Devon Life Business & Professional - 2012 Legal 500 shows Ashfords' strength in depth

PUBLISHED: 16:17 24 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:55 20 February 2013

Garry Mackay, Partner, Ashfords

Garry Mackay, Partner, Ashfords

Ashfords LLP has further enhanced its standing within the rankings of 'Regional Heavyweights' in the latest edition of Legal 500, the independent guide to law firms throughout the UK, which was published yesterday.

2012 Legal 500 Rankings demonstrate Ashfords strength in depth

Thirty One Practice Areas awarded Tier status
Seven Practice Areas within Tier One

Ashfords LLP has further enhanced its standing within the rankings of Regional Heavyweights in the latest edition of Legal 500, the independent guide to law firms throughout the UK, which was published yesterday.
In its overview of the South West Region, Legal 500 stated: Ashfords LLPs merger with London-based Rochman Landau is evidence of its continuing expansion plans... it has a broad offering and is highly regarded across the market.
The firm has achieved 31 Tier rankings, four more than last year, with seven of these in top Tier 1, highlighting its expertise in niche areas of the law right across its office network.
Commenting on the latest rankings, Garry MacKay, Head of Commercial Services commented:

These rankings demonstrate the breadth of talent and specialist skills we have within the firm. Our continued focus on service quality has been vindicated and rewarded by the independent endorsements provided by our clients across the UK. We anticipate further focussed growth in the coming year as we expand our specialist services offering.


  • Top tier rankings achieved in: West Country: Corporate & Commercial; West Country: Commercial Litigation; West Country: Employment; Bloodstock; Project Finance and PFI; West Country: Commercial Property; Shipping;

  • Three lawyers listed in the prestigious Leading Individuals category: Simon Rous Corporate & Commercial; David Pomeroy Insolvency; John Birch - Construction.

  • Ashfords also achieved nine Tier Two rankings


The Ashfords Corporate and Commercial practice in The Westcountry is judged first class. David Heard shows sound judgement and creative thinking while Team Head Simon Rous, who also features in List of Leading Individuals is recommended. Clients include Age Concern and Lloyds Banking Group.
The Bristol Corporate and Commercial team gives well focussed advice and has a thorough understanding of the business and commercial context of clients deals. It advised Timothy James Consulting on its sale to Hamilton Bradshaw and for an investor syndicate led by Private Equity firm India value Fund Advisers on its $20m investment in FMG. Corporate finance expert Andrew Betteridge leads the team.
The Commercial Litigation practice, an established force in the region, enjoyed continued success providing a fine commercial litigation offering acting for clients including Gemalto and Penhaligons. Anthony Lee is recognised as having strength in corporate disputes and cases with an international element, while in Bristol, Rory MacNeice is recommended.
Ashfords Westcountry Employment team have also long been recognised as a Tier One practice, with a diverse client base which includes Invensys Controls and Plymouth City Council. Rhiain Lewis is rated superb, while Department Head, Stephen Moore looks to expand the practice in Bristol.
In Project Finance and PFI, another Tier One practice, Ashfords is recognised for its strengths in waste and renewable, acting for clients including Vinci Construction and Viridor Waste Management. It also acted for key client Balfour Beatty on the North West Fire & Rescue Services PFI project. Elizabeth Gibson leads a strong team including Mark Northey and Clare Brewer.
Clare Brewer is also recommended for her work as head of the Banking & Finance practice, whose clients include HSBC, who were advised on its financing of Kandytoys. Other clients include Svenska Handelsbanken and national Australia Bank.
Ashfords renowned Bloodstock team under practice head Rory MacNeice continues to be well respected. Rory represents a number of leading jockeys including AP McCoy, Kieron Fallon and Frankie Dettori as well as The Racecourse Association. He has also acted for The British Harness Racing Club regarding anti-doping negotiations.
Rory MacNeice is also highly acclaimed as head of the firms prominent Sports practice, which continues to represent high profile sports personalities. The team acted for Northamptonshire County Council in a loan to Silverstone Circuits, and provides ongoing advice to a number of cricket and football clubs in the region.
The Commercial Property practice fields an excellent team, providing the full spectrum of expertise in acting for clients including WainHomes and the London Development Agency. Tim Heal is singled out as giving swift and appropriate advice, whilst in Bristol, Andrew Worley is recommended for his work for clients.
Shipping continues to impress and retains its tier one ranking where clients enjoy an excellent service from Charles Hattersleys team. Jonathan Hadley-Piggin is renowned for his industry knowledge and business acumen and acted on a high-value super-yacht refinancing transaction. Other clients include Rock Maritime Services and Compagnie Generale de Location dEquipe.
David Pomeroy, who leads the Insolvency and Corporate Recovery team across Ashfords Bristol and Exeter offices, is once again singled out for inclusion in the 2012 Leading Individuals List. Both David and Alan Bennett are recommended for their work for clients, which include CRS Warner Kugel, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and KPMG. Work for Stoneham & Co on the bankruptcy of Ranrattan involved two landmark judgements.
The Corporate Tax team led by Angus Bauers maintained its second tier ranking. The team represented MMA Holdings UK in its acquisition of Provident Insurance and for Viridor Waste Management on several acquisitions.
The very impressive Stephen Homer leads the firms Construction practice, which has attracted new clients, including Westward Housing Association and Exeter City Council, who join established names such as Persimmon Homes South West. Mark Manning and Patrick Blake are also recommended. Elsewhere within Real Estate, the Planning team was very effective acting for London Borough of Brent and others. John Bosworth is seen as having an enormously wide spread of experience and expertise, whilst the Property Litigation team under Sian Gibbon is described as unflappable. Sian is also singled out within the Social Housing practice area, where she is described as having good background knowledge of the subject, is reliable and is always on top of any case.
Within TMT, Ashfords IT and Telecoms excellent group under Mark Lomas is applauded for its commerciality. The practice is employed by a number of county councils, Thames Water and Age UK. Carl Steele is recognised as having mastery of complex briefs" and was also singled out for his good commercial attitude.
Also highly recommended is the firms Personal Injury practice, where team head Flora Wood is described as excellent and tenacious, acting for clients including Cornish Mutual Insurance. The highly recommended Stephen Walker specialises in fast-track and multi-track claims involving road traffic accidents, employers liability and public liability.
Within the Private Client practice, the Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate team, which is led by Michael Alden, is described as smart and astute, with Robert Horsey recommended for his sensible, commercial approach, whilst Rachel Edwards who heads the Family practice, is described as a formidable opponent, having acted on multi-million pound disputes internationally. Darren Blackburn is described as very useful in relation to land acquisitions and disposals.

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