DMH Stallard LLP > Brighton, England > Firm Profile

DMH Stallard LLP

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

The Gatwick-based corporate and commercial team at DMH Stallard LLP has a strong focus on regional M&A transactions. Jonathan Grant heads the corporate team, while 'standout partnerAbigail Owen works on local, national and international M&A deals across a wide range of different industries. Helen Mead regularly works with clients in the travel, aviation, retail insurance and technology sectors. John Yates is group head of commercial, advising on non-contentious IP and IT matters, while Debbie Venn has extensive commercial experience.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Grant

Other key lawyers:

Abigail Owen; Helen Mead; Danos Athanasi; Kate Norgett; John Yates


‘The team at DMH are very people-oriented and easy to get along with. They take a commercial approach, quickly finding solutions to any potential conflicts. It’s efficient and straightforward to work with DMH.’

‘Very professional, City-standard expertise but much more responsive and accessible. A combination of knowledge and responsiveness that I have not encountered elsewhere. Ethos is to spend a lot of time understanding the clients business and needs and to tailor responses, advice and services to best fit those needs. Feels like a real partnership. Knowledge and experience are excellent and are a given.’

‘Strong, cohesive team that still offer personal service, but the major difference is the leadership and communication as evidenced by Abigail Owen, their standout partner. She goes the extra mile even when its not her dept to make sure that jobs get done as required on time’

‘Abigail Owen is a fabulous lead partner who delivers on time every time. She and her team always get the job done and as lead partner she makes sure others deliver. Throughout covid she was available 24/7. You just don’t see that level of service anywhere else. She keeps you informed on costs in advance so you know where you stand and have full transparency.’

‘Kate Norgett is an outgoing and friendly person, and a good negotiator who will ensure her clients get the best outcome. Her negotiation style is very commercial, which allows her to quickly find solutions; instead of making negotiations difficult, she is very facilitating.’

‘Helen Mead was outstanding in her grasp of the issues and ability to draw together the different elements and professionals involved. The most important factor for Helen was to get the job done.’

‘I’m very impressed with Danos Athanasi. The firm spent time understanding my company and the key points that are important to me as the client. He is always available and always provides outputs on time.’

Key clients

Accordance Technical Services

Ashtons Hospital Pharmacy Services

Atelier Ten

AVS Group Holdings



Global Risk Partners

Lightning Fibre Limited

Monty’s Bakehouse

Posturite Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Monty’s Bakehouse Limited on it sale to Singaporean SATS Investments Pte Ltd, an integrated food supplier in the Asia Pacific region, for £27m.
  • Advising the shareholders of Atelier Ten on joining with Surbana Jurong Group, a major global urban infrastructure and managed services consultancy firm headquartered in Singapore.
  • Advising the sellers of Brighton-based Ashtons Hospital Pharmacy Services on the sale, rollover equity investment combined with a major private equity investment into the business.

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 1

DMH Stallard LLP's 'approachable and knowledgeable' group focuses primarily on commercial and leasehold debt recovery matters across a diverse range of industries, including the manufacturing, banking and professional services sectors. Simon Elcock handles a broad portfolio of cases in the finance sector, including contentious debt recovery work, while Kelly Mills is also well-versed in insolvency and bankruptcy litigation; she acts on behalf of major banks and finance providers. Associate Gemma Clark is noted for her highly active role in the firm's debt and leasehold recovery work.

Practice head(s):

Simon Elcock; Kelly Mills

Other key lawyers:


‘They provide a friendly, approachable and professional service with an honest assessment of the best way forward.’

‘Company contacts are always prompt and professional with their help/guidance.’

Key clients

Adelle Firestone

Banque et Caisse D’epargne De L’Etat Luxembourg


Brighton i-360

Bryson Products Limited

CAE (UK) Plc

Gemini Print Southern Limited

Glass’s Information Services Limited

Heidelberg Graphic Equipment Limited

Kensington & Chelsea

MSR Partners LLP

Penfold Verrall Limited

POP Retail Limited

Rossetts (UK) Limited

Safeguard Europe Limited

SpaceandPeople Plc

Stiles Harold Williams LLP

Straumann Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Heidelberg Graphic Equipment in relation to debt recovery since June 2020.
  • Advising BDO in relation to the recovery of unpaid professional service fees, employee loans and overpayment of salaries.
  • Assisting Kensington & Chelsea council with the recovery of  unpaid ground rent and service charge arrears usually at zero cost.

Employment > Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 1

Led by Simon Bellm, the employment team at DMH Stallard LLP  has a strong regional presence in addition to having clients nationally and internationally and is praised for providing 'excellent, comprehensive and clear advice'. The team handles work for clients in the education, transport, retail and charity sectors. Greg Burgess handles a broad spectrum of employment mandates, and Adam Williams also has a strong client base and leads the firm’s business immigration practice.

Practice head(s):

Simon Bellm

Other key lawyers:

Greg Burgess; Adam Williams; Abigail Maino


‘This employment team is constituted of highly knowledgeable skilled dynamic lawyers well equipped to give excellent, comprehensive and clear advice. They are simply one of the best teams in a strong field.’

‘Clear, articulate and highly professional. Strategic direction set and then delivered. Took care of the administrative and procedural elements with absolute certainty to focus expertise and time on resolving a highly complex matter.’

