Firm Profile > Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP > Leeds, England

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP
1 WHITEHALL RIVERSIDE
LEEDS
LS1 4BN
England

Intellectual property Tier 1

The IP group at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP fields a team of 'genuine experts' and is overseen by the highly rated James Love. The practice is active across the food and drink, oil and gas, hospitality, and healthcare sectors, and handles an assortment of regional and international instructions including patent litigation, complex trade mark issues and design prosecutions. The team has expertise in advising on the full IP lifecycle, with counsel Patrick Cantrill advising on contentious and non-contentious IP matters; associate Rachel Hearson focusing on trade marks, and Rose Smalley handling enforcement work. The team also regularly appears before the High Court in patent disputes.

Practice head(s):

James Love

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Cantrill; Rose Smalley; Rachel Hearson

Testimonials

‘Working mainly with the Leeds office and are more than pleased with their work. They are always up to speed giving accurate recommendations and advice in time to the right price!’

‘Wombles team around Patrick Cantrill, James Love and Rachel Hearson as well as Rose Smalley have an uncomplicated approach to trade marks and are capable to explain complicated IP aspects to clients – of course they are highly versed and experienced in all aspects of trade mark prosecution and litigation – And they are very approachable and responsive as well as simply nice! They are wonderful to work with. Highly recommended. The are always willing to go the extra mile.’

‘Patrick Cantrill – Patrick is very responsive and an excellent lawyer. He is commercial and has a clear passion for his area of expertise. He is an exceptional negotiator and always mindful of the client’s ultimate goals and business.’

‘Top drawer Intellectual property practice, with vast global experience and seasoned experts at the helm. Their advice is clear and succinct.’

‘I have worked with James Love for over 25 years now. James’ legal counsel is exceptional.’

‘James Love -shows an interest in and understanding of our business and offers practical and insightful guidance on strategic and every day IP matters.’

‘WBD provides us with excellent and actionable advice, without sending lengthy memos or being overly formal. WBD really feels like an extension to our team. ’

‘James Love is my go-to lawyer for advice across the full range of IP. James has excellent knowledge of our brand and industry and provides practical and actionable advice. He thinks out of the box and comes with creative ideas to resolve any issues we may face.’

Key clients

Geofabrics Limited

Grafton LSR

GoCompare.com Limited / GoCo Group

Drax Plc

English Heritage / Historic England

TomTom International

University of Leeds

Vetements Group AG

North of England / Sunderland Marine

R. H. Smith & Son’s (Wigmakers) Limited t/a Smiffys

Banking and finance Tier 2

John Connor leads the banking practice at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP which specialises in real estate, corporate and public finance. Clients include lenders from high street banks, private equity investors, and local and national government bodies, as well as corporate borrowers. Connor's practice encompasses the sale of loans and securities, restructuring of existing facilities, property finance, corporate debt structures and invoice finance facilities. Mark Casey is also of note.

Practice head(s):

John Connor

Other key lawyers:

Mark Casey

Testimonials

‘John Connor is a partner with good client focus, delegates well and always there if needed.’

‘They have a collaborative approach to deals, bringing in a specialist when required to deliver speedy solutions.’

‘John Connor – banking partner: pragmatic, considered, creative at problem solving, easy to access for guidance.’

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank PLC

Clydesdale Bank plc / Yorkshire Bank / Virgin Money

Lloyds Bank plc

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Cairngorm Capital

LDC

NorthEdge Capital

Endless LLP

Grainger PLC

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's group is praised for its 'exceptional level of experience and knowledge of the residential land market'. Co-chairs Mark Owen and Julia Dacre Field 'have built one of the best residential property teams in Yorkshire', which includes Claire Wilkinson, Kathryn Wood (who joined from Knights plc in late 2020) and legal director James Lawson. They have an extensive background acting for developers, investors and housebuilders on all aspects of transactions, development projects and regeneration schemes. Paula Dillon left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Mark Owen; Julia Dacre Field

Other key lawyers:

Claire Wilkinson; Kathryn Wood; James Lawson

Testimonials

‘Julia and Mark have built one of the best residential property teams in Yorkshire recruiting young up and coming lawyers with drive and motivation.’

‘Julia is without question the best residential property lawyer in Yorkshire. She is focused, provides consistently sound advice and is incredibly commercial, understanding that there is a land deal behind any contract.’

‘WBD’s team are proactive and innovative. They have strong industry knowledge and contacts.’

‘Claire Wilkinson and her team are outstanding communicators. This is something we have struggled with when dealing with other similar law firms. The engagement terms are clear and precise, the response time is impressive and solutions are offered, not more obstacles. Claire is not afraid to say no or advise strongly against a course of action, but offers alternative strategies.

‘The level of experience and knowledge of the residential land market is exceptional along with excellent client relationships.’

Key clients

Commercial Estates Group

Barratt & David Wilson Homes

Taylor Wimpey

Vistry ( formerly Linden )

Leeds City Council

ITV

Bellway Homes

Town Centre Securities PLC

Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's corporate and commercial practice has a focus on mid-market private equity matters, and is led by Simon Pilling. The group has core expertise in the food and drink sector, and regularly handles a steady steam of corporate mandates including disposals, M&A and shareholder agreements. Director James Cook is the key name for private equity transactions and corporate finance work. Clients include SME's, large corporates and investment funds.

Practice head(s):

Simon Pilling

Other key lawyers:

James Cook

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

At Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, Andy Stirk heads up the national restructuring and insolvency team from the Leeds office. The department has 'a strong local presence but can also call upon national resource as required'. Its varied workload covers advice on directors' duties, restructurings of debt and security, sales and purchases of distressed/insolvent businesses and asset recoveries. Stirk is 'very creative in his approach to situations, and goes that extra mile in his client service'. Sam Dixon takes a 'no-nonsense approach to providing clear and concise advice' on bank-led restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Andy Stirk

Other key lawyers:

Sam Dixon

Testimonials

‘A strong team that is able to give sound commercial advice in a timely manner, the team is not reliant on a particular partner to respond, the strength in depth ensures that we have confidence in the advice being given, whoever is providing the advice.’

‘Andy Stirk is very creative in his approach to situations, offers solutions to problems and goes that extra mile in his client service.’

‘A strong team with good coverage across relevant sectors and specialisms.’

‘Sam Dixon (newly appointed partner) is a leading lawyer, if not the leading lawyer, in Further Education insolvency. He is highly attentive to detail but has the knack of polite directness; so he gets to nub of the issue and the practicalities of advice very quickly.’

‘WBD has a strong, local presence but can also call upon national resource as required. Their advice is commercial yet technically spot on.’

‘Sam Dixon – deservedly promoted to partner during the year, Sam has a no- nonsense approach to providing clear and concise advice.’

Planning Tier 2

Practice head(s):

Claire Brook; Jonathan Bower

Testimonials

‘The planning team are very approachable and able to give clear advice.’

‘The WBD team offers a breadth and depth of knowledge across all aspects of the Development Consent Order (DCO) process.’

‘Claire Brook has always been available at all times, including outside normal office hours, to provide support and guidance and she always provides clear and informed advice on a wide range of topics and will defer to subject matter experts within her team if it is required.’

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

Demonstrating 'wide technical and commercial knowledge', Susan Maxey leads the private wealth team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. Advising high-net-worth clients in both domestic and international frameworks, the firm covers contentious and non-contentious matters for recognised trusts, wealthy entrepreneurs and landed estates. Notably, the practice represents some of the region's wealthiest families and assists with asset structuring, succession planning and cross-border tax advice. Managing associate Fiona McLaughlin is another important contact.

Practice head(s):

Susan Maxey

Other key lawyers:

Fiona McLaughlin

Testimonials

‘Womble Bond Dickinson has one of the premier private client departments in the UK.’

‘Susan Maxey has a wide technical and commercial knowledge of her private client area. She has experience of a large range of technical issues and their resolution. Very client focused and approachable.’

‘As one of the largest legal practices in the North East, the team can bring a lot of resource to the challenge when required. Susan Maxey is empathetic, knowledgeable and highly effective in all client matters.’

‘Susan Maxey really listens to the client and then puts in place simple solutions that address their needs ensuring that they are fully understanding along the way. Personal attention, and great service coupled with great legal know how makes her a winning proposition.’

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s Leeds employment practice has strength in the charity and education sectors, acting for an array of national and regional clients on large restructurings and TUPE issues. Led by Ed Duffield, the group comprises Andrew Tingley, who has a wide corporate immigration practice, and Alan Kennedy, who advises public and private sector clients. Jayne Flint, who joined from Bevan Brittan LLP, has particular expertise in advising on the challenges of IR35, worker status issues, and workforce redesigns. Unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims also feature in the group's workload.

Practice head(s):

Ed Duffield

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Tingley; Alan Kennedy; Jayne Flint

Testimonials

‘WBD have delivered an excellent service for over 6 years. They provide clear advice on all HR matters, discussing risks and suggesting a variety of solutions and actions. We have built a strong working relationship with our main contact over this time. This working relationship is built on our trust of the advice and support we have received and includes a good amount of humour as well! We could not recommend WBD highly enough.’

‘Ed Duffield provides clear thoughtful and thought-through advice in a very accessible way. This is through a variety of communication channels and working with a number of our senior management. Ed has a great sense of humour and we have built a good working relationship with him and this has also led to us working with others in WBD in different departments. I would highly recommend Ed to others.’

Key clients

Dnata Limited

Carpetright Limited

Ordnance Survey

Cello Health Group plc

Sanderson Weatherall

Huntsman/Venator

Ampleforth College

Saint Catherine’s Hospice

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP fields a number of seasoned practitioners, whom one client describes as 'the go-to people for high value and complex matters'. The team's 'depth of knowledge and experience across the field of farming and landowning is remarkable', and means the group is well placed to 'meet the needs of a sophisticated and varied client base', which includes private landlords and public authorities. The firm regularly oversees rural and commercial sales and acquisitions, handles tenancy matters, and assists with estate management work, as well as advising on issues surrounding mineral reserves. Practice head Simon Kirkup and managing associate Charlotte Patterson-Ryan are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Simon Kirkup

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Patterson-Ryan

Testimonials

‘Wide range of experience and skill sets allowing a ‘joined up’ approach to the diverse range of problems encountered by traditional rural estates in the modern era.’

‘I work a lot with Charlotte Patterson-Ryan. Charlotte stands out because she shows cast iron dedication to meeting her clients’ needs, and combines this with an efficient, common-sense approach and a desire to problem solve. Knowledge of the law is a given among solicitors (or at least it should be) but Charlotte stands out from her peers because she combines thorough legal understanding with a real appreciation for the human drivers behind the work she is doing. The client comes first and Charlotte weighs up the client dynamic very well.’

‘The other member of the team I work with is Simon Kirkup. Simon is the recognised specialist within the region for complex rural property law, and skilfully combines non-contentious property advice with a much wider understanding of the legal and commercial environment that his clients operate within. This ability to shift from being the technical specialist to the person who can appreciate the broader strategic situation is what makes Simon a respected professional.’

‘The depth of knowledge and experience across the field of farming and landowning is remarkable, as is the breadth of the firm’s contacts with individual expertise. Two mergers/acquisitions within the last few years have increased, rather than diluted, the firm’s capabilities.’

‘A diverse team of experts who deal with the immediate matter in hand but are also aware of the bigger picture and identify all aspects and “knock on effects” of the project. They are innovative and draw on the expertise of other in-house teams when necessary.’

‘My principal contact is with Simon Kirkup, who has handled his roles with dedication to his clients’ interests, with great attention to detail and with his exceptional experience of the practice as well as the law of land management.’

‘Charlotte Patterson-Ryan gives concise advice with a willingness to make a firm recommendation where others would tend to hedge their answers.’

‘They meet the needs of a sophisticated and varied client base, and are the go-to people for high value and complex matters. Their strength is in the combined years of experience in the team and they are clearly comfortable operating at the top of the professional services market.’

‘Simon Kirkup is the partner who deals with all our business . He is thoroughly professional and gives us the very best advice.’

Key clients

National Trust

Grainger PLC

Church Commissioners

English Heritage

Banking and finance Tier 1

In addition to acting for borrowers, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has an excellent record advising lenders, including high street banks, private equity investors and debt funds. Led by Graham Jeffries, the team in Southampton mainly focuses on real estate finance, project finance and asset finance. Managing associate Cole Stacey primarily handles real estate finance transactions, but his expertise also includes acquisition finance and general debt finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Graham Jeffries

Other key lawyers:

Cole Stacey

Testimonials

‘The team take time to get to know the business and they apply this incite to provide excellent advice and support. We really appreciate the proactive suggestions and improvements which can flow from this.’

‘Graham Jeffries is our main contact. Technically extremely strong and always approachable, accessible and willing to go the extra mile to help.’

‘Graham Jeffries continues to be creative and is an extension of our in-house legal practice. He combines very steady and sound legal advice whilst always thinking one step ahead for our organisation when drafting papers.’

‘The team members go the extra mile to make sure that our work is managed effectively. They are responsive and have adjusted their working practices to ensure that the communication flow works efficiently for both practice and client which has removed unnecessary work and helped us focus on ensuring a smooth flow of transactions.’

‘Graham Jeffries has deep knowledge and experience that adds real value to the interactions that we have with him. He seeks to gain a real understanding of what we are seeking to achieve and helps us do so. We highly rate the added value that he brings and is great to work with.’

‘Graham Jeffries is a stand out banking lawyer. He explains complex themes clearly and is able to engage all company directors/management – both those of a financial/legal persuasion and not.’

‘Graham Jeffries is a great lawyer and communicator’.

‘Cole Stacey – great attention to detail and ability to communicate issues succinctly.’

Key clients

Chemring Group PLC

Adventure Forest Limited (owners of Go Ape)

Renewable Energy Systems Limited

Invest and Fund Limited

First Alliance Properties Limited

VFS Legal Limited

Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP (now within

the Patrizia Group)

Santander UK PLC

Banking and finance Tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP‘s core areas of expertise are real estate finance, corporate finance, structured finance and public sector finance. Mainly on the lender side, the team’s portfolio includes banks, debt funds, private equity investors, and local and national government bodies. It also advises corporate clients on banking matters. In Bristol, Philip Withey is active for clients from the energy and financial institutions sectors, while Tom Caplen advises institutional lenders and corporate borrowers. The national banking team is led from Leeds by John Connor.

Practice head(s):

John Connor

Other key lawyers:

Philip Withey; Tom Caplen

Testimonials

‘Super responsive, efficient, friendly and always on hand to provide solutions to often difficult/challenging situations and clients. Each of the team are approachable and collaborate with professionalism.’

‘Speed and knowledge of a variety of areas in law for real estate and leverage in particular. Having individual solicitors that you can reach in a moments notice is invaluable.’

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank plc

Lloyds Bank plc

Piper Private Equity

Quilter plc

Santander

Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance Limited

LV=

Union Bancaire Privee, UBP SA

The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation PLC

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 1

'Expert knowledge of the charity sector and its regulators' marks out the 'exceptional' team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. The group provides strategic, regulatory, governance and operational advice to household name charities, particularly those operating in the education, health, care and religious sectors. The firm is also increasingly focusing on safeguarding governance and regulatory investigations. Much lauded practice head Emma Moody is described by one client as 'the best thing that happened' to them, while another said 'her influence has been transformative for the better'. Seasoned practitioner Joanne Coleman and managing associate Samantha Pritchard are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Emma Moody

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Coleman; Samantha Pritchard

Testimonials

‘The team know their stuff! They’re all responsive, knowledgeable and approachable. They don’t use lawyer-speak which makes it easy to understand, and are happy to explain legal terms in simple English.’

‘Emma Moody is professional, wise, hard-working and a team player. Her influence has been transformative for the better. She is also a pleasure to work with.’

‘Quite simply they are great people to work with. Ability to provide sure footed advice and guidance. Experience and knowledge of how the regulator works and what is going on in the charity world. Ability to quickly understand and get to grips with any new issue. Friendly, empathetic and responsive customer service.’

‘Emma Moody is astute and has very practical knowledge of the charity field. Superb ability to craft safeguarding structures in a charity context. Approachable, swift to respond. Engaged with local issues well, sense of real personal support.’

‘WBD are an exceptional firm. Approachable, reliable, keen to communicate complex legal matters in an understandable manner. Prompt to deal with client concerns. Very fair billing system. WBD have guided our community for over 11 years and we would never change firms.’

‘Emma Moody is a brilliant partner in the firm. She is our go-to person and has never let us down. She communicates complex legal matters in language easily understood by clients like us. Her business acumen is excellent. I can honestly say that she takes the legal burden from you and deals with matters quickly, efficiently, quietly, professionally and advises outside the box. Emma Moody is the best thing that “happened” to us.’

‘We have benefitted from the team’s expert knowledge of the charity sector and its regulators.’

