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Osborne Clarke


Osborne Clarke - Bristol
  • 2 Temple Back East
  • Temple Quay
  • Bristol
  • Bristol
  • UK
  • BS1 6EG
  • Tel:(0117) 917 3000
  • Fax:(0117) 917 3005
  • Web:Visit website
  • Managing Partner Simon Beswick
  • Senior Partner Tim Birt
  • UK  
  • Number of partners  101
  • Assistant Solicitors 223
  • Other fee earners  62
  • Total staff  664

Every law firm has legal expertise at its heart. What makes a difference is how that expertise is applied. Osborne Clarke’s clients benefit from the way the firm combines its top-class legal expertise with an international perspective and in-depth sector knowledge to provide focused, relevant and practical advice to clients in a number of businesses sectors. The firm specialises in advising clients in sectors that thrive on technology, energy and innovation. Each of these sectors often need strong finance and infrastructure support, so Osborne Clarke also specialises in these sectors.
The firm’s lawyers are dedicated to helping clients achieve their business objectives. Osborne Clarke’s development programme results in lawyers who really understand the sectors in which their clients operate and encourages the development of bespoke sector-focused products and services.

Osborne Clarke has deep expertise in all areas of business law, including transactions, banking, dispute resolution, commercial, employment, tax and competition. The firm focuses this expertise on specific business sectors, combining its knowledge with an in-depth understanding of how those sectors operate to produce practical results for clients.
Digital Business Sector: The firm’s Digital Business lawyers live and breathe technology. In a fast changing environment, the team has the knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to help clients develop their businesses in a fast changing environment. From internet start-ups to major telecoms operators, the firm offers specialist tailored advice at the right time.
Energy & Utilities Sector: From the UK’s first wind farm to the largest European energy projects, the team has years of in-depth experience in the energy sector. Clients include utilities, funders, developers, suppliers and cleantech and renewable energy companies.
Financial Services Sector: Helping financial institutions thrive in their complex regulatory world is a tall order. Osborne Clarke’s team delivers tailored legal advice in a way that helps institutions hit and exceed their business goals. The firm advises commercial and investment banks, investment funds, intermediaries, financial technology providers and even new bank start-ups.
Real Estate, Infrastructure & Retail Sector: Opportunity management is vital in this vibrant sector. Osborne Clarke uses its heavyweight experience to make sure that clients never miss opportunities. Developers, lenders, infrastructure projects companies, retail occupiers and many others benefit from the firm’s specialism.
Recruitment Sector: Recruitment businesses have a range of specialist needs, and with new regulation like the AWR rules impacting on the sector the need for specialist advisors has never been greater.
Transport & Automotive Sector: With in-depth expertise in Rail,Automotive and across the transport sector, Osborne Clarke’s team is ideally placed to help clients improve, innovate and expand across borders.

International expertise in specific business sectors gives Osborne Clarke focus and strength in advising businesses on cross border matters. The firm has particular expertise in advising US and Indian clients on their European transactional, litigation and advisory needs, as well as advising CIS based companies on international arbitration matters.
Osborne Clarke International has offices in Barcelona, Brescia, Brussels, Cologne, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Padua, Paris, Rome and Silicon Valley.

  • Head of Markets (sectors) Greg Leyshon
  • Digital Business Adrian Bott
  • Financial Services Tim Simmonds
  • Energy & Utilities David Ferris
  • Real Estate, Infrastructure & Retail Leona Briggs
  • Transport & Automotive Lara Burch
  • Life Sciences & Healthcare Janita Good
  • Recruitment Frances Lewis


  • 2 Temple Back East,
  • Temple Quay,
  • Bristol,
  • UK
  • BS1 6EG
  • Tel (0117) 917 3000
  • Fax (0117) 917 3005
  • DX 7818
  • Apex Plaza,
  • Forbury Road,
  • Reading,
  • Berkshire
  • UK
  • RG1 1AX
  • Tel (0118) 925 2000
  • Fax (0118) 925 2005
  • DX 117882

Corporate/M&A - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 25 partners
- 41 other lawyers

What the team is known for Strong reputation for advising clients on public M&A transactions. Deep expertise in the advertising and marketing services sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They are very commercial and considered; they are not aggressive but stand their ground."

Client service: "They are straightforward and easy to deal with."

Strategic planning: "They are very proactive and deal with issues before clients spot things."

Work highlights Advised Kewill on its £103 million takeover by Kinetic Bidco by way of a scheme of arrangement.

Represented MITIE on the £111 million acquisition of domiciliary care business Enara.

Represented College Group on its acquisition of Merlin Financial Communications.

Notable practitioners  

Tim Birt gives clients "wise counsel" and has a "good sense of what is happening in the market," impressed sources say. He advised the shareholders of BBH on the £200 million sale of the company to Publicis.

Jonathan King is "fully engaged and on the ball" and "his advice is thought through and considered," satisfied clients say. He represents Carphone Warehouse in the £838 million disposal of its interest in Best Buy Mobile.

Ray Berg is "a skilled negotiator," who is "really commercial" and "incredibly knowledgeable," clients say. He advised UBM on the £30 million acquisition of a 50% stake in Canada Newswire.

Paul Cooper advised Scott Davidson, Samantha Oliphant and others on the £200 million sale of shares in Invitation Digital to Vodafone. He is a highly regarded corporate lawyer.

The "excellent" Adrian Bott is "highly commercial" and a "terrific lawyer," market sources say. He heads the firm's digital business group.

Mark Spinner joins the team from Eversheds. He advises clients on a range of M&A transactions, with a focus on private equity-related transactions.

Kalpesh Tanna is "highly client-focused" and "highly responsive," and "gives you commercial solutions that work," impressed clients say. He advises clients on a range of corporate transactions.

Mathias Loertscher has a good reputation for advising clients in the digital business sector. Sources speak highly of his responsive approach.

Significant clients Carphone Warehouse, Talk Talk, United Business Media, Digital Barriers, Iris Nation.

Employment - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 1 consultant
- 8 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Impressive track record in advising large corporate clients on whistle-blowing protections and board-level terminations. Growing presence in the financial services and telecommunications sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They are quick to respond, concise in their presentation, and always offer good-quality advice."

Commercial awareness: "The culture of their firm is in providing down-to-earth, practical and commercial advice."

Work highlights Acted for Lazard on terminating the employment of several senior executives.

