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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 > North West > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Banking litigation

Index of tables

  1. Banking litigation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Banking litigation clients in North West 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


DLA Piper UK LLP is rated for its ‘first-rate service’ and for its ‘utmost diligence and expertise’. The team handles the full range of contentious banking mandates, with a focus on retail banking and payment services, and asset finance and leasing. It is also increasingly active on contentious financial regulatory matters. The team continues to act for RBS in relation to its alleged liabilities under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act concerning the Breast Implant Group Litigation Order. The Co-operative Bank, Elavon Financial Services, First Data Corporation, WorldPay (UK) and Metro Bank are also clients. The practice is headed by the ‘pragmatic, resourceful and pro-active’ Stewart Plant, who also leads the firm’s global payments practice. Ben Johnson has a ‘practical, focused and effective approach to cases, which is balanced with a relaxed and approachable style’ and primarily acts for banks, payment service providers and the asset-based lending industry. Legal director Nicola Higgins has a particular focus on consumer credit and retail banking, payment services and professional negligence claims. Senior associates Krystle Robinson and Leontia McArdle are also key figures.

Clients praise Addleshaw Goddard’s ‘commercial approach’, its ability to ‘not over-complicate matters’ and its ‘pragmatic advice’. The team acts for major UK Banks and lender clients and has particular experience in asset finance and asset-based lending, as well as professional negligence cases. HSBC Bank, Nationwide Building Society, Shawbrook Bank, Yorkshire Building Society, West Bromwich Building Society and Aldermore Bank & Aldermore Invoice Finance are clients. Team head Harold Brako has particular expertise in asset-based lending and receivables financing and has ‘excellent industry knowledge and an ability to formulate and then deliver effective recovery strategies’. Ben Lowans, who splits his time between Manchester and Leeds, is a ‘first-class litigator’ and has a particular specialism in the asset finance and invoice discounting sectors. Legal director Helen Collinge is ‘first-rate’ and managing associate Matthew O'Neill is also noted.

DWF's ‘brilliant’ team is split across its Liverpool and Manchester offices and is rated for its ‘expert knowledge’ and ability to deliver ‘strategic guidance’ with a ‘commercial approach’. It acts for major UK retail banks, finance houses and non-captive motor finance companies on a range of contentious matters. The team also has specialist knowledge of fraud, professional negligence, asset finance litigation and regulatory matters. Clients include Lloyds Banking Group, Santander Consumer UK, Aldermore Bank, UK Asset Resolution and RBS Group. National head of finance litigation John Perez is a motor finance specialist and head of specialist litigation Ritchie Irvine is ‘extremely approachable, pragmatic and not afraid to provide an opinion’. Julia Williams, who heads the lender services team, and the ‘excellent’ Graham Sidlow are also recommended, as are senior associates Daniel Fitzgerald, who focuses on high-value matters, Dominic Jones, who is ‘incredibly efficient’, and Jonathan Hall, who specialises in consumer finance litigation. Consultant David Wood is also noted.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s ‘bright, industrious and efficient’ department is ‘easy to deal with’. Clients include UK-based and international banks, including HSBC Bank, BNP Paribas, Clydesdale Bank and Svenska Handelsbanken, as well as several challenger banks. Northern practice head James Southworth  ‘gives good strategic direction and has considerable charm’ and handles large and complex banking disputes, contentious regulatory matters and investigations. Zia Ullah specialises in fraud and financial crime compliance, and Sarah Naylor is ‘a real fighter’ who is experienced in retail and wholesale bank mis-selling claims as well as contentious financial regulatory issues. Principal associate Leonie Tear, who specialises in fraud and corruption investigations, and senior associate David Cook, who handles cybercrime, security and data protection issues, are also recommended.

The ‘brilliant’ team at Squire Patton Boggs regularly acts for financial sector clients in complex, high-value, high-profile litigation and international arbitration. Mass litigation and large-scale investigations, including in relation to sanctions, professional negligence, payment protection insurance and product mis-selling, are key areas of focus, as is asset-based lending and fraud. Headline matters include conducting investigations for six non-US banks into compliance with US sanctions regulations; representing a global investment bank in a dispute with a Middle Eastern bank; and defending a bank in £200m of claims concerning allegations of mis-selling of high-value investment products. Team head Anthony Taylor has ‘a really strong grasp of the commercial aspects of any particular case’ and is an ‘astute negotiator’. Senior associates Mike Caird and Peter Lees are also key members of the team.

Gateley Plc’s financial disputes and regulatory team is regularly instructed by UK clearing banks, building societies, invoice discounters, factors and bridging companies, and is commended for its ‘ability to cut-through the background noise and concentrate on the real crux of the matter’. Clients include Macquarie Equipment Finance UK, Henry Howard Finance, Aldermore Bank and Scania Finance Great Britain are clients. Andrew Field is ‘highly experienced, effective and brings a commercial approach’ and handles complex recoveries, security enforcement, fraud and professional negligence claims.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s ‘quick and efficient’ department is noted for its asset-based lending sector expertise, particularly in invoice discounting and receivables finance. It is also adept at fraud-related mandates. In Liverpool, Phil Sheard is ‘very responsive’, ‘knowledgeable’, gives ‘comprehensive advice’ and heads the commercial debt recovery team. In Manchester, legal director Sharon Williamson heads the finance litigation department and is advising KBC Bank Ireland in a £3.5m case against two guarantors and borrowers. Bibby Factors, Bank of Ireland (UK), Metro Bank, Lloyds Bank and Hitachi Capital (UK) are clients.

Having merged with Berg, Kennedys provides ‘a high level of service’ to SMEs, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals in claims against banks and other financial institutions. The team recently acted for the claimants in a £30m financial and regulatory claim against RBS. Key figures include Andrew Davidson, who heads the team, Christopher McDuff, who is noted for insolvency matters, and the ‘highly regarded’ John Colvin. Also recommended are Alison Loveday, who has specialist expertise in financial regulation and mis-selling, and director Ian Mendelsohn. Daniel Brumpton joined Nelsons Solicitors Limited in 2017.

TLT’s banking and financial services litigation team is commended for its ‘strong depth of expertise’. The practice handles disputes related to professional negligence, LPA receivership, real estate, title rectification, recoveries and complex retail banking litigation. Lloyds Banking Group, The Co-operative Bank, Santander, RBS and Handelsbanken are clients. Key figures include James Chadwick , who delivers ‘commercial and pragmatic advice’, and associates Andrew Thorncroft, David Robinson, who ‘tailors his advice to the needs of the client’, and the ‘excellent’ Roisin McGlinn.

Myerson Solicitors LLP acts for individuals, owner-managed businesses and SMEs on a variety of banking litigation matters. The team advised for CGL Group in a £6m Court of Appeal and Supreme Court care regarding the mis-selling of two interest rate hedging products (against the RBS and NatWest. Department head Jonathan Hassall ‘understands clients’ needs very well’ and is an ‘experienced and determined litigator’. Senior solicitor Vicky Biggs is ‘diligent, reliable and committed to an impressive degree’.

Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the North West

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the North West
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: elsewhere in the North West clients in North West 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


Aaron & Partners LLP delivers a ‘first-class service’ across complex and high-value shareholder and partnership disputes; disputes arising out of corporate transactions; claims involving directors; restrictive covenants; property litigation and professional negligence. Key highlights included representing two directors of a group of food companies in a professional negligence claim against the companies’ former solicitors, and representing two Florida-based banks in the collection of mortgage shortfalls from British citizens who invested in the US property market. David Harries handles energy, engineering, construction and IT disputes, and is also noted for land and fiduciary obligations work. Also recommended are John Devoy, who is experienced in professional negligence cases, David Potts, who is noted for shareholder disputes, and David Mann, who was promoted to partner in 2017 and has ‘an excellent listening ear’. Simon Edwards and recently promoted associate Bryony Cook are also key members of the department, which is led by Nick Clarke.

Brabners LLP's wide-ranging workload covers director, shareholder and partnership disputes, as well as professional negligence, insolvency, warranty, commercial fraud and contentious probate matters. The team, which is noted for its experience in the recruitment sector, acts for high-net-worth individuals in addition to small, medium and large corporate clients. The ‘exceptional’ Stuart Irons heads the team.

DTM Legal LLP is highly rated for its ‘good response times’, ‘technical knowledge’ and ‘good availability’. The practice handles a range of disputes, often involving contractual, IP, construction and property issues. The team represented Johann Van Den Noort Beheer and Johann Van Den Noort in a case involving cross-border patents; alleged infringement relating to the design and manufacture of a flood barrier, breach of a licence agreement, misrepresentation and damages. It is also representing Rotex Europe in £38m claim brought by a Saudi Arabian company. Richard Thomas has an extensive track record in complex commercial disputes, with an emphasis on insolvency-related instructions. Duncan McAllister handles a range of commercial disputes and has experience in contentious probate, employment and education-related issues. Associate Guy Thomas is noted for construction work. The Liverpool-based Jim Morris leads the team.

Singled out for its ‘fantastic client-care’, Gorvins Solicitors handles high-value commercial disputes for companies, shareholders and partners; corporate and personal insolvency issues; professional negligence claims; and commercial property disputes. Avonside Group, Bibby Leasing, Thorne Credit Union, Crystal Finance (Europe), Oldham Credit Union and E-Foods are all clients. Key figures include Mark Deverell, who specialises in commercial and insolvency-related litigation; the ‘brilliant’ Guy Lightowler, who is noted for contentious property and corporate disputes; David Guest , who handles contentious corporate and personal insolvency;senior associate Danielle Clements, who leads on contentious probate instructions and property disputes; and consultant Jonathan Crook, who handles regulatory and financial disputes.

The ‘brilliant’ commercial litigation team at Jolliffe & Co LLP handles a full range of contentious commercial work including high-value contractual disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, professional negligence, breach of warranty claims, and personal and corporate insolvency. It also acts in IT, construction, property and restrictive covenant disputes and contentious probate matters. Team head Andrew Bartley (‘an exceptional litigator whose technical expertise is second to none’) is regularly instructed on contractual disputes, shareholder disputes, warranty claims, injunction proceedings, insolvency and property litigation. Jo-Anna Martin  handles contractual claims, heavyweight partnership disputes and construction-related claims. Also recommended are consultant Simon Parrington, for regulatory work, and Peter Anderson. Fiona Blakeborough joined Hillyer McKeown in 2018.

The ‘dynamic, positive, forward-thinking, effective and tenacious’ team at Myerson Solicitors LLP gives ‘sound and sensible legal advice’ and is ‘very client-friendly’. It handles general commercial litigation including shareholder disputes and professional negligence, in addition to contentious trusts and probate, IP, banking and property litigation and commercial agency matters. The team is representing CGL Group in a £6m professional negligence claim against a solicitor relating to the mis-selling of interest rate swap agreements. Team head Adam Maher is an ‘excellent communicator and an outstanding team leader; he harnesses the best from his team’. Also recommended are the ‘very experienced’ Tim Norman, who is a ‘very clear thinker’ and advises on commercial and property cases; and the ‘proactive’ Jonathan Hassall, who specialises in IP, financial and regulatory disputes. Helen Thompson leads on contentious trusts and probate work and is ably supported by senior solicitor John Lambe, who joined from Hillyer McKeown in 2017.  Property litigator Seán Hackett joined the team in 2018 from Pannone Corporate LLP, as did Suzanne Carr.

Napthens LLP attracts praise for its ‘pragmatic and client-focused advice’, ‘consistent and rigorous approach’, and for the team's ‘steely determination to explore all the issues and get the very best outcome for the client’. Its litigation department regularly handles commercial, contract, property, contentious probate and regulatory disputes, and has expertise across the agricultural, ecclesiastical, leisure, energy and education sectors.  David Bailey ‘gets straight to the issues, is responsive, and is prepared to offer constructive advice whilst going through the pros and cons of the issues’. He heads the team alongside Robert Richards. Firm chairman John Whittingslow and Richards are ‘personable, approachable and good with clients’. Senior associate Andrew Holden is ‘practical and thorough’. Iain Wharton retired.

Forbes Solicitors is commended for its ‘deep knowledge’ and it represents plc, SME and local authority clients on corporate and contractual disputes, property, construction, debt recovery and contested probate disputes and professional negligence cases. Representing Blackburn Cathedral Development Trust on an engineering claim and representing a shareholder and former director of care homes in the North of England on a shareholder dispute. Blackburn Rovers FC, Burnley FC and Croud Inc are also clients. Tom Smith heads the department and is ably supported by Robin Stephens. Associates Claire Edbury and Ben Wilson, who joined from Myerson Solicitors LLP in 2017 and is a contentious probate specialist, are also recommended.

Boutique litigation firm FS Legal is ‘robust and uncompromising’ in its approach and houses ‘fearless and innovative litigators who really seem to go the extra mile for their clients’. It handles complex, high-value commercial litigation, is praised for its ‘extensive experience’ in professional negligence cases and is also active across complex contractual disputes, financial services, arbitration, adjudication and expert determination in commercial property development and planning cases, shareholder disputes, warranty claims, tax litigation and property litigation. The team is instructed by the claimants in a £6m claim against Champion Consulting and Champion Group of Companies relating to tax advice arising from tax mitigation schemes. Kit Sorrell is a ‘great tactician and inspires real confidence in his clients’ and heads the team with Julia Norris, who is ‘extremely hard working, very bright and unfazed’. Senior associate Mubarik Haider is ‘very responsive’.

KBL Solicitors LLP regularly handles complex and high value disputes on behalf of owner-managed businesses. It is particularly experienced in professional negligence cases and is also adept at advising on bank and financial investment mis-selling cases. It also handles shareholder and partnership disputes, construction and manufacturing cases, as well as insolvency and property litigation. Department head Michael Slater is a 'highly experienced individual who will go that extra mile for a client’ and is ‘very approachable and pro-active’. Consultant Nick Horsfall handles property-related cases and Gregory Gardner-Boyes, who is now a partner, is ‘hardworking’ and ‘experienced’. Associate Stephen McArdleis ‘exceptional’.

