Aisha Wardell

Associate - Dispute Resolution

Hugh Hitchcock

Partner - Dispute Resolution

Chiara Howfield

Trainee - Corporate & Commercial

Stuart Bechares

Associate - Real Estate

Edward Vera-Cruz

Consultant - Commercial Projects/ Public Law

Alexandra Nikitina

Marketing Assistant

Jennifer Robinson

Paralegal - Dispute Resolution

Madeleine Chapman

Trainee - Commercial Property

Robert Senior

Senior Associate - Real Estate

Runa Sadarangani

Head of Marketing and Communications

Jared Ursell

Trainee - Commercial Projects / Public Law & Employment

Ben McGirr

Paralegal - Commercial Projects / Public Law

Tomas Griffiths

Paralegal - Commercial Property

Jahan Rahman

Paralegal – Corporate & Commercial

Chris Lewis

Solicitor- Corporate & Commercial

Rob Foulston

Partner, Banking & Finance and Education

David Hudson

Partner - Dispute Resolution

Rebecca Mahon

Trainee - Dispute Resolution

Lisa-Marie Knight


Rob Williams

Associate - Commercial Projects / Public Law

Elena Servini

Associate - Corporate & Commercial

Mark Summers

Trainee - Dispute Resolution

Claire Knowles

Partner - Employment

Jonathan Culley

Senior Associate - Construction

Gwenno George

Assistant Accountant

Neil Maclean-Smith

Management Board, Finance Director

Melanie Williams

Solicitor - Corporate

James Williams

Partner - Construction

Anisha Patel

Solicitor - Real Estate

Ben Honour

Solicitor - Real Estate

Paul Farthing

Solicitor - Real Estate

Steve Morris

Partner - Real Estate

Rachelle Sellek

Managing Partner, Partner - Corporate & Commercial

Phil Pugh

Senior Associate - Corporate & Commercial

Paul Lowe

Partner - Corporate & Commercial

Natalie Jones

Solicitor - Corporate & Commercial

Laura Mitchell

Associate - Commercial Projects / Public Law

Jonathan Geen

Partner - Real Estate

Jon Lawley

Associate - Corporate & Commercial

Gareth Baker

Partner - Real Estate

Deryn Rees

Partner - Commercial Projects/Public Law

Damien Cann

Partner – Real Estate

Christian Farrow

Partner - Corporate & Commercial

Charlotte Whitehead

Associate - Real Estate

Beverley Jones

Partner - Corporate & Commercial

Bethan Cooke

Associate - Corporate & Commercial

Steve Berry

Chairman, Partner - Corporate & Commercial

Professional Background

Aisha has a wealth of experience in dealing with high-value commercial disputes including contractual disputes, shareholder/director disputes, professional negligence claims and contentious insolvency matters. Aisha acts for a variety of different clients including limited companies, individuals and public sector bodies.

Aisha was educated at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and BPP Law School, London. Aisha joined Acuity in 2016 and before joining was a solicitor at Hugh James, Cardiff. 

Work Highlights

  • Instructed on behalf of a shareholder in bringing s.994 proceedings resulting in a successfully negotiated settlement.
  • Pursuing a professional negligence claim against IFAs resulting in a six figure settlement.
  • Instructed on behalf of a gaming manufacturer in a claim for conversion.
  • Instructed on behalf of a sports company successfully defending a claim for breach of contract.
  • Regularly instructed on behalf of insolvency practitioners to pursue antecedent transactions.

Professional Background

Hugh works with both UK based and international clients on a wide range of commercial litigation cases. He has considerable experience in high value contractual and professional negligence claims against large national firms, recovery claims and minority shareholder claims. Hugh also practices in the niche area of defamation and has had notable successes against a number of national newspapers.

Work highlights

Carmarthen-born Hugh returned to South Wales in 1995 following an eight-year stint in the media litigation department at Frere Cholmeley Bischoff. Acting for an array of celebrity clients including Elton John, Sting, and the Beatles record company clients he quickly built up an enviable reputation as a heavyweight litigator. Notable and reported work highlights include:

  • Qual-Chem Limited v Corus UK Limited (Appeal Reference: A3/2008/0466/ Patents County Court Claim No: PAT 06 026). A successful claim and defence of an appeal in [HH to insert brief synopsis of QualChem proceedings]
  • Hoyl Group Limited v Cromer Town Council (Appeal Reference: B2/2014/3348/ Claim No: 3SA00472)
  • Dawnus Sierra Leone Limited v Timis Mining Corporation (SL) Limited (TCC, Claim No: B50CF015) a £27million dispute with an international mining company over various overseas contracts

Before joining Acuity, Hugh was a partner/director at DJM Law Limited for 21 years.

Professional Background

Chiara joined Acuity Legal in September 2016 and works in the Corporate Team as a Trainee Solicitor.

Chiara graduated with a 2:1 law degree from the University of Southampton and gained a distinction on the LPC at Cardiff University. Prior to undertaking the LPC Chiara also completed work experience at Acuity Legal and spent nine months working in the Financial Services Team at Eversheds.

