DRUCES - Key Persons
- Partner / Real Estate
Adrian Footer has been a Partner in Druces LLP's Real Estate team since 2015. He has extensive experience in many aspects of commercial real estate work including investment, development and property finance. Adrian also has experience of acting for corporate occupiers and multi-site occupiers in the leisure and hospitality sector.
In his spare time Adrian is a passionate supporter of Tottenham Hotspur.
Alice is a Solicitor in Druces LLP's Private Client team. Alice joined Druces in March 2019 from a boutique firm where she trained and qualified.
Alice advises on a broad range of Private Client matters including the drafting of Wills for UK domiciled and non-domiciled individuals, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection work, trusts, administration of UK estates and estate and tax planning. She is also developing her practice in Contentious Probate and Charity law.
Alice read Geography at The University of Nottingham before gaining a Graduate Diploma in Law and completing the Legal Practice Course at The University of Law in London.
When not in the office Alice enjoys playing netball and travelling.
- Head of Banking & Financial Services
- Head of the Banking & Finance Team
Antony is Head of the Banking & Finance team. Australian born, he is admitted as a solicitor in both Australia (Queensland) and England & Wales. He also holds a Bachelor of Business degree, majoring in banking and finance.
Antony's experience lays in corporate and commercial law where he has built up a wealth of expertise in transactional work such as advising clients on M&A, private investment, and joint ventures.
Over time Antony's practice has pivoted away from general corporate transactional work and towards financial services. Today he spends much of his time advising banks and other lending institutions and corporate borrowers on a wide array of leveraged financing transactions including, acquisition, real estate and trade finance as well as general corporate lending and Sharia'a compliant finance.
Antony also regularly advises clients on FCA regulatory issues surrounding financial promotion and regulated activities and advises managers in relation to the set-up, structuring and documenting of property, venture, debt and hedge funds.
Antony has built a reputation as a skilled advisor and is commended by clients for his commercial and pragmatic style.
- Head of Property Litigation in Druces LLP 's Litigation
- Member of the Property Litigation Associate
Benjamin Lomer is the Head of Property Litigation in Druces LLP's Litigation and Dispute Resolution team. He has wide experience in dealing with both property litigation and commercial litigation matters.
Ben is a member of the Property Litigation Associate and London Solicitors Litigation Association and he accepts referrals and acts on an agency basis for other law firms.
- Consultant / Real Estate
- Consultant With
Bruce is a Consultant with Druces LLP, having previously been a Partner at Arnold Fooks Chadwick for 18 years.
He specialises in commercial and more exacting residential property. Many of the residential transactions involved some of the larger London landed estates and associated leasehold complications. His commercial property experience includes dealing with the legal aspects of a shopping centre through to its sale and grants of leases in a wide range of establishments.
Bruce enjoys dance generally but particularly Argentine tango. However his great hobby is tennis. Bruce has represented England on several occasions, has won the British National over 45s double championships in 2005 and was part of the Great Britain over 55s doubles winning team in the World Team championships in 2013.
- Head of Corporate Restructuring
- Member of the Association
Caroline is the Head of Corporate Restructuring in the Corporate and Commercial Team.
Her focus is corporate restructuring and insolvency and she regularly advises international group companies, investors and high net worth individuals on corporate law issues, whether they arise as a result of mergers, acquisitions, disposals, or internal group changes.
As part of her practice, Caroline has built up a strong reputation for advising charity clients. She features in the Legal 500 directory for her work in this field.
Caroline is a member of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3).
- Head of Immigration / Employment and Business Immigration
- Head of Immigration in Druces LLP 's Employment
Charles Avens is the Head of Immigration in Druces LLP's Employment and Business Immigration team.
On a day to day basis, Charles acts in relation to both contentious and non-contentious employment and immigration matters. The majority of his employment work is focused on acting for companies and institutions, through the provision of corporate advisory employment advice, such as assisting with TUPE transfers, redundancies, staff re-organisations, disciplinaries / grievances, protected disclosures, advising on restrictive covenants, employee entry and exit and the drafting of documents and contracts. On the Claimant side, Charles acts for high net worth claimants, such as bankers, traders, brokers, financiers and company directors, in relation to all their employment requirements.
Cheryl joined the firm as a corporate legal assistant in January 2019 and started her training contract with firm in March 2021. She is currently undertaking her first seat in the Dispute Resolution department.