‘Confidence and competence in the individuals at WBD is what stands out but all of this done with a sense that they are taking responsibility for advice and decision making. We have worked closely with Emma Moody at WBD and she has been exceptional in the quality of advice and the quality of the relationship that has been built. ‘

Key clients

RNLI

Which? / Consumers’ Association

BBC Children in Need

National Trust

Katie Piper Foundation

United Synagogue

Humankind Charity

We Are With You (formerly Addaction)

Parkinsons UK

The Dogs Trust

St Paul’s Cathedral

The Royal Agricultural Society

Commercial litigation: Hampshire Tier 1

A strong focus on energy and retail disputes makes Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP a firm choice for numerous high-profile national clients operating in both sectors. Practice head Tom Beezer’s experience acting for clients in the oil and gas arena sees him fielding both domestic and international mandates pertaining to natural resources, supported by managing associate Rosie Gaisford. Ian Newcombe is noted for his work with various utilities providers and retail heavyweights. Gavin Matthews leads on retail related litigation, and is particularly adept at handling disputes with a cross-border element. On the technology and data side, Andrew Parsons fields instructions with a distinctive IT focus, often for major public utility companies. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Tom Beezer

Other key lawyers:

Rosie Gasford; Ian Newcombe; Gavin Matthews; Andrew Parson

Testimonials

‘The litigation team has both strength in depth and some great key individuals with specific expertise. Brilliantly transparent on billing – not a common trait!’

‘They really take the time to understand you and your business. They always look for ways to help and support you, in a way that values your relationship and isn’t just about increasing billable time.’

‘For me, the stand out partner is Ian Newcombe. He is definitely one of my go-to, trusted counsel as I appreciate his depth of knowledge and honesty, on a wide range of topics, not just litigation.’

‘The team operate out of Southampton, but provide a level of service and expertise which rivals any national of City firm. The Commercial Litigation team represent amazing value for money in this respect. There is no dispute which I would not use this team for. ’

‘Andrew Parsons is a true expert in IT and Data issues. He is forward thinking. Leading the next generation of partners.’

‘Ian Newcombe is incredibly astute with tactics, and has a cool head. He always have an eye on the interest of the client and focuses on achieving the overall objective.’

‘The team is nimble and well managed. They provide good access to partners. They make intelligent use of counsel and give sensible strategic advice, while ensuring that the client’s money is used as intelligently as possible.’

‘Tom Beezer is a sensible, experienced litigator. He has an intelligent and practical approach and consistently helps clients achieve their commercial goals.’

 

Key clients

Centrica

British Gas

Post Office

New Look

B&Q

Sunseeker

DS Smith

Carnival

Babcock

AIG

Quilter

Bombardier Transportation Limited

J. Barbour & Sons Limited

Commercial litigation: Newcastle Tier 1

Part of the strength of Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is its ability to pool together the firm’s resources nationwide, making the full-service group a strong contestant for high-value commercial litigation mandates at national level. At the same time, the ‘hardworking, knowledgeable and friendly’ team is a destination for multiple top-20 companies in the North East. Department head Paul Stewart is regularly retained by companies in the transport, manufacturing and chemicals sectors. The practice is also adept at handling disputes in the public and financial services sectors; contentious procurement team leader Richard Collins is a go-to adviser for multiple domestic and international clients in this space. Managing associates Francesca Hodgson and Jonny Gribben are rising stars in the team.

Practice head(s):

Paul Stewart

Other key lawyers:

Richard Collins; Francesca Hodgson; Jonny Gribben

Testimonials

‘Hardworking, knowledgeable and friendly. An absolute joy to work with. ’

‘The team is led by Paul Stewart who exemplifies all of the qualities identified above. He is very hand on, thinks carefully about the issues, identifies difficulties and looks for solutions. Everything you want from a litigation solicitor.’

‘Anna Booth’s attention to detail is very impressive; she is completely on top of the papers and an invaluable person to be able to go to for quick answers to points.’

Key clients

Northern Powergrid

Bombardier Transportation UK Limited

Post Office Limited

Go-Ahead Group

Venator

North P&I

Prosper Procurement

Commercial property: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 1

Led by the 'stand-out and exemplarCraig Moore, the team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is an established go-to practice for lenders, investors, developers, property receivers, public bodies, charities, and education institutions. It has a particular strength in the property finance field, portfolio management, LPA receiverships and landlord-tenant matters. Another name to note is legal director Samantha Orluta; she is well versed in residential housing developments.

Practice head(s):

Craig Moore

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Orluta; Christopher Stephens

Testimonials

‘Team players working with colleagues in different areas of expertise and different offices do so, from a client’

‘Knowledgeable with a commercially minded with a pragmatic approach; the hallmarks of quality legal advisors. Seamless service through Covid19 period. Accessible and responsive; important key attributes.’

‘This team has good Technology. They are able to have leases signed electronically and have systems to scan leases for errors and omissions saving time which is cost at the end of the day.’

‘Craig Moore – always available and quick to react. ’

‘WBD’s attentiveness, the ease with which I am able to contact appropriate partners & members of their teams, and speed of response sets them apart. WBD are proactive in their approach, for example in suggesting 3 or 4 way telecons/Team/Zoom meets with bank, client, clients’ lawyers & WBD is really effective. They are very effective in proactively suggesting, & willingly agree to realistic deadlines in order to achieve desired outcomes.’

‘Craig Moore is a stand-out & exemplar of what a Real Estate Bank/Banker is looking for in my view. Craig is positive, easily accessible & willing to enter into the details of legal issues surrounding deals , offering practical solutions. Craig is also effective in marshalling members of his team, as well as those in other disciplines, for example Construction Documentation. This occurs seamlessly, with no noticeable interruption, even where other colleagues are working for example in Leeds office.’

‘Quick response and easy to talk to and understand.’

‘There is a regular update from WBD that assists in keeping a good overview of matters in progress. ’

Key clients

Babcock

West Devon District Council

Plymouth University

Accor UK

Ministry of Justice

Eagle One

Ministry of Defence

GLH Hotels Limited

University of St Mark & St John

Brittany Ferries

West Berkshire District Council

Scottish Power Renewables

Countrywide

Innogy Renewables UK Limited

Lloyds Bank Plc

Wales & West Utilities

Nuon Renewables

Teignbridge District Council

Taylor Wimpey

English Cities Fund

Plymouth Community Homes

NatWest

HSBC

UBP

Rentplus

Barden Corporation

Rittal

Padstow Town Council

Hertford Investors

Cornwall Housing Limited

Plymouth City Council

Capital Home Loans

Cornwall College

Commercial property: Hampshire Tier 1

The sizeable commercial property team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP acts for a range of retailers, educational institutions, local authorities and financial services providers on the complete spectrum of real estate matters. In addition to its longstanding marine focus, the group is noted for its expertise in regeneration and development work, particularly in the manufacturing, renewable energy, infrastructure and national house building sectors. In recent months, the team has been bolstered by several new arrivals from Clyde & Co LLP, including Adam Taylor-Smith and Georgina Hook. The practice is led by Tim Burbridge, who chiefly handles real estate investment and residential development work on behalf of occupiers. Anthony Alderman concentrates on energy and marine sector transactions, while Alistair Walton is the go-to contact for the firm’s national retailer client base. Stephen Baker advises investors and developers on acquisitions and disposals, while fellow legal director Joanna Beattie-Edwards focuses on maritime estate management. Jonathan Hobbs also comes highly recommended. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Tim Burbridge

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Alderman; Stephen Baker; Joanna Beattie-Edwards; Alistair Walton; Jonathan Hobbs

Testimonials

‘Great team with a good mix of solicitors who collaborate effectively. Having completed several smaller deals recently the service levels haven’t dropped at all. The partners provides excellent service.’

‘Good knowledge and always provide a pragmatic solution when needed. Always respond in timely fashion. ’

‘Jon Hobbs  is always available to provide effective advice whenever needed to ensure transactions remain on track and are successfully completed.’

 

Key clients

The Crown Estate

New Look Retailers

Babcock International Group Plc

Associated British Ports

Havant Borough Council

Moorfield Group

Rockspring UK Value 2 Fund (Patrizia Asset Managers)

Specsavers

Tristan Capital/Addington Capital

Historic England

CooperVision

CareerBuilder LLC

Go Ape!

University of Southampton

Quilter

London Borough of Sutton

Carpetright

Church Commissioners for England

BMO Property Growth and Income Fund

The Bournemouth Development Company LLP

Transdev

RATP Dev UK (London United)

Quidnet Capital Partners

Footlocker

AIG

Ann Summers

Equinor

Scottish Power

UKRI

Halifax (HBOS) Pension Fund (Patrizia Asset Managers)

London Theatre Company

Commercial property: Newcastle Tier 1

Clients praise Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s ‘excellent service’ and ‘commercial view’, which its multi-disciplinary real estate group often demonstrates when acting on high-value property transactions. The team has established itself as a go-to destination for property managers and residential landlords; it continues to attract new clients in this space while also counting names such as Grainger among its high-profile longstanding clients. Further, the practice is also known for its work on urban regeneration and property development projects for both public and private sector clients. John Ralph and Nigel Emmerson jointly sit at the helm of the department, which is prominent across a wide range of sectors, such as energy, education, retail, chemicals and manufacturing, among others. ‘Incredibly astute lawyerJohn Booth manages the firm’s relationship with multiple higher education sector clients. Michael Brown is a key contact for energy infrastructure mandates. Tom Willows is noted for his experience of advising on development and joint venture agreements. Managing associate Emma Garfitt is also recommended. Barbara Painter retired in mid-2020.

Practice head(s):

John Ralph; Nigel Emmerson

Other key lawyers:

John Booth; Tom Willows; Michael Brown; Emma Garfitt

Testimonials

‘WBD has a deserved reputation for excellence in a range of sectors. I am impressed how WBD can deliver on its targets for work completion. They have never let me down. I am also confident in the standard of the work undertaken by the more junior staff at WBD. They seem to have a strong mentoring programme and are clearly able to attract some of the best talent in the region.’

‘John Ralph is one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with. His position at WBD provides me with great assurance. John has unparalleled real knowledge but most importantly an ability to cut through the noise and provide the pragmatic and clear advice I need to make business decisions.’

‘Excellent service and take a commercial view.’

‘Liz Evans is excellent. Efficient, knowledgeable, commercial, understands our objectives and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘They make our lives easier by providing comments in an easy-to-follow manner. It feels as if they are part of our team.’

‘Tom Willows is our main contact. He is on top of things, replies promptly and is always available. Nothing is any trouble for him.’

‘John Booth is my primary contact and it has been a pleasure working with him. An incredibly astute lawyer, who can grasp the situation quickly and put you at ease by conveying complex legal positions in simple terms to a lay person. John has a willingness to talk and listen to his clients.’

Key clients

Grainger plc

Bellway Homes plc

South Tees Development Corporation

The Vista PRS Fund

Arriva

Aberdeen Standard

Duchy Homes

Southern Railways

Hansteen Holdings plc

Vertu Motors plc

Construction Tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is noted for its ‘excellent’ full-service offering, but is perhaps best known for its high-profile national and regional client portfolio including names of the calibre of the Department for Education and Newcastle City Council. In addition to its strong public sector offering, the team demonstrates an impressive depth of expertise in the energy and chemicals sectors. The practice brings significant firepower in the construction litigation arena; Simon Lewis regularly takes the lead on contentious mandates and is recognised as a ‘highly experienced, organised and efficient litigator’. Further, in the words of one satisfied client, department head Simon Rowland is ‘the most client-friendly construction specialist I have come across’. Rowland specialises on non-contentious transactional matters, and so does ‘brilliant problem solverIan Atkinson.

Practice head(s):

Simon Rowland

Other key lawyers:

Simon Lewis; Ian Atkinson

Testimonials

‘Womble Bond Dickinson operate as one team, nationally. As a result, they have very good coverage of the market.’

‘Collaborative approach and takes the time to understand our requirement so that more tailored advice is given.’

‘Simon Rowland is perhaps the most client-friendly construction specialist I have come across. When he brings a team to a project, he maintains control and client liaison which is so important. In general terms, I find their construction department excellent.’

‘Simon Lewis is a standout practitioner. Highly experienced, organised and efficient litigator. He is also extremely fair and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘WBD have a good depth and breadth of knowledge in the key areas needed by my organisation. They have a robust and supportive team structure capable of responding to requirements quickly and effectively. Their advice has always been first-rate and they take the time to clearly understand and talk through options not just react to a request.’

‘All individuals I have worked with have been experienced, knowledgeable and capable of understanding our requirements. All have provided excellent advice and deliverables quickly and appropriately. Ian Atkinson has always taken time and effort to fully understand the background to our needs and provide a bespoke, effective response, often picking up the telephone and discussing issues first-hand to ensure requirements are completely understood.’

‘Ian Atkinson was quickly able to understand the nature and objectives of the business and deliver a cost-effective contract solution that the business uses to manage contracting and associated risks in respect of development projects. Before speaking with Ian, we had approached other law firms, who we felt did not engage in the same way that Ian did to properly understand the concerns and objectives of the business. We were very pleased with the outcome delivered by Ian.’

‘I have known and worked with Simon Lewis for a significant period of time; his local, national and international expertise is first-class. He applies a hands-on approach to understanding the technical issues, which is essential when presenting legal argument.’

Key clients

Department for Education / Education and Skills Funding Agency / LocatED

B&Q / Kingfisher

Sabic Petrochemicals UK Limited

Hargreaves Services plc

Newcastle City Council

Robertson Group

Bellway Plc

Grainger plc

Ikea Properties Investments Ltd

University of Durham

Ark Education Trust

Northumbrian Water Group

Northern Powergrid

SMD

Defra

Bouygues

Ministry of Justice

Department of Health

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's dedicated and experienced disputes offering operates seamlessly as part of the firm's national private wealth team, and is able to leverage its geographical reach to act for individuals, trustees and charities, both from across the UK and internationally. The department was recently strengthened by the promotion of standout practitioner Richard Pike to partner; one client describes him as 'nothing but brilliant, on every level and in every way, at all times'. 'Very well respected' practice head Neil Long is also noted for his 'wealth of experience'.

Practice head(s):

Neil Long

Other key lawyers:

Richard Pike

Testimonials

‘A strong contentious trusts and probate practice that can draw on the firm’s other practice areas where necessary.’

‘I have been pleased with the level of service received throughout. The solicitor I have been dealing with, Richard Pike, has been nothing but brilliant, on every level and in every way, at all times. He has consistently been a great support throughout a very difficult and highly emotional time.’

‘Richard Pike is unflagging, sensibly cutting through difficult situations. Very easy to work with.’

‘In my experience, they are a no-fuss, no-drama, just results team. Very easy to work with. I know this may not sound like much, but some firms (particularly in litigation) can seem to add to the drama (death by 10,000 letters etc.) WBD are not doormats: they are firm but calm.’

‘Richard Pike is very focused on delivering for his clients.’

‘The team has a background of a strong private client offering and when we are involved with that team, the cases are good and generally of a high level which reflects the strength of the practice.’

‘Richard Pike is excellent. He has sound judgment, is very efficient and very pleasant to work with. Neil Long is a very well respected practitioner with a wealth of experience in all areas of contentious trusts and probate. He is excellent with clients.’

‘The biggest and best thing about dealing with Richard Pike has undoubtedly been the fact he instils confidence. He shows compassion, empathy and a high level of professionalism. He’s personable and most importantly I trust him. I feel reassured he’s got my back!’

 

Key clients

Womble Bond Dickinson (Trust Corporation) Limited as Trustee of the G W Procter 1975 Settlement

Corporate and commercial: Hampshire Tier 1

With a broad roster of clients including blue-chip domestic clients and international entities, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP 's Southampton team is a major regional force, particularly in the energy, manufacturing, and construction sectors. The local practice is jointly led by Paula Bartlett and Ian Holden, who handle the firm’s commercial and corporate interests respectively.  Stephen Pierce is based in Southampton but leads the national corporate team. Bartlett is experienced in data protection and technology matters, while Holden – who also heads up the firm’s French desk – focuses on corporate finance, M&A, and joint venture agreements. Sebastian Briggs plays a key role in renewable energy transactions, in addition to working with various local companies in the marine and technology sectors. Recently promoted legal director Carly Holt is a key contact for the firm’s financial services clients.

Practice head(s):

Paula Bartlett; Ian Holden

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Pierce; Sebastian Briggs; Carly Holt

Testimonials

‘The team is responsible, pragmatic, and good value for money. We have a longstanding relationship with them.’

‘Sebastian Briggs is very easy to work with and understands our business well.’

‘Very strong commercial and regulatory practice.’

Across different offices and practice areas, there is some inconsistency in quality.’

‘Ian Holden was the perfect partner for our needs.’

