Blake Morgan LLP > Cardiff, Wales > Firm Profile

Blake Morgan LLP
ONE CENTRAL SQUARE
CARDIFF
CF10 1FS
Wales

Wales > Corporate and commercial Tier 1

Able to draw upon 'rich professional experience' derived from many years at the pinnacle of work within the Wales market, the 'professional and pragmatic' team at Blake Morgan LLP is a popular choice among corporates from a range of industries, including healthcare and manufacturing, to guide them through their highest-profile mandates in the market. Now solely led by the 'very calm and reassuring' James Williams , following Robert Cherry 's move to a consultancy role, the corporate team has also recently begun to pick up an increased flow of cross-border work, including for Esatec Sweden on its acquisition of electronic manufacturer, JJS Manufacturing - on what was its first foray into the UK market. The 'very pragmatic' Richard Jones has taken the lead on many of these international transactions and also continues to excel at advising management teams on private equity transactions. Penri Desscan  leads the firm's commercial offering and has an emphasis on long term, complex, high-value services and supplies contracts.

Practice head(s):

James Williams (Corporate); Penri Desscan  (Commercial)

 

Testimonials

From first contact the co-operation was competent, professional and pragmatic.’

The team is like a Magic Circle firm but based on Cardiff. The effect is a seamless process whereby the team almost wrap their arms around you and carry you across the line. They are willing to think creatively about how they charge and are extremely good at simply getting on with the job.’

‘I have always found James Williams to be truly excellent in every way. He is always responsive and quickly grasps the nub of any issue we face. He is a very calm and reassuring voice and he has never failed to deliver a good outcome for me or my business.’

The very pragmatic Richard Jones is very knowledgeable about our corporate structure and business needs. He makes himself available when we’re in need and is pretty quick to come back to us with completed work.’

James Vaughan is extremely bright and can cut through a lot of the detail in a negotiation.’

Key clients

Escatec Sweden AB

JJS Manufacturing Limited

QLM Technology Limited

Tinopolis Limited

The Thinking Traveller Limited

Cobra Holdco Ltd t/a UNRVLD

Nexperia

Development Bank of Wales

The Group Travel Company Limited (trading as Toureasy)

BSN Social Care Limited

Shaw Healthcare Group

Hodge Group

Work highlights

  • Advising The Thinking Traveller Ltd on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Athens-based, White Key Villas.
  • Advised Escatec Sweden on the acquisition of electronic manufacturer, JJS Manufacturing (via its holding company Alcaeus Holdings Limited).
  • Advising the shareholders of Cool Solution Refrigeration Limited and Cool Solution (Midlands) Limited in its sale to Johnson Controls International.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation Tier 1

With expertise across a broad range of commercial litigation and also able to draw upon the expertise of practitioners with specific niche areas of strength, Blake Morgan LLP remains a popular choice among private and public sector clients. Team head Lee Fisher focuses on the firm's private sector clients and is most well-known for his prowess at handling corporate and IP-related disputes. The firm also has 'vast experience' in procurement litigation, and  Joanne Thompson, who is noted for her 'excellent judgement and procedural tactics' has successfully carved out a 'market-leading' practice throughout Wales and the UK as whole. As part of her broad practice, senior associate Sarah Whittle has particular strength representing health sector clients, including in relation to judicial review proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The team has carved out a niche as one of the UK’s leading firms in heavyweight procurement litigation. In this highly specialised area, its vast experience is critically important.’

‘Joanne Thompson is a star. Having acted in numerous procurement disputes, she has excellent judgement about which points to take, and procedural tactics.’

Key clients

The National Health Service Commissioning Board known as NHS England (“NHSE”)

Clarins (UK) Limited

Welsh Ministers

The Tinopolis Group

NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership

PHS Group/Personnel Hygiene Services Limited

Garrison Barclay Limited

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent

Capital Green Recycling

Work highlights

  • Representing two core participants, the Welsh Blood Service and NHS England, on the Infected Blood Inquiry. The Inquiry into the infection (including Hepatitis C and HIV)( through blood transplants and provision of blood products has been accepting evidence for more than two years including from representatives of our clients.
  • Acting for the sellers on a shareholder dispute in relation to the sale of a waste and recycling company.
  • Continuing to act on major shareholder disputes, including in relation to two significant unfair prejudice petitions.

Employment > Employment: Recommended Firms Tier 1

'Well-attuned to the needs of the client', which includes a range of private, public and third sector clients, the 'responsive' three-partner team at Blake Morgan LLP provides a 'trusted and expert' service across a wide array of contentious and non-contentious matters. As well as her niche expertise within the care sector, 'solutions-driven and client-friendly' team head Joanne Davies  regularly works alongside the corporate team providing 'practical and proportionate solutions' to companies engaged in large-scale reorganisations and M&A transactions - work which regularly includes TUPE advice. The 'thoughtful and dedicated' Matthew Smith  ' ensures a commercial and pragmatic approach' is applied to both public and private sector clients (including those within the retail sector) across a myriad of contentious employment matters. The team is rounded out at a partner level by Paula Kathrens  who is recognised as 'a force to be reckoned with' advising on doctors disciplinary cases, in addition to a myriad employment issues facing entities in regulated sectors including finance, social housing and health.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

The team is well-attuned to the needs of the client and adapts their approach accordingly.’

The employment team provide a trusted, expert and highly responsive service. They feel like an extension of my own HR team.’

With so many highly skilled and knowledgeable solicitors within the team, access to knowledge sharing, peer review and thorough supervision is readily available to those less experienced who are developing their practice.’

Matthew Smith is one of a kind – he is thoughtful, dedicated and an extension of our team – we would be lost without him and I would never consider taking my business anywhere else.’

Matthew Smith ensures a commercial and pragmatic approach which meets the business need of the client.’

Joanne Davies is efficient, solutions driven and client friendly.

Joanne Davies holds a well deserved reputation for combining her straight-forward, down-to-earth perspective with some of the most technical areas of employment law such as TUPE. She devises practical and proportionate solutions for clients and shows an innovative flare.’

Paula Kathrens is a force to be reckoned with. She is well known for her niche specialism of doctors’ disciplinary cases, but boasts an equally strong handle on the full spectrum of employment issues facing employers, particularly those in regulated sectors such as finance, social housing and health.’

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

Escatec

One Stop Recycling Limited

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise numerous social housing clients on matters relating to the Financial Conduct Authority’s Senior Management and Certification Regime.
  • Provided employment law advice to Escatec Sweden pursuant to the acquisition of electronics manufacturer, JSS Manufacturing (via its holding company Alcaeus Holdings Limited).
  • Representing the Health Board in the case of Agarwal v (1) Cardiff University (2) Cardiff & Vale University Local Health Board. This case is one of the leading authorities about an Employment Tribunal’s jurisdiction to hear cases involving deductions from an employee’s wages, where there is a dispute about the contractual terms on which the employer considers it is entitled to make such deductions.  

Employment > Health and safety Tier 1

Comprised of 'hungry lawyers with strong interpersonal skills and razor sharp brains', Blake Morgan LLP is undoubtedly one of the go-to health and sefety outfits in Wales, with expertise on both the prosecution and defence side. The firm's historical and continued representation of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) on its large cases in Wales and South of England, enables the firm to effectively transplant this knowledge and experience to effectively defend the most serious health and safety offences (including corporate and gross negligence manslaughter cases) brought against corporates and company offices. Benefiting from 'an encyclopaedic knowledge of H&S case law and sound judgement to boot', team head Claire Rawle  takes the lead on the defence side and is particularly accomplished at handling matters in a health social care setting. Himself a practising barrister, senior associate Tom Walker 'has great litigation instincts and sound judgement', which he deploys to good effect in a prosecution setting for the HSE. Consultant Robin Havard has vast experience in the field and continues to be retained by the HSE to assist in work-related fatalities.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

They are, in my opinion, the “go to” H&S team in Wales. The team is full of hungry lawyers with strong interpersonal skills and razor sharp brains.’

They collaborate well with counsel and are not afraid of brining in counsel at an early stage to ensure that the correct strategy is being taken and the client has the best prospects of securing an acquittal.’

‘Claire Rawle has an encyclopaedic knowledge of H&S case law and sound judgement to boot. She is considered but has a warmth and affable quality which reassures clients from the outset. She is well respected by judges, barristers, fellow solicitors and HSE Inspectors alike.’

Claire Rawle – excellent hands on approach to client care as a partner. Forges excellent relationships with those she works for and with.’

The unassuming and hardworking Tom Walker has great litigation instincts and sound judgment.’ 

Key clients

Health and Safety Executive

Work highlights

    Employment > Pensions Tier 1

    Led from Cardiff by Ron Burgess and also forming part of a cohesive cross-office team throughout the UK, Blake Morgan LLP's 'friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable' pensions team provides 'pragmatic' advice to employers and trustees across a range of advisory work, as well as in the context of corporate transactions. As part of her wide-ranging offering which includes pensions advice pursuant to outsourcing transactions, the 'superb' Gillian McCue has a particular strength advising public/third sector on contentious and non-contentious matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    Able to translate and communicate legal technicalities into ways that trustees can understand, guiding us to reach the right decision.’

    The team is friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.’

    They provide pragmatic advice.’

    Gillian McCue is one of my go tos for pensions input when this is required. As such, I have worked closely with Gillian on a number of transactions. In addition to her technical expertise which is second to none, I have always found her advice and input to be pragmatic, on point and directive which resonates well with both me and the wider team including the client.’ 

    Key clients

    NHS England

    Welsh Government

    Reading Borough Council

    Cardiff Metropolitan University

    Mous Products

    BSN Social Care Limited

    Michael Weinig (UK) Limited 1990 Pension Scheme

    Trivallis Limited

    Aberystwyth University Pension Scheme

    University of South Wales

    Work highlights

    • Providing transactional advice to Reading Borough Council in the delivery of a leisure centre upgrade programme since 2019.
    • Advising a private school on removal of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and the independent schools pension scheme.  
    • Advising on staff transfers involving HM Treasury’s Fair Deal guidance.

    Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

    The ‘approachable and knowledgeable’ team at Blake Morgan LLP has a strong reputation in the market across a wide array of formal insolvency and restructuring work for debtors and creditors. Although it does handle work for banks as creditors in restructuring scenarios, the firm is perhaps best-known for its work on behalf of insolvency practitioners (IPs), including in the context of complex contentious mandates including allegations of misfeasance and tracing claims. Himself a qualified IP, team head Paul Caldicott  has a versatile practice that has recently included a significant amount of directors duty advisory work occassioned as a result of the pandemic lockdowns. ‘Personable and responsive’ associate Sophia Farmer is also recommended, particularly on behalf of trustees in bankruptcy on personal insolvency matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘Approachable and knowledgeable, and willing to discuss and give views on all matters.’

    Sophia Farmer is personable, responsive and gives detailed advice.’

    Key clients

    Grant Thornton UK LLP

    Baker Tilly Creditor Services LLP

    Bridgewood Financial Solutions

    Colchester Borough Council

    RAM RE Property Advisors

    Coventry City Council

    McAlister & Co Insolvency Practitioners

    Carter Clark

    Mazars LLP

    Begbies Traynor Central LLP

    Work highlights

    • Assisting the joint trustees obtain a suspension from discharge order against an uncooperative bankrupt and realise assets valued in excess of £1m.

    Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence; defendant

    Wales > Public sector Tier 1

    The 'client focused, responsive and hardworking' multidisciplinary team at Blake Morgan LLP effectively draws from the expertise of lawyers with core public sector expertise from across several key practice groups, including employment, social housing and commercial. In addition, unlike some of the ranked firms, it has a core focus on public law and, in particular, in-depth expertise on Welsh devolved law in areas including healthcare. In this context, the instructions are not purely restricted to Wales-based entities but also often to English clients seeking guidance as to the interaction with Welsh law. The 'outstanding' Eve Piffaretti heads up the overarching group and provides 'balanced and thorough' public law advice as it pertains to health and social care, including on safeguarding issues, mental health and mental capacity law. Graham Miles ' professional regulatory expertise also regularly seems him involved in the health and social care setting, particularly in the context of advising regulatory bodies investigating and presenting fitness to cases involving practitioners in the space. Miles also has niche prowess in relation to fertility law and genetics and continues to represent the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, including in relation to the defence of judicial review challenges. The team is also noted for its ability to provide 'high quality advice on the most complex of public sector procurements'. In this setting Penri Desscan  and Simon McCann  regularly take the lead on the non-contentious front, while Joanne Thompson handles public procurement litigation, both for public sector organisations as well as for failed bidders. At an associate level, Sarah Whittle is particularly skilled at defending public sector health care entities against judicial review challenges, and Emily James  has a flourishing state aid practice. 

