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Mills & Reeve LLP


Mills & Reeve LLP - London
  • 78-84 Colmore Row
  • Birmingham
  • West Midlands
  • UK
  • B3 2AB
  • Managing Partner Guy Hinchley
  • Senior Partner Mark Jeffries
  • Partners  112
  • Other fee earners  443

THE FIRM Mills & Reeve is a top 50 UK law firm, with offices in Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, London, Manchester and Norwich. On June 1 2013 it acquired Manchester-based practice George Davies Solicitors LLP. The firm offers a full range of commercial legal advice including market-leading practices in health, education and for private clients. It is also recognised for its real estate, corporate, technology and insurance capability.
For international advice, clients are able to access an established network of firms across Europe,Asia, the US, Latin America and Australia. Lawyers at the firm are used to working across jurisdictions and can effectively bring projects together wherever they are based.
The culture of Mills & Reeve has been carefully nurtured so that its people are encouraged to want the best for their clients. This distinct philosophy, called “infectious ambition”, is about going the extra mile in the service provided.
Acquiring knowledge and expertise is encouraged and new ideas are fostered in an environment where teamwork is highly prized. Clients benefit from a happy and enthusiastic workplace where people spark off each other to achieve more.
The firm’s philosophy and talent base is supported by a focus on value. A cost effective business structure means that quality advice can be delivered at an affordable and transparent price.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK Mills & Reeve has a substantial client base ranging from PLCs to start-ups. This includes more than 70 universities and colleges and 100 healthcare institutions A full range of legal work is carried out:
Corporate & Commercial: The team works on a wide range of transactions with both public and private companies on listings, new funding rounds, mergers or acquisitions, restructuring, and the options for exit. Clients come from a wide range of sectors, including a growing food and drink portfolio. The service is supported by specialist commercial disputes, employment, insolvency, intellectual property, licensing, pensions and tax teams. It also includes one of the largest dedicated banking and finance teams outside London.
Real Estate: Development and property management teams advise both business and institutional sectors with a strong capability in real estate investment, construction and engineering, regeneration, planning and environment, PFI and projects, and a long-standing reputation in the agricultural sector.
Private Client: Tax, trust and family lawyers advise a wide range of landowners, entrepreneurs and business people. The firm’s private client group is fast becoming one of the largest and most highly respected in the UK.
Insurance: The group advises the main carriers of professional indemnity risk, as well as clients in the wider London insurance and reinsurance markets. Alternative methods of dispute resolution are used to achieve effective handling of claims.
Education: The team occupies a leading position, advising higher and further education institutions and acts for more than 70 universities and colleges on everything from PFI schemes to technology transfer.Meanwhile, the academies team is involved in more than 100 projects.
Technology: The firm focuses on key areas of concern to technology-based companies, advising on IP/IT, environmental, health and safety and related property issues.
Health: Mills & Reeve is one of the UK’s leading advisers, acting for more than 100 NHS trusts and other health bodies in both the public and private sectors.
Charities: The team acts for more than 250 charities and social enterprises across the country, including some of the largest fundraising charities in the UK.
Sport: The team acts for associations, sportspeople and clubs on a range of legal matters. Clients include the Professional Footballers’ Association and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Areas of Practice

  • Corporate 39%
  • Real Estate 23%
  • Private Client 20%
  • Insurance 19%
  • Agriculture Michael Aubrey
  • Charities Neil Burton
  • Corporate & Commercial Claire Clarke
  • Disputes Jamie Wheatley
  • Education Gary Attle
  • Employment David Mills
  • Family Nick Stone
  • Food & Drink Craig Hodgson
  • Health Bridget Archibald, Jill Mason
  • Insurance Disputes Guy Hodgson
  • Insurance Neil Davis
  • Private Tax Chris Belcher
  • Private Wealth Matthew Hansell
  • Projects & Construction Raith Pickup
  • Real Estate Investment Charles Staveley
  • Real Estate Keith Hamilton
  • Sport Mark Hovell
  • Technology Isabel Napper


Charities - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner 
- 1 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Remains a top choice for clients seeking charity law expertise, particularly relating to the education and healthcare sectors, where the group demonstrates notable strengths. Works cohesively with colleagues operating out of five UK offices, as part of a wider, full-service charities group that brings together specialists in tax, trusts, funding and governance.