Corporate and commercial: Newcastle Tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP houses a full-service team of ‘strong lawyers with a commercial attitude’. The practice is among the market leaders, partially thanks to the its enviable credentials in listed and public company issues, as evidenced in the expertise of department head Ben Butler . The highly regarded Robert Phillips has over two decades of M&A experience under his belt; he is also noted for his manufacturing industry specialism. The department also acts alongside other specialist teams on matters in the private equity, retail, construction and environmental law realm. Clients refer to WBD Accelerate, the firm’s newly introduced service assisting start-up businesses with navigating various legal requirements. Managing associate Stacey Hall, legal director Iain Pritty and associate Oliver Rickett are all rising stars in the team.

Practice head(s):

Ben Butler

Other key lawyers:

Robert Phillips; Iain Pritty; Stacey Hall; Oliver Rickett; David Ridley; Jessica Christy; Simon Watts

Testimonials

‘Our go-to firm for corporate work. They make an effort to understand our business and the challenges we face.’

‘Ben Butler is a partner with a client-focused approach. He has been assisting us since our very early days and is always on hand for support.’

‘Commercial, efficient, effective, and highly contactable. Additional support and guidance has been superb on a particularly challenging matter.’

‘David Ridley was excellent from start to finish. Sound, sensible, pragmatic commercial advice. The transaction was emotional, but was handled sensitively with a personal touch which was hugely appreciated.’

‘Robert Phillips is the key partner we work with. He combines commerciality with a pragmatic and logical approach to negotiations with counterparties. This ensures that deal issues are resolved in a timely manner so that principals can focus on the key aspects of the transaction. The wider team, including David Ridley, Oliver Rickett and Jessica Christy, share this pragmatic approach and combine this with a focus on project management and proactive engagement with the other side to bring transactions to resolution quickly.’

‘Robert Phillips and Oli Rickett are extremely reliable and expertly knowledgeable in their field. They are always reactive, agile, pragmatic and commercially-focused on all of our engagements. Both Robert and Oli have taken the time to really understand our business and ensure that their advice aligns with our ultimate strategic goals for the business.’

‘Strong lawyers with a commercial attitude. In particular, Stacey Hall has really developed into a very strong associate with exceptional client care.’

‘A well-rounded and resourced team, always very responsive and knows our business well. We have used the team in the formation of two businesses in the past two years through their Accelerate program for new SMEs.’

Key clients

Lloyds Development Capital

Newcastle City Council

Carpetright

NVM Private Equity LLP

Caspian Learning Limited

Gordon Brown Law Firm

Vertu Motors plc

Shareholders of BPE Design and Support Limited

Mediaworks UK Limited

Acland Homes

Tharsus

Psyche Holdings Limited

Augean Plc

Corporate tax Tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP handles the tax aspects of high-value corporate and property transactions; it is equally well-versed in tax structuring mandates. The team’s cross-disciplinary work also includes handling tax issues arising in the areas of banking, restructuring and employment law. Clients laud department head Jeremy Smith as ‘a very experienced corporate tax specialist’.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Smith

Testimonials

‘Deep subject matter knowledge with incredible service.’

‘Jeremy Smith. A very experienced corporate tax specialist who delivers time and time again.’

Key clients

Vertu Motors plc

REG Power Management

Quilter

Grainger

Commercial Estates Group

Resource Group

Education Tier 1

At Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, the 'level of up to date knowledge displayed by the education team is second to none'. The offering is 'exceptionally well led' by practice head Kevin Robertson, whose broad practice encompasses advising the Department for Education on a range of commercial matters; assisting the ESFA with its Free Schools and PSBP programmes; and handling projects including academy conversions on behalf of a large number of schools, Diocesan bodies and local authorities. Robertson is capably assisted by charities expert Emma Moody. Associates Peter Cantwell and Nicholas Moss are also much lauded by clients.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Robertson; Emma Moody

Other key lawyers:

Peter Cantwell; Nicholas Moss

Testimonials

‘The level of up to date knowledge displayed by the education team is second to none. Kevin Robertson heads a team of professionals whose responsive, pro-active approach ensures deadlines (often not their own) are met every single time.’

‘The team are energetic, flexible and above all knowledgeable. They instil confidence in clients and support all aspects of the contract. Every one of the team that we have worked with are capable. They are exceptionally well led by Kevin Robertson. The team are innovative with reference to meeting formats, technology and billing.’

‘The work WBD has delivered for us over the last 18 months has been first class in every respect but particularly with regard to their customer service. The team is superbly led by Kevin Robertson. He sets their incredibly high standards with the way he responds to and deals with us, his clients. This high quality level of inter-personal behaviour is mirrored by Nicholas Moss, who we work with on a daily basis. His work is not only thorough, accurate and high quality but he is also an absolute pleasure to work with.’

‘WBD work in a way that meshes with our organisation. The consistency in relation to contacts has always been strong and affords strong relationships and a nuanced understanding as regards our business. The collaboration is strong, as is the advice, and there is a confidence in relation to the decision making process which is born out of a long standing record of working well.’

‘Kevin Robertson has a unique insight into the pressures of the education sector, his vast experience gives confidence in actions taken. He is well supported by Peter Cantwell who again explains scenarios for non-legal specialists.’

‘Detailed, up to date knowledge of the sector and its influences. Advice is current and timely. Kevin Robertson and Nicholas Moss are simply second to none in terms of their detailed knowledge and their ability to advise around risk assessment and mitigation is always greatly appreciated.’

‘Kevin Robertson is an incredible partner. Having worked with a number of partners, I have the pleasure in stating Kevin is the most professional, engaging and personable partner, that leads his team with energy, efficiency and dedication to the client.’

‘Nicholas Moss and Peter Cantwell have demonstrated their complete professionalism, legal knowledge and high level leadership on the conversion projects. I have been thoroughly impressed by their dedication to my team, the high quality and timely communication and swift ability to address issues in order that they were resolved promptly to ensure deadlines were fully met.’

Key clients

Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

Department for Education (DfE)

LocatEd

St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust

Eden Learning Trust

St Lawrence Education Trust (which operates Ampleforth College and St Martin’s Ampleforth (prep school))

Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust

Waterton Academy Trust, Wakefield

Newcastle City Council

Castle Trust, Medway

Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School

Pocklington School

Vision Academy Learning Trust

Liverpool City Council

The Constellation Trust

Northumberland County Council

Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust

Skills for Life Trust, Kent

Sewell Education York Limited

Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust

Employment Tier 1

Following the retirement of respected practitioner James Wilders in December 2020, Lorraine Heard has taken the reins at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. As a result of her reputation for being 'hugely experienced in defending class-action big ticket work', Heard regularly act in pay-related high-value complex Employment Tribunal claims, as well as frequently being sought out to defend against detailed allegations of discrimination, unfair dismissal and breach of contract. Other key team members include managing associate Hilary du Randt and associate Alan Kennedy, both of whom are noted for their proficiency assisting with all aspects of change management.

Practice head(s):

Lorraine Heard

Other key lawyers:

Hilary du Randt; Alan Kennedy

Testimonials

‘An incredibly able collection of equal pay specialists in Newcastle. Hugely experienced in defending class-action big ticket work, in the private and public sectors.’

‘Lorraine Heard is quite simply the best equal pay solicitor with whom I have worked. Manages huge litigation incredibly well. Very tactically astute. Very experienced. Excellent client handling skills. Organisational, management and timetabling skills are incredibly important in this field and she has them in abundance. What more is there to say? Hilary du Randt is incisive and very able.’

‘Alan Kennedy is pleasant, efficient, commercial and sensible.’

‘The team were absolutely seamless in their delivery – although I dealt with a couple of different individuals, they could have been the same person. All extremely knowledgeable of the subject matter, and with a deep understanding of our particular case. When the individuals swapped between them, I did not have to repeat instructions or go over previous ground – that had already been done efficiently behind the scenes.’

‘I dealt mainly with Alan Kennedy, who I could not recommend highly enough. He was extremely responsive to queries I sent via email or requests for phone conversations. His commercial attitude made my job so much easier as he was on the same page and had the right balance of advice between legal principles and commercial considerations. Alan without doubt went above and beyond the call of duty.’

Key clients

Mpac Group PLC

Vertu Motors PLC

Parkdean Resorts UK Ltd

AIG

Formica

Dnata Limited

Cumberland Building Society

Employment: Bristol Tier 1

With one of the largest employment teams in the South West, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP provides 'excellent knowledge of real business issues'. Its most notable clients include large, household name retailers and local and national public sector employers. The team also has notable sector specialities working with companies in energy, financial services, insurance and fast-moving consumer goods. Tim Woodward leads the team, specialising in pensions, employee incentives and industrial relations matters. Recently promoted partner Jo Martin offers significant experience in organisational change, discrimination and terminations, while Emma Doble has experience defending insured employers in tribunal matters.

Practice head(s):

Tim Woodward

Other key lawyers:

Jo Martin; Emma Doble

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge of real business issues and the need to have a realistic outcome. Very flexible and responsive in approach’

‘High level of skill and expertise in their subject area. Very approachable and responsive.’

‘Competitively priced, with a smooth invoicing and accounting system. Outside of formal casework, they are willing to participate in organisational development with in-house training events.’

‘Business and solution focused advice which is both sensible and practical. Overall excellent service with prompt and pragmatic responses to issues and a reassuringly coherent team that shares work to draw in the best thoughts and advice. Collaboration is good and the social value content of the service is particularly welcome.’

‘Tim Woodward is a professional of high integrity and has a gift for thinking through complex issues and giving clear, logical and sound advice. Added to that, his friendly and partnership approach successfully creates a great relationship and makes one feel like his only client.

‘Emma Doble has a significant amount of experience in dealing with ET claims and is efficient yet thorough. She is both measured and commercial as well as being extremely responsive to the needs of her clients.

‘One of the strengths of the team is their management of ET claims. They are commercial and pragmatic and manage claims efficiently and cost-effectively.’

Key clients

AIG

Government Legal Department

National Grid

Post Office

TSB

B&Q

Plymouth Community Homes

Corbin & King Restaurant Group Limited

kgb group

Barden Corporation

Plymouth Learning Partnership

Employment: Hampshire Tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is engaged by a broad roster of blue-chip corporate clients, education institutions and financial services providers on a range of employment law matters. The business ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic have seen the firm acting for domestic and multinational companies on collective contract revisions, restructurings and furlough implementation support. On the contentious side, the team acts as the defence on Employment Tribunal litigations, often with business-critical implications at stake. The team is jointly led by Jon Hales, who focuses on TUPE matters, and Christina Tolvas-Vincent, who heads up the retail employment sub-division. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Jon Hales; Christina Tolvas-Vincent

Other key lawyers:

Dan Fawcett

Testimonials

‘Great judgement, excellent collaborators.’

‘The team, led by Christina Tolvas-Vincent, is second to none for its employment expertise in the South of England. ’

‘Christina Tolvas-Vincent and Dan Fawcett are both formidable litigators who are always alive to the client’s commercial needs and know how best tactically to achieve them. ’

‘I regularly go to Christina Tolvas-Vincent for employment law advice. She always listens carefully and gives a considered response.’

Key clients

B&Q Plc

Post Office Ltd

Signet Trading Ltd (H Samuel and Ernest Jones)

Carnival Plc

Ordnance Survey Ltd

Associated British Ports

Colgate-Palmolive Group

Quilter

Arts University Bournemouth

NICE Systems UK Ltd

LV=

Sunseeker International Ltd

Southampton City College

Transdev plc

National Farmers Union

EU and competition Tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's 'strong' Bristol-based team provides contentious and non-contentious competition law services, with substantial experience in litigation for both claimants and defendants, and in negotiations with the CMA. The group is led by 'savvy litigatorAndrij Jurkiw, who is praised by clients for having 'a solid grasp of competition economics', with experience in investigations by competition authorities in the UK and EU.

Practice head(s):

Andrij Jurkiw

Testimonials

‘Andrij Jurkiuw has longstanding experience at the sharp end of competition law and a pragmatic approach.’

‘When it came to billing, the team provided me with clear and reliable costs estimates to enable me to budget for the project. I have never had any nasty surprises with fees.’

‘Andrij Jurkiw has quickly become a close and trusted adviser to our business and team. He provides robust and clear advice. During the time I have instructed Andrij he has attended a number of internal meetings with me and gained the trust and confidence of the business at the highest level.’

‘A strong team, with clear thinking and an understanding of clients’ needs.’

‘Andrij Jurkiw is a highly accomplished competition lawyer who is very thorough and will leave no stone unturned in representing a client. He has longstanding experience of CMA investigations and procedures, and knows how to turn matters to his advantage.’

‘Andrij Jurkiw is a former City law firm partner who brings over 20 years of expertise in EU and competition law to the South West region. He is really excellent on resale price maintenance, internet bans and exclusivity, and has a solid grasp of competition economics. A savvy litigator who is familiar with Competition Appeal Tribunal procedure and strategy for competition damages claims.’

‘Andrij Jurkiw is a good communicator with clients and counsel. He is hands on and forms his own opinion on the case, which is very helpful to strength test arguments and strategy. He plans meticulously for court deadlines and client explanations.’

‘A solid competition practice.’

Key clients

Michael Martin

Centrica Group

George Rye & Sons Limited

E.S. Pipelines Ltd

TVS Europe Distribution Limited

Health and safety Tier 1

Led by the extremely well regarded Jon Cooper, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP offers a full set of advisory and contentious services to its client base. It receives a significant number of instructions on investigations and prosecutions, acting on behalf of both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and commercial clients. The team also offers non-contentious advice on enforcement and operational matters and provides strategic advice to company boards. It has particular experience advising energy, retail, construction, transport and healthcare clients. Stephen Panton and Stephen Covell are also highly regarded members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Jon Cooper

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Covell; Stephen Panton; Ashley Borthwick

Testimonials

‘The very deep specialist knowledge is unrivalled and enables the team to give a sophistication of approach that is unparalleled. This technical knowledge when combined with a very broad and innate commercial understanding, makes the team second to none.’

‘Without question Jon Cooper’s specialist knowledge in health and safety is unequalled, his advice and support is incredibly valuable to our organisation.’

‘The team at Womble Bond Dickinson are always available to take a call and share their knowledge with our organisation. They have assisted me on several occasions with specific challenges and they provide a level of confidence following our conversations. The team have delivered awareness sessions and briefings with our management team, this level of collaboration good to see and appreciated by our operational managers. ’

‘Ashley Borthwick is hugely responsive, I have complete trust in him. Ashley is at his best when you know he is absolutely in the real detail of the law, but advises you in a hugely practical and business-friendly way. A huge asset and trusted advisor.’

‘All the team at Womble Bond Dickinson are approachable and easy to work with. A special mention needs to be given to Jon Cooper and Ashley Borthwick – I consider their knowledge and professionalism to be second to none. ’

‘My interaction is channelled via one person/partner who consults with specialists in his team if required, ensuring a comprehensive service.’

‘Stephen Panton’s clarity of thought, direction, guidance alongside an ability to interact with a range of colleagues as required is highly valued.’

Key clients

Babcock International Group

B&Q Plc

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Post Office Limited

RWE Innogy

Southern Co-operative Limited

Northern Powergrid

Calderys UK Limited

Carlsberg UK

Princess Yachts Limited

AIG

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

The market commends Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s ‘wide breadth of technical expertise’, which it utilises to handle a full range of insolvency and restructuring work, including transactions involving insolvent companies, public interest investigations, asset recovery investigations and related litigation. Clients also praise the team’s ability to tap into the firm’s wider resources, both at national as well as international level. The practice advises a varied client portfolio consisting of insolvency practitioners, financial sector clients and lenders, creditors, and companies and their management; it also benefits from the firm’s wider strength in sectors such as leisure, energy, retail, manufacturing and charity, among others. The highly regarded trio Julian Gill, Sally Dallow and Peter Maxwell jointly lead the department, where associate Asa Buchanan is also singled out.

Practice head(s):

Julian Gill; Sally Dallow; Peter Maxwell

Other key lawyers:

Asa Buchanan

Testimonials

‘The firm has a wide breadth of technical expertise. The insolvency team can call upon individuals with specific knowledge. We recently had a case involving the FCA and the relevant team was engaged to deal with the matter. All staff members are extremely easy to work with.’

‘Our main contacts are Julian Gill and Asa Buchanan. Julian Gill not only has the technical knowledge but applies that knowledge in a practical way. He finds solutions to problems. Asa Buchanan deals with matters in an efficient way and takes the pressure off our team.’

‘National relationship – fantastic firm. Strength and depth second to none regionally and nationally. Very collaborative approach and sector expertise makes them stand out.’

‘Julian Gill – without doubt the number one insolvency and advisory lawyer I know. Very good technical knowledge, commercial and adept at problem solving.’

