News | Legal News

04 November 2014

B P Collins tops the rankings in Chambers

Five of the practice groups at B P Collins LLP have just been awarded a band one ranking in the latest 2015 edition of legal “bible” Chambers UK.

The corporate/MA team, the employment group and the litigation practice have all risen to the number one spot, where they sit alongside the environment and real estate litigation teams.

At the same time, Diane Yarrow, partner and environment practice group leader has earned herself a number one ranking as a leading individual.

Jo Davis, partner and employment practice group leader, has retained her number one banding.

Chris Hardy, B P Collins’ senior partner, said: “This is a significant achievement and one of which we should all be very proud. We always seek to deliver excellence in everything we do and to have the accomplishments of both our private client and commercial teams recognised and rewarded by Chambers is extremely satisfying. As we continue to strengthen our teams, we look forward to continuing to providing an even better service to our clients in the year ahead.”

The Chambers 2015 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

Noting the corporate/MA team’s strong reputation for its focus in the waste management and technology sectors, together with its ability to assist both companies and private clients on corporate matters and handle cross-border work, Chambers cited client quotes, including: “They have a direct approach and a tenacity to understand our business,” and “They’re all easy to speak with. I don’t feel like the clock is ticking.”

Simon Deans, practice leaderand ranked individually in band two, was applauded by one source, who said: “His judgement is always very good. His relationship with us is first-class,” while one client appreciated David Smellie’s “exceptional understanding of our business” which, said the client, enabled him to be forthright with his advice. He is also ranked in band two.

The employment team was described as having a “significant reputation for activity on high-profile cases”, notably on High Court injunctions and business immigration matters.

Accolades, mainly from clients said: “What we like about these lawyers is that they get the commercial aspects of employment law, as well as the technical sides. Some lawyers will just dictate things to you, whereas these guys are flexible and commercially minded.” Another said: “Very accommodating and approachable, making us feel at ease in a situation with a lot of delicate matters.”

Jo Davis’ leadership was applauded for her practical approach which led one source to say: “She is the best employment lawyer out there. She provides commitment, analysis, and hard-nosed commerciality.”

The environment team, which Chambers said is known for its experience in the waste sector and its ability to advise on renewable energy deals and help clients with environmental compliance matters, was praised as being “technically very competent and giving a high level of clarity.”

Practice leader Diane Yarrow was described as: “Very good at translating the legislation and regulations for us and tells us what it means for us as a business.”

Clients include Biffa Waste Services, The Grundon Group, 2K Polymer Systems, Summerleaze Group, FoundOcean and i2O Water.

Operating in a number of sectors, including defence technology, pharmaceutical, recruitment and environment, as well as being active in ADR proceedings, the top-ranked litigation team was described as “first class” and being “excellent value for money”.

One source said: “I feel confident that I’m hearing the right advice – it’s steeped in a good knowledge of the options that are available,” and another added: “They adopt an excellent team approach.”

Craig Williams, who specialises in resolving disputes in the waste management, environmental and trade finance sectors was praised by a client, who said: “He really applies his mind to the issues and looks beyond them to the wider, strategic considerations.”

Nick Hallchurch’s experience in handling a range of matters, including corporate shareholder disputes, regulatory claims and construction disputes, was singled out as being “good at understanding the clients’ needs and the commercial realities of a situation.”

Both Williams and Hallchurch are ranked in band two.

Team leader Matthew Brandis, ranked in band three, was commended as someone who “combines all of the characteristics that you would want in an adviser”. One client said: “Matthew advises on the law with a distinct commercial understanding and tailors his advice to your practical needs.”

Clients include Toshiba Medical Systems, Kawasaki Motors UK and Misco UK.

Maintaining its band one ranking, Chambers said the real estate litigation team has an “enviable reputation” for both commercial and residential property litigation. It acts for a mix of private clients, commercial tenants and property investment firms and recent deal activity has included landlord and tenant issues, dilapidation claims and service charge disputes.

Comments included: “Friendly, approachable and responsive,” and “Understands our business and offers solutions to problems in a timely manner.”

Sarah McLoughlin, who was once again listed in Chambers as an “associate to watch” was commended for her “clear, straightforward and commercial” advice.

Clients include Grove Court Properties, Mobile Mini and KBL Brampton and recently the team represented The Original Bowling Company in securing the vacation of several trespassers illegally residing in the car park of Birmingham’s Hollywood Bowl.

The band two ranked family group was recognised for having a “substantial team with a range of talents and expertise” and praised for being able to provide a comprehensive service to clients in areas such as civil partnerships, divorce and prenuptial agreements. It was particularly noted for its abilities in the field of financial remedy matters.

Comments included: “The family team works seamlessly well together. They respond quickly and calmly, and have a broad variety of strengths and experiences.” Another said: “They’re a large firm that covers a lot of different areas. They did a fantastic job and were personable, timely and helpful.”

Of partner and practice group head Sue Andrews, who has a band two individual ranking, sources said: “She’s approachable and will listen to what you have to say; she’s strong and will fight her client’s corner if that’s what’s needed, but with a dose of pragmatism,” while one impressed client praised the way in which she “showed great understanding and focused on my needs.”

Also with a band two ranking is the private client team, which is often retained by high net worth individuals for complex trust and tax matters and is also strong on estate planning, as well as contentious trusts and probate work.

Comments included: “They were so helpful, very positive and friendly,” and “They are a good outfit, strong players.”

The real estate team, ranked in band three, was highlighted for its strength in lease negotiations as well as real estate acquisitions and disposals. Acting for both commercial and residential property, it was also noted for its expertise in the waste and renewable energy sectors.

Clients said: “A solid firm which understands our company and offers solutions to problems in a timely manner,” and “Capable, clear and willing to give up time to discuss a matter with you properly.”

New client wins for the team include ANT Telecommunications and Welland Medical and the team has acted on deals for Biffa Waste Services and has advised Chartridge Developments on various matters.

Of practice group leader Michael Larcombe, who is ranked band two as an individual and regularly acts on behalf of commercial occupiers and investors, interviewees said: “He really understands property transactions and is just great at talking to people. I’ve introduced him to a lot of clients and they all really like him.”

Chris Hardy

Chris Hardy

Tel: 01753 279064

Jo Davis

Jo Davis

Tel: 01753 279029 | 07894 608230

David Smellie

David Smellie

Tel: 01753 279034 | 07922 653954

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