Firm Profile > Butcher & Barlow LLP > Runcorn , North West

Butcher & Barlow LLP
North West

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

Butcher & Barlow LLP's agricultural team provides a broad range of legal services, working in tandem with property, corporate and litigation colleagues based in the same office. The practice, which has particular expertise in succession planning and the sale of agricultural land for residential development, is headed up by the hugely experienced Mike Bracegirdle, who set up the Gadbrook Park office in 2014, since when it has enjoyed a year-on-year fee revenue increase of 20%.

Commercial property: elsewhere in the North West Tier 2

Butcher & Barlow LLP handles land acquisitions and is experienced in commercial and residential development. Jonathan Aldersley is experienced in the sale and purchase of public houses and also handles commercial refinancing. John Hyatt and Rebecca Jepson handle transactions in the agricultural sector, and James Hodgson advises on commercial leases and investment property work. The team welcomed the 'experiencedDaniel Woodcock from Chafes Hague Lambert LLP in 2019.  Recently promoted partner Zoë Paton-Crockett, who is experienced in land promotion and advises on the acquisition and sale of land for commercial and residential development, heads the team.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 2

The team at Butcher & Barlow LLP undertakes a high volume of work for business owners and high-net-worth individuals on a range of matters including wills, powers of attorney, Court of Protection and general administration of estates. The firm also has particular expertise in agricultural work, offering a bespoke service in estate planning for farmers. Practice head Christopher Hopkins, who has an 'impressive depth of knowledge', leads the team which includes the 'competent and tenacious' Jessica Shore and 'exceptionally reliable' Jim Whitaker.

Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 3

Butcher & Barlow LLP is 'able to combine local knowledge with the resources of a large firm through its series of offices' across the north west. Anthony Higham leads the team, which handles a diverse and complex clinical negligence caseload including birth injuries, cosmetic surgery claims, pregnancy and gynaecology injuries as well as surgical compensation claims. Adam Shawcross, who goes 'above and beyond', Samuel Dale and Andrew Mackenzie were all promoted to partner in May 2018.

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the North West Tier 3

Butcher & Barlow LLP advises its roster of clients on commercial, contractual and property disputes, while other areas of expertise include estate inheritance, insolvency, construction, negligence and agricultural claims. Gadbrook Park-based Alexander Sandland and Bury-based Anthony Higham head the team. Andrew Mackenzie was promoted to the partnership in May 2018.

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Butcher & Barlow LLP offers the full spectrum of services to high-net-worth clients, covering all types of disputes in this area, advising executors, beneficiaries, trustees and others challenging the validity of wills. The team is headed up by Sandbach-based Samuel Dale, who handles both contentious and non-contentious work.

Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the North West Tier 3

Butcher & Barlow LLP 'provides the complete spectrum of legal services'. It advises on various corporate and commercial matters including share options, shareholder agreements, commercial agreements and partnership agreements. The team is headed by Gadbrook Park-based Jonathan Aldersley who specialises in enterprise management incentive (EMI) schemes. Andrew MacKenzie, Adam Shawcross and Rebecca Jepson were promoted to partner in May 2018.

Property litigation Tier 5

Butcher & Barlow LLP's property litigation team handles commercial landlord and tenant matters, and complex land disputes involving restrictive covenants, boundary disputes and registration issues. The team particularly stands out for its agricultural sector expertise and its clients include developers, investors, institutional lenders, professional services firms, landed estates and agricultural occupiers. Department head Alex Sandland is very 'supportive and very determined; he is a tough cookie, and is great to have on your side'. Associates James Holton, who is a landlord and tenant specialist, and Catherine Gregson are also recommended.

The Firm of Butcher & Barlow has practised in Bury for over 130 years and has passed from Father to Son through four generations. The Firm prides itself on maintaining the same name, standards and identity that it had when it was first formed. The Firm remains focused on building long-term personal relationships with its clients.

The Firm:

Butcher & Barlow is law firm providing a broad range of personal and commercial services to it’s clients. With 10 offices across Cheshire and North Manchester, the offices in Bury remain the head office of the Firm which has doubled in size in the last 10 years, now boasting 30 Partners and over 40 additional fee earners.

The Firm has its roots on the High Street but has always had a strong commercial client base. In 2014 Butcher & Barlow opened a dedicated commercial and agricultural office on Gadbrook Park, Northwich. By having a dedicated office for the two departments it is able to harness the skill and expertise of its Solicitors in one office and provide a focused team that can provide advice and assistance on commercial and agricultural matters in a professional, business-centred setting. The Firm is able to offer detailed expertise and a dedicated commercial team at rates lower than City Centre practices due to lower overheads. The Firm’s commercial function is supported by a network of specialists across the branch offices who work collaboratively with the teams at the Gadbrook Park office. This means the Firm has the knowledge, the staffing and resources to deliver legal services which match those of city practices whilst maintaining the personable and approachable attitude the firm is known for.   The Firm’s commercial clients include regional construction companies, commercial landlords, manufacturing companies and builders’ merchants.

Whilst the Firm is based within the North West, the reputation it has established has meant that work has been undertaken for individuals based in the Midlands and South East and the use of technology has meant the speed at which transactions are conducted has increased.

