HR Policy, Birmingham Law Uk - The Wilkes Partnership

A former senior advisor for David Cameron has spoken out saying all employers should be made to pay a ‘Living wage’, which has sparked debate before the budget. Pam Sidhu, Head of the Wilkes’ Employment Team talks about the implications for Employers.

The “Living Wage” is not law. It is an hourly rate that is set independently and is purely voluntary for employers. It is calculated based on the cost of living in the UK; currently it is set at £9.15 per hour in London and £7.85 per hour elsewhere. Contrast this to the standard adult hourly rate set in law, known as the “National Minimum Wage” at £6.50 – which all employers must pay to adult workers as a minimum. There appears to be some pressure within the Government to make companies pay more to employees, in order to deal with poverty and boost the economy. Unfortunately there is no firm plan by the Government to increase the National Minimum Wage to the Living Wage, or to give any legal footing to the Living Wage at all.

In any case, adopting the Living Wage is not likely to be viable for most smaller businesses, as these businesses are already saddled with red tape and other costs, to a disproportionately higher level than larger businesses. There would need to be some significant incentives offered by Government for smaller businesses to adopt the Living Wage rate for their staff, particularly for those of their staff currently on the National Minimum Wage.

There are clearly benefits in offering better pay that is more in line with current living costs in the UK. Staff will feel more motivated at work and will be more willing to go the extra mile for their employers. However, given the lack of any incentives for smaller businesses, the Living Wage is likely to be the preserve of larger businesses which can better afford it.

If you have any query or would like assistance in developing your human resources policy, please call Pam Sidhu or your usual contact in the Employment Team on 0121 233 4333 for further information.

Wilkes Solicitors | Brexit - Implications For Businesses & EU Workers

Pam Sidhu, Employment and Business Immigration lawyer at Wilkes, considers the key issues arising in a Brexit deal or no-deal scenario.

While uncertainty still shrouds the UK regarding the timing and precise terms of its departure from Europe, in relation to EU immigration matters, there is some certainty in that the government has agreed with EU partners what it intends to implement in the event of a Brexit deal scenario. In addition, it has recently set out its policy on what it intends to enact in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Pam Sidhu comments:The issue at the heart of it all is that the EU right of free movement for European citizens, as we currently know it, will end on Brexit day (whichever date this will be). The main principles as to how this will occur have already been agreed with the EU, but in some respects are yet to be specifically transposed into UK immigration law and guidance.”

A deal scenario

The key principles agreed between the UK and EU are as follows: –

  • The right to EU free movement, as we currently know it, will end on Brexit day.
  • However, an implementation period will start from the date of Brexit to 31 December 2020, during which free movement of EU citizens and their family members will effectively continue.  This means that EU citizens already in the UK by Brexit day, as well as any new EU citizens who enter the UK for the first time after Brexit day, will be able to continue living and working in the UK in accordance with EU law until 31 December 2020.
  • EU citizens who have resided in the UK lawfully for five years by 31 December 2020 will be able to apply for “settled status” to stay indefinitely in the UK, under the EU Settlement Scheme. Such EU citizens will be able to continue to live and work in the UK and access public funds and services beyond the implementation period, and may go on to apply for British citizenship in due course.
  • Those EU citizens with less than five years residence in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to apply for “pre-settled status” under the EU Settlement Scheme.  These EU citizens will be granted a 5 year residence permit and could then continue living and working in the UK beyond 31 December 2020, until they acquire the requisite five year period for indefinite or settled status.
  • The deadline for submitting applications by EU citizens for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021 (which means such EU citizens can continue to live and work lawfully in the UK as normal until this date).Any failure by an EU citizen to meet this deadline will mean they are here illegally and will be subject to removal from the UK. 
  • British nationals residing in the EU will have similar reciprocal rights in the period up to 30 December 2020.