Boutique litigation outfit Manleys Solicitors is praised for its ‘excellent client commitment’; it ‘always responds quickly to any queries and is very supportive in terms of explaining legal jargon so it is easily understood’. The team advises on a range of complex litigation across the media, entertainment, politics, private healthcare and sports sectors, and also handles contentious trusts and estates work. The team represented ex Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook on a partnership claim brought by his former band mates, and on an IP claim brought by Vitalturn. The team also represented former professional footballer Jonathan Woodgate in his phone hacking claim against News Group Newspapers, and is representing Michael Owen in two phone hacking claims against News Group Newspapers and Mirror News Group. The Liverpool Fair, Contego Media and Lovania Nurseries are also clients. Team head Mark Manley ‘has strong commercial sense’ and is a ‘seasoned litigator who brings not only experience but acute judgement to each of his cases’. Leanne Wheeler is ‘tough and tenacious in fighting for clients’ and is noted for her healthcare sector expertise, and for professional negligence cases. Also recommended are recently promoted senior associate Katie Mickleburgh, who is ‘experienced’ and ‘very thorough’, and solicitor Adam Berman, who joined from Weightmans LLP in 2017.

Slater Heelis LLP is commended for its ‘excellent client care’ and for its ‘compassionate approach’. It represents owner-managed businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs across IP, contractual, construction, property, public law, insolvency and immigration disputes as well as professional negligence and contentious probate cases. Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery, Angela Mortimer plc, State Bank of India and CHS Learning are clients. Department head Helen Brown is ‘very experienced’ and managing partner Chris Bishop is also recommended. Associate Pritham Raj ‘has a real eye for a case’ and is ‘extremely knowledgeable’.

The ‘focused and client-orientated’ team at Butcher & Barlow LLP  handles contentious commercial, contractual and property cases as well as negligence, insolvency, construction, agriculture, trusts and estates disputes. The team represented James Sharp & Co in a £1m disputed in relation to the proposed takeover of Dee Valley Water Group by Severn Trent Water Ltd. The team is headed by Alex Sandland, who ‘thinks strategically and is robust in pursuing his client’s case’, and the ‘excellent’ Anthony Higham. Adam Shawcross  and Andy Mackenzie were promoted to the partnership in May 2018. Solicitor James Holton recently joined from Slater and Gordon.

Farleys Solicitors LLP’s ‘exceptional’ team handles breach of contract claims, IP disputes, commercial landlord and tenant matters, professional negligence cases and shareholder disputes. Department head Kieran O’Connor regularly handles complex contract disputes as well as matters involving disputed wills and inheritance. Associate partner Rachel Harrison ‘works tirelessly to achieve the best outcome in the best interests of her clients’ and is noted for professional negligence claims in addition to shareholder disputes, insolvency, banking and property litigation.

Hillyer McKeown LLP represents high-net-worth individuals, financial institutions and SMEs on a range of commercial and insolvency disputes. Highlights included representing GEP Training & Consultancy in a shareholder dispute. The Funding Corporation and The Bodyline Clinic are also clients. Fiona Blakeborough, who joined in 2018 from Jolliffe & Co LLP, heads the commercial litigation team and is based across the firm’s Chester and Liverpool offices. Paul Marsh leads on contentious insolvency and recovery work and is noted for his fraud and recovery expertise. Barrister Michelle Mayoh, who is experienced in shareholder disputes, is also a key member of the team. Former team head John Lambe joined Myerson Solicitors LLP in 2017.

The commercial litigation team at Linder Myers  is commended for its ‘consistency’ and ‘responsiveness’ and operates closely with its offices in Manchester, Lytham, Sale, Chester, Shrewsbury. Sale-based team head Peter Kaye  handles banking, corporate and private disputes, property litigation, professional negligence and general commercial and contractual litigation matters. Kaye also leads the firm’s Shrewsbury-based debt recovery team.

The ‘very professional and specialist firm’ Mason Hayes Solicitors has ‘forged a solid reputation’ and has ‘vast expertise in the TMT sector’. The team is active in commercial litigation and has expertise in insolvency disputes, construction litigation and debt collection. The ‘astute and professional’ Marcus Hayes has a ‘sharp commercial mind’.

SAS Daniels LLP regularly handles general commercial disputes, as well as property, fraud, negligence, construction and probate-related litigation. Paul Formby, who heads the insolvency and corporate recovery department, and senior associate Anna Barnes, who specialises in contractual, shareholder and partnership disputes, lead head the team. Roger Allsup  is noted for contentious construction instructions. Senior associates Hannah Leese, who is noted for her experience of the food sector, and Ray Woodward, who specialises in property litigation, professional negligence claims and freezing orders, are also key members of the team. Former team head Christopher MacCafferty recently retired.

Backhouse Jones is a ‘pre-eminent firm in the transport and logistics sector and has unrivalled sector knowledge’. It regularly handles competition, regulatory, Judicial Review, sale of goods, carriage of goods and breach of warranty claims for small businesses as well as multinationals in both the haulage and passenger carrying sectors. Commercial litigation and employment team head Steven Meyerhoff is an ‘excellent litigator and is also very user friendly, commercial and client focussed’.

Baines Wilson LLP regularly represents large national corporate clients, as well as local businesses and individuals on contractual disputes, partnership and shareholder disputes and professional negligence claims, as well as contentious media, IP, insurance, construction and engineering cases. Elizabeth Black leads the team and is ably supported by associate Caroline Rayner, who is noted for construction and building disputes. Katherine Sibley  joined Napthens LLP in March 2018.

JWK Solicitors handles a raft of commercial litigation instructions, with expertise that spans professional negligence, contentious probate and other heavy-weight commercial disputes. Team head +Martin Stafford joined in 2017 from Baines Wilson LLP and consultant Isobel Milburn specialises in professional negligence, insurance disputes and contentious construction cases.

The team at MLP Law LLP handles a range of matters including contractual disputes, professional negligence claims, shareholder claims and warranty claims for large corporates, owner-managed businesses, SMEs and high-net worth individuals. The construction, e-commerce, hospitality, logistics, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and retail sectors are key areas of focus. Team head Elizabeth Wilkinson, who joined in 2017 from Pannone Corporate LLP, is ‘brilliant’ and delivers ‘immediate responses’.

Commercial litigation: Liverpool

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Liverpool
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Liverpool clients in North West 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


DLA Piper UK LLP's wide-ranging expertise covers complex technology and outsourcing disputes, disputes relating to M&A transactions, and professional negligence and commercial contract cases, often with a multi-jurisdictional component. Clients include Bache Soletanche, International Cotton Association, Conviviality Retail, Stanley Black and Decker, Begbies Traynor and Liverpool Football Club. Liverpool team head Mark Goodwin  is ‘excellent’. Legal directors Catherine Radcliffe  and Christina Sharma are also key members of the department.

