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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in East Anglia > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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

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Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

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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.

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