Corporate team complete £369m AUM transfer for Mobeus Venture Capital Trusts

Deal

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New deal with Mobeus Venture Capital Trusts

After an extensive due diligence process led by Shakespeare Martineau, the boards of the four Mobeus advised venture capital trusts (Mobeus VCTs) have unanimously approved the transfer of their management contracts – relating to combined assets under management (AUM) of £369m – from Mobeus Equity Partners (Mobeus) to Gresham House as part of the £36.1m acquisition by Gresham House of Mobeus’ VCT business.

Following completion of the acquisition, which is expected to take place at the end of September, the Mobeus VCT team – comprising 16 full-time employees, including two partners, plus three consultants – will transfer to Gresham House, a specialist alternative asset manager offering funds, direct investments and tailored investment opportunities, which includes managing the existing £486m AUM Baronsmead VCTs.

Corporate partner and head of investment funds Kavita Patel and corporate legal director Peter Mayhew, both of Shakespeare Martineau, acted on behalf of the four Mobeus VCTs as part of the transaction.

Kavita said: “We have acted for the Mobeus VCTs for the past 20 years, so we’re delighted to have supported them in the transfer of their management contracts to Gresham House. This represents a new step in the evolution of both the Mobeus and Gresham House VCT businesses, with increased prospects for shareholders flowing from the combined capability.”

Peter added: “The boards have taken their responsibilities very seriously and we have assisted them in undertaking significant due diligence, in particular, to ensure that the transaction is in the interests of shareholders.”

Following completion of the acquisition of Mobeus’ VCT business and transfer of the Mobeus VCTs’ contracts, the enlarged Gresham House strategic equity division will have six VCTs under management with more than £850m AUM – creating a leading player in the VCT market.

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Kavita specialises in a broad range of corporate finance transactions, both for public and private companies, including acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, funding arrangements, restructurings and cross-border transactions.

With the push towards trust, transparency and compliance, your legal partner will quickly become one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. With robust commercial processes, well-managed operations and a determined approach to business leadership and growth, there is no reason why businesses won’t just survive, but truly thrive.

Our corporate team has had an outstanding start to the year, totalling more than £4 billion in deals - a new record for the firm.

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Coloplast A/S v Salts Healthcare Ltd

Patents Court finds medical device patent obvious over five items of prior art & CGK.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP acted for Salts Healthcare Ltd, the successful defendant in the below proceedings.

On 18 January 2021, Nicholas Caddick Q.C. sitting as Deputy High Court Judge, handed down his judgment in Coloplast A/S v Salts Healthcare Ltd. This judgment follows an eight day trial that took place in hybrid form over late September and the beginning of October 2020. 

Coloplast alleged infringement of its patent EP (UK) 2 854 723. Salts denied infringement and counterclaimed for revocation on the bases of lack of novelty, lack of inventive step/obviousness, insufficiency, AgrEvo obviousness and added matter. 

In parallel proceedings at the European Patent Office “EPO”, the Opposition Division “OD” had found earlier in October 2019 that the patent lacked novelty over one of the items of prior art relied on by Salts in the UK proceedings. This decision is under appeal to the EPO Technical Board of Appeal TBA, expected to be heard later in 2021. The EPO proceedings however are based on different claim sets, and so the Court accepted it needed to consider the case afresh. 

In short, the Court found the patent invalid for lack of inventive step, but that had it been valid, it would have been infringed. 

The case concerns ostomy bags, which are connected to a stoma created surgically, in order to collect human waste from the stoma, usually after surgery to address issues in the digestive tract. As with many medical device cases, the market for them is valuable, and this commercial significance sits alongside important issues around patient sensitivity. 

The case involved many issues typical to patent litigation, and to that extent there was no “new” point of law at stake. What is unusual about the judgment though is that the patent was found invalid over all six cited items of prior art, being three prior publications and two prior uses, as well as the Common General Knowledge. AgrEvo obviousness was relied on also by Salts, but the judge found this added nothing more to the obviousness findings he had already made. This finding underlines the fact that although AgrEvo might be thought to be a sufficiency issue because it concerns lack of technical contribution, the UK courts tend to interpret it as an obviousness argument. As a matter of general interest, the UK approach to AgrEvo was summarised by Floyd LJ in Generics (UK) v Yeda Research & Development 2014 in the Court of Appeal but the judge did not deal with this in any detail, saying that it added nothing to his finding of conventional obviousness. 

The case is also illustrative of the interplay between timings of parallel UK and EPO proceedings. Salts had earlier sought a stay of the UK proceedings pending the OD decision, which the Court had refused. But as things turned out, the OD did find the patent invalid and the appeal to the TBA will likely come on before any appeal to the UK Court of Appeal, should permission be granted. 

