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 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Ipswich, Norwich

What the team is known for Demonstrates expertise across matters including acquisitions and dispositions, franchising and finance. Notable experience with respect to a range of sectors including financial services, healthcare and recruitment.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Timely, commercial, reasonably priced, and has a personal touch."

"They are very professional, very efficient and very timely."

Work highlights Advised Energie Global Brand Management on the restructuring of two of its subsidiaries. The work involved the acquisition of shares and the restructuring of debts owed to another company in the group.

Advised franchiser TaxAssist on the high-value resale of two franchisee businesses.

Notable practitioners  

Ipswich-based Paul Whittingham is described by peers as a "good, sensible and pragmatic corporate lawyer." He focuses his practice on the acquisition and disposition of businesses.

Geoff Hazlewood is the head of Ashton KCJ's corporate and commercial department. Hazlewood's broad practice encompasses M&A, corporate finance and banking matters.

Mark Whittaker has recently been busy with M&A and MBOs. Client sources describe Whittaker as "knowledgeable" and "commercially minded."

Damian Humphrey's recent highlights include advising TaxAssist on two franchising transactions. One client reports: "He is very commercial and he understands business." 

Sources say Mark Watson is "clear, concise, and gets the job done." He led on the aforementioned Energie Global Brand Management restructuring.

Significant clients Energie Club Ventures, TaxAssist, Inkvite, Stefano Zagni Productions, Dingles Motor Group.

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

What the team is known for Recognised strength with respect to a range of industry sectors including healthcare, financial services, charities and media. Experience in working with clients of all sizes, from start-ups to multinationals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The matter was very complex and they handled it well. " 

"They are one of the leading firms in Essex in the corporate sphere."

Work highlights Advising the shareholders of Anglia Retirement Homes on the proposed sale of their shares.

Acting for the sellers on the disposal of three companies associated with Goddard & Co.

Notable practitioners  

Sources praise "standout lawyer" David Cammack as "very thorough" and recognise his "very good attention to detail." 

The "excellent and knowledgeable" David Wisbey is chairman of Birkett Long. His broad corporate and commercial practice includes M&A and corporate finance, and he is experienced in matters pertaining to a range of sectors including health, automotive and technology.

Tracey Dickens is the head of the commercial and corporate finance department. She recently advised the shareholders of three companies associated with Goddard & Co on the disposal of those companies. Clients say: "Her knowledge and professionalism are her greatest strengths." 

Significant clients e2v technologies, Lloyds TSB, Essex Cares, Panfoods, Wilkin & Sons.

Basic facts about the department
- 13 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich, Norwich

What the team is known for Strong regional footprint with experience acting for international companies, regional powerhouses and SMEs in the full spectrum of transactional matters. Enviable client roster includes household names from a range of sectors including technology, food and banking.

Work highlights Advised Aeroflex on the USD18.7 million sale of Aeroflex Services, an equipment testing subsidiary, to Trescal.

Represented Used Car Sites in a joint venture with The AA that produced the fourth largest online car sales resource in the UK.

Advised the management team on the investment and buyout of Euromedica Executive Search. 

Notable practitioners  

Ipswich-based James Austin heads the firm's corporate and commercial department. His commercial and transactional practice wins strong praise from market observers.

Adrian Possener leads the Norwich company commercial team. His broad practice encompasses M&A, IPOs, buyouts and joint ventures. He recently advised the shareholders of Bernard Matthews in connection with an investment by Rutland Partners.

James Allen focuses his practice on corporate finance, banking and insolvency. His clients include SGJ Limited, for which he recently acted on a demerger under Section 110 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Chelmsford-based Nick Burnett is singled out by impressed market sources for his pragmatism. His practice is largely focused on the representation of family-owned businesses.

Sources describe Mark Henry as very hard-working and conscientious. He recently acted for Notcutts on the sale of a garden centre to Scotsdales.

Adrian Seagers heads the Cambridge corporate and commercial group and offers clients a strong transactional practice. Recent highlights include advising Kirton Healthcare on an MBO.

Nigel Thompson is based in the Chelmsford office and focuses his practice on transactional matters, often handling matters with an IP dimension. He recently acted for IP-owning company Autotech and its shareholder in its buyout by the management team.

Adam Jones recently advised the shareholders of Lavenham Leisure in connection with the sale of the company to Fred Perry. He handles a broad range of corporate matters including M&A, private equity and corporate finance.

