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Addleshaw Goddard LLP

London

Addleshaw Goddard LLP - London
  • Milton Gate
  • 60 Chiswell Street
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC1Y 4AG
  • Senior Partner Monica Burch
  • Managing Partner John Joyce

The Firm Addleshaw Goddard creates and delivers outstanding value. The firm has exceptional lawyers and is a market leader in client investment and understanding. It is known for its constant enquiry and innovation and combines insight with business knowledge to deliver the best results for clients, whenever and wherever required. Addleshaw Goddard is also recognised for its differentiated approach to attracting, retaining and developing great people. The firm offers a full range of commercial legal services from its offices in London, Leeds, Manchester, Dubai, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar and Singapore and through a world-wide network of strong relationships with chosen firms in North America, Europe and other key and emerging jurisdictions. As part of an increasing focus on the Asia Pacific region, the firm also has a formal alliance with Tokyo-based Hashidate Law Office. The firm’s client portfolio is testament to its strength and range of expertise, including financial institutions, public sector bodies, successful businesses and private individuals. It is a leading advisor to FTSE 100 companies, and a market leader across the firm’s operating divisions – commercial services, corporate, finance and projects, litigation and real estate – as well as in its chosen sectors: financial services, government, energy and infrastructure, healthcare, retail and consumer and real estate.

Principal Areas of Work
Commercial Services:
With strength and depth across outsourcing, IP, media, sport, IT, commercial contracts and competition, pensions and trade and regulation, the firm also provides advice on advertising, publishing, broadcasting, new media and e-commerce issues. In addition it has one of the leading employment and employee benefits groups in the UK, renowned for their ability to deal with a range of people issues, unexpected contractual matters and employment claims that are high value, sensitive and have the potential to affect business reputation. Its award-winning Employment Channel provides employment news and training programmes over the internet.
Corporate: Recognised as one of the leading groups in the UK, the firm is well known for its work in M&A, Stock Exchange flotations, corporate finance, public to privates, joint ventures, management buyouts, private equity, corporate restructuring, partnerships, tax, insurance: corporate, regulatory and venture capital. The institutional side of the City practice combines the company, securities, compliance, commercial and tax expertise necessary to advise corporate finance clients. The firm has advised numerous sponsors of domestic flotations and underwriters of equity issues. The firm also has a leading reputation in private equity with strong relationships with all the UK’s equity houses.
Finance & Projects: A practice with a breadth of expertise advising banks, financial institutions and corporates on all areas of finance including general bank lending, acquisition finance, asset finance (including aviation), capital markets, securitisation and structured finance, islamic finance, leveraged finance, project finance, property finance and trade finance. A leader in the PFI and projects field acting for banking clients as well as project sponsors, it also has a leading reputation in the building society sector. The firm’s Business Support and Restructuring Group advises a portfolio of blue-chip clients.
Litigation: The firm has significant expertise in relation to all aspects of dispute resolution. It advises corporate and commercial clients as well as having specialist expertise in areas such as banking and securities, construction disputes, defamation, fraud, white collar crime, product liability, especially in the healthcare industry, real estate, product liability, media, pensions, IT/outsourcing, insurance and reinsurance and also in international arbitration and ADR. Its innovative approach to litigation funding helps clients to retain control of litigation costs and reduce their financial exposure.
Private Capital: The firm also has one of the most significant private capital groups in the UK with trusted advisors to clients including corporates, high net worth individuals and charities on personal financial planning, trusts, contentious trusts and tax.
Real Estate: With one of the largest real estate teams in the UK, the firm has capacity to handle large and very complex transactions, acting for institutional investors and entrepreneurs, national property developers and large corporates (including retail and leisure clients) with extensive property portfolios. In addition to mainstream property advice the firm has specialist expertise in areas such as property litigation, tax and property joint ventures, construction, planning and environment.

    Contacts
  • Commercial Services Malcolm Pike
  • Corporate Yunus Seedat
  • Finance & Projects Richard Papworth
  • Litigation Michael Barnett
  • Real Estate Leona Ahmed

Branches

  • Milton Gate,
  • 60 Chiswell Street,
  • London,
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC1Y 4AG
  • Tel (020) 7606 8855
  • Fax (020) 7606 4390
  • DX 47 London Chancery Lane WC2
  • Email : info@addleshawgoddard.com
  • Website : www.aglaw.com

Banking & Finance - Yorkshire

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Leeds 

What the team is known for A force to be reckoned with in the Yorkshire market, possessing the strength in depth to complete substantial deals within short timescales, and to undertake a diverse spectrum of domestic and international banking work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They work brilliantly and cohesively as one unit with great attention to detail. No other firm has the strength in depth that Lee Shankland has nurtured in the banking team."

"They provide their clients with a genuine partner-led service. They are concerned with giving solid, technical legal advice but are still able to deal with the lawyers on the other side in quite a commercial way. There is no point-scoring, just quality, straightforward advice."

Work highlights Advised a syndicate of lenders, including Barclays and The Co-operative Bank, on a complex group restructuring of four legacy companies which involved the restructuring and refinancing of eight separate syndicated loans.  

Advised two major clearing banks, including Santander, in connection with the recapitalisation of North East Property Partnership and its subsequent acquisition by UK Land Estates.

Notable practitioners

David Handy continues to play a vital leadership role in a number of the firm's high-profile deals, including the recent complex senior refinancing of the Zenith Vehicle Group. One client remarks: "I tend to use Addleshaw on the documentation side for higher-value transactions because of David's reputation as a market leader in banking and finance. He has an excellent reputation and is an extremely capable lawyer."

Karen Sewell remains well regarded by clients and peers, particularly for her work advising lenders and borrowers on corporate finance transactions. 

Michael Kidd's involvement in several of the team's largest transactions of the year has earned him praise and recognition from both clients and peers, one of whom singles him out as "a good operator who is definitely one to watch." 

Significant clients HSBC, Barclays, KCOM Group, Allied Glass Containers, Dart Group.

Construction - Leeds, Bradford and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 29 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Leeds

What the team is known for Acts on complex non-contentious and disputes matters, particularly in the energy, infrastructure and utilities, engineering, commercial development, and PFI and PPP areas.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The speed of response and the quality of advice are very good, along with their knowledge of the engineering and infrastructure industry."

"I can't speak highly enough about them. They have been fantastic."

Work highlights Assisted Oakgate (Monks Cross) with the construction aspects of a £90 million retail park development in York.

Advised infrastructure investor John Laing on project financing for an onshore wind farm near Kettering, Northamptonshire. 

Notable practitioners  

Joe Wilkinson is a specialist in disputes and risk management. Clients comment that "he knows the sector inside out and is good at understanding the commercial angles as well as the legal issues."

James Reynolds is a key partner on the non-contentious team. He is also head of the Leeds nuclear energy practice and his clients include the National Nuclear Laboratory. Clients say: "He has the ability to engage well with the engineers and directors, understand their concerns and understand technology risks."

David Shaw is a specialist in utilities, energy and infrastructure projects. He has a particular focus on water and wastewater schemes.

Significant clients United Utilities, GDF SUEZ, GSH Group, Costain, Sainsbury's.

Corporate/M&A - Yorkshire

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Leeds

What the team is known for Strong bench in the Leeds office driving a highly respected regional and national corporate practice. Highly regarded for experience and know-how in the private equity sphere. Frequent adviser on big-ticket M&A deals, notably in the financial services sector, and a popular choice on the management side.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"What stood out was the commerciality of the team and the advice."

"I had a great working relationship with the partner, our teams worked well together and we were well supported."

"The resources the team has make it a good fit for bigger, more complex deals."

Work highlights Advised NorthEdge Capital on a £25.5 million investment in Fine Industries.

Acted for Bupa Care Homes on its acquisition of Richmond Care Villages Holdings.

Advised CBPE Capital on its investment in Allied Glass.

Notable practitioners  

Yunus Seedat receives plaudits as the driving force behind the Leeds practice. Clients say: "He's excellent - very experienced, understands what's important and cuts through the noise in transactions very effectively." 

Garry Elliott has a broad range of experience advising public and private companies in large transactions, as well as making a strong impression on the local private equity market. According to sources, he "was strong in sharing advice and giving options when key decisions were required."

Peers have a high regard for Neil Woolhouse, who focuses on corporate deals in the financial services sector. Highlights include advising Skipton Building Society on the sale of Mutual One to RSM Tenon.

Recently promoted partner Mark Hallam has assisted the team on numerous transactions including the Bupa Care Homes acquisition of Richmond Care Villages Holdings.

Significant clients Callcredit, Card Factory, Müller, Skanska Construction, One Savings Bank.  

Employment - Yorkshire

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Leeds 

What the team is known for Continues to dominate in the Leeds employment market, representing a prestigious portfolio of clients. Active in employment tribunal work, particularly in whistle-blowing, unfair dismissals and collective disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team is expert in the field. They have been responsive, skilled and professional. We are looked after very well." 

"Understanding the state of our business at the moment is important to us. The team has been responsive and pitched very well. They are friendly and pragmatic, and that is exactly what we need."

Work highlights Represented British Airways in a £150,000 unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim in tribunal proceedings. 

Notable practitioners  

Emma Whiting has broad employment law insight, with specialisation in discrimination issues. Client feedback confirms her as "a very thorough expert in her field."

