DMH Stallard LLP > Crawley, England > Firm Profile

DMH Stallard LLP
Griffin House
135 High Street
RH10 1DQ

Corporate and commercial > Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

DMH Stallard LLP excels in complex and high-value deals for national and multinational brands in the e-learning, vineyard and travel sectors. The firm has grown a local Brighton M&A practice through its merger with Griffith Smith LLP in March 2022. Heading up the team from Gatwick is corporate expert Jonathan Grant, who has significant experience in transactions involving management buyouts and buy-ins as well as business sales, and commercial lead John Yates, who regularly acts on IP projects, complex IT contracts and data protection matters. Based in Guildford is Helen Mead, who specialises in share and asset acquisitions and disposals, investments, and private equity matters. Abigail Owen is also noted for her work in complex regional, national and international M&A transactions across a range of industries. Debbie Venn is another key lawyer.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Grant; John Yates

Other key lawyers:


‘Full scope of services with different practitioners. Communicate well behind the scenes leading to good client engagement.’

‘Very good attention to detail and understanding of unique issues. Work quickly and accurately.’

‘The DMH team have excellent knowledge of the client’s business and a really strong trusted adviser relationship with the client. They have a friendly and commercial approach on the client side, which clients love.’

‘Kay Miles is incredibly impressive and a strong member of the team. She has excellent knowledge of the client and is on top of the detail while still focusing on the bigger picture.’

Key clients

Fabco Sanctuary Limited

Ridgeview Estate Winery Limited

Lightning Fibre Limited

Bolney Wine Estate

WestonWilliamson+Partners LLP

SafeGroup Services Limited

Global Risk Partners

Independent Builders Merchant Group

Cow Corner Investing

Roja Parfums Holdings Ltd

Aspen Pumps Ltd

BestAtDigital Ltd

Comptoir General Du Resort C.G.R SAS

Work highlights

  • Acted for the partners and members of the LLP on the sale of the membership interests in architecture firm WestonWilliamson+Partners LLP to EGIS UK Holdings Limited and 10 Europe Limited.
  • Established a retainer arrangement with Roja Parfums, which involves advising on contracts, cross-border distribution arrangements and data protection matters.
  • Advised the shareholders of Bolney Wine Estates Limited on the sale of its English Winery to Freixenet Copestick Limited.

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 1

DMH Stallard LLP‘s ‘very knowledgeable’  debt and leasehold recovery department in Gatwick is engaged by a range of national and international clients, such as banks and local authorities. The team is led by Simon Elcock and Oliver Jackson, who regularly advises on freezing injunctions, the enforcement of judgements, and insolvency related issues. Gemma Clark is noted for her high volume debt and leasehold recovery work, while Nigel Marchant is equipped to handle property-related recovery matters, as well as the enforcement of overseas judgements.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Jackson; Simon Elcock

Other key lawyers:


‘Very knowledgeable, efficient, helpful and friendly.’

‘Nigel Marchant and Gemma Clark both provide a personal service, normally associated with a small practice not a practice as big as DMH are.’

‘Good working relationships with the team.’

‘Friendly, knowledgeable, responsive and pragmatic.’

Key clients

Allard Bailey Family Law

Bailey Total Building Envelope

Banque et Caisse D’Epargne De L’Etat Luxembourg

BNP Paribas Real Estate


CAE (UK) Plc

Canon (UK) Limited

Firestones Corporate Recovery

Folkes Architects

Gemini Print Southern Limited

Gilmartin Ley

Glass’s Information Services Limited

Heidelberg Graphic Equipment Limited

Kensington & Chelsea

MSR Partners LLP (formerly Moore Stephens LLP)

Penfold Verrall Limited

HGS Southern Ltd

POP Retail Limited

Rossetts (UK) Limited


Safeguard Europe Limited

SpaceandPeople Plc

Stiles Harold Williams LLP

STA International

Straumann Limited

Work highlights

  • Undertaking debt recovery work for BNP Paribas Real Estate Advisory & Property Management UK Ltd in respect of its own unpaid professional service. The value of the claims pursued range from £100 to £200,000.
  • Acting as sole provider for debt recovery services in respect of Canon (UK) Limited’s unpaid invoices for debtors based in England and Wales. The value of the claims pursued range from £500 to £5,000.
  • Assisting Strauman Limited’s finance team with the recovery of unpaid invoices, from pre action steps up to and including enforcement of CCJs. The value of the claims pursued range from £100 to £50,000.

Employment > Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Based in Gatwick and Guildford, DMH Stallard LLP has recently handled employee benefits work, redundancy issues, TUPE matters, and discrimination and dismissal claims for a range of organisations across the education, manufacturing and aviation industries; the ‘very competent and helpful’ team also offers business immigration assistance. Heading up the practice is Simon Bellm, who is well known for his role in acting for public sector, charity and sporting clients. Immigration practice head Adam Williams acts for household names including Cineworld Cinemas, defending clients in Employment Tribunal claims and offers expertise in cross-border employment work. Abigail Maino is a specialist in the property services sector, and Greg Burgess offers ‘sound, practical and tailored’ advice, while Will Walsh is ‘friendly, professional and always responds in a timely manner’.

Practice head(s):

Simon Bellm


‘A good understanding of key issues when approached. The team is able to be practical with advice, solutions, the risks and law but also understand we have a business to run, which gives clients security and confidence.’

‘A very competent and helpful team that I trust to support me in the best way. They are professional and credible.’

‘Nothing is ever too much trouble for the staff at DMH Stallard.’

