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Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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North: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Newcastle
Corporate and commercial: Newcastle - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's Newcastle office is a major hub for the transatlantic firm, ensuring it is well-placed to advise US investors into the North East. Unusually for the region, the office contains dedicated competition, tax and projects lawyers, all of whom support the corporate and commercial teams. The team is led by Ben Butler and includes corporate finance expert Jamie Pass and Stacey Hall, who specialises in corporate transactions. Ian Pritty is noted for corporate aspects of property transactions.

Practice head(s):Ben Butler

Other key lawyers:Jamie Pass; Robert Phillips; Simon Watts; Iain Pritty; Will Bonas; Stacey Hall; Oliver Rickett; David Ridley


'The breadth of capability across disciplines is demonstrable'

'Jamie Pass and Oliver Rickett deserve special praise for their focus and dedication to ensuring the project is delivered'

'A longstanding and deep understanding of business'

Key Clients

Atom Bank plc

Augean plc

CN Group

EQT Infrastructure

Newcastle City Council

Richmond Group

Leading individuals

Jamie Pass - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Robert Phillips - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Rising stars

Ian Pritty - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Stacey Hall - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's tax team regularly advises the firm's  corporate and real estate practice groups, providing advice on tax-related issues arising from banking, restructuring and employment matters. Drawing on the firm's national and international presence, the group is regularly called upon by clients across the UK. Practice head Jeremy Smith is noted for his experience in the tax aspects of corporate and property transactions.

Practice head(s):Jeremy Smith

Other key lawyers:Lee Parbery

Key Clients

Deutsche Bahn

Hertshten Group

Old Mutual Wealth


REG Power Management

The Royal Institute of British Architects

Work highlights

  • Advised CN Group on its sale to Newsquest Media Group.
  • Advised longstanding client Tekmar, an offshore wind company, on admission of its shares to trading on AIM with a market capitalisation of approximately £65m, following a successful £61.8m fundraising from institutional investors.
  • Advising Commercial Estates Group on tax issues (in particular issues relating to VAT and the distribution of sale proceeds in the event of a buyer default, but also explaining the tax implications of arrangements entered with counterparties and the implications for CEG) in relation to a number of land promotion agreements entered into with owners of land.
Leading individuals

Jeremy Smith - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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North: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Newcastle
Commercial litigation: Newcastle - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Drawing on the firm's national and international presence, the team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is able to advise large regional corporates on the spectrum of commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Areas of expertise include disputes relating to the transport and chemicals sectors, as well as pensions, contentious procurement, financial services, retail and energy. Paul Stewart leads the team and focuses on transport and manufacturing sector disputes.

Practice head(s):Paul Stewart

Other key lawyers:Richard Collins; Joanna Bromhead; Jonny Gribben; Lucy Bremner; Emma Campbell-Danesh


'The firm has strength of expertise across a number of partners and associates'

'Richard Collins is bright and commercial in outlook'

'Paul Stewart and his team get to grips with all aspects of the challenge and become welcome additions to the organisation remarkably quickly, which supports immediate progress and assurance'

'Paul Stewart, Jonathan Gribben and Michael Wharton provide relentless effort, resilience, agility and diligence'

Key Clients



Network Rail

Post Office


Go-Ahead Group

Work highlights

  • The team advised West Berkshire District Council on its successful High Court defence of a judicial review and procurement challenge brought against it by Faraday Development Limited, an unsuccessful bidder for a redevelopment opportunity valued at £125m.
  • Acted for Mr Thompson in an unfair prejudice petition brought against a company owned by his brother.
Leading individuals

Paul Stewart - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Next Generation Partners

Joanna Bromhead - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Richard Collins - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's multi-disciplinary team includes lawyers, project managers, technologists, data analysts, knowledge managers and operation professionals, providing creditor clients with a wide range of tools to collect their debts. The team handles asset investigations and reporting, tracing of debtors, drafting and issuing claims and enforcement matters. Team leader and senior debt manager Sue Pattie is instructed by a wide variety of public and private sector clients, including charities.

