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
- 9 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle upon Tyne

What the team is known for Top choice in the region thanks to its long-standing market reputation. In-depth experience of private equity transactions and public company takeover work. Transport, technology, property and chemicals are key specialist areas.

Work highlights Acted for Grainger on its £111 million sale to Walworth Investment Portfolio, a joint venture company it formed with Dorrington. The team also advised on the joint venture arrangements.

Advised Vertu Motors on its £31 million purchase of Albert Farnell, a leading Land Rover dealership in North England, and on its £50 million placing on AIM.

Notable practitioners  

Jamie Pass leads the firm's corporate practice and has a wealth of experience in dealing with corporate matters, ranging from M&A and joint ventures to fund-raisings and IPOs.

Esteemed corporate finance practitioner Nigel Williams specialises in transactions involving energy and manufacturing businesses. He is also adept in advising public and private companies on commercial matters.

Simon Watts is highly recommended by peers and clients for his extensive transactional experience. His practice covers a wide range of sectors, including transport, leisure, chemicals and property.

Ben Butler continues to build a strong reputation in the market, representing key clients such as Vertu Motors in their various transactions. He has particular experience in the automotive and energy sectors.

Significant clients Melrose, Sage Group, OpSec Security Group, NVM Private Equity, Stadium Group.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle upon Tyne

What the team is known for Lean and efficient corporate practice with wide-ranging transactional experience, especially relating to care homes, leisure and manufacturing. Acts for a strong public company client base, and has an increasing presence in the AIM market.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Very responsive and very helpful, and quick to find a solution." 

Work highlights Acted for Edgeman on its purchase of the Holiday Inn hotel in Seaton Burn.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Hughes heads the corporate practice and draws on over 20 years of experience in the corporate market. He is increasingly sought after for flotations on the PLUS primary market.

John Nicholson is a highly experienced corporate and commercial lawyer who "has an incredibly sharp memory, and is always spot-on and very dedicated," according to interviewees. He handles work ranging from start-ups and M&A to flotation and fund-raising.

Significant clients Northern Bear, The Station Hotel (Newcastle), Metnor Group, Popular Care, Solehawk.

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

What the team is known for Strong track record of transactions in the energy and renewables, pharmaceutical and automotive industries. Highly sought after by expanding businesses looking at strategic acquisitions. Also offers significant experience in private equity transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The work they do for us is outstanding. They're very client-focused and pragmatic, and we have a friendly, trusting and long-standing relationship with them."

"They supported us and we relied heavily on them. We felt it was a real team effort – we could contact them at any time and they are all specialised in their areas."

Work highlights Assisted Winn Solicitors with the sale of a 60% stake in the company by its shareholders and an investment by JZI as growth capital.

Acted for Kavli on its purchase of St. Helen's Farm and its investment into St. Helen's Farm Goats.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Phillips is noted by clients for his extensive experience and ability to "make sure the deal is where it needs to be." He is also praised for his leadership qualities as the head of the corporate group.

Andrew Davison focuses his corporate practice on the energy sector and heads the firm's energy group. He routinely assists clients with M&A transactions, joint ventures and IPOs.

Craig Swinhoe is an esteemed corporate finance lawyer who focuses on mid-market transactions for owner-managed businesses, in addition to company restructurings and shareholder issues.

Clients say Anthony Evans is "very insightful, particularly on spin-outs and start-ups - he just brings a broad knowledge to the deals we've been working on." He is especially experienced in technology and science-related transactions. He recently joined the firm from Sintons.

Significant clients LF Europe, Quantum Pharmaceutical, Moneygate, Express Engineering, Celtic Aerospace Ventures.

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

What the team is known for Widely recognised for its expertise in the healthcare industry. Represents a number of pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers in the sale and purchase of business assets. Increasing activity in the natural resource and waste sectors, and in commercial matters relating to sports and media.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The partners have good backup and expertise at a high level in our specific sector, and are easy to deal with."

"The group interacts well together, bringing in expertise from other departments to fulfil any demands."

Work highlights Represented DE Group in its £37 million acquisition of share capital of a pharmaceutical group of companies from Mawdsleys Investments.

Acted for a group of shareholders of Trinity Medical Properties on the £62.5 million sale of the company's entire issued share capital to Assura Group.

Notable practitioners  

Matt Collen receives widespread recognition from clients, who note: "He's very responsive, very technically strong, a calm adviser and very focused on getting the best value for his clients." He focuses on assisting offshore and manufacturing businesses.

