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Thomson Snell & Passmore

Tunbridge Wells

Thomson Snell & Passmore - Tunbridge Wells
  • 3 Lonsdale Gardens
  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Kent
  • UK
  • TN1 1NX
  • Senior Partner James Partridge
  • Number of partners 32
  • Assistant solicitors 38
  • Other fee-earners  30

THE FIRM Thomson Snell & Passmore is a leading South East law firm with 190 people, based in Tunbridge Wells and Thames Gateway, just 15 minutes from St Pancras. They pride themselves on giving uncomplicated insightful advice conveyed in a straightforward way. The firm provides practical solutions that are clear and cost-effective for both individuals and businesses. Though modern in their approach, they are proud to also be credited as the oldest law firm in the country, with a history of giving good quality legal advice that protects their clients’ interests and safeguards their rights. The firm provides a comprehensive legal service and build long-term relationships by encouraging a culture of respect, understanding and excellence.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK Thomson Snell & Passmore offers a wide range of legal services, for both businesses and private clients. 27 of their specialist practice areas are ranked by the leading independent guides to UK law firms and they are proud to have in their teams many leaders in their field. The experience of the firm’s Corporate and Commercial team includes complex and high value transactions, cross-border and domestic. They help their clients maximise long-term profitability with practical, insightful solutions for trading, commercial and contractual issues. The firm’s Commercial Property and Development team give commercially orientated advice and ensure a speedily concluded transaction whether purchasing, selling or leasing commercial property. The property development team has extensive experience in promoting, acquiring and disposing of land for development.
Their team of specialist employment lawyers help prevent employee claims and protect businesses against penalties. The lawyers have significant experience with employment tribunal claims. The firm’s Dispute Resolution lawyers find the most practical, commercial and cost-effective solution to any dispute, minimising risk and time. They handle a wide variety of UK and international disputes. The firm’s private client group see a significant number of high-quality referrals from both clients and other professionals as a result of the complexity and quality of their work. Services for private clients include tax and estate planning and trust matters. As the second largest Court of Protection practice in the country by number of cases and value, Thomson Snell & Passmore are recognised for the range, depth and clear expertise in property and financial deputyships, welfare and contentious cases and personal injury trusts. The firm’s clinical negligence and personal injury team of specialist lawyers have the expertise to deal with complex and high value cases. Clinical negligence cases include cerebral palsy, other types of brain injury, amputation and delayed diagnosis of cancer. For personal injury they specialise in catastrophic injury and adult and child brain injury.
The firm’s Family team provide the right expertise in even the most unusual and difficult circumstances. Matters include mediation and collaborative law, financial agreements, child welfare, care proceedings, cohabitation disputes and prenuptial agreements.

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

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

    Contacts
  • Corporate & Commercial: James Herbert
  • Employment: Nick Hobden
  • Commercial Property & Development: Gilbert Green
  • Dispute Resolution: Nick Horton
  • Private Client: Simon Brown, Eddie Fardell
  • Residential Property: Guy Hollamby
  • Clinical Negligence: Fiona Mills
  • Personal Injury: Jonathan Clement
  • Family: Joanna Pratt

Branches

  • 3 Lonsdale Gardens,
  • Tunbridge Wells,
  • Kent
  • UK
  • TN1 1NX
  • Tel (01892) 510000
  • Fax (01892) 549884
  • DX 3914 Tunbridge Wells 1
  • Email : info@ts-p.co.uk
  • Website : www.ts-p.co.uk
  • Corinthian House, Galleon Boulevard, ,
  • Crossways Business Park,
  • Dartford,
  • Kent
  • UK
  • DA2 6QE
  • Tel (01322) 623700
  • Fax (01322) 623701
  • Email : info@ts-p.co.uk

Agriculture & Rural Affairs - The South

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

What the team is known for Cross-practice team that is dedicated to assisting clients in the rural and agricultural sector. Expertise covers matters relating to rural commercial activities, employment, property and private client issues. Clients include landowners, tenants, businesses, estates and farms.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"The lawyers manage the situation very well and do a good job of making the client feel important."

"Its lawyers respond promptly with practical advice that's easy to understand."

Work highlights Advised the Belsham Farming Partnership on the purchase of a farm and associated boundary issues.

Notable practitioners  

Gilbert Green is noted for his expertise in property and land law relating to rural and agricultural developments. Sources note that he "has a huge amount of experience, especially on the development side."

Sue Lister receives high praise from clients: "She takes the time to go and see clients personally and gets on well with them, which creates a good impression. Her understanding of the topic is very good."

Significant clients The Pitchfont Farm Partnership, Berry Garden Growers, Meiosis.

Clinical Negligence: Mainly Claimant - The South

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

What the team is known for Concentrates on significant cases in worth, often achieving damages of several millions of pounds. These cases include brain injury, delayed diagnosis of cancer and amputation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A very good firm which is well thought of. You see some firms with warts and all - but Thomson Snell & Passmore doesn't have any warts."

"The best people outside of London."

