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Bond Dickinson

Newcastle upon Tyne

Bond Dickinson - Newcastle upon Tyne
  • St Ann's Wharf
  • 112 Quayside
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Tyne & Wear
  • UK
  • NE1 3DX
  • Tel:(0844) 984 1500
  • Fax:(0844) 984 1501
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Managing Partner Jonathan Blair
  • Chairman Nick Page
  • Number of partners 146
  • Number of fee-earners 708
  • Total staff 1256

THE FIRM This newly created national firm is the trusted advisor to FTSE 350 companies, quasi-public and private sector organisations, charities and high-net worth individuals. The firm delivers wide-ranging expertise and focuses on key strategic sectors, including; chemicals and manufacturing, energy and natural resources, financial institutions, private wealth, real estate, retail and consumer goods, and transport and infrastructure. Bond Dickinson LLP was established on 1 May 2013 through the merger of two leading practices, Bond Pearce LLP and Dickinson Dees LLP. The new firm provides the scale and depth to offer significant commercial advantage for its diverse range of high-quality clients. By applying its deep sector knowledge and rigorous understanding of clients’ businesses and goals, it is able to work as a strategic ally, supplying excellent advice and innovative solutions. Bond Dickinson is one of the leading FTSE advisors outside London, advising in excess of 40 FTSE 350 companies, and many of the largest businesses in the country. The firm was named Best Legal Advisor for three years running in the Legal Week Client Satisfaction Report 2012, 2011 and 2010, based on what clients say matters in delivering great service. The firm’s flexible business model includes delivering the right work with the right teams at the right price, and it continues to develop and recruit high-calibre lawyers and teams. The newly created brand reflects the strategy, vision, values and personality of the firm. Bond Dickinson recognises the importance of supporting projects in its local communities; having an effective environmental policy; providing its employees with an excellent place to work, where they can enjoy and value what they do; and being a great organisation to do business with. Charities with which it works at a national level include The Prince’s Trust and the firm is a founder member of the Legal Sector Alliance, a movement of law firms and organisations committed to working collaboratively to take action on climate change by reducing their carbon footprint.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK Bond Dickinson provides all the services you would expect from a national law firm from Agriculture through to Waste, under four broad business groups; Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Real Estate and Private Wealth.
Corporate & Commercial: Bond Dickinson offers a substantial national corporate law service. The size, strength and geographical spread of the firm’s resources, enables them to make leading lawyers available to clients both nationally and internationally. This is a full service offering where corporate lawyers work alongside specialists in competition law, banking, insolvency, tax, pensions, or other areas relevant to the transaction, to address a full range of issues. Bond Dickinson’s teams are capable of handling very large and complex transactions, as well as more routine transactions. The Corporate and Commercial group’s work includes; corporate tax and company secretarial, pensions, banking and financial services, projects and procurement, technology, media and communications, restructuring and insolvency, and oil and gas.
Dispute Resolution: As one of the leading dispute resolution teams in the UK, Bond Dickinson has hundreds of specialist dispute lawyers who can respond quickly, proactively and appropriately to disputes when they arise. As a result of this strength, they are always able to take the right approach to their clients’ specific situations, ranging from obtaining an emergency injunction to resolving day-to-day contractual issues. The work of the Dispute Resolution group includes; employment, insurance claims, property litigation, commercial disputes, construction and engineering, regulatory, and environment.
Real Estate: The firm’s Real Estate group comprises over 200 lawyers across our nationally respected teams who provide their clients with integrated advice combining property, development, planning, regeneration, investment, environmental and construction expertise, energy and natural resources. The firm has specialist lawyers so they can best serve the complex matrix of relationships between landlords and tenants, agents, lenders, borrowers, developers and investors that makes up the real estate sector. Bond Dickinson also has a Scottish qualified team and so offer cross border support.
Private Wealth: The firm has one of the largest private wealth practices in the UK and is unique in the breadth of services that they are able to provide under one roof. With over 100 team members, they are unrivalled in their size and experience. The practice is divided into specialist teams of lawyers, independent financial advisers, tax experts and accountants who work closely together, covering all aspects of legal and financial issues that may be faced by individuals, trustees, charities and businesses. The group’s work includes; agriculture, farms and estates, private capital, charities, tax and trusts, and investment and pensions.

Other offices Aberdeen, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southampton, Tees Valley.

    Contacts
  • Agriculture, Farms & Estates Simon Kirkup
  • Banking & Finance 
  • Charities Emma Moody
  • Chemicals & Manufacturing Peter Snaith
  • Commercial Nick Barwood
  • Commercial Disputes Craig Monty
  • Construction & Engineering Simon Lewis
  • Corporate & Commercial Simon Watts
  • Corporate (inc Company Secretarial) Stephen Pierce
  •  Developers & Investors Tim Burbidge
  • Dispute Resolution Gareth Kagan
  • Employment Glenn Calvert
  • Energy & Natural Resources Simon Hughes
  • Finance & Investment Michael Brown
  • Financial Institutions Andrew Scott
  • Insurance Claims Gary Oldroyd
  • Investment & Pensions David Dale
  • Oil & Gas Paul Stockley
  • Onshore Stephen Dilley
  • Operational Property (& Retail) Fiona O’Kane
  • Pensions Martin Poore
  • Planning & Infrastructure Claire Brook
  • Private Capital Helen Tavroges
  • Private Wealth David Dale
  • Projects & Procurement Iain Greenshields
  • Property Litigation James Rees
  • Real Estate John Ralph
  • Regulatory & Environment Nathan Peacey
  • Residential Nigel Emmerson
  • Restructuring & Insolvency Julian Gill
  • Retail Gavin Matthews
  • Scotland Michael Spence
  • Tax/Trust & Accounting Allan Holmes
  • Technology, Media & Communications Julian Hamblin
  • Transport & Infrastructure David Rewcastle

Branches

Professional Negligence - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 47 other qualified practitioners

What the team is known for Regularly defends solicitors, barristers, architects and surveyors. Also acts for large insurers, accountants and brokers, and advises on policy and coverage issues.

What's new? In May 2013, Bond Pearce merged with Dickinson Dees, creating a combined firm with a greatly enhanced UK-wide practice.

Notable practitioners  

Gary Oldroyd heads the department.

Significant clients QBE, AIG, CNA, Beazley, Bar Mutual.

Banking & Finance - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Merged firm combining two regional heavyweights, Bond Pearce in the South and South West of England, and Dickinson Dees in the North East. Assists with corporate lending, acquisition finance, asset finance and property finance. Represents major banks such as HSBC and Lloyds TSB, as well as asset managers and private equity groups. Strong sector specific expertise in the energy sector, covering power, renewables and oil and gas, where the firm advises a number of key corporate clients. Ranked offices in Newcastle, Bristol and Southampton.

Notable practitioners  

John Ralph, Julian Kinsey and Graham Jeffries are key contacts at the firm.

Construction - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Noted contractor practice advising on contentious and non-contentious matters across its broad nationwide network of offices. Noted for particular strength in the education, energy and healthcare sectors. Regular clients include Skanska and Northumbrian Water. Ranked offices in Newcastle, Plymouth and Southampton.

Notable practitioners  

Simon Lewis is the key contact.

Litigation - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Formed from two leading regional litigation practices. Home to a commercial litigation team with particularly strong representation amongst retailers, pension funds, tech companies and clients in the transport, energy and heavy engineering sectors. Clients include Hutchison 3G, IBM, B&Q, Sainsbury's, Total, E.ON, Southern Railway and Northern Rock. Ranked offices in Bristol, Plymouth, Southampton and Newcastle. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
National capability: "The team has a scale of activity and quality which distinguishes it."

Notable practitioners Craig Monty in Newcastle and Stephen Lister in Bristol are key contacts.

Pensions - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Effective public sector and private sector specialists with strong coverage of the North East of England, as well as appeal to clients nationally. Wins work from top-name clients such as IBM, Procter & Gamble, Taylor Wimpey, Nike and the Hiscox Pension Scheme. Ranked offices in Newcastle and Leeds.

