We have received a raft of recommendations in this year’s Legal 500, including the highly-regarded Tier 1 ranking for our immigration and commercial property departments.

The firm received notable mentions within the following practice areas: Immigration; Corporate and Commercial; Commercial Litigation; Personal Injury: Defendant; Family; Employment; Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate; and Commercial Property.

Partners and immigration specialists Graeme Kirk and Sohan Sidhu, based in the Bury St Edmunds office have been named as Leading Individuals.

Graeme, one of the UK’s leading immigration lawyers and trustee of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute Trust, has specialised in business immigration law since 1981. Dealing with all aspects of business and private client immigration, he is also recognised as one of the foremost immigration lawyers of the 43 countries reviewed in the Who’s Who Legal Corporate Immigration Guide 2019.

Sohan has practised immigration law for over 20 years and provides advice on all aspects of UK immigration. He also advises businesses who are seeking to employ key staff including assisting with sponsor licence applications and advising employers on compliance related matters.

Meanwhile, our Ipswich-based Partners noted as Leading Individuals in this year’s Legal 500 are Julian Outen and Robert Gair.

Julian is the lead Partner in the Employment team and is a qualified mediator. He has many years’ experience in TUPE matters resulting from outsourcing agreements and business acquisitions and mergers, as well as in complex litigation including boardroom disputes.

Robert, a Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), has a stellar reputation for complex and high-value personal injury cases. With almost 30 years’ experience, Robert undertakes all manner of Personal Injury cases, and his many areas of specialism include claims arising from fatal accidents, acquired brain injury, industrial disease, road traffic accidents and workplace accidents.

Elsewhere within the firm, Partners and Solicitors named as Next Generation Lawyers are:

The results have been published towards the end of an incredibly exciting year, following our merger with Bury St Edmunds-based Gross & Co., bringing our total number of offices to seven.



Gross & Co. in Bury St Edmunds has a dedicated immigration practice that advises clients from across the country. Senior partner Graeme Kirk has more than 35 years’ experience in this field of law and his team provides comprehensive service to UK-based businesses wishing to employ foreign nationals, to foreign businesses and entrepreneurs wishing to set up in the UK, and to private individuals and families wishing to live in the UK. Partner Sohan Sidhu, who speaks fluent Punjabi, plays an integral role in the practice, and solicitor Meenal Goyal provides services in Punjabi and Urdu.

“I have dealt with this practice on and off over the last five years and I have found its advice to be totally pragmatic and in the client’s best interests.”

“At all times I have found their interest in the client or potential client to be of the utmost integrity. I have dealt with other practices and find Gross & Co compares very favourably, both in their approach and in the outcomes.”

“In immigration, I have attended meetings with a client who was appealing a decision from the Home Office and watched the total professionalism and tact of the partner, Sohan Sidhu, in probing the veracity of my client and seeing how he would react when questioned by a judge at a tribunal.”


Ellisons Solicitors’ commercial property team is known for its work on property acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures and consortium agreements. Managing partner Guy Longhurst deals with the acquisitions and disposal of residential, commercial and development sites, while team head Philip Roberts also handles the full scope of commercial property transactions.


The corporate and commercial team at Ellisons Solicitors handles a wide range of significant mandates highlighted by large, cross-border transactions. The practice group is particularly focused on large business transfer and share purchase matters, which often have an international element. Paul Forsyth has been leading the firm’s expansion into Chelmsford and has experience in insolvency matters. Also of note, the team was recently strengthened by the addition of Petra Sharp.


Ellisons Solicitors’ litigation practice has significant experience in commercial litigation matters, including banking litigation and contentious probate. Key contact Lee Pearce continues to act for a long-standing client the Defence Infrastructure Organisation in property litigation matters concerning possession claims. The insolvency practice within the practice group has been strengthened by the addition of experienced litigator Hayley Songhurst, who joined from Birkett Long LLP. Scott Porter was recently made partner and is ‘renowned for his insolvency work’. Graeme Wallington is another key figure in the team.


‘Graeme Wallington is a very experienced senior partner at the firm and is always fully appraised of the matters in the case and carefully considers the next steps required in legal proceedings.’

‘The team grapples with the legal and evidential merits of the dispute at an early stage and client expectations are managed accordingly.’

‘The team keeps well on top of the litigation process, and the litigation costs are as a result accurately forecasted and kept under control.’