DWF fields a team of ‘switched-on, commercial litigation heavyweights’ commended for their ‘proactive and client-centric approach’. The practice is active across the telecommunications, food and drink, retail and education sectors, handling contractual and company disputes as well as professional negligence, Judicial Review, competition, directors' disqualification, contentious probate, arbitration and injunctions. Highlights included advising Telefónica UK on a £20m dispute against Packet Media and representing Burton’s Foods in a business interruption claim against Barratt Homes relating to flooding caused to its factory following the development of adjacent land by Barratt.  Derwent Holdings, Crown Paints and Iceland Foods are also clients. Department head Andrew Whalley is ‘very committed and has a great manner with clients’; he also leads the firm’s telecoms sector group. other key figures include Graham Dagnall , who specialises in corporate and commercial litigation and has particular expertise in disputes in the food and professional services sectors; Matthew Stoll , who is head of the insured litigation practice group; and director Chris King is ‘tactically brilliant’. Senior associates Lyndsay Crowder-Barton, who is a ‘technically able lawyer with a strong eye for detail’, and Helen Otty are also recommended.

Hill Dickinson LLP regularly handles shareholder and partnership disputes, professional negligence claims, breach of contract claims, environmental claims, commercial fraud, defamation, IP, procurement and competition cases. The team is also noted for its arbitration expertise and is often instructed on cases with an international element. Team head Fiona Parry is representing HS Barrier Coatings in a £2.1m breach of contract claim concerning work taking place in a Ministry of Defence shipyard in Scotland, and represented Aquarius Holdings in relation to claims against the former captain of a super yacht, and other associated companies and individuals, for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. Medway Council, Stobart Group, Bourne Leisure, United Utilities Water and Electricity North West are also clients. Other key figures include Phil Sheard and Paul Walsh, who is experienced in IT litigation, and legal director +Nina Ferris. Senior associates Kate Steele, Daniel Keating and James Stephenson are also recommended. Stewart Burrows joined HEDS Law Ltd .

Brabners LLP’s ‘experienced’ team handles a raft of commercial litigation, with expertise spanning director, partnership and shareholder disputes, professional negligence, insolvency, commercial fraud and contentious probate. The team is active across the sports, financial services, recruitment, media and charity sectors. Highlights included acting for International Sports Management in connection with the termination of a 24-year relationship with professional golfer, Lee Westwood; representing Integra Compliance (and others) in a dispute against SWS Compliance; and representing Francis Green Racing in a case involving breach of fiduciary duty, knowing receipt and dishonest assistance. Team head Paul Lunt is ‘extremely astute and knowledgeable, with a very proactive commercial approach to resolving disputes’. Also recommended are defamation and privacy team head Philip Steel , who is rated for his ‘straight forward and commercial advice’; Jacqui Lloyd, who handles construction, engineering and property disputes; associate Andrew McGregor, who is noted for sports sector work; and senior associate Simon Morris.

Weightmans LLP enjoys a ‘great reputation’ in the market, and its team 'brings great energy and skill to achieve the best outcome for clients'. The team represents large corporates, owner-managed businesses, public bodies and private individuals in commercial contract disputes, with particular expertise in IP and franchising work, as well as disputes in the manufacturing and education sectors. Clients include Elmgrove Foods, SHS International, Mazars, NWF Fuels and Southampton Solent University. Craig Blakemore  and Andrew Roberts are ‘very experienced’ and the 'brilliant' Sarah Conroy  ‘combines excellent tactical nous with brilliant client management skills’.

Bermans delivers a ‘very high level of service’ and is regularly instructed by individuals, plc’s, private companies, SMEs, family businesses, entrepreneurs, management teams and professionals on a range of commercial disputes spanning the banking, invoice and asset finance, property, construction, insurance, tax, IP and media sectors. Team head Nick Harvey is ‘solid, commercial, and is not afraid to highlight weaknesses in a case' and is noted for his expertise in in professional negligence claims and high-value contractual disputes. Jonathan Berkson is noted for his experience in commercial recovery work for asset-based lenders and senior associate Michael Smeaton is also a key member of the team.

DTM Legal LLP handles a range of high-value commercial disputes including contract, finance, construction, property and IP disputes. Highlights included representing Rotex Europe in a £38m claim brought by a company based in Saudi Arabia. Anwyl Construction Company, Funding Circle, Lloyds Pharmacy and AAH Pharmaceuticals are also clients. Construction expert Jim Morris heads the department, which includes property litigation specialist Anna Duffy , who leads the healthcare sector team and handles property litigation, and insolvency specialist Kate Roberts, who 'identifies the issues within any particular dispute at a very early stage, provides credible and sensible options to the client and then identifies the most appropriate step to take giving clear, concise advice'. Associate Richard Harris is also a key member of the team.

Commercial litigation: Manchester

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Manchester
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Manchester clients in North West 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


The ‘superb’ four-partner team at Addleshaw Goddard handles complex commercial disputes for local, national and international clients, and stands out for its ‘business acumen’, its ‘willingness to be flexible’ and for its ‘ability to think around the solution tactically’. Recent high-profile competition matters include representing the RHA, as co-counsel, in collective proceedings to be brought before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) on behalf of businesses affected by the EU Truck Cartel; representing two of the former directors of Burnden Holdings (UK) (in Liquidation) in a claim brought by BHUKL and its liquidator alleging various dishonest breaches of fiduciary duty; and representing Co-operative Insurance in its claim against IBM relating to the wrongful purported termination of the contract under which it was to implement a new IT operating platform. ‘Exceptional’ team head Mark Molyneux is ‘calm and considered’ and is ‘an excellent communicator’. Susan Garrett is ‘excellent on complex commercial disputes’ and is representing a number of clients in regulatory issues involving medicines, electronic cigarettes and related products and engagement with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the Department of Health. Other key figures include 'outstanding' legal director Clare Dwyer, who is ‘responsive, commercial and pragmatic’; and managing associates Nicholas Ashcroft, who has a particular focus on disputes in the industrial sector and Sub-Saharan Africa, Paul Rowley, who regularly advises clients operating in the public sector, and Victoria Pool, who is ‘brilliant’. Samantha Haigh and Alexandra Seabridge are also recommended, as are legal director Helen Collinge, who acts for lender clients, and Harold Brako, who specialises in banking and finance litigation. John Gosling recently retired.