Significant clients Wolseley, Barclays, National Care, William Hill, Yorkshire Building Society.

Information Technology - Leeds, Bradford and surrounds

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

What the team is known for National reach, supported by a strong network of offices. Focuses on private sector work, handling advisory transactions and disputes. Noted for its high-value technology work within the finance and retail sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We found Addleshaw Goddard to be very efficient. The team knows how to look after the interests of its clients."

Work highlights Assisted Acromas Insurance Company with the purchase and legal transfer of the bespoke code for a core workflow management system software from Parabis Law.

Notable practitioners  

Ian Sampson has significant experience in IT procurement and outsourcing. One source says he is "client-focused and very commercial, and works with you to make sure you get the arrangements that you want."

Significant clients Sainsbury's, Skipton Building Society, Yorkshire Building Society, Associated British Foods, Four Seasons Health Care.

Litigation - Yorkshire

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Leeds

What the team is known for Strong litigation team representing national and international clients in matters that span many jurisdictions from France to Indonesia. Closely connected with other offices in the rest of the UK, and the Middle and Far East.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I feel comfortable engaging in discussions with them. They have been great in understanding out strategy and goals."

What's new? Bill Gilliam joined the practice from Eversheds.

Work highlights Defended government body MCS against a claim for damages amounting to £16 million arising out of the client's decision not to list the claimant's product as eligible for a government incentive scheme.

Represented individuals and LGL Trustees & Nominees in a £140 million claim arising out of the demerger of a large gaming and property empire.

Notable practitioners  

Clients turn to the renowned Simon Kamstra for their complex and technical litigation matters, with one saying that "he's a senior player and the weight of the experience he has was reassuring." As the head of the litigation department, he is regarded as being a leading authority in the Leeds area.

As a new addition to the litigation team, Bill Gilliam promises to strengthen the offering of this department with a wealth of experience in dispute resolution. His areas of expertise include IT, procurement and public law litigation. In addition to being praised for his client management skills, he is known to be "extremely responsive, very practical and focused on getting results."

Significant clients British Airways, Capita, Barclays Bank, Sainsbury's, Acromas.

Pensions - North East & Yorkshire

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

What the team is known for Standout pensions practice in the North East. Dynamic team of experienced practitioners, with expertise across all areas of pensions law. Regularly handles scheme restructurings, auto-enrolment and funding arrangements.

What's new? New clients include Elysium Capital, Lindley Trustees and Graziers Investment.

Work highlights Assisted the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority with drafting and implementing a new pension scheme for MPs.

Notable practitioners  

The "excellent" Jade Murray wins praise from peers in the pensions market, particularly for her work with SSAS and SIPP clients. Her pensions expertise spans a wide array of advisory and transactional matters.

Rachel Rawnsley is the national head of pensions at the firm. She is universally respected by sources in the market, who describe her as "a first-rate lawyer." Clients say: "She is very pragmatic, very commercial, and can explain things and why they are important. Supremely good."

Rachel Uttley is singled out by commentators as "very technically sound." She works with clients on a range of pensions matters, most notably on auto-enrolment issues.

Stuart Mansfield is a well-regarded senior associate at the firm. He is regularly involved in the team's key pensions matters.

Significant clients Britvic, Trustees of the Kelloggs Pension Scheme, British Airways, Trustees of the University of Sheffield Pension Scheme, Arriva.

Planning - Yorkshire

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Leeds 

What the team is known for Versatile planning offering with solid experience in transport, infrastructure and retail mandates. Well-recognised track record acting for public sector clients, with expertise in contentious matters and compulsory purchase orders (CPO).

Work highlights Advised Doncaster MBC on CPO matters relating to a proposed link road from the M18 towards Robin Hood Airport and Rossington.

Advised Extra MSA Services on enforcement against the highway authority regarding a motorway service area development. 

Notable practitioners 

Grant Anderson leads the practice.  

Significant clients Stadium Developments, Strawson Holdings, Sainsbury's. 

Private Client - North East & Yorkshire

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 2 consultants
- 1 legal director
- 9 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Leeds

What the team is known for Specialist private client team offers clients a comprehensive service. Draws on resources of a large corporate firm. Ability to tap into international offices in advising Yorkshire-based clients on the protection of assets held in foreign jurisdictions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They provide a good service, particularly in relation to trust matters. The lawyers challenge us when required and follow up quickly."

Notable practitioners  

Pervinder Kaur focuses on advising high net worth individuals on trust issues involving substantial assets. Sources say she is "very approachable."

Paul Howell is a consultant at the firm and specialises in capital tax planning issues, particularly those with an international element. Clients praise his "very good knowledge of trust matters" and "excellent understanding of the law."

Professional Negligence - Leeds, Bradford and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partner
- 30 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Leeds 

What the team is known for Focused on acting for financial institutions, including banks and building societies, in claims against solicitors and surveyors. Continues to secure major panel appointments in this area. Increasingly advising commercial organisations on professional negligence claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are brilliant. I cannot speak highly enough about them. The whole department is practical and they have done what they needed to do to help me."

Notable practitioners  

Sally Butt leads the teams and is primarily known for her work on professional negligence claims brought by lenders and other financial institutions against solicitors and valuers.

Real Estate - Yorkshire

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

What the team is known for Distinguished practice with an excellent client base at both regional and national level. Renowned for its high-quality work in a broad number of property areas, with impressive performance in advising developers on large-scale, complex schemes. Notably strong investment expertise, and active in the energy, retail and transport sectors. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"It's got a very strong offering - certainly top-tier and well respected."

"A great reputation for having technically excellent lawyers." 

What's new? New client wins include Citygrove, HS1 and Genesis Housing Association.

Work highlights Represented Standard Life Investments in its £471 million conversion into a property authorised investment fund.

Advised Sainsbury's on numerous property matters, including acquisitions, disposals, leasings and developments.

Notable practitioners  

"Standout lawyer" Michael Reevey heads the team and is noted for his depth of knowledge. He is very measured and solution-oriented, and remains a prominent presence in the property market. He is particularly active in joint venture and investment work.   

Sources consider Bruce Lightbody "an excellent lawyer" who is able to quickly and insightfully progress deals. He recently advised Oakgate on the financing aspects of a major shopping centre development. 

Significant clients British Land, JLL, Muse Developments, Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK, Stadium Group.

Real Estate Litigation - North East & Yorkshire

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Offices ranked: Leeds 

What the team is known for Well regarded for its expertise in property portfolio management for high-profile clients in the corporate sector. Also handles complex insolvency-related property work, contested break notices and rent arrears claims.

Work highlights Acted for LGL Trustees and others on a dispute involving alleged breach of contract and fiduciary duty, misrepresentation and negligence.

Notable practitioners

Julie Middlemass's real estate litigation expertise incorporates dilapidations claims, property-related professional negligence matters, and issues relating to rent review and lease renewals. She is praised by market commentators for her commerciality.

Significant clients Associated British Foods, Standard Life, GVA Grimley, Eddisons, Sainsbury's.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Yorkshire

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Leeds

What the team is known for Continues to be a top choice for regional banks, asset-based lenders and building societies. Noted for its strong work on high-value and complex restructurings, administrations and LPA receiverships.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The client service, commercial awareness and general operations were all excellent."

"They are capable of working in the top end and in the mainstream regional section of the market." 

Work highlights Advised RBS and HSBC on the separation of assets and the sale of shares in Cosalt International. Subsequently advised the administrators on the disposal of other divisions owned by Cosalt.

Successfully acted as LPA receivers for Eddisons over a £7.5 million block of residential apartments.

Notable practitioners  

Graham Briggs focuses predominantly on corporate and bank advisory work, and has over 30 years' experience in restructuring and insolvency matters. He has a particular interest in real estate investments, and clients appreciate his "clear, technical advice and the backing for that advice."

Andrew Smith acts for a range of stakeholders in his capacity as a restructuring specialist. He has developed a recent focus on the leisure, engineering and energy sectors. According to clients, "Andy brings great energy and enthusiasm to everything he does."

Ben Slack demonstrates solid knowledge in the areas of asset-based lending, corporate restructuring and security reviews. Clients note his "great commercial awareness" and report that he is an "up-and-coming" insolvency lawyer.

Significant clients Barclays Bank, BDO, Aldermore Invoice Finance, GVA Grimley, Ernst & Young.

Tax - Leeds, Bradford and surrounds

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

What the team is known for Particularly strong in advising on tax issues in the sectors of real estate, renewable energy and private equity, working on both domestic and cross-border deals. Works closely with the firm's office in Manchester to provide a cross-Pennine service to clients. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Regular contact throughout, good technical knowledge, definitely a good eye for detail and very personable."

"They have an ability to make complexity simple and a desire to remove obstacles in order to get a deal done."

"I'm consistently impressed with their quality."  

What's new? Michael Hunter joins the firm from Pinsent Masons. New client wins include Bupa, Maven Capital Partners and Phoenix Equity Partners.

Work highlights Advised Bupa on complicated VAT and pre-sale reorganisation matters connected to its acquisition of Richmond Care Villages Holdings.

Advised AFI Holdco on tax issues related to its £85 million acquisition of AFI Uplift.

