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Rix & Kay recognised as ‘leading firm’ by industry peers

22nd October 2020

Rix & Kay has, once again, been recognised as a leading firm by Legal 500, the independent research journal that reports on law firm capabilities across the world.

Rix & Kay has been recognised for both its legal expertise and approach to client service in no fewer than 11 practice areas, whilst 16 of its Partner have been singled out for special praise.

The Legal 500 rankings are compiled each year and are drawn from a combination of detailed independent research and the opinions of both industry peers and clients.

Client comments include,

‘Everyone we have worked with from Rix & Kay were outstanding. They were not only exceedingly knowledgeable and professional, but personable and attuned to the unique nature of our needs. They took into account both the legal aspects of our work together as well as the business drivers.  I can’t imagine it being done better anywhere else.’

‘Our engagement with Rix & Kay is now a long-term one and we feel that we are benefiting from a relationship and commitment to and understanding our mission that has been built over time. In this respect, Rix & Kay are looking beyond the delivery of the transaction to look after the client interest and the outcomes we are looking for.’

A full review of Rix & Kay’s rankings is available on the Legal 500 website

Rix & Kay’s Legal 500 rankings – summary

Corporate and Commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex

Rix & Kay’s corporate team is capable of advising clients on both day-to-day corporate matters as well as one-off deals, such as mergers and acquisitions. The firm’s client base is varied, including businesses in sectors such as property, digital media, and consultancy. Kathryn Paisley, who advises on M&A transactions, heads the team. Other key team members include Tim Sadka, who is involved in transactions and reorganisations, Alan Zeal, who specialises in work involving corporate structures, and the firm’s experienced chairman Bruce Hayter.


‘Everyone we have worked with from Rix & Kay were outstanding. They were not only exceedingly knowledgeable and professional, but personable and attuned to the unique nature of our needs. They took into account both the legal aspects of our work together as well as the business drivers.  I can’t imagine it being done better anywhere else.’

Kathryn Paisley was a joy to work with. Kathryn supported us through complex agreements and negotiations and was available at any time to help us. We couldn’t have wished for a safer pair of hands to guide us through a process that we had never been through before. I can’t recommend Kathryn enough.’

Commercial Property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex

Rix & Kay’s client base stretches beyond the South East, with the firm advising on commercial property matters across the country. Examples of their work include advising commercial clients and non-profits on leases, handling the financing and refinancing of properties, and assisting with property transactions. The practice is led by David Ashton, who has broad experience in the commercial property field. Richard Cripps specialises in advising developers on acquisitions, as well as working with landowners on the sale of land.

Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex

Rix & Kay’s team advises clients on HR and employment issues, including those related to M&A transactions. In particular, the firm’s fixed cost retainer service continues to provide advice to SME clients throughout the South East, and has provided on-site support for clients. The practice is led by ‘exceptional’ Chairman Bruce Hayter. Other key contacts include Victoria Regan and Amy White, who offers ‘superb legal knowledge matched with a business minded perspective’.


‘The entire team take time and effort to understand the business thoroughly and how they can support. They support brilliantly and nothing is too much trouble. The expertise is always spot on and delivered incredibly quickly.’

‘At a time when you are under pressure due to employment issues, this friendly, supportive team were able to readily understand and communicate the legal issues and how the situation may play out. This put my mind at ease.’

Amy White and Bruce Hayter were both exceptional in understanding the issue and being able to communicate the legal arguments.’

Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey, Sussex

Rix & Kay’s commercial litigation work is led by Richard Ludlow, under whom the team has expanded since his joining in 2018. In addition to Ludlow, who is based in Sevenoaks, other key contacts include Alistair Rustemeyer in Brighton and Bruce Hayter in Uckfield. The team is dealing with a number of matters for construction firms, and also handled some cross-border matters. Ludlow is particularly experienced in litigation related to insolvency.


Richard Ludlow has a wealth of litigation experience and has a very keen sense of the right strategy. His drafting of correspondence and evidence is excellent and his approach retains commerciality at all stages.’

Alistair Rustemeyer is a superb negotiator who handled our small companies negotiation with one of the most famous, major UK companies with great diligence, honesty and devotion to achieving a satisfactory conclusion for us. I highly recommend him. In my 60 year career I’ve dealt with many lawyers. Alister Rustemeyer, from our first phone call over two years ago, gave us the feeling of being part of the family, handling our very difficult multi-national case as though it was his own problem. He had to deal with us, a American client based in Asia, negotiating both with big name London solicitors, French speaking attorneys in Luxembourg and ourselves in Asia to gain funds owed to us on an almost twenty year old contract. It was a difficult negotiation with, at times, disagreeable people on the opposing side. Alistair handled it with great control, determination that resulted in a conclusion that we had agreed to accept.’

