Welcome to the annual “who’s who” of Merseyside’s legal community as named in the 2017 edition of the Legal 500 guide.
Ben Rooth highlights some of the big hitting firms, individuals… and events of the past year.
According to the authors of the latest edition of the Legal 500 review, projects, property and public sector deals are a key driver of many practices.
What’s more, many firms are also identifying future opportunities with the promise of further investment under the Northern Powerhouse initiative
Every year, the Legal 500 divides law firms into different tiers depending on their size, achievements and growth.
Each law firm is then named alphabetically – and we’ve replicated their approach here.
Corporate and commercial – Liverpool
Tier one –
Hill Dickinson LLP
Tier two –
Tier three –
DLA Piper UK LLP
The authors of this year’s Legal 500 report are unequivocal about the importance of Hill Dickinson LLP, describing the firm as ‘a star in the Liverpool market’.
TIER ONE – Hill Dickinson has an extensive track record in high-value M&A, private equity and joint venture work.
The ‘outstanding’ Craig Scott is the firm’s national head of corporate. He advised Next Wave Partners on its acquisition of Roof-Maker for £30m, and advised The Delivery Group on its merger and partnership with P2P Mailing.
Jonathan Brown heads the team in Liverpool and advised Stobart Group on the purchase of a 36% stake in Irish airline Comhfhorbairt and a 33% stake in Propius Holdings.
Matt Noon advised Carr’s Group on the disposal of Carrs Flour Mills to Whitworths Brothers for £36m and advised the sellers and management of Chester-based travel company ITC Luxury Travel Group (ITC) on its disposal.
TIER TWO – Brabners LLP’s ‘well-organised’ corporate team consists of ‘experts’ who have a ‘very calm and patient approach but who know when to play hardball’.
The corporate and commercial team, with a mid-market focus and ‘strong expertise in the tech sector’ – acts for a wide range of clients, including entrepreneurs, private companies, SMEs, owner-managed businesses, family businesses, small private equity houses and AIM-listed companies.
‘Very responsive, knowledgeable’ corporate head Mark Rathbone is ‘great to work with’. He advised Martin’s Building (Holdings) on the sale of Castlewood Securities to Martins Bidco, and assisted Avon Lake Holdings with the acquisition of St Michael’s Manor.
Rupert Gill advised First Aid Holdings on the acquisition of McKinnon Medical and Wallace Cameron, while Adrian Rogers advised Elaflex on the purchase of LCL Hose.
TIER THREE – DLA Piper UK LLP has a ‘renowned’ and ‘technically-able’ commercial team that is ‘very commercially aware’.
The commercial team, which handles complex commercial transactions and is experienced in government spinouts, is led by Peter Brook and the ‘very reliable and responsive’ Sarah Bell.
Bell acts for Liverpool Football Club on a range of matters, including licence arrangements related to its participation in the Internal Champions Cup.
Bell also led advice for Knowsley Community College on the due diligence stage of its proposed merger with St Helens College
DWF’s corporate and commercial arm has expertise spanning the financial services, retail and technology sectors, acting for clients ranging from SMEs to large corporates.
Headline work included advising Derek Kelly, founder of the Optionis Group, on its sale to Arkarius Group, and advising Livingbridge on its investment in clinical consulting business Four Eyes Insight.
M&A and private equity specialist Paul Rimmer heads the team, which includes Paul Attwood, who is recommended for commercial work and advises on commercial contracts covering distribution, logistics, outsourcing, IT and licensing arrangements.
The ‘impressive’ and ‘innovative’ team at O’Connors LLP delivers an ‘exceptional service’ and is noted for its expertise spanning corporate, commercial, insurance and regulatory matters across the legal, technology, investment funds and financial services sectors.
Mark O’Connor – described by the report’s authors as ‘very wise and measured in his advice’ – acted alongside ‘good operator’ John Spofforth and Pamela Rafiq for Jackson Canter Group on its acquisition of Lees Solicitors LLP.
Weightmans LLP stands out for its mid-market M&A practice, which acts for a range of corporates and owner-managed businesses.
The commercial practice has seen particular growth related to compliance with data protection and competition regulations.
Gary Jones led advice for the Motor Insurers’ Bureau on its acquisition of the assets and undertaking of the Insurance Database Services.
Managing partner John Schorah advised Playground Games on the development of a video game with a major global publisher.
Michael Brabner – Brabners LLP
Peter Brook – DLA Piper UK LLP
Jonathan Brown – Hill Dickinson LLP
Rupert Gill – Brabners LLP
Mike Jones – Hill Dickinson LLP
Matt Noon – Hill Dickinson LLP
Mark O’Connor – O’Connors LLP
Andrew O’Mahony – Brabners LLP
Mark Rathbone – Brabners LLP
Paul Rimmer – DWF
Sue Russell – Hill Dickinson LLP
John Schorah – Weightmans LLP
Craig Scott – Hill Dickinson LLP
Denise Walker – Glenville Walker & Partners
Nik White – Brabners LLP