    Practice head(s):

    Testimonials

    All of the lawyers are very client focused, responsive and hardworking.’

    Eve Piffaretti and her team have provided my Local Authority with legal support for Education and Court of Protection work during the pandemic. They have a wealth of experience of both sides of the fence which is evident in the legal advice they provide, as it is always balanced, thorough and first class.’

    The team of experts are able to advise and provide high quality advice on the most complex of public sector procurements.’

    ‘Eve Piffaretti has been outstanding in her communication at all times and her people skills have made the client department and indeed myself feel at ease and as if nothing is too much trouble.’

    Key clients

    Welsh Government & The Welsh Ministers

    NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership

    Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

    NHS England & NHS 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

    South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

    Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent

    Clwyd Alyn Housing Association

    Pobl Housing Association

    Cardiff and Vale College

    Health Care Professions Council

    Work highlights

    • Provided the Welsh Government with a broad range of legal support across a range of legal specialisms including advice on IT infrastructure and Welsh Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Providing legal support to NHS England and NHS Improvement throughout the pandemic.
    • Acting for a wide range of public sector clients including regulators such as Social Care Wales, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Human Tissue Authority.

    Real estate > Property litigation Tier 1

    Headed by Siân Jones , the 'cost effective and knowledgeable' team at Blake Morgan LLP provides 'clear and concise advice' to a balanced mix of private and public sector clients across a wide range of property litigation, including in the context of dilapdiation claims, lease reneawals and easement claims. As well as receiving a significant flow of litigation work for commercial clients with large property portfolios, Jones also regularly represents housing association clients across the spectrum of disputes, including as defendants in disrepair claims.

    Practice head(s):

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    They are very approachable whilst providing a consistent, caring and professional service.’

    The cost-effective team is extremely adept and knowledgeable in their field of expertise. They provide clear and concise advice in a timely manner.’ 

    Key clients

    Welsh Government

    Canary Wharf Group

    Vale Europe Limited

    Swansea University

    Cardiff University

    Wales & West Utilities Limited

    Swansea County Council

    PHS Group

    Royal National Institute for the Blind

    Shanly Homes Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advising Canary Wharf Group on its retail portfolio management including challenges to CVAs, rent recovery; implications of regulations introduced as a result of the pandemic.
    • Advised a London-based independent restaurant group on  contested lease renewal proceedings in respect of its headquarters and primary restaurant on grounds of redevelopment.
    • Represented Sorbon Estates Limited  in relation to unopposed lease renewal proceedings commenced by its tenant, Wilko Retail Limited in respect of retail premises.

    Real estate > Social housing Tier 1

    Drawing upon a significant 'depth of knowledge' among team members, Blake Morgan LLP is well-equipped to provide 'reliable, clear and timely' advice to an impressive roster of Welsh and English housing associations across the gamut of contentious and non-contentious issues affecting their operations. 'Brilliant' team head Siân Jones  leads from the front and as well as her core work advising on housing management matters, has also recently been particularly active preparing a number of Welsh Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) for the imminent changes to residential landlord and tenant law which will be ushered in by the Renting Homes Wales Act. The 'exceptional' Louise Howells is also a key member of the team and provides 'solutions focused advice' to social housing clients across a range of property transactions, including on the acquisition, disposal and refinancing of properties.

    Practice head(s):

    Testimonials

    There is a depth of knowledge in the team and members of the team are skilled and on point with advice and solutions.’

    I can always rely on the team at Blake Morgan to provide reliable, clear and timely advice. They are a pleasure to work with, regardless of the question I have on social housing law. I like how nothing is overcomplicated, it is easy to follow and is proportionate.’

    Sian Jones is brilliant! I can always get hold of her when I need any legal advice, she’s really helpful, has a great sense of (very dry!) humour, and I trust her judgement and expertise. She is my “go to” person for all things legal in social housing.’

    Louise Howells is supportive and takes time to go through matters with us, so we can make the right decisions and also identifies risks which need to be mitigated.’

    Louise Howells is solutions-focused and a natural leader. She is an exceptional lawyer who amplifies her effectiveness by being a natural leader.’

    Key clients

    ClwydAlyn Housing

    Newport City Homes

    Bron Afon Housing Association

    Melin Homes

    Trivallis

    Linc-Cymru Housing

    Midland Heart

    Sovereign

    Platform Housing

    Tai Tarian

    Grwp Cynefin

    Adra

    Cartrefi Conwy

    BPHA

    Peabody Group

    Coastal Housing Group

    Tai Calon Housing

    Waltham Forest Housing

    Work highlights

    • Advised BPHA on its £24m acquisition of land for 143 affordable units.  
    • Advised Newport City Homes in a number of significant land and development acquisitions in Newport including its town centre acquisition of Griffin Island and Stow Park both of which will be strategic redevelopment schemes.
    • Advising numerous Welsh housing associations on issues relating to the FCA’s Senior Management and Certification Regime and Welsh Government governance and regulatory matters.

    TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 1

    Blake Morgan LLP handles a range of contentious and non-contentious IP work for public/third and private sector clients, including a growing number within the media and retail sector. Team head Lee Fisher is well-versed across the bandwidth of "hard" and "soft" IP and leverages his broader commercial litigation smarts to good effect on behalf of clients bringing or defending claims, including in injunctive proceedings. Praised for her 'responsive, efficient, and highly professional' service senior associate Joanna Corbett-Simmons also continues to gain a strong reputation among public and private sector clients, particularly in relation to misuse of confidential information and infringement of copyright, trade marks and design rights.

    Practice head(s):

    Testimonials

    The team was able to grasp the situation quickly, and was subsequently able to provide a robust response to the situation they were engaged to pursue.’

    Joanna Corbett-Simmons was responsive, efficient, and highly professional.’

    Key clients

    Clarins (UK) Limited

    Development Bank of Wales

    University of Wales

    University of South Wales Trinity Saint David

    Vetline Limited

    Digital Health Care Wales

    Aquaspira Limited

    ALuK (GB) Limited

    Personnel Hygiene Services Limited

    The Tinopolis Group

    Work highlights

    • Advising Clarins UK Limited in relation to the importation of grey market goods and ensuring the validity of its selective distribution network (including litigation against third party retailers outside of the network).
    • Defending injunction proceedings on behalf of a number of individuals from their former employer after they left and set up a competing business. The proceedings were based upon breach of confidence.
    • Developing and delivering bespoke seminars for the University of Wales on IP and product development.

    Dispute resolution > Professional discipline Tier 1

    Blake Morgan LLP is a go-to firm for its representation of professional regulators in the healthcare, legal, education, accountancy and engineering sectors; in February 2022, the firm was appointed by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to assist with the investigation and presentation of hundreds of fitness to practise cases. Nick Leale is regulatory business group head, and Bradley Albuery leads the firm’s professional disciplinary team. Also integral to the practice are Clare Strickland, who recently rejoined from the NMC and leads the HCPC’s regulatory work; and Graham Miles, a client relationship partner for the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA), Education Workforce Council (EWC) and Social Care Wales (SCW). The key legal directors are James Danks, who jointly led the successful tender for the HCPC contract during 2021; Delme Griffiths, who acts for and against professional regulators; and operations manager for the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), Antonia Dowgray.

    Practice head(s):

    Nick Leale; Bradley Albuery

    Testimonials

    ‘The team works very collaboratively and is responsive to feedback.’

    ‘The lawyers show a clear desire to seek continuous improvement, and have worked with us to improve our escalation processes.’

    The lawyers strive to deliver cases in a timely and effective way, and provide clear and informative management information on performance against our key objectives.

    The lawyers are very responsive to feedback, and are keen to work with our internal teams to improve services.

    ‘The team is very professional and has excellent levels of communication. The lawyers are always available and respond to matters in a very timely manner.’

    ‘The individuals we work with are extremely helpful, and are always available to discuss any urgent matters, such as case work progression or new processes/training.’

    ‘Clare Strickland, Nick Leale and legal director Antonia Dowgray are a pleasure to work with, and we have an excellent relationship with them.’

    ‘The whole team is helpful; however we work particularly closely with Clare Strickland and Antonia Dowgray. They are very good at keeping us informed of case progression, anticipated delays, and ways to avoid or address these.’

    Key clients

    Health & Care Professions Council

    Nursing & Midwifery Council

    General Pharmaceutical Council

    General Dental Council

    NHS England

    Social Care Wales

    Teaching Regulation Authority

    Education Workforce Council (Wales)

    Architects Registration Board

    Institution of Mechanical Engineers

    General Optical Council

    Security Industry Authority

    Royal Institute of British Architects

    Association of Accounting Technicians

    Human Fertilisation and Embryonic Authority

    Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

    Work highlights

    • Appointed as sole provider to the HCPC for all of its regulatory legal needs.
    • Carrying out a large volume of fitness to practise investigations for the NMC each year.
    • Acting as legal adviser to the Suitability, Investigating and Fitness to Practise Committees of the Education Workforce Council.

    Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Hampshire Tier 1

    Blake Morgan LLP’s large and experienced corporate and commercial team handles a wealth of matters for a broad base of clients based in the region and elsewhere. Practice head James Hawkeswood is well known for his expertise in M&A and joint ventures, while Mark Hepworth and Mat Wilson bring experience in healthcare, special educational needs and social care. Stephen Archibald is also highly regarded. The team also handles work for a range of SMEs, publicly listed corporates, and high net-worth individuals, and clients across the energy, technology, and retail sectors. Gemma Spiceley has recently been promoted to partner, and has led on significant matters involving sales and acquisitions. The corporate team also benefits from the experience of in-house specialists across other sectors.

    Practice head(s):

    James Hawkeswood

    Other key lawyers:

    Stephen Archibald; Mark Hepworth; Mat Wilson; Gemma Spiceley

    Testimonials

    ‘They are knowledgeable, bring you into the process while maintaining focus on key commercial aspects to be considered. A very hard working team that delivers.’

    ‘Blake Morgan have created a strong, professional relationship with me. Every member of their team takes the time to understand fully my requirements and consequently satisfy my needs every time. I am totally confident that they will address my needs quickly, efficiently and cost effectively, regardless of the advice I seek. Their team are thoughtful, patient and reflective and guide me through options I may have. They recognise my limited legal knowledge and carefully explain the critical elements of law. For example, designing new commercial agreements for complex customer needs. Completing internal mergers with ease and efficiencies to name but two examples.’

    ‘They are capable and confident , and good communicators.’

    ‘The team work in partnership with us as an extension of our team. We have a strong working relationship which allows to have open discussions post project on what lessons we can draw and incorporate into future work or projects.’

    ‘Mat Wilson is accessible and responsive, despite his busy and varied portfolio of clients. He and his team treat my companies with dignity and respect, though we are relatively small in scale. I have a strong sense of cultural alignment within his team as all staff behave with the same commitment towards me and the same level of enthusiasm, regardless of the nature of my inquiry or needs. Their advice is sound and reliable and always considered with partners from around their group supporting quickly on specialist topics when needed.’

    ‘The Blake Morgan team very rapidly assessed the needs of our specific company sale and put the appropriate people in place. Their responses to the purchasers solicitors were prompt and accurate. I have been with Blake Morgan and its predecessors for some 30 years and they have always dealt with both private and commercial matters in a similar professional manner.’

    ‘Matt Wilson at Blake Morgan handled the sale of my business from start to finish. He took me through the whole process and there is no way I could have managed without his patient and good humoured assistance. His support team were excellent.’

    ‘All partners and associates I have dealt with over the years have been approachable and of a very high standard of subject knowledge. Too many to mention individually over the years.’

    Key clients

    Utilita Group Limited

    Harwood Wealth Management Group Limited

    Applerigg

    Gresham Technologies plc

    Be Wiser Insurance Services Limited

    Supermassive Games Limited

    CVS Group plc

    DEKRA UK

    Hardide plc

    Ridgecrest plc

    Work highlights

    • Advised on the sale of Esotec Limited to ADT Fire & Security Group Plc, a subsidiary of Johnson Controls International Plc.
    • Instructed to advise on the MBO/MBI (inc sale and roll over) of The Really Useful Skills Company Ltd, the holding company of the Teach and Travel Group Ltd, to a new company Learndirect Digital English Language Limited under the new education platform and consolidator, the Learndirect group.
    • Advised Gresham on the class 1 circular, senior facility agreement and related security documentation and on the UK aspects of the US stock purchase agreement.

