Property winners announced

Several Bondholders were winners at last week’s East Midlands Property awards 2019, celebrating deals and developments over the past year.

The awards were announced last week at a prestigious event held at the De Vere East Midlands Conference Centre, with Marketing Derby sponsoring the pre-dinner drinks reception.

Maya Yates, Inward Investment Executive for Marketing Derby said "It was a pleasure to be part of such a wonderful evening celebrating successes with the East Midlands property sector. Our Bondholders made us proud, winning in a number of categories, but a special mention goes to our former Chairman Mike Copestake for his incredibly well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award."

Bondholders amongst the winners on the night were:

Client Advisor of the Year
Winner: Smith Partnership, for their work on bringing together numerous funding sources, including their work on Derby Museums' new Museum of Making
Highly Commended: Gleeds

Agent of the Year
Winner: FHP

Construction Project of the Year
Winner: Waterside Campus, University of Northampton (Mace Group, Turner & Townsend, Moses Cameron Williams Architects, CPMG Architects, Bowmer+Kirkland, Kier, VolkerFitzpatrick, Vital Energi, Hydrock)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Mike Copestake, Freeths

Katie Delve from Marketing Derby adds "Congratulations to our Bondholders who won awards this year. This event recognises the talent in the East Midlands property sector and is always a fantastic opportunity to celebrate some of the highlights of the year.”


E4E awards night

Enterprise for Education (E4E) - the partnership between Bondholder Derby City Council and local businesses which works to inspire young people to aim higher and achieve more - is holding its first awards event.

The partnership brings employers into city schools to provide inspiration and share real-world careers experience through personal mentoring, mock interviews, career search support, careers events and industry visits.

The first awards event, organised by Derby City Council and sponsored by Copemann Ashby and fellow Bondholder Rolls-Royce will be held at Bondholder the University of Derby's Law Faculty on Tuesday July 2 starting at 4.45pm and finishing at 7pm.

The keynote speaker will be Stuart Garner of Bondholder Norton Motorcycles and awards will be presented by representatives from businesses who have sponsored each category.

E4E Chair Mike Copestake said "Having established excellent relationships with both employers and schools through a number of activities organised by E4E, we were keen to showcase the positive impact that local business people are having on the lives of young people."

“This first awards event will therefore bring everyone together to celebrate the achievements of young people, schools and volunteers who have both supported and benefited from the innovative E4E programme.”

All city secondary schools have been invited to submit nominations for the awards which recognise young people’s engagement and achievements through the E4E programme.

Awards to be presented are:
- Aiming higher (sponsored by the Titan Trust)
- Young Achiever (sponsored by Bondholder Rolls-Royce)
- Good Citizen (sponsored by David Nieper)
- Young Improver (sponsored by Bondholder Bowmer + Kirkland)
- School of the Year (sponsored by Bondholder Freeths)
- Debating competition (sponsored by Derby Law Society)

There is also an award for the Volunteer of the Year from a local employer who has made a particularly outstanding contribution to E4E activities.

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Team Derby Powers Midlands Engine

The Midlands area will come together to showcase investment opportunities worth almost £10 billion at this year’s global property and real estate show MIPIM (13th-16th March, Cannes, France).

It is the second year that the Midlands region will work together to attract investment from around the world following a successful united presence at MIPIM 2017. A partnership approach which Derby successfully uses at MIPIM – the delegation this year includes Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council, Marketing Derby, Rolls-Royce, Smith of Derby, Freeths, Geldards, East Midlands Airport, Godwin Developments, Harworth Group, Idom Merebrook, Innes England, Knights 1759 and Smith Partnership.

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby said: “This is the second year of Midlands wide collaboration following an incredibly successful event last year. People will see a step up in the quality of the Pavilion, and we have evolved a strong “Team Midlands” approach that compliments our own destination promotion. Derbyshire is bringing a very strong team out this year with senior representation from Rolls-Royce, both City and County Councils, Derby-Nottingham Metro, Marketing Derby and our supporters.”

