Meet the team
Andrew Firman is a partner in our corporate & commercial team. His employment practice covers both contentious and non-contentious work for both employers and employees. His corporate and banking practice concentrates on contractual and advice work given mainly to SMEs and charities. Additionally, he advises both individuals and businesses on a range of immigration matters.
In his work, Andrew looks for proactive and pragmatic solutions derived from a proper understanding of the client’s perspective and against the background of the commercial constraints.
Career highlights include
- running a David v Goliath style battle for a former employee of a US based bank related to the late vesting of share options following that employee’s termination at a time when the US markets were in freefall
- negotiating, finalising and drawing down for an off-shore SPV borrower at £310M facility to buy a group of companies which owned, as an investment, the London HQ of a multinational corporation
More recently, Andrew has advised upon
- the sale of a leading clinician–led healthcare consulting and IT services group to a global technology and services company specialising in the healthcare field
- the restructuring and relocation of a nutritional supplements business within the UK
- settlement of a long running shareholders dispute concerning a company running a niche members’ gym in a close knit area of London
- finalisation of the UK legal aspects to a cross border merger with an Italian company
- the negotiation of departure terms for the CEO of a leading interdealer broker
Andrew has over the years enjoyed advising many owner-managed SMEs on the range of their needs for commercial, employment and dispute related legal advice. He is delighted that the firm has recently received recognition through the award by Acquisitions International of “UK Most Trusted Law Firm of the Year to SMEs 2013” because it goes to the depth of the relationships the firm has with its clients and its target market in terms of size of business clients.
Andrew was educated at Nailsea School and holds degrees in law from Manchester and Leicester Universities. He qualified as a solicitor in 1995. He is a co-author of a Practical Guide to Drone Law.
Away from the office Andrew, married to a local GP and of occasional use to his three teenage children, runs and is heavily involved in his local church.
Charles Wilson joined Carter Lemon Camerons LLP as a Trainee Solicitor in March 2020.
Prior to starting his training contract, Charles spent six months as a commercial paralegal at a large national firm in Nottingham.
Charles graduated from Durham University with a Law Degree in 2018. He then undertook his LPC at Nottingham Law School.
Outside of the office, Charles is an avid sportsman, who often spends his summer weekends playing cricket.
Chris Picardo is a partner in the Commercial Property team specialising in transactional property work and property management advice. Chris advises investors, developers, business occupiers and individuals on a variety of commercial property transactions including acquisitions, disposals, property finance, the negotiation of business leases and portfolio management. Chris is regarded by a number of clients as a member of their team. He adds value for those clients by retaining a knowledge of and an interest in their portfolio of investments, and their business needs, so that he can efficiently see ways to get results for them.
Recent projects include:
- acting for the buyer on the purchase of a chemical plant in North London, with involvement from the initial bidding process until occupation of the site, working throughout with the client’s environmental consultants
- leading the commercial property due diligence on the disposal of the shares in a group of investment and development companies owning in excess of £30m of office, retail and industrial property
- the sale of London industrial premises to a global drinks manufacturer
- representing a leading global shipbroker on the relocation of its London headquarters
- acting for a City of London investment management company on its exit strategy from leasehold premises and its acquisition of more than 23,000 sq ft of leasehold premises in Bishopsgate
Chris graduated in Law from the University of Reading and studied the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in Guildford.
Chris was admitted as a solicitor in 1999 and joined Carter Lemon working in the Commercial Property team.
In his free time Chris enjoys travel abroad (more recent destinations including Peru, Chile, Argentina, San Francisco and the South of France), reading, running and spending time with his family.
Eleri Jones is a partner in the Commercial Property department at Carter Lemon Camerons, having joined in December 2019 from another City-based law firm.
She specialises in commercial property matters relating to the charity sector in addition to acting for a full range of commercial clients.
Eleri is experienced in acting in the sale and purchase of commercial and residential property, Development Agreements, Commercial Lease renewals and Licences, as well as advising on compliance with the Charities Act, charity governance documentation, the transfer of properties to CIO and the development and disposal of school land.
Amongst her notable cases, she negotiated and drafted a development agreement for a large residential development with leaseback to the freeholder, including provision of development by the purchaser and provision for overage. Eleri also acted on a large-scale financial restructuring of a care home business.