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

    Blake Morgan LLP is ‘comparable with London Firms with demonstrably capable lawyers’ and has particular sector expertise in tech, healthcare, and education with the latter two being steady pillars of co-head Alison Patten-Hall ‘s commercial practice. She leads together with Simon Staples who focuses on the corporate side and in a recent highlight represented Michael Lester in Langholm Capital’s buy-out of WoolOvers Group. Timothy Coles broadens the firm’s scope with his knowledge of the leisure sector, he handles private acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, restructurings, and IPOs. Elisabeth Bell brings her commercial law, data protection law and IT expertise to the table.

    Practice head(s):

    Alison Patten-Hall; Simon Staples

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘Friendly professional service comparable with London Firms with demonstrably capable lawyers.’

    ‘The team at Blake Morgan works really well with us to get to the advise quickly and at a price we can afford. I like the way the staff work well at all levels.’

    ‘Simon Staples, James Vaughan, and Cathy Bryant stand out in our relationship.’

    ‘Good strong team, have worked with Simon for many years in different roles. Well executed transaction, efficient, and worked with tight deadlines. Highly commercial approach allowed focus on main work streams.’

    ‘Simon Staples – high work rate, got the job done and sensible advice.’

    Key clients

    University of Reading

    Digital Space Group Limited

    HTEC Limited

    Miele Company Limited

    NHS England

    Reading Borough Council

    Surrey County Council

    Oxfordshire County Council

    Langley House Trust

    NTT Security Limited

    SSE Water

    GB Bank Limited

    Wiggle Limited

    Utilita Energy Limited

    The Mayor’s Office for Policing and the Crime and the Metropolitan Police Service

    Juriba Limited

    Falanx Group

    Dillistone Group plc

    Anthesis Consulting Group

    Velocys

    De La Rue plc

    Boom Holdings Limited

    Lucy Group

    Vail Williams

    Winterbotham Derby

    Sutton and East Surrey Water plc

    InHealth Limited

    Osirium plc

    Oxford Pharmagenesis

    Recarta IT

    Work highlights

    • Advising Digital Space Limited on a range of commercial supplier and customer contracts, including review, redrafting, and drafting template agreements.
    • Acting for HiSpeed Limited on its incorporation and set up, including advice on corporate structures, tax, protection and licensing of IP assets.
    • Acting for EFlorist on its UK reorganization as part of the sale of the entire group.

    Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Hampshire Tier 1

    Blake Morgan LLP‘s commercial litigation team is headed up by Jill Bainbridge, who has notable experience in complex commercial disputes and cross-jurisdictional matters, including those involving non-English law contracts. IP work is a key focus area for the team: Bainbridge leads the firm’s wider IP group, with experience in trade mark prosecution and brand management work. She is supported in this by legal director Ben Evans, who has specialist expertise in IP disputes relating to social media. Other strengths for the team include acting for clients in the manufacturing, food, travel, health and leisure sectors, which are all key areas of knowledge for Richard Portlock; and insolvency mandates, which are a significant strength of Dan Geddes. Louise Fuller has niche experience in the marine sector, and acts in matters relating to high-value super yachts. Michael Colledge was promoted to partner in 2022 and is also noted, in particular for his work on professional negligence and insurance coverage claims. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

    Practice head(s):

    Jill Bainbridge

    Testimonials

    ‘Very strong commercial litigation team. The team are adept at handling high-value, complex disputes, but they are down to earth, approachable and cost conscious.’

    ‘Dan Geddes is a stand-out performer in the team. He is calm under pressure, and really fights his client’s corner. Dan offers excellent, insightful advice and always keeps his eye on the ultimate commercial aims of his clients.’

    Key clients

    IWG

    NHS England

    Advanced Thinking Systems Limited

    Exclusive Luxury Lodges Limited

    Wiggle CRC

    Utilita Energy Limited

    Sutton and East Surrey Water

    Mattel UK Limited

    IBM United Kingdom Limited

    Feelunique

    Work highlights

    • Advising SES WATER on several prosecutions under the Water Industry Act 1991.
    • Acting for Oyster Yachts Limited on a range of marine related matters including broad management advice and trade mark protection and copyright disputes.
    • Advising Advanced Thinking Systems Limited in relation to ownership of IP and assets globally following the purchase of assets of Antenna Audio Limited from administrators.

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

    Blake Morgan LLP represents foreign and domestic clients in commercial litigation. Alongside specialized teams handling construction, insolvency, and property litigation matters, the department also has particular expertise in contract law issues arising in IT and telecoms. Department-head Chris Potts acts on fraud cases with international elements; exemplified recently by his representation of Transworld and its liquidator in a case arising from the client's connection to First Curacao International Bank and allegations against the bank of VAT fraud. Nicola Diggle leads the team in shareholder and contractual disputes, with a particular focus on the IT sector.  

    Practice head(s):

    Chris Potts

    Other key lawyers:

    Nicoal Diggle; Stephanie Walls; Cherrene Balasanthiran

    Testimonials

    ‘Good down to earth commercial advice focused on delivering success and solutions for clients.’

    ‘Chris Potts who heads up Commercial Litigation for London and Thames Valley will roll his sleeves up and is tenacious in fighting his client’s corner.’

    ‘They take great care and attention over cases of any size – right from complex multi-million pound disputes down to claims for unpaid invoices.’

    ‘Nicola Diggle is totally on top of where the case is at and what needs to be done. Cherrene Balasanthiran gives clear and practical advice early on, nothing is too much trouble for her.’

    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

    Work highlights

    • Acting for IWG on substantial contractual claims resulting from the pandemic.
    • Secured a settlement for a NHS England Commissioning Gruop on a £7.6m claim.
    • Represented University of Reading in a £900k claim.

    Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 1

    The large commercial recoveries team at Blake Morgan LLP, based on the south coast, combines deep sector expertise with the ability to ‘respond to growing areas of dispute by scaling quickly and identifying novel issues.’ Generally, the vehicle finance arena is where the group excels, an area of expertise for practice head Sadak Miah. In relation to more complex debt litigation, the team has notable strength in the asset finance sphere, and complex litigation is an important part of Hannah Smith-Herne‘s workload. Legal director Louise Kitchen has joined from Shoosmiths LLP and Elizabeth Ryall departed to Trethowans LLP.

    Practice head(s):

    Sadak Miah

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘They have been very agile and collaborative in the way that they have integrated with our requirements. Their use of technology, particular around data, MI and process flexibility, made them stand out.’

    ‘They are incredibly proactive and keen to share potential pitfalls and areas of concern across the industry. The processes they have set up are lean and efficient, and you can trust absolutely in their recommendations.’

    ‘All the individuals we deal with at Blake Morgan have been highly impressive. Sadak Miah in particular is always willing to make the extra effort, especially when it comes to discussing industry issues. He always puts the relationship first, and that is refreshing. Jane Lewis is also wonderful to deal with in much the same way.’

    ‘Blake Morgan runs a very smooth debt recovery operation that is able to process bulk debt recovery litigation well. Moreover, the firm is able to respond to growing areas of dispute by scaling quickly and had the expertise to identify novel issues and respond appropriately to more complex debt litigation (especially in the sphere of asset finance work).’

    ‘Hannah Smith-Herne covers a wide portfolio and has a large workload whilst always staying on top of the minutiae of a case and providing essential and timely support to me in my role.’

    ‘Sadak Miah’s knowledge, attention to detail, commitment to providing excellent quality service, client care skills, and level of engagement are second to none. He’s an exemplary leader, not only for Blake Morgan LLP, but the industry as a whole.’

    Key clients

    Mercedes Benz Financial Services UK Limited

    Toyota Financial Services Plc

    Fiat Chrysler Automotive

    Work highlights

    • Acting in debt, litigation and regulatory matters in the motor finance sector.
    • Acting for debt purchase companies in debt recovery, litigation and a number of major projects including global substitution orders.
    • Advising insurance companies and their policyholders on landlord and tenant matters.

    Employment > Employment: Hampshire Tier 1

    Sitting within the firm’s larger employment, benefit, immigration and pensions team, led from Cardiff by Ron Burgess, Blake Morgan LLP‘s Southampton-based employment team handles both contentious and non-contentious work for a wide range of clients. Team lead Tim Forer is especially adept at handling cases for clients in the charity and education sectors, as well as the marine and defence industries, where he draws on his unique experience as a former officer in the Royal Navy. Senior associate Vicky Schollar manages the firm’s HR employment law support service, and advises clients on matters ranging from handling sick leave to more complex issues such as restrictive covenants and collective redundancies. Holly Cudbill has expertise in GDPR issues and wider data protection law, as well as defending claims relating to unfair dismissals and discrimination.

    Practice head(s):

    Ron Burgess; Tim Forer

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘The employment team at Blake Morgan have always taken the time to understand our business drivers, they seek to understand the holistic view rather than the narrow. They are professional at all times, courteous and knowledgeable. Their uniqueness comes from their staff and how they interact with our business. We know we’ll have a good discussion and agree the way forward together.’

    ‘Friendly, pragmatic and approachable.’

    ‘We have found Blake Morgan in Southampton a very strong legal firm who have strong assets in both the law and HR consultancy areas who have been available to help guide us through this extremely litigious area of business.’

    ‘Consistently high standard of advice.’

    ‘Tim Forer – outstanding support. Remainder of team all efficient and helpful. We primarily deal with Tim Forer who handles our employment issues but often deputises specific work streams to team members. In all cases the team are efficient and helpful, with the minimum of fuss. Responsive to emails/calls, just really ‘on it’.’

    ‘We have found Vicky Schollar a very strong lawyer who has guided us extremely conscientiously through the minefield of employment law and procedure. She has a very calm and efficient manner which provides you with confidence that you are being led in the right direction.’

    ‘Holly Cudbill has been superb. Measured considered advice, all suitably practical and achievable.’

    ‘I value their honesty and broad thinking approach to the issues that we face.’

    Key clients

    Insurance

    Utilita Energy Limited

    Corporate support

    The Pilgrims Friend Society

    Royal Naval Association

    MuirCroft Housing Company Limited

    Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT)

    Oldercare

    Matrix IT Limited

    Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust (PNBPT)

    Gosport Ferry Limited

    Villiers High School

    Hockley Golf Club

    Work highlights

    • Provided general employment advice to RNBT, including on the dismissal of a senior employee. Ongoing updates and advice in relation to caregivers.

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

    William Downing heads up the Oxford team of Blake Morgan LLP and focuses on large, strategic projects and high-level employee matters, within the firm’s focus areas of tech and education and for a growing international client base. Additionally, Rajiv Joshi has extensive expertise in the social and healthcare sectors, and is a specialist in discrimination and TUPE matters. Paul Hayward has recently been active in litigation, advising on discrimination claims as well as on employment issues of complex corporate projects.

    Practice head(s):

    William Downing; Ron Burgess

    Other key lawyers:

    Rajiv Joshi; Paul Hayward; Madeleine Mould

    Testimonials

    My main contact is Rajiv Joshi – he’s extremely helpful, very responsive, pragmatic and business-focused.’

    ‘Rajiv Joshi is quick to assess the situation, highlight any potential risks and propose suitable proposals to address them. Even when the situation sits outside of England, he’s quick to offer support and identify others who can assist.’

    ‘The team’s ability to quickly acknowledge and provide timely advice against all requests for help is remarkable and very welcome in an age where the business needs advice yesterday!’

    ‘Rajiv Joshi sifts through a mound of information thrown at him with ease and constantly provides clear, commercial advice in a cost-efficient way. He is always thinking what the client’s goal is, rather than being solely focused on telling the client the legal position. It is much appreciated and very welcome.’

    Key clients

    NTT Security

    Thames Valley Police

    Westcoast Group

    Sweepr Technologies

    Druva Europe

    HCL Technologies Limited

    Anytime Fitness UK

    InHealth Group Limited

    Oxford Biomedica plc

    Grafton Group plc

    Achilles Therapeutic plc

    Black Mountain Services (UK) Limited

    Capital City Academy

    Chelton Limited

    Kedleston Schools Limited

    Oriel College

    Ridge & Partners LLP

    Finance > Banking and finance Tier 1

    Blake Morgan LLP is one of the leading banking and finance practices in the south east with a diverse client base consisting of banks, universities, airlines, SMEs and healthcare providers. The team provides specialist asset finance advice to lenders and support on property and development finance transactions. Kath Shimmin  heads the practice with expertise in secured, syndicated and leveraged debt. Rebecca McCabe-North predominantly acts for banks, corporates and charities while Guy Constant  advises a broad range of lenders and borrowers.