Practice head(s):Sue Pattie

Other key lawyers:Helen Vaughan; Lorna Casford


'Very proactive and commercially aware'

'Sue Pattie is able to offer a number of solutions, clearly defining the benefits and pitfalls of each'

'Our work was handled swiftly and smoothly, and the team's specialist knowledge is evident'

Leading individuals

Sue Pattie - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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North: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP handles work for a variety of regional private equity and banking clients (as borrowers, lenders, investors and investees), with expertise spanning the manufacturing, consumer debt, real estate and education sectors. John Ralph specialises in property finance and co-heads the team alongside secured lending expert John Connor.

Practice head(s):John Ralph; John Connor

Key Clients

Santander UK plc

HSBC Bank plc

Cairngorm Capital

NorthEdge Capital

Department for Education

Work highlights

  • Advised the Department of Education as sole adviser on 13 college mergers and restructurings over the course of a year.
  • Advised British Engines on the negotiation and agreement of three bilateral parallel revolving credit agreements between a number of banks and certain other subsidiaries of the parent, together with a complex security trust arrangement and related intercreditor issues.
  • Acted for Europa Debt Lux, a debt fund managed by Europa Capital, in relation to a loan made availability to Brighton Developments.

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's team leverages the firm's strong national presence, with expertise in restructuring matters, including directors duties, debt and securities restructuring, the sale and purchase of distressed or insolvent businesses, asset recovery for creditors and insolvency practitioners and the disqualification of directors. Julian Gill leads the non-contentious restructuring and insolvency practice and the asset recovery team alongside Peter Maxwell .

Practice head(s):Julian Gill; Peter Maxwell

Other key lawyers:Sally Dallow

Key Clients

Lloyds Banking Group




Deloitte LLP

The Insolvency Service


Grant Thornton (UK) LLP

KSA Group

KRE Corporate Recovery

Work highlights

  • Womble Bond Dickinson acted for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in successfully winding up UK and overseas companies on public interest grounds following investigations by the Insolvency Service.
  • Acted for the Joint Administrators of J. Hughes Construction Limited (in administration) to novate construction contracts, preserving the business and employment of the company's staff and maximising recoveries for creditors.
  • Acted for the Joint Administrators of DBS Law Limited (in administration), a legal practice with offices in Birmingham and Nottingham, in relation to a 'pre-pack' sale of the business and assets to another legal practice,  which included obtaining the approval of the Solicitors Regulatory Authority to the sale.
Leading individuals

Julian Gill - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Peter Maxwell - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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North: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Employer firm Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP specialises in a range of sectors including technology, retail, healthcare, education and chemicals. The team is led by unfair dismissal and discrimination claims expert James Wilders, who can call on equal pay and gender pay gap specialist Lorraine Heard. Also notable is associate Alan Kennedy, who is experienced in tribunal representation.

Practice head(s):James Wilders

Other key lawyers:Lorraine Heard; Hilary du Randt; Alan Kennedy


'Strength in depth'

'Experienced, pragmatic lawyers'

'James Wilders is very practical and provides commercial solutions'

Key Clients


AIT Global

Cumberland Building Society



IBM United Kingdom

LSL Property Services

Network Rail

NHS Digital

Northern Powergrid

Sainsbury's Supermarkets


TOTAL Petrochemicals

Vertu Motors

Work highlights

  • Advising on the closure of one of a Holiday companies two head offices, involving the redundancy of over 100 members of staff.  The work included detailed, hands-on advice on the election of employee representatives, the conduct of collective consultations with those representatives and preparing employee communications.
  • Advising an insurance company on the employment and pensions aspects of closing two final salary schemes to future accrual and replacing pension provision with ongoing money purchase accrual.
  • Involved in carrying out the due diligence aspects of a transaction, providing advice in respect of any employment issues arising from the transaction and drafting the relevant employment documentation for the directors and non-executive directors for Tekmar Energy
  • Assisting US based supply chain solutions leader AIT Global in connection with its acquisition of ConneXion World Cargo, a freight forwarder headquartered in London.

