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HowardKennedyFsi - London
  • 179 Great Portland Street
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • W1W 5LS
  • COO Ian Harvey
  • Number of UK partners 81
  • Number of UK solicitors  75
  • Number of UK Fee Earners  80

THE FIRM London law firm, HowardKennedyFsi provides a full range of personal and business services to an established client base comprising national and international organisations, SME and OME businesses, entrepreneurs, their funders and high net worth individuals. In May 2014 the firm completed another merger with CKFT, increasing its strength and depth in key areas. The firm prides itself on advising clients in over 100 jurisdictions, to achieve their business objectives during the entirety of their lifecycle through a commercial, focused and personal approach. The firm is moving to One London Bridge at the beginning of November.

Real Estate: The firm’s Real Estate Department covers the full range of services including business occupation, development, property finance, investment, property litigation, tax, affordable housing, planning, construction and relocation. Corporate: The firm’s Corporate Department encompasses a wide range of services including: M&A, venture capital trusts and enterprise investment schemes, AIM, corporate real estate, joint ventures, commercial, intellectual property, corporate recovery and reconstruction.
Dispute Resolution: The firm’s Dispute Resolution Department focuses on a wide range of services including general commercial dispute, company disputes, civil fraud, media, property, personal injury, international arbitration, and business crime and professional discipline.
Employment: The firm’s employment department’s services include all strands of discrimination and harassment, board level advice, confidentiality and business protection including reputation management issues, cross-jurisdictional project implementation and termination claims, dismissal, disciplinary and grievance issues, employment contract preparation and policy guidance, equal pay and other remuneration issues, redundancy and reorganisation programmes, the application and effect of TUPE to outsourcing and other business transfers, and Tribunal and High Court claims.
Private Client & Family: The firm’s private client and family department offers a wide range of services including contentious trusts and probate, tax planning, estate planning, establishment of trusts both UK and offshore, Court of Protection work, charities immigration, marriage and partnerships, divorce and break up work, and issues involving children.

CLIENTS The firm provides a full range of personal and business services to an established client base comprising national and international organisations, SME and OME businesses, entrepreneurs, their funders and high net worth individuals. Clients include: Ballymore Properties Limited, Melrose Plc, Sydney & London Properties Limited, Allied Irish Bank, Santander UK plc, Bank Leumi, Fox International Channels, Grange Hotels, Mills & Boon, Goldcrest Media Group, BMG Rights Management Limited, Future Films, Pizza Hut and Tragus Holdings Limited.

INTERNATIONAL The firm is a proud member of international networks, Meritas and Lawyers Associated Worldwide (LAW). HowardKennedyFsi is also a registered sponsor on the London Stock Exchange.

RECRUITMENT The firm has recently recruited extensively into business services teams. Legal recruitment has continued within real estate and corporate. Further hires are anticipated in dispute resolution, real estate and financial services. The firm is looking to grow and develop. As such, it takes a positive and proactive approach towards interesting lateral hire opportunities across the board.

Areas of Practice

  • Corporate 19%
  • Dispute Resolution 24%
  • Real Estate 40%
  • Employment 6%
  • Private Client & Family 11%
  • Real Estate Julian Hindmarsh, Paul Springall
  • Corporate Ashley Reeback
  • Dispute Resolution Craig Emden
  • Employment Carolyn Brown
  • Private Client & Family Liz Palmer


Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

What the team is known for A proficient practice for real estate-related transactional work in particular. Works closely with entrepreneurs and their businesses.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very commercial in their advice." 

"They were always responsive - very much on the case and very good at returning calls."

Work highlights Advised Gordon Brothers Europe on the purchase by a subsidiary of Blockbuster Entertainment.

Assisted Jeff Group with its acquisition of The Insurance Partnership Holdings, in a deal worth up to £17.5 million.

Notable practitioners  

Ashley Reeback is recognised by sources for his capabilities in M&A and AIM matters, among other corporate work. He worked with Tangent Communications on its buyout of Goodprint for £10.2 million.

Significant clients Baker Tilly, Galliard Homes, Innovise, Mansion Capital, Santander.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Substantial employment practice with a wealth of clients in the media including print, television and the internet. Also advises clients in the leisure sector on their full range of employment issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are good at providing strategic advice and they are always on the lookout for things that are important to us."

"They understand the commercial nature of things. They are straight-talking and deal with things in a sensible way." 

Notable practitioners  

Carolyn Brown heads the employment department and is a key contact for the group.

Significant clients Guardian Media Group, Condé Nast, Mills & Boon, GFI Holdings, Top Right Group.

Family/Matrimonial - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers strength in litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Advises international and domestic high net worth clients on complex financial remedy matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have excellent knowledge of the key issues and they are highly professional, polite and prompt. The firm is calm and it is a safe pair of hands at a challenging time for those involved."