‘Simon Bellm is my main point of contact. He recognises the challenges that we face. He always highlights the risks of any situation and then works closely with us to fully understand the nuisances of our industry and how we can mitigate the risks. Greg Burgess is my second point of contact if Simon is on holiday and the same applies to Greg. I have also worked with Adam Williams in terms of immigration. I am always very grateful for Adam’s up-to-the-minute knowledge of the ever changing laws around Right to Work.’

‘DMH Stallard provide the services that we need and they understand our business and culture. We have worked with them for a number of years and have built up extremely good relationships. We trust their advisers and value them for their practical advice.’

‘Our lead contact, Greg Burgess, understands our organisation, our culture and our wider operating environment. He is always available for short calls as well as longer discussions on more complex matters. Greg’s advice is always sound, practical and tailored to meet our culture. It feels as though he is a part of our team.’

‘The team provides excellent service for our complex requirements. They have experts across various fields to refer to and collaborate with, depending on the situation or query. We are confident that we receive the best advice within a timely manner. They are readily contactable, and we can use various methods to communicate depending on our need. We have been using DMH Stallard for a number of years because of their professionalism, knowledge, understanding and flexible approach.’

‘Our main contact is Will Walsh. He is friendly, professional and always responds in a timely manner. We trust his judgement and advice and have partnered with him for approx. 10 years. He takes the time to understand the complexities of our business which has been expanding over the past few years. He understands how we operate, the needs of the different business entities and nothing is too much trouble. Will always gives us a rounded view, spelling out the risks whilst balancing both viewpoints. We have recently had a few difficult situations, each one with different unique requirements, but Will has always remained our point of referral, giving sound advice and with trusted judgement.’

Key clients

Dynex UK Limited

The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Cineworld Cinemas

Work highlights

  • Acted for the UK subsidiary of Dynex Inc, a listed US business in the pharmaceuticals sector, with closing its UK operation and the redundancy process that followed which led to around 15 staff in the UK being made redundant.
  • Advising The National Lottery Heritage Fund on threatened strike action by the PCS Union concerning numerous issues including advice on picketing, lawfulness of strike action by non-union members, the Union’s failure to comply with Northern Irish strike laws and payment obligations to striking employees.
  • Regularly act for Cineworld Cinemas in defence of Employment Tribunal claims.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 1

Sarah Naylor leads the Gatwick-based team at DMH Stallard LLP, which assists a varied client base of lenders and borrowers, most notably National Westminster Group and Santander UK. The team frequently assists with problem loans and bridging finance issues, and Naylor regularly acts for a range of lenders, including asset-based lenders and challenger banks in the hotels sector. Associate Tyne Harman has broad experience spanning refinancing and debt financing matters, and Ralph Crane focuses on secured lending issues and the refinancing and purchasing of businesses, while Anne Milne is particularly adept at handling issues concerning property finance transactions, often acting for major banks and charities.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Naylor

Other key lawyers:


‘The team are excellent in terms of response times and in the quality of advice they provide.’

‘Sarah Naylor is an absolute asset to the firm and has often gone above and beyond when timescales demand.’

Key clients

Shoreham Port Authority

National Westminster Bank plc



Santander UK plc

Caffyns plc

Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Caffyns PLC on the refinance and extension of its term loan and revolving credit facilities with its incumbent lender, HSBC UK Bank plc.
  • Advising Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending in connection with the provision of cashflow and accounts receivable facilities to the Longacre Group-backed company, iDESo Group Ltd, to facilitate its acquisition of Inspec Solutions Limited.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

The ‘professional, experienced and efficient’ personal tax, trusts, and probate team at DMH Stallard LLP has recently been bolstered by its merger with private client firm Griffith Smith LLP. Split into the estate planning, trust administration services and estate administration teams, the department is headed up by ‘capable and experienced solicitor’ Lorna Fairbairn, who divides her time between London and Brighton. Nadia Cowdrey, who heads up the Sussex team, is cross affiliated with the firm’s contentious trusts and probate team, handling wills, trusts and inheritance planning. Leading the Surrey private client team is Michael Derrick, who specialises in the administration of estates and intestate estates, and is contacted for advice on Court of Protection issues and lasting powers of attorney. Other notable arrivals following the merger include Simon Rozzier in Horsham and Emma Weir in Hassocks.

Practice head(s):

Lorna Fairbairn; Nadia Cowdrey; Michael Derrick

Other key lawyers:

Emma Weir; Simon Rozzier; Kerry Young; Sarah Higgs


‘Our legal experience with the private client team at DMH Stallard LLP involved assistance and advice in reviewing old wills and LPAs and the preparation of new ones. The main strengths of DMH Stallard are their approachability and friendliness, the firm’s clarity in setting out the engagement and summary of what is involved plus timeline, the effective preparation of new (and revisions to old) legal documents in very clear, modern and succinct English and the effective and timely preparation and completion of new Wills and LPAs. Communication throughout the engagement was excellent.’

‘The team are professional, experienced, and efficient. They are fully up to date with the latest thinking and practice and are friendly and supportive of the client. Lorna Fairbairn stands out as a very professional, capable and experienced solicitor. She is friendly and forward-looking.’

‘Fantastic team who all are extremely knowledgeable in their respective areas. The quality of advice that they have offered to my clients has been exceptional but equally their people skills are very good. They can advise both other professionals but also those who are not as familiar with legal matters.’

‘Sarah Higgs has also offered exceptional advice to my clients, and she has also advised my family on our wills. I chose Sarah as she explained the will writing process in a clear and effective manner to my wife who had been reluctant to engage in talking about such matters, but Sarah reassured her. Sarah is very knowledgeable but communicates in a clear and concise manner.’

