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HowardKennedyFsi - London
  • 179 Great Portland Street
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • W1W 5LS
  • CEO Mark Dembovsky
  • Number of UK partners 89
  • Number of UK solicitors 100
  • Number of UK Fee Earners 221

THE FIRM London law firm, HowardKennedyFsi is the product of the newly merged entity between Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent. The firm provides a full range of personal and business services to an established client base comprising of national and international organisations, SME and OME businesses, entrepreneurs, their funders and high net worth individuals.
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.

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, and corporate recovery and reconstruction.
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.
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 of 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 Lawyers Associated Worldwide (LAW) and Meritas. HowardKennedyFsi is also a registered sponsor on the London Stock Exchange.

RECRUITMENT The firm has recently recruited at Partner level within its Transaction Finance and Business Crime & Regulatory teams, (with a further hire anticipated in the Construction department). Assistants have also recently joined in the firm’s Transaction Finance and Financial Regulation and Funds teams. Further hires are anticipated in Dispute Resolution and Real Estate in particular. 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 18%
  • Finance 6%
  • Dispute Resolution 23%
  • Real Estate 35%
  • Employment 8%
  • Private Client & Family 10%
  • Corporate Ashley Reeback
  • Real Estate Julian Hindmarsh, Paul Springall
  • Dispute Resolution Craig Emden
  • Employment Carolyn Brown, Taj Rehal
  • Private Client & Family Liz Palmer


Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Increased bench strength post-merger. Sectors of focus include restaurants, leisure and technology.

What's new? Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent merged in January 2013 to create the firm HowardKennedyFsi.

Work highlights Represented Spectrum Interactive in its £23.4 million acquisition of Arqiva Broadcast.

Represented Pizza Hut (UK) on ten concurrent business sales to franchise operators.

Advised Totally on the sale of The Jewish News and Totallyjewish.com.

Notable practitioners  

Ashley Reeback is commended by sources for his no-nonsense approach to transactions. His highlights include advising Tangent Communications on its acquisition of the entire issues share capital of Goodprint UK.

Significant clients Euroffice, Jelf, City and Docklands, Mansion Capital, PaymentSense.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 8 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A broad-based employment practice, housing lawyers proficient in advising clients from the financial services and printed media sectors on the application of employment law to their respective enterprises.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Their work quality is first class; they are efficient and offer commercial and pragmatic advice."

Strategic planning: "They provided strategic thinking during the case."

What's new? The firm was created in February 2013 when Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent merged. 

Notable practitioners  

Jane Amphlett works closely with clients from the printed media sector on a range of matters, both litigious and non-litigious. She has a strong grasp of technical minutiae and is recommended accordingly.

Significant clients Fox International Channels, Mills & Boon, Guardian Media Group, Foxtons, Starwood Capital.

Family/Matrimonial - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Assists high net worth clients on divorce proceedings, as well as advising on pre and postnuptial agreements, cohabitation and private children law disputes. Houses a number of mediators and collaborative law practitioners.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are very willing to find the best solution. They are very professional and efficient, smart and conscientious." 

Notable practitioners  

Pamela Collis is noted for her astute litigation skills. She advises clients on matrimonial finance and private children law cases on a domestic and international basis.

Alan Kaufman "gives focused clear and pragmatic, unslanted advice." He frequently handles complex, high-value matrimonial finance disputes.

Hotels & Leisure - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Combines the leisure sector expertise of the former Finers Stephens Innocent team with the hotels, resorts, management and franchising experience of the former Howard Kennedy team. The combined practice is particularly noted for real estate work.

What's new? Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent merged in February 2013.

Work highlights Advised Yum! Brands on the franchise sale of its Pizza Hut dine-in restaurants to Rutland Partners, the latter acquiring the share capital of Pizza Hut UK.

Advised Akbuk on a development under the Ramada brand in Turkey.

Notable practitioners

Eric Gummers leads the hotels and leisure group at the firm.

Significant clients Tragus, Busaba Eathai, Vapiano, Hapimag, Aqua Restaurant Group.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Works with a number of well-known UK and global brands on brand protection and transactional IP matters.

What's new? The merger with Howard Kennedy bolstered the former Finers Stephens Innocent team through the addition of partner Brian Eagles.

Work highlights Acts for Monsoon Accessorize on various brand protection and enforcement matters.

Advises Pandora Jewellery on protecting and exploiting IP rights.

Notable practitioners  

Robert Lands heads the team and offers a wealth of experience in representing clients from the media and fashion industries. Sources commend his proactive attitude.

Significant clients Strada Italian Restaurants, The Kooples, Lewis Hamilton, CNN, Bloomberg.

Personal Injury - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners

What the team is known for Strong personal injury practice, with significant expertise in claims involving assault and psychiatric injury. Particular experience in employers' liability claims involving nurses and other health workers.

Notable practitioners  

Joint head of department Elizabeth Smith is highly experienced in a wide range of personal injury claims, including serious injuries, stress at work claims and fatalities.

Private Client - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Strength in domestic and cross-border tax and estate management and succession planning. Boasts experience in IP matters and is noted for its handling of private client matters for those whose wealth stems from creative endeavours, as well as those with other substantial business assets and inherited wealth.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Pragmatic advice: "The team provides clear and proactive advice in a client-friendly way. They listen to and focus on the needs of the client." 

Clarity: "The group is very pragmatic and able to explain complex legal and tax issues in a straightforward and considerate manner."

What's new? The firm was created in 2012 when Howard Kennedy merged with Finers Stephens Innocent.

