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CELEBR 8 ATING 200 YEARS - 1818 - 201



in association with Birmingham Law Society & Fraser Urquhart Media


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WEST MIDLANDS CityGrad to promote legal apprenticeships for the city’s graduates, championing social mobility and expanding routes into the profession. With the opening of the Property and Business Court in July 2017 the theme of relocation to the city has continued apace. Parties are encouraged to try their cases in the city’s courts without need for unnecessarily costly migration to the Royal Courts of Justice in London. The region’s barristers are of incredibly high calibre with the city boasting some of the most successful sets in England and Wales. No.5 Chambers ably steered by Tony McDaid gains strength and diversity year on year. The chambers is home to Mike Duck QC Leader of the Midland Circuit and recently appointed leading Counsel including Michelle Healey QC who has recently established a group to focus on Women in Crime in Law to support increasing diversity in the region. St Philips Chambers under the watchful eye of Director of Clerking Joe Wilson remains a set of national renown with its heart very much in the city. The chambers’ tenants include Richard Atkins QC, poised to take over as Chairman of the Bar from early 2019. As with the region’s firms chambers are plentiful and service the city’s needs for a full range of services. St Ives chambers, very much a feature in Warwickshire’s Courts increases it’s standing in the city and has recruited leaders including Zafar Ali QC I recent years. Cornwall Street celebrated 50 years in 2018 with the appointment of three of its members as Judges. It has recruited ten new key members to its team over the last twelve months. New entrants to the market include 3 Paper Buildings and Landmark chambers.

IT’S AN EXCITING TIME TO PRACTICE AS A LAWYER IN BIRMINGHAM... WRITES BIRMINGHAM LAW SOCIETY PRESIDENT JAMES TURNER. Birmingham’s legal sector is both vast and varied, second to no other city in the UK in terms of its breadth and depth of service. Within a twenty five mile radius of Birmingham city Centre there over 200 firms with 1200 lawyers. The legal community is characterised by a combination of long standing native firms and those who have chosen to relocate. Of its native firms Gateley Plc stands out as a highly innovative practice and the first to float on the stock exchange. Shakespeare Martineau born of mergers of significant is another native giant in the legal firmament. The city boasts both firms and chambers which operate on the international legal stage including Gowling WLG, Squire Patton Boggs, Pinsent Masons, Eversheds Sutherland, DLA Piper and No.5 Chambers. In recent years there has been significant growth and consequently recruitment of lawyers specialising in corporate/commercial, banking, property, IT

and intellectual property. Many leading national firms have chosen to establish offices in the city including Browne Jacobson, DWF, Capsticks and Bevan Brittan. The West Midlands provides an incredibly competitive market which has drawn in businesses such as Deutsche Bank and HSBC to relocate to join the likes of Jaguar Land Rover already firmly established in the region. The relocation of legal teams has also seen a rise in the population of in-house lawyers who are predicted to grow in number in coming years from 25 to 35% of those holding practising certificates. It is no surprise then that the city boasts the largest and most active local law society. Birmingham Law Society has over 5000 members and represents lawyers at every stage of their career from academia to the most senior ranks. A far cry from the scope of the organisation when it formed in 1818 from a meeting of 19 lawyers in the city. The Society reflects the trends of growth and innovation in legal practice, joining in 2018 with AM

The thriving healthy nature of the legal profession in the city is no doubt built upon the incubator of the law faculties of its Universities. The University of Birmingham Law Faculty celebrates its 90th year. The University has a well deserved reputation in legal circles not just for educational excellence but for the work of its CEPLER team in legal clinics and focus upon pro bono legal advice to support the community. Aston University, Birmingham City University, Wolverhampton University, The University of Law and BPP University similarly provide excellence in legal education giving the city’s students a mouth watering range of opportunity. The region’s not for profit sector has been boosted by the funding of training contracts for two Justice First Fellows placed at Central England Law Centre. Eversheds Sutherland, Gowling WLG, Hogan Lovells, Mills & Reeve and Shakespeare Martineau, contributed to secure provision of advice in areas where services have been narrowed by reductions in public funding including immigration, housing and welfare law. With the water so warm and inviting we can expect to see an increase in migration from other cities and the continuing retention of a high level of our graduates. Lawyers play a key role in the Midlands Engine and have done so from the industrial revolution onwards, working closely with our manufacturing industry and service sector. It is an exciting time to practice as a lawyer in Birmingham and the broader West Midlands region.

PUBLISHERS NOTE: The Legal 500 assesses the strengths of law firms in over 100 jurisdictions. The rankings are based on a series of criteria, but simply put, highlight the practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel. Their research is based on feedback from 300,000 clients worldwide, submissions from law firms and interviews with leading private practice lawyers, and a team of researchers who have unrivalled experience in the legal market. This publication is an edited version of the 2018 Legal 500 Report and whilst every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy in compiling this publication, the Publisher cannot accept responsibility for any inaccuracies, omissions, breach of copyright or otherwise since compilation. The Publisher cannot be held responsible for any material submitted to the publication, not excluding advertisements. The views expressed within this title are the views of the Legal 500 not the Publisher. Acceptance of advertisements does not imply recommendation by the Publisher. Findings from the full report can be viewed at No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means - electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the publishers. © Fraser Urquhart MEDIA.

The Legal 500 West Midlands 3

WEST MIDLANDS 200 YEARS OF THE BIRMINGHAM LAW SOCIETY Formed on 3 January 1818 by nineteen solicitors who met in the centre of Birmingham, Birmingham Law Society today has a membership of some 4500 and is proud to celebrate its bicentenary in 2018. The 200th year has been marked with plethora of varied activities including sporting competitions, networking events, hosting international delegations of lawyers and culminating in a lavish Gala Dinner compered by Rory Bremner with a menu created by Birmingham’s favourite Michelin starred chef, Glynn Purnell. The Society has come a long way since January 1818 yet its history is reflected in the use of the premises owned by the Society at 8 Temple Street, Birmingham. Starting life as the Temperance Theatre it was used as offices and of course to house the Society’s Law Library. The Society is one of the oldest and certainly one of the most progressive in England and Wales.

( from left to right ) Kieran Kelly, Kim Hofton, Colin White Dan Sill

ORTUS GROUP GEARED FOR GROWTH In the last twelve months, Ortus Group has completed executive search projects delivering over £4m in client fees to a handful of clients as well as recently completing the project of opening a new Birmingham office for a London client, Axiom Stone. Colin White, Founder and Managing Director of Ortus Group commented, ‘last year was the busiest we’ve experienced with some excellent quality work. More of it has been referred from other professional advisors than ever as our referrer network continues to grow. We’ve even facilitated top lateral hires that otherwise wouldn’t happen by introducing funders who have provided the cashflow to make it work. 4 The Legal 500 West Midlands

On the back of this success, Ortus Group has hired three new people during the summer who are working in the long established legal team as well as investing further into financial markets with top tier investment management companies and midmarket accountancy firms keen to be involved. This has necessitated taking more office space at 50 Newhall Street less than 6 months after moving in. When asked ‘what next’, Colin is optimistic about developing more local work to complement the historically London centric client base saying, while we currently have four acquisition discussions ongoing with Midlands law firms, we continue to welcome new enquiries to keep the growing team motoring along.

Our barristers have been involved in several of Birmingham’s pivotal regeneration projects in recent years including the Library of Birmingham, HS2, Midland Metro expansion and the development of new offices at One Snow Hill. Landmark has also advised in respect of retail developments including The Bull Ring, Selfridges and Grand Central. For more information on the services we provide please contact a member of the practice management team. • • • • • •

“Extremely capable, confident, proactive and commercial” — Chambers & Partners

“The silks are a cut above, the juniors are strong and the clerking is excellent” — Legal 500

Planning Property Public Law Environment International European Union Law

Chief Executive: Paul Newhall t: +44 (0)20 7421 1352 | e:

Birmingham Fourth Floor, Cornerblock, 2 Cornwall Street, Birmingham B3 2DL

t: +44 (0)20 7430 1221 | e: @Landmark_LC

Registered Office 180 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2HG DX: 1042 (LDE)


Shivaji Shiva- Anthony Collins Solicitors


Paul Rice- Wright Hassall LLP

Steven Corfield- FBC Manby Bowdler LLP

AGRICULTURE & ESTATES Paul Rice | Wright Hassall LLP Steven Corfield | FBC Manby Bowdler LLP BANKING AND FINANCE Andrew Madden | Gateley Plc Brian Woolcock | DLA Piper David Doogan | Pinsent Masons Jon Bew | Irwin Mitchell Mohammed Saqub | Shakespeare Martineau LLP Patrick Davis | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP CHARITIES & NOT FOR PROFIT Mark Lewis | Lodders Solicitors LLP Shivaji Shiva | Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP CLINICAL NEGLIGENT: CLAIMANT Inez Brown | Harrison Clark Rickerbys Lisa Jordan | Irwin Mitchell Rankeshwar Batta | Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP CLINICAL NEGLIGENT: DEFENDANT Adrian Dagnell | Bevan Brittan LLP Sarah White | Browne Jacobson LLP Inez Brown Harrison Clark Rickerby

COMMERCIAL LITIGATION: BIRMINGHAM Adam Fisher | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Alex Bishop | Shoosmiths LLP Andrew Leach | DWF LLP Andrew Manning-Cox | Gowling WLG Andrew Smith | Gowling WLG Jonathan Hofstetter | Fieldfisher LLP Neil Bowker | DLA Piper Nick Bamford | DLA Piper Stephen Goodrham | Gateley Plc Steve Allen | Mills & Reeve LLP COMMERCIAL LITIGATION ELSEWHERE IN THE WEST MIDLANDS Elizabeth Beatty | Harrison Clark Rickerbys Guy Birkett | FBC Manby Bowdler LLP Julia Lowe | Higgs & Sons Neil Williams | George Green LLP 6 The Legal 500 West Midlands

Sue Lewis-Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Jonathan HofstetterFieldfisher LLP

Richard Morgan | Harrison Clark Rickerbys Sarah Perry | Wright Hassall LLP COMMERCIAL PROPERTY: ELSEWHERE IN THE WEST MIDLANDS Barry Sankey | Wright Hassall LLP David Slade | Wright Hassall LLP Karl Bamford | Knights Professional Services Limited Nick East | Lodders Solicitors LLP CONSTRUCTION

CORPORATE TAX Becky Rees | Parisi Tax LLP Jon Stevens | DWF LLP Lee Nuttall | Gowling WLG Lisa Stevenson | Parisi Tax LLP Mark Burgess | DLA Piper CRIME AND FRAUD Ben Henry | Jonas Roy Bloom Hamraj Kang | Kangs Solicitors CRIME GENERAL

Ashley Pigott | Gowling WLG Graeme Bradley | Squire Patton Boggs Martino Giaquinto | Mills & Reeve LLP Peter Scurlock | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Philip Harris | Wright Hassall LLP Robert Norris | Squire Patton Boggs

Ben Henry | Jonas Roy Bloom Hamraj Kang | Kangs Solicitors Steven Jonas | Jonas Roy Bloom Tim Coolican | Slater and Gordon

CONTENTIOUS TRUSTS AND PROBATES Craig Ridge | FBC Manby Bowdler LLP Kamal Majevadia | Sydney Mitchell LLP Robert Weston | MFG Solicitors LLP CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL: BIRMINGHAM Andrew Hornigold | Pinsent Masons Charles Cook | DLA Piper Geoff Perry | Squire Patton Boggs Jeremy Millington | Gowling WLG John Campion | DLA Piper Mark Beardmore | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Michael Ward | Gateley Plc Noel Haywood | DLA Piper Susan Lewis | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL: ELSEWHERE IN THE WEST MIDLANDS Arpinder Dhillon | Harrison Clark Rickerbys Colin Rodrigues | Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited Guy Green | George Green LLP James Sage | FBC Manby Bowdler LLP Nick Taylor | Higgs & Sons Paul Bennett | George Green LLP Robert Lee | Wright Hassall LLP

Craig Ridge- FBC Manby Bowlder LLP

Larry ColtmanColtman Warner Cranston LLP

DEBT RECOVERY Alan Hamblett | Shakespeare Martineau LLP Dee Kundi | VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) Larry Coltman | Coltman Warner Cranston LLP EDUCATION Nick Mackenzie | Browne Jacobson LLP Smita Jamdar | Shakespeare Martineau LLP EMPLOYMENT Alan Jones | Averta Employment Lawyers LLP David Beswick | Eversheds Sutherland David Sykes | Averta Employment Lawyers LLP James Gutteridge | Bevan Brittan LLP Jog Hundle | Mills & Reeve LLP Jonathan Coley | Pinsent Masons Kathy Halliday | VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) Martin Chitty | Gowling WLG ENVIRONMENT

Craig ArmstrongShoosmiths LLP

Marie McMorrowHGF Law

Andrew Lichfield | Gowling WLG David Gordon | Squire Patton Boggs Lee McBride | Gowling WLG Paul Zyda | Zyda Law

Beverley Morris | Lodders Solicitors LLP Diane Benussi | Benussi & Co Limited Grant Bird | Blair Allison Marc Saunderson | Mills & Reeve LLP FAMILY: ELSEWHERE IN THE WEST MIDLANDS Andy Caldicott | Harrison Clark Rickerbys Linda Jones | Brethertons LLP PERSONAL TAX, TRUSTS & PROBATE Matthew Hansall | Mills & Reeve LLP HEALTH Joanne Ellis | Pinsent Masons Sarah White | Browne Jacobson LLP Tracey Lucas | Capsticks LLP HEALTH & SAFETY David Young | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Hayley Saunders | Shoosmiths Roy Tozer | Shoosmiths Sean Elson | Pinsent Masons IMMIGRATION Melissa Southall | Cartwright King

Daniel FrenchGately PLC

Marie McMorrow | HGF Law Richard Taylor | DLA Piper (Deutschland) Simon Barker | Freeths LLP IT & TELECOMS Craig Armstrong | Shoosmiths David Jackson | Shoosmiths Jagvinder Kang | Technology Law Alliance Sally Mewies | Gowling WLG Stephen Ollerenshaw | Technology Law Alliance LOCAL GOVERNMENT Didar Dhillon | Pinsent Masons COMMERCIAL PROPERTY: BIRMINGHAM Andrew Mellor | Shakespeare Martineau LLP Callum Nuttall | Gateley Plc Gurjit Atwal | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Iftkhar Ahmed | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Jason Jackson | Shoosmiths LLP John Burns | Gowling WLG Monique Sutherland | DLA Piper Nick Green | Squire Patton Boggs Philip Medford | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Richard Bate | Gowling WLG Tom Johnson | Pinsent Masons PENSIONS Emma King | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Gary Delderfield (New) | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Glyn Ryland | Gowling WLG Liz Fallon | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Matthew Giles | Squire Patton Boggs Nick Stones | Pinsent Masons Richard Black | Gowling WLG



Amy Flavell | Pinsent Masons Andrew Jordan | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Daniel French | Gateley Plc Devinder Singh | Squire Patton Boggs Huw Dolphin | DLA Piper James Keates | Shoosmiths LLP Mark Wilson | Gateley Plc Stephanie Slinn | Clarke Willmott LLP Stephen George | Irwin Mitchell

Clive Garner | Irwin Mitchell Neil Lorimer | Lanyon Bowdler Rankeshwar Batta | Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP Tony Hall | Alsters Kelley LLP

PERSONAL INJURY: DEFENDANT Damon Burt | Plexus Law Derek Adamson | DWF LLP James Harvey | BLM Lorraine Carolan | DWF LLP Rhodri Richards | DAC Beachcroft LLP Sara May | DAC Beachcroft LLP PLANNING Andrew Thomas | Gowling WLG Niall Blackie | FBC Manby Bowdler LLP Paul Maile | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Paul Zyda | Zyda Law Trevor Ivory | DLA Piper

Andrew Thomas Gowling WLG

PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE Angus Turner | Mills & Reeve LLP David Gooding | Mills & Reeve LLP Eamon Mooney | Kennedys PROPERTY LITIGATION Alicia Foo | Pinsent Masons David Feist | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Lisa Barge | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP Mark English | Shakespeare Martineau LLP Paul Barker | Higgs & Sons Paul Knight | Shoosmiths LLP Paul Moorcroft | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP SOCIAL HOUSING Jacqueline Knox | Gowling WLG Jonathan Cox | Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP SPORT Gary Mellor | Beswicks Legal Tim Bailey | Beswicks Legal TRANSPORT

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Cerryg Jones | Browne Jacobson LLP Cerys Win Davies | Pinsent Masons

Callum Nuttall- Gateley PLC

Paul Maile Evershed Sutherland (International) LLP.


Guy Birkett- FBC Manby Bowdler LLP

Liz Fallon Evershed Sutherland (International) LLP

Glyn Ryland Gowling WLG

Lisa Stevenson- Parisi Tax LLP.

Sara May - DAC Beachcroft LLP.

Mark Lewis-Lodders Solicitors LLP.

Clive Garner | Irwin Mitchell Darren Kenny | DWF LLP

The Legal 500 West Midlands 7



CORPORATE & COMMERCIAL: BIRMINGHAM DLA Piper (Birmingham) Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (Birmingham) Gowling WLG (Birmingham)


Gateley Plc (Birmingham) Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham) Pinsent Masons (Birmingham) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Birmingham) Squire Patton Boggs (Birmingham)


Browne Jacobson LLP (Birmingham) Emms Gilmore Liberson (Birmingham) Fieldfisher LLP (Solihull) Freeths LLP (Birmingham) Irwin Mitchell (Birmingham) Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham) Clarke Willmott LLP (Birmingham) DWF LLP (Birmingham) Legal Clarity (Birmingham)

Weightmans LLP (Birmingham)

DLA Piper UK LLP’s corporate team is ‘very good, and responsive – it provides practical and appropriate advice on day-to-day matters and large corporate transactions.’ Noel Haywood and senior associate Gareth Davies advised Morgan Advanced Materials on the £47m sale of its UK electro-ceramics business to CeramTec, and Helly Hansen and its private equity owner Ontario Teachers Pension Plan on the purchase of Musto from Phoenix Equity Partners. As far as public M&A is concerned, Charles Cook delivers ‘practical advice with a very good depth of knowledge’ – he, working with the firm’s Johannesburg office, advised FirstRand on its £1.1bn purchase of former FTSE 250 bank Aldermore. He and senior associate Robert Newman also handled Clinigen Group’s £150m purchase of Quantum Pharma (a merger of two AIMlisted pharmaceutical companies). John Campion handles complex restructuring matters, alongside other matters, with Tim Lake’s practice also including complex cross border work. Other clients include the management shareholders of CPA Global, which Cook and senior associate Simon Wright advised on the sale of a majority stake from Cinven to Leonard Green & Partners. Jim Lavery is now at Jim Lavery Law Limited. Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP handles both heavyweight M&A deals and significant outsourcing deals. Susan Lewis and James Trevis handled various due diligence elements of National Grid’s separation of its gas distribution business in preparation for the business’s sale, working alongside Linklaters LLP in London. Theresa-Marie Stodell, a new partner promotion, advised Legal & General Senior Living on the purchase of two senior living villages for £40m. Nigel Cooke advised BBA Aviation on its acquisition of GE’s avionics business. Mark Beardmore

8 The Legal 500 West Midlands

3 4

advised Livingbridge on the purchase of restaurant and catering company rhubarb, for a figure reported to be around £75m, by Livingbridge 6, the fund’s first acquisition. Catherine Eley, who also handles M&A deals, advised Anglian Water on forming a joint venture with Northumberland Water to retail water and sewerage services to business customers. As far as commercial contracts are concerned, Kelly Holmes advised Hammerson on re-tendering cleaning provision for all twelve of its shopping centres. Gowling WLG is ‘excellent – very responsive, commercial and client focused’. Chris Towle advised Lloyds Development Capital on on its sale of a majority stake in Forest Holidays to Phoenix Equity Partners, which was structured as a sale of the entire company followed by an investment in a new holding company – he also advised HEREF Farnborough on the sale of the company to Frasers Property International. David Lowe (who clients single out for his ‘expertise and client focus’) and Robert Breedon advised Kraft Heinz on re-aquiring several brands (inter alia, Kraft ketchup) which were licensed to Mondelez in parts of Europe. In the energy space, Stuart Young advised the owners of Opus Energy on selling the company to Drax Developments for over £340m. Jeremy Millington advised Rigby Group on its purchase of Bournemouth Airport from Manchester Airport Group. Another M&A name of note is Baljit Chohan, who has ‘great expertise, commitment and client management skills’. Commercial contract deals of note include Sally Mewies’ advice to Argos on a partnership with eBay for click-and-collect purchases. Principal associate Caroline McNally ‘combines excellent technical skills, strong commercial awareness and real client focus’. Gateley Plc provides ‘an exemplary level

of overall service’ is ‘very efficient and timely in its communications – the advice clients receive is well-thought out and appropriate, explaining things in language clients can understand’. The firm handles a range of commercial contracts matters and management buy-outs space, alongside some expertise in AIM capital markets. Paul Cliff and Tom Rush, a June 2017 partner promotion, advised Franchise Brands on its reverse takeover of Metro Rod, which necessitated a re-admission of the company on AIM. Elsewhere in capital markets, the two also advised Stockdale Securities as Nomad to the £16.9m AIM IPO of Verditek, which owns several cleantech businesses. Chris Reed ‘works hard, keeping things rolling and most importantly getting the best deal for clients in the long term’ – his work includes significant buy-side MBO deals; Tom Durrant advised Inflexion Private Equity on the management buyout of PCMS Group, which provides point of sale software to retailers including Waitrose. Simon Gill advised Palatine Private Equity on an investment in TTC Group. Mike Ward and legal director Kirstin Roberts advised My Policy Limited on the company’s sale in a management buy-out backed by Inflexion Private Equity. Simon Pigden is a key contact for outsourcing contracts, many of which concerning technology. Other clients include Gymshark. Mills & Reeve LLP is a ‘go-to team’ that is praised for its ‘very flexible, rigorous and practical approach’. Peter McLintock advised RVB Investments and its owners on the sale of the company to property fund Paloma for an initial £90m. Separately, he advised the management of PCMS Holdings on the purchase of the company with the backing of Inflexion Private Equity. Julian Smith advised Elysium Healthcare on its purchase of Broadham Care, which provides residential care facilities for learning disabled adults. Ryan Hawley was promoted to the partnership in June 2017 – he advised MBO Hotels on its purchase of Luxury Family Hotels, which owns five hotels, from Patron Capital. He also played a role in a multi-office team from the firm advising the management team of Weetabix on the company’s sale to Post Holdings. Junaid Haroon, a principal associate, advised Agrolimen on exercising a call option to purchase the Natures Menu group and Allinea Software on its sale to ARM for £18.1m. Senior associate Hayley Simonds is another name of note below partner level. Turning to commercial contracts and outsourcing, Jane Hussey advises SilverRail Technologies on providing SaaS products, and separately advises Elster Metering on a supply contract as part of the smart meter rollout. Principal associate Ruth Andrew handles various deals such as negotiating a hotel management agreement for L’Oscar concerning a property in Holborn. Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘local presence and national reach is a big differentiation – its capabilities are as good, if not better, than many of the other players in the regional market’; ‘what separates it from others is that it wants genuine business relationships with clients, so looks to add broader value than just the day-to-day legal’. Andrew Hornigold advised Imperial Commercials, a South African-listed company, on its £28m purchase of Pentagon Motor Holdings. Nicole Livesey is ‘highly legally proficient, so clients have full trust in her opinion – she is also very

commercial and pragmatic, as needed to get deals done; she is able to draw on broader specialist expertise relevant to the risks of the parties, which is a huge added value point’. Livesey’s commercial highlights included advising Cargill on forming a joint venture with Faccenda Foods to create a food company producing chicken, turkey and duck, which required restructuring all of Cargill’s UK fresh chicken operations into one company, and separating it away from the core of the company. On the transactional front, she advised Headlam Group on purchasing Domus Group for £35.4m. In the health and social care sector, Joanne Ellis advised Embrace Group on seventeen disposals of care homes; she also advised Jacobs Holding on purchasing the Southern Dental Group. Clare Francis, who is ‘excellent – her ability to explain complex issues in a straightforward way, pragmatic approach and excellent legal knowledge make her a joy to work with’, advises OFWAT, as well as handling various commercial partnership work. Other clients include the shareholders of iForce, which Livesey advised on the sale of the company to Eddie Stobart in parallel to Stobart Group’s IPO on AIM. Shakespeare Martineau LLP is a ‘a great firm to work with – all partners and other members of the team are incredibly friendly, experts in their field and a pleasure to work with; clients feel totally reassured that their best interests are at the forefront of all work carried out for them’. The team has capabilities in M&A, some of which concerning the manufacturing sector, with an uncommon capability outside London in the form of investment funds. Keith Spedding led a team advising Ansell on its purchase of Nitritex in a £56.5m for the healthcare equipment manufacturer; he also advised Avingtrans on the purchase of Hayward Tyler Group in a reverse takeover, and a subsequent readmission of the company to AIM. Richard Wrigley advised on the sale of Armitage Pet Care to Rutland Partners. Adam McGiveron handled fifteen corporate acquisitions for Alliance Automotive. Gary Davie, who has expertise in employee ownership schemes, ‘makes clients feel welcome, reassured and cared-for – he takes a personal interest in the work that is done for clients, and is incredibly thorough and careful to ensure they understand the advice provided and the potential outcomes’. His work includes private equity transactions. Kim Hawkins advised Shunfeng International Clean Energy on selling assets covered by renewable obligation certificates to a fund managed by BlackRock. Andrew Hartshorn handles various commercial contracts matters, some of which for the region’s most prestigious names in business. In investment funds, ‘leader in the field of venture capital trust law’ Kavita Patel has ‘rapier-like intellect, and is always well informed and up to date with changes in tax law and happy to take on big and small projects alike’ – she advised Foresight 3 VCT on its merger with Foresight 4 VCT, structured through the liquidation of the former and its assets being transferred in to the latter in exchange for new shares. Squire Patton Boggs ‘provides very good advice, while remaining approachable and very easy to deal with – it is a team of very good negotiators who provide commercial and pragmatic advice’. The firm handles a range of work in the space, covering both corporate transactions

and contracting. Geoff Perry is ‘very knowledgeable and approachable’ – he advised Corbally Holdings on the sale of St Francis Group and DSM Demolition as part of a management buyout, and in a separate deal advised Park-Ohio Industries on the purchases of Heads & Allthreads, which has operations in Poland and India. Edward Dawes ‘leads his team well and is very personable’ – he and Andrew Glaze advised Marston’s on its purchase of Charles Wells Brewery for £55m. In a separate deal, Glaze advised Dalata UK on the purchase of Hotel La Tour Birmingham Limited, which was subsequently rebranded as the Clayton Hotel Birmingham. As far as cross-border work is concerned, Glaze, working with the firm’s Prague office, advised Walton Street Real Estate fund on purchasing the company which owns the Marriott Prague. Associate Claire O’Connor advised Veolia on its purchase of Arden Wood Shavings. The firm also handles some capital markets work – Dawes advised Rotala on a £3.5m placing of shares on AIM. On the commercial contracts front Stuart James advised HCA International on the negotiation of contracts with University College Hospitals Birmingham for the establishment of a new £65m private healthcare facility at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital campus in Birmingham. David Hull, who relocated from the firm’s London office to Birmingham, advised Uniserve on a share subscription and debt-for-equity swap in Blue Inc and The Officers Club. Simon Jones joined in June 2017 from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. Browne Jacobson LLP ‘has good industry knowledge and excellent experience and knowledge of clients’ businesses – the advice is always set out in ways that non-lawyer clients can understand’. Mike Jackson advised the shareholders of Heads & All Threads on its sale to ParkOhio Holdings for £18m. Jackson also has experience in AIM capital markets work, advising Image Scan on placing another £525k. Other key figures in Birmingham include Kevin Jones, who advises local authority pension schemes on purchasing interests in investment funds; Michael Stace, who is ‘diligent, understands the issues and communicates well, so clients feel safe in his hands’; and Matthew Woodford, who has competition law expertise and handles a range of advisory matters, some of which for automotive sector clients, as well as merger control matters. Associate Ryan Harrison is a key contact in Birmingham for commercial contracts – he is ‘highly responsive, with a great knowledge of clients’ businesses and explains things articulately’. TCL Group is another client. Emms Gilmore Liberson’s corporate and commercial team ‘has a great depth of knowledge – clients are always confident that their interests are properly and expertly represented’. The firm handles corporate transactions in a range of sectors, including professional services (in which Stephen Gilmore advised a law firm on a merger), opticians, logistics and manufacturing. Associate director Jon Start (‘very knowledgable and goes above and beyond’) takes leading roles in eight-figure deals, and fellow associate director Ruth Murday takes leading roles in complex tax-driven corporate transactions such as capital reductions demergers. Matthew Jackson (also an associate director) joined from BPE Solicitors LLP in Cheltenham,

bringing commercial contracts expertise in areas such as IT outsourcing. Director Gurmeet Jakhu joined the firm from Knights Professional Services Limited in 2018 and is noted for his franchising expertise. Gregory Emms is another key contact at partner level. Clients include Frontmatec Group, which Start and director Peter Adkins advised on the purchase of Accles & Shevloke. Fieldfisher LLP attracts praise for its ‘exemplary service and straightforward advice’, and for its track record in deals with a private equity element. Graham Muth led a team advising Enzen on both a fundraising, and several equity investments in technology companies in the Netherlands and Spain. Muth’s other clients include Metamorph Law, for which it handles acquisitions of high street law firms. Jane Thomas has experience of cross-border deals in heavily regulated sectors, and handles medical sector distribution agreements. Chris Hill has a strong track record in M&A transactions, including sales to private equity firms. Director Iain Wilton is also a name of note. Freeths LLP‘s Birmingham-based practice handles a range of deals, many of which feature cross-border elements and private equity involvement. Tom Brown advised the sellers of BWB, including Catapault Ventures, on the company’s sale to CAF. Ateeq Ahmed advised Phoenix Ventures (a part of the Sri Lankan company Brandix) on its purchase of Quantum Clothing Group, and separately advised Tarmac Trading on buying JB Riney. Lee Clifford advised Away Resorts, a subsidiary of Lloyds Development Capital, on its purchase of Sandy Balls Estates, and, among other management buyout deals, the management of Clamason Industries on a deal backed by Connection Capital and Santander. Irwin Mitchell ‘pitches the work as clients like it, because they get a single point of contact who is knowledgeable about their company and the way they conduct their business’. Nick Dawson advised Turkish company Anatolia AŞ on purchasing Whitworths, with which it had a four-decade relationship as a supplier. He also advised Gravity Trampoline Parks on a £5m partial sale to Guinness Asset Management. Separately, he advised Reconomy (which was owned by Bregal Investments) and its management on the sale of the company to EMK Capital. Sarah Riding (who is noted for her ‘good client relationship skills’) acts for the National Grid on a range of matters, including subcontracting metering service. She also advised ATS Euromaster on a technology outsourcing, and advises the British Chamber of Commerce. Other clients include Thyssenkrupp, which the team advised on the purchase of Hytrac Lifts. Robert Laugharne left the firm to become director of group legal services at Hills Numberplates. Shoosmiths LLP handles a range of deals, many of which involve private equity and venture capital backing. Ben Turner advised Hotel La Tour on the company’s sale to Dalata Hotel Group, and also advised FX Meiller on its acquisition of Boweld Truck Bodies for £10m. In an illustration of the firm’s track record in venture capital deals, Alastair Peet advised MML Capital on a buyout of Property Information Exchange. Peet also advised Aramark on its purchase

Andrew Breakwell (centre ) with Kevin Harris James and Victoria Fellows

PRESTIGIOUS NEW ADDITION TO HARRISON CLARK RICKERBYS’ BIRMINGHAM FAMILY TEAM Bringing years of experience and a national reputation to Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ family law team, Andrew Breakwell’s arrival brings together two of the city’s leading divorce lawyers. Kevin Harris James, head of the team and one of the pre-eminent family lawyers in Birmingham, said: “I’m delighted to be welcoming Andrew; his reputation is well-deserved and he has impressive experience and skills. I’ve known him as a fellow professional for some time, and am very glad to have him as a colleague.” Based at 63 Church St, the team brings together three partners – Kevin, Andrew and Victoria Fellows – offering specialisms in high-profile and complex divorce cases. of Pelican Procurement Services. As far as commercial contracts are concerned, David Jackson continues to advise the Solicitors Regulation Authority on a major business transformation project, including the total replacement of its IT systems. Joe Stephenson also has expertise in IT outsourcing. Clarke Willmott LLP ‘draws in expertise from its various offices to work together on specific projects’. In Birmingham, John Irving advised Elwell Wachtorn and Saxton on purchasing another insolvency firm, including the relevant regulatory approvals, and advised a private individual on the sale of a joinery company. Senior solicitor Andrew Beedham is ‘an outstanding corporate lawyer, who has the ability to focus on key issues and has a businesslike awareness and assessment of risk, bringing a calmness to negotiations and the ability to defuse confrontational situations’ – he advised Aberclay Limited on forming five joint ventures. DWF’s Mark Gibson advised Park Holdings UK on the company’s sale by Caledonia Investments to Intermediate Capital Group. Other deals include advising Inflexion Private Equity on purchasing My Policy, plus various hotel and medical deals. Legal Clarity has ‘a friendly, positive team culture, which works well with clients’ – ‘compared with other law firms, clients find it to be more able to speak in layman’s terms about the technical legal

Andrew, acknowledged as a family finance expert, has experience of the whole range of financial claims. He has a reputation as a tenacious litigator but is also committed to collaborative working and arbitration to resolve disputes. Kevin is likewise recognised nationally for his experience in handling complex and high value financial claims. His direct, plain speaking and pragmatic approach to the most complicated of cases sets him apart and has earned him a formidable reputation. Victoria completes the team - noted for her exceptional client care and passionate, robust, representation of her clients, Victoria is highly regarded far and wide. items’. Richard Underwood, who is ‘able to advise clients and answer any concerns they have throughout the process using his invaluable experience’, advised JPE Investments on its purchase of Translift Group, and Filtermist International on its purchase of Dustcheck; he also advised Hampton Knight on the company’s £2m sale to Medigold Health Consultancy. Chris Wright is ‘outstanding – he is extremely personable, has great professional acumen and is an exemplar of probity’ – he advised the shareholders of Evac+Chair on the company’s sale to its management team and advised The Modality Partnership on eighteen general practitioner practice mergers. Other clients include Sadlers Brewhouse, which Underwood and senior associate Martin Clifford advised on the company’s partial sale to Halewood International, Numeric Futures, and Firstserve Holdings, which the company advised on its sale to Rema Tip Top. Weightmans LLP’s Matthew Harvey advised Leacy MG on purchasing the Xpart division of Neovia Logistics, which produces spare parts for classing MG Rover cars, and advised the sellers of Nexus DMS to Apex Medical Group, a care-sector bed manufacturing element of a Taiwanese listed company. In addition, he advised Maven Capital Partners on reviewing its equity investment precedents for its participation in the “Northern Powerhouse” investment fund, and the same fund sponsor on its investment into Hiring Hub from the “Northern Powerhouse” fund.