Chiara is fluent in Italian and in her spare time enjoys going to the gym, playing netball and baking.

Professional Background

Stuart is an experienced Real Estate Solicitor advising in relation to commercial property transactions with a particular interest and focus on the energy sector.  Stuart has experience garnered from working both in-house and private practice relating to land assembly infrastructure documentation for renewable energy projects, including options, leases, easements, crossing agreements, wayleaves and grid connection agreements including site sharing.  Stuart has a keen interest and has participated in and provided advice in relation to community participation for regeneration, energy, and infrastructure projects.

Stuart originally worked as an optical technician and laboratory manager before qualifying when a mature student as a Solicitor and in his spare time enjoys cycling and watching rugby with his family.  For a number of years Stuart has been a Local Authority appointed school governor of the award winning, ‘excellent’ rated Barry Island Primary School.

Professional Background

Edward is an experienced senior commercial professional and public services delivery specialist with over 25 years commercial, strategic sourcing and commercial-legal expertise across both private practice and the public sector, with a rare and very useful combination of concurrent professional procurement and legal qualifications and practice. With a proven track-record of applying and embedding commercial disciplines within the public sector to deliver intelligent, innovative and effective services, improve efficiency, develop new service delivery models, increase income, and reduce costs, Edward is outcome-focused; intrinsically people-centred, but with a clear commercial outlook.

With a career start in academics, followed by a stint as a criminal defence lawyer, the strong lure of private commerce brought Edward into corporate insolvency practice, later becoming managing partner of a niche firm specialising in international commercial transactions & projects, oil & gas/energy, and IP/ICT projects. In 2004 Edward came into public service to establish and head the commercial legal team at a large southeast County Council, before his appointment as Chief Procurement Officer (2011-16). During his 12 years at the county council, Edward advised on, delivered and managed a portfolio of multifaceted public sector strategic and commercial contracts, and complex commercial projects and transactions. He is currently a Senior Commercial Advisor (Legal & Procurement) at a UK water utility, and a consultant and sought after trainer.

Edward has degrees from several universities, including a Master of Laws (with Credit) from the London School of Economics, and other academic and professional qualifications, including full Membership of CIPS and Fellowship of the Chartered Management Institute.


Please contact the Commercial projects & Public Law Team for further information: Deryn Rees and Laura Mitchell.

Alexandra Nikitina

Alexandra joins Acuity Legal as Marketing Assistant. Alexandra is currently undertaking a one-year industrial placement program within the Marketing department. She has completed 2 years of her undergraduate degree in Management with Marketing at the University of Bath prior to joining Acuity Legal.  Her main role is to support marketing and brand development activities across the firm, while gaining invaluable work experience before returning to complete her studies.

Alexandra’s previous experience spans both marketing and sales roles, having interned with two large Russian supermarket chains, where her role involved building a new website, re-branding campaigns that had a focus on the design and implementation elements.

Professional Background

Jennifer joined Acuity in 2016 as a paralegal in the Dispute Resolution team. Jennifer provides support and assistance to the team on a wide range of matters up to and including complex litigation.

Before joining Acuity, Jennifer qualified as a barrister and also worked as a lecturer.

Jennifer studied law at Bristol University and completed the BPTC at Cardiff University.

Professional Background

Madeleine joined Acuity in 2016 as a paralegal and is now a trainee solicitor in the Commercial Property team.

Prior to joining Acuity, she obtained experience as a paralegal in the Trusts and Estates Administration team at Hugh James, dealing with the non-contentious aspects involved in administering estates. She has also gained paralegal experience in the Real Estate/Built Environment team at Blake Morgan LLP.

Madeleine studied Law at The University of Exeter, graduating in 2014. She then went on to complete the Legal Practice Course at Cardiff University, graduating with a Commendation in 2015. 

Professional Background

Robert is a Real Estate Solicitor advising on the acquisition, disposal, letting, development and funding of commercial property transactions. Robert has particular experience in the acquisition and management of investment properties and their associated leasehold management issues.

Robert originally qualified and practised as a geotechnical engineer. He subsequently re-qualified as a solicitor and in 1999 completed his legal qualifications at Cardiff University, gaining a commendation. His early legal career was spent with Morgan Cole and Berry Smith LLP in Cardiff and he joined Acuity in 2016.

Professional Background

Runa joins Acuity as Head of Marketing and Communications. Runa’s international experience spans EMEA, Asia Pacific and the Americas working in client-facing roles with leading international Advertising Marketing and Public Relations firms. Runa’s expertise enabled organisations to effectively communicate key messages across stakeholder groups.

Runa also has over ten years’ experience working in blue chip Financial Services and legal companies in the private sector, Runa’s specialist area has been working across the HR function covering recruitment, talent management, training, and employee wellbeing matters. Runa also has experience in serving as a design and delivery specialist for the public sector, implementing quality learning interventions and strategic plans for clients across the entire business function.  
Runa has a Degree in Economics and Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing & Communication. 

