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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Dispute resolution > Debt recovery > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Debt recovery
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Birketts LLP acts for local and national private companies, professional partnerships and major Plcs in wide range of industry sectors including shipping and construction. It has one of the largest practices in the region with 40-year veteran of debt recovery Robert Howard, litigation partner Matthew Atkins, associate Emma Albins and two debt recovery assistants. Though based in Ipswich, the 'extremely responsive and well organised' practice delivers services through all four of the firm's regional offices.

Practice head(s):Robert Howard

Other key lawyers:Matthew Atkins; Emma Albins


"The practice has a very commercial approach and is excellent at sticking to budgets and providing accurate and up-to-date advice."

"Matthew Atkins is first-class, on top of detail, very commercial in his approach, and has a wealth of experience as a litigator."

"Emma Albins has a great eye for detail and is a careful litigator. She is on top of detail and any approach is well thought through."

Key Clients

Greene King Plc

Archant Community Media Limited

Ford & Slater Leyland DAF

Commercial litigation and insolvency partner Alison Kirby leads the debt recovery practice at Howes Percival LLP, which focuses on complex, high-value and high-profile work for its strong commercial client base. Where litigation is required, the firm draws on contacts across the country in the form of High Court Enforcement Officers who can assist with enforcements of writs of control. Associate Gordon Simpson has more than 20 years’ experience in handling contentious disputes, including recovery of debts arising from commercial and construction contracts.

Practice head(s):Alison Kirby

Other key lawyers:Morris Peacock; Gordon Simpson


"We have always benefitted from access to a senior partner to direct us to an appropriate solicitor within the organization to best deal with the particular situation. As we have always been satisfied with the advice and attention to detail, we have not found the need to look to other firms."

"Gordon Simpson  quickly grasped the fundamental points of our claim and advised us on the best way forward to recover the majority of the monies owed. With the guidance of Howes Percival we  were able to recover the majority of the monies owed."

Key Clients

Smith of Honingham

Select Franchise Limited

Tracy Hodges

Work highlights

  • Assisted a Smith of Honingham in relation to recovery of an outstanding debt from four guarantors following the debtor company becoming insolvent.
  • Acted for Select Franchising Limited in relation to a dispute with a franchise in relation to breach of the agreement which resulted in termination by the client.
  • Assisted Ms Tracy Hodges in relation to the recovery of losses in respect of the purchase of a horse which she bought to use for eventing.

Mills & Reeve LLP operates a simple, fixed-fee collection service for both public and private sector clients handling undefended claims. Legal executive Lynne Lawn handles the majority of the work, with senior associate Harriet Wells, who has more than 35 years' experience in commercial litigation, closely involved in the practice when contentious matters arise.

Other key lawyers:Lynne Lawn; Harriet Wells

Work highlights

  • We were instructed to send a pre-litigation letter to a company debtor to recover an outstanding invoice in the sum of £12,090.
  • We were instructed to send pre-litigation letters to three individual companies for payment of outstanding invoices in respect of services provided by our client.
  • We were instructed to send a pre-litigation letter to the debtor in the sum of £11,962.80.
  • We were instructed to issue a pre-litigation letter and a without prejudice offer letter for an outstanding debt.
  • We are regularly instructed by a client in the health sector to take action to recover their unpaid invoices through pre-litigation letters sent within 24 hours of instruction.

The debt recovery practice at Steeles Law is managed by dedicated legal executive Denise Traube who has 17 years' litigation experience. She is supported by solicitors Rachel Sims, who was formerly senior counsel at Aviva, and Damian Pitts. The firm frequently acts for corporate clients in debt recovery matters and has a growing presence among entities in the voluntary and education sectors.

Practice head(s):Denise Traube

Other key lawyers:Rachel Sims; Damian Pitts

Key Clients

Watson & Hillhouse Limited

Notre Dame Preparatory School (Norwich) Limited

Mr Raymond Read

Armstrong Design

Cucina Restaurants Limited

Work highlights

  • Recovery of unpaid school fees for Norwich-based Notre Dame Preparatory School (Norwich) Limited.
  • Advice regarding disputed statutory demand to a dissolved company on behalf of a private individual Raymond Read.
  • Recovery of outstanding invoice for design services on behalf of Armstrong Design, a South Norfolk-based creative agency.
  • Recovery of unpaid funeral costs on behalf of local funeral directors.
  • Debt recovery advice to Diss-based manufacturer.

Head of litigation Mark Kermez oversees the practice at Clapham & Collinge Solicitors which acts for large local companies in the recovery of their debts. In 2018, the firm continued to expand its presence among clients in North Norfolk through the expansion of its North Walsham office. During that year, the firm saw 107 new debt recovery matters filed. Litigation partner Philip Lumb and consultant Michael Olmer are closely involved with the practice.

Practice head(s):Mark Kermez

Other key lawyers:Philip Lumb; Michael Olmer

Fraser Dawbarns is a key player in the debt recovery market in East Cambridgeshire and West Norfolk. The firm has a highly regarded debt recovery specialist in associate Derek Shores who has more than 40 years' experience in this field of law. Shores handles complex and high-value matters, including instances where funds have been misappropriate by overseas entities.

Practice head(s):Melinda Smith

Other key lawyers:Derek Shores

Work highlights

  • Representing a client in respect of misappropriation of funds following the hacking of emails.

Rogers and Norton handles debt recovery through its dispute resolution practice led by the vastly experienced Peter Hastings. The majority of the work is carried out by legal executive Maria Taylor, who receives bulk instructions from a national franchised loan company. Taylor advises on letters and demands before action, the issue of County Court and High Court proceedings, obtaining of default and summary judgment, and methods of enforcement.

Other key lawyers:Elizabeth Gibson; Maria Taylor

Taylor Rose TTKW provides nationwide assistance to private individuals and commercial companies in resolving civil disputes. The six-lawyer dispute resolution practice handles numerous claims for the recovery of unpaid invoices involving home care fees, childcare fees, recruitment fees, construction, plumbing, landscaping, landlord rent arrears and the provision of goods.

Practice head(s):Helen Townsend

Other key lawyers:David Cooper

Work highlights

  • Recovery of rental income from estate agent who had failed to account to the landlord for rent received and also failed to protect the deposit received.
  • Recovery of monies owed to the claimants under a personal guarantee provided by the defendant as part of settlement in proceedings against the defendant’s company.

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