Partner Alison Taylor is a highly desired and knowledgeable member of the B P Collins commercial property practice group since joining the team from a large city firm in 2012.
Described by clients as “extremely thorough”, Taylor prides herself on her ability to provide solutions to the most complicated of property transactions.Her extensive experience in a wide range of commercial property matters includes portfolio transactions, freehold and leasehold acquisitions and disposals. In addition to this, Taylor also has significant expertise in dealing with the sale and management of shopping centres, complex commercial lease transactions and offers invaluable corporate support to the corporate and commercial team.
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Sue Andrews achieved her teenage dream of becoming a lawyer and now, with more than 30 years’ experience under her belt, leads the seven-strong family team at B P Collins. Passionate about putting families first, Andrews was appointed a partner in 1990 and is highly respected for her professional, yet friendly approach.
Another said: ‘We were thankful for her years of experience and strength of character. She remained calm and level-headed throughout, while at the same time being able to relate to the emotions we were experiencing.’‘Highly efficient, pays great attention to detail, and is understanding of my personal feelings’ is just one of the tributes paid by clients in independent law bible Chambers UK, where Andrews is named as a ‘Leading Individual’.
Andrews has handled high-profile divorces for a number of sports stars and celebrities, top business people and entrepreneurs and also advises clients with family businesses and multi-million pound assets at home and abroad.
Calling on her years of experience and extensive mediation training, Andrews regularly provides advice on complex financial arrangements during divorce cases, children disputes and nuptial agreements. She is a member of Resolution, a professional organisation that is committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes.
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Leader of the 11-strong litigation and dispute resolution team at B P Collins, where he was appointed a partner in 2002, Matthew Brandis is a highly skilled operator with a reputation for winning contentious and high-profile legal cases.
In the 2013 edition of independent legal bible Chambers UK, Brandis was praised by clients for his ‘reassuring and calming manner’ as well as his ‘ability to connect at all levels’ and he has a reputation for ‘exceeding expectations’.Among these was the groundbreaking and widely reported Westcott v Westcott defamation case, which created a legal precedent at the Court of Appeal in 2008.
A client recently told the firm that ‘Matthew is everything you want in a lawyer. Expert, precise, detailed, always prepared, direct when needed, but professional at the same time. With common sense, a sense of humour and a refreshing ability to deliver no-nonsense, commercially sound guidance, that wastes neither your time nor money.’
His expertise includes the resolution of complex commercial contractual disputes, contentious probate, and professional negligence claims, as well as advising on parking law and private client matters.
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As the longest-serving member of the eight-strong team of residential property lawyers at B P Collins, Jan Collis has a wealth of experience to draw on. She regularly advises clients on everything from buying and selling a property, to other transactions such as buy-to-let, co-ownership and releasing equity.
Collis has particular experience in residential sales and purchases and residential development and has been involved with developments and/or clients across the region. She is an expert in property matters, and well-versed in dealing with organisations such as the Land Registry.
She was appointed a partner in 1986.
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Appointed a partner in 2000, Jo Davis heads the eight-strong employment practice group at B P Collins, earning a powerful reputation for her ‘impressive negotiation skills’ and ‘phenomenal knowledge of employment law’.
Davis acts for both private and corporate clients and although well versed in all areas of employment law, she specialises in senior executive and partner exits, tribunal and High Court litigation and partnership disputes.Davis is recognised in her field by both Chambers and Legal 500 directories. The former quotes clients as reporting that she is ‘no pushover’ and that she has a ‘great technical grasp of the law’. It testifies that Davis ‘fights like a tiger for clients’, but that this tenacity is underpinned by ‘great warmth and a good sense of humour’.
She also advises on the employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions and has established a reputation in the field of age discrimination, having acted for senior partner, Leslie Seldon, in the leading Supreme Court age discrimination case of Seldon v Clarkson Wright and Jakes.
Davis has spoken on a variety of employment law issues on the radio, TV and in seminars. She is also frequently quoted in the legal press for her views on developments on employment law issues. She is a member of Employment Lawyers Association and the Association of Partnership Practitioners.
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Named as a ‘Leading Individual’ by independent legal bible Chambers UK, Simon Deans is partner and practice group leader of the corporate and commercial team at B P Collins.
Specialising in technology and intellectual property issues, Deans has a wide-ranging portfolio of clients and a strong track record in achieving successful outcomes.One client, paying tribute to Deans’ expertise inChambers UK, said he: ‘explains difficult concepts with great clarity and always draws on his industry experience to get an agreement finalised’.
Having advised established brands such as Saclà UK on the legal agreement behind its launch of chilled fresh sauces and pasta; and acted for AIM-listed business, technology and profit improvement specialists Avisen plc on its appointment of Avisen as a strategic business partner with Unilever, Deans is the relationship partner for many of the firms’ key clients and has primary responsibility for managing the teams’ channels to market.
