Keystone Law has achieved another year of great success in the Chambers and Partners Guide 2023, with lawyers being recognised across multiple practice areas as experts in their chosen fields.
The directory identifies and ranks the most outstanding practitioners in over 180 jurisdictions throughout the world.
A full list of Keystone’s ranked and recognised practitioners in the current edition can be viewed below:
Agriculture and Rural Affairs
Samantha Leigh is well known for advising landlords, investors and charities on a range of agricultural matters.
Lisette Aguilar is highly regarded for her expertise in art-related disputes. She regularly advises dealers, galleries and collectors. A client said: “She’s very intelligent and has a proper understanding of the art world. She’s really bright and has a very nice manner”. Another added: “Lisette is somebody I have nothing but praise for. She’s an excellent person who is very committed to her clients.”
Gregor Kleinknecht regularly handles complex art-related disputes. A client commented: “He’s an absolute delight. He’s such a friendly, approachable person, but beneath that he’s a keen first-class legal mind coming up with creative solutions.” Another client added: “He has a good handle on the market and he’s pragmatic and practical.” A source also said “I really admire and respect Gregor’s practice. He is very knowledgeable, practical and strategic in his approach.”
‘Senior Statesperson’ James Healy-Pratt has extensive experience acting on behalf of bereaved claimants following international and domestic aircraft accidents.
Owen Hanna has particular strength handling claims stemming from aircraft accidents. He frequently acts for both passengers and their families. One source commented: “Owen Hanna’s work is very thorough and he is client-focused.”
Banking & Finance: Islamic Finance
Fara Mohammad brings a wealth of experience when advising on Islamic finance transactions. She is particularly regarded for her expertise in Shari’a-compliant products. A source said: “Fara is excellent at handling matters related to Islamic financing,” and “she is very responsive and provides excellent turnaround times in terms of deliverables.”
Robert Meakin has a focus on assisting religious charities and faith-based organisations. In addition to governance and structural matters, he advises on contentious issues involving the Charity Commission. One client said: “Robert is a grandee of charities law and I have a lot of respect for him.”
Keystone’s skilled team of lawyers advise on both contentious and non-contentious matters. They assist contractors, developers and other clients with construction projects in a range of sectors including hospitality, education and energy. The team handles contractual negotiations as well as representing clients in adjudications and other dispute resolution proceedings.
One source commented that the team are “…very quick to react and provide good solid advice that takes into account the commercial aspects of any relationship.”
Louise Garcia routinely advises contractors, developers and engineering companies on both contentious and non-contentious aspects of construction projects. She can assist with projects of all sizes and has a particular strength in matters concerning transport and infrastructure.
Martin Howe regularly advises an array of clients, including local authorities, universities and contractors, on contractual and procurement aspects of commercial and residential developments. A source said, “I have a very high regard for Martin Howe’s professionalism, knowledge and delivery to client needs and expectations.”
Jon Close is a prominent construction lawyer who frequently handles both contentious and non-contentious matters for a range of clients, with a particular focus on those in the energy and utilities sectors. He is particularly adept at advising on contract review, professional appointments and disputes relating to termination and extension of time claims. His clients have said: “Jon Close has always been highly professional and provides our company with excellent advice in a timely manner.” With another commenting “Having a commercially aware construction lawyer like Jon acting for us really adds weight to the advice being provided.”
Corporate/M&A: Mid-Market and Private Equity
Edward Dawes offers his clients well-honed expertise in both commercial and corporate transactions. He is experienced in assisting with acquisitions, takeovers and flotations. One source said: “He is a very capable lawyer who can really do a broad variety of work.” Adding: “Edward is fantastic and totally committed to his clients.”
Gerard Cukier is highlighted for his record of handling complex defamation and privacy issues, frequently on behalf of media industry companies and high-profile individuals.
Nicholas Jew has a litigation-focused employment practice and helps clients faced with tribunal and High Court claims. He is notable for his work on disputes involving executive-level employees including terminations, discrimination claims and injunction proceedings.
