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Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

Birmingham

Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co - Birmingham
  • 55 Colmore Row
  • Birmingham
  • West Midlands
  • UK
  • B3 2AS
  • Senior Partner Quentin Poole
  • Managing Partner Ian Metcalfe

THE FIRM UK-headquartered international law firm Wragge & Co provides a full range of legal services to clients worldwide.
Working with in-house lawyers, company directors, investors, real estate developers, HR professionals, brand managers, pensions trustees and entrepreneurs, its experts help deal with day-to-day issues and complex, strategic matters. Focused on building lasting relationships with its clients, the firm adds real value by understanding clients’ businesses and delivering a service suited to their needs.
Wragge & Co’s partner-led service delivers top-quality legal advice, backed up by the strength and support of more than 1,000 people. This is why the firm is a trusted adviser to FTSE 100 and 250 companies, multinational corporations, financial institutions, and UK and overseas government departments.
The firm has a global reach.With access to experts across the world,Wragge & Co has the resource, relationships and expertise to handle the largest instructions.
The World Law Group’s representative law firm in England,Wragge & Co also works with a global network of trusted independent firms. It means that clients receive the best service possible in every jurisdiction.
Single Team: Every organisation needs something to be famous for.Wragge & Co’s distinctiveness lies in its people’s ability to work as a single team. Standing alongside clients, colleagues or bestfriend international contacts, the firm’s ultimate goal is excellent advice and service.
Wragge & Co is the only law firm to feature in the annual 50 Best Workplaces list.
For more information, please visit www.wragge.com.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK Core practices are real estate, construction, intellectual property, IT, pensions, employment, corporate, banking and finance, dispute resolution, projects, outsourcing, public law, regulation and tax.
Sector Focus: Clients want their lawyers to understand their businesses within the context of their industry or sector. Many Wragge & Co lawyers have worked in the industries they now advise, giving them specialist insight.Working with lawyers who understand their organisation and market, clients can be sure the commercial and legal angles are covered and that the right solution is reached.
Dedicated sector teams provide commercially-focused legal advice to clients in the energy, technology, healthcare, life sciences, housing, aerospace and defence, automotive, food and drink, retail and public sectors.

    Contacts
  • ADR James Gordon
  • Advertising Cerryg Jones
  • Automotive Stuart Young
  • Aviation James Gordon
  • Banking Kirsty Barnes
  • Central Government Mark Greenburgh
  • Combined Human Resources 
  • Construction Sue Ryan
  • Corporate 
  • Employees’ Benefit/Share Schemes Neil Pearson
  • Employment Jane Fielding
  • Energy/Utilities Derek Goodban
  • Environmental Lee McBride
  • EU/Competition Bernardine Adkins
  • Financial Services Mark Hick
  • Food David Lowe
  • Franchising Michael Luckman
  • Healthcare Bleddyn Rees
  • Insurance Mark Hick
  • Intellectual Property Gordon Harris
  • International Quentin Poole
  • Life Sciences Patrick Duxbury
  • Local Government Mark Greenburgh
  • Media & Entertainment Julian Henwood
  • Outsourcing David Hamlett
  • Pensions Glyn Ryland
  • PFI Stephen Kenny
  • Planning Andrew Thomas
  • Property Litigation Anne Waltham
  • Real Estate Adrian Bland
  • Regulation John Cooper
  • Retail & Leisure Christopher Hunt
  • Tax Kevin Lowe
  • Technology Peter Hall
  • Travel David Lowe

Branches

  • 55 Colmore Row,
  • Birmingham,
  • West Midlands
  • UK
  • B3 2AS
  • Tel (0870) 903 1000
  • Fax (0870) 904 1099
  • DX 13036 Birmingham -1
  • Email : mail@wragge.com
  • Website : www.wragge.com
  • 3 Waterhouse Square,
  • 142 Holborn,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC1N 2SW
  • Tel (0870) 903 1000
  • Fax (0870) 904 1099
  • DX 282 LDE LONDON
  • Email : mail@wragge.com

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Recognised as a significant presence in the lender-side mid-market space, with a raft of new panel appointments under its belt. Developing a strong sector focus in the hotels and leisure and healthcare areas.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "We like their diligence and willingness to take a commercial view on certain aspects when required." 

Efficiency: "Their opinions are thorough and provided quickly."

Technical ability: "They are practically minded and exercise good commercial judgement."

What's new? The team has been placed on the panels of HSBC, Santander UK, Bank of Ireland, RBS and Coutts, and has gained new clients Mizrahi and Banco Sabadell.

Work highlights Acted for HSBC on providing financing to the Jamie Oliver group of companies, including cross-border elements in the USA, Australia and Germany.

Represented Slater & Gordon as borrower in connection with senior secured credit facilities extended to it for the acquisition of Russell Jones & Walker Solicitors.  

Notable practitioners Nick Turner is a key contact.

Significant clients ICG Longbow, Handelsbanken, Bank of Ireland, Europe Arab Bank, Santander.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-14 partners
-14 other lawyers

What the team is known for Advising clients including international entrepreneurs, private and listed companies on a variety of M&A transactions. A notable reputation for representing clients in the natural resources sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They adopt a proactive and efficient attitude to our queries and needs."

Client service: "We appreciate their responsiveness and excellent quality."

Industry knowledge: "They really know their stuff."  

Work highlights Represented Cove Energy in its £1.22 billion AIM takeover by PTTEP Africa Investment.

Represented Kalahari Minerals on its £650 million takeover by Taurus Mineral.

Notable practitioners  

Nick Heather is "highly responsive" and "knows his way around financial services," market sources say. He has a good reputation for his expertise on M&A, corporate finance and stock exchange matters.

Significant clients Cape, Brewin Dolphin, Wilmington, Firestone Diamonds, St Martins Healthcare.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises a broad range of clients, with expertise in advising on independent investigations involving clients operating against a heavily regulated backdrop. Further noted for its aptitude in counselling on the TUPE implications of transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They are very professional, fast to reply and very thorough."

What's new? On 1st May 2014, Wragge & Co and Lawrence Graham combined to become Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co.

Work highlights Instructed by the British Bankers' Association to conduct a time-sensitive investigation into the alleged manipulation and false reporting of Libor rates.

Advised the Irish Dairy Board as it conducted a compliance audit of its UK human resources practices.

