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Charles Russell LLP


Charles Russell LLP - London
  • Compass House
  • Lypiatt Road
  • Cheltenham
  • Gloucestershire
  • UK
  • GL50 2QJ
  • Senior Partner Christopher Page
  • Number of partners 90
  • Other fee-earners 282
  • Total staff 613

THE FIRM Charles Russell LLP is a leading law firm based in London with regional and international offices providing a wide range of services to companies, institutions and indiviuals, both nationally and internationally. They have a particular focus on certain sectors: charities and not-for-profit, energy and natural resources, family, financial services, healthcare and lifesciences, private wealth, property, retail and leisure, sports and TMT. The firm’s proposition is to provide highly commercial, wide-view advice in its areas of specialism. Charles Russell is experienced in carrying out cross-border assignments, and is a member of two major non-exclusive law firm networks, ALFA International and the Association of European Lawyers (AEL). Services are integrated across the firm’s three UK and two international offices: London, Bahrain, Cheltenham, Geneva and Guildford, and are provided by highly motivated and talented people. This is a firm with a long history but a clear vision of their future. Their history and heritage means they’re about the long term. It’s how the firm prefers to work with clients. But Charles Russell is totally in tune with today’s world. They bring the same diligence, genuine care, and personal commitment, irrespective of whether they’re working with private clients or commercial organisations. They’re people people. Energetic, entrepreneurial and innovative. They have a ‘both feet in’ mentality, drive and dynamic legal judgement that makes them totally trusted advisers.And clients know the firm is ‘there for them’ with whatever’s needed to get them to where they need to be.

Charities & Not-for-Profit: Educational, religious, environmental, medical, arts and other charities, professional bodies and institutions.
Energy & Natural Resources: Mining companies, the oil and gas industry, clean-tech companies, and those that invest in them, in particular in emerging markets. Family: Individuals, both in the UK and overseas and intermediaries, such as IFA’s, accountants, banks, doctors and counsellors.
Financial Services: Charles Russell advise investment and private banks, debt funds, asset and fund managers, pension funds, family offices and senior executives in financial institutions on a wide range of issues such as property finance, acquisition finance, corporate debt restructuring, emerging markets equity investments and finance, fund structuring, regulatory advice, Islamic finance, complex fraud litigation, corporate immigration and employment.
Healthcare & Life Sciences: Pharmacy and pharmaceutical companies, pharmacists, care home providers, dentists, vets and other healthcare providers and representative bodies.
Private Wealth: High net worth individuals and their businesses in the UK and internationally, entities associated with them (such as companies, funds, partnerships and trusts) and their intermediary advisers (such as family offices, private banks, accountants and asset managers).
Property: International private and institutional property investors, banks, social housing providers, SIPPS advisers, corporate occupiers and developers.
Retail & Leisure: High street retailers, leisure suppliers, fashion houses, fashion supply chain, restaurants, leisure suppliers. Sports: Sports regulatory bodies, sponsors, sports clubs, individual sportsmen and women.
TMT: Telecoms providers, clean-tech companies, IT companies, Government departments and foreign governments.
Corporate/Commercial: The group advises on a wide range of issues, including flotations,M&As, outsourcing, venture capital financing, banking, institutional funding arrangements, MBOs and MBIs, all commercial contracts, business start-ups, tax, joint ventures and EU and competition issues.
Corporate Recovery & Insolvency: The group handles the full range of corporate recovery, restructuring, business support and insolvency requirements for insolvency practitioners, SME’s, FTSE listed companies, factors and invoice discounters, individuals, commercial landlords, company directors, shareholders, banks and other financial organisations, as well as for borrowers themselves.
Employment & Pensions: Charles Russell has one of the largest employment and pensions teams in the UK, providing a comprehensive service. The team advises companies and organisations, as well as individuals, in this fast-changing area.
Intellectual Property: The team has expertise in all types of contentious and non-contentious work, including copyright, patents, trademarks, registered designs, database rights, passing off and confidential information.
Litigation & Dispute Resolution: The group handles all types of litigation, arbitration and mediation both in the UK and internationally. Members of the group have particular expertise in commercial disputes, sports regulation, judicial review and pharmacy law.

