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DAC Beachcroft LLP

Bristol

  • Portwall Place
  • Portwall Lane
  • Bristol
  • Bristol
  • UK
  • BS1 6NA

Employment - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Resources across England, with recognised offices and employment practitioners in the South West, North West and North East as well as London. A tour de force in advising public and privately held healthcare clients on a range of concerns, including strategic restructurings, tribunal claims and whistle-blowings. Also well acquainted with the retail, logistics and telecoms sectors. Royal Mail, Vodafone, McDonald's and Bupa count among its major clients. Ranked offices in Bristol, Newcastle, Manchester and Leeds.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
National capability: "Extensive knowledge of subject matter and the national healthcare landscape."

Notable practitioners Paula Cole is head of the firm's employment group.

Construction - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Highly regarded team for professional indemnity matters. Has a range of public and private sector clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Very capable, commercial and proactive."

What's new? New clients include Lend Lease, Royal Mail and Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 

Work highlights Advised Bristol Water on tender process and subsequent negotiation of the successful tender in relation to the planning of a new reservoir.

Advised Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust on building contracts in connection with re-cladding works on a 13-storey building.  

Notable practitioners  

Benjamin Thornycroft is praised by a client for "supporting our requirements, whatever the demands." He is the head of the department and is leading on key transactional matters.

Significant clients Aviva, M&W High Tech Projects, Catlin Insurance, AmTrust Europe.

Corporate/M&A - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Particularly active in the healthcare sector. Frequently instructed by private equity and venture capital funds.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Pragmatic approach: "They are very pragmatic. They don't get bogged down in unimportant detail – they keep things moving."

Value for money: "You get City-trained quality lawyers but in Bristol, they're local and have good reduced rates but with City quality."

Work highlights Advised on the £110 million acquisition by MITIE of Enara, a domiciliary care group, from August Equity.

Advised on the £5.4 million investment in Community Solutions by Shore Capital and Puma Venture Capital Trusts, for development of assisted living care facilities.

Notable practitioners

National joint head of corporate John Williams acts for clients including Moonray Investors. Clients say he is "fantastic, top-notch; he's a perfectionist with everything, but very commercial at the same time."

Jocelyn Ormond acts for the Private Healthcare Information Network, among other clients. Clients commend his "impressive drafting abilities, to capture extremely complex commercial arrangements."

Associate Michael Pearce advises clients including private equity funds on a range of corporate matters.

Significant clients Spire Healthcare, St James's Place, NBGI Private Equity, GSTS Pathology, Brightside.

Employment - South West

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

What the team is known for Top-tier stalwarts, highly rated for strong expertise in the healthcare and finance industries, and for advising the public sector.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They do a lot of employment tribunal work and they do it well. They are deserving of a Band 1 ranking."

Work highlights Successfully represented MITIE and two newly recruited employees in restrictive covenants and allegations of breach of contract.

Notable practitioners  

Alex Lock provides a range of advice to both public and private sector employers. Clients say that he is "approachable and easy to work with, even on the most complex of matters."

Katy Horner is praised by clients as "an excellent provider of high-quality employment law advice." She regularly advises on HR issues relating to reorganisations and restructurings, particularly for healthcare clients. She also handles discrimination and unfair dismissal claims.

Significant clients Vodafone, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Deutsche Telekom UK, Thomson Airways, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

Environment - South West

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Bristol 

What the team is known for Advises on regulatory matters and EA prosecutions. Assists clients on transactions and on matters such as waste and contaminated land.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They provide a high-quality, prompt, efficient service at a competitive price."

Work highlights Represented Talltrees Heating in a potential EA prosecution, a matter which was resolved with a warning letter.

Carried out environment compliance and sustainability training for Hanson UK.  

Notable practitioners  

Anne Harrison handles non-contentious and contentious environment work. She is particularly noted for her regulatory practice and is a former EA in-house lawyer. Sources say: "She is an impressive lawyer and gives practical advice," and "she knows the EA like the back of her hand."

Significant clients DB Schenker Rail, Tradebe Solvent Recycling, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Zurich, Aviva.   

Information Technology - South West

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Solid reputation for its handling of IT and outsourcing matters. Clients include household names in insurance and telecommunications.

