Firm Profile > Birkett Long LLP > Colchester, England

Birkett Long LLP
1 Amphora Place
Sheepen Road

Commercial litigation: Essex Tier 1

The 'pragmatic and sensible' commercial litigation team at Birkett Long LLP advises on a wide range of commercial litigation, negligence, and IP matters across a variety of industry sectors. The firm provides 'sensible and realistic advice' to its corporate clients and is routinely instructed on high-value and complex dispute claims. Chelmsford-based Peter Allen and Keith Songhurst are recommended for their deep insight in contractual disputes and property litigation respectively.


‘Keith Songhurst is very amiable and has consistently given clear well-thought-out advice, which has resulted in matters being satisfactorily resolved.

Peter Allen has provided excellent advice and counsel in a number of commercial disputes; he is quick to understand the commerciality of the situation and control the process to an efficient conclusion and resolution.’

Key clients

Valeo Group of Companies

Flakt Woods

BEW Electrical Distributors

Colchester Institute

Wernick Hire

Countrywide Estate Agents

Navigator Terminals Thames

Employment: Essex Tier 1

The Colchester employment practice at Birkett Long LLP is led by the 'exceptional' Martin Hopkins and skilfully handles a wide range of employment matters including representing employers in significant employment tribunal cases - a particular area of focus for Hopkins. Julie Temple rejoined the team at the beginning of this year from niche employment firm Quantrills Solicitors. Her expertise includes advising higher education institutions and large companies on matters including GDPR compliance and gender-pay reporting. Reggie Lloyd handles employment related litigation and represents both claimants and respondents.


The team at Birkett Long has a calmness in their approach. Their advice is concise, to the point and takes account of any risk. You know you’re in good hands.’

Very honest, very capable – I can’t rate them highly enough.

Key clients

Pinnacle Housing

Imperial London Hotels

Hills Prospect

Ixion Holdings

Runwood Homes

IT Solutions Services

Wilkin & Sons

Family: Essex Tier 1

The family team at Birkett Long LLP has broad expertise in skillfully handling high-value and often complex divorce, child arrangement matters, and financial remedy proceedings. The team is led by the 'committed and drivenLisa Collins. Recent work highlights include a cross-border property development matter which was headed by Colchester-based head, Philip Hoddell, who is noted for his 'sharp focus'. Basildon-based Muntech Kaur  is commended for her 'fantastic advice'. Solicitor Lucy Birch joined the team this year from Pinney Talfourd LLP.


The team is strategic, pragmatic and – most importantly – honest and straightforward about the legal risks, costs and related issues.

Philip Hoddell provides very calm, straight-talking, business-like advice. He brings gravitas and commands confidence.’

The team inspires confidence due to their knowledgeable and extremely reputable practice.

Birkett Long is a remarkable practice, which has gone from strength to strength.

Health Tier 1

Birkett Long LLP provides a multi-disciplinary service to a range of health care clients and the team includes members of the firm's commercial property and corporate teams alongside others. The firm has a particularly strong presence in the care home space, providing a full service to sector clients. Practice head Tracey Dickens specialises in advising healthcare clients on corporate and commercial matters, making the firm a key presence in Essex for healthcare clients.

Key clients

Healthcare Homes Limited

Healthcare Homes Group Limited

Manorcourt Care (Norfolk) Limited

Runwood Homes Limited

St Helena Hospice

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Essex Tier 1

The five-partner team at leading regional firm Birkett Long LLP provides clients with a wide and far-reaching service that covers all aspects of wills, tax, trust creation, and international trust advice. Working across three offices, the cross-practice team works together to deliver an 'excellent and efficient service'. Emma Clarke , who oversees the South Essex wills, trusts & probate practice, is regularly engaged in high-value matters and international advisory work. Other core members include private client head Claire Read, newly-made up partner Ben Parmenter who heads the wills, trusts & probate team in Colchester, and the 'diligent' Amanda Smallcombe , who provides expertise on contested trust and probate work.


Birkett Long provide a practical approach to this sensitive work and ensure great attention to detail. They are prepared to go the extra mile to assist their clients.’

