4th October 2023

The Legal 500 2024 results

The Legal 500 2024 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 CommercialEmploymentImmigration, Contentious Trust and Probate, Wills, Trusts and Probate, Claimant Personal Injury and Property Litigation.




Ellisons Solicitors in Bury St Edmunds has an immigration offering ‘whose strength lies in their deep understanding and expertise of the subject matter‘, which is known for its ‘agility and responsiveness’. Experienced practitioner in this area Sohan Sidhu heads up the practice. Sidhu acts for a multitude of UK businesses seeking to employ foreign nationals, as well as foreign businesses and entrepreneurs setting up in the UK. Additionally, Sidhu acts for private individuals, many of whom rely on his ability to speak Punjabi and Hindi. He frequently advises members of the US military stationed in the UK, as well as former fighter pilots and army engineers wishing to extend their stay.


‘This unique practice specialises in various aspects of law. Their strength lies in their deep understanding and expertise of the subject matter. In comparison to other firms, this practice is known for their agility and responsiveness.’

‘The team is able to provide a quick turnaround time on projects and is available to answer questions and provide updates accordingly. Additionally, their billing structure is transparent and easy to understand, which is a refreshing change from the complicated billing systems often used by larger firms.’

Sohan Sidhu stands out due to his knowledge, expertise, and dedication to his clients as well as his deep understanding of immigration law and his ability to provide practical solutions to complex problems.’

‘Sohan Sidhu is able to anticipate potential issues and develop strategies to address them proactively. His ability to provide personalised and tailored solutions to clients, his agility and responsiveness and transparent billing structure all stand out. In my experience, he and his team are dedicated to providing high-quality legal services and achieving the best possible outcomes for clients.’


With a particular expertise in development matters, Ellisons Solicitors‘ commercial property team is primarily based in Colchester, and is sought out by regional, national, and international clients for advice on the whole array of commercial property matters. Ross Wiltshire and Guy Longhurst are leading the overall department, with Wiltshire excelling in development and secured lending transactions, and Longhurst’s practice including advising on the acquisition and disposal of development sites and investment properties. Philip Roberts covers investment sites, property portfolios, and development and leasing matters.


‘Philip Roberts is an excellent solicitor, prompt, professional and attentive – 5 stars.’

‘They have been very effective at not leaving any matters to fall through the cracks.’

‘They were immediately responsive to my initial enquiry, Ross Wiltshire in particular gave me a lot of time to understand my needs.’

‘I have found the team to be responsive and efficient, especially in comparison to other firms I have worked with.’

‘Ross Wiltshire is very responsive and good at communicating.’


Ellisons Solicitors’ team in Ipswich has ‘good employment law knowledge and experience in the field‘ and the four-lawyer team is regarded as being ‘pragmatic in its approach’ with an ability to give ‘varied advice to suit the business circumstances‘. ‘Kind and sensitive‘ practice head Julian Outen handles complex TUPE and corporate support matters, and high-stakes litigation and discrimination issues. Associate Tina Maxey has a broad practice that includes advising employers on exit strategies and negotiating termination payments.


‘The individuals have good employment law knowledge and experience in the field. They are pragmatic in their approach, giving varied advice to suit the business circumstances. They have a good understanding of our business.’

Julian Outen is a pleasure to work with, supporting me at a very difficult and unhappy time. He was kind and sensitive in his approach, and sensing when matters were becoming overwhelming for me, which in turn helped manage my stress. This did not prevent them from giving me hard news when it was needed and my level of trust and respect for him made that was easier to hear.’

‘Julian is responsive, knowledgeable and clear in his communications in meetings and in writing.’

‘The team’s experience and knowledge is excellent. They are available when we need them. The practice also holds regular employment law update sessions by webinar and circulate updates by email.’


Ellisons Solicitors is well known for providing expert advice on national and international M&A and group restructuring matters. Head of the corporate and commercial department Paul Forsyth, who splits his time between the firm’s offices in Chelmsford and Colchester, is reputed for his ‘deep knowledge and experience with corporate sale mandates‘, and has a proven track record in complex and high-value transactions. David Heller is also a key name in this space, who is praised by clients for ‘relentlessly pushing projects towards completion’. Abigail Williamson is also recommended, with her clients describing her as ‘outstanding’.

The Ipswich office of Ellisons Solicitors is a key hub for its firm-wide corporate and commercial practice, and clients note that the team is ‘consistently impressive in terms of legal expertise, quality of service and ability to deliver under pressure‘. M&A specialist Petra Sharp, who was promoted to partner in June 2022, notably advised AQUOS SCHOTTEL Marine Technologies on a multimillion-pound acquisition.