‘Strong understanding of employment law and not just the black and white of the law, some good advice on application of the law and what that might mean for an organisation. seeks to resolve issues quickly and communicates in a language everyone understands.’

‘The team are extremely knowledgeable, responsive and can engage effectively with stakeholders at every level of a business. They always explain things in a non-legal way that is easy to understand.’

‘Simon Bellm is approachable, down to earth and quickly gets to the heart of the issue, ensures confidence and gives clear advice and helps manage risk.’

‘Our key contact, Greg Burgess, has worked closely with us for a number of years and his advice and support is always clear, reasoned, timely and focused on our business needs. We have developed a strong relationship with Greg and we trust his advice.’

‘Adam Williams is my regular contact at DMH. He provides expert advice that always balances the legal position with commercial perspective. He is very thorough and resourceful if the question is not in his area of expertise. Advice and recommendations are always communicated in a way that can be understood in plain terms.’

‘Abigail Maino is calm, focused and entirely dedicated to the successful navigation through to the highest levels of the judicial system. More than a safe pair of hands – entirely committed to getting the right outcome for her client.’

Key clients

Shoreham Port Authority

FDM Group Limited

Lion Academy Trust

Virgin Atlantic Airways

Change Grow Live


The National Lottery Heritage Fund

St Catherine’s Hospice

McCarthy Holden Estate Agents

Cargostore Worldwide Trading Limited

Entrust (Europe) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Shoreham Port Authority in relation to establishing its own in-house agency worker arrangements under the Employment Businesses Regulations 2003.
  • Advised The National Lottery Heritage Fund on an organisational redesign which spanned 18 months from planning to implementation, advising on approach and consultation with unions; secondment arrangements with third party organisations; and a complex grievance issue.
  • Represented Lion Academy Trust in relation to a complex claim from Tribunal, through the Employment Appeal Tribunal, and ultimately to success in the Court of Appeal.

Finance > Banking and finance Tier 1

DMH Stallard LLP's recent workload has included acquisition finance, corporate and commercial banking, and real estate transactions. In addition, asset-based lending transactions have been on the increase at the firm. Gwen Godfrey heads up the team, which undertakes a mix of bank and borrower work. Also based in Gatwick is Anne Milne, who leads the real estate and property finance group. Tom Trowbridge and senior associate Elina Ong are among other key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Gwen Godfrey

Other key lawyers:

Anne Milne; Sarah Naylor; Cathy Searle; Tom Trowbridge; Katie Layton; Elina Ong


‘The team always demonstrate a joined-up approach – you can rely on getting consistent, professional advice. They are knowledgeable and approachable and give me confidence that they are providing me with the best service available.’

‘They take ownership and are always honest, friendly and professional. I have worked with Anne Milne for many years and she is always my preferred solicitor. She gives me honest and constructive advice and I know I can rely on her to meet deadlines.’

‘We have worked with DMH for a number of years and established excellent working relationships. The team are practical and knowledgeable. Probably the firm we would choose to use where we have that choice.’

‘We work mainly with Gwen Godfrey and Anne Milne. Both professional, responsive and knowledgeable. Gives practical advice to help us make commercial decision. Both Gwen and Anne willing to give advice (even on matters they are not working on). Easy to deal with and have a strong understanding of the bank.’

‘The practice has a strong ethos that delivers a personable, quality service with a great depth of knowledge of various aspects of the law through their staff. I have not met one person working for DMH who falls below this standard. They are focused on risk but have a commercial view point and are extremely good at working with other professional service providers.’

‘Our key contacts in Anne Milne and Gwen Godfrey are very approachable and hard working. We very much value that they take personal responsibility for work and oversee all matters, and trough the process being both practical and commercial to get a transaction done. Their guidance and expertise is valued and highly regarded.’

‘Very professional and well resourced. It is evident that they work closely as a team with all members engaged and into the detail. Work is always scrupulously reviewed so we get partner standard work, even for smaller transactions, where other firms would pass onto more junior colleagues.’

‘Gwen Godfrey is the stand out partner at DMH. Always available as a friendly expert, to lend an ear and offer sound advice. Happy to chat through hypothetical circumstances and practicalities, even on transactions that we haven’t yet engaged on. Very proactive in identifying areas that may cause issues and flagging early.’

Key clients

Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Limited

Leumi ABL Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Limited on the refinance of asset based lending facilities to Chemigraphic Limited to support their rapid growth, which included advising on the structure of the deal, drafting the suite of finance and security documents and managing the conditions precedent process.
  • Acted for a lender on the provision of a facility to a developer to fund the implementation of planning permission for the construction of 64 one & two bed apartments, gym, swimming pool & parking.
  • Advised a bank on CBILS facilities to a well known social sports and entertainment venue in London and a refinance of existing indebtedness of the borrower to provide general working capital, working with the lender to draft all finance documentation. Also dealt with complex inter-creditor issues in relation to a Future Fund convertible loan.

