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  1. Commercial litigation: Manchester
  2. Leading individuals

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Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s β€˜top-rated’ team is headed by the β€˜truly brilliant’ Mark Molyneux and acts for a wide range of clients including Manchester Airport Group, Capita, PZ Cussons, Speedy Hire, Tata Chemicals and The Co-operative Group. Susan Garrett is a β€˜very experienced commercial litigator and brings excellent judgement to bear on any case’. Maxine Davies, Jonathan Tattersall, John Gosling, legal director Clare Dwyer, and managing associate Paul Rowley, who is β€˜very hardworking and quick to grasp the key thrust of a case’, are also recommended.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s β€˜response times are always quick, and the quality and depth of advice is always excellent’. Department head David Gray advised Tata Steel on a dispute with a water supplier, and Andrew Smith led Maven Capital Partners UK and others on a range of claims brought against two individuals and an international law firm. Jonathan Eatough is β€˜personable’ and β€˜goes the extra mile’.

Eversheds LLP acted for three companies within the Wockhardt group on an Β£80m litigation brought by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Other clients include Manchester United Football Club, Manchester Airport Group, INEOS, IATA and Wincanton. Team head Michael Clavell-Bate has a β€˜strong reputation’, and Matt Taylor demonstrates β€˜a keen ability to quickly get to the root of matters whilst not getting stuck in the details’.

Led by the β€˜formidable’ Geraldine Ryan, the team at Hill Dickinson LLP was recently bolstered by the arrival of Peter Southeran from Millbank Edge LLP. Legal director Christopher Tyrrell and professional support lawyer Moya Clifford are noted for their ability to β€˜quickly comprehend and master detailed evidence’. Clients include Peel Holdings, Swinton Insurance, Kuehne + Nagel and The Oddfellows Society. Iain Campbell and senior associate Alex Smith are also recommended.

At Brabners LLP, department head Jeff Lewis β€˜provides a personable and highly professional service; he has a strong grasp of the commercial aspects of a case’ and is noted for his β€˜determination, especially when speed is of paramount importance’. Alpha Technology is a key client. Paul Morton has acted in a number of claims against financial advisers.

The β€˜excellent’ team at DWF acts for clients such as WM Morrison, The Insolvency Service, Leeds City Council, LagardΓ¨re Group, United Utilities Water, Booker Group and Serco Group. The β€˜brilliant’ Joel Heap heads the national team, which includes the β€˜exceptional’ Steve Morris, Jon Hainey, Andrew Harris, Claire Graham and Lee Norman. Duncan Hope joined Irwin Mitchell in October 2015, and James Lappin joined Fieldfisher in February 2016.

At Pinsent Masons LLP, department head Julian Diaz-Rainey is considered to be β€˜one of the biggest names in litigation outside London’. Key clients include Manchester City Football Club, Triple S Sport and Entertainment Group, Clydesdale Bank, Balfour Beatty and Northumbria University. Senior associates Andrew Mitchell and Jo Seed, and associate Michael Hannon are also recommended.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s β€˜excellent’ team is led by the β€˜experienced’ Jan Levinson and acts for clients including Manchester United Football Club, Sir Bradley Wiggins, DHL, Pirelli and BAE Systems. Key figures include Sydney Fulda and Harald Loeffler, who was promoted to partner in May 2015.

The β€˜commercial’ team at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP has a β€˜strong collection of litigators’ and β€˜punches above its weight’. Team head Andrew Weinberg is β€˜fully committed to achieving the objectives of the client’. Also recommended are Damian Bailey, who β€˜leaves no stone unturned’, Daniel Fitzgerald, and associate David Jones, who is β€˜a superb commercial litigator’. Clients include, Harnbury Holdings and Begbies Traynor.