Eleri qualified as a solicitor in 1993.
Graham is a Partner in the litigation team and has specialised in professional negligence claims for over 20 years. He trained at Trowers & Hamlins, qualifying in 1992.
His recent successful cases include over 30 professional negligence claims arising out of an elaborate mortgage fraud, recovering over £5million on behalf of borrower/purchaser clients who have been defrauded into buying substantially overvalued “buy to let” properties.
He has also acted for a group of investors who had purchased properties ‘off plan’ in the Philippines that were either not built or were sold twice. In this case the investors brought successful claims against the negligent solicitors who failed to ensure that the purchase contracts were backed with the promised performance bonds that should have protected the buyers from default by the developer.
He has also acted in various other professional negligence matters, relating to solicitors, barristers, valuers/surveyors, accountants, financial advisors, banks and insurance brokers.
Graham takes pride in providing clear, concise and practical advice and is regularly contacted to offer expert comment on media reports relating to professional negligence and property.
He is on the register maintained by the London Solicitors Litigation Association of solicitors with experience of supervising and executing civil search orders.
Reported cases and cases of interest include:
- Laib v Aravindan  EWHC 2521 QBD, The Times [13/11/2003] – Claim against solicitors for loss of chance to pursue a negligence claim against a mortgage lender involving complex issues relating to limitation.
- Vinayak v Lovegrove & Eliot  EWHC 9009 – Claim against solicitors arising out of failure to advise that break clauses in leases could only be exercised by original lessee. Court held that losing solicitors could not compel disclosure of conditional fee arrangement.
- Tavistock Repertory Guarantors Ltd v Gregory Rowcliffe Milners HQ02X2325 – Claim against solicitors who lost client the right to renew lease of theatre premises resulting in agreed damages of £2,020,000. This is believed to be possibly the highest sum ever recovered from a solicitor who has acted “pro bono.”
- Ayton v RSM Bentley Jennison  QBD Lawtel – Held defendant in fraud and negligence claim not entitled to rely on defence of tender before claim (action), which is a defence still only available in liquidated claims.
Professional Negligence Lawyers Association
Shooting, badminton, skiing and motorcycling.
Hannah Storey joined Carter Lemon Camerons LLP as a Trainee Solicitor in March 2020.
Prior to joining Carter Lemon Camerons LLP, she gained an LLB in Law at the University of Exeter and an LPC/LLM at the University of Law, Guildford.
Following that, she spent a year working as a commercial property paralegal at a large regional firm.
Away from the office, Hannah enjoys keeping fit and exploring London’s food and drink scene with friends.
Hattie is a Trainee Solicitor, and is currently in her Private Client seat, also assisting on company/commercial matters. She joined Carter Lemon Camerons in October 2017.
She holds a first class law degree and graduated from the Bar Professional Training Course before she decided to undertake the Legal Practice Course.
Hattie has worked on several litigation matters, including disputes between shareholders, beneficiaries of estates, and between companies. She has recently worked on company acquisitions, including both a share purchase and an asset purchase.
Prior to joining Carter Lemon Camerons LLP, Hattie was a Paralegal at another London-based law firm.
Outside of work, Hattie enjoys keeping fit and listening to true crime podcasts.
Hinna Hussain joined Carter Lemon Camerons LLP as a Trainee Solicitor in September 2017 and qualified as a solicitor in 2019.
Prior to joining Carter Lemon Camerons LLP, Hinna was a Real Estate Paralegal at another London-based law firm.
She graduated from City University with an LLB Law degree and obtained her LPC with Distinction from the University of Law.
Holly qualified as a solicitor in 2018 and joined the firm in 2020 having previously worked at another law firm with offices across London and Hertfordshire.
With a speciality in Commercial Property and general real estate matters, Holly can assist with a wide range of issues including the acquisition and disposal of freehold, leasehold and unregistered property, licences, title separation, overages, secured lending and refinancing.
Holly has also assisted with portfolio management, overseeing legal work relating to client’s investment properties, including leasing, licencing and financing.
She has acted for lenders, charities, industrial and provident societies, companies and individuals.
Ian West is a partner in the Private Client team. He deals with a wide range of matters including commercial and residential conveyancing, will drafting, trusts and probate and powers of attorney.
