2017 Legal 500 ranks Fladgate across the board

Fladgate LLP is delighted to have achieved across the board rankings in the recently launched 2017 edition of the Legal 500 Guide to the UK Legal Profession. The firm achieved 26 rankings, with 59 lawyers attaining 91 individual recommendations.
 Commercial contracts

Fladgate LLP enhanced its commercial contracts offering with the recruitment of James Earl, an expert in the UK and international sports and entertainment sector, from Pinsent Masons LLP. In 2016, Earl advised Monster Energy on various marketing and advertising campaigns, including a marketing promotion in association with the Call of Duty computer game. The team is led by Eddie Powell, who recently assisted Glorious Brands with negotiating an exclusive distribution agreement for Triology’s premium skincare products in the UK. In a separate matter, Powell acted for Parabel in the negotiation of a five-year distribution contract with Barentz. Alan Wetterhahn and consultant Andrew Kaufman are other recommended individuals.

Individually recommended: 

James EarlAndrew KaufmanEddie PowellAlan Wetterhahn

Flotations: small and mid-cap

Fladgate LLP’s practice handles a range of cross-border work; consultant Neil Vickers acts for clients such as KazakhGold, Sinochem and Aurora Russia. In addition, Avram Kelman specialises in Anglo-Israeli capital markets transactions, while Paul Airley and Nigel Gordon are particularly experienced in Anglo-Canadian matters. David Robinson has been instrumental in increasing the firm’s links with Asia-based clients. On the domestic front, in 2016, Airley was the lead adviser to Angus Energy on its AIM admission and £3.5m placing. In a separate matter, Vickers acted for Shore Capital (as NOMAD and broker) on the AIM admission and placing of Yü Group. Grant Gordon leads the team.

Individually recommended: 

Paul Airley,  Grant GordonNigel GordonAvram KelmanDavid RobinsonNeil Vickers

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m

Fladgate LLP’s ‘very good’ department provides ‘first-rate service’. Practice head Grant Gordon advised the shareholders of Swansea City FC on their sale of a majority stake in the club to Swansea Football. Amy Collins is strong in corporate real estate: she acted for Aldgate Tower Investments on its £346m sale to a joint venture between China Life and Brookfield Property Partners, and assisted Sun Capital Assets with its joint venture with Scarborough Group International to purchase a 50% stake in the Sheffield Digital Campus development. Alex Kaufmann, who is fluent in French, German and Romanian as well as English, advised dbg on its sale to Merkle, and assisted Newson Gale with its sale to Hoerbiger. The ‘very smart, efficient’ Graham Spitz advised Privet Capital on its purchase of Cash Processing Solutions, while hotels and leisure expert Julian Lewis, who is ‘very knowledgeable, efficient and client-focused’, acted for Haché on its acquisition by Hush. The ‘strong, bright, very experienced’ Ian Brent ‘fights his clients’ corner well’ and is ‘very knowledgeable’, particularly in the recruitment sector; energy and mining expert Nigel Gordon is ‘exceedingly diligent’. ‘Very knowledgeable, client-focused’ associate David Baverstock shows ‘good attention to detail’.

Individually recommended: 

David Baverstock, Ian BrentAmy CollinsGrant GordonNigel GordonAlex KaufmannJulian LewisGraham Spitz

Fraud: civil

Fladgate LLP’s ‘excellent partner-led litigation team’ wins plaudits for its ‘great commercial approach and solid judgement’, and is ‘a strong contender in the civil fraud market’. The firm is noted for its strong international focus with multiple foreign desks; examples include acting for a Swiss claimant in a matter regarding unpaid returns by a bank and alleged conspiracy to defraud, and advising PCP Capital Partners in alleged fraudulent misrepresentations made by Barclays, into which the client had invested £3bn in Middle Eastern money. Simon Ekins heads the practice, and Sophia Purkis ‘fights tenaciously for her clients’ and has a long track record of successes.

Individually recommended:  

Simon EkinsSophia Purkis (Leading Individual)

Gaming and betting

Fladgate LLP has ‘extensive, high-value experience of the property aspects of the casino industry’, and is known for advising owner-managers of betting and gaming businesses on various corporate, financial and IT issues. Highlights included advising Global Gaming Ventures on the opening of the £30m Victoria Gate Casino in Leeds, an operation done as part of a new retail and leisure scheme undertaken by Hammerson, and assisting Aspers Group with the real estate aspects of its refinancing. Department head Grant Gordon advises on key licensing and regulatory issues arising from the due diligence process, and the ‘commercial, proactive and pragmatic’ Stephen Lewis specialises in property acquisition and disposal work. Goodheart Family Trust is also a key client.