Cheryl read History at the University of Kent before commencing her legal career. After graduating from her degree, Cheryl volunteered at the Citizens Advice Bureau and then moved to a local authority legal department as a legal assistant, where she worked for 4 years specialising in child protection cases.
More recently, Cheryl worked as a paralegal/PA in the Corporate & Commercial department of a London law firm whilst completing the GDL at De Montfort University. She then went on to study the LPC at The University of Law where she obtained a distinction in her Master's degree in Professional Legal Practice.
Christopher is a Partner in the firm's Corporate & Commercial team and is a member of Druces Executive Committee which manages the firm's direction and vision for the future.
He deals with a broad range of corporate and commercial matters, including AIM and NEX work, national and international joint ventures and group restructuring. He specialises in mergers and acquisitions in regulated industries and has particular expertise in advising financiers, investors, owners and operators in the leisure and healthcare sectors. He is also experienced in dealing with Sharia'a compliant transactions.
Christopher is a contributing author of Jordans "Care Standards: A Practical Guide".
He read Economics at Exeter University before switching his interests to Law and being called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of Lincolns Inn and cross qualifying as a solicitor in 2003. He joined Druces in October 2007 from another City practice where he was a Partner. He lives in Canary Wharf with his wife Claire. His interests include fine wine and food, the theatre, reading and he occasionally remembers that he is a member of a gym.
- Consultant in Druces' Corporate & Commercial Department
Christopher Evans is a Consultant in Druces' Corporate & Commercial Department. A qualified barrister and solicitor, he was called to the Bar in 1980 (Inner Temple) and became a solicitor in 1989. Between 1989 and 1991 he was head of the company/commercial department of Merriman White solicitors and in 1991 he set up and managed Izod Evans, a niche commercial law firm at London Bridge which specialised in providing business legal services to UK SMEs and UK subsidiaries of foreign corporations.
He is experienced in a wide range of corporate, commercial and employment matters, particularly in the media, technology and creative industries. He also has experience of dealing with government and non-profit making bodies.
He is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is Druces LLP's contact for London & Partners, an organisation which helps international businesses connect with London.
He has a keen interest in the arts and is a Founder Patron of the Photographers' Gallery and a Benefactor of the Design Museum where he mentors young designers in the Designers in Residence programme. He is also a qualified pilot having learnt to fly in the United States.
- Consultant / Real Estate
Christopher specialises in planning and compulsory purchase, advising both the private and public sectors on all related matters and has practiced in this area since qualification. He advises on planning policy, applications and appeals for planning permissions, negotiation of section 106 agreements and submission of unilateral undertakings, as well as CIL liability.
He also deals with contracts for sale of land conditional on planning permission, compulsory purchase matters, both promoting and resisting, and town centre and other brown field site regeneration. He advises on infrastructure agreements, listed buildings and conservation areas, the risk of judicial review and road closure orders.
Christopher has been acknowledged as a legal expert and leader in the field of planning in Legal Business: Legal Experts Directory and Chambers' Guide to the Legal Profession. He regularly speaks on planning and related matters, both at conferences and individually for his clients.
- Consultant / Real Estate
Christopher is a Consultant in Druces' Real Estate team.
Chris qualified as a solicitor in 1984. He was a co-founder of Sykes Anderson Perry. Chris deals with UK commercial and high value residential property often with an international element; leasehold enfranchisement, his book on the subject has been published by the Law Society and is now in its third edition; commercial contracts usually connected with property transactions; and problem solving.
Chris's hobbies include skiing, sailing and opera. He is a member and Past President of the Rotary Club of the City and Shoreditch.
He has been involved for many years as a volunteer in various capacities with organisations providing ski instruction for the disabled and is a BASI qualified adaptive and alpine ski instructor.
- Senior Associate
- Member of Druces' Entrepreneurs
- Senior Associate in Druces LLP 's Corporate
Claire is a Senior Associate in Druces LLP's Corporate and Commercial team. Claire read History at the University of Southampton and joined Druces LLP as a Trainee Solicitor in October 2011, qualifying in October 2013.
Claire deals with a broad range of corporate and commercial matters, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate re-organisations as well as advising on a range of property and acquisition finance transactions. She specialises in mergers and acquisitions in regulated industries and has particular expertise in the healthcare sector. Claire is also experienced in dealing with Sharia'a compliant transactions.
Claire is a member of Druces' Entrepreneurs and Alternative Investment Funds Groups.