From a procedural point of view, this was a substantive patent trial conducted in “hybrid” form, much of it online. Whilst not ideal, with for example some witness cross examination taking place by video link in a different time zone, it was a good example of how successfully the UK Courts have been able to adapt to the current circumstances induced by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

For further information on this case or any patent enquiry please contact Nicholas Briggs or another member of the IP team in your local office. 

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Law firm appointed to social housing legal panel

Law firm, Shakespeare Martineau, has won a competitive tender to join The Regenda Group’s legal panel framework.

The national firm has secured the opportunity to provide legal support to the North West-based housing group for four years and will be advising on a range of topics from housing management and property, to development and construction.

The Shakespeare Martineau team consists of experts from varied legal backgrounds, including housing management, litigation, social housing and later living. Planning and development support will also be provided by Marrons Planning, a specialist planning consultancy and part of the firm.

With the goal of promoting a healthy, safe, prosperous and sustainable community, the Regenda Group portfolio includes 13,000 units across the North West, and comprises social rented housing, housing for older people, supported housing, private rented property, shared ownership and housing for sale.

Rachel Gwynne, head of social housing at law firm, Shakespeare Martineau, said: “The affordable housing sector is experiencing extraordinary challenges, from the pandemic and climbing unemployment rates to global issues like Brexit and climate change, all while the demand for social housing keeps growing.

“In more ways than one, it’s incredibly rewarding to be working with Regenda, as they continue to support communities in the North West.”

Julie Vincent, director of business assurance at The Regenda Group, said: “We‘re very much looking forward to working with Shakespeare Martineau. Their team has a deep understanding of the issues facing our sector and are excellently-placed to help us navigate challenges, seize opportunities and provide the best service to our customers.”

Contact us

To see how our team of experts can help create a more sustainable future for your organisation, as well as the wider community, contact a member of our social housing team. 

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. Visit SHMA® ON DEMAND. 

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064. 

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A first-class legal panel appointment | University of Hertfordshire

A first-class legal panel appointment | University of Hertfordshire

We’ve been appointed to the new legal panel for the University of Hertfordshire.

Led by our head of education, Smita Jamdar, we will be advising the university on a range of matters including governance and constitutional law, employment law, dispute resolution and litigation, as well as corporate and commercial law. Alongside Smita, our team consists of Joanna Forbes, David Browne, Catherine Savage and Andrew Hartshorn.

Having previously advised the institution on governance and constitutional matters, as well as dispute resolution and litigation, we are looking forward to building on our already strong relationship, with the partnership spanning up to five years.

Smita Jamdar, our head of education, said: “The education sector, in particular, is a keen focus for us at the firm; we have a really talented team of lawyers who are passionate about supporting the success of both institutions and their students.

“Higher education is going through an intense period of change and we’re looking forward to working alongside the University of Hertfordshire team to help them continue to grow and develop over the coming years.”

Alex Hall, director of legal & compliance services and university solicitor at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Shakespeare Martineau again. They have a deep understanding of the issues facing our sector, they are proactive in providing pragmatic solutions, and we enjoy working with them.”

Contact us

Learn more about our education team and how we work alongside institutions to support the delivery of their business plans, every step of the way.

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. Visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

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Robin Hood sale to British Gas

Over the summer, we have been supporting long-term client Robin Hood Energy and its owner Nottingham City Council, which have been involved in a strategic review of the energy supplier’s business which culminated in a deal, announced early in September, to sell the company’s customer book to competitor British Gas.

This sensitive and complex deal comes at a time when the energy retail market has seen volatile and difficult trading conditions for suppliers, exacerbated by the COVID-19 lockdown resulting in changing consumption patterns and regulatory restrictions on collecting debt.

Our team was led by M&A Andrew Whitehead head of our energy team., who worked closely with Deloitte on the mandate.

The deal was focussed around customers, ensuring that around 112,000 households and 2,600 business customers were transferred to British Gas and offered a green electricity tariff at the same rate as they were paying Robin Hood Energy previously.

Our team supported the Council and the Robin Hood management team at all stages of the transaction, building on some strong personal relationships having advised Robin Hood Energy for several years since its launch in 2015 out of our Nottingham office close by.

This deal is the latest example of our transaction activity in the energy retail sector. We have previously advised on several of the “Supplier of Last Resort” customer transfers in recent times, bringing to bear extensive experience of wholesale energy trading and credit arrangements, as well as customer contracts and migration mechanics, which can make these type of deals complex.

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For further information please contact Andrew Whitehead.

