We appoint expert director into our company secretary team

News | New Joiner

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Shakespeare Martineau has appointed a new director to help grow and enhance the reputation and brand of its company secretarial and governance business.

With more than 30 years’ experience, Maddie Cordes has joined the firm’s company secretary business, where she will also be sharing her knowledge with the team, as well as Shakespeare Martineau’s existing and new clients.

Prior to her new role, Maddie – who is based at the firm’s London hub but working with clients nationally – worked across both professional practice, including EY, Capita and TMF Group, and in-house as a company secretary for a range of listed and unlisted companies across all sectors.

She also spent three years as head of corporate services at law firms offshore where she was responsible for a team of 50 across four jurisdictions, supporting more than 13,000 legal entities and providing board support for investor funds.

Maddie said: “I am thrilled to have joined Shakespeare Martineau as a thriving and dynamic business and be given the opportunity to return to professional practice after working in-house as a company secretary recently to share my experience more widely. In particular, I am looking forward to developing new services and offering mentoring and training within the team and for our clients.

“I enjoy finding new opportunities and forging client relationships, so my top priorities in my new role are to raise awareness of the business in the marketplace generally and how we can help Shakespeare Martineau’s wider client base and businesses, while also growing my own client base.

“Corporate governance is ever-changing and developing, and the role of company secretary is full of variety. There are always new ways to support our clients and the wider company secretarial marketplace with thought leadership and practical advice in carrying out the role.”

Maddie is skilled in governance, business development, training and operational management, specialising in board and shareholder meeting support, company law, staff development, and change and performance management.

She has also been the co-editor of Shackleton on the Law and Practice of Meetings for more than 10 years and is a mentor and examiner with the professional body for company secretaries, the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland.

Ben Harber, partner who heads up Shakespeare Martineau’s London-based company secretarial team, said: “We are delighted to welcome Maddie to our team. Her experience across both professional practice and in-house means she has an in-depth understanding of our clients’ challenges.

Whether we are providing a fully outsourced company secretarial function or assisting a client carrying out the company secretarial role part-time alongside their other duties, our job is to provide comfort to both our client contact and the overall board that the role is being fulfilled professionally with an appropriate level of up to date governance knowledge and external support.

With the ever-increasing spotlight on how companies implement and then apply good governance, our primary role is to ensure this is truly embedded. Boards rely heavily on us as governance advisers.

I am looking forward to working with Maddie and to see her bring her deep knowledge and expertise to help strengthen and grow the team, as well as our overall client base.

Shakespeare Martineau is proactively seeking talented people to join the firm on its growth journey, including mergers, team recruitment and lateral hires nationally.

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Ben leads our team of company secretaries in our London office, providing invaluable compliance and corporate governance services to a wide range of companies.

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We win top intellectual property award

News | Award

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Our IP team was last night awarded IPEC Firm of the Year at the 17th annual Managing IP awards. The awards were held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.

One of eight firms shortlisted in the hotly contested Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (“IPEC”) firm of the year category, the win is another milestone in the team’s ambition to be recognised as one of the top IP teams in the marketplace.

The IPEC is a specialist IP court within the High Court, which aims to provide a procedure for intellectual property litigation which is speedier and less costly than is the case in the rest of the High Court. The IP team is well placed and highly experienced in representing clients in this forum, having issued proceedings in a substantial number of cases in the last couple of years, including success at trial in the Claydon Yield O Meter v Mzuri patent dispute in 2021, and the Marflow v Cassellie patent dispute in 2019. This award recognises the team’s successes and experience.

Managing IP awards showcase the best providers and suppliers of IP services across the globe and recognise the firms, individuals and companies behind the most innovative and challenging IP work of the past year, as well as those driving the international IP market.

Commenting on the win, national head of IP Nick Briggs said, “We are absolutely delighted to have won this competitive category at these prestigious industry awards, especially amongst such high calibre competition. It is a great honour and testament to the hard work and standard of work the team has been undertaking over the past 12 months and beyond. Every member of the team has played a part in this fabulous award which moves us closer to our goal of being one of the leading national IP teams. Finally, and above all else, we look for success for our clients who trust us with their work, and to whom we extend our thanks”.

The team has recently expanded its regional footprint with the further development of our Sheffield office and the firm’s move into Bristol provides an opportunity to extend westwards our strong reputation in the Midlands market.

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Nick helps UK and international clients enforce and protect their Intellectual Property rights, and defends those accused of infringing IPRs.

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Lawyers trade office for canal as part of litter pick

News | Our People

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Tyres, carpets and suitcases were among the items collected by Shakespeare Martineau’s lawyers as part of a litter pick along the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal towpath.

An entire barge was filled with rubbish by the law firm’s Birmingham-based corporate team, who gave up their time on Tuesday (31 May) to take part in the volunteering day, which was organised by the Canal and River Trust.

The team started at Cambrian Wharf, which was developed in 1769, before making their way down the canal on a barge – collecting kids’ shoes, clothes, bricks, a step ladder, duvets, cans, bottles and umbrellas along the way.

Jody Webb, corporate partner at Shakespeare Martineau, said: “Canals provide vital access to green and blue spaces, which improve wellbeing and enhance communities. However, too often, litter is dropped along the towpath.

“The damage rubbish causes to our environment, aquatic ecosystems and wildlife is well-documented. We were really surprised at the amount of rubbish we collected over the course of the day, but it shows how much can be done when people give up their time.

“We are proud to have supported the Canal and River Trust in helping to keep our city clean and tidy for use by the local community, as well as in readiness for the Commonwealth Games this summer, and we are looking forward to helping out more over the next 12 months.

Tara Sexton, volunteer leader at the Canal and River Trust, added: “The work all volunteer groups undertake is essential to the management and maintenance of the heritage assets and environmental concerns prevalent throughout the region. As a wellbeing charity, it is vital we can provide accessible and safe spaces for everyone who visits the canals in Birmingham.

As part of its responsible business strategy, Shakespeare Martineau is aiming to deliver 10,000 volunteering hours in 2022.

People from the firm – including partners Jody Webb, Michael Stace and Peter Mayhew; solicitor Gweni Rees-Evans; consultant Tim Newman; litigation legal assistant Jakub Mikulecky; and paralegal Mia Georgiou – contributed towards this by taking part in the litter pick.

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Jody leads on substantial transactions including acquisitions, disposals, management buy outs and private equity investments with a particular focus on the UK mid-market with values of circa £5m – £100m across a variety of sectors.

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Shakespeare Martineau recognised as top large employer nationally

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Full-service law firm Shakespeare Martineau – as part of legal and professional services group Ampa – has been named one of the top 100 best large companies to work for in the UK by Best Companies.

  • Ranked 61 in top 100 best large companies

  • Ranked 12 in top 25 law firm

  • Ranked 25 in top 75 East Midlands companies

  • Ranked 25 in top 75 West Midlands companies

  • Ranked 33 in top 50 large London companies

BCA2022_company_2star

The Best Companies lists are the highest regarded league tables for great places to work – recognising business’ commitment to employee engagement and positive culture. Rankings are produced based on an independent and anonymous survey of people within the business.

Ampa brands were also awarded Best Companies’ second-highest standard two star accreditation – representing ‘outstanding’ levels of and commitment to workplace engagement.

Last year was Ampa’s first time being involved in the awards – ranking 58 in the top 100 Midlands companies and 42 in the top 75 large London companies.

It is truly fantastic to have achieved recognition as a top large employer nationally, as well as in law, the East Midlands, West Midlands and London, which is testament to our positive, passionate and authentic culture.

Ben Buckton, chief marketing and people officer at Ampa

Last year, we featured on three lists and it is incredible to have retained and, in some cases, significantly improved our places on these league tables while also ranking so high nationally too.

“We are also delighted to have received such high levels of engagement from our people and a two star ‘outstanding’ accreditation. Our people are our greatest assets, greatest advocates and what we are all about. They drive our business forward and by investing in them, their ambitions, development, and wellbeing, we are able to provide the best service and outcomes for our clients.

“The insights we’ve gained from the B-Heard survey, alongside our own regular internal Pulse feedback, helps us keep our commitment to continuous improvement as we strive to be one of the most empowering and inclusive workplaces in the UK.

Ampa, which has pending B Corporation status, is proactively looking for like-minded businesses to join the group. All Ampa brands are recruiting lateral hires and teams.

