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Commercial litigation: Cambridge

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Cambridge
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  3. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Leading individuals (region-wide)

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Cambridge clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Birketts LLP provides ‘excellent service and has detailed knowledge of corporate, commercial and insolvency law, which is useful in covering all aspects of a dispute’. The department not only has a strong stream of local work, but is also increasing its exposure to matters with a cross-border element thanks to team head Laurence Weeks, who has ‘excellent depth of knowledge in dispute resolution and a pragmatic, sensible and realistic approach that enables him to explain options clearly and calmly’. Weeks and associate Naomi Westcott represented Powerscourt Services in a multimillion-pound case involving allegations of fraud, breach of contract and defamation relating to the operation of farmland in Argentina. Another highlight saw Weeks successfully bring a £2m claim on behalf of wedding venue operator Alterra Farms Limited for misrepresentation by a company that had a contractual agreement to promote the business. The firm also acted for Roundshield Partners in a £600,000 claim concerning deal fees for financial transactions, in which defendants are domiciled in the US and Ireland. On the defendant side, the firm is representing The Honourable Charles George Yule Balfour in a £30m case brought by Courtwood Holdings for breach of fiduciary duty.

Mills & Reeve LLP provides ‘efficient and clear advice’ at a ‘consistently high standard’, marking it out as ‘among the top firms in this practice area’. Partner Jamie Wheatley leads a team in Cambridge that is known for advisory, regulatory and contentious work for national and regional clients in the technology, food, agribusiness, private client, health and education sectors. Wheatley’s highlights included acting for Westward Consultants in a claim to recover £11m owed to it and other parties by Orb, which has been declared bankrupt in Jersey and which has assets in numerous overseas jurisdictions. Gary Attle focuses on public law and represented Queen Mary University of London at tribunal in a case concerning a sensitive request for information made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which raised the question of how to adequately protect individual-level data in a clinical trial. Also recommended are principal associates Helen Prandy, who handles contract and procurement disputes; Douglas McDonald, who handles contentious matters in the technology sector; and Lino Di Lorenzo, who handles asset recovery cases. Senior associate and barrister Monika Sobiecki ‘quickly cuts through the noise to get to the nub of the issue’. Experienced litigator (and head of the North America desk) Graeme Menzies is now a consultant.

According to clients, Taylor Vinters’ ‘major strength is the ability to identify key pinch points in litigation and use the best resources to deal with them’. ‘The go-to firm in the region’, the disputes practice advises high-growth and entrepreneurial clients on disputes, with particular emphasis in the technology sector, and ‘does its job admirably, making practical, commercial and legally correct decisions along the way’. It also acts for local, regional and international businesses in sectors such as automotive, agriculture and pharmaceuticals. Luke Hibbert attracts praise for his ‘forward-thinking approach; he effectively involves clients in decision-making at each stage and has an excellent mastery of the detail with a focus on strategy’. ‘Unshakable’ associate Jonathan Davies is noted for his ‘excellent strategic mind’, his ‘impressive candour,and his ability to be frank with clients about legal issues and commercial realities’. In an illustration of its life sciences capability, Hibbert and ‘efficient, committed and knowledgeable’ associate Beth Price advised a pharmaceutical company on a $2m licensing agreement claim against a biopharma company. The firm’s other highlights included advising the UK arm of a European company on £1m dispute with a designer of brick cladding units for a residential development in London. Edward Perrott is now a consultant.

Ashtons Legal has a strong reputation across the region for contract and partnership disputes, and litigation involving clients in the real estate sector. It recently expanded its sector focus with a specialist team led by associate Annabel Mayer focusing on acting for owners and operators of care homes. Accredited mediator Michael Frape leads the practice and is well regarded for his ‘good eye for detail; he will roll up his sleeves and provides sound, realistic advice’. Frape recently represented a client in the sports nutrition industry in a breach of contract claim against an agent; the claim, which exceeded £250,000 in value, centred on the procurement of defective equipment. He also acted for a US client in a £1m breach of contract dispute relating to the distribution of manufacturing equipment, and advised a company director on a £450,000 case concerning antecedent transactions that were in breach of the Insolvency Act 1986. The firm counts Cambridge Building Society, Norwich City Football Club and Cnet Training among its clients.

