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Khokhar Solicitors has been intervened by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

If you would like to talk to someone in our team at Shakespeare Martineau, please call 0300 247 2470

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What has happened to Khokhar Solicitors?

Khokhar Solicitors, 52 Tuns Lane, Slough, SL1 2XD, has been closed down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘the SRA’). This is called an intervention. The intervention took place on 22nd June 2022. Emma Porter of Shakespeare Martineau of 1 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B4 6AA has been appointed as the intervening agent and her team is helping with the closure. Please click here to see the SRA link for the full closure notice.

Please contact Shakespeare Martineau’s Interventions Team on 0300 247 2470. if you wish to speak to someone or email interventions@shma.co.uk
We have also set up a dedicated PO Box to deal with enquiries related to this intervention. Please feel free to correspond with us at:
SHMA SRA Interventions,
PO Box 18228
Birmingham
B2 2HX

What does this mean?

Unfortunately, the closed firm can no longer act for you and you will need to find another solicitor. We have not taken over the closed firm and cannot act for you but we will support you through the process of instructing another solicitor.

You can choose any solicitor you like to act for you. If you don’t know another solicitor, then your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help you. If you have internet access, you can also search for a new solicitor on The Law Society.

What happens to my file?

You can have your file sent to you or to your new solicitor.
If your matter is legally aided, then your file can only be released to a solicitor who undertakes this type of work.

If there are two or more of you named as clients, you will need to agree where the file should be sent. If you want your file to be sent to you, you will need to provide some copy identification. It will not cost you anything to have your documents sent.

What happens to my money?

The money in the closed firm's bank accounts have been transferred to the SRA.

Shakespeare Martineau or the SRA will look at the closed firm’s accounts to work out who the money belongs to. The SRA will try to return any money the closed firm was holding for you.

How do I access an old closed file, will, deed or another record?

If your enquiry relates to a will, deed or another document of record that the intervened solicitors were holding for you then your file (if recovered) will be held at the SRA’s intervention archiving department.

We do not hold any files that relate to closed or completed cases, wills or deeds at our offices. These files are held at the SRA’s archiving department.

The SRA’s archiving department will be in touch to see what you would like to happen to your documents. If however, you have not heard from them yet then you can arrange to complete a file request form which can be accessed from the SRA’s website alternatively you can contact them at interventionarchivefile@sra.org.uk or telephone them at 0370 606 2555

You will need to make an application for money to be returned to you.

If the closed firm's accounts are not in good order, it might be hard to work out exactly how much money is owed—and to who. For that reason, it might take us or the SRA some time to return your money.

If the money cannot be returned to you or only part of it can, you can apply to the SRA Compensation Fund.

If you urgently need money that the closed firm was holding for you, you can apply for a payment.
There is no guarantee that you will get a payment. You must prove that the solicitor was holding your money and satisfy the Fund’s other rules.

For more information, please email claims.management@sra.org.uk or telephone 0121 820 2580.

How can I get more information?

Find out more about SRA interventions by clicking here. If you would like to talk to someone in our team at Shakespeare Martineau, please call 0300 247 2470.

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Emma is the Head of Operations for our Volume and Consumer group and has in excess of 18 years’ legal practice management experience.

Solicitors Regulation Authority Intervention Agents

We are pleased to have been appointed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) as one of four Intervention Agents acting on its behalf. The SRA is responsible for the regulation of solicitors’ practices and solicitors across England and Wales and our role as Intervention Agent means that we are instructed to assist the SRA with the closure of firms through the Intervention Process. The purpose of the Intervention Process is to ensure that public interests and the clients of the intervened firm are protected.

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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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Our community energy report explores consumer attitudes and understanding of low carbon technology and community energy

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Consumers not yet convinced by heat pumps or community energy

  • Less than 1 in 5 (18%) consumers consider a heat pump an affordable option for them

  • Nearly 2 in 5 (37%) consumers would replace a broken gas boiler with a like for like; just 12% would opt for an air or ground source heat pump

  • Top three reasons holding homeowners1 back from retrofitting their homes are: cost (57%), lack of knowledge (28%) and disruption (21%)

  • Just 24% of consumers feel they have a good understanding of what community energy is 

  • 60% unaware of the Heat and Building Strategy £5,000 heat pump installation grant 

  • New research report from Shakespeare Martineau outlines barriers and recommendations for increased low carbon technology adoption 

New research commissioned by law firm Shakespeare Martineau, as part of the firm’s latest white paper Community energy ‘in a box’, shows that almost two-thirds of the population do not feel they confidently understand what a heat pump is, how it works and how they go about getting one. Nor do they understand community energy, with less than a quarter of people (24%) stating they had a good understanding of what it was.

