Clarkslegal LLP > Reading, England > Firm Profile

Clarkslegal LLP

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 1

Praised for its ‘focused and commercial approach to litigation’, Clarkslegal LLP is frequently instructed by high-end automotive clients on significant and high-profile cross-border disputes. The team is based in Reading and led by ‘great litigator’ Antony Morris. Christopher Tayton, hailed as ‘thoughtful, thorough and balanced’, sports a broad dispute resolution practice which emphasises commercial injunctions and fraud claims. Stephen James is a fellow key contact, notable for his work on contentious construction, employment and insolvency matters. The ‘excellent’ Emma Butcher maintains her strong practice across commercial and property disputes, alongside public procurement and product liability matters.

Practice head(s):

Antony Morris


‘The Clarkslegal litigation team is knowledgeable, approachable and prompt. They understand commercial clients needs and provide concise advice in a timely manner.’

‘Antony Morris is a measured lawyer who takes real ownership of the case. Collaborative and keen to make sure the right decisions are taken. Gets stuck into the detail but keeps a weather on the overall strategy.’

‘Emma Butcher was able to build a strong rapport with the client team and was diligent in her review of the evidence and tenacious in pursuing the gaps.’

‘The team at Clarkslegal has a focused and commercial approach to litigation. Important points are taken, others are avoided. The team is very competent all around as well as responsive. A very safe pair of hands.’

‘Emma Butcher is excellent. She provides sound, commercial advice and has got exceptional client management skills. Her drafting makes her stand out. Emma is very responsive and clearly cares to achieve a good outcome for her clients.’

‘Christopher Tayton is an experienced litigator. He’s a very safe pair of hands.’

‘Emma Butcher is an absolute star. Hard-working; great judgment calls; amazingly efficient. Great with clients.’

‘Antony Morris has the ability to solve novel problems; to find necessary expertise and to order complex legal issues to support logical decisions.’

Key clients

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited

Boehringer Ingelheim

Lumen Technologies Inc

BMW (UK) Limited

JDM Technology Group

Willmott Dixon

Element Materials Technology Group

University of Reading

Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Ltd

CAB Automotive Ltd

MVL Group

InstaGroup Limited


Work highlights

  • Acting for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars as the defendant in High Court proceedings brought by German software development company Topalsson.
  • Acted for Bop-Me Ltd in a procurement claim against the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care arising out of the award of a number of contracts for the supply of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Acting for one of 13 defendants in a High Court claim brought by Equity Real Estates and related companies for breach of contract, compensation for dishonest assistance/unlawful means conspiracy, and accounts of profits against various defendants against a background of serious fraud in the context of property development.

Employment > Immigration Tier 1

Clarkslegal LLP is well-equipped to assist clients on the full spectrum of business immigration matters, and advises individuals on EEA matters, leave to remain, and spouse visas. Monica Atwal leads the team from Reading and aids entrepreneurs, investors and international companies wishing to establish themselves in the UK with a range of issues. Rebecca Hone splits her time between Reading and London and is seasoned in representing commercial clients in challenging unlawful civil penalties and invalid sponsor licence suspensions issued by the Home Office.

Practice head(s):

Monica Atwal

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Jardine Motors Group UK Limited

Tetra Tech Inc

Mishipay Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for Tetra Tech Inc. by providing full immigration support and training the client’s HR team.
  • Advised Jardine Motors Group UK Limited on various immigration issues.
  • Advised MishiPay on skilled worker visa applications for overseas software engineer recruits.

Employment > Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 2

Clarkslegal LLP‘s multi-disciplinary team handles a full range of complex employment law mandates, particularly those with high value and international elements. Complex multi-party litigation, major corporate projects including restructurings and TUPE transfers, as well as redundancy programmes and industrial relations strategies are among the ‘truly exceptional’ team’s core specialisms. Helen Beech leads the practice group, predominantly handling restructurings, change programmes, TUPE transfers and contingency planning. Industrial relations expert Michael Sippitt remains a pre-eminent employment lawyer and is a key contact alongside managing partner Monica Atwal, who advises across all aspects of employment law.