Notable practitioners  

Liz Palmer has a significant presence across the full spectrum of private client work, with trust structuring and tax mitigation both strong specialisms. Sources attribute much of the team's emerging strength to her, saying: "Their private client practice is getting stronger under her very capable and practical direction."

John Annetts has a well-earned reputation in both domestic and cross-border probate and estate administration. Market commentators say of him: "He is a classy character and performer. He has a great eye for detail and relishes complex and technically difficult matters."

Real Estate - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 24 partners
- 48 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Combines the strength of Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent's retail and leisure sector specialisms. Also active in development, investment and hotels work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

Client service: "They're all excellent. They are straightforward, down to earth and they do what they say they'll do."

Responsiveness: "The service you get is excellent. They couldn't be more helpful and they return calls well."

Industry knowledge: "Very strong on real estate transactions. Very nice to deal with."

What's new? Formed through merger of Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent in February 2013.

Work highlights Acted on CapInvest's £171 million acquisition, sale, leaseback and financing of the mixed-use Queensbury House.

Acted on the renewal of the lease of HMV's flagship Oxford Street store.

Notable practitioners  

Julian Hindmarsh and Paul Springall are joint heads of the real estate department.

Significant clients 

Ballymore Properties, City & Docklands, Pizza Hut, Royal Bank of Canada, KFC.

Defamation/Reputation Management - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for A broad reputation management practice that acts for both claimants and defendants. Significant international expertise and involvement in work in jurisdictions across the globe.

What's new? The firm was formed through the merger of West End stalwarts Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent.

Work highlights Acted for Steve Wynn in his claim against the publishers of the Daily Mail, which had alleged he killed someone, had connections with the mafia and was using his casino to launder money. The firm achieved a full victory for the client with an apology printed in the main body of the paper.

Advised BBC Newsnight producer Meirion Jones regarding the Pollard Review.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Stephens is deemed "knowledgeable, experienced and highly skilled," with a reputation that extends beyond the UK. Clients particularly laud his client service, noting that he is "always there to provide support."

Significant clients Bill Browder, La Liberation, ABC, International Bar Association, CNN.

Media & Entertainment - UK-wide

What the team is known for In-depth experience of publishing concerns. Clients include newspaper, magazine and digital publishers, authors, academic journals, agents and literary guilds. Advises on matters from contracts to royalty claims and copyright disputes.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: Sources laud the team for its estimable understanding of the media landscape.

What's new? The firm was created through the merger between Finers Stephens Innocent and Howard Kennedy in January 2013.

Work highlights Advised the Writers Guild of Great Britain on the creation of a new collecting society and copyright collection agency.

Represented the Peter Schaufuss Ballet Company with regard to its production of the Tchaikovsky trilogy at the London Coliseum.

Notable practitioners

Robert Lands is lauded for his "great depth of knowledge." He takes a strong interest in publishing and digital media, particularly in online content distribution.

Brian Eagles represents internationally acclaimed companies, artists, authors and performers working throughout the media and entertainment world, his publishing and theatre practices come in for special acclaim. 

Mark Stephens has wide experience of litigation across a number of disciplines, and is renowned for his handling of media and publishing cases. Sources praise his "wonderful, extremely creative mind," and consider him to be someone who "thinks laterally and puts his heart into representing his clients." 

Significant clients British Association of Picture Libraries & Agencies, Old Vic Productions, Society of Authors, Springer Science & Business Media, Washington Post.

Partnership - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 4 associates

What the team is known for Advises on general partnership issues and partner changes across the life cycle of a partnership.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Peers speak highly of the depth of this group's technical expertise in partnership law. 

What's new? Finers Stephens Innocent merged with fellow West End firm Howard Kennedy in February 2013. 

Notable practitioners  

Robert Craig heads this team.  

Private Client - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for A wide-ranging, domestic practice focusing on trust, estate and probate disputes. Collaborates with other practices within the firm to offer comprehensive advice to a diverse client base.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team is extremely thorough in all aspects and tenacious when needed. Its approach is considered, and lawyers place the client at the centre of their interactions and communications."   

Notable practitioners  

Robert Craig is a well-known figure for trust and estate disputes. Clients say: "He is professional, intelligent and tenacious."

Professional Discipline - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offers expertise in solicitors' defence. Also represents senior police officers in disciplinary and criminal investigations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I was impressed with the team throughout, especially the amount of hours they worked."

Work highlights Represented former Assistant Commissioner John Yates in respect of his evidence to the Leveson Inquiry.

Notable practitioners  

Ian Ryan is head of the department. Sources say he is "a top-quality advocate who, as a result of combining a criminal practice with representing solicitors, is ideally placed to handle cases with allegations of dishonesty against professionals and allegations made by the SRA."

Retail - UK-wide

What the team is known for Property law experts rated for representing an impressive portfolio of domestic and international retailers across the country. This includes numerous restaurants and fashion retailers setting up in central London.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry expertise: "They are very commercial and very good with international retailers, explain things clearly, and are very responsive and very knowledgeable on the London retail market."

What's new? Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephen Innocent merged in February 2013 to form HowardKennedyFsi.

Work highlights Acted for Busaba Eathai on its acquisition of premises for the first Naamyaa Cafe by Alan Yau, in Islington.

Represented The Kooples in a trade mark infringement claim against it, and in its claims of design right infringement against fashion retailers.

Notable practitioners  

Julian Hindmarsh heads the real estate practice and is the main contact.

Significant clients The Kooples, Richemont, Tara Jarmon, Bimba & Lola, Brooks Brothers.