Notable practitioners

Martin Poore is a key contact,

Planning - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Planning practice with national coverage thanks to 2013 merger of Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees. Notably strong advising on compulsory purchase orders, for both acquirers and claimants. Additional expertise in major infrastructure projects, particularly in the energy and renewables sectors. Key clients include DONG Energy, E.ON and Hartlepool Borough Council. Ranked offices in Bristol and Newcastle.

Notable practitioners

Richard Guyatt and Claire Brook are the key contacts. 

Real Estate - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Merged firm of two regional heavyweights Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees. Advises key clients such as the BBC, EDF Energy and Royal Mail on real estate matters all over the country. Notable strength in the renewables sector. Ranked offices in Bristol, Leeds, Middlesborough, Newcastle, Plymouth and Southampton.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
National capability: "We are based in London, but we use them all over the country. They give us the best value for money."

Notable practitioners Key contacts are John Ralph and Fiona O'Kane.

Restructuring/Insolvency - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Superb national insolvency group with a sure footing in the domains of retail, hospitality and the automotive sector. Clients include the Insolvency Service, major banks such as Santander and RBS, and a host of national and regional insolvency practitioners and turnaround professionals. Ranked offices in Newcastle, Southampton and Bristol.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
National capability: "There has recently been a strengthening in terms of their national reach, and this also creates a bigger talent pool with wider access."

Notable practitioners Joanne Rumley in Bristol and John Pennie in Newcastle are key contacts.

Agriculture & Rural Affairs - North East

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle

What the team is known for Sizeable team that provides advice on a range of agricultural issues, including tax and trust planning, as well as landlord and tenant disputes. Particular strength in handling transactional matters, for which it represents public authorities and landowning organisations.

What's new? The firm itself is a new entity, created when Dickinson Dees and Bond Pearce merged in May 2013. 

Notable practitioners  

Simon Kirkup heads the department and, in the words of peers, is at "the top of his game." His workload encompasses a broad variety of agricultural matters, including landlord and tenant matters, farming partnerships, and the acquisition and disposal of land.

Significant clients National Trust, Grainger PLC, Church Commissioners

Banking & Finance - North East

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

What the team is known for Extensive banking team that represents all the major banks active in the North East. Also known for corporate borrower work and acting on behalf of third sector funding bodies. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: “They understand the bank's position and they can navigate between the bank and borrower.

Breadth of services: “They don't just look at corporate finance, they look at lots of different strands.

Bench strength: “The size of their team allows them to lay claim to a huge amount of work.

What's new? This year saw the merger of Dickinson Dees and Bond Pearce to form Bond Dickinson. The firm was also reappointed to RBS' panel this year.

Work highlights Acted for Grainger on a restatement of loan facilities of £120 million.

Advised Newcastle City council on its £18 million mezzanine development facility to Stephenson Hotel for the development of a hotel in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Notable practitioners 

John Ralph has a wealth of experience in property finance and is recognised for his pragmatic, commercial advice. According to clients: "He's at the top of his game, he knows the market and the market knows him – he's very experienced.

Associate Laura McNabb handles a wide variety of funding work including acquisition finance, development finance and invoice discounting. Sources report: “I like her, she's bubbly and pleasant to deal with. She's very positive in her attitude and she's a good communicator.

Significant clients HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Santander, Capital for Enterprise. 

Charities - North East

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 25 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle

What the team is known for Dominant North-Eastern practice that provides specialist charities advice to a range of independent schools, museums and mental health charities. Also assists clients with employment matters and pensions issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The service is always excellent, even at short notice. Someone always does their best to respond, even to unrealistic deadlines."

What's new? The firm itself is a new entity, created when Dickinson Dees and Bond Pearce merged in May 2013.

Work highlights Provided advice to the RC Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle in relation to its recent incorporation. The advice pertained to its registration with the Charity Commission and the transfer of assets.

Assisted Age UK North Tyneside as it established a Social Enterprise Vehicle.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Emma Moody is perceived to "excel when handling challenging cases" and is considered "an expert in charity governance." She was instrumental in the firm's work for RC Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle.

Significant clients Durham School, Mental Health Matters, Scope, The Belsay Trust, William Leech Foundation.

Construction - North East

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-regarded construction practice in the North East. Noted for its work in the education and energy sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team's friendly approach combined with its personable ethos is fantastic."

Technical ability: "The practice provides us with first-class legal technical advice."

What's new? Dickinson Dees and Bond Pearce merged in May 2013 to form Bond Dickinson, strengthening the firm's construction offering nationwide.

Notable practitioners 

Simon Lewis is a highly regarded construction lawyer who is noted by clients for providing "a friendly service," and deals with issues "efficiently and in a timely manner."

Nick Henderson is a key partner in contentious matters, and is described by a client as having a "very good understanding of probable outcomes and potential pitfalls."

Simon Rowland brings years of experience to his role as a key partner in the firm's non-contentious matters.

Significant clients Education Funding Agency, Skanska, Sabic Petrochemicals, Northumbrian Water, the National Trust.

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.

Employment - North East

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle-upon-Tyne 

What the team is known for A full-service approach with key expertise in public sector equal pay claims. Clients are drawn from a diverse range of sectors including social housing, education and manufacturing. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The knowledge, breadth of understanding and consideration of individual cases and circumstances are demonstrated at all times."

Pragmatic advice: "Unlike other legal advisers that sit on the fence, they go over to you and give you options. They tell you this is what you should do because of x, y and z."

Work highlights Continues to advise Darlington Borough Council on equal pay claims.

Supports Fabrick Housing Group in relation to a restructuring affecting employment terms and conditions across a number of departments.  

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Glenn Calvert is respected by peers and especially regarded for his work in the manufacturing sector. 

Claire-Jane Nicol "offers strategic support and is personable, direct and incredibly knowledgeable," according to clients. She is singled out for her ability to provide "options that benefit the business."

James Wilders is well known for his activity in the social housing sector. One client states that "he has always offered us very thoughtful and well-considered guidance and advice. He understands how we operate and the culture of our organisation very well."

Clients inform researchers that, when instructing Hilary Cranston, "attention to detail is always ensured and a thorough response is always guaranteed. She manages this with professionalism and always ensures that as clients we are treated with great respect." Her areas of expertise include corporate restructurings.

Significant clients IBM, Durham University, Sabic, Darlington Borough Council, Virgin Money.

Information Technology - North East

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

What the team is known for Highly capable non-contentious practice. Strong track record advising financial services and healthcare clients.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team is very amenable and flexible. We can give them work at short notice and they will go out of their way."

What's new? Bond Dickinson was formed by the merger between Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees in May 2013.

Work highlights Created an IT agreement for Non-Linear Dynamics in relation to cancer diagnosis and treatment software.

Advised the Health & Social Care Information Centre in the creation of a software development contract.

Notable practitioners  

Key partner Mark Pearce is based out of the Newcastle office.

Significant clients Citibank, Health & Social Care Information Centre, Non-Linear Dynamics.

Intellectual Property - North East

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Handles commercial agreements, licensing, trade marks, and both domestic and cross-border patent litigation. Particular sector strengths in life sciences, chemicals, IT and engineering, and a growing client base in the education sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They're very amenable and flexible. We can give them work at short notice and they will go out of their way to give advice."

Work highlights Continues to manage Badoo Media's international trade mark portfolio. 

Advised Fox International on a trade mark agreement with Matrix Innovations.

Continues to manage Nova International's trade mark portfolio.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Mark Pearce handles a range of contentious and non-contentious IP matters. He is the lead partner responsible for working with Badoo Media.

Significant clients CPI Innovation Services, Durham School, Northgate, Dupont Teijin Films, Hertel Technical Services.

Litigation - North East

Basic facts about the department

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

What the team is known for Outstanding handling of highly complex business disputes, with particular expertise in pensions litigation and contentious trust and probate matters. Noted expertise in the transport and pensions sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Absolutely excellent! The team is efficient, timely and pragmatic. They understand the commercial realities of our business. I can't speak highly enough about them."

Results-oriented: "Proactive, commercial and good at driving the litigation and trying to get a result."

What's new? In May 2013, Dickinson Dees merged with Bond Pearce, extending the team's geographical reach considerably.

Work highlights Acted for IBM on litigation stemming from the closure of the defined part of its pension plan.

