Ansons > Lichfield, England > Firm Profile

WS13 6LQ

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 2

The department at Ansons headed by Simon James attracts a steady flow of quality instructions on agricultural land acquisitions and disposals as well as other issues such as easements, drainage obligations, diversification, renewable energy and conservation projects. James, who is a member of the Agricultural Law Association, is also vastly experienced at advising on rural subsidies, business structures and other issues such as tax planning and trusts. Neil Faunch has a wide range of experience in agricultural sales and purchases.

Practice head(s):

Simon James

Other key lawyers:


‘I have worked closely with the team at Ansons for many years and the lawyers have consistently demonstrated their detailed knowledge of challenges unique to farming/land owning community ’.

‘It is a one-stop shop for the types of advice required by my clients. Simon James offers clear and no-nonsense views on a range of legal issues and, for that matter, life in general. Sound advice delivered with a good sense of humour’.

‘Extremely personable, quick to respond to enquiries, quick to provide quotes for my clients and generally very efficient in their services. Ultimately the lawyers have a unique understanding of compulsory purchase/HS2 matters’.

‘Neil Faunch is well versed in matters of HS2 and compulsory purchase/statutory blight and HS2 property schemes. He acts effectively and in a very timely manner’.

‘We have worked with Ansons on private client and agricultural work for 30 years. It is an experienced and well respected local team’.

‘Simon James is a very experienced and knowledgeable practitioner in the private client and agricultural work’.

Work highlights

  • Advised The National Forest Company on the acquisition of land.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: elsewhere in the West Midlands Tier 3

Ansons fields a ‘high-calibre’ corporate with ‘prominent specialisms in key niche sectors and a tireless commitment to getting the job done’. Hilary D’Cruz provides ‘extensive experience’ in respect of M&A deals, jointly heading the practice alongside Neil Jones who is ‘knowledgeable of the pitfalls and nuances involved with business sales’; his far-reaching expertise also encompasses private equity, company reorganisations, commercial contracts and joint ventures in addition to to shareholder agreements and partnership matters. ‘Excellent’ associate Emma Benniston caters to various pharmacy, dental and care home clients and the wider team is also active in the manufacturing, logistics, education, property and technology sectors.

Practice head(s):

Hilary D’Cruz; Neil Jones

Other key lawyers:

Emma Benniston; Jamie Gill


‘Great all-round team. As part of the corporate assignment, we required specialist input across a number of technical areas. This was always delivered in a very joined-up manner.’

‘The team were excellent. Partner input was always on hand but the day-to-day process was handled really well by a team who we felt we always looking out for us. Really consistent quality across the firm.’

‘The firm are uniquely skilled in the corporate market for a regional firm and I have first hand experience of them going toe-to-toe with and commanding the respect of ’

‘Hilary D’Cruz has extensive experience in corporate activity and has effectively recruited ant trained an expert team to work alongside her all who subscribe to her ethos of expert client service.’

‘Hilary D’Cruz leads from the front. She is a highly commercial and practical law practitioner who always puts her clients first. She is hugely knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Jamie Gill in the corporate team embodies the spirit of the firm and has provided that clever mix of service to me and my clients that is both personal, going the extra mile, and professional, with the knowledge to guide legally through a transaction.’

‘Hilary D’Cruz, Neil Jones, Emma Bennistone and Jamie Gill are very helpful, honest, proactive, commercial and very much client focused. The speed of delivery of service is faultless. Their knowledge of the pharmacy sector makes them stand out for us. We recommend them to our clients based in the Midlands and the North. ’

‘Neil Jones is very professional and knowledgeable about the pitfalls and nuances of the complex processes involved in the sale of our business. He stood up to the purchasing solicitors who were a much bigger organisation when unreasonable demands were being made and always went the extra mile to solve difficult problems.’

Key clients

St Philips Educational Holdings Limited

Shareholders of Nidd Transport Limited (Antony White)

Shareholders of RANDD UK Brendan Molloy and Michael Keyse

Pharmaelite Limited (and group)

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of RANDD UK Limited on the sale of a R & D Tax Credit Claims business to AIM listed buyer, K3 Capital Group plc, for a sale price which could rise to £16.8m.
  • Advised the shareholders of Nidd Transport Limited on the sale of the international freight shipping business for a sale price of £4.6m to AIM listed Xpediator plc.  

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the West Midlands Tier 3

Ansons has recently seen a major uptick in disputes relating to insolvency and boardroom issues, while its broader offering includes construction and breach of contract litigation and claims in various industries. Martin de Ridder  specialises in guiding large regional and national companies through insolvency and shareholder disputes. ‘Thorough and reliable’ practitioner Adam Pike is also a core member of the team, with a diverse commercial litigation practice.

