Firm Profile > Shakespeare Martineau LLP > Nottingham, England

Shakespeare Martineau LLP
35 Station Street

Commercial property: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 1

Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a particularly strong track record in residential development and promotion, where it acts for strategic land promoters, housebuilders and PRS providers, among others; practice head Louise Ingram and legal director Ian Slinger specialise in this area, advising on strategic acquisitions and disposals of land nationally. The firm also has a first-rate reputation in the commercial development sphere, where its work covers retail, leisure, warehouse, office and industrial developments; Martin Jones is a name to note in this area. Elsewhere, Kate Hall has many years of experience of secured lending transactions and insolvency-related property work. Portfolio management (for SMEs and family businesses) is another area of strength of the firm. Kevin Sumner is another key figure.

Key clients

Persimmon Homes

Parkers of Leicester Limited

Parker Strategic Land Limited

Raynesway Estates

Drummond Estate

Everards Brewery

Countryside Plc/Westleigh Partnerships

David Wilson Homes Limited

Winvic Construction

Avant Homes Limited

Mattioli Woods Plc (and their pension schemes)

CJC Development Company Limited

Royal Bank of Scotland Plc

Lloyds Bank Plc

Whitworth Brothers and Whitworths Holdings Limited

CODE Students Limited

Archaylen Property Limited

Leicester Cathedral

Pick Everard

Artisan Press Holdings Limited

Godwin Group

NIS Signs Leicester Limited

Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby Tier 1

At Shakespeare Martineau LLP, development work is one of the mainstays of the practice, and the firm's enviable client roster includes local and national developers and international investors. The team includes Brendan Walsh, who has 30 years of experience of commercial development - including out of town retail, leisure and office regeneration projects - and also residential promotion and development. Like Walsh, Peter Dilks has strong capabilities in commercial development, and he also heads up a specialist national real estate energy team, which specialises primarily in the development of reserve power and alternative energy technologies; it has acted on schemes with a gross development value in excess of £1.5bn. Elsewhere, the firm acts for banks, funds and venture capitalists on secured lending and development finance transactions, as well as property investments. Roger HarcourtVictoria Bovington and others act for healthcare specialists and developers in the senior living and healthcare sector, while legal director Sarah Gunton is recommended.

Key clients

Wilson Bowden Developments Limited

Linden Homes

Lloyds Bank Plc

Garner Holdings

BSP Holdings

LG Capital & Investment Limited

Foundation Property Company Limited

Statera Energy Limited

AIB Group (UK) Plc

Brackley Property Developments Limited

Mattioli Woods on behalf of the Johal Pension Fund

Shoby Properties Limited

Sun Chemical Limited

IWWS (UK) Limited

Family Tier 1

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s ‘heavy-hitting’ practice is reputed for its preparation of nuptial agreements and its knowledge of financial disputes stemming from relationship breakdowns. Child-related disputes are also a field of expertise, namely contact, residence disputes and matters involving jurisdictional issues, along with a growing number of Schedule 1 applications. Katherine Marshall and Caroline Elliott jointly lead the practice, following the departure of Andrew Breakwell. Recent hire Stephanie Kyriacou, who moved from Glynis Wright & Co, joined a team which includes the 'approachable and sensible' Sonia Bachu.

Next Generation Partners


Sonia Bachu is approachable and sensible but tough enough to fight the most difficult cases‘.

Caroline Elliott adopts a pragmatic approach and is keen to avoid costly litigation where possible‘.

Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant Tier 1

At Shakespeare Martineau LLP, the department undertakes a broad range of clinical negligence and personal injury matters, including birth and brain injuries, wrongful births, delayed cancer diagnoses, spinal injuries and industrial disease cases. Team head Robert Rose  is experienced in claims against negligent healthcare professionals, notably cases involving birth trauma. He is also knowledgeable about associated areas, such as paediatrics, orthopaedics and cardiology.