The Legal 500 West Midlands 9




ELSEWHERE IN THE WEST MIDLANDS George Green LLP (Cradley Heath) Harrison Clark Rickerbys (Worcester) Higgs & Sons (Brierley Hill) Wright Hassall LLP (Leamington Spa) Beswicks Legal (Stoke on Trent) FBC Manby Bowdler LLP (Wolverhampton) Thursfields Solicitors (Worcester) Ansons (Cannock) Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited (Dudley) Lodders Solicitors LLP (Stratford upon Avon) MFG Solicitors LLP (Kidderminster) Pickerings Solicitors (Tamworth) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Stratford upon Avon)

FUTURE-PROOFING CAREERS IN THE LEGAL SECTOR- Jody Tranter, Head of Kaplan Altior Kaplan Altior’s 40th anniversary will soon be upon us as we accelerate towards 2019. Over the past four decades we’ve established ourselves as a trustworthy, long-standing legal training provider. However, our positive reputation and company longevity doesn’t mean that we’ve rested on our laurels or become complacent with our approach to learning. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – we’re always looking to innovate and pre-empt sector-specific needs. At Kaplan Altior, we take the time to fully understand learning and development requirements, which over time has seen us expand our offering, supporting thousands in the legal sector to future-proof their careers. We may certainly have started with the Professional Skills Course and consultancy services, and although these are solutions that we still offer, we now have much more to bring to the table. From Management and Leadership, Continuing Professional Development, HRA and CILEx Advocacy skills, Compliance and more, we help the firms that we work with to nurture talent and grow. We’ve been working with large and small law firms and in-house practitioners in the Midlands for decades and our team ensures that our clients benefit from flexible learning plans that best suit their needs, producing results with longevity. Our success stems from our people, priding ourselves on our expert trainers who 10 The Legal 500 West Midlands

continue to practice. This means that they understand our clients’ needs and know the industry inside out. Alongside this we recognise that everyone’s learning preferences, capabilities and schedules differ, so we have developed a blended approach to learning that is both efficient and engaging. Our flexible, pick ‘n’ mix programmes allow for a combination of classroom based and online training through our bespoke Live Online system. As a non-traditional learning provider, we immerse ourselves in our client’s problems and help them to solve the challenges they face on a day to day basis. As a result, we offer public training courses which can be tailored to individual firms or consortium requirements as well as bespoke firm specific In-House courses that benefit the whole organisation. So, whatever your training requirements, we’re here for you. What our students say about us: “[Kaplan Altior took a] pragmatic approach and [had the] ability to get to the key points of the didactic material. Loved the course and all those who instructed and organised.” – Martin Barye, Mars Inc. “The Live Online sessions were great and definitely contributed towards my FBS exam mark. It made the course material bite size and manageable and made me feel very prepared.” – Eleanor Rae, Everys Solicitors

1 2 3 4

Aaron & Partners LLP (Shrewsbury) Band Hatton Button LLP (Coventry) Brindley Twist Tafft & James (Coventry) Enoch Evans LLP (Walsall) Hatchers Solicitors LLP (Shrewsbury) Knights Professional Services Limited (Newcastle under Lyme) Lanyon Bowdler (Telford) Thomas Horton LLP (Bromsgrove) Wall James Chappell (Stourbridge) George Green LLP is particularly active in small-cap M&A; Guy Green and Paul Bennett advised the Bakkavor Group’s founders and controlling shareholders on the company’s IPO, while Philip Round in Wolverhampton advised Scrivens Limited on its purchase of The Nustye Optical Group. In another highlight, Bennett advised the shareholders of Midshire Business Systems on its sale to Sharp Electronics and Philip Round advised the shareholders of Cygnia Technologies on its sale to Secure Data. Bennett also advised the owner of Cornpoppers on the sale of the company to Kettle Foods. Other clients include the Confederation of British Metalforming, Leonardt Limited and Brooks Forgings. Harrison Clark Rickerbys is ‘excellent; it has the drive and commercial approach that clients need’. The practice, which is based primarily in Worcester but also with a presence in Ross on Wye, handles a range of commercial transactions, with an emphasis on the care home and medical sectors. Charlotte Thornton-Smith heads the firm’s health and social care practice; her recent highlights include advising Customade Group on its sale to Polyframe Group, and acting alongside senior associate Helen Higginbotham for Capital Care Group on its £10.2m purchase of Anville Court from BUPA and the owners of Stanley House on the home’s sale for £13.1m to Elysium Healthcare in a share deal. Rebecca Leask also handles deals concerning elderly care. Thornton-Smith and Leask acted for the shareholders of IMASS, on the company’s sale to Medigold Health Consultancy, while Leask advised the owners of Wireless Innovations on the sale of the company to Lyceum Capital. Other key figures in Worcester include practice head Rod Thomas, Alison Scott

and newly promoted partner Claire Emery, who acts for private equity clients in the dental space. Senior associate Caroline Leviss is a new hire from Willans LLP in Cheltenham. In Ross on Wye, Arpinder Dhillon is ‘a committed and energetic lawyer for whom the client’s needs come first, whatever the other pressures’. Higgs & Sons is regularly involved in eight-figure M&A deals, many of which feature complex cross-border elements and private equity involvement. Nick Taylor and David Ellis advised the owners of Westbridge Foods on the company’s sale to Thai company Chareon Popkhand Foods, which included operations in four other countries. Taylor also advised Aquapak Hydropolymers on the company’s sale to an American company. Richard Griffiths advised Wavenet on its purchase of Talk Internet, and separately advised the shareholders of Large Bars on the company’s sale to Stonegate Pub Company. John Heaton advised SG International Holdings on its purchase of Bestodeck, which owns various car retail operations – he also assisted the same client on the purchase of Essex Auto Group. James Partington advised the leadership of Stiltz, a manufacturer of home lifts, on a management buyout, and acted alongside Taylor for Domotec’s shareholders on the company’s sale to Fortune Brands Home & Security, a New York-listed company. Other MBO highlights included Heaton’s advice to the exiting shareholders of Arc Specialist Engineering on a sale backed by Mobeus Equity Partners. Wright Hassall LLP is highly active in small-cap M&A as well as commercial contracts matters. Steven Halkett (‘a great help – his advice is practical and commercial, and he remains calm through

trying processes’) and Keith Ainsworth advised the shareholders of insurtech company Transactor on its £40m sale to a private equity portfolio company, which necessitated Competition and Markets Authority approval. Halkett acted for Gestamp Automocion in conducting due diligence on the company’s English subsidiaries concerning its IPO in Madrid. Robert Lee and Monica Macheng advised Blackadder Corporation on its acquisition of a care home provider for £8m. Lee and Jeremy Hyde advised Iver C Weilbach on its purchase of Chersoft in a complex deal concerning marine data intellectual property. Outsourcing is an additional area of expertise, with Lindsay Ellis acting for providers and Pete Maguire for well-known clients in this space. Christine Jackson advised Roofton Housing Group on procuring a new IT system from Aareon UK. Beswicks Legal ‘provides a quality service to clients and punches well above its weight with a number of highly experienced solicitors more than able to hold their own against much larger firms and wider teams’. Many deals concern sales of owner-managed businesses, many of which to private equity interests. Peter Ellis ‘takes a focused and commercial approach especially in light of the specific dynamics of private equity transactions’ – he advised the four partners of a veterinary practice on the sale of the business to Linnaeus Group (which is owned by Sovereign Capital), and also advised Certeco’s owners on selling the business

to P2 Consulting, a portfolio company of Lonsdale. Consultant Tom Sutcliffe advised a UK subsidiary of the US Zampell Group on purchasing Cobb Lloyd Refractories. Other work for the team includes management buyouts, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and family business succession planning matters. At FBC Manby Bowdler LLP, clients ‘feel that their support and standards are far superior to what their counterparty is getting’. David Preece in Telford, who was promoted to partner in April 2017, is praised for his ‘ attention to detail, knowledge of subject, and understanding of clients’ businesses’ – he handles a range of deals in Shropshire, including veterinary practice sales and manufacturing deals. Kam Johal handles work concerning the sales of financial advisory practices, as well as medical deals and family business restructuring – she is based in Wolverhampton. Stuart Rea is a key contact in Shrewsbury; his work includes a number of corporate restructurings. James Sage, who is based in Wolverhampton, heads the practice – he handles various smaller M&A deals including trade sales. Thursfields Solicitors in Worcester and Kidderminster ‘offers a pragmatic view of the level of complexity needed depending on the individual situation, and clearly explains each element of its documents and why they are needed’. Director Gareth Burge (who is ‘able to understand clients’ needs and adapt his service to minimise risk’) advised DRP Holdings

Arphinder DhillonHarrison Clark Rickerbys

Guy Green - George Green LLP

on its purchase of Penguin Events, and separately advised the founders of Central Investment Planning on the sale of the Guernsey-incorporated business, which also has significant operations in South Africa, to MiltonOptimal International. Consultant Stuart Price, who is based in Kidderminster, handles corporate acquisitions and disposals, some of which concerning social care. Also in Kidderminster, senior associate Tim Edwards is ‘a hands-on and pragmatic lawyer, who has an ability to think laterally around the transactional issues that might arise’ – he advised the management of CB Frost on the management buyout of the rubber and plastics manufacturer. Ansons is active in deals in the social care, health and manufacturing sectors. The team handled over twenty pharmacy deals in 2017 with an aggregate value of over £24m. Other mandates concern restructuring. Adam Kudryl is now at Harper James Solicitors. Neil Jones and

Hilary D’Cruz head the practice. In Dudley, Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited’s Colin Rodrigues is ‘easy to communicate with – he really puts himself out for clients’. He advised the buyers on the management buyout of Celloglas, which necessitated negotiations with an American seller, and advised Metal Spraying (UK) on its purchase of Scaffolding & Construction Products from Alumasc Group. Other clients include CEENorm, which Rodrigues advised on the exit of the majority shareholders from the business and Raylane, which he advised on the purchase of five pharmacies. Clients for commercial contracts work include Sovereign Risk Management, which he advises on matters concerning its role as manager of Schools Advisory Services, which insures state schools. Lodders Solicitors LLP handles a range of work, with an emphasis on acting for owner-managed businesses. Victor


200 reasons to celebrate in 2018 On 3 January 1818 when 19 solicitors founded the Birmingham Law Society they probably did not foresee the full extent of the huge growth in the City’s legal profession to come. With 4,500 lawyers as members of Birmingham Law Society today, the legal sector makes a significant contribution to the vibrancy and success of Birmingham. 3PB Barristers has reason of its own to mark a milestone this year as it welcomes its 200th barrister to our national set. 2018 has seen 3PB firmly established in the Birmingham Bar with some 20 barristers, including two QCs, now routinely operating from our Colmore Building offices in the heart of the City centre. Many congratulations also go to 3PB family barrister Vanessa Meachin QC who took silk this year. We look forward to helping Birmingham Law Society to celebrate this special anniversary. Ian Charlton or James Parks | 0121 289 4333 | The Legal 500 West Midlands 11


FIRMS ARE LISTED A-Z WITHIN TIERS social housing partnership, as well as several seven-figure transactions. Other clients include a regional coach operator, which she advised on a restructuring exercise connected with succession planning.

Kidderminster, while in Worcester James Hayes advised Hotelshop UK on a restructuring exercise, transforming each of three divisions in to a discrete sister company.

Nick Taylor -Higgs & Sons

Matts has experience of hospitalitysector transactions, and also handles management buyouts. Mark Lewis is noted for his charity sector expertise. Care homes are a particular area of expertise, with the firm handling a 40-facility deal in the space. ATP Industries Group is a key client for elderly car. Kim Klahn is also recommended. MFG Solicitors LLP handles a range of work, much of it concerning reorganisations and sales of smaller businesses to larger groups. Stephen Wyer advised Kew Tech on the restructuring of a waste gasification plant, and in a separate deal advised Severn Edge Veterinary Group, which comprises twelve practices, on its sale to CVS Group. In another veterinary deal, Wyer advised Wyre Forest Veterinary Centre on the business’s sale to Vet Partners Limited. Clare Lang joined from George Green LLP in April 2018. The aforementioned lawyers are based in

Pickerings Solicitors LLP ‘provides clear advice based on extensive experience, and is able to offer the essential combination of professional support and guidance’. Craig Davis (‘ably walks the fine line of providing sound professional advice and guidance in frequently charged negotiations’) advised an automotive service company on the sale of the business for over £16m, and separately assisted with the £1.8m sale of a garden center. Solicitor Keri Pointon is ‘a shrewd and efficient negotiator, identifying the key priorities when the list of priorities appeared endless’ – she handled the sale of two franchised nurseries, and separately advised a company on a £1m share buy-back. Other highlights concern corporate restructurings and partnership matters. Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s practice in Stratford upon Avon ‘does a thoroughly professional job and adds real value to every transaction’. Andrew Smith is ‘very knowledgeable, professional and approachable’ – he advised the former owner of Grease Management on the company’s sale to Filta Group, a newly AIM-listed company. Other work concerns restructuring and other corporate transactions. Aaron & Partners LLP’s Shrewsbury team is regarded by some as ‘among

Knights Professional Services Limited in Newcastle under Lyme has a track record of deals in health and social care. Jonathan Tyson and Lisa Bridgwood are key contacts.

James SageFBC Manby Bowdler LLP

the top practices for commercial work in Shropshire’. Hugh Strickland is ‘a steady pair of hands and guides clients well through difficult times’ – he advised the selling shareholders of Rockford IT in SysGroup’s £4m purchase of the company, and in another deal with an AIM-listed buyer, advised the owners of Kingfisher Lighting on selling the business to Luceco for £10m. Strickland also handles deals concerning car dealerships. Stuart Haynes is ‘very easy to relate to at a professional level and very knowledgeable’ – he handles various commercial contract matters, such as advising Blue Prism Software on selling robotic process automation software, and continues to advise Heaven Health and Beauty on distribution agreements covering jurisdictions including Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates. He also continues to advise MTD Products, an American company, on the purchase of a British turf care business, and assisted on the sell side of a management buyout of McPhillips (Wellington). Band Hatton Button LLP in Coventry handles cross-border deals, many of which with values penetrating in to nine figures. Sean Byrne heads the practice, with Marta Fisher and Haydn Jones also key contacts. Competition law is also an area of expertise.

Alan Jones ( far right ) with David Sykes and Rachel Broughton

AVERTA. ‘STREETS AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION’. The firm, shortly to move to Averta Employment Lawyers was established nearly 15 years ago by Alan Jones and David Sykes, to provide senior executives with an employment law firm that understood their needs. Jones and Sykes, previously partners at DLA Piper were subsequently joined by Rachel Broughton who became a partner at Averta in 2008.

Averta, based in Birmingham with an additional office in London, has become the first port of call for directors, senior executives and professionals looking for advice on a whole range of employment issues for clients based throughout the UK and sometimes abroad. 12 The Legal 500 West Midlands

new premises in Blythe Valley, remains a partner led practice, to counterbalance the expertise of the corporate firms who generally advise the companies involved in the cases. The partners are assisted by a very capable team of four lawyers and paralegals. Discretion is paramount when dealing with employment issues, but Averta’s clients do express their views on the firm and Legal 500 in 2018 reports that Averta is ‘the best firm for senior executive issues’ and that Averta is ‘streets ahead of the competition’. Averta has acted for in excess of 7,500 executives, many referred by other law firms or previous clients.

In Coventry, Brindley Twist Tafft & James’ Samantha Wright handles both transactional and outsourcing work. Commercial contracts highlights included advising a car valeting contractor on contracts with rental car providers and auction houses. The firm also handles a number of transactional matters, involving pharmacies and various owner-managed businesses. John Chadaway is also a name of note.

Lanyon Bowdler is ‘a client-oriented practice – clients feel that they are listened to in terms of their requirements rather than just a billing number’. Gráinne Walters in Telford, who has an ‘excellent grasp of the business issues, and is very proactive’ advised the Welsh Water Elan Trust on forming a joint venture with, among others, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales to seek Heritage Lottery Fund money. Assistant solicitor Edward Burrell’s advice is ‘easy to understand, straightforward and on the money’, with fellow assistant solicitor Timothy Roberts ‘very understanding of clients’ requirements and quick to turn the required documents around’. Group and corporate reorganisations, including in partnership businesses, as well as commercial contracts and seven-figure corporate transactions are other areas of note. Other clients include family offices. Thomas Horton LLP in Bromsgrove’s corporate practice, which is headed by Jeff Taylor, handles a mixture of corporate work involving SMEs. Taylor advised Slimstock, which provides stock control software, on a redrafting of its licencing agreements, and handles a range of partnership matters. Clients for shareholder agreements include Flybynite. Wall James Chappell in Stourbridge ‘provides an excellent and very personal level of client service – exactly what is required’. Philip Chapman is ‘very easy to deal with, very professional and as totally focused on getting the deal done as the clients are’ – he advised the family owners of Burns & Co on the sale of the petrol forecourt company to Motor Fuel Group. Other transactions for the team includes the sale of Babystart, and the purchase of Interfab. Other deals concern manufacturing and independent financial adviser practices.

At Enoch Evans LLP in Walsall, ‘the team are very commercial and pragmatic in their advice and always try and find a solution for problems’. Sukie Shemar is ‘excellent – she has excellent knowledge and delivers her advice in a way that the client understands’. – her work highlights include social care and pharmacy deals. Senior solicitor James MacFarlane advised a Turkish company on purchasing a British supplier of plastic products. Hatchers Solicitors LLP in Shrewsbury is a ‘personable, approachable, knowledgeable team with good internal specialisms’. Ann Fisher is well experienced, confident and approachable’ – her work included the formation of a

Robert Lee | Wright Hassall LLP

The Legal 500 West Midlands 13



ST IVES CHAMBERS IN 2018: A YEAR OF CONTINUED GROWTH AND SUCCESS Despite these obstacles, St Ives Chambers aims positively to react and embrace changing conditions, widen the scope for opportunity and overcome all emerging challenges that the Bar faces.

Elizabeth Isaacs QC – currently the Legal 500 QC of the Year (regions)

Jeremy Weston QC (Head of Chambers) and current recipient of the Birmingham Law Society ‘Barrister of the Year’

The Birmingham Law Society is not the only legal organisation to have something to celebrate this year, St Ives Chambers has had a year of continual growth and success. Within the last 12 months chambers welcomed eight new members, celebrated the appointments of existing members and achieved recognition across the legal community. New members include Samantha Powis and Simon Burch joining a robust Criminal group alongside new door tenant Ben DouglasJones QC, Martin Langston being a welcome addition to a prospering Civil group; Basharat Hussain, Alyssa Howard, Rebecca Cross and Natalie Cross joining an established and busy Family group, and Nicholas Allen QC joining the Family Finance group as a door tenant. St Ives Chambers recognises the key to staying ahead is to keep abreast of the rising challenges facing the legal community. This includes cyber security, technology in the work place, increased competition and the problems facing the publicly funded Bar. 14 The Legal 500 West Midlands

Members of St Ives are passionate about the law and they have an excellent reputation within the legal community. This is reflected in the high profile cases in which members have been involved: Peter Cooper secured an acquittal for Daniel Szule in an attempted murder trial, Michael Singleton and Marcus Harry appeared in a gang injunction involving 18 defendants, and two silks, two silk door tenants and 11 juniors have appeared in one of the largest ongoing fact finding hearings ever heard in the Family Division before MacDonald J.


DLA Piper (Birmingham) DWF LLP (Birmingham) Gowling WLG (Birmingham) Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham) Browne Jacobson LLP (Birmingham) Higgs & Sons (Brierley Hill) Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham

Parisi Tax LLP is a ‘first-rate tax team providing a top level of service’; it ‘comes to clients with practical solutions to unusual issues that require creative thinking, and expresses them in a user-friendly and easy-to-understand way, which is often overlooked as a skill in tax law’. Lisa Stevenson is ‘great to work with – she has great technical expertise, coupled with an easy-going personality’; she acted alongside legal directors Jennie Newton and Elizabeth Morgan for Pemberstone Industries on various tax matters. Becky Rees (who is ‘technically excellent and very creative’) and legal director Jon Robinson – an ‘extremely efficient and very user-friendly’ new hire from Pinsent Masons LLP – advised KPMG on the tax covenant and warranties aspects of the sale of Stowe Family Law LLP to a private equity buyer. Referrers of work include other law firms, including several well-known names from the US.

Members of chambers hold various judicial appointments including Deputy High Court Judges, Recorders of the Crown and County Court, Deputy District Judges and five IFLA accredited Arbitrators. Current holders of two of the most prestigious legal awards – the ‘Legal 500 Silk of the Year (regions)’ and ‘Birmingham Law Society’s Barrister of the Year’ both from St Ives Chambers. Late last year, Elizabeth Isaacs QCs was awarded the Legal 500 Silk of the Year (regions). Just a few weeks later, Head of Chambers, Jeremy Weston QC was awarded ‘Barrister of the Year’ by the Birmingham Law Society. Many congratulations to the team at the Birmingham Law Society on your 200th anniversary.

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Parisi Tax LLP (Birmingham)

Becky Rees | Parisi Tax LLP

In DLA Piper UK LLP’s Birmingham office, Mark Burgess and senior associate Nick Hinton advised Webjet on the tax elements of its £200m purchase of JacTravelGroup, and advised Morgan Advanced Materials on the sale of its UK electro-ceramics business to CeramTec. Other clients include Oval Real Estate, which it advised on its purchase of The Custard Factory building in Birmingham, and RBS, which it advised on its sale of Premier Place in London. The practice is also active in major corporate restructurings. DWF’s Jon Stevens ‘understands complex tax issues very quickly and uses a good balance giving strong legal advice in the context of the client’s wider

Jon Stevens - DWF LLP

commercial objectives’. He is particularly active in AIM related mandates; recent highlights include advising City of London Group on the tax elements of its £20m reverse takeover of Milton Homes, and advised Keyword Studios, which is listed on AIM, on various cross-border acquisitions. He also advised Hannover Re on the tax elements of purchasing Argenta Holdings, which owns a Lloyd’s of London managing agent, and assisted DF World of Spices on its purchase of Barts Ingredients from a private equity seller. Other work concerns tax disputes as well as real estate matters. Gowling WLG‘s tax practice regularly handles deals with real estate elements. Lee Nuttall advised GCP Student Living on the tax elements of the financing and purchase of a site in Brighton, and assisted HSBC Alternative Investments with the purchase of Brindleyplace Properties. Other highlights included advising the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of the Province of Ontario on the tax aspects of its investment in Red Funnel. Directors Zoe Fatchen and Chris Nyland are also key contacts. Other clients include a joint venture of St Modwen Properties and Vinci Construction, which it advised on the sale of the Nine Elms Square site to Dalian Wanda, which necessitated crossborder work with mainland China.

Lee Nuttall - Gowling WLG

Browne Jacobson LLP‘s Andrew Noble, who is dual-qualified as a chartered tax adviser, is praised for his ‘knowledge, responsiveness and ability to work with other advisers’. He advised Addo Food Group (owner of Pork Farms) on the tax aspects of a secondary buy-out, and he also advised Lloyds Development on the tax elements of its purchase of ENSEK. Other clients include the selling members of Catalyst Corporate Finance LLP, who he advised on the sale of the business to Alanatra Partners. Away from corporate tax, he also advised the London Borough of Enfield on VAT and SDLT issues concerning the regeneration of a former industrial site. At Higgs & Sons Susheel Gupta heads a practice that has a particular niche in handling the tax elements of sales on behalf of shareholders. Gupta advised the shareholders of Domotec on the company’s sale to Fortune Brands, and the sellers of Westbridge Food Group to Chareon Popkhand Foods. Buyside highlights included advice to SG International Holdings on the purchase of Bestodeck, and advice to Wavenet on the purchase of Talk Internet. The team also advised Aquapak Hydropolymers and Globe Locums on restructuring exercises. Associate Craig Thomas is a new hire from Squire Patton Boggs. Shoosmiths LLP’s Kate Featherstone advised Holmes Place on the British tax aspects of the sale of Virgin Active health clubs in Iberia, which necessitated re-domiciling the target companies to Spain and Portugal. More locally, she also advised the sellers of the Hotel La Tour in Birmingham in a transaction which had complex VAT issues, and also advised the founders of SecurEnvoy on the company’s sale and reverse takeover onto AIM. Private equity clients include Inflexion, which she advised on the tax elements concerning its management buyout of Xtrac, which makes highperformance gearboxes such as those used by IndyCar.

CRIME AND FRAUD Cartwright King (Birmingham) Jonas Roy Bloom (Birmingham) Kangs Solicitors (Birmingham) Gateley LLP (Birmingham) Mann & Co Solicitors (Birmingham) Tuckers Solicitors (Birmingham) BLM (Birmingham) DAC Beachcroft LLP (Birmingham) DWF LLP (Birmingham) Murria Solicitors (Birmingham)

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reputation’ which ‘is increasingly instructed nationally in fraud and serious crime’. James Turner heads the practice and ‘is a true expert’ with notable expertise in de-fending allegations of fraud and white collar crime. Other key figures include in-house advocate Sharon Bailey as well as duty solicitor and higher court advocate Arvind Sharma. BLM ‘s insurance fraud practice focuses on both criminal and civil fraud cases. Sarah Hill leads the practice and advised Thomas Cook on a number of fraudulent travel sickness claims from its cus-tomers. Simon Hammond is also a key figure, and recently assisted DLG with a motor accident claim and advised The National Express on a road traffic accident insurance claim. DAC Beachcroft LLP insurance fraud practice is known for its ‘business acumen‘ and ‘strength of knowledge‘. Catherine Burt heads the practice and recently advised Insurethebox on a number road traffic accident claims. Motor fraud claims are handled by Dan Prince, Georgia Court and Gemma Lewis. Pete Ward and Neville Sampson also specialise in opportunistic motor fraud. Also recom-mended is associate Kiran Ryatt, who focuses on casualty fraud, and Caroline Bigos, who is an ex-pert in cross-border fraud. Insurance fraud claims is the key area of focus for DWF in this space. Lorraine Carolan heads the counter fraud team nationally, and is supported by Miles Hepworth and director Kate Archer. The firm recently acted for LV= against an organised ‘crash for cash’ scheme involving three alleged crashes involving nine claimants.

Cartwright King is ‘one of the best firms in the area’ and ‘great to work with’. Nottingham-based Sundeep Soor heads the practice and ‘has deep experience in defending serious fraud cases’ and ‘an extremely good knowledge of the sector’. Senior associate John Allchin is ‘an astute solicitor‘ with ‘an impressive eye of detail‘ and ‘goes above and beyond the call of duty‘. Also recommended is associate Gemma Refern, who is ‘a first rate lawyer’ with ‘excellent clients skills’, and Miqdad Marzook, who is also experienced in high profile fraud cases. Jonas Roy Bloom’s business crime department has expertise in SFO investigations, NCA tax investi-gations as well as restraint and confiscation matters. The team is led by Ben Henry, who handles cases involving bribery, corruption and money-laundering. Matt O’Brien is also a key figure, with notable expertise in confiscation law and business crime cases. The ‘exceptional’ Kangs Solicitors provides ‘client care and preparation that is outstanding’ and ‘en-sures the work it does is to the highest standards’. The firm is particularly active in high value financial fraud cases, with notable expertise in ‘boiler room’ cases. Hamraj Kang leads the practice and is ‘an exceptional lawyer’ and ‘a true role model for his staff’. John Veale is ‘a very methodical and hard working individual’ who ‘always ensures his focus is on the best outcome for the client’. Also recom-mended is Frances Murray, who is ‘a hard working and solid

lawyer’ who ‘stays calm no matter what the pressure is in a case’. Gateley Plc focuses on both criminal and civil fraud, possessing ‘great commerciality’ and ‘demon-strates great strength in depth’. Fraud and financial crime specialist Ruth Armstrong heads the regu-latory team and has notable expertise on matters relating to house building, manufacturing, transport and banking. Mark Wilson heads the corporate recovery team, and is known for his ‘commercial edge’ and ‘ability to negotiate the best deal in difficult circumstances’. James Baird works predominantly on fraud prevention consulting and recovery for funders and leasing companies. Mann & Co Solicitors has ‘a wellestablished history of dealing with and specialising in substantial fraud cases’, most notably on large scale conspiracies as well as HMRC and VAT fraud. Raz Mann heads the practice and possesses ‘a good analytical and tactical brain in terms of case management and progress, ensuring the best possible outcome for his clients’. He defended an individual involved in a joint investigation from the Home Office and police regarding fraud, identity fraud and sham marriages. Paul Selby leads the serious and organised crime department and also has expertise working on fraud-related cases, and recently advised a defendant on a money laundering matter. Tuckers Solicitors has ‘a growing

Murria Solicitors’s repertoire include advising on white collar fraud, fraud committed in breach of trust, VAT fraud and embezzlement. Jagtar Singh Kulair is leads the Crown Court and Business Crime Department and has advised on matters concerning serious fraud, tax evasion and money laundering.