Amanda Smallcombe delivers outstanding care to her clients and is a delight to work with. A strong and very intelligent solicitor.

Agriculture and estates Tier 2

The team at Birkett Long LLP has a broad and deep expertise in agriculture and estate-related matters, including succession tax planning, trust creation, administration and winding up of trusts, property transactions, fishing rights and grazing licences. It also advises on partnership agreements and corporate structures and nuisance and negligence claims. Caroline Dowding heads the practice. Associates Emma Coke and Katie Gibson-Green are also recommended.


A sound knowledge of clients’ affairs and prepared to advise on all matters relevant to the client  – bringing in specialists for detailed work‘.

For a regional practice Birkett Long has one of the largest and best known private client departments in the Essex area‘.

Fantastic all-round team which have superb technical knowledge but more importantly offer a great service and know the importance of maintaining the client relationship with the clients we recommend‘.

I always feel they act in my best interests when they are dealing with any matter – large or small. I feel I am treated like an individual that matters and the attention to detail is excellent‘.

Caroline Dowding is approachable, empathetic, supportive, and explains things in a way the lay person can understand‘.

Emma Coke is outstanding in her diligence and gives excellent advice. She always deals with matters swiftly‘.

Katie Gibson-Green is a real asset to the practice‘.

Both Emma Coke and Caroline Dowding have been very kind and patient – always explaining things in great detail if I do not understand. I trust both of them implicitly and feel I am a valued client – not something I have felt with other firms of solicitors before‘.

Commercial property: Essex Tier 2

Birkett Long LLP's commercial property team offers advice on the full spectrum of real estate matters, spanning across three offices in Basildon, Chelmsford and Colchester. Practice head Melanie Bache undertakes complex work for financial institutions which she has built a longstanding rapport with, advising on matters include security arrangements. Chelmsford based partners Justin Stock and Emma Wraight are recommended for their particular focus on high-value residential development work.

Key clients

Navigator Terminals

Suffolk Life Annuities

London Southend Airport Company Limited

Wilkin & Sons Limited

University of Essex

London Gateway Port Ltd

The Institute of Customer Service

Countrywide Estate Agents

The Committee for the Royal British Legion

The Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance

Colchester Institute

Kent Blaxill and Co Limited

Healthcare Homes Group

Flakt Woods Limited

Harwich Haven Authority

Cliffords Limited

Stockplace Investments Limited

Writtle College

Lambert Smith Hampton Group

Farleigh Hospice

M&D Building Services Ltd

Stonechart Property Limited

Belvedere Developments Limited

Witham RUFC

Club 50 Plus

Fig Tree Restaurant

Cairns & Co

Eagle Wharf Marina Limited

Corporate and commercial: Essex Tier 2

Birkett Long LLP's corporate and commercial practice is led by Tracey Dickens, who 'stands out' for her corporate finance work, national and international transactional experience and restructuring matters. The team has expertise in a range of sectors including banking, healthcare, intellectual property, and education. The 'impressive' David Wisbey advises investors and businesses on corporate finance, M&A and commercial law. Tim Field is also recommended.


‘Tracey Dickens and her team are outstanding. They are knowledgeable, responsive and above all, pragmatic which is just what we need from our legal advisers.’

‘The team is a pleasure to work with. They are responsive, competent, well-organised and deliver their services efficiently.’

Tracey Dickens, David Wisbey and Peter Allen give a first-class service. They have a knowledgeable and pragmatic approach that focuses on getting things done.’

Key clients

Healthcare Homes

Wilkin & Sons

National Westminster Bank

Navigator Terminals North Tees

St Helena Hospice

Colchester Institute

CVR Global LLP

Navigator Terminals Seal Sands

Coast Digital

Fläkt Woods

I & C Limited

Runwood Homes

Colchester Royal Grammar School

University of Essex

Colchester Royal Grammar School


Writtle University College

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Birkett Long LLP handles the full range of inheritance disputes, which includes will disputes, Inheritance Act claims, proprietary estoppel claims, and cases involving breaches of trust and undue influence. Illustrative of its international reach, the firm has recently acted for clients based in Australia, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the US. Practice head Amanda Smallcombe is recommended for contested wills and probate disputes.


