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Yorkshire and the Humber: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Corporate and commercial: Sheffield, South Yorkshire - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Sheffield)

CMS appears in the ranking for the first time following the firm’s merger with Nabarro. The practice is led by Ben Hendry, who has niche strengths in the technology sector and regularly acts for advanced manufacturing and tech businesses in the region. The team is known for its expertise handling acquisitions, disposals, investments, IPOs, capital raisings, restructurings and joint ventures. Gareth Saynor led advice to the management team of HR Essentials on the MBO of the Essentials Recruitment group, and Hendry assisted the management team of Gearing UP with the £5m MBI of Precision Engineering group, and also advised GRI on its £3.4m acquisition of Expac. Senior associate Nick Hopper is also noted.

Leading individuals

Ben Hendry - CMS

Next generation Lawyers

Nick Hopper - CMS

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Commercial litigation: Sheffield, South Yorkshire - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Sheffield)

CMS’ well regarded-practice is jointly headed by ‘excellent tacticianChris Horsefield, George Lubega, and Carl Dray. Lubega has a depth of expertise in judicial reviews, disputes involving local and central government and the NHS, and is also involved in cross-border contentious matters across a range of industry sectors, including technology, healthcare, financial, real estate, transport, oil, food, manufacturing and engineering and insurance. Recent highlights include defending global industrial services provider Cape against claims brought by insurers Aviva, Zurich and the RSA Group, regarding insolvency, contract, insurance and product liability law. Other work includes defending Qatar Airways against a sexual assault claim made by a passenger, and defending an investment management services company against breach of warranty and indemnity claims brought as a result of asbestos found in a property sold by the client. Senior associate Mark Gudgeon was part of a team handling a contractual dispute for a biomass-fired CHP project designer and the project funder. James Henson joined Langleys Solicitors LLP.

Leading individuals

George Lubega - CMS

Next generation lawyers

Mark Gudgeon - CMS

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 5

CMS (Sheffield)

Managing associate David Stanbridge leads CMS’ practice, which has strengths in acting for borrowers, lenders and investors on facility agreements, development financing and corporate acquisitions. Recent highlights include advising Lloyds on a three-year £50m revolving credit facility and ancillary facilities provided to Strata Homes to refinance its existing debt with RBS; assisting HSBC with its Libor term loan to Amtrans Properties, which included taking property security as part of an intra-group property restructuring and taking security over subordinated debt; and advising Titan and its SPVs on facility agreements and security documents relating to various short-term property acquisition and development facilities provided by Titlestone Real Estate, Amicus Finance and Ingenious Real Estate Finance. Other clients include Palace Capital, Lendinvest and Broadway Malyan.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Human resources

Employment: Hull and East Yorkshire
Leading individuals (region-wide)

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Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Leading individuals (region-wide)

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Employment: Sheffield and South Yorkshire
Employment: Sheffield and South Yorkshire - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Sheffield)

Tracey Marsden is the key employment figure in CMS’s Sheffield office; she can draw on more than 20 years of experience handling employment issues in the public and private sectors, including handling trade union and industrial relations issues, business transfers, redundancy and restructuring programmes, and TUPE transfer issues. The practice is noted for its strength in depth in the real estate sector; 2016 highlights included advising International Hotel Group Limited on its acquisition of hotels at Gatwick and Heathrow airports, which involved TUPE transfer issues and the negotiation of employment warranties and indemnities. In another key mandate, Marsden led the team advising on the employment aspects of the administration of Lowcosttravelgroup, which involved advising on the handling of potential redundancies across its sites in Europe. Marsden also defended UK Coal Production in a collective claim brought by the National Union of Mineworkers against UK Coal Kellingley Limited (in liquidation) arising from the closure of the last working mine in Kellingley.

Leading individuals (region-wide)

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Sheffield)

According to some, CMS (which merged with Nabarro LLP in 2017) fields a health and safety team that is ‘as good as any major firm in this practice area, and better than the vast majority’. Practice head Lukas Rootman attracts praise for his ‘gift for understanding the client’s needs and for his keen grasp of the commercial realities; he will never over-lawyer a case and will find a sensible solution where possible, and is tough as nails and not prepared to tolerate any nonsense from the other side’. The Sheffield-based team works on a national and international basis, handling high-profile HSE investigations and prosecutions, inquests and health and safety compliance advice, with particular capability in the chemicals, construction, energy waste and manufacturing sectors. Carl Dray is the other key partner; he handles a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, with a key strength in defendant insurance work.

