gunnercooke is pleased to announce that 39 of its lawyers have been recognised in this year’s Legal 500 rankings. The 2022 guide has ranked the firm in 13 different practice areas across the UK and has lawyers included in a further 5 areas.
Individual highlights include Leading Individual in Commercial Litigation, Sydney Fulda, who recently joined the firm, Next Generation partner in Planning and Environment Anna Willetts for another year, and Hall of Fame Partners Rob Fawke for Banking & Finance, Conor Downey for Securitisation, and Brendan Walsh for Commercial Property.
Ranked practice areas include Banking & Finance, Pensions, Employment, Family, Property Litigation, Corporate & Commercial, Commercial Property, Trade Finance, Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation and International Arbitration. gunnercooke is also named as a ‘Firm to Watch’ in FinTech, Property Finance and Insurance.
This is the highest number of rankings for the firm since its launch in 2010 with Legal 500 recognising the benefits of the innovative model for both lawyers and clients.
The full rankings are available online here and below.
COMMERCIAL LITIGATION: MANCHESTER
Leading individuals: Sydney Fulda
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT
Next Generation Partners: Anna Willetts
BANKING AND FINANCE TIER 3
The practice at gunnercooke LLP is praised for ‘going beyond the call of duty to get deals done’. Rob Fawke is a key lawyer in the team and draws on a wide spectrum of experience ranging from leveraged finance and asset-based lending issues to debt restructurings. Clients include building societies, banks, real estate investors and private investment companies. ‘Standout partner’ Georgina Tripp also has a broad practice, which includes advising on asset-based receivables and traditional banking facilities.
Hall of Fame: Rob Fawke
Key lawyers: Georgina Tripp
PENSIONS TIER 3
The partners at gunnercooke LLP handle pension matters ranging from buy-ins to the closure of defined benefit schemes, as well as the pension aspects of corporate transactions and outsourcing. Suresh Bhatt and Ginevra Gatrell are the key figures in the Manchester office, which frequently collaborates with the firm’s London team. Both Bhatt and Gatrell are pension specialists; Bhatt is ‘extremely personable’ while Gatrell is praised for her connections to the pension sector.
Key lawyers: Suresh Bhatt; Ginevra Gatrell
EMPLOYMENT TIER 4
gunnercooke LLP’s partner-led model allows it to offer direct service from partners to its clients base, providing advice on employment matters ranging from the furlough scheme to employment tribunal disputes. Jo Tindall advises senior executives and employers on exit agreements as well as handling restructurings and TUPE transfers; elsewhere, Angela Brumpton is experienced in employment litigation, such as discrimination claims. Simon Horsfield departed the practice in March 2021.
Key lawyers: Jo Tindall; Angela Brumpton; Paul Ryman
FAMILY TIER 4
gunnercooke LLP advises on a broad range of family law matters, including disputes around finances and children as well as cohabitation and pre-nuptial agreements. Much of the firm’s work involves multijurisdictional aspects, such as overseas assets. Roland Humphreys is the key figure in the team and is praised for his ‘keen eye for detail which instils a level of trust and confidence in the client from the outset’.
Key lawyers: Roland Humphreys
PROPERTY LITIGATION TIER 4
gunnercooke LLP’s client roster includes landlords, developers, investors, occupiers and management companies. Tom Seabrook is dual-qualified to practise as a chartered surveyor and solicitor, giving him a unique vantage point in dilapidations claims and other matters involving construction and building defects. In addition, his other contentious experience includes service charge disputes, rent reviews, and disputes over boundaries and easements. Jen Morris provides strategic advice to help unlock development sites.
Key lawyers: Tom Seabrook; Jen Morris
CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL: MANCHESTER TIER 5
gunnercooke LLP offers a partner-led platform to corporate clients, advising on M&A and private equity transactions, as well as corporate restructuring. The firm’s experienced team includes Nick Ducker, who specialises in M&A and corporate finance transactions, Jo Glass, who has notable expertise in cross-border and commercial matters, and Patrick Billyeald, who divides his time between London and Manchester, and handles strategic acquisitions, joint ventures, and shareholder-related work.
