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At Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, the ‘knowledge of the team is first class’ and, as a result, the practice is a favourite of many UK’s leading banks, as well as international banks such as Svenska Handelsbanken and BNP Paribas. Chris Busby, who is now national head of practice, ‘has a lot of experience across a broad range of clients’ and ‘has strong contacts with the FCA and with the Financial Ombudsman Service’. Examples of his work include acting for HSBC on a portfolio of over 100 live matters concerning commercial lending, and advising Santander on a high volume of professional negligence litigation claims arising from commercial lending. Another key player in the team is newly promoted partner Neville Gray, who has been active for lenders on several multi-jurisdictional disputes in areas such as mis-selling and exchange rate manipulation. Closer to home, Gray continued to defend a global private bank on claims by investors for negligence and breach of statutory duty, following advice provided on the tax arrangements for film partnership schemes.

Gowling WLG’s practice is probably best known in the consumer finance space, where practice head Greg Standing acts for the likes of Black Horse, Mercedes Benz Financial Services and Honda Finance. In an example, Standing is representing

PEAC in relation to two separate cases, one as claimant and one as defendant, against schools which have entered into lease agreements for the hire of printing equipment. Standing is also advising Home Retail Group Card Services in multiple PPI claims relating to a cover-safe product provided with Argos-branded store cards. The team’s expertise extends to advising banks on lending disputes, and principal associate Turon Miah, who focuses on non-standard lending, securities and high-value claims, successfully acted for HSBC in the enforcement of a £300,000 loan and mortgage security. CIS and CEE specialist Tom Price, who divides his time between Birmingham and London, focuses on cross-border disputes, often with a banking component.

Shoosmiths LLP’s practice is ‘good at answering difficult questions and is generally extremely reliable in what can be testing and fraught situations’. The team sits within the firm’s recoveries services group, which acts for a wide range of clearing banks, other retail banks, building societies, credit card issuers and motor finance houses. Names to note include head of asset finance litigation Melanie Chell, who divides her time between Birmingham and Northampton; Roger Potgieter, whose work straddles advice to lenders on the recovery of financed assets and bringing claims against lenders under the Consumer Credit Act; and senior associate Martin Ward, who focuses on asset and motor finance. In 2016, the team acted for Close Brothers Motor Finance on a number of matters, including the recovery of £300,000 following the termination of a wholesale funding facility with a motor dealer; and in another example of work, it defended Lombard North Central Bank in a credit finance dispute over whether a coach was of satisfactory quality, following the supplier’s liquidation.

In 2016, Gateley Plc reported an increase in disputes touching on the regulatory aspects of banking litigation. The team is led by James Baird, who has particular expertise in title cases and focuses on areas such as fraud, cross-border recoveries, quality disputes, and consumer credit litigation. Baird’s recent work included representing lenders in relation to asset finance frauds, defaulted regulated loan agreements, and claims for satisfactory quality and loss of profits arising from disputed hire agreements. Aldermore Bank, Macquarie Equipment Finance UK and Bank of Scotland are all clients of the practice.

Squire Patton Boggs’ practice is possibly best known for advising major UK banks on large-scale professional negligence actions. The team also acts for lenders such as Arkle Finance and Arrow Global on a range of contentious matters, including orders for sale and commercial guarantee enforcement, regulatory and fraud issues, and retail and wholesale product mis-selling. Garon Anthony and senior associate Ben Tompkins are key contacts and have been busy assisting with disputes arising from film finance arrangements, outstanding guarantees and student lending.

At Fieldfisher LLP, Jim Sharkey handles a volume of financial product mis-selling claims against banks and intermediaries, and also has experience in high-value negligence actions. In one example of work, Sharkey successfully defended two property investment companies and a solicitor in High Court proceedings brought by an international bank relating to the management of a property portfolio.

Irwin Mitchell’s practice represents lenders such as HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland in high-value professional negligence disputes. In addition to pursuing negligence claims against valuers, solicitors and other professionals, the team also defends banks where advice provided to investors is challenged. Associate Jane Anderson is now the main contact, following the departure of Simon Ellis.

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