Firm Profile > Buckles Solicitors LLP > Peterborough, England

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Living Wage

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in East Anglia Tier 1

Buckles Solicitors LLP increasingly handles UK dispute resolution work with overseas elements for both corporate and private clients. The practice provides services from Peterborough, where practice head James Maxey resides, and offices in the East Midlands, and it acts for a large client base of mostly SME or entrepreneurial individuals in commercial contract, shareholder and partnership disputes. The flow of international work is bolstered by the firm's close relationship with Milan- and Paris-based CastaldiPartners.


‘They offer advice that we can understand.’

‘They offer clear advice on all the options but are prepared to guide you and advise on the best solution for you.’

Key clients

Whirlpool UK Limited

Durr Limited

Banco de Sabadell

Empiric Student Property PLC

Yours Clothing


Commercial property: Peterborough Tier 1

Buckles Solicitors LLP handles all aspects of commercial property and the securitisation of property finance, including development site acquisition and disposal, the administration of property portfolios, landlord and tenant issues, agricultural land transactions, diversification issues such as wind farm and communication mast leases, mineral extraction and landfill development. The property practice, led by social housing and commercial development expert Michael Rabbett, also supports the energy and natural resources practice, and the firm's construction and engineering group. Leading light Colleen Gostick is a specialist in retail and industrial development.


“We work closely with a number of local firms but have historically received a consistently high level of service from Buckles, which hasn’t always been the case with other firms.”

“Colleen Gostick, Michael Blank and Michael Rabbett provide a high level of service and understand exactly what it is the bank requires from its instructions. Importantly for us, the individuals we use are commercially aware of how any particular facet of a transaction can or may impact on the bank and flags it with us accordingly.”

“Colleen Gostick is quick to respond, concise with advice and is always available at short notice. I find her approach very client-orientated and focused.”

“I enjoy working with Michael Blank as he always offers balanced and clear advice in a calm and thoughtful manner.”

“The firm is strong in the commercial property field and is one of the leading firms for specialist commercial property advice.”

“The key issue is speed of response and speed in getting deals across the line which is most important. I know they will deal with matters quickly and are always quick to respond.”

“The firm shows responsiveness, pragmatism, cooperation and the ability to work to defined timelines.”

“Colleen Gostick epitomises the firm’s ethos and is ably supported by Michael Blank and Michael Rabbett.”

Corporate and commercial: Peterborough Tier 1

Buckles Solicitors LLP has extended its resources across its three offices in Nottingham, London and Peterborough, with the latter remaining the hub of its corporate and commercial practice. The firm handles high-value and complex transactions, often with a cross-border element through its relationship with CastaldiPartners in Paris and Milan. Practice head Nigel Moore and associate Nadine Duncan are the key lawyers handling a broad range of commercial, IT, outsourcing, technology and M&A matters.

Personal tax, trusts and probate: Peterborough Tier 1

The practice at Buckles Solicitors LLP advises on wealth protection, tax planning and wills, succession planning, setting up charitable trusts, lasting powers of attorney, probate, care home fees and Court of Protection matters. Stephen Duffy is the key partner in Peterborough, though partners Duncan Jackson and Karl Dembicki, who is especially recommended for advising elderly clients, work in both the Peterborough and London offices. Head of the firm's international desk Alejandro Verdu de Haro also works on multimillion-pound cross-border estates.


“The team has specialists in a number of fields and from my experience they work well together.”

“Sallyann Short is always ready to see clients and very easily deals with them at their level. They have always been impressed by her readiness to see them at home if they are unable to easily get to the office.”

“I was impressed by the courtesy and efficiency of Suzanne Evans. She was obviously well-informed and a caring person. I found her to be professional and efficient.”

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 2

Buckles Solicitors LLP saw its caseload grow in 2018 with Inheritance Act challenges by spouses, partners and children and a claim under s1(1)(e). It also successfully defended a claim that a will was fraudulently procured. Practice head and veteran litigator Paul Branch has a growing specialism in contentious trusts and probate, and Court of Protection work. 'Extremely hardworking and committed' associate Alex Burch plays a key role in the practice.


‘The fee earners consistently prepare clear and concise briefs, give measured and realistic advice, and are always prepared to consider other angles. They appear to genuinely want the best for the client.’

‘The individuals with whom I have worked have all been personable and courteous, and robust in their pursuit of their client’s claims or defences, but are willing to consider other angles or different approaches. They are driven by getting the best result for their client whilst always playing fair.’

‘The firm is very strong in the region in this quite specialised area of litigation. It has huge experience in relation to contentious estates and contested Court of Protection matters.’

‘The firm has a really good private client and tax team, too, which can be invaluable when a contentious matter has a tax angle.’

‘Paul Branch is a standout litigation partner. He has infinitely sound judgement and is a calm and reassuring presence in any stressful situation.’

