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Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire
Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The corporate finance practice at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is led by Simon Pilling and is particularly strong in private equity transactions. The team in Leeds includes recently promoted legal director James Cook. Beyond its private equity expertise, the group also has experience assisting clients in the manufacturing, real estate and retail sectors.

Practice head(s):Simon Pilling

Other key lawyers:James Cook


'The corporate team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP utilises its broad experience to provide clear, commercial advice and always makes itself available.'

'Simon Pilling has an excellent hands-on approach, understands the industry and utilises his experience to provide pragmatic advice.'

'James Cook has excellent technical capabilities and great communication skills.'

Key Clients

Cairngorm Capital Partners

Chemoxy International

Clearly Drinks

Customade Holdco Group

Cutwel Limited

Endless / Enact


Lloyds Development Capital


NVM Private Equity

Stephenson Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for NorthEdge Capital on the management buyout of Cutwel.
  • Advised LDC on its £10m investment in Yorkshire property sales and lettings agency, Linley & Simpson.
  • Instructed by the management of Bright Blue Foods on the company's acquisition of a division of the Greencore Group.
  • Advised the shareholders of 25sevenIT on the successful disposal of its interests to Timico Technology Group.
  • Acted for Stephenson Group on the sale of its textiles business to Belgium-based EuroDye.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP regularly handles contentious matters in the public sector, financial sector and chemical and manufacturing industries. It has a client roster including a mix of regional and national businesses and organisations and leverages its network to handle instructions with cross-border elements. Practice head Nick Mason has broad expertise, with particular experience in the public sector.

Practice head(s):Nick Mason

Other key lawyers:Tom Graham


'Womble Bond Dickinson fields a team of excellent commercial litigators, who are capable of dealing with a wide range of commercial disputes equally well.'

'Nick Mason's well-researched approach to getting to know his clients provides a great foundation for a working relationship. His advice and approach to problems are informative and practical. Associate Tom Graham is also worthy of a special mention for his able and responsive approach.'

'Tom Graham is hardworking, dedicated and excellent with clients. Nick Mason has his finger on the pulse and gives good, strategic advice.'

Key Clients

NHS Digital

David Brown Gear Systems Limited

Anpario plc

Roballo Engineering Company Limited

City of York Council

Post Office

Sanderson Weatherall LLP

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's Leeds banking practice excels in the manufacturing, real estate, consumer debt and education sectors, acting for both borrower and lender clients. The practice also benefits from the firm's transatlantic capabilities following its international merger in 2017, particularly in real estate finance, fintech and energy finance work. It is led by the 'hands-on' John Connor .

Practice head(s):John Connor

Other key lawyers:Mark Casey


'Womble Bond Dickinson provides an efficient service at an excellent cost point across the finance work it handles'.

'John Connor is a hands-on partner who is commercial and responsive'.

Key Clients

Santander UK


Clydesdale Bank

Yorkshire Bank

Lloyds Bank

Cairngorm Capital

Wykeland Group

NorthEdge Capital

PRAC Financial


Customade Group


Department for Education

The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty


Europa Capital

British Engines


National Westminster Bank

Allied Irish Bank (UK)

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Department for Education on the finance elements of multiple college mergers and restructurings.
  • Assisted British Engines with the negotiation and agreement of three bilateral parallel revolving credit agreements.
  • Advised Customade Group on a recapitalisation and new debt facilities with Clydesdale Bank and MidCap Financial (Ireland).
  • Acting for Europa UK Debt (Lux) on a loan to Brighton Developments to refinance existing debt and fund redevelopment plans.
  • Assisting NorthEdge Capital with the funding aspects of its acquisition of Cutwel, including the structuring of the investor finance.

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is strong in the healthcare, leisure and manufacturing sectors, advising banks, insolvency practitioners, distressed debt purchasers, funds and corporates on complex restructurings, administrations, turnarounds and insolvencies. Team leader Andy Stirk acts for clients in the healthcare, real estate, hotels, leisure and education sectors, and managing associate Sam Dixon focuses on bank-led restructuring work and directors' duties issues.

Practice head(s):Andy Stirk

Other key lawyers:Sam Dixon


'The practice exhibits strong credentials and is readily available to contact when support is needed'.

'The very approachable team is commercial in its outlook and is always searching for solutions and offers proactive help at all times'.

'Andy Stirk and Sam Dixon are proactive, engaging and keen to make a difference in sharing practical ideas. They are responsive to tight deadlines and go the extra mile'.

'Sam Dixon has a pragmatic, practical approach to complex situations rather than just considering the legal aspects'.

Key Clients

Lloyds Bank

Santander UK


RSM Restructuring Advisory

Leading individuals

Andy Stirk - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Human resources

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's Leeds practice advises major local and national employers, leveraging the firm's eight-office network across the UK, and is particularly well-known in the chemicals and manufacturing sectors. Recent months have seen the firm advise on a number of complex Employment Tribunal claims, including in relation to the application of TUPE and allegations of disability discrimination. Managing associate Ed Duffield leads the team with 'excellent knowledge and a good sense of humour.'