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

DMH Stallard LLP has a strong regional presence, with offices in Brighton, Guildford and Horsham. Key names include Michael Derrick in Guildford and senior associate Deborah Henn in Horsham; Lorna Fairbairn leads the overall private client offering for the firm’s South East and London offices. The ‘first class‘ team advises on wills, administration of estates, acting as executor, trustee or deputy, estate planning, trust creation and Court of Protection applications. Bryan Dean has expertise in the administration of estates and associate Stuart Price, who joined the Brighton team from Thomson Snell & Passmore, has strengths in estate planning.

Practice head(s):

Michael Derrick; Deborah Henn

Other key lawyers:


‘A prompt, professional and efficient service from the firm as a whole. This gave me confidence when referring further clients to the firm.’

‘DHM Stallard are first class. Nothing was ever too much trouble for them and all my queries etc were answered quickly and things I didn’t understand were explained clearly. I have had dealings with other solicitors but DMH Stallard were far superior and efficient.’

‘Kerry Young is very capable in her field and uses the strong backup within the firm when niche expertise is necessary. I always feel that I am getting priority even though I am sure that as a client I am somewhat smaller than most of the DMHS portfolio. I have confidence in their advice.’

‘Deborah Henn is very knowledgeable in her field and she has been very supportive and understanding while undertaking the wishes of my parent’s wills following their deaths. Her knowledge of the law and processes is exemplary.’

‘Michael Derrick was the person I dealt with the most and I cannot rate him high enough. He made a very sad and emotional time for me easier to deal with by showing empathy and concern. I felt I could ask him anything and felt if I didn’t understand something, that I could talk to him easily and openly. He was always in touch with me on a regular basis to ask how I was and explain the next steps needed.’

Work highlights

  • Advising on corporate and private client matters, including the creation of a FIC and a family trust, IHT, a business exit and succession planning; generating significant potential tax savings.
  • Assisting with structuring the UK affairs of a musician domiciled in Canada and advising on domicile for IHT purposes (global estate value in excess of £20m).
  • Acting for executors in the administration of a high value estate of circa £4.2m, involving the preparation of a detailed deed of variation and negotiations with residuary charity beneficiaries; avoiding a potentially costly and lengthy dispute.

Real estate > Environment and planning Tier 1

DMH Stallard LLP’s environment and planning group is equally adept at providing contentious and non-contentious support to clients, most notably in the residential and leisure development sectors. The team’s planning litigation offering is helmed by practice head Heidi Copland who, in addition to handling a significant volume of Section 106 agreements for major urban regenerations, also acts for clients in enforcement appeals and CPO claims brought about by national infrastructure projects. Chloe Karamian advises private developers and local authorities on a range of planning matters, and is experienced in both planning and environmental litigations. The team also boasts a deep bench of chartered town planners: Peter Rainier, a veteran practitioner who serves as the principal director of planning, acts for developers and landowners on commercial and residential ventures, while Katie Lamb concentrates on major housing schemes. Daniel Frisby specialises in environmental assessment work on behalf of sport organisations and harbour authorities. All named lawyers are based in Gatwick.

Practice head(s):

Heidi Copland


‘The department at DMH Stallard combines an exceptional understanding of planning law with down to earth sound advice and a robust approach to finding client solutions.’

‘I have worked with Heidi Copland on many occasions. Not only is she extremely experienced and knowledgeable, but she is always approachable. She has that uncanny knack of quickly putting clients at ease and gaining their immediate confidence and respect.’

‘I work with the multi-disciplinary planning law team, which includes Peter Rainier, who is a first class chartered planner and two excellent planning solicitors; Chloe Karamian and Heidi Copland. They are my go-to solicitors for planning judicial reviews.’

‘Chloe Karamian is hands on and understands and has excellent grasp of planning law and good judgement. It is always a great advantage to have a solicitor who knows her subject. Heidi Copland has immense experience and is a safe pair of hands with  a sharp eye for detail. They are a great pleasure to work with and have very good client care skills.’

‘A really strong team, with a depth of experience, good at building strong client relationships and excellent commercial judgment.’

‘Heidi Copland is highly experienced planning and environment partner. Wears her great expertise lightly.’

‘Chloe Karamian is piercingly bright. Brings to bear her previous local authority experience with her impressive commercial judgement to present creative solutions.’

Daniel Frisby is just superb and produces excellent papers and outcomes for us.’

Key clients

Antler Homes

Astindale Developments

Astoria Brighton LLP

Brookworth Homes

Cala Homes

Chartwell Land and New Homes

Concept Developments

Copperwood Developments

Countryside Properties

Crawley Borough Council

Crest Nicholson

Cross Homes (Sussex)

David Appleby Engineering Limited

English Cities Fund

Gleeson Strategic Land

Greenplan Designer Homes

Henry Construction Projects

Kier Construction Limited

Millwood Designer Homes

Newhaven Port and Properties Limited

Orbit Homes

Oxted Residential Limited

Pricewatch Limited

Reside Holdings

Rydon Homes

Persimmon Homes

Sage Housing

Sigma Homes

Sweeptech Environmental

The Community Stadium Limited / Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club

Taylor Wimpey

Trail Riders Fellowship

Verizun Land and Developments

Wates Developments

Wealden & Rother District Councils

Welbeck Strategic Land

YMCA Downslink

Work highlights

  • Acting for English Cities Fund on the section 106 agreement required for the phased redevelopment of Manor Road Quarter in Canning Town, a scheme comprising over 800 dwellings (50% are affordable), commercial use and new public spaces.
  • Successfully defending a Judicial Review as Interested Party in the case of R (oao Stubbs) v Lake District National Park Authority [2020] EWHC 2293 (Admin).
  • Acting for Wealden and Rother Councils Joint Legal Services team in respect of a considerable number of s106 agreements concerning major redevelopment projects or housing schemes involving complex bespoke drafting and negotiation.

