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    1 October 2020

    Steeles Law celebrate another year of recognition within The Legal 500

    Steeles Law, a ‘long-established and respected firm of solicitors in East Anglia, celebrate another year of recognition with 13 practice areas recognised, along with 2 elite ‘leading individuals’, 2 lawyers listed as ‘rising stars’ and 13 lawyers are recommended by The Legal 500.

    Steeles Law in Norwich is ‘competent and extremely helpful’ and client praise for ‘clear, concise and timely advice. The Legal 500 provides the most comprehensive coverage on recommended law firms in the UK, published the latest firm rankings for East Anglia, following months of extensive research and client feedback.

    ‘I am absolutely delighted for the team’ said Director, Oliver Brabbins, to receive client praise such as ‘extremely helpful in resolving issues, and it has the correct approach to customer service’ this demonstrates how hard the team work as they continue to strive to give the very best legal advice and 5 star client service. The Legal 500 rankings are data driven following months of independent and impartial research.’

    The Legal 500 has more than four million users visit website each year and supports corporate counsel and businesses choose the right law firm when buying legal services in the UK by providing reliable and up-to-date information on law firms.

    Andrea Smith, Marketing Executive explains The Legal 500 research process and subsequent rankings continue to give important feedback to the firm on the services it provides. ‘As a firm we are client driven so I am thrilled that this year rankings give the most comprehensive examples of past work, our client base and most importantly for prospective clients, work testimonials since we first joined the ranks thanks to our strong client base. To have lawyers ranked as leading individuals, rising stars and to retain a top tier ranking is not something we take for granted, we are extremely grateful for the support we’ve had from clients and referrers with excellent feedback.

    Below is an overview of our rankings within The Legal 500, please click on the titles to visit the full report.

    THE LEGAL 500 OVERVIEW:

    CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL

    Work highlights include acting for large household names based in East Anglia, as well as a number of national businesses. Richard Bailey, who acts for a number of national trade associations, is recognised as a leading expert on commercial agency law. ‘The firm is very pragmatic and cost-effective, and it has excellent partners,‘ remarks one client. Senior commercial solicitor Alistair Ponder joined from Spire Solicitors LLP in May 2019.

    ‘They are a cut above in terms of common sense and how the world actually works. Also, they are not simply trying to maximise their own fees.‘

    COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

    The ‘professional and friendly practiceCommercial Litigation team, headed by Damian Pitts, works closely with the business law group acting for clients in the food production, education and business advisory sectors, as well as for a UK political party.

    ‘Steeles Law is a professional and friendly practice, always giving us the impression they want to help us, whilst maintaining a good level of service‘

    ‘Damian Pitts is a highly experienced litigation lawyer. He is very thorough and detailed with his work, often delivering a service beyond his fee quote, he has recently advised on a very complex mediation case with a successful outcome‘

    ‘The team has a strong understanding of our needs and sector. They are great communicators‘

    DEBT RECOVERY

    Legal Executive Denise Traube, who has 18 years’ litigation experience, retains her ‘leading individual’ status and 1st tier ranking for Debt Recovery. Denise leads the bespoke debt recovery service and is supported by litigators Damian Pitts, who deals with high-value matters for both private individuals and organisations.

    ‘The firm was competent and extremely helpful in resolving issue, and it has the correct approach to customer service‘

    EMPLOYMENT

    The Employment team continue to act leading brands in the food sector, among which are Premier Foods and Hovis. Employment Director, Oliver Brabbins and new generation partner Robert Hickford, advises on multinational corporate entities and local SMEs on significant HR matters, are both recommended.

    Oliver Brabbins retains his Hall of Fame status, for continued Excellence and Leading individual Rankings. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession

     ‘The team is responsive and practical and always gives good advice, perspective and creativity when needed‘

    ‘Oliver Brabbins, Robert Hickford and Richard Bailey are all very experienced and knowledgeable and don’t sit on the fence, which I appreciate. They will be bold and thoughtful about finding a balance which benefits the business as well as getting the right outcome that you need. They are honest and practical and helpful‘

    CHARITIES AND NOT FOR PROFIT

    The Charity team advises clients in the charity and education sector on corporate, commercial and property matters. Michael Fahy provides property advice to national charities, numerous academies in East Anglia, and not-for-profit organisations such as the Ethical Property Foundation, while Head of corporate Richard Bailey acts for clients in the education sector.

    ‘Michael Fahy’s colleagues and the back office team at Steeles provide excellent support‘

    ‘Our organisation – a Registered Charity – has used Michael Fahy of Steeles for several years to advise on commercial property matters. This included a significant London property deal amounting to approx. £30m. His knowledge, technical and legal advice has always been excellent. He can quickly assess and summarise legal options that greatly assisted us in rationalising its property estate across London, Belfast, Birmingham and Chester. He is considered an extremely valued member of our team of external consultants, from whom advice is taken‘

    FAMILY

    Sally Harris and Sally Briggs joined Steeles Law in September 2019 bringing more than 25 years experience in family law advising in Norwich, Diss and the surrounding area on divorce, financial and property issues following relationship breakdown, and childcare disputes including contact.