With his in-depth knowledge and experience, Deans provides commercially focused advice and handles all types of corporate and commercial work, including mergers and acquisitions and commercial contracts.
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A partner within the 11-strong litigation and dispute resolution practice at B P Collins, Hallchurch has more than 29 years’ experience in handling heavyweight commercial litigation cases across a broad range of sectors and has a strong reputation for handling contract disputes, corporate shareholder disputes, professional negligence claims, health and safety and regulatory claims and construction disputes.
Reported cases include the award of substantial damages and indemnity costs against the BBC on behalf of his client and a recent claim for £4.5m against the former owner of a London football club.With a successful track record in high-profile cases, Hallchurch acts for many established businesses in the south east. These include the leading insurance provider for the UK house-building industry, National House Building Council (NHBC).
Leading independent legal bible Chambers UK, which has named him as a ‘Leading Individual’ since 2005, recently described him as a ‘highly intellectual and accomplished’ lawyer and said he was praised by clients as someone who ‘always understands commercial realities and practicalities’.
Chambers UK has also identified him as a named mediator for the last five years, describing him as ‘firm but appropriately sensitive’. Interviewees describe Hallchurch as a ‘great host’ for commercial mediations. He elicits particular praise for his ‘tough but fair’ approach and ‘sensitivity to power imbalances between parties’.
As a CEDR-accredited mediator and co-founder of the mediation group Middlesex and Thames Valley Mediators (MTVM), which provides mediators for County Court cases, Hallchurch has acted as lead mediator in more than 50 mediations with a high success rate for settlements.
One client commented: ‘He’s very focused around client service and what the client wants. He can tailor to the customer and he strikes the right balance between offering help and being pushy.’
He was appointed a partner at B P Collins in 1991.
Click here to find out more about Nick Hallchurch.
Appointed senior partner in February 2014, Chris Hardy is also chairman of the firm’s Supervisory Board and practice group leader of the residential property team at B P Collins.
A partner since 1986, he has a strong and loyal local client base and is highly regarded for his in-depth knowledge, expertise and ability to provide solutions.
He regularly handles highly complex transactions for private clients who wish to sell land to developers and his particular specialism is acting for developers in all matters relevant to site acquisitions and sales of completed residential units.
Tony Critoph, who is company secretary of W G Binder Limited, comments: ‘Chris is always a pleasure to deal with and he speaks in a language I can understand, explaining any legal terminology. I feel that we have a great working relationship and can always trust Chris to carry out my requests efficiently and within any specified time constraints.’
His private clients also pay testament to Hardy’s expertise during residential property transactions, with Lady Harriet Lambert commenting: ‘I wanted to thank you for everything you did — it made a huge difference having you on our side. Wonderfully efficient, incredibly helpful and always cheerful. The whole thing could have been nightmarish but thanks to your help, it wasn’t.’
Click here to find out more about Chris Hardy.
As a partner within the corporate and commercial team at B P Collins, Victoria Holland specialises in the key sectors of environment, retail and leisure. With a City law firm background, she has acted for listed and public limited companies, SMEs and sole traders.
Holland is responsible for managing relationships with a number of key corporate clients and her work has gained her a well-deserved reputation for speed, efficiency and time management skills.Extremely personable, Holland is respected for the pragmatism and commerciality she applies to each deal. She has a vast range of corporate experience, including leading merger and acquisition transactions and complex restructurings, as well as handling commercial contract reviews and drafting bespoke commercial agreements.
Her portfolio has included advising Grundon Waste Management on a bespoke international commercial transaction relating to an innovative recycling project. Holland also advised the Taxaccord Group in relation to a restructuring exercise across the UK, British Virgin Islands, Netherlands and the US.
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As practice leader of the nine-strong commercial property team at B P Collins, partner Michael Larcombe has built a solid foundation in commercial property law.
With particular expertise in the environment, retail and leisure sectors, Larcombe has a reputation for providing valuable insight and expertise when handling complex acquisitions, disposals and restructuring deals. ‘He will highlight all the pitfalls of a particular transaction’, commented one client, ‘and is great at co-ordinating planning lawyers and surveyors.’During a career which has spanned more than two decades, he has developed an in-depth knowledge of the commercial property sector and acts for a wide range of clients, including industrial and commercial investors and occupiers, clients in the leisure, aggregates and waste industries, property entrepreneurs, landlords and developers.
Recent highlights include advising on the reorganisation of depot networks following a merger between Mobile Mini and Ravenstock MSG, and advising on a multi-million pound deal for AMF Bowling, now the largest operator of ten-pin bowling centres in the UK.
In the latest edition of independent law bible Chambers UK, clients praised him as being ‘organised and proactive’ and said he was ‘very good at explaining things to me in non-legal terms’. Since 2008, Larcombe has been recognised as a leading individual in the Thames Valley for real-estate law.
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A partner in the corporate and commercial group, David Smellie is recognised as an impressive and highly skilled corporate and commercial lawyer.