Represented Addaction in litigation brought by Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust aimed at forcing the disclosure of the winning tender in a procurement process for the provision of a community drug treatment.

Notable practitioners  

The "fantastic" Craig Monty heads the team and led on the IBM matter. Clients reveal his ability to "see the bigger picture in terms of how to get a deal done."

Paul Stewart is noted for his handling of contractual and tortious disputes. He leads the firm's transport litigation team.

The highly experienced John Marshall is recognised for his expertise in commercial litigation, arbitration and mediation. Areas of excellence include professional negligence and shareholder disputes.

Joanna Bromhead is praised by sources for her meticulous and reliable approach to business litigation. She is particularly noted for her expertise in pensions litigation, and worked closely alongside Monty on the IBM matter.

Julien Proud handles financial services and professional negligence litigation. Market observers name him "a solid litigator."

Significant clients UKAR/NRAM, Southern Railway, Tioxide Europe, Lotte Chemicals, PD Teesport.

Planning - North East

Basic facts about the department
-Office locations ranked: Newcastle

What the team is known for Advises on contentious and non-contentious planning matters. Expertise in areas such as judicial reviews, compulsory purchase orders (CPOs), planning applications and the defence of planning enforcement actions.  

What's new? Dickinson Dees merged with Bond Pearce on 1 May 2013 to form Bond Dickinson.  

Work highlights Acted for Manydown on a judicial review of decisions made by Basingstoke District Council.  

Acted on behalf of MVW Environment Devonport on a planning application for an energy-from-waste and CHP facility, and on the subsequent judicial review proceedings against the permissions granted by Plymouth City Council.  

Notable practitioners  

Frank Orr is head of the Newcastle planning team. His practice spans the planning spectrum, but he is particularly noted for his knowledge of CPOs. Sources call him a "first-class planning lawyer – quiet and understated, yet very focused."

Significant clients Hartlepool Borough Council, Innovia, Bellway, Banks Group, Education Funding Agency.

Real Estate - North East

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle, Stockton on Tees 

What the team is known for Noted strength in the energy and chemical sectors, especially in the areas of renewables, gas and pipelines, and the sale of contaminated sites. Other specialist areas include free schools and academy conversions, advising house builders and working on local authority regeneration schemes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They listen actively, are flexible and care about building good working relations, and where special care and attention is necessary they deliver that with a smile."

Client service: "They are customer-focused, work closely with us and continually seek improvements."  

What's new? New client wins include the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and the Education Funding Agency Priority School Building Scheme.

Work highlights Advised EDF Energy on acquisitions and developments of sites in its portfolio of onshore wind farms in England. 

Notable practitioners

Barbara Painter is based in the Stockton on Tees office, and heads the commercial property team. She is described by a client as "hugely knowledgeable" and praised for having a "natural grasp and understanding of what you want to achieve."

Ian Ward has a "very strong reputation" and is described by market sources as a "good performer." He is heavily involved in public sector property matters. 

John Ralph is an expert in real estate finance, and leads the finance and investment team as part of the firm's real estate offering.

Significant clients Grainger, Bellway, Sembcorp Utilities, Sabic UK Petrochemicals, Teesside University.

Real Estate Litigation - North East

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Experienced in litigation matters relating to both commercial and residential properties. Particularly experienced in representing national-scale property management companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Clarity: "They always tailor their communications to the needs of the audience."

Work highlights Represented London Fire & Rescue Authority in the legal process related to removing telecoms equipment from various sites, so as to allow for redevelopment.

Represented OM Property Management in the collection of service charge arrears.

Notable practitioners  

Jen Smurthwaite has a broad property litigation practice with experience in handling commercial and residential issues. She was lead partner on the LFRA matter.

Charlotte McMurchie is praised for her communication skills and her ability to appreciate situations from the client's perspective. She regularly advises clients on residential and leasehold management.

Elspeth Moncrieff's practice focuses on commercial property issues. She regularly advises clients on landlord and tenant disputes.

Significant clients Grainger plc, Places for People Group, Fabrick Group, Bernicia Group, Southern Railway.

Restructuring/Insolvency - North East

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle

What the team is known for Remains a market leader in the North East with notable talent in the restructuring and insolvency arena. Experienced in a variety of mainstream insolvency and investigation matters. Also adept at handling turnaround work and disqualification cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "When I have something that is not the norm and requires a heavy legal hand and gravitas I will always go to them."

Market standing: "I have a lot of respect for them. In my view they are top of the tree."

What's new? In May 2013, Dickinson Dees and Bond Pearce merged to create Bond Dickinson, greatly improving the team's national reach.

Work highlights Advised Chorion on the voluntary liquidation of multiple companies during its turnaround proceedings, including advising on the payment of unsecured trade creditors.

Advised Grant Thornton, the liquidators to Land International and three other companies, in relation to recovery action against the directors for breach of duty, transactions at an undervalue and fraudulent trading.

Notable practitioners 

Julian Gill is well regarded for non-contentious work. He is particularly recognised for representing key bank clients. Sources "have a lot of respect for him as an insolvency lawyer" and describe him as a "very personable, creative and client-friendly adviser."

Sally Dallow is widely experienced in corporate and personal insolvency work. She is particularly noted for her specialism in director disqualification matters. Clients describe her as "top-notch" and "excellent on insolvency."

Peter Maxwell acts for a mixture of clients including insolvency practitioners, banks and directors. Clients highlight his technical knowledge as well as his "practical and knowledgeable" approach and problem-solving mentality.

John Pennie stands out in the market for his extensive experience and excellent technical ability. Clients report that "he engages well with clients, is articulate, well balanced and relaxed and offers valuable advice." Other market sources note that "he is one of the rocks: if you want sound advice quickly he is one of the guys you can go to."

Significant clients Lloyds TSB, KPMG, Grant Thornton, Leonard Curtis Business Recovery.

Pensions - North East & Yorkshire

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

What the team is known for Handles the full spectrum of pensions issues for an impressive array of clients in both the private and public sectors. Works closely with the firm's pensions litigation group to provide seamless service.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Members are approachable and friendly, and advice is tailored for us."

Technical ability: "The team is very thorough and robust in its advice."

Market standing: "They are well out in front on their own in Newcastle."

What's new? In May 2013, Dickinson Dees merged with South West law firm Bond Pearce to form Bond Dickinson.  

Work highlights Advised Procter & Gamble on the impact of the Finance Act 2011 on pensions taxation. This included advising on changes to the annual allowance for pension contributions and the new 'fixed protection' regime, which enables individuals to freeze their lifetime allowance at £1.8 million.

Advised Go-Ahead Group on a merger of its pension schemes and undertook an equalisation review of the transferring and the receiving schemes.

Notable practitioners  

Suzanne Duff is noted by sources for her stellar communication, management and analytical skills. She previously worked in-house at the Pensions Regulator, giving her valuable industry knowledge.

Tracy Walsh is head of the specialist public and voluntary sector unit within the department and acts for clients such as North Tyneside Council. One client states: "She's sensible, no-nonsense, and gives practical advice."

Practice head Martin Poore is praised as the "shepherd of the large team," "pulling that whole department together." He regularly assists clients with issues connected to scheme mergers, liability management and restructurings.

Paul Rosenzweig is a respected solicitor in the group. Commentators state that he is "excellent" and "very thorough and approachable."

Significant clients IBM, Procter & Gamble, Taylor Wimpey, Go-Ahead Group, Shepherd Building Group.

Private Client - North East & Yorkshire

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

What the team is known for Lauded for its general wealth management approach, and providing holistic tax, planning and investment advice. Caters to clients whose individual interests are connected to family or business assets.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They're on most people's list as the biggest firm and having the strongest depth in experience."

Locality: "They are a big regional firm and I am always happy referring clients to them."

What's new? In May 2013, Dickinson Dees merged with Bond Pearce. The firm can now offer a one-stop shop for clients across the UK while retaining its traditional dominance in the North East.

Notable practitioners

George Lyall remains a prominent private client lawyer in the North East. His practice is focused on partnership and family business matters as well as traditional work for wealthy individuals.

Social Housing - North East & Yorkshire

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

What the team is known for Full-service offering including housing management, transactional, employment and planning advice. Sought after for both contentious and non-contentious work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They understand us as an organisation, and report back in a way we can understand. They are pragmatic as they work out what is the best option for the business."

