North East


Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.

Corporate/M&A - North East


Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle

What the team is known for Full-service corporate offering on behalf of private and publicly listed companies. Industry sector focus on technology, retail and real estate.

What's new? Formerly of Pinsent Masons, Shiv Sibal has joined the corporate group at the firm.

Work highlights Acted for Melrose on the £30.7 million sale of McKechnie Engineered Plastics to Rosti A/S.

Represented the shareholders of Energas and Engweld in the sale of both companies to Air Liquide.

Notable practitioners  

Jamie Pass recently acted for OpSec Security Group on the £12.8 million acquisition of Delta Labelling. He has considerable cross-border expertise in the USA and Germany.

Ben Butler assisted Vertu Motors with the £3.7 million acquisition of Springfield Cars. He acts for private and public companies across the gamut of corporate matters.

Nigel Williams has significant experience in a broad range of corporate and commercial matters. He is particularly adept at handling corporate acquisitions and dispositions on behalf of both public and private clients.

Newcastle-based corporate head Simon Watts led the team advising Melrose on the disposal of McKechnie Engineered Plastics.   

Significant clients Grainger, OpSec Security Group, Vertu Motors, NVM Private Equity, Stadium Group.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle

What the team is known for Broad corporate and commercial offering across a wide range of industry sectors. Particularly active in the leisure and construction market space.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "Thorough understanding of our business and a detailed understanding of corporate law as a whole."

Client service: "They don't charge the earth to do things, handle cases superbly and are extremely friendly."

Work highlights Acted for the shareholders of Intabet on the £1.5 million sale of the company to a plc.

Represented Templeman Trading in the acquisition of Automatic Retailing Vending.

Notable practitioners  

According to one client, John Nicholson "demonstrates a seemingly limitless knowledge of corporate transaction and always manages to get things done no matter how tight the deadline." Another client states: "He is very committed, never loses his cool and handles every situation extremely well."

Corporate head Paul Hughes is described by one client as "very pragmatic and knowledgeable on corporate transactions. He is able to simplify matters easily so that they are understood by individuals with limited legal expertise."

Significant clients Media Corporate, Northern Bear, Collectables, The Station Hotel (Newcastle), Metnor Group.

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle

What the team is known for Full-service mid-market corporate offering. Significant expertise in the motor retail, energy and pharmaceutical industry sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Solid base in commercial contracting and commercial finance."

Work highlights Acted for a subsidiary of Kitwave on the acquisition of Teatime Tasties.

Represented Universal Sealants in the UK aspects of RPM International's acquisition of Kirker Enterprise.

Notable practitioners  

One client describes Newcastle-based corporate head Robert Phillips as "a good, dynamic lawyer." The client continues: "He doesn't just advise on transactions but actually helps to identify them and to identify opportunities for businesses to communicate."

Describing work on a particular transaction, one client states that Craig Swinhoe "clearly knew what he was doing and went about it in a very professional and amicable way." Swinhoe recently assisted Universal Sealants on the acquisition of Pipeline & Drainage Manufacturing.

Andrew Davison acted for Utilitywise on the placing of ordinary shares and the company's admission to trading on AIM. He is described by sources as "an exceptional lawyer."

Nicola Jane Carrington Loose is described by clients as "very responsive, technically strong and focused on the key matters." She has significant experience in the care home and construction industry sectors.

Significant clients LF Europe, Quantum Pharmaceuticals, UK Land Estates (Partnership), Addison Motors, Express Engineering.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle

What the team is known for Broad corporate offering. Renowned for its expertise in advising on private equity transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They offer practical, commercial advice."

What's new? Amanda Maskery has been promoted to partner within the corporate team.

New client wins include Vattenfall Wind Power and Northcare.

Work highlights Acted for Impetus Waste Management on the acquisition of Holystone Waste Management.

Advised the shareholders of Techdrill on all aspects of the sale of the company to National Oilwell Varco.

