet the deadline – what is not to like!

‘Blake Morgan provide a banking and finance service that exceeds the fees that it charges and hits as heavy as the larger firms known for their banking and finance practices.’

‘Kath Shimmin provides magic circle-level advice and knowledge and is approachable and commercial. She takes the time to get to know the business at all levels – senior management, in-house legal counsel and the stakeholders at the coalface.’

‘For me they are the easiest firm to deal with in the Thames Valley! Always responsive, good commercial understanding.’

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

Santander UK plc

National Westminster Bank plc

Lawn Tennis Association

Sutton and East Surrey Water plc

Clydesdale Bank plc

Harlequins Rugby Club

Commercial litigation Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP's 'highly experienced' 12-strong team advises private and public sector clients across the gamut of commercial disputes, and has the strength-in-depth to be able to provide a degree of specialism. Lee Fisher is focused on representing private sector clients, both in relation to IP disputes, as well as corporate and shareholder litigation. Promoted to the partnership in May 2020, the 'diligent and commercialJoanne Thompson  heads up the firm's 'very strong procurement disputes practice', which is active for clients challenging failed bids, as well as for the public sector entity putting out the tender. Senior associate Sarah Whittle  is also pivotal to the firm's success in the public procurement space, and has handled a substantial amount of work for NHS England in the defence of procurement challenges. Paul Caldicott co-heads the firm's overarching commercial litigation offering and is particularly well regarded for his use of litigation on behalf of office-holders and financial institutions attempting to secure the recovery of assets in an insolvency context.

Practice head(s):

Lee Fisher; Paul Caldicott

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Thompson; Sarah Whittle; Joanna Corbett-Simmons; David Moore; Sophia Farmer

Testimonials

‘The firm has a very strong procurement disputes practice.’

‘The highly experienced team provides excellent client care and confidence that work is being progressed.’

‘The team is very studious, responsive and agile.’

‘Joanne Thompson is excellent. She is diligent and has very sound commercial and legal judgement.’

‘Sarah Whittle provides great support, care and due diligence.’

Key clients

NHS England

The Welsh Ministers

Clarins (UK) Limited

NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (all local health boards and trusts in Wales, along with the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust)

Personnel Hygiene Services Limited (part of the PHS Group plc)

University of South Wales

Circle Nottingham Limited

Future Inns

Tinopolis Plc

Infinite Renewables Limited

Mazars (Cardiff & Bristol & Gloucester)

Deloitte (Cardiff & Bristol)

Begbies Traynor (Cardiff & Bristol)

Commercial litigation: Hampshire Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP’s Southampton commercial litigation practice represents international, national and local clients on a range of high-value disputes. Led by intellectual property specialist Jill Bainbridge, the team is particularly well-regarded for its expertise in patent infringement and other IP matters, often where there are cross-border considerations. Susie Dryden handles litigation and mediation for a number of the firm’s IT and health clients, while Richard Portlock is a key figure for litigation and arbitration in the manufacturing sector.  Looking beyond its longstanding reputation in the healthcare and public sectors, the arrival of Louise Fuller from Lester Aldridge LLP strengthens the team’s offering in the high-value marine and super yacht sphere. Dan Geddes, who concentrates on restructuring and insolvency, was promoted to partner in September last year.

Practice head(s):

Jill Bainbridge

Other key lawyers:

Susie Dryden; Richard Portlock; Louise Fuller; Dan Geddes

Testimonials

‘Good people and a collaborative approach, very easy to work with.’

‘Susie Dryden is highly knowledgeable, tactically astute, and it was a pleasure to work with her and her team.’

‘Susie Dryden is a class act; clever and very knowledgeable, excellent judgement, commercially astute and a pleasure to be instructed by. 

‘Practical, grounded approach in their advice. Always take the time to understand the issues’

‘Jill Bainbridge is very knowledgeable and an excellent communicator, always puts clients at ease!’

‘Dan Geddes is an exceptional commercial litigator. He is tactically astute, calm under pressure and tough in negotiations. ’

‘Reputation is second to none within the central south region. Partners regularly engage with business organisations and support research on matters of interest to the property sector.’

‘Commercial, client facing and very knowledgable. Nothing was too much trouble and all requests were dealt with efficiently and promptly.’

 

Key clients

Roderic & Margarita Hamilton

Circle Health Ltd

NHS England

IBM UK

Horse Health Limited

Wiggle

MacRoberts LLP

eFlorist

The Tintometer Limited

Red Paddle

Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 1

The dispute resolution team at Blake Morgan LLP has a strong track record of work on complex commercial disputes. The litigation department is made up of a large team of lawyers who can offer a wide range of sector-specific expertise, covering construction and engineering, insolvency and property. Practice head Chris Potts has specific expertise in fraud and breach of duty claims which often involve worldwide freezing injunctions. For IT and software disputes and warranty claims, Nicola Diggle is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Chris Potts

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Diggle; Aimee Cook

Testimonials

‘Sound commercial advice offering sensible solutions for clients.’

Key clients

Bouygues

Investec Asset Finance

KPMG

CAP HPI and Audatex group of companies

NHS England

Miele Company Limited

Grant Thornton

Hitachi Capital UK plc

Metro Bank

Begbies Traynor

IWG Group Services UK (Regus)

Falanx Group Limited

Griffins

Harwood Wealth Management Group plc

Commercial property: Hampshire Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP has a considerable presence in the commercial and residential development sector in the South East, acting for a rich and diverse roster of leading regional and domestic clients. The Southampton-based team is active in the leisure, hospitality and retail sectors, and is regularly instructed by a mix of high street mainstays on store acquisitions, roll-outs and landlord letting matters. Practice head Sean Palka handles an array of commercial real estate instructions, including refinancings, disposals, and transfers for retailers and not-for-profit organisations alike. Oliver Sowton concentrates on commercial development projects, lease renewals, and store roll-outs, while Dan Curtis is regularly engaged on high-value healthcare acquisitions. On the residential development side, Lara Borrett-Lynch advises national and regional housebuilders, as well as housing associations and local authorities. Anna Larbi, who has been a key contact for commercial tenants seeking Covid-related advice, is recommended for her retail and charity experience. Hollie Jones specialises in portfolio management for both landlords and corporate occupiers in the retail and leisure sectors. Alan Harlow retired in November 2020.

Practice head(s):

Sean Palka

Other key lawyers:

Lara Borrett-Lynch; Dan Curtis; Anna Larbi; Oliver Sowton; Debbie Brown; Hollie Jones

Testimonials

‘The team works very well together and provides a quality service.’

‘Highly skilled and motivated staff and a comprehensive approach to every deal. Solution finders!’

‘The level of service across departments is always high. Turnaround time on work is always very quick but with a high standard still maintained.’

‘Anna Larbi  and Debbie Brown are commercial, accurate, prompt, efficient, knowledgeable and personable.’

Key clients

Abri

Albion Care Communities

Appleby Castle Grouse Moor

Aster

BAE Systems Plc & BAE group companies

Barker Mill Group of Trusts

Beechcroft

Bellway Homes Limited

Berkeley Homes Plc

Blackmore Group

Bloor

Boatfold Limited

Brian Baker/Watergate Properties Limited

Clydesdale Bank Plc

Cobham Limited

Cobra Coffee Limited

Costa Limited

Coutts & Co

Dalgety Bay

Dandara

David Lloyd Leisure

De La Rue Plc & De La Rue Group companies

Dean & Reddyhoff Limited

Devine

Fitzroy Support

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Forelle Estates Limited

Gada Property Investments Limited

Gentian Development Group

Hamwic Education Trust

Harlequins Football Club

HSBC UK Bank Plc

Incape Family Investments Limited

Kedleston Group

Keebee Marine Developments / Bridge Road Developments

Kent Reliance

Kerry Group Plc & group companies

Marie Claire Jet Style

Maritime & Coastguard Agency

Meadow Partners

Merchant Navy Welfare Board

Metro Bank Plc

MWQ Properties Limited

Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP's Thames Valley property group is comprised of a large team of lawyers with specialisms in property litigation, construction, planning and environmental matters. The practice is well known for its wide-ranging sector expertise, acting for major corporate occupiers, institutional investors, charities and faith groups, and clients in the science and technology industries. Practice head Andrew Farmery leads the team in Oxford and Reading and acts as a trusted adviser to major companies alongside Michael Ward. Newly appointed partner George Panteli focuses his practice on high-value pre-lets and freehold acquisitions and disposals.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Farmery

Other key lawyers:

Michael Ward; George Panteli; Rob Lynch

Testimonials

‘The team is impressively responsive with replies to emails and calls being provided expeditiously. As a consequence, we are able to be agile and responsive in commercial matters, which invariably means obtaining the best results quickly.’

