Firm Profile > Burges Salmon LLP > Bristol , South West

Burges Salmon LLP
South West

Living Wage

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

The 'highly skilled' team at Burges Salmon LLP  handles the sale and purchase of agricultural property and landed estates, assists with subsidies and tenancy issues, advises on agricultural development and also has expertise in tax and succession planning. The firm also focuses on advising on regulatory issues regarding the food supply chain. The 'excellentSian Edmunds has experience as a litigator and arbitrator, including the handling of contractual and partnership disputes. Emma Folkes acts for farmers and investors on the restructuring of agricultural estate portfolios.

Banking and finance Tier 1

Key sectors of focus for Burges Salmon LLP’s mid-market banking practice include energy and infrastructure, real estate, transport, food and agriculture, leisure, insurance, housing and healthcare. With the firm opening an Edinburgh office, which operates alongside the Bristol and London offices, the firm is on a strong footing to serve clients across the UK and further afield internationally. In addition to undertaking finance work for lenders, it has also established relationships with a large number of household name corporate borrowers. Practice head Richard Leeming, who specialises in corporate banking and real estate finance, acts for clearing banks, investment banks and private banks, as well as debt funds. Recently promoted partner Katie Allen is 'bright, capable and pleasant to work with'. 'Very efficient' Rachael Ruane is also recommended for her project finance and asset finance expertise.

Commercial litigation: Bristol Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP has a large team, which serves a sizeable roster of national and international clients. It has a notable specialism in transport sector disputes; the scope of the work includes rail, bus, motor and marine matters. In addition, the team excels in contentious work involving financial services, agricultural and rural affairs, energy, intellectual property and pensions. David Hall leads the group, which includes highly rated associate Brian Wong. Wong focuses on transport, regulatory and public law matters, and also handles complex corporate disputes.

Commercial property: Bristol Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP's market-leading real estate practice, which is led by Colin Ligman, acts for a broad base of private sector clients, including major landowners, household name retailers, hotels, developers and construction companies, among others. In addition, the firm advises public sector clients, such as local authorities. Richard Clark is particularly active in the office and retail sectors, where he focuses on advising investors, developers and occupiers. Richard Read has significant experience of the student accommodation sector, and he is also active in the hotels and leisure space. Ross Polkinghorne, who leads the real estate development group, advises both public and private sector clients on high-value regeneration projects. Euan Bremner handles development and acquisition transactions for energy clients. Philip Beer is another key figure.

Construction Tier 1

Led by William Gard, the ‘amazing’ construction and engineering team at Burges Salmon LLP excels in handling critical national infrastructure projects across multiple sectors, including renewables and energy storage, and transport. The group stands out for its niche expertise in nuclear new-build projects; this is an area of specialism for Steven James. Marcus Harling regularly takes the lead on the procurement and delivery aspects of complex construction projects. Also notable is that the team has had an increase in mandates from clients in the utilities, mining and waste management sectors. The team also has experience of acting in construction disputes, which are a specialism for Richard Adams and senior associate Jessica Evans, who was hired from Bevan Brittan LLP in June 2018.

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP combines expertise in trusts and personal tax litigation with experience in pensions litigation. The practice advises on private wealth disputes with pension-related aspects, contentious estoppel arrangements, disputes between trustees and contentious questions concerning inheritance and succession planning. The client base of joint practice heads Kevin Kennedy and Justin Briggs includes high-net-worth individuals and owners of landed estates, including traditional farming families as well as members of the aristocracy and the landed gentry.

Corporate and commercial: Bristol Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP handles a high volume of complex corporate transactions, and is able to leverage its 'best-friends' network of overseas firms in matters with cross-border elements. The team acts for high-profile clients across a number of sectors, notably energy, food and beverages, hotels and leisure, and education. The team is jointly led by Richard Spink and Chris Godfrey; Spink has expertise in corporate reorganisations in the private equity space, while Godfrey has a strong track record in M&A, funds work and IPOs. Jonathan Eves, who has been a partner since 2015, excels in complex corporate matters in the energy sector. Recently promoted director Tim Roberts specialises in M&A, with a particular focus on the leisure and tourism industry. Senior associate Alex Lloyd is also highly recommended.