Types of work undertaken: Corporate and commercial: headed by one of the Firms four owners, Jonathan Aldersley, the department’s expertise includes mergers and acquisitions, asset finance and secured lending, shareholder agreements and review of commercial documents. The department has a particular expertise in advising charities such as The Hulme Trust Estates and Booth Charities on management and administration, and property and investments. Particular experience has been built up in respect of the sale and purchases of companies in the care home sector as well as those involving the brewery industry and is able to provide advice on licensing matters. Partner Justin Kelly specialises in advising businesses on employment issues.

Commercial property: the team is led by partner Zoë Paton-CrockettThe department is noted for its expertise in land acquisition, planning and development in the commercial and residential sectors, public house sales and purchases, commercial re-financing and commercial property and self-invested personal pensions.

Agriculture: the agricultural team is based at the dedicated Gadbrook Park office and is led by Mike Bracegirdle. Mike is a fellow of the Agricultural Law Association. Working with Partners Graham Gigg, also a fellow of the Agricultural Law Association (and an associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and honorary legal officer of both the Agricultural Chaplaincy in Cheshire and the Cheshire Agricultural Society), John Hyatt and Rebecca Jepson, the team can advise on all aspects of agricultural land, development, agricultural tenancies, succession issues and partnerships. The Department acts for a number of landed estates in relation to agricultural holdings and tenancies and farm business tenancies.

Private client: Chris Hopkins is the head of the private client team and also an accredited member of STEP. The team provides a full range of private client services, including preparation of wills and trusts, succession planning, administration of estates and trusts, Court of Protection applications, and powers of attorney. Partners of the firm also act as trustees and are involved in the management of a number of trust funds totalling several million pounds which have been operating for many years. The department holds niche expertise in agricultural work and is able to offer a bespoke service in relation to estate planning for farmers. The team undertakes work on behalf of business owners and high net-worth-clients, frequently working in combination with the Corporate and Commercial department to offer clients wide ranging and well-rounded advice.

Litigation and dispute resolution: headed by Anthony Higham in Lancashire and Alex Sandland in Cheshire, the team advises both individual and corporate clients on land and property disputes, corporate and partnership disputes, adjudication, construction matters and contentious probate issues. Alex had success in the Court of Appeal with the reported case of Winterburn v Bennett [2016] EWCA Civ 482. Members of the team also cover all areas of personal injury claims and medical negligence actions.

Family: the firm has an experienced family law team, with solicitors who are members and accredited specialists of recognised family law associations including Resolution, the Law Society’s Children Panel and the Advanced Family Panel. The firm has a collaboratively trained lawyer in Helen Oakes and accredited mediator in Caroline Cockill-Guy.. The firm boasts a highly regarded team specialising in high value and complex divorce and financial matters. The team is well equipped to deal with all children and financial issues arising from a relationship, including pre- and post-nuptial settlements, businesses and inheritance disputes. The firm has legal aid contracts to carry out family legal aid work at six offices and holds the specialist quality mark

Residential property: as an accredited member of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme the firm provides high-class residential property services to a wide range of clients.

The firm also has five notary publics, spread across the region who are impartial legal experts with a wealth of varied experience within this distinct facet of the legal profession.


Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Charles Barlow 0161 764 4062
Managing Partner and head of Litigation Anthony Higham 0161 764 4062
Partner and Head of Corporate and Commercial Jonathan Aldersley 01606 334309
Partner and Head of Private client Chris Hopkins 0161 764 4062
Partner and Head of Agriculture Michael Bracegirdle 01606 334309
Partner John Hyatt 01270 762 521
Partner and Head of Employment Justin Kelly 0161 439 8228
Partner and Head of Family Rachel Cryan 01942 883 669
Partner and Head of Residential Lynsey Stuchfield 01928 576 056
Partner Richard Ashton 01928 733 871
Partner Jim Whitaker 01928 576 056
Partner Robert Morris 0161 439 8228
Partner Philip Thompson 0161 773 2969
Partner Graham Gigg 01606 334309
Partner Kevan Hankinson 0161 773 2969
Partner Caroline Cockill-Guy 01606 47523
Partner Claire Jackson 01942 674 144
Partner Angela Gleave 01270 762 521
Marketing Partner Amy Norman 01606 334309
Partner Alex Sandland 01606 334309
Partner James Hodgson 0161 764 4062
Partner Gregory Porter 01606 47523
Partner Philip Jennings 01928 733 871
Partner Samuel Dale 01270 762 521
Partner Rebecca Jepson 01606 334309
Partner Adam Shawcross 01942 674 144
Partner and Head of Commercial Property Zoë Paton-Crockett 01606 334309
Partner Andrew Mackenzie 01928 576 056
Consultant Mark Fletcher 01942 674 144
Partner Daniel Woodcock 01606 334 309
Partner Nicola Wingfield 0161 439 8228
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Andrew Mackenzie  photo Mr Andrew Mackenzie
Mrs Lynsey Stuchfield  photo Mrs Lynsey Stuchfield
Mr James Whitaker  photo Mr James Whitaker
Number of UK partners : 30
Number of other UK fee-earners : 40