‘Outstanding communication, which means someone will always come back to you with the answer you are looking for, whether a legal or simple administrative query.’

‘Great link-up between estates and property litigation teams. You can rest assured that your matter is in safe hands from beginning to end, across the two contentious and non-contentious fields.’

‘Vast experience of dealing with charity retail clients. Is able to draw upon this experience to advise on any special consideration we should be considering on unusual matters.’

Key clients

IWG plc

DX Networks Services Limited (part of DX Group plc)

Anheuser-Busch In Bev

Sorbon Estate Limited

The Methodist Church

Canary Wharf Group Plc

Gigaclear plc

Aldermore Bank plc

Cherwell District Council

XPS Pensions Consulting Limited (part of XPS Pensions Group plc)

Montpelier Estates Limited

Construction Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP’s collaborative cross-office approach makes it indispensable to its national and regional clients operating across the private and public sectors. The team takes on contentious and non-contentious mandates for blue-chip corporates, education institutions, utilities providers, and developers.  In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, cladding and external facade issues have also become a key workstream. The team is led by Richard Wade, a veteran construction lawyer who handles procurement strategies, construction disputes, contracts, and appointment issues. James Bessey is an experienced adjudicator who specialises in major (often international) construction disputes for clients in leisure, infrastructure, and engineering. Dominic Jones  focuses on engineering projects and procurement. Wade splits his time between the firm’s Oxford, Southampton, and London offices, while all other named lawyers are based chiefly in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Richard Wade

Other key lawyers:

James Bessey; Dominic Jones

Testimonials

‘Small, bright and focused.’

‘ I don’t see Blake Morgan as an external team. They are our team.’

‘Dominic Jones is a bright partner, committed to his clients’

‘The team has been helpful and knowledgable on a variety of issues across several sites and projects. Advice is always clear and prompt and billing has been transparent and easy to manage. ’

‘Blake Morgan’s construction team is flexible and creative when it comes to adapting its services and costs to suit its clients – they go to great lengths to agree something that works for you and provide a good level of customer service monitoring it to make sure it is working as intended.’

‘Richard Wade is knowledgeable, attentive and pragmatic. No surprises and risks are never ignored.’

‘The construction team have always been willing and able to work as one with our in-house lawyers and project team to deliver sometimes tricky transactions.’

Key clients

IWG / Regus

Diamond Light Source Ltd

Premier Inns/Whitbread

New College

Oxford University Developments

Gigaclear Plc

Hoare Lea LLP

Sutton and East Surrey Water

Beard Construction

Metro Bank plc

Corporate and commercial Tier 1

Benefiting from a dedicated corporate offering which is co-headed from Cardiff by the 'pragmaticRobert Cherry and 'exceptionalJames Williams, and also able to draw upon the expertise of lawyers from the same office with tax, banking and regulatory knowledge, should the need arise, Blake Morgan LLP has 'excellent strength-in-depth' and is able to provide 'pragmatic and client-friendly solutions' to public and private sector entities across the spectrum of their transactional needs. Williams has strong ties with the local business community and is regularly engaged in transactions across a myriad industry sectors on both the buy and sell-side, while Cherry is perhaps best-known for his work for companies seeking growth through buy and build strategies. The 'commercial and proactiveRichard Jones also continues to develop a strong following in the market, particularly on behalf of management teams on private equity and venture capital-backed deals. Penri Desscan heads up the firm's commercial offering and has an emphasis on long term, complex, high-value services and supplies contracts.

Practice head(s):

Robert Cherry; James Williams (corporate co-heads); Penri Desscan (commercial head)

Other key lawyers:

Richard Jones; Cathy Bryant; James Vaughan

Testimonials

‘The firm has excellent strength-in-depth and is led by very capable partners across all sectors of law that we require.’

‘Pragmatic and flexible approach to the remit enabling quick progress. Also agile in response to changing circumstances, including engagement with other industry advisors in order to determine most appropriate direction.’

‘Hands on and pragmatic, effective advice aimed at a client friendly solutions. Time efficient and flexible.’

‘The impressive team provided great service on an extremely complex transaction, with very tight timescales, while also offering sensible value.’

‘Richard Jones has led projects for me for a decade. His commercial and pro-active approach has produced exceptional results.’

‘James Williams is an exceptional corporate lawyer with well tuned commercial opinions backed by excellent legal credentials.’

‘Their prior experience of crowdfunding was a huge asset.’

Key clients

Capital Green Recycling Ltd

Symrise Limited

Tinopolis Group

Mous Products

Development Bank of Wales

The Thinking Traveller

Fusion Workshop t/a Kagool

Orbis Education & Care

Meridian SAS

Lending Works Limited

Stone Bear Capital Limited

BSN Social Care Limited

Corporate and commercial: Hampshire Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP’s diverse client base regularly turns to the firm's corporate and commercial team for assistance on a range of major acquisitions, disposals, takeovers and restructurings. Practice head James Hawkeswood, a known figure in the SME space, is supported by Mark Hepworth, who chiefly handles corporate transactions for private equity houses, and Stephen Archibald, who is well-versed in institutional equity matters and general advisory mandates. Gemma Spiceley’s practice underpins the team’s reputation in the retail, health and social care sectors, while Mat Wilson is noted for venture capital deals and corporate group restructurings. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

James Hawkeswood

Other key lawyers:

Mark Hepworth; Stephen Archibald; Gemma Spiceley; Mat Wilson

Testimonials

‘Mat Wilson has been fantastic.’

‘Blake Morgan are responsive and attentive. They collaborate internally to address my varied legal needs and take great care to understand my commercial requirements.’

‘A strong team that always delivers.’

‘James Hawkeswood is fabulous.’

Key clients

Utilita Group Limited

Harwood Wealth Management Group plc

Cubic Corporation

Gresham Technologies plc

Be Wiser Insurance Services Limited

Lucketts Holdings Limited

CVS Group plc

DEKRA UK

Hardide plc

Universe Group plc

Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP advises on a wide range of transactions, with a focus on banking and technology deals. Simon Staples and Alison Patten-Hall lead the team as corporate and commercial heads respectively. Staples focuses on M&A, private equity and venture capital, and is supported by Tim Coles who advises on restructurings and share options, whilst Patten-Hall specialises in large projects including outsourcing and IT procurements. Elisabeth Bell is another specialist in this area, leading on technology and GDPR matters. Guy Constant is also recommended and is particularly strong in corporate, banking and finance.

Practice head(s):

Simon Staples; Alison Patten-Hall

Other key lawyers:

Guy Constant; Elisabeth Bell; Tim Coles

Testimonials

‘The M&A team at Blake Morgan is diligent, professional and highly capable, providing top-notch service at a competitive fee rate.’

‘Guy Constant is very experienced and knowledgeable in his field, yet uncomplicated and easy to deal with.’

‘A combination of expertise, patience and well structured good advice have been the hallmark of working with Alison Patten-Hall and I would not hesitate to recommend her counsel. ’

‘Blake Morgan has a great UK mid-market M&A practice full of highly experienced partners. Every deal is given the fullest care and attention. As a regional law firm, I’d say they provide a comparable City quality service at much more attractive chargeout rates.’

‘The team we work with at Blake Morgan act as an extension of our team rather than a separate legal firm. They take time to understand our mission, vision and objectives and therefore give legal advice which is relevant and collaborative, making red lines very clear rather than leaving it for us to interpret the law.’

Key clients

De La Rue plc

Sutton and East Surrey Water Plc

Dillistone Group Plc

Osirium Plc

Falanx Group

Oxford Pharmegenesis

Vail Williams LLP

Boom Holdings Limited

Recarta IT

Allmakes Limited

Simpson Associates Consulting Engineers LLP

University of Reading

HTEC Limited

NHS England

Villacom Limited

Reading Borough Council

NTT Security UK Limited

Basingstoke and dean district Council

Oxfordshire County Council

Juriba

Wiggle

Debt recovery Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP handles a high volume of debt recovery mandates, with a particular focus on vehicle finance work. It is also well known for advising clients on applications for injunctions, product liability disputes and litigation before the Financial Ombudsman Service. Sadak Miah handles a varied caseload, which includes numerous debt recovery instructions on behalf of major car manufacturers including Mercedes Benz, and overseeing the use of global substitution orders under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Associate Elizabeth Bowden stands out for her strong reputation as a debt recovery lawyer in the automotive and real estate industries.

Practice head(s):

Sadak Miah

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Bowden

Testimonials

‘They are approachable, knowledgeable and we work together in a very efficient partnership.’