Corporate tax Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP's team regularly provides tax support to other departments in the firm on matters such as corporate restructurings and real estate transactions. It is also sought out to provide standalone tax advice in its own right. Recently promoted partner Ian Carnochan leads the practice, which is equally strong in contentious and non-contentious matters. Sarah Lane, who has previous experience of working as a partner at a 'big four' accounting firm, demonstrates strong capabilities in UK and international tax controversies. She also has expertise in tax issues connected with fund structurings, real estate issues, joint ventures and treasury tax. Nigel Popplewell is another key figure.

Crime: fraud Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP specialises in the impact of criminal and white collar fraud, including issues connected to proceeds of crime, money laundering and bribery. Headed by David Hall, the firm also advises on issues relating to police investigations in relation to asset freezing and recovery, and covers a wide range of matters that involve director and employee fraud, bribery, corruption and money laundering.

Employment: Bristol Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP advises FTSE100 and global businesses, central and local government organisations and major brands. On the contentious side, it represents clients in employment tribunal and appellate court proceedings; cases involve complex whistle-blowing and discrimination issues, among others. Non-contentious advisory work covers GDPR and management issues, senior executive severance and large-scale TUPE transfers. The team works closely with overseas-based lawyers from its preferred firms network on cross-border employment matters. Team leader Adrian Martin has particular experience of the TUPE and employment aspects of corporate transactions, outsourcing arrangements, and public and private sector projects. Luke Bowery is another name to note.

Energy Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP has expertise in cutting-edge and innovative energy projects, particularly in relation to conventional power, as well as the renewables and nuclear industries. Described by one client as ‘the Rolls-Royce of his sector’, Ian Salter is a nationally recognised name in the field of nuclear law. Salter jointly leads the practice with Ross Fairley, who is ‘one of very few true experts around’ in the renewables industry. Julian Boswall has particular expertise in consenting offshore wind projects, as well as onshore wind and gas-fired power station projects. Associate Alec Whiter is another name to note.

Environment Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP's specialist environment team has a first-rate reputation for advising clients on particularly complex regulatory issues. Clients turn to the firm for assistance with challenging matters involving regulators, such as the refusal of permits, litigation, prosecutions and other challenges. In addition to advising large regional and national clients, the firm also generates mandates from global organisations. The ‘experiencedSimon Tilling handles a large volume of contentious work. The ‘incredibly competentMichael Barlow, who heads up the practice, handles all aspects of environmental compliance, energy efficiency, contaminated land and environmental permitting. Ross Fairley advises on issues concerning infrastructure, energy, waste, lender liability and contaminated land, and also represents clients charged with environmental offences. Ian Salter is recommended for his work in the nuclear sector.

EU and competition Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP advises clients on competition issues across its key sectors, such as retail, transport, financial services and healthcare. The team has a strong track record in merger clearances, and also regularly advises on investigations and compliance issues. In addition, the firm represents clients in antitrust litigation. Chris Worrall, who is knowledgeable about all aspects of EU and UK competition law, is the head of the team. Laura Claydon regularly acts for household name clients on complex competition issues.

Family Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP has expertise in negotiating financial settlements on relationship breakdown and divorce. The senior associates Nicky Howarth and Mary Gaskins deal with asset protection in case of divorce and draft domestic and cross-border pre- and post-martial agreements. The firm’s advice on family law incorporates tax and estate planning measures. Practice head Sarah Hoskinson specialises in in divorce law and handles corporate and trust issues as well as on the effect of divorce on the clients’ pension schemes. Alison Hawes has a particular expertise in financial settlement cases that involve issues regarding business assets.

