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Pinsent Masons


Pinsent Masons - London
  • 3 Colmore Circus
  • Birmingham
  • West Midlands
  • UK
  • B4 6BH
  • Senior Partner Richard Foley
  • Managing Partner David Ryan
  • Number of partners  365
  • Qualified lawyers  1200

THE FIRM Pinsent Masons is an international law firm with a long-standing reputation for delivering a high quality service and adding value for clients. The firm’s approach to doing business is structured around developing long-term relationships with its clients, its people and its local and global communities.
With an international resource of over 1,500 lawyers - including 500 lawyers in its headquarters in the City of London - the firm delivers on the ground legal advice from 19 locations, advising clients on their businesses worldwide.
Working with major international and UK corporations, institutions and public bodies, the firm has strong global credentials in four sectors: advanced manufacturing and technology, energy and natural resources, financial resources, and infrastructure.
It also has considerable knowledge and expertise across a wide range of services which cover (for example) corporate, M&A, commercial, competition, litigation and arbitration, banking, restructuring, insurance, regulatory, construction, projects, pensions, property, planning and environmental, procurement, outsourcing, employment, share plans, technology and tax.
Pinsent Masons’ emphasis on listening, understanding and building strong working partnerships has proved essential to the firm’s many successful client relationships, evidenced by the large number of FTSE350 and similar clients for which the firm acts.

INTERNATIONAL OFFICES Aberdeen; Belfast; Birmingham; Edinburgh; Leeds; London; Manchester; Munich; Paris; Istanbul; Dubai; Qatar; Beijing; Hong Kong; Shanghai; Singapore


  • 30 Crown Place,
  • Earl Street,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC2A 4ES
  • Tel (020) 7418 7000
  • Fax (020) 7418 7050
  • DX 119516 Finsbury Square
  • Website : www.pinsentmasons.com

Tax - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises across the full spectrum of corporate tax matters, including M&A, restructuring, joint ventures, property tax and investment funds. Strong client base in the financial services, energy and insurance sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Clarity: "The firm was focused on explaining issues and then recommending the best solution."

Work highlights Advised BAA on tax aspects of its £807.2 million sale of Edinburgh Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners.

Notable practitioners  

Eloise Walker is described by clients as "outstanding – strong technically, commercially very sensible, and worked very hard to ensure excellent client service." She has particular expertise in the financial services sector.

Significant clients KCA Deutag Drilling, APR Energy, HSBC, Agora Oil & Gas, Veolia.

Banking & Finance - Midlands

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

What the team is known for Offers clients a full-service banking and finance practice, with national and cross-border experience. Continues to focus on leveraged and acquisition finance, and has expanded its asset-based lending work. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "Exceptionally good lawyers. You know they will be sensible, pragmatic and friendly."

What's new? Edward Sunderland, a capital markets, securitisation, and asset-finance specialist with over 14 years' experience, joined the team from Wragge & Co.

David Doogan joined the firm from SGH Martineau.

Work highlights Acted for Perfect Homes regarding an asset-based lending facility from Burdale Financial.

Advised Headlam Group on the refinancing of its existing banking facility by two UK Banks. 

Notable practitioners 

David Doogan enjoys a distinguished reputation among peers and clients. He is a "leading lawyer in the market," providing clients with a "pragmatic and commercial approach" to banking issues.

Significant clients HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Santander, BNP Paribas Commercial Finance.   

Construction - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 4 associates/assistants
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham 

What the team is known for Strong, standout player in the market. Noted for its diverse client base, which includes healthcare, infrastructure and transport clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team is client-focused, timely and has good knowledge of the sector."

Notable practitioners  

Anthony Bradley heads the contentious side of the practice. Clients praise him for being "extremely meticulous" and "responsive, effective and on our wavelength."

Nigel Blundell is a key partner for non-contentious matters. He acts for several large national contractors, as well as purchasers from the waste management and local authority sectors.

Significant clients Morgan Sindall, VolkerRail, Galliford Try, Kier, John Lewis.

Employment - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 10 other qualified practitioners
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for A leading employment team in Birmingham that offers the full range of employment advice. Adept at handling key strategic matters as well as contentious issues such as whistle-blowing claims. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Client service is good and based on having an in-depth knowledge of how our company operates."

Problem solving: "I think their strength is that they have no weaknesses. They have always been able to deal with whatever employment issues we have given them no matter how unusual."

Notable practitioners  

The "pragmatic" Jonathan Coley is noted for providing excellent technical support and client service. He regularly advises on transactional employment issues.

Significant clients Fujitsu, Kraft, Aviva, HSBC, Serco.