Nearly 2 in 5 (37%) consumers said that if their boiler needed replacing in the next six months they would replace it with a new gas boiler.

Despite the government pushing for heat pumps and electrification, just 12% of consumers would replace their current heating system with a heat pump (6% opted for air source and 6% said ground source heat pump) and more than a third (36%) responded with ‘don’t know’. And 60% were unaware of the government’s Heat and Building Strategy £5,000 heat pump installation grant.

“There are a number of barriers standing in the way of increased adoption of community energy projects, which will make a huge difference to the UK meeting its net zero targets,” said energy partner at Shakespeare Martineau, Sushma Maharaj.

“Consumer buy-in is crucial in order to drive innovation and we also need major landowners like housing associations and planning authorities to make demands on new developments, as well as make it much easier for housebuilders to utilise existing infrastructure in the adoption of community energy.”

The research shows that the top three reasons holding homeowners1 back from retrofitting their homes are: cost (57%), lack of knowledge (28%) and disruption (21%).

The Energy Saving Trust estimates that the cost of an air-to-water heat pump is around £7,000 to £13,000 depending on the size of heat pump, property size, whether it’s a new build or an existing property, and whether you need to change the way heat is distributed around a property.

Providing the above information, we then asked consumers if they thought heat pumps were an affordable option for them; just 18% said yes, while nearly two thirds (62%) said no, and 20% were unsure.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the median household income in the UK was £29,900 in the financial year ending 2020. Respondents closest to this national average household (those with a household income between £25,001 and £35,000) had one of the highest counts of undecided individuals; almost two thirds (65%) were neither likely nor unlikely and just 17% said it was an affordable option.

Sushma added: “With the ‘average’ household having little understanding of community energy and only a minority of this group considering low carbon technology (heat pumps) as an affordable option, more must be done to educate and financially support this group.

“The Chancellor’s announcement to scrap VAT on energy saving technology is a step in the right direction, but will still leave the public – particularly the average ‘able to pay’ household – well out of pocket.

When consumers are already combatting the rising cost of living, if they are required to fork out large sums for new technology there needs to be further incentives, such as additional grants, interest-free loans, reduced council tax or greater influence of EPC rating on the value of their home.
Energy partner, Sushma Maharaj

The research showed that 60% of all people were not aware of the Heat and Building Strategy £5,000 heat pump installation grant. Of those people not aware, more than a third (34%) said that the grant money would make them more likely to purchase a heat pump, indicating an urgent need for improved education.  

The white paper ‘Community energy in a box – how do we get there?’ from law firm Shakespeare Martineau explores public attitudes towards community energy, low carbon technology and retrofitting, as well as brings together experts across energy, academia, law and housing to provide solutions and recommendations for greater adoption of community energy projects by industries that will play a significant role in meeting the government’s net zero targets in 2050. 

When given a description of community energy some consumers changed their mind; 35% of people said they would be likely to consider a community energy project. However, 41% remained indifferent: stating they were neither likely nor unlikely. 

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Sushma is a renewable energy specialist having advised on numerous renewable energy projects and on heat networks. She works with clients as they pioneer clean energy projects and navigate the ever-changing legal and regulatory landscape.

1| Research filtered by homeowners only, provided 1596 respondents 

2| 64% - combined percentage answering ‘no’ or ‘don’t know’ 

Community Energy Report

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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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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 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

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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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Duncan works with fast growing family businesses and entrepreneurs to ensure they are successful and to help them achieve their goals through acquisitions, funding lines and exit and succession planning.

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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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Andrew acts for individuals and charities in resolving disputes regarding wills, trusts, estates and powers of attorney.

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Leaving money to charity in your will can ensure your chosen charity beneficiaries reap the rewards of your hard work, while you benefit from the financial incentives too. We can advise you on the best way to structure and approach your charitable affairs.

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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.
She has worked both within core real estate and the renewable energy sector.

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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’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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Victoria sits on our Main Board and is responsible for our Life & Business, business unit.

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Universities and colleges are ideally placed to lead the way in the fight to mitigate the effects of climate change across the full range of their operations, from research, teaching and skills work, to built environment, procurement, purchasing and partnering as well as international and civic missions.

