04 November 2015
Top flight rankings for B P Collins’ lawyers
The professional expertise and skills of the legal team at B P Collins LLP has been rewarded with a series of top flight rankings in the latest 2016 edition of legal “bible” Chambers UK.
The corporate/MA team retained their band one ranking, despite now competing against more legal firms in the wider Thames Valley region and, for the first time, partner David Smellie achieved a number one ranking as a leading individual.
The latest accolade comes just a month after the Legal 500 UK guide awarded the corporate and commercial team the title of 2015 UK Regional Company Commercial team of the year, beating thousands of other law firms across England.
There were also special plaudits for Sue Andrews, partner and leader of the family group, who has risen to band one status as a leading individual, while the family team has retained its band two ranking within the Watford, Uxbridge and surrounding region.
Also sitting pretty with a band one leading individual status are employment partner Jo Davis and environment partner Diane Yarrow.
Chief executive, Ian Hopkins, congratulated the teams and said: “We have achieved some excellent results and congratulations must especially go to all those who are ranked as leading individuals.
“In addition to these results, it has been heartening to see the many wonderful comments from clients who contributed their views to Chambers. We should all be very proud of the excellent feedback and, as we look forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2016, we are determined to grow and strengthen our offering still further.”
The Chambers 2016 guide ranks solicitors and barristers in over 60 specialist areas of law and is recognised as the most widely-used directory within the legal sector.
Practice group rankings
With its band one ranking for lower-mid market corporate/M&A activity, the team is recognised for offering advice to clients from start-ups to succession planning. Among its significant clients are The Biffa Group, Sacla UK and Gallowglass.
In achieving his top ranking, David Smellie was described by sources as “fantastic” and “brilliant at understanding our business and explaining technical detail,". Clients said they appreciated his dedication to understanding their business needs.
Colleague Simon Deans, listed at band two, was noted for his particular expertise in dealing with corporate matters in the technology sector. He also handles general M&A work alongside company restructurings.
In achieving her number one ranking as a leading individual, family lawyer Sue Andrews was described as “absolutely first class”, with one impressed client saying: "extremely knowledgeable, quick and accurate, and her application to my needs is awesome. She shows a real interest in doing the very best for me." Sue concentrates on complex high-value financial remedy matters.
Chambers said the family team, highly-regarded for providing pre- and postnuptial advice was also particularly recognised for its handling of financial remedy issues stemming from separation and divorce, as well as related children matters.
Sources said: "B P Collins is a very professional 'out of the city' firm with the same qualities and weight of the 'in the city' firms. It is more personal than many of the top London firms which I have come across," and "The lawyers demonstrate good leadership and great clarity."
Number one ranked employment partner Jo Davis, who handles post-termination restrictions, whistle-blowing, senior executive exits and discrimination, also received accolades from clients.
They said: "She is always up for a challenge," adding that she "provides a great balance between aggressively pursuing a case and keeping a reality check on possible outcomes."
The employment team regularly acts for both national and international clients on a wide spectrum of employment matters, including business immigration and corporate support. Clients said: “They have the resources to manage complex and difficult issues and recently did a fantastic job on a major employment case.”
Clients include Bestway Cash & Carry, Sixt Kenning, Bic UK and Ireland, Daiichi Sankyo.
The top-ranked environment team, whose clients include Grundon, Summerleaze and Ice Energy Technologies, was noted as being a “market-leading” team with a quality offering in renewables, waste management, contamination and resource efficiency. Its services include litigation, regulatory advice and transactional support.
Also now falling within the Thames Valley region is the litigation team, ranked at band two, with all three partners ranking as leading individuals.
The team overall was described as strong, with an impressively broad-ranging practice, with sources saying the lawyers are “Tenacious about chasing the end result and goal” and have “Superb industry knowledge and business commerciality.” They regularly handle high-value, technical cases for major pharmaceutical and environmental companies and clients include Kawasaki Motors UK and Toshiba Medical Systems.
Nick, who has acted for established national clients in a range of complex contractual disputes, is described as an experienced and well-regarded mediator, commentators say he delivers “excellent client service” and “can settle almost anything”. Nick also has a separate ranking in the UK-wide mediators’ category.
Craig advises on breach of fiduciary duty claims and agency agreement disputes for corporate clients across a range of sectors and he was praised for his “absolutely excellent” performance.
Head of the practice team, Matthew is recognised for his extensive commercial litigation experience, advising institutions and individuals on matters such as contract claims and probate disputes. One commentator described his as “a steely opponent and someone who I can really trust to win.”
The private client team, ranked at band two, was praised for offering an impressive array of services, including cross-border estate administration, asset and trust management and Court of Protection matters. Its client base includes both individuals and families with inherited wealth, and high net worth business individuals.
Now featuring in the Thames Valley region, the real estate litigation team is ranked at band two, with senior associate Sarah McLoughlin commended by sources as being a “resourceful and commercial” practitioner who is also “enthusiastic and seriously inventive.”
The team’s clients include Mobile Mini UK, Clinimed Holdings and Property & Investment Management and its work ranges across both commercial and private clients. It is particularly experienced in the retail, storage and waste management sectors, with one person commenting: “Their knowledge and speed of reply are excellent and inspire great confidence in the handling of the case.”
Also in the Thames Valley region is the real estate team, which retained its band three ranking overall, while partner and head of the practice group, Michael Larcombe was ranked as a leading individual in band two.
The team is known for handling a full range of property matters, with particular expertise in acting for specialist high-end residential developers and it also has capability in secured lending and landlord and tenant matters. It has long-standing experience in the environment and energy sectors and advises a number of clients in the automotive and aerospace industries.
“I can’t think of anyone I’d recommend more highly than them. They punch way above their weight and have great quality people,” said one source, while another praised their “realistic and commercial approach.”
Michael’s broad commercial experience and particular knowledge of the leisure and charity sectors was acknowledged and clients described him as being “very bright”, while also crediting him as being a problem-solver.