‘My primary contact is Sarah Higgs who is always available to speak with our mutual clients across a number of offices. Sarah is very engaging and doesn’t simply act under instruction. She probes clients and makes them consider their options, discounting scenarios until the best fit is found. Often clients have complex needs and Sarah has proven to be empathetic and considerate in her dealings with them. From a personal perspective, I appreciate Sarah’s time management and regular and accurate correspondence, updating me so that I don’t have to chase Sarah.’

‘The team are very responsive and communicate well with clients. Lorna Fairbairn is particularly helpful.’

‘I have used this practice on three occasions now and each time I have been treated with the utmost respect. They have helped me twice with obtaining probate and each time everything was explained fully & clearly including what was needed and all charges were clearly laid out. I always felt that nothing was too much trouble and if I did not understand anything I was always given the time I needed for things to be made clear.’

‘Michael Derrick was my main contact each time. He was always so kind and understanding. I think this is a very important value and he would always listen and I felt I had his full attention at all times. He took time to explain things and I felt I could ask him anything.’

Real estate > Environment and planning Tier 1

The environment and planning team at DMH Stallard LLP has vast expertise in advising clients on all aspects of housing development schemes and section 106 agreements, with a strong focus on judicial and statutory reviews. 'Star of the planning law worldHeidi Copland leads the group, bringing over 25 years’ experience in delivering complex development and regeneration projects both for public and private sector clients. Chloe Karamian regularly handles enforcement notice appeals and CIL reviews. Peter Rainier specialises in assisting developers and landowners in the commercial and leisure industries, while associate Daniel Frisby focuses on environmental assessments. The department operates out of the Gatwick office.

Practice head(s):

Heidi Copland


‘The ability to turn matters around professionally, adding value and expertise, has been exceptional. All team members are able to deliver a professional and high-quality product in a timely manner, clearly explaining relevant technical matters to us as clients.’

‘Heidi Copland has been a godsend. So approachable, professional and knowledgeable with her planning advice. She has been our rock to what is a stressful planning process. Heidi has the ability to be caring to the client’s needs, calmly dealing with any planning problem raised, providing exceptional professional, succinct and timely advice.’

‘A very well-regarded firm in the Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire markets. The real strength is in the in-house town planning expertise which brings with it a rounded, strategic advice.’

‘Heidi Copland: a very well-regarded lawyer, a firm favourite with clients for her wealth of experience and easy-going style.’

‘Chloe Karamian – a real star. Chloe is very smart and highly efficient, well liked by clients.’

‘Heidi Copland is a star of the planning law world and is easy to work with.’

‘Heidi Copland and Peter Rainier are stand-out individuals in their field.’

‘The DMH team excels at innovation and has great commercial awareness. The team has a strong public service ethos that works especially well for not-for-profit organisations in public interest areas.’

Key clients

Wealden and Rother Councils Joint Legal Services

Gleeson Strategic Land Ltd

Crawley Borough Council

Rydon Homes Ltd

Sage Housing

CALA Homes

AGB Reading LLP

Concept Developments

Trail Riders Fellowship

Rusper Leisure Ltd

Oxted Residential Ltd/Oxted Land Company Ltd

Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club/The Community Stadium Ltd

Newhaven Port and Properties Ltd

Jack and Gill Childcare and Forest School

Work highlights

  • Assisted the joint legal service team at Wealden and Rother District Councils with section 106 work.
  • Acting for the Trail Riders Fellowship – a national organisation representing motorcyclists who use and wish to conserve green roads – in proceedings for judicial or statutory review to challenge decisions relating to highways and rights of way.
  • Advising Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club on all its planning and related legal work, which has included securing a new stadium at Falmer, a training ground at Lancing, and a strategic mixed-use development adjacent to its training ground.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 1

DMH Stallard LLP’s real estate dispute resolution group uses a ‘collaborative team approach’, drawing upon its resources from the Guilford and Gatwick offices to handle property-related professional negligence claims and contentious issues relating to development sites. Practice head Emily Wood boasts over 20 years’ experience working on commercial real estate disputes, while ‘professional and tenacious’ Tina George specialises in enfranchisement and lease extension work. James Picknell has expertise in handling landlord and tenant disputes, and Cheraine Williams focuses on dilapidation claims and contested 1954 Act lease renewals.

Practice head(s):

Emily Wood


‘A true team as they provide full service in a seamless delivery.’

‘James Picknell has incredible insight and is able to distill complex concepts to clear statements.’

‘The practice adopts a realistic approach to each case, avoiding pursuing endless cul-de-sacs, but relentlessly pursuing the client’s best interests.’

‘Tina George is professional, experienced and tenacious but remains friendly in her approach. She is very thorough is researching all possible avenues to identify the best route ahead.’

‘James Picknell has a forensic eye for detail and a great analytical mind. He is quick to analyse any problem and get to the root issues, with a methodical and structured approach to resolution.’

‘Very responsive. They are hands-on and efficient. Nice to work with as part of a team.’

‘Service provided is always a collaborative team approach to achieve the end result ensuring all staff within a team are involved.’

