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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 > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Elsewhere in the North > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Elizabeth Black - Baines Wilson LLP

Rising stars

  1. 1
    • Abigail Zuk - Swinburne Maddison

Archers Law LLP's 'tight-knit and knowledgeable' team received a major boost in 2018 with the arrival of Kenton Bazeley, who now leads the team, from Tilly Bailey & Irvine. The group handles the spectrum of commercial litigation for both claimants and defendants, with experience in disputes regarding suppliers, shareholders and restrictive covenants. On top of this, it also handles professional negligence claims and contentious probate matters involving commercial entities.

Practice head(s):Kenton Bazeley

Other key lawyers:Helen Lyne; Richard Flounders


'All members of the team are very professional and responsive'

'The expertise of various members of the team is second to none'

'Kenton Bazeley's astute and informed insight into complex issues make clients feel secure that they have the best legal team on their side'

In Carlisle, Baines Wilson LLP is instructed on a range of contentious matters, including partnership and shareholder disputes and professional negligence claims. Other areas of expertise include disputes pertaining to insurance, construction and engineering, as well as intellectual property. The team is particularly geared towards clients in the agricultural, construction and professional services sectors. Elizabeth Black leads the team.

Practice head(s):Elizabeth Black

Other key lawyers:Caroline Rayner; Imogen Duck

Work highlights

  • Represented client A in a claim against valuers who prepared a negligent valuation of a residential development; the matter settled shortly after mediation.
  • Represent client A in a complex unfair prejudice claim and in associated proceedings for declaratory relief and before the Employment Tribunal.
  • Acted for Company A in an action for injunctive relief and damages.
  • Acted for Company A in a claim against their former accountants; the claim settled shortly following mediation.
  • Represent Company A in connection with various claims against the former finance director for breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent misrepresentation and/or claims under the Companies Act.

Carlisle firm Burnetts has a diverse commercial disputes team, which specialises in agricultural, land and property disputes, commercial disputes and contentious trusts and probate. The practice also houses a debt and property recovery unit, supporting clients across the practice. James Johnston, who was promoted to equity partner in 2019,  leads the team, focusing on contractual and commercial litigation.

Practice head(s):James Johnston

Other key lawyers:Sally Johnson; Rob Winder


'The team at Burnetts is especially professional and helpful'

'Rob Winder is the go-to for any tenant issues or property matters'

'Burnetts has a strong, diverse group of people who are clearly interested in the outcomes that they achieve for clients'

Located in Stockton-on-Tees, Endeavour Partnership LLP has significant expertise in construction and real estate disputes, in addition to a strong offering of more traditional company law and insolvency work. The group also has experience in arbitration and mediation. Lee Bramley (who became managing partner in 2019) leads the team, specialising in insolvency and recovery.

Practice head(s):Lee Bramley

Other key lawyers:Alex Smith; Ged Flanagan

The team at Jacksons Law focuses on commercial litigation and debt recovery; representing individuals, SMEs and larger corporations in a variety of contentious matters. Experience includes partnership and shareholder disputes, contractual disputes and professional negligence claims, as well as boundary- and property-related disputes. Toby Joel, who specialises in complex equine claims and property damage claims, is department head.

Practice head(s):Toby Joel

Other key lawyers:Angie Papprill

Swinburne Maddison's 'proactive' Durham-based team is instructed by a diverse range of clients, including sole traders, companies, LLPs and partnerships, in matters involving contractual and commercial litigation, including breach of contract, directors disputes, professional negligence claims and debt recovery. The team is co-led by Jonathan Moreland, who specialises in contentious employment law, and general commercial litigator David Low. Solicitor Abigail Zuk is another key name.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Moreland; David Low

Other key lawyers:Abigail Zuk


'The lawyers at Swinburne Maddison have integrity, complete understanding of the complex context in which clients operate and the ability to respond quickly and clearly to any issue that is presented to them'

'Abigail Zuk has a very organised approach, offering clients a lot of reassurance'

'David Low has fantastic attention to detail with the ability to explain complex legal jargon in a way that just makes sense'

Key Clients

Durham Cathedral

Ramside Estates

Baker Tilly Creditor Services LLP

Northern Freight Services

Smart Office Systems

Work highlights

  • Representing one partner following the breakdown of a partnership and advising throughout a fully contested multi-track court process.
  • Pursuing a claim on behalf of a client based in the Netherlands for failure to renew a multimillio-neuro contract.
  • Representing the client in a multi-track contractual dispute regarding services provided to a third party
  • Representing joint trustees in bankruptcy in relation to the conduct of an individual in bankruptcy.

Tilly Bailey & Irvine is able to handle an array of commercial disputes, including contractual claims, negligence, shareholder and partnership disputes, while the team is particularly well-versed in contentious probate matters. Practice head Alison Leith is an accomplished litigator with experience in sport-related litigation and arbitration. Following the departure of Kenton Bazeley to Archers Law LLP in 2018, the group was joined by Nigel Broadbent, whose practice encompasses the gamut of contractual disputes, such as post-M&A; commercial contract claims; business-to-customer disputes; and director and shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):Alison Leith

Other key lawyers:Nigel Broadbent; Gemma Smith

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