Firm Profile > DLA Piper > Manchester , North West

DLA Piper
M2 3DE
North West

Banking and finance Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP stands out for its debt finance and asset based lending expertise, and it is experienced in alternative and complex debt structures. Real estate finance and large corporate transactions are a mainstay of the practice and it is adept at handling complex cross-border instructions. The team acts for numerous banks, borrowers, funds and sponsors. Department head Matthew Christmas  is 'exceptional' and the 'strong' Joseph Frew leads the asset based lending practice in the North West and co-heads the firm's national ABL team. Rebecca Williams handles asset finance matters, while senior associates Charles Weems, who regularly advises on alternative debt structures and Alastair Carruthers, who is experienced in ABL work, are also noted.

Banking litigation Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP represents top-tier financial institutions and multinational banks on the full range of banking litigation issues. In Manchester, areas of expertise include complex commercial recoveries, group litigation and class actions, through to asset finance disputes and fraud. The practice has also recently added contentious financial regulatory expertise and offers innovative pricing structures to meet client demands for commercial flexibility. Stewart Plant and John Gollaglee head the team, while legal director Nicola Higgins and senior associate Krystle Robinson are also recommended.

Commercial litigation: Liverpool Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP represents clients in multi-jurisdictional cases, High Court proceedings and international arbitration. Areas of expertise include technology disputes, outsourcing disputes, professional negligence, corporate and M&A transactional disputes, pensions disputes, data breach issues and contractual disputes. It also advises on data breaches, cybersecurity, regulatory matters and GDPR. The team is now headed by legal director Christina Sharma and Manchester-based Stewart Plant , after former team head Mark Goodwin and legal director Catherine Radcliffe left the firm to form litigation boutique Fortuna Business Litigation.

Commercial litigation: Manchester Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP 's Manchester team sits as part of the firm's international practice, advising large corporates and private equity houses on matters often spanning multiple jurisdictions. The firm also represents clients on contentious data protection matters such as regulatory enforcement and tribunal appeals and enforcement advice under GDPR. Other key client sectors include technology, energy, engineering, retail, transport and infrastructure and the public sector. The 'very commercial' Stewart Plant heads the team, working alongside key partners Jonathan Eatough and Andrew Smith and well-regarded senior associate Leontia McArdle.

Commercial property: Liverpool Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP provides an 'excellent all round service'. The team advises on local, regional and national real estate projects, and is best known for its investment experience where it is regularly instructed by blue-chip clients. Development work is also a strong area for the team which has experience in significant regeneration projects. Philip Rooney has a 'wealth of experience'; Richard Thompson is a key contact for investment work, as is Alison Mills. Legal directors Richard Ascroft and Hannah Cheminais, who handles major development projects, are also key figures. North West real estate department head Mark Beardwood heads the Liverpool-based team.

Corporate and commercial: Liverpool Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP 's Liverpool corporate team acts for major UK and international corporates, as well as local clients including football clubs and government bodies, on corporate and commercial  joint ventures, international collaborations, private equity based transactions and public sector outsourcing. The firm is able to leverage its network of regional and international offices as it works on matters including M&A, management buyouts (MBOs) and group restructurings. Sarah Bell and Manchester-based James Kerrigan head the team with support from commercial expert Peter Brook. Senior associate Paddy Dwyer is also recommended.

Corporate and commercial: Manchester Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP handles sales and acquisitions, private equity transactions, MBOs and various commercial matters for local, national and international private companies, public companies, private equity houses, entrepreneurs and global corporate organisations from its Manchester office. Key client sectors include industrial, Fintech, retail, and food and beverage. Lee Brierley and James Kerrigan head the team. Other key partners include Jonathan Watkins, Yunus Maka and Andrew Phillips who recently joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. Senior associate David Booth is also recommended.

Corporate tax Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP 's Manchester tax team regularly advises private equity funds, portfolio funds and management teams on private-equity related tax work. It also advises local, national and international companies on tax matters ranging from employee equity schemes, real estate finance, VAT planning and outsourcing arrangements. David Thompson heads the team with support from legal director Stephen Jones.