More than 70 public and private sector partners, 10 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas, and the Department for International Trade (DIT) will represent the region – the largest delegation Midlands UK has ever taken to the annual event.

The region will present details of the multi-billion pound portfolio to the exhibition’s 24,000 attendees, which will include potential investors, property agents, developers and media from more than 100 countries.

Destinations attending MIPIM as part of the Midlands UK delegation alongside Team Derby & Derbyshire include Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester & Leicestershire, The Marches, Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire, UK Central Solihull, West Midlands Combined Authority, City of Wolverhampton and Worcestershire.

The region’s presence is being coordinated by the West Midlands Growth Company, with key partners including Bondholder East Midlands Airport, Birmingham Airport, global car giant Jaguar Land Rover and the Midlands Enterprise Universities Group.

The 200m² dedicated Midlands UK pavilion will showcase the region’s investment portfolio through a variety of media including an event space to host a programme of more than 50 events, including presentations, receptions and panel discussions.

Marketing Derby will once again be hosting our award-winning Embassy on Wednesday 14 March at the Eden Hotel. Our key sponsors for the event include Bondholders Idom Merebrook, Innes England, Knights 1759 and Smith Partnership.

The Legal 500

The latest Legal 500 rankings have been released, featuring a number of Bondholder firms. 

The Legal 500 is the leading guide to law firms, assessing strengths in over 100 jurisdictions and highlighting those providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice. Research and ranking is then verified by researchers who have unrivalled experience in the legal market, including interviews with clients, peers and other professionals.

Flint Bishop

Bondholder Flint Bishop LLP, has been recognised in multiple disciplines in The Legal 500’s recommendations. 

Managing Partner for Commercial Services and Head of Litigation, Qamer Ghafoor has been acknowledged as one of only seven “region-wide” Leading Lawyers specifically for Commercial Litigation. The Legal 500 commented that Qamer “makes a client’s dispute his own, battling for the very best outcome with passion and steely charm.”

His Commercial Litigation department has been ranked Tier 1 (the highest tier achievable) for its work in the past twelve months, including defending national insurance firm, Haven Insurance in the Supreme Court. Partner, Nick Wells and Lorna Trueman from their Commercial Litigation, Property Litigation, Debt Recovery and Professional Negligence departments were also recommended.

Senior Partner Andrew Cochrane has once again been highlighted as a Leading Lawyer in his field of Licensing, leading a team undergoing a period of significant growth working with national pub and hotel operators.


Bondholder Freeths has been recognised for its corporate and commercial services, with John Heaphy and Karl Jansen recognised as leading individuals. 

The Legal 500 noted that Freeths'  "responsive team draws upon its ‘years of experience’ to provide shareholders and board members with ‘pragmatic and tailored’ advice on matters ranging from private equity funding to acquisitions." 


Bondholder firm Geldards' corporate and commercial team was recognised by the Legal 500 for its engagement with the automotive, retail and healthcare sectors, with David Tilly noted as a leading individual. 

Nelsons Solicitors

The Legal 500 recognised Bondholder Nelsons Solicitors' commercial litigation services, as well as its debt recovery services. 

Smith Partnership

Bondholder Smith Partnership has achieved its best results in the 2017 Legal 500, earning recognition across the East Midlands within every category entered.

The law firm has been moving up the rankings in the Legal 500 report year on year, and is one of the only Family and Crime legal services team in Leicester with Legal 500 ‘Top Tier’ status.

Swindell & Pearson

The Legal 500 noted that Bondholder Swindell and Pearson has notable strength in trade mark prosecution and litigation, and is ‘ideal for any university wanting to capitalise on its in house IP and knowhow in the field of medical engineering’.


Freeths Top 50 Employer for Social Mobility

Bondholder Freeths has featured on what is believed to be the first ever social mobility index.