Hewitsons has a longstanding reputation as a respectable litigation practice in Cambridge and has extended its client base across the region and beyond to include companies in Europe and the US. Simon Biggin has more than 30 years’ experience in contract, product liability, software development, warranty and shareholder disputes. He leads a team that has experienced lawyers in contentious real estate, public procurement and partnership matters. Biggin and senior solicitor Stewart Morrison are currently advising a French manufacturing company on a regulatory matter involving complex issues stemming from the Medical Devices Directive 2000 and the Medical Devices Regulations 2002. They are also representing a technology supplier in an ongoing public procurement dispute involving complex legal issues arising from the Public Contracts Regulations 2006. The firm counts VKR Holdings, British Institute of Interior Design and Kawasaki Motors Europe among its clients.

Tees Law’s ‘truly excellent’ team is ‘prompt, reliable, efficient and helpful’. Team head and senior associate Sara Stabler ‘deals with complex matters responsibly and with a commercial outlook’. A higher court advocate with 20 years’ experience in commercial disputes, Stabler ‘has a real grasp of the law, is tenacious, friendly and personable, and cuts out any nonsense to get to the core of the issue’. She can call on the expertise of five other partners across the firm’s office network. Recent highlights include representing Whites Carpentry in a dispute over a fixed price contract that was settled without prejudice before litigation; acting for a defendant in a contract services dispute that was resolved by negotiated settlement; and advising the directors of a company in a complex matter involving company law, bankruptcy and tenancy issues.


Commercial litigation: Ipswich

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Ipswich
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  3. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Leading individuals (region-wide)

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Ipswich clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Clients of Birketts LLP are quick to praise the ‘very quick, very reliable service, which demonstrates a high level of knowledge’, as well as the team’s ability to ‘give practical advice and quickly build an appropriate team for each case’. Its broad spectrum of work includes tortious and contractual claims, commercial fraud, shareholder disputes, breach of restrictive covenant agreements, product liability and partnership disputes. Matthew Atkins has been one of the region’s foremost litigators for more than 25 years and associate Emma Albins is a rising star. Highlights included representing an overseas food supplier in a dispute with a customer in the UK; obtaining a favourable settlement by mediation in a claim against a supplier of hired machinery; resolving a complex research and development agreement dispute; and acting on behalf of a UK-based multinational enterprise in arbitrations related to claims arising from share and business sales. The firm’s clients include Greene King, Archant Community Media and Forfarmers UK.

Ashtons Legal is continuing to strengthen its reputation as one of the region’s go-to firms for contract and partnership disputes, and alternative dispute resolution. ‘Strong litigator’ Rob Adam and Polly Stephenson (who ‘has a tenacious and detailed grasp on matters and shows a real commitment to the interests of her clients’) are highly recommended. Among Adam’s many highlights is his representation of Team G Limited and Foam Home, which hold master franchise and franchise agreements, in a dispute arising from the franchisor’s assertion that it had a claim exceeding £100,000 against the firm’s clients; Adam successfully argued that the matters raised by the franchisor did not amount to a repudiatory breach of contract. He is also handling a claim exceeding £1m in value relating to a defendant’s commission agreement. Adam and associate Annabel Mayer, who handles many regulatory compliance issues, are handling a £250,000 claim concerning lease agreements for containers.

Victoria Spellman leads the team at Gotelee Solicitors and handles a diverse workload including disputes arising from commercial contracts, online trading, data protection, partnerships and judicial review. Experienced advocate Howard Catherall majors in road transport matters but has a wider commercial litigation brief that includes high-value and international disputes involving clients in the transport and property sectors. The firm is currently acting for overseas investors, including some based in Australia and South Africa, in a group action claim for mis-selling against parties in England and France. The team is also acting for an overseas businessman in an online defamation claim relating to his investment in an English football club and is representing a local parish council in its judicial review of the interpretation of district council policy. In another cross-border highlight, the firm is acting for investors who were mis-sold investments in Turkey, The Philippines and the Caribbean.

Blocks attracts praise for its ‘dedicated personal service’. Partner and head of team Graham Mead ‘deals with projects both large and small professionally, often preventing litigation from arising’. Mead is an experienced litigator with 20 years’ experience in breach of contract, insolvency, professional negligence and real estate disputes. One of his recent highlights was the defence of a £2m claim for a company based in Ireland. The claim, which was brought by a commercial agent, was settled on favourable terms.

