Fladgate LLP has continued to be highly rated by Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2014, with a number of the firm’s partners ranked as leading individuals.
What the team is known for: A wide practice particularly active in waste to energy projects, property development for retail, hotels and student accommodation, and construction-related health and safety issues.
Strengths: Client service: “We’re very pleased. They worked very hard – they worked all hours to make it happen, and were very on top of it.” Technical ability: “Good solid team, quite specialist, and they know what they’re doing.”
What’s new?: New clients include Base Contracts and Equitix.
Work highlights: Acted for a joint venture sponsor on the construction of a £70 million student accommodation development to be let by the University of Southampton.
Notable practitioners: The “fantastic” Gillian Birkbyassists all manner of clients with construction-related contracts and disputes. She heads the firm’s construction department. Alan Erwinis praised for his technical ability and clients appreciate that they are “always kept informed as to progress on issues.” He has considerable experience in advising on construction contracts.
Significant clients: Ash Estates, Association for Project Safety, Architype, Cathedral Group, Karis Developments.
Leading individuals: Gillian Birkby, Alan Erwin
Corporate/M&A: Lower Mid-Market
What the team is known for: Has a good reputation on cross-border M&A transactions and expertise in the hotel and leisure, energy and publishing sectors.
Strengths: Clarity: “The advice is clear, accurate and dynamic.” Client service: “In one word: excellent!”
Work highlights: Represented the shareholders of Cryptocard in the sale of the company to SafeNet. Represented Touchstone Gold on its business combination with Atlantis Gold Mines and on its re-domiciliation from the British Virgin Islands to Ontario, Canada. Advised publisher Taylor and Francis on the acquisition of the Health Science and Higher Education portfolios of Hackette UK.
Notable practitioners: Anthony Vaughan has “an amazing commercial brain,” is “highly passionate about what he does” and is “highly supportive,” impressed clients say. He focuses on advising clients in the leisure industry on matters including M&A transactions and restructuring.
Significant clients: Downing Corporate Finance, Hamilton Bradshaw, Informa, Splendid Hotel Group, Toumaz.
Leading individuals: Anthony Vaughan
Lawyers ranked: Nicholas Tsatsas of Fladgate LLP boasts a diverse employment practice that spans the financial services, retail and technology sectors. Peers consider him to be a “very sensible opponent who doesn’t waste the time or the money of his clients.”
Leading individuals: Nicholas Tsatsas
Lawyers ranked: Sophia Purkisrecently joined Fladgate LLP from Kingsley Napley. Sources say that she is “particularly good at long and strategically difficult cases,” and has an “incredible ability to stay on top of large amounts of detail.”
Leading individuals: Sophia Purkis
Hotels & Leisure
What the team is known for: Expertise in corporate, commercial and real estate matters, with an emphasis on development. Acts for a range of clients, including hotel chains, restaurants, unbranded boutique hotels, pub companies, operators, financiers and developers.
What’s new?: Stephen Lewisjoins from Finers Stephens Innocent.
Work highlights: Acted on Splendid Hotel Group’s sales of the InterContinental Hotel Westminster development and the Hilton Bankside development site in Southwark. Advised Isle de France on a management agreement with the Oetker Collection, and on Oetker Collection’s acquisition of an equity stake through share purchase and subscriptions.
Notable practitioners: Anthony Vaughanis a key contact.
Significant clients: Akkeron Hotels, Cadbury House Hotel, Hush Brasseries, Sanguine Hospitality, X Leisure.
What the team is known for: Handles a broad spectrum of technology work on behalf of suppliers and customers of services and systems. Areas of focus include complex outsourcing and procurement projects, software licensing agreements, data protection, digital media, e-commerce and social media matters.
Work highlights: Represented Sahara Force India Formula One Team in a copyright action involving UUID codes and CAD file construction histories with regard to wind tunnel technology systems.
Notable practitioners: Eddie Powellis a key contact.
Significant clients: BGO Entertainment, Episys, Database Group, Digital Cinema Media, Force India Formula One Team.
Investment Funds: Real Estate
What the team is known for: Advises on a diverse range of funds matters and is particularly well-recognised for its work on the real estates funds side. Proficient in matters relating to onshore and offshore funds. Able to advise on regulatory, tax and compliance issues across multiple jurisdictions.
Strengths: Market standing: “Fantastic team – very proactive – they are big on their wider network and they bring more to the table than pure legal service.” Client service: “A highly professional and cohesive firm providing the necessary support from other departments to produce a rounded service at a reasonable price.”
Work highlights: Advised Marchmont Investment Management on the creation of a new investment vehicle. Acted for the trustees of the Tritax Accor Hotels Unit Trust on the refinancing of a fund structure for £49.4 million.
Notable practitioners: Ella Leonard was mandated by Al Anwa to advise on the refinancing of Elm House for £10 million. She is described as “a delight to work with,” and “excellent – very practical in approach and sympathetic to clients’ needs.” The “extremely perceptive and knowledgeable” Philip Turneris well liked by clients, who are keen to highlight his hard-working and collaborative nature, as well as his provision of a “highly personal partner-led service.”