Professional Background

Jared joined Acuity as a legal assistant in 2014 after graduating from Swansea University and provided a wide range of legal support to fee- earners from across the firm. Soon after, he began studying towards the LPC at Cardiff Law School on a part- time basis. Shortly after passing the LPC with a commendation, Jared commenced his training contract with Acuity.

Jared's first seat was in the Commercial Projects team where he provided commercial, procurement and public law advice and support to Acuity’s public sector clients. Having completed his first seat, Jared's second seat is spread between both the Commercial Projects and Employment teams. This arrangement means that Jared can continue to be involved with the complex and ongoing matters within the Commercial Projects team whilst also gaining invaluable experience, both contentious and non-contentious, from the Employment team.

Professional Background

Ben joined Acuity Legal in 2016 and works in the Projects Team as a Paralegal. He is currently pursuing the ‘Equivalent Means’ route to qualification and provides commercial, procurement and public law advice and support to Acuity’s public sector clients.

Ben has three years previous experience which includes a 16 month secondment as a Lead Procurement Advisor for a central government body. For over a year, Ben was the project lead for a £10million framework agreement. Ben also has experience acting on various commercial law matters.

In 2013 Ben obtained a Distinction on the LPC from Cardiff University, the same institution where he was awarded his law degree. During his time at university Ben undertook two years of pro bono work upon the Innocence Project and also volunteered for the Personal Support Unit within the Cardiff civil courts.

In his spare time Ben enjoys playing ice hockey and is self-taught at playing the ukulele.

Professional Background

Tom joined Acuity in  2015 as a member of the Real Estate team. He provides support and assistance on a wide variety of property matters and complex transactions.

Prior to joining Acuity, he spent several years with a leading commercial law firm  where he dealt with a significant caseload of property matters for major housebuilders such as Barratt Homes and Bellway Homes.

Tom completed his Law degree at Cardiff University.  Outside of work Tom has a keen interest in travel, is currently learning to play the banjo and is also a qualified lifeguard.

Professional Background

Jahan joined Acuity in January 2016 as a member of the Corporate and Commercial team and is training to qualify as a solicitor through an equivalent means route. He provides transaction support on high value company acquisitions and disposals.

Prior to joining Acuity, Jahan gained experience as a paralegal in both Commercial Litigation and Property, working for regional and city firms.

Jahan completed the LPC at the University of Law in Birmingham and is currently undertaking a course in Trade Marks law with the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys.

Outside of work Jahan enjoys travelling, yoga and going to the gym. He is also a keen runner, having participated in several half marathons and currently training to run the London Marathon. 

Professional Background

Chris has a wealth of expertise in banking and finance, with extensive experience acting for clearing and institutional lenders including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Santander.

He specialises in banking and security matters, with particular experience in property and development finance and advising on non-standard lending transactions involving complex structures and security.

He also has experience of advising on commercial and outsourcing contracts gained whilst working in-house for a financial services provider.

Work highlights

  • acting for international clearing lender on $75m refinancing of acquisition of US technology group
  • advising on the restructuring of £25m facility in respect of leading confectionery manufacturer
  • acting for a significant UK property investor on £165m refinancing of their facilities
  • acting for a number of lender clients in relation to the provision of real estate finance
  • providing advice as in-house solicitor for financial services business on a range of matters including negotiating a £20m servicing contract with major institutional lender

Chris was educated at Swansea University and Cardiff Law School. He joined Acuity in 2016.

Professional Background

Rob leads our banking, finance and education teams in London, having worked for many years in law and international banking in the City.
Rob’s career has spanned law, banking & finance, mergers and acquisitions and education, working for City firms and international banks in London.
Rob was educated at Newcastle University and Chester College of Law and joined Acuity in 2015. After qualifying as a solicitor, he worked for Credit Lyonnais Securities and Bankers Trust. After the acquisition of Bankers Trust by Deutsche Bank, he became Managing Director and Head of European Distressed Products in London. Rob moved into education in 2005 to Chair ITEC, an International Awarding Organisation, and acquired Remit, a national apprenticeship provider, in 2008. 
In his spare time, Rob is a classic car enthusiast and enjoys cycling.

Professional Background

David has acted for a wide range of banking institutions, private and public sector organisations, insurers and individuals. He brings extensive experience in complex and high value litigation and as a qualified mediator David is well placed to advise on the commercial advantages of this process.

Work highlights – acting for:

  • Advising a care home operator in a claim for £450,000 for the provision of services under contracts with a Local Authority, in addition to advising on defamatory statements made in the press.
  • Conducting three post completion disputes for a UK Plc worth a combined sum of £4.5 million. Each claim was resolved in the client’s favour, two through the appointment of an Independent Expert and the third by negotiation.
  • Acting for a health service client in the successful recovery of over £300,000 at mediation following a breach of regulations by a GP practice.
  • Advising a higher education client in a claim for non-payment of invoices to the value of £500,000.
  • Pursuing a £3.8 million breach of warranty claim following a company acquisition.
  • Acting for a UK Plc in a claim for £1.2 million following a supplier’s breach of contract in supplying defective goods.
  • Leading a major mortgage fraud claim for a UK banking institution.