Kerseys Solicitors provides ‘very fast, efficient and no-fuss advice’. Experienced litigator Anthony Wooding has more than 20 years’ experience and clients are quick to praise associate Ross Burkitt, noting that he is ‘easy to work with and his expertise is tempered with a very pleasant manner; he quickly understands the issues’. Recent highlights included representing a client in a dispute over uncollected goods left in storage; assisting with a claim against an auctioneer for alleged misrepresentation; successfully acting for Cost Management Consultants in claims for the payment of substantial fees for services provided to corporate clients; and acting for a property development company in a dispute with the main contractor concerning a large residential development project.

At Prettys, head of dispute resolution Peter Blake, who works from both the Ipswich and Chelmsford offices, oversees ‘an experienced team with a commercial edge’. ‘Excellent litigator’ Roland Sharp, who has more than 30 years’ experience, ‘combines toughness with good project management skills and a strong tactical approach always grounded in realism’. Associate Ian Seeley is known for regulatory and procurement litigation, as well as contract disputes in the construction sector. The firm’s client base is a mix of listed companies, UK and international private businesses, SMEs and limited liability partnerships. Sharp acted for the chief executive of a financial services company who advised on business strategy for a new care home but was cut out of the final project at the request of another shareholder. The resulting restitutionary claim achieved a favourable result for the client.


Commercial litigation: Norwich

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Norwich
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  3. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Leading individuals (region-wide)

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Norwich clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Clients report ‘excellent service from the entire team’ at Mills & Reeve LLP, which is ‘very on the ball, efficient and knowledgeable – well worth the money’ and ‘every bit as good as some of the best London firms in terms of quality and tenacity’. ‘Clever, insightful and robust’ lead partner Rachel Higgs attracts praise for her ‘robust, no-nonsense views on how to tackle a case; her advice is top quality in comparison not only to regional firms, but also City firms’. Associate and ‘superb counsellor’ Jenny Williams is also recommended. Higgs and Williams are acting for Able UK, NWG UK and their shareholders in a £49m breach of contract claim against a firm of accountants. In another highlight, the team represented independent employment agency Jark in potential breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy and breach of contract claims after regional managers set up a competing enterprise taking the entire workforce and all of their customers to the new business. The team also represented a client in three sets of proceedings against the purchaser of shares in an investment company.

Birketts LLP has ‘a very good offering’ thanks largely to veteran litigators Paul Matthews and Max Roessler, both of whom have excellent reputations in the local area. The experience at partner level is backed up by the team’s strength in depth across litigation and alternative dispute resolution at other levels of seniority. Senior associate Robert Tiffen, who ‘quickly gets to the nub of the issue and is commercial in his outlook’, is highly recommended and clients note that ‘he never sits on the fence but instead provides useful advice’. Matthews defended a claim brought by Capital Insurance Services against client Andrew Wood concerning alleged mis-selling practices and their validity under the terms of an indemnity provided under a sale and purchase agreement. The £2.8m case is awaiting judgment in the Supreme Court. Tiffen recently acted for a high-profile client in a high-value claim concerning the termination of a sponsorship agreement.

The retirement of veteran litigator and former senior partner Andrew Barnes from Howes Percival LLP saw Alison Kirby take over stewardship of the dispute resolution team. The practice, which can on a number of experienced litigators and an accredited mediator, handles complex and high-value matters across the UK and overseas. Kirby is a leading light in insolvency matters and regularly acts for HMRC. She has 20 years’ trial experience including acting in numerous High Court cases. Gordon Simpson, who was promoted from associate to director in 2016, ‘provides excellent service and is very supportive and fair’. The firm’s highlights included acting for a client in the renewable energy sector in a dispute concerning finance arrangements and interest payments on multimillion-pound loan facilities. Simpson also acted for healthcare-sector client in a partnership dispute exceeding £100,000 in value. Other clients include Richardsons Leisure and Anglia Free Range Eggs.

At Leathes Prior, team head Mike Barlow and solicitor Polly Langford form a credible team handling a wide range of high-value commercial matters, particularly in the area of shareholder and partnership disputes. Associate David Richards, who has a particular specialism in contentious construction matters, frequently advises contractors and employers on high-value commercial disputes. Martin Plowman is widely regarded as one of the region’s finest mediators and he is now in charge of the firm’s specialist mediation division, which has a strong track record in local, national and international matters. Barlow and Langford acted for the local entrepreneur behind an indoor trampoline park in a dispute with fellow shareholders who tried to exclude him from the business. Through mediation a settlement was agreed whereby the client sold his shares for £100,000 plus interest. The team also acted for Countrywide Signs Limited in a dispute over the termination of contractual agreements.

