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Rix & Kay recognised as ‘leading firm’

1st November 2021

Legal 500 Chambers and Partners logo

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

Rix & Kay has, once again, been recognised as a leading firm by both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500, the leading independent research journals that report 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 15 practice areas, whilst 16 of its Partners have been singled out for special praise.

Both the Chambers and Partners and 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.

Highlights from Chambers and Partners include personal recognition for Kathryn Paisley who leads Rix & Kay’s Corporate Team and joins the team’s other Partners, Alan Zeal, Tim Sadka and Bruce Hayter, as leading individuals. In addition, both David Ashton and Victoria Regan have achieved individual recognition for their expertise in Real Estate and Employment respectively.

The results, published in October, follow the results from Chambers and Partners High Net Worth Guide that was published earlier in the year and saw Rix & Kay’s specialist Private Client Team ranked in the top 5% of all lawyers for legal advice to high net-worth individuals.

Highlights from Legal 500 include a brand new ranking for Rix & Kay’s specialist Construction Sector which is led by Partner, Dan Sherlock, whilst the firm has retained strong rankings across all its other core practice areas.

A full review of Rix & Kay’s rankings is published below. All extracts are taken directly from Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.

Corporate/M&A & Commercial

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

Kathryn Paisley is head of the corporate and commercial team at Rix & Kay Solicitors. She regularly assists high-profile individuals and business owners with M&A transactions and operational corporate matters.

“Kathryn Paisley is a great communicator and very proactive in managing and implementing sound legal solutions.”

“She is an outstanding professional who has excellent communication skills and is available 24/7 when necessary.”

Alan Zeal is noted for his abilities advising on sales and acquisitions, among other transactions. He is experienced in deals occurring in the insurance, telecoms and professional services sectors.

Tim Sadka has extensive experience in advising owner-managed businesses on a range of corporate transactions. His areas of strength include M&A and matters of corporate governance.

Bruce Hayter works with clients on a broad range of corporate transactions. “Bruce is always available to offer sound and considered advice, even when the scenarios are unusual.”

“The Rix & Kay partners are really good at managing relationships, commercially understanding the businesses challenges and working in partnership to get you to where you need to be.”

“The Rix & Kay team were efficient, proactive, professional and commercial in terms of approach.”

“They are always supportive, provide options and solutions, and are clear on costs from the outset.”

Real Estate / Commercial Property

Regional practice with notable development expertise 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. Noteworthy knowledge of real estate transactions in the agriculture, healthcare and hospitality sectors.

“They have a very good team in place, with only their clients’ needs prioritised at all times.”

“We like the overall high level of competence and the convenience of both specialised and general advice all under one roof.”

David Ashton advises on a wide range of real estate matters, acting for residential, commercial, developer and investor clients. He counts acquisitions and leasing matters among his areas of expertise.

“David Ashton is a really reliable and commercially-minded solicitor who gets things done with a good attention to detail.”

“We worked with David Ashton and his team – all demonstrated technical knowledge and commitment to client service. Correspondence was dealt with efficiently, and the frustrations arising from a third party’s slow progress were dealt with professionally.”

Oliver Bussell has provided clear and precise advice, sometimes at very short notice, allowing us to surmount various property related issues. His ability to present his advice in a fashion that we can understand, and his pragmatic approach to resolving issues has proved invaluable.“

Stewart Gregory and Oliver Bussell are both very competent and efficient, offering timely, expert, co-ordinated advice.”

Agriculture, Estates and Rural Affairs

Primarily focused on the sale and development of farming land in the South East, the team at Rix & Kay Solicitors also provides expert advice regarding planning and environmental law, farm business structuring, and succession planning for farming families. Managing Partner Richard Cripps has extensive experience in commercial property. He leads the wider team on major land transactions.

Richard Cripps regularly acts for farmers, rural businesses and financial institutions on a range of rural property matters.

“Richard Cripps is a good communicator, technically skilled, and comes from a farming family and lives in the Garden of England. He is likeable, knowledgeable, and works quickly to find pragmatic solutions.”

“Richard Cripps at Rix & Kay was always at the end of the phone when required and answered any questions and picked up any issues well in advance of there being a problem throughout the sale process. Good advice and strong links with Richard have helped sales progress throughout the last 12 months.”

“The team is made up of specialists across various fields who have an understanding of the particular needs of agricultural clients’ needs and wants – they work together in a blended way to provide solutions.”

