6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Business & Professional Life today CLICK HERE

Meet the Legal 500 law firms of the Cotswolds

PUBLISHED: 11:13 22 January 2019

(c) ijeab / Getty Images

(c) ijeab / Getty Images

Archant

The annual Legal 500 is published each year with comprehensive coverage of the UK's leading law firms. Here, the team at Cotswold Life Business & Professional highlights listed firms in the key commercial sectors

The Cotswolds fills a unique position in the UK’s legal market. It is home to some of the country’s largest consumer goods retailers such as Superdry and Dyson; it acts as a conduit to Wales, particularly in the energy and infrastructure space; it is an increasingly popular market for insurers and other financial services companies; and, with its relatively vibrant technology and media industries, it has become an increasingly popular region for foreign investment. Despite the relative uncertainty surrounding Brexit, firms have noted that rather than stifling the region’s corporate activity, the subsequent drop in sterling has facilitated a slew of business and asset transactions involving foreign purchasers.

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Corporate and Commercial:

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, Cheltenham

BPE Solicitors LLP, Cheltenham

Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Cheltenham

Willans LLP, Cheltenham

Made up of partners with high-profile City experience, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is often instructed in large, cross-border business and asset transactions. The Cheltenham group has longstanding relationships in the Middle East, Africa and Cyprus and has traditional strengths in the aviation and renewable energy sectors. Department head Richard Norton - listed as a Leading Individual in the 2018 list - assisted Supergroup plc and its founder, Julian Dunkerton, with an employee share incentive scheme affecting 4,500 employees.

BPE Solicitors LLP runs an ‘experienced and approachable’ corporate group, with an active banking practice and ‘particular strength in the SME space’. Anthony Rudge leads the department’s listed companies practice and is instructed by numerous AIM-listed corporates.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has a full-service corporate and commercial offering, with specialisms in private equity-backed transactions and corporate finance. The practice is taking on an increasing number of international transactions, including outbound US and Scandinavia-facing work.

Exceptionally knowledgeable and extremely prompt’, Willans LLP prides itself on ‘a firm culture where excellent client service is the expectation’. Moreover, one client noted the firm’s competitive pricing and approachability in relation to many of its local competitors. Headed by Paul Symes-Thompson, the corporate team has particular focus on advising manufacturers, professional practices, charities and technology companies on commercial agreements and corporate transactions.

Commercial Litigation:

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, Cheltenham

BPE Solicitors LLP, Cheltenham

Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Cheltenham

Willans LLP, Cheltenham

Croft Solicitors, Cheltenham

Simon Burn Solicitors, Cheltenham

The disputes resolution team at Willans LLP has ‘developed long-standing client relationships through an impressive combination of technical expertise and interpersonal skills’. Headed by the ‘pragmatic yet appropriately aggressive’ Paul Gordon, a Leading Individual, the team is most active in contract and Companies Act litigation, construction disputes, IP claims, professional negligence and property-related litigation.

Croft Solicitors’ commercial lawyers are hugely experienced in delivering a broad spectrum of agreements, including outsourcing, distribution, agency and supply agreements, standard terms of purchase or sale, licensing agreements and online terms and conditions for both B2B and B2C operations. It also deals with specialist data protection issues and IT law. Rupert Croft is listed as a Leading Individual.

Cutting-edge tactics employed by skilful lawyers at Simon Burn Solicitors deliver effective support and representation for businesses and individuals. Advice is practical and commercial but focuses on clients’ objectives. Simon Burn is listed as a Leading Individual.

Employment:

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, Cheltenham

BPE Solicitors LLP, Cheltenham

Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Cheltenham

Lodders Solicitors LLP, Cheltenham

Willans LLP, Cheltenham

Lodders’ employment law team works with a range of clients, from owners and managers of SMEs and large corporations, through to long-serving employees and senior directors. From drafting contracts and policies to negotiating settlements and conducting employment tribunals, staff regularly advise on both contentious and non-contentious issues.