Leading individuals

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Pensions - ranked: tier 3

CMS (Sheffield)

CMS (which merged with Nabarro LLP in 2017) established a firm foothold in the pensions arena with the arrivals in 2015 of John Hanratty and senior associate Jayne Firth from DWF. Hanratty is a leading figure in public sector pension matters and acts for government departments, local authorities and not-for-profit organisations on trust-based and public sector schemes. Firth is noted for her expertise in public outsourcing projects, as well as acting for insurers, SIPP sponsors and public entities in a variety of pension arrangements. Highlights included advising the trustees of the Schindler Group 1988 pension scheme on the buyout of pensioner liabilities entered into in 2014.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Insurance

Clinical negligence: defendant
Clinical negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Sheffield)

A pleasure to work with’, CMS’s clinical negligence practice (which comprises the legacy Nabarro LLP team in Sheffield following the merger between the two firms along with Olswang LLP) ‘always gets the best result for its clients’. Led by the ‘vastly experiencedChris Horsefield (who attracts praise for his ability to ‘shrewdly judge the merits of a case’), the practice has built an excellent representation defending clinical negligence claims on behalf of the MDU and DDU; it also acts for medical and professional indemnity insurers, as well as members of the medical profession not covered by a medical defence organisation. Other key figures include Rachel Cooper, who splits her time between the Sheffield and Manchester offices and regularly represents MDU members in inquests and GMC investigations; Mike Jennings, ‘an unflappable litigator who handles the heaviest cases with skill’; and Rachel Brown, who recently joined the Sheffield office from Slater and Gordon.

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Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Sheffield)

CMS merged with Nabarro LLP in 2017, bringing on board the latter firm’s defendant personal injury practice in Sheffield, which attracts praise for its ‘conscientious and thorough preparation of cases’. Practice head Carl Dray is singled out as being ‘pre-eminent in industrial disease litigation’. He leads a team that exclusively acts for large self-insureds and has an extensive track record in group actions, as illustrated by its work for the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy defending a GLO concerning 290 former coke workers suffering from a range of disabilities and injuries, including lung and skin cancer as well as a variety of non-malignant respiratory diseases. Other key mandates included defending The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in a claim brought by a current senior employee for psychological injury. Zoe Cooper, Tim Riordan and Jeremy Fletcher are also recommended.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Projects, energy and natural resources (including PFI)

Infrastructure - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Sheffield)

CMS’ team is best known for its strengths handling large infrastructure and construction projects in the development, energy, renewables and waste sectors. Fraser Askham, who handles contentious and transactional matters, and Martin McKervey, who focuses on key infrastructure projects in the region including those connected to the Northern Powerhouse scheme, jointly head the team. Recent highlights include advising Viridor Laing on the £4.5bn Great Manchester Waste PFI project and advising on the £70m Deansgate development in Manchester. It also has an active disputes practice and McKervey represented new client Primetals Technologies in a dispute with Clyde Process and Schenck Process regarding the design and supply of a pulverised coal injection plant, which is part of Sahaviriya Steel Industries’ blast furnace in the Tees Valley. NG Bailey, New Era Development and Zeus Renewables are also new clients.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Real estate

Commercial property: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Commercial property: Sheffield, South Yorkshire - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Sheffield)

CMS is now a key name in the region following its recent merger with Nabarro LLP. Key names in the team include Rebecca Kitchingham, who specialises in matters concerning multi-let properties, Tanya Holt, who focuses on the healthcare sectors, and Sarah Meldrum, who is an expert in retail-related property matters. The group recently advised Sheffield City Council on the pre-letting of approximately 140,000sq ft to HSBC, which involved a complex jigsaw lease agreement. It also assisted Metrocentre Partnership with multiple matters, including handling the completion of a 45,000sq ft extension to the Qube catering hub, advising on an 8,000sq ft extension to Primark’s premises, and obtaining possession of the former BHS store and subsequently assisting with a reconfiguration of the property to develop a flagship store for Next. Other highlights include advising Brockton Capital and Dunedin Property on a £300m portfolio of multi-let industrial properties, assisting Barnsley-based Quest Property with the development of a Sheffield city centre building, handling the sale of a trading estate for a real estate investment management company, and advising on the refinancing of 19 care homes for a healthcare company. Other clients include CBRE Global Investors, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, BlackRock Investment Management and Hammerson.