Claire lives in Surrey and enjoys travelling, reading and watching the Harlequins play at the Stoop.
- Trainee Solicitor
- Trainee Solicitor / Real Estate
Clarice joined the firm as a trainee solicitor in March 2020 and is currently in the Real Estate department.
Clarice read Law at Queen Mary University before completing the LPC at BPP University.
Prior to joining Druces, Clarice held paralegal roles at a law firm in Hong Kong and a Silver Circle law firm in London.
David is a Consultant in Druces' Private Client team and specialises in providing tax advice and structuring corporate and property acquisitions and sales, both in England and France. David's clients include entrepreneurs and HNW individuals whom he advises in relation to their estate and succession planning, for both personal and corporate concerns.
David qualified as a solicitor in 1985 and is fluent in French and Dutch, in addition to speaking Spanish and Finnish. He was a co-founder and a Director at Sykes Anderson Perry Limited* prior to their merger with Druces in 2019. He graduated from Cambridge University with First Class Honours (MA Law) and a BSc (Mathematics) from the Open University.
David is a Solicitor Advocate with higher rights of audience in all civil and criminal courts (England), a Barrister (Unregistered, England and Wales). In addition, David is also qualified as ‘Avocat-conseil aupres du consulat général de l'ambassade de France à Londres' (France), and Attorney at Law (Johannesburg, South Africa).
Outside of work, David enjoys tennis, motor cars, driving his SAAB 96 V4 as well as skiing, both cross country and downhill.
David Smith is a corporate lawyer with over 35 years' experience of advising entrepreneurial growing companies, both public and private. His practice focuses on capital markets and a combination of capital raising and mergers and acquisitions, often with a cross-border element.
David has been actively involved in AIM since its inception in 1995, and has acted as company secretary to a number of listed and AIM companies. While David represents clients across a range of industries, his practice has some emphasis on the life sciences and natural resources sectors; to that end, he has lectured and written on the application of royalty financing securitization structures in the pharmaceutical industry. He also has a growing renewable energy and cleantech practice.
David joined Druces LLP in January 2016 having previously been a partner in the London office of an international law firm. He lives in Buckinghamshire, where he can sometimes be found playing the piano as an accompanist for local choirs, or supporting his local football team, Wycombe Wanderers, where he is a director of the club's fan-owned holding company Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Group Limited.
Dominic is a Partner in Druces' Corporate & Commercial team, specialising in corporate law, listings and takeovers, M&A and corporate finance. Dominic has acted on more than 20 AIM-admissions and numerous reverse takeovers, acquisitions, joint ventures and secondary fundraisings, with a particular focus on the mining and oil and gas sectors.
Dominic graduated from Durham University in 1997 with a degree in Law and, after completing the LPC at the College of Law in York, joined Ronaldsons* as a trainee in 1998 qualifying in 2000.
Dominic's hobbies include running and skiing.
Estelle is a Senior Counsel in the Private Client department and a member of Druces' International Wealth and Fiduciary team. Estelle has a particular focus on providing complex tax planning services for international and domestic high net worth individuals, trustees and property owners. She is highly recommended for her expert knowledge in both international and UK estate planning.
Starting her career in taxation at KPMG and PwC, Estelle later moved to the Bar and completed her tax pupillage at Pump Court Tax Chambers. She is well regarded for her experience in advising clients on structures to protect their worldwide assets and wealth, including trusts and other succession planning vehicles both onshore and off. She is also highly regarded as an adviser to the trustees of those structures.
Estelle's other specialisms include Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) planning, Charity law, tax planning on divorce and handling HMRC tax investigations.
- Chartered Tax Adviser
- Tax Advisor in Druces' Private Client
François is a Tax Advisor in Druces' Private Client team. He joined the firm in October 2019.
François is a Chartered Tax Adviser and an International Tax Affiliate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
François' area of expertise is cross border private client matters, with specific focus on French and UK taxation, including wealth tax, residence analysis, tax and estate planning, trust and life insurance taxation.
François first studied law in Toulouse, France, and Barcelona, Spain. He then obtained a master's in tax law from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and a second master's from King's College, London. He also holds the Graduate Diploma in Law from the University of Law, London.
Prior to joining Druces, François's previous roles include senior tax consultant in a well-known accountancy firm, and tax advisor in a tax and wealth management firm.
In his spare time, François enjoys collecting vinyl records, travelling, running and cooking.