Notable practitioners  

Yvonne Gallagher is a skilled and talented practitioner who focuses her practice on assisting respondent clients across the spectrum of employment matters. Peers value her impressive pragmatism, with one individual extolling her ability to push matters forward. She advised the Irish Dairy Board on the conduct of a compliance audit of its HR practices in the UK.

Significant clients Brewin Dolphin, NFU Mutual, World Gold Council, Schindler, Microfocus.

Fraud - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Significant experience of overseeing multi-jurisdictional fraud disputes and asset recovery proceedings.

Work highlights Continues to advise the Brazilian state and municipality of São Paulo on an extensive investigation and potential claims exceeding USD30 million arising from allegations of corruption involving the city's former mayor.

Instructed to defend a number of professional trustees against claims amounting to over USD900 million, relating to the Madoff Ponzi fraud.

Notable practitioners  

Senior partner Andrew Witts has an active fraud and asset recovery practice, with an international outlook. Sources admire his "excellent judgement and strategic overview."

Significant clients Grant Thornton, Naftogaz, Cove Energy, HCA International, Mediaforce Group.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acts for customers and suppliers of IT systems, focusing on cross-border outsourcing deals, often involving the major Indian consultancy firms. Strong on IT projects concerning real estate and building projects.

What's new? On 1st May 2014, Wragge & Co and Lawrence Graham combined to become Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co.

Work highlights Advised on the IT legal requirements for The Shard Viewing Galleries, as well as further technology matters for the property developers, the property management company, and the managers of the public viewing platform.

Advised Zenergy Power on the IT implications of a reverse acquisition of Synety, a cloud computing service provider.

Notable practitioners 

Jonathan Riley heads the technology and outsourcing department.

Significant clients Arthur J Gallagher (UK), Identitas, McDonald's, The Shard Viewing Galleries, Wipro.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Impressive strength and depth, particularly in litigation arising from patent disputes. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They were good communicators, very responsive and open to discussions on strategy."

Industry knowledge: "They were clearly experienced in the field and knowledgeable about the workings of court."

Bench strength: "The size and quality of the team is superb." 

Work highlights Acted for Contour Aerospace and Delta Air Lines in the dispute with Virgin Atlantic over folding aircraft seats. 

Represented Seiko Epson in a patent infringement case against Dynamic Cassette International concerning printer cartridges.

Notable practitioners  

The "calm and unflappable" David Barron "has an encyclopaedic knowledge of patent law," according to sources. He represented Studer Professional Audio in a patent infringement case against Calrec Audio.

Head of department Gordon Harris is a "very commercial and very experienced" lawyer whose expertise includes patents and trade marks. He led the team that acted for Contour Aerospace and Delta Air Lines in the case against Virgin Atlantic.

Paul Inman is a partner who "really rolls his sleeves up and gets into a case," and is noted for his "good client manner." He practises mainly in pharmaceutical and life sciences patent cases.

Rebecca Costen gains plaudits from sources as a "very pragmatic," "very approachable and knowledgeable" associate. She has acted as lead associate on a number of matters, including for TOMS Shoes on brand protection issues.

Significant clients Dyson, Marks & Spencer, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Mothercare.

Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department 
- 8 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Remains a solid presence in the market, representing clients in complex international disputes. Well regarded for its handling of corporate investigations, fraud and asset tracing claims and banking-related matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "The team is very professional, responsive and practical with its advice." 

Client service: "They always keep us in the loop and we are very happy with them."  

Work highlights Acting for the professional trustees of the Kingate Funds over claims regarding its investment of USD1.7 billion of subscriber money into Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities (BLMIS).

Representing Grant Thornton as the newly appointed liquidator of Stanford Bank, advising on all matters relating to the bank's UK assets, which total approximately USD110 million.   

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Dobson is a key contact here.

Significant clients Federative Republic of Brazil, Cove Energy, AXA, Media Force Group, Bank of Ireland.

Pensions - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 20 assistant solicitors

What the team is known for Works alongside the firm's Birmingham team to form one of the UK's largest pensions groups. Capable of acting for all varieties of client on complex matters, from investment issues through to insolvency. Peers note that the team is dynamic and commercial.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They have a proactive and professional approach, and give clear and unambiguous advice."

Commercial awareness: "Members are very pragmatic and practical, and look at problems from a client's perspective."

What's new? Jane Kola was recently promoted to partner.

On 1st May 2014, Wragge & Co and Lawrence Graham merged to become Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co.

Work highlights Advised loss adjusting and claims management firm Cunningham Lindsey Group on the pensions aspects of its recent recapitalisation. In this deal, an investor group led by CVC Capital Partners purchased a majority stake in the company from existing investors.

Advised the trustees of the Groupama Pension Scheme on issues relating to the sale of the scheme's principal employer by its French holding company. In this complex restructuring the team's collaborated with the firm's Paris office.

Notable practitioners  

Jason Coates heads the human resources group and recently acted on the aforementioned recapitalisation of Cunningham Lindsey Group. He is recognised as "amazing" by clients, and is able to advise on all aspects of pensions law.

Paul Feathers has particular expertise in investment issues and corporate restructuring, and is praised for his "pragmatic approach." He recently led on the development of a fixed-fee pensioner buyin service for small schemes. 

Jane Kola enters the rankings this year following her recent promotion to partner. One impressed source states that she is "extremely diligent and thoughtful," and "very careful to protect and support clients."

Adam Bushby specialises in advising employers and trustees on cost-saving measures and on matters relating to insolvencies. He is "able to put across complex issues to clients in a way they can understand," according to an impressed interviewee.

Significant clients ICL Pension Plan, Mitchells & Butlers Pension Plans, PGL Pension Plan (Resolution), Thales UK Pension Scheme, G4S Pension Scheme.

Planning - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Good client service and expertise in compulsory purchases, highways law and other associated matters for a mix of private and public sector organisations. Strong track record in retail planning.

Notable practitioners  

Clare Fielding is singled out for her work providing planning advice on Battersea Power Station. Sources state: "Clare is a pleasure to work with. She is very experienced and sound in dealing with major schemes."

Trevor Blaney has a particular focus on contentious planning and Section 106 agreements. Blaney is admired by peers for his "very good nose in bringing together the correct teams – a good skill for a planning solicitor."

Duncan Field has acted for The Crown Estate on the St James's Market Development, involving the £400 million mixed-use redevelopment of three buildings between Haymarket and Regent Street.

Significant clients Sainsbury's, O2, Legal & General, Battersea Power Station Development, Sellar Design + Development.