Individually recommended: 

Grant GordonStephen Lewis

Banking litigation: investment and retail

Fladgate LLP’s ‘level of service is exemplary’. The practice advises both banks and banking clients, and is frequently instructed on international banking disputes. It also acts for HNW individuals and businesses against banks for mis-selling; and assists with property industry-related banking disputes. The team represented the issuer of $200m foreign currency convertible bonds in three separate Commercial Court actions, which were brought by bondholders; these matters involved issues such as declaratory relief and share price manipulation. Steven Mash is ‘highly charming and one of the industry leaders in terms of dynamic fee arrangements’; and Bree Taylor is ‘insightful, cost-efficient and great at counselling on cases’ risks and rewards’. Simon Ekins, Simon Brew and Alexander Wildschütz are also highly regarded.

Individually recommended: 

Simon BrewSimon EkinsSteven MashBree TaylorAlexander Wildschütz

Commercial litigation

Fladgate LLP has ‘good-quality litigators for all commercial areas’. The practice is largely conflict free and able to act against most banks in financial services-related litigation. It is also well known for its significant HNW private client base. The team acted for London private equity firm PCP Capital Partners in a claim against Barclays Bank for fraudulent misrepresentation that related to a £7bn capital raising. Simon Ekins is department head; Bree Taylor is ‘recommended without reservation’; Steven Mash ‘comes up with strategies that lead to excellent court outcomes’; and Mark Buckley is ‘the standout litigator in London’s contentious bond market’. Other key advisers include Simon Brew, Alexander Wildschütz, construction law expert David Weare, and Digby Hebbard, who pursues claims against construction project professionals. Russia specialist and dispute resolution partner Eugene Matveichuk joined from Osborne Clarke LLP.

Individually recommended: 

Simon BrewMark BuckleySimon EkinsDigby HebbardSteven MashEugene MatveichukBree TaylorDavid WeareAlexander Wildschütz

Corporate restructuring and insolvency

Leveraging strong ties with IPs, Fladgate LLP regularly receives predominantly domestic mandates across a range of sectors including in relation to property-related insolvencies. The ‘smart and creative’ Bree Taylor is ‘always up for the fight’ and is noted for her contentious expertise; she recently represented a former director of the UK subsidiary of the “Jacuzzi” group of companies in the defence of claims brought by liquidators alleging breaches of duty in relation to transactions entered by the company prior to its 2011 insolvency. Jeremy Whiteson provides ‘responsive and clear advice’ and is also recommended, in particular for his restructuring/insolvency work on behalf of entrepreneurial/start-up businesses. Clients include BDO, Begbies, Grant Thornton and FRP.

Individually recommended:  

Bree TaylorJeremy Whiteson

Employment: employers

‘Excellent in terms of being able to understand the problems at hand and provide pragmatic advice’, Fladgate LLP’s ‘versatile’ department is regularly called on to handle the employment aspects of complex transactions with a multi-jurisdictional element. Michael McCartney led advice to Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals on the relocation of 60 employees from Slough to Oxford. Clients also recommend Taj Rehal and ‘extremely knowledgeable and commercial’ senior associate Mike Tremeer, who is ‘an absolute pleasure to work with’.

Individually recommended:  

Michael McCartneyTaj Rehal, Mike Tremeer, Nick Tsatsas

Professional negligence

The ‘professional’ team at Fladgate LLP has ‘good commercial awareness’. The group acts for high-net-worth individuals and companies in claims against solicitors, accountants and construction professionals, and handles defence work for clients including Deloitte and the Medical Defence Union. It is representing a family trust in a claim against a firm of solicitors pertaining to the loss of opportunity to invest in property. Professional negligence head Simon Brew is ‘very knowledgeable’ and dispute resolution head Simon Ekins is ‘excellent’. Janet Keeley, Sophia Purkis, Jonathan Hibberts and Digby Hebbard are also noted.

Individually recommended:

Simon BrewSimon Ekins, Digby HebbardJonathan Hibberts Janet KeeleySophia Purkis

Family

Fladgate LLP fields ‘a knowledgeable team that adopts a personal approach to meet each client’s needs’, and is experienced in international divorces and high-value financial claims. Teresa Cullen is ‘the driving force in the team’; she has ‘a superb bedside manner with clients but can equally be robust when putting their cases forward’.