- Partner / Real Estate
Gemma is a Partner in Druces' Real Estate team.
Gemma has a wealth of experience dealing with a variety of residential real estate transactions including, leasehold and freehold sales and purchases, off -plan purchases in many new developments in London including Battersea Power Station Development, One the Elephant and South Gardens, re-assignments of existing off plan contracts, acting for high net worth clients purchasing high value property.
Gemma is known for her positive pro-active attitude and cheery nature. She prides herself on identifying any potential issues quickly and finding practical solutions should a problem arise.
Gemma qualified as a solicitor in 2012 and was previously a director at Sykes Anderson Perry Limited* prior to their merger with Druces in 2019.
Outside of work she is a keen dancer and enjoys travel and the theatre. She is also a leader for a local brownie and guide unit.
- Specialist in UK
Graeme Kirk is a specialist in UK immigration law with over 30 years' experience in the field. He graduated with a BA (Hons) from the University of East Anglia and qualified as a Solicitor in 1981. He joined Druces as Consultant in Immigration Law in 1997.
He specialises in UK immigration advice for high net worth individuals and overseas businesses and is recognised as one of the leading UK immigration lawyers in all major legal directories.
Graeme was the Chairman of the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee of the International Bar Association from 2000 to 2004, and has spoken at and chaired seminars and Conferences on Business Immigration law throughout the world. He is Co-Chair of the IBA Global Employment Institute (January 2016 onwards). He is also a member of and lecturer for the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA).
- Member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists
Helen Freely is a Partner in the Private Client team. Her background encompasses a broad range of private client work incorporating Wills, probate including UK and foreign domiciliary estates, trusts, court of protection work, lasting powers of attorney, tax planning and charity law. She particularly specialises in Contentious Probate work. Her practice currently is made up predominantly of the following sort of work: contentious trusts and probate, including acting as interim independent administrator; capacity issues, incorporating trusts for people with physical and learning disabilities and court of protection work; and smaller and start up charities.
Helen is a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS); Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), Solicitors for the Elderly, Mencap, The Thomas More Society, and the British German Jurists Association.
She speaks fluent German and is happy to take on cases with a German or Austrian element. Publications of note include articles written for the Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, LexisNexis, the Private Client Adviser and appearing on BBC Breakfast Television and BBC Radio Solent discussing a range of private client subjects. In her spare time, Helen enjoys the theatre, arranging charity fundraising events, tennis and scrabble.
- Senior Associate
- Senior Associate in Druces' Corporate & Commercial Department
Jack is a Senior Associate in Druces' Corporate & Commercial Department. He advises clients in relation to initial public offerings on AIM and the Standard Segment of the Main Market, reverse takeovers, cancellations from the Main Market and admission to AIM, dual listings, equity capital raisings, convertible loan notes, M&A and a variety of public company work.
As well as representing issuers coming to the market for the first time, Jack advises issuers and their boards in relation to the ongoing requirements of being a publicly quoted company. Jack's focus is principally on issuer side work, and he has also acted for various corporate advisers.
Jack has developed a particular expertise in advising cash shells, quoted companies, or companies seeking admission to a stock exchange, in the mining, app technology, oil and gas, and corporate finance sectors, with operations spread across the world.
Outside of work Jack enjoys exploring London, keeping fit and attending concerts. He regularly visits Northern France with his wife.
- Consultant / Construction
James Brand is a Consultant in the Real Estate team, specialising in Construction. James is experienced in all aspects of construction & engineering law. His work covers a wide spectrum of commercial development, residential and mixed use construction and development projects for developers, consultants and contractors. In addition he advises on all methods of construction procurement including strategic framework and/or partnering strategies.
James is a member of the Society of Construction Law; a regular contributor to articles in the construction press and a speaker at construction law conferences.
Outside work James enjoys travelling, theatre and participates as a reading mentor to help children with reading difficulties. James lives in Chiswick, west London.
James joined the firm as a trainee solicitor in September 2019 and is currently undertaking his final seat in the Private Client department.
James read Biology at Durham University before completing the GDL and LPC at The University of Law.
Prior to joining Druces, James held paralegal roles at a London law firm and a Big Four professional services firm.
- Senior Associate
- Senior Associate / Real Estate
- Senior Associate in Druces' Real Estate
Jamie Coulthard is a Senior Associate in Druces' Real Estate team. Jamie is experienced in most aspects of commercial property, with an emphasis on investment work for property investors and funds.