What's new? HowardKennedyFsi and CKFT have merged, combining Pamela Collis's team with that of the head of department Alan Kaufman.

Notable practitioners  

Pamela Collis deals with significant finance cases, often on behalf of clients with overseas assets. Sources describe her as "very approachable with an incisive grasp of potential pitfalls."

Alan Kaufman advises international clients in substantial matrimonial finance cases. He is described by sources as "a wise man, with huge experience and great client-handling skills."

Litigation - London (Firms)

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Private Client - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises on domestic and offshore tax-efficient asset structures. Undertakes a significant amount of cross-border work, advising wealthy individuals and family offices on estate planning and reputation management.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We find them easy to work with as they can present information in a sensible and pragmatic way."

Notable practitioners

Head of department Liz Palmer is an inheritance and capital gains tax specialist who advises on a range of offshore trust and asset structuring matters. She receives particular praise for her client-handling skills, with sources stating that "she is very personable and explains things clearly and concisely."

John Annetts continues to impress sources with his expertise in probate, wills and trusts. Commentators say: "He is very able and will always give solid, practical advice."

Real Estate - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Acts on developments and office leasing issues, in addition to providing corporate support on property issues. Able to field a specialised plot sales team on development matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a good understanding of our challenges and our commercial face, and act to ensure that we understand some of the potential risks which may flow from commercial legal agreements."

"They've got good resource, they're responsive and they can flex up and down to our resource requirement."

Work highlights Advised the owners on a collaboration agreement for the sale of a development site adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Acted for the owners on the £4.5 million refurbishment of One Euston Square and subsequent lettings of office and retail space.

Notable practitioners

Paul Springall is a key contact.

Defamation/Reputation Management - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Represents defendants and claimants, and has a strong reputation acting in high-profile, international cases. Clients include large corporates and non-profit organisations, prominent individuals and celebrities.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very strong department. They really know their stuff in a very specialised area."

"They think of imaginative solutions." 

Work highlights Acted for all defendants, including Bill Browder, in a high-profile libel action brought by Pavel Karpov in relation to defamatory statements published after the death of Sergei Magnitsky.

Acted for numerous individuals in the claimant group of the phone hacking litigation.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Stephens continues to be a high-profile practitioner with a strong foothold in the publishing market. He demonstrates a depth of experience acting in cases with international elements, and is frequently instructed by US clients. Stephens is praised by clients as "very competent, congenial and effective."

Significant clients Washington Post, ABC, Bloomberg, CNN, International Bar Association.

Media & Entertainment - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Maintains a strong presence in the publishing sector, specialising in the representation of specialist science and technical journals, and in acting for high-profile broadcasters and newspapers. Demonstrates additional experience in the theatre industry.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Straightforward, reliable and friendly." 

"They're thoughtful and interested, and go the extra mile." 

Work highlights Acted for Dreamers Licensing on the negotiation of rights and terms of licence with the Margaret Mitchell Estate for a Hungarian musical version of 'Gone with the Wind'.

Advised Roddy Doyle on his controlling rights in the West End musical 'The Commitments'.

Notable practitioners  

Brian Eagles acts for a range of clients from publishing and theatre, in which sectors he is regarded as a "guru." A veteran of the media industry, he is well equipped to advise on a vast spectrum of issues. 

Robert Lands advises publishers, authors and visual suppliers on a range of concerns, including online and copyright matters. Clients appreciate his "extremely detailed knowledge" and that he is "good at giving off-the-cuff advice."

Prominent media practitioner Mark Stephens is lauded as "a legend in his own lifetime." He has a wealth of experience in advising and litigating on a diverse array of issues faced by high-profile clients. Stephens focuses on work with international components, and represents a number of US publishers.

Significant clients CNN, Guardian News & Media, Washington Post, Prometheus Media, Society of Authors.

Partnership - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Offers a broad partnership practice with expertise in contentious and non-contentious matters. Areas of strength include partnership formation, managing team moves, compulsory retirement and discrimination claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team is extremely impressive. They can do the full gamut, from two and three-man partnership cases to the major corporate disputes. What also marks them out to me is their client-handling."

Notable practitioners 

Robert Craig is the key contact at the firm.

Private Client - UK-wide

What the team is known for Well placed to handle a broad spectrum of domestic probate and trusts disputes. Experienced in tackling Inheritance Act claims, challenges to validity of wills, and breaches of trust.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very measured, calm and practical." 

Notable practitioners  

Neil Long "is very user-friendly," say clients; "he has a good grasp of the issues, and is very straightforward and a pleasure to deal with." He frequently handles disputes involving beneficiaries and a range of probate claims. 

Professional Discipline - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Handles regulatory issues arising in the legal services sector, in addition to representing police officers and accountants in disciplinary proceedings.

Notable practitioners  

Ian Ryan heads the firm's professional discipline team and has a very good reputation for acting for solicitors facing prosecution. This expertise is enriched by his background in criminal law.