Advised GDF Suez with respect to a senior executive termination and defence of related discrimination allegations.

Notable practitioners  

Departmental head David Cubitt has a strong, varied practice and is noticeably "well tuned-in to the commercial needs of businesses." Clients value his willingness to "always provide a straight answer" and ability to "get to the heart of the matter quickly."

Victoria Parry boasts a strong track record in City discrimination cases and bonus disputes. She is appraised very positively by market sources, with one individual saying that "the tactics she deployed helped bring the parties together and promote a good settlement. She helped to dispel the myth that aggression is all that it is needed."

Significant clients Nomura International, Eurostar, Marks & Spencer, Standard Chartered Bank, Dell.

Information Technology - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department

- 9 partners
- 19 partners

What the team is known for Technology-focused firm advising suppliers and customers of IT systems. Areas of focus include mobile technology, cloud hosting, financial services outsourcing and data protection. Clients benefit from Silicon Valley and Indian links.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Their technical ability is excellent; I have great confidence in them on the technicalities of contract law that come up."

What's new? Commercial and financial services expert John Buyers joined in February 2013 from Stephenson Harwood, where he led the commercial, technology and telecoms group.

Work highlights Advised KPMG on a software licence agreement with IBM.

Advised Dell on the transfer of various high-value public sector IT servicer contracts to a different provider.

Notable practitioners

John Buyers has really hit the ground running since his arrival from Stephenson Harwood, and is described by outside sources as a "terrific acquisition for Osborne Clarke." He led on the abovementioned matter for KPMG.

Simon Rendell manages the firm's relationships with a number of its core technology clients, and has led on many commercial and corporate e-commerce, IT and telecoms transactions.

Significant clients Acision, Dell, Everything Everywhere, Facebook, Thomson Reuters.

Since publication, Angus Finnegan has joined Reed Smith LLP

Intellectual Property - London (Firms)

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

What the team is known for An impressive offering that covers all the bases, including patents, trade marks and portfolio management work. Particular expertise in the IT sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "A firm that punches above its weight."

What's new? The firm bolstered its patent capabilities with the addition of partner Lorna Brazell from Bird & Bird in May 2013.

Work highlights Acted for Marks & Spencer in a trade mark infringement case brought by Interflora over the use of certain Google AdWords.

Advises Biome on its worldwide patent portfolio.

Notable practitioners  

Theo Savvides is "a star," according to sources, who note his ability to frequently be "one step ahead of everyone else." He has been at the forefront of most of the practice's recent work, including the Marks & Spencer v Interflora case.

Lorna Brazell brings her experience in patent litigation to bear on technology and life science matters.

Significant clients Eurostar, News International, Facebook, Activision, OraSure Technologies.

Since publication, Theo Savvides has joined Bristows LLP

Planning - London (Firms)

What the team is known for Residential planning and infrastructure projects for industrial development. Acts for renewable energy clients and has expertise in advising on commercial mixed use developments and student accommodation.

Work highlights Represented Associated British Ports on planning developments at ports in Southampton, Hull, Immingham and Grimsby.

Instructed by Asda Stores to advise on new stores in Telford, Wolstanton, Barking and Swinton.

Notable practitioners  

Brian Greenwood leads the team at Osborne Clarke and is instructed by Associated British Ports to advise on several port projects.

Significant clients CEMEX, South Hook LNG, David Wilson Homes, Hammerson, Gazeley UK.

Real Estate - London (Firms)

Basic facts about the department
- 14 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Provides investment advice for property companies, funds and institutions. Also acts for commercial and residential developers.

What's new? Henderson Global Investors, British Waterways Board and Pramerica UK Ground Lease Fund are new clients.

William Gay promoted to partner.

Nick Padget joins from Dundas & Wilson.

Work highlights Acted for Aviva Igloo Regeneration Fund on the acquisition of land for a mixed-use development in Islington.

Acted for Galliford Try and United House Developments on the residential-led regeneration scheme at Gallions Quarter.

Notable practitioners

Colin Kearney's practice covers development as well as transactions in industrial, office, retail and residential property. Peers say he is "very commercial, proactive and technically sound. A really nice guy to deal with."

William Gay is commended by peers for his "common sense, hard work and good humour." He acts for investors, developers and property companies, with a particular focus on industrial and distribution facilities development.

Nick Padget acts for clients on investment, development and hotel sector matters. Sources say he is "proactive and works really hard to get the deal done."

Significant clients Development Securities, Gazeley UK, Aviva Investors, Topland, Eurostar.

Banking & Finance - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Core expertise in acquisition finance, leveraged finance, refinancings, and property, energy and infrastructure matters. Acts for major banks such as Lloyds TSB, Barclays and RBS, as well as investment managers and private equity firms including Growth Capital Partners, Sovereign Capital and Close Asset Management. Ranked offices in Bristol and Reading.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The Bristol and Reading offices are both very good actually - the team is very good whenever we have worked with them."

Notable practitioners 

Omar Al-Nuaimi and Hugh Jones are key contacts at the firm.

Construction - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Significant national and international practice advising a mainly contractor client base on a range of national and international, contentious and non-contentious matters. Highly reputed for work on onshore and offshore wind matters, while also active on waste to energy projects. Clients include, Mitie Group, Amey, RWE nPower and Persimmon. Ranked office in Bristol.

Notable practitioners Philip Davies is the key contact.

Corporate/M&A - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Large national practice advising on significant corporate transactions for well-established clients. Additional strength representing start-up companies in a range of matters. Noted strength in the energy, technology and financial services sectors. Ranked offices in Bristol and Reading.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
National capability: "They have the same calibre of individual and breadth of service as the magic circle firms."

Notable practitioners Alisdair Livingstone is the key contact.

Employment - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Advising a number of large organisations on high-value transactions and sensitive employment litigation at national and international levels. Major clients are drawn from five key industry sectors, and include such names as Motorola Solutions, Wincanton, Western Power Distribution and Endsleigh Insurance. Particularly renowned for its work for digital businesses. Ranked offices in Bristol and Reading.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
National capability: "A strong firm, both regionally and nationally." 

Notable practitioners Paul Matthews and Danielle Kingdon are the key contacts here.

