Our people

930 professionals at Knights service 12,000 clients across the full spectrum of legal & professional services.

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James Sheridan

Client Services Director
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James Sheridan

Client Services Director

James is a Client Services Director.

James advises on corporate transactions, mergers, acquisitions and disposals, private equity and development capital deals, corporate investments and other strategic projects.  He also undertakes equity capital markets work for small and mid-cap public companies. A corporate lawyer with the ICAEW Corporate Finance qualification.

James is experienced in both domestic and international transactions, having worked on deals in the USA, Continental Europe, Africa and Asia.  He has a particular interest in business in India and Australia.

James advises corporates, their shareholders and management teams, as well as a number of public companies, private and institutional investors and the family offices of a number of high net worth families.  His clients include Indian automotive and logistics conglomerate TVS & Sons, Swedish listed pharmaceutical business Recipharm AB and UK-based APS Salads, Logson Group and real estate developer SevenCapital.

James understands corporate transactions first hand, having previously been a non-executive director of drug development company Phosphate Therapeutics and helping to take it from first round venture capital investment to its subsequent disposal as part of a £180 million IPO.  He is also senior independent director at Lancashire Cricket Club, where he is involved in strategic projects across both the sporting and business operations at Emirates Old Trafford, and Vice Chairman of Lancashire Cricket Foundation.

Recent examples of how James has helped clients include:

  • the USD94m sale of chemical manufacturing business Stirling Lloyd plc to US-based GCP Applied Technologies Inc;
  • advising Warren James on its strategy to take a 28% stake in Pinewood Shepperton while the subject matter of a recommended takeover offer at £96m and the subsequent £323m takeover of Pinewood by Aermont Capital;
  • guiding Recipharm through its £45m acquisition of the respiratory drugs business of global biopharmaceutical company Sanofi, including its manufacturing centre in Cheshire; and
  • working with Manchester software business Mobysoft on its investment from private equity firm Livingbridge to develop predictive software solutions for the social housing sector.
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Sally Wightman

Office Partner
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Sally Wightman

Office Partner

Sally is a Partner in the Corporate team.

Sally's field of expertise is in company mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, re-organisations and re-structurings, as well as corporate advisory matters in high value transactions.  She has long-standing clients to include serial entrepreneurs, family-owned businesses and major corporates across sectors, including the food, leisure and aviation sectors.

Sally is office leader in Chester office where she is responsible for client management and growing and building the team.  This includes recruiting, developing and promoting lawyers who share the positive and open culture, and providing ongoing training and coaching.

Recent examples of how Sally has helped clients include:

  • within tight time constraints, advising on the purchase of up to £100 million receivables from the administrators of Phones4u;
  • realising the full sale value of an aviation maintenance business for its US parent company; and
  • supporting clients in cross border transactions, including working with one of Ireland's major dairy exporters on its acquisition of a UK business and subsequent refinancing and advising on the sale of a national company to a major Dutch group.
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Marcus Armstrong

Partner
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Marcus Armstrong

Partner

Marcus is a Partner in the Corporate team.

Marcus advises on company mergers, acquisitions and disposals, business reorganisations, capital reduction and demergers, employee incentive schemes and secured lending.

Marcus specialises in the sale of professional service firms, the sale and purchase of businesses operating within the health and social care sectors, providers of IT services and companies involved in financial services.

His clients include sanitaryware manufacturer and distributer Roxor Group, optician and audiologists chain Bayfields and ICT services and solutions company Pure Technology Group.

Recent examples of how Marcus has helped clients include:

  • acquiring the share capital of a Dubai based manufacturing company with links to the Roxor Group in order to bring the company within the group’s ownership;
  • acquiring AMG Systems Limited on behalf of a special purpose vehicle in a deal funded by M&G Investments, a Saudi based private equity firm;
  • completing the sale of Spearing Waite solicitors to Knights plc and, on the recommendation of the Knights management team, also handling the sales of Cummins Solicitors and Emms Gilmore Liberson; and
  • facilitating a private equity investment in Bayfields opticians and audiologists by BGF in order to provide growth capital for a planned expansion.
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William Bankes

Partner
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William Bankes

Partner

William is a Partner in the Corporate team.

William has spent nearly twenty years advising businesses and their investors on corporate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, shareholder and investment agreements, and commercial matters including corporate governance.  He specialises in owner-managed sales and purchases, company reorganisations and investment and joint venture arrangements.

William acts for owner-managers, SMEs, entrepreneurs and private equity investors, in sectors as diverse as renewable energy, hotel and leisure and independent financial advisors.

