gunnercooke is delighted to announce that 54 of our lawyers have secured individual recognition in this year’s Legal 500 rankings. The Legal 500 UK Solicitors Guide 2024 recognised the firm for 28 practice areas in London and across the UK, recognising gunnercooke as a ‘Firm to Watch’ in areas such as Transport (Rail) and Charities & Not-For-Profit.
Both Brendan Walsh, a Commercial Real Estate Partner, and Rob Fawke, a Banking & Finance Partner, were named to The Legal 500 Hall of Fame. Clive Smith, a Rail Partner, and Sydney Fulda, a Commercial Litigation & Investigations Partner, were named as Leading Individuals in their fields.
Dr. Anna Willetts, an Environmental Crime Partner, was recognised as a Next Generation Lawyer for her work in Planning & Environment. Real Estate Legal Director Sarah Gunton was also recognised as a Rising Star for her work in Commercial Property.
Some of the areas that gunnercooke ranked in include: Trade Finance, Pensions, Employment, Banking & Finance, Family, Planning & Environment, Property Litigation, Commercial Property: Edinburgh & Glasgow, Commercial Litigation, Insurance, Intellectual Property, International Arbitration, Transport, and FinTech.
This is the highest number of rankings for the firm since its launch in 2010, with The Legal 500 recognising the benefits of a fee-share model, the quality of our team, and the work that gunnercooke has produced.
‘gunnercooke has a very distinctive and innovative business model. There is a very high proportion of partners which means that dealings are always with someone who has a high level of expertise.’ – Testimonial, The Legal 500 UK Solicitors Guide 2024
The full rankings are available here and below.
FINANCE – TRADE FINANCE – TIER 3
‘The team seems to be very strong in the area of financial legislation’, say clients of gunnercooke LLP which continues to build up its trade finance practice. The firm already has significant experience in commodities and finance partners Marc Weisberger and Veronika Koroleva, whose work spans structured commodity finance, trade and supply chain finance, receivables finance, and reserve-based lending. The arrival of Matthew Harvey from Gowling WLG adds expertise in lending transactions, for both lenders and borrowers, in asset and receivables finance. Weisberger recently acted for Torq Commodities AG in the financing of its expansion programme. ‘They gave me a good feeling of being in control of the legislation, but at the same time offered possible scenarios where appropriate’, remarks a client.
Key lawyers: Marc Weisberger; Veronika Koroleva; Matthew Harvey
EMPLOYMENT – PENSIONS – TIER 3
The expert advisers at gunnercooke LLP cover all areas of pensions including recent developments in the public sector, education sector and master trusts. Suresh Bhatt is recognised for his work within the small scheme risk settlement market. Ginevra Gatrell‘s practice encompasses private-sector pension schemes within the charities sector.
Key lawyers: Suresh Bhatt; Ginevra Gatrell
EMPLOYMENT – PENSIONS (NON-CONTENTIOUS) – TIER 4
gunnercooke LLP’s practice is praised by clients for its ‘wealth of experience‘, ‘excellent client service‘, and ‘technical pensions expertise’. The practice is able to act as trustee to numerous pension schemes with the firm’s professional trustee company, gcTrustees. Notable names within the team include Adam Bushby for his risk transfer specialism, Helen Miles for her expertise in issues of compliance and risk settlement matters, and Parminder Latimer for her over three decades of experience in the industry. Michael M Jones joined the team in May 2022 from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.
Key lawyers: Adam Bushby; Helen Miles; Parminder Latimer; Michael M Jones
EMPLOYMENT – TIER 4
gunnercooke LLP has handled a significant volume of big-ticket litigation mandates over the past twelve months, including representing Claimants in sex discrimination and harassment claims against Network Rail. Beyond this body of work, the practice has also been involved in cross-border employee dismissal proceedings and accompanying share valuation issues, TUPE transfers and regulation advice, aswell as drafting contracts and temporary employment frameworks. The ‘legally and commercially minded’ Paul Ryman and the ‘knowledgeable, approachable and empathetic’ Rachel Spink focus on the firm’s contentious mandates, acting in disability, age, unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claims, while Sarah Armstrong is chiefly recognised for her acumen in regulatory and compliance matters, in addition to restrictive covenant disputes and senior executive exits.
Key lawyers: Paul Ryman; Rachel Spink; Sarah Armstrong
FINANCE – BANKING & FINANCE – TIER 4
The key names to note in the North West region at gunnercooke LLP include leveraged finance expert Rob Fawke and Georgina Tripp, who has significant experience in work involving ABLs and real estate finance mandates; both partners are based in Manchester. The workload of the team ranges from significant sale and acquisition matters to the preparation and negotiation of financing documents for its key client list, which includes Santander UK.
