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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 > Wales > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Index of tables

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

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

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Blake Morgan LLP 's 12-strong team is praised for its ability to 'handle complex and sensitive litigation' for both private and public sector clients, and has the strength-in-depth to enable practitioners to focus on certain niche areas of expertise. At a partner level, the 'very impressive' Kevin Manship excels at commercial agency disputes, while team head Lee Fisher has developed a strong reputation for shareholder disputes, including unfair prejudice claims. Spearheaded by senior associate Joanne Thompson , the firm also has a strong reputation for bringing and defending procurement challenges.

Practice head(s):Lee Fisher

Other key lawyers:Kevin Manship; Joanne Thompson; Sarah Whittle

Testimonials

'Provides a cost-effective service'

'Their level of expertise and wide range of services offered are greatly appreciated'

'Joanne Thompson provides pragmatic advice, which underscores her strong understanding of the law.'

Key Clients

NHS England

Welsh Ministers

Clarins (UK) Limited

NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (all Local Health Boards and NHS Trusts in Wales, including Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust)

Personnel Hygiene Services Limited (part of the PHS Group)

University of South Wales

Greater Manchester Combined Authority – Greater Manchester Police

Future Inns

Tinopolis Plc

Infinite Renewables Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for NHS England in successfully defending a challenge brought by AbbVie Limited relating to the procurement of Hepatitis C treatments and elimination initiatives.
  • Representing the Welsh Ministers in an appeal to the Supreme Court relating to the extension of the Upper Tribunal's jurisdiction under section 72 of the Mental Health Act 1983 to revise conditions imposed by the patient’s responsible clinician under a Community Treatment Order and/or to adjourn proceedings for such conditions to be revised and/or to take into account Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Advising Igloo on the procedural aspects of a multi-disciplinary Property/Construction dispute.
  • Represented the Welsh Minsters in relation to a judicial review challenge brought by Melanie Woolcock, an individual imprisoned for failure to pay council tax.
  • Advising Tanweer Khan in relation to connected harassment and potential defamation proceedings in a dispute with his brother, a tech entrepreneur best known for his role as Head of Special Projects at Spotify.

Led by the 'highly experienced and technically excellent' Stephen Meade, Capital Law Limited 's 15-strong team has the critical mass to handle a broad spectrum of litigation, which runs the gamut from corporate disputes through to high-stakes public law matters. The firm has developed an excellent reputation in the healthcare sector and continues to pick up a significant flow of work for the British Medical Association, including some high-profile judicial review matters. The 'commercial and effective' Andrew Brown is well regarded in the third party funding market and was central to the establishment of the firm's own litigation fund, Capital Dispute Finance. Nicola Mead-Batten is praised for her 'lateral thinking' and puts this to good effect on public law-related disputes, in particular. Philip Jones regularly handles GP partnership disputes, as part of his broad ranging offering.

Practice head(s):Stephen Meade

Other key lawyers:Andrew Brown; Philip Jones; Wayne Beynon; Nicola Mead-Batten; Guto Llewelyn

Testimonials

'A welcoming practice that makes the client feel at ease.'

'The team is strong and appears to work together well.'

'Produced a good strategic route map of the process.'

'Wayne Beynon and Philip Jones are always available for contact, and  both have a practical approach and give the impression that they are looking for quick and appropriate solutions rather than trying to increase billing.'

'Andrew Brown and Guto Llewellyn are very commercial with lots of business sense.'

'Nicola Mead-Batten is fiercely intelligent but also very approachable.'

Key Clients

Roadchef (Employee Benefits Trustees Limited)

Will David

DJ Litts (Firearms) Ltd

Hartley Pensions Trustees Limited and Hartley Pensions Limited

Cardiff City Football Club

Enterprise Insurance Company Plc (in liquidation)

British Medical Association

British Airwaysx

British Medical Association – Bawa Garba

Work highlights

  • Advising Roadchef on claims against HMRC.
  • Instructed by a private client in an unfair prejudice petition and brought proceedings against the company for repayment of a £125,000 loan.
  • Represented the liquidators of DJ Litts in a £82m professional negligence claim against the company's former accountants and auditors.
  • Advised Cardiff City Football Club on the investigation into the conduct of former representatives of the club in the £9m transfer of Danish footballer Andreas Cornelius.
  • Acting for Cardiff City Football Club in High Court proceedings against its former chairman, Sam Hammam.

'Excellent in the public sector area', Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP 's two-partner team provides an 'outstanding' service on local and UK-focused matters relating, in particular, to public procurement challenges, fitness to practice, and disputes arising in the education sector. Team head Richard Pitt frequently takes the lead on commercial disputes arising within the transport, IT and renewables sectors, and alongside senior associate Luisa Gibbons has been pivotal to the firm's thriving public procurement contentious offering. Noted for his 'impressive strategic sense', Peter Jones heads the firm's 'superlative' national inquiries and investigations group.

