Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.
This market-leading team handles top-level work across the full spectrum of partnership matters. It has a particular focus on M&A, and benefits from close ties with the firm's corporate, tax, real estate and competition groups. Internationally, the team advises a number of major law firms on mergers, sometimes representing both parties, and has expertise in consolidation deals, particularly in the real estate market. The firm also has a substantial contentious practice, and recently acted on a lengthy and complex High Court dispute arising from the exit of a team of partners from Mazars.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Partnership heavyweight William Wastie heads the firm's professional practices group and has a top reputation for his work both in the UK and internationally. He is also known for his expertise in partnership disputes, and recently advised on the £197 million merger of King Sturge with Jones Lang LaSalle.
Aster Crawshaw is active on a number of high-profile transactions, with recent highlights including advising on the merger between EC Harris and ARCADIS. As well as M&A, he has particular strength in LLP conversions, partner exits, and international structuring and governance matters.
Key associate Jonathan Cheney acts on partnership and LLP issues for a range of investment fund, surveying, consultancy and accountancy clients. He has a considerable contentious practice, which has included advising on partner exits and lateral hires.
Allen & Overy is a key name in partnership law, offering impressively broad expertise and market-leading advice in the field. The team has close ties with the firm's other departments, enabling clients to benefit from access to the historically strong corporate M&A group and financial regulatory experience. The team places particular emphasis on fund establishment work and regularly acts on high-profile matters involving complicated partnership law issues.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Non-contentious specialist Stephen Mathews combines work on partnerships and LLPs with a varied commercial and corporate finance practice. He has worked on both domestic and overseas matters, and has expertise in equity issues.
John Goodhall has particular experience in advising on asset management and investment funds, and is considered an authority on matters where this intersects with questions of partnership law.
This practice handles a broad range of contentious and non-contentious general partnership and LLP matters, including incorporations, acquisitions and disposals. It has particular expertise in social investment, charities and third sector work, and acts for a number of leading accountancy firms. Clients praise the firm for combining good value for money with a "contemporary outlook." Current clients include Social Impact Bond LP, Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund 11 LP and Third Sector Consortia Management LLP.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The well-respected Peter Bohm regularly acts on both non-contentious partnerships and disputes. He recently advised the Victoria Foundation on the acquisition of the business and assets of the New Victoria Hospital.
This construction practice stands out for offering cost-effective advice on using LPs and LLPs as fund vehicles. The team has experience in a wide range of partnership structures, refinancing and restructuring projects, and corporate insolvency legislation. Clients describe the practice as "commercial and responsive," praising its "effective" lawyers and transparent, consistent billing practice. Key clients include Kodak Pension Plan, Pearl Diver Capital and Blooms Properties Limited Partnerships.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Iain Redford is the key contact here.
This boutique firm is well established as a major player in the field of partnership and employment law. It advises on team moves, restrictive covenants and partner exits, and has specialist knowledge of discrimination claims. It is most active in the accountancy, financial services and legal sectors, where it represents a range of corporate and individual clients. Clients praise the firm as being "very responsive and proactive."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clare Murray has an excellent reputation for her partnership work, and particular strength in advising on discrimination issues. "She was very switched-on technically, very supportive and I felt in safe hands," noted one client.
Senior associate Susanne Foster is another key player in the team. She impresses with her work on complex partner discrimination litigation.
This construction offering advises on partnership structures, with particular emphasis on LLPs. Its clients include advertising agencies, equity members of law firms and the international executive search firm Lancor. The team is strong in acting on media-related and property funds and law firm partnerships, and also regularly advises on methods of restructuring and adjusting existing partnerships without triggering tax.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alon Domb heads the partnership team at Davenport Lyons and has a varied practice. He recently advised i2a LLP on a proposed new partnership deed and the departure of a member.
This firm has an excellent reputation for acting for partnerships and key individuals on departures, mergers, restructurings and contentious partnership matters. The team is active in the legal, real estate and financial sectors, acting for such clients as MJ Mapp, Eden Rock Capital Management and Greenwoods Solicitors. Recent work highlights include advising the partners of King Sturge on its £197 million merger with Jones Lang LaSalle, which made it the UK's largest real estate consultancy. The team is also praised for its responsiveness and top client service.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients describe Jonathan Haley as "approachable, easy to work with, and able to take a technical subject and put it into layman's terms." He advises on a range of high-value non-contentious partnership matters.
The highly regarded James Thorne is a consultant at the firm, and continues to provide invaluable advice to the team.