    Practice head(s):

    Kath Shimmin

    Other key lawyers:

    Rebecca McCabe-North; Guy Constant; Richard Humphreys

    Key clients

    HSBC UK Bank Plc

    Barclays Bank plc

    Santander UK Plc

    Coutts

    Investec Bank plc

    Metro Bank plc

    National Westminster Bank plc

    Clydesdale Bank plc

    Svenska Handelsbanken

    Aldermore Bank

    Lawn Tennis Association

    Sutton and East Surrey Water Plc

    Nash Business Capital

    BAWAG PSK

    University of Reading

    Work highlights

    • Advised Nash Business Capital in multiple funding transactions.
    • Advised University of Reading in its latest bank debt fund-raising.
    • Advised HSBC in multiple debt finance transactions this year.

    Private client > Family: Hampshire Tier 1

    Blake Morgan LLP‘s family team is led by Southampton-based Simon Burge, who also serves as chairman of Hampshire Resolution, and brings special expertise in contested child arrangement cases and matters relating to the financial cost of relationship breakdown. The team draws on the firm’s well-regarded corporate, commercial, and property departments, as well as support from their colleagues in family law in the London and Oxford offices. Jennifer Williamson , who recently rejoined the firm as a partner, is extremely well regarded for her broad experience and pragmatic, strategic approach to meeting client needs. Senior associate Bryan Scant joined in March 2022, and brings special experience in cases related to naval pensions. Rachel Giles advises on a range of matters including divorce and civil partnership cases, and is increasingly focused on matters involving children.

    Practice head(s):

    Simon Burge

    Testimonials

    ‘The Blake Morgan team are a safe pair of hands for any sort of divorce. They are knowledgable and experienced lawyers whilst at the same time being user friendly and approachable to clients.’

    ‘Confident, supportive, fight your corner and work with you especially when things are not straightforward.’

    ‘Simon Burge is very experienced and sensible. He is tactically astute but also has a calm manner which lets clients feel completely at ease.’

    ‘Jennifer Williamson was exceptional. She got results where others had failed to get engagement from my ex spouse. She is organised, communicates very well and clearly and totally understands the issues. She is empathic and kept me informed at all times. She gets results and made me feel that I was in safe hands. Her recommendation of counsel was also just right. I can’t recommend her highly enough.’

    ‘The team I dealt with were clearly a well-motivated and collaborative team who were universally (over the course of several years) and unfailingly polite, sensitive and proactive. They were flexible and imaginative when it came to billing and my solicitor in particular evidently worked with both my interests and costs in mind.’

    ‘Jennifer Williamson really put in effort to understand my situation and concerns. Was very honest about what was realistic and achievable and at no point misled my expectations. Was very impressed by her knowledge and her approach, along with her support during what was a very emotional time.’

    ‘Simon Burge is one of the key players in family finance in Hampshire. He has long experience of giving exceptional advice, with a sound head for commercial reality. Everything has beautifully prepared and he is capable of handling cases from more modest two very big money.’

    ‘Jennifer Williamson was a pleasure to deal with. We had a case with relatively complex assets and legal arguments. She was approachable and sensible in her advice and handling of the case. We were able to compromise terms of settlement providing a fair outcome to both parties and enabled our client’s to retain a civil relationship. Her drafting skills were thorough and clear.’

    Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Hampshire Tier 1

    Headed by Paula Shea, Blake Morgan LLP’s private client group consists of four specialist teams covering the full range of succession and tax services. Shea advises on most aspects of private client work, including trusts, wills and probate, and tax planning. She is developing a specialist offering for high net-worth clients in the sports and media sectors, which she will continue to act for alongside her existing base of individual and businessowner clients. Simon Treherne acts for clients with significant business interests, especially in the agricultural sector. Jonathan Sleep has built a strong reputation with his work providing safeguards for the mentally vulnerable and helping individuals mitigate against inheritance tax. Darren Price is also recommended for his work on wills, power of attorney, and tax and estate planning.

    Practice head(s):

    Paula Shea

    Testimonials

    ‘I was very impressed by their range of knowledge and expertise and the assistance they were able to provide at a very difficult time.’

    ‘My experience of the team is that those I have worked with have been very ready to be flexible to accomodate clients’ differing needs which always resonates well.’

    ‘Friendly approach, relaxed manner which puts clients at their ease, but at the same time offering a broad range of expertise.’

    ‘The personal service and approachable manner of all team members makes them a delight to work with.’

    ‘Professional yet personable approach. Very compassionate and empathetic.’

    ‘A well resourced team led by Paula Shea that works closely with other teams as the case dictates.’

    ‘Paula Shea is an exceptionally good lawyer. Technically brilliant , amazing client service and runs a great team. I have repeatedly recommended her for her Wills and Estate services.’

    ‘Jonathan Sleep of Blake Morgan was extremely courteous, approachable, willing, thorough in all he did, and very helpful at all times during my dealings with him. I could not have expected better legal advice and help, and feel that he provided me with an excellent and knowledgable service.’

    Public sector Tier 1

    Blake Morgan LLP’s large practice has significant experience in local government, health and education work. The local government subteam is headed up by Penny Rinta-Suksi, who is ‘a leader in the field‘ when it comes to local authority leisure mandates. Senior associate Jennifer Sore is also ‘skilled at dealing with highway claims in particular.’ Under the leadership of Matthew Smith, the team’s educational subteam is instructed on transaction, litigation proceedings and specialist education tribunal mandates. Bruce Potter leads the health subteam, which acts for a range of clients including NHS England. Vicky Schollar, who is an employment expert, also contributes to the practice.

    Practice head(s):

    Penny Rinta-Suksi; Bruce Potter; Matthew Smith

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘We work with the leisure team who in my opinion are unrivalled in their expertise in this field. Their depth of knowledge is incredible and ensures that clients have the full understanding of very complex issues.’

    ‘Penny Rinta-Suksi is a leader in her field; she has experience that is unmatched in the industry and brings a commercial understanding alongside the legal expertise.’

    ‘Jennifer Sore has an excellent knowledge of the public sector, and is skilled at dealing with highway claims in particular. Would highly recommend her.’

    ‘The team have an excellent knowledge of social care regulatory law.’

    ‘The individuals we work with are very approachable and are always prepared to answer ad-hoc queries.’

    ‘Blake Morgan is very receptive to the individual needs of its clients. They are clear in their advice and will always seek a collaborative approach to the client’s issue.’

    Key clients

    The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and The Metropolitan Police Service

    Mansfield District Council

    Reading Borough Council

    Surrey County Council

    Brighton & Hove City Council

    Wokingham Borough Council

    Hart District Council

    Lewisham Borough Council

    RB of Kingston on Thames

    Buckinghamshire County Council

    North Norfolk District Council

    Oxfordshire County Council

    London Borough of Merton

    Test Valley Borough Council

    Dover District Council

    West Berkshire District Council

    New College, Oxford

    Balliol College, Oxford

    Oxford Foundation for Theoretical Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence

    Gregg School Trust

    Work highlights

    • Assisted Reading Borough Council with successfully completing its complex leisure project to radically improve its mixture of new and existing wet and dry leisure facilities.
    • Advised Brighton & Hove City Council on the sponsored conversion of Moulsecoomb Primary School which converted to join academy trust company, the Pioneer Academy.

    Real estate > Commercial property: Hampshire Tier 1

    Blake Morgan LLP's South Coast commercial property team focuses mainly on development, which it handles for clients across the commercial and residential fields. Oliver Sowton took over from Sean Palka as practice head after Palka departed the firm, and handles sale and purchase, asset management, and development for commercial clients including banks, trusts, tech companies, and port authorities, in addition to landlord and tenant and lease renewal work. Daniel Curtis and Elizabeth Covil also focus on commercial matters, with the former especially experienced in property finance, and the latter in sales and disposals. Iain Munro advises clients in the retail and care sectors. Hollie Jones is recommended for her broad experience, with particular strengths including portfolio management for landlords and corporate occupiers. John Shallcross has niche expertise in the implications of stamp duty land tax.

    Practice head(s):

    Oliver Sowton

    Testimonials

    ‘Extremely professional, knowledgeable and responsive.’

    ‘Elizabeth Covil – highly professional and effective.’

    Key clients

    BAE Systems Plc & BAE group companies

    Barker Mill Group of Trusts

    Clydesdale Bank Plc

    Cobra Coffee Limited

    Costa Limited

    Coutts & Co

    David Lloyd Leisure

    De La Rue Plc & De La Rue Group companies

    Fitzroy Support

    Forelle Estates Limited

    Gada Property Investments Limited

    Gentian Development Group

    Harlequins Football Club

    HSBC UK Bank Plc

    Inchcape Family Investments Limited

    Kerry Group Plc & group companies

    Metro Bank Plc

    Port of London Authority

    Southern Co-operative Limited

    Specsavers Optical Stores Limited

    Work highlights

    • Acting for food retailer Southern Co-op and its subsidiary Cobra Coffee in relation to its convenience store and Starbuck franchise roll-out and asset management of its 230+ combined store portfolio.
    • Acting for The Methodist Church on a wide range of instructions including sales, purchases, options, overage and various other esoteric agreements including dealing with all Charities Act and client-specific compliances.

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

    Blake Morgan LLP advises corporate occupiers and institutional investors on niche and highly regulated sectors, including education, healthcare and telecoms, and on matters involving multiple jurisdictions. Practice head Andrew Farmery counts IWG Plc and the Canal and River Trust among his clients and advises on acquisitions, developments, disposals, and reorganizations. Michael Ward leads the real estate and corporate support team in Thames Valley and focuses his practice on developers and secured lenders. Their colleague George Panteli services clients in the office, industrial, and retail sectors and has particular complementary expertise in the Electronic Communications Code.

    Practice head(s):

    Andrew Farmery

    Other key lawyers:

    Michael Ward; George Panteli; Robert Lynch; Zoe Wright; Angela Mildenhall; Rachel Sales; Sophie Boswell

    Testimonials

    ‘The team is efficient, responsive and helpful. Always willing to pick up the phone and talk through any issues.’

    ‘Zoe Wright is amazingly responsive, commercially-minded and helpful at all points. It’s a pleasure to work with the team. Sophie Boswell is an extremely assured and capable presence. Her drafting and negotiation are top notch.’

    Key clients

    IWG plc

    DX Networks Services Limited

    Canal & River Trust

    Sorbon Estate Limited

    The Methodist Church

    Canary Wharf Group Plc

    Gigaclear plc

    Aldermore Bank plc

    Montpelier Estates Limited

    XPS Pensions Consulting Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised IWG Plc on negotiations pertaining to office lease restructurings.
    • Advised DX Network Services Limited on a series of leasehold acquisitions and the legal aspects of managing its Nationwide property portfolio.
    • Acting for Sorbon Estates Limited on estate management work pertaining to its office, retail, and industrial premises.

    Real estate > Construction Tier 1

    Blake Morgan LLP‘s construction team works across the firm’s offices in Oxford, London, Southampton, and Cardiff, with clients in the private and public sectors in areas including infrastructure, retail and leisure, energy, health, banking, and education. James Bessey heads the contentious offering, and practice head Richard Wade leads on non-contentious matters. Bessey is experienced in national and international disputes, with a growing focus on issues relating to cladding. Wade, meanwhile, provides comprehensive support on matters including procurement strategies and contract drafting and negotiation. Working out of Oxford, Dominic Jones covers contentious and non-contentious matters, acting for clients including owners, developers and funders as well as contractors, professional consultants and suppliers.

    Practice head(s):

    Richard Wade

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘Dominic Jones has been exemplary in fulfilling the construction legal commission. His response to issues is quick succinct and focussed. Given the issues and hurdles which have arisen he has shown endless patience. In addition clear scopes of service and fixed fees have been very welcome as a means for managing project finances.’

    ‘A very capable team.’

    Key clients

    IWG / Regus

    Diamond Light Source Ltd

    Premier Inns/Whitbread

    New College

    Oxford University Developments

    Gigaclear Plc

    Ogi/Spectrum

    Sutton and East Surrey Water

    Beard Construction

    Metro Bank plc

    Work highlights

    • Providing full life-cycle service on construction issues across IWG’s extensive portfolio of serviced offices.
    • Acting on a dispute in relation to the payment provisions under a £20m contract for the filter replacement and upgrade of the water treatment works.
    • Instructed to provide non-contentious support on a number of projects, including the replacement of the roof to main Synchrotron building, the construction of two new technical manufacturing facilities, and a significant four-storey extension of the existing headquarters building at the Harwell research facility.

    TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 1

    Blake Morgan LLP is a go-to firm for branding, trade mark, design rights, and copyright in a wide range of industries, including retail, arts, publishing, charities, higher education, and the public sector. Competition issues pertaining to IP and reputation management are complementary areas in which the team has expertise. Jill Bainbridge leads the department as well as the firm’s TM prosecution team, she focuses on disputes particularly those with international elements. Further recommended, especially for his trade mark practice, is legal director Ben Evans, a chartered trade mark attorney.

