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The “excellent” Keystone Law celebrates record year in Legal 500 rankings

Keystone Law has achieved its best ever rankings in this year’s Legal 500, the most comprehensive directory of law firm and individual lawyer performance.

The “extremely focused” firm was acknowledged in a total of 16 different practice areas whilst 30 lawyers were individually recommended – making it the only firm with its agile structure to garner so many rankings, across such a broad range of services and sectors. This recognition highlights the continuing seismic shift, in the legal market, towards a better, more flexible method of working and client service delivery.

Below is what the directory said about the teams:

Corporate team:

Keystone Law’s ‘excellent’ department mainly acts for entrepreneurs and SMEs; clients include Philglas & Swiggot, Caxton FX, G’Nosh and Ruffena Capital. Staffed mainly by senior consultants, the team has cross-jurisdictional capabilities; Ian Taylorson, Robin Hampton, Andrew Niblock and Geoffrey Pickerill are the key contacts.

Travel team:

Keystone Law’s ‘client-focused’ team advises on a range of commercial and regulatory matters, and is particularly active in the aviation sector. Blue Cube Travel and Airline Handling International are clients. Consultant solicitors Trevor Sears and the ‘outstanding’ Alex Ferrari are key contacts.

Aviation team:

Keystone Law attracts praise for its ‘extremely focused, hands-on and personalised’ service. Highlights included acting for Athena Services in a claim against Hawkeye Engines. Consultant solicitors Trevor Sears, and Alex Ferrari are recommended. ‘Outstanding’ barrister Hugh O’Donovan joined from Ince & Co in 2016.

Hugh O’Donovan recognised as a leading individual.

Construction team:

At Keystone Law, Martin Howe acts for a number of educational institutions and local authorities on contentious and non-contentious matters. Key practitioners include Jon Close, who joined from BPE Solicitors LLP in March 2016, and Louise Garcia, who has notable experience in contentious construction matters.

Planning team:

Keystone Law’s four-consultant team was reinforced by the arrival of port specialist Andrew Hignett from Lester Aldridge LLP. Other key figures are David Evans and Oliver Goodwin, with the latter advising Barwood LaSalle Land on planning for a large residential and community site in north Wales.

Pharmaceuticals team:

At the ‘excellent’ Keystone Law, ‘knowledgeable and quick’ IP specialist Vicky Clark advises clients on licensing and commercial agreements. Commercial and regulatory lawyer Paul Ranson joined from Pinsent Masons LLP in May 2015.

Personal Injury team:

Keystone Law’s practice was strengthened by the arrival of Steven Conway from Browne Jacobson LLP in 2016. Conway has notable experience defending local authorities, public authorities and insurers against a range of civil claims. Cordelia Rushby is also a key figure.

Sports team:

Keystone Law’s Morris Bentata’s understanding of media rights is ‘invaluable’. Highlights included advising SANZAR on its media rights sales in Europe, which included the UK deal with Sky.

Morris is also recognised as a leading individual.

Fraud team:

Keystone Law’s civil fraud practice is new to the scene and is led by the ‘bright and pragmatic’ Robert Lawrie, who joined the firm from Howard Kennedy LLP in 2015. Lawrie regularly represents banks and financial institutions.

Brand Management:

Keystone Law’s Ian Down acts for McDonald’s in relation to IP, licensing and sponsorship matters. Other clients include HCT Europe and Biscuiterie Jules Destrooper.

Partnership team

Ranked but no commentary

Commercial team:

Keystone Law made several hires in 2015, including Anthony Misquitta, formerly of Farrer & Co, and life sciences expert Paul Ranson, who moved from Pinsent Masons LLP. Sports law specialist Morris Bentata, who joined from Sheridans, is another name to note. Clients include Artis Education, Inbay and Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

Shipping team:

Keystone Law has ‘wide knowledge of the marine industry’. Consultant solicitors Daniel Crockford and Alex Penberthy ‘have a straightforward approach to problems’. Andrew Hignett joined from Lester Aldridge LLP in May 2015.

Insurance team:

Keystone Law has ‘a high degree of legal expertise’ and is ‘able to work across borders in complex legal matters’. Steven Conway specialises in employers’ and public liability claims, and recent arrival Nilam Sharma, who joined from Ince & Co, ‘works productively and collaboratively with the client, offering excellent support’.

Commercial Litigation team:

Ranked but no commentary

Commercial Property team:

Keystone Law’s team includes Lara Cole, who was busy with various transactions, including advising FW Properties on the £10m purchase of Westlegate Tower in Norwich. Nick Ellis has been acting on development mandates.

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