Leading individuals

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Shakespeare Martineau LLP acts for a wide range of clients, such as high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs and families with inherited wealth. The scope of its work is also varied, spanning wealth management, tax planning, trust creation and administration, high-value deputyships and succession planning. Also notable is that farming clients value the team's expertise in Agricultural Property Relief and other sector specific areas. Suzanne Leggott and Virginia Harvey jointly lead the practice which includes the highly recommended Sarah Brack, a specialist in assisting elderly and vulnerable clients in addition to Court of Protection matters.

Sport Tier 1

Shakespeare Martineau LLP serves a client base comprising of sporting associations, professional sports clubs, elite athletes and governing bodies. The exploitation of commercial rights, governance and regulation, and dispute resolution are among the group’s recent areas of activity. It also advise clients on the full gamut of employment matters, funding issues, rules and regulations, brand protection, image rights and sponsorship agreements. The highly recommended Ed Wright leads the practice.

Leading individuals


‘A very strong knowledgeable team who understand the complexities of the client’s organisation and business sector. Easy and enjoyable to work with’.

‘The team is incredibly supportive, passionate, knowledge and has an extremely strong work ethic’.

Key clients

British Orienteering

Commonwealth Games England

My mHealth Ltd

Ping Europe

RoadtoHealth Group Limited

Six EZ 1

Sheffield and Hallamshire Football Association

UK Coaching

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 2

Andrew Wilkinson's team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP is reputed for its expertise in administering grant-making and government-funded charities. It also undertakes a wide-range of registration, governance, property, corporate transactions, regulatory and employment matters. Sectors of particular expertise include social housing, animal charities and education. The group also acts for a number of charitable trustees and directors of not-for-profit organisations.

Key clients

Midland Heart


University of Warwick

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP is a strong performer across the full spectrum of general commercial disputes, including partnership and shareholder cases and warranty claims. It is also highly regarded in more specialised areas; Martin Noble heads up the offering in relation to intellectual property disputes, while Andrew Wilkinson leads the contentious probate practice. Elsewhere, the firm's other strengths include professional negligence claims and matters arising from employees'/directors' theft of confidential/commercially sensitive data.

Key clients

Cambridge Weight Plan

Emma Bridgewater



Vision Express



Jane Sergeant

Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby Tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's large presence in the East Midlands market is reflected by the fact that its dispute resolution offering is spread between the Nottingham and Leicester offices, with practice head Martin Noble splitting his time between both bases. Noble's team has experience of all types of general commercial litigation. In 2018, there was a notable increase in shareholder disputes, such as derivative actions and unfair prejudice petitions; legal director Steven Skiba is a name to note in this space. Associate partner Tim Speed is a go-to for banking litigation (including matters involving interpretation of the Consumer Credit Act and claims involving undue influence), and also provides support to clients in the energy sector in contentious matters. Legal director Kendal Litherland has more than 15 years of experience acting for claimants in professional negligence actions against solicitors, accountants and various other professional advisers.

Key clients

West Bromwich Commercial Limited



Certas Energy UK Limited

Rise and Recline Limited

Health Trust Europe LLP

Draycott Nurseries Limited

J & J Mechanical Services Limited

Sun Chemical Limited

Construction Tier 2

Complementing its legal resources, Shakespeare Martineau LLP also has an in-house team of construction professionals, putting it on a strong footing to provide legal and industry support on all the major contentious and non-contentious issues arising at every stage of a construction project; the practice covers projects in areas such as healthcare, industrial and student accommodation, among many others. Alex Smith heads up the practice, which generates work from local and national developers, banks, contractors, housing and infrastructure providers and healthcare providers. Smith and associate Romy Wood (a recent hire from CMS) specialise in all manner of construction documentation, including; standard or bespoke forms of contract, consultants’ appointments, collateral warranties, parent company guarantees and performance bonds.