Key clients

Crawley Borough Council

Wealden & Rother District Council

Cats Protection Trustees Limited

St Catherine’s Hospice Limited

Dorrington PLC

Cadogan Estates PLC

Orbit Housing Association Limited

QBE Insurance Group

Liverpool & Victoria

Work highlights

  • Representing a consortium of green energy clients in a challenge against the Valuation Office relating to the current methodology of business rating in the area of anaerobic digestion.
  • Acted for a local authority in a dispute relating to a site over which a telecoms operator sought to exercise rights under the Telecoms Code, securing an order for its removal, and then reaching a favourable settlement for the client.
  • Acting for a property investor in Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) proceedings relating to the risk of losing its interest in a valuable property.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 1

With activity across the entertainment and media, retail, and technology sectors, DMH Stallard LLP handles post-Brexit IP protection, co-existence agreements as well as detailed pre-product launch risk analysis. Co-lead of the team Tim Ashdown splits his time between Brighton and London and is reputed for his expertise in contentious IT matters and software copyright. Also a co-lead of the team, John Yates in Gatwick helms data protection issues, while Debbie Venn and Rebecca Leeves are based in Brighton, the former is often engaged in business policies, whereas the latter assists clients with IP licensing arrangements and strategy.

Practice head(s):

Tim Ashdown; John Yates

Other key lawyers:


‘A great multidisciplinary approach to intellectual property, company law and contracts for protection.’

‘A measured and considered approach to advice given.’

‘I have worked with Debbie Venn in relation to intellectual property matters. Debbie is thorough and responsive. Her advice is concise and commercial. She is an absolute pleasure to work with.’

‘The team is responsive with a good grasp of practical options for litigants and solutions that generate value without unneccesary complications or side-tracking issues.’

Key clients

Raymond Briggs Trust

Page White Farrer

Gravitas Method Limited

Optiva Securities Limited

FBFX Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the Raymond Briggs Estate on all of the royalty contracts, publishing agreements and commercial arrangements in place between the author/artist and various publishing or other commercialising entities.
  • Advising Gravitas Method on its innovative training programme and protection of its intellectual property rights.
  • Advised Optiva Securities Ltd on its portfolio licence and know-how licence terms as part of its investment framework.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey and Sussex Tier 2

Acting in contractual, financial and shareholder disputes in the aviation, finance and manufacturing industries, concerning claims of breach of contract, corporate fraud and professional negligence, the team at DMH Stallard LLP in Surrey and Sussex displays ‘great attention to detail and the willingness to go the extra mile’. Leading the team is the Gatwick-based Simon Elcock, who offers expertise in the professional services, insurance and banking sectors. James Colvin advises on all areas of commercial and banking dispute resolution. Qualified as a barrister and solicitor, Jonathan Compton in Guildford often advises individuals and commercial organisations on competition, banking and regulatory disputes, while the ‘unflappableTim Ashdown is an IP and technology disputes expert. The team has expanded with the arrival of Nicola Billen from Knights plc in April 2022, who has experience in contractual, corporate and shareholder disputes, and Frank Bouette from Shakespeare Martineau LLP in February 2022.

Practice head(s):

Simon Elcock

Other key lawyers:

James Colvin; Jonathan Compton; Tim Ashdown; Nicola Billen; Robert Ganpatsingh; Clive Lee; Romy Cross; Frank Bouette; Beatrice Bass; Victoria Watt


‘Tim Ashdown’s team easily holds its own when litigating against larger London-based firms, primarily due to Tim’s own experience and ability to manage complex disputes. Unusually for a firm based in Brighton, the team is very familiar with High Court litigation, and the nuances which come with a claim in the Business and Property Courts.’

‘Tim Ashdown, partner of the Brighton team, is entirely unflappable, and able to rise above the day-to-day problems encountered during a case in order to steer a case towards either trial or settlement. Beatrice Bass is reliable and realistic. Beatrice is always on top of the relevant deadlines, the communication between the parties, and can identify what lies at the core of any problem. Victoria Watt is an up-and-coming junior associate, who has an incredible ability to learn and process new material.’

‘Great attention to detail and the willingness to go the extra mile allied with great commercial awareness.’

Key clients

A J Walter Aviation Limited


CAE (UK) Plc

Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

Heidelberg Graphic Equipment Limited

National Westminster Bank Plc

RSM Restructuring & Advisory LLP

Leica UK Limited

Grohe Limited

Ocean Holidays Limited

Employment > Immigration Tier 2

Leveraging its expertise in employment and immigration law, DMH Stallard LLP is well-regarded for assisting EU based service with the foreign transfer of employees to the UK. Adam Williams leads the team and is well-versed in a range of contentious and non-contentious employment law issues, while Aisling Malone helms all aspects of visa sponsorships. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Guildford.

Practice head(s):

Adam Williams

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

English National Opera

Change, Grow, Live

Bridgestone Aircraft Tire UK

STC Power

Lactalis Nestle Chilled Dairy


Frontline Aids


Westcon Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Bridgestone Aircraft Tires UK Ltd on its acquisition of a skilled worker sponsor licence and the transfer of a key senior employee to the UK from its operations within the group overseas.
  • Advised English National Opera in relation to the creative worker immigration route.
  • Advised WaterAid on the review and update of its right to work check processes to reflect changes introduced by the Home Office in September 2021 and April 2022.

Insurance > Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 2

DMH Stallard LLP offers expert advice on all types of clinical negligence claims including misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment and surgical errors. Errors in treatment at birth and obstetrics is a particular specialism of the 'very caring' team. Practice group leader Tessa Grayson and is highly experienced on complex birth injury claims. Lucienne Westbrook is another key contact in the department.

Practice head(s):

Tessa Grayson

Other key lawyers:


‘Tessa Grayson and her team are to be highly commended for their patience in explaining the law, which can be quite frustrating to a non-legal person. Tessa and the team she leads have achieved so much.’