Health and safety Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP's health and safety practice has a standout reputation in the transport and construction sectors. In addition, the firm is becoming increasingly well-known in the chemicals, agricultural, engineering, manufacturing and renewables industries. Also notable is that it is prominent in the food sector; the practice covers all safety issues, including contamination, liability and product recall. The team has a wealth of expertise in criminal and civil matters arising from health and safety incidents; practice head Ann Metherall, who has a strong track record in rail sector health and safety,  is experienced in police and regulatory investigations, and public inquiries.

Immigration Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP advises clients on all aspects of business immigration, including recruitment of overseas nationals, immigration strategy, sponsor licenses, immigration audits, UKVI breaches, corporate transactions and outsourcing arrangements. Clients include domestic businesses and international corporations, as well as high net worth individuals and their dependents. Adrian Martin heads up the wider employment group, which encompasses the immigration practice.

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP’s insolvency and corporate recovery work spans a number of sectors, such as construction, energy, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and professional services. The team is led by Andrew Eaton, who has extensive expertise in the retail industry, where he assists clients with distressed situations. Real estate sector expert James Sutherland has developed a niche in handling contentious insolvency matters. Also notable is that the team has extensive expertise in the interplay between insolvency and pensions law; it advises trustees on issues concerning the protection of the pension assets of an insolvent company. Although the firm generates the majority of its work from the London market, the firm is increasingly sought out in cross-border matters, with it benefiting from excellent relationships with law firms worldwide. Senior associate Emily Scaife specialises in non-contentious transactions. Patrick Cook retired from private practice.

Intellectual property Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP acts for major international brands and has a particularly strong list of US-based clients, including Starbucks, Victoria's Secret and the Discovery Channel. The ongoing expansion of its practice is evidenced by the fact that the firm was recently appointed to the IP panels of John Lewis/Waitrose and the BBC/BBC Studios. Practice head Jeremy Dickerson is experienced in both transactional and contentious issues; his expertise includes the protection and enforcement of IP rights, trade mark infringement and portfolio management. Helen Scott-Lawler has advised RAC and Fever-Tree on technology transfer and IP issues relating to sponsorship and advertising. Senior associate Emily Roberts specialises primarily in contentious IP and often supports Dickerson on infringement matters.

IT and telecoms Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP's practice is going from strength to strength, with the firm undertaking a large volume of high-value, complex technology outsourcing transactions. It has also won a number of new clients, including The National Trust and Southern Water. The firm has a particularly strong presence in the transport, utilities and energy sectors. In addition to advising clients on IT projects, the group handles commercial IT work, procurement, outsourcing, joint ventures (for new product development) and corporate IT deals. Sarah Kenshall is a key figure in the team, which is led by Andrew Dunlop.

Licensing Tier 1

Headed by the contentious and non-contentious gaming expert Joanne Attwood, Burges Salmon LLP advises on contentious licensing issues in the entertainment, street trading, transport and vehicle industries as well as on the obtainment of licences for leisure venues, cafés, pubs and restaurants. The legal service of the practice involves the handling of licensing aspects of commercial agreements as well as dealing with regulatory compliance.

Local government Tier 1

Housing a number of former local authority lawyers, Burges Salmon LLP provides a comprehensive range of services, which includes advice to local authorities on statutory and constitutional interpretation of powers, corporate and commercial work, public procurement, infrastructure projects, and waste and energy projects. The team also has particular expertise in planning and environmental work and pension schemes. In addition to acting for local authorities, other clients include central government departments and bodies, as well as government-owned organisations. The practice is led by planning expert Gary Soloman, who advises on local authority, regeneration and compulsory purchase matters. John Houlden specialises in in procurement, state aid and project funding. Matthew Ramus, Marcus Harling and senior associate Paula McGeady are also highly recommended.

