Firm Profile > Clarke Willmott LLP > Southampton, England

Clarke Willmott LLP
SO30 2DF

Corporate tax Tier 1

Clarke Willmott LLP’s tax department has a wide range of expertise assisting clients in areas such as real estate and housing associations in addition to  corporate tax and includes related litigation. In particular, the team focuses on property structuring for the property investment market, the creation of property funds, de-enveloping issues, offshore property trading, SDLT, ATED, NRCGT and capital gains tax. Other areas of strength include the implementation of share incentive schemes and the negotiation of settling historic tax liabilities. Niall Murphy heads the practice.


They have been very good , responsive and fair.

Responsive, knowledgeable and practical. They do not waste time with unnecessary complexity.

Commonsense is applied and they get to the point quickly with a deep knowledge of their subject areas.

Niall Murphy is the most practical and down-to-earth lawyer I have met.

Key clients

Onecom Group Limited

Addnode Group AB

Aquis Exchange Plc

Oerlikon Drive Systems GbmH, Pfaffikon (now changed name to Graziano Fairfield AG)

Eduko Education Limited

Total Solutions (Southern) Limited t/a Total Rail Solutions

Eton Fire Limited

Marindus Group Limited

Import Services Limited

Burgon & Ball Limited

Commercial property: Hampshire Tier 2

Property finance is a key area of focus at Clarke Willmott LLP, which acts for names such as Interbay Funding and Lloyds Bank Plc, among others. The firm also demonstrates strong capabilities in property investment transactions, and generates a significant amount of work from London-based clients. Elsewhere, the group is highly reputed for commercial landlord and tenant matters, and is also sought out for its development expertise. Peter Swinburn leads the team.


Professionals make it clear what they are going to do within a defined time frame and execute accordingly‘.

If a commercial judgement has to be made during a transaction, they are able to summarise the risks to the lender and client ensuring the process moves forward‘.

It is always a joy to work with this team; they bring the fun to business while remaining focused on the end goal. The individuals are very experienced and can cut through the noise to get to the heart of the issue‘.

Peter Swinburn is totally reliable, conscientious and someone you would want to have on side when dealing with property issues and transactions. He takes great pride in his work and delivers a great service for the client‘.

Key clients

Interbay Funding

Lloyds Bank

Fat Face

New Forest District Council

Meritas Properties

Horatio Properties Limited

Marina Developments Ltd

London and Cambridge Properties Limited

Sheet Anchor Evolve Limited

Farrow & Ball Limited

The Cornish Bakery

Countryside Properties

Taylor Wimpey UK

McDermott Will & Emery UK

Isle of Wight Council

Persimmon Homes

Employment: Hampshire Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP has an HR consultancy offering, which draws on the expertise of both lawyers and senior HR consultants. Elsewhere, its employment team has a specialist focus on tribunal work, and it also has a strong track record of advising on restructurings and obligations under TUPE. Partner and barrister Mark Long, who heads up the practice, has TUPE experience in relation to both public and private sector transfers. Other work arises from outsourcings, insolvency proceedings and corporate transactions.


An excellent team with a wealth of technical knowledge; always gives the right advice for the best commercial outcome‘.

Marc Long is extraordinarily talented and boasts a great breadth of legal knowledge‘.

Associate Nicole Adams delivers outstanding advice with confidence and professionalism’.

The lawyers at Clarke Willmott are excellent; they provide advice which is straightforward and pragmatic and place a strong emphasis on making the client feel valued with the majority of advisory work getting partner input‘.

Marc Long and Nicole Adams are dependable and meticulous in their approach. Marc is extremely knowledgeable and Nicole is clearly dedicated and committed to the client‘.

Key clients

PEI Genesis UK

Onecom Group

Marsh & Parsons

Bandai UK

One Family Foundation

Huhtamaki UK

Marina Developments


Chelsea and Westminster Swimming Club

Intellectual property Tier 2

Clarke Willmott LLP is equally adept at advising clients ranging from SME's to large multinationals. The firm's dedicated IP team prosecutes and enforces trade marks and design rights, maintaining a large EU and UK filing practice. It also handles anti-counterfeiting work, as well as its work with franchisees and franchisors involving various IP rights.