Practice head(s):Ed Duffield


'Excellent in providing a responsive service, offering options and identifying risks. Excellent knowledge and understanding of the sector - strong HR knowledge.'.

'Very responsive and knowledgeable. Able to portray complex information in a meaningful manner that can be interpreted and adopted by the business.'

'Ed Duffield has excellent knowledge, is a great trainer and has a good sense of humour. He has consistently delivered an excellent service over the last four years.'

Key Clients

Dnata Limited

Polyframe Group

Working Links (Employment) Limited

Cello Health Group plc

Stevenswood Group

OnX Enterprise Solutions

Sanderson Weatherall



Vertellus Specialties UK

LSL Property Services plc

Saint Catherine's Hospice

The Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire & Somerset Community Rehabilitation Company

The Dorset, Devon & Cornwall Community Rehabilitation Company

Work highlights

  • Representing Dnata Limited (part of the Emirates Group) in the defence of a number of complex employment tribunal claims.
  • Advising Vertellus Specialties UK Limited on a variety of employment issues concerning the UK workforce.
  • Providing employment support to Saint Catherine’s Hospice, including the provision of training for line managers on sickness absence management and performance management.
  • Provided employment advice to Working Links (Employment) Limited, including acting in an Employment Tribunal claim involving allegations of disability discrimination.
  • Advising The Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire & Somerset Community Rehabilitation Company in relation to an Employment Tribunal claim involving a number of allegations of disability discrimination.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Insurance

Professional negligence: defendant
Professional negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s Leeds practice is part of a national insurance disputes team covering professional risks for a wide range of clients, including solicitors, barristers, surveyors, architects, engineers, construction contractors, IFAs, accountants, brokers, IT professionals, pensions professionals and estate agents. The team is led by the 'exceedingly practical and commercially minded' Karen Eckstein, who combines her expertise in accountancy professional indemnity litigation with a background as a chartered tax adviser, as well contentious trust and probate experience.

Practice head(s):Karen Eckstein


'Always very approachable - knowledgeable, with a can-do attitude.'

'Each and every member of the team are kind and considerate and make our engagement a pleasure.'

'Karen Eckstein is well known as being highly regarded in this type of work.'

'Karen Eckstein's  knowledge of tax law is exemplary. She is exceedingly practical and commercially minded.'

'The unique blend of both tax and legal experience means that a more rounded view can be taken rather than just a legalistic view.'

'Each and every member of the team are kind and considerate and make our engagement a pleasure. I honestly cannot think of a time when i have been left confused or unhappy after a discussion with them.'

'Karen Eckstein has built a formidable and well-deserved reputation defending accountants and tax advisers. She is never daunted, no matter how complex the underlying dispute appears to be. She makes very complicated tax disputes very simple to understand.'

Key Clients

AIG (Current Leeds/national client)

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Real estate

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a large real estate practice undertaking national work, underpinned by international connections bolstered by the firm's 2017 transatlantic merger. The Leeds team is led by Mark Owen, who is a 'force to be reckoned with', alongside the hugely experienced and high-profile Paula Dillon. The firm covers the retail, development, investment and residential sectors, and has secured a number of new client wins over the past year. Julia Dacre Field, a highly regarded specialist who leads the residential team, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Mark Owen

Other key lawyers:Paula Dillon; Julia Dacre Field


'The comprehensive service is one of the biggest attractions. I may be proceeding with a property development transaction, but I know that behind the scenes there is construction advice, planning advice, tax and corporate advice, so I truly receive a one-stop shop, but all with a single point of contact.'

'Good knowledge at all levels of the business.'

'The team is well resourced with the required spread of experience to support our business both in terms of fee earner levels and specialisms. It has the ability to support us on large consortium projects and co-ordinate a multi-disciplinary approach from their team to provide us with streamlined and focused advice. Responsive and commercially aware.'

'I have worked with Julia Dacre-Field on a number of complex land assembly transactions over the recent years, and what stands out is not only her ability to decipher the complexities of the deals, but also to see the pragmatic and commercial way forward, to actually see the deals over the line. Her work ethic and persistence are a credit, yet all delivered with a down to earth and flexible manner.'

'Mark Owen has razor sharp knowledge and is a force to be reckoned with. He always focuses on the solution and finding a way through complex legal matters.'

'David Cole always gets the job done. An efficient and pleasant individual to work with.'