Private Client - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Typical clients include ultra high net worth individuals, wealth management institutions and professional trustees. Tax, trusts and estate planning and family governance issues are core areas of expertise for the team. An increasingly international profile.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Pragmatic advice: "The team delivers a very personal approach to the work; they are always available, candid, forthright in their views but also sensitive to what the client wants."

Client service: "The team is very efficient, quick and responsive, and on top of that they are very pleasant to work with!" 

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Jacob has a strong focus on the South-East Asian market, advising non-domiciled clients on UK investments. Sources praise not only his technical abilities, but also his approach, saying: "He has an enthusiasm which has endured" for private client matters.

Anthony Thompson enjoys a robust reputation for private capital work, specialising in trust formation and restructuring, tax planning and governance matters. Sources remark: "He is very measured and commercial – you know you'll get an answer which gets to the nub of the issue and is not too technical."

Significant clients Scotiatrust, HSBC Private Bank, Rothschild Trust, New World Trust. 

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-12 partners
-17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A wide-ranging practice offering advice on all aspects of real estate finance. Noted for acting on financings in the hotel industry.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They are highly professional and technically able. They reassure the client with their expertise and are very thorough in all that they do."

Commercial awareness: "I'm impressed that they always stick to the schedule. Their pragmatic and commercial approach is very helpful in the deal-making process." 

What's new? Judith Gershon joined the team from Davenport Lyons in August 2013.

On 1st May 2014, Wragge and Co. and Lawrence Graham merged to become Wragge Lawrence Graham and Co.

Work highlights Advised on the provision of a £40 million club mezzanine facility by Longbow for the purpose of refinancing 120 High Holborn.

Notable practitioners  

Nick Turner has a solid practice acting for German banks. Clients describe him as a "reliable individual who provides a high-level service and explains things well. Even if there didn't seem to be a solution at first glance, he always found a way that worked for all parties."

Judith Gershon is described as "commercial, market aware and very intelligent." Her real estate finance expertise covers debt, equity and mezzanine finance and non-transactional work.

Significant clients HSBC, RBS, Europe Arab Bank, LaSalle Investment Management, Nationwide.

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Advises and resolves disputes for corporate clients on a variety of matters, from traditional landlord and tenant work to more complex rent reviews and rights of light issues, for commercial and residential developers. Expertise in the telecoms sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They're strong at all levels. Extremely diligent and extremely bright."

What's new? Martin Thomas joins from Dundas & Wilson, strengthening the team's offering at a senior partner level.

On 1st May 2014, Wragge & Co and Lawrence Graham merged to become Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co.

Work highlights Advised Royal London Mutual Insurance on rights of light issues concerning a proposed development in Edgware. Settled a lease renewal dispute with Wickes relating to the site before it reached litigation.

Successfully defended Allsop in a possession claim, achieving a victory in a High Court Queen's Bench Division appeal and in a full County Court trial.

Notable practitioners  

"Top of the tree litigator" Anne Waltham is deemed "very good" by sources, down to "her experience and expertise." She has a particular specialism in rights of light matters and rent reviews.

Martin Thomas is singled out by clients as being a "very good litigator and advocate." He brings to the team his experience as former head of litigation at Dundas & Wilson, and has expertise in property litigation across the board.

Clients admire the "commercially minded" Carole Peet for her "very clear thinking." She is regularly instructed by major corporate clients in handling disputes arising from property portfolios.

Significant clients Ballymore, Development Securities, Marks & Spencer, Royal London, Vodafone.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 24 partners
- 35 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Handles investment, development and portfolio management for property companies, corporates, funds and developers. Sector focuses include retail, hospitality and leisure.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "We would recommend them for important work as they have a broad and international expertise."

Efficiency: "The good thing about this team is that they don't overcomplicate things. They answer a question - they don't ask three back."

What's new? On 1st May 2014, Wragge & Co and Lawrence Graham combined to become Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co.

Clare Fielding joins from Herbert Smith.

Huw Baker and Julian Innes-Taylor join from Linklaters.

Work highlights Advised Development Securities on the £800 million Greenwich Peninsula regeneration project, in a joint venture with Cathedral Group.

Instructed by Sainsbury's on a range of development work, including the acquisition of a development site for a store in Brackley.

Notable practitioners 

Julian Innes-Taylor is commended by clients for his "great guidance." He has a broad practice and headquarter relocations are a specialism. 

Peers describe Jon Lloyd as "fantastic: a very good lawyer to deal with. Very collaborative." He focuses on development and joint ventures, with expertise in commercial, mixed-use and shopping centre real estate work. Clients appreciate his "hands-on, commercial approach."

The well-regarded Rabinder Chaggar is "very experienced" and "fun to deal with," according to peers. He is particularly focused on development work. Key clients include Sainsbury's, Whitbread and Castlemore Securities.

Peter Thorne is "brilliant to deal with," according to peers. He acts on investment, development and regeneration matters.

Significant clients AXA, Legal & General, The Crown Estate, Nationwide, Threadneedle.

Banking & Finance - Midlands

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham.

What the team is known for Demonstrated strength in mid-market transactions, including asset-based lending and acquisition finance. Expertise in the healthcare and social housing sectors. 

Notable practitioners 

Chris Brierley is a key partner in the firm's banking and finance team. He has considerable experience in leveraged acquisition finance, and is noted for his knowledge of the social housing and healthcare sectors.  

Significant clients Bank of America, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, RBS.

Banking Litigation - Midlands

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

What the team is known for Handles a large volume of litigation. Notable strengths in asset, equipment and motor finance recoveries work. Also handles insolvency-related disputes and Consumer Credit Act litigation.

Work highlights Advised CIT Vendor Finance on an action against Brent Council in relation to an unpaid lease of equipment valued at over £250,000.

Successfully represented a group of clients in a complex breach of contract claim.

Notable practitioners

Greg Standing and Ian Weatherall are the key department contacts.

Significant clients HSBC, Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lloyds TSB, LTSB Asset Finance.

Construction - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 23 assistant solicitors
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for The unequivocal leader in the Birmingham market. Recognised for handling the full range of construction matters for high-profile contractors, developers, funds and purchasers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "The team's background knowledge, speed of reaction, and accuracy of opinion and advice is very impressive."

Bench strength: "A large and impressive team."

What's new? Anthony Wilson has joined the team from the international arbitration firm Hafez. 