Hamraj Kang - Kangs Solicitors

Mills & Reeve LLP’s ‘timely, responsive and pragmatic’ team handles a mixture of tax work, including transactional tax matters, investment funds and share schemes. Kevin Lowe is ‘proactive and helpful, and able to explain the various clauses in the documents clearly for clients’ – he advised Richardson International Limited on its purchase of European Oat Millers and land it leased, and also advised PayPoint on the sale of its mobile payment services business to Volkswagen Financial Services for £26.5m. Lowe also advised the shareholders of Molecular Products Group on the company’s sale to Arlington Capital Partners, and Allinea Software on the tax elements of its sale to ARM. In the investment funds space, Neil Pearson advises Maven Capital Partners and Livingbridge VC on their portfolio investments – in particular, he advised Livingbridge on an investment into In the Style. Fund formation work includes advising Big Issue Invest on the formation of Big Issue Invest Outcomes Investment Fund, a £30m European Social Enterprise Fund with a significant commitment from Big Society Capital. Away from funds, Pearson advises The Funding Circle on employee share scheme matters.

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WEST MIDLANDS CRIME: GENERAL Cartwright King (Birmingham) Jonas Roy Bloom (Birmingham) Kangs Solicitors (Birmingham)

Slater and Gordon (Birmingham) Tuckers Solicitors (Birmingham) Alsters Kelley LLP (Coventry) Beswicks Legal (Stoke-on-Trent) Lanyon Bowdler (Telford) Purcell Parker Solicitors (Birmingham) Cartwright King runs the gamut of high-profile criminal defense work. Neil David heads the practice and has acted in both the Crown Court and Magistrates Court, with notable expertise in murder and fraud cases. Fiona Warman is also an expert in serious fraud cases and recently acted for an individual accused of murder. Worcester-based Jason Patel focuses on murder cases, drugs conspiracies and fraud. Associate solicitor John Allchin has strong expertise in fraud matters and fellow associate solicitor Shabana Sharif is experienced in general criminal cases. Criminal defence solicitor Marcia Blacke is also recommended. Jonas Roy Bloom’s repertoire in criminal law includes defending individuals accused of murder, rape and drugs conspiracy. Steven Jonas leads the team and has appeared in the Crown Court, Administrative Court and Court of Appeal. Other key figures include: John Smitheman, who appears in both the Magistrates and Crown Court and Ben Henry, who specialises in corporate and white-collar crime. The ‘excellent’ Kangs Solicitors ‘always goes the extra mile for the client’ and ‘is extremely efficient in all aspects of its work’. The firm primarily works on serious criminal cases involving high value fraud, murder, drugs conspiracies, money laundering and people trafficking. Managing partner Hamraj Kang leads the practice and ‘demands and provides the highest standards of service to his clients’ and is ‘a well respected and sought after solicitor who retains a down to earth attitude to his colleagues and clients’. Other names of note include senior solicitor John Veale, who has strong expertise in fraud cases and drugs conspiracies, and senior solicitor Helen Holder, who works heavily on Crown Court cases. White collar crime solicitor Frances Murray is known for her ‘ability to manage document heavy cases’, ‘diligence in pursuing lines of enquiry’ and ‘client care’. Slater and Gordon provides ‘a RollRoyce service to its clients’, with a strong focus on representing police officers facing criminal allegations. Practice head Tim Coolican primarily focuses on business crime and serious

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misconduct, and has ‘a calm and measured approach’ which ‘belies his desire to always secure the right result for his clients’; he ‘thinks about cases from all angles’ and ‘will spot points others may not’. Coolican represented West Mercia police officers in relation the death of former footballer Dalian Atkinson as well as West Midlands police officers in relation to the investigation behind the death of Kingsley Burrell. He also acted for the Police Federation regarding the reopened inquest into the Birmingham Pub Bombings. Sue Swan has ‘an amazing eye for detail’, ‘does not leave a single stone unturned’ and ‘is passionate about her clients’ cases’. Swan has ‘particular expertise in cases of alleged sexual abuse, especially those involving historical allegations’. Criminal defence specialist James Walbeoff provides advice that is ‘always realistic’ and ‘based upon a thorough grasp of the issues before him’.

Riley is also heavily involved in Crown Court as well as Magistrate Court matters. Other key figures include associate Rebecca Dulson, who specialises in criminal court advocacy, and Lee Yates, who was recently made associate and has experience working in the Magistrates Court. Lanyon Bowdler is led by Adrian Roberts who is experienced as a High Court advocate in the Crown Court and is also experienced in Court Martials and Court of Appeal work. Associate solicitor advocate Stephen Scully has experience in the local youth,

Magistrates and Crown Court. Purcell Parker Solicitors’s legal aid practice focuses on criminal litigation with an additional prison law department. Managing partner Spencer Stephens leads the team alongside Tiernan Davis, who represents prisoners in disciplinary hearings, and Ben Galletti, who manages the police station group. Another key figure is solicitor David Rees, who handles youth court cases.

Tuckers Solicitors is ‘a nationally recognised brand’ which is ‘excellent’ in both fraud and general crime and known for the ‘depth of its legal knowledge’ and ‘tenacity in representing its clients’. James Turner leads the practice and ‘can be entrusted with the most complex cases’ and ‘has an eye for detail’. Also recommended is solicitor advocate Arvind Sharma, who handles Tuckers’ police station department. Alsters Kelley LLP is ‘an extremely efficient firm of criminal solicitors’ focusing predominantly on the Coventry and Warwickshire area and dealing with cases involving manslaughter, fraud, drugs and assault. Stefan Hunka co-heads the practice and has strong capabilities in motoring, health and safety, and regulatory matters. Associate solicitor Jas Thiara also heads the practice, with a notable skillset in dealing with regulatory and motoring offences. Nuneaton-based Nazir Vania is also a key figure and has worked on high profile murder and manslaughter cases. Beswicks Legal is ‘a very professional firm’, known for its ‘attention to detail’ and ‘ensuring its clients’ interest are well presented’. Andrew Turnock co-heads the practice and is ‘very confident’ and ‘experienced within the Crown Court arena’. Fellow practice head Charlotte

FOCUS ON: HIGGS & SONS Founded in 1875, Higgs & Sons has a similarly long and proud tradition to that of the Birmingham Law Society which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. An award-winning law firm, Higgs employs over 230 people based in prestigious offices in the heart of the Midlands. Bringing together specialists in many disciplines, the firm provides genuine value by striving to constantly think from a client’s point of view, understanding their issues and responding to their particular needs. In this way, Higgs & Sons is able to make a real difference. Proud of its heritage and reputation for consistently delivering exceptional

standards of service, Higgs & Sons’ team of legal experts takes the time to understand the needs of individuals and businesses in order to provide practical solutions, support and guidance. An energetic, forward thinking law firm, Higgs & Sons provides an extensive range of services to the people, businesses and communities throughout the wider Birmingham region and beyond. As a firm that shares such a long and distinguished heritate, Higgs & Sons offers its warmest congratulations to the Birmingham Law Society as it marks the incredible milestone of 200 years since its foundation.

The Legal 500 West Midlands 17

WEST MIDLANDS LICENSING Harrison Clark Rickerbys (Birmingham)

Emms Gilmore Liberson (Birmingham) Pillinger & Associates Amanda Pillinger (Worcester) Squire Patton Boggs (Birmingham) Wright Hassall LLP (Leamington Spa)

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP (Wolverhampton)

Harrison Clark Rickerbys works on licensing matters for retailers, pubs, nightclubs and sports sta-diums, with clients that include Liberty Retail, Dishoom and The Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Heath Thomas leads the team and works on contested licensing applications and reviews resulting from public disorder or nuisance. He recently assisted The Restaurant Group with licensing its ex-isting estate, handling personal licence applications, as well as dealing with new premises licences. He also advised Aston Villa Football Club on obtaining an additional premises


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licence for Holte CarPark, which involved the sale of alcohol and provision of entertainment. Thomas is assisted by consultant Stewart Wright, who is an expert in tax licensing matters, and associate solicitor Laura Shirley, who is also experienced in regulatory and licensing matters. Emms Gilmore Liberson is led by Peter Adkins, who has ‘a deep specialism in licensing and gam-bling’, ‘is always very quick to respond’ and ‘has a number of contacts within the industry which usually helps to get things moving’. He recently assisted

Casino 36 with licensing new premises which in-volved requesting a transfer of a casino license from one premises to another. He also advised Loki Wines on extending its premises as well as licensing new premises in Moseley and Edgbaston. Pillinger & Associates is led by Amanda Pillinger, who is ‘approachable‘, ‘efficient‘ and ‘a very knowl-edgeable solicitor regarding licensing law‘. She recently advised Lidl on a number of new premises li-censes applications. Other notable highlights included assisting SC Entertainments on its applica-tion to hold an annual music festival on the the estate of Lord Lechmere and working with Here-ford Football Club on its new premises licence application for holding events at the club’s grounds. The ‘excellent’, ‘extremely professional’ and ‘efficient’ Squire Patton Boggs focuses on licensing mat-ters in the transport, hospitality, leisure and retail sectors. The practice is led by Stephanie Perraton who specialises in alcohol, entertainment and late night food sales licensing issues. She is ‘techni-cally knowledgeable’, ‘highly competent’ and ‘very approachable’. Nicole Smith ‘always responds in a timely manner’ and works heavily in the hospitality and leisure sectors. They both advised Select Services Partner Air on licensing self-service tills at M&S Simply Food stores. They

also advised Bryant Park Hospitality on licensing a number of properties in the English Midlands and Northern areas. They also acted for RedefineBDL on licensing matters, which included conducting a mock PACE interview. Smith advised One Stop Stores on obtaining new licenses in Durham, Hartlepool and Liverpool. The firm also worked for Trafalgar Hotel, when it took over Hilton Trafalgar, par-ticularly on licencing its rooftop bar. Wright Hassall LLP handles a range of licensing matters, with a strong reputation in the Coventry and Warwickshire area. Ian Besant leads the practice and is highly skilled in licensing and gaming law matters. Consultant Andrew Potts recently assisted Coventry Rugby Club with a highly contest-ed enlargement of its premises. FBC Manby Bowdler LLP is headed by Charlotte Clode, who regularly works on variation licenses and contested applications. Recent work highlights of hers include: advising on the licensing of a charity competition, assisting with the revocation a license due to an underage customer being served alcohol, and working on the re–licensing of a premises after violent incidents occurred in-side and outside the premises.

Whilst the best outcome is always of paramount importance, the highly experienced legal team looks to establish a connection that will support them through the intricate, and often, emotionally drain-ing Family Law processes. For Helen Benussi, a holistic divorce provides synergy, with options for clients to see a positive way forward collectively in what can be a very traumatic situation. Helen comments further, “Just as every single person is unique, we see every case as very individu-al. Coping strategies are vital and the very human side to family law we fully grasp. We integrate that understanding into each and every case we undertake. Diane Benussi ( far left ) with members of the Benussi & Co team at the October 2018 Birmingham Law Society Gala Dinner

BENUSSI & CO LTD CONGRATULATES THE LAW SOCIETY Celebrating 200 years really is a phenomenal achievement and few today can commemorate such a milestone. This reinforces the professionalism and achievements of the Law Society and all it repre-sents. Being connected to such an organisation has helped to strengthen this business and as a long established, niche law firm that is proud to be a business partner, we are delighted to share in its ac-complishments. Helen Benussi, Director Benussi & Co Ltd comments, “By association, the desire to celebrate is contagious and we feel that as success begets more success, it’s only natural to want to build upon the celebratory momentum to reinforce the positive effect the Law Society has across the sector. 18 The Legal 500 West Midlands

When new ideas, precedents and opportunities are created, via association and continuing collaboration, there is such excellent support for a business.” For Benussi & Co Ltd this comes in the form of taking a ‘healthy’ attitude to divorce and family matters, which is a deep rooted philosophy at the firm. This core principle was introduced by founder, Diane Benussi, when she launched the practice as a niche matrimonial law firm that placed a wholesome approach for all parties, at its core. This legacy continues today, with Diane and her daughter Helen Benussi leading a team of niche lawyers who are driven to succeed for their individual clients.

We have built a support network for clients who can take advantage of the holistic options we offer. Ideally, we hope to help people make decisions for themselves from a positive place rather than from one that causes more distress and trauma. Through our association with The Law Society we have a professional platform that helps us to raise awareness about the holistic approach to divorce we offer. As The Law Society celebrates its success, it is lovely to feel a part of the 200 Year accomplishment and what has been achieved so successfully.” For more information on the services available from Benussi & Co Ltd please visit the website www.

DEBT RECOVERY Coltman Warner Cranston LLP (Coventry) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Stratford upon Avon) Beswicks Legal (Stoke on Trent) Gowling WLG (Birmingham) VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) (Birmingham) Wright Hassall LLP (Leamington Spa) FBC Manby Bowdler LLP (Wolverhampton) Gateley Plc (Birmingham) Lanyon Bowdler (Telford) Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham) Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham) Coltman Warner Cranston LLP provides ‘excellent levels of service, good advice and speedy responses’. Larry Coltman heads the practice, which handles a range of work including winding-up petitions, retention of title claims and Insolvency Act clawback matters. Clients recommend legal executive manager Darren Daviole. Also legal executives, Graham Bates has insolvency expertise and Stuart Cranston is a name of note for litigation. Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s team provides ‘effective and consistent service – the small claims process is efficient, and larger value claims are also progressed effectively, with good commercial advice given’. The firm acts for public bodies,

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industrial clients, consumer-facing businesses and utilities providers, but has a number of strong education clients too; Jayne Gardner continues to advise the University of Warwick on cross-border recovery of student debt from non-paying international alumni; she also assists the Edgbaston High School for Girls on recovering unpaid school fees. Alan Hamblett is ‘very diligent, keeping to the relevant facts and asking the right questions – he is very successful for his clients’. At Beswicks Legal, Richard Anderson continues to advise South Lee School on dealing with non-payment of school fees, as well as handling various matters regarding student accommodation and tuition fees

for degree-awarding institutions. Other work concerns unpaid invoices in a range of sectors, including sports industry related matters.

Ruddock acts for a range of SMEs (including construction and software companies), as well as insolvency practitioners, which the firm advises on collecting book debts.

Gowling WLG handles a range of work in the debt recovery space, much of it cross-border. Andrew Nugent Smith and Ian Weatherall are key partners in the team, with principal associate Turon Miah also a name of note.

In Birmingham, Gateley Plc’s James Baird handles cases, many of which concerning vehicle hire and finance, some of which with fraud elements.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) is ‘excellent overall and quick and effective – it just gets on with it and gets the job done, rather than constantly asking for instructions on every point’. Dee Kundi heads the practice, which handles a number of crossborder cases, including matters involving foreign creditors and debtors. The firm is on the Bar Council’s panel for debt recovery, and handles work for members of leading sets of chambers concerning solicitors’ failure to pay fees. Wright Hassall LLP ‘provides an excellent level of service and support throughout the debt recovery process – there is a good team which is focused on delivering an excellent level of service’. Phil Wilding ‘heads the debt recovery team and ensures that clients are provided with an excellent level of service’. The firm has a particular strength in work for the private parking industry, and handled a cross-border case involving the enforcement of parking charge notices (as distinct from local authority-issued penalty charge notices) issued by the operator of a Scottish hospital car park in England. At FBC Manby Bowdler LLP, Gareth

Lanyon Bowdler is ‘very good, even for complex cases’. In Telford, legal executive Sian Samuel heads her own work, some of which concerning non-payment for industrial equipment, food and farming-related invoicing matters, as well as matters in the care sector. Andrew Pegg, who heads the firm’s broader dispute resolution practice, is another name of note. Shoosmiths LLP’s debt recovery caseload in Birmingham features a number of more technical matters, often concerning motor finance. Roger Potgiegter advised a manufacturer-owned car finance provider in a three-party dispute concerning a bailiff company and the customer concerning the beneficial ownership held by a consumer in possessions of goods acquired under hire purchase. Julie Peel is an associate of note. Sydney Mitchell LLP’s workload includes a number of matters acting for finance providers concerning lending secured on residential property, plus matters concerning social care fees, vehicle finance and unpaid invoices. Kam Majevadia heads the practice, with solicitor Hayley-Jo Lockley a name of note below partner level. Gemma Parker is a key legal executive.

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DLA Piper (Birmingham) Fieldfisher LLP (Solihull) Gowling WLG (Birmingham) DWF LLP (Birmingham) Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (Birmingham) Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham) Pinsent Masons (Birmingham) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Birmingham) Squire Patton Boggs (Birmingham) Bell Lax Limited (Birmingham) Gateley Plc (Birmingham) Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham) Trowers & Hamlins LLP (Birmingham) BLM (Birmingham) Bevan Brittan LLP (Birmingham) Emms Gilmore Liberson (Birmingham) Freeths LLP (Birmingham) Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham) Weightmans LLP (Birmingham) DLA Piper UK LLP is ‘an excellent firm that provides a first-rate service’ and which is ‘very good at managing expectations’. The practice ‘has a reach far beyond Birmingham itself’, handling a number of cases with international element. Neil Bowker, who heads the firm’s national litigation and regulatory practice, is ‘a dynamic litigator who always goes the extra mile for clients’. He continues to represent Accident Exchange in a long-running multi-faceted case against expert witness company Autofocus, which allegedly ran a campaign of perjury concerning the cost of providing courtesy cars for car accident claimants; part of this included successful contempt proceedings brought by Accident Exchange against several former Autofocus employees. Nick Bamford (‘an astute litigator and excellent reader of legal runes’) heads the Birmingham team – he and senior associate Amanda Rowley represented Ngali Holdings, a Rwandan publiclyowned company, in defending several claims brought by a financial adviser concerning fees regarding advice on funding of hydroelectric projects. New partner and ‘intellectual powerhouse’ Philip Kelly is also working with the firm’s Edinburgh office as external advisers to the Magnox inquiry, which concerns a bungled procurement exercise by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority concerning the clean-up of several nuclear power stations including Wylfa in Angelsey and Sizewell A. In addition, he and Bowker successfully defended David Wilson Homes from a claim brought by another property developer. Senior associate Adam Johnson ‘is a superb associate who manages his clients very well’. Fieldfisher LLP‘s ‘advice is spot on and the partners are razor-sharp’. The practice handles a range of work, with international commercial arbitrations concerning established markets a

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particular strength. Jonathan Hofstetter is ‘a straight talker, and unlike many in the profession, really understands how litigation funding – he also has a good sense of humour and is good to work with’. He represented Swedish Match in a Judicial Review case. Director Stephen May ‘has a great relationship with his clients and is a trusted adviser to them’. Ann Benzimra, whose work includes IT-related disputes, is ‘very experienced in commercial litigation – she can quickly grasp what is required’. Larry Coltman handles arbitration work, with Jim Sharkey’s workload includes disputes concerning directors’ duties. Freezing injunctions are another area of expertise.

Andrew Smith - Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is highly active in cases involving heavyweight allegations of fraud. ‘Brilliant all-round litigator’ Andrew Smith and Samantha Holland successfully defended CPC Group, a company connected to the Candy brothers, in a high-profile case brought by a real estate investor and his investment vehicle Hotblack, which alleged a conspiracy to take control of a property development company via, inter alia, fraud, blackmail and duress; the claimant was found have lied to the court. Clark Sargent and director Emma Carr acted

for the London Legacy Development Corporation in a dispute with West Ham United concerning, among other issues, the number of seats it is permitted to use in the London Stadium. Andrew Nugent Smith and senior associate Sean Adams represented a high-net-worth individual in defending proceedings concerning the ownership of a Ferrari 250 GTO and a McLaren F1, in which the claimants alleged that the cars worth were purchased using proceeds of fraud; he also defended JD Classics and the company’s founder against claims of fraud and mis-selling of classic cars. Andrew Manning-Cox, who handles partnership disputes, and senior associate Elsie Blackshaw represented Amec Foster Wheeler in litigation brought by various construction workers included in The Consulting Association’s blacklist. Tom Price, who heads the firm’s CEE and CIS desk, handles joint venture disputes subject to arbitration, while Patrick Arben also handles data risk matters. DWF’s litigation team in Birmingham is comprised of ‘very professional, top-notch lawyers’. Andrew Leach, who has a track record of CIS-related litigation, is ‘an exceptional lawyer who handles complex heavyweight commercial litigation with relative ease – he ensures all his clients’ needs are met while striving for the best result for them inside or outside the courtroom’. Darren Kenny is ‘driven and client-focused, taking an inventive and proactive approach to litigation to try to and get the best outcomes’. Senior associate Ben Griffin is noted for his expertise in commercial agency disputes, and he has ‘a deep knowledge and understanding of the case law in this field’. Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is ‘excellent in commercial litigation’. Adam Fisher is ‘particularly impressive – he is smart, full of sense and particularly good at boiling down complex legal points into a language lay clients understand, helping them understand their options accurately and simply’ – he represented 18 Week Support in various breach of confidence claims against a competitor seeking to enter the NHS insourcing market. Rich Lloyd is ‘particularly good – he is very strong on law, and excellent on the detail while retaining a really good macro view of the matter being litigated’. He acted alongside senior associate Victoria Callicott for Sims Group in the defense of a £5m claim brought by one of its suppliers. Principal associate Ridah Iqbal is also a name of note, as is senior associate Helen Amison. In an illustration of its ‘excellence in the public sector arena’, Sarah Jones and principal associate Isabelle Mitchell, working alongside the firm’s office in Cardiff, acted for the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office and the Independent Schools Inspectorate as core participants in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which follows on from the team’s involvement as solicitors to the Independent Jersey Care inquiry. Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘a match for any other regional firm – the team has a good level of business knowledge and provides very balanced and practical advice that allows clients’ to brief stakeholders and make an informed decision’. Steve Allen represented ALFA Bank in securing a default judgment against a Russian loan

guarantor who did not respond to the claim. Allen acted alongside principal associate Clare O’Brien for Jaguar Land Rover in an intellectual property dispute with Bombardier, which sold an off-road vehicle named the “Defender”. Principal associate Anthony Minnis acted for NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group in a dispute with its trust provider, which was resolved by an expert determination. Sport is another sector focus: associate Phil Hutchinson (‘who is emerging as a confident and capable litigator’) represented football agent Fernando Felicevic, who represents several footballers from Latin America, in bringing a counterclaim for unpaid commission in a case brought by Cardiff City Football Club regarding alleged fraud and conspiracy. The firm also handles outsourcing, major IT disputes and manufacturing-related matters.

Steve Allen - Mills & Reeve LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP provides ‘pragmatic, timely advice’ on a range of cases, many of which involve public law or civil fraud elements. Practice head Jim Richards and senior associate Andrew Herring advised MLS (Overseas) in a successful procurement challenge against the Ministry of Defence concerning a £390m port agency services dispute; the client had the highestscoring bid and the lowest price, but was bypassed in favour of the second-highest scorer due to a binary pass-or-fail question. Herring is ‘very responsive and quick to grasp the pertinent issues’ – he worked with the firm’s employment team for IMS World Publications and its parent company in litigation against former employees. Jonathan Fortnam and senior associate Faye Moore represented ISS UK in litigation arising from its purchase of GSH Group; her other cases include professional negligence actions against solicitors. Legal director Jason Kirwin represented E.ON in defending a claim linked to a bankruptcy in Louisiana with numerous disclosure issues and allegations of fraud; the claim settled at the door of the court. Shakespeare Martineau LLP‘s ‘excellent’ team is praised for its ‘toughapproach to litigation’. Mark Beesley (‘always at the top of his game’) and recently promoted partner James Woolstenhulme (‘very good and experienced’) acted for Alliance Surgical in a dispute with Pancentric concerning allegedly incorrect projected figures for leads and sales concerning a contract for digital marketing services; the matter involved complex issues concerning metadata of documents already disclosed. Beesley and Woolstenhulme are also defending Personal Touch

Simon Garbett, who handles shareholder disputes, M&A-related litigation, crossborder contractual disputes and disputes involving the Hague Convention; and the ‘very pragmatic and clear-thinking’ Garon Anthony, who also leads heavyweight disputes work, is ‘very supportive of clients’ businesses and understands the complexities of their companies – he is very capable and quick to respond’. Senior associate Ian Skinner, who joined from Dentons in Milton Keynes, is another key contact. Clients include GSH Group and Dalata Hotel Group. Associate Ben Tompkins is now at Higgs & Sons. Stephen Goodram - Gateley Plc

Bell Lax Limited is a ‘strong boutique litigation firm’ that provides ‘a very good level of service and provides very honest advice that takes into consideration clients’ objectives, putting clients’ interest above its own’. Associate director Liam Owen and associate Natalie Bradshaw acted for RGB Group in a number of cases, including one regarding an alleged failure to pay for construction works done to a hotel in Leicester Square, and another case concerning its purchase of defective lifts. Owen also deals with reputation management matters; he advised a victim of the contaminated blood factor products scandal concerning a statement in Ken Clarke QC MP’s autobiography concerning the ex gratia payments to victims, which were initially inaccurately described as compensation. Consultant Peter Lax (‘very good with complex matters’) handles a variety of insolvency disputes and shareholder litigation. Solicitor-advocate Qarrar

Financial Services against claims from Simplysure, which alleged a breach of an appointed representative agreement – the matter involved questions over what constitutes a “regulated activity” in the financial services context. Beesley also handles arbitration work. Barry Jervis acted for Henkel in a dispute against one of its suppliers, which allegedly provided defective equipment triggering a product recall and subsequent shortages. He also represented Birmingham City Council in High Court litigation concerning the months-long strike by refuse collectors during the summer of 2017. Other clients include Intercity Technology, for which Beesley secured a short-notice injunction regarding a copy of a customer database taken by a departing employee. Squire Patton Boggs fields a ‘capable team that always resolves disputes to clients’ satisfaction’. Key figures include

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Somji is ‘an impressive and industrious litigator’. Director Richard Kerry, whose work includes shareholder disputes ‘is very agreeable and doesn’t get ruffled; he looks after his clients’.

Alex Bishop - Shoosmiths LLP

Gateley Plc is ‘an outstanding commercial litigation firm that combines sound legal advice with tactical astuteness and an understanding of commercial sensitivities’. The ‘extremely switched-on and responsive’ team handles a range of work, from shareholder disputes through to contractual matters and civil fraud cases. Partner Stephen Goodrham is ‘an inspirational leader who has developed the team into a real powerhouse’. ‘Master tactician’ legal director Neil Warner is ‘an excellent lawyer who approaches matters from a commercial point of view – he has the ability to get to the root of a problem quickly‘. He is active in a number of highprofile disputes, with an emphasis on football and public procurement matters.

Senior associate Karen Levesley ‘has meticulous knowledge of her cases, keeping clients ahead of the curve’. Associate Rebecca Thomas (‘sensible but steely’) has a wide-ranging caseload, including civil fraud cases, while associate Kate Canning (‘absolutely committed to her cases and always willing to go the extra mile for clients’) is active in contentious insolvency matters, recently acting for Smile Stylist in a windingup petition against a company which was contracted to provide service, but deposited the cash into the directors’ bank account. Associate Safeea Shafiq handles manufacturing-related disputes. Shoosmiths LLP provides ‘an excellent level of service – the firm has very good response times and business acumen, providing well-rounded advice that communicates all the options available to clients through a narrative of the risks associated with each option’. The firm handles a diverse range of cases, from civil fraud and regulatory matters through to more esoteric litigation. Mark Elder and associate Rebekah Finch represented former Manchester United midfielder Lee Sharpe in a phone hacking claim brought against Mirror Group Newspapers, securing a settlement including an undertaking not to hack Sharpe’s phone in future. Elder also acts for Allpay in a judicial review of HMRC concerning the VAT rating of payment services. Alex Bishop is ‘fantastic – she puts clients at ease in stressful situations, and brings a commercial and pragmatic approach that ensures clients are always fully

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The Legal 500 West Midlands 21


Adam Fishear Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

advised and supported’. She represented a defendant to a multi-party Commercial Court case involving allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation concerning the extension of the repayment date of loan notes, as well as an indemnity regarding losses made by a company which is subject to a Serious Fraud Office investigation. She also represented a recruitment company in a dispute with a former director who left the company but commenced to contact clients of his old employer. Other disputes concern customs, IT services procurement, manufacturing disputes and unpaid invoice matters. The firm also acts for Accident Exchange on matters unrelated to the Autofocus case, and The White Company.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is ‘very focused and commercial in its approach’; ‘it has an outstanding level of knowledge and it provides valuable advice’. The team’s practice has a strong leaning towards civil fraud cases, but handles more broader-based disputes as well. Helen Briant and consultant Keith Mills (who has ‘excellent strategic judgement and commercial sense’) represented Rotam Agrochemical Company in bringing a claim against another agrochemical company concerning an alleged breach of a distribution agreement, which had complex issues of choice of law, with the defendant company claiming that Austrian law applied to some but not all elements of the contract. Mark Kenkre represented the Swimming Teachers’ Association in a dispute with its former CEO, who allegedly defrauded the charity of £3.6m over twenty years. Kenkre is also acting for a private individual in a £10m professional negligence claim, connected to the RBS Global Restructuring Group scandal, against a firm of surveyors. Other clients include Bank Sohar, which Kenkre represented in civil fraud matters, and Archus, a start-up created by several Capita alumni, which Kenkre successfully defended in an action brought by Capita against the company and several of its employees seeking access to emails sent in the directors’ personal email accounts. BLM ‘works hard to grasp the complexities of the situation in each individual matter’. Julian Smart, who ‘works tirelessly on clients’ cases from the beginning, staying on top of things’, continues to act for Towergate Financial in a piece of M&A litigation. Other work includes cartel follow-on damages claims and heavyweight civil fraud matters, often concerning insurance – Caroline Kane is a significant contact for this; she ‘has brilliant knowledge of ever case: she is like a walking dictionary and gets to the core points in ways she makes everyone understand’. Jagdeep Hayre handles a variety of cases for Birmingham City

22 The Legal 500 West Midlands


Council. The firm also acts for Fujitsu and European Risk Insurance Company. Bevan Brittan LLP’s dispute work includes a range of matters for the firm’s traditional public sector clientele. Adam Kendall’s practice includes various public procurement disputes, many of which concerning IT. Separately, he represents Flintshire County Council in an indemnity claim brought by solicitors who acted for a councillor who was suspended after bullying a civil servant. Private sector work includes various contractual disputes, some of which with intellectual property elements. Clients include a range of local authorities, NHS bodies and the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Emms Gilmore Liberson ‘definitely punches above its weight’ – ‘it is making significant inroads in to business to business disputes in the region using its flexibility to real advantage in how it meets client needs’. Director Richard Cooper is ‘brilliant – he is there when clients need him, and the way he manages cases in court is both professional and extremely clever; his attention to detail and client care are both first-class’ has a practice which includes such varied matters as shareholder disputes, restrictive covenant litigation and unjust enrichment claims. Peter Adkins, another director, has aviation expertise. Director Gurmeet Jakhu joined on January 2018 from Knights Professional Services Limited, while associate director Fabienne McAllister joined from Lanyon Bowdler. Freeths LLP represents a mixture of individuals, SMEs and better-known corporate in a range of litigation. Richard Coates has a diverse practice, including warranties disputes, civil fraud cases involving company leadership. Louse Wilson is another partner of note – her work also includes cases with corporate governance challenges, and disputes concerning supply of goods. Associate James Modley joined from Shoosmiths LLP. Sydney Mitchell LLP is ‘very strong’, and for some ‘probably the best in central Birmingham outside the large national and international firms’. The practice handles a range of matters, many of which with fraud elements, with clients ranging from international businesses, trade bodies, regional businesses and individual executives. Dean Parnell, whose expertise includes acting as a supervising solicitor for court-ordered searches, on top of being ‘very experienced and sensible: he is calm and reassuring, firm but not aggressive, and a tactically astute negotiator who secures good deals for his clients’, is ‘particularly strong on shareholder disputes and claims relating to directors’ – he represented a foreign company on recovery of losses from director-level frauds. Kamal Majevadia acted for an engineering company concerning unpaid invoices for engine components – he also handles cases concerning alleged fraud. Weightmans LLP’s Mark Surguy handles work such as civil fraud and bribery cases, directors’ duties matters, contractual disputes and various other civil litigation, many of which with cross-border elements. Some other cases include advising businesses and public sector organisations on harassment injunctions.