Key clients

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Organix Brands Limited

Medicom Healthcare Ltd

Evac+Chair International Ltd

Mozzo Coffee Limited

OneCom Limited

Revive-A-Phone Limited

Flexipads World Class Limited and Gekatex S.A.

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc

Navson Limited

Commercial litigation: Hampshire Tier 3

Clarke Willmott LLP's commercial disputes work includes complex contractual disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, contested debt work, restrictive covenant disputes and professional negligence claims. Areas of sector expertise include retail and financial services. Greg Hughes acts for the likes of Sony, Bandai  and Wiggle. Hughes co-heads the practice with experienced solicitor advocate Owen Williams. Associate Cathy Harris is another key figure in the group.


The team was friendly and truly passionate about understanding my business‘.

Key clients

Sony Europe


Bandai UK


The Student Room Group

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Serocor Group

Peer 1

Onecom Group

Salhan Accountants

UK Land

Corporate and commercial: Hampshire Tier 3

Clarke Willmott LLP works on a steady flow of management buyout deals involving private equity-backed entities. Its team is also increasingly sought out in cross-jurisdictional transactions. Richard Swain has a strong track record of acting for clients in the banking & finance and telecommunications sectors. The firm's ability to deliver full-service corporate and commercial advice is supported by expertise in ancillary areas, such as real estate, IP, and employment. Niall Murphy provides tax support to corporate clients.


Richard Swain and Amy Kerr are both very helpful and efficient; they always meet their deadlines‘.

The team is pro-active and works towards deadline dates diligently. As a banking client, we are fully kept in the loop with regard to pending transactions and concerns as they are raised‘.

Clarke Willmott takes a balanced approach problem-solving; it looks for a solution that achieves client aims without clocking up unnecessary time in arguing over niche legal points for the sake of it‘.

The individuals I work with are always available to discuss matters or answer questions‘.

Key clients

Capital Cash

Total Rail Solutions

Eton Fire

Amiri Construction

Marindus Group

Import Services

Burgon and Ball

NetPay Solutions Group



Social housing Tier 3

On the housing management front, Clarke Willmott LLP handles the full range of tenancy management issues, such as enforcement proceedings, PRS tenancies, as well as exemptions, policies and procedures, and income recovery. The firm also has a dedicated home sales team, which guides social housing clients at all stages from site acquisition to plot sales. Property litigation is another cornerstone of the work, with the firm acting for clients in cases involving contentious leasehold and development issues. Hannah Langford divides time between London and Southampton. Associate Anne Jones, who specialises in planning and highways work, is another name to note.


The team met my request in a very timely manner and went the extra mile to do so‘.

Charlotte Westwood has advised me and guided me in various land sales and selling our garage sites at auction; Charlotte’s advice on each auction was invaluable‘.

Key clients

Radian Group

Sovereign Housing Association Limited

Merlin Housing Society – part of Bromford

GreenSquare Group

Yarlington Housing Group

Saxon Weald

Westward Housing Group

Ocean Housing Group

United Communities

LiveWest Homes Limited

Moat Homes Limited

Aster Group

Raven Housing Trust

Clarion Group

Clarke Willmott LLP is a law firm with a regional, sector-led approach across England and Wales. it invests time in developing relationships with clients and is known for its high level of service, straightforward manner and transparent fee solutions.

The firm: Recognising that clients prefer working with lawyers who understand the climate in which they operate and how their business actually works day-to-day, Clarke Willmott decided a number of years ago to adopt a sector-led approach.

The success of this strategy is evident by its reputation in a number of key industry areas. These include its 100-strong real estate and construction group, nationally renowned 40-strong social housing group, and specialist retail group. It also has leading teams advising on private client, commercial services, agriculture, renewable energy and sport.