The new top 50 list is produced by the Social Mobility Foundation and the Social Mobility Commission, and ranks UK employers in accordance with the practices and procedures they are implementing to ensure they are open to accessing employee talent from all backgrounds.

David Johnston, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, said: "All the top 50 firms in the Social Mobility Employer Index should be applauded for the progress they are making towards ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to get in and get on — regardless of their background."

Freeths has been ranked 32 out of 98 companies in the Index for the commendable work it has taken to tackle this and enable those from lower socio-economic backgrounds to succeed.

Colin Flanagan, Chairman of Freeths, commented: "Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of the Freeths people strategy, and so we are delighted to be ranked number 32 in the first ever social mobility index. This is also encapsulated in our brand values touchstone as one aspect of "Doing the Right Thing".

"Our diversity committee delivers initiatives such as our right to read scheme, apprenticeship programmes, flexible graduate programmes (including the use of contextualised recruitment), legal scholarship schemes, careers labs workshops and mentoring programmes. We also celebrate a wide range of social and faith events to emphasise that all groups within our organisation are recognised and valued.

"Whilst this ranking is a great achievement, we know that it is only one step on our journey and we are committed to continuous improvement in this key area of our business."

Freeths Skydive for Charity

Over forty members of staff from Bondholder Freeths took part in a charity skydive, raising over £22,000 for The Alzheimer’s Society, taking the firm's total during the year to £37,000.

44 members of staff in total jumped from six airfields across the country. The weather almost scuppered the plan at a few locations but eventually everyone got to complete the challenge, reaching heights of 10,000ft at speeds of up to 120mph before making the leap with a qualified skydiving instructor.

Freeths aim to raise as much as possible throughout the rest of the year to help Alzheimer's Society lead the fight against dementia. 44% of people in the UK will be affected by dementia in some way.

6,000 Students Benefit from e4e

Over 6,000 students have benefited from Bondholder Derby City Council's e4e initiative over the last 12 months - four times as many as in the previous period.

Pupils across 14 Derby schools have taken part in Enterprise 4 Education’s (e4e) programme of activities, which range from CV writing workshops and mock interviews to one-to-one mentoring sessions, industry visits, and career talks.

e4e was originally founded by Derby City Council in November 2014, with a board of directors comprised of representatives from the city’s schools and business community, including Bondholder Rolls Royce, Bombardier, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, and SMEs.

The business community has thrown its support behind the initiative and e4e has now recruited more than 450 business volunteers who help young people achieve by raising their self-belief, motivation, and aspirations while informing them about their career opportunities.

Mike Copestake, Senior Partner at Bondholder Freeths and chairman of e4e, added: “To be playing a key role in raising the aspirations of almost 6,000 young people is an amazing achievement - but the hard work doesn't stop there - we still need to recruit more business volunteers and mentors to support our expanded programme of activities and I would urge anyone who can give just half a day a year of their time to sign up as a volunteer.”

National Recognition for Freeths

Bondholder Freeths has ranked 50th in the list of Sunday Times UK Top 100 Companies to Work for. The firm has been ranked several times before, but this is its highest ever position.

The Times compiles the data derived from surveys of staff satisfaction, with the firm scoring particularly highly in areas reflecting a family feel and pride in working for the firm. The law-firm excelled in the ‘Wellbeing’ and ‘Giving Something Back’ categories.

The results are the icing on the cake for Freeths, after the firm’s most successful financial year in 2015/16 with turnover reaching £63.8m.

Colin Flanagan, Chairman of Freeths, said: “This is a great accolade for us to receive. We work hard as a firm to ensure all employees are treated fairly and it is a testament to all staff members for us to have climbed up the rankings to 50th position.

"We have a great team ethos at Freeths with each individual contributing to the overall success of the firm.”

Derby Law firms top the Legal 500

The Legal 500 is an annual publication of leading law firms in the UK across regions and sectors.  Bondholders Flint Bishop, Freeths, Geldards, Nelsons SolicitorsSmith Partnership and Swindell and Pearson are all celebrating the latest edition which scores the profession across multiple disciplines.