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Shakespeare Martineau Announces Bristol Expansion

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Midlands-based law firm Shakespeare Martineau is expanding its geographical footprint into Bristol and the Southwest, following an announced merger with law firm GL Law.

The union will see GL Law become part of the Shakespeare Martineau brand, which is part of legal and professional services group Ampa, transferring more than 60 people and taking the group’s turnover to more than £100 million for financial year 2022/23. 

Acting for businesses, people and their families, GL Law will bolster Shakespeare Martineau’s existing expertise, but also further expand its sector specialisms in the creative industries and leisure and hospitality, as well as increase its geographical reach. 

With headquarters in Bristol and a team in London, GL Law has been acting for owner-managed businesses, SMEs, start-ups and some of the most discerning private clients across the Southwest and beyond for more than 300 years and looks to continue and extend this legacy under the Shakespeare Martineau brand.  

Part of legal and professional services group Ampa, Shakespeare Martineau’s partnership with GL Law is in line with the wider group strategy of investing in and bolstering the brands within the group portfolio to truly unlock their potential.   

It follows the recent additions into the group of Sussex firm Mayo Wynne Baxter and cyber security consultancy CSS Assure, both of which maintain their standalone brands within the ‘house of brands’.  

Richard Hill, managing director at GL Law said: “Organic growth has been the driving force behind our business for many years. Our strategy to bring innovation to new service areas and empower our team to work collaboratively has resulted in great success for both our clients and the firm. By joining the exceptional team at Shakespeare Martineau, a firm who truly share our values and ethos, we will be in a much stronger position to accelerate our ambitious growth plans. 

“There is a lot of consolidation in the legal market right now, but no one is offering what Shakespeare Martineau does, together we’re bringing a completely new approach to professional services in the local market. 

“This is an exciting next step in our journey, as we continue to build our services across the Southwest, leveraging the national reach, expertise, and resource offered by Shakespeare Martineau, to grow our support for existing and future clients.” 

There are no redundancies expected as part of the merger, and the brand is proactively looking to recruit talent in the area. Those with an equity share in GL Law will be transferred to equity share at an Ampa level and partners based in Bristol will be responsible for driving the Shakespeare Martineau brand locally.  

Cultural fit is crucial in any new team, or entity joining the group and we saw so many synergies with GL Law’s ways of working and our house of brands.

Our House of Brands strategy is a combination of introducing new standalone brands to the group or combining new teams or entities to our current brands, and in the case of GL Law, their existing legal offering and its market, it made sense for it to join Shakespeare Martineau and expand the national reach of this brand within our group

Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO of Shakespeare Martineau and Ampa

GL Law has started its transition to the group and its equity directors will officially become members of Ampa later in 2022.  

GL Law’s Bristol hub will become Shakespeare Martineau’s 11th office hub location, adding to its current presence in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Solihull, Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln, London, Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Glasgow.  

Ampa, which has pending B Corporation status, also includes uninsured loss recovery experts Corclaim, planning consultancy Marrons Planning and its consumer brand Lime Solicitors.  

The group of brands have been named as one of the top 100 large companies to work for as well as top 25 law firms, top 50 large London businesses and top 75 in East and West Midlands, in the Best Companies list 2022. 

All Ampa brands are recruiting lateral hires and teams, and the group is proactively looking for like-minded businesses to join the group as either standalone brands or bolt-ons to its existing portfolio. 

Find out more about who we are and our house of brands strategy.

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Sarah looks to challenge the norm in the legal sector and wider business world. She is passionate about levelling the playing field, encouraging everyone to bring their authentic selves to work.

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We support new Muslim youth mentoring scheme

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Midlands law firm Shakespeare Martineau is supporting British Muslim charity Mercy Mission UK in launching a new mentoring scheme.

100 local businesses across Birmingham will take action to help young people from across the region, improving their life chances through confidence and resilience building.

The scheme will offer mentoring and work experience placements to Muslim youth across the city directly tackling the long term inequities they face as people of faith.Initially centred in Birmingham, those first 100 businesses will take part in the scheme championed by Shakespeare Martineau in partnership with Mercy Mission’s ‘Faith in Our Cities’ initiative.

Speaking at the recent launch event, Azim Kidwai, CEO of Mercy Mission UK, urged business leaders to find out more about the youth empowerment programme and shift the dial domestically for a generation of young people, marginalised through lack of cultural understanding and fit for purpose employment opportunities.

Mohammed Saqub, partner at Shakespeare Martineau and head of Islamic finance, said: “It’s estimated that 17% of UK prisoners are Muslim, despite Muslims making up just over four per cent of the UK population.

A core challenge is that there is an issue with young people heading for a life of crime, as they see little alternative in their future or simply not fulfilling their true potential. Increased mentoring – especially from people who speak and look just like them and share the same cultural heritage – could make all the difference in the path a person chooses to follow.

When I was at school in the centre of Birmingham, I was influenced by a lawyer who came into our school to talk about what he did. Without him, I’m not sure whether I would have chosen this path – his mentoring opened-up possible options for a career and I am passionate about doing the same for others.

Spearheading the scheme is local civil society leader Jehangir Malik OBE, from Mercy Mission UK. He said: “We are really excited about launching this new scheme and are very optimistic by the initial response we’ve had from diverse local businesses in Birmingham.

The project is co-created by young people and local businesses as part of an intergenerational approach to strengthening British Muslim civil society. We recognise the untapped potential of British Muslim youth and the positive role they can play in shaping and enriching our society.

To this end, we are focussing on creating a multi-faceted developmental approach that ensures that Muslim youth in Britain can fulfil their true potential by launching the Muslim Youth Connected Youth Futures Programme in Birmingham.

For more information about the Muslim Youth Connected Futures Programme, please visit Mercy Mission or get in touch with Jehangir Malik.

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Mohammed is a real estate finance and islamic finance specialist with considerable experience in dealing with a range of high-value and complex property investment, finance and development transactions.

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3 tonnes of surplus leeks rescued from Lincolnshire farm to help tackle food poverty

News | Responsible Business

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Dozens of volunteers have hand-pulled, topped and tailed around 3,000kg of surplus leeks at a Lincolnshire farm – helping to reduce waste, combat food poverty and support the agricultural sector.

Organised by members of Lions Club International, a global volunteer service organisation, the initiative – supported by law firm Shakespeare Martineau – was the first of the year in conjunction with The Gleaning Network, which encourages people across the country to pick surplus crops to shrink farm-level food waste.

After being picked on Saturday, 23 April in Coningsby, the leeks were placed in crates and distributed to frontline charities and local groups – such as school breakfast clubs, older people’s lunch clubs, homeless shelters, food banks and community cafes – via FareShare’s regional centres.

Dr Chris Hibbert, a member of Lions Club International and holding the role of national hunger officer, formed the Lions Gleaning Hub two years ago. Since then, more than 38 tonnes of food from eight counties – including Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire – have been rescued.

Chris said: “Last year, we were inundated with pumpkins as they are getting more popular and we had opportunities with around a dozen farms. While we managed to help most of them, the waste was still staggering. All those who volunteer for us have been shocked by the quality and quantity of food available on the farms we have managed to engage with and the variety of reasons for this surplus.

While food banks, community fridges and soup kitchens are well-supported, awareness of food waste generally is still not widely appreciated. We are hoping to develop more opportunities with farms across the country, as well as encourage more volunteers to get involved. Another area we are keen to develop is around education of growing, preparing and cooking food as there is an over-reliance on takeaways and pre-prepared food.

It is important for people to realise that the food we are picking is fresh, nutritious and delicious. It isn’t waste – it is surplus and our aim is to stop it from becoming waste.

As part of its responsible business strategy, Shakespeare Martineau – which has a presence in Lincolnshire – is aiming to deliver 10,000 volunteering hours in 2022. People from the firm contributed towards this by pulling, preparing and saving the surplus leeks in Lincolnshire.

Jennie Wheildon, legal director who specialises in agricultural property law at Shakespeare Martineau, said: “It is estimated that £1.2 billion’s worth of food is wasted each year, which can be attributed to cosmetic standards, order cancellations, forecast changes, unpredictable weather, and harvesting capacity.

Gleaning reduces food waste on farms and increases the supply of fresh food to those in need. “As agricultural law specialists advising farming businesses, it is particularly great to have an opportunity to volunteer on a farm by helping to harvest the surplus supply.

We are delighted to have supported the Lions Gleaning Hub with its first pick of the year and are looking forward to helping out with more gleaning over the next 12 months.

