Fladgate LLP has continued to be highly rated by Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2009, with a number of the firm’s partners ranked as leading individuals.
Construction: Purchaser-led – Recommended
Commentary: Construction remains a significant feature of this firm, which fields lawyers covering the breadth of contentious and development work for a range of developers and funding bodies. It also boasts a range of contractors and consultants among its client base. Other clients include i360 in Brighton, which the team assisted with procurement and contracts for what will be the tallest observation tower in the city, and HDG Mansur Investment Services, which the lawyers advised on the mixed-use development of the former Courage Brewery site in Bristol. A leading figure at the firm for development work, Gillian Birkby acted on the Brighton deal and is considered an expert on health and safety issues. Alan Erwin led the team assisting HDG Mansur and is an experienced adviser on the procurement of construction and engineering projects, as well as a seasoned practitioner in the remediation of contaminated land. The team has close links to India, and is starting to use that area as a source of prestigious work.
Leading individuals: Gillian Birkby, Alan Erwin
Corporate Finance: AIM – Recommended
Corporate Finance: Mid-Market – Recommended
Commentary: Property and private client work remains a focus for this firm but its corporate output has also been on a steady rise over the past couple of years, acting for existing clients in addition to winning plenty of new names to the client list. It advised the shareholders of Twenty Twenty Productions on its sale to Shed Media, and was instructed by RREEF Real Estate on its acquisition of Four Pillars Hotel Group for over £100 million. It also worked with nominated adviser Grant Thornton and brokers Jermyn Capital Partners on the admission to AIM and share placing of UTV Motion Pictures, giving a market capitalisation of USD302 million. Tony Vaughan “shows great depth of understanding dealing with the AIM market” and has a reliable, steady of flow of work from loyal clients.
Leading individuals: Anthony Vaughan
Employment: mainly respondent – Recommended
Commentary: Nicholas Tsatsas moved from Michael Simkins LLP to head the employment team at Fladgate LLP in the summer of 2008. He will be advising more corporate clients and handling a greater amount of transactional work.
Leading individuals: Nicholas Tsatsas
Information Technology – Recommended
Commentary: Anthony Lee at Fladgate LLP “is a safe pair of hands” for heavy duty IT transactional work, typically acting on the buyer’s side.
Leading individuals: Anthony Lee
Investment Funds: Real Estate – Recommended
Commentary: Recommended in the market for its work on real estate funds, this London-based firm is active on a range of domestic and international matters. The group offers “a high-quality and well-rounded service, complete with extensive direct contact with partners”, and clients applaud the lawyers’ dedication to understanding and fulfilling their specific needs. In recent highlight work, the team assisted Tritax with the formation of a USD500 million collective investment scheme focused on property acquisitions in the Caribbean, and advised RREEF Real Estate on its acquisition of Four Pillars Hotel Group. Contributing to this firm’s excellent funds offering, Ella Leonard is respected for “her knowledgeable and innovative advice”, while fellow partner Philip Turner impresses sources with “his thorough grasp of funds matters and sharp focus on his clients’ needs”.
Private Client – Recommended
Commentary: David Way at Fladgate LLP is praised for his client care skills by commentators who remark that “he totally understands people and acts with their best interests at heart”. He is known for his work with entrepreneurs and regularly advises on multi-jurisdictional matters.
Leading individuals: David Way
Real Estate Litigation – Recommended
This team of two partners and three assistants handles the standard range of dilapidations, tenant defaults, landlord consent issues and lease renewals. The focus is on clients with substantial property portfolios, and includes a high volume of work arising from Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 lease renewals. It recently represented a landlord in a professional negligence action against a review that raised questions over the construction of the lease and the initial method of valuation. Clients are impressed with the “strong tactical awareness” of Alison Mould, as well as her ability to “keep you in touch with every aspect of communication with the other side”. Fellow partner Janet Keeley’s year has been occupied with a number of disputed break clauses. She recently advised an owner on a possession claim of a riverside property and the recovery of substantial rent arrears in the absence of any formal documentation.
Real Estate: Mid-Market – Recommended
Real Estate: Hotels & leisure – Recommended
Commentary: A “fantastic team” of 17 partners acts for a range of clients, including property funds and REITs, developers, hotel and leisure operators and domestic and international investors. In addition to developing its core property practice, the firm continues to strengthen its ancillary offerings in planning, construction, environment and litigation. Its involvement in several large, sophisticated deals demonstrates the group’s impressive capabilities; this includes work for Tritax on the formation of a £330 million offshore unit trust as a collective investment scheme for a pool of approximately 1,500 investors. Anthony Vaughan is applauded for his knowledge of the hotel and leisure industry.
Leading individuals: Anthony Vaughan (hotels and leisure)
Sport – Recommended
Commentary: Motor racing remains the sport for which the Fladgate team is best known, but in the past year the group successfully represented Crystal Palace FC in its high-profile claim for fraudulent misrepresentation against former manager Iain Dowie. Market sources value the team for its thorough understanding of sports rights issues, with “the outstanding quality” being the team’s “practical approach to challenges and to carrying out work”. Mark Buckley remains the outstanding individual and was described as “a heavy hitter with vast experience in the motor racing sector”.
Leading individuals: Mark Buckley