Leading individuals

James Wilders - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Next Generation Partners

Lorraine Heard - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Rising stars

Alan Kennedy - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has experience acting in high profile investigations and potential prosecutions, notably involving fire safety and building safety issues. In addition, the firm provides a range of contentious and non-contentious services, including strategic board level, enforcement and operational advice. Stuart Wardlaw leads the regulatory and environment team and has expertise in advising industrial, commercial and public sector clients on various aspects of environmental, health and safety and related regulatory law.

Practice head(s):Stuart Wardlaw

Key Clients

Vauxhall Motors (Groupe PSA)



Lotte Chemicals

Chemoxy International

Fine Organics


Banks Group

The Education and Skills Funding Agency

Augean plc

Leading individuals

Stuart Wardlaw - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Pensions - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has contentious and non-contentious expertise, with notable experience in the public and voluntary sector pensions field. The team advises trustees and sponsoring employers of UK pension schemes and is led by Martin Poore, who has a particular focus on corporate and scheme restructuring. His team includes Suzanne Duff, who works for a wide range of companies and pension scheme trustees, specialising in regulatory matters. Her non-contentious work is primarily based on advising employers on restructuring their organisations, liability management and winding up pension schemes.

Practice head(s):Martin Poore

Other key lawyers:Suzanne Duff


'The team is easy to deal with, has the necessary range of experience and skills and is accessible'

'Very professional and very reactive. Always available'

'Suzanne Duff has created an excellent team who work together seamlessly to provide a superb service'

'The firm has depth of knowledge, pensions, housing sector and market trends awareness'

'The team is excellent and effectively advises on complex issues in a straightforward way'

'Suzanne Duff stands out in the quality of her advice, her commitment to find an innovative solution and her loyalty to and mentoring of her team'

'Tracy Walsh and Naomi Jacques provide a first-class advisory service, cutting through complexity and working well both with my in-house team, Board and other advisers, particularly actuaries'

Key Clients

Procter & Gamble


Go-Ahead Group plc

Taylor Wimpey plc

Bellway plc

Newcastle Building Society

Northern Powergrid plc

Sabic UK Petrochemicals Limited

Research Machines plc Pension Scheme

2020 Trustees

Work highlights

  • Advising Procter & Gamble (P&G) on the pension implications of P&G's decision to acquire Merck KgAA's consumer health division.
  • Advised the trustee of the Go-Ahead Group Pension Plan in relation to a proposal that future increases to pensions should be based on the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), rather than the Retail Prices Index (RPI).
  • A combined flexible retirement offer and enhanced transfer value exercise, as well as the buy-in of all Scheme benefits with an insurer on a risk basis, for the trustees of the 600 Group Pension Scheme.
  • Advises Northern Powergrid on its section of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme (ESPS) and its own occupational money purchase scheme.
  • Advised NEPIA (a leading marine mutual liability insurer) on the pensions-related issues it faced when restructuring its group of insurance companies in preparation for Brexit.
Leading individuals

Suzanne Duff - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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North: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP¬†specialises in advising private estate owners and other landowning organisations. The ‚Äėbreadth of practice areas covered marks it out‚Äô as well as its advice to a number of public authorities and quasi-public bodies. Simon Kirkup¬†leads the practice and his clients include private landowners as well as major landowning charities and PLCs. Also notable in the team is managing associate Charlotte Patterson-Ryan, who ‚Äėcombines strong technical knowledge in the areas of landlords and tenants, with excellent professional skills,‚Äô which makes her ‚Äėstand out as a go-to adviser‚Äô.

Practice head(s):Simon Kirkup

Other key lawyers:Charlotte Patterson-Ryan


'Sound, swift advice and service.'