Everyone that helped on my case was very efficient and helpful; this is an excellent firm for dealing with disputed wills‘.

I do not hesitate to recommend cases to Amanda Smallcombe; she always demonstrates enormous pragmatism and empathy and is willing to explore methods of resolution that are not always obvious‘.

The team members complement each other and work well as a unit to deliver results for the client. Their responsiveness under time constraints is excellent‘.

Birkett Long takes a practical approach and demonstrates great attention to detail. The team is prepared to go the extra mile to assist its clients and work well with fellow professionals‘.

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

With particular expertise  in contentious recovery work, the insolvency practice at Birkett Long LLP 's Colchester office has built a reputation in the region acting for both companies and individuals in nil-asset recovery actions. The team is also known as a 'directors friend', specialising in  defending directors facing proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. Led by Kevin Sullivan, who has 20 years' experience in the field of contentious insolvency law, the team works for directors, partners, sole traders, creditors, debtors and bankrupts and their spouses, on a wide-range of corporate and personal insolvency-related issues.


‘Extremely prompt response, very practical & good commercial advice. Excellent value for money.’

‘Kevin Sullivan is a fantastic lawyer who has guided me through some very difficult decisions and still continues to do so.’

Key clients

CVR Global LLP

Larking Gowen

McTear, Williams & Wood Ltd

Kingston Smith & Partners LLP

FRP Advisory LLP

LB Insolvency Solutions Ltd

DKF Insolvency Ltd

Bretts Business Recovery Ltd

Personal injury: claimant Tier 3

Birkett Long LLP handles a range of multi-track personal injury matters from employer liability to fatality claims. Key figures in the practice group include Chelmsford-based Nadina Edmondson and Colchester-based Tracy England, who are leading the high-value matters related to work accidents and occupational disease claims.


‘This is a team of professional and friendly partners and staff that take time to understand your specific requirements and tailor the advice

Construction Tier 4

The construction practice at Birkett Long LLP assists a wide range of commercial clients, including developers, employers, contractors, subcontractors and consultants. The group drafts contracts and represents clients in adjudications and litigation. Peter Allen is the team head.

Education Tier 4

Birkett Long LLP is a prominent name in Essex for education cases. It offers a multidisciplinary team including employment, commercial, and disputes lawyers, as well as education and charity law specialists. The firm is particularly notable for its work on academy conversions, as well as the combination of academies into multi-academy trusts. Thomas Emmett is the key education contact following Stephen Avila's departure to GoodyBurrett LLP.

Key clients

St Mary’s School Colchester

Heather Partnership

Writtle University College

University of Essex

Mildmay Junior School

Welcome to Birkett Long solicitors

With offices in Chelmsford, Basildon, Colchester and London, Birkett Long is focused on people – our clients, our employees, our business partners and those in our local communities.

Our specialist lawyers work in dedicated teams to offer clients the full range of legal advice, whether it’s in business or at home.

at home
We’ll guide you through what can be a complex maze of procedures and rules without using legal jargon, allowing you to rest assured that your legal matter has been dealt with by experts. You will be kept informed every step of the way. We are upfront and honest about both progress and fees, so that there are no surprises.

in business
At Birkett Long, we understand that every business is different. It doesn’t matter if you are an international enterprise, a local firm or a new company just setting up, we know you need the best possible advice so that important decisions are straightforward and cost effective. We want to help you achieve your objectives. We will invest time to work through every step as you build your business, advising on day to day legal issues, structure, business protection and property transactions, or simply being there when things don’t go the way you anticipated. Our aim is to maximise our contribution to the financial success of your business!

