Leathes Prior teams and individuals celebrate new and improved rankings in Chambers UK 2013

The Chambers and Partners’ UK 2013 independent guide to law firms and individual lawyers has recently been released and, as with the Legal 500 guide, Leathes Prior continues to gain accolades across the board. 

The Chambers UK guide is based on extensive qualitative research carried out with clients and lawyers with particular focus on client feedback.  This year Leathes Prior has seen an impressive uplift in their rankings with five practice areas increasing their rankings and two new practice areas being recognised for the first time.  We believe this is due to an increased commitment on the part of the firm to make Chambers more aware of the scope and quality of our advice but it is also down to our clients, who we would like to thank, for the time they have taken to participate in the research facilitating these results.

The five practice areas that have improved in their rankings are: Corporate/M&A, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Information Technology and Real Estate with Private Client and Real Estate Litigation, both going straight into a ranking at Tier 2 (Tiers are ranked 1 (the best) through to 6).  Part of this success is due to the new rankings for Katie Franklin, an Associate in the Employment team, who has increased her ranking to ‘Star Associate’ in the provision of employment advice in both Norwich and East Anglia and Ina Beurich, a solicitor in the Insolvency team, ranked as an ‘Associate to Watch’ - both helping the firm go from strength to strength.

The 2013 edition of Chambers UK also saw several new individual rankings for Leathes Prior’s Partners, including Mike Barlow, Dan Chapman and Darren Bowen.

See below for Leathes Prior’s Rankings in Chambers UK 2013 both in respect of Practice Areas (and their bandings) and the Key Individuals from within those areas that featured:

CORPORATE/M&A

Norwich and Surrounds - Band 3

The "responsive and reliable" team at Leathes Prior is recommended for handling mid-range M&A transactions that span different industries.  Clients praise the professionalism and availability of its practitioners.  Highlights include advising Norwich City Football Club on the rescheduling of its debt finance arrangements.

KEY INDIVIDUALS

Paul Warman – Norwich - Band 3 

Paul Warman has a wide range of experience in corporate law, including M&A, MBOs and corporate restructurings.  Sources praise him for his "all-round knowledge of the law and ability to focus on what the client requires."

Peter Sheppard – Norwich - Band 3

Peter Sheppard has particular expertise in the private healthcare, packaging and print industries.  Market sources praise him for his professionalism and the added value he brings to clients, noting that "he became part of the team."

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DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Norwich and surrounds - Band 2

This team is held in high esteem for its efficient and effective advice to clients on a wide range of commercial disputes.  It has notable expertise in property related disputes.  Clients praise the “highly professional and personal” service and one source enthused that it “just seems to be quietly getting it right.” Clients include Norse Commercial Services, ChemSource and Rooflite.

KEY INDIVIDUALS

Mike Barlow - Norwich - Band 2

Mike Barlow is recommended by sources for his expertise in IP, franchising and professional negligence claims.  One client said: “He is highly professional, knowledgeable and aware of our business needs.”

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EMPLOYMENT

Norwich and surrounds - Band 1

This "professional and experienced team" offers "a level of client service that is as close to faultless as could be achieved," say interviewees.  The firm has branched out beyond its roots in Norfolk to attract an enviable national client base, demonstrating particularly strong connections among the transport, education, healthcare and insurance sectors.  Clients facing tribunal hearings can count on the team's experienced support, as Ashfords did concerning litigation arising out of the collapse of Connaught.  The team has the capacity to represent both companies and senior executives.

KEY INDIVIDUALS

Dan Chapman – Norwich - Band 1, East Anglia – Band 2

Clients attest that they have "rarely found someone as commercially aware" as Dan Chapman, who impresses with his "quick," "pragmatic" and "dynamic approach."  His reputation for advocacy precedes him, as does his work on behalf of recruitment agents.

Katie Franklin – Norwich - Star Associate, East Anglia – Star Associate

"No-nonsense" Katie Franklin is "always black and white" in responding to the needs of clients.  Like Chapman, she appears frequently at employment tribunals.