Intellectual Property - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for A strong focus on representing technology and digital business clients, with experience of advising companies headquartered overseas and acting on cross-border matters. Advises clients of the calibre of Marks & Spencer, Everything Everywhere, Danone and Eurostar on a wealth of strategically important IP concerns. Ranked offices in Bristol and Reading.

Notable practitioners

James Mullock and Russell Bowyer are key technology contacts.

Litigation - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Commercial litigation group attracting a range of high-calibre national and international clients, particularly in the realms of IT, telecoms and outsourcing. Representative clients include Cable & Wireless Communications, MITIE, Xerox, LG, Dell, EE and npower. Ranked offices in Bristol and Reading.

Notable practitioners Peter Clough is the key contact.

Real Estate Litigation - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Highly reputed Bristol offering that has considerable strength in the energy sector. Equally adept representing house builders in development disputes as well as pension funds and institutional investors in issues arising from their portfolios. Key clients include Barratt Homes, Western Power Distribution and Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund. Ranked office in Bristol.

Notable practitioners

Leona Briggs heads the department.

Restructuring/Insolvency - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Popular South West team sought out to advise on large-scale mandates, particularly when these involve technology, manufacturing, automotive and hotel businesses. Clients include the Big Four accountancy firms and banks such as Barclays and RBS. Ranked office in Bristol.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
National capability: "We typically use them on all of our out-of-town jobs."

Notable practitioners Nigel Boobier is the key contact.

Banking & Finance - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for A highly respected presence in the regional banking and finance market. Sector specialisms in connection with digital business, real estate, infrastructure and energy. Close relationships with major traditional and non-traditional lenders on a broad spectrum of complex matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Regional capability: "In the wider South West region and Bristol I would single out Osborne Clarke. They are the best in the South West. They have a strong team."

Client service: "My impression is that they are very good actually. The team has been very good whenever we have worked with them."  

Work highlights Advised RBS and The Co-operative Bank on the refinancing of their £64 million facilities for the Day Lewis plc Group.

Advised UNITE on its debut retail bond issue worth £90 million.

Notable practitioners  

Omar Al-Nuaimi is head of the banking and finance team. He has particular expertise in project, leveraged and structured finance. He was part of the team representing UNITE on its debut retail bond issuance.

Newly promoted partner Tom Bussy is a "fantastic" practitioner making his mark in the banking and finance arena. He specialises in refinancing, general corporate and leveraged finance.

Significant clients Lloyds TSB, Barclays, Clydesdale Bank, Funding Circle, Rotork.

Banking Litigation - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 51 other qualified lawyers 
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for High-quality instructions from a diverse client base including major lenders and financial institutions. Further recognised for its ability to handle disputes with international elements.

What's new? Tom Ellis joined from Wragge & Co, bringing notable expertise in fraud investigations.

Work highlights Representing major lenders including The Co-operative Bank and Platform Funding in a portfolio of claims against solicitors and surveyors concerning fraud and negligence in relation to conveyancing transactions.

Represented a trust company in a claim for mis-selling and negligent investment advice against a wealth manager.

Notable practitioners  

Key partner Clare Robinson has forged strong relationships with major banking clients. She recently led a matter for Funding Circle, advising on a range of finance matters. She is also a mediator.

Significant clients RBS, Lloyds TSB, Close Investments, Scottish Widows, New Ireland Assurance.

Charities - South West

Basic facts about the department

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

What the team is known for Full-service offering, advising charities on sector-specific issues such as establishment and governance, as well as broader commercial concerns including employment, property, trusts, tax and pensions. Specialist knowledge of suitable corporate structures for third-sector entities, such as community interest companies, industrial and provident societies, and guarantee companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The service provided was excellent."  

Work highlights Advised MITIE upon the establishment of the MITIE Foundation. Advice pertained to the avoidance of a potential conflict of interest.

Conducted a full review of the Tanzanian Coffee Research Institute's governance arrangements.

Notable practitioners  

Alexandra Casley is a key contact at the firm.

Significant clients Shaw Trust, St Monica Trust, UWE Students' Union, Bristol Zoo, Hazelhurst Trust.

Construction - South West

Basic facts about the department

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

What the team is known for At the forefront of the Bristol market. Renowned for its work in the student accommodation, energy and utilities sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "A very modern, client-facing and pragmatic firm." 

Notable practitioners 

Jonathan Brooks leads the dispute team at the practice. His specialist sectors include energy and utilities.

Philip Davies heads the department at the firm. Philip specialises in procurement matters and has a substantial list of clients across the supply chain.

Significant clients MITIE Group, Barratt Developments, Amey, MIDAS Group, Persimmon.

Corporate/M&A - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 22 partners 
- 29 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Often acts on major acquisitions for high-profile businesses, particularly in the energy and digital media sectors. Assists a range of clients, including plcs and private equity funds.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Value for money: "Fantastic balance between the calibre of the team and the cost."

Responsiveness: "What I like is that they are practical and responsive."

Work highlights Advised Graphic Packaging on its £81 million acquisition of Contego Packaging.

Advised on AIM-listed upstream oil and gas developer Amerisur Resources' £26 million share placing.

Notable practitioners

Clients call head of department Alisdair Livingstone "pragmatic, commercial and straightforward to deal with." His clients include Growth Capital Partners.

David Ferris leads the energy and utilities team and acts for Ultra Electronics Holdings, among other clients.

One of Patrick Graves' clients says: "His attention to detail is key, always offering measured pragmatic advice whilst ensuring all key risks are managed and appropriately boxed off. Patrick is always a pleasure to deal with." Graves often acts for clients in the energy sector.

Conrad Davies' clients describe him as "very personable and bright, an excellent lawyer. Whether in negotiation or structuring a deal, he has fielded his brief very well." He acts on corporate finance matters as well as acquisitions and disposals.

Dan Wright acts on M&A transactions and shareholder agreements for a range of clients, particularly in the energy sector.

Simon Spooner acted on the sale of Clipper Teas to Royal Wessanen, Belgian owner of organic food brands sold across Europe.

Significant clients RWE npower, Motorola, Digital Barriers, LDC, SPTS.

Employment - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 35 other qualified lawyers
- Offices locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Provides a broad range of advice to both UK and international clients. Key sectors include digital business, energy and natural resources, real estate and infrastructure, retail, financial services and defence.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are dedicated in the service they provide and always achieve and exceed our expectations."

Market standing: "They have a hands-on approach and senior specialists. They are down to earth, with a fantastic client base."