Clarke Willmott works with an extensive client base of private sector businesses, sole traders, public sector bodies, high-net-worth individuals and charitable organisations, and they advise on almost every aspect of the law.

Clarke Willmott has seven regional offices and over 600 lawyers and support staff, including over 100 partners. The focus at Clarke Willmott is on steady, repeatable, year-on-year planned growth. It will continue to develop its teams in order to deliver services on a national basis.

Types of work undertaken: Clarke Willmott has expertise across a range of industry sectors and has market-leading teams in:

Agriculture: the agriculture and estates team provides a full complement of legal services (both contentious and non-contentious) to the agricultural and rural landowning communities nationally.

Banking and finance: advises clearing and private banks, building societies, specialist lenders and borrowers (both corporate and individual) on all aspects of lending transactions and related issues including recoveries, financial litigation and professional negligence claims.

Commercial services: advises all sizes of companies and other organisations, in particular high-growth and entrepreneurial businesses, on transactional and commercial work, contractual issues, employment services, restructuring and insolvency, litigation and debt collection.

Financial services: offers sector-focused expertise from a range of different practice areas, notably corporate and litigation. Clients include product providers, brokers, lenders and financial advisers, and businesses requiring authorisation for consumer credit activities.

Housebuilder: regarded as leading legal advisers to the residential development sector, acting for many of the UK’s largest volume housebuilders as well as for strategic land companies, smaller traditional builders and niche start-up ventures with particular expertise in all property aspects.

Intellectual property: acts for all types of businesses from new start-ups to household names in relation to the protection, enforcement and exploitation of their intellectual property rights.

Private client: particular experience in acting for professionals, high-net-worth individuals, family businesses and those with interests in the entertainment, sports and agricultural sectors. Provides advice on succession planning, trusts, tax, divorce and family law, wealth protection, property issues, litigation, and personal injury and clinical negligence.

Real estate and construction: one of the largest of its kind in the UK, with more than 100 lawyers specialising in all aspects of commercial property, construction and procurement, development (including complex landlord and tenant, acquisition and disposal issues), regeneration, planning, property litigation and estate management.

Energy and natural resources: advice spans all aspects of renewable energy work from inception of a project through to planning, acquisition, financing, construction, regulation, commissioning, grid connection and subsequent operation of plants and facilities.

Social housing: one of the largest of its kind in the UK delivering services across England and Wales. The team acts for over 100 clients comprising RPs, RSLs, ALMOs, local authorities, charities and care organisations.

Technology: services include drafting and negotiating large-scale ICT acquisitions, including appropriate service level agreements, ICT outsourcing, managed service provision, website design and development, Cloud service agreements, software as a service data protection issues and social media issues.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Jonathan Morton
Chief executive Stephen Rosser
Managing Director - Commercial Simon Thomas
Managing Director - Core Litigation Philippa Hann
Managing Director - Private Client Anthony Fairweather
Managing Director - Property Services Graham McIntyre
Managing Director - Commercial Property Peter Swinburn
Photo Name Position Profile
 Chidem Aliss  photo Chidem Aliss
 Kelvin Balmont  photo Kelvin Balmont
 Joseph Campbell  photo Joseph Campbell
 Andrew Cooper  photo Andrew Cooper
 Rich Eldridge  photo Rich Eldridge
 Paul Hinett  photo Paul Hinett
 Greg Hughes  photo Greg Hughes
 Marc Long  photo Marc Long
 Ruth Morris  photo Ruth Morris
 Niall Murphy  photo Niall Murphy
Mrs Gemma Osgood  photo Mrs Gemma Osgood
 Maz Rahmati  photo Maz Rahmati
 Steven Slough  photo Steven Slough
 Richard Swain  photo Richard Swain
 Peter Swinburn  photo Peter Swinburn
 Jin Takhar  photo Jin Takhar
 Owen Williams  photo Owen Williams
Number of UK partners : 100+
Number of other UK fee-earners : 340+
All main business languages
Society of Construction Law
Institute of Directors
Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Law Society of England & Wales