The purpose of this survey is to understand the education sector’s point of view on green campuses – what are the barriers and how embedded is sustainability into all aspects of further and higher education.

And whether the sector believes sustainability has an impact on which institutions students choose to attend.

We’ll be comparing the results from those working for institutions with the opinions of young people thinking about applying to college and university.

A report sharing the results will follow – you can sign up to be the first to receive this report here.

This survey will take no longer than five minutes to complete and your data will remain anonymous.

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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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Devereux & Co has been intervened by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

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What has happened to Devereux & Co?

Devereux & Co, 52a High Street, Westbury on Trym, Bristol, BS9 3DZ, has been closed down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘the SRA’). This is called an intervention. The intervention took place on 31 January 2022. Shakespeare Martineau of 1 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B4 6AA is helping with the closure.

Please contact Shakespeare Martineau’s Interventions Team on 0300 2472470. if you wish to speak to someone or email interventions@shma.co.uk

What does this mean?

Unfortunately, the closed firm can no longer act for you and you will need to find another solicitor. We have not taken over the closed firm and cannot act for you.

You can choose any solicitor you like to act for you. If you don’t know another solicitor, then your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help you. If you have internet access, you can also search for a new solicitor on The Law Society.

What happens to my file?

You can have your file sent to you or to your new solicitor.
If your matter is legally aided, then your file can only be released to a solicitor who undertakes this type of work.

If there are two or more of you named as clients, you will need to agree on where the file should be sent. If you want your file to be sent to you, you will need to provide some copy identification. It will not cost you anything to have your documents sent.

What happens to my money?

The money in the closed firm's bank accounts has been transferred to the SRA.

Shakespeare Martineau or the SRA will look at the closed firm’s accounts to work out who the money belongs to. The SRA will try to return any money the closed firm was holding for you.

How do I access an old closed file, will, deed or another record?

If your enquiry relates to a will, deed or another document of record that the intervened solicitors were holding for you then your file (if recovered) will be held at the SRA’s intervention archiving department.

We do not hold any files that relate to closed or completed cases, wills or deeds at our offices. These files are held at the SRA’s archiving department.

The SRA’s archiving department will be in touch to see what you would like to happen to your documents. If however, you have not heard from them yet then you can arrange to complete a file request form which can be accessed from the SRA’s website alternatively you can contact them at interventionarchivefile@sra.org.uk or telephone them at 0370 606 2555

You will need to make an application for money to be returned to you.
If the closed firm's accounts are not in good order, it might be hard to work out exactly how much money is owed—and to who. For that reason, it might take us or the SRA some time to return your money.

If the money cannot be returned to you or only part of it can, you can apply to the SRA Compensation Fund.

If you urgently need money that the closed firm was holding for you, you can apply for a payment.

There is no guarantee that you will get a payment. You must prove that the solicitor was holding your money and satisfy the Fund’s other rules.

For more information, please email claims.management@sra.org.uk or telephone 0121 820 2580.

How can I get more information?

Find out more about SRA interventions by clicking here. If you would like to talk to someone in our team at Shakespeare Martineau, please call 0300 2472470.

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Emma is the Head of Operations for our Volume and Consumer group and has in excess of 18 years’ legal practice management experience.

Solicitors Regulation Authority Intervention Agents

We are pleased to have been appointed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) as one of four Intervention Agents acting on its behalf. The SRA is responsible for the regulation of solicitors’ practices and solicitors across England and Wales and our role as Intervention Agent means that we are instructed to assist the SRA with the closure of firms through the Intervention Process. The purpose of the Intervention Process is to ensure that public interests and the clients of the intervened firm are protected.

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Intervention of Cardinal Solicitors Ltd

News

Cardinal Solicitors Ltd has been intervened by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

What has happened to Cardinal Solicitor Ltd

Cardinal Solicitors Ltd, Rear Of 38, London Road, Cobblestone Place, Croydon, United Kingdom, CR0 2TA, has been closed down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘the SRA’). This is called an intervention. The intervention took place on 24 December 2021. Shakespeare Martineau of 1 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B4 6AA is helping with the closure.

Please contact Shakespeare Martineau’s Interventions Team on 0300 2472470. if you wish to speak to someone or email interventions@shma.co.uk

What does this mean?

Unfortunately, the closed firm can no longer act for you and you will need to find another solicitor. We have not taken over the closed firm and cannot act for you.

