Freeths Solicitors
Pitching for Success Sponsor

Freeths Solicitors specialises in advising a range of innovators, investors and entrepreneurs on how to de-risk their intellectual property, business growth and investments through the tightening up of their legal paperwork.

In today’s world it is a given that as a law firm we provide advice on legal matters but at Freeths, being a lawyer is much more than that. A great service requires more than just knowing the law and responding to your needs in a transactional way. It is about lateral thinking instead of looking at the problem head on, it is about putting ourselves in your shoes, seeing your vision and listening to your ideas so that we can make those ideas happen. It is about being undeniably good and always delivering more to you than you expect. These are the qualities that separate a Freeths lawyer from other lawyers.

What makes us unique is the firm’s culture, which we call ‘freethinking’. In essence, being a Freeths’ lawyer is about a lot more than just knowing the law, it is about entrepreneurialism, it is about doing the right thing, it is about building trust and most importantly of all, it is about delivering results for the innovators, entrepreneurs and investors we act for in Oxford and throughout our network of 13 offices.

Contact Details

01865 781000

[email protected]

5000 Oxford Business Park South, Oxford, OX4 2BH

Meet the experts

Duncan Crine

Partner and Head of the Dispute Management Department

Duncan specialises in resolving commercial and corporate disputes for entrepreneurs, investors, and executives. Clients hold Duncan in high regard for providing pragmatic solutions-oriented advice – a tenacious litigator when required but also a skilled negotiator and a keen advocate of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation and arbitration. Duncan is an Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator.

Recent work example:  Duncan recently advised a tech-company on their dispute with a supplier which had not produced technology to the agreed standards.  He and his team were able to secure a successful outcome for the client by a combination of well-prepared court action and effective advocacy at mediation.

Duncan and his team can help you with a range of commercial disputes including: contractual disputes (involving customers, suppliers or other businesses); disputes arising from mergers and acquisitions; shareholder and partnership disputes; IT and cyber issues; enforcement of covenants and warranties; intellectual property disputes; and advising companies on remedies for professional negligence.


Leon Arnold

Partner and Head of Corporate Department

Leon is a specialist in managing corporate transactions and investments.

As the head of the Freeths corporate department in Oxford, he has assisted both local and national businesses for 20 years in achieving their long-term growth objectives, often through raising investment.

The Oxford corporate team bring energy and expertise to all their corporate transactions – whether it is an initial shareholders agreement, equity fundraising, banking or M&A.

One relevant case study involves The White Rabbit Pizza Company Limited, the gluten-free pizza start-up headquartered here in Oxford. We have helped them secure a number of investment rounds, including the £750,000 investment in December 2018 from investors including leading industry executives such as former Burton’s Biscuit Co. CEO Ben Clarke, the Propercorn co-founder Ryan Kohn and Letty Edwards, and the former Fox’s Biscuits director. According to industry databases this is one of only four deals worldwide involving angels targeting perishable prepared food manufacturing since the beginning of 2006.

Leon works with Freeths’ tax team to ensure qualification for relevant reliefs, devising option schemes and securing entrepreneur’s relief on any exit.


Rebecca Howlett

Partner and Head of Commercial Department

Rebecca specialises in de-risking commercial relationships for businesses, ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to Plc companies. Clients appreciate Rebecca’s expertise in helping them to exploit and monetise their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

With over 15 years’ experience and expertise in providing contractual advice to entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses, Rebecca is renowned by her peers and clients for her diligent and commercial approach to de-risking commercial relationships.

Recent work example:  Rebecca recently acted for an investor in negotiating a complex licence for IPR, between her client and an organic fruit start-up.  The investor was seeking to ensure that it received a fair return on its investment, in respect of any IPR that was generated during the course of developing the brand. Rebecca was able to secure a successful outcome for her client by negotiating a fair and commercially sensible agreement, which ensured that both the investor and the entrepreneur were adequately remunerated for their respective investments.

Rebecca and her team can help you with a variety of commercial services, including: the drafting or negotiating of agreements for the supply of goods and/or services, advice in respect of Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), drafting or negotiating licences to protect your IPR, royalty agreements, drafting a set of Terms and Conditions for your business.


Will Richmond-Coggan

Director (GDPR/Data Privacy)

Will has been working in the fields of corporate reputation and data protection for the last fifteen years, and specializes in helping businesses to unlock the value of their data assets in a compliant way. A nationally recognized expert in GDPR, Will has the ability to deliver highly technical legal advice in an accessible and commercially relevant way.

These skills are greatly prized by his diverse mix of local, national and international clients, representing sectors from technology to education. Will and the data protection team provide targeted and cost-effective advice to everything from small AI startups to established SMEs in the public sector supply chain and multi-national hardware manufacturers. The support of that wider team means that Will is always accessible, and happy to discuss any specific queries you have over the phone or a cup of coffee, on a no obligations basis.


Mark Emery

Partner and Head of Employment Law

Mark specialises in advising SMEs and organisations (public, charity, and educational institutes) on HR issues and strategy. In addition to this, he is an employment tribunal Judge and advises and acts for employers and individuals in Employment Tribunal and employment-related High Court claims.

Clients hold Mark in high regard for his strategic advice yet personable nature. He has over 18 years’ experience as an employment lawyer and was listed as a Leading Individual in Chambers (2017 Edition) as well as previous editions. He is currently listed as a Recommended Lawyer in the Legal 500 (2019 Edition).

Recent work examples:  significant claims within the Employment Tribunal, providing strategic advice on large-scale redundancies, complex TUPE issues on sale and purchase of businesses, legal action to stop employees breaching post-termination restrictions, defending allegations of pregnancy discrimination after an employee was dismissed for failing to pass her probation.

Mark and his team can help you with a range of employment-related disputes and/or HR issues including but not limited to advice on: redundancies, TUPE transfers, contractual disputes, disciplinary procedures, dismissals and bringing or defending an employment tribunal claim.



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