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United Kingdom > East Midlands > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby
  2. Leading individuals (region-wide)

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The ‘first-class’ team at Browne Jacobson LLP handles international commercial disputes, contractual breaches involving national businesses and contentious trust work. The team, which ‘punches way above its weight’, has experience across multiple sectors such as retail, finance, technology and utilities. The ‘utterly unflappableJonathan Tardif has ’consummate client skills, an excellent legal brain and a keen ability to assess tactics and strategy’, and Dominic Offord also ‘deals brilliantly with clients and remains composed in the face of extreme pressure’. Offord advised the US trustee of the consolidated Securities Investor Protection Act liquidation of Bernard Madoff and Bernard Madoff Investment Securities on an action before the Privy Council determining enforcement of a foreign judgment in Gibraltar. In another highlight, the team, which ‘exudes quiet confidence’, is providing ongoing assistance to joint administrators of a contentious £50m solvent estate pursuant to a bespoke court order. It also acted for Time Products UK in a High Court claim against Franck Muller for payment of £5.3m invoices following the conclusion of the exclusive UK distribution agreement; the matter included securing enforcement of the judgment in Switzerland. Clients also include Vision Express, British Gas, NHS England, John Pye & Sons and Prominent Europe.

The ‘top-notch’ team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP handles commercial disputes for industrial clients in sectors such as engineering, automotive and aerospace, as well as managing investigations and regulatory challenges for utility companies. Steve Dunseath is a ‘very experienced commercial litigator with strong tactical awareness’, and is renowned for his expertise in defamation actions in the sport and media industries. Environmental civil claims and chemicals-related matters are specialist areas of associate Louise Howarth. The group is acting for a company in High Court fraud proceedings filed against a former employee, and is defending a corporate client against a multimillion-pound breach of contract claim. The firm also acts for Tyco International and ADT Fire & Security, as well as Pendragon and Europcar, which are new client wins.

Flint Bishop LLP’s ‘responsive’ group is ‘great at managing client expectations’, handling claimant and defendant work for public sector bodies and private companies. Qamer Ghafoormakes a client’s dispute his own, battling for the very best outcome with passion and steely charm’; he and personal injury partner Jon Gilbert are defending Haven Insurance Company against a claim brought by a firm of solicitors for payment of costs where an early settlement was arranged directly with the third party. Nick Wells, who ‘gives clear advice and sticks to it’, led the team that triggered completion of a lease on behalf of a property developer in a case against a major supermarket chain. Other recent work saw the firm represent a financial services group in a claim for recovery of commission. Lorna Trueman is another name to note.

Geldards LLP assists clients with matters ranging from partnership and shareholder disputes to media claims, where Paul Hackney is renowned for his sports and reputation management work. The firm is also highly regarded for automotive sector matters. Nino Simone leads the department, in which Neil Barnes recently made partner and Paul Southby and Jonathan Butler are also recommended; the latter acted for Tesla Exploration International in a claim against Adamantine Energy (Kenya) arising from alleged wrongful termination of a contract for the supply of seismic services. The firm is also defending Vision Express in a misrepresentation claim, while counterclaiming enforcement of personal guarantees, against the client’s former joint venture partners.

Lawyers at Nelsons Solicitors Limited have ‘acute perception of the nuances of litigation’ and ‘fight hard without losing sight of the client’s best interests’. Cathryn Selby specialises in financial products and professional negligence claims but also handles commercial matters, including partnership and shareholder disputes, and contentious private client work. She is acting for the trustees of an estate claiming – among other things – breach of trust and dishonest assistance against a director of companies in which the deceased invested as part of a property development scheme. In other matters, Chris Adams is handling Companies Act claim for minority shareholders and defending a UK-based company in a multi-party product liability and negligence action filed by a Belgian property developer. The firm also handled a case for a group of minority shareholders claiming unfair prejudice and pursuing judicial review proceedings against a local authority’s planning permission. Simon Waterfield heads the group, which also includes Stewart Vandermark.

Guy Berwick, Graham Greenfield and Jonathan Jefferies co-head the practice at Freeths LLP, which has a strong presence construction and property litigation. It also manages cases arising from breach of directors’ duties and trust as well as disputes in the insurance and the financial services sectors. The client roster spans multiple sectors and includes Mazars, Campbell Soup, Daher Aerospace, Flogas and KLM Steels. The group recently assisted a retailer with defeating a claim for breach of restrictive covenants filed by the owner of a plot adjacent to the client’s construction site. It is also pursuing a defect, delay and variation claim for a local authority arising from a development project.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s Steven Skiba handles commercial disputes involving partnership and shareholder issues and matters arising from breaches of directors’ duties. The team also manages claims pertaining to contractual breaches, enforcement of restrictive covenants and data protection. Kendal Litherland specialises in professional negligence.

Smith Partnership represents businesses and individuals in commercial claims involving contractual breaches, professional negligence and contentious trusts. The ‘efficient, knowledgeable and very helpful’ Russell Davies assisted the shareholders and directors of a pharmaceutical business with defeating a warranty claim regarding a pharmaceutical license application following the company’s sale. Other work included successfully claiming recovery of a six-figure payment for goods rejected as unfit for purpose, and representing claimants in a professional negligence claim against their former solicitors regarding failed completion of a property purchase. The group is also assisting a local private school with a claim against the Royal Bank of Scotland pertaining to the bank’s refusal to release the client from a loan agreement without penalty. Bally Atwal and Claire Twells are also recommended.

Actons’ practice head Victoria Dunstall is assisting a recruitment agency with recovery of a five-figure sum held by a payroll distribution service and advising an online retailer on dispute resolution strategy for defective product claims. In other work, the team handled a veterinary negligence claim brought by the US-based purchaser of a horse against Blossom Creek Foundation, and acted for a director in an attempt to recover funds paid to a company as a director’s loan. FHP, Peter Bull, Bates Weston, Clearmark Solutions and Johns of Nottingham are also clients. Chris Murratt is another name to note.

Rothera Sharp Solicitors is recommended for dispute resolution in the transport and haulage sector. It also handles a range of commercial disputes, including contractual breaches, misrepresentation and Sale of Goods Act claims. Property litigation is another area of activity. Richard Hammond and Richard Bates are ‘intelligent solicitors, who have a good eye for detail and fight hard for their clients’.


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