‘WBD’s team has great strength in depth and the ability to draw on experience across the group, which means it can provide support on the most complex of matters. The international capabilities are also attractive when dealing across jurisdictions.’

‘Asa Buchanan – clear guidance and advice, delivered in a timely manner, in a client-friendly way.’

‘This practice remains dominant in the North East. It is able to cater for a wide range of clients and it is extremely useful to have a range of specialisms that it is able to draw into situations. One example of this is a case where we required construction law capability which was available to us but overseen by the insolvency department. A very good settlement was obtained.’

‘Julian Gill remains the lead partner and is extremely well known and regarded in the North East. An up-and-coming star is Asa Buchanan who is developing a good reputation. A high-quality partner in relation to insolvency litigation is Peter Maxwell. Peter Maxwell has a desire to understand the detail of a matter to ensure that the correct approach is taken at every stage.’

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group

Santander

FRP Advisory Trading LLP

RSM UK Group LLP

KPMG LLP

PwC

Begbies Traynor

Grant Thornton (UK) LLP

KSA Group

The Insolvency Service

Mazars

Manolete Partners plc

CVR Global

BDO

Azets

IT and telecoms Tier 1

The 'highly professional, well managed and organised team' at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP advises tech service providers as well as businesses from the health, retail and energy sectors. In recent years the firm has been increasingly active in the fintech and insurtech markets, advising a number of online banks and insurance companies. Managing associate Howard Duckworth is the key practitioner in the region for transactional work, and assists with commercial and data protection issues in the retail and financial services sectors. The group also has a strong contentious offering; Andrew Parsons represents parties in disputes relating to distressed IT projects, contested software licences and website development issues.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Mitton

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Parsons; Howard Duckworth; Sheilah Mackie

Testimonials

‘The team is large and comprises very good practitioners’

‘I have been able to develop an excellent working relationship with Howard Duckworth. Howard has worked with me on QFP’s strategic partner relationships/contracts for a number of years now and – whilst he maintains an appropriate level of impartiality (advice) – he works with me as if he were a QFP insider, able to point out the risks brought by supplier proposals, but proffering pragmatic solutions.’

‘Flexible approach, willingness to vary balance between work carried by firm and that by in-house team even within the same matter.’

‘Excellent culture which fits well with the way our organisation works. Very easy to work with and presents themselves as part of the in-house team working seamlessly with the Legal team and our commercial colleagues. Very fair and efficient with briefing calls, estimates and billing. Provide MI in a very useful way and always seeking feedback to improve ways of working. Excellent all round relationship. ’

‘Howard Duckworth has great technical strength and knowledge which he delivers with an excellent bedside manner. He understands the in-house/ external/commercial dynamic completely and provides user friendly advice with options and recommendations. He has advised on some important, strategic matters (including in relation to a business critical, high value cloud re-platforming for equity release business and time-bound negotiation of an extension, exit and termination of a business critical software development contract providing strategic legal advice, preparing all relevant documentation and helping with a smooth and orderly exit) and he is prepared to roll his sleeves up on smaller matters when needed. He has a calm approach and is totally reliable.’

‘Responsive, accommodating and strong mix of technical legal skills and appreciation of commercial needs and realities.’

‘Attention to detail and very thorough in approach. Strong and up-to-date knowledge of case law and its practical application. Take the time to understand the business and its requirements and therefore how best to approach commercial negotiations.’

Key clients

AIG / American Insurance Group

B&Q

Carnival Corporation plc

G Forces Web Management Limited

Hibu (owner of Yell.com / Yellow Pages)

Historic England (formerly known as English Heritage)

Kingfisher plc / Kingfisher Information Technology Services

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society / LV=

Ministry of Justice

National Farmers’ Union

NHS Digital

Post Office Limited

Ordnance Survey

Quilter Cheviot

Quilter Financial Services

Quilter plc

Scottish Power

Unicard

Vizion Network Limited

IT and telecoms Tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's IP, technology and data department has an impressively broad practice and is on the UK government's Crown Commercial Service panel. The group also assists the firm's insurance and financial sector clients, providing advice on outsourcing and critical equipment regulation and, increasingly, in relation to fintech issues. In addition to outsourcing work, the team advises technology companies on licensing and issues pertaining to the scaling-up of their businesses. The team is led by commercial IT and technology lawyer Alastair Mitton, who has 'excellent knowledge of all matters relating to technology'. Gareth Jones is an experienced IT procurement specialist. Associate Georgie Morgan-Giles is a commercial lawyer with an increasing presence in the technology space.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Mitton

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Jones; Georgie Morgan-Giles; Niki Asprou

Testimonials

‘Strong on IT outsourcing contracts.’

‘They have a flexible approach and are willing to vary the balance between work carried by the firm and by the in-house team, even within the same matter.

‘We used Womble Bond Dickinson for data-related matters due to their expertise in this niche legal area and the enthusiasm expressed by the staff to get involved and tackle the matters at hand. WBD has also helpfully supported us during a difficult and busy year with seconded staff.’

‘The team has an excellent understanding of what an in-house legal team values and is always on hand to provide first-class advice and assistance. The team is always responsive and deals with matters on time and within budget.’

What really sets them apart is the time they have spent to understand our business, as well as the way in which we like to contract, which means that their advice and contracts are always tailored. Even if a new member of the team works on our matters, they have already been briefed on what’s important to us and key issues are identified.’

The team is always flexible on fee structures and has been willing to help with short-term capacity issues. This includes making dedicated resource available on secondment and, separately, within their team at competitive rates for particularly busy periods. This has been invaluable during the global pandemic. On a personal level, the team is always a joy to work with and are professional and approachable.’

‘Alastair Mitton has an excellent knowledge of all matters relating to technology. His expertise is invaluable as he understand the products the business is purchasing and how these will be integrated into the business’ IT environment. This means that his advice identifies areas of real importance, allowing us to efficiently manage key risks within the business.’

Pensions Tier 1

The large, dedicated practice at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a national client base. The group is noted for its core specialisms; regulatory expert Suzanne Duff maintains close links to key bodies such as the DWP, while Tracy Walsh heads up the public and voluntary sector pensions unit, cementing the firm’s reputation for excellence in that field. In addition to its strong reputation for advisory work, the practice also has a proven track record in handling contentious pensions work. Martin Poore leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Martin Poore

Other key lawyers:

Suzanne Duff; Tracy Walsh

Testimonials

‘The team is dynamic, collaborative and solutions-focused, and provides a high quality and value service.’

‘The team provides practical solutions to challenging issues. They understand us, our business and the sector we work within.’

‘Tracy Walsh has a vast experience of pensions and in particular local government and SHPS schemes. She is able to communicate technical solutions to a wide audience.’

‘The practice was recommended to me by a colleague. The advice required was complex and required an in-depth understanding of our position. The team were able to bring themselves up to speed quickly. The advice given was extremely beneficial to us and with their help we were able to complete the process smoothly and quickly, meeting a very tight deadline.’

‘The individuals I worked with were extremely professional at all times. They took time to understand our requirements, they demonstrated insight and a pragmatic approach to a difficult situation.’

‘Very professional and very reactive to new legislation.’

‘I have dealt with the Pensions Practice at WBD for over 15 years and find them excellent to deal with. They give clear and concise advice and will not unless absolutely necessary surround it with a lot of caveats. They have adapted extremely well to the new working environment and have used the technology available.’

‘The partner I work with is Suzanne Duff who is an outstanding lawyer with huge experience in pension matters. She always looks for a solution and is not afraid to stand her ground when the other sides’ lawyers disagree. ’

Key clients

Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited (LV=)

Northern Powergrid (North East) plc

Trustees of the British Safety Council Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Futamura British Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Go-Ahead Group Pension Plan

The Trustees of the Newcastle Building Society Pension and Assurance Scheme

Trustees of the Sapa Holdings Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Trustee of the VA Tech (UK) Pension Scheme

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

The 'marvellous' team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is singled out by one client for its 'enviable strength in depth', and its ability to 'always have a lawyer available with specialist knowledge in their chosen field'. The group handles a wide range of contentious and advisory matters on behalf of high-net-worth individuals, often advising those with assets both in the US and UK. Simon Kirkup, David Dale and Helen Tavroges oversee the practice, which also includes tax planning expert George Lyall, legal director Deborah Jude and managing associate Emily Pike.

Practice head(s):

David Dale; Helen Tavroges; Simon Kirkup

Other key lawyers:

George Lyall; Emily Pike; Deborah Jude

Testimonials

‘A marvellous team. Hugely focused on client care. Their clients are at the centre of all they do. They are professional, responsive and are operating at the top of their area(s) of expertise.’

‘Womble Bond Dickinson have looked after my family’s affairs for over seventy years. We have always received a first class service. They provide excellent advice on a range of legal matters and they always have a lawyer available with specialist knowledge in their chosen field.’

‘The WBD team are extremely responsive and attentive. I know that my main contact, George Lyall, is always available at the end of the phone or by email. I think for a large firm, the personal touch is excellent. All the team members I have worked with work in a joined up, timely and professional manner. I can’t fault WBD.’

‘The team stands out to me because of its stability and its enviable strength in depth, combined with the calibre of its individual members. The team is an institution in its own right, and advises a sophisticated client base in complex matters to a high level. The team is clearly comfortable operating at the top of the professional field.’

‘Emily Pike is excellent and understanding.’

‘Simon Kirkup is the partner who deals with our affairs . He has a wide knowledge and I cannot recommend him more highly.’

‘My instructions come specifically from Emily Pike. I was amazed just now when I looked at the website and found she only qualified in 2008. Her legal and technical knowledge, and assured handling of me and the clients, are terrific. They suggested to me someone who has been in practice for very much longer. She has been extremely good at keeping me informed of developments. The documents she produces – from instructions, to notes of meetings, to complex trust documents – are exemplary. I cannot praise her enough!’

‘George Lyall, just an excellent level of personal support and professional understanding of our needs.’

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 1

Acting on behalf of national and international clients, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's team is described as 'first class and excellent value for money', offering strong advice on tax, trust and estate planning, as well as more specialised private wealth matters. Drawing on its network of offices in the US, the team has significant expertise in US/UK cross-border matters, in particular those involving offshore trusts. It is additionally experienced working with landed estates, charities, and in institutional matters. Mark Woodward leads the team from Bristol, often working alongside trust specialist Christopher Kerr-Smiley and recent addition James Radcliffe on the firm's high-value cross-border work.

Practice head(s):

Mark Woodward

Other key lawyers:

James Radcliffe; Christopher Kerr-Smiley

Testimonials

‘The whole terms comprises of very different characters and personalities –  they offer something for everyone.’

‘Mark Woodward has the best client care approach I have ever come across.’

‘Christopher Kerr-Smiley is encyclopaedic in terms of his knowledge, tax planning and approach.’

‘Mark Woodward and his team are first class and excellent value for money.’

‘Brilliant drafting, wonderfully clear communication, practical advice, and great client service.’

Professional negligence Tier 1

The specialist professional negligence team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP covers the full range of claims, including those concerning surveyors, construction contractors, accountants, barristers, and IT professionals. The 'first-rate' lead partner in the Southampton team is James Robins, who is highly experienced in a wide range of claims. Associate Ivan Roots is known for his work regarding defence of claims by financial institutions, while associate Helen Creech specialises in the defence of professional risk claims.

Practice head(s):

James Robins

Other key lawyers:

Ivan Roots; Helen Creech; Sarah Tivey

Testimonials

‘This is a first-rate practice. Meticulous, calm and measured approach from the whole team and excellent value for money. ’

‘James Robbins is excellent. First-rate lawyer with a calm and measured approach, very easy to work with and highly responsive. Ivan Roots, Sarah Tivey and Helen Creech are also excellent lawyers. ’

‘This team is able to draw on specialist legal knowledge, skills and experience across the wider firm, a vital strength when tackling litigation that can cover disputes based on a wide variety of factual scenarios and applicable legislation. Their service is friendly, prompt, efficient and competent but not at the cost of thoroughness.’

‘James Robins is a safe but imaginative pair of hands, a rare combination of prudence and courage. You feel that while he is completely on your side he will not shy away from giving you unwelcome news and he does everything possible to find a solution.’

‘Womble Bond Dickinson have strength in depth in this area. They have a particularly good understanding of the needs of insured defendants and provide an excellent service defending claims against such parties and advising insurers in relation to such disputes.’

‘James Robins and Helen Creech are first class. They combine proficiency in the law with excellent pragmatic judgment and are brilliant with clients too.’

‘Good service-led team who are both practical and commercial in their approach.’

Property litigation Tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP impresses with its 'wealth of talent from partner-level down and a constant stream of top drawer work.' The team is sought after by public and private sector clients from the energy, retail and telecoms fields. Its offering covers the full gamut of commercial, residential and agricultural matters. James Rees leads the Bristol-group and is a got-to counsel for both landlords  and tenants. Sasha Hinton is well versed in property management and general commercial property disputes. Managing associate Naomi Cunningham is experienced in contentious telecoms and service charge matters.

Practice head(s):

James Rees

Other key lawyers:

Sasha Hinton; Naomi Cunningham

Testimonials

‘Always available, professional, understanding, engaged, focused, timely and with on-point solutions.’

‘Womble Bond Dickinson have first rate property litigation department. They have a wealth of talent from partner level down and a constant stream of top drawer work. I have worked with them for at least 15 years and dealt with a variety of commercial landlord and tenant matters, cases which have always been managed and prepared to the highest standard. I have recommended them to a number of other clients because I cannot think of a safer pair of hands for real estate work.’

‘Very strong property litigation team with a lot of experience of infrastructure related disputes.’

‘James Rees is a very experienced and knowledgable solicitor.’

‘The team are very client focused. They always think of the best legal team to use and when, and how, it is best to use Counsel. They are a very nice firm to work with.’

‘ James Rees gets on top of a dispute from the outset. He always structures the best team for the job and helps formulate and lead a sound strategy to resolve disputes quickly and cost effectively.’

‘Naomi Cunningham  is good at looking at problems from more than one angle, and she can be very persuasive in negotiations.’

‘Sasha Hinton – since promotion to partner, she has become a real presence in the sector and deals with some of the firm’s biggest clients and works hard to achieve results.’

Key clients

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Ministry of Justice (Estates Directorate)

National Grid

New Look Retailers Limited

River Island Clothing Co. Limited

NPower

RO Group

Majestic Wines

National Trust

AA

Property litigation Tier 1

In the words of a client, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s sizeable team is ‘brilliant to work with, careful, thoughtful and practical’. The practice undertakes contentious property work for landlords and tenants, national developers, large investors and public sector bodies, among others. Clients also benefit from the team’s use of WBD Advance, a digital platform used for the purpose of demanding tasks such as due diligence assignments, documents reviews and legal project management. Splitting time between Newcastle and Leeds, senior counsel Jen Smurthwaite serves as national leader of the property litigation group. Elizabeth Allen has significant credentials in the residential property litigation arena. Associate Elspeth Moncrieff is also singled out by clients; she specialises in a wide range of commercial property disputes, including complex contractual claims.

Practice head(s):

Jen Smurthwaite

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Allen; Elspeth Moncrieff

Testimonials

‘Brilliant to work with, careful, thoughtful and practical. They are fabulous to work with; they are great at working as a team; and they are realistic about what can be achieved. Their key strengths are in dealing with technically complex legal disputes in a practical manner which is efficient.’

‘The team has a rich understanding and experience of property litigation and has a deep and broad understanding of the wider industry issues affecting our business. The team works collaboratively and closely with our in-house legal and operational teams to the extent that we forget that they are external advisors – we feel as though they are part of our in-house team and business. We find them to be very transparent and courteous. Overall, a very pragmatic team who we turn to when we need someone to steer us through choppy waters and to hold our hand when we need support.’

‘Jen Smurthwaite is simply excellent, a class act. Not only is Jen an excellent property litigator, her ability to cut through vast amounts of information deftly, without fuss, and come up with extremely sensible and realistic solutions is what stands out for us. She is an unassuming opponent, not to be underestimated and never rubs people up the wrong way. What also stands Jen apart is her human side and this impacts on the way in which she delivers her advice. She knows what worries us and she goes out of her way to alleviate any concerns, taking them upon her shoulders.’

‘I have worked with WBD’s property litigation team on a number of commercial property lease renewal cases and have been been particularly impressed by their straightforward, efficient, proactive and friendly approach.’

‘Elspeth Moncrieff has been a pleasure to work with. She is reliable, helpful, prompt at dealing with queries and provides sensible, timely advice which is much appreciated.’

‘Elpseth Moncrieff is incredibly clear-minded with sound commercial sense. She works in a collaborative manner, in order to achieve the best result for the client. She was carefully considered in her tactical approach to the case and negotiations at all turns, adapting strategy where necessary and to suit the specific realities.’