‘Blake Morgan have always dealt with our cases in a swift and concise manner – with good turnaround times.’

‘Elizabeth Bowden and Sadak Miah are approachable, with good attention to detail. We have built a good working relationship with them over the years.’ 

‘We all work together and it feels like a team. Their staff are approachable, knowledgeable and friendly. They are always on hand and if they have to go away and investigate we know they will come back.’

Key clients

Mercedes Benz Financial Services UK Limited

Toyota Financial Services Plc

DAS Insurance

Employment: Hampshire Tier 1

Jointly led by Ron Burgess and Tim Forer from the firm’s Cardiff and Southampton offices respectively, Blake Morgan LLP’s employment team is well regarded for its capabilities in the marine, retail, charity, and education sectors. In addition to the steady new flow of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)-related enquires, the team regularly deals with TUPE instructions, post-acquisition support, and general advisory work in collaboration with its clients’ HR departments. On the contentious side, Employment Tribunal disputes including unfair dismissal claims and staff grievances are key work streams.  Vicky Schollar handles a range of education sector matters, and is also responsible for Vigil, the firm’s HR employment law support service. Holly Cudbill is recommended for her knowledge of GDPR and experience in unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, acting for the defence. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Ron Burgess (overall EPBI department head); Tim Forer (head of employment in the South)

Other key lawyers:

Vicky Schollar; Holly Cudbill

Testimonials

‘We have found Blake Morgan very approachable and willing to understand our concerns. They have been very responsive to events as they change and have provided quick and legally solid advice.’

‘Excellent, knowledgeable and prompt advice and support tailored to our needs. As a small charity we do not have an in-house HR or legal department yet still have to navigate tricky employment issues.’

‘Tim Forer has a unique understanding of life in the Royal Navy, both as a serving person and now as a trustee of another Naval Charity. He is therefore extremely well placed to give informed guidance and support to our needs. ’

‘Tim Forer is our go-to employment partner. He has extensive knowledge, a highly approachable style, leads clients by careful methods, gets the results we need and is 100% accessible. I have no hesitation in recommending him wholeheartedly.’

Key clients

University of Reading

DEKRA UK Limited

Oldercare

Gosport Ferry Limited

Insurance providers: providers: ARAG, DAS and Markel

Utilita Energy Limited

HJS Human Resources Limited

Kofax UK Limited

Magdalen College Oxford

The Festiniog Railway Company

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

Royal Navy & Royal Marines Children’s Fund (Naval Children’s Charity)

HQ Theatres and Hospitality Limited

Rivers Engineering Company (Winchester) Limited

Portsmouth Grammar School

Cranstoun

Pilgrims’ Friend Society

Carte Blanche Greetings Limited

Twyford HR

Hockley Golf Club

Esotec Limited

Kern Limited

Service Solutions Limited

Asian Art in London

Royal Naval Benevolent Trust

EE Glass

Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered

Vail Williams LLP

PETA Limited

Randall Parker Foods

Bramley Health Support Services Limited

Horse Health Wessex Limited

L & S Waste Management Limited

Gregg School Trust

Employment: Recommended Firms Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP's 'friendly and knowledgeable' three-partner team provides wide-ranging contentious and non-contentious advice to a balanced mix of private and public sector clients in a standalone context, as well as a corporate support function. In addition to her TUPE-related expertise, team head Joanne Davies has a particularly strong track record advising clients in highly regulated industries, including financial services and health and social care, work which often involves significant interaction with the relevant regulators. Although the 'pragmatic and responsivePaula Kathrens also has a substantial following among clients within the social housing and education sectors, she is perhaps best-known for her representation of health boards in doctor disciplinary cases. The 'commercial and creative' Matthew Smith is the main contact for complex employment disputes involving private and public sector clients (including on doctor disciplinary work), while on the non-contentious front he continues to regularly advise retail clients, including on Covid-related employment considerations.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Davies

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Smith; Paula Kathrens; Ian Jones

Testimonials

‘The team provides a unique level of continuity, with personal contact available at all times, with sound advice and in depth understanding of very complex issues.’

‘The team offers a depth of knowledge and experience relevant to our sector. I use them for advice on complex subject matter and find their advice to be of a high quality.’

‘The team is friendly, knowledgeable and realistic in everything that we bring to them. They not only advise but coach us for future situations and explain their advice in a manageable and realistic manner.’

‘They offer a quality of service you would expect from London-based firms but with a useful distance from the issues involved and at a better value for money.’

‘Blake Morgan’s employment team is exceptional in understanding our business scenario; our preferred outcome; and any other key factors such as time and resource restrictions before applying their insight and experience to give us the art of the possible.’

‘My work with Matthew Smith combined both high confidence in the technical consideration of the legal issues we were discussing but also impartial advice based on experience. The combination of the two was particularly powerful in navigating the situations I presented the firm with.’

‘Matthew Smith sets the standard when it come to commercial understanding; relationship management; and creative approaches that gives the client control and perspective.’

‘Paula Kathrens is pragmatic and responsive and always balances legal risk with reality of business needs.’

‘Joanne Davies provides specific advice about complex TUPE-related matters.’

Key clients

PHS Group Plc

Welsh Government

The NHS in Wales

Swansea University

University of South Wales

Gower College, Swansea

Principality Building Society

Russell & Bromley Limited

Trivallis Limited (formerly RCT Homes Limited)

Dolce & Gabbana UK Limited

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Charbonnel et Walker Limited

Wales Audit Office

The Thinking Traveller Limited

Capital Green Recycling Limited

Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP has offices in Oxford and Reading where the team's long-standing core clients include SME businesses, technology clients, corporations and a number of Oxford colleges. Practice head William Downing is based in Oxford and undertakes high-level mandates including strategic projects and boardroom level matters. Rajiv Joshi is the key practitioner in Reading and has particular expertise in complex discrimination and TUPE matters. Senior associate Paul Hayward is an accomplished litigator and acts in complex multi-issue discrimination claims.

Practice head(s):

William Downing

Other key lawyers:

Rajiv Joshi; Paul Hayward; Madeleine Mould

Testimonials

‘I’ve worked closely with Blake Morgan for a number of years and have achieved a relationship with them which works akin to a partnership. This has enabled a collaborative and mutual working practice to ensure that any advice is not only fit for purpose but best for us as a business too. The impact of Covid has tested this through a number of employment issues which we have faced.’

‘Paul Hayward and Madeleine Mould – together they have supported all requirements ensuring excellent communication. When there has been a requirement to seek further specialist advice they have followed through and ensured a thorough understanding of the situation.’

‘Lockdown has not negatively impacted the service that we get from the Team. Although during this time we have changed our point of contact, the quality of advice – pragmatic and commercial and response times has been very good. The team are a delight to work with – flexible, helpful and responsive.’

‘Very risk-focused – takes the time to understand our business, our attitude to risk; and makes recommendations on that basis.’

‘Rajiv Joshi is happy to act almost as a direct adviser, he is always at the end of a phone and offers immediate support to our business when we need it.’

Key clients

Oxford Biomedica plc

Worldwide Flight Services (UK) Limited

CPI Euromix Limited (a subsidiary of Grafton PLC)

Oxford Space Systems Limited

Westcoast Group

Druva Europe Limited

Anytime Fitness UK

Thames Valley Police

NTT Security

Stanley Black & Decker

Environment and planning Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP’s highly-regarded practice is recognised for its broad contentious and non-contentious capabilities. The team handles a range of complex development matters for various key public sector players and high-profile corporates, increasingly in the area of marine planning and national infrastructure projects. Urban regeneration schemes, mixed-use developments, and highway agreements are also core competencies. The team is led by London-based legal director Anita Kasseean, formerly the head of planning and environment at Howard Kennedy LLP. Kasseean’s practice encompasses an array of major transport and renewable power infrastructure projects, focusing on environmental liability and mitigation.  Keith Lancaster works between the firm’s London, Reading, and Southampton offices, handling a mix of contentious and non-contentious planning matters - including enforcements -  for public sector investors, developers, and high-net-worth individuals. Also based in London,  Sadie Pitman is noted for her experience in highway planning negotiations and Section 106 agreements. Australian-qualified Julian Wolfgramm-King, who specialises in sustainable development sector work, is a further key addition to the team.

Practice head(s):

Anita Kasseean

Other key lawyers:

Keith Lancaster; Sadie Pitman; Julian Wolfgramm-King

Testimonials

‘Personal contact and communication together with excellent support services ensure that the client is never left waiting for answers. Clear, no nonsense understandable advice is offered and acted upon. Overall very efficient.’

‘Specialist knowledge of subject and pragmatic approaches to solutions.’

