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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

Editorial

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Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Hampshire
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Blake Morgan LLP's commercial litigation team focuses on the healthcare, IT, manufacturing and retail sectors, where it advises public and private sector entities alike. Practice head Jill Bainbridge is the name to note for complex IP disputes and has significant experience of working on cross-border matters. Susie Dryden, who 'picks out the key issues and gets to the heart of the matter', has a longstanding role as intervention agent for the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Legal director Michael Colledge joined from Russell-Cooke LLP.

Practice head(s):Jill Bainbridge

Other key lawyers:Susie Dryden; Ben Evans; Dan Geddes

Testimonials

'A friendly and approachable team that works well with in-house lawyers'.

'Deeply experienced and highly committed'.

'Jill Bainbridge is a stand-out partner and expert in her field. She is great with clients and always ready to discuss and progress the matter at hand'.

'Ben Evans is excellent, helpful, knowledgeable and approachable'.

'Dan Geddes succeeds in 'boiling down' his advice into clear options and a recommendation. This makes it far more straightforward for us to make the best decision and get on with running the business'.

Key Clients

Solicitors Regulation Authority

NHS England

Kerry Foods

CSC Computer Sciences

Lendy

DAS

Cigna

Sutton and East Surrey Water

Bainbridge International

IBM UK

Work highlights

  • Representing NHS England in a judicial review challenge by a provider of screening services claiming that commissioned services cannot deviate from  service specification.
  • Acted for Ace Hosting as defendant in a multi-media and copyright infringement claim regarding streaming of content.
  • Representing Shard Financial Medial as claimant in an IP professional negligence claim.
  • Advising Sutton and East Surrey Water on issues ranging from contracts and negligence to IP.
  • Advising Sail Week Croatia on a longrunning dispute with a competitor in both UK and EU IPO proceedings.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's commercial dispute resolution practice takes a 'no-nonsense and hands-on approach'. In addition to having a full-service litigation offering, the firm has a specialist arbitration arm, which features in high-value international arbitrations. The retail industry is an area of activity for the team, as are the media, technology and manufacturing sectors. Ian Newcombe is a specialist in the energy sector. Gavin Matthews leads the firm's retail focus group and is recommended for trading disputes. Andrew Parsons is an expert in data protection and IT issues.

Practice head(s):Tom Beezer

Other key lawyers:Ian Newcombe; Andrew Parsons; Gavin Matthews; Rosie Gaisford

Testimonials

'The team's knowledgeable lawyers offer pragmatic advice and understand in-house dynamics and requirements'

'A no-nonsense and hands-on approach is accompanied by a strong eye for detail'

'Truly understand the client's business needs'

'Ian Newcombe offers a pragmatic perspective on a variety of commercial issues; his advice is never purely theoretical and is risk-sensitive'

'Ian Newcombe and Andy Parsons are very impressive'

Key Clients

Centrica

British Gas

Post Office

New Look

B&Q and the wider Kingfisher Group

Sunseeker

DS Smith

Carnival

Babcock

AIG

Old Mutual

Work highlights

  • Defending Post Office against a group action brought by over 500 claimants alleging that the client's IT accounting system, Horizon, is defective.  
  • Acting for Endeavour Energy in a £9m dispute with its joint venture partner Hess concerning which company is liable for paying the costs of a rig undertaking decommissioning works in the North Sea.
  • Acting for Old Mutual International in the recovery of a loan of over £1m lent to Thomas Fewtrell and International Financial Services.

IT and technology-related disputes are major growth areas for Coffin Mew LLP; the firm handles a significant number of multijurisdictional trade mark infringement cases, passing-off claims and domain name disputes in this space. With the firm being able to work across offices, the 'highly motivated and committed' Southampton team regularly handles construction and property disputes originated elsewhere. Team head Ian Dawes specialises in European and international disputes.

Practice head(s):Ian Dawes

Other key lawyers:Emma Stevens

Key Clients

KP Snacks

E-Crunch

Saxlund International

Imperial Car Supermarkets

The British Society of Echocariography

Hungry House Holdings

James Hay Partnership

JDI

Curtis Banks

TRL

Irwin Mitchell, which is highly active in matters with a cross-border component, is highly regarded by high net worth individuals, multinational companies and other household name clients. It has a notable focus on the sports, media, manufacturing, technology and financial services sectors. Hannah Clipston is an expert in breach of contract cases and associated complex tortious matters, with an industry specialism in sport and leisure. Associate Stephanie Reeves is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Hannah Clipston

Other key lawyers:Rob Coleridge; Stephanie Reeves

Testimonials

'The team were very dedicated and went the extra mile to ensure a successful outcome'.

'Simply excellent service'.

'Stephanie Reeves is thorough and thoughtful'.

'Stephanie Reeves negotiates in a calm and authoritative manner; her tenacity was vital to our success'.