Practice head(s):

Helen Beech

Other key lawyers:

Monica Atwal; Michael Sippitt; Louise Keenan; Caroline Lendrum; Deborah Scales


‘The Clarkslegal team is impressive. The team approach means they have specialists in areas other than employment to draw advice from quickly and efficiently where issues falling outside the confines of employment arises, meaning they truly are a full service law firm that can cater for and address all of a client’s legal concerns and issues.’

‘Within the employment team, from top to bottom a depth of legal knowledge is apparent. They regularly produce articles, undertake internal training and appear readily cognisant of the latest legal developments in this field.’

‘Monica Atwall and Helen Beech are both outstanding. Their significant legal knowledge across all areas of employment law and years of practical experience within the employment tribunal system puts them amongst the best instructing solicitors I have worked with.’

‘What sets them apart from their counterparts and makes them truly exceptional is the significant investment of their time and resources which is put into their cases and into understanding and appreciating their client’s needs and concerns whether or not strictly within the legal sphere. In addition they truly appear to have their finger on the pulse in terms of what practical issues are facing tribunals both in Reading and London which is invaluable when making strategic decisions on the conduct of a case.’

‘The team work in true partnership with us as a client. Monica Atwal is exceptional and the team at Clarkslegal are all incredibly professional. Clarks work collaboratively with us and in a very commercially focused way.’

‘Monica Atwal is outstanding, she balances the need for pragmatism and commerciality in providing successful outcomes. She is very passionate and genuinely cares for us as a client.’

‘Excellent service. Responsive, knowledgeable, and committed. They feel like they are on your side, but always remain realistic. They fight hard when required.’

‘Helen Beech is a top-class employment lawyer. Always available, always on top of the issues. We have used her for some of our most difficult situations and she always leads an efficient and committed team.’

Key clients


Delaware North Companies

Reading Transport Ltd

Imerys Minerals Ltd

Pacific Life

Cignpost Diagnostics


News UK & Ireland Ltd

Tetra Tech

Cab Automotive Ltd

Legends International

Work highlights

  • Advising Delaware North on amendments to employment contracts and policies, including in connection with flexible working and working from home.
  • Advising Pacific Life on UK employment and immigration.
  • Advising lImerys Minerals Ltd on a range of matters including settlement agreements with employees, sensitive disability cases, resignations and the interpretation of contractual terms.

Real estate > Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 2

Clarkslegal LLP is known for its work on major development projects and associated transactions, alongside managing portfolios of real estate investment funds. Partner Simon Ralphs leads the practice and counts institutional investors, large retailers and property funds as key clients. At associate level, Pierre Dutton advises on acquisitions and disposals of investment property, developments, insolvency and restructuring matters, among others.

Practice head(s):

Simon Ralphs

Other key lawyers:


‘The practice is very professional, with helpful and friendly people.’

‘Simon Ralphs and Pierre Dutton are the people who mainly work for us. Both are approachable, helpful, professional, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.’

‘I have worked with Clarkslegal for several years and recommend their services at every opportunity. They are highly experienced, have a pragmatic approach and are always focused on getting the deal done which is exactly what I look for in a solicitor.’

‘Simon Ralphs, one of the partners, is my go to solicitor when recommending a local lawyer. I have completed over a dozen deals with him and we have a perfect record of getting deals over the line so I can completely trust that he will do a good job. He is very experienced and knows the local area very well.’

‘Pierre Dutton is another member of their team who I can call for advice and help and would also happily recommend.’

‘An outstanding firm and always reliable.’

‘The team are efficient, value for money and always looking out for us as clients. The people we have looking after our legal work, from leases to disputes are the best we have come across. Always willing to go the extra mile for us.’

‘Simon Ralphs is excellent in what he does for us and always delivers. Pierre Dutton is brilliant. Extremely knowledgeable and doesn’t make mistakes.’

Key clients

NTT Data UK Limited

Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Limited

Newham Sixth Form College Further Education Corporation

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

St Clair Developments Limited

Lafarge UK Pension Trustees

Eden Motor Group

Offsite Archive Storage and Integrated Services (OASIS)

Liquidators of Carillion plc

The Really Local Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for a London-based urban regeneration specialist, including advising on the redevelopment of a large indoor shopping centre in central Reading to create a new cinema and cultural hub and further schemes in Canning Town, Catford, Sutton, Nuneaton and Sidcup.
  • Acting on a number of real estate projects across the UK for Offsite Archive Storage and Integrated Services Holdings Limited.