Employment Tier 1

Led by Alan Chalmers, DLA Piper UK LLP's caseload is heavily dominated by international work spanning multiple jurisdictions. The team routinely advises prominent local, national and international businesses, while also handling complex and high value Employment Tribunal and High Court cases, particularly relating to discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Other areas of expertise include industrial relations and TUPE issues, both in the private and public sectors. The department operates in sectors such as manufacturing, chemicals and food and drink. Legal directors Helen Hall and Emma Mills are key members of the team, while senior associate George Nicholson is recommended.

Energy Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP stands out for its expertise across new nuclear build and decommissioning, renewable energy and embedded generation mandates and it is instructed by sponsors, developers and funders.  The team has also advised waste contractors and investors on waste projects and is able to handle contentious work in the energy sector. The team is engaged on local, national and international energy mandates. Darren Walsh heads the team and Andrew S. Davies is active in the waste and water sectors. Legal director Ben Morton is also recommended.

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP handles a full range of restructuring and insolvency work and is commended for its ability to advise on complex, cross-border mandates across a range of sectors. The team, which is led by Robert Russell , is active across a variety of instructions including distressed real estate, formal insolvency, corporate restructuring, portfolio restructuring and acquisitions; and is praised for its contentious restructuring and insolvency capability. Christopher Roberts handles non-contentious work.

IT and telecoms Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP's team, which takes a 'business-first approach' works with both national and international clients on a wide range of matters relating to cloud computing, IT and business process outsourcing and insourcing, systems integration, service transitions and procurement. Other areas of expertise include data protection, privacy compliance, digital strategies, data audits and GDPR. Key client sectors include financial services, manufacturing and industrial. Edinburgh-based John McKinlay and Liverpool-based Sarah Bell, who specialises in IT-related procurements, co-head the team, while Lee Brierley leads the Manchester technology and sourcing team. Stephen Wright is also regarded as a stand-out partner for his commercial approach.

Local government Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP is 'very dedicated and the team is quick to understand issues at hand'. It advises its local government clients across the UK on a range of matters such as corporate and commercial projects, planning, outsourcing; real estate; projects; pensions; and disputes. Peter Brook is experienced in large scale outsourcing transactions, legal director Sophie Stewart handles planning, highways and compulsory purchase matters. Legal director Gemma  Cowap handles commercial matters, while Sarah Bell and Liam Cowell , who is 'always available', jointly head the team.

Pensions Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP's pensions team, led by Liverpool managing partner Ben Miller is recognised for its trustee work, acting for the trustees of some the largest UK occupational schemes. The practice has a wide range of capabilities including scheme advisory and documentation work, as well as advising providers of small, self-administered schemes and self-invested personal pensions. Other areas of expertise include scheme mergers, reconstructions, scheme closures and pensions aspects of corporate matters. The team is also experienced in advising on de-risking strategies such as changes in benefit design and buy-in and buy-out of liabilities. Claire Bell, Jeremy Harris and senior associate Kate Beech are key team members.

Project finance and PFI Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP 's projects, energy and infrastructure team handles a raft of local, national and international projects. It stands out for its expertise in transport, health, education, energy, nuclear, waste and water sector projects and it is engaged by sponsors, funders and procuring authorities. PPP and PFI projects and disputes are also a key area of expertise. Team head Andrew S. Davies stands out for his waste and water sector expertise, while Liam Cowell regularly handles infrastructure projects. Legal directors Ben Morton and Sidrah Arif, who is experienced in project finance transactions, are also noted, as is senior associate Lorna Pattison.

Transport Tier 1

DLA Piper UK LLP specialises in advising on major transport infrastructure projects, including motorways, railways and airports, among others. The firm's practice has expertise in transport disputes, while also dealing with aircraft, shipping and super-yacht finance; equipment finance and leasing and smart ticketing. UK managing partner Liam Cowell heads the team and focuses on infrastructure and project finance transactions.