‘Highly collaborative team, working with stakeholders across any particular project to get the best outcome for clients. Extremely diligent – looks at risk from all angles.’

‘Anita Kasseean is a hugely enthusiastic environmental lawyer, with terrific focus on minimising risk. She is someone that always protects the client’s interests.’

Family: Hampshire Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP utilises its close ties with the firm’s corporate, commercial and property departments as it advises on a range of complex, cross-border family finance instructions. South coast head Simon Burge helms a team that regularly handles high-net-worth divorces, relationship breakdowns, and Children Act proceedings, - often under acrimonious circumstances. Nuptial agreements also form a growing work stream. Burge, who serves as chairman of Hampshire Resolution, specialises in the financial aspects of high-net-worth separations, while Jennifer Williamson is recommended for her significant experience in wealth management cases and nuptial agreements. Rachel Giles is also noted. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Simon Burge

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Williamson; Rachel Giles

Testimonials

‘Jennifer Williamson is a stand out professional. Her attention to detail was unparalleled and yet her empathy and confident style helped reassure at the darkest of hours. She made it apparent from day 1 that she was fully committed and by my side.’

‘Simon Burge gives confident, no-nonsense advice. Highly respected in the region and for good reason.’

‘Blake Morgan have a real depth to their family team, with exepertise at all levels. Their reputation is second to none and having worked with this firm for many years, I can see why. ’

‘Simon Burge is calm, measured, and a true expert in the field.’

‘Jennifer Williamson is superb. She is a firm but fair negotiator. She cares deeply about her clients and is always willing to go the extra mile.

‘The Blake Morgan Family Team are exceptional. They would be my first choice if I was engaged in family proceedings myself or had to recommend to a friend or a relative.’

‘Simon Burge and Jennifer Williamson are a formidable team operating at a high level in the high net worth financial remedies arena. They are both very experienced and excellent with the clients. The cases are always meticulously prepared and they never fill the clients with false expectations.’

Health and safety Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP‘s Wales health, safety and environmental team includes Claire Rawle, who heads up the defence team; she works with senior associate barrister Tom Walker and experienced consultant Robin Havard, who head up the separate prosecution team.

Practice head(s):

Claire Rawle; Robin Havard; Tom Walker

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Headed by Paul CaldicottBlake Morgan LLP's business support and insolvency team receives a steady pipeline of instructions from insolvency practitioners (IPs) in the region, many of which have complex contentious elements, involving inter alia, tracing claims and misfeasance claims relating to tax avoidance schemes. The team also continues to advise on some complex personal insolvency matters including recently successfully arguing on behalf of the trustees in bankruptcy that the Deed of Trust a bankrupt entered into with his wife transferring his interest in their marital home should be unwound, since it was established when he was bankrupt and not, as was argued, several years prior to the bankruptcy. On the creditor front, the firm also regularly advises numerous banks undertaking security review work, evaluation of enforcement and recovery options.

Practice head(s):

Paul Caldicott

Other key lawyers:

Sophia Farmer; Roisin Gallop

Testimonials

‘In difficult working conditions the team was always contactable and approachable for ideas.’

‘Sophia Farmer and Paul Caldicott were always available to discuss matters and how best to take them forward.’

Key clients

Butcher Woods Limited

Butcher Woods Limited – Juno Moneta Group Limited (in Administration)

Asertis Limited

Smith & Williamson LLP

Begbies Traynor

Baker Tilly

Intellectual property Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP's team provides non-contentious and contentious IP expertise for a fairly balanced mix of public and private sector clients, including an increasing number of retail and media entities. Leveraging his broader commercial litigation skills, team head Lee Fisher is adept at guiding clients through the court process, including securing urgent injunctive relief if necessary. Fisher's remit extends beyond litigation, however, and clients also benefit from expert counselling in relation to patent law and comparative advertising. Senior associate Joanna Corbett-Simmons continues to develop a strong contentious IP offering, particularly on behalf of clients bringing or defending claims relating to copyright, trade mark and design rights.

Practice head(s):

Lee Fisher

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Whittle; Joanna Corbett-Simmons

Testimonials

Lee Fisher puts the intellectual into intellectual property. He deals with matters very efficiently and is always prompt and keeps us informed.’

Key clients

Tremorfa Limited

Flame and Wax Inc t/a Voluspa

Fortune Woods (UK) Limited

Development Bank of Wales

Hearing Health and Mobility Limited

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Clarins UK

Intellectual property Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP serves high profile national and international clients from the retail, sports, higher education and charities sector, assisting with all issues relating to trade mark and patent enforcement prosecution and disputes. The group, led by Jill Bainbridge, has also developed expertise in complementary areas such as competition law and defamation. Ben Evans, dual qualified as a trade mark attorney and a solicitor, focuses on trade mark prosecution, while also developing particular expertise in IP as it relates to social media. In July 2020, Chris Williams departed the firm to join Clyde & Co LLP.

Practice head(s):

Jill Bainbridge

Other key lawyers:

Ben Evans

Testimonials

‘Good team run by Jill Bainbridge – wide experience, commercial approach’

‘Jill Bainbridge is extremely experienced, practical, knowledgeable, commercially minded and a delight to work with. Ben Evans is more junior but has the same attributes’

‘I think the stand out features of the Blake Morgan team – and which I think in-house peers would wish to know – include not just what you would expect which is top notch expertise and timely responses, but practical and pragmatic advice and – the following is hard to describe – but the sense that your files are important to Blake Morgan which is something that is often lost instructing larger law firms. It is an all round pleasant experience instructing and working with them, from your largest to smallest file.’

‘The stand out individuals for us are Jill Bainbridge, Ben Evans and Claire Bowers. They are, without exception, pleasant to deal with and if they do not have an immediate answer, they will come back promptly.’

Key clients

Kerry Group PLC

Charles Tyrwhitt

Red Paddle Company

Wiggle

Feelunique

Be Wiser Insurance Services Limited

Nokia

University of South Wales

Horse Health Limited

Harlequins F.C.

IT and telecoms Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP's tech offering is truly comprehensive; the team works with tech developers looking to commercialise their products and companies from various sectors seeking to procure and intergrade IT solutions into their businesses. On the non-contentious side Elisabeth Bell and Alison Patten-Hall are the go-to names and provide expertise in complex procurement contracts and licensing agreements. Susie Dryden focuses on disputes, most notably in relation to IT contract disputes and healthcare related issues, as does Jill Bainbridge, who handles cross border IP litigation and arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Alison Patten-Hall; Susie Dryden

Other key lawyers:

Jill Bainbridge; Elisabeth Bell

Key clients

NHS England

HTEC

Cloudhouse Technologies

Osirium Technologies PLC

inHealth Limited

NTT Security UK Limited

Westcoast Group

Druva Europe Ltd

Juriba

The Model T Finance Company (trading as GB Bank)

Wiggle

Pensions Tier 1

Under the leadership of the 'informed and insightfulGillian McCueBlake Morgan LLP has 'in-depth knowledge of the sector in south Wales', particularly with regard to public/third sector-related pension work for local authorities, central government, social housing associations and further education institutions. Dividing his time between the London and Cardiff offices, Ron Burgess  heads up the firmwide pensions team and advises private sector employers and scheme trustees across a range of ongoing advisory work, as well as in the context of corporate restructurings, mergers and insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

Ron Burgess; Gillian McCue

Testimonials

‘The team’s in-depth knowledge of the sector in south Wales is a particular strong skill set and regularly seek their input on industry matters.’

‘Excellent firm. Always available to assist and advise on matters, sometimes with very little notice.’

‘Gillian McCue is always informed and insightful.’

‘Gillian McCue is exceptionally professional and very helpful.’

‘Gillian McCue is very easy to work with and explains complex pensions issues in a concise, clear manner.’

Key clients

NHS England

Welsh Government

University of South Wales

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Nurture Landscapes Limited

Swansea University Pension Scheme

Michael Weinig (UK) Limited 1990 Pension Scheme

Trivallis Limited

Aberystwyth University Pension Scheme

University of Wales Superannuation Scheme

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Hampshire Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP fields four specialist teams on the south coast covering the full range of succession and tax services, including estate planning, trust management and probates. Jointly led by Simon Treherne and Paula Shea, the private client group acts for a number of business owners and entrepreneurs with complex estate administration needs. Treherne takes on a comprehensive range of instructions for local private and agricultural businesses. Shea – qualified in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland – handles matters for elderly clients and families with vulnerable children. Jonathan Sleep focuses on inheritance tax mitigation strategies and safeguards for the mentally vulnerable.