What's new? Bond Dickinson formed out of Dickinson Dees' merger with Bond Pearce in May 2013.

Accent Group is a significant panel win.

Work highlights Assisted Home Housing with the procurement of a £600 million facilities management contract.

Acted for Places for People on its application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal for outstanding service charges.

Notable practitioners  

Nigel Emmerson heads the department.

Significant clients Isos Housing Group, Fabrick Housing Group, Gentoo Group, North Lincolnshire Homes, Vela Housing Group.

Energy & Natural Resources - Scotland

What the team is known for Busy in North Sea oil and gas projects. Experienced in field developments, major corporate and asset divestments, and operational service contracts.

What's new? Former Maclay Murray & Spens head of oil and gas, Uisdean Vass, and oil and gas partner Richard Cockburn have joined the team accompanied by two other former MMS peers.

Work highlights Represented Noble Energy in the divestment of its assets located within the Dutch sector of the North Sea and the UK continental shelf. Also handled the associated complex corporate restructuring of Noble Energy.

Represented North Sea Energy in a dispute and High Court case relating to its interest in the Jacky Field.

Notable practitioners   

Uisdean Vass has a significant reputation in the energy and projects market as former head of oil & gas at Maclay Murray & Spens. His arrival at Bond Dickinson substantially boosts the firm's energy offering.

Significant clients Endeavour Energy UK, Marathon Oil, EOG Resources, E.ON UK E&P, Total E&P UK.

Since publication, Kenneth Paton has joined Webber Wentzel

Banking & Finance - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Excellent track record in the renewables and oil and gas sectors. Covers the full spectrum of banking and finance issues, and continues to see expansion in regional lending work.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Regional capability: "In the wider South West region I would single them out as very good. They are one of the best in the South West. A very strong team."

Client service: "Their main strengths: they are very responsive, work to a tight timetable, commercial, and knowledgeable across a number of spectrums. The type of legal advice we want, they are able to provide all of that; a one-stop shop."  

What's new? In May 2013 Bond Pearce merged with North East powerhouse Dickinson Dees to become Bond Dickinson.

Kiron Farooki, a financial institutions and regulatory specialist, has joined the team from Royal Mail.

Work highlights Advised Piper Private Equity on its £16 million investment in the Loungers bars and restaurants.

Advised Banks Renewables regarding its funding agreement with The Co-operative Bank, to fund the construction of two wind farms.

Notable practitioners  

Julian Kinsey leads the firm's banking and finance team.  He is hugely experienced and highly respected by sources, who appreciate his "pragmatic approach to getting a deal done."

Clients report that Philip Withey "is very responsive, commercial and knowledgeable." His practice covers acquisition, project and asset finance, and he has been leading the team on the aforementioned matters for Piper Private Equity.

Significant clients Lloyds TSB, HSBC, Santander, PSA Finance.

Banking Litigation - South West

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

What the team is known for A strong presence in the region with a robust financial litigation department. Advises on a variety of issues including recoveries, fraud and Law of Property Act receivership work.

What's new? In May 2013, Bond Pearce merged with Dickinson Dees to form Bond Dickinson.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Gareth Kagan is described by sources as a "very respected and capable operator." He has broad experience handling commercial disputes, particularly those with banking elements.  

Significant clients Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, Peninsula Finance, GMAC UK, Handelsbanken, Friends Life.

Construction - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Ranked office locations: Plymouth

What the team is known for A team with an outstanding reputation, it's noted for its focus on energy and renewables.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "A very positive impression of the team in terms of approachability, professionalism and all-round service."

Work highlights Advised Ageas on contracts and guarantees for a number of developments.

Notable practitioners 

David Skelton is praised by a client for "going above and beyond" and being "very knowledgeable in construction issues." He leads on a number of contentious and non-contentious matters.

Senior associate Michelle Essen is involved in several of the practice's non-contentious matters.

Significant clients Royal Mail, HSBC, CLC Group, Coopervision Manufacturing.

Corporate/M&A - South West

Basic facts about the department 

- 6 partners (5 Bristol, 1 Plymouth) 
- 16 other qualified lawyers (11 Bristol, 5 Plymouth)
- Office locations ranked: Bristol, Plymouth

What the team is known for Particularly active in the oil and gas sector. Also frequently instructed by private equity clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Excellent customer service, extremely fast response time, clear and concise communication."

Responsiveness: "They are attentive and commercially focused. They understand our business and the way we work and ensure that their advice is tailored appropriately."

What's new? Bond Pearce merged with Dickinson Dees in 2013.

Work highlights Acted on the £80 million sale of North Sea oil and gas interests by Noble Energy to Maersk.

Acted for Superior Group on the sale of Fine Tubes to the Watermill Group.

Notable practitioners

Head of South West corporate finance Simon Hewes acts for clients including Piper Private Equity. Peers say he is a "great lawyer."

Senior associate Charmian Leatt acted for April International on its acquisition of Medicare International, a provider of health insurance to expatriates.

Dean Drew is described by peers as "a sensible guy, good to work with." He heads the Exeter team and acts on a range of M&A and sales.

Significant clients Airsprung Group, British International, MND Group, Royal Mail, Eden Project.

Employment - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Offices locations ranked: Bristol 

What the team is known for Remains strong in the retail sector and in advising clients operating in the financial services industry. Expanding on the business immigration side.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They are very effective and have a tailored, responsive service."

What's new? Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees merged to become Bond Dickinson in May 2013.

Work highlights Advises Sainsbury's on a range of claims, from whistle-blowing and discrimination to unfair dismissal.

Advised Sonus Networks on the USD42 million acquisition of NET Europe and on TUPE rules affecting the transfer of assets.

Notable practitioners  

Tim Woodward has a wide range of experience in employment law. Peers rate him as being a "very sensible" lawyer who "works hard for his clients."

Joanne Boyle has significant experience in handling complex litigation and insolvency matters. Clients comment that "her responses are excellent and she is always available at any time."

Kate Newman has been promoted to senior associate. She handles employment litigation and the employment aspects of corporate transactions.

Significant clients Post Office, Specsavers, H Samuel/Ernest Jones, Hydro, Royal Mail.

Environment - South West

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Bristol 

What the team is known for Nationally recognised environment team handling transactional, contaminated land, waste and regulatory work. Also has a capacity for contentious environment work, including defence of EA prosecutions.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Very down-to-earth people who bridge the gap between the legal profession and non-legal business customers very well."

What's new? Bond Pearce merged with Dickinson Dees on 1 May 2013 to create the firm Bond Dickinson.

Notable practitioners 

Georgie Messent is an environment and climate change lawyer who offers advice on a broad spectrum of matters. According to sources, she is a "common-sense, pragmatic, well-resourced lawyer."

John Houghton advises clients on planning and environment matters. Sources describe him as "a calm and reassuring presence." 

Significant clients Wales & West Utilities, RES UK & Ireland, SITA UK.

Information Technology - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Broad technology group with a superb client list. Particularly strong with contracts for retailers.

What's new? In May 2013, Bond Pearce merged with Dickinson Dees to become Bond Dickinson. 

Work highlights Part of an interdepartmental team advising the Post Office on a major front-office services agreement with the DVLA involving biometric data capture hardware.

Advised Old Mutual on IT separation aspects of the disposal of businesses in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Notable practitioners

Gareth Jones heads the commercial and IT practices in Bristol. He is particularly sought after by public sector organisations embarking on major infrastructure and procurement projects.

Significant clients AIG, The Crown Estate, Kingfisher, New Look Retailers Group, Royal Mail Group.  

Intellectual Property - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol, Plymouth 

What the team is known for Capacity to help clients with a full range of IP matters, including trade mark infringement, franchising and licensing. Noted for its close relationship with the retail sector.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "Their ability to make members of the team available on short notice during the difficult period of innovation and product launch is an invaluable support to both the legal team and wider business."

Efficiency: "A high-quality, prompt, hassle-free service."

What's new? The arrival of new partner Kim Walker strengthens the team's international franchising and expertise in the retail sector.