The ‘first-rate’ team at DLA Piper UK LLP represents a range of private equity and corporate clients on major transactional disputes and is praised for its cross-border capabilities. The team has a focus on disputes in the outsourcing and technology sectors, as well as the energy, retail, transport, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors. The team represented Maven Capital Partners UK on fraud, conspiracy, breach of warranty, breach of covenant and misrepresentation claims brought against two individuals and an international law firm following investment in a group of companies. Scottish Power, Klöckner Pentaplast Group, Matalan and Tata Steel are also clients. Key figures of the ‘impressive team’ include joint UK head of the firm’s international corporate litigation group Andrew Smith; Jonathan Eatough, who regularly handles corporate and commercial disputes with a particular focus on M&A claims, infrastructure, PFI and other PPP matters; legal director Nicola Higgins, who handles corporate litigation and has particular experience in shareholder disputes, are key members; and department head Stewart Plant, who enjoys a ‘great reputation’. Senior associates Philip Williams , Leontia McArdle and Krystle Robinson are also recommended, as is associate Benjamin Fellows . Alison Fagan joined in January 2017 from Addleshaw Goddard, while David Gray recently retired.

The team at DWF has an extensive track record representing national, international and regional clients in contractual and company disputes, in addition to handling professional negligence, Judicial Review, competition, directors' disqualification, insolvency and contentious probate disputes, as well as arbitrations and injunctions. Food and drink, retail, telecommunications, utilities, energy, education and the public sector are all key areas of focus for the ‘hardworking’ team, which represented WM Morrison Supermarkets in a high-profile claim brought by employees and former employees whose confidential data was put into the public domain in 2014. The Insolvency Service, Lancashire County Council, Safeway and Manchester United Football Club are also clients. The 'fantastic' Joel Heap heads the disputes practice nationally, while the 'very responsive and pragmatic' Steve Morris  - who is noted for his ‘business-like approach to litigation’ - heads the team in Manchester. Other key figures include consultant Andrew Harris, Lee Norman, who is noted for professional negligence cases, director Chris Gee, who handles contentious probate matters as well as contractual and commercial disputes, and Claire Graham, who regularly handles insolvency-related cases. Senior associates Zoryana Jurczyszyn and the ‘excellent’ Nicole Burton are also noted, as are recently promoted senior associates Daniel Williams and Benjamin Johnson. Director Asima Rana, who focuses on contentious IP matters, recently joined from TLT. Jon Hainey  joined TLT in May 2018.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is commended as ‘extremely responsive’ and delivers ‘pragmatic and commercial advice’ and acts for regional, national and international corporates on a range of disputes. The team is also noted for its experience in reputation management-related cases. Representing Manchester Airport on a £12m claim against Australian television network Ten Group PTY, under a guarantee arising out the termination of an advertising contract with Airport Advertising UK by Manchester Airport; advising five Store First companies in relation to public interest winding up proceedings brought by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; and representing Weir Group on two related disputes, in the Jordanian courts, in connection with the termination of a longstanding relationship between Weir Minerals Europe and Weir Solutions FZE and its Jordanian agent; are key highlights. Royal Bank of Canada Trust Company (Jersey), Begbies Traynor Group and Air Liquide UK are also clients. The ‘impressive’ Michael Clavell-Bate and Matt Taylor, who is ‘very hands on and leads from the front’, lead the department. Principal associates Tom Whitfield and Phil Duignan, who is noted for procurement disputes, are recommended, as is senior associate Luisa Zukowski, who is experienced in international arbitration.

Commended for its ‘brilliant service’, Hill Dickinson LLP regularly handles complex and sensitive commercial disputes, with expertise spanning shareholder and partnership matters, breach of contract, competition, fraud, professional negligence, tax, defamation, procurement and product liability. Key work includes representing Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council in High Court proceedings relating to the disposal of the remains of the notorious Moors Murderer, Ian Brady. It is also representing Peel Holdings Group in a case against General Motors UK relating to a deed governing certain rights relating to drainage. The team also handles cross-border matters and is representing two former directors of Eco-Bat Technologies in litigation in the UK and in the US arising out of a cartel investigation by the European Commission. Department head Geraldine Ryan is ‘a true star’, Peter Southeran has a ‘wealth of experience’ and recently promoted partner Christopher Tyrrell  is ‘brilliant’. Iain Campbell is regularly instructed on breach of contract and professional negligence disputes, while solicitor and professional support lawyer Moya Clifford and Sharon Williamson, who specialises in banking litigation, are also recommended. Senior associates Alex Smith and Andrew Little, who was recently promoted, are key members of the team, as are associates Emma Lewis, Kelly Heath and Rachel Leigh, who recently joined the team from Fieldfisher.

The commercial litigation department at Brabners LLP ‘always responds to queries promptly’ and is best known for its experience in sports and recruitment sector cases, as well as partnership disputes. The team represented Mereside Motors in a multi-party dispute relating to the ownership of a supercar, and acted for Swimming Championships 2016 in a range of matters including a dispute relating to changes made to the structure and format of the Championships. Department head Jeff Lewis is a ‘steadfast and rational litigator’ and has ‘excellent people skills and very quickly puts clients at ease.’

DAC Beachcroft LLP's  ‘excellent’ department handles complex shareholder, contract, professional negligence, fraud and insolvency cases, acting for individual and business clients across the TMT, healthcare and insurance sectors. Highlights included representing the Right Honourable Charles Clarke in claims against Mirror Group Newspapers arising from the unlawful obtaining and misuse of private and confidential information, and representing DHL Management Services in relation to a series of anti-suit injunctions. Irlam Wharf Properties, Make Positive, RSA and Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust are also clients. Department head Jan Levinson handles IT and outsourcing disputes as well as property claims and corporate matters, often with a cross-border element. Harald Loeffler regularly advises on misrepresentation, unlawful interference with contract and other economic torts, and professional negligence cases, while Sydney Fulda has a ‘wealth of experience’ in complex commercial cases. Senior associates Vicki Bates, who handles disputes involving insolvency practitioners, Andrew Martin, who specialises in shareholder, sports and licensing disputes, and Joanne Dumphy, who handles IT, insurance and healthcare cases, are also key members of the team.

The ‘impressive’ team at JMW Solicitors LLP is ‘an excellent choice for commercial litigation’. It handles a broad range of commercial disputes with specialist expertise in construction, financial services, contentious probate, sport and e-commerce sector disputes. The team successfully acted for the claimants in a widely publicised High Court group litigation case against WM Morrison Supermarkets, arising from the leak of payroll information in 2014. Other key highlights included representing businessman Philip Barton in several interconnected cases emanating from a feud between two successful entrepreneurs, and representing Arena Plaza Jersey in a claim relating to an investment made into a $360m development in Hungary against a management company and fund resident in Jersey. Acorn Polymers and Addison Projects are also clients. Among the team, Mark Jones is ‘brave and commercial in his advice’, Michael Kennedy is ‘relentless with the opposition but also has very smooth client skills’, Nick McAleenan is ‘first-rate’ and Graham Small specialises in contractual disputes, commercial fraud, professional negligence claims. Alison Parry is also recommended, as are senior associates +Richard Glover and +Claire Brown. The ‘fantastic’ Marc Yaffe leads the team and is noted for his sports sector experience. Andrew Farrell joined Prosperity Law LLP in 2018.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘truly brilliant’ team is active across commercial litigation, regulatory disputes, and contentious sports, media and entertainment matters, often with an international element. The team continues to defend Allied Irish Bank (AIB) in proceedings brought by an individual alleging that that the bank is not entitled to repayment of sums loaned and secured against properties, and is defending United Drug (UK) Holdings Ltd in a £4m claim for misrepresentation arising out of the purchase of a pharmaceutical events company. Other key mandates included representing the EFL in high-profile regulatory charges brought against Watford Football Club and one of its former directors. BP International, Balfour Beatty Regional Construction, Everton Football Club and Viridor Waste Management are also clients. The ‘calm, classy and knowledgeable’ Julian Diaz-Rainey is a ‘leader in his field’ and heads the team, which includes senior associates Andrew Mitchell (‘fiercely bright, very capable, and very hardworking’), Jo Seed, who has ‘star quality’, and Michael Hannon.

