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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 

Firm Overview Penningtons Manches LLP is a top 100 UK law firm which provides a broad range of legal services tailored to the needs of businesses and individuals. It addresses the specific objectives of each client, offering a partner-led service with an emphasis on team work. The firm aims always to match client expectations in the areas of quality, efficiency and cost of service as well as adding value. The firm: 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, professional partnerships, banks and financial institutions.

Principal areas of work: The firm has established a strong reputation in a variety of industry sectors including international wealth, technology, life sciences, education, social housing, retail, healthcare, charities, media and advertising, agriculture, 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 registered social landlords, investment sales and purchases, funding agreements, development schemes, portfolio management, landlord and tenant matters 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 and capacity and Court of Protection matters. The nationally and internationally recognised family team provides a comprehensive service which incorporates 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 solicitors who have either practised in or have a strong working knowledge of commercial activity and legal issues in France, Italy, North America and Asia. In addition, a full international service is provided in association with the member firms of Multilaw and the European Law Group.

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. 

  • 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 and 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 and insolvency Seamus 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 and 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

- 5 partners and 1 consultant
- 5 other lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Oxford, Reading

What the team is known for Advises on transactions with a particular focus on the technology and life science sectors. Strong venture capital practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Big enough to cope, small enough to care. It is a leading firm in Oxford. They put on various useful short seminars and produce regular newsletters."

Commercial awareness: "Manches offers us genuine advice and comes back with solutions. They have a very clear, very commercial view of the legal risk of transactions; they say what's important – what matters and what doesn't – and that marks them out."

What's new? New client wins include Circassia Holdings and C5 Capital.

Work highlights Advised the shareholders in relation to an MBO of Tessella in a transaction valued at £18 million.

Advised We7 on its £10.8 million sale to Tesco Holdings.  

Notable practitioners  

David Tighe is the head of the Thames Valley corporate team. He has a good reputation amongst peers and clients, and focuses particularly on the technology sector. Sources say: "He is prompt and responsive, and generally you get a good all-round service from him."

Rob Hayes is a partner in the corporate group, focusing on areas such as transactions, private equity work and start-up companies. He acted for Veryan on its £5.5 million funding from Seroba Kernel Life Sciences and Imperial Innovations. Sources say: "He offers really good-quality advice on the corporate side and he is hugely experienced."

Justin Starling is a partner in the Reading office, advising on matters such as corporate finance and joint ventures. He acted for Brightborough Capital on its acquisition of Quadra Foods. Sources describe him as a "very good" and "pragmatic" lawyer.  

Significant clients Oxford University Press, Williams Grand Prix Engineering, Nexeon, Santander, iJento.

Employment - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners 
- 5 other qualified practitioners
- Office locations ranked: Oxford, Reading

What the team is known for Highly experienced in tribunal defence although well versed across an array of contentious and non-contentious employment issues. Expertise in advising senior executives and on business immigration concerns.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "Even if it's just letting me know when they will give me a full answer they will get back right away. They are second to none. "

Problem solving: "They send us regular e-mails giving us updates and pointing out potential problems."

Commercial awareness: "They are extremely efficient, with a commercial approach. They help us identify the potential risks of each option available to us." 

Work highlights Provided training and support to Guinot relating to a large number of redundancies in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Advised One Housing Group on changes to terms and conditions affecting around 400 unionised employees.

Notable practitioners  

Daff Richardson "tends to look at things very sensibly and comes back with a pragmatic response." Clients go on to note that she is "personable and easily builds relationships with whoever she's dealing with." She advises senior executives on such matters as restrictive covenants.

Jayne Sinclair "understands the issues and provides really practical advice." She specialises in providing advice on business immigration.

Eugene Wojciechowski is praised by clients for his commercial approach. He works across all areas of employment law and heads the group's Reading practice.

Sally Nesbitt is widely praised by clients. She focuses on contentious work and Employment Tribunal claims.

Duncan Bain, who recently joined the practice from Morgan Cole, is an associate who "knows his stuff." Clients note his "considered and reasoned way of proceeding."