Bond Pearce merged with Dickinson Dees in 2013 resulting in a boosted contentious IP offering with greater geographical reach.

Work highlights Advised Royal Mail Group on the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics series of commemorative gold medal winners stamps, each produced within 24 hours of the medal win.

Acted for Carlsberg UK in connection with a trade mark infringement claim.

Notable practitioners  

Dual-qualified as a solicitor and a trade mark attorney, Clare Jackman heads up the firm's trade mark practice and was recently involved in the firm's work for Centrica.

Andrew Allan-Jones heads the IP team and concentrates his practice on helping clients with contentious matters. He is described by clients as "calm under pressure" and as a "fount of industry knowledge."

Significant clients Royal Mail Group, B&Q, Carlsberg, Marks & Spencer.

Licensing - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified practitioners
- Office locations ranked: Bristol  

What the team is known for Represents numerous national players in the retail, leisure and hospitality, and gambling sectors. Also noted for the coordination of traditional licensing services with assistance in the acquisition or disposal of licensed premises and for innovative client services such as the extranet application, allowing clients to view licences online. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: Commentators highlight the team's ability to combine licensing and transactional expertise.

Industry knowledge: The practice is particularly praised as a go-to outfit for gambling matters.

Work highlights Acted for Marks & Spencer with regard to over 2,400 applications for extended hours in which to sell alcohol on eight 'Olympic Sundays' during the summer of 2012.

Assisted Coral Racing in securing a licence for premises within a Westminster City Council 'stress area' in the face of considerable local opposition.   

Notable practitioners

Ewen Macgregor attracts high praise as he takes over leadership of the licensing and gambling practice. Sources observe that his previous in-house experience means that he is "steeped in the gambling industry," characterising him further as a "charming and knowledgeable operator" who will remain "one to watch.

Significant clients Gala Bingo & Casinos, Hilton Corporation, Accor Hotels, Ambassador Theatres, Welcome Break.

Litigation - South West

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Bristol, Plymouth

What the team is known for Continues to specialise in complex, high-value disputes. National and international focus. Expertise in the financial services, retail and energy.

Work highlights Advising the Pension Protection Fund on the recovery of unpaid pension protection levies, and recovering more than £2.6 million to date.

Obtained an injunction for Norway-owned Statkraft Wind UK against a UK landowner to prevent him interfering with the company's employees or agents.

Notable practitioners  

Plymouth team head Gareth Kagan maintains a wide-ranging practice, and is sought for his in commercial and finance-related claims, as well as fraud and asset recovery.

Stephen Dilley in Plymouth focuses on financial services, insolvency and general commercial litigation, including shareholder, fraud and professional negligence disputes.

Bristol department head Stephen Lister advises businesses in the manufacturing, logistics, energy and financial services sectors. One client says that he is "very attentive, knowledgeable and articulate. He always clearly explains the legal jargon and is always available."

Significant clients Post Office, Renewable Energy Assurance, Pension Protection Fund, Friends Life, British Gas.

Planning - South West

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

What the team is known for Particularly noted for planning work on large developments in the energy sector. Strong track record on infrastructure projects and draws on the firm's national reputation to attract major clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market knowledge: "They have good knowledge and experience."

What's new? Kevin Gibbs joins the firm from DAC Beachcroft.

Work highlights Acted for Eneco Round 3 Development on the £4 billion development of an offshore wind farm with a target capacity of 1,200 MW. 

Acted on the £100 million development of a waste-to-energy plant for SITA Cornwall.

Notable practitioners

John Houghton acts for energy sector clients such as E.ON on major renewables projects.

Jonathan Bower acts on regeneration projects for clients including Reading Borough Council.

Head of planning Richard Guyatt's clients include North Blyth Energy. Clients praise his "good knowledge" of planning matters.

While at DAC Beachcroft, Kevin Gibbs acted for key clients such as Galliford Try. He specialises in regeneration projects.

Significant clients DONG Energy, RWE npower, West Berkshire District Council, Veolia, Gamesa.

Professional Negligence - South West

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

What the team is known for Focuses on legal negligence claims involving solicitors. Distinguished client base of UK and international corporates.

What's new? In May 2013, Bond Pearce merged with Dickinson Dees to create a combined firm with a substantially improved national platform.

Notable practitioners  

Gary Oldroyd has a very strong practice; he specialises in policy disputes. He is admired by peers, who state that "he is straightforward, well organised, and gets on well with clients."

Ian Peacock has many years' experience in professional negligence litigation and often handles matters that have a commercial or corporate element. He has been described as a "sensible" opponent who is "always willing to listen to client ideas."

Robert Pope advises a number of high-profile professionals as well as acting for insurance companies. He often deals with coverage issues and all types of professional negligence claims.

Significant clients AIG, QBE, Capita, Allianz, RSA.

Real Estate - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners (3 Bristol, 2 Plymouth) 
- 22 other qualified lawyers (16 Bristol, 6 Plymouth)
- Office locations ranked: Bristol, Plymouth

What the team is known for Particularly noted in the renewable energy sector. Advises high-profile investors and land owners on portfolio management matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Quality commercial and practical advice every time. They truly put themselves in their client's shoes. The client service is exceptional – no task or request is too small."

Technical ability: "Superb; I can't fault them. They are approachable, knowledgeable, efficient and effective."

Work highlights Acted for DONG Energy on the £100 million-plus expansion of its Burbo Bank wind farm, negotiating the onshore land agreements required to connect the turbines to the National Grid.

Acted on the assignment and transfer out of administration of over 300 Game Group retail stores.

Notable practitioners 

Nigel Theyer specialises in development and investment work. He advised Princess Yachts International on the acquisition of land in the Devonport Royal Dockyard.

Craig Moore heads the department and regularly leads on key real estate finance matters. His clients include Bath Row Developments. 

Associate Nikki Cobb is described by one client as "very nice, very efficient and very precise; you get replies from her very quickly."

Significant clients Royal Mail Group, Centrica, Renewable Energy Systems, Flybe, Babcock.

Real Estate Litigation - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol 

What the team is known for Advises on the full range of contentious property issues. Works in close collaboration with the firm's experts based in offices around the country. Specialisms include planning disputes, issues under the Electronic Communications Code, town and village greens, and contentious rating appeals. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They have provided an excellent service."

What's new? Bond Pearce merged with Dickinson Dees to form Bond Dickinson in May 2013.

Work highlights Acted for SITA Cornwall on a successful appeal of a High Court ruling in which planning permission for a waste incinerator in Cornwall had been refused.

Notable practitioners  

James Rees is head of the firm's property litigation group. He advises on all types of commercial property disputes, with particular expertise in rights to light, dilapidations and contested rating matters.

Patrick Wetherall heads the Bristol property litigation team and is described by commentators as "very proficient." As well as traditional property litigation, he regularly handles planning disputes. 

Significant clients BBC, Carslberg-Tetley, English Heritage, Freightliner, Gala Coral.

Restructuring/Insolvency - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Acts on a mix of complex restructuring and formal insolvency assignments. Additional strength acting for companies focused on the distressed debt market and businesses facing insolvency issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "We have always received the highest quality of service from this firm, and we rate it very highly."

Visibility: Peers acknowledge the strength of the firm's relationships with large international accountancy practices.

What's new? Appointed to the Bank of Ireland panel.

Work highlights Advised Mazars on the special administration of Pritchard Stockbrokers, which required advice on client money rules, issues with tax and stock and an application to prevent disclosure of employee information.

Advised KPMG on the administration of Rolls-Royce supplier Thomson Aero on the sale of £2.135 million in assets, as well as lease issues and a complex trade funding agreement.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Joanne Rumley "is quite a force to be reckoned with," sources say. Described as "one of the best insolvency lawyers in the South West," clients remark that she is "tough and direct, as well as commercially astute and practical," as well as particularly "good at lateral and creative solutions."

Associate to watch Tim Pritchard is recognised as "very solid technically" and is a valuable asset to the team. He works closely with Joanne Rumley on the practice's significant mandates.

Significant clients Lloyds Banking Group, Deloitte, KPMG, BDO, Grant Thornton.