‘We have been dealing with Womble Bond Dickinson for the best part of 18 months now and they have been working closely with us on a number of different matters. We have had relationships with different lawyers in the past, and no firm has provided the service that WBD has. They are consistently supportive and have provided us with invaluable advice, as well as all being genuine and down-to-earth people. They are flexible and are always willing to be cooperative, even if the time may be inconvenient.’

Key clients

Airwave Solutions

Bernicia Group

Akelius

Standard Life Trustee Company

Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's Bristol agriculture, farms and estates team is part of a large national practice easements, sales, tenancies and purchases for a variety of clients including farms, landed estates and banks. It has solid relationships with many trusts and charities, for whom it focuses on land development and sales. The practice is led by Simon Kirkup in Newcastle; key figures in Bristol include the 'very experienced and knowledgeable' senior counsel Robert Drewett, and Laura Brodie, who specialises in property transactions.

Practice head(s):

Robert Drewett; Simon Kirkup

Other key lawyers:

Laura Brodie

Testimonials

‘A very experienced and knowledgeable team who are all very supportive of each other.’

‘Robert Drewett is very experienced and knowledgeable; always willing to help and seek out answers to questions. Nothing is too much trouble.’

 

Key clients

National Trust

Grainger PLC

Church Commissioners

English Heritage

The Society of Merchant Venturers

St Monica Trust

National Farmers Union

Agricultural Mortgage Corporation

RwE

Commercial litigation: Bristol Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's 'very experienced' dispute resolution group attracts praise for its 'ability to handle multi-disciplinary cases'. Practice head Stephen Dilley is highlighted as 'a formidable litigator who deploys an iron fist in a velvet glove'; he handles a range of commercial disputes with particular experience in the insurance, financial, insolvency and renewables sectors. Other names to note include managing associate Victoria Brooks for renewable energy and retail disputes, and associate Mandy Robertson, who advises insurance, retail, banking and financial services clients on a range of commercial issues including data protection breaches and directors disputes.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Dilley

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Brooks; Mandy Robertson

Testimonials

‘Have continued to work seamlessly as a team, regardless of the operational constraints of lockdown and the fact they are working remotely. Very good at ensuring value for the client by ensuring higher fee earners supervise, whilst lower fee earners do the day to day work.’

‘Stephen Dilley is very committed to getting the best for his clients and going the extra mile to understand their commercial and personal drivers.’

‘Stephen Dilley is a formidable litigator who deploys an iron fist in a velvet glove, quilted through years of experience acting for discerning commercial clients. He knows what the client wants and how to get there. When recommending a Bristol-based commercial solicitor (or indeed South West) to my most demanding clients, Stephen is without doubt the ‘go-to’.

‘Womble Bond Dickinson bring a very experienced and capable team to bear when running commercial litigation. They work collectively, both internally and with instructed counsel to ensure that no stone is left unturned.’

‘Stephen Dilley – brings a sense of calm capability to a case, underlining his talent and experience. He spots issues that others might miss.’

‘The team led by the indefatigable Stephen Dilley has recently been instructed on some of the most complex and high value business protection litigation in the High Court, especially in the area of restrictive covenants, confidentiality and team moves. Their strength lies in their unique ability to handle multi-disciplinary cases involving the cross-over between company, commercial, employment and partnership disputes.’

‘Stephen Dilley is very amiable and honest. He takes on board objectives and clearly sets out risks involved as part of strategy discussions.’

Key clients

Renewable Energy Assurance Limited (REAL)

AIG

Liverpool Victoria (LV=)

Plymouth University

British Gas Trading Limited

Friends Life (now part of Aviva)

QVC

Npower

The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation plc

Commercial litigation: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's dispute resolution group is praised for its 'good tactical sense and collaboration that leaves no stone unturned in litigation'. It has an impressive client roster ranging from large local clients to national plcs and counts energy, insurance, financial services, insolvency, pensions, transport, retail and consumer disputes among its specialisms. The Plymouth-based practice is led by Gareth Kagan, who has particular expertise in disputes involving fraud, injunctive relief and anti-avoidance transactions. Other names to note include managing associates Andrew Wilson (who combines commercial litigation, enforcement and insolvency experience) and Luke Holmes, who is experienced in breach of contract and tort claims.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Kagan

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Wilson; Luke Holmes; Rebecca Hunter; Chris Hoile

Testimonials

‘WBD’s team bring a collective of years experience, good tactical sense and collaboration that leaves no stone unturned in litigation.’

‘Chris Hoile is an up and coming litigator.’

Key clients

Renewable Energy Assurance Limited (REAL)

AIG

Liverpool Victoria (LV=)

Plymouth University

British Gas Trading Limited

Friends Life (now part of Aviva)

QVC

Npower

The Agricultural Mortgage Corporation plc

Commercial property: Bristol Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has considerable sector expertise in the following: energy projects, rail infrastructure, and public sector development. It also advises national and regional clients on secured lending property finance and institutional investments, for which Andrew Harding  is a key contact. The group further acts for local authorities. Head of the Bristol office Fiona O’Kane, energy specialist Simon Hughes and transaction expert Katherine Douglas jointly lead the real estate practice.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Douglas; Simon Hughes; Fiona O’Kane

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Harding 

Key clients

Bristol City Council

Renewable Energy Systems Limited

Post Office Limited

Ashfield Land Limited

Majestic Wine Warehouses Limited

University of Plymouth

South Gloucestershire District Council

West Devon Borough Council

REG Windpower Limited

Freightliner Group Limited

Centrica

Brittany Ferries

North Somerset Council

Scottish Power Renewables

RWE

Lloyds Bank Plc

Bristol Charities

Nuon Renewables

English Cities Fund

Plymouth Community Homes

HSBC

Rentplus UK Limited

Plessey

Rittal

Corporate and commercial: Bristol Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's Bristol team is best known for its work in the energy sector, with an additionally strong transactional offering for private equity, insurance and real estate clients. The firm has incorporated innovation into its platform, utilising WBD Advance which aids with due diligence, document review and risk management. The team is led by M&A and private equity investment specialist Simon Hewes, who works alongside Tom Fitzpatrick. Managing associate Sammy Hill is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Simon Hewes

Other key lawyers:

Tom Fitzpatrick; Sammy Hill; Alex Fergus

Key clients

Vitol Group (Vitol SA)

Third Energy Holdings Limited

Noble Energy Inc

OVO Energy Limited

RWE Npower

Piper PE LLP

Dunedin LLP

Rockpool Investments LLP

Puma Private Equity

Willis Towers Watson plc (including Innovisk Capital Partners)

Arch Insurance

Banner Limited

Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative Limited

Debt recovery Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP handles a wide range of debt recovery work for national and international clients. Practice head and litigator Stephen Dilley  as well as managing associate Andrew Wilson are the names to note.

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Dilley; Andrew Wilson

Energy, project finance and PFI Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP impresses with its wide offering, which encompasses oil and gas, CCUS and hydrogen, wind and solar, and energy infrastructure, among others. The team is active in transactions, developments, projects and disputes and is led by Edinburgh-based Richard CockburnChristopher Towner is well versed in the power and renewable area. Simon Hughes has experience in real estate elements of infrastructure developments and Charles Robson is a key contact in financing matters.

Practice head(s):

Richard Cockburn

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Towner; Simon Hughes; Charles Robson; Luke Holmes

Key clients

Babcock Offshore MCS Aviation

Centrica

Chariot

Chrysaor

Cuadrilla Resources

East Anglia Offshore Wind Ltd

EDF Energy Renewables Ltd

Edge Petroleum

Endeavour

Energie Baden Wurttemberg

Equinor

EQT Infrastructure

Macquarie

National Grid

National Tube Stockholders (NTS)

Noble Energy, Inc.

OMV

Petrofac

Renewable Energy Generation

Renewable Energy Systems

RWE

Schlumberger

Scottish Power Renewables / Scottish Power Generation

Serica Energy

Shell

Statkraft

Sumitomo Corporation

Tampnet

Tekmar Energy Limited

Temporis Fund

The Oil and Gas Authority

The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG)

Third Energy

Total E&P UK Limited

VAALCO

Vitol Group (Vitol SA and Vitol E&P)

Environment Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has experience in representing clients in investigations and prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and local authorities. It also covers regulatory compliance and transactional support. Practice head Jon Cooper's know-how spans health, safety and environment law. Legal director Sarah Holmes covers the interface with consenting and other regimes.

Practice head(s):

Jon Cooper

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Panton; Sarah Holmes

Testimonials

‘The team has a depth and breadth of working knowledge and experience that they bring together collaboratively to provide practical solutions that have the client’s needs and success in mind.’

‘Sarah Holmes has incredible expertise and is able to convey complex issues in simple plain English that allows decision making that supports our strategic goals. I have used her to speak at public events on a number of occassions as I know she is eloquent, helpful and a safe pair of hands. I frequently recommend her and her work.’

‘Dedicated team with real expertise in environmental matters, particularly litigation. ’

‘Jon Cooper: great strategic brain and excellent with clients.’

‘Stephen Panton: always on top of the detail and excellent knowledge of the law.’

‘Personable interaction and diversity of knowledge, immediate response to request of help and advise.’

‘Approachable with in depth knowledge in a variety of subjects and willing to discuss and advise at all times including out of hours. Do not force their opinion but offer good sound advice to be able to form a resolution to a situation.’

Key clients

North Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, West of England Combined Authority

The Crown Estate Commissioners

Ambition Community Energy

Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited (NRIL)

Health and safety Tier 2

The health and safety team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is known for its track record in a number of the leading cases over the years. The firm provides a full range of services, contentious and non-contentious, with examples of the latter including strategic advice of reputational importance to corporates and public bodies. Key sectors for the team include energy, retail, construction, manufacturing and transport. Practice head Jon Cooper is 'best in the business' for Crown Censure proceedings  and other public inquiries, according to one client. Stephen Panton is also a name of note, particularly in suspected corporate and gross negligence manslaughter investigations, and appeals against statutory notices.

Practice head(s):

Jon Cooper; Stuart Wardlaw

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Panton; Stephen Covell; Ashley Borthwick; Francesca Hodgson

Testimonials

‘Expert advice, really practical guidance, understanding of corporate sensitivities, faultless responsiveness and really approachable. Great people to work with.’

‘The team are dedicated to the best outcome for their clients. What makes them unique is their understanding – beyond their competitors – of the strategic advantages they can win by using a profound understanding of the Law and how it is appleid in practice.’

‘WBD runs an excellent and very supportive health and safety practice.’

Key clients

Babcock International Group (including Babcock Networks, Babcock Rail and Babcock Marine (DRDL))

B&Q Plc

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Post Office Limited

RWE Innogy

Southern Co-operative Limited

Northern Powergrid

Calderys UK Limited

Carlsberg UK

Princess Yachts Limited

AIG

IT and telecoms Tier 2

Corporate specialist Caroline Churchill heads up the offering at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, and brings her commercial expertise to bear on a wide variety of non-contentious technology and data protection work, including advising on a wide range of contracts issues and privacy law matters. Another core team member is James Cooper, who has experience advising on a broad range of IT and technology projects. The firm focuses particularly on notable clients from the financial services, manufacturing, transport and retail sectors.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Churchill

Other key lawyers:

James Cooper

Testimonials

‘We have had various legal requirements which WBD have been able to handle in a professional and timely fashion on each occasion. They have been able to offer sound and practical advice, not sitting on the fence.’

‘The partner I deal with has taken her time to understand our business, the way we operate, what we are trying to achieve and how she can ensure that her advice and documents meet these needs. Often I haven’t thought of the complexities that she has, and this has been through her truly understanding the matter at hand.’

Key clients

Home Leisure Direct Ltd

Local government Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has notable experience in advising on heat projects, regeneration and development projects. The team also assists councils with procurement documents, defending and bringing challenges and joint venture structures as well as regulatory law and governance. Practice head Jonathan Bower focuses on the delivery of infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Bower

Other key lawyers:

Charles Robson

Key clients

Hampshire County Council

City of York Council

West Lancashire Borough Council

Cardiff Council

Havant Borough Council

North Somerset Council

Telford & Wrekin Borough Council

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

The Borough of Broxbourne

South Gloucestershire Council

Bath & NE Somerset Council

West Berkshire Council

Fareham Borough Council

Portsmouth City Council

Bristol City Council

South Tees Development Corporation (STDC)

Planning Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP impresses with regular involvement in infrastructure projects, DCOs, particularly in the energy, waste and transport sectors, regeneration, development and re-development schemes. The team also advises acquiring authorities and claimants on compulsory purchase/compensation, and it handles contentious planning matters; Victoria Redman is an experienced practitioner here. Practice head Jonathan Bower deals with development consent orders and section 106 planning agreements, among others. Senior counsel Kevin Gibbs covers highways and compulsory purchase law. Managing associate Charlotte Coulson assists clients with the delivery of infrastructure and regeneration projects.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Bower

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Redman; Richard Guyatt; Kevin Gibbs; Charlotte Coulson

Testimonials

‘I have worked with this company as a client for a number of years. I know I can always pick up the phone and speak to someone. The advice is always excellent and there is an excellent attention to detail. From a diversity perspective, it is refreshing to see a lot of females doing well within the organisation.’

‘Victoria Redman: personable, strong communication, strong leadership of her team, excellent advice, knowledge of planning.’

‘Charlotte Coulson is personable and thorough, and provides excellent attention to detail.’

‘Jonathan Bower – excellent advice, calm, personable.’

‘The team have very strong team working skills, engaging with the project team in a seamless way and quickly making themselves indispensable. They have proved to be a very unifying influence at times when the core project team have been less than cohesive and they are trusted advisers to the project. On a personal level they are just very nice people to work with, approachable and friendly.’

‘The commitment of Richard Guyatt and Kevin Gibbs and the rest of the whole WBD team has consistently been very impressive. Whatever challenges arise, WBD have always been pro-active is setting out what needs to happen to resolve the issue. The depth and breadth of experience of WBD, in respect of the DCO process and rail industry, has been immeasurable asset for the project.’

 

Key clients

Bristol Airport

Sedgemoor District Council

Three Rivers District Council

Watford Borough Council

Fareham Borough Council

Sedgemoor District, Somerset West and Taunton Council, Somerset County Council and North Somerset Council

London Borough of Sutton

Rentplus UK

North Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, West of England Combined Authority

North Somerset Council

Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership

Ambition Lawrence Weston Community Energy

Copeland Borough Council

Maldon District Council

This is Gravity Limited

Planning and environment Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s ‘most open and collaborative legal team’ provides a wide range of services across sectors such as energy, transport and housing; it is a destination preferred by clients for high-value infrastructure projects and regeneration schemes. Managing associate Stephen Dagg leads the planning group and specialises in transport sector projects. Associate Kate Ashworth is also singled out by clients. Regulatory and environment group head Stuart Wardlaw left to join Addleshaw Goddard in Manchester in summer 2021.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Dagg

Other key lawyers:

Kate Ashworth; Francesca Hodgson; Rachel Sykes;

Testimonials

‘Womble Bond Dickinson’s team have assisted us across a range of complex projects and have provided a consistently high standard of advice alongside a responsive and personable attitude and approach.’

‘Kate Ashworth is extremely knowledgeable, highly responsive, diligent and personable. Kate has provided consistently sound strategic advice across a range of complex projects that we have worked on together. I frequently recommend Kate and her team to others.’

‘WBD’s team are the most open and collaborative legal team I have worked with. They embody a ‘project team’ ethos which is unique. Many law professionals can be intimidating to the non-legal members of the team, but WBD work to ensure a balanced and open working environment, which ultimately leads to more collaborative experience and better outcomes for the client.’

‘Working with Kate Ashworth has been a pleasure. She actively promotes the team ethos and is always available and happy to assist with any issues that arise. Her technical knowledge is second to none, yet she remains humble and not intimidating. I look forward to working with Kate on more projects in the future.’

‘This would be the go-to team for legal planning advice. The strength of experience within the team sets them apart from others.’

‘I worked with Stephen Dagg and Kate Ashworth. Stephen has built up a wealth of knowledge which is abundantly clear through the sound advice he provides. Kate is extremely diligent and her personality brings a bit of sparkle to the (sometimes staid) subject. Her command of the subject is such that she conducts training to non-legal professionals which is delivered in a very friendly manner.’

