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Lewis Silkin LLP


Lewis Silkin LLP - London
  • 5 Chancery Lane
  • Clifford's Inn
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • EC4A 1BL
  • Managing Partner Ian Jeffery
  • Number of partners 60
  • Assistant solicitors  92
  • Other fee-earners 31
  • Total fee-earners 183
  • Total staff 307

THE FIRM The firm’s lawyers and business services personnel are focused on providing effective and commercial solutions to clients’ needs from offices in London, Oxford and Cardiff. In addition to expertise in the legal fields of real estate; corporate; employment and reward and immigration; litigation and dispute resolution and media, brands and technology, the firm focuses in particular on the creative industries, media, people and urban regeneration and mixed use development. Surveys show that clients particularly value Lewis Silkin’s cost-effectiveness, their personalised approach to the needs of their business and distinctive approach to legal updating, know how and training events (details on www.lewissilkin.com). The firm was ranked in The Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ 2013 and achieved two-star accreditation in ‘Best Companies’ 2013.

The firm organises itself around the unique needs of each of its clients, drawing on experts in the following practice areas and industry sectors.
Academies: A leading adviser to organisations that have been establishing academies.
Construction: Highly regarded in this area, the firm works as part of the project team from the outset, offering a comprehensive service from new build property to heavyweight civil engineering, and contentious matters when they arise.
Corporate Services: An active role that may include documenting the deal as well as acting as a business adviser, structuring the deal or conducting complex negotiations. The range of work includes shareholder agreements, project finance, flotations, employee benefits, insolvency and regulatory advice. A particular focus is on growing companies and businesses in the media and marketing sectors. Commercial expertise includes publishing, franchising and outsourcing.
Defamation: Expert and practical advice to corporations, firms or individuals whose reputation has been put at risk by libel, slander or malicious falsehood.
Employment, Reward & Immigration: The firm has one of the highest-rated teams in London, a group of outstanding lawyers with a reputation for straightforward practical advice when a sensitive and commercial approach is needed. Lewis Silkin is a member of Ius Laboris, an international alliance of employment lawyers.
Housing: A recognised leader in this field, Lewis Silkin’s innovative thinking and long experience feed a strong record of challenging work in the social housing sector, regeneration schemes and related private finance arrangements.
Litigation & Dispute Resolution: From sensitive mediation to High Court litigation, the firm works with clients to achieve their commercial objectives. Lewis Silkin is known for its success in winning disputes, as a result of a string of high profile victories, but, increasingly, many problems are being resolved effectively with appropriate dispute resolution techniques.
Marketing Services: From long established advertising agencies to start-ups across the spectrum of marketing services, clients value Lewis Silkin’s understanding of the challenges they face, the result of over 30 years spent advising many of the industry’s leading names. The firm’s track record in this sector is second to none, and it regularly advises on international matters through its membership of the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA).
Media, Brands & Technology: An active convergence practice advising a range of brand and media owners, marcomms, consultants, digital and technology businesses on contentious and non-contentious matters, including regulatory clearance, rights protection and exploitation, competition, patents, trade marks, procurement or outsourcing of IT systems, data protection, software, licensing and distribution agreements.
Partnership Law: Advising professional partnerships, LLPs and individual partners, the firm’s multidisciplinary contentious and non-contentious team understands the unique nature of partnership environments.
Real Estate & Development: Advising occupiers, investors and developers on all property-related needs, from financing to planning, environmental issues, regeneration and development, from leases to litigation or dispute resolution.
Sports: An expert squad that combines strengths in employment, immigration, brands and marketing, publishing, IP, corporate finance and property.

CLIENTS The firm’s clients range from large corporations and plcs to government agencies and entrepreneurs, across a wide range of sectors – from advertising, media, publishing and the internet to social housing and property, restaurants, partnerships and retailers, to sport and utilities.