Employment Tier 2

Buckles Solicitors LLP advises on all employment law issues for businesses, the public sector and senior executives. Its clients range from local SMEs to large organisations with their own in-house HR functions. Thanks to its alliance with CastaldiPartners in Paris and Milan, the firm has seen a growing flow of cross-border matters for clients that include household names in the retail sector. Practice head Giles Betts is the key contact and has particular expertise in managing terminations of senior executives and advising on complex TUPE transactions.


“The team is very approachable and provides answers in plain English. The lawyers respond quickly and understand that when you are dealing with employment issues, information and support is often needed quickly.”

“Nicola Cockerill is easily contactable and always confirms when she will reply. She has a good understanding of our business and the key areas in which we need employment law support.”

“Giles Betts has been very supportive with clear, straightforward advice and recommendations. He is very patient and gets to the crux of the issue quickly with little fuss.”

“With Giles Betts and his team the legal advice is always clear, pragmatic and easy to understand. The service provided is always personal and specific to your business requirements.”

Key clients


Ideal Shopping Direct Limited

Qualvis Print & Packaging

Flexisolar Limited

Stobbs (IP)

GeoSpock Limited

Peterborough City Council

Reesink Turfcare UK Limited

The Leprosy Mission

Venues Management Limited

Family Tier 2

Buckles Solicitors LLP has two greatly respected partners in Lyn Brisley and 30-year veteran Roger Gurney. The firm has extensive experience in dealing with complex financial issues including trusts, international matters, agricultural assets and high-value business interests. It handles a busy caseload of divorce, civil partnerships, pre-nuptial agreements, financial provision, children matters, injunctions and TOLATA. In 2018, the firm launched a new local Family Mediation Service, involving a network of independent financial advisers, valuers, divorce coaches, therapists and counsellors.


‘The practice provides good attention to detail, good value and fantastic support for their clients.’

‘Roger Gurney is first-rate at financial remedy family cases. He has great judgement and fights his client’s cases with real determination.’

Personal injury: claimant Tier 2

Buckles Solicitors LLP has a small but reliable team handling multi-track claimant personal injury matters from Peterborough. Partner Roger Clarke leads the practice, in which associate and experienced advocate Martin Herson is a rising star. The firm's workload includes several industrial disease claims, some of which are referred through the respiratory team at Peterborough City Hospital. The practice also handles fatal accident claims through referrals from the its large probate team and externally from professional contacts.


“Martin Herson is very honest and explains everything to the client.”

“With Martin Herson, I always had good communication that always ended with a good outcome.”

Professional negligence Tier 2

Buckles Solicitors LLP focuses predominantly on claimant professional negligence work and has a growing workload of claims against solicitors and accountants concerning estate planning and associated tax issues. Practice head James Maxey also handles claims against banks relating to the sale of swaps and derivatives, matters involving lawyers accused of negligence in litigation, and cases against architects that are referred through the firm's construction and engineering team. Associate Nick Porter  is also recommended.

Property litigation Tier 2

Buckles Solicitors LLP handles a wide range of commercial and residential landlord and tenant issues, from terminating tenancies through to break notice disputes and dilapidation claims. Practice head Paul Branch is an ACTAPS member and frequently handles property disputes with trust elements. Through partner Chris Mundell and associate Rob Wallwork, the firm has both significant experience in contentious matters in the retail sector. Through the firm's partnership with European law firm CastaldiPartners, the firm acts for a growing roster of European clients in the retail sector.

Key clients

Virgin Active Limited

Virgin Active Health Clubs Limited

National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners

Stamford Storage (HG) Limited

Shield Engineering (Syston) Limited

Social housing Tier 2

Buckles Solicitors LLP is the leading firm in Peterborough for social housing matters. It acts for a wide range of Registered Providers across East Anglia, the West Midlands, and the East Midlands. Gail Sykes leads a practice that currently acts for more than 65 social housing providers in diverse matters including anti-social behaviour claims and possession disputes in the High Court, as well as planning, construction and property matters.


“The Buckles team is very prompt in replying to us and providing exactly what we have asked for. The advice we receive is practical, easy to understand and very knowledgeable.”

Key clients

Cambridge Housing Society

Cross Keys Homes Ltd

Papworth Trust

Hundred Houses Society

Waterloo Housing / The Platform Group

The Longhurst Group

Saffron Housing Trust

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council

Suffolk Housing Society

South Kesteven District Council

Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 3

Buckles Solicitors LLP has the most prominent clinical negligence practice in Peterborough. Practice head Roger Clarke has more than 30 years’ experience in high-value personal injury and clinical negligence matters, and he routinely acts against NHS Trusts, GPs and dentists. APIL-accredited associate Martin Herson is particularly well known for his advocacy at inquests.

Construction Tier 3

'The firm works with us ensuring they push deals through, and they keep us up-to-date and informed', remarks a client of Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough. The construction and engineering practice is led from Nottingham by James Coppinger but the Peterborough office plays a key role through litigator James Maxey, who handles contentious matters for clients in the firm's key sectors of social housing, student accommodation, engineering and renewable energy. The firm continues to deal with the national student accommodation development programme for the Empiric group of companies, which involves numerous sites throughout the UK.