‘Tessa Grayson’s willingness to repeat explanations in different ways to make sure you fully understand what is achievable and what is not, is to be highly commended. You are never rushed to make a decision and you are made to feel you are the most important client to the firm. Tessa also knows how to be human when dealing with someone’s pain.’

‘The team are very caring and very quick to respond to any queries and keep you advised of updates. Especially impressed with Tessa Grayson.’

‘My big takeaway from my experience with DMH is their professionalism – the advice I received was spot on through every stage, all the necessary correspondence was sent through quickly and on time, their ability to explain things in a manner that anyone could understand.’

Insurance > Personal injury: claimant Tier 2

DMH Stallard LLP's personal injury group is led by Tessa Grayson and handles a wide range of claims, with catastrophic injuries, fatal accidents, inquests and accidents at work being particular areas of specialism for the team that is commended for 'its client-centred approach and ability to provide astute advice even in the most difficult of cases'. Catherine Smith is highly experienced and focuses on serious road traffic accident, cyclist claims, accidents at work and criminal injuries claims.

Practice head(s):

Tessa Grayson

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Smith; Julie Payne


‘Tessa Grayson is very caring, extremely efficient and she has always gone above and beyond our expectations. She answers phone calls and emails promptly and often after hours. We have always felt valued and she always includes our daughter in her care.’

‘I always felt like an individual and not just another client. I was kept fully informed of the progression of my case, whether it was 9am or 11pm. Tessa was always willing to listen to my point of view and ensured I always fully understood the implications of any decisions taken. Always felt like my best interests were very important to them.’

‘Tessa Grayson has been absolutely fantastic, could not have asked to deal with a nicer and more compassionate person but at the same time knowing she has to carry out her legal responsibilities to me. Has always made me feel at ease and not afraid to speak up if I ether don’t understand or disagree with something.’

‘They have lead me every step of the way, keeping me updated in a professional and timely manner.’

‘DMH are known for their client-centred approach and their ability to provide astute advice even in the most difficult of cases. The team are experienced in handling personal injury claim both at home and overseas and are highly knowledgeable in the personal injury arena.’

‘Tessa Grayson places her clients at the heart of everything she does. She is extremely personable in her approach, and is able to explain complex issues to her clients with ease. She is well versed in personal injury work and is one of the key players in this area, often securing settlements in challenging cases.’

Private client > Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 2

The large family team at DMH Stallard LLP, which recently merged with Sussex-based private client firm Griffith Smith LLP, offers ‘excellent attention to detail and client care’ to high-net-worth clients and business owners. Operating across offices in Horsham, Hassocks, Brighton, Gatwick and Guildford, the practice provides a range of family law advice and dispute resolution representation relating to cohabitation, children, same-sex relationship and international family law. Team leader and ‘expert’ in contentious divorces and financial proceedings Mark Rennie is ‘strategic, great to work with, client focused and reliable’. Philip Morton manages the team in Guildford and is sought out to assist with complex financial and international cases. In Horsham, Nigel Winter operates a free family law clinic and has a broad practice handling collaborative law and contested ancillary relief proceedings and cohabitation agreements. All issues trained mediator Samantha Jago carries out her own advocacy and offers ‘clear advice’ to parents, business owners and senior managers, while Joanna Potbury has significant experience in matrimonial finance cases.

Practice head(s):

Mark Rennie

Other key lawyers:


‘Nigel Winter dealt with my case. He was very supportive, informative and gave me very good advice. He was very supportive throughout the court procedure. I would thoroughly recommend him to any of my friends.’

‘The team at DMH Stallard are kind, compassionate, knowledgeable, thorough and really do want the best outcome for their clients. I have dealt with numerous members of the team and have found each and every one of them to be this way.’

‘The key ingredient is the quality of the professionals, their identification with us as clients, their wholehearted support and straight-talking advice. They have been prompt in response, clear in their advice and supportive throughout. The professionals were clearly very experienced.’

‘Susan Hayes managed the process securing the divorce settlement. She is articulate, positive, highly supportive and thoroughly practical, and guided us through the many twists and turns of an antagonistic ex-partner to secure a fair settlement.’

‘Mark Rennie is an expert, strategic, great to work with, client focused and reliable.’

‘I have been a client of Samantha Jago for some time. She offers an excellent service, with clear advice and a firm hand dealing with the other side. Queries are answered promptly and effectively.’

‘Joanna Potbury was by far the most understanding solicitor that I dealt with. Joanna is very compassionate and trustworthy. Her response times and communication are fantastic. I have referred many clients to Joanna.’

‘You are dealt with compassion and understanding from outset. The emotional roller coaster is hard to navigate but the team is great and helps you think and see clearly. They have a pragmatic approach but give good, clear and sound advice.’

Real estate > Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 2

The ‘professional and friendly’ commercial property team at DMH Stallard LLP, which is situated across the Gatwick, Guildford, Brighton and Horsham offices, offers a complete property service spanning bespoke in-house legal and chartered planning advice, assistance with construction and property litigation as well as development and regeneration support. Supporting clients in a diverse range of sectors from the retail industries to public and utilities sectors, the practice also offers DMH Direct, a technology platform which assists with property management. The ‘friendly, professional, experienced and realistic’ Tina George leads the team, and Nick Pentecost is noted by the market for his ‘very strong commercial awareness’ and expertise in assisting house builders and developers with land transactions. Ben Price leads on commercial real estate work. Following the firm's merger with Griffith Smith LLP in March 2022, the team has expanded with the arrivals of Dan Ongley and Helen Rowe.

Practice head(s):

Tina George


‘The team is professional and friendly. They have a wide range of experience and are quick to utilise that diversity of knowledge for the benefit of the client.’

