Pannone Corporate has been recommended as top tier in two practice areas and also recommended in a further ten practice areas in The Legal 500 2024 edition released yesterday.

Here are some highlights from what our clients had to say:

 

Commercial litigation 

“Direct partner contact, in-depth subject expertise and competitive rates due to its size and structure which makes it stand out in the Manchester and national market.

“Pragmatic yet thoroughly detailed advice together with responsiveness and quick turn-around times – an invaluable resource for a busy in-house team.”

“Collaborative, responsive, thoughtful and with a deep knowledge and understanding of our business.”

 

Commercial property

“The team is very experienced and offers a personalised service. They are highly knowledgeable and able to represent the core interests of their clients without prompting.”

A smaller team that offers a big company service and an ethos personalised to the needs of the client.”

“Valued members of their team and ours. They are always available and ready to answer quick questions and give advice.”

 

Contentious trusts & probate

“Sound, intelligent advice and support.”

“Exceptional advice and persuaded me to agree to mediation. This proved to be excellent advice and helped achieve a fantastic result, avoiding court costs.”

“Client-focused and provide realistic straight-talking advice in a manner clients can easily understand. They are very experienced around the legal issues but also have their eye on costs.”

 

Corporate & commercial

“Able to manage demanding and challenging stakeholders – always with a smile on their faces.”

“Highlights risks in a commercial manner. Doesn’t labour incidental points, a characteristic that helps keep processes moving and on track.”

“Always has a solution when required to get through a log-jam and able to manage diverse stakeholders to ensure a consensus solution is found.”

 

Debt recovery

“Pannone are very good at replying and explaining their process. We can call them anytime and they pick up – not the case with other firms.”

“The personal touch and the relationships with people at Pannone. They have held inhouse training at their Manchester office to help myself and my staff understand the legal process.”

  

Employment

Supported several very complex cases and always quick to respond, giving excellent and considered advice. They understand our business and some of the difficulties we face and apply this when giving advice.”

“‘We have built a strong relationship with the whole team and no matter what the issue, any of them can be approached and you can trust that if it is not their area of expertise they will liaise with the subject expert within the team before providing advice.”

“Their employment law knowledge is fantastic, and they present this in a simple yet effective way.”

 

Health & safety

“An outstanding partner to myself and the whole business. Nothing is too much trouble.”

Undoubtedly the firm to watch in the North West, buckets of experience mixed with in-depth knowledge of the regulatory landscape means the firm is going from strength-to-strength.’

“The class act of the North’

  

Insolvency & corporate recovery

“A very commercially sound and technically gifted team who provide an excellent service.”

“Excellent technically and commercially, and fun to work with.”

“Strong technically, very commercial, results-orientated and well-respected in the market.”

“A good communicator and always willing to take a commercial view.”

 

Intellectual property

“Pannone have kept up with us every step of the changes in our organisation, and their diligent handling of our cases has played a significant part in our organisation’s success post-pandemic. They are consistently a pleasure to deal with – no matter the query or the request, the team work tirelessly to meet our expectations.”

 

IT & telecoms

“Adept at providing commercial and pragmatic advice which comes from being experts in the sector.” 

“Manages to provide the right level of advice for our business without over-engineering it.”

  

Media & entertainment 

“Highly professional, supportive and excellent advice”

“An ability to see around corners…always my first choice.”

 

Property litigation

“A very cohesive and proactive team, which is essential to support our sometimes urgent and time-critical requirements.”

  

Notable individuals

Hall of Fame

Melanie McGuirk – Intellectual Property

Tim Hamilton – Corporate and Commercial

 

Leading Individuals

Amy Chandler – Intellectual Property

Amy Chandler – IT and Telecoms

Nicola Marchant – Contentious Trusts and Probate

Paul Jonson – Commercial Litigation

David Brown – Property Litigation

Melanie McGuirk – Media and Entertainment

Jack Harrington – Employment

David Walton – Health and Safety

Next Generation Partners

Gemma Staples – Property Litigation

Jonny Scholes – Contentious Trusts and Probate

Rising Stars

Sarah Bazaraa – Intellectual Property and Media & Entertainment

Arshnoor Amershi – Corporate and Commercial

Andrew Walsh – Corporate and Commercial

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Daniel Clarke is a partner in the corporate recovery and insolvency team at Pannone Corporate

Given the current complexity of the construction market and ongoing concerns around economic uncertainty, it’s unsurprising to learn that supply chain security is among contractors’ top concerns for 2023.