You can choose any solicitor you like to act for you. If you don’t know another solicitor, then your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help you. If you have internet access, you can also search for a new solicitor on The Law Society.

What happens to my file?

You can have your file sent to you or to your new solicitor.

If your matter is legally aided, then your file can only be released to a solicitor who undertakes this type of work.

If there are two or more of you named as clients, you will need to agree where the file should be sent. If you want your file to be sent to you, you will need to provide some copy identification. It will not cost you anything to have your documents sent.

What happens to my money?

The money in the closed firm's bank accounts have been transferred to the SRA.

Shakespeare Martineau or the SRA will look at the closed firm’s accounts to work out who the money belongs to. The SRA will try to return any money the closed firm was holding for you.

You will need to make an application for money to be returned to you.

If the closed firm's accounts are not in good order, it might be hard to work out exactly how much money is owed—and to who. For that reason, it might take us or the SRA some time to return your money.

If the money cannot be returned to you or only part of it can, you can apply to the SRA Compensation Fund.

If you urgently need money that the closed firm was holding for you, you can apply for a payment.

There is no guarantee that you will get a payment. You must prove that the solicitor was holding your money and satisfy the Fund’s other rules.

For more information, please email claims.management@sra.org.uk or telephone 0121 820 2580.

How can I get more information?

Find out more about SRA interventions by clicking here. If you would like to talk to someone in our team at Shakespeare Martineau, please call 0300 2472470.

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Emma is the Head of Operations for our Volume and Consumer group and has in excess of 18 years’ legal practice management experience.

Solicitors Regulation Authority Intervention Agents

We are pleased to have been appointed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) as one of four Intervention Agents acting on its behalf. The SRA is responsible for the regulation of solicitors’ practices and solicitors across England and Wales and our role as Intervention Agent means that we are instructed to assist the SRA with the closure of firms through the Intervention Process. The purpose of the Intervention Process is to ensure that public interests and the clients of the intervened firm are protected.

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”

Get In Contact

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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Property team help Godwin Developments secure prime commercial site in Staffordshire

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Godwin developments secure new site

Our associate Ben Darlow has worked with developer Godwin on another significant land purchase in Uttoxeter. 

Godwin Developments have secured a prime site in Uttoxeter which it intends to transform into a brand-new commercial development for the Staffordshire market town. Godwin Developments are an experienced national property developer with a focus on residential, commercial and mixed-use schemes, in partnership with the public and private sectors 

The Brookside Road site they have acquired is opposite Uttoxeter railway station which is used by over 165,000 people every year. With an estimated population of 20,000 also living within a three-mile radius and a high daily traffic count, the development will be well-placed to serve the local community, as well as commuters from the wider West Midlands region. 

The land - located near a brand-new 22,873 sq. ft. Lidl supermarket in Town Meadows Way that opened in October 2021 - is very well suited to a range of coffee, food-to-go and fast food operators and has the potential to create new jobs locally as well as deliver additional choice to residents, shoppers and passing traffic. Demand for takeaways and drive-thru restaurants has rapidly increased and was the fastest growing sector in the first half of 2021, providing convenience to consumers to access their favourite offerings. 

Nikesh Solanki, Development Manager at Godwin Developments, said: “We are thrilled to have secured this prominent site in Uttoxeter and we are looking forward to transforming it into a new commercial development.  

“Sitting opposite Uttoxeter railway station and near the A518 – which connects Uttoxeter to Telford, in Shropshire, via Stafford and Newport – the site benefits from a busy and highly visible location, providing the perfect spot for a commercial operator to reach not just local customers but also those from further afield.” 

Our property team provided legal advice on the deal. 

Ben Darlow said: “We’ve been working with the Godwin Development team for more than five years and have seen them grow their portfolio with great success during this time. Commercial space used for food and drink is definitely on the up and demand from consumers and operators is growing. We look forward to seeing the project come to fruition.” 

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Ben advises on sales, purchases, leases, developments, property finance and investments, and everything else in between. If it is unusual or complex, get Ben involved.

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Even when working on the most complex of real estate projects, we propose commercially sound strategies that deliver results for our clients and address any issues that arise quickly. Our property development team takes a full-service approach to development work, advising on matters as diverse as financial structures, environmental law and property litigation so that all angles are covered.

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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.