Information Technology - Midlands

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

What the team is known for Assists a wide range of clients with substantial IT outsourcing projects. Adept at handling matters for both private and public sector clients.

What's new? New clients include the London Borough of Brent and the University of Southampton.

Work highlights Assisted the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on a domestic mobile infrastructure project.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Jon Fell is known for his ability to negotiate effectively with IT suppliers. His practice also embraces IT outsourcing matters, for which he garners further market acclaim.

Significant clients Arqiva, Argyll Business Centres, Homeserve

Intellectual Property - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 1 legal director
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for The group continues to grow in size and scope, and is handling an increasing amount of work for large international companies. Noted for its close associations with major UK universities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "High quality, quick response times and very business-focused."

Client service: "The people are very nice to work with - professional but also friendly and helpful in explaining issues."

Work highlights Advising Silentnight Group on managing a range of IP concerns, including trade mark licensing.

Notable practitioners  

Cerys Wyn Davies is "a real superstar" who advises clients on both contentious and non-contentious matters. She "has great attention to detail, builds good relationships and progresses things proactively."

Significant clients Aviva, Bosch, London School of Economics, Plymouth University, University of Cambridge.

Litigation - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Recognised as one of Birmingham's market-leading commercial litigation practices. Called upon by multinational corporations to advise on high-value, large-scale disputes. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "I find the team is very commercial. They understand clearly what our objectives are through the process and are very switched-on."

Notable practitioners  

Sources report that Jonathan Fortnam "has a really nice way of dealing with clients" and inspires confidence in complex and important commercial proceedings. He is viewed as one of Birmingham's premier litigators.

Greg Lowson is an experienced disputes lawyer, who is "very well respected locally." Clients value his dedication to understanding their concerns.

Significant clients IMI, Homeserve, Unipart, Hill & Smith, Avon Cosmetics.

Pensions - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers 
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Key part of a popular national pensions team. Leads the firm's insured pensions practice out of Birmingham. Noted for its expertise advising insurance companies and product providers, as well as trustees and employers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Members keep on top of matters and we always get follow-ups."

Notable practitioners 

Simon Laight heads up the Birmingham team and the national insured pensions practice. Sources say: "His understanding of insurers and pension products is outstanding."

Nick Stones is recognised as "very capable and personable" and "a very user-friendly lawyer." He has particular expertise in advising charities and public sector clients.

Susan Andrews is a well-respected and experienced practitioner who advises clients on wide-ranging pensions issues. She also does a significant amount of work through Trustee Solutions, the firm's independent trustee company.

Solicitor Katie Vaughan wins glowing praise from sources, with one interviewee describing her as "extremely thorough and technically very good."

Daniel Shelley is a respected member of the team with a specialism in large schemes. He has more than 20 years of experience in pensions law.

Planning - Midlands

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

What the team is known for Part of a strong national team advising on a wide range of planning issues. Adept in matters such as CPOs, Section 106 agreements and judicial reviews. Acts on residential and commercial developments, airports and roads.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They have a good combination of technical expertise, and clear, concise, understandable delivery." 

What's new? Rebecca Warren joined the Birmingham team from Clarke Willmott.

Work highlights Advised St George on the redevelopment of the former News International headquarters in Wapping.

Acted for Gallagher Estates in connection with a new town project near Cambridge. 

Notable practitioners  

Iain Gilbey leads the Birmingham planning group and is also active in the London market. He acted for the Homes and Communities Agency on the negotiation of a Section 106 agreement for the Icknield Port Loop development.

Rebecca Warren joined the firm this year, a move that market observers feel will further strengthen the practice. She is particularly noted for her strength in residential planning matters. She advised on the promotion of a residential scheme outside Bicester. Sources say: "She is tenacious, very well-organised and client-focused."  

Martin Damms impresses sources with his technical ability. He advised on a regeneration project centred on Earls Court in London. According to one satisfied client, "he clearly has an encyclopaedic knowledge of planning law and is academically very good."

Significant clients Berkeley Homes, St James Group, London Legacy Development, Ballymore Properties, Capital & Counties.

Real Estate Litigation - Midlands

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner 
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Continues to act for household-name retailers and leisure sector operators. Also offers notable experience representing clients in the energy sector on property-related matters. 

What's new? New clients include Grosvenor Estates, Carpetright, Crabtree & Evelyn and Stobart Group.

Work highlights Provided strategic advice to JD Wetherspoon, which maintains an 800-plus property portfolio, on its campaign to reduce the insurance premiums charged by landlords.

Represented Royal Bank of Canada in its capacity as landlord, defending a £1 million claim stemming from an alleged failure to provide consent to assign, resulting in a loss of sale by the tenant.

