Team offers ‘highly commercial service’

Joining forces: Back row: l to r � Paul Trudgill, Managing Partner Keeble Hawson, Ron Whitlam, Senior Partner hlw; front row, l to r � Tony Gregory, Senior Partner Keeble Hawson and Roger Dyson, Managing Partner hlw.
Joining forces: Back row: l to r � Paul Trudgill, Managing Partner Keeble Hawson, Ron Whitlam, Senior Partner hlw; front row, l to r � Tony Gregory, Senior Partner Keeble Hawson and Roger Dyson, Managing Partner hlw.
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The top ranking corporate team at DLA Piper’s Sheffield office has been praised by clients for providing a “highly commercial and pragmatic service, without the usual lawyer posturing getting in the way.”

One of the highlights for the team, led by office head Richard May and including Jon Kenworthy, was advising Sheffield and Silicon Valley-based WANdisco on its £37 million listing on the Alternative Investment Market, which was the first placing of shares in an open-source software company in the UK.

Four companies share second place in the Legal 500 rankings of corporate and commercial lawyers in South Yorkshire - HLW Keeble Hawson, Hill Dickinson, Irwin Mitchell and Nabarro. Third placed are Bell & Buxton and Taylor & Emmet, ahead of Wake Smith.

The Legal 500 say the newly merged HLW Keeble Hawson, whose team is led by Roger Dyson and includes Paul Trudgill and Nick Goulding impresses with its proactive approach and notably advised the shareholders of UK Medical Holdings on the firm’s acquisition by US-based Carefusion.

Hill Dickinson’s team, hit by the death of Neil Thompson earlier this year, continues to provide an international standard of service, while remaining competitive, says the Legal 500, which highlights the work of Paul King.

The team demonstrated its expertise in dealing with management buyouts then it advised YFM Equity Partners on funding a buyout at Hertfordshire-based retail display specialist DisplayPlan,

Irwin Mitchell’s team, led by Kevin Cunningham is hailed as a “first choice for complex work,” whose capability has been further strengthened by the arrival of Andrea Cropley from Nabarro and Matt Ainsworth from DLA Piper, both of whom have extensive corporate finance expertise.

Irwin’s Laurence Gavin is also praised for taking the time to understand a client’s business. Highlights during the last year for the expanded team included advising long standing client AESSEAL on the acquisition of Absolute Vacuum Services by its AESPump subsidiary.

Nabarro’s corporate team, led by Ben Hendry, advised Doncaster-based UK Coal on its recent major restructuring which led to the creation of separate property and mining divisions.

Highlights for Bell & Buxton’s two-partner practice, led by Alex Ross, included advising Ace Fire Solutions on what the Legal 500 describes as an acrimonious purchase of its own shares from shareholders with a competing business, while Taylor & Emmet’s team, led by newly promoted Peter Crawford, advised on the demerger of oil industry pressure vessels manufacturer Glapwell Group.

Wake Smith’s corporate practice, led by Duncan Shepherd and including John Baddeley, acted in the £5 million sale of the paints division of RJ Stokes & Co to Aberdeen-based competitor Spencer Coatings.