Practice head(s):

Simon Treherne; Paula Shea

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Sleep

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable staff who guided us through a complicated process setting up our Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorneys very well, explaining each part of the process with understanding and support. What could have been a very difficult and sensitive conversation turned into a enjoyable process through the team’s good management. We felt fully supported and confident in the decisions we have made to secure the future of ourselves and family.’

‘The team is led by Paula Shea. She is very well respected in her field. She responded  in a timely fashion to all queries made of her and replied in the clearest of terms.’

‘ Jonathan Sleep: the speed of his response to a query is impressive. His obvious professional knowledge, together with his positive, no-nonsense and proactive approach in tailoring the proposed solution has been outstanding.’

‘Jonathan Sleep is, without doubt, the best lawyer I have ever had the fortune to work with; in my opinion, he is a credit to the firm and the profession. ’

‘Blake Morgan has detailed experience and expertise in trust and Inheritance Tax matters. They provide a full and professional service and have maintained this throughout the pandemic.’

Property litigation Tier 1

Led by the 'excellentSian JonesBlake Morgan LLP's team provides a 'highly efficient, engaging and knowledgeable' service to landowners, tenants, developers and property companies across a wide range of disputes, including on the enforcement of covenants, lease renewal proceedings, dilapidation claims and adverse possession matters. Public sector instructions, however, remain a core driver of the practice, including work for the Welsh Government in the defence of CPO claims, from local authorities on lease renewal disputes, and from housing associations across a range of matters, including disrepair claims and anti-social behaviour breaches.

Practice head(s):

Siân Jones

Other key lawyers:

Adam Carbis; Tanya Barrett

Testimonials

‘The team is highly efficient, engaging and knowledgeable.’

‘Sian Jones and Adam Carbis are both excellent at their jobs. Their ease with clients and clear explanation of facts is invaluable.’

Key clients

Welsh Government

Canary Wharf Group

RPS Group

Swansea University

Milford Haven Port Authority

Cardiff University

Wales & West Utilities Limited

Swansea County Council

PHS Group

Royal National Institute for the Blind

Public sector Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP's public sector practice spans three key areas: local government, health and education. The local government team is led by Penny Rinta-Suksi whose specialism is in local authority leisure projects. Under the leadership of Matthew Smith, the team's experience in the education sector includes high-profile and high-value transactional work, litigation and specialist education tribunal work; an area in which senior associate Vicky Schollar has extensive experience, with emphasis on disability discrimination claims. The firm also has a strong health department led by Bruce Potter which has managed health transactions for key client NHSE England throughout the pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Penny Rinta-Suksi; Matthew Smith; Bruce Potter

Other key lawyers:

Vicky Schollar

Testimonials

‘Penny Rinta-Suksi has excellent subject knowledge in leisure management contracts. Very practical and down to earth. Understands the commercial impact of contractual drafting decisions. Good fun to work with. ’

‘The team we work with at Blake Morgan act as an extension of our team rather than a separate legal firm. They take time to understand our mission, vision and objectives and therefore give legal advice which is relevant and collaborative, making red lines very clear rather than leaving it for us to interpret the law.’

‘Bruce Potter – always makes himself available for urgent issues and ensures he has an overview of our joint work. His knowledge and practical approach to dealing with difficult issues are invaluable.’

‘Blake Morgan provide an excellent level of customer service. Their webinars have been useful during the past year to provide key insight into emerging areas of risk. ’

‘Blake Morgan has always understood the needs of the local authority and responded accordingly. They provide clear advice and are willing to engage with all levels of the council. ’

Key clients

Reading Borough Council

Amber Valley Borough Council

Wokingham Borough Council

Basingstoke and Deane Council

Hart District Council

Lewisham Borough Council

RB of Kingston on Thames

Chiltern District Council

North Norfolk District Council

Fenland District Council

Oxfordshire County Council

London Borough of Merton

Test Valley Borough Council

Cherwell District Council

Dover District Council

New College, Oxford

Balliol College, Oxford

Magdalen College, Oxford

Oxford Foundation for Theoretical Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence

Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association

University of Portsmouth

Portsmouth Grammar School

Portsmouth Diocesan Trust

University of Reading

NHS England and NHS Wales (Separate)

InHealth Limited

Medical Imaging Partnerships Limited

West Berkshire District Council

Gregg School Trust

Public sector Tier 1

Headed by Eve PiffarettiBlake Morgan LLP's multi-disciplinary team provides an 'incredibly knowledgeable' service to public sector entities spread across local/central government, health, social housing and education. Piffaretti is one of numerous lawyers at the firm who is steeped in pure public law knowledge, in her case, particularly as it relates to the health and social care sectors. It is this overarching understanding of the political and administrative environment within which public bodies in Wales work, as well as a specific grasp of Welsh devolved powers (both in terms of advice to Welsh bodies but also helping English entities navigate the complexities of interaction with the all-pervasive public sector in Wales) that truly distinguishes the firm in the area. Public procurement-related advice is also a major strength and the 'knowledgeable and approachableSimon McCann and Penri Desscan regularly help guide public sector clients through the process of tendering for services. Praised for his 'willingness to take time to understand the issue from every perspective', Graham Miles is a cornerstone of the team by dint of his regulatory and public law-related advice within the healthcare/medical sector, in particular. Miles continues to advise the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority across a range of matters, including judicial review litigation and in the context of guidance to licensed clinics relating to the cessation of fertility treatment at the height of the pandemic in order to prevent transmission of the virus. Joanne Thompson 'has very sound commercial and legal judgement', which she imparts on behalf of private sector entities bringing claims, as well as public sector clients defending procurement processes. At an associate level, Sarah Whittle  is developing an excellent reputation defending public bodies (particularly within the healthcare sector) against judicial review challenges.

Practice head(s):

Eve Piffaretti

Other key lawyers:

Simon McCann; Penri Desscan; Graham Miles; Claire Rawle; Joanne Thompson; Siân Jones; Sarah Whittle; Joanna Corbett-Simmons; Tomos Lewis

Testimonials

‘The practice is an exemplar of professionalism.’

The team is incredibly knowledgeable about our sector and is particularly sensitive at handling difficult, contentious issues that the client is having difficulty dealing with.’

‘Simon McCann is knowledgeable and approachable.’

‘Graham Miles is a cornerstone of the team and brings his vast knowledge and experience to bear. Graham is one of those lawyers who takes time to understand the issue from every perspective, including the human angle, so that he can tailor his advice and deliver it sensitively and with consideration.’

Joanne Thompson has very sound commercial and legal judgement.’

Key clients

Welsh Government & The Welsh Ministers

NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (all seven Local Health Boards and all three NHS Trusts in Wales, including the Welsh Blood Service and the NHS Wales Informatics Service

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

NHS England & Improvement

Natural Resources Wales

Transport for Wales

Welsh Language Commissioner

Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament

Children’s Commissioner for Wales

Equality and Human Rights Commission (in Wales)

Older People’s Commissioner for Wales

Social Care Wales

Education Workforce Council

Development Bank for Wales

Human Tissue Authority

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Social housing Tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP provides 'competent, prompt and clear advice' to a raft of Wales-based housing associations and a growing number of England-based clients, on housing law and tenant management matters, as well as in relation to their transactional real estate concerns. 'Very attentive' team head Sian Jones provides a 'superb service' to RSLs on their day-to-day housing law issues, in addition to advising on any property litigation which may arise, including on service charge disputes. Jones also has expertise in relation to advising on any anti-social behaviourial issues with tenants and has been particularly active of late providing ongoing training and advice to clients on the ever evolving Covid regulations. The 'exceptionalLouise Howell is the key contact for housing association clients on their transactional property work (including on the acquisition, disposal and refinancing of properties) and is appreciated for her 'outcomes-focused' service. 

Practice head(s):

Siân Jones

Other key lawyers:

Louise Howell; Penri Desscan; Tanya Barrett; Kate Howell

Testimonials

‘Blake Morgan provides a first-class service, they always have someone available to give accurate and professional advice.’

‘Sian Jones very attentive and provides a superb service.’

‘The exceptional Louise Howells provides an outcomes-focused service.’

‘ Louise Howell is totally committed, focused and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

ClwydAlyn Housing

Newport City Homes

Cardiff Community Housing

Melin Homes

Wales and West Housing Association

Linc-Cymru Housing Association

Pobl Group

Peabody Group

Midland Heart

Tai Tarian

Vale of Aylesbury Housing Association

Agriculture and estates Tier 2

The Southampton team at Blake Morgan LLP advises both local and international clients on all matters related to agriculture and estates, including agricultural finance, estate planning, and land diversification into renewable energy sectors. Team leader Oliver Sowton acts for landed estates on commercial development and renewable energy-related matters. Senior associate Caroline Lindon-Morris deals with agricultural tenancies, as well as the purchase and sale of farms and agri-businesses. 'Top quality' legal director James Realff joined the team in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Sowton

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Lindon-Morris; James Realff

Testimonials

‘Blake Morgan were an early adopter of technology in reaction to Covid and this has led to brilliant communication, that has helped deal flow. The quality and availability of partners really cannot be faulted.’

