Fladgate LLP has continued to be highly rated by Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2015, with a number of the firm’s partners ranked as leading individuals.
What the team is known for: Advises on engineering, building and development projects, alongside disputes. Significant and expanding focus on renewable energy projects, including issues relating to wind, solar and waste to energy.
Strengths: “They compare very favourably against other firms in regard to value for money and level of service.”
What’s new? Alan Woolston has joined the practice from Field Fisher Waterhouse.
Work highlights: Advised Viacom International Media Networks on the refurbishment of its London headquarters, in Camden. Acted for Hitachi Zosen Inova on the design and construction of several waste to energy plants in the UK.
Notable practitioners: Practice head Gillian Birkby advises a range of clients on the drafting of contracts and contract-related disputes. She has recently been instructed by a number of high-profile clients in arbitrations and projects work. Alan Erwin specialises in transactional matters, specifically acting for clients on the negotiation and drafting of construction and engineering contracts. He is “one of the most methodical lawyers I’ve come across,” notes an observer. Alan Woolston handles both non-contentious and dispute avoidance work. He is well versed in advising on high-value projects work.
Significant clients: Association for Project Safety, Base Contacts, Becks Interiors, British Steel Pension Fund, Construction Industry Council.
Corporate/M&A: Lower Mid-Market
What the team is known for: A growing firm with a specialism in representing high net worth individuals. Acts across a broad swathe of corporate matters in the UK and internationally on both public and private deals.
Strengths: “They are very professional and they come up with the goods.”
Work highlights: Advised Flagship Food Group, a US entity, on its purchase of Atlantic Foods Group. Worked with insurer and reinsurer Barbican Group on its purchase of Seacurus, a marine broker.
Notable practitioners: Anthony Vaughan is highly thought of by peers for his corporate practice, which features expertise in hotel and leisure matters. He is a highly experienced figure, with some 35 years as a solicitor under his belt.
Significant clients: Adventurous Journeys, Isle de France Group, LiteBulb Group, Random House, Sanguine Hospitality.
Leading individuals: Anthony Vaughan
Commentary: Nicholas Tsatsas of Fladgate LLP heads the firm’s practice. He regularly advises on the employment aspects of transactions as well as handling general advisory and litigation work. He recently advised MWW on its acquisition of Parys Communications.
Leading individuals: Nicholas Tsatsas
Commentary: Steven Mash of Fladgate LLP has impressive experience in fraud disputes. His litigation expertise is complemented by his arbitration practice. Sophia Purkis of Fladgate LLP has a growing reputation in the fraud arena. She recently acted for a defendant involved in the Innovator and Keydata claims.
Hotels & Leisure
What the team is known for: Represents a broad array of clients, including significant hotel chains, luxury resorts, leisure facilities and restaurant groups. Offers international expertise and experienced in handling cross-border transactions in Europe.
Strengths: “Thorough and accessible. They have a good breadth of experienced partners and all the necessary specialists.”
What’s new?: Recent client wins include Chorus Group.
Work highlights: Assisted real estate investor group Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners with the sale of the Hotel Saint-Barth Isle De France to Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Represented Chorus Group in its construction contract related to the completion of the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard, London.
Notable practitioners: Partner Julian Lewis is a hotels and leisure specialist and a key contact.
Significant clients: Akkeron Hotels, Eccleston Square Hotel, Hilton Worldwide, Sanguine Hospitality, Odeon Cinemas.
Investment Funds: Real Estate
What the team is known for: Credible offering in the real estate funds sector, also regularly generating mandates to act on public and private closed-end funds. Recognised for its capacity to advise on the observance of FCA and AIFMD rules. Also handles the purchase and disposal of real estate fund portfolios.
Strengths: “They’re good: there are things that they are very well placed to advise on. They can also pull together other advisers and elements, which is key for us.”
Work highlights: Acted for Tritax Securities on the launch of its prime distribution income fund, which raised approximately £20 million. Advised Tritax on the formation of a £16 million fund designated for the forward funding of the development of an office building in Aberdeen.