Construction Tier 2

DLA Piper UK LLP is 'strong on contentious construction work' and is active across domestic and cross-border disputes. The energy, water, transport and social infrastructure sectors are key areas of focus. In Manchester, the 'brilliantPaul Giles heads the contentious construction team which includes the 'very experienced' David Moss and Alison Fagan, who is 'exceptional' on PPP and PFI projects and disputes, as well as senior associates Anthony Willis and Robin Jack. On the non-contentious side, the team in Liverpool, which includes senior associate Jennifer Price-Thomas, acts on high-value, development work for developers, corporate occupiers and institutional funds. Elspeth Christie has joined Brabners LLP.

Crime: general Tier 2

DLA Piper UK LLP is instructed on a range of investigations and is experienced in corporate crime prosecutions involving various issues such as corruption, dishonesty, tax evasion and bribery. The team represents companies and individual clients on investigations and prosecutions by HSE, CPS, the Police, the Serious Fraud Office, HMRC and the Office of Fair Trading. The team also stands out for its cross-border expertise. Regulatory lawyer and criminal litigator John Gollaglee is a key contact.

Intellectual property Tier 2

DLA Piper UK LLP represents big-name clients on IP litigation across industries including retail, finance, manufacturing and pharma. Areas of expertise include patents, trade marks, designs, disputes and transactions. Co-head of team Lee Brierley focuses on non-contentious IP, with particular experience in relation to brand acquisitions and licensing, technology partnering arrangements and licensing and manufacturing agreements. Liverpool-based Peter Brook, who also co-heads the team, specialises in technology IP matters. The team recently advised the London Stock Exchange Group on a successful claim for trade mark infringement.

Property litigation Tier 2

DLA Piper UK LLP stands out for its expertise in advising property investor clients, and is regularly instructed by pensions funds and institutional investors. Telecoms and complex dilapidations cases are a key area of expertise and the team also handles management work for clients with large property portfolios. Department head Martin Griffiths handles a range of complex landlord and tenant disputes, telecoms matters, rights to light issues, release of restrictive covenant cases and major development projects. Legal director Rachael Jones is also a key figure.

Commercial property: Manchester Tier 3

DLA Piper UK LLP is experienced in handling development and investment work for public and private sector clients. The team advises on high-profile developments in Manchester and across the UK, and has particular expertise in funding and in structuring specialised assets. Department head Mark Beardwood acts for a number of investment clients; Robert Arnison stands out for his development work expertise; and Tom Kelsall leads on development and development-funding matters and co-heads the North West real estate finance team.

Planning and environment Tier 3

DLA Piper UK LLP's planning department is a 'close knit team which is always responsive'. It handles the full range of planning work and is regularly engaged on high-profile infrastructure and energy projects, acting for public and private sector clients. Recently promoted legal director Sophie Stewart specialises in development planning and compulsory purchase and is increasingly involved in the planning aspects of major regeneration and infrastructure projects. Leeds-based Andrew Batterton heads the Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool-based planning teams.

DLA Piper’s UK offices provide a full range of legal services to meet the ongoing needs of clients wherever they do business. It is one of the largest law firms in the UK and has seven offices in the major commercial centres of Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.

The firm: DLA Piper is a global law firm that provides its clients with legal and business solutions locally, regionally and internationally using integrated teams of lawyers with experience that spans a broad range of disciplines. DLA Piper is widely recognised for its pioneering approach and extensive geographic reach, which enables the practice to look after the business issues that matter to its clients – whether they are large or small. Clients of DLA Piper include single-owner startups, local and household name companies, multinationals, financial institutions, FTSE and Fortune 500 enterprises and their subsidiaries, and public bodies and governments.

Types of work undertaken:Corporate: DLA Piper is a significant operator in the UK, providing transactional and advisory work in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets, tax, and investment funds.

Employment: a market-leading practice with a strong reputation for delivering solutions-based advice and supporting clients in the day-to-day management of their people, legal issues and risk. Its lawyers work on a strategic and operational level on both contentious and non-contentious matters across the private and public sectors.