Key clients

Vauxhall Motors

Huntsman

Havant Borough Council

Chemoxy International

Vertellus Specialities UK

Banks Group

Augean plc

Northern Powergrid

Copeland Borough Council

Intu Properties Limited

Bellway Homes Limited

Three Rivers District Council

Persimmon Homes

Akelius Residential Property AB

B & Q Plc

Standard Life UK

Property litigation Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s property litigation team handles a range of contentious and strategic advisory mandates for well-known clients in the retail, telecoms and financial services industries. In addition, other clients include public sector organisations, local authorities and institutional landlords. Southampton office head Mark Barley specialises in technical marine and telecoms disputes, including riparian and foreshore rights. Vicki Young concentrates on commercial landlord and tenant matters, as well as property portfolio management issues. Andy Meatcher, who joined from Blake Morgan LLP, is experienced in commercial lease renewals. Caroline Larson and Lauren Meade are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mark Barley

Other key lawyers:

Vicki Young; Andy Meatcher; Caroline Larson; Lauren Meade

Key clients

The Crown Estate

Patrizia

Addington Capital

Babcock International Group

Associated British Ports

Carpetright

Ann Summers

Specsavers

Post Office

Halifax

Rail Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a strong track record of acting for train operators and manufacturers regarding major franchise extensions, rolling stock leases, and  procurements. It has particular niche expertise in the development of new stabling facilities and depots. 2020 saw the team advising Govia Thameslink Railway on Covid-19 Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements. Newcastle-based transport and infrastructure sector head David Rewcastle specialises in advising on passenger rail franchise bids and rolling stock procurement and leasing. He works alongside Paul Coleman, an expert in corporate and finance transactions, especially regarding asset leasing and structured finance. Associate solicitor Joseph Causer is a key contact regarding rolling stock leasing and maintenance agreements.

Practice head(s):

David Rewcastle

Other key lawyers:

Paul Coleman; Joseph Causer

Testimonials

‘A small but potent team of commercial rail lawyers. Expertise in franchise agreements, access contracts and rolling stock.’

‘A very strong transport team covering both the rail franchise and the associated arrangements. The partners have developed their associates well. They more than hold their own against the other heavyweight firms. Excellent delivery.’

‘David Rewcastle is thorough, careful, personable, commercial, very experienced in DfT and franchising.’

‘Paul Coleman has a huge brain and the ability to simplify things. He is very experienced in rolling stock contracts, depots and complex finance transactions.’

‘David Rewcastle and Paul Coleman stand out as providers of excellent advice.  Always pragmatic and very reactive to meeting client needs. They have strong knowledge of the business and beyond the legal arrangements, so advice is well tailored and suitably efficient.’

Key clients

Go-Ahead Group plc/Govia

Abellio

Govia Thameslink Railway

Southeastern

Arriva

Bombardier

Transdev

SNCF

Stadler

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

Social housing Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP handles a wide range of housing-related matters for local and national affordable housing providers, housing associations and other public sector bodies. The team is adept at handling contentious issues relating to tenancy management and anti-social behaviour, among others. The department is equally strong on the non-contentious side, where it acts on property transactions and property management matters. Nigel Emmerson heads up the housing group and stands out for his specialism in residential property. National real estate practice lead John Ralph is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Emmerson

Other key lawyers:

John Ralph

Testimonials

‘Excellent firm, offering a complete service across a wide range of areas.’

‘Excellent knowledge and understanding of our requirements as a client in terms of financial, funding and legal agreements.’

Key clients

Karbon Homes Limited

Bernicia Group

Places for People Homes

Home Group Limited

Royal Masonic Benevolent Institute

Banking and finance Tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is well versed in advising borrowers as well as lenders, including large high-street banks and public sector bodies; notably, the firm also continues to benefit from its 2021 reappointment to the panel of the National Westminster Bank. During the pandemic, the team has also been acting on coronavirus business interruption loan mandates and acquisition finance transactions. Leeds-based practice head John Connor has extensive experience in corporate transactions and has additional expertise in education sector financing.

Practice head(s):

John Connor

Other key lawyers:

Kirsty Lienard

Key clients

HSBC UK Bank PLC

Clydesdale Bank plc / Yorkshire Bank / Virgin Money

Lloyds Bank plc

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Cairngorm Capital

LDC

NorthEdge Capital

Endless LLP

Grainger PLC

Wykeland Group Limited

Venator PLC

Department for Education

The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty

PRAC Financial Limited

Europa Capital

British Engines

Kennelpak Limited

National Westminster Bank PLC

Commercial contracts Tier 3

Paula Bartlett leads the commercial group at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, which has a national network of offices to draw on and takes a notable sector-based approach to its commercial work. The team is particularly experienced in the manufacturing, retail and public industries. The commercial team is divided into five sub-teams, which focus on pure commercial contract work, competition issues, data and privacy mandates, IP matters and technology transactions. Rachel Scott is a key contact for clients in the transport and infrastructure sectors, Peter Snaith leads the manufacturing and chemicals groups, and legal director Lucy Pringle has expertise in supply chain issues.

Practice head(s):

Paula Bartlett

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Scott; Peter Snaith; Lucy Pringle

Testimonials

‘Very high degree of experience and wide reaching skillset. We usually go to Wombles for complex matters which require a higher level of intellect and commercial guile.’

‘Their expertise and knowledge have never failed us. That coupled with the impeccable customer service – I’d never look anywhere else for legal advice. We trust them entirely.’

‘The team understand and are very knowledgeable about the sectors I have worked in, in particular in the NE of England but with the ability to reach nationally and internationally. This allows them to understand what the client’s requirements really are, often when the client can’t describe them fully themselves! They are pragmatic and generally offer useful and actionable advice when asked rather than merely a ‘balanced’ legal view.’

‘Peter Snaith is excellent in leading a team of highly professional individuals in supporting a company’s needs across the breadth of corporate and commercial requirements.’

‘Peter Snaith – unfussy, approachable and good understanding of the big picture.’

Key clients

Ministry of Justice

Post Office Limited

Sterling Pharma Solutions

TSB Bank

ITV

AIG

New Look

PD Ports

Venator (Chemicals)

Thorn Lighting (and the wider Zumtobel Group)

Alpek Polyester

The Southern Co-operative Limited

Quilter plc (formerly Old Mutual Wealth)

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society (LV=)

Brittany Ferries

Department for Transport

Government Legal Department

South Tees Development Corporation and South Tees Site Company

Fentimans

Construction Tier 3

The arrival of experienced construction litigator Jessica Tresham (from Blake Morgan LLP) bolsters Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s contentious offering on the South coast. In the past year, the team has notably advised on multiple disputes between major utilities providers and local authorities, and complex contract termination matters. On the non-contentious side, major regeneration projects, refurbishments, and new builds are also core competencies - where Amy Hodge is a key contact for a myriad of construction, documentation, and procurement matters. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Jessica Tresham; Simon Rowland

Other key lawyers:

Amy Hodge

Testimonials

‘Jessica Tresham is a huge recruitment success for the firm, a real coup. She is the sort of person who makes things happen.’

‘Jessica Tresham absolutely knows her stuff. She leads her team really well but doesn’t dominate and lets more junior members be properly involved in ongoing matters.’

‘The team are very open, friendly and responsive. Good commercial advice is given with the intention of finding solutions, not trying to score points with the other side.’

‘The team is excellent to work for. They try to get ahead of the game as much as possible and are prepared to put time and effort in for their client to get a successful outcome.’

‘Jessica Tresham is simply excellent. Dedicated to her clients and on top of the law.’

‘The firm offers an experienced team of good listeners who quickly and without fuss get the job done. We will continue to go back to them for future projects’

‘Jess Tresham is a powerful, thought-provoking strategist available at the drop of a hat.’

Key clients

B&Q Limited

The Church Commissioners for England

The Bournemouth Development Company LLP

The Yard Theatre Limited

Stepnell Limited

Lifestory Limited

Ledwood Mechanical Engineering Limited

Quilter Business Services Limited

Hutchison 3G UK Limited

Corporate tax Tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's tax group in Bristol supports the firm's key practices, with a strong focus on the renewable energy sector. Team head Ronan Lowney also has expertise in international taxation, particularly assisting the firm's Scandinavian, German, Japanese and North American clients with investments in the UK, as well as advising financial institutions on common reporting standards.

Practice head(s):

Ronan Lowney

Key clients

Piper Private Equity

RES UK & Ireland

E.S. Pipelines Limited

Resonance Fund

Moorfield

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is ‘always helpful and quick to respond to requests’, and acts for a range of clients, including large corporations and government departments. The firm is active in international mandates and often works closely with its US counterparts to provide a joined-up service. The team handles contentious and non-contentious matters, including data security incidents, cross-border data transfers, outsourcing arrangements, SARs and general data protection and freedom of information compliance issues. Andrew Kimble leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Kimble

Other key lawyers:

Peter Given

Testimonials

‘Womble Bond Dickinson helpfully supported our team during a difficult and busy year’.

‘Andrew Kimble is the client contact partner and has been very helpful’.

‘Proactive, commercially aware and very willing to engage with the business’.

‘The team brings in other resources to help on ad-hoc questions that crop up without it materially impacting costs’.

Key clients

AIG

NHS Digital

B&Q/Kingfisher plc

Liverpool Victoria (LV= Life Insurance)

Quilter (formerly Old Mutual Wealth)

Department for Transport

Post Office Limited

Education: schools Tier 3

The full-service education team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP fields a team of school sector specialists, with a roster of clients including the DfE, school governing bodies, the ESFA and local authorities, as well as academy trusts, independent schools, diocesan trustees and boards of education. The practice has seen significant growth in academy conversion work, and regularly advises on transfers and complex re-brokerages. Kevin Robertson has particular expertise in local authority matters and commercial agreements; while Emma Moody, who leads the charities team, concentrates on constitutional and governance work for independent and free schools.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Robertson; Emma Moody

Testimonials

‘The team lead by Kevin Robertson are knowledgeable and skilful. Readily accessible and supportive. They have a clarity of purpose which instils confidence.’

‘As well as being highly efficient and skilled they also have excellent interpersonal skills.’

‘Their accessibility and rapid response makes them stand out as our preferred firm.’

‘Kevin Robertson is an outstanding individual.’

‘Exceptionally responsive and knowledgeable in all conversion and MAT issues.’

‘Their knowledge, communication and general attitude has been first class.’

Key clients

Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

Department for Education (DfE)

LocatEd

St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust

Eden Learning Trust

St Lawrence Education Trust

Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust

Waterton Academy Trust, Wakefield

Newcastle City Council

Castle Trust, Medway

Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School

Pocklington School

Vision Academy Learning Trust

Liverpool City Council

The Constellation Trust

Northumberland County Council

Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust

Skills for Life Trust, Kent

Sewell Education York Limited

Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust

Local government Tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP advises on procurement, joint ventures and governance matters. The team also advises on matters including health & safety.  Practice head Iain Greenshields  advises on state aid and procurement work, while Richard Collins and Francesca Hodgson have experience of procurement litigation work. Jonathan Bower specialises in major infrastructure projects, Will Fraser advises on regeneration projects, and Mark Owen and Martin Stacey advise on development work. Katherine Douglass  meanwhile advises on acquisitions and disposals.  Partner Deborah Ramshaw rejoined the team from Hempsons in November 2020 to lead the procurement unit.

Practice head(s):

Iain Greenshields

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Bower; Will Fraser; Mark Owen; Martin Stacey; Deborah Ramshaw; Francesca Hodgson; Richard Collins

Key clients

Hampshire County Council

City of York Council

West Lancashire Borough Council

Cardiff Council

Havant Borough Council

Newcastle City Council

North Somerset Council

Northumberland County Council

Sheffield City Council

Breckland Council & South Holland District Council

Telford & Wrekin Borough Council

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council

The Borough of Broxbourne

Durham County Council

South Gloucestershire Council

Bath & NE Somerset Council

Tees Valley Combined Authority

West Berkshire Council

Fareham Borough Council

Leeds City Council

Doncaster Borough Council

Portsmouth City Council

London Borough of Sutton

Kirklees MBC

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Allerdale Borough Council

Cumbria County Council

Bristol City Council

Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 3

At Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, the power group is active across renewable technologies, onshore and offshore wind projects, solar power and decommissioning matters. Headed by Edinburgh-based energy and natural resources specialist Richard Cockburn, the team advises on the full lifecycle of energy assets, while also providing regulatory expertise and handling disputes for large clients. Sebastian Briggs divides his time between London and Southampton, and is a key name for acquisitions and financings. Other key figures include Christopher Towner and Simon Hewes.

Practice head(s):

Richard Cockburn

Other key lawyers:

Sebastian Briggs; Christopher Towner; Simon Hewes

Key clients

Cardiff Council

Centrica (including British Gas, Centrica Energy and Centrica Storage)

East Anglia Offshore Wind

EDF Energy Renewables

Edge Petroleum

Energie Baden Wurttemberg

Equinor

Macquarie

National Grid

Renewable Energy Generation

Renewable Energy Systems

RWE (including RWE Npower and Innogy (formerly RWE Npower Renewables)

Scottish Power Renewables / Scottish Power Generation

Statkraft

Temporis Fund

The Renewables Infrastructure Group

Total E&P UK Limited

Professional negligence Tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's 'vastly experienced' professional risks group is instructed by insurers on behalf of their policyholders, with a particular focus on legal professionals. Associate Susan Periselneris is a name to note for defending professional liability claims.

Other key lawyers:

Zoe Lettieri; Susan Periselneris

Testimonials

‘A vastly experienced professional liability practice, focusing on defence work.’

‘WBD are a class act. Strength in depth and buckets of experience defending professionals and advising insurers.’

‘Susan Periselneris is a force of nature at associate level. Incredibly hardworking and conscientious.’

‘A good small firm in a large market.’

Professional negligence Tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP advises on complex high-value disputes for insurers, brokers and their clients, defending claims against legal, financial, construction and property professionals. In additional to benefitting from its significant presence around the UK, the firm also gains from related practices including tax, trusts and pensions.  Sushma MacGeoch , Hannah Cane and David Clark lead the team; MacGeoch and Cane both have expertise in the construction sector. Simon Beckwith has extensive experience handling pension claims.

Practice head(s):

Sushma MacGeoch; Hannah Cane; David Clark

Other key lawyers:

Simon Beckwith; Tim Barr; Mark Ratcliff

Testimonials

‘WBD have deep roots in the professional negligence field. As such, whatever the case, whatever the predicament, they have practitioners who have experience of precisely that situation and can assist calmly and with authority.’

‘Excellent team with extensive knowledge of the market. Readily available to discuss issues and provide clear advice in complex situations.’

‘The standards and professionalism of the partners is of the highest quality. They have set a culture within the firm that has been replicated by all Fee Earners and Associates providing a client first relationship at the core of the business.’

‘The team have strength in all disciplines and a vast knowledge of each professional industry. They are interactive and always try to find practical solutions. They have invested heavily in a state of the art claims management system for the benefit of Insurer clients who require this service.’

‘Sushma MacGeoch and James Robins have always supported insurers and both calmly and professionally guided our clients when they required strong legal support.’

‘Simon Beckwith is the best IFA professional negligence lawyer in London: a brilliant lawyer with impeccable judgement.’

‘Mark Ratcliff has a huge breadth of knowledge and experience. I have found him to be very hard working and a pleasure to work with. He gets results for his clients in an economical way.’

‘Sushma MacGeoch is a profoundly brilliant practitioner. She showed enormous courage in staying firm and patient in her approach to a huge case, when all around the guns were blazing.’

Key clients

AIG UK Limited

Solicitors’ Indemnity Fund

Liberty Global Group

Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund

Retail and consumer Tier 3

Commended for its 'deep sector expertise', Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s retail and fast-moving consumer goods department routinely assists retailers, landlords, investors and consumer brands on the full range of retail and trading law issues. Operating out of seven offices across England and Scotland, the group is particularly active in product liability issues, real estate work, and corporate transactions. Group head Gavin Matthews -  who is 'always abreast of developments and has great experience to call upon' - is a retail litigator whose workload is dominated by complex commercial disputes and corporate defence work. Alistair Walton, a real estate specialist, has considerable experience advising on acquisition and disposal programmes.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Matthews

Other key lawyers:

Nicky Strong; Alistair Walton; Christina Tolvas Vincent

Testimonials

Christina Tolvas Vincent understands our business and is pragmatic.’

WBD are true experts in the retail area, with deep sector expertise. Their ability to share sector-specific insights is invaluable.

There is nothing Gavin Matthews doesn’t know about retail. He is always abreast of developments and has great experience to call upon.’

 

Key clients

Nestware Holdings Limited (holding company for Carpetright)

Kingfisher plc (including B&Q and Screwfix)

Ann Summers

Naked Wines Plc and Majestic Wine Warehouses Limited

GoCompare.com Limited (part of GoCo Group Plc)

Specsavers

Post Office

New Look

Colgate-Palmolive

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a specialist and niche charities practice that has an established reputation for its sector expertise in education, health and care as well as religion. The group has an emerging practice in safeguarding, governance and regulatory investigations.  It is well-equipped to handle matters nationally through its various offices in the UK and internationally through its US links. The team’s experience covers advising religious charities including Jewish community organisations. Emma Moody and Jo Coleman are key members of the department.