Quentin Golder focuses on corporate finance and transactional matters, often with respect to the technology sector. Sources describe him as very commercial.

Richard Payne's practice includes M&A, MBOs and private equity matters, and he recently represented VCars in its joint venture with The AA.

Greg Allan is a highly rated associate whose corporate practice includes MBOs and M&A. 

Senior associate Nathan Muskett heads the firm's Norwich-based family business team. His clients can be found in the IT, insurance and publishing industries, among others.

 Significant clients Bernard Matthews, Amlin, Acteon Group, BOCM Pauls, Greene King.

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 1 other qualified lawyer
- Office locations ranked: Peterborough

What the team is known for Compact team with a fine track record in transactional matters. Solid local profile is supplemented by increasing activity in deals with an international dimension.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Easily accessible and very responsive: a pleasant firm to work with."

Work highlights Advised the senior management team of Hydromarque on an MBO. The deal was worth £3 million.

Represented Omega Foundry Machinery in the sale of a minority interest to a Japanese investor.

Notable practitioners  

Nigel Moore heads the firm's company commercial team and routinely acts for clients in the food, publishing and software sectors. Sources say: "He is an excellent lawyer in the sense that he can get to the core of any subject that you hand him." 

Significant clients Baker & Taylor, Vietri, London Internet Exchange, Chartered Institution of Procurement & Supply, Alquity Investment Management.

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

What the team is known for Handles a broad range of corporate, commercial and business law matters. Areas of expertise include M&A, MBOs, corporate governance and private equity matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We have always been looked after well and they have always delivered."

"Very reasonable in negotiation. They facilitate the transaction rather than create obstacles."

Work highlights Assisted Brundell Investments with the acquisition of Broom Marine Group, a distressed company. The deal was worth £3 million.

Acted for Windboats Hardy Marine on its acquisition of Hardy Marine.

Notable practitioners  

Seamus Clifford recently advised Brundell Investments in connection with its £3 million acquisition of Broom Marine Group. His practice includes M&A and joint ventures. Sources say: "He is very practical and commercial. He looks for solutions, not problems."

Significant clients East of England Co-Operative Society, PLF International, DSV Road, Milsom Hotels, Wilkin & Son.

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

What the team is known for Impressive experience in handling a broad range of transactional matters. Clients include venture capitalists, private investors and management teams.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are always very good and provide a very, very high level of service. They are very customer-focused."

"They really adapt themselves to what the client requires."

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Chris Thomson receives warm praise from the market, with sources attesting that "he gives excellent advice: very clear and very commercial." He focuses his commercial practice on the buying and selling of businesses.

Neil Walmsley's practice includes M&A and corporate finance. A client reports: "Neil's best quality is his commercial pragmatism. I have absolute trust in him." 

Simon Ratcliffe is described by clients as a "very talented individual with a wealth of knowledge." He focuses his practice on restructurings and M&A. 

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

What the team is known for Recognised strength in the Peterborough market, with noted industry-specific experience pertaining to the media, manufacturing, and food and drink sectors. Areas of expertise include M&A, MBOs and company own-share purchases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They were responsive and had an appetite to understand our sector."

Work highlights Advised KWS (UK) in connection with its acquisition of Huntseeds, as part of the restructuring of its UK maize operations.

Assisted Haskoning UK Holdings with its acquisition of Integrated Project Management.

Notable practitioners  

Clients praise David Woods for his practical approach, saying: "He approaches legal issues from a business perspective." Sources also state: "He has been a heavy hitter in the region for some time." Woods heads the firm's corporate and commercial team.

Duncan Walker is based in the Cambridge office and has a practice focusing on M&A and corporate finance. Clients say: "He puts things across to clients in an easy-to-understand manner."

Alastair Gunn's practice focuses on assisting clients in the media sector. Clients say: "He is very dynamic - he gets things done." Gunn is considered to be a rising star for corporate and commercial work, and is based in the firm's Peterborough office.

Significant clients Elliott Group, Olympus Automation, KWS (UK).

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyer
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge

What the team is known for Strong presence throughout Cambridgeshire, Essex and the M11 corridor. Clients include SMEs, Cambridge Science Park technology companies and Cambridge colleges.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Excellent in every respect. I have always been completely impressed."

Work highlights Advised Digital Healthcare on the sale of share capital to EMIS.

Assisted Isentropic in connection with an equity funding of £1 million.