Significant clients: Al Anwa, City Fund Management, Equiom Trust Company, Roebuck Capital Investments, Jubilee Financial Products.
Lawyers ranked: Grant Gordonleads Fladgate LLP’s betting and gaming practice and is noted for his extensive experience of cross-border corporate work and his knowledge of gaming technology.
Leading individuals: Grant Gordon
Firm ranked: Highly regarded
Lawyers ranked: Head of department at Fladgate LLP, Mark Harnettis singled out by clients for his ability to bring to negotiations “real insight from his past experience. Mark did a sterling job for us and is extremely insightful, commercial and practical.”
Leading individuals: Mark Harnett
Lawyers ranked: David Wayof Fladgate LLP maintains a broad tax and estate practice. Sources say of him: “His advice is always clear and he gets to the point quickly without making a meal of the issues.”
Leading individuals: David Way
Lawyers ranked: Simon Brewof Fladgate LLP is noted for his commerciality and works with both claimants and defendants from a range of professions.
Leading individuals: Simon Brew
Real Estate: Mainly Mid Market
What the team is known for: Known for representing high net worth individuals and private family trusts. Also recognised for property matters in the hotels and leisure sector and for corporate real estate work.
Strengths: Client service: “Clear, accurate, dynamic, reactive. In one word: excellent!” Commercial awareness: “We get value because they close deals: they are good closers.”
Work highlights: Acted for a private family trust on the acquisition of a joint venture company owning Marks & Spencer’s Castle Donnington distribution centre. Acted for Cathedral Group on the £78 million mixed-use development and regeneration of Caxton Street North and Hoy Street in Canning Town.
Notable practitioners: Richard Kaufmanspecialises in investment and finance. He has particular expertise in acting for Israeli investors and speaks fluent Hebrew.
Significant clients: Bondcare Group, Finzels Reach, Hitachi Zosen Inova, ING Real Estate Development, Starbucks.
Leading individuals: Richard Kaufman
Real Estate Finance
What the team is known for: Focuses on financing transactions for clients across a range of industry sectors, including residential housing, student accommodation, healthcare and charities. Also has expertise in portfolio acquisitions and tax and offshore finance structures.
Strengths: Problem solving: “They are consistently proactive in their approach, providing solutions rather than problems to complex issues. They seem to have a natural ability to go straight to the heart of any issues, analyse the situation and provide very good advice.” Client service: “The speed of response and accessibility of the team is excellent.”
Work highlights: Advised 4C Hotel Group in relation to the Holiday Inn Express, Earls Court, which was restructured in terms of ownership and debt. Advised Downing on the purchase of mixed-use property Baron House, Newcastle, which is to be redeveloped as a Hampton by Hilton hotel under the business property renovation allowance (BPRA).
Notable practitioners: Kim McMurrayhas built up a strong reputation in this field. Clients find her “very approachable and professional,” further commenting: “The level of service and support is first-class and her ability to effectively project manage often complex transactions is consistently impressive.”
Significant clients: Akkeron Hotels, Bank of Ireland, Development Bank of Singapore, Downing Corporate Finance, Sanguine Hospitality.
Leading individuals: Kim McMurray
Real Estate Litigation
What the team is known for: Represents a broad client base, from commercial landlords and housing developers to non-profit organisations and private individuals. Handles commercial litigation alongside the firm’s planning and construction practices.
Strengths: Client service: “They all get on with the job and do their best to take the pressure off me as the instructing client; at the same time I am always kept informed as to progress on issues that they may be dealing with.” Responsiveness: “The really good thing about Fladgate is that if the partner’s not there, there’s always someone who’s covering the work: you never get an out-of-office message.”
What’s new?: Thekla Fellasjoined the firm from DAC Beachcroft in 2013.
Work highlights: Advised Allsops on a multiparty dispute over a property which requires substantial and costly structural repairs. Responsibility for the repairs is contested and centres around the analysis of numerous documents spanning three decades. Advised the landlords of 44 service station sites formerly occupied by Little Chef, now in administration, over a range of issues relating to the insolvency.
Notable practitioners: Alison Mouldis lauded by clients for her “approachable” manner, and acclaimed for being “very supportive” and “extremely good in meetings.” She has recently led on landlord advisory work regarding Little Chef, and has acted on several other insolvency-related cases. The “impressive” Janet Keeleyis noted by sources for her “very sensible” approach to litigation. She has comprehensive experience of advising on the full range of real estate disputes and has recently led on rent review and professional negligence-related work. Thekla Fellasis described by sources as being a “very commercial, very robust” litigator who “fights her client’s corner.” She joined from DAC Beachcroft in 2013, where she acted for Rothschild Trust on a high-value damages claim over a Kensington apartment against tenants Point West London.
Significant clients: British Steel Pension Fund, Odeon Cinemas, Origin Housing, Save the Children, The Trustees of the Estate of the Lord Brockett.