Notable practitioners  

Patricia Fearnley heads the department and is a chemist by training. She has recently worked on complex cases relating to failed diagnosis and fatality. 

Fiona Mills has a mixed caseload comprising both personal injury and clinical negligence claims. She has experience on major surgical error and catastrophic injury cases.  

Graham Bell works on moderate to high-value claims. Clients are impressed with his performance, saying: "He's very much a detail man; very careful and very thorough."

Construction - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 1 consultant
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Well-known team with a broad client base. Assists on contentious and non-contentious contract work in the education, banking and property sectors. Continues to attract instructions from private individuals and on professional negligence construction cases.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are client-focused and down to earth." 

"They handle the pressure of a situation and the technical and legal aspects well."

Notable practitioners  

Chris Whittington is a consultant with extensive experience of advising contractors, subcontractors and employers on contentious and non-contentious cases. Clients say: "He's client-focused, hard-working and he delivers a quality outcome. He describes things in a straightforward manner and gets his point across succinctly and coherently."

Chris Kirby-Turner has a strong dispute resolution practice, including ADR processes. His work includes matters with a professional negligence and insurance angle, as well as cases for high net worth individuals. He receives market recognition for being "extremely organised, hard-working and very good at keeping spirits up."

Significant clients Britannia Refined Metals, Sevenoaks School Foundation, Stonegrove Refrigeration Services, Handelsbanken.

Corporate/M&A - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Tunbridge Wells, Thames Gateway

What the team is known for Maintains a top-notch reputation in the automotive industry, representing numerous dealerships and car distributors in their transactions. Also sought after for its experience in the education, food and agriculture sectors, thanks to its esteemed bench of corporate practitioners.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Thomson Snell & Passmore has a good team and a good reputation." 

Work highlights Represents Motorline Group in numerous transactions, including the acquisition of a Volkswagen dealership, Alan Day Croydon Volkswagen.

Acted for Greenstar Hotels on the sale of its subsidiary, The Great House at Sonning, to private equity investors.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Gabay is highly recommended by peers and clients for his commercial approach and extensive experience in the corporate space.

Joanne Gallagher has established a solid reputation in the market and assists clients with a host of M&A transactions, shareholder agreements, MBOs, commercial contracts and financing matters. She was the lead partner assisting Motorline Group on a recent acquisition.

James Herbert heads the corporate group and handles work ranging from MBOs and private equity transactions to corporate governance, reorganisations and joint ventures.

Significant clients The Rosemary Shrager Cookery School, Cath Kidston, Meiosis, Natural Landscapes, Drusillas Zoo Park.

Employment - The South

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

What the team is known for Maintains a strong offering in the real estate, education, logistics and insurance sectors, with particular expertise in restructuring, TUPE and breach of contract matters. Also noted for its advocacy capabilities in employment tribunals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I feel confident in the way forward after speaking or meeting with the firm. They're very open and easy to talk to, with great expertise."

"Realistic, pragmatic, good speed of response. They have built a relationship with us."

Work highlights Successfully defended The Hayesbrook School Academy Trust in a tribunal claim relating to a commission on fund-raising income.

Successfully defended Optegra (UK) against a constructive dismissal tribunal claim.

Notable practitioners  

Susanna Gilmartin specialises in tribunal advocacy for employers and employees, and also covers data protection issues and senior executive exit strategies. She is praised for her ability to "understand background without needing to be briefed in detail."

Nick Hobden is noted by clients for his "insight into business needs and strategy." His areas of expertise include restrictive covenants, restructurings, breaches of contract and terms and conditions of employment.

Significant clients Avante Partnership, Brook Learning Trust, Scarab Sweepers, Motorline Holdings, BOSE (UK).

Family/Matrimonial - The South

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

What the team is known for Representing high-profile clients in a broad and varied spectrum of children and finance cases. Recognised for its ability to handle matters relating to international assets and multi-jurisdictional issues, as well as its expertise in collaborative services.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I'm really happy with them, they communicate well and keep me informed. They're great to deal with and they work hard."

"They provide good value for money and an excellent service, and they know the courts very well." 

Notable practitioners  

Kirstie Law is "absolutely committed to moving things along, getting a result and resolving cases," and is highly respected for her collaborative law expertise. Sources say: "She is one of the most effective lawyers practising in this area. Her approach is wonderfully refreshing and straightforward."

Sarah Judd "takes on the unusual cases and is able to think creatively - she's able to handle cases that others can't fit into their envelope of practice." She is skilled in mediation and collaboration, and is praised for her abilities in finance and children matters.

Joanna Pratt is head of the firm's family department and is recognised for her work in areas such as domestic violence, children matters and finance. She is "sensible and sensitive. She really cares about her clients and has the human touch while being efficient and staying on top of things."

Desmond O'Donnell impresses commentators with his handling of challenging matters in the family space. He is experienced across a range of collaborative law and mediation work. 