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. Visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

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Supporting the Electricity System Operator – Summer Hat Trick

In these exceptional times, we have been working hard over the summer to support our client National Grid ESO in developing and rolling out a range of new balancing services products, to help maintain the security of the GB electricity system.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on society, and the electricity sector has been no exception. Coinciding with the sunniest spring on record in the UK, we saw a dramatic reduction in demand across the country as offices and factories closed, and this led to some significant challenges for National Grid.

We have been working with National Grid since the early 1990s, drafting the contracting tools to help National Grid obtain adjustments to power plant output and demand changes from large consumers, whenever the system needs it, to help support system frequency and voltage.

Amongst a variety of measures this summer, National Grid introduced a new “downward flexibility management” service, designed to offer small scale renewable generators such as solar and wind additional revenue to reduce their output (and also to allow those consumers with predictable demand to earn money by increasing their consumption). Our energy team, led by partner Andrew Whitehead, worked to very challenging timescales to produce the suite of documentation which was approved by Ofgem in good time for use by National Grid over the summer.

In parallel, we also supported National Grid in its negotiations with EdF in early May to temporarily reduce the output of its Sizewell B nuclear plant in Suffolk.  Another partner in our energy team, Mark Bartholomew, supported on the contract, which was delivered on time.  After a successful period of service delivery over the summer months, Sizewell B returned to full output on 25 September, and we are now seeing demand levels on the system much closer to pre-pandemic levels.

Finally, our team has spent much of August and September working with National Grid to develop and roll out another brand new balancing services product, “dynamic containment”. Looking very much to the future, this is the country’s fastest-acting response service yet, designed to obtain extremely quick adjustments to generating plant output in the event of sudden incidents on the system, to help contain deviations in system frequency. As such, it has a vital role to play in the evolution of our electricity network, which is seeing us transition to a smarter and green power system with renewable generation at its heart.

Andrew Whitehead, supported by solicitor Anayaty Tahir, led on this exciting project alongside the National Grid legal team, which will involve National Grid procuring service offers from participants on a daily basis.  Following a comprehensive industry consultation, Ofgem approved the final documentation on 25 September meaning the new service will go-live, in a soft launch, on
1 October.

It is a privilege to be involved so closely at the heart of these industry developments, at such a pivotal time for the energy industry. And, needless to say, we were delighted to receive great feedback from the National Grid team for our efforts: “thanks ever so much, we couldn’t have done it without you.”

Contact us

For further information please contact Andrew Whitehead or another member of the energy team.

Read more about our views on the latest issues challenges and challenges affecting the energy sector.

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Shakespeare Martineau helps software solution go global

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The corporate and commercial teams in the Birmingham office of law firm, Shakespeare Martineau, have advised on the sale of Chameleon Information Management Systems Limited to global software provider Civica for an undisclosed sum. The team was led by Keith Spedding, corporate partner.

Established in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire in 1996, Chameleon Information Management Systems is the developer of InfoFlex – an information management software tool, dedicated to managing and improving patient pathways within the NHS. By acquiring the company, Civica will be able to extend the platform’s reach to its international client base.

Led by Keith Spedding and Andrew Hartshorn, Shakespeare Martineau’s commercial, corporate, property and employment teams advised the selling shareholders on the legal aspects of the deal, while specialist corporate finance firm, Regent Assay, supported on corporate finance. Civica was represented in legal matters by Stephenson Harwood.

Andrew Hartshorn, commercial partner at law firm, Shakespeare Martineau, commented: “Having worked with Chameleon Information Management Systems for over 15 years, it was great to support the team in achieving this major milestone. Civica is the ideal buyer for the company and this transaction will help to catapult the InfoFlex platform into the global healthcare marketplace.”

Marc Warburton, Chief Executive at Chameleon Information Management Systems Limited, said: “Over the years, the Shakespeare Martineau team has provided invaluable legal support to the InfoFlex business, and this transaction was no different. The sale to Civica will allow us to take InfoFlex to the next level and we look forward to seeing the business go from strength to strength.”

Contact us
For further information please contact Keith Spedding, Andrew Hartshorn or another member of the corporate team.

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. Visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

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Celebrating success: Our Q2 roundup of deals and client wins

Celebrating success: Our Q2 roundup of deals and client wins

Q2 has been a quarter like no other thanks to COVID-19. However, that hasn’t stopped us from being involved with some brilliant deals and having our own fair share of successes.

In fact, we completed an average of nine corporate transactions a week across a range of sectors with a value of over £420 million pounds in Q1 and Q2. If that doesn’t show the resilience of businesses, we don’t know what does.

Here are a few of our success stories from Q2:

Pioneer Park

Team: Real estate

Background: In April, we supported Brackley Property Developments Ltd. with a deal involving a major office development at Pioneer Park in Leicester. The office space is part of the city’s regeneration plans and will be used by Leicester City Council to support local businesses, particularly those in the science and technology sectors.