Notable practitioners  

Clients are impressed by Michael Hunter's "practical responses and solutions and good-quality advice. He's approachable and happy to chat ideas through." His focus is on real estate and corporate tax, and he recently advised Shepherd Building Group on tax issues, including unusual payment flows, connected with its sale of Leisure Homes and Homeseeker Park.

Significant clients Sainsbury's, Capita, Standard Life, Lloyds Pharmacy, Rolls-Royce.

Banking & Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Reputation for strength in mid-market finance deals and an impressive lender-side practice. Largely known for its work with banks and financial institutions. Increased volume of borrower-side work with notable new instructions from blue-chip companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

“They're easy to get on with and very pragmatic.”  

“They were very good. What they’ve done really well is to stick to their cost estimates.”

Work highlights Represented four major UK lenders in a £130 million acquisition financing, for Kier Group’s procurement of May Gurney.

Acted for Morris Homes, a well-known residential building company, on the complex senior revolving facility provided by RBS, and funding from US lender GSO Capital, with a combined worth of over £200 million.

Notable practitioners  

A highly experienced member of the banking team, John Cutler specialises in leveraged finance and acquisition finance matters. He is well known for his success in the corporate lending arena. Peers describe him as “a really effective guy.”

Amanda Gray is head of the banking and finance team and has worked on building the team in London over the past years. Clients note her as someone who “takes a commercial view; she is always seeking to concisely explain the impact of taking either route. She always has an eye on getting the transaction completed.”

Significant clients Santander, HSBC, Bank of Ireland, PNC Business Credit, Chime Communications.

Banking Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Acts for an impressive client roster, with deep relationships at investment and retail bank level. Demonstrates particular proficiency in cases concerning the mis-selling of swaps and debt products.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are incredibly enthusiastic about financial disputes. They have a passion that really shines through."

"They are an excellent outfit. The banks are always impressed by them and they're good value for money."

"They've got a good support network. They're able to attract top-quality associates and trainees."

What's new? Gained Dutch development bank FMO as a new client.

Work highlights Acted for the Berlin public transport provider, BVG, in defence of J.P. Morgan's claim of approximately £130 million relating to the purchase of CDOs and their validity as a security.

Defended the Leipzig Water Authority, KWL, against claims brought by a collection of international banks amounting to approx USD400 million. The claims relate to CDOs entered into by KWL which defaulted during the financial crisis.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Mark Gill has a truly enviable market following. According to clients, he is "ferociously smart, a real chess player of a litigator - more moves ahead than anyone I've ever met. To my mind the best litigator out there."

Michael Barnett leads the team acting in defence of KWL in claims relating to CDOs, illustrating a proficient skill in complex debt derivatives. He is reportedly "fantastic with clients," who say: "He always delivers the right result. An extremely capable partner."

Significant clients Barclays Bank, Bank Leumi, Rathbone Brothers, Standard Life, Plurimi Capital.

Competition/European Law - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Active in mergers and market investigations. Particular expertise in the regulated utilities sector.

Work highlights Advised Bupa Care Homes on merger control issues arising from the disposal of its Surgichem adherence packaging business to Omnicell.

Notable practitioners  

Bruce Kilpatrick is well respected by sources. He has particular expertise in merger control.

Rona Bar-Isaac is regularly called upon to advise on market investigations. Clients report that she has a "strong knowledge of competition law" and "an eye for detail." 

Construction - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Solid contentious and non-contentious offering, focusing on the energy, engineering, housing and utilities sectors. Acts for a varied client base both nationally and internationally. Recently opened several offices in Asia.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The level of service was excellent, with clear and concise advice that met deadlines. The experience and knowledge of the team, against the value for money, were spot on."

"Their quality of client service, advice and knowledge of the sector are absolutely superb." 

Work highlights Acted for Croydon Council Urban Regeneration Vehicle on the design and build of a £96 million residential development.  

Advised Femern on procurement relating to a fixed link between Denmark and Germany, an immersed tunnel project worth over EUR5 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew McVeigh is described as "an innovator and market leader" by a client, who adds that "his rounded advice, experience and commercial acumen enabled deals to be shaped in a manner that met our risk profile and saved costs." He heads the practice and handles non-contentious work.

Significant clients University Partnerships Programme, Volkswagen, Carillion, Peel Group, United Utilities.

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 27 partners
- 33 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Broad-based corporate practice which regularly acts for well-known domestic and international names. Developing a practice in emerging markets, with a particular focus on Africa. Sector strengths include energy, real estate and retail.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a real proactive desire to understand the business and get under its skin."

"One of the best firms I've seen at anticipating the sort of thing you'll need before you need it."

Work highlights Represented Hikma Pharmaceuticals in a joint venture with MIDROC Group in Ethiopia.

Acted for GVC Holdings in collaboration with William Hill on its £485 million purchase of Sportingbet.

Notable practitioners  

Charles Penney is "one of the pre-eminent public company lawyers," according to sources, who are quick to point out his prior experience with the Takeover Panel. He is a seasoned practitioner, with some 30 years as a solicitor.

Andrew Rosling is an "absolutely excellent" practitioner who is "particularly good at emerging markets." He advised Sainsbury's on its joint venture with Vodafone to create Mobile by Sainsbury's.

William James is noted for his "very practical mindset," according to sources, who also note his knowledge of the corporate area. He assisted Barclays in its purchase of 20% equity in RS2.

Significant clients Associated British Foods, Barclays, Britvic, Diageo, Sainsbury's.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 9 associates

What the team is known for Known for advising clients in the financial services sector as well as its large public company client base. The London team is strengthened by an impressive regional offering, allowing it advise across the full range of employment matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We continue to recommend them to others because of their strength in dealing with detail."

"A high-quality London team which uses its national coverage well." 

Work highlights Advised British Airways/BMI on tribunal claims brought by 150 pilots following the closure of bmibaby.

Advised Global Radio on the employment aspects of its purchase of GMG Radio including the sale of stations following a decision by the Competition Commission.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Michael Leftley is described as an "excellent and pragmatic lawyer" with a "great level of expertise in the area." Sources note his focus on reaching resolutions, calling him "sensible and good to deal with."

Richard Yeomans is a "class act" who regularly advises on the employment aspects of transactions and investigations. He counts Morgan Stanley and Britvic among his clients. He works on all aspects of employment law for blue-chip clients.

Annabel Mackay is praised for her attention to detail, with an impressed client noting her "technical ability and ability to give detailed advice." Others comment that she is "very attuned to the client's approach and very proactive when it comes to client management."

Significant clients Accenture, Britvic, Morgan Stanley, Paramount Pictures, Standard Chartered.

Environment - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for London office of the firm's national environment team advises on corporate and real estate transactions, and the defence of regulatory enforcement actions and investigations. Sectors of expertise include energy, chemicals and manufacturing.

Work highlights Advised Tata Chemicals Europe on its purchase of a gas-fired combined heat and power plant for £250 million.

Acted for PwC and BDO on the restructuring of UK Coal.

Notable practitioners

Claire Sheppard advises clients on contentious and non-contentious environment matters. She acted for NorthEdge on its acquisition of the chemical company Fine Industries. She regularly advises companies facing investigations or prosecutions by the Environment Agency. A peer described her as "one of the best technical lawyers in the market."

Significant clients National Nuclear Laboratory, Travelodge, Plasrecycle.

Financial Crime - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Increasingly instructed in high-profile investigations. Acts for major clients, both domestically and internationally. Notable sanctions expertise.

Notable practitioners  

Nichola Peters is head of the corporate crime and investigations practice. She is a highly successful internal investigations practitioner, and has been integral to developing the firm's sanctions and export control practice.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Expanding IT practice which concentrates on large-scale projects for major corporates and government bodies. Significant knowledge of areas such as digital payments alongside notable experience in technology structuring matters. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have always been quick to lead on co-ordination and are very strong in terms of the documents produced. They are very sensible in taking into account our interests and they are able to provide some strong guidance." 

What's new? New client wins include Sainsbury's Bank and RCI Financial Services.

Notable practitioners  

Clients laud associate David Futter as "someone who can be relied on to get the job done. He's able to really lead, has very strong negotiating skills, and is able to see and understand the other side's view point." He concentrates on procurement, outsourcing and payments matters for financial services clients. 

Significant clients Associated British Foods, R. Twining and Company, Xemex.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 18 partners
- 36 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong litigation firm that has instructed on some of the most high-profile commercial and civil fraud cases before the Commercial Court. Particularly known for representing high net worth individuals as well as corporates and major banking clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

“They performed very well on a very difficult case that they had to get ready in a very short period of time."

 “They were very good. They broke it down into bitesize chunks and told us what we needed to do.”

Work highlights Defended Mukhtar Ablyazov against various fraud claims brought by BTA Bank, which he alleges to be politically motivated.

Represented Volskwagen and Thales in successfully obtaining an interim injunction restraining the publication of an academic paper claiming to have identified weaknesses in the technology used in the immobilisers of millions of cars.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Hastings handles substantial international litigation, with particular expertise in fraud proceedings, warranty disputes, shareholder disputes and trusts litigation. Sources say: “He is a very focused individual, who has great attention to detail. He has relentless determination and is a fearless litigator.” He recently acted for Dar Al Arkan and Bank Alkhair on high-profile claims against Mr Al-Refai and others, alleging the publication of confidential information for the purposes of undermining the claimants' business.

