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Penningtons Manches LLP


Penningtons Manches LLP - London
  • 9400 Garsington Road
  • Oxford Business Park
  • Oxford
  • Oxfordshire
  • UK
  • OX4 2HN
  • Chief executive David Raine 
  • Number of partners  113 
  • Number of assistant solicitors 138
  • Number of other fee earners 83

THE FIRM Penningtons Manches LLP is a leading UK law firm which provides high quality legal advice tailored to the needs of both businesses and individuals. It aims to address the specific objectives of each client through its broad market insight and technical expertise, and offers a personal service founded on a strong team ethic. Penningtons Manches’ head office is in the City of London. There are further offices in Basingstoke, Cambridge, Godalming, Guildford, Oxford and Reading. As a member of Multilaw and the European Law Group, Penningtons Manches has close links with law firms throughout the world. Clients range from private individuals and owner managed businesses to multi-national corporations, public companies, universities, professional partnerships, banks and financial institutions.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK The firm has established a strong reputation in a variety of sectors including private wealth, technology, life sciences, education, social housing, retail, healthcare, charities, media and advertising, agriculture, renewables and waste, sports and entertainment, travel, hotels and leisure, transport and family businesses. The main areas of legal services provided are real estate, dispute resolution, corporate and commercial, private client and family. To ensure a seamless service is provided to clients, all Penningtons Manches’ activities and people are divided into three divisions:
Business Services: This division offers expertise in corporate services and corporate finance, MBOs, MBIs, M&A and joint ventures. It also handles all types of dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration. Areas of work include corporate tax, IP, employment, insurance, banking, international arbitrations, immigration, travel law, professional regulation, partnership disputes, secured lending recoveries, share sale and purchase disputes, insolvency work and all types of real estate litigation.
Real Estate: The real estate division represents companies, institutions and individuals, both in the UK and overseas, seeking property advice. Solicitors are experienced in dealing with investment sales and purchases, funding agreements, development schemes, portfolio management, landlord and tenant matters, registered social landlords and agricultural investments, as well as smaller commercial property work. Specialist town and country planning, environmental, taxation and construction law advice is also provided. The residential property team advises on high-value residential property sales and purchases, including French property transactions.
Private Individuals: Private client services include international tax structuring, personal tax planning, wills, trusts, charities, the administration of estates, capacity and Court of Protection matters. The nationally and internationally recognised family team provides a comprehensive service incorporating all aspects of family financial work and international family law issues. This division also has a substantial clinical negligence and personal injury practice which is regarded as one of the leading teams in the South East.

INTERNATIONAL Penningtons Manches has a broad international focus and provides an integrated service for corporates, individuals and their family members wherever they live or do business. In addition to Multilaw and the European Law Group, networks with representatives in over 70 countries, many of its lawyers play leading roles in a range of international bodies. They have a particularly strong knowledge of commercial activity and legal issues in North America and Asia.

RECRUITMENT For training placements and recruitment enquiries contact David Raine at the firm’s London office or visit Penningtons Manches’ website. Penningtons Manches is always interested to hear from first class individuals who wish to advance their careers within a progressive and entrepreneurial firm.

Areas of Practice

  • Business Services 40%
  • Private Individuals 36%
  • Real Estate 24%
  • Head Of Business Services Division Franco Bosi
  • Head Of Private Individuals Division Tim Palmer
  • Head Of Real Estate Division Peter McElligott
  • Agriculture Tim Rafter
  • Banking & Finance Helen Drayton
  • Clinical Negligence Tim Palmer, Philippa Luscombe
  • Commercial Anna Frankum, Chris Shelley
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution Rustam Dubash, Alexander Fox
  • Construction Richard Cooke
  • Contentious Trusts Michael Cash
  • Corporate Simon Bickerdike, Matthew Martin
  • Corporate Recovery & Insolvency Séamas Gray
  • Court Of Protection Julie Burton
  • Education Hilary Aldred
  • Employment Paul Mander
  • Family Jane Craig
  • Healthcare John Hargreaves
  • Immigration Pat Saini
  • Intellectual Property Anna Frankum, Chris Shelley
  • International Wealth James Stewart, Robert Macro
  • Life Sciences Jim Kinnier Wilson
  • Offshore Tax Planning Chris Lintott
  • Outsourcing & Procurement Sam De Silva
  • Pensions Maria Riccio
  • Personal Injury Tim Palmer, Philippa Luscombe
  • Private Client Lesley Lintott
  • Professional Regulation Geoffrey Hudson
  • Real Estate Peter McElligott
  • Real Estate Litigation Donald Lambert
  • Residential Property Tim Rafter, Michael White
  • Retail Matthew Martin
  • Social Housing Linda Storey
  • Tax Stephen Goldstraw
  • Technology Joanne Vengadesan, James Klein
  • Transport (Regulatory) David Niven