A no-deal scenario

In the event of a no-deal, the government’s intention, as announced in a public Home Office statement on 5 September 2019, is as follows: –

  • EU free movement will end on Brexit day.
  • EU citizens already in the UK before Brexit will be able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled or settled status, but the deadline for applications will be 31 December 2020 (not 30 June 2021, as applies if there was a deal scenario).
  • EU citizens who move to the UK for the first time after Brexit will be able to live and work in the usual way (as they do now) until 31 December 2020. If they wish to stay beyond 2020 they will need to apply for an immigration permission. One option for them is to apply for a new, voluntary 36 month temporary permission, called European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR) upon arrival into the UK. The application process is likely to be similar to that under the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • Alternatively, any EU citizens moving to the UK after Brexit will need to apply for an immigration status, as do other non-EU citizens. The government has indicated it will introduce a new skills-based immigration system which will come into being from 1 January 2021.

New UK immigration system – 1 January 2021

It is difficult to precisely understand at present what the new immigration system in 2021 (when free movement will completely end) will be, as the Migration Advisory Committee has been commissioned to report on these issues and is currently consulting over a number of months. The Committee is due to present its findings to Government in January 2020. The government is likely to publish further proposals, probably in a white paper, during 2020. Current indications from the government are that all workers regardless of nationality will need to meet the same immigration requirements under a points based system, not too dissimilar to the system currently used for the influx of skilled non-EU nationals into the UK.


Pam comments:The government has agreed a number of key principles as regards how EU free movement will end in the UK and these matters are expected to be the subject of new legislation and immigration rules in due course. Most immediately, businesses reliant on EU employees should ensure they understand the implications of the end of free movement rights under a Brexit and what measures can be put in place towards safeguarding EU nationals’ residence status and planning their workforce requirements for the future.”

If not done so already, EU citizens should take steps to preserve their residence status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Employers can direct staff to the EU Settlement Scheme, which is available online.

“In addition, the government has announced that there will be a new, level playing field for all foreign citizens (both EU and non-EU nationals) who apply to live in the UK from 2021, with the implementation of a new immigration system. This is a significant sea change for UK businesses who have to-date relied on easy access to EU labour. Businesses should consider how they intend to recruit European workers after 2020. The indications at present are the UK’s new skills-based system will depend upon sponsorship, although in a more liberal regime. Accordingly, it will be important for employers to obtain or maintain their current sponsor licences. Employers will also need to ensure they are carrying out appropriate right to work checks on workers in light of the changes. ”

We offer a range of advice for international clients regarding business immigration matters as well as a comprehensive suite of Employment services for both businesses and individuals.

If you have any query relating to this topic, please contact Pam Sidhu on or 0121 233 4333.

We are looking to hold a series of workshops to discuss these issues in more detail. To register your interest in attending a workshop please send me an email and indicate any questions you are interested in having answered.

Areas to Consider Regarding Succession Planning & Tax Reliefs for Farmers

Adrian Schuck, Associate Solicitor in our Birmingham Private Client Team discusses the importance of proper estate planning for farmers and individuals involved more broadly in agricultural related business.

A will is your Legacy and an essential part of your plan to ensure that your Estate is distributed in the manner you intend. This is perhaps of particular importance to a farmer, whose assets may include the farm and business to which they have devoted their life’s work.

All farmers and businesses are different but we often hear “I want to ensure that the my farm and business are passed on to those I want to inherit them, without them having to be sold” and “how can I do this and also reduce the amount of inheritance tax?”

It is here that an appropriately drafted will tailored to the Farmer’s circumstances is essential.

To allow the Farmer some control over who benefits under their Will, a discretionary Trust may be suitable, allowing the Farmer to appoint trustees who are responsible for what is distributed to which Beneficiaries, on what terms and when. This may be of particular appeal to a farmer who has concerns that certain assets may be at risk of potential divorce, bankruptcy or mismanagement.

A suitably worded letter would accompany the Will providing guidance as to how they envisage the Farm and Business should be run which the Trustees can take into account upon the Farmer’s death.