  • Charities & Not for Profit Michael Scott
  • Energy & Natural Resources Clive Hopewell
  • Family William Longrigg
  • Financial Services Eve Ellis, Jon Bond
  • Healthcare David Reissner
  • Private Wealth Bart Peerless
  • Property David Savage
  • Retail & Leisure Edward Craig
  • Sports Jon Ellis, Ian Lynam
  • TMT Vincenzo Lanni
  • Corporate & Commercial David Berry
  • Employment & Pensions Michael Powner
  • Litigation Duncan Elson
  • Cheltenham Richard Norton
  • Guildford Duncan Elson
  • Bahrain Patrick Gearon
  • Geneva Henry Fea


  • Buryfields House,
  • Bury Fields,
  • Guildford,
  • Surrey
  • UK
  • GU2 4AZ
  • Tel (01483) 252525
  • Fax (01483) 252550
  • DX 2436 Guildford 1
  • Compass House,
  • Lypiatt Road,
  • Cheltenham,
  • Gloucestershire
  • UK
  • GL50 2QJ
  • Tel (01242) 221122
  • Fax (01242) 584700
  • DX 7442 Cheltenham 1

Real Estate Litigation - National Leaders (outside London)

What the team is known for Noted practice covering the South of England through its network of offices. Stands out for work on property-related insolvencies and compulsory purchase orders. Regularly assists well-known retail clients with matters arising from their property portfolios. Clients include Nationwide Building Society, Diocese of Guildford, and NEC Europe. Ranked offices in Cheltenham and Guildford.

Notable practitioners

Peter Levaggi is the key contact.

Agriculture & Rural Affairs - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for Advises substantial estates, particularly with regard to the firm's specialisms in tax, trust and property matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Expert knowledge: "They are specialists in farm and estate transactions, and so understand all the issues." 

Client service: "They are very professional and give an excellent service."

Notable practitioners  

Christopher Page advises large landed estates, farms and rural business on tax and estate planning. A client describes him as "one of the best rural property lawyers of his generation." 

Christian Massey works on rural property transactions, with particular emphasis on the sale and purchase of landed estates. One client states that "he gives clients a good service and keeps everyone informed."

Significant clients Ernest Cook Trust, Ombersley Conservation Estate Trust.

Banking & Finance - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for High-quality advice to traditional and non-traditional lenders, including hedge funds and private individuals. Noted strength in renewable energy, aircraft finance and Middle Eastern finance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Outstanding. Charles Russell has a first-class reputation for working on complex assignments all over the world and delivering 'value-added' results for its clients."

Commercial awareness: "The firm's main strengths are their understanding of the market sector we are dealing with at the time, their wide ranging geographical jurisdiction and financial regulatory understanding, and their business-focused approach to the job in hand."  

Work highlights Advised Trifast on a variety of facilities in excess of £20 million, provided by HSBC.

Advised Capeview Capital regarding facilities for a power station project, with the overall capitalisation of £600 million. 

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Richard Norton is praised for his "technical knowledge, practical no-nonsense approach to his assignments, and willingness to go the extra mile for clients."  He led the team in the aforementioned work for Trifast.

Significant clients Clydesdale Bank, Zurich, Clearview Capital, Travelzest, Nationwide Building Society.

Charities - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for Full-service team providing market leading advice to a range of charitable bodies. Integrated approach, enabling the practice to provide expert IP, pensions and reputation management advice to third-sector clients, as well as core advice on incorporation, governance, property and employment matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "The firm is extremely efficient, quick to respond and considerate."   

Notable practitioners  

Christopher Page is considered to be a "highly intelligent lawyer who has a wide range of knowledge in this field and considerable relevant experience." He garners further acclaim for his "quietly spoken but authoritative demeanour" and ability to work effectively with all parties. He has recently handled matters encompassing governance, employment and property issues.

Significant clients The Ernest Cook Trust, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Haigh Housing Trust, The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, The Summerfield Charitable Trust.

Corporate/M&A - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners 
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for Often advises on airline industry matters. Also active in the renewable energy sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Expectation management is a major strength. They are realistic and pragmatic, and provide balanced advice."

Technical ability: "Experienced and mature advice on negotiation."

Work highlights Advised MGT Power on issues relating to the building of a £600 million renewables power station in Teesside.

Advised on Sector Aircraft Holdings' purchase of bmi regional from British Airways.

Notable practitioners

Richard Norton heads the department. Clients describe him as "extremely personable, a good listener and an excellent strategist, and his all-round business acumen has proven to be invaluable."

Francis Rundall is senior partner in the Cheltenham office. He specialises in M&A work.