Private Client Matters
As well as obtaining grants of probate for UK estates, Ian has assisted personal representatives of foreign estates in resealing foreign grants to administer UK assets held by a deceased domiciled outside the UK. He has dealt with resealing foreign grants in jurisdictions as diverse as Holland and Iran. He has also advised on domicile in respect of deceased’s’ estates.
Recent property transactions include:-
- Advising in a complex transaction involving the construction of an extension to a house occupied by both the landlord and the tenant including a preliminary agreement to share construction costs and the grant of a new lease of the extended flat to the tenant.
- Acting on behalf of a land owner in connection with the grant of an option for a lease of a solar farm.
- Acting on behalf of a land owner in connection with the sale of land for use as an electricity sub-station in connection with a wind farm project and grant of options for related easements.
- Acting for both landlords and tenants in respect of statutory claims for extension leases of flats.
Ian was educated at Brentwood School Essex, Manchester University and the College of Law London. He qualified as a solicitor in 1981 and joined Metson Cross in 1982 becoming a partner in 1990.
Ian is married with two children.
As former Honorary Secretary of the Society of Old Brentwoods, Ian takes a keen interest in the affairs of the School and in various events and functions organised by the Society. He is also a keen follower of football and helps with his son’s junior football team. Ian has also been learning to play the guitar (for the past 40 years!).
James joined Carter Lemon Camerons in 2009 and qualified as a solicitor in 2011. He works in the Commercial Property team on a variety of Real Estate and related Corporate transactions with a particular focus on Real Estate Development and Development Finance.
- ‘Off-plan’ purchase of flagship office buildings to be constructed as part of a large-scale urban redevelopment – value circa £25m.
- Acting on the purchase and financing of several town-centre development sites in the South-East for the construction of between 25 and 102 residential units.
- Acting on corporate purchases of ‘enveloped’ properties both for investment and development.
- Significant experience on acting for both borrowers and lenders in relation to both commercial and residential development, bridging and mezzanine finance in relation to sites from 2 to 100+ units.
- Acting on a large portfolio refinancing for a commercial property investor involving a wide variety of properties all over the Country.
- Advising property developers on development opportunities and land acquisitions throughout the life of a project: from the taking of options over sites, through to the eventual unit sales and commercial pre-lets.
- Advising on lease transactions involving retail, industrial and warehouse properties.
- Advising on joint ventures, share buy-outs and buy-ins and investment structures; mostly for South African based investors.
James recently spent several years on the board of a Commercial Real Estate investment group in a non-executive capacity and then subsequently a year during which he split his time between legal work at Carter Lemon Camerons and an executive position at the group where he played a major role in the planning, negotiation and execution of a sale of the portfolio to a large pension fund.
Away from the office James’ main passion is travel (usually by motorcycle). He has explored most of Western Europe on his bike and his most exciting trip was a 20,000 mile journey from Argentina to Alaska. He also enjoys (watching) sport and spending time with his young family.
Katarzyna (Kate) Boguslawska qualified as a solicitor in 2006 and is a Partner in our corporate and commercial department.
Kate’s clients range from start-up owners through to SMEs and some global main-players who need advice on business-related matters. These range from advice on employment and company matters to contract drafting and disputes. Kate understands her clients, their needs and goals. Her clients often praise her pragmatic approach and tailored practical advice.
In her employment practice Kate:
- drafts contracts, handbooks and company policies
- provides regular Employment/HR Advice
- negotiates contracts
- drafts and negotiate settlement agreements
- helps to navigate through TUPE, restructure and redundancies
- advises and represents in claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination, breach of contract, unlawful deduction from wages, etc
- advises on injunctive relief and restrictive covenants
Notable employment work included:
- advising a well-known English designer in company restructure and redundancies;
- advising employers and high net worth individuals on settlement agreements and severance packages;
- regular HR advice to a number of company clients;
- advising media company on contracts and issues relating to confidentiality, IP and restrictive covenants;
- representing high earning claimants in ‘Stress at Work’ personal injury matters.
In her commercial and company practice Kate:
- advises on suitable business entities and company formation;
- advises on company and directors’ duties;
- drafts necessary company documents including amended articles and resolutions;
- drafts and negotiates contracts and shareholders’ agreements;
- advises on shareholders disputes.