Key Clients

Topcon GB

Id Verde UK

Work highlights

  • Supported a US owned technology company with a multi-million pound complex breach of confidence claim in the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales.
  • Acting for a limited company in respect of a multi-party, multi-jurisdictional contractual dispute.
  • Acted for a limited company in respect of a difficult shareholder dispute involving allegations of underpaid dividends by the Company in excess of £1.6m by an individual shareholder.
  • Acting for a large group of companies in relation to their dispute risk management issues and strategies on an ongoing basis.
  • Acting for a limited company in relation to various claims brought against it by a former officer.

Paris Smith LLP has had a significant increase in debt recovery mandates recently, with the firm having added a number of new asset-based lenders to its client roster. Another key growth area has been recruitment sector work; the firm acts for over 140 recruitment agencies. Team head Christopher Holliss has extensive experience of complex commercial litigation at the High Court. Former Slater Heelis LLP litigation head Helen Brown joined the firm in January 2019.

Practice head(s):David Eminton (head of department and head of property litigation); Christopher Holliss (head of commercial litigation); Mike Pavitt (head of insolvency); Cliff Morris (head of regulatory litigation); Jason Oliver (head of contentious tax and probate)

Other key lawyers:Nicola Davies; Christina Spiers

Key Clients

ABP (Port of Southampton)

Corporate Asset Solutions

Neyland Yacht Haven

Halo Corporate Finance

Quba Solutions

Clipper Contracting

Interbay Funding

The Co-Operative Group

Gattaca

Smith & Williamson

Mazars

Clydesdale Properties

Collas Crill (Jersey)

Draper Tools

Work highlights

  • Advised Gattaca on the pursuit of a disputed claim against a defendant company in Singapore with a quantum exceeding £120k.
  • Assisted Neyland Yatch Haven with an appeal to the Welsh Minister to overturn Natural Resources Wales' strict conditions that are imposed on the client's marine dredging licences.  
  • Instructed by Corporate Asset Solutions to pursue corporate guarantors in the Republic of Ireland following the termination of a Master Lease Agreement.
  • Successfully acted on behalf of a multinational recruitment agency in an action threatened by an outgoing board member and shareholder for alleged breaches of a consultancy agreement and unfair prejudice.
  • Represented Quba in a dispute with a groundwork and construction company regarding works carried out by Quba's client.

Shoosmiths LLP's risk and litigation services team was strengthened by the arrival of associate (and contentious insolvency specialist) Shelley White from Paris Smith LLP in November 2018. A large number of the group's contentious commercial mandates arise from the technology and financial services sectors. The automotive industry is another area of strength; newly promoted partner Jonathan Smart, who heads up the the Solent office's dispute resolution and compliance team, has a longstanding reputation in this space. Also notable is that the firm has a niche in high-value international civil fraud and conspiracy cases.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Smart

Other key lawyers:Shelley White; Luke Coleborn; Ian Nobbs; Steven Eastley; Jade Souch

Testimonials

'The team are straight to the point and respond in a timely manner'.

'Very knowledgeable and always willing to assist'.

'Jonathan Smart and Harry Warren provide an incredible service'.

'Jonathan Smart is my go-to person; he is straight to the point and responsive'.

'Solicitor Luke Coleborn is confident and communicative'.

'Jonathan Smart is very knowledgeable, efficient and a joy to work with. He is incredibly approachable and gets to the key points quickly'.

'New hire Shelley White has settled in quickly and strengthened the team'.

Key Clients

Volkswagen Group

IKEA

Thomas Cook Group

Royal Bank of Scotland

Honda Motor Europe

Peugeot Citroen

The White Company

British American Tobacco

GAME

Hewlett Packard

Screwfix

Ann Summers

British Car Auctions

Associated British Foods

Hays Recruitment

RAC

Ducati

Opus Energy

MG Motors

Travelopia

Veolia

Schindler Lifts

ABN Amro

Work highlights

  • Acting for a leading insurance company in the defence of a £40 million claim alleging bribery, fraud and corruption claims at the High Court Commercial Court which arose from the bribery of a South Korean government official.
  • Representing a leading PLC in its $22 million claim against a leading US technology company related to a business-critical loss of data.
  • Acting for a leading software company in a £56 million IT dispute with IBM.
  • Representing a leading mobile network operator in pursuing £2.3m in damages from a rival network operator.
  • Defending a leading car manufacturer against a £1m multijurisdictional breach of contract claim.

A cornerstone of BDB Pitmans' practice involves handling insurance litigation; the firm has niche technical expertise in subrogated property damage claims for insurers, and it is also active in fraudulent insurance claims. Elsewhere, the team also regularly works on contentious commercial property matters and professional negligence cases. Insolvency litigation expert Rick Munro is the practice head. Alan Davies has more than 35 years of litigation experience.

