Leading Firm Ranking for Longmores in The Legal 500 2023 Guide

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The release of The Legal 500 2023 guide brings good news for the firm once again with a Leading Firm ranking. Our Rural Land team has broken into the rankings for the first time under the leadership of Victoria Sandberg.  John Wagstaffe and Nat Young have also achieved impressive individual rankings as Next Generation Partners.

Richard Gvero, Joint Senior Partner and Head of Commercial and Employment said: “Another brilliant achievement across the teams!  Well done everyone for the first class service we provide to our clients which has been rightly recognised by The Legal 500.  And thank you Charlotte and Katie for their considerable help and guidance with the submissions”.

The Legal 500 is a leading directory of law firms and solicitors in the UK with rankings determined by independent research, client interviews and the opinions of other professionals.  The Legal 500 UK Solicitors 2023 rankings are published on their website.  Here is a summary of what the guide says about Longmores.

Employment: Tier 2

The employment team provides employment advice to major companies and high-net worth individuals on a range of issues including disciplinary and grievance situations, discrimination, whistleblowing and unfair dismissal. The practice also offers corporate support with experience on drafting indemnities and warranties in sale agreements and advising on the application of TUPE. Richard Gvero is joint senior partner and head of employment and commercial. Miranda Mulligan advises businesses and individuals on employment and HR issues.


‘Extremely impressive employment offering working across a range of sectors with a particular focus on clients in the healthcare industry. Particularly knowledgable on status questions, TUPE and restrictive covenants.’

‘Richard Gvero’s a heavy-hitter with a deep understanding of employment law, always prepared to adopt new and innovative approaches. He’s a tough negotiator and is determined to push his client’s interests. I’ve worked with Richard in recent years on a number of team moves, injunctions, whistleblowing and furlough related matters. Highly recommended.’

‘Miranda Mulligan is a joy to work with. Extremely knowledgeable with an excellent instinct for litigation.’

‘Longmores are a very forward thinking firm of solicitors with specialists working in every field. We are happy to recommend clients from many sectors and all have been impressed with the speed of service and quality of the advice received. An out of London firm with an international ethos.’

‘Richard Gvero in particular impresses hugely because of his professionalism and his personal commitment to providing a timely service.’

‘Longmores Solicitors’ employment team includes members with sufficient knowledge and experience to be able to handle any situation a client might need help with. Always friendly and easily contactable, Longmores’ solicitors go out of their way to understand a client’s business and what makes their employment structures unique. They then tailor their advice and action plans accordingly.’

‘We have been assisted by Miranda Mulligan on many occasions and she has always provided insightful and focused advice on the issue we’ve needed help with. She has been prepared to go ‘above and beyond’ to ensure a successful outcome.’

‘Personal, understanding, knowledgeable and competent. You would expect that as a norm but you can add pragmatic and solution driven.’

Work Highlights

  • Advised a leading UK staffing business in relation to a number of former employees who joined a competitor in breach of their employment contracts.
  • Represented a client in complex employment tribunal claims incorporating various interlinking issues including unfair dismissal.
  • Advised a leading engineering company in relation to serious disciplinary issues with one of its managers.

Private Client: Tier 2

The main focus of the work undertaken by the private client team is inheritance tax planning, preparation of wills and trusts and the administration of those estates. Richard Horwood leads the team, focusing on strategic planning for families and specialises in high-value administrations. Alastair Liddiard is recognised for his work on complex estates which often involve foreign assets and trusts.


‘Richard Horwood and Alasdair Liddiard are all professional, diligent and it is clear they have their clients’ interests at heart.’

‘The working relationship with Longmores is an easy one as they are responsive, they keep an eye on the portfolios we manage but also provide feedback, making communication easy.’

‘Richard Horwood shows good commercial awareness as he is proactive in keeping us updated and demonstrates knowledge of what is happening in the market.’

‘Alastair Liddiard is very efficient and knowledgeable about the clients we manage on their behalf.’

‘Very approachable and can explain at the right level of complexity, whether for a vulnerable widow or knowledgeable business owner. Better than other firms at helping clients to make decisions.’

‘I am very comfortable with introducing Richard Horwood to any of my clients, as I know he will look after them well. Not only is he very knowledgeable, but he is also excellent at communicating with clients.’

‘A good friendly and professional team for which its always a pleasure to assist with their probate instruction.’

‘Richard Horwood and Alistair Liddiard are always accommodating, professional and a pleasure to work with.’