INTERNATIONAL Lewis Silkin regularly offers international service through its carefully built network of contacts and alliances, including the Global Advertising Lawyers’ Alliance (GALA), the international association of corporate communications lawyers, www.gala-marketlaw.com and Ius Laboris, the leading global alliance of employment, incentives and pension lawyers www.iuslaboris.com

Areas of Practice

  • Employment & Incentives 40%
  • Property/Project Finance/Construction/Social Housing 13%
  • Advertising/Media/Defamation/IP/IT 22%
  • Corporate Finance/Commercial 15%
  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution 10%
  • Academies Clare Reddy
  • Advertising & Marketing Services Brinsley Dresden
  • Arbitration Duncan Quinan
  • Commercial Helen Cavanagh
  • Computer Games Simon Morrissey
  • Construction Clare Reddy, James Levy
  • Corporate Finance Jo Evans
  • Defamation Jonathan Coad
  • Employment Michael Burd, Russell Brimelow, James Davies
  • Employee Reward Sara Cohen, Victoria Goode
  • Environmental Neil Toner
  • Government Agencies Fergus Payne
  • Immigration Andrew Osborne
  • Insolvency Jo Evans
  • Intellectual Property Simon J Chapman, Giles Crown, Ian Jeffery 
  • IT Simon Morrissey, James Gill 
  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution Tom Coates, Philip Foster
  • Media & Entertainment Cliff Fluet, Jonathan Coad, Phil Rymer
  • Outsourcing Simon Morrissey, James Gill 
  • Partnership Law/LLP Clive Greenwood, Fergus Payne
  • Project Finance Gillian Bastow
  • Real Estate Leonard Goodrich, Rachel-Francis Lang
  • Planning Judith Damerell
  • Property Litigation Brian Kilcoyne
  • Publishing Simon Entwistle
  • Retail Laura Farnsworth
  • Social Housing Gillian Bastow, Linda Convery
  • Sports Dominic Farnsworth, Andrew Osborne
  • Technology Simon Morrissey, James Gill 
  • Trademarks Dominic Farnsworth, Steven Jennings, Simon J Chapman


Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
-10 partners
-13 other lawyers

What the team is known for A market-leading reputation for advising clients in the advertising sector. An enviable roster of clients in the TMT, financial services and healthcare sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They are very responsive and proactive."

Commercial awareness: "They are business-oriented in approach."

Client service: "They provide us with a very good service."

Work highlights Representing Publicis in the acquisition of Bartle Bogle Hegarty by way of acquiring BBH Holdings for £100 million.

Representing talent and literary agency United Agents on its acquisition of AP Watt.

Advised Havas on its acquisition of Creative Lynx.

Notable practitioners  

The "excellent" Jo Evans is "highly entrepreneurial" and "gets the commercial stuff," impressed clients say. She focuses on representing clients in the marketing and communications and healthcare sectors.

Significant clients Integrated Dental, Ebiquity, Solomon Capital, Vision 7 International, East African Gold.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 22 partners
- 64 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Handling both contentious and non-contentious cases with aplomb. Utilising its unparalleled bench strength to provide cutting-edge representation to both respondent and claimant clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Their big strength is the additional element they offer. They provide quarterly forums and are very practicable, approachable and helpful."

Bench strength: "We think they're brilliant. They're very talented and innovative in their pricing structures and they've got such strength in depth."

Market standing: "I think that they're excellent and that they deserve their reputation within the marketplace."

Notable practitioners  

Departmental co-head Michael Burd is highly accomplished in the representation of both employers and senior executives. He has a "wealth of experience behind him," a "significant reputation" within the London market and a talent for successfully handling the most sensitive of cases.

James Davies serves as co-head of the firm's employment department and specialises in acting on behalf of respondent clients. He is widely regarded as having an "excellent practice," with one source even claiming that he is "all-knowing when it comes to employment law." 

Nicholas Hadaway attains recognition as a result of his burgeoning claimant practice. "He makes sure that he does what makes sense, as opposed to racking up gratuitous fees," reports one satisfied client.

Toni Lorenzo is a highly distinguished practitioner within the field of employment law. He has a strong record for representing Spanish multinationals and is acknowledged as having "an excellent reputation for High Court work."