    Practice head(s):

    Jill Bainbridge

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘The team is efficient and reliable, with very swift response times. Their expertise in this area is evident, and there was no problem too big or small for them to tackle.’

    ‘Ben Evans showed great patience and understanding, taking the time to carefully explain things to clients with very little knowledge in this area. He could not have been more helpful and reassuring.’

    Key clients

    Met Police

    Charles Tyrwhitt

    Red Paddle Company

    Wiggle CRC

    Feelunique

    Advanced Thinking Systems Limited

    Nokia

    Mattel UK Limited

    Lemieux Limited

    Internet Fusion Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised WiggleCRC in relation to a variety of IP matters, cross-border enforcement, contract disputes, and data protection.
    • Advised the Met Police regarding protection of IP and licensing arrangements.
    • Advised Advanced Thinking Systems Limited in relation to ownership of IP and assets globally.

    TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 1

    Elisabeth Bell, Alison Patten-Hall and Jill Bainbridge form the leadership trio at Blake Morgan LLP, where the team advises both emerging and established tech companies, particularly those intersecting with healthcare, on a wide range of issues, as well handling telecoms infrastructure work. Simon Staples ‘stands out‘ for his expertise in advising on M&A, private equity, and fundraising. Recommended especially for his employment expertise in the IT sector comes Rajiv Joshi, who regularly advises HCL Technologies on contentious and non-contentious matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Elisabeth Bell; Alison Patten-Hall; Jill Bainbridge

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    ‘The team at Blake Morgan works really well with us to get to the advice quickly and at a price we can afford. I like the way the staff works well at all levels.’

    ‘Simon Staples stands out in our relationship.’

    Key clients

    Digital Space Group Limited

    HTEC Limited

    NHS England

    IBM United Kingdom LTD

    Druva Europe Ltd

    Nokia

    Wiggle CRC

    Utilita Energy Limited

    Juriba Limited

    Boom Holdings Limited

    Velocys

    NTT Security UK Limited

    West Coast Group

    GB Bank Limited

    Advanced Thinking Systems Limited

    Met Police

    eFlorist Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advising Digital Space Limited and supporting the commercial director on a range of supplier and customer agreements.
    • Advising HiSpeed on incorporation of the company and IP ownership and protection.
    • Advising Wiggle CRC on contracts, data governance, dispute management, and trade marks.

    Finance > Banking and finance Tier 2

    Blake Morgan LLP's 'knowledgeable' team displays a 'sureness of touch' on behalf of a range of borrowers and lenders which has been cultivated as a result of longstanding involvement in many high-profile Wales-based debt finance mandates, including within the healthcare and hospitality sectors. A 'consummate professional', team head Paul Duggan has been pivotal to the firm's success in the area and regularly advises core lender clients including Development Bank of Wales, as well as many of the firm's social housing clients on the debtor side.

    Practice head(s):

    Testimonials

    Blake Morgan is home to a comprehensive and knowledgeable team with a longstanding reputation and a sureness of touch which inspires confidence.’

    Paul Duggan is the consummate professional and we have not yet come across an issue where he cannot provide a sensible solution.’

    Key clients

    HSBC

    National Westminster Bank

    Zip World

    Cyden Limited / iPulse Limited

    Julian Hodge Bank

    Development Bank of Wales

    Metro Bank Plc

    Caredig (previously Family Housing Association)

    Grwp Cynefin

    ClwydAlyn Housing

    Santander UK Plc

    Investec Bank Plc

    Vista Retail Support Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised Metro Bank on the management and development of, and ongoing updates to, the Metro suite of loan and security documentation and administration of the Metro extranet containing loan, security and other transaction documentation.
    • Advised Grŵp Cynefin on an award of funding for a housing development site.
    • Advised ClwydAlyn Housing Limited on an award of funding for the collaborative scheme with Grŵp Cynefin and a further award of funding for a separate site for a housing development site.

    Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

    Regularly working alongside core charity law experts from across the firm’s Reading and Southampton offices, Blake Morgan LLP‘s Cardiff team is particularly effective at handling employment, commercial and property matters impacting a plethora of Wales-based charities and third sector clients, including social housing and education institutions. Head of the overarching public law group, Eve Piffaretti  regularly advises charities providing care and education services on their internal policies and procedures.

    Practice head(s):

    Ben Brice (Reading)

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    Excellent service with very dedicated staff within the housing and employment section.’

    The attention to detail is excellent and the personal touch from partners and associates makes all the difference to us.’

    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 – Wales Synod

    Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust

    The Royal National Institute for Blind People

    Melin Homes

    Tai Calon Community Housing Limited

    Royal National Lifeboat Institution

    Global Witness

    Sobell House Hospice Charity

    Girls’ Friendly Society

    Fitzroy Support

    United Bible Societies Association

    Pilgrims’ Friend Society

    Women for Women International

    Work highlights

    • Advising Cardiff University in connection with charity governance matters including the interpretation of its Charter and Statutes in connection with management of conflicts of interests.
    • Advising Melin Homes in connection with its appointment as sole corporate trustee of an almshouse charity and the securing of trust corporation status from the Charity Commission.
    • Advising the Methodist Church across various Circuits in Wales in connection with the acquisition and disposal of church property in accordance with the Methodist Church statutes and charity law.

    Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

    Acting on its own, as well as frequently alongside other practitioners in England, Blake Morgan LLP's small Cardiff-based team, which is led by Lisa Davies, punches above its weight and regularly handles complex work relating to estate administration and lifetime planning. Davies often leverages her fluent Italian speaking skills for British citizens with issues in Italy  as well as advising Italian citizens resident in the UK in respect of their estate planning issues. Senior associate Nicky Sherrard is well-versed at providing tax efficient succession planning advice as well as in the context of estate administration, and is noted for compassionate and sympathetic approach to work in the space.

    Practice head(s):

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    They have a good breadth of knowledge in the area.’

    The team provides clear advice on technical matters for short and long term inheritance planning.’

    Nicky Sherrard has always shown me compassion, and has been a trusted advisor who I felt I could always turn to for advice when needed.’

    Work highlights

      Real estate > Commercial property Tier 2

      Led by James Egan Blake Morgan LLP‘s ‘well co-ordinated and knowledgeable‘ six-partner team ‘expedites expert concise advice’ to a balanced mix of public and private sector stakeholders across a wide range of commercial property projects. Clients also benefit from access to the firm’s in-house project and cost management services and are therefore afforded a very holistic service and a single point of contact across all aspects associated with the life cycle of a project. At a senior level, Geoff Reed  has vast experience advising on the acquisition, development and disposal of commercial and residential property, while Nigel Griffiths  longstanding representation of Canary Wharf Group Plc, ensures that he has an enviable retail leasing practice. Louise Howells heads up the firm’s real estate social housing team and provides a ‘fantastic blend of knowledge and insight’ to RSLs across the panoply of their property needs.

      Practice head(s):

      Testimonials

      It is a well co-ordinated, knowledgeable team which expedites expert consice advice to clients in an easily understood manner.’

      James Egan provides sound commercial advice, not just from a legal perspective but also a real world point.’

      Louise Howells always gives us a fantastic blend of knowledge and insight, coupled with approachability and understanding. She’s razor sharp, yet happy to be patient and talk things through to help our understanding. She meets deadlines and goes the extra mile when needed.’

      The strength of Dawn Smith to highlight a range of options and the benefits/risk of each to allow us to make a clear decision.’

      Key clients

      Canary Wharf Group Plc

      Welsh Government

      Cardiff Parkway Developments Limited

      Cardiff University

      NHS Wales

      The Royal National Institute for Blind People

      Symrise Limited

      Transport for Wales

      Newport City Homes

      HSBC

      Linc Cymru Housing Association

      Cardiff and Vale College

      ClwydAlyn Housing Limited

      Work highlights

      • Continued portfolio management and new leases/re-gears for long standing client, Canary Wharf Group, owners of the Canary Wharf Estate.
      • Advising Symrise Limited on a £8.2m development, enabling them to relocate from an outdated manufacturing site to a new state of the art and fit for future development with the ability to increase its production to almost double its current capacity.
      • Advised bpha on the £23.94m acquisition of 143 affordable housing units at Camborne which was time critical to fall within bpha’s financial years and to ensure a continued good working relationship with Taylor Wimpey.

      Real estate > Construction Tier 2

      Led by the 'exceptionally talented' Joanna Rees , Blake Morgan LLP's 'well-co-ordinated and knowledgeable' two-partner team has 'excellent technical knowledge' which it dispenses to developers and contractors, in particular, across a range of national and UK-wide projects. Although it does handle some private sector work, the team is particularly strong at advising public sector clients (including local authorities, education institutions and government-owned bodies) on major infrastructure and regeneration schemes. Senior associate Kate Howell is the main contact for contentious matters, including on cladding and other fire safety-related disputes.

      Practice head(s):

      Testimonials

      Their expertise in both construction law and contract law is second to none.’

      It is a well co-ordinated and knowledgeable team which expedites expert consice advice to clients in an easily understood manner.’

      ‘Very personable, excellent technical knowledge. Detailed billings to allow review. Willing to pick up unique challenging requests and behave proactively. Utilize junior staff for appropriate tasks to save the client money.’

      They are very approachable and provide advice in a timely manner.’

      Jo Rees is exceptionally talented and knowledgeable.’

      Key clients

      Transport for Wales

      The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

      SPTS Technologies UK Limited

      Premier Inns/Whitbread

      Carmarthenshire County Council

      Cardiff University

      NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership – Specialist Estates Services

      Cardiff City Council

      Work highlights

      • Advised Transport for Wales on all construction issues including procurement of contractors for railway works for the Core Valley Lines, Alliancing agreement, environmental and carbon conscious drafting and preparing a bespoke suite of NEC4 construction contracts for use across all its projects in 2022.
      • Advising the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames on its “Transform Kingston” programme which is the regeneration of Kingston City Centre – this includes the Kingfisher Leisure Centre, Guildhall One and Guildhall Two and the future regeneration of the Cattle Market car park.
      • Advising SPTS Technologies Limited, the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturer based in Newport on the procurement of a new state of the art factory with clean room technology.

      Public sector > Education: institutions Tier 2

      Blake Morgan LLP handles disciplinary matters and issues related to the impact of Brexit and tuition fees on international students, as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the offers and grades students receive. The practice is led by Matthew Smith, who handles both contentious and non-contentious employment matters within the education sector, including issues of equal pay, industrial relations and restructuring.

      Practice head(s):

      Matthew Smith

      Key clients

      New College, Oxford

      Balliol College, Oxford

      Cardiff University

      Cardiff Metropolitan University

      Oxford Foundation for Theoretical Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence

      Portsmouth Diocesan Trust

      University of Reading

      Christ Church College, Oxford

      Brasenose College, Oxford

      University College, Oxford

      University of Chichester

      Hereford Sixth Form College

      Swansea University

      Magdalen College, Oxford

      University of South Wales

      Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association

      Gower College

      Work highlights

      • Advising New College, Oxford, on procurement approach, appointment of its design team and construction contracts in relation to its proposed redevelopment of a new Quadrangle within the College estate.
      • Advising Swansea University on portfolio management issues in relation to both its campus facilities and student accommodation. This includes advice on lease obligations for academic buildings; regulatory issues for student accommodation under Rent Smart Wales; and advice on new legislation changes under Renting Homes Wales Act 2016.
      • Advising Cardiff University in relation to its ongoing £600 million campus development programme which includes the Centre for Student Life (a new, bespoke student services hub adjacent to the Students’ Union) and the Innovation Campus/Sbarc Building (a newly-opened £300 million research centre).

      Public sector > Healthcare Tier 2

      Blake Morgan LLP's health and social care team regularly advises on the  implementation of large, complex, high value procurement transactions in the healthcare sector The team supports legal work at the forefront of medical science for clients like the Human Tissue Authority and has been advising on the commercial and regulatory aspects of the Covid-19 vaccine program. Bruce Potter has wide and varied experience in national public policy, including major public and private procurement projects. He co-leads the team with Cardiff-based Eve Piffaretti , who has a broad practice covering a wealth of Welsh public law issues, with particular specialism in statutory interpretation of health and social care and regulatory law.

      Practice head(s):

      Bruce Potter; Eve Piffaretti

      Other key lawyers:

      Joanne Thompson; Richard Portlock; Claire Rawle; Clare Strickland

      Testimonials

      ‘The team are excellent at providing robust and pragmatic support regarding procurement. They are solutions driven and always give a legal view in context of the problem at hand rather than just giving a “cold” legal opinion. They take the time to understand the business need and the overall strategic direction of travel to ensure their advice aligns with this’

      ‘Excellent team. Responsive, approachable, experienced and offer practical solutions. Understand our operating environment.’