Company Commercial: Tier 3

The company commercial team has sector specific expertise in the healthcare, rural, recruitment and IT outsourcing industries. On the corporate side, the firm is well versed in shareholders’ agreements, restructurings and private company mergers and acquisitions. The commercial work includes outsourcing agreements and data protection issues. Corporate expert Michael Budd heads the practice with support from Rina Sond.

  • Michael Budd: Recommended
  • Rina Sond: Recommended


‘Working with Longmores gives access to resources within the practice that meet our needs as a smaller organisation. They have particularly supported us with commercial agreements with external parties and have been able to ensure we have the appropriate structures in place with third parties.’

‘The people we engage with at Longmores have an excellent knowledge in their field of expertise and are able to explain what needs doing to people with a non-legal background. Rina Sond has been particularly good on commercial matters and quickly understands our needs and offers proactive solutions which can sometimes be a linger and more time consuming process in other firms.’

‘We find the service direct and responsive to our needs. Rina Sond who we have been working with recently has been particularly helpful.’

‘I have been very impressed with Michael Budd who is the partner that Heads up the Corporate and Commercial Team. I have found him to be very knowledge and practical in his approach.’

Work Highlights

  • Acted for Propertymark Limited on a range of commercial contracts to support their growth.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Gordon Low Limited and Gordon Low Products Limited in respect of the sale of the entire issued share capital to a subsidiary of Nordic Waterproofing Holding AB.
  • Acted for Vox Europe Investment Holding LLC in respect of its acquisition of a majority stake in Dunsar Media Company Limited.

Dispute Resolution: Tier 3

Longmores Solicitors LLP has key sector expertise in the recruitment and property management industries, regularly acting for employment businesses. The Hertford-based team deals exclusively with commercial disputes and is co-headed by John Wiblin who focuses on shareholder and director issues. Co-head John Wagstaffe handles complex property litigation while Nathanael Young has expertise in defamation and insolvency matters. Lauren MacKenzie specialises in contentious probate and general commercial disputes.


‘Longmores have been dependable, commercially savvy and very approachable in what has been a very complicated and sensitive dispute. The team have risen to the challenge and have consistently provided sound advice. They blend depth of expertise and attention to detail, without losing sight of the practical picture. They have ability and passion from partner to paralegal and have an impressive network of barristers at their fingertips.’

‘Lauren Mackenzie was calm and un-phased when a crisis, challenge or fork in the road descended. She consistently responded with clear-minded advice that helped me keep my composure. She is incredibly down to earth, has excellent judgment and total integrity in all she does. She is a highly strategic and tactical advocate. I could not have asked for somebody better to fight my corner.’

‘This firm were very quick to act on my behalf. I was impressed with their way of making things easy to understand. They were thorough and direct to the point and their main concern was to expedite my instructions directly without trying to generate additional costs that would incur more fees.’

‘John Wagstaffe was particularly helpful and always available to listen and take my instructions.’

‘Nathanael Young is the gold standard for a litigation partner in a smaller firm. He is totally on top of his cases and uses counsel very efficiently. He can be relied on to make all the right tactical calls in the preliminary stages of litigation which makes it much easier for counsel once brought into the case.’

‘The collaborative approach was refreshing and enabled us to work rapidly through our case in a confident uncomplicated way.’

‘We are grateful for the service provided by John Wiblin who became a partner to the business in addressing our case.’

‘Longmores are a local and well respected legal practice enjoying fine and accessible offices in the old town. Their staff are welcoming and meetings are held on time and to a proper standard which reflect both there depth of experience and in these challenging times their concern for their clients well being.’

Work Highlights 

  • Obtained and executed an imaging order and related injunctions for a large medical recruitment group.
  • Acted for operators of a waste disposal site in a claim against 10 defendants arising from an alleged misdescription of waste deposited at the site.
  • Acted for the successful claimant in the ‘Ring Doorbell’ privacy-related litigation.

Rural Land: Tier 3

Longmores Solicitors LLP has a strong pedigree in advising private clients on agricultural and rural matters, drawing on close relationships with rural agents and accountants across the south east. The firm takes a multidisciplinary approach to the practice, with Victoria Sandberg heading the rural team, Richard Horwood leading private client, and Rachael Spalton taking the lead for commercial property. Together, Sandberg and Spalton are active for rural property work.


‘The Longmores team gives great confidence. The staff that we have encountered are, without exception, polite, efficient and helpful. There is a cordial atmosphere and the practise works as a team enabling appropriate allocation of work to specific areas of expertise. Longmores has a good understanding of the local business environment facing agriculture and estates and therefore has been very well placed to fulfil our requirements for all necessary legal advice. The process of quotation and billing is prompt, transparent and rigorous so we know in advance the sort of expense their work will be.’