What we advised on: All legal aspects of the deal, including the development and funding agreements with the Council.

Peter Dilks, one of our partners and real estate specialist, said: “Regeneration is a vital part of any city, and Pioneer Park will give Leicester City Council a modern new building to enable more high-tech SME’s to locate to this innovative technology park.”

Read more about the deal

Cofresh

Team: Corporate

Worth: Multimillion-pound deal

Background: To round off Q2, in June, we advised on the sale of leading Indian snack brand, Cofresh Snack Foods. A family business made up of two key brands, Cofresh and Eat Real, Cofresh Snack Foods was a tempting opportunity for the buyer, Vibrant Foods. This deal was a truly collaborative effort involving a variety of our teams at the firm.

What we advised on: All legal and corporate aspects of the deal, including property, tax and employment.

Roy Botterill, corporate partner and head of our Leicester office, said: “Cofresh brands are a familiar sight on supermarket shelves across the country and to see a deal of this magnitude complete – against the backdrop of COVID-19 – is fantastic.

“It just goes to show that there are still real opportunities, across the East Midlands marketplace and beyond, for innovative, successful brands to secure investment and find buyers.”

Read more about the deal

Platform Housing

Team: Real estate

Worth: £5.7 million

Background: June marked the completion of a multimillion-pound affordable housing scheme at Hunts Grove in Gloucester. Comprising of 30 units for both shared ownership and rent to buy, Platform Housing aims to make this a scheme that provides a tangible and positive difference to the local area. This was the second completion that we had worked with Platform Housing on this year.

What we advised on: All legal aspects of the deal.

Joanna Deffley, another of our real estate partners and West Midlands regional head, said: “The completion of this scheme is extremely positive news for affordable housing development in the area and indicates positive movement in the market following a stutter at the start of lockdown.”

Read more about the deal

We've also won some new clients and are looking forward to becoming their trusted legal advisor:

Anglian Water

Team: Energy

Background: May saw us appointed onto Anglian Water Group’s legal panel of advisers. The appointment is set to last five years, and we will be advising the company on a variety of matters from property and property litigation to planning.

Janet James, partner and energy specialist, said: “It’s a privilege to be working with Anglian. The company is involved in some incredibly innovative projects, including plans to achieve energy and carbon neutrality, and it will be fantastic to work with them and see these goals come to life.”

Read more about the appointment

Purplebricks

Team: Commercial

Background: In June, we were instructed to support Purplebricks, one of the UK’s leading online and hybrid estate agents. We will be advising the agency across a range of disciplines and services including:

  • Claims
  • Commercial litigation
  • Reviewing letting terms and tenancy agreements
  • Supporting agents in drafting contracts for specialist lettings
  • Full regulatory compliance reporting
  • Financial regulatory assessments
  • Data protection compliance

Ed Wright, one of our commercial partners, said: “As a multidisciplinary firm, we strive to bolster our clients’ support network and provide a comprehensive service. It’s a privilege to be working with Purplebricks, helping to put both the agent and firm front and centre of the property sector.”

Read more about the appointment

Contact us
From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. Visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

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How is Nutrient Neutrality impacting developments and housing supply?

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Client

Corporate team advises on multi-million pound tasty deal

Corporate team advises on multi-million pound tasty deal

Our East Midlands corporate team have supported on the multi-million-pound sale of one of the UK’s leading Indian snack brands, Cofresh Snack Foods.

Based in Leicester, Cofresh Snack Foods has been acquired by newly-established Vibrant Foods, a company that specialises in ethnic foods. Two key brands make up Cofresh Snack Foods - Cofresh, the UK’s number one Indian snack brand, which manufactures over 200 traditional South Asian savoury products and Eat Real, the market-leading healthy snacking company and the UK’s number one free-from snacking brand. 

Established by the Patel family in 1974, Cofresh Snack Foods is now a second-generation family business. As selling shareholders, the Patel's will be re-investing in the new business with a minority equity stake. 

We advised the Patel family on all legal and corporate aspects of the deal, including property, tax and employment. Our team, led by Roy Botterillcorporate partner and head of our Leicester office, comprised Roger Harcourt, Lisa Botterill, Jade Price and Ashley TaylorBen Darlow and Jonathan FearPhil Pepper and Oscar Ciaurro and Ollie Gutman. 

Roy Botterill said: “Cofresh brands are a familiar favourite on supermarket shelves across the country and to see a deal of this magnitude complete – against the backdrop of COVID-19 – is fantastic." 

It just goes to show that there are still real opportunities, across the East Midlands marketplace and beyond, for innovative, successful brands to secure investment and find buyers. Cofresh and its two brands were a strong proposition for any buyer and we look forward to seeing one of Leicester’s most prominent businesses continuing to grow and thrive. 