What's new? Neil Burton was recently made a partner, further strengthening the firm's charities offering.

Work highlights Acted in its capacity as exclusive external counsel to the British Council, advising on the contracts for a new online payment facility that is being developed for students purchasing courses and teaching materials over the internet.

Notable practitioners 

Consultant Gary Barber wins praise from sources, who find that he is "good at putting the jargon aside and explaining matters to clients in very clear terms." He possesses in-depth knowledge of the law of trusts and estate planning, and interviewees also highlight his strong technical skills.

Significant clients Wellcome Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support, British Library, British Council, King's College London.

Construction - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

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

What the team is known for Known for its work in the education sector. Regularly receives instructions from schools, academies and universities. Additional strength in the healthcare and energy sectors.

What's new? New clients include University of Bournemouth, Geoh Energy and the Government Procurement Services.

Work highlights Advised the Academies Enterprise Trust on the multimillion-pound redevelopment of academies in Essex and Richmond Park.

Advised Urban and Civic Limited on planning and construction matters in connection with the development at Alconbury Weald, a government enterprise zone. This project is expected to produce 5,000 new homes and 8,000 new jobs over the next 25 years.

Notable practitioners  

Martino Giaquinto is praised by a client for being "strategic and tactical." Giaquinto is a highly regarded contentious specialist and is also on the disciplinary board at the Royal institute of Architects.

Head of department Stuart Pemble leads on several significant transactional matters. He is well respected by industry commentators. His clients include Barking and Dagenham College and City College Norwich.  

Significant clients Aston Student Villages, University of Westminster, Aston University, Thomas Vale Group, West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Employment - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 9 other qualified practitioners
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Offers impressive employment advice to clients in the health and education sectors. Expert in managing complex restructurings for NHS clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They form a partnership with you. The advice is very practical."

Culture: "Their judgement is sound. They're very switched-on, thorough and conscientious."

Work highlights Defended the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust against allegations of unfair dismissal and religious discrimination.

Advised the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust on the dismissal of an executive director for poor performance.

Notable practitioners  

Jog Hundle is renowned for her work in the health sector, with one source calling her "Ms NHS employment." Clients admire her practical advice on grievances involving senior management and doctors.

The hugely experienced Martin Brewer works for commercial clients as well as those in the public sector. A well-known tribunal advocate, he is deemed "robust in his approach."

Nick Abbott focuses on providing employment advice to educational institutions. He is a "true expert in employment law" who is valued for his ability to provide "clear, detailed and highly informative" advice. 

Richard Santy recently joined the firm from Shoosmiths. He is commercial and pragmatic with a can-do attitude, according to clients. An expert litigator, he focuses on tribunal defence.

 Significant clients Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, The Law Society, Virgin Care, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University of Manchester.

Family/Matrimonial - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for The firm has a strong national reputation for excellence in family law, and the Birmingham office continues to act in this vein. Remains committed to alternative methods of dispute resolution and handles a variety of family work for high net worth clients, from complex financial remedy disputes to domestic and international children cases. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "The firm has a no-nonsense, realistic but down-to-earth approach to complex situations."

Market standing: "They've done an outstanding job and are a very strong team."

Notable practitioners  

The "outstanding" Marc Saunderson continues to extend his presence in family law in the region, with a particular focus on high net worth and complex financial disputes. He is commended by peers as being "good to do business with - he's very reasonable, good to talk to and always knows what he's doing."

