29th September 2022

The Legal 500 2023 results

The Legal 500 2023 results

Ellisons Solicitors is once again delighted to have been recommended within the Legal 500 directory.

The firm received notable mentions within the following practice areas: Commercial PropertyCorporate and CommercialEmploymentImmigrationClaimant Personal Injury, Contentious Trust and Probate, Insolvency and Corporate Recovery and Family.





‘The firm is extremely efficient and commercially minded‘, remarks a client of Ellisons Solicitors, adding that ‘it takes consideration of what its client is trying to achieve and will always provide advice as to how set goals can be met‘. The firm has a specialist immigration practice that provides comprehensive services to UK-based businesses seeking to employ foreign nationals, to foreign businesses and entrepreneurs setting up in the UK, as well as to private individuals and families. Sohan Sidhu now leads the practice, former practice head Graeme Kirk having taken on the role of part-time senior counsel. Sidhu has ‘excellent skills of communications which helps calm the clients during a very anxious period‘.


‘The firm is extremely efficient and commercially minded. It takes consideration of what its client is trying to achieve and will always provide advice as to how set goals can be met.’

‘We have worked with Sohan Sidhu for a number of years and he is very knowledgeable of immigration matters. Sohan quickly understands what we are trying to achieve and works quickly to secure positive results.’

‘My clients simply were very pleased with speed and knowledge with which the practice responded to their needs and expectation. Simply put, my clients could not find another practice which worked in unison to meet their expectations. There were no surprises on the fees or scope of work agreed at the outset.’

Sohan Sidhu has delivered on outstanding service to my clients and has surpassed their expectations on more than one occasion. He has performed his work with integrity and his professionalism is easily noticed with the manner in which he has conducted meetings and with written documents.’

‘The team at Ellisons Solicitors focus highly on the quality of client care ensuring that the client’s end goal is always achieved. The team are very knowledgeable in their area of work particularly the immigration department. During the pandemic, the firm was able to successfully continue practice and servicing its clients whilst working from home and had no disruptions to clients.’

Graeme Kirk is a specialist in their area of work and have assisted many of our clients in acquiring sponsorship license and UK visas. Graeme always thinks outside of the box to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved and very honest and straightforward in his dealings. He is always available when needed even during out of ours in emergency cases.’

‘The team is highly commendable as they are very timely in their responses and helpful.’

‘I deal directly with Sohan Sidhu and I respect and admire him as a professional and dependable person.’


Ellisons Solicitors’ fast-expanding team, based primarily in Colchester, is experienced in assisting residential and commercial developers, individual and corporate investors, charities, financial institutions, public authorities and businesses. The varied workload includes property acquisitions and disposals as well as joint ventures and consortium agreements. Partner, Philip Roberts advises clients in relation to investment sites and property portfolios; the latter being an area of strength for the firm. Adding to Philip’s significant experience is Guy Longhurst who is both managing partner and an extremely experienced commercial property lawyer, especially for commercial transactions.


‘They offer excellent knowledge and interpretation of our requirements.’

Guy Longhurst and associate Bethan Williams always respond in a timely fashion and advise realistically on the issues in hand.’


The employment practice at Ellisons Solicitors in Ipswich not only supports the firm’s corporate group with transactional work, but also handles major Employment Tribunal cases, complex TUPE work and strategic advisory matters. Practice head Julian Outen excels in complex TUPE and corporate support matters, and in high-stakes litigation and discrimination issues. Associate Tina Maxey has a broad practice that encompasses representing professionals at internal disciplinary hearings, conducting high-value race and sex discrimination Employment Tribunal Claims and advising on TUPE matters. Clients feel ‘respected, listened to and comfortable with the approach at all times‘.


‘All processes, billing etc. was clearly explained prior to any work taking place, so I was kept fully aware at all stages, so there was no surprises, which was appreciated.’

‘I worked with Julian Outen, who came highly recommended, and Tina Maxey. Because of my ex-profession I have worked with many lawyers, both good and bad – both Julian and Tina kept me fully in the loop, I felt respected, listened to and comfortable with the approach at all times.’

‘I have only engaged with Tina Maxey at Ellisons, I can praise Tina’s professionalism, her quick response to communications and her patience in covering all areas needing professional support.’


