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Recognition and awards

Rix & Kay and its lawyers are recognised in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading law firm with leading individuals across its core practice areas.

Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 are the prominent independent research journals that assess law firm capabilities based on completely impartial research into the legal profession. They publish the results of their research on an annual basis.

Corporate/M&A

What the firm is known for
Regional firm with expertise across the entire spectrum of corporate work, acting on behalf of clients from a wide range of sectors, including insurance, telecoms, healthcare, retail and construction. Able to provide a full corporate service for both national and international clients. Offers related expertise in tax and real estate law.

Strengths
Clients say: “They’re really nice people to work with and really go the extra mile.”

Work highlight
Acted for Green Insurance Brokers on the sale of a second tranche of shares to its strategic partner Global Risk Partners.

Notable practitioners
Commentators attest that Alan Zealleaves no stone unturned” and will “always do the utmost for his client.” He handles a wide array of M&A and MBO transactions. Sources also praise him for being “unflappable, calm and collected.”

Bruce Hayter is chair of the firm and has extensive experience acting for businesses of all sizes on corporate transactions as well as structurings and governance issues.

Tim Sadka deals with a wide range of matters, including corporate structuring and M&A, and is highly experienced handling transactions for mid-market businesses and SMEs. Clients say he offers “excellent guidance and advice.”

Corporate & Commercial

With five offices in the South East, Rix & Kay Solicitors is considered ‘ideal for larger transactions, but equally able to deliver a cost-effective solution for smaller transactions‘. It provides full corporate and commercial services to local, national and overseas clients in sectors such as insurance, telecoms, healthcare and construction.

Recent work included acting for the sellers on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Broadham Care to residential care specialist Elysium Healthcare. Alan Zealis a consummate professional, who brings a wealth of experience to the table‘.

The firm’s chairman Bruce Hayter is ‘very solution oriented and focuses on what really matters.’

The team was further strengthened by the addition of Tim Sadka, who joined in September 2017 and, according to one client, ‘brings a depth of experience and technical capability to an already effective and versatile team‘.

Real Estate

What the team is known for
Notable development expertise, particularly in the residential sector, and the ability to handle a variety of investment matters. Also equipped to advise on landlord and tenant issues. Works with a range of clients including banks, charities, developers and retailers.

Strengths
Sources report: “It is very well set-up firm with wide expertise in all legal matters.”

Notable practitioners
Head of department David Ashton has extensive experience handling complex real estate transactions including acquisitions, leasing and development matters. Clients remark: “He is great to deal with and carries out work perfectly.”

Commercial Property

Rix & Kay’s team provides ‘a similar level of service to City firms but with more sensible fees’. The team is headed by David Ashton, who is highlighted for his combination of ‘property knowledge and commercial acumen’, and whose expertise spans development, investment and commercial lease work. Managing partner Richard Cripps has broad expertise in development and investment work and Oliver Bussell specialises in planning law as well as broad commercial property matters. Property portfolio management expert William Keating is another noted practitioner.

Employment

Rix & Kay’s Employment Team have been recognised by Chambers and Partners as “Recognised Practitioners”.

Employment

Rix & Kay acts for companies, partnerships and individuals drawn from the professional services, hospitality and charity sectors, among others. The team frequently works closely with the firm’s corporate department in advising on TUPE regulations, redundancies and employee exits following sales and acquisitions.

In one highlight, it acted for a claimant who was made redundant following her pregnancy; the case involved issues of discrimination and was settled prior to the tribunal hearing. Victoria Regan  joined the team from Dawson Hart in September 2017.

Family Law

What the team is known for
Well-known firm which remains popular with clients for divorce and financial remedy proceedings. Has the resources to offer mediation and collaborative law services, as well as representation in traditional litigation. Adept at handling matters with international elements, such as trusts and offshore assets.

Strengths
One interviewee notes that the lawyers “have an air of quality and confidence and are always welcoming.”

Notable practitioners
Alan Foster is an experienced practitioner who specialises in handling matrimonial finance issues that frequently involve complex trusts. He also regularly handles cohabitee disputes and inheritance issues. One client notes: “His manner is calm and measured and his attention to detail impressive.”