Notable practitioners  

Department head James Lawrence is "clever, commercial, flexible and cool under pressure," say sources. He recently led the team in its work for Isentropic during its £1 million equity funding.

Significant clients Amino Technologies, Domino Printing Sciences, OpenView Group, LiDCO Group, Medical Research Council.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer
- Office locations ranked: Norwich

What the team is known for Respected Norwich team which is recommended for a broad spectrum of matters including MBO and M&A work. It has significant experience in a range of sectors including retail, agriculture and leisure.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The fact that we've been working with them for a long time shows the value we get."

What's new? The highly rated Nathan Horton has joined the team from Hatch Brenner LLP.

Work highlights Represented agricultural machinery firm Ben Burgess & Co in its acquisition of farm supplier Anker of Coates.

Advised Horizon Inns in connection with the sale of its Racecourse Inn business.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Colman recently advised Ben Burgess & Co on its acquisition of Anker of Coates. Clients say: "He is very good at meeting client requirements and understanding client needs in each individual case."

Nathan Horton handles a range of matters including joint ventures, M&A and private equity work. Horton is described as "a very good lawyer with a good pedigree." 

Significant clients Richardsons Leisure, Ford Retail, Digital Phone Company, Insight Financial Associates, Chalcroft.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer
- Office locations ranked: Norwich

What the team is known for Recognised experience in a range of corporate and commercial matters including M&A, MBOs and group reorganisations.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I really do feel like the team at Leathes Prior would be able to help in any situation. They understand the time pressures of companies and provide no-nonsense commercial advice."

"They are commercial, practical, and they deal with things promptly." 

Work highlights Assisted the management team of Signs Express Holdings with an MBO.

Represented Compleat Enterprises in connection with the acquisition of Atlantic Health & Spa. 

Notable practitioners  

Market observers attest that Peter Sheppard is "able to cut through legal jargon and strike a deal." His practice encompasses M&A, MBOs and company restructurings.

Paul Warman recently led the team on the Signs Express Holdings MBO. His clients include ones in the non-profit sector. Sources say: "He is creative in dealing with problems and his legal opinion is always strong." 

Highly rated associate Richard Guthrie receives impressive praise from the market, with one interviewee stating: "He got to the key points of the matter quickly and was very clear about the key areas to focus on." He recently advised Compleat Enterprises on the acquisition of Atlantic Health & Spa.

Significant clients CVS (UK), Grand UK Holidays, NES Healthcare, Boswell Group, The Russell Organisation.

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 21 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge, Norwich 

What the team is known for Outstanding presence in both Cambridge and Norwich markets, with sizeable teams handling a range of sophisticated transactional work. Additional expertise in a range of matters including capital markets, private equity and venture capital.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"It's a top firm. The results and execution have been outstanding."

"They have provided an effective, friendly, efficient and affordable service."

Work highlights Represented the founders of Cambridge Education Group in the sale of their 5% stake in the group to Bridgepoint. The deal was worth £185 million.

Acted for Trinity Biotech on its £4.75 million acquisition of the blood bank screening and molecular operations of Lab21.

Notable practitioners  

Nicolas Fischl is described by interviewees as "a very bright guy who is technically very, very aware." He has particular sector specialisms pertaining to the food and agribusiness industries.

James Hunter recently advised Validus-IVC on an MBO worth £12 million. Hunter "is able to drive the matter to its conclusion and is very well organised and disciplined," notes one market commentator.

Anthony McGurk is "incredibly well respected" by market observers, who also note that he is "extremely experienced and clearly can galvanise his team." McGurk is particularly noted for his expertise in private equity matters, while he has strong sector experience in the food and beverage industry.

Claire Clarke has "a very good reputation" among market observers. She recently advised Mercia Fund Management in connection with six venture capital investments. Clarke has particular experience in matters pertaining to the education and technology sectors.

Craig Hodgson recently acted for East Anglian Pigs on its share sale to Cranswick Country Foods. He heads the firm's food and drink sector group. Clients praise his "extremely professional" manner.

Tom Pickthorn is "very efficient, very responsive, pragmatic and to the point," say sources. Pickthorn offers a broad corporate and transactional practice and often handles work with an international dimension.

Stephen Hamilton recently advised Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings in connection with a sophisticated restructuring scheme. He receives warm praise from clients, with one interviewee attesting: "He maintained utter calmness and professionalism throughout."