Real estate > Property litigation Tier 1

DMH Stallard LLP is equally highly regarded for its strengths in residential and commercial property litigation. The real estate dispute resolution practice is led by Emily Wood, whose client roster includes property investors, developers, retail occupiers, charities and energy companies. The team is particularly noted for its expertise in collective enfranchisement and complex business ratings cases. Also notable is that Wood’s group includes Vanessa Joll, who is experienced in multi-party disputes, most notably pertaining to contested developments and property-related professional negligence claims. Complex easement and restrictive covenant disputes are a core competency for Kristine Ng, while Cheraine Williams is recommended for her expertise in landlord and tenant work.

Practice head(s):

Emily Wood

Other key lawyers:

Vanessa Joll; Tina George; Kristine Ng; Cheraine Williams; Lauren Kirby; James Picknell


‘Personal attention at partner level and fees significantly below those of London practices.’

‘Emily Wood is knowledgeable and gives personal attention to property litigation matters. I have recommended her to clients in this field and have not been disappointed.’

‘Emily Wood is very knowledgeable and calm. She manages the case extremely efficiently and has excellent communication with the clients. Always on top of everything.’

‘This is a very good team with a lot of very experienced lawyers. They are all very easy to deal with but really know their stuff and are very commercial in their attitude to disputes.’

‘Vanessa runs a very good team and is very very good with clients. She is understanding, but also firm where necessary. She is an excellent advocate for her clients but well aware of commercial realties.’

‘Kristine Ng continues to go from strength to strength. Again very good with clients but also realistic and commercial. I would have no hesitation in recommending her.’

‘Vanessa Joll is an absolutely top-class practitioner. She provides first-rate advice across the whole spectrum of property litigation. Her client-care skills are second to none.’

Key clients

Brighton YMCA

Cadogan Estates

Cardtronics UK Limited

Cats Protection Trustees Limited

Crawley Borough Council

Liverpool and Victoria

St Catherine’s Hospice

Wealden & Rother District Council

Work highlights

  • Acting for a high profile residential development company funded through an informal loan arrangement to determine any ongoing funding obligations following the sudden death of the lender; settling the matter involved complex tax advice, agreeing the structure of loan agreements and the transfer of a number of properties.
  • Acting for a national provider of social housing to defend its position in relation to a significant development project nearing completion against potential claims for loss of rights of light.
  • Acting for Cardtronics in its successful appeal to the Supreme Court (March 2020) concerning the separate assessment for business rates of external-facing ATMs. A landmark case referred to as setting a precedent in subsequent cases, it has also resulted in updates to the rating manuals.

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

DMH Stallard LLP's IP offering is truly all-encompassing, spanning enforcement and protection advice, licensing and other commercial agreements as well as all types of contentious work. On the transactional side, the group, led by Gatwick-based John Yates, has been increasingly active advising clients on developing alternative forms of brand expose such as brand ambassadors, a trend caused by the covid-19 pandemic. Tim Ashdown  leads the disputes team from Brighton, which also includes senior associate Sarah Cook; the firm's senior litigation partner, Ashdown specialises in disputes relating to the copyrighted software.

Practice head(s):

John Yates; Tim Ashdown

Other key lawyers:

Debbie Venn; Sarah Cook; Josie Appleyard


‘Quality service no job too small’

‘John Yates and Tim Ashdown both are exceptional lawyers who give concise and relevant advice at a fair price’

‘The team were very customer focused. They spent time listening to the issues and concerns. The feedback provided was in simple and easy to understand terms. At the beginning of the process they discussed the timeline for completion of the project and then adhered to the agreed timescales. ’

‘Very responsive to the enquiry. They took the time to check that we had understood all the points raised. ’

‘The TMT department is a top class outfit when it comes to any IP-related matters. In particular, they have proved to be a force to be reckoned with in the enforcement of trade mark, passing off, domain name, advertising, reputational rights and defamation matters. We have consistently found the team to be very clear in its advice and highly experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of IP ad related sectors of the law. We know we will get a clear and straight answer to any of our or our client’s questions and so it is very easy to recommend DMH Stallard in the knowledge that they will not disappoint our clients from any sectors.’

‘Tim Ashdown is an outstanding and sharp lawyer with an impressive level of experience. Apart from being personable and very easy to work with he adds gravitas which gives weight to his client’s position. He stands out amongst his peers for these reasons. Another thing that impresses us is the fact that Tim can advise our clients from any industry sector and so he is an easy match for all of our clients.’

‘It was suggested I spoke to DHM Stallard in late October last year by Bridget Lucas QC. I had little experience in matters surrounding a potential trade mark infringement and passing off issue. The approach and supportive nature to the situation I experienced gave me confidence in an area where the complexities and legal protocols felt daunting.’