Notable practitioners  

Considered by many industry commentators as one of the top construction lawyers in Birmingham, Simon Baylis represents clients in both contentious and transactional work. Prior to becoming a construction lawyer Simon was a quantity surveyor, and he has over 35 years' experience in the construction field.

Ashley Pigott is highly regarded by peers and is key partner in the firm's construction department. He specialises in contentious matters and leads on several high-value disputes.

Michael O'Shea specialises in contentious matters. He recently acted on a substantial claim relating to final account, prolongation costs and ascertained damages disputes.

Sue Ryan is praised by clients for being "experienced and reassuring." She handles contentious work, and acts for contractors and employers.

Significant clients Amec, Hyder, May Gurney, Morgan Sindall, St. Modwen Properties.

Employment - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 24 other qualified practitioners
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham 

What the team is known for A premier practice in Birmingham that is comfortable handling the full spectrum of employment advice for local businesses, public bodies and multinational corporations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Clarity: "They get off the fence and give you the options as well as telling you what they think is best for you." 

Problem solving: "They handle complex cases for us." 

Notable practitioners  

The "cerebral" Jonathan Chamberlain is praised by clients for offering "sage advice." Sources are equally effusive in their praise of his intelligence and knowledge of the area. He is experienced in advising on all areas of employment law.

Martin Chitty gets nothing but plaudits as "he has a great knack for communicating in an effective way." He is strong on contentious matters and rated for his work on executive severance issues.

Trevor Gibson focuses on contentious work. Clients report that he is "very creative" and that, "when you have a problem, he's very good at getting things done."

Sources report that associate Simon Stephen is "calm, considered and easy to deal with." He brings niche expertise of trade union issues.

Significant clients Sanctuary Housing, Cathay Pacific Airways, Norfolk County Council, AstraZeneca, Aston Martin. 

Environment - Midlands

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

What the team is known for Supports clients prosecuted by the Environment Agency and provides advice on regulatory issues to ensure full compliance. Assists clients with transactions and contaminated land issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "An excellent firm who have worked hard at understanding our business and the characters within it." 

Client service: "Professionalism, attention to detail and a friendly manner."

Market standing: "A very good firm with a good client base in this area." 

Notable practitioners 

Lee McBride advises clients on corporate and real estate transactions. Sources describe him as "a good environment lawyer."   

Information Technology - Midlands

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

What the team is known for Large, dedicated IT practice with a concerted focus upon the telecoms, utilities and retail sectors. Capably advises on non-contentious projects, as well as contentious scenarios.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "I think they're strong in the IT area and understand the impact of IT upon business."

Market standing: "I've dealt with them in the past and I know from clients that the firm is one of the strongest in the Midlands market." 

Work highlights Represented Specialist Computer Centres in relation to a claim for commission in accordance with a trading agreement brought by Decorus.

Advised West Sussex County Council on the outsourcing of its back office services to Capita. 

Notable practitioners  

Sally Mewies "has a brilliant way of talking to clients. She has the background to tell them what sort of things they should focus on in their negotiations and possesses excellent industry know-how." She recently advised Vodafone on an IT outsourcing matter.

Sarah Sasse retains a strong marketplace reputation for her vibrant IT practice. A recent work highlight saw her assist West Sussex County Council as it outsourced its back office services to Capita.

The vastly experienced Bill Jones remains, according to sources, "a well-recognised name in the marketplace." He continues to garner plaudits for his work on non-contentious IT matters.

Patrick Arben's core focus is litigious IT matters. Interviewees highlight his unflappable case handling and exemplary strategic advice. He represented Specialist Computer Centres in the aforementioned matter.

Significant clients Airwave, Capital Shopping Centres, Euroclear, Marks & Spencer, Vodafone.

Intellectual Property - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 10 assistant solicitors
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Renowned IP powerhouse that does an increasing amount of work at an international level. Expertise across branding and patents, as well as a solid understanding of the life sciences sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They're the premier force in the Midlands."

Market standing: "A quality operation – there's is no doubt they're leading the field."

Work highlights Assisted Japan-based Astellas Pharma on a USD90 million collaboration and licence agreement with Optier Pharmaceuticals.

Advising AstraZeneca on drawing up a joint development and commercialisation agreement with Amgen.

Notable practitioners  

Cerryg Jones is an expert on issues surrounding brands and has extensive experience in litigious matters. He is both "technically excellent" and "fantastic with clients," and was recently involved in a parallel importing dispute in the High Court.

Patrick Duxbury heads up the life sciences team and is an expert on licensing issues. He led the team advising AstraZeneca on drawing up a joint development and commercialisation agreement with Amgen.

Luke Kempton is an expert on issues surrounding patents, advising clients on both contentious and non-contentious matters. He was lead partner advising Astellas Pharma in the aforementioned matter.

Kate Swaine has a considerable amount of experience in dealing with litigation concerning brands and designs. She is praised as being "very commercially minded" and has extensive experience in managing multi-jurisdictional IP enforcement programmes.

Significant clients Dyson, Marks & Spencer, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Bird's Eye.  

Litigation - Midlands

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Excellent reputation in the Birmingham market. Sought by corporate clients and prominent individuals to advise on high-value, commercially sensitive cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Strategic planning: "The team offers extremely sound and robust advice, as well as tactical awareness."

Work highlights Advised two former employees of Cyprus hedge fund IKOS on claims of around £40 million arising from unpaid bonuses and share entitlements.

Notable practitioners  

James Gordon is viewed as a "real high-flyer" in the Birmingham litigation market. His recent experience includes major negligence and contract claims.

Sources identify Andrew Smith as a "very good tactician," "excellent at stripping issues down to the bare essentials," and having "a fantastic turn of phrase." He is called upon to advise on a range of contentious issues.

"Excellent" practitioner Andrew Manning Cox is singled out as one of Birmingham's most distinguished litigators. Sources admire his impressive intellect. He is also a mediator.

Significant clients Philips, Vodafone, PwC, Dyson, Home Retail Group.

Pensions - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Pre-eminent Midlands pensions practice. Known for providing clear and commercial advice on all types of pensions matters. Collaborates with the firm's London-based pensions experts to bolster its offering.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They are top-class. They're very good communicators as well as knowing their subject."

Cost-efficiency: "They get to the nub of problems in a cost-effective way."

Clarity of advice: "The team is able to explain very complex technical matters to laymen."

Work highlights Developed a bespoke occupational pension scheme for Morrisons to enable it to meet its new automatic enrolment obligations. The scheme will be offered to all 135,000 of Morrisons' employees.