Notable practitioners

"Very tenacious" department head Alicia Foo specialises in disputes connected with the provisions of the Electronic Communications Code. Sources describe her as a "very safe pair of hands" and particularly appreciate that she is "very good at giving us options in terms of what tactics to use."

Significant clients Arqiva, Alstom, NuGeneration, Laura Ashley, Waitrose.

Tax - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partners
- 2 other qualified solicitors
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its ability to serve clients locally and nationwide on a range of corporate transactions and strategic tax planning. Offers clients the benefit of qualified solicitors, tax advisers, accountants and former HMRC officers.

Work highlights Provided strategic advice to Lafarge on SDLT matters and assisted with an SDLT audit.

Acted for MML Capital Partners on the tax structuring of its investment in Exploration Logistics Group and its acquisition of Frontier Medex.

Notable practitioners  

Head of tax Ian Hyde is well reputed among market sources as a strong corporate tax adviser and tax litigator. He was the key adviser to Lafarge on the SDLT work.

Significant clients Avon Cosmetics, AXA, Northgate, Halfords, Yattendon Group.

Banking & Finance - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Broad banking practice covering general corporate lending, leveraged finance, asset-based lending, property finance and project finance. Advises major banks, including HSBC, The Co-operative Bank, Lloyds TSB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank. Strong sector-specific expertise in the construction and energy sectors, wherein the firm advises borrower-side clients such as Xcite Energy, RENERCO Renewable Energy Concepts, Speedy Hire and Sir Robert McAlpine Construction. Ranked offices in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Belfast.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
National capability: "We know we'll get the same service wherever we are because of all their offices."

"Now a very powerful national franchise in Scotland since the merger with McGrigors."

Notable practitioners  

Key contacts include David Doogan, Matt Morgan and John Maciver.

Competition/European Law - The Regions

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 5 other lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham 

What the team is known for Experienced in merger clearance, market investigations and cartel matters. Specialist industries include transport, infrastructure and construction. The team has close ties with the firm's London office to provide a consistent nationwide service.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They have made excellent strides in competition work in the last few years, adding depth and demonstrating an adeptness to handle that work."

Work highlights Advised Ferrovial Servicios and its UK subsidiary, Amey, on the acquisition of Enterprise. This matter involved submissions to the European Commission.

Notable practitioners  

Birmingham-based Giles Warrington is recognised as being "very strong at taking a complex technical area and explaining it well." He has spent a significant amount of time advising clients on market investigations by various regulatory bodies.

Significant clients Keepmoat Group of Companies, The Go-Ahead Group, Hanson, IMI, Musgrave Budgens Londis.

Education - UK-wide

What the team is known for Extensive knowledge of the higher education sector, with experience in acting on complex and sensitive matters. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Expertise: "They fully understand the higher education context, are well informed and have access to the appropriate range of specialisms."

Quality: "They are pragmatic, flexible and responsive, and will offer advice tailored to our needs."

 Breadth: "A truly broad education practice." 

What's new? Edward Sunderland joins the Birmingham office, strengthening the team's bonds and debt capital markets offering to education clients. Mike Pocock also arrives to take up a position in the Manchester office.

Work highlights Advised Plymouth University on negotiating the disaggregation of a joint venture with the University of Exeter.

Counselled Nottingham Trent University on a deal with UPP to deliver 911 student accommodation units and related facilities.

Notable practitioners  

Nicola Hart is a "superstar on statutes and governance," where she "earns her plaudits," according to sources. She also advises education clients on overseas interests.

Janet Hoskin is felt to have an impressive personal following and is "efficient, hard-working" and admired for "keeping things moving forward." She focuses on charity law and has additional expertise in tax matters.

Significant clients University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, Birkbeck, University of London, University of Leeds.

Local Government - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 45 partners
- 55 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Birmingham, Leeds, London, Manchester

What the team is known for Broad national scope with a strong focus on procurement and construction projects. Handles judicial review work, where it acts both for local authorities and for those making claims against them. Financial structuring for local authorities is a core area of expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Pinsents provides consistently high-quality advice that we can always rely on, as well as first-class customer care."

Work highlights Assisted Cardiff County Council with a £1.1 billion joint procurement for a waste treatment facility.

Advises London Borough of Brent on the large-scale regeneration of South Kilburn, including the creation of a new school.

Notable practitioners  

Local authority finance expert Alan Aisbett has carved out a specialism in local asset-backed vehicles and is called on for advice on numerous projects. He has a close relationship with Birmingham City Council, which he has assisted with the creation of a special EU-regulated fund for investment in projects throughout the region. 

