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Commercial litigation: Bristol

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: Bristol
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Burges Salmon LLP’s team acted for Victoria’s Secret in its appeal of the High Court’s decision in Thomas Pink Limited v Victoria’s Secret UK Limited. The firm’s impressive client list also includes Eurostar International, The National Crime Agency, The Crown Estate and The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. David Hall and Paul Haggett lead the 15-partner practice in which IP litigator Jeremy Dickerson, pension and commercial trusts specialist Justin Briggs and commercial property expert James Sutherland are all highly recommended.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s litigation strength lies in its insurance and financial services sector specialisms. Highlights for the group included acting for Ageas in its dispute with Phoenix Group and Cigna, which involved the question of whether part VII insurance business transfers transferred liability for historic mis-selling of PPI. Ben Daniels was part of the team that advised SunEdison Holdings in a joint venture dispute with Gamma Energy. Dan Preddy and Rebecca Smith are ‘highly professional and client focused’.

Osborne Clarke’s particular strength in the energy and financial services sectors ensures its disputes practice handles a large number of international disputes for clients including Micro Focus International, Dell and Energy Standard Group. Peter Clough (‘a real superstar’) is praised for his strategic approach to litigation and arbitration. The ‘pragmatic’ Clare Robinson and Catherine Wolfenden represented EE on commercial disputes and procurement litigation. Charlie Wedin is ‘a very good choice’ for disputes relating to the technology and digital fields.

TLT’s team is praised for its ‘sound judgement, good knowledge and attention to detail’. In a showcase of its ability to handle high-profile cases, the team is acting on behalf of the Indian government in a dispute with Pakistan concerning £35m held in a British bank account since 1948. It also has a national reputation for financial services litigation, acting for clients including Barclays Bank, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS. Chris Owen is a ‘level-headed litigator’ who is able to ‘take charge in difficult situations’. Edmund Fiddick and Siân Ashton ‘take care to understand the aims of their clients’.

Clarke Willmott LLP’s advice is ‘prompt, commercially savvy, of a very high quality and always appropriate to the circumstances’. The team is led by Alex Jakubowski, who is ‘thoughtful in his approach’ and ‘always has an eye on the overall strategy’. Highlights for Jakubowski included handling a number of heavyweight disputes arising from product contamination and subsequent recalls for clients in the retail sector. Financial services experts Philippa Hann and Stephen Searle, and commercial and IP disputes specialist Richard Moore are also highly recommended.

Public sector specialist Bevan Brittan LLP is ‘excellent; advice is well-thought-out, commercial and realistic’. The highly regarded Emily Heard heads the team and regularly acts for NHS trusts and local authorities on a wide range of disputes including breach of contract, breach of confidence and copyright infringement.

Foot Anstey continued to expand its Bristol practice with the recruitment of media litigation specialist Neil Parkes from Wiggin LLP and Mark Rhys-Jones from Eversheds LLP. Anna Bateman has an extensive track record acting in disputes and advising on regulatory issues for clients in the media and entertainment industry.

Humphreys & Co. stands out for its ‘intelligent assessment of the merits of the dispute regardless of the area of law in which it arises’. Robert Humphreys is ‘exceptionally dedicated’ and is recommended for brand-related disputes and passing-off actions.

Thrings LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice is led by Mark Cullingford and Alastair Govier, who is ‘cool under fire’ and ‘thinks commercially’. Areas of particular strength include financial services, IP and pension litigation. Recent work for Govier includes a competition law dispute, a breach of copyright matter and a number of professional negligence claims brought against financial advisers.

Tabitha Cave’s team at Veale Wasbrough Vizards handles a wide range of disputes for education and charity sector clients. Ed Husband has particular expertise in the energy and utilities sector and counts EDF Energy as a client. The ‘knowledgeable’ Ben Holt joined from Osborne Clarke in April 2015.

Rory Mac Neice’s team at Ashfords LLP specialises in litigation in the financial and technology sectors, and advises retail and manufacturing clients on product liability and recall issues. Lloyds Bank, The Environment Agency and Viridor Waste Management are clients.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s team is led by Stephen Dilley, who specialises in financial services, insolvency, banking and commercial disputes. Clients include Post Office, Kingfisher and British Gas Services.