ELSEWHERE IN THE WEST MIDLANDS Beswicks Legal (Stoke on Trent) FBC Manby Bowdler LLP (Wolverhampton) George Green LLP (Cradley Heath) Higgs & Sons (Brierley Hill) Wright Hassall LLP (Leamington Spa) Harrison Clark Rickerbys (Worcester) Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited (Dudley) Lanyon Bowdler (Telford) MFG Solicitors LLP (Kidderminster) Thursfields Solicitors (Worcester) Ansons (Cannock) Freeths LLP (Stoke on Trent) Knights Professional Services Limited (Newcastle Under Lyme) Pickerings Solicitors (Tamworth) Beswicks Legal attracts praise for its ‘personal and professional approach – the lawyers show interest and engagement, and the size of the firm allows it to take care of each client and case with a personal and individual approach’. The practice handles a range of work – sport is a core area for the firm, with clients including football clubs and agents. Gareth Wilkinson, who handles contractual, direc-tors’ duties, equitable winding-up, insolvency and tax disputes, heads the practice with Karen Elder. Elder and associate Sean O’Toole (who joined from Gowling WLG in January 2017) are ‘lawyers with a remarkable level of knowledge and strategy, with an outstanding talent for negotiations’. Stephen Taylor is also a partner of note. ‘One of the strongest in the region outside Birmingham, and a match for many of the Birmingham city centre firms’, FBC Manby Bowdler LLP is a ‘stellar and slick firm, which combines quality and experi-ence – it is easy to work with and always well-prepared’. Guy Birkett (‘very experienced, calm and sensi-ble’) represented an engineering company (a rich seam of clients for the firm) seeking a search or-der concerning breaches of fiduciary duty by an outgoing director who left to join a competitor. Gareth Ruddock (‘bright and affable; he listens very carefully to a client’s objectives and delivers tai-lored advice‘) acted for Leonard Curtis Business Solutions in a claim against a director of a compa-ny who allegedly siphoned money from a company to purchase property in the UK and Africa – the matter was settled via alternative dispute resolution. The ‘reliable and sensible’ Charlotte Clode defended a High Court claim for a construction company concerning the delivery of equipment; the claimant sought to move the tools worth £1.5m to the Middle East. The aforementioned solicitors are based in the firm’s Wolverhampton office. Based in Shrewsbury, Brian Aikman represented a party to a break-up of a family farming partnership, which included a proprietary estoppel claim, concerning £4.5m of assets, as well as handling some competition law cartel cases. George Green LLP is a ‘good quality, very professional firm more than

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able to hold its own in substan-tial commercial disputes against larger firms’. The team handles a diverse range of work, with partic-ular emphasis on technology and engineering. Neil Williams, who has experience of acting as a supervising solicitor, ‘brings a calm, measured and realistic approach to his cases’. He handles prod-uct liability cases among other matters involving engineering issues. Morgan Rees (‘a bright, well-organised, hardworking and conscientious litigator who maintains a good command of the detail of his cases’) and associate James Field (‘bright, and very good in cases with an overlap with employment’) represented

Neil Williams - George Green LLP

the former CEO of Synergy Biologics in an unfair prejudice claim from his former em-ployer concerning allegations that investment opportunities worth £37m had been diverted. Field and Rees defended Olive Communications Solutions in a claim from a former director and employee regarding an alleged agreement for the company to buy back its own shares. Rees also handles directors’ disqualification proceedings. At Higgs & Sons Julia Lowe is representing a business in three appeals against HMRC’s refusal to refund input VAT, as well as related classification disputes. Lowe also represented a shareholder, formerly a director, of a company in a claim concerning alleged exclusion from a business opportunity. Matt Dudley handles unfair prejudice claims, and is acting for a private individual in a claim against West Midlands Police concerning the lawfulness of a search and arrest which interfered with a business. He also

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includes product liability and shareholder disputes, and associate Matthew Goodwin.

Guy Birkett FBC Manby Bowdler LLP

handles freezing injunctions. Associates Ben Tompkins and Jamie de Sou-za are also recommended as is consultant Carl Garvie, who is qualified as a barrister. Wright Hassall LLP handles a mixture of work ranging from restrictive covenant disputes through to defamation cases. Susan Hopcraft successfully defended five independent financial advisers in a £10m claim, which was ultimately withdrawn and indemnity costs awarded against the claimants. Daniel Jennings represented a company in a defamation action, securing additional injunctions on the bases of malicious falsehood and data protection, and acted for a business in a claim against a website operator whose users made derogatory comments about its services. Also recommend-ed are Sarah Perry, who handles contractual disputes, Rhys Jarman, whose workload

Harrison Clark Rickerbys, which has outposts in both Worcester and Hereford, has ‘a large depart-ment with strength in depth in this area – it is an excellent firm, with a number of first-rate lawyers’. Elizabeth Beatty in Worcester (who is ‘very sensible and commercially aware – very tough but without being aggressive’) represented Amada, which supplies laser-cutting machinery on hire-purchase terms, in a dispute with administrators of an insolvent client which had custody of one of its ma-chines. Beatty also handles shareholder disputes and unfair prejudice claims. Richard Morgan in Hereford heads the firm’s national litigation team and handles M&A-related disputes. Marc Laza-rus is another name of note. Dudley’s Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited ‘takes a completely calm and logical approach to each scenario – clients are guided through the risks and rewards of litigation, and are helped into making a final decision’. Harminder Sandhu is noted for her ‘ability to discuss matters with clients with calmness and certainty, which gives clients confidence in their decisions’. She acted for Sovereign Risk Management in a dispute with a director and minority shareholder who set up a competing business while on long-term sick leave, and separately represented Meridian Metal Trading in a dis-pute with a client which alleged that its products were defective. Other work concerns construction

Peter Hubbard senior partner Anthony Collins Solicitors

AWARDS SUCCESS FOR ANTHONY COLLINS SOLICITORS “We are excited and privileged to be the winners of the Law Firm of the Year, Business Team of the Year and Private Client Team of the Year in the Birmingham Law Society’s 200th year. In only our 45th year, we are proud to be a distinctive law firm based in Birmingham where we have a positive, national impact in our sectors. Our work with social purpose organisations and individuals across the country is all focussed on our purpose of improving lives, communities and society. This is delivered by colleagues who are 24 The Legal 500 West Midlands

disputes, contractual disputes relating to supply chains, and product liability. Lanyon Bowdler is ‘a good quality firm, with nice people who are easy to work with’. Andrew Pegg, who heads the department from the Telford office, represented Viessmann Refrigeration Systems in a dispute with the buyer of one of its blast freezers. His other work concerns shareholder dis-putes and (in keeping with its position as the NFU panel firm for Shropshire, Herefordshire and Staffordshire) agricultural litigation. Brian Evans in Shrewsbury is ‘an exceptional operator; he has a meticulous attention to detail, and is practical and pragmatic’. Associate Jon Clifford in Hereford leads on farming disputes concerning partnerships.

Sarah Perry | Wright Hassall LLP

MFG Solicitors LLP is praised for its ‘client-focused service – it is very good at identifying what the end goals are in any litigation’. Tom Elser, who is ‘great at explaining all the jargon and making clients feel at ease’, continues to act for Waste Spectrum in a dispute concerning the supply of equipment and an agency agreement pertaining to Saudi Arabia; the matter is subject to an ICC arbitration based on UNIDROIT principles. Other key highlights include representing Norton Hydraulics on the re-moval of a director and the enforcement of restrictive covenants, and assisting L G Harris with re-organising its commercial agents. Samuel Pedley, newly promoted to partner, ‘has that wonderful skill all good lawyers have where they can listen patiently to all the to and fro and white noise that sur-rounds the emotion of disputes, quickly getting to the point and presenting what is relevant’. He acted for The Thomas Blunt Partnership in a crossborder intellectual property dispute, and separately represented Butcher Woods as trustee in bankruptcy against a former director who attempted a transaction at under value to defraud creditors. Other clients include Midland Marketing, which Pedley represented in a contractual dispute against Colgate-Palmolive.

genuinely interested in, and committed to, the work of the public and third sectors, social enterprises and working for people across the Midlands. As we have articulated more clearly what motivates us in our work, we find more people wanting to use their commercial and legal skills for a clear purpose and in a law firm with aligned values. This places us in a strong position to invest in the future and show the value of a committed and talented legal profession.”

Elizabeth Beatty Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Richard Morgan Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Thursfields Solicitors is, for some, ‘in another class – the firm appreciates that its clients do not all have legal backgrounds, so does not try to blind you with jargon whilst providing a first-class service’. The ‘very proactive and knowledgeable’ Tim Lawrence represented U Can in a fraud claim against its franchisees, against a backdrop of alleged misrepresentations. Senior associate Lauren HartiganPritchard is also a name of note. Other highlights concern partnership disputes and enforcement against restrictive covenants. Both named lawyers are based in Worcester. At Ansons, Martin de Ridder heads a practice which handles various contractual and product de-fect litigation among other matters. De Ridder, who is based in Cannock, is instructed to represent Team Industrial in a dispute over the termination of a service contract. Also in Cannock, associate Adam Pike represented Powerlite Generators in a dispute against a claim concerning allegedly de-fective site machinery. Senior associate Jason Alcock in Lichfield is also a key contact – his work in-cludes shareholder disputes and cross-border litigation. Freeths LLP in Stoke on Trent ‘provides very good service, which is due to its long-standing relation-ships developed over time – the client has a good understanding of clients’ businesses and ethics’. Ste-phen Hadley, who heads the practice, handles work including M&A litigation and several disputes over the ownership of property. In one highlight, he advised Baker Tilly as trustees in one of three brothers party to a partnership dispute owning several properties in multiple countries, against a backdrop of alleged conveyancing fraud and impersonation. Natural resources are an area of ex-pertise – the team advises Tarmac on mineral regulation matters. Knights Professional Services Limited in Newcastle under Lyme has a track record of handling vari-ous matters, including contractual disputes and shareholder litigation. David Convey and Kate Clarke are key contacts. Pickerings Solicitors LLP’s Simon King acted for the defendants in a £100,000 libel claim running in parralel with an employment case, and represented JOIE Children’s Products in a £300,000 claim brought by an individual purporting to be a commercial agent. Other highlights include sharehold-er disputes, insolvency matters, and cases involving disputes around the provision of services. The firm is based in Tamworth.

BANKING LITIGATION Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (Birmingham) Gowling WLG (Birmingham) Squire Patton Boggs (Birmingham) FS Legal (Brierley Hill) Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

Gateley Plc (Birmingham)

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP provides ‘a first-classservice’ to a client roster that includes a number of large banks; the team is particularly well-known for defending mis-selling claims. Chris Busby heads the firm’s national practice and is a ‘real star in his field and well-deserving of his accolades – he is very knowledgeable on banking regulation, very attentive to what clients need and very easy to work with’. He has expertise in PPI matters, a leads a practice that handles a high volume of work for major banks. Neville Gray, who ‘has a strong understanding of his cases and an excellent grasp of case management’,

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is representing a private bank in a series of mis-selling cases concerning alleged negligence or breaches of statutory duties as regards to the sale of film partnership scheme products. Gray also acted for a Nordic bank in claims by users of its trading platform at the time of the 2015 termination of the Swiss Franc’s peg to the Euro. He also has SIPP mis-selling and Consumer Credit Act expertise. Principal associate Sarah Hope is a ‘hardened and experienced litigator, with great client skills’. Principal associate Martin Ward joined from Shoosmiths LLP. The practice also acts for banks in professional negligence

actions against solicitors and invoice finance disputes. Santander and Nationwide are other clients. Gowling WLG is ‘responsive, with very good asset finance industry knowledge in particular’. Clark Sargent and senior associate Katie Malloy (who ‘provides sound advice and is very diligent’) are representing PEAC in several cases against schools which leased printing equipment but subsequently sought to void the leases as ultra vires on public law grounds. Ian Weatherall and senior associate Turon Miah acted for Home Retail Group Card Services in a large volume of PPI cases concerning Argos-branded store cards. Squire Patton Boggs’ team handles a range of heavyweight financial services regulation work. Garon Anthony handles cross-border regulatory investigations, often concerning English law-based “free zones” outside the UK, as well as domestic mis-sellling cases and insurance disputes. Simon Garbett, whose work crosses over with matters such as pensions, is also another key partner. Senior associate Ian Skinner joined from Dentons’ Milton Keynes office. The firm is a member of the Financial Conduct Authority’s “skilled person” panel for financial crime matters. Brooks Macdonald Financial Consulting is a client, as is Amana Capital Group. FS Legal is described by some as ‘the only pure financial services litigation firm outside London – its team is the envy of many of the top law firms it comes up

against’. Gareth Fatchett (‘a renowned expert in financial services work‘) handles a range of heavyweight financial services litigation; he represented Metro Financial Solutions in a dispute with Tenet Connect Services – the client left the network, and Tenet Connect subsequently attempted to claim back fees. Other work concerns novel regulatory matters, plus SIPP and mortgage mis-selling cases. Paul Crutchley also handles heavyweight work, some of which concerning offshore financial services. Shoosmiths LLP’s ‘dedicated’ team ‘has that rare mix of being legally gifted and commercially sensible; the entire team is friendly and eminently capable’, with notable expertise in consumer credit litigation. Roger Potgiegter is ‘a real asset to the firm and his clients alike – he provides pragmatic advice, projects a calm exterior at all times and has a wealth of knowledge and experience: quiet simply, he makes clients’ lives easier’. He advised Creation Consumer Finance and other lenders in mis-selling claims brought under sections 75 and 140A of the Consumer Credit Act. In a separate case, he also acted for a car manufacturer-backed finance provider in a claim brought under the Data Protection Act concerning allegedly incorrect statements to credit reference agencies. Gateley Plc’s James Baird handles a range of banking litigation, often involving fraud by bank employees. Clients include Macquarie Equipment Finance, Aldermore Bank, Scania Finance, Tower Leasing and several traditional banks.

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The Legal 500 West Midlands 25



BANKING & FINANCE DLA Piper (Birmingham) Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (Birmingham) Gowling WLG (Birmingham) Pinsent Masons (Birmingham) Gateley Plc (Birmingham) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Birmingham) Browne Jacobson LLP (Birmingham) Freeths LLP (Birmingham) Irwin Mitchell (Birmingham) Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham) Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham) Squire Patton Boggs (Birmingham) Wright Hassall LLP (Birmingham) Aaron & Partners LLP (Shrewsbury) DWF LLP (Birmingham) George Green LLP (Wolverhampton)

DLA Piper UK LLP, which represents both bank and non-bank lenders as well as corporate borrowers, ‘provides a full endto-end service, allowing clients to focus on the commercial aspects of the deal’. HSBC is a key bank relationship: Brian Woolcock advised it on the refinancing of an existing loan provided to St Modwen Properties, while Stephen Bottley headed a team advising an HSBC-led syndicate on a £65m financing of a secondary buyout of Brintons Carpets. Borrower-side representation includes Bottley advising Clinigen Group on the financing of its acquisition of Quantum Pharma, funded by three of the Big Five banks. Non-bank lender work includes advising Ares Capital Corporation and two other investment funds on a $75m facility provided to SoundCloud. Other highlights concern debt restructuring and invoice financing, an area in which it advises RBS Invoice Finance. Ben Tumelty is a key senior associate. Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s Patrick Davis advised a syndicate of seven lenders on a £350m refinancing of Domino’s Pizza Group plc, the brand’s listed UK franchisee, and assisted a five-lender syndicate with a £200m refinancing of Halfords Group. MBO finance highlights included advising Lloyds and HSBC on a £280m facility to fund Investcorp’s backing of the acquisition of Kee Safety Group. Principal associate Richard Davies‘ real estate finance highlights included advising Lloyds on a refinance of 2 Colmore Square, and Secure Trust Bank on funding for the acquisition of a site in Canary Wharf. Other clients include Equistone Partners, which Davis advised on the funding elements of its management buyout of Inspire Thinking Group. Gowling WLG is, for many, ‘excellent on all counts – the firm involves the required specialists, turns things round quickly and is always available to support’. Chris Brierley advised Nuvias Group on a £30m cross-border refinancing, and assisted Sanctuary Housing Association with a new £75m revolving facility and note purchase agreement with MUFG. Director Navin Prabhakar (‘extremely responsive, friendly and approachable, with strong in-depth knowledge’) acted with associate Richard

26 The Legal 500 West Midlands

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Crawley and firm’s London office for Mobeus Equity Partners as sponsor of the management buyout of Arc Specialised Engineering. Nicholas Iliff has project finance expertise. The firm also acts for HSBC, among other major banks. Pinsent Masons LLP ‘supports clients through transactions and executes them effectively every time’. The practice acts David Doogan for a number Pinsent Masons of leading banks; David Doogan advised HSBC, a cornerstone client, on financing London and Quadrant Housing Trust’s £505m acquisition of the Gallagher land business. In another highlight Edward Sunderland (‘one of a handful of leading lights in the receivables and asset-based lending space nationally’) advised The Extra Care Charitable Trust on several private placements and amending its existing revolving credit facilities. In the fund finance space, legal director Esther Parkes (who is ‘very responsive and provides practical support’) was part of a multi-office team advising four banks on providing a £430m revolving facility to New River REIT. The firm also acts for Police Mutual Assurance Society (which Doogan advised on its partial purchase of a securitisation by fintech lender Neyber) and RBS. Senior associate Victoria Baker is ‘an invaluable part of the team who has developed her own skills and experience’. Gateley Plc handles a range of transactions for borrowers and lenders, including MBO finance and non-bank lending advice. Andrew Madden Andrew Madden Gateley Plc and Rebecca Sherwin (who also heads the firm’s real estate finance practice) advised Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank as financiers of Evac+Chair’s MBO, and in the borrower space Madden advised Seafresh Group

on a refinancing, which included securities over assets in both the UK and US and inter-creditor agreements involving the company’s Thai owners. Carol Betts advised HSBC on a £13m loan to a Manx company to purchase the Thomas Cook headquarters in Peterborough via a BVI structure. Shakespeare Martineau LLP is ‘very good, with notably quick response times’; ‘clients are kept informed throughout’. Christopher Gayle is ‘always available, has strong knowledge and provides a consultative approach’ – he advised Blackmead Infrastructure Fund on lending £40m to SME lender Reward Finance Group via secured loan notes. Vikki Simpson, who advised Bank of Cyprus on its £3.8m role in financing improvements to a leisure centre, has real estate finance expertise. Mohammed Saqub handles Islamic finance deals for national and international names in the space such as Al Rayan Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. Helen Readett is praised for her ‘quality of communication and advice’. Naomi Tudor is also recommended. Browne Jacobson LLP handles a range of work, with key strengths in healthcare and real estate finance. Paul Ray advised Santander on a £5.4m financing of a management buyout of Clamason Industries sponsored by Connection Capital, and on the borrower side advised Local Space Housing Association on a £75m private placement. Emma Hinton has expertise in social care deals, acting for borrowers in this space. Other clients include RBS. Mark Lewis is an associate of note. Freeths LLP is ‘a firm clients want to work with’ with a ‘strong team of associates’. James Dyson is ‘always contactable and gives clear and concise advice’ – he advised Clydesdale Bank on term loan, development finance and invoice discounting facilities totaling £11m to Penso Group, and several term loan and working capital facilities to Allumette. Borrower-side work included advising Away Resorts Group on a refinancing provided by Permira Debt Managers simultaneous to the client’s purchase of another resort. Other clients include Frontier Development Capital, and Leumi ABL, which it advised on an acquisition facility lent to Go Interiors for the purchase of FBF. Irwin Mitchell has a particular strength in asset-based lending. Jon Bew and senior associate Natalie Barnes advised Whitworths on a £19m refinancing provided by Leumi ABL following the borrower’s merger with Anatolia, and Shawbrook Bank (a cornerstone client) as part of a syndicated £45m asset-based loan to the Arlington Group regarding its purchase of Magal Engineering. HSBC Invoice Finance is another client of note. Mills & Reeve LLP acts for both borrowers and lenders, with a particular presence in the education space. David Varnham and associate Amardeep Bahia advised MBO Hotels on a refinancing of its Luxury Family Hotels portfolio in a transaction with Guernsey elements. The two also advised HSBC, a key lender client, on a £10.8m loan to Carver Group for the purchase of a Canadian company, and a £28m facility to Warwick School for redeveloping its campus, which required bespoke structuring due to the borrower’s activities as an independent school. Also in the education space, the firm advised Birmingham City University on a £45m revolving facility borrowed from HSBC. In the debt fund space, the firm

advised Odey Asset Management on a $6m subscription to loan notes from Tri-Star Resources used to finance Omani mineral processing company SPMP. Wells Fargo is another client of note. Shoosmiths LLP’ David Adams advised Mondottica on a £15m facility from Santander. He also handles lender-side real estate and acquisition finance work for several major banks. Other highlights included acting for a company backed by MML Capital Partners on a loan from HSBC for the purchase of Property Information Exchange. At Squire Patton Boggs, ‘response times are always adhered to and issues are negotiated in a pragmatic manner’. Roy Grist’s ‘friendliness is matched by his technical expertise, making him a pleasure to work with’; he advised The Midcounties Cooperative on a £60m refinancing. Russ Hill advised RCapital Partners on the financing aspects of its backing of a management buyout of SciChem, while Geoff Perry provides ‘commercial insight’. Other clients include Leumi ABL, which Grist advised on a £19m refinance of Whitworths, and Finance Birmingham. In Leamington Spa, Wright Hassall LLP is ‘a very good firm with good local knowledge’. Christopher Jones ‘oversees the whole process while maintaining very strong communications throughout; excellent technically and in client relationships’ – he advised Warwick Independent Schools Foundation on a £28m development finance facility for a new campus, structured in a way with repayments due each school term rather than quarterly. In the non-bank lender space, Jones and Keith Ainsworth advised Hadrian’s Wall Capital on a £16.3m facility lent to Fleximise, an SME lender, secured on Fleximise’s own lending. Other borrower clients include Walterton & Elgin Community Housing, which it advised on a £9m facility provided by Charity Bank and Unity Trust Bank. Bank clients include RBS, which Jones advised on a £3.5m facility lent to Arden Group. In Shrewsbury, Aaron & Partners LLP’s ‘sophisticated and knowledgeable team’ advises a range of banks and borrowers. Hugh Strickland is ‘capable of being creative and reasonable while acting for banks’ – he advised Santander on a £10m acquisition facility for the purchase of the Cresta Court Hotel in Altrincham by a hotel company headed by former FA chairman Greg Dyke. Other work concerns management buyout funding and work for non-bank lenders – Strickland advised Fullbrook Thorpe Investments on loans to Georges Tradition and Lichfield City Football Club. DWF handles a range of lender-side work, some of which concerning syndicated loans, real estate finance and mezzanine debt. Senior associate Richard Holmes leads mandates for well-known investment and retail banks. At partner level, Alice Broadfield heads the firm’s Birmingham team. George Green LLP‘s Philip Round advised St Philips Care Group on increasing its existing finance facilities with Clydesdale Bank to a total of £31m. OakNorth Bank and Ortus Secured Finance are key clients – Round advised the latter on a bridging facility to a BVI company secured over properties in Cornwall, and the former on a development facility structured to be converted as an investment loan on the completion of the project.

of the elite sets at the Bar. Their unique expertise in the overlap between planning, property, public and environmental law means that Landmark is frequently instructed to advise on the most complex and often highest-profile development projects in the Midlands and beyond. Barristers’ experience ranges from large scale residential and mixed-use schemes to highways, tall buildings and major transport infrastructure projects.

Paul Newhall chief executive, Landmark Chambers

A LANDMARK EVENT FOR BIRMINGHAM Recognised in the legal directories as one of the UK’s leading barristers’ chambers, Landmark provides specialist integrated advocacy and advice in planning, property, public and environmental law. Representing a broad range of clients from government departments and statutory bodies to landowners, developers and special interest

groups, Landmark’s barristers also advise listed and private companies, as well as individuals based in in the Midlands, throughout the UK and overseas. With 89 barristers, including 33 Queen’s Counsel, they are ranked in a total of 14 practice areas in the latest addition of the Legal 500, making them one

Whilst Landmark has always undertaken a considerable amount of work in the Midlands area, earlier this year they took the decision to open a dedicated office in Cornwall Street, right in the heart of the Birmingham’s thriving professional services district. Commenting on the decision, Landmark’s Chief Executive, Paul Newhall explained that, “our move to open in Birmingham was the result of feedback from a cross-section of clients who wanted to be able to instruct specialist London counsel without having to travel to London for meetings, thereby providing our clients with greater flexibility and convenience. The level of investment in Birmingham and the wider Midlands in infrastructure as a result of HS2 and the City’s successful bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 were also significant factors in our decision to open in Birmingham.” For more information about Landmark’s specialist expertise, the services they provide and how they can assist you, please contact the Practice Management team on +44 (0)121 752 0800 or email


DevAssist investigates locations for development risks that could impact a property. We are an accredited CPD provider on development and planning. Our products:

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The Legal 500 West Midlands 27



INSOLVENCY & CORPORATE RECOVERY DLA Piper (Birmingham) Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (Birmingham) Gateley Plc (Birmingham) Pinsent Masons (Birmingham)


Clarke Willmott LLP (Birmingham) Gowling WLG (Birmingham) Harrison Clark Rickerbys (Worcester) Irwin Mitchell (Birmingham) Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham) Squire Patton Boggs (Birmingham)


Beswicks Legal (Stoke on Trent) DWF LLP (Birmingham) FBC Manby Bowdler LLP (Wolverhampton) Higgs & Sons (Brierley Hill) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Birmingham) Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham) Thursfields Solicitors (Worcester) Wright Hassall LLP (Leamington Spa) DLA Piper UK LLP is a source of ‘excellent service and team provides very practical advice and guidance; with the number of quality people in the team there is always someone available to help’. The firm is ‘able to handle all types of work’, with a strong focus in bank creditor and administrator representation. Huw Dolphin is ‘a strong operator, with good knowledge and real understanding of situations’ – he headed a team which advised Lloyds Banking Group as primary bankers to Anton Group, a printing company which collapsed in April 2017 – subsequently, several directors of the company were charged with cheating the public revenue. John Jeffreys, who ‘pays strong attention to detail and protects clients’ positions’, led a team advising RBS Invoice Finance as creditor and Grant Thornton as administrators of Wellgrain Limited. Other clients include PwC and Amber Real Estate Investments, which Jeffreys advises on legacy issues following its purchase of Bernard Matthews out of administration in 2016. Another name to note is legal director Charlotte Duce, who is ‘very knowledgeable & provides very professional support’, plus senior associates Deborah Brown and Tom Swain, who ‘always makes himself available and provides excellent advice’. Alongside a range of big-ticket insolvency work, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP also handles corporate recovery matters. Andrew Jordan advised Alix Partners as administrators of Jaeger Retail Group and the subsequent sale of its assets, and Duff & Phelps as administrators of Multi York Furniture. The firm also acts for PwC, KPMG, which it advised on its role as administrator of AMS Group, Begbies Traynor (as administrators of Assist Recruitment) and Deloitte. At principal associate, Jenna Poulton is also a name of note, as is non-contentious specialist Laura Taylor and real estate specialist Anne-Louise Lawrence. Gateley Plc handles a range of work, with a significant presence in insolvency litigation. Clients recommend Daniel French, who advised KPMG on its role as administrators of The Imaginaerum Studios, securing the pre-pack sale of its assets in a management buy-out. Mark Wilson and legal director Kathryn Hacking advised Grant Thornton

28 The Legal 500 West Midlands


as liquidators of an aluminium smelting company, which performed an allegedly unlawful share buyback and sale of the factory and a subsidiary to the managing director. Victoria Portman, another legal director, advised Begbies Traynor on obtaining control of land which was occupied by the holder of a since-expired lease but owned by a company in liquidation. Helen Jones is a key senior associate – she advised Scientific and Chemical Suppplies on an accelerated management buyout required to prevent the client from becoming insolvent. Pinsent Masons LLP’s Amy Flavell advised Grant Thornton as liquidators on the cross-border collapse of All Leisure Group, which sold part of the business in a pre-pack administration; however a large proportion of the cruise business failed entirely, necessitating litigation and a vessel arrest in Singapore. Flavell also advised KPMG as administrators of Jones the Bootmaker on a pre-pack, which led to the rescue of 840 jobs. Other clients include Deloitte, which Flavell advised as administrators of Covpress Assembly. Other mandates concern sectors such as education and health care. Clarke Willmott LLP handles a range of work, for creditors and leading insolvency practitioners. Stephanie Slinn advised a significant trade creditor of Toys ‘R’ Us on the retailer’s CVA and subsequent collapse. Other cases involve allegations of fraud. Sheena Tandy is a key senior associate. The firm also acts for Elwell Watchorn & Saxton, Duff & Phelps and FRP Advisory, as well as The Insolvency Service, which is a cornerstone client. Gowling WLG acts for a range of liquidators and administrators in addition to handling restructuring work. Jasvir Jootla advised Export Development Canada on the restructuring of a British energy company and, working with the firm’s litigation team, advised Griffins Insolvency as liquidators of Vertu. Ian Weatherall advised Bibby Financial Services on the sale of the assets of Blue Chip Sales and Marketing from administration. Other clients include Grant Thornton and several banks. Harrison Clark Rickerbys in Worcester

provides ‘quick responses, explaining positions without too much legalese from a team that shows good in-depth knowledge’. The firm, which is ‘unafraid to remind boards of their duties even when they don’t want to hear that sort of advice’, advises a range of leading insolvency practitioners. Sam Payne advised Timothy James Partnership on litigation concerning the RSPCA’s costs of caring for, and subsequent destruction of, sixty cattle after their abandonment by a bankrupt farmer, and advised RSM London on the pre-pack insolvency of Fuel Juice Bars. Other insolvency practitioner clients include Moore Stephens, which it advised on the insolvency of a care home, and FRP Advisory, which Payne advised on liquidating a company that sought to build electric light aircraft. Hayley Phelps is a key senior associate, as is Alan Meiklejohn, who joined from Cameron Legal Ltd. Irwin Mitchell handles a range of work for bank creditors and insolvency advisers, with a particular strength in asset-based lending. Stephen George advises Grant Thornton as liquidators of Covpress, which supplies car parts to Jaguar Land Rover and Renault and was largely purchased by Liberty House Group, with the first ever rescue of a pension scheme out of the Pension Protection Fund. The team advised Shawbrook Bank as creditor and Duff & Phelps as administrator of Tasties of Chester, securing the sale of the company’s food-to-go-business to Street Eats Food. Senior associate Amy Keogh is also a key contact. Other clients include FRP Advisory, which the firm advised on its role as administrators of Uniting Ambition, IGF, which it advised as a creditor of Headley Brothers, and Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group. Shoosmiths LLP’s growing team advises a range of leading administrators and insolvency firms on challenging mandates. James Keates and Aaron Harlow, who was elected into the partnership in May 2017, advised PwC as administrators of The Food Retailer Operations Limited, which operated 34 ex-Somerfield stores as branches of Budgens, securing the disposal of the company’s store leases. Keates and senior associate Charles Williams advised Grant Thornton as administrators of Vehicle Trading Group, which was rescued as RateSetter exchanged its £40m debt for equity in its subsidiaries. Other mandates included advising Fuel Juice Bars Limited on purchasing the business and assets of its oldco from the administrators followed by a company voluntary agreement. The team also advised KPMG, which it advised on the administration of Gelpack Exelcisor, and FRP Advisory, which Keates and Williams advised on the administration of several companies in the Ham Baker Adams group. Other clients include Duff & Phelps. Squire Patton Boggs is a ‘knowledgeable & experienced team which provides rapid response to instructions’. Russell Hill is ‘very knowledgeable of the sector & provides bespoke advice based on the circumstances involved’ – he advised Grant Thornton on the administration and sale of assets of Colston Castors; also, the ‘experienced and very knowledgeable’ Devinder Singh, who ‘provides prompt responses to any issue’ and Hill advised Leonard Curtis Business Recovery on the sale of Hand Made Burger Company. Singh also advised Alix Partners as administrators of Bourston Stockton, which owned student accommodation for University of Durham students which had guaranteed occupation. Other clients include

distressed investor R Capital Partners, which Hill advised on the purchase and restructuring of debt lent to Scientific and Chemical Supplies, and KPMG. Senior associate Oliver Ward-Jones is a new hire from Higgs & Sons. In Stoke on Trent, Beswicks Legal’s Richard Preston handles a range of work for receivers, debtors and directors of companies in liquidation. Personal bankruptcy, for both debtors and trustees in bankruptcy, is also an area of expertise. DWF’s senior associate Richard Holmes handles a range of work concerning real estate finance restructuring and insolvency for clients such as the West Bromwich Building Society, Colliers International and CBRE. In Wolverhampton, FBC Manby Bowdler LLP’s James Sage is a key contact for noncontentious insolvency and recovery work – he advised an invoice factoring business on the recovery of assets and restructuring of a company, and separately handles the sale of various SMEs in administration. Gareth Ruddock, who is also based in Wolverhampton, handles work for liquidators such as claims against directors, as well as representation of directors in director disqualification proceedings. In Brierley Hill, Higgs & Sons‘ David Ellis heads a team which handles creditor-side work, personal insolvency as well as work for companies at risk of insolvency and their directors. Carl Garvie is now a consultant. Formerly an associate at the firm, Oliver Ward-Jones is now an associate at Squire Patton Boggs. Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s Andrew Taylor is ‘a good lawyer’ – he and legal director Stuart Taylor advised Mazars as administrators of Total Protection UK; Taylor also advised FRP Advisory as administrators of two catering equipment companies, requiring two pre-pack sales completed in a week. Opus and Horsefields are new client wins. Sydney Mitchell LLP‘s Leanne SchneiderRose advised an insolvency practitioner on gaining access to and possession of a sports and leisure club, and handled several cases concerning the sales of care homes from administration. Section 216 cases and personal bankruptcy are also areas of expertise. ‘A good alternative to the larger Birmingham firms’, Thursfields Solicitors in Kidderminster provides a ‘very good level of service with sound, commercial and appropriate advice offered in all cases’ ‘a good alternative to larger Birmingham firms’. Senior associate Lauren Hartigan-Pritchard handles a range of work concerning asset tracing, section 236 proceedings and other matters. The firm also handles some work for creditors, and some concerning personal insolvency. Also a senior associate, Tim Edwards advised Monahans on the liquidation of Pakeman Catto Carter, a menswear retailer. In Leamington Spa, Wright Hassall LLP senior associate Caroline Benfield advises clients including Grant Thornton, KPMG, Cranfield Business Recovery and Robert Day and Company on their responsibilities as liquidators and trustees in bankruptcy, with work including misfeasance claims against directors.