'The firm has such a wide variety of expertise all under one roof , including legal advice on farming, property management and family trust law.'

'Very solid breadth of practice and strong professionalism.'

'Extremely client focused.' 

'Simon Kirkup provides well-reasoned thoughtful advice.'

'Despite having a heavy work load, Simon Kirkup is always accessible for advic.e'

'Charlotte Patterson-Ryan is always efficient and speedy.'

'Charlotte Patterson-Ryan's capacity to turn around work is phenomenal, and she is extremely straightforward to work with.'

Key Clients

National Trust

Grainger PLC

Church Commissioners

English Heritage

Leading individuals

Simon Kirkup - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Next Generation Partners

Charlotte Patterson-Ryan - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP¬†is known for its work for education, healthcare and religious charities, as well as particular expertise in transactional matters. The ‚Äėsolicitor par excellence‚Äô Emma Moody¬†leads the practice and is ‚Äėenergised and positive‚Äô as well as ‚Äėwell networked‚Äô in the area. Her team includes managing associate Samantha Pritchard, who specialises in advising on the complex area where charity law and public law coincide, offering ‚Äėclear and reassuring advice.'

Practice head(s):Emma Moody

Other key lawyers:Samantha Pritchard


'Positive, confident engagement and the team takes the time to understand the business.'

'Very quick to respond and support, providing a full service.'

'Highly recommended, if clients want a job done well, go to Womble Bond Dickinson.'

'This is a niche area of law and the firm has a depth of knowledge and experience that seems to outweigh its competitors.'

'Emma Moody is extraordinarily committed to the client. She is also very accessible and very straightforward to deal with.'

'Sally Cooper is very professional and client focused.'

'Samantha Pritchard deals with challenging and difficult situations with ease. She has developed a novel governance model that is practical and reflects instructions exactly.'

Key Clients

Crisis UK

Newcastle City Council

British Mountaineering Council

Ampleforth Abbey and St Laurence Education Trust

Gateshead College

Charity Commission – Cardiff Sixth Form College (now Cardiff Educational Endowment Fund)

East Durham College

Bauer Radio Cash for Kids Charities

Zedra Trust Company

Durham University Students' Union

Northumberland County Council

Leeman Road Millenium Green Trust

Wakefield Grammar School Foundation

Percy Hedley Foundation


Mental Health Matters

Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School

St John of God Hospitaller Services

William Leech Foundation

Church Marketplace for Roman Catholic Dioceses

Work highlights

  • Advised Crisis UK on a review of its governance arrangements resulting in the adoption of new Articles of Association which better reflected its current working practices.
  • Supporting Newcastle City Council in transferring the city's parks to a newly created charity called Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust.
  • Instructed (after competitive tender) to support a specialist governance committee to undertake a constitutional review to address some structural issues at the British Mountaineering Council.
  • Emma Moody was appointed by the Charity Commission as interim manager for St Laurence Education Trust, as well as the Ampleforth Abbey Trust, with responsibility for safeguarding following concerns about the adequacy and effectiveness of safeguarding at Ampleforth.
  • The Charity Commission opened an investigation into Cardiff Sixth Form College, identified serious regulatory concerns and appointed Emma Moody as Interim Manager of the charity to the exclusion of all current and former trustees in November 2016.
Leading individuals

Emma Moody - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Rising stars

Samantha Pritchard - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The ‚Äėvery bright‚Äô Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP¬†practice¬†acts for individuals, trustees, insurance companies and charities across the UK and overseas. The experienced national team is led by Neil Long¬†from London and has three full members of the Association of Contentious Trust And Probate Specialists, as well as being a member of the Association of Corporate Trustees. Notable is managing associate Richard Pike, who is ‚Äėa very canny litigator‚Äô specialising in advising corporate trustees, private individuals and insurers on the full range of contentious trust, estate and tax issues.

Practice head(s):Neil Long

Other key lawyers:Richard Pike


'The team has experience of high value disputes which further lends credibility to its reputation.'