Commercial litigation: Dorset and South Wiltshire

Lester Aldridge LLP is recognised as ‘a go-to’ firm for disputes in the maritime, defence and financial services sectors. Practice head Michael Giddins has ‘excellent commercial sense’ and Michael Veal is ‘very good at finding practical solutions’.

Steele Raymond LLP’s team is now led by construction and employment disputes specialist Peter Rolph following the departure of Robert Bajaj to Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP in January 2016.

Wilsons is recommended for its experience in property and agricultural disputes. Mike Parker is the keyname.

Michelle Hayter at Frettens LLP handles property litigation, breach of contract claims and boundary disputes.

At Laceys Solicitors incorporating HLF, associate Brendan Herbert handles shareholder disputes and has considerable experience in mediation and arbitration.

At Blanchards Bailey LLP, Paul Dunlopgets straight to the heart of the issue and provides concise, commercial advice’. The practice acts for a large number of family-owned businesses.

Lauren Day’s team at Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP handles a broad range of commercial disputes. The team was further strengthened with the arrival of property litigator Robert Bajaj from Steele Raymond LLP.

Andrew Carswell’s practice at Trethowans LLP handles contractual disputes and property litigation.


Commercial litigation: M4 corridor and Gloucestershire

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: M4 corridor and Gloucestershire
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Simon Burn - Simon Burn Solicitors
    • Rupert Croft - Croft Solicitors

BPE Solicitors LLP is ‘an excellent choice for medium-sized businesses seeking to resolve contentious disputes’; according to one client, it is ‘probably the best firm in its locality’. Philip Radford is ‘vastly experienced with excellent judgment’ and is a recognised name for commercial contract and IP disputes. Property litigator John Carter and IP litigator Riyaz Jariwalla are also recommended.

Croft Solicitors was formed in June 2015 by the well-respected Rupert Croft who was previously in charge of the litigation practice at Maitland Walker LLP. The practice focuses on civil fraud and antitrust cases, financial services claims, commercial property and professional negligence claims. Gaynor Hall specialises in international product liability and high-value commercial disputes.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys is noted for its ‘excellent combination of technical knowledge mixed with commerciality’. The team, which is ‘prepared to muck in and deal with matters in a collaborative manner’, includes Adam Finch, who is highly regarded in financial and banking disputes; in 2015 Finch acted in a class action concerning the mis-selling of various tax deferment and saving schemes, as well as interest rate hedging products. Andrew Cave is a key name for property litigation.

At Willans LLP, Paul Gordon is praised for his ability to ‘take in detailed information and formulate a winning strategy’. Its growing IP litigation practice has handled numerous claims for patent and copyright infringement. Nick Cox has particular expertise in contentious landlord and tenant work.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s team is now led by Guildford-based Stephen Burns following the departure of Colin Gibson in January 2016. The practice advises clients across a range of sectors including TMT, aviation, sport, and retail and leisure. Sarah Jane Brostoff represents clients in employment disputes in both the tribunal and the High Court. Senior associate Claudine Morgan is also highly recommended.

Stone King LLP is ‘excellent on all fronts’, and acts for charities, educational institutions, businesses and private individuals on a wide range of contractual and other commercial disputes. The team is led by Paul Sutton, who is ‘courteous, professional and a good listener’.

Thrings LLP advises clients in the defence, manufacturing and financial services sectors. Key contacts include mediator Ramona Derbyshire and David Patterson. Andrew Herridge left to join Tanner Solicitors LLP in November 2015.

At Royds Withy King, Chris Kane and Philip Banks-Welsh are ‘a dream team’ that provides ‘advice which is legally and commercially sound coupled with a robust approach towards litigation’. Clients include Bath Rugby, Clever Digit Media and Horseworld Trust.

At Mogers Drewett LLP, construction and real estate dispute specialist Maeve England is ‘thorough and robust in her conduct of litigation’. Terry McDermott left the firm in January 2016.

Dispute resolution boutique Simon Burn Solicitors is noted for its ‘high levels of expertise coupled with an ability to establish close relationships with clients’. Simon Burn is ‘an ace litigator’ and is ‘one of the best in the country’ for directors facing disqualification proceedings. The team also handles high-profile mobile voicemail interception litigation.