Clients of Rogers and Norton are ‘consistently impressed with the commercial awareness’ demonstrated by the team, which is ‘quick to respond and has always added value’. Key figures include partners Phil Kerridge (who is ‘a valuable source of advice and experience’) and Peter Hastings (who is ‘highly valued, especially on complex cases’); and solicitor Elizabeth Gibson (who ‘shows a pragmatic approach to dispute resolution and always works very hard for clients’). Kerridge continues to advise the UK’s largest home improvement company Anglian Windows on a range of litigation and regulatory matters. Hastings successfully brought a breach of contract claim before the Mercantile Court on behalf a global energy company, recovering £1.5m in damages for the client. He also acted for a national leisure company in striking out a claim and application for an injunction to prevent the client from terminating a contract.

At Steeles Law, ‘the service provided and advice given is always good, relevant and comes at a reasonable cost’. Barrister Tom Bailey leads the five-lawyer team; his extensive experience has enabled him to build a credible practice in both civil and commercial litigation. The firm acts for a range of public, private and commercial clients including local authorities and charities and Bailey has a particular specialism in commercial agency claims. Debt recovery specialist Denise Traube often supports Bailey’s commercial litigation practice and they recently represented Savings Advice Limited on cost proceedings following the successful conclusion of litigation against a well-known energy company. Highlights included acting in a breach of contract claim for a leading commercial agent involving the termination of a service contract without notice by a large US-based toy manufacturer and distributor.

Clients recommend Clapham & Collinge Solicitors for ‘the breadth and depth of knowledge in the commercial litigation team’. The firm has four offices across East Anglia but Norwich is the main hub for its dispute resolution practice, led by respected litigator Mark Kermez. Clients also recommend consultant Philip Lumb, who majors on insurance and property litigation but also plays a key role in the wider commercial litigation team. The firm acted in two cases for a client in the foodservice sector involving commercial litigation, employment and personal injury claims. Other highlights included acting in a High Court application on behalf of a client alleged to have misrepresented investments in companies based in the UK and the Cayman Islands. The firm also successfully undertook a complex case regarding unpaid invoices and counterclaims of negligence. Sarah Cattermole left the firm to pursue a career in property management.

The dispute resolution team at Fosters is led by veteran litigator Adrian Newborough and Chris Fielding, who both have extensive experience in High Court and County Court matters. Newborough’s varied caseload included defending a firm of accountants against a claim relating to tax advice given to a client who disposed of land assets, and representing a director and majority shareholder in a dispute against a co-director and minority shareholder that concerned complex equitable claims. Fielding’s highlights included defending a complex breach of contract claim that includes a counterclaim on the basis of misrepresentation and misstatement; acting for a company operating in the oil and gas industry in a claim for non-payment of retention bonus; and representing a group of companies facing a potential claim arising from an associated share purchase dispute.


Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in East Anglia

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in East Anglia
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  3. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Leading individuals (region-wide)

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in East Anglia clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Ashtons Legal has a strong dispute resolution team based in its Bury St Edmunds office, where the vastly experienced Mark Merriam is ‘always alive to the commercial realities of litigation, however legally complex or personally fraught they might be’. Clients also recommend associate Annabel Mayer, who has a broad litigation practice that includes advice to care home operators on regulatory matters and SMEs on breach of contract claims. Last year, Merriam successfully settled a case for a defendant facing a claim exceeding £450,000 for the redemption of a loan. Other highlights for the team included acting for the claimant in a high-value breach of trust claim; representing appellants facing cancellations of registrations for the operation of a care home; and acting for a company and one of its directors in bringing a defamation claim against publishers of materials that could have impacted commercially sensitive business negotiations.

Buckles Solicitors LLP is known for having one of the strongest practices in Peterborough, but it increasingly acts for SME and entrepreneurial individuals across East Anglia and beyond. The firm’s formal association with a European law firm that has offices in Paris and Milan has brought a growing workload of contentious matters for clients with European business interests. Solicitor advocate and CEDR-accredited mediator James Maxey has a broad practice covering breach of contract and corporate warranty matters, shareholder disputes and contentious insolvency cases. He regularly handles international matters, as does Spanish-qualified Alejandro Verdu de Haro, who advises UK clients with interests in Spain and Spanish banks and corporates on UK enforcement matters. In a cross-border highlight the team acted for a company in the defence of potential injunction applications ahead of the disposal of a joint venture company in the telecommunications sector. On the domestic front, it brought a case on behalf of a business group that had been poorly advised on a claim against a bank concerning the mis-selling of financial products.