Family Law

Rix & Kay is recognised for its strong private client offering, which blends family, trusts, probate and tax expertise. The team handles a range of financial remedy cases especially where company assets and trusts are concerned, including those located overseas. The ‘excellent’ Alan Foster, who ‘is good with clients and always takes a pragmatic approach’, heads the private client department; associate Helen Noble, who is a mediator and collaborative lawyer, undertakes a range of financial and children matters and, together with senior legal executive Maria Steele-Williams, provides ‘an exceptional service’.

Agriculture and Estates

Rix & Kay has a longstanding track record advising farmers and rural business owners in Sussex, Kent and beyond on issues concerning the rural business communities in the region. Key figures include Richard Cripps, who is regularly called on to advise on issues stemming from the acquisition and sale of rural property, from secured financing transactions to shareholder and partnership agreements; and Bruce Hayter who has more than 30 years’ experience working with farming clients across the South East.

Charities and not-for-profit

Rix & Kay is particularly well known for providing support to sporting charities such as The Sussex County Sports Partnership Trust on the full range of corporate, commercial, employment and property issues. It also assists a number of small charities with their directors’ and trustee duties, employment issues, and other day-to-day issues, as well as acting for larger charities. Recent highlights include advising the Ansty Village Centre Steering Committee on the establishment of a new charitable incorporated organisation and merging of the activities of the village hall, social club, cricket club, football club and their respective assets into the new organisation. Bruce Hayter acts for a number of local sports organisations and is recommended alongside real estate expert Richard Cripps and Alan Zeal.

Contentious trusts and probate

Clients of Rix & Kay find the service provided by the contentious trust and probate practice to be ‘thoroughly professional, sympathetic, never overbearing, and knowledgeable; the response time is normally 24 hours, if not quicker, and the advice is always helpful and not intimidating.’ Alan Foster is ‘a very experienced contentious probate solicitor who provides sound, practical advice focusing on the needs of the client’. He leads a team with a strong track record acting for high-net-worth individuals in contentious probate matters involving high-value estates, some with assets exceeding £15m in value.

Personal tax, trusts and probate

Rix & Kay’s team combines ‘good business acumen with a broad area of knowledge’ and ‘rates very high on the value for money chart’ and is therefore ‘a very effective alternative to the London firms’. It fields a number of specialist teams that focus on probate and estate administration, estate planning, tax and trusts, later life and Court of Protection matters. Max Wright is ‘a first-rate lawyer and a pleasure to deal with’ and is valued for his ‘discretion and sensitivity’ in his management of clients. Alan Foster, who leads on contested probate matters, is ‘very responsive’. Ian Best is also key practitioner

Construction

Rix & Kay handles a variety of contentious and non-contentious construction work for developers, sub-contractors and construction companies, including issues arising from contested payment applications and defects claims. Alistair Rustemeyer is noted for his sector expertise.

Sport

Rix & Kay has established a firm following among regional cricket, football and rugby clubs, in addition to acting for sporting charities such as Active Sussex, and a number of high-profile sports personalities. Recent highlights include acting for Hellingly Rugby Football Club on its company incorporation, and acting for the Ansty Village Centre Steering Committee on the merger of the activities of the cricket club, football club and other entities and their respective assets and charitable activities into a new charitable incorporated organisation, as well as assisting with the construction of a new sports and social centre and the demolition of the existing centre. Firm chairman and sports department head Bruce Hayter has an extensive track record working with grass roots sports teams and clubs. Also recommended are Richard Cripps, who focuses on sports-related corporate transactions, and Alan Zeal, who regularly acts for amateur rugby clubs on governance issues.

Your most convenient Rix & Kay office.

Ashford Office
Suite 4c, Third Floor,
International House, Dover Place
Ashford, Kent, TN23 1HU

Tel: 01233 225660
Fax: N/A
DX: N/A

Brighton & Hove Office
7 The Drive
Brighton & Hove
BN3 3JS

Tel: 01273 329797
Fax: 01273 324082
DX: 59257 Hove

Seaford Office
26 Sutton Park Road
Seaford, East Sussex
BN25 1QU

Tel: 01323 897766
Fax: 01323 490278
DX: 38905 Seaford

Sevenoaks Office
16 South Park
Sevenoaks
Kent
TN13 1AN

Tel: 01732 440855
Fax: 01732 440854
DX: 30025 Sevenoaks

Uckfield Office
The Courtyard
River Way
Uckfield, East Sussex
TN22 1SL

Tel: 01825 761555
Fax: 01825 764172
DX: 133963 Uckfield 2

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