Steele Raymond Achieve Top Tier Status for the 14th Consecutive Year

by Tim Stone, 30 October 2018

LEADING Dorset solicitors Steele Raymond has reached another milestone having been recognised as one of Dorset and the South West's leading law firms in the latest edition of independent industry bible The Legal 500 for the 14th consecutive year.

The firm has been awarded the highest possible “Top Tier” ranking that the Guide awards in its key legal areas of Company and Commercial, Commercial Property and Dispute Resolution, which it has achieved for the 14th consecutive year. Additionally the Employment Law team enjoys its second year with a ‘Top Tier’ ranking.

The guide also provided outstanding comments and recommended lawyers in the areas of Family, Private Client, Education, Property Litigation and Contentious Trusts and Probate.

The latest ‘Top Tier’ ranking comes following another impressive 12 months for the firm with significant growth and the arrival of a number of key legal appointments in family, company and commercial, commercial property and dispute resolution. This year alone has seen the growth of the firm’s turnover by over 20% underlining its continuing power across the region.

The guide mentions that the service of the company and commercial team at Steele Raymond ‘far exceeds that of many of its regional contemporaries’ with four of the team’s partners recommended including the ‘proactive and commercially minded’ Nick Davies, Paul Longland and Craig Hardman.  Chairman Tim Stone is recognised as a Leading Individual and described as ‘an excellent lawyer and skilled diplomat.’

Clients of the Steele Raymond commercial property team ‘cannot praise the team highly enough' for its ability to 'consistently provide exceptional advice’. Five of the firm’s partners are recommended. Noted for his ‘dynamism’, head of the Commercial Property team Chris Twaits is recognised as a Leading Individual. Residential development specialist Emma Stainwright and Sue Middleton are recommended alongside ‘tenacious and diligent’ commercial property partner Jennifer Rogerson. Carol Elliott is also regarded as among Dorset’s ‘eminent commercial property lawyers.’

The Dispute Resolution team at Steele Raymond once again maintained its ranking in the top tier with the firm’s service being described as ‘excellent irrespective of the individual who provides it’. Head of Dispute Resolution and Managing Partner Peter Rolph is recognised as a Leading Individual and singled out as having ‘vast experience across a range of disputes, which he can bring to bear in every case he handles’. Peter also received recognition for his ‘expertise in construction disputes and professional negligence’. Four other members of the team also recommended include John Andrews, Amy Cousineau Massey, Hannah Dare and Lauren Hayes.

The Property litigation expertise at Steele Raymond is regarded as ‘head and shoulders above any other firm in Bournemouth’ and ‘a pleasure to work with’.  Property litigation specialist Hannah Dare received special recognition and is described by clients as ‘an absolutely first-rate property litigator’.

Within the employment law field, Head of Employment Amy Cousineau Massey ‘specialises in contentious employment issues such as discrimination and whistleblowing, as well as senior employee exit packages’. Amy is also recognised alongside Managing Partner Peter Rolph for his contentious employment matters. Partners Paul Longland and Craig Hardman are also recommended for their non-contentious work supporting commercial clients in constructing incentivisation and remuneration packages.

The Family team at Steele Raymond also received special recognition across the South West being described as ‘a strong player in the regional market when it comes to family work, with some outstanding lawyers’. Head of Family Daniel Sanders is recommended as being ‘particularly skilled in child-related matters’ and ‘is valued as a Polish-speaking family lawyer, receiving numerous referrals from Polish community groups and other Polish speaking professionals.’ Senior Associate Lindsay Halliwell is ‘an extraordinary lawyer’, with an ‘impressive attention to detail and professionalism, sympathy towards clients, and diligent preparation’. Michelle Bettell is also recommended in Southbourne following her arrival at the firm in 2017.

In private client matters, Steele Raymond’s personal tax, trust and probate team is ‘pre-eminent in the South West for technical expertise, problem solving and client service’. Partner and Head of Private Client Sue Adams is described as ‘quick to analyse a situation from all angles' and has an ‘intuitive perception of what is needed’. Consultant Paul Causton is also recommended for his specialist work in the tax aspects of company reorganisations.

The firms’ work in the Education sector received special recognition in the Legal 500. The Education team provides advice on a broad range of education matters such as governance, charitable aspects, staff and student discipline, special needs and disability issues, and safeguarding. It also advises on education-related employment law matters such as service contracts, consultancy agreements, employment contracts and TUPE matters. John Andrews heads the Education team, and is supported by Peter Rolph who is ‘unflappable and measured’ and provides ‘crystal clear wisdom and advice’. Tim Stone focuses on non-contentious education-related employment law and has ‘considerable patience and cordiality’.

Partner John Andrews received special recognition for his work in Private Client, Education, Court of Protection litigation and inheritance disputes.

The Legal 500 has been published for over twenty years, providing nationally recognised and comprehensive coverage currently available on legal service providers. Used by commercial and private clients, corporate counsel, CEOs, Financial Directors and professional advisers - both nationally and internationally - the series is generally accepted as offering the definitive independent point for UK law firms.

Rankings are determined by the Legal 500 through a combination of submissions made by solicitors demonstrating the quality and depth of their work and client base, as well as independent interviews carried out with clients.

Commenting on the latest rankings, Chairman Tim Stone said: “Once again we are delighted with the results which have been a good measure of the significant growth the firm has achieved in recent years. We are once again delighted to see this independent recognition of Steele Raymond’s dominant position at the heart of law in Dorset and the South Coast. Achieving a ‘Top Tier’ ranking for the 14th consecutive year in our three core practice areas is pleasing, but to also see our Employment team maintain their top tier status for a second year is testament to the hard work and emphasis the firm places on producing quality work and excellent client service. It is also pleasing to see the proper recognition going to many other areas of expertise including Family, Private Client and Property Litigation, something I am immensely proud of. The rankings are the result of a collective team effort from across the entire firm and reflect the enormous passion and commitment that everyone puts in, day after day, in ensuring that we look after the very best interests of our clients."

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Tim Stone

Partner and Chairman
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