Commercial litigation: The West Country

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation: The West Country
  2. Leading individuals

Ashfords LLP’s client base cuts across a wide swathe of sectors including franchising, retail, waste and the public sector. Within the six-partner team, Antony Lee is singled out for his ‘commercial awareness as well as his legal skills’, and Andrew Perkins is highlighted for his track record in contractual disputes and professional negligence claims.

Michelmores LLP is ‘commercial, practical, efficient and thoroughly reliable’. The team has particular expertise in international disputes and cross-border enforcement. Tim Richards is ‘outstanding’ and has ‘a huge amount of experience to draw upon’. Clients include Flybe, The Met Office and HM Prison Service.

Stephens Scown LLPdemonstrates a similar level of service and understanding as would be expected of a London firm’. Recent work includes contractual and construction disputes, as well as disputes arising from mis-sold interest rate swaps. Catherine Mathews, Davina Haydon, Mark Richardson and Toby Claridge are all highly recommended.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s ‘excellent’ team acts for clients such as British Gas, Post Office and Renewable Energy Assurance. Key figures include the well-regarded Gareth Kagan and Stephen Dilley, and the ‘approachable, knowledgeable and ethical’ Adrian Bratt.

Clarke Willmott LLP has a well-respected team with ‘vast experience in negotiating complex issues’, and its knowledge and grasp of legal issues is ‘second to none’. Greg Saunders’ team acts for a number of agri-business clients on shareholder actions and partnership disputes and has a growing presence in judicial review and high court challenges. Esther Woolford is ‘a good communicator’.

Foot Anstey handles complex multi-jurisdictional disputes and has particular strength in IP, trust and banking litigation. Steven Richards acted for Etiqa Insurance Berhad on a dispute with the reinsurers of the Malaysian Bar Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme. Peter Singfield is noted for his experience in IP and brand protection issues.

Key figures at Kitsons LLP include the ‘very knowledgeableJames Cross, who handles property litigation; and David Turner, who has ‘exactly the right approach to helping clients in a way that is highly professional but also reassuringly personal’.

OTB Eveling’s caseload spans employment, breach of contracts and purchase disputes. Grant Squire and Chris Over are the key contacts.

At Porter Dodson LLP, Stephen Wray has ‘a commercial and client-friendly approach to disputes’. Clients include private companies, professional trustees executors, and SMEs.


Debt recovery

Index of tables

  1. Debt recovery
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Clarke Willmott LLP stands out for its ‘personal approach, professional delivery and good value for money’. The team acts for large and small clients nationally, and in 2015 received over 5400 new instructions from Thames Water Utilities with a total debt value of £2.5m. New clients include Viridor, Starbucks and Premier Training International. Jane Dunlop leads the highly regarded team, which includes the ‘diligent and conscientious’ Philip Roberts and Karen Chapman.

TLT’s disputes practice has particular strength in financial services sector work; it has a dedicated banking and finance services litigation team led by Jonathan Hoey which includes Graham Walters, who advises banks, mortgage lenders and LPA receivers in mortgage-related disputes and litigation. Barclays Bank, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS are all clients.

Bond Dickinson LLP handles a broad range of debt recovery work for real estate companies, energy providers, and financial services companies. Recent highlights include acting for a high street retailer in the recovery of overpayments to its third party suppliers. Gareth Kagan and Stephen Dilley are the main contacts.

Giles Hindle’s team at DAC Beachcroft LLP advises a broad spectrum of clients including multinationals, private companies and public sector bodies.

Michelmores LLP’s team, led by Simon Barnett, specialises in asset and debt recovery for public sector institutions and also regularly recovers high-value debt (often involving an international element) on behalf of its commercial clients.

At Veale Wasbrough Vizards, Tabitha Cave acts for a number of educational institutions clients on the recovery of school fees; and Ed Husband (‘an excellent communicator’) has particular expertise in debt recovery for utility companies.

Ashfords LLP is praised for its ability to balance ‘a high level of professionalism with a personal touch’. The team has particular expertise in overseas debt recovery and the recovery of invoice debts. Katie Farmer is the main contact.

Burges Salmon LLP’s Amanda Vaughan is ‘very professional and takes action promptly’.

At Lester Aldridge LLP, Ann Lloyd specialises in bulk debt and asset recovery.


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