The "unbelievably responsive" Ellen Temperton is frequently called upon by large corporates to offer technical advice on a diverse range of topics. Both her "pragmatic nature" and her ability to familiarise herself with a client company's culture are cited as key differentiators by clients.

Significant clients Credit Suisse, EDF Energy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Nokia, MTV.

Immigration - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 8 other qualified practitioners

What the team is known for Advises companies across the business immigration spectrum. Niche expertise in aiding sports teams and organisations with the unique immigration rules applying to sportspeople.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Lewis Silkin is very on the ball and knowledgeable. The team really helped us through an unfamiliar process."

Notable practitioners  

Andrew Osborne is a "fantastic sports immigration lawyer." He is well liked by clients, with one noting his ability to "come up with innovative solutions to immigration issues."

Significant clients Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, White & Case, Fulham FC, Welsh Rugby Union, Bath Rugby Club.

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Notable capabilities in trade marks, passing-off and copyright disputes. Particularly strong in advertising and media matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "A specialist team, flexible and commercial."

What's new? The firm hired partner James Gill from SJ Berwin in January 2013.

Adam Glass joined the firm from Davenport Lyons in June 2013.

Work highlights Represented Viagogo in an attempt to set aside a Norwich Pharmacal order obtained by the Rugby Football Union.

Acts for Reckitt Benckiser in relation to trade mark and passing-off claims against Galpharm International and Wrafton Laboratories.

Notable practitioners  

Simon Chapman is a lawyer with "robust commercial sense," according to sources, who also praise his "high-level strategic thinking." He covers the full range of IP matters.

Giles Crown couples technical skill with an ability to "cut to the heart of the commercial issues." His practice focuses on media and advertising matters, and he acted in the Viagogo matter mentioned above.

Sources are impressed by "efficient and protective" Adam Glass for his skills and efficiency. He acted in a design right infringement and breach of confidence claim relating to medical supplies.

Jeremy Summers recently joined Lewis Silkin from Pitmans. He is a soft IP specialist, focusing in particular on the media and entertainment sectors. He is "a serious operator" with a "very practical approach." He undertakes work for Symantec as part of its strategy to prevent counterfeiting. 

Significant clients Enterprise Rent-a-car, Tennent Caledonian Breweries, Tyco, Havas Worldwide London, Ebiquity.

Litigation - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Strong grounding in the markets for energy and the financial services. Extensive client base of major retailers and UK and US law firms.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Incredibly professional and very commercial." 

What's new? Attracted several new clients, including Annexe Investments, Retail Insight and Chargemaster.

Work highlights Advised UK Power Networks (Operations) on contingency security plans for the distribution of electricity to major Olympic venues during the 2012 games. 

Defended several companies belonging to a large Dutch industrial group against claims brought by a Maltese investment firm for a value of over EUR3.5 million.  

Notable practitioners

Head of department Tom Coates attracts compliments for his "excellent client management" skills. Recently, he acted for a Dutch group of companies on the defence of around EUR3.5 million worth of claims brought against them by a Maltese investment firm.

The "very bright" Tamar Halevy is able to advise on a broad spectrum of litigation matters concerning retailers, high net worth individuals and partnerships, amongst others.

Significant clients EDF Energy, Fulham FC, Edward Leisure Assets UK, Hombergh Holdings, PizzaExpress.

Real Estate Litigation - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Acts on a range of cases, from assisting with longer-term property asset management to one-off cases for commercial landlords and tenants, developers, investors and high-value individuals. Particular expertise in the utilities and telecoms sectors.

Notable practitioners

Brian Kilcoyne is described by sources as a "tenacious" and "very, very able property litigator." He has extensive real estate litigation experience with emphasis on the commercial areas and a specialism in dilapidations.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 11 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acts for corporate occupiers, investors and developers, with expertise in residential development and infrastructure.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They are very responsive and very good at meeting deadlines."

What's new? Reappointed to EDF Energy panel. Appointed to One Housing Group and London Quadrant panels.

Work highlights Advised Bouygues Development on the £46 million regeneration of Addlestone Town Centre, as development partner to Runnymede Borough Council.

