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Entrepreneurs Panel

Michael Oliver
David Pollock
Jeremy Roberts
Charlie Mullins
Steve Purdham
Laura Tenison
Brian Hay
Debbie Pierce
Julie Meyer
Jennie Johnson
Richard O'Sullivan
Tony Caldeira


The course of business doesn’t always run smooth. And, when it doesn’t, there can be few more satisfying thoughts than dragging your opponent through the courts and being granted punitive damages. In this day and age, however, the talk is all of “dispute resolution” – which, though perhaps less satisfying than having your day in court, is likely to cost everyone a lot less in the long run. Either way, and whatever side of a lawsuit you find yourself on, the firms below are the Legal 500’s top players. Just hope you don’t receive an unexpected letter on their headed notepaper.

The licensed trade has seen some major upheavals over the last couple of years, including the high-profile distressed sales of a number of pub estates. If you’re thinking of taking advantage of the market turmoil to get into the leisure business, amongst Legal 500-listed firms in the North West, those below are identified as the best – bar none.

Planning on taking advantage of the exchange rate to launch a continental export drive? Thinking about a merger that would significantly alter the competitive landscape? You’ll be needing advice – and here are the firms the Legal 500 identifies as the region’s strongest in the field.

Not as high-profile as some other areas of law, but a significant component of many deals and investments – and certainly not something you’d want to get wrong.

Not a great year for the corporate lawyers. However, there were still one or two deals of note – including the Co-operative Group’s £1.57bn acquisition of Somerfield, on which Addleshaw Goddard’s Manchester office advised the purchaser. Among other tier one firms Eversheds advised Bodycote on the £417 million disposal of its testing business to a US private equity buyer.

For the 22nd year publisher Legalease has produced its UK Legal 500 – a publication that, as the name suggests, identifies the country’s top 500 law firms. It then subdivides these into regions (identifying the best all-rounders as ”Regional Heavyweights”) and specialisations – further dividing them into tiers according to their expertise and market strength within each of those specialities.

Political correctness that really has gone mad

It is often said that if you gave government £20 and sent it out to buy a loaf of bread, it would return with a stale cake and no change.

Now it seems, in the world of business, if you send it out to set up a grant scheme to encourage women in business then it comes back having set one up for men.

Following the crushing defeat of proposals for a congestion charge (and attendant public transport investment) in a referendum of Greater Manchester residents, both sides of the business argument are singing from remarkably similar hymn sheets.

Boffins discover chemical root of risk-taking

What do an entrepreneur and a drug abuser have in common?

For those used to frequenting the cocaine-soaked bars at which many of our racier businessmen “relax” the question might seem otiose, but to the rest of us any link would come as a surprise.

It’s over a year since smoking was banned in enclosed public places in England. Pubs and other leisure venues were expected to suffer badly. So who’s been worst hit, and does the fallout create any opportunities? EN investigates.

  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, started with little more than faith and determination, but four years later it’s grown into a global business. Ahead of her appearance at Accelerate 2015 in...

  • Author, writer and marketer Ryan Holiday on how entrepreneurs need to interpret failure.

  • Sue Vizard, business coach and author of Jump Start: The Start-up Book for Your Dream Business, looks at some of the questions solo entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

  • Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of, is bringing together SMEs and NEDs - without the hefty recruitment fees.

  • Former professional golfer turned entrepreneur Colin Stevens has had a busy 18 months. The Better Bathrooms founder has increased turnover at the firm, secured a multi-million pound investment and...

Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

It took Richard Shonn, managing director of 151 Products, three years to find a warehouse big enough for his requirements.

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