Practice head(s):

Emma Moody

Other key lawyers:

Jo Coleman

Testimonials

‘Extensive industry knowledge and practical solutions to issues. Pragmatic and solutions focused. Incredibly friendly team who are very approachable, I mainly deal with Jo Coleman and find her very easy to work with and also very friendly too, which makes a real difference when needing to contact her. When she has provided training to our Board members, they often feedback on how interesting she can make the topic of charity governance law!’.

WBD has been flexible, cost effective and consistently delivered high quality advice to our team. The lawyers have managed cost well due to limited charity resources but the quality of the advice has improved our regulatory relationships, contract management, employment practices and financing. Emma Moody has given us balanced and pragmatic support on all areas of charity law and regulation, while acting as client liaison for the wider firm. She has ensured a prompt response on all matters, managed cost and spent time building both relationships and a deep understanding of our business. She is a trusted adviser and her opinion and advice are highly valued by both the management team and the Board‘.

We are a registered Charity and therefore require specialist charity law advice. This specialism is very strong in the firm. We work mainly with Jo Coleman who is a charity specialist. She is very clear, very articulate and knowledgeable and we have complete confidence that she will protect our best interests. Her advice maintains complete integrity with the law and is very thorough. Her communication style is simple and very direct. She has worked hard to gain a lot of insight into our organisation‘.

‘The practise’s professionalism and accessibility has always ensured that the team has been available to provide current and up to date advice and support across a range of issues involving several areas of their practise. It has been useful to have a partner as our point of contact and to coordinate the collaboration across the various practise areas.  Jo Coleman’s professionalism and accessibility have been impressive, as has been her capacity to understand our needs and practically support these‘.

‘The team is very experienced and provides quick, practical advice on all aspects of charity law. We have very high regard for Jo Coleman for her ability to provide quick and practical advice on all aspects of charity law‘.

‘Jo Coleman is an outstanding professional who has our full trust. She is our go-to person when we need legal advice as her experience and knowledge of the charity sector are unmatched. She has provided support for us over many years. She is also a highly engaging speaker who takes great pains to present the reports she provides to board meetings and induction for our trustees in a clear, informative style which is very accessible for non-experts, but at the same time combining this accessibility with the full authority of legal representative as the situation demands. Her expertise has guided us safely through many different concerns over the years‘.

 

Key clients

RNLI

Which? / Consumers’ Association

BBC Children in Need

National Trust

Katie Piper Foundation

United Synagogue

Humankind Charity

We Are With You (formerly Addaction)

Parkinsons UK

The Dogs Trust

St Paul’s Cathedral

The Royal Agricultural Society

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP advises high-net-worth clients on the full range of private client matters both domestic and international with a particular focus on US/UK issues. It has a dedicated disputes team that works across its offices throughout the UK. It acts for individuals, charities and trustees (both individual and corporate trustees in the UK and offshore) and insurance companies on the full range of contentious private client matters. Neil Long leads the group that includes Will Ford.

Practice head(s):

Neil Long

Other key lawyers:

Will Ford; Rosie Taylor

Testimonials

A strong team, spread across the country and providing excellent service. Neil Long is a well-respected figure in the area, and draws in good clients with his sound advice and effective representation. He is supported by Rosie Taylor, who is fast developing into a seriously effective litigator.’

Excellence in its specialist field. Trust and mutual respect.’

‘WBD provides a high-quality service to clients in the area of contentious trusts and probate. The lawyers take a realistic view of costs, both how much it is proportionate to spend on a particular dispute and how the bill is to be paid.’

‘The lawyers are really good. They have gone very quickly from being a regional team to being at the heart of domestic and international private client disputes. They deal with everything from small domestic disputes to really big international disputes. They are a go-to recommendation for me. I love working with them, Rosie Taylor is wonderful. She is very much moving up into the position of lead associate, and deservedly so.’

‘Neil Long is idiosyncratic but absolutely assured. He can unlock the trickiest problem, and present the strongest case. He confounds the opposition, while ensuring his clients’ confidence. Associate Rosie Taylor provides excellent support on the heaviest cases, and can herself carry huge responsibility with ease and assurance. The complete package. Incisive, imaginative, kick-ass. Excellent combination of robust outward-facing, while still sensitive inward-facing.’

‘This is another regional team that is going from strength to strength.  Neil Long is a well-respected individual in the industry.’

The team at Womble Bond Dickinson has a growing reputation in this area, and benefits from being able to offer leading client service from its range of locations across the UK. This enables the team to keep costs at non-London levels, whilst offering London-level service and expertise. The team is undergoing a period of significant growth, and is one to watch for the future in the contentious trusts sphere, under Neil Long’s very able leadership.’

‘Neil Long stands out as a friendly and highly competent expert in this field. His down-to-earth manner makes him approachable and very popular with clients and solicitors alike. I would have no hesitation in recommending Neil, and indeed have done so on a number of occasions this year. Rosie Taylor also stands out as an able associate to watch, showing expertise beyond her years of experience.’

Oil and gas Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a strong presence in the oil and gas arena both domestically and internationally, and it has forged an excellent reputation among a number of the leading market participants that operate in the upstream and midstream sectors. Led by Richard Cockburn, the team handles investments, joint ventures, wholesale trading arrangements and finance transactions, among various other issues. Matt Lewy is experienced in acting for UK and US-based clients, as well as entities from developing markets. Simon Hewes has over 25 years of experience handling M&A and private equity transactions. The UK-based group regularly works with practitioners in the Boston and Houston offices.

Practice head(s):

Richard Cockburn

Other key lawyers:

Simon Hewes; Matt Lewy

Key clients

Babcock Offshore MCS Aviation

Chariot Oil & Gas

Chrysaor

Cuadrilla Resources

Endeavour

EQT Infrastructure

National Tube Stockholders (NTS)

Noble Energy, Inc

OMV

Petrofac

Schlumberger

Serica Energy

Shell

Sumitomo Corporation (Summit Petroleum)

Tampnet

Tekmar Energy Limited

The Oil and Gas Authority

Third Energy

Total E&P UK Limited

VAALCO

Vitol Group (Vitol SA and Vitol E&P)

Partnership Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP advises fund managers and accountants on merger negotiations, LLP agreement amendments, remunerations systems and restrictive covenants. Practice head Barry Stimpson advises on LLP structures for property development projects in the public sector.

Practice head(s):

Barry Stimpson

PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP stands out through its transatlantic platform of multiple offices in the UK in addition to a high number of offices in the US. Leeds-based practice head James Love, who is a solicitor advocate, and his team are well versed in trade mark and design prosecution work in addition to infringement, invalidity, trade secret and know-how matters. Stand-out features include a very active trade mark filing practice and sector specialisation in the retail, consumer product, FMCG, oil and gas, manufacturing and technology sectors. Integrated into a full-service law firm, the team is regularly involved in matters with colleagues from other departments. The firm is known for its commitment to technological innovation and offers clients its WBD Advance platform that unites the firm's technology and business services, such as document review and due diligence tools.

Practice head(s):

James Love

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Cantrill; Rachel Hearson; Rose Smalley

Testimonials

‘Very friendly firm, we enjoy their informal approach.’

‘James Love is our go-to for practical advice on any trade mark-related matters.’

Key clients

GoCompare.com

Alexander Duckham & Co., Limited

ME + EM

Immediate Media

Petrofac

Vetements Group AG

H&M

Kilfrost Group Plc

North of England / Sunderland Marine

Tetra Pak

Bellway Group Plc

Atom Bank

Grafton LSR

Vertu Motors Plc

In The Style Fashion Limited

Denby Brands

TomTom International B.V.

Serif (Europe) Ltd

Wizz Air

Spirit of Yorkshire Limited/World Top Brewery Limited

Decathlon SA

Places for People Group

R. H. Smith & Son’s (Wigmakers) Limited t/a Smiffys

UCFB Holdings Limited

Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 4

Newcastle based Martin Poore leads Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP 's UK pensions practice. Advising on corporate and scheme restructurings across multiple different sectors, the team has a broad practice of both non-contentious matters and contentious work. Suzanne Duff advises in relation to liability management and distressed restructuring projects, while Tracy Walsh's expertise includes employer debt regimes and matters include TPR's moral hazard powers.

Practice head(s):

Martin Poore

Other key lawyers:

Tracy Walsh; Suzanne Duff

Testimonials

‘The team has a very positive attitude and the ability to analyse very complex problems that enables them to explain matters to the layman. The use of technology during the Covid-19 pandemic has been excellent.’

 

Key clients

Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited (LV=)

Northern Powergrid (North East) plc

Trustees of the British Safety Council Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Futamura British Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Go-Ahead Group Pension Plan

The Trustees of the Newcastle Building Society Pension and Assurance Scheme

Trustees of the Sapa Holdings Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Trustee of the VA Tech (UK) Pension Scheme

Product liability: defendant Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's areas of expertise encompass the retail and consumer goods, automotive, technology, chemicals, and food and drink sectors. The team advises clients on product compliance and product recall matters, as well as on their interaction with regulators. It is led by regulatory consultant Nicky Strong and HSE specialist Jon Cooper. Gavin Matthews and Ashley Borthwick are well versed in the retail sector.

Practice head(s):

Nicky Strong; Jon Cooper

Other key lawyers:

Ashley Borthwick; Gavin Matthews 

Testimonials

‘This firm has great expertise in this area. They have helped us not only to defend any claims but also to ensure our products meet the various laws and regulations throughout the EU and further afield. Their billing is very transparent and fees are very competitive.’

‘We work with Nicky Strong, who has a wealth of experience in this area of law. She is responsive, articulate and keeps us well informed of regulatory changes. Given the nature of the business she tailors her advice depending on the audience and has also created guides and workshops for our colleagues to attend so that they understand the requirements.’

Key clients

Kingfisher plc

B&Q

Tempur-Sealy

Intersystems Corporation

Kanlaon Limited – Don Papa Rum

Post Office

Commercial property: development Tier 5

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s London team is a core part of the larger national practice, which is spread across other locations, including Leeds, Southampton, Newcastle and Edinburgh. On the development side, the firm is prominent in a number of schemes, including regeneration projects, as well as garden village, mixed-use, affordable housing, residential and local authority-led projects; Martin Stacey is a name to note in this space. Elsewhere, Alistair Walton is the key contact for corporate occupier matters; he has extensive experience of head office acquisitions and relocations, and has a notably strong reputation among large retail chains. John Ralph takes the lead on investment-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Martin Stacey

Other key lawyers:

Mark Owen; John Ralph; Julia Dacre Field; John Booth

Key clients

Commercial Estates Group (“CEG”)

Barratt & David Wilson Homes

Taylor Wimpey

Vistry ( formerly Linden )

Leeds City Council

Bellway Homes

Town Centre Securities PLC

Wykeland Group

Beal Homes

Strata Homes

Marick Real Estate Limited

Places for People (PFP)

Persimmon Homes

Grainger plc

South Tees Development Corporation

Duchy Homes

Ministry of Defence

Scottish Power Renewables

Countrywide

Innogy Renewables UK Limited

Plymouth Community Homes

Rentplus

Barden Corporation

Rittal

Bristol City Council

Renewable Energy Systems Limited

REG Windpower Limited

RWE

The Crown Estate

Havant Borough Council

Church Commissioners for England

Transdev

Construction: contentious Tier 5

The team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is led by the 'impressive' Jessica Tresham, who joined the firm from Blake Morgan LLP in May 2020. Her practice focuses on high-value, technical disputes, and she is experienced in all forms of dispute resolution. The team also offers a unique construction insurance practice, led by Hannah Cane. Associates Emily Leonard and Hannah Gardiner are also well regarded, with 'a good, practical approach to meeting client needs'.

Practice head(s):

Simon Rowland; Jessica Tresham; Hannah Cane

Other key lawyers:

Emily Leonard; Hannah Gardiner

Testimonials

‘Able, engaged and cleverly strategic. Jessica Tresham is a powerful and impressive operator and guides her team admirably.’

‘Jessica Tresham demonstrated great commercial nous in the dispute we worked on. She gets to grips with issues quickly and provides succinct and practical advice. She is very relatable and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Good strength and depth. Responsive. Commercial and practical – they do not give hands-off, academic opinions.’

The team is packed full of bright and commercially minded lawyers. They are knowledgeable and client-focused. In my experience, they always get the balance of partner and associate involvement right, meaning that clients get excellent, effective service.’

‘Jessica Tresham gives practical, commercial advice based on a sound understanding of the law and critical market nous. She is hardworking, a savvy negotiator and always has her eye on the bigger picture.’

‘I have been very impressed with Emily Leonard and Hannah Gardiner. They are both astute and clever, with a good practical approach to meeting client needs and obtaining the best result possible.’

Key clients

Stepnell Limited

Life Story Group Limited

Grainger PLC

Construction: non-contentious Tier 5

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's non-contentious construction practice is led by Simon Rowland from the firm's Newcastle office.

Practice head(s):

Simon Rowland

Key clients

Stepnell Limited

Life Story Group Limited

Grainger PLC

Fintech Tier 5

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP acts for financial institutions, tech companies and regulators, and utilises its transatlantic presence to handle fintech matters with an international dimension. It draws on the expertise of practitioners in areas such as IP, technology, corporate and litigation to advise on the development of new businesses and fintech products. Alastair Mitton heads up the team.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Mitton

Other key lawyers:

Ben Butler

Intellectual property: patents (contentious and non-contentious) Tier 5

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s Yorkshire-based patent litigation practice is led by practice head James Love, who worked with associate Tim Barber to represent Geofabrics Limited in High Court proceedings over the alleged infringement of one of the client's UK patents in the area of rail technology. Senior counsel Patrick Cantrill advises on commercial IP licensing, joint ventures and corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

James Love

Other key lawyers:

Tim Barber; Patrick Cantrill

Key clients

Geofabrics Limited

Drax

University of Leeds

TomTom International

Intellectual property: trade marks, copyright and design Tier 5

The Yorkshire-based IP practice at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has recently secured new global clients in the FMCG and food processing sectors, for which practice head James Love advises on strategic trade mark protection. The team's diverse client roster spans the gamut of sectors, from oil and gas to fashion. Including senior counsel Patrick Cantrill, the team handles trade mark oppositions (including EUIPO representation via a recently established Munich office) as well as infringement claims in the High Court.

Practice head(s):

James Love

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Cantrill

Key clients

Immediate Media Company (publishing arm of the BBC)

GoCompare.com Limited / GoCo Group

English Heritage

Third Age Trust

TomTom International

Vetements Group AG

Grafton LSR

Denby Brands Limited

North of England / Sunderland Marine

Atom Bank Plc

Pensions: dispute resolution Tier 5

Newcastle based Martin Poore leads Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP 's UK pensions practice. Advising on corporate and scheme restructurings across multiple different sectors, the team takes on a broad range of non-contentious matters as well as contentious pensions work.  Suzanne Duff advises on liability management and distressed restructuring projects, while Tracy Walsh's expertise includes employer debt regimes and matters include TPR's moral hazard powers.

Practice head(s):

Martin Poore

Other key lawyers:

Tracy Walsh; Suzanne Duff

Testimonials

‘The team has a very positive attitude and the ability to analyse very complex problems that enables them to explain matters to the layman. The use of technology during the Covid-19 pandemic has been excellent.’

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 5

The private wealth offering at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP advises high-net-worth clients on the full range of contentious and non-contentious domestic and international matters. It has a particular focus on US/UK issues. The group has a number of excellent practitioners including Neil Long; Alexander Dickinson; Edward Stone and Will Ford. Long’s clients include entrepreneurs with complex business and financial interests. Dickinson leads the development of its transatlantic private wealth practice.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Dickinson

Other key lawyers:

Neil Long; Edward Stone; Will Ford

Testimonials

A very strong team with great clients/work‘.

‘Will Ford is brilliant with clients and receives excellent feedback. He brings deep experience across a range of matters, both UK domestic and international.  Alongside his technical excellence, Will is a deeply empathetic and compassionate private client lawyer.  Will has everything needed to be a “trusted advisor” to those families and individuals seeking excellent advice in a practical and commercial context‘.

Social housing: local authorities and registered providers Tier 5

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's social housing practice covers matters ranging from development and regeneration projects to finance transactions, stock rationalisations and transfers, and governance issues. In addition, it assists clients with contentious housing and property matters. John Ralph, Julia Field and Nigel Emmerson co-head the team, which advises traditional and LSVT housing associations, councils, charities and for-profit registered providers.

Practice head(s):

John Ralph; Julia Field; Nigel Emmerson

Key clients

Karbon Homes Limited

Bernicia Group

Places for People Homes

Home Group Limited

Royal Masonic Benevolent Institute

Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 6

The financial services team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is split between the London and Edinburgh offices, providing regulatory support to the firm's insurance and banking sector clients. Areas of expertise include governance issues such as SMRC, consumer finance regulation and financial crime prevention. Based in Edinburgh, Jonny Williams leads the national financial services group, drawing on experience in various in-house positions for financial institutions. Legal director Emma Radmore in London takes the lead on financial crime prevention advice. Associate Natasha Brownlee is a retail banking expert with experience in drafting consumer-facing documentation for retail products.