Jonathan Morley's clients say: "He speaks from a background of experience and learning, and can see potential problems from a mile away." He advises a range of regional and national businesses.

Significant clients JPMorgan Cazenove, Zurich, Trifast, Travelzest, CapeView Capital.

Litigation - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for Popular South West team handling varied commercial disputes across a number of industries. Mandates include contractual and IP disputes and claims for negligence and breach of warranty.

What's new? Colin Gibson joined the team from Harrison Clark Rickerbys in April 2013. 

Work highlights Advising British IT effectiveness solutions firm 1E on a claim of infringement and unlawful interference with economic interests against Seattle-headquartered power management company Verdiem.

Advising Capita Solutions Group on a High Court breach of contract and forgery claim against LBM Marketing.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Scandrett has a broad range of experience in commercial litigation, employment, injunctions, defamation and aviation. He undertakes cross-border claims and frequently provides advice on US jurisdiction issues.

Colin Gibson has particular expertise in breach of contract claims, negligence claims and partnership disputes. He is also heavily involved in sports work.

Significant clients Cobham, TNT Post, Cleeve Hill Healthcare, Nova Capital Management, Duranton International. 

Planning - South West

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for Frequently instructed by local authorities and other public bodies on development matters. Acts in conjunction with the well-regarded private client and real estate teams.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Depth of knowledge on planning and property matters, quick and efficient turnaround on work, good communication and great to deal with."

Responsiveness: "They are very pragmatic and provide advice that is tailored to the client's needs. They provide a well-resourced service with quality advice, cost-effectively."

Work highlights Acted for a landowner on a proposed 137-dwelling development at Salford Road, Bidford-on-Avon.

Acted on the development of a 40-hectare holiday retreat at Cookswood Quarry for Somerset County Council and Mendip District Council.

Notable practitioners

Anne Bennett acts for local authorities on complex planning issues. Clients are quick to note her "concise and clear" advice.

Significant clients South Gloucestershire Council, Brett Aggregates.

Private Client - South West

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Cheltenham

What the team is known for Renowned for advising high net worth individuals, business clients and offshore trustees. Complex tax and trust matters form the backbone of the practice, especially in relation to landed estates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Practical service: "The technical knowledge of the partners is of the very highest standard, as is their solutions-based approach."

Empathy: "The firm provides excellent technical advice and sensitive and supportive presentation."

Notable practitioners 

Julia Cox brings a focus on cross-border trusts. Observers state that "she constantly delivers. She has a way of building a rapport and confidence from the first meeting – she is the consummate professional."

Senior partner Christopher Page routinely handles tax and estate matters for those with substantial agricultural interests, receiving praise from both peers and clients.

Real Estate - South West

Basic facts about the department

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

What the team is known for Frequently instructed by residential investment funds and SIPP trustees. Also active in the corporate occupier market, particularly for charity retailers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They walked us through all of the legal implications in very easy to understand terms. They spent a long time discussing our plans to make sure they knew what we wanted."

Client service: "They're down-to-earth; they always deal with you on a level you understand."

Work highlights Advised Isle of Wight Council on an agreement for a lease with The Crown Estate of an area of the sea bed for testing new wave and tidal energy systems.

Acted on the £30 million portfolio sale of apartment blocks in London and the South for Grosvenor Real Estate Investment Fund.

Notable practitioners

Ian Brothwood's clients include SIPP providers and landowners. Clients say: "He's very personable and approachable, and very good at explaining complex issues in simple language."

One of Jonathan Wilkinson's clients says he is "very approachable – he's more than happy to answer queries, be they generic or related to a specific case. What he offers is absolutely spot-on."

Significant clients Marie Curie Cancer Care, Morgan Lloyd, Fairbridge, Save the Children, Cantel Investments.

Real Estate Litigation - South West

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

What the team is known for The pre-eminent Cheltenham-based property disputes practice. Represents landlords when their tenants have gone into administration and has a strong reputation in the retail sector.

Work highlights Advised the landlord of Game's Oxford Street store following the retailer's administration. Successfully applied to the court for permission to forfeit on the landlord's behalf.

Notable practitioners  

David Marsden heads the department and is adept at handling commercial and residential property disputes. He has a particular focus on the retail sector.

Significant clients Nationwide Building Society, Trustees of Adlestrop Estate, Tracy Trayfoot, Phaze (UK), Andrie Lazari.