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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’.

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