Notable commercial work included:
- advising and representing foreign companies establishing business in the UK;
- advising companies on matters involving directors’ duties and shareholders’ disputes;
- advising a Polish PLC on contract matters and negotiating on its behalf with an English PLC;
- representing an international cosmetics company in injunctive relief and restraint of trade matters;
- representing hauliers in representations against Border Force and HMRC in excise duty matters;
- advising EU nationals on immigration issues, residency and citizenship applications in the UK.
Kate has strong links in the Polish community and is recommended by the Polish Embassy in London, having co-written a Guide for Polish Investors in the UK that was published by the Embassy. She has a broad network of international connections and has been instructed by law firms in Poland to assist their clients in matters involving English jurisdiction.
Listen to Kate’s podcast
Leesa joined our Property Department in March 2019. Her interest in the Law and in particular conveyancing began 20 years ago while working at a southeast London firm. She then moved onto to a Legal 500 firm in Lincoln’s Inn where she qualified as a Licensed Conveyancer in 2009 before joining a Legal 100 firm in Westminster acting for UK and overseas high net worth individuals and developers.
Leesa has gained a wealth of experience in residential conveyancing acting on sales and purchases with a particular emphasis on new build/redevelopment sites both within central London and across the Country.
Leesa has worked with large and small scale developers both from the UK and overseas providing a top and tail service from the acquisition of sites through to the plot sales on sites from 1-120 units. She also acts for buyers of new build property including those using Help to Buy/Shared Ownership schemes and dealing with their associated finance with UK and overseas banks.
Outside of work Leesa enjoys spending time with her family, gardening and cooking.
Lisa Ginesi is a partner in our commercial litigation and dispute resolution team. Her practice covers a wide range of commercial disputes and predominantly relates to all forms of property disputes. The clients Lisa acts for range from large corporate property developers and investors to private property owning individuals.
Lisa regularly advises on a wide variety of issues affecting both residential and commercial properties and an extensive range of contractual disputes. Lisa has particular expertise in landlord and tenant disputes, the 1954 Act, dilapidation issues, nuisance claims; boundary disputes, possession claims, construction and development contracts, party wall disputes, trespasser proceedings and all aspects of enfranchisement.
In every case, Lisa actively looks for ways to reach practical and cost-effective solutions, whether that is through negotiation, court proceedings, self-help remedies or alternative dispute resolution. She works with her clients as part of a team, often alongside surveyors, engineers and a variety of other experts.
Recent Transactions include;
- Successfully appealing against two Party Wall Awards and securing costs for our client in a case relating to a substantial development in Shoreditch.
- Acting for a corporate property developer in a dispute to enforce the terms of a sale and construction agreement, to enable our client to complete their development and sell a number of flats.
- Acting for a sole trader tenant, of a commercial shop in Great Russell Street in a claim against his landlord for unreasonably delaying and withholding consent to an assignment of his lease.
- Acting for a residential property developer who intended to carry out underpinning works and was served with an injunction obtained by the Council to stop works for alleged breach of planning regulations and starting excavation for basement works.
- Advising on a complex lease renewal of commercial premises under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, involving; disputed terms for a new lease; unauthorised sub-lettings and breach of planning legislation.
- Advising a client who owns the freehold of a large residential block of flats in London in relation to a number of applications to extend leases under the 1993 Act, including dealing with applications to the First Tier Tribunal. Conversely, advising a number of tenants, in a different block of flats, on their rights to extend their leases.
- Advising on a range of enfranchisement issues, including lease extensions and purchases of freeholds under the 1993 and 1967 Acts, and rights of first refusal under the 1987 Act.
- Acting in a number of contractual property disputes including; disputed joint venture agreements; breaches and termination of JCT contracts; claims against insurers for losses and claims for unpaid fees and defective works.
Early in her career, Lisa had the privilege of being part of the team which took a highly technical lease renewal case to the House to Lords (P&O v Graysim).
Some notable and reported cases include;
- Sai Ventures Ltd v Compar Properties Ltd  – an appeal against two Party Wall Awards in a case relating to a substantial development in Shoreditch.
- H Waites Ltd v Hambledon court Ltd and others  – landlord and tenant dispute concerning air space and extent of the tenants’ demise.