Working with Karen Chapman, Jamie also has a great deal of experience in property syndicates. She specialises in disposals, acquisitions and landlord and tenant work. Jamie also acts for a national clothing retailer in its lease acquisitions.
She lives in Essex and spends most of her spare time watching football, in particular Sunderland AFC.
- Partner / Real Estate
Karen Chapman is a Partner in Druces LLP's Real Estate team. She has extensive experience in all aspects of commercial property and landlord and tenant related work, with a particular emphasis on investment and unregulated co-investment structures.
Karen is also a member of the Druces Executive Committee which manages the firm's direction and vision for the future.
During her time at Druces LLP she has acted on over 200 property syndicates. She acts for a variety of clients including private investors, retailers, developers and property companies.
Karen qualified as solicitor in 1990. She joined Druces LLP in 1992 and a became partner in 2001.
Karen lives in Coleshill, Buckinghamshire with her husband and 2 teenage children. When she is not providing taxi services to her children she enjoys playing the piano, skiing and foreign travel.
- Legal Executive
- Associate Legal Executive / Real Estate
Karen is a Legal Executive in Druces LLP's Real Estate team. She is experienced in all residential property transactions including sales, purchases, remortgages, lease extensions (acting for the landlord or the tenant) and plot sales (acting for the landlord) and plot purchases.
She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
Karen lives in north London and enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, reading and travelling.
- Senior Associate
- Senior Associate / Real Estate
Katie is a Senior Associate in Druces LLP's Real Estate team.
Qualified in 2011, Katie has experience in leasehold enfranchisement, including the right of first refusal and UK commercial and residential high value property transactions. Katie advises a wide range of clients from individuals to collective groups of tenants and entrepreneurs to large multi-national companies.
Katie also works closely with the Corporate and Commercial Team on transactions involving property aspects, in particular share purchase agreements and franchise agreements.
In her spare time she enjoys sailing, yoga and travelling.
- Solicitor / Real Estate
Lisa is a Solicitor in Druces LLP's Real Estate team. Lisa trained at a firm in the West End and joined Druces in August 2019.
Lisa advises on a broad range of commercial real estate matters ranging from landlord and tenant work to the sale and acquisition of commercial properties.
In her spare time, Lisa enjoys running, yoga and rock climbing.
- Solicitor in Druces LLP 's Corporate
Mark is a Solicitor in Druces LLP's Corporate and Commercial team. Mark joined Druces in July 2019 from a regional firm where he trained and qualified.
Mark deals with a broad range of corporate and commercial matters, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate re-organisations, due diligence and disclosure and acquisition finance transactions. He is also developing his practice in relation to initial public offerings on both AIM and the Standard Segment of the Main Market.
Mark read Mathematics at Keele University before gaining a Graduate Diploma in Law and completing the Legal Practice Course at The University of Law.
When not in the office Mark enjoys playing squash and kayaking.
- Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
Matthew is a Partner in the Private Client Team. He has an extensive private client practice and has specialist expertise in a number of areas. His particular expertise includes dealing with complex tax planning, trust and estate issues for both UK and international high net worth individuals and trustees. Matthew deals with complex high level estate and succession planning with particular emphasis on entrepreneurial clients and family businesses. Furthermore he has developed a strong contentious probate, trust and disputed wills practice.
Worthy of particular note, Matthew is registered as a will draftsman in the Dubai International Financial Centre's (DIFC) Wills and Probate Registry where he is authorised to draft and advise on the production of DIFC compliant wills. Matthew was the first non Dubai based solicitor to be awarded this title. Furthermore he is a professional deputy for the Court of Protection and has a number of complex professional deputyships, Executorships and Trustee appointments.
Matthew offers pragmatic, practical and personable advice. He is consistently praised by clients and intermediaries for his care and attention and excellent advice.
Matthew is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
Michael is a Senior Associate in the firm's Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, having joined Druces in August 2014. He was previously with a large City firm, where he qualified.
Michael specialises in Property Litigation for mainly commercial clients and has experience of dealing with a wide range of property related issues including:
- Senior Associate / Real Estate
- Partner / Head of Real Estate
- Partner & Diplômée Notaire
- Consultant / Construction, Real Estate
- Trust and Probate Manager
- Senior Associate / Real Estate
- Partner / Head of Corporate & Commercial