Significant clients Rathbone Brothers, Standard Life, Associated British Foods, GSK, Leipzig Water Authority.

Pensions - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Offers clients the full range of pensions services, with particular strength in public sector work. Noted in the market for its trustee and employer advisory practices and is able to draw on its strength in offices outside of London for further expertise.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They don't just provide the legal analysis but add a business perspective that brings clarity to the goal."

"They are very collaborative in their approach with other professional advisers."

Work highlights Acted for Citrus Pension Plan Trustee on a wide range of pensions matters, including the entry of part of the scheme into a Pension Protection Fund assessment period, as well as its subsequent exit.

Advised Chemtura on the closure of two defined benefit schemes by Baxenden, a UK subsidiary.

Notable practitioners

According to clients, Catherine McAllister "will not just give you a legal position, but also options and a recommendation." In addition: "She is able to supplement the legal advice with the businessperson's perspective." She assisted Chemtura over the closure of two of its UK subsidiary's defined benefit schemes.

The "very skilled" Nicola Severn was part of the team that advised Citrus Pension Plan Trustee on a wide range of pensions matters. Clients highlight her as "incredibly quick and very practical."

Significant clients Celesio, British Airways, Crédit Agricole CIB Trustee, ICON, Trustees of the Gulf International Bank scheme.

Planning - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Focuses on infrastructure planning, with sector specialisms in the transport and energy sectors. Residential development work for house builders is another area of strength. Advises notable retailers on planning issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're very good and very responsive, and they always have the right people at the right meetings; if we need them at a certain period of time they make themselves available."

"They know our business pretty well and they have people in different departments so they can cover most things." 

Work highlights Represented Taylor Wimpey in S106 negotiations for the 441-home residential development scheme at a former RAF base in Daws Hill, in Buckinghamshire.

Acted for UPP on the promotion of a 1,100-room student accommodation development in Cartwright Gardens, central London.

Notable practitioners  

Marnix Elsenaar leads the planning team and acts for developers on residential and commercial projects. Clients regard him as "very knowledgeable and approachable."

Gary Sector advises on a broad range of planning matters, with a key focus on energy and infrastructure projects including waste-to-energy facilities. 

Significant clients Sainsbury's, Luton Airport, Muse Developments.

Real Estate Finance - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Advises on a diverse range of property-related finance transactions, with notable expertise in hotel and student accommodation financings. Particular experience in acting for investor clients from the Middle East.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They offer proactive client support and take a commercial and pragmatic approach. They're efficient in their execution of transactions. A well-balanced firm that looks to ensure the client experience is good. " 

Work highlights Represented Heron Tower Property Unit Trust as borrower on the £288 million refinancing by Starwood of the Heron Tower in Bishopsgate.

Acted for Peel Media on the £320 million refinancing of the MediaCityUK broadcasting complex in Salford.

Notable practitioners  

Dave Wilson has a strong practice with an emphasis on acting for senior and mezzanine debt providers. Sources say: "He's incredibly well respected in the market."

Paul Salsbury specialises in UK and pan-European real estate finance. Recent highlights include Helaba's £155 million syndicated facility secured on a portfolio of distribution centres. Clients appreciate that "he is keen to try and build the relationship, meet the requirements we have, and tailor their service to meet our requirements."

Significant clients Aareal Bank, Canada Life Investments, Deutsche Hypothekenbank, Handelsbanken, Santander.

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Handles significant property development matters, service charge disputes and dilapidations claims. Significant practice in property-related professional negligence.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They do an excellent job. They keep in touch and give me all the information I need to make decisions." 

"The team is very clear on risks, costs and timeframes."

Work highlights Represented Level 3 Communications in a £4 million multiparty dilapidations claim. 

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Blower is head of department. He represents a range of real estate sector clients in disputes including professional negligence actions. Clients say: "He is able to cut through the complexity of litigation and advise me in a simple way so I can make decisions." 

Significant clients PwC, Travelodge, Dixons, Volkswagen, Admiral Taverns, Primark.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Highlighted for its work on some of the largest regeneration projects. Very active in the student accommodation market. Additional capability in high-value single asset transactions, including retail property and inward investment deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Addleshaw have a team that really suits how we do our work. They tailor a team around our needs and will help us get a commercial interpretation as well as giving us the facts."

"They are quality through and through."  

Work highlights Advised the Croydon Council Urban Regeneration Vehicle on its project to redevelop key council-owned sites around the borough.

Acted for Green Property Ventures on the sale of One Nine Elms to Dalian Wanda.

Notable practitioners  

Jane Hollinshead is the firm's property sector head and leads the team on significant matters. Enthusiastic clients say she "really drives at things from a commercial business point of view."

Leona Ahmed enters the rankings this year as an up-and-comer, having impressed market sources with her work on major investment deals. Clients describe her as "brilliant. First-class, commercial and very knowledgeable."

Significant clients Threadneedle, UPP, Co-operative Group, Primark, Admiral Taverns, British Land.

Restructuring/Insolvency - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Major national player providing an expert, partner-driven service to clients in the distressed space. Highly active on behalf of banking and lender clients in the domestic UK market.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A credible and pragmatic team that provides good coverage on the corporate and lender side." 

Work highlights Acted for the liquidators of Halliwells LLP on claims brought to recover funds from former partnership members and third parties.

Acted for FRP as the administrator of the nine companies forming the Charles Gee Group, a major independent UK hauliers company.

Notable practitioners  

Fraser Ritson works primarily with banks, lenders and insolvency practitioners, and has a great deal of experience in restructurings and insolvencies. He is singled out by his clients as a practitioner who is "always available, and has a huge knowledge of the law."

Alison Goldthorp is a well-established member of the team who advises on the full gamut of issues in the corporate and personal insolvency market. She is a specialist in contentious insolvency litigation.

Daniel Redstone advises lenders and stakeholders, as well as directors of distressed companies. He focuses his time on corporate insolvency issues, both international and domestic. His clients praise his "very clear and efficient" legal advice.

Significant clients Barclays, HSBC, Santander, NAG, KPMG.

Tax - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Sector specialisms include the financial services and property industries. Regularly advises on the tax side of private equity deals and M&A transactions, and counsels management on tax structures. 

Work highlights Provided tax advice to Admiral Taverns throughout its £200 million sale to US private equity group Cerberus Capital Management.

Assisted One Savings Bank on tax aspects of its purchase of a portfolio of bad loans, worth £950 million, from Northern Rock. 

Notable practitioners 

Elaine Gwilt is a key contact.

Significant clients Sainsbury's, Capita, Diageo, Barclays, Co-operative Group.

Banking & Finance - Manchester and surrounds

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Manchester

What the team is known for Maintains its stellar reputation as a market-leading banking and finance practice in the North West, capable of undertaking a broad range of work for an enviable assortment of high-profile clients. Also distinguished for its specialist knowledge of blended debt packages. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A first-rate corporate banking team. Those guys are personable, they understand the market they're operating in and they are generally commercial."

"Impressed by their knowledge and skill base. They have a thorough understanding of our product and the law that affects our product. They're also approachable and quite commercial." 

Work highlights Advised a major clearing bank in its capacity as lead lender of a EUR125 revolving credit facility for Bodycote, a North West manufacturer.  

Acted for Santander and an additional lender in connection with the provision of £26 million in facilities used to fund the acquisition of Forrest by Palatine Private Equity.  

Notable practitioners  

Martin O'Shea is identified as one of the pre-eminent names in the local banking market by numerous clients and peers, who attest to his capabilities in corporate lending, leveraged finance and real estate finance. He recently led the team on a number of significant lender-side transactions, and he continues to receive praise for his "proactive, balanced approach," as well as for being "a class act and a great deal doer." 

Despite having only recently joined the Manchester banking team, partner Simon Prendergast has already made significant strides in developing the team's asset-based lending presence on a local and national level.

Peers agree that the team's legal director, Richard Chandler, is "a safe pair of hands," and find him "approachable and easy to get on with" when working opposite him on transactions. 

Andrew Maskill is known for his proficiency advising on asset finance matters. Clients similarly highlight his strengths in this area: "He has a thorough understanding of asset finance. He brings good ideas to the table that are commercially acceptable but are also appealing from a legal perspective."

Significant clients Aareal Bank, Barclays, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, Close Brothers, HSBC. 

Construction - Manchester and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Manchester

What the team is known for Particularly well known for transactional work. Strong in the commercial development, energy and utilities, and engineering and infrastructure markets.

Notable practitioners

Nancy McGuire leads the non-contentious side of the practice and acts for public and private clients, including those in the education industry. One source confided: "Her client book, her experience and her grasp of construction law means you really do want her sat on your side of the table rather than against you."

Head of contentious construction Jonathan Tattersall has many years of experience in construction disputes. He is particularly skilled in energy matters and international cases.

Significant clients Semperian PPP Investment Partners, Lotte Engineering & Construction, Oldham MBC, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Corporate/M&A - North West

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Manchester

What the team is known for Major force in significant regional, national and cross-border transactions, with notably strong private equity credentials. Diverse sector experience includes retail and consumer products, commercial property and technology.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are pragmatic, focused on results, and they've got strength and depth in the team."