The ‘extremely professional’ team at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP ‘punches above its weight’, is praised for its ability to ‘mix hard-nosed litigation skills with genuine commercial nous’. It regularly handles complex professional negligence, finance, product liability and shareholder disputes. The team represented Stoke Properties 1 and Stoke Properties 2 in a £7.2m contractual dispute against WM Morrison Supermarkets and represented STAMA Developments (Salford) in a £10m dispute against a local authority concerning breach of contract in relation to a landmark residential development. London & Scottish Investments, Beech Holdings and are also clients. Andrew Weinberg specialises in commercial landlord and tenant actions, as well as professional negligence and product liability disputes; he leads the team, which includes Damian Bailey, who has ‘a close eye for detail’ and is ‘immensely practical’, and +David Jones, who ‘fights really hard for his clients’, is ‘never outmaneuvered tactically, and has unparalleled commercial insight’. Also recommended are consultant Wendi Bussin, who handles regulatory and business crime litigation, and associate Phillip Warburton.

Pannone Corporate LLP regularly handles corporate litigation and complex contractual disputes, with notable expertise in commercial fraud, civil competition claims, franchise litigation and partnership disputes. Highlights included representing Seatriever International Holdings in a dispute against its former global sales director for misuse of confidential information and breaches of restrictive covenants; representing Hornby Street in a trade mark and passing-off dispute; and defending a former director of Biopower (Hartlepool) in a series of claims., Conviviality, Cotton Traders, DB Cargo and DHL Express are also clients. The ‘excellent’ Paul Jonson heads the department, which includes David Brown, who is ‘approachable and always willing to resolve issues in a straight-forward and pragmatic way’, Nicola Marchant, who is noted for her experience in the healthcare sector, and ‘thorough’ associate partner Martin Pennington.

The ‘hardworking, well-informed and effective’ department at Squire Patton Boggs is active in disputes across the chemical, manufacturing, IT and financial services sectors, with a particular strength in fraud, product liability, professional negligence, data breach and cybersecurity issues. The team is acting for Manchester Building Society in a £55m professional negligence claim against Grant Thornton. SSP, GB Group, INEOS Group, Yorkshire Building Society and Assetz SME Capital are also clients. Department head Victoria Leigh has ‘excellent technical knowledge’ and is experienced in pensions and financial services disputes. Anthony Taylor heads the financial services litigation team and Lucci Dammone has ‘vast experience and a calm presence’. Senior associates Mike Caird and Peter Lees are also recommended.

Weightmans LLP’s commercial litigation practice handles a range of contentious cases involving IP, defamation, property damage, civil fraud and reputational issues, with the public and financial services sectors key areas of focus. It represented Business Energy Solutions and BES Commercial Electricity in a £10m High Court case involving reputation management issues and represented Cardoman 116 in a £2.4m breach of warranty dispute arising from a share sale purchase agreement. It also represented Joseph Gleave & Son in the latest challenge, in a series of claims, against the Ministry of Defence seeking to set aside its procurement processes. Thomas Cook Airlines, Abbey Life Assurance Company and Capita Property and Infrastructure are also clients. Among the team, Robert Jones handles commercial contract disputes, professional negligence, shareholder, trust and probate disputes and ADR and is 'capable of identifying, at an early stage, the most realistically achievable outcome'. Regional office head Richard Corran is ‘very able’. The ‘brilliant’ Carole Spiller is noted for her experience in professional negligence cases and has a 'good grasp of the detail and technical elements of the law but as the same time brings a focussed commercial approach to the issues at hand'.   Damian Carter is experienced in high-value corporate disputes. Associates Josh Conroy, who 'gets to grips with complex matters very quickly',  Danielle Best, Jessica Kraja, who joined from DWF in 2017, and Joanne Williams  are also key members of the team.

The ‘commercial and responsive’ team at BLM is commended for its ‘attention to detail’ and its ‘sensible, pragmatic and client-focused’ approach. Noted for its expertise in commercial insurance disputes, the team strengthened its practice with the recruitment of financial services expert Craig McAdam, the ‘fantastic’ Nick Gee, and Steve Kuncewicz, who handles IP, media and communications-related issues; they joined from Slater and Gordon in October 2017. On the commercial insurance side, Robert Steele, who co-heads the team with McAdam, advises on policy coverage, property damage, construction and engineering matters as well as product liability disputes. Catherine Mangham specialises in property damage liability and recovery and Nick Bond handles policy advice, property damage, subrogated recovery and professional indemnity matters. Senior associates Rebecca Young and Clare Durkin, whose ‘style is clear, timely and confident’, are also noted. Clients include Zurich, Allianz, Chubb, J Sainsbury, QBE, HSB and Spirit Pub Company.

Gateley Plc's team regularly handles healthcare sector disputes against NHS Trusts in addition to sports-sector matters and contentious trust and probate cases. United Kingdom Cheerleading Association is a key client for the team.  Department head Sarah Sabin handles corporate disputes as well as high-value contentious trusts and probate work; she is ably supported by Janine Allen, who is ‘excellent both strategically and in terms of handling clients’ and is experienced in healthcare sector disputes. Also recommended are ‘excellent’ legal director Nicola Richardson, and senior associates Nick Murrills, who focuses on sports-related cases, and James Seed.

Bolstered by its 2017 merger with Berg, Kennedys delivers ‘exceptional service' and is rated for its ability to 'assess the merits of a case and drive matters forward to a conclusion’. Solutions SK, Cruden Construction, Chartrange and C&M Floor & Wall Tiling are clients. Key figures include ‘smart and resilient’ consultant Anne Kershaw and Andrew Davidson, who jointly head the team; Reuben Berg, who is ‘super commercial and practical’; and ‘brilliant’ senior associate John Colvin, who has a focus on banking litigation and complex contractual disputes in the IT and manufacturing sectors. Alison Loveday and senior associate Ian Mendelsohn are also recommended.