To find out more about Lions Club International’s gleaning project or to get involved, please contact Chris Hibbert or visit the Lions District 105CE website to view the club’s gleaning ‘Seasonal’ newsletters, as well as videos of gleans and the Lions Feeding the 5000 events – the next of which is planned for 5 November in Lincoln.

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Jennie has enjoyed putting her wellington boots on and working within the agricultural sector since she was a trainee solicitor. Jennie has significant experience assisting farming clients with the wide variety of their property matters.

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We announce 25 promotions

News | New Joiner

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Full service law firm Shakespeare Martineau has announced 25 promotions, including four additions to the group level membership.
Equity membership and role of partner

Effective 1 May 2022, Nicola Holton, Peter Mayhew, Sneha Nainwal and Verity Kirby will be joining the equity membership and taking the role of partner within Shakespeare Martineau.

Insolvency expert Nicola Holton has more than 10 years’ restructuring and insolvency experience having worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from insolvency practitioners and litigation funders to corporates and their directors.

Peter Mayhew, who works as part of the corporate team, has extensive experience in fund structuring, tax advantaged schemes, private equity investment, disposals and restructuring.

Heading up Shakespeare Martineau’s India desk, dual-qualified partner Sneha Nainwal has extensive experience in acting for clients, both businesses and private individuals, in complex litigation before Indian and English Courts, as well as international arbitration and mediation.

Part of the private client team, Verity Kirby specialises in estate administration, inheritance tax and capital gains tax planning, trusts, wills and succession.

Salaried partner

Taking the role of salaried partner within the Shakespeare Martineau brand is commercial property expert Mark Jones and litigation and dispute resolution specialists Ben Humphreys and Gareth Hegarty.

Legal director

Stepping into the role of legal director at Shakespeare Martineau is education specialist Anieka Sheppard, commercial development expert Ben Darlow, conveyancing expert Claire Langford, experienced IP advisor Daniel Goodall, residential development specialist Holly Lockley and corporate lawyer Jennie Davis.

Associate

Within the Shakespeare Martineau brand there have been 12 promotions to associate level, including construction specialist Adam Watson, IP expert Daniel Kelly, litigation and restructuring lawyer Dannielle Long, real estate finance expert Dominique Appleby-Freeth and property dispute specialist Habib Khan.

Also promoted to associate is Hannah Awcock, who specialises in commercial property and development, corporate lawyer Jade Price, residential development expert Joe Davies, private client advisor Kuldeep Chauhan, corporate lawyer Matthew Shephard, residential conveyancer Raza Ali and estate planning expert Victoria Taylor.

Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO of Shakespeare Martineau, said: “It's our people who make our business – and it’s our clients who benefit from our investments in them, so rewarding high performance is part of our culture.

It’s great that all of our people are eligible for the membership and that we are able to recognise significant business contribution in this way. We are also pleased to see an increase in female representation within the membership, which is a key priority for the group as part of our responsible business ambitions. We’re so thrilled to have such a bumper promotions round this year and congratulations to all.

Shakespeare Martineau is proactively recruiting lateral hires and teams.

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Ben is part of our Main and Exec Boards, and as Chief Marketing & People Officer (CMPO), he is responsible for our people, customer, commercial and marketing strategy.

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We appoint a Birmingham specialist corporate finance partner

News | New Joiner

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As part of its ambitious growth strategy, leading law firm Shakespeare Martineau has appointed corporate partner Michael Stace.

With more than 25 years’ qualified experience, Michael joins Shakespeare Martineau from Browne Jacobson, where he was head of the firm’s Birmingham office.

Specialising in corporate finance, Michael advises public and private companies, individuals, and institutions on domestic and international M&A, private equity investments, restructurings, joint ventures, and partnership matters.

Michael, who will be based at Shakespeare Martineau’s Birmingham hub, said: “I am thrilled to have joined such a forward-thinking and ambitious firm at such an exciting time. I have been impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of those within the business, and I am looking forward to helping the Birmingham corporate team build upon and cement its presence and reputation in the local market.

Michael qualified in 1995 while at Cole & Cole – which, subsequently, became Morgan Cole and then Blake Morgan – and became a partner in 2004. He was head of corporate at the firm for four years, as well as an executive board member for three years, before joining Browne Jacobson in 2017.

Recently, Michael has acted for the founders and management in connection with the Westbridge-backed management buyout of Smart Capital Technology, as well as for NorthEdge on its acquisition of the global marketing services and consultancy firm ICP.

He said: “I really enjoy helping key decision-makers deliver on their business strategies and balancing risk and commercial objectives. I am excited to begin working with the Birmingham corporate team to strengthen its community ties and expand the firm’s client base in the West Midlands.

Michael’s appointment is the latest in a string of new partner hires – including corporate partner Jody Webb in Birmingham – as part of Shakespeare Martineau’s growth strategy, broadening its footprint both north and south.

His appointment is not the end of the firm’s corporate team expansion as it continues to talk with various lateral hires and teams.

Victoria Tester, partner and managing director of life and business at Shakespeare Martineau, said: “There is a lot of opportunity in the corporate market across the whole of the Midlands and beyond. With a wealth of experience and a strong local reputation, Michael’s appointment consolidates our commitment to providing clients with top quality consultancy from the very best legal minds that Birmingham has to offer.

Duncan James, partner and head of corporate at Shakespeare Martineau, added: “We are delighted to welcome Michael to the team, which is part of our continuing commitment to having a strong corporate presence across all our major hubs. We are continuing to look at further corporate recruits across our hubs as we continue to look to significant growth.

Shakespeare Martineau is proactively seeking talented people to join the firm on its growth journey, including mergers, team recruitment and lateral hires nationally.

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Expert partner joins to head up law firm’s national charity team

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Leading full service law firm Shakespeare Martineau has welcomed specialist partner Catherine Rustomji to head up its national charity team.

For more than 20 years, Catherine has been exclusively advising charities, social enterprises and not for profit organisations – specialising in charity law and governance, not for profit legal structures, trustee training and board development.

Catherine has joined Shakespeare Martineau after five years as a partner and charities practice head at Browne Jacobson. Prior to this, she worked at DWF, Hempsons, Dickinson Dees and Stone King, and was a charity trustee for Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Over the years, she has supported national, regional and local charities, not for profit organisations, community groups, schools, colleges, churches, welfare and professional associations – operating across the health, education, arts, public and private sectors.

Catherine said: “Shakespeare Martineau is a focused firm, which has a clear strategy for its people and itself, so I am delighted to be working at the core of a strong team to offer a complete service to our charities and not for profit clients.

As well as broad expertise in charity law, Shakespeare Martineau’s full-service team is able to support organisations with legacies, employment law, funding and corporate advice, intellectual property considerations, and real estate advice. The team also has particular and unique expertise advising charities on contentious probate issues.

Catherine, who will be primarily based at home and working with clients and teams nationally, said: “Operating in the charity and not for profit sector has never been more challenging or more stimulating, with social, economic and political upheavals, scarce resources, and mounting needs and expectations.

Having specialised in charity law for more than 20 years, this area of law continues to develop and evolve, meaning it is constantly challenging to keep up to date with latest developments. I particularly enjoy working with different boards of trustees – often at times of stress or pressure – and seeing them thrive.

Catherine’s appointment is the latest in a string of new partner hires as part of the firm’s growth strategy, broadening its footprint both north and south.

Andrew Wilkinson, partner at Shakespeare Martineau, said: “We are delighted to welcome Catherine to the firm. Her experience, knowledge and expertise will be a real asset as we look to grow our charities and not for profit offering, and Catherine will be at the forefront of leading this.

Shakespeare Martineau is proactively seeking talented people to join the firm on its growth journey, including mergers, team recruitment and lateral hires nationally.

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Orbit Homes plants pear tree at Daventry development to mark Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

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In celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a pear tree has been planted at Orbit Homes flagship development in Daventry, Micklewell Park.

In celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a pear tree has been planted at Orbit Homes flagship development in Daventry, Micklewell Park.

The Williams pear tree was planted on Wednesday, 30 March, having been provided by and planted in collaboration with leading law firm Shakespeare Martineau as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) – a unique initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee this year.

Colin Dean, sales and marketing director at Orbit Homes, said: “We are proud to plant this pear tree to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and add to the biodiversity we are creating at Micklewell Park. We consider a home’s surroundings to be just as important as the living spaces inside and know that sustainability and wellbeing go hand-in-hand for an improved quality of life for our residents.