      Key clients

      Oxford Academic Health Sciences Network

      NHS in Wales (Seven local health boards, three NHS trusts and Digital Health and Care Wales)

      Human Tissue Authority

      Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

      NHS England and NHS Improvement

      InHealth Limited

      Nursing and Midwifery Council

      Social Care Wales

      Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust

      Healthcare and Professions Council

      Medway Community Healthcare

      Medical Imaging Partnerships Limited

      Nottinghamshire and Nottingham CCG

      Welsh Government

      The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

      Work highlights

      • Joint instructions to act for NHS England and NHS Improvement on the Covid 19 Public Inquiry.
      • Provided expert and critical advice to UK-wide and Welsh regulatory bodies in response to the pandemic, legislative change and in their on-going response to Brexit.
      • Advising and representing NHS England and NHS Improvements  in relation to a judicial review brought by individual Claimants relating to NHSE/I’s approach towards NHS critical care treatment and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Transport > Travel

      The key names at Blake Morgan LLP are London-based consultant Ian Skuse, who leads the travel: regulatory and commercial team, and Daniel Scognamiglio, who heads up the travel team from the firm's Southampton office. On the regulatory and commercial side, the firm has a track record of work for airlines, holiday companies and tour operators, while on the personal injury front, the firm works with insurers, claimants, defendants, airlines and holiday companies on a wide range of claims. Associates Katherine Ettridge and Iqval Dale are well-regarded up-and-coming members of the team.

      Practice head(s):

      Daniel Scognamiglio; Ian Skuse

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘Blake Morgan have been working this field for many years and have a good deal of experience in it.’

      ‘Daniel Scognamiglio stands out as knowing all there is to know about travel law and as being a realistic and hardly negotiator.’

      ‘A specialist firm which provides premium but cost-effective legal services for national and international clients.’

      ‘Daniel Sconamiglio – leads from the front; very commercially astute; brave and prepared to take the most difficult and ground-breaking cases to the highest appellate levels to make new lew. A legal pioneer.

      ‘Katherine Ettridge and Iqval Dale are both associate rising stars in their own right.’

      ‘Blake Morgan have an expert, commercial savvy, and highly efficient team.’

      ‘Daniel Scognamiglio has depth and breadth of knowledge of international personal injury and insurance matter which make him stand out from the crowd.’

      ‘Daniel Scognamiglio is brilliant – smooth, intelligent, charming. Clients love him.’

      Key clients

      AXA Insurance/AXA Travel Insurance

      DAS

      Ageas

      Admiral

      MAAF

      Travelers

      ERV

      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

      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

      Work highlights

      • Acted for a claimant involved in a road traffic accident in Mexico involving traumatic brain injury. The claim was resolved via mediation for approximately £1m.
      • Successfully defended a claim brought by a policyholder against an insurer client for incorrectly denying claim leading to significant ongoing difficulties.
      • Advising Air France KLM during the pandemic on flight cancellations, quarantines, red list destinations and vaccination requirements.

      Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

      Blake Morgan LLP is home to a team of insolvency experts who act for the vast majority of insolvency practitioners in the Thames Valley area and Southampton. The practice represents banks, landlords, investors and directors of distressed companies including HSBC, Metro Bank PLC, Interpath and PwC. Practice head Katie James is well-versed in all forms of insolvency law including receiverships, bankruptcies, creditors and directors in relation to liquidations. Dan Geddes heads the firm’s offering in Southampton and represents insolvency practitioners in bringing claims against company directors and debtors. Andrew Murphy is a key member of the team.

      Practice head(s):

      Katie James

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘Approachable and commercial.’

      ‘The team at Blake Morgan are clearly very capable and organised and are on top of the insolvency cases that they carry out. I always get my papers well ahead of hearings and the team are easily contactable.’

      ‘I work primarily with Katie Warner, Andrew Murphy and Katie James. They are all very personable and easy to work with. I am impressed by the quality of work that they produce.’

      ‘A contactable and very personable team. Keen to understand and meet requirements.’

      ‘Katie James is always very happy to assist and discuss situations, recognising the need to check with/bring in other colleagues where needed. This helps to inspire confidence in the advice being provided and develop trust in the relationship.’

      ‘Whilst many firms these days seem to be trying their hand at insolvency work, the insolvency team at Blake Morgan are a true first class offering and know their stuff inside out. Although still a relatively small team, their breadth and depth of knowledge makes them a stand-out player with an excellent grasp of legislation, practice and procedure.’

      ‘Katie James is quite simply a powerhouse of knowledge; and no matter how complex the matter, we know that our work is in safe hands and the best possible result will be achieved.’

      ‘The team are client friendly, efficient, highly effective and cost conscious.’

      Key clients

      Metro Bank Plc

      Quantuma Advisory Limited

      Begbies Traynor

      RSM

      Fraser Real Estate

      Opus Restructuring & Insolvency

      BDO

      Rollings Butt LLP

      Carter Clark

      Ozo Innovations Limited

      Global Corporate

      Madar Corporation Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advised Rollings Butt LLP as the liquidators of STA Travel Limited.
      • Advised Quantuma Advisory Limited as the administrators of Arlington Infrastructure Limited in relation to a contentious appointment.
      • Advised Quantuma Advisory Limited as the administrators of QED Developments Limited in relation to an application for an injunction relating to the proposed sale of a property and the subsequent sale of the property.

      Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 2

      Blake Morgan LLP‘s professional liability team focuses on claimant work, with a track record of work on cases concerning solicitors, property professionals and financial advisers. The Southampton-based team’s recent work has include claims in sectors ranging from aerospace to pensions and property to tax. Head of team Richard Portlock brings 30 years of experience in the area of professional negligence litigation. He is supported by Michael Colledge, who was promoted to partner in 2022 and specialises in professional negligence and insurance coverage disputes, and experienced associate Stephen Cannell, whose practice also encompasses aviation and marine disputes.

      Practice head(s):

      Richard Portlock

      Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

      Blake Morgan LLP handles a range of work for high-profile charities and not-for-profits, and is praised for 'working to an exceptionally high standard, with dedicated and knowledgeable staff'. The team can draw on support from other practices across the firm, including employment, property and tax. The team is led by Reading-based legal director Ben Brice - 'an absolute pleasure to work with' - while Southampton-based senior associate Kirsteen Hook's focus includes regulation and governance and Charity Commission requirements.

      Practice head(s):

      Ben Brice

      Other key lawyers:

      Kirsteen Hook; Laura Sherratt

      Testimonials

      ‘We have obtained expert legal advice from Blake Morgan as part of a wider project to release endowments for the charity. We would like to the opportunity to thank particularly Laura Sherratt, whose advice and approach has been excellent in obtaining the required outcome.’

      ‘They are quick to respond and amenable to giving a helpful steer rather than always a detailed response; this is efficient for us.’

      ‘Kirsteen Hook provides helpful and timely advice and I have recommended her to others before and would do so again. Thanks!’

      ‘Blake Morgan has long had a specialism in charities and not-for-profit – they work to an exceptionally high standard with dedicated and knowledgeable staff. I have worked with them recently on three different projects and their advice is bespoke, specific and helpful.’

      ‘Kirsteen Hook is experienced and knowledgeable and has helped us pick up errors and inconsistencies from the work done by other firms. I wouldn’t use any other firm. Their work is consistently first rate.’

      ‘The team took time to understand our needs and ensure they had a full picture of our situation before advising us of possible routes forward. As a result, completing the work was straight forward.’

      ‘Attention to detail, quick response to queries, friendly, happy to take time to ensure non-legal people understand.’

      ‘Excellent sector knowledge and fantastic customer service-I can always contact the team and if my main contact Laura Sherratt is not available then there is an alternative-they will always respond and have clearly prioritised customer service as a differentiator.’

      Key clients

      Royal National Lifeboat Institution

      Global Witness

      Sobell House Hospice Charity

      Girls’ Friendly Society

      Pilgrims’ Friend Society

      Cardiff University

      Paint The Change

      Royal National Institute of Blind People

      The UK Kidney Association

      Fitzroy Support

      The Carlsberg Foundation (Denmark based)/The Pettit Foundation (US based)

      United Bible Societies Association

      Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust

      Winchester Diocesan Board of Finance

      The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Children’s Fund

      Society of London Art Dealers

      Langley House Trust

      Work highlights

      • Advised the Girls’ Friendly Society in connection with a governance review and updating of charity constitution, including liaising with Charity Commission to secure consent to regulated alterations.
      • Advising the RNLI on the options available to participate in a local conservation and renovation project that would secure the acquisition and redevelopment of an abandoned lifeboat station and restrict the application of its funds as part of the broader project only towards its charitable objects.
      • Advising the Association of Project Management on the introduction of changes to its Royal Charter and By-laws with the approval of the Privy Council in a way that preserved its charitable objectives and introduced governance flexibilities in light of the challenges of meeting in person posed by Covid-19.

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

      A ‘strong force to be reckoned with‘, the team at Blake Morgan LLP has extensive experience in handling matrimonial finances, a specialism of practice head James Davies, as well as sensitive children’s cases involving spousal abuse and cohabitation disputes. Consultant and former practice head Christine Plews acts as a mediator and is certified to undertake child-inclusive mediation. Catherine Morgan comes particularly recommended for her expertise in private law children cases.

      Practice head(s):

      James Davies

      Other key lawyers:

      Christine Plews; Catherine Morgan; Laura Bennett; Amy Maher; Simon Burge; Jessica Howard

      Testimonials

      ‘Christine Plews is very supportive of clients, but well able to fight if necessary.’

      ‘The service at Blake Morgan has been of a very high standard. All the staff that I met were very helpful and accommodating, making for a more relaxed and less stressful experience. I felt I could always get in touch, however small a concern. However difficult and complicated the issues, I was always treated with compassion, dignity and respect.’

      ‘James Davies was very professional in the way he helped me through the long and difficult process. He would always explain in depth and clearly the complicated issues I was struggling with, so I could fully understand and make the best possible decisions. He showed understanding and compassion for my situation and was always reassuring when I was finding the process stressful. I am incredibly grateful for all the work that he did, and for achieving for me a remarkably good outcome.’

      ‘James Davies is a star: totally unflappable, he always delivers sound advice to clients. What Simon Burge doesn’t know about family law isn’t worth knowing. He is calm and kind, but also a brilliant tactician.’

      ‘Blake Morgan is a top provider of legal services in the field of family finance. As a long-established firm they have an excellent reputation for retaining their key players. The Oxford office is no different and has the excellent James Davies. As a large firm Blake Morgan has the appropriate premises and systems for a top regional firm.’

      ‘James Davies and Simon Burge are stand-out stars and worthy of particular comment. Up and coming are Catherine Morgan and Jessica Howard.’

      ‘Blake Morgan Oxford is a strong force to be reckoned with. All solicitors are extremely knowledgeable, experienced and able lawyers. They are very well prepared and thorough in all aspects of their case management. They are pragmatic when needed.’

      ‘James Davies is a highly experienced family finance solicitor. He really gets to grips with the detail of every case and provides clear, practical and commercial advice. He is excellent with the clients and always forges great working relationships. His cases are always prepared meticulously and he does not shy away from investigating difficult matters. He is a class act.’

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

      Succession and tax matters are focus points of Blake Morgan LLP. The team also handles estate, probate, and trust administration for rural estates and business owners and court of protection proceedings. In addition, practice head Susannah Treherne has extensive experience in handling matters pertaining to client’s mental capacity, including application to the Office of the Public Guardian. Both James Greig and Kathryn Woodward handle inheritance taxes, Greig also manages probates and trusts whereas clients may benefit from Woodward’s certification as a notary public.

      Practice head(s):

      Susannah Treherne

      Other key lawyers:

      James Greig; Kathryn Woodward; Stephen Evans; Andrew Lane; Amy Larcome; Mary Mulhern

      Testimonials

      ‘Stephen Evans was both highly professional and personable; a combination you rarely find. We always felt he was calmly in control and very knowledgeable. He kept us up to date and and was honest and open about where we would have to be patient and why. We felt grateful throughout for having such a “safe pair of hands” to lead us through. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.’

      ‘Suzannah Treherne is very approachable and easy to deal with. Good rapport and prompt actions and responses. Exceptional response when urgent action required.’

      ‘Stephen Evans was excellent in every respect. His advice was at once solid and imaginative. He was timely in his responses, actually answered the questions, his documents were flawless, he resolved several difficult issues and the upshot is that in the longer term he will save us a great deal of money and headache.’

      ‘James Greig presents himself as a family lawyer and this has proven to be true, attentive, helpful, efficient and understanding.’