‘The partners of Longmores who we have employed to carry out our agricultural and estate work in the last few years are very easy to work with and very conscientious. They are keen to keep on top of the fast changing scene that faces farming and rural estates at the moment, and as a result are well informed of the numerous complexities. Our experience of using Longmores for land sales and purchases is that they do an extremely thorough job, are very prompt in their responses and constantly push forward diligently on our behalf. They liaise excellently with us and our land agent meaning communication is very good throughout which led to the process being as smooth as possible. I highly recommend them.’

‘Excellent attention to detail and a knowledgeable and patient team. Always willing to explain the legal context surrounding issues in a way that is friendly, approachable and most importantly, understandable.’

‘Victoria Sandberg is a joy to work with. Her advice is measured and practical, and she really takes time to understand the clients’ objectives, so that her advice is not just centred on the legal standpoint, but on what is right for the property/client/situation.’

‘Victoria Sandberg has real practical experience in advising rural owners of land. She is approachable, provides quick responses and works with our clients and us to ensure work is undertaken to the highest standards and in the timescales agreed.’

Work Highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a private landowner on his purchase of farm land, including advising our client in relation to existing overage provisions affecting the land and the termination of a Farm Business Tenancy before completion.
  • Acting on behalf of the Executors of David Cresswell (deceased) on the sale of land that is partly registered and partly unregistered. The sale also involves separate deeds of overage in relation to different parts of the land being sold.
  • Acting for a farming client in relation to a promotion agreement of land for potential residential development.  Also advising in relation to succession rights under an Agricultural Holdings Act Tenancy and subsequent negotiation of a Farm Business Tenancy.

Family: Tier 3

Longmores Solicitors LLP is a well-regarded family law practice headed by Tracey Dargan who has extensive experience of pre-nuptial agreements involving substantial assets. The team routinely handles matters including separation agreements, protective injunctions, dissolution of civil partnerships and financial provision for children. Many of these cases have an international element involving foreign nationals or assets held outside the UK. Kerrie Hall specialises in high net worth cases regarding divorce and separation.


‘Tracy Dargan is very experienced and a thorough and good lawyer.’

‘This highly professional practice is an absolute gem, led by the experienced, considerate, and articulate Tracey Dargan. The practice provides a very personal service, tailored to your needs. You are not just another client in their eyes but an individual they want to help. With good junior lawyers in hand, the practice provides the right level of expertise and support to their clients, blending experience with efficiency, and of course cost. They are fabulously well prepared, and service levels never dropped once during the pandemic, always available and responsive and without distraction.’

‘Tracey Dargan is as good as they get. As well as her undoubted knowledge and experience, Tracey is an excellent and highly effective communicator, able to blend consideration of the whole family dynamic whilst representing your interests. Tracey never waivers from having to advise and take difficult decisions which are in your best interests. Of her many qualities, this is the one I admire the most. It is important to have integrity around your clients, and to be able to provide clear, constructive, and thoughtful guidance in challenging circumstances is a real asset.’

‘The Longmores team are always willing to help and assist, advise to the best of their ability and show endless patience throughout the process.’

‘The team are approachable and open, always willing to offer help and support in difficult circumstances guiding through circumstances that are alien to their customers. Jessica Few and Tracey Dargan have been my points of contact with the company.’

‘Friendly and experienced. Gives you a large degree of confidence that your needs are being well represented.’

Commercial Property: Tier 3

The real estate department advises clients on both commercial and residential matters from development and strategic land transactions to commercial property sales, purchases and leases. Rachael Spalton heads the team with significant experience in complex promotion, option and overage agreements. Victoria Sandberg specialises in the purchase of rural and agricultural land while John Wagstaffe focuses on property litigation.


The Longmores team has plenty of strength in depth and are always quick and helpful in their advice which is much appreciated by us and our clients.’

‘Victoria Sandberg and Rachel Spalton provide excellent and practical advice. They are pro-active and the agreements they prepare are very helpful in ensuring that new tenancy agreements are completed quickly. The same is true of the advice relating to sales of property where they have done excellent work on some highly complex and difficult sales. Their help and support throughout adds real value and they are a pleasure to work with.’

Work Highlights

  • Advised a farming client in relation to a promotion agreement for potential residential development and in relation to tenant farmer succession rights under and Agricultural Holdings Act tenancy.
  • Advised a developer client on a complex variation of an option agreement and subsequent assignment of the option.
  • Advised Shine Partnerships in relation to the purchase of three properties and the subsequent sale of those properties by way of a share sale in the property owning Special Purpose Vehicle companies.