Keely Rushmore is noted for her expertise in TUPE-related matters, which includes managing redundancy considerations and related issues. She has experience of claims alleging discrimination, unfair dismissal and harassment. One source commented: “Keely Rushmore is very easy to work with, bright and insightful, and good at handling clients in a straightforward way. She has an impressively calm demeanour but will hold her ground.” Another client added: “she completely understands our business, gives strategic responses, engages really well and has shown great commitment to supporting us.”
Nicholas Robertson has a practice that encompasses the broad spectrum of issues faced by major employers, including tribunal and High Court proceedings. He has notable expertise in handling whistleblowing, discrimination and harassment claims. A client commented: “He is an outstanding professional and a voice of reason.”
Rob Eldridge has a wide-ranging employment practice that sees him advising on disputes before the Employment Tribunal and High Court, as well as HR policy and advisory matters.
Employment: Senior Executive
Keystone harbours market-leading experts in employment law, with practitioners able to guide senior employees through the full range of matters that they face during their careers. The firm’s board-level clients regularly seek advice on contentious discrimination and whistle-blowing claims as well as senior exits. Keystone’s solicitors have notable expertise across the employment courts, from the Employment Tribunal to the High Court.
One source commented: “All the Keystone lawyers are extremely responsive and deliver high levels of service every time I need something done quickly and efficiently. They are highly commercially astute and experts in their field.” Another said: “They provided a quick turnaround and efficient speed of response.”
Alexandra Carn is acknowledged for her expertise in the financial services sector. Her experience in handling employment issues is broad and includes advising on everything from terminations to TUPE. A client commented: “Alexandra is an excellent lawyer. She has the ideal combination of technical expertise and creativity, combined with the ability to give practical advice and be empathetic.”
Paul Daniels represents executives in complex employment disputes including whistleblowing, dismissals and discrimination. He has notable experience acting for senior figures in the sport and financial services sectors. A client said: “I trust him to deliver a good commercial outcome. He is tenacious and he is a real fighter.”
Alistair French offers notable expertise advising senior executives on complex exit agreements. He is well versed in employment matters in the financial services sector. A source said, “Alistair French is a force of nature who really cares about his clients.”
Clive Howard offers a wealth of experience in the representation of senior-level employees in critical contentious employment matters. He is well versed in complex unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and discrimination claims. One source said: “Clive is knowledgeable and personable.”
Emma Clark advises high-profile employees on a broad spectrum of work, from senior exit agreements to discrimination claims. One client commented: “Emma is a very personable individual, with a very strong understanding of our business. She is someone I can rely on giving us well-balanced and pragmatic advice.” Another client added: “Emma Clark provides excellent support and advice.”
Jane Wheeler routinely advises senior employees from a broad range of industries. She is skilled at restrictive covenants, tribunal claims and dismissals. One source said, “Jane is great, practical and nimble.” A client added “She is very thorough, gives pragmatic advice and is focused on a sensible outcome.”
Julie Morris acts for clients on a wide variety of matters including cases of whistleblowing, discrimination and unfair dismissal. One source said: “Julie is a really excellent solicitor. She is robust, client-friendly, highly strategic and able to get a good result for the client.”
Sandra Bates is a noteworthy corporate lawyer with significant experience in the mining sector. She regularly advises private and publicly listed mining companies on M&A transactions and IPOs. One source commented “She is very pragmatic, commercial and easy to deal with.”
Keystone Law houses a respected family law team with noted expertise in child arrangement disputes. The department is equipped to handle a range of matters, from jurisdiction disputes and prenuptial agreements to surrogacy issues. Its lawyers also act on Part III claims and financial relief cases involving offshore company structures.
One source said: “The firm is very cost-aware, take a good approach to cases and provide a good service.”
Susan Apthorp is a highly regarded family law specialist representing clients in divorce proceedings where there are substantial assets and cross-border disputes. One source said: “There is no case that Susan has not seen; she has seen absolutely everything. She is resilient, diligent and hard-working.” A client said: “She is absolutely terrific to work with. She never leaves a stone unturned and determines to get the best for her clients.” Adding: “Susan is a very bright, experienced and formidable lawyer.”