Tax - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 3 qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Rounded tax practice. Well known for restructurings and for work in the energy sector, especially renewable sources such as wind farming and solar power.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They're friendly, welcoming and engaging. They work on your needs and keep you feeling like you're a part of the decision."

Work highlights Acted for Superior Group on the sale of Fine Tubes as part of a multi-jurisdictional restructuring, handling matters including employee incentives, working capital-based price adjustments, capital contributions and negotiations.

Notable practitioners 

Senior associate Ronan Lowney is head of the corporate tax group and is well respected by peers and clients for his "clear and coherent advice," and for his quick rapport with those he works with. He acts on a range of corporate tax transactions, and is known for his diligent focus.

Carol Tricks is appreciated by clients for her responsiveness and good client relationships. She specialises in Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) and shareholder options, and has a strong background in corporate law.

Significant clients Noble Energy, Piper Private Equity, Royal Mail Group.

Environment - The North

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

What the team is known for Strong base of blue-chip clients in the manufacturing and chemical sectors. Advises on contentious and non-contentious matters and regulatory issues such as REACH.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Visibility: "They are the kings in the North East." 

Market standing: "A good team with a well-deserved market reputation."

What's new? Dickinson Dees merged with Bond Pearce on 1 May 2013 to create Bond Dickinson.

Notable practitioners 

Claire Brook is a planning and environment partner with expertise in the energy, chemical and waste sectors. Market observers note her "efficiency" and "strength of character."

Stuart Wardlaw heads the firm's environment team and advises on a range of matters, including criminal and civil litigation, regulatory issues and due diligence. Sources say: "He thinks of things in a lateral way and spots things that others won't."

Significant clients Bellway, Fine Organics, Innovia Films, Lotte Chemicals, Chemoxy International.

Banking & Finance - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Southampton

What the team is known for A high-quality banking and finance department with the capacity to handle the most complex transactions in a wide spectrum of areas, including structured finance, refinancing, property finance and asset finance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
 Overall quality: "We really like the team. There is nothing to improve - it is an excellent regional firm." 

What's new? May 2013 merger between Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees has seen the creation of a major new player in the UK legal market, adding truly nationwide scope to an already respected offering.

Work highlights Acted for REG Windpower on the refinancing of its domestic onshore wind farm portfolio.

Notable practitioners  

Graham Jeffries is the lead banking and finance partner in the firm's Southampton office. Sources attest that he is "very professional and an expert in the field," and note that he is "incredibly down to earth and approachable" and is "always looking at the commercial aspects."

Sophie Eales is a highly rated senior associate who receives warm praise from market observers. Interviewees relate that she is "very commercial and very much on the ball."

Significant clients Chemring Group, REG Windpower, HSBC, Lloyds TSB.

Construction - The South

Basic facts about the department

-3 partners
-15 other qualified lawyers
- Ranked office locations: Southampton

What the team is known for A powerhouse in the field. Acts for a wide range of clients, including developers, contractors and insurers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The performance is exemplary – the team always make themselves available to facilitate projects at short notice."

Work highlights Instructed by Rockspring UK Value Fund on the redevelopment of Blaydon town centre.

Advised Intermediate Media on the fit out and pre-let of its new headquarters in London.

Notable practitioners

Senior associate Ben Willis is praised by clients for having "the ability to quickly grasp the matter at hand." He is leading several key transactional matters.

Corporate/M&A - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Southampton

What the team is known for Full-service corporate offering advising both public and private companies. Notable strength in the energy sector. Significant experience in representing clients in private equity transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They have extensive and up-to-date knowledge of the issues in our industry, and offer pragmatic solutions with the legal advice they provide."

Work highlights Advised Chemring Group on the £32 million sale of its marine distress pyrotechnic division to Drew Marine.

Represented RES Group on the sale of the Black Hill wind farm project.

Notable practitioners  

Sources say that Sebastian Briggs "offers an exceptional level of experience and sound advice for our transactions. He is personable and professional, and finds practical solutions to the issues we face."

Stephen Pierce is a key part of the group. He led the team on the Chemring Group division sale.

Clients enjoy working with Ian Holden. One commentator remarked: "He is very proactive, understands my needs and is a good communicator." 

Significant clients Renewable Energy Systems, Transdev, Kingfisher, NICE Systems, E.ON.

Employment - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Southampton 

What the team is known for Maintains a strong reputation within the retail and education sectors. Also known for its work on restrictive covenant litigation for high-profile clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "A large firm that rightly stands in the top tier."

What's new? Bond Pearce's recent merger with Dickinson Dees is expected to have a considerable impact on the number of new clients advised by the team.

Work highlights Acted for several defendants in a claim brought by City Electrical Factors for an injunction to enforce non-solicitation of employees and non-compete covenants.

Advised Condor Group on the employment aspects of the closure of its logistics business.

Notable practitioners  

Christina Tolvas-Vincent is renowned for her expertise and continues to impress in all areas of employment law. 

Jon Hales is noted by clients for his expert knowledge of TUPE-related matters and for his ability to communicate effectively.

Associate Ben Duxbury advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters in employment law.  

Significant clients B&Q, Specsavers Group, Signet Trading, Richmond upon Thames College, Carnival.

Information Technology - The South

Basic facts about the department

- Office locations ranked: Southampton

What the team is known for Particularly strong in e-commerce and retail, as well as data protection. Also acts for financial institutions, energy and public sector clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "A firm with a good spread of clients and some very good people."

What's new? New clients include Chartis, Mitsui and Royal Mail.

Work highlights Acted for New Look on the renegotiation of its IT functions outsourcing to Accenture.

Acted on Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance London Management on the integration of core IT and communications functions with those of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance EU, and the subsequent outsourcing thereof.

Notable practitioners

Julian Hamblin specialises in IT and IP, acting for retailers, insurers and financial services clients. Peers say he is "very good and very well respected."

Significant clients Royal Mail, Kingfisher, Skandia UK, Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, English Heritage.

Litigation - The South

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 25 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Southampton

What the team is known for Strong regional firm noted for its expertise in energy and retail. Superb client base of UK retailers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Strategic planning: "Client management and trial preparation is fantastic. The team scores very highly on these two fronts."

Value for money: "Extremely thorough and very good value for money."

What's new? In May 2013, Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees merged to become Bond Dickinson, greatly expanding its geographical reach.

Work highlights Acting for MPX North Sea on proceedings valued at over £10 million against Awilco Drilling, alleging the use of a defective rig, causing significant delays to the drilling programme.

Defending British Gas against Combined Utilities' claim that it breached commission agreements.

Notable practitioners  

Tom Beezer specialises in energy, marine and IT/IP disputes. One source says he is "an excellent partner who was able to manage a relationship with a difficult client brilliantly. It was an unusually difficult burden and the case was very technical and Tom did a fantastic job."

Significant clients B&Q, Sainsbury's, Total, Skandia, Virgin.

Professional Negligence - The South

Basic facts about the department

- 8 partners
- 44 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Southampton

What the team is known for Recognised for its expertise in solicitors' claims. Also appears on various insurers' panels and has expanded its practice to cater to other professions. Increasingly active in construction-related claims, amongst others.  

What's new? In May 2013, Bond Pearce merged with Dickinson Dees to become Bond Dickinson, greatly improving the team's national reach.

Notable practitioners  

James Robins dedicates a considerable part of his time to professional negligence. He has handled several high-profile matters of late, involving financial institutions and prominent law firms.

Significant clients AIG, QBE, Capita, Allianz, RSA.

Real Estate - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners 
- 16 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Southampton

What the team is known for Noted for work with well-known retailers and corporate occupiers. Also frequently instructed on major development projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They are efficient and impressive. They punch above their weight."

Market standing: Peers praise the firm's strong property offering and national reach.

What's new? Anthony Alderman is promoted to partner.

Work highlights Acted on the £100 million, 1,468-bed development of two student accommodation buildings for the University of Southampton.

Acted on the development of a new visitor centre at Stonehenge for English Heritage.

Notable practitioners

Andrew Mackean specialises in acting for retail and corporate occupier clients. Peers describe him as "very nice to deal with and very commercial."

Tim Baily specialises in development matters, for clients such as The Crown Estate.