‘Tina George has been my solicitor for a number of years. She is friendly, professional, experienced and realistic with her advice. She acts speedily and efficiently following up additional requests.’

‘DMH manage commercial client portfolios in connection with our professional services role and also deal with instructions effectively and efficiently. The way they progress transactions or legal matters is always professional and with a team approach involving all members of staff.’

‘The individuals we have dealt with at DMH are always personable, approachable as well as good communicators.’

‘Nick Pentecost from DMH not only has a strong legal understanding, but also a strong commercial understanding, something not always seen with land lawyers.’

‘Nick Pentecost has very strong commercial awareness. He is always available at short notice and turns work around efficiently and accurately.’

Key clients

Ancala Partners LLP

Supported Living Infrastructure Ltd

Concept Developments (Land) Ltd

Whitehall Homes LLP

Sigma Strategic Land Ltd

Al Boum Limited

Brookworth Homes Ltd

3Q Developments Ltd

Earlswood Homes Ltd

Upright Developments (South East) Ltd

Motoring & Leisure Services Limited

Dolby Medical Home Respiratory Care Limited

Westcon Group European Operations Limited

Chesnut Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Ancala in relation to the acquisition of a specialist care, education and treatment company occupying 16 properties in Southwest England and Wales.
  • Acting for Sigma Strategic Land in relation to a £30m development deal and structuring it in such a way to give both parties the flexibility needed to ensure the deal did not abort.
  • Advising Motoring & Leisure Services in connection with the sale of a prestigious hotel which involved complex arrangements in relation to the structure required by the buyer.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 2

DMH Stallard LLP is particularly well-versed in cyber security, data protection, e-commerce, as well as SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS arrangements. Tim Ashdown in Brighton heads the contentious sphere and is seasoned before the High Court. On the non-contentious side, John Yates is based in Gatwick and handles data protection issues, while Rebecca Leeves and Debbie Venn in Brighton are noted for their expertise of the travel sector.

Practice head(s):

Tim Ashdown; John Yates

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Leeves; Debbie Venn; Victoria Watt; Jay Barnett


‘DMH have responded to every query quickly, completely and with added value. In every review of documentation, the team ensure they leveraged their extensive industry knowledge to guide us to better and stronger terms wherever possible. DMH Stallard are my first point of reference in any new agreement negotiation.’

‘I have solely engaged with Debbie Venn who is exceptional, her speed of response, patience in explain legal complexities and obvious subject matter knowledge has been invaluable. I consider her to be a critical member of my extended virtual team, and won’t hesitate to engage with the team on any legal matters.’

‘What makes Debbie Venn stand out is her grasp of commercial aspects.’

Key clients


Alawco Ltd

Aspen Pumps Ltd

Canon UK Ltd

OpenCapacity Ltd

15below Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised ITIM Ltd on complex IT managed services framework contracts.
  • Advised METTR Technologies Ltd on IP ownership issues and the technical structure of its online platform.
  • Advised Roja Parfums Holdings Ltd on complex contract structures for sale and protection of their products.

Transport > Travel Tier 2

The ‘stellar’ commercial and regulatory practice at DMH Stallard LLP is headed up by Brighton-based ‘excellent travel specialist lawyer’ Debbie Venn. The team has a strong reputation for its capabilities advising its plethora of clients on matters that range from advising on package holiday travel terms and arrangements, to related privacy policy and data protection advice. Within travel, ‘expert in her field’ Rebecca Thornley-Gibson and solicitor Abigail Maino both have an employment specialism, their work often featuring overseas worker issues and jurisdictional issues in relation to seasonal work abroad, for example. Helen Mead and Crawley-based Danos Athanasi have a focus on the corporate side of the sector, advising on such work as brand sales, restructuring and buy back schemes.

Practice head(s):

Debbie Venn


‘DMH Stallard fully understand the external environment and context within which we work and have partnered with us effectively to understand our internal business drivers so they can provide effective advice.’

‘Rebecca Thornley-Gibson is not only an expert in her field but is full of pragmatic advice based on her extensive experience in delivering operational solutions. This team sets an example for other professional firms to follow.’

‘Debbie Venn is competent and available with a strong will to help and assist clients.’

‘They are an outstanding set of individuals who go above and beyond for their clients. They are always commercial and practical in their approach and their travel knowledge is second-to-none.’

‘Debbie Venn is an excellent travel specialist lawyer who responds to clients with sound knowledge and a level-headed approach.’

‘Helen Mead is an outstanding corporate lawyer who understands the nuances of the travel industry when dealing with transactions for clients.’ ‘

‘Jonathan Compton is one of the most accomplished litigators in the field – he applies his legal expertise with empathy and commerciality whilst ensuring he protects his clients every step of the way.’

‘A stellar team all round.’

Key clients

Specialised Travel Ltd

Airborne Representation Ltd

Hovertravel Ltd

CharterSync Ltd

Themis Advisory Ltd

15below Ltd

The Cruise Line Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Airborne Representation in relation to its business operations at various UK airports, including provision of flight disruption services and client-facing support roles, media support and customer communications.
  • Advising Hovertravel in relation to its customer booking Terms and Conditions, terms on carriage of passengers, goods, cancellation arrangements and finalising terms for use.
  • Advising Themis Advisory in relation to a marketing services and digital marketing agreement, including in relation to an agreement for the licensing and use of a widget for assessing and comparing live data.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

The ‘exceptional‘ practice at DMH Stallard LLP assists a variety of stakeholders, including private individuals and banks on both contentious and non-contentious insolvency issues. Dividing his time between Crawley and Brighton, Frank Bouette leads the team with his varied expertise in acting for administrators, liquidators and lenders on purchases and sales of distressed assets, and winding up procedures. Working out of both Crawley and Guildford, Oliver Jackson frequently advises private individuals and company directors on insolvency disputes, including claims brought by liquidators and the removal of trustees in bankruptcy.