CONSTRUCTION Gowling WLG (Birmingham) Squire Patton Boggs (Birmingham)


Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (Birmingham) Gateley Plc (Birmingham) Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham) Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham) Wright Hassall LLP (Stratford upon Avon)


Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP (Birmingham) Harrison Clark Rickerbys (Worcester) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Birmingham) Trowers & Hamlins LLP (Birmingham)


Gowling WLG handles heavyweight construction disputes, as well as transactional work involving major projects. In the construction disputes arena, Ashley Pigott and principal associate Sarah Dyer are key contacts for litigation and arbitration concerning a range of buildings and infrastructure developments. Michael O’Shea is another name of note for contentious work, as is Daniel Wood, who represented E.ON in a dispute concerning the inclusion of technical standards as terms in contracts, as applied to defective foundations of sixty wind turbines in the Robin Rigg offshore site in the Solway Firth, which reached the Supreme Court. On the non-contentious front, Richard Green and principal associate Gemma Whittaker continue to advise Aston Martin Lagonda on its project to convert the former MoD St Athan site into a factory to build the Aston Martin DBX. Other clients include Roxhill Developments, which Green and Mark Stephenson advised on procuring the construction of a new, 200,000 sq m, warehouse in Tilbury to be let to Amazon. Squire Patton Boggs, which handles contentious and non-contentious work, with an emphasis on energy and infrastructure developments, is praised for its ‘solid common-sense approach and very good client management’. Contentious highlights include Robert Norris and senior associate Alex Johnson’s representation of Blackpool Borough Council in several adjudications and High Court proceedings against the contractor constructing an extension to the town’s tram system. Ray O’Connor is another key contact for contentious work, as well as handling non-contentious matters; recent highlights include advising the National Exhibition Centre on development works for its new Legoland attraction. Other transactional work includes Graeme Bradley’s advice to J-Power Systems, a subsidiary of Sumitomo, on the procurement of land and underwater installations required for the Nemo Link power interconnector connecting Sandwich to Zeebrugge. Bradley also acted for Al Shamsh General Contracting in a dispute over the construction of a military air base in Iraq. Other clients include Equitix, which Bradley advised on the procurement of a waste-to-energy plant

4 constructed under a FIDIC Silver Book contract, Claremont Land & New Homes and Sky. Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is ‘aware of all the current issues contractors face in entering building contracts and adept at handling negotiations to reach a suitable point to allow projects to proceed’. David Jones, working with the firm’s Manchester office, continues to advise Severn Trent Water and Dee Valley Water on creating a new framework agreement for procuring water treatment plants and pipe networks. Jones also advises Network Rail on a proposed people mover connecting Luton Airport Parkway railway station to Luton Airport 2km away. Peter Scurlock continues to advise NNB Generation Company, a subsidiary of EDF Energy, on several contracting packages for the Hinkley Point C project, including the construction of several marine tunnels required to cool the reactor. He also advises Lynemouth Power on the conversion of the eponymous coal-fired power station to biomass wood pellets, but away from energy also advised Nikal on procuring 600 apartments across three buildings as part of the Exchange Square development in central Birmingham. Formerly a principal associate at the firm, Michael Shires is now Head of Legal at Hill & Smith Holdings.

Peter Scurlock | Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Beswicks Legal (Stoke on Trent)

Gateley Plc, which counts several prominent housebuilders among its clients, handles both contentious and non-contentious work. David Lloyd Jones advised Jaguar Land Rover on construction contracts for a £96m development, including a new head office, using a construction management contract – in the residential space, he also advises Taylor Wimpey on contracts for Bouygues to redevelop part of the Mount Pleasant Mail Centre into housing. In the contentious arena, legal director Amira Khan advises Bovis Homes on a dispute with Network Rail concerning delays to upgrades to Wellingborough railway station, which is adjacent to Bovis’ Stanton Cross development. Peter Davies and senior associate Peter Cursham Will Cursham represent Volvo in a £3m claim regarding a defective area of hardstanding. The firm also acts for Linden Homes. Senior associate Paul Scott is a new hire from Shoosmiths LLP. Mills & Reeve LLP is a ‘professional and personable firm that provides high-class advice and support’. Stuart Pemble handles non-contentious work, including the 55-91 Knightsbridge project for Cheval Group and advising Blackswan Development on a new project in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Pemble also has a following among education clients – he advised Eltham College on drafting construction contracts for a new building, and the Southern Universities Construction Consultancy Affinity Group on a new framework agreement. Litigator Martino Giaquinto, who is dual-qualified as a barrister, is ‘an extremely smart and sharp man’ who ‘always provides sound

advice relative to the needs of the client, and is also a very impressive advocate’ – he handles disputes regarding residential, hotel, infrastructure and energy projects, as well as more unusual structures. Associate Patrick Wisheu Patrick Wisheu ‘has an amazing ability to delve into the most technical aspects of complex disputes’.

Martino Giaquinto | Mills & Reeve LLP

Shoosmiths LLP, for some, ‘sets the bar, providing an unrivalled service in a competitive marketplace’. In the ‘strong contentious team’, Simon Wain and Stephen Belshaw are key partners for construction disputes, as is Ian Yule, who ‘has a technical background which is most helpful in analysing and preparing claims and witnesses, which he does exceptionally well’. Turning to transactional work, Patrick Garner and senior associate Andrew Outram, who ‘can decipher complex legal jargon into an understandable format with a common-

The Legal 500 West Midlands 29



constructor and operator on a dispute with a local authority and a national contractor. Keith Blizzard, who joined the Birmingham office from Shakespeare Martineau LLP, accepts adjudicatorial appointments on top of contentious work for employers and contractors.

Philip Harris - Wright Hassall LLP

sense response’, advised IM Properties on the construction elements of the redevelopment of 55 Colmore Row, which included the addition of two floors. Formerly a senior associate at the firm, Paul Scott is now a legal director at Gateley Plc. Wright Hassall LLP in Leamington Spa is ‘very well-recognised and respected in all areas of construction law and clients find it to be exceptionally knowledgeable in this area’. Clients ‘can’t find weaknesses’ in Michael Hiscock – he advises Alatas on a FIDIC contract to install specialist cooling infrastructure for data centres in Singapore. Philip Harris provides ‘responsive and provides clear, commercial advice’ – he advises Socotec UK on providing geotechnical investigations for HS2, resolving a billing dispute. Other clients include Oliveti Construction, which Hiscock advises on its contract to refurbish several airports owned by Manchester Airport Group. Nichola Vine is also a key contact – her practice includes significant non-contentious work. Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP’stands out in its understanding of the public sector, and how to reach sensible negotiated outcomes in that context’. The firm handles a mixture of contentious and non-contentious work for housing associations, local authorities and others involved in the provision of public services, alongside some private sector work. Andrew Milcross advised Clarion Housing Group on its gas and lift maintenance contracts; he also advises Aster Group on the development of NEC3 contracts for the construction of 2,500 homes. Andrew Lancaster‘s ‘great strengths are his understanding of the values and priorities of the public sector, and the most cost effective ways to defend them, and to get the right deal for them when disputes arise’ – he advised Triuva, a German real estate investor, on bringing a claim against a contractor due to alleged defects in curtain walls and cladding in a building in Birmingham. Richard Brooks and senior associate Rajinder Bhangal continue to advise Sports and Leisure Management on a contract to provide services in East Hampshire; Brooks also advises Winchester City Council on procuring an architect for a multi-use development. Harrison Clark Rickerbys ‘rates highly in non-contentious construction related activities’. Andrew James in Worcester advises Speller Metcalfe on aspects of its participation in the Dudley College CABTech project, and advises a leisure centre

30 The Legal 500 West Midlands

Shakespeare Martineau LLP handles both contentious and non-contentious work across the UK. Ruth Phillips, who heads the non-contentious side of the practice, advises Tucan Developments on contracts to develop and lease a hotel to be branded as a Premier Inn, and also advises Max Barney Developments on construction documentation regarding the creation of a mixed-use development in Shoreditch. Rachael Hobbis, a legal director, is a key name below partner level for non-contentious work. Kate Onions, who joined as a partner from Gateley Plc where she was a legal director, handles heavyweight dispute work touching on sectors including energy, education and leisure. Mark Beesley is also a name of note. Other clients include the University of Birmingham, PBS Energo and Stantec Global Engineering – the latter two new client wins. Trowers & Hamlins LLP ‘looks at the bigger picture and gives practical and commercial advice that is tailored to the needs of clients’ businesses’. Mark Robinson heads the noncontentious side of the practice – he advises Prosperity Investments and Developments on various residential developments in Birmingham. Senior associate Victoria Ball handled the construction aspects of a private residential development comprising 677 apartments in Manchester for Tameside MBC and the Greater Manchester Pension Fund. Managing associate Paul Mountain advises the Severn Rivers Trust on contractual work. Vijay Bange, who handles the contentious side of the practice, ‘provides a responsive service and delivers commercial solutions’ – he handles a range of disputes work, much of it for contractors such as Colmore Tang Construction and Interserve Construction. Also in the disputes team, senior associate Tanya Chadha is ‘an integral part of the team, who is impressively dedicated to getting the desired commercial result’. Swan Housing Association is another client. Andrew Vickery has retired. Beswicks Legal’s Karen Elder is ‘able to grasp the fundamental points in the case and quickly start addressing the issues’. She represents employers, contractors and subcontractors in various disputes before the Technology and Construction Court and is experienced in alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. Browne Jacobson LLP‘s Martin Cannon handles a range of dispute work for contractors and various public sector employers such as NHS trusts and local authorities. Clients include Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, North Midland Group and HM Revenue and Customs. Pinsent Masons LLP’s Nigel Blundell advised Morgan Sindall on forming a joint venture with Bemo Tunnelling for future London Underground works. Blundell also advises Volkerrail on participation in Network Rail procurements. Away from infrastructure, the team handles other mandates concerning utilities, projects and office space.

PLANNING DLA Piper (Birmingham) Gowling WLG (Birmingham) Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (Birmingham) Shoosmiths (Birmingham) FBC Manby Bowdler LLP (Telford) Pinsent Masons (Birmingham) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Birmingham) Zyda Law (Stratford upon Avon) Ansons (Lichfield) Beswicks Legal (Stoke on Trent) Gateley Plc (Birmingham) Harrison Clark Rickerbys (Worcester) Knights Professional Services Limited (Newcastle under Lyme) Lanyon Bowdler (Shrewsbury) Wright Hassall LLP (Leamington Spa)

DLA Piper UK LLP handles heavyweight work including the planning aspects of major residential developments and national infrastructure projects. Trevor Ivory has ‘extensive planning experience and very good judgement’ – he and senior associate Amy Truman successfully represented West Midlands Pension Fund in an appeal against the refusal of permission for a thousandhome urban extension near Redcar. In addition, Ivory was instructed by Hopkins Homes in 2017 Supreme Court case Hopkins Homes v Suffolk Coastal District Councilconcerning the implementation of the National Planning Policy Framework’s “tilted balance” provision in favour of development in the absence of an up-to-date sustainable development plan. Howard Bassford (who relocated from London to the Birmingham office and is ‘enthusiastic and knowledgeable – great to have on your side’) is advising the Department for Transport on drafting its proposed National Policy Statement for further airport capacity in the South East, and also continues to assists National Grid with the planning aspects of constructing a partially-underwater 200km power line to connect with the planned Moorside nuclear power station. HS2 Limited is a cornerstone client. Gowling WLG is a ‘highly motivated and well-run practice in which clients have a great deal of trust and faith’. Andrew Thomas (‘a great strategist’) and director Toni Weston continue to advise Goodman Real Estate on securing a development consent order for a real freight interchange near Derby – the pair also advised the North Whiteley Consortium (which includes Taylor Wimpey and Bovis) on a planning application for 3,500 new homes near Winchester. Directors Graham Wrigglesworth (‘excellent for detail’) and Thomas are advising the London Borough of Barnet on planning aspects of the Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme. Other clients include Copeland Borough Council, which it advises on planning issues concerning nuclear decommissioning and proposals for a geological disposal facility. Cairo Nickolls is a key senior associate. Vicky Fowler is now based in the firm’s Dubai office.

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Andrew Thomas - Gowling WLG

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP handles work concerning infrastructure developments and housebuilding schemes. Paul Maile and senior associate Duncan Williams continue to advise Taylor Wimpey on a development in Stafford, and are advising IM Properties on several planned developments. On the infrastructure front the team is advising DB Symmetry on developing a new rail freight interchange near Hinckley. Other work includes advice to local authorities – the team advised Cherwell District Council on drafting section 106 agreements concerning the North West Bicester Eco Town development. Energy clients include RWE Generation, which Maile continues to advise on its application for consent for a 2.5GW gas-fired power station near the proposed Tilbury 2 port, and Community Wind Power. Shoosmiths LLP ‘combines personal service and insightful advice’. The firm handles works concerning both residential and non-residential developments, some of which for local authorities. The ‘experienced and friendly’ Tim Willis has ‘excellent negotiation and drafting skills’- he and the ‘efficient and knowledgable’ Anna Cartledge (who was promoted to partner in May 2018) continue to advise IM Properties on

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP ‘offers professional and robust advice in this sector – it is particularly adept at ensuring every avenue is fully explored before deciding on what strategy is best for the client’. Niall Blackie is a key contact in the practice, with Suzanne Tucker a key associate. Highlights in 2017 include advising on housebuilding matters, including affordable housing issues and section 106 agreements. Pinsent Masons LLP‘s Birmingham office has ‘a highly professional team with strategic vision, detailed technical knowledge, and a clear problem-solving approach’. Heidi Slater, who was promoted to legal director in 2017, is a ‘superbly efficient and hard-working team player with an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of both planning and infrastructure work’ – she worked with the London office on advising Suffolk County Council on two projects designated as “nationally important” under the Planning Act 2008. Slater also advised the London Borough of Brent on the planned regeneration of the South Kilburn Estate. Rebecca Warren left in November 2017 to become planning director of Crest Nicholson.

Paul Maile - Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

a planned development in the Blythe Valley Park in Solihull, which will necessitate the use of green belt land. In the non-residential space, the pair advise Safestore on proposals to develop several warehouses. Other clients include Maximus Strategic Stafford, which the pair advise on a proposed 3,000 home extension to Stafford, and Hart District Council, which the practice advises on a matters relating to proposed changes to a Grade 1 listed building. The Duchy of Lancaster is another client.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP, which represents a strong roster of local authorities and public sector clients, ‘devotes real attention to its clients and cases’. Simon Stanion (‘he has excellent tactical judgement and a great client manner’) acted alongside legal director Leenamari Aantaa-Collier for several NHS trusts on securing contributions from developers through the planning process. Legal director Ian Graves acts for a number of individual planning objectors, including successfully representing a private individual who saught a re-consultation following amendments to an application. Louise Portman (also a legal director) is rated for her ‘impressive knowledge of enforcement and knowledge of the best actions to resist notices’. Zyda Law in Stratford upon Avon is a boutique firm with a track record in the planning elements of energy and infrastructure developments. Paul Zyda is the key contact at the firm.

Ansons in Lichfield handles work for both local authorities and housebuilders, as well as planning prosecution matters. David Anderton acted for Lichfield Distric Council, seeking a planning enforcement order against the builders of a cottage. Neil Faunch, a senior associate is also a key contact in the firm – his practice includes various section 106 agreements. At Beswicks Legal in Stoke on Trent, consultant Ian Johnston handles a range of planning and compulsory purchase matters, many of which concerning HS2. The firm also handles transactional property matters, as well as blight claims and representation of individuals subjected to planning enforcement actions. At Gateley Plc, senior associate Matthew Scudamore handles a range of work regarding planning consents, much of which concerning section 106 agreements. He advised a consortium of Keepmoat Homes and Strata Homes on section 111 and 106 agreements concerning construction on a brownfield site in central Leeds. Other clients include UK Land Developments, which Scudamore advised on agreements concerning a development in Redditch, David Wilson Homes and Harworth Estates. Harrison Clark Rickerbys is a ‘truly responsive team capable of distilling the fast evolving planning landscape into intelligent advice’. Rosalind Andrews, a ‘very responsive’ new partner promotion in Worcester, represented Piffs Elm Limited in an application to the Court of Appeal as part of a judicial review of a remedy issued after a decision made by Tewkesbury Borough Council was

found to be biased. Andrews also represented Access Homes in litigation, securing the quashing of a tree preservation order. Other work concerns enforcement litigation and section 106 agreements. The firm also acts for Malvern Hills District Council and the Policing and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire. Knights Professional Services Limited in Newcastle under Lyme includes several lawyers with planning expertise. Ben Weatherley and Carl Copestake are both qualified as chartered town planners. Andrea Bruce, who has expertise in minerals matters, and Rob Pattinson are also key contacts. In Shrewsbury, Lanyon Bowdler’s David Brammer handles a range of work for landowners and private developers. Highlights include representing a farmer in a judicial review to a council decision to approve residential conversion for one barn but not a neighbouring one. Other mandates concern section 106 agreements, requisitions for information and enforcement appeals. The firm also advised Hydro Electric Development on securing approval for a hydroelectric project in Carmarthenshire. Wright Hassall LLP’s team is headed by senior associate John Gregory, who joined the firm from an in-house role at Warwickshire County Council. He took a part in a multi-disciplinary team from the firm advising Hayden Homes on a planned 21 home development necessitating a section 106 agreement, and also advises developers such as AC Lloyd and Two Rivers Development. Compulsory purchases are also an area of expertise.


We always strive to find workable and pragmatic solutions to pave the way for your life after divorce. Andrew Breakwell, Partner, Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Talk to us: 0121 454 0739 | Website: Harrison Clark Rickerbys Ltd is authorised and regulated by the SRA

The Legal 500 West Midlands 31



HEALTH & SAFETY DAC Beachcroft LLP (Birmingham) Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (Birmingham) Gowling WLG (Birmingham) Pinsent Masons (Birmingham) Shoosmiths (Birmingham) BLM (Birmingham) Bevan Brittan LLP (Birmingham) Browne Jacobson LLP (Birmingham) Gateley LLP (Birmingham) Kennedys (Birmingham) Weightmans (Birmingham) DWF LLP (Birmingham) George Green LLP (Birmingham ) Harrison Clark Rickerbys (Ross-on-Wye) Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham) Plexus Law (Evesham) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Birmingham) Squire Patton Boggs (Birmingham) DAC Beachcroft LLP possesses ‘enormous experience in the field‘ and ‘instils absolute confidence‘ with its ‘excellent preparation and knowledge‘. Sally Roff heads the team and regularly defends corporate clients on investigations and prosecutions. Alongside associate Steven Harrison, Roff advised West End Motors on a police and HSE investigation involving an accident resulting from the collapse of a vehicle lift and assisted Fortec Distribution with inquest proceedings into an accident pertaining to an overturning forklift truck. Harrison has ‘an incredible work ethic‘, and ‘leaves absolutely no stone unturned in his efforts‘. Consultant Andrew Roach is also a key figure and ‘rightly commands the respect of all practitioners in the field‘. He recently assisted Parks London with a HSE investigation relating to a forklift truck injury and advised S&E LPG who was fined £26,000 after gas from an LPG vessel ignited and an employee suffered burns. Eversheds Sutherland work on high profile prosecutions and investigations, with a client list that includes Siemens, Centrica and National Grid. Kevin Elliott heads the practice nationally and recently advised a property management company after a member of the public was killed from blowing debris from one of the client’s properties during ‘Storm Doris’. David Young focuses on compliance and enforcement work that involves serious incidents, contentious environmental cases, as well as food and product safety. Paul Verrico is an expert in regulatory matters and defended Tarmac Marine against a prosecution from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for a breach of maritime asbestos legislation. The ‘excellent‘ Gowling WLG is led by Andrew Litchfield who has extensive experience in regulatory investigations and is ‘pragmatic‘, ‘highly knowledgeable‘ and ‘quick to respond‘. Principal associate Michael Hafen is an expert in advising on investigations into fatal injuries. Principal associate Natalie Barton-Howes is also experienced in fatal accident investigations. Susan Dearden joined Finch Consulting. The ‘excellent’ Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘one of the leading health and safety firms

32 The Legal 500 West Midlands

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in the country and certainly in the Midlands‘. Sean Elson leads the Birmingham team and ‘is always on top of the detail of his cases‘ and ‘very astute at identifying the most effective strategy for a case‘. Recent work highlights of his include advising an engineering company on two separate HSE investigations and prosecutions on the management of vibration risk and defending a metals company which faced prosecution from the HSE after an employee was hit by a fork lift. Associate Louise Mansfield is also experienced in health and safety and regulatory law.

Hayley Saunders - Shoosmiths

Shoosmiths LLP works on high profile health and safety cases, with a client roster that includes IKEA, Calor Gas and Lifeways. Roy Tozer leads the team and recently defended a principal contractor whose sub contractor fell from a significant height while working on the refurbishment of a tower block. Hayley Saunders is also a key figure and recently advised the site manager of Westgreen Construction whose window frames fell and killed a member of the public in Hanover Square. Senior associate Claire Morrissey joined from *DLA Piper UK LLP in 2017 and has significant expertise in dealing with inquiries and investigations. BLM handles a range of matters including corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter cases. Bob Davies is a key figure in the Birmingham office and regularly advises on fatal accident cases. Recent work highlights include advising Priority Construction on a fatal accident that occurred on its construction site and assisting Millbrook Healthcare with a HSE investigation involving the death of an elderly woman from using one of the client’s mobile hoists. Jill Crawford is also a key figure and

Bevan Brittan LLP has a broad health and safety practice which predominantly represents clients in the public sector. Adam Kendall leads the team and works on cases that cover health and safety, environment, trading standards and waste licensing. Associate Melissa Stanford is also a key figure with experience advising on fire safety, asbestos and legionnaires’ disease issues. Browne Jacobson LLP provides ‘a comprehensive health and safety service in both advisory work and court work‘. Rachel Lyne is a key figure at the Birmingham office, and is ‘very competent, thorough and knowledgeable‘. She recently advised Faltec Europe on a legionnaires outbreak and on a separate dust cloud explosion. A key focus of Gateley Plc is on defending cases involving fatal accidents, gross negligence manslaughter and corporate manslaughter. Ruth Armstrong leads the team nationally and is an expert in advising on high profile investigations for corporate clients.She recently defended Drawn Metal on a multi-defendant manslaughter claim which arose from a lawyer being killed by a falling window frame and advised AGD Equipment on a fatal accident suffered while conducting pressure testing on its premises. Pauline Munro is also a key figure who is ‘approachable‘, ‘professional‘, ‘thorough‘ and ‘works to an exceptionally high standard‘. Also recommended are associate Kate Oliver and solicitor Chris Grainger, who regularly acts on criminal defence work in this space. Kennedys is ‘a powerful force‘ that is ‘hard-working‘ and ‘effective‘ that has a strong reputation in defending HSE and local authority prosecutions. James Shrimpton leads the team and is ‘razor sharp in this area’ and ‘not afraid to stand up to regulatory authorities‘. Also recommended is solicitor Ruth Sheret, who is ‘a formidable negotiator‘ and ‘a first class litigant‘. Weightmans LLP practice is led by Chris Green, who regularly defends both public and private bodies on high profile investigations. Recent work highlights include defending the project manager of a company operating a construction project in Hanover Square where a falling window frame killed a lawyer who was passing by. He also represented the University of Wolverhampton whose employee was struck by blowing debris from a shopping centre during Storm Doris. DWF is headed by David Egan, who is an expert in defending companies against health and safety and environmental criminal proceedings. Other names of note include: director Simon Belfield, who specialises in corporate defence matters; associate Caroline Depledge, who is experienced in health and safety prosecutions and solicitor Simon Naylor, who regularly advises on incidents where there has been multiple fatalities. QBE, Zurich and Covea are key clients. George Green LLP is led by James Lowe, who specialises in high profile investigations and prosecutions, predominantly in the waste, manufacturing, retail and construction sectors. Harrison Clark Rickerbys is led by Heath Thomas who is an expert in regulator matters relating to health and safety, fire

David Young - Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

specialises in environmental investigations and prosecutions.

safety and environmental protection. Other notable names include: Aled Owen, who is an expert in the agri food sector, and associate solicitor Laura Shirley, who also focuses on regulatory issues. Mills & Reeve LLP is experienced in investigations facing the construction and healthcare sectors. Duncan Astill leads the Brimingham team and recently advised Befesa Salt Slags on two separate matters. The first involved an investigation into the death of a Spanish contractor while replacing heavy machinery on the client’s premises and the second on the management of the risks posed by hand arm vibration syndrome. Also recommended is consultant Chris Gough, who is an expert in advising on carbon monoxide-related cases. Plexus Law has extensive experience in advising on health and safety and environmental legislation, and provides ‘a consistent high level of service ‘ and advise that ‘impeccable‘ and ‘very professional‘. Anthony Bushell co-heads the team and ‘has consistently demonstrated an ability to control cases to what is considered an appropriate and favourable conclusion‘. He advised Castle Care on an alleged corporate manslaughter claim involving a child who died during an excursion organised by the client. Fellow practice head Damon Burt is an expert in public and employer liability claims. Howard Cotes is also an expert in liability claims and defended an ambulance who was accused of causing death by careless driving. QBE, Ageas and Tata Steel are also key clients. Shakespeare Martineau LLP provides ‘excellent client service‘ and ‘covers all areas of litigation arising out of industrial accidents and deaths‘. Leading the team is Julia Messervy-Whiting, who is ‘fantastically wellorganised‘ and ‘gives sound advice at the earliest possible stage‘. Also recommended are Craig Wallace and associate David Ollivere. Direct Line, the University of Warwick and The NEC are key clients. Squire Patton Boggs‘ Birmingham office is led by Dave Gordon who has a strong background in environmental toxicology and regularly advises on health and safety issues surrounding this field. Senior associate Robert Biddlecombe is also a key figure and is an expert in facilities management related cases. He advised Molson Coors on the health and safety compliance aspects relating to the client’s acquisition of Aspall Cyder and assisted Vp on the health and safety elements of its purchase of Brandon Hire.

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MARKET: Birmingham’s top legal brains









Gordon Hay, Redbourne for Lawyers







Tony Rollason, Landmark



Sarah Ramsey, University of Law

Amy Revell, BPP University

UPCOMING EVENTS CRIMINAL LAW UPDATE SPRING 2018 18th April 2018 1:30 PM - 5:15 PM BPP University 32-34 Colmore Circus Birmingham, B4 6BN United Kingdom


LINKEDIN FOR SOLICITORS, FEE EARNERS AND TEAMS WITHIN LAW FIRMS 2018 (April session) 19th April 2018 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM TBC ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2018 24th April 2018 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM 3PB The Colmore Building 20 Colmore Circus, Queensway Birmingham, B4 6AT United Kingdom

and members of the Birmingham Law Society. The society was founded on January 3, 1818 and 2018 marks their 200th Anniversary.

A GLITTERING NIGHT OF SUCCESS AT BIRMINGHAM LAW SOCIETY AWARDS Anthony Collins Solicitors was the big winner at last night’s Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards, picking up four gongs.

The city centre firm was named Law Firm of the Year (16 partners or more), beating rivals Gateley Plc, Irwin Mitchell, Mills & Reeve, Shoosmiths and VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards). Anthony Collins Solicitors also collected awards for Business Team of the Year and Private Client Team of the Year – two new categories for this year – while the firm’s Letitia Ait-Tales won Paralegal of the Year. In the other categories, there were awards for Greg Fearn, Mills & Reeve - Trainee Solicitor of the Year; Jeremy Weston QC, St Ives Chambers - Barrister of the Year; Kashmir Uppal, Access Legal – Partner of the Year; Kid Harwood, Wildings Solicitors – BLS Innovation Award; Rosie Banks, Irwin Mitchell – BLS Pro Bono Award; Sandra Wallace, DLA Piper UK – BLS Leadership Award; JM Wilson Solicitors – Law Firm of the Year (sole practitioner up to four partners); and Sydney Mitchell – Law Firm of the Year (5 – 15 partners). The Birmingham Law Society Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mary Kaye, partner at Shakespeare Martineau and past president of BLS.