Work highlights Advised the Graphic Packaging International Holding Company on the UK employment aspects of the £71 million purchase of a Contego Packaging subsidiary. 

Advised Claire's Accessories on employment matters and incentives arrangements in the UK and across its European operations.  

Notable practitioners  

Julian Hemming is a long-standing employment law practitioner with experience of advising clients based in India. Peers regard him as "a star with a real hands-on approach."

Paul Killen is noted for his strategic approach and experience of working with large commercial clients. He is experienced in handling dismissals, breach of contract issues, discrimination claims and employee relations management.

Significant clients Motorola Solutions, Western Power Distribution, Unite, Zimmer, Endsleigh Insurance.

Environment - South West

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

What the team is known for Covers an impressive breadth of environmental matters, representing commercial, industrial and waste clients on contentious, compliance and transactional issues.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They appreciate time-critical deadlines; they will put the resources on the project to get it done."

Industry knowledge: "What comes across is the sector focus; it is a firm that is clear about its role."

What's new? The firm has gained new clients Yorkshire Energy Services, Powerday and Refuels.

Work highlights Advised DS Smith Paper on the defence of an EA prosecution related to environmental permitting.

Advised Western Power Distribution on matters such as management of hazardous waste.  

Notable practitioners 

Alan John is a well-regarded environment practitioner with a particularly strong reputation on waste matters. Sources describe him as "a great fighter for his clients," adding that he possesses "very deep technical knowledge and excellent commercial understanding."

Senior associate Matthew Germain practices in the areas of environment and energy law. Sources say: "He is pragmatic, to the point, relevant, and commercial as well." 

Significant clients Associated British Ports, CEMEX, The Co-operative Bank, BNRG Renewables, Amey Cespa.

Information Technology - South West

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Technology-focused firm advising on high-value data privacy and IT systems projects, often with an international dimension. Home to a strong India-oriented practice and maintains close links with its Silicon Valley office in Palo Alto.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The lawyers are highly valued, trusted and professional advisers to our businesses who add a great deal of value through the quality, efficiency and strength of the advice they provide us."

Technical ability: "OC's contentious advice is always well pitched."

What's new? Emily Jones was promoted to the partnership in May 2013.

Work highlights Advised Everything Everywhere on preparation for the launch of its 4G network late in 2012, and on several high-value customer agreements.

Advised Tech Mahindra on a number of transactional and contentious matters.

Notable practitioners 

James Mullock heads up the firm's privacy team and is also a linchpin of its relationships with major Indian consultancy firms. Commentators say he "is very responsive and attuned to customer’s needs." 

Emily Jones is now a partner, and leads strategic IT and outsourcing transactions for some of the firm's key clients, including retail giant Marks & Spencer. She is also expert in data security issues.

Significant clients Ark Continuity, Dell, Everything Everywhere, Mulberry, Tata Technologies.

Intellectual Property - South West

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

What the team is known for Assists clients with all IP matters, including contentious and non-contentious work in both soft and hard IP. Noted for its work with the technology, media, fashion and telecoms sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Their advice has been pragmatic and for the real world. They advise in a normal commercial manner and it doesn't feel like I get advice and have to assimilate it into something intelligible that I can present. I just get good, solid, commercial advice."

Industry knowledge: "They generally try to understand not just our business, but business in general. That is the real way that a law firm adds value. It's not all about the big-ticket items - it is about understanding the day-to-day needs of your client, and that means having a genuine interest in what they are doing."

Work highlights The team has continued to advise Ultra Electronics regarding all of its patent protection, software licensing and IP disputes.

Notable practitioners  

Clare Robinson is a highly regarded litigator who is described by clients as both "responsive and practical." She anchors the firm's relationship with Ultra Electronics.

Significant clients Eurostar, Fat Face, Mulberry.

Litigation - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 50 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Celebrated team of technology specialists advising stellar clients in matters spanning a wide range of disciplines. Handles larger, high-value disputes. Clients benefit from offices in Europe and the Silicon Valley, as well as close Indian connections.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "There are a lot of lawyers at the firm who I rate very highly."

What's new? New clients include Qinetiq, Everything Everywhere, the M77 Group and EWI Capita.

Work highlights Advising US-headquartered Aceto on a High Court competition claim against Indian company United Phosphorus relating to product distribution in Europe.

Defending Luxembourg TV channel packagers M77 Group in a cross-border dispute with NBC-owned Sparrowhawk International over an alleged agreement to merge two satellite TV platforms, as well as owed revenue and advertising.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Peter Clough specialises in large disputes involving parties from Russia, India and Asia. He has particular expertise in energy and natural resources, technology and financial services matters.

Clare Robinson deals with commercial and IP disputes. She often conducts mediation and commercial arbitration and works for clients both in the UK and overseas.

Tom Ellis has significant experience representing major corporates in commercial disputes, corporate investigations and fraud-related matters. Much of his work has an international dimension. Sources describe him as "very calm and very assured," and praise his "good strategic brain."

Catherine Wolfenden specialises in regulatory investigations and enforcement and public law challenges. Her particular specialism is public procurement law. Sources describe her as "sparky" and "a pleasure to deal with, sensible and pragmatic."

 Charlie Wedin  made partner in May 2013. He specialises in TMT and financial services disputes, and also regularly handles fraud claims.

Significant clients Cable & Wireless, Bank of Ireland, Xerox, Western Power Distribution, MITIE.

Pensions - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 10 solicitors
- 3 pensions managers 
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Remains a front runner in the South West's pensions market. Acts for both sponsoring employers and schemes ranging in size from £1 million to over £4 billion. Expert in asset-backed funding arrangements and assisting schemes undergoing Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The work is of an excellent quality, response times are fast and the lawyers have good industry knowledge." 

Work highlights Advised the trustees of the Horlicks Farms & Dairies pension scheme on the PPF assessment period after the company went into liquidation. They reached a buyin agreement with Legal & General to secure benefits that surpassed PPF levels.

Provides ongoing assistance to the trustees of the Sharp Electronics (UK) Pension Scheme, recently advising on the implications of a proposed restructuring of the company's European operations.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Jonathan Hazlett wins glowing praise from peers and clients, with sources describing him as "sound and sensible" and "calm and measured in his approach." Clients include Sharp Electronics (UK) Pension Scheme and Fyffes Pension Scheme.