'Exceptionally knowledgeable but also a pleasure to work with.'

'Helpful, kind, pragmatic and sensible.'

'Richard Pike provides measured advice. He remains composed and focused when time is short.'

'Richard Pike knows the law inside out and will analyse the legal position very carefully. He is clever and able to think up imaginative solutions to complicated issues.'

'Neil Long is absolutely charming!'

'Solicitor Rosie Taylor is polite, very pleasant and easy to deal with.'

Key Clients

Zedra (UK) Trusts Limited

Doreen Thompson

Work highlights

  • Instructed to advise Zedra's in-house trust company on a range of contentious trust and probate issues that they have encountered in the course of administering a book of trusteeships and executorships that Zedra took on following the acquisition of a major bank's in-house trust company.
  • Representing Doreen Thompson in a deeply contentious proprietary estoppel claim brought by the Defendant's son.

Next Generation Partners

Richard Pike - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

David Dale¬†and Helen Tavroges¬†lead the Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP¬†team. The range of expertise and strength in depth includes private wealth and capital tax planning specialist George Lyall;¬†court of protection and inheritance tax expert Deborah Jude; and managing associate Emily Pike, who has particular experience in advising on succession planning for business owners and shareholders. Also notable are the ‚Äėclient focused and dynamic‚Äô associates¬†Fiona McLaughlin¬†and Katie Gosling.

Practice head(s):David Dale; Helen Tavroges

Other key lawyers:George Lyall; Deborah Jude; Susan Maxey; Neil Braithwaite; Emily Pike; Katie Gosling; Fiona McLaughlin


'The level of expertise and availability of specialist individuals within the team is second to none.'

'A go-to private client team with a great mixture of expertise, they are efficient and work collaboratively.'

'George Lyall has proven to strike the perfect balance between professional advice and personal support.'

'What makes this team stand-out is the calm competent way in which they manage family wealth and landed assets in complex situations, and instil trust in clients.'

'The team is committed, invested in getting the right outcome, and comes across as mature in its approach.'

'Emily Pike is highly efficient and fast becoming a trusted practitioner in this area.'

Leading individuals

Deborah Jude - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

George Lyall - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Next Generation Partners

Emily Pike - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Rising stars

Fiona McLaughlin - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Katie Gosling - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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North: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's team has a varied practice, advising developers of new electricity generation and storage projects, real estate and infrastructure, alongside expertise in a wide range of renewable technologies. The team is co-led by Barbara Painter, who has experience in capacity market auctions, and real estate specialist Michael Brown.

Practice head(s):Barbara Painter; Michael Brown

Key Clients

EDF Energy Renewables

Sembcorp Utilities (UK)

Rydberg Development Company

Quarry Battery Company

Northern Powergrid

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client Tekmar, an offshore wind company, on admission of its shares to trading on AIM with a market capitalisation of approximately £65m, following a successful £61.8m fundraising from institutional investors.
  • Advised EQT Infrastructure on the sale of Tampnet UK and Central North Sea Fibre Telecommunications Company Limited, as part of the wider sale of the global Tampnet Group.
Leading individuals

Barbara Painter - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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North: Public sector

Education - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

With a national coverage, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP¬†provides a comprehensive range of services. The firm handles advice and support to school clients across various legal disciplines, including academy conversions, FE College mergers, governance and SEN tribunals. The ‚Äėprofessional and principled‚Äô Kevin Robertson¬†leads the practice and ‚Äėhis reputation in the field goes before him.‚Äô Also notable in his team is associate Peter Cantwell, who specialises in property work for education sector clients.

Practice head(s):Kevin Robertson; Simon Rowland; Barbara Painter; Emma Moody; Ian Atkinson; Ian Greenshields

Other key lawyers:Peter Cantwell


'Womble Bond Dickinson is a superb and professional legal firm that supports schools and academies with education matters in a highly proficient manner.'