Richard Collins represents wealthy clients in a range of family law matters. As a French and German-speaking lawyer, he is particularly well regarded for his expertise in international matters. “He is a brilliant negotiator. He has extremely good judgement and he’s very practical,” said a client. A source added: “Clients absolutely adore him, he has really good judgement and he will fight a client’s corner wherever necessary. He is relentless in getting clients the best deal.”
Sarah Thompson has considerable experience in financial remedies. She often navigates complex circumstances such as shared business assets and inherited assets. A source said, “Sarah has a lot of experience and is highly knowledgeable, very calm under pressure and always sees the wood for the trees.” Adding “She is a technically brilliant lawyer.”
Richard Williams is noted for his ability to act on contentious gaming matters, as well as advising on operating licences. His client base includes start-ups, casinos and software developers. One client said: “He pays keen attention to our commercial needs when delivering his advice, which is fantastic.” A source added: “Richard Williams has a strong network of experts and comes with a problem-solving mindset.”
Sarah Taylor is renowned for her expertise in advising clients in the retail sector. She is also particularly adept at handling food safety-related issues. She regularly handles issues following serious accidents, including HSE investigations and prosecutions. A client commented: “She is very impressive and very experienced.”
Insurance: Mainly Policyholders
Jane Harte-Lovelace represents policyholder clients in disputes with insurers and brokers, as well as providing advice on policy review. She has particular strength advising on construction and property-related claims. One client commented “We had the utmost confidence in Jane’s ability to guide us through a very complicated situation. We could not have been in more reliable, knowledgeable hands.”
Insurance: Contentious Claims & Reinsurance
James Crabtree primarily represents reinsurers in claims and coverage disputes, as well as advising more broadly on issues pertaining to reinsurance contracts. One client said: “James is scrupulous with respect to detail and exceptionally invested in client service.” Another source commented: “He is diligent, has good client management skills and gives good commercial advice.”
Will Sander is held in high regard for his practice as both a solicitor and a chartered trade mark and design attorney. He is well versed in licensing and all kinds of IP disputes, including trade mark, designs and copyright infringement litigation. “Will Sander consistently provides excellent service with an honest opinion and in a timely manner,” said a client.
Jessica Bent advises well-known brands and emerging innovators on contentious and commercial copyright and trade mark matters from Keystone Law’s Bristol office. She has a significant client following in publishing. A source commented: “Jessica Bent is pragmatic, commercial and had the law at her fingertips when we needed it.”
Rebecca Halford-Harrison has a wide-ranging IP practice encompassing patent, trade mark and copyright disputes. She is particularly recommended for litigation concerning chemicals and electronics technologies.
Simon Chalkey is an expert in brand management and licensing and has a large and varied client following, particularly among fashion and consumer goods makers. Much of his work has international dimensions. One client said: “Simon Chalkley is a capable licensing lawyer.”
Winston Penhall is recognised for his advice to asset managers on venture capital fund structuring.
Keystone Law represents a range of clients from the hospitality, sport and entertainment industries in a range of licensing matters, including premises and operating licences in cumulative impact zones. The firm also advises on enforcement and compliance issues. A client said of the team: “The Keystone lawyers show very strong strategic thinking.”
Andrew Wong is often found advising clients in the entertainment and hospitality sectors. He advises on licence applications and regulatory compliance. A source said: “Andrew Wong thinks like an entrepreneur in maximising the commercial value of premises through the licensing system,” and “he is brilliant at getting results in major cases.”
Gareth Hughes represents prominent clients across London including hotels, bars and clubs. He combines his impressive licensing expertise with a wealth of experience in planning law to advise on a broad range of complex licensing issues. “Gareth Hughes has strong interpersonal skills, high-level intelligence and pays great attention to detail,” said a client. Another added: “In this area of expertise there is no one more qualified.”
Marcus Lavell is a barrister specialised in licensing and regulation, and represents leading bars and nightclubs in London and nationwide. He has extensive experience obtaining grants against stress area and cumulative impact zone policies. A source said: “One of the best thinkers in the whole of licensing, he is a very clever and ingenious lawyer,” and “[he] has ensured we are properly prepared and confident. He has been a huge support and help in ensuring we future-proof the business.”