Practice head(s):

Frank Bouette

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Jackson; Michael Lynch; Matt Akers


‘DMH Stallard attracts great people and has put together an exceptional insolvency practice. The individuals in the team have a huge amount of industry knowledge, know their onions, and are all extremely user friendly and efficient.’

‘Michael Lynch is the complete package. He is delightful to work with, very clever and strategically first class.’

‘Great negotiating skills.’

‘A small team but a strong one.’

‘Matt Akers has a blue-chip pedigree and a wealth of practical experience. He is a hands-on litigator with a pragmatic and sensible approach to problem solving.’

‘Michael Lynch is a creative thinker who really knows the law inside out.’

‘Great technical know how but also very strategic and commercial.’

‘Michael Lynch and Matt Akers are outstanding. Absolutely on top of the law, but also very commercial and lovely to work with. Highly recommend.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory

Begbies Traynor


Kreston Reeves


NatWest Group

WSM Marks Bloom

Greenfield Recovery

Carter Clark

Shaw Gibbs

Work highlights

  • Acting for a trustee in bankruptcy in relation to the repossession of a bankrupt’s home.

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 4

DMH Stallard LLP‘s multidisciplinary team assists charities, mid and high net worth individuals and professional executors with Inheritance Act Claims, trust disputes, and will validity claims. Jenny Ray in Brighton has a background in personal injury and clinical negligence and leads the team; he joined the practice in April 2022 as a result of a merger with Griffith Smith LLP. Lucienne Westbrook and Cathryn Culverhouse are based in Guildford, the former acts as a court appointed independent executor, while the latter has been described as ‘tenacious.’

Practice head(s):

Jenny Ray


‘Cathryn Culverhouse is excellent. She is very professional, efficient, friendly, and intelligent. She was very quick to understand the issues as she is determined, tenacious, and quietly persistent, she has fought my corner superbly.’

‘I found that Cathryn listened to me more than others and that gave me a chance to explain what was happening to me and how it was affecting me.’

‘Cathryn Culverhouse stood out in her support of me and when discussing the issue and what we needed to do, she was always with clear in her instructions and advice.’

‘Cathryn Culverhouse has been my main point of contact in this matter. She is consistently professional, an expert in her advice and helpful. I have never had any difficulty in making contact to discuss matters either by email or phone.’

‘I work with Jenny Ray who is a safe pair of hands dealing with probate and private client matters.’

‘I greatly value the expert & diligence service provided by Jennifer Ray.’

‘Very client-focused and sensitive to their needs and vulnerabilities, which is particularly important in this field.’

‘The practice demonstrated great capacity in the administration of a highly complex deceased estate.’

Key clients

The executors of the estate of JR

Work highlights

  • Advised the executors of Mrs JR in relation to a claim that one of the executors and beneficiaries had during the lifetime of the deceased, misappropriated funds using an LPA.

Private client > Family Tier 5

Philip Morton heads the group at DMH Stallard LLP, which is experienced in a broad range of family and matrimonial matters, such as the creation of pre-nuptial agreements and handling issues relating to children in the context of divorce and separation. The team’s offering also extends to advising on other issues such as jurisdictional law disputes, child abduction cases, and harassment mandates.

Practice head(s):

Phil Morton

Other key lawyers:

Kirsty Kelleher; Aziz Malik; Talitha Brookman; Gavin Yeung; Natasha Slabas


‘The team has good litigation know-how. Philip Morton is one of the best and Kirsty Kelleher is entirely reliable.’

‘They give robust, pragmatic advice. They take an holistic approach to each case, remaining focused on what the client wishes to achieve. The team offer a wealth of experience and work together well, sharing knowledge and opinions as a team. This gives the client a fabulous all-round service.’

‘Aziz Malik approaches his cases with warm intelligence. He is unafraid to deliver unwelcome advice when necessary and yet manages to do so in a way and with a warmth that means his clients will take it and act upon it. Aziz is alive to all the details of a case.’

‘They have a diverse group of lawyers who, between them, have a significant amount of experience in family law. The lawyers that I’ve worked with there are clever, capable, responsive, and sensible.’

‘DMH Stallard have a wide array of knowledge and experience. The associates are excellent and the partners are always available. They provide a holistic service to their private clients at value for money.’

‘Aziz Malik has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law, is a shrewd strategist, and fights to achieve the best possible results for his clients. He also gives realistic advice at an early stage and encourages pragmatism to resolve disputes.’

‘Gavin Yeung is excellent at client management, prepares effective evidence and applications to the court and is one to watch in this field.’

‘Talitha Brookman has an incredible retention for facts and numbers and Gavin Yeung was an incredible strength for me as well. He was always up to date with information and very accurate and detailed with his explanations. Not having any previous experience in a courtroom, this was very reassuring for me.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in issuing proceedings in the High Court for an injunction against an unrelated third-party defendant who had been harassing the client for a prolonged period of time.

DMH Stallard delivers successful outcomes for businesses and individuals by providing tailored legal services with energy and creativity, backed by technical expertise. A compelling alternative to ‘Big Law’ for larger corporates and a natural partner for ambitious entrepreneurial businesses, the firm also has thriving family, private client and personal injury practices.