Media and entertainment Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP acts for clients from throughout the media and entertainment industry, including television broadcasting, music, publishing and social media. It also has a first-rate reputation in the advertising and marketing sphere. The team, which is led by Jeremy Dickerson, handles a notably high volume of work for media clients, particularly in relation to the protection and enforcement of IP rights. In the broadcasting space, the team advises major international media companies on TV show clearances, the exploitation of related merchandise and dispute resolution. Director Emily Roberts is another notable individual.

Pensions Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP acts for more than 750 trustee and employer clients in the private and public sectors, with a primary focus on trustee mandates. The firm is on both the central and local government legal panels for pensions work, which enables it to undertake large-scale legal work across the UK. Personal and occupational pension schemes are another area of strength. Practice head Richard Knight is the key point of contact for the practice's major clients. Susannah Young is one of the other key figures in the group.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP is especially experienced in dealing with landed estates, which involves regulatory advice regarding agricultural law and inheritance tax planning. The firm is also experienced in trust establishment and restructuring, which often involves the movements of assets domestically as well as offshore. The firm regularly liaises with family business owners on corporate and personal tax matters as well as the transfer of assets to the next generation. John Barnett provides tax advice to high-net-worth individuals and financial institutions. Senior associate Catherine De Maid leads the firm’s philanthropy team and specialises in international tax, trusts and estate planning advice.  Senior associate Tim Williams  is another specialist in tax, estate planning and trust work.

Planning Tier 1

The planning and compulsory purchase team at Burges Salmon LLP has a particular strength in acting for clients in the public and quasi-public space, such as local councils and national bodies (including Highways England). The group advises on nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) at all stages from the pre-application phase up to the post-construction period; NSIPs work is an area of specialism for Elizabeth Dunn and Julian Boswall. The ‘very experienced strategist’ Patrick Robinson focuses on energy-related aspects of planning work, with a particular emphasis on nuclear and renewables. Practice head Gary Soloman advises clients on regeneration projects, large-scale developments and highway proposals. Elsewhere, the department also handles judicial reviews and statutory challenges. Senior associates Paula McGeady and Stephen Humphreys are also recommended.

Professional negligence Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP acts predominantly for claimants. The firm has expertise in making claims on behalf of lenders and regularly advises on claims in the legal, construction, environmental consultancy and IT sectors. One key area of expertise is handling claims arising from cyber-security breaches and regulatory interventions. The firm also advises on professional negligence cases relating to pensions, trusts and tax. Practice head Andrew Burnette leads claims against solicitors and surveyors. 

Project finance and PFI Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP acts for public and private sector clients on the procurement, development and funding aspects of high-profile projects. The team also draws on the experience of practitioners in areas such as renewable energy, transport, waste management and water. Practice head Ian Salter is a recognised name nationally for his nuclear law expertise. Elsewhere, defence sector mandates are on the increase, with Mark PatersonKeith Beattie and Matthew Ramus being active practitioners in this space. Ramus is also experienced in projects with a nexus to the education sector. Brioney Thomas is the go-to contact for rail clients, which include passenger operators, freight operators, rolling stock manufacturers and government authorities.

Property litigation Tier 1

The real estate disputes team at Burges Salmon LLP acts for a broad base of regional and national clients. It also has significant following among international clients, as is evidenced by its work for occupiers in high-profile lease break and dilapidations claims; Goldman Sachs and Virgin are among the blue-chip names that turn to the firm for advice in this space. Elsewhere, the group has a strong track record of handling commercial rent reviews in London. It also generates contentious property mandates from clients active in the renewable energy sector, and also from clients in relation to property insolvencies. Richard Bedford handles a wide range of freehold and leasehold disputes, and has extensive expertise in alternative forms of dispute resolution. Practice head James Sutherland has extensive experience in real estate litigation and insolvency disputes relating to real estate assets. Clients also recommend senior associate David Benjamin and newly promoted partner Chris Preston.