Individually recommended:

Teresa Cullen

Personal tax, trusts and probate

Matthew Bennett heads the department at Fladgate LLP, and advises UK and foreign nationals and their families on the management of their wealth and personal affairs with an emphasis on tax efficiency. Helena Luckhurst advises British and overseas families and entrepreneurs who want to protect their wealth and successfully pass it down to the next generation. The firm provides the full range of personal tax services to its clients, from completing personal tax returns to negotiating with HMRC, and regularly advises internationally mobile individuals (especially sportspeople and entertainers). Highlights included advising a Middle Eastern family on the restructuring of its London property portfolio (worth approximately £150m) in light of the anticipated changes to the taxation of non-domiciled residents, and the team continues to advise a non-domiciled Irish entrepreneur on restructuring UK and onshore trusts; other advice for the client has covered setting up a Jersey foundation and advice on the statutory residency test.

Individually recommended:

Matthew Bennett, Helena Luckhurst

Mining and minerals

Fladgate LLP’s Paul Airley heads the firm’s natural resources team while Nigel Gordon is head of mining. The practice recently acted for Beaumont Cornish as nomad and UK broker on the admission to AIM of lithium exploration and development company European Metals. Steven Mash continues to advise Rimbal on the exploitation of its Rare Earth mine in Greenland and quartz mine in Iceland, and Nigel Gordon assisted Xtract Resources with the acquisition of 100% of the Manica gold project in Mozambique from Auroch. Key contacts also include senior associate Linda Whittle, who frequently assists Airley with all aspects of corporate and finance work, and Neil Vickers, who has strong experience in international equity markets as well as public and private M&A transactions.

Individually recommended:

Paul AirleyNigel GordonSteven MashNeil VickersLinda Whittle

Commercial property

Fladgate LLP’s ‘strong team with strength from partners to associates’ is ‘very experienced in the leisure sector’, where key players include the ‘very commercial and deal orientated’ Stephen Lewis, and Mark Saunders, who is ‘market leading on title and lease issues and excellent at large transactions, especially cinemas’. Saunders recently advised Odeon on the opening of a cinema in the new BH2 leisure complex in Bournemouth. The practice is also noted as being ‘a very good source for guidance in difficult transactional situations’, and in one highlight Nick Mumby acted for Aldgate Tower Investments on its £346m sale to a joint venture between China Life and Brookfield Property Partners. Other names to note include the highly recommended Gideon Dabby-Joory, who represented an offshore private family trust on the £35m disposal of a brownfield site for development in St Pancras, and senior associate Amanda Hado-Bodfield, who ‘gets the deal done’. In the retail sector, high-end tenant clients include Roche Bobois and Jurlique UK. The ‘very insightful’ Richard Reuben leads the team.

Individually recommended:

Gideon Dabby-Joory, Amanda Hado-Bodfield (Next generation lawyers)Stephen LewisNick MumbyRichard ReubenMark Saunders 

Commercial property: development
Commercial property: hotels and leisure
Commercial property: investment
Commercial property: retail
Construction: contentious
Construction: non-contentious

‘Response times and value-for-money are very good’ at Fladgate LLP, where the team continues to undertake a range of instructions in key sectors such as hotels and leisure, renewable energy, and museums and exhibitions. Digby Hebbard advised the Science Museum Group on the construction of its new interactive and maths galleries, and David Weare assisted Hitachi Zosen Inova with an EPC contract to deliver an energy-from-waste facility on the outskirts of Edinburgh. In other non-contentious highlights, practice head Alan Woolston and senior associate Chris Farrell, who are ‘commercially astute, technically excellent lawyers’, advised Go-Ahead Group on a range of construction works as well as professional appointments related to the infrastructure for various well-known Go-Ahead brands, including Southeastern trains and Brighton & Hove buses. Hebbard and Weare were also active in contentious matters, where work included representing contractors on various energy-from-waste project disputes, and acting for John Laing Investments on potential claims relating to the design and upgrade of Aylesbury Park railway station. International construction specialist Barry Hembling is another key contact.