Personal tax, trusts and Probate: Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Rix & Kay handles matters including succession planning, inheritance tax issues, and the preparation of wills and pre-nuptial agreements. The firm’s client base comprises HNW individuals throughout the South East, with a particular strength in advising clients with agricultural assets. Bruce Clarke joined the team in September 2019 from Lee Bolton Monier-Williams. Clarke became head of the practice in March 2020, while former head Max Wright continues to lead the


Very professional, thorough with details and explained the processes and potential pitfalls that could occur with the situation. The external professionals that were recommended by the team were also very professional and thorough with their detail.’

‘In a complex international UK court of protection issue over my PoA for my wife Max Wright guided and enlightened me and his book-keeping assistant was patient and understanding of my problems producing statements from foreign banks and producing a final account to satisfy the CoP. Without them I would have been in a very bad situation.”

 ‘We dealt with Ian Best, who was friendly and patient. He explained in layman’s terms all the detail and was a good communicator. He achieved with his associates an excellent result.’

 Contentious Trusts and Probate

Rix & Kay’s key client base is high-net-worth individuals and business owners; the practice uses its expertise in litigation and alternative dispute resolution to deal with matters relating to wealth protection, estate planning, and trust creation and management. Practice head Alan Foster is experienced in divorce dissolution, with an emphasis on complex family trusts/settlements, contentious probate, and family court matters. Leader of the South East private client department Max Wright advises clients on inheritance tax planning, complex probate matters, mental capacity issues, and living wills. Bruce Clarke joined as partner from Lee Bolton Monier-Williams in September 2019. Partner Alistair Rustemeyer has also joined the team, expanding his work from commercial litigation at the firm.


Rix & Kay are an excellent choice for an out of London firm in this practice area. They really know their stuff.’

Max Wright is a superb private client lawyer. He is extremely hard working and truly on top of this technical area of practice.

 Alan Foster has a wealth of experience and is charming, reassuring, and wise. He is thoroughly steeped in this area and his knowledge of the related areas of divorce and Court of Protection is a real bonus.’

Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex

Rix & Kay is active in all areas of family law. The practice is led by Alan Foster, who is particularly active in trusts; Janet Raeburn is another key partner. In advising clients, the team works alongside colleagues in other practices such as commercial and residential property


Alan Foster is a well-rounded family lawyer who you can be reassured looks after his clients with an assured confidence from his extensive experience. I would happily recommend work to Alan.’

‘I have had the misfortune to go through a divorce due to domestic abuse. During a confusing and frequently scary period which has included Police involvement Janet Raeburn has helped me see sense. She is reassuring, calm and always personable. Through a totally testing time, she has helped me to see the bigger and longer term picture and has assisted me in getting tough when I needed to be.’

Charities and not-for-profit

Rix & Kay advises charities and not-for-profits on matters such as commercial and corporate issues, governance and property and employment issues. It is known for its work with sporting charities and trusts. Practice head Bruce Hayter is experienced in issues relating to disability sport in the Sussex area, while Alan Zeal advises on charity registration, constitutions, and governance. Associate Amy White also comes recommended.


Rix & Kay offer a wide range of skills and experience and are able to combine to suit the transaction, the risks, and the client’s priorities. There is a real sense of dealing with a team and getting the best of practice. We saw this in the way in which partners combine and where appropriate hand-off to others with the more relevant skills and sector expertise.’


Rix & Kay’s offering stands out for its niche expertise in the extreme sports sector; the practice is also is notable for cross-discipline work covering conservation and adventure expeditions. Disability is an additional specialism, and the firm has gained a reputation for effectively ‘driving the agenda’ throughout Sussex. In this respect, Bruce Hayter is as a member of Sussex FA’s Disability Football Committee and his renowned for his innovative approach. More generally, the team’s solicitors cover areas such as governance, corporate and employment issues. Richard Cripps is recommended for committee restructuring while Alan Zeal has substantive experience in the charity sector.


Rix & Kay have been exceptional in supporting us. They give us full support whether or not it is for paid service‘.

Agriculture and Estates

Rix & Kay advises farming families across the South East on complex real estate transactions and commercial diversification, estate planning, and matters relating to succession. Managing partner Richard Cripps is located in Sevenoaks and manages rural property interests such as land development projects.

Public Sector

The healthcare team at Rix & Kay acts for private and public sector clients across the healthcare spectrum, with a particular focus on primary care organisations including the NHS. Stewart Gregory, who formerly led Browne Jacobson LLP’s specialist healthcare property team in London, oversees the practice, which handles real estate matters as well as refinancing mandates for a wide roster of clients.


Stewart Gregory has excellent knowledge of the medical sector. ‘The team has a good combination of specialities in the healthcare sector.’