Real estate > Construction Tier 2

The Reading-based Clarkslegal LLP construction team has a long-established reputation for advising on major construction and development projects, and has recently demonstrated considerable growth in the contentious arena. Practice head Stephen James gives ‘excellent and practical advice’ during dispute resolution proceedings, defending clients in arbitration and Part 7 and 8 litigation claims. ‘Master tactician’ Antony Morris brings vast expertise in engineering and professional negligence disputes, as well as health and safety issues, to the team.

Practice head(s):

Stephen James

Other key lawyers:


‘The construction team has a strong partner makeup, which means that any matter or dispute receives attention and handling from senior practitioners who have been working in the field for many years. Each of them is highly experienced and knows the subject matter inside-out.’

‘The geographic spread of the firm is nicely balanced. They are well set up, in terms of offices, infrastructure and technology, to make it work seamlessly. I am not aware of a firm in the Thames Valley region that matches them in experience, attention to clients or complexity of work.’

‘Stephen James is extremely knowledgeable about construction, and consistently gives excellent and practical advice. He has a well-developed following of developer and contractor clients, who like his approachability.’

‘Antony Morris is a master tactician. He has practised in litigation for very many years, and is brilliant at setting the direction of the case from the outset, and navigating it through to a conclusion.’

‘Responsive, perceptive, experienced, strategic, good managers of the process.’

‘They are persistent at achieving a good result.’

‘The advice is well thought out.’

‘Readily available and precise with their advice.’

Key clients

Lumen Technologies UK Limited

Future Tech SCI Limited

Really Local Group

Glenman Corporation Limited

Frencon Construction Limited

Area Sq Limited

Mackin Construction Limited

Stanton Williams Limited

Allenbuild Limited

BSW Building Services Limited

Westford Mechanical Limited

NCS Plumbing and Heating Services Limited

Fourfront Group Limited

High Firs Penthouses Limited

i-Transport Limited

Crown Packaging UK Plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Really Local Developments, part of London-based regeneration specialist Really Local Group, on a project to transform a 14,000 square foot space in Reading’s Broad Street Mall into an independent four-screen cinema, refreshments, music and events centre.
  • Assisting Stanton Williams on an ongoing basis, including advising on over 100 different recent projects.
  • Assisting Crown Packaging UK, part of the Eviosys Group, which has manufacturing facilities across 17 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with various construction and property-related matters nationally, including assisting with the acquisition of a £57m development site.

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 3

Ashan Arif heads up the Reading-based corporate and M&A team at Clarkslegal LLP that has the capability to act on a vast array of matters, including cross-border M&A, AIM listings and private equity investments, alongside shareholder issues and schemes of arrangement, to name a few. The practice group’s deal flow also increasingly sees corporate restructurings – Stuart Mullins is the key name here, who also undertakes the full range of general corporate work.

Practice head(s):

Ashan Arif

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

BMW Group UK

Kinectrics Inc.

Branford Castle Partners LP

Offsite Archive Storage and Integrated Services (UK) Limited

TFC Holdings London Limited

Comvest Investment Partners Holdings

New Era UK Holdings Ltd

Lumen Technologies

Firoka Group

Adler Pelzer Group

Employment > Immigration Tier 5

Operating from Reading, Clarkslegal LLP advises a number of corporate clients, including both those based in the UK, and overseas businesses entering the UK market. Incoming clients also benefit from the firm’s multidisciplinary business support services relating to inward investment, providing international investors, and companies establishing operations, with complete support. Monica Atwal leads the team, and is experienced in director-level employee transfers, as well as in assisting entrepreneurs, investors, and overseas entities through the immigration implications of investing in the UK.

Practice head(s):

Monica Atwal

Key clients

Jardine Motors Group UK Limited

Tetra Tech Inc

Mishipay Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for leading Australian geotechnical engineering firm Tetra Tech Inc. by providing full immigration support and training.
  • Advising Jardine Motors Group UK Limited on various immigration issues, including the international transfer of members of staff from Hong Kong to the UK.
  • Advise Mishipay on skilled worker visa applications for overseas software engineer recruits and obtaining an extension of Skilled Worker visas for existing staff members.

Founded over 100 years ago, we have built a reputation to become recognised as a leading law firm providing long-term established relationships and innovative solutions to complex legal challenges for both businesses and individuals across the UK and internationally.