      Real estate > Environment and planning Tier 2

      Blake Morgan LLP’s highly regarded planning team operates nationally, with presence in the South East through the firm’s offices in Reading, Oxford, and Southampton. London-based Amardip Healy  heads the team, and brings broad experience in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious planning. The team advises on the full spectrum of planning-related matters, including complex multiuse developments and contentious planning and heritage enforcement. It also provides advice and support to clients on environmental matters such as grassland preservation and flood alleviation. Keith Lancaster, also based in London, brings a range of experience, and negotiates and drafts all planning and highways agreements. Senior associate Victoria Charlesson joined in November 2021, and is based in the firm’s Reading office, where she handles a range of work for clients including developers, high net-worth individuals, and social housing providers.

      Practice head(s):

      Amardip Healy

      Other key lawyers:

      Key clients

      Transport for Wales

      Investec

      Work highlights

      • Represent Geoffrey and Peter Carpenter and secured a refusal for a Development Consent Order with compulsory purchase powers.
      • Representing Meadow Residential as they seek to evolve their practice from a developer to that of a mortgagee.
      • Representing Mr Keeling, the primary objector to a compulsory purchase scheme being promoted by National Highways.

      Real estate > Property litigation Tier 2

      Spread across the firm’s offices in Reading, Oxford and Southampton, Blake Morgan LLP‘s property litigation team is well regarded across the South East. Zoe Wright heads up the team’s Reading, Oxford, and London offerings from the Reading office, where her clients include corporate occupiers with significant property portfolios. She also has a strong reputation acting for clients in the telecoms sector, where she is supported by legal director Simon Pestell, who works out of the Southampton office, and has broad experience in commercial property mandates, including leasehold matters. Thomas Djan-Krofa, who works in Oxford, was recently promoted to legal director and is especially well-regarded by clients in the social housing sphere.

      Practice head(s):

      Zoe Wright; Simon Pestell

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘First-class understanding of the issues and brought a calm and pragmatic approach to identifying high quality solutions. Advice has always been very measured and tailored to our specific objectives.’

      ‘Very experienced and knowledgeable.’

      ‘The Members of the team that I have worked with are professional and committed to their clients. They combine expertise with an emphasis on client service. Part of their commitment is demonstrated by their desire to understand their clients’ businesses aims and objectives to provide a more tailored service than most.’

      ‘Very responsive to queries at all levels, from partner to junior. We have always received pragmatic advice at a fair price.’

      ‘Simon Pestell has been very helpful as we have navigated the difficulties raised by the Covid pandemic. He has always been on hand for high quality advice, has provided clear estimates in advance for any significant work performed and has stuck to those estimates even when the the job has taken longer than he expected.’

      ‘Thomas Djan-Krofa – approachable, well-versed with the area of law.’

      ‘Thomas Djan-Krofa is of specific note. He has a real interest in the law and its application. He works well in a team and is accessible and intelligent. In my experience he ensures that any remedies sought are in keeping with his clients’ particular goals on an individual case basis as well as on ‘global’ company policy levels. He adds particular value by actively engaging with his clients and identifying what further services he and the firm can provide to meet their needs.’

      Key clients

      Sorbon Estates Limited

      Canal & River Trust

      DX Network Services Limited

      Wireless Infrastructure Group

      The British Red Cross Society

      IW Group Services (UK) Limited

      Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust

      Oxfam

      Sam 99p Stores Limited

      Specsavers

      Southern Co-operative Group Limited

      St Johns of Winchester

      Peabody Trust

      Gandalf Properties Limited

      Metro Bank

      Lidl Stores

      Work highlights

      • Acting for Sam 99p Stores Limited in relation to a business lease renewal claim.
      • Advising a UK university on termination under the Telecoms Code of roof top premises.
      • Acted for Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust in successfully obtaining a six-month committal order against a tenant who had breached the terms of her anti-social behaviour injunction having racially abused staff members and physically assaulted a police officer.

      TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment Tier 2

      Blake Morgan LLP advises clients from a wide variety of sectors on issues arising from media law, the team is particularly strong in matters pertaining to trade marks and department head Jill Bainbridge  is a specialist in cross-border work. Further, Ben Evans is a chartered trade mark attorney and has significant expertise in IP issues arising from social media.

      Practice head(s):

      Jill Bainbridge

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘Great team in a variety of areas of law with good expertise in media and entertainment and IP.’

      ‘Jill Bainbridge – practical, knowledgeable and personable. Ben Evans – really knowledgeable.’

      ‘The team at Blake Morgan has a real personal touch – they make it their business to know their client and what is important commercially to them. They are real unit, too – very in tune with one another.’

      ‘Ben Evans is calm and collected, and always puts his client’s commercial needs front and centre.’

      ‘The team offers knowledgeable and commercial advice. They are efficient and sensible.’

      ‘Jill Bainbridge has enormous experience and gives solid, sensible and commercial advice. Ben Evans is also an excellent choice, sensible, and commercial.’

      Key clients

      Advanced Thinking Systems Limited

      Lemieux Limited

      Met Police

      Mattel UK Limited

      Society of London Art Dealers

      WiggleCRC

      Red Paddle Co

      Springer Macmillan

      Committee on Publication Ethics

      Nosy Crow

      Work highlights

      • Advising a television production company on clearing the name of its new Sky TV drama and a potential conflict with Netflix.
      • Advising an online festival on a significant trade mark infringement issue with a competing, hybrid festival of the same name.
      • Advising a member of a band on his exit from the band, ownership, and distribution of assets.

      Transport > Shipping Tier 2

      Blake Morgan LLP‘s marine team in Southampton is able to deal with a wide range of work in the specialist area of large yachts and superyachts. Practice head Louise Fuller specialises in the sale and purchase of large yachts and also handles disputes relating the operation of yachts. The group acts for owners, insurers and shipyards, handling a variety of commercial issues.

      Practice head(s):

      Louise Fuller

      Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 3

      Blake Morgan LLP acts for some of the largest household name charities, not-for-profit and social enterprise organisations in the UK alongside some smaller charities. With offices in London, Thames Valley, the South coast and Wales, it is well equipped to advise on a wide spectrum of issues from governance and safeguarding to advising on amendments to Royal Charters and statutory charitable bodies. Legal director Ben Brice heads the department and senior associate Kirsteen Hook is also recommended.

      Practice head(s):

      Ben Brice

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘Responsive, sensitive, timely, knowledgeable. Partner and associate engaged well on a modest piece of work that was important to us as a small charity’.

      ‘The depth of their knowledge and expertise in charities is second to none. They also pay attention to detail which I need them to be good at as I am bad at it! They have picked up inconsistencies which we had never seen and shown us how to correct them. Magnificent service’.

      ‘Kirsteen Hook has been fantastically helpful, clear and has detailed knowledge and experience. Other firms have generalists who dabble; Kirsteen is an acknowledged specialist and extremely good at it’.

      ‘The team knows us well and consequently is able to provide good, targeted advice’.

      ‘Ben Brice and his team were very helpful, and thorough in their work for us’.

      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

      Work highlights

      • Advice in connection with statutory inquiry to ensure fair and accurate representation of facts published in inquiry report.
      • Advising Girls Friendly Society on a successful application for release of permanent endowment funds held by subsidiary trust to enable the implementation of long term fundraising strategy.
      • Advising Pilgrims’ Friend Society in connection with the transfer of engagements from a registered society including property forming part of an independent living scheme.

      Employment > Pensions Tier 3

      Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 3

      Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

      Key names at Blake Morgan LLP include the Thames Valley-based Stephanie Walls, who specialises in complex Inheritance Act claims and disputes related to discretionary trusts. She is described as ‘a great tactician who listens to her clients’ needs to achieve a pragmatic result without engaging an aggressive approach‘, and works alongside Susannah Treherne in Oxford, who has a background as a litigator.

      Practice head(s):

      Stephanie Walls

      Other key lawyers:

      Susannah Treherne; Olivia Shenton-Taylor

      Testimonials

      ‘A very impressive team led by Stephanie Walls.’

      ‘Stephanie Walls prepares her cases well and clearly enjoys a very good relationship with her clients.’

      ‘Good, high quality work. Very good value. Very deep expertise in the area.’

      ‘The first thing that must be said about this team is that it is efficient, professional and honest. I have never had a better communication than the one I had with this team. It was really a pleasure working with them and communication was exceptional. They are diligent, understanding and above all supportive.’

      ‘Blake Morgan have a great mid-tier practice. They are pro-active and pragmatic in their handling of cases with sufficient resources and breadth of experience to handle most issues.’

      ‘The team is very responsive to clients needs and the strength also lies in the fact that often their work overlaps with other areas of law which the firm can cover also and provide a seamless client service.’

      ‘Olivia Shenton-Taylor – excellent to work with, very good lawyer.’

      ‘Stephanie Walls stands out, as well as Olivia Shenton-Taylor who is a rising star in this area. Stephanie is a great tactician who listens to her clients’ needs to achieve a pragmatic result without engaging an aggressive approach. She is a great listener and a pleasure to work with. Always respectful but gets her points across in a confident and persuasive manner.’

      Corporate and commercial > M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 4

      Blake Morgan LLP’s London corporate team acts for international companies, SMEs, founder managed businesses and start-ups on the full range of corporate work, focusing primarily on private acquisitions and disposals. Team head Martin Kay, highly experienced in both on- and off-market M&A, is an active member of the Quoted Companies Alliance Legal Committee and 'a standout specialist in his area'.

      Practice head(s):

      Martin Kay

      Other key lawyers:

      Stojan Essex; Dov Katz; Lawrence Phillips; Michelle Davenport

      Testimonials

      ‘The firm is very strong in debt listings on various stock exchanges and has an excellent team, led by partner Martin Kay, which provides very timely advice and execution of all aspects.’

      ‘Excellent negotiators. Always with client’s objectives at the top of their mind Worked for the client deal and offered a high degree of protection. The team was simply outstanding’

      ‘Martin Kay is a standout specialist in his area, is always available, prepares excellent documents and gets the job done quickly. Direct access to a partner with his skills is a big attraction compared to other competing firms.’

      ‘Dov Katz – simply brilliant, client champion, measured and outcome focused.’

      ‘Stojan Essex is our commercial partner of choice, knows what matters to us and guides and shapes objectives accordingly.’

      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

      Romana-Rika Hazan and Global Real Estate Limited (BVI Company)

      Engage In Health Limited

      Group JVWEB

      Work highlights

      • Advising the shareholders of Ramona’s Kitchen Limited, in relation to the sale of their shares to Cranswick Country Foods plc – a company whose parent is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
      • Advising on a private equity investment of up to £30m, with a potential further investment for £70m. The monies are being used to acquire a number of internal practise acquisitions and to provide funds for further acquisitions.
      • Acting for Blackbird plc on a secondary issue by way of private placing to institutions and certain directors and their families – preparing and reviewing all documents and LSE announcements and conducting due verification.

      Public sector > Education: schools Tier 4

      Blake Morgan LLP handles work for a wide range of schools, including academy, free and independent schools, particularly working in the areas of child protection, employment law and regulatory work. The practice also handles mergers and acquisitions, assists with land management acquisitions and advises diocesan authorities on faith schools. Head of the education practice Matthew Smith advises on industrial relations, strikes and restructuring of senior leadership teams. Other key members of the team include legal director Ben Brice and senior associate Kirsteen Hook.

      Practice head(s):

      Matthew Smith

      Other key lawyers:

      Key clients

      King Edward VI School

      St Swithun’s School, Winchester

      University of Chichester Multi-Academy Trust

      The Portsmouth Grammar School

      Winchester Diocesan Board of Finance

      Solent Academies Trust

      The Gallery Trust

      Hamwic Education Trust

      Portsmouth Grammar School

      Hereford Sixth Form College/Heart of Mercia

      Brighton & Hove City Council

      Education Workforce Council

      Teaching Regulation Agency

      Work highlights

      • Advising The Gallery Trust (which runs seven special schools dedicated to providing outstanding education and support for young people with special needs and disabilities) on proposed conversions, governance and expansion of the academy trust and providing a wide range of property services including advising on post-conversion consent applications for land dealings.
      • Advising Hamwic Education Trust, which currently operates 34 academies across the South of England and has a number of community operations and partnerships, on a number of academy conversions and other governance advice and support.
      • Acting as legal advisers to professional conduct panels of the Teacher Regulation Authority (and prior to that, the General Teaching Council for England) in relation to disciplinary proceedings against teachers.

      Real estate > Planning Tier 4

      Blake Morgan LLP‘s planning and environment team advises on complex mixed-use redevelopments, contentious planning issues, and heritage enforcement matters. Amardip Healy heads up the planning practice at the firm, which advises a variety of clients including developers, property investment vehicles, and high-net-worth individuals. Legal director Keith Lancaster has notable experience in contentious and non-contentious residential and retail planning work.