The team has a fantastic work ethic, is very pragmatic and extremely commercial. It refuses to let any deal fail and will get the job done to perfection

Key clients

Leicester Lettings (Leicester Lettings (2016) Limited)

Pre (Leicester) Limited

Graystacks Castle Boulevard Limited

Code Students Limited

Everards Brewery Limited

Zone Developments (Leicester) Limited

Brackley Property Developments Limited

Calthorpe Estates

Lloyds Bank Plc

Paragon Property Development Company Limited

Maber Associates Limited

Romo (Holdings) Limited

Rotherhill Developments Limited

Jessops Construction Limited

Garner Holdings Limited

Wilson Bowden Developments Limited

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP demonstrates strong capabilities in will disputes, Inheritance Act claims, Court of Protection work and related professional negligence, among other matters. It generates work from private clients, accountants, farmers, landed estates and professional trustees, among others. The department (which is adept in cross-border work) is led by Andrew Wilkinson, who continues to develop a notable reputation in the charities sector.

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the East Midlands Tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a varied portfolio of work, and its clients range in size from individual entrepreneurs and family-owned businesses to large corporates and multinational organisations. On the corporate side, in addition to acting for UK-headquartered companies, the 'very impressiveRoy Botterill advises overseas-based clients on their most strategically significant mandates. Botterill's sector expertise includes manufacturing, financial services and other regulated industries. Lisa Botterill is recommended for her experience of healthcare sector transactions. In the commercial sphere, Martin Noble advises on the intellectual property aspects of joint ventures and commercial contracts. In addition, Noble is also active in contentious matters, including those involving domain name disputes, the misuse of confidential information and online intellectual property infringements.

Key clients

Beaumanor Engineering Limited

Tyler Packaging (Leicester) Limited

MHA Macintyre Hudson

T S Bloor Group

Hycontrol Limited

Kagool Limited

Whitworth Bros.

Corporate and commercial: Nottingham and Derby Tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP typically advises on transactions valued at up to £20m, but has an equally strong record on much larger deals. With Duncan James and Ed Wright leading on the corporate and commercial sides of the practice respectively, the firm undertakes mandates for clients in a wide range of sectors, including energy, logistics, life sciences, banking, engineering and manufacturing, and IT services. Roger Harcourt heads up the healthcare sector team. A notable strength of Wright's practice is that his core commercial contracts expertise is complemented by his knowledge about related areas, such as competition, intellectual property, IT and public procurement. Richard Vernon is another name to note. In addition to handling domestic corporate and commercial matters, the firm's overall offering is rounded out by its membership of the global Multilaw network, which enables it to attract cross-border work.

Key clients

Virgin Trains

HAE Group

Common Wealth Games

Future Health Technologies



IWWS (UK) Limited

Locate Therapeutics

Parcelhub Limited

Foresight Group LLP

Midlands Care Group

Christian Guild

Belmont Healthcare Group

Padgham Care Services

Employment Tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s ‘highly knowledgeable’ practice is well-regarded for the ‘speed and practicality’ of its advice. Undertaking advisory and contentious matters alike, it is particularly well-known for handling whistleblowing and discrimination cases at the Employment Tribunal, and also acting on the employment-related aspects of corporate and commercial transactions. The 'calm and practicalPhilip Pepper leads the practice and provides expert knowledge of the food and drinks sector. Legal director Sandeep Leighs, who is 'reliable and approachable', is also a key member of the team.


They provide speedy responses and clear guidance with a cheerful and positive approach‘.

The quality, depth and breadth of the employment advice is impressive‘.

The group comprises of very experienced, very knowledgeable and yet very human solicitors‘.