Practice head(s):Richard Pitt

Other key lawyers:Angharad Shurmer; Luisa Gibbons; Peter Jones; Dorian Morris

Key Clients

NNB Generation Company (HPC) Limited

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Plc

Independent Schools Inspectorate

Welsh Language Commissioner

Teaching Regulation Agency

Education Workforce Council

Serious Fraud Office

Siemens Plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for the client in its position as a  core participant in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
  • Instructed to provide Legal Adviser Services to Panels hearing allegations of misconduct against registrants
  • Represented the SFO in a landmark case setting the boundaries of legal privilege which was recently ruled upon by the Court of Appeal
  • Representing Siemens Plc in respect of its provision of evidence as a core participant to the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry.

Recognised as 'one of the strongest firms in Wales for commercial litigation', the three-partner team at Geldards LLP has an excellent track-record on behalf of public sector clients, where work includes judicial review matters and competition law. Team head Paul Hopkins has a 'strong instinct for the commercial interests of his clients', and, as well as handling public sector disputes, is also very active for local and national corporates across a wide range of matters, including as it relates to directors' duties and shareholder disputes. 'Calm and pragmatic' senior associate Michael Evans  has 'achieved some brilliant results' for some large government bodies and companies, and is, according to one barrister, 'going to be a big name in Cardiff in years to come'.

Practice head(s):Paul Hopkins

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Griffiths; Michael Lindsey; Michael Evans

Testimonials

'Team head Paul Hopkins is excellent - very commercial and pragmatic.'

Key Clients

The Welsh Ministers (Welsh Government)

Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales

Parallel Learning Trust

Jardine Norton Limited

Paramount Office Interiors Limited

Wrexham County Borough Council

Euro Commercials (South Wales) Limited

Cemen Tech Inc

Bonna Travaux Pression

British Boxing Board of Control

Henry Howard Finance Plc

Novomatic Plc

Work highlights

  • Acting for The Welsh Ministers and NHS in Wales in pursuing a substantial claim against Servier SAS and others for abuse of competition law in relation to the drug Perindopril.
  • Representing the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales in a high-profile breach of contract and professional negligence claim against Lambert Smith Hampton Group and Amber Fund Management concerning the sale of parcels of publicly owned land.  
  • Continue to act for Parallel Learning Trust in High Court litigation with the London Borough of Lambeth
  • Advising the Welsh Government on multi-jurisdictional copyright infringement claims relating to photographs of poet Dylan Thomas and his wife.
  • Acted for Inspop.com Limited (trading as Confused.com and part of the Admiral Group) on various complex commercial contract disputes in 2018.

Leveraging its strong institutional corporate client base, both within the public and private sector, as well as being viewed as a destination practice for standalone work, Hugh James 'consistently has cases in the highest courts' and provides 'accurate and responsive advice' across a wide range of commercial litigation,  in many cases involving overseas jurisdictions and extremely complex legal dimensions. As well as being a qualified mediator, 'brilliant' team head Richard Locke regularly leads on the most significant pieces of litigation handled by the firm, including on complex shareholder and partnership disputes. The 'intellectually excellent' Tracey Singlehurst-Ward is recommended for IP, media and defamation disputes. 'Bright and extremely capable' senior associate Abigail Flanagan is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Richard Locke

Other key lawyers:Tracey Singlehurst-Ward; Robert Phillips; Abigail Flanagan

Testimonials

Extremely strong and commercial practice

Friendly and approachable

'Punches miles above its weight and is a great success both in Wales and the UK generally'

'Richard Locke: a great leader, calm, bright, incisive, no-nonsense and loved by clients'

'Tracey Singlehurst-Ward: a brilliant lawyer, highly intelligent, commercial, tough and sensible'

 

Key Clients

DS Smith

Celtic Manor Resort Limited

S.A Brain & Co

Cycle Solutions

ROCKWOOL Limited

Welsh Government

National Westminster Bank

British Boxing Board of Control

Dwr Cymru Cyfyngedig (Welsh

Water)

Welsh Rugby Union

Work highlights

  • Defending a high court injunctive proceedings alleging breach of copyright, database rights and breach of confidence for a south Wales based company specialising in environmental test chambers and test systems.
  • Acting for a property leasing company to pursue a claim for breach of contract and negligence against national renewable energy company
  • Acting for a south Wales based SME that had been a victim of fraud
  • Advising a private individual who was one of three defendants to a claim brought by Double Negative Limited, one of the world's four leading computer generated images providers, in a high profile case.
  • Represented a private individual and former employee a large private sector healthcare provider in his capacity as former director and CEO, as well as shareholder, in a breach of contract claim.