Key clients

Empiric Student Property Limited

Longhurst Group Limited (and the Blue Skies Consortium)

Keystone Developments (LG) Limited (and the Keystone Alliance)

Hill Partnerships Limited

Settle Group and Rowan Homes (NHH) Limited

Environment & planning Tier 3

The planning practice at Buckles Solicitors LLP works closely with the firm's commercial property and construction groups to provide a one-stop service for project development. Led by senior solicitor Brendon Lee, the practice has a strong social housing focus and works with numerous registered providers, including Longhurst Group Limited and North Hertfordshire Homes Limited. Its work includes pre-judicial planning work for both applicants and objectors, judicial and statutory reviews, compulsory acquisitions, restrictive covenants advice and environmental law.

Key clients

North Hertfordshire Homes Limited

Longhurst Group Limited

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

Buckles Solicitors LLP in Peterborough has a relatively large insolvency and corporate recovery team that handles pre-insolvency and strategic turnaround advice, the purchase of insolvent businesses and distressed assets, as well as asset recovery and protection work for office holders. The practice, led by litigator James Maxey, frequently advises IPs on in and out-of-court insolvency appointments, and creditors in the pursuit of compulsory liquidations and bankruptcy orders. The team includes senior associate Nick Porter who has a growing reputation for antecedent transactions claims and complex insolvency litigation.

Buckles Solicitors LLP provides a comprehensive range of legal services to businesses and individuals in the UK and internationally from offices in London, Nottingham, Peterborough, Stamford, Paris and Milan. It provides effective and practical solutions to the legal needs of corporate, commercial and private clients regionally, nationally and internationally. The firm has multilingual dual-qualified solicitors offering international services in property, private client and dispute matters. In June 2016, Buckles strengthened this international offering by formalising a strategic alliance with CastalidPartners, a Franco-Italian commercial law firm, enabling it to assist clients in overseas and UK jurisdictions.

The firm: a member of LawNet, the UK’s leading group of law firms, Buckles received the highly coveted LawNet Law Firm of the Year award in 2011 and 2015, followed by the LawNet Excellence in Employee Engagement award. The firm has also achieved the Investors in People Gold accreditation and is recognised as an Exemplar Employer. Buckles is dual Lexcel and ISO 9001:2008 accredited and has an overall client satisfaction score of 98%, well above the industry average. In addition, the firm holds the Cyber Essentials Standard Plus accreditation, a government and industry standard, and is regularly recommended by The Legal 500.

The firm has a depth of expertise across 15 service areas and is committed to providing clients with clear and concise legal advice combined with the very best client experience. Accordingly, most of Buckles’ work comes from recommendations or referrals from existing clients or business contacts.

Types of work undertaken:

Individuals and families: Buckles advise individuals on all aspects of wealth management, family law matters, private property, tax planning and personal injury claims. The firm has expertise in helping clients protect their assets from care home fees, using carefully drafted wills, trusts or investments. The firm’s multilingual international team advises on all aspects of buying and selling property in France, Italy and Spain, as well as inheritance tax, cross-border estate planning, Wills, and disputes and litigation.

Businesses: the firm assists business clients in their day-to-day operations, from business start-ups, through expansion by organic growth or acquisition including amalgamation or sale. Whether they are a large institutional business, small owner-managed or public companies, clients can expect the same high-quality service for which Buckles is renowned. The firm takes great pride in delivering technically proficient advice and practical commercial solutions.

Construction and engineering: Buckles’ construction and engineering team offers expert advice on procurement solutions and construction dispute resolution to clients in the private and public sector. The firm’s clients range from developers (including housing associations) to building contractors, specialist sub-contractors, education establishments, commercial occupiers and funders.

Planning: Buckles’ planning department, established in 2014, dovetails with the construction and property teams to provide a full property and development service, from acquisition to planning, through to the construction phase and onward disposal. The department has a wealth of experience and acts on a full range of planning issues, including objections to third-party planning applications, removal of agricultural occupancy conditions, and development and enforcement issues.

Social housing: The firm’s housing law department has a wealth of experience in assisting registered providers, Local Authorities, government departments and landlords and property managers. It deals with contentious and non-contentious housing issues and works in partnership with clients to ensure the most effective solutions in a timely and cost-effective manner. The team specialises in advising social landlords in relation to a range of legal issues, including development and acquisition, construction and antisocial behaviour.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Colleen Gostick
Chief Executive Duncan Jackson
Company commercial Nigel Moore
Commercial property Michael Rabbett
Construction and engineering James Coppinger
Dispute resolution James Maxey
Employment Giles Betts
Family and matrimonial Lyn Brisley
French law Sally Dilks
Personal injury Roger Clarke
Planning Brendon Lee
Private client Duncan Jackson
Property litigation Paul Branch
Social housing Gail Sykes
Spanish law Alejandro Verdu De Haro
Photo Name Position Profile
 Colleen Gostick  photo Colleen Gostick
 Duncan Jackson  photo Duncan Jackson
Number of UK partners : 17
Number of other UK fee-earners : 55