Ellisons Solicitors in Ipswich has ‘a very responsive team, well-organised, knowledgeable and with a problem-solving mindset’. One client remarks that the practice led by is ‘an extremely efficient and competent team that provides high-quality timely work to budget’. Lead partner Jon Bloor has a broad-ranging practice that includes private equity investments and banking and lending services, as well as general corporate and commercial work. He recently advised shareholders on the mutlimillion-pound sale of shares in ParentApps Limited. Recently promoted M&A specialist Petra Sharp and senior legal advisor Ed Manning, who focuses on commercial contracts and franchise agreements, play key roles in the practice.

Management buyouts have featured in the standout mandates for the group at Ellisons Solicitors, and clients have commended the group for its expertise in this area. Paul Forsyth, who leads the teams in the Chelmsford and Colchester offices, has built a strong reputation as a leading lawyer in the corporate field, and associate David Heller has particular experience in banking and insolvency transactions.


‘They are very very capable – very professional whilst maintaining a very friendly approach. I have also found with the service given the delivery is perfect and the costs fair.’

‘All in Ellisons are very good, reliable, forthright and friendly. Anything outside of their remit has been advised and a competitive provider introduced which has also worked well. Petra Sharp stands out as superb.’

‘We are solicitors and have been on the other side of deals with Ellisons. They are more approachable than other large firms in the region, who seem to fee build and complicate at every opportunity.’

‘They are an extremely efficient and competent team. They understand our needs well and provide high-quality timely work to budget.’

‘Both Petra Sharp and Ed Manning are great. We really value the combination of detailed and precise technical expertise with commercial and real-world pragmatism that they bring.’

‘The Ellisons corporate team strike an excellent balance between having depth of quality to service complex work, being personable and effective, but also pragmatic alongside it.’

‘A very responsive team, well-organized, knowledgeable, problem-solving mindset.’

‘Their knowledge on the management buyout legal process was flawless and the process was swift.’


Ellisons Solicitors’ Colchester-based group is recommended as ‘a strong team, with a range of experience and able to handle all family law matters.’ Practice head Lisa Dawson‘s diverse caseload covers Children Act cases with complex domestic abuse and fact finding issues including allegations of child abuse and rape; financial cases involving multiple properties and businesses also make up a significant part of her practice. Another key name to note is associate MaryCarmel Wilson, who has particular expertise in Hague convention cases and variation of maintenance matters.

The Ipswich office of Ellisons Solicitors is an important extension of the firm-wide family law practice, which is led from Colchester. Senior associate Francesca Easter, formerly of Ashtons Legal, is ‘a committed, excellent and empathetic professional‘. Clients remark that she is ‘a tenacious advocate and lawyer who is readily available to give pragmatic advice to her clients and devise solutions to problems that crop up‘. Her work encompasses divorce, cohabitation disputes, financial remedy, nuptial agreements and children arrangements.


‘This is a strong team, with a range of experience and able to handle all family law matters.’

Lisa Dawson is an exceptional member of the Ellisons team. Her instructions are always detailed and focused. She provides extremely pragmatic and sensible advice to clients while always striving for the best outcome.’

‘An all-round firm with expertise in different areas of law.’

MaryCarmel Wilson is an outstanding solicitor who displays knowledge and skills far in excess of her seniority. Handles a variety of applications including international children’s cases. Drafts excellent statements, handles clients superbly and has good tactical acumen.’

‘The team has a wide breath of knowledge which make it suitable for all clients.’

Francesca Easter is a stand out quality solicitor who gives everything for her clients and provides realistic, sensible and pragmatic advice. I have worked with Francesca on a number of cases and have always found her personable, knowledgeable and very well prepared, knowing her cases inside out.’

Francesca Easter’s knowledge and ability to look after her clients is second to none. She is readily available to give pragmatic advice to her clients and devise solutions to problems that crop up. She is a tenacious advocate and lawyer, and I would have no hesitation in recommending her.’

‘I have one particularly difficult case with her where we have been able to discuss together ideas on how to achieve the best outcome for the client, and as always I was impressed with the skill she exercised in those discussions. It is not always easy to manage client expectations, but somehow Francesca Easter has an ability to put her clients at ease. I am unable to comment as to the partners, as I have had no engagement with them.’

‘Professional and capable.’

Francesca Easter is a committed, excellent and empathetic professional, I have always found her very positive to work with and observed her going that extra mile for her clients.’