‘Tim Ashdown is legally astute and commercially savvy. Just what we needed. A good communicator and skilled negotiator. Very easy to work with.’

Key clients

2nd Quadrant

Aspen Pumps Ltd

Bisley Sporting Group

Carbon Removal Centre Ltd

Cavadore Ltd

Delicious Digital

EOS Training Ltd

FDM Group

Institute of Asphalt Technology

S Wolff Holding ApS

Work highlights

  • Advising Aspen Pumps Group on the protection of IP rights including complex NDA, data sharing and partnership agreements, patent and IP assignment, and IP licensing provisions.
  • Acting for Delicious Digital in respect of a with the Performing Rights Society which relates to the payment of royalties and breach of contractual arrangements.
  • Acting for an online sports college in a dispute regarding an IP agreement to provide course materials to an overseas university.

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

DMH Stallard LLP's dispute resolution team conducts litigation for a range of clients from sectors including education, finance, professional services and charity. The firm has a strong regional presence with offices in Gatwick, Brighton and Guildford, working in tandem with an active debt recovery practice. The team is headed by Simon Elcock, who is recognised for his expertise in dealing with complex financial claims and director, shareholder and partnership disputes. James Colvin also frequently acts for clients in the finance sector. Oliver Jackson joined the team from Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Simon Elcock

Other key lawyers:


‘DMH provide a truly excellent service and punch above their weight in litigation against the major london firms. They provide an excellent service at all levels. The solicitors and associates have real hands on experience of running litigation, and the partners are seriously impressive in terms of legal skills and commercial savvy. Real team players.’

‘Their combination of great technical knowledge, user-friendly lawyers and really strong commercial awareness is excellent. We’ve also found their data-driven approach to billing and demonstrating value to be incredibly useful. Many bigger firms produce glossy brochures and talk a good game about how innovative they are, but DMH Stallard tend to focus on the things that genuinely help you on a day-to-day basis. ’

‘A combination of pragmatism, collaboration and a deep understanding of what in-house lawyers and businesses actually need from their lawyers.

‘The DMH Stallard disputes team excels at providing pragmatic, commercial advice in a user-friendly manner. They effective operate as extended members of our in-house litigation team. ’

‘This is a really client-focused team. They work hard to understand our business and meet our needs. They price their services very reasonably and they are flexible in considering billing models. We always know we can rely on them to do what they say they will do. It’s a really positive client-lawyer dynamic.’

‘Simon Elcock is very calm under pressure, confident and authoritative in his advice. Clients respect him and his initial judgment on a case is rarely wrong.’

‘Tim Ashdown is seriously impressive. A fantastic litigator with a real breadth of legal knowledge, he has great client skills and a real feel for the commercial realities. Unflappable. Always willing to go the extra mile. I frequently recommend him to clients and they are never disappointed.

‘James Colvin is extremely efficient, thorough and diligent. He is a steady influence on fast moving cases. Excellent judgment and provides concise commercial advice to his clients.’

Key clients


CAE (UK) Plc

Change, Grow, Live

Heidelberg Graphic Equipment Limited

Lancing College

National Westminster Bank plc

RSM Restructuring & Advisory LLP

Suzuki Motor Corporation

T C Facilities Management Limited

WPM Education Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for National Westminster Bank plc in contentious work as a member of its legal panel.
  • Advising RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP in a high value and complex matter regarding a number of misfeasance claims against a company’s former directors the value of which runs to several million pounds.
  • Acting for WPM Education Limited in a successful claim against a leading University under the Public Procurement Regulations which included an urgent application for an injunction to suspend the procurement process pending determination of the claim.

Employment > Immigration Tier 2

DMH Stallard LLP has seen an increase in instructions from multinationals looking to enter the UK market, which involves providing strategic advice on visa sponsorship programmes and TUPE transfers in light of Brexit, among other areas. Adam Williams has significant experience in immigration and employment law, with a primary focus on assisting employers with handling visa sponsorship and compliance matters; he is also well-versed in business immigration disputes. Associate Phillip Vallon advises a broad spectrum of companies in relation to tier 2 sponsorship programmes and related areas of business immigration issues.

Practice head(s):

Adam Williams

Other key lawyers:


‘Adam Williams and his team are great. They are easy to get hold of, approachable, friendly and always provide timely answers to our queries.’

‘They understand our business and support both head office and factory sites with immigration arrangements.’ 

‘With regard to assisting us with applying for sponsorship licenses for all businesses, Adam Williams has provided superb support. In Adam’s absence, Philip Vallon has been a great figure of support.’

‘Adam Williams was our point person – he was willing and able to address all of our concerns. We are so grateful for his professional demeanour and expertise!’

Key clients


Frontline Aids

Fairvue Partners

Lactalis McLelland

Ambipar Response Limited


Westcon Group

Outfit7 Brit Limited

Hanover Displays Limited


Work highlights

  • Advised Change, Grow, Live on changes to the points-based immigration system, including advice on the applicability of the new “Health and Care” visa to a specific subset of the client’s roles.
  • Advised a leading aviation recruitment provider on the potential application of the “Aircrew” exemption under section 8(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 to EU national pilots flying planes in and out of the UK, post-Brexit.
  • Advised an Australian winery on the immigration aspects of its setting up of a new UK branch and the transition of a senior individual to the UK to lead the new office.