David was educated at Birmingham University. Prior to joining Acuity in 2015, David was a senior associate at Eversheds and more recently worked at HSBC’s Canary Wharf headquarters managing the litigation arising from the Financial Conduct Authority’s interest rate swaps review.

Professional Background

Rebecca joined Acuity in 2015 after graduating in Law from The University of Reading and completing her LPC at BPP Law School, Holborn. She is currently converting her LPC to a Masters in Law and Business.

Rebecca is currently a trainee in the Dispute Resolution team where she assists fee earners on various contentious matters. Currently she is heavily involved in preparing for complex litigation in both the Administrative Court and the Technology and Construction Court in London. She has prepared bundles, corresponded with Counsel and drafted Court documents.

Previously, Rebecca worked with both the Employment and Commercial Projects teams. Her role involved drafting commercial agreements and correspondence, attending meetings with clients, conducting legal research and preparing legal advice. In addition she also regularly assisted Claire Knowles with her employment training seminars.

Rebecca has many interests outside work, notably music. She is a classically trained singer who regularly performs as a guest soloist across the UK and with various choirs. She also plays the piano, violin and guitar. She is a keen sports fan who enjoys watching rugby, playing golf and going to the gym. Rebecca speaks Welsh and studied French at degree level. 

Professional Background

Lisa-Marie joined Acuity as a trainee solicitor in September 2015. She carries out Companies House searches and filings and is regularly involved in the drafting of documents including board minutes, resolutions and due diligence reports for clients.

Prior to joining Acuity, Lisa-Marie worked as a paralegal in both conveyancing and litigation, and gained experience as an account coordinator for a national service provider.

Lisa-Marie was educated at Cardiff University, where she was awarded a first class law degree prior to completing a masters in law and gaining a distinction on the LPC.

Outside work, Lisa-Marie’s interests include following rugby, walking and travel.

Professional Background

Rob assists the projects team in advising public and private sector clients across the energy, health, education and waste sectors. 

Recent work includes:

  • advice on contracting under an alliance agreement for the redevelopment of rail infrastructure
  • advising a local authority on the suitability and use of the NEC3 Term Services and Framework contracts
  • developing a licence agreement for a local authority’s solar-panel installation scheme

Rob also brings an experience of non-contentious construction matters to the benefit of the team and recent examples include:

  • advising a civil engineering infrastructure specialist on headline issues under a NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract
  • developing a NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract for a local authority highways scheme
  • negotiation of the second phase of the Bluestone development in West Wales
  • advising Sherman Cymru on construction issues relating to the re-development of the Sherman theatre

He received his law degree from Cardiff University before gaining a MSc. in quality and environmental management at Glamorgan University and a LL.M in construction law from Reading University.  

This is Rob’s second spell at Acuity and supplements previous experience at national law firms and the Welsh Government.

Professional Background

Elena is primarily focused on major corporate transactions. She has experience in advising clients on acquisitions and disposals, private equity transactions, management buyouts, investments, financing structures and shareholders' arrangements.

Speak to Elena about our Acuity Counsel Service.

Work Highlights include advising:

  • the management team of Global Refund in connection with the secondary buy-out of Global Refund by Barclays Private Equity from APAX Partners for approximately EUR360 million;
  • Daiwa SMBC Principal Investments in relation to the buyout of HMV Japan;
  • Deutsche Bank Equity Special Situations and Bivideon on the LBO, refinancing and sale of TMobile Czech and Ceske Radiokomunikace to funds managed by Mid Europa, Al Bateen and Lehman Brothers Private Equity;
  • Capita PLC and Environmental Scientifics Group on multiple acquisitions and disposals; and
  • Bluestone holiday village on a major re-structuring ad re-financing project.

Elena was educated at the University of Manchester, the University of Bourgogne and Cardiff Law School. She completed her training with Baker & McKenzie, London before qualifying into its corporate department. Elena returned to her native Wales and joined Acuity in 2008.

Professional Background

Mark spent more than seven years as a business journalist in the Middle East before deciding on a change in career and joining Acuity in 2014.

Having completed six months in the firm's Corporate and Commercial department, Mark is now a trainee in Acuity Real Estate where his role involves drafting a wide range of documentation and assisting fee earners on a number of complex commercial property transactions and projects.

Mark was awarded a law degree from the University of London, and won the University of Law’s sole annual full scholarship to complete his legal studies at the institution’s London Bloomsbury centre.

Professional Background

Claire is an employment law specialist, providing commercially focused advice on all aspects of employment law and HR matters, both contentious and non-contentious. Claire has a strong background in advising clients on discrimination legislation, employment tribunal litigation, effective management of complex employee relations and dispute resolution, and the implementation of cultural and workforce reorganisations.