If the Farmer’s estate exceeds their inheritance tax thresholds, consideration should also be given to the availability of agricultural property relief (APR) and business property relief (BPR) so that the Farm and Business may be left free of tax under the terms of their Will.

It is therefore imperative that consideration is given to the structure of the Farmer’s Business and their ownership or occupation of the Farm at the time of making their Will in order that appropriate lifetime planning can be undertaken.

If you are a farmer, a business owner or you own agricultural property and would like to discuss any of the points raised in this article, please contact Adrian Schuck on 0121 710 5900 or

The Wilkes Partnership named Legal Firm of the Year at City of Birmingham Business Awards

More than 300 of Birmingham’s leading business people attended the City of Birmingham Business Awards on Friday 17th October where The Wilkes Partnership were named Legal Firm of the Year.

The award, which was voted for by the public, recognises the expertise in all areas of The Wilkes Partnership’s team and the high quality of work completed by all in the firm.

Ellie Holland, Joint Managing Partner at The Wilkes Partnership, says: “This award is not just about the growing reputation of Wilkes, but more about the quality of work that our talented staff produce for our clients every single day. The fact that this was voted for by the public means so much to us.”

Currently in its third year, the City of Birmingham Business Awards was hosted by Ed James at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground and 20 awards were given out during the night ranging from Employee of the Year to the Chief Executive’s Award.

We’re really pleased that Wilkes has won this award. The way that everyone has worked together since the merger to make the firm even better, expand on their knowledge and bring fantastic work to clients has been seamless. This is a great way to enter the final stages of the year and we’re looking forward to more success next year as well.” Added fellow Joint Managing Partner Gareth O’Hara.

The Wilkes Corporate team, led by Jeremy Parkin, have advised long-standing client Blue Sky Corporate Finance on its recent merger with Solihull based accountancy firm Jerroms.

The merger enables Jerroms to offer a full suite of corporate finance services to their thousands of clients across the UK.

This latest move marks significant growth plans for the firm as it looks to expand its offering and build on its excellent reputation as a leading accountancy and businesses advisory firm in the region.

Jerroms’ corporate finance division is to be rebranded and will operate from its headquarters in Blythe Valley Park, with the Blue Sky accountancy services relocating to the Jerroms’ office in Bromsgrove.

Alongside Jerroms’ directors Lucas Markou and Mark Eden, Jerroms Corporate Finance will be headed up by Paul Heaven, the former managing director of Blue Sky.

Commenting on his experience with Wilkes, Paul Heaven, Director at Blue Sky said: “Wilkes have a close relationship with both firms and helped to facilitate the transaction by introducing Blue Sky to Jerroms. Jeremy Parkin led the Wilkes team, assisted by Helen Smart and Mike Linford. They provided their usual efficient and highly commercial advice and I look forward to continuing to do deals with them under the Jerroms Corporate Finance banner.”

Jeremy Parkin, Partner in the Corporate team at Wilkes said: “I am delighted that these two highly respected firms have joined forces. The addition of Blue Sky’s Bromsgrove-based accountancy practice gives critical mass to Jerroms’ presence there and the corporate finance arm will offer all their clients a wealth of deal-making experience and funding options.” 

This is the latest in a growing line of M&A work for The Wilkes Partnership, following the completion of deals across a range of sectors including IT software, FMCG, events and health and social care.

For help and advice relating to your business get in touch with Jeremy Parkin on 0121 710 5931 or via email at

Specialist tax and estate planning lawyer Philip Harrison has joined The Wilkes Partnership as a Consultant in our Private Client Team

Specialist tax and estate planning lawyer Philip Harrison has joined The Wilkes Partnership in a consultancy deal designed to bolster our offering to private clients and the owners of private businesses.

Philip, whose previous experience includes roles such as National Head of Tax for global law firm Eversheds will play a key role in the growth of our private client and tax team and help take our firm to the next level of UK and international tax expertise.