Micklewell Park will be surrounded by beautiful green spaces and will include 20 allotments, newly-constructed cycle paths and newly-planted woodland. We know our new pear tree, which we planted in collaboration with our partners at Shakespeare Martineau, will be appreciated by the new neighbourhood and will be flourishing once the first phase of the development is completed in spring 2023.

With a focus on planting sustainably, the QGC initiative aims to encourage the planting of trees to create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership, while benefitting future generations.

Shakespeare Martineau is pending B Corporation status – where organisations are legally required to consider the impact of business decisions on their people, customers, suppliers, communities and the environment – and has committed to 30 ambitious responsible business pledges, including becoming carbon negative by 2030 and is on this journey already with all registered office hubs using 100% renewable energy.

Rachel Gwynne, partner and head of social housing at Shakespeare Martineau, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Orbit Homes to plant a tree in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

While this is a small contribution in terms of biodiversity, it will have a positive impact on the community once the development has completed – nourishing the neighbourhood with greenery and fruit, while helping to add to the nationwide drive to mark the Queen’s 70 years of service.

“We look forward to residents enjoying the fruits of their efforts, quite literally, for decades to come.

Micklewell Park comprises 450 homes – featuring one and two-bedroom apartments and two, three, four and five-bedroom houses – which will be a mixture of rented, shared ownership and market sale properties. The development will be embraced by nature and green spaces, including eight acres of woodland, and has been designed for a desirable quality of life today and a sustainable future.

The first phase in the Micklewell Park development – comprising 108 homes – is scheduled to complete in March 2023 and will include 20 allotment spaces, electric vehicle charging points, two bus stops and land allocated for a new primary school. Two further phases will commence thereafter.

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We build on our Scots law offering with dual-qualified appointment

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Leading full service law firm Shakespeare Martineau has built on its Scots law offering with the appointment of a new dual-qualified legal director.

With almost 10 years’ experience working in Scotland, Nicky Grant has joined the firm’s commercial real estate team and will be based in Edinburgh.

He has a breadth of experience across all areas of commercial property, including acquisition and disposals, commercial leasing, commercial developments, managing investment properties, acting on utilities and energy projects, corporate assist work, acting on behalf of healthcare providers, and real estate finance.

Prior to his new role, Nicky spent seven years at Edinburgh-based Dickson Minto after completing his property-focused traineeship at Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace in Aberdeen. He obtained dual qualification in 2018.

Nicky said: “I am thrilled to have joined Shakespeare Martineau at such an exciting time and key stage in the firm’s expansion as it further establishes a presence in the Scottish market. The firm is extremely ambitious and forward-thinking both in terms of growth and the way it invests in its people.

Commercial real estate law has always been my passion, largely due to the challenges that fast-paced, high-volume transactional work presents. I am looking forward to working with and growing the team in Scotland and creating new, long-lasting relationships with clients north of the border.

Nicky’s appointment comes after Shakespeare Martineau announced it is set to take on its first ever Scottish trainees. The law firm is looking to recruit two trainees into the commercial sector within its Scottish practice – one to start later this year and another in 2024.

Amal Kaur, partner at Shakespeare Martineau (Glasgow) LLP, said: “As businesses increasingly expand their operations across the UK, we are frequently asked to advise our clients on Scottish and cross-border transactions. We continue to provide tailored Scots law services to our clients and are investing internally in quality training to expand our resources.

I am really excited to welcome Nicky to the firm as a new senior appointment. He has a wealth of commercial experience and will be a great asset to our growing team. Based in Edinburgh, Nicky has a network of connections in Scotland to grow our practice even further and his dual-qualification means we can seamlessly transact in both jurisdiction for our clients – saving them valuable time and money.

This is a very exciting time for Shakespeare Martineau in Scotland. I am also pleased to congratulate our real estate associate Aller Dawlat on dual qualifying into Scots law. He will be a great asset in supporting our volume utilities team, with his existing wealth of experience in the sector.

Shakespeare Martineau is proactively seeking talented people to join the firm on its growth journey, including mergers, team recruitment and lateral hires nationally.

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Amal is our dual-qualified Partner having many years of combined experience North and South of the border.
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We support The Regenda Group’s successful New Ferry bid

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After a competitive tender process, The Regenda Group has been announced as the preferred developer for a multi-site regeneration plan in New Ferry, Merseyside – following support by leading law firm Shakespeare Martineau.

The project will bring 71 new homes to New Ferry, including one and two-bedroom apartments and two, three and four-bedroom houses, which will be available for rent to buy and affordable rent.

Northwest-based The Regenda Group is made up of nine subsidiary companies, including social housing provider Regenda Homes, Redwing property agency, and M&Y Maintenance and Construction, which are all involved in the New Ferry project.

Shakespeare Martineau – which was appointed to Regenda Homes’ legal panel framework in 2020 – provided a high level review of the title and project structure and documentation, summarising and advising on the terms of the deal to inform The Regenda Group’s bid.

Joanna Lee-Mills, head of social housing development at Shakespeare Martineau, said: “We are very excited to be working with The Regenda Group on such a significant project to the local area.

This scheme will provide real benefits to the local community by seeking to deliver much-needed affordable housing units at a time when so many people are being hit by living costs escalating beyond salary rises.

“Our panel appointment will allow our legal team to support the group with its innovative and ambitious development plans, and we look forward to working collaboratively with the group to help translate its vision and objectives into a lasting legacy that will transform the local community.

Kevin Edwards, social housing legal director at Shakespeare Martineau, who is leading the delivery of the project, said: “We are extremely pleased to see The Regenda Group secure the winning bid for this very exciting project.

“This regeneration scheme will reinvigorate an up-and-coming area that has been in decline for a number of years. I was born in Birkenhead and grew up within two miles of the scheme so I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to help Regenda deliver this project alongside Wirral Council, which has itself put years of work into making this happen.

The Regenda Group will submit its detailed plans to Wirral Council’s planning committee towards the end of the summer.

Katie Davies, head of development at The Regenda Group, said: “We’re delighted to have been selected as the preferred developer for the New Ferry regeneration project and look forward to working alongside Wirral Council and the local community.

“The support provided by Shakespeare Martineau through the tender process was invaluable, putting us in a strong position in submitting our bid and agreeing amendments to documentation suited to our proposals.

Stephanie Harrison, executive director operations customer service for Regenda Homes, added: “We’re delighted to have been selected to work alongside Wirral Council and the residents of New Ferry on this vitally important regeneration.

“Our proposed plans meet the critical demand for affordable rent and homeownership in the area and we look forward to sharing them with the public in due course.

“As a local company with a strong community focus, we have pledged to create opportunities for local schools, colleges and young people no longer in education or training throughout and hope to deliver many benefits to the wider community, who collectively have been through so much in recent times.

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We have boosted our growth ambitions with a double hire

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We have strengthened our growth ambitions with the appointment of two business development business partners.

With more than 24 years’ combined experience in the professional services sector, Lois Pryor and Perri Blakey will be focusing on developing relationships and delivering exceptional client service, supporting Shakespeare Martineau’s legal teams in delivering growth and creating business value through strategic marketing and business development initiatives.

While Lois will be looking after the firm’s residential development, commercial property and development, building communities, build to rent, and logistics legal teams, Perri will be supporting the firm’s corporate department, as well as its East Midlands and South Yorkshire office hubs in Nottingham, Leicester, Lincoln and Sheffield.

Lois and Perri will primarily be based at the firm’s Birmingham and Nottingham hubs respectively, but will work with teams nationally across multiple services, markets and cities.

Lois – who joins the team after spending more than two years at international law firm Gowling WLG looking after the real estate, government and healthcare sectors – said: “I am delighted to have joined Shakespeare Martineau and extremely excited to be part of its vision.

“Shakespeare Martineau’s innovative approach to running a law firm really captured my interest, as well as its reputation for encouraging employees to be themselves. The firm has ambitious growth targets and I am looking forward to having an impact on its upwards trajectory and, in particular, the infrastructure and specialist markets team.

Perri – who was previously at national law firm Browne Jacobson, supporting its SME and entrepreneur target market – added: “Shakespeare Martineau is progressive, ambitious and has strong ethical values, and a real focus on the development and success of its people.