At Ellisons Solicitors, personal injury matters are handled seamlessly across the insurance litigation department and the small claims department, led by Robert Jones and Edward Weaver respectively. The group acts for high-profile clients in significant matters from contentious liability disputes to road traffic accidents. The ‘highly efficient’ Natalie Simpkins handles high-value injury claims and has expertise in motor liability.


‘The team diligently handles an immense volume of work including many high-value complicated cases’

‘Punches far above its weight and outdoes many London based peers’

‘Excellent value for money’

‘Robert Jones is largely responsible for driving the team forward’


The family team at Ellisons Solicitors handles matters including family litigation, property disputes between unmarried couples and dissolution of civil partnerships. Newly promoted partner Lisa Dawson continues to act for private clients in litigation and child arrangement orders. Samantha Chase joined the team upon completing her qualification.


‘Nicola Coates is very good with clients and takes a pragmatic and considered approach to cases.’

‘The team is quick to respond to queries and has good customer service.’


Ellisons Solicitors provide clients with a ‘high level of technical expertise’ and manage all areas of tax and estate planning, trust and probate administration, as well as wills. The group has a traditional family solicitor approach and caters to a long-standing client base of high-net-worth individual and local companies. Recent highlights include acting on behalf of a deceased client in a £1m cross-border matter, with the team administrating an estate across South Africa, Australia and the UK. This matter was led by practice lead Tim Logan and Chloe Baldwin.


‘Practical and commercially astute- the lawyers at Ellisons provide a very personal service and are easy to work with.’

‘The private client team at Ellisons has a strength in dealing with challenging family dynamics that comes through years of experience.’


The Ipswich office of Ellisons Solicitors joins the rankings this year as the firm extends its local offering into corporate and commercial work. Vastly experienced partner Jon Bloor has moved to the region to lead the practice, bringing extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, private equity investment, and banking and secured lending work. He was joined in early 2019 by Solicitor Petra Sharp, who specialises in M&A deals.


“Jon Bloor is an exceptional individual who has the ability to review and explain a technical document in a way that is easy to understand.”

“Having Jon Bloor available at the end of the phone to discuss legal matters at short notice made the process so much easier for us.”

“The firm has an excellent team that is very professional and approachable.”

“The firm provides first-class advice, which focuses on solving problems rather than just finding them. Fee rates are very competitive for the value delivered.”

“Jon Bloor provides excellent quality advice and is extremely pragmatic and relaxed but focused on finding solutions. He is great to work with as solutions are often a compromise between legal and commercial considerations, and therefore client and lawyer working together. Jon is very good at this.”


Ellisons Solicitors has a strong client base in the SME, food and light industry sectors, and is growing its presence among professional services, finance and insurance, property and technology companies. Lead partner and trained mediator Julian Outen grew the team in 2018 with the hire of solicitor Tina Maxey, who has 12 years’ experience. The practice handles an increasing volume of work for employees and employers, including work with a cross-border element, particularly involving Israel, the US and Germany.


“Julian Outen has the ability to summarise succinctly the issues, offer alternative courses of action with advice on the ease of and consequences of each option.”

“Julian Outen practises exemplary customer service.”

“We have found all members of the team that we have dealt with to be personable and approachable. They make the legal aspects accessible and are able to contextualise their knowledge to make even the most complex issues easy to understand.”

“The team is very customer-focused and responsive. The team displays a strong culture which is evident comes from the top of the organisation and the partners. The added value that the company brings in terms of its experience and breadth of knowledge across different sectors is evident when dealing with them.”

“Julian Outen has proven to be most knowledgeable and his calm and measured approach to dealing with issues has made him a pleasure to do business with.”

“Julian Outen’s approach is collaborative and makes us feel that we are in it together. We consider him to be part of our team. We would highly recommend him.”


Ellisons Solicitors in Ipswich handles a broad range of work including high-end catastrophic injury, fatal accident, acquired brain injury, RTA, psychiatric and industrial disease claims. Practice head Robert Gair has 30 years’ experience in personal injury matters and ‘handles every case with in-depth care and precision’. Legal executive Bernice Spurgeon  ‘has a practical “can do” attitude and a realistic approach to case management’. Solicitor Sarah Dawes frequently handles severe orthopaedic and brain injury cases.


“The PI department manages to combine in-depth experience with a ‘local’ and personal feel.”

“With Robert Gair, no stone is left unturned.”