Key clients

Iceland Foods Limited

MTR Crossrail

The Chartered Institute of Marketing


Sheffield & Hallamshire County Football Association


Toyota Materials Handling (UK)

Everards Brewery Limited

Pall-Ex UK Limited

Langerine Confectionery Limited


Virgin Trains

Commonwealth Games England

Linbrooke Services Limited

Premier Tech Chronos


Greenwood Academies Trust

Fisher German Limited

Becketts Foods Limited

Whitworth Bros. Limited

Ford & Slater Limited

The Bridge (East Midlands)

Leicestershire Action For Mental Health Project

Jelson Limited

Shield Engineering (Syston) Limited

Carrs Flour Mills Limited

Environment & planning Tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's outstanding reputation in planning work is underlined by its client roster, which includes many of the largest regional and national developers, as well as housebuilders. The firm fields a sizeable planning team in the Midlands, which is spread between the Leicester, Nottingham and Birmingham offices; Simon Stanion heads up the group. In addition to advising on the planning aspects of residential developments, the group's work also spans other areas, such as energy and infrastructure, and healthcare. The firm has also won new mandates in the education sector, and is advising the University of Warwick on nine redevelopment projects across its campus to deliver the University’s Capital Plan programme until 2023. Paul Wakefield garners a significant amount of praise from clients. Abigail Walters and Richard Thurling are also highly recommended. In 2018, John Edmond retired from the partnership, while Paul Hunt moved to Howes Percival LLP.


The practice is resourced with very capable practitioners, who are courteous and diligent. They reach out to clients, including hosting clients at their offices to update on relevant legal issues which might affect the industry

Paul Wakefield is personable, diligent and very accessible. He is highly responsive to urgent situations

A solid and sound firm, which always delivers the goods

Paul Wakefield’s knowledge and expertise is a huge benefit to our company. He is my go-to lawyer for sound and robust planning advice

The team is pragmatic and patient in its work, which can be important in dealings with local authorities. Irrespective of whether they are dealing with a Section 106 Agreement or a judicial challenge, the relevant partners are efficient and insightful

Paul Wakefield is a very experienced planning lawyer, who has significant breadth of knowledge about all planning law matters. In addition to being very approachable, and understanding of what is required, he is technically astute and will assimilate large amounts of information very quickly

When dealing with the firm, we don’t have to ask twice for something to be done

Key clients

Allison Homes Limited

Avant Homes (Midlands)

Barratt David Wilson Homes

Blaby District Council

Cadent Gas Limited

Larkfleet Homes

The Lindhurst Group

National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc and National Grid Gas Plc

University of Central Lancashire

University of Warwick

Wilson Bowden

W Westerman Limited

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Sean Moran, who is the main contact in Shakespeare Martineau LLP's Leicester office, has a varied portfolio of transactional, advisory and restructuring work. He is experienced in advising key stakeholders (such as insolvency practitioners and company directors) on accelerated M&A transactions and formal insolvency appointments, among other matters. On the contentious side, investigatory work is also a core part of his work, particularly in the context of antecedent transactions and asset recovery claims. Former partner Deborah Jenkin Jones left the firm in April 2018.

Key clients

FRP Advisory

Deloitte LLP

Springfields Advisory




Grant Thornton

Smith Cooper


F A Simms and Partners Limited

Intellectual property Tier 2

Recommended for its ‘extensive product and industry knowledge’, Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s contentious offering is geared towards patent, design and brand-related work. Its team has notable experience of proceedings in the Patents Court and wider High Court, as well as the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. On the non-contentious side, the group handles a broad cross-section of matters for clients from industries such as manufacturing, telecommunications, media and broadcasting, engineering and transport. Work for universities is a particular strength, with the firm being particularly active in the education sector. It also acts for rights holders policing online activity on retail and social media websites. Ed Wright and Martin Noble jointly lead the department.


‘Engaging, service focussed individuals who are easy and enjoyable to work with. A very trustworthy group’.

‘A very professionally run outfit but with the feel of a trusted family lawyer who has your best interests in mind. They have an in-depth knowledge of commercial agreements around IP, Technology Agreements, Licensing and Trade agreements’.

‘Ed Wright has considerable knowledge of the medtech and technology sector. Ed has provided legal advice across a range of commercial requirements and also provides legal guidance, thoughts and advice in a friendly, easy to understand way and backs that up with solid agreements and commercial contracts’.