‘Very competent and professional firm with extremely knowledgeable teams, in particular the corporate and commercial team members Abigail Williamson and Paul Forsyth.’

‘Both Paul Forsyth and Abigail Williamson provided outstanding advice and customer service, we were given detailed explanations and assistance whenever needed which enabled us to make well informed decisions. They are also very easy to talk to and personable. Highly Recommend.’

‘David Heller – keeps a cool head in negotiations and is relentless in pushing projects towards completion.’

‘Strong client engagement, full-service offering and bring the right experience to every transaction.’

‘Paul Forsyth, deep knowledge and experience of corporate sale mandates.’

‘Good breadth and depth across different specialisms, with Paul Forsyth having a very good overview of the key transaction parts – which different members of his team are working on. Have found the team to be strong and importantly very willing and able to join and facilitate client discussions – and explain risks and opportunities using jargon free language.’

‘Responsive, commercial, much better value than using a City firm and just as good a product and service, if not better.’

‘Paul Forsyth and Abigail Williamson are both outstanding. Very clear in their explanations, turned documents around very quickly, even when given at the last minute.’

‘We have used Ellisons for a number of years and have always valued their pragmatic and helpful approach. They have assisted us with a number of complex transactions including many with cross-jurisdictional elements, and are consistently impressive in terms of both their legal expertise, quality of service and ability to deliver under pressure. They also display a real depth of expertise in relation to commercial contract issues which has been invaluable when dealing with joint venture parties and others.’

‘Ellisons are unique in my experience, with proactive teams, working quickly, communicating regularly (both by telephone and email) and readily driving through the process to bring about a successful conclusion within the timeframe specified.’

‘I have worked with Petra Sharp for many years. The quality I most value is a wonderful mix of pragmatism and an edge of steel when needed in asking for something from another party. There is not an engagement with her (and the firm she works for) when I don’t quietly say “thank God we have Petra on our side” afterwards.’

‘They always produce good work in a timely manner and have never let us down. Their fees are competitive and they have a wide range of knowledge.’


The injury services practice in the Ipswich office of Ellisons Solicitors has expanded beyond its traditional ground of personal injury to incorporate a growing volume of clinical negligence work, thanks to the recent arrival of solicitor Mark Stafford-White from Ashtons Legal; ‘he is excellent at getting into the details of a case and seeing problems before they arise‘, remarks a client. Practice head Stevan Stratton, who is ‘a class act- tenacious with opponents and kind and caring with clients‘, and ‘compassionate yet ruthless‘, and senior associate Bernice Spurgeon remain focused on workplace accidents, road traffic accidents, accidents in public places, and cases of employer’s and public liability.


‘Mark Stafford White – I have worked with Mark for a number of years. He is a real talent. He is excellent at getting into the details of a case and seeing problems before they arise. He has a good analytical and tactical mind and is excellent at client care.’

‘Stevan Stratton, the new partner of the PI Department, has worked hard since being recruited by Ellisons to modernise working practices so that the team is more agile and responsive to the needs of clients and the demands of practice in 2023. He takes an innovative and positive approach to running the department.’

‘Stevan Stratton, Partner and Head of Personal Injury is a class act: knowledgeable, tenacious with opponents and kind and caring with clients. If you have been injured, and you are thinking of bringing a claim, you are in safe hands with him.’

‘Ellisons has a small claimant PI team led by Stevan Stratton, which handles complex and high-value claims, and achieves excellent results.’

‘Stevan Stratton has been with the firm now for a year and has demonstrated remarkable leadership and talent for high-value brain injury work.’

‘Stevan Stratton is calm and approachable.’

‘Bernice Spurgeon – senior associate solicitor – is conscientious and very hard-working, often dealing with troubled clients who require counselling and social worker skills in order to provide instructions.’

‘Bernice Spurgeon is compassionate, yet ruthless when dealing with defendants who are not providing interim payments quickly enough to meet rehabilitation needs.’


Ellisons Solicitors has a cross-office contentious trusts and probate practice for which the Bury St Edmunds office is a main hub.

Solicitor Sophie Clarke, who is ‘client-friendly and relaxed but with a steely resolve’.


‘A dedicated, knowledgeable, fast-reacting team, able to provide a comprehensive, swift and economic service to clients in trusts and probate disputes of all sizes.’

‘Sophie Clarke has been my main point of contact throughout the entire process so far and I feel very fortunate. The whole idea of involving yourself with the legal system and solicitors is intimidating for someone with no previous knowledge or experience. Right from my first meeting with Sophie, she must’ve understood that and immediately put me at my ease. She was kind, calm, empathic and listened to what I had to say – and answered the immediate questions I had about my situation and the law.’