Litigation - Midlands

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Advises corporations and shareholders on a range of commercial litigation including shareholder disputes, product liability defence and fraud-related proceedings. 

Notable practitioners  

Steve Allen is a well-regarded solicitor noted for advising on complex cases. His recent caseload encompasses shareholder and contractual disputes, and fraud cases.

Significant clients Centrica, Ryder, Interserve, Helvetia Wealth, SCA Recycling.

Private Client - Midlands

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Full-service firm which draws on the strength of its national offering to provide a comprehensive package to clients, whether business owners or landed estates. Particular expertise in family investment companies and offshore trust matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "The size of the partner base and the depth of expertise to draw on make this relationship a reassuring one. The response of the team is always prompt, friendly and appropriate."

Client service: "They are the safest pair of hands in this market. The service is exceptional, backed up by a formidable team of experts."

Notable practitioners  

Matthew Hansell is highly rated for his estate management practice, which covers the formation of family investment companies, tax structuring and succession planning. Peers note his client care skills as well as his technical expertise.

Gary Barber maintains a broad private client practice. Sources enthuse: "He is immensely helpful and knowledgeable, he instils a real sense of confidence and is someone I can call at any time and speak to with complete confidence."

Star associate John Grundy distinguishes himself at the junior end of the private client market. He is especially revered for his competence in tax planning matters. Sources remark: "He is able to explain complex issues in an easy to understand manner."

Professional Negligence - Midlands

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 26 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for An established leader in the sector. Engages in high-profile matters involving construction professionals and brokers, as well as coverage claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "Mills & Reeve is by far the biggest team." "That firm has a very strong team."

Notable practitioners  

Angus Turner leads the team and specialises in solicitors' claims. Clients "can't speak highly enough" of him, whilst peers enthuse: "He is very approachable, good to work with, and fights very hard for the cause. He makes you feel part of a team."

Susan Collins is described as "a standout associate." She provides commercial advice and has been involved in an increasing number of claims against insurance brokers.

Andrea Lynch advises professionals from a variety of fields. She was recently involved in a high-value claim in the construction sector.

Neil Frankland is a specialist in construction-related matters, very active in that field, and frequently handles significant, complex disputes. He is praised for his ability to offer "sound, commercial advice."

Significant clients XL Insurance, Alpha, Travelers, CNA, Canopius.

Insurance - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Key areas of specialism include professional indemnity, property damage and business interruption claims. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "A substantial and reputable outfit. Robust but flexible."

Work highlights Recently represented Minster Insurance, which has been put into a solvent scheme of arrangement, in a USD4 million recovery against Simcoe, its reinsurers.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Cha is the key contact at the firm.

Corporate/M&A - West Midlands

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Birmingham

What the team is known for Growing Midlands presence. Remains at the forefront of the corporate healthcare market, having assisted on a variety of high-profile matters in the past year.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "I would rate their advice very highly in terms of efficiency, and they are able to cut through the complex legal terminology and present the advice in a commercial manner."

Client service: "Communication was excellent, as was the client service management." 

What's new? Peter McLintock formerly of Squire Sanders, Kevin Lowe formerly of Wragge & Co and Ruth Smith formerly of Pinsent Masons have all joined the corporate and commercial practice group at the firm.

Work highlights Acted for Virgin Care in a deal which will see the group take over Devon's children services from the NHS.

Assisted Toyota Tsusho Automobile in the purchase of two Lexus dealerships in Reading and Bracknell.

Notable practitioners  

According to one client, Julian Smith "is an excellent strategic thinker and is able to identify the end point and then chart a course to get there." He led the team that assisted in the transition of Surrey community health services from the Surrey Primary Care Trust to Virgin Care.

Peter McLintock recently joined the firm's corporate group from Squire Sanders in Birmingham. He focuses his practice on the private equity market.

Significant clients AmSurg, Bupa, Becketts Foods, Imperial College London, University of Oxford.