Claire has in-depth expertise in providing bespoke training to clients on all aspects of employment law and HR issues. She is also a strong litigator having successfully defended a number of employment tribunal claims relating to redundancies, dismissals, whistleblowing complaints and multi-discrimination claims. Claire has also acted for NHS Trusts and Local Authorities in defending mass equal pay litigation.

Claire has worked with private multinational organisations and SME's, charities and public sector organisations, and has a particular interest in the healthcare and education sector. Claire works directly with in-house legal teams, HR professionals and management, and has experience and a keen interest in coaching managers on effective leadership techniques.

Claire was educated at Southampton University and Cardiff Law School. After training and working as an employment specialist for DAC Beachcroft LLP, followed by Eversheds LLP, Claire joined Acuity in 2014

Professional Background

Jonathan has expertise in dealing with large scale construction developments and disputes and has a keen interest in the renewable energy sector.

Work Highlights

  • Drafting, negotiating and advising on Building Contracts, Consultant Appointments, Collateral Warranties, Guarantees, Novation Agreements and ancillary documentation
  • Handling disputes and claims on behalf of contractors (such as claims for loss and expense, extensions of time and variations) and developers (such as for defective work and liquidated damages)

Currently advising

  • Rightacres on the regeneration of Central Square, Cardiff;
  • Lifecare Residences on their development of a purpose built retirement community in London; 
  • Hadston Southwark Limited on their restoration and re-development project of an ex fire station site in South London, for a new free school and commercial and residential units in Southwark, London; 
  • Lee Wakemans on the development of an armored tank production facility in Wales; 
  • Settling a number of cases through successful dispute management (including mediation, adjudication and litigation)
  • Attending the TCC and RCJ on a number of applications and hearings 
  • Developing innovative legal products such as BiM Legal for contractors, developers and consultants in the construction industry

He was educated at Warwick University (obtaining a first class Masters degree in Civil Engineering in 2004) and then studied law at the College of Law, London. His early career was spent with Eversheds and he joined Acuity in 2014.

Professional background

Gwenno joined the business support team at Acuity in 2014.

She was educated at Cardiff University where she studied Mathematics and Music. After graduating, Gwenno took a role as a Finance Officer with Plaid Cymru before joining Acuity.

Professional background

Neil has over 15 years’ experience managing the finance and operations of law firms. Specialist experience includes creating and managing pricing structures for legal service contracts, treasury management, providing commercial advice to practice groups across the UK, overall management of processing finance teams and project management.

Following 10 years working throughout the UK for Eversheds Neil joined Acuity in 2007. He heads up the Finance team and also sits on the Management Board.

Professional Background

Melanie joined Acuity in March 2013 and qualified into the corporate team in April 2016 where she assists with high value company and business acquisitions and disposals. 

Melanie is involved in drafting suites of documents including sale and purchase agreements, disclosure letters, board minutes and resolutions. She also regularly carries out Companies House searches and filings and is heavily involved in due diligence exercises such as writing up reports for clients and managing data rooms. 

Melanie has many interests including visiting National Trust properties, baking and hiking. She is also a keen runner, having participated in several marathons, half marathons, 5K and 10K races for charity. 

She was educated at Cardiff University and Cardiff Law School where she gained a distinction.

Professional Background

James specialises in non-contentious construction matters and has experience of acting for contractors, developers, consultants and funders in various projects in the UK, throughout the Middle East and in Australia. His experience covers drafting and negotiating building contracts, consultancy agreements, warranties and also ancillary documents such as performance bonds, parent company guarantees, supply contracts and facility management contracts.

James has run the London Marathon (twice) and has played rugby in Wales, England and Australia.

Work highlights – acting for:

  • a subcontractor engaged in the construction of the new national stadium for the English Football Association, Wembley, London
  • a developer engaged in the development and regeneration of parts of the West Midlands
  • a consortium tendering for a multi-billion dollar project for the Saudi Arabian Government and attending a three day negotiation in Paris involving American and European subcontractors
  • a developer on the design and construction of a new factory premises in Abu Dhabi with a contract value of approximately 2bn United Arab Emirates Dirhams
  • a major Australian contractor on the construction of a five green star rated new office tower, with retail and recreational facilities in Brisbane, Australia. Contract value of approx $AU80m
  • a contractor to undertake a risk analysis and advise on a mining contract for an open cut coal mine in New South Wales, Australia. Worth approx $AU 80m

James studied at the University of Wales and the College of Law in Chester. Legal career: Wragge & Co, Minter Ellison (Brisbane and Sydney) and Trowers and Hamlins (Dubai). While in the Middle East James also worked at the largest law firm in the region and worked in-house for a government developer. James has now relocated back to his native country of Wales and joined Acuity in 2014.

Professional Background

Anisha joined Acuity in 2013 having graduated from Nottingham Law School and obtaining a distinction on the LPC at the University of Law, Bloomsbury.