Assisted Amey on the pensions aspects of its £2 billion highways maintenance agreement with Sheffield City Council. Under the terms of the contract, Amey will be responsible for improving and maintaining the city's highways for the next 25 years.

Notable practitioners 

Richard Black is recognised as "an outstandingly good lawyer," with particular strength advising on the pensions aspects of corporate transactions. One source states: "He provides very direct and understandable advice in an informal style, which is valued by our trustees."

Head of department Glyn Ryland is praised as "very personable and approachable" with excellent communication skills. Areas of specialism include pensions investment issues, asset-backed funding structures and funding negotiations.

Paul Carberry impresses clients with his knowledge and "ability to explain complex issues in a way that the trustees can understand." He is noted for his expertise in public sector pensions matters.  

Kevin Milton is a well-regarded associate at the firm. He is able to advise trustees and employers on the full gamut of pensions issues.

Vivien Cockerill is head of pensions strategy and leads the trustee governance team. An impressed market commentator says: "She's an outstanding lawyer."

Joanne Tibbott is a talented associate at the firm. She has experience advising employers and trustees on a wide spectrum of pensions issues.

Associate Chris Stiles is praised as "technically very strong." He is able to tackle both non-contentious and contentious pensions issues for clients.

Alison Winstanley is an associate with strength in areas such as scheme wind-ups, employer debt, liability management and age discrimination.

Significant clients Philips Pension Fund, ICL Pension Plan, Mitchells & Butlers Pension Plans, AMEC Pension Plan, Thales UK Pension Scheme.

Planning - Midlands

Basic facts about the department
-2 partners
-9 other qualified lawyers
-Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Strong bench advising on a wide variety of planning mandates. Handles work on behalf of the private and public sector, including planning appeals, inquiries, public consultations, CPOs and High Court challenges. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They are thorough, responsive and diligent."

Work highlights Commissioned by Copeland Borough Council to handle a public consultation on the underground storage of nuclear waste in Cumbria.

Advised Cambridge City Council in relation to a redevelopment scheme at Cambridge railway station.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Thomas acted for Telford & Wrekin Borough Council and St. Modwen Developments on a High Court challenge to a grant of planning permission. Interviewees note that he is "knowledgeable when it comes to planning law and policy, and he is pragmatic." 

Real Estate Litigation - Midlands

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

What the team is known for Works closely with colleagues in the firm's London office to provide clients with a comprehensive service. Acts for commercial and residential developers, corporate occupiers and retailers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They provide excellent client service."

Bench strength: Peers praise the firm's strength in depth.

What's new? Martin Thomas joins the team from Dundas & Wilson. New clients include Morrisons, Transport for London and UK Power Networks.

Work highlights Represented E.ON in a complex dispute concerning the authority of subtenant Gilesports to assign a sublease to its subsidiary.

Acted for Horne & Meredith Properties, successfully opposing a tenant's request for the grant of a new lease under provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

Notable practitioners 

Interviewees consider Paul Kent to be "a top-of-the-tree property litigator," and have been particularly impressed by his "leadership, vision, communication and tactical advice." He acts for major housebuilders.

Associate Paul Barker takes a lead role advising housebuilders and commercial developers on contentious property issues. He is also experienced in business lease renewals.

Significant clients Persimmon Homes, Vodafone, Prologis Developments, Schroder UK Property Fund, Marks & Spencer.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Midlands

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

What the team is known for West Midlands stalwart advising on a range of corporate restructuring and insolvency matters. Clients include directors, lenders and proposed administrators.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "The team is commercial, focused and offers good technical and commercial advice."

Notable practitioners  

Julian Pallett is a key contact here.

Significant clients HSBC Bank.

Tax - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 3 assistant solicitors
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Particularly noted for its ability to advise on the tax aspects of property transactions, as well as VAT matters. Notable expertise in fund structuring, upon which the firm has advised on numerous investments by venture capital trusts and Enterprise Investment Scheme funds. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Wragge & Co has been very supportive in helping us to get an investment product ready for the market. The team has gone the extra mile to provide advice and to conduct an efficient process."

Breadth of service: "An established, organised and well-run organisation that prides itself on providing experts that can deal with a broad range of disciplines in the real estate space."

Work highlights Advised Coral Student Accommodation Fund on its joint venture with student accommodation provider Victoria Hall for the development of a new student accommodation scheme in Selly Oak, involving a land swap and the establishment of an offshore fund.

Assisting Peugeot and Citroen on their sale and leaseback of nine properties, in a deal valued at £30 million.

Notable practitioners 

Neil Pearson handles a wide variety of transactional tax, funds and tax planning matters. Clients are effusive in their praise of his practice: "He has a full grasp of both the commercial aspects of the transactions we undertake and the tax structuring, which is of critical importance to our funds."

Head of tax Lee Nuttall specialises in property tax and VAT, as well as regularly advising on fund structuring. Clients note his technical ability, commercial awareness and client service skills: "He has a very good understanding of the issues, gives good advice and clearly picks up the issues well. He has an excellent way of dealing with clients."

Significant clients LaSalle Investment Managers, Maven Capital, Oakfield, Royal London, Development Securities.

Construction - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Feted team, known for advising a broad range of contractors, developers and consultants, nationally and internationally, particularly in the Middle East. Recognised name for both contentious and non-contentious matters. Key clients include the likes of Amec, E.ON and St Modwen Properties. Ranked office in Birmingham.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
National capability: "They are very prestigious in the construction sector."

Notable practitioners  

Simon Baylis is the key contact.

Employment - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for A Midlands heavyweight with a reputation for advising national and international clients on matters arising across the country. A broad spread of expertise is on offer, including in disputes, restructurings and employee investigations. Its work for organisations such as Oxfam, Cathay Pacific, AstraZeneca and Aston Martin demonstrates the breadth of its client roster. Ranked office in Birmingham.  

Notable practitioners Jane Fielding is a key contact.

Intellectual Property - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for A regional titan with a leading roster of clients and experience of acting on IP concerns at national and international levels. Experienced in enforcing trade marks and design rights, as well as patent litigation, licensing and commercialisation agreements. Acts for clients before such bodies as the European Patent Office, High Court and ECJ. Leading clients include AstraZeneca, Unilever, Dyson and Marks & Spencer. Ranked offices in Birmingham.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
National capabilities: "They are a quality national operation. There is no doubt that they are leading the field."

