- Continued Growth for Blandy & Blandy LLP
With 20 partners and 60 lawyers and advisers, Blandy & Blandy LLP’s headcount has risen by just under 20 per cent during the past year, reflecting the firm’s “strong and sustainable growth and performance” and “a successful year” according to joint managing partner Philip D’Arcy.
In a recent example of this success Blandy & Blandy was named ‘Property Law Firm of the Year’ at the prestigious Thames Valley Property Awards, in front of a record 570 guests from across the region’s thriving property sector. Upon receiving the accolade, fellow partner and team head Jane Gunnell commented: “I am very proud that our hard working and dedicated team has received the industry recognition it deserves.”
Blandy & Blandy’s team has advised on over £250 million of development deals in one year, including the disposal of the University of Reading’s Shinfield West site for a reported £100 million. The team has also seen an increase in property finance work, whilst it recently advised on the first letting of Thames Tower to Austin Fraser.
The Property team works closely alongside Blandy & Blandy's leading Planning & Environmental law team, which was recently named as one of the UK’s top planning law teams in Planning Magazine’s 2017 rankings. Partner and team head Karen Jones said: “We pride ourselves on providing expertise and advice on a par with much larger, usually London-based, firms and it is our extensive knowledge of the Thames Valley and our relationships with other leading professional firms and key bodies and organisations in the region that sets us apart.” Both teams have grown during the past year.
With team head David Few having advised on the original MBO in 2004, Blandy & Blandy’s Corporate team advised on 2016's £12.5m disposal of Box Technologies to Taiwan-based listed group Flytech Technology (TWSE: 6206), in a deal led by partners David Few and Jonathan Williamson. The team was subsequently named as a finalist for ‘Deal of the Year’ at the 2017 Thames Valley Deals Awards.
Other deals have included the sales of Grace Personnel, Machina Research, a world leading adviser on the Internet of Things (IOT), Crew Quarters Limited and the restructuring of the European division of Perfetti Van Melle, one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of confectionery.
The Employment team, expert in advising both employers and employees, has welcomed solicitor Andrea Corr this year and attracted record audiences to its annual mock employment tribunal and employment law seminar, held at Green Park Conference Centre.
The Commercial team continues to advise a wide range of organisations, ranging from large private companies and owner managed businesses to national and regional charities, and has seen increased demand for advice in relation to intellectual property and data protection matters, including General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Whilst the Dispute Resolution team, which advises on areas including commercial litigation, insolvency, property disputes and contentious probate, has also experienced a busy 2017.
Recognised as one of the leading private client firms in the south east, Blandy & Blandy’s Probate, Tax & Trusts and Family law teams continue to grow and to go from strength to strength.
With Reading having been the firm’s home for approaching 300 years, Blandy & Blandy expanded its reach in 2016, opening a new office in Henley-on-Thames following the acquisition of a longstanding smaller firm in the town. This has seen the arrival of new faces including partner Luke McMath (Property) and senior solicitors Stephen Bucknill (Residential Property) and Louise Nelson (Probate, Tax & Trusts).
Looking well beyond the Thames Valley, Blandy & Blandy is a member of the international Law Firm Network, a network of 56 independent law firms worldwide. In the autumn the firm hosted the Network’s EMEA Conference here in Reading, flying the flag for the region and wider UK against the backdrop of political uncertainty. Alongside delegates from over 20 countries, the firm welcomed senior speakers from organisations including United Overseas Bank, KPMG, Cushman & Wakefield and the University of Reading.
Asked what the year ahead holds for Blandy & Blandy, D’Arcy said, “More of the same – hopefully! As ever, we will be listening to and engaging with all of our clients, to ensure that we are meeting their needs and expectations and always improving on the excellent level of client care the firm provides.”