Paul Matthews is an "experienced" and "extremely good" lawyer, according to interviewees. He regularly advises trustees and employers on a wide array of pensions issues and also handles the pensions aspects of corporate transactions. 

Mark Womersley heads up the firm's local government pension scheme group and impresses market sources. He recently advised the Kier Group Pension Scheme trustees on an investment into a significant UK infrastructure fund.

Significant clients Environment Agency, Bank of Ireland Group Pension Plan, BAE Systems Executive Pension Scheme, Wedgwood Group Pension Plan, Towers Watson.

Planning - South West

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

What the team is known for Established Bristol firm with strong planning offering. Particularly noted in the energy sector.

Work highlights Continues to act for Associated British Ports on a range of projects across its 21 UK ports.

Acted on the £50 million redevelopment of the former Cadbury factory near Bristol for Taylor Wimpey.

Notable practitioners 

Neil Bromwich acts for a range of clients including Linden Homes.

Significant clients RWE Renewables, Western Power Distribution, Co-operative Group, UNITE, Bristol Airport.

Private Client - South West

Basic facts about the department

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

What the team is known for A strong focus on providing services to high net worth families and family-owned businesses. Trust and tax planning advice is a mainstay of the team's work and is handled for both resident and non-domiciled clients. Also boasts an accomplished contentious tax and trust offering.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Excellent service: "Supported by a real sense for client service and responsiveness."

Reliability: "You can really rely on them to do a good job. They have a nice way of dealing with people and they take the time to work out what makes a client tick." 

Notable practitioners 

Mark Woodward is a key contact here.

Real Estate - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 9 partners 
- 42 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol 

What the team is known for Acts for major developers and investors on a range of property matters, including major inward investment in the student accommodation sector. Also active on large residential developments for house builders. Acts for a broad base of institutional clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "Where Osborne Clarke are better than others is in presenting themselves as a team rather than funnelling everything through partners."

Client service: "They are willing to help, they go out of their way to make sure things get done, they're good at communication, and commercial as well."

Work highlights Acted on Mulberry Group's acquisition of land for development of a second factory in Bridgewater.

Advised Niam on the structuring and launch of its Niam V Nordic Investment Fund.

Notable practitioners

Simon Speirs specialises in work for pension funds. One client praises his long experience, saying: "Simon has been there and seen it all."

Ian Wilkinson specialises in property investment and finance, particularly for institutional clients. Clients say: "He's adept at problem solving – he's resourceful and imaginative about getting round any issues that come up, knowing what's important to us and doing what he can to get us there."

Development specialist David North acted for Moorfield Group on the acquisition of a site for a 500-bed student accommodation site.

David Powell is noted for his work in residential development, and acts for Persimmon Homes, amongst other clients. He often acts on acquisitions of land for development.

Significant clients Barratt, Aviva Investors, Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund, Marks & Spencer, Galliford Try.

Real Estate Litigation - South West

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

What the team is known for Widely acknowledged as a top choice for property litigation in Bristol. Frequently advises on complex development disputes and investment issues. Noted for its strength in the energy and retail sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Osborne Clarke is very good on the commercial client side."

Market standing: "Good-quality group."  

Work highlights Acted for Think Ltd on a professional negligence claim brought against its former property advisers for failing to properly advise on break provisions in a lease.

Advised a landlord on a dilapidations claim against a former tenant. The lease expired just before the housing market crash in 2007, making valuation of the claim difficult.

Notable practitioners 

Leona Briggs is an experienced practitioner, equipped to advise clients on the full spectrum of real estate disputes. She wins praise from both peers and clients, with sources recognising her as "very sound and competent" and "good on customer service."

Significant clients Barratt Homes/BDW, Vodafone, Western Power Distribution, Linden/Galliford Try, Persimmon.

Restructuring/Insolvency - South West

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

What the team is known for Cross-departmental team enjoying good relations with the leading banks and insolvency practitioners. Favoured for technology, hotels, manufacturing and automotive insolvencies.

What's new? Appointed to Bank of Ireland's contested assets panel.

Work highlights Provided insolvency advice to the European subsidiaries of video games company THQ, involving cross-border work relating to a combined loan value of USD102 million.

Acted for Lester Hotels administrators Zolfo Cooper on licensing and agricultural tenancy issues arising from the sale of the business.

Notable practitioners  

Nigel Boobier heads the department. Recognised as a "good operator" and "a safe pair of hands who knows the local market," sources describe Boobier as "proactive in helping" his clients, giving "practical advice without getting bogged down in the detail."

Claire Bundy is noted as "able" and "a good lawyer" while also standing out as "a commercial animal" who is "well liked" and adept at "developing really good relationships with clients."

Significant clients Barclays Bank, RBS, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte.

Tax - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partnership
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol 

What the team is known for All-round tax offering, with a particular reputation for the strength of its corporate tax and employment tax practice.

What's new? Mark Brailsford joined the firm, after 15 years of tax practice at Allen & Overy.

Work highlights Advised Growth Capital Partners on the tax structuring of the acquisitions of Iglu.com, ETC Venues and Excelsior Technologies.

Notable practitioners 

Clients report that Michael Bellhas been particularly supportive, displaying pragmatism as well as technical knowledge, and is always very focused on solutions.” He heads the department and focuses on structuring for corporate and financial transactions.

Philip Moss is a very well-regarded figure in the tax practice, known and praised for his knowledge, foresight and responsiveness. Sources describe him as having “a cool head for keeping up with the mayhem of a commercial transaction and getting the important things done.

Erika Jupe handles a broad range of corporate tax and tax planning, as well as fund formation matters. One client remarks: “I believe her work was at the cutting-edge, and she's a very good communicator.”

Significant clients Carphone Warehouse, UNITE, Lloyds Development Capital. 

Banking & Finance - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Reading

What the team is known for Represents major banks and corporate lenders in complex cross-border acquisition finance deals, as well as leveraged finance, refinancing and restructuring matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Excellent! They are very proactive, which for me is important as I have a customer at the end of it; it makes us look good to clients. They are very knowledgeable about their subject matter."

Market standing: "Compares better than its regional peers, and in many cases as well as some of the well-regarded London firms."

Work highlights Advised Lloyds TSB and HSBC on a £46.5 million multi-jurisdictional refinancing of an environmental consultancy business.