Significant clients Bournemouth Borough Council, Birmingham City Council, City of London Corporation, Herefordshire County and District Council.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its expertise in global IT outsourcing projects. Also boasts notable expertise in advising the public sector on high-profile procurement agreements. Impressive experience in contractual disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are dynamic and engaged and, when you are in complicated negotiations, you need people like them who can be flexible in style."

Pragmatic advice: "Pragmatic and sensible advice. They help us define the approach and then do a good job at the detailed work."

Problem solving: "When you have a dispute, you find yourself with a lot of technical information and a huge mess. You want people that are prepared to roll their sleeves up and help you find a position. They ended up helping us establish a really good position."

Work highlights Advising the Department for Culture, Media & Sport on a £530 million national broadband project, drawing on the firm's strengths across a number of areas.

Acting for a public sector body on a series of disputes arising from a significant long-term outsourcing arrangement with a shared services supplier, including the renegotiation of the contractual relationship.

Notable practitioners  

Technology lawyer David Isaac is described as a "real asset to building strong relationships." Another client notes his negotiation skills: "He is very personable, with a clear bottom line."

Iain Monaghan is highly commended for his style. "He is very easy to work with and very approachable. He has his eye on the detail." He is experienced with complex procurements.

Simon Colvin leads the public sector TMT practice assisting clients with outsourcing and technology projects. Clients rate him highly, noting: "He is an extremely able lawyer and he meets all the challenges that come up during the entire process."

Significant clients Capita, Defra, Fujitsu, Logica, Telefónica.

Corporate/M&A - West Midlands

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

What the team is known for Stalwart of the Birmingham corporate M&A marketplace. Particularly active in the healthcare and energy sectors. International focus on USA and India.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "We find them to be very pragmatic and commercial as well as proactive in finding solutions."

Visibility: "They are very well connected and clued-up."

What's new? New client wins include European Care, The Business Growth Fund and Avingtrans.

Work highlights Assisted UK Coal with its £20.3 million sale of Harworth Power to Red Rose Infrastructure.

Advised Briggs Equipment UK on its £36 million purchase of South African conglomerate Barloworld's materials handling business.

Notable practitioners  

Clients describe Paul Harkin as "very commercial and pragmatic, and someone who really helps to solve our problems." He frequently acts for clients within the manufacturing and retail sectors.

Birmingham-based department head Andrew Hornigold specialises in technology-related M&A transactions. He recently acted for Ashok Leyland on the acquisition of a controlling interest in bus manufacturer Optare in India.

Significant clients The Binding Site, Delphi Corporation, Pattonair Group, IMI Group, Halfords Group. 

Real Estate - West Midlands

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Noted for advising public sector clients on regeneration projects and has extensive experience of handling all aspects of commercial development matters. Specific areas of strength include the retail, healthcare, and hotel and leisure, sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They have a good understanding of our portfolio and of the high standards that we require from our legal advisers." 

Responsiveness: "Their advice is always very timely in response and commercial in nature." 

What's new? New client wins include London Borough of Brent and Aylesbury Vale Estates.

Work highlights Advised European Care Group on its £84.8 million acquisition of Public Service Property Investments' UK property portfolio.

Acted for UK Coal in its sale of Harworth Power to Red Rose Infrastructure for £20.3 million. The deal involved the drafting of leaseholds concerning methane gas extraction and transportation.

Notable practitioners

Tom Johnson is considered by sources to be "a bright and astute individual," who is "very proactive and responsive" and routinely displays "sound commercial judgement." He leads the Birmingham team and handles many of its most significant matters.

Peers comment that Joel Kordan "works his absolute socks off," and see him as "a deal maker, a very commercial and technically able lawyer." Kordan recently joined from Shoosmiths. He advises public and private sector clients on regeneration and development.

Significant clients Calthorpe Estates, CBRE Global Investors, Forth Ports, John Lewis Partnership, Union Investment.

Social Housing - West Midlands

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Recognised for work on high-value transactional real estate finance. Advises local and national public authorities, house builders and housing associations on real estate, governance, financing and corporate matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Consistent, high-quality advice that we can always rely on, as well as first-class customer care."

Commercial awareness: "They have the capability to deal with complex issues and be commercial."

What's new?  Cemex, Newlon Housing Trust, Catalyst Housing Association, and the London Boroughs of Brent, Hackney and Tower Hamlets are new client wins.

Work highlights Advised the London Borough of Brent on the regeneration of South Kilburn.

Notable practitioners  

Anne Bowden heads the group.

Significant clients HCA, Ballymore, Ministry of Defence, Morgan Sindell, Linden Homes.