02/01/19

Kitsons impress in Legal 500 rankings

Leading Devon law firm Kitsons has been recognised in the latest edition of The Legal 500 – the prestigious guide to the UK legal profession. The Legal 500 is an independent legal guide, recommending and ranking law firms and lawyers based on positive client and external feedback.

Kitsons has been recommended across an impressive 6 practice areas in the South West section of the 2019 guide; Employment, Private Client, Corporate and Commercial, Dispute Resolution, Family and Real Estate.

A total of 14 Lawyers have been recommended, with one Partner, David Turner, listed as a ‘Leading Individual’ for receiving constant praise by clients for continued excellence.

Legal 500 2019 says:

Employment

Kitsons LLP advises on unfair dismissal claims, restructurings, reorganisations, redundancies, senior-level exits, whistleblowing and TUPE matters. It also provides HR support in the form of bespoke training, development and mentoring for HR managers. Recent highlights include advising a large national plc on self-employment arrangements and employment status, and assisting Duchy Group with the sale of a group of hotels valued at £12.5m, which involved TUPE issues.

Rhodri Davey heads the team and recently advised Outlook South West with the transfer of 50 employees from the local Primary Care trust for counselling services in Cornwall. He has also been handling a number of TUPE issues for various clients. Jayme Nicholson ‘understands the world of employment’, is ‘incredibly knowledgeable’, and ‘always delivers’.

Private Client – Personal tax, trusts and probate

Head of practice at Kitsons LLP, Lynn Smith, focuses on complex estates, tax planning schemes and trust creation and operation. Charlie Siegle has a particular interest in probate cases with a foreign element. Jonathan Dickson was promoted to Partner in April 2017. Plymouth-based assistant solicitor Marjorie Creek also has a growing practice, specialising in elder client financial abuse and NHS continuing healthcare applications and appeals.

Corporate and Commercial

Kitsons LLP ‘compares favourably’ to its regional competitors and is noted for approaching transactions with a ‘professional and proactive attitude’. The department is headed by Dominic Hollingsworth, a ‘good communicator and someone who can be relied upon to get the deal done’. Hollingsworth advised the shareholders of a UK software company on the multimillion-pound sale of its entire share capital to a US buyer. Additionally, the team has acted for a number of clients in the hotel and leisure sector in relation to various hotel sales involving purchasers in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, Corri Pedrick was promoted to Partner and the team also took on a number of new junior-level practitioners.

Dispute Resolution – Commercial Litigation

The team at Kitsons LLP is ‘friendly and approachable’ and has proved ‘particularly efficient and effective in negotiations’. The department is split between the firm’s Exeter office, which focuses on financial services litigation, and the Torbay and Plymouth offices, which are often sought after in property and licensing-related disputes.

In Exeter, David Turner is ‘excellent in every respect’ and recently advised a claimant on a matter alleging negligent investment of £6m. Turner also represented the operators of a regional hotel business in mediation with a UK bank in a claim regarding global restructuring group issues. The ‘knowledgeable and communicative’ James Cross is defending Churston Golf Club in a matter brought by a farmer and councillor regarding a complex breach of covenant. Corsham Primary School and South West Contracting are among the department’s new clients.

Family

Kitsons LLP is ‘professional and effective, with a strong family team’, and is a ‘a go-to firm for financial remedy and children cases’. The ‘highly experienced’ Plymouth-based head of department Tony Hunt is ‘a standout practitioner in financial remedy cases’, typically handling financial proceedings for business-owners on divorce and cohabitee disputes.

Real Estate, Commercial Property

Kitsons LLP handles a wide range of property mandates including residential development, and sale, purchase and letting transactions in the leisure, renewable energy and healthcare sectors. In the development space, Cameron Caverhill is acting for CG Fry & Son in relation to a multimillion-pound mixed-use residential and commercial development site in Bradford on Avon. Dominic Hollingsworth has been involved in numerous multimillion-pound hotel sale transactions. The team, which includes Patrick Gaskins, also has experience in public sector work and advised Teignbridge District Council on the conditional and commercial lease agreements associate with a negotiated land swap. Moreover, Peter Boyne is advising Libraries Limited South West on its leasing and subleasing agreements for library premises throughout Devon.

02/01/19