Practice head(s):Rick Munro

Other key lawyers:Alan Davies; Claire Collings; Sylvia Yendall

Key Clients

SAGA

Covéa Insurance

Red Funnel Group

HCR

Mildren Construction

Merlin Accessories

CPJ Field & Co

Mears Group

Freightliner

Premier Marinas

Generali

Kubrick Group

Work highlights

  • Represented SAGA as property insurer in a claim made against a statutory water undertaker arising from an escape of water causing a sinkhole to open up partly in the claimants’ driveway.
  • Acted for Generali as the insurers of an Italian hotel in a lawsuit relating to the claimant sustaining a fall in a guest bathroom.
  • Representing HCR in a possession claim concerning an agreement which purported to be a licence to occupy but was in fact an assured shorthold tenancy.
  • Acted for SAGA as property insurer in a claim against the neighbor of the claimants’ property for extensive damage  to the property by a fire caused by a discarded cigarette.
  • Represent Generali as the insurers of an Italian cycle manufacturer of a bicycle which was subject to a product recall.

Clarke Willmott LLP's commercial disputes work includes complex contractual disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, contested debt work, restrictive covenant disputes and professional negligence claims. Areas of sector expertise include retail and financial services. Greg Hughes acts for the likes of Sony, Bandai  and Wiggle. Hughes co-heads the practice with experienced solicitor advocate Owen Williams. Associate Cathy Harris is another key figure in the group.

Practice head(s):Owen Williams; Greg Hughes

Other key lawyers:Cathy Harris

Testimonials

'The team was friendly and truly passionate about understanding my business'.

Key Clients

Sony Europe

Wiggle

Bandai UK

Lendy

The Student Room Group

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Serocor Group

Peer 1

Onecom Group

Salhan Accountants

UK Land

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for Sony Europe in contest contesting the wrongful seizure of the client's good by Brighton & Hove City Council from the premises of one of its franchised stores.
  • Defending Chambers Design & Build from a £50k contractual claim brought by Travis Perkins seeking payment of goods supplied on account.
  • Successfully acted for John Roffey as defendant in the strike out of a claim for the conversion of a premium Bentley car.
  • Acting for a leading British watch retailer in pursuing claims for breach of contract and breach of confidence against the client’s website provider.
  • Advising Marina Developments following the arrest of a vessel in its marina.

Rob Evans leads the commercial litigation department at Moore Blatch LLP. The team primarily handles commercial and IP-related disputes for larger SMEs, owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurial private clients. Disputes arising from corporate transactions are a key area of expertise, specifically warranty claims and restrictive covenant disputes. Claire Haverfield is recommended.

Practice head(s):Rob Evans

Other key lawyers:Mark Osgood; Claire Haverfield; Andrew Reid; Marina Clinnick

Testimonials

'The team is led by particularly strong commercial and highly technical lawyers in the shape of Mark Osgood and Sarah Watley along with Rob Evans. They are supported by a number of equally excellent technical more junior lawyers. They also have a relatively unique litigation funding offering called Escalate'.

'Mark Osgood is a good technical lawyer, extremely commercial and brilliant at dealing with clients and opponents alike'.

'Sarah Watley is a very good technical lawyer, also very robust and commercial'.

'Andrew Reid is one of the brightest and most technically able solicitors I have come across.  A real details person.  Also good tactically, in litigation'.

Key Clients

Creation Flooring

Swiftime

Work highlights

  • Representing Creative Flooring in a contractual dispute arising from a joint enterprise with a national supplier of construction materials; the claim is worth over £3m.
  • Asssisted Swiftime with recovery of significant debt paid by the client to a property developer, where the property developer then suffered significant losses following the crash in 2008.

Having joined Trethowans LLP from Blake Morgan LLP in January 2018, Karl Cameron now heads up the firm's commercial litigation department, which has a 'strong reputation in Hampshire'. It regular collaboration with the firm's corporate practice provides a steady flow of transaction-derived litigation. There has also been a notable increase in property litigation mandates. Elsewhere, the group works on construction disputes, professional negligence cases and contentious insolvency matters. Richard Cook is recommended for contract claims and shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):Karl Cameron

Other key lawyers:Richard Cook

Testimonials

'What makes them different is the city experience they have at partner level combined with their approachability and and commercial common sense. They are my first port of call for referring clients when there is a conflict of interest'.

'Richard Cook is excellent and boasts extensive experience in the city and at national firms. He has a strong gut feel for the strength of a case and the right way to play it. He rarely, if ever, loses at trial. I refer conflicts to him with complete confidence'.

'The litigation team, headed by Richard Cook, has exemplary performance, solving issues in a timely and professional manner'.

Key Clients

Jewson

Industrial Cleaning &Equipment

GreatStar Europe

The Taylor Cocks Partnership

Ministry of Defence

VES Andover

4Com

Bacardi

Baker Perkins

Elliot Brothers

Work highlights

  • Acted for GreatStar Europe in a dispute with Edge Tools & Equipment over the alleged breach of a contract to source and supply JCB-branded blades and other tools.
  • Representing a Southampton-based taxi company in a defamation claim brought by a former shareholder.
  • Acting for a firm of insolvency consultants in two connected disputes concerning monies due in respect of professional fees.
  • Representing Halo Corporate Finance in issuing a claim against Design Venue  and Mr Moseley for breach of contract and fraud.
  • Acting for Berry Telecom Limited as a part 20 defendant/claimant to a claim by Salar and Mimosa Food for breach of contract.

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