'Swift and pertinent advice enables all actions to be met within agreed time scales and with highly satisfactory conclusions.'

'The team supported academy conversions to an exceptional level.'

'Provide outstanding service and attention to ensure all matters are dealt with in a timely fashion that supports superb outcomes.'

'Kevin Robertson is the consummate professional. His engagement with clients, married with his exception legal knowledge have made all matters of business seamless.'

Key Clients

Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

Department for Education (DfE)


St Oswald's Catholic Academy Trust

Trent Academies Group

Zaytouna Education Trust

North View Academy

Whitworth Park School

Woodham Academy

Tees Valley Education Multi Academy Trust

St Lawrence Education Trust (which operates Ampleforth College))

Carmel Education Trust, Darlington

Waterton Academy Trust, Wakefield

Newcastle City Council

Castle Trust

Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School

Pocklington School

Illuminare Multi Academy Trust

Vision Academy Learning Trust

Liverpool City Council

The Constellation Trust

Northumberland County Council

Nicholas Postgate Academy Trust

St Hilda's Catholic Academy Trust

Our Lady of Light Catholic Academy Trust

Skills for Life Trust, Kent

FocusEducation (Lincolnshire) Limited

Sewell Education York Limited

Sewell Education Hull Limited

Romero Catholic Academy Trust

Trinity Multi Academy Trust

Horizons Specialist Academy Trust

Extol Academy Trust

Durham University

Northumbria University

Gateshead College

East Durham College

Durham Students Union

City Of Sunderland College

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise the ESFA and DfE on the flagship Free Schools programme which includes UTCs and Studio Schools.
  • Advising multiple governing bodies on their conversion to Academy status.
  • In May 2018 the firm were successfully appointed by the Department for Education (DfE) under a call off from the Crown Commercial Services Framework to provide general legal advice services.
  • Advised St Hilda's Catholic Education Trust, St Oswald's Catholic Education Trust and Our Lady of Light Catholic Education Trust on the transfer of their 20 academies to the Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust.
  • Advise this four-school well established Tees Valley Education Multi Academy Trust on all of their commercial, contract, property and employment legal issues.
Leading individuals

Kevin Robertson - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Rising stars

Peter Cantwell - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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North: Real estate

Commercial property: Newcastle
Commercial property: Newcastle - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Drawing on its status as an international firm, the team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is able to handle flagship real estate deals across the North East, advising national housebuilders, residential landlords, property funds and other corporate clients. The group is led by John Ralph, who is instructed by owners and occupiers of investment, development and operational real estate assets. Managing associate John Booth is noted for expertise in the education and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):John Ralph

Other key lawyers:Barbara Painter; Ian Ward; Michael Brown; John Booth; Tom Willows


'A very joined up and well organised team'

'The team builds up good relationships with advisers acting on the other side'

'Easy people to work with, who can explain complex issues in an accessible manner'

Key Clients

Grainger plc

Bellway Homes plc


The Vista PRS Fund

Hansteen Holdings plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Middlesbrough Council on a multimillion-pound advanced manufacturing park in the Tees Valley.
  • Acted for three major SIPP/SSAS providers on c.300 individual property instructions. These instructions include acquisitions, disposals, leases, renewals and surrenders and all landlord licences for commercial properties held within a personal or corporate pension wrapper. The transactions range in value from £50k to £7m.
  • For Buccleuch Property Group, sale of 55 Degrees North, Newcastle upon Tyne for £5,395,000 to Tarras Properties Limited – the owners of the old Bank of England site.
Leading individuals

John Ralph - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Next Generation Partners

John Booth - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Construction - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP handles the spectrum of contentious and non-contentious construction work, drawing on the firm's office network to advise local and international clients. In addition to its more traditional practice, the group also has a niche in offshore, decommissioning and subsea work. Simon Lewis leads the team, focusing on dispute resolution for public and private sector clients alike. Managing associate Andrew Clough is noted for complex construction litigation, while on the non-contentious side, Simon Rowland is recommended for developments.