- Anslow and others v Norton Aluminium Ltd  – a GLO claim for multi million pound damages in nuisance, claimed to be caused by smell, noise and dust.
- Delgable Ltd v Perinpanathan  – landlord and tenant dispute concerning the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 Act and liability to repair roof.
- P&O Property Holdings Limited v Graysim  – dispute on the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. This was a Supreme Court decision.
Lisa was educated at Haydon Bridge High School in Northumberland and then studied law at the University of West London. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1992, having trained and qualified at Carter Lemon Camerons. Lisa is a member of the Property Litigation Association, Women in Business, Women in Property, the Association of Women Solicitors and the Law Society.
Michael qualified as a solicitor in 1982 and is a consultant based in the private client department. Michael advises on a wide range of UK and international tax issues. He is a member of the Society of Trust and Estates Practitioners and is an expert on wealth structuring, having been responsible for this area at Barclays Wealth for 13 years. He has also been authorised under the financial services legislation since it was introduced in the 1980s and advises on investment and financial services matters.
Neil Acheson-Gray is a partner and head of the private client department. He has specialised in matters including contentious probate for more than three decades.
He trained at a leading firm in Holborn, qualifying as a solicitor in 1983 and then spent 25 years as a partner in the family firm with offices in Marble Arch and Richmond. This gave him a wealth of experience in estate planning, Wills, estates and trusts and carrying out the role of Executor and Trustee.
Neil has subsequently spent 6 years with a firm in Fetter Lane where he successfully developed the firm’s contentious probate capability, bringing his wealth of experience of private client work to the cut and thrust of claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975 and contested Wills.
- Acting for the family of an elderly lady seeking to prove the validity of an allegedly forged or fraudulent Will in her favour
- Acting for several children of a lady whose other daughter was alleged to have forged her mother’s Will
- Acting for a widow whose stepchildren were claiming provision from his estate
- Acting for a widow whose own son inherited all her late husband’s estate
- Representing a child whose siblings were seeking her removal as Executor
- Acting for the beneficiary of an estate in the removal of one of the Executors
- Acting for the surviving partner of the man she lived with who remained married to his wife and left his entire estate to her and he children
- Acting for a surviving husband in relation to a claim made by a friend he had allegedly maintained
- Opposing a Will made by someone who took her own life whilst suffering from serious mental illness
- Advising a daughter whose stepmother left her share in a family property to her nephew contrary to her late husband’s wishes
Alongside this, Neil has continued his established practice in the field of Wills and Probate, dealing with a variety of interesting estates and meeting a wide range of clients from all walks of life, with estates large and small, complex and straightforward.
Neil looks forward to the next challenge in his career and the opportunity to continue to represent those he has met along the way.
Neil is married and lives in Surrey. Outside of the office he enjoys all forms of sport, travel, cookery, photography and the arts. His greatest inspiration and his greatest critics are his wife, three children and above all his grandson who together provide all the distraction needed from an absorbing and rewarding career which he is pleased to continue as a Partner at Carter Lemon Camerons LLP.
Prod qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 1999 and is a Senior Associate in our property team and Carter Lemon Camerons’ foremost residential conveyancer. He joined the firm in 2008, bringing with him a substantial client base from the North London area – where he previously worked for over 15 years.
He has considerable expertise in residential and commercial conveyancing and landlord and tenant matters, handling sales, purchases, mortgages, lease and tenancy grants, assignments, renewals and variations, collective enfranchisement and lease extensions, guarantees, bridging finance and secured lending.
Prod is known and trusted by clients for his exceptional understanding of property matters. He represents property investors, developers, landlords, managing agents, lettings agents, surveyors and residents’ associations.
Prod is retained by an overseas private bank to act on secured lending on high-value Central London and West End residential properties.
Prod is also retained as legal counsel to a number of Christian charity organisations advising them and their associated churches on charity law and the duties and responsibilities of charitable trustees. His church work includes all types of property transactions from buying and selling manses and granting commercial leases and licenses of church space to handling complicated redevelopments of church land and properties.
- Advising church trustees on a multi-million pound church relocation and redevelopment project to create a new church and school with several high value flats, including the negotiation of multi-party development documentation and advice on charity law procedure.