Hall of Fame: Rob Fawke
Key lawyers: Rob Fawke; Georgina Tripp; Dan Knowles
PRIVATE CLIENT – FAMILY – TIER 4
gunnercooke LLP gives clients a ‘5-star treatment’ when dealing with family matters, with a range of clients spanning the North West – especially within the sports sector. Nuptial agreements are a fundamental part of the practice’s work, as well as both financial remedy litigation and mediation and complex private child arrangements. Singled out for his wealth of expertise regarding agricultural assets and child maintenance litigation, Roland Humphreys is the stand-out figure at the firm and has a broad caseload, with recent highlights including domestic abuse disputes and child financial arrangement mandates. Roland is also well-versed in cross-border matters, routinely advising on relocation cases and divorces involving international components.
Key lawyers: Roland Humphreys
REAL ESTATE – PLANNING & ENVIRONMENT – TIER 4
gunnercooke LLP‘s environment team is experienced in advising its portfolio of clients on waste and energy-related environmental matters, in particular, and regularly advises on related compliance issues and advises in defence against regulation bodies. Anna Willetts, noted as ‘supremely knowledgeable on waste legislation’ is the key name to note in Manchester.
Next Generation Partners: Anna Willetts
Key lawyers: Anna Willetts
REAL ESTATE – PROPERTY LITIGATION – TIER 4
The remote team at gunnercooke LLP is experienced in handling the breadth of property disputes. Jen Morris, noted for her ‘superb grounding in property law’, has a particular focus in providing advice regarding development projects; the ‘practical, down-to-earth’ Tom Seabrook has specialist knowledge of residential disputes and commercial dilapidation claims. Also of note is the ‘clear-sighted’ Kelly Kirby, who focuses on agricultural disputes.
Key lawyers: Tom Seabrook; Jen Morris; Kelly Kirby
REAL ESTATE – COMMERCIAL PROPERTY: EDINBURGH & GLASGOW – TIER 4
Helmed by Simon Etchells, an expert in development and investment affairs, gunnercooke LLP is well-placed to handle student accommodation, retail, leisure, office and restaurant assets. Etchells and the group often draw on the firm’s wider banking, finance, construction, corporate and litigation expertise. Having joined the firm from Dentons in March 2022, Rachel Dunn leverages her dual qualification in England and Scotland to support on the Scottish aspects of national and international deals.
Key lawyers: Simon Etchells; Rachel Dunn.
EMPLOYMENT – EMPLOYMENT: THAMES VALLEY, BERKS, OXON, M4/M40 – TIER 4
Rebecca Ireland is the employment name at gunnercooke LLP. Praised as ‘very commercial and pragmatic’, Ireland runs a broad practice which encompasses both non-contentious and contentious matters, alongside advising senior executives and directors.
Key lawyers: Rebecca Ireland
DISPUTE RESOLUTION – COMMERCIAL LITIGATION: MID-MARKET – TIER 5
Taking ‘a hands-on approach to dispute resolution’, gunnercooke LLP has notable experience in disputes involving financial services, technology, media, real estate, and IP, as well as SMEs and owner-managed businesses. Corporate and commercial disputes specialist Shilpen Savani ‘works hard to get the best results for clients’; Philip Rubens is a contentious financial services expert; Fergus Buckley focuses on civil fraud and shareholder disputes; and Laurence Katz is experienced in commercial dispute resolution, insolvency litigation, and fraud and asset tracing claims.
Key lawyers: Shilpen Savani; Philip Rubens; Fergus Buckley; Laurence Katz; Rashmi Dubé; Kelly Fox; Khaled Moyeed; Clare Jones.
INSURANCE – INSURANCE & REINSURANCE LITIGATION – TIER 5
David Breslin is the main point of contact at gunnercooke LLP and is renowned for his involvement in the London and Bermudian reinsurance markets, in addition to his work in marine, energy, property and casualty business. He has particular expertise in financial risks insurance, including professional liability, D&O and conventional fraud insurance products, among others.
Key lawyers: David Breslin
TMT (TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA & TELECOMS) – FINTECH – TIER 5
The ‘incredibly proactive and efficient’ team at gunnercooke LLP focuses on matters relating to cryptoassets, blockchain and Web3. Key names to note include James Burnie, who is praised for his ‘unmatched knowledge and experience in the Web3 space’, while Kathryn Dodds‘ Web3 knowledge is frequently brought to bear in work for clients from the creative arts industry. Will Foulkes, who joined from Stephenson Law in January 2023, expands the firm’s capabilities in corporate, commercial and regulatory law relating to blockchain technologies.
Key lawyers: James Burnie; Will Foulkes; Gareth Malna; Kathryn Dodds
TMT (TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA & TELECOMS) – INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: TRADE MARKS, COPYRIGHT AND DESIGN – TIER 5
Acting for fashion, technology, manufacturing and retail clients, including large international brands, gunnercooke LLP’s expertise spans litigation, portfolio management and licensing. Its recent work includes IP strategy and trade mark infringement disputes. Rosie Burbidge handles matters concerning distribution agreements, anti-counterfeiting and copyright infringements, among others. Rachel Pearse is also recommended.