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner Martin Hopkins 01206217300
Photo Name Position Profile
 Marina Athanasiou  photo Marina Athanasiou
 Melanie Bache  photo Melanie Bache
 Emma Coke  photo Emma Coke
 Shelley Cumbers  photo Shelley Cumbers
 Tracey Dickens  photo Tracey Dickens
 Caroline Dowding  photo Caroline Dowding
 Tracy England  photo Tracy England
 David Feakins  photo David Feakins
 Tim Field  photo Tim Field
 Kurt Goddard  photo Kurt Goddard
 Emma Harper  photo Emma Harper
 Philip Hoddell  photo Philip Hoddell
 Jonathon Holyhead  photo Jonathon Holyhead
 Martin Hopkins  photo Martin Hopkins
 Emma Jenkins  photo Emma Jenkins
 Karen Johnson  photo Karen Johnson
 Jemma Jones  photo Jemma Jones
 Liz Jones  photo Liz Jones
 Rachel Leech  photo Rachel Leech
 Adrian Livesley  photo Adrian Livesley
 Reggie Lloyd  photo Reggie Lloyd
 Katie Lockwood  photo Katie Lockwood
 Mel Loxley  photo Mel Loxley
 Jessica Newton  photo Jessica Newton
 Ben Parmenter  photo Ben Parmenter
 Jasmin Patel  photo Jasmin Patel
 Jonathan Perlmutter  photo Jonathan Perlmutter
 Bradley Powell  photo Bradley Powell
 Amanda Smallcombe  photo Amanda Smallcombe
 Kevin Sullivan  photo Kevin Sullivan
 Sian Taylor  photo Sian Taylor
 Julie Temple  photo Julie Temple
 Joanna Tollworthy  photo Joanna Tollworthy

CLIENT: Mr E Castle
TESTIMONIAL: On both occasions, probate and conveyancing, I have had excellent service. I felt that all the people I dealt with were very professional, friendly and attentive and I got immediate updates on everything I needed to know.

CLIENT: Mr D Johnson
TESTIMONIAL: Wills are sensitive and the service we received was excellent in terms of listening and understanding our needs.

CLIENT: Mr Dale Harris
TESTIMONIAL: I was blown away by your knowledge and professionalism which has been unwavering throughout this process. I cannot thank you enough for your caring attitude which put us both at rest and made us feel we were in totally safe hands and that our wishes would be completely and correctly covered in the wills prepared by yourself.

CLIENT: Mr Jonathan Gregory
TESTIMONIAL: I am truly pleased, and know that only because of your kind patience with me and diligent approach to matters did we achieve success.

CLIENT: Anonymous
TESTIMONIAL: Philip, having many years’ experience, handled my challenging divorce case in an extremely professional, concise, calm and very supportive manner. Philip was very reassuring and, along with his attributes above, this gave me strength during this very difficult time. So important. We had a mutual trust with regard to a big element of my case, this paid off… Thank you Philip.

CLIENT: Anonymous
TESTIMONIAL: The Birkett Long team helped us in our claim for compensation from two UK banks over a period of more than 12 months. Their advice was sensible and cohesive, their fees very reasonable and ultimately they helped facilitate compensation awards totalling almost £100k via the Financial Ombudsman.

CLIENT: I&C Limited
TESTIMONIAL: Once again you have provided exemplary and expedient service, we cannot thank you enough for the speed you dealt with the recent variation to the finance agreements.

CLIENT: CJ’s Decorating – Painting Solutions
TESTIMONIAL: Thank you so much for your assistance, patience and time spent obtaining payment on my behalf which as you know I spent months trying on my own to no avail, it has been great to work with you and thank you for keeping us informed the whole way through the process, I would not hesitate to use your services again or recommend you to others.

CLIENT: P & A Scott
TESTIMONIAL: Thank you so much for all your time and effort, expertise and professionalism dealing with us over the last few years… you have been an absolute star and have delivered good results for us.

CLIENT: Mr Nick Adams
TESTIMONIAL: Perdeep Grewal worked for me on a Private Nuisance matter. From the start, I was impressed with the level of persistence and commitment to make my situation better. From our first conversation to successful completion of the issue, the advice was clear. I was impressed by Perdeep’s professional expertise and careful approach to deal with the situation and the way that the intended outcome was quickly achieved.

CLIENT: Mr Roy Kibble
TESTIMONIAL: May I take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks for all that you have done for me. Given the distance and my illness you have been wonderfully compassionate whilst, at the same time, being fantastically professional in all areas of my case. As a great deal of work is being done to raise awareness of mental illness I feel that it would be helpful for others to know that they can use your services with confidence whatever their condition.