- Representing over 30 leaseholders on a proposed collective enfranchisement of a freehold residential block in Queensway;
- Successfully organising a collective approach by a number of leaseholders in the same block for lease extensions to their respective flats under the 1993 Act;
- Acting on the purchase of a multi-million pound property by acquiring ownership of shares in the selling company; dealing with first registration of agricultural land affected by a number of rights, settlements and trusts created over a number of years;
- Successfully completing a high-value purchase transaction within 10 days of receipt of papers;
- Successfully bringing a claim to preserve and uphold a right of way thought to have extinguished many years earlier;
- Representing a leading mobile telecommunications operator in connection with acquisitions, renewals and transfers of mobile masts; and
- Acting for one of the largest private property investment groups in the UK in connection with the grant, renewal and surrender of commercial leases.
Prod was born in North London to Greek Cypriot parents and enjoys close links to the local and overseas Greek and Greek Cypriot community. He speaks the Greek language reasonably well.
Despite his youthful looks, Prod has vast experience in his areas of practice, gained in a career of over 26 years. He is a firm believer in a non-nonsense approach to his work and the importance of using plain English when dealing with clients, professionals and others.
Outside the office, Prod is a devoted husband and father to two young boys. He is a member of the governing committee of his local Greek Language School, with responsibility for over 200 pupils aged between 4 and 17 years. He is also active in his local Orthodox Christian Church.
Prod enjoys DIY and believes he is really good at it, having helped renovate five houses over the years. He is also a keen gardener and boasts to have a garden with the best figs, grapes and olives around. In contrast to his quiet appearance, Prod is an avid sports-bike enthusiast and enjoys a daily commute to work on his cherished motorbike, dressed in full leathers.
Rachel joined Carter Lemon Camerons LLP as a Trainee Solicitor in March 2019 and qualified as a solicitor in March 2021.
Rachel has a Law Degree from the University of Exeter and undertook the LPC at Kaplan Law School.
When not at work, Rachel enjoys cooking and keeping fit at the gym.
Rufus Ballaster specialises in secured lending for both lenders and borrowers, within Carter Lemon Camerons LLP’s commercial property team.
Rufus’ team is able to assist lenders with putting in place effective protection for their loans, including advising on the form of security that is needed, arranging reporting systems between lawyer and lender, preparing documents, raising enquiries, examining title and making the appropriate searches.
Rufus is also experienced in assisting borrowers, advising on the risks involved in the transaction and negotiating the best possible terms.
Where appropriate, having carefully looked at professional rules governing conflict of interest, Rufus can act for both the lender and the borrower in a single transaction.
His detailed technical legal knowledge and ability to crunch numbers are great assets both transactionally and as Carter Lemon Camerons LLP’s spreadsheet obsessive.
Recent transactions include:
- Secured Lending Portfolio Refinance for a group of clients shifting lending from one international Private Bank to another international Private Bank with full Certification of Title across 7 Central London Properties both commercial residential (or mixed) use – aggregate value £30M approx.
- Phased purchase with development finance of site for over 40 new homes in SW London for a group of clients which has also bought and sold many other units in the region with Rufus and his team acting.
- Short term (2 to 18 month) lending by a Wealth Management company into a variety of development projects taking first or second charge security over those sites or collateral security elsewhere.
Career highlights include:
- Stepping into the panel of speakers at a course for which he was understudy – at only 3 years qualified
- Representing most of the sets of barristers’ chambers at one of the Inns of Court in lease renewals with that Inn
- Drawing down finance to purchase a SW1 development opportunity (offices to flats) by an off shore company at a price exceeding £120M (for a group of clients for whom previous deals were at values ranging from £7M to £220M)
- Drawing down finance to purchase a group of off-shore vehicles which owned of a City office block let to a blue chip investment bank – loan exceeding £300 million, split into senior and junior debt.
Rufus combines client focused views of legal issues with more holistic ones. This is clearly visible from his writing (having contributed to many journals and been a co-author of the Landlord and Tenant Factbook and more recently of a Practical Guide to Drone Law) and from his lectures and seminars on banking, commercial property, artificial intelligence and other topics.