Employment

Rix & Kay Solicitors employment team regularly provides support on M&A and acts for clients in the education, professional services, charity, sport and hospitality sectors. The employment department is headed up by Bruce Hayter, who is also chairman of the firm. Amy White leads the team’s GatekeeperHR offering, an employment and HR fixed cost retainer scheme. Victoria Regan recently handled a Supreme Court case addressing the harmonisation of contract dismissals following TUPE.

Bruce Hayter is always keen to support our wider organisation and clients and is always happy to discuss any legal issues before setting the clock ticking.”

Victoria Regan is an outstanding employment lawyer, who has provided employment advice which has proved invaluable to us as a business throughout the last year.”

“Victoria Regan is known for regularly advising both employers and employees on contract renewal and TUPE matters. She also assists clients with the employment aspects of corporate deals.”

“She is absolutely committed to upholding the client’s interest, giving straightforward and clear advice.”

Amy White is exceptional. She is very knowledgeable and is able to disseminate the issues and offer best practice solutions.”

“As a team they collaborate well and are always responsive, friendly and efficient. The GatekeeperHR service is outstanding – well priced with immediate access to answers you need which saves hours of time in researching HR issues (like having an in house expert for a fraction of the cost).”

“I have used the Employment Legal services of Rix & Kay over several years. Whichever partner or associate I have used they have always given excellent advice with a prompt turnaround.”

“The team has provided us with a bespoke HR service, backed by the legal team. This service has enabled us to deal with staff issues quickly and effectively during the last year, where COVID-19 has been in point.”

Dispute Resolution / Commercial Litigation

Alongside its core commercial dispute offering, Rix & Kay Solicitors holds specialisms in insolvency, restructuring and construction disputes, with clients including large SME businesses, professional services firms and accountants.

Department head Richard Ludlow, has extensive experience in insolvency and restructuring disputes, and has also introduced a successful litigation funding model. Alistair Rustemeyer often handles specialist contested trusts advice. Dan Sherlock supports clients in disputes to protect reputation and confidential information.

Dan Sherlock pretty much handled my case from start to finish, and I thought he was exemplary in every way. I cannot imagine that anyone else anywhere could have done a better job.”

‘Dan Sherlock is a wise and experienced litigator who has contributed very substantially to the development of Rix & Kay’s litigation offering. Dan is able to grasp the intricate detail of even the most complex disputes easily. He is measured, charming with clients, and has a great instinct for putting his clients in the best position before the court.”

Alistair Rustemeyer has excellent client management skills. Very hands-on and willing to work extremely long hours as required to ensure the best outcome for his client.”

“Rix & Kay always, without fail, put in the effort to progress matters. They have 100% of my legal work.”

“Rix & Kay is a very strong regional firm with considerable strength in depth in its core areas. Its practitioners have a high level of specialism by the standards of most regional firms.”

Private Wealth Law / Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate

Rix & Kay Solicitors handles a broad range of private client services, including capital tax planning, wills, trusts, probate and estate planning. The team’s clients include high-net-worth individuals such as entrepreneurs, business owners and directors, and the private client team regularly works closely with the wider firm’s corporate department. Bruce Clarke heads the private client department in Sevenoaks after joining the firm in 2019. STEP member Max Wright frequently acts as executor and trustee for clients. Ian Best is skilled at complex will drafting.

“I have worked with Bruce Clarke over a number of years. He is very personable and easy to work with. Good client manner too.”

“Brilliant Max Wright has extensive experience advising private clients on estate and succession planning, and tax matters. A source says: “He is responsive, thorough and helpful.”

“I dealt with Max Wright on several matters and his vast experience allied to very clear explanations and advice was excellent.”

Ian Best has advised my wife and I on drawing up our wills and lasting powers of attorney. We found him to be very approachable, highly professional and extremely knowledgeable. He has an ability to grasp and understand immediately and exactly what our family needs are and, to date, has set out effective and clear solutions for us to consider and which have informed our decision making. We intend instructing Mr Best to advise us on other matters related to estate planning in the near future.”

“They are very good, it is a highly professional but approachable outfit.”

“The team is always helpful and professional.”

“They don’t have that rigid corporate style – I always feel that I am dealing with likeable people doing their best for you – they are not robots reading scripts.”

