Professionals: DLA Piper, Gordons, Lupton Fawcett Denison Till

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THE Sheffield real estate team at DLA Piper has advised Hibernia Networks, a provider of high speed global telecommunications services, on the development of the new Hibernia Express submarine cable system.

The 2,858 mile cable will provide the lowest-latency fibre-optic path between New York and London, connecting Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Brean, England and Cork, Ireland.

Mike Conradi, Telecoms partner at DLA Piper, commented: “The Atlantic is the busiest connectivity corridor in the world with data traffic growing 40% a year. This new cable also opens up the possibility of further routes being built on the basis of reducing latency – an entirely new prospect for the industy.”

“DLA Piper’s unparalleled expertise on submarine cable matters was invaluable to Hibernia Networks on this project – the team didn’t just provide legal advice they acted as trusted advisors on many aspects of the project” said Jim Prenetta, General Counsel of Hibernia.

The DLA Piper real estate team was led from Sheffield by senior associate Ben Rogers with Sheffield managing partner Petra Billing and chartered legal executive Michelle Eyre (all Real Estate) assisting on land matters. Telecoms partner Mike Conradi led on the commercial contract aspects.

Ben Rogers added: “It’s been a real privilege to work with Hibernia Networks on this landmark project. The new cable places the company at the cutting edge of technology and will significantly enhance transatlantic communication across a host of different industries.”

LAW firm Gordons has helped retailer B&M surpass the 400 store opening milestone.

B&M opened 24 stores on the 12 weeks since its March 2015 year end. It plans to open 80 stores this current year.

Gordons’ partner Joanne Fearnley has been principal legal adviser to B&M on all property matters for over a decade and recently advised on the company’s new distribution warehouses in Runcorn and Middlewich.

As well as numerous individual new sites, B&M has expanded its market share quickly via multiple acquisitions from administrators. Joanne helped the company acquire 23 Woolworths sites within 48 hours, after that group hit problems in 2008, and 11 Focus outlets, following the DIY chain’s collapse in 2011.

Praising Gordons’ contribution, Simon Arora, B&M’s chief executive, said: “We’ve now employed Gordons in the opening of over 400 stores. They’ve shown time and again that they understand retail and our business in particular.

“Joanne instinctively grasps what is, and what isn’t, important to us. She is practical, efficient and able to think and act entrepreneurially for B&M. She is a crucial part of our success story.”

Liverpool-based B&M, which was founded in 1978 and listed on the London Stock Exchange last year, sells a broad product range encompassing DIY, household goods, toys, clothing, food and toiletries. It offers products from major brands and its own label merchandise. The company employs over 20,000 staff and about 2.5 million customers shop at its stores each week.

Ms Fearnley said: “As one of the UK’s quickest-expanding retailers, B&M demands legal services that are delivered accurately and quickly. Our long-established relationship with the company shows we know how to satisfy these needs, as well as provide business-focused advice and negotiate highly acceptable terms.”


A TEAM at commercial law firm Lupton Fawcett Denison Till, commercial law firm has arranged an event to aid the refugees in Piraeus.

Clothing, footwear, tents, bedding, kitchen items, toiletries and toys/books for the children were all donated from all three of the firm’s offices. More than 60 bags were collected and placed at collection points in York.

The items are being shipped to both Greece and Syria in two separate containers organised by Alex Thornton from Windcare Ltd, who will then travel out to various locations to assist the front line charities in distributing all donations, in conjunction with both the British Red Cross and Medecins sans Frontieres.