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

DMH Stallard LLP has a strong regional presence across the South East, with offices in Gatwick, Guildford, Brighton and Horsham. The real estate team is adept at advising banking institutions, house-builders, regional and large developers and utility providers. Department head Tina George oversees all four South Eastern offices as well as London, leading the commercial and residential property teams and the real estate dispute resolution practice. Anne Milne leads the team in Gatwick with expertise in advising on property finance transactions, and Cathy Searle heads the Guildford office, often advising developers and land-owners on their residential development matters.

Practice head(s):

Tina George

Other key lawyers:

Richard Pollins; Nick Pentecost; Anne Milne; Ian Greenfield; Jonathan Crook; Cathy Searle; Ben Price


‘What makes the service unique is it is very flexible, each team member specialises in specific aspects of law. The advantage is that each specialist is immediately available and responsive.’

‘They communicate effectively with us having learned how our business works and what our priorities are and have adapted to fit in with our expectations.’

‘Well-balanced range and depth of legal disciplines. Ability to collaborate across teams and offices. Individual team members have developed a very good understanding of our business model and consequently are able to instinctively prioritise and resource services to assist us to meet our aims.’

‘First rate legal minds. Highly efficient and organised in their dealings. Immensely personable.’

‘Jonathan Crook is an excellent technical lawyer who delivers an outstanding service. City law firm quality at less than half the price.’

Key clients

Orbit South Housing Association Limited

Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

Dorrington PLC

Sigma Hones Limited

Concept Developments Land Limited


Friday Media Group

Landspeed Homes Limited

Whitehall Homes

E-Zec Medical Transport

Work highlights

  • Advised Sigma Homes Limited on a complex and high value residential development project with numerous commercial issues.
  • Advised the corporate team of Friday Media Group Limited in undertaking detailed due diligence on the property aspects of a deal.
  • Handling regular property work for E-Zec Medical Transport, a family-run company and one of the longest established and largest independent ambulance providers.

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

Spanning multiple offices in the South East, DMH Stallard LLP houses 'a full suite of experts covering all disciplines around the sector', and assists technology companies and buyers of IT solutions with procurement, commercial contracts, off-shoring and M&A transactions. Many growing technology companies rely on the firm's ability to work across different practice areas, with the team acting as general counsel for all of the client's needs. Contentious work is led from Brighton by Tim Ashdown, and includes representing technology companies in dispute relating to software copyright and IT development projects. Also in Brighton, Debbie Venn focusses on the travel tech sector. John Yates leads the Gatwick commercial group.

Practice head(s):

John Yates; Tim Ashdown

Other key lawyers:


‘Value for money, efficient and approachable’

‘John Yates – easy to work with providing relevant and god value advice’

‘Full suite of experts covering all disciplines around the sector. Very approachable and communicate easily. Just do the important things well. ’

‘A reliable and trustworthy legal partner for our digital marketing agency’

‘Tim Ashdown – credibility, I trust his advice. John Yates – very practical commercial advice.’

Key clients

15below Ltd

Ampito Ltd

BestAtDigital Limited

Canon UK Limited and Canon Europe Ltd

CVR Global LLP

Hadean Supercomputing Ltd

Motoring and Leisure Services Ltd

Object Source LLP

Sunrise Software Ltd

WPM Education Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising a Major theatrical enterprise on a ticketing technology solution to handle refunds arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advising Hadean on the protection of its complex software engines for creation of multiple processing activities and algorithm application in various sectors.
  • Advising Ampito Limited on both contentious and non-contentious issues including contracts, framework agreements, IP ownership, GDPRs and compliance with modern slavery legislation.

Transport > Travel Tier 2

Based in Brighton, DMH Stallard LLP provides a 'professional, but also personal' service to clients, with notable expertise in matters relating to package travel and ATOL regulations, as well as advising on commercial agreements for agencies and suppliers. Debbie Venn leads the team; her overlapping expertise in the IT sector means she is well placed to advise on the e-commerce, data protection and cyber aspects of the travel industry. The team also draws upon the experience of employment experts Rebecca Thornley-Gibson and Abigail Milano, as well as corporate expert Helen Mead.

Practice head(s):

Debbie Venn


‘I felt valued as a client and the team was engaged and diligent. Billing was clear and correct at all times. The firm liaised on my behalf to secure insurance coverage for my case and this was successfully achieved and processed.’

‘Every interaction was professional, but also personal, which was incredibly appreciated during a difficult time. All calls, either by phone or virtual, were punctual and clear. I could not recommend this firm more highly!’

‘Rebecca Thornley-Gibson was flawless, starting with her replying to my first message on a Saturday and being available at any time throughout the process. Rebecca was remarkable – her support, knowledge and skill set was outstanding throughout the whole process.’

‘A very reactive team with a high level of knowledge of the sector and the recent regulatory modifications.’

‘Debbie Venn is reactive and has a good knowledge of cross-border (UK/France) issues and cross-legal issues (privacy and commercial, BtoB and BtoC).’

