What the team is known for: Well-regarded practice with a purchaser-side focus. Advises on high-value transactional and contentious matters and often deals with leisure, infrastructure, energy and property development matters.
Work highlights: Advised Merlin Entertainments on its ongoing expansion work and portfolio of construction projects across the globe, worth hundreds of millions of pounds in total. Acted for the University of London on its estate-wide energy-efficient lighting upgrade scheme using a two-stage approach to the tender for the project.
Notable practitioners: Head of construction Gillian Birkby advises clients from across the construction market on non-contentious matters including procurement, contracts and appointments. One client says: “She provides insightful and cutting-edge advice with fantastic support.” Alan Erwin has a broad non-contentious practice that sees him advise on commercial developments and renewables projects. He has experience advising on domestic construction projects and overseas matters. Alan Woolston engages in both contentious and non-contentious work, with particular specialisms in PFI/PPP schemes and offshore energy projects. One client is “impressed with his focused attention to detail and ability to understand every potential trajectory of decisions that he has considered and created a strategy around.”
Significant clients: Viacom, Ocado, Hitachi Zosen Inova, Go-Ahead Group, Byrne Group.
Corporate/M&A: Lower Mid-Market
What the team is known for: Well positioned to advise on lower mid-market deals on behalf of corporates, investors and entrepreneurs. Adept at handling both domestic and international transactions.
Work highlights: Represented Diversified Business Communications in it £4.5 million acquisition of Prysm Professional.
Notable practitioners: Grant Gordon is a key contact.
Significant clients: Cambridge University Press, Equitix, Maitland, Zouk Capital, Satellite Solutions Worldwide.
Leading individual: Nicholas Tsatsas
Commentary: Nick Tsatsas of Fladgate LLP is praised by clients for his strong negotiation skills. He regularly advises groups from the retail and fashion sectors. Sources note that “his advice regarding senior staff issues is invaluable.”
Leading individual: Teresa Cullen
Commentary: Teresa Cullen of Fladgate LLP deals with contentious divorce litigation for a high net worth client base, in addition to her mediation practice. Market sources consider her to be “outstandingly good” and to possess a “deep knowledge of legal matters but also the necessary understanding of the client’s particularities.”
Leading individual: Sophia Purkis
Commentary: Sophia Purkis of Fladgate LLP advises claimants and defendants in relation to large-scale civil fraud claims, often in conjunction with parallel criminal proceedings. “She knows that field and is smart, inventive and creative”, comments an interviewee.
Hotels and Leisure
What the team is known for: Regularly retained by owners, operators, investment vehicles and developers to act on complex projects, throughout the UK. Serves clients across the full gamut of the market including those with gaming, cinema, hotel and restaurant assets.
Work highlights: Advised Global Gaming Ventures on the acquisition of two casino properties in England worth a combined £32.6 million. Acted for Starboard Hotels on its acquisition of a portfolio of Ibis hotels from Accor through a purchase and franchise agreement. This purchase was worth a total of £16 million.
Notable practitioners: Julian Lewis and Stephen Lewis are key client contacts.
Significant clients: Odeon Cinemas, Merlin Entertainments, 4C Hotel Group, China International Marine Containers Developments, Highgate Hotels.
Leading individual: Bree Taylor
Commentary: Bree Taylor of Fladgate LLP maintains an impressive company and shareholder dispute practice. Sources say “She is solid, sensible and tough as nails. If you’re a director facing a claim, she is an excellent person to go to as she will fight it sensibly and stand by you.”
Leading individual: Mark Harnett
Commentary: Mark Harnett of Fladgate LLP assists public and private sector clients across the full range of planning law, including compulsory purchase matters, Section 106 agreements and enforcement cases. Clients find him to be “a great choice of planning lawyer for both the big-picture stuff and the details stuff.”
Leading individual: David Way
Commentary: David Way of Fladgate LLP “has a very good practice,” according to a source. He advises both domestic and international individuals and businesses on tax and estate planning. He is experienced at handling matters involving wills, trusts and succession and often advises on family wealth disputes.
Leading individual: Simon Brew
Commentary: Simon Brew of Fladgate LLP is prized for the quality of his client care and his abilities “identifying and analysing critical issues in a timely and accurate manner”. He acts for both claimants and defendants, with recent experience handling actions against financial advisers and solicitor firms.
Real Estate Finance
Leading individual: Kim McMurray
What the team is known for: Often sought to advise on finance transactions in the hotels, charities, healthcare and student accommodation sectors. Provides a full service, acting on everything from offshore structures to development finance.
Work highlights: Advised 100 Clerkenwell Road on a £46 million senior facility, provided by ICG Longbow, for the development of a new hotel. Acted for ICBC on a £23 million student accommodation development financing.
Notable practitioners: Kim McMurray is described by her clients as “very smart, robustly commercial and strong on delivery” She predominantly advises major funds, banks and borrowers on a broad range of structured loans and other finance transactions.
Significant clients: Santander, RBS, Royal Bank of Canada, Close Brothers Property Finance, Bank of Ireland.
Real Estate Litigation
What the team is known for: Advises clients on a range of complex disputes. Offers notable expertise in the hotel and leisure, telecoms and high-value residential property sectors.
Work highlights: Represented Crest Nicholson Operations in a case concerning the removal of telecoms equipment from the old Cambridge City football ground. Provided Provident House Staines with advice on a potential claim against Reading Borough Council relating to the scope of local search questions and obligations in responding to Permitted Development Rights enquiries.
Notable practitioners: Thekla Fellas is described as a “very impressive” practitioner by a source. She has notable expertise in property disputes in the telecommunications sector and also advises on a range of development-related disputes. Alison Mould regularly advises leisure, retail and investment clients. She has a particular focus on listed buildings and buildings of significant historical importance. Clients describe her as “very hands-on and very sure of her advice!’
Significant clients: Odeon Cinemas, Soho Estates, London Diocesan Fund, Trustees of the Brocket Estate, Medical Defence Union.
Real Estate: Mainly Mid-Market
Leading individual: Daniel Polden
What the team is known for: Well-reputed specialists in representing mid-size businesses and property developers and investors. Effective in transactions, including those complicated by tax or offshore concerns, and experts in the hotels and leisure sector.
Work highlights: Acted for Patron Capital on a series of acquisitions and sales, including the purchase of the Arlington Business Park. This Thames Valley site comprises ten highly specified office buildings and a distribution centre. Provided advice for long-time client Odeon Cinemas regarding two key matters: Odeon’s new development in Milton Keynes and the surrender of an existing lease and grant of a new lease for its site at Marble Arch.
Notable practitioners: Daniel Polden’s clients include overseas and domestic investors, and he advises on commercial and residential matters. He also demonstrates financial expertise and advises lenders and borrowers on property-related finance matters.
Significant clients: Camden Market Holdings, Aldgate Tower, Soho Estates, CNM Estates, Highgate Hotels.
Art and Cultural Property Law
Commentary: Paul Howcroft of Fladgate LLP is an experienced commercial litigator with experience in the art world. “He has a recognised expertise in art and cultural property”, says one observer, adding “he is hard-hitting, he is direct, and he is good at getting results.”