BPE Solicitors LLP acts primarily for national clients on whistleblowing, TUPE, and employee relations, issues, as well as business restructures, trade union negotiations and industrial action. It handles a number of cases in the EAT, High Court and the Court of Appeal, and acts for private individuals advising on senior level severances.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP acts for national and international clients on reorganisations, business transfers, board structure and corporate governance issues, and Employment Tribunal and High Court litigation. Clients stem from the retail, leisure, charity and landed estate sectors.

Commercial property:

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, Cheltenham

BPE Solicitors LLP, Cheltenham

Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Cheltenham

Willans LLP, Cheltenham

Lodders Solicitors LLP, Cheltenham

BPE Solicitors LLP is instructed by corporate occupiers and property developers and regularly handles warehouse and development site transactions, corporate leasing, and property funding.

Providing ‘true City-style service from outside of London’, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s real estate lawyers are ‘all-round experts in commercial and residential property’. The team is particularly active in residential and retirement home development, corporate leasing and property investment.

__________________________________________________

OXFORDSHIRE

Corporate and Commercial:

Royds Withy King, Oxford

A go-to team for owner-managed and smaller listed companies’, Royds Withy King is ‘one of the best options, locally, when balancing cost and quality’. Headed by Katharine Mortimer, the sector-driven team has particular experience in the financial services, technology and healthcare sectors.

Commercial Litigation:

Royds Withy King, Oxford

Royds Withy King’s property group provides ‘a standard of service that is comparable to many larger—and more expensive—London and Bristol firms’. Headed by Paul Daniels, the team has a particularly broad, sector-based real estate service, which covers healthcare, education and charity work, pension and investment property, residential development, corporate occupier and leasing work, and secured lending.

Employment:

Royds Withy King, Oxford

Royds Withy King provides ‘practical advice that is easy to understand’. It handles all aspects of employment law, including discrimination issues, complex redundancies, re-organisations, business transfers, whistleblowing and TUPE transfers. The practice acts for a number of plcs as well as SME businesses, focusing on the social care, professional services, manufacturing, technology, transport and rail sectors.

Commercial Property:

Royds Withy King, Oxford

Royds Withy King’s property group provides ‘a standard of service that is comparable to many larger—and more expensive—London and Bristol firms’. Headed by Paul Daniels, the team has a particularly broad, sector-based real estate service, which covers healthcare, education and charity work, pension and investment property, residential development, corporate occupier and leasing work, and secured lending.

__________________________________________________

WARWICKSHIRE

Corporate and Commercial:

Wright Hassall, Leamington Spa

Lodders Solicitors LLP, Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare Martineau, Stratford-upon-Avon

Band Hatton Button, Coventry

Brindley Twist, Tafft & James, Coventry

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s practice in Stratford upon Avon ‘does a thoroughly professional job and adds real value to every transaction’.

Wright Hassall’s corporate lawyers work with a vast range of businesses from start-ups and SMEs through to large family run businesses and multinational corporations.

Commercial Litigation:

Wright Hassall, Leamington Spa

In addition to heavyweight commercial contract and negligence claims, Wright Hassall LLP’s substantial team covers disputes in sectors such as technology, finance and professional services. Gemma Carson leads the commercial litigation team, while the ‘incisive and forceful’ Sarah Perry heads the dispute resolution practice.

Employment:

Averta Employment Lawyers LLP, Meriden

Shakespeare Martineau, Stratford-upon-Avon

Brethertons LLP, Rugby

Commercial Property:

Lodders Solicitors LLP, Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare Martineau, Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare Martineau LLP provides ‘good, personalised service that manages risk and provides good commercial advice when required.’ Richard Cox handles sales of development sites for landowners, including ones with sitting tenants. Janet James is also a key contact for work concerning infrastructure developments.

Led by partner Paul Mourton, the Lodders team provides a full and efficient service for investors, developers and owner occupiers. It acts on behalf of national and regional commercial property developers, residential property developers, investment companies and funders.