Advised RBS in relation to a financing for the acquisition of a tourism ticketing business.  

Notable practitioners  

Hugh Jones is a highly experienced and respected practitioner who is "recognised around the Thames Valley as one of the best corporate banking lawyers." Clients appreciate his proactivity, clear opinions and solution-oriented advice.  

Rebecca Scott is a senior associate who is particularly adept in general corporate finance and acquisition finance. One source describes her as "detailed, quick, and very happy to explain difficult concepts."

Significant clients HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Growth Capital Partners, Sovereign Capital, Close Asset Management.

Corporate/M&A - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Reading

What the team is known for Corporate team with a market-leading reputation. Advises public and private companies on transactions and corporate finance. Noted strength in the technology and life sciences sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They are very good at translating legal into the commercial." 

Market standing: "They have a great reputation in the region and nationally."

What's new? New client wins include Cable & Wireless.

Work highlights Acted for Xerox on its acquisition of Wireless Data Services.

Advised Avanti Communications in its £75 million fund-raising to finance the launch of a satellite.  

Notable practitioners  

Greg Leyshon is head of the firm's markets group and has a practice focusing on private equity work. He advised the Business Growth Fund in relation to a number of capital investments. Sources say: "He looks to get a deal done and he is very good at understanding the commercial realities underpinning a transaction."

James Massy-Collier is a partner with a practice that focuses on corporate finance and banking work.

Sara Valentine heads the firm's Reading corporate team. She advised Daler-Rowney on its acquisition of German company Dr. Fr. Schoenfeld. Sources say: "She is happy to fight when she needs to."

Significant clients LDC, Davies Group, Kerridge Commercial Systems, LeasedriveVelo, Takeda Ventures.

Employment - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner 
- 4 other qualified practitioners
- Office locations ranked: Reading 

What the team is known for Advising domestic and international technology companies. The practice has a transactional focus although it does also offer advice on tribunal defence and senior exits. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client satisfaction: "They provide an excellent, proactive service. We feel very confident in the advice they give us."

Commercial awareness: "They understand the way we operate and advise accordingly." 

Notable practitioners  

Danielle Kingdon is noted by clients for listening to what they have to say and taking on board their concerns. One reports that "she is good at helping us understand the 'why' of what we need to do."

Significant clients Nominet, Isotrak, Amadeus Services, Gartner, Leasedrive.

Information Technology - Thames Valley

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

What the team is known for Part of a leading UK IT practice. Strong international connections and client relationships, some by virtue of an office in Silicon Valley. Large-scale project advisory work as well as an admirable contentious practice. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team is very good. They are responsive as well as flexible, depending on our needs. They are easy to deal with, but most importantly they listen to us and they took the time to really get to know us."

Work highlights Advised telecoms provider EE on the commercial aspects of its recently launched online film store, EE Film.

Advised Marks & Spencer on its outsourcing arrangements for its contract centre services.

Notable practitioners  

The "very friendly and very knowledgeable" Russell Bowyer provides "sensible and pragmatic advice." Clients particularly appreciate that "he focuses on what is really important" and isn't too focused on "getting tied up in dotting the i's and crossing the t's."

Significant clients Dell, Expansys, Netflix, The Book People, Virgin Media.

Intellectual Property - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Reading 

What the team is known for Lauded for its transactional experience. Acts for a diverse client base, from digital businesses to defence companies, with a growing reputation in representing the clean technology and renewable energy sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "The work is of excellent quality. The advice given is very thorough and very clear. Staff at all levels have been excellent in dealing with our queries."

Commercial awareness: "They're very practical and business-oriented. They have a good understanding of our company and the technology that we use."

Work highlights Advising The Book People on the growth of its online e-book service.

Advising Cambridge Display Technology on patent licensing concerns.  

Notable practitioners  

Clients note that highly regarded practitioner Russell Bowyer is "very approachable and business-focused." Sources particularly appreciate "the speed and quality of his advice," with one adding: "I can pick up the phone and know that I am going to get a response."

Significant clients Imperial Tobacco, Penn Pharmaceuticals, Renesas, Takeda, Penn Pharmaceuticals.

Litigation - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Reading

What the team is known for Technology-focused firm with a strong following from digital businesses. Strong track record on manufacturing, logistics and finance disputes. Highly eclectic roster of major name clients. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Breadth of services: "I think they are an excellent firm. There is little they can't do, and in the occasional situation where we are unable to use them due to a conflict, then they invariably give us a good steer to the right specialist in another firm. They provide us with everything we need."

Work highlights Advised an electronics manufacturer on contract and retention of title issues arising from Comet's administration.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Peter Sheppard specialises in technology, telecoms and financial services disputes. Interviewees simply describe him as "highly impressive."

Associate Dawn Troman has particular expertise in the technology sector and acts for suppliers, users and IT consultancies. She handles High Court claims as well as arbitral proceedings.

Significant clients Data Select, Epicor, Leasedrive, Davies Group, DFE.

Real Estate - Thames Valley

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Reading 

What the team is known for Advises national house builders on all aspects of residential development projects. Also has strong links with corporate occupier clients, and expertise in property finance and investment.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The firm did a smashing job on a recent matter."

What's new? Appointed to the Taylor Wimpey national panel.

Notable practitioners

Elizabeth Sturgess is noted for her experience and expertise in advising a number of notable house builders on all aspects of residential development projects.

Clients state that Rebecca Clarke "knows her stuff" and is a "very commercial lawyer." She acts for corporate occupiers and investors on acquisitions and disposals, and also advises banks on funding issues.

Significant clients Barratt, Persimmon, Galliford Try, Barclays Bank, Pretty Green.

Capital Markets - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers 
- Office locations ranked: London

What the team is known for Acts for an impressive roster of AIM clients, focusing largely on more complex, high-value transactions at the upper end of the market. Also maintains strong relationships with leading institutions, such as NOMADs and investment banks. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "The quality of people and the work is always good."

Market standing: "They've always had a very good AIM offering."

Work highlights Acted for Digital Barriers with regard to a placing and acquisition programme that raised £10.4 million.

Assisted Carphone Warehouse Group with the disposal to Best Buy of its £800 million interest in a US mobile joint venture.

Notable practitioners  

The "excellent" Jonathan King is admired by sources, who highlight that he is "always very helpful," and the "quality of advice and work has always been exceptional." He acts as head of the firm's equity capital markets group, and led the team on the aforementioned fund-raising for Digital Barriers.

