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Editorial

Commercial litigation: Newcastle

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Newcastle
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Bond Dickinson LLP’s ‘highly competent and professional’ team includes litigator Paul Stewart, whose ‘expert guidance is invaluable in dealing with complex and delicate issues’; contentious pensions specialist Joanna Bromhead, who ‘is more than capable’; and Craig Monty, who focuses on professional negligence and pensions litigation. Clients include Arriva, British Gas and IBM. Stewart and the Southampton-based Tom Beezer lead the national practice.

Ian Collinson leads the nine-partner practice at Ward Hadaway, which acts for clients including Nissan, Virgin Money and Paragon Group. Recent mandates include representing Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust in injunction proceedings brought by BT Cornwall to restrain the Trust from terminating a multimillion-pound IT service delivery agreement. Tim Toomey is noted for his expertise in IT and insurance disputes. Martin Woodford is also recommended.

Standout figures of Gibson & Co Solicitors Ltd’s highly regarded litigation practice include Jane Gibson, who is ‘a great negotiator, will fight to get the best outcome, and is very much on top of legal developments in the financial services disputes field’; and Toby Gibson, who is acting for Union Bancaire Privé in a claim from a private individual for the reimbursement of £700,000-worth of fees, and is praised for his ‘experience and flexibility’.

Hay & Kilner’s disputes practice attracts praise for its ‘highly capable, hard-headed, yet friendly’ approach. Martin Soloman and the well-regarded Lucy Gray ‘are both low on drama and high on results; they are masterful co-ordinators of a professional team, and great at communicating effectively with clients’. In a highlight matter, Rodney Jones defended a client facing contractual claims from multiple suppliers.

Susan Howe leads Muckle LLP’s team and attracts praise for her ‘analytical approach to complex areas of law’. The team acts as exclusive legal advisers for Parkrun UK and has been appointed to the panel of NG Bailey Group. Other clients include Caribbean Premier League and The Clouston Group. George Festing focuses on contentious IP issues.

DWF’s disputes practice acts for a number of local public and private sector organisations including Northumberland Council, Newcastle United and UTS Engineering. David Summerhayes was promoted to senior associate in July 2015; he focuses on the healthcare, education and retail sectors and stands out for his strengths in defamation. Ed Meikle’s expertise spans IP, technology, media litigation and corporate defamation.

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP provides ‘an exceptional service’ to a wide-ranging client base that includes Holystone Civil Engineering, Clifton Engineering, Emarsys UK and LB Foster Rail Technologies. Stewart Irvine heads the team and is rated for his ‘very professional service and impartial advice’.

Very good on all counts’, Watson Burton LLP’s practice has been advising a client in the technology field on numerous contentious matters relating to contract claims, fee disputes and restitution claims. Christopher Graham leads the team.

Claire Collinson Legal has been acting for care home provider The Prestige Group in issues relating to interest rate hedging and a judicial review application, amounting to approximately £3m. Name partner Claire Collinson ‘is conservative when necessary, aggressive when called for’.

Clyde & Co LLP’s ’value for moneyis unquestionable’. Anthony Brown leads the team which acted for the insurers of a law firm to defend a professional negligence claim brought by a former client. Senior solicitor Sarah McCloud is recommended, as is managing partner Lex Dowie.

At Sintons LLP, the team is instructed by clients such as Newcastle Hospitals NHS FT and Kras Recycling. Graeme Ritzema ‘has excellent contract and construction law litigation skills’.

Niche dispute resolution firm TT Law continues to expand its SME client base, which rates its ‘partner-level service provided at reasonable cost’. Key figures include Neville Takiar, who stands out for his ‘excellent client-care skills and skilful negotiation’, and Kevin Turnbull, who is ‘a very good technical lawyer and strategist’.


Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the North

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the North
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Baines Wilson LLP is defending an energy company in High Court litigation involving misuse of confidential information, breach of contract and the return of unpaid sums. Martin Stafford has significant experience in professional negligence claims against solicitors, accountants and insurers. Isobel Milburn is experienced in multi-party disputes with an international element.

The disputes practice at Burnetts stands out for its wide-ranging coverage, which encompasses shareholder and partnership disputes, property litigation and challenges to public procurement. The education sector is a particular specialism; Patricia Hall acts for private schools on debt recovery matters, cross-border disputes and student issues and complaints. Team head James Johnston ‘provides very measured but firm advice’. Sian Spencer joined Napthens LLP in December 2015.

For some, Endeavour Partnership LLP has ‘the strongest reputation for commercial litigation in the Teesside area’. The team was recently strengthened by the addition of associate Ged Flanagan from Bond Dickinson LLP; he brings his experience to an already strong team that includes Lee Bramley, who is ‘an extremely knowledgeable lawyer who is good at seeing the wider picture and achieving clients’ aims’.

Clients of Jacksons Law consider the disputes practice’s knowledge, professionalism and guidance to be ‘of the highest standard’. Toby Joel (‘a good listener who absorbs the facts of a case quickly’) is noted for his debt recovery and equine law expertise and heads the team, which has been retained by the NFU to act on equine insurance claims. Nigel Kidwell left the firm to become a barrister.

Peter Stafford leads the practice at Cartmell Shepherd and is ‘a first-rate litigator who has a good strategic mind, is calm under pressure and can readily hold his own against others’. The practice recently acted for a claimant in High Court proceedings against a national animal feed company.

Punch Robson’s litigation team ‘provides a first-class service to its clients’. Recent work includes acting for the claimant against a firm of solicitors concerning alleged negligent advice in respect of the enforceability of a restrictive covenant in a business sale agreement. John Wilkin is ‘an excellent litigator who is noted for his steely determination and unflappable nature’.

At Tilly Bailey & Irvine, practice head Alison Leith and Debra Burton are praised for being ‘hardworking and effective; they fight hard for their clients’. Recent instructions include construction-related contractual disputes.


Debt recovery

Bond Dickinson LLP’s debt recovery practice is headed by Plymouth-based partner Stephen Dilley. The practice handles a range of issues including breach of director’s fiduciary duties, preference claims and claims at an undervalue. In Newcastle, associate Jon Farthing is a costs specialist who advises clients on insurance litigation, commercial disputes and Court of Protection matters. Clients include British Gas, Northern Grid and the University of Durham.

The team at Muckle LLP is recommended for its track record on the recovery of unpaid invoices. Charlotte Dickinson and Beverley Oliver – who leads the team – attract praise for ‘dealing with things quickly and keeping clients informed’.

At Ward Hadaway, associate Julie Hind acts on behalf of residential landlords and property management companies on issues such as regaining possession of residential property portfolios and pursuing outstanding rent arrears.

BHP Law’s practice has been acting on the recovery of recruitment fees, claims against 36 debtors found to be in breach of covenant, and enforcement orders involving freezing injunctions and possession and sale of property. Aimee Hubbard is the key contact.

Hay & Kilner’s team ‘is very proactive; clients always receive a detailed response to queries raised’. Team head Neil Harrold is noted for his ‘detailed knowledge of insolvency legislation’. Clients include Sanderson Young Estate Agents.

Jacksons Law acted for Project Scaffolding on the recovery of unpaid fees for scaffolding services to a client in the construction industry. Other examples of the firm’s prominent North East based clients include SIE Industrial, Northern Powergrid and Barclay Roofing. Toby Joel leads the team.

At Short Richardson & Forth LLP, Tim Berg is noted for his experience in issues such as unpaid invoices, contractual claims and freezing injunctions.

Watson Burton LLP’s Leigh Ferguson is experienced in breach of contract claims, partnership disputes and freezing orders.


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