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congratulations to Anthony Collins Solicitors, who were the runaway winners on the night.”

“The judges were particularly impressed with the firm’s strong commitment to its staff and its approach to attracting and developing those who want to make a difference in society. “In what was a tough year for the judges, there were some really stand-out candidates and both the winners and finalists should be proud of their achievements.”

Mumtaz Hussain, University of Wolverhampton

Stephen Webb, Gallagher

Birmingham Law Society is celebrating its bicentenary in 2018. This year’s Legal Awards, which were attended by more than 550 people, were just one of a number of planned special events being held throughout the year to celebrate the Society’s 200th anniversary. Sponsors of the Legal Awards included The University of Law, BPP University Law School, Birmingham City School of Law, Ortus Group, Midshire, The Law Society, University of Wolverhampton, Gallagher, Index Property Information, Redbourne for Lawyers, Landmark Information, St Philips Chambers, TitleSolv, Advantage Consulting, Digitalini and Actionstep.

Commenting on the category winners, Andrew added: “Many

Andrew Smith QC, St Philips Chambers

Chloe Mulroy, Title Solve

PRINT CIRCULATION: 4000 direct mail



Your monthly update from the

1995 Data Protection Directive which was adopted at a time when the internet was in its infancy. Member states of the EU have been given two years to ensure that they are fully implementable in their countries by May 2018. 4. Do I need to worry about this now, as we are leaving the EU? The Queen’s speech in June 2017 confirmed that the GDPR will form part of UK law following the withdrawal from the EU.


circulation to Birmingham Law Society Members


Birmingham Law Society.


5. My business does not need to comply with GDPR as I do not store or process any personal information. I have heard this comment so many times over the last 12 months. It is also a point that is made internally by some departments. There is a general misunderstanding of what constitutes personal data. The regulations state that any company that stores or process personal information about EU citizens must comply with the GDPR. This effectively means every business with at least 1 employee or those who keep records of their customers will be required to comply with the GDPR.

IS YOUR BUSINESS GDPR READY? In a recent survey conducted by Downtown in Business an astonishing 77.8% of businesses reported that they are GDPR ready……. really? We have been partnering over the last few months with DIB and some leading IT providers to conduct roundtable events within Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham, to provide some guidance and support to businesses to prepare them for GDPR.

It would appear that many businesses that have attended these sessions have been unaware of their responsibilities and what practical steps they need to take before 25th May 2018. Victoria Brown at HR and Employment Law specialists High Performance Consultancy, looks into some of the common points raised about being GDPR ready. 1. I have GDPR covered…. It is with my IT provider Whilst the General Data Protection Regulations will address the significant changes in technology since the Data Protection Act 1998, the considerations do not just stop with your IT provider. A thorough understanding of how your business deals with data is paramount. Knowing where data is stored, that location’s security, as well as determining whether the data is being shared will be critical, come May 2018. I would recommend that companies undertake a data audit. 16

AREA: Birmingham / Greater Birmingham

2. I outsource everything, so my third party providers are liable for sorting out GDPR This is not the case. Companies will need to establish the external bodies that hold or process data on their behalf and what steps they are taking to comply with GDPR. 3. I don’t need to start looking at this until 25th May Absolutely not – you need to be ready by 25th May, not thinking about it. In 2016, the EU adopted the General Data Protection Regulation. It replaces the

I would strongly urge all businesses to nominate a data protection officer/privacy manager (whichever is appropriate) and ensure that they are ready by 25th May 2018. This is a great opportunity for business owners to get their housekeeping in order. It is also something that should not stop on 25th May and each business needs to consider how they will monitor data handling and address breaches in the correct way. The fines from the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) could be quite high if you have neglected the way in which you store or process data. In addition, it is evident from our recent roundtable sessions, the DIB poll and just general feedback from our clients that raising awareness and training is very important. I would strongly advise that the changes you make are covered within your policies and induction process. For existing staff, good communication and briefing sessions about the changes will reduce your future risk of breaches. A practical guide to GDPR is available, please contact alex@ highperformanceconsultancy for further information.



“I would strongly urge all businesses to nominate a data protection officer/privacy manager and ensure that they are ready by 25th May 2018.”



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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY UPDATE 2018 4th July 2018 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM Clarke Willmott 138 Edmund Street Birmingham, B3 2ES United Kingdom BIRMINGHAM LAW SOCIETY GOLF DAY 2018 30th July 2018 1:30 PM - 9:00 PM Birmingham Law Society would like to invite members and colleagues plus a guest of their choice to take part in a BLS Golf Day. This is a great afternoon of golf, food and prizes in a new setting at the Ladbrook Park Golf Club. Cost: £75 per person including bacon rolls on arrival, drinks and excellent 2-course meal in the evening. Please book early to avoid disappointment. 5



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Presenting the award on behalf of the Society, president Andrew Beedham, said: “I couldn’t think of a more worthy recipient of this accolade than Mary. With a career spanning more than 40 years, she is a true champion of the city’s legal sector and an inspiration to the many who know her.”

Today the Society is a modern, dynamic organisation with over 4000 members from all over the West Midlands. It is by far the largest local law society in England and Wales and their 4000 members comprise Lawyers, Solicitors and Barristers.



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WEST MIDLANDS EMPLOYMENT Eversheds Sutherland (Birmingham) Gowling WLG (Birmingham) Pinsent Masons (Birmingham)


Averta Employment Lawyers LLP (Birmingham) Browne Jacobson LLP (Birmingham) DLA Piper (Deutschland) (Birmingham) Gateley LLP (Birmingham) Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham) Squire Patton Boggs (Birmingham)


Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP (Birmingham) DWF LLP (Birmingham) Fieldfisher (Solihull) Higgs & Sons (Birmingham) Irwin Mitchell (Birmingham) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Birmingham) Shoosmiths (Birmingham) VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) (Birmingham) Weightmans (Birmingham)


Bevan Brittan LLP (Birmingham) Capsticks LLP (Birmingham) FBC Manby Bowdler LLP (Shrewsbury) Trowers & Hamlins LLP (Birmingham) Wright Hassall LLP (Birmingham)


Aaron & Partners LLP (Shrewsbury) Askews Legal LLP (Coventry) Bretherton Law (Birmingham) Freeths LLP (Birmingham) George Green LLP (Cradley Heath) Hatchers Solicitors LLP (Shrewsbury) Lanyon Bowdler (Telford) Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham)


Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP covers the spectrum of employment law, with a client roster that includes Severn Trent, National Grid and St Andrews Healthcare. David Beswick leads the team and has extensive experience in handling outsourcing, restructuring and senior executive issues, with a heavy focus on the consumer and industrials sectors. His recent highlights include advising ReAssure on the legal aspects behind the closure of its Lytham site, where 160 employees were based. Beswick also defended Openwork Services against an approximately £1m claim from a senior executive alleging breach of contract and misrepresentation. Nicholas Jew focuses on contentious matters and is ‘personable‘, ‘knowledgable‘, and’commercial‘. He assisted London and

34 The Legal 500 West Midlands

David Beswick | Eversheds Sutherland

Ansons (Birmingham) Band Hatton Button LLP (Coventry) Beswicks Legal (Stoke-on-Trent) Harrison Clark Rickerbys (Hereford) MFG Solicitors LLP (Birmingham) Martin-Kaye LLP Solicitors (Telford) Pickerings Solicitors (Tamworth) Slater and Gordon (Birmingham) Thomas Guise Solicitors (Worcester) Thursfields Solicitors (Kidderminster)

Birmingham Railway with the TUPE transfer of 2,400 employees which arose from the franchise transferring to West Midlands Trains. He also acted for WIPRO against claims of disability and race discrimination from an employee. Other names of note include Hannah Wilkins, who represents international clients on cross-border employment issues; Audrey Elliott, who focuses on business immigration matters; and legal direction Amanda Smith, who advises on the employment elements of transactions. The ‘commercial‘ practice at Gowling WLG works for clients such as Jacobs, Cathay Pacific and the London Borough of Croydon. Practice head Jane Fielding provides ‘thorough and thoughtful consideration of complex issues‘. Martin Chitty predominantly acts for housing associations and retailers, and recently acted for Spire Production Services on a claim from a competitor that the client failed to comply with TUPE regulations. Also recommended are Jonathan Chamberlain, who focuses on the life sciences, technology, manufacturing and financial services sectors; director Louise Clifford, who is ‘very strong at creating relationships‘ and provides ‘concise and clear pragmatic advice‘; and director Anna Fletcher, who specialises in working time and national minimum wage compliance issues.

Martin Chitty | Gowling WLG


Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘very professional‘, ‘easy to do business with‘ and has ‘a high level of knowledge‘ on employment matters. Linda Jones leads the practice and focuses primarily on non-contentious issues. She is supported by Jonathan Coley who works on employment disputes and is ‘quick to respond with good sound advice‘. Senior associate Rebecca Stephen is also a key figure, and has a similar focus on contentious work. Averta Employment Lawyers LLP is a niche practice that represents senior employees on high value claims, and is ‘commercial‘, ‘pragmatic‘ and ‘able to work to tight deadlines‘. Alan Jones is one of two founders who leads the team and is ‘hugely experienced‘ and ‘not afraid to give straight advice‘. Fellow founder David Sykes has extensive experience handling restrictive covenant and corporate related employment issues. Also recommended is Rachel Broughton, who specialises in discrimination and diversity claims. Browne Jacobson LLP’s Birmingham office is headed by James Tait who is noted for his ‘fine analysis of situations‘, ‘very good understanding‘ and ‘tailored advice‘ to clients. He is an expert in advising on cross-border transactions, restrictive covenants and whistle-blowing claims. Helen Badger has expertise in handling tribunal claims, with a strong emphasis on the healthcare and

education sectors. DLA Piper UK LLP has a diverse skillset in employment, with a client roster that includes National Grid Plc, Merlin Entertainment and Hilton International Hotels (UK). Sandra Wallace heads the employment practice nationally and has extensive experience in handling re-organisations, executive disputes and grievance issues. Emma Phillips is an expert in advising on high value contentious matters as well as the employment elements of cross-border transactions. She recently advised Clarks on the employment aspects behind the restructuring of its business. Gateley Plc handles the full range of employment work but is notably strong in confidentiality and post-termination restrictions. Benedict Gorner leads the team and is particularly proficient in restrictive covenant matters and senior executive disputes.Victoria Garrad is highly skilled in handling policy drafting, redundancies and reorganisations. Merran Sewell was promoted to partner in 2017 and has a strong focus on restructuring initiatives and senior executive severances. The ‘excellent‘ and ‘highly rated‘ practice at Mills & Reeve LLP handles all aspects of employment for clients including Volkswagen Financial Services, Arcadia and the University of Birmingham. The ‘very pragmatic‘ Richard Santy recently assisted Jaguar Land Rover with outsourcing its HR department and advised the footballer Eniola Aluko on a racial discrimination claim against her former England manager. Health sector specialist Jog Hundle provides ‘sound advice‘ and is ‘an engaging individual‘. He defended a large teaching hospital against claims of race discrimination and victimisation. Nick Abbott handles employment matters in the higher education space. Squire Patton Boggs is headed by Charles Frost, who has extensive experience in defending high value employment claims, with additional expertise in advising on TUPE regulations. He is supported by Ramez Moussa, who is an expert in non-contentious areas relating to corporate restructurings, outsourcing and business recovery. Also recommended is senior associate Helena Morrissey, who has a particular focus on the retail, manufacturing and engineering sectors, and senior associate Beverley Smith, who is an expert in immigration issues. Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP is predominantly focused on the health and social care sector. The practice is led by Matthew Gregson, who specialises in contentious matters. Other key figures include health and social care expert Matthew Wort and Anna Dabek, who has notable expertise in National Minimum Wage issues. Senior Associate Douglas Mullen is also recommended and is highly experienced in TUPE regulations. DWF is very active in the retail, healthcare and public sectors, with a client roster that includes Bupa, Poundland and The AA.Hannah Robbins heads the team and handles both contentious and noncontentious matters. She is supported by Manchester-based Kate Meadowcroft, who has a similarly broad expertise in employment, but is particularly strong in handling change management projects. The ‘excellent‘ Fieldfisher LLP possesses a ‘clarity of thinking‘ and ‘business

‘highly responsive and supportive with their approach‘, with a particularly strong reputation in the manufacturing sector. Tracy Worthington co-heads the practice is ‘very professional and understanding‘, and ‘always takes the time to listen‘. Fellow practice head Julia Fitzsimmons is experienced in reorganisations, discrimination claims, contractual disputes and restructure covenant claims. The ‘very good‘ and ‘proficient‘ Trowers & Hamlins LLP is ‘always highly responsive and professional‘, with a strong reputation for advising on TUPE regulations. Rebecca McQuirk leads the Birmingham team and is ‘thorough‘ and provides ‘sound professional advice‘. She recently defended RDS Distribution against claims of employee exploitation and acted for The Swimming Teachers’ Association on an employment tribunal claim from its former CEO who was dismissed for gross misconduct. McQuirk is supported by Solicitor Sinead Noonan, who recently joined form *Gowling WLG.

Higgs & Sons provides ‘an excellent combination of commerciality and business acumen’ with ‘knowledgeable and thorough advice‘. Tim Jones leads the team and is an expert in contentious matters and often acts as a mediator. Damian Kelly has ‘an extensive knowledge base‘ and ‘wealth of experience’, most notably in areas such as redundancies and senior management exits. Simon Bond is also a key figure, with particular strengths in handling employment tribunals and immigration issues. Birmingham-based Fergal Dowling heads Irwin Mitchell ‘s national employment practice and has a strong reputation for handling employment tribunal claims. He recently defended a national telecommunications group against a whistleblowing and constructive dismissal claim. Senior associates Elaine Huttley and Helen Dyke are also key figures. Shakespeare Martineau LLP is a ‘customer focused‘, ‘fully responsive‘ and ‘well managed‘ practice, whose advice is ‘succinct‘, ‘understandable‘ and ‘to the point‘. Michael Hibbs heads the team, and has a key focus on the education, logistics, manufacturing and insurance sectors. He defended General Dynamics Information Technology against a £72,000 dismissal claim and advised Liberty Wines on the employment elements of Sogrape’s investment in the client. The education-sector focused David Browne advises on TUPE regulations, restructurings and tribunal claims. Director Tom Long works heavily in the public sector on contentious matters and provides ‘sensible, pragmatic solutions to issues that are communicated effectively and

with empathy‘. Director Helen Hughes has a broad experience of employment issues, with notable expertise in handling gender pay gap issues. Shoosmiths LLP is a team of ‘extremely knowledgeable and friendly professionals‘, who are ‘able to provide legal advice in a timely and appropriate way‘. The team is led by Charlie Rae whose ‘knowledge and experience of employment law is insurmountable‘. He recently advised a leading accident management company on the departure of one of its executives. Senior associate Michael Hardiman is an expert in contentious matters and recently advised East End Foods on an unfair dismissal and race discrimination claim. Senior associate Antonia Blackwell is an expert in employment tribunal claims. Also recommended is associate Nick Vernon, who is ‘easy to talk to‘, ‘asks good questions‘ and ‘helps break down the next steps required in an easy to understand way‘.

Kathy Halliday VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards)

mindedness‘. The ‘very knowledgable‘ Ranjit Dhindsa leads the team and is ‘decisive‘, ‘clear‘ and ‘easy to work with‘. She is an expert in advising employers on equal pay, discrimination, TUPE and redundancy issues. Also recommended is Emma Capper, who is an expert in advising foreign entities on UK employment matters.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards)‘s employment practice has a notably strong focus on the education sector and provides ‘very good response times‘ and ‘management of cases‘. The team is co-led by Kathy Halliday, who is skilled in change management, TUPE, senior executive severances and tribunal claims. Also heading the practice is Jane Byford,

who is particularly active in contentious matters in the education and charity sectors. She recently advised a charity on alleged bullying between two senior employees. Also recommended are Alice Reeve and senior associate Lorna Scully, who are both experienced in employment issues relating to the education sector. Weightmans LLP employment team is led by Jawaid Rehman, who is notably strong in the public and hospitality sectors. Recent work highlights of his include advising AL- Mubarakia on the sale of its Bubba Gump franchise, defending Charnwood Borough Council against a whistleblowing and discrimination claim, and assisting Pizza Express with the TUPE transfer of its staff to the group company. Public sector work has been a cornerstone of Bevan Brittan LLP’s employment team. Ashley Norman is a key figure from the Birmingham office and specialises in handling discrimination disputes. Associate James Gutteridge focuses on the health sector, and recently defended Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust against a race discrimination claim from one of its employees. The ‘exceptional‘, ‘always professional‘ and ‘commercially focused‘ Capsticks LLP works on employment matters predominantly in the health and social care sector. Bridget Prosser heads the team and is ‘a deep thinker‘, ‘diligent‘ and ‘first class at playing the long game‘. She advised an NHS Trust where one of its doctors faced allegations of misconduct and another NHS Trust on the removal of its acting CEO. Other key individuals include associate Chloe Edwards, who focuses on discrimination claims, and associate Raj Basi, who is an expert in TUPE regulations. Former head Jacqui Atkinson joined Browne Jacobson LLP. FBC Manby Bowdler LLP is ‘highly knowledgeable across all areas‘ and

Wright Hassall LLP has the ability to ‘deliver on complex and sensitive cases‘ and represents clients such as British Showjumping, Tech Spray Fibreglass and Eastcote Wealth Management. Ian Besant leads the team and has extensive experience in handling discrimination cases. He is supported by Suki Harrar who specialises in contentious matters and recently advised a regional accountancy practice on negotiating a dismissal without a claim being brought. Also recommended is senior associate Tina Chandler, whose ‘authority with clients is impressive‘ and is experienced in handling dismissals and TUPE transfers. Aaron & Partners LLP is headed by Helen Watson, who is skilled in TUPE disputes, large scale redundancies and trade union disputes. Paul Bennet is similarly skilled in TUPE disputes and mass redundancies, and also focuses on outsourcing matters. Associate Ben Mason is ‘incredibly knowledgeable‘ and ‘always keen to not only help in the first instance but also follow up each issue proactively‘. He recently advised Tudor Griffiths on general employment matters and Bird Technologies Group on contracts and restrictive covenants. Askews Legal LLP is led by solicitor Lianne Payne, who is an expert in handling TUPE transfers, redundancies, settlement agreements and exit strategies. Dai Dave joined in 2017 from *DAC Beachcroft LLP and is experienced in settlement agreements. Brethertons LLP handles both contentious and non-contentious employment matters, and regularly advises on tribunal claims, TUPE regulations, redundancies and transactions. Amy Edwards leads the team and is notably skilled in restructurings, compliance and transactions. Also recommended is solicitor Hazel Robbins, who is an expert in tribunal proceedings. Freeths LLP has employment experts in its Birmingham and Stoke offices, representing clients such as ALDI Stores,National Express and Birmingham Metropolitan College. Rebecca Sawbridge leads the Birmingham office and recently advised Paul Smith on employee grievances and exits. Peter Gavin heads the Stoke team and defended Goodlife Foods against a complex unfair dismissal claim from a former employee. He also assisted Preston Innovations with the dismissal of several employees on the grounds of suspected theft.

The Legal 500 West Midlands 35



to staff with both clarity and empathy‘. She is an expert in tribunal claims and TUPE regulations. Cheltenham based Jenny Okafor-Jones heads the employment team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys, and is notably skilled in advising on equal pay, discrimination and whistleblowing issues. She is supported by Michael Stokes, who is based in Hereford, and is an expert in advising local authorities. He recently advised Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council on an employee challenging its new pay scheme. Also recommended is Kristine Scott, who focuses on the education sector. Jog Hundle - Mills & Reeve LLP

George Green LLP is headed by Tim Lang, who acts for employers and senior employees unfair dismissals, discrimination cases and restrictive covenants. The ‘excellent‘ Hatchers Solicitors LLP ‘always does its utmost to turn work around promptly and efficiently‘, with ‘clear advice and responses‘. Nigel Harrison leads the team and is ‘very professional‘ and provides ‘plain speaking, helpful advice‘. He is an expert in redundancies, re-organisations and contracts, as well as disciplinary and grievance matters. He is supported by solicitor Jack Latham, who has strong background in the public sector. The ‘excellent‘ Lanyon Bowdler provides ‘timely‘, ‘concise‘, ‘clear‘ and ‘pragmatic‘ advice on employment matters. John Merry leads the team and is ‘extremely personable‘ and ‘knowledgeable‘, and ‘translates employment law into easily understandable, pragmatic advice‘. He assisted Dyke Yakley with the employment aspects of its acquisition of Gorman Evans. Sydney Mitchell LLP is ‘a solid, well respected team‘ that is ‘a very popular locally‘ with ‘a reputation that is growing nationally‘. Dean Parnell leads the team and is ‘very popular with clients‘, and has ‘a “can-do” attitude’. He has a broad expertise in employment, and acts on behalf of employers and very senior employees. Also recommended is solicitor Samantha Glynn, who specialises in contentious issues. Ansons ‘ employment team is highly active in sectors such as manufacturing, construction and healthcare, with expertise in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Martin de Ridder leads the team and is particularly experienced in advising on TUPE, re-organisations and outsourcings. Other notable names include: associate solicitor Jason Alcock who is an expert in post termination restrictions; and associate solicitor Adam Pike, who focuses on tribunal claims. Mark Ridley is the key contact at Band Hatton Button LLP. He handles both contentious and non-contentious employment issues, but is particularly prevalent in acting unfair dismissal, redundancy, breach of contract and discrimination claims. Beswicks Legal provides ‘straight-forward advice‘, ‘good response times‘ and ‘peace of mind‘ to its clients. Managing partner Nick Philips leads the team and is ‘extremely knowledgeable‘ and ‘proactive‘ in his work. He advises on re-organisations, disciplinary actions and restrictive covenants. Also recommended is solicitor Laura Franklin, who possesses ‘the soft skills necessary to deliver a sometimes difficult message

36 The Legal 500 West Midlands

For some, MFG Solicitors LLP is ‘probably the best employment offering in Worcester and surrounding area‘, with a strong focus on the financial services, education, manufacturing and construction sectors. Sally Morris heads the team and is known for her ‘good sense‘, ‘client awareness‘ and ‘willingness to discuss difficult issues‘. Chris Piggot is also a key figure, and regularly works on matters relating to the professional services, manufacturing and retail sectors. John Mehtam leads the team at MartinKaye LLP Solicitors and is particularly skilled in handling high value terminations, executive service agreements and post termination restrictions. Pickerings Solicitors LLP ‘ employment team ‘takes the trouble to get to know the business that it is dealing with‘ and works on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Practice head Jonathon Forrester is ‘supportive‘ and ‘pro-active‘ and advises employees on contentious matters for both employers and employees. Simon King is ‘very good‘ and ‘explains things simply‘ and ‘has always given good advice whenever sought‘. He also advises on disputes, with additional expertise in TUPE transfers. Human resources consultant Sue Hatton has the ‘upmost level of professionalism‘, ‘always looks at an issue objectively‘ and ‘takes away any emotional baggage that may have crept in‘. Slater and Gordon is currently growing its presence in the Midlands and specialises in acting for employees in disputes. Senior associate David McBride heads the team and regularly represents employees on tribunal claims. David Hodge is particularly strong in acting for senior executives in exit negotiations and has ‘a keen analytical mind‘ and ‘a fierce tenacity and determination to get the best result for his clients‘. The ‘trustworthy‘ Thomas Guise Solicitors has some ‘very good lawyers‘ with ‘a large amount of experience‘. Geoffrey Ellis leads the team and ‘is very capable in analyzing cases in depth‘, ‘considers all sorts of possibilities‘, and ‘gives the most beneficial advice‘. He is experienced in advising on discrimination cases and TUPE transfers. Consultant Amanda Pillinger is an expert in handling unfair dismissal, and discrimination cases. Thursfields Solicitors is ‘an effective unit‘ that ‘handles myriad employment matters at all levels for a range of commercial clients‘. Director Michelle O’Hara leads the team and is an ‘excellent communicator‘, who provides ‘clear and concise advice‘. She is highly skilled in restructuring and TUPE-related issues. Associate Lisa Kemp is an expert in tribunal proceedings and reorganisations. She is ‘very effective‘ and provides ‘savvy advice‘ that is ‘strategically sound‘.

CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE: DEFENDANT Bevan Brittan LLP (Birmingham) Browne Jacobson LLP (Birmingham) Weightmans (Birmingham)

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

Bevan Brittan LLP’s ‘first class service’ runs the gamut of clinical negligence work, with a client roster that includes a number of NHS trusts. Birminghambased Tim Hodgetts defended University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust on a claim involving delayed treatment for artery occlusion. He also advised the Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust on the mismanagement of a birth delivery which allegedly resulted in brain damage to the child. Adrian Dagnell is ‘highly experienced’ and ‘very well regarded’ and focuses primarily on high profile indexation and high value quantum matters. Nicola Pegg is highly experienced in complex cerebral palsy and neurosurgical claims. Browne Jacobson LLP has ‘real excellence amongst at all levels‘ and ‘a track record of achieving results’. Sarah White is ‘a nationally recognised specialist in this field’ with ‘such vast experience that she has usually seen a particular situation which arises before’ and ‘has creative solutions to tricky tactical problems’. She represented George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust on the alleged mismanagement of deep vein thrombosis. She also defended Royal Wolverhampton Hospital NHS Trust and NHS Resolution against a claim involving the delayed diagnosis of cauda equine syndrome. Sarah Manning advised the Medical Protection Society on an orthopaedic hip surgery claim as well as National Health Service Litigation Authority and Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust on a cerebral palsy claim. Jonathan Fuggle advised George Eliot Hospitals NHS Trust and NHS Resolution on a gynaecological procedure claim as well as Southend University Hospital NHS FT and NHS Resolution on a claim of mismanagement of rectal cancer. Neil Ward defended Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Trust & National Health Service Resolution against an alleged delay in diagnosing

1 2

acute angle closure glaucoma. He similarly defended NHS Resolution / Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust against a cerebral palsy medical negligence claim stemming from midwifery care. Simon Charlton has strong capabilities on mental health and governance matters. Other notable names include the recently promoted director Emma Rees, who has experience in birth, brain and spinal injury claims, and solicitor David Toulmin van Sittert, who focuses on high-value traumatic injuries. Weightmans LLP work for both public and private health care providers with clients that include National Health Service Resolution, RSA and AIG Europe. Practice head Tony Yeaman handles complex and high value cases and recently advised Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Resolution on alleged negligence of arranging growth scans which resulted in brain damage. He also advised the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and NHS Resolution on allegedly providing inadequate advice and negligent foot surgery to remove a neuroma. Deborah Bannister works for both NHS trusts and private healthcare providers on contentious matters. Melanie Isherwood works for both NHS resolution and uninsured medical practitioners on clinical negligence claims. John Pinsent is also an expert in handling clinical negligence claims. Mills & Reeve LLP has expertise in clinical negligence claims and medical malpractice insurance matters for clients such as Virgin Care, Global Diagnostics and Zurich Global. Stephen King leads the practice and has notable expertise in health and insurance-related matters. Other key figures include professional indemnity insurance specialist Neil Frankland and principal associate Sarah Kenyon.

CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE: CLAIMANT Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP (Birmingham) Irwin Mitchell (Birmingham) Lanyon Bowdler (Shrewsbury) Shoosmiths (Birmingham) Harrison Clark Rickerbys (Worcester) Higgs & Sons (Brierley Hill) Brindley Twist Tafft & James (Coventry) GHP Legal (Oswestry) Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham) Thompsons Solicitors LLP (Birmingham) Wright Hassall LLP (Birmingham)

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Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP’s clinical negligence practice has ‘a culture of making clients feel valued, reassured and comfortable during what is a very anxious time in their lives’. Practice head Rankeshwar Batta works across all areas of clinical negligence, and is ‘very experienced’ and ‘has a great manner with clients’. Senior associate Sarah Huntbach is ‘very professional’ with ‘detailed and timely interactions’ and is ‘particularly caring with younger claimants and always involves them in discussions’. Other key figures include associates Ann Houghton, Victoria Fullilove and David Evison, who is heavily involved in abuse claims. Irwin Mitchell is ‘one of the largest and most effective clinical negligence teams in the country‘ and ‘attracts many of the biggest and most important cases‘. The practice is led by Lisa Jordan, who has ‘a huge wealth of experience‘ and ‘is one of the foremost solicitors in this field‘. Mandy Luckman focuses on birth injury and cosmetic surgery cases, and ‘establishes a rapport even with the most difficult, damaged or suspicious clients‘. Sara Burns specialises in brain, spinal or neurological injury cases. Jenna Harris posseses ‘great tenacity‘ and is ‘definitely a solicitor that a client would want in their corner‘. Luke Daniels is ‘very experienced‘, and ‘completely unphased by very difficult, complicated and high value cases‘. Emma Rush was made partner in 2017 and ‘prepares her cases exceptionally well‘ and has ‘very good judgment when it comes to bringing them to a successful resolution‘. Associate solicitor Laura Daly’s ‘legal analysis is second to none‘ and is ‘entirely unafraid of a fight‘. Fatal claims specialist Lindsay Tomlinson is also recommended. Lanyon Bowdler has a broad practice with a particular proficiency in handling brain and spinal injury claims. Kay Kelly co-heads the team and regularly advises on claims pertaining to birth injuries, brain injuries, surgical errors, gender reassignment and fertility. She is a ‘great judge of cases‘ and ‘clients love her friendly and efficient manner‘. Fellow practice head Lucy Small is based in Hereford and ‘works tirelessly to get the best results‘. Other key figures include: associate Emma Broomfield, who has ‘great judgment‘ and ‘can spot the winning point‘, and associate Katherine MarriotLodge, who has ‘a lovely manner‘ and is ‘intelligent‘ and ‘works hard to get great results‘. Also recommended is associate

Rankeshwar Batta Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

Beth Harrison, who is ‘enthusiastic‘, ‘wellread‘ and possesses a a ‘sixth sense for cases with hidden substandard care‘. Shoosmiths LLP has ‘an exceptionally talented team brilliantly running claims of the utmost complexity and severity‘. Phil Barnes leads the team and recently advised a young dental nurse who suffered a career-ending injury to her dominant hand and acted for a family of four children who lost their mother allegedly though a delayed cancer diagnosis. Nick Tubb is also a key figure and assisted an elderly woman who suffered a fracture on her leg while being treated at hospital. Kashmir Uppal regularly acts for claimants on birth injuries and Richard Follis is an expert in highprofile inquests. Senior associate Richard Bannister acted for a widow whose husband showed symptoms of acute coronary syndrome and was not placed on an urgent waiting list that would have prevented his death. Senior associate Sarah Corser is an expert in brain injury claims. Other notable names include senior associates Victoria Blankstone and Michael Burrell. Harrison Clark Rickerbys operates under its ‘Medical Accident Group’ banner and is a ‘force to be reckoned with on clinical negligence cases‘. Practice head Inez Brown is particularly strong on birth and catastrophic injury claims, and has ‘a firm but empathetic approach‘, ‘impressive legal technical expertise‘ and ‘solid team leadership and case management skills‘. Peter Savage is known for ‘his combative style which gets results‘, and has extensive experience in dealing with cases involving children. Charlotte Measures is ‘a very experienced and

attentive litigator‘ who has ‘a strong client focus‘ and ‘drives cases home through all obstacles‘. Ally Taft is also recommended and has ‘strength in her tactical focus on cases‘, ‘thinks several steps ahead‘ and ‘never takes her eye off the ball‘. Higgs & Sons is ‘an excellent firm for clinical negligence‘ with ‘a strong and dedicated staff team‘. Clare Langford co-leads the team and focuses on brain and spinal injuries. She is known for her ‘experience‘, ‘efficiency‘ and ‘determination to getting results‘. Fellow practice head Andy Shaw is ‘a great strategist‘ and ‘able to identify the case winning points swiftly and press home the advantage‘. Liz Hickman has advised on cases involving birth injuries, tetraplegia and cases involving a delayed diagnosis of cancer. Senior associate Sue Allen is ‘very clever‘, ‘hardworking‘ and ‘clients love her‘. Associate Jenny Shone has ‘extensive experience‘, ‘medical knowledge‘ and ‘empathy for her clients‘. Brindley Twist Tafft & James covers negligence claims relating to cerebral palsy, brain damage, gynecology and orthopedics. The team is led by Tom Barnes, who is ‘highly experienced‘, ‘has a great case load‘ and ‘is popular with clients‘. Also recommended is Richard Stanford, who is ‘excellent‘, ‘clever‘, ‘hard working‘ and ‘canny‘. GHP Legal‘s Oswestry office handles

a number of high complex claims, with notable strengths in dealing with issues such as psychiatric injuries, sexual abuse, and stress at work. John Hulme leads the team and has handled late diagnosis of cancer claims, as well as misdiagnosis claims. Sydney Mitchell LLP handle a range of clinical negligence claims, with ‘an approach to client care that is second to none‘. Mike Sutton heads up the team and ‘very well respected locally‘. He is assisted by senior personal injury executive David Lydon,Adam Hodson and Stephen Jesson. Thompsons Solicitors LLP is headed by Linda Millband, who specialises in high profile clinical negligence claimant work. She recently acted on a paraplegia case for a young woman which settled for £6m. Senior solicitor Martin Singh is also a key figure, with significant expertise in handling birth injury claims. Also recommended is Tony Mikhael, who also has extensive experience in medical negligence cases. Wright Hassall LLP is led by Jeanette Whyman who has a particular interest in obstetric claims, late diagnosis and inappropriate treatment of cancer. Recent work highlights of hers include acting for claimants against notorious surgeons such as Manu Nair and Ian Paterson.