Significant clients Ultra Electronics Holdings, Avanti Communications, Investec, The UNITE Group, MITIE Group.

Construction - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Runs a varied practice across sectors such as solar and wind energy, utilities, education and waste. The team also has a burgeoning international presence.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Very thorough, very efficient and very professional."

Bench strength: "A good solid construction practice. I respect them as a team and as individuals." 

What's new? New clients include Barratt Developments, Siemens and Midas Group.

Work highlights Advising Ultra Electronics Airport Systems on various matters relating to the construction of two airports in Oman.

Acting for Mulberry on various matters relating to the construction of its new factory. 

Notable practitioners  

Senior associate Andrew Ash focuses on contentious construction and engineering disputes. He has notable expertise in the utilities and waste recycling sectors, amongst others. 

Significant clients MITIE Group, Capita Group, Wales & West Utilities, Amey UK, M&S.  

Data Protection - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Bristol and London

What the team is known for Long-established data protection team. Strong sector focus on digital businesses, financial services and energy.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team and the advice given have always been of a high quality."

Responsiveness: "Osborne Clarke is very prompt and proactive in helping me. It enables us to move quickly."

What's new? Former principal counsel and head of privacy in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Disney, Sue Gold has joined the team, strengthening its financial services capabilities and adding extra experience.

Work highlights Advising several of the companies involved in the case Fish Legal v ICO, which dealt with the question of whether water companies are subject to environmental information laws.

Assisting Everything Everywhere with the launch of its 4G services and its joint venture with Vodafone and O2 to create mobile payment company Weve. 

Notable practitioners  

Bristol-based James Mullock continues to impress market observers. "He is fantastic. He gives very good commercial, practical advice," says one client, and he is described as "user-friendly, very pragmatic and very responsive" by another.

Significant clients Air Canada, British Gas, Dell, Facebook, Weightwatchers.

Employee Share Schemes & Incentives - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Capable of assisting clients across the entire spectrum of share plan issues, including disguised remuneration. Noted for servicing clients from the digital business and retail sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "They were extremely creative and quick on their feet."

Technical ability: "I've always found the quality of the work and level of advice to be of a very high standard."

Work highlights Assisted the Mulberry Group with the implementation of a new equity incentive plan for senior management.

Advised Kewill on the share scheme implications of its takeover by Kinetic Bidco.

Notable practitioners  

Karen Cooper is recommended for both her "technical know-how" and her "familiarity with the market." Clients value her ability to provide practical advice, whilst peers commend the frequency with which she finds "workable solutions."

Associate Mairi Granville-George is best known for her work in the share schemes field. Clients praise her experience and knowledge base.

Significant clients Topps Tiles, Personal Group Holdings, The UNITE Group, Xerox, Digital Barriers.

Financial Services - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Recognised as a key player in non-contentious financial services matters, with a dedicated team of specialists focusing on investment funds, financial regulation and payments.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "I'm really pleased with what they do - they get things done and they execute in a timely manner."

Pragmatic advice: "The culture of their firm is providing down-to-earth practical and commercial advice."

Work highlights Advised Wirecard Card Solutions on its acquisition of Newcastle Building Society's prepaid cards division.

Advised the Payments Council in connection with the establishment of its Mobile Payments Transfer Service, intended to enable the development of mobile payment services.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Paul Anning focuses on non-contentious regulatory issues. He offers particular expertise in funds, payments and custody matters, and sources describe him as "very responsive and very amiable."

Significant clients Alpha Real, Wirecard, Everything Everywhere, Payments Council, Funding Circle. 

Investment Funds - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Making a name for itself in the real estate funds market with a significant expansion of its client base of late. Proficient across the full range of activity on behalf of funds, including restructuring, fundraising and regulatory guidance.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "Really good - they were always responsive, clear, commercial and pragmatic."

What's new? Client wins for the team include First Alliance Properties, Pramerica, Westminster Capital, Kingfisher, Gallium and Hargreaves Landsdown.  

Work highlights Worked with NESTA on the launch of a social impact fund, which had its first closing at £17.5 million.

Assisted Niam AB on the launch of its fifth private equity real estate fund, which was focused on the Nordic region and raised a total of EUR720 million.  

Notable practitioners  

Tim Simmonds is the recipient of enthusiastic feedback this year, with one client noting: "He is very service-oriented and makes us feel like we are his most important client." He has led on numerous significant mandates of late, including the formation of a results fund for key client Bridges Ventures. Sources also highlight his responsiveness and pragmatism.

Private equity funds partner Paul Anning acted on behalf of Notion Capital on the structuring, establishment and documentation of its second venture capital fund, which closed at £70 million.  

Significant clients Rockspring, Disruptive Capital, CD Capital, Alpha Real, Cordea Savills.

Media & Entertainment - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department
- 23 partners
- 53 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Extensive expertise in advertising and marketing, gaming, interactive content and social media matters. Assists blue-chip corporates, emerging companies and software developers with steering a profitable course amid ever-changing business conditions. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "We were looked after by a diligent, applied team that knew its subject inside out."

Industry knowledge: "They really understand the digital gaming sphere."

Work highlights Advised the independent shareholders of advertising agency agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty on the disposal of the remaining 51% of the company to Publicis Groupe.

Advised Wargaming, the developer of online gaming site World of Tanks, on privacy issues and a wholesale legal review of its website.

Notable practitioners

Consultant Stephen Groom co-chairs the firm's advertising and marketing group and is applauded by clients for his "excellent knowledge and understanding" of the sector. He is also a privacy and data protection specialist.

Nick Johnson concentrates for the most part on advertising and marketing law. He also undertakes e-commerce, gambling and sponsorship work. Market-leading sources refer to him as "one of the best in the industry."

Senior partner Tim Birt is a seasoned veteran of complex, strategic deals within the media and entertainment sector. One client said he found him a "go-to for sage counsel when things got rather serious."

Paul Gardner is steeped in computer games and interactive entertainment, and commands "enormous respect" from clients and peers alike for his pioneering work in the new media sector.

Significant clients Expedia, Everything Everywhere, Facebook, Nintendo, Virgin Media.

Outsourcing - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 8 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Known for its technology and IT expertise. Widely regarded for its role in large-scale offshoring projects, especially in acting for key Indian suppliers.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team is very personable, approachable and easy to get along with. They made the contract negotiation process for both parties a smooth one."