Practice head(s):

Martin de Ridder

Other key lawyers:


‘The individuals we work with are very hands-on and are always there to rely on when we need the technical details explained in a more straightforward way. We trust in the advice given by the firm.’ 

‘Martin de Ridder has his client’s interests firmly at heart and gives down-to-earth and sensible advice.’

‘Adam Pike is very efficient and resourceful – a master litigator.’

Key clients

Moore Insolvency

Seconique Limited

St Philips Care Limited

Walter Tippers

Walton Homes Limited

Wirquin Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending Seconique Furniture in proceedings following the termination of the lease on its long-term rented warehouse and retail premises.

Real estate > Commercial property: elsewhere in the West Midlands Tier 3

At Ansons, the ‘quality of advice is very good and clear’, namely in respect of asset management, secured lending, investments, developments and a wealth of agricultural, HS2, land, building and firming-related transactions. Richard Saum, the group’s head, is particularly well-versed in landlord and tenant matters as well as those which pertain to land for development; he is closely supported by Neil Faunch, who focuses on property disputes, housing projects, compulsory purchases and leasing affairs.

Practice head(s):

Richard Saum

Other key lawyers:

Neil Faunch; Laura Pyatt; Jonathan Rowley


‘They provide a wide spectrum of support as a one-stop shop, as opposed to us needing to engage different lawyers from separate firms.’

‘They have knowledge of the sector we work in and remedies for problems.’

‘The firm has strength in depth and all personnel that we deal with are approachable and efficient. Their quality of advice is very good and clear. We have a clear understanding of costs. They compare very favourably with other local solicitors.’

‘Our closest working relationship is with Neil Faunch, whom I have found it a pleasure to work with. He is helpful, accessible, knowledgeable and flexible as regards his work and I would happily recommend him to anyone who required a commercial property lawyer to act for them.’

‘Ansons has a hands-on approach.’

‘Laura Pyatt made every effort to ensure a swift and precise response regarding all property transactions.’

‘There is a good team of specialists in different areas. You get referred to the appropriate member as deemed necessary. Very professional’

‘I deal with Jonathan Rowley and find him helpful and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Boningale Homes Limited

LPR La Pallet Rouge

Sandyford Properties Limited

IP Developments Limited

Portal Construction NW Limited / Andrews Property

Tippers Builders Merchants Limited / Walter Tipper Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Boningale Homes Limited on the set-up of a two phased development comprising 120+ residential plots with a gross development value of c.£30m.
  • Advised LPR La Pallet Rouge (UK) Limited on the acquisition of leasehold pallet/distribution depots in Essex and Coventry for £7.7m.
  • Advised the shareholders of RANDD UK Limited on their sale of the R & D Tax Credit Claims business to the AIM listed buyer, K3 Capital Group PLC, for a sale price which could rise to £16.8m.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

The team at Ansons is led by consultant solicitor Simon James. It continues to handle a broad range of high quality private client work and has a particular emphasis on estate planning for farmers, landowners and business owners in addition to working closely with its corporate, residential property and commercial property teams.  Associate director Sarah Nash and senior associate Tracey Lane are full members of STEP.

Practice head(s):

Simon James

Other key lawyers:


‘The firm offers great continuity of service and a personal approach’.

‘Its agricultural experience and thoroughness of the team were excellent. Simon and Sarah have done a good job to future proof a complicated situation’.

‘Very technically competent in private client and property areas and conducts meetings with clients very well. Always happy to help and have competitive pricing’.

‘A local firm providing personalised local service whilst also being of a size that provides the protection of a larger law firm . You can approach them individually and not feel you are committing to a large firm fee clock, but also provides professional individual advice in line with our clients needs’.

Employment Tier 6

The employment team at Ansons operates across four offices in Cannock, Lichfield, Halesowen and Sutton Coldfield. The skilled team advises on issues as diverse as disciplinary and grievance matters through to working frequently with its corporate and commercial department on a broad range of issues. In addition it regularly works alongside its dispute resolution department on high-value shareholder disputes. Clients include housebuilders and property developers as well as pharmacy/primary healthcare providers. Jason Alcock and Martin de Ridder co-head the department.

Practice head(s):

Jason Alcock; Martin de Ridder


‘Jason Alcock has given us excellent advice and guidance. Jason is readily accessible, even during the pandemic, and gave timely and pragmatic advice about various HR issues. My colleagues and I were entirely happy with the service he gave us and will have no hesitation to use him again and to recommend him to others’.

‘Everyone I dealt with at Ansons went over and above in their service to us. Communication was clear and excellent and they were very hospitable on the day I attended their offices’. 

