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Strong success in South West legal rankings

31 October 2013

Legal directory, Legal 500 has published its 2013 results and Willans once more features strongly in the South West region.

Eleven departments have been ranked for their specialties, including three new entries for personal tax, trusts and probate, agriculture & estates and contentious trusts & probate.

Eight partners and two associates have been named as leading lawyers in the region. New entrants to the individual rankings are employment head Matthew Clayton, “noted dealmaker” Frank Smith, “the professional and personable” Ruth Baker and“highly regarded property specialist” Nigel Whittaker, along with senior associate Alasdair Garbutt.

The highlights include recognition for our dispute resolution team’s work in a high profile court case where Paul Gordon acted for Total Ltd in High Court infringement proceedings brought against UK internet TV provider YouView. Commenting on his work, Legal 500 says he “has ‘strong technical knowledge’” and is “’excellent at preparing cases for trial’, but also has ‘particular strength in negotiating favourable terms of settlement’”.

Legal 500 said partner, Nick Coxgives ‘careful, clear advice to clients’, and shows a ‘high level of expertise in the area of property litigation’”.

Our commercial property team is noted for “exhibiting ‘sound knowledge of the local market and commercial issues’”.

Lastly Legal 500 commented that: “Willans LLP’s charities team was strengthened by the arrival of highly regarded property specialist Nigel Whittaker from Charles Russell LLP, along with senior associate Alasdair Garbutt. Whittaker continues to oversee the expansion of retail outlets for leading charity Sue Ryder.”

Margaret Austen, managing partner of the firm, reflected on the rankings:

“We are delighted with this year’s results. Legal 500 is an independent guide, and firms and individuals are recommended purely on merit.”

“Thank you to our enthusiastic, hardworking lawyers, loyal clients and contacts who continue to support and add to the success of our firm.”

To read more about the Legal 500 directory please visit

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