Key clients

Nemaura Pharma and Dermal Diagnostics

ViVO Smart Medical Devices

BPR Medical

UK Coaching

British Orienteering


Common Wealth Games England

Cambridge Weight Plan

Whitworth Bros


University of Nottingham



Vision Express


IT and telecoms Tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP handles contentious and non-contentious matters for East Midlands-based clients on both a national and international scale. Ed Wright and Martin Noble jointly lead the department, which distinguishes itself in sectors such as education, telecoms and technology. Its diverse workload includes telecom business acquisitions, the preparation of escrow agreements for software developers, and licensing and outsourcing agreements. The firm also has a growing reputation in relation to the drafting of contractual suites and terms of use for technology companies.


‘An excellent understanding of the sector and requirements within this area. Easy to work with. Provides practical and easily useable advice’.

‘Knowledgeable group with a strong service focus. Enjoyable to work with’.


Key clients






Financechain – trading as Software Escrow Solutions



Cognito iQ

Prime Principle

Purpose Media

Skeleton Production

TMB GeoMarketing


Black Light Systems

Real Edge

Professional negligence Tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP undertakes professional negligence claims against various professionals, such as solicitors, accountants, barristers, independent financial advisers, surveyors and pension trustees. Matters involving SIPP operators, as well as mortgage and insurance brokers, are also cornerstones of the practice. A key figure is legal director Kendal Litherland, whose practice is almost exclusively geared towards acting for claimants. The arrival of Anton Letten from Smith Partnership recently bolstered the practice. Martin Noble is the team head.

Shakespeare Martineau is a Top 50 law firm in the Midlands, strong in London, and connected globally. We have offices in Birmingham, Leicester, London, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Sheffield, Solihull and Stratford-upon-Avon.

We bring creativity, commerciality and clarity to complex challenges. We have big ambitions and work with blue-chip companies, leading organisations, high street brands and individuals across the world.

Our approach is to think beyond just legal solutions. As long-term partners, clients continually trust us to advise on what’s possible, what’s prudent, and what’s coming around the corner.

We pride ourselves on protecting and growing our clients’ businesses and personal wealth. It’s our energy and entrepreneurial flair that have helped us become one of the country’s fastest growing legal services providers, our national presence through our geographic footprint provides us with a broad and deep market insight.

Types of work undertaken

Banking and finance: the firm advises banks and other lenders on funding corporate or property transactions, and transactional expertise includes turnarounds, administrations, contentious insolvency work and directors’ disqualification work. The banking litigation team provide solutions on security enforcement, fraud, recovery of funds, moveable assets and receivables.

Commercial contracts: the firm advises organisations at all levels of the procurement and supply chain. A number of the team have worked as in-house counsel.

Commercial property: the real estate team deals with the full spectrum of development, regeneration, investment, asset management, landlord and tenant, sales and purchases, finance, Islamic finance, and litigation. The team has particular expertise in housebuilding and acts for some of the UK’s foremost residential developers.

Construction: the firm’s construction lawyers advise pre- and post-execution of contract.

Corporate: known for its hands-on commercial approach, the team guides clients to complete transactions, notably for listed, employee-owned and family businesses.

Debt recovery: the team manages volume ledger collect-outs on behalf of major banks, finance institutions and insolvency practitioners and negotiates with defendant companies for high-value settlements in attempts to avoid litigation.

Dispute resolution and litigation: the firm acts for claimant and defendant clients, specialising in complex and high-value commercial disputes, including arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.

Education: the firm’s integrated education experts advise on contracts, employment, business defence, regulatory compliance, property and handle student complaints.

Employment: the firm provides commercial, practical advice to employers and some senior employees on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law.

Energy: the team supports utilities, developers and funders, advising on the energy landscape.

Family: the specialist family unit offers legal expertise and practical advice to ensure financial security for clients, dealing with matters swiftly, amicably and cost effectively.