Commenting on the acquisition, Priyesh Patel, shareholder and managing director of Cofreshsaid: “Becoming part of Vibrant Foods marks an exciting new chapter in our history. There are tremendous growth opportunities for our sector, as popularity for ethnic and healthy snacking products continues to grow. Our products are well-established in both markets, thanks to the tireless work of our employees and founders, whom I’d like to thank for their support and commitment to excellent customer experience, alongside our global suppliers and customers in the UK and abroad. Being part of a larger group will allow us to accelerate our growth trajectory, maintaining and building our market-leading product offering, and helping us penetrate new markets and distribution channels.” 

Contact us
Find out more about our corporate team. 

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. Visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

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Agriculture: diversifying or leasing your land to create habitat banks

6 Jul

Peter Snodgrass, Partner & Head of Agriculture
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Esther Maxwell, Legal Director | Emma Glazzard, Solicitor
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Client

Waking up the market: Deal complete on £5.7m affordable housing scheme

Waking up the market: Deal complete on £5.7m affordable housing scheme

Our real estate team have supported Platform Housing Group on the completion of a £5.7million deal for an affordable housing scheme at Hunts Grove in Gloucester.

The 30-unit scheme will comprise a mix of two and three-bedroom homes for shared ownership, as well as two-bedroom flats for rent to buy. This is the second completion that our team have worked on with Platform Housing Group, following a 50-unit deal at Burleyfields, in Stafford, earlier this year. The Midlands-based housing association has a strong social purpose and works to deliver quality homes and services that bring tangible and positive differences to local homes, lives, and communities.

The group, which owns and manages 47,153 homes across the Midlands and is currently the second largest housing association builder of affordable homes, was advised by us on all legal aspects of the deal.

Joanna Deffley, a partner at the firm and West Midlands’ regional head said:

The completion of this scheme is extremely positive news for affordable housing development in the area and indicates positive movement in the market following a stutter at the start of lockdown. Affordable housing, and the wider real estate market, is a keen focus for the firm. We feel privileged to have worked alongside Platform Housing Group on this scheme and look forward to assisting the group on future projects in the Midlands.”

Simon Vick, development director (West) at Platform Housing Group, said:

“This development is really exciting for us at Platform Housing Group and we are delighted to announce its completion particularly as there continues to be an increase in the need for affordable housing.  Crucially, offering shared ownership helps people who are unable to get on the housing ladder, the chance to part own their home.”

Contact us

Find out what our real estate and planning team can do for you.

We have launched our guide to recovery and resilience, helping to support businesses and individuals unlock their potential, navigate their way out of lockdown and make way for a brighter future. Further advice in relation to COVID-19 can be found on our dedicated coronavirus resource hub.

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. Visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

SHMA® ON DEMAND

Listen to our SHMA® ON DEMAND content covering a broad range of topics to help support you and your business.

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 […]

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

20 Jul

Esther Maxwell, Legal Director | Emma Glazzard, Solicitor
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Biodiversity Net Gain – opportunities and obligations for developers and landowners alike

11 Apr

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Client

Moving to the forefront of the property sector with Purplebricks

Moving to the forefront of the property sector with Purplebricks

We’ve recently opened the door on a new venture, having been instructed to support Purplebricks, one of the UK’s leading online and hybrid property agents.

Led by Ed Wright a partner in our commercial team, we’ll be working with Purplebricks in a variety of areas, including:

  • Claims
  • Commercial litigation
  • Reviewing letting terms and tenancy agreements
  • Supporting agents in drafting contracts for specialist letting, e.g. HMOs
  • Full regulatory compliance reporting
  • Financial regulatory assessments
  • Data protection compliance

Based in Solihull, Purplebricks is a leading hybrid real estate agency with operations in Canada and Germany. The company aims to make selling, buying and letting a property a more efficient and transparent process, by combining professional local property experts with innovative technology in order to make the experience as smooth as possible.

Our appointment comes as the property sector is growing at an incredible rate, with the market set to see an increase in activity as lockdown eases.

Ed Wright, our commercial partner, said:

“The property sector is one we’re really focused on at the firm and the future looks bright. We’re expecting a sector boost over coming months as increases in sales and lettings increase across the board.

“As a multidisciplinary firm, we strive to bolster our clients’ support network and provide a comprehensive service. It’s a privilege to be working with Purplebricks, helping to put both the agent and firm front and centre of the property sector.”

Contact us

Find out more about our commercial team.

We have launched our guide to recovery and resilience, helping to support businesses and individuals unlock their potential, navigate their way out of lockdown and make way for a brighter future.