She qualified into the firm’s Real Estate department in October 2016 where her role involves drafting transactional documents such as contracts, transfers and leases and liaising with and reporting to clients. She also regularly assists on a broad range of complex commercial property transactions

Professional Background

Ben’s early career was spent in the insurance sector. He opted for a change in career and joined Acuity in 2013 as a paralegal in our real estate team and started his training contract in 2014. 

As a member of the real estate team his role involves drafting transactional documents such as contracts, transfers and deeds of surrender and preparing legal due diligence reports. In addition, he regularly undertakes research on a range of complex property issues. 

Ben completed his legal qualifications at City Law School in London and Cardiff Law School, gaining a distinction and winning the Edgar Buck prize for best overall performance.

Professional Background

Paul has experience advising on a broad range of real estate transactions including acquisitions, disposals and commercial lettings.

Paul regularly acts for both landlords and tenants in the granting and taking of leases of commercial premises including offices, industrial spaces and retail units and deals with all aspects. He has experience of residential transactions, including both freehold and leasehold residential purchases and sales, as well as re-mortgages, with values in excess of £1M. Paul also has expertise in elements of property litigation.

Paul was educated at Swansea University and Swansea Law School gaining a distinction. He joined Acuity in 2011. 

Professional Background

Stephen was educated at Cardiff University and Cardiff Law School. He trained and qualified in 2003 as a solicitor with Capital Law in Cardiff, where he spent four years. Stephen joined Acuity in 2005.

Area of Practice

Stephen is a real estate specialist advising on the acquisition, disposal, letting and funding of commercial properties with experience of property joint ventures through corporate and limited partnership vehicles. He has acted on a number of large property transactions including private developers and investors with portfolio management needs, pension funds and institutional lenders, substantial blue-chip occupiers, Public and Third Sectors.  He is involved in significant developments such as the Cardiff International Sports Village.

Stephen also has interests in the environmental and planning aspects of Commercial Property and regularly lectures and provides seminars on these topics and general real estate.  He has experience of industrial land acquisition, management and the sale of land and relocation of going concern businesses.

Professional Background

Rachelle undertakes a wide range of corporate work including acquisitions and disposals, private equity, corporate reorganisations, financing and joint ventures and also advises on banking and finance matters. She also has experience in a range of commercial contracts, including intellectual property, development agreements and supply contracts.

Acuity Legal advises companies involved in the health, technology, manufacturing, property, services, industrials and finance. We act for both UK based and international companies and have extensive international connections which enable us to provide a seamless service to our corporate clients.

The corporate team is supported by all necessary specialists and this enables us to deliver the legal support services expected from a partner led, specialist corporate legal practice

Rachelle was educated at Southampton University and then the College of Law. She trained with and spent her early career at Pitmans, Reading before moving to Eversheds in Cardiff in 1995. She joined Acuity Legal (formerly M&A Solicitors) in 1999 becoming a partner in 2001.

Rachelle is managing partner of Acuity Legal and divides her time between client work and internal management.  She is also the firm’s compliance officer for legal practice.

Professional Background

Phil specialises in corporate advice and transactions. He has experience over business and share acquisitions and disposals and has advised on a number of shareholders' arrangements and investments. He has extensive experience drafting and negotiating commercial documents, agency and distribution agreements and supply agreements. Phil has also advised clients on the exploitation and protection of intellectual property rights.

Phil has worked with a number of university ‘spin-out’ companies, including Fusion portfolio companies, and has spent time on secondment to Cardiff University in their commercial development / technology transfer team.

Phil has considerable experience in the healthcare sector and advises clients on the sale and purchase of dental businesses.

Phil was educated at Cardiff University (completing a bachelor and master of laws degree) and Cardiff Law School. He joined Acuity in 2007.

Work Highlights - acting for:

  • Mansford Helios on the sale of its rights and investments in a 6 million sq. ft. rail logistics project in Doncaster, UK (which has an end value of £400 million), to the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) and acting for Verdion Properties on its long term partnership arrangements with HOOPP including on its financing and development arrangements.
  • Portman Healthcare Limited for over 5 years in relation to its ‘buy- and build’ acquisition programme.
  • No. 14 Savile Row and connected entities on intellectual property / commercial contracts (including brand rights) and on corporate matters.

Professional Background

Paul specialises in corporate finance and frequently acts for public sector, FTSE and Fortune 500 clients. He possesses an extensive track record in being the lead adviser on high value projects and transactions throughout the UK and internationally, including major US corporations. Major clients that he has acted for include the Welsh Government, major local authorities (including AGMA) and companies such as CISCO, MeadWestvaco Corporation, G24i and Notemachine. Paul is recommended as a corporate/M&A specialist by the premier client guides to the UK legal profession.