“I’m excited to be working with the firm’s corporate team and working with the partners to identify new opportunities in the market. The firm has a fantastic reputation in the East Midlands through its Nottingham and Leicester hubs, and has recently expanded into Sheffield and Lincoln, both present fantastic new opportunities for growth as we build our presence and credentials in these cities.

Lois and Perri’s appointments are the latest in a series of new roles across business development and marketing teams and for part of Shakespeare Martineau’s ambitious growth strategy, broadening its footprint both north and south. The firm is proactively seeking talented people to join it on its growth journey, including mergers, team recruitment and lateral hires nationally.

Head of business development Audrey Holden said: “Our positive culture and ambitious growth targets are proving to be a beacon for talent and we are thrilled to welcome both Lois and Perri to Shakespeare Martineau. Their knowledge and experience will be a real asset to us as we look to grow our corporate and infrastructure and specialist markets teams and cement our reputation in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire regions.

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Joseph supports the delivery of organic growth for the West Midlands region through identifying key segments for growth, leading cross-sell and referral initiatives and .driving sales & development culture. He is also responsible for key account management and sales & growth enablement.

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Birmingham law firm supports residential developer with corporate bond

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Shakespeare Martineau’s Birmingham office has supported residential developer One Heritage Group with the issuance and listing of a corporate bond on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

The bond – which has a fixed annual coupon of 8% that will be paid semi-annually – is not convertible and will mature in February 2024. The bond’s gross proceeds of £1,500,000 will be used to partially repay the existing loans outstanding to One Heritage Group. The issue of the bond required a Financial Conduct Authority approved prospectus and will be admitted to the standard segment of the Official List.

Keith Spedding, corporate partner at full service law firm Shakespeare Martineau, who led the deal, said: “It has been great to assist One Heritage Group with this issuance and listing – just 18 months after we supported the company in its admission to the London Stock Exchange.

“We work with a number of residential development and housing clients – at all stages of their business lifecycle – and it’s good knowing that we’re working with businesses and organisations doing the important job of tackling the shortage of good accommodation across the UK.

One Heritage Group is a property development and investment management company, which focuses on the residential sector primarily in the north of England. In 2020, One Heritage Group became one of the first publicly-listed residential developers with a focus on co-living.

CEO Jason Upton said: “The issue of the corporate bond demonstrates how the management team is diversifying sources of funding for the business in an effort to reduce risk and the cost of finance for the organisation.

“The funds were all raised outside of the UK, which demonstrates the strength of our overseas network, notably in Hong Kong. We automatically turned to Shakespeare Martineau to support us on this and Keith and his team delivered.

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Birmingham law firm’s family team bolstered with specialist partner appointment

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Leading full service law firm Shakespeare Martineau has welcomed new partner Aasha Choudhary to its family team in Birmingham.

Aasha specialises in high-value, complex financial matters, often with significant international elements, including assets abroad, jurisdiction disputes and third-party interveners. She also has a deep knowledge of wealth protection work, children matters, pre- and post-nups, and separation and cohabitation agreements.

With more than 13 years’ qualified experience, Aasha has joined Shakespeare Martineau after eight years at Mills & Reeve, where she worked her way up from associate to principal associate. Prior to this, she spent three years as a solicitor at George Green LLP and almost four years at Challinors.

Over the years, she has supported clients with significant wealth, including a high-profile pre-nuptial agreement covering assets worth £1.45 billion.

Aasha said: “I am thrilled to have joined Shakespeare Martineau at such an exciting time. I was drawn to the firm’s culture, nurturing environment and strong values, which focus on empowerment and unity – supporting each person to play to their strengths and allowing them to reach their full potential.

“The family team is well-established and well-respected, and the firm is on the crest of a wave – I am looking forward to being part of its growth journey and I am pleased to be bringing my experience to Shakespeare Martineau, helping to achieve the best possible outcomes for my clients.

Aasha will primarily be based at the firm’s Birmingham office hub but will be working with clients nationally.

She said: “I am excited to be working alongside the upcoming talent we have here at Shakespeare Martineau. My training and the support I received at the start of my career has made me the lawyer I am today, so I am always wanting to give back and share my knowledge with the next generation. I love watching trainees flourish.

“Family law has always been my passion. It is a distress purchase, so the satisfaction of seeing someone who starts the process following a relationship breakdown – typically in fragile place – become the person they are at the end of the journey is extremely rewarding.

Aasha’s appointment is the latest in a string of new partner hires as part of the firm’s growth strategy, broadening its footprint both north and south.

Victoria Tester, partner and life and business managing director at Shakespeare Martineau, said: “We are delighted to welcome Aasha to the firm. She has excellent experience advising on high-value and complex cases following relationship breakdowns, often involving multiple parties, businesses, trusts and foreign assets. Her knowledge will be a real asset to our already strong family team as we look to cement our reputation in the West Midlands.

Shakespeare Martineau – which was recognised as Family Law Firm of the Year in the Midlands and Wales in the LexisNexis Family Law Awards 2020 – is proactively seeking talented people to join the firm on its growth journey, including mergers, team recruitment and lateral hires nationally.

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We support Birmingham Enterprise Community to help entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds

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Leading law firm Shakespeare Martineau is partnering with Birmingham-based social enterprise Birmingham Enterprise Community (BEC) to provide more opportunities to support individuals from underrepresented communities to start their own businesses.

The initiative will invite individuals from backgrounds usually underrepresented in entrepreneurship who are seeking to start their own business to apply to receive fully funded support delivered by BEC. In total, 12 individuals will then be selected to receive a fully-funded place on BEC’s 6 week Startup Sprint Programme, commencing in April, which will help them to gain the skills and knowledge they need to start their own businesses and begin to build the connections they need to enable their own professional development. The programme includes workshops, expert mentoring, access to events and more.

The initiative will prioritise applications from backgrounds including (but not limited to) female founders, founders from ethnic minority backgrounds, refugee founders, founders from the LGBTQ+ community and founders with disabilities. However, anyone is welcome to apply.

During 2020 & 2021, a number of reports were released highlighting disparity when it comes to key elements of entrepreneurship amongst various demographics such as access to funding and access to networks. The Startup Sprint Programme which Shakespeare Martineau have supported is part of an ongoing series of activities by BEC to support and encourage founders from diverse backgrounds to both start and grow their own businesses by helping them to tackle some of the barriers and challenges that they face as founders.

Applications for the programme are open until 18th March and can be submitted by completing the following application here.

The programme itself will commence on the 4th April 2022.

We’ve been working hard to create more opportunities to ensure everyone is given a seat around the entrepreneurial table. Anyone that has an idea should be given the opportunity to explore that further and we are excited to be working with Shakespeare Martineau to create new opportunities for founders from all backgrounds to thrive.” - Daniel Evans, Chief Executive, Birmingham Enterprise Community.

Birmingham Enterprise group shot

At Shakespeare Martineau our purpose is to unlock potential and we’re thrilled to be supporting a programme that will enhance productivity, innovation and diversity in the business community. If we want to speed up economic recovery it’s our responsibility as experienced business leaders to pay it forward with mentoring and support for start-up enterprises, not least those who potentially face additional barriers to getting a foot on the business ladder, which is already tough enough as it is. I’m really looking forward to following the entrepreneurs in their business journey through the programme.- Jennie Davis, Corporate Associate, Shakespeare Martineau

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Jennie is a key member of our corporate team, providing advice to both private and public companies.

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Law firm plans to grow Milton Keynes office hub

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As part of its accelerated growth strategy, law firm Shakespeare Martineau has promoted real estate development partner Allawee Albaghdadi to head up its Milton Keynes office hub.

Allawee – who joined Shakespeare Martineau in April 2021 to work alongside six others who joined from EMW Law last year – will lead plans to substantially grow the city centre hub, with the aim of at least doubling its size within the next couple of years, inspired by the firm’s aspiration to become one of the most admired top 30 legal and professional groups by 2025.

Allawee takes over from partner Mark Thompson who has been in the role for more than six years. Mark will continue to be an integral member of the Milton Keynes team focusing on growing the commercial and corporate offering, as well as continuing to support regional businesses.

The promotion is part of Shakespeare Martineau’s commitment to reinforcing its regional expertise and strengthening its Milton Keynes footprint – providing legal and professional services support to the area’s businesses across numerous sectors, including healthcare, education, real estate development, investment and social housing, as well as areas such as corporate, commercial, insolvency and wealth.