    ‘Sally Harris is sharp and highly experienced, and a pleasure to work with‘

    ‘Steeles Law is a long-established and respected firm of solicitors in East Anglia‘

    ‘Sally Harris has only recently joined the firm, but has many years experience as a family solicitor. She is well respected, conscientious and tenacious. I have recently completed a high-net-worth case for her, and her preparation and conduct of the case was impeccable‘

    PRIVATE CLIENT

    The private client team gains recognition as ‘professional, effective and efficient but, more importantly, extremely personable‘, continue to advise clients across Norfolk, Suffolk and further afield on a full range of private client matters.

    Karen Bacon is ‘always available, very professional and approachable‘. She has a particular focus on the needs of clients in the agricultural sector. Principal solicitor Amy Taylor is also recommended.

     ‘I found the firm to be responsive, capable and to the point with its advice‘

    ‘I have worked with two individuals from the firm and have found that I can speak to them as a layman and not have to deal with confusing legalese by way of response. Both individuals have been open to my ideas and thoughts within the framework of legalit.‘

    ‘I have used Steeles several times and have always found them exceptionally helpful. The advice I have had has been very helpful and practical. I have no hesitation to recommend them.’

    EDUCATION

    The education team ‘is knowledgeable and keen to explain matters clearly to the client,‘. The team act for multi-academy trusts in mergers, takeovers policy and governance matters. Company commercial partner Richard Bailey leads the practice. Alistair Ponder is also recommended in academy conversion work.

    ‘The team is knowledgeable in the area in which we engage and is keen to explain matters clearly to the client‘

    ‘The individuals dealing with our business are keen to ensure we fully understand the legal position‘

    COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

    The commercial property team boasts a diverse client base of developers, investors, landlords, tenants and landowners in sectors such as retail, office, housebuilding, charities, education and agriculture. Michael Fahy is recommended and known for leasehold commercial property transactions, landlord and tenant matters, auction sales and site development.

    ‘Steeles Law is providing a professional and friendly service‘

    PROPERTY LITIGATION

    Property litigation is a key element in the work of the dispute resolution practice, seeing the team frequently instructed by commercial landlords and tenants in commercial lease renewals and dilapidations claims. Solicitor Damian Pitts leads the practice, supported by legal executive Denise Traube. Clients praise Pitts for ‘clear, concise and timely advice combined with decisive action‘.

     ‘When the solicitor who was dealing with our boundary determination left Steeles, Damian Pitts was recommended to take over the case. His initial analysis of our position at the time against the goal we wished to achieve was clear and realistic, though not optimistic. As the issues gradually evolved over the two years it took to resolve the case, Mr Pitts kept in regular contact stage by stage without unnecessary communications and by following his clear, concise and timely advice combined with decisive action at the appropriate times our objectives were achieved in the final agreement. In short, Mr Pitts is in my opinion, efficient in keeping in control and not incurring unnecessary fees and effective in achieving the desired result. I would not hesitate to engage him again.‘

    ‘The communication between the two lawyers who dealt with my boundary dispute was very good. Working through the matter was complicated, as the neighbours would not engage a solicitor for themselves, but sent very intimidating letters, in an effort to end the matter. The communication between all was swift.‘

    ‘Damian Pitts finished the boundary dispute, once he had visited the site in question after the site had been fenced in, and all was in accordance with the surveyor’s pegs.‘

    INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

    Steeles Law acts for clients in the engineering, sport and publishing sectors, for which IP is a key requirement. Its work includes IP licensing deals involving the UK, US and eastern European countries. Company commercial partner Richard Bailey handles IP in support of corporate transactions, though the firm also handles some stand-alone patent and trade mark matters. The hire of solicitor Alistair Ponder from Spire Solicitors LLP added substantial experience in IP licensing.

    BANKING AND FINANCE

    The team in Norwich draws on its company commercial, dispute resolution and commercial property teams to act for corporate clients and high-net-worth individuals in banking and finance transactions.  Corporate partner Richard Bailey, Head of Private Client Karen Bacon and Dispute Solicitor Damian Pitts are all recommended.

    SPORT

    The Sport team re-joins the rankings this year with thanks to a strong client relationships in the sports industry. Focused mainly on motorsport, the firm has expanded its reach into the realms of cycling and rowing. Its work consists of negotiating high-value contracts, including participation, branding and sponsorship agreements, with major manufacturers and household names. Richard Bailey, Oliver Brabbins for contracts, Alistair Ponder for commercial matters and Damian Pitts for disputes are all recommended.

    **Current rankings and information taken from The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2021 edition

    For more information on our teams featured in The Legal 500, please visit our services for you, and services for your business, please call 01603 598000 or complete the ‘Get in touch’ online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you. Appointments are available in Norwich, Diss and London.

    *The information provided in this article is designed to provide useful information on the subject, not to provide specific legal advice.

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