Acted for EDF in structuring leasehold interests relating to National Grid's Pratt Street electricity transmission tunnel project.

Notable practitioners 

The experienced Leonard Goodrich advises clients on a range of commercial real estate matters, including acquisitions and disposals, portfolio management, development and headquarters relocation.

Significant clients Rio Tinto, UK Power Networks, Oasis Community Investments, Catalyst Housing, Gondola Group.

Social Housing - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for Streamlined team offering a broad array of social housing services, including asset management, housing management, employment matters and development.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They will help us help ourselves."

Breadth of services: "We built a great relationship with some of the key partners: they have a lot of people we can talk to about different things."

What's new? Judith Damarell joins the firm from Eversheds, strengthening its offering and bringing key expertise in planning.

The firm was appointed to the panel for Catalyst Housing Group.

Work highlights Represented a client in evicting a group of protestors aligned with the 'Occupy' movement from a former school property.

Acting for Family Mosaic Housing on the regeneration of the Heathside and Leathbridge estates, set to provide around 1,500 new homes and other properties.

Notable practitioners  

Gillian Bastow is identified as "delightful to work with," and an efficient practitioner who "goes above and beyond." Her recent work highlights include acting on a number of sizeable development and regeneration matters for major housing providers in London.

Linda Convery was recently promoted to head of real estate and development, and also has significant experience in working on stock transfers and other transactional matters in this sector. In addition to highlighting her pragmatism and commercial awareness, sources say she is "extremely hard-working and very good at solving complex legal problems."

Significant clients Peabody Trust, Viridian Housing, Wandle Housing Association, Christian Action (Enfield), Phoenix Futures.

Employment - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for A sizeable team acting for clients with operations in the Thames Valley and further afield. Attracts work from a broad range of companies across the retail, media and financial services sectors, offering specialist expertise in restructurings, employee investigations and tribunal litigation. The weight of its appeal is underlined by its work for such brands as Eli Lilly, Nokia, Oxford University Press and Man Group. Ranked office in Oxford.

Notable practitioners Russell Brimelow is head of the Oxford employment team.  

Employment - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 16 other qualified practitioners
- Office locations ranked: Oxford

What the team is known for One of the largest teams in Oxford. Regularly advises household-name clients on tribunal defence, restructurings and the hiring and firing of senior employees. Noted specialisms in advising the advertising and media sectors as well as international clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "There is a quick response in getting back to us." 

Clarity: "They provide strong advice on how to execute processes such as TUPE and redundancies."

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Carr always has time for clients: "Whether it's big or small, he's more than happy to talk about it. He highlights risk yet is willing to give clear advice."

Russell Brimelow regularly advises on employment issues arising from M&A, reorganisations and restructurings. He enjoys an impressive reputation amongst sources.

Significant clients MTV, Nokia, Jaguar Land Rover, Oxford University Press, Electrocomponents.

Construction - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Particularly strong in dealing with construction matters related to education, social housing, regeneration and EU procurement.

What's new? The firm has been appointed to the panels of One Housing Group, London & Quadrant, and Catalyst Housing. 

Work highlights Acted for Bouygues on the construction of a variety of different mixed-use developments in the UK.

Advised Bonhams on the complicated redevelopment of its New Bond Street site. 

Notable practitioners

Clare Reddy advises on non-contentious matters, including contractual and procurement advice.

Significant clients UK Power Networks, Notting Hill Housing Trust, Naturally Healthy Women, Bancroft, Oasis Community Learning.  

Defamation/Reputation Management - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Maintains a mixed practice spanning advising high-profile individuals to handling corporate reputation management. Provides a significant amount of pre-publication advice to magazines.

Work highlights Acted for singer Tulisa Contostavlos in her successful application to remove a privately filmed video from the internet.

Acted for Holly Willoughby in her successful claim against Sunday Sport over publication of a faked photograph.

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Coad assists on both pre-publication clearance and post-publication claims. He was the lead partner advising Tulisa Contostavlos in the aforementioned matter.

Significant clients Wonga, Haymarket Media, Heston Blumenthal, Ecotricity, Amnesty International.