The Legal 500 West Midlands 37

WEST MIDLANDS PERSONAL INJURY: CLAIMANT Irwin Mitchell (Birmingham) Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP (Birmingham) Lanyon Bowdler (Birmingham) FBC Manby Bowdler LLP (Wolverhampton) Higgs & Sons (Brierley Hill) Slater and Gordon (Birmingham) Clarke Willmott LLP (Birmingham) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Birmingham) Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham) Thompsons Solicitors LLP (Birmingham) Alsters Kelley LLP (Leamington Spa) Bretherton Law (Rugby) DBS Law Limited (Birmingham) GHP Legal (Oswestry) Shoosmiths (Birmingham) Simpson Millar LLP (Birmingham) Thursfields Solicitors (Kidderminster)

For some, Irwin Mitchell in Birmingham is ‘without doubt the pre-eminent personal injury firm‘. Managing partner Stuart Henderson leads the personal injury division and has extensive experience in handling brain and spinal cord injuries. Stephen Nye heads the serious injury team and is ‘a tough operator‘ and ‘a great man to have in your corner‘. Hilary Wetherell has a particular focus on brain injury and lack of capacity cases. Clive Garner has ‘a well-deserved and leading reputation as one of the foremost international personal injury lawyers in the country‘. He advised a number of claimants who suffered physical and psychological injuries from being involved in the Costa Concordia Cruise disaster of 2012. Philip Banks also works on international claims and is ‘a calm and wise head in the most difficult and complex cases‘. Public health specialist Amandeep Dhillon is ‘a genuinely creative lawyer who thinks outside the box‘ and recently represented a widower whose wife died from consuming contaminated food at The White Horse restaurant in London. Another key figure is the healthcare-focused Luke Daniels, who is ‘very senior‘, ‘very experienced‘ and ‘completely unphased by very difficult, complicated and high value cases‘. Suki Chhokar, Alida Coates, Satinder Bains and Elizabeth Tetzner are also recommended. Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP has ‘a very good personal injury practice’ that includes ‘empathetic and talented solicitors who cover a wide range of work’. Practice head Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP is ‘very thorough’, ‘tactically astute’ and ‘incredibly down to earth’. Associate David Evison is ‘very good tactically’ and ‘handles clients extremely well’. Also recommended is associate Victoria Fullilove, who possesses a ‘tactical insight and knowledge that goes beyond her years of qualification’. Lanyon Bowdler is ‘a top-quality outfit that dominates the personal injury market in Shropshire‘. Practice head Neil Lorimer is ‘fearless‘ and ‘tenacious‘, with ‘an incredible attention to detail‘. He recently acted in a

38 The Legal 500 West Midlands

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claim arising from a jet ski colliding with another jet ski. Associate solicitor Dawn Humphries is ‘delightful‘, ‘very sympathetic to clients‘ and is ‘very well organised in carrying a heavyweight caseload‘. She recently handled a spinal injury case where the claimant was dropped by her then partner while dancing. She also worked on a road traffic accident claim suffered by a recent law graduate. Also recommended are associate solicitors Claire Vale and Debbie Humphries, who both focus on fast-track claims. Louise Howard was promoted to associate in 2017 and is ‘caring‘ and ‘always looking out for her clients‘. FBC Manby Bowdler LLP‘s practice is headed by Tim Gray, who specialises in personal injury and clinical negligence claims. He recently represented a client who suffered brain and orthopaedic injuries during a motorcycle accident 10 years ago, which was logged with the Motor Insurers Bureau. Gray is supported by Susan Todhunter who advised on a claim made by the parents of a child who fell from a window which had been poorly repaired by the local council shortly before the incident occurred. Other noteworthy figures include Sophie Ann Bridges and associate Adam Wilson. Higgs & Sons is ‘a large team of talented personal injury litigators‘ that is ‘expertly led by Andy Shaw ‘ and ‘supported by a range of quality lawyers at every level of experience‘. Shaw advises on head injury, fatal accidents and industrial disease claims and is ‘a great strategist‘ who is ‘able to identify the case winning points swiftly and press home the advantage‘. He is supported by associate solicitor Claire Burnell, who handles road traffic accidents, work accidents and accidents abroad. Also recommended is associate Steven Santy, who works on claims arising out of road traffic accidents as well as employer and public liability. Santy is ‘capable of taking on the most difficult cases‘ and ‘gets great results again and again‘. Slater and Gordon is led by Richard Langton, who regularly advises on fatal,

spinal, and brain injuries, often resulting from road traffic accidents, or involving employer or public liability. Recent work highlights include representing a bus driver who was struck by a tree falling from parish councilowned land and acting on a claim where a toddler was hit by a car by a driver who was warned not to drive due to his poor eyesight. Langdon is supported by solicitor Jayne Campbell, who specialises in disease claims and employer’s liability. Public liability claims solicitor Michele Taylor is also a key figure. Clarke Willmott LLP is led by Philip Edwards, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable in all areas of personal injury law‘, ‘a superb negotiator‘ and ‘brooks no nonsense from any hard-nosed insurers seeking to avoid their responsibilities‘. Edwards is highly experienced in handling claims pertaining to brain injuries amputations, spinal injuries and fatal injuries. He recently acted for a family on criminal proceedings against a driver who caused the death of their husband. Shakespeare Martineau LLP ‘deal with claims of varying complexity, from straightforward road traffic claims to complex industrial accidents‘. Tony Hannington leads the team and is ‘a strategic thinker‘ and ‘a calm and cool head no matter what the situation‘. He represented a claimant who was run over by a vehicle while walking along the pavement and suffered physical and psychological injuries. Peter Kelly is also a key figure and focuses on spinal chord and product liability claims. Legal director Adam Parry regularly works alongside Hannington on his cases and has ‘a very close eye for detail‘, ‘builds strong relationships with clients‘ and is ‘formidable when negotiating‘. Sydney Mitchell LLP is ‘a small team that has built up considerable experience‘, whose ‘approach to client care is second to none‘. Mike Sutton leads the team and is ‘very well respected locally within the profession‘. He specialises in handling road and work accidents, and recently represented a client who suffered from complex regional pain syndrome due to falling from a ladder. David Lydon recently joined the firm from Pearson Rowe Incorporating Springthorpes and has a similar focus on work and road accidents. He recently acted for an individual who required amputation to due to injuries suffered by his fingers while at work. Also recommended is solicitor Adam Hodson. Thompsons Solicitors LLP is led by the ‘tenacious’ Karl De-Loyde, who ‘leaves no stone unturned‘ and ‘never gives up on a point until he has exhausted all enquiries‘. He is supported by Alison Fahy, who regularly advises on work accidents, road accidents and fatal accidents claims. John Mullen is known for his ‘vast experience and knowledge‘ of industrial disease work and advised on a claim from trade union members against Severn Trent Water, which alleged that there was exposures to excessive levels of hydrogen sulphide in the working environment. Amputations and fatal claims Elizabeth Ford is also a key figure, as is the ‘up-and-coming‘ Laura Harper, who similarly focuses on amputation claims. Other notable names include asbestos claims specialist Dave Fisher, Vicky Kingscote and David Gauler. Tony Hall heads the personal injury practice at Alsters Kelley LLP and has a strong background in handling birth injuries, spinal injuries, and fatal injuiries. Another key figure is senior solicitor Haidee Vedy, who has worked on both physical and psychological injury claims.

Spinal cord injury claims are a hallmark of Brethertons LLP ‘ practice. Jonathan Rees leads the team and possesses ‘the highly technical skills to deal with cases often with complex and difficult medical issues‘ and has ‘a confident manner that instils confidence in his clients and legal team‘. He is supported by assistant solicitor Sian Buxton, who has a similar focus on spinal injuries. Also recommend is senior associate Alison Goldney, who is ‘a very skilled litigator‘ with ‘an excellent technical grasp of what are often very complex medical issues‘.

Neil Lorimer - Lanyon Bowdler

Vicky Blodwell heads the team at DBS Law Limited and is highly skilled in handling claims involving road traffic accidents, work accidents and accidents that arise in public spaces. The firm’s particular niche is that it is regularly advises claimants from minority communities in the UK. Based in Oswestry, GHP Legal is noted for its ‘mix of old-fashioned values with modern thinking and service’. John Hulme leads the team and has ‘a wealth of experience’ and ‘a personable and effective manner’. Recent work highlights of the firm include advising on a delayed diagnosis of cancer and representing three individuals who suffered psychiatric injuries from a motorcycle accident. Shoosmiths LLP is led by Sara Hunt, who works across all aspects of personal injury and is particularly strong in advising on asbestos-related disease claims. She recently advised on a claim involving the death of an individual who removed asbestos from pipes by hand. Also recommended is solicitor Kate Price-Marson, who also regularly handles industrial disease claims. Simpson Millar LLP is led by Howard Davies, who is notably strong in handling brain and amputation injury claims. He recently advised on a £30,000 claim involving an cyclist who was struck by a vehicle and suffered orthopaedic, neurological and facial injuries. He also represented an employee on a liabilility claim where he suffered injuries from an overturning fork lift truck. David Erwin is also a key figure and focuses on brain injury and fatal accident claims. Thursfields Solicitors has represented claimants on road traffic accidents, employer’s liability, public liability and industrial diseases. Senior associate Bernadette Mackie leads the team and ‘very experienced and capable in personal injury work‘ and ‘takes a sensible and pragmatic approach to cases‘.



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WEST MIDLANDS There are 16 key changes, but the overall structure may be seen from four key provisions: • There is a duty on parties to disclose, regardless of any order for disclosure, “known adverse documents” unless they are privileged (para 3.1(2)) • A party must generally give “initial disclosure” at the same time as serving its statement of case (para 5). This consists of the key documents on which it has expressly or impliedly relied and those that are necessary for the other party to understand the case they have to meet • Any further provision for disclosure is known as “Extended Disclosure” and will only be ordered if it is reasonable and proportionate (para 6). Such disclosure will take one of the following forms: Model A: known adverse documents only; Model B: limited disclosure – documents on which a party has relied, key documents necessary to enable the other party to understand the case against it and known adverse documents; Model C: requestled search-based disclosure of particular documents or narrow classes of documents relating to a particular issue; Model D: narrow search-based disclosure; and Model E: wide search-based disclosure • Prior to the first CCMC, if the parties seek Extended Disclosure they must prepare and seek to agree a List of Issues for Disclosure and then file a single joint Disclosure Review Document (para 7).

James Morgan QC St Philips Chambers

THE DISCLOSURE PILOT SCHEME: TAMING THE BEAST WRITTEN BY JAMES MORGAN QC Disclosure, the process of stating what documents a party has (or had) in its control, is a key stage in any substantial litigation. But it is one that the courts have struggled to regulate. The seminal Access to Justice Final Report (July 2006) concluded that the process needed to be a “more proportionate but workable system” and “standard disclosure” was subsequently introduced through CPR Part 31. Within a few years it was clear that this aim had not been achieved and, following the Review of Civil Litigation Costs (December 2009), a new menu of disclosure options was introduced into Part 31 to enable the court to “select the order which is most appropriate to the instant case…and encourage more rigorous case management in relation to disclosure.” But this has been little used and in July 2016, the Chancellor set up a Disclosure Working

Group to address widespread concerns as to costs and complexity. It reported that “… standard disclosure often produces large amounts of wholly irrelevant documents, leading to a considerable waste of time and costs...inadequate judicial resources had led, on occasion, to judges not being able to deal effectively with disclosure issues at a case management conference...”. Those conclusions have led to Practice Direction 51U, which contains new disclosure rules that will be the subject of a pilot scheme in the Business and Property Courts (High Court only) for two years from 1st January 2019. The new provisions will require a culture change amongst practitioners and judges alike, requiring co-operation and informed active case management. There are parallels here with the reforms in relation to cost budgeting, which have not been universally successful.

The court will use this information to decide whether and to what extent there should be Extended Disclosure. There is no presumption that a party is entitled to Extended Disclosure and in particular to Models D and E (the latter of which will only be ordered in an “exceptional case”). Different models may apply to different issues and/or to each party. The new rules ought to lead to a more considered, flexible and proportionate approach to the problems created by disclosure in this era of vast amounts of data. Whether they will in fact do so will depend on (1) whether lawyers and their clients are willing to embrace the new approach and (2) whether, perhaps more importantly, judges will have adequate time before and during the CCMC to get to grips with a case so that the appropriate disclosure order is made, if necessary, against the wishes of the parties. For more information please contact Justin Luckman on 0121 246 7050 or by email

The Legal 500 West Midlands 41



PERSONAL INJURY: DEFENDANT BLM (Birmingham) DAC Beachcroft LLP (Birmingham) DWF LLP (Birmingham) Keoghs LLP (Coventry) Plexus Law (Evesham) Weightmans (Birmingham)


Browne Jacobson LLP (Birmingham) Kennedys (Birmingham) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Birmingham)


BLM is known for its ‘exceptional work ethic’, ‘attention to detail’, ‘unparalleled knowledge’ and ‘ability to engage with its clients’. James Harvey co-heads the team and is ‘a tactical and tenacious litigator’ who ‘consistently goes the extra mile in order to achieve outstanding results’. He defended Compass Group against a £500,000 personal injury claim from an ex-employee and advised West Midlands Travel on a claim where a client was allegedly involved in a fault accident. Fellow practice head Mike Dobson is ‘exceptionally bright’ and ‘respected nationally, both by instructing insurers and opponents alike’. He acted for Allianz on an employer’s liability personal injury claim. Other notable names include: Martin Smith, who is an expert in motor insurance matters; and Stephen Hazelton, who focuses on catastrophic injury claims. Also recommended are: David Thompson, who is an expert in employer and public liability claims; and Verinder Bedi, who specialises in motor, employer liability and public liability claims. Chris Wiggin has joined Shakespeare Martineau LLP.

Rhodri Richards | DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP has a strong reputation in personal injury defendant work with clients that include Axa, Allianz and Aviva. Rhodri Richards is the group’s head of business development and has extensive experience in insurance and personal injury work. Sara May leads the complex and catastrophic injury team in Birmingham and is ‘very professional’ and ‘very efficient’ with ‘excellent industry knowledge’. Elizabeth Duley is an expert in motor injury, employer’s liability and public liability claims. For some, DAC Richard Stallard ‘is undoubtedly the leading authority on periodical payments in this area of law’ and ‘is exceptionally focused, attentive to detail and has a strong strategic sense but never forgets that the claimants are human beings’. Liz Jones regularly acts for insurers on claims stemming from motor accidents or employment and public liability. Anthony Carrington advised Aviva Insurance on

42 The Legal 500 West Midlands

a claim seeking damages for an injury which allegedly arose from a threevehicle collision. Counter fraud specialist Jemma Lewis assisted Direct Line Group Insurance Services with three claims which were allegedly caused by a road traffic accident. DWF is ‘highly regarded by insurers’ and ‘is truly specialist in this field’. Insurance policy expert Derek Adamson heads the occupational health and casualty team and provides ‘top-drawer’ advice. Lorraine Carolan is also a key figure and is the national head of counter fraud. Kate Archer often acts for clients facing investigations from the police, HSE or local authorities. Other notable names include insurance liability specialist Lindsey McQueen and disease-related claims expert Rob Edwards. Paul Donnelly was promoted to partner in 2017 and advises on historic abuse claims. He recently advised Coventry City Council and Zurich Insurance on the alleged crimes of Kevin Donaldson at a care home in Coventry. Caroline Coates left the firm and works as an independent consultant Keoghs LLP has ‘a good national presence’ and provides ‘prompt’, ‘sound’ and ‘pragmatic technical and legal advice’. Ken Young is ‘calm’, ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘an excellent negotiator’, with particular strengths in employer and public liability claims, as well as motor. David Pugh has extensive experience in complex disease claims, working alongside assistant solicitor Katie Rose. Julie Park has ‘a strong legal mind’ and is ‘a fierce advocate’ on liability claims. Personal injury specialist Julian Dexter is ‘extremely dedicated and committed’ and ‘provides clients with excellent service’. Daniel Elder and Rada Campbell are also key figures. Plexus Law provides ‘knowledgeable and detailed advice’, ‘robust handling’, and ‘efficient response times’. Damon Burt leads the team and recently defended Anglia Heating on a mesothelioma claim from an employee in the High Court. Catastrophic injuries specialist Anthony Bushell ‘has consistently demonstrated an ability to control cases to what is considered an appropriate and favourable conclusion’. Jennifer Bates is also an expert in fatal accidents and advised Ballymore Asset Management on an employer’s liability personal injury claim. Katrina Bennet defended Bluestone Resorts on a claim involving an alleged serious head injury suffered while attending a wedding at the client’s premises. Jacqui Kendall was promoted to partner in 2018 and is a ‘thorough’,

‘confident’ and ‘professional’ individual. Insurance litigation specialist Nigel Partridge also recently joined the firm.

Damon Burt - Plexus Law

The team at Weightmans LLP covers the entire spectrum of personal injury defendant work. David Tuck leads the practice and specialises in occupational lung disease issues, mainly relating to asthma, allergies or asbestos exposure claims. Penelope Marshall focuses on social services claims, which can often involve abuse or assault claims. Tim Salthouse is an expert in public and employer’s liability claims, and recently defended the Motor Insurer’s Bureau against a £1,000,000 motor accident claim. Chris Webb-Jenkins‘ interests lie in social care and regularly works on group action cases. Zurich Financial Services, AIG and Ageas are key clients. Browne Jacobson LLP is ‘very highly rated’ and ‘one of the big national guns in this field’ with expertise in catastrophic injury claims, complex disease claims and dual insurance disputes. Bridget Tatham leads the team and is known for her ‘thoroughness, attention to detail but also a pragmatic and pro-active approach where needed’. She is assisted by Kevin Lawson, who has strong expertise in rehabilitation support and road traffic accident claims. Liability claims expert James Arrowsmith is ‘extremely efficient’, ‘well prepared’ and ‘has a sharp eye for detail’. Other notable names include: Paul Wainwright, who focuses on asset protection through counter fraud

measures; technical claims director Paul Cox; and associate Matthew Harpin, who is experienced in public and employer’s liability claims. Kennedys represents global and UK insurers where its ‘great knowledge coupled with its professionalism produces very favourable results’. Practice head Ian Davies has extensive experience in motor accident claims, and is ‘widely respected’ and ‘very well liked by insurers’. Mark Walsh also focuses on motor accidents and is ‘a tremendously able solicitor’ and ‘a very skilled operator’. James Shrimpton is an expert in leisure industry claims and most notably advised on the civil claims that stemmed from the crash at Alton Towers on the Smiler ride in 2015. Robert Wallace has notable expertise in chronic pain cases and is ‘very well respected’ and possesses ‘a sensible approach to his cases having acted for claimants and defendants in the past’. Philippa Craven handles occupational disease cases and provides ‘excellent knowledge and advice’. James Shrimpton handles cases predominantly in the public sector. Shakespeare Martineau LLP act for Direct Line, Zurich and DHL, where its ‘experience is outstanding’ and ‘response times exceed expectations’. Practice head Craig Wallace is an expert in catastrophic injury claims and splits his time between the firm’s Birmingham and London offices. Julia Messervy-Whiting has extensive experience in employer’s and public liability claims, as well as motor accident claims. Jayne Doore was promoted to partner in 2017 and ‘adopts a very thorough approach to the investigation and defence of high value personal injury claims’ and ‘her attention to detail is second to none’. Consultant Julia Holden has ‘a wealth of knowledge dealing with high value personal injury claims’ and ‘is able to negotiate with the claimant’s lawyers and bring about early and sensible settlements’. The team has been strengthened with the arrivals of corporate risk specialist Christopher Wiggin, who recently joined from *BLM.

FAMILY: BIRMINGHAM Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP (Birmingham) Lodders Solicitors LLP (Birmingham) Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham) Shakespeare Martineau LLP (Birmingham) Blair Allison (Birmingham) Irwin Mitchell (Birmingham) Baches Solicitors LLP (West Bromwich) Benussi & Co Limited (Birmingham) Clarke Willmott LLP (Birmingham) Duncan Lewis Solicitors (Birmingham) Harrison Clark Rickerbys (Birmingham) Shoosmiths (Birmingham) Sydney Mitchell LLP (Birmingham) Weightmans (Birmingham) Cartwright King (Birmingham)

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP ‘undertakes the heaviest of care cases’, and is ‘market leading matrimonial finance work.’ Elizabeth Wyatt heads up the private client team and has strong expertise in divorce proceedings. Jas Tamber leads the children team and is an expert in complex childcare cases. Senior associate Elisabeth Howe is also a key figure and has strong experience in divorce proceedings, civil partnerships and separations. Also recommended are senior associates Helen Mottram and Maria Ramon as well as associate Nev Zaki, who are all experts in children’s law.

Beverley Morris Lodders Solicitors LLP

Lodders Solicitors LLP is led by Beverley Morris, who has extensive experience in complex financial cases. She recently represented Graham Mills on his appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the periodical payments he is obliged to pay to his ex-wife. She also acted on a divorce for the wife whose husband owned a property development company which complicated financial proceedings. Other key members of the team include: associate Caroline Dresden, who has a similar focus on high value divorce proceedings; associate Vivienne Middleton, who has expertise in both financial and children cases; and associate Christine Williams, who advises on matrimonial issues. Also recommended is solicitor Amy Parker, who regularly assists Morris with her cases.

1 2 Diane Benussi - Benussi & Co Limited

3 4

The ‘extremely good‘ Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘simply superb‘ at family finance and ‘extremely accomplished‘ at children act disputes. The team is led by Marc Saunderson who, according to some, is ‘the best family law partner is Birmingham‘. He predominantly focuses on high value matters, and ‘knows the law inside out‘, ‘has an amazing work ethic‘ and ‘always gets good results‘. Other key figures include: principal associate Katherine Kennedy, who is ‘a first class family lawyer‘ and ‘a true professional‘; senior associate Aasha Choudary, who has ‘bags of common sense‘ and ‘a great nose for getting a good deal‘; associate Louise Spalding, who is ‘a rising star‘, ‘very clever‘ and ‘wise beyond her years‘; and principal associate Hayley McCormack, who is ‘superb with both cohabitation disputes and children act cases‘. Shakespeare Martineau LLP runs the gamut of family law matters, with a keen interest in international and high value disputes. Zahra Paban co-leads the team and regularly represents high net worth individuals in financial remedy proceedings, while fellow practice head Mary Kaye focuses on complex children matters. Catherine Walker is based in the Stratford office and is an expert in complex divorce cases, as is newly promoted director Fiona Farrell. Other key figures include: senior associate Marie Kilgallen, who is experienced in wealth protection as well as pre and post nuptial agreements; associate Charlotte Clewes, who is notably strong in trust law; and solicitor Elizabeth Scriven. The ‘first rate‘ Grant Bird leads the practice at Blair Allison and is highly experienced in handling complex cases relating to children and adoption. He is supported by associate solicitor Matt Cannan who regularly advises on Children Act cases. Irwin Mitchell is ‘a class act‘ with ‘strength in depth across the team‘ and ‘boasts a number of the most talented

and knowledgable family lawyers in the West Midlands‘. Clare Wiseman leads the team and has ‘a formidable reputation in the world of Birmingham family law‘. She is assisted by senior associate Sarah Balfour, who is an expert in pre and postnuptial agreements. Matrimonial specialist solicitor Mark Hands is ‘extremely well organised‘,’utterly dedicated to each case‘ and ‘ridiculously hard-working‘. Baches Solicitors LLP is ‘a very strong firm‘ who is ‘well-organised‘ and provides ‘an excellent service for its clients‘. Managing partner Jo Johnson heads the childcare team and Lindsey Newell heads the matrimonial team. Johnson brings ‘knowledge‘, ‘experience‘ and ‘sensitivity‘ to her cases with ‘an ability to communicate effectively with parents‘. Newell is ‘highly competent‘, ‘tenacious‘ and ‘approachable‘. Jill Darbyshire is also a key figure in the childcare team. Also recommended are Lucie Taylor and Rebecca Littleford, who ‘equally demonstrate their excellent working knowledge and commitment to working sensitively with parties‘.

Marc Saunderson - Mills & Reeve LLP

Benussi & Co Limited is known for its specialisation in high value family finance matters. Key figures at the firm include: Helen Jane- Arnold, who is ‘outstanding‘ and ‘a very safe pair of hands‘; and Denise McKenna, who is experienced in international matters. Diane Benussi is also a noteworthy name. Clarke Willmott LLP provides ‘high quality financial remedy work which is expertly handled‘ and is also highly skilled in children-related work. Practice head Rayner Grice is an ‘excellent technical lawyer with equally good client care skills‘, focusing predominantly on financial and children matters. Chartered legal executive Caroline Young ‘provides excellent support‘ to Grice and has a similar focus on complex relationship breakdowns.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has expertise in matrimonial and children cases, with notable strengths in cross-border disputes. Krina Parmar has extensive experience handling public law children cases, with a strong focus on marriage protection orders and child abduction. Shazia Saliheen acts on all aspects of family disputes, but is particularly proficient in divorce, separation and child arrangements. Director Richard Gray is also a key figure and specialises in complex public law childcare cases. Also recommended are solicitors Adam Bloodworth and Rupinder Jagdev, who are both experienced in advising on relationship breakdown cases. Harrison Clark Rickerbys is led by Kevin Harris-James, who specialises in highvalue and complex divorce cases, which regularly encompass an international aspect. Senior associate Victoria Fellows is also a name of note, with a strong skillset in finance and children cases. Shoosmiths LLP’s key presence in this space is in financial proceedings cases, with the practice also having a growing workload of childcare cases. Neil Hobden leads the team and has a strong background in complex divorce proceedings. He is assisted by associate Sushma Kotecha, who focuses on high net worth mediation cases. Other noteworthy names include associates Rebecca Calden-Storr and Adam Maguire, who both focus on the financial elements of family breakdowns. The ‘excellent’ Sydney Mitchell LLP focuses on complex matrimonial disputes and childcare arrangements. Karen Moores is a key contact and is known for her ‘compassionate‘ and ‘understanding‘ manner. Mauro Vinti is also recommended and advises on all aspects on relationship breakdowns. Complex matrimonial cases has been a mainstay of Weightmans LLP’s work in this space. Consultant Fiona O’Sullivan has extensive experience in matrimonial disputes, particularly on aspects such as pensions, assets, cross-border issues and pre-nuptial agreements. Associate Tania Derret-Smith is also a key figure and specialises in divorce cases. Financial and childcare cases are two key areas of focus for Cartwright King. Family solicitor Karen Brennan leads the Birmingham team and has notable expertise in handling divorces, separations, pre-nuptial agreements, nullities and financial remedies. Childcare solicitors Carol Clleland and Fiona Bowen are also noteworthy names.

The Legal 500 West Midlands 43




ELSEWHERE IN THE WEST MIDLANDS Brethertons LLP (Rugby) FBC Manby Bowdler LLP (Telford) Harrison Clark Rickerbys (Worcester) Higgs & Sons (Brierley Hill)


MFG Solicitors LLP (Kidderminster) Mercy Messenger (Solihull) Thursfields Solicitors (Kidderminster) Wright Hassall LLP (Leamington Spa)


Band Hatton Button LLP (Coventry) Beswicks Legal (Stoke-on-Trent) Duncan Watts LLP (Warwick) Lanyon Bowdler (Ludlow)


Aaron & Partners LLP (Shrewsbury) Alsters Kelley LLP (Coventry) George Green LLP (Wolverhampton) Knights Professional Services Limited (Newcastle-under-Lyme) Pickerings Solicitors (Tamworth) Woolley & Co, Solicitors (Solihull)


Linda Jones | Brethertons LLP

Brethertons LLP is ‘a leading regional firm‘ with ‘a growing and deserved national reputation as specialist family lawyers‘. Linda Jones co-heads the team and is notably strong in advising on divorce-related financial issues. Fellow practice head Simon Craddock is a an expert in complex children cases and recently advised on a damages claim from a child who had been left in the care of an allegedly unfit parent by the local authority. He also acted on a case on behalf of a child who was wrongfully removed from one of her parents and moved to the USA. Associate solicitor Rachel Adams specialises in matrimonial finances and is ‘determined‘, ‘intelligent‘, ‘efficient‘ and ‘compassionate‘. Associate solicitor Kim Lehal is an expert on cases involving international child abduction, forced marriages and honour-based violence.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP’s family law cases typically fall into the categories of being highly complex or of high value. Anne Thompson leads the team and is an expert in handling ancillary relief cases. She recently acted on a complex divorce where both parties were in business together. Philip Cowell focuses

44 The Legal 500 West Midlands

on high-value financial cases and is ‘extremely efficient‘ and ‘quick to respond‘. He recently advised on a matter involving the validity of a prenuptial agreement. Senior associate Harbinder Gosal is notably strong in handling privately funded divorce and matrimonial finance cases. She represented interveners on a case where the wife alleged that the husband transferred property to the client in an attempt to dispose his assets. Senior associate Sarah Millington’s work mostly concerns the financial aspects of relationship breakdowns, and is ‘professional‘, ‘effective‘ and ‘good at communicating‘. Cohabitations expert Sara Morton is also a key figure, whose recent work involved the court freezing the husband’s assets in order to prevent him from depriving the wife of her claims. Harrison Clark Rickerbys ‘ ‘excellent‘ family practice is ‘extremely experienced in the subject area‘ and ‘completely familiar with current thinking and new developments‘. Andy Caldicott leads the team and is known for his ‘efficient yet caring attitude‘ and ‘eminently sensible approach‘, with expertise in family disputes involving finances and children. Nadia Davis heads the Worcester office and focuses on high value divorce proceedings as well as pre and post nuptial agreements. The ‘wise‘, ‘experienced‘, ‘warm‘ and ‘attentive‘ Brenda Spain has expertise in all aspects of family, with particular strengths in domestic abuse cases. Also recommended are Clare Whittaker, who is particularly strong on special guardianship orders, and Robert Beaumont who has extensive experience in advising on cohabitation settlements. Higgs & Sons ‘goes above and beyond for its clients‘ and regularly advises on financial and child-related proceedings.