Key clients

TravelLocal Ltd

In2Action Ltd

Specialised Travel Ltd

Airborne Representation Ltd

Travelopia Ltd

Hovertravel Ltd

Macs Adventures Limited

Family Holiday Association

Peligoni Booking Services Ltd

Inntravel and Explore Worldwide Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised In2Action on the commercial agreements surrounding the provision of children’s entertainment packages in resorts and booking conditions for school programmes.
  • Advised Airborne Representation on contracts for operating a luggage handling and storage service and on the set up and operation of a remote airport service desk.
  • Advising a tour operator on a collective redundancy exercise as a result of the pandemic.

Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 3

In February 2021, Oliver Jackson joined DMH Stallard LLP from Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP, taking over from Simon Elcock as the head of the restructuring and insolvency practice. Tim Symes joined Stewarts Law LLP in 2020. Jackson is experienced in undertaking a full spectrum of insolvency work for corporates and individuals, with a particular strength in contentious matters. The scope of the work in this space includes cases involving alleged misfeasance by directors, antecedent transactions and wrongful trading. James Colvin's experience includes insolvency-related fraud cases involving misappropriation and concealment of assets. Beyond contentious work, non-contentious mandates (in relation to corporate and personal insolvency) also drive activity. The firm undertakes a significant amount of work for insolvency practitioners in the South East and London. In addition, its client base includes company directors, banks and asset-based lenders, and investors.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Jackson

Other key lawyers:


‘DMH has a great reputation and strength and depth of team that means it is capable of dealing with SME and large businesses in equal ability and experience. the team at DMH is no nonsense, very practical and approachable and a first class, hands-on solicitors firm.’

‘James Colvin is an expert in the insolvency field with many years of experience and capable of providing clever solutions to complex problems.’

‘Oliver Jackson is friendly, bright and experienced and provides innovative solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems. his calm manner makes him ideal for dealing with clients facing a crisis.’

‘DMH Stallard have an extremely capable team of partners and staff. They have the ability to deal with complex situations and bring the relevant skills to the table to deal effectively and efficiently with the assignments. ’

‘I have worked with a number of individuals, all of whom have been able to call on the firm’s experts in different areas to deal with complex cases. James Colvin has been particularly key in driving forward some very complex and challenging business recovery and insolvency matters.’

Key clients

FRP Advisory (Brighton)

CVR Global


Begbies Traynor


Compass Financial Recovery & Insolvency Limited

Frost Group

White Maund

Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant Tier 3

DMH Stallard LLP handles a broad cross-section of personal injury and clinical negligence claims for its clients, such as those relating to surgical and dental negligence, industrial diseases, product liability and workplace accidents. The department is led by Tessa Grayson, who has over 40 years of experience in this space. Also recommended is Lucienne Westbrook, who serves as a court-appointed deputy to individuals who are unable to manage their own affairs due to their injuries. In addition, she acts for families at inquests. Catherine Smith was recently promoted to senior associate.

Practice head(s):

Tessa Grayson


‘Tessa Grayson is a professional at her job. She provides good balanced advice and makes sure you appreciate all aspects of it. She appears to work all hours and responds very quickly. She always demonstrates a positive and empathetic attitude.’

‘Everyone that I dealt with acted in an extremely professional manner and they were always friendly and approachable.’

‘Tessa Grayson was superb. From our initial phone call to any email correspondence. She kept me in the loop of everything and gave sound advice when needed. She obviously is highly skilled and knowledgeable and I felt like I was in safe hands, especially when negotiating a settlement.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a fit and active police officer who suffered serious injuries when knocked from his motorcycle by an elderly motorist; the client has yet to come to terms with the physical limitations they are now subject to.
  • Acting for a client in respect of a misdiagnosis of cancer.
  • Acted for an employee suffering debilitating injuries due to using an unsuitable chair.

Private client > Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex Tier 3

DMH Stallard LLP’s family law team specialises in matters involving high-net-worth individuals, complex matrimonial and financial issues, and negotiating settlements for complex assets and Children Act cases. During 2021 the wider team was boosted by the firm's merger with specialist family firm Brookman Solicitors. Philip Morton heads the practice from London; the Horsham team is led by Mark Rennie; the office offers a free family law clinic led by Nigel Winter. Samantha Jago joined the Guildford team in 2019, expanding the firm’s Surrey offering. Senior associate Joanna Potbury  is a key contact in Brighton.

Practice head(s):

Mark Rennie; Joanna Potbury

Other key lawyers:


‘I cannot recommend DMH highly enough. They have worked nothing short of a miracle for my family, and I am so grateful to have had their unfaltering support and guidance during the very trickiest of times.’

‘Very efficient, great client care – always go the extra mile. They offer cost effective, creative solutions. a very personable team.’

‘Hugely diverse number of practice areas in this firm makes it easy for clients to have all of their legal advice needs met by one firm. Excellent quality of solicitors means there is consistent quality meaning there is no need to go to another firm.’

‘The team is a very cohesive unit with great communication and response times. Work is performed in a speedy manner and all employees are approachable for any questions I had.’

‘Nigel Winter has been exceptionally supportive throughout my divorce and has always made me feel that my welfare in addition to my case was of importance to him. He has been helpful and approachable throughout the entire process and now we are almost at the conclusion, I still feel that my interests are still paramount to him.’