Finance and projects: includes experienced teams which advise on asset-based lending, asset finance, debt capital markets and securitisation, leveraged finance, project finance, real estate finance, and trade and commodity finance. Lawyers in this practice also advise on loan workouts and refinancings.

Intellectual property and technology: this award-winning practice is made up of experienced intellectual property, information law, technology and sourcing, commercial, telecoms, media and sports lawyers, and offers a unique, global, full-service capability.

Litigation and regulatory: the global litigation and regulatory group comprises over 1,800 contentious and regulatory lawyers. The practice group is dedicated exclusively to regulatory risk and dispute resolution, and includes litigators, arbitrators, criminal defence lawyers and ex-regulators, along with government relations, public policy and media relations advisers.

Real estate: this practice combines local experience with an international perspective to provide high-quality commercial and innovative advice. A full range of legal services is offered, including transactions, planning and property management. Clients include developers, investors and corporate end users.

Restructuring: the firm has one of the largest restructuring teams in the UK, with over 130 restructuring and insolvency lawyers who work as part of one of the largest global restructuring teams of any legal practice. The team regularly advises on high-profile assignments from the mid- market up to the largest and most complex national and international restructurings and insolvencies.

Tax: the firm provides advice on local and national tax, as well as a commercially integrated approach to cross-border structures and tax efficiency. It offers the full range of tax services that address the challenges of international commerce and business operations, including arranging operations to reduce effective global tax rates, transfer pricing, tax disputes and post-acquisition integration.

Other offices: Abu Dhabi, Al Khobar, Albany, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Atlanta, Auckland, Austin, Baltimore, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Birmingham, Boston, Bratislava, Brisbane, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Calgary, Casablanca, Chicago, Cologne, Copenhagen, Dallas, Doha, Dubai, Edinburgh, Edmonton, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Houston, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Kuwait City, Kyiv, Leeds, Lisbon, Liverpool, London, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Madrid, Manchester, Melbourne, Mexico City, Miami, Milan, Minneapolis, Montréal, Moscow, Munich, Muscat, New Jersey, New York, Northern Virginia, Oslo, Paris, Perth, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Prague, Raleigh, Riyadh, Rome, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, São  Paulo, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, Sheffield, Silicon Valley, Singapore, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Sydney, Tampa, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, Vienna, Warsaw, Washington DC, Wellington, Whitehorse, Wilmington, Yellowknife.

Department Name Email Telephone
UK managing partner Sandra Wallace
Corporate Charles Cook
Employment Adam Hartley
Finance and projects Colin Wilson
Finance and projects Sarah Day
Intellectual property and technology John McKinlay
Litigation and regulatory Neil Bowker
Real estate William Naunton
Restructuring Mark Jackson
Tax Richard Woolich
Photo Name Position Profile
 Stephen Wright  photo Stephen Wright
 Paul Giles  photo Paul Giles
 Yunus Maka  photo Yunus Maka
 Liam Cowell  photo Liam Cowell
 Leontia McArdle  photo Leontia McArdle
 James Kerrigan  photo James Kerrigan
 Jonathan Watkins  photo Jonathan Watkins
 Lee Brierley  photo Lee Brierley
 David Booth  photo David Booth
 David Thompson  photo David Thompson
 Stephen Jones  photo Stephen Jones
 John Gollaglee  photo John Gollaglee
 Stewart Plant  photo Stewart Plant
 Nicola Higgins  photo Nicola Higgins
 Andrew Smith  photo Andrew Smith
 David Gray  photo David Gray
 Jonathan Eatough  photo Jonathan Eatough
 Matt Christmas  photo Matt Christmas
 Alan Chalmers  photo Alan Chalmers
 Emma Mills  photo Emma Mills
 Darren Walsh  photo Darren Walsh
 Robin Jack  photo Robin Jack
 David Moss  photo David Moss
 Rob Arnison  photo Rob Arnison
 Jeremy Harris  photo Jeremy Harris
 Sophie Stewart  photo Sophie Stewart
Number of UK partners : 230
Number of other UK fee-earners : 770