This firm handles a range of work for architects, quantity surveyors, accountants, solicitors and other professionals. The group advises on the full spectrum of partnership issues, from the preparation of partnership agreements, through issues relating to discrimination, personal liability and incorporation, to retirements, expulsions and dissolutions. Recently, the team acted for a US financial services client on the formation of a UK group structure, which included the incorporation and setting up of an LLP.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Nicholas Thompsell is the main point of contact here.
This boutique firm is widely recognised for its expertise in acting for both individual partners and professional partnerships. It regularly advises on matters relating to financial services, including private equity, hedge funds, venture capital and investment banks. The firm is also well established as a key player in the legal sector, and handles a number of complex and highly sensitive matters. Clients appreciate the lawyers' "very commercial" approach.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly regarded Ronnie Fox is praised by clients for being "tough when he needs to be but able to operate on different levels." He has a strong reputation for his work on both non-contentious partnership matters and disputes.
Anne Hughes impresses sources with her advice on contentious and non-contentious partnership issues, which covers a good balance of practical and legal concerns. She has particular expertise in advising on partner moves, and clients appreciate her ability to handle highly delicate confidential situations.
This substantial practice offers top-quality advice across the full spectrum of partnership matters, with particular emphasis on the legal services sector. The team has notable experience in advising foreign firms on establishing themselves in the UK, and acts for a number of major US law firms in London. It is also increasingly active in restructurings and alternative business solutions. The group frequently handles contentious matters, and has expertise in arbitration and litigation. Key clients include Clyde & Co, Smiths Gore, Stewarts Law and Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gavin Foggo is praised by clients as a "sensible" lawyer who "can be a tough litigator if he needs to be." According to sources, "he's not interested in wasting time or money, and tries to get to the crux of the matter very rapidly. He is commercial, has great judgement, and is very responsive."
"Impressive" contentious practitioner Tina Williams has an excellent reputation for her work on corporate matters. Interviewees say she "is extremely proficient, gains her clients' confidence quickly and understands business and commercial realities."
Associate Molly Ahmed is known for her "solid partnership knowledge" and impresses clients with her "hard-working, dedicated and tenacious" approach.
Another key associate at the firm, Daniel Sutherland offers in-depth understanding of regulatory issues relating to US law firms.
Herbert Smith is one of the biggest firms in the partnership law market, and impresses with the international scope of its practice. It stands out for its prowess in dealing with cross-jurisdictional legal, regulatory and tax matters, and has recently handled partnership matters involving Russia, France, Italy, Germany, the Cayman Islands, Scotland and Sub-Saharan Africa. The team has close ties with the firm's tax department, increasing the depth of its expertise and making it a top choice for a broad range of clients in the legal, health, transport and finance sectors. It is strong in both transactional matters and disputes, with recent highlights including advising on a high-profile hedge fund dispute arising from the departure of two partners.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alan Watts is a very well-respected litigator with extensive knowledge of partnership disputes between lawyers, accountants and hedge funds. He handles a number of complex and highly sensitive matters across a range of sectors.
This practice benefits from its connections with the firm's tax and employment groups, which enable it to provide strong advice on a range of partnership issues. The team places particular emphasis on medical partnerships, financial services, hedge funds and asset managers, and professional firms. It handles matters relating to the formation of LLPs, discrimination, tax, and professional and partnership disputes.
In February 2013, Howard Kennedy merged with Finers Stephens Innocent LLP and began trading as HowardKennedyFSI.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Robert Craig is particularly known for his work on contentious matters. His recent work highlights have included a complex mediation involving a key partner departing from a law firm, and the restructuring of a property LLP.
This highly regarded practice advises firms, individuals and teams in the professional services sector, with clients including property professionals, accountants, major law firms, and consulting, recruitment and marketing organisations. Key clients include Karmarama, Haywards LLP, the London Oncology Clinic and Valiance Advisers. The firm is praised as being "commercially oriented and practical," and for delivering "high-quality services on time and on budget." One client added that the lawyers "are able to interpret the tax elements precisely and incorporate them into their drafting. As a result we have developed a very close relationship, and they are undoubtedly my firm of choice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Contentious specialist Clive Greenwood has extensive experience in advising high-profile firms and individuals on a range of partnership disputes. His recent standout matters include advising a magic circle law firm on a complex and highly sensitive litigation.