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Construction - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Sheffield)

CMS’ practice, which is known for its strengths handling large infrastructure and construction projects in the development, regeneration, energy, renewables and waste sectors, is jointly headed by Fraser Askham and Martin McKervey. The latter is representing Biffa in four-party litigation proceedings in the High Court against MW High Tech Projects UK, West Sussex County Council and Megtec Environmental, in a dispute pertaining to defects, time extensions and termination issues regarding the design, construction and commissioning of Biffa’s new flagship energy waste plants in Horsham. Chris Hallam joined from Pinsent Masons LLP and has expertise in drafting contracts for complex construction, engineering and infrastructure projects and associate Jenny Whipps provides ‘cost-effective’ advice.

Next generation lawyers

Jenny Whipps - CMS

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Planning - ranked: tier 2

CMS (Sheffield)

CMS’ team is led by the ‘well-respected and knowledgeableChristopher Bowes, who has ‘great client care skills’ and is ‘relaxed but on the ball’. Bowes recently advised new client Inhabit on the planning aspects of its mixed-use scheme in Leeds and assisted Hammerson with the compulsory acquisition of land required for the redevelopment of a significant quarter of Leeds City Centre. Other work included acting for Tarmac in a planning inquiry concerning a review of old minerals permissions at a quarry in Wales. ‘Efficient and hard-working’ senior associate Rebecca Roffe is ‘an absolute star; she is great at energising and propelling a team through a case’.

Next generation lawyers

Rebecca Roffe - CMS

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

CMS (Sheffield)

CMS’ department, led by Stephen Scott, is best known for handling disputes concerning complex development projects, vacant possession strategies, business lease renewals and terminations, dilapidations, rent reviews, service charges, arrears recovery, squatters and possession cases, landlord and tenant insolvency and real estate-related disability discrimination cases. Managing associate Jane Turley has a strong track record handling litigation, arbitration and mediation concerning commercial real estate issues; contractual disputes; portfolio management; and mines and quarries-related work, including overage disputes and occupiers’ liability advice. Other key team members include senior associates Edward Gamble, who focuses on landlord and tenant disputes, high-value contractual disputes and complex possession claims, and Martin Garner, who advises institutional landlords, tenants and developers on business lease renewals, debt recovery, dilapidations, trespassers, rights of light and insolvency disputes. Scott and Garner recently advised Hammerson on a vacant possession issue relating to the Victoria Gate shopping centre development, and assisted The Mall with the redevelopment of a Camberley-based site, including the extent of statutory undertakers’ rights over the site and public right of way issues. The team also represented NOMA in proceedings concerning the removal of protestors from properties adjoining its site in Manchester.

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Further information on CMS

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about CMS in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai and Dubai


Offices in Tirana



Offices in Vienna


Offices in Brussels, Antwerp, Brussels, Brussels, and Brussels

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Offices in Sarajevo


Offices in Sofia and Sofia


Offices in Beijing, Beijing, and Shanghai


Offices in Zagreb

Czech Republic

Offices in Prague


Offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Munich, and Munich


Offices in Algiers


Offices in Madrid, Malaga, Seville, Madrid, and Barcelona


Offices in Paris, Strasbourg, and Lyon

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong and Hong Kong


Offices in Budapest

Latin America: International firms


Offices in Rome and Milan


Offices in Beirut


Offices in London EC4N and London EC3A


Offices in Luxembourg


Offices in Casablanca


Offices in Podgorica


Offices in Utrecht and Amsterdam

North West

Offices in Manchester


Offices in Warsaw and Poznan


Offices in Lisbon


Offices in Bucharest


Offices in Moscow


Offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen

South East

Offices in Reading


Offices in Singapore, Singapore, and Singapore


Offices in Ljubljana

South West

Offices in Bristol


Offices in Zurich and Geneva


Offices in Kiev and Kiev

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Sheffield S2 and Sheffield S2


Offices in Belgrade

Legal Developments by:

  • Access to justice: protective costs orders in planning challenges

    Third parties and competing developers have no rights of appeal to the Secretary of State against planning decisions. Disappointed applicants can appeal to the Secretary of State and can have the merits of the application reconsidered. The only remedy available to a disappointed third party is a challenge by way of judicial review in the High Court on a point of law. The sense of frustration and disempowerment this creates has not been helped by the increasing complexity of the planning process and the use of consultation to legitimise decisions that many perceive may already have been taken.
    - CMS Group

Legal Developments in the UK

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