Managing Partner: Andrew Smith
Senior Partner: Helen Ratcliffe
Number of partners: 80
Number of solicitors: 170
Agricultural Law: Patrick Lynam
Charities: Penny Chapman
Contentious Trusts & Estates: Geoffrey Kertesz
Corporate & Commercial: Philip Lamb
Development Planning: Christina Daniels
Restructuring & Insolvency: Suzanne Brooker
Employment: Jesper Christensen
Family: Siân Jones, Matthew Heyworth
Government & Infrastructure: Mark Challis
IP: Dennis Lee
Litigation: Richard Langley
Pensions: Chris Netiatis
Private Wealth: Simon Weil, Matthew Heyworth
Real Estate: Jonathan Fewster
FIRM OVERVIEW BDB Pitmans was established in 2018 following a merger between legacy firms Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB) and Pitmans Law. Bringing together over 300 years of legal expertise across five locations – Cambridge, London City, London Westminster, Reading and Southampton. The firm's priority is to achieve outstanding outcomes for its clients. BDB Pitmans listens to you and your business objectives or life goals so that its lawyers provide not only excellent technical advice, but a complete solution. The firm and its lawyers work for you to understand the challenges you face, and aim to not just meet expectations, but to exceed them. BDB Pitmans's focus is building longstanding and mutually beneficial client relationships on a foundation of trust and genuine partnership.
PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK
The firm has a strong practice in acting for individuals and institutions engaged in farming and the ownership of agricultural land and landed estates.
Charities & Not-for-Profit:
In the third sector, the firm’s award-winning charities and not-for-profit team remains a leader in its field, acting for both UK and international charity clients. The team has vast experience of working both with and within the charities sector. Acting for over 450 national and international charities (and a wide range of other civil society organisations and social enterprises), the team has specialist expertise in particularly complex or unusual matters. In addition to the core team, there are charities and social enterprise specialists across departments including real estate, intellectual property, employment, corporate and commercial, public affairs and dispute resolution.
Contentious Trusts & Estates:
Work is largely international and the team handles a wide range of trustee difficulties from issues with HMRC, beneficiary disputes, investment losses, administrative difficulties, and allegations of corrupt purposes.
Corporate & Commercial Services:
The partner-led corporate team offers advice at every stage of a business’s lifecycle, helping them to protect their assets and achieve their long-term strategy. Lawyers here have particular expertise in takeovers, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, Main Market and AIM listings, corporate finance and capital reorganisations / restructurings.
The development planning team at BDB Pitmans are very experienced in acting for house builders and other developers on various projects, including affordable housing schemes. The team also deals with judicial review proceedings, as well as village green, highways CIL work, planning appeals and planning prosecutions. Lawyers in the team also advise on dealing with Assets of Community Value.
Restructuring & Insolvency:
The team has a comprehensive network of banks, financiers, brokers and insolvency professionals to work quickly and effectively to resolve both stressed and distressed situations. Lawyers advise on business contingency and exit planning, business restructuring and turnaround strategy, acquisition of distressed business advice, debt and asset recovery, debt reconstruction and consolidation, directors duties and retained board advisory and disqualification proceedings, insolvency and Company Act offences and regulatory advice, liquidations, receiverships, administrations, voluntary arrangements and bankruptcies and pensions restructuring.
The firm’s large specialist employment team acts for employers across a number of sectors, as well as acting for individuals. Work undertaken covers all types of employment advice, with particular expertise in dealing with complex business restructuring, transfers under TUPE and COSOP and defending large value and complex tribunal claims. The team also has a significant practice advising senior executives on high value exit packages, team moves and restrictive covenant issues.
The family team is recognised for advising high net worth clients with international assets, often involving associated disputes over jurisdiction for divorce cases or family trusts. The team also includes a number of qualified mediators and trained collaborative lawyers.
Government & Infrastructure:
The market-leading team work on some of the biggest and most important infrastructure and regeneration projects in the UK and advise on a wide range of planning, environmental, compulsory purchase, real estate, regulatory / public law, public affairs and parliamentary issues. Clients include Luton Airport, National Grid, Crown Commercial Service, Transport for London, Peel Group, National Audit Office, London Resort Holdings Company, Transport for Greater Manchester, Health and Care Professions Council and Midlands Connect. The team also includes four Roll A Parliamentary Agents.
The IP team has specialist expertise in: managing brands for charities, not-for profits and social enterprises; certification and collective marks for trade and professional associations and regulators; Protected Geographical Indicators (PGIs) and Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs); patents in standards; designs.
Property litigation continues to be a key practice area for the firm and includes large scale construction disputes. The team also has in-depth experience of litigating for central Government, acting for defendant public bodies that are subject to judicial review. In addition, the firm has a dedicated commercial litigation practice specialising in financial product mis-selling.
The pensions team offers a comprehensive range of services for employers and trustees. The team advises on due diligence, pensions warranties and agreements, clearance applications, documenting arrangements, contingent assets, de-risking, buy-outs and buy-ins, risk insurance, administration and investment management agreements. The team has also advised on GDPR guidance for pension scheme trustees, governance: legal and regulatory compliance, employer and trustee powers and duties. The team also includes litigators advising on contentious proceedings, pension scheme claims, professional negligence claims and also the specialist area of Unions pensions.
The private wealth team is one of the largest in the UK, offering a full service to individuals, families and trustees with an expanding global reach. The team is well-known for its expertise in UK and international tax and estate planning, UK and offshore trusts, wills, probate and the administration of estates, heritage and rural estates work, mental incapacity and Court of Protection work, high value residential property transactions and leasehold enfranchisement, contentious trusts work, immigration law and family office services.
The team’s residential practice is a leader in leasehold enfranchisement, having successfully served the first ever collective enfranchisement claim notice on the day the 1993 Act came into force in 1994. The commercial real estate practice covers all areas including site acquisitions and disposals, portfolio management, tenant advice work, development schemes, construction, obtaining rights over land and security work.