Fladgate LLP has continued to be highly rated by Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2013, with a number of the firm’s partners ranked as leading individuals.
Commentary: In addition to acting on high-profile redevelopments of mixed-use sites, this firm is expanding further into the energy sector. The team receives instructions on a number of wind, biomass and waste-to-energy projects. The firm’s top-level clients include Odeon Cinemas, Weltec Biopower and Hitachi Zosen Inova. Alan Erwin is described by clients as “exceedingly conscientious, even with very complicated matters.” He has particular experience acting for German, Austrian and Swiss clients on such matters as biomass plants, waste sorting plants and prefabricated houses. The “absolutely superb” Gillian Birkby heads the firm’s construction team. Her recent work includes advice on the design and construction of a number of high-value waste-to-energy projects across the UK.
Leading individuals: Alan Erwin, Gillian Birkby
Corporate/M&A: Lower Mid-Market: London
Commentary: This firm focuses its practice towards internationally active entrepreneurial clients, completing deals in 2011 across Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. The group is well known for its work in publishing and other media but also has strength in other sectors like real estate, leisure and resources. Their ability to get deals done is well recognised by clients, who comment: “They are clever guys, but their great attribute is their ability to find a solution when problems arise.” Such skills were vital when the team was called upon to advise Green Pilgrim on the purchase of Plymouth Argyle FC.
Known to “drive deals over the finish line,”Anthony Vaughan has extensive experience within the area of corporate hotels and leisure. Recent highlights include acting for Akkeron Hotels Group with regards to the expansion of the client’s business through the acquisition of a number of hotels. According to clients, Jeremy Whiteson is “very responsive” and “very pleasant to deal with.” He recently assisted fellow partner Anthony Vaughan on the Akkeron transaction.
Leading individuals: Anthony Vaughan, Jeremy Whiteson
Employment: mainly respondent
Commentary: Nicholas Tsatsas of Fladgate LLP “combines strategic legal oversight with the ability to delve into the granular,” impressed clients say. He recently advised Green Pilgrim on the acquisition of Plymouth Football Club.
Leading individuals: Nick Tsatsas
Commentary: Clients find that the IT group at Fladgate provides “outstanding commercial advice,” and that the lawyers’ “wealth of experience has paid dividends.” The team acts for buyers and suppliers of IT services, and handles the full range of related contract, commercial and transactional work. Key areas of expertise include cloud computing and data protection. Clients include Cambridge Assessment, Jubilee Managing Agency and Sovereign Business Integration. Anthony Lee is a technology lawyer specialising in IP law, data protection and e-commerce matters. He advises private and public sector clients, suppliers and purchasers, on all manner of commercial and corporate IT transactions.
Leading individuals: Anthony Lee
Investment Funds: Real Estate
Commentary: This firm has extensive experience in real estate funds work in both onshore and offshore jurisdictions, and has also developed expertise in alternative investments and unregulated funds. Clients find that it offers a committed, personalised service: “They come across as something of a ’boutique’ firm and one which is very loyal to long-standing clients.” The team has recently advised Marchmont Investment Management on a £31 million portfolio investment in retail, commercial and light industrial real estate. Other notable clients include Tritax Securities, GMD Developments and Equiom Trust Company. Co-head of the firm’s investment group, Ella Leonard has a background in corporate law ensuring that she is able to advise clients on corporate structuring as well as M&A work. She also has expertise in Islamic finance law, often working with Middle Eastern clients. Clients find that “she is excellent and has good market and regional knowledge.” Philip Turner is the other co-head of the firm’s investment group. Clients feel “he will always go the extra mile for clients. Anyone we have referred him to always comes back with positive things to say.” He specialises in real estate investment and is especially proficient at advising on tax-efficient offshore structures.
Leading individuals: Ella Leonard, Philip Turner
Commentary: Grant Gordon of Fladgate LLP is praised by sources for his knowledge of the online gaming world and his wide network of contacts in disparate jurisdictions. The firm’s clients include CT Networks, Mandalay (incorporating Costa Bingo and City Bingo), Midos, Mind Sports Partners and Quiz Show Bingo Gaming. The firm was retained as an adviser to CT Networks – a game development company headquartered on the Isle of Man – for the period up to and including its acquisition by Paddy Power.
Leading individuals: Grant Gordon
Media & Entertainment: Music: Contentious
Commentary: Lawrence Abramson has built a good reputation for his music work, especially in music rights litigation. He is lauded for his technical prowess and for being “collaborative rather than prescriptive.” Clients speak of him as “quick, cost-effective and thorough” in his dealings.
Leading individuals: Lawrence Abramson
Commentary: Mark Harnett of Fladgate LLP offers clients “steadfast attention to detail against tight deadlines,” and is “really on the ball – he personally drives things with proactive management whilst understanding the intricacies.”
Leading individuals: Mark Harnett
Commentary: Fladgate LLP’s David Way is known as a “very senior heavy hitter.” He advises both private clients and businesses on tax and estate issues.
Leading individuals: David Way
Real Estate: Mainly Mid-Market
Commentary: Fladgate has a strong presence on mid-market real estate transactions in the London market, and also houses notable expertise in the hotels and leisure sector. One particular highlight for the firm has been its representation of Hitachi in the design and construction of energy-from-waste plants in the UK; to date, the value of the matters undertaken exceeds £3 billion. Richard Kaufman is hugely experienced in property investment and finance, and regularly advises overseas investors on their forays into the UK market. These include Israeli property investors, which is aided by his fluency in Hebrew. Recent work highlights include acting for a Swiss trust on its £20.1 million purchase of The Circus, Manchester, and assisting with the firm’s recent advice to Hitachi.
Leading individuals: Stephen Lewis, Richard Kaufman
Real Estate: Hotel
In the hotel and leisure sector, the firm advises a diverse client base including Akkeron, Esporta, Odeon and Starbucks. Clients highlight the team’s “knowledge of the relevant law, efficiency, practicality, common sense and reliability.” Stephen Lewis recently joined the firm from Finers Stephens Innocent. He specialises in hotel and leisure sector work, which has previously seen him advise clients on hotel acquisitions and casino-related matters. Anthony Vaughan has been advising Akkeron on its acquisition of ten hotels from the administrators of Butterfly Hotels and Crowne Hotels. Sources say that he is “commercial and intelligent with a good client touch.”
Leading individuals: Stephen Lewis, Anthony Vaughan
Real estate litigation
Commentary: This firm’s real estate litigation team is commended by sources for its “efficiency, practicality and common sense.” It handles a full range of landlord and tenant, development and insolvency-related matters, and the group recently acted for Fenkle Street LLP on securing vacant possession of a site in Newcastle prior to a hotel development. The team also advised the administrators of 44 Little Chef service stations on a host of property issues.
Alison Mould heads the team and is praised by sources for her “broad and deep knowledge of her subject, combined with a well-honed combative attitude, sensibly qualified by practical common sense.” She handles all aspects of property litigation and arbitration. Janet Keeley handles real property disputes as part of a wider commercial litigation practice. Her property dispute practice encompasses the full range of landlord and tenant matters and associated professional negligence.
Leading individuals: Alison Mould, Janet Keeley
Commentary: Fladgate maintains a broad-ranging involvement in the sports sector and continues to advise a wide array of sport clients on all their legal needs. The group is perhaps best known for its advice on sponsorship, image rights, IP issues and commercial transactions, especially in the motor racing industry. It has a long-standing relationship with the Force India Formula One Team, acting for it in High Court proceedings against Team Lotus F1 regarding an alleged case of copyright infringement. Mark Buckley is the head of Fladgate’s sports practice group.