Asked what he likes most in his work, Rufus will talk of his role as a “trouble-shooter”. He enjoys being asked by clients and colleagues what he thinks about something and trying, with them, to work up structures or strategies achieving a desired result at the lowest sensible cost/ tax-hit/ risk. He travels within Europe and beyond (Arabian Gulf, South East Asia, Southern Africa) to see clients and contacts face to face and says working with people he has met is always preferable to hiding behind email and telephone for client contact!
Rufus was educated at Reading School, Wadham College Oxford and Chester College of Law, qualifying as a solicitor in 1988.
Outside the office Rufus has a full and active life with commitments to two Christian Churches, family (wife and three now adult children), RBS Rugby Football Club (for whom he plays as a second row forward) and RBS Lawn Bowls Club which is more suited to his age.
Seamus Smyth is head of litigation and arbitration. His practice is primarily commercial with an emphasis on arbitration, financial services and work for South African and Italian clients.
His reported cases include RH Green & Silley Weir v BR (limitation period against 3rd party), de Bry v Fitzgerald (security for costs), Hartt v Newspaper Publishing (libel concerning a work by Michelangelo), Pearson v Sanders Witherspoon (valuation of loss of chance), Siebe Gorman v Pneupac (status of consent orders), Senate Electrical v NTL (liability of an employee for acquisition warranties) and Bendell v Smith & Others (a successful recovery action by a lender on a shared appreciation mortgage equity release – the only such case to go to trial).
Recently involved in enforcement of foreign arbitration awards, claims arising from the banking upheavals since 2007, a successful claim against a high street bank resulting from a banking error and a successful claim against estate administrators and their solicitors for wasting the estate funds on irresponsible litigation.
Educated (BA, LLB, Wits) and first qualified as an attorney in South Africa, he requalified in England in 1977, took an LLM at UCL and a Diploma in International Arbitration at QM, and became an FCIArb. He is chairman of the British South African Law Association (for the second time), chairman of Michaelhouse UK Trust, a trustee of Global Leadership Foundation (UK), a former President of the London Solicitors Litigation Association and Trustee and President of Town Malling Cricket Club (established in 1827!). He was until 2012 a Visiting Senior Lecturer in International Commercial Arbitration at London Metropolitan University. When work and domesticity permit he plays some cricket and more golf (but – which is immediately obvious – not nearly enough).
Stuart Brennan is senior partner and a partner within the Company Commercial team at Carter Lemon Camerons dealing with businesses and other non-litigious work and specialises in commercial property, company commercial and associated employment matters.
Previously Senior Partner at Metson Cross, Stuart has extensive experience in all aspects of commercial property matters including portfolio sales and purchases, development, security work leases and other landlord and tenant matters. Stuart has significant experience in acquisitions and disposals of businesses either by the sale also purchase of shares or assets, including TUPE issues as well as dealing with company, LLP and partnership formations, shareholders agreements and company restructuring including purchasing of own shares and revisions to memorandum and articles of association.
- Disposal of a 50% stake in a printing company to American investor involving not only the usual sale and purchase agreement but also shareholders agreement/compromise agreements new contracts of employment and property matters.
- Setting up of a representative office for in Moscow for a UK company setting up business in Russia; liaising with Moscow lawyers satisfying the stringent regulatory requirements of the Russian State Authorities.
- Liaising with litigation team in advising client on taking action against former employee setting up competing business utilising the clients’ valuable intranet based database and other know-how.
- Restaurant and pub sales purchases, leases and other leisure matters.
- Acquisition at auction of tenanted industrial estate to be held under declaration of trust taken by varying entities to (2 individuals, a limited liability partnership and SIPP trustees). Also power of attorney enabling an individual owner to manage the property.
- Directors and Shareholders disputes, Shareholders Agreements, including unfair prejudice, breach of directors duties, breach of authority and derivative actions.
Stuart has over the years been involved in many substantial property and business acquisitions and disposals including the acquisition of 87 public houses for a regional brewer, the compulsory purchase of a property as part of a dock reconfiguration together with representations to a public enquiry. He also represented a client against the Environment Agency following alleged pollution of a waterway.
Stuart was educated at Glasgow High School and Wilmslow Grammar School and Liverpool Polytechnic, trained in Manchester but has worked in London since admission as a solicitor in 1973.
Outside the office Stuarts interests are golfing, skiing, watching football and rugby, music of all kinds and playing the piano (in private). Also supports a well-known northern football club.