East Anglia


Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.

Corporate/M&A - East Anglia


Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 3 associates
- Office locations ranked: Ipswich

What the team is known for A growing presence in the franchising world, acting on behalf of both franchisees and franchisors. Regularly handles transactions of international scope.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: “The firm seeks to build a lasting partnership with clients and not to maximise returns on any individual matter.”

Technical ability: “The lawyers clarified right from the beginning what was required and answered my questions clearly and honestly.”

Client service: Sources commend the friendly and informal approach of the team.

What's new? Edward O'Rourke, a well-established corporate partner, assumed the role of firm CEO.

The 2012 merger with Chambers & Co expanded and strengthened the team's corporate offering, adding franchising specialist John Chambers.

Work highlights Advised Werner Neudecker on the £2.9 million sale of Serengeti Systems to Netcall.

Provides ongoing advice to TaxAssist Direct with respect to its expansion in the USA, Canada and Australia.

Notable practitioners

As new head of department, Geoff Hazlewood is leading many of the firm's standout cases. His clients include the shareholders of Serengeti Systems.

Paul Whittingham earns praise from peers and clients alike. One impressed interviewee commented: “He is pragmatic, has a good commercial perspective and is fun to work with even in pressured situations.”

Damian Humphrey is commended by clients for his “very practical and reassuring” approach to sensitive issues. Recently promoted to partner, he often acts on franchise-related matters.

Significant clients Bubbleology International, Stefano Zagni Productions, Shorthose Russell.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 associates
- Office locations ranked: Colchester

What the team is known for Well known for domestic corporate disposals. A strong presence in the banking sector and e-commerce.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: “All responses the firm provided were thoughtful, prompt and easy to understand.”

Market standing: “It feels like a London firm, but with local attention.”

Work highlights Advised e2v Technologies on the sale of three different entities in the UK and in Switzerland, with a combined value of £14.7 million.

Represented the shareholders in the sale of a strategic stake in Fallow International Freight to CWT Globelink, worth over £616,000.

Notable practitioners 

David Cammack focuses on corporate restructuring and charity law. “He shows a lot of attention to detail and is very personable,” sources comment.

With “experience and understanding of the nature of specific business's activity,” David Wisbey is a first choice for clients seeking advice on complex sales.

Significant clients Lloyds TSB, Chantrey Vellacott DFK, Red7Marine, Essex Cares.

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 17 associates
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich, Norwich

What the team is known for Full-service offices in key East Anglia cities. Long-standing presence in the corporate market advising local and international entities.

What's new? James Allen and Quentin Golder arrived from Taylor Vinters, and Helen Bolton joined from Mills & Reeve.

Work highlights Advised animal feed manufacturer BOCM PAULS on the £70 million sale of its share capital to ForFarmers Group.

Acted on the multimillion-pound sale of Anglian Bus to the Go-Ahead Group. This transaction drew on the firm's expertise in employment, real estate and tax matters.

Notable practitioners  

James Austin is commended for his friendly manner when handling transactions. Market observers recognise his considerable experience in corporate finance and banking.

Adrian Possener wins effusive praise from clients for his commercial awareness.

Recognised as one of the main players in Cambridge, Adrian Seagers led on the aforementioned BOCM PAULS sale.

Well regarded in the Cambridge market, James Allen has considerable experience on corporate transactions. Qualified as a California attorney, he regularly handles international matters.

Essex-based Nick Burnett is a widely regarded practitioner who clients say understands the commercial aspects of a deal.

Mark Henry is respected as a “highly capable” practitioner. He acts on major sales and acquisitions, and his clients include Turners Motor Group and Nationwide Metal Recycling.

Nigel Thompson focuses his practice on the technology sector, where he handles a range of matters including sales, acquisitions and commercial agreements.

Another new addition to the team, Quentin Golder enters the rankings having earned praise for his expertise in the technology sector. He is noted for his client negotiation skills.

Newly promoted to partner, Adam Jones demonstrates notable skill in M&A transactions, acting on the firm's most prominent matters.

Market observers agree that associate Greg Allan is one to keep an eye on. He specialises in banking and corporate recovery.

Significant clients Bernard Matthews Group, Amlin, Norwich Airport, Seetec Business Technology Centre, Brandbank.

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 1 associate
- Office locations ranked: Peterborough

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its manufacturing client base and presence in the education sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: “What they do well is provide practical advice to small and medium-size companies.”

Breadth of services: “The firm handles a range of corporate and commercial matters and gives well-rounded advice.”