Chris Welch is a "very dynamic and smart partner who is commercial and very good at project managing and keeping on top of things," according to interviewees. His corporate practice has an emphasis on the healthcare and leisure industries.

Newly promoted partner Adrian Dye impresses clients, who say: "He's very good at putting everything in everyday language." He has a broad corporate finance and private equity practice.

Significant clients Impetus Waste, Speedflex (Europe), Newcastle Rugby, Tynetec, Ladhar Group.

What the team is known for Quickly establishing a solid reputation in the market, focusing predominantly on corporate and commercial matters. Praised for its particular attention to client service and for the quality of its lawyers. Broad-ranging sector experience covers the energy, technology, healthcare, manufacturing and education industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent client service from client-centric, switched-on people in their corporate team."  

Notable practitioners  

James Bryce is establishing a strong reputation in the market and specialises in the energy sector. He has handled a range of corporate finance and governance matters, including wind farm developments and solar projects.

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

What the team is known for Full-service corporate and commercial offering, acting for a diverse range of national and regional clients. Particularly strong presence in the energy, waste management, sport and leisure, and franchising fields.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Performed very well; responsive, technically competent and supportive." 

Notable practitioners  

Paul Bury is one of the firm's founding partners and the head of its corporate practice. He can draw on more than two decades' experience in handling a range of transactions and is especially skilled in the education and healthcare sectors.  

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

What the team is known for Maintains an excellent reputation for private equity work, representing private equity houses and target companies. Offers additional expertise in corporate tax and notable strength in capital markets work, assisting clients with AIM flotations and fund-raising work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We get advice that we can rely on, and at the right time, which is the most critical driver for us."

"What is good about Ward Hadaway is that you get partner-led service."

Work highlights Acted for Total Capital Partners on its backing of the management buyout of Meter Provida from Fusion Group.

Advised Express Engineering on an investment made by private equity group LDC into the company.

Notable practitioners  

Martin Hulls leads the firm's corporate finance group and manages both the Manchester and Leeds offices. He is particularly noted for his expertise in private equity transactions and is described by a source as a "straight-speaking guy with good advice."

Robert Thompson is a highly respected corporate lawyer with a wealth of experience in representing private and owner-managed businesses in their various sales and purchases. He led the team assisting Creating Careers with its sale to Capita.

Richard Butts specialises in fund-raisings, flotations and M&A, and leads the capital markets practice. "He's very knowledgeable and detail-oriented, and always at the end of the telephone to offer advice when we need it," says an interviewee.

Katherine Hay-Heddle is a "very good, sensible commercial lawyer," according to clients, who also highlight her "tenacity and hard graft in dealing with the other side." Her practice has an emphasis on acquisitions and disposals of companies, particularly in the technology and healthcare sectors.

Mike Spetch has more than two decades of corporate M&A experience in the North East region. He acts for a range of clients on regional and cross-border transactions.

Significant clients Communisis, Aesica Pharmaceuticals, Technology Services Group, Growth Capital Partners, Northstar Ventures.

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

What the team is known for Esteemed corporate team with significant regional experience, particularly in the technology, leisure, energy and education sectors. Attracting new clients with a strengthened offering in the region.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They've been excellent - it's just the quality of service, responsiveness and depth of advice that they give."

"They have a common-sense approach to problem solving - I have fun working with them as they are very frank and have a really nice manner of doing business."

Work highlights Acted for WS Atkins on its £18 million sale of Atkins' Highway Services to Skanska UK.

Assisted The Lakes Distillery Company with setting up a new whisky distillery in Cumbria, the first in over 100 years.

Notable practitioners  

Duncan Reid earns plaudits for being "level-headed, quietly confident, experienced, really responsive and accessible. He goes above and beyond the call of duty." He heads the firm's corporate practice.

Senior partner Gillian Hall frequently represents clients regionally and nationally across a wide range of corporate matters. She is particularly experienced in the education and skills sector, and clients appreciate being able to "bounce ideas off her."

Associate Paul Wigham is singled out by clients, who say: "He's very commercially driven, very knowledgeable and confident, which works during negotiations."

Significant clients Utilitywise, Advanced Electronics, Bannatynes, East Coast Mainline, Federal Signal.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Nicholas Poole of Latimer Hinks has a broad corporate practice with an emphasis on the care home industry, as well as employment issues. He frequently assists SMEs with all corporate aspects of their businesses, including the acquisition and sale of assets and financing arrangements.

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.