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. Visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

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Our thoughts

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Client

Real estate team supports sale of roadside convenience site

Real estate team supports sale of roadside convenience site

Our real estate team has assisted Godwin Developments with the sale of a roadside convenience site in Rushden, Northamptonshire, to the FTSE 250-listed real estate investment trust (REIT), LondonMetric Property Plc.

Godwin Developments is a national multi-sector property developer specialising in both the residential and commercial sectors. It secured the 1.7-acre Rushden site in late 2018, with the deal completing in early May 2020.

Included in the sale is a Euro Garages Limited petrol station and drive-thru coffee operator, providing the local area – and the many thousands passing through – with a range of amenities.

We advised on all legal aspects of the deal from  the initial exchange of conditional contracts for Godwin to purchase the site in 2018, the exchange of a conditional agreement for lease with Euro Garages in 2019 to occupy the site and finally the exchange of conditional contracts with LondonMetric and completion of the overall forward sale of the site in 2020.

Ben Darlow, our building communities associate, who worked on the transaction, said: “This has been a fast-paced and complex deal including a range of bespoke legal provisions. It required effective communication and a high level of coordination between all parties to see the deal over the line. It is always brilliant to have successfully advised a client on another positive result.”

Stuart Pratt, group development director of Godwin Developments, said: “We are delighted to have finalised the sale of this investment to LondonMetric.

“Despite the recent coronavirus-related challenges we have all faced, a solid effort was made by all parties in this transaction to secure a successful outcome. I would like to thank Shakespeare Martineau for their flexibility and commitment in helping us all get the deal across the line.”

Find out more about our building communities and real estate teams.

We have launched our guide to recovery and resilience, helping to support businesses and individuals unlock their potential, navigate their way out of lockdown and make way for a brighter future.

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. Visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

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Our thoughts

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A return to “hybrid working”? – What would this mean for staff wellbeing?

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Client

Anglian Water appoints Shakespeare Martineau to legal panel

Anglian Water appoints Shakespeare Martineau to legal panel

It’s time to celebrate for our energy & utilities team!

After a competitive tender process, we’ve been chosen by Anglian Water to be part of its legal panel of advisers.

Janet James, partner in our energy & utilities team, will be leading the firm in advising Anglian Water on property, property litigation and planning matters. The appointment will last five years, with the potential for a three-year extension.

Covering an area of 27,500 sq. km, Anglian Water provides water and water recycling services to 6.8m people in the East of England and Hartlepool every day. It also runs several reservoirs, including one of the largest man-made lakes in Europe, Rutland Water.

Our energy & utilities team have been particularly busy in recent months, having been involved in several high-profile battery storage and utilities projects across the country. As such, this appointment comes as another brilliant achievement for the team.

Janet James, our partner and energy & utilities specialist, said: “The water sector is one we’re really focused on at the firm and it’s a privilege to be working with Anglian. The company is involved in some incredibly innovative projects, including plans to achieve energy and carbon neutrality, and it will be fantastic to work with them and see these goals come to life.

“We have a team full of positive, passionate people, all focused on providing the best possible service to our clients. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we can’t wait to get started!”

Contact us
Find out more about our energy & utilities team and the projects they’re involved with.

For legal support in relation to the coronavirus or any other matter, get in touch with your team today

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

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Listen to our SHMA® ON DEMAND content covering a broad range of topics to help support you and your business.

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A return to “hybrid working”? – What would this mean for staff wellbeing?

2 Feb

Employment

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Client

Shakespeare Martineau advise on phase II launch for Grain LNG

Shakespeare Martineau advise on phase II launch for Grain LNG

In May 2020, Grain LNG, the operator of the leading LNG importation terminal in the UK, launched the second phase of its “open season” process, offering primary capacity to the market from July 2025.

 

The Grain LNG terminal allows companies who have contracted for capacity to bring in liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargos from overseas, for storage at the terminal and eventual regasification for delivery into the GB gas network.  The capacity offered under this open season process is being released to coincide with expiry of the long-term contracts that underpinned the terminal’s construction and development back in 2005.

Located in Kent at the Medway estuary, the Grain LNG terminal is the largest LNG importation terminal in Europe, with 1,000,000m3 of storage and the capacity to process approximately 14.8 million tonnes of LNG each year and deliver to the GB gas network the equivalent of 25% of the UK’s gas demand.   As such, Grain LNG plays a critical role for the UK consumer in ensuring security, and also diversity, of supply.

Throughout the project, Grain LNG was supported by two members of Shakespeare Martineau’s energy and projects team, partner Andrew Whitehead and legal director Chandni Ruparelia. Both have worked with the Grain LNG team, over an extensive period, to develop the contractual terms which underpin the capacity products on offer, and supported throughout the regulatory approval process.

