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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 > Transport > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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Who Represents Who

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Clients of Backhouse Jones would ‘recommended it to anyone who requires specialist road transport compliance advice. The team is great at giving clients peace of mind and is exemplary from the top down’. James Backhouse, Jonathon Backhouse and Andrew Woolfall are all ‘extremely knowledgeable and exemplary advocates’. The road transport regulatory team undertakes a wide variety of work from complicated licence applications and restructurings to advising on regulatory breaches. Clients include major bus and haulage operators in the UK. The firm has particular expertise in public inquiries before the Traffic Commissioner and is well equipped to represent clients where there has, for example, been a failure to manage compliance systems or where there are environmental issues.

Hill Dickinson LLP attracts praise for its ‘exceptional customer service’. Adrian Marsh and his team ‘have extensive knowledge and experience; they are able to respond to issues as they arise without delay’. Marsh receives particular praise as someone who is adept at ‘simplifying extremely complicated matters in a way that is easy to understand’. He deals primarily with contentious freight liability, cargo recovery and marine policy/commercial disputes. Other key figures include Nerys Parry, who heads the Liverpool motor insurance team; senior associate Richard Allingham, who is ‘commercial, knowledgeable and is good at securing positive outcomes for his clients’; and ‘knowledgeable’ legal director Caroline Bridge, who is praised for her ‘great attention to detail’. The practice is representing 11 clients on various issues arising out of the Hanjin Shipping collapse and rehabilitation proceedings. Other key clients include Barbican Insurance Group, Kuehne+ Nagel, Zurich and OHL International (UK).

Weightmans LLP has ‘great experience in the marine industry in particular but does a first-class job on all aspects of transport law’. Mike Burnstakes a commercial view on matters, explains issues well to all the different levels in the organisations and in terms of drafting contractual terms for marine and carriage of goods matters – his experience is unparalled’. Phil James is a ‘star performer – he is a real roll up your sleeves type of lawyer who gets things done well’. Chris Ball has significant experience of handling motor work and acts for insurers in the motor, bus/coach and logistics sectors The large team has a broad range of experience from handling high value litigation frequently in an international context to criminal/regulatory proceedings. It is acting for Champion Tankers as time charterers of a vegoil tanker that ran aground on a bank off Uruguay in May 2016. There was a subsequent declaration of general average and the vessel was declared a constructive total loss. The team’s main role was to advise clients in relation to their claims for the freight payable from the cargo shipper, and related liability issues arising out the casualty. Other clients include Essar Oil UK, Peel Ports Group and Steamship Mutual.

Ruth Graham heads the team at BLM and is praised for her ‘wealth of knowledge’ and ‘excellent, sound and concise advice’. The ‘extremely user-friendlyJoanna Peters, who leads the rail team, and associate Sarah Shorrock are both recommended for their ‘valued and balanced advice’. Graham oversees the team, which handles a broad range of disputes related to passenger transport, motor claims, employers’ liability and public liability. The team acted for the driver of a national passenger transport company who was interviewed under caution on suspicion of failing to stop and report an accident when an elderly female passenger fell while the insured’s bus was moving. Other clients include Metrolink, Rotala, Merseyrail and First Group.

Clyde & Co LLP’s team provides ‘practical and cost-effective solutions’ and has a ‘great international network’. Legal director Emma Rice is ‘very highly regarded’. The Manchester team excels in cargo claims, freight liability, and personal injury claims in addition to shipping and yacht insurance issues.

DWF’s team is ‘very client-focused and extremely approachable’ and is praised for its ability to handle ‘more straightforward issues through to the more complicated matters equally well’. Vikki Woodfine (who is ‘always prepared to go that extra mile when it is needed’) and senior solicitor Joanne Witheford are both praised for their ‘extensive knowledge’. The large practice is divided into a number of sub-sectors including automotive, marine and trade, road transport, logistics and rail. It counts South Staffordshire Plc, the insurer RSA and TVM (the Dutch insurer that specialises in transport issues) as clients.

Tim Culpin heads the team at Aaron & Partners LLP and has a ‘good reputation in the transport sector’. He is an experienced advocate in both the Magistrates’ Court and at public inquiries before the Traffic Commissioners. Simon Edwards is strong on warehousing matters and Nick Clarke in the logistics sectors. The team has significant experience at dealing with regulatory authorities. Other areas of expertise include advising clients on the prevention of clandestine entrants and on objections to penalties imposed by the UK Border Force.

Key figures at DLA Piper UK LLP include Liam Cowell, who specialises in infrastructure and project financing transactions, and David Moss, who joined the team from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and is well regarded for his work on contentious construction matters. The team is skilled at handling high-value and complex transactions and litigation. Clients include some of the biggest commercial airlines, finance firms, distributors, public sector authorities and infrastructure investors and contractors across the UK and internationally. The team is acting for the Welsh Ministers on the forthcoming roads PPP project. Other active clients include the Stobart Group.

Dyne Solicitors Limited is the ‘right firm for transport matters and provides a five-star service’. Clients say that Jared Dunbar is the ‘right man’ to deal with complex transport matters; his ‘experience is second to none’. John Dyne is another key contact at the firm. Its team ‘stays on top of every detail’ and regularly handles operator licensing matters in addition to having considerable skill at representing national and international clients at public inquiries. The group is adept at defending road haulage operators in regulatory law prosecutions, principally road traffic, environmental and health and safety matters. It acts as legal adviser and secretariat to the Heavy Transport Association and the Batched on Site Association.

Michael Clavell-Bate leads the logistics group at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, which is regularly involved in high-value national and international projects. Highlights included acting for Transport for Greater Manchester on its multimillion-pound procurement of a new operational and maintenance contractor for the Manchester Metrolink light rail system. It has also been advising on Network Rail’s Transpennine Route upgrade. Jackie Heeds specialises in PFI and PPP projects and is also recommended.

Fielden Marshall Glover Strutt advises on a broad range of transport matters including operator licence applications, DVSA investigations, interviews under caution and advising on clandestine entrants. Nicholas Marshall and David Glover are key contacts.

Ian Gee at JWK Solicitors is well regarded for his work in the aviation sector. The team acted for the widow of the captain of a helicopter that crashed very shortly after take-off. In another key matter the team acted as an escrow agent in the sale of a business jet.

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