Zickie Lim is recognised for her work in the technology sector. Clients say she is "very knowledgeable and very supportive." 

Significant clients Weetabix, Bupa, Ubisense, Midwich, Archant.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer
- Office locations ranked: Norwich

What the team is known for Respected capabilities in corporate matters, often handling transactions with an international dimension. Continues to assist local businesses with a range of issues, including restructuring and partnership matters. Niche expertise pertaining to the motorsport and automotive industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I am extremely impressed. They get back to you promptly, and they are very professional and knowledgeable about our industry."

"They are very good with the detail: nothing falls through the cracks with them."

Work highlights Represented BSD Associates in its acquisition of Ever Brite Cleaning Services.

Advised Cosworth Group on a variety of corporate matters, including corporate structures and commercial contracts.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Bailey is the head of the firm's company commercial department and acts for a range of clients including trade associations and entities in the education sector. Sources attest: "Richard is great. He's really approachable and really helpful."

Nigel Lubbock's practice includes partnership agreements and venture capital work. One impressed client reports: "He always gave us wise business counsel. He is top-notch." 

The "technically brilliant" James Tarling recently represented BSD Associates in its purchase of Ever Brite Cleaning. Tarling's corporate and commercial practice encompasses matters such as corporate finance and technology licensing.

Significant clients Cosworth Group, Jeyes Group, Robinsons Group, TaxAssist, Crown Chicken.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cambridge

What the team is known for Known for its capabilities in the technology and renewable energy sectors. Clients include venture capital firms and technology start-ups, among others.

Work highlights Assisted Apollo Sun Power with the establishment of a joint venture to acquire and develop sites for use as solar farms.

Represented Index Ventures in an USD11 million Series A investment in life sciences company XO1.

Notable practitioners  

Adam Bradley is the head of the Taylor Vinters corporate department and focuses his practice on M&A work. He has experience in the renewable energy sector and recently advised Apollo Sun Power in connection with a joint venture for the procurement and development of solar farm sites.

Associate Sian Scanlon has worked with a range of clients, including ones in the technology and real estate sectors. Market sources describe her as "very impressive."

Significant clients Carter Jonas, G's Fresh Group, Ridgeons, Vindis, Elgin Energy.

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

What the team is known for Particular focus on the technology sector, acting for target companies and investors in a range of matters including IPOs, venture capital, M&A and restructurings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very solid. Their partners are specialists in their field and they provide a hands-on service."

"They are extremely responsive, very pragmatic and they get things done."

Work highlights Represented Aveillant in a £6.75 million equity fund-raising.

Assisted Mission Therapeutics with a £20 million equity fund-raising.

Notable practitioners  

David Mardle advises technology companies and investors in a range of corporate funding transactions. Sources say: "He is a specialist in what he does so it is rare to find a point that he has not seen before."

Simon Walker advises clients in the technology, life sciences and cleantech fields, recently representing the shareholders of Audio Network on the sale of 27% of its share capital to a US private equity firm. Clients say: "In terms of negotiations, he cuts to the chase very quickly."

Highly rated associate Daniel Rooke is described by clients as "incredibly thorough and committed." His practice focuses on venture capital and private equity.

Significant clients Google, Ludgate Environmental Fund, Red Gate Software, OB10, Nauta Capital.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Keith Vincent of Aquabridge Law LLP is described by peers as "a very able and capable lawyer." He advises SMEs and family business in a range of matters including M&A and succession planning.

Tony Fisher heads the commercial team at Fisher Jones Greenwood and is experienced in a range of matters including partnership work and corporate issues affecting charities and education sector clients.

Petra Sharp of Gotelee offers a broad corporate and commercial practice including shareholder issues and M&A. Sources say: "She has a really good understanding of business."

Clients of Andrew Heeler of Hegarty LLP Solicitors say he "goes the extra mile" and "offers excellent client service." He focuses on M&A, demergers and share structures.

Helen Drayton of Penningtons Manches LLP in Cambridge offers a broad corporate practice with a focus on M&A and MBOs. Clients say: "She is incredibly professional, very diligent, very friendly and very practical. An incredibly reassuring, safe pair of hands."

Ian Waine of Prettys in Ipswich has experience in corporate and commercial matters pertaining to a range of sectors including healthcare and transport.

The Colchester-based Mary Anne Fedeyko of Thompson Smith & Puxon is "very well regarded" by market commentators. She is recognised for her expertise in M&A and restructuring work.

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.