Niall McCann practice involves acting for high-end clients in the hospitality and entertainment sectors. He frequently advises on licensing applications. A client said: “He was totally committed and his knowledge, experience and manner gave us real confidence in what were doing.” Another source added: “[he] is commercially and strategically astute and has superb interpersonal skills.”
Vicky Clark advises on research, licensing and collaboration agreements. Her clients include an array of emerging companies working at the forefront of innovation in the sector. “Vicky Clark is a highly experienced commercial IP lawyer with great depth of knowledge in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors,” said a client.
Sally Cranshaw is well regarded for her work advising financial institutions, investment managers and corporate entities on real estate finance matters. One client commented: “She is consistently efficient and responsive.”
Geoff Kermeen sustains a broad practice encompassing both corporate and finance elements. His clients include financial institutions and private equity funds.
Gillian Christian is noted for her broad disputes practice where she acts on a variety of matters including professional negligence, insolvency and contentious trust issues. One source said: “Gillian consistently provides superb client service. She has a deep understanding of the business and the relevant issues, and provides sound, practical advice.”
Rachel Berry has a growing reputation in the employment and pensions space. She is capable of advising clients on everything from day-to-day employment matters to employment disputes.
Peter Garry has great depth of experience advising clients in the legal and financial services sectors on complex partnership negotiations and disputes. One source said: “Peter is an extremely good partnership specialist who is a great pleasure to deal with and extremely hands-on.”
Monica Ma has a broad pensions practice and often works with clients on deficit issues and benefit changes. One source said: “She is knowledgeable and responsive.”
Tracy Sell-Peters acts for both regulators and professionals, with a particular emphasis on healthcare matters.
Professional Negligence: Mainly Claimant
Jonathan Watmough acts for clients in claims against a variety of professionals, including insurance brokers, solicitors and accountants. A client commented: “He’s sensible and well measured.” One source said: “Jonathan’s experience, deep understanding and expertise in his specialism, together with his diligence, thoroughness and calm personal manner, make him both an excellent advocate and client handler.” Another source added: “He is very diligent, technically excellent and commercial in his approach.”
Professional Negligence: Mainly Defendant
Tracy Sell-Peters advises on a range of clinical negligence matters including neurological, spinal and ophthalmological claims. One source said: “Tracy Sell-Peters goes the extra mile for all of her clients.”
Andrew Tugwell is noted for his skills as a litigator and arbitrator. He acts for clients including real estate agencies, hotels and investors on a range of property disputes, particularly those concerning issues related to surveying or valuation. One source said: “Andrew is always ready to go the extra mile for his client, has a full command of property litigation matters, and thinks about the commercial implications of any settlement.” A client added: “I have always benefited from the excellent advice given by Andrew Tugwell.”
The firm has wide-ranging expertise across its marine and shipping teams covering contentious and non-contentious mandates. Its experience includes insurance disputes, collisions and salvage claims, product liability, ship finance, refinance and restructuring, debt finance, lease finance, equity finance, and joint venture and shareholders’ agreements.
One source commented that: “Keystone are able to successfully tackle a wide range of disputes, putting the necessary focus on legally complex issues,” and “they have high service levels and answer on time any time of the day.”
Fei Mao is highlighted for her expertise in litigation and arbitration. Her expertise includes advising on charter parties, bills of lading, international sales of goods, and shipbuilding contracts and disputes. One client commented: “I continue to work with Fei Mao at her new firm because of her extensive legal background and knowledge of the Chinese market.” Another client added: “She is very experienced, bright and on the ball. Fei is always on top of the facts and thinks about things in a proactive and constructive way.” A source also said “What impresses us very much is her ability to work closely with us as the client and her insight into key points in a case.”
Sport: Horse Racing & Equestrian
Rachel Flynn’s wide-ranging equestrian law practice at Keystone Law sees her advise on contentious work, such as veterinary negligence and contractual disputes, as well as commercial and regulatory issues. Clients say ““Rachel’s knowledge of the racing sector is second to none. She is extremely approachable and commercially savvy.” Adding “Rachel provides us with expert and pragmatic advice.”