"Every one of their lawyers displays integrity and is trustworthy - you know they will give you the best advice possible. They are always looking for long-term relationships."

Work highlights Advised healthcare and consumer products manufacturer PZ Cussons on the sale of its Eastern European home care business to German conglomerate Henkel.

Acted the management shareholders of mooring specialists Viking SeaTech on the £150 million sale of the company to US investor Actuant.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Michael Birchall advises leading clients from the North West and further afield on a range of high-end corporate matters, and is widely revered for his experience. Sources state: "You know you're in experienced and safe hands with him, and that you'll get a well put-together deal."

Roger Hart brings "dynamism and deal focus" to his Manchester-based corporate and M&A practice. He is a regular adviser to large clients, particularly plcs, on M&A and corporate finance transactions. He assisted listed bathroom accessory provider Norcros with its acquisition of tap and shower manufacturer Vado.

Jim Tully frequently advises prominent regional names on their corporate matters, such as The Co-operative Group and PZ Cussons. Sources consider him a "very well-known and highly respected legal adviser," who "puts himself in the client's shoes, and responds to issues straight away."

Paul Medlicott is a growing presence in the local private equity market, with a particular focus on the retail and consumer business sectors. His recent caseload included advising LDC on its buyout of vehicle safety and traffic management systems provider ATG Access.  

Richard Thomas is a widely respected figure in the Manchester transactional market. Of note, he advised Capita on its £65 million takeover of Northgate Managed Services.

Significant clients Bruntwood, Peel Holdings, Tata Chemicals, Moneysupermarket.com, Daisy Group.

Employment - North West

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 18 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Manchester

What the team is known for Leading practice providing advice across all aspects of employment law, particularly in recruitment, termination of individuals and Employment Tribunal representation. Impressive client roster includes large, international market leaders in sectors such as retail and hospitality.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a degree of partnership and a give-and-take fluidity which makes the relationship very strong - we can work seamlessly on various activities."

What's new? New client wins include Lease Direct Finance, RMIG and Travelodge.

Work highlights Advised United Utilities on a sizeable pay and reward structure implemented within a trade union environment.

Notable practitioners  

Malcolm Pike advising on the full range of employment matters on a domestic and international basis. Sources recognise his eminence: "He is at the very top - in a different league to many other employment law practitioners."

One source notes that Jamie Hamnett "has a unique commercial touch that his clients really value." His expertise spans sectors such as retail, healthcare and engineering.

Significant clients British Airways, Flowserve, GSH, Moneysupermarket.com, Zep.

Environment - The North

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

What the team is known for Provides the full range of environment advice, with a strong energy and nuclear focus. Advises on regulatory matters in both a contentious and non-contentious context. Also offers expertise on property-related matters such as developments and contaminated land.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are an absolute class act!" 

Work highlights Assisted Tata Chemicals Europe on the £250 million purchase of a gas-fired combined heat and power plant from E.ON. 

Acted for NorthEdge on the £25 million investment into a company acquiring Fine Industries.  

Notable practitioners  

Managing associate Michelle Headrige is well received by peers, who feel she is "extremely sound in her area of work." She has received instructions from clients across a wide range of industries such as waste and chemicals, which has included compliance, legislative and regulatory advice.  

Significant clients PwC, Travelodge, National Nuclear Laboratory, Kajima Partnerships.

Information Technology - North West

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Manchester

What the team is known for Offers advice on procurement deals and large-scale outsourcing projects, including cloud-based systems and enterprise resource planning software. Particularly noted for transactional matters in the financial services sector.

Work highlights Advised Sainsbury's on the formation of its Mobile by Sainsbury's mobile virtual network operator company, a joint venture with Vodafone.

Acted for PZ Cussons on a managed services provision outsourcing agreement.  

Notable practitioners  

Paul Bentham acts for public and private sector clients on a variety of IT matters, including enterprise resource planning, cloud solutions and outsourcing. Sources describe him as "well respected" and a "sound operator." 

James Whittaker leads the firm's national technology and outsourcing practice, providing high-level advice to key clients. Sources regard him as a "good technical lawyer. "

Significant clients Associated British Foods, Barclays, British Airways, The Co-operative Group, Wolseley.

Intellectual Property - North West

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 1 trade mark attorney
- 11 associates
- Office locations ranked: Manchester 

What the team is known for Recognised expertise in non-contentious and contentious matters for a client roster which includes household names. Frequently handles international IP portfolio management issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Addleshaw Goddard is known for its pragmatic and client-focused advice. The firm puts the client at the centre of its work and really tries to deliver advice and a product that is user-friendly."

What's new? New clients include KP Snacks and Digital Cinema Media/Odeon Group.

Work highlights Acted for Sainsbury's on the trade mark licence of the Mobile by Sainsbury's brand.

Advised PZ Cussons Beauty on contractual arrangements with Kate Moss concerning the model's role as brand ambassador for St Tropez products.

Notable practitioners  

Practice leader Paul Bentham is highly respected for his expertise on IP matters relating to joint ventures and company acquisitions. He leads the firm's brands and designs group.

Significant clients British Airways, Co-operative Group, Harrods, Liverpool FC, Tata. 

Litigation - Manchester and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Manchester

What the team is known for Large litigation department representing clients in the North West as well as those with a national presence. Experienced in advising on disputes in foreign jurisdictions such as Africa and the Middle East. Benefits from the combined resources of three UK offices in addition to its wider international network.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are good at not only taking instructions and acting on them, but also taking part in the dialogue and considering what is best for the company."

"Very good - best in class."  

Work highlights Obtained an injunction for Volkswagen and Thales Communications and Securities to prevent the publication of a paper regarding the security of immobilisers used in Volkswagen vehicles.

Representing the Trustees of the Gleeds Retirement Scheme in a complex and high-value dispute relating to the status of the scheme.

Notable practitioners  

John Gosling is known for his impressive commercial dispute work, attaining a "different level of quality." His practice features a prominent focus on large professional negligence matters in which he is widely regarded to be a specialist.

Susan Garrett's "analytical skills are excellent - she can dissect a problem and come up with a solution." Her work regularly includes representing clients in high-value joint venture disputes, contract terminations and pension litigation. She is also celebrated as a proficient mediator.

Clare Dwyer is "a robust litigator and very high quality." Her areas of expertise include public procurement litigation and public law disputes, with extensive experience in a variety of other forms of disputes, including judicial reviews.

Mark Molyneux is adept at handling all manner of litigation areas, including obtaining urgent injunctive relief and worldwide freezing orders on behalf of clients. His recent instructions have included breach of contract and financial investigation cases.

Significant clients British Airways, Capita, PZ Cussons.

Planning - North West

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Manchester

What the team is known for Recognised for its expertise across a broad spectrum of planning work and for its practical approach to complex mandates. Offers significant strength in infrastructure, housing and retail matters. Frequently acts for both public bodies and high-profile private sector clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're very good, and they understand the commercial market we're working in."

"I've been pleased by their responses and their preparedness to actually get involved at an everyday level."

What's new? New client wins include Lloyd Stoddart & Walton Homes, Seabridge Developments and Stadium Developments.  

Work highlights Acted for Omega Warrington on its £1 billion regeneration project, advising on a range of matters including infrastructure delivery.

Represented RRS in a Court of Appeal matter relating to planning permission granted for a waste treatment plant in Derbyshire.

Notable practitioners  

Grant Anderson heads the department and is recognised as a specialist in the field, with sources noting: "He's excellent, he has very good judgement and he's very responsive." He regularly handles complex mandates in the infrastructure and energy sectors.

Significant clients Sainsbury's, JC Bamford Excavators, Standard Life Investments.

Private Client - North West

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

What the team is known for Highly active on behalf of banks, trust companies and other regional businesses thanks to the firm's enviable corporate client base. Also a trusted adviser to international high net worth individuals and family-owned businesses. Increasingly active in contentious probates and trust cases, working closely with the firm's successful litigation department.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The principal driver for the firm's business is commercial, but it recognises that commercial transactions contain a human element, and the private client practice is deeply integrated in that. The team can have an open conversation and has a harmonious approach with clients."

Notable practitioners  

Yorke Eaton leads a growing practice focused on entrepreneurial succession and tax planning, alongside the typical caseload of will writing and trusteeships. Commentators say: "Clients notice Yorke's empathy with them. He understands what the client wants, instead of dictating the situation. He will then convey the law to them simply. He handles issues with great sensitivity, and helps clients through difficult times of bereavement. He distils his advice and he is clear and concise."

Real Estate - North West

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Manchester

What the team is known for Standout real estate practice admired for its capacity in a broad range of property matters. Acts for an impressive client base on major schemes, sales and acquisitions both regionally and nationally. Notable depth in the retail and development sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Resource, commerciality and good old-fashioned effort. First class." 

"As a property practice, the firm to aspire to be in Manchester."

What's new? West Register and Pacific Brands secured as new clients.

Work highlights Advised Bruntwood on various property finance matters, including a £50 million retail bond.

Represented the Co-operative Group in its £142 million disposal and leaseback of One Angel Square. 

Notable practitioners  

The highly regarded Mark Haywood is praised for his quality work, "concluding transactions as quickly and efficiently as possible for his clients." Sources also assert that he "brings a more strategic overview capacity to transactions. If we have specific deal complications, he will fairly quickly identify what will and won't work and he is extremely commercial."