“One of the biggest red flags that may indicate trouble brewing with a supplier is a drop in communication”

The good news is that things are on the up. The sector experienced a spike in business activity in February, with supplier delays reported as being at their lowest in three years. Last month’s activity hike broke a two-month period of decline and growth was at its highest since May 2022, according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data.

It’s welcome news, but in an industry renowned for its unpredictability, it pays to be prepared – particularly if you’re a business that’s already feeling the effects of disrupted supply chains. The insolvency of a key supplier can have a major impact on a business, so it is important for construction companies to be aware of those risks.

But how do you spot early warning signs of issues in a supply chain and take steps to mitigate potential risks?

A drop in communication

One of the biggest red flags that may indicate trouble brewing with a supplier is a drop in communication – whether sudden or prolonged.

Poor communication can lead to all kinds of problems in supply chain operations, such as stock shortages, incorrect orders, missed shipping dates and an inability to forecast supply chain costs. It’s also usually one of the first indicators that a supplier may be about to go out of business.

The pandemic has reinforced the need to talk to your supply chain partners, so any change in communication can be unnerving and is a surefire way to break down trust, particularly if you have a longstanding relationship with a vendor. Keep a close eye on communication patterns and a paper trail of all liaisons.

Delays with deliveries

Material shortages and escalating costs have crippled the industry in recent years – delivery delays only serve to impact this further. Inconsistent stock levels and deliveries outside of agreed schedules could be another signal that a supplier is in financial distress.

The supply of goods between businesses tends be based on loosely agreed supply terms, often simply incorporating a supplier’s standard terms of sale, which are not necessarily set up to cover long-term supply arrangements – particularly if delays occur. This can leave contractors open to significant financial risk.

Changes in payment terms

When a supplier finds themselves in hot water and is struggling to maintain cashflow, one of their first reactions is to change payment terms or request upfront payment from clients.

Naturally, this will have a knock-on effect on your own cashflow but, if you find yourself desperate for materials, it can be tempting to agree to new terms. Before doing so, consider other ways you can support a supplier, such as committing to longer-term contracts or increasing purchases in future.

How can you protect yourself against supply chain insolvency?

It pays to always keep an eye on alternative suppliers in the market and spread your risk, as opposed to being dependent on one supplier. This will help manage resilience within the supply chain.

Before entering into a contract with a supplier, thoroughly investigate their finances and reputation to identify any operational risk of working with them. Look out for evidence of declining business performance, re-inancing, changing management structures or inconsistencies in the company’s filing history. If their filing history is not up to date, make further enquiries to establish why the accounts have not been filed on time.

Check that your existing supplier contracts provide adequate protection against the effects of insolvency, by identifying your company’s maximum exposure in the event of the other contracting party’s insolvency. Regularly reviewing them will help avoid any uncertainty about what contractual terms apply and, if existing terms become unworkable or unprofitable, companies should seek to renegotiate and amend terms in writing.

If a critical supplier does enter a formal insolvency process, you need to assess the impact and move quickly. Always seek early advice on the implications and, if an exit strategy has not already been put in place, you should review the contracts to identify the best course of action.

If the supplier enters administration, the statutory moratorium will prevent your business from taking legal proceedings against them without the consent of the administrator or permission from the court. However, the moratorium will not necessarily prevent you from enforcing your contractual rights, providing they can be enforced without commencing legal proceedings.

The most common outcome of an administration is the sale of all, or part, of a business to a third party. If the core business is sold and continues to trade, the third-party buyer is likely to want to retain your business moving forward and may, therefore, be open to negotiations about previous incomplete orders and/or terms moving forward.

All businesses are susceptible to risks in the supply chain and, unfortunately, most will come across issues as a result of supplier insolvency at some stage. Dealing with this issue can be a time-consuming and costly process, but with careful planning and regular ongoing supply chain management, those within the construction sector can significantly reduce their exposure to risk.

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Pannone Corporate has expanded its client base, after being appointed onto the legal framework for the Canal & River Trust. 

The North West law firm will provide construction and property litigation support, as part of a five-year agreement. Pannone is one of a number of law firms to be appointed by the Canal & River Trust.  