Responsiveness: “The team is very responsive. I feel like I can send an email and pick up a phone any time of day.”

Work highlights Assisted Omega Foundry Machinery on a range of corporate matters, including the establishment of a joint venture company in India. Advised Italian company Vietri on an equity investment in Soundreef.

Notable practitioners 

Nigel Moore is praised by clients for being “very practical - he has a good understanding of our business and what we are trying to do, which is unusual.”

Significant clients Baker & Taylor, Global Ethics, Alquity Investment Management.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 1 associate
- Office locations ranked: Colchester 

What the team is known for Strong in a range of corporate transactions, including M&A and private equity investments.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Clarity: “The team explained very clearly all of the stages involved in the transaction.”

Market standing: “The firm has good visibility, is modern and easy to deal with.” Breadth of services: "High local profile. Expertise across a range of activities and specialisms."

What's new? New client wins include Berkley Technical Services, Burland Technology Solutions and CAA.

Work highlights Advised CWind on its corporate reorganisation.

Represented individual shareholders of Hampden Press in the sale of a significant shareholding.

Notable practitioners  

Seamus Clifford impresses clients with his “excellent communication and sustained focus on specific requirements throughout the job.” Sources comment that he has “a very good client relationship, methodology and an outstanding bedside manner,” and is “able to steer through the legal minefield.”

Significant clients East of England Co-operative Society, NatWest Bank, PLF International, Essex Wildlife Trust.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 1 associate
- Office locations ranked: Bury St Edmunds

What the team is known for Recommended for work in the financial services sector and a key contact for business transfer agents.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "It was all focused on what I needed – I never felt I was pushed in a direction I wasn't comfortable with, which was excellent."

Efficiency: "The lawyers resolve issues that arise from selling a business and it is done in a very timely manner."

Breadth of services: "A very professional organisation. It has all strands of law within it, so if you want commercial, tax or family law, it has people dedicated to that."

Technical ability: "The firm is a safe operator, taking a more commercial approach to transactions."

What's new? Former Eversheds lawyer Mark Daly was promoted to the partnership.

Work highlights Represented the shareholders in the £10.2 million sale of Goodprint to Tangent Communications, handling all tax and corporate aspects of the transaction.

Assisted Applied Design & Engineering with a loan and equity fundraising for the development of supermarket refridgeration technology and establishment of partnerships in Thailand, Turkey and Australia.

Notable practitioners  

Commercial department head Chris Thomson is held in high regard for his pragmatic advice. Clients describe him as "commercially astute and aware" and an "experienced problem-solver."

Neil Walmsley is "a good operator" experienced in handling financing and acquisitions. One client commented: "He understood my requirements and was able to explain to me how the transaction worked, guided me through it and offered advice that was constructive, sensible, logical and pragmatic."

Simon Ratcliffe is noted for his friendly approach and solid guidance provided to clients. "He was very calm and reassuring, which enabled me to think through how I wanted to proceed to finalise the deal," commented one source. Clients describe him as "a hard worker who goes the extra mile."

Significant clients The Vitec Group, Alchemie Group, Nexus Financial Products, Adande Refrigeration.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 associates
- Office locations ranked: Peterborough

What the team is known for Active transactional practice, experienced in the food, manufacturing, media and technology sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The lawyers communicate in a language that I can understand; they are really professional, knowledgeable and very friendly."

Technical ability: "Sales and acquisitions are definitely the firm's hotspot."

Visibility: "The firm has a good reputation in the local market."

What's new? The merger with Walker Wallis expanded the team's offering in Cambridge.

Work highlights Advised Key Publishing on the financing and acqusition of a portfolio of magazines from the Ian Allan Group.

Acted on the £2.4 million acquisition of Realworld OO Systems by Ubisense Group.

Notable practitioners 

Duncan Walker acted on the Realworld OO Systems transaction. Clients say: "He is bright and experienced; he has an excellent manner."

David Woods is noted by clients as an excellent commercial lawyer. Well regarded by peers, he acts for both sellers and purchasers.

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 3 associates
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge

What the team is known for Advice for local clients on all aspects of corporate transactions, including financing, joint ventures and contracts.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Visibility: "Committed to the Cambridge market."

Bench strength: "The team has a lot of partners who are well regarded."

Work highlights Acted on an £8 million acquisition of SOLFEX on behalf of Travis Perkins Group.

Assisted Kettering Textiles with its £13 million buy-out by the Salvation Army Trading Company - a high-profile transaction in the charity sector.

