Firm Profile > Shakespeare Martineau LLP > Milton Keynes, England

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 2

Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a longstanding reputation in the Milton Keynes area, particularly for its expertise in corporate and commercial matters in the hotels and leisure, energy, information technology, professional services and family business sectors. Practice head Mark Thompson is well known for his experience in providing advice to clients on buying and selling companies and offering commercial support to businesses.

Key clients

Focus Hotels Management Limited

AC Plc 15

Blue Chip Customer Engineering Limited

Suisse Property Holdings Limited

De Pinna Notaries (now De Pinna LLP)

Bromham Holdings Limited

Laura Ashley

Scotts of Thrapston Limited

Tollan Energy Limited

Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 3

Shakespeare Martineau LLP's family team has a long-standing reputation in the Milton Keynes area. While offering specialised family law expertise, the practice also works in tandem with other departments, including commercial property, litigation, employment and wealth management. Practice head Jane Charlton is well versed in financial matters as well as in private children work.


Their advice was very clear, fees were as expected and timeline explained and kept to.

‘I traced Jane Charlton down as I had worked with her on a similar issues 20 years before and I was keen to use her again. I was very pleased to have  found her. She was spot on this time like she was before‘.

I felt totally calm and in great hands in a sensitive area of law.

Anywhere Jane works in this area of law I would go too.


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
 Jane Charlton  photo Jane Charlton
 Mark Thompson  photo Mark Thompson
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.