The Trust works with communities to transform their local canal or river, creating places and spaces for everyone. Together with volunteers and supporters, the Trust plays an important local role in addressing global issues, such as climate change and biodiversity decline. 

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone Corporate, said: “We’re delighted to have been appointed onto the national legal framework for the Canal & River Trust, following a rigorous and competitive procurement process. 

“The charity plays a vital role in enhancing our waterways, transforming places and enriching lives. Our team will be working closely with the Trust to ensure that their purpose and vision is not compromised.”

Gemma Staples, associate partner in the property litigation team, added: “The Canal & River Trust is making a significant contribution to protect and nurture the natural environment that sits right on our doorstep. The events of the last two years have shown how important that environment is to our health and wellbeing andI, amongst thousands of others, have found solace in time spent in woodlands and by our local waterways. I’m thrilled to be able to work with such an organisation.”

The Canal & River Trust covers six English regions, including the North West, East and West Midlands, London and the South East, the South West, and Yorkshire and the North East, as well as Wales. Teams cover water management, sustainability, restoration, community engagement, design and planning, ecology andengineering. 

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In our latest My Life in Law, we speak to paralegal Holly O’Farrell about her move from retail into law and her career so far as a legal apprentice. 

I joined the firm in January 2020, so I only had a few months in the office before the first national lockdown was imposed in late March. So far, the majority of my Pannone Corporate career has been undertaken from home!  

Before starting at Pannone I had been in private practice for approaching six years – at Clyde & Co for two years and then at Weightmans LLP. Prior to entering the legal profession, I worked in retail as a trainee assistant manager and ‘Style Advisor’ (read: personal shopper!). 

I am a paralegal in the construction team. I assist the head of construction with her day-to-day work and conduct some matters of my own under her supervision. 

What drew me to Pannone Corporate was the fact that it was a boutique firm that focused on commercial law and, as such, was a specialist in this area of work. The staff are so experienced because of that focus, and it has a hugely impressive roster of clients. As a result, the exposure and training available to a junior lawyer like me is fantastic. 

I am currently in the process of completing my CILEx qualification and will shortly qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive. 

I began my legal career as a legal apprentice. I don’t have a degree – I withdrew from the University of Manchester because, despite the advice from all my teachers, I felt that university wasn’t for me. I loved the idea of higher education but, in reality, I found I wanted to learn in a more practical environment. As I was living away from home, I needed to ensure I was still earning, so an apprenticeship was ideal for me. Doing it this way also means that, by the time I am formally qualified, I will have had the benefit of eight-plus years’ legal work experience, which puts me in a great position compared to graduates and other newly qualified solicitors. 

It might sound like an over-done answer, but genuinely each day is very different! In construction law, you do both contentious and non-contentious work. So, one day I may be working on a dispute for a client which might involve document review, possibly drafting submissions in adjudication or court proceedings and/or providing strategic advice to the client; the next I could be working on the contracts underlying a new building project, drafting a contract, or providing comments on a draft received from another firm to ensure that the client’s position is protected and there are no sneaky clauses in there that might cause them trouble down the line! 

The most satisfying aspect of the job for me is its variety – I purposefully sought a role in an area that provided variation to keep me hooked. My manager in my first construction role told me that even after 35 years in the sector he was still presented with work that he’d never encountered before. After four years specialising in construction, this is certainly ringing true and I can’t wait to keep being surprised for the rest of my career. 

Following completion of my CILEx qualifications, I am considering completing the SQE in order to cross-qualify as a solicitor. After I’ve achieved that I don’t intend to focus on any particular thing; I think there is some danger in having too fixed a plan. I just want to keep enjoying my work and be open to whatever opportunities arise. 

Get the corporate credit card out and get everyone to the pub, after so many months apart! 

I would probably have continued working in retail. I had ideas about moving into buying or visual merchandising. I definitely wouldn’t have continued in personal shopping. Pouring champagne and hoisting people into cruise-wear is not what five-year-old me dreamed of!

The usual – walking the dog, binging on Netflix and worrying that I don’t have enough hobbies! 

None that I wouldn’t be ashamed to admit to! However, I fancy myself as a bit of a dancer so, maybe when we’re all allowed to socialise again, I’ll get to embarrass myself! I do also have an excellent memory for song lyrics – in conjunction, these ‘talents’ result in quite the performance!

 

 

 

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