Recent examples of how William has helped clients include:

  • acting for the seller of a company to a US buyer and structuring the consideration in the most tax efficient way for the seller;
  • acting for the administrators of Wedgwood Museum in the sale of its assets to the V & A Museum following the collapse of Wedgwood; and
  • helping a major hotel chain re-organise its portfolio of hotels to make the group structure more tax efficient.
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Andrew Bradley

Partner
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Andrew Bradley

Partner

Andrew is a Partner in the Corporate team.

Andrew advises on domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, share and business asset disposals, corporate demergers and company reorganisations, joint ventures and other partnering arrangements, business owner exit strategies, management buy-outs and buy-ins, equity investment, finance and banking transactions, corporate governance and relations between shareholders.

Andrew also advises on transactions involving companies which are listed on the Alternative Investment Market, including acquisitions, reorganisations and constitutional changes related to listing.

Andrew’s clients include businesses operating in London, Eire, the Channel Islands, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, America and Australia. They include transport solutions specialist Journeo Plc, commercial property lender Octopus, industry solutions company SFS Intec AG, housing provider Your Housing Group, vehicle driver provider Driver Hire Group Services Limited, global travel management company CTM and IT solutions business One Advent.

Recent examples of how Andrew has helped clients include:

  • completing a share disposal on behalf of the members of Redfern Travel to Brisbane based Corporate Travel Management in a multi-million-pound deal that was negotiated and finalised within one month and involved collaboration with Australian lawyers;
  • undertaking the reorganisation of share capital for AIM listed Journeo Plc in order to facilitate the issue of new shares to fund expansion and to consolidate the company’s shareholder base to reduce the cost of maintaining a large share register;
  • undertaking the reorganisation of the UK subsidiaries of Swiss company SFS Intec AG in order to achieve an efficient corporate structure; and
  • completing the sale of the entire share capital of Intertrain to City & Guilds Group within six weeks to strengthen the group’s technical training, assessment and certification offering to engineering, rail and construction companies.
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Lisa Bridgwood

General Counsel and Company Secretary
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Lisa Bridgwood

General Counsel and Company Secretary

Lisa is a General Counsel and Company Secretary.

Lisa specialises in corporate and commercial advice provided to clients spanning owner managed, small, medium-sized and multinational businesses.

Lisa has worked on and led corporate restructures, mergers and acquisitions, management buyouts and buy-ins, share option schemes.  From a commercial perspective Lisa has advised a number of household names on transactions from the implementation of e-commerce and multichannel initiatives, right through the spectrum of commercial contracts to the negotiation of agency and outsourcing agreements.

She has particular focus on the retail industry having advised numerous high street brands on a variety of transactions from the implementation of e-commerce and multichannel initiatives, right through the spectrum to the negotiation of franchising and agency agreements.

Lisa specialises in corporate law, commercial law and retail.

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Ed Capes

Partner
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Ed Capes

Partner

Ed is a Partner in the Corporate team.

Ed provides advice on buying and selling companies, business financing (both debt and equity), joint ventures, shareholder agreements, investments, and non-contentious company law. His clients, individual and business, operate in a variety of sectors from healthcare, IT and renewables, to transport and pharmaceuticals.

Ed’s expertise lies in company reorganisations and reconstructions; offering support and assistance in relation to solvency issues; joint ventures and shareholders agreements where he advises on exit strategies for shareholders; as well as matters relating to corporate governance and directors’ duties.

Ed also advises on share acquisitions and disposals, including management buy-outs, as well as business acquisitions and disposals, notably identifying and supporting on TUPE issues.

In addition, his experience encompasses banking and acquisition finance, business startups and company formations, partnerships and LLPs.

Recent examples of how Ed has helped clients include:

  • ensuring that a company had the opportunity to grow and develop, by advising client in respect of follow-on rounds of investment;
  • facilitating the retirement of a construction company’s founders by advising on its sale to the existing management team;
  • enabling a husband and wife team to create a company operating across multiple UK franchise territories, advising them on the simultaneous acquisition of three different franchises; and
  • successfully ensuring peace of mind for management and shareholders of an established company by advising and implementing a negotiated exit strategy.
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Sian Champkin

Partner
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Sian Champkin

Partner

Sian is a Partner in the Corporate team.

Sian acts for SMEs, off-shore entities, owner-managed businesses and AIM companies in a wide range of sectors including real estate, retail, technology, charities and education.

Sian provides corporate advice on a range of matters including, acquisitions, disposals, mergers, entrepreneurial and institutional investments, joint ventures, management buy-outs and buy-ins, reorganisations and restructuring. She also negotiates and drafts shareholders' agreements, articles of association and share capital reductions.

Sian advises a number of education and charity clients on governance, constitutional matters, reorganisations and the merging of charities.