Intellectual property: the IP team provides contentious and non-contentious advice in relation to all aspects of IP law, including protecting technology, designs, names and reputation.

Investment funds: the multidisciplinary team acts for investment funds managers, investors and the companies they support, advising on fund operation, transactions, investments and tax legislation.

Personal injury (defendant): the insurance litigation team offers services to insurers, adjusters, brokers, public utilities, local authorities, composites and the self-insured. It has particular expertise in high-value claims including dealing with large loss and catastrophic injury claims. The team also
offers advice on costs-only technical issues for insurers.

Planning: the firm’s experts work with developers, housebuilders, landowners, local authorities, retailers and private individuals on all types of development, wider planning and public law issues.

Social housing: the team advises registered providers on everything including buying land, managing tenancy relationships, employing people, raising private finance and delivering extra care schemes.

Tax, trusts and inheritance: the team advises on all legal, taxation and financial matters, as well as liaising with private bank and investment advisors and dealing with asset protection issues.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior Partner Andrew Whitehead
Chief Executive Officer Sarah Walker-Smith
Chief Operating Officer Victoria Tester
Chief Financial Officer Lesley Spencer
Head of Corporate & Commercial Richard Wrigley
Head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution Mark Beesley
Head of Real Estate Louise Drew
Head of Family Mary Kaye
Head of Private Client Clare Laird
Photo Name Position Profile
 Victoria Bovington  photo Victoria Bovington
 Peter Dilks  photo Peter Dilks
 Gary Ekpenyoung  photo Gary Ekpenyoung
 Caroline Elliott  photo Caroline Elliott
 Sarah Gunton  photo Sarah Gunton
 Roger Harcourt  photo Roger Harcourt
 Kathryn Hart  photo Kathryn Hart
 Virginia Harvey  photo Virginia Harvey
 Paul Horton  photo Paul Horton
 Duncan James  photo Duncan James
 Kendal Litherland  photo Kendal Litherland
 Steven Skiba  photo Steven Skiba
 Alex Smith  photo Alex Smith
 Tim Speed  photo Tim Speed
 Richard Vernon  photo Richard Vernon
 Paul Wakefield  photo Paul Wakefield
 Brendan Walsh  photo Brendan Walsh
 Ed Wright  photo Ed Wright
 Rhys Wyborn  photo Rhys Wyborn
Number of UK partners : 125
Number of employees : 850

The Lex 100 Verdict

Shakespeare Martineau offers 'a lot of direct client contact and the opportunity to personally engage in high-quality work'. The firm 'puts a lot of time into the development of junior lawyers', which is demonstrated by the 'dedicated 'Academy' which offers courses ranging from improving self-confidence to negotiation training'. Highly commended for its 'people focus', it is no wonder that applicants flocked to SM, a firm that 'really cares about your interests as an individual and invests in your progress'. Paralegals stayed on at the firm because they 'were always given interesting work which they hoped would be translated into a training contract'. Trainees felt frustrated when when 'a team is low on work'. Motivating applicants was 'the firm's ambition', and new recruits were excited 'to be part of its growth'. Newbies praised the amount of autonomy they are given to 'suitably progress matters alone, while knowing the necessary guidance is there if needed'. This is reflected in best moments like 'progressing my own employment tribunal claims' and 'being seconded to an energy client'. Another recruit appreciated when 'a client phoned and emailed me instead of my supervisor' which 'made me feel like an integral member of the team'. Although there were some grumbles about low remuneration, many respondents were glad there was 'no expectation to work weekends and crazy late nights'. The IT systems frustrated a few, 'albeit systems are in the process of an upgrade'. Generally, 'all colleagues interact regardless of seniority and everyone regularly comes together outside of work' winning SM a Lex 100 Winner medal for inclusivity. If you want the chance to 'work on some really big deals' at an inclusive firm, consider Shakespeare Martineau.