In his new role at Wilkes, Philip will bring more than three decades of experience advising business owners and high net worth individuals on personal tax planning , especially in the fields of capital gains tax and inheritance tax, and more general estate planning, an area of specialisation which includes the protection of family wealth as well as tax planning.  Philip has particular expertise in advising internationally mobile clients.

This latest addition to Wilkes enhances the private client team and is part of a long-term growth strategy which aims to increase expertise across all areas of the firm. Philip’s arrival follows the firm’s recent merger with fellow Birmingham firm Coley & Tilley.

Nigel Wood, Senior Partner at The Wilkes Partnership, says: “Philip’s consultancy with Wilkes shows the scale of ambition that we have to service our clients, new and existing, to an increasingly higher standard. Philip’s expertise continues to enhance the talent in our Private Client Team and, following the addition of other talent across the firm, take the next step on our road to growth in 2019 and beyond.”

Philip Harrison, Consultant for The Wilkes Partnership, says: “I was seeking an opportunity to build a relationship with a successful law firm and from the outset the cultural match with Wilkes seemed ideal for me. The association will enable me to offer a high level UK and international tax and estate planning service to complement the services already offered by the firm.”

“I am looking forward to working closely with Andrew Hasnip and Ellie Holland to continue to build the team at Wilkes and help fulfil the overall objective of consolidating and developing Wilkes’ position as a leader in the region, offering private client services across the spectrum and focusing in particular on UK and international tax advice.”

Philip can be contacted on 0121 233 4333 or

As a business owner, you will be faced with a varying degree of issues throughout your time. This can range from common issues businesses face such as complications with money, stock or the services provided. However, businesses can also face internal issues, especially when it comes to employment.

When you employ a worker, you cannot guarantee that there will be no problems along the road. Oftentimes, a business can be faced with issues regarding employment law and may need a qualified representative to safeguard their business.

The Wilkes Partnership are a leading employment lawyer based in Birmingham and Solihull. We are able to provide businesses with honest advice and reputable services to ensure the protection and safeguarding of their business when faced with an employment problem.

Why Seek Help from an Employment Lawyer?

Before we can explain in detail how we can help to safeguard businesses, it is important to understand why an employment lawyer is needed in certain circumstances. Employment issues can be particularly and can hit the heart of an organisation, regardless of the size of the business.

With employment law seeing constant movement, it is a full-time job to keep up to date on all the latest laws and legislation. With a business to run and employees to take care of, it is no wonder that many businesses aren’t able to keep up with all the latest developments. 

When smaller workplace issues turn into intense disputes, businesses must rely on the help of specialised employment lawyers to ensure the best possible outcome for the business. Without this specialist help, the business’s reputation may be damaged by the dispute.

How Can We Help?

As a business, you can be faced with a variety of problems and challenges regarding your employees and employment law. Luckily, The Wilkes Partnership have spent years becoming experts in all areas of employment law, offering both start-up businesses and established enterprises with the services they need to handle all problems that come their way.

As qualified employment lawyers, we can represent you and your business in court. It is crucial that you are accurately represented by an employment lawyer who not only has experience in employment law but also understands your business and unique case. 

The areas that we can cover as part of our services include:

  • Draft/review employment contracts and policies
  • Draft settlement agreements
  • Defend Employment Tribunal claims
  • Defend Court claims
  • Deal with TUPE questions
  • Handle disciplinary action
  • Deal with redundancy/restructure programmes
  • Deal with equality and diversity issues
  • Deal with maternity/family friendly rights
  • Draft/enforce confidentiality/restrictive covenant provisions
  • Obtain injunctions against current or former employees
  • Defend injunction actions
  • Provide bespoke employment law training to staff/managers
  • Deal with any other employment matter
  • Arrange work visas and employment contracts for employees from overseas

We can advise on singular, isolated issues as well as work with you on a long term basis to ensure you’re assisted with all aspects of employment. With so many common issues arising in employment, it is important that you have the necessary help to ensure the best possible outcome for you as a manager and your business overall.

Not only can you rely on our services to resolve individual workplace disputes, but you can also employ us for continuous HR support within your business. When a business experiences unprecedented growth, it may cause internal issues with employees.