Significant clients Travelodge, Huawei Technologies, Gazprom, Oxford Bus Company, One Housing Group.

Environment - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department  

- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Oxford

What the team is known for Advises on contentious and non-contentious matters. Expertise in areas such as waste and contaminated land, as well as environmental issues connected to infrastructure projects.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They have very credible experience."

What's new? New clients include Recydia and Chilton Waste.

Reappointed to the panel of EDF Energy and appointed to Sovereign Housing Group's panel.  

Work highlights Advised an Italian waste company on environment issues relevant to its UK subsidiary.

Advised waste management company Chilton Waste on issues related to landfill and waste segregation, as well as recycling activities.

Notable practitioners Richard Smith concentrates on property and environment issues. Sources note his technical ability: "He takes the trouble to understand the commercial context of all the issues; he will look at it from a practical view and a legal view."

Significant clients Siemens, Tamar Energy, W. Lucy.  

Family/Matrimonial - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners

- 6 other qualified lawyers

- Office locations ranked: Oxford, Reading

What the team is known for Offers advice on a broad spectrum of family matters, including complex, high-value financial disputes, sensitive children matters and cohabitation. Strong capability on cross-border matters, which have recently involved jurisdictions across the European continent, as well as the USA and Australia.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "This is a firm with a long-established, hard-won and wholly merited reputation as one of the very best family law firms in the country."

Client service: "I found them to be very efficient, professional and empathetic."

Notable practitioners  

Ruth James focuses her practice on complex relationship breakdowns, handling the resulting financial proceedings and children matters, including international relocation. One source describes her as "highly impressive and a pleasure to work with; meticulous in her preparation of cases, with very strong client-care skills."

Department head Jane Mitchell specialises in high net worth financial proceedings and is widely regarded as an outstanding practitioner in her field. Sources describe her as "a first-rate professional with enormous experience, great technical expertise and an enviable caseload."

Kerry Fretwell leads the team in the Reading office, and is renowned for her work on high-value financial proceedings, complex cohabitation disputes and private children law matters. She is regarded as "highly experienced, with very good judgment and an unerring ability to identify and focus on the key issues in a case."

Information Technology - Thames Valley

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

What the team is known for Large practice with international scope. Particular focus on working with US-based clients looking to expand into the UK and Europe. Expertise ranges from IT contracts and software licensing through to cloud computing.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Manches delivers highly thorough work in a timely manner. They are happy to firmly represent their client's position in negotiations."

Cost-effectiveness: "We are very pleased with the high quality of advice we receive from Manches, and I am satisfied that I am receiving good advice whilst satisfying my financial requirements."

Work highlights Advised Eckoh on a renegotiation of its services agreement with Vue Cinemas.

Advised DANTE on a framework agreement involving the introduction and support of a variety of different equipment for the AfricaConnect Project.

Notable practitioners  

The "very experienced and knowledgeable" Sam De Silva is an expert on non-contentious IT matters and is particularly noted for his "expert knowledge in IT procurement." Clients appreciate that he "pays attention to the detail and is robust in his advice and in discussions," as well as praising his "understanding of the industry and its players."

Significant clients Fujifilm, International Financial Data Services, DX Group, Williams F1, Oxford University Press.

Intellectual Property - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department

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

What the team is known for Has a strong reputation in the life sciences field. Also represents market-leading fashion and retail brands in brand protection matters, and offers expertise in licensing and commercial agreements relating to IP rights.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They've always been effective and the quality of the people is great."

Accessibility: "I find their accessibility to be of the highest value."

Work highlights Defended plastics manufacturer Owen Mumford in a patent infringement case brought by Barry Liversidge.

Advised EUSA Pharma on the IP aspects of its sale to Jazz Pharmaceuticals.

Notable practitioners  

Chris Shelley heads up the IP team. He is "extremely gifted" and "very much on top of his subject," and clients also appreciate that he "understands our business and our appetite for risk," and can "explain things to non-lawyers in easy-to-understand terms."

Rachael Barber heads up the contentious side of the practice. Clients indicate that she offers "exceptional client service."

