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Piers Coleman

Partner
+44.(0)20.7360.8206
Fax +44.(0)20.7648.9001
Piers Coleman is a partner in electoral law and in the global government solutions practice in the firm's London office. He has experience of the workings of political institutions within the UK through his work as an electoral lawyer, and his work looking after the interests and demands of political parties and non-Government entities.

Piers is by background a transactional real estate lawyer. In addition to his real estate practice he has always provided electoral and policy advice. Events in recent years have meant that his experience in this latter area has been in much demand.

He has experience handling the conduct of Parliamentary elections, both national and European, and local elections at all levels, from the perspective of political parties, individual candidates, and also Returning Officers and their staff. He has been involved in many of the major election disputes of the last 30 years, the most recent being the successful Parliamentary election petition at Oldham & Saddleworth in September 2010, reported at the time as the first case of its kind in 100 years. Piers has written for national newspapers and legal journals and has been vice-chairman of the HS Chapman Society, an apolitical society focused on encouraging improvement in electoral law in the UK.

In recent years his political and electoral experience has been used for the benefit of the firm’s corporate and charity clients, in dealing with issues around elections and referendums, and in dealing with non-election issues where there is political impact.

He is ranked as a leading individual by the latest editions of Chambers & Partners (2018) and Legal 500 (2017) for Electoral Law.

Professional Background

Mr. Coleman was admitted as a lawyer in 1978 and became a partner at the firm in 1993, after leaving the Fleet Street practice which he co-founded in 1980.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Brambletye School (Governor)
  • St Edmund's School, Canterbury (Governor)
  • HS Chapman Society UK (Vice Chairman)
  • Pilgrims Society (Executive Committee)
  • Providing advice to US and UK clients seeking guidance on the operation of political institutions in London.
  • Advising a major UK engineering group on the potential consequences of a hard Brexit.
  • Acting for the petitioner, Elwyn Watkins, in the Parliamentary Election Petition at Oldham East & Saddleworth in 2010 (the first case of its kind in 99 years), which resulted in the sitting Labour MP being disqualified from sitting in the House of Commons, and in the calling of a Parliamentary By-Election.
  • Advising (both broadcasters and political parties) on broadcasting issues at elections and in between.
  • Advising large corporations and charities on the Lobbying Act effects in the lead up to the 2016 Referendum.
  • Acting for at least one large corporation on the third party effects of possible spending in the lead up to the 2017 General Election.
  • Advising permitted participants and registered third parties and individuals on expense issues arising from the 2016 Referendum and the 2017 General Election.
  • Advising campaigning groups as individuals on their interaction with the Electoral Commission.
  • Providing regulatory advice to campaigning groups especially in context of a short notice General Election or Second EU Referendum.

Recently, his knowledge of political processes (not just in and around elections) has been of value to firm’s corporate and charity clients. He has led the firm’s periodic web-based Brexit phone-ins for clients around the world since the June 2016 UK Referendum, and is also consulted by firm’s corporate clients on Brexit linked questions and strategies.