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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 > South East > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Hampshire > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Hampshire
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation: Hampshire clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is 'an outstanding commercial litigation firm that punches well above its weight' and 'can go toe-to-toe with any of the major law firms in London'. It is entrusted with high-value and complex disputes, especially in the energy, retail and media spheres and also has international arbitration expertise. In highlight work it defended British Gas in a dispute concerning a £38m claim for repudiation of contract. Team head Tom Beezer is noted for his 'great strategic input'; Ian Newcombe 'has a forensic eye for detail and a passion for service delivery' and has 'excellent judgement about when to go the distance and when to settle'; Andrew Parsons stands out for 'his ability to manage complex, high-value cases'; and Gavin Matthews and senior associate Dave Panaech are also highly regarded. 

The 'excellent' Blake Morgan LLP fields a substantial team of litigators, with the team recently handling judicial reviews and Supreme Court cases. It serves local, national and international clients in an array of sectors on matters ranging from contractual breaches and construction-related disputes to negligence claims and IP cases. In a recent highlight, it is defending NHS England after it refused to approve a medical service for treatment of cranial tumours. Jill Bainbridge leads the team, which includes Richard Portlock and   Susie Dryden, who have 'high-level expertise and vast experience', and senior associate Dan Geddes, who joined from Lester Aldridge LLP in March 2017.

The team at Clarke Willmott LLP 'has high legal and industry knowledge enabling effective and efficient solving of all issues' and 'really understands the principle of managing the cost of a dispute relative to likely outcome'. It handles a range of commercial and private client disputes including breaches of contract, shareholder, director and partnership disputes, negligence cases and contested probate and trust matters. Owen Williams, who heads the team, has 'a rigorous attention to detail, an iron will and an extraordinary depth of character'. He is a solicitor advocate and handles commercial disputes in the IT field, as well as private client cases. Recently promoted partner Greg Hughes is 'particularly commercially minded and understands what the optimum outcome is for any dispute'. Associate Claire Dennison is another key member of the team.

Coffin Mew LLP is 'a well-established firm and one of the best operators in its area' and fields a team that has 'a practical and commonsense approach' and operates across the firm's offices in Southampton and Portsmouth. It handles a range of corporate and commercial disputes, including  partnership cases and those in the technology, IP and construction areas. It attracts mandates from both national and international clients and is acting for E-Crunch in a variety of IP and property-related disputes. Ian Dawes heads of department; Mark James, who is based in Brighton, is recommended for property and construction-related disputes and 'excellent' associate Emma Stevens is 'very hardworking and committed to her case'. Adrian McClinton joined the Brighton office in February 2017 from Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP.

The team at Irwin Mitchell, led by Andrew Jackson, is rated for 'its good understanding of risk combined with commercial awareness and sound legal advice'.It undertakes commercial disputes in an array of sectors such as insurance, telecoms and financial services and is supported by specialists in other teams. The group's recent work includes representing a well-known bank in negligence claims; acting for a high-profile individual in an action against an accountant; and acting for a UK company in a multi-jurisdictional, high-value contractual dispute involving potential claims of product liability. Hannah Clipston and associate Stephanie Reeves are also recommended.

Paris Smith LLP's team is 'very responsive and provides excellent and nuanced advice'. Well-respected practice head David Eminton is well-known for his focus on real estate and insolvency litigation. Recently promoted partner Christopher Holliss and solicitor Shelley White win praise for their 'fantastic service' and Jason Oliver, who joined the team in May 2017 from Parker Bullen LLP, is 'responsive to ideas and  doesn’t jump to (expensive) conclusions'. The team is further enhanced by insolvency expert Mike Pavitt. It acts for an impressive range of clients in contract disputes in the recruitment sector, as well as in a range of other diverse sectors. The team represented an international fashion company in a dispute with a Canadian distributor concerning breaches of an agency agreement, which was valued at £1.4m, and also acted for a private client in a £2.1m negligence claim against a GP.

Pitmans LLP stands out for being 'a regional firm that competes with more established players in a more cost-effective way'. It is known for its expertise in complex, high-value fraudulent insurance claims, subrogated property damage and product liability cases, as well as for handling broader commercial disputes. Practice head Rick Munro is 'a very good strategist who cuts to the chase and has a really good grasp of what is important for the client' and is a mediator as well as a litigator. Alan Davies 'is very good on procedure and organising a team'; the 'highly proactive' Claire Collings 'is on top of the facts and keeps a level head'; and senior associate Sylvia Yendall is 'brilliant at assimilating and analysing large amounts of information quickly'.

Jonathan Smart¬†heads a team at¬†Shoosmiths LLP¬†that undertakes high-value disputes in the automotive, technology, financial services and insurance sectors. It is defending an insurance company and its director in a¬†¬£40m multi-jurisdictional fraud and corruption case, and also acted for¬†an international car manufacturer in a cross-border dispute, which arose from a¬† ‚ā¨16m IT project and that ultimately settled. Katie Simmonds¬†and¬†Farhana Khanom¬†are other key members of the team.

The team at Trethowans LLP 'has an excellent reputation locally and compares well to others in this practice area'. Department head Richard Cook has expertise in a range of commercial litigation with an emphasis on contract claims, shareholder disputes, professional negligence and IP. The team counts the Ministry of Defence, Baker Perkins, Saint-Gobain/Jewson and the Taylor Cocks Partnership among its clients. In highlight work, it acted for GreatStar Europe in a £750,000 contract dispute pertaining to an alleged breach of a contract to source and supply certain equipment, which involved a five-day trial. Jon Kelly and Ian Singleton are other core members of the team together with Karl Cameron, who joined from Blake Morgan LLP in January 2018.

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