Founded in the late 1880s, our Leeds office attracts high-level work from the local market and corporations in the UK and overseas. We serve approximately 25% of the public companies headquartered in Yorkshire and the North East, giving us a leading presence in the regional business market.
Why Choose Us
Our reputation for exemplary service continues to be recognized, with the office regularly winning regional awards such as Corporate Law Firm of the Year, Corporate & Commercial Team of the Year, Corporate Recovery Team of the Year and Lawyer of the Year. We are also regularly ranked by Thomson Reuters, Mergermarket and Experian Corpfin as one of the top 10 law firms in the UK for volume of UK M&A deals.
We hold a market-leading position in the regional private equity market, acting for the key national private equity houses such as LDC, Business Growth Fund, ECI and Endless. We have been involved in some of the most significant deals in the local market, such as the LDC-backed MBO of Zyro and the Endless backed MBO of Adare. Acting for a number of clients internationally through the firm’s network of offices, we are seen as the “go to” firm in the region for international work and have been involved in numerous international transactions, such as the AU$23 million acquisition by Vp plc of TR in Australia and US$90 million offer by Coal of Africa for Universal Coal plc.
We have acted on some of the most significant M&A transactions in the region, including the £150 million disposal of Poundworld to TPG (a leading US private equity firm). The team continues to work for a number of long-established clients (both listed companies and family-owned regional businesses) in relation to their mergers and acquisitions, refinancings and joint ventures. The team has also been active in stock market-related work, representing Xeros Technology Group plc, Applied Graphene plc and Redhall Group plc on secondary fundraisings.
Our team has been singled out by The Legal 500 UK as “attractive for its national and international coverage.”
Our Litigation team are “very proactive and give sound, practical advice.” (Chambers UK) We are one of the leading banking and financial litigation practices in the country, with a reputation for attracting work of the highest quality from local, national and international businesses, as well as from high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs.
We are acting for Saudi, Omani, Singaporean and Russian clients in disputes in Cyprus, the Ukraine, Moscow, Panama, BVI and London, whilst also continuing to defend the interests of our local and national clients (e.g. acting for a quoted Yorkshire PLC in Texas and for a private Yorkshire company in Florida, Germany and France).
We act in both domestic high court litigation and in international arbitrations in London. The team also continues to develop its expertise in the niche areas of export control, defamation and international arbitration.
A series of highly innovative alternative dispute resolution-based models, which we introduced, have been adopted by some of the UK’s leading financial institutions and have been deployed across their panels. We are well-known for our use of advanced IT platforms and extranet sites which incorporate complicated algorithms to assess and evaluate individual cases. We have access to, and use, a state-of-the-art e-disclosure platform and various other bespoke IT support systems.
Tax Strategy and Benefits
Our three-partner team is noted for its “understanding of the issues and attention to detail” (The Legal 500 UK). We provide a wide range of tax services, both in the UK and internationally. Our work includes structuring corporate finance, real estate and financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and public finance, as well as employee share plans and private wealth issues. The team has a reputation for technical excellence, quality, pragmatism and innovation and is committed to the prompt delivery of decisive and practical solutions tailored to our clients’ needs. According to Chambers UK, clients value our lawyers for being “very entrepreneurial and flexible.”
We have one of the largest and most well-regarded pensions teams in the UK, and have been awarded Law Firm of the Year at the Pension and Investment Provider Awards 2016, having been highly rated in the criterias of performance, innovation and service standards.
In Leeds, our “very good and proactive” team (The Legal 500 UK) includes three partners, six lawyers and two practice support lawyers. Where additional support or specialist expertise is required, resource is drawn from our national Pensions team, which boasts over 50 lawyers and has experience of over 1,000 clients across all sectors, further supported by global colleagues with benefits and investment expertise in many jurisdictions.
Intellectual Property & Technology
Our dedicated Intellectual Property & Technology team is recognised in The Legal 500 UK. They advise on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters. This includes dealing with discrete ad-hoc queries; leading multi-disciplinary teams supporting major cross-jurisdictional projects and/or litigation; and advising on intellectual property protection, enforcement and exploitation strategies.
The “strong, responsive and personal” (The Legal 500 UK) Leeds Employment team acts for local, national and international clients across a range of sectors.
Working with our Immigration team and in-house HR consultancy, we have the ability and resource to serve your labour and employment needs whatever your issue, wherever you operate, whatever your line of business and whatever the size of your workforce. We act for FTSE 100 companies and owner-managed business and we will ensure that we match the right people to you and provide the correct level of service – whether a thorny grievance, a tribunal claim, a large restructuring, a TUPE transfer or an international reorganisation.
Banking and Finance
We advise on all aspects of financial services-related matters and have a wealth of experience acting for UK banks, corporate borrowers and other financial institutions in bespoke and committed facilities.
Our Financial Services & Regulatory team advises a wide range of retail and wholesale financial services businesses, including clients from the banking, funds, investment management, insurance, building society, broker dealer and IFA sectors, as well as intermediaries in the energy, investment and insurance sectors. We provide advice on legal documentation (terms and conditions, fund agreements, etc), regulatory advice (e.g. impact of changing financial regulation), conduct of business matters and anti-money laundering law and regulation.
We are well-established in this market and have been recognised by Chambers UK as having “local knowledge” and the ability to “punch above their weight.”
Restructuring and Insolvency
The Leeds Restructuring & Insolvency team (R&I) is led by two dedicated full-time restructuring and insolvency partners, each having over 25 years’ experience in this field. The breadth of experience within the team allows the department to provide a one-stop shop to service all R&I needs both locally and internationally, including contentious, non-contentious and property-related insolvency, restructuring, turnaround, debt sales and security reviews and enhancement. Unlike the vast majority of our competitors, we have a dedicated contentious offering which has an ever growing reputation nationally and now accounts for nearly half of the practice’s revenue.
Our R&I team have been commended for providing “tough, no nonsense advice.” (The Legal 500 UK)
Our Real Estate Practice comprises lawyers with expertise in the areas of property, planning and construction.
The partner led team advises in relation to a broad array of areas, including transacting in, and development of, real estate in the office, industrial, retail, private residential and student accommodation sectors, and advising clients in relation to regeneration projects, renewable energy and utilities, compulsory purchase and compensation matters.
We act for individual clients, corporates, PLCs, public bodies and real estate investment funds in Yorkshire, the UK and overseas.
Our Real Estate team is ideally positioned to advise on projects from the initial concept, through planning and, where necessary, appeal, acquisition, development, leasing, to ultimate disposal. We have experience in both one-off transactions, as well as medium- to long-term support with regards to the creation, ongoing management and/or disposition of significant portfolios.
- Winners of Law Firm of the Year, Small Cap Deal of the Year, Public Markets Deal of the Year and Private Equity Exit of the Year at the Rainmaker Awards, awarded by the Business Desk, Yorkshire, 2016.
- Winners of Professional Services Firm of 2016, awarded by Yorkshire Business Masters, the Business Desk.
- Corporate Law Firm of the Year, Yorkshire Business Insider, 2015.
- Deal of the Year, Yorkshire Business Insider, 2015.
- AIM Deal of the Year, Yorkshire Business Insider, 2015.
- Corporate & Commercial Team of the Year, Yorkshire Legal Awards, 2015.
- A Top 5 Law Firm in Yorkshire, with the Number 1 Online Presence in Leeds, Northern Lights, 2015.