We can offer you continued support and advice in regards to employment law. This will not only ensure that your staff are getting the correct treatment, but also ensure your business is safeguarded against any incidents in the future. 

What Kind of Businesses Can Use Our Services?

Here at The Wilkes Partnership, we are keen to help businesses in all industries and sectors to resolve their employment issues. For example, we can work with businesses in the following industries:

  • Accountancy firms
  • Automotive
  • Banks
  • Education
  • Finance and credit companies
  • Health services
  • Manufacturing
  • Real estate

This is not an exhaustive list. Our employment law services are available for all kinds of businesses. Simply get in touch with us to discuss your unique and individual circumstances.

Why Choose The Wilkes Partnership?

With so many employment lawyers available today, why should you trust in The Wilkes Partnership to resolve your employment issues? Not only do we have a highly experienced team of employment lawyers, but we also offer extremely competitive rates.

Furthermore, we make a conscious effort to understand your business objectives and pride ourselves as working as an internal part of your team. Whether you choose our services for a one-off case or for continued HR support, we will ensure we provide you with the support you need.

With there being a wide range of experience within the internal team, we can easily advise on all aspects of employment law ranging from common HR issues to more complex cases such as transfers of undertakings, discrimination, restrictive covenants and multi-jurisdictional employee disputes.

By appointing the Wilkes employment team, you will be looked after by an established team of professionals with a reputation for delivering bespoke solutions that meet your objectives. Contact us today for more information. 

On 17 December 2018 the Government published, its proposals to take forward some of the recommendations in the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices (the ‘Good Work Plan’).

The Good Work Plan proposed what the Government described as “the biggest package of workplace reforms for over 20 years”. It sets out the Government’s vision for the future of the UK labour market and draws on the four consultations held earlier in 2018.

The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/731) (the ‘Regulations’) was introduced on 28 March 2019 and will bring into force various commitments set out in the Good Work Plan.

Jas Dubb, Associate Solicitor in our Employment Law Department considers the key proposals under the plan and what effect they may have.

Employment Status

The Government has declared that it will introduce new legislation to clarify the test for obtaining employment status that mirrors modern working practices. That clarification is important. Having ‘employee’ status attracts a considerable amount of legal protection and rights. However, creating a test is likely to be a difficult task. The Government has stated that it will also seek to adjust how the law deals with employee status for tax purposes, with a view of harmonising the law in both areas. No set timetable has been given for these potentially significant proposals for new legislation.

Written Statement of Particulars of Employment

The Employment Rights Act 1996 will be amended to give workers, rather than just employees, the right to:

  • a written Statement of Particulars of employment (i.e. a basic Contract of Employment); and
  • bring a tribunal claim against their employer for failure to provide such particulars.

The changes will apply to workers who start work for an employer on or after 6 April 2020.

Financial penalties

The Regulations will amend the Employment Tribunals Act 1996 to increase the maximum level of penalty an Employment Tribunal may order in respect of an employer’s aggravated breach of employment law from £5,000 to £20,000. The increase will apply in respect of breaches of workers’ rights that take place on or after 6 April 2019.

 Information and consultation of employees

The Regulations will amend the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/3426) to lower the percentage required for a valid employee request for the employer to negotiate an agreement on informing and consulting its employees. The threshold will be lowered from 10% to 2% of the total number of employees employed by the employer, subject to there being a minimum of 15 employees.  The change will come into force on 6 April 2020.

Jas Dubb comments, “These proposed changes serve as a useful reminder to employers of the importance of having employment documentation and policies in place which set out clear expectations, and in line with legal obligations. It is evident that more needs to be done in order to protect employees and prevent employee / employer disputes”.

We are currently offering all businesses a Free Employment Law Health which consists of a no obligation review of your existing employment contracts and staff handbooks.

Please contact us if you would like us to review your employment documentation and structure them in line with legislative requirements, to avoid employment issues from arising.