Significant clients IKEA, Jimmy Choo, Nexeon, Oxford University Press, Walker Greenback.

Litigation - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Offices ranked: Oxford

What the team is known for Celebrated Oxford practice with impressive experience in life sciences litigation. Also sought for advice relating to brand protection, education, IP and regulatory concerns.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client satisfaction: "Manches has an incredibly quick turnaround time and they keep an eye on costs, which we really appreciate."

Work highlights Advised E-Nik against the Department for Communities & Local Government in a £1 million dispute over whether late payment counted as debt and came with entitlement to damages.

Notable practitioners  

Julie Bond is enormously experienced. She deals with company law and property disputes in addition to professional indemnity litigation. One client says: "She is enormous fun; I think that's the thing about her. She clearly has the technical knowledge at her fingertips but combines that with a human touch as well."

Department head David Pritchard specialises in IP issues and shareholder disputes. One client says: "His approach is thoughtful and detailed, and he is proactive as well as responsive."

Mark Lewis

Significant clients Siemens, New Century Care Group, Natural Environment Research Council, IKEA, Jimmy Choo.

Private Client - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Oxford

What the team is known for Renowned for its strength in tax and estate planning, as well as trust formation, restructuring and contentious probate matters. Acts for a diverse client base which includes notable academics, business clients and substantial landed estates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "They have expertise across all the areas of law where I want advice, which is very convenient. Our matter is a complex one and they have all the resources and knowledge to handle it without any problems."

Client service: "The team is helpful, knowledgeable, proactive and most of all, personable."

Notable practitioners  

Anna Burnside maintains a robust private client practice and specialises in trusts and estates matters. Clients remark: "Her service is frankly outstanding. She has handled a complex matter with professional skill and assurance, and with the greatest of tact and precision."

Real Estate Litigation - Thames Valley

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

What the team is known for Widely recognised as the leading real estate litigation group in Oxford. Advises corporates, educational institutions, investors, housing associations and occupiers on a wide range of contentious property matters. Also expert in professional negligence relating to property conveyancing and planning issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "The quality of work has been very good and responsive to our needs "

Market standing: "I respect them as a firm. They have good solicitors and specialisms." 

Work highlights Advised new client One Housing Group on a number of antisocial behaviour claims, which involved applications to court for injunctions, possession orders and tenancy demotions.

Notable practitioners  

John Morrison heads the team and focuses exclusively on real estate litigation. He advises on a broad spectrum of commercial and residential property disputes. Sources say: "He is very technically competent, with good tactical judgement on contentious matters."

Significant clients EDF Energy, University of Oxford, The Sunlight Service Group, Oxford Brookes University, Ethical Property Company.

Social Housing - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 13 associates
- Office locations ranked: Oxford

What the team is known for Maintains strength on large-scale development and regeneration schemes. Also advises on employment, IT outsourcing, planning, tax and governance matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They are incredibly organised. They never fail to return a phone call or reply to an e-mail."

Clarity of advice: "The team's advice is very clear, and they let you know when there are things that are of concern. They do more than just process legal advice."

What's new? One Housing Group is a new panel win.

Work highlights Advised Aster Group on the purchase of 105 units in three phases from a national house builder.

Assisted Hightown Praetorian & Churches Housing Association with the acquisition of 84 new units from Nicholas King Homes.  

Notable practitioners  

Development expert Catherine Bradshaw is "technically good, friendly and approachable, and offers proper full advice. If she picks up on something we may not want to hear, she presents us with a solution as well," say impressed clients.

Housing and regeneration head Charlotte D'Avola is "a very experienced solicitor who gives good advice – you can trust her judgement," according to clients.

Significant clients Sovereign Housing Association, asra Housing, Catalyst Housing, Coastline Housing, Jephson Homes. 

Education - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Multidisciplinary strengths across such areas as governance, student matters, property, employment law, IP and spin-offs.

What's new? In 2013, Manches merged with Penningtons to form Penningtons Manches.

Notable practitioners

Daff Richardson is a key contact.  

Significant clients King’s College London, Oxford University Press, The Royal Agricultural College, Royal Holloway, University of London.