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Thomson Snell & Passmore

Tunbridge Wells

Thomson Snell & Passmore - Tunbridge Wells
  • 3 Lonsdale Gardens
  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Kent
  • UK
  • TN1 1NX
  • Tel:(01892) 510000
  • Fax:(01892) 549884
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Senior Partner James Partridge
  • Number of partners 33
  • Assistant solicitors 30
  • Other fee-earners  27

THE FIRM Thomson Snell & Passmore is a leading South East law firm with 180 people, based in Tunbridge Wells and Thames Gateway, just 15 minutes from St Pancras. They pride themselves on giving uncomplicated insightful advice conveyed in a straightforward way.
The firm provides practical solutions that are clear and cost-effective for both individuals and businesses. Though modern in their approach, they are proud to also be credited as the oldest law firm in the country, with a history of giving good quality legal advice that protects their clients’ interests and safeguards their rights. The firm provides a comprehensive legal service and build long-term relationships by encouraging a culture of respect, understanding and excellence.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK Thomson Snell & Passmore offers a wide range of legal services, for both businesses and private clients. 25 of their specialist practice areas are ranked by the leading independent guides to UK law firms and they are proud to have in their teams many leaders in their field.
The experience of the firm’s Corporate and Commercial team includes complex and high value transactions, cross-border and domestic. They help their clients maximise long-term profitability with practical, insightful solutions for trading, commercial and contractual issues.
The firm’s Commercial Property & Development team give commercially orientated advice and ensure a speedily concluded transaction whether purchasing, selling or leasing commercial property. The property development team has extensive experience in promoting, acquiring and disposing of land for development. Their team of specialist employment lawyers help prevent employee claims and protect businesses against penalties. The lawyers have significant experience with employment tribunal claims. The firm’s Dispute Resolution lawyers find the most practical, commercial and cost-effective solution to any dispute, minimising risk and time. They handle a wide variety of UK and international disputes.
The firm’s private client group see a significant number of high-quality referrals from both clients and other professionals as a result of the complexity and quality of their work. Services for private clients include tax and estate planning and trust matters. As the third largest Court of Protection practice in the country by number of cases and value, Thomson Snell & Passmore are recognised for the range, depth and clear expertise in property and financial deputyships, welfare and contentious cases and personal injury trusts. The firm’s clinical negligence and personal injury team of specialist lawyers have the expertise to deal with complex and high value cases. Clinical negligence cases include cerebral palsy, other types of brain injury, amputation and delayed diagnosis of cancer. For personal injury they specialise in catastrophic injury and adult and child brain injury.
The firm’s Family team provide the right expertise in even the most unusual and difficult circumstances. Matters include mediation and collaborative law, financial agreements, child welfare, care proceedings, cohabitation disputes and prenuptial agreements.

CLIENTS Building a lasting partnership with all of their clients is key to the firm’s success. For businesses, this gives them an in-depth understanding of an organisation and its strategy so they can find commercially focused solutions. For individuals, it enables them to provide a personal, supportive and friendly service tailored to clients’ needs.
Thomson Snell & Passmore advise private individuals, Directors, PLCs, subsidiaries of overseas companies, SMEs, owner managed businesses, housing associations, local authorities and charities.

RECRUITMENT Key recruits have helped to support the firm’s continuing organic growth in line with their business strategy. Everyone at the firm is integral to Thomson Snell & Passmore’s success and the firm is committed to equality and diversity in employment. They work across teams, sharing knowledge and expertise. They communicate clearly and are strongly supportive of one another.
The firm has won awards for its training and recruitment and provides opportunities for qualified lawyers, trainee solicitors and business support; plus work placements for undergraduates and work experience at GCSE level.

  • Corporate & Commercial: James Herbert
  • Employment: Nick Hobden
  • Commercial Property & Development: Gilbert Green
  • Dispute Resolution: Nick Horton
  • Private Client: Jeremy Passmore
  • Residential Property: Guy Hollamby
  • Clinical Negligence: Fiona Mills, Patricia Fearnley
  • Personal Injury: Jonathan Clement
  • Family: Joanna Pratt


  • 3 Lonsdale Gardens,
  • Tunbridge Wells,
  • Kent
  • UK
  • TN1 1NX
  • Tel (01892) 510000
  • Fax (01892) 549884
  • DX 3914 Tunbridge Wells 1
  • Email : info@ts-p.co.uk
  • Website : www.ts-p.co.uk
  • The Old Rectory,
  • St Mary's Road,
  • Greenhithe,
  • Kent
  • UK
  • DA9 9AS
  • Tel (01322) 623700
  • Fax (01322) 623701
  • Email : info@ts-p.co.uk

Agriculture & Rural Affairs - The South

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 1 associate
- Office locations ranked: Royal Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Highlighted for its strong personal approach and close connections to other professional advisers relevant to this sector, including land agents, accountants and lenders.

