Chambers praise for Stephens Scown

Divorce lawyer Liz Allen
Divorce lawyer Liz Allen

South west law firm Stephens Scown is celebrating top rankings for its quality of service in the latest edition of Chambers, the respected independent guide to the legal profession.

Chambers, which has just been published, ranks law firms into different bands based on thousands of interviews with clients and other professionals.

Stephens Scown, which has offices in Exeter, St Austell and Truro, has 11 lawyers singled out as ‘leaders in their field’ and has been ranked in the top tier across the whole of the south west for its family and matrimonial practice led by top divorce lawyer Liz Allen.

Allen’s team is commended for handling complex financial cases that often involve companies and trusts, with Liz herself described as someone with ‘a significant following’ who is a ‘resolute advocate who is prepared to fight on her client’s behalf’.

Stephens Scown’s immigration service led by Phillip Gregory is a new entry in Chambers, going straight in at number one. There are only three firms in the south west recommended for immigration work, and Stephens Scown is the only one south of Bristol.

Meanwhile, the firm’s dispute resolution team under Chris Harper has retained its number one ranking in Devon and Cornwall, winning praise for excellent value for money, fast response times and industry knowledge.

Andy Steele, chief executive at Stephens Scown, said: “These independent endorsements from clients and peers span the full range of Stephens Scown’s corporate and private client work and for us there is no better accolade. Our family and litigation teams are among the best in the region and I’m delighted that we have been recognised for the first time for the quality of the immigration service we offer individuals and businesses.”

The firm’s dedicated rural team, which is currently advising coastal landowners on the impact of the new Marine and Coastal Access Bill, is praised for its diversity of work under team leader Richard Baker, with Martin Clayden also singled out for his expertise in tenancies, property and Single Farm Payments.

The corporate team, under leader James Keliher, earns praise for its strong local presence and expertise in the tourism and holiday park sector, as well as its ability to handle “impressive deals outside the region”.

Stephens Scown’s minerals and mining team cements its national reputation as one of the top 10 firms outside London, with team head Robert Camp singled out as “a highly experienced lawyer who doesn’t make a meal of things”.

Minerals work is also highlighted among Stephens Scown’s environment team, which is also praised for its waste management work, and in the planning team headed by Ian Lamond, which is described as one that “genuinely punches above its weight”.

The firm’s real estate team is also praised for its minerals and mining experience and wins plaudits for its development, funding and wind farm work. Jonathan Hoggett is singled out for his work on the South West Regional Development Agency’s pioneering Wave Hub marine energy project, while Mike Northcott is praised for his residential property development experience.

The firm’s private client team, which specialises in acting for wealthy individuals with agricultural interests, handles a full range of work from contentious probate to tax planning. Graham Murdoch is singled out as a key contact.

Stephens Scown’s employment team under leader Nigel Moore is highlighted for having particular strength in the employment aspects of acquisitions, disposals and restructuring, and specialist areas including tourism and immigration.

And the firm’s insolvency and business rescue service under team leader Matthew Wald is “recommended by market sources”, acting in the sale of pub, restaurant and hotel chains for administrators.