Although Acuity Law's litigation offering is still in its infancy, under the leadership of Hugh Hitchcock  - who himself has a 'superb instinct for a winning point' - it has generated some 'high-quality mandates that would be the envy of many London firms', including its recent work on behalf of an international fund on a minority shareholder dispute arising from a high-profile merger. The 'perceptive, thoughtful and tenacious' recently promoted partner Aisha Wardell  is a 'rising star' in the market, and has excellent credentials across general contractual disputes, shareholder litigation,  professional negligence and contentious insolvency matters.

Practice head(s):Hugh Hitchcock

Other key lawyers:Aisha Wardell

Testimonials

The team is growing in stature and visibility

Key Clients

Michael Cuddy

Grant Thornton

Portman Healthcare

Aqualisa Group

Harris Pye United Kingdom Limited

Wolverhampton City Council

Quantum Advisory

JB Global Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed by non-executive director and shareholder to recover payment of directors loan of circa £200,000 which had been withheld in breach of contract.
  • Instructed by national accounts to pursue antecedent transactions.
  • Instructed on behalf of a fund to pursue a multimillion -pound claim against an investment bank.
  • Instructed on behalf of a national developer in relation to a claim against a contractor.

Berry Smith provides an 'effective' and 'commercial' service for public and private sector clients across a range of core business litigation, including shareholder and commercial contract disputes, as well as on more niche areas such as public procurement challenges and after-the-event insurance disputes. 'Experienced and commercial' team head Nick Parker has an excellent reputation for handling corporate and commercial litigation and also sits as a Deputy District judge on a part-time basis.

Practice head(s):Nick Parker

Other key lawyers:Iwan Doull

Testimonials

'Approachable and very attentive'

'Nick Parker is very professional and informative'

'Nick Parker has the ability to easily engage with the client and make them feel comfortable'

Key Clients

Arag Plc

BBI Group

Fiddes & Son Limited

TTG Pension Trustees Limited

Dawnus Construction Holdings

EKF Diagnostics Holdings Plc

Direct Healthcare

Ashwood Designs

Anstee Services

Biological Preparations Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Nathan Cleverly, former World boxing champion, in a claim brought against by him by his former boxing promoter and serial litigant Frank Warren.
  • Represent the administrator of the high-profile “K2 Scheme” (used by celebrities such as Jimmy Carr to manage their tax affairs) in the defence of claims brought by private sector SMEs and Plcs to recover sums paid under the scheme.
  • Acted for the minority shareholders of a national leisure group that specialises in the operation and ownership of trampoline parks in a prospective petition for unfair prejudice against the majority shareholders of the group.
  • Representing ARAG in a claim against one of its high- net-worth insured for unpaid insurance premium in a successful action the insured had brought against Barclays Bank for mis-selling.
  • Represented one of the leading trailer manufacturers in Europe in the defence of a claim by the UK’s leading manufacturer of sliding door gear for breach of contract.

Led out of Swansea by the 'highly effective' Jason Williams and from Carmarthen by Llyr Davies , Morgan LaRoche's two-partner team is 'able to handle a wide variety of disputes, and has the necessary expertise to tackle high value and complex commercial cases' for local and national SMEs and owner-managed businesses in sectors such as waste management and manufacturing. Davies has effectively deepened the firm's litigation footprint throughout west Wales and brings a 'commercial perspective' to matters, in part borne out by his former in-house corporate experience.

Practice head(s):Jason Williams and Llyr Davies

Other key lawyers:Gemma Thomas

Testimonials

'A big presence in Swansea, Carmarthen and the west of Wales, the firm covers a range of commercial and property litigation.'

'The team has an excellent depth of legal knowledge allied with a profound understanding of the realities and practicalities of litigation.'

'The team is very highly regarded, particularly in south Wales'

'Jason Williams is technically very able, but his real strength is in rapidly identifying the commercial objectives behind any particular piece of litigation, and then driving the strategic decision making in a clear and focused manner.'

'Llyr Davies fights hard for clients and is aggressive enough to get results but knowledgeable enough to give sound advice and know when to settle.'

'Llyr Davies' ability to negotiate in Welsh is what sets him apart, as well as his breadth of knowledge.'

Key Clients

Egnedol Limited

Cawdor Cars (Newcastle Emlyn) Limited

Hafan Cymru

Llanelec Precision Engineering

Mon Motor Group

Crugiau Properties

EA-RS Fire Engineering

Morgan and Davies

Llandovery College

Pen Y Garn Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of a company registered in Cyprus, and all its UK subsidiaries and directors, in a complex investor dispute.
  • Shareholder dispute between family members relating to a multimillion-pound company
  • Acting for a housing association in connection with its ownership, role and financial obligations relating to a one stop shop for domestic abuse.
  • IPR and contract dispute concerning military vehicles

Led by the 'very trustworthy and capable' Kempton Rees , Darwin Gray LLP 's litigation team has a strong reputation among local businesses and individuals across a range of commercial disputes, including on contractual, shareholder and banking litigation. Clients also benefit from the firm's flexible approach to billing and its ability and willingness to work alongside complementary practice groups, including employment and property, should the need arise.