Work highlights Advised Kleinwort Benson Trustees on the registration, charge and sale of Court Lodge Farm, Ewhurst Green, Sussex.

Acted for B D Thompson on financing and the purchase of arable land and irrigation reservoirs.

Notable practitioners  

Gilbert Green is respected for his extensive knowledge and experience of land issues, both in the agricultural sector and more particularly in the promotion of land for alternative uses, especially development. He also deals with rural planning issues and aspects of sporting rights.

Sue Lister is widely regarded by clients for her personable approach, and “is always striving to find practical solutions for clients' issues.” She has been advising farming businesses and landowning clients on two large wind farm projects and a major solar farm lease in Kent, and on issues with Agricultural Holdings Act (AHA) 1986 Tenancies.

Significant clients P&A Love.

Clinical Negligence: Mainly Claimant - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Royal Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Significant expertise in high-level clinical negligence claims, including cerebral palsy and brain injury cases.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The firm's level of service is nothing short of phenomenal."

Tenacity: "The team dealt with a difficult situation. It was good with getting the right experts involved with our case."

Quality of work: "The team is very thorough and meticulous."

Work highlights Represented and won a negligence case against Hammersmith Hospital worth £1.2 million.  

Notable practitioners  

Patricia Fearnley is described by one commentator as "a star." She is recognised for her strong care of clients, who have "complete faith and trust" in her.

Department head Fiona Mills is "an absolutely outstanding lawyer and a truly remarkable human being." She is also noted for her attention to detail.

Partner Graham Bell is an up-and-comer for the first time this year. One client says of him: "He has been a lifeline to us. I would recommend him to everyone."

Construction - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Ranked office locations: Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for A broad, active team advising on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Has a growing presence in the education sector, and a significant contractor focus. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of service: "The team has high-calibre people that are specialists in different spheres." 

Work highlights Advised Stonegrove Refrigeration on construction aspects relating to the installation of a refrigeration system.  

Notable practitioners  

Chris Whittington is praised by clients for having "fantastic attention to detail and excellent knowledge of contract law." He has over 25 years of experience in contentious and non-contentious matters.

Chris Kirby-Turner is "straightforward and practical," according to industry sources. He is a key associate, leading on a number of disputes.

Significant clients Britannia Refined Metals, Sevenoaks School Foundation, Photonic Science.

Corporate/M&A - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Royal Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Market-leading Kent practice. Advises on high-profile private company acquisitions and disposals. Equally adept on corporate restructurings and joint ventures. Noted strength in the food, agriculture, manufacturing, education and charities sectors.

Work highlights Advised Moonray Holdings on its investment in Romax Technology.

Represented B.P. Direct Mail in the sale of its shareholding in Orbital Markets Services Group to Menzies Distribution.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Gabay is highly rated in the market. One client said: "The work he did was complicated, but it was expertly done, and not over-expensive." Gabay represented Business Seminars International in the sale of its online tax news service to Wolters Kluwer.

Joanne Gallagher is a well-regarded member of the Kent business community. She assisted the shareholders with the sale of High Quality Lifestyles to Priory Group.

James Partridge is noted for his capability for advising clients in foreign jurisdictions. He is known for his work structuring joint ventures.

James Herbert is praised for his client service capability. One remarked: "It's like having someone working in my office." Herbert led on the Moonray Holdings investment in Romax Technology.

Significant clients Berry Gardens, Nurture Landscapes, Britannia Refined Metals, Solid State, Export-Import Bank of Malaysia.

Employment - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer 
- Office locations ranked: Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Attracting an increasing volume of employment work in representing clients from the education and charity sectors. In demand for its advice on senior executive terminations and tribunal proceedings.

Work highlights Advised Drusillas Zoo Park on a matter concerning its volunteer scheme and a claim of unfair dismissal by a volunteer.

Represented MidKent College against an unfair dismissal claim by a former lecturer. The claim was dismissed in the final hearing at the Employment Tribunal.

Notable practitioners  

Susanna Gilmartin is commended for her accessibility and strengths in "coming up with a practical and pragmatic solution, delivering solutions in layman's terms."

Nick Hobden is noted for his attention to detail and takes a key role in the majority of the firm's most significant cases.

Significant clients Royal British Legion Industries, Hayesbrook School Academy Trust, Optegra (UK), Dole Fresh (UK), Berry Gardens.

Family/Matrimonial - The South

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Strong reputation for handling complex financial provision cases, but also deals with children matters and other familial arrangements, such as prenuptial agreements. Committed to alternative methods of dispute resolution, housing four collaborative lawyers and two mediators.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Their technical and experiential knowledge in divorce law and experience in presenting legal arguments at court are real strengths."