Key lawyers: Rosie Burbidge; Rachel Pearse
CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL – CORPORATE & COMMERCIAL: MANCHESTER – TIER 5
The bench of talent at new model law firm gunnercooke LLP has expertise in M&A, restructuring and private equity across sectors such as IT, utilities, financial services, outsourcing and hospitality. Nick Ducker has particular experience in the M&A sphere, advising on reorganisations and restructurings. Jo Glass acts on local, national and cross-border corporate transactions such as mergers.
Key lawyers: Nick Ducker; Jo Glass
EMPLOYMENT – EMPLOYMENT: LEEDS & WEST YORKSHIRE; NORTH YORKSHIRE – TIER 5
Gunnercooke LLP continues to grow its presence in the region, working in conjunction with other national offices, in addition to undertaking a range of contentious matters from its Leeds office. Jo Tindall, Joan Pettingill, and Mini Setty are noted for the breadth of their practice, while Angela Brumpton has experience in unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. Paul Menham and Ed Jenneson have expertise in the Equality Act and redundancy mandates.
Key lawyers: Jo Tindall; Mini Setty; Angela Brumpton; Joan Pettingill; Ed Jenneson; Paul Menham
CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL – FINANCIAL SERVICES: NON-CONTENTIOUS/REGULATORY – TIER 6
gunnercooke LLP further bolstered its standout expertise in cryptoassets with the arrival of Gareth Malna from Stephenson Law in March 2023, who handles regulatory matters concerning asset management, payment services and electronic money. Other key contacts in the group include James Burnie, who navigates on all aspects of EU and UK financial regulation ‘with great skill and knowledge’, and Edward Black.
Key lawyers: Edward Black; James Burnie; Gareth Malna
DISPUTE RESOLUTION – INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION – TIER 6
gunnercooke LLP‘s disputes group is highly experienced in ad hoc international arbitrations, as well as matters under the rules of the major international arbitral bodies. David Breslin specialises in international arbitrations in the insurance, financial services, energy and international trade sectors, while Philip Rubens’ recent workload includes Anglo-Indian disputes. In summer 2023, the group expanded at partner level through the recruitment of investment treaty dispute experts Chloe Carswell and Uliana Cooke from Reed Smith LLP and PCB Byrne, respectively.
Key lawyers: David Breslin; Philip Rubens; Andre Yeghiazarian; Khaled Moyeed; Chloe Carswell; Uliana Cooke
FINANCE – TRANSPORT FINANCE & LEASING – TIER 6
gunnercooke LLP has a focus on rail-related asset finance work following the arrival of Clive Smith from Addleshaw Goddard in April 2022. Smith heads the fledgling team and is particularly recognised for his work on all things rolling stock-related, including its manufacture, purchase, finance, leasing, maintenance, modification and freight-conversion.
Leading individuals: Clive Smith
Key lawyers: Clive Smith
REAL ESTATE – PROPERTY FINANCE – TIER 6
gunnercooke LLP acts for lenders and borrowers on both property investment and development finance mandates, with a strong focus in the residential, office and hotel sectors. The practice recruited Sarah Hung and John Hargreaves in mid-2022 from Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP and Druces LLP, respectively, to expand its offering in investment and development transactional work. Matthew East is recommended for development and acquisition finance of hotels properties.
Key lawyers: Sarah Hung; John Hargreaves; Matthew East
DISPUTE RESOLUTION – COMMERCIAL LITIGATION: MANCHESTER – TIER 6
gunnercooke LLP‘s bench of commercial litigation talent continues to grow in Manchester, acting across fraud, injunctive work, arbitrations, insolvency, and business disputes for both public and private companies. ‘Extremely experienced litigator’ Harvey Stringfellow is a key name, acting alongside Sydney Fulda, widely commended for his ‘wealth of knowledge and commercial acumen.’
Leading individuals: Sydney Fulda
Key lawyers: Sydney Fulda; Harvey Stringfellow; Christine Oxenburgh; Neville Takiar
REAL ESTATE – COMMERCIAL PROPERTY: NOTTINGHAM AND DERBY – TIER 2
The primary areas of focus for gunnercooke LLP‘s real estate team are commercial and residential development, infrastructure, renewable energy and investments. Specifically, the firm is active in matters surrounding logistics, student development and minerals and waste. Brendan Walsh has over great experience in commercial and residential development and real estate investment. Matthew Grocock is experienced in residential and commercial development on behalf of landed estates and agricultural landowners. Bev Simms and Sarah Gunton are other key names.
Hall of Fame: Brendan Walsh
Rising stars: Sarah Gunton
Key lawyers: Brendan Walsh; Matthew Grocock; Bev Simms; Sarah Gunton