Richard Wheeldon receives extensive praise from clients. One source comments: "He knows the business inside out and he's quick at getting to the focus of an instruction," further adding: "He takes a very pragmatic approach and has a commercial overview supported by many years of in-depth experience."

Peter Kershaw heads the practice and, according to clients, "doesn't leave any stone unturned. He has an ability to analyse very complicated issues and distil all the risks and consequences involved, especially those you'd never think of."

Sources view Stephen Kinsey as "a very capable lawyer" who has "gravitas." He is highlighted for his excellent client base and has strong property finance expertise. 

The "commercially focused" Nathan Jansen has "the ability to act quickly and see the bigger picture" and is "very responsive to client needs." He recently acted for Omega Warrington on leasing matters related to large-scale distribution facilities.

Senior associate Catherine Fearnhead offers "diligence, speed of turnaround and flexibility" and is esteemed for "knowing and understanding our business and coming into the instruction from day one at a very high level." Clients laud her "accommodating and approachable manner and ability to work with other lawyers." 

Significant clients Assura, J Sainsbury, Lloyds Pharmacy, MEPC, Standard Life. 

Real Estate Litigation - North West

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers 
- Office locations ranked: Manchester

What the team is known for Well regarded for its expert advice in dilapidations disputes, insolvency-related litigation, and matters relating to real estate transactions. Also well versed in mediation and ADR. Clients include institutional landlords and corporate occupiers.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They are a steady firm with a steady team."

Work highlights Assisted Deloitte with a substantial range of property management advice including assistance in service charge disputes, remedies following defaulting tenants and dilapidations issues.

Advised Robert McBride on a £1 million dilapidations claim.

Notable practitioners

Charles Jagger is praised by clients for his pragmatism and knowledge when handling property disputes. He is well known for handling residential real estate matters and has notable experience in lease renewals, dilapidations claims and insolvency-related issues.

Patricia Love possesses significant expertise in both residential and commercial real estate litigation issues. She has substantial experience in handling insolvency-related disputes.

Significant clients Eddisons Commercial, GVA Grimley, Standard Life Investments, Lloyds Pharmacy, Sainsbury's.

Restructuring/Insolvency - North West

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Manchester

What the team is known for Operates both regionally and nationally, maintaining close insolvency practitioner connections and a substantial panel presence. Offers particular strength in realising distressed property for Law of Property Act receivers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're the team that you'd trust to get it right implicitly." 

"They respond, as ever, with high-class advice and input and are very commercial." 

Work highlights Advised Deloitte on the administration of Topland Nodnol, particularly in relation to the £63 million sale of King William Street House in London.

Acted for Sun European Partners in relation to the £37 million acquisition of retailer Dreams from its administrators.

Notable practitioners  

Ged Barnes has great experience in matters pertaining to corporate insolvencies, having advised numerous insolvency practitioners and financial institutions. Clients report: "He knows the technicalities inside-out; he's always got an eye on the commercial solution - you know he's going to get a result."

Andrew Bates has wide experience of restructurings in various sectors, most recently in the leisure and real estate industries. Clients recognise his "vast experience," and also note that he is "technically capable and very commercial.

John Joyce is a highly experienced corporate restructuring lawyer and also acts as managing partner of the firm. According to clients, "he doesn't just give you the legal answer, he thinks outside the box." Peers regard him as a "top-class" lawyer.

John Duffy offers particular expertise in advising banks, Law of Property Act receivers and companies on distressed properties. One client praised him for his dedication and says: "He has done a cracking job."

Significant clients Barclays, The Co-operative Group, HSBC, Duff & Phelps, Eddisons.

Tax - Manchester and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Manchester

What the team is known for Maintains a strong reputation for handling the tax elements of renewable energy, private equity and real estate transactions. Regularly works alongside the firm's Leeds office to give significant coverage across the North, and also has capability to handle international matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Fantastic in really cutting through all the detail and focusing on the point."

"They're proactive, and give concise and clear advice."

"They're always seen; they have a huge profile."  

Work highlights Advised Sainsbury's on tax aspects of the sale to an Italian buyer of its majority stake in Anobii, which it had previously purchased from HMV.

Acted for Norcros on tax structuring and transactional tax matters arising from its acquisition of Eurobath International.

Notable practitioners  

Commercial tax team head Justine Delroy is greatly respected by peers, and clients describe her as "a very knowledgeable and approachable tax lawyer." She focuses on corporate taxation, and recently acted for Phoenix Equity Partners on the tax implications of its secondary buyout of North West.

Significant clients JD Sports, Co-operative Group, Rolls-Royce, Capita, Standard Life.

Banking & Finance - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Caters successfully to a national banking and borrower client base, operating principally from key hubs in the North. Wide-ranging practice covers leveraged finance and general corporate lending, as well as project, real estate and invoice finance and asset-based lending work. Excellent spread of lender clients, including Barclays, HSBC, The Co-operative Bank and Aareal Bank. Popular choice for asset-based lenders and regional, national and international corporates. Ranked offices in Leeds and Manchester.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We tend to use their Leeds office where clients are based in the North or Yorkshire as it helps to have a local presence." 

"Quite a lot of people from London use them in the regions because of lower quotes and excellent value for money." 

Notable practitioners  

Key contacts include Martin O'Shea and David Handy.

Employment - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Advises an enviable group of household-name clients on all aspects of employment law. Its workload is diverse and includes employment tribunal litigation, general advisory matters and advice relating to transactions. Clients include Barclays, British Airways, Primark, William Hill and Tetra Pak. Ranked offices in Leeds and Manchester.

Notable practitioners  

Malcolm Pike is a key contact for the employment team.

Intellectual Property - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Fêted IP practice. Represents a broad range of high-profile clients from the fast-moving consumer goods, transport and pharmaceutical industries in global brand protection matters. Also advises known national clients in disputes. Ranked office in Manchester. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"I use the Manchester and Leeds offices and there is no drop-off in quality when compared to London firms."

Notable practitioners  

Paul Bentham is the head of department and key contact.

Litigation - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Significant presence in the North of England, with strength in local, national and international litigation matters. Handles complex commercial disputes for an impressive array of clients, including Sainsbury's, Volkswagen and HBOS. Ranked offices in Leeds and Manchester.

Notable practitioners  

Simon Kamstra is a key contact.

Pensions - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Powerhouse North of England pensions team, acting for trustee and employer clients with interests nationwide. Handles the full range of pensions matters, from large scheme restructures to Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) and Small Self Administered Schemes (SSASs). Offers particular expertise in auto-enrolment issues. Significant clients include the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, the trustees of the Asda Pension Scheme and Arriva. Ranked office in Leeds.

Notable practitioners

Rachel Rawnsley is a key contact.

Restructuring/Insolvency - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its skill in high-value restructuring situations. Impressive bank client base, including HSBC, Barclays and The Co-operative Bank. Also services asset-based lenders, insolvency practitioners and venture capital firms. Niche strength in distressed property matters. Ranked offices in Leeds and Manchester. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"The level of experience from the Leeds office was on a par with the London office. The service was also on a par with London, but at a very significant cost reduction."

"They seem like a practical team who get on with it and operate within a regional business."

Notable practitioners  

John Joyce is the key contact here.

Tax - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Highly active on significant transactions and standalone advisory mandates. Demonstrates strength on an international stage, advising on a growing volume of cross-border work in Asia and Africa. Caters to clients in the real estate, renewable energy and private equity industries. JD Sports, Rolls-Royce and Capita are all key clients. Ranked offices in Leeds and Manchester.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They've always had a good team in Manchester, and have a strong team in Leeds as well." 

Notable practitioners  

Department head Justine Delroy is the key contact.

Banking Litigation - The Regions

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

What the team is known for Esteemed practice boasting a strong bench with considerable experience in the most complex banking disputes. Specialist expertise in a range of areas, from asset, aviation and retail finance to professional negligence and fraud claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The finance dispute team is supportive; they really know and take the time to get to know their clients' business. They understand the sector commercially and in practice."

"They offer immense attention to detail. They've gone from strength to strength. If we have a case where we want someone extraordinarily thorough, Addleshaw has always delivered."

Work highlights Successfully represented Clydesdale Bank in a claim relating to the alleged loss of rare Swedish stamps being held in the bank's safe custody.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Sally Butt is most widely known for her prowess in asset finance litigation as part of a wider dispute resolution practice, and is regularly instructed by major asset finance companies and lenders. One client highlights that she "really knows the sector and brings that in-depth commercial understanding of how the business works to bear," and sources praise her "command of a room." 

Ian Hastings has a broad banking and finance litigation and mediation practice, with experience across a range of complex matters including restitution and fraud. Sources comment that he is a "lovely individual with a total sector focus - a very safe pair of hands."

Ben Lowans receives widespread praise for being "very smart, approachable and hands-on." Interviewees appreciate his energetic approach to all areas of finance litigation including recovery actions, fraud and asset finance. He has additional expertise in aviation finance work.

Significant clients Barclays, HSBC, Leeds Building Society, Aegon, SG Equipment Finance.

Competition/European Law - The Regions

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

What the team is known for Impressively experienced in the full range of competition matters. Offers particular expertise in merger control, market investigations and competition litigation.