Individually recommended:

Digby HebbardBarry HemblingDavid WeareAlan Woolston

Planning

At Fladgate LLP, Mark Harnett has been busy handling a mix of contentious and non-contentious mandates, predominantly in the development space. Highlights in 2016 included acting for Hodson Developments on the planning application and associated infrastructure agreement for a substantial residential development at Chilmington Green, Ashford, and representing CLTX in its appeal against an enforcement notice issued by Westminster City Council requiring the brick by brick reconstruction of the demolished Carlton Tavern public house in Maida Vale. Harnett was also active in the waste sector; his work included advising BP Mitchell on its successful defence to a challenge brought by Tarmac against the decision of Hertfordshire County Council to grant planning for a permanent inert waste recycling facility in the green belt.

Individually recommended:

Mark Harnett

Property finance

Fladgate LLP’s ‘very responsive, cost-effective’ practice provides ‘high-quality service’ and is noted for its ‘strong attention to detail’. The ‘highly experienced, commercial’ Kim McMurray is an ‘efficient, professional co-ordinator’ with a ‘can-do attitude’; she heads the practice jointly with Richard Reuben. Jeremy Whiteson advised Halamar Developments on the £50m refinancing of a property development in Soho. Other sponsor clients include Weston Homes and Hodson Developments; CIMC Capital, Europe Arab Bank and GreenOak UK Secured Lending are lender clients. Gary Smith has ‘very strong experience and industry knowledge’. Jenny Sargeant joined from Macfarlanes LLP in July 2016; Seetal Modi arrived from Sidley Austin LLP six months later. Luke Morris is also recommended.

Individually recommended:

Kim McMurraySeetal ModiLuke MorrisRichard Reuben, Jenny SargeantGary SmithJeremy Whiteson 

Property litigation

Fladgate LLP is ‘a highly commercial firm with a broad ability across the property litigation field’. Its ‘very effective team’ delivers ‘a brilliant service together with excellent response times and extremely high knowledge levels’ that ‘completely justifies the confidence clients place in it’. Practice head Thekla Fellas, Alison Mould, who is ‘an insightful and experienced individual, who is calm in a crisis and allows nothing to slip by’, Jonathan Hibberts, who ‘works harder than it seems is possible’, and ‘truly outstanding lawyer’ Janet Keeley are the key names. It has notable expertise in the leisure, telecoms and residential sectors, among others, and further experience in site developments and leasehold enfranchisement. Mould recently defended ML Convenience in possession proceedings and Fellas acted for the landlord Point West GR in a service charge dispute relating to the recoverability of building management administrator fees.

Individually recommended: 

Thekla FellasJonathan HibbertsJanet KeeleyAlison Mould

Residential property

Daniel Rubie leads Fladgate LLP’s residential property practice. Rubie specialises in advising high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals on their residential property purchases and sales; he also has substantial lease extension and enfranchisement expertise. In a recent highlight, Richard Kaufman acted for a high-net-worth individual on the £16m sale of a residential property; Kaufman is also recommended for property-related tax advice and investment issues.

Individually recommended: 

Richard KaufmanDaniel Rubie

Media and entertainment (including media finance)

Fladgate LLP handles soft IP litigation across the media and sports sectors, with particular expertise in publishing and e-publishing. The team also advises on data protection and security, e-commerce, digital media and social media. It acted for Monster Energy on a number of marketing and advertising campaigns. Digital Cinema Media, Odeon Cinemas and Parkway Cinemas are also clients. IP, technology and commercial specialist Eddie Powell heads the team. James Earl, who joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in 2016, leads the sports group; corporate lawyer David Robinson handles capital markets and M&A in the technology and publishing sectors. Commercial lawyer Alan Wetterhahn is also noted.

Individually recommended: 

James EarlEddie PowellDavid RobinsonAlan Wetterhahn

Sport

Fladgate LLP bolstered its sports offering by hiring football finance and commercial expert James Earl and senior associate David Quinlan from Pinsent Masons LLP in September 2016. Earl, who is dual qualified in England and Australia, assisted London 2017 and London Championships with governance, financing, insurance and regulatory matters; both clients are the SPVs tasked with delivering the 2017 London IAAF World Athletics Championships and World Para Athletics Championships. He also acted for Ironman on its acquisition of a major UK endurance event. Other clients include Limelight Sports and Mahindra Racing. Litigator and arbitrator Mark Buckley and commercial expert Alan Wetterhahn are also recommended.

Individually recommended: 

Mark BuckleyJames EarlDavid QuinlanAlan Wetterhahn

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