Allawee said:  “I am thrilled to have an opportunity to head up our Milton Keynes office. As a thriving economic hub, Milton Keynes continues to go from strength to strength, with so much more potential for growth within the region.

“Situated in the middle of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, Milton Keynes is an exciting place to be. I look forward to working with everyone in Milton Keynes as 2022 unfolds, growing our team locally, and collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team to better service our clients both within the region and nationally.

Allawee specialises in real estate development, with wide experience both within private practice as well as in-house for major retailers Amazon and Frasers Group. He works with commercial developers on projects such as the development, funding and letting of retail parks, sports centres and industrial schemes. He also works closely with a number of residential developers on their acquisitions, options and promotion agreements.

Kavita Patel, head of the south region at Shakespeare Martineau, said: “The south is a key region for us and Allawee’s promotion to head of Milton Keynes will play a huge role in our accelerated growth strategy in the area.

“Location means a lot to our clients and, unlike other firms that are retreating from regional locations, we are expanding. As well as widening our talent pool, this benefits our clients by giving them direct access to local legal experts, who are backed by a full-service national law firm.

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Allawee has led multi-disciplinary teams for over 10 years both within private practice and whilst in-house.

Allawee specialises in real estate development with wide experience both within private practice as well as in-house for major retailers Amazon and Frasers Group.

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Hayward Tyler Fluid Handling acquires Transkem Plant

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Shakespeare Martineau’s Birmingham office has supported Hayward Tyler Fluid Handling (HTFH) – part of Avingtrans’ process solutions and rotating equipment division – with its acquisition of Transkem Plant Limited, which manufactures mixers and agitators for blue chip companies.

The deal will see Transkem’s operations move 14 miles south from Hillington, near Glasgow, to HTFH’s site in East Kilbride. The firm’s managing director Stuart Gibson will head up the new combined operation under the HTFH brand.

Full service law firm Shakespeare Martineau acted on behalf of HTFH, including through its Scottish property expert Amal Kaur.

Corporate partner Keith Spedding, who led the deal, said: “It has been a pleasure to once again support our long-standing client Avingtrans, this time via its process solutions and rotating equipment division. For more than a decade, we’ve seen the firm implement and progress its strategy and we’ve been able to support this with our international, corporate and MedTech expertise.

The acquisition brings together two respected names in the processing industries – helping to expand their offering for new and existing customers across the globe.

HTFH designs, manufactures and services performance-critical electric motors and pumps to meet the most demanding of applications for the global energy and chemical industries.

Austen Adams, managing director of Avingtrans’ process solutions and rotating equipment division, said: “Transkem is well-known for designing and manufacturing specialist mixers for the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, food and beverage industries.

This fits neatly with HTFH’s expertise producing pumps and valves, as well as our in-house mixer testing capabilities. By consolidating the two businesses, we can expand our offer for new and existing customers around the world, becoming a more rounded fluid handling provider and creating a strong foundation for future growth.

Jennie Davis and the Shakespeare Martineau team did another excellent job.

Transkem, which was founded in 1934, is a founding member of the Fluid Mixing Process Group at Cranfield University – playing a key role in the development of the fluid mixing design guide, which remains the basis of mechanical mixer designs to this day.

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Keith advises companies (both public and private), partnerships and their owners on all aspects of corporate and partnership law.

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In Business, Confidence Comes With Age

New Research Reveals

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The Ambition Index Launches

New research from full-service law firm Shakespeare Martineau shows that age and location have the biggest impact on the ambition of senior leaders, with gender having less of an influence over confidence and drive.

The Ambition Index*, conducted with 1,000 senior decision-makers in UK businesses, showed that prior to the pandemic 90% of business leaders felt ambitious – including 46% claiming to be ‘very ambitious’.

During the pandemic, those feeling ‘very ambitious’ dropped to just 27%, with overall feelings of ambition down to 74%.

Now ambition levels are rising once more, with 84% of senior leaders claiming a positive outlook for the next 18 months.

As well as an adverse effect on ambition, the pandemic has increased feelings of loneliness and isolation across the UK’s top bosses: more than half (56%) of business leaders said they felt lonely or isolated during the pandemic, an increase from 29% prior to the pandemic.

Key Takeaways

  • More than a third of baby boomers say nothing is holding them back as a leader, compared to only 1 in 10 of Gen Z. Gen Z also twice as likely to say time is holding them back as a leader, compared to baby boomers

  • Younger generations are most ambitious post-pandemic

  • Millennials blame maintaining a work-life balance (29%), time (29%) and confidence (23%) as top three things holding them back as leaders

  • Imposter syndrome affecting 1 in 5 female leaders compared to just 15% of male bosses

  • Lack of family support makes women feel lonelier, whereas men hit harder by lack of backing from professional peers

  • Southern leaders struggle more with work-life balance

It’s great to see such high levels of ambition in the younger generations. They are our future, so we need to bottle up what makes mature leaders so confident and share it with them if we want to drive economic growth.

Confidence

Delving into the detail suggests that confidence comes with age – as more than a third of baby boomers stated nothing was holding them back as a leader, compared to just 1 in 10 of Gen Z and 12% of millennials.

Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO at Shakespeare Martineau and member of the Society of Leadership Fellows at St George’s House, said: “The stats are telling us that younger leaders are lacking in confidence, which in a way you would expect, as confidence often comes from experience. However, if we want to improve productivity, innovation and diversity, it’s our responsibility as experienced leaders to mentor the next generation.

“But I also think that such high levels of imposter syndrome and openly talking about confidence is a generational thing – its great that younger people are much more open about how they are feeling as all need to be having open and honest conversations about the emotional side of leadership as well as the practical sides too.”

Across the board, market uncertainty and cash flow were the two biggest factors holding businesses back, at 28% and 27% respectively. Covid resilience and investment also ranked highly at 26% and 21% for businesses on the whole.

On average, factors holding leaders back from a personal level were work-life balance and time – both 26%, followed by confidence (20%) and imposter syndrome (17%). However, through the generations time affected leaders less and less, with Gen Z twice as likely to select this option than baby boomers (32% vs 16%).

Gender

Apart from feelings of imposter syndrome seen more commonly in women (20% vs 15% in men), there was very little difference in ambition between men and women, or the factors holding them back as leaders.

Maintaining a work-life balance affects 27% of men and 25% of women, while confidence affects 18% of men and 22% of women.

Lack of a support network within a business affects 13% of men and 12% of women, however it has a greater effect on the loneliness of men; with 63% of men stating that this made them feel more lonely, compared to just 57% of women.

Conversely, lack of support from family has a greater impact on the loneliness of women leaders: of those affected by lack of family support, 60% of women said it made them feel more lonely, compared to 47% of men.

“Where women and men get their support from is really interesting,” said Sarah.
“This might be a sweeping statement, but in my experience, historically men can find more comradery in networking groups and events, such as golf days or drinks after work – places that many women, particularly mothers, are not able to or chose not to be part of. So women tend to have more social groups and close friends away from work, who have supported them through the pandemic.”

However, Sarah suggests that while it’s encouraging to see the gender divide shrinking, the research may not account for the thousands of more mature female leaders lost to industry every year.

She said: “We know anecdotally that we lose a lot of female talent when women reach menopausal and peri-menopausal age –  and research shows that women are more vulnerable to burnout than men - and so while I’m encouraged to see greater balance in the research, we must not forget that many talented women may have left leadership roles by this stage.

“More must be done to retain expert female talent; better education of the effects of menopause and increased flexibility for talented people who need it – and simply greater conversation at all levels.”

Younger leaders should keep asking questions, keep turning to trusted business advisors and have the confidence to make mistakes, take calculated risks and believe in themselves. Remember if you are good enough, you are old enough

Location

Location also has an impact on leaders – significantly more southern business leaders are struggling to maintain a work-life balance compared to northern senior teams: 1 in 5 for the north and almost 3 in 10 (29%) for the south.

Commenting, Sarah said: “Rightly, there is a big focus on the levelling up agenda in boosting the north with investment, but are we missing a trick by not sharing learnings and lifestyle changes experienced outside of the M25 in order to level up productivity and job satisfaction within it too?”

Priorities

When asked about future ambitions; Gen X (those aged 43 to 54) were the leaders most focused on profit as 61% of bosses in that age bracket said that growth in profit was an ambition for the next 18 months, compared to just 45% of Gen Z leaders and 56% of millennials.

Improving efficiencies was high on the agenda for millennial leaders and Gen X at 44% and 48%, respectively.