Media & Entertainment - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 31 partners

What the team is known for Expertise in advertising and marketing, computer gaming, interactive content and social media. Advises both digital technology companies and traditional media businesses adapting to a changing and converging marketplace.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "Lewis Silkin can be relied upon to supply an expert in virtually every field I have ever enquired about."

Client service: "I think everything they do is excellent - the way they retain staff, training and communication are excellent."

Work highlights Advised Saatchi & Saatchi on the drafting and negotiation of an agreement with Kevin Bacon for the actor to feature in a popular promotional campaign for Everything Everywhere.

Advised GE on ambush marketing with regard to the London 2012 Olympics.

Notable practitioners  

Giles Crown is, according to a major client, "one of the leading advertising lawyers in the UK and that's why we use him." He is also praised for his "impeccable integrity and all-round client-handling skills."

Brinsley Dresden is regarded as "dynamic" and "very knowledgeable" by senior market figures. He advises on all facets of commercial and regulatory advertising and marketing work.

Guilherme Brafman is lauded for the extent of his knowledge of the advertising, brands and promotional sector. His arrival from Kaye Scholer a few years ago has contributed to Lewis Silkin's "added strength" in this area.

Jo Farmer is steeped in advertising law and acts for a range of leading agencies and brand owners. She undertakes brand ambassador and sponsorship deals, and has developed deep expertise in social media regulation.

Dominic Farnsworth advises agencies and brand owners on advertising, sponsorship, endorsements and promotions. Clients find he is "charming" and proffers "really clear and concise explanations."

Jonathan Coad leads the firm's television practice, advising on a range of matters such as IP rights, commercial contracts and libel clearance work. One source said: "He's an absolute expert on the format rights business." 

Cliff Fluet is particularly well known for his work in the music industry. One sector source described him as a "specialist with a fabulous reputation, and a very nice person."

Jeremy Summers recently joined Lewis Silkin from Pitmans. He is highly valued for his knowledge and experience of the theatre world and his skill as a commercial lawyer. Clients find his level of diligence extraordinary, and appreciate his practical outlook. 

Significant clients AMV BBDO, Electronic Arts, Havas Worldwide London, MTV Networks.

Partnership - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 10 associates

What the team is known for Sizeable group covering a broad range of partnership areas, including LLP conversions and partnership disputes. Clients include a mix of professional and non-professional partnerships. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "The team's ability to respond at a high speed and an urgent pace was crucial to our business."

Notable practitioners 

Fergus Payne is joint head of the team and is active on the corporate side of partnerships, with sources commenting: "He has exceptional experience in LLP matters." He recently supported United Agents' LLP conversion.

Fellow joint head Clive Greenwood acts on the contentious side and is valued for his vast experience in partnership disputes.

Significant clients Beattie McGuiness Bungay, United Agents, Haywards, TP Bennet.

Retail - UK-wide

What the team is known for Strong reputation in the market for its expertise in branding and advertising matters. Handles IP and employment matters for market-leading institutions.

What's new? James Gill joined the team from SJ Berwin and specialises in commercial contracts, data protection, IT and IP.

Work highlights Representing Lush Cosmetics in a trade mark dispute against an online retailer, in relation to the use of the word 'lush' as a Google AdWord, and the directing of search results for the word 'lush' to non-Lush products.

Continues to co-ordinate all of Marks & Spencer's international employment matters.

Notable practitioners  

Employment partner Laura Farnsworth is a key contact for the retail practice.

Significant clients Harvey Nichols, French Connection, Versace, Bulgari, House of Fraser.

Sports Law - UK-wide

What the team is known for Enjoys a strong reputation for immigration and employment expertise as it relates to sporting matters. Also has a strong litigation practice and is increasingly active advising clients on commercial matters.

Notable practitioners  

Owen Eastwood translates his employment expertise to the sports sector. He acts primarily on contentious matters and is praised by clients for his dedication.

Andrew Osborne is noted for his expertise on immigration matters in particular. One source said: "He is a very safe pair of hands. You feel you are getting definitive advice from him and it's comforting to know that."