Work highlights – advising:

  • Welsh Government on the £52m acquisition of Cardiff Airport
  • Cisco on the $5 billion acquisition of NDS
  • Local authorities in the North West of England on the set up of the £60m Evergreen Investment Fund limited partnership
  • London Development Agency on the £50m London Energy Efficiency Fund
  • Welsh Government on the establishment of the Dragon 24 LLP redevelopment fund
  • the sellers on the £13m sale of eLINIA

Paul has worked with Richards Butler in Hong Kong and Eversheds where for many years he led the corporate finance team before joining Acuity in 2013.

Professional Background

Natalie regularly works on corporate transactions and has experience across a variety of business and share acquisitions and disposals, shareholders' arrangements and company formations. She is a member of the firm’s specialist energy team and brings particular insight through her secondment with energy client Eco2.

She has expertise in drafting and negotiating a variety of commercial documents including terms and conditions, master services agreements and supply agreements.

Natalie was educated at Cardiff University and Cardiff Law School. She joined Acuity in 2009.

Professional Background

Laura advises public and private sector clients across energy, health, education and waste sectors.

She is currently on secondment to a local authority client’s in-house legal team. 

Laura is involved in a number of contracts, advising on the European Procurement regime, public law and council procedures for contract award and in the drafting, preparation, review and negotiation of contracts.

Work highlights include acting for West Sussex County Council on:

  • negotiation and completion of a £200m materials resource management contract to provide waste disposal facilities and on a variation to an existing 25 year PFI recycling and waste handling contract.
  • procurement of a solution for treatment of refuse derived fuel produced from an MBT facility operated on behalf of the Council.

Laura was educated at the University of Bath where she studied Biology and completed her legal education at Swansea University and Cardiff University. She joined Acuity in 2008.

Professional Background

Jonathan is recognised in various publications as an expert in Commercial Property and a leader in the Welsh legal sector. He has twice been voted Wales Property Lawyer of the Year. He works on high profile transactions across England and Wales including the £500M Cardiff International Sports Village - Cardiff’s largest current development scheme, Cardiff City Stadium development, the development of Callaghan Square, Wales’s most prestigious office scheme, the Welsh Assembly Debating Chamber and Bluestone Holiday Village, Pembrokeshire.

He is currently working on major urban regeneration schemes across England and Wales. Jonathan has a particular interest in affordable housing, technology and urban regeneration projects.

In his spare time he enjoys football, tennis and skiing and he is a black belt in Karate.

Jonathan was educated at Oxford University after which he joined Clifford Chance where he spent six years, principally in the real estate team. Following this he was head of property at Capital Law and joined Acuity as head of real estate in 2005.

Professional Background

Jon specialises in corporate advice and transactions, advising on a wide range of areas including acquisitions and disposals, shareholders' arrangements, corporate governance and company formation. Jon also provides advice on commercial contracts and has advised clients on the exploitation and protection of their intellectual property rights.

Jon was educated at Cardiff University and the City Law School, London and joined Acuity in 2008.

Work Highlights - acting for:

  • Eco2 Limited in connection with the development and disposal of three biomass power stations in Sleaford, Brigg and Margam
  • Premier Forest on a number of share purchases including in connection with its acquisition of the Border Forest Group in November 2014
  • LifeCare Residences group in connection with a loan facility in excess of £25million from Cheyne Capital in December 2014
  • myPINpad Ltd on developing secure payment solutions for the electronic payment and processing sector

Professional Background

Gareth specialises in the acquisition, disposal, letting and funding of real estate including retail, industrial and office properties. Gareth has particular experience of strategic land acquisition and disposal particularly acting for landowners and developers in joint venture and collaboration agreements across England and Wales.

Work highlights include advising PMG Group on the strategic acquisition and disposal of 140 acres of land to Persimmon Homes as well as PMG’s key acquisition of the Thornhill Cars site and the lettings to Sainsbury’s and Greggs. He also advised Rightacres Property on the strategic acquisition of Central Square, Cardiff and the innovative £42m Cardiff and Vale College development.

Gareth studied at Exeter University and UWE Bristol (LPC). He trained with Capital Law and joined Acuity in 2010.

Professional Background

Deryn has acted for the public and the private sector on a variety of commercial schemes in health, police authority, fire authority, residential care services, waste handling, recycling and disposal services, central government (MOD), highways infrastructure provision and maintenance, university and school accommodation, urban regeneration and leisure facilities.

Deryn also has considerable experience in the waste sector and innovative funding structures on PFI / PPP schemes and “hybrid” structures involving both Prudential Funding and bank finance.
Work highlights include advising West Sussex County Council on:

  • Waste handling and recycling contract, possibly the first dedicated recycling scheme to be completed under the PFI, involving the allied outsourcing under a 25 year contract.
  • Negotiation of a £200m materials resource management contract to provide waste disposal facilities and on an existing 25 year PFI recycling and waste handling contract.
  • Procurement of a solution for treatment of refuse derived fuel produced from an MBT facility.

Deryn graduated from Oxford University in Modern Languages. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloittes, London and also worked for the Fountainhead Commodities Group in Geneva before moving into law. Legal career: Morgan Cole, Eversheds and Acuity since 2007.