Managing Partner of Commercial Services and Head of Litigation at Flint Bishop, Qamer Ghafoor, said: "I'm pleased with this year's Legal 500 results and for the recommendations across both the commercial and private areas of the firm."

Freeths maintained its strong regional reputation, which continues to leverage the firm's expertise in contentious matters to attract a steady work flow in the commercial litigation and insolvency areas across its offices in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham.

Geldards chief executive, Jeff Pearson, said: "Legal 500 gives us a benchmark of where we are as a law firm and this year's ranking shows we are continuing to compete strongly, in a very competitive market."

Derby partners at Nelsons Solicitors Simon Waterfield and Kevin Modiri are highlighted for their work in property litigation and insolvency and corporate recovery respectively.

Russell Davies, partner at Smith Partnership said: "Our performance this year has exceeded all our expectations again and we are so pleased for our teams of professionals, who work so hard every day for our clients, across all areas of private and commercial law."

Patent and trade mark attorney firm Swindell & Pearson were delighted to be named as one of the UK's top intellectual property firms and several of their attorneys were also specifically recommended for the quality of their work.


For an overview and to view all results visit the Legal 500 website

Freeths tops Experian ranking

Bondholder Freeths LLP has been named as the most active mergers and acquisitions advisor nationally, which includes a £5.5million takeover deal carried out in its Derby office.

We’re delighted to see that the Experian ranking has recognised the important role that the Freeths team has played in supporting business growth.
— Mike Copestake, Partner at Freeths LLP

The analysis by Experian for July 2016 showed Freeths as joint first with in terms of the number of deals completed, eight, but the firm eclipsed the competition with a total deal value of £33million, compared to runner-up Irwin Mitchell's £15million.

Mike Copestake, Partner at Freeths LLP, commented: "We're delighted to see that the Experian ranking has recognised the important role that the Freeths team has played in supporting business growth."

The July report showed a UK total of 495 transactions, which, although a decline since June, harboured an increase in value — £37billion, up from June's £18billion. This was due, almost entirely, to Japanese investment firm Softbank's £24.3billion acquisition of chip maker ARM Holdings.

Freeths celebrates most successful year

Mike Talpin, Managing Partner of Freeths' Derby office

Bondholder Freeths has announced a 14.37% increase in its annual fee income, coming in at £63.8million this year.

Freeths employs a staff of 36 in its Derby office and has a particular focus on growth in its real estate team, which continues to work on a variety of projects both locally and nationally, including the DRI site in Derby.

Mike Taplin, Managing Partner of Freeths' Derby office, said: "The news of our financial achievements, locally and nationally, is testament to the hard work of our staff. We recognised that these successful financial results were only achieved by all members of staff putting in a great deal of hard work and committment over the past 12 months. As a result, all staff were rewarded with a 6.65% bonus payment in May and an ex gratia payment in April. We work hard as a team to deliver the results our clients want and we are lucky to also be able to invest time and resource to the local community, in schemes such as Right to Read and various charity fundraising events, which we look forward to continuing throughout the year."

Alongside being ranked in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For and being accredited as a best company 2015, Freeths has been recognised for its diversity with two new awards. The UK Diversity Legal Awards gave the firm the Firm of the Year title, and Stonewall recognised the firm as a Diversity Champion.

D2N2 Stands Out

Derby has joined colleagues across the D2N2 LEP area to host delegates at its stand at MIPIM in the Palais des Festivals in Cannes.

Travelling under the D2N2 banner, Team Derby includes representatives from Derby City Council, Marketing Derby and a number of key private sector businesses including Derby Telegraph, Freeths, Smith of Derby and Smith Partnership, showcasing the strength of Derby’s public-private partnership approach.

Business Development Partner at Smith Partnership, Claire Twells said “At Smith Partnership we appreciate the importance of regeneration and development of the city and, through partnership with Marketing Derby, we are investing in its future. On this, our first visit to MIPIM, it is clear why Team Derby's approach is successful."