Notable practitioners

Helen Simpson advises customers and suppliers on a wide range of technology and outsourcing transactions, and has specialist expertise in IT in public procurement and software IP rights.

Litigation - South West

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

What the team is known for Offers credibility in general commercial litigation, with a growing profile for financial services work. Excellent insurer and telecoms client base.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Value for money: "I rate the team very highly. Members are approachable and I get good value for money."

Efficiency: "The team is very pragmatic. They do not get bogged down in the unnecessary detail and they keep things moving."

Work highlights Defending 23 claims from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme on behalf of financial advisers and their insurers following the collapse of Keydata Investment Services, totalling £11.5 million in value.

Instructed by Ageas Insurance in civil proceedings against conspirators convicted for fraud offences valued at more than £1 million.

Notable practitioners  

Team head Ben Daniels specialises in telecommunications and financial services and is renowned for his fraud and injunction work. "An excellent lawyer," sources say he has "a highly pragmatic approach to resolving disputes."

David Pollitt has experience in complex commercial disputes, regulatory investigations and professional indemnity insurance litigation. He is also heavily involved in international litigation.

Dan Preddy specialises in financial services and banking disputes including regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings. One enthusiastic source reported: "We feel we can rely on Dan. He is excellent technically."

Significant clients Vodafone, Zurich, St. James's Place, QBE, Equifax,

Planning - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Frequently instructed on large-scale residential planning matters for house builder clients. Good reputation in the healthcare sector generates many healthcare-related development mandates.

Work highlights Advised Crest Nicholson on its 2,000-unit regeneration project at Bath Western Riverside.

Acted on a major residential development at Emerson's Green in South Gloucestershire for Howsmoor Developments.

Notable practitioners 

Associate barrister Anne Harrison's clients include Chelverton Deeley Freed. She specialises in the environmental aspects of planning matters.

Significant clients Taylor Wimpey, Linden Homes, Co-operative Group, HM Court & Tribunal Service, Serviced Apartment Company.

Professional Negligence - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for One of the largest professional negligence practices in the area. A long-established group acting for major law firms, as well as some of the UK's most well-known surveying companies.

Work highlights Represented real estate agents Cluttons in a successfully resolved matter concerning the management of properties.

Notable practitioners  

Helen Staines often handles disciplinary matters. Peers agree that she is "outstanding in professional negligence." Commentators add: "It goes without saying: she is brilliant to work with, perfectly charming, and knows everything."

Marcus Campbell is head of department and regularly handles substantial commercial and insurance-related claims, as well as insurance coverage matters. A peer said of him: "He is certainly one of the best lawyers I know."

Marcus Thomson is highly regarded in this field. Peers assert: "He is one of the leading practitioners in professional negligence. He is an extremely effective advocate in mediations and extremely good in reaching a settlement that one would think impossible to settle." He is further praised for his "incredible tenacity and flexibility."

Phillip Roberts's background as a chartered engineer allows him to have a wider perspective when dealing with construction-related matters. He leads the specialised team advising construction professionals, and has a solid client base.

Helen Faulkner heads the firm's specialised claims handling group and is considered a "standout" in her field.

Significant clients Aviva, Zurich Financial Services, QBE Europe, Markel International Insurance, Catlin Insurance.

Real Estate - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners 
- 32 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for A national firm with a strong Bristol property offering. Noted for its work with major public sector clients, particularly in the healthcare industry. Also acts for large landowners.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They have a national reach and strong lawyers."

What's new? Julitta Yates is promoted to partner.

Work highlights Acted for Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust on its £11 million estates rationalisation programme, including the development and restructuring of existing assets.

Advised Dorset Primary Care Trust and Bournemouth & Poole Primary Care Trust on the transfer of their assets into the new NHS Property Services holding company.

Notable practitioners

One of Michael Bothamley's peers says: "He's been straightforward in the way he's dealt with me – he's a good tactical lawyer but also pragmatic."

David Esam is well regarded by peers, and specialises in retail work for shopping centres. He also acts on landlord and tenant matters, for both owners and occupiers.

Head of department Graham Brothwood acts for clients including Everything Everywhere. He handles commercial development matters, with a particular specialism in negotiating conditional contracts and option agreements.