Work highlights Defended Delta in £465 million contribution proceedings in the High Court. This was one of the first cases to explore how participants in cartels should contribute towards the alleged losses suffered by their victims.

Advised a major international bank on the OFT's market study of SME banking.

Notable practitioners 

Practice head Phil McDonnell advises clients from a variety of industry sectors on transactional, abuse of dominance, cartel and state aid matters. Clients report that "he is user-friendly, and is not afraid to highlight issues and advise on how to work through them."

Significant clients Sainsbury's, Manchester City Council, Ciceley, UK Fuels, Peel Group.

Aviation - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Distinguished practice group that offers counsel on a variety of aviation matters including litigation, regulatory and maintenance work. Represents a broad range of clients including airlines, airports and lessors.

Work highlights Assisted Air Canada with gaining approval for its maintenance programme, including the procurement of all necessary UK certifications.

Advised British Airways on issues of subcontracted maintenance.

Notable practitioners  

Head of practice group Rory MacCarthy maintains a strong visibility in the aviation market and is "highly regarded" by commentators for his "superbly analytical mind." He has experience representing lessors, manufacturers and airlines on transactional matters.

Significant clients LATAM Airlines Group, EgyptAir, Servisair, Air Asia, Flybe.

Capital Markets - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Robust AIM practice acting for an impressive list of investment bank and corporate clients. Strong national capability due to the firm's regional network of offices.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're very respected and do a lot of work for us." 

"They have a multifaceted team." 

Work highlights Represented Peel Hunt in connection with a secondary placing by Sirius Real Estate, in which equity funds were raised across six jurisdictions.

Advised GVC Holdings on its joint bid with William Hill for Sportingbet.

Notable practitioners 

Tim Field is the key contact at the firm.

Significant clients Clinigen, Renew Holdings, Dart Group, DCD Media, Scapa Group.

Consumer Finance - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers 
- Recommended offices: Leeds, London

What the team is known for Leads the market in high-end work, with a notable regulation offering. Stands out for its advice to heavyweight financial institutions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They give a very business-centric view of the law; they understand how our business operates and what we need to know."

"In consumer credit they are subject matter experts."

Work highlights Advised the CML and its members on the terms of the government's Help to Buy scheme.

Reviewed terms and conditions for several large retail banks in relation to compliance with the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations.

Notable practitioners  

Amanda Hulme heads the department and is widely recognised as "one of the country's leading experts in consumer credit" and regulation. She has a diverse client following and regularly advises on regulatory issues.

Rosanna Bryant is a recently promoted partner who clients report has "robust, detailed regulatory knowledge and good communication skills." She has notable expertise on consumer finance-related transactions.

Significant clients RBS, HSBC, American Express, Barclays, Nationwide Building Society.

Defamation/Reputation Management - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Burgeoning defendant and claimant media litigation practice, with a significant focus on phone hacking claims. Handles high-profile, complex libel cases and acts for companies defending reputational claims brought by employees and customers. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"It's a collaborative relationship - it's about getting to the end goal. Their culture stems right from the top; they've managed to filter that all the way down - any time I've dealt with anyone there it's been the same level of consistent service."

"They're doing a great job in a complex case. They've managed fantastically. Their strength is that they have a defamation practice allied to a very strong commercial litigation practice, which sits within a top firm." 

Work highlights Acted for claimants Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development on Britain's biggest ever libel case, on a claim for USD1 billion in libel, malicious falsehood and breach of confidence actions.

Acted on 92 phone hacking claims against News Group Newspapers as part of News International's phone hacking arbitration scheme.

Notable practitioners  

The "incredibly smooth" David Engel focuses his practice on reputation management and media litigation for companies and individuals. Engel "grasps things very quickly and is a real expert in his field," and is admired by sources as "thoughtful, clever and a very good strategist."

Alex Keenlyside has a growing reputation as an impressive associate, having managed a large volume of phone hacking cases. Commentators observe that Keenlyside is "fantastic with clients" and is "very, very commercially savvy in terms of the advice he gives."

Significant clients British Airways, GlaxoSmithKline, MacDermid, Sainsbury's, Travelodge.

Education - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners

What the team is known for Offers expertise in advising on construction, real estate and development projects involving schools. Acts for education institutes, local authorities and private sector clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"I use them as a sounding board when I have issues. They are always pragmatic and approachable."  

Work highlights Advised Kingston Upon Hull City Council on the last of the Hull-based Building Schools for the Future schemes, which involved four Design and Build schools.

Worked with Leicester Miller Education Company on the last Leicester Building Schools for the Future schemes, in which ten schools were built.

Notable practitioners

Nancy McGuire leads the education team at the firm.

Significant clients Luton Borough Council, Bruntwood Estates, Public Private Partnerships Programme, Barclays Bank, Miller Construction UK.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers expertise in implementing complex share incentive arrangements, with recent highlights relating to employee shareholder status. Additional capabilities in assisting multinationals with the share scheme aspects of transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are not just quoting legal reams at you, they give advice on outcomes and potential risks. Even though they are a law firm, they get how in-house teams work."

Work highlights Advised Britvic on multi-jurisdictional share plans and assisted with the drafting of its 2014 directors' remuneration report following regulatory reforms.

Advised GameAccount Network on the share scheme aspects of its IPO on AIM.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Carter has experience in advising a broad client base, including multinationals, small listed companies and owner-managed businesses. One source described him as being "very approachable, obviously knowledgeable and attentive," adding: "He feels like a member of our team."

Significant clients Capita, Clinigen Group, Provident Financial, Rockhopper Exploration, Stagecoach Group. 

Energy & Natural Resources - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Recognised offering in the renewable energy sector. Advises on wind, tidal, biomass and solar deals, domestically and in the Middle East and Africa. Work handled includes regulatory advice, litigation and transactional matters.  

Work highlights Acted for BayernLB, as lender, in relation to a number of UK solar projects.

Represented infrastructure investor John Laing in connection with an onshore nine-turbine wind farm.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Goodfellow leads the firm's energy team. He is noted for his renewable energy work in relation to projects and regulatory work. Recent highlights include advising Foresight in connection with its investment in Closed Loop, a plastics recycling company.

Significant clients Agrivert, Biogen, HSBC, Peel, Xylem. 

Financial Services - UK-wide

What the team is known for Noted for its aptitude in the burgeoning field of payments law, representing key market participants, from merchant acquirers, banks and mobile network operators. Possesses a strong grasp of relevant regulations and legislation, particularly those referring to security and data protection.

Notable practitioners  

Chris Brennan of Addleshaw Goddard LLP has a growing reputation in the contentious regulatory market. One source says: "The standout thing about Chris is that he's extremely commercially minded. He's technically a very good lawyer and a pleasure to deal with."

Fraud - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Impressive experience in large-scale fraud litigation. Involved in some of the biggest recent commercial fraud disputes.

Work highlights Acted for Dar Al Arkan on a £1 billion claim against multiple defendants, which centres around allegations of improper behaviour by a former senior executive of Bank Alkhair. 

Successfully discharged a EUR200 million freezing injunction and three proprietary injunctions brought against Boris Berezovsky by his former long-term partner, Helena Gorbunova.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Hastings was heavily involved in the Berezovsky litigation. Sources say: "Clients love him; he is a master strategist and he dominates the field."

Health & Safety - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Major national firm that acts for both the prosecution and defence. Currently an adviser to the HSE's Panel of Lawyers for Yorkshire and the North East. Conducts training exercises on witness familiarisation, crisis management and relevant legislation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A high-quality firm with very good specialists."  

"They've got a particular strength in the North, with a high presence there." 

Notable practitioners  

The "massively talented" Erin Shoesmith is a well-versed advocate, experienced in cases of major injury or death. "She gives supreme confidence to clients and inspires a strong following around her," notes one impressed observer.

Michael Elliker has an excellent reputation for his work in regulatory crime matters and has acted on behalf of the HSE for a number of years. Market sources say he is "massively experienced and very reassuring in stormy waters."

Significant clients Barclays Bank, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Amlin Insurance, United Utilities Group, Accenture UK.

Healthcare - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners (4 Leeds, 5 London, 3 Manchester)
- 21 other qualified lawyers (7 Leeds, 6 London, 8 Manchester)
- Recommended office locations: Leeds, London, Manchester

What the team is known for Provides significant expertise relating to large-scale transactions, and excellent advice on major transformational acquisitions. Noted capabilities in PPP/PFI and joint ventures. Increasingly active in the international healthcare market.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very knowledgeable about this sector." 

"They are up to speed on the general market and the regulatory and governance issues around NHS property."

What's new? New clients include Bupa Care Homes and NHS England.

Work highlights Acted for Northumbria Healthcare NHS FT on the proposed £100 million refinancing and restructuring of its two PFI schemes.

Advised Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust on a major PFI hospital project which included complex finanacing and operational matters.

Notable practitioners  

Michael O'Connor has vast experience in this field, concentrating his practice on significant healthcare transactions. He advises a range of NHS bodies on complex M&A, joint ventures and major PFI/PPP projects.

Significant clients Stockport NHS FT, NHS Business Services Authority, NHS Trust Development Authority, Northumbria Healthcare NHS FT, Equitix.