Notable practitioners

Gordon Harris is a key practice contact.

Planning - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Leading national practice advising on planning issues emanating from high-profile projects. Noted for experience in large-scale development matters, particularly for local authorities. Additional expertise in the energy, waste, transport and logistics sectors. Key clients include the likes of Taylor Wimpey, Transport for London and RWE npower. Ranked office in Birmingham.

Notable practitioners

Andrew Thomas is the key contact.

Real Estate - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Birmingham-headquartered practice that leads on some of the most significant investment and development projects throughout the country. Key contact for many high-profile retail names, including Marks & Spencer. Ranked office in Birmingham. 

Notable practitioners Adrian Bland is the key contact.

Competition/European Law - The Regions

What the team is known for Demonstrates considerable expertise in competition matters affecting intellectual property. Possesses significant experience in contentious competition work, including cartel cases, market investigations and litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial approach: "Their advice was very commercial, coherent and clear."

Work highlights Acted for Seiko Epson in High Court litigation for patent infringement. The case involved a counterclaim against the client for alleged abuse of dominance.

Notable practitioners  

Bernardine Adkins has an excellent reputation in the competition market and is highly rated by peers. She is particularly adept at handling contentious competition issues, including a number of cartel cases of late.

Significant clients Aston Martin Lagonda, Origin Enterprises, Thomas Vale Construction, Premier Foods Group. 

Capital Markets - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 10 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers 
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Particularly noted for expertise in the investment funds sector. Also known for its extensive international experience, having handled transactions on behalf of companies operating in numerous jurisdictions across Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa and Australasia.  

What's new? The group received instructions from a number of new clients, including Trading Emissions and European Islamic Investment Bank.

Work highlights Advised Praetorian Resources, an investment company with a natural resources focus, on its AIM IPO. Upon listing it had a market capitalisation of £20 million.

Handled a cash placing and subscription, which raised £47.5 million, on behalf of Circle Holdings.

Notable practitioners  

Nick Heather advised Circle Holdings with regard to a £47.5 million placing and subscription. He is a stock exchange and corporate finance specialist who has a significant investment funds expertise.

John Reed offers a wealth of experience acting on behalf of AIM-listed investment companies. He acted for Terra Capital in connection with its USD90 million tender offer and substantial restructuring.

Significant clients Greenko Group, Cove Energy, Firestone Diamonds, Trading Emissions, Kalahari Minerals.

Construction - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Long-standing practice running a broad shop for non-contentious and contentious matters both in the UK and abroad. Notably active in energy, power and infrastructure projects. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "We're very impressed with their background knowledge, the speed of their reaction, and the accuracy of their opinion and advice." 

Efficiency: "Very well organised, they usher their clients and witnesses to make sure papers are filed on time."  

What's new? On 1st May 2014, Wragge and Co. and Lawrence Graham merged to become Wragge Lawrence Graham and Co.

Notable practitioners

Head of department Simon Baylis continues to impress market commentators. He has extensive experience in the industry and clients benefit from his background as a quantity surveyor. 

Sources observe that Ashley Pigott "gets to what is important then fights hard on those points." He is an accredited adjudicator but also practises in other dispute resolution methods, and works on non-contentious matters.

Philip Baker  focuses on advising on and negotiating construction contracts. He has useful expertise in the effect of insolvency on construction matters, and recently acted for A J Gallagher in connection with The Walbrook building, a new office development.

Significant clients Amec Group, E.ON UK, Hyder, May Gurney, Morgan Sindall.

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 10 partners
- 15 other qualified solicitors

What the team is known for Respected for regulatory expertise and experienced in EPC contracting on behalf of energy clients. Has built up significant experience in renewable and alternative energy projects in addition to handling power matters.

Strengths (Mainly quotes from clients)
Efficiency: "Good reaction speeds and accurate opinions and advice."

Work highlights Represented Infinis in all aspects of the judicial review of a decision by Ofgem to refuse accreditation to two landfill gas generating stations under the Renewables Obligation Order.

Acted for Statkraft UK in connection with power purchase agreements.

Notable practitioners  

Public and regulatory law specialist John Cooper has a particular focus on energy matters, and has provided advice to the the Department of Energy & Climate Change in connection with its smart metering programme.

Power specialist and head of energy Derek Goodban has acted on behalf of Statkraft and other organisations on power purchase arrangements, and also led on the aforementioned judicial review on behalf of Infinis.

Gus Wood has gained significant experience in negotiating power purchase agreements, and peers note his raised profile in this sector: "We come across him on power negotiating arrangements and we think he's good."

Significant clients Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation, Opus Energy, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Covanta.

Health & Safety - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- Recommended office locations: Birmingham

What the team is known for Acts for a wide range of clients in relation to regulatory investigations.

Notable practitioners 

Susan Dearden acts for public bodies as well as private enterprises in connection with regulatory issues. She is praised for her practical approach, and for being "great to work with."

Andrew Litchfield is a partner in the regulatory litigation group. He has a broad practice that includes advising on environmental, trading standards and health and safety matters.

Healthcare - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 22 partners
- 37 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham, London

What the team is known for West Midlands stalwart focused on transactional work for private health clients. Broad commercial expertise encompassing commissioning, outsourcing, regulatory and procurement matters. Actively involved in the transfer of commissioning responsibilities from PCTs to clinical commissioning groups.

Work highlights Assisted NHS Midlands and East on three transforming pathology services projects, involving reconfiguration of NHS pathology services, achieving quality improvements and cost efficiencies. 

Advised NHS Midlands and East Strategic Health Authority and Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust on the creation of a unique franchise model to launch the first independently run public hospital.

Notable practitioners  

Bleddyn Rees heads the firm's healthcare group.

Significant clients Health Authority of Abu Dhabi, NHS Midlands and East, Croydon Local Authority, Integrated Pathology Partnerships, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

Insurance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: London

What the team is known for Handles high-level insurance and reinsurance matters for major domestic and international insurers and reinsurers. Has particularly strong expertise regarding Bermuda Form disputes and considerable experience in the energy, political risk and property spheres.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "An extensive knowledge of insurance and reinsurance law and industry issues, as well as an acute understanding of the commercial realities of the market."

What's new? XL Insurance Bermuda is a new client.

Work highlights Recently advised Arthur J Gallagher/Heath Lambert on an £18 million brokers' negligence claim brought against Heath Lambert resulting from the  placement of a significant property insurance policy.