Practice head(s):

Jonny Williams

Other key lawyers:

Emma Radmore; Natasha Brownlee; Angie Bamboulis

Testimonials

Their approach to financial services is very positive with nothing being too much trouble and with a reassuring breadth of relevant experience. I have yet to call them with a question or situation that they haven’t dealt with before. A very positive approach.’

I feel that the individuals that I deal with are personable, reassuringly knowledgeable and human. Discussions are dealt with at the correct level presenting understandable solutions. Jonny Williams in particular is top of my call list when I need to consider a regulatory matter.’

The firm’s retail banking team is excellent, very experienced and great at co-sourcing and acting as an extension to our team, having a number of ex in-house lawyers in their team.’

Jonny Williams is brilliant, very commercial and gives us concise advice on just what we are asking.’

We have benefited greatly from Emma Radmore’s expertise, the efficiency of delivery on the intended outcomes as well as from her excellent project management skills when coordinating the deliverables from the other practice areas at Womble Bond Dickinson UK.’

Key clients

Post Office Limited

Quilter PLC (Old Mutual Group)

Lloyds Banking Group

Investec

Atom Bank plc

American International Group UK Limited

TSB Bank PLC

Vertu Motors PLC

B&Q plc

Stewart Title Ltd

The National Trust

Arch Insurance (UK) Limited

Resonance

Property finance Tier 6

With experience in lender and borrower-side mandates, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has particular expertise in advising on development and investment loans secured against assets such as offices, leisure centres, student accommodation and PRS portfolios. The team also has strengths in regional property finance transactions, with offices nationwide. Charlie Reid heads the practice. Nicola Giddens, Will Fraser and Barry Stimpson are also noteable members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Charlie Reid

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Giddens; Will Fraser; Barry Stimpson

Testimonials

‘Young and keen team. Very hands on.’

‘Charlie Reid and Will Fraser are very hands on, and nice guys with whom to work.’

Key clients

Lloyds Bank Plc

HSBC Bank Plc

Svenska Handelsbanken AB

Santander UK Plc

Akelius Residential Limited

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

National Westminster Bank plc

Union Bancaire Privee

Funding Circle

Castle Trust

Propfin

Moorfield

AG Quidnet

ICICI Bank UK plc

Investec

Hampden & Co plc

Apex Bridging

Personal injury and clinical negligence; defendant

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's casualty litigation team specialises in handling claims for insurers, self-insured entities and private commercial organisations, in addition to assisting with coverage and risk management issues. The group is led by David Brown, who is experienced in defending large loss and catastrophic claims, with expertise in employers', public and product liability. David Armstrong is a specialist in large loss claims, focusing on matters arising from chronic pain, stress at work and industrial disease, as well as assisting with policy coverage and interpretation matters. Associate Sally Brock has significant expertise in employers' and public liability matters, as well as defending claims involving road traffic accidents, product liability and industrial disease.

Practice head(s):

David Brown

Other key lawyers:

David Armstrong; Sally Brock; Donna Hobbs

Testimonials

A stable team.’

David Brown and Donna Hobbs have worked with us for years on our account and are always there when you need them.’

Key clients

RATP Group (including London United Busways, London Sovereign, Epsom Coaches, Metrolink, Selwyns, and The Original London Sightseeing Tour)

AIG

Transdev

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company (Europe) Ltd

CNA Hardy

Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) is a full-service transatlantic law firm, created on 1 November 2017, from the combination of UK law firm Bond Dickinson and US firm Womble Carlyle. The combined firm is now amongst the Top 100 law firms globally and a Top 20 UK law firm.

In the UK, WBD has more than 120 partners and around 450 lawyers based in seven major cities across the country including in London, Bristol, Plymouth, Southampton, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh. In the US the firm has 480 lawyers working across 19 offices including Houston, Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta and Los Angeles to name a few. The firm’s reach also extends to Europe where it has strategic partnerships with law firms in Germany and France, and through the Lex Mundi network, WBD can offer clients access to counsel in more than 120 countries.

WBD advises over 40 FTSE 350 companies, including many of the largest businesses in the country, government organisations and private clients. The firm advises clients across eleven key sectors including: energy; financial institutions; healthcare; insurance; manufacturing; real estate; retail and consumer; transport, logistics and infrastructure; pharmaceuticals and life sciences; technology; and private wealth.

The firm has a wealth of expertise and a strong track record in all these sectors, enabling it to build strong relationships and deliver an excellent service to clients. This thorough understanding of its clients and of the sectors they operate in, means WBD can anticipate and deliver the right expertise through innovative solutions.

WBD also works closely with UK Local and Central Government authorities, as well as other organisations in the wider public and third sector. The firm advises the UK Government Legal Department, providing a full-service of legal expertise across a range of disciplines, including general commercial, litigation and employment advice. WBD was appointed in Spring 2017 as a Tier 1 firm on the Crown Commercial Service Framework (CCS) for Central Government Departments, Agencies and Arms’ Length Bodies; the firm was also appointed to the CCS Framework for the wider public sector in the Autumn 2018.

In addition, WBD is a member of The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG), an independent charity that brings business, government and the not-for-profit sector closer together, to learn from each other and co-create solutions. As a law firm advising public, private and not for profit organisations, WBD understands the importance for further cross-sector collaborations and WIG provides the perfect platform to build dialogue and enhance learning and understanding.

WBD has a strong focus on innovation and was ranked in the Top 30 most innovative law firms in Europe by the Financial Times. It has a dedicated Innovation Group that works with lawyers and clients to help identify new opportunities of delivering the best value and coordinate initiatives and projects across the firm that will help drive the business – and its clients – forward.

With this ambition in mind, the firm launched the WBD Advance platform, a flexible solution that pulls together all of the firm’s key technology and business services that are becoming increasingly essential to clients alongside traditional legal advice. These services include support for high-volume projects such as due diligence; document review; project and risk management of legal work; automation and process design; managing knowledge and information; and flexible resourcing including flexible lawyering options for in-house counsel.

WBD is heavily involved in a comprehensive responsible business programme and recognises the importance of supporting projects in its local communities. The firm has an effective environmental policy in place and has received The Planet Mark certification for four years running based on its CO2 emissions reporting. It is also a founding member of the UK’s Legal Sector Alliance. As a gold status member of the Law Society Diversity & Inclusion Charter and holders of the Investors in People Silver standard, the firm is actively engaged in the promotion of a more diverse legal profession and has also been featured in The Lawyer’s Top 200 as a ‘Diversity Pioneer’.

WBD provides its employees with an excellent place to work and recently unveiled its post pandemic working policy, adopting a hybrid working model. Its people have the flexibility to combine home and office working, blending personal preferences with business and clients’ needs.

In a profession not typically known for its diversity or accessibility, WBD is committed to supporting social mobility and creating new routes into the legal profession. It is considered a pioneer in the introduction of legal apprenticeships and was amongst the first to launch a solicitor apprenticeship programme. It currently employs a total of 23 apprentices.

UK offices: Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southampton.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Jonathan Blair
UK Chairman Nick Barwood
Agriculture, farms and estates Simon Kirkup
Banking and financial services Julian Kinsey
Charities Emma Moody
Manufacturing Peter Snaith
Commercial Paula Bartlett
Commercial disputes Paul Stewart
Construction and engineering Simon Rowland
Corporate and commercial Stephen Pierce
Corporate (inc company secretarial) Stephen Pierce
Developers and investors Mark Owen
Dispute resolution Tom Beezer
Employment Jon Hales
Energy Richard Cockburn
Finance and investment John Ralph
Financial institutions Jonny Williams
Insurance claims Sushma MacGeoch
Investment and pensions David Dale
Onshore Andy Layton
Operational property (and retail) Katherine Douglas
Pensions Martin Poore
Planning and infrastructure Jonathan Bower
Private capital Helen Tavroges
Private wealth David Dale
Projects and procurement Kevin Robertson
Property litigation Jen Smurthwaite
Real estate Claire Brook
Regulatory and environment Jon Cooper
Residential Nigel Emmerson
Restructuring and insolvency Andy Stirk
Retail Gavin Matthews
Scotland Richard Cockburn
Tax/trust and accounting Jeremy Smith
Technology, media and communications (TMC) Alastair Mitton
Transport and infrastructure David Rewcastle
Photo Name Position Profile
 Claire Brook  photo Claire Brook Claire is a partner and national head of the real estate group…
 John Connor  photo John Connor Partner in the banking team specialising in corporate finance, property lending and…
 Julia Dacre Field  photo Julia Dacre Field An expert in residential development and regeneration, Julia has over 15 years’…
 Sam Dixon photo Sam Dixon Sam specialises in advising various stakeholders in relation to distressed businesses, charities…
 Andrew Hirst photo Andrew Hirst Andrew is a projects and procurement lawyer with over 13 years’ experience…
 James Love photo James Love James is a partner and national head of Intellectual Property. His expertise…
 Vicky McCombe  photo Vicky McCombe Vicky is a Partner in the Construction and Engineering Team experienced in…
 Mark Owen  photo Mark Owen Senior Counsel Mark is Head of the Real Estate Developers and Investors team…
 Simon Pilling  photo Simon Pilling Simon leads the firm’s corporate team in Leeds and is a highly…
 Alex Rodger  photo Alex Rodger Partner in pensions team.
 Andy Stirk  photo Andy Stirk Andy is a partner in the restructuring and insolvency team in Leeds.…
 Claire Wilkinson  photo Claire Wilkinson Claire is a partner in the developers and investors team. She has…
 Kathryn Wood  photo Kathryn Wood Kathryn is a partner in the residential property team and an experienced…
Number of UK partners : 128
Number of other UK fee-earners : 648
English

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Increasingly, clients are asking their law firms what they are doing promote diversity and to create a more inclusive place to work.  Quite rightly, our clients want to know that we are able to offer up teams that have excellent cognitive diversity, and which reflect the client’s own people profile and values.  This client dimension overlaps with our own people and business imperative; the right thing to do is to challenge ourselves to try new initiatives, to continue to put ourselves in the shoes of others, to discuss openly the issues and change our behaviours and mind-sets, and constructively challenge non-inclusive behaviour, in order to ensure that no one feels like an outsider.  In theory, with more diversity, (whether gender, physical, cognitive, social, generational, cultural, ethnic or sexual), we create the chance to learn something from someone different, or with a different perspective to our own, and it creates a fertile breeding ground for new ways of working and operating.  That makes us more resilient and sustainable as a business.  Diversity, however, is ornamental without inclusivity; we have to make sure different people are in the rooms where decisions are made and not only make sure that they feel safe sharing what is on their minds, but actively encourage them to contribute.

The process of crafting a more diverse and inclusive environment gives us the opportunity to engage with clients on this subject, and find out what they are doing, what works, what hasn’t worked, and how their challenges are different or similar to ours.  We can use it to deepen our relationships with them, and at the same time learn from each other.

A Board member is directly responsible and accountable for working with our D&I Group (comprised of a cross-section of engaged people from all around the business) and with the leaders of our networks.  The Board is committed to evolving our strategy and to “mainstreaming” the infrastructural changes necessary or potentially useful to achieve our goals.

In addition to continuing with our #BeYourself initiative, we have continued focussing on making more progress on our gender balance at senior levels, and on LGBTQ+, BAME and disability inclusion.  We have maintained our Women in Law Empowerment Forum Gold Standard in June 2021.  Our LGBTQ+ and our BAME networks have gone from strength to strength creating channels for feedback and input from colleagues in these under-represented groups, this year we are launching a disability forum and all of these networks have been consulted on key projects to make sure our communication and implementation is as inclusive as is can be.

We continue our progress using an infrastructural audit, designed to identify areas for improvement in various systems, from our recruitment processes, to our communications, to our bid and tender processes, among others and have been able to make significant improvement including linking our recruitment processes with our minority networks to ensure we manage our processes as inclusively as possible to ensure we continue to attract as diverse a pipeline of talent as possible.

A really fundamental piece of work to collect attributable diversity information under the umbrella of our “Count Me In” survey has been an Important part of the communication of our D&I strategy with board level support and a number of communications to the business from our board sponsor.  This has resulted in a 70% contribution of information from our people, we continue to encourage participation.  By showing that the data can drive specific changes to the way we do things at Womble Bond Dickinson we can show our people that we can make improvements within our business using this important information, whilst also providing a safe space for people to provide it.  We have also introduced a pulse survey approach this year focussed on important topics such as health and wellbeing and reporting processes – our aim has been to have a rapid response, “you said, we did” approach to demonstrate the feedback we get drives the changes our people want to see within our business.

Our D&I journey continues with zest.

WBD’s Community Support, Volunteering and Pro Bono

We take our Responsible Business commitments as seriously as the quality of our legal advice. Our focus is about building sustainable relationships with our stakeholders. We aim to be a trusted employer and business supporting our clients, colleagues and communities.

We recently achieved Silver Sustainability Rating from EcoVadis which assesses our environmental, social and ethical performance. We are now in the top 4% of companies reporting in our industry.

We have a Responsible Business programme which covers a number of areas:

  • Environmental – our aim is to minimise the impact we have on the environment by closely managing and measuring our environmental performance, building sustainable practices for the future and engaging with stakeholders.
  • Community support – partnering with our chosen charity partners and supporting community projects. We make financial donations via our Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
  • Volunteering – each colleague is entitled to 2 days volunteering per year.
  • Pro bono – we support organisations whose objectives are about promoting access to justice and economies by supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • Workplace – we are committed to creating and maintaining a safe and inclusive workplace where our people can achieve their work potential, and supporting access into the legal profession. We strive to create a diverse and inclusive culture to attract and retain the very best people.
  • Governance – we apply the highest standards of professionalism, business ethics and risk management, building sustainable practices for the benefit of our clients.

Environmental activity is central to the firm and since 2013 we have reduced our total carbon footprint by 70%. We recently achieved ISO 14001 re-accreditation, recognising an effective Environmental Management System is in place that provides a framework for continuous improvement in our environmental performance. We annually complete business carbon reporting and certification with The Planet Mark which recognises continuous improvement, encourages action and aims to build an empowered community of like-minded individuals. In our latest report, we hit a new milestone with our carbon emissions now below 1 tonne of CO2e per employee.

With our community support, we feel that as lawyers and business professionals we can maximise our core business skill set and make the most significant impact by focusing our efforts on social inclusion. We support charities through fundraising, donations of items, carrying out pro bono advice and volunteering such as through food warehouse projects, gardening and mentoring and reading schemes. Our offices support a range of charities and projects local to their communities all focused on social inclusion. Each office has 2-3 charity partners that they partner with to have the greatest impact in the local community.

We concentrate our pro bono offering on supporting Access to Justice partners, student law clinics, our chosen charity partners and small charities with no legal budget. One example is our partnership with Greenwich University Small Business Clinic to support small businesses to access high quality commercial advice. The partnership has also widened access to the legal profession. Students at Greenwich come from a diverse demographic, they are often the first in their families to undertake ‘A’ levels, and often have no connections in the law particularly in commercial law firms.

We believe that every business has a role to play in inspiring and preparing young people for the ever changing world of work; to highlight the opportunities available to them, help them unlock their potential and ultimately contribute to a thriving economy. Since 2015 we’ve provided approximately 600 opportunities for students to come into the business and experience working life in a law firm. We offer a range of programmes including; skills workshops, insight days, work experience placements, career talks and career fairs, as well as our apprenticeship programme.

Our first apprenticeship programme was launched in 2014 and since then we’ve gone from strength to strength. Our proudest moment came in January 2017 when we won Best Large Newcomer at the National Apprenticeship Awards – fantastic recognition of the investment we’ve put into our Paralegal Apprenticeship. We’re continuing to build on our successes by rolling out apprenticeship programmes in many areas of our business.

The Lex 100 Verdict

Womble Bond Dickinson is both an international firm and a regional heavyweight, offering decent ‘work/life balance’ yet quality varied work. As one trainee comments, ‘since starting I have already gained client contact and worked on cases for well-known clients, hence confirming why I chose this firm for its early responsibility'. Another was attracted by 'the transatlantic label and the emphasis on innovation and technology’. Praised for its friendly culture, one trainee applied because of 'the training available, the size and strategic location of offices as well as the ethos behind the firm, including the approach to diversity and inclusion’. Negatives mentioned include the sometimes long hours and less pay than other transatlantic firms. Yet criticism is tempered with sincere praise for the firm’s treatment of trainees. The best thing about the firm is ‘the people: the firm has made me feel welcome from day one! Even when working from home you really were made to feel like part of the team and an integral part of the firm’. If you are drawn to the North East and are looking for a training contract with lots of hands-on experience and international work, then Womble Bond Dickinson is a great option.