  • da Vinci House,
  • Basing View,
  • Basingstoke,
  • Hampshire
  • UK
  • RG21 4EQ
  • Tel (01256) 407100
  • Fax (01256) 479425
  • DX 148600 Basingstoke 21
  • Email : info@penningtons.co.uk
  • Ground Floor,
  • Clarendon House,
  • Clarendon Road,
  • Cambridge,
  • Cambridgeshire
  • UK
  • CB2 8FH
  • Tel (01223) 465465
  • Fax (01223) 465400
  • DX 131971 Cambridge 6
  • Email : info@penningtons.co.uk
  • Highfield,
  • Brighton Road,
  • Godalming,
  • Surrey
  • UK
  • GU7 1NS
  • Tel (01483) 791800
  • Fax (01483) 424177
  • DX 58300 Godalming 1
  • Email : info@penningtons.co.uk
  • Bishops Wharf,
  • Walnut Tree Close,
  • Guildford,
  • Surrey
  • UK
  • GU1 4UP
  • Tel (01483) 791800
  • Fax (01483) 424177
  • DX 2405 Guildford
  • Email : info@penningtons.co.uk
  • 9400 Garsington Road,
  • Oxford Business Park,
  • Oxford,
  • Oxfordshire
  • UK
  • OX4 2HN
  • Tel (01865) 722106
  • Fax (01865) 201012
  • DX 4322
  • Email : info@penningtons.co.uk
  • Apex Plaza,
  • Forbury Road,
  • Reading,
  • Berkshire
  • UK
  • RG1 1AX
  • Tel (0118) 982 2640
  • Fax (0118) 300 1831
  • Email : info@penningtons.co.uk

Corporate/M&A - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 1 consultant
- Office locations ranked: Oxford, Reading

What the team is known for Recognised for work in life sciences and technology. Particularly active in transactional matters, with a busy practice in business finance and fund-raising.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a lot of expertise." 

"Very good client service." 

What's new? New client wins include Westcoast, Quarto Group and Osprey Publishing.

Work highlights Represented Oxford University Press in its acquisition of Nelson Thomas.

Acted for Haulotte Group in the sale of UK Platforms to HSS Hire Services Group.

Advised Plaxica on the £8 million investment into the company from Imperial Innovations, NESTA and Invesco Perpetual.

Notable practitioners

Oxford-based corporate practitioner David Tighe advises clients from a broad range of industries on significant transactions and corporate finance. Recent highlights include acting for Oxford University Press in its acquisition of Nelson Thomas.

Rob Hayes is a partner in the Reading office. He advises on a wide range of transactional, investment and fund-raising matters. Sources say: "Often you need instant answers. He's always there." 

Justin Starling is a Reading-based partner in the corporate group. He offers expertise in matters of business fund-raising, acquisitions and corporate restructuring. One client reports that he "fights our corner and gives good advice."

Significant clients Immunocore, Williams F1, Prodrive Holdings Limited, Peer 1, Brightborough Capital.

Employment - Thames Valley

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

What the team is known for Offers significant expertise in employment law, supported by broader knowledge of immigration, pensions and other employment issues. Its extensive caseload includes cross-border employment matters, contentious cases with significant union considerations, and senior executive departures.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team is very responsive and offers practical advice. They have an understanding of our business."

What's new? New clients include Hyatt Regency, Hello! Magazine and The Institute of Fiscal Studies. 

Work highlights Advised the Oxford Bus Company on a challenge by two employees to the validity of the client's union-agreed disciplinary procedure.