Practice head(s):Simon Lewis

Other key lawyers:Simon Rowland; Ian Atkinson; Andrew Clough; Ruth Davidson


'The team is proactive, efficient and pragmatic regarding their approach to achieving contract award on individual schemes'

'As a local authority client, you always feel confident instructing the firm in relation to property matters, because everyone in the team is very technically competent'

'Simon Rowland provides excellent service and professional advice'

Key Clients

Education and Skills Funding Agency


Newcastle City Council

Bellway Plc

IKEA Properties Investments

University of Durham

Work highlights

  • Advised the Department for Education/Education and Skills Funding Agency since 2010 to the current date on its capital programmes. The work has predominantly seen the delivery of new and refurbished schools across the country and in the period 2010-18 the firm has worked on over 550 school projects, 75% of which have been delivered in the last three years.
  • Continues to advise Newcastle City Council on the landmark refurbishment of a prominent city centre building. The Civic Centre is a Grade II star listed building located in the city centre of Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Advising Durham County Council on the procurement of its new Civic Headquarters project.
Leading individuals

Simon Rowland - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Next Generation Partners

Andrew Clough - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Environment & planning
Environment & planning - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's planning department handles major infrastructure projects, redevelopment schemes, judicial review and planning litigation, energy and waste development. The group advise a range of clients including landowners, developers and public sector organisations. The regulatory and environment team is led by Stuart Wardlaw, while managing associate Stephen Dagg leads on planning matters.

Practice head(s):Stuart Wardlaw

Other key lawyers:Stephen Dagg; Antonia Murillo; Kate Ashworth; Francesca Hodgson

Key Clients



Vauxhall Motors (Groupe PSA)


Lotte Chemicals

Work highlights

  • The firm advised Hanro in relation to its objection to the Sunderland City Council (Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor Phase 3) Compulsory Purchase Order 2017 and associated side roads order.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's property litigation team benefits from an international office network, allowing it to represent both domestic and US clients. Areas of expertise include rent recovery, landlord-tenant disputes and contentious matters arising out of developments, landed estates and property portfolios. Jen Smurthwaite heads the national team and is based across Newcastle and Leeds.

Practice head(s):Jen Smurthwaite

Other key lawyers:David Hambler; Fiona Graham; Paul Joyce


'They are knowledgeable and are able to act as a one stop shop for all legal matters'

'Good knowledgeable practice, right price point with strength in depth and they really understand their clients' business'

'Paul Joyce has a good eye for the detail, calm and unflappable'

Key Clients

Airwave Solutions

Bernicia Group


Standard Life Trustee Company

Work highlights

  • Acts as sole UK legal services provider to Airwave Solutions' real estate team which provides the emergency services communications network across the country over thousands of sites.
  • Acting for the Bernicia Group on a range of tenancy management issues including claims to possession, injunctions to tackle anti-social behaviour, committals for breach and defending housing disrepair claims. The team has also provided bespoke training on tenancy management issues.
  • Advises Standard Life Trustee Company in a full range of property disputes across its SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension plan) portfolio.
  • Advises Akelius in relation to all aspects of tenancy management across its stock.

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Social housing is a real area of expertise for Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, which advises a wide variety of stakeholders, including large-scale voluntary transfer housing associations, councils and arms-length management organisations on the spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters. The team is also on the panel for Homes England. Residential property specialist Nigel Emmerson leads the team.