‘Jason Alcock was our solicitor and was superb. He made everything straightforward and easy to follow. His legal advice was clear and concise and always explained with logic and reasoning. His representation at a mediation session was very professional and helpful. ’

‘The Lichfield branch has a very friendly group of individuals. The lawyers are knowledgeable, patient, professional.  Jason Alcock was invaluable – professional, quick to respond and approachable‘.

‘We have found the team to be both efficient and proactive whilst remaining friendly and genuinely interested in client welfare. All have good communication skills and, in particular, Jason Alcock has been very professional and timely with his responses to our requests’.

‘The team has a reputation for client care.  Its approach is client centred and it  feels personalised. The team has different and complementary skills which makes it adaptable to all client requests’.

Key clients

Seconique Limited

Walton Homes Limited

Ansons is a leading firm of solicitors primarily based in Staffordshire with offices in Cannock, Lichfield, Halesowen and Sutton Coldfield. It provides a complete range of legal services to business owners and their families.

The firm: The core of Ansons’ practice is its strong business law teams, most notably its corporate and commercial property teams. Ansons is also particularly well known for its work in the agriculture, pharmacy and charities sectors.

On the personal side, Ansons’ family law, conveyancing and wills and estates teams have a reputation for outstanding service with a focus on the needs of the individual.

Ansons is perceived as a strong firm, with excellent people – a reputation that has been gained by consistently providing insightful legal advice across all legal disciplines, in a friendly and approachable way. It has a local and national client base including some well-known and household names, and it is the first choice law firm for people North of Birmingham and in South Staffordshire.

Types of work undertaken
Corporate: Ansons’ business clients are predominantly owner-managed businesses and subsidiaries of national and multinational groups. The team has developed a leading reputation for dealing with mergers and acquisitions, and corporate and commercial projects. The team regularly advises on the buying and selling of companies and businesses; investment, joint venture and shareholder agreements; group re-organisations, mergers, demergers and reconstructions; company law and company secretarial matters; banking and security documentation; commercial agreements (from simple to substantial); competition law; corporate insolvency issues; and partnership (including LLP) and sole trader matters.

Commercial property: Ansons’ highly experienced team is recognised for its prompt and efficient service and good relationships with commercial property agents. It advises on purchase of a commercial property, retail, industrial, office or residential sites; financing and re-financing; landlord or tenant lease negotiations; property disputes; planning law; sale of commercial property; agricultural tenancies, sales and purchases; options pre-emptions and overage agreements; compulsory purchase orders for HS2; and access agreements.

Commercial litigation: Ansons’ litigation and dispute resolution expertise includes contractual disputes; debt collection; construction disputes; insolvency; intellectual property; professional negligence; property and construction disputes; and restraint of trade.

Employment: employment clients at Ansons receive sound, comprehensive legal advice and support from a team with a down-to-earth, dedicated and flexible approach for both employers and employees. The team’s range of services includes bespoke employment training; employment healthcheck – a complete review, including recommendations; employment tribunal representation; and advice on contracts, settlements, discrimination claims and TUPE.

Agriculture, planning and environment: the agricultural team advises farm owners, tenants and managers, and those who are closely linked to farming, including contractors, professional advisers, estate planners and agricultural land agents. It regularly advises on agricultural joint ventures and partnerships; dispute resolution, arbitrations and tribunals; diversification projects; environmental issues; family disputes and much more.

Wills trusts and probate: Ansons’ specialist wills and probate solicitors ease concerns about protecting assets from inheritance tax, family disputes and local authority care costs, and advise clients on the full range of will-related concerns. Clients who make a will with Ansons also benefit from free storage of their will.

Family: Ansons’ family law solicitors provide expert legal advice on divorce, separation, settling finances and arrangements for children. They are experienced at acting in divorces where there are high-value assets, properties, business interests and pensions, and are approachable, proactive, cost-effective and sensitive.

Residential conveyancing: Ansons’ conveyancing team advises clients on buying a freehold or leasehold property; selling a house or apartment; buy-to-let; leasehold matters; remortgages; registered and unregistered land; and transfers of equity. The residential property team is accredited to the Conveyancing Quality Scheme by the Law Society.

Charities: Ansons’ charity specialists provide legal advice, company secretarial and administrative support to charities and their trustees, community organisations and not-for-profit bodies.

Managing Director Andrew Johnson
Commercial Property Richard Saum
Planning and Enviromental David Anderton
Corporate Hilary D'Cruz
Corporate Neil Jones
Residential Conveyancing Julie Tomasik
Dispute Resolution Martin de Ridder
Family Mark Buttery
Wills and Probate Luke Smyth
Employment Jason Alcock
Number of UK partners : 8
Number of other UK fee-earners : 26