Hotels & Leisure - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
-7 partners
-30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Represents clients based in the USA and UK in hotel-specific matters, such as construction contracts and management agreements. Also noted for its proficiency in finance-related areas, including M&A, credit facilities and refinancing.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They give great advice on all issues and a strong level of customer service, and they are highly responsive to requests."

What's new? New client wins include Cerberus Capital Management and That Group.

Work highlights Advised Santander UK and Aareal Bank on the £220 million financing of Edwardian Hotel Group, part of a larger £480 million financing involving two additional banks.

Represented Travelodge Hotels in a variety of issues, including acquisitions, disposals and numerous management agreements.

Notable practitioners  

Lucy Sturrock heads the practice group and enjoys a strong reputation in the sector. "Her commercial advice is always spot-on and she looks out for her clients," said one interviewee. Sturrock offers expertise in a variety of areas, including M&A, management agreements and refinancing.

Significant clients Jefferson Hotels, Citi, Admiral Taverns, Enterprise Inns, HSBC.

Insurance: Contentious Claims & Reinsurance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for A compact team that packs a hefty punch for its policyholder and reinsurance clients. Policyholder side represents well-known financial institutions and pharmaceutical firms in disputes with their insurers over coverage. Reinsurance remains a key aspect of the practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are definitely good value and are very efficient. They are not one of the firms that rack up cost for the sake of it, and if you instruct them on a small, discrete project they can be flexible on fee structures."

"They behaved impeccably and I find them very professional."

Work highlights Acted for Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance on a complex reinsurance arbitration. The case concerns payments made in error and whether losses can be passed through Reinsurance Premium Protection contracts.

Represented Rathbone in the Commercial Court in relation to a claim under the excess layer of its civil liability insurance programme.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Leedham possesses a very strong policyholder practice that is complemented by a number of large reinsurance cases. Clients say he is "easy to deal with as well as being cost-efficient, open to ideas and friendly to the user, as well as knowing what he is talking about." 

Significant clients Quest, Aviva Canada, Bank of Muscat, Ohlins, Arion Banki.

Local Government - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 28 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Leeds, Manchester

What the team is known for Advice on high-profile mandates such as PFI matters, waste management and school construction work. The team frequently acts for local authorities as well as private companies.

Work highlights Acted for the City of Salford on the PFI and development elements of the Pendleton regeneration project.

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Pettinger of the Leeds office is a key contact lawyer for this practice area.

Significant clients Hull City Council, Stoke City Council, Leeds City Council, Cheshire West & Chester Council, Cheshire East Council.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners 
- 25 other qualified lawyers 
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Advises corporate clients and government departments in connection with major strategic outsourcing projects. Strong experience in international sourcing transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're great on complex stuff, and you can trust them on matters of high value and importance. They're technically excellent, level-headed, and very commercial and practical."

Work highlights Advised Sainsbury's on a joint venture with Vodafone for the development of the Mobile by Sainsbury's mobile phone brand. The matter included the provision of outsourced network services by Vodafone.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Lowry advises customer-side clients in strategic IT and outsourcing transactions. His clients include Associated British Foods.

Significant clients Associated British Foods, Reckitt Benckiser, PZ Cussons, Co-operative Group, Four Seasons Health Care.

Partnership - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Market-leading group concentrating on advising partnerships and LLPs. Displays extraordinary skill in all aspects of the area, including M&A, the Swiss Verein, fund work and board strategic work. Also highly proficient in contentious matters involving partner disputes, exits and team moves.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"High-quality advice underpinned by first-class client service ethos."

"They are always flexible, highly responsive and move mountains to help us achieve the goal, no matter how short the notice given. The quality of thinking and documentation is always of a high standard."

Work highlights Advised Pannone on three parallel corporate transactions, including the sale of part of the firm's business to Slater & Gordon.

Notable practitioners  

William Wastie is a towering force in the marketplace, possessing high-level expertise in contentious and non-contentious partnership matters. A client states: "He's charismatic, knowledgeable, gave sound advice and was always accessible," whilst a peer remarks: "He exudes authority - he knows what he's talking about in every way."

Aster Crawshaw impresses sources with his skill in handling non-contentious partnership matters, particular those with an international dimension. Sources deem him to be "a superb lawyer - absolutely delightful to deal with."

Jonathan Cheney has expertise in LLPs and matters involving funds. An appreciative client states: "He's on top of all the detail, is very responsive, and provides clear and concise advice."

Significant clients Strutt & Parker, Miller Insurance Services, Mourant Ozannes.

Projects - UK-wide

What the team is known for Experienced in a wide array of PFI/PPP work, including waste, transport and social infrastructure. Significant profile in the UK market representing bidders and public sector clients alongside notable strength internationally.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We've got an incredibly good relationship with them - they help very much to get the transaction done."

Notable practitioners  

Michael O'Connor is head of the firm's government, energy and infrastructure group. He is experienced in acting for sponsors, lenders and public sector companies, and his practice includes significant expertise in healthcare, transport and waste.

David Hartley is described as "approachable and pragmatic - he cuts through a lot of the detail very quickly." His practice incorporates significant experience acting for bidders in a broad array of projects.

Private Equity - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Acts on mid-market deals for a range of well-known names in the private equity space. Proficient bench of practitioners who are specialists in the area.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We've been very pleased by the speed and effectiveness of their work. They're extremely efficient at getting things done."

Work highlights Advised AFI Group on Rutland Partners' acquisition of AFI-Uplift from Equistone for £85 million.

Assisted Phoenix Equity Partners with its purchase of a majority interest in Key Retirement Solutions from Cabot Square Capital for £35 million.

Notable practitioners  

Yunus Seedat is noted as a "fantastic" practitioner who has "intellect and interpersonal skills" and who "rolls his sleeves up and does it." He acted for ISIS Equity Partners in its £22 million investment in Nigel Frank International.  

Significant clients 3i, ECI, Gresham, ISIS, LDC, Montagu.

Product Liability - UK-wide

What the team is known for Well-regarded commercial firm handling high-profile pharmaceutical and commercial product liability defence actions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)  

"I consider them to be strong. They have really good partners for product liability litigation."

Notable practitioners  

John Kelleher has a highly regarded commercial litigation practice as well as "genuine expertise and knowledge in the area" of product liability. He is particularly adept at managing matters on an international basis.  

Louisa Caswell is described by an interviewee as "very good on the product liability side." She focuses her practice on assisting consumer and pharmaceutical clients.

Public Procurement - UK-wide

What the team is known for High-profile team with a formidable reputation for its representation of public sector clients, and strong expertise in redevelopment matters. Diverse client base ranging from government departments and local authorities to healthcare and education sector entities.

Notable practitioners

Jonathan Davey frequently advises a variety of public bodies as well as significant private sector clients on procurement law and commercial matters. Sources regard him as "very much at the forefront of the procurement circuit" and "very client-friendly."

Retail - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 45 partners
- 100 other qualified lawyers 
- Recommended office location: London

What the team is known for Strong offering on high-end retail matters for household-name clients. Well known for the strength of its corporate and competition work. 

Work highlights Advised Britvic on the expansion of its Fruit Shoot range into India, including an arrangement with the Narang Group for its production and sale.

Advised Sainsbury's on its joint venture with Vodafone to launch Mobile by Sainsbury's.

Notable practitioners

Andrew Shufflebotham leads the retail and consumer group.

Significant clients Matalan, Hobbs, Primark, JD Sports, B&Q.

Social Housing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 23 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Leeds

What the team is known for Strength and depth for lenders acting in the social housing sector on loan financing and stock transfer issues. Also highlighted for its excellent securitisation and real estate offering.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Large dedicated team with technical expertise and sector knowledge." 

"Broad and encompassing expertise." 

"Collectively the team have expertise and resources, and the quality of output is very high."

Work highlights Assisted eight lenders including RBS, Barclays Bank and Santander with the merger and refinancing of Three Oaks Homes, Three Valleys Homes and East Midlands Housing Association into a single entity, the East Midlands Housing Group.

Acted for a major lender to the housing sector on pre-positioning a £10 billion discount window facility with The Bank of England.

Notable practitioners  

Lee Shankland heads the team and represents a number of major financial institutions on transactions in the housing sector. Impressed clients highlight his commercial awareness and availability, noting that he "goes way beyond our expectations."

Clients say banking partner Steven Mackie is "enormously knowledgeable about the sector and demonstrates practical commercial awareness." He recently advised Barclays Bank on the financial restructuring of The Community Housing Group.

On the property side, Ruth Snell advises on charging and securitisation issues. "She deals with difficult transactions and is a renowned leader in the market for them," impressed peers reported.

Chris Drabble handles property, charging and securitisation issues for financial institutions. He is praised for his understanding of financing issues, with one client saying: "He is fantastic and always open to providing advice at the drop of a hat."

Significant clients Royal Bank of Canada, Nationwide Building Society, Santander, The Co-operative Banking Group, The Law Debenture Trust Company.

Transport - UK-wide

What the team is known for Best known acting for Network Rail in relation to infrastructure projects.

What's new? Paul Hirst joined the firm from DLA Piper in June 2014. 

Notable practitioners  

Department head Paul Hirst specialises in rolling stock procurement, infrastructure projects and concessions. Market sources note that he is "very pragmatic, a good listener and negotiator."