To discuss anything arising from this update, please contact Jas Dubb on 0121 733 5929 or via email at You can also contact any other member of the Employment Team on 0121 233 4333 or email us at

Whether you’re just starting a new position or you’ve been working in an established company for many years, it is important that you familiarise yourself with your work and employment rights. You may find yourself in a position where you are in discussion with your employer regarding your employment, so you’ll need to be up to scratch on what you are entitled to as an employee.

For example, if you have noticed that your employer is going against basic rights, or you have been denied rights that you are entitled to, it is important to not only raise these with management but also have a clear idea of what you’re talking about, so you can get the best possible outcome.

The Wilkes Partnership are leading suppliers of employment advice services in and around the Birmingham area and are here to offer honest and up to date advice for employees. Keep reading to learn more about the basic rights you are entitled to, as well as any other rights you should be aware of.

Basic Employment Rights

When you start to work for a company, there are some basic working rights that everyone within the company will be entitled to. For example, as an employee, you must have:

  • A contract of employment – this contact should clearly outline certain rights and obligations.
  • Realistic working hours – the maximum amount of working hours is 48 hours per week.
  • Rest breaks at work – you’ll probably be entitled to rest breaks at work, depending on your working hours.
  • Time off work – the law permits you to take time off work for varying circumstances.

These are the first things you should be checking for when you start any new position, regardless of where you choose to work. If a business fails to provide these basic rights, you can either choose to challenge them or simply look for work elsewhere.


With any job, the pay is an incredibly important factor in your work. Employees will be offered a salary either based on previous experience or to the discretion of the manager.

You have a legal right to a payslip. If you notice any major issues, speak formally with your manager to resolve any issues. You should always check your payslip for any issues that may arise. Look for things such as:

  • Whether you’ve been paid for the number of hours you’ve actually worked
  • If you’ve been paid at the correct rate
  • If you’ve been paid for overtime, commission or bonus
  • Whether you’ve been paid any sick pay, holiday pay or maternity pay that you were expecting
  • If your employer has deducted any money that you weren’t expecting

When you leave a job, you may be owed money for things such as:

  • Holiday pay
  • Redundancy pay
  • Sick pay – if you were off sick in your notice period
  • Maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave pay

Many employees forget to check these basic rights when departing from a position. Ensure you plan an exit review with your employer to discuss if you are entitled to pay for any of the above reasons. 

Most employees are entitled to get paid at least the National Minimum Wage. If you are aged 25 or over, you are entitled to the National Living Wage. If you suspect that your employer is not paying you the correct wage, it is important to get employment advice as soon as possible. 

The current National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage Rates are as follows:

April 2019

  • 25 and over: £8.21
  • 21 to 24: £7.70
  • 18 to 20: £6.16
  • Under 18: £4.35
  • Apprentice: £3.90

Breaks and Holiday Entitlement

If you are an employee who works five days a week, you are entitled to 5.6 weeks (28 days) of paid leave per year. You employer may choose to include public holidays in this total. It is important to use your holiday entitlement, as many companies will not carry this over to the next working year. It is also imperative for your health and wellbeing to take proper breaks from work.

Within the working day, you are also entitled to lunch breaks. By law, you are entitled to a 20-minute rest break if you work more than 6 hours in one shift and additional breaks may be given by your employer. You are not legally entitled to cigarette breaks. 


This topic may often cause complications within a workplace, due to companies having their own procedures. However, there are a clear set of legal rules which all employees and employers must follow.

For example, as an employee, you may need time off work due to sickness. You can self-certify your illness until you’ve had 7 days off where you will then need to supply a doctor’s note. You have the right to use your holiday entitlement during your period of sickness.

Your employer may not always offer sick pay, however, the weekly rate of Statutory Sick Pay is £92.05 for up to 28 weeks. All employees are entitled to this by law. It is up to your employer if they have their own sick pay scheme and wish to pay you in full for time off due to sickness.