__________________________________________________

WORCESTERSHIRE

Corporate and Commercial:

Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Worcester

FBC Manby Bowdler, Redditch

Thursfields, Worcester

MFG Solicitors, Worcester

Thomas Horton LLP, Redditch

At FBC Manby Bowdler LLP, clients ‘feel that their support and standards are far superior to what their counterparty is getting’. David Preece in Telford, who was promoted to partner in April 2017, is praised for his ‘attention to detail, knowledge of subject, and understanding of clients’ businesses’ .

MFG Solicitors LLP handles a range of work, much of it concerning reorganisations and sales of smaller businesses to larger groups.

Commercial Litigation:

FBC Manby Bowdler, Redditch

Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Worcester

Thursfields Solicitors, Worcester

‘One of the strongest in the region outside Birmingham, and a match for many of the Birmingham city centre firms’, FBC Manby Bowdler LLP is a ‘stellar and slick firm, which combines quality and experience – it is easy to work with and always well-prepared’.

Employment:

FBC Manby Bowdler, Redditch

MFG Solicitors LLP, Worcester

For some, MFG Solicitors LLP is ‘probably the best employment offering in Worcester and surrounding area’, with a strong focus on the financial services, education, manufacturing and construction sectors. Sally Morris heads the team and is known for her ‘good sense’, ‘client awareness’ and ‘willingness to discuss difficult issues’.

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP is ‘highly knowledgeable across all areas’ and ‘highly responsive and supportive with their approach’, with a particularly strong reputation in the manufacturing sector .

Commercial Property:

FBC Manby Bowdler, Redditch

Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Worcester

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice handles work covering a range of sectors including residential, retail and hospitality.

From city centre locations to rural development, and small shops to major London offices, Harrison Clark Rickerbys works on all types of projects including nursing homes, factories, pubs, hotels and schools. The team is adept at dealing with multiple portfolio sales – the sale of healthcare properties, for example – in tight timescales and has specialists in construction, planning, rural affairs and litigation.

__________________________________________________

WILTSHIRE

Corporate and Commercial:

Royds Withy King, Swindon

Clark Holt, Swindon

Thrings, Swindon

Thrings LLP specialises in regional mid-market corporate transactions and though the team works across a variety of industries, with particular emphasis on the healthcare and education sectors.

‘A go-to team for owner-managed and smaller listed companies’, Royds Withy King is ‘one of the best options, locally, when balancing cost and quality’. Headed by Katharine Mortimer, the sector-driven team has particular experience in the financial services, technology and healthcare sectors.

Clark Holt specialises in all aspects of corporate M&A including mergers, acquisitions and disposals, as well as joint ventures, shareholders’ agreements and general corporate advice.

Commercial Litigation:

Thrings, Swindon

Royds Withy King, Swindon

Wilsons Solicitors, Salisbury

Noted for its ‘oustanding service’, the litigation team at Thrings LLP has particular expertise in professional negligence, product liability, and commercial disputes in the financial services, manufacturing, IT and aerospace sectors.

Royds Withy King’s sector-driven disputes team has particular strengths in the retail, leisure and healthcare industries and has been increasingly involved in criminal law and regulatory mandates.

Offering practical, cost-effective advice whatever the subject matter or value of the claim, the team at Wilsons covers the full commercial dispute portfolio.

Employment:

Royds Withy King, Swindon

Swindon Royds Withy King provides ‘practical advice that is easy to understand’. It handles all aspects of employment law, including discrimination issues, complex redundancies, re-organisations, business transfers, whistleblowing and TUPE transfers.

Commercial Property:

Royds Withy King, Swindon

Clark Holt, Swindon

Clark Holt specialises in all forms of landlord and tenant work including complex pre-let agreements, development and re-development including site assembly, planning promotion, options, joint ventures, complex ownership structures and investment transactions as well as in matters that include regulatory or environmental concern.

Royds Withy King’s property group provides ‘a standard of service that is comparable to many larger—and more expensive—London and Bristol firms’. Headed by Paul Daniels, the team has a particularly broad, sector-based real estate service, which covers healthcare, education and charity work, pension and investment property, residential development, corporate occupier and leasing work, and secured lending.

For more information, visit The Legal 500 website.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Cotswold Life