Fergus Payne recently advised advertising agency Beattie McGuinness Bungay on the legal aspects of a conversion from a company to an LLP. Market sources praise him as being "efficient, accurate and always switched-on."
Miguel Pereira acts for a range of professional and commercial partnerships, and is currently advising a global IP firm and a hedge fund. "His subject knowledge and commercial acumen have been invaluable," say clients.
Linklaters maintains a market-leading position for its work on major commercial transactions. Its highly regarded lawyers and extensive experience of international mergers make it a go-to firm for clients seeking top-level advice on partnership structures. The practice acts for a range of high-profile organisations that are leaders in their fields, including Big Four accountancy firms.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Godden has a top reputation for his work on large international mergers. He is instructed by a range of investment banks, professional services organisations and corporate clients.
This firm has a well-regarded contentious practice, and is particularly active on disputes relating to partner departures. It also handles a range of regulation, compliance and internal structuring matters, and recently advised a well-known law firm on its expansion overseas. The team has notable experience in the financial services sector, acting for a number of FSA authorised individuals and fund and asset managers. It has recently acted for a number of major law firms, including Barlow Lyde & Gilbert.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Turnor is lauded as "one of the leading lights in partnership," and is "knowledgeable, statesmanlike and very approachable." He has recently advised an independent outsourcing consultancy business on structural and constitutional issues.
Penningtons' professional practices team has an excellent reputation for its work in the field. It advises on the full range of general partnership and LLP matters, including incorporation, restructuring, partner departures and insolvency. The team has strong capabilities in acting on both non-transactional matters and disputes, and extensive experience of arbitration and mediation. It is active in the healthcare, engineering, finance and professional services sectors, amongst others.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Noel McMichael is a key contact at the firm.
Since publication, Stephen Ralph has joined Keystone Law
This partnership offering is known for its strong work on both contentious and non-contentious matters. It acts for clients from a variety of sectors, including Newmarket Equine Hospital, Student Cribs LP and Belgravia Hamilton Arl, and also advises a number of individual partners and members of LLPs. The team offers specialist regulatory advice and has knowledge of Alternative Business Structures. Sources praise the firm's client care, and clients appreciate that the lawyers are "thorough, careful, diligent and very good."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Geraldine Elliott leads the commercial litigation group.
This private equity and partnership dispute resolution group is able to draw on expertise from a number of the firm's other departments, and is one of the biggest players in the market. The team includes specialists in large-scale international commercial litigation, arbitration, contentious private equity matters and partnership law. It advises individuals and organisations on high-value claims domestically and overseas, often liaising with the firm's finance, funds and tax group in order to provide comprehensive and nuanced advice. Clients instructing the firm include well-known hedge funds, banks and global investment management partnerships.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Hilton Mervis is the first port of call for clients.
This partnership practice operates within the firm's employment and business services team. It offers advice on every stage of the partnership process, from the tax issues and paperwork involved in the set-up to issues arising from terminations or departures, including any disputes. Clients consider the lawyers to be "excellent, very knowledgeable, experienced and supportive. They were decisive and spoke with conviction and authority, which gave me a lot of confidence." Sources say that the service provided by the team went "over and above the call of duty" and was good value for money.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The main contact is Clive Howard.
Well-respected "partnership guru
" Andrew Cromby
of Bracher Rawlins LLP earns high praise for his "sensible, practical
" approach. "He is technically very able and commercially sensitive, controlled, calm and smooth when he needs to be. The clients adore him,
" said one interviewee.
At Eversheds LLP, Paul Fontes
combines experience in advising on partnership matters with a varied employment law and financial institutions practice.
Contentious specialist Jo Keddie
of Winckworth Sherwood is lauded by clients for her "knowledge base and understanding of the law and our business
." She has particular expertise in advising on departures, profit sharing, team moves and age and sex discrimination claims.
The highly experienced Rachel Khiara
of Khiara Law LLP advises on a variety of professional practices matters, including commercial structuring and financing issues relating to the use of partnerships and LLPs. Her clients include Edge International and Sternberg Reed.
of Kingsley Napley LLP is described by sources as a future star of partnership law, and is "building a good reputation for herself and is ambitious on behalf of her clients
A new arrival at Keystone Law, Peter Garry
enjoys a considerable reputation for his work in the field. He regularly advises on contentious partnership matters and is known as a skilled negotiator.
recently joined Keystone Law from Penningtons Solicitors LLP. He is regularly handles sensitive and high-value claims relating to discrimination, and also regularly sits as an arbitrator.
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