William Akerman focuses on investment and development matters. "He impressed me as a leader and team co-ordinator on a complicated project, " said one client, adding: "He was thorough, detailed and commercial."

Alistair Walton acts for clients in the retail sector, including B&Q. 

Significant clients Gala Coral, Rockspring Investment Managers, AEW Europe, Babcock, New Look.

Real Estate Litigation - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Handles wide-ranging property litigation for an array of household-name clients. Stands out for its expertise in the retail and transport sectors. Part of a substantial nationwide practice and works closely with experts in the firm's Bristol and Plymouth offices.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Clarity: "We always find their advice to be clear and succinct."

Client service: "They avoid sitting on the fence, enabling us to make an informed decision without them shifting all the responsibility or decision making onto us as clients."

What's new? Bond Pearce recently merged with Dickinson Dees, bolstering the group's national real estate litigation offering.

Work highlights Advises Specsavers Optical Superstores on its national property portfolio, often dealing with a wide variety of contentious real estate issues. 

Represented B&Q in connection with a £2 million compensation claim under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. 

Notable practitioners  

Mark Barley has a particular focus on landlord and tenant disputes, but is also noted for his experience in negligence claims against property professionals. One impressed client says: "He is straightforward in his approach, has very good understanding of his subject area and will tell us what we need to know or hear, and not necessarily what we want to hear."

Significant clients The Crown Estate Commissioners, Sapphire (Burnley) Nominee, Royal Mail Group, Post Office, G4S Group.

Restructuring/Insolvency - The South

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Southampton

What the team is known for Advises banks and leading insolvency practitioners, as well as corporate clients, on solvent restructuring matters and insolvency issues. Particularly noted for retail, hospitality and automotive sector specialisms.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "We have always received the highest quality of service from this firm. I rate the team as a ten and see them as a very safe pair of hands." 

Follow-up:"It's have always been a very high-standard team and always follows up to make sure all the loose ends are tied up."

What's new? New panel wins include Bank of Ireland UK.

Work highlights Advised the administrators of Auto Online and Carsite on a variety of administration matters, including potential litigation against a vehicle storage operator relating to the validity of a lien over a stock of cars and advice on the distribution of funds.

Advised PricewaterhouseCoopers, as administrators of Oaksey Park and Cotswold Property, in completing a restructure and refinance, thus using the administration process to rescue a company.

Notable practitioners  

Highly rated Nicholas Keitley is described as "commercial and very good value" by interviewees. Clients purport that they "have absolute confidence in his advice," and rate him as an "impressive and very capable insolvency lawyer."

Significant clients Lloyds Banking Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Begbies Traynor, Grant Thornton, Baker Tilly.

Commercial Contracts - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acts for retailers and financial institutions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "Good-quality firm and lawyers."

What's new? Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees merged in May 2013.

Kaplan Financial is a new client.

Work highlights Advised both Kingfisher and B&Q on the terms and conditions for the purchase of goods for resale.

Acted for Whitbread on the outsourcing of its food supply chain and logistics capability.

Notable practitioners

Jonathan Stickland focuses on retail and consumer law matters. Recent work includes advising Carnival on logistical and warehousing requirements relating to the resupply of its cruise ships.

Significant clients Royal Mail Group, Post Office, New Look Group, AIG, Babcock.

Data Protection - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Possesses strong sector expertise, particularly on issues arising out of the retail and e-commerce sectors and the financial services.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: “The team provides clear, focused advice that enables us to understand and address the issues efficiently.”

Commercial awareness: "The team has a pragmatic, commercially oriented approach. I haven't met anyone there I would have any doubts about. Its breadth of competencies is also attractive."

What's new Bond Dickinson formed out of Dickinson Dees' merger with Bond Pearce in May 2013.

New recruits Peter Given, formerly of Allen & Overy, and Jonathan Belcher, a former senior complaints officer in the Information Commissioner's Office, boost the team's combined knowledge and experience.

Work highlights Provided guidance to members of the Interactive Media in Retail Group in relation to new legislation, including the cookie law and the proposed EU data protection regulations.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Kimble is recommended by clients for his “engaging bedside manner." Sources also comment that he is able to provide “clear, concise and focused advice.” They also highlight that “he is very analytical, calm and thorough. He is a perfectionist at heart but is able to be commercial. He has a good sense of humour, too.”

Significant clients Carlsberg, Carnival, Kingfisher, Post Office, Royal Mail Group.

Education - UK-wide

What the team is known for The merger between legacy firms Dickinson Dees and Bond Pearce has created a strong education sector team offering national coverage. Areas of expertise include employment law, governance, freedom of information, student issues and property concerns. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They are prompt in dealing with matters: work is undertaken in a timely way."

Commercial awareness: "Progressive, commercial lawyers with a forward-looking approach." 

Work highlights Acted for the University of Southampton on leasing a hall of residence that is in the process of being built.

Represented The Provost & Scholars of Queen's College, Oxford in assigning leases to the Ageas Bowl to Eastleigh Borough Council.

Assisted Leeds City College with the acquisition of a new campus site and the refurbishment of existing buildings.

Notable practitioners

Head of the team and employment law expert Christina Tolvas-Vincent is "always calm and pragmatic," according to sources.

Significant clients Richmond-upon-Thames College, University of Portsmouth, University of Winchester, Durham University, The University of York.

Education - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 8 directors
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Broad sector experience including handling matters affecting multi-academy trusts and advising on capital projects. Further areas of expertise include charity law and governance, ICT contracts and procurement, admissions and exclusions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The firm has been very supportive."  

What's new? The merger between Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees that created the firm has extended the team's national coverage. 

Work highlights Acted for the Education Funding Agency on setting up free schools, studio schools and university technical colleges (UTCs).

Assisted Nottinghamshire County Council with the conversions of a number of schools to academy status. 

Notable practitioners  

Kevin Robertson is a key contact.

Significant clients Department for Education, Liverpool City Council, Navigate Academies Trust, Church of England Diocese of Durham and Newcastle, Bury Grammar Schools.  

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

What the team is known for Advises on substantial numbers of oil and gas and renewables matters. Significant real estate expertise on hand to facilitate project development. Key name for power utilities. 

Strengths (Mainly quotes from clients)
Client service: "Individuals work well with other members of the team to provide seamless coverage. They are very client service-oriented, with tremendous commercial awareness."

Commercial awareness: "The firm operates in a very professional manner with a focus on providing legal solutions that facilitate the long-term commercial objectives of our company."

Work highlights Instructed by Noble Energy on the divestment of assets within the UK continental shelf and the Dutch sector of the North Sea.

Acted for Serica Energy on the farm-out of interests located offshore Namibia to a BP subsidiary, and offshore Morocco to subsidiaries of Genel Energy and Cairn Energy.

Notable practitioners

Paul McGoldrick was one of the lead partners on the Noble Energy divestment, and receives great praise from one impressed client: "He's a hard-working, intelligent lawyer who understands our business."

Paul Stockley inspires confidence in his clients: "He's aware of the wider picture and adds a valuable commercial perspective that we feel we can trust." He acted for MND GROUP on its purchase of petroleum interests in the Republic of Georgia.

Luke Gabb's real estate renewables practice has remained steady and he has advised joint venture East Anglia Offshore Wind on ongoing project developments.

Simon Hughes acted on a 99.9 MW biomass power station in development at Blyth on behalf of Renewable Energy Systems.

Significant clients RWE npower, E.ON, Centrica, Total E&P UK, DONG Energy. 

Health & Safety - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 15 qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for A national team with experience across prosecution and defence work, whose clients include the Health and Safety Executive. In addition to compliance and preventative advice, practitioners handle investigations, inquests, regulatory prosecutions and improvement notices.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "There were no areas I felt they could have done any more – they worked so hard and the response was so immediate. The quality of advice was excellent - they knew the subject thoroughly."   

What's new? Bond Pearce and Hill Dickinson merged on 1 May 2013 to form Bond Dickinson. 

Work highlights Advised and appeared for the HSE in the inquest into the death of soldier Michael Maguire during live arms training.

Advised BAE Systems following the death of an employee at its Brough site.

Notable practitioners 

Jon Cooper is most recognised for his adroit command of prosecution work, though sources say he is "incredibly adept at both prosecution and defence." Clients say he is "really first class," "very attentive and always available." Sources agree he is "a genuinely skilled operator, who is totally on top of the strategy of any case."