Practice head(s):Kempton Rees

Douglas-Jones Mercer is deeply embedded in to the local community and receives a significant flow of work, often on a repeat basis, from regional corporates and a growing number of public sector entities across the gamut of commercial disputes, including as it relates to general commercial contracts, partnership and joint venture disputes. Laura Alliss handles a good deal of the general commercial litigation undertaken by the team (in addition to her thriving contentious probate practice), while Philip Graham and Christian Edwards, provide particular litigation expertise in the  construction and sports sectors, respectively.

Practice head(s):Philip Graham

Other key lawyers:Christian Edwards; Laura Alliss

Key Clients

Knightsbridge Property Development Corporation (UK)

The Physiotherapy Network

Dawnus Southern

Dawnus Construction Holdings

Ply Tek (UK) Limited

Swansea Stadium Management Company

Stones & Co Insolvency Practitioners

Work highlights

  • Successful pursuit of a claim to trial for the rectification of the title held by HM Land Registry following fraudulent transactions on the part of previous company officers.
  • Successful pursuit of a claim to trial of liability in respect of a breach of contract and breach of the database regulations.
  • Claim in professional negligence against a solicitor’s firm which failed to advise the trustees of the potential of a costs order being made against them personally.
  • Represented company responsible for managing and operating the Liberty Stadium in a ten-day trial for claim for defects.
  • Represented various clients in claims against installers and their insurers for defective and/or negligent installation of cavity wall insulation.

Led out of Swansea by the 'very helpful' Andrew Meech  and from Cardiff by the 'knowledgeable' Huw Roffe , JCP Solicitors' two-partner team provides an 'effective service' to local and national SMEs and owner-managed businesses across a myriad litigation, ranging from partnership and shareholder disputes to construction and sports-related cases.

Practice head(s):Andrew Meech (South West Wales) and Huw Roffe (East Wales)

Testimonials

'Nice, likeable people who also happen to be very good lawyers'

'They know their stuff, understand that their clients have businesses to look after and that litigation is a distraction from that'

'Huw Roffe knows his stuff but wears the knowledge lightly'

Key Clients

Macron

A B Glass (Doors & Windows) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented Unicam Holdings in respect of proceedings commenced against an individual following a default on a £700,000 commercial loan made by Unciam to facilitate the development of a care home.
  • Acting for Untied Worldwide Logistics in relation to a damages claim commenced against it by Cake Box Company

Parlaying its pre-eminent reputation for personal injury defendant work for local authorities, Dolmans also receives a significant flow of broader commercial litigation (including contract disputes and property litigation) either directly from clients or through insurers. Although it is best-known on the public sector side, the team, headed by Peter Bennett , also handles a sizeable amount of litigation for local SMEs.

Practice head(s):Peter Bennett

Other key lawyers:Philip Bradley; Simon Evans; Claire Thomas

Testimonials

'The firm provides a hands-on and client-focused service'

'Simon Evans is extremely knowledgeable and has a wealth of experience to draw upon'

Key Clients

Atlantic Recycling

Neal Soils Suppliers

Dauson Group

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Represented a major recycling company in Wales in relation to judicial review proceedings against the Regulator.
  • Representing a public sector organisation relating to possible litigation regarding the design and installation of road side traffic furniture.

Led out of Wrexham by the 'experienced and well-respected' Robert Williams, GHP Legal provides a 'personable and accessible service' to owner-managed businesses and SMEs spread across north and mid-Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire. Williams has a particular focus on handling business and employment-related disputes.

Practice head(s):Robert Williams

Other key lawyers:Rodney Waters

Newport-based firm RDP Law provides 'pragmatic and incisive advice' to local SMEs and high-net-worth individuals across a broad range of commercial disputes, and is increasingly active handling matters within the automotive industry. Recruited in February 2018 from Sinclairslaw, 'young, energetic and methodical' senior associate Deian Benjamin  spearheads the commercial litigation offering following the departure in the same month of Michael Feakes, who set up his own firm.

Practice head(s):Deian Benjamin

Other key lawyers:Robert Davies; Rhys Evans; Kerry Beynon

Testimonials

'The team is responsive, supportive and knowledgeable'

'Provides practical and commercial advice'

'Robert Davies exudes quiet confidence and immediately gives absolute reassurance that he has everything under control'

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