Senior Commercial Manager at Grain LNG, Nicola Duffin, who has been leading the process, commented, “The support and expertise we received from Shakespeare Martineau throughout this complex and challenging process has been invaluable.  Andrew and Chandni have been highly responsive and have shown a strong understanding of the commercial context, whilst providing us with objective advice.”

Andrew Whitehead, head of energy and utilities, commented, “This exciting and challenging project, which will do much to help secure the country’s security and diversity of supply, has been one of the highlights of our energy infrastructure work over the last 12 months.  We’ve been delighted to support Nicola and her team at long-standing client Grain LNG, and are looking forward to a successful conclusion to the process for all concerned.”

Contact us
For further information please contact Andrew Whitehead, Chandni Ruparelia or another member of the energy team.

For legal support in relation to the coronavirus or any other matter, get in touch with your team today

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

SHMA® ON DEMAND

Listen to our SHMA® ON DEMAND content covering a broad range of topics to help support you and your business.

Our thoughts

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A return to “hybrid working”? – What would this mean for staff wellbeing?

2 Feb

Employment

A return to “hybrid working”? – What would this mean for staff wellbeing?

The Government had previously re-introduced a number of measures to tackle the outbreak of […]

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Corporate & Commercial

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Client

Helping keep the lights on throughout Coronavirus

Helping keep the lights on throughout Coronavirus

Throughout the lockdown, the people at client National Grid Electricity System Operator have continued to work hard to make sure the lights stay on, and we’ve been proud to play our part.

The particular challenge of the lockdown is managing unusual periods of low electricity demand across the country, caused by so many businesses and factories reducing their consumption dramatically as a result of closing. That can mean electricity being produced which can’t find a use, causing the system to become out of balance – a reverse of the problem that arises when we foresee a reduced margin of available power being generated onto the system to meet expected demand, typically at peak times.

Whatever the challenges, National Grid Electricity System Operator’s skilled engineers monitor and manage the system second by second, 24/7, so that the frequency and voltage levels stay within stable ranges, and the power keeps flowing to our homes and businesses. And they do this using many of the contractual products that we have been drafting for them for many years now, under which generating plant as well as business and factories can provide a range of services to National Grid ESO to assist in this activity.

In this period of lockdown, three of our senior energy contracts and regulatory lawyers – Andrew Whitehead, Mark Bartholomew and Chandni Ruparelia – have worked with National Grid ESO to help enhance its suite of balancing services contracts so that it has all the tools it needs during this lockdown period to manage the implications of low system demand on the smooth running of our power network.

This work included the development and launch of two new contractual tools that will be available for National Grid ESO’s control room to draw upon over the summer period, if needed.

  • A new voluntary service, called Optional Downward Flexibility Management. This is designed as a new market place to enable largely small scale renewable generators to receive payments from National Grid ESO if asked to reduce their output. By reducing the amount of electricity supplied at the local distribution level, this gives additional options to National Grid ESO for managing the transmission network which ensures that power can be transported up and down the country to wherever it is needed.
  • We supported National Grid ESO on a one-off fixed term contract with EDF to reduce output from the Sizewell B nuclear power station, as a more cost efficient alternative to making daily payments to reduce output via the balancing mechanism and providing additional options for National Grid ESO when managing stability, frequency and voltage on the system.

We worked intensively with National Grid ESO and its in-house legal team to deliver these new contracts on time, and they look set to play a useful role as National Grid ESO continues to work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure we can all continue to boil our kettles and turn on our TVs during this difficult lockdown period.

Read more here about how National Grid is helping the industry through COVID-19.

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For further information please contact Andrew Whitehead or another member of the energy team.

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The new offices will be situated in Dock II of Pioneer Park and occupied by Leicester City Council. Comprising of a 26,400 sq. ft. building designed as a hub for businesses in the science and technology sectors, these offices form part of Leicester’s ambitious regeneration plans. With construction due to start in May 2020, it is hoped that the space will be complete by early 2021.

Brackley Property Developments Ltd. – which has been involved in several projects in and around Leicester – was advised by our real estate team on all legal aspects of the deal, including the development and funding agreements with Leicester City Council.

Peter Dilks, a partner at the firm and real estate specialist at said: “Regeneration is a vital part of any city, and Pioneer Park will give Leicester City Council a modern new building to enable more high-tech SMEs to locate to this innovative technology park. Brackley Property Developments Ltd. is a highly knowledgeable business, and it has been great to work with them on yet another high-quality development opportunity. We look forward to assisting Brackley Property Developments as the Dock II scheme progresses.”

Stephen Pedrick-Moyle, managing director of Brackley Property Developments Ltd., said: “We are thrilled to have been selected by Leicester City Council to develop this exciting scheme which we hope will attract new businesses and allow existing businesses in the area to expand within this key regeneration scheme.