Technical ability: "I had great confidence in them on the technicalities of the contract, including various ancillary issues."

Work highlights Advised Marks & Spencer on outsourcing arrangements relating to its contract centre services.

Represented leading Indian outsource company Tech Mahindra in an IT outsourcing dispute.

Notable practitioners  

John Buyers focuses his practice on advising financial and insurance institutions. Sources say: "We have trust and confidence in him. He not only understands the legal terms, but knows how they can be implemented."

Significant clients ALD, Ark Continuity, Citibank, Nutricia, First Utility.

Pensions Litigation - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Recommended office locations: Bristol

What the team is known for Well-regarded practice able to handle a mixture of non-contentious pensions issues and pensions litigation. Has an excellent reputation for assisting representative beneficiaries on rectification claims. Regularly involved in professional negligence cases and Pensions Regulator actions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They attract high-quality cases which historically would have tended to go to the London firms."

Bench strength: "They have a strong offering for litigation." 

Work highlights Acted for the representative beneficiary in litigation relating to Gleeds Retirement Benefits Scheme concerning the validity of a number of amendments that were made to the scheme.

Advised Temple Trustees, the independent trustee appointed by the Pensions Regulator for the SS White Pension Plan, on a professional negligence action against former advisers concerning a failed attempt to convert the scheme from a final salary to a money purchase plan. 

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Hazlett "has a lot of experience and is a very sound technical pensions lawyer," according to interviewees. He has a particular focus on representative beneficiary work.

Significant clients Towers Watson, Scottish Widows, The Environment Agency, Transport for London, Arab Banking Corporation International Bank.

Private Equity - UK-wide

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

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its active venture capital practice, and also has a growing private equity transactional practice. Sectors of particular expertise include digital business and technology, energy and natural resources, and financial services.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They have real expertise on private equity deals."

Technical ability: "They are professional and produce very good work."

What's new? Mark Spinner joins the team from Eversheds.

New clients include Mobeus Equity, Westminster Growth Capital, Oxford Capital and Jabil Circuit.

Work highlights Represented LDC in further funding rounds in A-Gas, provided to fund overseas acquisitions by A-Gas.

Advised Sovereign Capital on its acquisition of Tessella for £18 million.

Notable practitioners  

Alisdair Livingstone is "highly calm under pressure" and has "huge depth of experience," market sources report. He advised Growth Capital on the MBO of Iglu.com.

Greg Leyshon advises private equity houses and companies on a range of transactions. He is head of markets at the firm.

The "highly impressive" Robert Wood advised Mobeus Private Equity on the MBO of the Matrix Group, and subsequently on the acquisition of Tessella. He is experienced in advising clients on venture capital transactions.

Mark Spinner is highly regarded for his expertise on private equity transactions. Sources praise his experienced and effective approach to advising clients.

Significant clients August, Highland, Foresight, Disruptive Capital, Business Growth Fund.

Public Procurement - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers  

What the team is known for A broad procurement practice that covers both advisory and contentious work for clients from the real estate, utilities and rail industries as well as public sector agencies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They've always been very on the ball and very up to date. They give you a feeling of confidence."

Work highlights Acted successfully for London Borough of Hounslow, as defendant, on a challenge brought by AG Quidnet Hounslow regarding the development of Hounslow town centre.

Notable practitioners  

Catherine Wolfenden is highly regarded for her experience of the regulated industries and knowledge of procurement law. Peers and clients describe her as having "specialist knowledge" and being "well versed in the law" without detracting from commercial concerns.

Significant clients Babcock, Eversholt Rail, Apollo Property Services, Environment Agency.

Retail - UK-wide

What the team is known for Renowned for its IP and e-commerce practices, and receives a significant number of instructions relating to brand protection and IP litigation work. Particularly active on corporate transactions, franchising and store acquisitions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "The team is incredibly reliable, as is its advice. It always gives us full attention and priority."

Commercial awareness: "It is the most commercial firm I've worked with. It has always had a good balance advising on legal aspects of what's required, and can also frame it in a commercial way."

What's new? New clients include Claire's Accessories, White Stuff and Halfords.

Work highlights Represents Marks & Spencer in the highly publicised trade mark infringement claim brought by Interflora, relating to Google AdWords.

Acts for longstanding client Carphone Warehouse on the £800 million sale of its interest in its US joint venture with Best Buy and the following return of capital.

Notable practitioners  

Kalpesh Tanna and Dolf Darnton co-head the retail group and are the main contacts.

Significant clients Mulberry, French Connection, Carphone Warehouse, Marks & Spencer, Pretty Green.

Telecommunications - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 10 partners
- 22 associates
- Recommended office locations: London, Bristol

What the team is known for Represents clients in CAT and patent litigation. Increasingly active in advising on spectrum licensing issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Clarity: "They are great and personable, and are able to put things in layman's terms."

Expertise: "I have had instances where I just called on them and they could advise based on their knowledge and experience. It is useful to have them look up contracts and compare and contrast with others they have done in the past."

Work highlights Negotiated an agreement relating to 'cloud' data access and back-up services on behalf of Everything Everywhere.

Advised Avanti Communications on its £75 million placing for the launch of a new satellite. 

Notable practitioners  Ray Berg is a key contact. 

Significant clients Cable & Wireless, Motorola, TalkTalk, Virgin Media.

Since publication, Angus Finnegan has joined Reed Smith LLP

Transport - UK-wide

Basic facts about the department

- 11 partners
- Office locations ranked: Bristol 

What the team is known for Primarily recognised for its franchising practice. Also involved in significant rolling stock mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Definitely strong on the commercial side. They take a wider view of the client's position, display good sector knowledge and bring people in when required."

Work highlights Acted for Arriva on its bid for the Great Western passenger rail franchise.

Advised XC Trains on agreements connected to the conversion of diesel trains to operate on both diesel and electric fuel sources.

Notable practitioners  

Lara Burch is a key figure at the firm and head of the rail practice. "She is very experienced and well briefed on issues affecting the industry and our business," suggest market sources.

Clive Smith is a finance lawyer focused on the rail industry, who earns commendation for his rolling stock work.

Significant clients Eurostar, Eversholt Rail, Invensys Rail, Transport for London, CrossCountry Trains.