“The team have been especially proactive and available over the pandemic. They have always been very quick to return email and have gone the extra mile to overcome practical difficulties.”

“Very good at handling difficult trust situations and difficult beneficiaries. Good problem solving and clear thinking.”

Contentious Trusts and Probate

Rix & Kay Solicitors advises high-net-worth individuals with significant assets and estates on complex contentious trust and estates matters. The team is particularly well-regarded for its use of alternative dispute resolution.

Private client department lead Max Wright is an expert in complex trust and estate issues with a cross-border element. Partner Alistair Rustemeyer focuses on claims regarding wills, estates, and trusts, and is particularly experienced in tracing and recovering trust assets in multiple jurisdictions.

Family and Matrimonial

With other offices in Brighton & Hove, Sevenoaks and Ashford, the firm has a wide reach over Sussex and Kent advising high-net-worth clients in a range of family matters, including divorce, children issues and cohabitation agreements.

Well-known firm that remains popular with clients for divorce and financial remedy proceedings. Houses 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, and also able to support clients on children-related matters. Also has notable expertise in cases involving complex pension arrangements.

Janet Raeburn has been particularly excellent and is deeply knowledgeable.”

“Our experience with this firm was professional and efficient at all times.”

“Deeply knowledgeable. Responsive to fast moving situations. Robust advice and clear stances. Standing by their expertise and in doing so provide a level of expert clarity that exudes confidence and makes a stressful situation far easier to handle.”

Charities and Not-for-Profit

The dedicated charities team at Rix & Kay Solicitors covers diverse areas such as governance, corporate, property, and employment for national and regional charities alike. It has particular experience advising local sporting charities, CICs, and trusts, as well as high-profile disability charities.

Practice leader Bruce Hayter is an expert advising prominent conservation and disability in sport charities, while Alan Zeal focuses on strategic and constitutional issues for educational trusts and sporting clubs. Amy White was promoted to partner in 2020, and is highly regarded by her clients for her advice on employment and HR matters.

Bruce Hayter has been outstanding. He takes a keen interest in the work of our organisation.”

Amy White is professional, knowledgeable, approachable and makes herself available when needed. Everything that she provides advice in is set out in an understandable way, leaving us entirely clear on our options in every case. She has made the HR minefield associated with the global pandemic much easier than it would have been without her expertise.”

“Amy White is extremely professional and efficient. She is extremely knowledgeable and demonstrates expertise. Amy always go out of her way to explain in full answers to the queries and issues I have raised. Her advice and guidance has always ensured the best resolution for all concerned.”

“Rix & Kay’s staff are extremely approachable and help us in a variety of ways. In addition they have also recommended companies from other industries which has been extremely useful to us as a charity.”

Sport

Rix & Kay Solicitors sports group is ‘committed to the local area’, as the team works extensively with clients in the Sussex and Kent region to provide advice on commercial, employment, real estate and governance issues. Much of the work centres around grass-roots level sport; for example, the firm has provided longstanding support to charity Active Sussex in its efforts to increase participation in sport and physical activity at a local level. Bruce Hayter leads the team and regularly assists with the development of local sports grounds, while Alan Zeal helps local clubs structure their constitutions so as to operate more profitably.

Bruce Hayter has been first rate with his knowledge and experience.“

“The firm has a great understanding of sport, dealing with organisations of all sizes. They are committed to the local area and are a leading force in helping sports help towards disabilities, working in cooperation with leading organisations like Albion in the Community, the Sussex Cricket Foundation and others.”

Construction

Led by disputes specialist Dan Sherlock across Sevenoaks and Ashford, Rix & Kay Solicitors works with numerous contractors, subcontractors, and other construction professions on the full gamut of matters, including high-value debt collection.

Richard Ludlow handles construction insolvency cases, while Brighton-based Stewart Gregory focuses on primary care and NHS-led healthcare centre developments. Uckfield-based Amy White manages the firm’s construction employment and HR retainer service.

Public Sector / Healthcare

Rix & Kay Solicitors healthcare team offers the full range of corporate services to public sector healthcare organisations. Stewart Gregory leads the healthcare team in Brighton; he has over 20 years of experience advising NHS clients on all aspects of their real estate, in particular developing and managing primary care estates. The team also has experience of M&A transactions, employment matters and dispute resolution.

Stewart Gregory provides extremely prompt and constructive replies both to queries and work that needs action.”