Our lawyers are expert leaders in their fields and know your industry to provide commercially driven strategic advice to start-ups, SMEs, PLCs and large multi-nationals, working in partnership with each client as a trusted adviser to tailor a solution to your need. We’re here for you whenever you need us.

Internationally, we are part of TAGLaw, a major global network of law firms giving clients access to high-quality legal advice in nearly 100 countries.

“What makes us stand out is our client service delivery…We are regarded as part of their business. We aim to ensure that we have detailed practical knowledge of how they operate. Few other firms go to the depth that we do.” Monica Atwal, Managing Partner


the team advise large corporates, SMEs, owner managed businesses and early stage and start-up ventures on a wide range of corporate and corporate finance work, including mergers, cross-border acquisitions, EOT’s and shareholder agreements.

specialising in both contentious and non-contentious matters, the team provides a wide scope of commercially focused advise on regional, national and international projects, being quick to adapt to clients’ needs to minimise legal risk in a cost-effective way.

Dispute Resolution:
the team is known for their sophisticated and commercial approach. With an impressive flow of high-profile and high-value instructions from leading commercial and public sector clients, the team offers exceptional advice on areas including data protection, defamation, fraud, pensions, professional negligence, product liability, property disputes, shareholder disputes and business secrets.

the team offers practical and commercial advice to both employers and employees on issues ranging from industrial disruption, business protection, and collective disputes, to contract issues and unfair dismissals.

the team provide a highly personalised specialist immigration service to both corporate clients and individuals, advising on all aspects of UK and EU immigration and nationality issues. The team specialises in complex applications and securing employers sponsorship licenses.

Public Procurement:
the team has considerable expertise advising at all stages of public procurement, providing public authorities with guidance on the commercial and regulatory issues they may encounter in running regulated tenders, as well as advising private companies on what they need to know about winning tendered. They are experienced in acting for both bidders and authorities in challenges to tender awards and can often help resolve disputes.

Real Estate:
the team handles all types of commercial property work and are particularly experienced in advising clients with large and varied operational and investment property portfolios and are also proud of their expertise in public sector, hospitality and property management projects.

Clarkslegal seeks to recruit high calibre individuals to support its continuing growth. All current vacancies are listed on Clarkslegal’s website and online applications are welcomed. Further information about the firm is available from the firm’s website at

Department Name Email Telephone
Employment / Immigration Monica Atwal +44 (0)118 960 4605
Employment Helen Beech +44 (0)118 960 4639
Commercial Litigation Antony Morris +44 (0)118 960 4646
Commercial Litigation Chris Tayton +44 (0)118 960 3636
Commercial Litigation Emma Butcher +44 (0)118 960 4671
Corporate and Commercial Ashan Arif +44 (0)118 960 4651
Corporate and Commercial Stuart Mullins +44 (0)118 960 4672
Construction Stephen James +44 (0)118 960 4674
Commercial Real Estate Simon Ralphs +44 (0)20 7539 8049
Commercial Real Estate Pierre Dutton +44 (0)118 960 4656
Photo Name Position Profile
Ashan Arif photo Ashan Arif Ashan Arif is head of corporate and commercial team and Director of…
Monica Atwal photo Monica Atwal Monica is an employment and immigration lawyer and managing partner of Clarkslegal.…
Helen Beech photo Helen Beech Helen Beech is partner in the employment team, and Director of Forbury…
Emma Butcher photo Emma Butcher Emma is a partner in the dispute resolution team, advising on all…
Pierre Dutton photo Pierre Dutton Pierre is a senior associate in the commercial real estate team and…
Stephen James photo Stephen James Stephen is partner in the construction team, advising on a broad range…
Antony Morris photo Antony Morris Antony Morris is head of the dispute resolution team in the resolution…
Stuart Mullins photo Stuart Mullins Stuart Mullins is a partner in the corporate and commercial team, and…
Simon Ralphs photo Simon Ralphs Simon Ralphs is a partner in the commercial real estate team, advising…
Michael Sippitt photo Michael Sippitt Michael is Senior Consultant in Clarkslegal’s employment team. Michael is experienced in…
Chris Tayton photo Chris Tayton Chris Tayton is a partner in the dispute resolution team, advising on…