Freeths’ corporate team rises up the rankings

Freeths' Birmingham office

Being home to a host of international law firms has helped Birmingham’s corporate sector remain resilient in uncertain times, but it was firm with a national footprint that caught the eye in this year’s Legal 500.

Freeths was the only firm to rise in the corporate and commercial rankings in 2019, joining Gateley, Mills & Reeve, Pinsent Masons, Shakespeare Martineau and Squire Patton Boggs in tier two.

Lee Clifford, Freeths

Freeths, which has its Birmingham team in the Colmore Building, is strong in the retail, construction, logistics, hospitality and public sectors. Its corporate team is led by Lee Clifford and Nigel Gardner heads up its commercial team.

The firm’s highlights in the last year include advising LDC on the acquisition of SMH Fleet Solutions, working with German group Würth on the sale of Monks & Crane, and BGF’s investment in returns business Rebound and its exit from garage operator MPK.

The trio of DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland and Gowling WLG remain in tier one of the corporate and commercial teams.

DLA Piper’s highlights included two food and drink deals – Boparan’s sale of its red meat business to Kepak Group and Brewdog’s purchase of 14 venues operated by Draft House.

The NEC campus

Eversheds Sutherland also took a bite out of the food and drink sector, acting for Starbucks and Mitchells & Butler, although its headline deal was advising LDC on the sale of NEC Group to Blackstone.

Gowling WLG worked on high-profile property deals during the period, advising Avison Young on its acquisition of GVA Grimley and Birmingham City Council on the reorganisation of Innovation Birmingham.



Legal 500 2019: Corporate and commercial: Birmingham

(they have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years)

Mark Beardmore – Eversheds Sutherland
Andrew Hornigold – Pinsent Masons
Jeremy Millington – Gowling WLG
Geoff Perry – Squire Patton Boggs
Michael Ward – Gateley


John Campion – DLA Piper
Charles Cook – DLA Piper
Noel Haywood – DLA Piper
Susan Lewis – Eversheds Sutherland
Matthew Williams – Fieldfisher


Mike Jackson – Browne Jacobson
Caroline McNally – Gowling WLG
Tom Rush – Gateley


Ruth Andrew – Mills & Reeve
Robert Newman – DLA Piper