Key lawyers: Nick Ducker; Jo Glass; Patrick Billyeald
Hall of Fame: Conor Downey – gunnercooke LLP
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY: NOTTINGHAM AND DERBY TIER 2
gunnercooke LLP saw notable growth in 2020, recruiting multiple highly experienced practitioners. Brendan Walsh, having arrived in March 2020 from Shakespeare Martineau LLP, has longstanding experience in all types of development projects, with student accommodation matters being a notable specialism. Matthew Grocock, who joined from Freeths LLP, combines landed estate and agricultural landowner expertise with a strong social housing practice. Bev Simms adds to the group’s development expertise, having led Flint Bishop LLP’s department prior to her move in May 2020.
Hall of Fame: Brendan Walsh
Key lawyers: Matthew Grocock; Brendan Walsh; Mike Taplin; Bev Simms; Sarah Gunton
TRADE FINANCE TIER 3
gunnercooke LLP’s commodities and trade finance practice continues to grow its presence in the market, acting for lenders and borrowers including alternative finance providers, international banks with a UK presence, and commodity traders in complex cross-border transactions with a focus on emerging markets. Its work covers pre-payment and offtake financings, structured trade and commodity finance, and supply chain financing, spanning the oil, natural gas, electricity, coal, metals, agricultural products and renewable energy markets. Veronika Koroleva and Marc Weisberger are the key practitioners in an ‘innovative and client-centric’ team.
Key lawyers: Veronika Koroleva; Marc Weisberger
EMPLOYMENT: THAMES VALLEY, BERKS, OXON, M4/M40 TIER 4
Since joining in 2018, former Blake Morgan LLP partner Rebecca Ireland has continued to build up gunnercooke LLP’s employment offering in the Reading area, acting for businesses and senior executives across a broad range of industry sectors, with clients based around the UK. She is praised for being ‘very good at explaining the risks and the likelihood of the identified risks.’
Key lawyers: Rebecca Ireland
PENSIONS (NON-CONTENTIOUS) TIER 4
gunnercooke LLP joins the London rankings with a non-contentious pensions offering that provides clients with direct access to experienced pensions practitioners, eschewing the traditional law firm model. Adam Bushby’s practice includes trustee advisory and scheme risk management work. Helen Miles joined from Squire Patton Boggs and advises companies, large funds, and professional trustees in TPR investigations, PPF challenges, and Ombudsman complaints. Parminder Latimer joined from Simmons & Simmons, and works across both contentious and non-contentious matters for trustees, corporates, individuals, and in-house counsels.
Key lawyers: Adam Bushby; Helen Miles; Parminder Latimer
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: TRADE MARKS, COPYRIGHT AND DESIGN TIER 5
During 2020 gunnercooke LLP boosted its bench of IP experts, welcoming Rachel Pearse, who joined from Foot Anstey and representing SMEs across the breadth of infringement and passing-off disputes. Rosie Burbidge is an expert in fashion law disputes, while also sustaining a roster of furniture, technology and online gaming clients.
Key lawyers: Rosie Burbidge; Rachel Pearse
COMMERCIAL LITIGATION: MID-MARKET TIER 6
gunnercooke LLP has a well-established reputation in contentious matters related to financial services, SMEs and owner-managed businesses, technology, media, real estate and IP. Shilpen Savani has longstanding experience in complex commercial disputes and contentious corporate matters. Fergus Buckley focuses on civil fraud cases and shareholder disputes.
Key lawyers: Shilpen Savani; Fergus Buckley; Sarah Armstrong; Henna Elahi
INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION TIER 7
In September 2020, gunnercooke LLP recruited David Breslin from Fladgate LLP, where he was international arbitration head. Breslin specialises in commercial disputes and international arbitration in the insurance, financial services, energy and international trade sectors; his arbitration experience includes both ad hoc matters and those involving common institutional rules.
Key lawyers: David Breslin; Philip Rubens; Andre Yeghiazarian
INSURANCE AND REINSURANCE LITIGATION
The insurance offering at gunnercooke LLP is led by David Breslin, who joined the firm from Fladgate LLP in September 2020. He acts for insurers in disputes involving professional indemnity, marine and energy, trade credit and business interruption claims.
Key lawyers: David Breslin
James Burnie arrived at gunnercooke LLP from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in May 2020, expanding the firm’s fintech offering. The practice handles blockchain, payment services and AI matters, and Burnie has significant experience in cryptocurrencies.
Key lawyers: James Burnie
gunnercooke LLP acts for lenders and borrowers on property investment and development finance mandates in the residential, office and hotel sectors, and has considerably expanded its team, most recently with the arrivals of Matthew East from Gowling WLG, Conor Downey from Paul Hastings LLP and Russell Dellar from Bird & Bird LLP.