Recent examples of how Sian has helped clients include:

  • providing ongoing corporate advice and support to Long Harbour on its real estate investments, with multiple large transactions handled in the last five years;
  • the merger of two charitable schools including advice on constitutional complexities and highly involved negotiation of merger documentation;
  • providing ongoing advice to Oxford-based H2O Venture Partners on a variety of investments in the technology sector and a seed enterprise fund in East Africa;
  • completing the multi-million pound sale of Ling Design, one of the UK's longest established and largest independent producers of greetings cards and stationery, to Swan Mill Holdings.
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David Easdown

Partner
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David Easdown

Partner

David is a Partner in the Corporate team.

David advises on corporate transactions, with a focus on domestic and international mergers and acquisitions. He works closely with the management teams of rapid growth businesses and with the private equity funders who back them.

David has sector expertise in e-commerce, technology/TMT, logistics, healthcare and particularly retail pharmacies.  His clients are corporates, international companies with UK operations and private equity investors.

Recent examples of how David has helped his clients include:

  • securing a multi-million-pound investment from NorthEdge Capital in cloud transformation and infrastructure specialists Cloud Technology Solutions to facilitate the tech company’s rapid growth and expansion plans;
  • facilitating the sale of a 60 per cent stake in Leicestershire-based packaging business Logson Group to Belfast-based commodities and storage specialists W & R Barnett;
  • securing a multi-million pound investment from Beech Tree Private Equity in cloud IT managed services business BCN Group; and
  • completing the £39.3 million acquisition of the 36-branch pharmacy division of Assura on behalf of Cohens Chemist.
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Greg Emms

Partner
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Greg Emms

Partner

Greg is a Partner in the Corporate team.

Greg has acted for many buyers and sellers of companies (share transactions) and businesses and assets. Such transactions have ranged in value from the very small to those consisting of tens of millions of pounds. Greg has particular experience acting for companies involved in fund raising exercises, whether by way of debt, such as an issue of loan notes, or by way of the issue of shares. Greg has recently concluded a transaction relating to a multi-million Euro cross-border loan note issue to numerous parties with complex conversion and other rights.

Additionally, Greg advises companies in connection with re-organisations that may be effected for a variety of reasons. He also advises shareholders and partners as regards their legal relationships between themselves, as well as in connection with the documents that govern such relationships such as shareholders’ agreements, articles of association and partnership agreements.

Greg’s clients are typically in the SME/OMB sector and include a well-known manufacturer in the engineering sector and a cluster of companies involved in developing new technologies.

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Stephen Gilmore

Partner
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Stephen Gilmore

Partner

Stephen is a Partner in the Corporate team.

Stephen advises on company incorporation, the establishment of traditional partnerships and LLPs, business mergers and acquisitions, company and corporate restructuring, share purchase agreements, business sales, succession planning and exit strategies, and the resolution of commercial disputes.

Stephen’s clients include professional practices, owner-managed SMEs and family businesses.

Stephen also acts for trusts and charities who require guidance on organisational matters, governance and general legal affairs and who value his experience as a fellow trustee and immediate past chair of a midland’s based children’s hospice.

Recent examples of how Stephen has helped clients include:

  • arranging the refinancing of seed capital worth £8 million on behalf of an alternative energy start-up following the closure of a government sponsored fund and its transfer to BP;
  • aiding a father in the resolution of a protracted shareholder dispute with his daughter on terms which saw him exit the family business on commercially and personally acceptable terms;
  • successfully defending the past trustees of a trust against allegations that they had wrongly disposed of trust assets by establishing that the assets in question had never been within the trust’s ownership; and
  • devising a plan to enable the majority shareholders in a family company to acquire the interests of minority non-family shareholders to bring the company back within the family’s exclusive control.
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Hayley Goodwin

Partner
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Hayley Goodwin

Partner

Hayley is a Partner in the Corporate team.

Hayley deals with share and asset sales, business acquisitions, mergers and demergers, company restructures and group reorganisations, setting up new companies, employee share schemes, and the drafting of constitutional documents and shareholder agreements.

Hayley helps schools convert to academies or multi-academy trusts, charities who require assistance with corporate governance or organisational issues, and insolvency practitioners who need support to restructure a distressed company or to effect a business sale.

Her clients include Matrix Healthcare Limited, Douglas MacMillan Hospice, Hilltop Country House Events Limited, OMM, Esterchem Limited, Sugro, the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and a number of private individuals.

Recent examples of how Hayley has helped clients include:

  • completing the sale of Port Vale Football Club while the club was in administration, and supporting the administrators, Begbies Traynor in seeking approval of the deal from the Football Association;
  • reorganising an international group of companies to demerge a multi-disciplinary business which included a pharmaceuticals research arm in the US;
  • successfully resolving a dispute over the ownership of intellectual property rights between a UK software company and an Indian developer in order to enable the proposed sale of the UK company to a US competitor to proceed; and
  • converting a high school into a multi-academy trust within two months to avoid changes to Department of Education funding, and thereafter successfully adopting four primary schools into the trust organisation.