Practice head(s):Nigel Emmerson

Other key lawyers:David Hambler; Samantha Pritchard; Tracy Walsh; Simon Rowland; James Wilders

Key Clients

Places for People Homes

Karbon Homes

Accent Housing Group

Bernicia Group

Derwent Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advising Karbon Homes in relation to its ongoing development programme, including the acquisitions of sites, development agreements and the acquisition of units from house builders fulfilling their section 106 obligations.
  • Acting for Bernicia Group on a range of tenancy management issues including claims to possession, injunctions to tackle anti-social behaviour, committals for breach and defending housing disrepair claims.
  • Advised Places for People, one of the largest property management, development, regeneration companies and leisure companies in the UK, on a members' agreement to incorporate and govern its joint venture with Surrey County Council.
Leading individuals

Nigel Emmerson - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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North: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP team is experienced in complex and high-value technology-related matters. Practice head Caroline Churchill specialises in complex technology transactions with a focus on the internet of things, data and cloud solutions. She regularly advises customers and suppliers and has a particular focus on cyber security.

Practice head(s):Caroline Churchill


'Experience with the relevant service providers'

'Caroline Churchill is practical, available, and responsive'

Key Clients

Phoenix Software Limited

Data Ventures Europe BV

Noble Energy, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Assisting Phoenix Software with updating and developing its suite of business-critical customer contracts.
  • Assisted Data Ventures Europe BV, a Dutch vendor headquartered in the US, with a strategically important agreement for the licensing and maintenance of its data analytics tool for use by a leading fuel supplier in its petrol station convenience stores across the UK.
  • Advising, negotiating and drafting an HR and payroll outsourcing agreement for a US petroleum and natural gas exploration and production company in its migration from one supplier to another.
Leading individuals

Caroline Churchill - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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North: Transport

Transport and shipping
Transport and shipping - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The ‚Äėhighly professional‚Äô Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP¬†is best known for its rail practice, which covers rail franchising, rolling stock and projects and infrastructure. The firm has ‚Äėextensive knowledge of rail industry, rail franchising and procurement‚Äô as well as ‚Äėa sensible, practicable approach to complex commercial discussions‚Äô. The ‚Äėveritable fountain of knowledge‚Äô David Rewcastle¬†leads the practice and offers ‚Äėtowering expertise with real industry knowledge‚Äô. His team includes the ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô Paul Coleman, who specialises in rolling stock and infrastructure deals; Kevin Bell, who has expertise in rail franchise bids and rail franchising; and experienced associate Joseph Causer.

Practice head(s):David Rewcastle

Other key lawyers:Paul Coleman; Kevin Bell; Joseph Causer


'The team is dynamic and well supported'

'Partners are easily accessible and are known not just for far reaching legal knowledge but commercial acumen as well'

'Experience and knowledge of a wide range of subjects make this practice a one stop shop'

'The team is very responsive and provides intelligent, precise and relevant advice'

'The rail team has considerable experience of working with clients on rail franchising deals and easily matches the strength and depth of London based law firms'

'David Rewcastle is not just known for his towering stature but his towering intellect and wisdom when it comes to the railway industry' 

'Paul Coleman is a powerhouse of a partner and is the individual one turns to for the intricacies of rolling stock and depot contracts'

'Joseph Causer provides counsel on a wide range of subjects and is fast becoming the first stop for advice'

'Kevin Bell is a brilliant, incredible lawyer. His knowledge of the railway system there is without limits' 

Key Clients

Go-Ahead Group plc/Govia

Network Rail


Govia Thameslink Railway







Work highlights

  • Advising Govia in relation to its bid for the South Eastern franchise.
  • Advising Transdev in relation to its bid to operate and maintain the Luas light rail system in Dublin.

  • Advising SNCF on its joint venture arrangements and bid with Stagecoach and Virgin in relation to the West Coast Partnership franchise.

  • Advised on numerous variation orders to different TSSSAs for Southeastern.
  • Advising Stadler on the manufacture and maintenance of rolling stock for the Wales and Borders franchise, recently successfully tendered for by KeolisAmey.

Leading individuals

David Rewcastle - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Paul Coleman - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Rising stars

Joseph Causer - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Further information on Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in other jurisdictions.


Offices in London


Offices in Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 and Newcastle upon Tyne NE1


Offices in Aberdeen and Edinburgh

South East

Offices in Southampton

South West

Offices in Plymouth and Bristol

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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