Greene & Greenecompares very well to other firms in terms of client service, technical strength and commerciality’, say clients who pick out ‘clear and concise’ litigators Michael Batty and Andrea Nicholls, employment law specialist Selene Holden and solicitor Ben Fox. The hire of Kate Struthers from a Suffolk charity is a sign of the firm’s ongoing investment in a dispute resolution team that advises many companies and individuals on breach of contract and warranty matters, earn-out disputes and insolvency matters. Batty represented Boortmalt/Pauls Malt in a claim arising from an HSE investigation into a serious accident at one if its sites; he successfully reduced the fine payable by the client to £100,000. Other notable cases included the defence of a multimillion-pound warranty claim against company shareholders; the pursuit of a high-value enforcement action against a group of companies with overseas assets; and preparation for an arbitration to settle the debt of an overseas company owed to a UK client.

Greenwoods Solicitors LLP is one of Peterborough’s most widely respected firms and its dispute resolution team continues to build its profile across the region and beyond. Huw Wallis leads the team and works across the firm’s three offices in London, Cambridge and Peterborough. He has a wealth of experience in breach of warranty claims, banking and financial services disputes, shareholder actions and commercial contract disputes, often with an international element. Associate Adele Whaley has ten years’ experience and is rated highly by clients. Senior solicitor Jamie McConnell, who acts for multinational companies, SMEs and individuals in contentious matters, is also recommended. Wallis and Whaley advised a leading manufacturer of high-pressure ceramic moulding machines on a dispute with a US-based customer relating to alleged defects in its equipment. The case involved complex issues of non-payment, breach of contract and damages valued in excess of $4m. Wallis and McConnell acted for the investment subsidiary of a Canadian technology company in a claim for conspiracy against a group of investors who allegedly acted to drive down the share price of the parent company.

Hegarty LLP’s Peterborough office is known for the quality of its litigators, its experience in mediation and the cost-effective service it provides to a national and regional client base. Matthew Sidebottom has more than 30 years’ experience in commercial litigation, contentious probate, High Court matters and defamation cases. Clients also recommend Kally Singh, who has 20 years’ experience in financial matters and business disputes, and the ‘knowledgeable and approachable’ Andrew Hornsby, who ‘always looks for solutions’. Sidebottom’s recent highlights include acting in a dispute arising from the sale of a £1m listed property asset. Hornsby’s standout cases included an injunction against a director on behalf of Moduloc Control Systems for failure to honour orders and to prevent plans to divert work.

The go-to firm in the Fens region for commercial litigation’ according to one client, Hunt & Coombs LLP attracts praise for its ‘attention to detail’. Veteran litigator and legal executive Lesley Milne leads the commercial litigation team and is ‘a real fighter’. She is supported by in-house barrister Davide Corbino, who deals with interim applications in the County and High Court, and paralegal Anna Whiston, who ‘has a brain like a computer when it comes to facts and figures’. Milne’s recent work includes a dispute concerning a contract to supply IT systems that included allegations of the technology’s poor performance; acting for a company facing action by High Court Enforcement Officers; and a matter involving substantial fees owed to a contractor for completed work.

The service at Shears Law is ‘flawless’, according to one client. The ‘very calm and confident’ Richard Shears is ‘incredibly hardworking and handles a broad cross-section of work brilliantly with an impressive command of complex legal points’. Founded in 2013, the firm provides advocacy in commercial contract claims and Shears has particular skill in handling recruitment disputes including confidentiality and restrictive covenant matters. He recently advised a recruitment company on the defence of a £350,000 claim for loss of profit arising from the alleged breach of a commercial supply contract. He acted for another recruitment business in a £45,000 claim against a food processing and retail company to enforce a non-solicitation provision. The claim was eventually settled before trial.


Debt recovery

Index of tables

  1. Debt recovery
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Debt recovery clients in East Anglia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Birketts LLP provides ‘an excellent level of service’. The ‘friendly and helpful’ team ‘is always available to deal with queries’. Litigation partner Matthew Atkins and 40-year veteran debt recovery manager Robert Howardalways know the best route to take with debtors’. They lead a team that includes associate Emma Albins and three debt recovery assistants, and which acts for private companies, professional partnerships and Plcs such as Greene King, Archant Community Media, Ford & Slater Leyland DAF and Haven Power Limited. In a key matter the firm acted for a company pursuing a customer for unpaid commercial utility bills. The matter, which involved complex issues around the partition of the premises in question, was settled at mediation.