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FRANCHISING

UK-wide - Band 2

The highly experienced team at Leathes Prior advises both franchisors and franchisees operating in a range of sectors.  The team is also able to draw on the experience of other members of the firm in order to cater to the needs of clients.  It has acted for Drain Doctor on a number of matters pertaining to its franchising operations, and also advises the Reptile Franchise Company on all aspects related to the franchising of the business.  Other clients include Make Believe Franchising, TaxAssist, Vision Marketing and Sales and Countrywide Signs.

KEY INDIVIDUALS

Mike Barlow – UK-wide - Band 2

Mike Barlow is appreciated by clients for his wealth of experience in dealing with contentious and non-contentious franchising matters.  He recently led the team advising the Ascertiva Group on the establishment of the Puragen Franchise.

Jonathan Chadd – UK-wide - Band 2

Jonathan Chadd has “years of real experience” and is praised by clients for his high levels of knowledge and approachability.  He recently assisted Bathstore.com on amendments to its franchise agreements.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Norwich and surrounds - Band 1

Leathes Prior is a key presence in the Norwich IT market, advising on software development agreements and software licensing, as well as a range of internet-related matters, such as e-commerce, domain name lease and website development agreements.  In recent work highlights the firm has advised agrochemicals company Glo Grow on a privacy policy and e-commerce terms for its website.  On the contentious side, the firm acted for Falcon Global in a dispute with an IT maintenance contractor over the alleged accessing of confidential information regarding the client's Asset Integrity Management System.

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PRIVATE CLIENT

Norwich and surrounds - Band 2

This compact team is comprised of three lawyers and advises on the full run of private client matters, acting for executors and affected individuals on trusts, tax, wills and probate matters.  The group is also able to advise clients on contentious matters, such as claims brought in relation to inheritance disputes.  Sources value the team for being "approachable and down-to-earth."

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REAL ESTATE

Norwich and surrounds - Band 4

The real estate department of Leathes Prior is "diligent" and "very quick to respond," providing clients with "an excellent service."  The practice is focused particularly on development and portfolio work, with clients drawn from the education, healthcare and sports sectors.  The team has been instructed by NatWest, Novus Homes and Trustees of the Great Hospital.

KEY INDIVIDUALS

Robert Sibley – Norwich - Band 2

Robert Sibley is head of the real estate team at Leathes Prior.  He recently advised Bathstore.com on its retail expansion programme and Black Swan International on a multimillion-pound care home group refinancing.

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REAL ESTATE LITIGATION

Norwich and surrounds - Band 2

This firm advises on all aspects of commercial, residential and agricultural property disputes.  Sources attest that the four-strong team is "highly professional and very personable," and that it is adept at providing "accurate information, advice and action delivered in a timely manner."  Clients include Dereham Town Council, and the firm is particularly noted for its strong private client base.

KEY INDIVIDUALS

Darren Bowen – Norwich - Band 1

Darren Bowen who heads the property litigation team is described by sources as "very professional and very easy to communicate with, but can also explain issues in a way which a lay person can easily understand."

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RESTRUCTURING/INSOLVENCY

Norwich and surrounds - Band 2

The specialist team at Leathes Prior has a reputation for expertise in corporate insolvencies.  It is developing significant experience of acting for financially distressed sports businesses and clubs, and also advises insolvency practitioners on matters relating to their appointments to distressed businesses.  Clients include F A Simms & Partners, Smith Aston, Baker Tilly and Ensors.

KEY INDIVIDUALS

Adam McCaw – Norwich - Band 2

Adam McCaw advises on personal insolvency and also displays deep expertise in corporate recovery and turnaround procedures.  Interviewees say “he really knows his stuff” and "identifies practical solutions.”  Clients praise his professionalism, accessibility and commitment to clients in difficult situations.

Ina Beurich – Norwich – Associate to Watch

Ina Beurich advises and assists clients on all aspects of insolvency law and practice.  Sources say they “cannot praise her enough.”

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