‘Mark Rennie was excellent. He helped me through what was a tough process providing insight and expertise throughout. He was approachable and informative and offered great advice. I would highly recommend him and his team.’

‘I feel incredibly grateful to have had two of the most superb professionals work on my case. Philip Morton and Joanna Potbury are sincere, thorough and hugely knowledgeable, while being patient, understanding and at all times supportive. It was an absolute pleasure to work with them both, and I will forever be grateful to have been their client.’

‘Samatha Jago is very proactive in pursuing cases for her clients and gives sound reliable advice. She provides an excellent level of client care and always works extremely hard to ensure that the client feels in control and comfortable at all stages of the litigation.’

Private client > Family Tier 5

Philip Morton is among the key members of the team at DMH Stallard LLP that has  specialist expertise in the resolution of complex financial issues arising on divorce and separation. The group also has extensive experience in private law children cases and cross-border disputes, as well as dealing with emergency applications in the High Court. The group was pleased to recently add Henry Brookman, Talitha Brookman and Aziz Malik to its ranks on its merger with Brookman Solicitors.

Practice head(s):

Philip Morton

Other key lawyers:

Henry Brookman; Talitha Brookman; Aziz Malik; Pippa Marshall; Jennifer Douglas; Gavin Yeung


‘The team is extremely professional at all times and is available at all times. The lawyers are extremely well versed in their subject and genuinely seem to care about their clients. I have dealt with them on a number of issues and the collaboration between lawyers has made this seamless. Philip Morton‘.

Philip Morton has the right mixture of aggression and caution‘.

‘DMH Stallard has a very strong team, led by Phil Morton. Pippa Marshall is very impressive. I think the firm is especially adept at innovation and really trying to squeeze the most efficient service for its clients. Phil Morton is hugely dedicated to his clients’ causes – really leaves no stone unturned. Pippa Marshall is also really committed to her clients – quite prepared to go toe to toe with the opposition when required – but also very good at handling difficult clients and steering them towards a sensible compromise‘.

The firm is genuinely friendly & approachable while also having the size, reach and expertise of a large law firm. Philip Morton does outstanding work for his clients and genuinely cares about the service he provides‘.

Aziz Malik: no nonsense, efficient advice‘.

‘Aziz Malik and Jennifer Douglas were stand out individuals who supported me through a traumatic and acrimonious divorce with warmth, humour and very good advice‘.

Gavin Yeung is intelligent, helpful and consistently supportive to all clients. Jennifer Douglas provides excellent and clear instructions that ensure counsel is fully up to date on any case‘.

‘ Gavin Yeung – his trial preparation and attention and detailed support throughout the trial, ensured that the case was put as forcefully and as powerfully as possible, to allow the client the best possible outcome‘.

Key clients

Insolve Plus

Work highlights

  • Acting for the daughter of an UHNW individual, domiciled in the EU. Working with the family’s international tax and legal advisors, it has prepared a pre-nuptial agreement to protect W’s pre-acquired and inherited assets in the event of a divorce. The assets have a value in the region of £30m – £50m.
  • Acted for T, a wife domiciled in the Caribbean. The Wife is a beneficiary of a family trust fund over which the husband claimed an interest. The husband operated a complex multi-jurisdictional foreign exchange bank. The wife successfully sought an upward variation and capitalisation of maintenance. The matter settled shortly before a High Court Final Hearing at a private FDR attended by the parties situated in the Caribbean and the USA
  • Acting for the Respondents in the High Court Family Division in T and S –v- L, M and J. The case involves various allegations including breach of trust and financial abuse against a high profile vulnerable individual


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 & Finance: Working in partnership with national and international banks and businesses on a full range of banking and financial matters.
Corporate & 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 & 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 & 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, Horsham, Gatwick, Guildford, London

Chairman Rustom Tata
Managing partner Richard Pollins
Banking & Finance Gwen Godfrey
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
Number of UK partners : 64
Number of other UK fee-earners : 110

The Lex 100 Verdict

DMH Stallard is ‘very well known and reputable in the South East’ and ‘covers areas of law that a typical high-street firm would, whilst also dealing with large corporate and commercial clients'. Trainees feel that they receive ‘more client contact and responsibility’ than peers at larger firms, with 'many more opportunities to work directly with partners’. There is ‘plenty of technical work’ on offer, which is ‘varied and interesting’ and of ‘amazing’ quality. Examples include ‘being given the opportunity to take client meetings on my own’, ‘attending a pre-trial inquest in a very high-profile matter’ and ‘speaking in court’. A good work/life balance keeps recruits happy too. DMH Stallard is ‘good at communicating with staff and welcomes ideas and comments’. What’s more, ‘we have been treated exceptionally well during the pandemic and the firm has made a concerted effort to show employees that they are valued and appreciated’. The pay, which ‘could be more competitive’, is considered to be one of the worst things. Other gripes are that the social life ‘could be better’ and that ‘seat changes seem disorganised and are often announced at the last minute’. ‘Doing a double seat in the same department because of Covid’ and ‘commuting to Guildford – it was too far and eventually affected my work’ were also low points. For a firm which has regional and London offices, a ‘friendly approach’ and boasts ‘great people to work with’, take a closer look at DMH Stallard.