The ‘impressive’ practice at Mills & Reeve LLP is noted for its experience in complex corporate disputes across the food, agribusiness, waste, manufacturing, sport and private wealth sectors, with expertise in reputation management, fraud and tax, trusts and probate matters. Recent work includes defending Phoenix Healthcare Distribution in a long-running £8m dispute against a pharmacy chain, and representing a football agent in a multi-million pound claim brought by a Premier League team alleging conspiracy and misrepresentation. Ripple Developments (UK) and AURES Technologies are also clients. Team head Richard Dawson-Gerrard is ‘very intelligent, client focused, and tactically astute; he takes a realistic line but fights the client’s corner’. Dawson-Gerrard is ably supported by Simon Pedley, who focuses on corporate and commercial disputes in addition to contentious trusts. Principal associates Rachael Somerset, who is experienced in defamation and reputation management issues, and Sandra Morrison, who is ‘very able and runs commercial cases excellently’ and runs the firm’s German desk, are also key members of the department.

Shoosmiths LLP  has a ‘very savvy and switched-on’ team that ‘punches well above its weight’ and counts product liability, shareholder, defamation, insurance, pensions and employment litigation as key areas of focus. The team defended Mattresstek Limited in a High Court employment case involving restrictive covenant and interim injunction issues and handles product liability work for the Hoover Candy Group. MD Insurance Services, Astra Zeneca UK and Derwent Estates are also clients. Department head and deputy office head Kath Livingston specialises in commercial litigation and has experience in defamation and reputation management issues. Senior associate Richard Marshall is ‘highly energetic, hands-on and practical, has a keen eye for detail and an ability to look at a case from all angles’.

The ‘responsive’ team at TLT regularly handles contentious cases across the retail, leisure, energy and utilities sectors, acting for clients such as Adrian Francis Associates,, Co-operative Group, Farmcare Trading, Homebase and Well Pharmacies. Emma Flower handles a range of commercial disputes, particularly in the retail sector, and has specialist export controls and sanctions experience; clients say she is ‘very tenacious, proactive and gives sound legal advice which is commercially focused’. Energy, leisure, and telecommunications sector disputes are key areas of focus for Julien Luke. Jon Hainey joined from DWF in May 2018.

The ‘strong’ team at Turner Parkinson LLP is commended for its ‘attention to detail’ and represents high-net worth individuals, large national and international companies, plc and investor clients in complex commercial disputes. The firm also has a growing property litigation capability. Recent highlights include advising on a high-value shareholder and partnership dispute. Litigation head Ian Fitzpatrick is ‘brilliant’ and Lisa Shacklock is also ‘highly regarded’. Emma Judge and Andrew Rimmer  handle construction-related disputes and senior associate Peter Barnard is active across commercial and real estate disputes.

The ‘impressive’ team at Browne Jacobson LLP is noted for its public and healthcare sector expertise, acting for clients such as NHS Commissioning Board and The Welsh Government. The team continued to represent Ted Baker and No Ordinary Designer Label in its claim against AXA Insurance UK and represented DPD in a dispute regarding the provision of handheld scanners at its warehouse hub. Elmdene Group, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Celthheath are also clients. Department head Nichola Evans leads on healthcare and public sector commercial litigation; she ‘approaches cases with considerable commercial pragmatism’. Associate Katie Scott is also a key member of the team.

Fieldfisher is active across corporate litigation, civil fraud, professional negligence and contractual disputes. The team acts for private individuals and large public companies spanning the retail, financial services, construction, insurance, technology, telecommunications and sports sectors. Clients include Betfred, CMS Payments Intelligence and Kellogg Company and fashion brands such as Karen Millen, Oasis, Warehouse and Coast. Managing partner Ian Austin heads the commercial litigation team, which includes the ‘fantastic’ James Lappin, Donall Caherty, and associate Daniel Sheehan, who joined in 2017 from DWF. Barry Sharples heads the debt recovery team.

The ‘first-rate’ team at Irwin Mitchell regularly represents commercial clients and financial institutions in high-value disputes and also has experience in matters across the education and sports sectors. Headline work includes representing the Co-operative Bank in proceedings against Deutsche Bank, Hayes Freehold (in liquidation), Sentrum and Sentrum Holdings concerning a facility of £25m provided to Hayes Freehold. The team is also acting for a large number of individuals in disputes against more than 70 defendant Cypriot banks, developers and law firms, regarding the mis-selling of foreign currency loans in respect of Cypriot property purchases by UK consumers. The ‘brilliant’ Duncan Hope heads the team, which includes associate Ailsa Anderson, who handles banking, finance and pension disputes.

The ‘professional’ team at Nexus Solicitors Limited is adept at handling an array of contentious matters; professional negligence, property litigation, financial disputes and contentious trusts work are key areas of expertise. The team has handled several claims against high street banks involving the freezing of accounts and also regularly advises a number of short-term lenders on the enforcement of secured lending rights and various finance provisions. The team also advised on a construction claim relating to work carried out at various premises of a high street fast-food chain ‘Outstanding’ team head Chris Pugh is ‘very easy to deal with’, ‘explains issues clearly’ and handles professional negligence, contractual and financial disputes for claimants and defendants. Property litigator Debbie Whiteley is also noted.

At Clarke Willmott LLP key areas of activity include shareholder and contractual disputes, defamation, injunctions, asset recovery and breach of confidential information cases and the team acts for owners, directors and shareholders of plc, medium and small businesses and financial institutions across the retail, banking, finance, sport, energy and technology sectors. Highlights included representing The National Union of Mineworkers in a claim against Organisation International Energie Mines relating to the alleged breach of an agreement to repay funds recovered by IEMO in a long running legal conflict.  Department head John Flint is ‘friendly, straight-forward and delivers an efficient service’.

The Manchester-based team at Farleys Solicitors LLP works closely with colleagues across its regional network of offices and is active across a range of commercial disputes including breach of contract claims, IP disputes, commercial landlord and tenant matters, professional negligence claims and shareholder disputes. Team head Daniel Draper regularly handles complex professional negligence claims and also leads the firm’s sports team.

Freeman Fisher LLP’s ‘very responsive’ team is praised for its ‘proactive approach to the tactics and strategy of a case’. It handles a range of matters including banking, commercial, contract, partnership and commercial fraud cases, as well as transactional disputes and professional negligence. Highlights included acting for Just Costs on a range of matters relating to its pre-pack administration. Team head Alex Megaw  is ‘very determined, with a can-do attitude; he knows how to achieve the right result for the client’. Associate  Louise Goodwin is a ‘hardworking litigator’.

The team at Stripes Solicitors is ‘always quick to respond and gives clear and actionable advice’ across a range of disputes including professional negligence, contractual, company and partnership, director, shareholder, insolvency, banking, property and construction cases. Debt recovery and employment disputes are also a key area of focus for the team.  ‘Brilliant’ managing director Andrew Stripe is commended for his ‘attention to detail’ and David Gallagher’s ‘knowledge of the law, calm guidance, experience and ability to distil complexities’ is commended. Joseph Chiffers is also a key member of the team.