‘James Realff is top quality. He has a practical approach which really helps get deals done.’

Banking and finance Tier 2

Blake Morgan LLP remains very active in the regional market for clearing/challenger banks and borrowers, including corporates and not-for-profits. 'User-friendly and solution-oriented' team head Paul Duggan provides a versatile service, which encompasses bilateral as well as syndicated facilities and is particularly recognised for his debt finance work within the healthcare, hospitality and leisure sectors. As well as handling a considerable volume of work for HSBC, including as it relates to Covid-related funding, Duggan recently advised Zip World on a £4.4m development finance facility to support its expansion into south Wales.

Practice head(s):

Paul Duggan

Testimonials

‘The banking team is always available and approachable and works hard to get the job done. ’

‘Paul Duggan is a rare thing among banking lawyers – a thorough professional combined with a user-friendly lawyer, who is experienced enough to find solutions which are both watertight and commercial. We always look forward to working with Paul as he really knows his stuff. ’

Key clients

Zip World

Julian Hodge Bank

HSBC UK Bank

Santander

Metro Bank

Meridiam

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

Although lacking a standalone Wales-based charity law offering, numerous practitioners within Blake Morgan LLP's Cardiff office assist the firm's Reading team (led by Ben Brice) across a myriad commercial, property and governance matters impacting many Wales-based charities and not-for-profit organisations. Eve Piffaretti is particularly well-versed at advising care and education services-related charities on a wide range of issues specific to their internal policies and procedures, including as it relates to safeguarding issues. Claire Rawle, as head of the professional regulatory team, also handles a significant volume of charities-related mandates, including safeguarding compliance and HSE-related investigations.

Practice head(s):

Ben Brice

Other key lawyers:

James Egan; Eve Piffaretti; Claire Rawle

Key clients

Cardiff & Vale College

Swansea University

Cardiff University

University of South Wales

Hafal

St John Cymru

Tenovus

Merthyr Tydfil County Council

Chwarae Teg

The Methodist Church

The British Red Cross Society

The Big Issue Foundation

The Association for Project Management

Girls Friendly Society

Pilgrims’ Friend Society

The Ebico Trust for Sustainable Development

National Counselling Society

Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF)

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

Blake Morgan LLP has longstanding relationships with high-profile charities, not-for-profits, and local South East charities, advising on a broad range of matters such as governance and safeguarding, creation of Royal Charters, and collaborations between charities and third parties. The team frequently draws on the wider firm's resources in practice areas such as employment, property, and tax to advise clients on the full range of charity-related work. Legal director Ben Brice has significant expertise advising charities on governance and commercial matters, while senior associate Kirsteen Hook has a sgtrong track record of work with not-for-profits.

Practice head(s):

Ben Brice

Other key lawyers:

Kirsteen Hook

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge of charity law and in particular the incorporation of a charity into a CIO.’

Key clients

Oxfam

The Methodist Church

The British Red Cross Society

The Big Issue Foundation

The Mary Rose Trust

Basingstoke Rape and Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre

Girls Friendly Society

Age Concern Newbury & District

Pilgrims’ Friend Society

Association for Project Management

The Ebico Trust for Sustainable Development

National Counselling Society

Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF)

Project Turn-Over

Sailors’ Society

Response Organisation

CLEAPSS

Nekton Foundation

Commercial property Tier 2

With a core group of five real estate partners based out of Cardiff and also closely integrated with the firm’s construction and banking teams, as well as uniquely having access to several in-house surveyors, Blake Morgan LLP is able to provide a ‘commercially-minded and expedient professional service‘ to a range of private and public stakeholders across the full life-cycle of their projects and developments. ‘Personable and responsive’ team head James Egan has an excellent local profile and exemplifies the firm’s varied workflow, being involved as he is on a number of major development matters, joint ventures and property transactions for both public and private sector clients. ‘Very knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile‘, Geoff Reed has an excellent track record in relation to major development projects, while Nigel Griffiths continues to handle a significant volume of London-based retail leasing work as a result of his longstanding and ongoing relationship with Canary Wharf Group.

Practice head(s):

James Egan

Other key lawyers:

Geoff Reed; Philip Jardine; Nigel Griffiths; Louise Howells; Daniela Smith; Dawn Smith; Gareth Howlett; Charlotte Whitehead

Testimonials

‘The exceptional team provides commercially minded and expedient advice.’  

James Egan is personable and responsive.’

Philip Jardine provides strong support when required.’

‘Dawn Smith is friendly, thorough and knowledgeable.’

‘Geoff Reed is very knowledgeable and will go that extra mile.’

‘Gareth Howlett provided good commercial advice on some important acquisitions.’

Key clients

Canary Wharf Group Plc

Welsh Government

Cardiff Parkway Developments Limited

Cardiff University

NHS Wales

The Royal National Institute for Blind People

Rightacres Property Company Limited

Transport for Wales

Newport City Homes

HSBC

Linc Cymru Housing Association

Construction Tier 2

Benefiting from 'vast construction contract and procurement-based knowledge', Blake Morgan LLP is well-positioned to advise contractors and developers, particularly in relation to major national and UK-wide projects. The 'exceptional' Joanna Rees takes the lead on most of this work, including on behalf of Tranport for Wales, which she continues to advise across a range of contractual and procurement-related matters. Senior associate Kate Howell  is 'very easy to work with' and is gaining a particuarly strong reputation for her skill at handling a range of construction and engineering disputes for public and private sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Rees

Other key lawyers:

Simon McCann; Kate Howell

Testimonials

‘The team is a pleasure to deal with and truly collaborates with other lawyers involved in the transaction.’

‘Competent, prompt and clear advice. Very easy to work with.’

‘The unique difference with Blake Morgan is the degree of technical understanding of construction delivery, how that blends with legal processes and mostly importantly, how it can be translated into something that is commercially sound for all parties.’

‘Jo Rees is an exceptional legal advisor and approaches problems with a highly dynamic and pragmatic approach leading to well negotiated outcomes.’

‘Kate Howell is a rising star in my opinion, someone with the maturity and experience that comes with a previous career.’

Kate Howell is very easy to work with.’

Key clients

Transport for Wales

Meridiam

City of Cardiff Council

Premier Inns/Whitbread

Welsh Government

Cardiff University

NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership – Specialist Estates Services

Andrew Scott Ltd

The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

Family: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 2

Blake Morgan LLP's family team is well known for its expertise in resolving financial fallout from divorce, cohabitation disputes and private law children matters. James Davies leads the Oxford team, acting primarily in complex and valuable financial remedies on divorce matters which often involves owner-managed businesses. Senior associate Catherine Morgan works closely with Davies on financial remedies cases and is also experienced in private law children work. Consultant Christine Plews is an accredited mediator adept at dealing with matters with an international element and business interests.

Practice head(s):

James Davies

Other key lawyers:

Christine Plews; Catherine Morgan

Testimonials

‘The team is strong. I have particular experience of Christine Plews, James Davies and Catherine Morgan. The firm is well organised, strong in inter-departmental support and technologically innovative. ’

‘The family division was excellent from the start. They assured me of my position and explained all the legal rights I had. Furthermore their team was clear about their services and costs and understood my financial position. They allocated the right level solicitor to handle my case from the early start and only when required did they escalate to more senior solicitors when required.’

‘I have worked with the firm for all my personal requirements for around 10 years and found them to be professional, efficient and have the capability to deal with any situation that has arisen.’

‘An excellent setup. I felt I was listened to and advised correctly. Blake Morgan can call on various other staff within their organisation for outside advice.’

‘Christine Plews has very long experience and always comes to a case looking for a sensible and practical solution that is fair to both parties. James Davies has an eye for detail and an ability to dig out the truth forensically. Both of them are excellent communicators and provide wonderful client service.’

‘Catherine Morgan – extremely personable and lovely with clients. Knowledgeable about the law but also has a sensitive appreciation of the difficulties faced by clients.’

‘James Davies is absolutely excellent. He is exceptionally hard-working and an excellent tactician.’

Media and entertainment Tier 2

Blake Morgan LLP's media work is primarily an offshoot of its excellent IP practice, though the team also has expertise in various other matters such as defamation, publishing ethics and competition law. The group works with clients from the higher education, retail and public sectors on trade mark registration and disputes, while it has also developed a specialism in assisting academic publishers. Practice head Jill Bainbridge focuses on cross-border contentious issues, with defamation being an area of particular focus. Christopher Williams departed the firm in July 2020 to join Clyde & Co LLP.

