The recently launched Legal 500 UK and Chambers & Partners legal directories have recognised Laytons LLP for a number of key services across London, Manchester and Guildford.
Our full rankings include Corporate & Commercial: M&A, Dispute Resolution: Commercial Litigation, Real Estate: Commercial Property: Development for London, Corporate & Commercial, Private Client: Family for Manchester and Real Estate: Property Litigation and Commercial Property for Guildford.
Our full rankings can be found below:
London: Corporate & Commercial: M&A
The corporate practice at Laytons LLP has been strengthened following the firm's merger with Silverman Sherliker in August 2017. The retail and food and drinks sectors are key areas of focus for the team, which is led by Cameron Sunter and also includes TMT and retail sector expert Simon Baker, Daniel Oldfield, who has handled a number of transactions for overseas clients, and Christopher Sherliker, who is noted for his extensive experience in US-related matters. Recent highlights include acting for UK and South Africa-based fastjet on its $28.8m placement of shares and the $19.2m acquisition of a special purpose vehicle owned by Solenta, and advising professional services firm Work Group on its £18.8m reverse takeover by Gordon Dadds to form Gordon Dadds Group, which began trading on AIM.
London: Dispute Resolution: Commercial Litigation
Laytons recently merged with Silverman Sherliker; the combined firm Laytons LLP 'achieves the best commercial outcomes'. It has particular strength in litigation involving the financial services, and real estate and construction sectors as well as shareholder and partnership disputes, IP matters and product liability litigation. Practice head Geraint Thomas is 'hugely knowledgeable and experienced'; and John Abbott 'offers practical solutions'. Russell Beard is also a key contact.
London: Real Estate: Commercial Property: Development
At Laytons LLP, clients ‘can speak directly to experienced partners’, who provide ‘valuable advice backed by extensive industry knowledge’. John Beesley is a key contact in the team, which has considerable experience in London-centric residential and mixed-use development projects. Beesley also advises family property companies and high-net-worth investors on property investment transactions, which has included acting for a Middle Eastern investor in connection with its purchase of a number of luxury flats in London. Andrew Melvill handles property portfolio management for domestic and international clients in the fintech, professional and financial services and retail sectors. Mark Reis, who is ‘extremely professional, personable, reliable and efficient’, has handled strategic portfolio mandates and letting transactions for a variety of domestic and international retailers. The department also handles property finance transactions in connection with its investment and development work.
North West: Corporate & Commercial
Laytons handles transactional and advisory mandates across the retail, utilities and facilities management sectors, and is particularly praised for its fund formation and investment expertise. Patrick Curtis is representing Building Energy Services on the acquisition of Building Management Services Integrators, the BEMS division of Centrica. Consultant David Sefton is representing Mercia Fund Managers as fund manager on the establishment and management of both the Debt and the Equity Northern Powerhouse Investment Funds; and advised Alliance Fund Managers, in combination with The British Business Bank, on the North-West Business Growth Fund. Chairman John Gavan and Barney Leaf are also key contacts in the department.
North West: Private Client: Family
Christine Barker at Laytons LLP is ‘insightful and adopts a pragmatic approach to negotiation; she has the best interests of the family at heart’. The ‘really experienced and diligent’ Liz Bottrill has particular expertise in advising clients on complex financial matters where there are substantial business assets, multiple pension schemes involving complicated trust arrangements and resultant tax issues. The group routinely acts for celebrities and high-net-worth individuals. It has also considerable expertise in same-sex matters and acts for a growing number of fertility-related family and matrimonial issues.
Chambers & Partners recommended Family & Matrimonial for Manchester & Surrounds as a “broad family practice acting for clients on finance remedies, cohabitation disputes and prenuptial agreements. Also advises on complex private law children cases, including matters involving same-sex parentage, adoption, relocation and contact. Regularly represents high net worth professionals.”
Managing partner Christine Barker offers her expertise in financial matters, advising high net worth individuals on commercial assets, pensions and trusts. According to one source, she gives a "fantastic mix of sound advice, compassion and drive."
One client reports: "I was very impressed with both their legal skills and client care."
South East: Real Estate: Property Litigation
Laytons LLP fields 'an excellent team' that 'shines in every respect'. The firm's merger with Silverman Sherliker in August 2017 significantly enhanced the practice, which is particularly known for its work for pharmaceuticals companies, in addition to acting for a number of the UK's largest private sector housebuilders. Recent work includes acting for a retired architect in a claim against St John's College, Oxford concerning boundaries and drainage easements. The 'thoughtful and thorough' Simon Foster has 'an excellent manner with clients and instills confidence'.
Chambers & Partners describes Simon Foster as “a talented, dedicated lawyer who has in-depth knowledge of tenancy legislation and case law, as well as court processes and applications and having particular expertise in boundary disputes”.
South East: Commercial Property
The Guildford-based team of Laytons LLP, which is headed by Andrew Li, is 'very proactive' and has 'good industry knowledge'. Ian Cook and David McClenaghan are highlighted for their in-depth knowledge of residential building projects. The team advises local and national developers on residential and mixed-use developments and also assists with landlord and tenant and planning issues. In recent work, it is advising a developer on a project involving the construction of 2,000 homes, together with retail and community facilities.