As a key member of the 10-strong corporate and commercial team, he specialises in the sporting, entertainment and environment sectors.Principally involved in transactional work, Smellie has a reputation for providing prompt and pragmatic solutions and the ability to balance attention to detail with a no-nonsense approach to getting deals done. Clients who are individuals particularly appreciate the support that Smellie gives to them during transactions.
Smellie was named as a ‘Leading Individual’ by leading independent legal directory, Chambers UK, which singled out his work advising TQ Education and Training on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of the Coaching Space for special attention.
One commentator said he: ‘Impresses clients with his pragmatic and down-to-earth approach as well as a good understanding of the important issues.’ Another source applauded the team with the words: ‘They understand the reality of what we are doing, think forward and prepare us for the future.’
Smellie manages B P Collins’ relationships with a number of clients including RWS Group, i20 Water Limited and Frontline Artist Management Limited.
Among the recent corporate transactions on which he has advised are: the sale of Wycombe Wanderers FC and the transfer of the majority of the issued shares in London Wasps Holdings Limited; the sale of the entire issued share capital of Stage Technologies Group Limited to TAIT; the sale of a minority interest in FoundOcean Limited to Ambienta Sgr (the largest European private equity fund focused on the environmental sector); the acquisition by RWS Translations Limited of the entire issued share capital of PharmaQuest Limited; fund raising by i2o Water Limited.
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Individually ranked by independent legal bible Chambers UK, commercial litigation expert Craig Williams has an excellent reputation for solving disputes in the corporate sector. Described as a ‘phenomenally good solicitor’, Williams has been singled out for his ‘unflappability’ and praise for providing ‘pragmatic, impartial advice’.
Williams also shares his skills with clients in the private sector, handling a range of matters involving wills, trusts and probate. He has a particular emphasis on contentious inheritance disputes and has built up an impressive track record at court and a vast amount of experience in dealing with litigation on the validity of testamentary documents, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 and disputes regarding the administration of trusts and estates.Appointed a partner at B P Collins LLP in 2010, he specialises in resolving disputes in the factoring and trade finance, waste management and environmental sectors, where he has also acted for corporate clients on a number of regulatory matters.
Williams has been involved in many reported decisions in the courts. Among them is one of the leading cases on interpleader proceedings, uncovering fraudulent evidence in a trade finance dispute and, in the contentious inheritance arena, a successfully challenge on the validity of a will on the basis that it was a forgery.
He is also an experienced mediation advocate and has settled a variety of commercial and private client disputes using a wide range of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
Click here to find out more about Craig Williams.
Alex Zachary is a partner in the corporate and commercial team at B P Collins and a very highly regarded business lawyer with considerable knowledge of the waste management and recycling, pharmaceutical and technology sectors.
In the leading independent legal directory, Chambers UK, Zachary has been praised for ‘providing a high level of service at a competitive rate’.Described as commercially aware, pragmatic and sympathetic to client needs, Zachary adopts a commercial approach to problem solving and is known for his strong technical and negotiating skills.
Zachary has been a member of the firm’s supervisory board since 2012 and manages the firm’s relationship with a number of its key clients, including the Biffa Group, the Norgine Group and the Sealwood Group.
Zachary’s corporate transactions of significance include advising: NTR plc on the £135m sale of the Greenstar Group to Montagu Private Equity and Global Infrastructure Partners; the lead shareholders of Cliniserve Limited on the disposal of Cliniserve to the Stericycle Group; and the Sealwood Group on the sale of Helifix Limited to the CRH Group.
Following Zachary’s completion of a major transaction for Norgine, Ken Scrimgeour, vice-principal of Norgine’s UK Business Unit, commented: ‘B P Collins has provided more than legal advice. They were an integral part of the negotiation team for this diverse and complex project.’
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Experienced lawyer and business leader Ian Hopkins was appointed as chief executive of B P Collins in August 2015. With an excellent track record of leadership and management skills, Ian works hand-in-hand with the firm’s solicitors and alongside the head of business development and marketing, Gina Connell, to help drive the business forward and achieve success.
Having qualified as a solicitor in 1987, Ian spent his early career with a law firm in Wales. During his five years as chief executive of Debenhams Ottaway in St Albans, Ian led the practice to the 2014 title of Medium to Large Business of the Year at the Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards; that same year Ian also was named a finalist in the St Albans Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year.
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Head of BD and marketing
Gina joined B P Collins as head of marketing and business development in May 2015. Gina’s key focus is on business development and client relationship management. She brings to the role her extensive experience in marketing and business development in the legal sector, as well as in other professional services.
Outside of work, Gina enjoys sport and is part of a fundraising group for a local youth rugby team. She also supports Cancer Research and Autism charities.
Gina has twenty years’ experience working in professional services sectors. Working as client advisor in her previous role, Gina has experience in providing business analysis, CRM and client care advice to law firms as well as property and private equity firms.
Click here to find out more about Gina Connell.