Notable practitioners  

Matt Collen is described by sources as "pragmatic and commercial." He focuses his practice on private equity transactions including MBOs and investments.

Anthony Evans has particular experience within the life sciences sector. His clients include Reinnervate and Lantor. 

According to sources, Chris Welch is a "very smooth operator and a very pleasant man to deal with." He acted for Flexible Support Options Group on the sale of its shares to a care provider.

Significant clients Pyeroy Group, ECO Plastics, Northumbrian Water, Pickerings Lifts, Smith Electrical Vehicles.

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle

What the team is known for Mid-market corporate transactions in the private equity and venture capital market space. Strong corporate advisory practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They are increasingly taking market share in the SME market in the region."

Notable practitioners

Alan Fletcher is the key contact. 

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Teesside

What the team is known for Full-service corporate offering on behalf of SMEs, banks and business start-ups. Particularly active in the energy, waste management and leisure industry sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are extremely good at putting things in everyday language in a non-patronising way."

Notable practitioners  

Middlesbrough-based corporate head Paul Bury is particularly adept at dealing with complex, high-value corporate transactions. One client states: "He is very easy to get on with, always available and a joy to work with."

According to one client Joanna Smith "is very strong on the detail, extremely hard-working and very accessible." She commonly acts on corporate transactional, restructuring and finance work.

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle

What the team is known for Broad corporate offering with particular expertise in acting for owner-managed businesses within the private equity and capitals markets space.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Impressive and straightforward advice and a refreshing commercial business-oriented approach."

Bench strength: "There is great strength in depth. There are many people I am happy to speak with if my main contact is not available." 

Work highlights Acted for The Sage Group on the EUR20 million acquisition of a payment processing company.

Represented Tanfield Group in a £12 million share placing.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Thompson advised the shareholders of Gill & Robinson on the sale of shares to Kullik & Rullmann. He frequently acts for private companies and owner-managed businesses on a variety of transactions.

Katherine Hay-Heddle "is excellent and has a vast amount of experience in venture capital transactions," according to one client. Another client says: "She is a very good negotiator and is able to think very strategically and to take a top-down view."

Described by sources as a "very confident and calm adviser," Mike Spetch acted for Südzucker on its USD255 million purchase of shares in ED & F Man. 

According to one interviewee, Newcastle-based department head Martin Hulls is "always very impressive and very good at building client relationships and getting work." He frequently acts for a broad range of clients on private equity and M&A transactions.

Richard Butts is highly regarded by peers and clients alike. He advised AIM-listed Tanfield Group on its £12 million share placing.

Significant clients ASDA, Aesica Pharmaceuticals, Bluebell Telecom, NorthStar Ventures, Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Newcastle

What the team is known for Renowned venture capital practice, particularly within the technology market space. Significant expertise in the education and energy sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "I find Watson Burton very practical and commercially savvy, with a focus on getting the deal done."

Work highlights Assisted Wear Inns with a £10 million investment from Business Growth Fund and NVM Private Equity.

Acted for Federal Signal Corporation on UK aspects relating to the £68 million disposal of the Federal Signal Technologies Group.

Notable practitioners  

Gillian Hall leads the education subteam within the corporate practice group and has assisted on numerous academy conversions in the North of England, including St Cuthbert's RC High School.

According to one client, Newcastle-based department head Duncan Reid "is very quick to understand the nuances of the business and therefore understand the key drivers for both buyers and sellers." The client continues: "He is very commercially aware and focused on getting the best value for his client."

Significant clients WS Atkins, Bellway Group, NorthStar Ventures, University of Sunderland, IP Group.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Clients say Nick James of Hay & Kilner "comes across as a very good thinker and very considered in his advice and opinions. He is very thorough and great in front of clients."

According to clients, Nicholas Poole of Latimer Hinks "is very detail-oriented and very easy to deal with, and will tell you what you need to hear."

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.