      Practice head(s):

      Amardip Healy

      Other key lawyers:

      Anita Kasseean; Keith Lancaster; Sabah Siddiq; David Kianizadeh; Sadie Pitman

      Key clients

      Transport for Wales

      Investec

      Work highlights

      • Representing clients in securing a refusal for a Development Consent Order with compulsory purchase powers.
      • Representing a variety of developers, landowners, affordable housing providers and providing bespoke planning advice (such as negotiating complex planning and highways agreements, and providing due diligence on site purchases).
      • Representing the primary objector to a compulsory purchase scheme being promoted by National Highways.

      Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 5

      Acting for national and international corporations, financial institutions and high-profile individuals, Blake Morgan LLP's 'lean and effective team' handles litigation across multiple jurisdictions. Sarah Rees focuses on business, finance, retail, leisure and media disputes; Justin Weare is 'quite simply a superb lawyer'; and recently promoted partner Alex Shirtcliff acts in the pursuit and defence of assets within civil fraud scenarios. At legal director level, commercial and insolvency disputes expert Conor Daly is 'a commercially-minded, determined and detail-driven litigator'.

      Practice head(s):

      Sarah Rees

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      Extremely hardworking, commercially astute and client focused. A lean and effective team that is excellent at delivering practical solutions to clients and represents value for money.’

      ‘The Blake Morgan team consistently demonstrates rare levels of expertise. The litigators are extremely diligent, very strategic, and have a unique blend of skill and experience. The team also works collaboratively to offer clients an impeccable, holistic service.’

      ‘Sarah Rees is very smart and has a pro-client approach.

      ‘Justin Weare understands clients’ needs and is good at achieving what the client wants (and managing expectations where that is not feasible).’

      ‘Justin Weare is quite simply a superb lawyer. His knowledge of the law is outstanding, and he displays a commercial nous that affords his clients a strategic advantage in commercial litigation. Justin also always offers his clients the highest level of service in complex commercial matters.’

      ‘Alex Shirtcliff is a joy to work with for barristers.

      ‘Legal director Conor Daly is just great. A commercially-minded, determined and detail-driven litigator – unceasingly on the ball.’

      ‘Conor Daly is practical – knows his stuff and how to communicate it succinctly to clients. A solid and reliable adviser.’

      Key clients

      The Kerry Group

      South American Aircraft Leasing

      Grant Thornton UK

      Transomas

      Transomas Investments

      Awendale Resources

      Buyer’s Dream

      Work highlights

      • Acting for South American Aircraft Leasing in two connected sets of proceedings against two Cuban companies, in relation to the leasing of six aircraft.
      • Acting for Amber Murphy in UK proceedings over the use of the registered trade mark to a series of novels.
      • Acting for Corinna zu Sayn Wittgenstein Sayn in a claim against the former King of Spain under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997.

      Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 5

      The agile team at Blake Morgan LLP provides the full range of traditional succession and tax services from straightforward matters to the more complex lifetime and estate planning for clients with multi-jurisdictional assets. Additionally it is well placed to advise on other complex family situations where there are second marriages, mental capacity issues or missing beneficiaries. Helen Bunker  heads the practice and also acts as a professional executor, trustee, attorney and deputy for a number of families.

      Practice head(s):

      Helen Bunker

      Other key lawyers:

      Karmen Ko

      Testimonials

      ‘Helen Bunker Partner is the approachable face of the team’.

      ‘A solid and collegiate team which provides all round private client advice. Particular strengths in the regional offices. Always willing to help and invest both in their clients and their people with equal respect and diversity’.

      ‘Helen Bunker as the head of the Private Client team in London is extremely hardworking and consistently goes the extra mile to provide excellent client care in a timely and technically sound fashion. Her calm but steely manner can defuse any tricky situation with ease and I would not hesitate in referring the more demanding clients’.

      ‘I have worked with a number of people at Blake Morgan and have always been impressed with the client care they offer.’

      ‘Recently we had the pleasure of working with Karmen Ko on a particulary difficult valuation for IHT purposes. In order to value the property we required a large amount of historic information to back up the complex case. There seemed to be no boundaries to what Karmen was able to find out which made our job possible’.

      Work highlights

      • Extensively advised a family as part of their Family Office support, to provide a full review of their personal wealth and off-shore trust structure in conjunction with their Swiss Trustee.
      • Advised on a matter where the estate is highly complex, consisting of a range of substantial assets in multi-jurisdictions and a range of assets where there is a conflict of laws about the ownership and succession to the assets.
      • Advised a successful businessman, worth in excess of £15m, coping with a diagnosis of dementia which has been highly emotional personally and also professionally challenging. This case brought into sharp focus the very practical, rather than specifically legal, aspects of capacity issues impacting business owners.

      Private client > Family Tier 6

      Flora Grossman at Blake Morgan LLP attracts some high-profile clients from the world of sport and film as well as high-net-worth professional clients (such as business owners and those in the banking sector). The department also acts on Children Act matters from child arrangements through to dealing with removal from the jurisdiction cases. Grossman regularly advises on pre-nuptials, separation and cohabitation agreements.

      Practice head(s):

      Flora Grossman

      Testimonials

      ‘Outstanding and bespoke client care. Flora Grossman is very good. No stone is left unturned’.

      ‘Very organised, professional, excellent lawyers. Flora Grossman is superb, excellent client care skills. thorough and diligent, knows her cases backwards. excellent legal knowledge’.

      ‘The family team at Blake Morgan is comprised of personable individuals who have a solid grasp of the law. There is a wonderful mixture of personalities there which means there is a lawyer for everyone. They pride themselves on their client service and are always looking to find the most efficient way to reach a resolution for clients and strongly advocate for alternative dispute resolution options where appropriate’.

      ‘Blake Morgan is a full service firm and therefore the family team benefits from having a large pool of resources in the form of other excellent lawyers in complimentary fields to assist where necessary’.

      ‘Flora Grossman is the stand out lawyer in the team; I have recommended her to friends and there is no greater endorsement than that. Flora has an excellent manner with clients, she is a calming influence and always manages to put them at ease, she is empathetic to their situation whilst also guiding them through their situation by offering sound legal advice’.

      ‘Flora is a practical lawyer who endeavours to drive matters forward and bring cases to a swift conclusion. Flora is vastly experienced in both financial remedy and children matters which enables her to offer an all round service to clients who need it when separating from their partner’.

      ‘Flora Grossman is the star of the Blake Morgan family team. She makes Blake Morgan stand out’.

      ‘Flora is outstanding since she is dispute resolution, focused, but is also a sharp litigator which makes her the perfect family lawyer. I’ve had many cases with her and feel she is fair minded but resolute in her approach. She is very professional to deal with’.

      Real estate > Property finance Tier 6

      The real estate finance team at Blake Morgan LLP is adept at handling development finance, secured and portfolio lending and agricultural finance. The group is on a number of panels for UK clearing banks, as well as retail and investment banks and private banks. Tony Coyne leads the practice with a strong emphasis on secured lending, acting for banks, public and private sector clients, and individuals based in the Far East. Sophie Shaladi has a growing Islamic finance practice, and the group offers clients Shariah-compliant finance facilities.

      Practice head(s):

      Other key lawyers:

      South East > Employment > Employment: Hampshire

      Sitting within the firm’s larger employment, benefit, immigration and pensions team, led from Cardiff by Ron Burgess, Blake Morgan LLP‘s Southampton-based employment team handles both contentious and non-contentious work for a wide range of clients. Team lead Tim Forer is especially adept at handling cases for clients in the charity and education sectors, as well as the marine and defence industries, where he draws on his unique experience as a former officer in the Royal Navy. Senior associate Vicky Schollar manages the firm’s HR employment law support service, and advises clients on matters ranging from handling sick leave to more complex issues such as restrictive covenants and collective redundancies. Holly Cudbill has expertise in GDPR issues and wider data protection law, as well as defending claims relating to unfair dismissals and discrimination.

      Practice head(s):

      Ron Burgess; Tim Forer

      Other key lawyers:

      Testimonials

      ‘The employment team at Blake Morgan have always taken the time to understand our business drivers, they seek to understand the holistic view rather than the narrow. They are professional at all times, courteous and knowledgeable. Their uniqueness comes from their staff and how they interact with our business. We know we’ll have a good discussion and agree the way forward together.’

      ‘Friendly, pragmatic and approachable.’

      ‘We have found Blake Morgan in Southampton a very strong legal firm who have strong assets in both the law and HR consultancy areas who have been available to help guide us through this extremely litigious area of business.’

      ‘Consistently high standard of advice.’

      ‘Tim Forer – outstanding support. Remainder of team all efficient and helpful. We primarily deal with Tim Forer who handles our employment issues but often deputises specific work streams to team members. In all cases the team are efficient and helpful, with the minimum of fuss. Responsive to emails/calls, just really ‘on it’.’

      ‘We have found Vicky Schollar a very strong lawyer who has guided us extremely conscientiously through the minefield of employment law and procedure. She has a very calm and efficient manner which provides you with confidence that you are being led in the right direction.’

      ‘Holly Cudbill has been superb. Measured considered advice, all suitably practical and achievable.’

      ‘I value their honesty and broad thinking approach to the issues that we face.’

      Key clients

      Insurance

      Utilita Energy Limited

      Corporate support

      The Pilgrims Friend Society

      Royal Naval Association

      MuirCroft Housing Company Limited

      Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT)

      Oldercare

      Matrix IT Limited

      Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust (PNBPT)

      Gosport Ferry Limited

      Villiers High School

      Hockley Golf Club

      Work highlights

      • Provided general employment advice to RNBT, including on the dismissal of a senior employee. Ongoing updates and advice in relation to caregivers.

      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

      DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
      Managing partner Mike Wilson
      Chair Kath Shimmin
      PhotoNamePositionProfile
      Paul Caldicott photo Paul CaldicottPaul is a specialist corporate restructuring and insolvency solicitor in our Business…
      Robert Cherry photo Robert CherryRobert leads Blake Morgan’s Corporate team. He has a broad range of…
      Joanna Corbett-Simmons photo Joanna Corbett-SimmonsJoanna is a Senior Associate in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution team…
      Lisa Davies photo Lisa DaviesLisa is respected by her colleagues, other professionals and clients alike for…
      Joanne Davies photo Joanne DaviesJo is a partner in the Employment, Pensions and Immigration group. She…
      James Egan photo James EganJames is a real estate partner with experience of large-scale development work,…
      Lee Fisher photo Lee FisherLee is a partner in our Commercial Litigation team based in Cardiff…
      Nigel Griffiths photo Nigel GriffithsNigel is an experienced real estate partner, covering the full range of…
      Robin Havard photo Robin HavardRobin specialises in regulatory and professional conduct work, acting for public and…
      Louise Howells photo Louise HowellsLouise is an experienced commercial property lawyer based in our Cardiff office…
      Alison Huckle photo Alison HuckleAlison is an Associate in our Regulatory team in Wales. She has…
      Siân Jones photo Siân JonesSiân is a partner in our dispute resolution team and a specialist…
      Richard Jones photo Richard JonesRichard is a partner in the corporate and commercial teams based primarily…
      Paula Kathrens photo Paula KathrensPaula is a partner in the Employment law team, advising key clients…
      Emyr Lewis photo Emyr LewisEmyr covers public and constitutional law as well as heavyweight commercial transactions…
      Simon McCann photo Simon McCannSimon specialises in public and utilities procurement and major projects including construction,…
      Eve Piffaretti photo Eve PiffarettiEve is Head of Office in Wales and heads our Public Law…
      Claire Rawle photo Claire RawleClaire is a Partner who leads the Health, Safety and Environmental team…
      Geoff Reed photo Geoff ReedGeoff leads the Real Estate team based in Wales. He has extensive…
      Joanna Rees photo Joanna ReesJo has worked closely with developers, government and public sector teams and…
      Nicky Sherrard photo Nicky SherrardNicky is a senior associate private client solicitor based in Cardiff.  She…
      Matthew Smith photo Matthew SmithMatthew heads our national Education Sector practice. Matthew also provides employment advice…
      Joanne Thompson photo Joanne ThompsonJoanne is a Partner in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team based…
      Tom Walker photo Tom WalkerTom specialises in criminal, regulatory and professional disciplinary law.  Tom provides specialist…
      Tina Whitman photo Tina WhitmanTina specialises in working with the public sector, primarily undertaking defendant personal…
      James Williams photo James WilliamsJames is a partner in the Corporate team in South Wales with…
      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.