The team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP works closely with its national network of offices and is noted for its experience across procurement challenges, contractual and corporate disputes and contentious insolvency matters and is noted for injunctions, shareholder disputes, warranty claims and partnership disputes. It acts for claimants and defendants such as; owner managed businesses, high-net-worth individuals, public bodies as well as accountancy and insolvency practitioners. The team is instructed by MyDentist on a range of contractual disputes, IT and IP disputes, injunctions, contentious insolvency-related matters and property litigation. Homes & Communities Agency, Rowlinsons, UK Container Maintenance and Equity Housing Group are also clients. Manchester team head Dan Butler  was recently promoted to partner.

Debt recovery

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Bermans  is a 'fantastic choice' for debt recovery and handles a ‘full range’ of work, with niche expertise in the specialist asset and invoice finance sectors. The team advised a US finance company in a recovery action against a London-based guarantor and advised on a £12m claim by an US investment broker against a UK-based claims management firm. The ‘brilliant’ Nick Harvey heads the firm’s collections and recoveries department and Jonathan Berkson heads the invoice finance litigation team.

Brabners LLP is noted for its expertise in high-value, complex debt recovery matters, and recently bolstered its debt recovery capability with the recruitment of Phil sheard, former Liverpool team head at Hill Dickinson LLP, and James Stephenson , also from Hill Dickinson LLP. They join a team which includes the 'excellent' Jacqui Lloyd in Liverpool, who has an extensive track record, and Preston-based Stuart Irons, who regularly acts for banks, building societies and other financial institutions in secured and unsecured lending matters. Senior legal executive Tony Foley, also based in Liverpool, is another key member of the department.

Pannone Corporate LLP’s ‘outstanding’ team is ‘professionally sound’ and is commended for its ‘vast knowledge base’. It handles commercial debt recovery and has specific expertise in pursuing debt via insolvency proceedings. The team regularly handles bulk instructions from a range of clients including Exertis (UK), Bargain Booze, L’Oreal (UK) and Performing Right Society. Department head Karl Williams is ‘excellent’ and ‘always available’ and associate Denise Lamb is ‘hardworking and very experienced’. Legal executive Simon Fitzgerald and executive Darren Judge are also key members of the department.

The ‘first-class’ team at Weightmans LLP assists clients across the banking, debt purchaser, utilities and transport sectors and is also active for clients in the public sector. The team is advising The Cabinet Office in the recovery of pension overpayments and recently advised on improvements to its entire recoveries process. Names such as Cabot Financial (UK), The Motor Insurers’ Bureau, Credit Collections UK and UK Fuels are clients. ‘Experienced’ national debt recovery head Andrew Cox is ‘fantastic’; he is ably supported by 'very professional' consultant Mark Burch, who handles secured and unsecured debt recovery matters across the public and private sectors.

Chandler Harris LLP delivers an ‘excellent service’ and handles the collection of service charge and ground rent arrears, via Chandler Harris Property LLP, for clients throughout England and Wales. Associate Simon Stopher regularly ‘goes above and beyond his duties’ and ‘gets results’ for clients. David Harris heads the team.

Gorvins Solicitors is commended by clients for its ‘brilliant service’. The team handles debt and asset recovery for finance houses, in addition to claims on behalf of liquidators and administrators, and the collection of rent arrears and service charges. Oldham Credit Union, Thorne Credit Union, Bibby Leasing and Bibby Asset Finance are clients. Dispute resolution team head Mark Deverell acts for insolvency practitioners in relation to debt collection on behalf of liquidators and administrators, and on the recovery of monies due under guarantees. Also recommended are senior associate Danielle Clements and associate solicitor Sunita Patel, whose ‘advice is well thought out’. Michael Morris recently retired.

Greenhalgh Kerr's ‘highly skilled and knowledgeable’ team delivers an ‘efficient’ service and is noted for its work on behalf of local authorities, as well as asset finance providers and leading clients. Clients include Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, Crawley Borough Council York City Council and Renaissance Asset Finance, as well as a number of student accommodation providers. Managing partner Richard Kerr heads the team, which includes asset based finance specialist Daniel Tate, who ‘explains the issues in layman’s terms and is very practical in his advice’. Steven Owens and Warren Usden are also recommended.

Hill Dickinson LLP delivers a ‘very quick and efficient service’ and offers ‘creative solutions’. It handles routine debt recovery and regularly advises on high-value and complex contested recoveries, including factoring disputes and recoveries, restitution claims, enforcement proceedings, and vehicle finance disputes. Clients include Bibby Factors, Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance, Korean Development Insurance Corporation, European Commission and 4Syte Funding and 4Syte.Legal director Sharon Williamson leads the Manchester-based team. Phil Sheard  and James Stephenson joined Brabners LLP.

Jolliffe & Co LLP ‘actions any requests promptly and always provides feedback on progress’ and acts for various SMEs, estate agents, auctioneers and private landlords throughout the region and internationally. The team also acts for letting agents and block management companies on the collection of rent and service charge arrears. The ‘first-rate’ Andrew Bartley heads the team, which includes senior debt recovery executive Kerry Davies.

Mason Hayes Solicitors’ ‘response times are excellent, and its industry knowledge and business acumen are first class’. The team acts as sole provider for commercial debt recovery for a UK-based telecommunication reseller company. Marcus Hayes has a ‘calming presence’.

Shoosmiths LLP is active across asset finance, consumer secured and unsecured lending, commercial and corporate secured and unsecured lending, invoice finance, mortgage shortfall, and B2B trade debt and also handles the recovery of service charge and ground rent arrears; the team is the sole provider of ground rent recoveries for Peel Holdings. It acts for major lenders, debt purchasers and other business creditors and the team operates closely with its national network of offices. Sean Adams heads the recoveries team, which includes senior associate Georgina Kenny.

Specialist dispute resolution outfit Stripes Solicitors provides a ‘professional and efficient service’. The team continues to act for a number of insolvency practitioners on debt collection, in addition to acting for law firms and management companies. Consultant and debt and insolvency executive Ian Hughes ‘understands the needs of the client’ and heads the team with Tracey McIver. Managing director Andrew Stripe is ‘fantastic’.

The Keith Jones Partnership is praised for its ‘hands-on approach’ and for providing ‘regular updates’ to clients. It handles business-to-business debt recovery, commercial litigation, enforcement, insolvency proceedings, tenancy eviction and rent recovery, service charge and ground rent recovery. It also regularly pursues debts outside England and Wales. Managing director Keith Jones heads the team, which includes Brenda Li, who is ‘approachable and explains legal implications clearly’, and Nicholas Brown, who is ‘quick to respond to queries’ and has ‘excellent knowledge’.

Operating closely with its Bristol and London offices, TLT handles secured recoveries, mortgage enforcements and provides a specialist payment recoveries service to financial institutions. Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, The Co-operative Bank and Santander are clients. Legal director Darren Shaw specialises in the recovery of outstanding mortgage arrears and property for financial institutions and banks, is also active in the recovery of ground rent and service charge arrears for property management companies, landlords and developers; and heads the mortgage enforcement and payment recoveries department in Manchester. Banking and financial services litigator James Chadwick is also recommended, as is associate David Robinson who ‘tailors his advice to the needs of the client’.

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