Practice head(s):

Jill Bainbridge

Other key lawyers:

Ben Evans

Testimonials

‘Really good team with cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills. Great practical experience.’

‘Jill Bainbridge – A fantastic solicitor with great skills and practical experience to go with her impressive knowledge of the area. Always good to work with.’

‘The team is well led by the excellent Jill Bainbridge, well backed up especially by Ben Evans ’

‘Jill Bainbridge- very experienced, knowledgeable, commercial, efficient, delightful to work with. Ben Evans, less experienced, but otherwise with those same characteristics’

‘We use Blake Morgan for technology and media. The team is very responsive and knowledgeable. They are, without fail, a pleasure to deal with and our go-to firm in the UK.’

‘The individuals we always go to in this area are Jill Bainbridge and Ben Evans. If they do not handle the matter directly, they will pass us to a colleague. Jill is an outstanding lawyer and gives excellent advice. Ben is a very able partner and we like working with him. He is clearly a rising star within the firm.’

Key clients

Kerry Group PLC

ATG Media

Hay Festival of Literature

Critical Mass Studios

eFlorist Limited

Harlequins

Nokia

The Company of Biologists

Nosy Crow Limited

The Welsh Government

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

'Always very professional and knowledgeable', Blake Morgan LLP's team is a 'safe pair of hands' for private clients, including many high-net-worth individuals, on their wealth planning requirements. Team head Lisa Davies provides 'insightful and clear advice' on high-value estate administration and estate planning, often involving cross-border assets. 'Professional and conscientious' senior associate Nicky Sherrard displays a 'personal touch', which reassures clients going through the often difficult and emotional probate process.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Davies

Other key lawyers:

Nicky Sherrard; Ben Coulson

Testimonials

‘Conscientious and prepared to go the extra mile. Good communication – they kept us informed.’

‘The team is always very professional and knowledgeable.’

‘Lisa Davies is a fearsome advocate for our clients, and provides insightful and clear advice.’

‘Nicky Sherrard ably guided me and my eldest brother through the probate process following the death of our mother. She helped us to manage the expectations of our three siblings, and it was a great comfort to us to know that matters were being dealt with by Nicky.’

Nicky is professional and conscientious, and has a personal touch so important in this area of work.’

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 2

Blake Morgan LLP's private client team offers a full range of traditional succession and tax services, including wills, powers of attorney, estate planning and complex estate administration that incorporates foreign assets and/or business interests. Susannah Treherne leads the team and has considerable expertise in handling issues related to clients' mental capacity and making applications to the Office of the Public Guardian and the Court of Protection. James Greig specialises in trusts, high-end probate and inheritance tax planning. Senior associate Kathryn Woodward acts for the trustees of a local charity on a pro bono basis. Alison Craggs left the firm to join The Burnside Partnership in September 2020.

Practice head(s):

Susannah Treherne

Other key lawyers:

James Greig; Kathryn Woodward; Stephen Evans; Thomas Djan-Krofa

Testimonials

‘Easy interaction. A minimum of fuss and bother to the client.’

‘I have been struck by the friendliness, expertise, efficiency and effectiveness of the individuals at Blake Morgan Oxford with whom my wife and I have interacted during the past year: James Greig, Thomas Djan-Krofa and Kathryn Woodward. ’

James Greig is very good at attention to detail.’

‘Good cooperation with the update of our wills and putting together LPAs.’

‘As executors, we decided to ask Blake Morgan to help us through a complicated process after my parents’ deaths and prior to probate. Stephen Evans has been a delight to work with: professional, thorough, accessible, calm and kind when the circumstances have been extremely challenging and upsetting for us, and extremely patient when explaining with clarity the detailed legal situation we have been dealing with. He has taken a lot of care to be transparent about costs throughout and the firm’s attitudes towards billing have also been exemplary.’

‘Susannah Trehearne stands out – she is very thorough and empathetic.’

Professional negligence Tier 2

The Southampton professional negligence team at Blake Morgan LLP represents individuals, NGOs, companies, and trustees regarding sensitive and confidential matters involving a wide range of professions, including solicitors, financial advisers, and construction and property professionals. Richard Portlock leads the team on all matters, extending to areas involving financial professionals and solicitors. He is joined by legal director Michael Colledge and senior associate Heather Welham, who is known for her work relating to regulatory matters, and associate Stephen Cannell.

Practice head(s):

Richard Portlock

Other key lawyers:

Michael Colledge; Heather Welham; Stephen Cannell

Testimonials

‘Michael Colledge handled my case and was professional and tenacious throughout the long-drawn out process.’

Property litigation Tier 2

With offices in Oxford, Reading, and Southampton, Blake Morgan LLP has a sizeable presence in the South East. Its property litigation practice is seen as a go-to among well-known developers and occupiers in the telecoms, retail and social housing industries, as well as the third sector. Reading-based partner Zoe Wright is experienced in matters such as dilapidations claims, lease renewals and exits, tenant defaults and insolvencies. She is particularly noted for her telecoms sector expertise, as is Southampton-based legal director Simon Pestell. Claire Lamkin, who splits her time between the firm’s London and Oxford offices, handles a wide range of contentious land development and asset management matters. Also based in Oxford is senior associate Thomas Djan-Krofa, who is a key contact for property disputes in the social housing sector.

Practice head(s):

Zoe Wright; Claire Lamkin; Simon Pestell

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Djan-Krofa

Testimonials

‘The important strength of this practice is the seamless link between the departments which is very reassuring from the clients point of view. Communications by telephone and email ensures rapid transfer of information and significantly speeds up the process.’

‘The property litigation was carried out by Simon Pestell, the legal director. His answers to queries were concise and promptly received and his response to left messages was always timely.’

‘Blake Morgan has worked with us for more than 20 years and understands our business. It offers expert advice and assistance proactively and in a timely manner.’

‘Prompt, professional pragmatic service. Claire understands our business and provides excellent guidance.’

‘Sound knowledge combined with obvious experience of property litigation matters.’

‘Simon Pestell was very responsive and proactive when the matter we were dealing with was stalling.’

Key clients

Sorbon Estates Limited

Global Knowledge Network Training Limited

DX Network Services Limited

Wireless Infrastructure Group

Marine & Coastguard Agency

David Lloyd Leisure

The Southern Co-Operative Limited

IW Group Services (UK) Limited

Canal & River Trust

Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust

Oxfam GB

The British Red Cross

Hilltop Medical Practice

EW Pinchbeck & Sons Limited

Shipping Tier 2

Marine law specialist Louise Fuller joined Blake Morgan LLP from Lester Aldridge LLP in April 2020. With the firm mainly undertaking matters concerning yachts and superyachts, Fuller specialises in sales and purchases of yachts, as well as disputes.  Elsewhere, the group advises on commercial contracts issues and casualty-related matters such as salvage and the recovery of yachts.

Practice head(s):

Louise Fuller

Key clients

Red Paddle

Oyster Yachts

Premier Marinas

Theyachtmarket.com

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Blake Morgan LLP advises on estates and trusts relating to international issues, as well as on wills copying with Islamic law, high-value trust disputes, and contentious legacy matters relating to charities. Clients include universities, hospitals, and charities. Oxford-based practice leader Stephanie Walls is described as having 'a firm approach with  opponents and a good manner with clients' - she specialises in complex Inheritance Act claims and disputes related to discretionary trusts. In London, Arshoo Singh focuses on trusts and succession matters, will compliance with Islamic law, as well as mental capacity issues.

Practice head(s):

Stephanie Walls

Other key lawyers:

Arshoo Singh

Testimonials

‘I worked with this team on a difficult 1975 Act claim, with a difficult client and opponents. They handled the client well and were strong and forceful with the opponents.’

‘Stephanie Walls has a firm approach with the opponents and a good manner with the client.’

‘Blake Morgan have a useful position being the one of the main contentious probate teams in the Thames Valley/Oxford area, assisted through having merged with smaller local practices and therefore having access to to will banks etc.’

‘Stephanie Walls has very impressive technical knowledge.’

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

Blake Morgan LLP acts for nearly all of the insolvency practitioners operating in the Thames Valley region, as well as those in London, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Southampton. In addition, the firm's client roster includes banks, directors and investors. Practice head Katie James has extensive expertise in the gamut of formal and informal insolvency arrangements. In 2020, she led the advice to Begbies Traynor as the proposed administrators of a carpentry business on a pre-pack sale. Elsewhere, James has particular expertise in distressed care homes, having previously dealt with the administration of eight different care home groups. The firm also generates insolvency and restructuring work in connection with various other industries, including retail, leisure, manufacturing and utilities. Senior associate Andrew Murphy recently joined from Ogier.