'They go the extra mile and put the client first. They do not come across as solely fee orientated like some other firms. Julia Field provides top quality practical advice and solutions and is finely tuned into her client's needs and requirements'

Key Clients

Commercial Estates Group

Leeds City Council

Bellway Homes

Town Centre Securities

Doncaster Borough Council

Linden Limited

Wykeland Group

Taylor Wimpey

University of Law

Caddick Developments Limited

Beal Homes

Barratt & David Wilson Homes

Strata Homes


Amer Sports


Yorkshire Land

Persimmon Homes

Work highlights

  • Acting for Leeds City Council in relation to the £600m redevelopment of Victoria Gate, Leeds.
  • Acting for Places for People Group in relation to an ongoing development programme including acquisitions of sites, development agreements and acquisitions of units from housebuilders.
  • Acting for the University of Law on the opening of its 10th campus in Nottingham.
  • Dealt with the acquisition of two parcels of land for Taylor Wimpey and Linden Limited.
Leading individuals

Paula Dillon - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

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Planning - ranked: tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's team focuses on the energy, transport, housing and public sectors, and has notable expertise in infrastructure projects, regeneration schemes, compulsory purchase orders, planning litigation and transport issues, among other areas. Claire Brook heads up the team and has expertise in waste, energy and chemical matters; she works with legal director Jocelyn Denton, who regularly acts for local authorities, and managing associate James Garbett, who specialises in town and country planning.

Practice head(s):Claire Brook

Other key lawyers:Jocelyn Denton; James Garbett


'The team at Womble Bond Dickinson understands its clients' needs implicitly and is able to tailor its advice such that it reflects the particular needs and aspirations of the client'.

'As a team, Womble Bond Dickinson works seamlessly with colleagues from other parts of the business, notably real estate and construction, which is of paramount importance during the sometimes lengthy negotiations'.

'Claire Brook has a forensic approach to legal questions with sound practical advice founded in strong sector knowledge and experience'.

'James Garbett provides exceptional advice on a variety of complex legal issues. His approach is calm, forensic and strategic and his advice allows clients to navigate difficult commercial situations with ease'.

'James Garbett has a fantastic breadth of knowledge of the planning process which allows him to provide quality advice'.

Key Clients

Wheelabrator Technologies Inc.

Leeds City Council

Augean PLC

Sembcorp Utilities UK Limited

London Borough of Lewisham

Commercial Estates Group (CEG)

Strata Homes Limited

Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

Taylor Wimpey UK Limited

NHS Property Services Limited

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

The University of Law

London Borough of Bexley

Persimmon Homes Limited

Grainger PLC

BDW Trading Limited

Linden Homes Limited (part of the Galliford Try group)

FCC Environment (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the London Borough of Lewisham on proposals by St Mowden Properties for the redevelopment of Leegate Shopping Centre.
  • Assisting the London Borough of Bexley with its strategy and attendance at a public inquiry to determine a planning appeal against the refusal of Roxhill Development's scheme to build a rail freight interchange in the metropolitan green belt.
  • Acting for the University of Law in a planning appeal against the refusal by Cheshire West and Chester Council of a scheme to redevelop its existing campus.
  • Asssiting the London Borough of Lewisham with the Lewisham Gateway Scheme, part of the regeneration of Lewisham town centre.
  • Advising Network Rail on the negotiation of a multi-party deed of variation to an existing section 106 agreement relating to the redevelopment of the former Horwich locomotive work.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP recently strengthened its practice with the acquisition of intellectual property boutique James Love Legal. The group combines the practices' impressive client rosters and breadth of capabilities across the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters with Womble Bond Dickinson's transatlantic presence. Patrick Cantrill heads up the practice which includes Rachel Hearson, who also leads the firm's national trade mark and design rights group, and benefits from the addition of the 'well-regarded' James Love, who has broad experience in complex IP litigation.

Practice head(s):Patrick Cantrill

Other key lawyers:Rachael Hearson; James Love


'Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's IP practice includes a mixed team of solicitors and trade mark attorneys, which allows it to advise more broadly and strategically on complex trade mark disputes.'

'Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a very responsive and balanced intellectual property team.'

'Patrick Cantrill is a very good litigator.'

'Managing associate Rachel Hearson is technically strong and very responsive, being available at short notice.'

'Managing associate Rachel Hearson offers very accurate advice and manages matters flawlessly.'

'Solicitor Tim Barber boasts very good case management and drafting skills, and is open to observations.'

Key Clients

Jemella Group t/a ghd

R.H. Smith & Sons (Wigmakers) t/a Smiffy’s



Immediate Media

Bounce Foods

Transdev Blazefield

Cowes Week

Work highlights

  • Advised Jemella Group (the manufacturer of GHD hair straighteners) on a trade mark infringement by a Chinese-based company, which included taking actions in various intellectual property offices across a number of jurisdictions.
  • Assisting GoCompare, The Global Voucher Group and Energylinx with the management of the companies' trade mark and design portfolios. This includes implementing new strategies for protection including watch services and advising on non-contentious issues including development arrangements.
  • Advising Old Mutual Group on its rebranding to Merian Global Investors, which required extensive clearance searches and advice on filing strategy as well as pro-active steps on enforcement and protection.
  • James Love Legal was instructed by Geofabrics Limited in a patent action concerning geotextiles before the High Court.
  • James Love Legal advised TomTom in connection with its IP and cross-border contractual issues.
Leading individuals

James Love - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Patrick Cantrill - Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Rising stars

Rachael Hearson - 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.


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