Notable practitioners  

Department head Joanna Pratt continues to work on matrimonial finance and complex children law matters. Clients admire "her personal skills and exercise of judgement."

Sarah Judd specialises in complex financial remedies, often with further complexities relating to trusts or international issues.

Kirstie Law continues to strengthen her position within this team and is particularly regarded for her skills in collaborative law and financial remedy cases. Clients have commented on her commitment, noting that "she was clearly ready to put her clients before her personal agenda on several occasions." 

Desmond O'Donnell continues to draw attention for his expertise in children matters and specialises in particularly complex cases, often with significant external issues.

Litigation - The South

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Royal Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Commercial litigation practice focused on disputes concerning debt and insolvency, IP enforcement, manufacturing and gaming. Private client and SME core client base.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The firm has a client-centred ethos and commitment to a good service."

Notable practitioners  

Chatham-based Kamal Aggarwal specialises in contract disputes, director and shareholder disputes and construction disputes. Clients say: "He is fantastic in litigation, very good at communicating with the client, very easy-going and professional, gets the work done and therefore clients have no complaints." 

Significant clients Genting Casinos, Beams UK, Britannia Refined Metals, Ward Security, Motorline Holdings.

Personal Injury: Mainly Claimant - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Strong regional presence, with particular expertise in claims relating to industrial disease, accidents at work and catastrophic brain injuries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "I have absolute respect for them. They're an excellent firm – well established, and very pleasant people."

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Clement is known for his specialist expertise in severe brain injury claims. He frequently handles the firm's most complex and demanding work.

Private Client - The South

Basic facts about the department

- 8 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for A broad array of private client work covering tax planning and estate administration. A diverse client base including farmers and landowners, high net worth individuals and those with assets abroad. 

Notable practitioners  

Jeremy Passmore is a key contact.

Real Estate - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners (2 Greenhithe, 3 Tunbridge Wells) 
- 4 other qualified lawyers (1 Greenhithe, 3 Tunbridge Wells)
- Office locations ranked: Greenhithe, Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for A well-established Kent firm offering property advice to house builders and landowners on residential development matters. Also noted in property finance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "I think in the property team as a whole there's a depth of experience, and they're good at positioning the transaction with the right people within the team."

Responsiveness: "We are very happy with the service we get. If we need something done quickly they have the capability to respond."

Work highlights Advised on the £23 million acquisition funding of a London hotel for EXIM Bank of Malaysia.

Advised Optegra UK on its acquisition of the business and property assets of the Prospect Eye Clinic.

Notable practitioners 

Richard Ellard's clients describe him as "very knowledgeable and very helpful." One peer added: "I've always found him really easy to deal with, proactive and positive in trying to reach the goals both clients are working towards." Ellard specialises in investment and development work.

Significant clients Association of Conservative Clubs, Marley Pensions, Motorline, Brakes, Fernham Homes.

Real Estate Litigation - The South

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

What the team is known for Capable of advising on all types of landlord and tenant work. Other areas of expertise include town and village greens, disputes between neighbours, and trespasser and squatter issues. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "The advice has been delivered according to agreed timescales, and at a level that can be easily understood by my clients."

Work highlights Acted for landlord Gravesham Borough Council on a dispute with its tenant, arising out of the tenant's ongoing financial difficulties and breach of lease terms. Successfully recovered funds from the tenant and ensured that the lease provisions were complied with.  

Advises Brake Bros on the management of its property portfolio, recently handling dilapidation claims, lease renewals and lease disputes.

Notable practitioners  

Nick Horton is a dispute resolution lawyer who handles a broad variety of real estate issues. He leads many of the firm's key real estate litigation cases.

Mark Steggles is a "well-respected" senior associate specialising in property litigation. Clients describe him as "approachable and extremely helpful."

Significant clients The Association of Conservative Clubs, Marley Pensions/Marley Pension Trust, Colas, Britannia Refined Metals, John Surtees.

Court of Protection - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Royal Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Highly active in property and affairs work in this space. Significant deputyship work. Catastrophic head injury and birth trauma expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Expertise: “A heavyweight team.” “They do a brilliant job and have built up real expertise in this area.”

Notable practitioners

Department head Edward Fardell is a member of the professional deputies panel in this area and his work often sees him handling high-value damages claims. Sources remark: “He is known widely for his deputyship work and is clearly an experienced expert witness. He has a great reputation and a lovely bedside manner with clients.”

Martin Terrell frequently acts as deputy for a range of clients, from severely brain-damaged children to older clients in care. Sources assert: “He is an excellent lawyer. His paperwork is very tight and can be relied upon by the Official Solicitor. He is very influential.”

Brian Bacon acts for both applicants and respondents in Court of Protection proceedings, including contested and non-contested deputyship and statutory will applications. Clients say: “He is efficient, polite and understanding. Everything is a pleasure for him, just as you would expect from a good lawyer.”