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Belinda Naiken-Payne LawBrief

Belinda Naiken-Payne

LawBrief, Solicitor

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  • Experience

    Belinda Naiken-Payne qualified as a Barrister in England and Wales in 2002, and as a Barrister in Mauritius in 2004. She has worked in and advised a number of businesses in the UK and Mauritius.

    Belinda combines specialist knowledge of commercial law with substantial practical experience of concluding commercial transactions in the UK and across EMEA and AMER. She has also provided training on a range of legal issues in Mauritius and in the UK. She has extensive experience of advising on Commercial Law, Employment Law and International trade, covering a range of industries including software, facilities management, rail infrastructure, gaming, online betting, the hotel and hospitality industry, as well as the ICAC, the Mauritius equivalent of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.

  • Education

    Belinda read law at the University of Birmingham and studied for the Bar at Inns of Court School of Law, London. She is also a member of Gray’s Inn.

  • Languages

    Fluent in English and French, Belinda can also assist with the translation of legal documents from French to English or from English to French.

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Richard Pickering

Richard Pickering

Richard Pickering is an experienced litigator, having qualified as a Solicitor in 2005 and later as a Solicitor Advocate in 2018 having acquired Higher Rights of Advocacy in the Civil Higher Courts. He has specialist expertise in Commercial and Residential Property litigation, with particular focus on dispute resolution and risk management.

Richard also has considerable expertise in Dilapidations, Business tenancy renewals, Boundary, trespass, rights of way, access and easement disputes. In addition, Richard has acted for a large variety of clients on Lease covenant and service charge disputes, Telecommunications issues for both Landowner/Landlords and Tenants (from previous employment), plus a range Commercial disputes and debt recovery/litigation matters.

Prior to commencing his law degree, Richard worked for both a major bank and well-known credit finance company in their litigation team before studying his Legal Practice Course at The College of law in York and thereafter as a trainee solicitor at a regional Norfolk firm.

On qualification, Richard moved back to his native Yorkshire and worked for Eversheds, Walker Morris and more recently at Hempsons, where Richard progressed from Solicitor to Partner in the space of seven years. Richard predominately focused on Property Litigation work in this period since qualification but has also gained invaluable experience and expertise in those other key areas noted above.

Since January 2018, Richard worked at Optima Legal Services Limited (part of Capita PLC) as the Complex Litigation Team Manager and Solicitor Advocate. His role required him to manage a team of ten people, being a mixture and paralegals, solicitors and trainee solicitors handling more complex and difficult litigated claims and proceedings within the company. The team handle a range of matters, mainly relating to mortgage debt recovery, mortgage repossession, shortfall claims, Charging Orders and Title Rectification matters.

In addition, also dealt with and supervised team members on a variety of high value debt recovery matters. Also, the team handled Asset Finance Litigation claims for a leading car manufacturer.

In 2018, Richard attained the status of Solicitor Advocate, meaning that Richard can in effect handle litigation matters from the first client meeting to the final hearing, without the need for any “dual instruction” of a Barrister. This invaluable qualification enables Richard to offer this “one-stop-shop” facility, which we are sure will be both cost effective and invaluable to clients in resolving their disputes.

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Asif Khan

Asif Khan

Asif Khan is a solicitor with experience in finance (including regulatory compliance), corporate and commercial law. Asif also has a deep understanding of the legal and governance issues affecting AIM companies.

In addition to working in-house as legal counsel, Asif has performed the roles of Compliance Officer and MLRO at an FCA regulated investment firm.

Examples of recent work in-house include:

  • Introducing a new holding company by way of a scheme of arrangement and de-listing the company from AIM;
  • Completing multiple tender offer buybacks;
  • Overseeing remediation arising from an FCA Skilled Persons Review.

In his own words:

“Having worked in-house for 5 years, I understand the financial pressures entrepreneurs face. I enjoy providing SMEs with cost-effective, commercial legal advice and knowing that I can be a part of their success.”

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Steven Janes

Steven Janes

Steven Janes has over 20 years’ experience as a corporate and commercial lawyer specialising in legal issues and transactions in business, commerce, finance and start-up projects. In recent years much of his work has been as an in-house adviser, giving him a valuable perspective on the issues that matter to business owners and managers.

Steven worked in private practice with major global law firms in the UK, Europe, America and Asia, and as head of a team of 10 lawyers at a large UK business service group. He brings extensive knowledge from areas such as business acquisitions and sales, commercial and investment projects, government procurement and financial services to meet the needs of his clients, who are generally owner-managed businesses, SME’s and larger privately-owned companies, covering a broad cross-section of industrial, services and financial business.

Steven started his career at Freshfields, subsequently working at two other major global firms in the UK, France and Asia, before moving to UK regional firms, then into in-house roles.

Steve has particular experience in the financial services, services outsourcing and logistics sectors. Steven’s recent work has involved advising an innovative aviation manufacturing project, an alternative credit provider, an equity crowd-funding platform and a blockchain-based digital archiving business.

According to one client:

“Steven is well organised, has good communication skills and has always approached work for our company in a positive manner with professionalism and clear commercial awareness…”

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Ashley Gurr LawBrief Ashley Gurr
Ashley Gurr LawBrief

Ashley Gurr

Ashley Gurr is an experienced Solicitor who has represented SME clients for many years in the fields of Commercial Property, General Commercial and Employment Law.

After completing Law School, Ashley joined a highly-regarded, full-service Solicitors firm in North Worcestershire, where he quickly progressed from Trainee Solicitor to Assistant Solicitor, and then on to Associate Solicitor, spending almost 5 years there across two spells. During this period, Ashley predominantly worked with SME clients, and he developed a very good understanding of their needs and requirements. Accordingly, he developed his reputation as an astute Solicitor with a keen eye for detail and genuine commercial awareness.

In 2012, Ashley set up his own successful niche Law Firm in the North Worcestershire / South Birmingham area, which specialised in Commercial and Employment Law. Following an impressive period of growth and client-wins, in 2014 he merged his practice with his previous Firm to widen the services offered to his clients. As a result of the merger, Ashley became Partner in charge over the Commercial, Commercial Property and Employment Law departments. Following a takeover of the Firm in 2018 by a regional Legal 500 firm, Ashley became a Consultant Solicitor.

He also has post-qualification experience working as an In House Lawyer at a FTSE 250 international consultancy group, advising on Commercial Contracts, and at a FTSE 100 multi-national utility giant, in a Contract Strategy role.

The bulk of his experience on the Commercial Property side lies in commercial Leases and freehold acquisitions and disposals, ranging from retail premises, licensed premises, industrial units and offices etc. He has experience of working for both Landlord and Tenant, and is particularly good at negotiating appropriate Lease clauses to safeguard his clients.

On the General Commercial side, Ashley has experience in bespoke Contracts, Business Formation, Standard Terms and Conditions, Business Sales & Purchases and also Partnership Agreements and Shareholder Agreements etc. Finally, on the Employment side, Ashley has acted for both SME and Senior Employee clients on matters ranging from Settlement Agreements (including in particular negotiating terms for Senior Directors), Redundancies, Grievances, Tribunal Claims, ACAS Settlements and everything in between.

In his own words:

“I enjoy getting under the ‘skin’ of a client’s business to truly understand it, so that I can really add value and provide precise, commercially-centric advice fitting their specific business and its circumstances.”

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