Significant clients Westfield Shoppingtowns, Lend Lease, Deeley Freed Estates, C&J Clark International, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service.

Real Estate Litigation - South West

 Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office location ranked: Bristol 

What the team is known for Noted for handling asset management work for large shopping centre clients. Particular specialisms in rent reviews, service charge disputes and tenant administrations. Has a strong occupier client base.

Work highlights Acted for Westfield Group when its Bradford-based development site was illegally occupied by the Occupy Movement. Succeeded in obtaining a possession order at the first hearing.

Handles the asset management work for EE's retail units in England and Wales.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Knapman heads the team and is a respected real estate litigation specialist. He has a focus on high-value asset management issues.

Significant clients Lend Lease, Zurich, Her Majesty's Courts & Tribunals Service, Johnson Dry Cleaners, Clarks Shoes.

Restructuring/Insolvency - South West

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

What the team is known for Significant experience of acting for major accountancy practices on formal insolvency appointments.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They are very good technically." "They are magnificent. They deliver everything you could want."

Notable practitioners  

Giles Hindle is highly rated for corporate restructuring and insolvency. Clients praise his "proactive approach" and market sources characterise him as a "good operator" who is "very responsive, very good with clients and gets the right results."

Kevin Hawthorn is recommended by market sources who describe him as "a superb practical lawyer" who is "bright, very thorough and very commercial" and who also note that he is "very well liked."

Clinical Negligence - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 9 partners
- 52 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations recommended: Bristol, Leeds, Winchester, Manchester, Newcastle

What the team is known for Formidable bench strength with a truly national reach and particular prominence in the North and North East of England. Active in complex, high-value cases across the market. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Practicality: "I would praise them, especially for their sensible and pragmatic approach to litigation."

Client service: "Absolutely first class - they look after their clients and are prepared to fight cases."

What's new? In May 2013, the firm won a place on the NHS Litigation Authority's clinical liability panel following a competitive tender.

Work highlights Successfully acted for the NHSLA and Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on defending a claim of causation of death by a delay in diagnosis of bronchial carcinoma.

Successfully defended South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust against a £1.3 million claim regarding the allegedly negligent emergency treatment of a pregnant mother, followed by the death of the mother and her unborn child.

Notable practitioners  

Matthew McGrath is a leading light in clinical negligence, and receives glowing praise from interviewees as an "absolutely top-drawer" lawyer who will "fight his case, but also concede when he needs to."

David Weatherburn is recognised by market commentators as an "experienced lawyer who is pleasant to deal with." He has acted on numerous substantial claims against NHS trusts of late, including a claim against the Tees Esk and Wear Valleys Trusts by a former trust employee who was stabbed by a patient of the trusts in 2006. The case included proceedings at the Court of Appeal.

Heather Durston-Hillyer is based in the firm's Winchester office and remains a well-regarded figure in the clinical negligence market. She is particularly knowledgeable of spinal injury and severe birth injury cases.

Nigel Montgomery is head of the firm's health team and routinely acts on substantial, high-profile cases. He successfully advised the Heart of England Foundation Trust against a significant Erb's palsy claim, following alleged negligence by midwives of the trusts in the treatment of the claimant as a baby.

Paul Taylor recently advised the Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust on the matter highlighted above. He is a well-respected lawyer who is valued for his "solid, dependable" approach to clinical negligence defence.

Rachel Roberts-Jenkins remains an active figure in the clinical negligence market, and heads the firm's Bristol team. She has particular experience in group action cases.

Simon Wortley is the leader of the clinical negligence team in Manchester. He has acted on a range of significant cases of late, including matters with Human Rights Act concerns.

Significant clients NHSLA, Medical Defence Union (MDU), Bupa.

Projects - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- Offices in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol, Winchester and Newport

What the team is known for Advises public and private sector clients on a variety of PFI/PPP projects. Acting on new projects and handling restructurings and variations in areas such as education, prisons, waste and health.

Work highlights Acted for Somerset County Council on various school projects, including academy conversions.

Advises the Ministry of Justice on a number of prison PPP variations.

Notable practitioners

Frank Suttie is a key contact. 

Significant clients Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Johnson Service Group, SGP Property & Facilities Management, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Bradford City Council.