New investors at Turning Point Business Angels

Turning Point Business Angels (TPBA) has had an influx of new investors come on board for 2016 including Mike Copestake, Partner at Bondholder Freeths; Steve Drury of Technolog; Simon Woods, Managing Director of TecQuipment; and Stuart Garner of Norton Motorcycles.

TPBA comprises investors primarily from Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire but extends further and operates with a core group of investors as well as associates. Associates are not included in day-to-day screening and diligence but invest alongside the core group of investors.

The investment portfolio so far includes Bondholder HUUB Design as well as BPR Medical, Peopletoo and Honest Brew.

The group looks to provide funding up to £1,000,000 and is keen to hear from businesses with ambitions and opportunities for growth. Investors are not sector-specific but at least one investor having expertise is preferred.

For more information, please contact Tom Mawhood by:

  • calling 07710 083283 or (0115) 9 866 890
  • emailing
  • Skype calling tom.mawhood64
  • connecting on Linkedin (

Freeths looks forward after record year

Bondholder Freeths is looking ahead after a record year where over 100 deals were completed by its corporate department.

Last month is a proof that the year has gotten off to a strong start with six completed deals including advising Leumi ABL on the loan funding to support the purchase of Laidlaw Architectural Ironmongery and Balustrading solutions. Another deal in January was advising Adestra Limited in relation to an investment made by the Business Growth Fund.

The increased levels of deals completed by our private equity team in 2015 was a real success story and we look forward to this continuing in 2016
— Lee Clifford, National Head of Private Equity at Freeths

Lee Clifford, National Head of Private Equity, said: "The increased levels of deals completed by our private equity team in 2015 was a real success story and we look forward to this continuing in 2016. Funders have a strong appetite to invest in quality businesses and we go into 2016 with the market remaining very competitive."

Karl Jansen, National Head of Corporate, said: "We are very proud of what was a record year in 2015, and which is reflected in the Experian rankings. It is testament to not only the positive M&A market, but also to the hard work and growing reputation of our corporate team. It is also reflective of the strong year that the Freeths business has had generally. We plan to capitalise on the success of 2015 and use this momentum to make 2016 even more successful."

In the year-end league tables by Experian, Freeths ranked 17th in the UK and in the Top 10 Firms in the Midlands.

Derby in Financial Times' Top 10

Derby has ranked top ten in the prestigious fDi European Cities and Regions of the Future 2016/17 Rankings, compiled by the Financial Times. The city has been recognised as a top city for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) strategy, and business friendliness.

The city was ranked 10th against 481 other locations across Europe (294 cities, 148 regions and 39 local enterprise partnerships).

Martin Rawson, Deputy Leader of Derby City Council, said: "This recognition is wonderful, and shows that Derby is truly a global business city with leading brands, including Rolls-Royce, Bombardier and Toyota, and their extensive supply chains, based here."

He continued: "With a highly skilled workforce, investment in infrastructure and public-private partnerships, which support new businesses and investors into the city, Derby is an attractive proposition for foreign direct investment."

The fDi Index is a biannual ranking of fD Intelligence, published by the Financial Times. It ranks the cities that offer the best prospects for foreign investment, economic development and corporate expansion. Factors taken into account include the FDI strategy, infrastructure and economic potential.

Derby will be travelling to Cannes under the D2N2 banner, working in partnership with Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. The team will include representatives from Derby City Council, Marketing Derby, and a number of key private sector businesses including Derby TelegraphGeldards, Freeths and MIPIM partner, Smith Partnership.

Enterprise for Education in plea

Acting on last year's call to action from Chamber President Liz Fothergill in the Dare to Dream slot - outlining her dream for businesses in the city to help foster the development of young people in Derby - Enterprise for Education (E4E) took centre stage at our Annual Business Event last week to talk about what the initiative has achieved thus far.