‘Sophie Clarke has an eye for detail and did a great job of compiling a cohesive, relevant storyline for my defence. I never felt excluded at anytime. I’ve very much felt a part of the process. She was empowering. My voice was always heard and any concerns I might’ve had, factored in. They’ve always given me good advice, and have acted completely professionally with my best interests at heart.’


Ellisons Solicitors has a growing presence in Ipswich, where partner and head of the private client practice Nicola Weldon is the standout lawyer; she coordinates the cross-office team which is described as ‘friendly and approachable with a depth of knowledge to match’. Senior associate Rachel Dawson, whose ‘client care is second-to-none‘, is also recommended. The firm has many lawyers who are Dementia Friends, and they are used to dealing with elderly and vulnerable clients.


‘Nicola Weldon’s team is friendly and approachable with a depth of knowledge to match.’

‘Rachel Dawson has an exceptional level of knowledge, particularly with complex estate administrations involving intestacies. Her client care is second-to-none. She is a very safe pair of hands.’

‘The team is very well-respected in the local area.’

‘Nicola Weldon and Rachel Dawson are outstanding. They are always responsive and go the extra mile, including with their voluntary roles as Dementia Friends Champions. Fantastic ambassadors for the profession and the firm.’

‘The team at the Ipswich Office have been courteous, friendly and efficient in what has been asked of them. They have given sound advice and are always professional, acting with sensitivity.’

Nick Bowen was particularly sensitive and helpful as we were dealing with my late father’s will and I needed advice as to how to deal with a Will Trust, he guided me through each step, explaining fees before we started and dealt with me with kindness.’

‘Nick Bowen gives us good, sound and practical advice.’

‘Ellisons has a diverse team which covers all areas of law. All the team members I have met are friendly , approachable and knowledgeable but most importantly professional and highly competent.’


Acting for clients across the public, retail, and construction sectors, the Colchester-based Ellisons Solicitors team shows considerable strength in handling complex restrictive covenant and dilapidation matters. Joe Brightman heads up the property side, specialising in high-value lease renewals, while Lee Pearce leads the dispute resolution division, with particular experience in commercial landlord and tenant issues. Associate Emma Jenkins is also noted. In team news, Sam Cook joined the team from Nockolds Solicitors in November 2022.

Ellisons Solicitors is ‘competent, proactive, communicative, results-orientated‘. Key partners Joe Brightman, who leads on property disputes, and head of disputes Lee Pearce are based in Colchester, but are increasingly active throughout the Ipswich office, and Samuel Cook, who joined from Nockolds Solicitors, is building the practice in the Bury St Edmunds office. Clients remark that the practice is ‘committed, diligent and completely on top of a case‘ and that the lawyers ‘go the extra mile to ensure no points are missed‘.


‘Ellisons have a highly experienced property team, very practical and problem-solving.’

‘Emma Jenkins is approachable, efficient and well-organised, and can be very robust when that is needed. She is highly experienced in property work of all kinds. Molly Frankham is calm, unflappable, experienced. A really pleasure to work with. Joe Brightman is calm, helpful and knowledgeable. A very good negotiator and (when necessary) litigator.’

‘Good strength in property work across different levels of experience. Well-versed in the litigation process and practical.’

‘This is a large Team with good depth in support. The Firm has many local offices and offers good accessibility to its clients.’

‘Joe Brightman is a stand out for his dedication and commitment, he goes the extra mile.’

‘The Property Litigation team always keep me updated on their instructions and are very prompt in dealing with action.’

‘Committed, diligent and completely on top of a case. Go the extra mile to ensure no points are missed.’

‘Joe Brightman – a delight to work with on any property related case. On top of current developments in the industry, smart and very thorough.’

‘A very knowledgeable team providing sound advice to clients at all levels of litigation on property matters. The team members keep their clients updated through the process. Ellisons have a dedicated team to provide advice upon property litigation matters, which in my view can be superior to other firms within the area.’

‘The individuals from partner level down to paralegals keep both clients and consultants working with them updated and provide detailed advice to clients and detailed instructions to consultants. Lee Pearce (Partner) leads the team by setting a high standard of service.’

‘We have worked with Ellisons for a number of years and have found the team to be responsive and detailed in their advice. The property litigation team in particular provides great value for service and give practical solutions to complex legal problems.’

‘The team are extremely knowledgeable and are always available to discuss even the smallest technicality of a particular case. The team are keen to follow all instructions to a satisfactory conclusion within an agreed timetable.’

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