Notable practitioners: Ella Leonard is able to handle a variety of funds matters, including those with Islamic finance elements, thanks to her previous experience working in the Middle East. She works regularly for major corporations and is often called upon to act in real estate-related transactions. Philip Turner has an established funds practice, which caters successfully to a range of clients such as high net worth individuals and fund promoters. His practice mainly focuses on investment property.
Significant clients: The Equivest Alliance, SCM Private, City Fund Management, Morgan Capital Partners, Marchmont Investment Management.
Leading individuals: Ella Leonard, Philip Turner
Firm ranked: Highly regarded
Commentary: Mark Harnett of Fladgate LLP is singled out by clients for his ability to provide “very precise, in-depth strategic and commercial advice. We get a very prompt turnaround and attention – if you want partner service on something that’s tricky I’d definitely go to Mark.”
Leading individuals: Mark Harnett
Commentary: David Way of Fladgate LLP is “very clever” and “will always give a clear answer,” according to commentators. He has a wealth of experience in advising domestic and international clients on cross-border estate planning and tax issues.
Leading individuals: David Way
Commentary: Simon Brew heads the professional negligence department at Fladgate LLP. He acts for both defendants and claimants in high-value and complex financial negligence claims. He is regarded as “thoughtful and measured” by market sources. He acted on behalf of the former directors of ESG Group in an £8 million negligence claim relating to their actions as directors.
Leading individuals: Simon Brew
Real Estate: Mainly Mid Market
What the team is known for: Well regarded in the private client and family trusts investment space. Growing practice acting for institutional investors and bank lenders. Also acts for retailers and leisure sector operators.
Strengths: “We find them very responsive and understanding of our business. They understand the commercial implications of the legal points; they offer solutions rather than just bringing us problems.” “They’ve really protected me and given me good advice when I needed it.”
What’s new?: New client wins include Santander UK, Soho Estates and Japan Foundation.
Work highlights: Advised Cathedral Group on its £78 million Canning Town mixed-use development project.
Notable practitioners: Richard Kaufman specialises in inward investment work, often for private clients and family offices. “Richard is a pleasure to work with,” reports one client, adding: “He manages the entire team and I find that things run smoothly.”
Significant clients: Bank of Singapore, Hitachi Zosen Inova, ING Real Estate Development, Odeon Cinemas.
Leading individuals: Richard Kaufman
Real Estate Finance
What the team is known for: Broad range of financial services experience across multiple industries, including hotels, tax and offshore structures, and the education sector. Regularly instructed by both borrower and lender clients on high-value and complex acquisitions and refinancings.
What’s new?: Charles Proctor joins the firm from Edwards Wildman.
Work highlights: Acted for the Fordgate Group on the acquisition of the EUR1 billion Project Vermeer loan from Morgan Stanley. The Project Vermeer portfolio is comprised of over 60 properties across multiple jurisdictions. Advised the Camden Market Holding Corporation on a £230 million refinancing facility.
Notable practitioners: Head of department Kim McMurray’s practices encompasses investment and development finance, restructurings and refinancings. She has notable experience across the hotels, education and retail sectors. Sources describe her as “commercial, energetic and approachable.”
Significant clients: Clydesdale Bank, Metro Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Close Brothers, Santander.
Leading individuals: Kim McMurray
Real Estate Litigation
What the team is known for: Acts on both commercial and residential property matters for clients including investors and developers. Particular strength in telecoms issues, residential development work and property management.
Work highlights: Advised the administrators of Little Chef Service Stations on their property portfolio, including investigating a part pre-pack.
Notable practitioners: Thekla Fellas is the head of the real estate disputes team, and an active and well-respected figure in the field. She has a niche expertise in property disputes involving telecoms issues. Sources regard her as someone who “handles herself very effectively.” Alison Mould specialises in retail and leisure sector property disputes. She acts for a number of investor clients. Sources particularly praise her efficiency.
Significant clients: Aspers Casinos, British Steel Pension Fund, Camden Market Estate, Go-Ahead Group, Haymarket Group.
Leading individuals: Thekla Fellas, Alison Mould