Dale Collins is a solicitor advocate in the contentious regulatory field and acts for a number of impressive clients, such as BAE Systems. Sources are keen to praise him as a cordial and pragmatic solicitor, even when on the other side, with one interviewee saying: "I find him to be a sensible and fair prosecutor."

Nathan Peacey had a lead role on the Michael Maguire inquest matter for the HSE. Sources describe him as "a worthy opponent" as well as "a charmer and a good negotiator."

Steven Brooker is based in the Plymouth office. His market profile emanates in part from his input on Buncefield and he continues to advise on matters affecting the energy sector.

Significant clients Royal Mail Group, Sainsbury's, Health and Safety Executive, Huntsman Corporation, B&Q.

Local Government - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- Recommended office locations: Bristol, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southampton

What the team is known for Has a national scope to its local government practice, which is best known for PFI/PPP work, procurement and planning. Noted expertise in academy conversions and the education sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Clarity: "The team is excellent - easy to communicate with and very good at giving full and understandable responses."

What's new? In May 2013 Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees merged to form Bond Dickinson. The team now offers extensive national coverage and a sizeable team.

Work highlights Representing City of York Council in the construction of a new stadium as part of its leisure services programme.

Advised Reading Borough Council on the Dee Park Housing Regeneration project. 

Notable practitioners

Jonathan Bower is a key contact.

Significant clients Durham County Council, Newcastle City Council, Bristol City Council, The Bournemouth Development Company.

Media & Entertainment - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Best known for advising retailers on marketing and promotional campaigns, especially those operating in regulated sectors such as alcohol, gambling and digital media. Another area of focus lies in bringing and defending complaints overseen by the ASA.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Very professional, flexible and proactive."

What's new? Partner Kim Walker joins from Pinsent Masons, where he headed the firm's IP team.

Work highlights Negotiated a licence with LOCOG on behalf of Royal Mail Group to create a range of stamps commemorating Olympics and Paralympics gold medal-winning Team GB athletes.

Advised the The Bart Ingredients Group on a rebranding exercise.

Notable practitioners

Andrew Allan-Jones and Gavin Matthews are key contacts.  

Significant clients Amazon.com, Carlsberg, M&S, Sainsbury's, ITV.

Pensions Litigation - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Newcastle

What the team is known for Maintains an excellent reputation for its involvement in a variety of big-ticket pensions cases. Able to tackle all aspects of pensions dispute resolution.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "The firm is understanding of our needs and the lawyers are all easy to do business with."

Cost-efficiency: "The team is incredible value."  

Strategic planning: "I can't fault them. Strategically they've been excellent."

What's new? Dickinson Dees and Bond Pearce merged in May 2013 to form Bond Dickinson.  

Work highlights Acted for IBM in high-profile litigation concerning whether the company breached its duty of good faith to its employees when it closed the defined benefit part of its pension plan and made various policy changes.

Acted for IBM in rectification proceedings brought by the pension scheme trustee concerning rules governing a defined benefit subsection of the scheme. The rules related to members' rights to retire from the age of 60 on an unreduced pension without the employer's consent.

Notable practitioners  

Craig Monty heads up the team and is a very experienced litigator. He is known for offering "very commercial and down-to-earth advice," and sources describe him as a "class act" with "serious credentials behind him."

Director Joanna Bromhead is highly rated by market commentators for providing "excellent support." She advises employers and pensions schemes at all stages of litigation.

Significant clients IBM, PD Teesport.

Product Liability - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Maintains a strong focus on the non-contentious food law. Well known for offering proactive advice on a vast range of food product liability issues, including marketing, safety, research and development.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "We find them highly competent and they can provide us with relevant information. They interpreted our needs very well."

Work highlights Continues to advise British Frozen Food Federation regarding changes implemented after EU and UK consultations on aspects of food legislation. Also advised on the impact of the Food Information to Consumers Regulations.

Notable practitioners

Gavin Matthews is a key contact here.

Significant clients Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer, Carlsberg, Whitbread, DS Smith.

Public Procurement - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for A wide range of procurement expertise, particularly in representing clients from the public sector and utilities markets. Also offers expertise in litigious matters.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness:"They give responsive, timely and authoritative advice."

What's new? The merger between Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees that created the firm is set to bolster its nationwide coverage.

Work highlights Advised York City Council on all procurement matters pertaining to the new Community Stadium and provision of leisure services.

Advised Durham County Council across several procurements regarding the council's waste management.

Notable practitioners  

Deborah Ramshaw receives praise from clients for her effective advice on procurement matters and excellent client service.

Significant clients Education Funding Agency, London Midland Railway, Post Office, Homes & Communities Agency.

Retail - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- Recommended office locations: Southampton, London, Bristol

What the team is known for Quickly establishing an impressive presence in the retail sector. Solid real estate practice in addition to commercial, IP and trade mark expertise. Increasingly sought after by retailers looking to expand internationally. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They are extremely responsive to what we want them to do, pay a lot of attention to our work, and are very cost-effective and very pleasant to work with."

Client service: "Good solid output, very professional and flexible and proactive."

What's new? Kim Walker joined from Pinsent Masons, bringing IP, IT and commercial experience.

Nicky Loadsman, a regulatory compliance expert for national and international clients, joined from Hill Dickinson.

Work highlights Represented Sainsbury's in a range of employment-related matters, including litigation, discrimination claims and business immigration support.

Handled a trade mark infringement and passing off claim by Carlsberg against a garage trading as 'Cars-berg'.

Notable practitioners  

Gavin Matthews is the leading figure in the firm's retail group.

Significant clients Sainsbury's, Post Office, Costa Coffee, Kingfisher, New Look.

Transport - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Newcastle

What the team is known for Most frequently identified for its work in heavy rail franchising and rolling stock matters. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Communication skills: "When they give guidance and information they do so in a way that is readily understandable."

Straightforward approach: "They are very pragmatic and down to earth. A no-nonsense, friendly firm."

What's new? Dickinson Dees recently merged with Bond Pearce to form Bond Dickinson, bolstering its strengths in different areas of the country.

Work highlights Acted for London Midland in the leasing of 350 rolling stock vehicles, a transaction valued at over £120 million.

Advised Southern Railway on the transfer of responsibilities for the maintenance and operation of Gatwick Airport station.

Notable practitioners  

David Rewcastle is recommended for his calm and collected demeanour, with sources suggesting that "nothing fazes him." A rail-centric lawyer, his practice covers franchising and rolling stock as well as infrastructure and regulatory matters.

Significant clients Arriva, Govia, Nexus, Petards Joyce Loebl.

Corporate/M&A - Yorkshire

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 32 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Leeds

What the team is known for Renowned private equity and venture capital offering. Significant expertise in the chemical and manufacturing industry sectors.

What's new? Shiv Sibal has joined the corporate team at the firm from Pinsent Masons.

New client wins include Melrose, NG Bailey Group and Driver Group.

Work highlights Acted for the shareholders of Energas and Engineering and Welding Supplies on the sale of both companies to Air Liquide.

Represented Driver Group in its purchase of Trett Holdings from Grontmij.

Notable practitioners

Shiv Sibal specialises in M&A on behalf of a broad range of commercial clients. He has notable expertise in advising public companies listed on both AIM and the main market. 

Significant clients University of York, Vivimed Labs, Rubicon Partners Industries, Yew Holdings, Phoenix Software.

Real Estate - Yorkshire

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Leeds

What the team is known for Acts for private and public sector clients on development and regeneration schemes, including social housing projects. Also handles property work for clients in the energy sector, with expertise in renewables, and has further specialisms in insolvency and lending work. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I find them very user-friendly, down-to-earth and practical."

What's new? New client wins include Vertu Motors and The Potter Group.

Work highlights Advised Leeds City Council on its £600 million redevelopment of the Eastgate and Harewood quarters.

Notable practitioners

Paula Dillon works across the non-contentious commercial property spectrum. Her clients include portfolio owners and investors, retailers, developers and funders.

Significant clients Commercial Estates Group, Gap and Banana Republic, Wykeland Group, Leeds City College.