“In line with current Government advice to the construction industry, our contractor Stepnell will be operating the site under strict guidelines and procedures published by the Construction Leadership Council.  These align with the latest guidance from Public Health England and will be under continual review.”

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Find out more about what our real estate team can do for you.

Shakespeare Martineau has launched a free legal helpline offering bespoke guidance on a range of subjects from employment and general business matters, through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

General advice in relation to COVID-19 can be found on our dedicated coronavirus resource hub.

All the latest views and insights on COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Hyland House provides high-quality support and respite facilities to vulnerable people, specialising in dementia care. The home has space for up to 19 residents, with the building originally a residential home, then a hotel, before its final transformation into a care home in the late 1980s.

Staff are dedicated to giving residents care of the highest standard in a comfortable setting, encouraging them to create a supportive community, where relatives, staff and friends are considered as extended family. Imperial Care Group Ltd plans to continue this approach, becoming part of the family themselves.

We advised Hyland House on all legal matters of the sale, including corporate, property, employment and tax.

Andrew Smith, corporate partner and head of our Stratford-upon-Avon office, said: “We love working with family-owned businesses of all sizes and in many different sectors, and we’ve been developing a strong relationship with the Hylands team over a number of years. We knew that when they made the difficult decision to sell, it was essential that we provided them with hands-on support and legal expertise to help them navigate safely through the sale process.

“It was an emotional moment when it came to completion, but this is a fantastic opportunity for the new owner to take on a well-established business and continue expanding its excellent care services in the local Stratford area.”

Fiona Roebuck, former managing director at Hylands House, said: “Andrew and the team at Shakespeare Martineau were wonderfully helpful in the sale process. They understood how difficult the decision was to sell at all and removed as much of the stress as possible.

“Residents and their families can be reassured that the new owner is keen to continue to provide the same high standard of care in a family-like setting.”

Kashif Munir, director at Hylands House, said: “I am ecstatic to take over Hylands House which is an important part of the Stratford community. My objective will be to deliver best-in-class care, which has always been the ethos here. I am looking forward to building on current and new relationships and ensuring that Hylands continues building on its legacy.”

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Having been in operation for over 40 years, Grenson Motors operates from a site in Crewe as an official dealership for Kia, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, and MG.

Our team advised Acorn Motor Group providing hands-on support and legal guidance throughout the process, completing the deal in just two weeks.

Adam McGiveron, corporate partner, said: “We’ve developed a strong relationship with the team at Acorn Motors over a number of years.  This acquisition is a strategically important step for the business and we’re excited to see them continue to expand. As their latest acquisition, it will enable them to build on their growth strategy of developing their geographical footprint – increasing their customer base and market presence.

“As their trusted legal advisors it was crucial for us to understand their objectives and the challenges they faced, and provide them with the tools to navigate them safely and efficiently through the process.”

Find out more about our corporate team.

For advice or guidance on any commercial or legal issue, a member of our team can walk you through everything. Click here to discuss.

The firm’s role will be to support Severn Trent’s highly successful renewables and services business.

Andrew Whitehead, partner and head of the energy and utilities team at Shakespeare Martineau, who led on the bid process for the firm, commented, “This is a great result for the firm and one we are very proud of. We have been keen to work with Severn Trent and its impressive legal team for some time now, and this appointment will enable us to work to our strengths and contribute to Severn Trent’s continued success.”.

Peter Dilks, a real estate and energy partner in the firm’s Nottingham office, heads up the firm’s property offering for its renewable energy and project developer clients.  He said: “To be one of the five firms chosen to form Severn Trent’s new legal panel is hugely exciting. The energy and water sectors in the UK are some of the most important, and, most interesting, and we have a wealth of talent working in this area. We’ve invested significantly in our people in recent years to ensure we have an incredibly strong group of talented lawyers across numerous disciplines who are all perfectly-placed to provide the best advice at all times. Working with Severn Trent is a real opportunity for us and we’re really keen to get started.”

With an exceptionally strong team of lawyers on the ground across our offices in the Midlands, we share a mission with Severn Trent to promote inclusion and diversity through good business, and this new panel appointment now presents a great opportunity to build a long term relationship with Severn Trent.

Shazadi Stinton, Head of Legal for Severn Trent, said, “We are looking forward to working with all of our new partners as we enter our new operational period. It was a very competitive tender and we firmly believe we’ve picked the firms that can help us drive costs down for our customers while also offering us the benefits of their experience and innovative ideas. On top of that, we’re delighted to be working with them to promote inclusion and diversity in the legal industry which is something that we’re extremely keen to support.”

For further advice or guidance contact our energy specialists to see how they can help you and your business. Click here to discuss.