Notable practitioners  

Clients consider Daff Richardson "very approachable and happy to help" on employment matters, notably those involving clients from the education sector. Her recent case highlights include assisting financial sector client Invesco Perpetual on issues such as settlement agreements and a reorganisation process.

Eugene Wojciechowski is highly active in the Reading market, offering experience in sectors such as social housing and retail. Lately, this has included advising One Housing Group on numerous complex employment issues, including a strike-related matter involving the trade union Unite.

Interviewees appreciate up-and-coming figure Sally Nesbitt as a lawyer who "knows her clients very, very well, and is experienced enough to offer support on anything that is thrown at her." Her varied, respondent-focused practice covers litigation, TUPE, discrimination and business restructuring cases.

Duncan Bain is a "measured and urbane" lawyer who "always offers very pragmatic advice" on contentious and advisory employment matters. He recently assisted Thames Valley Police with a judicial mediation against a serving police sergeant.

Significant clients Blackwell, Grundon Waste Management, Manhattan Software Group, Lombard Medical, IBS Group.

Environment - Oxford and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
Office location ranked: Oxford

What the team is known for Broad-ranging environmental law practice. Regularly works with utilities and waste management companies on issues including landfill tax, contaminated land and environmental liability and carbon reduction matters.

Notable practitioners  

Experienced leader of the firm's national environmental practice Richard Smith is also the head of real estate for the Thames Valley region. Clients say he "knows the problems we might have and risks we may encounter."

Significant clients EDF Energy, European Space Agency.

Family/Matrimonial - Thames Valley

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

What the team is known for Family group with national and international scope, drawing on resources in areas such as pensions, trusts and immigration so as to provide a comprehensive and rounded service. Catering to often high net worth clients in a wide range of issues, such as matrimonial finance and private law children work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are always excellent, always faultless. They prepare perfectly and give intelligent advice. They have a great house style - it's a combination of pure intellect, common sense and strength of personality."

"They're meticulous, careful and very sensitive to their clients' situations and needs."

Notable practitioners  

Ruth James has been described as "an excellent lawyer that you can work with constructively." She specialises in complex matters surrounding matrimonial finance and children issues, and is praised as "highly intelligent," with one interviewee noting that "she gives good advice and clients like her." 

Clients find Kerry Fretwell invaluable as "she cares deeply and is highly approachable." She is recognised for her work across the board of family and matrimonial issues, and is praised for the way in which "she deals with sensitive issues with great sympathy."

Jane Mitchell is particularly noted for her expertise in complex financial issues. Sources say that she "remains a giant in family law; she's instinctive and naturally clever, combined with a lot of experience and a lot of common sense."  

Information Technology - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Oxford 

What the team is known for Advises on strategic issues and business-critical procurement projects. Frequently instructed by both suppliers and end clients on commercial contract negotiation.

Work highlights Advised Eckoh on a hosted services agreement with Capita Customer Management to provide self-service payment systems.

Advised on a managed software and print services agreement project for Fujifilm UK.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Sam De Silva acts on a range of IT and outsourcing mandates. "Sam is always clear in his advice and he takes a commercial view of things," reports one client. 

Significant clients VeriFone, Mastek, Fabergé, RJ Kiln & Co, Triad Retail Media, Williams F1.

Intellectual Property - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Oxford

What the team is known for A large team acting for market-leading clients in life sciences, retail, publishing and technology. Handles non-contentious and contentious mandates, including brand protection, licensing and commercial agreements.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I find them to be extremely business-oriented and commercial in their approach."

"They're very efficient and tenacious, and you benefit from their experience of handling commercial disputes."

What's new? Manches and Penningtons merged in October 2013. Penningtons Manches now has IP specialists in Oxford, Basingstoke, Cambridge and London.

Kerry Sharp was promoted to the partnership.

Work highlights Acted for Immunocore on two significant research collaboration and licensing agreements with GlaxoSmithKline and Genentech. Negotiated and drafted both of these major agreements, one of which is thought to be worth billions of pounds.

Acted for Oxford University Press on various IP mandates, including its acquisition of Nelson Thornes. 

Notable practitioners  

Head of practice Chris Shelley is well regarded by market commentators, who explain that "he has very high standards and is also commercially focused on what the client is trying to achieve." He offers particular expertise in life sciences and publishing, and he led the team on its work for Oxford University Press's acquisition of Nelson Thornes. 