Increasing diversity was further down the agenda for baby boomers – just 12% had this as an ambition for the next 18 months, compared to around 1 in 5 of Gen Z (20%) and millennials (22%).

When it came to investment, the focus for most businesses was technology (37%), followed by IT (31%) and learning and development (27%).

Despite showing the greatest level of imposter syndrome, younger leaders were keen to grow their businesses; almost 9 out 10 (89%) millennial-lead business are looking to grow, compared to 1 in 3 baby boomer bosses not hoping to grow their business over the next year.

Sarah said: “It’s great to see such high levels of ambition in the younger generations. They are our future, so we need to bottle up what makes mature leaders so confident and share it with them if we want to drive economic growth."

“And younger leaders should keep asking questions, keep turning to trusted business advisors and have the confidence to make mistakes, take calculated risks and believe in themselves. Remember if you are good enough, you are old enough”

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Sarah looks to challenge the norm in the legal sector and wider business world. She is passionate about levelling the playing field, encouraging everyone to bring their authentic selves to work.

Press Contacts  

Jemma Page – jemma.page@shma.co.uk, 0796 720 7603, 0115 945 4617
Emma Houghton – emma.houghton@shma.co.uk, 0771 142 5599, 0115 945 4641
Nick Brown – shma@pearl-comms.com

*Shakespeare Martineau commissioned Censuswide to survey 1,000 senior decision-makers within UK companies in November 2021. Full responses are below.

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Looking after yourself at Christmas

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12 Days of Christmas - Day 1: A partridge in a pear tree

For many of us, Christmas is a time for family celebrations – to relax, unwind, and spend our days enjoying the festivities along with a mince pie and a glass of something delicious.

But for others, Christmas is not the joyous time of year that marketing campaigns would have you believe.

Perhaps you’re going through a divorce, been recently widowed, have strained family relations or are spending the holidays alone. Or perhaps you don’t celebrate Christmas due to your religion

There are many different ways to spend your time during the festive period that don’t necessarily fit the traditional mould.

Let’s take a look at some alternative ways to spend Christmas:

Volunteer

Not everyone is having a great time at Christmas for all sorts of reasons.

That’s why volunteering can be so rewarding over the Christmas period. Not only is it beneficial for the person you’re helping, but is also a valuable use of your time and can help your wellbeing, too.

Here are a few different things you can do:

  • Deliver food parcels
  • Help at a soup kitchen
  • Organise donations at a shelter

For an extensive list of volunteering opportunities in your area, visit Do IT | Connecting people to do good things

Take yourself somewhere memorable

Christmas doesn’t have to mean staying in.  Draw up a list of quirky places you’ve never visited before. Most places indoors are closed, but there are many fascinating places of interest, like this art sculpture in the Northwest.

Join an online party or event

If you can’t leave the house for any reason, you can join a virtual party instead. There are plenty to choose from – just do a quick search online.

If you’re feeling in the mood for some Christmas-themed entertainment, you can join a virtual Panto online to take you back to your youth. Or why not try a virtual Carol service? There are plenty to choose from this year.

Become a house-sitter

Just like Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz in The Holiday, you can use the festive break to house sit for someone else. It doesn’t cost a penny, and you can go and stay somewhere else.

You can either just house sit or pet sit, so you’ll be looking after a cute kitten or some adorable friendly dogs. Or perhaps, just a couple of monsteras or cheese plants.

For house sitting opportunities, visit House Sitting | TrustedHousesitters.com.

Plan your perfect day

Although the media tells us that Christmas is a time for family and connection, in truth it can be whatever you want it to be. Instead, why not make the most of this time?

Plan out your perfect day to the hour– what you will eat, what you will watch, how you will take care of yourself. Remember to add in time for pampering and self care too. Gather together some of the funniest comedy shows you have, arm yourself with some delicious food and drink, and get cosy on the sofa.

Reframe the narrative

Just because it might seem like everyone around you is spending time with other people, it doesn’t mean they are necessarily having a great time – it could be the opposite.

Think about how you can view the day in a different way instead – as an opportunity to relax or to eat food you enjoy. The day is completely yours so why not become the partridge in your very own pear tree!

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A highly respected and experienced lawyer, Katherine leads the divorce and family team in Leicester.

Katherine has achieved her exceptional track record through a calm, level-headed approach to securing the best possible outcomes for her clients, including cases involving children, business interests, trusts and inherited wealth.

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COP26 - Round up of week 1

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A few reflections on COP26 after week 1 in Glasgow, by head of energy Andrew Whitehead

First, you don’t have to be in the blue or green zones to find some great events going on around the city, and beyond.  And Glasgow has plenty of venues to meet up for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a coffee, which is just as well as there are plenty of clients and contacts coming and going.

So, what are people talking about?

Well, beyond the big headline announcements around methane emissions, deforestation and carbon reporting, and looking to the energy sector, there are some recurring themes.

First, hydrogen surely has an important role to play, not just for heating homes and cooking, but as a substitute for natural gas in industrial processes and as a transport fuel.   In fact, some say the hydrogen economy in 2050 could be the size of the oil and gas industry now. Our gas network companies are doing some vital work in this area, to develop demonstration projects to prove the concept and ensure our existing pipeline system is up to the job of safely conveying hydrogen at high pressure.

We are proud to be working for clients in this area on the cutting edge of research and development, a great example being the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE), at the University of Birmingham, which is showcasing at COP next week its HydroFLEX hydrogen-ready passenger train, an exciting collaboration with Porterbrook.

What will be interesting is how hydrogen networks supplying homes will play out against the government’s drive to install electric heat pumps.  It feels like a VHS/Betamax technology battle, but actually there must be a place for both; heat pumps on their own are not going to be sufficient.  What seems clear is that developing hydrogen, at least initially, around industrial clusters, is a good start.  These can bring together production and demand, and utilise carbon capture and storage, allowing a transitional space to deploy so-called ‘blue’ hydrogen as a kick start to the eventual sustainable development of green hydrogen production.

This holistic approach to creating a circular carbon economy has also been a theme in discussions around how we can decarbonise the “hard to abate” energy intensive industries such as cement, steel and chemicals.  This is a vital nut to crack, as emissions from the industrial sector account for over 35% of overall emissions.  And the challenge is not just one of decarbonising energy usage, but also to address the emissions associated with the industrial processes themselves.

At COP26 we heard from many businesses who are doing the right thing and leading from the front, and we have also heard from our own government on its plans to ramp up carbon reporting to improve transparency.   Critical here will be how each of us as individuals embrace making the right consumer choices – which will often not be the cheapest – in order to stimulate demand for low or zero carbon products and services.

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There is also plenty of talk at COP26 on the role of nuclear.   Large scale nuclear has been given a boost recently with the new finance bill which will allow developers to share construction risk by guaranteeing a pre-build revenue stream.  For smaller “modular” reactors, constructed offsite in purpose-build factories, Rolls Royce reckon that, from the early 2030s, they can turn out two a year on current projections, in time more.  These could be a game changer for nuclear – at 430MW each, one is enough to power a city the size of Leeds.

The electrification of heat and transport is of course going to involve a seismic shift in how our power system works, and indeed that transition is well underway.  In its role as system operator, National Grid is already using a host of new balancing tools to “keep the lights on”, and in due course to keep many of our homes warm and our cars on the road.  And those tools are deployed alongside sophisticated weather forecast modelling and digital optimisation technology. This is no straightforward task; the UK government has committed to a zero carbon power sector by 2035, consistent with the 6th carbon budget, and National Grid is working ahead of the curve to ensure that, over the next four years, it will be able to operate the system without fossil fuels whenever there are sufficient renewables running.   The company has been innovative in this space, and one of the themes of COP26 has been to find opportunities to share best practice and ideas with other system operators around the world.

And this theme of collaboration has been a recurring one.   Look no further than the North Sea, where the UK expects to meet the bulk of its 40GW offshore wind ambitions, but these ambitions sit alongside those of countries like Norway, Denmark and Belgium.   Brexit and politics is not getting in the way of genuine international collaboration where we have shared objectives with our neighbours, the most recent example being the subsea electricity interconnector between the UK and Norway, the world’s longest.  This and the other interconnectors need to be optimised alongside planned offshore wind and other energy projects to create an integrated whole which delivers secure and efficiently delivered energy where it’s needed.