Howes Percival LLP’s debt recovery practice is led by vastly experienced insolvency litigators Alison Kirby and Morris Peacock. The team is a vital part of the firm’s broad commercial litigation practice, which includes Gordon Simpson, who specialises in recovering debts arising from commercial and construction contracts. Trainee Leon Head and paralegal Kate Melton handle day-to-day uncontested debt recovery matters. New clients included Richardsons Leisure, professional services firm GCB Recruitment and Suggitt Farm Services. The team also acts for a number of well-known insolvency practitioners in pursuing outstanding debts following the liquidation of companies. Simpson recently recovered more than £80,000 for a construction company following a dispute over outstanding invoices.

Leathes Prior has long been considered one of the market leaders in debt recovery and is able to handle not only straightforward bulk claims, but also complex matters involving niche areas of law. The firm’s debt collection team has direct input from three partners, three solicitors and two paralegals, and it works closely with the real estate, commercial and employment practices. Litigators David Richards, Darren Bowen and Mike Barlow are highly respected. Associates Polly Langford and Ina Beurich are also recommended, as is credit control manager Dawn Lossau. In 2016, Beurich and Lossau assisted numerous sole traders and larger corporate clients including Just Regional Publishing, OSR Recruitment Services, Agentis Solutions Limited and MAG Group. In one case they recovered £40,000 for a local recruitment business and a similar amount for a local marine technology company.

Clients of Steeles Lawcannot find fault’ with chartered legal executive Denise Traube, who is ‘a safe pair of hands, efficient in all her dealingsand rates 10 out of 10’. Traube manages the firm’s debt recovery service and has been a part of the dispute resolution team for 15 years. Director and barrister Tom Bailey oversees high-value matters for both corporates and private individuals and is ‘an excellent litigator who balances a commercial attitude with compassion’. The firm advised Watson & Hillhouse Limited on numerous matters arising from unpaid invoices for plant and machinery hire, and Traube recovered £15,000 from a mechanical engineering company on behalf of local family business Preform Insulations Limited. Another highlight saw her act for Lewisham Homes in successfully recovering £10,000 from an employee who breached an employment agreement.

Mark Kermez leads the litigation team at Clapham & Collinge Solicitors, which comprises a further three assistants and four dedicated paralegals and which acts for clients not only locally in Norwich, but also across East Anglia and, in some cases, nationally. Michael Olmer is noted for his knowledge of Spanish and EU law and frequently handles cross-border work. He successfully recovered £104,000 for an ex-pat living in Spain. Kermez and Philip Lumb are acting to recover £300,000 a client who paid the sum under duress to bailiffs for the debt of a third party and are acting for the defendant and alleged debtor in linked proceedings to overturn a default judgment for the sum in question.

Fosters is ‘prompt, efficient and good value for money’. ‘Knowledgeable, clear and precise’ litigation partner Adrian Newborough leads the debt recovery team and ‘performs over and above expectations’. Litigator Chris Fielding is also recommended. The practice is known for recovering large sums in the aftermath of insolvency proceedings. The firm is active in the English and Welsh courts on behalf of clients from across the UK, Europe and the US. It often acts in cross-border enforcement proceedings for overseas companies and individuals.

Litigator Harriet Wells at Mills & Reeve LLP has a vast amount of experience in complex debt recovery matters as part of her broader commercial disputes practice. Chartered legal executive Lynne Lawn handles the majority of claims and has vital experience in enforcing County Court judgments. The firm’s clients include Showcard Print Limited, for which Lawn recovered over £10,000 from a debtor who failed to pay invoices, and Spenborough Abbatoir Limited, for which she obtained a settlement over proceedings for an outstanding £1,000 debt.

Key figures at Rogers and Norton include veteran litigator Peter Hastings, who has more than 25 years’ experience, specialist legal executive Maria Taylor, and solicitor Elizabeth Gibson. Taylor (who is singled out as ‘thorough and easy to talk to’) continues to handle bulk debt recovery mandates for a national finance company, including contract matters and return of goods orders. She also acts for a national franchised loans company that provides credit under fixed term agreements and bills of sale, and for a national home improvement company.


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