Litigation - The South

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

What the team is known for A broad practice acting for all types of client, from high net worth individuals to multimillion-pound companies. Specialists in construction, professional negligence and contentious probate.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have an exceptional team. I have yet to meet an individual at the firm who falls below the high standards they set themselves and provide to their clients." 

"They are particularly good at understanding what exactly we need, which gives us reassurance and confidence in them and saves on costs."

"They're very commercially minded and very practical. Good-quality people and very professional."

What's new? Appointed as the sole advisers to Chatham Maritime Trust for the next five years following a tender to ten firms across the South East.

Notable practitioners  

Kamal Aggarwal heads the Thames Gateway office. Clients say: "He is an excellent representative of the business and it's values: client care and professionalism. He sets the benchmark for the firm brilliantly." 

Significant clients Genting Casinos, Motorline Holdings, Ward Securities, Bel UK, Faithdean.

Personal Injury: Mainly Claimant - The South

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

What the team is known for Recognised for its expertise on a wide range of personal injury cases. Held in particularly high esteem for its representation of clients in adult and brain injury claims.

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Clement has a "very good ability to relate to people" and is an "an excellent negotiator." He specialises in catastrophic injury cases, with a focus on brain injury claims.

James Cahan advises clients on an array of personal injury matters. Sources say he is "very sound on tactics."

Graham Bell is praised by market commentators for his technical expertise. He frequently represents clients in high-value claims.

Private Client - The South

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

What the team is known for Acts for a broad spectrum of clients, from landed estates to entrepreneurs and professionals. Advises foreign nationals with UK assets, and offers additional capabilities on charity law and Court of Protection matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I commend them for their legal advice and emotional support." 

"They have very wide-ranging and deep expertise." 

Notable practitioners  

Simon Brown has over 20 years' experience of wills, powers of attorney, estate planning and inheritance tax matters. Clients appreciate his ability to combine "great technical skill with a very personable manner."

Professional Negligence - The South

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Claimant-focused practice with work relating to a range of professions. The team has a noted focus on solicitor cases arising from all types of matters such as corporate transactions. Also has significant expertise in cases involving financial and property professionals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Everybody is helpful. It is a first-rate firm and they are splendid as a team."

Notable practitioners  

The key contact is departmental head Nick Horton.

Real Estate - The South

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

What the team is known for Frequently instructed by landowners and corporate occupiers on a range of property matters, including portfolio management and residential developments. Also noted for its presence on property finance transactions. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Extremely thorough and their expertise includes planning, which is helpful."

"The team gives straightforward answers without trying to blindside you with legalese. They also respond really quickly."

What's new? Joanne Wright was recently promoted to partner.

Work highlights Advised Stourbridge College on the transfer of all property assets to Birmingham Metropolitan College as part of the merger of the two institutions.

Acted for Trenport Investments on the sell-off of land worth some £3 million in Burham near Maidstone.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Ellard has significant experience in acquisitions, disposals and developments, including regeneration projects. Sources appreciate his "overall commitment and genuine approach. He has a willingness to make things happen."

Significant clients Motorline, Gravesham District Council, Brake Bros, Millwood Designer Homes.

Real Estate Litigation - The South

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

What the team is known for Advises private and commercial clients on the full range of property disputes, with particular experience in landlord and tenant matters. Bolsters its offering with expertise in areas such as restrictive covenants and trespass and nuisance claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They give straightforward answers to things - they don't try to blindside with legalese, and they respond really quickly."

"They are always available and give us constant updates."

Work highlights Advised Millwood Designer Homes on arbitration proceedings regarding the purchase of land.

Assisted Brake Bros with a number of lease renewals, lease disputes and dilapidations claims.

Notable practitioners  

Nick Horton heads the department and advises on a variety of property issues. He is well versed in areas including lease renewals and dilapidation claims, and he receives frequent instruction from clients in fields such as property and transport.

Clients say senior associate Mark Steggles "will get on with the work without us having to chase him, and he has a good balance of commercial intelligence and legal knowledge." His practice incorporates significant expertise in landlord and tenant work.

Significant clients Gravesham Borough Council, The Association of Conservative Clubs, Marley Pensions, Trenport Investments, LV Shipping.

Court of Protection - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Royal Tunbridge Wells

What the team is known for Closely associated with the firm's well-regarded private client department. Focuses on running deputyships to administer the personal injury trust funds of those with brain injuries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very impressive: they understand the challenges our situation brings, and guide us in the right direction."

"Very strong and frequently used as expert witnesses in cases involving Court of Protection elements."

Notable practitioners  

Seasoned financial deputy Edward Fardell is highly regarded for his substantial knowledge and experience of Court of Protection matters and his personable manner. One client comments: "His guidance and understanding of our day to day obstacles mean that we feel we are certainly in the right hands."

Martin Terrell is singled out for his excellent academic understanding of the law in relation to Court of Protection. He is author of A Practitioner’s Guide to the Court of Protection, and a panel deputy, who receives regular instructions from the Official Solicitor.

Brian Bacon is a "very experienced practitioner who offers good-quality advice," say commentators. He has notable expertise in relation to statutory will applications.