And this is where, once again, it comes right back to the individual.  These big projects need local buy in; they typically involve new cables, convertor stations, substations and other onshore infrastructure, and so the benefits and the bigger picture need to be clearly explained and understood.

But isn’t that the case also for the climate change challenge itself? If we are to keep global temperature rise to within 1.5 degrees, we each of us need to make some hard and difficult choices about how we live our lives. People don’t take kindly to being told what to do; far better to explain and win hearts and minds.

For me, that’s been the recurring question over the course of this opening week at COP26; are the world’s politicians brave and bold enough to commit to what’s needed and back themselves to make the case for change when they go back home next week?

Andrew Whitehead, Senior Partner & Head of Energy

A lot rests on the shoulders of our politicians, who must start thinking and acting long term.  And we need to reverse the recent trend of isolationism because the climate change threat will only be solved by collective action in a spirit of generosity, trust and compromise. We have heard during COP26 that we don’t lack availability of global finance which can be raised and deployed in developing and implementing the necessary solutions.  What we risk seeing is a failure of governance, and at this late hour, with the stakes so high, that cannot be allowed to happen.

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Andrew is a specialist energy regulatory and contracts lawyer, who works with a range of utility and developer clients and funders to help them manage regulatory and legal risk in a fast-moving and complex environment.

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We’re exceptionally proud of the deep-rooted energy and water specialisms we have here at Shakespeare Martineau. As one of our priority areas for investment and growth, much of our time and resource is focused upon these related (and converging) sectors, ensuring we are at the forefront of industry developments and are best placed to make a positive difference to our clients.

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4 Jul

Corporate & Commercial

Long COVID and disability discrimination

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Six things for Indian businesses to consider before expanding to the UK

4 Jul

Corporate & Commercial

Six things for Indian businesses to consider before expanding to the UK

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Agriculture: diversifying or leasing your land to create habitat banks

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Peter Snodgrass, Partner & Head of Agriculture

Agriculture: diversifying or leasing your land to create habitat banks

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Teachers’ Pension Scheme – strategic issues independent schools need to think about

20 Jul

Esther Maxwell, Legal Director | Emma Glazzard, Solicitor

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Welcoming our new corporate partner Jody Webb

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Jody Webb joins us as corporate partner

We are delighted to announce the arrival of Jody Webb to the firm as our corporate partner.

With more than 14 years’ qualified experience, Jody  joins the firm from Freeths where she was a director, specialising in acquisitions, disposals, management buyouts and private equity investments. Jody has particular expertise in manufacturing, energy, technology, automotive and retail sectors and has acted for BGF on numerous investments. 

Well known in the Birmingham market, Jody will be based at our Birmingham hub.  

Jody said: “I am delighted to be joining Shakespeare Martineau, which has an impressive client base and offers specialisms that cater for a breadth of client needs. The corporate team is ranked tier 2 in the Legal 500 so their reputation goes before them. I look forward to being a part of the friendly, approachable culture and the firm’s growth journey as it expands its corporate presence in Birmingham."

“Birmingham is a great city with a thriving corporate finance community and numerous businesses right on our doorstep. 2021 has seen increasing M&A activity, from owner managers, ambitious management teams, PE houses and funders. The UK market is attractive right now following the success of our vaccine rollout and the resilience and adaptability shown by many Midlands businesses. I am passionate about working in Birmingham and surrounding Black Country and look forward to working with clients, contacts and colleagues at this exciting time.” 

Jody’s appointment follows a string of new hires across the Midlands, including Solihull, Stratford and Lincolnshire. 

Duncan James, head of corporate, said: “There is a lot of opportunity in the corporate market across the whole of the Midlands and beyond. Having a rising star like Jody join us in Birmingham reflects our continued commitment to long-term growth and extending our corporate reach. 

“Jody joins an established team that offers a quality of service to the UK’s second city, which speaks to our ambitious ‘house of brands’ strategy as we look to double in size by 2023. The sheer variety of sectors we work with across all our offices shows the expertise we have within the corporate team and across the firm more widely. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome Jody, who has a growing reputation in the Birmingham market. I think there is a real opportunity for her to increase both her and the firm’s profile in Birmingham and beyond.” 

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Jody leads on substantial transactions including acquisitions, disposals, management buy outs and private equity investments with a particular focus on the UK mid-market with values of circa £5m – £100m across a variety of sectors.

Corporate

Our corporate lawyers marry the corporate, commercial and legal worlds, alongside our extensive network of industry connections and broad knowledge, to provide you with a formula that will guarantee your success.

Our Thoughts

All the latest thoughts and insights from our team

Long COVID and disability discrimination

4 Jul

Corporate & Commercial

Long COVID and disability discrimination

The employment tribunal has determined that an employee was disabled for the purposes of […]

Read article Right Arrow

Six things for Indian businesses to consider before expanding to the UK

4 Jul

Corporate & Commercial

Six things for Indian businesses to consider before expanding to the UK

According to the UK’s Department for International Trade the proposed trade arrangement between India […]

Read article Right Arrow

SHMA® On Demand

All the latest on-demand content

Agriculture: diversifying or leasing your land to create habitat banks

6 Jul

Peter Snodgrass, Partner & Head of Agriculture

Agriculture: diversifying or leasing your land to create habitat banks

We know that biodiversity net gains provide a significant opportunity for landowners to diversify […]

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Teachers’ Pension Scheme – strategic issues independent schools need to think about

20 Jul

Esther Maxwell, Legal Director | Emma Glazzard, Solicitor

Teachers’ Pension Scheme – strategic issues independent schools need to think about

Webinar Teachers’ Pension Scheme – strategic issues independent schools need to think about In […]

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Nottingham Trio to perform at Hot Property 2021

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Hot Property 2021

Three people from Shakespeare Martineau and Marrons Planning’s Nottingham office hub will take to the stage to perform at this year’s Hot Property fundraising night. 

As well as the firm and planning consultancy being proud sponsors of the event, Jenny Keen, planning director at Marrons Planning, and Emma Houghton and Jemma Page, both from Shakespeare Martineau’s external communications team, will be performing in front of hundreds of property and construction professionals from across the East Midlands. 

The annual one-of-a-kind event, which will take place at PRYZM nightclub on Thursday, 2 December, has raised more than £295,000 for various local and national children’s charities since its inception in 2004. 

This year, funds will be donated to Billy’s House, which offers free accommodation for families to stay close to their child when they’re having cancer treatment. 

Jenny said: “Nottingham Hot Property is a vital event as year on year, it raises a massive amount of much-needed money to support local causes. 

“We’re delighted to be able to support Billy’s House through our sponsorship; the home can accommodate up to six families at any one time, allowing them to stay close to their loved ones while they’re fighting for their lives. 

“We’re also looking forward to taking to the stage. While the set list is top secret, we can let you know that we will be part of a band and joined onstage by peers from Tetra Tech Consulting and Engineering and the Waterman Group.” 

Last year’s Hot Property was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, making this year the 16th time the event has taken place. More details and tickets will be released soon. 

For further information, please visit www.nottinghamhotproperty.com. 

Why Shakespeare Martineau?

On paper we’re a full-service law firm, providing legal services to businesses, organisations, government departments, families and people throughout life and in business. But we offer so much more than that.

Expertise, commerciality and relationships are at the very heart of what we do

Our Thoughts

All the latest thoughts and insights from our team

Long COVID and disability discrimination

4 Jul

Corporate & Commercial

Long COVID and disability discrimination

The employment tribunal has determined that an employee was disabled for the purposes of […]

Read article Right Arrow

Six things for Indian businesses to consider before expanding to the UK

4 Jul

Corporate & Commercial

Six things for Indian businesses to consider before expanding to the UK

According to the UK’s Department for International Trade the proposed trade arrangement between India […]

Read article Right Arrow

SHMA® On Demand

All the latest on-demand content

Agriculture: diversifying or leasing your land to create habitat banks

6 Jul

Peter Snodgrass, Partner & Head of Agriculture

Agriculture: diversifying or leasing your land to create habitat banks

We know that biodiversity net gains provide a significant opportunity for landowners to diversify […]

Register Right Arrow

Teachers’ Pension Scheme – strategic issues independent schools need to think about

20 Jul

Esther Maxwell, Legal Director | Emma Glazzard, Solicitor

Teachers’ Pension Scheme – strategic issues independent schools need to think about

Webinar Teachers’ Pension Scheme – strategic issues independent schools need to think about In […]

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Is flexible working set to change?

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