Professional Background

Damien is a real estate specialist advising on the acquisition, disposal, letting and funding of commercial properties. He has also developed expertise in the procurement of affordable housing through innovative annuity structures.

In addition, he has extensive experience in providing support to the firm’s corporate team on business acquisitions with particular specialism in the healthcare sector spanning dental practices to residential care homes.  
Outside work Damien likes to keep ‘classic’ automobiles in good condition.

Damien was educated at Bristol University, Cambridge University, and Cardiff Law School. After working in the commercial property team at Capital Law he joined Acuity in 2006.

Professional Background

Christian has experience in corporate advice and major corporate transactions. This includes advising on acquisitions and disposals, shareholders' arrangements, corporate governance and company formation, including partnerships. He has particular expertise in the renewable energy sector and heads up the specialist energy team at Acuity. In 2013, Christian won ‘Young Dealmaker of the Year’ at the Wales Insider Awards.

Work highlights:

  • advising on a £170m+ new biomass power station and wind projects ranging from single turbine ventures through to multi turbine wind farms
  • joint venture development contracts for Mansford Holdings Plc 
  • acquisition of the insurance business of a large Welsh-based bank
  • advising Aurelian Property Finance and Bluesky Capital Investments on financing the acquisition and development of new residential property sites  

Christian was educated at the University of Wales and Cardiff Law School. He joined Acuity in 2003 and is a fluent Welsh speaker.

Professional Background

Charlotte is a real estate solicitor with experience in dealing with a variety of commercial property transactions including high value acquisitions and disposals, landlord and tenant, development, financing and property aspects of corporate transactions. She has particular understanding of the retirement housing sector.

Charlotte acts for a variety of different clients including limited companies, local authorities and public bodies, pension funds and individuals. 

Charlotte graduated from Cardiff University and completed her Legal Practice Course at Cardiff Law School. She trained at Acuity and qualified in October 2010. 

Outside of work Charlotte enjoys horse riding and walking her dogs.

Professional Background

Beverley has extensive experience in corporate transactions, corporate finance and joint ventures. She advises private and public organisations across the healthcare, transport, manufacturing and food sectors.

Work highlights – advising:

  • LifeCare Residences on a sophisticated £56.75m development funding package for its luxury retirement village project in Battersea, London
  • IQE plc on the funding for its acquisition of Kopin Wireless, a deal that won the ‘Deal of the Year’ at the 2013 Wales Insider Dealmaker Awards
  • Julian Hodge Bank on funding and security packages for property development and small energy generation projects
  • Publically listed New Zealand dairy company, A2 Corporation, on entering the UK dairy market through a joint venture with Robert Wiseman Dairies
  • Cardiff Archives on the sale of its document archive business to PHS Group plc
  • Capita plc on the acquisition of Cedar HR Software and Fortek Computers 

Beverley was educated at Cardiff University and joined Acuity in 2002. 

Professional Background

Bethan has expertise in high profile corporate transactions, investments, business and share acquisitions and disposals. She also assists with banking and finance advice, advising both lenders and borrowers, and provides commercial advice.

Speak to Bethan about our Acuity Counsel Service.

Work highlights – advising:

  • Capita plc on the acquisition of Micro Librarian Systems, Liberty Printers and Contact Associates
  • LifeCare Residences on a £56.75m development funding package for its luxury retirement village in Battersea, London
  • The A2 Milk Company Limited on the termination of its joint venture arrangements with Muller Wiseman Dairies and a new supply processing agreement between them
  • Julian Hodge Bank on an investment in a renewable energy project 

Bethan was educated at Exeter University and Cardiff Law School. She joined Acuity in 2005. 

Professional Background

Steve works with clients throughout the UK and overseas on high value projects and transactions. He has wide experience of advising on complex finance structures and partnerships between the private and public sectors. Steve has particular expertise in renewable energy including major shale gas projects. Steve is recognised as a leading corporate and commercial specialist by Chambers UK, Chambers Europe and Legal 500 directories.

Work highlights – advising:

  • Eco2 on the development and financing of three biomass power stations each having a capital value of over £120m
  • Verdion Properties on the financing and development arrangements for the £150m+ development of an inland logistics port near Doncaster and an on-going funding partnership with a major pension fund
  • Lifecare Residences on its development and funding of luxury retirement villages, including an £80m+ development in Battersea, London 
  • Capita plc on multiple acquisitions and long term PPP agreements 
  • Omniport on its PPP arrangements with Norwich City Council on the ownership and operation of Norwich International Airport 
  • UK Onshore Gas on a fund raising and public listing  

Steve was educated at Bristol University. He worked at Herbert Smith and was a partner at Eversheds before co-founding the firm in 1999. Steve is the Chairman and a practicing corporate partner at Acuity.

Acuity Legal Limited is a limited company registered in England and Wales (number 07545730).
Registered office 3 Assembly Square, Britannia Quay, Cardiff Bay, CF10 4PL. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number 560442).