Matrimonial matters specialist Philip Barnsley leads the team and has a ‘focused‘,’understanding‘ and ‘strategic‘ approach. Claire Darley is an experienced mediator with a similar focus on finance cases. Other notable names include associate Rhian Gray, who specialises in matrimonial disputes, and associate Kelly Perks, who is experienced in child arrangements. For some, the family department of MFG Solicitors LLP is ‘one of the strongest family departments in the West Midlands‘. The Kidderminster-based practice head Claire Backler has expertise in children and financial proceedings and brings ‘a maturity’ and ‘a calm sureness of touch to her caseload‘. Katherine Tippetts works for high net worth individuals on has ‘a calm and measured approach‘ and ‘really knows her stuff‘. Worcester-based Gurdip Kaur Brring similary focuses on the financial aspects of matrimonial disputes. Bromsgrove-based Alison Webber has ‘an empathetic, client-focused approach’, and is ‘excellent at building working relationships in particularly difficult and sensitive cases‘. Associate Rupinder Nandra is ‘energetic‘, ‘dedicated‘ and ‘her clients can trust to pursue her goals with well-calculated care and vigour.’ Mercy Messenger’s repertoire in family law includes financial proceedings, children cases, property issues, domestic harassment and violence cases, as well as pre and post nuptial agreements. Name partner Mercy Messenger leads the team and is supported by David Messenger and associate Gemma Fenton. Thursfields Solicitors provide ‘a first class service’ in family law with strong

capabilities in financial proceedings and children cases. Director Shane Miller leads the team and is a specialist in matrimonial disputes who is ‘very competent‘, ‘switched on‘ and ‘has a knack of finding the right solutions to cases‘. Director Nigel Davies focuses on financial proceedings, and is ‘extremely experienced‘ and ‘a very safe pair of hands‘. Also recommended is associate Laura Williams, who is experienced in relationship breakdown cases, and associate Kelly Pougher, who works on financial proceedings and is ‘a tough litigator‘ and ‘gives realistic advice to her clients‘. Pougher also has ‘the ability to fully understand and articulate clearly issues concerning children with special educational needs‘. Hannah Nicholls is also a key figure and specialises in child arrangements. Wright Hassall LLP has ‘an outstanding team of top drawer family solicitors‘. Peter Lowe heads the private client group and is skilled in both financial and children-related proceedings. Justin Creed leads the matrimonial team and is ‘a first class lawyer‘, whose ‘unfailingly affable demeanour belies real toughness‘. Also recommended is Mercedes King-Jones is ‘a brilliant operator‘ with ‘a refreshing “no nonsense” approach‘. Band Hatton Button LLP works across all aspects of family disputes, with particular strengths in mediation. Tracy Cross leads the team and is an experienced mediator on both divorce and separation cases. Helen Bowns recently joined Shakespeare Martineau LLP. Beswicks Legal‘s broad practice works on both financial proceeding and complex childcare cases. The practice

is headed by Sarah Johnson and Sarah Jones. Johnson is an expert in all aspects of relationship breakdown cases and highlighted for her ‘listening skills‘ and ‘ability to keep clients positive‘. Jones is similarly skilled in these areas and has worked on a number of high value and complex matrimonial disputes. Also recommended is consultant Fiona Craig who handles financial proceedings cases which often involves safeguarding assets and earmarking pensions. Duncan Watts LLP specialises in family law and has ‘extremely experienced and knowledgeable legal professionals who are equipped with not only legal expertise but also offer a friendly and approachable service‘. Martin John-Croom co-heads the practice and is an expert in childrenrelated matters who ‘continuously demonstrates his professionalism and expertise with family law matters‘. Fellow practice head Joanne Elizabeth-Connor focuses on financial matters and regularly acts as a mediator. Lanyon Bowdler is ‘excellent for family finances and private children disputes’ with ‘a great team around them at all levels of experience and expertise‘. The Ludlowbased consultant Colin Spanner leads the team and ‘is well regarded‘ and has ‘a keen eye for detail‘. He works on a range of family matters, but is particularly strong on complex children cases. Telford-based Sue Hodgson is an expert in matrimonial matters and child disputes, and is ‘a superb negotiator‘ with ‘a no-nonsense approach‘. The Shrewsbury based associate solicitor Lisa Grimmett is also recommended and

works for high net worth individuals on financial claims. Aaron & Partners LLP works almost exclusively on relationship breakdowns for high net worth individuals. Richard Barge leads the team and advises on separations, divorces as well as pre and post-nuptial agreements. He is also regularly involved in cases with a cross-border element. Senior associate Sandy Edwards has a similar focus on high net worth relationship breakdowns, with additional expertise in complex children cases. Also recommended is Richard Barge who similarly specialises in the financial aspects of relationship breakdowns. Alsters Kelley LLP is led by Erica Kemp, who is ‘very clever‘, ‘pragmatic ‘and ‘has great client care skills‘. She is an expert in complex ancillary financial matters and regularly acts as a mediator. Michelle Guest also focuses on financial matters and also has additional expertise handling private law children cases. Other key figures from the Worcester office include: solicitor Helen Morton, who handles the financial aspects of separations; and associate solicitor Catherine Stephens, who is an expert in child protection issues. The Nuneaton office includes Emma Piff, who is an expert in financial and children matters, and public law specialist Adrian Bannister. Leamington Spa-based Lisa Blizzard is experienced in public law cases. George Green LLP is headed by Mark Vandaele who is an ‘excellent technical lawyer‘ and focuses primarily on divorce proceedings for high net worth individuals,

with additional expertise in advising on pre and post nuptial agreements. Knights Professional Services Limited has a broad family law practice with particular strengths in handling divorces, wealth protection and co-habitation agreements. The team is led by Martin Ridings who regularly represents high -net worth individuals on relationship breakdowns. Also recommended is senior associate Andrew Hall whose work focuses complex children cases. Pickerings Solicitors LLP perform ‘consistently high quality work‘ in public family law, with a care department that ‘provides a high level of conscientious service‘. The practice is jointly lead by Susan Davies, who focuses on high value divorce cases as well as pre and post nuptial agreements. Fellow practice head Richard Westley specialises in children cases, particularly on care proceedings. Also recommended are consultant solicitor Graham Pegg and solicitor Rachel Burchill, who both regularly advise on surrogacy issues. Woolley & Co, Solicitors has a strong reputation for family and matrimonial law expertise in the West Midlands, with notable strengths in advising on divorces involving British expatriates, annulments and implacable hostility. Solihull-based Richard England focuses on complex financial remedy matters and is ‘very clever‘ and has ‘a brilliant business’ mind‘. Warwick-based Alison Ratchford has carved a niche in advising British expats experiencing relationship breakdowns.



The Legal 500 West Midlands 45

WEST MIDLANDS REGIONAL BAR: MIDLAND CIRCUIT LEADING SETS No5 Barristers Chambers (Birmingham, Leicester) St Philips Chambers (Birmingham) Ropewalk Chambers (Nottingham) St Ives Chambers (Birmingham) 3PB (Birmingham) Cornwall Street Chambers (Birmingham) Kings Chambers (Birmingham) Senate House Chambers (Northampton) St Mary’s Chambers (Nottingham)

1 2 3

COMMERCIAL, BANKING, INSOLVENCY AND CHANCERY LAW LEADING SILKS Mark Anderson QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Tremendously clever; a powerful advocate and a very polished courtroom performer.’ Richard Jones QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Highly regarded for his expertise in financial services cases.’ Avtar Khangure QC St Philips Chambers ‘An imposing advocate and a smooth operator.’ James Morgan QC St Philips Chambers A consummate courtroom performer.’ Edward Pepperall QC St Philips Chambers ‘His practice includes directors’ disqualifications, restrictive covenants and professional negligence matters.’ John Randall QC St Philips Chambers ‘His balanced advocacy style commands judges’ attention.’ Mohammed Zaman QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A top-class silk who commands respect in the courtroom.’ Stephen Beresford Ropewalk Chambers ‘Very thorough, knowledgeable and affable.’

LEADING JUNIORS Ian Bridge No5 Barristers Chambers ‘He is great with clients.’ Marc Brown St Philips Chambers ‘A good advocate with an analytical eye.’ Angus Burden No5 Barristers Chambers ‘His calm manner belies his fierce intellect and competitive spirit.’ Michelle Caney St Ives Chambers ‘Exceptionally hardworking and punches well above her year of call.’ Olivia Chaffin-Laird No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Highly experienced in financial disputes.’ Andrew Charman St Philips Chambers ‘Very bright and comfortable opposite silks.’ Simon Clegg St Philips Chambers ‘Very calm and client focused.’ Louise Corfield No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Recommended for contentious probate matters.’ Paul Dean No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Very experienced in commercial disputes.’ Omar Ensaff No5 Barristers Chambers ‘His practice includes directors’ disqualification disputes and insolvency matters.’ Amit Gupta St Philips Chambers ‘He is brilliant in front of a judge.’ Matthew Haynes St Ives Chambers ‘Noted for his expertise in contentious probate cases.’ David Mitchell No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Very experienced in traditional Chancery matters.’ Robert Mundy St Philips Chambers ‘Incredibly hardworking and very grounded.’ Shakil Najib No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A highly knowledgeable barrister.’ Jonathan Owen Ropewalk Chambers ‘He has a fantastic legal mind.’ Steven Reed No5 Barristers Chambers ‘He speaks the client’s language and is very experienced opposite silks.’ Ali Tabari St Philips Chambers ‘Very personable, nimble on his feet, concise and pragmatic.’ David Taylor No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A super brain.’ Tony Watkin St Ives Chambers ‘He is very user friendly.’ Yasmin Yasseri No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Recommended for shareholders’ disputes.’ No5 Barristers Chambers is ‘a very strong set’ for commercial, banking and insolvency, and Chancery matters; the team’s expertise covers high-value contested probate and Inheritance Act cases, proprietary estoppel matters and partnership, contractual, and company shareholder dispute, to name a few. In 2018 Angus Burden and Paul Dean joined from St Philips Chambers. Ropewalk Chambers houses Stephen Beresford and Jonathan Owen, whose expertise includes contractual, company and shareholder disputes, real estate litigation, professional negligence matters and insolvency cases. Recent work for St Ives Chambers commercial, banking, Chancery and insolvency team includes adverse possession, trespass, fraud and commercial litigation matters. In 2017

46 The Legal 500 West Midlands

Tony Watkin appeared in the Court of Appeal in a breach of confidence case following exam papers used by a local council being published online without their permission. In 2017 Helen Swaffield left to establish her own set Contract Law Chambers. St Philips Chambers has ‘depth and breadth’ in its commercial team, which handles instructions from across the spectrum of commercial, banking and Chancery law. The group is noted for its solid experience in insolvency matters as well as domestic and international commercial dispute resolution. In 2018 Matthew Weaver and Kate Rogers left to join Radcliffe Chambers while Angus Burden and Paul Dean moved to No5 Barristers Chambers

CONSTRUCTION, PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT LEADING SILKS Jeremy Cahill QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Well known for his expertise across the spectrum of planning law.’ Paul Cairnes QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A marvellous barrister.’ Anthony Crean QC Kings Chambers ‘A very innovative silk.’ Richard Kimblin QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘An enigmatic silk, whose technical knowledge and stealthy delivery make him perfect for complex cases.’ Martin Kingston QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Analytical, incisive and dynamic.’ Paul Tucker QC Kings Chambers ‘A tough cross-examiner.’ Christopher Young QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Highly experienced in representing housebuilders and developers in planning matters.’

LEADING JUNIORS Satnam Choongh No5 Barristers Chambers ‘His keen eye sees right through to the heart of a matter.’ Sarah Clover Kings Chambers ‘Very experienced in planning development and enforcement matters.’ Celina Colquhoun No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Unfazed by a challenging situation.’ Omar Ensaff No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A compelling advocate.’ Peter Goatley No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Noted for his experience in acting for housebuilders in planning cases.’ Gary Grant Kings Chambers ‘Very authoritative yet personable with clients.’ Timothy Jones No5 Barristers Chambers ‘He has impressive analytical abilities.’ Jonathan Mitchell Ropewalk Chambers ‘Very well known for his expertise in environmental and planning cases.’ Nina Pindham No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Extremely clever and empathetic.’ Hugh Richards No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A steadfast cross-examiner.’ Michael Rudd Kings Chambers ‘He has in-depth knowledge of planning law.’ Jack Smyth No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Very adept and knowledgeable.’ Viewed as an ‘excellent planning set’ by instructing parties, Kings Chambers is also well known for its expertise in construction and environmental law. Recent work highlights include Anthony Crean QC successful defence of a developer in a challenge to a planning permission grant for a development of 750 homes. Members of No5 Barristers Chambers handle a broad range of construction, planning and environmental matters. Infrastructure and development projects are prominent in the team’s workload; Paul Cairnes QC is acting for a developer in an appeal against the local planning authority’s decision to refuse planning permission for a major urban extension on greenfield land. Christopher Young QC took silk in 2018. Jonathan Mitchell is the name to note at Ropewalk Chambers for planning and environmental law matters; past cases for Mitchell include planning applications for renewable energy projects.

COSTS LEADING JUNIORS Andrew Hogan Ropewalk Chambers ‘He has a keen eye for the subtle nuances of a case.’ Paul Joseph No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A costs specialist.’ Andrew Lyons Ropewalk Chambers ‘Vigorous and good on his feet in court.’ No5 Barristers Chambers is home to Paul Joseph who is frequently instructed to represent the government in complex costs cases and has made appearances in the Senior Courts Cost Office. Ropewalk Chambers house Andrew Hogan and Andrew Lyons who handle instructions from costs organisations and solicitors across a broad range of costs matters.

“Efficient, personable and first-class service” Legal 500

St Ives Chambers is a multidisciplinary set with particular expertise in Family, Housing, Property, Chancery, Commercial, Regulatory and Criminal law, and is regarded for boasting some of the most renowned and experienced practitioners in the Midlands past and present. “St Ives Chambers is particularly well known for its family law expertise, which spans family finance, children and care matters…… other key areas include crime and regulatory, commercial, Chancery and banking matters…” Legal 500 “St Ives Chambers’ criminal practice handles equal amounts of prosecution and defence work, including serious sexual offences, murder, baby-shaking and multihanded conspiracy…” Legal 500

"The clerks are fantastic - they move heaven and earth for us. They have never let us down.” Chambers & Partners

“The St Ives Chambers family group is ‘one of the best in the region’, with ‘high calibre advocates’ handling family finance and children law.…” Chambers & Partners

“St Ives Chambers’ commercial team has a wide range of expertise across Chancery and commercial matters including fraud, contractual disputes, lender litigation and multi-handed conspiracies.” Legal 500 | +44 (0)121 236 0863 | @StIvesChambers St Ives Chambers, 1-3 Whittall Street, Birmingham, B4 6DH, DX: Fountain Court, Birmingham

WEST MIDLANDS COURT OF PROTECTION LEADING SILKS Nageena Khalique QC Serjeants' Inn Chambers ‘A silk who fights her client’s corner.’

LEADING JUNIORS Adreeja Chatterjee No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Very experienced in cases involving capacity issues.’ Abid Mahmood No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A distinguished advocate.’ No5 Barristers Chambers Court of Protection team act for a wide range of parties in cases involving deprivation of liberty safeguards, medical treatment, issues regarding capacity and financial matters, among other areas. Team head Nageena Khalique QV has left the set for Serjeants' Inn Chambers in London.

CRIME LEADING SILKS Richard Atkins QC St Philips Chambers ‘A born advocate.’ Phil Bradley QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Recent work includes multi-handed drugs conspiracies.’ Michael Burrows QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Very experienced in heavyweight criminal matters.’ David Crigman QC St Philips Chambers ‘Highly experienced in high-profile murder cases.’ Michael Duck QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A very user-friendly silk.’ Jonas Hankin QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A wonderful advocate with a fantastic grasp of pathology.’ William Harbage QC The 36 Group ‘He has a compelling presence in front of a jury.’ Peter Haynes QC} St Philips Chambers ‘Well known for appearing in cases involving international terrorism and war crimes.’ Michelle Heeley QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Prosecutes and defends in cases involving drugs conspiracies, sexual offences and homicide.’ Kevin Hegarty QC St Philips Chambers ‘A first-class silk with a wonderful brain; a joy to work with.’ Mark Heywood QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Highly recommended for a purview of serious criminal matters.’ Adrian Keeling QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Recent work includes multi-defendant fraud cases.’ John Lloyd-Jones QC The 36 Group ‘Defends and prosecutes across a range of serious criminal matters.’ David Mason QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A formidable advocate with a superb jury manner.’ Mary Prior QC The 36 Group ‘Very experienced in handling cases involving vulnerable witnesses.’ Andrew Smith QC St Philips Chambers ‘Past work includes cases involving murder and historic sexual offences.’

LEADING JUNIORS Jonathan Barker St Philips Chambers ‘His technical mind allows him to assimilate complex information quickly.’ Ian Bridge No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A very effective court advocate.’ Peter Cooper St Ives Chambers ‘He has exceptional legal knowledge.’ Scott Coughtrie St Ives Chambers ‘Past work includes murder and human trafficking cases.’ Simon Davis St Philips Chambers ‘He has experience in high-value fraud cases.’ Sarah Gaunt The 36 Group ‘Past work includes cybercrime, serious sexual offences and fraud cases.’ Naomi Gilchrist St Philips Chambers ‘She prepares well and is extremely client friendly.’ James Gray Drystone Chambers ‘Highly experienced in cases involving serious sexual offences.’ Claire Howell Drystone Chambers ‘Her broad practice includes murder, serious sexual offences and fraud.’ David Jackson St Ives Chambers ‘Recommended for a broad range of serious criminal matters.’ Justin Jarmola St Ives Chambers ‘Very experienced in cases involving multi-defendant drugs conspiracies.’ Jennifer Joseph St Philips Chambers ‘A high-performing junior.’ John McNally Drystone Chambers ‘Past work includes high-value fraud cases.’ Ben Mills St Philips Chambers ‘A marvellous advocate.’ Antonie Muller No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Very experienced in complex criminal cases.’ John O’Higgin No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Very intelligent, tactically astute and inspires confidence in his clients.’ Tim Pole No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Meticulous, with a great client manner.’ Philip Rule No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Highly regarded for his expertise in criminal appeals.’ Kevin Saunders St Ives Chambers ‘His practice includes cases of homicide, drugs

48 The Legal 500 West Midlands

conspiracies and serious sexual offences.’ Harpreet Singh Sandhu No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Recent work includes serious sexual offences, murder and drugs conspiracies cases.’ Rebecca Wade St Ives Chambers ‘She has extensive expertise in sexual offences cases.’ Julie Warburton The 36 Group ‘Recent work includes multidefendant human trafficking cases.’ Ben Williams St Philips Chambers ‘Self-assured and excellent on his feet.’ Members of London-based set Drystone Chambers hhandle cases of organised crime, historic and recent sexual offences, murder and fraud across the Midland Circuit. No5 Barristers Chambers criminal team has a wealth of expertise in prosecuting and defending across a range of heavyweight criminal matters, including high-profile murders, historic and recent serious sexual offences, high-value fraud, multi-handed drugs conspiracies and gang violence. Recent work includes acting in Operation Falkenbach, regarding a £80m money laundering conspiracy, and successfully prosecuting in R v Leroy Sterling, where the defendant was convicted of the murder of his ex-partner and the attempted murder of his ex-partner’s new boyfriend. In 2018 Alexander Stein moved to 2 Bedford Row.

John Lloyd-Jones QCThe 36 Group

Nageena Khalique QC-Serjeants’ Inn Chambers

St Ives Chambers criminal practice reports an uptick in largescale drugs conspiracies over the last 12 months; other recent work includes serious sexual offences, including cases of historic abuse, and homicide. Members of the team are acting in the ongoing Operation Emboss case, regarding two multi-handed conspiracies to import and supply cocaine into the United Kingdom. The criminal team at St Philips Chamber are instructed in, among other areas, cases of murder, corporate manslaughter, terrorism, human trafficking, serious sexual offences (including historic abuse), and drugs conspiracies. In 2017 Kevin Hegarty QC successfully prosecuted Sivan Amin, who murdered his former housemate in a knife attack. In 2018 Heidi Kubik QC took silk and was appointed to the circuit bench. London-based set the 36 Group houses members who practice across the Midland Circuit in cases involving cybercrime, human trafficking, homicide and serious sexual offences. In 2017 Mary Prior QC represented one of the defendants in R v Pendery and Crane regarding the murder of Carl Pask, who was beaten to death in his home.

Jeremy Weston QCSt Ives Chambers

Mark AndersonNo 5 Barristers.

EMPLOYMENT LEADING SILKS Edward Pepperall QC St Philips Chambers ‘A distinguished advocate who thinks well on his feet.’

LEADING JUNIORS Dr Mirza Ahmad St Philips Chambers ‘Recommended for unfair dismissals and restrictive covenants work.’ Helen Barney No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A fantastic advocate with a clear and focused cross-examination style.’ Edmund Beever St Philips Chambers ‘Unflappable and hardworking.’ Charles Crow No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Very personable with a fierce intellect.’ Sophie Garner St Philips Chambers ‘Very knowledgeable and accessible.’ Sarah George St Philips Chambers ‘She has a conscientious eye for detail.’ Jonathan Gidney St Philips Chambers ‘A barrister with gravitas, who commands clients’ respect.’ Jonathan Heard St Philips Chambers ‘Very experienced across the spectrum of employment law matters.’ Richard Hignett No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A devastatingly sharp blade in a velvet holster.’ Elizabeth Hodgetts St Philips Chambers ‘A formidable cross-examiner with a razor-sharp mind.’ Mugni Islam-Choudhur No5 Barristers Chambers ‘An energetic and persuasive advocate.’ Caroline Jennings No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Tough, bold, charming and up for a challenge.’ Nabila Mallick No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A very conscientious barrister.’ David Maxwell St Philips Chambers ‘Diligent, careful and considered.’ Andrew McGrath No5 Barristers Chambers ‘His practice includes restrictive covenants, TUPE and equal pay cases.’

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WEST MIDLANDS Jonathan Meichen St Philips Chambers ‘He has a sharp, analytical mind.’ Robert Mundy St Philips Chambers ‘Ferociously intelligent; he punches above his weight.’ Gemma Roberts No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Bright and pragmatic; a persuasive advocate.’ Tim Sheppard No5 Barristers Chambers ‘He has expertise in discrimination claims.’ John Small The 36 Group ‘Recommended for a broad range of employment law disputes.’ No5 Barristers Chambers has solid expertise in employment, with members active in cases involving unfair dismissal, restrictive covenants, whistleblowing and a wide range of discrimination claims. Kevin O’Donovan retired in 2017. Recent work for St Philips Chambers’ employment team includes cases of discrimination on grounds of sex, disability, race and religion, unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, restrictive covenants and TUPE. In 2018 Jonathan Heard joined from Queen Square Chambers and Tariq Sadiq moved to Temple Garden Chambers John Small at the 36 Group has expertise in discrimination claims and restrictive covenants work.

FAMILY & CHILDREN LAW LEADING SILKS Elizabeth Isaacs QC St Ives Chambers ‘Exceptionally clever; a strategic thinker who is willing to push the boundaries in her approach to cases.’ Elizabeth McGrath QC 3PB ‘Very well known for her expertise in financial remedy cases.’ Vanessa Meachin QC 3PB ‘A stellar advocate.’ Lorna Meyer QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘She has a forensic eye for detail and is always one step ahead.’ Stefano Nuvoloni QC No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Very experienced in serious sexual abuse cases involving children.’ William Tyler QC The 36 Group ‘He has extensive expertise in child law matters.’ Jeremy Weston QC St Ives Chambers ‘Highly recommended for complex public law children cases.’

LEADING JUNIORS Juliet Allen No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A passionate barrister who is unafraid of a fight.’ Helen Arthur No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Recommended for public law children work.’ Amanda Bewley St Mary's Chambers ‘She has particular expertise in acting for parents with mental health issues.’ Poonam Bhari 3PB ‘A family law specialist.’ Leisha Bond St Philips Chambers ‘Fearless in court.’ Timothy Bowe St Ives Chambers ‘Recommended for cases involving non-accidental injuries and sexual abuse.’ Kristina Brown No5 Barristers Chambers ‘She combines keen insight with an extraordinary work ethic.’ Nicholas Brown St Philips Chambers ‘He has great client empathy and fights their corner in court.’ Stephanie Brown No5 Barristers Chambers ‘She handles complex cases with ease and grace.’ Adreeja Chatterjee No5 Barristers Chambers ‘Very well known for handling forced marriage cases.’ Michelle Christie Senate House Chambers ‘She has encyclopaedic knowledge of children law.’ Judy Claxton St Mary's Chambers ‘Intelligent, reflective and practical.’ Victoria Clifford No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A real fighter, always prepared and very knowledgeable.’ Suzanne Coleclough 3PB ‘Very experienced in cases involving care and adoption proceedings.’ Kirstie Danton St Ives Chambers ‘A strident advocate and a fighter in court.’ Sara Davis St Mary's Chambers_ ‘Noted for her expertise in public law children work.’ Andrew Day St Ives Chambers ‘A level-headed and excellent cross-examiner.’ Michele Friel No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A force to be reckoned with.’ Kirsty Gallacher No5 Barristers Chambers ‘She remains calm under pressure.’ Orla Grant No 5 Barristers Chambers ‘Very experienced across a full spectrum of family law matters.’ Victoria Hodges St Mary's Chambers ‘A proficient cross-examiner.’ Gareth Jacques St Mary's Chambers ‘He has expertise in divorce cases involving the division of asset bases.’ Carolyn Jones St Philips Chambers ‘Direct, succinct and brave.’ Martin Kingerley The 36 Group ‘Recommended for surrogacy and assisted conception matters.’ Sara Lewis St Philips Chambers ‘A vigorous advocate in court; clients like her.’ Ben Mansfield The 36 Group ‘He handles a broad range of serious public law children cases.’ Matthew Maynard St Ives Chambers ‘He has a reassuring client manner.’ Lawrence Messling 3PB ‘He approaches cases with care and consideration.’ Hannah Mettam Senate House Chambers ‘A redoubtable advocate who inspires confidence in clients.’ Jayne Mullen St Ives Chambers ‘She has a brilliant legal brain.’ Maria Mulrennan St Mary's Chambers ‘An expert in public law children cases.’ Lianne Murphy Senate House Chambers ‘She has a first-class mind.’

50 The Legal 500 West Midlands

Jonathan Nosworthy St Philips Chambers ‘A formidable advocate with excellent knowledge of family law.’ Nigel Page St Mary's Chambers ‘An expert in financial remedies cases.’ David Payne St Ives Chambers ‘A thoughtful and thorough advocate.’ Gregory Rogers St Ives Chambers ‘Regularly acts in public law children cases.’ Daniel Sheridan Senate House Chambers ‘He has fantastic client care skills.’ Nicholas Starks St Ives Chambers ‘He has exceptional knowledge of matrimonial finance matters.’ Kathryn Taylor No5 Barristers Chambers ‘She has particular expertise in complex care cases.’ Anita Thind St Mary's Chambers ‘Well known for handling high-net-worth finance cases and public and private children law work.’ Kate Tompkins The 36 Group ‘Demonstrates particular expertise in post-family-breakdown disputes over child care arrangements.’ Elizabeth Walker St Philips Chambers ‘She has expertise across the range of public and private children law matters.’ Christopher Watson St Philips Chambers ‘An expert in child law matters.’ Ashley Wynne No5 Barristers Chambers ‘A superb family barrister.’

James MorganSt Philips Chamber

Mary PriorThe 36 Group

3PBs team has expertise across a broad range of family law matters, including matrimonial finance, international child abduction and relocation, as well as cases of fabricated and induced illnessesVanessa Meachin QC took silk in 2018. No5 Barristers Chambers’ ‘excellent’ family group has expertise in complex care cases with international elements, high-value matrimonial finance, serious physical and sexual abuse, fabricated/induced illnesses and child deaths.

Mohammed ZamanNo 5 Barristers

Senate House Chambers houses a ‘strong selection of barristers’ with solid expertise in public and private children law, including cases involving female genital mutilation, sexual abuse, non-accidental child injuries, as well as fabricated and induced illnesses. St Ives Chambers family practice has ‘great strength and depth’, with members active across the spectrum of family law matters. Recent cases include high-value financial remedy work, inter-generational sexual abuse, fabricated and induced illnesses, complex wardship matters, and serious non-accidental injuries. Elizabeth Isaacs QC is very well known for her expertise in surrogacy cases. In November 2017 Adem Muzaffer moved to 30 Park Place Chambers. St Mary's Chambers specialises solely in family law. The set’s traditional strength lies in public law children cases involving inter-generational sexual abuse, non-accidental injuries, domestic violence and mental health issues, alongside care and relocation matters. The group has also seen an uptick in high-net-worth matrimonial finance cases. St Philips Chambers is ‘a strong family set’, where members are instructed in public and private children law cases involving international child abduction and relocation, fabricated and induced illness, serious physical and sexual abuse, as well as child deaths, to name a few. Matrimonial finance is another core strength; Jonathan Nosworthy} is well known for handling financial remedy matters. In 2017 Sara Lewis joined from 9 St John Street and in 2018 Rosalyn Carter and Louise McCabe were appointed to the circuit and district benches, respectively. The 36 Group’s family team predominantly receive instructions in private law children work and care proceedings; members also have considerable experience in surrogacy and fertility cases. Recent work highlights saw multiple members of the set appearing in a care case involving the use of hair strand testing, following allegations that the mother was a user of cocaine.

Elizabeth_Isaacs QCSt Ives Chambers

Edward Pepperall- St Philips Chamber

Richard Jones QCN0 5 Barristers

William Harbage QCThe 36 Group

The Legal 500 West Midlands 51

2019 LEGAL




Entries are now open for the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards 2019. Firms and individuals practicing in Birmingham and surrounding areas are invited to submit nominations in one of the 12 award categories. In a change to previous years, we have refreshed some of the categories to make the awards more inclusive and more accurately reflect the legal sector. Please see below for a full list of award categories. Nominations will be judged by an experienced panel of independent judges, comprising leading figures from law, business and academia. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 14th March 2019 at The ICC.

TO SUBMIT A NOMINATION JUST FOLLOW THESE THREE EASY STEPS. STEP 1: • Please put forward just ONE name of an individual or practice in each of the categories below. Only firms and individuals practicing in Birmingham and surrounding areas are eligible to enter. • Consider the reputation, experience, acumen, professionalism, commitment to clients and others with whom both individuals or firms work, including involvement in the community, leadership and energy. • Please complete legibly and include your name/organisation. • Further copies of this form can be downloaded from Photocopied nomination forms will be accepted. To enter online go to www. • Nomination forms must be returned to Birmingham Law Society by Friday 30th November 2018. • The easiest way to enter is on the website using the online form: or entries by email to awards2019@birminghamlawsociety. or post to Rebecca Lynch, Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards, Suite 101 Cheltenham House, 14-16 Temple Street, Birmingham B2 5BG. • Further information on each award category can be found at

STEP 2: • Once all entries have been received, nominees will be contacted and asked to supply further detailed information to support their nomination.

STEP 3: • Short-listed nominees will be required to attend an interview with the judging panel between Monday 25th February 2019 and Thursday 28th February 2019. A date and time will be allocated in February 2019. (Due to a very tight schedule, please note the interview time allocated will be set and therefore no alterations to that allocated slot can be requested).

If you require further information please contact the office at email address: awards2019@ or Tel: 0121 227 8700


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• Birmingham Law Society Pro Bono Award • Excellence in client service – Business clients • Excellence in client service – Private clients

• Excellence in client service – Private clients • Law Firm of the Year (Sole Practitioners and firms up to 5 partners) • Law Firm of the Year (Regional) • Law Firm of the Year (National)

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