Notable practitioners  

"Best kept secret of the firm," James Lawrence is well regarded for handling corporate finance transactions.

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 1 associate
- Office locations ranked: Norwich

What the team is known for Strong Norwich-based firm highly active in the oil & gas and leisure sectors. Also known for expert handling of management buyouts.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I'm looking for a legal judgement, not legal information. I've got that comfort with Howes Percival."

Commercial awareness: "Commercially focused, not boiling the ocean in a way that would not be practical, focused on the most commercially valuable issues."

Bench strength: "The firm is large enough to have the capabilities and clout, but not too big not to care about clients our size."

What's new? New client wins include GEV Offshore and Oilennium.

Work highlights Assisted BNB Leisure with the acquisition of Hoste Arms, a deal that included nine properties.

Advised Nelson Thornes, a subsidiary of Infinitas Learning Group, on the purchase of LJ Create. This transaction involved cross-border elements, with US and Dutch law issues arising.

Notable practitioners  

"Very professionally proficient and personal," Robert Colman is applauded for his "up-to-date and user-friendly advice." He assisted the manager of NABKTB with a management buy-in of office supplies company Paperclip. Clients commend his commitment: "He is able to engage in a very practical and meaningful way."

Nathan Horton recently joined from Hatch Brenner. He is widely regarded by peers. A "respectable lawyer," he is "a safe pair of hands" to handle corporate and commercial law, including partnerships and joint ventures.

Significant clients Mayday Office Equipment Services, Edmund Cude & Booth, Richardsons Leisure Group, Chalcroft.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 associate
- Office locations ranked: Norwich

What the team is known for Recognised for mid-market corporate transactions. Noted expertise in the healthcare and sports sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "I think thay are very good. The firm has attracted a number of new clients."

Visibility: "Leathes Prior punches above its weight." 

What's new? The firm has expanded its client base and is now working for CNC Machine Tools, DDA Public Relations and I.V.G. White Growers.

Work highlights Acted on the sale of Coleman's Opticians to its staff on behalf of the shareholders.

Assisted CVS with several acquisitions of veterinary practices across the UK.

Notable practitioners  

Sources comment that Peter Sheppard is "efficient and has good insights into the M&A sector." He has experience in acting for US clients expanding into the UK.

"Sensible, commercial and easy to deal with," Paul Warman heads the corporate department in the firm. He led the team assisting CVS with several acquisitions of veterinary practices across the UK.

Significant clients Boswell Group, The Russell Organisation, Air Livery, NES Healthcare, Vinpack.

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 14 associates
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge, Norwich

What the team is known for A roster of international clients and comprehensive handling of complex transactions. Acts on significant private equity transactions and is increasingly active in the education sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "You get a regional rate for London-quality lawyers."

Efficiency: "The relationship I have on the corporate side is very strong. I never feel like my time or money are being wasted."

Market standing: "One of the biggest playes in the region with a well-respected team."

What's new? Terry Gould assumed a new role, heading the firm's international strategy. New client wins include Dominion Technology Services, Astro Lighting and Sagentia Group.

Work highlights Advising the management of Weetabix Food Company on the sale of a £1.2 billion controlling stake in the company to Bright Foods.

Assisted the University of Cambridge with the launch of its £350 million public bond issue, working with the banking, charity and education teams.

Notable practitioners 

The "highly commercial" Nicolas Fischl receives praise from peers. He is active on the firm's international transactions, leading the expansion of Naked Wines into the USA and Australia.

James Hunter advised a consortium of clients on a complex joint venture agreement designed to establish Norwich Research Partners. "He is certainly excellent," market sources comment.

Widely experienced and recognised, Craig Hodgson is active on a range of corporate transactions. His clients include LJ Group, Extreme Video and Key Capital Partner.

Anthony McGurk is a well-regarded corporate lawyer who focuses on private equity transactions. He assisted Langholm Capital with a £13 million acquisition of Purity Soft Drinks. 

Head of the corporate department in Cambridge, Claire Clarke advised Trinity Hall on a high-value asset acquisition from Pensions Bank. The mandate also included the formation of new company Cambridge & Counties Bank. 

Described as "a good operator," Stephen Hamilton is highly active on the corporate front. He recently advised Bango on a fund-raising project to raise £3.25 million. 

Zickie Lim has gained a considerable reputation among peers. She advised Secret Escapes on a venture capital fund-raising, a transaction worth £8 million.

Tom Pickthorn acted on the sale of Spaldings Holdings to a Japanese buyer, Marubeni. His other clients include Spiral Software Holdings and Trinity College, Cambridge.