Notable practitioners  

The "very good and very high-quality" David Breslin is singled out for his reinsurance practice, which includes marine and non-marine coverage disputes. He also handles direct insurance claims. Clients highlight his "market savvy and outstanding insight into insurance, reinsurance and the law."  

Antony Woodhouse has "amazing depth and breadth of knowledge of insurance and reinsurance law," according to one client. He has a vast practice which encompasses property and business interruption, professional liability and Bermuda Form arbitrations.

Significant clients Allianz, Aspen, AXA, Chubb Group, Meritz Fire & Marine.

Investment Funds - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 12 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers expert advice on a range of asset classes, displaying particular expertise in the closed-ended listed sector. Well regarded for its representation of sponsors, nomads and brokers alongside its work for investment trusts and companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "Good insight into current market practice. They are a commercial law firm that can give you current advice - we want lawyers who can take a view and they can."

What's new? New client wins include C2 Capital Two Limited Partnership and Oxford Limited Partnership.

Work highlights Acted for BlackRock North American Income Trust on its main market listing and fundraising, which achieved £65 million.

Advised Dexion Capital and Jefferies International as joint sponsors, financial advisers and book runners on the IPO of Starwood European Real Estate Finance, which raised £228.5 million.

Notable practitioners  

John Reed wins admiration from sources for his commerciality and hands-on approach to matters: "He gets involved and doesn't let more junior staff run the whole process." Of late he acted for Oriel Securities on GCP Infrastructure Investment's £132 million fundraising.

The "efficient and practical" Nick Heather has had a busy year acting on matters for Terra Catalyst Fund, London and St. Lawrence Investment Company and Terra Capital. He is renowned for his expertise in closed-ended listed funds.

Oliver Riley spearheaded the team working on BlackRock North American Income Trust's fundraising and listing on the main market. Sources identify him as a "young partner but definitely a name on the up." 

Significant clients Aberdeen Asset Management, Cenkos Securities, AXA Sun Life, Legal & General, Laxey Partners.

Life Sciences - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A transactional practice that ranks amongst the best in class for the life sciences sector. Expertise in collaboration, licensing and distribution agreements. Also houses a capable patent litigation offering. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "The quality of the work is excellent and consistently so. They are extremely professional." 

Market standing: "They're phenomenal within this space." 

Work highlights Advised Astellas Pharma on a licensing and collaboration deal with Optimer Pharmaceuticals worth around USD90 million.

Advised AstraZeneca on a joint development agreement with Amgen concerning five antibodies used to treat a range of diseases.

Notable practitioners  

The "outstanding" Patrick Duxbury has a first-rate transactional life sciences practice and "never fails to get the deal done," according to one of many sources singing his praises. "When he's at the helm, we feel like we're in control," added another. Duxbury was the lead lawyer on the AstraZeneca deal with Amgen.

Litigator Paul Inman handles patent disputes with a focus on pharmaceuticals. He recently acted for Lundbeck on a patent revocation case brought by Resolution Chemicals.

Luke Kempton's practice comprises a mix of contentious and non-contentious life sciences work. Sources comment that "his scientific understanding is extremely good." He advised Astellas Pharma on the Optimer matter.

Significant clients Eisai, arGEN-X, Heptares Therapeutics, Astex Therapeutics, AZ Neuro.

Local Government - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 25 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Birmingham, London

What the team is known for Widely respected team with considerable strength in energy and infrastructure work. Employment and outsourcing work are prominent features of its local government practice. 

Work highlights Acts for the South London Waste Partnership on procurement and contract work relating to the development of an energy from waste facility.

Advises the London Legacy Development Corporation on governance, property and contract transfers from the Olympic Park Legacy Company after the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Sellers maintains a broad local government practice, with particular strength in the financing of regeneration projects.

Mark Greenburgh is highly regarded for his knowledge of public sector employment matters, with complementary skill in governance issues.

Significant clients Mayor of London, Transport for London, Suffolk County Council, Norfolk County Council.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 9 partners
- 24 other qualified lawyers
- Offices locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Known for handling IT infrastructure outsourcings, with notable sector experience across telecoms, health and utilities. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "The team should win a prize for patience and skill in keeping things moving because they ensured that everyone was on side and able to drive it through."

Client service: "They were flexible, engaged and willing to understand the context. They combined this with commercial awareness, pragmatism and communication."

Technical ability: "Their drafting makes all our contracts consistent so anyone in our business can use them.  They are clear and concise."

Work highlights Advised Saudi Arabian Airlines on a major project to outsource the design, build and operation of a modern 400-bed general hospital in Saudia City. 

Advised Vodafone as a customer on a commercial agreement for the outsourcing of its call centre to Teleperformance.

Notable practitioners  

Bill Jones continues to enjoy an excellent reputation amongst peers. 

Senior partner David Hamlett advised on the team's aforementioned project with Saudi Arabia Airlines. Sources say: "He provides great advice to get things done."

Senior associate Simon Edwards acts on commercial contracts and outsourcing projects. Sources highlight his market awareness, saying he "writes and speaks plain English, and doesn't make a point to show off."

Significant clients Citi, Iglo, London Borough of Croydon, Marks & Spencer, Vodafone.

Since publication, Simon Edwards has joined Shoosmiths

Pensions Litigation - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 8 partners
- 2 directors
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Birmingham, London

What the team is known for Sizeable team split between Birmingham and London, operating out of the firm's wider pensions group. Equipped to handle the full range of pensions disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "The team makes sure we understand what we're doing and is very responsive to questions, no matter how naive."

Regional capability: "They are good at co-ordinating the resources they offer between their offices. They provide a joined-up offering, no matter where clients are."

Client service: "I think they're progressive, not stuffy, and take a good modern approach to pensions litigation."  

Work highlights Advised the representative beneficiary in the high-profile Industrial Acoustics rectification case concerning the equalisation of male and female retirement ages.

Acted on behalf of the representative beneficiary in litigation involving the Sea Containers 1983 Pension Scheme. This involved the interpretation of various contractual promises made to female members outside of the scheme rules in 1994, when the employer and trustees decided to equalise retirement ages.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Shave is based in the firm's Birmingham office and has a "superb reputation" for pensions litigation. According to one source, he is "gifted, technical and astute."

Director Ian Gordon is praised as "very knowledgeable." He is particularly well known for his expertise in pensions-related negligence claims.  

Nicky Yarwood is an associate at the firm and regularly acts for clients in a wide range of court applications. Interviewees describe her as "very experienced, competent and thorough in her work."