Parental Rights

If you’re pregnant, you have a range of workplace rights that you are entitled to. This includes:

  • Paid time off for antenatal care
  • Maternity leave
  • Maternity pay or allowance
  • Protection against unfair treatment, discrimination or dismissal

Your employer must provide these as basic rights and cannot discriminate against you, nor refuse to provide these statutory rights. If you are facing issues with your employer regarding maternity leave and pay, seek employment advice urgently from The Wilkes Partnership. 

If your partner is having a child, you are also entitled to basic rights such as 1-2 weeks of paid paternity leave or shared parental leave and/or pay. Ensure you discuss these with your employer before your child is born.

Do You Have Any Questions Regarding your Workplace Rights?

If you’re having any concerns about your employer’s treatment of you and other members of staff, contact The Wilkes Partnership for employment advice today. With years of experience in the employment sector, we can offer genuine employment advice to ensure the best outcome for our clients.

Three Former Trainees Qualify Into NQ Positions At Wilkes

Wilkes are delighted to announce that Rupinder Sahota, Owen Shave and Tim Burrows have taken up new roles as Assistant Solicitors having successfully completed their training contracts.

Rupinder joins our Property Litigation team with Owen joining our Corporate team and Tim joining the Private Client department.

Kate Hackett Partner and Training Principal at Wilkes said;

“2019 has been another strong year for Wilkes and we are delighted to be able to offer Rupinder, Owen and Tim positions within the firm. We feel that we offer our trainees great hands-on experience which allows them to hit the ground running with their legal careers.”

Alongside welcoming our new newly qualified solicitors, Ayesha Sirpal, Jack Milnthorpe, Joel Blake and Sophie Raybould have joined the firm as first year trainees.

To find out more about out becoming a trainee as Wilkes click here.

Wilkes Corporate Team Advise Serial Entrepreneur On Latest Events Company Acquisition


The Wilkes Corporate Team, led by Rick Smyth, have advised serial entrepreneur, David Walley on his latest acquisition of leading UK events business Star Events from multi-billion pound turnover services giants, Altrad.

This latest deal resulted in the merger of four businesses to create Star Events Group. With the merger with its existing businesses, Mobile Promotions, BluePeg and Beautiful Minds.

Star Events has been supplying equipment and services to the events industry for 40 years. They have designed and delivered stages, structures, seating and rigging for some of the world’s most high-profile events including British Summer Time Hyde Park, Download Festival, Adele, The Spice Girls, Royal Windsor Horse Show and the visit of Pope Benedict XVI.

Commenting on the acquisition, David Walley said: “Star is one of the great names of the UK events industry. They have an inspiring legacy and are both trusted and innovative. We are looking forward to integrating them into the business and adding value to all of our clients.

When asked about his experience of working with Wilkes David said: “This is the fourth acquisition that Rick and the team have worked on with us. As always, they offered clear, pragmatic advice which really takes the burden off what can at times be a complex situation and we were delighted to be working with them again. Myself and the team were also particularly impressed with how Rick and the team dealt with an organisation as large as Altrad. We look forward to working with them on our future acquisitions!”

Rick Smyth, Partner in the Wilkes Corporate Team said: “We were delighted to work with David and his team again and to be part of building the Star Events Group. We were able to draw on our international network, with our colleagues in Shanghai advising on the acquisition of the Star Event’s Chinese subsidiary as part of the deal. The new group is an exciting new offering for the UK entertainments industry. We are looking forward to working with the team again as they continue their drive to develop the group into a market leader.”

Rick Smyth, Jeremy Parkin and Lucy Freeman in the Corporate team lead the deal with support from, Leighann Richard (Real Estate), Owen Shave (Corporate) and Elisabeth Conner (International). Wilkes were supported in China by BURKARDT & PARTNER Shanghai.

This is the latest in a growing line of M&A work for The Wilkes Partnership, following the completion of deals across a range of sectors including IT software, FMCG, events and health and social care.

For help and advice relating to your business get in touch with Rick Smyth on 0121 710 5932 or via email at