Significant clients University of Cambridge, Aviva, Adnams.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 1 associate
- Office locations ranked: Norwich

What the team is known for Norwich-based firm representing local clients in sales and acquisitions, with a focus on the automotive and technology sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "We found the lawyers to be professional and supportive."

Responsiveness: "The team is approachable and very helpful; what I really enjoy is that they get back to you very quickly."

Technical ability: "The lawyers really undertstand the needs of a small business, but at the same time they are comfortable with the big business space."

Work highlights Advised Cosworth on the acquisition of Adaero Group, a transaction that involved employment and real estate issues.

Represented Robinsons Autoservices in the £3 million acquisition from administrators of assets of H.O. Cox (Car Sales).

Notable practitioners  

Nigel Lubbock is described as a "safe, experienced pair of hands." He is active on many of the firm's high-profile mandates and international deals.

Clients say Richard Bailey has "in depth knowledge, is calm under pressure, quick on his feet and has an excellent brain! He has been invaluable to us." He was involved in representing Robinsons Autoservices in the acquisition of H.O. Cox assets.

Significant clients Jeyes Group, Robinson Group, Broadland Guarding Services, TaxAssist Accountants, Animax.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 associates
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge

What the team is known for Active in the technology and renewable energy sector. Experience in advising local and international companies. Additional strength in venture capital investments.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "They provide 360-degree legal advice for a small company."

Technical ability: "The two areas that stood out were the original management buy-out and the client contract negotiations."

Visibility: "A rising star in the Cambridge market." 

What's new? Partner John Short took early retirement. Susan McDonald joined the team from Hewitsons.

Work highlights Acted on a complex management buy-out of Education Personnel Management.

Advised e-Go Aeroplanes on various corporate matters, relating to the development of an ultra-lightweight single-seat kit-form aeroplane.

Notable practitioners 

Adam Bradley is a "pragmatic lawyer, who is sensible and easy to get on with." He is commended by clients for his "no-nonsense approach and getting the deal done sensibly." Peers note: "He would be my first point of call."

Significant clients Diagrama, Ridgeons, Swains International, Pemberton Capital, Go Native.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 3 associates
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge

What the team is known for A first choice for technology companies both locally and nationally. Works alongside a strong IP team and commended for handling venture capital funding.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "The lawyers have good experience in what venture capital funds are looking for and what kind of documents will come up. They are pragmatic and explain issues very well."

Market standing: "High-end London law firm skills in Cambridge, with fairly unique focus on technology M&A, IP and contracts."

Technical ability: "Very robust in negotiation." 

What's new? New client instructions from Acal Energy, Business Growth Fund and Azuri Technologies.

Work highlights Advised Wireless Data Services on its purchase by ACS Business Process Solutions.

Assisted PsiOxus on a £22 million venture capital fundraising from Imperial Innovations, Invesco, Lundbeckfond and SR One.

Notable practitioners  

The "extremely well-regarded" David Mardle earns effusive praise from market sources, who point out that "he has a very good understanding of IP aspects of business and contract law and an appreciation for the technology market generally." He advised Frontier Silicon on its sale to Toumaz, a transaction worth up to £32.3 million.

Simon Walker heads the Cambridge office. "He is well connected and knows a lot about the venture capital world," clients comment. His clients include Abydos and Taptu.

Significant clients Google, Ludgate Environmental Fund, Nauta Capital.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Keith Vincent is a corporate lawyer at Aquabridge Law LLP. Described as "a very strong" player, he has a particular interest in advising family businesses.

Mark Satterly is a key corporate contact at Eversheds LLP in Cambridge. "The two items that characterise him are responsiveness and a commercial approach," clients comment. He acted on a joint venture establishing the Cambridge & Counties Bank and its subsequent acquisition for Cambridgeshire City Council.

Petra Sharp of Gotelee is well regarded among peers and leads a number of corporate transactions. She joined the firm from Ashton KCJ in 2014 where she acted on the £900,000 sale of Relay Station.

Helen Drayton is a key corporate partner at Penningtons Solicitors LLP. With a well-established position in the market she has a strong following among local companies. One client commented: "I think Helen would be my first call."

Prettys' corporate head Ian Waine enjoys a strong position in Ipswich. He is "a pleasant guy to work with and is very commercial," clients say.

Mary Anne Fedeyko of Thompson Smith & Puxon is widely recognised by peers as an excellent corporate lawyer. She is experienced in handling restructurings, mergers and acquisitions. 

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.