Penningtons Solicitors LLP

The Scoop

Penningtons is a mid-sized firm based in the City of London, with offices in Godalming, Surrey, and Basingstoke, Hampshire. The firm's financial figures put it securely among the UK's top 100 firms. Penningtons' core practices include dispute resolution, corporate and commercial law, property and private client services. The firm's clinical negligence group, in particular, has built a strong reputation both regionally and nationally.

Looking ahead

In 2007, Penningtons initiated a strategic review to secure the long-term development of the practice. As part of the review, the firm moved away from an office-based structure to re-organise into three divisions: business services, commercial property and private individuals. Penningtons' strongest practice areas are in corporate, private client, employment and property, but it also offers a full commercial service, including intellectual property and competition law. The firm has a dedicated India group, including dual-qualified lawyers, that regularly handles cross-border transactions for clients in a number of industries.

The private client division has a group devoted specifically to tax and trusts issues with an international aspect, and Penningtons also has a specialist capacity and Court of Protection team that advises on issues related to financial management and planning and the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Penningtons' dispute resolution practice covers the spectrum, from construction work to insolvency to personal injury and clinical negligence claims.

City expansion

One key component of the firm's strategic plan is to strengthen its London presence. Toward that end, Penningtons absorbed two well-established city firms in 2011. In April, the firm acquired Wedlake Saint, a small City-based practice with more than 100 years of history behind it. The following month, Penningtons merged with the Lincoln's Inn firm Dawsons, bringing into the Penningtons fold Dawsons' employment, litigation, private client and property teams, with 40 lawyers, including seven partners.

Increasing the talent pool

In 2007 Penningtons joined with a dozen other law firms in a project of the City Solicitors Educational Trust, which has pledged £750,000 to increase diversity within the legal profession. The aim of the trust is to encourage students from outside the exclusive Russell group of 20 universities (which includes Oxford and Cambridge) to enter the profession.

Recent News

Government sanctuary

In July 2011, Tishman Speyer purchased the landmark Sanctuary Buildings in Westminster for £175 million. The US-based real estate investment giant purchased the property, which is let to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and occupied by the Department of Education, from Irish company Vico Capital. Penningtons advised Redicent Limited, Vico's property holding company, on the transaction.

Recovery for diabetic patient

In a case featured in a June 2011 Guardian article about the standard of diabetes care in Britain, the firm's clinical negligence lawyers won damages for their client, a diabetic who had to have part of his foot amputated following inadequate treatment of an ulcer. Penningtons issued proceedings in the High Court, claiming that the client's GP surgery and the diabetic clinic at Mayday Hospital had failed to properly examine their client and provide the urgent care that could have prevented the recurrent infections that damaged his foot and resulted in amputation. The defendants agreed to settle the claim prior to trial.

Supermarket sale

In June 2011, Penningtons' London based property investors team advised longtime client Aviva Investors Pensions Limited on its £30 million acquisition of a development in Welling, Kent. The property, which was purchased from Retail Development Partnership, includes a 72,000 square foot Tesco supermarket and 64 residential flats.

Landmark discrimination ruling

In January 2011, Penningtons won an unprecedented ruling on behalf of a gay couple who were refused a double room by a private hotel in Bristol because of their sexual orientation. The hotel owners, devout Christians, argued that their policy was not discriminatory in that it prevented any unmarried couple, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, from sharing a bed. However, the Bristol County Court found that the owners' views were not in keeping with either current social attitudes or the law. The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for providers of services to discriminate on grounds of age, sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, religion or belief. The hotel's policy was therefore found discriminatory on grounds of marital status and sexual orientation, and the owners were ordered to pay compensation.

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Penningtons Solicitors LLP

Abacus House
33 Gutter Lane
London EC2V 8AR
Phone: +44 (0)20 7457 3000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chief executive: David Raine
  • Total No. Attorneys 2011: 138

Major Office Locations

  • London, United Kingdom
  • Basingstoke, United Kingdom
  • Godalming, United Kingdom

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