Practice head(s):

Katie James

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Murphy

Key clients

Critchleys LLP

Rollings Butt LLP

Quantuma Advisory Limited

Manolete Partners

Begbies Traynor

Turpin Barker Armstrong

Fox Linton Limited

KPMG

Griffins

Shaw Gibbs Corporate Recovery

Pensions Tier 3

Blake Morgan LLP assists employers and trustees with schemes of various sizes. Ron Burgess  specialises in handling major transactions and pension scheme restructuring projects, while Rupert Graham-Evans handles benefit changes, mergers and security arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Ron Burgess

Other key lawyers:

Rupert Graham-Evans

At Blake Morgan, we have a reputation for building life-time relationships with our clients helping them to navigate through the commercial affairs and business challenges that affect their organisation as well as advising them on a range of personal issues. As a full service law firm with offices across the UK and a wealth of expertise with over 100 partners and 700 staff, we use our unique blend of technical expertise, broader experience and commercial realism to get the best results possible for our clients – be they small businesses, corporates, individuals, families, government, or not-for-profits. We are trusted by many of the leading players within the areas in which we specialise. This includes international and national corporate organisations, 20 local authorities, central government departments as well as devolved regional government, four major high street and corporate banks, leading supermarkets, and four of the top ten house builders. We also advise over 100 schools, academies and universities on a wide range of legal issues.

Contacts
Administrative and public law:
 Eve Piffaretti
ADR: Susie Dryden
Agriculture and estates: Oliver Sowton
Banking: Kathryn Shimmin
Charities: Ben Brice
Competition: Richard Portlock
Commercial litigation: Jill Bainbridge (Regions), Sarah Rees (London)
Construction: Richard Wade
Corporate and commercial: Robert Cherry, Alison Patten-Hall
Data protection: Simon Stokes
Debt recovery: Sadak Miah
Education: Matthew Smith
Employment: Joanne Davies
Environment law:  Anita Kassean
Family law: Simon Burge
Financial services: Kathryn Shimmin
Government: Penny Rinta-Suski
Health and safety: Claire Rawle
Health and social care: Bruce Potter
Insolvency and business recovery: Paul Caldicott
IP: Jill Bainbridge
IT:
  Simon Stokes
Judicial review:  Joanne Thompson
Mental health: Eve Piffaretti
Outsourcing: Simon McCann
Partnerships: Andrew Miscampbell
Pensions: Ron Burgess
Planning: Anita Kassean
Private client: Helen Bunker
Procurement: Simon McCann
Professional regulatory: Bradley Albuery
Public law: Eve Piffaretti
Publishing: Simon Stokes
Real estate: Philip Jardine
Real estate litigation: Zoe Wright (England), Siãn Jones (Wales)
Retail and leisure: Oliver Sowton
Residential property: Mark Scott
Social housing:  Siãn Jones
Tax:  Cathy Bryant
Travel: Daniel Scognamiglio

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Mike Wilson
Chair Kath Shimmin
Photo Name Position Profile
 Antonia Dowgray photo Antonia Dowgray Antonia has practiced for over 20 years, and is dual qualified in…
 Keith Lancaster photo Keith Lancaster Keith specialises in planning law, advising in major projects and infrastructure, energy…
 Felicity Rowan photo Felicity Rowan Specialising in financial services regulation, Felicity advises regulated firms and Approved Persons,…
 Ian Skuse  photo Ian Skuse Ian is a leading commercial lawyer in the airline, business travel and…
Number of UK partners : 100
Number of other UK fee-earners : 464

CLIENT: Sean Taylor
COMPANY/FIRM: Zip World
TESTIMONIAL: “I was delighted with the expertise and advice provided by Blake Morgan who continue to deliver high quality advice, support and commitment to the Zip World group at every stage of the process. I was particularly impressed with their ability to deliver effective and pragmatic advice ensuring that the deal completed within the agreed timescales and it meant that I had confidence that all of the important legal aspects of the deal were being dealt with effectively. I would happily recommend Blake Morgan to others.”


CLIENT: Sean Owen
COMPANY/FIRM: RNIB
TESTIMONIAL: “Having taken the role as Head of Property for RNIB, I decided to continue to use Blake Morgan solicitors – they had provided legal support to the organisation in all property matters for a number of years before that. The support given to me by James and his team as I established my role, was exemplary. They fully understood how RNIB worked, provided clear, pragmatic and timely advice consistently, and were always available to discuss ideas and ad hoc issues. I can only offer the highest praise to James and his team for the support provided to me and RNIB.”


CLIENT: Christine Parsloe
COMPANY/FIRM: London Borough of Merton
TESTIMONIAL: “On building projects such as this, combined with the complexities of incorporating a new facility into an existing and improved operational contract it is essential to have a legal team that provides all of the specialisms required. Blake Morgan provided this, ensuring responses were appropriate, timely and ‘right first time’ so we could keep every element of this project running on time and to budget. Merton now have a new facility and a much improved contractual arrangement with the operator as well as a Family Friendly leisure centre that all our community with love end enjoy for many years to come.”


CLIENT: Calum Ewing
COMPANY/FIRM: Metrobank
TESTIMONIAL: “Blake Morgan acts as one team to deliver the requirements of our ambitious store roll out programme, providing property, construction, property litigation and planning assistance advice that is always on point. They are commercial, pragmatic and have aligned themselves with our values and vision. They are great team players”


CLIENT: Paul Metselaar
COMPANY/FIRM: Ovation Travel Group
TESTIMONIAL: “The team at Blake Morgan were consummate professionals who demonstrated strong commercial awareness of the travel industry that ensured the transaction was efficient and completed against a tight deadline. This was an important deal for Ovation and I would like to thank them for getting it across the line.”


CLIENT: Terry Musson
COMPANY/FIRM: Amberon Group
TESTIMONIAL: “We have recently worked with Blake Morgan on two separate occasions and in each case we received excellent advice and support one would expect during both transactions. Well done Blake Morgan.”


At Blake Morgan, our aim is to make a difference for our clients, our people and our communities. We work to ensure that we recognise, support and promote the wide-ranging talents we have within our business, through ensuring that our environment is one that listens, and one where everyone can reach their fullest potential. Our job is to remove barriers to success, and create a platform that enables our people and their talents to drive forward the success of our firm.

That’s why we pledge to:

  • Contribute to a working environment that is without discrimination, accessible, comfortable, healthy, well maintained, welcoming, and free of harassment, victimisation and bullying.
  • Demonstrate and share a commitment to valuing equality and diversity, and develop attitudes and behaviours that support this.
  • Challenge what is considered to be unacceptable behaviour, be pro-active with regard to diversity, and take personal responsibility to promote good practice and create change.
  • Identify individual and firm-wide learning and development needs on equality, diversity and inclusion issues continuously, and undertake relevant training to maintain and improve knowledge and contribute to the learning and development of others.
  • Consider what may be offensive to others.
  • Recognise that it is unacceptable to withhold information and knowledge necessary to allow others to undertake their duties.

The Lex 100 Verdict

Blake Morgan is a ‘national firm with a strong presence across the UK’. From its offices in Cardiff, London, Southampton, Reading and Oxford, the firm has a ‘diverse range of clients’ and offers a ‘breadth of training opportunities’ thanks to the array of practice areas on offer. Several trainees mentioned the ‘enjoyable vacation scheme’ and the ‘friendly and personal approach’ experienced at interview, and thought that ‘Blake Morgan seemed kinder than some of the larger, more commercial firms’. There is a ‘community spirit across the offices’ and ‘everyone is always willing to help, from associates to partners alike’. Despite the scale of the firm, the personal touch remains: ‘they really take an interest in you as an individual and your career as a whole’. Some trainees feel that ‘the pay is not on par with other similar-sized firms and doesn’t reflect the living costs of the area’. This was raised in relation to the Oxford and London offices in particular. Another concern was the ‘limited diversity at senior levels’ despite the firm’s clear commitment to diversity and inclusion. Nevertheless, trainees really enjoyed ‘leading on a client call’, ‘working on a commercial project directly relating to the government’s COVID-19 exit strategy’ and ‘a client secondment to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’. For many recruits, the worst thing has been having to work from home for a large part of their training contracts but at least Blake Morgan has ‘provided a lot of guidance to ensure that new trainees are well supported’. For a friendly firm with a good work/life balance, lots of responsibility and very high-quality work, consider Blake Morgan.