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Meet Our People

  • James Waddell
  • Kate Schmit
  • Nick Atkins
  • Rebecca Walker

James Waddell - Partner

"I read history at Durham and then (like virtually the whole of my year of Durham history graduates) came down to do the CPE and LPC at The College of Law in Guildford.

I got a training contract at Macfarlanes and was seconded to a listed IT company for six months, during which time I qualified into Macfarlanes’ corporate department in 1999. By the time I was about two years PQE I had been working extremely hard, had just got married and my wife and I were thinking about buying a house and starting a family. I knew I didn’t want to live in London long term and I also did not fancy taking up commuting. I also wanted to get on with my life outside work and I wasn’t sure that the path to partnership at a City firm was going to allow much time for that. It just felt like the right time to make a move.

I was on the point of accepting a job in Bristol, when a recruitment consultant suggested that I talk to Stevens & Bolton LLP. I was immediately won over. Stevens & Bolton sounded like exactly the firm I was looking for – one with a real focus on the quality of the team and the quality of the work being done and with a clear plan for the future.

I joined the firm's corporate team in 2001 and felt straight away that I had made the right choice. At first I missed not having some of the comforting infrastructure of a City law firm, but the work I was doing was just as challenging and interesting as what I had been doing in London and the people were great. Also Guildford and the villages around it are a lovely place to live. I became a senior associate in 2003 and was made a partner in 2007, so Stevens & Bolton has definitely delivered on my expectations."

2007

Partner, Stevens & Bolton LLP

James deals with a wide range of corporate matters including public and private mergers and acquisitions, MBOs, fundraisings, corporate reorganisations and joint ventures for businesses and business owners across a number of sectors.

2003

Senior Associate, Stevens & Bolton LLP

2001

Corporate Associate, Stevens & Bolton LLP

1999

Qualified Solicitor, Macfarlanes

1995

BA History, Durham University

Kate Schmit - Partner

“When I decided to relocate from the North I started to consider possible firms to approach that would be a good fit.  As a corporate tax and employee share schemes specialist I initially suspected that I would need to work in London in order to maintain the quality of work I had become used to.  I was however delighted to be proven wrong. 

Stevens & Bolton LLP was looking to add a corporate tax practice to its offering and the firm has been hugely supportive in helping me to establish and build my practice.  My experience of the move has been wholly positive; I get to do quality work with a talented and collegiate team all within a twenty minute drive from home – perfect.”

2010

Partner, Stevens & Bolton LLP

Kate specialises in corporate tax, employee share schemes and employment related taxation with extensive experience of negotiating the documentation relating to corporate and private equity transactions, along with designing and implementing a wide variety of equity incentive arrangements.

2008

Senior Associate, Stevens & Bolton LLP

2000

Qualified Solicitor, Hammonds LLP (now Squire Patton Boggs), Manchester. Became a Senior Associate in 2007

1998

Trainee Solicitor, Hammonds LLP (now Squire Patton Boggs), Manchester, Leeds and London

1997

BA Accounting & Law, The University of Manchester

Nick Atkins - Partner

“I made the move to Stevens & Bolton LLP to build upon my existing corporate experience, working with City quality lawyers and interesting clients but remaining outside London.

I work on all types of mergers and acquisitions, from small business sales to cross border acquisitions to public company work, as well as restructuring and shareholder arrangements.

It is this breadth of quality work that brought me to Stevens & Bolton and I have not been disappointed. Moreover, the firm has a collaborative working environment that supports career development while at the same time encouraging a work-life balance. In short, it’s a great place to work.”

2014

Senior Associate, Stevens & Bolton LLP

Nicholas advises on mergers and acquisitions, shareholder arrangements, reorganisations and general corporate matters. He frequently advises private equity portfolio companies and is a member of the insolvency & restructuring practice group.

2011

Associate, Stevens & Bolton LLP

2008

Qualified Solicitor, Mundays LLP

2006

Trainee Solicitor, Mundays LLP

2004

BA Politics & Spanish, Bristol University

Rebecca Walker - Senior Associate

"I decided at about 18 months PQE that the City was no longer the place I wanted to be long term. While the work was interesting and challenging, I lived in Guildford at the time and felt that I was spending a significant proportion of my day commuting, so I started looking at firms in the area.

Having qualified into insolvency and restructuring, I realised it was going to be difficult to find a position immediately, as a lot of regional firms do not have dedicated insolvency and restructuring teams. Luckily, when I was about 3 years PQE, Stevens & Bolton LLP decided to expand its insolvency & restructuring team and I jumped at the chance to work for the firm.  I have never doubted that the decision to leave the City was the right one for me - the quality of the work here is excellent, so I haven’t had to compromise my career in any way and, of course, I get the work/life balance that I was craving when working in London.”

2014

Senior Associate, Stevens & Bolton LLP

Rebecca deals with a wide range of insolvency and restructuring matters, advising insolvency practitioners, companies, individual directors, financial institutions and other stakeholders.

2011

Associate, Stevens & Bolton LLP

2008

Associate, SJ Berwin LLP. Qualified into Reconstruction & Insolvency department and also spent six-months on secondment at a hedge fund.

2004

LLM, Universitat des Saarlandes, Germany

2003

LLB, University of Exeter

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