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Take a look at our new eco-friendly office transformation

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Our eco-friendly office transformation

 

Reclaimed pallet-clad walls and ceiling features, booth seating with sustainably sourced fabric, and tables made from recycled yoghurt pots are some of the eco-friendly features that can be found in our first revamped office hub in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon. 

Our space – located in Bridgeway House, just off the A3400 and near the River Avon – is the first in our property portfolio to undergo a major makeover to reflect modern, new ways of working and to fall in line with the goals of COP26.

Earlier this month, we announced our pending B Corporation status and 30 ambitious responsible business pledges, including achieving net-zero by 2025 and becoming carbon negative by 2030. 

To support this, more than 80% of the materials used as part of the refurbishment were sustainably sourced, recycled, or reused – including wall cladding made from reclaimed pallets; tables created using Forest Stewardship Council wood; stools made from recycled cosmetic bottles; upcycled chairs, which have been sprayed and re-covered in sustainably sourced fabric; carbon-neutral flooring solutions; neon lights made from recycled acrylic; energy-efficient LED lightbulbs; and finishing touches, such as Beach Clean coasters created using EVA plastic saved from our oceans. 

We also ensured there was minimal impact on landfill by donating all items of furniture that were unable to be reused or upcycled to local charities, religious groups, schools and community groups. 

Karen Walker, chief transformation officer said: “We’re delighted with the finished look of our Stratford hub – it reflects our personality and aspirations, while demonstrating our investment in and commitment to our people, the town and Warwickshire.  

A collaboration hub

“The office was designed as a collaboration hub, creating a place where our people can come together to undertake tasks and activities better carried out in a face-to-face environment, while also supporting agile working with facilities such as a dedicated Zoom room, large planning surfaces, height-adjustable desks, spaces for confidential conversations, and areas to work away from the desk or hold informal conversations, team meetings or to socialise. 

“Our aim is to have a positive impact in all that we do and contribute to a better and brighter future for our people, communities and environment. Our commitment to achieving our responsible business pledges is part of that target, starting with the Stratford hub. 

“Over the coming 24 months, our wider portfolio of hubs will undergo refurbishments to become modern, eco-friendly spaces that promote collaboration between teams.” 

The transformation also supports our pending B Corporation status. B Corporation organisations are legally required to consider the impact of business decisions on their people, customers, suppliers, communities and the environment; ensuring a balance between purpose, people and profit. 

 

Flexible working is the future

Ben Buckton, our chief marketing and people officer said: “For us, achieving B Corporation status will simply be a by-product of the work we’ve already been doing to become a better and more responsible business for our people, clients and the planet. 

“We want all our people to work where, how and when they need to, to use their time and balance their life effectively. 

“In our latest firm-wide survey, 88% of our people want to continue with flexible working post-pandemic, so we have taken this as an opportunity to redesign the purpose of our hubs to better support networking, training, client meetings and other activities better done face-to-face. 

“We see lots of firms offering flexible working arrangements, yet they still bind their people to fixed rules and commitments. This doesn’t go far enough for us as it doesn’t match the reality of life or the new business world; we want our people to have a true work-life balance. 

“We also know that empowering people is the best motivation, and our positive, high-performance work culture is already attracting top talent and expertise from across the UK, which, in turn, delivers the best quality service for our clients.” 

Other responsible business pledges made by the firm include increasing female representation within the membership by five per cent (currently 33%) and racial diversity by two per cent (currently 8%), as well as supporting teams by training 100% of managers in wellbeing. 

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Working closely with the CEO, CFO, CTO and the Managing Directors of each business unit; Ben is a key driver of our growth strategy – ensuring we make the right investments to develop our people, brands, clients, markets and innovations that unlock potential.

Why Shakespeare Martineau?

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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

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Women in agriculture event returns to the East Midlands

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More than 115 women attended this year’s Women in Agriculture event in the East Midlands – which was jointly sponsored and organised by law firm Shakespeare Martineau, international real estate advisors Savills, chartered accountants Forrester Boyd and the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society. 

Following its successful launch in 2019, the event – which gives guests the opportunity to meet like-minded women from the rural economy in the East Midlands – returned to the Lincolnshire Showground on Tuesday, 12 October. 

The event brought together women from all aspects of agriculture – from those who work on a small family farm to people in expansive agriculture organisations, as well as women who are new to the industry or who have built a career in farming – to hear from a variety of inspirational and topical speakers, share ideas, and meet others within the sector. 

