Bournemouth: Law firm’s head of business promoted to partner

One of the country’s top business lawyers has been promoted to partner at South law firm Ellis Jones Solicitors.

Neil Cook, head of business services at the firm, was personally recommended in the 2020 edition of the industry bible The Legal 500.

He hails from a business background and has headed up legal departments in both London and New York where he worked for seven years and qualified as a US attorney in 1990.

Ellis Jones Solicitors has six offices across the south coast, in Bournemouth, Canford Cliffs (Poole), Christchurch, Ringwood, Swanage and Wimborne as well as in London. The 160-strong firm has 17 partners.

Nigel Smith, managing partner, said: “Neil is a vastly experienced lawyer who has worked at the coal face in business.

“He has been independently endorsed by the prestigious Legal 500 publication three times in the past four years and is one of the top business lawyers in his field.

“His promotion is thoroughly deserved and strengthens the considerable talent we have among our growing number of Partners.”

Ellis Jones new partner

From left: Newly-promoted partner Neil Cook with Nigel Smith, managing partner of Ellis Jones Solicitors

Cook, who grew up in Bournemouth, qualified as a solicitor in 1981 and worked in London before his expertise in mergers and acquisitions took him to New York.

There, he helped build a billion dollar business and qualified as an attorney at the New York State Bar in 1990.

Cook returned to the UK in 1993 and worked for an insurance giant in the City before launching his own property development company. He also owned and operated a care home before returning to the legal profession with Ellis Jones Solicitors.

Cook was praised in the 2020 edition of The Legal 500 for his ‘extensive experience of the care home industry’ and in the 2019 listing for his ‘good commercial background’.

He said: “I am delighted to become a partner at Ellis Jones.

“My business background coupled with my legal career in commerce gives me a strong understanding of the business realities faced by our clients.

“Seeing businesses succeed is by far the most rewarding part of what we do.”