Adam Bushby is praised for giving "level-headed and practical" advice on a broad spectrum of pensions disputes.

Significant clients AMEC Pension Plan, ICL Group Pension Plan, Thales UK Pension Scheme, G4S Pension Scheme, Tarmac Pension Funds.

Projects - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- Offices in London and Birmingham

What the team is known for Acts on PFI and PPP projects in the UK, the Middle East and Africa. Focuses on sectors such as transport, defence, waste, and health.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Competent individuals focused on meeting the client’s needs."

Work highlights Advised the South London waste partnership on a waste PPP.

Advised Amey Ventures in connection to the Sheffield Highways PFI.

Notable practitioners 

Stephen Kenny is a PFI and projects partner advising on waste, defence and education. Advised the Ministry of Defence on its £3 billion 'future submarines' PPP. Sources say: "He is very personable, he is a deal doer and solution finder, and he knows a lot about the subject."

David Fennell is active in the PFI sector with a particular strength in the transport field. He advised Community Solutions Investment Partners on a health and leisure LIFT scheme. Sources say: "He is very diligent, commercial and he has a good sense of humour." 

Significant clients Shropshire County Council, AMEC, BNP Paribas, Covanta Energy, RWE npower.

Public Procurement - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 6 partners  

What the team is known for Recognised for its strong public sector practice, the team offers expert procurement advice to clients in healthcare, construction and local government. Strong experience with IT and housing projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: The team earns commendations for its excellent client service and broad public sector expertise.

What's new? On 1st May 2014, Wragge and Co. and Lawrence Graham merged to become Wragge Lawrence Graham and Co.

Work highlights Advising NHS Midlands & East Trust on all elements of the procurement of pathology services.

Notable practitioners  

Chris Brennan is a key contact.

Significant clients South London Waste Partnership, Sandwell MBC, Gloucestershire County Council, West Sussex County Council.

Retail - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- Recommended office locations: Birmingham, London

What the team is known for Established reputation in the retail sector for handling property matters. Increasingly recognised for its international brand protection, employment and advertising work. Praised for its assistance in developing best practices in the retail legal industry. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem-solving: "The individuals are incredibly creative and commercial. They approach things from a business perspective – it's about where you want to get to and finding ways to get there."

Industry knowledge: "They are very good and help us develop best practices and inform us on the legal industry and how we can have higher standards."

What's new? 

New mandates from Supergroup, Jack Wills and Poundland.

Work highlights Advised Marks & Spencer on its multi-channel platform e-commerce project, including its new website.

Advising Mothercare on its branding and advertising campaign, and patent and design protection issues, relating to the launch of its new feeding range.

Notable practitioners  

Real estate partner Christopher Hunt is the key contact.

Significant clients Marks & Spencer, John Lewis Partnership, Mothercare, Morrisons, Fat Face.

Telecommunications - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 13 partners
- 15 associates
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham, London

What the team is known for Vast experience in telecoms real estate and outsourcing work. Also provides litigation support in patent infringement claims. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "The team is professional and committed to providing legally sound advice with an eye on the commercial drivers and cost."

Value for money: "The team provides good value for money and gives clients value-added service, including secondees when required."

Work highlights Assisted Capital Shopping Centres with the contractual issues on the installation and subsequent arrangements of a WiFi network in its shopping centres.

Handled a telecoms patent infringement claim for California-based ASSIA against BT. 

Notable practitioners 

Sally Mewies heads the department.

Significant clients AT&T, MBNL, Vodafone.

Corporate/M&A - West Midlands

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 26 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Renowned mid-market M&A practice focused on the energy, food, healthcare and technology sectors. Growing international offering in the Nordic states and Eastern Europe.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They are very professional and a match for any London firm."

What's new? Specialising in M&A and private equity within the technology sector, Richard Goold has been promoted to partner.

Work highlights Acted for the Accell Group on its USD100 million acquisition of the entire share capital of Raleigh Cycle.

Advised the management team and LDC in relation to a proposed £56.4 million MBO of Forest Holidays.

Notable practitioners

Jeremy Millington acted for Harbert European Real Estate Fund III on its £205 million purchase of SEGRO (KNBC). One source states: "He has a very sound intellect and is very popular with clients."

According to one client, Birmingham-based head of corporate David Vaughan "has a great eye for detail and really gets to grips with the deal." Another states: "He is an incredibly good technical lawyer."

Significant clients E.ON, Sanctuary Housing Association, Assa Abloy, Mercedes-Benz, Buddy Media.

Real Estate - West Midlands

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Extensive expertise across the entire spectrum of commercial property work. Has a number of specialist teams within the department, including commercial development and investment, housing, development and regeneration and retail and leisure. Also able to call upon a dedicated asset management team.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "I still think they are the strongest property team in Birmingham."

Work highlights Acted for St Modwen on its joint venture with Cannock Chase District Council, the £50 million regeneration of Hednesford town centre.

Advised US private equity group Harbert Management on its £204.5 million acquisition of Segro's UK portfolio of 19 industrial estates.

Notable practitioners

Richard Bate leads the residential development team and is considered to be a "very knowledgeable lawyer who gives clear, concise advice." Clients further praise his technical proficiency and his familiarity with the house building industry.

Mark Chester is commended by market sources for his strong public sector practice. His work focuses on development and regeneration projects, and he also offers advice to clients in the education sector.

Mike Trainer is praised by clients for being a "very commercial lawyer." He concentrates on all aspects of commercial development, regeneration projects and investment work.

Significant clients Sanctuary Housing Association, Circle, Enterprise Inns, Marks & Spencer, Transport for London.

Social Housing - West Midlands

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Experienced on housing management, financing, property development and regeneration projects, as well as acquisitions and disposals.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "When it comes down to giving the right information and getting the right service, I've never experienced a problem."

What's new? Midland Heart, Bromford Group, Catalyst and L & Q Housing Association are new panel wins.

Work highlights Advised Sanctuary Housing on a £300 million secured bonds issue.

Assisted Dolphin Square Foundation with the £4 million acquisition of 77 affordable units at King's Cross Central.

Notable practitioners 

Department head Jacqueline Knox is a well-regarded real estate practitioner. She recently advised Dolphin Square Foundation on its acquisition in King's Cross.

Significant clients Circle Group, London Borough of Croydon, Bournville Village Trust, Orbit Housing Association, Home Group.