‘From my involvement with the firm, the team are highly skilled, diligent and client focused. They are happy to collaborate to try and reach a positive and fast resolution.’


Ellisons Solicitors ‘gives each case and each individual client the care and attention they deserve‘. The Ipswich office has a specialist personal injury practice that handles workplace accidents, road traffic accidents and accidents in public places, as well as advising bereaved families. December 2021 arrival from Gotelee Solicitors Stevan Stratton leads the practice following the retirement of Robert Gair, with clients remarking that he is ‘highly intelligent, hardworking, compassionate‘, and one noting that he is ‘tenacious with opponents and very caring towards clients‘. Senior associate Bernice Spurgeon is ‘impressive to watch‘ and specialises in fast and multi-track cases including road traffic accident, employers and public liability.


‘Ellisons have embraced the use of technology since the start of the pandemic. However, they still give each case and each individual client the care and attention they deserve.’

Stevan Stratton has recently joined the firm as a Partner and Head of Personal Injury. This was a very smart move by Ellisons. Stevan is a highly intelligent, hardworking, compassionate individual. He is tenacious with opponents and very caring towards clients. In recent years he has had conduct of some very high value but also emotionally challenging personal injury cases. He has dealt with these cases with aplomb. The clients have been very fortunate to have Stevan by their side. No wonder he has been made a partner at such a relatively young age.’

‘This is a small but extremely competent claimant team operating within a firm that specialises mainly in defence work for injury litigation. The team is led by Stevan Stratton and I work for him and a colleague, Bernice Spurgeon.’

Stevan Stratton is relatively new to Ellisons, having taken over as Head of Department in October 2021. He has hit the ground running, having to take over a complex and diverse portfolio of cases which he has achieved brilliantly. He has an excellent manner with both clients and opponents, achieving sensible compromises through powerful communication.’

Bernice Spurgeon has demonstrated enormous skill and dedication in the cases she has worked on with me over the last year. She has had to adopt the mentality of social worker and counsellor while simultaneously bringing on-board specialist psychologists and case managers. It is impressive to watch from afar.’


The Bury St Edmunds office of Ellisons Solicitors has a dedicated contentious trust and probate practice following the arrival of senior associate Ben Fox from Greene & Greene in early 2021. The team is ‘experienced and of a good size’ and is praised for ‘working to a high standard at a competitive cost‘. Key areas of work include actions for the removal of personal representatives, claims under the Inheritance Act, trust disputes and beneficial interest claims.


‘Clear communication and frequent conversations.’

‘Ben Fox is very professional in dealing with our very sensitive case of a contentious will, he told us what to expect and how long these cases take etc, and my brother and I felt we could leave it in his hands.’

‘The team at Ellisons is experienced and of a good size, and I think in all respects it compares well with other regional firms doing this kind of work. They work to a high standard at a competitive cost.’


The insolvency practice at Ellisons Solicitors is ‘highly experienced, very approachable and incredibly adaptable to turn its hand to any form of insolvency situation, no matter how complex or large‘. Solicitor Lyndsey Squirrell in Ipswich is the sole practitioner in East Anglia, but she is backed up by extensive expertise in the Chelmsford office. She ‘places a very high value on client care‘, according to one client. She recently assisted German company Welzel Brinkop Rechtsanwalte with a heavily contested winding up petition, which included an appeal and cross-appeal following the first hearing, two interim cross-applications relating to use of evidence and security for costs, and an application by the debtor to strike out the application.


‘A dedicated Business Recovery and Insolvency team within the region with strength and depth, supported by a wider group with experience and knowledge in a number of areas of law.’

‘The Ellisons team is highly experienced, very approachable and incredibly adaptable to turn its hand to any form of insolvency situation, no matter how complex or large.’

Lyndsey Squirrell is extremely knowledgeable and ensures that legal options are fully explored and understood by the client, particularly in sensitive situations such as insolvency.’

‘Ellisons’ insolvency team is in my view one of the best in the UK, habitually combining excellent technical knowledge with a superb tactical approach. Billing is always very commercial and the level of client service always exceeds the norm.’

‘I would cite Lyndsey Squirrell as being highly effective members of Ellisons insolvency team. She places a very high value on client care and as such her lines of communication are routinely excellent.’

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