Mike Copestake, Partner at Freeths LLP and chairman at Enterprise for Education, told the audience that E4E Derby has already gained support from around 120 business professionals and leaders to mentor young people in Derby schools.

Mike explained that young people often just need an extra bit of motivation, support or knowledge to help them along the way - the best people to help are those in business and he put out a call for more volunteers.

Enterprise for Education hosts event

Businesses from across the city turned out in force for an exclusive breakfast event hosted by Marketing Derby at The Council House to raise awareness for Enterprise for Education (e4e), an exciting new initiative aimed at preparing the city's young people for the world of work.

The event gave Bondholders the opportunity to hear more about the great work that e4e is doing across the city's schools and to encourage them to sign up as volunteer mentors.

The event kicked off with networking and refreshments and then a short introduction from Mike Copestake, senior partner at Bondholder Freeths and chair of the e4e board.

e4e is a fantastic project, which is already making a positive difference to Derby’s young by raising their self-belief, motivation and aspirations and helping them achieve their best by unlocking their true potential
— John Forkin, Managing Director at Marketing Derby

This was followed by a video featuring interviews with e4e board members, representatives from local schools and the local business community, as well as the children who are benefiting from the wide range of support that e4e is able to provide.

The event concluded with a question and answer session with board members.

Councillor Sarah Russell, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "e4e is a really special initiative and it's important to all of us involved that we achieve a lot of positive outcomes for the young people we are aiming to help. All that youngsters need from time to time is a bit of a pat on the back and it sometimes isn't enough for them to hear compliments from their teachers in the classroom - they really need to be hearing it from people who potentially could be their boss in a few years' time."

John Forkin, Managing Director at Marketing Derby, said: "We at Marketing Derby are passionate about the e4e scheme and have already put ourselves forward as volunteer mentors. e4e is a fantastic project, which is already making a positive difference to Derby's young by raising their self-belief, motivation and aspirations and helping them achieve their best by unlocking their true potential."

Freeths celebrates diversity

Leading law firm and Bondholder Freeths LLP is celebrating its achievements at the UK Diversity Legal Awards.

The awards dinner took place at the Grand Tower Bridge Hotel in London and the company ranked first place in the diversity league table, resulting in Freeths receiving the award for Best Firm 2015.

Freeths was up against several international law firms and firms with a significant presence in London.

Colin Flanagan, Chairman of Freeths, commented: "This is a real step up the league table for Freeths, and a testament to the work of our diversity and inclusion committee over the past year. We have worked hard on a range of initiatives including launching a new diversity strategy, embedding our equality policies, and delivering unconscious bias training to all staff. This award helps take us closer to achieving our vision of an inclusive workplace where individuality and diversity are celebrated and where fairness is valued as a key strength of the firm.”

Schools seek 250 business helpers

This morning Marketing Derby Bondholders gathered at the Council House to learn more about the Enterprise for Education (E4E) scheme.

E4E is a Derby partnership, which links employers with schools and students in a bid to raise young people’s aspirations; improve employability skills amongst the city’s young people; provide a larger pool of home-grown talent for local employers; and create a better understanding of the career opportunities available.

The project board is made up from representatives from Derby City Council and the city’s private sector, including Bondholder companies Rolls-Royce, Freeths and iBox-Security.

Over the past year E4E has helped over 4,000 local children with a programme of mock interviews, CV writing workshops and mentoring.

Chairman of E4E, and Partner at law-firm Freeths, Mike Copestake said: ““E4E’s principal aim is to raise the aspirations and hopefully the attainment of the city’s young people and enable them to go on and achieve something positive in their careers.

By showing youngsters that anything is realistically achievable and giving them a bit of guidance, their aspirations and confidence can grow enormously in a short space of time.
— Mike Copestake, Chairman of E4E

The organisation is looking to recruit another 250 volunteers to help support pupils and schools, and help prepare young people for the world of work.  

To register your interest, please click here.