The firm has experienced significant growth in recent years, both organically and through a series of mergers that reinforced the firm’s standing and service offering in the region, extended the office network, and increased the number of partners.

DMH Stallard takes pride in being approachable and its ability to build lasting relationships with clients enjoying partner-led service with prompt, clear communication.

Its responsiveness and flexibility means that it can offer a range of pricing approaches according to client requirements. The firm is also closely involved in the communities in which it works.

Key market sectors: for the firm include public sector, charities, property developers and investors, banking and finance, technology, media and telecommunication, education, creative industries, professional services, manufacturing, utilities, travel and aviation, and wine.

Types of work undertaken
Banking and finance: Working in partnership with national and international banks and businesses on a full range of banking and financial matters.

Corporate and commercial: Expertise includes corporate finance; capital markets; M&A and alternative assets such as private equity and property finance. Also includes drafting and negotiating commercial agreements dealing with every aspect of business including supply chain management, procurement and routes to market.

Dispute resolution: Expertise includes corporate and commercial, banking and finance and real estate disputes; fraud, defamation and reputation management; insolvency and corporate recovery; professional negligence; intellectual property and judicial review. The team also has expertise in alternative dispute resolution, with several qualified mediators within the team.

Employment: Technical excellence and in-depth knowledge of client organisations combine to provide operational support and to advise on strategic and complex issues. Also able to provide full representation including advocacy in Tribunals.

Planning and environment: A unique multi-disciplinary team of planning and environmental lawyers and chartered town planners delivers one of the leading services in the South of England.

Private client: Provides care and protection for families and their assets ranging from estate management and wealth protection to contentious matters, family succession, divorce and children’s welfare; also personal injury services and residential conveyancing.

Real estate: With significant commercial and residential transactional capability, expertise includes property asset management, development, investment, housebuilding, construction, regeneration and leasehold matters. There is also a dedicated real estate dispute resolution team.

Technology and intellectual property: Expertise includes IP disputes, IT disputes, data protection, freedom of information, competition law, OFT investigations, procurement, regulatory advice and commercial contracts.

Office locations: Brighton, Hassocks, Horsham, Gatwick, Guildford, London

Department Name Email Telephone
Chairman Rustom Tata
Managing partner Richard Pollins
Banking & Finance Sarah Naylor
Commercial John Yates
Corporate Jonathan Grant
Dispute Resolution Simon Elcock
Employment Rustom Tata
Family Philip Morton
Planning & Environment Heidi Copland
Private Client Lorna Fairbairn
Real Estate Tina George
TMT Tim Ashdown
Photo Name Position Profile
Danos Athanasi photo Danos Athanasi Partner
Jay Barnett photo Jay Barnett Senior Associate
Simon Bellm photo Simon Bellm Simon is a Partner in the Gatwick-based employment group.
Frank Bouette photo Frank Bouette Partner
Greg Burgess photo Greg Burgess Partner
Gemma Clark photo Gemma Clark Associate FCILEx
James Colvin photo James Colvin James is an experienced commercial litigation Partner.
Romy Cross photo Romy Cross Associate
Simon Elcock photo Simon Elcock Simon is a Partner and the Head of Dispute Resolution, which also…
Daniel Frisby photo Daniel Frisby Daniel is a Associate Planner in the Planning and Environment group and is based in…
Tina George photo Tina George Tina is a Partner who heads the real estate department.
Jonathan Grant photo Jonathan Grant Jonathan is Head of the firm’s corporate department across Sussex, Surrey and London, and…
Tessa Grayson photo Tessa Grayson Tessa is a Partner who leads DMH Stallard’s personal injury team.
Tyne Harman photo Tyne Harman Tyne is a Solicitor in the Banking and Finance team, based in…
Oliver Jackson photo Oliver Jackson Oliver is a Partner in our Dispute Resolution team, based in our…
Chloe Karamian photo Chloe Karamian Chloe is a Partner in the Planning & Environment Group based in Gatwick.
Nigel Marchant photo Nigel Marchant Litigation Executive
Kay Miles photo Kay Miles Senior Associate
Anne Milne photo Anne Milne Anne is a Partner in the real estate department who heads up the Real Estate…
Abigail Owen photo Abigail Owen Senior Corporate Counsel.
Julie Payne photo Julie Payne Associate FCILEx
Nick Pentecost photo Nick Pentecost Partner
Peter Rainier photo Peter Rainier Peter is Principal Director of Planning at DMH Stallard and is based in Gatwick
Catherine Smith photo Catherine Smith Catherine is a Senior Associate FCILEx
Tom Trowbridge photo Tom Trowbridge Tom is a Partner in the real estate department working closely with the…
Will  Walsh photo Will Walsh Partner
Lucienne Westbrook photo Lucienne Westbrook Lucienne is a Partner
Cheraine Williams photo Cheraine Williams Cheraine is a Senior Associate in the Real Estate Dispute Resolution team.
Adam Williams photo Adam Williams Adam is a Partner in the employment group who advises clients on employment…
Emily Wood photo Emily Wood Emily is Partner and Head of the real estate dispute resolution group and…
John Yates photo John Yates John is a Partner and Group Head of the Commercial team in Gatwick.
Photo Name Position Profile
Heidi Copland photo Heidi Copland Partner
Ralph Crane  photo Ralph Crane Partner
Robert Ganpatsingh photo Robert Ganpatsingh Partner
Clive Lee photo Clive Lee Clive is a dispute resolution Partner based in the Gatwick office. He…
Number of UK partners : 84
Number of other UK fee-earners : 127