Amy Cowdell, partner who specialises in agricultural property law at Shakespeare Martineau, helped to set up the Women in Agriculture group alongside Nicola Hunt from Forrester Boyd, Lucie Muddiman and Romina Llorente from Savills, and Sarah Duxbury from the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society. 

She said: “Demand for tickets to the first event in 2019 was overwhelming, which highlighted how much of a need there was for something like this in the region.  

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we were unable to host last year’s event, so we’re thrilled it was able to return in October following the implementation of multiple Covid-safe measures to ensure attendees were protected. 

“There are many talented women working across the agricultural sector in the East Midlands and I’m delighted this event has once again giving women in the industry a chance to have their voices heard, share their experiences with their peers and listen to inspirational speakers. 

Adventurer Holly Budge – founder of anti-poaching charity How Many Elephants – delivered this year’s inspirational keynote talk. Molly Biddell, policy analyst for Savills’ rural research team, and Helen Clarke, who, following the sudden death of her father in 2010, took on the management and oversaw the sale of her family’s 3,500-acre Lincolnshire arable farm, were the event’s topical speakers. 

Romina Llorente, associate director in the rural team at Savills Lincoln, said: “Not only did this event provide a platform from which we were able to shine a light on women in agriculture, but it also raised valuable funds for our chosen charity, How Many Elephants. 

“The event raised more than £1,000 and on behalf of all the sponsors, we would like to thank everyone for their fundraising efforts. This follows an initiative only last week where we raised over £1,500 for the same charity by challenging our head of office, Johnny Dudgeon, to tackle some of Alton Towers’ biggest rollercoasters which he duly executed. 

“As we heard from Holly Budge at the event, the plight of these incredible animals is a tragic example of mankind at its worst and it is our hope that the funds raised through these two events will help stem the tide and reverse the decline of Africa’s elephants. 

Due to increased demand, Shakespeare Martineau is continuing to expand its agricultural law team; in the past year, Amy, legal director Jennie Wheildon and solicitor Kimberley Brookes have joined the team – bringing with them more than 30 years combined experience in agricultural law.  

Amy added: “UK farming businesses have a vital role to play in levelling up Britain and as farmers look at ways to protect and enhance the environment while meeting consumer demands, it’s now more important than ever to ensure our sector is as diverse and balanced as possible.” 

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Amy specialises in agricultural property law, bringing more than 16 years’ experience.

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Agricultural Law Team Expands to Meet Growing Demand

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Leading full service law firm Shakespeare Martineau has enlarged the size of its agricultural law team to meet growing demand for its specialist legal services.

Over the course of the past year, partner Amy Cowdell, legal director Jennie Wheildon and solicitor Kimberley Brookes have joined the team – bringing with them more than 30 years’ combined experience in agricultural law.

Head of agriculture Peter Snodgrass, who advises his farming clients on a wide variety of matters from partnerships to agricultural tenancies, said: “The legal requirements of the agricultural sector can be complex and we recognise the importance of having access to an expert team of lawyers who understand and have experience of the multitude of challenges that can affect a farming business.

“Farmers and land managers deal with ever growing and more diverse businesses. These issues require specialist legal support and advice they can rely on. We understand farming and the pressures our clients have to contend with, so we’re thrilled that Amy, Jennie and Kim bring their experience and new strength and breadth to Shakespeare Martineau’s offering to farmers and landowners.

As a full service law firm, the agricultural team is able to draw on wider expertise from other Shakespeare Martineau departments, including inheritance tax and wills partners Hannah Tait and  Suzanne Leggott; development land legal director Fiona Martin; planning partner Gary Stephens; farm disputes associate Nicola Lediard; and partner Peter Dilks, who specialises in renewable energy installations, such as solar farms.

Other specialists include partners Justine Ball, who advises landowners on the termination and renewal of telecommunications leases; inheritance and trusts disputes partner Jonathan Stork; and commercial disputes and litigation expert James Woolstenhulme.

Peter added:

This enables us to support a farming business with all its legal requirements, whether commercial development opportunities, diversification or energy and renewables. “Agricultural law is a niche but highly sought-after and prestigious area of law, and we are continuing to expand the team with the aim of building a centre of excellence in the country.
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Peter leads our Agriculture team. The team deal with land purchases, options, promotion agreements, tenancies, rights over land and all kinds of agricultural disputes.

Agriculture

The legal requirements of the agricultural sector can be complex and you need a team who are real experts in agriculture law – lawyers that understand and have experience of the issues affecting you and your business.

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