Rachael Barber is a key figure in the team's retail, fashion and brand protection offering. She continues to handle IP matters for various parts of the Bosch group in the UK, including copyright and trade mark infringement, and domain name recoveries.

New partner Kerry Sharp led the team's work for Immunocore, negotiating and drafting two major agreements with Genentech and GlaxoSmithKline. Clients are quick to praise her, highlighting her prior in-house experience, effective negotiation skills and the fact that "she is interested in delivering not just a service, but a relationship."

Significant clients Oxford Gene Technology, Richemont International, Owen Mumford, IKEA, Genzyme.

Litigation - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Oxford

What the team is known for Large Oxford team. Expertise in a variety of sectors, including life sciences, education, healthcare and IP. Additional capability advising on banking disputes, particularly on interest rate swap mis-selling claims.

Notable practitioners  

The "extremely competent and professional" Julie Bond has expertise in regulatory and professional negligence cases. Client say: "She has a great eye for detail and very sound judgement in picking battles."

David Pritchard specialises in shareholder and partnership disputes. He is also currently heavily involved in interest rate hedging disputes. Clients describe him as "very affable." 

Significant clients IKEA, Jimmy Choo, Oxford Brookes University, New Century Care Group, UK Estates.

Private Client - Thames Valley

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

What the team is known for Offers the full range of private client services including asset protection, tax mitigation and charities issues. Strong on contentious probate matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very friendly and feel very comfortable in front of clients."

Notable practitioners  

Anna Burnside heads the department. She acts on trusts and estate planning issues as well as probate. "She is very good at explaining complex issues to clients," states one source.

Real Estate Litigation - Thames Valley

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

What the team is known for Handles the full range of matters in the commercial, education, residential and private client spheres. Notably prominent matters relating to the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Extremely efficient, supportive and cost-conscious."

What's new? Manches merged with Penningtons in October 2013.

Recent client wins include Frontier Estates, Donington Investments and Keranto Properties.

Notable practitioners  

John Morrison acts for landowners, developers, landlords and tenants on the full spectrum of property litigation matters. Clients enthuse: "He exudes calm and confidence, and adapts well to the twists and turns of a case."

Sabrina Furneaux-Gotch attracts praise owing to her "pleasant, reassuring and meticulous" approach. Her contentious practice includes handling boundary issues, restrictive covenant enforcement and encroachment matters.

Significant clients University of Oxford, EDF Energy, Berendsen, Ethical Property Company, One Housing Group.

Social Housing - Oxford and surrounds

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- Office locations ranked: Oxford

What the team is known for Highly skilled social housing group with a breadth of expertise across a number of matters including site acquisitions, loan agreements and employment advice. Impressive client list including a number of local and national housing associations.

What's new? New client wins include Lee Housing and Spectrum Housing.

Work highlights Assisted Hightown Praetorian and Churches Housing Association with the acquisition of several development sites at the Berryfields MDA.

Advised Wiltshire Rural Housing on the securing of a circa £2 million loan from Triodos.

Notable practitioners  

Catherine Bradshaw receives high praise from sources, who note that "she is a very, very good people person," while praising her ability to handle complex, technical matters. Her recent work includes advising Hightown Praetorian and Churches Housing Association on a Section 106 application to modify planning obligations.

Charlotte D'Avola is based in the Reading branch and has particular expertise in advising registered providers and banks on a range of financial issues. She recently advised Hightown Praetorian and Churches Housing Association on a number of matters, including major plot sales.

Significant clients Aster Group, Family Mosaic Housing, Metropolitan Housing Trust, One Housing Group, Sovereign Housing Association.

Education - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Offers a range of services, including advice on employment law, student complaints, immigration and pensions. Represents universities and private colleges.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"The lawyers have a wealth of knowledge and experience." 

"The performance has been excellent. In particular, I would say that the firm has a good range of experienced personnel for education-related matters."

Work highlights Advised the University of Oxford on the sale of a 150-unit development site.

Notable practitioners

Hilary Aldred is a key contact.

Significant clients London Metropolitan University, Glasgow Caledonian University, The Institute of Contemporary Music, Study UK, Oxford Brookes University.