The β€˜very efficient’ and β€˜personable’ team at Pannone Corporate LLP is singled out for its β€˜high-quality service and technical approach’. Bondcare,, DB Schenker and Sibelco are clients. Clients highlight team head Paul Jonson for his β€˜technical excellence, experience and commercial judgement’. The β€˜focused’ David Brown and Nicola Marchant are also recommended.

Squire Patton Boggs’ β€˜approachable and friendly’ department is led by Victoria Leigh who is β€˜very highly regarded in the market’. Unichem UK, Stobart Group, Findel, Georgia-Pacific, INEOS Group and Yorkshire Building Society are clients. Among the β€˜professional’ team Lucci Dammone is β€˜first-rate’.

At TLT, the β€˜outstanding’ John Lord is highly recommended; β€˜very rarely do you find a lawyer who is so very clued up with the law and the technical side, and who is also very commercially aware’. Emma Flower (who is noted for her β€˜real strategic insight and robust advice’) and Julien Luke are also recommended. Clients include The Co-operative Group,, E.ON and Heineken.

At Weightmans LLP, department head Robert Jones is β€˜a strong leader driving a strong team’; he β€˜grasps issues quickly, and has a pragmatic and commercial approach’. Thomas Cook Airlines, BCRL, Premier Property Lawyers and Abbey Life Assurance Company are clients. Other key figures include Richard Corran, Carole Spiller, who is singled out for her professional negligence expertise, and associate Josh Conroy, who is β€˜a highly attentive, no-nonsense, hard-nosed litigator’.

Gateley Plc is a β€˜strong player in the North West’ and acts for clients such as British Medical Association, Alpha Panareti Public and CHUBB Insurance. Janine Allen and Sarah Sabin jointly lead the team.

JMW Solicitors LLP’s team is led by the β€˜approachable and hardworking’ Marc Yaffe and includes Mark Jones, who is β€˜wise, considered and very assertive, without being unnecessarily aggressive’; and Andrew Farrell. Nick McAleenan was promoted to partner in May 2016.

At Kennedys consultant Anne Kershaw is β€˜very thorough, very professional and leads a well-motivated and professional outfit’ that includes β€˜extremely competent and efficient’ solicitor Simon Gerrard.

Mills & Reeve LLP is noted for its β€˜willingness to take the time to understand the problem and find creative solutions’. Team head Richard Dawson-Gerrard is β€˜very commercial and outcome focused’, and Simon Pedley is β€˜great at giving straightforward advice’.

Ian Fitzpatrick leads the team at Turner Parkinson LLP, which is noted for its β€˜practical and honest advice’ and for its β€˜commercial approach’. The β€˜excellent’ Lisa Shacklock is also recommended.

Robert Steele heads the team at BLM, which acts for insurers including Zurich, Ecclesiastical, Allianz and ACE, as well as retailers such as J Sainsbury. Elaine Chan joined Ward Hadaway in October 2015.

The β€˜energetic’ and β€˜efficient’ team at Berg includes team head Damian Carter, who is β€˜a good tactician and goes the extra mile for his clients’.

Nichola Evans at Browne Jacobson LLP β€˜combines excellent legal knowledge with a very savvy approach and tactical astuteness’. Clients include Ted Baker, Cornwall Council and Elite Insurance Company.

The β€˜commercial’ team at Freeths is led by John May and includes Christine Oxenburgh and Emma Emery, who is β€˜able to distil complex legal issues quickly and to explain them in comprehensible terms’.

Irwin Mitchell was bolstered by the arrival of Duncan Hope from DWF. He now heads the team after the departure of Jonathon Crook.

At Linder Myers, β€˜vastly experienced’ team head Peter Kaye β€˜instils confidence in clients’.

At Nexus Solicitors Limited, Chris Pugh is noted for his β€˜great depth of knowledge’.

Kath Livingston at Shoosmiths LLP is singled out as β€˜a professional and an extremely competent litigator’.

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Legal Developments in North West for Commercial litigation: Manchester

  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was β€˜in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be β€˜recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

    - Macfarlanes

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