Rail Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP's team covers all aspects of rail-related work, including health and safety, franchising and infrastructure matters. Its experience includes the devolution of rail franchising powers, consumer protection and third party retailing arrangements and tunnel access. The firm's client base includes many of the leading operators in the country, and also public bodies and international operators. Brioney Thomas, who is the head of the rail division, has a particular interest in regulatory and commercial issues.

Sport Tier 1

Burges Salmon LLP has a strong profile in football, motorsport and horse racing. Its team has an excellent track record of completing commercial deals and handling disputes in all three areas. The broader workload encompasses advice to clients governance issues, anti-doping and financial regulation. Cricket and rugby are other areas where the group has been active recently. Jeremy Dickerson, who heads up the firm's IP and sports team, is highly experienced in sponsorship, merchandising, advertising and contentious sporting matters. Recently promoted senior associate Chris Davies is a name to note.

Education Tier 2

Burges Salmon LLP advises on the spin-off of new businesses for universities, the development of new campus buildings, employment disputes and intellectual property issues. The team stands out in particularly complex and innovative projects, such as the outsourcing of education services from local authorities to new children’s services trusts. Matthew Ramus, who is 'highly knowledgeable and exceptionally efficient’, focuses on restructurings and business transformation projects. The ‘competent and very diligentMarcus Harling acts as a key contact for university clients. Luke Bowery utilises his employment expertise in advising both employers and employees in the education sector.

At Burges Salmon, our culture is open, collaborative and inclusive, enabling us to recruit, retain and motivate the highest calibre of people. In our 2019 Engagement Survey, 90% of our people felt that they could be themselves and work and 95% believed that the firm has an open and inclusive culture.

We are proud to have been among the first signatories of the Bristol Equality Charter, committing to being an inclusive organisation, working with other Bristol businesses to strive towards equality.

We are an accredited Living Wage employer, committed to ensuring our people are fairly paid.

Our priorities

  • Gender

We are particularly focused on the development and progression of our female lawyers and business professionals into more senior roles, having worked with the Law Society on its Women in Leadership in Law study and Thomson Reuter’s Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law programme.

  • Ethnicity

We are committed to increasing ethnic diversity across the firm. We are partnered with Rare Recruitment, using its Contextual Recruitment System to consider applicants’ achievements in the socioeconomic context within which they were gained.

We support the Stepping Up diversity leadership programme for future leaders in Bristol, developing a talent pipeline that more meaningfully reflects our population and community.

  • LGBT+

We have worked closely with Stonewall since 2012 and are proud to be ranked in the Stonewall Employer Index, helping us to benchmark our progress on LGBT+ inclusion.

We play an active role in Bristol Pride Festival each year, marching in the parade and taking part in the festival itself. We are proud winners of Best Law Firm 2017 and 2018 at the Bristol Pride Awards.

  • Social mobility

We are committed to improving social inclusion and widening access to the profession, which includes our partnership with local secondary school Fairfield School, offering employability workshops, careers guidance and interview preparation.

We are founding members of the Social Mobility Pledge and the Social Mobility Business Partnership.

Our legal apprenticeship programme was successfully launched in 2016 as part of the Trailblazers initiative and we were the first law firm in Bristol to recruit using these standards. In 2018 we launched our business professionals apprenticeship programme.

  • Disability

We want to make sure that the working environment at Burges Salmon is accessible and supportive for those with disabilities. We are proud to be a Disability Confident accredited employer and we are committed to removing barriers and ensuring that disabled people at Burges Salmon have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.

We also support our people in establishing diversity networks:

BProud is our LGBT+ network, welcoming both LGBT+ members and allies to promote LGBT+ inclusion across the firm.

BCultured is our BAME network, promoting ethnic diversity and inclusion across the firm.

Family Matters is a network for those with caring responsibilities, providing a space for our people to discuss and share experiences openly.

Burges Salmon Disability Forum aims to support the firm in being an accessible and inclusive place to work.